Strawberry Cupcakes

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This is the ymmy dessert that Jodi made for us last weekend.  Home made Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese frosting.  To die for right!  Yep, they were good.

Ok so I’m trying to stay away from sweets as I may have mentioned, but come awwnnnnn…When Jodi bakes and comes to my house, I can’t not have one.  This was not a case of stay strong or indulge completely.  This was me knowing when I was alone, so no one could actually see me eating it, I ate it.  I almost had another one but then thought for sure that my game would be called!!!  Haha.  All kidding aside, Jodi made these to go along with out Chicken Dinner and they were fabulous.  She gave us an entire pan to keep.  Now I said I only had one!!

I wasn’t there to watch Miss Jodi make these, but now I wonder if Mr. Sam got to lick the batter spoon.  Hmmm…I’ll have to ask.

Jodi has a garden growing…Jodi has about 37 lbs of fresh strawberries.  She ended up having to freeze the majority of them.  And that’s ok.  I’m going for the next time we get to make these:

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We have no idea what this is made with but know that we will make them and enjoy them with those fresh strawberries!!

Anyways.  We had a great time.  We got to eat great food, we got to watch two 2 year olds play together on an iPad!!  What did we have when we were growing up again!

It seems though time passes too fast that you sometimes forget that you need to always make time for your friends.  And when Two Girls get together, you can bet we’re putting together something worth writing about!!  How’s that!

Strawberry Cupcakes
Recipe Type: Cupcakes
Author: Jodi
Ingredients
  • 1 white cake (mix or homemade)
  • 1 cup of strawberries, diced
  • 1 drop of red food coloring
  • ….
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 3 ounces of cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 cup of strawberries, diced
  • whole strawberries, garnish
Instructions
  1. Prepare cake as directed then mix in diced strawberries. Pour batter into paper-lined cupcake tins. Bake as directed. Let cool.
  2. For frosting, mix together butter and cream cheese until smooth, then add powdered sugar and strawberries. Mix on medium for 3-4 minutes. When cupcakes are cool, frost generously and top with a strawberry. Refrigerate.

When there’s a smile on your face, laughter in the room, your belly is full, and a friend by your side, remember, life is good.

Patricia written for Jodi – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source

Jenny Steffens

Chicken Bundles

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I recently shared with you my trip to Indiana to see my friend, Carrie.  During that trip I suggested that she try to make a nice home cooked meal.  No frozen pot pies for dinner this time.  She made the pot pies I had posted earlier and they were great.  The other night I got a text from her asking me what would go well with a recipe she was going to make!  I was so happy that she got herself in the kitchen and was making dinner!  I suggested she make rice with this and she sure did.

I asked her if she would be a guest blogger.  She said:  “Um, no.”  But I told her that I would write up the blog for her and just share her pictures.  So this is what I’m doing for her!  I can’t take any credit for this one.  And it sure looks good.

Ingredients for Chicken Bundles

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1-13 oz. can chicken (or equivalent cooked chicken, rotitsserie chicken, etc)
  • 1 Tbs. sesame seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. parsley
  • 2 cans Pillsbury Crescent Rolls – leave in fridge until ready to use!
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped onion or dried minced onion

Directions: Combine the above ingredients (minus the crescent rolls) and mix well.

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Open two packages crescent rolls. DO NOT divide into triangles. Keep every 2 triangles together, forming 8 rectangles.

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Pinch the seams closed and pat each one out into a larger square.

Put a spoonful of chicken/cream cheese mixture into the center of each square. Fold the corners up into the center, layering like flower petals so the roll is sealed. (Don’t stress too much on the technique, fold them up press seams together to make a bundle.)

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Repeat with all 8 rectangles. You’re going to worry that you’re doing this wrong, but you’re not, just do it, I promise they’ll taste delicious.

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Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

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Next time, oh and there will be a next time, I travel to see Carrie, she will be making either these for me or a different home cooked meal that she comes up with!!!!  I’m so happy that she went outside her box and did this.  Not that she hasn’t before, but if she has, it’s sure been a while!  You go Carrie girl!!!

Thanks for taking time to take pictures to send to me so this could be shared!

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Two Girls Cooking – Carrie  – on the left (Guest Blogger)

Source:

Quick and Easy Dinner

BBQ Pulled Pork

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I was going through my weekly menu planning and hit a bump in the road as to what new I could make.  So I went to Heidi (my friend/co-worker) and asked her to give me some good ideas.  This reminded me of the Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowls.   I was trying to decide what to eat this with.  Heidi had said she has dinner rolls and coleslaw with hers, so I followed what she made.  But this would be good over pasta or rice as well.

The flavor of this pork is so good.  It was in the slow cooker almost all day.  Soaking in all of the BBQ sauce, garlic, onion…mmmm.  The house smelled amazing!!  Glad there’s a bit left over for me to have some lunch tomorrow!!

Clyde even got to taste it!!  I’m pretty sure he enjoyed it!

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yield: 6 servings
Ingredients:
3 lb. pork shoulder (I used two pork loins)
1 cup water
1/2 bottle BBQ sauce
salt & pepper
1/2 onion diced
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3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bottle BBQ sauce
1/3 cup packed brown sugar (way too sweet, we add 1/4 cup unpacked)
1 tablespoon yellow mustard – I didn’t use the mustard (some aren’t a fan of the flavor of mustard)
salt & pepper
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Directions:
In a crock pot, place pork, water, bbq sauce, salt, pepper and onion. Cover and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours until very tender. Remove all meat from crock pot. Spoon off fat from remaining liquid in crock pot and discard about half the liquid as well (you want it to be moist but not too watery–mine was a little on the watery side, so remove more then you think and you can always add more back in). Shred pork removing all excess fat. Return to crock pot and stir in garlic, bbq sauce, brown sugar, mustard and more salt and pepper. Cook another hour or so until all flavors blend and the garlic taste mellows out a little. Serve with fresh rolls and coleslaw.
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This was exactly what Heidi said…super easy to make.  My son made sandwiches with with the rolls and meat.  I hadn’t thought of doing that.  Add more onion and some cheese!  Hmmm, maybe next time!
Have a great week and enjoy!
Two Girls Cooking – Patricia
Source:
Heidi – Friend/Co-worker

Friends

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This isn’t a going to be a post about food (well some of it will be), but it is going to show the importance of friendship.  What length will you go for someone that you call your “friend”?  Are you willing to drop everything for that person or people in your life?  I am.  I have a very giving heart and will do what I feel is needed to put a smile on someone’s face.

I used to attend a church called The Path in Eagan, MN.  The pastor and his family moved away a few years ago and has since started a new church in Indiana called G3.  We’ve kept in touch throughout these past few years by email/text and mostly through the wonders of modern technology called Facebook.

My girlfriend had been in close touch with me last week and I could tell that she just needed a friend.  A friend that may know what and how she is feeling.  Now I’ve had a fear of flying all my life.  I’ve done it, I hate it, I’ve flown with my cooking buddy, Jodi.  She’s had to hold my hand and watch as I nearly threw up and actually cried because I thought the plane was going to drop from the sky!  But last Friday at 3pm I decided that I needed to be with her.  I called Craig and told him I was leaving for the weekend.  I got online and booked a flight.  Since it was last minute, I found it cheaper to fly to Chicago, rent a car and drive my way to Indiana.  Well let me tell you my story before I introduce you to my friend.

My plane was to take off at 7:40pm from Minneapolis.  I am not a frequent flyer so I have no idea about time frames and those sort of things.  Craig got home around 5:30 and asked what time my flight left and he said I should have been there already.  So we get my stuff together and head on out.  I get to the airport and he tells me to run to the terminal to make sure I check in on time!  I get to my gate to find out the flight is delayed for technical problems in Chicago.  Great.  Great. Great.  Every 15 minutes the flight got later and later.  Take off time was now 3 hours later.  Great.  Great.  Great.  What am I going to do at the airport for 3 dang hours?  I walked around and looked at stores, I texted my friends and family to let them know I was going to be late.  I sat down and found myself bored.  So I was looking around and thought, huh, this lady looks bored.  Snap!

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Usually I don’t have the flash set on my phone, but I sure did this time.  So when I took the picture of her, she knew what I had just done.  I just said “Ooops, sorry!” Then giggled to myself!  I am the queen of dorks.

I wondered around again and realized that my phone was near the end of it’s battery life.  Now who would have thought being a kid growing up in the 70/80s there would EVER be  such a thing called a charging station at airports for phones/laptops and whatever technical device you may have??!!  Not me, but I was grateful.

IMG_5803 So I plug my phone in and charge away.  I had a good 2 more hours to go before my plane would arrive anyways.  So I was on Facebook, texting.  Doing what everyone else at the airport was doing!  Duh!

I figure out ways to pass the time and finally heard and saw that my plane had arrived and we would be boarding very soon.  Thank goodness.  And this entire time, I didn’t have any fears going through me.  I had a great sense of peace actually.  I knew I had a journey ahead of me and that was kept my mind focused on what I was doing.

IMG_5806I got on the plane, took a picture for the kids, settled in and was ready for my one hour flight to Chi-town.  The town I dislike with a passion driving through, but love seeing.

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Fastened my seatbelt and was ready for this baby to take off.  The flight attendant started to go through the drills of safety this, how to do that, when the plane door flew open.  I gasped!  I knew that this was what I was supposed to be doing for my friend, but this was a huge test I was being put through..

The plane takes off and I actually looked out the window.  I saw how pretty it looked and almost cried.  I was about to see my friends real soon.  Or so I thought!! 😉

The flight was good.  Nothing for me to get nervous about.  I didn’t feel sick.  I didn’t feel like crying!!  We landed on solid ground and I was ready to get my rental car.

I take a shuttle to Hertz, get checked in and go to my car.  I open the door and search for the key to turn it on to get some heat going.  No key.  No place to put a key.  I I finally found a button for the car and got it started.  Thinking, huh, how do I lock the doors.  I search around for the key fob and find nothing.  I decided to get the radio set up for the stations that I like so when I’m driving I don’t have to mess with it.  Nothing.  XM Radio is NOT working.  There is no way I’m driving 4.5 hours with a standard FM radio.  So I drive to the office, take out all of my things because I can’t find a way to lock the door.  They find a guy to come out and fix the radio, no luck.  The manager comes out to see if she can get it to work.  No luck.  Get me a new car.  By this time about an hour has gone by.  They pull up with another white vehicle and I saw Ford on it.  Nothing against Ford, I just remember that Craig isn’t a fan.  But when I opened the door, I was in car heaven.  It was a pretty nice car.  I got in and started to mess with the radio to make sure I got this one set up.  It worked.  I got it all set up.  I set the GPS and was set to go.  Almost 2 hours after getting to the car rental!

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Who would have thought that the new Ford Taurus’ were this nice!  Not me. But I was having me a good time.  When I stopped here I was about an hour away from my destination.  I needed more coke to keep me awake.  It was now 5:30am!  I had the radio on and would make note of songs that I wanted to hear again that fit the situation that my friend was going through. Here are some of the songs: “Can Anybody Hear Her” by Casting Crowns, “Who Am I” by Casting Crowns, and “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave.  (Those are just a few).  The entire drive I had the biggest smile on my face.  I did because I knew that I was about to see someone that I hadn’t seen in a long time, but knowing that I had a job to do.  And that was to be a friend to a friend in need.  Not one scary thought of being alone in the middle of the night driving alone made me feel worried.

I get to their house at 6:30am or so.  I’m wired on coke and sugar ready to party!  But I was told that I needed to go rest.  So fine, I did.  I fell asleep for about 2 hours.  I didn’t want to waste away time since I was leaving the next day.  Being tired or not I wanted to get up and talk and hang out.

So I took a picture of a picture on their wall.

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I send this picture to my friend and asked her if it was okay to come out!!!  I hear an “of course honey” so I opened the door and settled down on the couch for a day long of talking.  I was so happy to be there.  I was just so happy.
We decided that we both wanted to get a tattoo.  We made an appointment but it just didn’t work out so we both decided that we would get the same tattoo, but at separate times.  Instead we drove to the grocery store to make home made Pot Pie Crumbles.  Now I did not get a positive response about her taking direction from me and her making the dinner.  But, as you all know, I love to be in the kitchen and cook with the kids.  So we turn on the radio and get ready to get this dinner started.  There were some minor complaints along the way, but she did a fabulous job and made the dinner better than I did!  I was so proud of her!  And she was very proud of herself. (As I sit here typing this I have the biggest smile)!  What a great night we had.

Off to bed we go.  Alarms set to get ready for church.  I was so excited to get to hear her husband preach.  I was so excited to see the new set up and just to be a part of this process was so awesome to me!  Super excited!!

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The stage is ready to go!!

As Praise and Worship started there was a song that I had sent for Carrie to listen to that I heard on the Radio.  They played one of these songs.  How amazing is that!  “Safe” by Britt Nicole.

It was a great service with huge break throughs.  I am soooo glad I made this spur of the moment trip for my friend.

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Here is a picture of the matching tattoos that we will both have to remember our special weekend.  I got mine this past Tuesday and Carrie will be getting hers soon.  It’s a dove with an olive branch.  This represents New Beginnings.

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And here is my friend Carrie.  She has put a lasting mark on my life even more so from last weekend.  Through tests and trials in life, we can choose to stand strong or fall short of the glory that is staring us right in the face.  My friend Carrie is standing strong.

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The power of words, experience, and lasting friendships.  I love you Carrie!  To anyone that needs words to lift you up, know that by God’s grace we are all Redeemed.  We can Stand, feel Safe, and know Who am I.

Patricia 😉

MOA Day

This will be our first blog post together for Jodi, Sammie, Brookie, Caleb and me. Today we met at the MOA (for those of you that don’t know what MOA is – Mall of America). We frequent this place almost on a weekly basis, just usually not together. Since we started the “All About Kids” page, I thought we should take a bunch of pictures and share our fun day with you guys.

The first stop we made was one of THE most important one of the night. Duh, the Candy store! We made our way to Northwoods Candy Emporium and found tons of fun for us to enjoy.

These are the best jawbreakers! Yep, Jodi bought them all. She says they’re not all for her, but I’m not sure I agree!

Those are the biggest jawbreakers we’ve seen. I got one for Jodi last year and she ate it all!

Even little Sammie was happy to see so much candy…more, more, more.

Since the kids were hungry and it’s not right to feed them bags of candy for dinner, we made our way to the food court. Caleb got pizza, Brookie got McDonalds and Jodi and I settled for tacos and burritos.

Sammie got to play while the big people finished their food.

But finally he said, come on let’s go… And by the look on his face, we knew he meant business…

We walked and stopped. And walked and stopped. Took pictures and more.

Walking the food off we just ate, we wandered our way towards Archivers. Dangerous for a person like me to be allowed to even enter – craft stores are so fun to go in to, but expensive when you walk out. I needed some stickers for a Baptism card for Sammie and since we were traveling by we decided to make our way to the store. I was in DIY heaven and so were the kids. Stickers, paper, cards, buttons, boxes and the Cricut cartridges galore! Quite proud of myself for only buying the cross stickers and two packs of cards, I left the store with money still in my pocket! (I just realized there is an Archivers within walking distance from our house – that could be REALLY bad).

I saw these cool pictures I could make for each of the kids…

While using our Cricut Expression….

Time to go, we have to leave…

While walking down the trail we see below the Girl Scouts store. First, we made our way to Nordstroms lounge for a quick Sammie break and headed down to the cookie store.

On to the cookie store please…Yes, even Sammie wants those cookies!!!

Jodi needed to stop at the Lego store to get her sister some little gifts. I knew this could go bad fast if I didn’t take control before we entered the store. I gave my speech one last time….”No one is getting anything and please don’t ask or touch.” We found the build it yourself little island and put the kids to work (Caleb was just glad he could touch – he wanted to ask, but didn’t. I was quite proud I didn’t have to leave with a screaming kid in tow).

They each had to make a little girl for Jamie!! Sammie kept himself busy with his little friend, Moose.

On our way out we had to stop to say hi to Woody!!

And the dinosaurs too, of course.

One more stop we had to make before calling it a night. What better way to end the day than having a cup of ice cream. Though Sammie’s too young to enjoy, the kids stood by and showed him what, he too, could have one day!

We sat on the bench and rested our feet, while the kids showed Jodi their gymnastics skills. Because I’m such a proud Nana, I had them doing their cartwheels and backbends right in the middle of the walkway for all to see!

We had a good time. Well, since I’m writing this, Jodi will have to agree! She loves hanging out with the kids and me! And we love seeing her and Sammie too! We got tons of candy, good food, had a good walk and ended the night with a cold ice cream treat.

Have a great weekend. Always take time to spend it with your friends. Those are the ones that are there for you the most.

Patricia, Jodi, Brookie, Caleb and Sammie

Cookies

This is the last batch of cookies that I planned on making before coming up with which one to bring to the cookie exchange.  But I’m truly not happy with these.  The recipe that was given to me to make these cookies were called “Caramel Fudge Turtle Cookies”.  I’m not a huge fan of pecans, so I decided to change the topping to a Hershey’s kiss.  But as you can see from the picture, the colors are working together at all. So this little baking adventure will be put as the fun over night play date that Brooklyn had!!  Brooklyn had a friend spend the night so I did have some help from the three little ones.

Little Kitchen Helpers

 Here’s what you need for these cookies:

pouch Betty Crocker® Sugar Cookie Mix

Butter and egg called for on cookie mix pouch

2 tablespoons Gold Medal® all-purpose flour

12 caramels, unwrapped

1 tablespoon milk

1 cup hot fudge topping

36 Pecan halves

The mixer

Look what we did!

Here’s what you do:

Make cookie dough as directed on package, stirring in flour. Roll dough into 1-inch balls; place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375°F 11 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute; place cookies on cooling rack.

Rolling it out

Microwave caramels and milk uncovered on High 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring once, until caramels are melted. Dip one side of each cookie at an angle into caramel mixture to coat top half; spread if necessary. If caramel thickens, add up to 1 teaspoon additional milk and reheat.

Spread about 1 teaspoon fudge topping on top of each cookie. Place pecan half on topping. Let stand about 15 minutes until toppings are set.

Since I had the red and white Hershey’s kisses, I melted some white chocolate chips in the microwave and added some red food coloring.  I thought this might help with the “look” of the cookie.  Just not happy with how they look.  We ate them.  They taste good.  But just not what I wanted for the cookie exchange.

So far the fudge has the lead in this contest.  We’ll see if I find one more I can bake before I need to decide.

Cookies

As for this round…we had fun baking together!  The kids got to help bake.  And even though Nana isn’t happy with these, the kids sure are.  So for today, the best part was having fun together!

Happy weekend.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking