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Make Starbucks vanilla creamer at home!

This post would of made no sense for me to do 2 years ago when I didn’t drink coffee… I drink it quite often now though… Enough that I make creamer. Let me tell you, it’s a lot easier to make this creamer than to drive to a Starbucks and pay too much for a coffee, because more than likely you already have all the ingredients in your home already.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 quart & Half pint Mason jars
  • 4 cups of half and half
  • 14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk (one can)
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Medium pouring bowl
  • Whisk

Directions:

  • Add half and half and vanilla extract to the bowl and while whisking, slowing pour in sweetened condensed milk.
  • Whisk for about one minute; until condensed milk is broken up.
  • Use creamer, or transfer to Mason jars for long term storage.
  • It can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 days. Shake before each use to recombine ingredients.

I use this with ice coffee because I prefer cold drinks, but it’s delicious with hot coffee too! Enjoy.

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Non Traditional Thanksgiving side dishes.


Hey all! Since Thanksgiving is literally a few days away, let’s talk food; preferably side dishes. I don’t know about all of you but for me, every year is pretty much the same for side dishes. You know, green bean casserole, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. This year, my family and friends decided to do it differently. My husband is making the turkey and the green bean casserole, (I really hate green bean casserole. lol)  and everyone else is bringing their own side dish…whatever they want. It doesn’t have to be traditional at all. It could be an Italian or even Mexican side dish. Doing this saves one person from having to cook all day.

Here are some “Non-Traditional” side dishes I thought you all would enjoy.

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Some of my personal favorites are the slow cooker mashed potatoes, vinegar marinated cucumbers and bacon green beans.

I have also included a list of easy side dishes for toddlers because if your toddler is anything like mine, fast to make and easy to eat food and a variety to satisfy their pickiness. My toddler likes to eat with her hand type of foods. Pretty much all of these are somewhat healthy.


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I think I’m going to make the toddler trail mix for sure. My toddler likes to snack pretty much all day and I think this would be perfect at keeping her occupied while everyone else is prepping and cooking.
I don’t know about all of you but, I have to have appetizers throughout the day while cooking. The smell of the food being cooked that you can’t eat for hours is torture. Haha. Here I have provided another list for pre thanksgiving meal appetizers.
I try and make it so I don’t have to actually use the oven for the appetizers because there are other things that are occupying the oven.


Easy Appetizers:

  • Celery and cream cheese ( you can also use peanut butter)I have been making this as an appetizer for thanksgiving for years. Ever since I was a little girl. Easy and delicious. OH, and healthy.
  • Fruit and veggie trays with ranch or sour cream
  • Cracker and cheese tray
  • Spinach and artichoke dip with tortilla chips  (This is actually one of my favorites!! Yum!)
  • Lil smokies

I am not much of an alcohol drinker. I prefer lemonade over that but I don’t judge those who do so I have found some tasty looking beverages as well as non alcoholic beverages that look delicious. 
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I am going to make the frozen Arnold Palmer. This has always been my favorite. The berry fruit punch would be good for the kids and the alcoholic ones for everyone else. My redneck husband prefers beer over these “Fru fru drinks”, in his words. 



I hope I made things a little easier for you guys when deciding your Thanksgiving menu.

Remember to be thankful for what you have and not dwell on what you don’t have. Remember what’s important; what is irreplaceable. Not things or wealth but, family and friends. Have love and compassion towards everyone. 

As the quote on my bathroom wall says, “Let’s not be assholes today but, instead be thankful.” – Written by me with my daughter’s bath crayons while taking a shower. 


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Crock Pot Potato Soup.

Long time no blog, right? It’s been crazy these past few months, and I mean CRAZY. Here’s what I mean by crazy…
-We moved… again.
-I flew my best friend here from Illinois to live with me.
-We live with what it seems like a million people… Oh, and 3 dogs and 2 cats.
Yeah, things were so crazy that my crazy Halloween spirit was just not there this year. For those who really know me, know that this is very devastating for me. Halloween is my Christmas.

Any who, more holidays are coming up and I am really trying to get into the fall time/ holiday spirit. So, I decided to pull out my crock pot and make something warm to go with the chilliness we’ve been having. Like I said before, my crock pot is my favorite kitchen appliance.

Here we go…



Ingredients: Serves about 4 -6.

  • 4 cups of peeled and diced large russet potatoes (3-4) 
  • 1 small onion diced (If you don’t like the smell of onions like me, I suggest not using any. Your house will smell like onions for a good 4 hours.
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 4 Tbs of butter
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream (Half and Half will work also. I used half and half but ended up having to add more flour because it wasn’t thick enough. So, I recommend using the heavy whipping cream.)
  • Salt , pepper and garlic powder to taste


Optional toppings:

  • Bacon, cooked and crumbled (Or you can be lazy and just buy bacon bits like I did.)
  • 1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese
  • Green onions (I did not use this)


Not a lot of ingredients, right? I had most this already in the house.


Steps:

  1. Heat crock pot on high; Add chicken broth, diced potatoes and onions to crock pot and for 3 to 4 hours until potatoes are tender. ( if you like your crock pot on all day and like the smell of onions, then you can cook on low for 4 to 6 hours instead.) 
  2. About 30 minutes before it’s done, when the potatoes are almost tender, in a medium sauce pan, melt the butter. Whisk in flour and cook until bubbly. Slowly add heavy cream and sour cream. The mixture should be thick. Add to whats in the crock pot and stir. Continue to cook in crock pot for 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. You can make it look pretty and serve it with the cheese, bacon bits and green onions on top for Instagram picture purposes or you can just mix that all together and just eat it.
I made 2 crock pots full (a million people in one house, remember?), so, I doubled all the ingredients and trust me, barely any of it was left.
  
Things I would do differently next time:
  • Use heavy whipping cream
  • Dice potatoes smaller 

I hope everyone enjoyed this easy dinner recipe. Enjoy!


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Italian meatball sandwiches!

For those of you who really know me, you would know that I don’t really like cooking. I usually only cook if I’m forced or if I’m feeling nice. HA.
Well today I was feeling extra nice I guess. I am making, as we type, Italian meatballs for meatball sandwiches. My family LOVES them!! Its really easy actually. So I am going to tell you just how easy it is.

What you’ll need:

  • Medium or large bowl
  • Baking sheets
  • Slow cooker
  • 1lb of sausage
  • 1lb of ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs ( I used Italian bread crumbs)
  • tsp of garlic powder 
  • 1/2 tsp of salt 
  • 1/2 tsp of ground pepper
  • 1 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cans of marinara sauce

Directions:
Mix all of the ingredients except for the marinara sauce, in the bowl with your hands. It works better with your hands. Then scoop the desired size of meatball and place them on the baking sheet. You’ll want to spray the sheet with cooking spray or oil first.
Once you’ve scooped all the meat onto the baking sheets, put them in the oven to broil for 8 minutes, turning them over half way though. Preheat the slow cooker with a can of marinara sauce before hand. after the meatballs are done in the oven, place them in the slow cooker and cover them with the second can of sauce.  That’s pretty much it. Oh stir occasionally. I like to leave them in the slow cooker for 5 hours. Easy right?
If you wanted to kick it up a notch, get a block of mozzarella cheese and cut in cubes and put inside the meat before putting them in the oven. Mozzarella Stuffed Italian Meatballs!

You can eat them on a hoagie with mozzarella cheese on top or by itself.
Not only does it taste delicious, it makes the house smell like Meatballs.
Seriously, my house smells delicious right now! This should be an air freshener.

The awesome thing about making this is that there are sometimes leftovers and I don’t have to cook the next day. If I’m lucky, the guys in my house can really eat!