Sunday, November 24, 2013

Cranberry Salsa


This is perhaps your easiest holiday appetizer.  Ever.  
With only two ingredients, it may be my shortest blog post ever!


If you're not too sure about the combination, just imagine Mango Salsa.  But instead of imagining palm trees, imagine jingle bells.  It's that good. Maybe we should just call it Holiday Salsa! Combine a can of whole berry cranberry sauce with a jar of salsa.  Feel free to add more or less cranberry sauce.  Whatever you have on hand will work!


Serve with a side of Sweet Potato Chips and you've got Thanksgiving wrapped up in a single bite!



Thursday, November 21, 2013

Seven Layer Salad


My Little Peanut turned 13 this month and this was her birthday dinner request:  turkey, stuffing, cheesy potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberries and 7-layer salad.  Sigh. I remember when all she wanted was Macaroni and Cheese and Hot Dogs.

Anna loves 7-Layer Salad.  It's the reason that I'm bringing it to not one, but TWO Thanksgiving dinners this year!  Someday she will be going to go off to college and I won't be there to make 7-Layer Salad for her.  That's why I am recording this recipe.  I am recording this recipe in case she goes off to college and just has to have 7-Layer Salad, but when she tries to call me, I have my phone turned off because I'm in a Hot Yoga class or I'm finding my inner Rembrandt or her dad and I are at a movie. On a school night.  By ourselves.  Oh, wait.  I'll still have more kids at home.  I guess that won't be happening.


If you haven't figured it out, 7-Layer Salad is sort of a general term.  There may or may not be seven layers.  It depends on how you count them.  For instance, if you don't count the second layer of lettuce, the sprinkle of sugar or the garnish on top, you are right at seven layers.  Otherwise, we'll just call it an estimation.  If you like lots of dressing and not a lot of veggies, just use a wide, shallow bowl.  If you like bacon, throw that in as well.  This is just how we make it.  Mommy loves you, sweetie! I'll call you back as soon as I'm done finding myself!



Seven Layer Salad
by Rachel @ Simple Girl

1 head iceberg Lettuce, chopped (it holds its crunch when it sits overnight)
5 green onions, chopped (reserve 1 for garnish)
1 can of sliced water chestnuts, chopped
3-4 stalks celery, diced
2 cups frozen green peas
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (reserve 1/4 cup for garnish)
1-2  cups Miracle Whip Light (It's what we like. Don't judge me.)
1 tablespoon sugar

Place half of the chopped iceberg lettuce in the bottom of a clear bowl.  Follow the layers as listed.  When you get to the top layer of lettuce, sprinkle with sugar and then add the cheese.  Put enough Miracle on the top to cover the cheese.  Lay it on thickly if you really like it!  Garnish with more cheese and green onions.  Refrigerate, covered, overnight.


THIS POST MAY BE LINKED TO: MONDAYS MADE BY YOU MONDAY, FLOUR ME WITH LOVEMANIC MONDAYTUESDAYSTALENT SHOW TUESDAYS,TRICK OR TREAT TUESDAY ,  MANDY'S RECIPE BOX  WEDNESDAYS: WORKS FOR ME WEDNESDAY, GINGER SNAP CRAFTSTHE DIY DREAMER  THURSDAYS: FULL PLATE THURSDAYS , CHIC & CRAFTY PARTYLAMBERTS LATELY,FRIDAYS: I’M LOVING IT, FOODIE FRIDAYFOOD ON FRIDAYS, TATERTOTS AND JELLO,   SHINE ON FRIDAYSFRIDAY FAVORITES, BACON TIME , KITCHEN FUN WITH MY THREE SONS, WEEKEND RETREAT PINWORTHY PROJECTS SATURDAYS:SWEETS FOR A SATURDAY SIX SISTERS STUFFSUNDAYS: NIFTY THRIFTY THINGS





Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sugar Free Gum Cake


When your kids go to a Sugar Free School, sometimes you have to think outside the box when it comes to birthdays.  

I was willing to give up the sugar, but I wasn't willing to give up the cake!
This Sugar Free Gum Cake provided the perfect solution for celebrating our teacher's birthday last week!


It was surprisingly easy to put together.  First of all, start with two styrofoam cake rounds. (Available at Michael's.)

Buy some contrasting grosgrain ribbon and cut each piece an inch longer than the circumference of each cake. Fasten the ribbon with pearl corsage pins (also available at Michael's) at the top of each cake.  I love how the pearls give it some dressmaker detail!


You can reinforce the ribbon with a few glue dots.


Attach two glue dots to the back of each pack of gum. 
Attach the gum around the outside of the cake.


For added reinforcement, tie some more ribbon around the packs of gum.  
Add more glue dots to the ribbon to help it stay in place.


Fortunately for the kids, the teachers were willing to share their Sugar Free Gum Cake and everyone received a pack of gum to take home!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My Very Own Shoebox Packing Tips! (Operation Christmas Child)


We still have our pumpkins out and the neighbors just put up their beautiful Christmas Tree.   I know. I watched the antecedent event through my window. This metamorphosis of the seasons means one thing. It's Shoebox Time! National Collection week is November 18 - 25!

Samaritan's Purse has been delivering shoeboxes filled with gifts to children in Third World countries for twenty years. Our family has joined in the fun for nearly 15 years! Our kids love the process of giving and Operation Christmas Child is a perfect, hands on way for them to show love to others. You can even track your box to it's final destination! How cool is that?


The first thing you need is a shoebox. You can use a shoebox that you've found in the bottom of your closet, or, what I recommend, BUY A PLASTIC SHOEBOX WITH A LID! The box is part of the present, after all.

Now, here's my next tip: YOU DON'T HAVE TO WRAP THEM! I don't mean to go all Scrooge-y on you, but in the early days, I found that trying to wrap a shoebox (with lids and boxes wrapped separately) was a total stressor. It's not my skill set. With four kids and four boxes, I often stayed up into the wee hours of the morning trying to get the paper to fit. With my new-found freedom of plastic, unwrapped boxes, we set our family goal this year to TEN boxes!  And momma, by the way, was much, much happier!

Whatever you use, BRING YOUR BOX TO THE STORE!  This is the only way you will know if your items will fit!


Talk to your kids before you shop, and SET SOME PARAMETERS.  For us, ten $1-ish items is a good start. PUT IN SOME NECESSITIES like socks, toothbrushes and toothpaste....


Pencils..... (don't forget the sharpeners!)


Notebooks (these composition notebooks fit just right at the top of our boxes.  
Some notebooks are too big!)........


HALLOWEEN CLEARANCE CANDY MAKES GREAT PACKING MATERIAL.  
Just make sure it's nothing that will melt!


PUT IN SOME TOYS! We found little stuffed bears and puzzles!


It's fun to pack the boxes and full as you can!


OK, so these are a little bulging.  A big rubber band around the boxes is a good idea!


Lastly, don't forget your gender and age label! 

You can print them off from their website HERE!  You can also visit the Samaritan's Purse website for additional packing tips and donation information.

HAPPY SHOEBOXING!


xo
Rachel

Saturday, November 9, 2013

iheartfaces | Pets


The funny thing about dogs is that after they enter your lives, they view themselves as equals. Where you go, they go.  Where you sleep, they want to sleep. What you eat, they assume that they should be eating, too.  They become an integral part of your family. Today, on Anna's 13th Birthday, her sisters made her breakfast in bed. Guess who was right there? That's right.  The dog. He's never one to miss a party.