Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy New Year!~Sharing Some Festive Recipes!

It is just about time to say goodbye to 2009. I can’t believe it. Where did the year go? Blogging has given me many gifts. I have made so many new friends. Learned so many new things and most importantly had fun along the way!

Our New Years Eve plans are nearly the same every year. A night in with the family. Watching the ball drop in Time’s Square. All of us enjoying a toast with Sparkling Cider. And then usually sending the two little boys to bed after the ball drops! Hey…..They think it is midnight, so we play along!  :)

I thought I would share a few of our favorite festive recipes! Maybe you might want to try one or all of these yummy appetizers to ring in your New Year!

Sausage Stars~

  • 1 lb cooked pork sausage (2 cups cooked)
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 cup hidden valley original ranch salad dressing
  • 1 (2 1/4 ounce) can sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1 (60 count) package wonton wrappers
  • vegetable oil
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Combine drained cooked sausage meat with the cheeses, salad dressing, olives and red pepper. Lightly oil muffin tins and press a wrap in each tin so there are 4 corners sticking out. Brush with oil bake 5 minutes until golden, remove wraps from pan, place on a baking sheet Fill wraps with the sausage, cheese mixture bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly& brown.

    We had Sausage Stars for Christmas Eve~

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    Close Up…Mmmmmm~

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    Sweet Chicken Bacon Wraps~

    Courtesy of  Paula Deen

    • 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (about 4 breasts)
    • 1 (1-pound) package sliced bacon
    • 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons chili powder


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees

    Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes. Cut each bacon slice into thirds. Wrap each chicken cube with bacon and secure with a wooden pick. Stir together brown sugar and chili powder. Dredge wrapped chicken in mixture. Coat a rack and broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken wrap on rack in broiler pan. Bake 350 for 30 to 35 minutes or until bacon is crisp.

    Makes 12-15 appetizers.

    bacon wrapped chicken

    Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip~

    Also courtesy of Paula Deen

    • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
    • 2 (13 3/4-ounce) cans artichoke hearts
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
    • 1 cup grated pepper jack cheese


    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a casserole dish with nonstick spray.

    Heat the spinach in a microwave oven on high for 5 minutes and squeeze dry. Drain the artichoke hearts and coarsely chop in a food processor.

    Combine all the ingredients except the jack cheese in a large bowl. Stir well. Scrape into the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle the jack cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes. Transfer to a chafing dish and keep warm over a low flame. Serve with bagel chips.

    Makes about 4 cups of dip.

    You will notice two of my three recipes were from Ms. Paula Deen! If you want appetizers SHE has the BEST ones! These are all holiday staples in our house! I hope you enjoy them too!

    Be watching ….my Blogoversary is in 5 days! I think a Giveaway is in order! So stay tuned!

    I want to take this time to wish you all a VERY Happy New Year!! Whatever you do, where ever you are. Be safe, be happy, be healthy and be with the ones you love!


    All the best to you in 2010!

    Until next year. Take care. ~Sarah~

    Sunday, December 27, 2009

    A Merry Christmas & Digging Out

    Hello everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! We sure did! Christmas Eve the whole family helped make appetizers, we baked & decorated cookies. Our five kids drew names so they got to open their name draw gift. And of course, cookies and milk were set out for Santa. We didn’t forget the reindeer! Carrots for them too!

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    Here is the gift that our son Alex gave us. How sweet is this?! He was so excited for us to open it, and so proud when we did! He made it in Preschool. All I had to add was a tea light! Looks like stained glass! These are the gifts we love the most!

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    Our Christmas Day was wonderful as well. Up early to open stockings and gifts. Then a big meal and some games on the new Wii!

    The whole time we were doing all  of these fun things it was snowing and blowing outside! We didn’t care. We had no where to be. So Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow!

    This is what we had to deal with when all the festivities were over~

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    Hey…Where did my sled go??

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    You will be happy to know that we are all dug out! It took over 3 hours, but we got the job done! And to top that off Mother Nature thought that we needed another inch the night we had  just snow blowed and shoveled!

    I  found this quote and thought…oh how true!

    “Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things,
    but just look what they can do when they stick together”.

    Until next time, take care. ~Sarah~

    Wednesday, December 23, 2009

    We Wish You A Merry Christmas


    Happy holidays everyone! It is December 24th! The presents are wrapped, the stockings are ready to be filled. Our agenda tomorrow consists of making gingerbread houses & baking , frosting & decorating Christmas cutout cookies, just to name a few of our festive holiday plans!

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    One of my favorite things to do is to take a drive and look at all of the beautiful holiday lights. Of course having Christmas music playing and a Starbucks hot chocolate in hand is a must! I thought I would share some of my “light looking” photos with all of you.

    I hope you don’t mind, I am taking a little “Memory Lane” time out. Christmas light looking is something that my best friend and I always did together back in high school. I know she reads my blog and I want her to know that I love her and miss her. Anne…these photos are for you.

    I hope you all enjoy this little tour~

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    This is the gorgeous tree at our outdoor mall~

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    This is my husband’s hometown main street~

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    So from our house to yours….we wish you the most Merry Christmas! May we all count our blessings and may we all keep our loved ones in our hearts, those that are near and those that are far.

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    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog, your friendship and your comments mean so much to me.

    Until next time, take care. ~Sarah~

    Thursday, December 10, 2009

    More Snowy Photos & Salt Dough Bowl Fillers

    Good evening everyone! Well…we have had three snow days. We ended up with about 10” total. So, yep you guessed it I ran outside and took a few more photos! I love it when the snow hasn’t been touched by snowplows, snowblowers and shovels. I can’t resist snapping away.

    The first few are from the inside looking out….Ahhhh toasty warm inside, nasty outside~

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    Then I went outside….Brrrrrrr.  Look how much more snow is on my sled now~

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    Yes..I went out in the street to take this one. I about blew away and my hair was wet and frozen. Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow~

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    Another snow day craft. I made Colleen’s Wax Dipped Salt Dough Bowl Fillers. What a fun and easy project! You can all read Colleen’s tutorial here. So glad she shared how to make them~

    I’m all ready to cut them out~

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    Here they are baking away~

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    All painted and dipped~


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    Here are a few of them tucked into a wooden bowl~

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    And the stockings were hung! I finally got all of our stockings hung on the fireplace~

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    That fireplace has gotten quite the workout lately. We have had some pretty chilly temps.

    Well back to school tomorrow. And time for me to replenish our food supply. After three snow days there is not much left to eat for the weekend!

    Until next time. Take care. ~Sarah~

    Sunday, December 6, 2009

    First Snow & Homemade Ornaments

    Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! We sure did!  We spent tons of family time together, ate spicy party mix (recipe in a previous post) watched several classic holiday movies and made some homemade ornaments!

    But first I have to show you these pictures I took of our first snow! It was a perfect, beautiful snow! We enjoyed watching the flakes fall all day long.

    Our front porch~

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    Here is our walkway….totally undisturbed~

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    This is looking out our front window~

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    It is a quiet, gorgeous night. Cold but SO beautiful!

    And this was our snowy day project. I went to Michaels and bought packages of the clear Christmas ball ornaments. We just used my craft paints (watered down a bit to make them blend better) Then we squirted whatever colors we wanted into the ball and then shaked, rattled and rolled it all around! Then we finished some of them off with writing and ribbon!

    Here is Alex making his first one~

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    This is Noah shaking his paint all around~

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    Here they are drying~

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    Close Up~

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    Here are some of our creations~

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    Here are the ones I made. Some of these the kids did the paint and I did the writing on~

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    Here are some more! We made lots~

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    What an EASY and FUN project to do! We had a great time! And the best part! There is NO right or wrong….Alex put six colors in some of his and we all thought “wow…. how is that one going to turn out”!? And they turned out FABULOUS!

    We made some old fashioned bead ornaments too! The kind I made when I was a kid!

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    Our kids are crossing their fingers for a snow day tomorrow so that we can do more crafts! :)

    What a positively perfect day! I counted my many blessing today. So thankful for my wonderful husband, our five beautiful children, and our families that love us so much! And our healthy puppy too!  :)

    Until next time. Take care. ~Sarah~