Wednesday, January 26, 2011

tally's kale salad

At Christmas time my lovely sister in law Tally came in town to visit and made us this delicious salad. It's actually based off of  this Martha Stewart recipe. This is one of the best salads I've had in a while. I had forgotten just how good it was until I made it the other day to take to a meeting at my birthing center.

It's an amazingly flavorful salad especially considering how simple the ingredients are. 

The Salad

the juice of 1 lemon
1tbs lemon zest
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 cups shredded kale (ribs removed)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
coarse salt 
freshly ground black pepper

Mix the lemon, zest, and olive oil to make a dressing.
Toss kale with dressing to coat.
Add 1/2 cup good Parmesan cheese and the sunflower seeds.
Season well with salt and pepper and toss well.

Kale is high in antioxidants, fiber, calcium, vitamins a, b, c, & k, and has one of the highest protein content found in veggies. It's also a good source of iron. Anyone can benefit from the great nutritional content in kale but if you are pregnant then I highly recommend it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

free art {and a winner!}

First of all I want to thank all of you who entered my first giveaway and welcome all of my new followers. 
Today is the only day that I have ever really wished that I could be Oprah. That you would all show up to see who won and I would say "surprise! everyone who entered gets a gift card! and now let's all hop on a plane and go to Australia!" Wouldn't that be nice?
So I thought...what can I "give" to my readers
and then I remembered all of the beautiful free printable art on the web
(that I have been meaning to use myself).

The first place that I would like to introduce you to is Indie Fixx... home of the free art project.

wouldn't these be lovely in a nursery?
and these are the prints that I am thinking about using in the Little One's room.

and they have lovely things for adults too.

all of these prints are on this page on indie fixx

The Graphics FairyVintage Printable - Bringing Public Domain to the Public
if you prefer something a little more vintage then the graphics fairy and vintage printable are for you

i really like these vintage coffee & tea prints for a kitchen

and how lovely are these botanic prints
{pink flower, butterflies, hyacinth, lilypads}
and there are eggs and feathers for all of the bird lovers out there
and word art if that's your thing.
{fruit of the spirit, eat dinner, keep calm, easy peasy}

and most of these blogs have even more art to choose from. you could spend an afternoon picking out free art for your house!

and before i forget i had better announce the winner for the $25 csn stores giveaway....

And A Great Big Thanks to Everyone who entered!

Monday, January 17, 2011

brown paper packages tied up with string {a csn stores giveaway} NOW CLOSED

Giveaway Closed

Giveaways are some of my favorite things....
I was very excited to be contacted by CSN to host this giveaway.
CSN is comprised of over 200 online stores, where you can find everything from modern duvet covers to Le Creuset cookware!  And they are giving one of my very lucky readers a $25 gift code that you can use in any of their 200+ stores!

To give you an idea of the vast merchandise CSN stores carry I thought I would show you my favorite things under $25.

7) sparrow brag book 8) flower tea light candle holder 9) mini art card
10) ceramic bird 11) ceramic accent plate 12) mercury glass votive

13) dog collar 14) eco lunchbox 15) preschool stacking ring
16) sushi play set 17) dumbbells 18) nfl controller faceplate

And of course there are plenty of big things that you could put your gift card towards too. CSN has furniture, lighting, and even kitchen sinks!

This giveaway is open to residents of U.S. and Canada however
there may be international shipping charges in the case of Canadian addresses (CSN only ships to the US and Canada).

Giveaway Closed
 Three easy ways to enter:
  1. Click the Facebook "Like" button & comment telling me that you did
  2. Click the "retweet" button & comment telling me that you did
  3. Subscribe or follow my blog & comment telling me that you did
You may enter all 3 different ways just make sure that you leave a separate comment for each entry .
Make sure to leave your email address for each entry.
Winner will be selected by a random number generator.
The winner will have 72 hrs to respond before I draw a new winner.
Giveaway will close on (Saturday) January 22 at 7pm central time.

Be sure to check back on Monday (Jan 24th) when I will be announcing a winner!

listen on : online sweepstakes  & mom giveaways

Monday, January 3, 2011

the candy cake {and a second birthday!}

 At the end of December the Little One turned 2. 
I made her birthday cake last year with the decorating expertise of my sister-inlaw Mandy.
But this year Mandy didn't come up for Christmas so I was on my own.
Decorating cakes is not something that I excel at , but I still wanted it to look nice. I found this cake on a few different blogs and read about how incredibly easy it was.

Basically if you suck at icing then this cake is for you. The icing doesn't have to be smooth or look nice. It can even have crumbs in it (although I must be getting better because I didn't have that problem).

All you do is whip up a cake. Your favorite recipe or even a box from the store. (I totally used a box!) I recommend a white or yellow cake (I used a fudge swirl)...just because there is already so much chocolate.

Then you get some icing. You could buy a tub of icing from the store, but making icing is so easy and will really make your cake taste a lot better. I thought about using the "secret family icing recipe" that I always use (because it's so amazingly good), but was concerned that since it is so light and fluffy it would not hold up the candy very well. And I wanted to use chocolate so if any icing showed through the candy it wouldn't be noticable. I then decided to use:

(I knew I couldn't go wrong with one of her recipes and I was right!
Here is the doubled version...which should be more than enough )

1 cup butter, softened
16 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup unsweeted cocoa powder
2 lb confectioner's sugar (yikes, i know!)
2 tsp vanilla
2-6 tbs milk (i did not use any milk)

Cream the butter and cheese in your mixer. (Heaven help you if you don't have a mixer.)
Add the cocoa and vanilla and mix well.
Add the sugar in small batches and blend until well combined. Be sure to scrape down the sides as you go!
If the icing is too sticky (which it shouldn't be if you are making this cake) add 1 tbs milk at a time until it's the consistency that you want.

Then you frost your cooled cake while not worrying too much about how it looks.

Then you take 4 large packages of Kit Kats (5 if you buy the king sized)
and break them into two bar sections. And stand them around the outside of your cake...Making sure that they are well stuck down to your icing.

Then you take a bag of M&M's and spread the desired amount over the top.

I actually mixed a bag of regular M&Ms and Valentine's M&Ms so there would be plenty of pink in the mix.

And then I took a piece of ribbon and wrapped it around the bottom of the kit kats' and glued it down on the ends with some left over icing.

 It absolutely could not have been easier and it was a big hit!

And the Little One had a fabulous second birthday. When her daddy prayed with her that night she thanked God for her birthday. And then said "again".  Her daddy told her "next year", she said "ok", and went to sleep.

I'm sure that you are thinking that it must be a blue moon or something because I haven't been posting many blogs lately.  Between finding out that we are pregnant again, our computer dying twice, and then finding out that we are actually having twins... well I've been just a bit pre-occupied.
But I'm still here and will get to posting when I can.

Hope that everyone is having a wonderful New Year!