Friday, September 30, 2011

Fab Food Friday: Nutella Cake Balls!!

Nutella.....Can I get an amen?! 

This week we were having some new friends over for dinner and since I hadn't made a REALLY good dessert in a while I decided I wanted to make one. Something rich, soul comforting, and well...of course probably not very healthy :) I decided Nutella was going to be my key ingredient. My husband and I love Nutella mainly because it reminds us of our time in Italy (it's EVERYWHERE!). Italy is filled with great memories for us so that fills the requirement of "soul comforting."  

I had never made cake balls before and wanted to. I decided to search Pinterest(of course) under Nutella to see if there was a recipe for Nutella Cake Balls. To my *luck* I found a recipe on there from the Confessions of a Chocaholic blog. Now that's my type of blog!

So here it is....My recipe is slightly different from her's...of course not too many pics, but I did remember to take a couple!

Nutella Cake Balls

Yellow Cake mix
13-20 oz of Nutella
12 oz package of Milk Chocolate Chips
some Baker's melting chocolate(I used white)

Step 1) Bake your cake mix according to package...I substituted some of the oil for applesauce because I figured it would make it a little healthier and you wouldn't even be able to tell once it's all said and done!

Step 2) Let the cake cool completely and then crumble it into a large mixing bowl

Step 3) Add about 13-18 oz(I like more Nutella flavor so I did about 18 oz) of Nutella to the crumbs and mix until all the cake crumbs are moist

Step 4) With your hands(clean of course!) form the cake into about 1 inch balls and place on a pan

Meatballs anyone???
Step 5) This step is really hard....Refrigerate overnight or a few hours if that's all you have

Step 6) Melt your chocolate chips(I added 2 squares of white chocolate baking squares) and to give it MORE Nutella flavor I added a few ounces of Nutella to the melted chocolate. If you've never melted chocolate before....put all your chocolate into a pyrex type dish and microwave at 30 second increments stirring each time until it is completely melted! Too much time in the microwave will make the chocolate me, you don't want that!!

Step 7) Using a toothpick stuck in each cake ball I dipped them into the chocolate and using a spoon I made sure they were completely covered with chocolate.

Step 8) Some people "dry" their cake balls different ways, but I just wanted to let them set on some wax paper. I let them set until the chocolate was firm, then I put them in the fridge until I was ready to serve!

Beautiful, aren't they??

Result? Y-U-M!! We loved them, but **warning** they are rich, so a nice cup of coffee goes great with these!

Also, I had leftover cake balls that I didn't have enough chocolate for. You can freeze these and use at a later time!

Monday, September 26, 2011

My Vow....

I Vow... keep my hair long even though my boys are constantly pulling on it. continue to wear my bracelets, necklaces, dangly earrings, etc...even though the boys are WAY to fascinated by them and pull at them ANY chance they get. keep making my "fancy" vegetables even though I get weird looks and growls by the males each time I do. still put decorations out in my house despite how many get knocked down, hit by footballs, or sometimes, broken. still attempt to keep a tidy house even though 3 seconds after I pick something up it is misplaced again. TRY to find joy and humor in the paint smudges on the walls, mud on the floors, hair being pulled, bruises from being tackled without warning, and food they don't like being "accidentally dropped" for the dog.

Yes, this is my vow as a mom of boys...who is also striving to remain a GIRL.

Yep, they look cute, don't they? This fact gets me through a lot ;)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

When the Music Fades....

This post I guess isn't so much about being a "girl", it's more about being a mother. I probably could post something else on the "girl" side, but this is what is on my heart right now.

Yesterday I had a....well, quite a day...with my almost 3 year old. Anyone who has had a child this age probably knows what I'm talking about when I say this. It was explosion after explosion and it left me wondering who this child was and it also left me really disappointed in myself and how I handled some of his wild fits. After a much needed nap and some time to reflect on this day, last night I remembered when someone told me that their fits are usually because there is something going on inside them that they aren't able to communicate well. This makes sense because during one of the fits when I was trying to get him to tell me why he was getting upset one of the questions I asked him was if something hurts and he said, "yes, momma, my feelings hurt." Break. My. Heart. His feelings were hurt, and possibly because of how I handled some of his outrages. I handled them more with discipline that with "care."

Typically I am the type of mom that believes everything can be fixed with a kiss and some "snuggle time," (at this age anyways!) and have in a way "taught" this to my oldest who now requests "snuggle time" often. But on days when I feel like there is a lot to be done and accomplished "snuggle time" isn't made an son on the other hand, still needs it. I realized that all he wanted me to do was to slow down, put the chores and errands aside and spend some one on one time with him. Not to say that this needs to happen all day but a good balance is necessary for him to feel secure in his day.

This morning during my quiet time I opened a paper that I keep to mark my place in my Bible. It has the words to some of my favorite worship songs on it. The song "When the music fades" stood out to me and I read/sang it through.

Verse 1
When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that's of worth
That will bless your heart

I'll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You're looking into my heart

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You
It's all about You, Jesus
I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it
When it's all about You
It's all about You, Jesus

Verse 2
King of endless worth
No one could express
How much you deserve
Though I'm weak and poor
All I have is yours
Every single breath


I'll bring you more than a song
I'll bring you more than a song
More than a song
I'll bring you more than a song
I'll bring you more than a song
You're looking into my heart
Looking into my heart
You're looking into my heart
Into my heart
I'll bring you more than a song
I'll bring you more than a song
I'll bring you more than a song
I'll bring you more than a song

With my mind still on the day before and "parenting" still on the brain I really connected to it and began correlating it to our TRUE mission as parents to our children in this world.

It is so easy, as parents, to get caught up in the....Schooling, "Sporting", Clothing, Socializing, "Manoring", Fine motoring, Gross Motoring, "Erranding", etc....that we lose the true "heart of parenting."

"All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that's of worth
That will bless your heart"

What is something that is TRULY of worth to our children and their hearts? I believe it's the Love of Jesus and our God. "Above all, Love."

"I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You
It's all about You, Jesus
I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it
When it's all about You
It's all about You, Jesus"

 I was told once that children are given to us only for a time, but that they will forever belong to God. What a precious and important gift! (Along with that paper with the lyrics on it I also keep a picture that someone gave me of my first born asleep in his carrier next to their Christmas tree and all of the presents underneath it. This picture is a constant reminder to me that "Children are a gift," even though a temporary one.)

If teaching and showing our children the Love of Christ is the most important thing we can do for our children, why do we cram their lives FULL of all these other things? It's easy to do because most of these things are fun, but collectively it can get to be TOO much. A balance perhaps is the best choice?

I am realizing now that yesterday my son's "world" was not balanced. Love was not the primary focus. In my head right now I am envisioning a balance (like the one in a science class) with "God's Love" on one side and all the "Others" in our lives on the other (If I wasn't computer challenged I would design that up for you!).  This is going to be my personal goal for my life and my children's. I realize it will take saying "no" to things more often than I say "yes," but I guess that's what being a parent is all about...not always making the easy choice for your family, but making the right choice for your(every family is different) family.

Rambled enough? I think so :) But I hope you can also do some reflecting on your parenting "goals" (or life goals if you aren't a parent) and try to realign yourself if you have fallen away from the track.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Order vs. Chaos

I like order, the boys in our house prefer chaos. Order is the last thing on their minds most of the time. The "men" might appreciate it if I described it as being a little more "free." This can be a great Yin to my Yang on most days, but on the days involving paint and tiny hands, let's just say that I prefer order over chaos.

On Tuesday after dinner I got the idea in my head that I wanted to paint a Fall picture with the boys...something to keep and cherish (aww). In my head I had a picture of the four of us with smiles on our faces, taking turns, and taking our time to make a beautiful piece of art. What I got was not what I pictured...paint flying, hands with paint on them touching way to many things they shouldn't, impatient males putting their mark on the "art" wherever they wanted(not where I specifically told them too!), and me losing my cool a few(maybe more) times.

In the end, we all still ended up having fun AND I realized the original "picture in my head" was absolutely ridiculous! Needless to say, I'm learning about boys, adjusting my expectations at times, and trying to just let boys be boys. The boys were actually pretty cute and we still wound up with a pretty cute picture that we can keep :)
Hand prints on the tree and thumb prints on the ground

Caden's favorite part is the brother birds :)

Attempts at getting a "good" picture of them with their art...

.....try #1, 236....

And we said uncle.....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pinning is winning...

Lately you might have heard, "are you on Pinterest???" about a million times. Some think this is one of those new "fads", but I don't really agree. I have found it incredibly useful and a lot of fun! For a person who loves getting ideas for new projects, I have loved it! I just wanted to share some of the things I have made recently from some versions of my "Pins" on Pinterest.....

DIY Interchangeable Welcome Sign - made with 4x4 and 1x6 wood. Seasonal signs would be so fun to make and change out.
And my version...

Mine is a little different from the original, and looks great in person. The original one was black and distressed on the edges. I painted mine orange on the edges and spray painted it a satin inside/outside brown paint. I distressed it on the edges to let the orange show and then sprayed a couple poly-urethane coats on it. We also put an oil rubbed bronze hook on it. I love how it turned out and am excited that I can just interchange the signs on it throughout the year. This sign is temporary, I am hoping to make a more Halloween-ish sign in the near future. I can't wait to put out mums and pumpkin decor on the porch with it! Yay, for Fall!

Initialed Front Door Wreath

And my version of the pin...

The wreath is a wreath I made a few years ago with a grapevine wreath and two different Fall swags I got on sale. I have always loved this wreath, and have no plans of getting rid of it until I have too! When I saw the initial wreath on Pinterest I liked the idea of "Jazzing" up my Fall wreath with our initial. I found the wooden "S" at Hobby Lobby. I spray painted it the mustard yellow that I also used on the tin pitcher in my kitchen. I inked the edges with a brownish-green and hot glued in onto the wreath. I toyed with the idea of adding a bow, but my hubbs and I decided that we liked it better this way. The "S" really makes it stand out when you look at it from the street.


And my "darker" version...

Okay, I love orange and not just in the Fall..can you tell? I also loved the ivory color of the original, but it would have been sorely out of place in our house where we have mostly dark frames. I found this beautiful oval frame 50% off at Hobby Lobby and covered the inside in burlap I already had. I found the "S" at Micheal's and painted a few different shades of orange. After a couple dabs of hot glue, it was finished! We really like the different texture the burlap added to it. Right now it is in my kitchen, but I am throwing around the idea of adding it to a frame collage I have in our hallway...we shall see!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Be a woman who...

I found this sign this morning and even though I have already found my man, I still like it and hope we all have and will find a man who will be this type....

It also started me thinking...if we expect this out of our man, shouldn't we also set ourselves with the same expectation?

Be a Woman...
1. Who promises to give your spouse laugh lines when they are old,

2. Who tells him you're proud of him on a daily basis,

3. Who puts your spouse's happiness on the same level as yours,

4. Who uses positive superlatives when describing him and your relationship with each other,

5. Who uses "when" and not "if" when talking about your future and how he fits into it.

Also can be used as a mother to your children...

Be a Mother...
1. Who promises to give your children the case of the giggles every day,

2. Who tells your children you are proud of them on a daily basis, even when they have grown up and moved into a house of their own,

3. Who puts their well-being on the same level as yours,

4. Who uses positive superlatives when describing them to others,

5. Who uses "when" and not "if" when talking about the future of your family and how they fit into it.

---Something to strive for on many different levels---

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Galvanized cover-up....

A month or two ago I wrote about how I decided to redo my kitchen decor. I wanted it to be country, pretty, but simple. I got into my head that I wanted to put a pitcher on top of my fridge with some sprigs poking out of it. I found a pitcher that I LOVED...but the downside, it was $40. Not horrible, but NOT what I wanted to pay, so I held off.

In preparation for an upcoming garage sale I was going through one of our closets and found and old galvanized pitcher that I used to put sunflowers in. I have always liked it, but remembered that the reason I don't have it out is because we use mostly bronze or darker metals in our house and not the silvery color. Then I sparked an *idea*. I decided to spray paint the pitcher and distress it with some sand paper and see how that worked....
The pitcher before
My tools: Fine grit sand paper and mustard yellow spray paint
Finished product

I love the details on the tin and sanded them so they would stand out more. This is up on top of my fridge right now with some other Fall decor...the "sprigs in it are growing on me, still trying to decide on those, BUT I am happy with how the pitcher turned out!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fab Food: Italiano

Oh man, I'm still salivating from this weeks fab food. 

When planning our meals for this week, I planned on my "Fab Food" being a homemade chicken Alfredo. Not because it is extraordinary in technique, etc...but mainly because it is amazingly delectable in every way. I went grocery shopping on Monday aaaaaand because I was so excited about this meal, I made it that very same day.

Because I like stories, I'm going to preface this recipe with one...

One summer when we were newly married, my husband and I went back to help out at the summer camp he grew up going to. He was helping out with the kids while I was put in the kitchen(typical!). I thought that I was just going to be doing salads, other easy things, etc....but no, no...I was actually a cook. 6-8 hours in a kitchen (in a foreign place with people I didn't know) just about drove me nuts, BUT I did come out of it with some new friends and some great recipes. One week we had a *guest head cook* come in to take over the kitchen (I welcomed this). Her name was Sonja, and her food was incredible. This is Sonja's Alfredo Sauce topped with  marinated chicken...

Note: Due to the extreme excitement to eat this dish, I did not take the time to take pictures of, well...anything while cooking. So please, get out your best thinking caps (this is the teacher in me talking) and do your best to imagine :)

Marinated Chicken
--First things first, thaw about a pound of chicken in about a 1/2 cup of Italian Dressing and let marinate for an hour or so. I use a light dressing in order to lighten this dish a *little*

--Cut chicken into strips and put it in a large skillet along with another 1/3 cup of Italian dressing

--Cook over medium heat until done

--Take your favorite pasta (we used linguine) and begin boiling...hopefully you know how to finish the pasta without me explaining it....

*Alfredo Sauce*
--Once the chicken and pasta are cooking begin your sauce.

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half & half (ouch)
1 cup milk (we used Skim...another shy effort at lightening this)
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated
Garlic to taste
All of your fav Italian herbs...mine? My classics...thyme, oregano, basil, and rosemary

1. Melt butter in 2 qt. saucepan over medium heat

2. Whisk in flour (should be clumpy), gradually stir in half & half, milk and bouillon

3. Cook, stirring constantly with whisk until sauce thickens (about 5-10 minutes)

4. Add seasonings, stir in grated cheese and cook until melted
*Note: if it is not thickening add small amounts of flour until thickened to your liking, or if it's too thick just add milk!

5. Top cooked noodles with sauce and incredibly yummy chicken.
6. Retreat into your own happy place...momentarily tune out children...savor...delight...devour...get seconds...

--This recipe makes about 3 1/2 cups--

While I didn't get pictures of the cookin' I did get pictures of my happy and pleased boys afterwards...

 They loved the Chicken Alfredo! It almost made up for the broccoli I also made them eat with this meal...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Vanity rehab.....

Two of my boys in Dublin!
Every summer our little family travels to Texas to my husband's family's farm. We love going to the farm to visit family and also enjoy the laid back atmosphere. One of my other fav's about this trip is going to check out all of the antique stores in town and along the way.

On our stop in Dublin, Texas (a yearly MUST because of the original DP plant that is still there and STILL uses real sugar in their DP's. We stock up!) we visited the Old Fashioned Soda Fountain, purchased our DP's and then I ventured into some antique stores :) I found one that had just opened a few weeks earlier and noticed this:
It is a "shell" of an old mirror that would sit on someone's vanity. I thought it was beautiful. It has a gray metallic type color and is orange where the paint has chipped away. I love orange and immediately knew what to do with it. The price? $5! Love....mainly because there are some outrageously priced flea markets in our town, so this was a steal comparing.
I knew I had wanted to make this into a chalkboard (kinda even swivels like one of the old school big blackboards!). I threw around the idea of just spray painting wood, but I also wanted this to be magnetic, so I knew that wouldn't work. About a month ago when going through our shed I came across an old cork board/white board combo that we didn't use anymore. A light bulb went off and I decided to attempt to spray paint the whiteboard with chalk board spray and use the cork board for a later project(watch for that one in the *hopefully* near future).
The white/cork board with the casings removed
The next step I enlisted my husband to cut the white board to size in order to fit into the vanity frame. After it was the right size I washed it with a damp cloth and let it dry. I chose Krylon's Chalk board spray (no picture, just imagine...) to cover the surface. The result? The spray adhered wonderfully! After a few coats I said uncle.

Before I put the chalk board in the vanity frame I noticed more chipping paint from the frame so I decided to spray a few coats of a semi-gloss Poly-Urethane (a protective enamel) onto the frame and it's stand (I didn't want to lose all the gray from it!). The result? A great added shine to it and a little tougher surface than we had before.
I love how it turned out!
Magnets work great for putting recipes on for cooking or I can put a picture on it!

The chalk works and I even have a little divot for the chalk to sit on!
I love antiquing :)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...