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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Boo to You!

Here in Canada we get to celebrate with two holidays in October, Thanksgiving and Halloween!

  Starting off the month with Thanksgiving really puts me on the mood to do some fall cooking, especially when it comes to baking goodies.  I tried a few pumpkin muffin recipes this month, including the pumpkin cake recipe that I first tried in September.  I also spiced it up a bit by adding a cream cheese surprise from these carrot cake muffins that I made earlier in the year.  They were a hit.

 Another muffin recipe from the month was this French toast muffins.  I loved the crunchy brown sugar butter layer they were rolled in, but these didn't disappear into the lunch boxes quite as fast as the pumpkin ones.
French Toast Muffins via Rebekah's Pinterest
 
  Halloween is a fun time for cooking up some ghoulish treats.  We've tried to do something fun for dinner for the past several years.  I'm still planning this years dinner and treats for the few parties (kindergarten class, library school, ect) that the kids are involved in, but I'll share last years with you.
 
 For our 2012 Halloween dinner we feasted on Mummy's, Pumpkin Cesear Salad, Rice Krispy Treat Pumpkins, and Bloody Fishbowl Drinks.   The Mummy's were:  hot dogs wrapped in crescent roll dough.  Our cesear salads were held in hollowed out orange skins that we made to look like mini Jack O Lanterns.  The pumpkin rice krispy treats only looked liked pumpkins, by shaping them into balls rather than squares and adding some frosting for a Jack O Lantern face.  I used some red cranberry juice and a bit of Sprite with fish and shark shaped gummies for the drinks.  The kids talk about Halloween dinner all year long!

  Thinking there would be a bunch of unhealthy treats brought into Emma's school(there wasn't), I did a platter that looked a bit like a Jack O Lantern for something fun and healthy.  This year we are going to give them some more sugar...why not?  We are making some cute rice krispy ghosts tonight.
Veggie Platter via Rebekah's Pinterest via Baby Center
Rice Krispy Ghosts via Rebekah's Pinterest via the Idea Room

Of course Jack O Lanterns is a must every year and this year was no exception.  We also had some friends give us a "white" pumpkin.  They had painted chevrons on one of theirs and M&M really wanted to make the same design on ours.  Feeling like chevrons were a little beyond us we decided to do some stripes with tape.  After much taping and painting we discovered that black tempura paint will not stick to pumpkins.  Emma had a blast painting the pumpkin, but in the end I had to flake all that hard work off and do some spray painting myself.  Not exactly the most kid friendly of projects, and our pumpkin had a few extra runs and smears from the trial and error process, but something fun and different, especially from a distance.

Another activity we usually get into during October is Halloween costumes.  The first few years I was able to find some cute costumes at yard sales during the summer. 

However, as M&M and Moose get older I have found the costumes too Disney and less and less cute factor.  Last year we began making our own costumes.  M&M was a peacock, which turned out simple enough by using felt to make a few peacock feathers for a shirt we had on hand and tying up a tulle skirt in peacock colors.  We found a mask at the dollar store and her outfit was complete.

Moose was even easier.  Being that his nickname is Moose and we were going for an animal theme, I made some Moose shaped antlers out of (again) felt and sewed them on a brown hoodie from the dresser.  Over it we put a red shirt that had a picture of a moose and the caption "Eh!"  Cute and simple for our little moose.

 And then of course we were all fed up and dressed up and set to take off for some "trick or treats!"  Happy Halloween!


 



Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September

  I had a friend that we see infrequently ask me at the beginning of the month if we had a good year.  While I've always considered myself to be something of a pessimist, I had very little hesitation before I answered yes it was a good year.  It certainly hasn't been the year I've tried to plan, but I think I might be learning a little about how the cup can still be half full even through the rough experiences.
  On March 6, 2013, we lost the little sibling that we had been hoping to give Moose and M&M.  It had been a rough several weeks of not knowing what we were exactly facing before the Dr. Was finally able to decide that I required surgery for an ectopic pregnancy.  In case you are wondering what an ectopic pregnancy is...this happens when the pregnancy implants in some place other than the womb.  Mine ended up being in the left tube, which was subsequently removed. They were a scary few weeks and I emerged feeling very grateful for modern medicine (imagine the kind of death I would have succumbed to if it were 100years ago on the farm!), but also guilty that I was severely out of commission for several weeks (wasn't it a little selfish to even think about adding another to our family when we have so much already!).  I was also upset at the thought that we had no choice but for the pregnancy to end in order to save my life.  I felt the loss keenly, never before quite realizing what losing an unborn child was like.  There were alot of questions that remain unanswered, but above all I have been thankful for all the reminders of how fleeting life can be and for the trust that I have in a higher order where one day all will be answered.
  After waiting the allotted recovery period we decided that maybe it wasn't so selfish to think of adding another to our family and tried again.  Not being sure exactly what to expect we were pleased when the months didn't drag by, as I had been forewarned they might due to the surgery.  I had two fairly normal pregnancies with Emma and Tommy and since the issues I experienced with them never amounted to what my fears sometimes told me was happening, I tried to keep the worries at bay.  I was 2.5 months along, had the pregnancy confirmed by my Dr.  Went through, what I thought was a routine ultrasound, hoping I could announce to the family our hopes within the next few days.
  Instead, on September 13, 2013 I lost my fourth pregnancy.  Again there are many questions that remain unanswered and while I hope we will have some things laid out for us once the dust has settled and we get news from the Dr., I know that there will always be those pessimistic moments when I will have to make myself stop and see the good through the hurt.
  I decided to add this experience to my blog because I think it very much helps when we are going through some awful and unknown experience to be able to talk to others about it.  It was certainly my saving grace some days and I am still receiving calls and texts and messages that help me out alot.  It has helped me to talk through it all with others that have similar experiences and realize we aren't as crazy as we sometimes feel!
  Sympathy isn't what I or anyone else I know of are really looking for in a situation like this, but understanding that this hurts and that we might never get the happy ending we planned helps.  Your hugs help.  I've realized that I am often quick to jump to conclusions about others when I have no idea what battle they are facing that the rest of us can't see.  I hope I can have more understanding for others because I feel like I understand better how much our plans for the future are frail at best.  My sister wrote me a touching poem that describes a lot my feelings.  She published it on her blog and you can read that here.

  Having said that, I am going to finish this post with the usual, because despite our plans and hopes for the future I want to look at some of the good things this month gave us.  I found this quote on Pinterest in a printable form here.  It's from Whinnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne :

Sometimes the
Smallest things
Take up the most
Room in our
Hearts
 

I made these delicious chow mein noodle cookies early in the month...soo good and ridiculously easy!  I'd had them as a kid, but this was my first attempt and I was glad Pinterest let me find an old recipe.

Chow Mein Cookies via Rebekah's Pinterest via Brie's Bites

I also made this ridiculously good pumpkin cake.  It was supposed to be three layers with maple cream cheese frosting, but I ended up doing two layers and now have extra cream cheese frosting that I plan to use on some kind of fall cookies.  Also plan on making another batch of the cake again as it made really yummy muffins for a lunch snack for the guys to take and for me to add as a treat to M&M's lunch.  So moist for a from scratch cake!!  (and I somehow missed taking a picture : ()

Pumpkin Dream Cake via Rebekah's Pinterest via The Novice Chef
 
  My parents came up to visit and give me a boost and that's another thing I'm grateful for.  We got some more projects done, of course and it was good to have company around after feeling down!  The biggest project we tackled was getting the house painted.  Mom and I worked on that while dad did a bunch of endless, thankless tasks that were needing acomplishing.  Except they were not entirely thankless...I thanked him lots!  In the picture below, (after paint) you almost don't notice that the bottom brick is painted and doesn't look quite the same as the top.  Goodbye fire engine red!




We had a fun tourist excursion to Toronto to spend a much needed weekend away!  Took in a Jay's game with the family and freaked M&M out with the height of the CN Tower.

Another gem from pinterest:

...For the taxes that I pay because it means that I am employed.

 ...For the clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have enough to eat.

...For my shadow that watches me work because it means I am out in the sunshine.

...For a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.

...For all the complaining I hear about government because it means we have freedom of speech.

...For the spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking.

...For my huge heating bill because it means I am warm.

...For the lady behind me in church who sings off key because it means that I can hear.

...For the piles of laundry and ironing because it means I have clothes to wear.

 ...For the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means that I am alive.

Monday, September 2, 2013

2013---August






Our lazy days of summer (ie sleeping in until 9:30) are about to coming crashing to a brutal halt!  I always have good intentions of starting the routine a week early to get us used to getting up and going to bed earlier, but alas, that off button on the alarm, coupled with the knowing today is only practice is far too tempting.  Our only salvation will be that we are heading off for a last trip to one of our church conventions after only one day back and that will get us into a much earlier routine.  
Lemon Bundt Cake via Pinterest via Mommy I'm Hungry
 
Besides the sleeping in, we have had a fun, relaxing summer.  I've been doing a lot of baking to keep the hubby and my brother with plenty of snack foods.  We've had several versions of blueberry loaf or cake, but this loaf with a lemon frosting was a favourite.  Lots of blueberries, tangy lemon frosting, and moist cake made for a winner.
 


Another yummy treat were these peanut butter balls.  We especially liked the white chocolate dribbled on top.  I've actually made them twice this month, but the second time I tried it from memory and the consistency wasn't exactly the same as the first time.  The experience was fun for M&M who loved moulding the balls before we dipped them in chocolate.

Peanut Butter Balls via Pinterest via chikabaker
I've been  wanting to try these meatballs from Pinterest all summer.  The ingredients were a little out of the ordinary, but nothing hard to find and they definitely added extra flavour to our last batch of spaghetti from my canning last year.  The end of summer also heralds canning season, and spaghetti is next on my list.  (Peaches are today's job!)

Ricotta Cheese Meatballs via Pinterest via Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice (my link via pinterest appears dead, but I found the blog and recipe again through a simple Google search, so the CS&EN link I have posted here seems to still be working)
 
This was a quick project that I think adds simple curb appeal to the house, while making it easier for someone unfamiliar with our house to find there way to the address.  Plus my hubby was getting a bunch of stickers made up for his equipment so this got thrown in free!

Address via Pinterest via Etsy Shop (means you can get your own for only 12.99!!)
I've also been very excited to see our siding arrive and start to make its way onto the house...progress!  Back deck will be next!
 
One final project I undertook in the last few days was some sewing.  My sister-in-law noticed this cute chevron material when we were at Fabricland and I picked up a 16x30 rectangle for 2.50.  It turned into a matching tie and headband for Moose and M&M.  I've made the tie using this site before and loved that I could match Tommy to Emma perfectly.  The headband was also super easy with clear directions and lots pictures.  Style! 

(M&M looks a little grumpy because she had just discovered that one of the girls we go to church with was off to Toronto for school and she wouldn't be able to see her twice a week anymore...it's only been coming all summer, but she just realized how permanent it was!  As for Moose...don't you love his rocking baseball shirt underneath?  He's worn it nonstop since I bought it.)

Headband via Pinterest via the Train to Crazy
Tie via Pinterest via Vanilla Joy
 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

July Pinterest

Sob, sob...summer is halfway over!  I'm regretting a bit, now that we are at the midpoint, not doing another summer bucket list!  I felt like it made us remember to do something fun and a little-bit out of the ordinary, if not everyday, then every other day.  I could probably get one started now, but there is a bit of organizational work involved and being that I'm rather anal about organizing, I'm not feeling ambitious enough!  Regardless, our first month of summer went great!

 We started off by heading out to the US to visit with some cousins and other extended family that is scattered throughout, Michigan, Florida, Europe, and then us Ontarians.  It was a relaxing start to the summer! 

In celebration of Canada Day (July 1, for the un-Canadians) and all the yummy strawberries we had at our local u-pick patch I made this strawberry pie.  I've never actually made a plain strawberry pie, because I always thought it needed another berry to pair it with, but was super impressed with how delicious strawberry pie is!  I'd also like to add that we love white chocolate and since I was doing up some strawberry tarts at the same time I paired the strawberries with a white chocolate chunk to make them extra yummy.  When I cut into the pie I decided to melt some white chocolate and drizzle it over the top with whip cream....wouldn't eat it any other way now!

**While I specifically remember reading a blog the day I made this pie so I could do something with my leftover crusts I cannot find the pin on Pinterest or the blog, but if you search for strawberry pop tarts you can find something similar to what you see here!

On the last day of the u-pick strawberries being open for the season we snagged one final bag full that we ended up taking camping.  There are so many fun camping ideas on Pinterest.  This was the one I decided to try since it looked quick and easy.  (Dip strawberries in marshmallow fluff.)  Then you were to skewer the dipped strawberry and roast it over the fire.  It was a good combination, but I had problems with the strawberries staying on the stick as they were getting a bit on the juicy side.  As well, the marshmallow fluff wanted to slide off the strawberry as it heated up.  My sister decided to roast a regular marshmallow and then stuff the strawberry inside of that.  She also thought of adding the strawberry to a smore.  Also an awesome pair!  With the chocolate it was a little bit like a gourmet, albeit much messier, version of a chocolate covered strawberry.  (If you have a hard time finding the marshmallow fluff, it was by the ice-cream cones and toppings in our grocery store.) 

Marshmallow fluff strawberry via Rebekah's Pinterest via Cookie Cutter Frosting





My brother's birthday falls in July and since he has been staying with us it was up to me to make a birthday cake.  I made this yummy sounding lemonade cake.  I was told by the critics that it was not very lemony tasting, but I thought it was perfect.  The frosting really made it...but I'm kind-of a huge fan of cream-cheese frostings.  Aren't my decorating skills amazing?  The sprinkles are supposed to be his first initial, a "D" and he was turning 22, but since I didn't have quite that many candles we made do.

Lemonade Cake via Rebekah's Pinterest via My Recipes




Some days you just need an activity to keep the kids busy so you can finish up a project or make supper or clean up a houseful of disaster.  (Obviously trying to make another pitch for Pinterest here.)  I've had this activity (or the supplies for it) stuck in the cupboard since March, but had decided to wait until warmer weather hit when M&M and Moose could do it outside.  Using cornstarch and shaving cream, mixed, you were supposed to be able to make a kind of snow anytime of year.  However, it didn't work quite as I expected.  I think it would have been better if I had more shaving cream to add to the cornstarch as the "snow" didn't want to stick together enough to form into much of a ball.  The kids had fun running between the sprinkler and their bowls, so I guess the whole fun/occupied idea did work, if not exactly in the way I thought.  The recipe called for 2 boxes of cornstarch to 1 can shaving cream, but I would not dump the entire two boxes out before you start mixing in the shaving cream, or it will not be sticky enough.

Fluffy Snow via Rebekah's Pinterest, but no viable from there link :(

Cinnamon buns (from a can) are a tradition around our house on Saturday mornings.  However we have gotten a little picky and prefer the cheap kind over Pillsbury's version.  I'm forever the sale shopper tho and often pick up Pillsbury's version when they are on sale, thinking common these are Pillsbury, they have got to taste good.  Then after making a can I realize why they aren't so great and am left with a second can in the fridge.  I saw this idea of putting canned cinnamon buns in the waffle maker and decided to try it with the Pillsbury roll we'd had in the fridge for far too long.  They were a fun way to change up our Saturday morning staple and much easier than making a batch of waffles.  We added the icing sugar after cooking and a wee bit of maple syrup as well.

Cinnamon buns via Rebekah's Pinterest via Food Pics Go






We also had fun making these sweet sugar swirl cookies and rolling them in sprinkles.  They've also been a hit, although I prefer my own sugar cookie dough from my Better Home and Garden cookbook.  This dough is very chewy (in a good way).  Similar to those sugar cookies you buy in the store with frosting and sprinkles on top.  It might just be that they need the frosting to take a bit of the dryness out.  Some of my cookies ended up pretty big and while the kids love the big ones I preferred the small ones: you got more sprinkles per mouthful!

Swirled Sugar Cookies via Rebekah's Pinterest via Joysama Images





This was a chocolate chip crack cake that I made when we went to a last minute get-together with some family and friends.  It was yummy, quite sweet, but great with vanilla ice-cream.  It was also very quick to throw together at the last minute.
Chocolate Chip Crack Cake via Rebekah's Pinterest via The Cozy Little Kitchen

Enjoy the second half of your summer!





Wednesday, July 3, 2013

June

  When I thought May was hectic, I was anticipating that June would go a little slower.  Somehow the month is gone and I have yet to post all our Pinterest yumminess.  I feel like my relationship with Pinterest is slowly waning.  Or perhaps it's just gone from a totally crazy addiction to something that relates more to normal life?!  Anyways...glad summer is upon us! And while I wish that our schedule will be more relaxing for a few months, so my Pinterest interest can take back over, I can't quite envision days of relaxing by the pool, watching the kids swim while I pin away.  But I will try to keep it in mind so that when we end up running around with craziness I will sit back, relax and find need those lazy days of summer to regain our equilibrium!

I'm glad to say I squeezed in a couple of crafts last month.  The first was a quick sewing project for Moose.  M&M received a beautiful homemade dress from her Grammy for her birthday last month. We have our annual church convention in June that we dress up for and so Emma's new dress was put on the list of clothes to pack.  My type A personality shines when it comes to special occasions as I have to have all four of us matching.  We all had yellow and black to match M&M, excluding Moose.  I whipped up this tie from some of the leftover material of the dress.  Literally....whipped it up the day before we left.  Easiest sewing project ever!!!   Only adjustments I'd make for next time is use more material that can hide the elastic neckband.  Moose's head is rather oval and more elastic would make it easier as it just barely squeezes over his egg shaped head.  I meant to take a picture of him in it, but here's the version before it was tied around the neckband.

Toddler Ties via Rebekah's Pinterest via Vanilla Joy

Second craft was a little present for the many teachers who are special to M&M.  Found this idea on Pinterest and the schoolgirl had fun helping me paint and pot the flowers.  We did the smaller sizes for the teachers and support staff that she sees less of and the big ones for the teachers she has all day.  Also a fun and quick project.  She did a great job with her name and heart on the back.  She started out the year knowing the E in her name, progressed to a backwards spelling, and got it perfect by the end, among a few other things.

Thank You Pot via Rebekah's Pinterest via Brenda Writes A Blog




I had some cilantro that I wanted to cook with and I felt like shrimp would be really yummy with it.  It was good, although nothing exceptional.  The hubby would have liked a bit more sauce with the shrimp, and I was wanting the sauce to be creamier, rather than so overpoweringly lemony.  That being said, I often find that we don't get enough of a sauce when doing oil based pasta's at home.  I'd like to know how the restaurant's do it.                                                       
Cilantro Shrimp via Rebekah's Pinterest...no recipe as the blog has been removed : (
 
 
I made several versions of these muffins last month and this month.  They were delicious either way.  The original recipe was Inside out carrot cake muffins.  Instead of having cheese cream frosting like the cake version, you slipped the cream cheese inside for a yummy surprise.  The first time I didn't have any carrots that I wanted to be rid of, but I did have some bananas that were on their way out, so I did a banana muffin with the cream cheese surprise.  The second time I tried the original recipe and I'd say both versions were equally good.  Being partial to banana bread myself...they might take the cake, so to speak.  Instead of the giant sugar crystals on top, I used a mixture of brown sugar, butter, and flour. 

Inside Out Carrot Cake Muffins via Rebekah's Pinterest via Recipie by Photo


Here's to more mornings of sleeping in!! Have a relaxing summer.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Green, Yeller, and Pink...How we celebrate John Deere style!

Been a little quiet around here this month.  On the blog that is, not in the household.  I had a post on Mother's Day, but it felt a little too personal and raw still, so I haven't got the courage to publish it...maybe next year!  In the meantime....May is what made me a mother (and my mom), so here's to our May Birthdays:

We celebrated M&M and Moose's birthday's (5 and 3) John Deere style this year.  It was really fun to plan and I had lots of crazy ideas pinned here.  We certainly didn't get to all of them, but I did find my cake inspiration, chili barchalkboard design, and favour idea on Pinterest.

For the chili bar we used three types of chili and a whole bunch of sides.  I had planned on only two types, but as we got ready to plug the crockpots in and head out for church my husband decided we needed more food and he made the third batch of super spicy/peppery, which actually turned out  a favorite.  I also used this cilantro and lime chicken freezer meal I still had frozen (see this post earlier) that I added some baked beans to in order to make it more chili-ish.  It was my favorite, but then I'm not really a fan of chili.  (I hate all beans, except refried which is why the only beans we use in any chili here are canned baked beans.)   It's one of M&M's favorites tho, and it makes a great party food as the prep can be done hours before, leaving you time to run around at the last minute with the other things.

Our sides included cheese (Monterey Jack and Old Cheddar), tortilla chips (lime, multi-grain, and white corn) green onions, avocado, sour cream, corn, jalapenos, and pickled bell peppers.  I also served corn-bread muffins, watermelon, and a friend brought a veggie platter with some yummy dill dip. 


For drinks we threw ice in a bucket with pop and water, but I also made an Orange Julius drink recipe that turned out to be really easy and yummy.  It was a staple of our Friday night pizza routine when I was a kid, so I was glad to rediscover it via Pinterest!  We loaded up Tommy's John Deere tractor with some Rice Krispy hay bales, inspiration here.  The wagon wasn't totally authentic; it was a hay wagon, but my bales were round and it was supposed to hold square.  Details, details.



Manda Cakes made another delicious and beautiful cake.  I kept it simple this year, because I had trouble figuring out how I could possibly get a scene on the top of the cake that covered both tractors and horses without having multiple layers of cake or being too busy.  I asked for random pink, green, and yellow circles.  Turned out cute with the tractor on top.  The inside was the most fun.  Bright layers of pink, green, and yellow again.  Our favorite John Deere colors!  Pin that here!

In order to entertain 10 crazy kids under 6 that were hyped on being together, I gave them pots and glitter glue.  While we ate their designs dried.  After cake we added some soil (I've got lots as we are in the midst of landscaping) and flower seeds.  I haven't been watching Moose and M&M's, but their cousins said there's are already sprouting.

We had lots of fun with family and friends.  The farming fun will continue for awhile yet.  Moose has lots of new tractors to play with and M&M's birthday is still to come.  I've already booked a riding lesson from a nearby horse farm.  Plus horse cupcakes with her class.  I'm sure the horses will be another highlight.  After the party she went out to her cousin's farm while they did chores.  After coming home she just couldn't get over how lucky she was that day (not for the party, mind you), but because she got to go to the farm!



My display of the kiddos changes year by year!  Where did my babies go?






Monday, April 29, 2013

Between the Raindrops

I still can't believe April is almost through...or by the time I publish this post, totally done!  Also, slightly depressed by the fact that we've either had RAIN, SNOW, or COLD sunny days!  Hope May brings us more signs of spring!  (Or we could just head straight into summer weather!)  As I publish this, we finally had two georgus days!  Makes me so excited for the weather next month.

I'll start out with my most exciting project, although I don't have any pins for it.  I'm just excited because of this new niece I get to cuddle!  Sad she will be so far away from us, but maybe it will get us visiting Belleville more.  So last April we also welcomed a niece and since everyone was convinced it was a boy  (I don't guess as I'm horrible and had the sex of both my babies opposite what they turned out to be) I had made a cute fleecy no-sew tie blanket.  I went with green and cream fleece that said I Love Mommy!  I love Daddy!  I was soo bummed bringing it to the hospital because when I was picking out the fabric (pre-baby) they had the same stuff in the cutest pinks!  Anyways, the blanket got used alot, and it was still super cuddly no matter the colour! 

This time, knowing the sex of the baby and what colors Mommy was doing in the nursery made it irresistible when I saw some flannels in pink and gray while we were shopping in the US.  I have never seen flannel no-sew blankets, but my Mother did raggedy quilts (edges are left out to fray) for M&M and Moose so  I decided to give the flannel a whirl.  So far it looks cute and based on how well my kids flannel quilts have held up, I think it will work even being washed often.  The size was 42inches square with about 11/2-2 inch ties on all sides.  At the last minute I cut out a B and sewed it on with my machine (mostly because it's so much fun to have a good machine and now easily accessible).  Unfortunately the parents are keeping the name a surprise so I could only do the last name initial.  So cozy...I just want to go find a baby to wrap it in!

Back to doing a bit more cooking from Pinterest.  I made these no-bake chocolate peanut butter bars.  They were supposed to be super healthy, but I didn't have any of the actual healthy ingredients so I ended up using normal stuff...veggie oil for coconut oil, regular peanut butter instead of natural, quick cooking pre-packaged breakfast oats, ect.  I also don't like coconut or walnut so they were axed as well.  So if you are like me and try to think minimally about how healthy or unhealthy the food in your cupboard is, leave out some of the sugar in this recipe.  Normal peanut butter has sugar added and these were extremely sweet.  I'm usually a failure at no-bake cookies, because you have to watch so closely how long they are on the stove for...not the case in this recipe and they turned out delicious, even with the extra sweet factor!  Super easy too....took me all of 10 minutes to turn these babies into bars!


The Best No-Bake Bars via Rebekah's Pinterest via I Hear Exercise Will Kill You

For our last winter coffee hour with the girls I made this strawberry cheesecake.  It was a little different than I expected and I think it was mainly due to the cake-like bottom crust.  I pulled it out of the oven thinking it looked done, but the bottom layer was a little gooey.  I couldn't tell if it was over mixed or not cooked properly.  Sometimes as the head cook you are a little harder on your own food than if you were eating someone else's.  I thought the recipe was okay but everyone else loved it.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake via Rebekah's Pinterest via Food Wanderings in Asia

I also made these wrapped meatballs as a side dish for our cheese tortellini one night.  Basically halve a meatball, throw a chunk of mozza cheese beside it, and wrap both in a biscuit or crescent roll.  They were fun to try and I think I would make them again.  My only real complaint is really my own fault.  Store-bought meatballs, while time-saving are just never quite the same as homemade.  That being said, I'm not sure I would ever use homemade meatballs like this, because they are slightly time-consuming to make, cook, and then start with a whole new recipe.  If it takes longer than 30 min to prep a meal (not including cooking), I'm not interested!  M&M and Moose had a fun little surprise tho, when I got them to bite into their bun!

Meatball Stuffed Biscuits via Rebekah's Pinterest via Recipe by Photo via Menu Musings of a Modern American Woman

I think this about covers my picks for Pinterest in April.  Looking forward to May!  Not only am I determined to cuddle that new niece in some warmer weather, I've also started planning a John Deere party for M&M and Moose!