Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Olive Garden Breadsticks

I found this recipe a while back and tried them last week. They were a big hit and I will definitely make them again. Mine weren't quite as light and fluffy as the restaurant's, but they tasted was great. I don't make yeast breads very much because of the time it takes, but these bread sticks only take a little over an hour from start to finish - not bad.
Olive Garden Bread sticks with whole wheat pasta and meat sauce.
Olive Garden Bread sticks
3/4 cup warm water
1 1/8 tsp. yeast
2 1/4 flour
1 Tbs. butter, melted
1 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. salt

Begin by dissolving the yeast in the warm water. Add butter, salt, and sugar. Add the flour and mix until combined. Knead a few times. (My dough was very dry and I had to add a little more water.) Cover dough and let rest for 45 minutes.

Mix together 1 Tbs. melted butter, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. garlic powder and set aside.

Shape dough into 8-10 bread sticks and place on a greased pan. Bake at 400 for 7 minutes.  Remove from oven and brush each bread stick with butter mixture. Bake for 8 more minutes or until lightly browned. Brush the rest of the mixture over the bread sticks. Serve warm!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Here is the granola recipe that my mom makes. I think this is only the second time that I've made it, but I have no idea why? It's so easy and good - I should really make it more often.

6 cup quick oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup dried milk
2/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup oil

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine honey, oil, water, and vanilla. Pour over dry mix and stir until everything is evenly moist. Divide granola into 2 baking pans and bake at 325 F for 45 minutes, stirring after every 15 minutes.

Let granola cool and store in an air tight container. As it cools is gets crunchy and will clomp together - just break it apart carefully. This granola is great with milk, yogurt, and even ice cream :) Enjoy!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Water Play

Rebecca LOVES to play with water. Ever since she was a baby, she has loved bath time and now that she is older, she loves to play in the sink and with the water hose outside. I've let her "wash" dishes a few times in the kitchen, but the water overflowing the counters and floor is enough to drive me crazy. So this winter after she had flooded the kitchen yet again, I decided that when in warmed up I would build her a water table for outside. That idea evolved into an "outdoor kitchen" concept. And this is what I built her this week. 

Pretty great right?! I was impressed with my mad skills too *wink* *wink*. I used the miter saw, the circular saw, and the electric drill all by myself. The wood I used was what we had in the garage and we've had that blue tub for so long, I don't even know where it came from. So this project cost me nothing except a little time. I have to give some credit to Dan too. He cut out the top hole where the blue "sink" drops in. The deck needs to be stained again this summer, so I will give the kitchen a good coat of stain too.

It's a big hit! Many hours of fun for Becca!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Arby's Tonight

I know I promised a yummy recipe every Tuesday, but today I'm going the easy route! I will very likely pick up two of Arby's Markey Fresh Grilled Chicken & Pecan Salad sandwiches for supper tonight or tomorrow. So I thought I would just share this coupon with you. Enjoy!

Update: I should also note that the coupon expires on 5/22/11. My Arby's was super nice and let me pick up 2 sandwiches even though it says "one per costumer, per visit".

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Baby Gifts

My friend Cara and her husband Jamie welcomed a new daughter Emrey into their family. I wish we lived closer so I could give her these gifts in person and hold precious Emrey! But I hope these arrive safely in the mail soon.

The baby blanket is double layered flannel with a fancy stitch. The flower headband is made from the same flannel fabric and the same pedal flower I made in felt HERE. I made a second felt box fold flower for the headband as well. I attached velcro to the headband and to the back of each flower so they are interchangeable.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

For Supper Tonight

Here are a few things I will have cooking for supper tonight Sloppy Joe meat on Whole Wheat Rolls with Sweet Potato Fries.

Whole Wheat Rolls, from Finding Joy in My Kitchen
1 1/2 T yeast
1 C + 1 T warm water
1/3 C oil
1/4 C sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 C White Whole Wheat Flour

Begin by dissolving the yeast in the water. Let sit for 3-5 minutes until yeast is foamy.
Add in the oil, sugar and salt.
Then, add in the flour, 1 C at a time stirring until incorporated.
Knead the dough for 3-5 minutes, until the dough is well formed and easy to work with.
Add additional flour as needed to get the dough to become workable.
Divide the dough into 9-12 sections and roll into balls. {9 if you'd like larger rolls, 12 if you'd like smaller ones}.
Place the rolls on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Cover.
Set in a warm place and allow the dough to rise/rest for ~20 minutes.
Then, bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned.

Sweet Potato Fries
Peel 2-3 sweet potatoes
Cut into fries
Lightly coat with olive oil and sprinkle with season salt.
Spread fries in a single layer on a baking sheet.
(I bake mine on parchment paper so there is no sticking and fries don't break apart as much when flipping.)
Bake at 425 F for 10 minutes, flip fries and bake for another 10 minutes or until tender.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Teacher Appreciation

This is Teacher Appreciation Week. Here are a few simple ways that we appreciated the people in our lives. And who doesn't love a little play on words?

On the last day of Sunday School we said thank you to Rebecca's teachers with a plant. The card says, "Thank You for Helping me GROW in the Lord." Rebecca decorated the front of the cards and I wrote a note on the inside.

This is also Child Care Appreciation week (I'm sure there are many others lumped into this week before Mother's Day also, but I don't know the whole list). We are so fortunate to have a great place to bring Rebecca each day that I work. Rebecca has been going to Angie's since she was 4 months old and just loves her. I don't know if we could have found a more caring person to take care of our daughter! Here are of few thank you treats for Angie this year.
Assorted Berries
Donut Holes
I hope you find a great way to appreciate the teachers and care givers in your life with either thoughtful words or a simple gift.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

White Cake Cookies

These cookies are so simple and so pretty!

White Cake Cookies
white cake mix
1 egg
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup oil

Mix all ingredients well. Roll a tablespoon of dough into a ball and dip the ball into the sprinkles. Place balls on a cookie sheet sprinkle side up (do not press or flatten balls). Bake at 350 F for about 10 minutes. Cookies should be lightly brown on the bottom but not on the top.


Look up and check out our NEW TABS!!

I've never been so excited about something on our blog as I am about our NEW TABS!

As many of you know, I love organizing. If fact I've thought at times that I could be a professional organizer (maybe some day...). So I LOVE that I can organize our blog by topics. I hate that so many posts get "lost" in the archive never to be seen/read again. But now you can have easy access to past posts through the above tabs. I will continue to organize and add blog posts. I know you are not even a fraction as excited as I am about this, but I do hope that you enjoy it!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bam Bam Ball

Rebecca had her first day of Bam Bam Ball yesterday and she really like it! Honestly, I was a little worried. She just finished 6 weeks of tumbling and although she was excited to go, her attention span for the half hour session was lacking. Bam Bam Ball is an hour session, but she followed direction pretty well. And unlike tumbling, she is not the least coordinated :) We do need to get her a different glove because she is left handed. And some practice with a bat wouldn't be a bad idea either.

We can't believe how fast you are growing up! We are so proud of you Rebecca!