Saturday, January 24, 2009

Peter Pan Peanut Butter is Safe!

I'm not sure how I got on the e-mail list, but nonetheless, when I checked my e-mails this morning, this was one of them:

Dear Loyal Consumer: In recent days, you may have heard news regarding the safety of certain types of products that contain peanut-based ingredients. We can assure you that all of the products made by ConAgra Foods, including our popular Peter Pan Peanut Butter, are safe to enjoy, and no ConAgra Foods products have been recalled. We've confirmed that none of the products we make contain any peanut ingredients made by Peanut Corporation of America, the company at the center of the government's investigation of an outbreak of salmonella-related illnesses. We also have confirmed with our suppliers that they do not purchase any ingredients from the Peanut Corporation of America. We are extremely confident in the safety protocols, including stringent quality testing, for Peter Pan Peanut Butter and our other products; and we appreciate your continued loyalty as you shop for the food your family loves. If any of your friends or family members have questions about the safety of their products, including Peter Pan Peanut Butter, please feel free to share this email with them. For more information about the government's investigation, we recommend you visit the U.S. Food & Drug Administration's website. If you have any other questions, please contact us or call 1-800-222-7370. Thank you for your loyalty and patronage of our brands. Sincerely,ConAgra Foods, maker of Peter Pan Peanut Butter In case you haven't checked this out, you can go and see exactly which foods have been recalled and which brands/stores are voluntarily pulling their products "just in case".

Something that I didn't know until this morning - jars of peanut butter that we use (Skippy, Jif, Peter Pan, etc.) are not on the recall list! Those items are safe. It's crackers, snack cakes and some other things you have to watch out for. Like I said, for the whole list - visit the link above.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bargain Bridal Shower!

My very best friend got engaged over Christmas and (originally) set her wedding date in August. After she got to thinking about it and a few suggestions from her parents - she decided to move the date up. She is having a very small wedding so instead of freaking out about it for most of the year - they are going to tie the knot sooner rather than later. Fabulous, I say - until I thought about it. I thought I had months to plan something for a "shower" when, now - I have mere weeks. So, Wednesday - I got to work. I e-mailed her friends and family for their addresses and went to Hobby Lobby at lunch, to find the invitations. Unfortunately, I didn't like any of the ones that they had and the ones I thought were "so-so", I didn't want to pay $12.99 for 8 of them! I would need two or three packages, so that wasn't going to work for me. Used to, I would spend it and not think twice about it, but since we made a resolution to watch our pennies, I refused to give in. I think its completely heinous to order those absolutely adorable but extremely overpriced invitations from those cute little online stores, so - my creative side emerged. My friend is not "frilly" by any stretch of the imagination. She is down-to-earth, girl next door, I wear blue jeans and drink beer and love the beach and bright colors, and none of the invitations looked like her. So...I decided I would make my own. I found these cute little note cards that I assured myself I could run through my fabulous printer and no one would be the wiser. You want to hear the best part - they came 20 to a package! The even better part? They were only $1.50!!! Yes, $1.50 for 20 cards. So, my creative mind just kept working and I picked up 2 packages. (I'm going to run the envelopes from the second package through the printer, so she can use them as thank you cards (since they are blank), and she will already have all of their addresses). Then, I went the next aisle over and found some really cute chinese "take-out" boxes in bright colors, to match the invitations. Then, I continued on and found a couple of gift bags, on sale, with the colors that match the invitations - so I can put her gifts in there. I go to the check out, confident of a thrifty purchase when the sales lady says "I think I have a coupon for you to use", so she rings it up too and guess what - my whole loot was a wopping $13.47! Seriously! Gift bags, "invitations", thank you notes, and favor boxes all for less than $15!! I left with a HUGE smile on my face. Later that day, I went home and got to work and this is what I came up with: I made one for me, to make sure I liked how they looked. I was able to type all of the addresses and send them right through my printer, as I am not a huge fan of address labels. This is the outside of the card. It's blank inside so you could use it this way, where it opened up or you could turn it, so it would open to the side. Up and down worked better for me. They are super cute though, aren't they? This is what I did with the inside of it! Ran it right through my printer, in color. Then, I bought some colored paper at Wal-Mart, printed some stuff out on them, and cut them with one of my scrapbook punches - they match the outside of the card, how its ruffled. Cute, huh? I spent $3.57 on paper, and only used 6 sheets, so I can add that to my scrapbooking collection. Then, I spent $6.72 on stamps. So, as of right now, I am at $23.76 and am halfway done with this shower! I booked it at a restaurant, so there are minimal decorations needed and everyone will pay for their own meal. I am going to pick up some balloons at the dollar store, a bouquet of flowers from Wal-Mart or Krogers and then I will make her cake. I figure, I can host a really great shower for all of $100! I will try to take pictures of everything I get, so you can see how it turned out (and how much I spent)!

My Baby is Getting So Big!

My little Coco is getting so big. Last weekend - we had to change out her collar with a bigger one! I just can't get over how much she has changed since we got her, almost two months ago. Here are some pictures that I took over the weekend. She had her first "grooming" on Saturday. I dropped her off at PetsMart for a bath, blowdry, hair cut, ear cleaning and nail trimming. She looked so cute and smelled so good when she got home, so I took some pictures: She loves playing with sticks. You cannot hide them - she is a scavenger and will find them and then sneak them in the house and shred it into a 100,000 little tiny slivers for me to vaccuum up! She loves to play in the grass, and by play in the grass, I mean root around and pull it up. She does not eat it - she just pulls it up! Despite her trying to look innocent - do you see the evidence on her nose?
She is just so cute and lovable!
I would call her name and she would look right at me, and then look away really fast before I could get a picture! The mongrel!

Favorite Ingredient Friday

This recipe, single handedly got me through the holidays! I know all of you are expecting some wonderful no-fail gravy recipe or something fantastic to wow the in-laws with. The truth is, after fretting about gravy and impressing the in-laws - it was this recipe that I turned to!
Frozen Mudslides
  • 3 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 2 jiggers vodka
  • 2 jiggers coffee flavored liqueur
  • 2 jiggers Irish cream liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • ½ cup whipped cream


  1. In a blender, combine ice cream, vodka, coffee liqueur and Irish cream liqueur.
  2. Drizzle in Chocolate syrup.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Pour into glasses and garnish with whipped cream and some more chocolate syrup.

Ok, this really is a phenominal recipe for mudslides. Trust me! You can substitute the vanilla ice cream for ice if you want, but I don't recommend it because the ice cream really makes these delicious.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!

Friday, January 16, 2009

How Adam Got Eve

Adam was hanging around the Garden of Eden feeling very lonely. So, God asked him, “What’s wrong with you?” Adam said he didn't have anyone to talk to. God said that He was going to make Adam a companion and that it would be a woman. He said, “This pretty lady will gather food for you, she will cook for you, and when you discover clothing, she will wash it for you”. “She will always agree with every decision you make and she will not nag you, and will always be the first to admit she was wrong when you've had a disagreement.” “She will praise you!” “She will bear your children and never ask you to get up in the middle of the night to take care of them.” “She will NEVER have a headache and will freely give you love and passion whenever you need it.” Adam asked God, “What will a woman like this cost?” God replied, “An arm and a leg.” Then Adam asked, “What can I get for a rib?” Of course the rest is history!!!!

Favorite Ingredient Friday - Pie Edition

My husband loves all things Peanut Butter. So, when I found this pie recipe, I knew that he would love it and guess what - it's right up his alley!
No Bake Peanut Butter Lover’s Pie
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 16 ounce container cool whip, thawed
  • Nutter Butter cookies
  • 6 tablespoons of butter


  • Beat together cream cheese and powdered sugar.
  • Mix in peanut butter and milk. Beat until smooth.
  • Fold in the cool whip.
  • Place Nutter Butter cookies in a large Ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin.
  • Melt butter and add to crushed Nutter Butter cookies.
  • Press Nutter Butter crumbs into a 9” pie plate.
  • Spoon peanut butter mixture into pie crust.
  • Cover, and freeze until firm. Enjoy!

If you don't want that extra peanut butter, or if you just don't want to jack with crushing those cookies - put the peanut butter mixture into a graham cracker pie shell. - It's really good too!

PS: I wouldn't make this pie now - you know, beginning of the year, weight loss plan and all but if you want to make it and not completely fall of the wagon - try using low fat cream cheese (I don't recommend substituting with fat free cream cheese because it changes the taste too drastically), reduced fat or all natural/organic peanut butter, fat free cool whip and open a couple of 100 calorie packages of nutter butter cookies and crush those instead of using the real thing. Its still sinfully delicious, but you won't feel AS guilty! ;)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Banana Pancakes!

Melanie (my older sister) and her husband Roy were in Vegas over the weekend and asked Darren and I if we would keep Matt while they were gone. We agreed. I picked him up from school on Friday and he stayed until about 3 on Sunday. We had a great weekend and really enjoyed him being there. Saturday morning when we woke up, Matt and I decided to try our hand at Banana Pancakes. Here is Matt "mixing". There was nothing but powdered batter mix at this point. See how he already has it on the counter and his pjs? That was after one "mix". :) This is after 2 "mixes". He was so excited that I let him add the milk. He was "stirring real fast". :) This is our creation. He was so proud of himself, that he helped make everything. Needless to say, I was only able to get him to eat two bites of the pancakes but he ate all the fruit :) Sunday morning he bailed on me, and making blueberry muffins because Batman was on!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Ok, so I (finally) have my camera and my camera cord, on the same day. So - I uploaded all the pictures that I took in the last 3 weeks. It's sad really, that I don't have more than I do. Nonetheless - enjoy the ones I do have! It's December 10th, and it's snowing! Look at that blizzard!! "Snow" on the ground. The Christmas Tree. I got lazy this year and instead of putting up our tree, we ran to Hobby Lobby and got a 4' pre-lit tree. It so worked for me. My favorite Christmas ornament. A red glittery ribbon. Its plastic, so you don't have to worry about it breaking and they were only 99 cents a piece at Target. The stockings were hung, by the chimney with care. (The little elf boot is Coco's). The fireplace screen. - I just love it. We drove up to Toldeo Bend Lake on New Years Day, and stayed with Darren's parents. Darren was so proud of himself! He caught quite a few while we were out, but these two were the biggest. Getting ready to clean fish! Nasty job, but somebody has to do it! Fileting fish! Coco made her very first friend while we were at the lake. Buckshot - he belongs to Pops & Mama Jackie's next door neighbors. They played for about 3 hours like this. They are about the same age, he is just a little bigger. He tried to play nice, but she showed him no mercy. Darren said she must take after me.
Hoping Pops & Nana would save her!
She had just learned to climb the steps earlier that day, so everytime she wanted to get away from him - she would climb them and try to hide under my leg. Little did she know - he could climb them too!

The Cost of Children

I don't have children (yet), but I saw this today and it made me smile. I had to share it. The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 to be $160,140 for a middle income family. Talk about sticker shock! That doesn't even touch college tuition. But $160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into: $8,896.66 a year, or $741.38 a month, or $171.08 a week. That's a mere $24.24 a day! Just over a dollar an hour. Still, you might think the best financial advice is "if you want to be 'rich', don't have children. Actually, it is just the opposite. What do you get for your $160,140? Naming rights – First, middle, and last! Glimpses of God every day. Giggles under the covers every night. More love than your heart can hold. Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs. Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies. A hand to hold - usually covered with jelly or chocolate. A partner for blowing bubbles and flying kites Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said, or how your stocks performed that day. For $160,140, you never have to grow up. You get to: finger-paint,carve pumpkins, play hide-and-seek, and catch lightning bugs. You have an excuse to: keep reading "The Adventures of Piglet and Pooh", watch Saturday morning cartoons, go to Disney movies, and wish upon a star. You also get to: frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets, and collect: spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay or Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day. For $160,140, there is no bigger bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for: retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof, taking the training wheels off a bike, removing a splinter, filling a wading pool, coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless. You get a front row seat to witness history: her first step, his first word, and their first time behind the wheel. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs called grandchildren and great grandchildren in your obituary. You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, and communications. In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have the power to: heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits... So that one day they, like you, they will love without counting the cost.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I forgot my camera!

Happy New Year! I know everyone has heard this a million times, but I will say it again - I can't believe its 2009. This last year flew by - I don't know where the time went. I don't have a "real" blog today, but I do have an explanation! ;) For awhile, I wasn't in the mood to blog, then I didn't have anything to blog about, then when I did - I would forget my camera and I wanted to post pictures with my blog - then I remembered my camera and forgot the cord - then I forgot both. Then, I just gave up and figured I would blog later. Story of my life! Things have been rather busy! I made a trip to McKinney to pick up Coco, Darren worked a lot of overtime, we had a company luncheon, an event on one of our projects (I planned both), baking for Darren's work Christmas dinner, a wedding reception (they got married in Mexico) (I forgot my camera), last minute Christmas shopping, a huge birthday party (I forgot my camera), the Christmas holidays (I had my camera and forgot to take pictures), house guests for 5 days, a New Years Eve Party (I forgot my camera), a 4 hour trip to the lake, 3 days away from home (I only got a few pictures of Coco playing with her new friend), a 4 hour trip back, a LONG day of laundry and cleaning and then back to work! Story of my life! So, here it is January 5th - I'm too lazy to tell of my holiday adventures, and I only have 4 pictures to load from the last 3 weeks, and (dare I say) - I forgot my camera!

Favorite Ingredient Friday - Casserole Edition!

Christmas morning, I woke up late (surprise, surprise) and my goal to have a wonderful homemade breakfast before opening presents almost went out the window, thankfully - I had this trusty recipe tucked away and a German Apple Strudel in the freezer (that was given to us on Christmas Eve). Anyhow - in an hour - I had a hot, delicious breakfast on the table and everyone was happy.

Ham & Cheese Omelet Casserole

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 package of diced ham
  • 1 package of real bacon pieces
  • 1 cup shredded American cheese
  • Salt & pepper, to taste


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Beat eggs in a large bowl, making sure that they are mixed very well and have a 'frothy' top.
  • Add the milk, salt and pepper.
  • Mix well.
  • Stir in ham, bacon, and then add the cheese and stir well.
  • Pour mixture into a well greased 4 quart casserole dish and bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until top is lightly browned.
While this was in the oven, I made a pot of coffee, put the strudel in the microwave, got the juice poured and the table set, got dressed and came back downstairs to a great smelling breakfast - everyone else was up and ready for breakfast quickly after that - everything was on the table and ready when they got downstairs and no one knew that I woke up and late and had forgotten to plan for breakfast!