Monday, April 30, 2018

Mandarin Orange Green Salad

I LOVE this salad!  I have been making it for over 20 years.  It is my "go-to" salad to take to friends... along with Chicken Tetrazzini.and maybe a yummy bread and Monster Bars.   You really can't go wrong with this salad - it is yummy with any meal. 

Mandarin Orange Salad

Green leaf lettuce or mixed greens
1 large can mandarin oranges, drained
2 or more green onions, chopped
sliced almonds, toasted
fresh parsley, optional

Dressing:  (I usually double when taking to someone)

1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 tsp Tobasco
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp granulated white sugar
2 Tbsp tarragon vinegar
sprinkling of dried tarragon (if you have it)

Mix the dressing the night before.  Toss ingredients together.  Just before serving, add chilled dressing slowly to achieve desired consistency. 

Printable Version

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Big "O" Key Ring

I LOVE my Big "O' key ring.  What a great gift!  I was wanting one and Jenna surprised me with one for Christmas!  You have to visit O-Venture - so many great goodies!  They have so many different textures and colors.  I have the red embossed leather one!

                             I am behind the times!  It was one of Oprah's favorite things in 2014!!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Creamy Lemon Cheesecake Crumb Bars

Thank you to my friend Gretchen for this yummy recipe!  Gretchen is a fabulous cook and she has such a gift of hospitality.  Gretchen and her husband are always opening up their home for guests.  We have stayed with them many times during our trips to Texas.  We were just there in October.  They included us in a family gathering - with her sister Jennifer and her family!  This is the best family!

I made this recipe for our teacher lunch this week.  I am always nervous about making a new recipe to take some place... when I haven't made it before.  These were great.  I didn't put quite enough crumb topping in the bottom... so I had LOTS of crumb topping for the top.  I would also pat the crumb topping down into the cream cheese mixture... as I had lots of loose crumb topping... and I might bake them a little longer.  Every oven is different!

I love the lemon, the cheesecake and the crumb topping!

                    excuse the preschool kitchen - the toaster and light socket in the back

Creamy Lemon Cheesecake Crumb Bars

2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/3 cups old fashioned oats
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 sticks cold butter, chopped into cubes

Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the cold, cubed butter.  Mix with a mixer on low.. until crumbly.  I used a fork some too.  Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper and spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.  Press half of the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan.

8 oz cream cheese, softened
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup lemon juice

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add vanilla and lemon zest, continue to mix and add the 2 cans of condensed milk.  Beat for 3 minutes on medium-high.  Turn to low speed and add 1 cup lemon lemon juice.

Pour mixture over crust.  Crumble the rest of the topping over the cream cheese mixture.  Using the back of the spatula, gently press the topping into the cream cheese mixture - so not to have so much loose topping.  Bake at 350 for 30 - 40 minutes.  Cool completely.  Refrigerate or freeze until ready to cut and serve.

Printable Version

Friday, April 20, 2018

BOOM stick by Cindy Joseph

My crazy friend Heather mentioned BOOM by Cindy Joseph on her Facebook/instagram page..........."I have Stuff to Tell People". She mentioned BOOM back in the fall and I told Jenna that this would be a good Christmas gift for me.  Jenna got it for me and I love it.  I have since ordered another BOOM  - one for home and one for preschool.  I have also given BOOM as a gift.  I love it!

Please visit Boom by Cindy - be sure to watch the videos.  She has other great products too!

Here is an excerpt from Cindy's page...

Is there a woman who hasn’t dabbed a little lipstick on her cheeks for a quick touch-up?

“The whole idea of less is more, that women shouldn’t be slaves to dozens of makeup products, is what I really believe in,” said Cindy Joseph, a makeup artist and model who’s pared down her own cosmetics kit to just a few items. Three of them are from her new line of multiple-use cream sticks called BOOM!.

Jennifer Aniston is a BOOM! lover!

The line is not just for Boomers like Joseph. “BOOM! is the sound of a revolution in cosmetics,” she says. “Cosmetic companies are constantly adding products; I’m taking away. Mine is the only company that is pro-aging, not antiaging.
Jennifer Aniston believes in aging gracefully and not over-doing it on the makeup. When asked by Self Magazine what is in her purse when she leaves for the day, she said, “Boomstick Color: It’s an all-in-one stain for eyes, cheeks and lips that’s so much fun.”
“There is this pressure in Hollywood to be ageless,” said Aniston. “I also understand that age is kind of awesome... Don’t over-product — that’s the other thing.”

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

an Etsy favorite - personalized koozies

I love Etsy!  I have been ordering from Etsy for years - gifts for my teachers, wedding gifts, sorority gifts, graduation, pillow covers for me, etc.  I have never been disappointed!

My Baylor girls, not my Baylor daughters, but MY Baylor girls from when I was at Baylor in the eighties.... do at least one girl's trip a year. We went to Santa Rosa Beach at Watercolor... just near Seaside.. this past weekend.  It was so fun!  12 of us this trip!  We can talk for hours!

I love Happy Thoughts shop on Etsy!  Alice is great!  I have ordered from her several times.  I noticed she has her own website now too -

I wanted to get a little treat for my Baylor girls - just a little fun "party favor"  or a "sussy" as they call it in the south....for our Florida weekend. I sent Alice a message just a few weeks before the trip and asked her if she could get them done quickly.  She said no problem.  I gave her the names and let her pick the designs.  I have also given this gift to my preschool teachers.  I love these fun koozies!

Check out Etsy for your next gifts!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt English Toffee

I LOVE English Toffee!  I have a recipe on the blog that everyone should try.  There is an art to candy making - they key for me is a candy thermometer.  I usually make Milk Chocolate English Toffee with Cashews.  We are having a teacher appreciation day at preschool today and decided to change up my toffee just a little bit.  I made Dark Chocolate Sea Salt English Toffee - WAY yummy too! 

Dark Chocolate Toffee with Sea Salt

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
pinch salt
cashew pieces
dark chocolate - I used Ghiradelli 60% chocolate chips
sea salt

Butter a glass dish. Sprinkle with cashews... or any nut. In a heavy pan, cook butter, sugar and salt on medium high stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and boil for about 12 minutes or until your candy thermometer reaches hard crack stage - don't give up. The mixture will turn a golden color. When it reaches about 302 degree F, pour evenly over cashews. This hardens immediately so pour it where you want it to go. Top with chocolate chips ....evenly over the top. Allow a minute or so to melt and spread with a knife.  Sprinkle with sea salt. After chocolate has hardened, score with a knife and cut into squares or break apart.

Enjoy this TO DIE FOR treat!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tuft & Needle - mattress in a box delivered to your door

I have another great item to share!

If you talk to me regularly, you know I just don't sleep.  I have added Young Living essential oils to my routine...and that has helped... but I just don't sleep great.

This may be too much "TMI" for some of you....Chris and I have had a queen bed since we got married.  In the last year, I always felt like I was keeping him awake so I would end up sleeping in one of the girl's rooms or on the couch.. or several places a night. He calls me the "nomad" sleeper.  Tucker, our 7 lb yorkie-poo follows me where ever I go.  If I move locations, he moves with me.

About two months ago, I told Chris... "We need a king bed - Tucker and I are coming back".  I just need a king bed - just more room to move and not feel like I am driving him crazy.

Chris read about Tuft & Needle and REALLY wanted to give it a try.

We got the King mattress. There are two choices- we went with “The Mint”.

                           This is the mattress - comes just like this

A few fun facts...*95 out of 100 people keep the mattress but if you try it for 100 days and don't like it, Tuft & Needle will refund your money, pick up your mattress and donate it to your favorite charity.  You just can't lose!  *And....the mattress comes in a 19 x 19 x 44 inch box.

We started off with just the mattress and slept on it for a few weeks.   Chris loved it as is but I was thinking I might like a little more “squish”.. Chris read in the reviews that they had a softer foam pad they would send we if you needed a little extra "something".... for no extra charge.  We just got the new layer and I love it.  Chris thinks the new layer is "too hot" for him so we are taking it off for a bit to re-evaluate.

Chris thought the customer service was point on.   We were both very pleased with the service.

Please visit the Tuft & Needle website.  Currently, they are having $100 off if you spend $1000.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

All Birds - wool runners

Hi all - I enjoy cooking but with my girls out of the house, I just don't cook like I used to.  I promise to still share favorite recipes.

On another note, I am always sharing other fun "favorites" with friends.  I have one friend that says I am usually in "the know".  I am SO NOT "in the know" but we do have three daughters that keep me up on fun stuff.  So, I am going to share some of my "favorites".  I promise to get some recipes in too.

I just turned 55 last week - can't even believe I am the same as the speed limit.  I am 7 months older than my husband and he is loving it.  He is telling everyone that I am in a "different bracket" from him now.  He is right!  He said I could pick up coffee for him at McDonalds now - for free!  I am glad he is enjoying a chuckle out of my 55ness!

I walk a lot at preschool.  I am a preschool director and I often get my 10,000 steps in while at work.  My middle daughter was telling me about these cool new "wool runners"... all birds.  I was in Austin during my spring break and Jenna wore her all birds every day.  She went on and on how comfy they are.  She wore them without socks - you can wash them on the wool cycle and they also have a WAY comfy innersole that comes out and you can wash.  Jenna was kind enough to order the exact pair for my birthday - I LOVE THEM!  They are so comfy, not hot and just amazing.  They come in fun colors - even a new light pink and red for spring.  And - they have men's shoes.  I think Chris would like some for Father's Day.   Free shipping too - woohoo!

I am not making any money from this - just wanted to share!!  Check out all birds - I love them!

                         Women's Wool Runners

I had noticed another pair of all birds that would be perfect for a preschool director - and they are.  I wore them yesterday.  They are called "women's wool loungers".  They do look a tad like slippers but I wore them with jeans and cute shirt yesterday to preschool.  So comfy!  Annie and Meg gave me these for my birthday!  It was an "all bird" kind of birthday!

                             Women's Wool Lounger 

Review of this shoe from The Points Guy (thanks to my friend Lori)

 They also have a new Tree Runners - but I don't have them yet!