Love List

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

4th of July Entertaining Ideas

I love holidays. I love any reason to celebrate with my kids and my family. Lets just say holidays are a big deal in our family. With 4th of July just a few days away there are a few different ways to entertain. Krusteaz makes it very easy to be able to entertain for your family and loved ones and on top of that their products help you save time so you can spend time with your loved ones.

Here are a few ides using their products:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
Instructions: Make Krusteaz Chocolate Chip Cookies or any of Krusteaz new cookie mixes according to the back of the box directions. Grab a cookie and on the inside add a couple large scoops of ice cream. Top with another cookie to create the ice cream sandwich. Then roll the ice cream sides in sprinkles. Place in the freezer to harden before eat it. 

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups water
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tablespoons butter, melted

In a medium bowl, stir together Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake mix and flour. Add water gradually, stirring until smooth. Add the eggs and butter and continue to stir. Preheat a lightly greased 5 to 6 inch frying pan or crepe pan over medium high heat. Spoon 2-3 Tablespoons batter into center of frying pan. Tilt to coat bottom of the pan evenly. Just a thin layer of batter should cover the pan. Cook crepes until delicately browned; turn to cook lightly on the other side. Fill with fresh berries. Roll up and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Prepare Krusteaz Raspberry Bar Mix as directed on package, sprinkling 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries over raspberry filling. Continue to prepare and bake as directed.

1 package Krusteaz Wild Blueberry Muffin Mix (1 pouch muffin Mix and 1 can blueberries
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1/2 cup raspberry preserves
3 ounces cream cheese, softened

Directions here.

For an appetizer:
Hot Reuben Dip
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup thousand island salad dressing
16 ounces sauerkraut, rinsed & drained
8-10 ounces shredded corned beef
16 ounces shredded Swiss cheese

Directions here.

1 1/4 cup warm water
5 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 (heaping) Tablespoon Active Dry Yeast
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup beer
1 (19 oz) krusteaz beer bread mix
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups hot water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, beaten
course sea salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Then in a mixer, place warm water, sugar, kosher salt and mix together. Then add yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes. Then add in butter, beer, krusteaz beer bread mix, flour, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix until well combined about 8 minutes! The dough should be sticky but pull away from the sides. If dough is too sticky slowly add more flour while you continue to mix. Grab a large bowl and greased it. Place the dough in the bowl and cover. Let rise for 1 hour. Once the hour is up lightly grease counter space. Separate dough into 10-12 balls. Then take one and roll it into a long snake about 15 inches. Then make a "U" shape and then make a pretzel. Then in a medium sized bowl place hot water and baking soda. Grab 2 cookie sheets and grease them and then set aside. Dip each pretzel in the water/baking soda mixture and let sit in there for 5-10 seconds. Then place on cookie sheet. Continue those steps until all pretzels are done. Let sit for 10 minutes. In another small bowl beat the egg. Once the 10 minutes are up lightly brush pretzels with the egg wash. (This will make them shiny when they are cooked!) And sprinkle with course sea salt! Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown! Serve with honey mustard dipping sauce or nacho cheese sauce!

Hope this gives you a few ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert to entertain for your family on the 4th of July! 

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

4th of July Ice Cream Bar Ideas

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SunsOutSpoonsOut #CollectiveBias

Fourth of July is just about a week away and we our getting so excited! Our family heads to Telluride Colorado to celebrate so we enjoyed our little 4th of July Ice Cream Bar a little early! And lucky enough I have partnered with Blue Bunny Ice Cream to bring this to you!

When I was at Walmart they have a fun little station set up where they were giving samples of their Vanilla Ice Cream along with some nectarines for their fun Suns Out Spoons Out campaign! They also have a fun campaign with Chips Ahoy so be on the look out at your neighborhood Walmart.

My daughter and I loved the pairing! I then picked up a few flavors of Blue Bunny Ice Cream and 2 different Ice Cream novelty items on Isle 28 and on the end cap and then went home and had some fun with my kids!

So what we did it make 4 different fun variations for our Blue Bunny 4th of July Ice Cream Bar.

First up:
Festive Cones
Waffle cones and Bowls
Karo Syrup
Festive Sprinkles
Blue Bunny Ice Cream

Pour about 1/4 cup of karo syrup on a plate on another plate pour some sprinkles down on a different plate. Then take the cones and waffle bowls and dip the rim of it in the Karo syrup then dip the rim into the sprinkles. Use your hand to make sure that the sprinkles cover the Karo syrup entirely. Then place a scoop of ice cream in the cone and enjoy!

Next up:
Festive Ice Cream Sundaes
Festive Waffle Bowls (instructions above)
Bananas, sliced
Strawberries, sliced
Blueberry Ice Cream Topping
Whipped Cream
Festive flags, Baseballs, Decor

Grab the waffle bowl and place strawberries and bananas in the bottom. Top with ice cream. Then drizzle blueberry ice cream topping over top. Top with whipped cream, sprinkles, and decorations.

Next Up:
Festive Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches
Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Take a chocolate chip cookie then place a large scoop of ice cream on the inside of it. Then top with another chocolate chip cookie to create a cookie ice cream sandwich. Then roll the sides with sprinkles

Red, White & Blue Ice Cream Shots
Whipped Cream

Take the Blue Bunny Vanilla Ice Cream and let sit out for a few minutes.
Then take 1/3 out and put in a container and add red food coloring. Stir well and add more red food coloring until it is at the right color. Then take another 1/3 out and put it in another container and add blue food coloring. Stir really well. Grab the containers and fill the bottom third of the container with blue ice cream. Then the next third with white ice cream. Then the last third with red ice cream. Put the containers back in the freezer until you are ready to serve. Once you are ready to serve top with whipped cream and sprinkles. Then you can add a little milk and make it a milkshake and put a festive straw in it!

Put them all together and you have a fun and festive 4th of July Ice Cream Bar!

What is your favorite way to eat Ice Cream!? And what will you be doing fun to celebrate the 4th of July? Please tell me it involves ICE CREAM!!!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Easy Fruit Popsicles

Popsicles are consumed daily in our home during the spring and summer months. They are a staple in our freezer and my kids go through a large box a week. Not to mention they eat them all the time when they visit my parents and when they are at their friends houses.

When it hits over 100 degrees in the beginning of June the popsicle storage continues to grow and grow. I grabbed some popsicle molds at the store and my kids have been in heaven created new flavors. The possibilities are endless. I use whatever I have on hand. My daughter loves juice so I add our current favorite juice, then some fruit, then a splash of milk and stir it around. So here is todays popsicle flavor.

Fruit Popsicles
Guava, orange, pineapple juice
fresh pineapple slices, cut into small pieces

Grab the popsicle molds and fill half way with juice. Then place in fruit. I did pineapple, then blueberries, then raspberries. Then fill the rest of the popsicle mold with milk. Stir around with a small spoon or a long skewer stick. Most popsicle molds will have a line to fill it to. Fill to that line but not over. Place the top which is the popsicle stick into the mold and place on a flat surface in the freezer. Freeze all the way. I like to do overnight. Then lightly put the popsicle mold under warm water and then wiggle out the popsicle. Then enjoy!

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Fire Torched Oatmeal and the perfect Arizona Vacation

Scottsdale is one of my favorite places to visit in Arizona. The shopping, food and activities are amazing. Top it off with some of the best pools and resorts in Arizona and you have got it made. My husband and I were able to visit a Four Seasons Resort that was about 45 minutes from our home for Global Wellness Day. What a fun day that I hope to be a part of every year! We absolutely loved the resort and felt like it gave each and every guest the perfect desert experience. The views were amazing and the location is spot on to show everyone has beautiful the desert is! Each and every Four Seasons hotel that I have ever stayed at have been amazing and this one in Scottsdale was just that and more.  On top of that my husband has golfed the course at Troon North before and I have heard him talk about the course time and time again when others have asked him about what courses he has enjoyed most in Arizona over the years! We were not able to golf this time but hope to the next time we visit! This time it was all about the food and taking care of ourselves by exercising, visiting the spa, and going for a hike.

We started our staycation off with dinner at the Talavera Restaurant. And what an experience it was! First of all the view of the dessert is one of a kind! The service all every single member of their staff was impeccable! We were able to taste a variety of items on the menu. And here are a few of them!

The rolls with butter sprinkled with pink Himalayan salt was what they give each table. And let me tell you the rolls are fluffy and soft!

We then had the Iceberg wedge salad (avocado, blue cheese, lump crab, nuke's bacon) and the Sunizona Tomato Salad (queen creek olives, fried feta, red onion, balsamic)

The lobster & corn bisque was smooth and silky! Worth every single bite even if it was 110 degrees outside! (shot rib croquette & charred corn) and the chef brought out a dish that we hadn't ordered and my husband went nuts over it! The spring sweet pea risotto (roasted cherry tomato, morel mushrooms, crispy kale)

I ordered the C.O.W. (cut of the week) which was the bone in filet mignon. I have never had a bone in filet and the bone made the filet even more tender and flavorful! My husband ordered the Buffalo Tenderloin (bacon, roasted carrots, ancho-tomatillo sauce) 

For sides we had the charred corn and garlic parmesan mashed potatoes. Out of the two the mashed potatoes were our favorite.

We finished the night with the milk chocolate panna cotta (rich chocolate cake, caramel rice crispies, passion fruit bananas) I did not have a bite of this but my husband said was was light and he ate almost the entire thing. I ordered the croissant crusted creme brûlée. I am a sucker for creme brûlée and the croissant crusted topping was an added treat! 

We went back to our room and went to bed. The view is great and right on the mountain. My husband sent a lot of time on our back porch. He is a true mountain man and absolutely loved the view and how the hotel was in the mountains which you don't find very often in Arizona. He even saw a bobcat with a cottontail rabbit in his mouth! 

The next morning we woke up and ran up Pinnacle Peak Mountain and enjoyed the views and celebrating Global Wellness Day with a hike.

We then went to Proof and enjoyed one of their juices we got the watermelon mint cooler and the detox 3.0. The watermelon cooler (watermelon, strawberry, cherry, lime and mint) was amazing! The detox was (apple, celery, kale, cucumber, parsley, lemon) which was a good tasting detox drink in my opinion!

We also ordered the torched maple pecan oatmeal (steel cut oats, caramelized bananas, blueberry compote), the bigger than Texas biscuits and gravy (eggs your way, sausage gravy, homemade biscuits) and the raisin fennel french toast (lemon creme fraiche, raspberries, almonds). And this is where the love for fire torched oatmeal started! Their homemade biscuits were huge and were yummy! and the french toast was the perfect sweet thing to end out meal.

After breakfast we went to the spa and enjoyed a couples massage together. And then went to the tennis courts to play a game of tennis together. The courts were very nice and in the spa they handed us a bag with balls, water, cooled cloths, and rags in it. 

After that we spent the rest of the day by the pool. They handed out special treats for Global Wellness Day and we loved the fruit salsa, the mini fruit kabobs, and the raspberries filled with yogurt. We ordered some yummy things by the pool too! We tried the mushroom tacos (sautéed garlic mushrooms, onion-cilantro, charred corn, tomatillo salsa, queso freso), the grilled jalapeño bacon poppers (cream cheese and avocado cream), the sirloin burger (caramelized onions, applewood smoked bacon, avocado, lettuce. tomato, and pickles with a side of fries), and an oreo shake. We will definitely be re-creating the jalapeño poppers at home! And there is nothing like a good quality sirloin burger and it was just that! I loved the mushroom tacos. They were light and very tasty! 

We ordered room service for breakfast and they were fast and the service was great! We had a granola parfait (fresh berries and berry yogurt), cinnamon roll, steel cut oatmeal (caramalized bananas and brown sugar), seasonal fruit, three cheese omelet (the sweet tomato sauce on top of the hash browns were amazing!!!!) and Huevos Rancheros (Ranchero Sauce, Choice of Eggs, Chorizo Quesadilla, Avocado). The oatmeal has been a favorite of ours the entire trip! The fruit was fresh and the ranchero sauce was the best I have ever had! 

When I got home we HAD to re-create the oatmeal! We started by making steel cut oatmeal. Grab a bowl and place some fresh berries at the bottom of the bowl. Pour the oatmeal on top of the berries. Then diagonally slice bananas. Lay them on top of the oatmeal and sprinkle generously with sugar. Grab a torch and in a circular motion brûlée the bananas to caramelize them. Sprinkle with some brown sugar and brûlée them again for a few seconds. Then pour milk and sprinkle with more brown sugar and cinnamon if you would like!

Make your favorite Steel Cut Oatmeal

Grab a bowl and place some berries in the bottom of the bowl

Pour oatmeal over the berries.

Arrange some bananas on top of the oatmeal.

Sprinkle some sugar on top of the bananas.

Torch the bananas where the sugar is so that the bananas caramelize.

Sprinkle some brown sugar on top and torch for a second.

Pour some milk on top and sprinkle with more brown sugar if you would like.

Fire Torched Oatmeal

Steel Cut Oats
Berries (Blackberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries)
Brown Sugar
Bananas, sliced

Grab a bowl and place some fresh berries at the bottom of the bowl. Pour the oatmeal on top of the berries. Then diagonally slice bananas. Lay them on top of the oatmeal and sprinkle generously with sugar. Grab a torch and in a circular motion brûlée the bananas to caramelize them. Sprinkle with some brown sugar and brûlée them again for a few seconds. Then pour milk and sprinkle with more brown sugar and cinnamon if you would like!

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