Jun 30, 2011

Brazilian Lemonade

So. So. So. Good.

I had seen this recipe on Our Best Bites and wanted to make it, but I kept passing it by. Probably because I barely get it together to make real meals, so making fancy lemonade was put on the back burner. 

In Idaho I was able to get their actual cookbook AND get it signed by the real life fabulous foodies of Our Best Bites. As I was flipping through the pages, and drooling, I once again was drawn to this recipe. THIS time I decided I just had to make it.

No joke, the day after getting back I packed all 3 Little Men in the car went to the grocery store for what I called "a provisions run" but in all reality I just went to get the ingredients for this drink.

Oh goodness. That is what it was...goodness.

This was the perfect Summer afternoon/evening/anytime of the day drink. It was so refreshing. So limey and lovely. I seriously refilled a couple-few more times.

So basically, I highly encourage you to make a lime run to the store...you will not be disappointed.

Brazilian Lemonade 

4-5 limes
1 cup sugar
6 cups cold water
6 Tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

Mix cold water and sugar really well. Chill until ready to use...basically until really close to serving.

When you are almost ready to serve, wash limes because you will be using the whole lime. Cut off the ends of the limes and then cut into eighths. Place half of the limes in a blender and then pour half of the water/sugar mixture in the blender too. Pulse the blender several times, I did about 6-7. 

Place a fine mesh strainer over the mouth of the pitcher you will be serving your lemonade from. Pour the lime mixture into the strainer, allowing the liquid to go into your pitcher and the lime rinds to stay in the strainer. 

Repeat with the second half of the limes and the water/sugar mixture.

Then add the sweetened condensed milk.

Taste. If it is a little bitter you can add a touch more sugar or milk.

Serve immediately over lots of crushed ice.

Kick back, sip up this delightful drink and enjoy your Summer.

Jun 29, 2011

Independence Day Shirt

We are getting ready for the 4th over here. There is something special about this holiday. I love the pure Amereicana of it all. I love the small town celebrations and the fireworks. I love the picnic and bbq's. I love my Little Men's excitement. I love the unity of waving flags and dressing in red, white, and blue.

This year I either made, altered, or repurposed shirts for each one of my Little Men. 

This shirt is Oldest's. This is the shirt I "made". Obviously I didn't  sew it. I just took a plain tee and then embellished it. I love the red silhouette of the United States (sorry Hawaii and Alaska...I know you are part of the U.S...I just couldn't get those states to fit on right). I cut out the the number 1776 from scraps of a white t-shirt and then sewed them on. Perfect!

The two older boys kind of fought over who got it. In the end, Oldest won. He was pretty stoked about it.

The other two L.M. got repurposed shirts...They still like them, and they still looked quite handsome. I will share what I did with these two shirts on Friday.

We are ready for some 4th fun. Fireworks here we come!

Jun 28, 2011

Somewhat Simple Food Contributor

I am a new Food Contributor over at Somewhat Simple. I know, legit, right!!

Now in addition to my Recipe Thursdays, once a month I will be sharing recipes, food tips, and any other dining delight that pops into my head, over at Somewhat Simple. So make sure to look for me the last Tuesday of every month.

Today you can find this perfect summer salad. The Fourth is coming, I bet you could use a salad at your party! Heck dinner is coming...

I know you will enjoy this recipe.

Jun 23, 2011

Banzai Sliders

Hubby LOVES Red Robin's Banzai burger. I mean like really lots. He used to always hem and haw between the Royal (you know the one with the fried egg on top) and the Banzai. The Banzai pretty much always won...AND now there really isn't any debate anymore because hubby found out you can just add the fried egg to the top of the Banzai...don't worry I did NOT add egg to this one.

For awhile I have been wanting to search/experiment with recipes for my Hubby's beloved burger. I finally tweaked a couple ideas and came up with this mini-kid-friendly slider version.


So Good. Setting aside the birth of my children, I don't know if I have been this pleased with myself...hahaha. This mini burger was sinfully delightful. There is something about the mixture between the teriyaki marinated hamburger patty, the marinated and grilled pineapple, and then the Hawaiian roll...goodness me.

I kind of want another three one already.

This recipe is pretty fuss free AND totally worth it. Trust me.

Banzai Sliders 
makes about 10


1/2 lb ground chuck
1/2 lb ground sirloin
*or 1 lb of the same, your choice
can of sliced pineapple
small slices of cheddar cheese
shredded lettuce
sliced tomato
King Hawaiian rolls

teriyaki sauce this is my go-to teriyaki recipe, I use if for TONS of things:
1 3/4 cups water
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup soy sauce *this is edited 6/24/11...I originally first put SUGAR...OOPS...that would be SUPER sweet. Thanks to the catcher of the mistake!!!
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Mix all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat on med high heat till boiling. Turn down to let simmer for about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly. Pour sauce into a large enough rubbermaid type container. Put in the fridge and let chill for 30-45 minutes.

Meanwhile make hamburger patties. Mix hamburger and salt and pepper to taste. Form patties just larger than the diameter of your rolls.

Once the marinade has cooled, put the hamburger patties in one air tight container and the sliced pineapple in another. Pour the marinade over each, with a smaller amount going over the pineapple. Put everything in the fridge and let marinate for anywhere from 1-4 hours.

When time is up, grill the pineapple and also the patties.

Split and toast the rolls.

Assemble by stacking the patty, the cheese, the pineapple, tomato slice, and shredded lettuce.

Now serve with some fries...AND don't forget the napkins.

Mmmmmm.....I am in love.

Jun 22, 2011

Did Ya Miss Me?

Does it seem like I have forgotten how to blog? Whew what a crazy/fun week plus we have had away from home.

We are back, in body at least. My house was immaculate when we got home...however...it is a hot mess. now. Unpacking, laundry, and getting in the habit of cleaning up after one's children again is a heavy task indeed. Add all of that to the fact that we are getting ready to move and boy howdy I am barely treading water.

Our trip to Idaho was lovely. We didn't quite nail down a house yet, but hopefully it will all be final soon. We were able to see family and friends and enjoy some time child free. The Little Men had a blast in all of their respective babysitting gigs. Now we are home, at last. Home for a little while anyway.

This next month is going to be a juggling act. Our house is still for sale...anyone need a cute starter home to house your cute family??? We will be setting dates for move, finalizing plans, signing a mortgage, preparing for a cross country move with little ones, and most important we will be trying to spend every last minute with friends...sigh...sniff...sniff.

I do have plans to be around, but I hope for patience while it may not be so project, sewing, and crafty over here this month. Ya never know, I could pull out some things, but I just can't make any promises. I mean I love my sewing machine but I LOVE my friends and kiddos more, so the time will be theirs.

HOWEVER, I will still be posting recipes. I mean I can't stop cooking, right? I have some really yummy Summer recipes coming up that you will not want to miss.

Speaking of recipes...

I am now a food and recipe contributor over at Somewhat Simple

Somewhat Simple

She did a little intro to me today...WELCOME Somewhat Simple readers! I am super excited to be over there on her great site.

Look for my monthly recipe over there very soon!

As always, I love you guys. Thanks for coming by, staying awhile, and being a part of this little piece of my life.

Jun 16, 2011

Mexican Fruit Salad

I really heart Mexican food. Mexican food makes our menu quite often. However, I always have a problem figuring out what to make with a Mexican main dish. I do cilantro rice quite often. Sometimes I do fresh pineapple. Other times we do refried beans. For awhile I have been looking for a new Mexican food side dish.

While food blog stalking, I found a recipe for Mexican Fruit Salad and decided to give it a try. SO deliriously happy I did. I found a new side dish for my Mexican meal. Now, I do not know the authenticity of this salad...but I do know it is yummy.

So if you are looking for a new side to go with your favorite Mexican meal like Honey Lime Enchiladas or Baked Creamy Taquitos, then put this in your cooking arsenal.

Mexican Fruit Salad 
adapted from Food.com

4 cups strawberries, sliced
2 cups mango, diced
2 cups watermelon, cubed
1 cup pineapple chunks (canned or fresh)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1- 1 1/2 teaspoon dried ancho chile powder

Mix all the fruit in a large serving bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and gently toss until well mixed. Chill for 1 hour. 

Serve it up!


Jun 15, 2011

Berry Season

Okay so I know I may have mentioned that Summer is not my favorite time of year. However, there are lots of things I do LOVE about Summer.

One of those things: BERRIES.

When we can't pick them, we buy them.

We take them home, give them a little rinse.

I dump them in a bowl and sprinkle a little sugar.

Then I eat. Before I know it they are gone and I need more berries.

Jun 13, 2011

Tee Shirt Makeover


Isn't a white t-shirt just the most perfect Summer outfit addition?!?

White shirts are pretty much a necessity in my wardrobe. In the summer, they are even more important. The other day I went searching through my closet and discovered something horrifying...okay not really horrifying but it was a little upsetting. My white tees were a hot mess. I had two perfect short-sleeved tees but you know that shall-not-be-mentioned-staining that occurs under the sleeve area, well it seemed both shirts have reached their limit of cleaning.

I only had one more t-shirt. This unfortunate one-

Oh what a mess. This shirt has totally stretched out and lost it's shape since I bought it. Don't you hate it when that happens? Since I had my heart set on wearing a white t-shirt that day...don't laugh at me, it is true...I decided I would just fix my shirt.

So easy.

I turned the shirt inside out. Then I pinned up either side making a new seam to follow. I followed the edge of the shirt taking off about an 1 1/2 off either side.

While I was taking in the sides I decided to also turn the 3/4 sleeves into short sleeves. I measured how short I wanted them and then gave an extra 1/2" for the seam. Then cut off excess.

I sewed up the sides following my pin markers and then I trimmed off the excess.

 On the sleeves I folded in the edge and then hemmed the sleeve.

Then I put it on.

Then I gave a "holla".
Then I made my 7 year old take my picture.

Jun 12, 2011

In a Nutshell: Driving, Driving, Driving

We saw this out our window quite a lot. Two very long, very full days of driving.

We may have had sore backs and bums, but at least Hubby and I had each other for some good times and lots of laughs.

Now we are in Idaho.

The plan is to try and find a new home for our sweet family. I will let you in on a secret...it is one really tough process and there might be an ulcer in my future.

Jun 10, 2011

Father Knows Best Tees

Does your dad have a few lines that he always says? You know his own little words of wisdom, or catch phrases, or yes even punch lines. Those sayings that if you said to a sibling, said sibling would be able to finish what you were saying.

My Dad has a TON of phrases that will always make me think just of him. He is a pretty laid back comical guy, so a lot of his sayings are the perfect mix of truth and humor. This year for a Father's Day gift I decided to put a couple of his famous phrases onto tees. Of course using my Silhouette...best toy ever.

Now, remember that I said my dad was a bit of a comedian when you see these shirts. They are highly hilarious and only sentimental in the fact that these phrases will always remind his children of him...in other words, these phrases aren't making a Hallmark card anytime soon.

First Dad Phrase: "Chili dogs only bark at night"

hehehe...pretty self explanatory

Second Dad Phrase: "I brought you into the world, I can take you out of it"

we heard this one whenever we sassed him...so basically we heard it A LOT rarely.

These shirts were super easy to make. They also were a lot of fun. 

Here is the breakdown of what I used just in case you guys were curious:
2 tees from Target
black and red heat transfer vinyl
fonts- hamburger heaven and BEBAS (both downloaded of the internet)
white knit scrap for hotdog shape

What does your father always say? Is he a funny guy? Is he more on the serious side? Use something he always says to make a personalized gift. 

My dad is going to LOVE this.

Jun 9, 2011

BBQ Asian Chicken

Okay everyone, it is that time of year again. You know the time where we put our oven to rest. Yep that's right...for the sanity of ourselves and for the sake of not sweating through all our tees, we give the oven an extended leave of absence.

It is Summer.
It is time for fruit salads, fresh greens, lemonade, ice cream, and BBQ'n.

Today I have two recipes for you. An easy Asian BBQ chicken with a side of Sweet Coconut Rice. Yum.
I adapted this recipe from Our Best Bites. I made a few changes due to what was available in my pantry, but the changes were minor, totally worked and still made for a yummy dinner.

Asian BBQ Chicken
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C soy sauce
4 T lime juice (about 2limes)
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/2 t curry powder
1-2 teaspoons minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Combine everything but the chicken in a small bowl. Whisk to dissolve brown sugar. Reserve 1/4-1/2 of the marinade. Place remainder of the marinade and chicken in an air tight container, rubbermaid or a ziplock bag. Let chicken marinate for at least 4 hours, up to overnight.
Grill chicken. Cook for 5-10 minutes on each side depending on the thickness. Baste with reserved marinade while cooking.
Serve along side some Sweet Coconut Rice. My Little Men LOVE, LOVE, LOVE coconut rice. When we have regular rice they are immediately disappointed, kindly demanding coconut rice next time.

Sweet Coconut Rice

2 c. Jasmine rice
1 can coconut milk
2 c. water
1 tsp. Kosher salt
Splash of white vinegar (done for texture of rice)
2-3 tsp. white sugar
2-3 green onions, sliced
Black pepper to taste

Combine rice, coconut milk, water, salt, vinegar, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil Turn heat to low and cover for 20 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Allow to stand 5 minutes. Add green onions, black pepper (if desired), and additional salt if necessary.

Serve with the BBQ Asian Chicken.


Jun 8, 2011

School's Out for the Summer

Today was the last day of school. The last day of school is so bittersweet. Excitement for the Summer and a break from a schedule is looked forward too for sure, but the end of another year makes me so nostalgic. This year was especially bittersweet because it was Oldest Little Man's last day at this school. His very first school. Halls we are familiar with, teachers who know us. Friends. Yep, it was a bittersweet day for sure.

I hauled all the my Little Men to the school so that I could personally say thank you to Teacher and so that I could get a snapshot. Oldest's teacher this year was exactly the teacher I had hoped for. She was so sweet. She had a SUPER tough class this year with several tough kids. I know it must have been so stressful for her. She handled it very well. Oldest still thrived and learned and was a reading maniac.

When it was time for me to leave his teacher let me know that she told him one second grade teacher in Idaho is going to be a very lucky teacher. I agree of course, but it is nice to know that during a tough school year for this sweet teacher Oldest was a bright shining moment in often tough days.

Now we move onto the Summer. This is not going to be our typical Summer. Selling, moving, buying, packing, and saying good-bye are all on our agenda. In the middle of all this hopefully we will still find time to be lazy, swim, read, play, picnic, be with friends, bbq, and enjoy what is left of our last Summer here in Ohio.

Here is to Summer!

Jun 6, 2011

The Abby Bag for Teacher

My blogging friend Vanessa, yes from THE V&Co is...well spectacular. You all share my sentiments I know. One of her most recent patterns available in HER SHOP is for the Abby Bag. The first time I saw her bag I knew I needed to have this pattern and make a bag.

I had the pattern for awhile and was waiting for some extra time to put one together. My motivation to make a bag became even greater when I started brainstorming what to get Oldest Little Man's school teacher at the end of the school year. I realized quickly that this would be a perfect thank you gift for his teacher. I mean if I were a teacher I would want it.

So material gathered, pattern printed off, and with excitement in the air, I started the Abby Bag.

Y'all, I finished it in a day. I love that kind of project. I so badly needed a sewing break with all this moving hubbub around here. This bag was the perfect break. In fact, I am already planning to make another one.

It really will be the perfect Summer tote.

You wanna know what else is great about this bag pattern??

It doesn't just make you one bag...it is reversible so it makes you TWO bags. Can I get a "Woohoo"!

AH, so lovely.

So go on over to her shop. Look around. Get yourself this pattern and make yourself a bag. I mean really, why the heck not!

Jun 5, 2011

In a Nutshell: All for the Trophy

The season is over. Did you hear me go "Yipee!"?

When we originally signed up for soccer, we did not know a move was in our future. The stress of moving definitely made soccer a little less fun, for me at least. The boys still loved it.

All season long I kept hearing about the trophy. "Mom, when do we get our trophy?", "Mom, what do you think our trophy will look like?"

So the day of our last game was highly anticipated. The boys knew they would finally see their trophy after this their last game.

Lots of kicks. A goal each. Lots of running. A potty break...Middle Little Man's favorite past time at the field...YUCK. Littlest Little Man explored. They were great last games. The last soccer games we will play in Ohio. Sigh.

Then finally...the trophies came.

Man were they excited.


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