Monday, June 30, 2014


 photo Picture1_zpsb4a6d16b.jpg
Grilled Corn, Avacado and Tomato Salad 
with Honey Lime Dressing
from For the Love of Cooking

1 pint grape tomatoes
1 ripe avacado
2 ears fresh sweet corn
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

Honey Lime Dressing
Juice of 1 lime
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. honey
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to tast
1 clove garlic, minced
Dash of cayenne pepper

Remove husks from corn and grill over medium heat for 10 min.  The corn should have some brown spots and be tender but not mushy.  Cut the corn off the cob then scrape the cob with the back of your knife to get the juices.  Set aside and let cool.  Slice the tomatoes in half.  Dice the avocado and chop the cilantro.

Honey Lime Dressing:
1.  Add all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.  Set Aside.
2.  Combine sliced tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and grilled corn with honey lime dressing.  Mix gently so everything is evenly coated.  Be careful not to mash the avocados.  Let the salad sit for 10-15 minutes to let flavors mingle.  Serve with tortilla chips or by the spoonful!

Another favorite...

 photo Picture2_zps736094a7.jpg

Mom's Famous Potato Salad
This is one of those old family recipes that has been handed down through the generations.  Every potato salad I'm served never is as good as Mom's.  

6-7 potatoes
3 hard boiled eggs
1/2 cup celery
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup dill pickle

9 Tbsp. water
9 Tbsp. vinegar
3 Tbsp. sugar
3 eggs
3 tsp. Coleman's Dry Mustard
salt (to taste)
3 Tbsp. flour
Cool Whip
Miracle Whip

Boil potatoes.  Peel and cube after they cool.  Hard boil eggs for 10 minutes.  Mix potatoes, eggs, celery, onion, and pickle.  To make dressing mix water, vinegar, sugar, eggs, mustard, salt and flour.  Heat in microwave 2-3 min. until like pudding.  Add 1/3 of the mixture (save remaining mixture or double batch) to 1/3 cool whip to 1/3 miracle whip (1 cup each).  Gently toss all ingredients with dressing.  Top with sliced egg and paprika for decoration (if desired).  Chill for a couple of hours.

 photo Kelliesign.jpg

Monday, June 23, 2014

Orange Creme Dessert-MMMmmm Monday

Orange Crème Dessert (or Salad)

 photo 16338093-f85f-403e-a0ab-a70957cef661_zps618aaee1.jpg

1 sleeve Ritz crackers
1 pkg. graham crackers
¾ cup butter or margarine-melted
1/c cup sugar

Combine/press ¾ of mixture in 9x13 pan. 

4-6 oz. slightly frozen O.J.
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Then add:
3 cans mandarin oranges (drained)
8 oz. cool whip

Spread over graham/Ritz crust.  Sprinkle remaining crumbs over the top.  Better if refrigerated overnight.  It makes a great frozen dessert too!

 photo Kelliesign.jpg

Fill IT, Flap IT, then Roll IT--Girls Camp Roll

I just sent my youngest daughter off to a week long Girls Camp today.  She has been looking forward to this day for years.  She's watched several siblings leave and  then come back with great stories of adventures and fun.  And now it's her turn!  (Not sure how I feel about letting her go...)

I try and send something special with my kids when they leave me behind!  Maybe because I want them to remember me when they are having so much fun...without me.  I just send food with my son, and he's good with that.  My daughters...well I try and create something special for them.  

This year my mom (she's the seamstress) and I created this for Kate.  A Camp Roll.  A rolled up piece of fabric with slots for the necessities of camp living.

Start with a piece of fabric you like, or in my case fabric my daughter liked.  She didn't know she was picking out her own fabric because it was a secret.  We took a pattern from a makeup brush fabric roll I've had for years. It was perfect.  Make sure it's long enough to fold a flap for the slots.

Bind the sides with coordinating fabric (not necessary but nice if you know how).  
Flap it, fill it, then roll it.

Tie a pretty ribbon around it to keep secure.  We used the sewing machine to attach the ribbon for extra security...not necessary.

In one of the pouches I slipped a note from mom with suggestions for a great camp experience.  
Here are a few:

1. Obey with Exactness...we talk about that all the time don’t we.  If your leaders ask you to do something, do it.  They want you to have a great time too!
2. your sleeping bag, in the shower and any other place you get a private moment.
3. Get the sleep you need.  Have fun but get a little sleep or you will find the next day kind of hard...hiking, swimming, eating, certifying, etc. can all be exhausting if you’re not getting a little sleep.
4. Remember to eat the healthy stuff too!
5. Be kind to others...even if they are not so kind to you...that includes the leaders.  They are working hard for you...and probably miss their families too.
6. Find special moments to think about your testimony of our Savior.  Listen to your you have devotionals?  Share some of your thoughts with close friends.  Help their testimonies grow as well.
7. Wear flip flops in the shower! 
8. Take the time to observe nature.  You will have many opportunities to see the Lord’s hand in your life as you look will find calm and peace. 

Remember to fit in a few of their favorite treats to go along with the toothbrush, toothpaste and flashlight.

Whoooo... Loves Camp?  I hope Kate does!

 photo Kelliesign.jpg

Monday, June 16, 2014

Fruit and Nut White Chocolate Bark-MMMmmm Monday

 photo d8a57538-71a9-4114-b30a-9b834c42c06d_zps09ccb279.jpg

While driving to one of my many destinations, I was talking with my sister Carri on the (hands-free) phone.  I was concentrating on the road until Carri started telling me about this yummy white chocolate bark she had just made.  I have to admit I was distracted for a moment.  Luckily I was about to park the car before I started conjuring up this yummy chocolate recipe in my mind.  As luck would have it I just happened to be right next to a Sunflower Market (the land of nuts and fruits!) so I immediately went inside and bought the ingredients for this scrumptious white chocolate snack.  I am trying to eat healthy snacks...does this count?

Fruit and Nut White Chocolate Bark

2 pkgs. white chocolate chips (I prefer Guittard)
1 cup dry roasted almonds
1 cup salted cashews
1 cup dried apricots (cut in small pieces)
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup yogurt covered cranberries
Sea Salt

Mix all fruit and nuts in a bowl.  Set aside.  Melt white chocolate chips in microwave (2 min.) and then spread onto parchment covered cookie sheet.  Sprinkle fruit and nut mixture over the top of chocolate.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Let bark set and become firm (several hours) and then crack to create bark.  Store in refrigerator.

*Substitute your favorite nuts and fruits.

 photo Kelliesign.jpg

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Kate's Lemonade Stand OPEN For Business

My children are constantly looking for ways to earn a little cash.  They have big dreams of constant fun and wishes for new electronic gadgets.  My husband and I try hard to encourage "work hard, play hard."  Sometimes it PAYS off!  

Kate decided the only way she was going to earn the money she needed/wanted for all the summer camps she was looking to attend was to open her lemonade stand.  We live in an area with lots of great kids looking for places to hang out and have fun.    

The lemonade stand is open twice weekly throughout the summer months from 1-4PM.  Kate kicks back in a big lounge chair under her shade umbrella and reads a good book until customers start arriving.  I've noticed that after the first friend comes by many more start to join.  Sometimes we have a little crowd on the front lawn sipping lemonade and slushies.  

We have one young man that comes often for bags of cookies.

Kate has already learned a few being that some of the profits have to replenish products that were previously sold out.  She was a little shocked by that business principle!

The lemonade stand was made from old wooden pallets (most often free of charge).  The stand can either be for small or taller children depending on the way you set the pallet.  Two fold-out boards hold the stand upright and stable.  A little paint and few spare pieces of wood you've got yourself an official summer business!


The customers have offered their opinions...
"This is reeeealy good!"  We aim to please!

Some friends have asked if they could sell their goodies at the lemonade stand.  Kate thought about it for a bit and then realized she could feature "Gracie's Homemade Cookies" and that would bring in more business...for a cut of the profit.  Kate is developing a little entrepreneurial spirit.  
Gotta love it.

Bring on the summer fun!

 photo Kelliesign.jpg

Monday, June 2, 2014

Celebrate Summer with a SWIG

 photo f45ade8f-605b-4242-bdcc-bb11dd7e9cf5_zps864a2540.jpg

What's a SWIG?  Well in the olden days we used to say, "Can I have a swig of your drink?"  Now-a-days we have a drive-by-drink shop called SWIG that allows us to choose slushies, smoothies and fountain drinks...with a twist.  
Check out their website.
(They also have DELICIOUS Frosted Sugar nothing you've tasted before!  They are actually 'frosted' because they keep them in the refrigerator until time to serve...nice, chewy, cold and refreshing)

We decided we wanted to give our teachers "A Swig" to start their summer celebrations.  This is what we came up with.

Jen found the sunglass-straw plastic glassware at Hobby Lobby.  Remember to bring your 40% off coupon.

We filled the glass with several (6 to 8) single serving size Crystal Light and other lemonade powder mixes.  Then added a SWIG gift card.

A fun SWIG Tag was created, hole punched the top, slid the straw through the hole and then tied a ribbon around the straw.  The sunglasses, the bright colors, the cool drink...just screams SUMMER!

Here is a jpg version of the SWIG tag. 

Also available in Jamba Juice fashion.
Print on glossy brochure paper (found at most office supplies stores).

I'm ready for a BIG SWIG right now!...and maybe a cool, refreshing sugar cookie.  
Great start to the summer.

 photo Kelliesign.jpg

Nita's Salad - MMMmmm Monday

I have a really delicious salad to share with you today. My friend Nita is amazing in the kitchen. She cooks, bakes and does it all from scratch! She made this salad for my Twilight Party and it was a huge hit! I make it for parties a lot now and people always rave about it. I will admit it does have quite a few steps. It's not one of those salads that you throw together but it's so worth it! I promise! I mean just look at what's in it, how could you go wrong?

Nita's Salad
1 large package Spring Mix
1/2 package of wontons, (found in the produce section) cut in strips and put in pan with enough oil to cover pan and brown. Let cool on paper towels
½ pound Bacon
1 package blackberries
Sliced red onion
Candied almonds (add 1/2 cup sugar to sliced almonds and stir continuously over medium high heat til brown. The let cool on wax paper)
½ log Goat Cheese- pinch and tear apart
Dressing: (This will make enough for one to two large salads)
¾ cup canola oil
½ cup Seedless blackberry or raspberry preserves
¼ cup red wine vinegar
5-6 shakes Louisiana hot sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. salt
Whisk together and If too thick, add water (3-4 Tbsp).
Refrigerate and mix right before serving salad.