Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Day

I have been very surprised this year to find how many companies are capitalizing on this "once every four years" day. I don't recall it being this widely recognized in years past, but then maybe I was just not noticing it as much. But now, every where I turn there are Leap Day sales, imprinted promotional products celebrating the day and so much more!

But the one thing I was really surprised by was McDonald's Free McSkillet Burrito with the purchase of a drink to celebrate Leap Day and let me tell you, a celebration it was! I got my children up early, telling them I had a surprise for them. We got dressed and ready for school and into the car, then we drove to McDonald's. Let me tell you, they were excited! I bought them each an orange juice, hash browns and they got their free McSkillet Burrito. It was such a fun family morning.

However, on the food side of things, the McSkillet Burritos are very spicy and the kids did not much enjoy them but if you ask for the sauce on the side, you should be fine. And I was really surprised by all the yummy things they put in these burritos! They were great and made a great morning, on the go, meal!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Cream Cheese Brownie Bites

One of my all time favorite treats is chocolate brownies. Combine that with a rich and creamy cheesecake filling and top it with cherries and I am in heaven! These little brownie bites are a creamy, chocolaty dream and so easy to make! Every party I have taken these to they have been a huge hit.

You'll need:

1 Box brownie mix
4 8oz pkg. Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 C. sugar
1 t. Vanilla
1 8 oz tub Whipped Topping, thawed.
1 can Cherry Pie Filling (or other fruit/topping of your choice)

Mix brownies according to package directions. Fill muffin tins with liners. Separate brownie batter into individual muffin liners, fill to 1/2" to 1/3". Bake according to package directions cutting baking time in half, checking after 10 minutes to prevent burning. When a toothpick inserted near the center of the brownie comes out clean, they are done.

Allow to cool to room temperature.

Combine cream cheese, sugar in a mixer until creamy. Add Vanilla. Fold in the whipped topping. Add a dollop to the top of each brownie. Top each with two to three cherries and a bit of the sauce. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Stretch Your Burgers

Not everyone can handle this but my kids can not tell the difference. As the price of meat skyrockets I find it harder and harder to keep meat on the table for my family of seven. However I learned a little trick that helps my ground beef go just a little further. I will add up to a cup of oatmeal to each pound of ground beef before making burgers. I will mix it in with my marinade and let it sit overnight. I have left it for as little as one hour and found that the flavor is not drawn out quite as much but it still works in a pinch. I usually use about a 1/4 c. Worstershire sauce, one teaspoon of yellow or brown mustard, one egg and a pinch of salt, mixed in with the ground beef and oats and let it sit overnight. The next morning I will make the patties and have them ready for my husband to throw them on the grill when he gets home from work.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Meatloaf with a Kick

I never much cared for meatloaf until a friend let me in on one of her little secrets. She adds salsa to her meatloaf to keep it moist and give it a little extra kick. I have since played with different recipes until I found just the perfect combination for my family. It works beautifully doubled as well since 1 pound of meat is never enough to feed my large family.

1 lbs ground beef
1 1/2 C. Salsa
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 C. crushed saltine crackers

Combine ground beef, 1 cup salsa and eggs. Add crackers. Pack into a loaf pan or baking dish. Cover the meat mixture with the remaining salsa. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Some tips and tricks I have learned with this, oatmeal or bread crumbs can replace the saltine crackers as a filler. Do not over mix the meat, hamburger will toughen up the more it's handled.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sinfully Rich and Easy Peach Cobbler

This is one of my all time favorite recipes. It is so easy to make and is so incredibly rich that one piece is enough for just about anyone. I do not even dare to count the calories in it but it is well worth falling off the wagon for. This is one of my husbands all time favorites.

1 box yellow cake mix
2 sticks butter or margarine
1 20 oz can sliced peaches

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour peaches, juice and all, into a 13"x9" baking dish. Cover completely with the dry yellow cake mix. Slice the butter into 1/8" pats and lay evenly on top of the cake mix, trying to cover completely. Place uncovered into the oven and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Taking A New Direction

I finally got my Daffodils And Dragonflies up and running I am going to take this blog in a new direction.

I love food, I love everything about food, I just don't like taking much time to cook food, but I still love it. I also love to travel. I like to fly, drive, camp hotel, resort, you name it, I enjoy it. I am dedicating this blog to food and travel. Quick to make, quick to eat, quick to get food, family travel romantic travel, fun travel and adventurous travel. And best of all, food while you travel! I will look at great restaurants both in my area and places that I travel. I will feature wonderful food blogs and quick and easy recipes complete with pictures (i hope. You all know how great I am about getting pictures up!).

Look forward to a fabulous new resource for wonderful meals, time saving tips and money saving ideas all focused on Food, glorious food and the wide world of travel!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Mitt Romney Steps Out, I am in shock....

I so liked Mitt Romney and had so hoped that he would win the Republican primary. I like Senator McCain, but I just liked Romney more. He had so much more personality, so much more spark. And it was so much more than his religious affiliation, I liked his views, his attitudes and his morals, regardless of his faith. I was both shocked and dissappointed this morning to find out that he has decided to step out of the presidential election, leaving Senator McCain as the clear and nearly undisputed front runner in the Republican party. Of course, the one thing I dread most is hearing President Obama so I will support Senator McCain. Go McCain!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

I am so tired of the snow!

Every day, the snow continues to falls. The snow drifts pile higher and higher outside the windows of my house. Every morning, more and more snowflakes fall from heaven, blanketing our world in snow. Every yard, every rooftop, every tree, everything sparkling like crystal and completely white. This should be a beautiful time, a time for me to take a walk and enjoy the beauty that God has sent down for my viewing pleasure and a time to thank God for the moisture he is providing our thirsty ground.

However, as I look out the window I feel cold and dreary. This is a common place occurrence for me about this time of year. I am tired of being cold, I miss the sounds of birds chirping in the mornings and the feel of the sun warming my body. It has snowed so often this last week that the plows have run out of places to put the snow. The drifts are high and make great play places for the kids. I however, can not wait for them to melt. Perhaps I will take a drive and escape to the beauty of the mountains, one of the places I most love to see the snow. Up there it is so beautiful and so helpful. That is a great idea. I think I will leave right now.