Monday, January 30, 2012

Valentine's Day Sweet and Salty Pretzels

These are the perfect treats to give your friends and family this Valentine's Day. They are salty, sweet and super easy. If you are short on time and energy, this is the recipe for you!


Sweet and Salty Pretzels

Bag of small salted pretzels
Bag of vanilla wafers
Bag of Valentine m&m's

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Arrange pretzels onto a nonstick metal pan. Place a vanilla wafer on each pretzel. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes depending on your oven. The wafers should soften but not completely melt or lose shape. When ready, remove from oven. Quickly place 2 m&m's on each pretzel/ wafer combo. Let cool on rack.

Place Sweet and Salty Pretzels in a clear cellophane bag and tie with ribbon. Give to friends and family as a special Valentine's Day treat!

Entertaining tip: Change the color of the m&m's and the ribbon to match your next themed party. They make the perfect favor!

You won't need Jedi mind tricks to enjoy these treats!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Snap a Pic of Your Kid's Lovey


This is Greenie, my son's lovey.  I took a pic of him when it was clear my son favored him above all other stuffed animals.  Greenie has been with us for 3 years now, and it is fun to look back at this pic when he wasn't quite so "loved!" 

How to: Pose your child's lovey (or whatever you affectionately call it), and snap a pic.  Stick it with your kid's baby book or frame it for the family photo wall.  Enjoy for years to come!


Chicken and White Bean Chili

My husband and I used to hold an annual chili cook-off back in the day.  This Chicken and White Bean Chili was our "2006 Most Original Chili" winner.  It's the perfect meal for a casual winter get together.  The recipe makes a ton, so you can serve a large crowd or freeze the chili in mini portions for the nights you don't feel like cooking!

Chicken and White Bean Chili

3 cans great northern beans
1-2 cans green chilies
1/4 cup butter
2 lg onions, chopped
1/3 cup flour
4 cups chicken broth
3 cups half and half
4 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs hot pepper sauce
1 Tbs ground cumin
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper

1 1/2 cups grated Monterrey Jack cheese
1 cup sour creme
chopped fresh cilantro
green chili salsa

Melt butter in large pot over medium heat.  Add onions and saute until tender, about 10 minutes.  Add flour and stir 5 minutes.  (do not brown).  Gradually whisk in chicken broth and half and half.  Simmer gently until thickened, about 10 minutes.  Add white beans and green chilies, shredded chicken and next 5 ingredients.  Simmer gently to blend flavors, about 20 minutes.

Add grated cheese and sour creme to chili; stir just until chili is heated through and cheese melts (do not boil).  Ladle chili into bowls and garnish with cilantro and green salsa.  Serve over rice or with tostitos.   Enjoy!

Entertaining tip: For easy clean up and a casual vibe, pile soup bowls, spoons, napkins and toppings next to stove alongside chili.  I used these bowls from Anthropology...