Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I’ve been cooking with Pheeling…

So, I got sent a recipe book from Kraft after trying out their Philadelphia Cooking Creme and making their recipe for Baked Penne.  I didn’t know they were going to send me their recipe book, Cooking with Pheeling, but I am totally glad they did. And a little sad too. I can’t stop making recipes from that dang book because they have all tasted so darn good.

*warning pictures don’t look great since they are taking using my phone and with my broken Canon.*

I made this Chicken, Broccoli, Red Pepper Rotini, and fancied it up with some white wine, heavy cream, and some fresh grated parmesan cheese, and it was soo good. Seriously yummy and easy to make. 
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I also made this Cauliflower Au Gratin…

these Poblano Pepper Poppers…

and I made a Orzo Pasta side dish that was so good and easy to make, I did it again a few days later.

I have several more pages of the book dog-eared, recipes that I will be making really soon.  It’s a pretty good book to have on hand if you like making quick and easy meals that taste really great. Just wanted to share with it with you guys.  And if you feel like buying it  check out my link to it down below on Amazon.

P.S. Kraft isn't paying me to write this post, and no one else is either. I just really liked the book, and know that some of you will too.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Heart Shaped Slutty Brownies

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Okay, so my husband told me about these brownies he saw on Pinterest a few weeks back.  He told me there was a layer of brownies, a layer of oreos, and then a layer of cookie dough. But because he doesn’t have a Pinterest account, and only has the Pinterest app on his phone, he said he didn’t remember where they were from, what they were called, or how to make them.  He did request them for Valentine’s Day a few days before the actual day, and so I just improvised on how to make them perfect for Valentine’s Day.
I used my heart shaped silicone baking pan and layered the brownies like my husband had said, brownies, then oreos, then cookie dough. I later learned, after my husband came home from work that day, that the brownies were supposed to be layered cookie dough, oreos, and then brownie batter. And that they were called Slutty Brownies and made by Gaby from What’s Gaby Cooking

I also made some in an 8x8 glass baking dish and baked them along with my heart shaped ones.
They both took different amounts of time to cook, but I just kept an eye on them and took them out of the oven once the cookie layer was brown on top and looked completely cooked.  The heart shaped ones got done quicker than the ones in the 8x8 dish.
Even though my slutty brownies were layered backwards they still came out amazing, and tasted sinfully delicious.
You should check out Gaby’s site for her original recipe, or you can do what I did and make up your own brownie batter, and cookie dough recipe and then just buy a thing of Oreos.  You may have trouble just eating one.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Craft Stash Giveaway


Okay, so last month I did a giveaway where I destashed some of my craft supplies that were unused and completely awesome. No really, it was a good giveaway.  It felt awesome to be able to share some great stuff with one of you, and it felt even better to declutter a drawer in my house. 

A week or so ago, I won some craft supplies in a giveaway Plaid was holding, but instead of holding onto them and being even more of a craft hoarder than I am right now, I am going to give them away to one of you lucky readers. I even threw in a set of specialty sponge brushes from the Martha Stewart line , that I had been holding on to.  Honestly, I think I own at least one of each one of these products, and it just makes more sense right now for me to share them.

So here’s what I am giving away:

Some paint...
Paint brushes...
A stencil...
and more brushes!

This GIVEAWAY is open for followers only. You're all so awesome and deserve to get a thank you. (so if you’re not following, now’s the time to start! hint, hint!)
That means if you follow me on Google Friend Connect, Twitter, Facebook, Google+,or if you subscribe to my RSS feed, or subscribe to emails you can enter this giveaway. Heck, even if you follow me on Pinterest you can enter!

***Leave me a comment telling me how you follow along with me and my blog. You can leave me a comment for each way that you follow.***


This giveaway STARTS today, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2012. And it ENDS THURSDAY, MARCH 1, 2012 at 11:59 PM.  The winner will be announced here on the blog and twitter, and sent an email. 

The winner has 48 hours to claim their prize from the time they are sent an email, if they do not claim their prize within that time I will choose a new winner.  All giveaway winners are chosen using RANDOM.ORG.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Meet Jessica from Working Mama- she’s got 3 great recipes for homemade Hummus

Hi guys, today my friend Jessica is stopping by to give you 3 great recipes to make Hummus at home. They’re simple and quick to make! Hope you enjoy them!

Hello I am Jessica. I write over at Working Mama, and I am the proud mama to an 18 month little girl, Gabriella. I met Jennifer when I was pregnant with Gabby and I am so excited that she asked me to write about this.
I have a little girl with very strange tastes. She refuses to eat yummy things like Cheese and Pasta – she so can’t be my little girl. However she takes after her father and LOVES hummus. Me, not so much! I have a thing with textures, but not my baby girl. So after having to buy it at $4.00 something a container and seeing how much her and the hubby were eating I decided it was time to start making it myself.
gabby eating hummus

Friday, February 17, 2012


skinny or fat
(found on Pinterest, but wasn’t pinned to original source)
I know this isn’t in my list of usual blog topics, but I’ve been thinking a lot about weight. My weight. I’ve struggled with my weight for as long as I remember.  I was never as small as other girls. Never.  Even in kindergarten I was taller and “thicker” than all of the boys and girls in my class.  And at 5 years old, I knew that being bigger, taller, thicker, was not a good thing.

I’ve never felt comfortable in my own body. Never felt good enough, and never felt pretty enough. All because of being fat. I’ve cried many, many times over my weight. I’ve called myself horrible things (disgusting, loser, ugly, cow, whale, fat bitch) and what’s worse, I have made myself believe that I am every last one of those things. That deep down inside, I am ONLY those things. 

I’ve been completely green with jealousy over every skinny, thin, and normal weight person I’ve ever seen.  I’ve been hurt every time someone has made fun of someone because of their weight. I’ve wanted to go off on every woman who has ever complained about being 5 or 10 pounds overweight, or who has complained about having trouble finding clothes that fit because she’s too skinny.

I was searching for hairstyle posts last night and came across a blog I had never seen before. I ended up reading a blog post of hers last night that said she felt it was just as bad to call someone skinny as it was to call someone fat.  “So, is calling someone skinny really acceptable? Or, do you agree with me that it's just as insensitive as calling someone fat?” 

I’ve never been on that side of the spectrum, being too thin.  So honestly, I don’t know how it feels having people walk up to you and say, “oh my gosh, you’re so skinny.” I can only DREAM that someone would one day walk up to me and say that. 

BUT, I do know how it feels for people to make fun of you simply because you’re fat, or to tell you at the age of 10 that you shouldn’t eat that because you need to watch your weight, or to read a comment on a friend’s page saying all fat people should be banned from ever wearing jeggings.   I have seen magazine after magazine post pictures of skinny girls, full body photos, but when there is a plus size girl or woman, they only post pictures of her face.  I’ve heard guys talk about overweight girls like they were trash, scum, and reduce them down to animals they wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. Never have I heard a guy say he wouldn’t date, marry, or sleep with a girl because she was too skinny.  

I know that everyone perceives things differently, one person’s feelings won’t be the same as someone else’s. I do know that. But it is really hard for me to… understand, or grasp, the idea that being called skinny is just as insensitive or offensive as calling someone fat. And I guess one of the main reasons I feel that way is because society approves of people being skinny, and they condemn people for being overweight.  And most people use the word skinny to compliment someone. "girl, you look so great! So skinny!" You never hear of the word FAT being used to give someone a compliment. No one ever says, "Girl, you are looking good! Did you gain weight?!" or "Ooh she's so fat, I wanna look just like her!" I don’t know… heavens knows I would rather be on the complete opposite side of the weight spectrum, like my husband, who can literally eat 5 candy bars in one hour and still lose weight.  I wish I could be like him, but I’m not. I won’t ever be like that either. And I don’t think I can really understand that being called skinny is just as hurtful as being called fat. 

Anyway, I know this isn’t my usual blog post, but I would love to know what you think. I would definitely be open to hearing your opinions or experiences on this issue too. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment you could email me too.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fresh Veggies and Pasta Salad with #LaRomanella (sponsored post)

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Last weekend I felt like everywhere I turned, someone was posting, tweeting, or sharing about some down and dirty junk food for the big Super Bowl game. And by down and dirty, I really mean sinfully delicious.  I was totally leaning towards going out and grabbing us a pizza, or subs with chips and dip, but then I decided the heck with traditional junk food on game day. I was going to run out and grab a few things and make us a healthy, and totally satisfying dinner.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, from two of the most awesome littles ever!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Baked Penne with Philadelphia Cooking Creme

Thank you to Kraft Foods for offering me the opportunity to recreate a recipe with PHILADELPHIA Cooking Creme. Please click here to learn more about all the PHILADELPHIA Cooking Creme flavors and recipes.


Hey everyone. I was really excited that I got chosen to try out one of the flavors of Philadelphia Cooking Creme. I’ve been wanting to try the Cooking Creme for the longest time, or at least since I saw the commercials for it, months ago.  

I was chosen to recreate Baked Penne, a recipe from Kraft.  After reading the ingredient list, I knew this recipe would be a hit. It had some of my family’s favorite things: pasta, cheese, and a yummy sauce.  Now the recipe for the Baked Penne from Kraft calls for a 1/2 pound of ground beef, but we substituted the ground beef with ground turkey. Nothing wrong with ground beef, our family just prefers ground turkey.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Local Love Story Contest- Would you vote for us?

Hi friends, I was wondering if any of you could spare a moment or two to vote for me and Justin in this Love Story Contest. It's a local contest where you make a video about your love story and then people get to vote for their favorites. The winner wins some big prizes, including an iPad, and Justin has wanted an iPad since forever! So besides loving him forever and always and a whole ton, I justwould love to be able to get him something for Valentine's Day this year. You do have to scroll down and click on the video I made (LABELED JENandJUS), you can see my face on the little icon too, and then it will take you to a page to log in, you can create a new account and vote. I know it's asking a lot, but I'd really appreciate it if you wanted to vote for us.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pinterest makes me happy

Okay, so like most people I love Pinterest, pinning, and all the great ideas you see on there. But last night I needed a little self esteem boost.  So I went on Pinterest and looked at all the things that you or others have pinned from my site. It was fun reading the sweet comments, and seeing that some people really do like the things that I’ve made.  It kind of validates my creativity in a way, you know? 

These are just two screen shots that I took…


It’s awesome to see that you guys really loved the cauliflower crust pizza, who knew that cauliflower could taste so good, right?  And I love knowing that you guys really liked the stenciled wall in our dining room. I spent a lot of hours trying to make it look so pretty, picking the paint color, and stressing over whether or not I should paint it.


I know this post might seem like I am showing off, but I’m really not trying to. I just wanted to say how much you guys, the people that read my posts, leave comments, pin pictures from here…how much you mean to me, and how much I appreciate all of you for making my day a little brighter.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Painted Ombre Flour Sack Towels

This is an easy and inexpensive way to dress up your plain white flour sack towels…

Ombre_painted_flour_sack_towels with title
Pin It
Yesterday I really just felt the urge to paint something. I HAD to paint.  So I busted out some plain white flour sack dish towels that I had hoarded away, and got to work.

Screen Printed Cards

I got sent a few extra screens, from Plaid for the Simply Screen Kit a few weeks ago, and I jumped at the chance to play around with the kit again.
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They’re cute, right?  Well, at least I think so.  I left some of them blank on the inside to write little love notes, and others I typed cute sayings on them.
(The one with the typewriter is my favorite! On the inside it says, “Our love story is one of a kind.”

Perfect for Valentine’s Day coming up! (Note to husband: Sorry to spoil your surprise card babe!)
You can also check out a few other projects I’ve been able to make using the Simply Screen Kit from Plaid. There’s a full tutorial and links to a ton of projects from other crafty/diy bloggers at the bottom of the post.

I'm linking to:

Todays Creative Blog Home Stories A2Z

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Grain Free Coconut Bars

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A few days ago, my friend Nicole posted a link on her Facebook page for a recipe for Coconut bars. I knew right when I saw the picture that I was going to try making them. 

The funny thing is, up until 2 years ago I didn’t even like coconut. I liked the smell of it, but other than that, I refused to eat it.  Then when I was about 6 or 7 months pregnant with my daughter, I was standing in front of our pantry craving something sweet to eat. The only thing we had was a half eaten package of girl scout cookies, the ones with the caramel, chocolate, and coconut. Normally I wouldn’t have touched those cookies, ever. But the desperate pregnancy sweets craving I had was not going to be ignored. I only ate one that day, but it’s like my taste buds were forever changed. I decided coconut wasn’t that bad, in fact it actually tasted okay. And since that day I’ve grown to enjoy the flavor of coconut.  I’ll even go so far as to say I love the flavor of coconut, especially in baked goods.

The recipe for the grain free, gluten free Coconut Bars is from Elana’s Pantry.  I plan on fully stalking her blog for more awesome recipes this weekend.

I made the Coconut Bars yesterday, with just a few changes, and they were delicious. Definitely post worthy, and I bet I’ll be making them again. Soon too.
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**The original recipe calls for 1/8 of a teaspoon of stevia, but I didn’t have any so I left it out.  I figured the 1/3 of a cup of honey would be sweet enough.  (We try to use only RAW local honey, which is way better than the honey in the bear bottle.)

**I also added Ghiradelli’s Bittersweet Chocolate Chips to my coconut bars, just about 1/3-1/2 of a cup. Not a lot, but enough to have the chocolate chips throughout the bars.  I sprinkled some shredded coconut on top too. I love that it was toasted and browned.

**If you’re baking them in an 8x8 Pyrex baking dish like Elana’s recipe says, I recommend baking them for at least 35-40 minutes, instead of the 30 minutes suggested.
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I hope you guys will head over and check out Elana’s Pantry and her recipe for Coconut Bars. They are seriously good, and a perfect way to satisfy a craving for something sweet but you won’t feel guilty when eating them.

*UPDATE: My friend Nicole from Pinch My Salt posted about the Coconut Bars today too, and she dressed hers up with a cherry sauce and whip cream! Go check them out!

I'm linking to:

Todays Creative Blog Home Stories A2Z

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Blessed Life

I look at my kids and I feel blessed. Sometimes it’s overwhelming. Sometimes I look at their faces and wonder what I could have possibly done to deserve being their mom.
Sometimes being a mom is stressful, hard, and not a glamorous job. But sometimes it’s the best job in the word.
Making them smile…
Seeing them play…
And earning their love…
I wouldn’t give up this job for anything.

What to do with left over waffles

Is there any breakfast better than fresh, hot waffles? Waffles drizzled with real Maple Syrup, and topped with sliced strawberries?  Yeah, now I have your attention…

My husband and I love our waffle maker, the only problem we’ve ever had was making too many waffles, and having left overs. I used to just be sad about the idea of left over waffles, they were always soggy, and never tasted as good as they did when you first make them.  Throwing them away felt wasteful, and I knew there had to be a way to revive them.

So I started dividing the soggy waffles into sections and refrigerating them.
Then the next day if I wanted waffles, I just had to get out our toaster and pop in the divided waffle.
I’d toast them and they’d come out just like fresh waffles, golden brown, toasted, and hot.
But this time, instead of maple syrup and strawberries, I took a tablespoon of Nutella and spread it on each piece of waffle. It made for one awesome dessert.

Do you guys save leftover waffles? What about French toast?