Friday, November 30, 2012

I Heart Faces Photo-A-Day Challenge

I'll be the first to admit I'm a iPhone photo-taking addict.
I've attempted photo challenges in the past, but never made it to the finish line.

Well the amazing people at iHeartFaces has started Photo-a-Day Challenge for December!
It's my final chance to finish 2012 saying I completed one.

You can follow me on Instagram HERE!
Hope you'll join in the fun!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Broccoli Casserole Recipe

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

I'll be the first to admit I don't spend as much time in the kitchen as I should. I can cook, 
I just seem to save my skills for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'm usually the one to bring a 
dessert since baking is what I love. But last year I made a broccoli casserole as a side dish to my 
in-laws and it was a hit, and I've been asked to make it again.

Broccoli Casserole
Serving Size: 8-10

Here are your ingredients:

  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups crushed crackers
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, combine broccoli, mayonnaise, cheese, soup and eggs. Mix well with a spoon. Place the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Top with the crushed crackers and pour the melted butter evenly over the crackers. Bake for 35 minutes or until set and browned.

Hope you have a fabulous turkey day!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Glam Up Your Holiday Table Without Breaking the Bank

Have you ever taken the plunge and actually hosted Thanksgiving dinner?
A few years ago I ventured out of my comfort zone and cooked our little family of four a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. All was eatable except the gravy. I'm not quite sure what happened there, but the facial expressions of our kids are burned into my permanent memory. We all laughed it off and now it comes up now and then as one of those "remember when" stories. Priceless.

Today I've invited a special guest to share how she easily 
glammed up her holiday table without breaking the bank.
Hi everyone! My name is Sam, and I blog over at Atkinson Drive. I am SO excited that Laura invited me here! I have a beautiful Thanksgiving tablescape to share with you and I hope you love it! This a simple & affordable table setting, but there's a glamorous feeling to the whole thing. 

First, I took a roll of gold wrapping paper from Michael's for under $4.00 and cut it in half down the middle. I drew placemat shapes on the wrapping paper with a black sharpie. Another option would be to use brown kraft paper instead, then draw on it with metallic sharpies in either gold or silver. Instead of place cards, I decided to draw a monogram on each person's mug! If you would like to keep your mugs, simply draw the monogram onto the cup using a sharpie. It should wipe off pretty easily when your guests are gone, but shouldn't smudge during dinner. These are also really cute as a 'thanks for coming' gift for your guests! Goodwill always has great mugs on sale for something like $.50 each. Use the instructions found here to make the sharpie monogram permanent.
We just have plain drinking glasses...I know...we're SO boring! But I found this adorable craft tape at Michael's and just attached it to the bottom of each water glass to glam it up a bit. You could also use different tapes so people don't mix up their glasses.
Get ready for a barrage of pictures, because the centerpiece for this table is my FAVORITE part of the whole thing!!! It's super simple but oh-so gorgeous!
All I did was take a bunch of mason jars and place tealight candles in them then line the center of the table. For a few of the jars, I had floating tealights at varying heights just to add a bit of dimension to the look. As you can see, I also used some vintage & some new jars. There were even some stray candles not in jars.  

Of course you won't be eating dinner in complete darkness, but the candles look insanely amazing when all the lights are turned off.  

There's something about candles that just put me in a holiday mood! That's one thing I love about this table setting...there's nothing particularly "Thanksgiving" about it, so you could use it for Christmas also. I hope you enjoyed my Simple Glam Thanksgiving ideas, and hopefully I've helped inspire you!

Come check out my Thanksgiving Kids Table, too...
Feel free to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, BlogLovin', Google +, and Pinterest.
Sam | Atkinson Drive

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Maple Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bars

Is there anything greater that pumpkin? Seriously. 
There really isn't'.
Today I've asked Melissa from my PBandJ to be a 
special guest and share her favorite pumpkin recipe.

Every year for Thanksgiving I bake a new dessert to serve alongside the traditional pumpkin and apple pies. Last year it was a pumpkin praline New York cheesecake, the year before a cranberry pear galette and for this year, an out of this world maple pumpkin pie cheesecake bar. The filling is reminiscent of it's custardy sibling yet has a subtle richness from the cream cheese. A buttery gingersnap crust is the perfect bed and cool fresh whipped cream tops it all off making for a great alternative dessert to serve this Thanksgiving.


For the Crust:
1 Package gingersnap cookies (about 9 ounces)
1 stick butter, melted

For the Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar (not packed)
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
2 eggs
6 ounces evaporated milk
2 teaspoons maple extract or 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice


1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan. I use a fluted tart pan with removable bottom for an easy release. If you do not have a tart pan use a 9x13-inch pan and line with parchment paper, the excess paper should hang over the sides to help release after cooling.

2. Make the crust: In a food processor, pulse the cookies until they become fine crumbs. Next, add in melted butter and mix until combined. Press the crumbs into the bottom of your pan. Bake for ten minutes. Bake the crust at 350º F for ten minutes.

3. Make the filling: While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. Beat together the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth and well combined. Add in pumpkin and beat on slow until incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time and scrape the bowl as needed. Add the evaporated milk, maple and vanilla and beat until combined. Next, add the spices, beating until combined.

4. Pour the filling over the crust. Tap the side of the pan a few times to release any bubbles. Bake until the filling is set in the center, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Place in the refrigerator and cut when ready to serve. Enjoy with whipped cream or as is.

recipe adapted from sticky gooey creamy chewy

Thank you SO much Melissa for sharing this amazingness. 
This is defiantly on my "to-make" list for Thanksgiving.

Enjoy friends!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Instagram SPAMMERS

Are you an Instagram user?
Most of us are. 
It's a fanatic way to share the ins and outs of our daily lives though pictures.

Click HERE to view my Instagram profile.

Lately though, Instagram have been bombarded with SPAM comments.
If you're like me, I didn't know how to remove comments left by others.

Hope this helps....

Apple iOS Devices

To delete your own comments on any photo or any comments on your own photo:

Example of SPAM comment.

1. Tap the "comment" button below the photo.

2. Swipe your finger to the right over the comment you'd like to delete in order to reveal a trash can icon and a reply icon.

3. Tap the trash can icon and select to Delete & Report Abuse or Delete.
Take that spammers!
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