Saturday, July 31, 2010

Celebrate July 31

Its July 31st and I can not wait to start Celebrating.  Here are some excuses to Celebrate TODAY 
  • National Dance Day
  • Harry Potter's Birthday (1980)
  • J.K. Rowling's Birthday (1965)
  • Shredded Wheat debut (1893)
We are HUGE Harry Potter fans at our house so today we will be Celebrating Harry Potter's Birthday (in so doing also honoring J.K. Rowling.) You know what just for kicks I will have a bowl of Shredded Wheat for breakfast and I don't usually need an excuse to dance  (I'm constantly dancing in my kitchen) but, today I will feel complete justification in dancing while I clean and cook!

So many of my Celebrations have to do with Food (but, thats how I grew up good food, good friends, and fun)  so here are some of my top Harry Potter Recipes!  I hope your family enjoys them as much as ours!

Licorice Wands
6 oz Vanilla flavored Almond Bark
24 pieces of licorice (any flavor, any color)
*sprinkles or colored sugars

1. Place candy coating in 2-cup microwavable measuring cup.  Microwave uncovered on High 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted.

2 Dip Half of each licorice twist into melted candy coating.  Sprinkle with candy sprinkles.  Place on waxed paper for about 1 hour or until coating is firm.

Butter Beer (non-alcoholic)
1 liter cream soda
2-3 tbsp butter
2-3 tbsp brown sugar
1 Cup cream
4 or 5 Werther's Originals

1. Put the cream soda in a pan to boil
2. Melt the butter and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Pour the butter and sugar mixture into the pan of boiling cream soda (make sure the soda is boiling, or the butter and sugar will solidify)
4. Add the cream
5. Add the Werther's Originals and stir continuously until they melt.
6. Serve Hot

Acid Pops
Sour Blow Pop lollipops (as many as you would like to make
Pop Rocks (whatever flavor you would like, I suggest Strawberry)

1. Unwrap Blow Pop Lollipop
2. Roll Blow Pop in Pop Rocks (sucker will be sticky without any extra moisture so Pop Rocks will stick)
3. Wrap in wax paper

You can also use Honey to make the Pop Rocks stick!

These Lollipops are so fun!  Pop Rocks will immediately start loose their pop, when mixed with the moisture of the lollipop.  So make and serve as close as you can for the best result.

Have so much FUN today Celebrating!!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Celebrate July 30

Today is July 30th and here are your excuses to Celebrate!

  • National Father-in-Law Day
  • Funky Purple Ketchup Day 2001(I totally remember this)
  • First Paperback Published (1935)
  • Comedy Day
  • National Cheesecake Day
  • Vanuatu Independence Day
  • 1818 Emily Bronte's Birthday
Today I will be Celebrating National Cheesecake Day!! The kids and I will be having our own Comedy hour (in honor of Comedy Day) and tonight after the Kids go to bed I will watch the BBC Classic Wuthering Heights written by Emily Bronte.

To start out our day I am preparing our Cheesecake so it has time to set!  I will now be sharing with you the most Amazing Cheesecake in the world!  Its easy, fast, smooth, rich.  Just perfect!  As you can see I love it and I love Cheesecake!

Super Easy, xSuper Delicious  No-Bake Cheesecake (Credit for this Cake goes to my mom the BEST Chef in the world)

  • 2 packages (11.1 ounces each) no-bake cheesecake mix
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese softened

  • 3 cups cold milk, divided
  • 1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 can (21 ounces) raspberry pie filling or flavor of your choice
In a bowl, combine contents of crust mix from both packages, butter and sugar.  Press into the bottom of an engreased 9x13 pan or 9 in springform pan. 

In a bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup milk til smooth.  Gradually beat in remaining milk.  Add contests of filling mix from both packages, beat until smooth.  Fold in whipped topping, pour over crust.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Then Serve with favorite topping 

You will LOVE making this cheesecake!  Involve your children in the process!  Kids love to help in the kitchen and with this Cheesecake it is so simple and doesn't involve anything hot!  Its the perfect dessert to allow them to help you make!

In honor of Joke Day we will be having "Comedy Hour" this afternoon with the kids and their friends!  With the help of a few simple joke books, a wooden spoon for the microphone, and a lot of imagination this hour is hilarious!  I have never laughed so hard!  We need to do this more often!!!

After a full day of Celebrating, I find it so relaxing to put the kids to bed and put on a good movie!  Tonight to Celebrate Emily Bronte's Birthday I will be watching Wuthering Heights (the BBC classic) and eating another piece of Cheesecake!

Have fun Today and enjoy your Celebrations!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Celebrate July 29

Today is July 29th and I can't wait to start Celebrating!  There are so many fun and unique excuses to celebrate today!!  Here they are;
  • National Lasagna Day
  • Cadillac - General Motors Anniversary 1909
  • Chicken Wings Day 1979
  • NASA's Birthday 1958
  • National Lipstick Day
  • Faroe Islands (Denmark) Independence Day
I'm so excited about today National Lipstick Day (I'm loving it! If there was only one type of makeup I could wear it would be lipstick), National Lasagna Day (yummy), Chicken Wings Day (again yummy),NASA is turning 52 years old, and my own personal reason to CELEBRATE today is my little niece Kora is turning 5.

To Celebrate National Lipstick Day I'm going to wear the most outrageous color of lipstick!  The brighter the better!  This is the one day (other than Halloween) we can all get away with going over the edge and out of control with our choice of lipstick color.  My daughter also is joining me in this Celebration!  She loves makeup and any excuse to put some on!

National Wing Day!  Yumbo!  Our favorite wings are from a restaurant called Wingers!  My kids LOVE the Amazing Sauce!!  I mean they DEVOUR anything that is touching this delicious sauce.  There are a lot of copy cat recipes online for the Wingers Amazing Sauce and this is the recipe I enjoy the most (I have tweeked it a little from its original form)

Wingers Amazing Sauce

For the sauce:
-Covers about 8 sticky fingers
3 Tbsp. Franks Hot Sauce (It has to be Franks Hot Sauce... no other sauce will taste as good)
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. water
3 Tbsp Ranch Dressing (or to taste)
Heat up hot sauce, brown sugar and water in a saucepot until all the sugar dissolves ( I always double the recipe and it is the perfect amount for the chicken and for dipping).  add ranch and stir continuously until complete mixed in.

Thats it for the Sauce!  I know its way to simple to be true!  But, believe me it is true and it is so good!

This sauce goes great over chicken fingers, whole chicken breasts, add a little more ranch and use it as a salad dressing, and of course WINGS!!!!

To make Hot wings just by the pre-breaded wings from your local grocery store.  Fry them up according to package directions.  Then toss in this scrumptious sauce!!!!  Serve with a side of Ranch or Blue Cheese!!

Such a simple and fun way to Celebrate National Wing Day!!  This is what we are having for Lunch!  Come and Join us:)

In honor of General Motors and its Debut of the Cadillac the kids will be designing their very own cars!!  This activity is so much fun for my boys (my little girl is just kissing the paper with her lipstick.) My 3 boys LOVE cars and this activity really sparked their interest.  Some of the cars they designed had wings, others had secret compartments.  It was really fun watching their imaginations flow as they paid tribute to one of their favorite things, Cars.

Now on to Celebrating one of our families FAVORITE things LASAGNA!!!  We love Lasagna and I have been blessed to have been given a recipe for Lasagna (that is in my opinion, the BEST) from a very dear friend of mine.  Her Lasagna rocked my socks off!  It was so delicious and she graciously shared the recipe with me.  I like to tweek things when it comes to recipes so I have changed a few things to make it what has now turned into a family favorite!  Here is the most amazing Lasagna Recipe in the whole World and in Honor of the woman who gave me this recipe I will call it Dottie's Lasagna! 

Dottie's Lasagna

The Sauce
1 pound Italian Sausage                           *2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese sliced or shredded
4 Cloves of Garlic
1-2 Tbl Dried Basil
1 can Diced Tomato (Italian Style)
1 can Tomato Paste (Basil and Garlic)
1 can Tomato Paste (Basil and Garlic)
Fresh Mushrooms 
1 Onion chopped


Cheese Mixture
2 Eggs
1 Carton (15oz) Cottage Cheese aprox 2 cups
1/2 C. Parm. Cheese
2 Tbl. Parsley Flakes

American Beauty Lasagna Noodles you will need 3 noodles per layer so cook 8 noodles (2 extra just in case)

Saute' meet in frying pan with chopped onion and garlic.  When meet is no longer pink add mushrooms and all the tomatoes (sauce, paste, and diced) let cook on medium high heat for aprox 5 minutes.  Turn down to a simmer and add Basil.  At this point the sauce is done.  I like to allow the sauce to simmer for a few minutes longer allowing all the flavors to combined and just turn into yummyness (yes I just said that)

Okay set your sauce aside and now it is time to work on the cheese mixture.  I'm going to let you in on my little secrets when it comes to making the PERFECT lasagna!  Pull out your blender, yes your blender and combined the egg, cottage cheese, parm cheese, and parsley flakes.  Mix in your blender until smooth!!  This will make a huge difference in the consistency of your Lasagna (you will love it!)

Cook your Lasagna Noodles according to the package directions!

Now take your 9x13 pan and spray the bottom of it with cooking spray.  Then layer 3 noodles (its okay if they are broken no one will ever know ;) Layer 1/2 of your cheese mixture, next layer 1/2 of Sauce, then top with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.  Repeat this process then top the whole thing with more Mozzarella cheese and parsley for looks (really this is so yummy I'm drooling just thinking about it)

Then pop the whole thing in your oven at 350 for 30-45 minutes! This is what we are having for dinner, what are you having at yours?

Okay I have just shared with you two amazingly FANTASTIC recipes and I have given you so many excuses to Celebrate July 29th.  Go out and have the Best day ever Celebrating TODAY! 

Celebrate July 28

What a exciting day July 28th is!  I'm so excited to Celebrate!  What will you choose to Celebrate?

  • Hamburger Day
  • Beatrix Potter's Birthday-Born in 1866 Author of "The Tales of Peter Rabbit" (she is not related to Harry Potter)
  • First Finger Print Taken
  • National Milk Chocolate Day
  • Railway Mail Car Birthday 1862
  • Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' Birthday (1929)
  • Wiffle Ball Birthday 1957
  • Accountants Day
  • The 14th Amendment went into affect 1868
  • Peru declares Independence 1821
What a fun day we all have ahead of us!  We each have so much to Celebrate! 

My Celebration pick of the day is Hamburger Day and National Milk Chocolate Day!  I'm a huge fan of both Hamburgers and Milk Chocolate, what a perfect combination for the best party ever!!!

When I think of Milk Chocolate, the first thing that pops into my mind is good old Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars.  This classic candy has a special place in my heart!  I can think of many desserts that were created and or enhanced by the goodness of this simple candy bar.

Today the kids and I will be making s'mores with our Hershey Chocolate Bars.  I can't think of a better treat to celebrate Milk Chocolate than yummy s'mores.

For those of you who do not have a fire pit or access to a park or canyon.  No worries I enjoy making this delicious treat in my oven under the broiler!

Here are my S'mores at Home Instructions

Materials Needed"
  • Marshmallows
  • Graham Crackers 
  • Hershey's Milk Chocolate
  • Stoneware Dinner Plate or Pizza Stone
Take your Dinner Plate or Pizza Stone and place desired amount of Graham Crackers on the stone.  

Next place 2 pieces of chocolate on each Graham Crackers (If you like more chocolate please feel free to add more)

Then layer a Marshmallow on top of the chocolate.

Place stone/plate in your microwave for 25 seconds.  You will see the Marshmallows expand

Remove plate from microwave and place in oven under broiler until Marshmallows are Golden Brown.

Remove Plate from Oven and top with another Graham Cracker!

Then EAT!!  Make sure you have a bunch of napkins around because these are a fun messy treat!

Next we will be having Hamburgers for Dinner!  My kids LOVE Hamburgers!!! 

To Celebrate Hamburgers you can either make your favorite Hamburger at home or go out somewhere fun and enjoy a scrumptious Burger.  As I started thinking about where I would get my favorite Burger it was crazy my mind was flooded with visions of yummy food!  Red Robin, In and Out, Crown Burger, Burger Supreme. I realized how much I really enjoy a good burger!

Along with all this delicious food Celebrations.  At our home we will also be doing a few different crafts during the day.  One craft we will be doing is in Honor of the First Finger Print ever taken.  Today we will be taking our own Finger Prints.

Here is a simple and fun way to make your own set of fingerprints at home:

  • Step 1: Use a pencil to darken about a 1 inch square section on a piece of paper.
  • Step 2: Rub one fingertip across the graphite-covered section of paper.
  • Step 3: Stick a piece of clear tape onto the darkened finger. (Packing tape works very well, but any clear tape will do.)
  • Step 4: Carefully remove the tape from the fingertip, and stick the tape onto a piece of white paper or card stock.
This craft is fun and simple (this craft can also be put and used in your own personal child safety kit.) 

The final activity for the day at my home will be a visit to this website is filled with so many different activities for you and your children.  You can create your very own Peter Rabbit puppet show that is personalized with you in it, or discover the world of Beatrix Potter! This website is fun and educational!  Check it out!!!

Now go out and CELEBRATE!!!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Celebrate July 27

It is July 27th and here are a few excuses to Celebrate TODAY;

  • 1940 Bugs Bunny makes his debut in "A Wild Hare" Warner Brothers
  • National Take your Houseplants on a Walk Day
Today I have a personal Celebration, that we will be celebrating at my home (Its my Mother In-Law's Birthday.) But, along with Celebrating the birth of my Mother In-law/Grandma, we will be celebrating The Debut of Bugs Bunny!
Above (or under the picture of Bugs Bunny) I have posted a link to youtube so you and your loved ones can sit back and watch the 1940's Wild Hare!  This was so much fun to watch!  The kids were laughing so hard!  I had forgotten how classic and funny these old cartoons were!!

To continue our Bugs Bunny celebration.  The kids and I are making a Rabbit themed dinner.  We will be enjoying a delicious salad bar with lots of carrots!  As a craft the kids and I have made these fun "carrot" utensil holders.  This simple craft was so easy and really made the day feel like a celebration.

Carrot Utensil Holder


  • Orange Paper Napkin (dinner size)
  • Green Plastic Utensils
  • Green Pipe Cleaners 

First: For each carrot, fold one of the paper napkins into a rectangle. Place a set of utensils across the lower left corner of the rectangle, fold in the lower right corner as shown, then roll it up loosely

Next: Wrap one or two green pipe cleaners around the napkin and necks of the utensils, then twist them to secure

Last:Trim the pipe cleaners a bit, if desired, so they look like leafy carrot tops.

Have fun Making TODAY a special and unique celebration for your family!!  

Celebrate July 26

The Excuses I have to Celebrate July 26th are.........

  • National Coffee Milkshake Day
  • Bert's Birthday (Sesame Street)
  • New York becomes a State (1788)
  • All or Nothing Day
  • Aunt and Uncle Day
  • The U.S. Postal Service began on this day in 1775.
  • The Hustle Hits #1 (1975)
  • Leberia Independence Day
Here's what I have chosen to Celebrate today with my friends and family;

First off, it's Bert's Birthday (I still have some leftover cake from yesterday so at lunch today we will all be singing Happy Birthday to Bert!)

A few pics of this cute little boy being spoiled by his a few of his Aunts and Uncles

To Celebrate Aunt and Uncle Day and to honor the US Postal Service.  The kids will be writing letters to each of their Aunts and Uncles and sending them in the mail. I know this sounds crazy but, the kids have 12 Aunts and 12 Uncles so this is a BIG project!  

Aunt and Uncle Day is a special day to us!  I truly believe in the power of extended family and what a great day to show our love and appreciation! What a great Excuse to Celebrate! 

Mailing letters is becoming more and more a lost tradition.  I know how much I enjoy receiving a letter in the mail!  There is nothing better then a handwritten letter from someone you love and care about!  I hope to instill this old fashioned tradition in my children.  Email, IM, and Texting are all amazing and they have improved our way of life in so many ways.  But, every once in awhile its nice to slow things down, take a time out and write a letter to someone you love.

Happy Celebrating!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Celebrate July 25

Today is July 25th, 2010 and here are a list of excuses to Celebrate TODAY!

  • Birthday of the Birthday Cake (In 55 B.C., the Greeks were the first to put candles on a cake celebrating someone's birthday.)
  • National Hot Fudge Sundae Day
  • A Chorus Line Birthday 1975
  • Merry-Go-Round Birthday 1871
  • Thread The Needle Day
  • Parents Day
  • The first IVF Baby was conceived 1978
  • Puerto Rico Independence Day
Karli's Pick of the Day is............The Birthday of the Birthday Cake!  I can't help but, be so excited about this Celebration.  What a great excuse to make and eat a cake with your family and friends!

These are some pictures of some cakes I have made recently.  Today I will be experimenting again!  More layers, and brighter colors.

Here are just a few tips I have on cake baking!  
  • If you are using a cake mix Betty Crocker is the ONLY way to go (don't waste your money on the other stuff)
  • Don't stress if it doesn't turn out perfect! (you can always cover mistakes up with frosting!)
So today I say "Let them eat cake." Have fun celebrating this ancient tradition that has withstood the test of time!

Happy Celebrating!!

Celebrate July 24

Today is July 24th!  A fun and exciting day to celebrate (but, everyday is)  Here are some excuses to Celebrate;
  • Instant Coffee Birthday 1938
  • Marvin The Martian's B'day
  • Pioneer Day
  • Cousins Day
  • Amelia Earhart Day (1897)
  • Machu Picchu discovered 1911

My pick of the day is Pioneer Day and Marvin the Martian's Birthday!

Today we started out our day by watching some old Loony Tunes Classic Marvin the Martian stuff!  This was so fun to do with the kids!  They haven't seen these cartoons before and it was so fun introducing them to some of these old Classic Loony Tune characters!  Happy Birthday Marvin!

Today the kids and I will be having a fun filled day of Pioneer Activities!  We will start out with the classics; making butter and bread from scratch, playing the button game, collecting rocks, of course a stick pull competition, and to top it all off we will do some races (wheel barrel, potato sack, and three legged)

We will also be making Bread and Butter from scratch! To make butter from scratch all you need is Heavy Cream, a Mason Jar with a lid, and a pinch of salt.  Fill your Mason Jar about half way full of Heavy Cream.  Seal the lid on tight!!!!  Then comes the fun part, shake the jar as hard as you can.  We like to make a circle and take turns shaking the jar as fast and as hard as we can.  You will watch the cream change consistencies and slowly become butter!  After the cream has transformed into butter add a pinch of salt and serve on a piece of homemade bread!  Yummy!!!! 

Next just like many of the Pioneer Children once did, the kids and I will be walking around collecting rocks!  My boys love this activity, we walk around the neighborhood finding the smoothest, most unique, best colored rocks we can find!  Then we bring them home wash them up and (then I throw them back outside shhhh Don't tell the kids)

We love playing button button who has the button!  This is a fun game for all ages!

Instructions for Button Game:

Button, button, who has the button?" 

Arrange everyone in a line, either seated or standing. Select one to be the "Wagon Leader". She or he stands before the line of players. A button or a coin is handed to the player at one end of the line. He holds it in hands that are cupped and closed. She holds her hands over the hands of the next player in line whose hands are cupped in a similar fashion. She may drop the button into the next player's hands or she may not. Now the next player goes through the same procedure all the way down the line to the last player. If the button does not get passed on, then the remaining players merely pretend to pass the button. Throughout this procedure the "Wagon Leader" closely watches the passing. Since the hands are cupped and held together it will be difficult to discern where the button actually stopped.
When the procedure reaches the end of the line. The last player in line asks the Wagon Leader, "Button, Button, who has the button?" The Wagon Leader then guesses. If she guesses correctly, she gets to keep the button. If she guesses incorrectly, she sits at the end of the line and the player at the head of the line becomes the Wagon Leader!

Here we are enjoying a Pioneer Relay Race!
Have so much Celebrating today!  Whether your enjoying a cup of Instant Coffee, hanging out with Cousins, wishing Marvin the Martian Happy Birthday, or Celebrating the Pioneers.  Make today special and have fun CELEBRATING!