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Come Visit the new site!

The time has come for me to blend my photography with my love for blogging and create a place for families to come and hang out or get their very own family photo session.

www.rubyellenphotography.com

Monday, August 29, 2011

It was a Scotcheroo Day

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Do you ever get so overwhelmed with the desire for peanut butter and chocolate at 10:00 in the morning that you end up making up a batch of Scotcheroo's? Well, that was me specifically this morning and it wasn't pretty. Yep, I cleaned out an entire row myself today. Probably nearly 1/4 of a 9x13 pan, people. I'm guilty but not entirely ashamed. :) So, here is the cute little helper:
And yes, I have all the faith in the world that my Shout Advanced Gel will take every ounce of this chocolate out!

And here is the recipe I follow that I got from my Mommy.
Ingredients:
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Light Corn Syrup
1 Cup Peanut Butter
6 Cups Rice Krispies
1 Cup Butterscotch chips
1 Cup Semisweet chips

Directions:
In a saucepan on the stove top combine sugar and corn syrup over high heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved, and mixture looks clear.

Remove from heat and stir in Peanut Butter. Stir until mixture is smooth. Then pour mixture over Rice Krispies and stir until completely covered.

Press into a 9x13 pan. I do this by spraying cooking spray on my mini pizza roller and using that to flatten the bars out smoothly.

In the microwave, melt together both types of chips at 30 second intervals, stirring after each time until mixture is smooth. Spread on the bars.

I top mine with M&M's and then refrigerate for a while to harden the chocolate faster and make it easier to dig in sooner! :)


Think Fall

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Ok, so I am in LOVE with the Fall and everything that goes with it. I have always loved the Fall and browsing through Pinterest and finding these pictures reminds me why. . .

Happy Fall Pinning!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

My name has changed. . . I have not.

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I found this on Pinterest through Itsy Bitsy Paper Blog and found it pretty fitting to thinking of a new blog tittle.
If anyone had noticed, I changed the name of my blog from Hot Moms Helpful Tips to Tips from the Heart for the Home: http://www.tipsfromtheheart.blogspot.com . I decided to do this because after looking at my stats I realized that having "Hot Mom" in the title it was drawing in some perverts from the Internet search world of Google. So, I decided on a much more conservative and much more fitting name. I do hope you continue to follow me and pass the word along to anyone who may have my old address. Thanks!

Come follow me on Bloglovin'

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

My First Radio Segment!

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This quote I found on Pinterest from Joy's Hope says it all. Especially when you are struggling with being a working mommy.

I am so thrilled to have had the opportunity through my friend Tiffany Diener to do a segment for the Internet radio station that she works for. I am honored to have a segment on www.konzaradio.org in the program called Simple Mom. My first segment where I talk about being a working mommy was released this past Friday. I spend about fifteen minutes talking about what you can expect as a first time mommy going back to work or a mom who is currently struggling with working outside the home and raising children at the same time. Please be sure to listen when you get the chance and pass the word on! It is opportunities like this that make it totally worth it to me to blog and share my tips on being a mommy!

Life Lessons and Lot's of Cake

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Working with a younger group of girls keeps me feeling young. Part of what I love about my job are the young women that I work with and have formed fun friendships with and even "mentor" them. I have gotten close enough to some of the girls that they are comfortable talking to me about pretty much anything. I share stories of things I've learned in the past and important life lessons they can take and use to their advantage. I try to keep positive but also realistic with them, not sugar coating some of the things that society does. Its exciting to see them grow and blossom into lovely young ladies!
Alycia and I at her birthday bash. (she's the cutie on the right in the western shirt.)

This week I was excited to help one of these great young women celebrate her 21st birthday. She's a sweet young girl from Southern Iowa who I love to listen to and loving tease about her cute "Southern country girl" accent. Since she's a Southern girl so we decided to celebrate at a local Western favorite Wildwood Smokehouse and Saloon. Friday night's are fun with mechanical bull riding and country tunes. Plus I had a delicious dinner of pulled pork and a large side of potato salad. The prices are great and the food is worth it!

Working at a grocery store we also share the love of food and looking at cookbooks. She had spotted a Candyland cake a couple months ago and had been begging me to make her one. She also requested devils food cake and cream cheese frosting. I kind of went all out due to my newly renewed interest in cake baking and decorating. I went online to remind myself of what a Candyland board looked like because its been probably 15 years or more since I've played last.
A photo I took of  The decorated cake showing the gumdrops, licorice, lolly pops and castle.

I decided to do the peppermints, licorice, gum drops, lolly  pops, chocolate stars and a graham cracker and sugar cone castle. I immediately decided to use my mommy's favorite deep dark Hershey's recipe chocolate cake from scratch. And it didn't take long to find an AMAZING cream cheese frosting recipe online through googling "recipe for the best cream cheese frosting". The recipe is from www.slashfood.com and I highly recommend trying it. D-I-N-A-M-I-T-E. I also went back to the recipe I've used before and loved for butter cream frosting.
Close up of the lettering made from butter cream frosting.

This was used for piping and lettering with my Wilton tips. #21 for the piping around the cake, #5 for the "Happy Birthday" and #47 for "Alycia".
I was able to find the candy that I wanted but I wanted to really make an impact with the game squares on the cake and wasn't satisfied with just flattening out Starburst candies. I had recently found a great homemade "fondant" I found at Bake at 350, (a great blog!) that I was dying to try so I whipped up a recipe of that and dyed the fondant red, yellow, blue, and green then rolled out flat and cut into squares. It is the first fondant I have ever made and then it was also the only fondant I've ever tasted and liked!
Close up of the amazing fondant squares!

 Being made out of marshmallows and powdered sugar how could you go wrong! So fun to make and so economical, the cost of a bag of marshmallows and powdered sugar is under $5! Just a warning...I did not have a pair of food service gloves and I wished I had because unless you want to proudly state you are the cake maker by the hint of colored hands you will want to cover you hands while mixing in the color. By the way... I googled "how to get food coloring out of your skin" and found that dousing them with nail polish remover then washing with hot soapy water worked well (just doesn't smell the best).

The finished product was darling and so delicious!





Being the baker I got to sneak a large piece home to share with my boys who so patiently watched me bedazzle the cake with tons of candy and then cart it out of the house! They were so thrilled to get a super special treat of cake for breakfast! :)


Delicious cake, Memories to share with friends and life lessons passed on. The great things of life, I tell you.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I've been gone. . . I'll be back soon.

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I have been crazy busy and just enjoying not having to come up with something to blog about each and every day. I'm trying to re-think the way I'm doing this blogging and wondering if the full time stuff is just not for me. I love my little guys so much and don't want our lives to pass us by and all we have to show for it are a few followers and a great blog. Don't get me wrong- blogging is so much fun and I appreciate all of my followers but I am just trying to get things into perspective. Please be patient with me and check back frequently to see what is going on.

For today I am doing a late Fashion Wednesday post showing the cute outfit I went and bought tonight. The entire outfit including a couple of extra accessories was just under $160! Not bad at all and the help at the Von Maur is amazing! The sweet juniors clerk ran her little a** off for me helping me try on about 30 pairs of jeans until I found the ones I like. Shopping is twice as nice when you shop at a great place!

VonMaur Cute


Top
vonmaur.com

Happy bargain shopping!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Quick Tip: Healthy snack

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 My kids are constantly asking for a snack. So, I've come up with a great way to keep them happy and healthy. They love apples and I have a great way make the apples easier for them to eat.

First I peel them.
Then I core them.
 Then they eat them!

So easy for you and easier for them too! Just make sure they are old enough to chew the apple well enough and be sure to supervise them while they eat.
Happy snacking!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Southwest Dinner Night

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Do you ever get inspiration from a recipe that you find and you aren't happy until you make it? I do and today I did. Actually it started a few days ago, I found a recipe on Taste of Home for Southwest Surprise Bread. The recipe intrigued me because it was made with milk and refried beans and it was considered "healthy" which is uncommon in baked goods. I just had to make the bread but I wanted something to eat it with and let me tell you, Taste of Home never let's you down. I found a Hearty Chipotle Chicken Soup that was the perfect pair for the Southwest bread. I also picked up one of my favorite Dole Salad Kits, Southwestern Mix, which added the perfect touch to the healthy and delicious meal. The entire meal was a hit. My parents were the guinea pigs and they approved with more than 5 stars, I believe. These recipes will be added to my list of favorites to be made over and over again!

Southwest Surprise Bread:
adapted from Taste of Home

Ingredients:
  • 1 Tablespoon Yeast
  • 2 cups warm Milk ( I microwaved mine at high for 2 minutes.)
  • 1 16oz can of Fat Free Refried Beans
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Melted Butter
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 6 Cups All Purpose Flour
Instructions:
Warm 2 cups of milk in the microwave for a couple of minutes until slightly hot to the touch,  then pour into large bowl and stir in the 1 Tablespoon yeast. Stir until dissolved.
 Stir in the 2 Tablespoons of melted butter, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 2 Tablespoons of sugar to dissolve.
 Add one 16 ounce can of Fat Free Refried beans.
 Add 2 cups of flour to the yeast mixture.
 Beat until smooth.
 Stir in the remaining 4 cups of flour to create a firm dough.
 Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead dough until smooth and elastic.
 Place dough in a large bowl that has been sprayed with cooking spray and turn once to coat entire dough surface. Then cover and let set in a warm space for about an hour or until dough has nearly doubled in size.
 Punch down dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface and separate into two portions. Place each in a greased 9" x 5" greased loaf pan. Let set covered in a warm place for another 20-30 minutes or until raised over the top of the pan.  Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees or until golden brown and "hollow" sounding when you tap gently on the top.
 Release from the pans onto a cooling rack and let set until cool enough to handle.   If you can wait that long! :)  Lightly brush tops with a stick of butter.

Home baked delicious!

Hearty Chipotle Chicken Soup
 adapted from Taste of  Home
Ingredients:

1 Large onion Chopped
1 Tablespoon Olive oil
2 teaspoons minced Garlic
2 14.5ounce cans of Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth
2 14.5 ounce cans of Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, undrained
1 15 ounce can of Reduced Sodium Pinto beans rinsed and drained
1 15 ounce can of Black Beans rinsed and drained
3 Cups Frozen Cut corn
2 teaspoons of Adobo sauce
1 teaspoon ground Cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 Cups cubed cooked Chicken breast

 Cook 1 pound of chicken in olive oil, garlic powder and onion salt. Set aside.

Mince onions then saute in a pan until tender, then add in minced garlic and saute for 1 minute longer.
 Add 2 cans Chicken broth, 2 cans Fire Roasted Tomatoes, 1 can Black Beans, 1 can Pinto Beans, 3 Cups frozen corn, 2 Tablespoons Adobo Sauce (from can of Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce), 1 teaspoon cumin and a dash of black pepper.
 Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
 Add cooked chicken and heat through.



 To serve top with sour cream and shredded cheese and plate with Dole Southwest Salad Kit and Southwest Surprise Bread. Delicious. Healthy. Filling. Dinner.