Monday, October 17, 2011

Secret Recipe Club - Orange Vinaigrette from The Tasty Cheapskate



Orange Vinaigrette over Romaine lettuce with orange slices and fresh mozzarella
It is time for my favorite foodie event, the Secret Recipe Club! The idea of it is you are assigned a fellow food blogger each month, it is kept a secret of course, and you go to their food blog and pick a recipe (or more) to make. On the assigned date, everyone posts their creations and you go and visit and see all the goodies that were made. Sort of like a secret Santa, right?

My host who is organizing my group is Tina from Moms Crazy Cooking. Thank you Tina for hosting!



My assignment for this month was The Tasty Cheapskate where Jeanie blogs about frugal food recipes. While I was sorely tempted to make her recipe for Chocolate Chip Brownies, I decided to go with a delicious citrus vinaigrette instead. (I'm still making the brownies, though!)


 Here is Jeanie's recipe:

Orange Vinaigrette
Makes several servings

1/2 C sugar
1/3 C orange juice
1/2 C rice wine vinegar
1 C canola oil (olive would work too, but will add a distinct taste to your dressing; I liked the canola because it didn't get in the way of the orange)
2 Tbsp dry Italian dressing

1. Shake it up in a glass jar and let it stand for 30 minutes.

While I would have liked to add a few more veggies to my salad, I was out of stock so I kept it simple. The flavors in the vinaigrette are delicious and refreshing. Thank you Jeanie for a great recipe and a great alternative to the same ol' ranch dressing for this salad eater!

Source: Recipe from The Tasty Cheapskate


Monday, October 10, 2011

Quick Update

Hi Friends -

I am taking the week off to catch up on life. I will have features from last week when I am back. Have a great Monday!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Barnyard Party!



 Recently my little munchkin turned 4 and we had a Barnyard themed party for her. It was small scale, and mostly on the cheap, but it was a lot of fun. I wanted to share a few pictures and ideas with you if you have a little animal loving kiddo like I do.


First off, the Piggy Rice Krispies Treats! I used strawberry marshmallows and followed the recipe on the bag to make the treats. I put them in a small pan, ours was a small rectangular dish, and let then sit for about 10 minutes to cool slightly. Turn them out onto a lightly sprayed baking sheet, cut into equal pieces. We got 6 large piggies out of one batch of rice krispies.


Mold them into a circle with your hand and use a knife to cut around the ears to make them more pronounced. Using a bit of frosting, attach M&M eyes, a pink strawberry nose (half of a strawberry marshmallow with the sticky cut end dipped into hot pink sugar), and strawberry wafer cookie ears. Ta-da! Wrap individual piggy treats in saran wrap or into a treat bag for a take home treat.


For decorations we got basic party balloons, blew them up, and attached construction paper cutouts to make them look like barnyard animals.  They are sitting on top of a piece of construction paper that is taped to for a circular base, then cut into fringe pieces for the balloons to sit on top of. The exception being the duck because I thought it would be cute to set him ontop of water to simulate a pond.


For our menu we stuck to basic, tasty food. Pizza for the kids with creme filled cupcakes frosted with either vanilla or cherry frosting. For the adults, we had a hot artichoke & spinach dip and a cold veggie cheese dip which was amazing. Main dish was pulled pork with buns or the extra pizza from the kids dinners. We got a carrot cake from Costco (apricot mousse filling, yum!) decorated with frosting carrots to play into the theme.


For outfits we got some cheap little cowboy hats, denim jeans and overalls, and pretty plaid shirts.


It was a great party and we had tons of fun!