March 29, 2012

Homemade Double Strength Vanilla Extract for Sale - While Supplies Last! **SOLD OUT!!**

I have been brewing a large batch of vanilla for just over 6 months, and it's time to 'harvest' it.  Can you harvest vanilla extract?  I dunno.  But, I do have it ready to ship out to you!

My vanilla extract is 100% pure, with nothing added.  Read how I make (and how you could make) the vanilla here and more details on the extract here. Because of the large amount of vanilla used & the length of time that it 'brewed', this vanilla is considered double strength.  Meaning this bottle of vanilla will last you twice as long as regular vanilla would.

To cut down on cost, I'd love to have you make your own vanilla, but if you just don't want to mess with it & want the finished product, I am happy to offer up to you Mrs Happy Homemaker's Vanilla Extract.

The cost you see is INCLUDING shipping & is the total price you will pay.  I will pack up the orders myself & you should receive your vanilla within 10 days.  Quantities are limited, and items are sold on a first come, first serve basis. 

This product is limited to US purchasers only.

4 ounce bottle

Add to Cart


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March 28, 2012

Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing

It's so easy to just throw together a salad for a side dish to dinner.  But, it's time to take a break from those pre-made bags of salad from the produce section.  This spinach salad of mine is a treat of a salad.  It's so flavorful that it will leave your taste buds jumping.  

Simply fantastic.

Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing

  • 3 eggs, hard boiled
  • 7 slices thick cut bacon
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 10 ounces baby spinach, washed
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • salt & pepper to taste


Fry the bacon in a skillet until crispy.  Remove to a paper towel.  Drain the grease into a bowl & set aside.  Cook the sliced onion in the skillet slowly until caramelized and reduced.  

Chop the bacon.  Peel & slice the eggs.  

Make the hot bacon dressing.  Mix 3 tablespoons of reserved bacon fat, vinegar, sugar, Dijon mustard, & salt to a small saucepan or skillet over medium high heat.  Whisk together & heat thoroughly until bubbly.

Add the spinach to a large bowl.  Arrange the onions & bacon on top.  Pour the hot dressing on, toss to combine, & then top with the egg slices.  


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March 27, 2012

Prosciutto Breakfast Pastries

I love these healthy & portable breakfasts that I came up with, served on a portion controlled pastry shell.  The slight sweetness of the pastry along with the saltiness of the prosciutto & the savoriness of the eggs & green onions makes this on-the-go breakfast a real winner in my book.

It's even pretty.  

They are prepared very easily.  Don't let the step of scoring the pastry dough confuse you.  Refer to this recipe for my Apple Strudels for a photo demonstration of what you do.  The step is the exact same on both recipes.

Click here to get the printable recipe card for the breakfast pastries.


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March 26, 2012

Pesto Ranch Cheesy Pasta Bake

My husband is taking a welding class Monday through Wednesday evenings each week.  So, those three days a week our menu plan is very hectic to say the least.  He has to be out of the house by a little after 5, so we have gotten to where we eat a late breakfast & an early dinner/late lunch, and just whatever we can find when we get hungry later.  A little part of me breaths a sigh of relief once Thursday begins because I know we will be eating at more 'normal' hours.

Last week, my husband came in from class & both of us were pretty hungry.  I hadn't been to the store in a while, so the pickings were getting slim.  I grabbed a few ingredients that I thought might taste well together, & set to work. Pesto, Ranch, Noodles, Asparagus, & Cheese.  That's it.  I had a dish on the table in 20 minutes - and once we took that first bite, we both had a definite 'wow' moment'.  Delicious to say the least, and I was just amazed that it tasted so good for as quick as it was to put together.  

I just had to share this Pesto Ranch Cheesy Pasta Bake with you all.  You can literally have this on the table in 20 minutes, and it will taste like you slaved away for a lot longer when you serve it up.  Totally delicious!  

This is a meatless entree as written, but it would be amazing with chicken strips thrown in as well.  If you want it 'ranchier' add more ranch - if you want more pesto, stir some more in.  Taste it, customize it, and love it!

Pesto Ranch Cheesy Pasta Bake
(Serves 4-6)


  • 1 (16oz) box penne pasta
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto
  • 1 (14oz) can asparagus tips (optional)
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese


Preheat your oven to broil.

In a large pot, cook the penne pasta to box directions.  Strain.

Pour the strained pasta back into the pot.  Stir in the asparagus tips, pesto & ranch.  Taste - add more of either if you'd like to.  Stir in 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese.

Spray a medium casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Scoop in the pasta.  Top with remaining cheese.  Broil for 2-4 minutes, or until the cheese is melted & starting to brown.


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March 25, 2012

Makin' You Crave Monday

Welcome to another edition of Makin' You Crave Monday!

This week, I am sharing my Cheeseburger & Fries Casserole.

Here are my favorites from last week!

Mini Baked Blueberry Donuts from Little Mommy, Big Appetite

Tagalong Peanut Butter Trifle from What's Cooking, Love?

Blondie Batter Dip from Something Swanky

Thanks to everyone who shared last week!  Can't wait to see what you share this time around.


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March 23, 2012

Cheeseburger & Fries Casserole

As far as one dish meals go, they are the staple of so many tables.  Great for a busy night, with little prep & clean-up involved - these hearty casseroles are a mom (or dad!) must.  

Unfortunately, you can get tired of the same ol' casserole & need a little change-up in the mix.  Now, stir the idea of a cheeseburger and some fries in, and you have one cravable meal that your family will look forward to.

This one can even be made ahead & frozen. Just prepare it as written up until the baking step. Make sure your fries never unthaw. Cover with foil, & freeze for up to 3 months.

When you serve it, a cute idea is to arrange little bowls of different burger toppings on the table.  Then, you can have a little 'burger bar' & everyone can do up their cheeseburger the way that they want.

Cheeseburger & Fries Casserole


  • 1.5 pounds lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (6oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 (10.75oz) can cheddar cheese soup
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 cups french fried shoestring potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Assorted toppers (ketchup, pickles, mustard, chopped fresh tomato, etc)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a large skillet, cook ground beef, onion, & garlic over medium heat until the beef is cooked.  Drain off fat.  Stir in undrained tomatoes & tomato paste.  Bring up to a boil, then reduce heat.  Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

Spoon mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 2 quart rectangular baking dish.  In a bowl, stir together the sour cream, soup, & shredded cheddar cheese.  Spread over meat mixture in baking dish.  Evenly distribute the french fries over the very top.  Sprinkle with seasoning salt & pepper.  

Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until heated through & fries are golden. Serve with toppers, if desired.


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March 22, 2012

Baked Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries w/ Skinny Ranch Dip

If you missed it on my facebook page, here's my latest recipe over at Life Around Home.  Keepin' the snacking healthy here with these scrumptious Baked Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries with some Skinny Ranch for all your dipping needs.  This dish has the perfect combination of flavors, guaranteed to leave you instantly addicted to them. 



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March 21, 2012

My Favorite Broccoli & Cheese Casserole

Broccoli is one of those foods that I didn't like as a child, but I sure do eat up as an adult.  My favorite way to eat broccoli is in this casserole.  It's so scrumptious & irresistible - even my kids look forward to having it.  It is on several weekly menus, plus every holiday menu too - including our upcoming Easter dinner.  

I would take this broccoli casserole over any green bean casserole for sure. There is something just so warm & comforting about it, not to mention that oozieness of the cheese.  Oh my.

I mean, c'mon.  Look at the pictures.  There's your proof right there!  How could that not be good?

Broccoli Cheese Casserole


  • 1 (10.75oz) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 4 cups fresh broccoli florets, steamed (or 3 10oz frozen packs, thawed)
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • pinch of paprika


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 9x13 baking dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk together mushroom soup, mayonnaise, eggs, & onion.  

Place broccoli in a very large mixing bowl.  Stir in the soup mixture & thoroughly combine.  Stir in the shredded cheese.

Spread mixture into your casserole dish, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, & paprika.  Bake 45-60 minutes in a preheated oven, until the top has started to brown.


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March 18, 2012

Makin' You Crave Monday

Welcome to another week & another edition in Makin' You Crave Monday.

This week, I am sharing my homemade toaster strudels.

Here are my favorites from last week.

Chocolate Mint Brownies from Mom on Timeout.

Sweet Potato Chips with Rosemary Salt from Galley Kitchen

Cherry Brownie Cookies from Lady Behind the Curtain

Big thanks to everyone who shared at last week's party!



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