Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!!!









Monday, October 29, 2012

40+ Peanut-Free Halloween Candy & Treats

As I've talked about before, Layne has a severe peanut allergy.  Halloween is especially difficult for us. Especially now that she's in school and in activities where she's not under our supervision 100% of the time.  I'm always asked by friends and family for a list of what is generally safe.

The thing with food allergies is that you also have to worry about cross-contamination during manufacturing.  Even though only a few treats actually have peanuts in them, you still have to worry about being manufactured in a facility that also processes peanuts.

Below is a list of Peanut Free and Tree-Nut Free treat ideas.  Believe it or not, there are a ton of options!    Take a look and consider making your Halloween treat bowl peanut-free this year :)


Note:  This list is based on my experience only.  Always double check the packages for ingredients and allergen warnings before giving to an allergic child.

Nut-Free Candy
1 - Skittles
2 - Starbursts
3 - Tootsie Rolls
4 - Tootsie Roll Pops
5 - Dum Dums
6 - Blow Pops
7 - Laffy Taffy
8 - Air Heads
9 - Dubble Bubble
10 - Hershey bars/kisses {only certain sizes...check each package!}
11 - Swedish Fish
12 - Sour Patch Kids
13 - Pixie Stix
14 - Nerds
15 - Dots
16 - Mike and Ike
17 - Sweet Tarts
18 - Twizzlers
19 - Smarties
20 - Ring Pops
21 - Push Pops
22 - Jolly Ranchers
23 - Now & Laters
24 - Pop Rocks
25 - Fun Dip
26 - York Peppermint Patties
27 - Junior Mints
28 - Whoppers
29 - Lemon Heads
30 - Red Hots
31 - Milk Duds
32 - Lifesavers
33 - Caramel Apple Pops

Alternatives to Candy
1 - Most gummies
2 - Marshmallows
3 - Oreos
4 - Rice Krispie Treats {pre-packaged}
5 - Goldfish
6 - Doritos, Cheetos, Fritos
7 - Kids restaurant coupons {Frisch's, McDonalds, etc}

{From This Crazy Kitchen} Sweet and Salty Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Surprise, surprise.  Another recipe.  I promise that one day {soon}, I'll post something other than a recipe.

Ever since my best friend made some of these and raved about how good they were, I've been wanting to try myself.



I googled and pinterest searched and read about 10 different posts about roasted pumpkin seeds.  Every source used a different oven temperature and different roasting time.  I also found that it's best to trust your nose when it comes to knowing when they are done.  They just smell done, ya know?

And if these aren't cooked perfectly, they aren't very good.  Not long enough and you have chewy, rubbery seeds that take 100+ chews to break down enough to swallow.  Cook too long and the inner seeds get burnt and taste like burnt food.

I made two varieties.  A cheesy, salty one and a super sweet one.  The Cinnamon Brown Sugar tasted like Cracker Jacks.  Yum!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Garlic Parmesan Seasoning
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 big pinches salt

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Seasoning
1/8 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
shake of nutmeg

Pumpkin Seeds
2 tablespoons Butter for one large pumpkin


Rinse pumpkin seeds in a big bowl.   The stringy pumpkin goo will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the seed with float.  Scoot them out with a slotted spoon and dab dry with a paper towel.

Melt butter and toss with the seeds.  Generously apply the seasoning.  Try to spread the seeds in a single flat layer.  They'll get done quicker than if they are on top of each other.

Bake at 300F until they are golden and crisp and smell yummy.  It should take about 20 minutes.  Mine took a while {more like 45 minutes}, but they were in a thick layer on top of each other.

If you are doubting their doneness, take them out and test them.  If they are hard to chew and not crispy, bake for a little longer.




Saturday, October 27, 2012

Holiday Pillow Case Drive with Giraffe Grins

Dee at The CSI Project has a great charity that she has funded called Giraffe Grins.  She {and her affiliates around the country} make and send pillowcases to Children's Hospitals.  Right now, they are doing a Holiday drive and I'd love for us to be a part of it!


We have an amazing hospital here in Cincinnati that I will be donating the pillow cases to.  Layne and Gray have both had surgery there, plus ER visits :-/.  But my one of my best friend's baby was in the NICU for a week there this past spring and I'd love to be able to give back to the hospital and the children who are staying there!

Here's how you can help!

How can I help?
I've committed to 25 pillowcases for my group!  Here's the thing.  I'm the only one in the group right now :)  I'd love to have people join and help me in sewing up some adorable pillowcases.  I will be sewing on Holiday Grins National Sewing Day on November 3rd, but you can get them to me anytime!  I can meet anyone local to get what you make or you can email me and I can give you my address to ship them to me.  Deadline is November 10th.

What if I can't sew?
Go to your local fabric store and pick out some adorable Children's fabrics.  Bonus for cute Christmas ones!  Send me the fabric and I can sew them up! 1 yard = 1 pillowcase

I have a blog in Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati and want to help too!
If you are a local blogger and want to co-lead this group, email me and let me know!

How do I make one?
Here are a few tutorials to help you along the way!  I'll be posting one later too with detailed pictures!

Simple Pillowcase by Raising Homemakers


Pillowcases with French Seam by Film in the Fridge

Who's in!?!?!


Thursday, October 25, 2012

{From This Crazy Kitchen} Make Your Own Funnel Cake

So, remember the Mini Monte Cristos that I shared a couple of weeks ago? Well, that dinner quickly turned into this dessert.  I had some batter left over that fried up nicely to some amazing funnel cake!

Here's the problem...super yummy, but fattening dinner and super yummy, but fattening dessert.  What's a girl to do?

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Make Your Own Funnel Cake
this would make 2-3 big funnel ones or 5-6 small ones

1 cup Bisquick mix {or 1 c flour, 1/2 T baking powder, 1 t salt & 1 1/2 T butter mixed together}
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/8 t cinnamon
Oil for frying
Powdered sugar

Mix ingredients to a thick batter.  If it's too thin, add some flour.  Heat oil over medium-high heat until hot.  Using a large spoon or funnel, drizzle the batter, overlapping to create the "funnel cake" look.  Cook 2-3 minutes, flipping halfway through until it's golden brown.  

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Blot to remove excess oil and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Eat it while it's hot!

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

{Try It Tuesday} Stuffed Pasta Shells

{Try It Tuesday} is my way of documenting my successes {and failures} of doing some of the millions 700+ pins that I have on Pinterest.  Right now, it's mostly recipes, but I'll be trying out some of the crafts, handy tips, and more that I've discovered too!

I've wanted to try this recipe since I pinned it.  But since I don't use pasta shells or ricotta much, I had to wait to buy the ingredients.  I changed the recipe slightly by adding spinach instead of chives and using fresh tomatoes instead of crushed tomatoes.

This recipe was enough for my family to eat for two dinners.  I froze half of them by placing them on a cookie sheet until they were frozen and then placing them together in a freezer bag.

The big question is...would I make them again?  Probably.  I loved them.  The kids barely touched them and the hubby wasn't feeling too good tonight, but he said that they were okay.  They could have been a bit more flavorful and I'll probably use jarred marinara sauce instead of the fresh tomato sauce next time.


Stuffed Pasta Shells
adapted from 101 Cookbooks

1 box pasta shells {25-30 shells}

Filling:
1 15oz container of ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped spinach leaves

Sauce:
5 large tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar

Quarter the tomatoes and roast in the oven for 30 minutes @ 375F.  Meanwhile, boil the pasta shells according the the package directions.

In a medium bowl, mix the filling ingredients. Drain the shells and allow to cool to the touch.  Scoop a tablespoon or so of filling into the shells.

Scoop half of the sauce in a casserole dish, covering the bottom.  Arrange the shells and top with the other half of the sauce.  Cover in foil and bake at 350F for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil, top with some mozzarella cheese and bake for another 15 minutes.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fabulous Fall Exchange

The lovely Sarah from Simply Sarah Style hosted a super fun fall gift exchange!  Sarah is a friend from way back {when we were in diapers!}, so of course I participated.


I was paired up with Gabi from Kneadle and Bread!  It was just as much fun to gather goodies to give as it was open my box and receive some.  We were given the task to send at least 4 of our favorite fall things.  



Turquoise Scarf, Yellow striped Knee High socks, Fair Isle Socks, Fall Scents, and Boo Sign.

I scored pretty good, huh!?!




Friday, October 19, 2012

{Instragram Friday}

We stayed super busy this past week!

{Cut-out Sugar Cookies with Powdered Sugar Icing - used a bag to "pipe" the vine}

Gray had a Harvest Party at Tuesday School this week and we signed up to bring 22 cookies.  I iced these at 11 pm Monday night while watching Revolution.  As odd as it sounds, it was so relaxing to be the only one awake in the house!


They didn't encourage dressing in a costume, so I convinced Gray to be a Cowboy/Farmer instead of Captain America or Spiderman or the 10 other things he wanted to be.  He started out with his bandana around his neck and Cowboy hat on when we left the house, but ended up like this when we pulled up to school.  Silly boy.


At the party.


First time we've been able to capture this smile on camera.  It just lights his whole face up!


Keeping it real.  This is my sink on Tuesday night.  And I went to bed with it like that.  Since staying home, I literally do 8-10 loads of dishes in the dishwasher a week compared to our maybe 5-7 before.


Oh, I love living in the country.  This is the view coming down our driveway on Wednesday night after dropping the kids off at church.  I don't take the time to appreciate the beautiful views around me enough.


And this is how good my son is listening lately.  "Sure, bud.  Wait just one minute.  I'm feeding your brother." has no meaning to my son.  He'll find a way to do it himself.

Linking up with Life Rearraged

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Knox {2 month update}


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Late on my update again...I've got to get better at this :)  This little guys is actually 11 weeks old now!

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We have such an awesome little guy here!  I keep trying to remember every little detail since he's our last baby.  I love his chubbiness.  And the way that he has started to grab onto my shirt collar or hair when he's nursing or falling asleep.  It's as if he's saying, I don't want to let go, mom.  He is such a blessing in our family.  He helps balance us out a bit.

Holy Sleeper, Batman!
Not trying to brag or anything, but I was so blessed with an amazing sleeper this time.  We average 6-7 hours at night, but we've had stretches as long as 8-9 hours!  I almost feel guilty about how easy we have it.  Almost.  But after 1 horrible sleeper and 2 kids that regularly wake me up at night, I deserve an easy baby, right?

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GERD...
I spoke too soon last month when I said that his reflux didn't bother him.  He started out fussing a little bit with his reflux episodes to screaming almost every time he spits.  He also has occasional episodes of vomiting.  Like major spewing multiple times in a row.  It's pitiful.  

We started him on Axid {kinda like Zantac} and it didn't help at all.  I went to my pediatrician for our 2 month check-up and saw a resident instead of our regular doc.  He suggested that we are overfeeding Knox and that we feed more frequent {implying less volume each time} and try the Axid mid-day versus morning and night.  

I honestly struggled with this advice.  I know it's controversial, but I don't believe that breastfed babies will overeat. We feed every 3-3 1/2 hours and our sessions run about 10 minutes now.  Yes, my baby is big, but he's very proportional.  I don't think he's getting too much or eating too much.  Breastfeeding is nature's way and I feel like he will only get what he needs.

After another week, I called and requested a different medicine - Prevacid.  Gray had to take Prevacid for 10 months and is on it again now.  And we are trying that now.  Prayers for some relief.

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Stats
My big guy was 24 inches (86th percentile) and 14 lbs 2 oz (90th percentile).  Yep, he's the size of a 4-5 month old.  He's in 3-6 and 6 month clothes and quickly growing out of them!

Oh so smiley!
His smile just melts my heart.  It lights his whole face up.  And he's really started cooing and talking to me when I talk to him.  I love the interaction!  When he's not having reflux issues, he is just the happiest baby!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Keep Those Pumpkins Looking Fresh!

Do you struggle with wilted, collapsed pumpkins after carving?  We used to! I remember when Matt and I were dating and carved pumpkins.  They were intricate, detailed designs and took us hours!  A few days later, they were droopy and totally unrecognizable.

I've got 5 solutions that will keep this from happening to you!!  The reason that this happens is that bacteria gets in and starts to rot them...and they just plain dry out.


#1 - Cooking Spray!

This is by far the easiest to apply!  Just spray on the carved edges.  It "seals" the moisture in and prevents it from drying out.



#2 - Vaseline

Spread on all of the carved edges.  Use your fingers and/or a pastry brush.  If you have tiny carvings, you can also use a toothpick or Q-tip.

#3 - Vegetable or Canola Oil

Spread on all of the carved edges.  Use your fingers and/or a pastry brush.  If you have tiny carvings, you can also use a toothpick or Q-tip.

#4 - Shortening

Melt a bit and spread on all of the carved edges.  Use your fingers and/or a pastry brush.  If you have tiny carvings, you can also use a toothpick or Q-tip.

#5 - Bleach Water

Spray diluted bleach water inside the pumpkin to kill any bacteria {Plus do one of the above!}




Tuesday, October 16, 2012

{Try It Tuesday} Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

{Try It Tuesday} is my way of documenting my successes {and failures} of doing some of the millions 700+ pins that I have on Pinterest.  Right now, it's mostly recipes, but I'll be trying out some of the crafts, handy tips, and more that I've discovered too!

Before you read any further, I need to post a full disclosure.  Now for the small print.  Do not try this recipe if you don't want to consume an extra 500 calories, if you are not making it to share at a party or get together, if you have poor will power, or if you don't want to eat the most delicious dessert ever.  May cause repeat trips to the refrigerator, multiple dirty knives from cutting more and more pieces, an extra 5 pounds in three days, day dreams about rich, creamy bars, and family arguments over who gets the last piece.

Now that that's out of the way, we can continue :)  The hubby was a skeptic.  Though he loves chocolate chip cookies and cheesecake, he was turned off by the idea of them together.  He ate his words and loved it as much as I did.  So much that we've made them twice and barely shared with the kids and finished the whole pan off in 2-3 days each time.

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Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars
recipe from Heat Oven to 350

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup softening
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
2 cups chocolate chips {mini ones were best!}

1 block cream cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix butter, shortening, sugars, vanilla, salt, and vinegar.  Beat in the egg.  Add baking soda and flour and mix well.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Split this dough in two equal portions.

Mix cheesecake ingredients:  cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla.

Spread half of the chocolate chip cookie dough into a 9"x13" sheet pan. Feel free to roll up your sleeves and use your hands; it's much easier that way.  Spread the cheesecake mixture over the top.  

Next take the second portion of the dough and make thin "patties" in your hands.  Spread them over the top as close together as you can while still covering the whole top.  They likely won't be touching, but don't worry, the dough will spread nicely.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Allow to completely cool and refrigerate.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

{From this Crazy Kitchen} Baked Cavatelli

There aren't many dinner recipes that I can pull from a cookbook with our family of picky eaters, but my family loves this one!  I found this recipe in the first cookbook that I ever received at my wedding shower and I love it for the basics!




Baked Cavatelli
adapted from BHG

serves our family of 4 with leftovers

1/2 box of pasta of your choice {around 6-8 oz}
12 oz sausage links
2 cloves garlic
1 26 oz jar of pasta sauce
1 cup shredded cheese {cheddar or mozzarella...both are good!}
1/4 t black pepper

optional: 3/4 cup onion

Cut the sausage links into 1/2 pieces.  Place with garlic in skillet on medium high and brown until sausage is cooked through. Drain grease.


Boil pasta until al dente.  Drain water.  Place pasta back into an oven safe casserole dish. I use a cast iron pot for boiling the pasta and as the casserole dish.  One fewer dish to wash! 

Mix everything with the pasta and bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes.  Top with a little extra cheese.





Thursday, October 11, 2012

Living my dream

Ever since I can remember, I've felt like my purpose on this earth was to be a mom.  I knew I wanted a house full of kids and I wanted my job to be to take care of them.  Even in high school, I wanted to be able to say "mom" when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Instead, I decided to become a scientist.  I spent 3 1/2 years getting my Bachelor's degree with my summers filled with undergraduate research and an internship with a big consumer company.  I got married 5 months before graduation and started my job with that same company two weeks after I graduated.  I did exactly what society said I was supposed to do.

A year and a half after we got married, we found out that we were expecting a sweet little baby.  The next August, my life was changed forever.   I became the mom that I was destined to be.  I was blessed to spend the first 6 months of her life at home with her.  When I went back to work, my mom watched Layne.  Gray was born 20 months later and I was again able to be full-time mom for 6 months before going back to work.  Mamaw stepped in again.

I went to work everyday and gave it my all, but my heart was with my babies at home.  I wanted to be home with them more than anything.  I am so blessed for my mom to have watched my kids for the past five years.  It was the next best thing if I couldn't be home with them. But it still wasn't me kissing their boo boos and teaching them their ABCs.

We tried to find a way to make it work many times.  Time after time, we would decide that it just wouldn't work, I had to work.  Either our bills were too high, or we'd lose our benefits, or it was too risky since Matt has his own business, or some other reason.

I prayed about quitting my job for years.  There were MANY times that God spoke to me through a conversation with a friend, an email, or scripture.  I struggled with my desire to be home for a long time.  Was it really what God's plan was for me?  Or was it just my selfish desire?

In August 2011, we made a very big decision for our family.  We put a plan in place to work towards my dream.  We decided to try to add another blessing to our family.  After the baby was born, I would take a year long maternity leave to give us a "trial period."  Then at the end of the year, I would either quit my job, or go back to work.

We got pregnant in November of last year.  We had been debt-free besides our mortgage and a car payment for a long time, but we lived frivolously.  We had a second, disposable income and we lived like it.  There were months were we spent over $500 eating out.  We all had new wardrobes every season.  In March, I started budgeting and cut out hundreds of dollars of spending each month.  We made important changes to enable our family to live on less.

We were on our way to living out our plan, but God decided to throw a wrench in them.  The company I work for announced that they were going to reduce their head count.  It's a long story, but for a while, I was worried that I was going to lose my job and benefits.  I prayed and prayed for answers.  They ended up offering voluntary separation packages right before my maternity leave was getting ready to begin.  We prayed some more.

In July, we decided that I would express my interest in taking a voluntary separation package.  A few weeks ago, I found out that the company said yes to me.  And come October 31st, I will no longer be employed.

I will have my dream job.  My job will be to be a mom.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

{Try It Tuesday} Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

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I pack my hubby's lunch every day.  And he is a creature of habit.  He gets a turkey/ham/cheese/miracle whip sandwich, a baggie of chips, and a dessert.  Since I've been staying home, I have vowed not to buy store bought cookies and to make my own.  

It was 10pm, we didn't have dessert for the next day and my hubby didn't have any special requests for me to make.  Where do you think I looked?  Pinterest, of course!  I planned to make chocolate chip cookies, but I've never been great at making them before.  I pinterest'd "chewy chocolate chip cookies" and 9 of the top 10 pins were the same recipe from Apple A Day.  And Kelsey was right.  These were the best ever.

I made a very slight tweak to the amount of salt...and found an important trick to making them perfect.

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The secret ingredient is the cornstarch.  It helps keep the cookies chewy and thick so that they maintain their shape.  

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But, there's another trick too.  I've made two three batches of these cookies.  The first batch was fabulous.  The second batch was good, but not "best ever."  I noticed a slight difference in the thickness of the dough.  My first batch had very thick dough that pulled away from the edges of the bowl.  I added more flour to what was left of my second batch of dough and the rest of the cookies were amazing like the first batch.  So add extra flour if your dough doesn't look like this.

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Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever
adapted from Apple A Day

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
2 cup flour
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix softened butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla and blend well.  Add dry ingredients and mix well again.  

Drop onto cookie sheet {I used a small scoop} and bake for 10-12 minutes on 350F.  These don't get very brown on top, but I found that 12 minutes was perfect for us.

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

My name is Sarah and I'm a...

My name is Sarah and I'm a Bake-aholic.

When I told people that I was planning to take a year long maternity leave, some of them asked, "What are you going to do with your time?"  Obviously, they weren't parents if they were asking this.  But my answer was that besides getting to be a full time mom that I'd have more time to create and do things that I didn't previously have the time for.

Knox is 8 weeks old.  So, I've been on maternity leave for 10 weeks.  I didn't do much of anything in the 2 weeks before Knox was born. And the first 2 weeks after was a little chaotic.  But in the past 6 weeks, I've gone through over 20 lbs of flour.  Not to mention the sugar, yeast, and baking powder.  You could say that I've been a little obsessed with baking. {And maybe that explains why I haven't been able to lose those extra 10 lbs of baby weight.  I do mix everything by hand...so at least I'm working on my saggy arms :)}

I've made at least 8 loaves of bread and several batches of biscuits.  I've found recipes that I love for both and won't likely be trying any other recipes for baguettes or biscuits for a while.



I've made cookies.  Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Peanut Butter Cookies with Sunbutter instead of Peanut Butter.  Wowbutter cookies that I wouldn't waste my time on again.  Sprinkle Cake Batter Cookies.

I've made these delicious chocolate chip cookie cheesecake bars.  And these Almost Reese Cup Bars {with Sunbutter}.  I will be making both again.

I've made chocolate chip banana muffins.  Pumpkin Spice muffins.

I'll get around to blogging about my successes that I definitely have to share at some point.  But that means that I actually have to keep my creations around long enough to get pictures before I do that.  Bare with me as recipes and food takes over the blog.

In the meantime, I better run.  I've got to get my Cinnamon Doughnut muffins out of the oven.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

{Try It Tuesday} Mini Monte Cristos

Since I've been on maternity leave, I cannot stop cooking and baking.  It could be because I cannot stop eating and think about food about 20 times a day.  I can blame it on burning 500 extra calories a day from nursing, right?

I've been pinning new food ideas like crazy, so I thought it would be fun to start a new weekly feature highlighting recipes that I've found and tried!  And twisted to fit our family's needs :)

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My hubby loves Monte Cristos.  We have a local restaurant that has them and anytime we are in that area, he wants to eat there.  When I saw these on Pinterest, I knew I had to make them!  When we had lunchmeat that was soon going to go bad, I jumped on the opportunity to try the recipe out!

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Mini Monte Cristos
adapted from recipe at Crisco.com
Makes 24 pieces

6 slices of bread
mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
1/4 lb ham, sliced thin
1/4 lb turkey, sliced thin
6 slices cheese {we used provolone}
1 cup Bisquick mix {or 1 c flour, 1/2 T baking powder, 1 t salt & 1 1/2 T butter mixed together}
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/8 t cinnamon
Oil for frying
Powdered sugar

Remove the crust and flatten the bread with a rolling pin.

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Spread a very thin layer of mayo or Miracle Whip and add a slice of ham, turkey, and cheese.  Roll them up and insert four toothpicks evenly spaced to hold the rolls in place.  Keep the toothpicks in until serving.  Chill for 30 minutes or until dinner time.

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Heat 1-2 inches of oil in a pan on medium-high heat.

Mix Bisquick mix {or substitute} with eggs, milk, and cinnamon to make a batter.  The batter should be  pretty thick.  If it's not, add a bit of flour.

Slice the bread roll ups into four equal pieces with a serrated knife.  Dip in batter until fully covered and fry in the oil until golden brown.  Move the pieces around frequently to cook evenly.

Remove and blot off as much oil as possible.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve!

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If you have extras or want to make a double batch, these should freeze well.  {I've got about 10 in the freezer...I'll let you know how they do!}  Just warm in the oven at 375F for 10-15 minutes.