Darlin’ Deals Dinner ~ Cheesy Cauliflower!

Cauliflower Dinner

I’ve recently fallen in love with substituting cauliflower in recipes instead of using potatoes or meats. I was invited to a StoneFire VIP Media Dinner last year and it was there that I discovered that cauliflower is much more than a cold veggie served with a side of ranch. So I definitely owe StoneFire credit for showing me how delicious cauliflower is as a main dish!

Tonight I tried out a cheesy cauliflower meal that is a great veggie substitute for the beloved carb-filled favorite Mac & Cheese.

>> Re-pin this recipe on your Pinterest to save for later.

Here’s what you will need:

  • Large Cauliflower
  • Butter
  • Cream Cheese
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Seasoning of your choice (I went with Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb because its sodium free)

Directions:

  1. Fill a sauce pan with about 3-4 inches of water and bring to a boil.
  2. Chop the cauliflower head into bite size pieces.
  3. Once water is boiling place all the cauliflower pieces in and cook about 10 minutes, or until they are tender when poked with a fork.
  4. Drain the cauliflower and while its still in the colander place 2 tbsp. of butter and 1/2 cup of cream cheese in a pan.
  5. Turn the heat to medium to melt the butter/cream cheese mixture.
  6. Sprinkle in shredded cheese (as much as you like, but I used about 1/2 cup)
  7. Season lightly with seasoning of your choice
  8. Toss the cauliflower back in the pan and mix until covered in the cheesy goodness.
  9. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and serve

 Enjoy! :)

DIY: Fence to conceal utility meters {Garbage Cans, A/C Units}

Utility Meter Cover

>> Re-pin this idea to your Pinterest

I’ve been on a role with all the house projects lately so I thought I’d share the latest one with my Darlins! Our home had a major eye-sore, the utility meters were all situated right at the end of the driveway, which lowered the curb appeal. Ever since the moment we moved in I envisioned the day that this idea to conceal them would come to fruition!

However I can’t take the credit for completing this amazing project, my handy husband put in all the hard work putting this gorgeous fence up!

This project was actually inspired by similar cover-ups that I saw on Pinterest using pallet fences. For my fence I decided to use vinyl picket fence that we had leftover from the fence that my husband installed on the hillside behind our home. To give it a bit of a fancy flare (and to further conceal the ugly meters) I purchased this decorative vinyl piece and had my hubby screw it to the backside of the fence pieces.

I can’t even begin to explain what a difference it makes having those meters blocked by this cute little fence, now I don’t cringe as I pull into the driveway 😉

Oh and by the way, there are so many great DIY house projects that you can do with these high quality beautiful lattice panels think wall hangings, planter walls, patio deck covers and more!

FTC Disclosure

DIY: Update of A/C Vents with stylish Bronze Scroll design vents!

New Vents

>> Re-pin this idea to your Pinterest

My latest house project was updating our old rusty air conditioner vents with gorgeous bronze scroll design floor registers! When we moved into our home we noticed that in addition to being unattractive, most of the floor a/c registers were very difficult to open and close.

So I went out to a local home improvement store to find new, clean, and easy to open vents but was not impressed with spending $10 per vent for the same style we already had. Before making the purchase I decided to do some research on alternative styles available. I happened upon these gorgeous antique bronze coated scroll design vents and decided to purchase a few in addition to these more affordable generic black finish scroll design vents.

Once they arrived I was highly impressed with the quality and even more pleased with how they completely transformed the rooms! Who knew something as simple as a decorative air vent could change the whole look of your home?! :)

They are super easy to install and the black finish vents that I purchased actually cost less than the generic vents you find at home improvement stores!

FTC Disclosure

 

 

DIY: Framed Wall Thermostat!

DIY thermo

>> Re-Pin this idea on your Pinterest!

One of my favorite things about moving to a new house is all the fun decorating projects you get to do! My latest creation was changing out our super old thermostat with a modern one.

When we first moved into our new home it had a very old thermostat. I was in desperate need of updating to a digital/programmable thermostat. We bought this programmable thermostat ..only to discover that the old thermostat was glued to the wall so removing it left an ugly portion of wall that was never painted or texturized to match the rest of the wall. So I decided in addition to switching to a modern thermostat that I would hang a frame to add a bit of fanciness and also cover the damage on the wall that we patched with spray-on wall texture.

Before After Thermo

This was a very simple project, other than switching out the actual thermostat itself, which I had my husband do since he understands all that electrical stuff 😉

After my hubby did the difficult part of switching over to a modern digital thermostat, I bought this 5×7 ornate picture frame to use as the border frame for the thermostat.

Once it arrived we just removed the backing and used the border portion of the frame to place around the thermostat and voila – my thermostat was now much more pleasing to the eye!

FTC Disclosure

Darlin’ Deals Meal ~ Pull-Apart Pizza Casserole!

Pizza Casserole

Tonight I tried another new recipe that I got from Sweet and Simple Living, Easy Pull-Apart Pizza Bread.
>>> You can Re-Pin this recipe on Pinterest to save for later!
It was super easy to make as the title suggests and it will have your whole family asking for seconds :)
Here’s what you need:
  • 2 Cans of Pillsbury Biscuits, I used the small flaky ones
  • 2 cups shredded cheese, I also added chunks of mozzarella cheese from a block
  • 2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning and I also used Oregano
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  •  Parmesean cheese
  • Side sauce – Marinara or Spaghetti/Pizza sauce
  • Casserole dish
  • Sauce Pan

You can also add pepperoni or your favorite meat, but mine was a vegetarian version 😉

Pizza Inst

 Preparation Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cut biscuits into quarters, or halves depending if you use large or small biscuits like I did.
  3. Mix other ingredients in a bowl until everything is coated well with olive oil
  4. Place mixed ingredients into a casserole dish coasted with non-stick spray
  5. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the top is brown
  6. While casserole is cooking you can simmer your favorite marinara or pizza sauce in a separate pan

Serve and enjoy!

Baby’s 1st Year Milestones: Email your Child!

Pinterest Email Baby

>> Re-Pin this idea on your Pinterest to save it.

One thing I’ve learned since becoming a Mother is that time slips by quickly with your little ones. I’ve done many things to record these precious times with both of my children including taking pictures, keeping a ‘Baby’s 1st Year’ Calendar, and video taping every adorable thing they do (which in my opinion is everything 😉 )

With Baby #2 I decided to use technology as a way to create a collection of my daughter’s milestones during her 1st year and I plan to continue the updates as she grows up. I created an email address for my little girl and each month I take pictures of her and email it to her with a little info on what she is doing during that month/stage.

Email for Baby

The ultimate plan is to give her the email address and password on her 18th birthday so she can see her progression over the years and the detailed milestones she hit during the first few months of her life.

This is a very fun and affordable way to keep track of the precious moments & milestones in your little one’s life, I highly recommend doing it even if your child is past the baby stage!

FTC Disclosure

Darlin’ Deals Recipe ~ Homemade Organic Spinach Applesauce!

Homemade Applesauce

I recently discovered a really easy way to get picky eaters to eat spinach. I know what you’re thinking; spinach? My kid won’t eat that! Well I’ve got news for you, mine won’t either. I’ve tried everything – hiding it in a super cheesy grilled cheese sandwich, blending it in a smoothie, bribery… like I said pretty much every way you could think of I have done it and none of them have been successful with my 5 year old 😉

Well over the weekend I was making baby food for my little girl and I realized that the Spinach Apple blend that I created looked like applesauce and even smelled sweet too. So I decided to see if my son would eat it. I gave him a spoonful and of course at first he was hesitant as to why it was green (green = veggies = no thank you Mommy) but after telling him to smell it he said, “It smells sweet. Okay I’ll try it.” To my surprise after 1 spoonful he asked for another and then asked if I could make him a batch of ‘big boy green applesauce’ so he could have more!

>> Re-Pin this on Pinterest to save for later.

Here’s how to make this tasty veggie applesauce:

You’ll need –

  • Apples (any variety will do but I used Organic Braeburn)
  • Spinach (I used Trader Joes bagged Organic Baby Spinach)
  • Steamer
  • Blender
  • Storage Bowls or Tupperware

To make the applesauce –

First you will need to slice apples and peel off the skin, then dice the slices into 1-2″ pieces. Then grab a few leaves of baby spinach, about 5-6 leaves per whole apple used. Steam for 8-10 minutes or until soft. Let the steamed pieces cool completely. Put pieces into blender and add 1/4 cup of water. Blend to consistency of applesauce.

For added sweetness or smoother texture you can put a 2″ slice of banana into the blender too. When I make it for my baby I puree it to a safe texture for a baby her age and I even add a small slice of banana to make it a smoother consistency, but for my son I left it a little chunkier for a more applesauce like texture.

Steam Apples

Hope your Little Darlins enjoy this homemade applesauce with a healthy ingredient thrown in as much as mine do!

 

Darlin’ Deals ~ Elf on the Shelf Ideas!

Elf HEADER

 

Last year my son’s Elf, Snuku, made his debut and it was so much fun thinking of creative scenarios for his Elf to be set up. Now that the Holidays are upon us again I have struggled to come up with new and fresh ideas, so I thought I would share with my Darlins what I’ve come up with in case you are drawing a blank for new Elf ideas 😉

If you don’t own an Elf yet or if you’re looking for some Elf on the Shelf accessories, check out these low prices Elf on the Shelf products here.

>>> You can Re-Pin this post on Pinterest so you can easily access this list when you need a new Elf idea!

Here are some of the silly places Snuku has shown up..

1 Elf Tree1 Elf Undies1 Elf image

 

Elf Books

The Elf has also brought some sweet gifts for our son when he has been good…

 

1 Elf Trains

1 Elf

1 Elf Hot Cocoa

Elf PJs

 

He has also been involved in our daily lives such as Blogging with me 😉 and the Elf even caught a cold that my son had so he spent a day on an Elf couch…

1 Elf Computer

1 Elf Sick

Darlin’ Deals Dinner ~ Lemon Parmesan Baked Cauliflower!

Its been awhile since I’ve shared a meal idea with my Darlins, mainly because I have a newborn so being creative in the kitchen is not possible for me lately 😉

However, I recently was invited to Stone Fire’s Media Dinner to taste some new menu items (keep an eye out for my upcoming review) and one of my favorites was the Roasted Cauliflower so I was inspired to try cooking it myself!

*Re-pin this recipe on Pinterest to save for later.

So long story short, here’s how I made this tasty dish..

You’ll need:

  • Head of Cauliflower
  • Butter
  • Parmesan
  • Lemon
  • Shredded Cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 475. Wash cauliflower and cut it into small sections. Lay cauliflower pieces in a glass baking dish in a single layer. Squeeze 1/2 lemon over cauliflower. Get 2-3 tablespoons of butter in a microwaveable dish and sprinkle shredded cheese over butter and sprinkle parmesan on top. Once its warmed up squeeze 1/2 lemon over mixture. Microwave butter mixture for 15 seconds. Pour mixture over cauliflower. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Cauliflower should be soft but not mushy that’s how you know its fully cooked.

** The next time I make this I will cut each of the cauliflower pieces in half so that it cooks a little better, but it was still very tasty this way.

 

 

Darlin’ Deals Dinner ~ Cinnamon Roll Waffles!

Tonight I made Cinnamon Roll Waffles for dinner! I have to admit I’ve always thought about putting those sweet little Pillsbury rolls in a waffle maker but I feared that they wouldn’t cook thoroughly or that they would burn.. however that wasn’t the case!

>>Re-pin this on Pinterest to save this meal idea for later, and while you’re there please follow me too :)

To make these tasty little treats you simply grease your waffle maker with butter or cooking spray, place Pillsbury roll on each section of your waffle maker and close. Then let it cook for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure you re-spray the waffle maker each time before you put new rolls on, the cinnamon makes them burn if you don’t. Remember to warm the icing while your Cinnamon Roll Waffles are cooking so you can drizzle it on your waffles when they are done, I simply put the icing cups on a cookie sheet and set them in the oven on warm for a few minutes.

This was one of the simplest & tastiest meals I have ever made! It will definitely be thrown into the dinner rotation from now on! :)