Broccoli Salad with….thats right BACON in it!

Need something quick and easy to make for that 4th of July get together?

I have it right here for ya!

This cool summer broccoli salad is the perfect pairing to any backyard bbq! Whether you’re grilling beef, chicken, or pork it compliments it fabulously and is SOOOO easy to make and go!

Here’s whatcha need:

3 broccoli heads, cut the tips off

1 red onion, chopped

1 cup raisins

1 cup almonds or sunflower seeds

1/2-3/4 lb bacon, fried and crumbled

1 cup mayo 

1/2 cup sugar

2 TBSP white wine vinegar

Now here’s whatcha do!

In a huge bowl mix the broccoli, onion, raisins, almonds, and bacon together real mixed up good!

Mix All

In a separate bowl mix the mayo, sugar, and white wine vinegar and whisk together well.

Mix to pour over

Pour it over the bowl and mix it up!

Ready fro fridge

Refrigerate in the fridge till you’re ready to eat or take it to go!!!

 

Serve it up and enjoy!!!

Served

 

Mama Georgie’s Old Fashioned Banana Pudding!

MOUTH WATERING….better than that favorite restaurant!

My grandmother always made the BEST Nanner Puddin and I would stand and watch and help her stir and layer and whip and bake! And for the very first time…I’m going to share the recipe with you! 

First lets shop:

6-7 Ripe Bananas

1 Box Nilla Wafers (don’t skimp on the cheap brand for this part)

1 1/2 cups sugar, then 6 Tbsp sugar

1/3 cup flour 

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups milk (whole milk is best but 2% does ok too)

4 eggs, separated, you’ll need the yolks first then set the whites in the fridge till the end

1 tsp vanilla

Now let’s get this started…can you almost taste it?!?!

Preheat your oven to 425*

In the top of a double boiler start with the 1 1/2 cups sugar, flour and salt and whisk together then add the milk and mix up good. Separate your eggs and slightly beat the yolks and stir in. Put the egg whites in the fridge while we do the rest. Now you will stir this until it is custard like. This WILL TAKE A FEW! Don’t get discouraged it will thicken. This kind of yummy love takes a little time!

NP double boiler

 

While this thickens, line your dish with a single layer of the Nilla wafers…now…I break up a few to fill in the cracks between the round cookies 🙂 Then slice up 3-4 of the ripened bananas atop these. 

NP CookiesNP Banana layer 1

Once the pudding thickens, remove from heat and add your vanilla extract and stir in about a minute. Pour HALF the mixture into your dish over the banana and cookies you’ve layered. 

NP Add half pudding

Now another layer of cookies and bananas then the other half of the pudding…

Np 2nd layer cookie

Np more nanners

Np other half of puddin

Now remember we preheated the oven….hopefully its beeped and up to temp because we are almost there….but first…

Get those egg whites out o the fridge and get your mixer ready because its MERINGUE TIME!

Beat the eggs on HIGH and add 6TBSP, 1 TBSP at a time and beat until stiff peaks form. (God bless my grandmother and those who made meringue before we had electric mixers! SHEESH!)

Np meringue

 

Now spoon this over the top sealing in the pudding, it should look like this (OMG we are alost done…I smell it…I do!)

Np ready for oven

Bake at 425 about 5-6 minutes until the top gets golden brown. CHECK ON IT OFTEN because ovens vary…but with meringue it REALLY varies. Once its done, take out and let it sit to room temperature before you put it in the fridge. Chill for 2 hours before serving for best results. 

ENJOY!!!

Np enjoy!

 

Sisterhood of the traveling….PLATE!?!

Yep you heard it right….

Remember the movie about the pants…well, we don’t wear the same size pants….but we do share the love of goodies! 

My friends, Dina, Kryss and I try to see each other once a month at least. And this past week we met for lunch and Kryss presented us with the cutest travelling plate. My birthday was the most recent so I got it first to start a new tradition. So this evening as we cookout I will present it to Dina  with a completely insanely yummy coconut cream meringue pie (don’t worry, I wouldn’t leave ya hangin, I put the recipe below 😉 )! Then it’ll be her turn to put something on the plate and get it to Kryss…and so on and so forth!!! Ahhhhh I can’t wait to share with you when it gets back to me…..and whatever I decide to sent it forth with!!!!

 

Pie

Coconut Cream Meringue Pie

1 – 9 inch pie shell, baked

For the filling:

2/3 Cup Sugar

1/4 Cup cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 Cups Milk

3 egg YOLKS lightly beaten (save the whites!)

1 cup flaked sweeten coconut finely shredded

2 Tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a saucepan mix sugar, corn starch and salt. Add milk until mixed and bring to a boil on medium heat until thickened and it’ll get bubbly too. (Be patient, it’ll thicken) then add a little hot mixture into the egg yolks and mix and pour back into saucepan and bring to boil on medium and cook 2-3 min more. Remove from heat and add coconut, butter and vanilla and whisk until smooth!

Now pour the filing into the pie crust!

For the meringue:

3 egg whites

6 Tablespoons sugar 

1/2 Cup flaked coconut

Beat egg whites adding each Tablespoon of sugar one at a time until still peaks form. Spoon over filling sealing against the edges of the crust. Sprinkle top with coconut and bake on 375 until top starts to golden brown.

 

Enjoy! Maybe get a plate, or container, and start your own tradition! <3 I’ll let you know when it gets back 😀

LITTLE CHICKIES / LOS POLLITOS by Canticos

Little Chickies is a fun interactive read for our Littles

 

Straight out the little cardboard bookcase you can choose either the English or Spanish side. 

LITTLE CHICKIES COVER copy 3spanish chickies 2

The pictures and storyline are the same whichever you choose. Little Chickies are born, then want food, then need sleep. They shout “¡pío! ¡pío! ¡pío!” (Cheep cheep cheep). Flaps are lifted on each page to interact and engage them in the story of this tired mother hen feeding, and warming, and cuddling her chickies. 

chickies 1

 

I love the book folds out and they can share looking and playing with it!

chickies 2

 

The app on my phone provides for long lasting fun as they sing and crack eggs to watch the chickies hatch, make flower boquets, and sing and dance to the pio sounds and songs of the chickies!

 

Its fun, fun , fun as they ask me to read it again! And can we play chicks on the phone!

 

For every Canticos book or app purchased, a portion of the proceeds goes to provide books and apps to children in low-income communities.

 

– Link to website (for book purchase and more info):

http://www.littlepicklepress.com/product/canticos-los-pollitos/

– Links to app in iphone app store:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/little-chickies-los-pollitos/id1090230039?mt=8

– Link to app in android app store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.encantosmedia.lospollitos&hl=en

– A gentle call to action to support what we’re doing by subscribing (its free!) to our YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtcC_-EBaj1vzcHptwiYhEQ

 Find them on social media:

A loving story of a mama and her babies is a fun story for my littles!

Alice Through The Looking Glass and Pinks New Video “Just Like Fire”

I could not be more EXCITED for ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS!!!

P!nk’s brand new music video for “Just Like Fire” from Disney’s ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

 

“Alice Through the Looking Glass” is an all-new spectacular adventure featuring the unforgettable characters from Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories which stars Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Rhys Ifans, with Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen. The film opens in U.S. theaters on May 27, 2016.

 

About P!nk:

Since her debut in 2000, P!nk (Alecia Moore) has released seven records, sold over 60 million albums, over 130 million singles, over 2.4 million DVDs worldwide and has had 14 singles in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (four at #1). In addition, she is the recipient of three GRAMMY® Awards, three Billboard Music Awards, six MTV Video Music Awards, two MTV Europe Awards, two People’s Choice Awards and was named Billboard’s Woman of the Year in 2013.  Her “The Truth About Love” World Tour played 142 shows in 13 countries. In the fall of 2014, she released a side project with singer/songwriter Dallas Green entitled “You+Me.” Their album, “rose ave.,” debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Folk Album chart and #2 on Billboard’s Digital Album chart. In 2015, P!nk became the newest UNICEF Ambassador. She is also a huge supporter of various charities, including: Make a Wish Foundation, Autism Speaks, Human Rights Campaign and No Kid Hungry.  She is currently a spokesperson for COVERGIRL, and made her acting debut in Lionsgate’s “Thanks for Sharing,” alongside Gwyneth Paltrow and Mark Ruffalo. 

Check out P!NK’s featurette here:

 

Come join me on May 27th, you know where I’ll be!!!

Marvels CAPTAIN AMERICA CIVIL WAR Playing in theaters NOW!!!

I’m so excited to be able to say that Marvel’s CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR is now playing in theatres everywhere! I promise that this is a movie that the whole family will love – and make sure you sit through the entire end credits!

 

 

 

From Marvel Studios comes the highly anƟ cipated “Captain America: Civil War,” the third film in the Captain America franchise and the fi rst fi lm in Phase 3 of the Marvel CinemaƟ c Universe. Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” finds Steve Rogers leading the newly formed team of Avengers in their conƟ nued eff orts to safeguard humanity. But aŌ er another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps—one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability. Based on the beloved Marvel comic book series, fi rst published in 1941, Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” stars Chris Evans (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “The Avengers”) as the iconic Super Hero character Steve Rogers/Captain America; Robert Downey Jr. (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Iron Man 3”) as Tony Stark/Iron Man; ScarleƩ Johansson (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”) as Natasha Romanoff /Black Widow; SebasƟ an Stan (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Black Swan”) as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier; Anthony Mackie (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “The Hurt Locker”) as Sam Wilson/Falcon; Don Cheadle (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “House of Lies”) as Colonel James Rhodes/War Machine; Jeremy Renner (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Mission: Impossible – Rogue NaƟ on”) as Clint Barton/Hawkeye; Chadwick Boseman (“42,” “Get on Up”) as T’Challa/Black Panther; Paul BeƩ any (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Iron Man 3”) as Vision; and Elizabeth Olsen (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Godzilla”) as Wanda Maximoff /Scarlet Witch.

Mother’s Day weekend is the perfect time to load up the family and take Mom to see Captain America Civil War!

I’ll see ya there!!

 

 

 

Like CAPTAIN AMERICA on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaptainAmerica

 

Follow CAPTAIN AMERICA on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CaptainAmerica

 

Follow Marvel on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marvel/

 

Visit the official CAPTAIN AMERICA website here: http://marvel.com/captainamerica

 

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR is now playing in theatres everywhere!

Mother’s Day Opens April 29th!

Open Road Films is excited for the upcoming film celebrating mother’s everywhere, MOTHER’S DAY!

“Mother’s Day” is the latest star-studded ensemble comedy from director Garry Marshall (“Pretty Woman,” “Valentine’s Day”). Bringing together Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson and Julia Roberts along with Jason Sudeikis, it’s a celebration of mothers everywhere. This big-hearted comedy invites us all to enjoy the laughter, tears and love as three generations come together in the week leading up to Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day Star Studded Cast Does Not Disappoint…

 

Sandy (Jennifer Aniston) is a divorced and peacefully coparenting mother of  2 boys with ex hubby Henry (Timothy Olyphant), well, sorta, until…..

Miranda (Julia Roberts) plays successful business woman and  HSN star, and manager and former costar in Pretty Woman, Lance (Hector Elizondo) make a hilarious team once again and the Easter Eggs from previous movies are hysterical! Her role in the Mother’s Day mainia…well, you’ll just have to watch and figure it out!

Got mommy issues???  There’s someone here to relate to! No issue goes unturned in this hilarious twist of hysteria called mothers day in Atlanta!

Kate Hudson, Margo Martindale, Robert Pine Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Garner, Jon Lovitz, and Sarah Chalke are all part of the Mother’s Day laughter in this funny, laugh out loud film!

What a tangled Mother’s Day web comes unraveled in this wonderfully written storyline! 

This movie will make a great present for your mom or significant other! So get your tickets and plan an outing with her for Mother’s Day!

 

 

 

No Boundaries

Grief has no boundaries…no rules…

There isn’t this magic bucket that once filled with tears the grief is over.  There isn’t a magic clock with a timer that runs out and DING it’s time for it to be over. No, grief is very different for every person. And yet, so much of it the same. There are times of sadness, anger, disbelief, back to sadness, no ones cycle of grief is exactly the same. 

 

If you haven’t experienced death close to you it WILL happen. For many it isn’t until their parents grow old, for many, like me, whose parents never grew old, you experience the pain much earlier.  

grief 1

My dad, he was here today, gone tomorrow. An aortic aneurysm took his life at 57. No time to say goodbye, I love you, I’m sorry…just gone. At first I was shocked, and you go into business mode. So much to be done, then eventually the breakdown once its all done. Then I thought of all the things I should have said to him. The regret is the hardest stage for me…and trust me there is a stage of regret regardless of the circumstances of someones passing.

headstonemom n dad

 

My mom, well, we had months to say goodbye. Lung cancer took her at 60. The long drawn out process of knowing someones dying gives you time to say everything you can think of to say. Then, they are gone. Then you go into business mode again. Then its done and that breakdown starts again. You still think of things you wanted to say, you still have a stage of regret. Even with all that time. 

What I’ve learned about grief is that no one can tell you how to deal with it, only how THEY deal with it in hopes that you can take something helpful and positive with you to help you. 

grief 2

I’ve watched my sister in law bury her 2 teenage girls after a deadly car crash. I’ve watched families bury soldiers who died in war, or came home from war so damaged the war took them after the fact. I’ve watched as friends and family have buried babies from SIDS. Grief I share in but cannot understand the way that only they can. I assure you that when you do share in that grief with them, their load gets a little bit lighter. Just to simply know someone is there trying to understand and share in your pain. It’s real. And it helps. 

ann

Grief also comes in another form. I have lost 10 babies to miscarriage. Starting as a teen…in my 20s, and in my 30s. I am lucky, I had 3 beautiful children on my own and many sent to me in other times of my life I will always count as mine, even if I did not birth them! But I assure you this….whether you know you are pregnant for 2 days, 2 weeks, or 2 months before you miscarry, the love you have for that baby is REAL just as the love I have for my 3 here on earth is REAL. Therefore the grief is also VERY real. 

grief miscarriage

 

If you have experienced, or are experiencing this remember not to be too hard on yourself. Grief doesn’t get just easier one day. It does however get different. And from there you deal with it better and easier for the most part. Daddy has been gone 13 years. His birthday, my birthday (he ALWAYS made a big deal about it), his death date, and his favorite holidays but not a day goes by I don’t think of him and miss him, and honestly there are days, where for no obvious reason, I simply break down and cry throughout the day. Mom 8 years gone, my nieces 13 years gone, same dates of theirs get me. And somedays for no reason. And you know what….that’s OK!

dandelion

 

One thing getting older has showed me is that these people aren’t completely gone from us. They left a piece of themselves in us, in our children, in their coworkers, in the things they loved. You only must stop for a moment and you will see and feel it sometimes. The missing them will never end. Grief will always be a part of your life. But when it happens I simply reflect on leaving a piece of myself in each and every person I can. Our bodies may not be immortal, but the pieces of our soul we leave with those we love just very well might be!

happy again

Disney’s The Jungle Book Review

Take a walk on the wild side…

The Jungle Book in 3D has you feeling like you are walking, running, and swinging through the jungle with Mowgli as he transitions from being part of his wolf pack to being what he is, a man cub.  A movie that captivates all ages and brings you right into the jungle as part of the experience. Director  Jon Favreau knocked this one out of the park!

 

wolf 1 wolf 2 wolf 3

A tiger marked by the red flower of man, Shere Kan, has vowed not to rest until he eliminates Mowgli.

shere khan

From the love of his mother, Raksha and father, Akela’s safe wolf den he is escorted by Bagheera out of the only home he has ever known. 

bagheera field

 

 

Along the way he meets Baloo, his best bear friend who rescues him from the grip of the python Kaa and assists Mowgli in his quest for belonging.

baloo water

Kaa isn’t the only one who doesn’t have Mowgli’s best interest at heart along the way. King Louie and his band of monkeys want Mowgli to get them the red flower, for in it lies the ultimate power, or so they think!

kaajungle foe 1

Head to theaters THIS Friday, April 15th and join Mowgli and his friends on their jungle adventure!!!

jungle friends

 

A perfectly aligned voice cast makes the personalities truly come to life in these animals. 
 Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi)

mowgli

Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley)

bagheera voice

Kaa (voice of Scarlett Johansson)

kaa voice

King Louie (voice of Christopher Walken)

king louie

Raksha (voice of Lupita Nyong’)

raksha

Akela (voice of Giancarlo Esposit0)

akela

Also:

Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba)

Baloo (voice of Bill Murray)

 

movie poster

The wild adventure swings into theaters in 3D on April 15, 2016. For more information, check out Disney.com/thejunglebook, like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyJungleBook, and follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/thejunglebookand Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/disneythejunglebook/.

Coca Cola Cake

Love the Coca Cola cake from your restaurant?

Then you’ll absolutely love this easy recipe to make it at home! (AND it’s a whole lot cheaper than buying it by the slice!) I made it for dessert today for after dinner! It’s a crowd pleaser!

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the cake:

1 cup Coca Cola (dont skimp…get The Real Thing!)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 stick butter

3 TBSP cocoa

2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 tsp baking soda

1 (ISH) tsp vanilla (I always use a little more than what it calls for)

For the icing:

1 stick butter

3 TBSP cocoa

6 TBSP heavy cream

1 (ISH) tsp vanilla (there’s that ISH again)

3.5-3.75 cups confectioners sugar

what youll need

Ok now here’s how easy it is:

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees*

1)  In your mixing bowl mix your:

     Flour, Sugar, and Salt

second

2) In a saucepan bring the following to a boil:

     Coca Cola, Oil, Butter and Cocoa

first job

3) Pour the mixture into the mixing bowl and mix, then add the following:

     Eggs, Buttermilk, Baking Soda, and Vanilla and mix this well

4) Pour into a 13 x 9 baking dish and bake 25-30 minutes

 *Take out and cool for 10 minutes*

bake and cool

Now…during this 10 minutes we are gonna make the icing!

1)  In a saucepan melt your Butter, Cocoa and Heavy Cream. Be sure the butter is melted smooth 

icing

2) Add the Vanilla and Confectioners Sugar and mix until smooth.

Spread icing over cake while its still warm.  Ready to serve in about 45 minutes!

out of the oven

And last….ENJOY!

yummy deliciousness

 

 

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