Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Crafting - Fleece Hats

We had a very nice, productive Saturday, so I was able to get some projects done.  I had made the horse hat for my daughter for a contest with Hancock Fabrics (unfortunately, I didn't win at my local level).  But, of course, I had to make some for the other kiddos.  And a friend asked for some mouse-ear themed ones so a sewing I went!


Brainy Farm Wife,Fleece hats

Brainy Farm Wife,Fleece Hats

Brainy Farm Wife,fleece hat

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mexican Tater Tot Casserole

This is a great freezer recipe!  It's one I came up with to give a little bit of a mexican flavor to a staple - the tater tot casserole.  My family definitely prefers this version!


2 lbs ground beef
2 packets taco seasoning
1 can corn
1 can kidney beans
1 can sliced mushrooms, stems and pieces
1 can sliced olives
Tater tots
Shredded cheese (I use a combination monterey jack and cheddar cheese)

Brown beef, drain.  Add taco seasoning and water according to packet, simmer until water is absorbed. 

Open and drain cans.  Remove meet from heat, add ingredients from can and mix well.

Spray 9x13 pan with non-stick spray, put one layer of tater tots on the bottom.  Add meat mixture.  Sprinkle with desired amount of cheese.  Add another layer of tater tots.  You can cover the entire top, or just a row or two as a border.  Sprinkle with more cheese.

Cover with tin foil and bake at 400 degrees for about 50-60 minutes, remove foil the last 10 minutes.

Serve with salsa and sour cream.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Supporting Autism!

Not too long ago I read an article about how iPads and iPhones have been helping Autistic kids in a variety of ways.  My son is in 5th grade, and the organization apps alone would help him tremendously.  I know he's feeling overwhelmed and overstimulated as he is starting to change classrooms for subjects, and I'm nervous about the middle school years.  So I wondered how I could possibly get one for him.

Then a friend showed me this website that is doing fundraisers for INDIVIDUAL kids to allow them to get an iPad.  All that I need to do is a fundraiser selling $20 keychains or necklaces. 
I am getting one of each, and I'm taking the Key Chain to get engraved with my son's name on it as well!

That's only 58 more to go!  What one would you like?  Two ways to order.

* If you live close to me and would like me to deliver it to you, just email me at and let me know.  I will then respond and give you my address.  I can place the orders once I have received the money, and will send them in batches.

* If you would like it shipped to you directly, go to The Puzzling Piece's website  you will just need to put my name in the comments section when you check out in order for us to receive credit.  Teresa Sharp

Oh, and I'm hoping to get 120 (or more!) so I can donate an iPad to my son's school as well!

Thank you for your support!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Cream Puffs


I made these for a NYE party, and was told by several of the guests that I would be the first person on the invite list next year.  At the risk of not being invited back again since they'll be able to make their own, I share this recipe modified from one recieved from a friend of mine.

1 cup butter
2 cups water
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
8 eggs

Melt butter in large saucepan, add water and bring to roiling boil.  Reduce heat to low and add flour and salt. Stir until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball, remove from heat.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Using tablespoons, place desired sized ball on well-greased cookie sheet.  (I used a large cookie scoop).  Bake at 450 for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 325 and bake for an additional 20 minutes.  Cool completely on wire rack.

1 pkg instant vanilla pudding (5.4oz)
2 1/2 cups milk (per package)
1 1/2 cups cool whip
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Mix pudding with milk, fold in cool whip and powdered sugar.  Refridgerate until set. Fill cool shells, I use the Pampered Chef pastry Easy Accent Decorator with the tip to fill stuff.  If you don't have that, then you can cut the tops of the puffs off and fill with a spoon.

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
3 Tbs butter
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-2 Tbs light corn syrup
2-3 Tbs warm water
1/2 Tbs vanilla

Melt butter, add chocolate chips and stir until melted over low heat. Add powdered sugar, 2 Tbs warm water, vanilla and corn syrup.  Mix until smooth. You can spread over cream puffs, I tend to dip the puffs right into the icing.

Chill until ready to serve.