Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving a success!!

We had our first Thanksgiving at our home, and we loved the way it turned out. I have a big family, so we had to do some furniture rearrangements in order to accommodate everyone.

We moved the couches out of the way

Right before our family arrived, I lit the candles

 I had to get a few balloons, I love how the add a finishing touch

Me adding the finishing touches to the buffet area

Some of the appetizers were my stuffed mushrooms, hot spinach dip, and brie apricot cheese
They went pretty fast

 My hubby and I

And our little guy, right before he took out more toys

Tomato Soup To Do Die For !!!

I love tomato soup. It brings back memories from elementary school on a rainy day. I have tried many tomato soups, but then I tried this recipe Cream Of Tomato Basil Soup. After making it for the first time, my husband and I were like this is some yummy soup.

I come from a Mexican family, and in most foods, if there isn't a bit of spice or the taste of a hot pepper, then it's missing something. Second time around of making it, we had the family over for Thanksgiving, and we decided to tweak this recipe just a bit.So instead of the roasted red peppers we used roasted poblano peppers.


2 (28 oz) cans of whole tomatoes
(reserve juice, you might think that you have a lot, but it will be fine)
2 TB brown sugar
4 TB butter
1 small onion chopped
2 TB tomato past
2-3 TB flour
2 (15 oz) cans or one carton of chicken stock/broth
2 fresh red peppers roasted or green poblano peppers
1 cup prepared pesto
1 1/2 cups half and half 
some bread for dipping. I chose rosemary bread

1. Preheat oven to 450, and/or if you have a toaster oven turn on the broiler.

(I normally turn on the broiler in my toaster oven, and roast the peppers. Once there done, I switch it to the oven option, and start the pre heat for the tomatoes.)

Began the pepper roasting process. In order to roast the peppers, my mom puts them on the stove range and lets them sit on the open fire, turning them as they get burnt. Another way of roasting them is putting them under the broiler for about 15-20 minutes. I like the broiler better, less risk of getting burn while turning them, and less mess. I just put foil on the try and put them in our oven toaster. Once there ready put them aside to let cool, and then peel the black skin off.  Take the seeds out, and cut them into chunks or strips.

Green Poblano Peppers/Red Bell Peppers

2. Line a baking sheet with foil. Get your can of whole tomatoes, and drain and squeeze out seeds of tomatoes and arrange them on baking sheet. Make sure to save the juices from the whole tomatoes.

 Be careful, if you squeeze too strong, you will get splattered.

Sprinkle them with brown sugar (i put extra sugar second time around). Bake until liquid is evaporated and tomatoes caramelize (about 30 min).

This picture is before they were in the oven.

3. Heat butter, onion, and tomato paste in large pot. Saute until onions soften. Add flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add chicken stock and reserved tomato juice. Bring to a boil. Add tomatoes and peppers and puree until smooth with an immersion blender, or remove from pot in small batches and puree in a food processor or blender. Return to pot, simmer 15 minutes. Five minutes before serving, add pesto and half and half.

First time I made this I didn't have a hand blender, so I had to puree it in batches in my blender. It was a bit messy, the cap of the blender kept popping off as soon as I would start it, and I would get splattered. So before I made it second time around, I had bought a hand blender, it worked sooo much better.

And your done.

 I ended up doubling up on all the ingredients for Thanksgiving, and we gave a small bowl to whoever wanted to try it, about 12 people.

 Let me know how it turned out for you. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hawaiin Tropic removes pen ink

Who would have thought that Hawaiian Tropic Tanning Lotion removes pen ink? Well it does. I was in the kitchen washing dishes. A while ago, we had removed any markers and pens from our toddlers reach. Unfortunately he got a hold of a pen and decided to write on one of our little foot ottoman. He called me and I turned around and noticed what he had done. I started to freak out. I got Clorox wipes, no luck. Baby wipes, no luck. Water with soap, no luck. I went outside where my husband was to tell him what happened, he was upset and we figured the ottoman was ruined and we had to throw it  out.
I went online and and googled my problem. On one of the chat rooms a reply said to use tanning lotion, but very little of it or it will start cracking the material. I figured it wouldn't hurt to try a section so I did. It came off sooo quickly. It did crack the material a bit but not much.
Our ottomans are saved. I wish I would have taken before and after pictures, but I was not thinking about blogging it at that time.

French Theme Birthday Party

This summer I helped my sister create a French Theme Birthday Party for her daughter that turned 2. At the entrance of the house we created an "airport". We had the guest sit in chairs and I read them a quick dialect just like the flight attendants do. They then arrived in Paris, took their photo and they then entered the party.

It started off with these super cute invitations

This is where the guests arrived LAX Los Angeles airport

They sat in the plane while I read my quick flight instructions

Guests then arrive at ORY Paris airport

Birthday girl and Mom

That's me on the right and my family. I made shirts that read
"Were Here For Alexa's French Party"

Grandma and Grandpa also wore their French themed shirts :)

We had French Baguette bread and assorted meats for lunch

French Lemonade

We made these paper cones for the french fries

Cake that my niece Anna made

Table Des Bon Bons (Sweets Table in French)

We did a little photo shoot the week before, and my sister turned one of the pictures into cardboard, and guests were able to sign on it.

In addition to the sweets and cake, my niece who made the cake also made Crepes.
The guests had a choice of the ingredients, and my husband made his yummy lattes, cappuccinos, and espresso.

We had Menus through out

Hope you liked it

For more pictures please click this link

Little Prince Baby Shower

I was so excited to host a co ed baby shower for my sister and her husband. We had the party at my house, and the theme was "A Little Prince Is On His Way". I made most of the party decor my self, and I was happy with the results. Thank you to all who helped in putting the event together. Here are a few pictures:

These were the welcome signs, after the shower I put them together as one long wreath, and she was able to put it on their front door until the baby arrived.

Here is a picture of the save the date that went out.


                                                                       Buffet Table

                                                                    Sweets Table

My Stepdaughter helped me make these yummy brownie bites in addition to other great treats we had, recipe found on bettycrocker.com

 I put several of these frames through out, they added a great little touch
Mom and Dad were able to take these home as well.

In addition, I had also bought a bunch of assorted size candle holders, put blue water (food coloring), crystals and floating candles through out. Once the sun went down we turned on the candles. Unfortunately there was a bit of wind, and the candles kept blowing out.

The Happy Mom and Dad to Be

These were the centerpieces, unfortunately our 100 degree whether that day with a bit of breeze was not letting these centerpieces stand straight. They kept tipping over. I was happy the night before when I had finished all the balloon clusters, they looked so cute.

I didn't know what to do for party favors, all I wanted to do was something unique. So I made guest soap party favors. The stickers read "Were Soaping you had a great time. Thank you for coming"

For more pictures visit this link
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