Celebrating Life: Pastor Claudia's 50th Birthday Party

Friday, May 30, 2014

I had the privilege to attend Pastor Claudia's 50th birthday party this past Saturday and it was a beautiful and fun night with the ladies! She chose a very appropriate and fitting theme for her party: Celebrate Life, since she was celebrating two milestones in her life: her birthday and her breast cancer battle, thanks and glory to the Lord, she is now cancer free! She shared her story and the importance of God's word, his faithfulness and how we should always follow His will over ours. She's a great pastor at our church, inspiration and leader to many people at our city.  May God continue to bless her in many ways! 
Here's a sneak peek from the party, take a look:
(All photos provided by Motive To Be Pretty)

The food, sweets and cake were delicious and the decor was impeccably beautiful.
Also, the ladies (Renata and Luciene) behind the fashion and makeup blog Motive To Be Pretty and I were invited to showcase our blogs and talk about a little bit about what we do. 

It was a beautiful, inspiring, fun night with many wonderful ladies.

♥ ♥ 

Baked Cheesy Spinach

Thursday, May 29, 2014

This baked cheesy spinach is out of this world! Takes about 5 ingredients (I don't count salt and pepper, to me, they're freebies) and five minutes to put everything together, that's pretty easy, right?Take a look:


Recipe by Sweet Caroline

Ingredients:
1 bag (1lb.) frozen spinach, thawed
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup shredded cheese (I used combination of Munster and Cheddar)
Salt and black pepper

Directions:
Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, beat together the milk, egg, salt and pepper and reserve. Using a kitchen towel, squeeze all the water of the spinach. Place spinach  evenly in a baking dish and pour milk and egg mixture over the spinach (let the wet mixture sink between spinach). Sprinkle cheese evenly over the top. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Serve and enjoy!

Mushrooms Stuffed with Ricotta & Basil

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

These little stuffed mushrooms will knock your socks off! They're delicious and packed with flavor, the combination between ricotta cheese and basil really compliment each other and the juicy, tender mushroom. Take a look:


Recipe by Sweet Caroline

Ingredients:
15 baby bella mushrooms
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon basil paste
1/2 small white onion, diced
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt and black pepper

Directions:
Remove stems from mushroom caps and chop the stems. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium/high heat. Add the diced onions, sauté until translucent. Add the chopped stems and let it cook until soften. Remove from heat and let it cool. In a small bowl, combine ricotta, basil paste and sautéed onions and mushrooms. Mix to combine and season with salt and black pepper. Fill mushrooms caps with the mixture and arrange them in a baking dish. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, sprinkle the mixture over the mushrooms. Bake in a pre heated oven at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle chopped parsley. Serve and enjoy!

Shrimp with Tomato, Lime & Butter Sauce

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

All of you know how much I love quick and simple dishes by now and this one falls into that category perfectly. Plus, it's packed with flavor and yumminess! Take a look:


Recipe by Sweet Caroline

Ingredients (serves 2):
1/2 lb. small shrimp (peeled, deveined and tail-off)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
1 large roma tomato, diced
2 tablespoons butter
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 tablespoons chopped parsley and green onion
Salt and black pepper

Directions:
Season shrimp with salt and black pepper, set aside. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium/high heat. Add garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Add diced onions and sauté until translucent. Add tomatoes and let it cook until it breaks down a little bit. Add butter, once the butter melts, add lime juice and stir to combine. Add shrimp and let it cook until turns pink. Season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle chopped parsley and green onion over the top. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Kids Being Kids...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Before I begin sharing an overload amount of photos, I must say that being a kid is the best! As I sit and observe my own kids, I see how happy they are, how silly they can get and how they enjoy the little things. As you scroll down to see the photos, you'll get the point. There are plenty of brother and sister silliness, a boy trying to do the "robot" and enjoyment of playing with rakes! Take a look:


♥ ♥ 

Watermelon Drink Toppers (Free Printable)

I love to make drinks fancy and fun! These watermelon drink toppers do the trick very well and don't they look pretty? I think so. Plus, it's a perfect way to keep little bugs out of your drink if you are outside. I hope you'll enjoy it, take a look:

Beef & Pork Dumplings

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I always order dumplings whenever we order chinese takeout, they're my favorite and I can't never get enough of them. Since I like them so much I tried to make it at home and was surprised how easy and simple it is to make it. Take a look:


Recipe by Sweet Caroline

Ingredients (makes about 50 dumplings):
1 lb. ground beef and pork
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
1 package dumpling wrappers
2 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the oil. Mix well to combine ingredients. Fill each dumpling wrapper with meat mixture. Brush edges with water, fold in half and press to seal, create little pleads, do this with all the dumpling wrappers. In a large non stick skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium/high heat. Place half of dumplings bottom-side down, let them fry until golden brown in color. Pour 1/2 cup water in the pan carefully and cover halfway, this will create steam. Once the water evaporates, transfer dumplings to a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat with remaining dumplings. Garnish with green onions. Serve with soy sauce for dipping and enjoy!

Chinese Meatballs

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

These little meatballs are delicious and flavorful, perfect for serving as an appetizer at any get together or party, I'm sure your guest would love these! Take a look:


Recipe by Sweet Caroline

Ingredients (makes 30 meatballs):
1 lb.  combination of ground beef and pork
2 tablespoons green onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. In a bowl, add all the  ingredients and mix to combine well all the ingredients. Form meatballs and place in the prepare baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve with soy sauce for dipping and enjoy!

Breakfast Series: Mango with Lime Yogurt & Milled Flax Seeds

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Are you in need of a healthy, delicious and flavorful breakfast? If the answer is yes, then make sure to try this mango with lime yogurt and milled flax seeds. Take a look:


Recipe by Sweet Caroline

Ingredients:
1 mango, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons greek yogurt
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon milled flax seeds

Directions:
In a small dish combine, greek yogurt and lime juice. In a serving cup, add the diced mango, add the lime yogurt and sprinkle milled flax seeds. Serve and enjoy!

* Tip *: Add toasted coconut flakes for extra flavor. It will be delish!

DIY Project: Distressed Wooden Coasters

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Here's a super easy diy to make, turning simple wooden coaster into something beautiful. Also, it looks great at your table for resting your delicious drinks! Take a look: 


Supplies:
Wooden coasters
Paint (colors of your choice)
Brush
Sand paper

Directions:
Using a brush, paint wooden coaster with your favorite color (I used white and teal). Create patterns if you like. Let it dry completely. Sand the coasters to distressed the paint and show wood underneath.

Breakfast Series: Strawberry Pancakes

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

These pancakes are a hit with my family, especially with the kids since they love strawberries so much. The pancakes are sweet, fluffy and delicious, a perfect way to kick start your morning. Take a look:


Recipe by Sweet Caroline

Ingredients:
1¼ cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg beaten
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
1 cup diced strawberries

Directions:
In a bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, combine egg, milk, and oil and add all at once to flour mixture. Stir until blended, but still slightly lumpy. Add the grated carrot and half diced strawberries , mix to combine. Pour about ¼ cup batter onto a hot, lightly greased skillet or griddle. Allow them to brown on one side (this should take 2 minutes), then flip and allow them to brown on the other side. Serve warm with maple syrup and diced strawberries. Enjoy!

Mother's Day Recap...

Monday, May 12, 2014

How was your Mother's day? I hope it was as wonderful and relaxing as mine. My day started with my hubby taking me out for breakfast and shopping. We came home to prepare for lunch since my mother and family would be expanding the day with us. The weather was so nice that we decided to do some grilling and kids loved playing outsider, take a look:

Lots of chalk drawing. 

Sophia spend a lot of time swinging, while Ian was just being silly.

My husband was trying to take a nap but kids wanted to play.

The kiddos did a little mother's day presentation at the church, it was so lovely.

♥ ♥ 
 
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