Thursday, July 28, 2011

Free Pectin Sample

FREE Sample of Ball RealFruit Classic Pectin
I learned about this deal at

If any of you are into canning like I am, then you need to go and request your free sample of pectin!( I love free stuff!)

Just go on over to
to request a FREE sample of Ball RealFruit Classic Pectin! In the offer code box, enter HPPECTIN (if needed).

Storm at Ft. Desoto

The family and I took a much needed trip to Ft Desoto Beach. The kids packed their fishing gear, metal detector, shovel and bucket. It started off to be exactly what we need, and then a storm started rolling in. So what do I do? I tell me hubby I want to take a few pictures before we go. I didn’t realize how fast the storm was rolling in, nor did I realize how far I had walked when the lighting started going off everywhere. In one of the picture you can see a guy fishing; a bolt of lightning hit really close by and that guy and I ran as fast as we could back to the main beach. I was greeted by an extremely worried husband. We finally get to the car and the kids were really upset. They told me they thought something had happened to me and asked my why had I not come back sooner. I felt so bad, everyone was so worried. My middle child made me promise to never do that again. I learned my lesson; never go out in a storm to take pictures. I will admit it was a bit scary. So I hope you enjoy my death defying pictures!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Easiest Fudgy Chocolate Muffins Ever!

I can't remember what blog I was on to give proper credit for this recipe, sorry. Theses muffins/cupcakes are supposedly only 1 weight watcher point. Isn't that great?!

It only requires 2 ingredients-
1 box Devil's Chocolate Cake mix
1 can 15oz. Pumpkin puree (not pie mix)

Mix both ingredients together and bake like cupcakes according to the box.
The mixture will be very thick. Do not add water, eggs or anything else. It will be OK, I promise.
That's it, how easy is that!

I wanted to make my muffins a bit healthier so I added so Ground Flaxseed meal to it. This will add fiber and Omega-3 to my muffins. So now I can eat these for breakfast guilt free. It's almost like a chocolate bran muffin, without the bran, of course. I Love it!

These muffins are also a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without being bad.

If you want to try my VitaMuffin version of it-
1 box Devil's Cake Mix
1 can Pumpkin Puree
3/4 cup Ground Flaxseed meal
3/4 cups water
Mix well (batter will be thick). Scoop into cupcake wrappers and bake according to box.

This recipe is also great with other cake mixes.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Garlic Chicken

This recipe is a family favorite. It is very easy to make and doesn't take long to prepare. In true "Ariel" fashion, I don't measure with this recipe. I just pour until it looks good. I think it would be really hard to mess this recipe up.

2 teaspoons crushed garlic (I use more, I love garlic)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2.Warm the garlic and olive oil to blend the flavors. In a separate dish, combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dip the chicken breasts in the olive oil and garlic mixture, then into the bread crumb mixture. Place in a shallow baking dish. (I take the remainging oil mixture and drizzle it on top of the breaded chicken)
3.Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until no longer pink and juices run clear.

Side Effects From All The Rain

We are still getting lots of rain but luckily it is not as much as it was a week ago. I am trying to use my camera more often, so I took a few pictures. I hope you enjoy them.

I have noticed at least 4 different types of mushrooms.

It is a amazing to me how fast mushrooms grow. They all popped up over night.

I actually had to tell my kids to leave the mushrooms alone so I could take a few pictures. The boys love to have mushroom wars; that is just an excuse to be able to throw something at each other. At least mushrooms are soft. ;-)

Here is my dock last week completely underwater!
Here is a floating mass of fire ants playing king of the mountain. Apparently their home was underwater so they all piled on top of each other. It was an amazing site. You had to be very careful because the would go after anything in the water and if that were you, you would get tore up with ant bites! Scary!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Woman Faces Charges for Veggie Garden

I am no anti-government extremist, but I really am tired of people and the government messing with someone trying to grow a few veggies. Anyone should be able to grow fruits and veggies without someone telling them it doesn't fit in with typical landscaping, so it must go. This woman does not live in an HOA subdivision. This is her city government telling her to remove it.
I am sure some of you are thinking that she should have planted it in her back yard but, a lot of people don't have much of a backyard or maybe it is all shade. Who knows?
Where is Michelle Obama? She should be standing up for this woman. First Lady Obama planted a garden on the White House lawn and encourages everyone to have their own garden, and eat more fresh fruit and vegetables. Come on Michelle, help a girl out!
I have seen yards with "typical" landscaping that are AWFUL, painted a hideous color, or looks like a junk yard and they are left alone.
What a crazy world we live in!

What are your thoughts on this?

Friday, July 8, 2011

And The Rains Came Tumbling Down...

Do any of you know the primary song I am talking about? "The rains came down and the flood came up, and the house on the rock stood still"
Anyway, that what it feels like over here. We have been suffering from a drought and finally we started seeing some rains in late June and things starting perking up. The grass in the backyard used to crunch when you walked on it and now it is nice and green. No more hand watering and no more droopy plants, woohoo!!!! It is amazing how fast the plants and the grass are growing. I think they are making up for lost time.

But boy, oh boy, did the rains come. Our pond hasn't been this high in years! We are expecting more today. In fact I can hear thunder as I am typing.

Here is the pond level on June 25th, with a storm rolling in. Please ignore the dead cypress tree.

Here is the pond at normal level on July 4th. Please ignore my other dead cypress tree. But notice the water level to the trees in the back ground.

Here is the water level this morning. It has actually gone down. See the mud line? And notice the dead cypress trees are gone. They have been replaced by drowning Birds of Paradise.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I am having trouble with my blog. For some reason it won't let me respond to everyones comments. Sorry.
But don't let that stop you from posting. I love reading your comments. If any of you and more computer friendly then me, I would love your help!

Happy 4th of July

Yes, I am late posting again but, I still wanted wish everyone a Happy 4th of July!!!

It was a bitter sweet 4th of July for our family. We had a wonderful time celebrating with family and friends, but our son in law left for boot camp. We know it was a hard decision for him, to have to leave his wife (Krystle) and his daughter for the next few months, but we are very proud of him. Good Luck in boot camp Tyler, we know you will do great!!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Beach Banana Cupcakes

Aren't these adorable??

My father recently invited us to celebrated his birthday with him by watching the sunset at St. Pete Beach. So I decided to make some cupcakes. My fathers favorite cake is carrot cake, so I made him some carrot cupcakes and they were delish. (more about those on the next post).
But for the kids I decided to try something a little different. I had plenty of bananas on hand so I decided to try Banana Cupcakes. They turned out very yummy, my kids can attest to that. The cupcakes were not as dense as most banana breads are but, they were still nice and moist with a soft banana flavor.
As you can tell from the pictures I HAD to make them cute (for the kids of course, ha ha).
The beach balls were large gumballs, I added the stripes.
The people are Teddy Grahams
and the towels are "Rips" I picked these up at Walmart in the candy isle for under $2 but I am sure you could use fruit roll ups.

All the coloring on the Teddy Grahams and on the Gumballs were done with food decorating pens. I use Americolor Gourmet Writers. I find they work alot better than the Wilton Decorating pens.

Banana Cupcakes from
3/4 cup butter
2 1/8 cups white sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (I used sour cream instead)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. In a small bowl, mix mashed bananas with lemon juice, set aside. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter and 2 1/8 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Stir in banana mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour,(cupcakes-approx. 30 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place directly into freezer for 45 minutes. This will make the cake very moist.