3 Ingredient Deviled Eggs

Easy 3 ingredient deviled eggs

These are the easiest ever deviled eggs to make, and I always get compliments on them! There are tons of complicated deviled egg recipes out there, and I’m sure they are delicious. This 3 ingredient deviled egg recipe is my go-to. My favorite. And super, super simple.

ingredients for deviled eggs

You need mayonnaise – I’ve used different brands and they are all fine. You can even use Miracle Whip if you’re a Miracle Whip fan. And of course you need hard-boiled eggs. But the most important ingredient is Season All. I’ve used different kinds of seasoning salt, but Morton’s (the one with the blue cap) is hands-down the best for this recipe.

Peel your hard boiled eggs. Make sure to get all that skin off – the membrane between the shell and the egg has a terrible texture and slightly bitter taste that completely ruins deviled eggs for me, so I always make sure to dunk the eggs in water after peeling and look carefully to make sure all the skin is gone.

Slice the eggs in half, lengthwise. Remove the yolks, put in a bowl. For 6 eggs, add two heaping tablespoons of mayo, and 1 teaspoon of seasoning salt. Mix thoroughly.

Plop a scoop of the filling back into each cavity left by removing the yolk. You can use fancy methods like a piping bag or cutting the corner off a ziplock bag… but when I’m making these just for my family, I use two teaspoons to transfer the filling onto the eggs.

Once the eggs are filled, sprinkle with a little more seasoning salt, and enjoy!

You can adjust the recipe to suit your taste – add more or less mayo, and more or less seasoning salt, depending on how you like your eggs. I’ve made these so often that I don’t even measure out the ingredients anymore… I just toss it all in a bowl until it tastes right!

… and these easy deviled eggs always taste right!!

Pixel Art Sprites with M&Ms #fueledbyMM

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and its client. mario mm sprite #FueledByMM #shop

Last week, I got crafty with the boys and M&M candies making 8-bit sprites. These are super fun and easy to make! First, I headed off to Walmart to buy big 42-oz bags of M&Ms. While there, I bought tubs of frosting, aluminum foil, and foamcore board.

You can, if you like, just use M&Ms on a table… but knowing I was going to be putting these together with two little “helpers”, I knew that bumps, knocks, and other accidental movements. All the other supplies prevent “oops” from turning into “OH NO!!” And when working with kids, that is a must!

I looked online for patterns to use. You can make up your own, but searching for cross-stitch patterns and Perler Bead patterns gets great results. I then printed out my patterns so we would have them handy while creating.

I measured out my M&Ms so I would know how big to cut my foamcore. (19 MMs for every 10 inches is what I came out with)

measure candies

I cut the foamcore a little larger than needed for each pattern, then covered with foil.

foil covered cardboard #FueledByMM #shop

I did a test with my youngest on a scrap of foamcore – we made a “candle” from his favorite game for Xbox – Minecraft. The foamcore was coated with a light layer of frosting before starting. This frosting acts as an edible glue to keep the M&Ms in place. Perfect for my little helpers!

minecraft sprite #shop

Once we got the hang of it, we all worked on our pieces…

baby sprites #FueledByMM #shop

…even my husband got involved, making a racing helmet.

j making his sprite #FueledByMM #shop

 

making as a family #FueledByMM #shop

We made sprites based on our favorite games. Here is the finished Angry Bird:

angry birds sprite #FueledByMM #shop

A racing helmet, perfect for a Forza 5 fan!

helmet sprite #FueledByMM #shop

And also to honor the launch of the new Forza 5 game… a classic racing game… Mario Kart!

Mario 8 bit sprite #FueledByMM #shop

… he looks a little jaundiced.

L also made this creation, which he says is his “house” in Minecraft. We all really got into this project!

placing mms #FueledByMM #shop

We had such a blast doing this as a family… and the best part is that we will be posting our pictures on Instagram and can WIN an Xbox One! Here are all the details:

Get creative with M&M’s® and win an Xbox One gaming with M pack! (and everyone can get $10 back on their M&Ms and Forza 5 purchase with the Buy-Snap-Redeem promo – details below)

Create your own Pixel Art using M&M’s (R) candies and snap an Instagram Photo. Tag your image with #FueledByM AND #Contest and post the image on Instagram and Twitter.

One lucky Pixel Artist will win a new Xbox One and Gaming is better with M pack including the Forza 5 Motorsport game and a 14 oz bag of M&Ms(R).  Contest runs Dec. 4th – Dec. 18th and winner will be chosen at random.

Find full legal rules here.

Buy, Snap, Redeem Details

  • Buy Forza 5 game
  • Buy participating M&M’s products
  • (Participating products include: M&Ms Peanut 42oz Stand Up Pouch, M&Ms Milk 42oz Stand Up Pouch, M&Ms Peanut Butter 38oz Stand Up Pouch, M&Ms Pretzel 30oz Stand Up Pouch, M&Ms Peanut 19.2oz Large Laydown Bag, M&Ms Milk 19.2oz Large Laydown Bag, M&Ms Peanut Butter 18.4oz Large Laydown Bag, M&Ms Pretzel 15.4oz Large Laydown Bag.)
  • Snap a photo of qualifying items on the receipt on your phone and text it to 811811. Include the code M&M with the picture of your receipt. Game and M&M’s must be purchased on the same receipt.
    Redeem:  You will receive a text back with a reward code valid for a $10 eGift card to Walmart.

Sweet Tea Picnic Made Easy (and Nine-Patch Napkins)

Sweet Tea Picnic

Recently, I was invited by Davidson’s Organics and Missouri Star Quilt Company to create a picnic. I couldn’t refuse. I’ve become something of a homebody, and anything to get me out of the house is a good thing! Plus, my son loves picnics. I kept this picnic simple, easy, and most of all, fun. They sent me sweet tea and fat-eighths of fabric to play with, in exchange for sharing my experience with all of you.

I packed up a picnic basket so that my son and I could spend the afternoon at the park.

pack up the picnic basket

I kept it simple. Mason jars with ice tea spoons, some snacks, honey for sweetening up my tea, my nine-patch napkins (more on those in a bit), and a juice box… because most 5 year olds aren’t big tea drinkers. Oh… and those big mason jars? Those are my secret weapon for packing an easy picnic.

One large mason jar is filled with ice. The other is filled with hot water and tea. The tea takes 5-7 minutes to brew. Which is about how long it takes to walk to the park from my house. So, while the water is boiling, I pack up the rest of the basket. Once the water is hot, I pour it into the mason jar, add my tea bags, pop on the lid, wrap a towel around the jar, and off we head to the park!

brew sweet tea on the go

By the time we get there, my tea is brewed, and I can pour the ice and tea into the smaller mason jars for drinking! Super easy. And while I sip my tea, my kiddo can do lots of this:

slide at the park

This made for a perfect fall afternoon with my kiddo. He’s growing up so fast!

With the fat eighths of fabric sent to me as part of my picnic package, I whipped up some nine-patch napkins. These are easy to make. Not quite as easy as the tea… but pretty simple.

I started with my fabric and 4 linen/cotton napkins.

nine patch napkin supplies

I cut the fabric into strips, 2.5″ wide, then stitched the strips into sets of 3. I pressed the seams so that half of the sets had the seams facing out, and half had the seams facing in.

two sets of strips

Then I sub-cut these into 2.5″ strips.

cut strip sets

I piled up the sets. The row on the right has the seams pointing out, and the row on the left has the seams pointing in.

I paired up strip sets to make four pairs, each using one strip from the right row, and one from the left row. Because the seams were pressed in opposite directions, they nest into each other perfectly, making for perfect intersections where the seams all meet.

I then added another strip to one side of each pair, making nine-patches.

pink the edges

Instead of leaving the edges raw, or trying to turn them under, I used pinking shears to trim the edges. This will keep them from fraying, and I really like the look of a pinked edge.

I pinned each square to one corner of a napkin.

pin squares in place

Then I stitched each square in place.

stitch down nine patch

It was that easy! We’ve got this picnic basket as a wedding gift, and until now I’ve always used paper napkins. I’m so glad I now have a set of nice picnic napkins to go in my picnic basket!

quilted napkins

Thanks again to Davidson’s Organics and Missouri Star Quilt Company for letting me join in on the fun!

Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe with Kraft Recipe Makers

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.Quick and Easy Shepherd's Pie

Trying to figure out what’s for dinner tonight? When I was asked to whip up a recipe with the new Kraft Recipe Makers, I knew I wanted to make a casserole. With school starting, I love making casseroles on the weekends – great for re-heating later in the week for a quick lunch for me or my husband, or a fast dinner as I’m trying to get the kids to bed to get a good night of sleep before school starts the next day.

Shepherd’s Pie is one of our favorite go-to recipes. It is the best easy meal to whip together, and making it with Kraft Recipe Makers adds a whole new level of flavor!

Kraft Recipe Makers Box

Ingredients:
Kraft Recipe Makers – New England Pot Roast Flavor
1 to 1.5lbs Ground Turkey (any ground meat will work – beef, chicken, whatever)
1/2 onion (optional)
Can of Green Beans (whole or cut)
approx 4 servings Mashed Potatoes (whip up the boxed kind or use leftovers from the night before)
1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice
(you can see my shopping trip here)

Brown the ground turkey. If you are adding onion, rough-chop the onion into 1/2″ cubes and add to ground turkey as you brown it.

Simmer in Kraft Recipe Maker Simmer Sauce

Once the turkey is browned, add the Simmer Sauce from the Kraft Recipe Makers. Let simmer for 5 minutes as you open and drain the can of green beans and get the mashed potatoes ready.

In a 7×9″ casserole dish, build the casserole. First add the ground turkey, then the green beans. Open up the second packet from the Kraft Recipe Makers – the gravy – and pour over the green beans.

Carefully spread the mashed potatoes over the top and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until the casserole is warm through and the cheese is melted and toasty.

Dinner Tonight - Shepherd's Pie

Allow to cool a little, then serve! Yum!

I love that Kraft Recipe makers includes all the flavor I needed to make one of our favorite dishes. It made dinner so easy to whip together!

You can learn more about Kraft Recipe Makers on the Kraft website or Facebook page.

Best way to Cut Cake: Cut Cake with a Spool of Thread

cut clean lines of birthday cake with this simple trick!

If you’ve ever taken the time to frost a beautiful cake, you dread the time that it will be chopped up. Sure, you want your guests to enjoy a bite of cake, and you know that dismantling your work of art is part of the process, but seeing all your hard work hacked to crumbs and pieces might make you die a little inside. Instead of attacking your cake with a knife, use a spool of thread for beautiful, clean lines that you might not even notice after cutting! This trick even works on cakes that have been out of the refrigerator for a few hours, with frosting that is a little soft, and cake that is no longer firm.

Grab a spool of thread. Hold the spool in one hand, and the end of the thread in the other. Pull your hands apart so that they are a few inches wider than the with of the cake.use a spool of thread to cut clean lines of birthday cake

With the thread tight, pull the thread straight down over the cake. This will make a clean cut. At the bottom, make sure that the thread reaches all the way down to the cake board (or plate if that is what the cake is sitting on), and pull tight to make sure you have cut cleanly through the whole cake.

Release the thread end, and holding on to the spool, pull the thread out. Repeat the process across the length and width of the cake to cut all of the slices. Then serve your beautifully cut pieces!

Must-know tip! The best way to cut a cake with neat, clean lines - even if it has been sitting out for hours!

Mac and Cheese Recipe Using Leftovers

No More Leftovers Mac and Cheese at Always Expect Moore

I was at a party, and there was a bunch of cubed cheese left over afterwards. The hostess couldn’t eat it, so she asked if I could take it home. I knew that I could turn that cheese into a yummy dinner… and it really was delicious!

Update: I hope you like this easy, affordable recipe! Between April 25 – May 25, 2014 a donation of just $40 will help the Beckstrand Cancer Association feed a family coping with cancer for an entire week! Click HERE to make your donation.

Here is the Mac and Cheese Recipe I used.

For every 1 cup of cheese, you’ll need:
4oz elbow macaroni noodles
2 tbsp flour
1 c whole milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp butter + 4tbsp for breadcrumbs (use REAL butter – worth it!)
1/2 c Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

Boil water and add macaroni noodles. Cook according to package directions and drain.

While the noodles are cooking, preheat oven to 400 degrees and chop up the cheese so it is as thin as if you had shredded it.

chop cheese to shred

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour, salt, and pepper and whisk.

Once the flour/butter/spice mixture is mixed, slowly pour in the milk. Keep stirring as you pour to keep everything lump-free. Bring the pot up to a boil, stirring the whole time, and cook for 2 minutes. Lower the heat and keep cooking for about 10 minutes.

Start adding the cheese, incorporating a little at a time. Let the mixture cook for another 5 minutes. Keep stirring, making sure to stir up the bottom to prevent burning.

Add the cheese sauce to the macaroni noodles and mix well so that the noodles are fully covered. Pour into a greased baking dish.

Melt the remaining butter and toss the breadcrumbs in it. Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes until top is golden and yummy. This is the best Mac and Cheese Recipe ever… and to think that it was made using leftovers! YUM!

adapted from Fannie Farmers Mac & Cheese Recipe

Ice Cream Pizzas

My 4-year old loves Team Umizoomi. If you don’t have small kids, you don’t know that Team Umizoomi is a team of 3 tiny cartoon characters (4 if you count Umi Car), who run around Umi City helping their friends by using their “Mighty Math Powers”.

Team Umizoomi has helped to teach my son math issues like units of measure, identifying patterns, and shapes. They also reinforce proper social behavior like sharing and helping friends. One of my son’s favorite episodes is about Ice Cream Pizzas. The ice cream truck has broken down, and can’t get down the street to bring ice cream treats to the neighborhood children. The ice cream treat of choice is the ice cream pizza. My son asked me if we could make ice cream pizzas together, so of course I said yes!

We had to start by getting our ingredients. Large sugar cookies, vanilla ice cream (which I allowed to soften) and gummy candies. In the show they use a striped candy. Since we couldn’t find the right color striped candy, I went with these gummy candies that are the right color, but weren’t the right size. I cut them down to size for our pizzas.

I spread the softened ice cream on to cookies. I had softened the ice cream so that it was about the consistency of margarine.

I cut up the gummy candies and then let my son put them on. Team Umizoomi used 5 candies on their ice cream pizza, and so did we.

All that was left was to chow down! Nom!

Dinosaur Party Wrap-up

At the end of April my baby turned one. And suddenly, he doesn’t look like a baby anymore. He’s grown tall and lanky. His baby chubbyness is slimming down as he runs around the house and yard. He climbs up anything his legs can reach.

To celebrate his first birthday, we threw a dinosaur-themed party. When my oldest turned one, we used the theme from his nursery for his first birthday. It was an easy transition. So we did the same here. My baby has a dinosaur themed nursery, and so we threw a dinosaur themed party for him.

You might have already seen the dinosaur invitations with washi tape, the dinosaur wreath, and the tissue paper pennants. I had fun creating handmade items for the party.

I spent the day before prepping food for the party. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies. I had a smash cake for the birthday boy, and a chocolate cake on the side, but also cupcakes for the kids at the party. Cupcakes are so much easier than a large sheet cake when you’re expecting lots of people.

I got a little help putting up decorations for the party… sometimes streamers end up like this when you have a 4-year-old involved!

Instead of getting a heavy helium tank, or schlepping to a party store early in the morning for helium-filled balloons, I hung regular balloons from the ceiling. This also kept them out of the hands of small children during the party.

Before the party, my brother and sister-in-law helped me cut out dinosaur feet for the kids to decorate. We used this template from Make and Takes.

Once they decorated them, they could wear them.

I made several batches of homemade playdoh the day before for the kids to play with. We also had a pinata for the older kids – at the request of big brother.

The birthday boy didn’t know what to do with the dinosaur smash cake he was offered…

And although he loves cake, he hasn’t ever been a big fan of frosting. After we pushed his hands into the cake, he wasn’t a very happy guy.

After a change of clothes and a nap, we opened gifts.

I can’t believe how big he is already! Happy Birthday, little man… I’m looking forward to so many, many more celebrations with you!

Dinosaur Smash Cake

For Little Moore’s first birthday, three and a half years ago, I made a small car cake for him to smash into. He doesn’t remember, but he has seen pictures. Quite a few times he has requested that I make him a car cake again. I’m sure I will… but before then I had Baby B’s first birthday cake to make. For Baby B, we were throwing a Dinosaur Birthday Party. I had all kinds of fun ideas planned (I’ll share more with you soon – I promise!), but the cake really had me stumped. Dinosaur cake. How was I going to make this happen?

Sure, I could make a traditional cake and slap some dinosaur toys on it. But I really went all-out for his brother’s birthday… and being a second child myself (and my mother was a second child too), I’m very conscious of second-child syndrome. Yes, some things are going to be different for Baby B than for his big brother… but I’d like to have some things the same, too. So I got baking.

I used one boxed cake mix to make 2 round cakes in 6″ cake pans. I’ve had these cake pans forever, and love them. I used them for Little Moore’s first birthday as well. I got them my last semester in college when I lived in a tiny apartment with no oven. When we were first dating, I used them to bake a birthday cake for my husband in a toaster oven!

I covered a small cutting board to use as the base. I then cut a slice off the bottom of the first round to make the bottom of his legs, and cut off each side to make the front and back of the body. I cut a notch in the middle to make the legs.

From the second cake I cut an arch to make the head, and a pointy bit for the tail, and then put them by the body piece like so:

Yup! Already starting to look like a dinosaur! I then cut the top so the cake was level. Now he looks like this:

I used canned frosting, and gave him a thin layer of frosting. This is called a “crumb coat”. I didn’t worry about crumbs everywhere, because this is getting covered up later. I just wanted to seal everything in. At this stage, he looks pretty ugly.

I tinted frosting green until I got it the right color, and then put it in a piping bag. I grabbed the largest tip I had, which happened to be a star tip. I then piped the green all over every inch of the cake.

With a knife, I smoothed out the frosting.

I added a couple touches later with a contrasting color, for fun… but that’s optional. This is really a simple cake to make – I promise! And, he had his shining moment in the sun… before he was reduced to this…

I hope that in four years, Baby B will look back at photos of this cake and ask for a repeat as well!