Home Maid Simple

Monday, October 20, 2014

Do you have a #FrankenPet

This is a sponsored post. Compensation was exchanged for publishing this. Thoughts and opinions are my own. 

I absolutely love Picmonkey for all my photo editing needs. I can resize my photos for optimum blog load time for you, as well as edit colors, add embellishments, and of course get some text in there so you can pin all my images to pinterest (at least I hope that's what you do). You may even recall last year I wrote about what to gift your blogging friends, and Picmonkey Royale was on there.

The photo above is of our old day Tank. It took me about 5-10 minutes to play around with all the different FREE effects available to me on Picmonkey.


It's time to dress them up your pets! Do a little photo editing, and enter Picmonkey's #FrankenPet Halloween contest!
Cat, dog, reptile, amphibian - it doesn't matter in this contest. They are looking for creativity, use of picmonkey effects, theme, and photo quality.


Grand prize winner will receive a Year of Picmonkey Royale and then based on the category a GoPro Hero3, Fetch Harness, or 3 way mount. Runner ups will receive a year of Royale and a $25 giftcard to Petco.

How to Enter

Entering is SIMPLE! Grab a photo of your pet, or your friends, or your neighbors. Do a little editing on Picmonkey. Then share your photo on social media with the hashtag #FrankenPet 

*Contest runs through 11:59pm Halloween Night. Winners will be announced by Picmonkey on November 5th. Everyone is welcome to participate, but prizes are only open to US residents. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Weekend Bites #5 Muffins

Weekend Bites

If you're new to Weekend Bites, here's the run down
1. Link up your any food related post below
2. Browse the linky, visit some new blogs, and share if you feel so inclined. 
3. Please only link up 3 posts. This lets us visit as many of you as possible.
4. By linking up you give me permission to feature your photos on Home Maid Simple (always linking back to you of course!)
5. Each month I send out a newsletter with the most popular links from that month - you may be featured!!  This is a once a month newsletter, every first Friday of the month, no spamming involved. Sign up over there ------>(the Foodie Friday one)
6. And of course if you feel inclined, grab a button above.

This morning, we actually sat down as a whole family to eat breakfast. Normally we all slowly make our way out, and I let the kids grab a bowl of cereal. Mark fends for himself, and I might eat, if I remember amidst all the other morning tasks I try to get done before the kids go to school. Today though, it's fall break. YAY! So even though I woke up a little later than normal, and the kids slept in a little, I made everyone wait to eat. I whipped up some pancake batter, tossed on the bacon, and even fried an egg for Mark since I know he doesn't care for pancakes. Then we sat together. 

You know what? Families are happier when they eat meals together. It's true! It gives you more time to really get to know your family in this busy world we live in. After this morning, I want to try really hard to have more family breakfasts (we already eat dinner together every night). I need quick, or premade ideas though, for when school starts again. So I was happy to see a couple muffin recipes at last weeks party. I'll be adding these into our menu for the next month. 

Bluesberry Lemon Cream Cheese Muffins

Healthy Molasses Raisin Oat Muffins

Honey Spice Streusel Muffins

Grab a Button ladies!
Weekend Bites

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ghent Waterzooi: A visit to Belgium

Ghent Waterzooi - a Belgian chicken stew

When I saw we were visiting Belgium this month for Food of the World, I got pretty excited. My brother just moved his family to Brussels this summer, so I decided to pick his brain. In all honesty, when it comes to cooking, he's probably the culinary master of our family. I asked him what he found to be the most common dish served in his short time living there, and if there was anything he particularly liked. 

Of course his resonse was Frites - of Belgian Fries. Along with that though, would also be Mussells. Turns out there's a very popular dish that is mussells and frites together. I debated, but really, I don't think I should make mussells the first time I try them - they should be properly cooked by someone more experienced than me if there's any hope I will like them. Am I right? My husband would agree. 

Although Belgian Frites are on my menu this month, I decided to turn to the rest of the interwebs for inspiration. I came across this delicious looking recipe for Endive Gratin - but none of my local stores sell endives. So I turned to the next recipe catching my eye - Ghent Waterzooi. Named after the River ghent, because traditionally this is served with fish, that was mostly caught in the Ghent. 

However, it is served frequently as a chicken dish as well, and since that is what I had on hand, I chose to go for a chicken waterzooi. This recipe yields 2 servings, and can be whipped up for a nice lunch, or doubled for a family dinner.

Ghent Waterzooi

1 TBS butter
1/2 of 1 leek, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 egg
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
salt and pepper
green onions, sliced (optional for garnish)

1. Saute leek, celery, and butter in a medium sauce pan.
2. Add chicken, and chicken stock. Cook 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from the pan, and cut into chunks. Return to pan.
3. Whip egg and cream together. Stir into the chicken and veggies. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook another 10 minutes. 
4. Serve hot with bread. 

Next month - Nov 11th - we will visit the tiny island of Malta. Start checking out recipes from this country's cuisine. 


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