Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Happy Angry Bird-day!

My son Benjamin recently turned SIX! I know, that's crazy! And each year when I ask what type of party the boys want...lately their answer is always STAR WARS! I don't quite understand what the appeal is with Star Wars, so I was very happy when Ben suggested having an "Angry Birds" party! He loves playing "Angry Birds" on my husband's phone, and I have to admit I like playing it too!

I found many ideas on Pinterest. And since Angry Birds is fairly new, there isn't any type of party decorations (unless you have a ton of money to spend on Etsy). So I had to come up with ideas on my own or should I say with the help of the internet! ;)

I LOVED this balloon idea! It can be found HERE.
 The party stores in the neighborhood wouldn't fill latex balloons with helium, so I bought a small helium tank from Walmart and filled my own. Or should I say my hubby filled them for me! I know that latex doesn't hold helium long, but my balloons started falling about a half hour after we filled them! :( So that was a bust! But they sure were cute while they lasted!

What was neat about making these little characters was that the paper weighed down the balloons a little, so we left them hang from the ceiling and it looked like the little angry birds were looking down on us! ;)
 I think the little blue one is my favorite!
 I found these little plush pigs and angry birds at Toys R Us...so I bought them and we set up our own little lifesized Angry Bird Game.
 We were going to use a real slingshot, but it was too hard for the boys to work, so they just threw the angry birds! They had a blast!
 As for the cake, I ordered it at Walmart. I could have baked a cake like this, but I try to eliminate as much added stress as possible lately, so we had the party catered, and I ordered the cake. I did however decorate the cake myself. I was going to make little angry birds out of clay or fondant, but again I wanted no stress, so I ordered the Angry Bird Game off of Amazon.com and just used the game pieces. I think it made the cake look fun!

I was a little upset with the fact that the cake decorator inscribed the cake wrong. I specifically gave her what to write in writing, but she still managed to screw it up. It was supposed to say: "Happy Angry Bird-day Ben!" But she wrote: "Happy Angry Bird Birthday Ben!" But oh well, it's just minor and bothered me just a little! ;)
 But in the end Ben loved his cake and that's all that mattered! :)
Here is the invitation that I made him. I think it's horrible, and I could have done a much better job had I hand drawn it, but I digitally drew it on the computer which is hard!
And finally here we are in our Angry Bird shirts that I waited to the last minute to buy. In the end I traveled about an hour to find our shirts in our sizes! Alex is going through this stage where he makes faces everytime we take a photo! It's exhausting! lol
So that was our simple Angry Bird party! Do you play Angry Birds?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Chicken Tomato Alfredo=YUM!

I have a love affair with pasta! I would be in some serious trouble had I married an Italian! ;) Luckily, my husband is Polish but holidays can be fattening with all of the homemade pierogies & cabbage rolls! lol

Anyway, here is one of my new favorite pasta recipes. This is super yummy! A couple weeks ago I had made a homemade alfredo sauce, but it called for butter, garlic, flour, half-and-half, Parmesan Cheese, Colby-Monterey Jack Cheese, and Sour Cream..among other things. The recipe was super super rich and my husband and I didn't care for it. It was a highly rated 5 star recipe on allrecipes.com...but for us it was merely 3 stars if that. My husband and I didn't even have a second helping...it was that bad. I think it was just too much cheese, butter and sour cream!

Anyway I had made this Chicken Tomato Alfredo and fell head over heels in love with it!

This is my second time making it and I made a few minor changes from the original recipe, and to us it is perfect! The original recipe can be found HERE. I love her blog! Her recipes look sooo yummy! I definitely want to try more, especially after this recipe turned out soo well!
While her recipe was super yummy, I found that two cans of tomatoes like she suggested in place of mushrooms was just too much. My husband liked it, and while it was good, the second time I used only one can and it was PERFECT! I ate three huge plates! I'll be totally mad when it causes me to put on a few pounds, but I promise you...it's sooooo worth it! ;)

Here is the recipe exactly as I made it!

Chicken Tomato Alfredo

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup olive oil

3 chicken breasts (halves), cubed

1 regular onion,diced

2 tsp minced garlic (I used 4 large cloves)

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 package Alfredo sauce mix (I used Knorrs)

12 oz. Fresh slice mushrooms (I didn't add any mushrooms because my hubby hates them, but I imagine it's sooo good that way)

1(15oz) can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1/4 cup chopped parsley or 2 T. dried (I used dried)

2 T. dried basil

1 lb fettuccini or any pasta you like, cooked according to package directions (I love using Penne Pasta)

1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese (not the shaker cheese...use the real shredded cheese)

Heat the oil and the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken, onion, and garlic and cook until chicken is no longer pink. While the chicken is cooking, whisk the cream and alfredo sauce mix together in a small bowl. When chicken is cooked pour the cream sauce mixture into the skillet with chicken. Add the mushrooms, tomatoes and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat while stirring. Reduce the heat and simmer about 10 minutes or until sauce thickens. Stir in Parsley and basil. Remove from heat and toss the sauce with cooked pasta and parmesan cheese.

This is soo yummy and it makes just enough sauce for 1 lb of penne pasta! Blogging this is making my mouth water...it's nearly 9 at night and I think I'm headed to the fridge for leftovers! lol