Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Become a Holiday Sparkle Sponsor!

Become a Sponsor!
Are you looking for a great place to promote your blog with extremely affordable rates?  Then I hope you let Holiday Sparkle help you take your blog to the next level.
Holiday Sparkle is one of the fastest growing websites this year.  The blog has increased its ratings and international positioning among websites by over 60% in just 2 months.  I love working, improving and promoting my blog and most important I love working with other bloggers to help them promote and improve their own blogs.
So if you would like to become a sponsor and have your blog, website, or Etsy shop featured prominently on this website then be sure to email me at 
for more information.
Enjoy some of the lowest rates you'll find anywhere.
 Rates are for the 150 x 150 ad size shown above:
30 days........$20.00
60 days........$38.00
90 days........$50.00
You can create your own button or I can help you create one free of charge.
You will be placed within the first three spots on every page of the blog.
If you are having a giveaway or sale on your website, I will be happy to help you promote your special event at no additional charge.
I have over 10,000 followers on pinterest and pin daily and have landed many times on pinterest 'whats hot' page.  I also belong to many group boards with a combined total of followers that ranges around half a million.  Many items pinned to those boards have received thousands of re-pins in a single day!
I love blogging and doing market research on what blogs and ideas are hot.  I love being on pinterest and helping other bloggers promote their products and ideas.
Whichever plan you choose, I promise as a fellow blogger to truly spend time helping you promote your store or blog by pinning on pinterest, creating a short blog post about your business and promoting you on facebook!
If you are interested then just contact me at
and I can send you an invoice through Paypal.
Thanks again so much and here's to turning your blog or business into the success you always knew it could be!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Homemade Heart Shaped Herb Croutons.
Surprise your sweetheart with some love this Valentines Day.  Make something as simple as a Ceasar salad look extra special by simply adding some easy to make heart shaped croutons!
Simply take your bread and cut away with your heart shaped cookie cutter.
Next sprinkle some oil and season with herbs, salt and pepper.
Toss and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Watch carefully towards the end as they can go from being done to burnt very quickly!
Enjoy in your salads or with a delicious bowl of split pea soup. Click HERE for the yummiest Split Pea Soup quick and easy recipe!

Monday, February 11, 2013

How To Grow Green Onions


Ok, so the first thing that needs to be said about this tip/trick is that it 100% works.  The second thing to mention about regrowing your own scallion indoors is that it fricken smells awful! 
***Quick Update***
(So I have been growing the onions now for over a month and I'm on my 4th cutting.  They just keep growing and the smell doesn't seem to be as bad.  Still think the idea of growing some lemon leaves next to it would be a good plan.  Hope you guys are having luck with your scallions)
So if your still willing to give it a try then it really is quite simple to regrow the scallion you already have in your fridge.
Simply cut 2-3 inches from the bottom of the scallions.
Next get a cute dish and fill with rocks, pepples or seaglass like I used.
Place your cut scallions in and water daily.
Sit back and watch your green onions grow!

Like I mentioned earlier, I found the smell coming from my cut scallions to be just awful.  I'm not sure if its the onions itself, the smell of the water or a combination of the two.
I'm thinking that it may be smarter to plant the scallion bulbs into some potting soil so that you don't have to worry about the water smelling.  In addition, it just may be wiser to do this in the summer months when you can keep your little scallion cuttings in a cute container on your porch.
I wanted to keep the cut bulbs in the same container for the whole week while I took the pictures, but I think its better to tie your bunch of bulbs together instead of trying to get them to stand individually in your dish.  They kept flopping over on me.
Here are my scallions after I cut them and put them tied together in a bigger container to regrow again. 
 I wasn't sure if I should cut below the original cut I made or above it, so i did half the cuts above and half below. 
I'll update the blog once I know which cut worked better and if you can get a second regrowth out of them.  Also I'm thinking of planting something that has a pleasant smell next to these green onion bulbs in the hope of combating the bad odor.  I'll let you know if that works also.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Brie & Blueberry Quesadillas


Sometimes you discover the best recipes by accident.  Last week I posted one of my favorite recipes, grilled brie and grapes quesadillas.  This week came along and I was still craving them.  The only problem was that although I still had brie cheese and quesadillas left, I was out of grapes.  Instead of going to buy more grapes I took a peak inside the fridge to see if I could find something else to go with the brie and quesadillas.  Once I saw the fresh blueberries, I knew this could be something good.
These couldn't be easier to make.  The ingredients needed are soft tortillas, any kind or size that you like, soft brie cheese and fresh blueberries.  You will also need a little oil or non-stick spray and powdered sugar.
Next heat up just enough oil to coat your frying pan or spray pan with non-stick spray.  Then place one tortilla in the pan and place some brie cheese on the tortilla.
 While that is heating up, take approximately 10 blueberries and slice them in half (really the best thing to do is cut the blueberries ahead of time and sprinkle them with the powdered sugar and let them sit in the refrigerator overnight).  As the cheese is melting, place your sliced blueberries on half of the tortilla. 
 If you haven't already added powder sugar you can sprinkle some on the blueberries now.
Fold your tortilla in half and let both sides get nice and toasty brown.

Once you have both sides nice and golden brown you can take the quesadilla out of the pan and start on your next one. I like to let them cool down a little before you try to cut them or the cheese and blueberries might try to escape out the sides.
These are great as a breakfast treat and you can serve them with maple syrup or whip cream.  They also work great as an appetizer and go great with a glass of wine.  You can make them ahead of time and just re-heat right before your going to serve them.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Split Pea Soup

Easy Split Pea Soup with Homemade Heart Shaped Croutons!
Split Pea Soup is an absolute classic soup, with lots of great hearty flavor and is so simple and inexpensive to make.
There are many variations of split pea soup and there is no right or wrong way to make it.
You can easily make it with meat, vegetarian or gluten-free without really changing the taste of it.
A great time to make split pea soup is after you have made a ham and you have a ham bone left-over.  But don't think that this is the only time you can make this delicious soup.  You do not need to add meat to split pea soup to make it great.  Really the only thing you need to make split pea soup are the peas, water and seasonings, the rest is really optional.
So lets get started with this quick and easy (and very inexpensive) version:
2 PACKAGES OF SPLIT GREEN PEAS (32 ounces total)
Ok, so first thing I want to say is that this is going to make a lot of split pea soup (approximately 12 servings).  If you would like to make less, just cut the recipe in half.  The reason I chose to make this amount is because this is what will fit in my 6 QT pot.  If I'm going to make something, I like to make a lot of it and freeze it and have it on hand.  I find it so much easier and cost efficient to cook this way.
First thing you want to do is place your split green peas in a colander and rinse well.
Next you will chop up your onions and carrots.
In your stock pot add your oil, carrots, and onions and begin to saute.
While your carrots and onions are sauteing take your 2 bouillon cubes and crumble them up into your carrot and onion mixture (I like the knorr bouillon cubes because they are soft and you can crumble them, some bouillon cubes are very hard and you can not crumble them.  That's ok if that's the kind you have, just add them later on as your soup cooks).
Bouillon cubes are loaded with sodium, that's why I only add two.  But because you are making a lot of soup, you will still need to add some more salt.  I like to do that while the soup is cooking, tasting it along the way so I don't overdue the salt.
Of course if you have homemade chicken stock you would use that instead of the 16 cups of water and chicken bouillon cubes.
Continue letting your carrots and onions saute, getting them nice and tender and even a little golden brown.
Next you will add in all of your rinsed green split peas and saute them for approximately 5 minutes with the carrots and onions before you add the water (most people don't do this step, so if your pressed for time you could skip the sauteing and just add the water)
After everything has been nicely sauteed, add in 14 of the 16 cups of cold water.  Reserve the last 2 cups of water and add them in while the soup cooks and only if some of the liquid evaporates.
Bring to a boil. 
Reduce heat and simmer covered or loosely covered for approximately 2 hrs.
Don't forget to taste the soup while its cooking and add salt and pepper to your liking.  I don't like a lot of salt, so you will probably definitely need to add salt.
That's it, of course you can jazz up your soup with some delicious homemade heart shaped croutons!


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