Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn, Happy Halloween

Written by Kerri Ponder on October 31st, 2014

 

As we celebrate Halloween today with family, friends and children, we bid farewell to the warm days of summer and greet the chilly winds of fall with hope and anticipation.

 

 

May all of your Halloween buckets be overflowing with candy by this time tomorrow! Happy Halloween!

 

 

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

 

 

 

Listen to the whisper
Autumns in the air
Summer waves goodbye
For she knows she has to share.

 

 

 

Each season has its time
With a beauty of its own
Though summer now has left us
Her beauty she has shown.

 

 

 

Now rich shades of autumn
Reds and browns and gold’s
Emerge across the land
As her carpet does unfold.

 

 

 

Summers sun still with us
Now joined by a tiny chill
As quietly autumn awakens
Over valleys pastures and hills.

 

 

 

Goodbye summer we’ll miss you
But until we meet once more
We’ll bask in each glorious season
As autumn now waits at our door.

 

 

Poem by Jesstay

 

 

As October turns to November and we head into the season of cooking, baking, sharing and caring, be sure that you have liked our Facebook page to stay abreast of all the latest happenings and stories. If you know someone who would enjoy our blog, please feel free to share our Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

My Pig Me Up is thankful for your continued support.

Many Blessings! 

October 30th is National Candy Corn Day

Written by Kerri Ponder on October 30th, 2014

Have you ever wondered who created the delectable Halloween treat known by all as Candy Corn? If the answer is yes, you are in for a real treat. Because today is October 30th, National Candy Corn Day AND the day before Halloween, now seems like the perfect time to share the origin of this sugary sweet orange and white treat.

 

The Origin of Candy Corn

 

 

 
As Halloween draws near, adults and children are looking forward to munching down on some delicious Candy Corn. Many will hit the streets tomorrow night hoping to secure a hefty harvest of candy corn after a night of trick-or-treating. Those delectable yellow, orange, and white kernel shaped treats are iconic among Halloween candies,  with a legacy that dates back for more than a century.

 

It is believed that a man named George Renninger, a candymaker employed by the Wunderlee Candy Company in Philadelphia, was the inventor of this revolutionary tri-colored candy, back in the 1880′s. Once distributed by the Goelitz Confectionery Company, yummy tasting Candy Corn is now provided to kids (and kids at heart) by the Jelly Belly Candy Company.

 

With the longest history of making candy corn, Jelly Belly has changed its cooking methods but not the delicious flavor and original recipe. As you can see in the image below, many products mimic the delicious flavor of Candy Corn for the holiday.

 

 

Do You Love Candy Corn?

 

Candy corn begins as a unique mixture of sugar, corn syrup, fondant, vanilla flavoring, and fluffy marshmallow creme, melted to create a liquid candy called slurry. Color is added before the candy is run through a cornstarch molding process that creates each tasty kernel. Wooden trays are used to mold these delightful candies, sealing all three layers. Colorful kernels of candy corn are then sifted from these wooden trays, polished in larger drum pans using edible wax, and a glaze is added for an attractive shine.

 

10 Great (and EASY!) Candy Corn Ideas for Halloween

 

 
Because Candy Corn is universally loved, and oh so colorful and festive, there are tons of great ideas for you to consider as you celebrate National Candy Corn Day and Halloween this year. Below, you will find a list of ten great (and EASY!) candy corn ideas to make your holiday amazingly special! Are you ready? Okay, pop at least one Candy Corn in your mouth and let’s get started!

 

#1o – Rice Crispy Treats with Candy Corn

 

Rice Krispie Treats are one of the easiest desserts you can possibly make, requiring only marshmallows, butter, Rice Krispies Cereal, and Candy Corn. Doesn’t this look so festive? You know the kids are going to love it, and seeing those happy faces makes it all worthwhile! You can find detailed instructions here.

 

 

# 9 – Candy Corn Banana Snacks

 

 If you would like something healthy to eat with your delightfully high fructose Candy Corn treat, consider making these adorable Corn on the Cob snacks, using a banana. How adorable is this? I bet the banana goes well with the flavor of Candy Corn. Here, you will find the detailed instructions.

 

 

 #8 – Candy Corn Vodka (for Adults, of Course!)

 

Obviously, there are some adults that just can’t get enough of the delicious taste of Candy Corn. Candy Corn flavored vodka is simple to make. Just purchase a cheap bottle of clear unflavored vodka and dump some Candy Corn inside. After a specific amount of time, the candy dissolves and you are left with some yummy and festive liquor! Check out the instructions here.

 

 

#7 – Candy Corn Marshmallow Guys

 

Aren’t these ideas just amazing? The creativity just blows me away. Just look at these cute Candy Corn Marshmallow Guys, made from this festive candy, melted white chocolate and food coloring. Nothing could be easier to make and the kids will love these guys… they kind of remind me of Minions. I bet with some more yellow food coloring, you could alter the recipe and create little yellow Minions.

 

 

#6 – Candy Corn and Peanuts

 

By October, you probably have your candy dishes on display; after all, it’s that time of year. Some of you may even have super-cool Halloween inspired candy dishes, complete with scary motion activated hand and spooky sounds- too cool! If you are wondering what to put in your festive dishes, look no more! Check out this cool combination that’s uper-simple to throw together, found here. Yes! It is as simple as it looks!

 

 

#5 – Candy Corn Popcorn

If you’re a popcorn lover, watch out! This treat has your name on it! Easy to make and looks delightfully seasonal, this Candy Corn Popcorn is made with the simplest of ingredients: popcorn, Candy Corn, Halloween sprinkles and vanilla candiquick. Check out the step by step instructions and have a blast with this popcorn recipe.

 

 

#4 – Candy Corn Almond Bark

 

If you like quick and easy recipes, and love the taste of white chocolate and Candy Corn, you’re going to flip over this new recipe! Made with salty and sweet ingredients such as pretzels and Candy Corn for a flavor explosion, this festive almond bark will be hard to walk away from. While it takes only minutes, your guests may beg for the recipe, thinking you’ve been creative in the kitchen all day!

 

 

#3 – Candy Corn Pretzel Hugs

 

Are you noticing how great salty treats seem to pair up with delicious Candy Corn? Here is another example, coming to you in the form of Candy Corn Pretzel Hugs. Made with pretzels, Hershey’s Kisses, and Candy Corn, these add a delightful pop of color for your table. Check the instructions out here and have fun making these adorable treats for your trick-or-treaters!

 

 

#2 – Halloween Candy Corn Muddy Buddies Mix

 

Why buy your party mixes and snacks when you can have this delicious Halloween Candy Corn snack mix? Simple to make and quick to disappear, this Muddy Buddies recipe is slightly different from other Chex brand, as it includes the colorful and sweet flavor of Candy Corn. I can almost taste this Muddy Buddies mix now!

 

 

#1 – Candy Corn Popcorn Balls

 

Popcorn balls and Halloween are almost as traditional  as Jack-o-lanterns and trick-or-treaters, and with this simple recipe, you can easily see why! Don’t stop with Candy Corn unless you just want to! Some other items that would go great with popcorn balls include Oreo cookies, peanuts and cashews, M&Ms, pretzel sticks, and many other great tasting treats!

 

 

How’s that for a fast fall line-up?

It’s Plush Animal Lovers Day!

Written by Kerri Ponder on October 28th, 2014

By now you’ve probably noticed how much fun it is to report all these wild and wacky holidays. Today is Plush Animal Lovers Day, a day chosen in celebration of your favorite stuffed toy. Give your special plush an extra special squeeze today as I tell you how this day became nationally recognized.

 

What is Plush Animal Lovers Day?

 

No one is one hundred percent sure how the Plush Animal Lovers Day came to be recognized but we have a pretty good idea. An confirmed Urban Legend states that a collectibles dealer named Royal Selangor wanted to celebrate a Teddy Bears Picnic Day, back in the late eighties. It is rumored that the other stuffed toys (especially the pigs!) became jealous. After all, why should only Teddy Bears be adored on this day?

 

The Plush Animal Lovers Day quickly gained popularity, replacing the Teddy Bears Picnic Day, and it’s only fair, right? Today, Plush Animal Lovers Day is an opportunity to share your love of stuffed and plush toys with the rest of the world. Take one to work or school or throw a tea party for your plush animals.

 

Buy someone you love a special stuffed animal and enjoy their reaction. Personally, I recommend choosing a ping piggy plush but hey – to each their own, right? Remember, a plush, or stuffed, toy is not just for Christmas – it needs love and affection all year long! For those of you who embrace all things piggy, here are some wonderful plush choices for you!

 

See Our Plush Pig Parade!

 

Aurora Plush 12″ Piggolo Flopsie

 

Found on Amazon for approximately $9.99 to $12.30 and available with the gift-wrapping option, this little piggy is ready for some snuggle time. Numerous reviews have given this little pink barnyard dweller an average score of 4.5! Do you know someone who would give this special pink baby a loving home?

 

 
 

Pauline the Plush Spotted Pig by Douglas

 

Available on Stuffed Safari, this little guy has an adorable spotted feature that makes you instantly want to say aww! That little pink nose and equally adorable ears are sure to win your heart almost instantly! Pauline the Plush Spotted Pig retails for $22.49, and there are several personalization options to choose from on their site.

 

 

Webkinz Pot Bellied Pig

 

This sweet Webkinz Pot Bellied Pig, priced at $39.98, comes with an activation code so you can play online games, interacting with a virtual version of this plush animal. Choose whether this darling pig is a girl or boy, and after adoption, you can decorate, buy furniture, clothes and food for your pet’s bedroom. Basic requirements such as health and hunger can be monitored, and each pig comes with a special food and belonging, available at Amazon.

 

 

Minecraft 7 inch Animal Plush – Baby Pig

 
Do you know someone who loves pigs and Minecraft? If so, this may be the perfect gift! This seven inch plush baby pig is soft and cuddly with a luxurious pink plush exterior. Available for $17.99 at the NZ Game Shop, you’re sure to make someone smile with this exceptionally crafted stuffed pig!

 

 

Fruit Ninja Jumbo Truffles the Pig Plush Toy

 

Amazon offers another great stuffed animal, the  Fruit Ninja Jumbo ‘Truffles the Pig’ plush toy, available for $49.95. This adorable little fruit ninja is on the 2014 Holiday Toy List so you better grab your own Truffles the pig while he’s still available! At 20 inches by 8 inches by 16 inches, he’s kind of a big deal!

 

 

McDull Pig Plush Toy Large

 

For only $39.99, you can own this large and in charge pig from Greekk, lovingly named McDull Pig. This stuffed pig has a large pink snout and a round midsection that’s just begging to be squeezed! Need a special gift that says I love you in a grand way? Choose the McDull Pig Plush Toy and you can’t go wrong!

 

Pig Plush Key Chain – Cute Accessory

 

Each of our Kawaii Pig key chains are made from soft felt , measuring approximately 4 inches tall and filled with stuffing. The tiny details are carefully and securely stitched by hand for a unique key chain that is 100% handmade. Because no machine is used to sew these sweet little pigs, there may be small differences in the designs.

 

Do you plan to celebrate National Plush Animal Lovers Day?

Enjoy this Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

Written by Kerri Ponder on October 24th, 2014

On October 21st, we celebrated National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day and in honor of that wonderful dessert, I would like to share a recipe that I adapted from one found on A Family Feast.

 
Cheesecake is awesome any time of year, but add some delicious pumpkin and voila! You have an exceptional and festive treat! Best of all, these Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes do not have to be baked in the oven – which is great if it’s still hot and humid in your neck of the woods.

 

Ready for some Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes?

 

 

Gosh, I am! But first, have you ever wondered how pumpkins became a part of our fall festivities?

 

You may be surprised to learn where the tradition of carving pumpkins came from! Originally, the people of Ireland and Scotland used hollowed-out turnips, placing embers or candles inside. This quickly became a popular Halloween decoration, as tradition suggested that the jack-o-lanterns would ward off evil spirits. These carved out pumpkins were also intended to represent the souls of the dead.

 

It was the Irish who brought this tradition to America, replacing the turnips with pumpkins which were easier to carve and more plentiful in the new world. Eventually, people began carving scary faces and other holiday designs on their jack-o’-lanterns.

 

 

 Easy No-Cook Pumpkin Recipe 

 

First of all, I adore the little glasses shown in the pictures but wouldn’t these be exceptional in some miniature hollowed out pumpkins? Adorable! If I get around to making some, I will be sure to post some pictures for you here! For now, raid the china cabinet or the pantry and choose some interesting glassware for your festive pumpkin treats.

 

Adapted from A Family Feast

 

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

(makes approximately 100 ounces)

 
Crust Ingredients:

  • One package of honey graham crackers
  • ½ stick butter, softened
  • Two tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • Two tablespoons of light brown sugar (dark brown if you desire a richer flavor)

 
Filling Ingredients:

  • One 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
  • One 15-ounce can of pumpkin
  • Two teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
  • One 1-ounce package of sugar free cheesecake-flavored instant pudding mix (or 1/3 of any regular instant pudding)
  • One 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
  • One 12-ounce container of frozen whipped topping or Cool Whip, (you can buy a little extra to use as a garnish, if you like)
  • Cinnamon Sticks, for garnish

 
Directions for Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes:
 
Grind the graham crackers in a food processor until blended into fine crumbs, adding the melted butter and sugars, pulsing until combined.

Put a heaping spoonful of crumbs into each cup and placein the refrigerator while you preparing the filling.

Using a stand mixer equipped with a paddle, beat the cream cheese until creamy and light.

Add pumpkin, spice blend and pudding mix, beating until well-mixed.

Add the condensed milk and mix again.

Using the wire whisk that attaches to your stand mixer, add the tub of whipped topping. Blend well.

Place in the refrigerator for one hour, allowing the mixture to set.

With a large pastry bag and tip, cover the graham cracker crust in each glass with the whipped pumpkin mixture. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve these mini treats.

Before serving, garnish with additional Cool Whip, Cinnamon sticks, and/or Cinnamon sprinkles.

 

Miss Piggy’s High Calorie Breakfast Foods to Avoid

Written by Kerri Ponder on October 21st, 2014

If breakfast is presumed to be the most important meal of the day, why on earth would you want to fill up on empty calories? Most Americans today struggle between the need for quick convenient meals and the desire to eat healthy, feeling as if they cannot have the best of both words. While on your search for the healthiest breakfast foods, here are some that you (and Miss Piggy) may want to avoid.

 

Avoid Sweet High Calorie Breakfast Foods

 

 
A good breakfast includes the following key ingredients: healthy protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Choose a breakfast that doesn’t maximize your sugar levels so your body will be satisfied with the meal. Not only will your body be missing out on important nutrients but when the sugar supply begins to fall, you’re going to feel tired and sluggish. There are numerous high calorie, high fat and sugary sweet breakfast foods available on the market today, but you would be wise to avoid them. Filled with empty calories and a short term feel-good effect, the following foods should be stricken from your diet for optimal health and weight control.

 

Doughnuts

The sugar-starch combination of doughnuts can be hard on your body, raising blood sugar levels and often sabotages your diet with binge eating and sugar crashes. The high levels of fat in doughnuts will lead to drowsiness, robbing you of energy and slowing your metabolism. Finally, while no one considers donuts healthy, you may not realize exactly how many calories and how much fat are in just one. For example, an apple fritter has approximately 450 calories and 17 grams of fat, most of which is saturated.   Try having a breakfast that includes protein, such as some granola and Greek yogurt. The energy and staying power you will get from eating a breakfast that has protein in it will make you wish you realized this sooner.

 

Breakfast Cereal for Children

Breakfast cereal may seem like a healthy option but those marketed for children are often loaded with carbohydrates and sugar. These sugary sweet cereals lead to an elevated blood sugar that will quickly bottom out, leaving you feeling tired and probably ready for a nap. A nap at the beginning of your day will sabotage your work schedule and to do list, so it is better to avoid children’s cereal brands. Instead, opt for those cereals that offer high fiber, high protein and low sugar options for your first meal of the day. Increase your cereal’s nutrition levels by adding ground flaxseed, bananas, strawberries, blueberries or walnuts for more protein, fiber and other health benefits.

 

 

Store Bought Frozen Pancakes and Artificial Maple Syrup

Natural maple syrup is considered to be a healthy sweetener, but there are other artificial types of maple syrup available on the market today that are made with staggering amounts of high fructose corn syrup. This unhealthy sweetener, derived from corn kernels, can also be found in most packaged and processed foods. High fructose corn syrup can also cause abdominal obesity and promote the presence of visceral fat, stored between the organs and often leading to cancer. The consumption of high fructose corn syrup has also been linked to diabetes.

 

Sugary Sweet and Light Yogurts

Sure, everyone is thoroughly convinced by now that yogurt is healthy. Many yogurt brands only contain about one hundred calories per serving and come in a variety of tempting flavors. You can find such goodies as Boston Creme Pie and Red Velvet or Strawberry Cheesecake, but the fact remains that there are filled with sugar or artificial sweeteners, not to mention chemicals. Instead of reaching for regular or low fat yogurt, choose the yogurts with labels marked non-fat instead.

 

 

 

Fast Food Breakfast Sandwiches

There are numerous healthy options regarding breakfast sandwiches, but most fast food options are packed with sodium, preservatives and chemicals. Your best bet is to build your own breakfast sandwich by microwaving one egg, beaten, and toasting a whole grain English muffin. For additional protein, add a slice of cheese.

 

Whole Milk

Whole milk is very, very naughty with saturated fats, the bad kind that raises your bad cholesterol levels. Whole milk also promotes inflammation in your body and is believed to play a part in the clogging of arteries. For a healthier heart and slimmer, more attractive waistline, switch to skim or 1% low-fat milk or consider switching to soy or almond milk. Both the skim and low-fat milk choices will provide such nutrients as protein, calcium, vitamin D, and potassium without all the bad.

 

Plain Bagels with Cream Cheese

Stay away from those starchy white and flavored bagels such as onion, garlic, poppy seed varieties! These bagels are all made with refined wheat flour, stripped of all the fiber and nutrients it once offered the body. There are no health benefits to these ridiculously dense and high calorie bagels. Did you know the average bagel is the caloric equivalent of as many as five slices of unhealthy white bread? When you absolutely must have a bagel, choose a whole wheat or oat bran bagel and discard some of the filling. Top with light cream cheese or a healthy nut-butter.

 Over-sized Muffins

Muffins are on the top the list as one of the most high-calorie breakfast treats because they are extremely rich and dense, packed with lots of goodies that you generally do not need. These ingredients can include white flour, butter, oil, and sugars. Additionally, some muffins contain candies and chocolate pieces rather than fruit. If you must feed your muffin addiction, purchase small two ounce muffins which are considered one serving.

 

Miss Piggy’s List of Must See Classic Movies

Written by Kerri Ponder on September 9th, 2014

Classic movies are as American as apple pie, but which ones are the best? In color or black and white, here is our complete list of the top five must see classic movies of all time. If there’s one you haven’t seen, you may be in for a treat!

 

Classic Movies You Don’t Want to Miss

 
From the 1940′s through the 1970′s, Hollywood created numerous classics to keep America entertained and in love with the silver screen. While you may have seen a few of these beloved classics, have you seen them all? The next time you’re in the mood for movie night with your muppet, visit the video store to snag one or more of the titles listed below.

 

Gone With the Wind

 

 

Popular opinion suggests that Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind is one of the best movies of all time, then and now. Vivian Leigh and Clark Gable are the fire and ice co-stars who keep the fireworks going throughout this epic Southern Belle’s saga as Scarlet O’Hara and Rhett Butler. Gone with the Wind claimed eight regular Oscars as well as two special Oscars, the first film to ever receive such recognition.

 

Gone with the Wind has been released in US theaters eight time, making an estimated $400 million. Adjusted for the changing value of money, this amount equals approximately $3 to $5 billion dollars, making this the highest grossing film in history. This movie is also the most watched film of all time, which means this classic has sold more tickets than any other.

 

The Sound of Music

 

 

This 1965 movie classic, The Sound of Music, starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer won the hearts of many, playing the characters of Maria von Trapp and Captain Georg von Trapp. Based on the true story of a rather straight-laced man, his multi-talented singing governess and seven children of different ages, this is considered to be the second most popular movie of all time, second to none other than Gone with the Wind.
 
There are plenty of songs in this musical classic, most of the lyrics written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Based on the book, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, the story was written by a writing team which included Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, while the screenplay was written by Ernest Lehman. The Sound of Music was awarded five Academy Awards, which included Best Picture. This movie classic eventually surpassed Gone with the Wind as the highest grossing film ever made.

 

The Wizard of Oz

 

 

This musical fantasy, The Wizard of Oz, is a delight to both young and old alike, featuring a cast of lovable characters that successfully entertain and inspire any audience. The star of this classic is a young and beautiful Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale who lives on a farm in Kansas with her relatives. A tornado takes Dorothy to a faraway land where she meets some very interesting “people”.

 

Produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, this movie classic has withstood the test of time and is as well-known today as when it was first released in January of 1939. Based on L. Frank Baum’s novel written in 1900 titled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, this movie classic was nominated for Best Picture but lost to Gone with the Wind. The movie did, however, win Best Song with Judy Garland’s ‘Over the Rainbow‘, and is considered the most viewed motion picture on television today.

 

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

 

 

An American comedy filled with romance, Breakfast at Tiffany’s was released in 1961 starring the lovely Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard. Loosely based on Truman Capote’s novel which bears the same name, Paramount Pictures released this classic tale of Holly Golightly, society girl. This part is believed to be Audrey Hepburn’s most memorable accomplishment and most challenging role.
 
The classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s was well-received, nominated for five Academy Awards and Hepburn was given an award for Best Actress. In addition, a song featured in the movie called ‘Moon River’ won two awards, Best Original Score and Best Original Song, and is considered one of the top five songs produced by Hollywood. Fans will appreciate this fun story line about a naive, high society girl who has a lot to learn about life… and love!

 

Casablanca

 

 

This Warner Bros masterpiece is an American movie classic, Casablanca, starring the one and only Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, that everyone should see. This romantic drama takes place in unoccupied Africa during the start of World War II, following an American expatriate and his former lover. Premiering on November 26, 1942, in New York City, Bogart’s first romantic leading role was a roaring success.
 
Producers and directors were surprised when their Casablanca was rewarded with three Academy Awards including one for Best Picture. Since then, this film is considered one of the greatest films of all time and Bogart’s most successful role. Casablanca has also become the source of many frequently used movie quotes such as “Here’s looking at you, kid” and “When it comes to women, you’re a true democrat.”

 

Aside from this short list of five, there are many other classic movies which deserve special recognition. Please comment below if you love any of these or have more titles to add to our list of all time best classic movies of all time.

 

Pig Smarts… Why isn’t This an Expression?

Written by Kerri Ponder on August 31st, 2014

If you’re like most of us, then you have probably heard the story of The Three Little Pigs and know how the third little pig continually outsmarted The Big Bad Wolf, even when his two brothers couldn’t. Perhaps this story even made you question just how smart a pig really is. Or not, maybe you simply blew it off as a children’s story without ever thinking twice. So, just how intelligent are pigs?

 

Do You Have Pig Smarts?

 

 
The truth is that pigs actually are quite intelligent. As far as intelligence goes, pigs are in the same category as dolphins, apes, dogs and 3-year-olds. We all know that they are smart enough to find a trash can if it is left out where they are roaming and, of course, they certainly know their way around a slop bucket. That just makes them hungry, not necessarily smart. Although a good deal of their intelligence seems to be centered on food and the obtaining thereof.
 
The people who study animal intelligence are now telling us that the extent of a pig’s intellect is actually much more extensive than just foraging for food or learning to do a trick. Did you know that they can quickly figure out how to use mirrors for scoping their surroundings in order to find their food?
 
While there is still some doubt as to whether or not they recognize that the reflection they see as themselves – they can in fact use a mirror. As though they would be spending the time in front of a mirror to inspect their hairy chinny chin chins anyway. Why would they do that when mirrors could be used to find a much better sight, such as food?
 
Pigs are also great at remembering where the food is stored at, as well as the size of different stores. They will follow another pig if the pig acts as though it knows where to find good food. In addition to this, the second pig will try to trick the one following it so that it won’t have to share the food. How does that sound for intelligence?
 

 
Pigs have found several ways to show just how smart they are. For instance, they are great at learning tricks. Someone with enough pigs and the time to train them could effectively run their own circus with only pig performers. This is why so many people compare them to dogs.
 
Unlike dogs, however, they are like an elephant when it comes to forgetting something. Lessons learned are practically impossible for a pig to forget.
 
So, maybe the next time you are debating what sort of pet you might like to have, you will consider a pig. Much like your average household dog, a pig is sure to entertain and learn any tricks you choose to teach him.
 
Just beware that you don’t teach him something that you will wish you hadn’t, because chances are that they will never forget it no matter how much you may want him to.
 

 
Oh, and now you have a new expression… instead of saying  someone is as smart as a whip, fox or tack, remember that pigs are smarter than all of these!
 
 

Bacon Lovers Trail Mix Recipes!

Written by Kerri Ponder on August 31st, 2014

What’s up with these crazy holidays? Can’t say I don’t like them… most of these so-called nationally recognized holidays are entertaining and fun! For example, guess what today is? National Trail Mix Day! But guess whow those of us who love pigs will celebrate this day? By adding bacon to the mix, of course.

 

Celebrate Bacon Trail Mix Day with Us!

 

 
Bacon Trail Mix! Doesn’t that sound great? To properly celebrate this holiday, here are some yummy trail mix ideas using our favorite food ever – BACON! Proceed with caution… these recipes and pictures will make you hungry!
 
Best of all, trail mix is a great source of protein, which the body needs for energy, but the added bacon boosts the protein level even more! Normally, bacon by itself is a yummy treat but with the following five snack mix ideas, you will definitely please the people in your life.
 
To make any of these yummy bacon trail mixes, you will need to fry some bacon until crisp. Put the crisp bacon on a paper towel to drain. Crumble bacon when cool and store in an airtight container until used for any of these pig-errific recipes!

 

Five Bacon Trail Mix Ideas

 
1. Cheez-Its and Bacon Trail Mix – You will need a box of cheese crackers (Cheez-Its are my favorite), 1/2 cup of crumbled bacon, and honey roasted peanuts. Some additional ideas to include in this bacon trail mix is cashews and pretzel sticks.

 

 

2. Toffee and Bacon Trail Mix - Oh, don’t you just love the taste of toffee? Bet you probably haven’t eaten it with bacon though. This trail mix combines bits of toffee with crumbled bacon and pretzels – I like the sticks best but square pretzels are great too!

 

 

3. Munchie Crunchie Bacon Trail Mix-  This one adds a bit of spicy flavor to your bacon trail mix but there is a little more prep work involved. You will need to place the following dry goodies for this bacon trail mix idea in a roasting pan: 3 cups of Crispix breakfast cereal, 5 cups of Tostitos round tortilla chips (white or yellow), 1 bag of microwaved popcorn, popped (I prefer Kettle Corn!), 1 ½ cups of pretzel sticks or squares, 1 cup of Craisins, and 1 cup of pecan halves or mixed party nuts. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
 
For the seasoning, you will need to place the following ingredients in a small saucepan: ½ cup of real butter, ½ cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of chile powder, 1 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper and ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
 
Pour the saucepan mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well. Bake for one hour in the oven, stirring at regular intervals. Pour the delicious bacon trail mix onto wax paper while it is still hot. Allow the mix to cool before storing in airtight bags.

 

 

4. S’more Bacon Trail Mix –  Now, this one is probably going to be your favorite if you love chocolate and big fluffy marshmallows. Incidentally, yesterday was National Toasted Marshmallow Day – how cool is that? You can celebrate both bacon and marshmallow days with this recipe!
 
Grab a big mixing bowl and add one cup of Golden Grahams cereal, one cup of honey flavor Teddy Grahams, 1/2 cup of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Chips, 1/2 cup of Milk Chocolate M&M’s, one cup of mini marshmallows, one cup of dehydrated mini marshmallow bites (comes in a cylindrical container near the store’s supply of hot cocoa) and 1/2 cup of bacon pieces (Was that angels singing?).  Stir well and dig in.
 

 
5. Kentucky Bourbon Bacon Trail Mix- Now, this trail mix may not be the healthiest snack ever, but hey – we are choosing foods that complement the delightful taste of bacon. Here are the ingredients you will need: one 15 ounce bag of traditional Chex Mix, one cup of pecan halves, 1/2 pound of crumbled bacon or 6 to 8 slices, 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup of real butter, 1/4 cup of light corn syrup, 2 tablespoons of Kentucky bourbon (Jim Beam!) and 3/4 teaspoon Chipotle chili powder.
 
Heat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking sheets with foil. Spray the foil-lined sheets with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (Chex mix, pecans and bacon) and set aside. In a saucepan, heat butter, brown sugar and corn syrup until bubbling around the edges.
 
Continue to cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally, and then remove from heat. Allow the saucepan mixture to cool for two minutes before carefully adding the bourbon and Chipotle powder. Pour this mixture over the dry snack mixture, and toss until evenly coated.
 
Spread the snack mix across the two pans and bake for fifteen minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until the mixture is caramelized. Allow to cool completely, which should take approximately one hour. Break into pieces and store in refrigerator, inside an airtight container to seal in freshness.
 

 

Try these awesome recipes as they are or adapt them to suit your own personal tastes. Leave a comment if you loved them!

10 Insane (But True) Facts About Pigs

Written by Kerri Ponder on August 27th, 2014

No matter which feature you love best, those plump little bodies or little pink snots, pigs are truly adorable… and even irresistible to some. We all know that pigs are unique and intelligent animals, but did you know these 10 insane (but true) facts about pigs?
 

10 Insane (But True) Facts About Pigs

 

 (And… ten insanely adorable piggy pictures that you will love!)

 
1. Pigs are great communicators: over 20 vocalizations that they use to communicate with each other have been identified. No matter what the situation, pigs have a specific squeal, oink or grunt that has a distinct meaning.
 

 
2. Pigs are very social creatures who are constantly playing, exploring and interacting with each other. They love contact and form close bonds with one another and individuals. They also love to sleep nose-to-nose and snuggle close to one another.
 

 
3. Like humans, pigs dream while sleeping. They also love many of the same activities that humans do, such as: listening to music, getting massages, sunbathing, playing, exploring and playing with soccer balls.
 

 

 
4. Cambridge University Veterinary School, Professor Donald Boom states that, “[Pigs] have the cognitive ability to be quite sophisticated. Even more so than dogs and certainly [more so than human] 3-year-olds.”
 
State Penn University Professor Stanley Curtis has discovered that pigs are capable of abstract representation and can play video games, which are controlled by a joystick.
 

 
5. Contrary to popular belief, pigs are actually very clean animals. They keep their bathroom area as far away as possible from where they eat and sleep at. Within hours of birth, a new born piglet will leave its mother’s nest to go to the bathroom.
 
Since pigs are unable to sweat, they often bathe in mud or water in order to stay cool with a preference for water. One woman even created a shower in the barn for her pigs, which they learned how to operate on their own.
 

 

 
6. While nursing, mother pigs will “sing” to their piglets. Newborn piglets learn to identify their mother’s voice and run to her when called, they can also learn to recognize their own names.
 

 
7. A full-grown pig can run up to 11 mph. They have also been known to find their way home over long distances and have an amazing sense of direction.
 

 

 
8. A pig’s snout is extremely flexible and strong due to the round disk of cartilage in the tip and they have an excellent sense of smell.
 

 
9. Pigs rarely show aggression and are generally very peaceful, aside from when a mother and her young is threatened or provoked.
 
Johannesburg Zoo director and biologist, Lyall Watson, states in his book (The Whole Hog) that, “I know of no other animals [who] are more consistently curious, more willing to explore new experiences, more ready to meet the world with open mouthed enthusiasm. Pigs, I have discovered, are incurable optimists and get a big kick out of just being.”
 

 

 
10. Pigs do not actually ‘pig out’, they are very slow eaters and prefer to savor their food.
 

 
These 10 crazy, but true, facts about pigs are sure to give you a new appreciation for these unique and amazing barnyard animals. If you already knew this information, I bet you enjoyed the pictures! I’m willing to bet you said ‘aww’ at least once.
 

Top Five Fabulously Famous Pigs

Written by Kerri Ponder on August 23rd, 2014

Everyone loves pigs! Even if they don’t want to own one, they still like them. This is why pigs have made it big on the silver screen. Some pigs have even became celebrities unto themselves. Here is a list of five of the most famous pigs in history.
 
 

Five Fabulous and Famous Pigs

 
 
1. Porky Pig
 

Created in 1936 by Warner Bros., this little piggy has ruled the silver screen for more than 70 years. Originally one of the foremost characters in their Looney Tunes series, after the introduction of other characters such as Daffy duck and Bugs Bunny, Porky became more of a sidekick and icon with his lovable stammer and his “Ble, ble, ble, That’s All Folks!”
 
 
2. Piglet
 
First appearing in Winnie-the-Pooh books by A.A. Milne in 1936, and inspired by one of Christopher Robin Milne’s stuffed toys, Piglet is Winnie the Pooh’s very best friend. Even though he is a “very small animal” with a somewhat timid disposition, he often wins the hearts of many with his occasional attempts at being brave and conquering his fears.
 
 
3. Arnold Ziffel
 
First appearing in the show ‘Green Acres’ on CBS in 1965, Arnold Ziffel was an American Yorkshire pig who acted as the son of Doris and Fred Ziffel. The humorous show depicted Arnold as being able to do virtually anything. He could change the TV channels, write, play piano, attend school and much more.
 
Throughout the series he became a “Porky Picasso” whose suggestive painting was banned, worked as a “paper pig” delivering papers, fell in love with a dog, drafted in to the Army and much more. 
 
 
4. Miss Piggy
 
Created by Bonnie Erickson and Frank Oz, Miss Piggy first appeared on Herb Alpert and the TJB in 1974. While she was originally created as a minor character, Miss Piggy’s capricious nature eventually developed her into one of the main characters of the show.
 
Believing that she is destined for stardom, this diva often tries to convey sweet feminine charm, but usually will fly into an unexpected rage with her trademark karate chop (often at her overly reserved boyfriend, Kermit the Frog).
 
Miss Piggy was one of the first, and possibly the only pig character to ever have developed into a tried and true celebrity in her own rite.

 
 
5. Babe
 
Created as the star character in the book ‘The Sheep Pig’ by Dick King-Smith in 1983, Babe became an international star when the book was adapted and released as the box-office-hit: ‘Babe: The Gallant Pig’.
 
Featuring an amazing cast of quirky farm animals for friends, Babe goes on a series of misadventures. When he is almost chosen for Christmas dinner, he sets out to show that he is useful and deserves to live by showing the farmer (Authur) that he is a sheep herding pig. Babe’s adventures, determination and gallant actions earned him a place in the hearts of many.
 

 
This list of five of the most famous pigs who have made the “Pig Hall of Fame” successfully remind us, yet again, why pigs are one of the most amazing and best-loved creatures in history!
 
Who is your favorite of these most famous pigs? Do you have a favorite that didn’t make out list? Let us know!
 

DIY Pig-tastic Bacon Butter Recipes!

Written by Kerri Ponder on August 19th, 2014

Bacon… and butter, two of the tastiest foods EVER! But have you thought about combining them into one? Bacon butter! Here are some yummy, delicious (and did I say awesome?) recipes for making your own flavored butter!
 
Perfect on a stack of hotcakes and even better on fresh homemade buttermilk biscuits, this bacon butter is a real family pleaser! There are even recipes for a bacon butter corn and turkey rub!
 

DIY Bacon Butter Recipes

 

 

 Not in any special order, here are some bacon butter recipes. Check them out and tell us which ones you loved best… if it is possible to choose just one. I’m just not sure it’s possible.

 

Corn on the Cob Bacon Butter Recipe:

 

You will need to mix together the following: one stick of softened butter (You can use salted if you like, but the bacon brings salt to this recipe, so I recommend the unsalted butter!), one tablespoon of dry ranch dressing mix, and 1/4 cup of crumbled bacon, freshly fried and drained on a paper towel.
 
This is absolutely scrumptious on corn as well as several other foods! The ranch lovers in your family will be hooked!

 

Turkey Bacon Butter Rub Recipe:
 
You will need a food processor (or Ninja!) for this recipe. In the processor, combine the following ingredients: one stick of unsalted butter (same reason as above!), six or eight pieces of freshly fried, drained and crumbled bacon, six leaves of sage (or the equivalent on your spice rack, if fresh isn’t available), one tbsp. of thyme leaves and 1/2 tsp. of fresh ground pepper.
 
Process until this mixture is smooth, and scrape onto Saran wrap. Shape the processed butter into a log and wrap tightly before placing it in the refrigerator.
 
Allow the butter to sit for a few hours or a few days, allowing the flavor to develop. After your turkey is prepared, cut the log of bacon butter into thin discs.
 
Using your hands, carefully slide each disc in between the skin and the meat of your turkey. Let the turkey to sit for a few minutes, allowing the bacon butter to soften underneath the skin.
 
After a few minutes of softening, massage the discs of butter to spread the bacon butter out more evenly under the skin. Follow your original recipe for roasting. The turkey should taste wonderful!

 

 

Bacon Butter Recipe for Breads (and Nearly Anything Else):
 

 
Adapted from Bon Apetit, this bacon butter is absolutely divine and adds a remarkable flavor to everything! With this recipe, you can use a butter mold for a pig-tastic table presentation.
 
You will need the following ingredients to begin: one slice of uncooked bacon, finely chopped, 1/2 cup (or one stick) of softened, unsalted butter (the bacon brings salt to this recipe), one tbsp. of bourbon, one tbsp. of pure maple syrup, and one tsp. of brown sugar.
 
When choosing whether to use light or dark brown sugar, remember the difference between these two is the amount of molasses. Personally, I use the dark brown because the rich flavor pairs well with the scrumptious taste of bacon. You can also add a pinch of salt to this recipe if you like, but remember there is already salt content in the bacon. You don’t want too much salt as this may overpower the other flavors.
 
Chop the uncooked bacon into tiny pieces and fry until crisp before placing on a paper towel to drain, saving a tsp. of the bacon fat for this recipe. In a small mixing bowl, combine the bacon, reserved tsp. of fat, butter, bourbon, brown sugar and maple syrup. Season now with the pinch of salt, if desired, and mix well. Your bacon butter is ready to store using airtight jars in the refrigerator until needed, for up to two weeks.
 

Do you have any great bacon butter recipes?

 

Let us know if you try one or all of these by commenting below!

 

How to Speak Pig Latin

Written by Kerri Ponder on August 16th, 2014

You may think that Pig Latin is an actual language but in truth, this is just a fun game to play with the English language. No one is sure where Pig Latin even originated from, the earliest mention is known to have occurred in 1869. It is even believed that Thomas Jefferson used Pig Latin letters to his friends. Originally, Pig Latin was likely dreamed up by juveniles who wished to converse in a special code not everyone could understand.

 

Do you know how to speak Pig Latin?

 

 

So, how does one learn Pig Latin? Pig Latin is  the easiest second language you will ever learn. However, claiming to be bilingual after learning Pig Latin won’t earn you any brownie points with your boss or get you a raise – unless you happen to have a really, really fun job.

 

Easy Steps to Speaking Pig Latin

 

To learn to art of Pig Latin, words that begin with consonants must be properly spoken. Basically, you will make Pig Latin words from those which begin with a consonant or consonant cluster by moving the consonant(s) from the beginning of the word to the end. Then, all you have to do is add the suffix of “-ay” to the word’s end.

This creates single consonant words like ello-hay for hello, uck-day for duck, and “Pig Latin” becomes Ig-pay Atin-lay. Words with consonant clusters in their beginning will change a little differently. In Pig Latin, the word “switch” becomes itch-sway, “glove” becomes ove-glay, and longer terms such as “fruit smoothie” becomes uit-fray oothie-smay.

If the word starts with a vowel, the approach to Pig Latin fluency is only mildly different. When words begin with vowels, you only need to add “-yay” to the word’s end. Some easy examples include: I-yay for “I”, are-yay for “are”, and as-yay for “as”.

 

 

The rules of Pig Latin change only slightly for words with the letter “y” as these can be a little more tricky. If  the “y” is at the beginning of a word, treat it like a consonant. Example: “yellow” becomes ellow-yay

 

The normal rules of Pig Latin will apply if “y” is the second letter in a word with only two letters. Example: “by” becomes y-bay

If  ”y” is at the end of a consonant cluster, this is treated like a vowel and is not moved to the word’s end. Example: “rhythm” becomes ythm-rhay

Compound words in Pig Latin are the most fun when they are split up, making the conversation more difficult to understand.

Example: “bedroom” changes to ed-bay oom-ray and “toothbrush” becomes ooth-tay ush-bray.

Learning Pig Latin

Learning Pig Latin is only beneficial if there is someone to secretly converse with. Also, learning the rules of Pig Latin and practicing with someone can be a lot of fun! You will be able to carry on top secret conversations!

At first, Pig Latin is a little tricky but the challenge and the practicing can be a lot of fun. The more you practice, the better you will speak Pig Latin. Speak and write notes with your friends in Pig Latin for great practice.

Because Pig Latin is not an actual language but more of a fun hobby, you may come across others who form their words a little differently. It is normal to find variations to this humorous language.

Memorizing a few of your personal favorite phrases will help to speed communication considerably. Example: “What’s up?” becomes At’s-whay up-way?

When conversing in Pig Latin, speak slowly and enunciate your words correctly. Your friends will be more able to understand you, and you won’t have to repeat yourself so much.

Technology and Pig Latin

 

 

If you need some help converting English to Pig Latin, or Pig Latin to English, there are numerous apps and websites online to help. Do you learn better by playing games? If so, you are in luck! There are several games online to improve your Pig Latin.

 

Easeplay eavelay ouryay ommentscay erehay, inway Englishway orway Igpay Atinlay!

Limericks about Pigs

Written by Kerri Ponder on May 31st, 2014

 

Do you remember studying limericks in Junior High School? Every week at my school, the entire class had to memorize about five different limericks to recite in front of the room. More like tongue twisters than poems, many of those crazy little rhymes are still stuck in my head more than twenty-five years later.
 
 
Many of the limericks learned in class were filled with humor and almost always about animals. For those of you who do not remember studying these, a limerick is often comical and nonsensical, and sometimes even lewd.
 
 
Limericks are structured in five line anapestic meter, offering a strict rhyme scheme referred to as AABBA. The first two lines always rhyme with the last line while the third and fourth line rhyme. Also, the third and fourth lines are usually shorter than the rest.
 
 
Here are some cute limericks for your enjoyment featuring a funny animal indeed, the pig. Say them aloud for an extra dose of fun …or to make others think you have finally flipped your lid.
 
 

There was a young pig whose delight
Was to follow the moths in their flight.
He entrapped them in nets,
Then admired his pets
As they danced on the ceiling at night.

-Anonymous

 

There once was a piglet named Bob
Who spent all of his days on a log.
He sat there all day
While his friends went to play
‘Til one day he was lost in the fog.

-by Allison Tremblay

 

There was a young pig who, in bed,
Nightly slumbered with eggs on his head.
When the sun at its rise
Made him open his eyes
He enjoyed them for breakfast in bed.

-Anonymous

 

There was a young pig from Racine
Whose botanical interests were keen.
He planted a sock
In a bright window box,
Where it blossomed and sprouted a bean.

-Anonymous

 

There was a poor pig on the street,
In the dustbin found tidbits to eat,
Though his hot garbage stew,
Smelled exactly like glue,
He declared that its taste was a treat.

-Anonymous

 

There was a sad pig with a tail
Not curly, but straight as a nail.
So he ate simply oodles
Of pretzels and noodles,
Which put a fine twist to his tail.

-by Arnold Lobel

 

Hopefully, you will find these as fun and entertaining as I have over the years.

What limericks do you recall from your school days?

Interesting Facts about Pigs on the Farm

Written by Kerri Ponder on May 30th, 2014

 

Explore some Facts about the Pig’s Habitat 

 

If you want to know more about pigs, one good way is to learn about their habitats.  In America today, many people have domesticated pigs as pets and allow them to live indoors.  However, most pigs can be found living outdoors on a farm.  For your entertainment, here are some fun facts and trivia tidbits about farms and farm life.

 

 

Did You Know?

 

  •  New York City farmers built a wall in the 17th century to keep pigs from roaming.  The street running alongside this wall was named “Wall Street”.
  •  

  • Farmers are twice as likely to die on the job as police officers. In addition, they are approximately four times as likely to be killed on the job as firefighters.
  •  

  • In Colorado, some sheep farmers keep llamas to guard their sheep.
  •  

  • In the U.S., the first branded animals were not cows but rather, pigs. This began when farmers in Connecticut became required to mark their swine.
  •  

  • The pork industry in the U.S. generates sales of approximately $21 billion per year. McDonald’s is one of the America’s largest buyers of pork products, responsible for consumption of about 1% of the nation’s total pork production.  This is due to the sales of Sausage McMuffins, the McRib sandwich and their breakfast menu.
  •  

  • U.S. farmers are raising approximately 117.1 million pigs this year, the highest number in a half century or more.  World pork output gains 2.7 percent to an all-time high of 104.4 million metric tons according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  •  

  • A full grown pig can drink up to fourteen gallons of water a day.  Farmers must provide a large supply of water to pigs daily.
  •  

  • One sow (mature female pig) can give birth to a litter of 7 to 12 piglets twice each year.  When a sow gives birth to her baby pigs, it is called farrowing. The gestational period for a sow is 114 days, which is a little less than 4 months.
  •  

  • A baby pig (piglet) weighs approximately 2 ½ pounds when born but will double its weight in just one week.
  •  

  • Pigs are very good swimmers and will actually choose water over mud.  Farms with ponds make good homes for pigs.
  •  

  • Around the world, people eat more pork than any other meat, but in America, beef and poultry beat pork in popularity.
  •  

  • While many think pigs eat nearly anything (slop), the truth is farmers are very picky about what their pigs eat.  Approved foods include corn, wheat and soybean meal. Vitamins and minerals are also added for growth and improved overall health.
  •  

  • Pork offers protein, B-vitamins and Thiamine to healthy diets. This is about three times as much Thiamine as in any other food. This is important because Thiamine converts carbohydrates into energy.
  •  

  • Pigs are curious and playful; they are happiest when they can keep busy.  Many farmers offer entertainment for their pigs in the form of beach balls and unneeded tires.
  •  

  • While the name suggests gluttony, pigs will only eat until they are full.
  •  

  • A mature pig has 44 teeth called tusks.  These tusks will continue to grow across the pig’s entire life but are honed and sharpened by the uppers rubbing against the lowers. It is a good thing that pigs are not normally aggressive.
  •  

  • Pigs have a keen sense of smell, as their snouts are highly developed as a sense organ and is also very sensitive to touch.  Pigs can even smell things that are underground.  Many farmers will put rings in their pigs’ noses to prevent them from rooting. Wild pigs feed themselves by digging for roots to eat. This digging can causes a lot of damage and problems on the farm.
  •  

  • Fully grown boars can weigh more than 500 pounds, while most sows can weigh anywhere from 300 to 500 pounds.
  •  

  • The highest recorded price ever paid for a pig was $56,000 which was paid for a cross-breed named Bud.  This was on March 5, 1985.
  •  

  • The Pet Hall of Fame features a pig named Priscilla who once saved a boy from drowning.  As a rule, pigs are very brave.
  •  

  • The largest pig as of 2014 was a Poland-China hog named “Big Bill”.  This hefty porker weighed 2,552 pounds and was five feet tall and nine feet long.  Wow!
  •  

  • The largest litter of piglets ever born was 37 piglets – 36 were born alive and 33 survived.
  •  

  • Pig heart valves have been used to successfully replace damaged human heart valves.
  •  

  • Insulin and more than forty other pharmaceuticals and medications are derived from pig products.
  •  

  • Pig fat and other pig products are used in the following items: cosmetics, floor wax, crayons, chalk, weed killers, anti-freeze, glass, china, adhesives, plastics, paint, chewing gum, shoes, and many of other items.
  •  

It is no wonder we love pigs!  Look at all the wonderful ways that pigs help us and in some cases, even save our lives.  Do you know any interesting facts about pigs or farm life?  Please share it with us by commenting below!
 
 

Easy Summertime Meal: Hot Ham and Swiss Sliders

Written by Kerri Ponder on May 28th, 2014

 


 

Ham and Swiss Sliders with Tasty Poppy Seed Sauce

 

I found this recipe online and adapted it to suit my needs, serving these sliders to my hungry family at an outdoor birthday event. They were so easy to make ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until time to heat and serve. I used a covered casserole dish to serve these mini hot ham and Swiss sandwiches which made transporting them to the picnic a breeze.
 

The sliders were a huge success as I had only four sandwiches left after serving two pans full. Best of all, there was very little cooking and the assembly was easy. The most important thing to remember is to choose the very best tasting brands of ham, Swiss and dressing for optimal flavor. This recipe is extremely versatile and it will be easy to make small changes to suit your own needs.
 

 

Assembly of the Ham and Swiss Sliders

 

 

Slider Ingredients:

 

24 white dinner rolls

24 pieces of your favorite deli ham

24 small slices of quality Swiss cheese

1/2 cup Miracle Whip or mayo

 

 

Assembly is quite simple, starting with the delicious rolls to use for buns on your sliders. Sara Lee Dinner Rolls, Rhode’s Frozen Rolls, and King’s Hawaiian Rolls are the three best available to use in my area so I went with Sara Lee. Cut each roll in half to form a bun and pile on the goodies.
 

I put two slices of meat on each sandwich and a generous amount of Swiss on top, and then placed each mini slider into the casserole dish.  Try to place the finished sandwiches really close together in the pan so the bread won’t become soggy when you add the poppy seed sauce.  This is your stopping point if making these ham and Swiss sliders in advance. Cover and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to continue.
 

After all of the mini ham and Swiss sliders have been assembled, it is time to make the poppy seed sauce. Don’t be afraid to be creative, adding things to make this recipe your own. Here are your base requirements for the sauce.
 

Poppy Seed Sauce Ingredients:

 

1 Tbsp poppy seeds

1 Tbsp of yellow mustard

1 stick of unsalted or regular butter, melted

1 tsp of onion powder

1/2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce

 

Start by melting the butter in a sauce pan or microwave safe bowl and slowly add all ingredients until everything is mixed well together.  Heat the sauce and allow to cool for a few minutes so the flavor can develop a bit before applying to the TOP of each slider. Use a pastry brush until every mini sandwich has an ample amount of seasoning. Again, wait at least ten minutes to allow the sauce to soak into the buns.
 

In the small town where I live, poppy seeds were unavailable so I chose a good quality Poppy Seed salad dressing from which to start my base. Finding poppy seeds and making your own sauce will likely be best but in a pinch, the dressing works too.  This recipe is so versatile and quick, the changes were a success and no one knew the difference.  If you like, throw in a little brown sugar and switch the yellow mustard for the spicy brown variety.
 

 

 

 

Cover both casserole dishes filled with sliders using aluminum foil and bake in the oven at 350 degrees.  Check after ten minutes and again after twelve minutes.  The sliders are ready when the Swiss cheese is nicely melted. Uncover and cook for an additional three minutes and serve immediately.
 

Jalapeno Popper Cheeseball Recipe with Bacon

Written by Kerri Ponder on May 28th, 2014

 

Need a new and exciting cheeseball recipe? 

 

Don’t let the Jalapeno scare yo off!  This recipe is not too hot for most palates.

 

 

Sorry about the photograph as I was using Tupperware rather than an attractive serving dish. En route to an outdoor birthday party at the local park, this was taken before hurrying out the door.  This was a recipe I had found online but it has been nearly a year and I cannot recall where the adaptations came from. 

 

This cheeseball recipe was absolutely delicious and very easy to assemble.  The ingredients used were rather inexpensive and easy to find.  Even though the recipe calls for Jalapeno, the cheeseball was not too spicy or hot.  My daughter in law avoids all spicy food like the plague and even she enjoyed this delicious cheeseball recipe.

 

One of the best things about this recipe is the addition of bacon crumbles. I purchased mine from the grocery store to save on time.  Another great feature was that this recipe used Panko bread crumbs which are much more flavorful and satisfying that regular bread crumbs.

 

I wouldn’t make a cheeseball with any other type of bread crumbs actually – I am addicted. Panko bread crumbs give the cheeseball a nice crunchy texture that offsets the smoothness of the cream cheese.  Check out the recipe and see for yourself.

 

 Jalapeno Popper Cheeseball Recipe

 

Two eight ounce blocks of cream cheese, any brand
One four ounce can of diced jalapenos, drained
One four ounce can of diced green chilies, drained
1/4 teaspoon of garlic salt
1/3 cup of bacon crumbles
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese, consider using the bagged variety rather than a dry Parmesan shaker
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup of Panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon of real butter
1 tablespoon of parsley flakes, fresh is best if you have it on hand
The instructions are fairly simple. Just combine the cream cheese, Jalapeno, green chilies, garlic salt, bacon, Parmesan and cheddar cheese.  Form the mixture into a ball and chill in the refrigerator for at least fifteen minutes, if not longer. 
Melt the butter in a sauce pan and then add the Panko bread crumbs and parsley.  Toast the bread crumbs carefully, stirring often, until they turn a nice golden brown color. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Once the bread crumbs mixture has cooled off completely and cheese ball is chilled well, remove the cheeseball from  the fridge. You will roll the cheeseball in the bread crumbs mixture until the outside is fully covered (see picture).  Cover the cheeseball and chill in refrigerator until time to serve.
Be sure to serve this wonderful cheeseball recipe with one or more varieties of crackers.  Refrigerate any leftovers and don’t forget to save this recipe for any encores.

 

Where’s the Pork and Other Important Facts

Written by Kerri Ponder on May 26th, 2014

 

We’ve all wondered…

 

Where is the pork in pork and beans?  Why just this tiny piece of fat?

 

pork and beans

 

 The “pork” advertised inside commercially manufactured Pork and Beans is actually nothing more than pork fat.  During the cooking process, nearly all of the pork fat is rendered.  Manufacturers answer this question by saying the pork fat is only present to add flavor rather than content.

 

There are a few Pork and Bean manufacturers who have considered changing their recipe to include only lean pork while others have considered leaving the word “pork” off of the product.  Some consumers have tried to lobby with the FDA to require a healthier and more honest change but the Pork and Bean manufacturers say the customers love their product and do not want to make any changes.
 

Pork and Beans – A Huge Success

 

Manufacturers are probably right not to want to change their recipe.  Campbell’s sells approximately one hundred million cans of Pork and Beans annually.  That is a LOT of beans!  Canned Pork and Beans were first introduced in the 1880′s, but were not a huge success until H.J. Heinz developed another version in 1895.
 

Thanks to an Indianapolis grocer named Gilbert Van Camp, Pork and Beans are an American classic that is surely here to stay.  He used an old family recipe to develop the Pork and Beans in tomato sauce and opened a canning company after his surname of Van Camp’s.
 

Interestingly enough,  Gilbert Van Camp was said to have built the first cold storage warehouse.  It was also Frank Van Camp who asserted that the beans taste better hot.  In addition, another reason for the success of Van Camp’s Pork & Beans is because he gained a contract with the Union Army during the Civil War.  Perhaps all of this is true or the stories maybe nothing more than urban legend.
 

Nutritional Content of Pork and Beans

 

 

Beans have a lot of protein and fiber so all in all, Pork and Beans could be considered somewhat healthy.  However, they also contain a huge amount of sodium.  In addition, Pork and Beans also contain two or more types of fats depending on the brand – hence the “pork” ingredient.   Because of this, if you are on a strict diet, a different bean choice would be more sensible and offer less calories.

 

What do you think of Pork and Beans?

 

Shortbread Cookie Recipe for Pig Lovers

Written by Kerri Ponder on May 25th, 2014

 

Everyone loves Shortbread Cookies!

 

Shortbread Cookie Recipe

 

Iced shortbread cookies are an absolute favorite of mine and I am sure you will agree that these pink piggys look positively scrumptious.  With some cute pig shaped sprinkles, you can make these cookies even more pig-tastic!  These are from Amazon – aren’t they adorable?!

 

Pink and White Pig Sprinkles

 

Shortbread Cookie Recipe

 

  • Cooking spray, if you do not have parchment paper on hand
  • 2 cups of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups of confectioners’ or powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups of southern all-purpose flour, plus a bit more for rolling out the dough
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder – check the date to make sure it’s fresh enough for shortbread

 

Line your baking sheets with parchment paper or use a generous amount of cooking spray.  Using the paddle attachment on your mixer, beat butter and sugar on high until fluffy.  Add pure vanilla extract and continue to beat until combined well.

In another bowl, stir the flour and baking powder together and add the flour mixture to the butter mixture – slowly while the mixer is on a low speed.  Stop beating when the flour is mixed in.

Do NOT over beat or your cookies will be tough rather than soft!

Form the shortbread dough into a round shape and cover in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for one hour.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly flour a smooth surface to roll out the dough to one quarter of an inch in thickness.

Use a delightful pig shaped cookie cutter to cut the shortbread cookies.  Next, carefully transfer the pig shaped cookies to the prepared baking sheets and place them about one half inch apart.  Combine the dough scraps and continue to cut cookies until all the dough has been used.

Bake until light brown around the edges, approximately ten to twelve minutes. Cool on baking sheets for about ten minutes, then transfer to wire racks before icing cookies.

When the cookies are cool, dip them face down in the pink icing, recipe below. Set cookies on the parchment paper to allow the icing to harden before decorating.

 

Icing Recipe for Pig Shaped Shortbread Cookies

 

  • 2 cups of confectioners’ or powdered sugar, sifted well
  • 1/4 cup of whole or 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • Pink food coloring

 

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the following ingredients: powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract.  Tint with food coloring until you get the perfect pink pig color and mix well.

 

These shortbread cookies will be a family favorite and it is very doubtful they will last long.  This recipe is much cheaper than purchasing overpriced shortbread cookies in your favorite grocer’s bakery.  In addition, it is not likely you would find these adorable pig shapes!

 

Do You Love  the Way Shortbread Cookies Seem to Melt in Your Mouth?

 

Marranitos – Mexican Pig Shaped Cookies

Written by Kerri Ponder on May 23rd, 2014

 

Need a Recipe for Your Pig Shaped Cookie Cutter?

 

Marranitos

 

Have you ever heard of “Gingerbread Pigs?”  If so, you were probably hearing about traditional marranitos cookies which are shaped like pigs and are quite delicious. The marranitos cookie offers a spicy brown flavor thanks to the recipe’s need for rich molasses. This recipe is the perfect way to utilize your adorable piggy cookie cutters!

 

These Mexican cookies are rich and decadent, offering a soft cake-like texture that is very similar to a shortbread cookie.  The spices used in this recipe create a deeply flavorful treat, accentuated by the traditional dark unrefined sugar called piloncillo.  Marranitos cookies are wonderful alone or with a warm beverage such as coffee or Mexican Hot Chocolate – called Champurrado.  The following recipe will yield approximately 40 pig shaped cookies.

 

Marranitos Ingredient List

 

2 1/2 cups of packed grated piloncillo (dark brown sugar)
1/2 cup of butter or shortening, room temperature
4 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cups of whole milk
3 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste
3 teaspoons of baking soda
3 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons of ground ginger
1 1/2 cups of molasses
1/2 cup of pure honey
10 to 12 cups of all-purpose flour, may vary slightly depending on geographic location

Marranitos Recipe

 

Beat the piloncillo and butter in a large bowl until combined.
Add 2 eggs, milk, and vanilla bean paste; beat again until smooth.
Add the following ingredients and beat well: baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, molasses, and honey. 

Add in 6 cups of the flour and beat well. Slowly add the additional flour, using a wooden spoon once the dough becomes stiff.
The dough will be a little crumbly. Once you have added as much of the flour, quickly use your hands to knead in the rest.
You need a consistency in the dough that can be rolled out.
Place a sheet of plastic wrap on the counter and turn out the dough.
Shape the dough into a large oval and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least one hour at minimum.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cut the refrigerated dough in half and re-wrap one half; place the wrapped half back inside the refrigerator.
Roll the remaining dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Dough should be about ¼” thick.
Use your favorite pig-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the Mexican cookies.
Place cookie cut outs on the paper covered baking sheets. Re-roll dough and cut more cookies until all of the dough is used.
Repeat these steps with the other section of dough that is in the refrigerator.
Brush a thin coat of the remaining two beaten eggs on the cookies before putting them in the oven.
Bake in the middle of the oven for approximately fifteen minutes or until cookies turn gold around the edges. Marranitos should be cooked through.
Remove cookies from the oven and place them on a rack to cool. Keep these scrumptious cookies completely covered so they will remain soft and delicious.

With this simple and delightful recipe, you can enjoy the same cookies found in traditional panaderias, or Mexican bakeries.  Remember that baking soda is the leavening agent in this recipe so the amount used will make pigs fatter or skinnier. The small amount of shortening helps to keep these pig cookies moist.

 

Have you ever eaten a Marranitos Pig Cookie?

 

Would You Try a Bacon Cupcake?

Written by Kerri Ponder on May 22nd, 2014

At Last, A Cupcake for Bacon Lovers!

 

Bacon Cupcakes

 

This is an amazing way to celebrate the love of bacon!  Shown here is a Maple Bacon Cupcake, topped with icing and lean delicious bacon crumbles. While it may seem odd to pair sugary sweet icing and cake with salty bacon, the two flavors seem to complement each other quite well. This particular cupcake combination can be found in many small cupcakerias and bakeries across the US.

 

Below is the recipe for delicious maple flavored cupcakes.  As you make these wonderful cupcakes, maple syrup can be used to create some impressive recipes. Maple syrup is probably most often used in cookie recipes so be sure to consider this the next time you need some easy finger foods.  For this recipe, choose either Grade A or Grade B maple syrup (Grade B will yield a slightly stronger flavor). Please do not substitute regular pancake syrup for real maple syrup – it will be a disappointment.

 

Maple Cupcake Recipe

 

3 cups of all purpose flour
2 tsps of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1 cup of real butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups of dark brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsps of real vanilla extract
2/3 cup of buttermilk
2/3 cup of real maple syrup

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and gather your ingredients.
 

Line muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.  A nice chocolate or tan color will look wonderful.
 

Using a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the first three ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt.
 

In a second, larger mixing bowl, cream together the real butter and brown sugar until light. Dark brown sugar will give your cupcakes a stronger molasses flavor than light brown sugar.
 

Beat in the four large eggs, one at a time. Follow with real vanilla extract.
 

Stir in the buttermilk and your real maple syrup.
 

Gradually you should blend in the flour mixture, stirring just until the batter is combined well.
 

Divide the batter evenly into the prepared muffin tin of cupcake liners. Fill approximately half way for perfectly shaped cupcakes.
 

Bake cupcakes for approximately 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a middle cupcake comes out clean.
 

Set cupcakes out of warm muffin pans and onto a wire rack to cool before frosting. Do not leave them in the pan to cool.
 

Yield: 24 regular cupcakes or 48 mini cupcakes
 
 

Choose Your Favorite Icing

 

Once your cupcakes have cooled, it is time to make some icing. Check out the following icing recipes where you can choose from a Buttercream that is Maple flavored or a Vanilla Chai Buttercream icing which will also complement the flavor of this cupcake. Choosing the Maple flavored icing will result in a stronger, more authentic flavor. It is recommended to choose whichever will please your palate. 

 

Maple Buttercream


 

1 cup of real butter, room temperature
4 tbsps of maple syrup, room temperature
4-6 tbsps of milk, room temperature
4-6 cups of powdered confectioners’ sugar

 

In a medium size mixing bowl, combine butter, maple syrup, milk and 3 cups of confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Beat at medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth.
 

Add the remaining amount of sugar in gradually until frosting becomes thick enough to spread without effort. (You may not need all of the sugar.)
 

If the icing is too dry, add some additional milk – a little at a time – until icing reaches the desired consistency.
 

Spread or pipe the icing onto cooled cupcakes.
 

 

If You Prefer a Vanilla Flavored Icing…

 

This is a wonderful Vanilla Chai Buttercream icing recipe that can easily be piped or spread onto the cupcakes. The flavor is absolutely sinful and the frosting has tiny flecks which will add to the character and appearance of this magnificent, delicious cupcake.  This recipe will make four cups. For impressively iced cupcakes with peaks that are piped on, you may need to double the recipe.

 

 Vanilla Chai Buttercream Icing Recipe

 

 Bacon Cupcake Icing

 

1/2 cup of half and half

2 black tea bags

2 cups of butter at room temperature

8 cups of powdered confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp of Ground Cinnamon

1 tsp of Ground Ginger

1/2 tsp of Ground Cardamon

1/2 tsp of Ground Cloves

4 tsps of real Vanilla Extract

 

Measure the half and half into a microwave safe mixing bowl and heat for 50 seconds.
 

Remove bowl from the microwave and place the two tea bags in the half and half to steep.
 

Mix the real butter for one minute with an electric mixer on medium speed.
 

Add the following ingredients: powdered sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves and vanilla extract.
 

Mix on low speed until the powdered sugar is mixed into the butter; then, increase mixer speed to medium and add the tea flavored half and half (discard the tea bags).
 

If icing is not at the desired consistency, add more powder sugar – a little at a time – until the desired consistency is reached.
 

Use immediately or store for up to one month in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
 

 

Pretty Please with Bacon on Top 

 

making bacon cupcakes

 
 
Are you ready to make some candied bacon for your delicious garnish?  Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  All you will need is some good quality brown sugar cured shoulder bacon , one cup of dark brown sugar, and 6 tbsp of real maple syrup.
 

Line your baking sheet by spreading parchment paper out to lay the bacon out. Mix the real maple syrup and dark brown sugar together. Brush this sweet mixture onto both sides of the bacon.
 

Bake the bacon in the oven, basting every few minutes with the brown sugar and maple syrup mixture. Be sure to flip bacon over several times to reapply the sweet mix.
 

After your cupcakes have been iced, strategically place prepared candy bacon crumbles on top of your delicious maple cupcakes. Take some pictures because you are going to want to show these delicious treats off. 

 

 

More Funny Pig Jokes and Riddles

Written by Kerri Ponder on May 19th, 2014

Jokes Especially for Pig Enthusiasts

 

pig jokes and riddles
The size, stature and appearance of the lowly barnyard pig offers plenty of reasons to laugh but just in case you need another reason, here are some cute pig jokes to enjoy. Hopefully, these witty one liners and pig jokes will make you laugh. Share them with your friends and make someone’s day.

 

Pig Jokes: One Liners

 

What will you get if you cross a dinosaur and a pig?

Jurassic Pork

 

Why did the pig spread a blanket on the ground?

He wanted to have a pig-nic

 

What kind of pig knows martial arts?

A Pork Chop

 

What do you call a pig with a sunburn?

Bacon

 

How did the pig get to the hospital?

In a Hambulance

 

What did one pig say to the other pig?

Let’s be pen pals

 

What is it called when you are stampeded by pigs?

Sooey-Side

 

Where do pigs park their cars?

The Porking Lot

 

Why does it take the pig hours to cross the road?

He is a slow-pork

 

What happened when the pig pen broke?

He had to use a pencil

 

Which magazine does the Big Bad Wolf like to read?

Pork’s Illustrated

 

What do you call a pig with three eyes?

A Piiig!

 

How do pigs share top secret messages?

Invisible Oink

 

 More Pig Jokes

 

The Insult

A lady goes into a bar with her goose. Then the bartender comes up to her and says, “Why did you have to bring the pig in with you?” 

 

Then the lady answered, “Excuse me, I think this is a goose.”

And the bartender says, ”Excuse me, I was talking to the goose.”

My Brother’s Pig

 

Two brothers are separated at birth, one going to live in the big city and the other on a farm in the coutry. Eventually, the two learn of each other and there’s a happy reunion on the country brother’s farm. Having never been to a farm before, the city brother asks for a tour. The farmer shows him the cows, the barn, horses, and the corn fields before coming to the pig sty, where he proudly introduces his prized possesion: a three-legged sow.

 

“That sow is finest animal to ever live,” proclaimed the farmer, “She saved my three children from the barn when it was burning down.”

“When I fell from the tree over yonder, she ran all the way to town and fetched the doctor,” he continued.

“And, when my wife went into labor in the middle of the night, she delivered my yongest son!”

Amazed, the city brother remarked, “that’s quite a pig. But, what happened to her that she only has three legs?”

“Well, hell,” said the farmer, “be a damn shame, eat a pig like that all at once.”

The Farmer

 

A traveling salesman is driving down a country road when he comes across a farmer who is standing in his orchard, hoisting pigs into the apple trees with ropes. He stops. “What are you doing?” the salesman asks.

 

“I’m feeding the pigs,” answers the farmer, incredulous that someone could ask a question with such an obvious answer. “Well,” says the salesman, “why don’t you let the apples fall to the ground, gather them up in baskets, and feed the pigs that way?”

 

The farmer ponders, then says, “Hmmmm. Yes, I guess I could do it that way. But what would be the point?” The salesman is a bit exasperated: “Well, it would save time, wouldn’t it?” The farmer ponders again.

 

“Yes,” he says after a pause, “I guess it would save time. But what’s time to a pig?”

Pig Riddles

 

Riddle: How are a pig and a horse like each other?

Answer: When a pig is hungry, he eats like a horse.
And when a horse is hungry he eats like a pig!!!

 

Riddle: Why can’t you play basketball with pigs?

Answer: Because they hog the ball!

 

Riddle: Why shouldn’t you tell a secret to a pig?

Answer: Because he is a squealer

 

 

Riddle: What do you get when you cross a pig with a centipede?
Answer: Bacon and legs!

Pigs in the Kitchen

Written by Kerri Ponder on May 19th, 2014

Pig Purchases for Baking Enthusiasts

 

If you are absolutely crazy about pigs and love to bake delicious treats for your family, the following product line-up will be right up your alley. Enjoy freshly baked piggies in all shapes and sizes or choose from several other helpful kitchen merchandise to brighten your day and ease the workload.

 

 Kitchen Kritters Silicone Pig Pot Holder Set

 pig shaped potholders

 

A busy cook can never have too many potholders and grabbers in the kitchen. While many pot holders are made of materials which wear out quickly, these savvy pigs are sure to last a long time. The silicone construction provides durability and the design is definitely fun! Find these exceptional pig related baking products at overstock.com for less than $20.

 

Lovely Pig Cake Mold

 

pig shaped silicone baking mold

 

 

There are so many great baking and craft uses for silicone molds, and these little pigs are guaranteed to inspire you! There are sixteen cavities for you to create any number of desserts, soaps, tea light candles and other crafts. Available on Etsy, you can order this durable bakeware for less than a five dollar bill!

 

Piggy Etched Casserole Dish

 

piggy etched casserole dish

 

Potlucks requiring a covered dish will never be boring when they scoop from this etched casserole dish to find an adorable pig and teasing message! This one of a kind bakeware is available on Etsy and would make a wonderful gift for the pig enthusiast in your life.  Is it even possible to have too many glass casserole dishes?

 

Pig Chocolate Candy Molds

 

pig candy mold

 

If you are looking for a great way to spend $2.00, your search is officially over! These adorable plastic pig molds will make great novelty candy and chocolates. Completely safe for hand washing, this mold creates 18 adorable piggys. One pound of candy coating or chocolate will yield about 80 pigs!

 

Edible Pink Pig Sprinkles

 

pig shaped sprinkles

 

Now any cake or cupcake can celebrate your love of pigs! Check out these adorable pink piggy edible sprinkles available at Country Kitchen Sweetheart for less than $2.00! Sized at approximately 1/4″ wide and 1/32″ thick, these sprinkles offer a great way to make your busy day pig-tastic!
 

Wilton Pantastic Cake Pan

 

Wilton Pantastic Cake Pan

 

 Wilton offers so many wonderful pans but this one is sure to be a favorite! This Pantastic Pig will help you bake a whimsical cake for any celebration. Available at Confectionery House, baking enthusiasts can purchase this pan for the low price of $6.99. Made of durable plastic, the end result will be a generous 8 x 13 size. 

 

 

Pig Cookie Cutters

 
 
pig shaped cookie cutterEvery respectable kitchen must own at least one pig shaped cookie cutter, right? Of course! There are so many piggy shaped cutters available, it may be hard to settle on just one design. The design featured comes from Peach Suite, and is available for less than $5.00.  

 

Pink Cupcake Liners

 

Pink Pig Cupcake Liners

 

Another kitchen supply to keep on hand at all times are these nifty and bright paper cupcake liners in pink. Perfect for making pink pig cupcakes, these liners are available at Birthday Direct for approximately $2.00. With some pink icing, a marshmallow snout, two brown m&ms for eyes, and two pink sugar wafer ears, you can craft some adorable edible pig cupcakes!

 

 What Piggy Items Do You Have?

 

There are so many wonderful baking items for the kitchen that will help fans celebrate the love of pigs! This line-up is only the beginning. What other great pig related merchandise would you recommend? What piggy items do you own and love?

Do You Remember….

Written by Kerri Ponder on March 30th, 2014

Gorgeous Creatures Dolls from Mattel?

 

 

From left:  Princess Pig, Ms. Heavenly Hippo, Cow Belle, and Ms. Giddee Yup Dolls

 

Gorgeous Creatures Dolls made their debut in the Mattel toy line-up of 1979 and were marketed through 1980. Four different animal dolls were issued with colorful and humorous names, including a pig, a cow, a horse and a hippo. All were small waisted and well endowed but with curvier hips and legs than Barbie. Uniquely different, these dolls measured 7 1/2 inches tall, four inches shorter than most fashion dolls.

 

Mattel never marketed any additional clothes or accessories for these Gorgeous Creatures Dolls. The initial purchase, however, included matching hats and gloves and each southern belle had a picture of her “boyfriend.” Also, these Mattel dolls had a theme and a brightly colored box.

 

I had the whole set… can you guess which doll was played with most?

 

 

The commercial that featured these fashion savvy and attractive animals features a female narrator with a thick southern accent… much like that of Rue McClanahan’s sultry character, Blanche Devereaux, on the Golden Girls. In this advertisement, even mom was playing with one of these beauties.  I still have all four dolls but only two still have their original box… check these two out. (And that’s my Skipper Fashion Doll Storage Case in the background too!)

 

 

Here is a closer look at my Princess Pig Doll and her sexy boa, clothes, tights and ‘diamond’ earrings.

 

Even though these dolls are very unique and unusual (none similar have been produced to my knowledge). these Gorgeous Creatures Dolls from Matte; do not hold much monetary value. Those still in boxes and never played with are valued at approximately $14-15.00 and the more played with dolls will only bring about $4-5.00. However, to those of us who love these vintage toys from our past, they are truly priceless. (Kudos to mom for making me take good care of my toys!)

Do you have any toys left from your childhood?

 

Bonus Points if they are pig-related (Wink!)

Celebrate National Piggy Manicures Day with Me!

Written by Kerri Ponder on March 25th, 2014

March 26th is National Make Up Your Own Holiday Day! 


As any respectable pig lover would do, I am making yet another day all about pigs and what better idea than to celebrate with a wonderful manicure. So, if you needed an excuse to slip off to the salon for a well-deserved beauty treatment, you’re welcome! This will be the perfect Spring Pig-Me-Up – yes, I totally just said that! I couldn’t help myself!


What better way to celebrate the onset of Spring than with a massage and manicure?




What better manicure than one that combines pink polka-dots and those lovable piggys? Just think of all the compliments you will receive! This manicure is perfect whether your nails are short or long!


 



Here is another pig-tastic manicure in pink and piggy faces! If you were born in the Year of the Pig, this is a great way to celebrate the little porker that represents your birth date.



Similar to the other piggy manicures with polka-dots and sweet pig faces, but this color really pops! This is a really cool twist to the ho-hum traditional french manicure.




If you would like your manicure to tell a story, this is a wonderful nail art idea using the old tale of the three pigs and the big, bad wolf. This would be a great choice for teachers, child care providers and mothers of small children. Kids ares so easily amused and I bet they would love this design.  There are some other cute designs for educators here.



Aren’t ideas that you could never think of great? I would have never thought of little black pigs and blue with polka-dots but this looks like so much fun! This is definitely a unique idea that I would love to try sometime.



This is a really cute idea celebrating a pigs main features, adorable faces complete with snouts and curly-cue tails, with what pigs say and do: roll in mud and say OINK! Really cute idea from Peace, Love and Polish!



While I could never consider pigs as evil, here is a great piggy manicure in green which features the evil pig on Angry Birds. What I do love is this bright green color and anything-but-dull french manicure. There is a cool tutorial on how to paint this manicure here.

 



If you love to play Angry Birds but cannot decide on a favorite character, here is the perfect manicure for you. Think of the comments and compliments you will receive when you are sporting this cool manicure!



Because Spring is the time when animals are supposed to become ‘twitterpated’, this seems like the perfect nail art for the month of March. This manicure also incorporates some new colors and shapes – red, black and hearts! Oh my!



This manicure would be like wearing little masterpieces on your fingernails. The heart is so adorable, perfect for showing off some pig love! Choose this adorable design to replace those boring Easter Nail Art designs – because seriously – pigs are so much more fun than ho-hum rabbits!



Seriously? This pigs and glitter combination makes me want to rush out right now and get my own Piggy Manicure! How perfect for Spring! Is anyone headed to Prom this month? Oh, I would be so tempted to do something original such as this if I were attending prom.



Because everyone loves Miss Piggy, this manicure celebrates Pig Power. This list would not be complete without homage to our favorite frog-loving gal. The stars add a really nice touch and the little glove-covered fist captures Miss Piggy’s spunky personality so well.

Which manicure do you like the best?

Are you going to celebrate my National Piggy Manicures Day? 


National Chip and Dip Day plus Recipe!

Written by Kerri Ponder on March 23rd, 2014

Today is Sunday, March 23rd – Happy Chip and Dip Day! 



Celebrate this All American Snack today!


Do you know why chips and dip became a popular snack in America? During the Great Depression, many people who entertained frequently had to give up the luxury of maids and cooks. Because of its simplicity and easy preparation, this became the go-to for party snacking among middle class families.


Whoever coined this holiday loves food as much as I do. The best way to celebrate National Chip and Dip Day  is with something related to pigs, right? I’m thinking bacon!  And, I have the perfect recipe in mind! It’s a piggy-licious  dip recipe to serve with your favorite chips – or better yet, make some tasty homemade chips instead! And of course we will call it…


Pig and Dip Recipe



For the Pig aka Homemade Chips: 

2 large russet potatoes, cleaned – sliced into rounds, skin on

16 ounces (4 cups) shredded Colby, cheddar or your favorite cheese blend

12 slices of bacon, cooked – chopped into small pieces

1/3 cup finely chopped chives or green onions, optional

Nonstick cooking spray

Salt, optional


Preheat oven to 375-400 degrees.

Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil then spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Lay the dry potato rounds on the foil and spray them with cooking spray also.

Sprinkle each round with cheese and bacon pieces.

Bake eight to ten minutes or until cheese is melted.

Remove from oven to sprinkle with parsley and salt.

Transfer the cheesy chips to a cooling rack and allow to cool for five to seven minutes.

Serve with tasty dip, recipe below.

For the Dip:

2 Tablespoons of Ranch Dressing

6 Generous Tablespoons of sour cream

1/2 teaspoon of chipotle chili powder

1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder

 Combine all of these ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until time National Chip and Dip Day …or anytime you are craving the flavor of Pig and Dip! This appetizer recipe easily serves a family of four quite nicely.



Life is hectic. If you don’t have time to make your own homemade chips, grab a bag or two from the local supermarket or gas station to celebrate National Chip and Dip Day. There are so many delicious choices to eat with this tasty dip recipe!


What is your favorite brand and flavor?