The Big Pink Pig

A cooking, baking, sewing, and creating blog about life with my little pink piggies.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Back to School Faves!

Our favorite things for Back to School!

fairy pink brush

We are channeling Oprah today!  I spent a ridiculous amount of time on Pinterest the other day and found some seriously cool things to start the year off right!

The item featured above is called Knot Genie and they are on sale right now on the Mini Social for 8.99!  The makers claim to gets knots out of hair of varying lengths.  The bristles bend so damage of the cuticle.  The hair is supposed to remain shinier than normal!  With the amount of curls in our house, this one may be worth it for us especially when school starts and baths and hair washing are a daily occurrence.  

   To-Go Ware RePEaT Utensil Set

These are also very cool!  To Go Ware, RePEat Utensils.  This would be great for older kids who may not accidently throw them away.  For 11.99, you can provide utensils for the kiddies and be eco-friendly while doing it!

The adorable skirt featured above is from Down East Basics.  If you haven't checked out their site, you have to soon!  They only carry women's, girls', and home decor.  Their aesthetic is close to JCrew but at a fraction of the price!  Plus, their sale right now is discounted an additional 30%!

  We Give Books

We Give Books is a GREAT resource for parents of preschoolers.  It's totally free and you can read books to your kiddos online, so that mean if you are out and about in a doctor's office or car ride you can read pictures books instantly.  It's a philanthropic organization, so every time you login and read a book, they will donate a book to an organization of your choice.  Great for you, great for the cause!

Finally this last one is for the mamas out there preparing the little ones for preschool and school.  Capri Blue Candles are HEAVEN!  They come with a hefty price tag ($30 for the largest candle) but they are oh so worth it!  My favorite scents are Aloha Orchid and Volcano.  They also sell them in Anthropologie stores.  So brew yourself a cup of tea, put your feet up, turn on one of House Hunters International and enjoy!  The smell will transplant you to all of those fun locations!  

(The above reflects my own opinion about the products featured.  I was not paid nor compensated for any of the reviews.  All referencing information is shown below each item.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bath Tub Fun

 We made bath paints today!  Super easy and provided fun in the bath tub!  All you need is 1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch, some baby shampoo (clear/yellow clear in color) and food coloring.  Mix together and you are done!
 The girls LOVED adding the color.  By the way, baby wipes can get almost anything out of skin, counter tops, and flooring haha.  The purple food coloring was splotched right between Laura's eyes.
 I did a massive bleach cleaning of the mildew in our tub the night before--lovely right?!?  Anyways, we were in need of new bath toys, so I headed to Walmart the day before and grabbed anti-microbial and anti-odor sponges.
We cut that them in shapes and letters.  It was the cheapest bath toy ever, which is great because Pete and I frequently have to throw out bath toys....

Oh and the best part was that they used the sponges to clean up their mess in the tub when they were done!  We just used these paints for one bath, but you could buy the tiny Gladware containers and store them for a couple of days for extended bath fun!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Smoked Salmon and Pea Pasta

I should call this the "empty the fridge" pasta dish :)  I had friends over earlier in the week and picked up some smoked salmon from Trader Joe's, along with some fat free cream cheese and capers to make mini salmon and caper sandwiches.  Anyways, I had extras so I threw everything together and thankfully the family enjoyed it!


8 oz of fat free cream cheese
1 box of fettuccine
1 1/2 cups of frozen peas
6 oz (about half a package of smoked salmon)
1 cup of chicken broth
1 cup of milk
2 teaspoons of French Thyme
1 clove of garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Boil water for pasta and cook pasta till al dente.
2.  In a large sauce pan over medium heat, pour chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Add garlic and stir.
3.  After the garlic has been incorporated, add the cream cheese and allow it to melt.
4.  Once the cream cheese has melted, add the milk and stir with a whisk.  Slowly add the thyme and salt and pepper.
5.  Finally add the peas and salmon and cook until the salmon is light pink in color and the peas have completely thawed and are warm.
6.  Drain the pasta and add the sauce to the pasta and wa-lah!  :)

The girls nibbled it right up!  :)  It was quick and looked way fancier than it actually was to create.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Quick Meal: Chicken Parm Sandwiches

This recipe was born out of necessity!  I had to throw dinner together without that many ingredients and used up a lot of odds and ends in the fridge, so overall this recipe was pretty darn cheap and resourceful!

3 pieces of whole wheat bread for bread crumbs
2 tablespoons of Italian Seasoning
1 Teaspoon of Garlic powder
1 Egg White with a splash of water
1 cup of flour
2 Chicken Breasts Split (I actually split my two breasts into five pieces, two for the little mouths in the house)
Left over Spaghetti Sauce
1/2 cup of shredded Mozzarella
Toast for serving
1 tablespoon of olive oil

1.  Preheat oven to 350.
2.  Combine the first 3 ingredients into a food processor/magic bullet and pulse until breadcrumbs are made and pour into a shallow dish.
3.  Pour egg wash into a shallow dish and then the flour into another shallow dish.
4.  Heat the oil in a skillet over medium.
5.  Dredge the chicken pieces through the flour, egg, then breadcrumbs and brown each side-about 2-3 minutes each side.
6.  Once each piece is done, put them on a baking sheet and add about a tablespoon or two of spaghetti sauce and then add about a tablespoon or so of cheese.
7.  Bake for 16 minutes.  While you are baking toast your bread.
8.  Once the chicken has cooked and the cheese is nice and melty, put it into between your pieces of toast and serve!

This was a favorite of my husband!  I don't normally do sub-like sandwiches for dinner so he liked this surprise, plus it had the homemade element to it which made it a little special!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Little Bit of Sparkle!

We had paper mache letters up in Laura's room that were painted a basic pink and green, but after our recent trip to Chicago's Land of Nod, I was instantly inspired by all the creativity that hung from their walls!  For those of you who haven't heard of Land of Nod, it's Crate and Barrel's kids' line.  They have adorable furniture, decor, and toys.  They only have a few stores throughout the country so I love visiting the Oak Brook store when we go to visit Pete's family in Chicago.

One of the coolest ideas that we saw was the yarn wrapped letters.  It was easy and it added neat texture to her walls.  I had the yarn lying around the house, so that part of the project was free.  As for the glittered letters, I repainted them teal (just one light brushed on coat) and then covered them with glue.  I used an old box to contain all the glitter.  It was an incredibly easy project and one that she really appreciated.  She says her room looks like Hollywood!  Haha!  If only I didn't figure out earlier that it would be this easy to impress my little one!  I had some helpers....well...they tried....oh and yes, they got into the glitter box when Mommy and Daddy weren't paying attention-MESS!

"I sooo good at painting Momma, I pom-iss!"-  Caroline

Caroline has asked when her name will be going up on the wall...very soon, Caro, very soon!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Quick Meal: Roasted Corn and Chicken Carbonara Lightener Up!

Yummy and quite the crowd pleaser!  I got this idea from Pinterest, but changed it to fit my time constraints and lightened it up a bit for a healthy dinner.

Roasted Corn and Chicken Carbonara

1 Chicken breast ( I threw mine in a mini crockpot with some chicken stock earlier in the afternoon, made this easy because the chicken just fell apart!)
1 package of Linguini
Half a pack (about 6 oz) of Fat Free Cream Cheese or Neufchetal Cheese
1 Cup Chicken Stock/Veggie Stock
6 strips of Turkey Bacon
1 1/2 cups of Trader Joes' Roasted Corn (AMAZING and should be a freezer staple!)
1 cup of frozen peas
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 garlic clove minced
Parmesan Cheese for sprinkling

1.  Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta, about 10 minutes.
2.  In a medium pot or sauce pan over medium heat, add the oil and turkey bacon.  Brown bacon will crispy.
3.  Add the chicken to the bacon and break up into chunks.  Stir and immediately add corn and peas.
4.  Lower the heat to medium/low.
5.  In a small pot, add cream cheese and chicken or veggie stock.  Stir until cheese cheese has melted and a cream sauce has been created.  Add garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper. (You now have a healthy version of an Alfredo!)
6.  Once the pasta is cooked, drain, reserving about a 1/4 cup of the pasta water.  Add the pasta to the bacon/veggie/chicken mixture and pour the cream sauce on top!
7.  Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve!

I have some seriously picky eaters in my house, but they cleaned their plates!  :)  Plus, the hubby liked the addition of bacon to my usual pasta and pea dishes.  He would have preferred the real deal bacon, but he said that it was tasty all the same.  I save some fat and calories too.  This meal took about 35 minutes from opening the cabinet to get the pot to serving my last hungry mouth!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Quick Dinner: Roasted Tomato Polenta and Oven Roasted Chicken Breast

Oven Roasted Tomato Polenta and Chicken

This is a quick and easy "gourmet" dish.  From beginning to end it took about 30 minutes!  Plus it's economically since I only used two chicken breasts and half of the bunch of organic tomatoes!  I can use the rest tonight for dinner--Mexican this time I think.


1 cup Instant Polenta (I used Ferraro)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 Chicken breasts halfed (this is where you can save money, half them so everyone gets an adequate portion without going overboard
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
a handful of fresh basil chopped
3 garlic cloves still in skin
4 organic (or not) Compari tomatoes
dash of Italian season and salt and pepper to season chicken

1.  Preheat oven to 350.
2.  Grease baking dish with olive oil. Half chicken breasts (so now you have 4 pieces of chicken) and put them in the dish (move them around a little).  Season one side of the chicken with Italian seasonings and salt and pepper and then repeat with the other side.
3.  Cut tomatoes into three parts and place them on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with a little pepper.  Sprinkle your basil on top!
4.  Place both the chicken and the tomatoes in the oven.  The chicken will cook for 15 minutes and then you will flip the pieces and cook for another 15 minutes.  At the halfway point you can take out the tomatoes and place them to the side.
5.  During the first 15 minutes of cooking, pour yourself a glass of wine or tea and hang out.  Once the first 15 minutes are up and the tomatoes are out, start the polenta.
6.  Follow the directions on the box, but I warn you polenta cooks VERY fast and you need to whisk or stir to get rid of lumps.  
7.  Once your polenta has finished cooking, add your butter and cheese.  Stir until the butter melts and then add your tomatoes.  Smash your garlic to get the skins off.  (Don't worry the garlic won't be as strong as it is in raw form)  I added a basil leaf to pretty it up, but it's not necessary!  
8.  Your chicken should be done, just check to make sure it isn't pink.
9.  Serve!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Easy Peasy Choco Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Easy Peasy Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies!

I snatched this recipe from Milk and Cookies!  It is the quickest, easiest chocolate cookie recipe that you can throw together with ingredients you may already have in your cupboards!  The baby has been begging for cookies and milk, so this was an afternoon snack that hit the spot!  You can find the recipe here, but I cut it a little short on the butter, about a stick and a half instead of two and lightened up on the flour!  It also freezes beautifully!

This is their dramatic cookie face!  Nothing is more serious than enjoying chocolate..oh and Daddy, I may have allowed them to lick the spoons....don't hate me :)