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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reader Favorites from 2014

One of the reasons I love writing this blog is seeing what the readers go for. Sometimes I'm surprised to see a recipe fall flat when I was so excited about trying it, but more often I'm blown away by the response to a recipe that I tried on a whim or one that I've been making for years and it never occurred to me that everyone else has not. Last year a couple of my favorites wound up on the reader favorites list which pleased me because I felt like I was on track.

I think last year I listed the top 6 posts. This year I'm going to do things a little differently. With almost two years of blogging under my belt I wanted to include the top 6 recipes from this year along with the top 6 over the past two years. So, what say we start with this year's reader favorites?

This is by far the number one viewed post overall. I'm positive that's because it's from the Pioneer Woman and, like myself, people simply trust anything she does. This mixture of meaty sauce, creamy, melty cheese, and perfectly cooked pasta is the ideal dish for feeding a large family. It makes a ton of food (I've fed 8 with leftovers with this recipe) and is absolutely delicious to boot! It's just as good as leftovers as it is fresh out of the oven and I could eat the sauce as a soup, it's so good.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Menu for 12/29/14-1/4/15

My holiday season has not quite died down yet. I've been asked to make another batch of tea cakes for a family member and I'll be dropping them off on Wednesday. In addition, my big gift from Yaya, a new dryer that we desperately needed, will be delivered on Wednesday as well.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Bailey's 4th Christmas

Do you feel neglected? Because I feel like I've been neglecting you. It wasn't intentional, I promise. I've just been so incredibly swamped with Christmas stuff.

I've been crafting and baking and visiting friends and family. Down time has been completely nonexistent.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Yaya's Chicken and Veggie Spaghetti Pie

Of all the things my mom cooks this is by far one of my favorite recipes. I have asked for this as my birthday dinner more than once. Even though it's the same recipe mine never tastes quite like Yaya's but isn't that typical? I mean, I use her spaghetti sauce recipe and mine never tastes like hers and I use Nana's lasagna recipe and it tastes totally different.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Menu for 12/15/14-12/21/14

Man, it's been a crazy busy weekend of baking! I got to try a new frosting technique Monday night. I made us some chocolate cupcakes with peppermint frosting and made them look kind of like starlight mints.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sausage and Cheese Tortellini Soup

It's cold, y'all! At 11:30 at night it's 26 degrees outside. And I live in Tennessee! I don't mind the cold, I actually prefer it to the heat, especially the muggy, humid heat we get here. Bailey doesn't seem to mind the cold either but we have two cars with the heat somewhat on the fritz. Aaron's truck has no heat at all and mine only has defrost or it blows at your feet. I guess that's better than last year when the defrost didn't work but it makes it hard to take Bailey anywhere when she can't wear a coat in the car and it takes forever (and a ton of gas) for the car to warm up.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Menu for 12/8/14-12/14/14

Bailey and me with Senator on Christmas morning 2011.

Well I was going to share a couple of cute pictures I took during our day out with Nana on Friday but Bailey has taken off with my phone and won't let me have it back even long enough to transfer them to my computer. So instead I'm going to do a little flashback post.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Root Beer Barbecue Chicken

I have a few barbecue recipes that I've picked up over the past three or four years. I make some darn good pulled pork and I have a nice spicy crock pot barbecue chicken recipe but both of those take all day to make and sometimes I just don't have the time to wait around. This is particularly true on days when I completely forget what's on the menu and remember too late to spend 8 hours roasting a pork shoulder in the oven or even 4 hours slow cooking some chicken in the crock pot. Who wants to wait until midnight to eat dinner, right?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday December 2014

The Christmas season is upon us and I've rounded up some of the best ways to make your Christmas as merry as possible. This month I've included several crafts and DIY gifts, a couple of drinks to keep you warm, a few cookie recipes, and more.

I think I'll start with the drinks.

A Wish for a Warm Belly:

Salted caramel and chocolate long ago surpassed peanut butter and chocolate for my favorite flavor combination. The salt brings out the buttery flavor of the caramel and makes it taste even more rich. I also love that this is made in the crock pot, a huge warm pot of love for your friends and family. This would be perfect to serve on Christmas morning or at a party.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie

The past two years I've had the pleasure of making the pies for our Thanksgiving dinner. This recipe isn't a secret. In fact it's on the side of every can of Libby's pumpkin puree. It is, however, the best pumpkin pie I've ever had. And, as I said, pumpkin pie is my all-time favorite holiday pie. Yes, I do love pecan pie, but pumpkin is where it's at!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Menu for 12/1/14-12/7/14

Oh, my gosh! Can you believe it's already December? I'm amazed. These last couple of months have gone by so quickly that I've hardly had time to do anything at all. I haven't done any Christmas shopping or even made a list for Yaya. I actually had to sit down yesterday to make December's menu, something I normally would have done at least two weeks ago. I have got to get my act together.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Candied Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole

Years ago my Grandmother used to make sweet potato pudding that was like heaven on a plate and even though I have her recipe (in her handwriting) I can't make it like she did. Either the recipe is wrong or the directions are wrong or I'm not reading it right. I'm not sure what the problem is but mine always turns out soupy. I've tried everything from adding extra eggs to doubling the cooking time and it's still just not good. Even Admiral (who has probably made it dozens of times) can't get it to come out right.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Menu for 11/24/14-11/30/14

I've been a bit busy the past week trying to plan our Thanksgiving out so I'm going to get right to the menu again. I'm including my entire Thanksgiving menu and it includes a few new recipes so hopefully in the coming weeks I'll be able to get a few of them up in case anyone want's to use them for Christmas.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana (copycat)

When Aaron and I first met we ate out often. We frequented Applebee's, Chili's, Ruby Tuesday's, and one of my favorites, Olive Garden. Aaron's order was predictable. Almost everywhere we went he ordered chicken tenders and fries, but at Olive Garden that was not an option. He doesn't like salad (or anything in it except for croutons) and he's not a fan of minestrone or pasta y fagioli, but one night he tried their other soup (I know they have chicken gnocchi soup now but at the time they did not), the Zuppa Toscana.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Menu for 11/17/14-11/23/14

Well we have had a fantastic week but the highlight of the week was Dixie Stampede's Christmas show with Aunt Shelia this afternoon. Bailey sat between me and Aaron and watched the animals run around. There were horses and pigs and goats and chickens and sheep and camels... Bailey loved it! She ate most of my chicken, a whole cheese biscuit, and some corn on the cob.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Skillet Chicken and Gravy

One of the first things I ever learned to cook was skillet chicken. There are dozens of ways you can make it. When I was in 4th or 5th grade I started out making it with some "Tiger Seasoning" (at the time it was called "Praise Allah" I think) and testing various other spices on it. I probably went through my parents' entire spice rack experimenting. I liked to use cooking wine to deglaze the pan and then cook down some peppercorns in the gravy.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Menu for 11/10/14-11/16/14

Time is just flying and I'm feeling incredibly stressed about it. I can't seem to get my time management under control. Part of the problem could be Bailey's transition from her crib to her big girl bed. It's difficult to convince her to go to sleep without lying in bed with her and waiting for her to fall asleep but then I get sleepy in the dark room with the noise machine pumping out the sounds of ocean waves. Not to mention that her room has the most comfortable temperature in the house. I tend to fall asleep waiting for her to do the same and then before I know it it's the middle of the night and I'm still too sleepy to get up and do anything useful.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday November 2014

This month the wishlist is going to be all about Thanksgiving. I'm including a turkey recipe, plenty of side dishes and desserts, and a few decorating ideas. Hopefully if you haven't already planned your Thanksgiving down to the last detail some of these wishes will inspire you.

In case you didn't know, I've never hosted Thanksgiving dinner. My family has set plans. Plans that haven't been changed in years. We have lunch at Nana's at 1:00 on Thanksgiving. For years Aaron and I would split up for the day to cover both families. Since we had Bailey we've been attempting to make it to both family meals, but that's difficult when Nana wants to eat at 1:00 and then his family makes reservations at a restaurant an hour away at 3:00.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Menu for 11/3/14-11/9/14

Sorry to have been neglecting the blog the past couple of weeks but I was so busy working on Bailey's birthday party that I couldn't keep my eyes open long enough at night to type.

I pulled an all-nighter the night before her party to finish the cake.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Menu for 10/27/14-11/2/14

Okay, so I know I'm a little behind this week but I promise there's a good reason. I'm also going to cut this post a bit short but again, good reason.

Bailey is turning 3 this weekend and I have been working super hard on her birthday party. Bailey's Birthday Bash will be Sunday and the only thing on my mind this week should be getting decorations and food and making the cake (and somehow finding a picture of Tinkerbell that will fit on her cake) and all the little details that go into making her birthday super special. Unfortunately we have hit an unexpected speed bump.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Perfect Pie Crust

This recipe is a warm-up for an upcoming post, apple pie. I've made the pie crust multiple times for different pie recipes. I've used it for chicken pot pie, cherry pie, blueberry pie, and apple pie and it always comes out perfectly flaky. It's not too sweet for a savory pie and just sweet enough for desserts. I'm sure it would also work for pumpkin pie or pecan pie come Thanksgiving. Of course coming from Annie's Eats it's a recipe that couldn't possibly fail.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Menu for 10/20/14-10/26/14

After fighting a horrible migraine all day I am finally feeling well enough to get some things done. Since I got Bailey down I've been trying to clean up the house, mostly the kitchen which was a mess, and getting some stuff packed to visit with Nana tomorrow.

Last Monday when we visited Nana Bailey just couldn't get enough snuggling with Nana.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Halloween Fun

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Okay so every holiday is one of my favorites. What can I say? I like to celebrate! But seriously it is one of my favorites because I have tons of creative ideas for decorations, food, crafts, costumes... you get the picture.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

I had never been a huge fan of meatballs until about 4 years ago. I'm not particularly fond of ground beef except in chili or hamburgers, I've always loathed meatloaf, and the thought of eating reheated leftover meatballs used to turn my stomach. Of course all of this was before I tried the mozzarella stuffed meatballs from Annie's Eats. They made me rethink my whole outlook on meatballs which is why I finally decided to try these.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Menu for 10/13/14-10/19/14

Oh, the rain! I think it has rained all week and we're looking at plenty more rain the coming week. Tuesday it's supposed to rain all day long.

Of course that didn't stop Bailey from having tons of fun. We had some family visiting from out of town and finally got to meet the latest addition to the family, my cousin's 2 month old boy. He is just precious, slept almost the whole time we were at Nana's.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Baked Ravioli

If you're looking for a quick, simple dinner this is it! The whole thing comes together in about ten minutes and then just needs a bit of time in the oven.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Crispy Cheddar Baked Chicken

I've been taking a lot more short cuts on my cooking the past few weeks. I'm using more packaged and canned foods and I've even resorted to fast food several times just because I didn't feel like cooking. I don't know if it's just being extra tired or not in the mood but I think I may have finally broken out of the funk I've been in.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Menu for 10/6/14-10/12/14

I have had a great week. Among other things I found Bailey's birthday gift, or at least part of it (my friend does amazing things with polymer clay and made her a Tinkerbell charm that we're going to hang in a shadowbox on her wall) and I had one incredibly successful new recipe. Our first box from came in this week and 3/4 of the snacks were absolutely delicious! Bailey devoured the jelly doughnut mix, I finished off the herby bread basket almost as quickly, and the flapjacks which I was unsure about when I saw them were surprisingly delectable. They look like those chewy granola bars but they're not really chewy so much as like a flourless oatmeal cookie held together by honey. I was very impressed. The only snack I didn't care for was the jalapeno fiesta but that's because I'm not fond of spicy peanuts.

Monday night I made an amazing apple pie.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday October 2014

This month includes several sewing patterns that I can't wait to try, a couple of adult beverages, plenty of comforting, fall foods, and a couple of odds and ends that I couldn't help but throw in. This is what I'm wishing for this month.

I'll start with the sewing.

A Wish to be More Eco-Friendly:

DIY Unpaper Towels from A Blossoming Life
I've been thinking of doing this for awhile now. I don't use too many paper towels but Aaron does. This would increase the weekly laundry but they're pretty, softer than paper towels, and sturdier for clean-up jobs too. They're small so the materials wouldn't cost much and they look like they'd be a nice, easy project. I could probably make a whole roll of them in a week of nap times. I bet they make great gifts too.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Peanut Chicken Stir Fry

I don't get to eat enough stir fry. I miss working down the street from a small Chinese restaurant where I could just drive down and pick up lunch once a week. I miss fried rice and saucy chicken and vegetables and since I don't get to make it often at home I have to compromise and make it for Yaya and Nana for our Monday night dinners.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Menu for 9/29/14-10/4/14

I kind of took this week off. I didn't cook, we ate out almost every night. That meant I didn't have to clean the kitchen except to wash a few glasses and plates from lunch. It was a nice, relaxing week of playing with Bailey and having family time in the evenings. I really enjoyed it.

I read a lot. I finished at least one book and I'm halfway through another. I'm still working on the Dresden Files series and I'm loving it! There's just so much action and of course I'm fascinated by the magic and the monsters.

I spent at least one nap time working on this new crochet pattern.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Skillet Pork Chops

This is a go-to meal for me when I need to make a quick substitution to my regular menu. On those days when I'm unexpectedly busy or just too tired to stand in the kitchen for an hour to cook dinner this is what I make.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Menu for 9/22/14-9/28/14

Since I have posted something every day for the past week I'm going to keep this short. No pictures, no update on how our week was, just the menu.

So here it is.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

SNAP Challenge: Day 7

Another day of eggs for breakfast. We had some toast with it this morning, finishing off the loaf of bread and Bailey had some yogurt. Lunch was cheeseburgers using the last of the ground chuck. I made 3 (1/3 lb) burgers and since we only had 2 buns left Bailey ate her burger without a bun. We had some Doritos with the burgers and Bailey got some raspberries.

Dinner was crock pot chicken taco rice bowls at Admiral's house. I added an extra can of black beans to make it go further and used the last of the chicken in it. I had to buy another bag of rice yesterday to go with dinner tonight but that's only $1.00 so I'm still within budget.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

SNAP Challenge: Day 6

After a busy day with Aaron home all day it's clear that I would not make it on SNAP benefits alone. I read an article (and don't ask me where because I can't remember) that said that most fights between couples were caused by hunger... or hanger as they called it. Apparently when someone's hunger reaches a certain point they become angry, causing them to lash out at anyone in the vicinity who irritates them. In couples it's generally the partner who takes the brunt of the frustration.

Friday, September 19, 2014

SNAP Challenge: Day 5

I feel like I'm really kicking butt at this challenge. Bailey and I both had breakfast and lunch today. She had some yogurt and I shared a bowl of cereal with her. (You know how it is with kids, you can't have anything to yourself.) At lunch she munched on some frozen peas and cheese cubes and ate the last hot dog. I finished off the chili with a tiny bit of rice and then had a peanut butter sandwich to go with it.

We had sloppy joes for dinner with some Doritos and everyone seemed full enough. I'm really proud of how well we've been doing this week. I added up all the food we have left for the next two days and it seems like we'll be okay as long as no one has a growth spurt or an empty day.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

SNAP Challenge: Day 4

Man, I love chili dogs. We don't have hot dogs often, for a couple of reasons. One being that they're not particularly healthy but more importantly because they're kind of expensive. We don't eat the cheap hot dogs, the ones made with chicken, pork, and beef that remind you why you don't want to know how hot dogs are made. I only buy all beef hot dogs and they can be pricey, especially when you're used to getting by on $2-3 worth of protein per meal for a family of three.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

SNAP Challenge: Day 3

This has been the easiest day of the challenge by far. First off, we woke up really late today, much later than I had intended but since we didn't have plans it wasn't a problem. But since it was so late we weren't really in the mood for breakfast.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

SNAP Challenge: Day 2

Today was a little better than yesterday. I wasn't as hungry between lunch and dinner but I think Bailey might have been. We had some cereal for breakfast, about twice as much as yesterday because Bailey kept asking for more.

For lunch Bailey had a bowl of rice, some cheese cubes, and we broke out the Doritos. I had a peanut butter sandwich.

Perfect Brown Rice in the Oven

I'll admit I make some of the worst rice you've ever eaten. It comes out too sticky and starchy or it doesn't cook through and turns out crunchy or it runs out of liquid and sticks and burns on the bottom of the pot. I know the directions say you should cover it and not stir it but I worry that it will stick so I take the lid off and then the steam escapes and the liquid all evaporates too fast and I can't seem to get the stove temperature right so if I leave the lid on tight the water boils over... it's really just a horrible mess.

Monday, September 15, 2014

SNAP Challenge: Day 1

Day 1 went surprisingly well. Bailey and I shared some cereal for breakfast, I had a peanut butter sandwich for lunch and she had some raspberries and cheese cubes. Dinner with Yaya, Nana, and Senator was broccoli casserole with some chicken added in. I did find myself pretty hungry between lunch and dinner and resorted to snacking on some of the rice for the casserole. I've realized that I will probably need to cook some more rice to serve as snacks for the week. All of my meat except for a pound of the ground beef is spoken for so maybe I'll make some kind of beef and rice mixture.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Menu for 9/15/14-9/21/14

The SNAP challenge starts... well, about 45 minutes ago. I've spent three weeks preparing for this and so long as I don't have to run back to the store for anything I'm set. I did my shopping on Friday. My budget was $94.50 and I spent $89.55 leaving me only $4.95 for an emergency. Thankfully I think I've got everything I'll need.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Island Pork Tenderloin

Every few months my dad and I collaborate on dinner. Usually I'll take care of the meat and he will handle vegetables and sides. A couple of weeks ago we had decided on pork for dinner and I found this delightful recipe on Pinterest that I wanted to try.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Menu for 9/8/14-9/14/14

I have a recipe that I'm dying to share with you and I will just as soon as I get a new waffle iron.

A few weeks ago my brother texted me asking, "Are apple fritter waffles a thing?" So I hit Pinterest to find a recipe and Monday night we had apple fritter waffles.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pizza Lasagna Roll-ups

Finally! After over two weeks without posting a recipe I'm back on track.

I've been trying to make this recipe for several weeks. It kept getting pushed back because I either wasn't in the mood to cook it or Aaron wasn't in the mood to eat it.

If you've never made lasagna roll-ups now is the time to try them.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday September 2014

Is it fall yet? Can it be? Can we just say it's fall and cancel the hot weather and get back to comfy outdoor temperatures and sweaters and my cute fingerless gloves that I love so much?

I'm ready for fall and I think this month's Wishlist will prove it.

A Wish for Something Pumpkin:

Mini Pumpkin Sticky Buns from Iowa Girl Eats
It's been almost a year since I first saw this post on Kristin's blog and these sticky buns haven't left my mind since. These little delights are made with pumpkin butter and crescent rolls (well, the crescent sheets) making them super simple to make even at the last minute. I say that because I'm always remembering that we have nothing for dessert as I'm serving dinner. I promise you these are in my near future!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Menu for 9/1/14-9/7/14

What a great long weekend. We've spent time with family and relaxed together. It's been so nice to have Aaron home an extra day.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Why I'm Thankful for the Emergency Animal Hospital

See I've got this cat, Rhada, and she's no kitten. She's probably over 10 years old but we're not really sure because she was an adult when we acquired her. She has liver disease for which she was treated in January of 2013 (when I was really sure I'd lost her) and she's been pretty much okay ever since. Except this week she's been acting sick. She was sleeping more than usual and acting more irritable than normal.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Menu for 8/25/14-8/31/14

I seriously have one of the sweetest kids on the planet and she has been extra sweet this week.

Monday night at dinner she stole some snuggle time with Nana. They read all of Nana's books at least twice.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

2:00 AM Chili

I have been craving chili for weeks now. Aaron keeps saying he's not in the mood for it but I just couldn't wait any longer. I made the decision during nap time today that it was time for chili and he could just deal with it.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Menu for 8/18/14-8/24/14

I hope everyone had a fantastic week! I certainly did. I have an exciting announcement. I was included in the Reader Love post on Annie's Eats this month. I was so pleased to see the photo of Bailey on her blog but when I read what she wrote about it I was deeply touched. She said such kind things! But then she's such a kind person I should have expected it. Anyway, click the link above if you want to check it out.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Taco Stuffed Shells

I would have to call this meal Tex-Mex/Italian fusion. It's a satisfying combination of Italian pasta and Tex-Mex taco meat smothered in cheese with salsa in place of the marinara sauce.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Menu for 8/11/14-8/17/14

What a fun week!

My cousin's new baby was born Monday. After a tough pregnancy with Li'l P and several weeks in the NICU when he was born 12 weeks early, this pregnancy and birth went quite smoothly. I haven't gotten to meet him yet but I have seen some pictures and he's just beautiful. So congratulations to J and her family!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Chicken Parmesan Sliders

I very rarely get to have a sandwich for dinner and even when I do it's not the kind of sandwich where you just slap some meat and bread together and eat. No, if I'm going to have a sandwich for dinner it's going to be something more sophisticated.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday August 2014

Oh man, I have some exciting wishes this month! I've been thinking about this post for weeks now and I almost couldn't wait until August to share it with you. Let's get to it!

A Wish for a Hearty Breakfast:

Black Forest Oats from An Edible Mosaic
As many of you know, I love oatmeal. I have several recipes I rotate regularly but none are as amped up as this and since cherries are in season now it's the perfect time to try this recipe. Chocolate chips, juicy cherries, and toasty pecans combined with rich, nutty steel cut oats are just what I need to jump start my day.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Menu for 8/4/14-8/10/14

I have been a lazy, lazy, no good housewife this week. I haven't cleaned much except to keep the mess at bay and abandoned my menu for breakfast and lunch, resorting to things like store-bought bagels and simple sandwiches. Poor Bailey probably doesn't want to see another pop-tart or bowl of trail mix for a month.

I don't know what got into me this week but I just couldn't motivate myself to do anything. I slept more than usual. Still not enough though, never enough. I've been unbelievably thirsty too which I think is probably due to the heat. Not that we had any abnormally warm weather for the end of July, but it's still warmer than I really care for and heat always makes me feel like lying around the house, watching television, and generally trying to move as little as possible.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Menu for 7/28/14-8/3/14

A day late, I'm so sorry about that, but our weekend was packed with activities and by the time I got home last night and put Bailey in bed (and then went back in to hold her because the thunder scared her) I was just too exhausted to turn the computer on.

I'm so excited to say that Bailey has been much more tolerant of pulling her hair back the past couple of weeks.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Chicken and Tortellini Soup

Ah, comfort food.

Comfort food is different for everyone. It's usually the foods that you remember from childhood. Meals that your mother made for you, especially the kinds of meals that didn't make it into regular rotation on the menu.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Crock Pot Italian Chicken and Pasta (updated)

Don't worry, I haven't changed the recipe a bit. It's just that the photographs for the original post were so blurry that I wanted to give this recipe a second go. It is one of my favorite recipes. I make it once a month and I wouldn't change a thing.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lazy Baked Ziti

If you have all day to work on dinner (making homemade sauce and such) I would recommend going with Pioneer Woman's version of Baked Ziti. However, if you don't have the time for all that (or if you're feeling particularly lazy) this is a great alternative.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Menu for 7/21/14-7/27/14

I would like to begin with an apology. I am so sorry that there was no new recipe last week. I had planned on posting the crock pot beef and broccoli recipe but it did not turn out at all like I had hoped. The recipe needs some tweaking before sharing. This week should include an update to one of my earliest posted recipes and three new recipes.

Monday, July 14, 2014


In case you haven't noticed there are a few updates to the page. I've added some new features to help readers navigate the page and to highlight some of the most popular posts.

There's a search bar at the top left corner where you can type in what you're looking for and get a list of matches or near matches. Also, along the top of the page under the blog title is a sort of index to guide you to a particular type of recipe. For example you can click chicken and you'll get a list of all of the dishes that include or feature chicken.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Menu for 7/14/14-7/20/14

Maybe it's because of the heat or lack of sleep but I've felt like every day of this week has been incredibly long! It's like bedtime can never come soon enough but then when it does finally come I'm suddenly wide awake and can't get any rest.

It has been a good week though. We've had some extra cute moments from Bailey. I've just started a new challenge called 100 Days of Happy. The idea is that you capture one image of happiness every day. It can be food that made you happy or your pets, sports or video games, movies or television, crafts or hobbies, or music. You get the idea. For me it will likely be a lot of Bailey.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Garlicky Pasta with Tuscan Chicken

You know those recipes you see and you keep going back and thinking One day I'll have the courage and energy to try that one? This is one of those recipes.

I read the ingredients list and thought it sounded like a meal that I used to order at Olive Garden. Garlic and herb chicken with broccoli. Lightly breaded chicken served over pasta, tossed in a light garlic, white wine, and Parmesan sauce with crisp broccoli.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Wish Come True: The Best Hamburger Seasoning

Yes, that's right. I couldn't take it any more and had to try the burger seasoning that boasts so shamelessly to be the best and guess what! It was pretty darn good. Maybe not my favorite burger seasoning because it was super spicy and I happen to have a recipe that I use regularly that I love, but man was there plenty of flavor!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Menu for 7/7/14-7/13/14

Besides being sick, last week wasn't too bad. We babysat Li'l P for a few hours on Tuesday and Wednesday. I got the kitchen and living room nice and clean. Our laundry, which is usually an all-day chore, was washed and put away before nap time on Thursday. I got to do the grocery shopping without little hands interfering (cutting my shopping time in half) and Aaron got to spend all day at home with us Friday. I love long weekends.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Skillet Enchilada Pasta

A skillet meal! You know what that means... easy to cook, easy to eat, and easy to clean!

I am all about skillet meals on busy nights. Any recipe that says "One-Pan" in the title usually leaps to the top of my try it list. What's easier than throwing everything in the pan and letting it simmer for a few minutes?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday July 2014

Welcome to Wishlist Wednesday! I have some awesome wishes to share this month. There is a summer theme since we're finally really into summer. Let's jump right in!

A Wish for Something Pretty:

I have this friend, Suzanne, from high school and she makes the most darling jewelry. She has a booth at the Market Square Farmer's Market here in town, but she also sells her stuff on Etsy. She also makes clothes. She sews and knits and crochets. Her stuff is all very unique and I would seriously buy most of it if I had the money. Check out her Etsy shop. It's worth a look.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Menu for 6/30/14-7/6/14

We had a little fun outside of VBS last week.

Bailey and I had another mani/pedi day at home. These are my toes because I know how to hold still for a picture but hers are the same colors as mine.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Vacation Bible School 2014

Overall I'd say Vacation Bible School was a success! Bailey got to enjoy some time with other kids, play on a playground, eat snacks, and learn about Jesus. She even did some crafts, though I'm pretty sure she had a lot of help with those.

When we got there Monday night the nursery class was packed! They had only assigned two adults to the nursery and twelve kids showed up. So instead of just dropping the kids off my cousin and I stayed and helped out in the nursery. The up side of that was I got to watch Bailey play with the kids and she felt comfortable because I was there with her.