Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Top 16 Recipes of 2016

Ah, long time, no see everyone!

Yes, it's the 2nd to last day of our Oregon trip and I've finally found a few moments to write. It has been Busy with a capitol B! We've been going non-stop, but man, it has been fun. I'll save pictures for when I do my Oregon or December wrap-up but we've basically been on what I like to call a "Food and Drink Tour" of Oregon. Seriously! We've travelled to Southern Oregon to dine at a couple of places in Ashland. We've stopped at a restaurant in Eugene. We've traveled to Portland to visit family and wine-taste with friends. There was a boozy breakfast in Albany. We saw "Holiday Office Party" in Corvallis. Drove the backroads through Independence. Had a wine-and-hor-dourves night with some of my biggest blog fans (Hello Glaeser family!) I can safely say I've seen the entire I-5 corridor of Oregon on this visit ๐Ÿ˜

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Sorghum-Glazed Veggie Medley

-with roasted salmon

It took more than a few tries and a couple of weeks, but I finally got this dish where I want it ๐Ÿ˜€

Yes, rest assured friends, this veggie medley is amazing. I've been eating it for 3 weeks straight. I literally can't stop. I don't want to stop. Sweet potatoes have been discovered and there's no putting that love back in the box. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Autumn Pork & Squash Stew

First, the bad news...

Guys, I have been looking at my calendar and it's not looking good. December's schedule is going to be busy. Busy with a capitol B! I've started physical therapy again, 3 times a week. Christmas shopping needs to be finished. Our niece's birthday is at the end of the week, and we've planned a shopping trip and a sleepover. Not to mention making her a cake and getting her back home for her official birthday party at my sister-in-law's. There's Christmas with our Kentucky relatives. Packing to go to Oregon in 12 days. And goodness knows what we're going to get into while we're on the West Coast! We may only have a trip to Southern Oregon and a wine-tasting date planned, but that always changes. Fast

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Wrapping Up November: 2016

How is it December??

This year has simultaneously dragged on, and in the same inexplicable breath, flew by. Where did 2016 go? November was a pretty busy month for us, as it is for most with the Thanksgiving holiday. December is set to fly by too, as the hubby and I are leaving for Oregon in 15 short days!! I'm so excited, I haven't spent a Christmas in Oregon since Christmas 2009. It's definitely time to head home for a holiday!

But in November-

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Cinnamon Pumpkin Cookies

Sheesh, you guys. I knew last week was going to be crazy, with the holiday and all, but not nearly as hectic as it was. I feel like I've had 2 seconds to myself in the last 7 days or so. Besides hosting Thanksgiving at our house, I had the funky cold from Hades, we had a water leak the day before the holiday, I had more MRI's done, and finally, the hubby got the new iPhone he's been dreaming of after we drove 256 miles to get it. Needless to say, it's been cray-cray around here. 


Cold is gone. Yippee! 

Water leak was fixed and Thanksgiving prep was finished. Thank goodness.

MRI's were completed. They weren't fun, but they are done. I loathe whoever created those detestable machines.

The hubby loves his new phone ๐Ÿ˜

Monday, November 21, 2016

Turkey Bacon Avocado Paninis

It has been one of those kind of weeks.

Last Monday, a familiar but most unwelcome acquaintance set up shop in my house- the common cold. And ugh, it has been anything but fun. I've been running the gambit from sore throat to fever to head fog to a lost voice. Truly, by the end of the day Saturday, the hubby and I were communicating by text. I'm normally a very quiet person, but found the sensation of not being able to talk very unpleasant. Not cool when you are trying to watch Oregon football! ๐Ÿ˜ก Luckily, I'm on the mend. My voice is back and with only a nasty cough left, I'm pretty much over the hump.

Good thing too, because I'm doing the Thanksgiving shopping today ๐Ÿ™€

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Buttermilk Brined Turkey Tenderloin Dinner

Are you having a small(ish) Thanksgiving this year? Or people over who claim "I just don't like turkey!"? What about guests that will only eat white meat? Or picky children who refuse their plate if a piece of dark meat touched something on it? If you answered "yes" to any of the preceding questions, turkey tenderloins might be for you! Turkey tenderloin is soooooo moist and flavorful, and you won't have near the leftovers you would cooking a whole turkey. Plus, everybody loves that breast meat, right? You might even win over that person who doesn't like turkey! ๐Ÿ˜

Friday, November 11, 2016

Be the Change You Want to See in the World

Therapy has taught me so many things. I have learned so much about myself in the past 4 years, and I've changed whole-heartedly for the better. Before I was 30, I used some very unhealthy coping mechanisms just to put one foot in front of the other. I was disconnected from my emotional intelligence, I never listened to my gut. Because I was so disengaged from my emotional intelligence, I didn't understand people. I didn't understand why they behaved the way they did, why they made decisions the way they did, or what made them tick. Looking back, I was a 30 year old child wandering the world, completely in the dark about the true nature of people.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Pumpkin Cognac Cheesecake

Exactly 1 month ago, I was-

• Awakened at 7 am by the hubby getting home from his night shift.

• Kissing the hubby hello and wishing him a Happy Birthday!

• Packing a bag to stay the weekend in Marion, IL.

• Picking up the house, and telling my mother-in-law the dogs' routine as we prepared to leave.

• Taking this mesmerizing cheesecake out of the fridge and putting it in a travel container.

• Beginning the 427 mile trek to Illinois. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Wrapping Up October: 2016

Ok, I just really wanted to start the post off with a cute puppy picture. Mission accomplished ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿถ❤️

Can you believe it's November already? In 6 short weeks, the hubby and I will be leaving for Oregon! I'm in shock. I feel like it was just yesterday that I was telling the hubby it was time for a Christmas in Oregon. And now it's almost here! Unbelievable. 

But for now, now it's time to wrap up October! In October...

Monday, October 24, 2016

Recipe Redux: Chicken & Dumplings

Late last Thursday night, I was awakened by a clap of thunder on the house. I bolted upright in bed as Gizmo and Mariota scurried their furry bodies underneath the covers. I looked over to where the hubby normally lays, sighed, straightened the covers up around my neck, and laid back down. 

Things are going haywire at the plant lately, leaving the hubby's supervisor with no choice but to man the station 24 hours a day. Needless to say, this has resulted in the hubby working some of those dreaded night shifts. And left me home alone on a stormy night.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Untraditional Green Bean Casserole

Look at me! Making my goal of posting twice in one week! Woot woot ๐Ÿ˜

Really, I figured I better post this one since I had so much interest from the September Wrap-Up. The people want this recipe. The people clamor for it. And so, I shall share it-

This recipe takes me back to childhood. While I was growing up, I thought this was Green Bean Casserole. I had no idea that traditional Green Bean Casserole was a concoction of cream-of-something soup and crunchy onion straws. The moment I found out was when I spent Thanksgiving with a friend when I was about 17. I had heard that they were having Green Bean Casserole with Thanksgiving, and I was excited. Puzzled, as I wasn't sure why anyone would serve Green Bean Casserole on Thanksgiving, but nevertheless, excited. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Pumpkin Spinach Lasagna Rolls

Put down your pumpkin pies, your pumpkin cakes, your pumpkin breads, and your pumpkin muffins. Why not try something new this fall? Something new being pumpkin used in a savory manner, rather than adding the "normal" sugar and pumpkin pie spice. 

I looooooove pumpkin in savory dishes. I'd actually never tried it until 2 years ago when I made Turkey Pumpkin Chili. I don't know if I was expecting my chili to taste like pumpkin pie, but it sooooooo did not. I was instantly hooked on the savory pumpkin ๐ŸŽƒ

Monday, October 3, 2016

Wrapping Up September: 2016

Is it really October? This cannot be!! I cannot believe how fast this year is flying by. September was yet another whirlwind month. In September...

Monday, September 26, 2016

Easy Tortellini Bake

You guys.

I seriously meant to blog this weekend. Truly, madly, deeply, I did. And then... it was like vacation mode. I didn't even open the blog. I didn't read any blogs. I just watched football. And it was wonderful.

Granted, it was technically a terrible weekend of football. Just terrible. The Duck's had an ugly game on Saturday, and let me tell you, the Steeler's on Sunday was no picnic either. But it was nice to just relax. Drink some wine. Yell and throw my slippers at the TV every so often. 

But now it's Monday and I haven't posted in almost a week. Eek. Luckily, I've got something on board that is easy. Delicious. And most of all, comforting. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Strawberry Cream Cheese Danish

All right. Here's the deal- 

Over the next couple of days, I'm going to be crafting a recipe with my alpine strawberries. I know I said last month that my strawberries were starting to peter out, but I was wrong. Wrong, wrong, WRONG. They are still going and I'm collecting about 20 berries every 2 days. Something needs to be made with these lovely little berries...

Over a year ago (geez) the hubby and I went to Oregon for our 2015 trip. Whilst on our fantastic trip, my brother's girlfriend whipped up a couple of desserts for us. Her parents own an upscale hotel and restaurant in Ashland, OR, and it's safe to say cooking skills and knowledge were passed from parent to child. She made a delectable homemade raspberry tart with the most amazing filling. One of the best parts of the tart, however, was the crust. Oh, that crust. I asked her for the recipe and I've had it in my back pocket for well over a year now. I'm guessing you know where this is going...

Saturday, September 17, 2016

25 Cake & Cupcake Recipes

Oh, Saturday morning. How I love thee. I woke up rather lazily today, with one well-behaved chihuahua at my side and a not-so-well-behaved one deciding to sit on my chest and lick my face. Face Licker had decided it was time to get up. Face Licker being Mariota, that is ๐Ÿ˜‚ 

I shuffled my way to the Keurig and made a cup of coffee, admiring the view out the window whilst the coffee brewed. It rained last night, which makes me happy. That saves an hour of yard work. I also noted the bird feeders were quite full. It never fails that there is lull in bird activity every summer. The hawks have been staking out the yard fairly aggressively which every year has meant the birds leave for a little while. They'll be back. But that was another chore that didn't need to be done. 

It was a great morning. All I had to do was fill the bee waterers with fresh water and pick some strawberries. I honestly thought the strawberries would be spent by now, but they are really showing no signs of stopping. I'm thinking I'm going to be picking fresh berries every day until the first frost. Which, of course, is fine by me. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Oven-Roasted Sea Bass with Spiralized Veggie Stir-Fry

Today, I feel like posting something pretty. Oh, I know those Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes were gorgeous in their own way ๐Ÿ˜‰ But this dish is beautiful in it's own way! I mean, who doesn't love colorful food? That little saying "Eat the rainbow" comes to mind for me. I love eating the rainbow! And that's kind of what I was aiming for with this dish...

Friday, September 9, 2016

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

You know what I just realized this morning when I opened the blog?

I haven't posted a dessert recipe since June 20! Remember Copy-Cat Girl Scout Tagalongs? Yeah, that was my last recipe to satisfy sweet tooth's (teeth? I don't know about that one ๐Ÿ˜). Let's remedy that!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

It's Not Always Pretty

What is our obsession with everything being perfect? Why do we feel we must hide those vulnerable parts of ourselves that aren't glossy, flawless, and magazine-worthy? 

The garden has been amazing therapy for me for a couple of years. The lessons I've learned in nature have been every part as valuable as what I've learned out and about in our consumer-driven society. I have control issues, I know this. I hate feeling out-of-control. I call it "feeling twirly". There are many things I can assert my dominance over- I control the cleanliness of my house, wiping and polishing any evidence of dirt away. I blow-dry, straighten, curl, and battle daily to get my hair into submission. Having a bad skin day? Concealer, foundation, and a layer of powder will solve that. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Dad's Cucumber-Dill Salad

Does anyone still have cucumbers left??

Good, let's do this! 

I made this salad all the way back for the 4th of July. Almost 2 months ago. Remember how I said this was one of the downfalls of taking a long summer break? You miss posting cucumber recipes at the height of the season. And this is a good one, too. My dad sent me the recipe at the end of last summer, and it took me all the way till this summer to get on it. 

See Dad? I don't just delete all those recipes you send me. They get filed away until it's almost a year later and you forgot you even sent it to me! I get to them eventually ๐Ÿ˜

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Enchilada Stuffed Poblanos

So... funny story.

I'd always thought poblanos were mild peppers. I'd never cooked them before, I'd just read recipes using them, plus I've had them in Mexican cuisine. I'd just never prepared them myself. Well, a couple of weeks ago, with the hubby gone on a business trip, I decided to stuff a bunch of peppers for quick, easy dinners while he was gone. While I normally stuff regular bell peppers, this time I opted for poblanos. I've been trying to grow poblanos all season, but my plant never fruited. It blossomed plenty, but no luck. Darn it all. My father-in-law's did though, so we received peppers from him throughout the season. It was just a lousy season for any kind of pepper at my homestead. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Raspberry Peach Jam

Fall is coming!

Yeah, it's still August, but it's starting to feel a bit like fall around here. Some of my trees are changing color and losing leaves already. The hummingbirds are beginning to get fatter and there's a lot more of them around the last couple of days, something that usually doesn't happen for a couple of weeks around here. This morning when I let the dogs out, my glasses didn't fog up which means... dun dun humidity. Always a sign of fall around here. 

How can this be happening already? Wasn't I just lamenting that late frost we had in March? Didn't I just get tomato starts to baby before planting in the raised beds? How does summer always go so fast?

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Garden Veggie Pasta Soup

Happy Saturday everyone!

I was going to post yesterday, but you know what? I wasn't feeling it. While still trying to be my most authentic self, I just didn't feel like putting fingers to keyboard. It might still be the writer's block a little bit. It might be because the hubby's on a business trip and I've become obsessed with findings on Netflix. It's true, I discovered "Stranger Things" and nothing was done for 8 hours while I binged. If you like sci-fi, you'll like that one. Then I stumbled on "Shameless". Oh man, I'm deep into that one too. There's nothing like watching a show about a huge family with lots of problems when you have an empty house ๐Ÿ˜œ

So, to set aside my TV bingeing for a moment or two, let's talk about the opposite of TV bingeing- gardening!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Basil For Days (And 3 Pesto Recipes!)

Summer may be winding down, but no one has told my basil that. I don't know about you guys, but I've got it coming out of my ears! If there's one crop in my garden that never fails to produce, it's that large-leafed Italian favorite, basil. I normally plant plenty of it in my herb garden, but this year I went a bit further. I read that it's a great companion plant for tomatoes, keeping hornworms away and infusing the tomatoes with even greater sweetness. And I can confirm, I've had little problem with hornworms this year. In fact, since the basil has exploded and grown, I haven't see a single hornworm. I'll be pairing these two together from here on out!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Since I've Been Gone: August (So Far)

Ok friends, let's wrap up this time period of me being gone forever and a day. I've finished up talking about July, so let's talk about August so far. August has been pretty typical around here, lots of humidity (oh lord, the humidity) and heat. Also, lots of rain. I'm happy with rain in the summer though, we get such crazy downpours that I don't have to water the garden for 2 days. Talk about shaving some time off the chore wheel. But honestly, when you are talking about August in the garden (at least for me) there's not a lot to do. This downtime feels so crazy after the frenzy of landscaping the hubby and I did during the early summer. I can't complain though, it's a lovely contrast. I much need the rest after having such a full house. And August of the family's stay here was pretty busy-

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Since I've Been Gone: July

Hi friends! It's been soooooooooo long. I didn't even mean to take such a long break, it just kind of... happened. I've had a pretty full house since I've been gone, but sadly, it's now empty. My family came to visit for almost a month, and it was AWESOME. Awesome to see and have all my family here, but I did suffer a touch of writer's block. I meant to post the week before everyone got here, but each day was crammed with chores to get the house ready for family. It seemed like every night I went to bed before their visit with a to-do list for the next day pounding in my head. This left little thought for writing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Backyard Update!

Yesterday I shared some pictures on my personal FaceBook page showing the backyard update, so now it's time to share the pictures with the rest of the blogosphere! We (and by we, I mean the hubby) have worked our butts off on the yard, and it has paid off. I am so incredibly pleased with the yard. 

So, for a reminder, here's what the backyard looked like in December of 2012:

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Pesto Zoodles with Grilled Chicken & Burst Tomatoes

Today, folks, might actually be a sunny day!

Indeed, I've been (impatiently) waiting for a sunny day for almost a week now. The hubby worked his tail off last weekend to finish the patio and the garden area out back for our rained-out 4th of July barbecue. The area frankly looks amazing, and I've had no chance to take pictures of it all week thanks to clouds, rain, and general gloominess. But not today! It's finally sunny, and I plan on taking full advantage of that. And I can't wait to share the results. The hubby is truly a miracle worker.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Garlicky Caprese Flatbread

There are no words.

I can not express how much I love to make this flatbread. Literally, there are no words. 

Well, I probably shouldn't say that, because let's face it- it's me we're talking about here. Girl who has something to write about almost anything. Girl who may not talk that much, but girl who writes prolifically. And yeah, I guess I do have words that describe how much I love this flatbread.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Wrapping up June: 2016

Hola amigos!

Yeah, I'm a couple days late with my monthly wrap-up. This summer, infinitely more than the past 3 summers, has been full of work. It seems like the longer we live in the house, the more work there is to do. I guess this makes sense. When we first moved in 3 years ago, we didn't even have grass. Now, we have landscaping times 100! The hubby and I were talking about how we had binged "Lost" back in the day, in 2009. I think one day we watched 15 episodes of the show. We got to talking about how in the world did we find that much time to watch the show, and we both came up with the fact that we lived in a rental whose yard consisted of an approximately 5 x 5 patch of grass. Not only were we not actively improving the property like people do with homes they own, but we had no yard. Of course we had oodles of time!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Progress of a Self-Taught Photographer

You know what? I don't feel like posting a recipe today. I just don't! 

Instead, I'm going to talk to you a teensy bit about my back and whole lot about photography. Don't worry, this won't be too technical of a post :-)

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Homemade Salmon Shmear

Sunday recipe, what up!

What better for Sunday morning brunch (or lunch! Or dinner!) deliciousness than bagels with extra-whipped and fluffy flavored cream cheese? Not a lot, my friends. Not a lot. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Recipe Redux: Tortellini Pepperoncini Salad

It's been a stormy morning y'all.

The hubby woke me up at 6 this morning to let me know a monster storm was on the way. I roused myself from slumber, shuffled my way to the den window that faces the northwest, and took a peep. Oh yeah, I could see the storm coming. I could see the lighting from miles away! We are prone to losing power out here in the country with these big wind storms, so I booked it to the coffee machine. I brewed 2 cups before the storm hit. I figured if I lost power at least I would have a 2nd cup of coffee, even if it turned out to be lukewarm. Lukewarm caffeine is better than none I figured :-)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Copy-Cat Girl Scout Tagalongs

Holy moly. One post last week? I meant to do better you guys. I really did. Can I just say that I feel like I haven't had a moment to breathe since Friday? It's been hectic around these parts. Granted, Friday was spent hanging out with a girlfriend, so that hectic-ness was chosen. I was up at dawn baking cookies on Saturday to take to the hubby's family reunion. Dawn is my normal blogging time, so Saturday was out although I had intended to publish on that day. I figured there was always Sunday.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Arancini with Homemade Marinara

I have opened my blog several times since Sunday, with the intention to write a recipe. Each time, I sat there, staring at the screen, searching for the words that will not come. Everything I started to write didn't sound appropriate. It felt... meaningless. 

On Monday, I was reading the latest post on one of the blogs I follow, Pinch of Yum. Lindsay practically took the words from my mouth on how she was feeling. Right now, after the worst mass shooting in US history, I feel empty. Why does this keep happening? Everyone and their mother has an opinion. Most of the opinions I don't want to hear. If you can't muster the empathy to feel for the victims, people who were in that building, relatives who've lost someone that meant everything to them... I don't even know what to say to you. Here in my small corner of Kentucky, people are pretty judgmental about the fact that this shooting happened at a gay club. I overheard a lady at the grocery store in front of me in line tell the cashier that at least it was "a bunch of gay people" that died. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

3-Cheese Risotto

Friends, I'm currently in a "creation" frenzy. I've been churning out the recipes here at home, night after night. Which has been unusual as of late. The hubby returned home from work the other night and exclaimed, "You made dinner again? Wow!". Ha ha. And the next thing he said? "You must be running out of back-up posts on the blog." 

He hit the nail on the head. Sometimes I go through weeks-long phases where all I want to do is write. Sometimes the phase is creating the recipe and taking pictures, and that's where I am currently. Taking lots and lots of pictures, and wracking my brain for any ol' little thing to write. In truth, I'm trying to create a big backlog because my parents are coming to visit next month! It's going to be a longer visit and I know I won't be doing any work while they are here. 

So, that's where my head is at. Must. Take. More. Pictures!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Strawberry & Avocado Pasta Salad

- with balsamic dressing

Well, it's finally happened. 

Almost 3 months after we got the bees, one of the dogs has been stung. Poor little Mariota. Just the other morning, I was letting the boys out- all four of them. I say four because my mother-in-law's Pekingese was staying with us. All of them were sniffing around in front of the bee hives. I hate when they get right in front because I'm always afraid they are going to get stung (obviously for good reason!). So, there I am, hollering away at the top of my lungs for the dogs to get away from the bees. They were all moving my way when I saw Mariota snap at his hind quarters. And then his front quarters. And then... the cries. Oh, I felt so bad for him. He came squealing up to me with no idea what had happened to his little body. 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Zoodles

After the sheer insanity of last weekend, this weekend promises to be a bit calmer. The hubby is scheduled to work today and tomorrow (boo!), and the weather is rainy. It's as if I woke up this morning and the universe told me to take it easy. Stay inside, read a book. Bake yummy carbohydrate-laden pasta into something comforting, take pictures of it. Put on Gilmore Girls and grab a mugful of tea. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Summing up May: 2016

Another month, in the books.

Ah, I know. I'm a bad blogger. I was supposed to get this posted yesterday, but I had urgent garden affairs to attend to. Some of my tomato starts had become root-bound and were starting to die. They had to be transplanted immediately. All is well though. The best of the starts are moved, I've gotten a wee-bit sunburned, and I'll just post my monthly wrap-up today. 

May's weather left something to be desired. It was an extremely rainy month. We've had a huge pile of dirt in our yard for most of the month, waiting for dry weather, just itching to be moved into future flower beds. We're also tapping our feet for the yard to dry out so we can get in and build our fence. Thankfully the end of May was not too wet, and we were able to get the flower beds out front done. Hopefully by the time I write my June wrap-up, the side and back flower beds will be done and the fence will be installed. In the meantime, let's look at the front flower bed-

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Homemade Cinnamon Ice Cream

+ Cinnamon Ice Cream Whisky Shooters!

My goodness, friends. That weekend? A blur. Is it over already? Where did it go? I feel like I've been going non-stop since Friday.

I know I say that every weekend, but this weekend was something else! What happened this weekend? Here goes!

Friday- The hubby and I had to drive to Columbus to meet with a neurosurgeon about my back. We got a speeding ticket on the way up. We cursed the holiday weekend and powered on to meet with the doctor. I really liked the doctor I met with, he was very professional and a lot of his patients are athletes. After studying my MRI, he's not sure if the problem is with my joint or with the actual disc. He agreed injections into the joint were the best place to start, or at least the least invasive choice. Twas' a good appointment and the hubby and I headed for home. We grabbed some sushi from Kroger, scarfed it down, and headed out to visit with the hubby's family. A little too much red wine was enjoyed, and we returned home around midnight.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

25 Side Dishes

Hey hey! We've got a holiday weekend coming up y'all!

The Memorial Day Holiday weekend is upon us. I don't know about you, but ever since we moved to Kentucky, Memorial Day has been spent with the hubby's family. The hubby's cousin and his wife drive in from out of town, and we all gather together for a family barbecue. This time, the hubby's cousin and his wife are bringing their new baby girl for everyone to meet! We are excited. The weekend is promising to be very sunny, right now they are forecasting a high of 90ยบ. Whew! Good thing the hubby's-cousin's-wife's-mother (whose house we party at) has a pool. The pool is the best part of the get-together, at least as far as all the nieces and nephews are concerned :-)

Monday, May 23, 2016

Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos

Fire up those slow cookers y'all!

There's so many things to love about this recipe. For one, you make it in the slow cooker. One of my absolute favorite cooking methods. Especially for things like taco meat. Two chicken breasts in the slow cooker kept me and the hubby fed for 4 days. If I'd been thinking clearly, I would have invented another recipe with the taco meat. As life would have it though, I devoured tacos for 4 straight days. 

It. Was. Glorious!

There's nothing better than savory shredded chicken, piled high with creamy avocado and cheddar cheese, all topped with a cool, crisp salsa verde and tucked neatly in a fresh corn tortilla. This is taco heaven! :-)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Lemony Lemon Cupcakes

Pen... and paper.

Cookies... and milk.

Socks... and shoes.

Peanut butter... and jelly.

Lighting... and thunder.

Spring... and LEMON!

I'm not sure why but when I think of spring foods, I think of lemons. I don't know what it is, March hits and all the sudden I want lemon bars stuffed with sweet homemade lemon curd. Ice-cold lemonades flavored with fragrant berries and aromatic mint. Moist, delicious lemon cakes slathered with a delectably tart and creamy frosting... 

Yes, yes, and YES!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Recipe Redux: Tomato Cucumber & Mozzarella Salad

Time for this month's Recipe Redux! Truth be told, I've been dying to "redux" this recipe for awhile. It's one of my most popular "old" recipes and one that I make a ton of during the summer. This truly is a summer salad, as there are only 5 ingredients consisting of tomatoes, cucumbers, mozzarella chunks, lime juice, and olive oil. Well, I guess there's also salt and pepper but do people really count those as ingredients? I'm not sure... Anyways, when you are making a simple recipe, the ingredients you use really need to shine. And shine they do in this awesome, yet uncomplicated side dish. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Cherry Berry Power Smoothies

Let's talk smoothies.

I don't post a lot of smoothies. In my mind, they could be considered one of those things that doesn't even need a recipe. I always tend to hesitantly publish smoothie recipes, bracing myself for anyone that might comment that smoothies are hardly recipes. People do make those comments! Just the other day, (no names, y'all) a blogger posted a strawberry parfait that really was just strawberries layered with piped whipped cream, and someone left a comment on her post saying "Um, when did strawberries and whipped cream become a recipe?". I hate seeing comments like that. I mean, for one, even if I was thinking that myself, I would never say it. We all work way too hard on posts to be harassed by mean-spirited comments. And two, I started wondering if people thought that about my recipes.

It's a slippery slope. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Garlic & Herb Roasted Salmon


Oh my gosh you guys. I finally found some acceptable salmon. FINALLY! Oh, it feels like it's been way too long. I used to eat salmon once a week, and now, for the last 5 years, I feel like I have salmon once a blue moon. Until now!

Last time I was at Sam's (you must be thinking, 'Does this girl live at Sam's?') I was perusing the frozen seafood section. I always do, just wishing and hoping they'll have something new. My persistence paid off when I spotted some frozen wild-caught Alaskan salmon fillets. Alarm bells went off in my head. My heart exploded with happiness as I eagerly loaded a big bag into my cart. Just what I'd been waiting for.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Fresh Salsa Verde

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Those that have been following the blog for awhile know that Mexican food is my favorite! I can't help it, I love those fresh flavors. Tomatoes and peppers and cilantro, oh my! And Mexican chip-dippers are one of my specialties. Salsa has been one of my favorite snacks since I was a kid. There were years where I snacked on chips and salsa every day. I'm not even kidding you. This lasted through college (there were classes all I could think about was salsa, but that's another issue entirely), and years after. Sometimes I take short breaks from salsa, but they never stick. Last summer, I ate guacamole almost every day from June until October. This summer however, I have a feeling it's going to be all about the Salsa Verde.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Soft & Chewy Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

aka The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies ever!

I told you they were coming. Let's kick off May recipes with a bang! A little chew. Lots of chocolate. And just the tiniest, tastiest smattering of salt. These cookies will rock your world!

I'm not kidding. These are famous at the hubby's work. In fact, when their Spring project started at his office, people who'd been there before and had these cookies requested them. People had heard about them. This tickles me to no end!