Monday, August 18, 2014

Coconut -and- Lime Pork Kebabs

I made this last week and guess what??  It's on the menu again for Tuesday.
I even ate it for leftovers for lunch and dinner the next day. 

Yes it was that good!

I am a magazine hoarder.   I truly love em....
The other day on Zulily they had magazines at discounted prices.  My Food Network expired ions back and bam...I got it again.  Along with another fun looking magazine called
Yum for Kids fun & fun 

On with the food Laura....

Coconut - and - Lime Pork Kebobs


1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 13 .5-ounce can coconut milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for the grill
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for topping
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons Sriracha (Asian chile sauce)
Romaine lettuce leaves, for serving
Chopped roasted peanuts, scallions and cucumber, for topping


Toss the pork with half of the coconut milk, the vegetable oil, garlic, 1/3 cup each brown sugar and cilantro, and 1 tablespoon each fish sauce, lime juice and Sriracha in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 4 hours.

Preheat a grill to medium and lightly brush the grates with vegetable oil. Thread the pork onto eight 10-inch skewers. Grill the kebabs, turning occasionally and brushing with the remaining coconut milk, until marked and cooked through, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine 1 tablespoon water and the remaining 1 tablespoon each brown sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and Sriracha in a small bowl. Serve the kebabs in romaine leaves and drizzle with the sauce. Top with chopped peanuts, scallions, cucumber and cilantro.

If you're using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 20 minutes to prevent scorching.

I wouldn't change  A THING with this recipe.  (granted I had to triple the recipe and quadruple the sauce)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Knock Knock....

Who's There?


Me Who?

I know it's been ages....
I've been busy.....(isn't that what people always say?)

I just haven't really had a good moment to sit and put thoughts to paper (or screen)

As soon as I do I get pulled should see my draft's full of thoughts

I'm pretty much over on IG all day....It's like a mini blog w/o all the words

What brought me back for however brief it may be?


Yep food.  What else?

I scour magazines and Pinterest for great ideas and a little gem I found on Food Network Magazine September issue HIT ME....I'm gonna share with you tomorrow!  Please come back...

But before I get into that...I'll post a few photos of the past meals and then hopefully one day update my recipe tab.  (I would like to find them easier too)

I've discovered a new IG/Blog called Real Food By Dad...his pictures are amazing and he's inspired a few meals lately!  Like this one....

Taco Pizza....we used Naan bread for the crust.....he made his own....use what ya got!

This picture is to show Ball Park Night doesn't have to be boring...Grill your hot dogs on your panini press....and then fry some fries up and then toss w/a ranch paste (packet of ranch dress and some oil for a paste.  Then toss the hot fries (in batches) with a spooful in a bowl)  Then grab your plastic boat plates and use your paper picnic liners for a fun meal.  


Another favorite.  (from The Busy Budgeting Mama) Pasta shells tossed with a little olive oil/s&p/tomatoes/fresh mozzarella/fresh basil)

 It's hot....break out your molds ....mix a little greek yogurt with sugar (or not) and then puree some fruit and add a little sugar (or not) ...then layer in your molds.  Lily tells me my Popsicle is better than store bought...bam

Grab your waffle press and make some breakfast tacos (realfoodbydad again)

Ok....this little gem is called Freezer Caramel Drizzle Pie
I added the coconut/pecan topping to a layer in the middle!  It was so good!  I also had leftover and made individual cups ( I may or may not have eaten those when no one was looking)

Breaking Bread....there is something about a glass of red and bread with olive oil/balsamic and cracked pepper while cooking dinner...

We had some flank with Chimichurri the other night...I pureed the leftover and added it to our burgers the next time
I got the recipe from Food Network's 50 Best ......insert they put in their magazine.  This was for 50 Grilled Steaks. 
1 cup each finely chopped parsley and cilantro
1 bunch finely chopped scallions
1 finely chopped garlic clove
1tbs finely chopped oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
1/2 cup olive oil 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
season salt and pepper

Shortbread Blondie Bars (Paula Deen May/June issue)

Another quick favorite meal I could eat weekly
Green Spicy Rice
Chicken Strips
and a Buttermilk Cilantro Jalapeno Sauce.  (triple the was that good)

Ohhhh Had to throw in COLE'S 2ND BIRTHDAY (I can't believe he's 2) Construction Cake

Limoncello.  Took 6 weeks to make some bottles....but man of man are we enjoying the sweet golden drink

Here is my version of Lemon Drops

Grilled Rosemary Chicken and Grilled Artichokes w/a Lemon Sauce
For those asking....cut your chokes in half and then scoop out the fuzzy....then boil until tender....drain....drizzle with olive oil and cracked pepper and salt and grill cut side down!
Lemon sauce I just took some Mayo/Lemon juice/chopped garlic and s&p

FOR THE BLOG TOMORROW?  This little gem below.  I can't quit thinking about it!

Friday, June 27, 2014

You Had Me At Chocolate and Coffee

It was in my Southern Living cookbook of desserts so I KNEW it was going to be good

We do desserts every Wednesday (for dinner with the inlaws)  Even though hubs and I are still hitting the gym and 3/4ths of the time watching what we eat....(still down 40lbs)  we indulge once a week for sweets!

If I'm eating something sweet then it better be worth the extra 15 mins of cardio! ha

Chocolate-Coffee Cheesecake w/ Mocha Sauce

I suggest you make this the day before you serve it.  You know cheesecake is ALWAYS better the day after.  I even poured the mocha sauce over it and it was even better the next day too!

Now this was a lightened cheesecake that I didn't lighten, I used full strength of everything...(crazy)


2 cups crushed chocolate graham crackers (about 18 crackers) I used Chocolate Teddy Grahams
1/3 cup reduced-fat butter, melted  
Vegetable cooking spray  
4 (8-oz.) packages reduced-fat cream cheese, softened  
1 cup sugar  
1/4 cup coffee liqueur (I used Kahlua) 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules  
4 large eggs  
4 (1-oz.) bittersweet baking chocolate squares


1. Stir together crushed graham crackers and melted butter; press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray.

2. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.

3. Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add liqueur, vanilla, and coffee granules, beating at low speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition

4. Remove and reserve 1 cup cream cheese mixture. Pour remaining batter into prepared crust.\5. Microwave chocolate in a medium-size, microwave-safe bowl 1 minute or until melted, stirring after 30 seconds. Stir reserved 1 cup cream cheese mixture into melted chocolate, blending well. (Mixture will be thick.) Spoon mixture in lines on top of batter in pan; gently swirl with a knife.

6. Bake at 325° for 1 hour or until almost set. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven, with door closed, 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. (Do not remove sides of pan.) Cool 1 hour on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 4 hours.

7. Remove sides of springform pan. Serve with Mocha Sauce.

Mocha Sauce

1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels 
1/4 cup half-and-half 
2 teaspoons butter 
3 tablespoons strong-brewed coffee

Cook first 3 ingredients in a small heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in coffee. Serve warm. *I would recommend doubling or tripling this for extra

The hardest part of this was waiting for it to cook and cool ....

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Where I've Been....

Life Through Instagram....

The Busy Budgeting Mama posted this recipe awhile back and needless to say it's probably one of our favorites!

The concrete peeps had to pour temporary patches while we are still fixing the driveway/foundation.  #6 ran outside and walked through a patch.  I had to capture his prints b/c they will tear them up soon and I wanted his precious little feet to look back at how little he was once

Shameless Mother and Daughter selfies.  Oh there are tons now that summer is here.....She gets me when I'm not looking half the time.  Smile! 

Thought since I use so much mint and basil right now...why not grow a bucket outside for quick snips.  I have a brown thumb so I'm wondering how long I can keep these babies alive. 

Big sis had some friends over and little sis was finally banned from playing with them.  Little sis wasn't happy and here is the proof!

And the day happened....and I didn't cry until dinner that night.  I would start eating and then  Thanks for making things depressing mom!

Hazel and Olive had this adorable dress and I knew it was for me....Made the perfect Father's Day dress!

Here is what my summer has been like so far....Chick Fil A play dates and swimming at the pool.  Which I finally mastered by myself taking the 3 small ones to the pool w/o the hubs.  3 kids who can't swim (but think they can) makes for a dizzy mom!

We watched the men pour the new driveway.  Gotta love free entertainment for the kids.  I wanted to put my initials in the fresh poured concrete but the hubs wouldn't let me.  He kept asking me how old I was...whatever

Dinner Date with my oldest.  He's leaving for a 10 day trip to Europe soon.....Love him so much!

Kiwi Crate....If you haven't tried a month you are missing out.  We have been getting these monthly boxes since April 2013 and each month has been so fun.  This month one of the crafts we made fake fire with s'mores.    Love their expressions!  The fire even came with a 'flame' that flickers.  $10 off your first box click HERE

Got this sweet gem at Target.  (where else?)  and I totally adore it.  Sucker holds 2 gallons at least.  That's a lotta drinking!  They had them in white, orange, pink , and navy.  I wanted it all the colors, but knew hubs would ask why I needed yet another drink dispenser (I think I only have 3 now)

Because we all know 2 fingers are better than 1

Like the Kiwi Crate we have been getting The Honest Company's Essentials plus the diapers since Cole was born.  I'm highly addicted to the booty wash.  Try a free sample of their products (I think you just pay shipping)  Here  Last month for Mother's Day they gave a free Lipstick for Mom's.  Totally my favorite.  I need to see if they sell it b/c I need it in more colors.  This month they gave Dad's a free Stainless Steel Thermos which I promptly took from him  (oops)  If you want a Thermos on your order....use the Promo Code #HONESTDAD on a bundle before June 30th

 I was taking a video of the kids playing in the rain and caught sweet #5 telling me he loves me.  He does this randomly throughout the day and I'm so glad I finally caught it on tape.  I hope he never quits....Fast forward..he says it in the last few seconds 

Sweet baby fell on the stairs holding a toy and gashed his cheek.  It was literally dripping blood and I how no idea why or where it was coming from.  The more he cried the more he squished his face and more blood dripped.  Grabbed my Geranium and Lavender.....Put a few drops of each in my palm and used my thumb to swipe his cheek.  Took a few tries and then the bleeding stopped and he quit crying.  I'm a lover of my oils...esp trusty Geranium for bleeding.  Convention was this week in Salt Lake and I'm bummed I didn't get to go.  They released amazing new products....a new collection for kids.  I'm first in line when they release them next month!!!  (check out that boys eyelashes)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

I Will Not Cry

My first born is near the finish line. 

I will not cry

I did that already...I did that starting his jr year.  

The littles are obsessed w/Toy Story 1, 2, and 3 and each time 3 was on I sobbed like an infant at the end.  Turn it on that part now I bet the water works start

Tomorrow is the day....

I will not cry

They say if you blink time flies.  I don't remember blinking.  I tried hard not to

I will not cry

I remember his birth, first everything really....I remember when I only had 1 child.  I remember staring at him in the dark in the bassinet next to my bed when he was weeks old.  He would just be lying  there silently looking around in the dark not making a peep.  He made motherhood easy.  I remember when he became a brother for the first time.  I remember it all

I will not cry

I see him making plans for his future and I am starting to realize I don't get included in those plans...not really ....not in the way I wish.   I'm not the one who gets to MAKE those plans....He's becoming a man who will one day be on his own.

I will not cry

So tomorrow when you see this proud momma who can't say a word to you it's because she is struggling not to cry

Who am I kidding?
I will cry!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Worked For Me and More.....

I see those things on Pinterest and think "Oh man I need to try those"

Well I'm here to say I tried a few and bam they worked....


Domed Cakes.  I hate em.  I hate trying everything to make those suckers not dome.  And end up having to cut the tops off.  Which I may or may not do pefectly

I have seen those cake insulators, but at $12+ a piece I didn't buy any. 
Until I saw the post on how to make some cheap easy ones at home.....

When we put our cake pans in the oven they cook from the outside in, so the middle is the last to finish baking. Like bread and any other baked goods, the batter will continue to rise. As the outer edges cook and harden, the batter stops rising at the edges, but because the middle is still soft, the batter is pushed up through that soft area until the baking hardens the crust of the entire cake, causing doming.

SO go grab yourself some old towels, ruler, and scissors and get to cutting.

My pans were about 1.5" thick so that is what I cut my towel strips to.   I also wrapped it around the pan and overlapped a bit to get length. 
When ready to use just wet the strips and wrap around pan.  I secured mine with safety pins.

Look how perfect the cakes baked.  I did notice they baked faster.  A friend reduces her baking temp.  Either do that or check 5-8 mins before true baking time.


I am a fast cracker.  haha  I crack them eggs fast to get to baking.  I should prob slow down but.......

It never fails I get a shell inside and trying to fish that bad boy out is ANNOYING.  It moves from side to side and you can never catch it.  I saw on Pinterest how someone used a broken piece of shell and boom it zipped it.  Sure it did....????
So next time I got a small piece of shell I tried it 
BAM IT WORKED.  I'm on a roll now!

I tried to recreate it so you could see.  First picture see the shell on the yolk?  Next picture look can see the chip floated right into the shell!  I'm highly impressed and thinking Doh...why didn't I think of that?!

Ok that ends this segment of It Worked For lets do 


Did I mention we were having our foundation worked on?  It's finished.  We were lifted 9" just waiting on concrete ppl to pour a new driveway.  (look you can see under house)  I'm excited to think our foundation is now better than before....Pier and Beam are the bomb!

I did another silly 15 sec oily video to show the noise can't get me down!

It was 3 weeks of seriously the workers were quick quiet (as possible) and cleaned up like they were never there each day at the end of the job.  I baked some coffee cake and cookies for them....nothing like a little sweets while digging holes by hand under a house!  I'm still angry my hubs wouldn't let me go down the tunnels!  He kept asking me how old I was....(sticks tongue out)

I adore Extra Virgin cooking show and just had to get their cookbook.  The pages are gorgeous and reading Debi and Gabriele narrate together made this book.  Sweet couple sharing their love story and love of cooking and Italy! 

HONEST-ly in love with The Honest Company....and I esp love May's bundle.  I got some monthly favorites (healing balm and wash) got to try a few new ones.....the powder and bottom wash.  The bottom wash came in handy since my box arrived and #6 had a blow out!  Think I've found some new favs!
Want to try a Free Trial on the diapers, essentials (below), or vitamins click this link  

Aww the secret of my daily routine....I'm addicted to Luxy Hair (extensions)  I'm realizing how naked and I feel without them and how TRULY thin my hair is w/o them.  I'm using the 160gm (honestly my hair is so thin I could prob have used the 120) in mocha brown.  IT'S A PERFECT MATCH
For $5 off use the code LUXYSUMMER5 at checkout (free shipping on all orders too)

and TODAY WAS THE DAY baby's LAST LAST DAY OF SCHOOL.  Graduation is next week.  I am not as sad as I should be b/c HE IS STAYING HOME FOR SCHOOL THIS FIRST YEAR.  Bam.  Ask me how I'm doing when he officially leaves!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I've Got the Joy Joy Joy Joy

Many oils used in Biblical times were mood elevating

Proverbs 27:9 (NIV) Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from their heartfelt advice.

Let's talk about the word Joy for a moment. 
What is the definition of joy?

Joy,  A feeling of great pleasure and happiness

Who doesn't want to feel that?

I will be honest when I felt smelled Joy Essential Oil I wanted to LOVE IT, but I didn't.  In fact I wanted nothing to do with it.  I'm not sure what my aversion to it was, but I didn't use it.   I learned later the oil you can't stand is probably one you need the most....but how could I NEED JOY?  I assumed it meant I wasn't a happy person.  I emit happiness daily.  I'm like a ray of sunshine (well maybe I should check with my kids ha)

But it's not just that....there was more to Joy.

I slowly started diffusing Joy with Purification (remember my video?  enter in the cheese factor!)

The combo of the 2 of these oils in the diffuser lifted my spirits and I found myself craving Joy.

I slowly started putting Joy alone on my wrists and over my heart.  I realized the smell made me smile and next thing I knew my bottle was empty and I need more.

I can't even remember why I didn't enjoy Joy, but today it is by far my FAVORITE of all oils. 

I wear it alone as a perfume daily too.  I even rub the excess over my hair.  Something about a breeze blowing my hair in my face and making me smile brightens my day.

There are almost 200 references to essential oils, herbs, incense, ointments, and spices in the Bible.  Here are 4 references to Oils of Joy and Gladness 
Psalms 45:7
Proverbs 27:9
Isaiah 61:3
Hebrews 1:9  

In Biblical times and throughout history therapeutic essential oils were a part of the culture.  Today that is lost amongst synthetically made perfumes and bath and body work products.  Young Living's nature made products not only have potent smells but also healing benefits because of the way they are made.

I have friends with testimonies on how Joy helped them during Postpartum Depression
I have another friend who's Granddaughter (age 9) was suffering from major anxiety when her father went over seas again to Iraq.  With Joy and a few other oils she was able to avoid prescription drugs.  To hear their stories makes my heart smile

Other uses for Joy Essential Oil
  • Apathy
  • Argumentative emotionally
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Deodorant
  • Sadness
  • Despair
  • Disappointments
  • Balance emotions
  • Mood swings
  • Stress

What oils are in Joy?  

Bergamot , ylang ylang , geranium , rosewood , lemon, mandarin, jasmine, Roman chamomile , palmarosa, and rose. 

Smells trigger emotions.  A simple smell can bring back childhood memories...
Joy is known for its mood elevating aromatic ability.

10 Uses for Joy Essential Oil

1.  Wear on wrists and behind ears for sweet, uplifting perfume every day.
2.  Add two drops to a cotton ball and place in vacuum filter to freshen air when vacuuming.
3.  Combine Joy with a small amount of carrier oil for refreshing, rejuvenating massage oil.
4.  Diffuse to lighten the mood.  *This truly works!  If I’m having a rough day, I can diffuse Joy and the aroma helps me reset.
5.  Add a few drops to bath water for a fragrant bath.
6.  Place a few drops on a clean, wet cloth and throw in the dryer with laundry for freshly scented clothes!
7.  Use when experiencing grief, loss, or depression for emotional support.
8.  Apply a drop or two over heart to reduce anxiety and promote emotional stability.
9.  Place a drop or two on your cloth purse handle or straps or the inner lining to scent your purse.
10.  Apply a few drops to your scarf for a beautiful, motivating scent around your neck

~Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to prescribe, treat, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition
Want to learn more?  Shoot us an email and we will be happy to answer any questions you have. 
~Laura YL#1453491

Friday, May 23, 2014

Pucker Up Buttercup


Those tart little suckers always make me smile.  From their tart taste to their gorgeous sunny Yellow color

 Lemonade, Lemon Cake, Lemon Bars, Lemon glazes....oh the list could go on.

But another thing that comes to mind is the multiple uses that Young Living's Lemon Essential Oil can do for me....

I'm doing 15 sec Oily clips about is my cheesy one on Lemon

Basically it's my best friend

Just this morning oldest came to me with an angry ugly mean looking pimple above his lip.  I told him to grab either the Lavender, Lemon, or Frankincense for it. 

About 10 mins later he came over to me and I was like "WOW.  What did you use it is almost gone."

He said "I figured I would use all 3".  
All I have to say is chemicals on his skin and now he smells good too!

A little fact I learned about Young Livings Lemon Oil?

Extraction Method:  Cold pressed from the RIND.  It requires 3000 lemons to product a kilo of oil

3000 lemons?!  wowza.  And no wonder the lemon oil is so amazing.  They use the RINDS and not the juice.  All the good stuff is in the skin!!

Gum in your kids hair?   Lemon oil

Sticky stickers?  Lemon oil

Scuff marks?  You got it Lemon oil

Did you know that Lemons (and limes) contain a supply of vitamins and minerals that is greater than any other food?
Lemon is also known for its ability to clean toxins from the any part of the body. That includes the hair and scalp, digestive system and the kidneys hence why it's the first glass of liquid I have upon waking!

The smell is even uplifting.  I can't help but want to diffuse this and stand with my face directly over it.  (Ok I do admit it)

It's also been studied that when diffusing lemon oil it improves your mental clarity!

Want a refreshing Drink for summer?

~Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to prescribe, treat, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition
Want to learn more?  Shoot us an email and we will be happy to answer any questions you have. 
~Laura YL#1453491

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Grilled Sriracha Chicken Sandwiches w/Broccoli Radish Cilantro Slaw

 (photo Paula Deen)

The title is a mouth full but so worth the bite!

We grilled some chicken breasts with an oil and Sriracha Sauce marinade. 


You know it's gonna be good now

Then I took 1 cup of mayo and added 1-2 tbs of Sriracha Sauce (add more or less depending on the spice factor)

and for the

Broccoli Slaw:
1 bag of broccoli slaw
cup of matchstick carrots
1 cucumber seeded and chopped
1 cup cilantro (I like a lot....use more or less)
4 radishes sliced thin

dressing: 1/2 cup rice vinegar, 1/4 cup oil, 1tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp s/p

mix slaw and dressing right before serving

All you need to do to assemble is to spread some mayo on your with chicken and slaw

Best Sandwich ever!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sinful and Sweet...Brown Sugar Pecan Coffee Cake

 People ask the "Well how was your day?"  question.  
But do they truly want to know?

I mean how do you really think I'm doing?  I have 6 kids....3 of which are still at home conquering and destroying the moment I turn my back

1.5 kids still in diapers (the half is b/c he refuses to #2 in potty)  so I'm constantly dealing in poo

And if not from kids the dog is battling the kids in competition for messes

I eat standing up

Shower in less than 5 mins

Rarely sleep


I will be more than willing to bore you with all the lame details...

So How's my day so Far?

Well instead of cleaning, or showering, or laundry, or dishes or or or

I decided I needed to procrastinate and make this bad boy

Brown Sugar Pecan Coffee Cake

So simple to make....if you bake often you will have everything on hand. 

I was short 1/4 cup of sour cream, but still turned out moist and delicious

The bottom layer was soft and buttery good...the middle layer soft cake like and the top layer held the perfect amount of cinnamon sugar crunch with pecans.  I drizzled some warm syrup over the top and plopped myself down in the corner and savored each bite!

Southern Living never fails me.....

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 cup sour cream (I only used 3/4 cup)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

  • 1. Stir together flour and brown sugar in a large bowl. Cut 3/4 cup butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender or 2 forks until crumbly. Press 2 3/4 cups crumb mixture evenly on the bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch pan.
  • 2. Stir together sour cream, egg, and baking soda; add to remaining crumb mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir together granulated sugar and cinnamon. Pour sour cream mixture over crumb crust in pan; sprinkle evenly with cinnamon mixture and pecans.
  • 3. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean.

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