Friday, September 5, 2014

Philly Cheesesteak Pizzas

If you have a good pizza dough recipe bust that out....
No can dough either?  Use Naan bread (one of my fave's in the house)

I didn't have yeast and broke out my can thin crust dough for this one......
Hello....if you read my blog (or IG) you know I'm not a fan of sh'rooms.  So I only put these on half the pizza (for hubs)

Speaking of know how he hates everything.   HE HATED THIS RECIPE

Again like all the others....not sure why.  He said had no flavor.   Um? 
Peppers and Onion and Steak?  He's insane.  He also didn't like the Philly Sauce.  

                                            It wasn't bad.
Definitely could use MORE garlic too.  We like Garlic in our house and it was missing something.  You could even use an alfredo here of your own if you want. 

                            But OVER ALL I LOVED THIS
AND the kids have asked for me to make again!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fall Isn't In the Air, But I Don't Care....

IT'S SEPTEMBER....(squeal)

My favorite season is Fall.  Now granted I'm a Texas girl and always will be....AND we don't truly get seasons like other states, but I still love Fall.  September, October (my fave) and November get me giddy!  Dust off those Fall cookbooks and start making yummy in the tummy foods


I personally thought he was insane.  How do you hate wild rice and chicken and apple sweets?  Throws hands up.  Can't please em all.  (he's a tough crowd too)

Paula Deen's Sept/Oct issue had some casseroles and I knew I wanted to give the Wild Rice and Chicken Casserole a try.  It had a Sourdough top and that sold me.  My changes are in RED  
and for the record...I'm having leftovers for lunch!


  1. 1/2 cup butter
  2. 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (I used a Rotisserie Chicken that I shredded...I used about 3 cups)
  3. 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  4. 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  5. 1 (8-ounce) package sliced fresh baby portobello mushrooms (I probably halved this...I'm not a fan of the sh'rooms)
  6. 1 cup chopped onion
  7. 1/2 cup dry white wine (I only had chicken broth to use)
  8. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  9. 2 cups chicken broth
  10. 1 cup milk
  11. 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  12. 1 (24-ounce) package frozen broccoli florets, thawed
  13. 2 (6.2-ounce) boxes quick-cooking long-grain and wild rice,* cooked according to package directions
  14. 1 (8-ounce) package fontina cheese, shredded  (I used Provolone...)
  15. 1 cup sour cream
  16. ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  17. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 
  18. 4 cups cubed sourdough bread
  19. 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 3-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet, melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add chicken to skillet, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes or until done. Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken from skillet; set aside.  (I skipped this since I used the Rotisserie)
  3. Add mushrooms and onion to skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or just until tender. Add wine, and cook for 5 minutes or until almost all liquid is evaporated. Add flour, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Gradually stir in broth, milk, mustard, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened. Stir in broccoli, next 5 ingredients, and cooked chicken. Spoon mixture into prepared pan.
  4. In a medium bowl, toss together bread cubes and melted butter; sprinkle over casserole.
  5. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

    Now this made one massive casserole.  You could probably put this into 2 pans and freeze one with a smaller family. 
    I'm not sure what he didn't like about it considering the fact that it had onions and mushrooms in it which he loves.  He loves my chicken and wild rice meal...why not this casserole.  I thought the flavors were fantastic.  I would probably increase the salt and pepper next time (preference)

    I'm standing by this recipe.  It would be perfect for a Fall night by the fire and some crusty buttered bread with a glass of red....Everyone went for seconds (except meal hating hubs)

It was Wednesday night when I made these....You know what that means?  I make a few desserts.  My father in law has a sweet tooth.  He will deny it, but gladly takes his take home desserts with him.  I wonder if he shares with my mother in law???!!

The 2 desserts from last night were from  Paula Deen's Fall Baking (magazine) and it was divided into 4 sections  Pear, Apple, Pumpkin (OHHH THAT'S ON MENU FOR NEXT WEEK), and Sweet Potato with over 59 recipes!

I busted out 2 Apple recipes....Apple Pie Cupcakes w/Brown Sugar Buttercream and a different take on the French Apple Pie (had a custard like topping??!)

Apple Pie Cupcakes w/Brown Sugar Buttercream

Now this had mixed reviews.  Some didn't want the apple pie filling in the center.  Some loved all three combos....some liked the cupcake cold, some like it room temp.  Some just wanted to eat the buttercream.  (me)  Can't please everyone.  I kept these in the fridge until serving b/c the buttercream icing had so much butter in it.  It's Texas and hot and didn't want the cream to melt sitting out all day.  That being said.... I will probably make these again w/half filling half not.  The buttercream took longer than I thought to heat up, but the finally product had me drooling.  I even kept some aside and added to my coffee.  It was great.  My MEAN hubs said it had no flavor.  Bah

Then I made a French Apple Pie  (if you were following on IG you would have seen some bubbling apples on the stove...mmmmm)

Now Paula's picture (here below) looks like there is a crust on the top of this.  I assumed the sour cream/egg mixture poured on top would look like this when I baked mine.  It didn't.  It had more a custard look to it, but still tasted great with the pie!
The crust on this was incredible.  I loved the idea of using a box cake mix to make this.  I had to keep checking it and pushing it down while it baked.  The butter and cake (I assume) kept making it puff up
Everyone enjoyed the crust as well
(I may or may not have had a bite early this morning with my coffee while the kids were sleeping) 

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!

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