Archive for 2012


Wednesday, October 24, 2012 § 0

Baby Middleton is on the way and growing quickly! This kid is a big reason there have been no recipes the past few months... I've been really lucky and haven't had any morning sickness, but I have had no appetite or desire to cook/bake. Hopefully now that I've moved into my second trimester that will change.

I'm currently road tripping across the country with my sister in law and having a fabulous time!

Here are a couple pics of the growing baby...

Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes, In Jars

Thursday, July 19, 2012 § 0

A slight variation of my last recipe. Cherry pie filling instead of blueberry, baked and sealed in shallow wide mouth jars. These (well not these specifically, hah) will be happily received by my husband when he deploys in a few months!

Blueberry Chocolate Cupcakes

Monday, June 11, 2012 § 0

A few weeks ago I needed a last minute desert for a party, so I searched the pantry to see what I could come up with. There are recipes all over Pintrest and the blog world for different ways to make a box cake, so I gave it a try with what was on hand... Chocolate cake mix and blueberry  pie filling.  The results were a very pleasant surprise, perfectly moist cupcakes with just enough fruit taste to set them apart from your usual chocolate. I made them on a Thursday  thinking they would be eaten Friday night, but the get together was delayed until Sunday. I was a little worried they would be dried out after a few days in my cupcake container, but they were just as moist and perfect as the day they were baked (and I know, because I sampled one both days)! 

Blueberry Chocolate Cupcakes

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 can blueberry pie filling
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients. Put 1/4 cup of the mixture into each cupcake liner, bake as directed on the box. 

I frosted with plain chocolate frosting just prior to serving. 

The cake mix and pie filling combinations are truly endless! 

Kinda-Healthy Biscuits n' Gravy

Sunday, June 10, 2012 § 1

KC is actually better in the kitchen than me, so as often as possible I sweet talk him into cooking. It pretty much only works on the weekends, and breakfast is usually his meal of choice. Lately biscuits and gravy has been his go-to breakfast, so I got him to write up his recipe for you. We've tried to put a "healthy" spin on an unhealthy but delicious breakfast.

Much of this recipe is made to taste, but here are some basic measurements to get you started:

1 lb. lean, ground turkey sausage (If all you have are links, you can remove the casing and cook the same way.)
2-4 tbsp. flour (I haven't tried with whole wheat, but 1/2 and 1/2 regular to whole wheat flour may work.)
Parsley, fennel seed (crushed), fresh cracked pepper to taste
Skim milk

First, cook the turkey sausage, but do not drain it. As you're cooking, add the parsley, fennel seed (crushed), and fresh cracked pepper (and whatever else you like). Next, add the flour. This part is based on how much fat is in the pan. Start with a little, mix it in, and add more as needed. The last step is to add the skim milk to get the gravy to the consistency that you want it. If it's too thick, add more milk. If it's too thin, keep simmering till it's right.

Butterfinger Pie

Friday, June 8, 2012 § 0

KC and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary this week... and in true Marine Corps form, we weren't together to celebrate it. Oh well, we've missed a lot of the minor holidays this year, and there will only be more with deployment on the horizon! He's on his way home now and I just whipped up a little desert so we could have something special with our semi-homemade pizza tonight. I stumbled on this desert on, and it sounded so perfect I didn't even alter it. it was together in 3 minutes, and I licked the mixing bowl clean! 

Butterfinger Pie

1 12oz tub Cool Whip
8oz  cream cheese
1 bag fun sized butterfingers, or 6 normal bars, crushed
 (I used my magic bullet blender)
1 graham cracker crust

Mix first 3 ingredients and put in crust. done! 

I used a stand mixer and let the filling mix for a couple minutes until it was pretty thick.
Chocolate crust would be good too.

Lentil, Brown Rice and Sausage Bake

Thursday, February 23, 2012 § 0

Comfort food at is best! This meal is cheap and filling. I don't remember where I came across this lentil and brown rice base originally, but I've been playing around with it for a while and this is definitely my favorite version!

 I have realized since I started blogging that a lot of my recipes are just really not pretty... But I promise they are tasty! 

Lentil, Brown Rice and Sausage bake

3/4 cup lentils
1/2 cup brown rice
3 cups broth, water, or a combination of the two 
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped bell pepper (I used frozen)
2 tsp cajun seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups shredded cheese, divided (I used mexi-blend)
1 package andouille sausage, cut to bite sized pieces (I used turkey andouille)

Mix  all ingredients (except one cup of cheese) in a baking dish. I usually use a large corningware dish (or my new covered stoneware, but it seems to take a lot longer!) 

Cover and bake at 300 for an hour. From here it just depends on your oven and dish. I check it every 20 minutes until nearly done (most of the liquid absorbed, and I usually taste a lentil just to be safe) then add the other half of the cheese on top and bake the last bit uncovered. 

Mind Blowing Mug Cake

Sunday, February 12, 2012 § 1

I have seen and tried lots of mug cake recipes over the years with varying degrees of success and failure... you probably know what I'm talking about. They generally include cake like ingredients and are microwaved for a minute or so in your favorite coffee mug. My last attempt a month or so ago was an utter failure. No, thats a half lie... it was a little number including nutella and it tasted GREAT, but it exploded all over my microwave and was a pain to clean out. It was like cement in there (and on the outside of the mug), but gooey deliciousness inside the mug. 

But the other night....
 My. Mind. Was. Blown.

This is SO simple, SO good, and Makes SO much mix.
(I can hear my dad mocking me as he reads this. I tend to overuse "so," and he's really good at making fun of me...)

Mind Blowing Mug Cake

1 box angle food cake mix
1 box any other cake mix (I recommend something chocolaty)

Mix the two together in a large ziplock or container. 

In a mug, mix 3 tbsp. mix and 2 tbsp. water. Microwave for one minute. 
Top with a big dallop of cool whip right from the tub.

Now, go lay on the couch, turn on biggest loser (that's what I did anyway) and enjoy this lazy, lazy desert. And think about how many more cakes you can make -or mason jars full you could give as gifts- with that huge bag of mix! 

(also, these are ~200 calories without the cool whip, so don't feel guilty!)

Birthday Pup!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 § 0

Today is Scout's first birthday!
This was the fist picture I saw of the little guy, he's on the right.

 We found Scout on craigslist last spring. Some guy in Jacksonville, FL (where we are from) had two Black Mouth Curs (we had never heard of the breed, but we found our it's what Old Yeller was) and they "accidently" had puppies. But I'm pretty sure it wasn't really an accident, he told me the accident story once and he told me he wanted his dogs to have puppies once. 

Either way, we were living in Virginia at the time and decided one night we wouldn't get a second dog until we got settled in to KC's first duty station, which could be up to a year later (Marlin, our other dog, was about a year old at this time). Well, the next day we continued looking at craigslist puppies that needed homes anyway and saw him. And I was going to be heading to Jacksonville very soon because my dad was having surgery.  So, we caved. I had my father in law go pick him up... he paid a whopping $20 for him... and I got him about a week later when I went home. The two in the picture were the only 2 left, and they were living under the guys back porch. The man sprayed them with a hose until they came out. My father in law said Scout was the more friendly and outgoing of the two, and the family with two little girls that were also there wanted the other one because he was sweet and shy. 

Then, so cute and wrinkly... and now, 65 pounds later. He's a pretty big guy!
(We used to have grass, now we live in the desert and have sand.)
 It's still impossible to get him to look at the camera. 

Scout is still outgoing, friendly, and LOUD (he is a hound, and he can't contain his barking when he's really happy. We went to the vet last week and the girl told me "oh, he's the dog that barks when he is excited, I remember him!") But he's also very sweet. He wants nothing more than to snuggle up next to you, or on top of you. He is curled up next to me on the couch right now... and he is snoring.
 Very, very loudly. 
And probably drooling. And definitely farting. 

So, I'm a crazy dog lady, and I decided he needed a special birthday treat! I saw a recipe for puppy ice cream on Pintrest and knew it would be perfect. Here's the recipe:

32 oz plain yogurt
2 tbsp. peanut butter
2 tbsp. honey
1 mashed banana

Mix all ingredients together and freeze. The recipe recommended foam egg cartons or ice trays to freeze in, but I used these cute little heart shaped silicone cupcake molds, and it was the perfect amount.  :)

The boys definitely enjoyed it! 

Cheesy Baked Taquitos

Monday, February 6, 2012 § 0

KC has been in and out of the field and on a super weird schedule for a couple weeks... He's only off on fridays, goes to his office for the day occasionally so we meet for lunch, and sometimes comes home for a couple hours in the evening with no notice. So... I have been making  dinners for one, but that are also easily multiplied, quick, and hearty enough to fill him too if he happens to come home. 

These were total winners. Too bad he didn't get to enjoy them! 
They reminded me of Chili's southwest egg rolls.

Cheesy Baked Taquitos
 (adapted from

~6 tortilla shells
4 oz fat free cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. salsa
1/4 c. minced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 t. cumin
1 t. chili powder
1 c. shredded cheese
1 c. black beans
1 c. corn
chopped pickled jalapeno to taste (I used 4 slices)
(you could easily add a meat in place of or in addition to the beans and corn)

Mix all ingredients (minus the  tortillas, obviously.) If you have time, put the mixture in the fridge to let the flavors blend for a few hours. Spoon about 1/4 cup into a shell, roll up, and place an inch or so apart on lightly greased cookie sheet. bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until slightly crisp.

I used sour cream with a little ranch dressing mix, salt, and pepper for the dip. It probably would have been even better with a little taco seasoning mixed in. 

Simple Fruit Crisp

Monday, January 30, 2012 § 0

I really wish  I had a picture of this to share with you, but it was a last minute bake and I completely forgot! I used pears, but you could try lots of different fruits. I love that all of the ingredients are usually in my kitchen. It's easy to throw together for last minute guests, or to use up the forgotten fruit in the back of the fridge. I think the brown sugar baked in the fruit makes this delicious!


~3 cups fruit (peeled, seeded and chopped-I used 3 pears)
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tbsp. flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar

crisp topping:

1/2 c. oats
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 375. Toss fruit in lemon juice then mix in cinnamon, nutmeg, flour and brown sugar.  Put mixture in a greased 8x8 or 9x5 baking dish. In another bowl mix oats, butter, brown sugar and salt- go ahead and use your hands, it works best. Crumble over fruit.  Bake 30-45 minutes. Top with whipped cream or ice cream and enjoy!

Our New Favorite Tortilla Soup

Friday, January 27, 2012 § 0

We eat a lot of chicken tortilla soup around here, it's one of my favorite meals (after buffalo chicken sandwiches)! I usually just make it up as I go, but yesterday I wanted a little change. I stumbled upon  "Easy Three Ingredient McAllisters Chicken Tortilla Soup," and immediately thought of my dad. McAllister's was  a frequent after church stop for my parents (until it closed with no warning a few months ago), and dad always ordered this soup! 

The recipe called for: 
1 24 oz. jar of salsa
 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
16 oz. chicken stock
optional: beans, chicken, shredded cheddar, etc

Sounds pretty good, but I knew I wanted to pep it up a little. KC told me he liked this more than my usual, and it comes together pretty quickly!

OK, it doesn't look like much, but its hearty and delicious! The salsa taste is strong, so make sure you like the salsa you choose. 

3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, chopped
~1 c. bell pepper, chopped (I used frozen)
~1 c. corn (frozen or drained can)
16 oz. chicken stock
12 oz. salsa verde
12 oz. red salsa 
1 can beans, black or cannelloni (drained and rinsed)
 1c. cooked brown rice (I used an Uncle Ben's ready rice package, there have been lots of coupons for them lately. You could skip the rice, but I wouldn't!)
chicken (I used 2 breasts, well seasoned with taco seasoning, baked and chopped)
8 oz. package cream cheese

Saute garlic, onion and peppers with a little olive oil in large pot. Add corn, chicken stock, salsa, beans and rice and bring to a simmer. Cube the cream cheese and stir in until melted. Season as needed and serve. Serves 2 (me and a very hungry Marine) with leftovers for my lunch the next day.  You could easily serve this with quesadillas to feed for 4 or so. 

Lamp Revamp

Thursday, January 26, 2012 § 0

 When I moved out my parents gave us a few old lamps to brighten our new place. Two of them are adorable, antique, and fit right into our living room and guest room. One of them had a great shape, but the gold-and-marble motif was just a little outdated, so it stayed tucked away in an unpacked corner of our office. 

Today that little guy got a quick update!

I started by cutting a small piece from a grocery bag and taping over the workings with painters tape. From there all it took was a few coats of Krylon Oil Rubbed Bronze and he's as good as new! 

See that wine bottle hanging out in the back of a couple pictures? It's going to be a lamp too! KC found these "cork stopper lamp kits" on and they are giving our 2 buck chuck  bottle a new life. Now I just have to find a perfect shade for it.

Nutella Peanut Butter Granola... What better way to enter the blog world?!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 § 0

It's good stuff!! 

KC and I decided to start this blog months ago, when we found out we would be moving out here to the Mojave... And then procrastinated for at least 6 months.

Good news! I made some killer granola yesterday and decided its time to share with the world! 

Nutella Peanut Butter Granola

-2 tbsp. honey
-1 tbsp. Nutella 
-1tbsp. peanut butter
-1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
-1 c. oats

Preheat oven to 375. Mix honey, Nutella, vanilla and pb in a medium bowl and heat about 20 seconds in the microwave, until it melts a little. Stir in oats. Crumble over a greased cookie sheet and bake 7 minutes or so, until slightly browned. Allow to cool until crispy and enjoy! Who knew granola was so easy??