Archive for February 2012

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.