Foods, Crafts, Super A

I couldn’t think of a better name for this post, so there you go. As you may have noticed my one week of meals has gone by the wayside. With being sick at dinner almost every night for the past month, it doesn’t make you feel much like blogging about dinner. In the fall I am planning to pick back up our Monday Night Dinners, so stay tuned! To tide you over here are a few recipes we have made lately that are soooo good!

Fly Through Our Window’s Sweet Crunchy Dills

I love this recipe. My sister and her husband made them last year and I made them this year (they provided the cucumbers from a family friend). They remind me of the cucumbers and vinegar dish my Grampie used to make when I was little. So yummy!

The Pioneer Woman’s Simple Perfect Enchiladas

I liked this recipe because it is a slightly different take on the beef enchiladas my family makes. I used flour tortillas instead of corn because for some reason corn tortillas did not sound appetizing in my pregnancy brain. Who knows! Which means I did not dip them in the sauce I just ladled a tiny bit of sauce in the center of each tortilla. This took a couple of tries to get it not to spill, but worked really well.

Okay on to crafts. I have not done that many crafts this summer, I am still trying to get around to sealing a painting project I started back in April. However check out some of these terrific craft projects I have seen lately:

Tales of a Peanut’s Bow Holder

Such a cute idea! As a former owner of many, many bows (many of which my Mom made for my sister and I), I love this.

Under the Sycamore’s Paper Bird Painting

I actually use this as an example in my class of showing steps throw visual aids if you don’t have time to do the steps in front of the class. I don’t think I’ve ever posted it, but I have talked about it so many times I think I’m actually going to make it this fall.

Finally a little of Super A for the fam:

Working on his bike riding skills.

Super A had his first orientation for preschool today. I can hardly believe that he is beginning a whole new adventure of preschool, and while I’m not sure if he will like me leaving him at first, I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for him to learn all new things! One of the most important things Super A learned this summer was potty training. We have successfully accomplished potty training this summer, and I was one proud Mama to tell his teacher that he did not have to work on potty training! It was a long road, but one weekend everything seemed to click, and A has done great. That’s all for now!



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Thanksgiving Stuffing and Roasted Carrots

So our true dinner from last night was fish sticks, french fries, and a macaroni and cheese. From a box. It was that kind of night. However, our Thanksgiving dinner was Saturday night this year, so I did actually cook within the last few days. So my two contributions to dinner were stuffing and roasted carrots. And they both turned out pretty well! So here’s the recipes for the two sides.

Pioneer Woman’s Stuffing

*Note: We had limited oven space, so I actually prepped this then cooked it in the crock pot for about four hours. 45 minutes on high, then 3 hours on low. It turned out really yummy!


* 1 whole Pan Of Cornbread (I Use My Cornbread Recipe)

* 1 loaf French Bread, Somewhat Crusty

* 1 stick Butter

* 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced

* 2 cups Celery, Chopped

* 4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth

* ½ teaspoons Dried Basil

* ½ teaspoons Thyme

* 2 teaspoons (to 3 Teaspoons) Fresh Rosemary, Chopped

* ¼ cups Fresh Parsley, Chopped

* Salt To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Chop the cornbread and loaf of French bread up into 1-inch cubes. Spread them out on two baking sheets and let them dry for approximately 24 hours.

Warm up a large skillet over medium heat and add one stick of butter. When it’s melted add the onion and celery and cook for a few minutes until onions are almost translucent. While it’s cooking chop up any fresh herbs you will be using.

Add 4 cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add ½ a teaspoon of basil, ½ teaspoon of ground thyme, a few teaspoons of fresh chopped rosemary and ¼ cup of chopped fresh parsley. Stir until combined.

Place all of your dried bread cubes into a large bowl and mix them up a bit. Gradually ladle the broth mixture into the bread, tossing lightly as you go. Keep gradually adding the broth mixture, tasting as you go and adding more seasoning and herbs if needed. Add salt carefully. You don’t want to over salt your stuffing. If the mixture is not quite moist enough add a bit more chicken broth and stir. Either stuff the bird and bake according to directions or place in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Real Simple Roasted Carrots and Oranges

*I also adapted this recipe from it’s original. Instead of cooking it in the oven, I cooked them in a cover skillet on the stove for about thirty minutes. And I left out the dill for the kiddos.


* 2 pounds very small carrots, scrubbed; or regular carrots—trimmed, peeled, and cut into thin sticks

* 1 orange, cut into 8 pieces

* 2 tablespoons olive oil

* 2 tablespoons honey

* kosher salt and black pepper

* 2 tablespoons small dill sprigs


1. Heat oven to 375° F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the carrots and orange with the oil, honey, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

2. Roast, tossing once, until tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Sprinkle with the dill.

Did I take pictures of these foods? Of course I forgot to do that! Instead, enjoy some pictures from Thanksgiving, and our attempts to take group pictures.

Super A helping Granna fluff the tree

You can’t tell exactly, but Super A is smiling in the picture.

The annual cutting the turkey pose. Somehow I have a lot of these pictures from year’s past.

Our picture taking involves bribes of this nature, “Look at us. Look at the camera…who wants a piece of candy for looking at the camera?”


Aren’t we cute?

Ah. There it is. I knew the true Super A would emerge eventually.

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Beyond Pringles.

As the nap time clock ticks away, as I munched the last Pringles, while simultaneously watching an episode of General Hospital, and checking my blogs I realized I have absolutely nothing interesting to blog about!

While attending Bible Study this past week we were talking about how there isn’t one of The Pioneer Woman’s recipes that we don’t like. One of my friends and fellow bloggers has been blogging though The Pioneer Woman’s cookbook. She tackled the cinnamon rolls. Based on my past baking experiences, I’m a bit afraid to make any cinnamon roll that doesn’t come out of a can. Maybe it was that sad last Pringle urging me to get a better snack, or maybe it was my realization that I have posted almost no recipes this summer, which was my original plan, but I felt the need to share.

So here are some of my favorite Pioneer Woman recipes, all that can be found at her website.

First, Pizza Dough.

I made the pizza dough out of desperation, when we were completely off of soy. Super A LOVES pizza and I felt so bad that he couldn’t have any for two whole weeks. I was afraid at first to make the dough myself, but it was actually extremely easy. I have to concur with her recommendation of letting it sit for a few days. It makes a ton of dough so we had it the first day we made it and then a few days later and it was good both times, but REALLY good a few days later.

Second, Spaghetti with Artichoke and Tomatoes.

I made this for our weekend Settler’s of Cattan nights. It makes a bunch and it is so delicious and creamy and good as leftovers.

Third, Marlboro’s Man Second Favorite Sandwich.

Otherwise known as lemon pepper chicken sandwiches. This is super easy and yummy. I actually cooked the chicken on the grill instead of the frying pan. Did I mention that it’s a steamy 99 degrees here? I can’t stand the stove/oven running in this heat unless I have to. So I’m heating up the yard. And maybe my basil. It’s starting to look a little sad. I’m wondering if it’s the heat from the grill wafting on to it.

Fourth, Cinnamon Baked French Toast.

I love this because you can make it ahead and then cook it the next day. I pretty much love anything that I can make during the quiet of nap time, when a one and a half year old isn’t pulling on my legs saying “little bite? little bite?” the whole time. I cook mine until it isn’t gooey. I’m not a big fan of gooey.

Fifth, Shrimp Pasta in a Foil Package.

Again I made this and cooked it on the grill. Next time I may throw in some scallops, cause I love them.

Sixth, BBQ Meatballs.

These are great for kids. Super A LOVES them and it is also how we figured out he is allergic to soy sauce. I dumped our traditional BBQ sauce on the meatballs instead of making the sauce that comes with the recipe. And presto…red faced child. Now I make the sauce that comes with the recipe (AKA Soy Sauce Free).

Seventh, Fresh Corn and Avocado Salsa.

Okay now this I love. I love love love avocado’s and I made this with my family chicken enchiladas when my in-laws where here. And we couldn’t eat it up fast enough! I left the cilantro out of mine. Sorry cilantro lovers. No matter how many times I eat it, it still tastes like dirty socks to me. Not that I have eaten dirty socks. Lately.

And lastly, macaroni and cheese.

I really have never met a macaroni and cheese I didn’t like. Super A doesn’ t like it, but Super A doesn’t like ANY macaroni and cheese. I have tried EVERY type. He’ll take a cheese quesadilla over macaroni and cheese any day. And if you are making cheese quesadilla’s you should try the pineapple quesadillas. It’s next on my list. I’ll let you know how it works out!

And no I do not have any pictures. The Pioneer Woman does a far better job of posting pictures with her recipes than I ever could. But just for the grandparents…


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Cheese Biscuits

This is a super simple take on a recipe I saw on Giada at Home. One of the most common things I do is see recipes and then make something similar with the items I have. Mainly so I don’t have to run to the store.


1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (I use sharp cheddar cheese)

1 tbs of  fresh chopped tarragon (you could use parsley, or even rosemary. Tarragon is what I had)

1 garlic clove (peeled and smashed)

4 tbs of room temperature butter

1 package of refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (I used Pillsbury)


In a food processor combine cheese, garlic, and tarragon. Pulse for a few seconds until the cheese is broken up some. Add in butter and pulse until creamy. Place biscuits on cookie sheet. Using a spatula spread only the tops of the biscuits with cheese mixture. Bake according to biscuit package directions (I had to do one minute extra).

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Chocolate Brownie Crunch

I really should stop making desserts of this nature. At least they don’t last long! Despite my husband’s plea for a “plain” brownie I can’t seem to help, but add, add, add. And this is just another example of that! This past weekend I made Pat and Gina Neely’s Chocolate Brownie Crunch. It has Twix bars in it. Sure they have to call it a chocolate caramel wafer, but I knew what they meant. And it has walnuts. And it’s topped with ganache. And it’s delicious! As I said before, I’m not the best at coming up with my own desserts, let alone successfully executing a dessert from a recipe. However, I can pass along my dessert triumphs and this was definitely one of them! Not a piece was left by the end of the weekend. And now I’m going to go exercise. HA!

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Buttered Rosemary Rolls

I know. Three posts in one night. However, I have to post when I can. I organize my thoughts into multiple posts, mostly to prevent confusion later.

My sister mentioned a few months ago about a website called The Pioneer Woman. Then my husband told me he had stumbled upon this website called The Pioneer Woman while he was looking for gardening tips (I think our garden was a little late to be saved at that point. At least our garden thought so. I could show a picture of it, but that would be sad.). And now I have friends that are blogging their way through her newly released cookbook! 🙂

Needless to say The Pioneer Woman, her blog, and her cookbook have become quite a phenomenon and I am definitely a fan, and trying many of her recipes these days. I decided tonight even though our house is still recuperating from various ailments, that I would make macaroni and cheese and buttered rosemary rolls ala The Pioneer Woman.

I was excited to find that the rolls mentioned in her recipe were actually at our local Target and I figured since we weren’t going anywhere this afternoon (they take about three hours to rise) I would test out the recipe. Anyone who knows me well knows my obsession with bread products. I might should have named my blog “bread and commentary”..but that’s not as catchy, now is it? Apparently when I was a toddler they had to hide the bread, or I wouldn’t eat anything else for dinner. Anyway, I thought the recipe sounded good, but I was doubting the rosemary and especially the sea salt a little bit. However, I followed the recipe exactly and about five hours and five rolls later my little cupcake was looking for more rolls and I was sad that I hadn’t bought another package of rolls.

Between my son and I we ate the entire pan of rolls (he has obviously inherited my love of bread products) and I probably could have eaten another entire pan if they had been here. These are an absolutely fabulous, comfort food, that I could make again and again. And yes the macaroni and cheese was good as well.

To find the recipe with all of it’s specifications (and picture commentary…which I love, love, love as I am a visual learner) follow this link: The Pioneer Woman Buttered Rosemary Rolls.

My Attempt at Buttered Rosemary Rolls
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Sweet Tea

It’s January which means the return of two of our household favorites: Project Runway and 24. We are an eclectic mix aren’t we? We celebrated the return of Jack Bauer with our usual Jack Bauer Quesadillas, and this year our little cupcake enjoyed a quesadilla with us as well (minus the hot sauce and jalapenos)! I was trying to find a recipe that would go well with this post, and since 24 is all about secrets and Project Runway is all about deliciously fabulous fashion, I thought I would share my husband’s secret recipe for delicious sweet tea. In my new cookbook that I got for Christmas (Katie Lee Joel’s The Comfort Table), she shared her recipe for sweet tea, and commented on how all southerners have their variation. While my husband isn’t exactly “southern”, I have to say he makes the best sweet tea I have ever tasted (and we have plenty of southern friends that agree!). Part of it is the ingredients…the other part is the method…oh and make sure you use good filtered water. If you know my husband you aren’t surprised by that! HA!

Sweet Tea

You’ll need a gallon size pitcher to make the tea, or you will have to divide it among two smaller pitchers.


1 gallon of filtered water

4 Luizanne Decaffeinated Family Size Tea Bags

1 cup of sugar


Place water in a large soup pot on high heat. Pour sugar in gallon size pitcher. As soon as water reaches a boil add tea bags and immediately take off heat. Let steep for exactly five minutes, remove tea bags, and then pour tea in gallon size pitcher (the one that has the sugar in it). Stir sugar and tea and let sit out until cool (about an hour).

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One of my standbys when I was making dinner for friends in college was tacos. However, one of the first times I made tacos with a friend of mine she was surprised that I had a recipe that I put together for the taco meat. It may sound like a lot of trouble if you are used to making taco meat with a store packet, but trust me it’s simple, easy and delicious!


1 lb Ground Beef


Chopped Lettuce

Diced fresh Tomatoes

Shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese

Diced Red Onion

Sour Cream

Taco Sauce

Tortillas (I prefer Aztec brand)

Beef Seasoning

1 small can tomato sauce

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. paprika

½ tsp cumin

Shake of garlic

Shake of cayenne pepper


In a medium sized skillet on medium-high heat brown the meat. After the meat is cooked through, turn to low and add the beef seasoning. Leave meat on low while you cook tortillas and add meat and desired toppings.

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Now that I have a break for a few weeks, I thought it was time to start up my recipe collection again. This is a classic recipe of my family that we (my sister and I) actually were not introduced to until recently. For my Mom’s birthday this year she asked if we would make this recipe that my Grandmother used to make for her and her sisters when they were growing up. It is quite involved, but it is extremely delicious and makes enough for a crowd. Oh and it’s a kid favorite! My nephew has been asking for it again ever since we made it.


Mostaccioli Pasta

Parmesan Cheese

2 lbs ground beef divided

1 lb ground Italian sausage

1 large minced onion

1/2 minced green pepper

2 minced celery ribs

2 cloves garlic chopped fine

2 tbs worcestershire sauce

1 and 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1 to 2 tsp Chili powder

Pinch ground clove

Pinch parsley flakes

Dash hot sauce

2 bay leaves

4 cups of diced tomatoes

3 cans of tomato paste

2 eggs

Bread crumbs

Salt and Pepper


Brown together in olive oil:  1 lb ground beef and 1lb Italian sausage (either links cut into slices, or sausage broken up like we do for lasagna) with 1 large onion minced, 1/2 green pepper minced, 2 celery ribs minced, and 2 cloves garlic.  Drain, then add 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper, 1 1/2 teas. Italian seasoning, 1-2 teas. chili powder, 1 quick shake of ground clove (mom says NO more, be careful, just a little shake), pinch parsley flakes, dash Tabasco (hot sauce) and 2 bay leaves.  Add 4 cups diced tomatoes in juice. Add 3 cans tomato paste.  Cook for 2 hours (simmer on low)

Meanwhile make meatballs (can be made ahead) – 1 lb. ground beef, 2 eggs, bread crumbs – roll into small balls and brown (or cook in oven until done)

Cook mostaccioli according to box directions.

Combine meat sauce, mostaccioli, and meatballs and put lots of parmesan on top.

Makes 4 quarts.

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Rachael’s Pumpkin Soup

So I haven’t been creating many recipes of my own lately. Between work, birthday parties, and oh yeah being a Mom I found myself out of just about everything this weekend and trying to figure out if I could get away with waiting to go grocery shopping until Monday. This is due to my absolute refusal to grocery shop on the weekend unless it is completely necessary. I do understand that people need to grocery shop on the weekend, in fact most people grocery shop on the weekend. However, since I do not have to grocery shop on the weekend I make it a point to try to wait it out until the week, and even early in the morning to avoid crowds, so I can shop in peace (ha! with a one year old). So as our pantry was getting pretty empty this weekend, we had various dishes of fish sticks, muffins, and eggs (except for our little love bug, who always eats better than we do!)

I digress. In my attempt to have better dishes this week I was looking around food network and came across a recipe that is a favorite of mine and especially fitting for this time of year. If you haven’t tried this soup before, you need to. I started making it as part of Thanksgiving lunch four years ago and even the pickiest eaters have tried it, gone back for seconds, and love it. So here’s the link for that delicious recipe: Rachael Ray’s Pumpkin Soup.

Here’s a picture…of its deliciousness!

Rachael Ray's Pumpkin Soup
Rachael Ray's Pumpkin Soup
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