Tequila lime chicken & rice

One of my favorite meals when I was in college was Applebee’s tequila lime chicken. It’s one of my favorites to recreate, with the Pioneer Woman’s chicken and rice, topped with special sauce, cheddar cheese, and tortilla strips. I put the sauce right on my chicken because none of my boys like it, but if you have a sauce loving family I recommend just swirling the amount you want right into the rice before serving and making some buttered tortillas to go on the side.

Special Sauce:

¼ Cup Mayonnaise

¼ Cup Sour Cream

2 Tablespoons Salsa

1 tsp chili powder, cumin, paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne

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Cast iron cornbread

This is more method than recipe. All you need is a box of Krusteaz Honey Cornbread, a cast iron skillet, and half a stick of butter.

Heat your oven to 425 degrees. Place your half stick of butter in your cast iron skillet and place in oven for five minutes.  Prepare the cornbread mix according to package directions. Pour in warmed skillet and then cook for 12-15 minutes.

While this is a lovely center piece, the edges are the true stars of this dish. They’re crispy, a bit caremelized and just a touch of sweetness. Serve it with a side of Mix and Match Mama’s chili because you can’t just eat cornbread for dinner….or can you?

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Molten lava cakes

My nephew turned twelve this weekend. Twelve! He’s the oldest of all the cousins and I still look at him in wonder as it seemed like only yesterday B and I were exhausted from building Lincoln logs with him all afternoon (who knew kids were so exhausting?).

And checkout this awesome photo I took:

I’ll treasure it always. Ha! So, my nephew requested molten lava cakes for his birthday and my sister made these:

They’re a copycat of Chili’s and I can say as a former Chili’s employee, they’re better than Chili’s. They were AWESOME. I cannot even do justice to these. You will make them, eat them, and then want to make more.

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Broccoli cheese quiche

As much as I love the convenience of tablets and smartphones, I love print. I love reading my checked out library books, I love when my Instyle magazine arrives each month, and I love when every quarter Magnolia Journal is in my mailbox. This quarter I tested out the quiche recipe, swapping out bacon for broccoli (and leaving out onion for B). I was a little worried about how it would turn out:

And it turned out fabulously! But then I was a little worried the boys wouldn’t eat it:

However, it turns out theylove quiche. And they didn’t even miss the meat! It’s kind of like Panera’s broccoli cheese soup in pie form. Yum!


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Three cheese chicken enchiladas

J got up on Saturday and declared that he could make his own breakfast. Not one to ruin a good thing I went through the steps with him, and he can now make his own bagel (not toasted, J is a bread purist) and applesauce breakfast. He was so proud! These moments are some of my favorite parenting moments…even if it was at 6:50 a.m. and I hadn’t had my coffee yet, and I was up at 6:50 a.m. on a Saturday.

And with that recipe accomplishment, I also spruced up this week’s chicken enchiladas with a mixture of cheddar cheese, super sharp white cheddar cheese, and Monterey Jack:

So good!!

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Valentine’s Popcorn

When one has been “snowed in” for six days straight, you start making snacks:

With some popcorn, Chex, and melted white chocolate:

And you’ve got a fabulous no snow, snow day snack:

Or if you’re super lazy:

Just heat up some popcorn and toss in sweet and sour gummies. Ha! Happy another day off of school friends!

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Sheet pan dinner: bone in pork chops with veggies

This dinner is so simple, yet so good! It only takes one sheet pan, thirty minutes, and you’re done! Here’s the list of ingredients:

4 bone in thick cut pork chops (don’t substitute boneless, it’ll dry out)

2 cups halved fresh brussel sprouts (ends trimmed outer leaves removed)

3-4 small russet potatoes, peeled and chopped

2 cups halved baby carrots

Salt, pepper, ground cinnamon, chili powder and olive oil.


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cover a large pan with heavy foil and spray with nonstick spray. Place first four ingredients on pan. Drizzle olive oil over everything and then dust with your spices. Cook for fifteen minutes, then flip the pork chops sprinkle the other side with a little more cinnamon and chili powder and then cook another twelve-fifteen minutes until the pork chops are cooked completely.

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It’s so ridiculously cold, y’all. We’ve spent our winter break attempting to do almost nothing and we were successful! I took a complete (and rare) break from work, and slept in. We played video games, built legos, and worked on puzzles with the boys. I read five books, and watched a bunch of movies. It was wonderful.

Now we are back to school and work in what, I believe, is a northern winter of some sorts ( -1?). I’ve been doing a bit of baking, one of my Christmas bakes that I thought was a total flop:

Turned out to be a winner with the addition of whipped cream.

And then I made everything bagel biscuits (from the new smitten kitchen cookbook) for lunch:

That I could eat again and again.

And I loaded up on groceries from Trader Joe’s:

I’m hoping this will hold me for a few months.

My Mom, sister, and I shopped the after Christmas sales:

And I stocked up on some of my Sephora favorites:

B and I celebrated our eleventh wedding anniversary and in true form of two parents in their thirties, I don’t have any pictures of just us, so this will have to suffice:

And that’s a bit of our life lately! Happy Wednesday!

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Show stopping short ribs

If you want a showstopper dinner, you need these short ribs. The recipe is relatively simple and I modified it further by slow cooking them for about 5 hours after first browning them. The finish roast in the oven is super important, and I cooked our rolls in there at the same time.

And speaking of rolls

It’s the fresh rosemary that makes them awesome:

Serve then up with a side of mashed potatoes and it’s the perfect Saturday night meal:

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Barbecue chicken pizza

While you’re attempting to dab your way to another Auburn football win…

Make this super easy weeknight pizza! It’s only five ingredients and your kids will devour it!


2 cups cooked chopped chicken (you can buy a rotisserie chicken, or I slow cooked two chicken breasts in barbecue sauce for 6 hours on low, or you can roast the chicken in the oven at 350 for about 25 minutes until done).

Fresh mozzarella torn into chunks

Refrigerated pizza dough

Barbecue sauce

Olive oil

Cilantro & red onion slices (optional)


Preheat oven according to pizza dough directions. Roll out dough and drizzle with olive oil. Bake dough for about six minutes, spread toppings (cheese first, then chicken, then drizzle with barbecue sauce). Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes until crust is brown, but not burnt!

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