Flashback Friday

(Click to enlarge for supreme awesomeness)

Being an Air Force Brat, I've lived in some places. We were stationed in Minot, North Dakota for several years. What is there to do in North Dakota, you ask?  (Besides Trick-Or-Treat in snowsuits...)
Have dreams of being Dorothy Hamill, of course! That's me as a super sweet figure skater.
My dreams were crushed when I realized I was a tall, lanky and uncoordinated freak of nature. Oh well. The haircut is pretty awesome!

Flashback with Us!


Funeral For A Friend: A Boy and His Bug

After we got back from a walk around our neighborhood this afternoon, Jackson noticed a little lady bug hanging out on our window sill. He carefully brought it to the middle of the living room floor where he lay next to it, talking and "playing" with it.


Unfortunately, Nathan The Godzilla Baby stomped on it.

This is Jacks face right before I broke the news that his friend had been smooshed to death and that's why it wasn't moving anymore.

After lots of tears and screams of "Whyyyyyyyyyy Nafin? WHYYY?" we laid the little buggie friend to rest in our yard.

RIP Little Bug.

Carrot Cake

"This sh&% is the sh&%!"
That is how my loving husband described this carrot cake.
If you are a fan on my Facebook Page, you probably already know that this was a labor of love on Easter Eve...

Nathan ate his cake until I forced him to stop, and Jack...well my sweet Jack was all about it until I cut into it and he saw carrots. (Side note, I made him this cake for his 1st birthday and he devoured it. It was so cute and sad looking at the same time with my terribly piped "Happy 1st Birthday Jackson" in blue across the top. My, how things have changed. His eating habits and my kitchen skills. )
I adored this cake as well by the way. It was a great loving thing that I did, offering the last piece to Bill. ;)
Anyway, here is the recipe. It's a tweaked version I found on allrecipes.com.

4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
dash salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour your pans, OR use Wilton Cake Release, like I do.

2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, applesauce, both sugars and vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon then stir in carrots. Fold in pecans and pour into prepared pan/s.

3. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (For my two 9inch rounds, it took about 35 minutes.) Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

4. In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. (You may need to add a little more powdered sugar to get the consistency you want.) You can either stir in your pecans here, or lay them around the outside of your frosted cake, like I did.
This is an adapted recipe. Original recipe by Tammy Elliott.

I'm Linking to These Rockin' Parties
Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts
Thrilling Thursday at Paisley Passions
Hoo's Got Talent at Night Owl Crafting
Creative Juice Thursday at Momnivore's Dilemma
What's Cookin' Wednesday at Not So Homemade
Creatively-U Weekend Party at Creative Crate
Sundae Scoop at I Heart Naptime


Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

A few years ago, I was digging through my mom's old stash for recipes I wanted from her and my great-grandmother. It's this amazing little box, stuffed full of cards, (handwritten in their vastly different styles,) newspaper and magazine clippings, and other random scraps of paper collected along the way. It is truly "magical", as Jackson would say. 

I'm positive that the reason I started my own collection of recipes in the way that I have, was because of that wooden box. Looking through it is sort of like looking through an album of old pictures. Each recipe is tied to a collection of memories; like eating Pepper Steak or chili on Trick or Treat nights.

On one of my mom's cards, I remember seeing a recipe for Taquitos. I had no memory of ever eating them, and I assumed it was something she and my dad ate together before I was old enough to enjoy it and I didn't copy the card.

Aaaaaaand of COURSE, I have been kicking myself ever since. That little box is on Topsail Island, North Carolina at my mother's house now, and I am back up north in Ohio. Boo. Hoo. I WANT TAQUITOS.

Lucky for me, I noticed this recipe on www.OurBestBites.com. I have no clue how close they are to the recipe my mom used, but Bill and I are hooked. HOOKED I tell you!

1/3 cup (3 oz) cream cheese
1/4 cup green salsa
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic, or garlic powder
3 Tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 Tablespoon sliced green onions
2 cup shredded cooked chicken
1 cup grated pepperjack cheese
about 12 small corn or flour tortillas (we used flour)
kosher salt
cooking spray

1. Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

2. Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it’s soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.
You can prepare up to this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the fridge.

3. Place 2-3 Tablespoons of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges and roll it up as tight as you can.

4. Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle some kosher salt on top.

5. Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown

recipe adapted from OurBestBites.com


Chicken Pillows

So, it only took us 24 hours to move our stuff, unpack and hang some pictures. =) We are officially settled in! I know this because today, I am doing my first loads of laundry in the new apartment.

And this recipe, is the first meal I made in my new (giant) kitchen. I have an inkling that I have quite a few followers that hail from Utah, and if so, according to The Girl Who Ate Everything, this recipe might not be new to you. I almost gave up being a Vegetarian for this one! It looked soooo so good. Bill destroyed his serving(s) and the baby ate a pillow all to himself. (Picky Jackson of course wouldn't touch it.)

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons dried chives
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons fresh onion minced
3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced (around 3 cups)
2 (8 ounce) cans Pillsbury brand crescent rolls
1/4 cup melted butter
Italian bread crumbs (around 2 cups)
1 (14.5 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 (0.87) package chicken gravy mix
* For the dried chives and onions, I actually omitted both and chopped up some green onions instead.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and sour cream until well combined. Stir in salt, pepper, onion, chives, and diced chicken.

3. Using Pillsbury crescent rolls, take 2 triangular rolls and push together at perforated seam to make into a square. Make sure you seal the perforations well so your filling doesn't come out. Put about 3 tablespoons of chicken mixture in the center of each square. Fold the dough corners to the center over the chicken mixture forming a pillow.

4. Dip each pillow in melted butter on both sides. Roll in bread crumbs on both sides. Shake excess crumbs off. Place chicken pillow on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

5. Make gravy by mixing one package of chicken gravy mix, one can of cream of chicken soup and 3/4 can of water in a small pot. Mix together and heat until warm. Serve chicken pillows with gravy poured over top.
Recipe by Heather Mueller Via The Girl Who Ate Everything

I'm Sharing This At These Rockin' Parties:
Show Me What Ya Got at Not Just A Housewife
Creatively-U at The Creative Crate
Recipe Roundup By Gooseberry Patch at Susieqtpies Scraps Of Life


Shooting Las Vegas

Just a quick hi and hello! I am in the middle of a hectic week. We start moving tomorrow and I am swamped with boxes! Sorry for the lack of recipes this week =) I'll post them as soon as we settle in.

For now, just a couple photos for you. OF ME THIS TIME! These are some shots my boss took of me while we were at the photographers convention in February.

I'm really excited to tell you guys that I have earned a spot as her additional shooter for weddings, and I am now also editing her work. I'm so happy! It's something that gives me a creative outlet while making a little bit of money to bring into the family. It's like the best of both worlds!
She has taught me SO much and is the most wonderful person, I couldn't be more thankful for the opportunities she has given me in the past year.


And for cute factor. A shot a took of the boys last week. Man, I love these little dudes...


Flashback Friday

The other night, Bill and I were talking about how fun Nathan's age is right now, and how Bill missed so much of this time with Jackson. He was in school full time and working full time, leaving in the morning before Jack was awake, and most often, getting home either right before, or right after Jack went to bed. He worked so hard those years and I felt awful for him that it didn't pan out the way he had hoped.
I was looking through some pictures of Jack back then and just HAD to share this.

I'm so rotten.

This is a cell phone pic from Jackson's first shower. Bill had come home from work early that day, and we decided Jack might get a kick out of the shower.

And this is about 60 seconds later....you can't see it in the picture, but you can read it on Bill's face......

Jack pooped in the tub.

Flashback with us!



My Husband's Hands

Just a quick shot I took of my husband while he was playing guitar for the boys this weekend. I really proud of how it turned out, with our wedding photo's blurred in the background.



Pierogies Alfredo

(Chicken & Mushroom Pierogies Alfredo)

(Veggie Pierogies Alfredo)

I have this friend Megan who makes a mean pierogi. I have a feeling the combination of the words Piergoi and Alfredo in the same sentence would give her fits!
Ahywho, I had a crazy hankerin' for some frozen pierogies the other day. I'm never really sure how to serve them outside of boiled, with a little sour cream and cheese. I wanted to make a meal out of these bad boys and started a hunt.
There is a severe lack of pierogi recipes online! I found one like this, and changed it up to fit our tastes.

Chicken & Mushroom Version
12 frozen onion and potato Pierogies
1 1/2 lb cooked chicken, cut into pieces
1 jar of your favorite alfredo sauce
8 oz frozen peas
1 Tbls minced garlic
4 oz sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 Tbl olive oil

Veggie Version
12 frozen onion and potato Pierogies
1 jar of your favorite alfredo sauce
8 oz frozen peas
1 Tbls minced garlic
2 diced tomatoes
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbl olive oil

Chicken & Mushroom Version
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook chicken and cut into small, bite sized pieces.

2. Boil pierogies 5 to 7 minutes and drain.

3. In a saucepan, heat oil on medium heat and add garlic. Cook 1 minute, then add mushrooms and cook about 6 minutes, or until browned and remove from heat.

4. In a large bowl, gently combine pierogies, chicken, mushroom/garlic mixure, sauce, peas and 1/2 cup parmesan. Pour into ungreased casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese.

5. Bake covered for 35-40 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 15 minutes.

Veggie Version

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil pierogies 5 to 7 minutes and drain.

2. In a saucepan, heat oil on medium heat and add garlic. Cook 1 minute, then add red peppers and cook about 5 minutes and remove from heat.

4. In a large bowl, gently combine pierogies, tomatoes, red pepper/garlic mixure, sauce, peas and 1/2 cup parmesan. Pour into ungreased casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese.

5. Bake covered for 35-40 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 15 minutes.

I'm Linking To These Rockin' Parties
Show Me What Ya' Got at Not Just A Housewife
Anything Related Tuesday at All Thingz Related
Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts
Thrilling Thursday at Paisley Passions
Creative Juice Thursday at Momnivore's Dilemma


Monkey Bread

Call me what you will, but I had NO IDEA monkey bread could be so easy! I've always wanted to try this stuff but thought it had to involved hours of rising and patience. Two things I just do not like =)
Then Megan at Kitschy Suburbia  posted a recipe and I felt like a big dummy. I could totally do that! 
Finally, this Saturday morning,  I did! Look at it, all gooey in the sunlight. Mmmmmmmmm....
Jack helped, he shook the pieces in the cinnamon and sugar. But then refused to eat it. Such an odd child. Nathan of course, devoured it. 

4 (7.5oz) cans of refrigerated biscuits
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsps ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1. Grease or Spray 12 cup Bundt cake pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

2. Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon in a 1 gallon bag. Cut each biscuit into quarters, then shake pieces in bag to coat. Place in pan.

3. Mix melted butter and brown sugar and pour over biscuit pieces in pan. 

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes, then turn upside down and serve warm. 
recipe adapted from pillsbury.com 

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Fun With Food Friday at Paisley Passions
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