I love to have fun with paper, food, paint, music and events and just being creative in all of it. However, I don't feel the need to be a perfectionist nor a professional in any of my creations. I wish I could have a blog JUST about the art of cooking, photography, sewing, art, mothering, jewelry making, card making, dancing, gardening, deep spiritual thoughts, decorating, poetry, party planning, baking.... and the list goes on but I can't. I don't think I was created with the ability to focus on one task. I like all of these hobbies layed out before me and the freedom to pick whatever I choose depending on the mood or time I have.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Parmesan Rosemary Flatbread

Love my carbs!  Here is a delightfully flavored filled recipe for flatbread from the italian
Here in my neck of the woods it is chilly so I made it with some Roasted Red Bell & Tomato Soup.  I will have to post that soup later this fall.

1 cup warm water

3/4 teaspoon instant yeast

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl and plastic wrap

15 ounces (about 3 cups) all purpose flour, plus more for dusting

2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for sprinkling

2 teaspoons honey

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for sprinkling

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves

The Italian (link above) has great instructions and pictures to follow this easy recipe.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pecan Crusted Pork Chops

Loved it, Loved it, Loved it!

I usually just dip by pork chops in an egg solution and then dip them in the breaded mix but this time I mixed it up a bit by using Honey Mustard instead of egg and marinating them in Worcestershire sauce. This made them juicy with a tinge of sweetness.

3 pork chops that are not too thick
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cp of crushed pecans
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp sage
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tbs of Apple Juice & 3 tbs of water
1/3 cp of Honey Mustard dressing or make your own using honey and mustard.
Salt to taste

1. Drizzle Worcestershire sauce over chops and set aside in a bowl.
2. Mix pecans and spices put in a bowl wide enough for your meat.
3. In another bowl (big enough to dip your meat in) pour honey  mustard sauce.
4. Set your bowls up in a line and start the dipping with the mustard mix making sure it is evenly coated on both sides, then dip it in your pecan mix and then onto pan.
4. Heat up oil over medium-high heat and sear on one side for bout 4 minutes. Reduce temperature to medium.

5. Turn over and sear other side for about a minute, put apple juice & water mix into pan and cook for another 4 - 5 minutes or until done.


Cake Box Icecream Sandwiches

I have never made cookies from a cake box but I must say these were soft, chewy and chocolatey rich.  They were so rich I couldn't even finish my whole icecream sandwich.

Here at Skip to my Lou I found this clever recipe for homemade icecream sandwiches from a cake box.

ice-cream-sandwiches-5.jpg1 box Chocolate cake box mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional for ice cream sandwiches but a must for the cookies without ice cream)

1. Mix all of the ingredients above.

2. Bake cookies at 350 for about 11-13 minutes (Cookies are soft). Chill cookies completely before making ice cream sandwiches ----otherwise they are heavenly warm!

3. Put icecream in between and freeze.
Her website has instructions on how to make perfect round circles of icecream.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Poached Eggs on Toast with Chipotle Mayo, Bacon and Avocado

Poached Egg on Toast with Chipotle Mayonnaise, Bacon and Avocado

Dinner was only 30 minutes away and once again I forgot to thaw out meat so I was looking for egg recipes.  Breakfast for dinner is fun, right!  Yes, that was my plan all along (hee, hee).

So I must confess I was too chicken to make them poached so I just made sunny side up eggs.  It sounds really easy but I kept having visions of the movie Julie and Julie and her messing up the poached eggs so I didn't try it. My husband doesn't like runny eggs so I had to cook both sides.  What do you call sunny side up eggs that have no sun.  I found this recipe and picture at Closet Cooking .  The flavor combinations were fabulous and it was a big hit in our home.

4 eggs
4 slices bread, lightly toasted (I used multigrain)
1/4 cup chipotle lime mayo (see below)
2 avocados, sliced
8 slices bacon, cooked


1.Bring a large pot of water to a boil and reduce the heat to medium.
2.Crack an egg into a bowl, swirl the water in the pot and pour the egg from the bowl into the water and repeat for another egg.
3.Let the eggs cook until the whites are set but the yolks are not, about 2-3 minutes and fish them out.
4.Repeat for the remaining 2 eggs.
5.Assemble sandwiches and enjoy.

Chipotle Lime Mayo
Spicy hot and smoky chipotle peppers mixed with creamy mayo and a hint of lime.

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce or to taste, chopped
1 teaspoon adobo sauce
1/2 lime, juice


1.Mix everything.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Every judging eye is saying "bad mommy, bad mommy"

I sacrificed my precious running time and let my children join me: 7yr old who was running way slow and my 4yr old who was on a scooter and kept requesting for us to stop because he was exhausted.  Though I must admit I was glad that my 7 yr old wanted to run.  My husband was waaaaay in the back pushing our baby in the stroller.  At some point in our run or should I say very slow jog my 4yr old says "I am going to wait for daddy because I am tired".  I look back and I can see my husband enough to do some hand gestures that should be interpreted as follows:  I am going to continue my strenuous run and our 4yr old is going to sit here and wait for you. 

So we take off.  I am about to cross a busy pedestrians and cars intersection so I grab my 7yr olds hand and we run across.  Just as I reach the other side I hear my 4yr old screaming and crying "mommy, mommy don't leave".  I turn around bewildered and embarrassed because I immediately have every one around me looking at me like what a horrible mom running off and crossing a busy street leaving her little boy behind.  I walk back across the street to scold I mean tenderly hold my 4yr old and the whole time I can feel and see every judging eye on me.  I am frustrated because this could of been a potentially dangerous situation if he would of crossed the street with out me.

When this happens to you mommy (though I am sure you will never have this bad mommy moment) you walk with confidence and mumble to yourself "I am a good mom, I am a good mom" and act like you don't care what they are thinking (even if you do).

Unfortunately, I am sad to report I didn't go back and comfort him.  As I walked back to him I gave him THE look that should make every kid tremble the "boy your in trouble" and said sternly "go back to daddy."  At that point my husband was only a few feet away and everyone around us goes back to their business still thinking that sure is a bad mom.

Monday Link ups









Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

I made these for my quick Sunday dinner and I think they would be fabulous for a party!

Dishes and Socks had this great recipe and picture!

3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
3/4 cup whole milk
1 egg – lightly beaten
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup cubed pepperoni
1/2 cup store-bought pizza sauce
Non stick cooking spray
1tbs honey
2tsp salt
2tsp garlic powder

I made some minor revisions by adding honey, salt to the batter and 2 tsp of garlic powder.  She says this would fill 24 mini muffin pans.  It didn't fill 1 of my normal size muffin pans so I had to double up the recipe.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a muffin pan with non stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and Italian seasoning. Then whisk in the milk, egg, honey, salt, and garlic powder. Stir in the mozzarella, parmesan and pepperoni. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.  Eat plain or use Pizza sauce for dipping!

Gorgonzola, Pear, Chicken & Caramelized Walnut Salad

I had this salad at one of those cute little cafe shops in a small town in the Georgian Mountains.  It was absolutely delish!

So of course the first thing that comes to my mind while eating this is how can I remake it at home.
Gorgonzola, Pear, Chicken and Walnut Salad
2 Bags Baby Mixed Greens
Chicken Breasts, Chopped Into Pieces
2 Cups Candied Walnuts (See Recipe Below)
2 Large Ripe Pears or you can caramelize them see recipe below
4 Ounces Gorgonzola Cheese
3 tbsp chopped red onions
1/3 cp chopped carrots
1/3 cp chopped tomatoes

1. Mix all the veggies in a bowl.
2. Top with chicken and then Walnuts and Pears and sprinkle with cheese.

Caramelized Walnuts
2 Cups Whole Walnuts
1/2 Cup Sugar
Place walnut and sugar in skillet and until sugar dissolves and coats all of the walnuts.  Remove from heat and pour on a plate to cool.
Dressing:  I used my Ranch dressing recipe Here but here is a simple not so strong dressing
1/4 Cup White Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
3/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Mix all together and stir until it's thoroughly mixed.

 I am also going to toss cranberries in my salad next time with the fresh pears. I saw one recipe that caramelize the pears which I think I am going to try that next time and leave out the cranberries.  Oh so many options of deliciousness.
Caramelized Pears
1 tbspn of butter
2 Pears wedged

Put butter and pears in a skillet and cook for about 8 minutes until they are golden brown and caramelized.

Picture from Italian Forever

All out of Hidden Valley Ranch Packets

Chipotle Ranch Dressing

For us running to the store and picking up certain items like Hidden Valley Ranch packets is not possible unless we plan on boarding a plane to the U.S.  I used to hate making things from scratch but the more I do out of necessity the more I realize how much I enjoy it. Some weird sense of accomplishment. It is also more tasty and not to mention healthier with out all those preservatives added.  So whether your in a bind like me and can't run out to the store or your just in the mood to try something new here is an easy recipe.

I also learned in making this recipe that you can substitute sour cream for buttermilk.  A lot of ranch recipes called for buttermilk which once again we can't get in this country so after researching you can substitute for this recipe.

Easy Ranch Dressing Recipe
lowfat recipe or use regular ingredients for a full fat dressing :)
1/2 cp plain lowfat yogurt or regular
1/3 cp sour cream
3 tblspns of lowfat mayo or regular
1/2 tb white vinegar
1/2tb Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp Onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2tsp  dill
1/2 tsp basil
salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl combine all ingredients and chill before serving.

I can't wait to try this recipe below. Picture and chipotle ranch recipe are from pinchmysalt.com.
Chipotle Ranch Dressing

1 chipotle chile from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

Place all ingredients in a blender; cover then blend until smooth. Use immediately or refrigerate in a covered container. Dressing may be kept, refrigerated, for up to one week.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lovely Blog Award

Tanya from Greetings from the Asylum wrote and shared how she loved my blog and wanted to award me this.  Thank you Tanya totally made my day when I read your comment!

One of the things I need to do is write some things about myself:
1. I like to cook with the basics: pot/pan, knife, bowl and spoon. Kitchen gadgets are fun but too much to clean up.
2. I have used an alarm about 4 times in my whole life.
3. I have a hard time wearing socks that don't match my clothes even if no one else will see them.
4. I spearheaded the first Latina Scholarship Pageant in Columbia, SC.
5. I performed an interpretive dance to Oh Holy Night.
6. When we were dating I thought my husband was breaking up with me when in reality he was about to propose.
7. My husband is my first kiss and my first boyfriend.

The Popcorn Bar

The Popcorn Bar

For any occasion you can dress it up or dress for a wedding, shower, soiree or you can dress it down for a sports event, movie party (see link HERE) etc...
Picture above is from Project Bride
 Cranberry-Orange Caramel Corn
from BHG.com
12 cups popped popcorn (about 1/2 cup kernels)
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup light-colored corn syrup
2 Tbsp. orange juice
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. In a very large bowl combine the popped popcorn, cranberries, and almonds; set aside.

2. In a 2-quart saucepan cook and stir the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup over medium heat until butter is melted. Stir in orange juice. Bring to boiling over medium heat. Boil at a moderate, steady rate for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and baking soda (mixture will foam up).

3. Pour the syrup mixture over the popcorn mixture in bowl; stir to coat well. Transfer to a 15x10x1-inch baking pan or a shallow roasting pan. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring twice. Transfer caramel corn to a large sheet of greased heavy foil; cool. Makes 20 (1/2 cup) servings.

Caramel Popcorn
Use same recipe as above but exclude the following ingredients: cranberries, almonds and orange juice
Chocolate Covered Popcorn
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 stick butter
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 cups popcorn


Over medium heat, using a 4 quart pot, combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter, cocoa, and salt and bring to a boil. Once the mixture is well mixed, add the popped corn. Cook and stir until popcorn is coated, approximately 2 minutes. Cool mixture and shape into 3-inch balls.

White Chocolate Cranberry Almond Popcorn
2-3 Bags of Lightly Buttered Popcorn
1 C Almonds
1.5 C of Cranberries
White Chocolate Chips or Vanilla Bark (to taste)

1. Pop the popcorn and carefully try to remove any kernels that didn't pop.
2. Place popcorn in a large bowl. Pour cranberries and almonds over popcorn.
3. Melt your chocolate either in a double boiler, or in the microwave in small intervals, making sure to stir after each 30 second interval.
4. When chocolate is melted and smooth, pour over popcorn and gently stir.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Friday link ups

* http://www.shabbynest.blogspot.com/



Getting featured is so flattering!

Fresh Peas and Ravioli

My usual quick meal go to is PASTA.  This time I thought I would liven it up a bit by using a different kind of pasta and a yummy simple sauce.


1/2 cp of fresh peas
a bag of Ravioli enough to feed 4
1/3 cp White Vinegar
1/3 cp of Olive Oil
1 tbspn of sugar
2 tspns of salt
2 tbl of garlic paste

1. Cook ravioli as directed on package
2. Boil peas until they are tender.
3. In a large bowl put sugar, salt, vinegar and oil, mix.  Put peas and ravioli in bowl and stir.  Add pepper to taste.

Told you it was easy now you have to make it so you can believe me on how good it is.

Roasted Cauliflower with Prosciutto

I was in the mood to cook with a different vegetable so I picked cauliflower. 
Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Prosciutto

Kosher salt
One-half medium head cauliflower, cored and cut into 3/4-inch florets (3-1/2 cups)
1 Tbs. olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves minced
6 thin slices prosciutto (about 4 oz.) or bacon
10 grape tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1. Cook the bacon or prosciutto.
2. In a pan put cauliflower, tomatoes, garlic olive oil and bacon grease. Roast for about 15 min until cauliflower is golden brown, stir a couple of times.
3. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with Parmigiano.

or you can cook this in a pan instead of roasting in oven.
Picture is from Fine Cooking and recipe was adapted.

Monday, July 11, 2011

On furlough!

We are on our Missionary Furlough sorry if I have not responded to comments or features or link ups.  We will get back to normal life soon. 

watermelon yogurt pops

The only reason I really, really wanted to make these was because they are adorable.  Sure they tasted good and not to mention healthy but the picture screams for summer, picnic blankets, ants, summer pasta salads, mosquitoes, water fights........
If you don't want to use yogurt Kraft has a recipe on how to make it with Jello. In my opinion using yogurt was easier and healthier.

You will need:
  • Vanilla Yogurt
  • Strawberry Yogurt
  • Lime Yogurt
  • Blueberries or chocolate chips for a naughty alternative
  • green food coloring
  • popsicle sticks
  • plastic disposable cups

1. I filled 20 plastic disposable cups with Lime Yogurt (this is the rind of the watermelon) if you want the really green look add green food coloring. Or if you run out the lime yogurt like I did add green food coloring to the vanilla yogurt.
2. Stick it in the freezer for about 30-45 min.(maybe less time). Then add your next layer the white part of the rind. Add vanilla yogurt to cups and freeze again for about 30- 45 min. 
3. Add your sticks in the middle.
4. Add the last layer the strawberry yogurt and drop in blueberries so they look like seeds.

Note: When adding layers I didn't need for the yogurt to be completely solid in order to add the next layer but some what solid to avoid it from dripping down and mixing in with the other flavors.

Freeze until completely solid

Movie Under the Stars Party

Absolutely love the outdoor party ambiance.  Friends, family gathered around in the cool summer breeze intermingled with laughter, great conversation and children running around is a beautiful thing.  Not to mention the smell of the grill going!

We had a Movie Under the Stars Party and it was a blast!

You need:
  • a projector
  • speakers
  • a movie
  • blankets, chairs or ask guest to bring their own
  • fire pit (it gets chilly in the evenings where we live)
  • movie of your choice
  • white sheet or you can get fancy and use an inflatable screen
  • extension cords
decor was simple:
Christmas lights stringed or really cute lanterns

Food: going with the movie theater theme
  • Popcorn bar: chocolate covered, white chocolate w/ cranberries, caramel corn and plain RECIPES HERE
  • Grilled hot dogs
  • Hamburgers with caramelized onions
  • Pop or Coke depending on where your from
  • Smore kits -just put in a baggie graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallow and have sticks out

  I love the fire pit in the middle of this lantern lit party.
  • Watermelon Popsicles  recipe here
  We didn't get this fancy we just used a white sheet.