Category Archives: Featured

rock bed flower bed makeover - after

Redoing The Front “Flower Bed”

Many of you that have ever come to our house , you’ve seen for yourselves just how horrible the front “flower bed,” or better known as the crabgrass and weed bed, has been.  It was bad. When we moved it there was a giant evergreen bush in it that was half dead and full of nasty bagworm things.  Gross.  So we had that torn out a few years back.  I attempted several times to grow plants in the flower bed. But I kill most every plant I touch. So that didn’t work out. In between planting attempts, it has just overgrown with weeds and grass. Ugly, gross mess. So Kaden and I finally fixed it this week . He helped me hoe it and get all the crap out. It was hard work.  Such a good helper. :)

Kaden helping in the flower bed

After we got everything out, we went to Lowe’s and got that garden fabric stuff that you put down to keep weeds and stuff from coming up, and rocks. Lots and lots of rocks. We ended up going back about 10 times for more rocks.  I severely underestimated just how many bags of rocks I would need.  -_- Oh well. I now have some pretty nice arm muscles.  I ordered a solar birdbath fountain thing and put that out there with a couple ceramic pots I got off craigslist for pretty cheap.  I got a few flowers and planted them in the pots. Hopefully they last a while before I kill them.  We got all the rocks spread out, and voila, rock bed!  It’s still not as glamorous as I’d like, but since I lack plant skills, it’ll have to do.

Rock bed flower bed makeover - Before

rock bed flower bed makeover - after

Side table makeover revamp - After

Side Table Make Over

Lately I’ve been itching to redo some old furniture, like really bad. But I didn’t have any old furniture to redo. :( So I found this old end table on Craigslist for 20 bucks.  A pretty good deal, I think. I realized after I got it, that it smelled really bad like old cigarette or pipe smoke. Blah.  But thank goodness all the work I did to it got rid of the stink.  Kaden helped me sand it, then I took it all apart and painted it with black satin spray paint and a coat of clear sealer. The handles a spray painted as well, and then with a sponge brush lightly brushed on a thin top coat of a tan, off white-ish color I had leftover from on the the rooms I’ve painted. I think it looks pretty stinkin’ cute.

Side Table Makeover revamp - Before

Side table makeover revamp - After

Chicken Enchiladas with green Chile sour cream sauce

Chicken Enchiladas With Green Chile Sour Cream Sauce

I made these again for the second time a while back, and like the first time, they were super. They are also really pretty simple to make, so that’s a plus. Everyone loved them, even Kaden, who normally wont even look at an enchilada.  I topped mine with a packet of Taco Bell hot sauce. I am a taco bell sauce hoarder. I love that stuff.

Chicken Enchiladas with green Chile sour cream sauce

The Recipe:

  • 8 burrito size flour tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, divided
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cups sour cream
  • 1 (4oz) can diced green chiles

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Mix chicken with 1 cup of the shredded cheese.  Distribute the chicken and cheese mixture evenly among the tortillas.  Roll them up and place seem side down in a greased 9×13 baking dish.  Melt butter in a large saucepan.  Wisk in flour and cook, stirring for about 1 minute.  Add chicken broth whisking until smooth.  Continue cooking over medium heat until sauce becomes thick and bubbly.  Stir in sour cream and green chiles.  Pour the sauce evenly over the enchiladas. Spring remaining shredded cheese on top.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.

Caramel Delight / samosas cookies

Samoas / Caramel Delight Girl Scout Cookies

The Caramel Delight Girl Scout cookies have been one of my favorites for some time now. The husband only bought 2 boxes of them this year, and needless to say…they didn’t last long. He wouldn’t buy me any more, so I bought the ingredients to make my own. HA! Little did I know, these would take me nearly 8 hours to make! I was literally tired of baking last night and slept really well. But I was super disappointed after spending alllll day making these to find out that they taste absolutely NOTHING like the Girl Scout cookies. :’-( They aren’t bad cookies, but not at all what I wanted, nor will I ever spend all day to make these again.  I sent a bunch with Chad to his work and I guess everyone likes them, so that’s good I guess.  I’m not a huge fan of dark chocolate so I would say to use regular milk chocolate instead unless you really like dark chocolate. I usually don’t post the recipes I don’t like, but I put too much time in these not too. And hey, at least they look pretty.

Caramel Delight Dough

Baked Coconut

Samosas with coconut topping

Samosas dipped in chocolate

Caramel Delight / samosas cookies

The Recipe:

For the cookies:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the coconut topping:

  • 3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  • 15 ounces caramels
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate(I would use milk chocolate if you’re not a big fan of dark chocolate)

 

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

In the bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In three increments, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter, mixing between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the milk and vanilla extract, blending until combined and the dough begins to come together in large pieces.

Use your hands to divide the dough in half, pressing it together to compact it into two disks. Wrap the disks securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate them until firm, about 1 hour.

Once the dough has chilled, roll each disk out onto a lightly floured surface until it is 1/8-inch thick. Cut out as many cookies as possible.( I used 2 caps from spices, one about 2 inches and the other about 1 inch to cut the dough) Place the cut-out cookies on a lightly greased baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet half-way through, until the cookies are pale golden brown. Remove cookies from pan and allow to cool completely.

Make the coconut topping:

Spread the coconut flakes onto a baking sheet. Bake the coconut for about 10 minutes in a 350ºF oven until toasted, stirring frequently to ensure even browning and so that it does not burn. (They can burn pretty quickly after the first 5 minutes, so keep a close eye on them) Remove the toasted coconut from the oven and set it aside.

Melt the caramels, milk and salt in a double-boiler by placing the caramels in a medium saucepot set over a large saucepot of simmering water. Cook, stirring, until the caramels are fully melted. Remove the saucepot from the heat and combined 3/4 of the caramel with the toasted coconut in a large bowl.

Carefully spread the remaining 1/4 cup of caramel atop the cooled cookies then press on a portion of the coconut mixture. Let the cookies cool for 30 minutes. If the caramel-coconut mixture thickens too much at any point while pressing it onto the cookies, return it to the double-boiler and warm it until it’s spreadable again.

Melt the dark chocolate in a double-boiler or in the microwave. Dip the bottoms of the cookies in the chocolate (Mine didn’t dip so well, the chocolate was thick and just kind of hung off, so I used a fork to scrape of the excess chocolate)and place them upside down on a wax paper-lined baking sheet.(I used foil and it worked just fine) I put them in the freezer for a few minutes so the chocolate would harden faster. Turn the cookies back over and use a fork to drizzle the tops with chocolate. (I put my chocolate into a small ziplock bag and cut a tiny hole in the corner and squeezed it onto the cookies,but watch out, the chocolate is hot! I wore gloves:-P )Let the cookies sit until the chocolate hardens fully.

Bacon, egg and cheese biscuit muffins

Bacon, Egg And Cheese Biscuit Muffins

The other night I felt like having breakfast for dinner, so I tried these out. They weren’t too bad, even Kaden liked them. But he is a lover of just about all breakfast foods. They weren’t too hard to make, but the biscuit part turned out a lot bigger than it was supposed to, but oh well. I had made biscuits and gravy for breakfast a few days earlier and had some leftover gravy, so Chad put some gravy and a slice of bacon on top of his. Yummo.

Preparing Bacon, Egg and Cheese biscuit muffins

Bacon, egg and cheese biscuit muffins

Chad's Gravy, bacon, egg and cheese biscuit muffin

The Recipe:

  • 2 packages biscuit dough mix (made according to directions)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/3 cup of shredded cheddar
  • 4 slices bacon
  • salt and pepper

Cook the bacon until it’s almost done. Chop into small bits and set aside.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together eggs and milk, a pinch of salt and some cracked pepper to taste and set aside. Meanwhile, roll out each biscuit until it’s slightly bigger than the circumference of your muffin tin. Grease the muffin tin with cooking spray and push one biscuit into each muffin cup being sure to push it all the way down and to the sides. Leave the ridge hanging over the edge. Divide the cheese evenly in each of the biscuit cups and then pour egg in, filling each cup only 1/2 way. They will look empty but resist the urge to top them off. You must account for the biscuits puffing up – otherwise you’ll have a mess on your hands. Sprinkle bacon atop of the egg and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until biscuits are golden and eggs are set. Use a butter knife to loosen each muffin and serve.

Creamy Buffalo Chicken Soup

Creamy Buffalo Chicken Soup

Since today’s weather was so cold and we got so much snow, it seemed fitting to have a  spicy soup for dinner. I wasn’t expecting this to be very good, since the only other time I’ve had a buffalo chicken soup was canned Campbell’s and it was terrible.  But holy cow, this was delicious!  The recipe called for 1/4 cup hot sauce, but it just about doubled that, you how I do.  It also called for blue cheese, but I think blue cheese is disgusting , so I left it out and threw on some chopped green onions instead.

Creamy Buffalo Chicken Soup

The Recipe:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced(I had a bag of shredded carrots, so I used those)
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce (more or less to taste)
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled(I left this out. Gross.)

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat, add the chicken and saute until browned, about 8-10 minutes.  Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute.  Mix in the flour and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add the chicken broth, hot sauce and potatoes, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, mix in the cream and blue cheese and remove from heat when the cheese has melted.

Crock Pot Roast Beef With Onions, Carrots And Cabbage

Crock Pot Roast Beef And Veggies

Last night’s dinner was super yummy. I made roast beef with onions, carrots and cabbage in the crock pot. I usually think of roast beef and veggies as being pretty plain, but this one has a ton of flavor. Yum. The originally recipe was supposed to have potatoes, but I didn’t have any, so I put in extra carrots.

Crock Pot Roast Beef With Onions, Carrots And Cabbage

The Recipe:

        • 2 lb roast( I used a beef shoulder)
        • 1 tablespoon salt(You may want to use less. My was pretty salty)
        • 1 tablespoon black pepper
        • 1 tablespoon Creole Seasoning( I used a store brand Chesapeake Bay style seasoning)
        • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
        • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and chunked(I left out the potatoes and used extra carrots)
        • 4 medium carrots, peeled and chunked
        • 1 large white onion, coarsely chopped
        • 1/4 head of green cabbage
        • 1 cup water or beef stock(I used beef broth)
        • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

 

Mix all seasonings together in small bowl, and rub on all sides of pot roast. Put pot roast in crock pot on HIGH. Drop in potatoes and carrots, water, and Worcestershire sauce. Cover the crock pot and leave on for 5 hrs.

After 5 hrs, put in the onion, and cabbage. Cook one more hour.

Quick And Easy Turkey Enchilada Soup

Quick And Easy Enchilada Soup

Last night I made this super easy soup for dinner. I wasn’t really sure if it was going to be very good since it’s mostly made from canned foods, but it was actually really good.  After I cooked the ground turkey, I put it in the Magic Bullet for a bit. I usually hate ground meats, and get pretty weirded out by chucks of it in soup. So this way I didn’t even notice it. 😛  I served mine with crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese and chopped green onions.  The husband scoffed when I told him we were having another soup night. He is not a big soup eater. But he really liked it too. And later in the night he ended up making nachos and used some of the soup as a topping. That was pretty good too. We ate them too fast to even have time to think about taking a picture of them. :( Oh well.

Quick And Easy Turkey Enchilada Soup

The Recipe:

  • 1 – 10 oz can red enchilada sauce
  • 1 – 10 oz can cheese Soup
  • 1 – 10 oz can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 – 6 oz can sweet corn kernels, drained
  • 6 oz canned black beans, drained
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons fajita seasoning
  • 3/4 cup Tortilla chips, crushed
  • chopped green onions, optional

 

In a skillet over medium heat, brown ground turkey in fajita seasoning.   In a large saucepan, add soups, enchilada sauce, water, milk, corn, black beans, and ground turkey and heat through over medium-low heat. Serve and top with crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese and green onions, or whatever topping you want. 😛

Spicy Grilled Thai Chicken and Creamy Parmesan Green Beans

Spicy Thai Grilled Chicken And Parmesan Green Beans

Yesterday I didn’t really have anything planned out for dinner. My mom had brought over a bag of fresh green been earlier this week and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with them. So I found an easy recipe that I had all the ingredients for.   I didn’t really know what to make to go with the green beans either. So I looked around the fridge and found the leftover dipping sauce from the Thai quesadillas that I made the other night. So I decided to marinate some chicken in that for a few hours and grill it.  Everything turned out really well. The beans were good, but could have used a little more flavor. But all in all, it was  a successful last minute thrown together dinner.

Spicy Grilled Thai Chicken and Creamy Parmesan Green Beans

Creamy Parmesan Cheese Green Beans

Spicy Thai Grilled Chicken

The Recipe:

Parmesan Green Beans

  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and snapped ( I may have had more than a pound, I’m not sure)

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

  • ground nutmeg

  • salt, to taste

  • ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

 

Bring a large pot of lightly-salted water to a boil; drop in the green beans and return to a boil. Cook uncovered until the beans are bright green and barely tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat; whisk the cream, 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, and nutmeg into the melted butter. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Gently stir the beans into the mixture to coat; season with salt and pepper. Return to a simmer, and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese to serve.

Spiced Cauliflower And Dumpling Soup

Spiced Cauliflower And Dumpling Soup

I made this for dinner last night and I loved it. The husband thought it was ok too, but he’s not a huge soup eater.  The flavor was really pretty simple, but with a bit of a spicy after bite. I only had about half as much paprika as it calls for, so I put in some extra cayenne and ground red pepper. So mine might have been a little spicier than it was supposed to be, but that’s how we like it.

Spiced Cauliflower And Dumpling Soup

The Recipe:

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Bit of freshly ground pepper
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp.  ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 small head cauliflower, large stem removed, cut into small florets
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced or diced

 

To make dumplings: In a small bowl, stir together the flour, salt and a bit of freshly ground pepper. Add 2 Tbsp. of the butter, and using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until pea-size crumbles form. Add egg, and stir until dough forms. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

In a large soup pot, heat the remaining 4 Tbsp. of butter over medium-high heat. Add paprika, cayenne and onion, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, cauliflower and carrots and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Using a 1/2-tsp. measuring spoon and working quickly, spoon out and drop all dumpling dough into simmering soup. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the dumplings are cooked through, about 3 minutes. At this point, you can do a taste test and add additional salt, if necessary. Add some additional cayenne, if needed, for a bit more heat.( Which you know I did)  😉