Monday, September 26, 2011

Pizza and Dessert

Hey again,

Well after a wonderful weekend we are getting down to the wire with Travis leaving and it is not fun in any way.  It is starting to sink in that we don't have much time left and how do you say goodbye to someone that is going off to war? It isn't goodbye, it is see you soon honey.  But we have a fun filled family weekend and just getting back now into the routine of things.  I wanted to share 2 recipes that looked delicious and easy.  I am no expert in any way on baking cookies. I always mess them up, just like chicken. But these are so easy I might just give it a try :)

Pizza "Pie"
1 lb. pizza dough
2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend
1 cup vodka sauce
2 oz. pepperoni sliced
1 egg, beaten

Grease 10 inch pie plate. Line with half of dough. Add cheese sauce and pepperoni.  Top with remaining dough, folding edges under; brush top with egg and cut 3 slits. Bake at 400* until golden, 35 minutes.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chunks

Beat first 4 ingredients in mixer.  Stir in chocolate.  Drop rounded tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart on 2 parchment-lined cookie sheets.  Bake at 350* for 10 minutes.  Let cool on pans. Makes 16

Monday, September 19, 2011

It has been way too long!

Well, I  feel like I haven't been on this thing in AGES and written anything or even put a thought into it. The truth, because I haven't. The blog has been one of the last things on my list but I definitely want to do it more often while Travis is gone. Where is he going? Hes deploying beginning of October to Afghanistan for 7 long months. We've gone through 2 deployments together but this is the first time being married and with a child. The separation is going to be hard but doable.  We have also been busy having my in-laws visit then Travis and I took our first vacation EVER alone with no family, no baby just the 2 of us venturing out on our own and I must say I think I did some pretty dang good planning!  I routed us all the way up to San Francisco with every stop we could in between. Don't worry we aren't making baby #2 yet. But next year that will change. Some of you also know Ive been losing weight, I'm down  65+ lbs now and it feels great. Makes me nervous to ever put it on again, even if I am pregnant. 

Here are 2 recipes I wanted to share.  One is from a delicious lunch we had in Big Sur and the other is a German recipe requested by my friend Breanna. I hope you enjoy :)

Cheeseburger Burrito:

Brown your ground beef with whatever you would usually season your burgers with. I use Lawry's Seasoning Salt and Pepper.  In the mean time, use frozen skinny french fries and I tossed them in salt in a bowl and put on baking rack and bake them.  Chop up pickles, lettuce, and tomatoes. When everything is cooked you will lay down a tortilla, your hamburger meat, french fries, shredded cheese, chopped pickles, lettuce and tomato and roll up.  In a dipping bowl on the side put ranch dressing to use.  I prefer to make my own with buttermilk, mayo and ranch packet.  This is delicious and filling!  if you cant eat a tortilla like me, i put everything in a bowl (without tortilla) and topped with the ranch dressing and ate it like a salad. Also delicious.


Turn oven on 350*. 

Ingredients: 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1 stick butter, half of a lemon (only use juice and its zest), 1 1/2 tb. milk, 2 tsp. baking powder......MIX TOGETHER TO MAKE DOUGH

Crisco your spring pan and spread your dough on the bottom

next take 3 apples and peel and seed them. you need to cut them in quarters then thinly slice them (less than a quarter inch thick). sprinkle them with cinnamon (don't overdue it). place in spring pan on top of dough as your "second layer". lay them out in circles to make a spiral effect. you can use any left over apples to fill in spaces.

in a separate bowl mix together 1 stick of butter, 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 2 tb. cooking oil, mix by hand not a mixer. it will make "crumbs" they shouldn't just be mushed together or big clumps. it should look like dippin dots just bigger, maybe chocolate chip size crumbs. this is your 3rd layer in the spring pan.

ok so you have dough, apples, and crumbs in your spring pan. cook on 350* for 45 minutes.  the top should be a light golden brown.  some ovens are obviously different than others so just watch it, dip a toothpick. we cooked ours longer because my grandma said from the moisture in the air?  i don't know, old German people what can you say :)  i hope you enjoy this cake. everyone always loves it over here. it goes great with coffee.

Friday, July 1, 2011

oh so sweet

Hi Everyone,
How's everyone doing?  It seems like sometimes I get so busy I don't get to keep up with everyone and lose track of time. Any plans for the 4th?  Not much going on here.  It has been so hot down here lately it makes you not want to do anything.  I will say we plan on doing some swimming and even lounging in Madison's pool in the front yard.  We aren't traveling this holiday.  It is crazy here on base. The city of Oceanside doesn't do fireworks so they do them on Del Mar beach which is 5 minutes away from us and everyone camps, rv's, tents, rents the cabanas and beach houses so say hello to bumper to bumper traffic!  I am making the slushy cocktail drink though since it was recommended and its ice cold.  I also decided not to cook anything hot this year due to the weather. So were doing cold cuts and cheese spread to make sandwiches, fruit, chips, simple cool finger foods to grab and snack.  Having the oven on is the last thing I want to do.  So I found two simple super easy very cute dessert ideas and I wanted to share. So here we go...

Rice Krispies Dipper Treats

Whipping up these summery goodies and popping them onto ice-cream sticks with your kids makes any summer day a little cooler.   

  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
  • - OR -
  • 4 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 6 cups Kellogg's® Rice Krispies® cereal
  • - OR -
  • 6 cups Kellogg's® Cocoa Krispies® cereal
  • 18 wooden ice cream sticks
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • - OR -
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate morsels
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Multi-colored sprinkles (optional)

1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add KELLOGG’S RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated.

2. Using buttered spatula or wax paper, evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into eighteen 3 x 2-inch bars. Push one stick into the bottom of each bar.

3. In small microwave-safe bowl combine chocolate morsels and oil. Microwave on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Dip bars into chocolate and decorate as you like. Place on wax paper lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until chocolate is set. Best if served the same day.

MICROWAVE DIRECTIONS: In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Follow steps 2 and 3 above. Microwave cooking times may vary.
Notes:For best results, use fresh marshmallows.

1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow crème can be substituted for marshmallows.

Diet, reduced calorie or tub margarine is not recommended.

Shortcut Shortcake:

  1. CHOP TO IT – Cut a 2-lb. store-bought pound cake into 16 1-inch pieces. Slice the stems off 32 strawberries.
  2. STICK ‘EM UP – Thread a piece of pound cake and two strawberries onto 16 six-inch skewers. (Cut off the pointy end of the skewer if serving to young kids.)
  3. LICK THE BOWL – Make your own whipped cream by combining 1 cup heavy cream and 2 Tbs. sugar in a bowl. Whip with a hand mixer until soft peaks form. Gently fold in 2 tsp. vanilla extract. (For best results, use a metal bowl that has sat in the refrigerator/freezer for about 15-20 minutes.)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

a tough one to please

Hi Everyone,
These blogs are getting farther and farther apart. I feel like such a lagger! haha. Well tonight I tried a recipe that I got when I had a pampered chef party and it was good at the party so I made it for dinner and I liked it, which is really weird, but Travis and Madison didn't want anything to do with it.  Travis said it reminded him of El Torito which he hates, I didn't get that from it. So I hope you enjoy the following recipes. 

On another note, I made the carnitas from a previous recipe and NO BUENO!  Again, Travis liked it and I hated it.  It did not look like it did in the picture. It seemed too watery and meat grosses me out. Big chunks of it.  So when i was pulling the fat off and pulling it off the bone I had to stop. I couldn't do it anymore.  But feel free to try :)

Pampered Chef Chicken Enchilada Ring


1 can cooked chicken chopped

4 oz. can chopped pitted olives

1 cup Monterey Jack/cheddar cheese blend

4 oz. can chopped green chilies

½ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Pampered Chef's Southwestern Seasoning Mix (or taco seasoning)

1 garlic cloves, minced

2 plum tomatoes

1 lime

2/3 cup finely crushed tortilla chips, divided

2 tubes refrigerated crescent rolls (dough)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix chopped chicken, olives, cheese, green chilies, mayonnaise, seasoning mix and garlic in a bowl. Seed and chop tomato. Add chopped tomato and lime juice to chicken mixture. Mix well.

Separate dough into triangles along perforations. Arrange triangles in a circle on a 13-inch baking stone. Wide ends should overlap in the center, and points should be toward the outside. There should be a 5-inch diameter opening in the center.

Scoop chicken mixture onto the wide ends of the triangles. Bring points of the triangles up over the filling and tuck under the wide ends of the dough. Do not cover filling completely. It should show in between each triangle.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. (I only cooked mine for 17 min so just watch how fast your oven cooks)

The Pampered Chef ®Mexican Cheese Crisps with Avocado Recipe

1/2 8-oz (250-g) block (5 1/2 x 2 in./14 x 5 cm) Colby & Monterey Jack or marble cheese blend
1-2 limes, divided
2 oz (60 g) cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp (15 mL) mayonnaise
1 tsp (5 mL) Southwestern Seasoning Mix
1 plum tomato
2 ripe medium avocados
1 cup (250 mL) loosely packed fresh cilantro
1/4 cup (50 mL) finely chopped red onion
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) Coarsely ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line Large Round Stone with Handles with Parchment Paper. Cut cheese block crosswise into twelve 1/4-in. (6-mm) slices with Santoku Knife. Cut each slice in half, creating two squares; arrange 2 in. (5 cm) apart on baking stone. Bake 14–17 minutes or until cheese appears lacy and golden brown. Remove baking stone from oven. Cool crisps 1 minute on baking stone. Remove crisps to Stackable Cooling Rack with Mini-Serving Spatula; cool completely.
  2. Meanwhile, for topping, juice limes with Citrus Press to measure 1 1/2 tbsp (22 mL). Combine 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) of the juice, cream cheese, mayonnaise and seasoning mix in (2-cup/500-mL) Prep Bowl; whisk until smooth with Stainless Mini Whisk. Spoon topping into small resealable plastic bag; secure bag and set aside.
  3. Seed and dice tomato using Utility Knife; set aside. Peel and remove pits from avocados usingAvocado Peeler. Coarsely chop cilantro and finely chop onion with Food Chopper. Add avocado, cilantro, onion, remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) lime juice, salt and black pepper to Stainless (2-qt./2-L) Mixing Bowl; mash until well blended using Mix ‘N Masher. Place scant Small Scoop of avocado mixture onto each crisp. Trim corner of bag filled with topping using Professional Shears; drizzle over avocado mixture. Garnish with diced tomato.

Yield: 24 appetizers

Obviously this uses all Pampered Chef products. You can use anything you have at home that works.  These were really good! I'm not an avocado fan so i didn't smother it all over the crisp but they were good, even with avocado :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Couple Of Slooooooooow Cookers!

Hey Peeps,
Honestly tonight is the first night I have felt normal and happy and good enough to blog.  I'm not sure if its all the drama in my life or me not getting a good nights sleep or what not but I feel like I have no energy some days. So tonight, things are good. I am happy with what I have right in front of me and thankful.  I love my husband and babes, and my bff support system!  Tonight I wanted to post a couple of slow cooker recipes.  A dip and a recipe for carnitas.  I LOVE the dip. It is always a hit at every party I make it for. It makes a lot though so obviously you could cut it in half for just a couple-few people.  And the carnitas was on the list for the grocery store today so I will be trying it this week :)  So here we go.....

Sander's Dip
4 blocks of cream cheese
1 can of corn drained
1 sm can diced green chilies
1 jar jalapenos drained
2 cans cream of chicken
1 large can of chicken

heat everything together in the crock pot until creamy and mixed together and serve hot with tortilla chips.  you and your guests will love it! the best ever. you can save/refrigerate the rest and heat in the microwave no problem.  it will take a couple of hours in the crock pot so prepare properly.

Slow-Cooked Carnitas
Servings: 12
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 6 hours



  • Cut roast in half; place in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Sprinkle with garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Add the onions, cilantro, salsa, broth, tequila and chilies. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.
  • Remove meat; cool slightly. Shred with two forks and return to the slow cooker; heat through. Spoon about 2/3 cup meat mixture onto each tortilla; serve with toppings of your choice.

  • 1 boneless pork shoulder butt roast (3 to 4 pounds)
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup tequila or additional chicken broth
  • 2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies
  • 12 flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, sliced red onion and chopped tomatoes, optional

Friday, June 17, 2011

Chocolate Craving On A Friday Night

Hi Everyone,
It's Friday night and I am already in bed! We don't ever go out but I am literally already in bed.  I attempted to start making hair flowers and hair bows and once I start I never want to quit! But I overdid it tonight and killed my back sitting there for hours.  So in bed, with a heating pad, took 2 vicodin, and a bowl of rocky road ice cream.  I wanted to post a cake tonight that looks DELICIOUS! I think I am going to make it for Father's Day.  Speaking of which, what are you planning to do for Father's Day for your husband or dad?  We don't have much planned; just church and meet my parents at Pechanga for lunch; but it should be a good day.  So here is your yummy cake and dig in!

Almond Joy Layer Cake
Serves: 12
Prep: 50 minutes plus chilling
Bake: 35 minutes

**Reading through the steps you can replace half the items with chocolate cake in a box and icing in a can**

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

  • 3 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped (about 1/2 cup)

  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar

  • 4 tsp. pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp. salt plus a big pinch

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 1/2 cups flour

  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

  • 1 tsp. baking soda

  • 1 bag (14 oz.) sweetened shredded coconut (4 packed cups)

  • 2 cups sliced almonds

  • 3 cups heavy cream

  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter two 8-inch-by-2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment and butter the parchment.
    2. In a medium saucepan, bring 2/3 cup water to a boil. Whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Whisk in the butter and chocolate over low heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 2 tsp. vanilla and 1/2 tsp. salt. Whisk in 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition.
    3. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Pour in the chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in 1 packed cup coconut. Divide the batter between the pans and bake in the lower third of the oven for 35 minutes or until firm in the center. Let cool in the pans on racks for 10 minutes, then invert onto racks to cool completely.
    4. While the cake cools, spread the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 12 minutes; let cool.
    5. In a saucepan, combine 3/4 cup cream, the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar and pinch salt and simmer, stirring, over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tsp. vanilla and 3 packed cups coconut. When cool, fold in 1 1/2 cups almonds.
    6. Split the cake layers to make 4 layers. Place 1 layer cut side up on a cake stand and spread with 1 cup of the coconut-almond mixture. Top with the second layer cut side down and spread with 1 cup more of the mixture. Repeat with the remaining 2 cake layers and filling, spreading the filling on the top. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours to firm up.
    7. Whip the remaining 2 1/4 cups cream with the confectioners’ sugar until stiff. Spread over the cake. Sprinkle the top with the remaining almonds.

    Here are some of the flowers I made, there's more but just a preview:

    I made this for my mom out of fabric.  The pattern reminded me of her



    mid-size flowers

    mini flowers


    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    Holy Guacamole!!

    Hi Everyone,
    Sorry I haven't been posting the last few days. The weekends are crazy busy and some nights I am just so dang tired. So I wanted to post a few recipes tonight.  I have also been informed that the "Lime Slush Cocktail" from the very first post, is a hit! With the girls and guys haha.  So I am definitely up for making it.  I also have been googling, youtube'ing, etc how to make hair bows and flowers just to kill some time.  Maybe as a new hobby for me.  So if they turn out as cute as they do in my head I will post some pics.  So here we go....

    Basic Guacamole:
    Serves: 6
    Prep: 15 minutes

    4 Haas Avocados (about 7 oz each)
    1 Serrano Chile, stemmed and minced
    1 Small Clove Garlic, minced (optional)
    2 tbsp. Finely Chopped White Onion
    2 tbsp. Finely Chopped Seeded Tomato
    2 tbsp. Chopped Cilantro, plus more for garnish
    2-3 tsp. Fresh Lime Juice, plus 1 lime cute into wedges
    1/2 tsp. Salt, plus more to taste
    1 bag of Delicious Tortilla Chips

    1) In a medium bowl, mash the avocado flesh with a fork until somewhat chunky (not smooth).  One at a time, gently stir in the chile, garlic, onion, tomato, cilantro, lime juice and salt.  Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface and let sit for about 2 hours to allow the flavors to develop.
    2) Season with salt to taste (remember that tortilla chips are salty).  Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl, garnish with a sprinkle of cilantro and serve with lime wedges and tortilla chips.

    Make A Guacamole Min-In Party: (Perfect for a finger food or appetizer party.  Separate each ingredient and let each person make their own)

    Get Started:
    Dish up some avocado and lime juice mash

    Heat it up:
    Stir in a little seasoning, such as cayenne, ground cumin, minced garlic and chopped chiles

    Sweeten the mix:
    Add chopped tomatoes, tomatillos, onions and bell peppers, plus corn kernels and beans

    Cool it:
    Calm everything down with dairy: cubed jack cheese and swirls of sour cream or plain yogurt

    Taste it:
    Sample your mix to see if it needs a little salt or pepper: garnish with chopped fresh herbs, such as cilantro

    Dig in:
    Pick up a handful of tortilla chips and other dippers, take it all to your seat and enjoy!

    Stuffed Potatoes:

    4 Medium Yukon Gold Potatoes
    Salt and Pepper
    1 1/4 cup Sour Cream
    1/4 snipped Chives
    Cheese (optional)

    1) Wrap potatoes individually in foil.  Cook on covered grill over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until fork-tender, 45 minutes.
    2) Unwrap and grill, turning, until skin is crispy in spots, 2-4 minutes.
    3) Cut a pocket-like split down the middle, season with salt and pepper, dollop with sour cream and sprinkle with chives and cheese

    Carrot Cake Parfait:
    Considered healthy eating for kids also!
    Serves: 1

    1 6-oz. container Low-Fat Vanilla Yogurt
    2 tbs. Shredded Carrot
    1 tbs. Raisins
    1 tbs. chopped or ground Walnuts
    Honey (optional)
    Ground Cinnamon

    1)Spoon about 1/3 of the yogurt into a 6-8 oz. glass.
    2) Sprinkle carrots over yogurt and cover with another 1/3 of the yogurt.
    3) Top with raisins and then remaining yogurt.
    4) Garnish with walnuts (grind them up for kids under 4), a squirt of honey, and cinnamon

    Fun Facts:
    Carrots are good for Vitamin A (encourages growth), Vitamin K (helps heal bruises), Lutein and Zeaxanthin (promotes healthy eyes)