Monday, October 28, 2013

Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings

Hey blog readers!! Can you believe that October is almost over?? I feel like yesterday was New Year's. October has been a great month. The weather was perfect. I am LOVING being in Labor and Delivery/C-Section team. Chris and I were able to go see my fam jam and walk around the quad at UA. Fertility is moving along. No positive tests yet, but God is faithful :)

ANYWAYS....onto the reason for the blog.....Chris and I lead a Lifegroup on Thursdays called "Before I do." My director is incredible and allowed me to be off on Thursdays so that I could attend. Well, since I'm off why wouldn't I cook dinner for my precious couples, right? For the past 6 weeks, I made 5 meals that I have made before and one week one of the couples made homemade spaghetti. It was incredible!!

Last Thursday, I couldn't think of what I wanted to make, but I knew I wanted to do something that I hadn't made before. Where did I search? Pinterest of course!!

I came across the recipe for the Crock pot Chicken and Dumplings here on Bubblecrumb's blog.

VERY easy! Are you ready?

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 TBSP butter
1 can of chicken broth(I used 1 cup of the chicken broth that I had in stock)
1 onion diced(I used minced onion)
1 TBSP dried Parsley
4 Grands flaky biscuits

Place the chicken in the bottom of the Crock pot. Put the butter on top. Next, put the 2 cans of soup, broth,onion, and parsley in a bowl and mix together. Pour over chicken and cook on high for 4 hours. After the time is up, take the chicken out and shred it. Once shredded, put chicken back into Crock pot and stir. Cut each biscuit into 9-10 pieces and put into Crock pot and stir. Crock pot needs to be on high for another 30 minutes. After the time has elapsed, it is time for dinner!!

We fed 6 adults comfortably with this recipe, and I have to admit, I wanted to make it again the next night.

Next time, I think I am going to add in some veggies. What would you add?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Have you really thought about how blessed we all are?  I was sent an article today to read. From the title, you would think that you would be getting tips on how to have a hot body. What it really talked about was blessings and tips to accept them. One of them was to stop wallowing in the pity and another was listening to lies. When satan comes in like a lion looking for prey, he spares nothing.  We are so much bigger than our fears and failures because God is on our side. Brothers and sisters, do not let your joy be stolen.

In life, we will have joys and sadness, but all of these are blessings. Chris said to me one time,"Instead of asking God why? Ask what? What are you trying to show me? What are you trying to teach me?"

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Having the Cake and Eating It Too

Who doesn't want to have their own cake and eat it too? I know I do! I am an icing queen. My husband, not so much. Another quality in our relationship that I love so much. I get ALL of the icing, and he can have the cake.

I recently started making my own cake recently. Vanilla is all that I have progressed to, but if it's what people are happy with, why change?

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup heavy cream w/ 1/2 cup water

Mix butter and sugar together on medium until fluffy. Then, add eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, add the flour, salt, and baking powder together. Next, add 1/2 flour mixture. After that is thoroughly mixed, add in the heavy cream, then the last 1/2 of the flour mixture. Grease 2 cake pans, and separate the batter evenly.

Bake on 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick is removed clean.

Cool, remove from pans, and ice!

Here's the buttercream recipe:
2 sticks butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 tbsp cream
4-5 cups powdered sugar

Whip butter on medium until fluffy. Then add the vanilla and cream. Once mixed, cup by cup add the powdered sugar. 

Here's some pictures of cakes I have recently done:

Fourth of July Cake

Cake for my sweet co-worker for her June birthday

Cookie cake pie

The last one, I haven't made in a while, and it is AWESOME!! Click here for the recipe for Cookie Cake Pie.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Easy Banana Bread

One of the best fruits to have around the house is bananas. They are great before a workout to provide extra energy and control blood sugar. I just happen to be really picky with my bananas. I prefer to have them more on the green side. Chris likes his more ripe. So when they become extra ripe, what else to do than make banana bread?

I found a recipe last year that I used to make banana bread. Chris and I were looking for a healthier recipe, and we found one using applesauce. A huge thank you to My Thoughts for Thought for this recipe:

3 Bananas
1 Cup of Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup of Applesauce
2 Cups of Flour
1 TSP of Baking Soda
1/2 TSP of Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In one bowl, mash bananas, and then add the sugar, eggs, and applesauce. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking soda. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Once thoroughly mixed, pour into 2 greased bread pans. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick is removed clean.

I have LOVED this new recipe. I hope you all do too!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sweet July

I was recently told that I needed to blog again. I got onto my site and realized that I hadn't blogged in almost a month! I am so sorry, followers! All of that is about to change. July 1, I had an appointment to go to, and my best friend went with me. After the early morning appointment, we went to multiple stores to site see. Of course we had to go to Hobby Lobby. While there, we were looking at all of the wall decor that was one sale, and I found goodies to help kick off my Parisian Cafe theme kitchen.

How cute is this! I am still in love after having it almost 2 weeks. The utensils were not on sale that week, but I got a huge deal on the picture. It was originally around $80.

With the 4th of July just a couple days away from that shopping trip, I knew I was about to spend more money(which I do best) on ingredients to use to make something yummy for a family cookout. What better than a red,white, and blue cake?

Here we go!

For the cake:
White or French Vanilla cake mix(I used #2)
plus all the ingredients on the box
red and blue food coloring

Preheat oven to 325 and grease 2 cake pans.
Mix cake mix, eggs, oil, and water on medium for 2 minutes.
Split batter between 3 bowls.
Mix 1/3 with several drops of red food coloring until desired shade of red is reached.
Repeat another 1/3 with the blue food coloring.
Leave the last 1/3 batter white.

Now the tedious part. You will need 3 teaspoons. To make the zebra stripe print in the cake, you cake 2 teaspoons of one color batter and place it in the middle of the cake pan. Then, add 2 teaspoons of another color in the center of the first color. You alternate each color and continue this process until the batter is even in both pans. Basically it looks like layered circles. Bake your 2 cake pans for around 28 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted in the middle and removed clean. Remove from pans and allow to cool.
For my homemade buttercream icing
2 sticks butter softened
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 tbsp whipping cream
4-5 cups powdered sugar

*Red and Blue food coloring to tint icing*

Whip butter until fluffy.
Add in the vanilla and 1 tbsp whipping cream.
Next add in cup by cup of powdered sugar.
Between cup 2 and 3, add in another tbsp whipping cream.
Separate icing into thirds.
Tint icing with food coloring just like we did the cake batter.

I used Wilton piping bags and the big circle tip(because my star tip magically disappeared) to pipe the icing onto the cake.

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th celebrating our freedom and honoring those that fought so hard for us to have the freedom that we have today. Without them, and God leading them, we would have completely different lives.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

S'more Casserole

Today is a VERY special day. 2 years ago, I walked down the aisle to my forever and became a Mrs. It was the best day of my life and each day only continues to get better. I have been extremely blessed with my husband and his family to now call my own.

Also, today the girls wanted to do a salad/casserole day at work. Since I didn't work, I still agreed to make something. The question was what to make. I knew I had chocolate chunks, giant marshmallows, and Oreos, so as my mind continued to run all I really needed was graham crackers. Chris could totally get those on his way home, right? Right!

Crushed graham crackers(I used a sleeve and a half)
1 bag chocolate chunk chips
1/2 cup butter melted

Now, remember that you can be creative with this. You don't have to follow my recipe exactly. Have fun with it!
I used a disposable metal pan for this. Preheat oven to 350. Crush graham crackers and place in bottom of pan. Then, pour melted butter over and mix into the crumbs to create a crust. Place Oreos on top. Then, cut marshallows in thirds and spread across Oreos. Top with the chocolate chunks, and lastly, cut more marshmallows in half and spread them across the chocolate chunks. Toss sprinkles over the top and bake for 10-12 minutes. Then turn on the broiler for 30 seconds to turn the marshmallows golden.

I know this is best served right out of the oven. MMMM!!!!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Zebra Baby Shower Cake

Happy Saturday everyone!

This week I got to make a new recipe, and I have to admit I was pretty nervous about it. I am such a perfectionist, and so when I agreed to make a cake for our charge nurse's surprise baby shower, I knew I had to make something impressive, tasty, and it had to be perfect. Originally, I had seen a pin on Pinterest of making cake balls, and then baking them in cake batter. When you cut the cake, you would see different colored balls. But I had a change of heart on Tuesday(2 days before the shower). I had also seen a post somewhere of making a zebra stripe or rainbow layer cake.

I searched the internet, and it turns out that it is really easy to make. Are you ready?

Ingredients for the cake:
1 box white cake mix(I used vanilla) & ingredients used to make it

Make cake mix according to box. Now, since I wanted to do white and baby blue I halved my batter, but if you want to do more colors separate the batter based on how many different colors you want to use. Spray your cake rounds with non-stick spray and then flour the inside of them.

This next process will take a while, but it is worth it for the outcome. Take 2 tbsp of the first color and put it in the middle of the cake rounds. Next, place 2 tbsp of the next color in the center of the first color. Keep the process going until you are out of batter. This process took me about 35 minutes, and the batter will eventually spread out over the entire bottom of the baking rounds.

Please ignore that it's sideways. I can't get it to turn  
This is how your cake will look when you finish laying the batter. Bake the cake according to box directions. Mine was perfect at 28 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove cakes from pans and allow to cool completely. While it is cooling, you will have time to make your frosting.

Ingredients for homemade buttercream icing:
2 sticks butter softened
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
3-4 cups powdered sugar

Mix butter on medium until it is whipped and fluffy. Next add vanilla and 1 tbsp whipping cream. After mixing thoroughly, add cup by cup of powdered sugar until you are satisfied with the texture. I added another tbsp of whipping cream between cups 3 and 4 to thin the icing out just a tad. Now you are ready to frost!

After frosting the cake, I had more icing left over, so I added blue food coloring until I was satisfied with the color. Then I used my Wilton decorating tips and bag to add the finishing touches.

I was very pleased with the outcome, and I was praying that it was going to be delicious the next day.

I put the cake in the refrigerator overnight, and at 0640, the cake was in the Women's and Children's classroom ready for our surprise later that day. Our charge nurse was back from her ultrasound about 12, and the floor was buzzing with excitement. We enjoyed a nice lunch with homemade salsa, buffalo chicken dip, fruit, cocktail weenies, croissants, homemade chicken salad, homemade dessert tortilla chips, fresh punch, and probably a couple of other items I can't remember. Our expectant mother was showered with lots of adorable gifts and love from fellow employees, and we were all excited to be a part of her big day. Now all we have to do is wait for our little love to arrive!

The inside of the cake(and the last slice)

I hope you all enjoy this fun idea. What colors will you use?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Make You Loco Coconut Cake

I had this cake a couple of months ago, and I was in heaven! There will be days when I will crave this cake. I hope you all do too :)

Chris and I lead a Supper Club lifegroup on Wednesday nights. One of the ladies that comes made this delicious cake. Last night after I got off of work, we were meeting at Connie and Johnny's house. While the men talked about fishing, the ladies discussed recipes. I HAD to have the coconut recipe, and Connie spilled the beans!!  The secret: letting the cake sit overnight. So of course Chris had to take me to Publix to get the ingredients to make it last night. No I did not stay up all night making a cake :D

1 box cake mix(Connie used Funfetti the first time. I decided to have a coconut overload. So coconut was my pick). You also need all the ingredients to make the cake
1 larger can of cream of coconut. I believe its $2.69 at Publix
1 medium sized Cool Whip thawed
Shredded coconut

Preheat oven and prepare cake batter according to box. Bake cake. As soon as the cake is complete, pour the can of cream of coconut on top. Let this soak up all night. Spread cool whip over entire cake. I had about a 1/4 inch layer. Sprinkle as much shredded coconut on top as your heart desires.

MMMMM!!! Hello, morning snack

Now, as you can see, I am missing my back half of this piece. Well, that piece actually was already in my tummy because of all of the cream of coconut that was absorbed.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes/Weekend Getaway

The last couple of days have been amazing! Hopefully good news coming from an OBGYN appt on Friday(I have a follow-up on the 23rd. It's always been a dream of mine to be a mom and we're having some issues. I hope to find out what those are when I go back.) After the appointment was over and I had lots of blood drawn, Chris whisked me away to Chattanooga for a weekend getaway. When we got there Friday afternoon, we checked into our bed and breakfast, The Garden Walk Inn. After getting settled, we headed to Ruby Falls. The exhibit was okay. Both of us agreed, the best parts were learning about the history of it and seeing the actual waterfall. My goodness, it was gorgeous!

Before we left on the trip, I researched places to eat. One of the places I came across was The Acropolis Grill. They bring you fresh bread and homemade cinnamon butter to begin with. I ordered their Caesar salad with homemade dressing, and Chris had their potato soup. For the entree, I had their Farmer's Pie. He had their lamb gyros. Both were delicious! I could eat there every single meal. Dessert was a little different. I had their sugar free Strawberry Patch cake, and Chris had their Tiramisu. His dessert had too much coffee on top. It was definitely not the best one we have ever had. If that was the only bad thing-who cares.

Saturday morning we woke up in time for breakfast which included bacon, cinnamon chocolate chip pancakes, orange juice, and coffee. One word to describe it: heavenly. The room was full of windows and you could watch the squirrels in the garden, observe the beautiful flowers and greens, and admire the vintage furniture. The owners came by the tables and made sure that you were thoroughly taken care of and satisfied. With breakfast as good as that, how can you not be :) After breakfast, we headed into downtown to the Tennessee Aquarium. I knew that it was voted one of the best, so I was super excited! We went through it in about 3 hours, and it was a lot of fun. We both love to learn and observe, so it was like nerd heaven. Outside of the aquarium, there were lots of venders. We had to get goodies to bring home. I am so excited to wear my new badge holder to work tomorrow!! Across the street from the aquarium is Ben and Jerry's. Being an ice cream lover and ALWAYS having it in my freezer growing up, we had to go. The girl behind the counter was awesome! She explained all of the flavors to us, and let us try a sample before choosing anything. It's the little things that make me happy :) After that we went back up Lookout Mountain to Rock City. I was a little unsure. What's so cool about rocks? Boy was I wrong! The scenery was beautiful, and the designers were very creative in the landscaping. We went to Lover's Leap and learned about it's history. Basically it was a Romeo and Juliet story with 2 Native Americans. In one of the trails, there was Fairyland Caverns, and it was full of black lights with sculptures of Mother Goose tales. It was very cool! We had free wine tasting later in our journey through, and Chris got a new leather hat. He's stoked about it.

For dinner, we went to Sing It or Wing It. The menu items are named after famous singers. I thought it was precious. Before 9PM, any age can be in there. If you want to sing karaoke, you pick a song from the binder, give it and your name to the dj, and when its your turn, rock it out. Chris and I didn't sing, but we had so much fun watching everyone else. An older woman got up there and sang Prince's song "You Don't Have to be Rich." Of course she danced with it too, and she was amazing!! I hope after we left she sang more. We went back to Acropolis just to get dessert to go(they have a dessert fridge in the front of the restaurant) and came back to the bed and breakfast. Sunday morning, we got showered and packed and headed to breakfast for the last time. This time, we had a peach french toast bake and sausage. It was slap yo' momma good! I hated to leave, but we had so much fun. I am definitely married to an incredible man. He planned all of this and did an amazing job. I love investing in our marriage.

Here's a couple pictures:

The Lover's Leap Waterfall
My precious hubs and me
Moonshinin' gnomes

The beginning of Fairyland Caverns. There is an actual neighborhood on Lookout Mountain called Fairyland and the street names are fairytale characters i.e. Cinderella, Aladdin, Snow Ride, and Red Riding Hood.

 I had an off day yesterday, and while trying to plan meals, I came across stuffed sweet potatoes. There's the new staple in your kitchen.

4 medium sized sweet potatoes
1 can black beans washed and drained
1 cup corn-I used fresh corn that I cut off of the cob(4 half ears)
cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash potatoes and with a knife, poke small holes. Place on baking sheet and bake in oven for an hour. While they are baking, wash and drain the black beans and put them in a mixing bowl. Next, place paper towels in your microwave and put the corn on top. Microwave for 8 minutes. Remove from microwave and let cool. This helps the shuck and strings to come off easier. Once removed, cut the corn off of 2 ears and place in bowl with beans. I didn't measure my spices. I just added until I got the flavor just right.(Everyone has their preferences.) Mix all of the ingredients together. When the sweet potatoes are soft, they can be removed from the oven. Slice and open them like you would a baked potato. Add the corn/bean filling and top with cheese.

It's easy, delicious, healthy, and very filling! I hope you all enjoy this recipe. What different ingredients will you use?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Lawdy Lawdy

I have made so many new recipes lately that it is hard to keep up. So today I say "Who says you can't have cake for breakfast?"

Yesterday was my day off, and boy was it a lovely day to have off. I got to have breakfast with the hubs and our fur babies. I worked out some, went to Wally World for some ingredients, stopped by Hobby Lobby for some material, and went to Hartselle to my MIL's house to make pillow covers. I have to admit I do have a sewing machine that I got from her but I am terrified of it. I am so scared that I'm going to sew my fingers in it. Confession: I sewed 2 pillows and I came out with all 10 fingers attached and unpricked.

My new pillows!
While I was at her house, we made Paula Deen's Lazy Man's Dessert. I saw it on Food Network last week and thought it was time for a try.

1 can crushed pineapple
1 can pie filling-she used blueberry. I used blackberry
1 box Butter cake mix
3/4 cup melted butter
crushed nuts(optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray casserole dish with non-stick spray. Pour pineapple, juice and all, into the pan. Layer pie filling on the top. Then, spread the dry cake mix over the filling evenly. Drizzle the melted butter over the entire mix. Lastly, top with crushed nuts. Bake for 40-50 minuted or until the middle of the cake mix is cooked. Remove from the oven and enjoy immediately! This is a dessert from Heaven, and it's EASY!! 

So, when I came home yesterday I had an idea. I had a can of pumpkin and a spice cake mix in  my pantry. We all know how well those go together. Since I am on call right now, I figured I would give this recipe a shot.

1 large can of pumpkin
1 box spice cake mix
3/.4 cup butter
almond milk-<1/4 cup
crushed nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray casserole dish with non-stick spray. Pour pumpkin into the casserole dish and pour almond milk into the pumpkin ad stir. I added enough almond milk to thin the pumpkin out. You want the texture to be slightly liquid. Top with the dry spice cake mix. Pour the melted butter on top. Sprinkle crushed nuts over the butter, and bake for 40-45 minutes. Oh my goodness! This one was delicious too!!

  Pumpkin lover's unite!!

I hope you all enjoy these new recipes!! What combinations will you try?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

3 in one deal

Happy Saturday, my blog followers!!
My first day off yesterday was wonderful. Chris and I got up and had coffee together-its the little things-and talked about how much Good Friday meant to us. I remember in high school my church would have a mid-day service that I would attend. Sometimes we get so caught up in  our own lives that we forget what a huge sacrifice was made for all of us. Tomorrow we celebrate a risen King.  Death has lost its sting. When we die, we don't have to be afraid because we will soon see our Savior.

For our first recipe, I'm going to share my Butterfinger cake. I made this last Friday for my church's Eggstravaganza cake walk on Saturday. I totally forgot to take a final picture though. So please forgive me :)

1 cake box mix(I used Butter Pecan)
2 bags mini Butterfingers
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tsp vanilla
1 8oz cream cheese
1 stick butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare box cake mix as directed. Once mixed thoroughly, crush around 20 Butterfingers and stir into cake mix. Separate between 2 greased cake pans and bake according to box. The cake is complete when a toothpick is inserted and removed clean.

Let cake cool completely. While it is cooling, you can mix together the icing. Cream softened stick of butter and cream cheese together in a mixer. Once fluffy, add in vanilla extract. Mix. Slowly add in the powdered sugar cup by cup. Crush 18 Butterfingers and fold into icing.

You are now ready to ice your cake! Be generous with your icing, and be creative. I decorated the edges and center of my cake with the leftover Butterfinger pieces. I hope you all enjoy this recipe. There is always a first and I believe always a way to improve. Next time, instead of cream cheese, I'm going to use peanut butter.

Recipe #2
Spaghetti Squash bake

I found this idea on Pinterest, and I thought that I would try to expand on it a little more. 
2 medium Spaghetti Squash
2 medium yellow-orange tomatoes(or of choice)-slice
Ground pepper
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese 
1 jar marinara(I used Publix garden medley)

Preheat oven to 350, and grease a casserole dish. Take both spaghetti squash and poke holes all over. Place one in the microwave for 5 minutes. Remove. While that one is cooling, place the other one in the microwave. While #2 is cooling, cut #1 in half and scrape out the pulp and seeds from the middle. Here comes the fun part! Using a fork scrape the inside out.  The inside starts to string and look like spaghetti noodles. Use about half as the bottom layer. Place tomato slices on top. Sprinkle pepper. Pour enough marinara to cover and top with 1/3 mozzarella and as much Parmesan as your desire. Layer until you have used all of your squash. Top with marinara and cheese. Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes. 

Recipe #3 
Easter Bark

This recipe is very easy, and you can do it at any time of the year. All you have to do is use ingredients with colors that coordinate to the holiday/event. 

2 boxes White chocolate squares or 1 large Almond bark
1 box Oreos-regular or Spring
1 bag Pretzel m&ms-Pastel colors
1 bag Reese eggs-Pastel colors
1 container spring colored sprinkles

Break 1 1/2 sleeves or oreos. Place the M&M's and Reese's into a bowl separately. This way you  are prepared for when you melt the chocolate.

Put 1 box of chocolate into the microwave for one minute. Remove and stir. Place back into microwave and heat for 30 seconds. Remove and stir. Pour 2/3 onto wax paper and use knife to thin out a layer. Sprinkle candy, Oreos, and sprinkles over chocolate. Using a fork, drizzle remaining chocolate over the candy so that it melds together. Repeat until you have used all of the chocolate. Place into refrigerator until hardened. Break into pieces and you're finished! Easy, quick, and delicious!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

2 Good for Just 1

What a beautiful day today is! I am always amazed at how beautiful our world is. Small purple flowers in the grass. Bold pink bulbs on tree limbs. Birds singing a happy song. Can it get any better?

Last week, I wanted to make something that everyone could enjoy as a treat and not worry about. Last summer, I came across a recipe for a weight watchers pie. It was around my Nanny's birthday, and her favorite pie is key lime. It was perfectly delectable. Since I love easy recipes, I knew this pie would be a great idea.

When I was going through the recipe last year, I didn't know exactly how much yogurt I needed. I got one of the key lime 6 packs,and used 4.

Last week, I made strawberry key lime. My goodness! It was refreshingly light and creamy. Did I mention easy?

2 containers fat free light strawberry yogurt
2 containers fat free light key lime yogurt
1 container medium sized fat free/lite cool whip
2 lite Keebler graham cracker crusts
In a large bowl, mix together softened cool whip and yogurt. Once creamed together, half the mixture and put into the pie crusts. Place tops onto crusts, seal, and place in freezer to set for around 4 hours.
YUM!!! You can interchange the yogurt with any flavors you want. A recipe cannot get much better than this. I hope you all enjoy! What flavors will you use?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

With A Little Help From Our Friends Part 2

I met one of the sweetest people in the world last year, and we had the pleasure of having her and her two children over for dinner a couple weeks after we moved in. Chris and I were wanting to have her paint some pieces for our new home, and who better than a precious friend? Since that night, she has been working on our little creations. This past Friday, we got the first one.

How gorgeous is this painting? I honestly could not stop going into my dining room because I was in awe with how beautiful and perfect it all looks together. 

...Back to Saturday. So, while all of the chaos of getting showers and cleaning the house is going on, I'm trying to decide how we are going to get everything ready in time. Then I realized, if we are still baking something when company gets here, then we are still baking. There is nothing wrong with a hot dish coming out of the oven, especially when its called Hot Cheesy Bean Dip. 

Here's the recipe I got from My Life as a Mrs

1 8oz cream cheese
1 jar of salsa(we used the 15oz Publix brand of Black bean and corn salsa)
1 can Bush's Chili starter beans
1 1/2 cups cheese(we used 2% Mexican)
1 bag of tortilla chips(Scoops are the best)

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray. Spread softened cream cheese in bottom of dish. Drain the can of beans but do not drain. Put beans and salsa on top of cream cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges are bubbling. Remove dish from the oven and top with cheese. Bake another 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Recipe Numero Dos: Rattlesnake Bites from Taste of Home

1 lb lean ground beef or turkey
1 8oz cream cheese softened
4oz chopped green chilies
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
3 tubes Pillsbury crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 375. Brown beef in skillet. While meat is cooking, mix cream cheese, spices, and chilies in a bowl. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray. When meat if finished cooking, drain and mix with cream cheese spread. Unroll crescent rolls. On the small end of the crescent rolls, place about 1 tbsp of the mixture. Roll and fold in ends. Place on baking sheet with seam side down. Space rolls about 1-2 inches apart. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden. 

I was so glad that I made these. Out of the 24 we made, we had less than 10 once the party ended. This will definitely be a hit at your next get together. 

 Rattlesnake Bites+ Taco Pizza

Last but definitely not least, Buffalo Cauliflower Bites. I have to admit I was reluctant to try this one. I know it is a healthy alternative to buffalo chicken and wings and I LOVE both and veggies, BUT not everyone likes crazy veggie options like I do. Chris mostly made these, and he did a great job! They were a hit!!!(Especially with me)

Here's what you need
1 medium head of cauliflower
1/2 cup of egg substitute(we used Eggbeaters)
1/2 cup AP whole wheat flour(*new* for us. Delicious!)
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
2/3 cup Frank's hot sauce or Buffalo sauce
1 tbsp light butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray casserole dish with non-stick spray. Then get 2 bowls. In one bowl, put the Eggbeaters. In the other bowl, add the flour, garlic powder, and onion powder. Chop the cauliflower in mini florets. Place handful of florets into egg and then into the dry mixture. Once coated, place in greased casserole dish. 

Bake in oven until the cauliflower is soft. Remove from oven. 

In a small saucepan, melt the hot sauce and butter together. Once melted, pour over cauliflower. Laaloosh stated to only pour 1/2 mixture on top of the cauliflower, but I poured all of the sauce over the veggies. Place back into oven and bake for another 5-8 minutes. Serve warm. 

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

These bites were AMAZING!! I definitely will be making more of these very, very soon!

Monday, March 11, 2013

With A Little Help From Our Friends

From Day 1 of being in our new home, Chris and I knew we wanted to have a "welcome" party to have friends over to see our new home. Home is where the heart is, and we love to open our hearts to others. With that being said, we want our home to not only feel safe to us but to our church, friends, and family. Chris was sweet enough to make the invitations and send them while I was working (a lot) the past month. (Did I mention that I am still treated like a queen after almost 2 years of marriage? I'm incredibly blessed.)

Last week while I was off, I cleaned and raked my brain with what I should have as snacks for our little get together. I didn't decide until the day of, of course.

1. Hot cheesy bean dip
2. Taco pizza(a repeat recipe) Taco Pizza Recipe
3. Double trouble aka birthday cake Oreos wrapped in sugar cookie dough
4. Rattlesnake bites
5. Buffalo cauliflower bites aka heaven in a dish

It was quite a task to take on when all five of these little delights had to be baked. BUT I was up for a challenge :)

*I found these recipes on Pinterest*

First up was the Double Trouble cookies.This recipe came from The Domestic Rebel.

Birthday cake Oreos(or any Oreo of your choice)
2 rolls of Sugar cookie dough

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray your muffin tins with non-stick spray. Next, take 1/12 of the dough. Flatten it and place an Oreo in the middle. Wrap dough completely around the cookie and dip in the sprinkles.

Place in the greased muffin tin. 1 roll of dough made a dozen cookies. Bake for 15-17 minutes. You want the edges to be golden and the center set. Enjoy!!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Brown Sugar Overload

Do you ever have times when it feels like you do 2 things in life? Me too. Recently, it has been work, work, work, and then when I do get a day off I magically turn into a couch potato. I love my job and what I do, so I wouldn't trade all this time for anything.

Because I've been working so much, I haven't posted any new recipes lately. That all ends today. The best part, you ask. I have TWO! Two recipes that are to die for!

The first one....Brown sugar chocolate chunk cookies. I have made this recipe before, and I adore these little delights. The original recipe is from Baking Bites. This one batch of dough makes about 36+ cookies. You will need it to make that much because these won't last long once they come out of the oven.

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt (pref. kosher salt)
14 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups dark or semisweet chocolate chunks

Mix the liquid ingredients together first. Then, add the salt, baking soda, and brown sugar. Once thoroughly mixed, slowly incorporate the flour. After the wet and dry ingredients are mixed, add the chocolate chunks. I used the entire bag in my dough. You can never have to much chocolate.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. I used two baking sheets to make all of these. So once one batch was finished baking, I could pop another once in the oven. Spray your baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray. I used a spoon for my measurements, and dropped the spoonfulls of dough onto the baking sheets about two inches apart. Bake for twelve minutes or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown. 

Once you remove the cookies from the oven, give them a minute to set up and ENJOY!!

Recipe Number 2: Homemade Sweet Potato Mash

I have to admit that with this recipe, I do not have measurements. I truly felt like a cook yesterday because I added ingredients until I had the right taste and texture. 

First, I started with 4 large sweet potatoes. While I washed and sliced the potatoes, I had a pot of water getting ready to boil. I have noticed in the past that when you slice the potatoes, they do not take as long to soften when you boil them. 

Once the potatoes are sliced and the water is boiling. Boil the potatoes until the are soft. Stir occasionally. 

Remove from the stove and drain the water. I then put the potatoes in a giant bowl and grabbed my potato masher and got to work! Can I just say that that tool is the bomb?! I added about a cup of butter and 3 tbsp milk and continued to mash. Once I felt like the potatoes had the consistency I wanted, I added around a cup and a half of brown sugar and 5 tbsp cinnamon. Stir together. Depending on how sweet you want your sweet potato mash, add more brown sugar. 

I took these to Lifegroup last night, and came home with enough for one person. I am so thankful it was a hit because I left the skin on all of the potatoes while I boiled and mashed them. Fiber and nutrients never hurt anyone. I hope you all enjoy!

Next time I plan on adding toasted pecans to the mash. I just might be doing that next week. What else would you have added?