Thursday, April 28, 2011

Soft Pretzel

Soft Pretzels:
Total Prep/Cook Time: 3 hours

These make a GREAT (at home movie night) snack!

4 tbs Yeast
1 tsp Sugar
1 1/4 C warm water
5 C Flour
1/2 C Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 tbs Canola Oil (can use extra virgin Olive Oil if needed)
10 C hot boiling water
3/4 C Baking Soda
Pretzel salt (coarse Sea Salt) or Cinnamon and Sugar (to taste)
1 Egg (whipped until frothy)

1. In the bottom of your mixer dissolve 1 tsp sugar and the yeast in the 1 1/4 cup of warm water. Let it sit for 5 minutes, or until the mixture begins to bubble and rise.
2. Add salt, 1/2 cup sugar, oil, and 1 cup of the flour. Mix for about 30 seconds.
3. Add the rest of the flour 1 cup at a time till all 5 cups are added.
(Your dough will seem stiff at first, but the pretzels still turn out very soft and you need all the flour or your finished product will be more like a roll than a pretzel).
4. Once all the flour is added mix on high for about 8 minutes.
5. Let the dough rest and rise for 1 1/2-2 hours. The dough needs to rise until at least doubled in size. Make sure to allow the dough to fully rise.
6. Heat your oven to 450 degrees.
7. Punch the dough down and divide it into 12 equal portions. Use a sharp knife sprayed with cooking spray and a cutting board for this step.
8. Place each piece on a sprayed cookie sheet and let them rest for an additional 10 minutes.
9. Combine the 10 cups water and baking soda in a large pot. Bring it to a boil.
10. While the water heats, after the 10 minutes have passed, roll each dough piece into a long thin rope. Twist it into a pretzel shape.
11. Put each piece (one at a time) into the boiling water for 30 seconds.
12. Place on a sprayed cookie sheet (or wax/parchment paper covered) and brush the beaten egg over the top.
13. Sprinkle with pretzel salt or leave unsalted and add cinnamon/sugar when they come out of the oven.
14. Bake for 8 minutes, till golden brown.

Happy Cooking!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Infertility Awareness- Don't Be Silent

1. A disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment.

By dictionary definition infertility is a disease. Something in your reproductive system is not functioning properly either from genetic or developmental error. In some cases toxins or hormones that have made their way into our bodies can effect our reproductive health as well. A majority of people if asked would not consider infertility to be a disease...they're wrong. Some people who face infertility have no "true" diagnosis, all their tests have come back with in normal range and their Dr can find no reason for them to not be getting pregnant.

20 Infertility Myths
Infertility: The Disease...
Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed

As I sit here preparing to write this I have to keep reminding myself to keep my emotions and especially my anger in check, so this will be short.
Infertility affects 7.3 million people of childbearing age in the United States alone! 1 out of every 8 couples is effected by infertility. Infertility is STRESSFUL! There are a ton of tests and procedures and meeting that have to happen. Stress does NOT make one infertile! To say so or to believe so is ignorant and insulting. IVF is not as easy as people seem to think it is. It is not a decision to be made lightly. It is a very expensive procedure that most insurance companies and plans do not cover and still has risk of not taking. Adoption is an option but it can still be expensive and until you are ready to accept that your journey is "over" it's not an option most people just jump into. Infertility can make one feel isolated and alone, because so few people are open about their struggle with it, because so many people are so quick to dismiss it or (inadvertently) belittle it, because so many people assume that they are "infertile" when in fact they are not. You don't want to be open about things that hurt you when nobody around you gives you the support you are actually looking for. But that further perpetuates the problem of people not understanding. Infertility can be over come (not in 100% of the cases, but a lot of couples after test, treatments, and procedures are blessed with the long awaited baby their hearts have been aching for!).
So that's all I'm going to write about for now, as I said I have a difficult time keeping my emotions in check right now. To all those out there struggling with/to over some infertility you have my love.

"Texas" Cheese Fries

Just like Chilli's but better because you don't have to go there.
"Texas" Cheese Fries:
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: Whatever your directions say for cooking the fries + 5-10 min for the cheese to melt.

1 bag of Orida french fries
1 bag of shredded cheese blend (I recommend either the Mexican-3-cheese blend or shredded Colby-Jack cheese)
1 package of real precooked-crumbled Bacon
1 jar of Jalapeno Peppers
1 Green Onion
Pepper and Season All Salt
Ranch salad dressing (optional, not everybody likes dipping their fries into it)
**1 can of Chilli

1. Spread the fries evenly over a cookie sheet and bake according to package, season with pepper and season all salt.
2. When the fries are done remove them from the oven.
3. You can either leave the fries on the baking pan of place them into an oven safe skillet pan (I recommend finding a skillet or dish of some kind).
4. Add a thick layer of cheese on top of the fries and return to the oven and bake until the cheese is all melted (**this is where you could add the chilli. Add the chilli over top of the fries then the cheese and place back in the oven)
5. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle on your chopped green onion, bacon, and jalapenos.
6. Serve with Ranch salad dressing on the side.

Happy Cooking!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Today I had an ultrasound appointment down at the Kaiser hospital in San Diego. It went well...I think. We left home at 1:30 and somehow managed to get to the hospital at 2. I don't know how that happened because I didn't drive any faster than 75mph the whole time. But anyways we got down there and I finished the last of my mandatory 32 oz of water (which I was instructed to be done with at least an hour before my appointment) and we grabbed something to eat. Around 2:40 we went to find parking and then wondered on down to radiology and got checked in (I was given an ID bracelet, which I thought was odd). We waited in the waiting room for half a hour and watched an old Friends episode then got called back. The tech did an abdominal ultrasound first, which was torture because she kept pressing on my bladder, taking a bunch of pictures. When she finished she let me get up and finally go to the bathroom before I had to go back and have a vaginal ultrasound performed. So the appointment went smooth but it kind of sucked because she didn't tell me anything at all about how things looked; if my lining was still thick enough, if I had cysts forming, if my uterus was the proper shape (though Daniel said he saw her type in long cul-de-sac shape, whatever that means, hopefully it's good or at least not bad). When she had finished I asked how things looked and all she said was that my Dr would have the results in 2-3 days and would call me then. Which definitely doesn't make me feel confident that things are all well. But oh well nothing I can do about it but be patient, wait, and hope all is well.

my ID bracelet

ultrasound machine

Monday, April 25, 2011

Blueberry Lemon Triffle

A friend had made this at a party a while back, it was pretty yummy and refreshing I think it will be great for a spring or summer party or BBQ, so I figured I would share.

Blueberry Lemon Triffle

3 C fresh Blueberries (they need to be fresh, you can also substitute with with fresh strawberries for a strawberry-lemonade type triffle)
2 cans of Lemon Pie filling (12-18 oz total)
2 (8oz) containers Lemon Yogurt (or plain yogurt)
1 prepared angel food cake or pound cake (cut into 1" cubes)
1 (8oz) container thawed Cool Whip
Thinly sliced Lemon to garnish

1. In a stand mixer or food processor, combine yogurt and pie filling until well blended.
2. Measure 1/4 C of blueberries and set aside for topping.
3 In a large bowl or trifle dish, layer 1/3 of the cake, followed by the yogurt mixture and then the fresh blueberries.
3. Repeat this process till all ingredients have been used. 2 timed.
4. Top with Cool whip.
5. Refrigerate at least two hours and garnish with remaining blueberries and lemon slices before serving.

Happy Cooking!

Few have it everybody needs it.

1. The quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
2. Aan ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.
3. Quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience.

Patience is something that when you are trying to conceive you need to have.
Most women how ever do not have it but as the cycles go by with out becoming pregnant you learn to have patience. There is no other choice but to learn to have patience and accept it. You can not speed the conception process up, your body will ovulate when it wants. You can not speed up the luteal phase (the time from when ovulation occurs to when your period shows-or hopefully doesn't). For two whole torturous weeks you are stuck being patient waiting to see if this cycle was the one; if finally this step of the journey is over. I have definitely learned to be patient, I have also learned to really take things as they come. I don't always remember that lesson but I have learned it and try to remind myself of it often.
Infertility and those who have had to go through a long journey to conception learn so much about life and themselves. They learn just how strong a human being can be and how strong their will is.

Romans 5:3-4 says “We rejoice in our suffering. For suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us.”

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Steak Gumbo

2-3 lb of Stewing Beef (cut into small bite size pieces)
Salt and pepper
1/4 C Vegetable Oil
1 lb Smoked Sausage (cut into 1/4 in slices)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
5 tbs Butter
1 large White or Yellow Onion (chopped)
5 cloves Garlic (minced)
1 Green Bell Pepper (chopped)
3 stalks of Celery (chopped)
1/4 C Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 bunch parsley, stems and leaves (coarsely chopped)
4 C hot Water
5 Beef Bouillon Cubes
1 (14 oz can) Stewed Tomatoes with juice
2 C frozen Okra (sliced width wise, can use fresh if you wish)
4 Green Onions (chopped use white and green parts)
1/2-1 tbs Hot Sauce (your favorite brand add more or less to taste)
1/2 lb small Shrimp (peeled, deveined and cooked...[I cheat and use already deveined shrimp])
2-3 C Barley

1. Season the stewing beef with salt and pepper.
2. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Cook the steak until browned on each side and remove.
3. Add the sausage and cook until browned, then remove.
4. Sprinkle the flour over the oil, add 2 tbs of butter and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until brown, about 10 minutes.
5. Let the roux cool.
6. Return the pan to low heat and melt the remaining 3 tbs of butter.
7. Add the onion, garlic, green pepper and celery and cook for 10 minutes.
8. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt/pepper (to taste), hot sauce, and the 1/4 bunch parsley.
9. Cook, while stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.
10. Add 4 cups hot water and bouillon cubes, whisking constantly.
11. Add the beef and sausage.
12. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.
13. After 45 minutes add tomatoes, okra, and barley.
14. Recover and simmer for 1 hour.
15. Just before serving add the green onions, shrimp and chopped parsley.

Happy Cooking!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dying Easter eggs

Tomorrow, as you should all know, is Easter so Daniel and I stayed home colored eggs this afternoon. We made 4 special Star Wars ones. Plo Koon, Boba Fett, Ahsoka Tanno, and the rebel alliance symbol. I think that they look pretty sweet. My little brother is definitely going to love them (them being the Star Wars ones) when he sees them later!
If you have a post of you/you and your kids coloring Easter eggs leave a link, I would like to check it out.

Happy (almost) Easter!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day & Good Friday

Happy Earth Day.
I guess today is supposed to be a day where all the rest of the united states gives a rip about the planet and does something consciously environmentally friendly. As a child I never saw the point of the day, but that was because I was raised to not trash the world I live in and to do things as economic as possibly. We had a garden, we recycled, we walked to the store when possible (which let me tell you in So. CA it's not a fun or easy thing to do and we live in one of those "up hill both ways" kind of houses lol), didn't litter. It was basic things that I was taught to do which is why I couldn't understand the laziness of the rest of our society. I still don't. I don't understand how you can be so selfish that you don't give a rip if you are trashing the earth with your chip bags or the mother of all pet peeves your nasty ass cigarette butts. Why wouldn't you want the world you live in to be as beautiful as possible. We take and spend so much time and money to make our physic to look good yet neglect what is actually important.
Today we are (hopefully) going to be working on our garden in the back yard. If we are able to I will update with pictures.
However today is far more important than just earth day going on. Today is good Friday. As a Christian it marks when Jesus Christ was beaten and crucified and died for our sins. It's not a mandatory thing but I believe it is important to reflect in prayer on that and what it means. For me it's far more important than earth day, because without him this world would be nothing.

Have a good Friday!

(If you do not agree with my religious views, that is fine. I am not trying to push anything on you and condemn you, so I would appreciate you doing the same for me.)

Last minute trip to Disney

Daniel hungry

yummy clam chowder for me!

nom nom Gumbo for Daniel

my sweet new R2D2 hat

Love having annual Disney passes. When Daniel got home from class today I asked if he would like to go to Disney, he said sure to off we went. We had a small hick-up with the "security" giving him problems over his lightsaber. (Yes my husband carries around a lightsaber with him, not one of the plastic ones this is one that he had made up.) Anyways last couple times we had gone to Disney there was no issues with him bringing his lightsaber in with him, but today we got a lady with a stick up her butt who was just looking to start some trouble. So that was annoying but we didn't let it ruin the rest of our day. It was very crowded for a Thursday, I was expecting that most everybody was done with spring break by now and the park would be fairly "empty", but it wasn't. At least it wasn't as crowded as it will be once summer is here. Next Disney trip should be May 4th. Points to who ever can tell me what is celebrated on May 4th!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bacon "Cheeseburger" Meatloaf

Bacon "Cheeseburger" Meatloaf:
Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: approx 60 min

1 Lb ground Chuck (turkey or beef works as well)
10 slices of Bacon (cooked and crumbled)
8 oz Sharp Cheddar (grated)
2 large Eggs (lightly beaten/whisked)
1/4 C Toasted Bread Crumbs
1/4 C Mayonnaise (may sub with sour cream of plain Greek yogurt)
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
2 tbs Yellow Mustard
1/2 C ketchup
1 (3 oz) can French Fried Onions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, bacon, cheese, eggs, bread crumbs, mayo (or sub), worcestershine sauce, salt and pepper; mixing well.
3. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup and mustard.
4. Stir 1/4 cup ketchup mixture into meat mixture, reserving remaining ketchup mixture.
5. Shape into a loaf and place into a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan.
6. Spread remaining ketchup mixture over loaf.
7. Bake 40 minutes. Then remove the meatloaf and top with French fried onions; bake another 10 to 15 minutes (until meat is no longer pink).

Happy Cooking!


We had our meeting with the geneticist this morning. It went well and was pretty much was I was expecting. Just a lot of paper work, gathering as much family history as we were able to give and then going over what different gene mutations we could possibly have. I found out that out of the 15-20% of all pregnancies that end in miscarriage (that's 1 in 4) only 5% of those are due to actual chromosomal abnormalities (caused by one of [or both] the parents).
Which was comforting because it means that there it is more than likely that neither Daniel or myself has any chromosomal abnormalities; but we will know when my test results come back. (we are going to have to wait to get Daniel tested as the VA take forever to process things, but the councilor told me that if he's going going to be able to get in with in the next month to have the blood work done to call and they would work with me to have him tested under me)
I am hoping that they are able to give me a copy of the results when they get them because the pictures of the laid out chromosomes were pretty cool.

I have another appointment this coming Monday, down in San Diego. It's an ultrasound to make sure that my uterus is sitting pretty and not a factor in my miscarriages. Yay for having to drink a ton or water hold it at least an hour before my appointment and then have them put pressure on my wanting to bust bladder, lol. Oh well it's all for a good cause!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Scalloped Potatoes Au Gratin

Scalloped Potatoes Au Gratin
Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 30 min

Olive oil spray
3 pounds yellow potatoes, like Yukon gold.(unpeeled, sliced into 1/4-inch slices and if you can't get these specific potatoes don't worry you can use what you have)
3 C Milk
1/4 C Flour
2 cloves Garlic (minced)
2 small sprigs of Thyme
1 3/4 C grated Colby-Jack Cheese (6 ounces)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Spray a 2 quart, shallow baking dish with olive oil spray.
3. Put the potatoes into a large pot and cover with water.
4. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool somewhat.
5. Put the milk and flour into a large saucepan and whisk until the flour is dissolved.
6. Add the garlic and thyme and heat over a medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and is thickened, about 8 minutes.
7. Remove from the heat, discard the thyme sprig, and stir in the salt.
8. Add 1 cup of the cheese and stir until melted.
9. Arrange half of the potatoes in the baking dish. Pour over half of the cheese sauce.
10. Add the remaining potatoes and top with rest of the sauce.
11. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake for 25 minutes, until bubbling, broil on high until the top is browned, about 2 minutes.

*Adding a little bit of bacon crumbs to this is good too*
Happy Cooking!

Happy Tuesday

Tomorrow is Wednesday which means we will be half way through the week and closer to the weekend! Really who ever came up with a 5 day work week was stupid, I think that a 4/3 ration would be far more beneficial.

Oh and here is my fun little fertility doodad, it made me smile this morning to see it peak! (I knew it was going to cause that's what it was last cycle as well. The clearblue digital ovulation predictor tests seem to detect the LH hormone very easily.)
We've done what we can for now all we can do is pray that the timing was right. Tomorrow marks day one of the (dreaded) two week wait.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Well looky here

Hopefully this is it.
The lines from the actual test

Over all a pretty good day lol. Now to figure out what to do for dinner...hmm.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


We bought annual passes to Disneyland and used them for the first time yesterday. It was Daniels second time ever going, we had so much fun and can't wait to go again!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hard at work

but hardly working...

I love my "job". I volunteer/intern with the Jr High program at the church that Daniel and I go to. I love it! The kids are so much fun and so open to learning and want to share what it going on in their lives with you. We do so many fun activity for/with them all the time (I'm surprised some of them don't just try and come back after they graduate up to high school). The people that I work with are pretty awesome too so it makes it easy to enjoy and have fun when everybody that is there truly wants to be there! I'm in charge of game time for this upcoming Tuesday night, I have a few ideas in mind but I better narrow it down soon.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cinnamon Candied Walnuts

My Grandma used to always have candied walnuts made for each of the holidays, I loved them then and still do. Love & miss you Grandma.
Candied Walnuts:
Cook Time: 30 min


1/2 C Sugar
1 1/2 C Raw Walnut (halves)
1 tbs Butter
1/8 tsp coarse Sea Salt
Cinnamon to dust


1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Use middle rack in oven.
2. Lay walnuts out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn them.
3. Remove from oven and let cool in pan on a rack.
4. Pour sugar into a medium saucepan with a thick bottom.
5. Have walnuts nearby, ready to quickly add to the pan at the right time.
6. Cook sugar on medium heat with butter, stirring with a wooden spoon as soon as the sugar begins to melt.
7. Keep stirring until all the sugar has melted and the color is a medium amber. As soon as sugar is melted and the color is a medium amber.
8. Add the walnuts to the pan, quickly stirring and coating each piece with the sugar mixture.
9. As soon as the walnuts are coated with the sugar mixture, spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet, lined either with parchment/wax paper.
10. Use two forks to separate the walnuts from each other, working very quickly.
11. Sprinkle the nuts with the salt and cinnamon and allow them to cool completely.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's a twisting winding road

Live life with no regrets.
A nice thought by something that is not so easy to do.
There are things in life that are out of our control that we wish we were able to change or choices we made ourselves that we wish we could go back and undo, or do differently. I know that I have a few situations in my past were I look back now and think "wow what a stupid decision that was, what on earth was I thinking?", but I don't really regret them. Each decision I made took me down a different path that lead me to where I am today, and while at times that journey wasn't remotely fun, I wouldn't undo any of it. While I have situations that I wish were different (for example having gone through two miscarriages) it was a situation that taught me a lesson and continues to even now. So even though I wish it hadn't happened at all I can appreciate what it has taught me.
We can not have growth without struggle to first overcome.
Romans 5:3-5 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

There is always a silver lining, it may be nearly impossible to see and it may take time to see it, but it is there.

(New music is up, I tried to pick some songs that, while are not my usual genre of music to listen to, I enjoy and they make me smile and just feel happy. Hope you like them too.)

Chicken Lemon Pasta

Chicken Lemon Pasta:
Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 35 mins

1 pound dried Penne
2 Chicken Breasts (cut into fingers)
Salt and Black Pepper
2 cloves Garlic (sliced)
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
3 tbs Olive Oil
3 tbs roughly chopped fresh Parsley (for garnish)
2 Lemons (juiced)
1/2 C grated Parmesan

1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, until al dente. Drain well.
2. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
3. Heat a large grill pan over medium high and add chicken.
4. Grill until golden and completely cooked. Remove to a plate and slice.
5. Add the garlic slices and red pepper flakes to a saute pan with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and saute until fragrant.
6. Add the cooked pasta and turn heat off. Mix all together.
7. Remove pasta to a large bowl.
8. Add chicken to the warm pasta and season with salt and pepper.
9. Sprinkle in chopped parsley. Add the juice of 2 lemons and mix.
10. Before serving top with Parmesan (if you want add some zest from the lemon as well).

Happy Cooking!

Sleepless in San Diego

Sleep always seems to evade me. It teases me. It diminishes my energy, and makes me truly exhausted but it never allows me to take it easily. I've always had a difficult time getting to sleep, and staying asleep. I toss and turn for what seems like hours each night trying to turn my brain off and go to sleep.
I've tried natural sleep aids but they don't work. I have also been on prescription sleeping pills and those worked but I became dependent on them and poor Daniel had to babysit me when I took them till at least 30 minutes after I truly fell asleep. I had some "bad" side effects which didn't really bother me but I didn't like being dependent on them so I weened myself off.

Aww look at my sweet guys!
I think that made my lack of sleep totally worth it.

With that I'm off to chase after sleep now, maybe I will catch him quickly tonight.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Permission to Grieve

I posted the other day that my emotions seemed to be well not out of control but not in check. I find myself getting very easily mad for no reason. Somebody left a comment on this post saying that what is going on with me could possibly be "delayed grief". The more I think about it the more it makes sense. The fist miscarriage (Aiden) was totally unexpected, no warning that it was going to happen, no spotting or anything no cramps, just sudden gushing blood. The second miscarriage (Poppy) I had spotting, I knew right then that the pregnancy was not going to last. It broke my heart but I had 3 days to prepare myself for the inevitable. At that point I also kind of went numb, it seemed as though every nerve and emotion just shut down because if it didn't I would be overwhelmed with grief. I didn't even realize it was going on though but I know I didn't want to feel that pain.
I just thought that because I had been through a miscarriage before I was just handling it better. Obviously I now know this is/was not the case. On top of the second miscarriage (which happened a week before Christmas) that I was not dealing with, my brother died very unexpectedly in the beginning of February (not even two months after my miscarriage) and I had to make all the memorial/burial arrangement. Which included calling and telling people he had passed and when the service would be. That's a lot of stress for somebody to try and handle.
So now that I have realized this fact, I must try and figure out how to properly allow myself to grieve. I am thinking that I will check out the grief group at our church. Hopefully that will be a starting point for me. I have to re-give myself permission to's not going to be an easy thing to do.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cheddar Biscuits

Like Red Lobsters Cheddar Biscuits:
Prep Time: 15 mins Cook Time: 15 mins

1 3/4 C Flour
1 tbs+2 tsp Baking Powder
2 1/2 tsp Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
3 tbs Vegetable Shortening (at room temperature)
4 tbs cold Butter (cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
6 oz grated yellow cheddar cheese (about 1 1/4 C)
3/4 C Milk

For the garlic butter:
3 tbs Butter
1 clove Garlic (smashed)
1 tsp chopped Parsley (fresh is best)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cover your baking pan with aluminum foil to prevent the biscuts from sticking.
2. Pulse the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a food processor.
3. Add the shortening and pulse until combined.
4. Add the butter. Pulse 4 or 5 times or until the butter is in pea-size pieces.
5. Add the cheese and pulse 2 or 3 times.
6. Pour in the milk and pulse just until the mixture is moistened and forms a shaggy dough.
7. Turn dough out onto a clean surface and gently knead until the dough comes together. Do not overwork the dough or the biscuits will be tough.
8. Drop the dough onto the baking sheet in scant 1/4-cup portions, 2 inches apart, and bake until golden 15 to 20 minutes.
9. Make the garlic butter. Melt the butter with the garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat.
10. Cook for 1 minute.
11. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.
12. Brush the biscuits with the garlic butter and serve warm.

Fresh from the garden

We spent sometime out in the backyard today. The sun was shining is was fairly warm and not too breezy. I cleaned the pool, watered the plants in the green house, played with the dogs, and picked some fresh fruit from the trees in the garden area. Now dinner is cooking in the oven (oh timer is going off better go turn it off). now that we have eaten dinner we'll be going and jumping in the hot tub. A good end to a good day.

Daniel up the Lowquat tree.
Fresh Lowquats and Lemons.

I don't know what these flowers are but they are all over the garden area and I love how they look.

Banana Nut Muffin with Chocolate Chips

Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Muffins:
Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 15 mins average

1 1/2 C Flour
1 C Sugar
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tps Salt
1 Egg
1/2 C Sour Cream
3 or 4 ripe Bananas
1 C Chocolate Chips
1/2 C chopped Walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl beat the egg and add the bananas and mix until they are all mashed up and smooth.
4. Add the sour cream to the banana mixture and mix together for 30 seconds.
5. Add the dry ingredients slowly and mix just until smooth.
6. Add your chocolate chips and walnuts and fold into the batter.
7. Carefully spoon the batter into muffin tins, 3/4 of the way full.
8. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.
9. Muffins are done when your tooth pick comes out clean.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Prep Time: 30 mins Cook Time: 1 hour

1 lb ground beef/turkey/chicken
1/2 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tps ground cumin
2 tbs dried oregano
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (4 oz/8 oz total) cans chopped green chile peppers, drained
3 (28 oz) cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
1/4 C chili powder
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs ground black pepper
1 tbs salt
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans, drained
1 (16 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained
1 (16 oz) can black beans
1 (16 oz) can whole kernel corn

1. Brown your ground meat, drain from fat, and set to the side.
2. In the same pan heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and season with bay leaves, cumin, oregano, and salt. Cook and stir until onion is tender.
3. Mix in the celery, green bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, garlic, and green chile peppers.
4. When vegetables are heated through, mix in the meat. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 5 minutes.
5. Mix the tomatoes into the pot.
6. Season with chili powder and pepper.
7. Stir in the kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and black beans.
8. Bring to a boil for 7 minutes then reduce heat to low, and simmer 45 minutes.
9. Stir in the corn, and continue cooking till 5 minutes before serving.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Grocery Shopping

So, I actually love to go grocery shopping. Especially since the husband and I go together most of the time. I love getting fresh vegetables and fruits, I love all the colors when they are stacked on top of one another and next to another contrasting color.
A good tip for saving money when you go shopping is to make a list of everything you will need for that week. When you have a list to stick to you are less likely to get impulse items that you don't actually need. Also avoid going shopping when hungry you will just grab anything that remotely looks or sounds good at that moment, and then later you will be like "why do I have this?".
(I got to play more with my new camera while we were shopping. Finally figured out how to changed the shutter speed. Yay!)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spinach & Bacon Quiche

Spinach & Bacon Quiche:A quiche even a man will like.
Prep Time: 20 min Cook Time: 45 min

5 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 C heavy cream
Salt and pepper
3 C chopped fresh baby Spinach, packed
1 lb Bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 1/2 C shredded Swiss cheese
1 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crust, fitted into a 9-inch glass pie plate (grease your pie plate)


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Combine the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender, and beat together.
3. Layer the spinach, bacon, and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust.
4. Pour the egg mixture on top.
5. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the egg mixture is set.
6. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Happy Cooking!

Hamburger Cupcakes

Happy April Fools Day!

Hamburger Cupcakes:

Box mix of brownie (including extra ingredients listed on box: eggs, oil, water)
Box mix of yellow cake (including extra ingredients listed on box: eggs, oil, water)
Red, yellow, and green food coloring.
Cupcake foils.
Coconut Flakes.

1. Line your 13 x 9" inch pan with parchment paper. Bake brownies according to the box directions. Allow to cool then lift parchment/brownies out of pan.
2. Make cupcakes according to the box directions. Let cool on a cooling rack.
3. Prepare the buns and meat. Use a 2 inch circle diameter cookie cutter and cut out 24 circles from the brownies. Depending on each cupcake's height, cut them into halves or thirds. Add a brownie circle to the bottom of a cupcake.
4. Pour coconut flakes into a bowl and add green food coloring. Mix together till coconut flakes are green. (This is your "lettuce")
5. Make your frosting divide it evenly and add red food coloring (for tomato) to half and yellow (for mustard) to the other.
6. Put the red (tomato) frosting on top of the brownie and drizzle the yellow (mustard over that. Sprinkle with your green coconut flakes and put you "top bun" back on top.

Buttercream Frosting:

1 C of Unsalted Butter
4 C of Pow­dered Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla
2 tbs of Half & Half (Milk Creamer)

1. Make sure your butter is room temperature. Use either a stand mixer or hand mixer, on medium speed, whip the but­ter until it is light and fluffy.
2. Turn off your mixer and slowly add in your powdered sugar. Add one cup at a time and whip each cup into the but­ter, before adding the next.
3. Add in your 2 Tea­spoons of Vanilla and whip it into the frosting.
4. Slowly add the half & half. Do it one table­spoon at a time and after each tablespoon of creamer whip it into the frost­ing.

Happy Cooking!