Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Quick Trip to Phoenix

Before the horrible disaster at the cabin happened, I got to fly to visit my good friend and cousin Krystyn in Phoenix. 

I had a great time with Krystyn and her cute little son Chase. I only spent the night but it was great just to be able to visit with them in person.

Ha ha I love this little guy!! He is so stinking cute and funny! 
He is very excited to be a big brother too! He will be in one by this September.  I'm pretty excited for his little brother to arrive too.

Krystyn made a delicious peach cobbler for dessert!

Yep, it was yummy!!

5 A.M. pictures are priceless, neither of us were awake yet.

Thanks again Krystyn for letting me come for a quick visit, I had a wonderful time. We will have to do it again real soon! 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tragedy Has Struck at Harward Hollow

My husband and I received some devastating news today, my in-laws cabin burned down last night due to a lightning strike. 

This is what their cabin looked like roughly just over 24 hours ago. It was a beautiful place, full of many wonderful memories.

During the fire, nobody was here luckily when the home was hit. These pictures were taken by neighbors that came to help. They tried their best to get it under control, but the fire was too big and too hot for the little fire truck they had. Three fire trucks responded to the 911 call to help put out the flames.

This is what the damage looks like after the fire was put out.

The backside is where it got it the worst, they said the lightning struck the top right room in this picture.

This is the master bedroom, that pile of curly springs is my in-laws mattress.

Words can not express how sad we are right now, it is even harder since we are 1,000 miles away. 
Dave's Dad  has spent almost 12 years of his life building this magnificent structure. The family all pitched in time and energy to help him. They stacked those logs one by one, and he had just barley put up that nice wrap around porch 2 years ago. He had completed something that so many people got to enjoy. 
I really liked how my sister-in-law Jamie worded it, 
"In one flash of lightning everything my parents worked, lived and dreamed for is gone. I can't even describe the feeling. I am so grateful for my family and memories, but feeling overwhelmed with sadness."

The house may be gone but the memories will last forever!

 Check out my sister-in-law's Shelly's blog for more on this horrfic event:
And Then There Were Three

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Jalapeno-Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

I don't know if I have mentioned it before, but I love macaroni and cheese! It has something to do with my obsession with cheese and pasta. And when you add bacon and sauteed jalapenos that just makes everything that much better. 
There is just something about cheesy, gooey macaroni with a little bit heat that just makes my tummy and mouth very happy. Then again lots of different foods makes my tummy and my mouth happy. What can I say, I am a food nut. 
For those of you who are looking for a spiced up macaroni recipe, this one is a wonderful one to try! 

Jalapeno-Bacon Macaroni and Cheese 

5 slices Bacon 
3 whole Jalapeno Peppers, Diced 
1 pound Macaroni or Rottini Pasta
1 Tablespoon Butter 
1 Tablespoon Flour 
2 cups Whole Milk 
½ cups Heavy Cream 
2 cups Shredded Cheese of Your Choice 
1 pinch Nutmeg 
1 pinch Salt 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
Fry bacon until crisp but not burned. Set aside and crumble when cooled. 
Sauté diced jalapeno peppers in the leftover bacon grease. You can also clean out the grease and sauté in an oil of your choice. I simply prefer the added bacony goodness! Set aside sautéed jalapenos. 
Boil water for pasta and cook according to package directions. 
While pasta is cooking, make the sauce. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, melt the butter. Add flour and whisk together to form a roux. (Mixture should resemble wet sand and smell slightly nutty.) 
Add milk and cream, stirring constantly to incorporate. 
Add cheeses. I used sharp cheddar and mozzarella, but you can adjust the cheeses and proportions to your taste. 
Add a pinch of nutmeg, and salt to taste. Continue stirring until the cheeses have all melted and the sauce mixture has thickened…about 5 to 8 minutes. 
Add sautéed jalapenos and crumbled bacon to the sauce, stirring to combine fully. 
Spread half of the cooked pasta evenly across the bottom of a greased 9″x13″ baking dish. Pour half of the sauce over the pasta. Then spread the other half of the pasta across, and pour on the last half of the cheese sauce. (If you want, you can then sprinkle additional shredded cheese over the top of everything. This isn't a necessary step, but it adds that nice “cheese overload” factor.) Bake for 20 to 25 minutes

So delicious!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Grilled Turkey and Swiss

We've been having hot days here in Lubbock, Texas. Hot days equal not wanting to turn on my oven. It also means that it's a good idea for a good sandwich. I really like sandwiches, toasted or grilled sandwiches are my favorite kinds. I am not too picky about what is on my sandwiches either. I like all types of deli meat. I am in love with cheese and will try any variety. I like my sandwiches loaded, with lettuce, pickles, onions, peppers, the works! 
I was very excited when I came across this recipe for grilled turkey and Swiss. I loved the homemade mayo sauce, I didn't have dried thyme so I just used Italian seasoning. It was a wonderful idea, it went well with the flavors.

Grilled Turkey and Swiss Sandwich

1 loaf french bread
soft butter 
1 1/2 - 2 pounds thinly sliced turkey
1 pound thinly sliced Swiss cheese
2 - 3 tomatoes

1 C mayonnaise
1 1/2 T stone ground mustard
1 1/2 T red onion, chopped fine
1 t dried thyme 

1. Chop up your red onion into tiny pieces. Throw it in a bowl with your mayonnaise and stone ground mustard. 
2. Add your dried thyme and stir the sauce together until all ingredients are well combined. 
3. Slice up your bread and tomatoes, and turn on your griddle. Just to medium high heat now. We don't want to burn anything. 
4. Spread a little bit of butter on one side of each piece of bread. Lay it butter side down on the griddle. 
5. Cover the other side with the sauce, then some cheese and a couple of slices of tomato. Layer on a nice thick stack of the turkey and another slice of cheese. 
6. Spread some of the tasty sauce on another one of your butter bread slices. Lay that baby sauce-side-down onto the sandwich. (The side facing up should be buttered.)
7. Let that griddle to its work. Heat that sandwich through....Flip it over when the bottom is golden brown. Let the sandwich get golden brown on it's other side and leave time for both slices of cheese to melt. 
8. Remove your sandwich from the griddle and cut it on the diagonal.

Recipe From: Jamie Cooks It Up

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fresh Peach Pie

This recipe is for Shelly, sorry to keep you waiting!
This fresh peach pie is wonderful! My husband's favorite pie is an apple pie, but he forgets all about apple pie when he bites into this peach pie.
The fresh peaches I bought had so much flavor and when combined with cinnamon and nutmeg, two of my favorite spices, it takes the peaches to a whole new element. The problem with this pie is waiting for it to cool down so I can cut into it to eat it! I'll be honest I hardly ever wait for a pie to cool completely. I like a warm piece of pie with a good scoop of plain old fashion vanilla ice cream. Now that is a tough dessert to beat!

Peach Pie 

6 cups Sliced Peeled Peaches 
 1 whole Lime, Juiced 
 ½ cups All-purpose Flour 
 1 cup White Sugar 
 ½ teaspoons Ground Cinnamon 
 ¼ teaspoons Ground Nutmeg 
 ¼ teaspoons Salt 
 1 whole Egg Beaten
 2 Tablespoons Butter 

You will also need one batch of your favorite pie crust recipe or pre-made pie crusts. Enough for two, this is a double crust pie. 
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 
Toss the peaches with the lime juice and then drain off excess lime juice and peach juice. 
Mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Then combine with the peaches. 
Line a 9 inch pie plate with one pie crust and brush the entire thing with egg. 
Pour the peaches into the pie pan, dot with the butter and top with the other pie crust. Pinch the edges, cut a few slits and brush the top with egg. 
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 360 degrees and bake for another 30 -35 minutes. 
Let cool then serve.

Pie Crust 

2 1/4 cups flour 
 3/4 to 1 cup vegetable shortening 
 1 tsp. salt 

Cut shortening into flour and salt with a fork or a pastry blender until you get crumbles the size of a pea. 
6 Tbsp. cold water Add the cold water to the dough and work together with hands. Do not over work dough! It will become too tough. Roll out for pie pans. Use pie filling of choice. This recipe will make enough to do one double crusted pie or two single pie shells

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bountiful Baskets

Who has heard of the wonderful organization called Bountiful Baskets?
They are a food co-op that sells laundry sized baskets full of fruit and veggies, 50% is fruit, 50% is vegetables. 
Some wonderful ladies in Lubbock decided we needed Bountiful Baskets and organized a pick up site to get this delicious food. Our first pick up was yesterday. There are pick up sites all over, there might even be one in the state you and hopefully close enough that you can reap the benefits of this wonderful food co-op. The food will be separated in laundry baskets and you bring a basket or bags so that you can take home your order. They have an order you can purchase every other week.
You can also order other wonderful things, like homemade bread, sometimes they have tortilla packages, granola, certain fruit or vegetables in bulk. This last time you could get a 30 lb. bag of Hatch chilies. 
From my picture you can tell I got more then enough for me and the hubby. I think he likes that we got pears and a cantaloupe since I don't eat either of those types of fruits so I never buy them.
Check out their site, and give it a try! I have loved getting so much produce for a great price.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread

I loved this recipe!! It was a little time consuming but so worth it! I am not a big fan of just plain pepperoni as I have mentioned before, but this recipe makes it better then just plain old pepperoni. 
There is something about dipping pieces of bread in dips that just makes me smile, whether it be into cheese fondue, artichoke dip or marinara sauce. 
Plus there was an extra bonus of course when you add the cheese and pizza sauce already in the delicious pieces of pizza dough. 
This is definitely a good meal for those with young kiddos, or would be a good menu item for a watching a sporting event. Football has started everyone! :) Oh how I love fall.

Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 Tbsp butter
2 lbs pizza dough (I used this recipe because it makes enough for two pizza)
6 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes (you'll need ~48 pieces)
48 slices of Turkey pepperoni (from 1 package)
2-3 cups marinara sauce, warmed, for serving

Heat garlic and butter over medium heat just until the garlic begins to brown. Remove from heat and let sit.
Lightly brush the inside of a bundt pan (or other oven-safe dish) with garlic butter.
Pull off large marble-sized balls of dough and flatten (a kitchen scale makes this very easy). Top with a slice of pepperoni and a cube of mozzarella.
Wrap the dough around the pepperoni and cheese, pinching well to seal.
Very lightly brush the pizza ball with garlic butter and place into the bundt pan (I dabbed the pizza balls on a butter-dipped silicon brush to keep butter use low - there will be 1+ Tbsp leftover - and my hands butter free. Buttery hands make it hard to get the pizza balls to seal).
Repeat until all of the dough is used.
Cover and let sit for 30 minutes, while preheating the oven to 400.
Bake for ~35 minutes, until the top is very brown.
Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes.
Turn out onto a platter and serve with warmed marinara sauce for dipping.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

So Excited For Fire Roasted Hatch Green Chilies

My local grocery store sells Hatch green chilies. They come from New Mexico and are the BEST chilies in my opinion. Now they great thing about my local grocery store selling them is that 2 weekends this month if you bought a full or a half case of chilies they would fire roast them for you! 

These wonderful MILD chilies where what I got. Yes, I said mild. I like to enjoy my food instead of having my mouth be on fire the entire time I eat it.
Though my husband would have loved it if I had gotten hot chilies.

This is my half case of chilies getting started in the roaster.

Nearing the end of the roasting process.

This is one of my lovely roasted chilies!

I got 22 bags with about 4-5 chilies in each bag to put in the freezer. Then when I am ready I can pull a bag out, let it thaw out. Peel the charred skin off and chop them up.
What will I be using these wonderful chilies for you ask? Oh I have plans! Big plans! I will be using them in white chicken chili, burritos, tacos, enchiladas, hamburger, cheese fries and many other delicious recipes that could use a little heat! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Homemade Ice Cream (No Ice Cream Machine Needed)

Now I know this isn't peach pie, sorry Shelly! I made one but my crust was not cooperating with me and it didn't turn out right. I will be making another one so I can take a picture of how wonderful it is and post it.

Anyway on to the ice cream! Now, I will say this ice cream doesn't turn out quite like the ice cream in an ice cream maker, but it is oh so good! 
It is so simple as well, all you need is some heavy whipping cream and a can of sweetened condensed milk. Mix those with your favorite ice cream ingredients and voila, you have delicious ice cream!

I added a teaspoon of vanilla and mini Reese's pieces cups. 

Homemade Ice Cream

14 ounce can sweeten condensed milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
40 Reese's Mini Peanut Butter Cups, quartered (or mix in of your choice)

 In a large bowl, whisk or stir together the sweetened condensed milk and the peanut butter cups.
In the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream and vanilla on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the sweetened condensed milk mixture, until thoroughly combined. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the freezer. (Will take about 6 hours or so until mixture is completely frozen.)
Recipe From: Kevin and Amanda

Friday, August 12, 2011

Extremely Easy Navajo Tacos

Is there anybody out there that hasn't had a Navajo Taco? You usually find them at fairs or carnivals. They are yummy! It is a scone covered with chili, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and other delicious toppings on them. Now I have tried to make homemade scones, they ended up tasting like pretzels. Not ideal for Navajo tacos. I was clipping coupons the other day and there was some for Rhodes Rolls. Rhodes Rolls is pre-made dough for rolls, bread, and cinnamon rolls. I am sure there are several other brands of frozen rolls, I just know Rhodes really well since they are based in Utah where I am from.

Navajo Tacos

thawed out rolls, get out however many you are planning to serve
diced chilies

Now all you have to do to make these scrumptious Navajo tacos is let the rolls sit out just until they are pliable, don't let them rise! Once they get to that point, have a little bit of hot oil a pan, not too hot they will burn quick. 
Stretch out the rolls to make them flat, be careful they will get thin in places. Place them in the oil and let them brown, once the side is brown flip to brown the other side. Place them on a paper towel to get some of the oil off. Heat up the chili and top with the toppings listed above. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Peaches, Peaches, Peaches

We found a peach orchard while driving around the other day. I was so excited!!
When we pulled up I told Dave to just get a small bag full.
 When he got out to go get some, the guy said, "You want some peaches?". Dave said, "We sure do we will take about 4." Then the nice old gentlemen pointed to a wagon with some little boxes on it and said, "The peaches are across the road have at them."

Dave pulling the wagon into the very big orchard. We were allowed to go where  it was marked with orange flags to pick.

Look at how wonderful these peaches are! I thought with this horrible drought we are having there wouldn't be any fresh fruit or vegetables in town.

Here we are, so happy to be picking peaches. We were even allowed to eat them while we were picking them. They were delicious!!

Dave said this picture was the "money shot".

Our peaches,needless to say we didn't get just four. That box weighed 23 pounds!!

I got to use this beautiful pot that my parents gave me this past Christmas!

I only had seven bottles, I filled them all up and still have a bag of peaches int the fridge. 

The final product!

Next up fresh peach pie!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


What is a scotch-a-roo you ask? They are peanut butter rice krispies with butterscotch chips melted on top. 
They are wonderful!!
Now I didn't have any butterscotch chips, the hubby isn't a fan so I made them with semi-sweet chocolate chips. They are just as delicious this way as well. Now in my perfect world, they would be half chocolate half butterscotch. I think that is the best way to have them in my opinion. 
This treat is perfect if you are in need of making a quick dessert. They would be a great after school snack with a tall glass of milk also.


1 cup sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup light corn syrup
6 cup Rice Krispies
1 (12oz.) bag butterscotch chips or chocolate chips or both

Bring to a boil; sugar and corn syrup. Remove from heat. Mix in peanut butter well. Add Rice Krispies. Mix. Press into a buttered 9x13 pan. Melt chips and spread over the top of the mixture. Let cool before cutting into bars.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Egg Rolls

Now I will say these egg rolls are a little time consuming, but they are so worth it. The hubby doesn't even like egg rolls and he loved these. I had a ginger root in the fridge, I should have doubled checked it. Let's just say it had seen better days, so I used about 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger in the sauce. For the egg rolls I added some ground ginger until it tasted how we wanted it. Dave got the sugar and salt containers confused. :) We had to scrap the mound of salt off the mixture, they were still a little on the salty side. Not salty enough though to stop us from enjoying them. 

Egg Rolls

4 Chicken Breasts, cooked and shredded
1 16oz. Bag raw coleslaw vegetables (or shred about 2 cups of cabbage, with some shredded carrots added)
3-4 celery stalks, sliced
5 green onions
1 pkg (20 count) Wonton wrappers
1 egg

Sweet & Sour Sauce
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs. Corn starch
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 Tbs. Soy sauce
1 cup pineapple juice
2/3 cup Heinz ketchup
½ tsp. Ginger, freshly grated

Put shredded chicken in big bowl with enough soy sauce, ginger and garlic to marinate chicken. In a large stir fry pan, cook coleslaw mix, celery and green onions until just tender with 1 tbs. oil. Add veggies to chicken bowl, along with 2 tsp. Salt, ½ tsp. Pepper, 3 tbs. Sugar, and mix with spoon.

In a small bowl, whisk one egg with 1 part water. To fill the wonton wrappers, place a heaping spoonful of meat mixture into the center of one wonton. Dip your fingers into egg and smear along the edges of wonton (this helps the egg roll stick together when rolled.) Then take one set of opposite corners and bring to the middle, or close to it. Take one of the remaining corners to the middle and roll toward the flat side. Try to seal up the wrap, allowing no stuffing to poke through, using more egg mixture on fingers to help it stick together. 

Fill all wrappers, then start the deep frying process. In a wok, fill enough oil to deep fry egg roll. Wait until oil is hot enough before putting egg roll inside. (365 degrees F.) You’ll have to monitor the speed of frying so that you don’t burn your egg rolls, and turn down heat as necessary…and watch out not to burn yourself with oil splatter! Fry until golden brown and serve immediately.

For the sauce, combine all ingredients in a pot. Stirring frequently with a whisk, bring to a boil. Cook until it thickens and it’s ready!!

Recipe From: The Sister's Cafe

Friday, August 5, 2011

Cajun Shrimp Pizza

So I left my camera at a friend's house the other night so we used Dave's phone to take a picture of this amazing pizza! It's not the greatest quality of picture so the pizza doesn't look amazing, but it tastes amazing!!
I love pizza with lots of toppings on it. I am NOT just a plain pepperoni pizza person. I want variety and flavor while I eat, this pizza was perfect for that. 
Dare I say, my husband and I ate it all and were sad after we each had our 4th piece and there was no more pizza to eat. 
I loved the spicy cajun shrimp, the roasted red pepper, I even loved the onions on it. 
You will love the homemade pizza sauce as well, it is simple and I think it is the perfect texture and taste.

Cajun Shrimp Pizza

olive oil, for brushing
1/3 cup pizza sauce (to follow)
1/2 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2tsp. olive oil
Cajun seasoning, to taste
1 oz. grated Romano cheese (I used Parmesan)
2-3 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 small red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup green onions

Preheat the oven and a pizza stone at 500 degrees F for at least 30 minutes (I used a pizza pan, and I didn't preheat it in the oven). Roll out the pizza dough into a 12-14 inch round (I usually roll it out on the pizza pan, I am not good at getting a perfect circle). Lightly brush the surface of the dough with olive oil. Top with a thin layer of pizza sauce leaving a clear perimeter around the edge for the crust.
Combine the shrimp, olive oil and Cajun seasoning in a bowl and toss until the shrimp are well coated with the seasoning. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Place the shrimp in the pan in a single layer and cook briefly, turning once, just until the shrimp are just opaque. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Sprinkle the Romano and mozzarella cheeses evenly over the pizza dough. Top with roasted red pepper, red onion, and green onions. Evenly distribute the cooked shrimp over the pizza. Sprinkle the pizza with additional Cajun seasoning, if desired.
Transfer the pizza to the preheated pizza stone if you are using the pizza stone and bake until cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust is lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes (mine took 8 minutes).
Cool slightly before slicing and serving. 

Pizza Sauce

1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomates, drained
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

To make the sauce, combine all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl or container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Recipe Adapted From: Annie Eats

Another Year Older

This wonderful man is turning one year older today, today is his birthday. 


I love you, and miss you terribly. You are such an amazing person. 
I was hoping by the time you would be reading this, I would either be landing at the Salt Lake Airport or at least be in the air en route to come see you. 

Sadly I was not able to get out on stand by and the rest of the flights for the day were full. I will try to be there for your next birthday. 

I love you Dad, hope your day is wonderful!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

On To The Next Chapter...

I pulled out the dead tomato and bell pepper plants. :( It was sad to see them go, I only got 4 or 5 small roma tomatoes and about 6 small lemon boy tomatoes. There were quite a few bell peppers, since we have been haven't been home much we didn't get to use all of the good sized ones. There were a lot of tiny ones that were bad from the heat. 

The other planter box still "appears" to be doing well.
Looks can be deceiving....

This is one of the carrots that has been growing since I planted them in March!
Honestly, almost 5 months of growing and this is as big as you're gonna get?!
I expect better of you, I water you 3 times a day for ten minutes, get those gnarly weeds out of your way and this is how you repay me?!

Time to clear the slate and start anew! 
I will be making this dirt all good and ready for some plants. I am going to try growing some plants from seed in egg cartons and when it cools down (ha if it cools down here) I will plant again. I am shooting for the end of September.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lemon Pepper Chicken and Gravy

Don't be fooled by the name of this dish, it is delicious! I found it on allrecipes.com, I was looking for a dish I could use up the few green peppers I grew in the garden. I was a little skeptical, it calls for chicken gravy and that just seemed a little odd to me. When I was describing what was for dinner to my husband, he wasn't sure what to think himself. 
After eating it though we both agreed it was great! It had some great spice to it from the peppers and lemon pepper seasoning. I used all green bell peppers since that is what I had instead of using a red bell pepper.
I suggest cooking this in a bigger fry pan, skillet or a wok. I cooked mine in a wok. 
Serve over a nice helping of rice. Try it, I think you will be surprised at how good it is.

Lemon Pepper Chicken and Gravy

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast meat - cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper
  • 4 packets dry chicken gravy mix, prepared according to package instructions
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet or wok heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken and saute for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cooked through (juices run clear and chicken meat is no longer pink inside).Add green bell pepper, red bell pepper, lemon pepper seasoning, prepared gravy, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir all together; reduce heat to medium low and let all simmer about 10 minutes, or until bell peppers are tender and gravy has thickened.