Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's Time To Diet

Josh and I have spent the holiday season eating, drinking, and being merry. As a result of this we have each gained about 10lbs that we would like to try to lose in the new year. We have developed a dieting plan that includes recipes from this website: 500 Calorie Dinners We are going to try the steak with carmelized onions and gorgonzola tonight. In other news, we switched Austin to a toddler bed today and I am excited to say that he is currently taking a nap in it with no problems so hopefully tonight will go equally as well! Happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Austin is 2!

On Monday, November 28th Austin turned 2. I can't believe he is already that old! I took him to his 2 year well child check-up today and he is 32.56 lbs (91st percentile) and 34.5 in (49th percentile). He is talking up a storm now, saying tons of words as well as phrases and even sentences. His favorite thing to do is play with cars, read about cars, or watch cars on tv. He also loves to run, jump, climb, and play with other kids. He still sleeps in a crib but we plan to move him to a toddler bed after Christmas. We have tried potty training but he's still not quite ready.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Turkey-Hummus Sliders

If you are looking for a healthy meal that is full of flavor this is one you are definitely going to want to try!


  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 cup hummus, preferably spicy or roasted red pepper (about a 7-ounce container)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 16 pita pockets, preferably whole wheat, split open and warmed
  • 2 to 3 plum tomatoes, sliced


Toss the cucumber, feta, vinegar, mint, 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a bowl; cover and refrigerate.

Mix the turkey, 1/2 cup hummus, and the parsley in a bowl; season generously with pepper. Dampen your hands and shape the mixture into 16 small patties, about 1/2 inch thick.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the patties and cook until browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Cook the remaining patties in the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil.

Spread some of the remaining hummus on the inside of each pita; fill with a tomato slice, turkey patty and some of the cucumber mixture.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pampered Chef

I am excited to say that I have decided to start selling Pampered Chef. I love cooking and was looking for something to do as a stay at home mom to make a little extra money and at the same time do something I love and this was the perfect opportunity for me! I am having my first open house party at my house on Thursday, September 8 at 6pm. If you live nearby and would like to attend let me know. There will be great food as well as an opportunity to learn how to make an easy recipe. You will also have a chance to buy products as well as sign up to host a party in the future. If you host a party you receive free and discounted products! If you are unable to attend you can still order from me by going online to my consultant's website., go to the Our Products section, select the link below the products you would like to purchase, and enter my first and last name in the fields provided. If you would like to hold a catalogue party, I can mail you some catalogues and order forms and you would just need to take orders from people you know and mail them in and in return you would receive free and discounted products based on the amount you sold. If you or someone you know is getting married, Pampered Chef also offers wedding registries. If you register at Pampered Chef you would also receive free and discounted products, just make sure to put in my consultant number (668773). If you have any more questions feel free to email or facebook me!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

BBQ Chicken Pasta

Last weekend we had some people over so we smoked a large pork butt to make BBQ. I overestimated the amount of sauce we would need so I made way too much. While searching for something to do with the leftover sauce, I stumbled upon this recipe. I made it a few days ago and it was delicious. It also reheats very well. The recipe for my barbecue sauce is below in an earlier post, or you can use any barbecue sauce of your choice.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
1 red onion, diced
3 cups water
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces penne pasta
2/3 cup barbecue sauce
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat (you could also use a large pot if you don’t have a skillet this big). When hot, add the chicken and onions and saute, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Remove the chicken and onions to a plate and set aside.
In the same skillet, add the water, chicken broth, penne and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until the liquid is almost absorbed, the pasta is tender and the mixture is thick and syrupy. Stir in the barbecue sauce and sour cream. Once mixed, add in the reserved chicken, onions and shredded cheese. Stir to combine and cook until everything is heated through.
Serve immediately and garnish with additional red or green onions and shredded cheese.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pecan Crusted Tilapia With Remoulade Sauce


  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions, white and green parts
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup mayonaise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 3-4 tilapia fillets
  • 1 stick butter, melted, plus 1 tablespoon whole butter
  • 1 1/2 cup pecans, ground into crumbs in a food processor 
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper


To prepare sauce, place the parsley, green onions, and garlic in a blender or food processor and combine. Add the mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice and mustard. Blend well. Chill until ready to serve. This keeps in a covered container in the refrigerator for several weeks.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Rinse the fish, pat dry and season with salt and pepper. Dredge the fish in the melted butter. Spread the ground pecans on a plate and press the fish into the crumbs to coat. Turn the fillets and coat the other side.  In a cast iron or other heavy, ovenproof skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon of whole butter with the oil. When it begins to sizzle, sear the fish about 3 minutes per side. Place the skillet in the oven for 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets and your preference for degree of doneness. Serve immediately with Remoulade Sauce on the side.

Verse Of The Day: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." ~Mathew 5:6

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Two years ago we got some strawberry plants from Josh's grandma and transplanted them into our garden. Last year was our first year to get any yield and we got like two or three strawberries a day for a week or so. We expected to maybe get a few more this year and wow did we ever! Every day for at least a week I was bringing in a big bowl full...we had so many we couldn't eat them fast enough. We ended up freezing two bags with some sugar to thaw later and serve over ice cream or pound cake and with the others I made a strawberry pie and two loaves of strawberry bread. I will put the recipes for both of those here. We also have in our garden this year corn, broccoli, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, squash, lettuce, and white onion. I will post later this summer on how we do with those once they start producing vegetables.

Strawberry Pie

Chopped strawberries
4 tbsp strawberry jelly
4 tbsp cornstarch

1 maple and brown sugar oatmeal packet
½ cup sugar
½ cup flour
1 stick butter
1 tsp vanilla

Pour filling into 9 inch deep dish pie crust. Top with topping. Bake for 30-45 minutes.

Strawberry Bread


  • 2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 3 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter and flour two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.
  2. Slice strawberries, and place in medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle lightly with sugar, and set aside while preparing bread mixture.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in large bowl: mix well. Blend oil and eggs into strawberries. Add strawberry mixture to flour mixture, blending until dry ingredients are just moistened.  Divide batter into pans.
  4. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until tester inserted comes out clean. Let cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn loaves out, and cool completely.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Austin's 18 Month Appointment

Austin had his 18 month appointment today. He weighed in at 29.4 lbs (87th percentile) was 32 in. tall (36th percentile) and his head circumference was 19 in. (61st percentile).

Austin has always been ahead of the curve on motor skills, but he wasn't saying a whole lot until recently. As of today he can now say car, ball, shoes, bowl, grandpa, uh-oh, no, yes, eyes, mama, dada...he can also say and correctly identify the letters n, r, l, f, and x. There are also tons of words he understands and will point to certain objects when asked. He knows what sound a monkey and a bear make. He is also pretty good at letting me know what he wants nonverbally too...he will bring me his shoes or hat when he wants to go outside, stand at the pantry or climb into his chair when he is hungry and stand at the fridge or point to my drink when he is thirsty.

Other new things of interest since my last post about Austin....he can now climb steps by himself, he also climbs on and off the couch and kitchen chairs by himself, (he even climbed out of the tub once when i wasn't looking but surprisingly he has not climbed out of his crib yet)! we recently moved him out of his high chair into a regular chair at the table, his new favorite thing to do is play with cars, he loves to stand on a step stool in the bathroom and brush his teeth in front of the mirror (and he almost always throws a temper tantrum when it is time to take the toothbrush away)

That's about all I can think of for now. If you have any more questions feel free to ask. He's really a pretty great kid!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Shrimp and Wild Rice Casserole


  • 1 (8-ounce) package long grain wild rice
  • 1/2 bag frozen small shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce can) condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar
  • Salt and pepper


Cook the rice according to package directions.
Heat the butter in saucepan and saute the pepper, shrimp, and onion until soft, about 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the rice, soup, 1 1/2 cups of cheese, shrimp and vegetables. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Mix well. Spray an 11 by 7-inch glass casserole dish with vegetable spray. Place the mixture in the pan and top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cous Cous Salad

Cous Cous
Chicken Broth
Chopped cooked chicken
Diced red onion
Chopped spinach leaves
1 can garbanzo beans
Feta cheese
Italian dressing

Cook cous cous according to box directions, using chicken broth instead of water. Stir together with other ingredients. Can be eaten hot or cold.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lobster Macaroni

I just made this recipe on Saturday night and it was exact quote from my husband was, "Do you ever eat food that just makes you happy to be alive"?


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • salt
  • 1/2 box macaroni pasta
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 cup red wine
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar
  • 1 cup shredded mixed italian cheeses
  • 8 oz lobster meat, chopped
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and adjust racks to the middle. Spray a small baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large pot of boiling salted water over medium heat, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and reserve.

Add 4 tablespoons butter to a large pot over medium heat. Once the butter shimmers, add the onion and garlic and saute until translucent. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the tomato paste and flour and stir to toast, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the red wine and reduce, by half, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the half and half, whisking well to remove any lumps. Add the paprika.  Bring the cream up to a simmer and turn the heat to low. Let reduce until the cream is thick and can coat a spoon, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the grated cheeses, a handful at a time, combining well after each addition. Add the chopped lobster meat to the sauce and stir well. Add the pasta and stir. Add to the greased baking dish and sprinkle with the bread crumbs and parsley. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

 Verse Of The Day: "But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another." ~1 John 1:7

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pulled Pork with South Carolina Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 cup yellow mustard
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 lb pork tenderloin
Whisk together all ingredients, except butter in a saucepan, bring to a low simmer, and turn off heat. Stir in butter. Put pork tenderloin in slow cooker with half of the sauce for 6-8 hours. Shred with a fork and top with additional sauce before eating.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chicken Noodle Casserole


  • Chopped cooked chicken
  • 6 ounces egg noodles
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • Garlic and herb bread crumbs
  • Shredded cheese
  • 1/2 bag frozen mixed veggies


  1. Cook and drain pasta.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together mushroom soup, chicken soup, sour cream and frozen mixed veggies. Season with salt and pepper. Gently stir together cream soup mixture with the chicken mixture. Place in a 2 quart baking dish.
  3. Top casserole with bread crumbs and cheese.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 30 minutes, until heated through and browned on top.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Allyzyn Jaymz

I wanted to post songs on here that Josh and I have done but I could not figure out how so instead here is a link to our myspace page where you can listen to some of our music. We haven't posted anything new in a few months but have been working on some stuff and hope to post soon. We recently purchased a new keyboard/synthesizer with a full 88 real ivory weighted keys and have been having a lot of fun playing around with that. Hope you enjoy!

Verse Of The Day: "I will sing the Lord's praise, for He has been good to me." ~Psalm 13:6

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Shepherd's Pie


  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • Salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium beef stock
  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 2 zucchini, julienned
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon  paprika
  • 4 ounces cheese, grated
  • Mushroom Onion Gravy, recipe follows


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Boils potatoes.  Drain potatoes, return to pot, and mash together with 3 tablespoons of the butter and the half and half. Season with salt, garlic, and pepper, to taste, and set aside.
In a large pan brown ground beef with Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in tomato paste and saute for a few minutes. Add stock and bring to a simmer.  Remove mixture to a bowl. In the same pan, add remaining butter and oil and saute onions until almost tender, then add red bell pepper, zucchini, carrots and paprika. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
To assemble, in a 9 by 12-inch baking dish layer half of beef, pressing down to pack in, then sprinkle the cheese on evenly. Pour the remaining half of the beef over the cheese and press down. Next, add the sauteed vegetables and top with the mashed potatoes, spreading out with a spatula or the back of a spoon to even out and to form decorative peaks and valleys. Sprinkle top with paprika and bake for 30 minutes or until edges on potatoes turn golden brown. Serve with Mushroom Onion Gravy.

Mushroom Onion Gravy
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, saute onions and mushrooms in oil until tender and mushrooms release their moisture, about 5 minutes. Add flour and stir to evenly coat. Slowly whisk in wine and then the broth. Simmer until thickened and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Roasted Tomato Soup


  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes
  • 6 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 large white onion, sliced
  • 2 roasted red peppers (from the jar)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, optional
  • 3/4 cup half and half, optional


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Wash, core, and cut the tomatoes into halves. Spread the tomatoes and onions onto a baking tray.  Drizzle with 1/2 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until caramelized.
Remove roasted tomatoes and onion from the oven and transfer to a large stock pot.  Add roasted red peppers, 3 cups of the chicken stock and the butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid has reduced by a third.
Wash and dry basil leaves, if using, and add to the pot. Use an immersion to puree the soup until smooth. (or pour into a regular blender) Return soup to low heat, add half and half and adjust consistency with remaining chicken stock, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Verse Of The Day: "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters." ~1 John 3:16

Friday, April 1, 2011

Zucchinni Bread

When Austin was younger he was a great eater and would pretty much eat anything you put in front of him or near his mouth...and by most people's standards I guess he still is a pretty good eater for a 16 month old. But ever since he got old enough to have an opinion, he will not touch a vegetable with a ten foot pole. So I have learned a few tricks on how to hide them in foods I know he likes, like bread. Here is a perfect example. Zucchini bread may sound kind of weird but it is really delicious and a great way to get kids to eat a vegetable without them knowing!


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups grated zucchini


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and baking powder.
  3. Beat eggs. Add sugar, vanilla, and oil and mix well. Add zucchini to egg mixture. Add dry ingredients, mixing well.  Pour into 2 greased loaf pans.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour.  

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Apple Pie


2-3 peeled and chopped apples
4 tbsp apple jelly
4 tbsp cornstarch
cinnamon to taste

1 maple and brown sugar oatmeal packet
½ cup sugar
½ cup flour
1 stick butter
1 tsp vanilla

Pour filling into 9 inch deep dish pie crust. Top with topping. Bake for 30-45 minutes.

*This recipe also works well with strawberries, peaches, etc...

Verse Of The Day: "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor." ~ Romans 12:10

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas


  • 2 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup Reduced Fat Sour Cream, divided
  • 1 (8 ounce) package KRAFT Shredded Colby & Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, divided
  • 12 (8 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups  Salsa


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix chicken, soup, 1/2 cup of the sour cream, 1 cup of the cheese and 3 Tbsp. of the cilantro until well blended.
  2. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture down center of each tortilla; roll up. Place, seam sides down, in greased 13x9-inch baking dish. Top with the salsa and remaining cheese.
  3. Bake 25 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp. cilantro; top with the remaining 1/2 cup sour cream. 
Verse Of The Day: "And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hears and your minds in Christ Jesus." ~Philippians 4:7

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Creamy Pork Tenderloin

Austin and I just got back from a trip to the east coast to visit family and friends. We had a good time seeing everyone but are definitely glad to be home. Austin is just coming off of a sinus infection and a stomach virus and I have a cold so we are laying low this week trying to catch up on rest. I am posting the recipe that I am making for dinner tonight. It is very easy and a great recipe when you don't have a lot of time or energy to cook. It also usually makes enough for us to eat on twice.

Creamy Pork Tenderloin

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin (i usually buy the onion and garlic pre-seasoned kind but you could also buy a plain one and season it yourself)
  • half bag of frozen mixed veggies
  • 1 can each of cream of mushroom, cream of celery, and cream of potato
  • 1 cup rice
Put pork, veggies, and soups in crock pot. Cook for 6-8 hours. Shred pork with a fork. Serve over rice.

Verse Of The Day: "I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint." ~Jeremiah 31:25

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ham And Pineapple Fried Rice


  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • chopped jalapeno
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • 2 green onions, sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces finely chopped ham steak
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup rice
  • sesame oil
  • soy sauce


Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the sesame oil. When the oil shimmers, add the onion, garlic, ginger, and green onions. Saute until tender and golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the red bell pepper, jalapeno and the ham steak and saute until the pepper starts to soften. Add the rice and pineapple and mix with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps. Stir-fry until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Mix in the sesame oil, and the soy sauce to taste.

Verse Of The Day: "Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary." ~Isaiah 40:31

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Herb Garden

Every year since we've lived in this house we have had an outdoor garden. The first two years I did a mix of vegetables, fruit, and herbs. This year I have decided to do my herbs indoors to save space in the outdoor garden for more vegetables as well as to make the herbs more accessible for every day use. I bought an over the sink shelf so my herbs can sit by the kitchen window and get plenty of sunlight. I planted basil, cilantro, parsley, and thyme. So far all my plants look great! (I will post more about the outdoor garden in a month or so when it warms up enough for us to plant.) One of the recipes I look most forward to making once my herbs come in is my fresh basil pesto. Here is the recipe:

Basil Pesto
  • 3 cups chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2/3 cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • olive oil
Put basil, pine nuts, cheese, and garlic in a food processor or blender. Puree, adding a little oil at a time until you get to the desired consistancy.

This sauce makes a wonderful pesto chicken pizza. Just spread the pesto on a pizza crust and add chopped chicken, marinated artichoke hearts, chopped red onion, and diced tomatoes.

Verse Of The Day: "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." ~Matthew 5:16

Monday, March 7, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Soup


  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon margarine
  • ½ cup half and half
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli


  1. Melt butter or margarine over medium heat in a 2 quart saucepan. Cook and stir onions in butter or margarine until tender.
  2. Boil broccoli until tender. Drain.
  3. Add milk and cream cheese to onions; stirring until cream cheese melts. Stir in shredded cheese and broccoli. Stir until cheese melts, and soup is heated through. 
Verse Of The Day: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, March 3, 2011

4 Years

Today I celebrate 4 years of marriage to my wonderful husband. In honor of that, I am posting one of our favorite special occasion recipes. (goes great with a glass of white wine)

Crab and Jumbo Shells

  • 1 box jumbo shells pasta
  • 1 container ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup basil
  • 2 cans crab meat, drained
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 cups milk
Boil water. Add a pinch of salt and the pasta. Cook 8-10 minutes. Drain pasta. In a large bowl mix together ricotta, 3/4 cup parmesan, egg, basil, crab, salt, and pepper. Preheat oven to 350. Stuff shells and place in buttered baking dish. Cover with sauce and sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese. (sauce recipe follows). Bake for 15-20 minutes.

In a medium saucepan melt butter. Add flour and whisk until smooth (about 2 min). Gradually add in milk, whisking until sauce is think, smooth, and creamy (about 10 min). Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Verse Of The Day:
 "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." ~1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chocolate Rice Pudding

I made this for Josh and I for Valentines Day and it was fantastic (especially with a little whipped cream on top)


  • 5 cups milk 
  • 2/3 cup arborio rice (the kind you use to make risotto)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


In a heavy, medium saucepan, combine the milk, rice, vanilla, and sugar. Bring the milk to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender and the mixture thickens, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the cocoa powder.  Add the chocolate chips and stir until melted. Allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and refrigerate for 2 1/2 to 3 hours and up to 1 day ahead.

Verse Of The Day: "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." ~Philippians 1:6

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Crab Cakes

2 cans crab, drained
¼ red onion, finely chopped
3 green onions, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
¼ bell pepper, finely chopped
handful cracker crumbs
1 egg
½ cup miracle whip
1 tsp mustard
Worcestershire sauce
Garlic salt
Onion salt
*Sorry the spices don't have measurements beside them, I rarely ever measure out spices. Just consider it a few shakes of each.

Mix all ingredients together and form patties. Lightly brush with flour, mixed with salt and pepper. Brown in oil for 3 minutes on either side.

Verse Of The Day: "He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power." ~Isaiah 40:29

Monday, February 28, 2011

Austin's 15 Month Appointment

Austin had his 15 month doctor's appointment today. For those of you who are interested in this sort of thing here are his stats.  He is 26lb 13oz, 31.75in, and his head circumference is 48. That is the 83rd, 76th, and 74th percentiles respectively. Yes, he is a big boy.

Other things about Austin at this age: He can walk very fast now, almost what I would call a run. Basically this means if we set him down somewhere you better keep a close eye on him because he will be gone quick. He has also recently learned how to walk backwards and he can almost walk down stairs by himself. He loves to climb and has recently learned how to get on the coffee table, so we had to move that out of our living room.
 He talks a lot but not much of which we can understand. He can say uh-oh, mama, dada, and yes. He also loves to shake his head and say uh-uh when he is unhappy with his circumstances. He will raise his arms above his head if you say "touchdown," wave if you say "bye-bye," and clap if you say "are you a good boy?"
He loves being read to, throwing balls (and just about anything else too), stacking blocks, and putting smaller items into bigger containers. He also loves playing with the dog and helping me unload the dishwasher :) It seems to be his life's goal to catch the cat but he has yet to do that.
He is a very good sleeper most of the time, sleeping around 11 hours at night and 1 nap of 2-3 hours after lunch.
He is a pretty good eater with his favorite foods being cheese, grapes, and bread. We dropped his last bottle today so he is now officially only drinking from a sippy cup.
He is a very good natured kid who rarely meets a stranger and loves to give hugs.
That's about all I can think of for now. I will update more later.

Verse Of The Day: "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." ~Luke 12:34

Friday, February 25, 2011


I have always hated meatloaf. Because of this I recently decided to challenge myself to make a meatloaf that I did like. This recipe, inspired by Bobby Flay but tweaked a bit to my liking, is what I came up with. Try it and let me know what you think!



  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, finely diced
  • chopped onion
  • chopped jalepeno
  • minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vinegar


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the zucchini, peppers onion, jalapeno, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper, to taste, and cook until almost soft, 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Whisk together the eggs and herbs in a large bowl. Add the meat, bread crumbs, cheese, 1/2 cup of the barbecue sauce, 2 tablespoons of the vinegar, and the cooled vegetables and mix until just combined.
Mold the meatloaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Whisk together the remaining barbecue sauce, vinegar, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Brush the mixture over the entire loaf. Bake the meatloaf for 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with brown gravy.

 Verse of the Day: " Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." ~James 1:2-4

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Welcome to my blog! I'm kind of new to this whole blog thing but i finally decided to join the bandwagon. So here is a brief overview of what i intend to do with my new hobby. 

Over the past few years I have developed a passion for cooking and have therefore decided to start a website where I can share some of my favorite recipes. I will also share scripture verses that inspire me and tidbits about Austin and his development etc...thus the title of my blog, This and That. Hope you enjoy!

Recipe of the Day:

Chicken Pot Pie


  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • ½ bag frozen mixed veggies
  • 2 chopped celery stalks
  • ¼ onion chopped
  • ¼ bag hashbrown potatoes
  • garlic
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper, optional
  • 1 1/2 cups instant biscuit mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 stick melted butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Saute veggies with garlic, salt, and pepper. In a greased 2-quart casserole, layer the chicken, eggs, and veggies. Mix the soup, chicken broth. Pour over the layers. Stir together the biscuit mix and milk, and pour this over the casserole. Drizzle butter over the topping. Bake until the topping is golden brown, 50-60 minutes.

Scripture Verse of the Day:
 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." ~Proverbs 3:5-6