Monday, December 24, 2012

Cherry Fluff

Remember that cherry fluff I talked about at Thanksgiving?  Well, here it is.  This is a tradition with our family, we have it at any holiday gathering.  I love to eat it with ham (sweet and salty) or just by itself!  It is so fluffy and delicious.  Hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.
The lighting isn't great in this picture, so it doesn't do it justice!
Cream together cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk
Add cherry pie filling, crushed pineapple, and nuts.  Stir and add whipped cream and marshmallows!
 YUM, dreamy fluffy goodness

Grandma's Cherry Fluff
1 block cream cheese (8oz), softened to room temp
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can cherry pie filling
1 large can crushed pineapple, drained very well
2/3 cup chopped nuts
1 small tub cool whip
1 cup marshmallows

Cream together cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk with beaters.  Stir in cherry pie filling, nuts and pineapple until well combined.  Fold in cool whip and marshmallows.  Eat immediately to make sure it takes right Chill in fridge for at least 4 hours.  I usually make it the day before to make things easier.  Enjoy!!!!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!
God bless you all and I wish you the best.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Black Bean Potato Burritos-Baked!

These are so delicious.  In New Mexico, Allsup's is everywhere.  It is a gas station, and they have these wonderful little things we like to call "gut granades."  I guess if you want the real name it is a chimichanga.  A fried burrito that is really good, but not good for you!  I used my Vegetarian Refried bean recipe (cut in half) to make black beans.  When they were done cooking, I added some skillet potatoes.  Then you fill giant tortillas, rub a little olive oil on them, and bake them.
 And toppings to follow
 This was how I had mine
These sound so good right now, I guess I need to make them again very soon!  It looks like the instructions are complicated, but it is pretty simple.  If you wanted to make it easier, you could use 2 cans of black beans and drain some of the juice.

Black Bean Potato Burritos-Baked
Beans (modified from my Vegetarian Refried Bean recipe)
1 T olive oil
1/2 a medium yellow onion, diced
 2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 cup of dry pinto beans (mine was closer to 2 cups)
Water or broth (start with 2 cups and may need to add more)
S + P + garlic powder or fajita seasoning to taste
Heat olive oil in med to large pot over med-low heat.  Add onion to oil and let cook.  Sort pinto beans (no rotten looking beans or rocks).  Rinse beans well, and set aside.  Turn up heat to med and add jalapeno and garlic and stir.  After about 2 minutes (be careful not to burn garlic), add beans and about 2 cups water.  Bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer for about 3 hours with lid on.  I made sure there was about 1 inch of water over my beans at all times so keep an eye on them, stir occasionally, and add water as needed.  When beans are done, get your potatoes ready.

2 med-large baked potatoes, washed and pierced
1-2 Tbsp olive oil

Microwave your potatoes with a wet paper towel wrapped around each.  Start with 3 minutes, flip them and do 3 more minutes.  You want them to be a little firm, but tender.  Let them cool and then cut into small cubes.  Heat your oil over med-high heat.  Put your potatoes in the oil, season to taste and cook until browned.  Preheat your oven to 450 to get ready for assembly.

6 Large tortillas
Beans and potatoes from above.
Shredded cheese

Lightly oil a large cookie sheet.  Assemble burritos (tortilla, mix, top with cheese and roll, folding both ends in).  Place on cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray or rub on olive oil.  Bake 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned and crispy.  Enjoy with your favorite toppings.  We had avocado, pico de gallo and sour cream with ours. 

Makes about 6 servings

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

I went to find this recipe on my blog the other day and realized I didn't post it.  I made these a long time ago when my Mom was staying with me and we loved them.  She told me I need to post it so she has the recipe.  I also need to post it so I don't forget how I made them:)  Hope you enjoy them as much as we did.  Extra bonus: it is meatless! 
 Make your veggie mixture and stuff those suckers!
Top with cheese and enjoy

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
2 med-large sweet potatoes
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped (could use less depending on your onion preference)
1 cup each of broccoli and cauliflower (I used 2 cups of the frozen mixture)
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup shredded cheddar, plus a little extra 
Salt, pepper and Tony's creole seasoning to taste

Preheat oven to 400.  Pierce clean sweet potatoes all over.  Place on a baking sheet lined with foil.  Bake for 50 minutes or until tender (flip over halfway through).  
When you have about 20 minutes of bake time left, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion; saute 4 minutes.  Add broccoli and cauliflower and seasonings; saute 2 minutes.  Reduce heat a little and add 1 Tbsp. water to the skillet.  Cover and cook for 6-8 minutes, until your veggies are tender.  Remove from heat and stir in cottage cheese and half your shredded cheese.  Split your potatoes; spoon vegetable mixture into potatoes.  Top with remaining cheese.  Enjoy!  I ate the whole potato, it was delicious and filling.

Happy Monday everyone.  Hope you had a good one.  

May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way.
2 Thessalonians 3:16

Friday, November 30, 2012


Yesterday I had the day off work so I decided to re-finish my very old coffee table.  My Aunt gave us her old coffee table when we got married.  I really like the way it is build, but it was starting to look pretty rough.  Thankfully, I have a job that had taught me how to make ugly things look good as new.   This was my first Faux project on my own and it was a lot of fun. 
 Before, it had a lot of marks and water glass rings on it
 The inside is storage that is why I like it so much
I distressed it and painted it and rubbed out some areas to make it look worn.

Have a good weekend everybody:)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chicken Biscuit Pot Pie

This is the best pot pie I have ever had.  I don't know that I will go back to the pie crust pot pie (even though it is good) because this is better!  I used my Chicken Pot Pie recipe that I posted a while back, but instead of pie crust, I made drop biscuits and dropped them on top before baking.  The result was amazing.  I made it one week when my Mom was here and Cliff was out of town-we liked it so much we finished it off before Cliff got to try any.  Guess I better make it again soon.
 The biscuits had the perfect moist, crumbly texture
 Just drop the dough in big spoonfuls onto pot pie mixture and bake
Devour, it is great re-heated too!
Drop Biscuit Chicken Pot Pie
Drop Biscuit recipe
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt (or garlic salt if you want)
1 cup buttermilk (I used 1 Tbsp vinegar with 1 cup milk, let sit 5 minutes)
1 stick butter, melted and slightly cooled
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.  In a 2 cup liquid meaure, stir together the chilled buttermilk and melted butter until the butter forms small clumps (it looks curdled don't freak out).  Stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.  Drop by spoonfuls onto pot pie mixture (see below)

Pot Pie Mixture
1 small onion, diced
1 small potato, cubed
2/3 cup celery, diced
2/3 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup cauliflower (optional, could do peas or broccoli)
1/2 cup bell pepper
2 Tbsp. butter + 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 cup Tbsp flour
splash white wine (optional)
3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cup cooked chicken, cut up (I used my crock-pot chicken)

Preheat oven to 450.  In a large skillet cook vegetables in butter and olive oil over medium heat.  When they start to soften (about 8 minutes), add your flour and seasoning.  Cook for about 1 minute.  Add a splash of white wine and stir.  Add your broth and milk at the same time and bring to a low simmer.  Add your chicken and simmer until it starts to thicken.  Once your mixture has thickened, pour it into 9x11(or a little smaller if you have one cake pan.  Drop biscuit dough by big spoonfuls onto pot pie mixture.  Bake for 10-15 minutes or until biscuits are browned.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes before cutting.

Hope you love this as much as my Mom and I did!  Happy Wednesday, the week is halfway over.  I don't know about you guys, but there is a lot of sickness going on around here, make sure you load up on some Vitamin C  :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Easy Enchilada Bake

Cliff's Mom and I made this one night while we were in Amarillo.  It is very easy to put together and tasted great.  You could get creative and do different variations.  Next time I plan to put some thinly sliced squash in mine. 
 Look at that yummy cheese
 It was really good with some salad on the side

Easy Enchilada Bake
1 pound ground beef
1/2 onion
1 small can green chili's 
1 medium can enchilada sauce (we used red)
1 normal size can pinto beans, drained
2 cups of cheese (this is an estimate)
4 whole wheat tortillas

Cook ground beef and onion until browned.  Add your green chili's to your meat.  Grease tall baking dish (shown above).  Pour a little sauce into the bottom of the dish.  Layer your first tortilla.  Top with meat, beans, sauce and cheese (I just did a thin layer of each thing), then top with another tortilla.  Repeat until you have reached the top of your dish.  We topped ours with more meat, beans, sauce and cheese.  Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, or until bubbly.  Enjoy with a side salad.  It is also good with salsa on top.
This is their dog Charley!  She is so funny, she looks like this pretty much all the time.  Hope everyone is off to a good week.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Colorado Trip

About a month ago, I went to Colorado when Cliff was on a business trip.  It was really cold the weekend we were there so we didn't get to do as much outside.  We still had a really good time.  Colorado is so beautiful.

 It snowed the first night we were there

 We went and bought a few winter clothes so we could hike and enjoy Colorado!
It was lots of fun
We ate some really good food, but I didn't take pictures.  There are a lot of trendy healthy restaurants in CO.  Cliff took me to all his favorites.  We also found a Fall Festival and walked around with one of our friends from college and drank Apple Cider. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fall Trail Mix

I love this stuff and make it every year when the Halloween Candy comes out.  I like it a little too much so I have learned to make it to share with people, that way I don't have a whole batch of it to eat by myself.  This is the only way I like to eat candy corn.  When you combine it with the salty peanuts it takes like a payday.  This year I made a batch of it and took it to my lovely co-workers!
I also attached Bible verses and notes to these if you are looking for an encouraging gift idea!

Fall Trail Mix
16oz can of dry roasted peanuts
1 bag of fall color M&M's (the normal size bag in Halloween candy isle, not single serving bag)
1 bag candy corn (I like the variety candy corn)
4-5 cups chex cereal

Combine in a large bowl.  It is also good with pretzels added in:)  I'm sure there are lots of other mix-ins to try as well, this is the way I like to make it!  Enjoy

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Monday

Do you have your Thanksgiving recipes ready?  We are spending Thanksgiving with Cliff's family.  Both sides of his grandparents live here so we will get to see them and his aunts and uncles.  I'm sure we will have lots of delicious food.  I won't be cooking a lot, but we do have a few things planned.  One thing my family always has at Thanksgiving and Christmas is Cherry Fluff.  I love this stuff.  I will be posting the recipe after I make it Wednesday because you need this at your next holiday meal (maybe Christmas!).  In the meantime I will just be posting some of the awesome things I have made over the past few weeks.  As my Mom has been recovering from her surgery and staying with us, we have cooked a lot of healthy things.  One of my favorite new lunch ideas came from my boss Phyllis.  If you need to take a cold lunch anywhere, this is really good.  It is filling but it won't weigh you down.  It is Broccoli Chicken Salad.
 I loved it and served it on whole wheat crackers
This is the yogurt mixture

Broccoli Chicken Salad (makes 5 servings)
1 (13oz) can of chicken, drained and broken apart
2 heads of broccoli, washed, cut and steamed
3/4 cup toasted slivered almonds or walnut pieces
1/2 cup craisins
1 (6oz) carton of greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 Tbsp. honey mustard
1/2 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper to taste
feta cheese to top when served

Combine your seasonings, yogurt, olive oil and honey mustard in a small bowl.  Combine chicken, broccoli, toasted almonds and craisins in a large bowl.  Stir in your yogurt mixture until well combined.  Cover and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.  Stays good up to 5-6 days.  When you serve it, sprinkle a little feta cheese on for added flavor.  Serve with crackers and fruit on the side. 

Hope you guys are off to a good week.  We are excited for Thanksgiving and time with family.  I already got an awesome workout in today called the 4x4 workout.  It was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but I feel really good now that I did it.  I also read in Romans 6 this morning:

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
Romans 6:11-14

Monday, November 12, 2012

No Bake Energy Bites

I just call these oat balls, but that is the name of the recipe I got from my Aunt Kathy.  These things are really good.  They are great to snack on or eat as a healthy dessert if you are trying to lay off the Reese's cups and peanut clusters.  I usually eat a couple a day and Cliff likes them too so you need to try them.
 The cool thing is how flexible this recipe can use lots of different things, check out my ideas below

No Bake Energy Bites
1 cup oats
2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup flaxseed or wheat germ (I used 1/4 cup of each)
1/2 cup craisins or dried cherries
1/3 cup honey (I ran out of honey so I also used agave and maple syrup)
1 tsp. vanilla

Stir all ingredients together and roll into balls.  Chill and enjoy.
**Other ideas:  chocolate chips, coconut, almond butter, sunflower seeds, raisins, etc

 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Exodus 33:14 
My Mom read this verse to me this morning and it was really encouraging because I need rest!  I am looking for rest in the Lord's presence this week.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Great Breakfast Idea

Happy Monday everyone!  It has been a busy day.  I spent my day Fauxing a Study....lots of up and down on a large scaffolding.  It was fun (a good workout too).  Came home and made ravioli with a semi-homemade spaghetti sauce.  We all really enjoyed it.  My Mom is still in town so I have lots of motivation to cook these days. 
Simple cheese ravioli, the sauce was the best!

Semi-Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 tsp. italian seasoning
2 garlic cloves, chopped
splash of white or red wine
1 jar spaghetti sauce

In a medium saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion, bell pepper and Italian seasoning.  Stir occasionally and cook until they are tender and starting to brown.  Add garlic and stir, let that cook for about a minute.  Add a splash of wine to de-glaze the pan.  Stir in spaghetti sauce and let it simmer for 30 minutes or more.  Enjoy with your favorite pasta!  It was delicious with cheese ravioli.

I read these verses from my devotional last night and again this morning.  It was just what I needed to hear and it affirmed to me the importance of prayer and being focused on God, the real purpose for being here on earth!
 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.  And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.  Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Colossians  4:2-6

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

There are a ton of pumpkin muffin recipes out there.  I tried to find one that was kind of healthy, but not so healthy that they tasted bad.  These muffins were really good have less sugar and oil than a lot of muffins I found.  If you wanted to make them more dessert-like, you could make cream cheese frosting to top them!
 Served with eggs
 I mixed my dry ingredients the night before, then all I had to do was mix my wet ingredients into the dry
 Wet and dry ingredients
 I like to do different toppings!
 Very yummy
Pumpkin Spice Muffins
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup oat flour (blend oats in blender until flour consistency)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp. butter cut into pieces
1 heaping cup pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup raisins or chocolate chips (I used golden raisins in half of the batter)

Toppings of choice:  granola, chocolate chips, oats, cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 400.  Grease 12 muffin tins.  Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.  Cut butter into batter and mash until it is crumbly.  In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin, evaporated milk, egg and vanilla.  Pour pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture.  Add raisins and fold until mixture is gently combined.  Pour into a greased muffin pan.  Top as you desire.  Bake for 25 minutes and allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes.  Frost with cream cheese frosting if you wish (really good by the way).
This is how I ate them leftover!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

New Favorite Way to Cook Eggs

My Aunt Kathy told me about making eggs like this.  They are so good and very easy to make.  They taste like a poached egg and fried egg combined into one.
 We topped ours with cheese
 Freshly shredded hash browns on the side
 I put a little cottage cheese in before I baked them and it made them a little creamy
 The last few minutes of the bake time I topped them with cheese
Enjoy, these would also be the perfect size for a homemade egg mcmuffin!

Oven Baked Eggs
5 eggs
cooking spray
1/3 cup cottage cheese (optional)
shredded cheese and S&P

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray jumbo muffin tins or a ramekins with nonstick cooking spray.  Crack your eggs into the muffin tins.  Put a little cottage cheese on each egg as seen above.  Bake for 10 minutes, top with cheese and then bake 3-5 more minutes.  The times may vary depending on your oven, but you can tell when they start to harden.  
Enjoy with your favorite breakfast sides.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Cliff requested homemade Reese's Cups the other day.  I think he got the craving from watching me eat lots of "instant Reese's" (scroll to bottom of page) I have been hooked on them.  Well, these are a lot more dessert-like.  They are a little tedious, but well worth the effort.  Cliff loved them!  My Dad approves and he is a Reese's connoisseur! 
 Spoon chocolate into a muffin paper
 Use your spoon and drag the chocolate up the edges, then freeze
 Put chilled peanut butter mix into the chocolate shell
 Top with melted chocolate and put in freezer until hardened
These are so good, you've got to try them.

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar
pinch of salt

In a double boiler melt chocolate.  While that is melting, mix peanut butter, powdered sugar and salt; place in fridge to chill.  Place muffin papers in a muffin tin and spoon chocolate into muffin papers.  Use your spoon to draw the chocolate up the edges of the paper.  Place those in the freezer until hardened (about 10 minutes).  Dip peanut butter into the chocolate shell and then top with chocolate.  Try to smooth the chocolate over the peanut butter gently until it is fully covered.  Place back in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.  Enjoy:)  I keep mine stored in the refrigerator. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Creamy Cheese Chicken Bake

I found this delightful recipe on Mels Kitchen Cafe.  I changed up a few things because of cheese preference and it was a winner.  Cliff said it had a lot of flavor and he really liked it.  It was also really easy.  Also, if you follow my blog you know that my Mom was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in August so I have been very busy with that over the past few months.  This week she got a major surgery to remove her ovaries and all the other cancer.  If you would like to read about that, I will post the details at the bottom of this post.  We are so thankful that God has kept her safe and brought great healing to her body.
 We had oven fries, green beans and skillet corn bread on the side
 You make your creamy mixture, top the chicken and then top it with more cheese and I did green chili on one which turned out really good

Creamy Cheese Chicken Bake
1 pound chicken (I just used 3 large chicken tenders, boneless, skinless)
2 slices provolone cheese
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup yogurt
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mozzarella
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
green chili (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 and lightly spray a baking dish.  Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season on each side with salt and pepper.  Lay the chicken breast pieces in a single layer on the bottom of the prepared baking pan.  Layer the provolone cheese slices over the chicken.  In a small bowl whisk together the mayo, yogurt, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Spread this mixture over the chicken and cheese.  Top with mozzarella.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is hot and bubbly.  Serve with your favorite sides. 

**Update on Mom:
She had a major surgery Monday to remove her ovaries and any other cancer the doctor found.  She got a very large incision down her stomach.  The doctor was very pleased with the surgery.  She removed her omentum, appendix, the cyst, ovaries and part of her colon.  All of those things had cancer on them, and she was able to remove all of the other cancer spots she saw.  We were so happy with the report and so was the doctor.  My Mom has made great progress since surgery.  She has been able to walk and get her drainage tube out of her nose/throat and it feeling pretty good.  She is sore, but overall we are grateful for the great progress.  I will be busy helping her with recovery for the next month, but plan to blog occasionally and also keep you updated on her continued progress.