Tag Archives: recipe

She {hearts} Independence Day!

Happy 4th of July! What does your family have planned to celebrate? I think we’re just going to hang close to home this year. With the 4th falling on a Wednesday and having to work Tuesday and Thursday, it makes it difficult to celebrate on the actual 4th! We will however be celebrating with friends and family this weekend!

The photo to the right shows what our calendar that hangs on our refrigerator looks like for this month. Allie Grace made this calendar at her pre-school for her Daddy for Father’s Day. Each month has her hand print but her hand is decorated based on a theme/holiday from that month. To replicate this artwork you’ll need blue and red finger paint. Paint your child’s palm blue and their fingers red before pressing their hand down on white paper. Once the hand print has dried you can draw stars on the paper in the blue area with darker blue marker. If you have a white-out pen, that makes even better stars too!

I did go to the grocery store yesterday to pick up some things to make a simple everyday dessert, just a little more festive, for us to have after dinner tonight! Star Spangled Ice Cream Sandwiches (photo & recipe from Disney Family Fun) All you need are cupcake liners, popsicle sticks, mini ice cream sandwiches and red, white, and blue sprinkles! First skewer the sandwiches onto the popsicle sticks. Next, press the exposed filling onto a plate full of sprinkles and place sandwiches into cupcake liners to help keep the mess to a minimum! It’s that easy!


Need something to wash it down with? Try this Patriotic “Mocktail” for the Kids! (Image and recipe from Baby Center)

4th of July Kiddie Mocktails
Adapted from Family Fun. Makes 1 12-ounce (tall) glass.

3 oz fruit punch
3 oz blue Gatorade (not sugar-free)
3 oz diet 7-Up or Sprite (must be sugar-free; so diet only)

Fill glass 1/3 full with ice cubes. Pour fruit punch almost (but not quite) to top of ice cubes. Fill another 1/3 with ice cubes and slowly pour blue Gatorade almost to top of cubes. Fill final 1/3 ice cubes and slowly pour sugar-free Sprite. Add straw and voila! How does it work? The drink with the highest sugar content stays on the bottom… super fun 4th of July drink!

I have an entire board on Pinterest devoted just to 4th of July recipes, crafts, decor, etc.

 You can follow all of my boards here.


She {hearts} Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream Icing

I had been scouring the internet and pinterest for just the right recipe to make these. I had Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream Icing at Church. They were delicious but I never could get the recipe. I must also point out that I had NEVER made homemade cake or icing, I always used the box and the can of icing.

I do have to say for my first time, the cupcakes and icing turned out delicious! Everyone that has tried them agree, so if I can make this so can you. I do want to add a mini reese cup in the middle of the cupcake next time, that would be so yummy!


Chocolate Cupcake Ingredients
(makes 24-27 standard sized cupcakes)

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

  • Line muffin pan with liners or grease the muffin pan. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for one minute.
  • Stir in boiling water (the batter will be very thin, but that is right).
  • Fill liners 2/3 full with batter.
  • Bake cupcakes for approximately 22-24 minutes.
  • Cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

Peanut Butter Buttercream Icing Ingredients

1/3 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 cups (approx. 1 lb.) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons milk

  • Cream shortening and butter with electric mixer.
  • Add peanut butter and vanilla.
  • Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
  • Add milk, one tablespoon at a time, and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  • Keep icing covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Re-whip before using.
Cupcake Recipe came from Glorious Treats. Icing Recipe came from Wilton.

She {hearts} Green Water

DSC_0400No correlation with “green beer,” only a coincidence. ;) Seriously, I did not put two and two together until I sat down to write this post. It must be in my subconscious mind. Well, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I have been making green water for about a year now. I have a juicer and use it ever so often, but I find it really hard to juice leafy-green produce. You have to roll it up really well and still it gets stuck and sometimes the machine doesn’t do its best juicing job if it’s juicing leafy-green veggies. If you have a really awesome juicer you might not have this problem, but let’s say you are able to juice leafy-green veggies with ease. Man, that would be some potent green juice. Might be like drinking a Guinness (wink). Maybe on occasion, YUM!  But not everyday! :)



You can use any leafy-green veggies. I switch it up between parsley, kale and, spinach.

It’s a very refreshing “healthy” drink. Don’t expect it to taste yum, but it’s not bad. Even my hubby agrees. He isn’t really one to get on-board when I use my juicer, but he’s  been known to ask me to make him a green water. “Why?” you may ask; because it makes you feel awesome! I have a ton more energy when I’m drinking green water.








Wash your produce, unless it’s already been “triple washed”–don’t ya love when the organic spinach says that? Add your green veggies and the amount of water needed to match your servings to your blender. Blend until liquified. Strain it well. The pulp can be used to make your homemade pesto. No waste! I will often freeze the pulp until I am ready to make the pesto. Pour into glasses and be sure to add  lots of lemon and I mean a lot! Sometimes I add ice when I’m blending it so it’s extra cold. Enjoy!


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This weekend could be a GREAT time for you to introduce your family  to “green water!” Tell ‘em if they don’t drink it, they’ll get pinched! ;)


She {hearts} Whole Grain Banana Muffins

PhotobucketLike Drea and Aliesha, our family has been on a bit of a food journey in the past year and a half.

We’ve gone from having lots of white rice, white flour, white sugar, etc, to eating almost 100% whole grains.  I do a lot of baking, including all of our bread, and these fabulous muffins.

I know whole grain sometimes comes across as being dry cardboard texture, but these muffins are soft and moist.  My kids  gobble them up for breakfast or snacks, and I feel good knowing that they are getting healthy whole grains.

Whole Grain Banana Muffins – adapted from the Bread Becker’s Cookbook

2 1/4 cups freshly milled hard red wheat (or just use regular whole wheat flour)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

2 bananas, mashed

1 cup Kefir (or use buttermilk)

1 egg

1/2 cup melted butter (or oil)

1/2 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup millet (or add your favourite nuts)

3/4 cup chocolate chips

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  Then add liquids and whisk again.  Stir in millet and chocolate chips.  I use a large ice cream scoop to drop the batter into lined muffin tins.  Bake for 15-18 minutes.

She {hearts} Chicken Ranch Pasta

This yummy pasta dish is from the kitchen of my mother-in-love. I had it for the first time almost eighteen years ago! It’s light, refreshing, perfect for spring and can feed a ton! Great for leftovers and is a huge hit with the kiddos! I’ve tweaked it, Mama. Just a tad, to make it a wee bit faster. :)



  • 1 bag of extra wide egg noodles.
  • 1 bag of Tyson’s Grilled & Ready Southwestern Chicken Breast Strips.
  • 2 bags of the steam fresh broccoli, cauliflower, carrot mix.
  • Hidden Valley Ranch


Boil the noodles according to package directions. Drain. Microwave veggies according to directions. Heat chicken according to directions. Mix all together in big bowl. Can be refrigerated til ready to eat or served right away. Top with ranch dressing and enjoy!

Cold leftovers right from the fridge are yum!

She {hearts} Dump Soup

  I know, I know…I have been known to post “healthy” recipes in the past, but even with the high sodium and canned veggies, this recipe is one you HAVE to save! It’s going to get you a ton of compliments and rescue you, one frantic a-huge-group-of-people-are-coming-over-to-eat day!:) This recipe was given to me by the sweetest southern girl, for just that kind of day! And man, was she right! It made my son’s first birthday party/hubby’s homecoming from Iraq, a huge success!  That was over four years ago and it’s been a hit every time I make it! Everyone asks for the recipe and I never withhold it, it was given to me so sweetly, and I have to pass it on in such a way.

I hope you make it and enjoy the attention and delight it brings.

She {hearts} dump soup


can of black beans
can of pinto beans
can of kidney beans
can of green beans
can of corn
can of hominy
can of beef broth
can of rotel
can of diced tomatoes
1 onion diced
1lb ground beef
1 taco seasoning packet
1 ranch dressing packet
Toppings/optional, but recommended: Fritos, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, avocados are yummy too, I just didn’t have them this time.


Cook onion along with ground beef in skillet, drain fat if needed. Dump in either large crock pot or medium to large stock pot. Wash off each can before opening. Then DO NOT DRAIN ANY CAN, DUMP ALL CANS IN POT. Add both season packets and stir. Simmer or cook on low in crock pot for three hours, stirring periodically. Serve with toppings and enjoy!

She {hearts} Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

I needed a fresh way to use up the crazy amount of squash our garden produced this year, because as good as zucchini in soups, pasta and bread are- or roasted, sautéed and dipped I was frankly getting a bit green when another great big squash appeared on the counter.
I love base recipes that can be played with (and that use up surplus garden bounty). This is a fantastic one to do just that, try switching up the vanilla extract in either the cake or frosting- to almond or coconut for a completely different flavor. Trade the chocolate chips for chopped nuts if you are on the nutty side. Try adding a dash cinnamon or nutmeg if that tickles your fancy. You can top them off with mini chocolate chips, coconut, chopped nuts, or just leave plain. I like to shred the zucchini using the smaller size grater (think the pre-grated fancy cheese size). I’ve also made these with white or brown sugar, vegetable oil or straight olive, even applesauce- just depending on what I had available. And if you’re moving your family towards less sugar the cake is great without frosting at all.


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Makes 24 cupcakes

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar (white or brown)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with paper cupcake liners. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla until well blended (looks like moist sand). Combine the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, baking soda and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips. Scoop evenly into 24 cupcake liners. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until cupcakes spring back when gently touched.  Cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, melt together the 6 tablespoons of cocoa and butter; set aside. In another bowl, blend together the confectioners’ sugar, milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in the cocoa mixture. Spread (or if the frosting is still a little warm you can dip them) over cooled cupcakes. Top with mini chocolate chips.


How do you use up any of your over abundant garden crops?