Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Scrapbook Pages

 My little brother with Princess, they're so cute together.

 Kyle and I at a wedding a few years ago

 My princess, she loves taking pictures

 A simple layout from the photo I got thanks to Carly Marie, she lives in Australia and is a fellow loss mom and she drawers images in the sand for loss parents. She does such amazing work and I cherish this photo

Monday, April 29, 2013

BBQ Chicken Sliders

  • 1 1/2 qt water
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/3 cup liquid smoke
  • 1 1/2 cups hickory smoked bbq sauce
  • slider buns or dinner rolls
  1. In a large bowl mix brine ingredients, stir to dissolve brown sugar. Reserve 1 cup of bring for cooking chicken and put that cup in refrigerator till ready to cook chicken.
  2. Add chicken in large ziploc bag and add remaining brine. Seal bag, take out as much air as possible. Turn to coat chicken.
  3. Place in large bowl and refrigerate 18-24 hours, turning occasionally.
  4. Remove chicken from brine and transfer to slow cooker. Discard brine in bag.
  5. Add reserved cup of brine and 1/3 cup liquid smoke to chicken. Cook covered on low for 4-5 hours, until chicken is tender.
  6. Remove chicken and let cool slightly. Discard cooking juices.Shred with two forks and return to slow cooker. Stir in bbq sauce and heat through. Serve on buns.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sesame Shrimp

  • 1 lb medium raw shrimp (peeled and devained)
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • your favorite rice to serve it with
  1. In a large ziploc bag combine soy sauce, sesame oil, lemon juice and garlic. Add shrimp and toss to caot. Seal and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  2. Heat peanut oil in wok or skillet. Add shrimp(with marinade) and stir fry until shrimp turns pink.
  3. Serve with rice and top with sesame seeds and green onion.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Bolognese Sauce

This is great to make a big pot of on your day off work and you can freeze the leftover sauce for future dinners. I made this with fettuccini, but you can make it with any favorite pasta.

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 lb pancetta, cut into small dice
  • 1 lb ground sirloin
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 onion, cut into small dice
  • 3-4 garlic gloves minced
  • 2 carrots, cut into small dice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup milk
  •  1 cup grated parmigiano- reggiano
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
  1. Heat the EVOO over medium- high heat, add pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally until it's browned and the fat is rendered, 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add sirloin and pork and brown 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally
  3. Add the onions, garlic, carrot and cook, stirring until the vegetables are softened 6-7 minutes.
  4. Add salt and pepper, nutmeg, bay leaves, thyme and oregano. Add the tomato paste and stir about a minute or so.
  5. Add the wine and scrape up all the drippings. Reduce the wine by half, then stir in stock and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce the heat to a simmer to thicken the sauce about 1 1/2 hours. Stir Occassionally.
  7. Prepare your pasta and when done, add milk, discard bay leaves and adjust seasonlings to taste.
  8. Turn off heat, serve on pasta and toss with parsley and grated cheese.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Skillet Chicken and Ravioli

This is a recipe I got from Rachael Ray Magazine, from the most recent issue I got.
  • 9 oz package small cheese ravioli
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken cut into chunks
  • 8 oz mushrooms, halved
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add salt, add ravioli and cook as per package. Drain, and drizzle with olive oil and toss.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken, cooking until begins to brown, continue to cook and transfer to plate when done.
  3. Heat remaining 1 tbsp olive oil in skillet, add mushrooms and cook until browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and continue to cook, stirring till softened about 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, garlic and vinegar and cook until the tomatoes begin to soften, about 2 minutes.
  4. Return chickn to skillet, ravlioli, chicken broth and parmesan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Top with basil.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

National Infertility Awareness Week

Since this week is National infertility awareness week I wanted to talk a little bit about the subject on my blog. I've been dealing with unexplained infertility for over 10 years and even though we've had every test in the book ran we are just one of the unlucky ones that are unexplained. We've lost 4 babies during this struggle and I've met such amazing people in the loss community. I'm thankful for the amazing support they've given and I only hope I've been as wonderful to them as they've been to me. I'm so thankful for the technology we now have that has helped me meet these amazing women online. I can only imagine how tough it was years ago before the internet for someone dealing with infertility and loss who had no one in their lives who could relate to that pain. I wanted to share a few posts that really spoke to me and I hope you read them and possibly learn a little more about how tough the struggle of infertility is. So if one day in the future you have someone in your life struggling with loss and/or infertility you will know what to say to them.





Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pasta with Wild Mushroom Cream Sauce

I made this with spaghetti instead of the rigatoni the recipe used. I also made a smaller amount of this pasta since I was using it as a side to the chicken I was also making. Here's the link to the recipe for this delicious pasta:


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Parmesan Chicken

I used chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts like the recipe used, worked well with what I had. I didn't make the butter sauce, since I was using the sauce from the pasta I made as a side. Here's the link to this amazing recipe:


Monday, April 22, 2013


I love gardening and couldn't wait till the weather warmed up to get to working on my garden. My daffodils were the first to come up and after that my favorite - daisies. I can't wait to see the rest of my flowers bloom and to share them with you. I'm also growing tomatoes, strawberries and some herbs. I have a few other assorted flowers, Lowe's is dangerous for me this time of year I always find something to add to my garden while shopping there. Princess loves to join me outside while I'm gardening and she lays in the sun and gets her tan on. Will share more flower pictures as the summer approaches. When I was little I remember helping my grandma with her garden, she had a huge vegetable garden and up front tons of flowers. Was always fun to go outside helping set it up and pick vegetables with her. I got my love of gardening from her. I was so glad when we moved to a house that had plenty of gardening space.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Strawberry Basil Sangria

As the weather warms up I plan on sharing lots of summer drink recipes, Sangria is my favorite so it will make many appearances in different recipes. This was so refreshing and I can't wait to be enjoying it on our deck relaxing in the sun. Here's the link to the recipe:
I didn't add club soda, I usually add a splash of it once I pour a glass.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Parmesan Chicken Shells

I found this recipe on pinterest and they used manicotti, I switched it up with shells and was delicious. So glad I saved this recipe to try. I also used ground chicken instead of shredded chicken. Here's the link to the recipe:


Friday, April 19, 2013

Scrapbook Layouts

 My two favorite people relaxing on our sofa

 Love spending time in our backyard, can't wait till the weather warms up to spend more time outside.

 Kyle loves to grill and it's nice to get a little break from cooking inside

 Instagram pictures from Thanksgiving

 Our bathroom remodel

Thursday, April 18, 2013


I love flan, I remember for Spanish class in high school one year we had a party and I made this as my dessert. That time I made it in little dessert cups because it was easier to transport and eat in class that way. This is a different recipe, but is still really good.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt sugar until liquefied and golden in color. Carefully pour hot syrup into a 9 inch round glass baking dish, turning the dish to evenly coat the bottom and sides. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Beat in condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla until smooth. Pour egg mixture into baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake in preheated oven 60 minutes. Let cool completely.
  5. To serve, carefully invert on serving plate with edges when completely cool.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Coconut Custard Pie

I love coconut, but unfortunately don't make many recipes with it since Kyle is allergic. I've had this recipe saved on pinterest for awhile and when a friends birthday came up who was also a coconut fan, I knew this would be the perfect dessert. Was really good and reminded me of some of the wonderful coconut I had during our trip to Hawaii. Here's the link to the recipe:


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Gouda Bacon Mac and Cheese

This was a great Mac and Cheese recipe and if your family loves mac and cheese definitely try it out. Here is the link to the recipe:

Monday, April 15, 2013

Strawberry Raspberry Lemonade Sangria

We're big fans of Sangria in our household, so I love trying new ingredients and mixing it up each time I make it.
  • 2 lemons, sliced thin
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 bottle blush wine (you can also use white, I used my favorite pindar blush)
  • can frozen raspberry lemonade (you can use regular lemonade if you can't find raspberry)
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  1. Mix all ingredients in your pitcher, stir well and refrigerate.
  2. I love Sangria better the next day after it's spent about a day in the fridge

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Smashed Shrimp Shumai

This is another recipe I found thanks to The Chew, it's a Ming Tsai recipe and was delicious.

  • 1 pound Medium Shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter (chilled and diced)
  • 1 teaspoon Truffle Oil (optional)
  • 16 Thin Square Wonton Wrappers
  • 1 Bunch Scallions (white and green parts separated and thinly sliced - set 2 tablespoons aside for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons Sesame Seeds
  • 4 tablespoons Canola Oil
  • Sea Salt and Ground White Pepper
For the Dim Sum Dipping Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Sambal
  1. For the Shrimp: In a food processor, combine the shrimp and eggs and process until almost smooth. Add the butter and truffle oil, if using, season with salt and white pepper, and pulse until the butter is incorporated but still visible in small pieces. Test a small amount for seasoning by microwaving it at high power for 10 to 15 seconds, or by sautéing it in a little oil in a small pan. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Use or place in a container, cover, and store refrigerated for up to 2 days.
  2. To form the shumai, have a bowl of water handy. Hold 1 wonton wrapper in the palm of your non-dominant hand. Cup the hand and place 1 heaping tablespoon of the mousse in the center of the wrapper. Bring the wrapper up around the filling, pressing it to adhere to the filling and pleating as you go. Continue around the filling. There will be 6 to 8 pleats and the filling will be exposed. Tap the dumpling against the work surface to flatten the bottom Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.
  3. Put the scallions on a platter. Add the sesame seeds and combine. With a wet palm, press down on the shumai, flattening them to a thickness of about ½ inch. Press the “open” top side of the shumai into the scallion mixture.
  4. Line a large plate with paper towels. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and swirl to coat the pan. When the oil is hot, carefully add half the shumai to the pan coated side down and cook until golden, turning once, 1½ to 2 minutes per side. The tip of a paring knife, when inserted in the shumai, should emerge hot. Transfer the shumai to the paper towels to drain. Cook the remaining shumai with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Transfer to a platter, sprinkle with the reserved scallion greens, and serve.
  5. For the Dim Sum Dipper: Combine sambal, vinegar, and soy sauce in a small bowl. Mix and use or store.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Chicken Marsala

This is a Michael Symon recipe that I found thanks to watching The Chew. Definitely try this for your next meal, it was delicious and so easy.

  • 6 boneless (skinless chicken thighs that are pounded thin)
  • 1 pound mushrooms (cremini or white - sliced thinly)
  • 2 shallots (sliced thinly)
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup marsala wine
  • 3 tablespoons butter (cubed)
  • 1/3 cup parsley (chopped for garnish)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • flour (for breading)
  • 1 cup water (optional)
  1. Preheat two saute pans over medium high heat.
  2. Season pounded chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Dip chicken in flour on both sides.
  3. Add the olive oil to the hot pan and add the chicken thighs. Cook for 2 minutes on each side.
  4. Add the shallots and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over high heat, letting mushrooms brown. Once they have released all their liquid, and it has cooked off, add the Marsala wine. Reduce for a minute, cooking off the wine, then stir in the butter to emulsify. If the sauce is too thick, add water to loosen.
  5. Remove the chicken thighs onto a platter and cover with the Marsala mushrooms. Garnish with chopped parsley.     

Friday, April 12, 2013

M&M Cookies

I used Easter M&M's for these cookies that I got on sale at Target. They were a great cookie and went quick at work. Here's the link to the recipe that I found on pinterest:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Crockpot Chicken Cordon Bleu

I spent a day off crafting so this was the perfect dinner to make. Since it's quick to start in the crock pot and then you just set and forget it. I cooked it on low, but she also gives instructions to cook on high so it cooks quicker. Here is the link to the blog I found the recipe on:

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Scrapbook Layouts

I love when I get time to work in my craft room and scrapbook my pictures. Since it was too cold and windy to do yard work I was able to spend the day scrapping. Here are some of the layouts I recently did.
 San Diego Zoo 2012 (I'm trying to finish my San Diego album before we go back)

 Princess and the look she gives me when I take pictures and wake her

 Can't wait for grilling weather to get here, we love grilling all kinds of food like pizza.

 Neighborhood fireworks and our party decor

 July 4th at our house

 Turtles and Tortoises are some of my favorite animals, can't wait to see them again.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Fettuccine Alfredo

This is a great side dish for your favorite meals. Quick and easy so it's perfect for those nights you don't have much time to make dinner. Here's the link to the recipe:


Monday, April 8, 2013

Carrot Cake

I love carrot cake and this is the perfect time of year for it. The spring always makes me think of the carrot cakes my grandma made. This recipe was delicious. I doubled the butter and cream cheese in the frosting, but didn't double the sugar since I don't like really sweet icing. I added walnuts along the edge and was wonderful. This is a great cake and I will be bringing leftovers into work. Here's the link to the recipe:


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Wedding Card and Scrapbook Pages

 Sketch Challenge, Princess loves her sleep and will sleep just about anywhere in various positions. The gray spots on the top and bottom is a gray mist, was hard to get a good scan of it on the layout.

 Flamingo's from the San Diego Zoo July 2012

 Princess, these are instagram photos I ordered online to be printed.

 My favorite animal at the San Diego Zoo - the Galapagos Tortoise, they are attracted to bright colors like the pink shirt I was wearing and they love when you pet them.

 A wedding card for my stash

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spring/Summer Door Wreath

I needed something for my door after I took down my Easter wreath, so I decided to make one since I had a styrofoam wreath just sitting in my craft closet. I got the rest of the supplies at Michaels, the flowers were on sale, the wood fence and birds were together in an aisle and I thought they'd make a great decorative accent to the wreath. I love the bright colors. The ribbon on top is to attach it to my door.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Michael Symon's Chicken Francaise

Michael Symon is one of my favorite chefs and I love his recipes. The only difference I did was I used minced garlic and didn't add capers (if you are a fan of capers you can add 1/3 cup to this recipe)
  •  1/4 cup evoo
  • flour for dredging
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts ( I used about 6 small chicken thighs instead)
  • 2 eggs + 2 tbsp water (whisk together)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • 6 tbsp parsley
  • 3 tbsp butter
  1. Heat oil in skillet over medium- high heat
  2. Season flour with salt and pepper
  3. Lightly coat chicken with flour and dip in egg wash
  4. Gently fry until brown on both sides and cooked thoroughly. Remove chicken and set aside
  5. Add garlic and deglaze pan with wine, stir with brown spoon.
  6. Stir in broth and lemon juice, let reduce for about 2 minutes
  7. Add lemon zest, parsley and butter, stir and add chicken back to pan for about a minute and serve.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Lemon Garlic Risotto

I made this to go with a Michael Symon Chicken dish I will post tomorrow night. I tried to match the flavors so they were similiar and went well together.

  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • zest from 2 lg lemons
  • juice from lemons
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 butter
  • chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

  1. Place butter, garlic and rice in lg skillet and cook about 2 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add wine, stir and let liquid reduce
  3. Add chicken broth about 3/4 to 1 cup at a time, stirring and don't add more till liquid reduces
  4. Add lemon zest, juice, pepper and salt.
  5. Just before serving stir in parsley and parmesan cheese

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Thank You Cards

I've had this stamp set for awhile, but they recently released the die cut set that matches it so I had to buy it. It's from the Stamps of Life and I love their stamps and die cuts. I made some extra so I have Thank You cards when I need them again.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting

We love having birthday parties at work so I made this cake for a recent party we had. I made this cake and icing I found on pinterest. The lettering I got at work along with the pearls. I figured it needed a little color so put pink sprinkles around the sides. Here is the link to this delicious cake:


Monday, April 1, 2013

Peanut Butter Fudge Cheesecake

I made this recipe a few years ago for my 30th birthday just like the blogger I got this recipe from did. I decided to make it again for Easter this year and decorate with Easter M&M's. Hope you try this cheesecake for your next upcoming party. Here's the link: