Gravy your Grandma would ask for…

Seriously. I freaking love the taste of homemade biscuits and gravy, but today we only have time for the gravy, gals! So grab yourself a bag of Pillsbury boy frozen biscuits at your nearby grocery store and get ready for your family to ask for seconds.

Some people list their ingredients at the end of a recipe, I like to tempt you with a picture first…..

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 and then give you your list (which since its the gravy your grandma would ask for, means, that you ALREADY have the ingredients!!!)

Only 6 Ingredients:

pepper

Lawry’s Seasoning Salt

sausage

Frozen biscuits

flour

milk

 

Breast Milk Popsicles: Cooking Up a Teething Cure

So many good ideas are exchanged at the hair salon. Case and point: At my latest beauty appointment, the hairstylist inquired about my baby and, of course, the stories flowed. One of the things I shared is how Grace is teething pretty bad, and in an effort to avoid baby medicines as much as possible, I was thinking about ordering a bunch of different teething toys from Amazon (like this one, and this one here).

That’s when she told me about an idea she’d seen on Pinterest – breast milk popsicles!

Sounded like something that might work, so I immediately went home to try it. I figured it’d be pretty easy to do too. Well… I was right! Here’s all I did:

1. Pour breast milk into a few ice cube tray holes. I just filled them a tad more than halfway because I wanted to make sure she could fit them in her mouth later (but not too small that she could choke on them). Or you can try one of the many versions of this from Pinterest. The pacifier idea seems neat.
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2. Cover really good with ice tray cover or press and seal wrap … Something you trust to protect it from freezer burn. Let the freezer do it’s magic.

3. Pop out and put into a teether toy like this one.

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Or this kind here.

4. Pass it off to baby for them to teeth and suck on and enjoy.

5. Store the extras cubes for later.

I guess the breast milk is just a good lure to keep the cold on their gums and in their mouth. I know Grace likes teething rings but they lose their cool sooooo fast and other items like those aren’t fun for very long and she just drops them in exchange for her hand. So these popsicles are great for her cause she loves her milk! I love that she actually keeps it in her mouth and gnaws on it long enough for real lasting relief… Or so it seemed. Haha

She clearly loooovvvvveeeees this idea, and so do I! ūüôā Here she is enjoying them!

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Gotta love this reaction! She was IN.¬†TO. IT! ūüôā

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IMG_4990.JPGHappy mommy and baby selfie because of our successful little breast milk popsicle experiment!

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I only made three cubes this go-round, so I only had to stow away two cubes for later, but I’ll be making a tray of extras ASAP so she’s never without one when she’s having a bad teething sesh.

IMG_4992.PNG I’m gonna try this flavor combo next because Grace loves, loves, loves the bananas I made her! (I’ll have to post next time about my adventures in baby food making! ūüėé)

My Prize-Winning Soup Recipe: Jalape√Īo Popper Chicken Chili

Last week, our office hosted a SOUPer Bowl Cook-off Lunch in celebration of last weekend’s big game. Employees were invited to enter a soup in the running for a $50 first-place gift card to Target or a $25 gift card … Continue reading

Rock the Crock, with this Easy Porkchop Dinner

So Texas weather is always unpredictable, but lately the entire country seems to be affected by the recent polar vortex’s. One day its 60 degrees, the next 13! I only wish warm thoughts and¬†large mugs of cocoa for those that … Continue reading

Finally, a New Recipe to Keep Cooking: Parmesan Ranch Chicken

I can’t take the credit on this one, but I wanted to share an awesome little recipe with y’all. I have been desperate for new menu items to feed me and the Mr. since our monthly menu was getting, as … Continue reading

Thanksgiving Themed Appetizers

Most of us have our Thanksgiving day menus pre-planned with the traditional annual line up of turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie etc., but when preparing appetizers¬†there is¬†a little more freedom for creativity.¬† Here are a couple of ideas for some festive … Continue reading

Pinterest Pass or Fail: Baked Zucchini Chips

This sounds and looks like the best and most healthy chip replacement idea out there. What better than a veggie that tastes like the thing we actually want – real potato chips – to dip into hummus and salsa and the like?

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Green veggies are basically free if you’re calorie counting – so this idea was a must-Pin when I spotted it on Pinterest the other day.

Recipe:
Thinly slice 2 medium zucchini
Spread out onto a baking sheet
Brush with olive oil
Bake until crispy brown at 350-degrees
Sprinkle with sea salt
Enjoy!

Sounds easy enough, right?
Well, see for yourself how it turned out when I gave this healthy recipe a try:

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Cash loves to join me in the kitchen.

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And then this happened…

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What the heck?
Definitely a FAIL.
Maybe I tried to bake too many at once?
Maybe since I sprinkled the oil and didn’t brush it, it made the slices to heavy to crisp up?
I know it wasn’t that I baked too long b/c I checked them constantly and they were soggy up until they burned, dissolved or, well, stayed soggy.

20131119-204735.jpgYes, chipped nail polish. So sue me.

Verdict: FAIL

If you know what I did wrong, please comment below and let me know!

FOUND THIS PIN AFTER THE FACT…
Sounds like a better way to do it, but I’ll have to try another day.

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DIY Flavored Coffee Creamer

I love flavored coffee, especially this time of year, and my favorite is anything with chocolate, the richer the better. For my morning cup of Joe, I stick to organic half and half or natural creamers, because most brands like Coffee-mate and International Delight are made with mono or di-glycerides or hydrogentated oils, aka trans fats. Surprisingly, it is easy enough (and cheap) to make your own coffee creamer, all you have to do is heat up half and half and add whatever sweeteners and flavors you like. Here is what I used:

3 1/2 cups of half and half

6 Tbl hot cocoa mix (made with real chocolate)

3 Tbl sugar

1 tsp bourbon vanilla

You could also add cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel, almond or hazelnut extracts, or whatever your heart desires.

Pour half and half into a pan and slowly heat up. Be sure to get a reseal-able half and half container for easier storage when you are done.

Add chocolate, sugar, and vanilla. Mmmm chocolate.

Whisk together, remove from heat and let cool.

Use a funnel to pour your creamer back into the original container. Give it a quick shake before using.

Pinterest Pass or Fail: Buffalo Cauliflower Recipe

I love this vegetarian recipe blog, The Curvy Carrot. Seems my favorite pins for creative veggie recipes are always coming from this site. And this post is about one in particular … Buffalo Cauliflower.

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As you know, I’m pregnant, and about every other month so far, I crave the pungent, mouth-watering flavor of buffalo sauce. I fed my craving wings the first week I was preggo on vacay in Destin … so good! Then, a few weeks later, I got a hankering for Flamin’ Hot Cheetos ¬†and a delectable buffalo chicken sandwich at a local place here in Little Rock. Twenty-one weeks in (this is a belated post, as I’m at 25 weeks now) … ¬†buffalo was calling my name again. However, for the sake of not feeding this baby any more unhealthy snacks … well … fewer unhealthy snacks … I hopped onto Pinterest ¬†and searched “healthy buffalo recipes” … and I found this one for Buffalo Cauliflower.

I modified it, of course … because I didn’t have everything in the house, and it turned out to be a PASS.

Here’s how I made my version:

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I didn’t have enough flour, so I used corn bread mix instead. Worked out OK, but I do wonder what the flour version would’ve been like.

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Toss the cauliflower into the mixture. Spread out onto a baking sheet and bake.

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Mix up the sauce while the cauliflower bakes.

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Toss the cauliflower in the sauce mixture and bake some more.

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THE END RESULT

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Although they were good, you really can’t eat all that many of them. I should count that as a good thing, something to make these an even healthier snack. I would make them again, but I’d use more buffalo sauce, I’d make homemade ranch to go with, and I’d use flour instead of the corn bread mix. Still…

Verdit: Pass.

 

Recipe: The Best Taco Soup You’ll Ever Eat (A Family Recipe)

On a rainy day last week, I came home from work craving something cozy to curl up on the couch with and nosh.

A hearty, flavorful soup was just the ticket. Even my husband requested soup when I offered up that or spaghetti as menu options for the evening.

With his blessing, I immediately grabbed my go-to cold- and/or rainy-night comfort food recipe: my stepmom’s famous taco soup.

It’s something she made for us while growing up, probably on nights when she needed something easy and quick for us all. The word “easy” belies the flavor of the dish. Because whatever it lacks in culinary high-brow ingredients and complex cooking techniques, it makes up for in sheer deliciousness and quick stove-to-table eats. And isn’t that all that matters when it comes to food for our bellies?

It’s hard to trust a random blogger when they promise something to be the “best” or even “delicious,” but I insist it is the truth for this taco soup. If it helps convince you, my hubby, who usually just eats what I give him and rarely comments on anything unless he doesn’t like it, actually emphatically said … “This soup is excellent.” And he helped himself to seconds. That’s an A+ for me (er, my stepmom), and I know it.

So, without further ado, here’s the recipe (with my modifications) for your future comfort on a rainy or chilly night this fall and winter:

1. REVIEW THE RECIPE.
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My Substitues: Instead of 2 cans of pinto beans, I use 1 can of black beans b/c Michael and I aren’t huge bean fans; instead of 1 can of water, I use 2 (making sure to drain the corn and beans though instead) b/c I prefer the soup to have more broth but don’t want so much bean flavor; I tried it with a fresh, diced¬†jalape√Īo¬†this time but it wasn’t needed, in fact it made it too spicy; and I’ve made it with turkey meat before and it was just as yummilicious!

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2. CHOP. DICE. COOK.

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3. ADD GROUND BEEF (OR TURKEY). BROWN.

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4. ADD SEASONING PACKETS. MIX.

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5. TRANSFER TO POT.

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6. ADD CANNED ITEMS (DRAIN CORN & BEANS).

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7. ADD 1 – 2 CANS OF WATER (BASED ON DESIRED BROTH-INESS). STIR WELL.

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8. SIMMER 30 MINUTES (15-20 MINUTES ON MED-LOW IS FINE IF YOU’RE IN A HURRY).

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9. ENJOY!

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My Toppings: Fritos. Shredded cheese.

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My Husband’s Toppings: None.