Category Archives: recipes

pinterest – it’s what’s for dinner

i am addicted to pinterest. i’ve been trying to be better about only pinning recipes that i might actually make. i also have a “a girl can always dream” board for all the amazing things i find that i never want to forget for that one day when i’m filthy rich. :) until then, i’m just keepin’ it real and cooking some amazing things. tonight i made this from a farmgirl’s dabbles.

Coconut Green Curry Beef with Peanut Sauce
Coconut & Green Curry Beef with Peanut Sauce


needless to say, this was an amazing recipe! the peanut sauce. oh. my. i wanted to just grab a spoon and shove that stuff in my face (maybe i did…you’ll never know.) my girls even loved this. they cleaned their plates and i got a resounding “mommy, you are the best cooker in the world!” works for me.

pinterest didn’t disappoint for dessert either. i made these from just jenn recipes.

Peanut Butter Cherrio Treats
Peanut Butter Cheerio Treats

i might have had more than one of these for dessert. and i might just have one for breakfast, but i’d rather not say.

thank you, pinterest for being you! however, i may need to start pinning things that don’t have anything to do with food or else i’ll need to go find a diy wheelbarrow to get myself out of the house at the rate i’m going.

nutella & tortillas

after dinner the girls wanted a special treat. i looked around the kitchen and came up with nutella, tortillas, cinnamon, sugar and butter. oh yea, i said it. and it was totally good.

start with small tortillas. spread the nutella liberally (is there really any other way?)

next lay another tortilla over the top. then spread with butter on both sides (like when you make a grilled cheese sandwich) and then sprinkle the mixture of sugar and cinnamon on both sides.

(note: i think next time – oh yes, there will be a next time, i will use butter cooking spray instead of butter. i think it might help the tortillas crisp better.)
place the tortillas on a skillet or grill and cook them on both sides until they start to brown slightly. remove them from the grill and cool slightly, then slice into wedges.

then eat and eat and eat. oh my. the tortillas almost get candied on the grill from the sugar.
it’s divine.
i loved it and i hope you do too!

french toast…tower cafe style

we have a restaurant in town called the tower café. they are well known for their breakfast…specifically the french toast. i haven’t confirmed this, but rumor has it that they soak the bread over-night in the custard mixture.

are you still with me?

it’s amazing…truly.

i decided it was time to try and replicate this famous french toast at home.

this recipe is not for the weak. it has half & half and eggs and butter and more butter.

you’re still with me, right? ok. good.

i think if i’d had the patience, i would have let the bread harden another day and i would have tried to soak the bread over-night. old bread – that’s really where french toast came from…did you know that? true story.

ok, back to my french toast. here it is in all its glory…recipe below. enjoy!

tower cafe inspired french toast


1 loaf french bread (day old is best)
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half & half
1 teaspoon good vanilla
1 teaspoon grated orange peel (optional)


take the loaf of bread and slice on a diagonal to get about 8 1″ slices.

next crack the eggs and pour half & half into a large backing dish (i use a lasagna pan to fit all the bread in one). whisk to combine the eggs and half & half. next add the vanilla (and orange peel if you want) and stir to combine. you should have a custard-like mixture.

now comes the fun part. place all of the slices of bread in the custard mixture. let them soak for a minute and then turn them all over to get the second side coated. leave the bread in the pan for at least 15 minutes or so. go make some coffee and bacon to go with your french toast. let it hang out in the mixture to get nice and soaked up in custard.

heat a griddle or skillet (or sauté pan) to medium-high heat. smear butter to coat the pan. place bread slices on the pan and let them cook for about 4-5 minutes until nice and golden brown. flip the slices and cook until golden brown on the second side (probably about another 4-5 minutes, it just depends on your pan.)

remove slices from pan and serve immediately. i like my french toast with just butter and powdered sugar sprinkled on top, but you can put syrup on there too.

i should warn you, this meal is known to put you in a food coma for the rest of the day, so make sure you have no plans!


sliders…in ‘n out…animal style!

it’s not as dirty as it sounds. if you’ve never had an in ‘n out burger, please go and find one and eat a single with cheese. if you are a veteran in ‘n out junkie, you are probably familiar with their “not-so-secret” menu. animal style has some very specific characteristics that start with a basic single with cheese, but the main difference is that the patty is grilled with mustard, and topped with grilled onions and “spread” on the sandwich.

i’ve been wanting to try recreating my all-time favorite burger at home for a while now and since sliders are sort of the trend these days, why not make them cute and bite-sized?

i was recently sent this link to a recipe for making a double double animal style. close enough. there’s not much to this recipe but the “spread” is key. and this recipe is pretty darn close to the real deal!

the onions are key too…you can’t rush. it takes a good 15-20 minutes to get them good and caramelized. so you know what to look for, here’s my onions in process:

here are a few more photos of the cooking process…

for the patties, i like to use a 1/4 cup scoop and then form them in my hands – put a little thumb print in the middle to avoid the “burger bump.”

put the mustard on one raw side while the first side is cooking. (i used my griddle…i think this is the closest i’ll ever come to flipping burgers!)

here is the delectable finished product. i served mine with some sweet potato fries.

here’s the recipe…enjoy!

in ‘n out animal style sliders
recipe yields 16 sliders


2 lbs ground beef
2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
2 onions, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
kosher salt
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoon ketchup
2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
16 dinner rolls
black pepper
dill pickles chips
roma tomatoes – sliced
ice berg lettuce
1/2 cup yellow mustard
4 slices american cheese
cooking instructions

heat 1 teaspoon oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. add onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt to skillet. reduce heat to medium low, stirring occasionally until onions are well browned. this process takes about 15-20 minutes – be patient, it’s worth the wait! when the onions start to sizzle add about 1 tablespoon water to skillet and stir. continue cooking until the water evaporates and onions start sizzling again. repeat this process, until your onions are nice and brown. remove from pan and set aside.
you can make the “spread” while your onions are doing their thing. combine mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, sugar, and vinegar in small bowl. stir to combine and set aside.
form your patties using a 1/4 cup scoop. flatten to about 1/2″ and then make a thumb print in the middle. season generously with salt and pepper. add remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil to pan, swirl to coat, and heat over medium-high heat until lightly smoking. add burger patties and cook without moving until well browned and crusty on first side, about 3 1/2 minutes. while patties are cooking, spread 1 teaspoon of yellow mustard on raw side of each patty with a spoon. flip patties with a thin spatula so mustard side is down and continue to cook for 1 1/2 minutes. top each patty with a slice of cheese (1 quartered american cheese slices.) spoon about a teaspoon of the onion mixture over the cooked patties. slice the dinner rolls and pop them under the broiler to give them a nice golden brown toast. prep each bottom bun with spread (i actually put spread on the top and bottom bun – but do what makes your skirt fly up), one pickle slice, 1 slice tomato, and lettuce. place the patty on the bottom bun. top with top bun, and serve immediately!

tonight’s dinner brought to you by the letter ‘p’

panko, parmesan, & parsley pork chops


this is a super easy, light and refreshing way to cook boneless pork chops. the panko bread crumbs combined with parmesan and parsley give these chops an incredible crunch. top it off with a squeeze of lemon, and you’ve got yourself a refreshing way to finish this dish. i hope you enjoy!


  • 8 thin cut boneless pork loin chops
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • extra virgin olive oil


  • place boneless pork chops in a large zip lock bag or between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound to tenderize. remove from plastic and salt & pepper both sides of the meat.  set aside.
  • finely chop fresh parsley – you should have about 2 tbsp.
  • next you want to prepare your dredging/breading assembly line. use 3 shallow dishes (i like to use pie plates). the first should be your flour. plate 2 should have your 2 eggs, beaten. plate 3 should have your panko bread crumbs, parmesan, & parsley – use a fork to mix them together to evenly distribute the parsley.
  • preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat with enough extra virgin olive oil to coat the bottom.
  • start your dredging process. first coat the pork chop in flour on both sides. then dip in the egg. then finally in the panko mixture. make sure you fully coat both sides. set on a platter and continue dredging 3 more chops. (i like to do 4 at a time and get them in the pan. then you can dredge the other 4 while the first batch is cooking.)
  • place the first 4 pork chops in the pan (you should get a good sizzle.) they will only need to cook about 3-4 minutes per side. you want to turn them over when they are nice and golden brown.
  • remove the first batch and place on a plate with a paper towel to catch any excess oil.
  • you can add more oil to the pan for the second batch as needed.
  • repeat steps for the last 4 chops.
  • take the lemon and slice into wedges.
  • squeeze lemon over pork chops and dig in!

turkey & two bean chili

i’ve experimented with my own chili recipe for years. this is the first time i’ve actually taken the time to fine tune and write every ingredient down. i think this combination makes for a really great, hearty dish.



  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 whole Onion, Chopped
  • ½ whole Jalapeno, Finely Diced (seeds & Ribs Removed)
  • 2 whole Cloves Of Garlic, Minced
  • 1-¼ pound Ground Turkey (one Package)
  • 1 tablespoon Granulated Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Ground Cumin
  • ¼ teaspoons Paparika
  • ¼ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper (Optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Basil
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes (approx. 15 Oz)
  • 1 can Tomato Sauce (approx. 15 Oz.)
  • 1 can Red Kidney Beans (drained & Rinsed)
  • 1 can Black Beans (drained & Rinsed)
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • Salt & Pepper (to Taste)
  • Shredded Cheese (optional)
  • Chopped Scallions (optional)


in a large stock pot, heat olive oil at medium-high heat. add the chopped onion and salt & pepper and saute for 2-3 minutes (until translucent). add diced jalapeño (hey, don’t forget to read Pioneer Woman’s PSA on jalapeno prep!), and garlic and stir together.

add ground turkey and another dash of salt & pepper. brown turkey until cooked through. in the mean time, mix all spices in a small bowl (not required, but i like having everything combined before it hits the pan for more even distribution.) if you don’t like spicy, you can omit the cayenne pepper – but i think it adds just a small dash of heat…which is nice! once spices are combined, add them to the turkey and onion mixture. stir to coat the turkey.

now add the tomato paste and stir into the turkey mixture. next you will want to add the diced tomatoes and the tomato sauce. stir to combine. add the cans of drained and rinsed beans and stir to combine. finally, add the chicken broth and worcestershire sauce (you can add more or less to your taste.)

lastly, taste your chili to see if you need more salt & pepper and add as needed.

bring everything in the pot to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. let cook uncovered for 30 minutes.

serve in individual bowls and top with your favorite cheese and/or onions. i like to serve mine with shredded sharp white cheddar and some chopped scallions on top. enjoy!

tortilla pie


sounds kinda white-trashy, i know…but it really is quite good. you’ll see.

this is a super easy go-to recipe when you just want to get rid of stuff. you can modify this recipe very easily and use differnet meat or veggies, if you’re  into that. you can also use any shape pan…pie dish just works well because, well, it’s tortilla shaped!


  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 whole Onion, Chopped
  • 1 pound Ground Turkey
  • 1-½ tablespoon Granulated Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Paparika
  • Salt & Pepper (to Taste)
  • 1 cup Black Beans, Drained And Rinsed
  • 1 cup Cooked Rice (white Or Brown)
  • 3 whole Tortillas (burrito Size)
  • Salsa
  • 2 cups Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend
  • 3 whole Green Onions, Chopped
  • Sour Cream


preheat oven to 375°

– Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

– Add chopped onion and saute until translucent (about 5 minutes)

– mix all spices in a small bowl (this step is not required, I just like mixing them before hand for even distribution in cooking)

– Add ground turkey to cooked onions and add spice mixture.

– Break up ground turkey and cook completely until browned.

– Taste mixture and add salt/pepper as needed.

– Add black beans and rice to ground turkey and mix well.

– Using a pie pan, put a layer of salsa on the bottom (about 1/4 cup.)

– place a tortilla over the salsa.

– sprinkle cheese over tortilla.

– spoon meat/bean/rice mixture over cheese layer.

– repeat layers once more starting with salsa and then end with a tortilla and remaining cheese on top.

– Place in the oven for 12 minutes to heat through and melt the cheese.

– Place under the broiler for about 2-3 minutes to make the tortilla and cheese a little crispy on top.

– Finish off with chopped green onion.

– Slice and serve with sour cream and extra salsa and tortilla chips. Enjoy!


i’m beside myself with my latest kitchen gadgety thingy.
i received one of these as a gift. i’ve wanted one for a really, really, really long time.


are you one of those people that goes for the edge pieces on a plate of brownies? i sure am. in my humble opinion, that’s the best part of the whole batch! with this pan, you get an edge piece – are you ready for this…with every serving!

there are recipes for savory dishes cooked in this pan as well, but lets be honest here people – is there really anything more important than brownies?

i’ll be back with my first baking experience soon. i can’t wait!


here i am back with the completed brownies. drum roll please…


ta da!!! so yummy!

acini di pepe savory salad


i came up with this recipe on a whim when trying to figure out something to bring as a side dish to a family gathering. i thought about the typical potato salad or fruit salad, but wanted to make something different.

i think i succeeded. this salad was light and refreshing and super easy to make! (oh, and for all you veggie/vegan heads out there, it’s friendly for you too!)

typically acini di pepe pasta is used to make sweet salads usually with pineapple. i think it worked quite nicely in this savory dish.



1 box acini di pepe pasta (or any small pearl pasta or orzo will do)
1 cup red onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
16 oz. package of heirloom tomatoes (grape size)
1/4 cup newman’s own light balsamic vinaigrette dressing (you can add more or less to your liking.)
1/4 cup  italian parsley, chopped
salt & pepper to taste


  • cook pasta following directions on box.
  • dice onion, green bell pepper, and slice all tomatoes in half.
  • once pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse with cool water.
  • transfer pasta to large bowl and add all ingredients and stir well.
  • cover to cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

i hope you enjoy this light, summery pasta salad alternative!

printable recipe here.


m is for muffins

banana muffins

the overly ripe bananas were taunting me from the fruit bowl. it was time i sent them to muffin heaven. i decided to brave modifying a recipe on the fly. surprisingly, they turned out pretty good. the original recipe is from good ‘ol better homes & gardens cookbook (you know, that red and white checkered cookbook that your grandma used to have with all the food stains all over it.) i added a dash of cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, and half of a fresh banana cut into small chunks. prior to putting the muffins in the oven, i sprinkled them with a little granola and sugar for a crispy finish.
Continue reading m is for muffins