Restaurant Style Mexican Rice

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Restaurant Style Mexican Rice a perfect addition to you Mexican themed dinner.

I updated the photos for Restaurant Style Mexican Rice since it's a family favorite we make all the time.  

With Cinco De Mayo right around the corner I figured right now is the perfect time to update the pictures for our families favorite Restaurant Style Mexican Rice.

I did cheat a little in the making of this rice because we were all out of celery so I subbed a little cabbage, and no one knew the difference, still as delicious as ever. I figure the more veggies I can sneak into a meal the better off I am.

Brown Butter Blondies

Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Brown Butter Blondies

Last week I was in charge of dessert at our Life Group and I knew something chocolaty was in order. I was going to make a batch of Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies but I wasn't in the mood to scoop cookies so I decided Brown Butter Blondies were it.

I love blondies because they are like a brownie but blonde with the flavor of brown sugar and vanilla with a crispy edge and soft gooey center.

What's not to love?

I actually had to make a second pan of these because we devoured them before I was able to have Colt take a photo.  Let me tell you just how disappointed Colt and the kids were that I had to make a second pan for them to enjoy.

The minute the kids walked through the door they headed straight to the pan of Blondies and started begging for a square. I also believe Colt may have eaten over half of the blondies out of the center before taking a picture because somehow only 3 center bars remained...

I'm still trying to figure that one out.

Magic Chocolate Custard Cake

Friday, April 25, 2014

The perfect cake for any occasion Magic Custard Cake has three layers of deliciousness. The bottom layer is a silky smooth dense layer of cake topped with a layer of chocolate custard and a spongy cake.Magic Chocolate Custard Cake

L.J. recently returned from outdoor school and I wanted to surprise him with a special treat for dessert when he came home.
I've been eyeballing this Magic Chocolate Custard Cake for sometime from White On Rice Couple after seeing it on Pinterest and new it was meant to be.
This cake is fairly simple to make and magically separates into 3 layers of deliciousness.
A silky smooth dense bottom layer followed by a chocolaty layer of custard topped with a light layer of cake.
If that's not magical I don't know what is.

Best Easy Greek Salad

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Greek Salad Recipe
For one of our most recent date nights we decide the weather was gorgeous, so we made the best easy Greek Salad with Greek Salad Dressing along with some Extra Crispy Fried Chicken, and had a picnic at the beach. 

The last few months we've been trying to find a few times a month to go out alone as a couple to something other then the grocery store.

It really helps to re-energize our relationship and helps us connect on a level that is so difficult after you have children.

When the kids were small I always had such a difficult time leaving the kids with a sitter or family to enjoy a date with Colt, I always felt guilty for leaving them but after almost 15 years of marriage I've realized it's one of the most important things we can do for our family and it makes such a difference in our relationship.

We've also learned dates don't always have to be fancy to be special this picnic was an amazing excuse to enjoy some time alone and watch the sunset without a large expense.

Sunset on Camano Island, WA

Sometimes the simplest dates build the most memorable memories. The view was stunning! 

Greek Salad Recipe

To make Greek Salad you will need:
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Yellow Bell Pepper
  • Red Onion 
  • Cucumber
  • Parsley
  • Fresh Basil
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Feta Cheese
To make the Greek Salad Dressing whisk or shake together 1/3cup Red Wine Vinegar, 1/3 cup Olive Oil, 2 tablespoons Water, 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon Salt, and 1/2 teaspoon Pepper, until well combined.

Drizzle Greek Dressing over salad and toss until combined. It can be served immediately or refrigerated to allow the flavors to meld. 

A few other favorite easy salads for picnics are:

Greek, Salad, Recipe, Best, Easy, Tomato, Cucumber, Greek Dressing, Feta Cheese
Greek, Salad, Recipe, Tomato
Greek, American
Greek Salad Recipe
The Best Easy Greek Salad with homemade Greek salad dressing recipe from Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch.
Yield: 8 ServingsPin it

Best Easy Greek Salad

The Best Easy Greek Salad with homemade Greek salad dressing recipe from Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch.
4.9 out of 5 based on 2 ratings
prep time: 10 minscook time: total time: 10 mins


Greek Dressing
  • 1/3 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Water
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt or To Taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper or To Taste
Greek Salad
  • 1 pint Sweet Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Seeded and Chopped
  • 1 whole Yellow Bell Pepper, Seeded and Chopped
  • 1/2 whole Red Onion, Roughly Chopped
  • 1 whole Cucumber, Chopped
  • 1 handful Parsley, Chopped Fine
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Basil
  • 1 cup Kalamata Olives
  • 2/3 cup Crumbled Feta Cheese


Greek Dressing
  1. In a small bowl whisk together red wine vinegar, olive oil, water, italian seasoning, sea salt and pepper. Mix until until well combined.
Greek Salad
  1. In a large bowl mix together cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, red onion, cucumber, parsley, basil, kalamata olives, and feta cheese. Set aside.
  2. Drizzle vinaigrette over the top of the vegetables, and toss until well combined.
  3. Greek Salad can be served immediately, but the flavor does develop if allowed to refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
fat (grams)
carbs (grams)
protein (grams)
sugar (grams)
Created using The Recipes Generator
Greek Salad Recipe

Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya is super easy to make and packed with flavor! Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya a dinner time favorite.

 I made Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya the other night after I was digging through the fridge looking for a snack and realized I still had sausage needing to be used.
What kind of person would I be if I let sausage go bad plus I had some shrimp I had bought on sale for this very occasion.
Jambalaya's so easy to make and this recipes been a little bit healthified over the years with the addition of some extra veggies and brown rice.
I like to sneak things like that in whenever I can so the kids have no clue what I'm up too.
This recipes probably not authentic since I'm not Southern and was raised in the Northwest but I can guarantee you it's D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S! 
Melt butter over medium-high heat and add onion. Sauté until onion starts to soften. Add the sausage and push the onions aside so the sausage can brown on the bottom of the pan because we all know brown sausage tastes AMAZING! 
Then add your carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, Italian seasoning, smoked paprika (if you have it, if not omit, it's not the end of the world it just gives a little smokiness) salt and pepper. Mix until well combined and cook for about a minute to let the flavors meld.
Add your bell pepper.. I like red bell pepper but I have used green, it's just one of those things you use what you have in the fridge.
Add tomato paste, canned tomatoes, chicken stock, brown rice and hot sauce, mix well.
I used basmati brown rice because we have a giant bag from Costco but you can use long grain rice white or brown too.
I also used Tapatio Hot Sauce because somehow our house is running out of hot sauce and my Tabasco went MIA..
I know so untraditional.
It's one of those things sometimes you just have to make due with what you have available, it is what it is..
Bring mixture to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 45 minutes or until rice is tender.
Add medium-large sized shrimp and stir well. Cook an additional 5 minutes or until shrimp are pink.
That's it dinners done! Gotta love it! 

yield: 6 Servings
Nutrition facts: 389 calories, 15 grams fat
print recipe


Shrimp and Andouille Sausage Jambalaya recipe is an easy to make dinner favorite from Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch.
5 out of 5 based on 3 user ratings
prep time: 15 MINScook time: 50 MINStotal time: 65 mins


  • 1 tablespoon Butter or Olive Oil
  • 1/2 whole Large Onion, Diced
  • 1 pound Andouille Smoked Sausage, Sliced
  • 3 whole Carrots, Diced
  • 4 stalks Celery, Diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika, Optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 whole Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 14 1/2 ounce Diced Tomatoes With Juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 1/3 cups Basmati or Long Grain Brown Rice
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 teaspoon Hot Sauce Or To Taste
  • 1 pound Medium Sized Shrimp


  1. In a large pan with a lid melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until softened. Add sausage and push onion aside to brown sausage evenly on both sides
  2. Add carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.
  3. Add bell pepper, diced tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, rice, and hot sauce. Mix until well combined. Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 45 minutes or until rice is tender.
  4. Add shrimp and stir well. Cook an additional 5 minutes or until shrimp are pink.
Created using The Recipes Generator
Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya


Lemon Lime Pound Cake

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Lemon Lime 7up Pound Cake.
I made this Lemon Lime Pound Cake to take with us on a Picnic over the weekend, but the kids convinced us to cut a few slices for dessert the night before, and then a few more slices later. Then it was devoured! 

So much for a slice of cake on our picnic.

I might just make another one of these beauties for Easter with some macerated berries and maybe even a little homemade whip cream. 

Lemon Lime Pound Cake is so easy to make I promise you can't go wrong with it.

I've been making this cake for most of my married life, and the original recipe came from Epicurious. I have modified it over the years to be the perfect Lemon Lime Pound Cake. The original recipe was a bit to sweet, and really lacked the lemon flavor the name suggested but the crumb was gorgeous, so it was well worth perfecting.

Shall we get on with the show?

Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer Giveaway!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

With Easter right around the corner I asked some of my Bloggy friends to participate with me in a Giveaway for a Kitchen Aid Mixer! It's our way to say Thank You to all our awesome followers.

Meet our Bloggers!
Mary Ellen from That's My Home and Recipes, Food and Cooking
Linda from Food Storage Moms
Sarah from The Magical Slow Cooker
Rebecca from The Cookie Rookie
Lucy, Jamie and Kerry from Coffee With Us 3
Jamie from Love Bakes Good Cakes
Sheena from Hot Eats and Cool Reads
Sandra from A Dash of Sanity
Becca from It's Yummi
Debbie from Kneaded Creations
Serena from Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
Wanda Ann from Memories By the Mile
Be sure to visit the blogs above, this is a great group of Food Bloggers if you haven't met them before stop by their blogs and say hello!
Kitchen Aid Mixer valued at $250.00, color subject to availability. Giveaway is open from April 10th - 18th. U.S. residents only over 18 years of age. Terms and conditions are contained in the Rafflecopter lower section as indicated. Please enter today! The winner will be announced at 1 PM EST April 19th. Please check back to see if you won. The winner will have 48 hours to contact us or we will pick another winner. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Come see what we're serving for Easter Brunch....

Swedish Meatballs

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

There's nothing like Swedish Meatballs a comfort food classic.

Swedish Meatballs a comfort food classic.
Many years back my infatuation with Swedish Meatballs began during a chaotic time in our life when Colt and his good friend Eric got together and decided we should remodel our kitchen.
It all started with talk of new counter tops and floors, then the next thing I know Colt and Eric send in my good friend Lisa (Eric's wife) to convince me if we were going to do the kitchen it had to be the who shebang cabinets and all.
So the next thing I know our kitchen no longer existed, we were washing dishes in the bath tub and cooking microwave dinners for the next 3 weeks of which Swedish Meatballs became my favorite.
I can't believe the boys had worked from the time they got off of work until the wee hours of the morning to get my kitchen reassembled.
A few years later I set out on the conquest for the perfect Swedish Meatballs, something so much better then the frozen dinners we ate.
These are sure to hit the spot and are even better then the iconic Ikea Swedish Meatballs.

Weekly Meal Plan 5

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Weekly meal ideas for breakfast and dinner. Weekly Plan 5.

Wow I can't believe we have done 5 weeks of meal plans! It seems like you all are really loving all the breakfast and dinner ideas.
This past week was a little more mellow around our house. Buddy seems to be doing a lot better, such a relief. I never thought I would say how thankful I am that he's begging and driving me crazy for food! Silly beagle. 
I did spend way to much time this past week Stalking  ogling over Bev Cooks Babies on Instagram! If you haven't stalked  checked them out yet I warn you they are highly addictive! I've almost got Colt convinced to have a set of our own, now if I could just get my body back on track with the program! I may or may not have a problem with checking out baby photos. We can revisit this at a later time, I'm not ready to commit to a baby intervention yet! 
Other then that life was rather unusually usual....


Marinated Carne Asada

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

An easy dinner to barbecue or sear in a cast iron pan. Marinated Carne Asada is always a family favorite.

Marinated Carne Asada is a favorite on the grill for Cinco De Mayo from Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch.
I'm so stoked barbecue season is almost here and one of my all time fav's on the barbie is Marinated Carne Asada!

Flank Steak was on sale while we were at ye olde grocery store trying to stick to our list which seems pointless. I always end up buying way more food then what I planned.

It's the black hole of our pocket book, I really should buy stock in the local grocery store and Costco.
Oh don't get me started on Costco we actually celebrate when we step foot out of there under $100.00.
We actually double high five and play Celebrate by Kool and The Gang on our way home.

Ok you caught me I actual sing Celebrate while the kids yell at me to stop and tell me I'm embarrassing them.. They have no idea what embarrassment is! I grew up with a couple of Uncles that were always more then ready to be crazy and embarrassing!  I remember one year for my birthday we drove through down town Portland with my Uncle honking the horn and yelling out the window that it's my birthday.
Let's just say everyone and their Grandmother was staring at our car!  It's what makes me love my family so much they always know how to have a great time and provided me with some pretty amazing memories.

Alright before I start getting all sentimental we better get back to the beef! 
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