Monday, September 18, 2017

Back to School: Simple Snacks


September means that school is in full swing. From kindergarten to college, everyone in school needs a snack once-in-awhile, and these snacks will be winners! Some you can pack into a lunch box, and others are perfect for a warm after school snack. Fruit, pizza, popcorn, Chex, and oatmeal are favorites to all, and everyone will appreciate these great flavors! 5 great in recipes all in one post. We hope that you enjoy them!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Simple Oatmeal Bars


These things are the best! Three simple ingredients and viola, they're done in 5 minutes. I like to add different things to my bars too. It makes them seem less plain, and you don't get sick of them that easily because there's always new flavors in them. Some things I like to add: chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, or other grains.
So, here's how to do it! For every 1 1/2 cups of oats, add 1/2 cup peanut butter, and 3 Tbsp. honey. You can definitely add more honey, up to 1/2 cup, but we like the peanut butter give most of the flavoring. Melt the peanut butter and honey on the stove and once melted, add oats. Mix until combined very well, and then add other ingredients once they're cooled off just a couple minutes. Flatten on am 8x8 pan that has a tin foil lining(if you're making more, use a 9x13 or cookie sheer). Let set in fridge for about an hour.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Basic Mini Cheesecakes

As I have said before, cheesecake is my absolute favorite dessert ever. I’d say chocolate, but my chocolate intake would be more than a dessert. So I call that more of a treat. That works...right?! My mom is a kindergarten teacher, mom of five, and one of the busiest people I know. I’ll never understand how she could teach full-time, run my brothers to sports practices, make dinner, watch me cheer and my sister play volleyball, get piano practiced and homework finished, and run other errands around town all while keeping the house clean. She is totally Wonder Woman. But, she always has some chocolate hidden in a jar in her classroom or in the toaster cupboard at home, and she taught me that helps the day go by a little bit smoother. So, I just have to keep it there in my life too! And of course, put it on top of these great cheesecakes.


I like to make flavored cheesecakes a ton. I love trying new things and mixing new flavors together that I know I will always love because, cheesecake. But, sometimes you just need that classic flavor. One of the perks to a plain cheesecake is that you can add any toppings you would like to it. Perfect for a cheesecake bar or something like that. Some I’d recommend: fruit, nuts, chocolate, caramel, and candies.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunday Dinner Crockpot Roast and Potatoes

For as long as I can remember, at least one Sunday each month, walking into the house after church and getting a whiff of the best smell ever: roast, onion, and potatoes. I'd run to set the table and put the rolls in the oven. It was like my monthly version of Thanksgiving Dinner. I don't think anything can compare to a roast that has been slow cooking all day. I thought my mom was a magic cook (well I still think she is) to be able to make something that tasted so good. I'm glad that she's taught me her ways because living over 2 hours away, you can't drive home every Sunday for dinner....unfortunately. This roast is actually pretty simple. As much as I try to make this for two people, I don't think it will ever work out. I always end up filling it to the brim with food. It works because Sunday we eat around 2 p.m., have leftovers before dessert, and then more leftovers for lunch the nest day. So it actually ends up for about 3-4 meals for us, and we don't mind because we love this stuff.


Monday, August 28, 2017

Chicken Biscuit Rolls

Today is the first day of school for my junior year in my undergrad and I am honestly so excited to be here! Even though the work in college is difficult, it's so rewarding for me. And honestly, I wouldn't have started this blog if it wasn't for one of my classes that I took last year. We were given a project to start a blog of our choosing and post once per week. We used blogs, social media, presentations, and planning throughout the semester and I absolutely loved it! When the time came that the class was over, I decided to keep up with blogging because it was so much fun for me and I seriously enjoyed planning something out and making things the way I liked. It has helped me with social media, cooking better meals, and staying organized so much better. I believe that is one thing about college that some people misunderstand, that they're tyring to push you into a big career or something. When in reality, they're trying to help you find something that you love and enjoy doing. Even though the class I took was for a personal blog and marketing, it helped me find a hobby that I love to do!


Monday, August 21, 2017

Rise and Shine Breakfast For All

A good breakfast always makes my day start off 10x better! I usually go with cereal, granola, or oatmeal. They're simple staples that get me going for the day. But, sometimes you just need to change things up from the ordinary and have a fun breakfast! Six blogs have come together to share with you some of our favorite breakfast meals! From potatoes, to kale, to s'mores, we've got it all covered! Use these for your next breakfast party, family get-together, or even just an overcast Sunday morning. We love breakfast!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

One Dozen Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are great because they make 2 dozen! I have halved it and it worked out great for me, so if you're wanting to make 1 dozen cookies, do that and it will work out great! But, I like to share cookies with others, and I still want a lot for myself, so 2 dozen is perfect for us! This recipe makes suuuper soft cookies and they look slightly undercookied, but they end up being perfect! They're very rich and so it makes it a little easier to stop after eating just a couple of them.
I never really liked cookies a ton growing up, but I have come to like them a lot more recently. I don't know why exactly though? I'm a chocolate lover, and usually brownies and ice cream means more chocolate, so that's my only guess. Ice cream is still my dessert of choice, but chocolate chip cookies are coming to be a very close second. Lucky for me, cookies are a lot easier to make than ice cream is, and it's also easier to share cookies with neighbors and friends. The day before my brother left on his mission, we got together and had dinner as a family. I brought these cookies for dessert, but they were gone before we even finished cooking dinner. SO GOOD! I have a favorite recipe, but they make like 8 or 9 dozen cookies, and that's way too many for me because after sharing, I still have about half of them left. And you know, I could eat all of them.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Mashed Potatoes for Two

If you're like me, then you could eat a TON of mashed potatoes every time they are placed in front of your face. I seriously could eat a huge bowl of them all by myself. I used to love those potato pearl thingies when I was younger, and now I don't even get gow I could have a little bit of those things because the real stuff is so much better! My mom only cooked potatoes about once each week, usually in a slow cooker or in the oven, and sometimes baked. But rarely did we have mashed potatoes because they were saved for special occasions at our house it seemed like. We regularly ate rice with our dinner and ate pasta too, so these mashed potatoes were sooo good to us growing up. Now, I still cook them just as regularly as my mom did, but I have to make sure to cook the right amount for two people.
The first couple of times I made mashed potatoes, I used about 8 potaotes, sour cream, cream cheese, butter, shredded cheese, you name it. I didn't quite know what was healthy to put in them regularly and definately not how many potatoes to use when preparing them for only two people. So, after about one year, I've finally gotten it to be able to feed two people for two meals, and it's perfect for us since we do leftovers. So, if you're feeding four people for dinner, you'd be set there too!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Family Favorite Zucchini Brownies

Sunday nights in the summer always meant zucchini brownies at my house growing up. We'd eat zucchini daily over the summer. I have two zucchini favorites and one of them is these brownies. It makes a whole sheet and my family could down them in less than 12 hours, we'd eat them for dessert, before bed snack, and breakfast the next day. And then we'd eat the unwanted edges before lunch. That's how much we love them. The texture is pretty cakey, but not dry and spongy. It's like the perfect cake, all because the zucchini makes it not as dry. But, we still call them brownies instead of cake, and I don't quite get why?...haha! My other favorite is what we called "squished squash" growing up and it's stuck. I think it's technically a zucchini mousse sort of thing? It's steamed zucchini with sour cream, parm and cheddar cheese, and salt and pepper. It's amazing. And, I could eat it every. single. day. We're moving away from family soon and I'll be pretty bummed when I can't pick fresh veggies out of my family's garden.
I can't believe that Summer is winding down. We have hiked all summer, hung out with family, weight-lifted in our old high school gym, and just hung out. My husband has been working like crazy. He is a temporary worker for the Forest Service, and hikes for 40 hours each week, plus overtime almost EVERY SINGLE WEEK! Like 50-60 hours each week, he is hiking straight up the mountains. And it amazes me because, I don't think I could do that. When we hike for 5 hours, I am pretty much dead by that point. So, I am excited to be able to spend time with him when school starts. We are wanting to do one more fun trip before school starts. I'd love to hear any ideas if you have any!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Mixed Roasted Veggies

These roasted veggies are a favorite of mine! They’re as customizable as you’d like them to be. I like to bring them for Sunday dinner at my parents’ house because anyone can eat them. My brothers don’t like a lot of veggies, but they can pick and choose what they like off of the pan and put it on their plates to eat.
Now that it’s August, it means that school is starting this month (not until the 28, but still)….and it has put me in “back-to-school/Autumn mode”. Summer is pretty much over for me it feels like, and these last few weeks are going to be busy ones! Next week, my little brother is leaving on a 2 year service mission in Arkansas, so we won’t see him for two whole years, hopefully it goes by fast because I’m going to miss him! A few days after that, my husband’s brother and his wife are having their wedding reception. They were married just about two months ago, but it had to be kind of rushed because my father-in-law was going to marry them and he was being released as a bishop that next week, so they decided to get married a little earlier than anticipated and have their wedding reception on the planned date. I’m so excited to attend their reception to celebrate their marriage and cute family. And also, because it means family members who have been living in Texas and Wyoming are coming back to Utah and I’m looking forward to seeing them! All my nieces and nephews get to be in one place haha. That’s one of my favorite parts about being married into this family, Michael’s the youngest in his family so everyone has kids already that we get to play with. On my side of the family, I’m the only one married so it’s fun having two such different family dynamics because of the age differences.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Week Two Dinner Plan

Week Two Meal Plan is loaded with recipes by The Pinstriped Pantry, I hope you enjoy them! My favorite hamburger seasoning, grilled tilapia, and pulled pork sandwiches will be coming soon, so keep an eye open for those recipes!

Monday- Hamburger BBQ
Tuesday- Grilled Tilapia cooked with Lemons and Garlic with Quinoa and corn
Wednesday- Yummy Ritz Cracker Chicken with rice and Cooked Carrots
Thursday- Loaded Spaghetti with turkey kielbasa and steamed squash
Friday- Grandma's Chicken Marinade with Sweet Potatoes and steamed broccoli
Saturday- Quinoa Chicken Nuggets with Seasoned Oven Fries and frozen peas
Sunday- Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Pasta Salad



Thursday, July 27, 2017

No-Bake Raspberry Lemonade Dessert

Oh my, this dessert is amazing!! My mom received this recipe from one of her co-workers and we have loved it since then. Right after I graduated from high school, I competed for Miss Utah representing our county and we had a send-off party and served this dessert there because it was such a favorite of ours! I like how easy it is to make and it can serve quite a few people too. Who would've thought that putting Ritz Crackers and frozen lemonade together would taste this amazing? It's like a Better Than Anything Cake in a light, fruity form. And if you haven't tried Better Than Anything Cake, you have to make that one too, it's the real chocolaty goodness you need in your life! This dessert is one of those that, if you make it for yourself, you keep going back to the fridge to take just another small slice, and it's gone by the end of the day. This recipe was given to my mom by one of her coworkers and has been passed around for a while, I added the raspberries for a fun little texture change!
I'm all about light summer desserts because it seems like there is always another party to go to during the summer. I'm a Mormon (you can learn more about our religion here, and no....we don't practice plural marriages) and when boys turn 18 and girls turn 19, they are given the opportunity to choose to serve a mission for our church. And since everyone is out of school for the summer, many of them leave during those months. Coming from a small town, everyone knows everyone else, and we attend a meeting where the person leaving or returning gives some remarks and then afterwards, we have a dinner and visiting afterwards. So, it seems like almost every Sunday, there is a dinner going on that you can contribute to. So, desserts and salads are on repeat for about five months, and I really don't mind.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Loaded Spaghetti Sauce for Two

Spaghetti is one of my favorite meals ever! I love how tasteful and filling it is every time you eat it! I am very used to cooking it with pre-made marinara sauce, but thought it would be nice to try a sauce by myself. It's been gloomy here for the past while with scattered rain showers and cloud coverage for the last couple of weeks, with the occasional sun peeking in through the clouds every once-in-a-while. So, a warm and filling meal is exactly what we needed!  I also realized that taking photos when the sun is peaking out of the clouds isn't the best idea for spaghetti sauce, lighting was pretty off when I was taking these photos, but I think that they ended up turning out okay!
I like my spaghetti sauce to be filled with everything, but you could easily take those things out and it wouldn't make that much of a difference. I changed this recipe up a bit from Fox and Briar. Her recipe is marinara sauce and it is about double the amount as mine, so try that one if you want a little more of a simple marinara sauce!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Summer Salads

I am so excited to share this recipe round-up with you all! I have been working on this for the month of July and it's such a great collaboration! I will be posting once each month with these bloggers to share with you recipes that we love! So, keep an eye open for some new recipes to try and introduce yourself to new flavors!
These summer salads are tried and true by these bloggers and they will for sure be a hit at your summer get-togethers. I love salads in the summer because they work for pretty much anything. Make them for yourself and you have lunch for a few days, or for a potluck BBQ.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Chicken Stir-Fry for Two


Making dinner is the summer is a struggle some days! When it's so warm outside, you just don't want to turn your oven on and cook food. But sadly, you just have to eat! I have tried for months to make a stir-fry that I have actually really enjoyed. Most of the time, I just choose to make the frozen bags because it cooks so much better! I try so many different recipes and they have not worked for me. They're too spicy, soggy, meaty, etc. and I just haven't found one that I'd like to use again. It's also so difficult to find one just to feed two people! So, I decided to try one for myself, and I personally really enjoyed it. Michael said it was his favorite one yet too, so that makes two...all we need in our house!
I had to fix the problems that I didn't like. Soggy stir-fry is not something I like AT ALL!! I don't like mixing foods very much because they all mush, so I decided to cook the stir-fry and sauce seperately. I made the teriyaki in a pot and it turned out just fine! My favorite teriyaki recipe is from Food.com. There is extra sauce, but I usually save it for a couple of days and put it on leftovers and rice. I also wanted a good amount of meat to veggies. I used one chicken breast and cut it into larger pieces. I also limited the veggies what we wanted and cooked them all together! 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Week One Dinner Plan

I'm excited to start sharing dinner plans with all of you. One of the hardest things for me when we were first married was planing meals. My mom did a wonderful job of it growing up. She would let each child pick a meal they wanted from a list and we would help make that meal on the night it was planned for. She let us help with shopping at times, and it was always fun to be part of the whole meal process. After a while into our marriage, I decided I wanted to plan meals a little better and did just what my mom did, planning meals and shopping once each week for all of them. This actually saves money, because taking daily trips to the sotre, you don't see how much money you are spending on food, where when you take one trip you see how much you are putting towards your groceries, and make sure that you're only purchasing needed items.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Lemon Bread


This lemon bread is fantastic! It makes one loaf, so that's perfect for a small number of people. This is, of course, more of a dessert bread, so the one loaf works great for me so I can make sure not to overeat like crazy. Bread is one thing that Michael and I can eat a TON of (and sadly, it doesn't even matter which kind). This lemon bread has been a favorite of mine for years. One of our family friends made it for us every year for Christmas, and it was one of my favorite Holiday treats. After we were married, Michael tried some and absolutely LOVED it, and even asked for it on his birthday instead of a cake. So, it's now on repeat for our treats we choose every once-in-a-while. 
This bread is pretty simple to make. I use my KitchenAid to mix it. Honestly, I use my Kitchen Aid all of the time. For breakfast, I like to beat pancake or waffle batter in it, and it always leaves it perfect. Muffin mix in this thing is great too, especially if you're using fresh fruit, because it doesn't mash them up too much. I also use it to mash motatoes (instead of actually mashing them) and it whips them up to make them super creamy. You can also knead bread in your KitchenAid! And, of course, I use it for all of my desserts that I love: cookie dough, brownie and cake batter, breads, and cupcakes. It's my go-to, and I am always so excited to find something new to do with it. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Garden Rotini Pasta Salad

For a family get-together, my aunt brought this wonderful pasta salad. She told me how simple it was, and I HAD to make it! This is my new go-to for gatherings. I also like to make it and eat it for almost every single meal throughout the week...it's just that good. I like this recipe too because you can really cater it towards who you are feeding. If you're at an adult gathering, use more of a specialized dressing, spicier pepperoni, and sharper cheese. For kids, use a more simple dressing and flavors that aren't as strong. If you've ever had Suddenly Salad, this is pretty much the same thing, but tastes more fresh! When we were younger, my mom used to make a pasta salad like this, and my siblings and I used to call them "Hakuna Matata Noodles" because they reminded us of the food Simone and Pumba ate on The Lion King. Pretty smart on my mom's part to get us to eat our lunch!
Really, this recipe is so simple. I like to use Kraft dressing because it has a really good taste! I buy the garden noodles to make them a little bit more nutritious, they use spinach and other veggies mixed into the noodles!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Spinach and Basil Lasagna

This was my very first time making lasagna and I loved it! We usually opt for Stouffer's Lasagna, but thought that we would like a healthier option. We also knew exactly what was being put into this dish, and that's a lot more reasurring than eating frozen food. I found this recipe from Healthy Seasonal Recipes and I love how it can be catered toward your preferences of cheese, noodles, and beef. The spinach is also a plus, spinach is always a plus actually!
I halved this recipe, and it still could've fed 4-6 people. We had leftovers and then some. But, it's a great aount of lasagna for two people still, it would easily last three meals! We really loved this recipe and I am so excited for you all to try it!
I was surprised at the simplicity of this lasagna, I think I have always thought it was a very difficult meal to prepare, and while it did take more time than some meals, it wasn't the most difficult meal I have prepared, and didn't take up a lot of my time. This recipe is your meat, carbs, and vegetables all rolled into one. I still steamed some broccoli for more veggies, but I spend about the same amount of time in preparation of this meal as most meals, it just took a little longer to cook. It tasted fresh, healthy, and warmed us right up. I'll definately be keeping this meal on our meal plans!


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Patriotic Chocolate and Yogurt Covered Raspberries


Growing up in a small town, I have had now, almost 20 years of small town 4th of July celebrations. If you haven't been to a small, rural community for Independence Day, you absolutely have to do it. Even if you know nobody there, you will feel welcome. Usually, the day starts off with a 5K that my mom ran regularly growing up. After that, the American Legion puts on a breakfast where my family eats pancakes, bacon, and eggs. After this, the festivities really begin. We spend the day at the park where there are classic activities including: egg toss, three leg race, finding coins in the hay, and a dunk tank. We eat lunch and enjoy a program that runs throughout the day. After lunch, the fire truck pulls in for a big tug-of-war where everyone gets soaked. Our next stop is the local pool where there is a discount for the day. By now, everyone is pretty tired. So, we go home and take a nap until dinner. Dinner is filled with fresh food, homemade ice cream and rootbeer, and of course, watermelon. The 4th of July parade takes place on Main Street, and then we end the day with a patriotic program and fireworks at the football field. It's wonderful, and I don't think that anything will ever live up to the celebration of this holiday at home. I love supporting America and what this country was built on.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Disney Copycat Pineapple Dole Whips

It's National Pineapple Day! So, I thought that I would share with you one of my favorite pineapple treats- Dole Whips. These are some of the best things you can grab at Disneyland, so making them at home will help to hold you over until your next Disney trip. One of the great things about this recipe is that they can be healthy when you make them at home! Nothing is more refreshing than a light, citrus, frozen treat. It only takes about five minutes to make these things. I altered the recipe from Gemma's Bigger Boulder Baking for less people and also added the lemon and lime juice.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

German Pancakes for Two

German Pancakes were a staple to our breakfast routine growing up. They're so easy and can be made with ingredients that are sitting in your house regularly. This was a great recipe while growing up, because my mom was a teacher as well as my dad, so there was absolutely no time to make breakfast in the mornings when we all had to leave for school at different times, make lunches, get ready, and ususally finish our homework we forgot to do the night before. This was great, because all you have to do is mix it, and throw it in the oven. My mom did this, and we were still able to dish up our own breakfast and personalize it to our taste. It was a good change from our usual cereal and toast, without taking the time of waffles or french toast.
Now, when we make big pan, we eat them all and stuff ourselves silly. So, I decided I would try to half the recipe and see how it worked out. And it turned out perfectly! It works out so great for us because it's a fun breakfast without being too filling or anything. My sister-in-law has the full recipe on her blog, as well as an amazing syrup! I like to make this syrup every once-in-a-while for a special occasion, but it's a lot of sugar and extra work. But, for birthdays and special occasion, I absolutely love it!


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Baked Chicken Rolls

This is perfect for a summer dinner. The fresh chives and parsley make it refreshing and the small size of each piece keeps it light. We served it with rice and asparagus and I don't think that I could have loved it more!
I honestly don't think I could rave enough about family recipes. I received a bunch of them from my grandma at my bridal shower and they are some of my favorites. They're so classic and just yummy! These chicken rolls were made by my mom growing up and she said this was the meal she requested for her birthday dinners as a young girl. They're a bit of a change from your regular baked chicken so it's a little refreshing to have the switch-up. I made them for my family and my younger brothers really enjoyed them, because my mom hadn't made them in a while. It's always fun for younger children because they're automatically fascinated with the toothpicks in them and somehow makes it more interesting to eat. Everyone will love this meal when you make it!
This is a pretty simple meal. I like to use chicken tenders because it makes them a lot easier, but you can use chicken breasts and cut them up to the size of tenders (about 3-4 pieces of the breast make a good size). I like to use fresh chives and parsley for this recipe also! And, as always, this recipe feeds two people plus leftovers! This can easily be doubles or tripled to feed more mouths!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Quick & Easy Quinoa

Quinoa is one of my favorite things to eat! It's super great for you. It's a gluten free, plant-based protein that has all of the amino acids. So pretty much a superfood! They are small and round, and you can also make it into a flour. You can use quinoa as a side dish or add it to salads, soups, and even make cakes with this stuff. This article gives you some more ideas for uses of quinoa. I love this stuff! Usually, my meals consist of a meat, a side, and a vegetable. For my sides, I switch out sweet and regular potatoes, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and quinoa. It adds to your dish and helps fill your belly up!
When using it as a side, I like to cook it with chicken broth to add a little bit of flavor. It doesn't have a strong taste, so this small thing helps a lot. Preparation is a lot like rice. It's double the amount of water to the dry quinoa. You put them both in the pot together on high until it boils, then cover and cook on low for about 15-20 more minutes. The more you are cooking, the longer it will take. You will know it's finished when there is no longer water at the bottom of the pot.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Garlic Lime Sautéed Chicken

Summer is here and lime is one of my favorite flavors of this season! The lime perfects this chicken and compliments the garlic so well. Cayenne pepper and paprika give this chicken just a little kick to liven up your dinners! Sometimes, even when the A.C. is on full blast, turning the oven on in the summer is just a bad idea. It heats up the house and makes cooking a not-so-fun activity. This dish is sautéed on the stove, so there is still a little bit of heat, but definately less that won't warm up your entire home.

I have always loved summer, but after being in college, I have a whole new appreciation for this break! Besides work, there aren't as many responsibilities (homework, studying for tests, projects, and everything else that comes along with school) that take up my day-to-day. My husband works 10 hour days, and I work early in the morning, so we only get to spend our evenings together. We pretty much have time for exercising and eating, and maybe visiting our families before we fall asleep to wake up early again in the morning. It's busy, but on the weekends we get to fish, swim at the lake, hike, and spend time with our families, so I'd say all of the busyness is worth it!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Easy Apple Muffins

Yay for the weekend that is almost here! In the summer, sometimes it's hard to keep track of the days,  but I always know when Friday is here because it means that Michael is off of work for the weekend! He works 4-10's so he usually gets a 3-day weekend and it's so nice! I spend most of my days alone for the most part, so having somebody to talk to all day is amazing! I have always had a huge love for the weekends. We'd usually get a pizza during one of the weekend nights growing up and when you're a kid, pizza is the best food ever (and as an adult I guess...I still LOVE pizza haha). My dad was also a football coach, so we always got those Friday Night Lights gorwing up, another HUGE highlight to my weekends. Another one of my favorite things about the weekend was that Saturday was cleaning day...I loved cleaning so much! 😂 Mopping the floors and cleaning the windows were some of my favorite things to do, I still love it most days. I like seeing the ippediate results from cleaning. But, one of the absolute BEST things about the weekends were the apple muffins my mom would make every few Saturday mornings. We usually had oatmeal or cereal for breakfast, so the muffins were a huge switch-up, and they're even dipped in sugar, and who doesn't love sugar?!


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Simple Sweet Potatoes

One of my favorite sides to add to meals is a baked sweet potato. I used to only like them with marchmallows and sugar baked for Thanksgiving Dinner. But recently, I have started to try them without all that, and I stil love them just as much! They're perfect for my sweet tooth (sweets are my weakness) and they're also healthy and filling at the same time! I read an interesting post by somebody I follow on Instagram, Carter Good, about potatoes vs. sweet potatoes. I like it because it still shows that white potatoes have health benefits too, along with sweet potatoes (the ones we think are the most healthy)! For most meals, I have the main dish (meat) a vegetable, another side (rice, pasta, potatoes, or quinoa) and sometimes a fruit, and for me, it works out really well! I used to only use white or red potatoes, and recently added sweet potatoes into the routine and it has definately been a game changer to add a different flavor to our meals.

I like to cook them in tin foil, mostly out of habit. It's simple and they taste great! Sweet potatoes caramelize a bit while cooking, so whether you wrap them or not, put a layer of tin foil or a cookie sheet underneath them so it doesn't get your oven all dirty. I prep them just as regular potatoes: wash, poke holes with fork, wrap in tin foil. SO SIMPLE! I don't add oil or salt. You can make them the same without wrapping them too. I love baked potatoes because they don't really require a seperate dish to cook them in and that makes it a winner in my book! I don't like to add brown sugar to mine unless I'm eating them as a dessert, so I like to use cinnamon and honey as an extra sweetener. You can also add many other toppings, depending on how you want it to taste.



Saturday, May 27, 2017

Yummy Ritz Cracker Chicken


One of my favorite things about getting married and recieving new family members is the new food that I have been introduced to- you know, added to the great people you are now faily with!  You grow up eating food that is familiar to your specific family and heritage and you absolutely love it, but becoming a part in a new family, you are able to try so many new things. One of my favorites that my mother-in-law makes is what they call "Yummy Chicken". It's covered in Ritz Crackers and is crispy and buttery, such a perfect chicken bake! 
This is a very simple recipe, and it is a switch-up from your regular battered chicken. Using plain yogurt makes it savory and really keeps the chicken soft while cooking. 
My awesome sister-in-law runs a food blog, High Heels and Grills, and I retrieved the recipe from there. My recipe is catered to a smaller number of people, so check out her Baked Ritz Garlic Parmesan Chicken Strips if you're making these for more than about 2-3 people (or you can just double this recipe, but I'd totally recommend reading her posts because they're great)! 
The simplicity of this recipe is unreal! All you need is chicken, plain yogurt, Ritz crackers, parmesan cheese, garlic & seasoned salt, butter, and salt & pepper. I just crumble up the Ritz in their packaging and put them in, it's a lot less time consuming than transferring them to a plasticbag. I also like to experiment with the different flavors of crackers, so far, the "Everything" flavor has been my favorite.  SO EASY!! You can bake it on a cookie sheet, or a 3x19, and it turns out perfect every single time. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake

If I could choose one dessert to eat for the rest of my life, it would be either cheesecake or ice cream. I honestly think that could be one of the most difficult decisions of my life. But, since cheesecake is up there, I thought that I'd share with you my favorite cheesecake recipe. I love eating cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory, that's my first choice for birthdays and special events- my husband even took me there to eat the day he proposed to me because that's how much I really enjoy it. I love ALL of the cheesecakes there, but mostly the chocolate or caramel flavors (favorite main dishes are the Chicken Madeira and Grilled Chicken Tostada Salad).

This cheesecake is quite a bit of a change from your typical cheesecake, it's actually very light and fluffy. I do enjoy the decadent cheesecakes with rich flavor, but this toss-up is so refreshing! I got this recipe from Dining With The Prophets (currently only $4.99!!), a cookbook with recipes from The Lion House Pantry, a cute little restaurant in the heart of Salt Lake City on page 24. It's listed as "Spencer W. Kimball's Raspberry Cheesecake". And it's so yummy!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Grandma's Chicken Marinade

For my wedding, one of my sweet grandmas made me recipe cards, and they're some of my favorite to try because I know that my mom grew up with these recipes and they are true and tested by somebody who I trust. Do you ever try recipes on Pinterest and they just don't work out? I made one of those today that was a gravy and it's so  disappointing, it was even for a dinner at a friend's house, so we couldn't even bring it- good thing she had extra gravy for the meal. My mom said she has a curse that always ruins food whenever she is cooking it for company. I'm pretty sure that I inherited that from her because I have that struggle quite often!
This recipe is, as always my style, super easy. It's a chicken marinade so I love to put it in the morning and let it sit throughout the day and let it marinade all day long. I like to put it in a large bowl or in a Ziploc bag. Whenever my parents marinaded chicken, they'd use soda in it and I loved it, the carbonation makes it taste so much better! Sprite is best for chicken marinade and Coke for a red meat!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Chocolate Peanut Butter Easter Eggs- Reece's Copycat


Reece's chocolate eggs are my weakness. I like regular Reece's but the creamy eggs just speak to me. You know how they put Easter candy out shortly before Valentine's Day and everyone is upset? I'm not because it means I can buy myself a chocolate egg. This year, I decided to bring an Easter treat home to my family and thought I would give these eggs a go. My favorite thing about them is that they're super rich so you pretty much can only eat one and then stop instead of eating a whole pack like I normally do.
I love Easter. Coming from a small town, we have a city Easter egg hunt each year, and for as long as I can remember, I have helped stuff the eggs beforehand and set them out for the kids to pick up at the local park. My family is religious, so we always celebrate the Easter Bunny and egg hunting the day before Easter Sunday so we can focus on Christ on Easter Sunday where we read in the Bible and discuss His death and resurrection. I have enjoyed this tradition because it's fun to have fun, but also a great time to love and appreciate what Easter is about. Another reason why I love Easter is because of the movies. My favorite Easter movies are: "It's the Easter Beagle Charlie Brown", "Here Comes Peter Cottontail" (original version), and "The Easter Bunny is Comin' to Town"- this one is my absolute favorite because of the colors and graphics, it's adorable! Spring is beautiful and the flowers for Easter is another highlight of this time for me.
I would definately recommend getting an egg-shaped cookie cutter before starting these. I completely forgot and ended up cutting them all individually, which was honestly a little bit of a hassle. So, get a cookie cutter and it will make this a lot easier and way more enjoyable to make. Another hint: keep them in the freezer while dipping in chocolate. Don't take the whole sheet out, just one or two at a time so they stay frozen and don't break in the hot chocolate you're dipping them in. The recipe was found from The Recipe Critic.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Fruit Dip

I've been trying to be eating better snacks recently. I try not to snack, but learned in my nutrition class that it's actually pretty good for you if you make sure to eat smaller meals. It's better for your metabolism if you eat five small meals throughout the day instead of three large meals. It's a work in progress, and I think I weill always have three meals, but smaller meals with snacks in between will probably be my go-to. And as much as I love chips and salsa (because I could live the rest of my life off of that stuff) there are way better options like this for healthier snacks!
There is a wonderful woman who I gew up in my high school years with the opportunity of knowing. I looked up to her very much, and her daughter was a huge role model to me. Now, her daughter is actually my sister-in-law and I am able to spend time with her regularly. They both have this wonderful spirit to them and are some of the most enjoyable people to be around. The mother owns a website, Lioness at the Door . I recently started following it, and I would recommend it to anyone for some extra positivity. One of her most recent blog posts featured Real Food Snacks. I tried the fruit dip and absolutely LOVED it! I never eat enough fruit, and this dip adds just a little "extra" to apples and even grapes. My fruit always ends up going bad because I can't finish it in time, but this fruit dip reminds me to eat the fruit because I want to keep eating it- haha!
It uses cream cheese, molasses, honey, and a little bit of vanilla. If you don't like molasses, I guess you could use brown sugar or something, but I think it tastes just fine if you add the correct amount of molasses- it mixes very well. It's the perfect little snack, I saw my nephew eating it the other night and loving it, so it proves that even kids like it!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Cooked Carrots

I love these carrots! I usually make a large amount to snack on throughout the day and then also to have as a side for dinner. They're the most simple thing ever. Sometimes, I get sick of the same old snacks: raw veggies, fruit, crackers, and granola bars. Snacks are quick, easy, and usually not cooked because of these reasons. A lot of the time, because of convenience, snacks can be pretty unhealthy. I found the perfect solution to this problem with these carrots.
Originally, I just made these as a side for dinners. But, I have this problem-I pick at food so badly! If there is food sitting there, I will test it a few times just to make sure it tastes okay and whatnot. When cooking these for dinner, there was usually only about half the carrots left for dinner- oops! So now, I make them double just to be able to have carrots for snacks throughout the day!
This could be one of the most simple recipes ever. You wash the carrots, and then throw them in the slow cooker. Add some liquid- you can use water, but I prefer using chicken broth. I add about one cup, but there is usually quite a bit of liquid to drain at the end. I would rather this than them burning. Add salt and pepper, butter, or even brown sugar to the carrots for flavor (don't do brown sugar if you cooked with chicken broth, only water).

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thai Coconut-Curry Broiled Tilapia

This is, HANDS DOWN, my new favorite tilapia recipe. Oh my goodness, it's amazing. Not a curry fan? Originally, me neither. But this completely converted me. My mom made this a few times when I was in high school, so I thought I'd give it a try again since we're trying to eat more fish. We love it! I've made it a few times, but made sure to add the fresh ginger and garlic and it MAKES it!
It's a super easy recipe, surprisingly. And again, fish is full of Omega-3's, so it's incredibly good for you! The original recipe is from Food.com , which I feel is always a trustworthy site. For spices, I also use good old McCormick, they are always perfect for my needs!
Tilapia Tips 
Keep your tilapia frozen. When thawing out, don't defrost in microwave like other meats. It thaws out super fast! Tilapia is pre-packaged individually, keep them in the plastic when thawing out. Fill a medium-sized bowl with lukewarm water and place tilapia filets into the bowl until thaw, refreshing the water every 5 minutes (only have to replace once for a a few fish-for more, you'll have to replace more). You can also place packaged filets inside of a colander and run slightly warmed water over them until thawed. 
Take the fish out of the packaging and rinse off. This gets the not-so-good, slimy, fishy taste off of them a little more and leaves the good taste. Another way you can do this, is soak them in a brine mixture in the fridge for about 10 minutes (1 cup of water to 1 tsp. salt). This makes them taste way better!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Lemon Garlic Slow Cooker Chicken

I am ALWAYS searching for a new slow cooker meal. They’re my favorite because I can just throw them in and then they’re all ready for dinner. With the warmer months coming up, I think I am looking for them a lot more now. The oven heats up the house too much, so the slow cooker is usually my go-to. I feel like this is a great recipe because it’s pretty healthy, a lot of the recipes I find for chicken and the slow cooker have a lot of creamy soups and other fattening ingredients. I love those recipes, and that’s the problem, I eat too much of it and it’s unhealthy, so I have to save them for special occasions- not every day! I was so excited when I found this recipe and it tasted SO GOOD paired with rice and green beans. Have you ever had green beans with lemons or lemon pepper, it’s amazing. So, I had to try them with this and oh my, delicious! 
This recipe is perfect! The lemon-garlic mixture has a fresh taste to it and it compliments the chicken very well. It’s super easy too: mix the spices and pat onto chicken, throw onto fryer for about 2 min. each side, and throw into the crockpot with liquids and garlic. Simple as that! 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Seasoned Oven Fries

Friday night calls for fun food. That's my philosophy. You've made it through the week, so now it's time to kick back and relax. Most Friday's, I don't even want to cook dinner. But eating out has many downsided. So, on Friday, I try to find meals that are fun to eat and make. These are better than Wendy's fries (those are my favorite fast food fries for some reason haha) and I always pair them with Quinoa Chicken Nuggets. It's like a homemade kids meal. And since it's healthier, there's still a little room for a weekend treat!
I don't cook potatoes very often, because I feel that there are healthier choices for sides and also, they're hard for me to season. I always want to add a lot of butter, milk, sour cream, ANYTHING to add a little bit more taste to them. Salt them up and have some ketchup handy is usually my "healthy" option for any kind of potatoes. But, these changed my life. The seasoning mixture is oh, so good. A little kick, and definately salty. 
I always have a hard time cutting these things correctly, so I usually let Michael do it. We cute some thinner French fries and also some slightly thicker wedges to please the both of us. They've turned out perfectly every time we've tried them. One thing to know about cooking fries, is that they're better if you start them earlier that day if you're going to chill them. Keep them in the fridge all day if needed! Boiling is a faster option, but you need to be on the ball the whole time while making these.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Easy Like Sunday Morning Banana Bread

Cereal and oatmeal are the everyday breakfast choice for us, Sundays are the only exception. It's the day where I will spend time to make a real, homemade breakfast. This bread is the perfect thing to wake up and bake for the perfect breakfast on a Sunday morning.
I'm always guilty for buying a bunch of bananas thinking that we will eat all of them, and never do. I cut them up in cereal, for toast, eat them plain, in yogurt and smoothies, I try to find every way I can to use bananas, but there always seem to be leftovers for some reason?! They always sit in the corner until it's time to throw them away, thinking that we will use them for something. Well, this is the someting that you can use them for! No, you don't use rotted bananas, but the mooshier (yea, that's a word) the better! 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Blackened Tilapia Tacos- Cajun Style

These are some of my favorite things to make these days, we constantly have them on repeat at our home. I usually try to do a 3-4 week meal turnover but these are a weekly event over here and we haven't gotten sick of them yet. Fiesta for your tastebuds right here, and not even kidding.
These are super easy, and oh so healthy for you. In the past, I have had the hardest time getting myself to eat fish. I love seafood when I am near the ocean, it's so fresh and one of my favorite things to eat. But, living in a rural area in the middle of the dessert, you don't get that fresh seafood very often. Fish has tons of Omega-3 and it is so needed for your health. It's something that you can't get as well from supplements, but I know that I can't go without the benefits from Omega-3's! So, I know that I have to eat fish to receive those benefits. Frozen seafood tastes very different than fresh, but I have finally found this recipe from The Chunky Chef and it has changed the tilapia world for me! Another great thing about this recipe is you can choose for yourself how spicy it will be!
Tilapia Tips 
Keep your tilapia frozen. When thawing out, don't defrost in microwave like other meats. It thaws out super fast! Tilapia is pre-packaged individually, keep them in the plastic when thawing out. Fill a medium-sized bowl with lukewarm water and place tilapia filets into the bowl until thaw, refreshing the water every 5 minutes (only have to replace once for a a few fish-for more, you'll have to replace more). You can also place packaged filets inside of a colander and run slightly warmed water over them until thawed. 
Take the fish out of the packaging and rinse off. This gets the not-so-good, slimy, fishy taste off of them a little more and leaves the good taste. Another way you can do this, is soak them in a brine mixture in the fridge for about 10 minutes (1 cup of water to 1 tsp. salt). This makes them taste way better!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Valentine's Cupcakes: Chocolate Peanut Butter

One of my favorite homemade desserts right here! I’m not too much of a cupcake fan, but making these for special occasions such as Valentine’s Day, gets my cupcake fix in for the year. They are chocolate (my favorite) with a peanut butter accent. They’re rich and have the perfect texture that’s not too crumbly. These are the cupcakes that children and adults will both enjoy! 

They are really great for any occasion, just by adding Valentine’s themed cupcake tins and hearts at the top, they are perfect for this holiday of love. You could simply color the frosting or add sprinkles to make them even more festive. This is definitely not a recipe for only two people since it makes 18 cupcakes. We saved some for ourselves and shared with friends and family! 

The original recipe from Baker By Nature calls for a peanut butter frosting-they're definately the Ultimate Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes! That’s a little too much for me, so I opted for a plain chocolate frosting and added peanut butter cups on top! Num’s the Word had a great Rolo Cupcake recipe, and I loved their frosting, so I decided to try that with these and it was perfect!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Quinoa Chicken Nuggets

You know those days when you're just wanting to eat out but you know that it won't be good for you? I have those days, and found the perfect recipe to feed that craving! It's a mix of healthy and fun, and it's super easy too. 

I usually love Wendy's Chicken Nuggets, is that terrible of me?! But I know how unhealthy they are and I know that home cooked meals make me feel so much better.

This is your typical breaded chicken recipe, but even better since it's covered in quinoa (sidenote: did you know that quinoa has all of the essential amino acids? That's why everyone is telling you how good it is and recommending you to eat it-so, so good for you). Recipe was retreived from Creme De La Crumb

It's so easy to make this!
Start with cooking your quinoa, I like to do this a little ahead of time because it's super hot afterwards and I like to let it cool down before covering the chicken with it.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Chicken Pot Pie

I could probably live off of the Marie Calendar's personal meat pies. I thought that I'd try making one of my own, and opted for a full-size pie becuase it means more (which is always better in this situation). I found the best recipe from our local cookbook! 


It took me a little bit of personal talking into, because I was so worried that I was going to do it incorrectly and dinner would be a disaster. Fortunately, that was not the case and it turned out great! My only problem was that it tasted a little bit bland, it definately needed more than just a little bit of salt and pepper. After a few trials, I was able to discover the right taste!
How To
The recipe is super simple, something that surpised me the first time that I made it. 
I start out with cooking the chicken in the oven while I am boiling the vegetables (potatoes and carrots only) until they're finished cooking. Before cooking the vegetables, I cube the potatoes and slice the carrots into small rounds (I usually use petite carrots). I boil some water and throw them in there with the salt. I cook them until the potatoes are about to fall apart, almost the doneness of mashed potatoes, because they turn out to be super creamy in the finished pie and it's the best! When they're almost finished, I start on the gravy. If I cook the gravy too far ahead, it thickens up too much before pouring it into the pie shells. Preheat the oven to 425° when the chicken is finished cooking. 

Finishing Up
When everything is done cooking, start preparing the pie shells. With the first shell, keep in the tin and place on a cookie sheet. Pour the cooked vegetables and then layer frozen peas and then chicken, finishing with gravy. Place second pie shell, still in tin, on top. Slowly remove the tin and pinch edges together. Gravy might pour out, but that's what the pie tin is for! The pie is done when the top is a golden brown.