Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I am about to have a baby here in the next few days, and I will openly admit the only thing I've cooked has come in a box or a can for the last few weeks. Anyone who gets pregnant in November/early December -- beware! Being 9 months pregnant in the Summer is DREADFUL!

I have also made a move over to Wordpress, and while I have not posted many recipes there, there are plans to hopefully add a recipe section once I get around to it. I love, love, LOVE baking in the Fall, so hopefully I will be settled enough and motivated to get things rolling on the new blog then.

For now, enjoy the other blog by clicking here and I hope to be moving recipes over there from here in the near future.

If you are looking for some great food sites, try these:

Pioneer Woman
My Baking Addiction
Brown Eyed Baker

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I know, I know...

Believe me, I have missed this blog. It's hard keeping up with this blog, and a family blog, and you know, actual life. I have pictures of so many things I've made in the kitchen, but have not been able to find the time to post anything.

I guess I can blame the child growing inside of me, as he continues to lure me to the couch every afternoon for a looooong nap.

I certainly hope I can find some motivation soon...please keep checking in! Don't leave me!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Cupcake FAIL. Birthday FAIL. Mom FAIL.

Note to self: Use Non-stick Spray ALWAYS.

Monday, February 1, 2010

An Ode to Hard Times

Hard Times is not quite a local restaurant, but I think they began their journey somewhere in Virginia. I didn't hear about them until 2 summers ago, when my husband and I were celebrating our 5th Anniversary...alone! My mom and dad had taken my then 2 and 1 year old girls for a week so we could get away for a little bit.
We had 2 days at home before we headed to our vacation destination of Charleston, SC so we decided we would dine out and see lots of movies -- 2 of the hardest things to do as parents.

The first night, my husband asked if I wanted to try out Hard Times. He had been there a few times before with some friends and raved about their chili mac. Me, not so much. Remember how picky I am? Well, the thought of picking out beans and onion chunks from chili was not exactly how I wanted to spend our first night out alone. But, after much convincing, I gave in.

Hard Times quickly became the place we took pretty much everyone who came to visit us for the next year and a half. We were there a LOT. You simply could not beat their awesome chili-mac, plus they brewed their own root beer and it was AMAZING. My standby was the 3 way Texas Chili Mac with a grilled cheese (best bread ever!) and a root beer or 5.

Of course, as our luck would have it, Hard Times in our little town closed it's doors last Spring. I was devastated and immediately went online looking for their other locations and plotting how we could stop there on our way to...well, anywhere within an hour of where we were traveling to. Luckily there are still a few locations not far from my hometown, we just have never had the chance to go.

So, this past weekend, I caved. I HAD TO HAVE SOME CHILI MAC AND A ROOT BEER. Granted, I am pregnant, so I'm sure I would have survived if I didn't get some, but try telling that to my hormones.

On a grocery store visit, I bought some ground beef, a packet of chili seasoning mix, and some shredded cheddar. When the kids went to bed Friday night, I went to town and made my "Ode to Hard Times" 3 way Chili Mac.

Basically, I just browned the ground beef, added in the seasoning packet along with just some of the pasta water, and let it simmer while my noodles cooked up. I piled the meat high on my naked noodles, threw some shredded cheddar on top, and cracked open a bottle of root beer.

Of course, it wasn't the same, but it was pretty darn good!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Homemade Granola Bars

Well, I think we have a new house favorite. Ironically enough, I decided to make granola bars after spending close to $300 at BJ's on all kinds of odds and ends -- including a box containing about 75 granola bars. I think we are now up to our ears in granola, but they are good and they are good for you so bring it on, granola bars!

And I promise, they are very easy to make and don't require a lot of exotic ingredients or time. You can also add or take out pretty much any ingredient you'd like. For instance, this recipe called for wheat germ. I didn't have any, so I added in flax seed instead. I got no complaints! Try them today!

Homemade Granola Bars
adapted from Ina Garten

2 cups oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup toasted flax seed
3 T. unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
1/4 t. kosher salt
3/4 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 350.
Toss together the oats, almonds, and flax seed on a large baking sheet.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Reduce oven temp to 300.
In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt.
Bring to a boil over medium heat.
Cook and stir for a minute, then pour into oat mixture.
Add the raisins and stir well.
Pour the mixture into an 8x12 baking dish lined with parchment paper.
With slightly wet fingers, press mixture down evenly into pan.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until light golden brown.
Cool for 2-3 hours before cutting into squares.
Serve at room temperature.