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22 Jun

Thanks everyone for hanging in there with me.  I knew that having another little human in or life would be demanding I just didn’t equate all the other craziness that summer brings with it as well.  Mostly all good things but still a very busy life with late nights and many curve balls.

Anyways just wanted to say thank you for sticking with us during this time of business and transition for our family.


We went to Pizza Luce during one of my prenatal visits and Jared and I ordered the Ruby Rae- here is their description:

“Ruby’s a saucy little number—a delicious upside down pizza pie with the red sauce on top! Spinach, bruschetta tomatoes, Italian sausage, and extra mozzarella cheese. Sprinkled with parmesan cheese and spicy crushed red pepper.”

We ate this pizza and were hooked.  We loved the spinach on the bottom and the sauce on top made it really different and delicious.  As well as loads of garlic.  Wow.

So of course a week later we were at home reminiscing about how much we loved the Ruby Rae pizza and wanted it again.  Since Duluth is an hour an a half away we had to think up a better solution than taking a three hour round trip drive for a pizza.  Solution: Make our own!

These are some pictures from before Hudson was born, a time when we had a bit more sanity.  Sanity?  Whats that =)

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Mission accomplished

Berry Pancake

28 Apr

Made this berry pancake a few mornings ago and it was a big hit with the family.  I loved the taste but even more I loved that I didn’t have to hang out in front of the stove all morning flipping gobs of individual pancakes.  AND you cook it in a cast iron skillet which makes it very nice to look at =)

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Here is the recipe from

4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup Gold Medal® All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup halved raspberries
powdered sugar, syrup and/or freshly whipped cream for topping


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Use a blender or hand mixer to combine the eggs, milk, flour, sugar, lemon zest and salt.

3. Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over high heat on the stove. Add the butter and melt. Pour the batter into the skillet, then scatter the berries on top. Put the pan in the oven, and bake until puffed and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Slice and serve, topped with powdered sugar, syrup and/or freshly whipped cream, as desired.

Gluten Free Churros

13 Apr

I had to make snack for our ECFE class a few mornings ago so I wanted to try out a new recipe, Churro Chex Snack Mix:

My sister is gluten free and I am always on the lookout for recipes and snacks for her.  Being Gluten Free would be pretty darn difficult and she makes the best of it but I know she misses eating things like churros so I hope this recipe brings back the good ol’ days for her.



9 cups rice Chex cereal
1 cup cinnamon chips
¼ cup butter or margarine
½ cups powdered sugar
¼ granulated sugar
teaspoons cinnamon

SIDE NOTE: I couldn’t find cinnamon chips anywhere so I used this instead and it worked out great (bought this at Target)



In a small microwavable bowl, zap cinnamon chips and butter for 1 minute; stir until smooth. Microwave about 30 seconds longer if needed.

Drizzle mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated.

In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, sugar, and cinnamon.

Toss the coated Chex cereal into the sugar mixture.

Spread on a piece of parchment until cooled.

I wanted to make it kinda cute for the kiddos so I put the snack mix into a sandwich ziplock bag and separated the middle with a clothes pin to make it look like a butterfly.  I have seen this done on pinterest with google eyes and pipe cleaner antenna.  Got a bit late as I was making these and gladly got out the sharpie to finish off the snack.


Green Pistachio Cake

25 Mar

Here is a quote from the blog

“Warning: This is an extremely complicated recipe. Enter only if your skill level in the kitchen is very advanced. You have to forage for native-grown pistachios, then brine them and extract the nutmeat from the shells at just the right time. After that, you have to go through a lengthy process of drawing out the natural oils from the pistachios, which you’ll add to the cake, then rub on your wrist for good luck.

Okay, so I’m just kidding.”

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Pretty funny eh?

The truth is, this is a super easy recipe that takes so little work you will have plenty of time to paint your nails, sort your socks and watch some funny youtube videos.

I made this cake on St Patty’s Day, since it is green from the pistachio flavor and not just food coloring.

I’m sure there is a much more tasty and impressive recipe than this one, but oh well.  There is always next year. right?

You can always make this cake but be sure to whip this out next year for your favorite Irish holiday.

Pasta Press

7 Feb

DSC_5200Loving my noodle press.


I have shared with you all my noodle recipe before, 3/4 cup flour and one egg for each person eating.  The noodle dough needs to rest for 30 minutes, cranking the dough in the press takes about 5-10 minutes depending on the help you have and cooking the noodles only takes a few minutes to reach perfection.

Since the hardest part about making the noodles was rolling them out by hand and the cutting them.  I asked my folks for a noodle press for Christmas and couldn’t be more happy with it.


The girls LOVE turning the crank and helping out making dinner.  Whenever the kids are involved in creating meals they always eat more.  Not sure why this is the case but I am all for it =)

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Of course things taste better when you are dressed like a princess.

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Protein Packed Salads

28 Jan

So now I am 25 weeks preggo.  Woo hoo.  Over halfway done and feeling pretty darn good.  My midwife informed me that I should try eating more protein, so here we go!


When I get hungry it is too easy to lean towards unhealthy snacks to curb my random throughout the day needs.  Instead of heading to the pantry for some chocolate chips or cereal I decided to make a few salads for me to snack on throughout the week.  I can tell you this was an amazing decision that leaves me full and feeling much better that some quicky carb snack would have.

even Soph likes them

even Soph likes them

Make these so you can always have a few delicious and healthy snacks on hand.  They are a great side to any meal and perfect for you folks out there who need a good snack that is good for you!


Southwestern Black Bean Salad


  • 1 15.5 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 9 oz frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 small hass avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 lime, juice of
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cilantro
  • salt and fresh pepper

Combine beans, corn, tomato, onion, scallion, cilantro, salt and pepper. Mix with lime juice and olive oil. Marinate in the refrigerator 30 minutes. Add avocado before serving.


Southwestern Black Bean Salad

Citrus Quinoa Salad can be found here


Citrus Quinoa Salad

Lentil Salad Recipe:

  • 1 pound green lentils (recommended: Sabarot)
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup halved seedless green grapes
  • 1 cup halved seedless red grapes
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped skinned and toasted hazelnuts
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)


  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad:


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the lentils and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 18 to 20 minutes. Drain and let cool for 5 minutes. Place lentils and remaining salad ingredients in a large salad bowl.

For the Vinaigrette:

Place the lemon juice in a small bowl. Slowly add the oil, whisking constantly, until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste

Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss well.


Italian Lentil Salad

Snow Ice Cream

10 Dec

Some people here in MN were more blessed than others with yesterday’s snow storm.  (the most blessed people got 16 inches, the least blessed got an inch)


BUT  we got just enough, about three inches, to make snow ice cream!


Here is the very complex recipe:

1.  Fill a large bowl with snow

2.  Pour some milk in the bowl, how about a cup or two

3.  Add some sugar, lets say about a 1/2 cup

4.  Add about a teaspoon of vanilla

5.  Mix together

6.  Enjoy your snow ice cream and wonder why you have never tried this and make up for lost time by making it everyday this winter


Snow ice cream tastes better if you wear a princess dress and crown while eating it.

Flour Tortillas

28 Nov

There are some food items that I have always bought at the store, with no second thought.  It never entered into my mind that you could make from scratch- flour tortillas.  One of my friends was talking about making them and it blew my mind a bit.  Of course you can make flour tortillas, right?  I mean how hard could it be?

Here is the recipe I used.  The hardest part was planning ahead a tiny bit (I usually start making dinner when my stomach starts grumbling) since you have to let the dough rise for about 30 minutes.


2 cups flour (you can get creative with your flour choices like whole wheat, spelt, soy, or a mixture of flours)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable shortening or 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup warm water (may possibly need to add more, up to 3/4 cup) or 1/2 cup milk (may possibly need to add more, up to 3/4 cup)

1.  Sift the flour, salt & baking powder into a large mixing bowl.
2.  Into the dry ingredients cut in the shortening, or add oil if you are using this option, & mix with your fingertips to combine.
3.  Add the milk or water, working the liquid into the dough until a sticky ball forms.
4.  Wrap in plastic and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
5.  Divide the dough into 8-10 balls (for small tortillas) or 6-8 balls for larger ones, cover them again with the damp cloth.
6.  Lightly dust a counter or pastry board w/flour & roll out each ball of dough into a circle or oval approximately 1/4″ thick. If you want nicely rounded tortillas, trim off any ragged edges & discard. Don’t roll the dough out more than once or the tortillas will be tough.
7.  Heat a dry griddle or heavy skillet over high heat for 5 minutes. Cook the tortillas 30 seconds on each side or until the dough looks dry & slightly wrinkled & a few brown spots form on both surfaces. Do not over cook or they will be hard. Butter and roll up and wrap in damp tea towel to keep warm as you cook the other tortillas.

The girls LOVE cheese and homemade flour tortillas are a healthy vessel for them to be able to eat some more cheese.

pardon my husband, he never wears shirts

You gotta give it a try, they were delicious, easy and about a million times better than the store bought version.

Nutella Filled Cookies

29 Oct

Be aware- these are good. Really good.

If you are like me, you can eat Nutella with a spoon right out of the jar.  Then these are the cookies for you.  But if you are also like me- you should only make these if you have guests over so you don’t have 24 of these starring you down begging to be eaten.  =)

the trickiest part of this recipe

Here is the recipe that I found on this wonderful website:

  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter [Make SURE you brown the butter]
  • 1 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 jar of Nutella, chilled in refrigerator
  • Coarse sea salt for sprinkling
  1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. The butter will begin to foam. Make sure you whisk consistently during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown on the bottom of the saucepan; continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  2. With an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat on low-speed just until combined. Gently fold in all of the chocolate chips.
  3. Chill your dough for 2 hours in the refrigerator, or place in freezer for 30 minutes if you are super eager, although I cannot promise the same results if you do this.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Once dough is chilled measure about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Flatten the dough ball very thinly into the palm of your hand. Place 1 teaspoon of chilled nutella in the middle and fold dough around it; gently roll into a ball — it doesn’t have to be perfectly rolled! Make sure that the nutella is not seeping out of the dough. Add more dough if necessary. Place dough balls on cookie sheet, 2 inches apart and flatten with your hand VERY gently. (Really only the tops need to be flattened a bit!)
  5. Bake the cookies 9-11 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. They will look a bit underdone in the middle, but will continue to cook once out of the oven. Cool the cookies on the sheets at least 2 minutes. Sprinkle with a little sea salt. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets after a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

look at that ooey gooey goodness

yeah they are a bit messy

Have fun and enjoy!

Sesame Chicken Recipe

17 Oct

Here is a wonderful fall crock pot recipe.  Super easy and pretty darn delicious.  I found it over on this blog.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thighs would be fine too)
Salt and pepper
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (could also use olive oil or canola oil)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional – doesn’t really add heat, just adds more flavor)
4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 Tablespoons water
Sesame seeds

Season both sides of chicken with lightly with salt and pepper, put into crock pot. In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours, or just until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce. Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened. Cut chicken into bite size pieces, then return to pot and toss with sauce before serving. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice or noodles.

*You can also sprinkle more red pepper flakes on top if you want more heat.