This is my cookcabulary

Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Cooking category.

Chicken Divan

Exactly two weeks ago, my closest friend and her husband welcomed their first baby into the world! A beautiful girl with a head full of hair! I figured the new mom and dad would probably appreciate something home cooked for a meal as all their attention would be focused on their newest addition! So, I decided to make a hearty, quick and delicious meal I grew up on back in Oregon.  Hopefully they loved it! This recipe is not gluten-free, due to the cream of chicken, so I have to admit – I was a bit jealous they were going to get to eat it! I havent had this dish since college probably because I havent lived at home and its something Sam can’t eat. Oh, and sorry for the pic quality – my camera was dead so the good ‘ol Droid came to the rescue!


  • 1-2 cups Broccoli
  • 2 Chicken breast, cooked and cubed
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese

This recipe is very simple! First, cook the chicken in EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and set aside to cool. While the chicken is cooking you can chop your broccoli and place in your cooking dish.  I used a toss-a-way cooking pan given the situation, but the recipe calls for a 9×13 baking dish.

Take your can of creamed soup and mayonnaise and combine in a bowl.

Go back to the chicken and cut into small bite sized cubes. Add on top of your cut broccoli and pour mayonnaise mixture over the chicken.

Then add as much cheese as you want.  If you have no clue where to start, just spread a thin layer on top of the combined ingredients, or just keep going! The cheese only makes it better right?

Thats it! It’s ready to go right in the oven, or put in the fridge if made ahead of time! Bake at 350 for about 30-40 minutes until the cheese is brown and everything is bubbling with deliciousness!

If you ever do send food for a friend, wrap in tin foil and write directions directly on top.  That way they don’t have to keep track of a separate sheet of paper just for the baking instructions.

Yum, I’m getting hungry now …


Mac-N-Cheese and Sloppy Joes

As most everyone knows, we’re expecting! I know, random I start the blog out like that – but I think it explains the lack of my posting the last 12 weeks.  I don’t know if you are aware, but pregnancy does some weird things to you, especially when it comes to food.  Luckily, I havent had to “pray to the porcelain God’s” but I have had bouts of nausea.  In order to suppress that nausea, I had to eat – like every two hours.  Just like one saltine or a pack of fruit snacks, but still.  Then, when I got home, I did NOT want to cook. I know! blasphemy! Alexis didn’t want to cook! It’s absurd really.  Nothing sounded good and the thought of having to take pictures and do my blog-process sounded entirely too daunting. Ugh.


I think I have joined the real world again! It is probably to early to speak, but I am nearing my second trimester and my cravings are wide and my appetite is ravenous.  Food is my priority. Ha! Feels good to be back from the dead, as some call it.  But, I am not sure where that puts me in for the future of my cookcabulary.  Will a child be so consuming I wont blog ….

Nah! Hey, I hear you laughing – stop it!

Anyway, so everyone knows, the blogging will probably be entirely sporadic throughout my pregnancy.  I have no idea what I will crave or what will happen with my appetite, but I will be sure to include you all in my journey.

And we begin with tonight.

I made two dishes! Are you kidding me? Two?!  This is odd for me, I usually make one main dish and then 2 simple simple sides – not tonight! I had foodfuel to buuuuuuuurn. And comfort food was calling my name.

We begin with my version of (gluten-free) macaroni and cheese.


  • Choice of pasta
  • 8-10 oz shredded cheese of choice (I used Colby and cheddar)
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Milk
  • Salt and pepper.

PS – this is an Alexis original, holla! As with all pasta, cook in boiling water until tender.  While the pasta is cooking shred your cheese and set aside.  In a medium mixing bowl combine sour cream, ranch dressing, Parmesan cheese, and salt/pepper.  I eye balled everything, but I am guessing on these amounts. Obviously if you like it really really cheesy, add more cheese.  Although the amount I have listed is quite cheeeesy ifidosaysomyself.

When pasta is cooked, drain and pour into mixing bowl.  Add 3/4 of shredded cheese and mix everything thoroughly.  Spread in small 9×9 baking pan. Pour milk over mixture.  Not too much – about 3/4 cup.  Then spread remaining shredded cheese.

Throw in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes and fogetaboutit! You can also add breadcrumbs to the top, but I wanted total creamy factor to the max here. 

Ok, so while this is cooking, I made my other dish – Sloppy Joes!

This recipe I got from Simply Recipes, but I revised it a bit.

  • 1 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1/2 c. minced carrots
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 c. ketchup
  • 1 can tomato sauce, about 1 cup
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • hamburger buns

The direction are pretty lengthy, so I am going to have you reference the link above.  I think I’ve been rambling enough in this post! :)

Basically you saute the carrots, onions and garlic – set aside. Then brown the meat and add the veggies back in.  Then add everything else and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

With the hamburger buns, I like to spread a little butter on those bad boys, and pop them in the oven on broil – low until they are golden brown.

Serve and enjoy my friends!

Turkey is the new Chicken

Well hello my friends! Its been a minute hasn’t it? I have a few items I need to catch up on blog wise, but for some reason I have just been pre-occupied.  Actually, now that the holidays are long over, I find that people are totally over the sugar and sweets.  So, really – I’ve just been laying off the baking.  The past couple weeks I’ve cooked up a storm in the kitchen for dinners, but as I dig in for the first bite of most meals I have the thought, “Crap! I didn’t take pictures!” Ha.  I get home from working and just need to get dinner started and forget about the blogging part.  Does that make me less of a blogger? I think not. 

Anyway…I was at Meijer (shocker) and found Enchilada sauce that has no wheat! Holla! I haven’t been able to find sauce without gluten so we never get enchiladas in my house. So, right when I found the sauce this time, I immediately grabbed a pack of corn tortillas (they’re wheat free too).

Oh man was I excited to make dinner tonight.  So excited, again I didn’t take pictures of the process. But that was in part to a few things. A) My battery was running low and it takes forever to take pictures on a low battery B) Taking pictures of the process takes longer to make the meal C) It’s pretty quick and easy so I thought a plated image would suffice.

No arguing my friends, that is the process tonight. :) Ha.

I think tonight can serve as a Bachelor Meal as well.  Its just dumping your favorite things into one dish, and it gets messy, and you really dont have to measure anything!

Ok, so the ingredients you need for some delicious Enchiladas are :

  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 1 LB Ground Turkey (or beef, or chicken) More on this later
  • Cumin
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt and Pepper (S&P)
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Fresh Onion
  • Fresh garlic
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • Salsa of choice
  • 1 can enchilada sauce of choice
  • Pepper Jack and Cheddar Cheese

Tonight I decided to change things up and try out this Turkey stuff.  We are avid extra lean ground beef people in this house, but the turkey craze was getting to me.  I hear so much about how it tastes like whatever you need it taste, is less fat, and a super awesome alternative to beef or chicken. So, I went for it. Thank you Jenni-O.  (And The Biggest Loser for your propoganda). 

First – ground meat in hot skillet.  Add some S&P, garlic powder, cumin, and taco seasoning. This is all to your liking, add as little or as much as you want – I did absolutely no measuring here. Remember, cooking is fun and allows for combinations of flavors and ingredients, baking is the science where measuring is essential to the food’s success. You can also add a little water to help the taco seasoning distribute evenly, about a 1/4 cup.  Remove from skillet in separate bowl and set aside.

In your already hot pan, add your chopped onion and garlic.  Allow the onions to cook until translucent.  Then, add your corn and black beans.  Feel free to add green chilis, jalapeño, whatever! After that has all sautéed a minute, bring the meat back and combine everything together.

Now take the corn tortillas and heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds.  This allows them to become super pliable.  If you don’t heat them up, they will break when you try to fold them, I’m not kidding, they will totally fall apart.

Get a 9 x 13 baking dish and ladle some of the enchilada sauce and salsa on the bottom.  Pour remaining enchilada sauce in bowl.  Take one corn tortillas and coat, in bowl, in enchilada sauce.  Then, take the tortilla (yup, you have to get your fingers dirty!!) and place in baking dish and scoop a heaping amount of meat/vegetable mixture into tortillas.  Fold both ends over and flip so folded side if facing down.  Repeat until your pan is full.  PS – I pack these suckers tight up against each other! Gets more in the pan, and they support each other.

When you’re done, layer as much cheese as you want on top of each enchilada. Pour remaining enchilada sauce on top, and top with another spoonful of meat mixture (I had A LOT left, hello leftovers!!) and top with shredded Pepper Jack cheese.

Then, you just place the little dish in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Ohhh yea!

While its cooking, I heated up some refried beans on the stove.  I didn’t have any spanish rice to make so, I thought this would do.  When the enchiladas we’re done, I spooned some beans on a plate, added more enchiladas sauce, and plated the enchiladas right on top!  Garnish with sour cream and green onions. 

Let the FIESTA begin! Aaa-reee-bah!! :)

11 Layer Taco Dip

For those of you coming to our party on Sunday – get excited, b/c I am making this dip – again – for the Superbowl!

originally I had made this for one of my besties! Her birthday was other week and my other bestie and I headed up to Chicago to surprise her.  I have to admit, sitting in AJ’s car – camped out in the dark, spying on T’s apartment was awkwardly fun.  Especially when AJ ding-dong-ditched and about bit it running across the ice to hide. The surprise was a total hit, and somehow AJ and I MUST have been on the same wavelength, b/c she made enchiladas. I know – crazy! We both went mexican theme! That’s how I know we’re “wives”! Ha.  Anyway, not only was the two of us coming up a surprise to T, but the next night, the party her sister organized was even more of a surprise.  I am not kidding when I say Mr. Redfearn asked for my hand in marriage just b/c of this taco dip.

“Glad this is going over well.” I thought to myself.  Then I ate more than anyone in the room! Yea!

Anyway – let’s get to this dip! PS I had never made Taco Dip and just went to the store and got what sounded good. Here’s me ingredients – but absolutely create your own!!

  • refried beans

  • guacamole (store-bought or home-made) I chose store-bought for convenience.

  • then the taco seasoning and sour cream mix. Take 1/2 cup sour cream and mix in 1 package of taco seasoning.  Feel free to add more sour cream to dilute seasoning if you need to – but this ratio works well!

  • oh yea, time for the cheese!

  •  how about some black beans?

  • then add all the goodies on top!!

Oh what are the goodies you ask? Well, ga-rate questions.  We’ve got freshly chopped tomatoes, jalapeno, green onion and chopped olives.

Now let me reveal the secret to the success of this dish.

It sat overnight – twice!

Yea! I made it on a Thursday night, drove to Chicago on Friday night, then we ate it Saturday night. I will for sure make this the night before every time I make it! Allowing all those flavors to marry together – oh amazing. Especially the jalapeno.  You could taste their flavor even if you didn’t get a jalapeno in your bite! YUM – O!

Go on – make it for the superbowl … I know you want to.

Baked Bean Stew

Today I had the joy of taking pictures with a Canon Digital Rebel XTi! It belongs to my office, but we had a site visit today after work and I thought I’d bring it home to play around with (and show Sam how good I am and that he should still get me a camera, haha!) I havent read the manual so I don’t KNOW what I am doing, but I played with the settings a LOT to get different shots.

So what better way then to test it out while I am cooking! Tonigh’s meal I think can go in the Bachelor Meal category.  The only non bachelor part about it is the chopping, but I think you men can handle it! This is a great meal for a cold winter night! Perfect for the storm we’re about to get! I heart the snow b-t-dub.

Grab the following ingredients (feel free to add more and make it up as you go, I did!)

1 lb ground beef

1 yellow onion

1 can baked beans

1 can stewed tomatoes

carrots (chopped)

celery (chopped)

3/4c water

1/2 tsp. onion powder

cheddar cheese

Start by chopping the onion and placing in a warm pan heated with EVOO, add ground beef and cook until brown.

While the meat is cooking, chop the carrots, celery and stewed tomatoes. (I prefer my tomatoes in smaller bites)

Combine everything into the pan (if it fits) or medium-sized pot.  Bring to boil and let simmer 30-45 minutes.

plate in a bowl and top with cheese!

I had SO much fun with this camera! I took pics of my Christmas decorations, that I was supposed to be taking down last night, but I’ll save those for another blog.  I did get this GREAT shot of my Kimoni-man! He’s so mysterious and handsome!

Goodnight all! Think *snow*!

Roasted Chicken

Have you kids missed me?! It’s been a bit hasn’t it?! This Christmas season just has me running around so chaotically! I have wanted to bake/cook something and post about it everyday, but finding the time to do everything it takes to have a good blog has just been null.  At least everything it takes to do MY food blog ;) You know I like to ramble and tell stories, I can’t just put up a picture and recipe!

Any-who! Who is jazzed about Christmas?! I totally am, mostly because I leave for Hawaii in less that  week! Yes!

But, I digress – right now we are talking birds/chicken/poultry – whatever you wanna call it! A few days ago I made this delicious treat. I had been to Costco that morning and saw two whole chickens for a reasonable price. I heart Costco, seriously.  Plus they sell Tillamook Cheese

It’s a Oregon thing … but I do recommend trying it – FANTASTIC!

Ok, so got the chickens at Costco and was super pumped to cook the bird.  I spent a good 30 minutes searching for a simple but classic roasted chicken recipe and when I found it, I knew it was the one! And I am so sorry to disappoint – but I lost the recipe, uggggh! I KNOW! I’m a failure! But, it was pretty basic for whole roasted chickens. 

From memory – here is what I think I did … (I didn’t take pictures of the process b/c that would take way too long with washing my hands in between touching the chicken and picking up the camera, whoa bacteria!)

Gutted the thing. So gross. The innards were not in a nice little baggy, I had to do it myself.  But it wasnt as bad as boning a whole chicken.  I have yet to accomplish that – you’re waaay ahead of me Julie! (Julie & Julia, fantastic movie!) After removing the lovelies, rinse chicken and then pat dry with paper towels. 

Preheat oven to 375.  Peel two carrots, cut in half length wise, and then chop in half.  Sprinkle some onion powder, salt, and pepper inside cavity. Place carrots in cavity with 3 Tbsp. butter.

Then, the recipe called for herbs and then butter on the chicken, but I didn’t think that was the right order, so I flipped it.  Oh, and the recipe called for celery, not carrots. But all I had were carrots, totally acceptable. :) So rub chicken with either a half or full stick of butter, whichever you prefer.  Make sure butter is completely room temperature, it will spread better.  Rub that oily goodness into the breast, thighs, wings, everywhere! We want flavor people – get into it! Then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and onion powder. There not magic quantity, you just want a nice even coat. You could absolutely add garlic, or other herbs, but I wanted something simple.

Place in roasting pan, or like me – on top of a wire rack in a shallow pan, and bake for 20 minutes/lb.  If you used enough butter, you can baste the chicken ever now and then with the runoff. Makes for a nice crusty skin!

The chicken is done when a thermometer inserted into its thigh (don’t touch any bones) reads 165 degrees F.  When it reaches that temp, take it out of the oven and let it sit.  This helps with the juices and finishes the internal cooking.

This picture reminds me: you need to close up both the large cavity and neck cavity. I used kabob sticks broken in half.  Just “sew” up the chicken with the loose skin to keep cavity a nice warm pocket!

Serve with green beans and baked potato!

Bowden Thanksgiving

As promised, I have lots of pictures to share from Thanksgiving at my parents house!

..and I did end up “making” something.  I think I mentioned I bought cookie dough from my little neighbor next door, yup – that box of sugar came in handy.  I made about 2 dozen Mint Double Chocolate cookies, they were gooooood. 

There were a lot of reasons for me to enjoy Thanksgiving this year, but a big one was that my Aunt and Uncle from Detroit were going to be spending the day with us! Which meant I got to see my cousin! Last time I saw him was at my wedding 2.5 years ago, and that was not quality time, and before that it had been a year at my brother’s wedding.  In any event, the kid is so cute!  He would die if he saw I was writing about him, but it was so nice to see him all grown up! I am sure he is so tired of hearing all about that! He’s 15 now, made the basketball team at school, is almost as tall as me (actually, he might be) and he has a gf! ooooo! Ha.  And the kid can text.  You think your fast – no way.  FastfingerDrew over hear has got you BEAT! Anyway, my point was that it was so nice to spend the day with my family that I truly love – it was such a great night of playing rock band and stuffing our faces!

I started out helping mom in the kitchen! She was a trooper and let me take pics of everything, and even took a few herself.  Here I am helping to perfect the gravy.

Fun fact about my mom: she plans the meal. I mean PLANS! She has a menu, and it corresponds to what bowl the food goes in.  She even sets the table beforehand with the serving-ware.  There is no room for confusion in this kitchen, I love it !

The time was getting close – the potatoes were mashed, the turkey and ham were done. Final preparations for the bread, veggies and salad were to begin …

It was time to get all the food in it appropriate dish!

..and dish up a HEAPING serving of everything.  Let the game begin!

Do you see the Turkey shaped butter? Ha – so cute! 

The food was fantastic! All of it! We had so much fun, passing the bread, making fun of how much food Drew got, laughing at Aurora, telling old stories – all while Sam and I consumed the entire bottle of Martinelli’s sparking cider.  It wasn’t on purpose, we just never passed it around :) good think we bought 4 to bring for the evening, haha.

After we ate and had some quite conversation over coffee and Sam took a nap, we got out rock band.  2 guitars. 1 drummer. 1 singer.  We had “the whole band” as Kimball put it. From there the night just got hilarious. Aurora got on the mic, mom tried to tambourine by clapping her hip and not the mic, batteries died due to excessive playing, and good times were just had by all. It was great.

 *video not uploading, will try again later – maybe* 

I think Aurora can sum up the night in one face …

Ha, she got de-lirious being up 3 hours passed her bedtime! So worth it though.

So I hope everyone else had a great Thanksgiving! I know I am so blessed to have an amazing family, awesome husband, adorable niece, and readers who care (even if it’s a little bit) enough to read my blog.



*Don’t forget to leave any comments or suggestions of foods you would like to see me attempt! You can comment on the blog or email me @*

Italian Salad

It’s Black Friday! Woo. Which really means nothing to me.  Although Sam got up at 3:00 to go find “the perfect deal”.  I just don’t see the sense in waiting in those lines … ok I do see the sense, I will just admit I don’t have the patience.  I prefer staying home and puting up Christmas decorations! Yay.  But today we are actually going to my parents house for Thanksgiving – we had the Ray Thanksgiving last night.

When I get to my mom and dad’s house I will be taking tons of pictures of the food – show you guys the awesomeness that is my mom, and why I know what I know! Last year I made a delicious Chestnut Sausage stuffing form William Sonoma, but this year – not making anything.  I asked mom if she needed help but she had it covered, unless I just HAD to bring something.  Which normally I would’ve, but this week was crazy with work, and I never made it to the grocery store and I didn’t think I could manage finding ingredients today. So, I know some of you are surprised – but I didn’t do anything for Thanksgiving! Ca-razy – I know.  

Anyway, the other weekend we had our infamous girls night! I love girls nights, Me, Katy and all my favorite Ashley’s in one room with food – I LOVE it! Before we made breakfast for dinner, but this go-around we just made good food! I decided to make an italian salad since we were having meatballs and mac-n-cheese.  So, here goes it!

The recipe is simple – lots of veggies:

  • 1 c evoo (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 2/3 cup terragon vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp freshly chopped thyme
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (8oz.) can artichoke hears, drained and quartered
  • 1-2 heads of romaine lettuce, rinsed, dried, and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4c black olives
  • 2 celery stalks
  • salami
  • cherry tomatoes
  • romano cheese
  • mozzarella cheese
  • ground pepper to taste

We start with the dressing.  This recipe actually makes double, so feel free to cut the dressing ingredients in half, however, i just love this dressing and doubling it makes me feel better. :)

In a medium bowl with a lid, mix oil, tarragon vinegar (yum!), sugar, thyme, dry mustard, and garlic.  Cover, and shake until well blended.  Place artichoke hearts in mixture, cover, and marinade in fridge 3 hours, or overnight.

Now the chopping begins, get ready, because there is A LOT! In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients!

now the red pepper, and carrots:


…celery and salami,

then the tomatoes, and cheeses.  Use more mozzarella more than the romano. I’d say about 1 cup mozz, and 1/2+ cup romano…its really however much cheese you want though.

I pre-made this salad in the morning, so I just let the veggies sit in the fridge while the dressing was marinating.  Then, when I got to A.Adam’s house, I poured the dressing on the top and gave it all a good toss!

…and of course, I didn’t take any pictures of the final product served.  I was way too pumped to talk about Katy’s pregnancy and the movie we were about to watch.

So, as long as you’ve got some time to kill chopping – this is a really simple dish you can pre-make way ahead of time.  Enjoy!


Pork and Potatoes

Yesterday I made two treats – one for dinner, and one for dessert! :)  They both come from my new cookbooks and the first was a crock pot meal (yea, I already made something from 2 of the 3 books I bought Friday, ha). I’ll blog on the other one a little later! :)

The first is called Pork and Potatoes – hrm, that’s original.  But really, that’s all it is.  Here are the ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced (i had two small ones, really – its however much onion you want) 
  • 1 garlic clove (again, I keep minced garlic in the fridge – this worked fine)
  • 3 cups button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. dried mixed herbs (i used italian seasoning)
  • 2 lb potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 4 thick pork chops
  • 3 cups vegetables or chicken stock
  • salt and ground black pepper

So basically all you do is throw it all in the crock pot! But first, you need to heat the oil in a frying pan.


Look at me taking pictures WHILE I’m pouring the EVOO. So crafty.  Anyway, when your oil gets hot, toss in the sliced onions and cook for about 5 minutes until translucent and softened.  Then add the garlic and mushroom and cook further 5 minutes until softened.  *I didn’t take a picture of this, I don’t know where my mind was!* Tip: Slice potatoes while this is all cooking


When that is ready remove the pan from the heat and add your herbs.

Then all you need to do is put half the onion mixture in your crock pot, then layer half of the potatoes sliced and season with some S&P! Use a little of the butter to grease the bottom and sides – adds a little flavor to the bottom.

Then using a sharp knife, and good skills (we don’t need any trips to the ER people) trim as much fat as you can off the pork chops.  Then place them on top of the potato slices in one layer.  The recipe doesn’t say to season them, but next time I make this – I am going to.  I don’t know that you need more salt since it will be soaking in broth, but make whatever seasoning you put on your mushroom mixture you could flavor you pork as well? Play around with it and see what happens!! Then, pour about half of the stock, you may need more or less because you want enough to cover the potatoes to keep them from discoloring. Then – repeat! When you have your final potato slice layer, arrange them nicely in an overlapping fashion.  It’s fun to make it look nice! Then, dot the remaining butter on the potatoes, fire ‘er up, put the lid on – and let it cook on high for 4-5 hours. 


Make sure everything is tender when you poke at it – thats how you know its done.  I think mine cooked a little too long, my pot gets really hot apparently! Next time, I’ll put it on low.  When I served mine, everything just fell apart.  Which is good, it doesn’t change the flavor – it just wasn’t what I was going for. So, take that into consideration – you know your crock pot!  

Here’s the book final rendition of this meal (and what I was trying to make mine look like!!)


Oh, make sure you peel your potatoes.  Well, I guess you don’t have to – but I would. AND – if you want a little crisp before serving, toss it under a broiler (the hot-pot) for 5-10 minutes.  That will give you a nice crispy edge! I didn’t do this, but I think I might when we eat the left overs.  Who doesn’t love a little crunch to their potatoes?

More for less?

So remember that cookbook I bought last month – Brittles, Barks, and Bon-Bons? Well, turns out I didn’t want it anymore.  For some reason I just bought it without throughly looking through the recipes to make sure I would use it.  After looking through it for a month, nothing really intrigued me.  So, I took it back yesterday. With the cash I received back, I headed over to Borders to see what I could find there.  Well, guess what – JACKPOT! I got three books for the same price as the one I bought at William Sonoma, and I got a $5 off coupon! Woot!

Here are my fabulous findings!




The first book is a great little treat! Lots of cookies, but an assortment of other yummy delights! And, when I got home, I found a special chapter in the book full of Gluten-free treats! Score! I made one of them tonight, but thats another blog.

The second book is something that really caught my attention.  Basically, the premise of the book is to buy in bulk, cook for a week, 2 weeks, or even a month! You just store the pre-made/assembled dinners in the freezer. This isn’t a new concept to me, but I like that the book sorts it out into actual meals – she (the author) plans it out for you, but totally gives you the freedom to create your own dinner.  This will be good for Sam and me when we have busy weeks! If I don’t have food for Sam to make dinner – he turns to his trusty fork, leans against the counter – and east cottage cheese right out of the container.  Then he might follow up with a potatoe or a protein bar.  That is NOT  what I would call a well balanced meal – nope.  So, this will be good for him, he can just pop things in the oven when he doesn’t want to cook and I’m not home!

The third book is actually a replacement! I used ot have a crock pot book back in college. But somewhere between sorting my roomy’s stuff from mine and the 60 mile move – it totally got lost.  So, this should replace it! I made dinner out of this today, but again – thats another post.

I want to talk about Mexican soup! Yum-o!   (Sorry, I totally watched 30-minutes meals today with Rachel Ray)  I mean, de-lish! Wait … does she say that too? OK, this soup is FAB!

 The roomie I reference up above calls me every fall to get the recipe.  It’s just that good! In fact, it’s so good – it won 1st place and the chili cook off last year at Sam’s office.  I believe it was in the soup category or something – it’s not really a chili.  For as long as I can remember, my mom has made this soup around the holidays.  She’d simmer the delectable treat all evening, letting the aroma fill the kitchen, then set out a nice bar of sour cream, cheese, tortilla chips and any other condiments good enough to combine in to this amazing bowl of soup. Rather then make it when I get home in the evenings, I like to simmer it all day in a crock pot – that way, when I get home – I can immediately eat it! Ha.

This picture doesn’t do it justice …  and I didn’t take pictures during the process.  Probably because I got Italian Stewed tomatoes instead of Mexican Stewed tomatoes and made Sam go to the store to get the correct tomatoes! Totally distracts me when I don’t have the right ingredients!


…again, photo doesn’t do it justice. But we have som awesome flavor going on in that bowl! :) Yesss. Beef, green chilis, corn, olives, kidney beans – all soaking up a de-lish beef broth.  Oh yea!

If that got your taste buds going and you want the recipe – just email me @ and I maaaay give it to you in secret.  You see – I love to share a great recipe.  But, if they’re family recipes, I’d rather offer to make it for you then give you the recipe.  There’s something about keeping awesome tasting food within the family.  But, this is one I will share – just not by blasting it on the web.  :) Come on – deal with it!

Let’s see, up on the agenda tomorrow: I’ll blog about the crock-pot dinner I made, as well as the Carmel Corn Flake bars … at least I think that’s what they’re called.  Who knows, I may get REALLY crazy and make something else tomorrow too! Whoa.

Peace out.