Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Cream Cheese Banana Bread

I love making bread. You can have it for a snack, for breakfast, or even for desert. Johnny usually prefers a more dense bread. We came across this banana bread and it was a home run for us! The recipe make 2 loaves and is from

3/4 cup butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups self rising flour
3-4 medium sized mashed bananas
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat butter bad cream cheese until well blended. Gradually add sugar, beat until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time beating until just blended. Gradually add flour to the mixture until just blended. 
Stir in bananas, vanilla, and nuts. Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 8x4 loaf pans. 
Bake for 50-60 minutes (if it starts to brown too much, put some tin foil over top)
Remove from pans and cool on wire rack. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Healthy Crockpot Chili

With all the snow we have had were lately, there is nothing better to eat than a hearty bowl of chili! And better yet this is healthy chili! My fiance will never admit that something healthy taste delicious so I left out the part that the meat was lean ground turkey! He loves it! And one of the best parts about the chili is that its done in the crockpot! Healthy and convenient! This recipe is from

1 lb Lean Ground Turkey (or you can use lean beef)
1 small sweet onion
2 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drain and rinse
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
2 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup tomato juice or veggie juice (or to lighten it up you can use a broth)
3 cups water (or 2 1/2 cups for a thicker chili)

I like to prepare mine and let it sit over night to really get the juices going, and it makes for a quicker morning! All you have to do is plug in the crockpot!

Chop up onion and cook with the turkey in a skillet on medium heat until no longer pink.

Toss the meat and the remainder of the ingredients in the crock pot and place in the fridge over night (you don't have to do this step by I recommend it!)

When ready, cook in crockpot on low for 6-8 hours. add cheese after if desired. Enjoy!

Creamy corn dip

While on my search for finding a new party dip I came across this creamy delight which the picture it self tells you how yummy it is! And its super easy to make! Courtesy of

1 can yellow and white corn, drained
2 - 11 oz cans mexicorn, drained
2 cups shredded cheese
1 cup mayo
1 cup sour cream
green onions, chopped

Mix all ingredients and chill until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Wheat Thin Party Dip

I always make my salsa when I go to parties. Its easy, cheap, and delicious. Well I wanted to try something new to mix things up and I came across this party dip and it is certainly a party pleaser!!
The recipe is courtesy of

16 oz cream cheese, softened
1 pkg dry ranch dressing mix
2 oz chopped black olives
2 jalapeno peppers, (you can seed if you want a milder dip), chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
2/3 cups cheddar cheese


Mix all ingredients! Enjoy!

To apple pie or not to apple pie?

Now who doesn't love a good apple pie? There is nothing like going over to grandmas and having a slice with a scoop of ice cream! But lets be honest, sometimes it can be quite dreadful making an apple pie when making the crust from scratch. Well in our household we are all about cooking smarter not harder, so I introduce to you the apple pie cake! (recipe from

Its all the deliciousness of apple pie with half the work (but certainly not half the reward!) I make this all the time and it pairs nicely with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Topping -
 1 cup flour
 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
 1/4 tsp salt
 1/2 cup butter (cut into small pieces)
Apple Mixture-
 6 apples, thinly sliced (the recipe says to peel them but we like the crunchier texture)
 3 tbsp packed brown sugar
 1 tsp ground cinnamon
 2 tsp lemon juice
Cake -
 1 box yellow cake mix
 1 1/3 cups water
 1/3 cup oil
 3 eggs


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 x 9 inch pay.

In medium bowl you will begin to prepare the crumble topping. (I use this for a lot of my pie toppings) Mix flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar and salt. With a pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until crumbly. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, stir together the apple mixture ingredients. I like to use pink lady apples or green apples for the recipe. Its recommended to peel the apples but we like the consistency of it with the skin on (and its less time!)

In a large bowl, beat the cake ingredients on low for 30 seconds and then medium for 2 or until well blended.

Pour the cake mixture into the prepared pan, then place apple mixture evenly over cake mix.

Lastly, pour the crumble layer over the cake. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Cool completely and serve with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Sangria Sangria Sangria!!

I have tried MANY different sangria recipes and this one is one of my favorites. Courtesy of my friend Teresa, here is the sangria recipe that is so delicious but sinfully strong! Its just so yummy its hard to not keep drinking it!

3 liters of Merlot wine
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups Seltzer or Tonic water or 7up (I prefer the 7 up)
1 cup Triple Sec
1 1/2 cup Brandy or Grand Mariner (I usually use apricot brandy)
Fruit (apples, oranges, lemons, etc)

Dissolve the sugar into the seltzer/tonic water or 7 up.
Mix in the remaining ingredients. After you have mixed in the ingredients taste it. I usually end up always adding more 7 up to mild it out. For the fruit I always use strawberries, lemons, oranges and apples. I've even put raspberries and blackberries in it before which was delicious!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Holy mother of S'mores Cookies

When I get bored, I bake, which unfortunately shows in my hips! But when you find a recipe or play around in the kitchen and find that PERFECT meal/dessert.... its worth those love handles! I found this S'mores cookie bar recipe on It is truly one of my favorite recipes yet (and one of Johnny's favorite too!)

I mean look at how delicious these things look! The picture almost doesn't do it justice with how delicious they are!


1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla 
1 egg
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup honey graham cracker crumbs (about 9 graham crackers)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup (or more) marshmallow creme.


Preheat oven 350 degrees. Line a 8x8 or 9x9 square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving enough over hand on the sides. Set aside.

In a large bowl  mix the butter and sugar together until smooth and well combined. Add the vanilla and egg, mix well. Set aside.

In a separate bowl toss the flour, graham crumbs (I just mushed mine in a gallon ziplock bag), and baking powder together. With the mixer on slow, gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mix. Mix until well combined. 

Press 2/3 (sometimes I use less) of the graham cookie dough in the the prepared pan. Spread out the marshmallow cream on top. (it is easier to spray a spatula with nonstick spray to spread) Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the marshmallow creme (we like to cover it in TONS of chocolate chips) 

Mold the remaining cookie dough into flat pieces and layer on top of the chocolate chips. Some of the chocolate chips and creme will be exposed, that is normal.  

Bake the bars for 25 minutes, or until the top layer is lightly golden brown. The tricky part is now resisting the ooey gooey goodness while they cool completely. (Really these are best the next day but its hard to make them and not want to eat them right away) I would recommend waiting at least 4 hours before eating them.  Be prepared to never look at S'mores the same way again!

Harpers Baby Shower

Last April we threw a baby shower for My friend Kristi and her soon bundle of joy to be Harper. Here are a few fun ideas for a baby shower! We decided to go with a brunch theme! We had a parfait bar, coffee section, french toast roll ups, mini quiches, deviled eggs and much more! We also had some punch (and of course one of the options was my sangria!)

The punch on the left was a virgin sangria with rubber ducks and the red on the right was the classic sangria with zombie rubber duckies in them that I got from amazon!

We did a country theme with cream and pink flowers, burlap, and light pink accents. I made Harper's banner out of burlap and some twine.

Lots of cute little brunch decorations like coffee candles!

And the cutest homemade Cowboy Cookies as favors! (I make these for Christmas every year. SO GOOD! Click here for recipe)

Instead of doing a "guest book" we did a fun finger print tree that she could have in her room!

We had a great time and she got lots of gifts! 

Chicken Buffalo Bites

I always love the chicken buffalo dips at parties and when I came across the chicken buffalo bites I knew these were a game changer. My friend had gotten the recipe from the rotel website ( I made these at the 50 shades of grey party. Yummy!!

4 oz cream cheese
1 tbsp cayenne pepper sauce
1 can (10 oz) ro-tel original diced tomatoes & green chilies (drain)
1 can (5 oz) chunk chicken breast, drained
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
22 frozen mini fillo shells (2 boxes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place cream cheese and pepper sauce in a microwave safe bowl, cover, and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir until blended.
Add drained tomatoes, chicken, and shredded cheddar cheese to the cream cheese mixture. Stir until combined (breaking up large pieces of chicken).
Divide mixture evenly between fillo shells and bake 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Enjoy!

Bacon Jalapeno Deviled Eggs

My fiancee loves anything with bacon (like most men do) so when I found the Bacon Jalapeno deviled eggs recipe on I knew I had to make it and the end result was just magnificent! These eggs were at my 50 Shades of Grey party and were the first things gone!


12  hard boiled eggs, peeled
1 cup mayo
1 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
3/4 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp sugar
1-2 jalapenos (depending on how spicy you want them. I prefer just 1)
6 pieces of bacon (I like to buy the precooked bacon in the bag that is used for salads. I'm all about easy!)


Boil the eggs and let them cool. After peeling them, slice the egg in half lengthwise. 
Remove the yolk and place them in a separate bowl.
Mash the egg yolk and add the mayo, rice vinegar, ground mustard, and sugar until well combined.
Mix in the jalapeno and bacon (I played with this a little until I got the right ratio of bacon to jalapeno. I like 1-1.5 jalapeno and LOTS of bacon)
You can fill the eggs with the yolk mixture with a spoon or place the mix into a ziplock bag and cut the corner off to squeeze the mix in.
Sprinkle with paprika and place in the fridge.
Chill until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Homemade Corn Salsa

I cant even tell you how many times I have made this salsa! It is always a party favorite and its great because you can have a mild or spicy salsa! And its super easy to make!! This is the "Charlie Tango Salsa" featured on the 50 Shades of Grey blog post.


1 can shopeg corn, drained
1 can black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can Rotel (you can use original or hot for a spicier salsa)
1 8 oz bottle of Zesty Italian dressing
Chopped Green Onions (if desired)


Drain the corn and Rotel and toss into a bowl. For the black eyed peas and black beans, rinse them and drain them before mixing them it. Shake up the Italian dressing (make sure its zesty, and if you could not find the mini bottle you can always use half of the big bottle). Chop up a few green onions if desired and stir in (if I'm being lazy I don't add them and it still taste great!) Let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour for a cool salsa. Scoop chips are the best with it! Enjoy!

Stuffed Mini Peppers

I have made these cute little peppers for MANY occasions and they are always gone in the blink of an eye. The recipe is from of The first time I made these were at my best friends Mexican themed bridal shower and they were a huge hit! They were also used at my 50 shades of grey party!


12-18 Sweet Mini Peppers (halved and seeded)
8 oz cream cheese (softened)
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese or Monterrey jack
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp garlic salt (can add more if you love garlic salt like we do!)


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Clean and cut peppers (long ways) seed them and set aside.
In a separate bowl mix the cream cheese, shredded cheese, lime, cilantro, and garlic salt until well blended.
Spoon in the mix into the pepper halves.
Bake for 20 minutes and serve warm!

Enjoy! These are great for Superbowl parties too!

50 Shades of Grey Party!

So last valentines day I hosted a Pure Romance "50 Shades of Grey" themed party. To say it was a hit was an understatement considering 40 girls showed up! One thing I LOVE more than anything is throwing a good party! So I am going to give you some of my best party tips, dishes, and an inside look at my very own 50 Shades of Grey party!

First, you must always start with a theme! Considering we were doing a Pure Romance party, 50 Shades seemed appropriate. So first I reread the book (for like the 600th time) to get some good catch phrases. I like to label my foods based off of my party theme to really bring it to life!

The best type of food to prepare is always easy finger foods. With big dishes people may be less likely to grab some. And with all the time and money you put into preparing it we want our guest to eat right?? Some of the nights biggest hits were:

After Sex Antipasta Skewers 

(recipe featured on this blog !) 

(recipe featured on this blog!)

(Recipe featured on this blog!)

(Recipe featured on this blog!)

BBQ Pigs 
(These are super easy, just make normal Pigs N Blanket but slather some Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce on the crescent roll before rolling them up and baking. So delicious!)

And whats good snacks with out some sweets? (My favorite place to get cupcakes from is this local cupcake place called Carolina Cupcakes )

It also helps to have color  themed plates (Mine were all black and red for the most part) and little things to throw the party together like fun napkins 

and party favors!

And whats a party with out some liquid encouragement?

My famous Margaronas! (recipe is featured in this blog!)

And the Sexy Sangria recipe from Teresa Davis (also featured in this blog!)

Fun Jello Shooters!

The little things are key when throwing a successful party! I like to make invitations with an RSVP and then constantly talk up the party about how much fun its going to be, that way people wont forget!! We had such a blast and hopefully some of these fun ideas will make their way into your kitchen!!

Healthy Crock-pot Pot Roast

So let me start off with showing you how delicious this pot roast is...

And then let me add that it is healthy for you! With me and Johnnys wedding just a few months away we are trying to put more healthy meals into our daily plan. With both of us having full time jobs and going to school it can be hard to maintain a healthy life style at times. God bless the crockpot! I seriously toss the ingredients in before work and come home to a cooked meal! And do not fear! Where this may lack in calories it sure does not lack in taste!! The recipe was inspired from


1 tbsp canola oil
3lb chuck roast
4 tsp minced garlic (we use the squeezable kind in the bottle)
1/4 cup chopped parsley (you can used fresh or dried)
2 tbsp chopped chives
2 tbsp chopped thyme
Salt and Pepper 
1 cup beef broth (lower sodium for a healthier meal)
Potatoes (We used mini red potatoes and sliced them into halves)
Chopped celery


Heat oil in skillet and brown all sides of the roast (Cook for 7-8 minutes). Place roast in crockpot. Rub meat with garlic, parsley, chives, thyme, salt and pepper. Add broth.

Wash the vegetables well (nothing worst that ruining a roast from a dirty vegetable flavor).

We like our vegetable nice and tender so we roast the meat and the vegetables at the same time. If you like a little more a harder potato and carrot cook the meat for 4 hours and then add the vegetables in for the remaining 3.

Generally have the pot roast simmering for 7 hours on low. It makes for great leftovers! 

Habanero Pepper Jelly!

So last year I tried to fly my creative flag for Christmas. I usually make all the best homemade cookie recipes that I have collected over the years, but I wanted to try something different and less time consuming. I came across different canned jelly recipes and OH MY LORD did I stumble across the holy grail! Courtesy of I found a habanero pepper jelly that is just to die for. After I gave them away to all of our friends and family last year I constantly get requests for it so I thought for my first official post I will share this delectable recipe with you! First I must warn you.... It is a little time consuming and please make sure your pots are big enough. I made the mistake recently of doing a double batch and lets just say half of the content bubbled up and out of the pot all over our stove and floor. That was not a fun cleaning experience! This recipe is listed in steps for canning the jelly, I recommend reading all the steps before tackling this tasty monster!. First you will need some supplies:

Ingredients: (Makes 4 half-pint jars)
1/3 cup thinly slices dried apricots
3/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/4 cup finely diced sweet red pepper
1/4 cup finely diced habanero pepper (I remove the seed but if you want a HOT jelly you can leave them in)
3 cups granulated sugar
1 pouch liquid pectin

Additional Materials Recommended:
Pampered Chef vegetable chopper
Cutting board
Sharp knife for slicing
Deep saucepan for jelly
Mason jars for canning
Funnel for canning
Large pot to boil the mason jars
Tongs to grab jars


Thinly slice apricots into 1/8 inch slices. In a large DEEP saucepan, mix in apricot slices and 3/4 cup white vinegar. Let this sit for 4 hours. While the apricots are soaking you can prepare the other materials. Individually cut up the onion, and peppers (while seeding them) into 1/8 inch slices. This is where the pampered chef vegetable chopper comes in handy. I love onions but I loath cutting them. With the chopper it quickly does the chopping with out all the tears! I also recommend cutting the habanero with rubber gloves. Those little babies are hot!

If you are going to can the jelly, Start preparing your jars. You want to sterilize them by boiling them in a large pot of water. Keep the jars warm for when you put the jelly in.

Once the apricots have finished their 4 hours of soaking and relaxation, add the peppers, onions, and sugar in.

Bring the mixture to a boil. The jelly will start to bubble with the sugar so a tall pot is important to prevent spillage. Stirring constantly will help keep the boil down. Boil for 1 minute and remove from heat. Add the liquid pectin an mix well.

Pour jelly into hot jars with in 1/4 inch of the top of the rim (I recommend using a funnel and maybe a second pair of hands to help pour from the pot, I enlisted my handsome fiance/taste tester) Wipe off rims and apply lids.

Place the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (Water must be boiling BEFORE you place the jars in.) With your tongs, remove the jars and place right side up to cool, for about 30 minutes. You can take the jars and slightly move them around to distribute the jelly through out if needed. You should hear a slight "pop" letting you know the jars have been sealed.

We really enjoy eating the jelly on crackers. We spread some cream cheese on a cracker and spread some jelly on top. It is also amazing on a Hardee's chicken biscuit! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Where do we begin?

I can't say if this blog will be read by more than just me and the 5 friends I made follow it so I could feel as if this had a slightly more important purpose. While looking through my beloved Pinterest, I kept thinking why don't I start one of these blogs about my life and the things that interest me?  It seems that many women love gardening, baking, crafting, parties, drinking wine, and are on a never ending diet like me! So here is my piece of my story to you and the many things about me  that show the extraordinarily life of the average woman.