Tag Archives: Recipe

Creative Collections: Mother’s Day Brunch

Over the weekend, Logan asked what I wanted for dinner on Mother’s Day. After much thinking, I realized that I preferred a Mother’s Day brunch. Partly because Emily will be in bed after we go to evening church (and shouldn’t the reason for Mother’s Day join us?) and partly because I love breakfast foods.

So here are my favorite recipes for your Mother’s Day brunch!

What we’re having…

Lemon Cornmeal Pancakes by Tasty Kitchen Blog
Lemon cornmeal pancakes(with lemon curd, fresh berries, and bacon!)

Other ideas for you…

Cream Cheese Coffee Cake by Just Baked By Me

Strawberry Coffee Cake by This Southern Mom Cooks

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Breakfast Bars by The Kitchn

Baked Eggs by Saveur

Spring Quiche by Real Women of Philadelphia

Chorizo, Potato, and Egg Tacos by Martha Stewart

Huevos Rancheros in Tortilla Cups by The Curvy Carrot

So enjoy your day, mommas. You deserve it!


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Creative Collections: Turkey Recipes

I don’t know about you, but cooking a turkey is stressful! I mean, it’s sort of the star of the show. And to mess it up… ugh, I can’t even think about that!

The first tip I got when I was hosting my first Thanksgiving:  turkey oven bags. And thaw well in advance! But if you forget to thaw, here’s a video from Anne Burrel on how to thaw in a few hours!

Roast Turkey with Rosemary, Lemon, and Garlic from My Recipes
 This is the recipe I’ve used for two years…and will use again this year. 

Here are some other great options for a fabulous turkey. But still, I’d recommend the oven bag! (I started putting pictures in, but then I realized that most roasted turkeys look about the same!)

Good Eats Roast Turkey by Alton Brown from Food Network

Roast Turkey (brined) by Martha Stewart

Lemon Sage Turkey by Clinton Kelly on The Chew

Homestyle Turkey, the Michigander Way by Robin at All Recipes

Rosemary Roasted Turkey by All Recipes

I make Logan carve the turkey each year. But if you need a reminder, here’s a video on how to carve a turkey from Food Network.

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Brownie Bites

Last weekend I hosted a baby shower for my sister (new baby boy coming in November!!!). I’ll be posting the full menu and decorations later in the week, but here’s one of my favorites from the shower.

And experiment I did… Three times. My dear friends were my taste testers on three different occasions. Funny, I didn’t hear any of them complaining about being part of the process (neither did Logan!).

I got the basic idea from The Prepared Pantry but there was some trial and error involved. Because it wasn’t as easy as I would have thought!

How to Make Them:

1.  Make a box of gooey brownies. Regardless of what brand you use, I’ve found the key is to make cake like brownies in a 9×13 pan and cook them for the least amount of time listed. Another quick tip:  like your baking dish with wax paper. That way you can just lift out the brownies!

2.  Cut the edges off all four sides. You want only soft brownies to roll, so the edges are for the chef.

3.  Cut the brownies. I tried both 24 and 32. I preferred the size of the bites when I cut them in 32 pieces, but it’s up to you.

4.  Roll the brownies into balls. Keep you hands clean so the brownies don’t stick. Refrigerate these for a few hours. I tried using popsicle sticks for my first try, but didn’t like how they turned out. That’s why they’re “brownie bites” and not “brownie pops.” 

5.  Dip them in something yummy. Here’s where I had to do the most experimenting. My favorite was melting chocolate frosting and natural peanut butter together. After you dip them, refrigerate again.

I never got them to look exceptionally pretty (just exceptionally tasty). Maybe dusting them with powder sugar? More experimenting necessary!

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Creative Collections: Hot Drinks

One of my favorite things about fall is the warm, cozy smells of cinnamon, apple pie, and pumpkin. In fact, while Shannon and I were at Dunkin Donuts, I got a pumpkin donut and made her smell it before she stole a bite. I think those smells bring the feeling of chilly nights, curled up under a blanket, and drinking something hot.

Truth be told, coffee is my current hot drink of choice (I used to be a dedicated tea drinker…and then I started teaching!). But there are plenty of times that I want a change that uses those flavors of fall. So I’ve been pinning these types of drinks for months–even in the middle of the heat wave we had this summer!

Here are some I can’t wait to try…

Chai Mix from Joyful Momma’s Kitchen

Hot Vanilla from Family Fun

Pumpkin Spice Coffee by Sips Etc.

Hot Chocolate by The Pioneer Woman

White Hot Cocoa by Lil’ Luna

And just in case you want a little extra love for your coffee, here’s a site with some homemade coffee creamers by Deliciously Organic.

Enjoy your warm, cozy drinks! And sweaters. And blankets. And the crunch of leaves underfoot. And the chilly night. I heart fall.

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Creative Collections: Crockpot Soups

The weather is finally starting to cool off, which means comfy, cozy dinners. And the crockpot. The easiest, fastest way to a fabulous meal waiting for you at home. Happy sigh.

Here are some soup recipes I’ve pinned over the summer. You can bet they’ll be making my menu in the next few weeks!

Chicken Enchilada Soup by Pineapple Grass

Crockpot Turkey and Wild Rice Soup by Lindsey’s Luscious

Crockpot Chicken Chili by Budget Savvy Diva

Crock Pot Minestrone Soup by Skinny Taste

Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Soup by Stone Gable


And don’t forget that many soup recipes can be made in the crockpot. Just be aware of how small you cut your veggies (you don’t want them to turn to mush), check that your meat is cooked through, and cook your pasta/rice separately (so it doesn’t turn to mush too). 


Do you have favorite crockpot recipes? Add them to the comments section!

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Creative Collections: Breakfast Recipes

Once again this week, I chose the theme for this Creative Collections based on what I keep pinning. Apparently quick and easy breakfasts are it! Probably because I have to be at work at 7:20 three mornings a week. Yikes! Usually I do peanut butter toast, but I heard on the radio last week that it’s something like 6 Weight Watchers points (not that I’m doing WW, but that seems like a lot of points for not a lot of food).

I can’t say that I’ve tried any of these yet… I keep thinking I’ll find time during the weekend but then the weekend disappears! Add it to my list 🙂

Freezer Breakfast Burritos by Pretty Little Snippets

Banana Bread Breakfast Doughnuts by Chocolate Covered Katie

Peanut Butter Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies by Watching What I Eat

Veggie Muffins by All Things G & D

Crock Pot French Toast by The Cake Eccentric’s

Mmm, makes me remember why I love breakfast foods so much!

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Quick Grilled Dinner

I don’t know about you, but this heat wave in the Midwest has been miserable. Everyday I’m thankful that our air conditioning has worked so well. Someone at church yesterday said it was like we were hibernating, which is a funny thing to think about in the middle of the summer. But it’s so true!

Last night it was finally cool enough to have Logan fire up the grill. It was great to have a pleasant summer evening out on the deck with the smell of grilled food. Ahh, how I’ve missed it!

It was probably the easiest meal ever too!

Grilled Chicken
This recipe idea came from an old episode of Take Home Chef with Curtis Stone. He did some sort of pork with a whole grain mustard and herbs on top. My version is far less gourmet but probably just as good. And tons easier.
1. Grill the chicken (I’ve also done it on the stove).
2. Spread the mustard of your choice on one side (I use dijon).
3. Chop up some parsley from your garden and sprinkle a generous amount on each piece.

Grilled Corn
Also very easy.
1. Pull out the silk. Soak the corn, husks on, in water for about an hour.
2. Grill for about 30 min.

Grilled Peaches
This is our newest obsession this summer.
1. Cut peaches in half. Spread some oil on the cut side.
2. Grill until soft.
3. Top with yogurt sauce (plain yogurt, sugar, and vanilla until it’s a sweet/tangy combination you like).

 Fastest, easiest dinner we’ve had in awhile.
(And sorry for the crummy pictures–we were really hungry!) 

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Creative Collections: Icy Drinks

With it being so hot, nothing sounds better than an iced drink. And I’ll admit, I make a fair number of trips to Starbucks to fill that need. But only because one of my students got me a gift card… so these drinks are perfect for when that runs out! Besides, who doesn’t love an inexpensive and/or healthy alternative to all of the great fruity smoothies and caffeinated goodness that we see in commercials all the time?

Skinny Vanilla Mocha Frappe by Peanut Butter and Peppers

Chai Tea Frappe by Fox in the Kitchen

DIY Light Frappuccino Recipe by LaaLoosh

Oatmeal Smoothie by Martha Stewart

Seasonal Fruit Smoothie by Runners World

Luscious Fruit Smoothie by Better Homes and Garden

Enjoy a refreshing way to beat the heat!

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The Big 3-0

Yep, today’s my birthday. We celebrated with a deck party over the weekend so today’s it spending time with Emily and Logan. Perfect.

I know this is supposed to be a big deal, you’re getting old, life is different forever type of birthday. But I haven’t been dreading this one at all. I think it’s because my life is so great! Wonderful husband, sweet baby girl, friends and family, a job I love… The list goes on and on. God has truly blessed me.

People who share my birthday: (I’m in pretty good company)
*Shia LaBeouf
*Joe Montana
*Dr. Oz
*Gene Wilder (whose actual name was Jerome Silberman)
*Vince Lombardi
*Jacques Yves Cousteau
*Richard Strauss
(Source:  Famous Birthdays)

Important events in history that happened on this day:
*1509:  Henry VIII of England marries Catherine of Aragon.
*1770:  Captain Cook runs aground on the Australian Great Barrier Reef.
*1788:  Russian explorer Gerasim Izmailov reaches Alaska.
*1837:  The Broad Street Riot between English-Americans and Irish-Americans occurred in Boston.
*1905:  Penns Railroad debuts the fastest train in the world (New York to Chicago in 18 hours).
*1944:  Five days after the D-Day landing, the five Allied groups converged on Normandy.
*1959:  In the UK, the Hovercraft officially launched.
*1962:  Frank Morris, John Anglin, and Clarence Anglin become the only prisoners to successfully escape from Alcatraz.
*1979:  John Wayne dies of cancer.
*1987:  An earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale hit 14 Midwest states and parts of Canada.
*2001:  Timothy McVeigh executed for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing.
*2001:  The oldest known human skull fossils were found in Ethiopia.
*2004:  Ronald Reagan’s funeral was held at the National Cathedral.
*2010:  Opening ceremony for the World Cup soccer in Johannesburg, South Africa.
(Sources:  The People History and Dates in History)


And, since the food was great at my party, I thought I’d share the menu and recipes! The nice thing about all of these was being able to do much of the prep work in advance. That made the actual day of the party pretty easy. Plus, using the grill to cook the kabobs kept the house nice and cool.

Cilantro Chicken and Pineapple Skewers

Honey Teriyaki Beef Kabobs

Carrots and Dip (yes, I cheated and bought the dip)

Chips and Salsa (cheated there too)

“Ryan’s Dip” (I don’t know what it’s actually called, but my brother always makes it. It’s salsa, cream cheese, and cheddar cheese melted together and served with tortilla chips.)

Fruit Salsa with Baked Cinnamon Chips

Lemony Lemon Brownies

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Bars

Naturally Flavored Water
(I made Mint-Lime-Pineapple Water and Citrus Water) 

Nice and summery.

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Springtime Brunch

Gosh how life looks different now that I’ve made it through my first week back at school! It’s a good thing that I love my job, because that constant “on the go” of 2nd grade has made it easier than I thought to be away from Emily. Leaving her in the morning though… I haven’t made it out the door yet without at least tearing up.

And then, even with all of Emily’s sleeping at night, I don’t think I’ve ever been so tired! Which means my brain is really fuzzy all the time. Which is why I haven’t been blogging. Because putting together a coherent thought is harder than before! And time for projects? Haha, I’m still trying to find time to fold the load of laundry that’s been sitting in my living room for three days (I moved it out of the dryer two days after the load was finished hoping to motivate myself to fold it).


But last weekend for Mother’s Day, we made a lovely brunch.

A little background on the menu…

One of my favorite restaurants in Indianapolis is 3 Sisters Cafe. Shannon introduced it to me years ago, and I’ve loved going there for breakfast/brunch ever since. I know they have a lunch menu… but I’ve ordered off it maybe two times? Their breakfasts are just so fabulous, I can’t imagine getting anything else!

I used to only order their French toast,

from 3 Sisters Cafe

but last year I branched out to the Lemon Corn Cakes with Seasonal Berries and lemon curd. Which became my new favorite.

from 3 Sisters Cafe

Mmm! This was one of the meals they highlights when 3 Sisters was featured on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. If it was good enough for Guy, I definitely had to try it! Yum-O! (Okay, I know that’s Rachel Ray but it does apply!)

from 3 Sisters Cafe

But going out to eat for Mother’s Day wasn’t going to happen. Between Emily’s unpredictable schedule, fussiness in her car seat (and 3 Sisters Cafe is a quiet and chill restaurant so her fussiness would stress me out), and feeling broke because we have a baby (does that go away?), we decided to make our own brunch at home. But of course, I looked for recipes to parallel my favorite breakfast!

Lemon Cornmeal Pancakes from Tasty Kitchen

We topped ours with macerated strawberries and lemon curd.

Easy Eggless Lemon Curd by Shaken Together

And coffee. Plenty of coffee.

 Such an easy, springtime breakfast!

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