Favorite Recipes For Leftover Ham



Hey there, everyone! Just checking in for a moment to wish you all a belated Merry Christmas! Sorry it's a belated wish, but we were all so sick last week. Evan and I both were down and out with horrible sinus infections (thank you seasonal-cedar-pollen-nightmare!), my son had strep throat and my daughter was running an allergy-related, low-grade fever for two days. Yep, as a bunch we were just a hot mess for a few days!

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Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Mugcake




I seriously can't say enough about this gluten-free chocolate chip mugcake, y'all. I've also seriously eaten one of these per day for the last week! That's 100% a true story and in my opinion, it's honestly that good.

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Easy Braised Mushrooms and Peas




Well y'all, I know we're a few days into the month already, but it's still incredibly hard for me to believe that December 2018 has arrived. I know it sounds so cliché, but I truly think 2018 may be the fastest moving year of my life so far. Lately, I've been crazy busy with family visits as well as planning and hosting my daughter's recent 6th birthday party and I'm finally recuperating (as is the state of my house) after all of that continuous entertaining. Now Christmas is coming and I'm feeling the pressure of the rapidly dwindling calendar days each morning when I wake up. However, whether I feel ready or not, now it's on to the next string of holiday festivities, family gatherings, and food.
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Pumpkin Spice Biscuits with Vanilla Glaze




These sweet pumpkin spice biscuits with vanilla glaze were dreamed up while I was thinking about what to make for breakfast last Sunday. I was thinking about making some classic baking powder biscuits, or maybe even making a pan full of ooey gooey monkey bread. And then I got to thinking about another family-favorite, comfort food recipe, iced cinnamon-raisin biscuits. All of those sounded so good to me, and I knew it had to be biscuits, but I wanted seasonal, pumpkin spice twist with my biscuits (I know, the season is winding down, but I'm not over it yet!).

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Golden Apple Cider-Ginger Mocktail



Oh. Em. Gee. Have you guys heard? The holidays are coming!! Are you all ready? I most certainly am not.

It's been non-stop for me at work and on the home front these last two weeks and I think it goes without saying (but I'm saying it anyway) that I'm exhausted each night by the time I get my kiddos in bed around 9 p.m. Each and every night, I'm so bummed at just how pooped I am once they're all tucked in because I would love to have a couple hours of me time. Truthfully, I just can't hang anymore and I don't last much longer than they do when it comes to dozing off lately. I'm happy to report, however, that after this week it slows way down for me at my day job. Heaven knows, I'm super thankful for that!

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Sweet Potato, Zucchini and Bacon Pancakes with (or without) Gorgonzola Cheese



Pretty soon you all will notice that I'm going through a couple of phases in my food preferences in some upcoming posts. First of all, I'm borderline obsessed with gorgonzola cheese at the moment. Seriously, I've been putting that stuff in everything. It's even good with roasted fruit for dessert...especially with warm pears, toasted pecans and a drizzle of honey (o. em. geee. It's soooo good!). I truly love gorgonzola cheese, but my husband doesn't... so there's. the. rub.

Wow, just a tiny little nod to Hamlet makes anything feel so serious all of sudden, right? Oh, man. Well, these sweet potato, zucchini and bacon pancakes aren't serious... unless seriously tasty counts. Anyhoo...

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White Chocolate Tartlets #Choctoberfest




 I'm not sure what it is about these last few days and participating in #Choctoberfest, but I've pretty much had "party food" on the brain! That being said, these little white chocolate tartlets are another recipe I love to whip up during the holidays.
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Chocolate Orange Truffles #Choctoberfest



I don't know about you guys, but when I get a craving for chocolate I mostly think about getting my hands on some rich, luxurious chocolate candy to satisfy it. Store-bought candy bars are wonderful for a quick chocolate fix, but when I have the time, I enjoy making my own fancy-looking chocolate truffles!

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Double Chocolate Buttermilk Quick Bread #Choctoberfest




When I heard that the Imperial Sugar Company and some other amazing sponsors were celebrating a week of all-things-chocolate and recruiting bloggers to share recipes for an event called #Choctoberfest, I immediately knew I wanted to participate! And after I made one little loaf of this double chocolate buttermilk quick bread, I knew it would be the first recipe I shared this week.

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Welcome to #Choctoberfest with Imperial Sugar!

#Choctoberfest with Imperial Sugar

Hi everyone! I've been so excited for this week to get here to share about this big event! This will surely be one of my favorite weeks of the year because #Choctoberfest is finally here!
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Roasted Carrot Soup




Some of my absolute favorite things to eat are simple, blended vegetable soups. I make soups like this roasted carrot soup often, but I will alternate the ingredients and use a wide variety of vegetables as the star. Y'all, this was the first time I've ever made carrot soup!

As I prepared this soup I genuinely didn't know what to expect from the flavor, but I hoped it wouldn't be too sweet. I have to share that I was pretty impressed with the first flavorful bite of it... and ultimately I was quite happy to consume an entire bowlful of it. This was such an easy dish to make and it turned out with such rich flavor on the first try, that it nearly seemed too good of a recipe to be true, y'all. (Second guessing myself is one of my pastimes.)
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Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies with Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting




Well, just like that it's fall, y'all! This is truly my favorite time of the year. I may have mentioned this a time or two somewhere in the previous posts on this blog.

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Homemade Saltine Crackers



When it comes to entertaining, I like to surprise family and friends with unexpected little treats. I think it's fun to serve something a little out of the ordinary on special occasions. I typically mix the menu surprises in with the usual suspects, like veggie and fruit trays, so as not to stir up too much trouble. It's a guarantee I will include homemade dips, homemade bread and butter pickles, homemade potato chips, fancy (and sometimes stinky) cheeses as well as homemade jam on my snack table menu. However, one of my all-time favorite ways to spoil my guests is by whipping up a batch or two of these simple, homemade, saltine crackers!
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Slow Cooker Two-Bean Turkey Chili



Well, the school year is back in full-swing for all of us, maybe it is for you too by now. It's always a little bittersweet for me when the kids start a new year, and it's tempting for me to turn into a big pile of mush over the fact that soon both of them will be another year older. However, the summer of 2018 was a pretty awesome one for us and we got out and about for a lot of fun and adventure. Truly, I feel that we made the best of our time off together. So, I'm trying to focus on the amount of travel we experienced together, what we learned on our outings and all the amazing sights we saw.  I'm also focusing on the positive aspects of the start of the school year.
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Lemon & Herb Brine for Poultry



Until recently, the boneless, skinless variety of chicken breast was definitely the cut of meat that I least enjoyed grilling at home. Not because I didn't like to eat it, but because we always ruined it! Without fail, and no matter how we seasoned it, any super lean chicken breast that went on to our grill turned out bland and embarrassingly dry on the plate. I even tried prepping the meat with a few marinades and the end product was always just underwhelming to me. So, I pretty much gave up on those expensive cuts of meat and relied on the much more forgiving and economical darker cuts of poultry, like drumsticks and thighs for our barbecue dinners.
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Southwestern Brown Rice Salad



I've been all about hearty grains lately.  My crew loves dishes made with comforting white rice, but I've been trying to increase our nutritional game a bit, so I've been mixing grains such as bulgur, barley and brown rice into the menu rotation more regularly.

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Recipe Recap with Friends #1: Chilled Summer Salads




Hi everyone we are back from vacation and I must say it feels great to be home! We visited New Orleans, Louisiana, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Nashville, Tennessee and had a one night stay at our new favorite lake in Hot Springs, Arkansas! It was a fantastic time for my little family, seriously we all had a blast! I will be sharing all about the interesting places and attractions we visited on our big family road trip (along with boatloads of pictures!) in an upcoming post.

While we were traveling, one of things we enjoyed the most was being out in the cool mountain air, but now we are happily back in our central Texas home and boy, is it humid and hot. So today I'm sharing links to a few of my previously-posted chilled salad recipes that I think are terrific dishes for extra warm August days. Also, this post is kind of a big deal because I've enlisted the help of some of my amazing blogger friends on this cool subject and today is my first official Recipe Recap with Friends post!
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Pineapple Dream Poke Cake



It's almost August and my kids have been on summer break for seven weeks now with just three more weeks of summer fun to go. This summer has been a bit different for me as a mom, and it's been a little easier to get out and about now that the kids are getting bigger. My rug rats are now ages 11 and 5 and although they still passionately bicker over ridiculous things at times, overall they're much easier to reason with these days. They are also much more cooperative when it comes to packing up and getting out of the house compared to back when they were, as a pair, ages 6 and 1.
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Dairy-Free Mornin' Sunshine (Cranberry-Apple) Muffins



Our breakfast ritual usually involves eggs, eggs and more eggs.  Literally, my kids eat scrambled eggs each and every morning like they are going out of style! Sure, I like my buttery, sunny-side up eggs with hash browns or a bacon-filled breakfast taco, but sometimes mama needs a little break from the ordinary.  I mean, it's no secret that I have a pretty raging sweet tooth and I have every intention of using it!
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Leek, Mushroom & Bacon Tart




It's been a week since school's been out and we are finally settling into a slower pace around my house. During those last few weeks of school and all of the hectic-ness, we weren't planning our menus very well (okay, honestly we weren't planning any menu... at all!). We fell into a sort of food rut and we were depending heavily on our gas grill. We consumed all kinds of foods that are considered quick : pre-made burgers, store-bought, marinated chicken breasts or fajitas, sandwiches, spaghetti... anyhoo, you get the idea.

Nothing wrong with any of that, I know, but with no time to make dishes with a bit more detail and flavor, dinnertime can get a bit boring and repetitive. I know it's true for me, anyway, I get bored of certain foods. My hubs is content to eat a plateful of grilled meat, all day, everyday (seriously, no side dishes required for that complete carnivore!), but I'm just not happy with that. I like my veggies.


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Vanilla Cake Doughnuts with Easy Milk Chocolate Frosting




Sunday mornings are the best at my house. You see, Sunday mornings are for big breakfasts!

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Spicy Queso Blanco (White Cheese) Dip




I believe most people across the U.S. are familiar with some version the popular (dare I say 'famous'?) Tex-Mex cheese dip called chili con queso (translated: "peppers with cheese").  I'm also pretty confident that most Texans learned to make this dish with a (much-adored) tomato and green chili mixture that comes in a can (brand name sorta rhymes with 'mo-tel'). Like most folks in my home state, I also love this store-bought mixture of tomatoes and green chilies and I use it often to lend it's special flavor-magic to some of our most favorite family dishes.


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Eggs Florentine Breakfast Casserole



Hi. It's been awhile, I know.  As is typical when I fall off the map here, I've just been swamped at home and at work. And then we went out of town last weekend too. Oh, and we're also smack dab in the middle of all the end-of-school year madness involving my 11-year-old. Fifth grade is practically over and he'll be starting middle school next year.

We've also been enjoying the final, crazy-cute, Pre-K activities with my little girl. Next, it's on to Kindergarten for her...and I'm basically an anxiety-filled wreck over these upcoming changes for both kiddos (insert BIG sigh here). But, that's a topic for another post because it's Mother's Day today and I simply refuse to start blubbering all over my laptop! So, today I'm writing about a happy subject... the recipe for this tasty breakfast casserole!

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Buttery Beer Bread




When I think of quick breads I almost always immediately think of nicely spiced, sweet breads that make for terrific breakfast or a dessert.  Most of my favorite quick breads are made with fruit and sometimes even chocolate, like this apple quick bread or my kid's favorite banana bread with chocolate chips!

However, lately I've been making some savory quick breads to go with our suppertime meals and this flavorful beer bread has quickly risen to the top of the favorite list around here (pun totally intended)!

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Pan-Toasted Cranberry Almond Muesli



Muesli cereal eaten with vanilla-flavored yogurt has long been one of my favorite breakfasts. Eating muesli with yogurt is something I adopted in my time as an honorary Swede back in the nineties. Pre-Sweden, I'd only experienced any kind of cereal eaten with milk, but muesli and yogurt were just made for each other, y'all.
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Spring Mix Salad with Hearts of Palm and Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette



It's officially spring y'all and we are all pretty ecstatic about it! These last few months have been gloomy and overcast around these parts and it's restored some our energy to feel the sunshine again, for sure. My favorite part of Spring, aside from Easter and Spring Break, of course, are the amazing patches of vibrant wildflowers that are popping up all over the place now. Here in Texas the famously large patches of our state flower, the Bluebonnet, are being visited regularly by people wanting to take photos showcasing the gorgeous natural backdrop the flowers provide.

Here in our own yard, the grass is lush and green (thank you crazy, scary Spring thunderstorms!), our big trees are coming back to life, and my flowering shrubs and rose bushes are bursting with color. Being outside is our favorite place always, but the vivid colors of Spring are most definitely a bonus feast for the eyes lately.

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Easy Ground Turkey Stroganoff



Today's post is about the recipe for this easy ground turkey stroganoff... a.k.a. crazy good comfort food. This is one of those dishes that is super simple yet super yummy and we rarely have leftovers to package up when I make it. Those are all fantastic qualities in a recipe, if you ask me, especially on busy weeknights!

This dish is a semi-homemade meal that my family loves, and I do use a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup in this recipe. I know some people get a bit down on that, and I could very well make my own creamy sauce, but sometimes those old-school flavors that only come from using condensed soups just make me happy! Also, I use ground turkey most often when I make this for dinner because we always have a pound or two of it readily available in our fridge. But, really you could use cubed turkey breast, cubed chicken breast, cubes of beef sirloin or any other cut of meat that floats your boat in this recipe, if you're not a fan of ground meat.

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No-Bake Oat Energy Bites with Peanut Butter, Maple and Chocolate Chips



Wow, it's been two weeks since my last post! Sorry about that, we've been crazy busy on the home front. Plus, now the kids are out of school for Spring Break this week and there's hardly been a dull moment at my house in the last few days. I actually planned to share a recipe for some delicious skillet dinner rolls I baked last week with you all today. The plan is to have a video to go with the blog post too.

Let's just say... we've been having logistical difficulties with making the recipe videos, however, we've got a plan in place to overcome said logistical issues and it involves some new kitchen equipment (which has been ordered and I can hardly wait!)

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Chewy Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies



Chocolate chips are all the rage at my house at the moment. My kids ask for them in everything I bake and they'll just eat them by the handful for dessert!  These big, chocolate chip skillet cookies are a favorite for dessert lately and we've made some other chocolate chip-filled goodies recently too. Needless to say, mini-semi-sweet chips have become a staple on the grocery list.

Well, I've tried to make this chocolate chip-love trend work to my advantage as a distraction while I sneak in fruit, veggies and a few other good things into my baked desserts, y'all. My son has expanded his palate a bunch in the last two years. He's eating more veggies than he used to, but we're still working on his (lack of) interest in fresh fruit. He loves apples, but everything every other fruit on planet Earth is still iffy with him (even watermelon is iffy with him! I know, it's just shocking.)  My daughter, on the other hand, is a super tough customer and "hates all fruit", but loves apple sauce (no one tell her how that works yet, please!).


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Tuscan Sausage, Potato & Bean Soup



I've seen recipes for soups like this one all over the web for a while now, and like thousands of other folks I've enjoyed the Olive Garden's menu staple soup called Zuppa Toscana for years (with a serving of warm, buttery breadsticks and salad on the side, of course!). I figured it was time for me to jump on the bandwagon and make a version of this flavorful soup at home too.

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Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie



If you're anything like us, we find ourselves looking for family-friendly ways to celebrate Valentine's Day.  Having a babysitter available is a rare event for us, so date nights are pretty unusual events for us too.


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Easy Teriyaki Chicken & Rice Bowls



When it comes to easy dinners, these teriyaki chicken and rice bowls are our latest love.  Seriously, the kids like this dish so much that I've made it once a week for the last month! This recipe has definitely become a tried and true family favorite by my picky little taste testers.

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Mexican Buñuelos - Cinnamon and Sugar Fritters #SundaySupper




Most Latin countries have some version of sweet fritters called buñelos. These crunchy, round Mexican-style buñelos are the version I know and love. These golden-fried goodies are made fresh and sold in many locally owned and chain bakeries in my neck of the woods, but they are a cinch to make at home.

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Tortellini Soup with Mini Chicken Meatballs



We had an unexpected, extended break from school schedule this week. On Monday all of the local schools and surrounding districts were closed in honor of Martin Luther King Day. Then, late Monday night we received text messages from our local school district that all schools would be closed due "inclement weather conditions".  Freezing temperatures with lots ice, sleet and the possibility of more snow was put into the forecast here in Central and South Texas for the next few days. 
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Simple Cocoa-Spice Cake #SundaySupper




When I've got the time, I love to bake two-layer cakes or large sheet cakes complete with homemade frosting or a shiny glaze on top. But, more and more often simple one-layer cakes, like this cocoa-spice cake, are becoming one of my favorite things to serve for an after dinner sweet treat.

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Black-eyed Pea Soup with Ham




Hi there. I don't know about you all, but it takes me a few days to bounce back after the holiday "vacation".  The first week of my son's Christmas break this time around was so restful, peaceful and fun. We enjoyed hanging around the house, having late breakfasts, playing board games, playing in the yard and watching lots of Christmastime classic shows and movies. It was fantastic, relaxed week with my kids!
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