Category Archives: Recipes

Halloween Trail Mix


Every October (who I am kidding) September. . . as soon as the candy corn hits the shelves, I know I need to make this right away.

Halloween trail mix is super quick and easy.

Get the 3 ingredients: Candy corn, Peanuts, and M&Ms.

I usually get the largest of each bag available in the store. . .but you can get any size and as you get close to the end of the bag, just add whatever you might need to make it come out even!


Put it all into a big Ziploc bag. And mix together.


Done and done.


Eat and enjoy!


According to my husband (who can’t get enough!) the perfect ratio is 1 candy corn, 3 peanut halves, and 1 M&M. Winking smile



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Best-ever chocolate chip cookies

*according to Hungry Runner Girl


** And I totally agree. Smile


Here is the original post with the recipe from Janae. .  .

The key to these cookies is the milk chocolate chips: Ghirardelli –> super delicious, silky, luscious chocolate that just melts in your mouth. IMG_1436

The perfect cookie to make on Saturday night while your husband is away at a ALL- WEEKEND bachelor party (don’t get me started) and the baby is sleeping. Winking smile 



Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 bag chocolate chips (Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips are the key!)

Cream together butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla.


In a separate bowl sift together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture and beat well.


Stir in chocolate chips. **If you L.O.V.E. cookie dough like I do (I know, I know, it has raw eggs and you shouldn’t eat it. . . but sometimes you gotta LIVE!). .  anyway. . . I always put some in a small container and put in the fridge so I can have some more another day after all the cookies are made. I got this idea after my husband made cookies one day while I wasn’t home and I didn’t get ANY cookie dough – oh the horror  – it was awful, I don’t want to talk about it. Anyway, since then, he always sets aside a little container for me and now I do it for myself too. Smile 


Drop onto greased cookie sheet by heaping tablespoons. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned.


Makes about 5 dozen.


Seriously. .. go make these now. You can thank me (or Janae) later! Winking smile 


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Tater Tot Hot Dish

Want to make the most traditional Minnesota dish that guarantees you will be saying “Uff Da” before you know it?

Well.. . look no further than this dish.


Ground beef mixed with cream of mushroom soup, add in veggies and top with as many tater tots as you can fit on top. Rich and creamy with the cream of mushroom ‘sauce’ and perfect with the addition of crunch, slightly salty tater tots on top. Perfect served with gobs of ketchup. (As most hot dishes are!)

And no – this is not a casserole – if you are from MN – then this is a hot dish!

And it is really so so so easy to make. Winking smile 

The ingredients:

1 lb ground beef

1 large onion – diced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 –3 cans of veggies

1 bag of tater tots


Start with 1 lb ground beef and diced onion. Sauté over medium heat until onions are translucent and soft and ground beef is cooked through.


Remove from heat. Add can of cream of mushroom soup. (Cream of mushroom soup is the most traditional – but you can really use any cream soup.)


Be careful using your awesome pink spatula to get the soup out of the can, because the sharp edges will cut the spatula and make you sad. Sad smile 


Then, move on, because you know if you complain to your sister about it, you might get a new one at Christmas. Winking smile

Drain the veggies.


Add to the mix of ground beef, onion and soup. *Tip – you can use any amount of veggies you want. . . at least 1 can, but you can use up to 3 cans if you like your veggies. Smile You can also use fresh or frozen veggies too.


Mix all together and put in 9×13 pan.


And it’s ok to take out some of the mixture before you add other veggies, in case you only like corn in yours. . .


Perfect to make and take to a neighbors house for a new baby or after an accident. I took this pan over to our next door neighbors house after the Dad had a bad car accident.


But of course, kept some for us for dinner too. Smile 


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Top with a layer of tater tots. (you probably won’t use a whole bag)

And cook for about 30 minutes or until the tots are golden brown.


And enjoy! With lots of ketchup because that it the Minnesota way. Smile 

Do you call them hot dishes or casseroles?

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Weekend update: 9/11/12

My weekend started on Friday! I had the day off of work. Smile 

We started with jumparoo time for him and coffee time for her.


the saddest part of my day. Sad smile


Played with my new HAAN steam mop. Unofficial review – awesome! (Will do a more official review soon.)


I leave Luke alone for 3 seconds. . .


Beautiful sunny Friday. . . perfect day for an afternoon walk. IMG_1343IMG_1345IMG_1347IMG_1349IMG_1351

Waiting for our weekend house guest. . .


She’s here!!! My little sister, Laura. Smile It was supposed to be a sisters weekend but unfortunately my older sister, Jenny, who is a youth pastor had to stay in town for Sunday School Kickoff.


Aunt Laura is so good at giving Luke his afternoon snack. IMG_1365

Bath time. . . towel baby!


Saturday morning: official start of our “Weekend of Fun!”


First up: Mankato Farmer’s Market


Checking out bath salts


Next up: Schmidt’s Meat Market in Nicollet



We got lots of good stuff. . . a full bag each! IMG_1384

Abby was a good car companion


Quick stop at the grocery store


Then onto OCB!

*Photo credit to Laura!

Luke’s second trip. . . his first one was about a year ago when I told Laura I was pregnant!


I love OCB –> perfectly acceptable to have a blue raspberry icee with a salad

Do you think someone might be a tad bit interested?


And then the next part of our Weekend of Fun. . . cooking!


2 new recipes: coming to the blog soon!


And then. . . BAKING!


Finally, snuggle time on the couch –> perfect Saturday night


My Sunday morning. . . ❤


First up: pedi for me, mani for Laura


Then. . . fro yo!


In my cup: chocolate and latte fro yo topped with crunch topping, cookie dough and Andes mint pieces


More baking – making RPSs (I got the recipe from Colleenmy August Foodie Pen Pal!)


More crafts: Pinterest inspired..  . finished product and details to come soon!


It was such a great weekend. Laura and I had so much fun together and it just warms my heart to see Luke spending time with his Aunt Laura. Smile 


Thank you Laura for a super awesome weekend. Can’t wait to have another one soon.

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Crockpot Salsa Chicken

Check out this super easy crock pot recipe. . .perfect for a weeknight dinner! And ridiculously delicious!


The recipe:

1 lb boneless chicken breasts
1 sprinkle cumin (~1 t)
Salt and Pepper
1 jar salsa (12 ounces)
1 can corn
1 can chopped green chiles


Put chicken breasts in bottom of crockpot

. IMG_1074

Sprinkle with cumin, salt and pepper.


Top with salsa, corn and chiles.


Mix together


Cook on low for 4 hours. (use extra time to do something important)


Marvel at how awesome cooking with the crockpot is when you pull out beautifully moist chicken


and the awesome sauce that has come together. . .


Shred chicken and return to crockpot.


***Pay no attention to the side of the crockpot – nothing a quick soak in the sink can’t take care of!

Mix all together and serve. In a tortilla as a taco, with chips as nachos, over rice, or by itself. You can also skip shredding the chicken and serve the chicken breasts with the sauce over the top!


I like to put the mix in a tortilla with sour cream and cheese.

Start with good tortillas – my current favorite: Mission Multi-Grain


Put a good smear of sour cream down the middle


Top with crockpot salsa chicken and sauce


Finish with a good sprinkle of cheese


And serve with extra salsa. Smile 


Enjoy! And accept compliments. Winking smile

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Sugar Cookie Bars with Pink frosting

I saw this recipe on Friday Favorites by Kristin at Iowa Girl Eats. And knew I had to make it! Sugar cookies. Yes. Frosting. Yes. Pink frosting. YES! Smile 

photo 4_1

So so so so good. Delicious chewy sugar cookie base with a sugary sweet frosting. And made PINK by a few drops of red food coloring. Winking smile 


Here’s the recipe:

For the cookie bars:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For the Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of sea salt
4 cups powdered sugar
5 Tablespoons milk

1. For the cookie bars:


1. For the cookie bars: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Line a rimmed 10 x 15-inch (or 9×9-inch brownie pan) with parchment paper; set aside.

3. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

4. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

5. Add the vanilla.

6. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda, mixing well.

7. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined.

8. Using a rubber spatula, evenly spread the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet (or brownie pan).

9. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. (They should be light golden brown).

10. Let cool completely.

11. For the frosting: In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

12. Add the vanilla and salt, mixing well.

13. Reduce the mixer speed to low and carefully add the confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time.

14. Add the milk and mix until smooth.

15. Add your desired amount of food color (if using) and mix until incorporated.

16. Frost and decorate as desired onto the cookie bars.

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Weekend Update: 8/12/12




My morning –> perfection (baby, puppy, latte!)


where Abby hangs out when one of us is sleeping in . . . (outside the bedroom door)


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Perfect fuel for a morning run

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9 miles –> new post-baby long run!


Afternoon baking project

but first comes nap time. . .

step 1: snuggling

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step 2: sleeping

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Getting my box of goodies put together for my foodie pen pal (more on this later!)

photo 1

Getting prepared for teething with Sophie the giraffe

photo 5

photo 7

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Salted oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

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And sugar cookie bars with pink frosting (recipe and details to come this week!)

photo 3

photo 4

photo 3

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Hope you had a great weekend too! Smile

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