Tag Archives: Recipe

Friday Finds


Whoop-whoop! It’s FRIDAY! Congrats on making it to the weekend. 🙂 Hopefully y’all have something either exciting or relaxing planned for the next couple days. We are taking the relaxing route this weekend and sticking around the house for some football and game day food.

If you, too, are planning on a laid back weekend, here are few links I found this week. The fall and winter are full of so many birthdays in our families, and then Christmas is so quick to follow that Friday Finds seems to lean towards a gift guide. Although it’s not on purpose, hopefully it’s helpful. Enjoy!

I think these little lip scrubs would be a great stocking stuffer.

This store is definitely on the pricier side of things, but this belt is so pretty. . .and it’s on sale! 🙂

Floral Filigree Tooled Belt

Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown. This is definitely my favorite workout of the week. It was harder than I anticipated, and moved at a fast pace. Great workout if your feeling fatigued and sore or just need something new.

I love this travel kit. Personally, I think it could be for guys or gals, either way it’s beautiful and unique.

Ok, this pie pan would be super dangerous around here. I never make pie, because that’s a lot of sweet for two people. But this little guy serves two. This gives me reason for at least one pie a week. 🙂

Pie for Two, White Plate

I reeeeealy want one of these apple peelers. Considering the apple orchards are so close to us, I think this would come in handy. Especially if I had a pie plate for two like the one above. 😉

Victorio Apple Peeler & Corer

I think my dad and D would both like this Vintage Tabletop Scrabble game. It’s be cool to have for obvious purposes, but it’s so beautiful, too.

Vintage Edition Scrabble®

If you’re a hopeless romantic and have half an hour to burn, this video is pretty cool. It’s a little unrealistic for most budgets, but sweet nonetheless.

I think this Pom-Pom Scarf Tutorial will be one of my next projects. It’s so cute and has step by step instructions along the way.

I watch The Chew on ABC whenever I can, and this week I saw Michael Symon’s Eggs in Avocado. It looked so fresh and delicious. Might have to create a version this weekend.

Eggs AvocadoTomatoBasilMichaelSymon

Oh man. These need to be on my feet right now. These house shoes look so cozy! They’re made of wool and salmon skin. A little strange, but I’m on board with that.


These leather watches are pretty, timeless, and simple. They’re handmade and somewhat affordable.

These Vintage Pearl and Brass Earrings are so pretty. They would be a great gift for a lady in your family. . .or for yourself.

Vintage Pearl and Brass Earrings on BourbonandBoots.com

Hope y’all have a great weekend!


Cheesy Veggie Skillet


The temperatures this week have been a little bit cooler, so I’ve been able to hit my evening runs before dark. Woohoo!  I love this for multiple reasons. Mainly because I get to run a little longer, but also because this is my view for the first half of the run. I love a Midwestern sunset, but I can definitely make do with this one. 🙂

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To go along with the weather getting cooler, can I get an AMEN for the comeback of the Pumpkin Spice Latte? AMEN! 🙂 Normally, I make my own coffee at home and jazz it up with a touch of Homemade Vanilla Syrup, buuuut every now and then I splurge. I let myself have one once a week when I go to Wal-Mart. It helps me cope with the feeling of angst that rushes over when I have to go to that place. 😦

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I always have a hard time deciding what to make the first couple nights after I get groceries. I mean, the possibilities are (semi) endless! But this time I went with warm and creamy Cheesy Veggie Skillet. This is a personal favorite of both Adam and myself. 🙂


Start out by prepping all of your ingredients, that way you’ll be able to roll right along once you get going. Start out by taking 1 medium spaghetti squash and microwaving for about 6 minutes, turn it over, then for 6 more minutes. Once cooled, slice in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and fork out all of the “spaghetti.”

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Now, the veggies. Start with about 2 cups of kale, chopped pretty fine. Follow that with 1 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms and 1 medium onion, thinly sliced.

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Now it’s time for my favorite part, the cheese! Grate about 1/3 cup each of Parmesan and sharp cheddar cheese.

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Mmmk. Most of the hard part is over. 🙂 In a large skillet, heat about 2 TBSP olive oil over med-high heat. Once hot add the onions and mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Cook until they establish a sear and then turn heat down to medium. Once the onions are almost translucent and the mushrooms have softened a bit, remove form pan and set aside.

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In the same pan, heat another 2 TBSP olive oil over medium heat. Add the kale and spaghetti squash. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add about 3/4 cup chicken stock. If you don’t have chicken stock, water would work as well. Cover and let steam for about 5 more minutes, then uncover and let the moisture cook away.

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While your veggies are cooking, you can prep your cheese sauce. Start by melting about 1 1/2 TBSP butter over medium high heat in a small sauce pan. Once melted and bubbly, add 2 TBSP flour.

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Whisk mixture together until combined, and then add 1 1/2 cups milk.

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Keep whisking the mixture as it thickens. If it gets to thick, you can always add more milk. Ya know, adjust as needed. 🙂 Once thickened, add 1 tsp paprika, and the cheddar cheese and whisk together.


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Turn the heat off of the cheese sauce, and back to the veggies! Add the onions and mushrooms to the skillet with the kale and squash. Mix together and heat all of it through. Then top with the cheese sauce and salt and pepper.



Mix together, adding milk if needed. Once together, add about 1 cup of frozen peas.


Top with Parmesan and ta-da! Dinner is served! We ate a chicken breast with ours, but you can serve it up by itself or as a side dish.



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Cheesy Veggie Skillet

1 medium spaghetti squash

2 cups kale, finely chopped

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

3/4 cup chicken stock

1/3 cup Parmesan, finely grated

1/3 cup cheddar, grated

1 1/2 TBSP butter

2 TBSP flour

1 1/2 cup milk

1 tsp paprika

1 cup peas

salt and pepper


1. Start by poking holes in your butternut squash, and cooking it in the microwave for about 6 minutes on each side, or until tender. Then prep the kale, onions, and mushrooms and grate your cheeses.

2. Heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Cook onions and mushrooms until they have established a color. Then turn down and let cook until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms have softened. Remove from pan and set aside. In same pan, add 2 TBSP of olive oil and add kale and spaghetti squash. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add about 3/4 cup chicken stock and cover for 5 minutes. Then uncover it and let the chicken stock cook away.

3. While your veggies are going, you can prep your cheese sauce. Start by melting the butter in a saucepan, once melted and bubbly, add 2 TBSP flour and whisk together. next add the milk and continuously whisk until the the mixture thickens. You can add more milk if needed. Once thickened, take off heat and add paprika and cheddar and whisk.

4. Add the onions and mushrooms back into the skillet and combine. Next, add the cheese sauce and salt and pepper. Once all together, stir in the peas. Let heat through and the top with Parmesan. Dinner is served! 🙂

Chocolate Sheet Cake


Things have been pretty sweet around here lately. For my birthday on Friday, D made a chocolate sheet cake. This cake is one that I instantly associate with my childhood. Coming from a large family, my mom would make this for gatherings because it went a long way. I mean, if it’s good for a crowd, why not make it for two people? 😉 Once he got to mixing this bad boy together, the smells took me back. I’ve always heard that smell is the strongest sense, and I believe it. It was intense.


It was a rare occurrence when I didn’t make absolutely miserable off of this cake, so I’m glad to report that I was only slightly miserable. . . that’s good, right?

Start out by melting 2 sticks (1 cup) butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup water, 4 TBSP cocoa and stir and until heated through and completely combined. Turn off heat and set aside to cool.


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In a separate, large mixing bowl combine 2 cups AP flour, 2 cups sugar, and 1 tsp cinnamon. In another smaller bowl, whisk 2 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla together.

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Now, take the cooled chocolate mixture from the saucepan and pour into the flour mixture, stir together until just combined.

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Measure 1/2 cup buttermilk and add 1 tsp baking soda. Pour whisked eggs and vanilla into the milk, and add it all to the cake batter. Blend together, scraping the sides once or twice.

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Grease a sheet pan evenly. Pour the batter in and bake at 350°F for 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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While the cake is getting its bake on, you’re in charge of making the frosting. This, my friend, is frosting worthy of the blood sugar spike it’s going to cause.

In the same saucepan you used earlier, melt one stick of butter, then add 3 TBSP cocoa and stir together. Turn off heat.

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Now add a scant 1/2 cup of milk. I had skim milk and heavy whipping cream, so I went half-sies on them. Then add 1 tsp vanilla and a small pinch of salt, and 1 lb. powdered sugar. D likes his frosting just like this. I like mine with pecans. So, we went halfsies on that, too. 🙂 I took half of the frosting and added 1/2 cup chopped pecans.


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This part is key in the success of your cake. To make it ADAP (as delicious as possible, duh) you need to frost the cake hot, or at least warm.  This will make your cake have a magical in-between layer of gooey , fudge-y goodness between the actual cake and frosting. Ridic.

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We got a little heavy handed on the powdered sugar, so our frosting was a bit too thick, but it all worked out perfect once we got it spread on the cake.


Quick Tip: On a cake with this much surface area, don’t spread the candles out. . .damn near lost consciousness trying to blow ’em out. Group those bad boys together.


Serve it up hot with some Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. (recipe tomorrow)




Chocolate Sheet Cake

2 sticks butter (1 cup)

1 cup hot water

4 TBSP cocoa

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 tsp baking powder

1. In a small saucepan, melt 2 sticks butter. Add cocoa and hot water and stir together. Heat until warm and bubbly, then remove from heat and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and, cinnamon. Add the cocoa/butter mixture to the flour and stir  just to bring together.

2. Measure 1/2 cup buttermilk and add 1 tsp baking soda to that. Add 2 whisked eggs and 1 tsp vanilla to that.

3. Now take the buttermilk/egg mixture and add it to the flour and chocolate. Stir together until combined completely. Pour into a greased sheet pan and bake at 350°F for 200-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. It took mine right at 23 minutes. Check yours every 5 minutes after the 20 minute mark. 🙂

Chocolate Frosting

1 stick butter

3 TBSP cocoa

1/2 cup milk (or a touch less)

1 lb. powered sugar

 1 tsp vanilla

small pinch of salt

chopped pecans, if desired

1. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add cocoa and stir together. Turn off heat. Add remaining ingredients and stir together. You may need to alter it slightly to your preferred consistency. (little more milk, little more powdered sugar…)

2. Frost it hot and serve. 🙂

*If you don’t use the pecans in your frosting, be sure to sift the powdered sugar. Without the pecans, there will be large sugar clumps. 😉

Turkey Meatballs & Summer Squash


If you need to make sure your tear ducts are still working, this video will surely do the job. Anyone who knows me well, knows that this video pulls extra hard on my heartstrings. Grab a hanky!


I did the Countdown Workout for the second time today, and my results were the EXACT same. I’m not upset with this, just really surprised. I thought there would be at least a small difference. In due time, I suppose! 😉


Last time D’s family visited, his dad made meatballs and summer squash, all wrapped up in one delicious casserole type dish. It was very, very good and I have been wanting to recreate it. I watched him make his version, and then applied a few “lighter” options to my version.


Start by prepping your veggies. I diced 2 yellow squash, 1 zucchini, 1 medium sweet onion (reserve 1/2 cup for later), and 2 cups sliced mushrooms (not pictured).

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Now heat about 2 TBSP olive oil to a heavy pan and saute the veggies over high heat. Once you achieve a good sear, add a splash of red wine. Once the cooked off, turn heat down to medium and saute for only a minute or two. Set aside.

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Meanwhile, take reserved 1/2 cup onion, 2 TBSP chopped chives, 1 TBSP fresh oregano, and 1 tsp each of garlic powder, salt, dried basil and Italian seasoning and add to a bowl. Feel free to alter the herbs to your taste!

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To the herbs and spices, add 1.25 lbs of ground meat. My father-in-law used beef and sausage, and it was great. I used Italian ground turkey to save a little fat and calories. It worked fine. 🙂 Then add 1 egg, 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, 1/3 cup Parmesan, about 1 TBSP olive oil, 1/4 cup milk (not pictured) and pepper to taste. Mix together lightly.

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The next part is pretty important to the meatballs coming out correctly. Form the mixture into balls about 2 inches in size, being very careful not to press too firmly. You want them to be as loose as possible. Personally, I would rather have a tender result at the cost of one or two falling apart. 🙂 They don’t have to be perfect. Over medium high heat, add just enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of a skillet. Once heated, add the meatballs, moving around so that they are browned on all sides.



Once they have browned, remove them from the skillet and let rest while you finish the next steps.


Take one jar of your favorite marinara sauce. You could definitely make your own, as my father in law did. . . or you can buy it. Add about 1 cup of roughly chopped fresh spinach. For extra richness, add a couple tablespoons of heave whippin’ cream or half and half to the sauce. Give it all a whirl.

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All that is left is the assembling! I used a 9×9 baking dish, sprayed it liberally, and placed the meatballs on the bottom.



Spread the sauteed veggies across the top of the meatballs, and then evenly distribute the sauce over the top of that.

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Top the whole thing with Parmesan and a sprinkling of breadcrumbs. You’re all done!


You can either bake this puppy right away, or foil it up and freeze or refrigerate it until needed. We opted for the immediate baking option.


Bake at 400°F for about 45 minutes, or until mixture is bubbly and the meatballs are cooked through.


Eat it as a meal by itself, or serve with spaghetti or toasted garlic bread. Enjoy! 🙂


Turkey Meatballs & Summer Squash

2 yellow squash, chopped

1 zucchini, chopped

1 medium sweet onion, diced

2 cups sliced mushrooms

2 TBSP olive oil

2 TBSP chive. chopped

1 TBSP fresh oregano, chopped

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp dried basil

1.25 lb Italian ground turkey

1 egg 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1/3 cup Parmesean

1/4 cup milk

1 TBSP olive oil

pepper to taste

1 jar marinara sauce

1 cup fresh baby spinach, chopped

2 TBSP whipping cream or half and half

1. Heat olive oil in a heavy pan over high heat. Add yellow squash, zucchini, onion, and mushrooms. Once seared, add a splash of wine and cook off. Reduce heat and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, take the next 12 ingredients (chives through pepper) and add them to a large mixing bowl. Mix together lightly. Form into 2 inch balls, as loose as possible. Now, add enough vegetable oil to just cover the bottom of a skillet over meduim high heat. Once heated, add the meatballs and brown on all sides. Once browned remove from pan and let rest.

3. In a separate medium sized bowl, add the marinara sauce, spinach and cream. Mix together.

4. To assemble, spray a 9×9 inch baking dish with non stick and add meatballs. Next, add the sauteed veggies and cover it all with the sauce mixture. Top with Parmesan and bake for 45 minutes, or until bubbly and the meatballs are cooked through. Remove from the oven and let rest, covered, for about 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!