Category Archives: Cooking

Taco Lasagna

I’m not going to pretend I am a fabulous food photographer. I’m not even a fabulous cook. But sometimes I stumble across an amazing concoction that has my husband drooling for more. This Taco Lasagna is one of them. Here’s a close up of it’s gooey goodness (and I had only this one to choose from, because the other ones looked like cheesy vaginas. Clearly I need some practice in staging!)

See what I mean? But trust me, it’s tasty. I adapted it from a recipe my mom made when we were growing up. It involved jumbo shells and a lot of stuffing, but this time all I had in my pantry was some lasagna noodles and I was too lazy to even consider stuffing shells. So here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

Homemade Hamburger Helper Jars

Even though the holiday season is over, gift-giving doesn’t stop for me. My sister’s birthday is two days after mine in January. It’s always tough, since it’s just two weeks after Christmas. I brainstormed for a while on what to make her. She hates cooking, mostly because she works late hours and only cooks for one. It’s hard to drum up energy to make such a big mess, so she usually sticks with simple meals, like Hamburger Helper. But there’s only so much processed, fake cheese one can consume. Then it hit me. Why not make her a homemade version? I searched around online, and found this amazing website full of recipes to create your own healthier version of the one skillet supper. I tweaked it slightly from her recipe to make it even easier. Here’s what you need:

Continue reading

Perpetual Calendar: A How-To

I’ve been looking for ways to utilize my scrap wood pile, and today a perpetual calendar fit the bill! It’s easily a free project, and can add some rustic or even modern decor to you home. It’s all in the finishing. I’m really not a fan of the hand-painted lettering I did here, so I already am planning to print out my labels and mod-podge them on. It just looks a little too childish for my taste, not to mention that this scribbly looking art took me over 3 hours, and I didn’t even make it halfway through! It probably has to do with the fact that my handwriting totally sucks, and I can’t draw to save my life. That’s why I’m a designer!! I’m so much better with a computer than a pencil. Anyway, if you’ve got a few wood scraps lying around, here’s how you can make yourself a Perpetual Calendar:
Continue reading

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

(source)

I normally don’t post recipes on the blog, but these cookies are just too good not to share! They’re my go-to cookie I make any time I need to impress someone. They stay soft and chewy throughout their lifespan (if that’s the right word) and always taste delicious. I’m the kind of person who will only eat plain Jane chocolate chip cookies when they’re right out of the oven, and shun all the ones left to get cold and stale. But I will scarf these cookies all week until there’s nothing but crumbs on the plate. They’re that good. And since the recipe is readily available on the Baker’s Chocolate website, I don’t feel bad about sharing it with you today!

Peanut Butter, Oatmeal & Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 27 min
Makes: 30 servings, 1 cookie each.

What You Need

1 cup flour
1 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
1/2 tsp. CALUMET Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup PLANTERS Creamy Peanut Butter
1 egg
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
6 squares BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, coarsely chopped (chocolate chips work here too)

Make It!

Mix first 5 ingredients until well blended Beat butter, sugars and peanut butter in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing well after each addition. Stir in chocolate.
Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets.
Bake 10 to 12 min. or until lightly browned. Cool 1 min. on baking sheet; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

Nutritional Information

PER SERVING
Calories 130
Total fat 7g
Saturated fat 3.5g
Cholesterol 15mg
Sodium 95mg
Carbohydrate 16g
Dietary fiber 1g
Sugars 10g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A 2%DV
Vitamin C 0%DV
Calcium 0%DV
Iron 4%DV

Recipe: Microwave Pickles

Christmas always presents a challenge when it comes to buying for my dad. That gift list category, “For the man who has everything” is no joke! My dad can buy himself whatever he wants, and usually does (and examples would be a dump truck, bobcat, backhoe, and all kinds of other giant machinery a daughter could never afford). Since my dad is full of childhood stories of picking cotton and being a migrant worker, walking 3 miles to school uphill in the snow, and wearing the same pair of shoes four years straight, I figured he’d appreciate some down-home cookin’ as a gift. And to bling it out a little, I whipped up some custom labels just for the holidays.


These tasty pickles are the simplest thing I make. Mix everything together, nuke it for 8 minutes and voila! Instant delish. Here’s the recipe below:

Ingredients: