Quite the Disappearing Act

I’m baaack! So, I’ve been getting the hint from some of my friends that I need to blog again. I feel very loved and happy.

And apologetic. I didn’t mean to abandon you all, I guess the month of madness (aka Blogtober) did me in. The holidays were very busy and then work became very busy, and then my blog seemed to fall off of the face of the Earth. Well, I’m back! But just a little bit, not like October. I will try not to disappear for a week  erm three months again!

So…. dear friends, what’s new? I spent the last few months on a crazy life/craft spree and I loved every bit of it. I’ve been ripping out my garden, knitting, crocheting, learning new crafts, doing home improvement, cooking and of course, giving lots of gifts. Here is a quick look at what I’ve been up to. I’ll catch you up in the following weeks.

photo 1 photo 2




Spicy Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

ImageStill finishing the unfinishable!

This weekend was a smorgasbord of meat at our house. I finally got to make the Spicy Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork from my Unfinished List and boy was it worth the wait.

To review:

The Tempting Grub

The story:  Ah, Pinterest. You are the devil. I spend so many useless minutes pinning away on my boards, making plans for delicious food I am likely never going to make. This yummy-looking Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork and these zucchini fritters were a few of the first things I ever pinned. The problem is, I still have never tasted them. Finishing Problem: I suck at this.

To be frank, I was pretty worried about making this because I don’t have the best track record when it comes to meat. But this recipe? Doesn’t get any easier.

I pinned this pulled pork recipe from The Pioneer Woman a few years back precisely because it sounds amazing and looks somewhat easy to make, even for me. And that’s the truth.

You basically take a pork roast, season it with salt and pepper and then bake it for six hours in a delicious mix of Dr. Pepper and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. It comes out very moist and will fall apart in the pan. We served our pork in tortillas with lettuce, avocado, tomato and cheese of course, alongside some rice and beans. The meat is the perfect balance of sweet and spicy, my favorite thing!

burrito bowlToday for lunch I even feasted on the leftovers in the form of a burrito bowl, a base of meat, layer of beans and rice, topped with shredded lettuce, tomato and sour cream.

The recipe is located here…you should run out to buy the ingredients and have it now!


The Tempting Grub: Zucchini Fritter-licious

This weekend was very productive for my Unfinishable List. Thanks to the rain, I didn’t get to do most of the things I wanted to do this weekend and spent lots of time on my list. The biggest one to check off my list? Those amazing zucchini fritters.

The story:  Ah, Pinterest. You are the devil. I spend so many useless minutes pinning away on my boards, making plans for delicious food I am likely never going to make. This yummy-looking Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork and these zucchini fritters were a few of the first things I ever pinned. The problem is, I still have never tasted them.

But this weekend. Taste them, I did.

zucchiniIf you haven’t visited the Smitten Kitchen blog, I recommend that you do so right now. They have amazing recipes and these zucchini fritters at the top of that list.

I was a bit worried about how they would work out because 1) I have never really fried things and 2) I was cooking for my guy’s family, who are amazing cooks and have very strong opinions on food. Thankfully they are nice, wonderful people who understands my kitchen limitations. Even more thanks that the recipe turned out pretty well.

If I can make these so can you. Here’s my run-down but you should use the full recipe available here on Smitten Kitchen.

frittersThe long and short of it is that you grate some zucchini, let it soak in salt for 10 minutes then you begin the process of wringing the water out for the next half hours. Seriously. You will never believe how much water zucchini can hold. They are the camels of the food world.

Then you combine the squished zucchini with some scallions, egg, salt and pepper along with flour and baking powder. Then you think this cannot possibly be enough for 10 fritters because you have never fried things before. Trust me, it is.

Then you make ten little spoonfuls of zucchini batter and put them in your oil in a cast-iron skillet. This is, of course, after you panic because you realize that you have never done this before. Then you thank the cooking gods because it is not meat which means that you cannot kill anyone.

photo 2-1Then the little fritters poof up like little veggie pillows and you breathe a deep sigh of relieft. Note: pat them down into little discs before putting in the oil. Mine turned out very round, like little zucchini hush puppies.

After some flipping and re-frying a couple that were not crispy enough, I was quite pleased with these. The recipe also has a bit for some lemony sour cream dip that I highly recommend dolluping on top.

Scrumptious (and others seemed to like them, unless they were just being nice.) One recipe down! Finishing feels fantastic.


Polka Dots and Popsicles

The Pops

I keep having partial success with my boozicles. I’m not fully in love with the ones I’ve made but they keep getting better as I learn. Hopefully I’ll have some success this weekend.

popsicleWhy am I telling you about my failures? Well, because experimenting and mistakes creates frustration so I decided to finally stop guessing and just look it up! And I’ve finally figured it out. The ratio for alcohol to other ingredients for popsicles in quite low, basically 20% of your liquid ingredients. Which in my book was just not enough.  I was hoping it would be more like half and half.

But, no.

And actually, it is better that way. The alcohol taste in my newest pop was just enough.

Here’s the recipe:

Razzle Grapefruit Pop

  • 1/4 cup Austin’s Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka
  • raspberries
  • 3/4 cup water
  • one tablespoon sugar

Recipe is for a four-part popsicle mold with straws that I got at Bed, Bath and Beyond for less than ten dollars.

  1. Blend together sugar, water, vodka and a handful of raspberries
  2. Add mixture to popsicle mold
  3. Drop in a few whole raspberries, these are delicious when frozen
  4. Freeze
  5. When ready, run some hot water over bottom part of mold and wiggle pop free.

Notes: If you don’t want seed, you should strain it before pouring into the molds. Also, we made this with two teaspoons sugar and found it a bit sour. Why goes easy on sugar, it’s dessert! Yum!

The Polka


Since I’ve moved to Texas I’ve tried to be better about acessorizing…because Texans really, really, really like their bling.

So back in May, I decided to start buying and making jewelry and now I love jewelry and made this my month blog theme for May. My favorite find has been Charming Charlie.

I’m a bit of a plain Jane when it comes down to it, so I’ve been trying to step it up. Usually, I opt for dangly earrings as my only accessory. But today I think I’ve done a pretty okay job with sprucing up my outfit in a spartan-like me sort of way, pairing up my bright red polka-dot shirt with some gold and rosey dots.

These are all purchased, but I’m loving some of the jewelry my friends are making and am hoping to incorporate some more DIY jewelry in September’s blog theme!


Yo, Pops!

popsicleI’m not sure if there are people in this world who do not like popsicles, but I am pretty sure I don’t want to know them.

I recently bought a super rad popsicle mold and am having a blast trying out new mixes and pinning sweet recipes.

Check out my Pops! Pinterest board, where I’m getting many of my maniacal ideas.

My first (successful) pop is this Strawberry Limeade Pop, featuring sliced strawberries and Simply Limeade. Delish!

Tip: If you want to make a boozicle (which I desperately want!), do not purchase the pre-made margarita mix made for freezing at the grocery store….unless you live in a state that will sell liquor in the grocery. I did not realize this, but mine does not. I froze my pre-made mix, tried it and spat it out promptly! Reading the lable, while simultaneously exclaiming, why does this taste so bad?!”, I noticed it was made with white wine…wha??! Yup, some stores only can sell beer and wine in their stores so they have to sell this. Ick! This is why DIY is so important. I can totally just add some tequila to this pop recipe and voila!


Pasta Primavera

This month is all about things that make me happy and one thing that I love to do is eat. More specifically, I love to eat Italian food. Having been away from home for more than a decade, the smell of garlic and tomatoes now reminds me of home. Especially this time of year…the summer spectacular of the Italian Festival in downtown Wheeling. Mmmmm I can just taste the stromboli, fried veggies.

My part of Texas doesn’t have a ton of Italian food so my Texas family took me to a fabulous Italian restaurant last year for my birthday. I was in heaven! Otherwise, I am stuck with my own Italian cooking, which is quite sad. Typically I make my boring clean-eating pasta as a turkey ragu – lots of Italian-spiced ground turkey with some green pepper and onion thrown in. I usually use Classico sauce as a base and try to fancy it up with some added spices. Plus, I like to use the jars as drinking glasses or for projects later.

tomatoBut last week we had one incredible tomato harvest so I was itching to use these beauties and to try something new. I’ve made my own sauce before and I do like my homemade tomato sauce chunky, with lots of veggies squished into a lovely gravy.

This time though, I wanted to use lots of vegetables and a lighter sauce. It is so unbelievably hot in Texas this summer! I already downed an iced-cold limoncello on my way home from work and wanted some light Italian goodness in my belly, pronto! I think I have finally mastered a light, healthy pasta! I cannot get enough of this pasta dish.

Pasta Primavera with Turkey Meatballs

  • pasta, I like a low-glycemic linguini variety
  • Italian style turkey meatballs, 10-12
  • 6-7 Roma tomatoes
  • zucchini
  • crookneck yellow squash
  • carrot, shredded
  • broccoli
  • small yellow onion, diced
  • garlic, 4-5 cloves, crushed
  • fresh basil, approximately 10 leaves
  • olive oil
  • chicken broth, small can
  • blend of Romano, Asiago and Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon


  1. Cook pasta as directed on package
  2. In a skillet, heat olive oil, add in diced onion and garlic, cook on low heat for one minute
  3. Add in half the can of the chicken broth and shredded carrots, let cook for one minute
  4. Add a pinch of salt, pepper and Italian seasoning
  5. Cut zucchini and yellow squash into chunks, add to skillet with broccoli tops and let cook for approximately 3-5 minutes, feel free to add more olive oil here!
  6. Meanwhile, cook the meatballs as directed on package
  7. Cut/squish Roma tomatoes and tear basil leaves, add to skillet and cook for another few minutes or until your veggies have soaked in all of the flavors
  8. Grab your limoncello and plate your food with a bit of pasta, topped with the veggie mix and sprinkle lots of cheese on top. Also, I won’t fight you if you drizzle more olive oil on top…

Of course, I’m a carnivore so I added some delicious pre-made meatballs (I love you, HEB!) to my pasta primavera. I am in love with this recipe. I’ve tried to make a light olive oil-based past a before and it really lacked flavor and thickness. I think the key to this recipe is that chicken broth, it adds much needed flavor. Yum!

bon appetit!