Cold Weather Calls for Warm Meals

Happy monday friends!  The recent cold & gloomy weather has been inspiring me to make WARM meals!  There is nothing better than a delicious crock pot or oven meal once fall & winter roll around (not to mention I am trying to do everything I can to occupy myself waiting for this baby to come!)  Here’s a little look into some of the meals I’ve tried recently.  Some of these recipes were found online but others we created ourselves, if you would like more info on the recipes feel free to message me!  PS – Is it lunch time yet? 😛

Beer battered biscuits & gravy (HEAVEN ON EARTH!)
Beer battered biscuits & gravy topped with fried egg & cheese (HEAVEN ON EARTH!) Beer battered bread recipe found here.
Carolina Tacos
Carolina Tacos: Smoked pork shoulder (courtesy of the lovely Reid Smith) with kale or regular coleslaw and horseradish mayo. We had a similar version to these at Dad’s Diner and Reid recreated it to be even more delicious if that was even possible!
Shepard’s pie filling, Alton Brown’s recipe, he recommends lamb but based on what we had in the freezer I went with ground beef…either is delicious!
A finished product: Shepard’s pie, smothered in delicious mashed potatoes. Yes please!
Stuffed mushrooms with beer battered bread crumbs and gruyere cheese
Stuffed baby Portobello mushrooms with beer battered bread crumbs and Gruyère cheese. Stuffing: Chopped up stems of mushrooms, sautéed sweet onion, flour, heavy cream, parmesan cheese & Gruyère cheese. Once stuffed, top with shredded Gruyère cheese and bread crumbs (I used our leftover homemade beer battered bread for our crumbs but any kind would do!)
Teriyaki burgers with traditional Hawaiian mac salad. Mac salad: Elbow noodles, mayo, diced carrots & onion, salt & pepper, paprika and a dash of white vinegar. (Don’t judge my mayo intake)
Jalapeno poppers with strawberry jam dipping sauce...awesome combo of sweet & spicy
Breaded jalapeno poppers with strawberry jam dipping sauce…awesome combo of sweet & spicy. Recipe found here.
Jalapeno poppers wrapped in Reid's homemade smoked maple bacon
Jalapeno poppers wrapped in Reid’s homemade smoked maple bacon. Jalapenos de-seeded, stuffed w/ cream cheese and wrapped in bacon.
Slow cooke loaded baked potato soup topped with Reid's smoked bacon, green onions, & cheese
Slow cooker loaded baked potato soup topped with Reid’s smoked bacon, green onions, & cheese. Recipe found via pinterest.

Since football season started one of our favorite days has become Sunday; we make it our “judge free eat and lounge day.”  Reid got a kick ass meat smoker for his birthday so he will normally smoke some type of meat and we will create fun recipes out of it and eat our little hearts out!  (The baby loves it!!!)  The second best part of this day is pants are optional, like I said, it’s a judge free zone 😉

We have a few more DIY projects were looking to start here soon so I am excited to share them with you all soon!  Thanks for reading cuties.


A Birthday Bash for the Best!


I was super excited to write this post today because I had so much fun putting together this birthday fiesta for Reid.  I got some great photos, but seeing it in person was so much better!  This year for Reid’s birthday I wanted to do something bigger since I didn’t know what next year would bring.  Our favorite “quick” place to eat has always been Chipotle.  Who doesn’t love a good burrito bowl?  It’s so simple yet delicious.  I happened to stumble upon some homemade recipes for Chipotle’s menu items on Pinterest.  I also found a lot of good details about their seasonings & marinades on their website.  The key to this party for me was organization and lots of preparation the days leading up to it (which is a whole new ball park for me!)  My goal was to have everything in crock pots and ready for serving by time all of our family & friends arrived so that I was able to enjoy myself.

As for the decorations, I have always been a lover of chalkboard art.  I thought it added a nice touch to the house & helps guests navigate their way around.  The Corona bottle flower vases I found were so fun for the theme and added lots of color!  Below are some pictures I took  before the party.  I will share some links at the bottom of this post of recipes for this grand spanish fiesta!

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Recipes for the DIY Chipotle Burrito Bar:

  • Chipotle Adobo Chicken & Steak Marinade: I used the ancho chile powder substitute instead of soaking and de-seeing hot chili peppers and it still turned out delicious so I would recommend this option, major time saver.  I quadrupled this recipe for 40 pounds of meat.  For the meat I used boneless skinless chicken thighs and top sirloin, both from Costco)
  • Cilantro Lime Rice: I did this in two different rice cookers using a Japanese long grain white rice we had in the pantry.  After rice was cooked, I added lime juice, kosher salt, and cilantro and fluffed it with a fork…super easy!
  • Avocado Corn Salsa: This was the hit of the party..there were barely any leftovers!  I messed around with this recipe, added black pepper and cumin and more salt than it called for.  I purchased the large frozen bag of organic white corn from Costco, it was delicious and fed plenty of people.
  • Black Beans: Simple canned black beans, no seasoning!  I thought about adding spices such as cumin and oregano but I figured since everything else going in the burritos already had so much flavor it wasn’t necessary.
  • Sautéed green peppers & red onions: I glanced at the menu on Chipotle’s website to see what seasonings they used and just did a simple olive oil sauté with a little salt, pepper and oregano.
  • Queso Blanco: MY FAVORITE!  It is so delicious I can’t even stand it!  The recipe is super simple minus the fact finding a block of white american cheese in this town wasn’t the easiest.  The only place I was able to find it was in the deli and had to ask them to cut me off 2 pounds off the huge block.  Worth it!


  • Reese’s peanut butter cupcakes: Don’t even get me started on these or it’ll make me bake more right now!  These are to die for, also the homemade frosting is super easy and delightful.
  • Funfetti: Boxed funetti cake mix and vanilla funfetti frosting (Hey, I couldn’t homemake it all!!!)


  • Margarita Bar: The idea here was to have a bunch of different options and let people create their favorite type of margarita on the rocks!
  • Silver Tequila from Costco…obviously I cannot drink right now but I was told it was pretty tasty and also only $30 for 1.75 liters, score!
  • Mango Margarita mix from Williams Sonoma
  • Sweet & Sour Margarita Mix from Costco
  • Triple Sec
  • Fresh Limes
  • Salt
  • San Pelligrino: I was told this was a party favorite…silver tequila mixed with fresh limes and flavored San Pelligrino sparkling soda.

This party definitely required a lot of work but it was so fun seeing it all come together and watching everyone enjoy themselves!  Happy birthday Reid!

Signing off for now,







Fall is my favorite season of the year so I was very inspired to do a post this morning when I glanced in my planner and saw it was the first official day of autumn 🙂  Fall is filled with all of my favorite things: scarves, boots, pumpkin baked goods, delicious hot beverages, wine colored lipstick, hats, crisp autumn air, fireplaces, couch snuggles with our puppies, and most importantly, the season we finally get to meet our sweet baby boy!

I thought it would be appropriate if I shared some of my recent fall inspirations with you.  I did a lot of experimenting with pumpkin baked goods last week…healthy pumpkin banana muffins and pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting (super yummy!)  I also have been breaking out the crock pot because there’s nothing like a nice warm meal when the weather gets cool.  It also makes the house smell scrumptious, who doesn’t love that?  Enjoy!

Healthier Pumpkin Banana Muffins, recipe found here.  Heat them up with a little butter in the center and it makes the world of a difference.  (I sound like Paula Dean)
Healthier Pumpkin Banana Muffins, recipe found here. Heat them up with a little butter in the center and it makes the world of a difference. (I sound like Paula Dean)  I enjoyed these with a decaf soy latte from a local coffee stand!  
Willie is always such a good helper when it comes to cooking!  (Praying the skillet of meat drops)
Willie is always such a good helper when it comes to cooking! (Praying the skillet of meat drops)
Slow Cooker Beef Stew, recipe found here. This was so rich and tasty! I made enough to have for lunches the next few days and the flavor only got better as the days went on. I highly recommend this recipe, it was super simple as well!



Slow Cooker Enchiladas: Shredded chicken with salsa and green tomatillo enchilada sauce wrapped with flour tortillas and topped with remaining enchilada sauce, mild green chiles and shredded cheese…Cook on low for 3-4 hours!




Easy pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting...Recipe found here
Easy pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting…Recipe found here. I had to save the best for last!!!  

I’m going to share some more of my fall inspiration soon, including fun maternity fashion!  Also standby for a delicious post on a DIY Chipotle Bar for my hubby’s birthday bash this weekend 😛  YES PLEASE!


Cravings of the Week

Let me start this post off with saying I am all about eating everything in moderation!  I don’t think you should miss out on the delicious joys of life…a burger every now and then keeps you sane right?  Recently I have been trying out a handful of new recipes that are super tasty yet still have some quality ingredients that our bodies need.  Here are my favorite recipes of the week:

Spicy slow cooker beef, bell pepper, & mushroom (Recipe found here)  I added crimini mushrooms for a meatier flavor and Sriracha on top for a little extra kick.  I placed this hearty goodness over a bed a quinoa for a little extra protein!

Southwest Egg Rolls (Recipe found here)  Her version of this recipe is very simple, I added a few extra things to make it more of a filling meal.  I added lean ground beef, an extra can of mild green chiles, and replaced the spinach with sautéed onion and bell peppers, chopped up finely.  I found the egg roll wraps in the refrigerated vegan section by the tofu!  I tell you this because I literally spent 30 minutes cruising around Safeway on the prowl for these suckers.  After assembling the egg rolls and baking until golden brown I served them with guacamole and a side of greek yogurt and hot sauce (my favorite is Texas Pete).   Ever since I found out about replacing greek yogurt for sour cream a couple of years back that is all I do!  You can eat as much of it as you want guilt free and I honestly don’t think the taste is a whole lot different.

Tomato Avocado Melt (Recipe found here) This recipe is SUPER simple!  There was one day we had zero food in the house and a lack of motivation to go out and I happened to just have the ingredients to make this.  It was so simple, quick, easy and best of all TASTY!

Oatmeal Banana Flax Seed  Mini Muffins (Recipe found here)  These are my go to snack muffins!  I love to carry these around in a little ziplock in my purse, you never know when you’re going to need a quick snack 😉  I have done them regular muffin size as well as mini muffins, totally depends on what you like!  These are super delicious and also filled with lots of good things for you such as oats, greek yogurt, raw honey and flax seeds.  I also love to put a little spread of peanut butter or almond butter on top when they are fresh out of the oven! I swear you cannot go wrong with these guys, plus you don’t have to feel bad if you accidentally eat 10 of them, because let me tell ya, it’s easy to do!

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes (Recipe found here) One of my weird pregnancy cravings has been pancakes!  I can’t get enough of them but of course I can’t eat them every morning.  I found this recipe on Pinterest and was amazed by how delicious they were.  I made enough batter to have them 2 mornings and added either blueberries or bananas to each batch.  I swear to you that you can barely tell a difference with the whole wheat batter!  The key to making them fluffy and super “not dry” (my husband and I prefer to say super not dry instead of the awful M word…you know what I am talking about) is beating the egg whites separately and folding them in at the end, I also let the batter rest for about 5 minutes before cooking.  This lady has a few good tips on making the perfect pancake!

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes with hot syrup and a nonfat vanilla latte
Oatmeal Banana Flaxseed Mini Muffins
Spicy slow cooker beef, bell peppers, & onion topped with grilled veggies
Tomato, cucumber dill salad with fresh basil, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper & a pinch of sugar


That’s all for now, thanks for checking in!!!