One Pot Pasta

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and was very intrigued! A ONE POT pasta dish – with ALL ingredients cooked AT THE SAME TIME and IN THE SAME POT?!?! I just HAD to try it out!

photo-1

Let me just say: EASIEST AND FASTEST recipe I think I’ve ever made. And tasted great too!

WHAT YOU NEED:
-12 0z linguine
-1 Onion, thinly sliced
-1 Cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
-2 Tablespoons olive oil
-4 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced
-2 Sprigs of basil
-4 1/2 Cups of water
-Pinch of salt
-Pinch of pepper
-Parmesan cheese to top after cooked

Combine all ingredients except parmesan cheese in one large skillet or pot. Bring to a boil and keep at a boil for 9- 10 minutes, flipping/stirring the pasta every so often. It’s important to keep the pasta at a boil so all the water evaporates!!  At the end of 9-10 minutes the water should be pretty much evaporated. And TADAA! You’re done! Dig in and top with the parmesan cheese!

This is also an easy dish to add any kind of protein too, such as chicken, steak, pork chops…etc!

This is such a simple recipe with the added bonus of easy clean up! I hope you enjoy!! 🙂

Cookie Dough Frosting

I. LOVE. COOKIE DOUGH.

So when I found this recipe for cookie dough frosting/filling for cake I just HAD to give it a test run!

photo-5

And my verdict: DELICIOUS!

WHAT YOU NEED:
-1 Stick butter, softened
-3/4 Cup brown sugar
-1 1/4 Cup flour
-1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/2 Teaspoon salt
-1 Cup mini chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar well. Add vanilla.  Add flour and salt, mix well. Then fold in the chocolate chips.

photo-2

Add as the middle layer of cake for a filling like I did.

Or you can use it as icing on top of the cake. It’s up to you 🙂

Hope you enjoy!

Check out this awesome recipe I used to make the cake in this post…HALF THE CALORIES of a normal cake!

Healthy Cake??!!

Well, sort of.

Have you guys seen this on Pinterest or around the web?

5398cakemix+fage2

Well, my birthday was coming up so I figured I’d give it a try!

I had my doubts, but it actually turned out pretty good and tasted like normal cake, if not better-WITH NEARLY HALF THE CALORIES/FAT!

For one serving of cake: 180 Calories!!! (Normal way is 280 Calories)

WHAT YOU NEED:
-1 Box Devil’s Food cake mix
-1 Container fat free greek yogurt
-1 Cup water

Instead of following the box instructions, simply mix all of the above ingredients together (no oil or eggs). It will be a very thick batter, and nothing like a normal cake batter.

photo-4

It almost has the consistency of mouse.  Just make sure you mix very well. Then transfer to your cake pan. You MUST  spread this with a spatula or spoon and sort of pat it down into the dish. It WILL NOT spread on its own, even while being baked…SO SPREAD!

photo-3

Follow the baking instructions and WALA-Your cake is ready!

photo-5

I hope you like it! 🙂

If you want the recipe for the amazing eggless cookie dough frosting I put as a filling for my cake CLICK HERE!

Update to “Everyday Wreath Tutorial”

I’ve been staring at my wreath. Tilting my head. Closing my eyes then opening them again. Trying to figure out what I could do to make it look more proportional. (Original Tutorial Here)

Well, I think I got it! I added a few more flowers to the bottom part of the flowers I already had.  Then I added individual bow loops to each side of the bow. Two to each side to be exact. I feel like it adds more depth and volume to the bow, allowing it to look bigger!

photo

I simply cut a few inches of ribbon, hot glued to the two ends together in a folded kind of way, and once it cooled off, placed and glued them on the sides of the bow already on the wreath.

You might have to play around with it a little bit until you get a good looking bow! It took me about 20 minutes to place the extra bow loops in a way that looked like they were already included in the bow. Take your time! Make it look good! 🙂

The last think I did was add 2 extra ribbon tails, longer than the original ones to the bow. I believe those also give the bow a larger appearance, helping with the proportion to the wreath.

I just measured how long I wanted the new ribbon tails to be, cut them and then tucked and glued them underneath the original tails.

Pretty simple little adjustments that I think make the wreath look so much better!

Remember through all your crafts and projects to have fun! And if you don’t like how something looks, then change it! 🙂

Everyday Wreath Tutorial

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on my blog! And it makes me happy to be posting once again! 🙂

So I’ve been meaning to make an everyday wreath that I can hang on my front door when I don’t have any festive/seasonal wreaths or decorations to use.  I scoured Pinterest and the web and compiled my favorite looks.

photo

(I’m still working on creating the perfect bow! -the one in the picture is a little small for the size of the wreath, I think.- Any tips, easy instructions, or suggestions on how to create a bow from ribbon would be great!)

WHAT YOU NEED:

-18″ Grapevine wreath
-Flowers of your choice (some small, some large)
-Hot glue gun
-Ribbon (that complements your flowers-or burlap ribbon!)

The hardest part, I think, is deciding on how you want to place your flowers.  I just threaded some of the stems through the wreath’s vines to see how placement would look for the different flowers I had. You just have to play with it until you like the look.

photo_1

 I’m a stickler for not seeing any stems or hot glue marks, so my flowers are close together.

You can cut the stems short (about 2-4 inches) so it is easier to thread into the wreath’s vines.  Once you have a few placed in the wreath, go ahead and hot glue them in place. Then gradually add more- messing with the placement until you like it and then hot glue those in place.

Don’t forget you can also dab some glue on a leaf or side of a flower and stick it to another flower to help hide the stems/glue marks.

I liked the look of only covering a quarter of the wreath with the flowers and having a bow offset the other side.  (Again, any helpful hints on how to make bows would be great!)

You can even add a small wooden letter for your last name near the flowers or bows to add more personalization!

photo_2

Then just hook on a wreath door holder and you are all set!

*I will update a picture once I’ve created a better looking bow!

Southwestern Chicken Salad

This is probably the BEST southwest salad I have ever eaten!!! And it’s so healthy and so easy to make!! Of course I found this recipe on Pinterest! 🙂

IMG609

WHAT YOU NEED:

For Salad:
-2 Cups shredded chicken
-1 Green pepper, chopped
-1 Can black beans, drained and rinsed
-1 Can yellow corn, drained and rinsed
-2 Roma tomatoes, diced
-2 Haas avocados, diced
-1 Head of lettuce, chopped
-1/4 Cup cilantro, chopped
-4 Green onions, chopped
-1 Cup crushed tortilla chips-Try my homemade tortilla chip recipe!

For Dressing:
-2/3 Cup plain greek yogurt
-1/2 Cup  mayonnaise
-1 Tablespoon ranch seasoning
-1 Tablespoon taco seasoning

Combine chicken, green pepper, black beans, corn, tomatoes, avocados, lettuce, cilantro and onions in a large bowl. For the dressing: combine the greek yogurt, mayonnaise, and seasonings. Mix well. Add the dressing to the salad (start by adding a little bit of the dressing and add more until desired dressing amount for salad is obtained). Mix everything well, so the salad is coated with the dressing. Top with the crushed tortilla chips and enjoy!

This makes a ton of salad that can feed a large group of people! Next time, I might try to cut the recipe in half.

Hope you enjoy! 🙂

Baking Cookies?

Have you ever started to make a batch of cookies, but realized half way through that you don’t have the main ingredient…like the chocolate chips or M&Ms?

Yeah, I just did that.

I decided to bake a batch of M&M cookies today. I only realized after starting the batter that it was not a bag of M&Ms in my cabinet, but a bag of Hershey’s kisses. **I always buy a few extra bags of the “seasonal” candies (M&Ms, Hershey’s kisses…etc) from Christmas time, Easter, Valentine’s day…etc (it’s all the same, just different colors or packaging!)**

But no need to worry, the baking must go on! So I changed my plan to chocolate chip cookies.

From Hershey’s kisses you ask?? BUT HOW?!

Just chop them up! Or, even easier, but them in the food processor for about 10 seconds. Works like a charm. If you want more chunky-like chips, put in for less time.

Simple as that.

So never feel like you need to run to the store because you thought you had one kind of candy, but instead you had another….crisis can be averted! 🙂

Ombre Dyed Easter Egg

I love dying Easter eggs! So many options you can create! I saw a Pinterest post of an ombre dyed easter egg and thought I’d throw that into my designs for this year.

IMG_20130330_171532

It’s pretty simple. Put the little pellet in a cup and fill it with 3 Tablespoons white vinegar and let it dissolve (swish around with a spoon if necessary). Then place your egg in, standing it up. after a few minutes, add a little bit of water and let it sit again. Then add a little more water and let it sit…etc, etc until the egg is completely submerged. The longer you let the different layers sit, the more pronounced the ombre will be.

Hope you enjoy dying your Easter eggs!

Have a Happy Easter!! 🙂

Homemade Carmel Popcorn!!

GUYS! You NEED to try this one! SOOO easy and SOOO delicious. Andddd, no carmel melting required! This is definitely my guilty pleasure for the week…Sweeeeeeeet Sister!!

I’ll give you the original recipe measurements, but if you’re like me and aren’t feeding an army, just half it!

IMG564

Homemade Carmel Popcorn

WHAT YOU NEED:
-1/2 Cup Butter
-1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
-9-10 (Large) Marshmallows
-12 Cups Popcorn

Pop the popcorn, pour into a bowl set aside. Place butter and brown sugar in a different bowl. Melt the butter and brown sugar in the microwave, then stir. Add the marshmallows to the butter and brown sugar mixture and cook for 45-60 seconds, then stir well. Quickly pour over the popped popcorn. Continuously and gently fold the popcorn over and over to coat. The mixture will probably collect at the bottom, so maneuver the bowl if you need to in order to coat the popcorn. I used a rubber spatula to help collect the mixture from the bottom of the bowl and fold it into the popcorn. I folded for a bout 2 minutes. You can eat it right then in there or let it sit for a few minutes to stiffen. I would say this is probably good to go for the day. Not sure it will taste as good the next day…Mine was gone within 10 minutes 😉

Black Bean Tacos: Take 2

You guys remember a week or so ago when I made Black Bean Tacos and I was contemplating how to make these even healthier AKA not frying them up. I had thought about baking them on a cookie sheet and placing another cookie sheet on top until they were able to hold the “taco” shape.

Well……IT WORKED! I grabbed a cookie sheet and sprayed it with cooking spray. I plopped on 6 corn tortillas and put them in the oven while it pre-heated to 350 degrees. In the mean time I made the black bean part of the recipe. Then, after the tortillas had been in for about 5 minutes, I took them out, placed the black bean mixture on one side of each tortilla then folded the other half of the tortillas over. For the most part, they stayed, but a few I had to hold down while I placed the other cookie tray on top. Plop them in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. Then take the tray(s) out. You can now take off the top tray. Flip the tacos and bake for another 10 minutes. And there you have it, baked black bean tacos!

Again, you can eat plain or top with your favorite taco item, such as salsa, sour cream, avocado, hot sauce….whatever you’d like!

Hope you enjoy! 🙂