Archives for July 2013

How to Get Your Kids to Eat Their Veggies

If you’re tired of stressing over the amount of vegetables that your kiddo is not consuming on a daily basis, well then, today is your lucky day! It wasn’t too far into this motherhood gig that I realized that Pat Benetar had it wrong. Love isn’t a problem. The dinner table is a battlefield. Furthermore, there are two toddler truths when it comes to eating that, if left to fester, can spill into the preschool and early childhood (and teenage?) {Read More}

Pineapple Au Gratin

Pineapple is already pretty perfect just the way it is. But would anyone protest if you topped it with a crumble of coconut, gingersnaps, and macadamia nuts, drizzled it with vanilla-infused coconut milk, and then popped it in the oven until it was all hot and bubbly? Nope. I didn’t think so. Say hello to my new favorite summertime dessert (well, along with this one, of course). My boys are always begging for a little “treat” to top off dinner, {Read More}

Features & Fun Friday #2 ~ Top 5 Watermelon Wonders and A Liebster Award

Happy Friday, friends, and welcome to the second edition of Features & Fun! This week I’m highlighting five fabulous recipes featuring wondrous watermelon, a bloggy award, and just a few of the way-too-many pics I took to commemorate 10 big months for my baby girl. {Top 5 Round-Up ~ Watermelon Wonders} I don’t know if there’s any fruit that screams summertime better than watermelon. My family enjoys munching on wedges of watermelon all summer long, but this week’s featured recipes {Read More}

Texas Salsa

The only two things in life that make it just awesome… is queso that tastes good and fresh, spicy salsa. If you enjoy bad twists on good lyrics — and if you’ve never made your own salsa before — well then, today is your lucky day! (Not to worry…queso will get its own glorious post at a later date.) Homemade salsa is quick, easy, fresh, and tasty! Let’s get started, shall we? Salsa is pretty much a food group in {Read More}

“Live in the Sunshine” Summertime Quote ~ Free Printable

I don’t know about y’all, but I am in complete denial that August is merely a week away. Wasn’t the last day of school just a few weeks ago, and the Fourth of July, like, yesterday? I’m going to roll with that last one, because I looked up this weekend and realized that I still have my mantle decked out in red, white, and blue. So I decided to remedy that. It was high time to swap out my America {Read More}

Herb Baked Eggs

Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day. And if you start your day with Herb Baked Eggs, I guarantee that it will also be the most delicious. You can’t go wrong with a Barefoot Contessa recipe, folks. Many moons ago, when I was a child-free newlywed with spare time to actually do things like — oh, I don’t know — watch TV, the Food Network was on a lot at our house. A lot. Back {Read More}

Features & Fun Friday #1 ~ Top 5 Refreshing Summer Sips

Happy Friday, everyone! Today I’m excited to try a little something new. I thought it would be fun to wrap up each week with a post that highlights seasonal and share-worthy features from around the web that I think you will enjoy…recipes, crafts, decor, tips, and I even plan on spotlighting some amazing blogs in upcoming weeks! At the same time, I’m going to give you a little peek at what goes on behind the scenes and on the homefront {Read More}

Key Lime Pie with a Pretzel Crust and Coconut Whipped Cream

Life really doesn’t get any better than Key Lime Pie. Unless, of course, you swap out the traditional graham cracker or pastry crust for a sweet and salty one consisting of crushed pretzels. And then while you’re at it, you might as well channel that whole lime in the coconut phenomenon by topping it all off with some coconut whipped cream. I’m telling y’all, this is no ordinary Key Lime Pie. This pie is swoon-worthy. In the spirit of full {Read More}

Top Board Books for Babies and Toddlers

At our house, we just love books. And we happen to have lots of ’em. As a child, adolescent, and adult, I have always loved reading. As a first grade teacher, I loved teaching kiddos how to read and watching emergent readers blossom. And as a mom, I love fostering in my kids a foundation for literacy from a very young age. So today I’m going to share with you the most popular and beloved board books that have lined {Read More}

Grilled Flank Steak

Reason #473 that I love summer: On the weekends, my husband is an active participant in cooking dinner. Before I go on, and before I throw myself under the proverbial spousal bus, let me add the disclaimer that my hubby would willingly help me fix dinner every night if he were home when said cooking occurred. Most nights I’m perfectly content cranking out dinner on my own, since I can be rather persnickety about the way things get done in {Read More}

Zucchini Fritters with Asian Dipping Sauce

I’ve been stuck in a rut. A zucchini rut. When this dark green summer squash lands in my kitchen, it invariably meets one of three fates: 1. I slice it into rounds and bake it topped with Parmesan cheese; 2. I shred it up and bake it into some form of zucchini bread or muffins; or 3. I shred it up and hide it in various meals consisting of ground beef plus some dark-colored sauce in order to trick my {Read More}

Pretzel Turtles

Y’all have probably seen, tasted or made these heavenly little morsels before, but just in case you haven’t, I would be remiss not to share them here. Prepare to be amazed by this combination of three humble ingredients… I came across this recipe years ago and I thought it would be the perfect thing to take to a family gathering, seeing as how my father-in-law loves chocolate caramel pecan turtles. So I made them then, I’ve made them about 6,437 {Read More}

Corn, Black Bean, & Tomato Salad

Sometimes a salad is more than just a salad. When I’m serving enchiladas or other Tex-Mex fare, I make this salad. When I’m throwing a party and need a hearty dip to go with tortilla chips, I make this salad. When I want a flavor-infused topping for otherwise-blah chicken or fish, I make this salad. When the garden is overrun with tomatoes and cilantro but I’m all salsa-ed out (who am I kidding? I could never get tired of salsa), {Read More}

{Watch My Reading Soar!} Summer Reading Incentive Program ~ Free Printables

How many of you have a kiddo who started off the summer excited about reading, but now that we’re midway through July, has lost a bit of that initial enthusiasm? If this describes one of the smaller members of your household, don’t give up the good fight quite yet. It’s never too late to employ a few motivational tactics, and what says motivation like a cardstock kite taped to the wall? I came up with this kite-themed “Watch My Reading {Read More}

Coconut Macaroons ~ Classic or Chocolate-Dipped

Today I’m sharing with you one of my all-time favorite cookie recipe. It’s time to whip up some simple, yet scrumptious, coconut macaroons! This recipe happens to be from a cookie cookbook that was a part of my mom’s collection when I was growing up. A lot of the cookies that I associate with my childhood can be found in the pages of this particular cookbook. But what I like most about this recipe — aside from the end result, {Read More}

The Very Best Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

Today I’m going to share with you a recipe for the softest, moistest, fluffiest, freshest-staying, homemade, 100% whole wheat bread you’ve ever sunk your teeth into!  I’m not even exaggerating here, y’all.  I’ve baked many a whole wheat bread recipe over the years, and this one is head-and-shoulders above the rest. What makes this bread so amazing is that it stays soft and fresh for days after it’s been baked.  Just about all homemade bread tastes fabulous out of the {Read More}

Photoshop Tutorial: How to Rotate an Image to Straighten the Horizon

If you’re like you me, you occasionally often take photos that are not exactly level.  Maybe the floor is at an angle, or a table looks like everything should be sliding off, or a sunset boasts a horizon that’s diagonal instead of, well, horizontal.  If this is ever a problem for you, have no fear…a quick and easy fix via Photoshop is just a few steps away! I used Photoshop CS5 for this tutorial, but I imagine that this technique {Read More}

Happy Birthday, America!

From my little patriots to yours… Happy Fourth of July! I hope that your holiday is full of family, food, and fun!   Just in case you’re scrambling for some last minute Independence Day inspiration, here are a few recipes that might make for a nice addition to today’s menu! Razz, White, & Blueberry Smoothies Bacon Wrapped Cheese Stuffed Hot Dogs Best Ever BBQ Sauce Slow Cooker Ranch Beans Classic Potato Salad Tomato Cucumber Salad with Olives & Feta Strawberry {Read More}

Raspberry Almond Praline Muffins

Is there such a thing as a bad muffin?  I mean, I’m sure there is, but I don’t think I’ve ever had one. Blueberry or banana, chocolate-studded or crumb-topped, mini or jumbo, I love them all. With that being said, these are really good muffins, y’all.  As in, I-could-eat-them-every-morning-for-breakfast-and-every-afternoon-for-a-snack good.  As in, I-kind-of-have-to-force-myself-to-share-them-with-my-kids good.  Yes, even in my undiscriminatory muffin love, I can recognize that this muffin is something special.  For one thing, this muffin features raspberries, one of my {Read More}

FAMILY Lettering Wall Decor

Sometimes I get sidetracked in craft stores.  And that’s exactly what happened recently when I ran into Michael’s for a picture frame and came out with supplies for a project that I hadn’t even realized was brewing in my head. Ever since I put up my gallery wall of family photos, I’ve been looking for some sort of wording to go above the arrangement of frames.  And if epiphanies can happen in craft stores, well then, a couple weeks ago, {Read More}

Dye-Free Fruit Juice Snow Cones

Parked near our neighborhood in the summertime is a mobile snow cone truck.  Of course, driving by it every day means that my boys are always asking if we can stop and get a snow cone.  But I have a confession to make.  Watching my kids ingest massive amounts of food coloring makes me inwardly cringe.  Maybe it’s because I’ve read too many disturbing articles about red dye #40 or maybe it’s because I just generally like to parent from {Read More}