Chocolate Marshmallow Pie

Thursday, December 3, 2015

One  of the wonderful things I love about holidays is the food. We seem to have the same foods every year at my mom's house, depending on the holiday, of course. And usually , the foods we eat then are the only times throughput the year that we do. That way we can all look forward to it when the time comes. And everyone has a particular recipe that they make every year and bring to the table. One of our family's favorites for Thanksgiving is this Chocolate Marshmallow Pie. My aunt makes two of them every year and they are inhaled . I have no idea when she started making them, but I cannot remember a Thanksgiving meal that didn't end with a slice of this pie. The crust is chocolatey, the filling marshmallowy and creamy and the unsweetened chocolate grated on the top.... HEAVEN!!!!!  I recommend making two of these if you are having people over. It will be eaten quickly, with smiles all around.
One of the problems I have had is finding chocolate wafer cookies. Sometimes I can find them in the ice cream section at Harris Teeter. Many times I cannot. So I have used oreo cookies ( scrape out the filling) or my new go to, chocolate animal crackers. And I always use crushed pecans in my crust. Inever think  to pick up walnuts while I am out, except when I need hem specifically for a recipe. I always have pecans in the kitchen , so that is what I use.


Chocolate Marshmallow Pie
1 cup chopped chocolate wafer cookies
1/2 c pecans or walnuts, finely chopped
1/4 c butter, softened
Mix all ingredients well and press into a pie plate. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 7 minutes. Cool.

32 Marshmallows
1/2 c whole milk
1/2 pint whipping cream
1 1/2 oz ( 1 square) unsweetened chocolate, grated
In a double broiler, heat marshmallows and milk until melted. Cool Completely.
Whip the 1/2 pint of whipping cream. Slowly fold the marshmallow cream into the whipped cream. Pour into the chocolate crust.
Grate the chocolate over the pie . Chill well before serving.

Reindeer Silhouettes on Burlap

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

I am decorating for Christmas this year with lots of burlap, greenery , and black and white. I love the neutral palette and these wall hangings are a perfect fir for our walls.  At the moment I am obsessed with burlap. Obsessed. I saw these cute wooden reindeer in the Christmas aisle at Michael's earlier this week and picked up a few of each size. Large and small. I also picked up a few packs on framed burlap . I used 12" x 12" burlap for the large reindeer and 4 6" x 6" burlap frames for the large. This project was so easy! I painted the reindeer matte black with acrylic paint. I used E6000 glue to mount the small reindeer onto the frames and I attached the larger reindeer with twine to silver clips that I attached to the top of the 12" x 12" frames. You guys, this craft project is a huge win!  They are going to look perfect on my walls for the holidays. Stay tuned for pics sand tutorials on other Christmas decor! Enjoy your weekend !

A Few Thoughts on Gratefulness

Thursday, October 8, 2015

One of the things I want to do more of  is to pay more attention. To slow down and take in my life. I get so busy with 3 kids, a husband, a blog, a home based business, that I tend to lose sight of what it is all about. I want to spend more quality time with my family. To be intentional with my time.  I want my children to see that life is meant to be lived. To be seen, and heard . There are so many things that I want to teach them, and I want to start with gratefulness. To be thankful for what they have been given in life. To be present in the day to day. To see people and to love them unconditionally. To accept things as they are and to deal with what life throws at all of us.

The past few years have been hard  for me personally. I lost both of my grandmothers in a matter of weeks. My heart was full of grief. It still is, and will forever be longing for one more day with them. I said goodbye to many friendships. Some by my choice, many by theirs. I was forced to take a hard look at myself and to admit that  most of the people that I had surrounded myself with were toxic to me. I had to  admit to myself that I was a "Debbie Downer" and that my outlook on most everything was negative. I had to admit that I had issues with trust and that those unresolved issues led me to some very unwise decisions in who I chose to surround myself with. But guess what? Those realizations, those people that walked away from me without the blink of an eye, and those deep seeded hurts changed me. For the better. I found peace. I learned how to love myself. I learned how to let go of people . I learned how to be me without worry of judgement. I learned that I am a people pleaser, to a fault.I now understand that my willingness to wear my heart on my sleeve makes me vulnerable to people that have their best interests at heart, not mine. I now know that that character trait can make me or break me. I now know to select wisely and prayerfully who I connect with . And who my children connect with. I now know to extend grace to everyone. I now know how to forgive. And to move on.

One thing in particular I want to focus more on is gratefulness. I want to be able to find at least one thing every single day to be grateful for. Some days are harder than others, obviously, but there should always be something that I can be thankful for. I intend to be more intentional . To hear every word , spoken and unspoken. To see people, not just glaze over them in  a hurry. I strive for relationships that have depth. That have sustainability. That can and will stand the test of time.

A few things I am grateful for:

1. My husband and my children.
2. Steady work, which comes with a steady paycheck.
3. Being a stay at home mom. I do write and blog and have a growing home styling company, but I am here, at home. I get to see my children off in the morning and I am here when they get home. I am present for them and I am grateful for my husband, who is such a wonderful provider, that I have this choice.
4.My friends. The ones who love me, despite my flaws .
5. An extended family that is there for each other, no matter what happens that may steer us away from each other.

So here is to being your best!

Be Blessed,

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Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Black Bean Chicken

I wish I could say that I like the slow cooker to make meals. But the truth is, there are very few meals that I prepare in the slow cooker. I find that the majority of the meals end up over cooked and the flavors just meld together in a very unsatisfactory way. Not to mention, no matter what it is that cooks in there, it always comes out a weird brown color . Not appealing to me. Now don't get me wrong. There are a few tried and true recipes that I will use a slow cooker for. But on any given day, I would prefer baking a dish in the oven. Which brings me to this recipe. I have had it bookmarked on Allrecipes for years. Yes, years. The majority of reviews love the recipe. And I love anything with black beans, sweet potatoes and cumin. I was so hesitant about trying out this recipe in the slow cooker. Somehow the thought of such beautiful ingredients cooking down to mush was not appealing. I finally decided to just do it. (after converting the recipe to an oven bake time, I decided to make it as written ) Well, folks. Let me say that this is one of the best slow cooker meals I have ever eaten. It is that good. So good that I would make it once a week if I could. I did change it up a bit from the original  based on my husbands disdain for black beans and cilantro . He will eat both, but I am very aware they are not on his short list of favorite foods. So I decreased the amounts of both, and added another half cup of salsa,just because. Next time I will add one more diced sweet potato. The original recipe called for a red bell pepper, but I did not have one and was not about to load up three ornery children in the car  and trek to the grocery store for it. Not a chance, my friends. So I left it out. I didn't miss it, but next time  if I have one on hand I will   put it in with everything else. I served this chicken with steamed brown rice and a  romaine salad. And my 17 year old thanked me for dinner when he was done. Which is a small miracle in itself. That he talked to me. Not that he liked the food ;) .

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Black Bean Chicken
3 lbs skinless chicken thighs
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, chopped
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cup salsa ( use a med or hot.mild will get lost in the other ingredients)
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground allspice
3 large garlic cloves, chopped

1.Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Place the chicken in the bottom of a slow cooker.
2.Place the sweet potatoes and black beans on top of the chicken.
3.In a medium bowl, mix together the chicken broth, cilantro , salsa, cumin , allspice and garlic.
4.Pour salsa mixture on top of the sweet potatoes and black beans.
5. Set slow cooker on low and cook for 3-4 hours , until the chicken is cooked through.

Rainy Day Chili

Sunday, October 4, 2015

This weekend was a cool, rainy one. We stayed close to home. We watched movies, baked bread and read books and magazines. Perfect weather for chili ! Easy, no frills , stick to your ribs chili ! I make this in the fall and winter and it is always welcomed, especially with squares of homemade cornbread.

Rainy Day Chili


    • 2 lbs ground beef
    • 1 (29 ounce) cans tomato sauce
    • 1 (29 ounce) cans kidney beans ( with liquid)
    • 1 (29 ounce) cans pinto beans ( with liquid)
    • 1 cup diced onion ( , 1 medium onion)
    • 1/2 cup diced green chili pepper ( , 2 chilies)
    • 1/4 cup diced celery ( , 1 stalk)
    • 3 medium Tomatoes, chopped
    • 3 teaspoons cumin powder
    • 3 tablespoons chili powder
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 2 cups water


  1. Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Drain off the fat.
  3. In a large pot, combine the beef plus all the remaining ingredients, and bring to a simmer over low heat.
  4. Cook, stirring every 15 minutes, for 2 to 3 hours.

Spooky Eye Brownie Bites

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Today I made these spooky eye brownie bites for the boys after school snack. I was at Michael's Craft Store this weekend  , and I saw Wilton makes these cute candy eyes and I picked up a pack , knowing I would find something to do with them.  Last night I was brainstorming and came up with brownie bites with the eyes glued on top. I made boxed brownie mix per the package directions and baked them in a mini muffin pan. When cooled, I used a small amount of cream cheese on the back of each eyeball and stuck them to the brownie. So easy and my kids are going to love them when they see them this afternoon!

Fall Home Styling

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Coconut Chicken Curry

Thursday, August 6, 2015

If you are a curry lover, then this coconut chicken curry is for you! It is very easy to put together for a weeknight dinner. And as an added bonus it makes your house smell amazing! Serve it over jasmine rice and sprinkle a bit of fresh cilantro on and you have a tasty dinner. Oh and don't forget naan bread! I can find it at our local grocery store. They have regular and garlic. I always pick up the garlic. It goes perfectly with the coconut and curry flavors in this dish!

Coconut Chicken Curry

3 cups cooked jasmine rice

3-4 chicken breasts , cut into bite size pieces

2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp salt, divided

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp chili powder

2 T olive oil

1/2 cup red onion, diced small

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 T fresh basil , minced

1 (14oz) can coconut milk

2 T white sugar

1 T cornstarch

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

2 T lime juice

1 T minced cilantro


1. prepare jasmine rice per package directions. set aside and keep warm.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the curry, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper and chili powder.

3. In a medium bowl, toss the chicken pieces with the curry mixture. Coat evenly. Cover and let the chicken marinate for about 30 minutes.

4. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic and basil in the oil until the onion is translucent.

5. Add the curry coated chicken pieces and the remaining 1/2 tsp salt and cook for 5-6 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

6. In a seperate bowl, mix together the coconut milk, sugar and cornstarch until well combined.Pour the coconut milk into the skillet, whisking vigourously.

7. Continue to whisk on medium heat until the sauce is slightly thickened and beginning to bubble. Stir in the ginger and lime juice.

8. Cook and whisk for another minute.

9. Serve chicken over rice, with a sprinkle of cilantro to garnish.

10. Serve with naan to mop up the juices.

Our Summer Home

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

   Anyone who knows me knows that I am a bone fide homebody. I would rather be home than anywhere else on earth.  I am one of those ocd people that decorates for every season. Summer is no exception. I decorate the house with as much natural decor as I can. I like calm. Lots of black,  brown and green. And even more burlap and linen :) And I have recently discovered that I love to add silver into the mix. It looks great with natural cotton and fresh plants. Here are a few snap shots of some of the rooms in our home. Mainly so I can have documentation of how I placed things for next time. And to see how different the house will look when I decorate for fall !

{ Cherry Cobbler in a Jar }

Saturday, June 20, 2015

I am a huge fan on foods in jars. With 3 kids, I like the idea if baking  one day a week, in jars, and when the boys want something sweet, they grab a jar , pop the lid off and put it in the microwave for a few seconds. Their favorite is monkey bread in a jar. When I make that, all 8 jars are gone in a flash. I usually make monkey bread on Friday mornings because our weekends are so hectic, they can grab a jar as we walk out the door and eat it in the car.  Today , I made up a batch of these adorable cherry cobblers. These are super easy to make. In fact, I make them using apple pie filling, blueberry pie filling  and peach pie filling. By far the favorite around here among my kids is cherry.  The kids usually just add vanilla ice cream to theirs, but for hubby, I usually make coconut whipped cream to top his. Just because I know he loves anything coconut. These little jars are great for lunches, picnics and to take to the park . One of my favorite desserts to make.

FYI - The awesome recipe box in the picture is from a great etsy store rfrantzdesign . One of my favorite items in my kitchen. ( I also have her address box in my office)

{ Cherry Cobbler in a Jar }
                makes 9  1/2pint jars

  1  (21 oz)  jar of  cherry  pie filling
1/2 cup bisquick mix
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter,melted
Cinnamon Sugar (optional)

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.Spray 5 1/2 pint mason jars with cooking spray.Set them inside a casserole dish big enough to hold all nine,without touching.
3.In a medium bowl, add the  bisquick ,milk,sugar and salt.Mix well to incorporate.Add the melted butter and stir well to mix.Set aside.
4.Add enough cherry pie filling to fill each jar half full.
 5.Pour about a Tablespoon or so of batter on top of the cherries.There should be a small amount of headspace.If you fill it to  the  top,the batter will bake over the jar and it will be hard to get the tops on them. Sprinkle the top of the batter with cinnamon sugar. (optional)
6.Bake for about 30 minutes,until the batter is rich and golden,and the cherry filling  is bubbly.
7. You can serve these a few minutes after pulling them from the oven,or you can put the jar lids on top  when they are still hot and use them within 3 days.

Spicy Garlic Dill Refrigerator Pickles

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

One of my most favorite things to do in the kitchen is can. It seems so old fashioned, doesn't it?  You can buy any food shelf ready at any grocery store these days. But there is just something about using fresh produce and making it into yummy food in jars. Right? My family and I love to open the cabinets and see our summer bounty ready to eat all year round! And we are huge fans of pickles. I  can pickles all summer for us to nosh on in the colder months. We are still waiting for our cucumber crop to come in, so in the interim I made a batch of refrigerator pickles from  cute little pickling cukes I picked up last weekend at our local farmers market.  This recipe makes 3-4 jars of spicy garlic dill goodness! And I make these as refrigerator pickles because I know they will be eaten  within a month of making them. And they are super easy. Basically just add the herbs, spices and cukes to the jars and pour over the hot brine! That's it! Just let the pickles sit in the fridge for about a week and dig in. I promise you will not be able to stop at just one. If you do not like hot spicy, or you have little ones, just omit the red pepper. Or, if you like hot, feel free to add more! Totally up to you. I will be adding many more canning recipes over the next few months, so be sure to stop back and check them out!

Spicy Garlic Dill Refrigerator Pickles


12 small pickling cucumbers, Cut lengthwise into fourths

2 cups water
1 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
12 sprigs of fresh dill ( 3 sprigs per jar)
1/2 cup white sugar
6-8 cloves fresh garlic (2 per jar)
1 1/2 T coarse salt
1 T pickling spice
1 1/2 tsp dill seeds
1/2-1 tsp dried crushed red pepper

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the dill sprigs. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours until the sugar and salt dissolve.

Place two garlic cloves from the bowl into each pint jar.  Fill each jar with the cucumber spears. Tuck 2-3 sprigs of dill in with the cucumbers. Stir the brine well.

Pour pickling brine over the pickles in each jar. Leave about 1/2 inch of head space. Cover the jars with the lids tightly. Refrigerate for about 10 days . They will keep for about 4 weeks. Keep refrigerated.

Peach Cobbler in a Jar

Friday, April 17, 2015

These peach cobblers are a favorite here. My family loves the fact that they are single servings and they can pop the jar in the microwave and have peach cobbler in about 30 seconds. This recipe is so yummy! And you can make it with apples,blueberries,cherries...anything that would make   a great cobbler.

This recipe is super easy using canned pie filling.Whether it  be peach or another fruit. I usually use the canned pie fillings in the fall and winter months,whether they be store bought or a product of my own home canning. But this time I used fresh peaches.I peeled and sliced 3 large pieces,cut them into 6 slices per peach, and heat them up in a skillet with butter,sugar and cinnamon,on medium heat, until they are soft.Then I proceeded to add them,3 slices each,to the jars.

As a side note, I try to have at least one can of pie filling in the house,just in case someone wants dessert and I don't want to slave over making crusts,meringues etc.;) Also, I have always found my 1/2 pint jars at Wal Mart. I use them for all sorts of things.Cobblers,jellies and jams,snacks for the road,individual banana puddings.The list is never-ending.

Peach Cobbler in a Jar
makes 5 1/2pint jars

21 oz jar of peach pie filling (or other fruit filling,if you prefer)
1/2 cup bisquick mix
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter,melted
Cinnamon Sugar (optional)

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.Spray 5 1/2 pint mason jars with cooking spray.Set them inside a casserole dish big enough to hold all five,without touching.
3.In a medium bowl, add the  bisquick ,milk,sugar and salt.Mix well to incorporate.Add the melted butter and stir well to mix.Set aside.
4.Add 3 peach slices to each jar.
5.Pour about a Tablespoon or so of batter on top of the peaches.There should be a small amount of headspace.If you fill it to  the tippy top,the batter will bake over the jar and it will be hard to get the tops on them.
6.Bake for about 30 minutes,until the batter is rich and golden,and the peaches are bubbly.
7. You can serve these a few minutes after pulling them from the oven,or you can put the jar lids on top  when they are still hot and use them within the next 3 days  or so,if they last that long.
8.Optional: I always shake cinnamon sugar on top  of the batter before it goes in the oven.We are huge cinnamon fans around here!

The Easiest Turtle Candies Ever!!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I am one of those people who like to have sweets around for last minute guests  or as a pick me up for teachers and friends. I have used this recipe (if you can even call it that,it is super easy) and variations of it many times in the past. For this batch I used Rolo candies as the chocolate.I have also used Hersheys Kisses in milk chocolate and in white chocolate.All of them were so good. The sweet/salty combo is awesome. I always include these i my holiday cookie trays. And it only takes a few minutes  to make them!

Turtle Candies

    20 small pretzels
    20 chocolate candies (I used Rolo)
    20 pecan halves

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Arrange the pretzels in a single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet. 
Place one candy on each pretzel.Bake for 4 minutes.
While the candy is warm, press a pecan half onto each candy covered pretzel. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.*I pop them in the fridge to set.

Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Creamy Parmesan Grits

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

 Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Creamy Parmesan Grits. This recipe was so full of flavor and it was so easy to put it all together. Basically, I sauteed the shrimp in the sauce, made the grits and plated it . Rich, buttery, lemony goodness. I love grits and I did go a little parmesan crazy when I prepared them. I put a handful or so of more parmesan in near the end of cooking, stirring it in to make it super creamy and super yummy. As with any recipe, play with it. Add spices, cheeses, whatever you feel will put it over the top. I created this recipe from ingredients I love, but you can certainly switch it up by substituting , adding and subtracting. This recipe was perfect for a weeknight meal, and I would even serve it to guests , it is that good. Paired with a side salad and a side of bread, it make a wonderful presentation. I love working with the Citizen Chef sauces and recommend them to anyone who wants to make  quick, flavorful meals . They are all made fresh and are gluten free! Check out your local grocers refrigerated section for the sauces. You won't be sorry.

Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Creamy Parmesan Grits 
Ingredients :
1 lb raw, tail on shrimp
1 container Citizen Chef Limon Garlic Sauce
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

3 c water
3/4 c instant grits
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coarse ground pepper
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese 
3 T Butter
2 T heavy cream

1/4 c parsley, minced
shaved parmesan cheese

Bring 3 c water to a boil. Whisk in grits, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper. Cook 5 minutes until thick and creamy.
Add the parmesan cheese, butter and cream to the grits and whisk until smooth. Keep warm.
In a large skillet, add the lemon garlic sauce on medium high heat . Add the red pepper and salt and pepper if desired, to taste. When the sauce is heated through, add the shrimp and cook on m high heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the shrimp has turned pink and it cooked through.
To plate, add the grits to the plate, top with the grits and spoon some of the sauce over the grits. Garnish with parsley and shaved parmesan cheese. 

Serves 6

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