A Bit of Randomness + A Recipe

We’re soaking up the last bits of summer and I couldn’t be happier.  I’m just craving Fall to arrive in the worst way.  I see so much Autumn decor online, in magazines and in stores that I wish it were here already.  Sadly, I’ll have to wait at least another month for jeans/t-shirts, homemade soups and pies, slippers and blankets.  Hopefully, It will be here before ya know it ;)

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“I wish they would stay little a while longer.”   “If I could just freeze time.”  These are just some of the phrases I hear people say all of the time.  I don’t know why, but I just don’t feel that way.  I look forward to each and every milestone.  I am thankful that I get to wake up every morning and experience a new day with all of my kiddos.  As I get older, I realize that life is a gift.  I definitely don’t take it for granted.  It seems like I’m always reading about someone whose life ended just a bit too early.  It’s sad and depressing and unfortunately, real life.  Besides, does any one really want to relive the teething phase???

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This little guy turns 1 next week and I’m so incredibly excited.  He’s so close to walking. I can’t wait until he toodles around the house.  The little pitter patter of baby feet on the tile is such an adorable sound.

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More rolls than a bakery…yummy ;)

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As soon as we walk in the door from picking up the big girl after school, the fighting begins.  These two are at each other’s throats and it drives me nuts.  I think it’s a combination of she being around other kids all day and he having me (almost) all to himself while she’s away.  I’m just thankful that we can now go outside in the late afternoon without melting.  They appear to get along better outdoors :)

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I’m also looking forward to cooking more “lavish” meals, if you will.  I just don’t cook a lot during the hot summer months.  None of us are interested in a 3-course meal.  Last night, I wanted something light and healthy to eat, so I made this quinoa salad.  It’s super simple and so good!  The lime juice, cumin and fresh cilantro blend nicely and give it a refreshing flavor.  I will definitely make this again.  I can’t wait to get back into the kitchen (no hubby, not where I belong…ahem) and share more recipes with you all. Enjoy!

Zesty Quinoa Salad (recipe also found here)

  • 1 c quiona
  • 2 c water
  • 1/4 c EVOO
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste (I left these out for kiddos sake.)
  • 1 1/2 c halved cherry tomatoes (I used romas.)
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 5 green onions, finely chopped (I used red onion, but would have preferred green.)
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Whisk olive oil, lime juice, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes together in a bowl.
  3. Combine quinoa, tomatoes, black beans, and green onions together in a bowl. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture; toss to coat. Stir in cilantro; season with salt and black pepper. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator.  (I chilled mine for an hour to let the flavors soak in.)

A Roadrunner, A Recipe and A Chunky Monkey

Good morning friends!  Well, apparently a majority of the links I’ve posted to Facebook that contain blog posts haven’t been posting at all.  Womp womp (insert huge sad, frown-y face).  I have no idea what happened or how to fix it at the current moment.  I even had the hubby check it out and he couldn’t solve it either.  Although it still doesn’t work, it just means that I have to take an extra step and do it manually.  That’s okay though because I so have alllll the time in the world.  I mean, I just sit and eat bon-bons and watch soaps all day anyway.


Soooo, yesterday morning I glanced out the patio door and saw a giant something under one of the bushes.  It was moving around and kicking rocks and then it started to run.  I have never seen a bird like this in our yard before and I wasn’t sure what it was.  A bird?  A plane? Super Grover 2.0?  Sesame street has gotten the best of me.  Anywho, I quickly grabbed the camera and hoped it was still there for me to capture a pic.  Thankfully, he was on the fence when I got back.  As soon as I took the pic, it jumped the fence into the neighbor’s yard. The hubby told me that it’s a roadrunner.  Meep meep!  It’s a pretty cool lookin’ bird if you ask me.  Hopefully I see more of these around and less scorpions…bleh.  Speaking of scorpions, my baby was stung by one last week :-(  He’s totally fine, but let me tell you….I NEVER want to relive a moment like that again.  How horrible.  He did better than me.  I just couldn’t hold it together for a while.  Poison control and a nurse at the hospital were so awesome at calling me throughout the day to check on him.  I had a bazillion questions and they answered every single one of them.  They rocked.  And I’ve finally calmed down.


The kids wanted to bake cookies the other day, but there wasn’t much time to do it.  Thus, I decided on “Haystacks”…the no-bake cookie.  They’re super easy to make and taste good too.  The kids enjoyed making them almost as much as they did eating them.  I remember eating these at the home of a childhood friend.  I loved them then and love them now.

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He must have eaten too many haystacks…time to hit the gym.  Would you just look at those thighs?  More rolls than a bakery ;)

Haystacks (aka Springtime Nests)

  • 1 c butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 c light corn syrup
  • 1/2 c creamy peanut butter (I used chunky.  I’m a rule breaker that way.)
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 2 1/2 c chow mein noodles
  • 2 c cornflakes, slightly crushed
  1. Combine butterscotch chips, corn syrup, peanut butter and sugar in a large microwaveable bowl.  Microwave at high 1 – 1 1/2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals.
  2. Stir in chow mein noodles and cornflakes until evenly coated.  Quickly shape into 1/4 cupfuls mixture into balls.  Place on waxed paper to set.  Makes approx. 1 1/2 doz cookies.

Hope you enjoy the recipe!  Anything with peanut butter and a little crunch has got to be good.  I’m also working on another little furniture redo for Friday, so stay tuned!

Pumpkin Paradise

Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a wonderful 4th :-)  We celebrated by shooting off some fireworks with friends.  We were supposed to go to our city’s annual fireworks show on the 3rd, but it was cancelled due to strong winds…boo.   So, instead, we got some milkshakes from Sonic and indulged in some late-night family time.  Does anyone else get the “Milkshake” song stuck in their head every time they hear that word? Every.Single.Time.

Last week, my littlest man started pulling himself up to standing position while holding onto various pieces of furniture.  I don’t think he’ll be walking as soon as his big brother did (9 1/2 months), but we’ll see.


There has been a lot of this going on lately too.  He will not leave the cat’s food/water alone.  He’s obsessed and the cat is not amused.  Look at his chubby little arms.  I could eat him up.  Oh, AND he hasn’t been teething for the past 2 nights, so YEY!  It’s always nice to have a little break from that ;-)

Baby and Cat Food

I’ve been craving pumpkin lately.  Not sure exactly why, but maybe my body is low on something that pumpkin contains?   No idea.  Growing up, one of my grandmas used to make Plachinda.  It’s basically dough wrapped around a pumpkin filling.  It’s kind of like a portable, little pumpkin pie.  So easy to take and eat on the go.  I didn’t have her recipe, so I decided to use one I found online.  It doesn’t disappoint!  I’ve made these puppies several times already because I’m a pig the kids keep devouring them and beg for more.

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Pretty little pockets of pumpkin-y goodness :)

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I had some leftover pumpkin that I couldn’t let go to waste and the kids were begging to make cookies, so I decided that Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies sounded good.  I found this recipe a couple of months ago and never did get around to trying it, but I shared it with my mom and she tried it right away.  She said the cookies were pretty dang good, so I decided to give them a whirl.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yup, she was right…tasty.  They are so light and fluffy, it’s hard to eat just 3.

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Plachinda (recipe here)

First, make your dough.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup shortening or cold butter (both work equally well) – I used butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt (if using shortening or unsalted butter)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt (if used), in a large bowl. Cut in the butter/shortening until it looks mealy and is well incorporated (like when making pie dough). Add the egg, water, vanilla, and lemon juice/vinegar and stir to form a dough. It’s going to be all crumbly and messy at this point, that’s OK! Using your hands, pack the dough together into a ball, cover it, and put it in the refrigerator to chill for about an hour.

Now, make your filling.

  • 2 cups pumpkin (either from a pumpkin you’ve roasted, or canned – just make sure you get plain pumpkin puree, not the pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil or butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice (or, you can use 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice in place of all the spices)

Put everything in a saucepan and bring to a bubble slowly over low to medium heat. If you cook it too fast, the egg will curdle – same thing will happen if you forget the egg and add it in later to the already hot pumpkin, and then you have to pick out little pieces of cooked egg white.  Let it bubble a couple minutes, stirring constantly, then take off the heat and let cool until it’s not steaming anymore.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets or jelly roll pans with parchment paper (or lightly grease them). – I tried it both ways and preferred the parchment paper over greasing them.

Sprinkle your table or countertop with flour and roll out your dough. You want to get it about the same thickness you’d use for pie crust, but try to roll it into a square-ish shape instead of a circle. Cut the dough as if you were making a tic-tac-toe board to get nine squares of dough. Drop a spoonful of filling into the center of each square (a little more on the bigger squares, a little less on the smaller ones), then fold the dough over the filling and pinch all the edges shut. If the dough sticks to the counter, slide under it with a metal turner/spatula thingie to loosen it up. Don’t fret if your plachinda don’t look perfect.

Transfer the plachinda to the cookie sheets and cut a little slit in the top of each one to let out steam. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown (if you want to be extra sure they’re done, and especially that the eggy filling is cooked through, stick an instant-read meat thermometer in the steam vent – they’re done at 160 degrees F). Transfer to a cooling rack or spread-out newspapers to cool.


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe here)

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (6 ounce) package chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup nuts or 1/2 cup raisins, if desired

1.  Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
2.  Grease baking sheets with margarine or spray with Pam.
3.  In a large mixing bowl cream 1/2 cup butter with sugar until fluffy. Stir in pumpkin, egg          and vanilla.
4.  Sift dry ingredients together (flour – salt) in a bowl.
5.  Add dry ingredients to butter mixture, stirring well to combine.
6.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts or raisins (if desired).
7.  Drop batter by spoonfuls on to baking sheets.
8.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until browned.
9.  Cool on rack.

I hope you enjoy the recipes!  Now, how was your weekend?