Archive | February, 2014

Easy Dinner Idea of the Week

Easy Dinner Recipe of the Week

Our easy dinner idea of the week is our slow-cooker recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup and Zesty Polenta Cakes.  By placing all of our ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning, dinner is ready at the end of our hectic day.  And, served alongside crunchy seasoned polenta cakes, this soup had my husband saying, “this is the most delicious soup you’ve ever made.”


Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup with Zesty Polenta Cakes


Check out our past Easy Dinner Idea of the Week recipes here:


easy dinner idea

Spring Penne Recipe


easy dinner recipe

Greek Pita Pockets with Mediterannean Potatoes


easy dinner recipe

Sauteed Steak with Spinach, Tomatoes & Avocado


easy dinner idea recipe

Berry-Good Pork Tenderloin with Herb Roasted Potatoes




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Man-Catchin Beignets

“…the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”  – Tiana, Princess and The Frog

Man-Catchin Beignets

If the quickest way to a man’s heart really is through his stomach, then some Man-Catchin Beignets should be on the menu this Valentine’s Day.  And, if my man doesn’t love them, at least I know I will.  When I visit Disneyland, it’s a ritual for me to stop by the late-night snack stand in Orleans Square to get some hot beignets with bechamel sauce- oh, my mouth waters just thinking of them.

Man-Catchin Beignets

Man-Catchin Beignets

I do have a homemade beignet recipe that I’ve used and love.  But this year I ran into this handy mixture at Cost Plus World Market.

beignet mix

Cafe Du Monde beignet mix from Cost Plus World Market


  1. Cafe du Monde Beignet Mixture
  2. Canola oil
  3. Powdered Sugar

And for the sauce?  Homemade bechamel sauce would be nice, n’est ce pas?  But what would be even nicer (for moi), is an easier version using Jello Vanilla Instant Pudding mixed with a dash of pink… hot pink food coloring that is.

beignet recipe dipping sauce

beignet dipping sauce

beignet recipe

electric pink food coloring from Duff




  1. Jello Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix
  2. milk
  3. hot pink food coloring



beignet recipe

after mixing the dough, roll it out on a floured surface

beignet recipe

use a cooke cutter to cut dough into squares

beignet recipe

fry in hot oil 380 degrees

how to make homemade beignets

until golden brown on both sides

beignet recipe

mix together pudding mix, milk and a few drops of food coloring

serve and let the man-catchin begin!

One of my best friends, Noelle, just relocated to Nice, France for a few months in search of love.  So, I dedicate this recipe to her….. let the man-catchin begin!

man-catching beignets


My kids gobbled down half the batch of beignets while they were still hot.  While you enjoy your Man-Catchin Beignets, (be sure to save some for your man), you can watch the Disney movie clip that inspired the recipe.


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Homemade Granola- Heart-Healthy Valentine Treat

Homemade Granola- A Heart-Healthy Valentine Treat

Valentine’s Day shares the month of February with American Heart Awareness Month.  Although chocolate would be divine this Valentine’s Day, what tasty treat could we give that combines aesthetic sweetness with being heart-healthy?

How about something containing heart-healthy ingredients like flaxseed, almonds and cinnamon?  Something like, let’s say- homemade granola!  I’ll call this recipe, “I Heart Homemade Granola”, and instead of giving candy for Valentine treats this year, I’m giving a little “heart” instead.

Homemade Granola


I Heart Homemade Granola Recipe


Homemade granola ingredients

I Heart Homemade Granola Ingredients

  1. 5 cups rolled oats
  2. 1/2 cup flaxseed
  3. 2 cups sliced almonds
  4. 1 cup brown sugar
  5. 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  6. 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  9. 1 cup honey
  10. 1/2 cup apple juice
  11. 2 cups dried cranberries


  1. mix together oats, flaxseed, almonds, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt
  2. in another bowl mix together oil, honey and apple juice
  3. pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well
  4. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  5. spread mixture out onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet
  6. bake for 40 minutes
  7. add cranberries and let cool

mix together dry and wet ingredients

bake at 300 degrees for 40 minutes

Homemade Granola Heart-Healthy Valentine's Day Treat

my supplies: heart papercraft from Reflection, scrapbook paper, ribbon all from Michaels


heart healthy valentine's day treat

Teacher Valentine's Day Gift

Teacher Valentine's Gift

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Spring Gardening- Wordless Wednesday

Kid Garden

Garden Tomatoes

so proud


Kids in the Garden



To read more about our home garden, aka- the “Hope Garden”:

Victory Gardening

Victory Gardening


home gardening

"The Earth Is Generous To..."


home garden

A Bit of Earth


gardening seeds

Seeds of Hope


home gardening

The One That Got Away


garden photo

A Summer Garden Photo Shoot


garden birthday party

A Fairy Garden Birthday Party



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