Monday, November 30, 2015

Soft Cranberry Pistachio Cake Cookies

What could be more festive for the holiday season than these cookies????
Green pistachios, red cranberries and white chocolate chips complete the Christmas color trifecta. Not only do these cookies look pretty, these flavors blend beautifully together to make one awesome cookie.

You know what makes these cookies even better???? Cake mix. I can't tell you how much I love cookies that are made from cake mix. I remember once making chocolate crinkle cookies from Paula Deen and being sold on using cake mix for my cookie dough. Paula always knows what she is doing. The cake base to these cookies makes them so unbelievaly soft. Plus it's an awesome baking shortcut! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


You can't help but sit back and reflect about the past year whenever Thanksgiving rolls around. In the past 365 days, so many things have happened and my life has changed so much thanks to the arrival of my son. Here are some things I'm thankful for....

  • My Husband
    • My love. My best friend. We have been together for 8 years now and I've loved every moment we have been together. We are new parents and surviving every sleepless night and dirty diaper together. I'm thankful that he is such a wonderful father to Nolan, and best friend and supporter to me.
  • Nolan
    • My little man. My baby boy. My sunshine. So much joy has been brought into my life since his birth. I'm so thankful for a smooth pregnancy, uneventful birth and easy transition into motherhood. I'm thankful he is a healthy boy, loves cuddling his mama, sleeps through the night and brings joy to everyone around him.
  • My Mom
    • I'm so thankful for all the over-the-phone support she has provided me since Nolan's birth. I've called at all hours of the night or day with random questions about babies and she has helped me all the way, even while being 4-1/2 hours apart. I enjoy our FaceTime chats with Nolan and love that you bring a smile to his face despite the distance.
  • My Job
    • I'm thankful that by working nights and being able to self-schedule, that Nolan doesn't have to be in daycare....which is huge to me! I love that my son sleeps while I'm gone and I'm home while he is awake. I'm thankful to my supportive co-workers and for all that they have taught me to help me become a better nurse. It may be an intense and emotional job, but I love it and all the people I've met and cared for along the way.
  • My Car
    • Since 2013, I've suffered from paralyzing panic attacks due to driving anxiety. I didn't even know there could be such a type of anxiety until I experienced it. My little Ford Focus made me feel so unsafe driving on the slick and hazardous roads in Montana. Now that I have a 4-wheel drive SUV, aka the "mom mobile," I now feel safe behind the wheel and my anxiety is gone for the most part, for which I am thankful.
  • Family & Friends
    • There are too many people to list (otherwise this post would never end!), but I am so thankful to my extended family and friends. The love and support that has been given to Dusty and myself as new parents has been overwhelming. All the gifts, cards, frozen meals and love means more to us than you all will ever know.
Thank you.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Breakfast Sausage Loco Moco

Any time it starts snowing, I instantly want to jump on a plane to Hawaii. Snow cones, fresh sushi and pineapple call my name. Then I snap back into reality and remember that I have an 8 month old, and 6 hours straight on a plane with my little guy would be pure torture. Therefore, whenever I'm missing the island sun, I make one of my most favorite Hawaiian meals....the Loco Moco!
Traditionally a Loco Moco is served with rice, a big ol' beef patty, fried egg and brown gravy. I've even had a different version that included Mahi Mahi fish (delicious!) at Ken's House of Pancakes in Hilo on the Big Island. They even had loco mocos that included spam, sausage links, chili and corned beef. Basically any protein will do! 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Toffee Cracker Crack

I'm not even kidding in the title when I say this stuff is "crack." This treat is highly addicting and freakishly easy to throw together in a moments notice. Who doesn't have saltines, brown sugar, butter, chocolate chips and pecans in their pantry!?!? I know I always have these 5 ingredients stocked in my pantry. This is now become a problem because of my addiction to crack!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Cranberry Glazed Holiday Meatloaf

Sometimes I crave a Thanksgiving dinner but don't want to put in all those hours of work in the kitchen. I know I don't have time to roast a whole turkey, make stuffing and all the fixings on a typical weeknight. Why should all of those wonderful and comforting flavors be experienced only once a year?

This meatloaf will fix any turkey day cravings you may have throughout the year without having to bring out the big guns and defrost/bake a 12 to 20 pound turkey.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Moroccan Beef with Lemon Couscous

A quick weeknight meal that packs a lot of flavor into a simple recipe. Moroccan Beef is a delicious, savory and hearty dish that will make your home smell wonderful with the exotic scents of cumin, cinnamon, and coriander. Not to mention, couscous takes absolutely no time to prepare. Talk about a perfect side dish.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Chips

For a brief moment in time back in June, I attempted the Paleo diet. I can't remember if we talked about this or not. I lasted all of 12 days with no sugar, no dairy, no grains, no soy, no sweeteners of any kind.

Basically I couldn't eat anything I loved. And it was awful.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Overnight Huckleberry Oatmeal

Overnight oats are a quick, hearty and simple breakfast. Combine all the ingredients into a jar, shake, refrigerate and forget about it until the next morning. As a busy mom by day and nurse by night, this is my type of breakfast food.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Buffalo Chicken Bite Skewers with Blue Cheese Yogurt Dip

We are Montana Griz and Dallas Cowboys fans in this household. The Grizzlies because Dusty and I went to the University of Montana (it's where we met!) and Cowboys, because I married into it. I didn't ask to be a Cowboy, but it happened anyways. All in all,  I really could care less about the game itself when it comes right down to it (don't tell my husband!). I'm only at the tailgates and parties for the food. Which is a good thing because both teams are not having a banner year, to put it gently.

What is winning this football season are these spicy buffalo chicken skewers served with this cool creamy dipping sauce! When I think football, I automatically think buffalo wings. These skewers are a less messy but equally flavorful tailgate snack.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Savory Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Halloween was such a blast this year! I can't even tell you the last time I went trick-or-treating. This year was my son Nolan's very first Halloween and we went all out with the Monsters Inc. theme. Nolan was dressed as little Sulley, Dusty was big Sulley and I, of course, went as Mike Wazowski. We went all out and even wore Monsters University fraternity shirts too. I was in the fraternity Oozma Kappa (OK) and Dusty belonged to Roar Omega Roar (ROR). It was so much fun!