Monday, February 27, 2017

King Cake Bubble Up for Mardi Gras

Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday and the final celebration of Mardi Gras.  I for one am looking forward to some Jambalaya (anytime I can get my hands on a quick, easy shrimp dish, I'm happy).  I will confess though, on a weeknight, I resort to my sweet little box of Zatarain's.  I also cut up some Andouille sausage and add it in alongside the shrimp while it was getting happy in the rice and sauce simmering away...delish!

Actually, I just like Mardi Gras because it's one of the few times of year I can decorate with purple!

I have always been intrigued by the "King Cake".  I have never ate or prepared one.  I did see Plain Chicken's fun take on it.  Also looked super easy for a weeknight new recipe.  Definitely did not disappoint.  So delicious as dessert (or breakfast).

King Cake Bubble Up
Courtesy of Plain Chicken

2 (12.4 oz )cans refrigerated Pillsbury cinnamon rolls (not the Grands)
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk
purple, yellow and green sugar sprinkles

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly spray 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray.

Separate cinnamon rolls, save icing to use after the bubble up is baked.  Cut each cinnamon roll into 4 pieces (quarters).  Place in bottom on prepared pan.

Using a hand held electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla, mixing well.  Add milk and mix until combined.  Pour over chopped cinnamon rolls.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool for 5 to 10 minutes.  Spread cinnamon roll icing over top of casserole.  Sprinkle with colored sugar.

One Year Ago: One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese
Two Years Ago: Chicken and Dumplings
Three Years Ago: Original Peanut Coleslaw

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Champagne Margaritas

Happy National Margarita Day!  May you find the perfect margarita to celebrate with...whether on the rocks or blended...with or without or silver Tequila.

This past New Year's Eve, my husband and I celebrated at home with a nice, quiet movie favorite way to celebrate.  I didn't want to just have the stereotype Champagne toast, so I searched out and found this fun new cocktail...Champagne Margaritas.  WOW, was it good!  My husband is allergic to Tequila, so I had to drink the whole shaker all to myself...sad for him!

We also took in "Sully" on New Years, along with our fancy new cocktail. Such a riveting movie, if you have not seen it yet...please do, you won't be disappointed.  Incredible heroes we have in our country to be blessed with and we love seeing their stories on the big screen!

New Year's Dinner...Lobster Mashed Potatoes of course!  What else would you serve with a highly acclaimed actor like Tom Hanks.  Don't be that impressed...I had leftover mashed potatoes from Christmas in the freezer that I needed to use before freezer burn set it.  Our grocery store was having a BOGO on small lobster tails, so I just broiled them, chopped up and put them together for an unforgettable dinner.  It's amazing how a little bit (or a lotta bit) of butter, heavy cream and garlic can transform leftover mashed potatoes into a work of art!

Champagne Margaritas
Courtesy of

For 2 Margaritas:

4 Tbl Rose's Sweetened Lime Juice
2 oz. white tequila (I prefer Silver Patron)
2 oz. Triple Sec
1 Tbl fresh squeezed lime juice
6 oz. brut champagne/sparkling wine (I like Prosecco)

For Sugared Rims & Garnish:

1 Tbl. turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
1 Tbl. granulated sugar
lime slices/wedges

For the sugared rims, combine turbinado and granulated sugar in a shallow dish.  Wet the rim of each glass, all the way around, with a lime edge.  Dip each rim into the sugar to coat.  Set aside.

For the margaritas, fill a cocktail shaker with ice.  Add the Rose's Sweetened Lime Juice, tequila, Triple Sec, fresh lime juice, and champagne.  Gently shake two or three times.

Strain into the prepared glasses and garnish each with a lime slice/wedge.


** This would also be a great one to serve for upcoming Cinco de Mayo...if your're feeling fancy!

One Year Ago: Birthday Flirtini
Two Years Ago: Purple Potion #49
Three Years Ago: Chocolate Layered Pudding

Monday, February 20, 2017

I'm Back...and One Year Older

I'm back!  Hard to believe, but it's been exactly two months since my last post...for those of you who follow along, sorry about my hiatus.  It was a much needed break as there has been so much going on since my last post. I needed time to take care of (and still continue taking care of), I guess for lack of a better In addition for this year, my grandma is turning 90 in March, I am celebrating my 20th wedding anniversary in May and my twins will then be graduating high school...2017 is already looking like a blur!  So, here's a snip-it of what's been happening all that time away...

Let's start off with yesterday was my birthday.  I am now fully vested and can say that "I am in my 50's".  Not quite sure how that happened, but I wake up everyday and thank God for the gift of breath.

My husband threw me the ultimate (and very strategically planned) surprise birthday party a few nights ago.  To say that I was surprised is a complete understatement.  I burst into tears like a baby I was so taken back with the outpouring of new friendships we have made since moving to Colorado.  I truly am blessed beyond measure to have these wonderful people in our lives and for that I am eternally grateful.

My mom and dad also outdid themselves (again) and sent me the most colorful, spring arrangement that can only put a smile on your face every time you walk by and see it.  Thank you!!

Christmas 2016...was definitely the one to remember!

Every family has that one story of something that is so memorable at Christmas time, you tell the story every year...Well, this past Christmas is sure to make the top of the list of stories for the future...try to follow along.

  • My mom sends me a "daughter" Christmas card with my gift.
  • I coincidentally (unbeknownst to me), purchased the same card for my daughter.
  • My husband also (on a separate shopping occasion alone), selected the same card for said daughter.
  • Then, I selected another card for my other daughter.
  • My husband also (again), selected the exact same card for same daughter.

So, as you can see in exhibit above, three people go card shopping alone on different occasions and purchase the exact same cards...what are the odds?

The next hurdle (milestone) that took place was my "babies" turned 18, and I truly don't know how that has happened so incredibly fast.  As I was selecting photos to put on their doors while they slept, I of course became overrun with emotion and it all starts hitting the heart.

Over their school break, they decided on the college they will be attending in the fall, which after months of college visits and applications, was an incredible feat in and of itself.  Then, we started the scholarship application process (which is another post and story all by itself that I will save for another day...) During this time, I also discovered a site called Grown and Flown...because parenting never ends.  If you have high school age kids or young adults, whether heading to college or not, it is a must read.

During one of my "woe is me, my children are leaving me, and I will have an empty house, sadness and saga moments"...I read one of their blog posts.  In so many words it said...don't be sad! Don't let your kids see you so sad!  You are not sending your kid off to jail, or rehab, you are sending your kid to college!  You should be celebrating and congratulating yourself that your job is nearly done here and you have raised a young adult who is graduating high school and ready for their next chapter in snap out of it!  

After I absorbed all that in, I realized the article was spot more sad faces, only encouragement and happiness for them. (Yeah, we'll see how far that philosophy takes me on high school graduation day!)

Can you tell I did a lot of "door decorating" in college as a Resident Advisor?

Back to happy...we celebrated their birthday dinner at The Melting Pot.  If you have one near you and are celebrating a special occasion...must go!  I had the hostess add red rose petals all over the table before we arrived (cause you only turn 18 once) and it was a meal experience like no other!

Speaking of experience like no other....I don't know if it was just the right day in the bakery, but the oh so ever Chocolate Cake my husband got for my party was over the top good!  I have to give a shout out to Sam's Club for an outstanding platter of perfection!  As you can see, there wasn't much left after the first night.

So, that's what's been happening around here (give or take a few other stories to be shared soon)...I'll try to get back on the blog'n wagon and post more in the near future.  The good news is these past couple of months I have still kept cooking new things (and driving family crazy photographing food), so I'll have fun things to share with you.  Until then, have a blessed day and year!

One Year Ago: Birthday Flirtini
Two Years Ago: Purple Potion #49
Three Years Ago: Chocolate Layered Pudding