Recipes Gone Wrong

Sometimes a picture is only telling you a half truth. For fun, here are two recent meals/recipes I made for the blog, that didn’t quite make the cut. I like you guys too much to have you eat the first one.

I made this pasta about a week ago. It was a mix of whole wheat pasta with a Greek yogurt based avocado and cilantro lime dressing/sauce.

Avocado Cilantro Pasta_2

Looks delicious and I had high hopes since it seemed the perfect cool pasta salad on a hot day. Unfortunately, it was pretty bad. Bland, blah, and I ended up only eating a few bites.

The delicious looking picture is mighty deceiving. I don’t know how the ‘healthy living’ bloggers do it, posting their food each day. It took a ridiculous amount of time to make this pasta and take pretty pictures. I’d eat my own arm before being able to post every meal. Kudos to those blogger for making it look easy.

Avocado Cilantro Pasta_1

More recently I’ve been playing around with various ways to use fruit butters. My favorite so far has delivered a really good cookie, but it didn’t look so hot. I wish I would taken a picture of what it looked like straight from the oven, but instead I was playing with my camera and the picture itself doesn’t look too bad. Friendly blogger tip: when faced with a bad cookie, tilt it and find decent lighting.

Caramel Apple Butter Cookie_1

I basically wrapped sugar cookie dough around a bit of apple butter and half a caramel. Concept was to create a caramel apple butter stuffed sugar cookie. It worked, but the center of the cookie fell a lot after removing from the oven due to the melted caramel and apple butter.The finished cookie was delicious, just not very pretty.

Caramel Apple Butter Cookie_3

I also tried making a sugar cookie ‘cup’ to fill with the apple butter and caramel, but I…umm…burned the cookie dough while trying to make the cup form so that recipe will have to wait for another day.

In the end…why mess with perfection, just a dollop of apple butter on a plain sugar cookie is the way to go. It’s a match made in heaven…trust me. I ate WAY too many, ya know, making sure they were good enough for the blog. Yeah, that’s why.

 Caramel Apple Butter Cookie_4

Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

I first made this recipe for Christmas dinner and it was a big hit. I would have had the recipe posted sooner, but the pictures I took of the biscotti over Christmas were terrible. So today I made a new batch and it turned out even better than the first recipe.

I added more chocolate, that probably had something to do with it.

Biscotti looks fancy and complicated, but it’s actually very easy to make. It’s also very adaptable since the base is a neutral flavor, you can mix in almost any goodies you want. This one had Cherry flavored Cranberries, Chocolate Chips, and Walnuts. But I think my next batch will be more tropical, I’m eyeing the coconut, dried pineapple,and macadamia nuts…

Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

Makes about 20-30 biscotti

2.5 Cups All Purpose Flour

2 teaspoons Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1 Stick Butter

1 Cup Sugar

2 Eggs

1 teaspoon Almond Extract (you can use Vanilla if you don’t have Almond)

1 Cup Chocolate Chips

3/4 Cup dried cranberries

3/4 Cup Walnuts, Chopped


  • Heat your oven to 350 degrees
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add the Almond Extract.
  • Combine the flour mixture and the butter mix until well combined.
  • Add the cranberries, chocolate, and walnuts. Things will be sticky at this point, you may want to use your hands to mix the dough at this point.


Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

  • On a floured cutting board shape the dough into two logs then place them on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until the sides are light browned and the top is set.
  • Cool the logs for 30 minutes; lower your oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

  • After cooling for 30 minutes, use a serrated (bread) knife to cut the logs into biscotti. The thinner you cut them, the crispier they will be. I like mine a little chewier than most, so I tend to cut them about 1 inch thick. If you like standard crispy biscotti, cut them about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Lay them back on the cookie sheet, cut side up. Bake at 300 for about 15 minutes.
  • Flip the biscotti and bake for another 15 minutes, until crispy and lightly browned.

Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

  • Cool and enjoy!

Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

  • Store in an airtight container, they should last about a week (if you don’t eat them all right away).

How To Store Your Favorite Magazine Recipes

I already shared my love for ripping apart magazines to create inspiration books; but I also have a thing for ripping out stacks of recipes from every magazine I can find. It’s a great way to find delicious recipes, but storing those loose pages is a nightmare.

Magazine Recipe Storage

Every month the stack gets bigger and bigger. I can’t find anything in it and there’s not much luck that I’m going to flip through that stack for dinner ideas. Granted some are small enough to cut and file in my Recipe Box, but others are not as convenient. I used to write them up on individual index cards, but let’s face it, that’s just painful and tedious.

So I came up with another way to keep the recipe intact, easy to file, and the pictures gets to remain with the recipe (BONUS!).

Start with a recipe you pulled out of a magazine/newspaper/brochure/newsletter, etc.

Magazine Recipe Storage

Get an X-acto blade (or scissors) and a blank index card.

Magazine Recipe Storage

Using the blade, cut out the recipe and a section of the picture.

Magazine Recipe Storage

Unfortunately most won’t fit perfectly on the card. Luckily, it’s easy to fix.

Magazine Recipe Storage

Find a convenient place in the recipe and cut it in half and secure to the card using a glue stick or tape. I usually use tape, they seem to hold up better.

Magazine Recipe Storage

On the back of the card, I tape the picture. I try to do this with every recipe so I can easily flip through the pictures instead of the reading through the recipe. We eat with our eyes first anyway, right?

Now would be a good time to make a note on the card about where the recipe came from. This is especially helpful if you are a blogger and want to properly source the recipe in a future post.

Magazine Recipe Storage

Now, my magazine recipes are the same format as all my other recipes and can be easily filed in my recipe box. Where I’m now much more likely to flip through them instead of just leaving them in a file or cabinet somewhere.

Magazine Recipe Storage

Magazine Recipe Storage

Balsamic Pork Sandwich With Cilantro Cabbage

This has quickly become one of my favorite meals, and I’m not much of a sandwich person. The pork is juicy with a sweet balsamic glaze and the cabbage is dressed with a cool, spicy dressing that is addictive. [Seriously Trader Joe’s what do you put in this dressing!]

Balsamic Pork Sandwich with Cilantro Cabbage

It’s also incredibly easy because I used a Crock Pot to cook the Pork Loin. Even though the pork takes about 6-8 hours to cook, it only takes minutes to make the sandwich. Super Fast!

Crock Pot Balsamic Pork Loin

Serves: 5 (4 oz each)

1 (2 pound) Pork Loin

3/4 Cup Water

1/2 t Salt

1/2 t Pepper

1 T Dried Italian Seasonings

Sprinkle the pork loin with the salt, pepper, and dried Italian seasonings. Place in the Crock Pot with the water. Set to low and forget it for the next 5 hours. After about 5 hours, pop the heat up to High and let it cook another 2-3 hours. In the last hour of cooking, use a turkey baster to remove some of the water from the Crock Pot. Make the glaze below and brush it on the pork several time during that last 60 minutes. You can use the extra glaze on the side for however you choose to serve the pork.

Crock Pot Pork Loin

Now, you can mix some balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, etc to make a balsamic glaze, but the point of this is to be super easy so I went with the bottled stuff. You can buy Balsamic Glaze at most grocery stores near the balsamic vinegar. My favorite kind is house brand balsamic glaze from Fresh & Easy, but they all taste nearly the same.

Balsamic Glaze

4 T Balsamic Glaze

Dash Low Sodium Soy Sauce (optional)

Score the pork loin in several places and brush the glaze directly onto the pork several times while cooking. If you want to cut the sweetness, mix a bit of glaze with a dash of low sodium soy sauce.

Crock Pot Balsamic Pork Loin

Cilantro Cabbage

Serves: 1 (multiply by the number you need to make enough)

1 Cup Shredded Cabbage

2 T Trader Joe’s Cilantro Dressing (found in the refrigerated veggie section)

Combine the cabbage and dressing, mix until all cabbage is covered.

Serve on a Whole Grain Bun and Enjoy!

Balsamic Pork Sandwich with Cilantro Cabbage

While my favorite way to eat the pork is the sandwich, I also really like shredding the pork and tossing it with some spinach, quinoa, and more of that crack dressing Trader Joe’s Cilantro Dressing.

How else have I used the dressing? Check out the 5 Ingredient Fish Tacos!

Fish Tacos with Avocado

Linking ToCraft-O-Maniac, The Girl CreativeMaking the World CuterEverything Under the Moon, Between Naps on the Porch, Today’s Creative, Remodelaholic, Ginger Snap CraftsVery Merry Vintage Style, Savvy Southern StyleThe Shabby Creek Cottage, Beyond The Picket Fence, The Artsy Girl Connection, Between U & Me, Addicted 2 DecoratingFunky Junk InteriorsThe Craft NestThe Shabby NestDear CreativesOhh Baby DesignsThe Not So Functional HousewifePositively Splendid

White Cheddar Pesto Pizza

I can’t believe it’s taken be this long to make Pizza at home. I think I’ve always been a little afraid of making Pizza at home because I thought it wouldn’t be as good as my favorite pizza place. That’s right, I was afraid of disappointment from a pizza.

But I was wrong…

…Very Very Wrong.

White Cheddar Pesto Pizza

Welcome to my new obsession, White Cheddar Pesto Pizza.

It’s simple, flavorful, crispy, chewy, cheesy, and just plain amazing. It was one of those recipes that turned into a happy accident. I was fully prepared for failure with this one, so I didn’t take  a lot of pictures of the process, sorry.

I used Pillsbury Thin Crust Pizza Dough, and it turned out great. However, now that I know what a successful homemade pizza tastes like, I hope to make pizza dough from scratch now on. Anyone have a good, easy pizza dough recipe?

I sprayed the pan with a little cooking spray and a sprinkle of cornmeal for texture. Then I laid out the pizza dough on a cookie sheet. Following the package instructions, I pre-baked the dough for several minutes.

White Cheddar Pesto Pizza

Next I layered on a few spoonfuls of Buitoni Pesto Sauce, then topped it generously with Mozzarella and White Cheddar Cheese. On top of the cheese, I sprinkled some garlic powder, dried onion, and dried Italian herbs.

White Cheddar Pesto Pizza

Then baked until bubbly and crispy, served with a side of garlic green beans.

White Cheddar Pesto Pizza

This was faster (and much better) than delivery, sorry pizza dude.


Linging To: Polly Want A Crafter, Between Naps on the Porch, Craft-O-Maniac, The Girl Creative, Making the World Cuter, Addicted 2 Decorating, RemodelaholicGinger Snap CraftsBlue Cricket Design, Very Merry Vintage Style, Savvy Southern Style, The Shabby Creek CottageThe ArtsyGirl Connection, The Crafty NestThe Shabby Nest, French Country Cottage, Dear CreativesOhh Baby Designs, The Not So Functional Housewife

Weekly Eats Wednesday

Do you feel that? That cool breeze in the air? Yeah me neither! It was almost 90 degrees this past weekend, where did Fall go?

However, last week we had perfect fall weather with rain and cooler temps. I was in heaven. I was also in love with the food from last week, so many good eats.

Classic Bisquik Coffee Cake

A favorite that my mom used to make when I was a kid.

Coffee Cake

Artichoke Crusted Chicken & Garlic Green Beans

Amazing recipe that I made twice this week.  I found it on Pinterest and have passed it along to every single person I meet. You can find the pin here. It has so much flavor and is very easy and quick to put together.

Artichoke Crusted Chicken

Soft Boiled Eggs & Toast

Another favorite from my childhood.

Soft Boiled Eggs w/ Toast

Crockpot Apple Butter

A little bit of heaven in a jar.

CrockPot Apple Butter

Chicken Noodle Soup & Blueberry Muffins

Chicken Noodle & Blueberry Muffins

Mocha Chai

Drinking these on a rainy evening is so comforting.

Mocha Chai

Homemade Sausage ‘McMuffins

Homemade Sausage McMuffin

I can’t wait to start cooking more ‘warm’ foods like Chili, soups, baked pastas, and stews as the weather gets cooler.

Crockpot Apple Butter

Note: The CrockPot Fruit Butter eBook is NOW AVAILABLE! Click here for more details.


…now on to the good stuff…


CrockPot Apple Butter

I adapted this easy recipe from Cake Student because I had everything on hand and it worked out beautifully. I used a little more water than the recipe called for, and I did add slightly more brown sugar and spices. By slightly more, I mean rounded teaspoons instead of being specific with my measurements. I mean can a few extra pinches of brown sugar really hurt?

Crock Pot Apple Butter

Makes a little more than 1 pint

1 dozen apples, peeled, cored, cubed

1/2 Cup Water

1/4 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon All Spice

Step 1:

Peel, Core, and Chop a dozen apples. I used apples from our trip to the Apple Orchard. I’m no apple expert, but these apples were more dense than the apples I typically buy in the grocery store. The flavor was great, but it took longer to break down in the Crockpot.

CrockPot Apple Butter

CrockPot Apple Butter

CrockPot Apple Butter

CrockPot Apple Butter

Step 2:

Toss the apples in the sugar and spices.

CrockPot Apple Butter

Step 3:

Put everything in the Crockpot, then [say it with me] Set It, and Forget It!

anyone else remember that infomercial?

I cooked it on Low overnight and woke up to this…

CrockPot Apple Butter

After a few more hours on low, I bumped it to high and propped the lid.

CrockPot Apple Butter

it cooked down and thickened quite a bit.

CrockPot Apple Butter

Step 4:

I suppose it’s optional, but I decided to blend the butter down smooth. You can eat it right out of the Crockpot, I did. I just took a spoon to the Crockpot and dove in, it was divine. However, for the finished product I wanted it smoother and pulled out my Magic Bullet since I don’t own an immersion blender. Then poured it into clean canning jars.

CrockPot Apple Butter

So after 15 hours and a dozen apples picked right from the tree, I had 1 pint of delicious apple butter. I froze half the batch and have the other half in the fridge just waiting to be eaten…maybe straight from the jar.

Next up…Pumpkin Butter!


Linking To: Polly Want A Crafter, Between Naps on the Porch, Craft-O-Maniac, The Girl Creative, Making the World Cuter, Today’s Creative, Not JUST A Housewife, Ginger Snap Crafts, Blue Cricket Design, Very Merry Vintage Style, We Are THAT Family, Savvy Southern Style, The Artsy Girl Connection, The Shabby Creek Cottage, The Not So Functional Housewife, The Shabby Nest, Addicted 2 Decorating, Remodelaholic, The Crafty Nest, Dear Creatives, Funky Junk Interiors

Weekly Eats Wednesday

I was back in the cooking groove this week, lots of sandwiches and pastas. I didn’t notice it then, but looking at the pictures, everything is basically the same color. I really need to work at incorporating more color into my cooking next week.

Grilled Cheese with Ham and Apple


Baked Ziti Marsala with Spinach

Baked Ziti

Dijon Chicken & Spinach Panini

Dijon Chicken & Spinach Panini

Garlic Crumb Linguine & Roasted Tomatoes.

This was by far the best meal of the week and so easy. I used this recipe or the tomatoes, and this recipe for the noodles (with slight modifications).

Garlic Crumb Noodles w/ Roasted Tomatoes

I made a few other things, but I’ll spare you the pictures. They included a complete dessert meltdown that involved Oreos. Who knew you could ruin an Oreo? Apparently I can.

Dark Chocolate No Bake Oatmeal Cookies

I’m currently off picking apples at a local Apple Orchard so no design, DIY projects today (but I do have some fun ones planned for next week). However, I do have a very simple cookie recipe that has been in my family since I was a kid. We’ve always called it Alice Missouri cookies, but I don’t know who Alice Missouri is, and sitting here with my mom we realize we have no idea what it’s really called. So I’ve named it the Dark Chocolate No Bake Oatmeal Cookie recipe.

My mom (who gave me the recipe) tells me that name is too long…apparently there is a word limit on cookie names. Since she has just recently learned to text, she has decided that the name must be shortened to… DCNBOC. Very Funny Mom, LOL 🙂 Or as my mom likes to say FDL. She doesn’t Laugh Out Loud…she Falls Down Laughing.

Ok, Mom, thanks for the help. You can now go back to Angry Birds.

But back to the cookie. This recipe only requires a few minutes of cooking on the stove top and you done.

Seriously easy.

Dark Chocolate No Bake Oatmeal Cookie (DCNBOC)

Makes about 3 dozen cookies (but this really depends on how big you make the cookie. I mean it could make 2 massive cookies. I’m just sayin’)

1 Stick Butter

2 Cups Sugar

1/2 Cup Milk

3 Tablespoons Cocoa (I used Dark Cocoa from Henry’s Bulk Bins)

1/2 Cup Peanut Butter

3 1/2 Cup Oatmeal

2 teaspoons Vanilla


Step 1:

Melt the butter with the milk over Medium heat.

Step 2:

Once the butter melts, add the cocoa and sugar.

Step 3:

When the mixture starts to boil, set your timer for 1 minute 30 seconds.

Step 4:

Keep stirring during the minute and a half. It should be rolling right about now.

Step 5:

Once the time is done, add the peanut butter. Once the peanut butter is melted into the chocolate, remove from the heat and add the oatmeal and vanilla. At this point it should be thickening and look something like the below. You should let it cool for a few minutes to set in the pan before moving to the next step.

Step 6:

Test it out. Yes, this is a legitimate step to the process.

Step 7:

I use a small cookie scoop to make even size cookies, but 2 spoons works just as well. However, this stuff is sticky, so try not to use your fingers. Unless really like a mess.

Step 8:

I usually refrigerate the cookies for abut 30 minutes to help them set, then transfer them to a storage container in the pantry. If left in the fridge they tend to be too hard to eat, but at room temperature they are just perfect.

These won’t last long.




Linking To: Funky Junk Interiors

Weekly Eats Wednesday

We’re back with another week of random, albeit delicious eats. I’ve never claimed to be Vegetarian, but I was pleased to notice that 3 out of 5 of the meals below are veggie-licous meat free.


Polenta Gratin w/ Mushrooms and Fontina


Chicken & Black Bean Burritos

 Black Bean Cilantro Burrito

Baked Ham & Swiss Roll Up


Whole Wheat Linguine with Homemade Alfredo Sauce & Fresh Broccoli

Linguine Alfredo w/ Broccoli

Crock Pot Brown Sugar Balsamic Pork Loin Sandwich topped with shredded cabbage (Dressed with Cilantro dressing)



If you would like recipes for any of the above, let me know and I’ll share them in a future post.