Thursday, September 30, 2010

Eggs Davison

A delicious and easy twist on the classic Eggs Benedict.

Seriously, though, guys--this is divine

Once upon a time I tried to make Eggs Benedict, but failed at the sauce. So then we decided to make our own egg and sausage McMuffins, and they were pretty good. But then Kirby decided it was tasty (and cheaper) with just the egg and cheese, and would make it for himself periodically for an easy meal. Today was INSANE, and I couldn't make it to the grocery store before dinner, so we went with what we had--english muffins, eggs, cheese, and our newest addition to the dish--SALSA! 


1 English muffin
2 slices cheddar cheese
2 eggs (fried)
You favorite salsa


1. Halve the English muffin and toast it.
2. Meanwhile, fry your eggs.
3. When the muffins are roasty toasty, place one slice of cheese on each half, 
followed by a fried egg.
4. Top with salsa to taste, and enjoy!

YIELDS: 1 Serving.
Okay, so Kirby and I actually each eat 3 halves each. But it isn't practical to put "1 1/2 english muffins..." SO. There you go. :)

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy! And SOOO good.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

We All Get Caught in a Hard Place Sometimes...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Zuppa Toscana :: Olive Garden Style (only BETTER)

Do I have any Olive Garden fans here? 
Dumb question, right?

If any of you haven't tried their Zuppa Toscana, your life is not complete.
Or, at least not as delicious or as complete as mine... :)

What makes it so delicious you ask? Well, it could be the juicy chunks of ground Italian sausage, or the melt-in-your-mouth potato slices. Or perhaps it's the creamy, I-could-drink-this-stuff-from-a-glass-because-it-warms-my-cold-exhausted-body-while-simultaneously-warming-my-soul broth?

Oh yeah. And it's a little bit spicy, too. Which, let's be honest, is probably one of the reasons Kirby likes it so much. And the good news? It's super easy to adjust the spicy level according to your own preferences.

And? If I can make it--YOU CAN. It's that easy. :)

Mmmmm... Kinda makes you long for a cold drizzly day, yeah? 
One where you can snuggle up under a handmade quilt with a mug of soup and watch chick flicks all afternoon?
If there are any gentleman readers, please forgive my obvious catering to the ladyfolk...


1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 lb. ground Italian sausage, mild
(Make sure you get mild! The first time I made this I wasn't paying attention at the grocery store and accidentally got a spicy version--it was hot, hot, HOT! 
The kind I get is usually labeled as "sweet and mild" or something.)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
(I actually put in about 4-5 cloves, but this is what the original recipe called for...)
½ tsp. crushed red pepper, or more to taste
(I usually put in 3/4 to 1 tsp. in ours. Want it more mild? Just add less red pepper!)
2 ½ cup water
2 (14 ½ oz) cans chicken broth
3 cans sliced potatoes
(the original recipe called for 3 large russet potatoes that you chop by hand, but I prefer to shave off 15 minutes of prep time by using canned potatoes. 
If you want to go the un-canned route, increase the simmer time in step 5 to 10-15 minutes.)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
½ bunch kale, stems removed, chopped
(I don't put kale in when I make it, but it's just my preference...)
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream


1.     Saute sausage in oil. Remove sausage to plate and set aside.
2.     Add onion to pan with sausage grease and oil (you may need to add a little extra oil than the original tablespoon), sauté until translucent. Add garlic and crushed red pepper, cook 1 minute.
3.     In a large pot, combine water and broth; add onion mixture. Add potatoes, salt, and pepper. Heat to boiling.
4.     Reduce heat, simmer about 10 minutes.
5.     Add kale and sausage, simmer until potatoes are tender, about 7-10 minutes.
6.     Stir in cream. Heat to simmer over medium heat, cook 2 minutes.
7. Serve.
YIELDS: 4-6 servings.
It usually feeds me and Kirby for three meals! And it is just as good reheated as it is fresh off the stove!

Not tough at all! I have it down to a system. Here's my actual workflow (as opposed to the recipe's listed order), if anyone even cares. :) Yes, I'm an efficiency freak.

1. Prepare water and chicken broth mixture in large pot and set on medium heat.
2. Saute sausage, remove to plate.
3. Cut up onion, peel garlic, get out my crushed red pepper. 
4. Tip plate with sausage (I keep the sausage from sliding off with my spatula while I do this) over skillet to get all the grease back in the pan that settled from the sausage to use when I saute the onions.
5. Add a little extra oil (just a little) to my pan of grease (YUM).
6. Saute the onions until translucent. 
7. Crush my garlic cloves in my handy dandy garlic press directly into skillet.
8. Add crushed red pepper, and cook 1 minute.
9. Dump onion mixture into pre-warmed pot of chicken broth and water, and then add potatoes, salt, and pepper.
10. Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes.
11. Add sausage (and kale, if you choose to do so), and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 7-10 minutes. 
12. Stir in cream. Simmer over medium heat for an additional 2 minutes. 
13. Serve!

This is obviously why I don't write cookbooks for a living. 13 STEPS!? That would scare anyone away! But seriously--I have found that doing things in that order saves me a lot of stress. Cause I do that when I cook. :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tuna Melts

Okay, folks. I've got good news and bad news. The good news? These are so good, and so easy--especially if you already have the tuna sandwich filling made up. We usually make up a batch using 4 cans of tuna and keep it in the fridge so we can have a quick and healthy sandwich any time we want it. The bad news? I don't have exact measurements on the tuna mixture. We just kind of make it up at our house, which used to intimidate me. I'd always get Kirby to mix it up. But finally I decided to put my pride on the line (yes--I was worried it would make me a terrible wife if I failed at mixing tuna sandwich filling), and try it myself and whaddaya know! It was delish.

Here's how I go about mixing it:
Put tuna in a bowl--we usually mix up 4 cans at a time to simplify our lives later on. Throw in a spoonful of mayo, a spoonful or two of sweet relish, and a a spoonful or two of mustard until it's a nice consistency. The end. Tricky, huh? And hey--some people like celery in their tuna. I don't. I pretty much hate celery. So we have relish instead.

On a caloric note--mustard has a fraction of the calories of mayo. So you can always replace some of the mayo you would normally put in with mustard to get the right consistency with fewer calories. Yada yada. Still, though--as long as you aren't drowning your tuna in mayo you'll be throwing together a pretty healthy sandwich!


Sweet Pickle Relish
Canned Tuna
4 English Muffins, split and toasted
8 slices ripe tomato
Shredded cheddar cheese


1.     Take tuna salad mixture (mayo, mustard, relish, and tuna mixed to desired taste—will seem more moist once it’s out of the oven) and spread on the toasted muffin halves and place them on a baking sheet.
Please note that you won't use all four cans worth of tuna filling if that is how much you mix up!
2.     Top each half with a slice of tomato and a small amount of shredded cheddar.
3.     Broil until cheese is melted, about 3 to 5 minutes.
For some reason, our oven makes us set a temperature when we select broil, and we just go with the default 500 degrees...

YIELDS: 8 tuna melts (about 4 servings)

It was so tasty I couldn't help myself and I had to take yet another picture!

What did I learn from this recipe? It is HARD to make melted cheddar cheese look divine on camera. But oh well. You'll just have to take my word for it! :)

...Bath Time...

In the sink. :)

Blurry, yes. But let's be serious here--this girl NEVER STOPS MOVING!
Observe the water in the sink...
So it's perfect. :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lia Sophia

Have I ever mentioned that I love sparkly things?

Um, cause I do.

So much so, that I am opening my home to all of you and hosting a Lia Sophia party.


When: October 6, 2010

Time: 7:00pm--8:30pm
(Let's be honest, though, it probably won't actually end at 8:30!)
Where: My place in Orem. 
If you don't know where it is, leave me a comment 
with your email address and I'll let you know!
Why: Do I really need to tell you why?
Sparkly Things!

Also? There will be games, and prizes (as in FREE JEWELRY, people!), and best of all--I'm going to make a few of my divine homemade apple pies. For reals. 


Kirby is actually hoping no one will show up so that he can eat them all himself. 
No joke.

And hey--if you are planning on coming, would you comment on this post and let me know? It will help me know just HOW MANY pies I need to make. :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lisa Leonard Designs

It's happening again! Another giveaway with Lisa Leonard Designs. And I am super excited about this one. Which, ultimately, is why I opted to blog about it to get myself an extra entry in the random drawing. :) Check out their new necklace!

I've been waiting for Lisa to create a camera themed necklace, and apparently I wasn't the only one! :)

You can see her blog entry about the giveaway HERE!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

Kirby and I kept a running list of stuff we wanted to do while we were in Florida. Some of it never happened (air boat ride, Key West, Miami, etc.), but something we did manage to do was eat at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. 

For those wondering why this is a significant location, here's the skinny. You know the movie Forrest Gump? I haven't actually seen it all the way through (but Kirby has). It was on TV at a hotel we stayed at over Thanksgiving in New Mexico a couple years back, but I fell asleep after only a couple minutes. But I digress. Apparently this restaurant was established after the movie came out. You can buy Bubba Gump brand shrimp in some grocery stores, and the restaurant was supposed to be delish. 

Therefore, it made it onto the Florida Bucket List.

We went to a location out in Madeira Beach, and it was so cool! It was something like 10 stories up, with a boardwalk all the way around, and the views from the outdoor tables were pretty awesome! These two shots were the views from our table...

Confession: I didn't actually make the connection that the restaurant was connected to the movie until I saw these license plate signs at the table. They are how you let the waitress know if you need assistance. As long as everything is great you leave it on "Run Forrest, Run".

And if you need them to help you out, you switch it to "Stop Forrest, Stop!"
Don't mind my hair. It was pretty stormy! It actually rained on us later...

Kirby got the "Shrimper's Heaven" with four different kinds of shrimp. I contented myself with the "Dumb Luck Coconut Shrimp." It had a cajun marmalade to dip them in, which was a really fun combination!

Yum. Speckled strawberry lemonade.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sucking it Up

Whew! What a couple of weeks it has been. We're back in Utah, and I feel like I have SO much to catch up on via the blog. This, inevitably, has led to blogging procrastination. I knew I'd have some free time today and I resolved last night to get at least one post finished. :) So here I am, sucking it up and tip toeing out into the whirlpool of catch-up, hoping I don't drown!
How's that for a lame metaphor?

First things first. 
Emily smeared poop in her hair this morning. 
She has some mad ninja skills, I tell you. I didn't even see her reach down whole I was changing her diaper, but SOMEHOW...

Phew. Glad I got that out there. :) Here are some reasons I'm so glad to be back:


Oh how I missed them. :)

And because I can't just leave you without some pictures--here are some random ones!

Lily pads at Lake Hollingsworth.


I went to two different malls in Tampa and was completely blown away. Seriously. I could spend weeks walking around those malls and not get bored--just looking. Here's Emily crawling through a gigantic camera. Both malls had awesome play spots for kiddos!

Me. See those rippling arm muscles?? ;) Joking... joking...

Once upon a time, back in our apartment in Lakeland, I was blowdrying my hair and I suddenly heard Kirby throwing briskly moving our furniture around. I came out to see what was going on, and he was frantically looking for something with a boyish gleam in his eye. I thought he was hunting a cockroach, but no sir! It was this lil' guy. I can't believe Kirby caught him! He was soo tiny! We fed him to Emily. ;)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings

This one time my fabulous sister Adriane shared a slow cooker Chicken & Dumplings recipe with me, and for some reason I failed astronomically while making it. The dumplings were undercooked and doughy. Not good at all. So I left it alone for a couple years. 

Then the other day--I found another recipe on Okay, so it's probably the same recipe. But I lost the one from my sister when my hard drive crashed, so it can't be proven. ;)


Tonight I sucked back my fear of failing miserably (again), and decided to give Chicken & Dumplings another try. I tweaked the recipe a bit and whoodathunk!? It turned out splendidly!

The dumplings were divine, the chicken was fall-apart moist, and the whole package was lip smackingly delightful!

When Kirby saw this picture he said "You know what would look good in that picture? Some red hot sauce. Like Tabasco. Mmm. That would taste good, too!" So next time we'll try it with a bit of tabasco mixed in, and I'll let you know how it goes. Or you could just try it yourself! ;) Oh--and did you notice that flaky biscuit goodness? (That's the part of the dumpling that was above the sauce.) DELISH!


2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise, and then cut in half again (not lengthwise)
2 T. butter
2 (10.75 oz) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
1 onion, finely diced
1 (12 oz {ish}) package refrigerated biscuit dough, torn into pieces


1.     Place the chicken (slightly frozen still, and raw), butter, soup, and onion in a slow cooker.
Cover with the chicken broth.
2.     Cover, and cook for 5 hours on high.
3.     Put the biscuit in roughly 90 minutes before serving time.
Push them down into the mixture slightly to allow the dumplings to get saturated with flavor.
4.     Cook until the dough is no longer raw in the center.

YIELDS: 5-6 servings.

Sweet Pepper Cayenne Pasta

If you're looking for a pasta dish with a bit of a kick, this recipe will give it to you! With a creamy, broth-based sauce, zesty cayenne pepper, and red peppers--no one's gonna get bored with this one! 

I found this recipe on accident over a year ago, and it's been one of Kirby's favorites ever since. The recipe calls for the peppers to be julienned, but Kirby chops them large because they are easier for me to take out that way. Yes, I know, shameful. I love the flavor of the red peppers, but not the texture of them in my pasta! So I give all of mine to Kirby. :)

Hmmm... I wasn't all that happy with the pictures I got, so I'll probably be photographing this one again.


Pasta of your choice
1 red bell pepper, julienned or chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
¾ tsp cayenne pepper
1 c. reduced fat sour cream
¾ c. chicken broth
¾ c. grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook as directed on package; drain.
2. Meanwhile, spray cooking oil in a large skillet (I just drizzle some olive oil) and saute red bell peppers, garlic, and cayenne pepper over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Stir in sour cream and chicken broth; simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese.
4. Toss hot pasta with sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. (We usually just scoop the sauce onto our pasta, but mixing it all in together would guarantee you don't run out of sauce!)
5. Serve

YIELDS: 4 Servings. 

©2009 DAV.I.SON. | by TNB