Brussels sprouts & sweet potato bowl

I am trying to come up with recipes that I love but make them more “fun” for my kiddos…so they eat it how it’s intended to be served- not me having to separate each thing into little individual piles. One thing I’ve found that they love is anything that has been inspiralized!

I make different “bowls” all the time- with whatever veggies I have in my fridge (or freezer!) This one I adapted from an actual inspiralized recipe- and it was a winner:


Brussels sprouts & sweet potato bowl


  • olive oil
  • 2 sweet potatos
  • 1.5 cups sliced brussels sprouts (or more!)
  • 1 bok choy chopped – leaves and base
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tablespoon sliced blanched almonds

Dressing- combine and set aside:

  • 1  tbsp real maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2tsp sesame seeds


1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the sweet potato noodles and season with s&p. Cook, tossing occasionally, for 7 minutes (ish). Remove from heat, put into bowl, and cover with foil to keep them warm.

2. Heat some more olive oil in the (now empty) skillet. Add the brussels sprouts, season with s&p, and cook for 5-10 minutes. You want them cooked and slightly charred. The last 3 minutes- add the bok choy. Then, add the almonds and cook for 1 more minute all together.

3. Add this mixture on top of the sweet potato noodles. Top with pomegranate seeds and drizzle with the dressing! I just keep the dressing in my fridge and drizzle it on anything! It makes a ton and I only use the tiniest bit- i’m talking a true DRIZZLE, not pour. Sometimes I won’t even use it…

You’ve now made a delicious (and fun for kids) meal- and only messed up one skillet and the bowl or jar for the dressing! WIN WIN!





Fiesta dips!

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In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I thought I would share a tried and true salsa recipe, a copycat creamy jalapeño dip, and my mom’s 7 layer dip. When we knew we were going to be moving to Utah, I knew I had to learn the salsa recipe from my mother-in-law. She makes it every Sunday for Sunday dinners and I knew my husband wouldn’t be able to live without it. But, in good family recipe fashion, she didn’t have any measurements. I watched her for several Sundays so that I could perfect it just as she has! The creamy jalapeño ranch is a favorite of mine from a restaurant back home in Texas called Chuy’s. I spent many late night girls nights snacking on this- so I had to figure out how to make it so I could enjoy it here! And the 7 layer dip is one my mom made all growing up and is just a good-ol staple. SO, here you go! They are all super easy, quick, and sure to be favorites.

7 layer dip


**now, I don’t put measurements because it is totally to your liking/taste! Add more of one layer or less of another depending on your favorites!

  • jalapeno bean dip (you can find this normally on the chip aisle)
  • sour cream
  • mayonnaise** optional
  • taco seasoning
  • avocados
  • lemon juice
  • shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • roma tomatoes
  • green onions
  • black olives


  • In a clear baking dish layer the jalapeño bean dip first.  In a separate bowl, smash the avocados together with a little salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Layer this on top of the bean dip. Then mix together, in a separate bowl, sour cream a tiny bit of mayo (optional) and taco seasoning to taste. Spread on top of the avocados. This will seal off the avocado layer so it doesn’t get brown. Then sprinkle the cheese to cover the top. Add chopped roma tomatoes, chopped black olives, and sliced green onions. This makes for 7 delicious layers!
    • Layer 1: Beans
    • Layer 2: Avocados
    • Layer 3: Sour Cream mixture
    • Layer 4: Cheese
    • Layer 5: Tomatoes
    • Layer 6: Black olives
    • Layer 7: Green onions




  • 1 large can of whole tomatoes
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 1tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4tsp cumin
  • 1/4tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4tsp onion powder
  • 2-3 pickled jalapeños- most of the seeds removed (they come in a can, I just dump the can in a tupperware and keep it in my fridge)
  • 1 bunch of Cilantro


Dump everything into a blender and blend away! Add salt/cilantro/jalapeño/lemon juice to taste from there! See I told you it was easy!

Creamy Jalapeno Dip


  • 16oz light sour cream
  • 1 package (1oz) Ranch dip mix
  • 2 large jalapeños -seeded
  • 2 cloves of garlic -minced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro
  • 1 whole lime -juiced
  • 2-4tbsp (depending on desired thickness) milk


  1. Add the jalapeños, cilantro and garlic to a food processor or blender. I use my vitamix. Pulse, and scrap down the sides, until you have a nice mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the milk, and blend until creamy. Add the milk- a tbsp at a time until you reach desired consistency. Enjoy!

Spring inspired recipes

Don’t you just love that Trader Joes has out all these different gorgeous flowers for such amazing prices?! Grab a few to brighten up your space and celebrate SPRING!

I love spring! I love all the fresh flowers every where, eating on patios, and especially the yummy spring-inspired food! All things lemon, berries, and salads seem to be everywhere!

If you are hosting, or are going, to a lunch this spring- I have two recipes that are sure to be crowd pleasers. The first is a spring-inspired salad- full of so many yummy ingredients- but still light and delicious. The second is a lemon berry cheesecake trifle. Yes, you heard that right- and it is just as amazing as it sounds.

Spring Asparagus Lemon Goat Cheese Salad


  • 1 bunch of Asparagus [you want to pick out a bunch on the thinner side}
  • fresh or frozen [defrosted] Peas
  • frozen [defrosted] Lima Beans
  • 5 Radishes- thinly sliced
  • 2 Zucchinis- made into ribbons using your vegetable peeler [avoiding the seeds!]
  • Red leaf lettuce chopped into bit size pieces
  • Mix of baby arugula & spinach
  • Goat cheese
  • Lemon zest from 1 lemon and the juice [and another one to slice up to make the salad pretty!]
  • Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Hazelnuts- toasted and cut in half-ish
  • Olive Oil
  • Red Wine vinegar.


  1. Roast the asparagus. Place the asparagus drizzled with olive oil and salt and pepper on a sheet pan and most in a 375 degree oven just until slightly cooked, 5-10min. You still want them to have a crunch. Let them cool and then slice lengthwise.
  2. Make the dressing. Mix 2 parts fresh lemon juice to 4 parts olive oil and a bit of red wine vinegar in a bowl or mason jar and mix/shake. Salt & Pepper to taste. There is no science to this! Add the various ingredients to your liking!
  3. On a large platter arrange the greens, peas, lima beans, radishes, and zucchini ribbons. Top with the roasted asparagus. Sprinkle on the toasted hazelnuts & goat cheese.
  4. Drizzle/Spoon the dressing all over- Little goes a long way! You can always have a pretty bowl next to the salad for people to get more if they would like.
  5. Add the shavings of the parmiggiano region on the top and garnish with some lemon slices!
  6. Prepare to be hit of the party!


Lemon Berry Cheesecake Trifle


This is a dessert that looks and tastes like you spent all day in the kitchen messing up a million dishes, but, you didn’t 🙂



  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 9tbsp melted unsalted butter
  • 2-3tbsp granulated sugar


  • 2 boxes [11oz] no bake Jell-O Cheesecake
  • 3cups whole milk
  • 2tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 jars lemon curd [whole foods/trader joes all have good ones!]
  • fresh blueberries, blackberries & raspberries

Homemade Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 6tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2tsp vanilla extract


  1. In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar until well mixed. Pour this into your trifle dish [or you could even do little individual mason jars!] and press down into an even layer- but not too hard or you won’t be able to scoop it out!
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the no bake cheesecake mix with the milk and lemon juice and beat until smooth and thick. Pour this over the crust layer in your trifle dish. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  3. Next, pour the lemon curd on top of the cheesecake layer- however thick you would like the layer to be. Top this layer with your fresh berries!
  4. Then the whipped cream…oh my!! Pour all the ingredients into a bowl and whip until soft peaks form. You can even add a little cream of tarter [a pinch or two] to make it hold up a little better. Pour the whipped cream on the very top and try not to eat all of it with your spoon before you do!
  5. Enjoy!!!


happy cooking!




fast holiday sweets and treats

Tis the season of holiday sweets, treats & parties! If you are anything like me, you have overbooked yourself this holiday season- between kid’s parties, friend’s parties, bunko nights, work gatherings, christmas shopping & wrapping, holiday traveling… the list goes on.

So, I’ve rounded up some yummy, but FAST, go-to treats for all those times you need to take a cookie to a school party, christmas gifts to the neighbors, or just having the girls over for a night of fun! They are all delicious, fast to make, and super cute and festive.

Soft Maple Sugar Cookies


Ok, now these probably take the longest out of all the treats on here- BUT- it is so simple of a recipe, and it makes 3 dozen cookies! That’s enough for school Christmas party treats AND treats for the neighbors.


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon (or, if you can find it, maple cinnamon sprinkle)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (add more for a richer maple flavor- then just add more powdered sugar- you won’t screw it up!)
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar (and more or less for proper consistency- again, you won’t mess it up!)

Cream together butter, sour cream, sugar and powdered sugar, in a mixer, until smooth. Add in the vanilla, cinnamon, and eggs. Stir on low speed until mixed. Then, add in baking soda and continue to mix- on a low speed- for 10-20 seconds.

One cup at a time, add in the flour. Once all flour has been added and incorporated, form dough into a ball and knead the dough on a flour covered surface until it is no longer sticky. You may need to add/sprinkle flour to the dough.

Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick. Then, use a 2.5 inch diameter circle cookie cutter and cut out circles- place them on a parchment covered cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting- beat butter, cream cheese, vanilla, maple syrup, and powdered sugar with a mixer. Beat until smooth. Add more maple syrup or powdered sugar for desired consistency. Using the back of spoon, frost each cookie and sprinkle with cinnamon. I dare you not to just dip the cookies in the frosting all. day. long.

Christmas Rice Krispie Treat Balls



  • Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Cereal
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Butter
  • Red food coloring
  • Green food coloring
  • Christmas sprinkles

To get the three colors- you will need to make three batches. The easiest way to do it is get out 3 large glass bowls. In each bowl put 3 tbsp of butter. Then, do the next set of instructions all for one bowl before moving on to the next.

Heat the butter in the bowl for 45 seconds, or until melted. Then pour in 3 cups of mini marshmallows. Toss until coated in the butter. Microwave for 1minute and 30 seconds- stirring after 45 seconds. Once finished, stir until smooth. Now, add the food coloring of your choice- or none if doing the white ones – mix until the color is vibrant and incorporated. Next, add 3 cups of Rice Krispies cereal. Once mixed, wait until it is cool enough to not burn you but warm enough to still be malleable. Butter your hands and roll them into balls!

Repeat these steps with the remaining 2 bowls adding whatever color or sprinkles you want!

Spiced Apple Cider


Ash made this for me last time I was in SF with her- and now I have it almost every day!


In a large pot- add 2 parts apple juice to 1 part cranberry juice. Put a few tablespoons of the spices in the mulling ball and let simmer in the juices for 20 minutes. Remove the spices and enjoy! SO simple, so yummy, and makes your house smell AMAZING! Keep it in the fridge and just reheat when you want some more!

Peanut Butter Balls



  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter- get the GOOD stuff, not the healthy 😉
  • 4 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Dark, milk, or semi sweet chocolate or a mixture of some of them! I do half milk/half semi sweet
  • Shortening

Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and set aside. Mix the peanut butter, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla on high speed until smooth and creamy. Form into small balls (remember they will be even bigger once they have chocolate on them, so don’t make them too big!) and place on the baking sheet. Once you have formed all the balls, place them in the freezer.

Once they are frozen- it’s time to make your chocolate. Dump two bags of chocolate chips (dark, semi, milk- or a combo!) into a glass bowl with 2 tablespoons of shortening. Microwave on 50% power for 1 minute- remove and stir thouroughly. Repeat doing shorter intervals until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Take a box of tooth pics and stick one in a frozen peanut butter ball, dip it in the chocolate and tap on the side of the bowl to let the excess chocolate drip off. Place it on the parchment/wax paper and use another toothpick to help push it off. Then dip another toothpick into the chocolate and use it to cover the top of the peanut butter ball that is was not covered in chocolate- give it a little swirl to make it look fancy if you’d like 😉 Repeat steps with remaining ones! Put in fridge to harden. If your chocolate starts to harden- just pop it back in the microwave!

Santa Crunch Popcorn



  • 10 cups of Popcorn- Use the microwavable bags!! These are time saver recipes!
  • salt
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 cups Mini marshmallows
  • Mini M&M’s – red/green
  • Pretzel M7M’s – red/green
  • Christmas sprinkles

Pop 2 bags of popcorn in the microwave and pour it out on a wax paper or parchment paper covered surface. Pick out the unpopped kernels- no one wants to bite into one of those!

Next, in a glass bowl, add 3 tbsp of butter- melt in the microwave, approximately 45seconds. Stir. Add 3 cups of mini marshmallows. Toss to coat. Microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds- stirring after 45 seconds. Once finished in the microwave, stir until smooth. Pour it over your popcorn! Gently fold the popcorn and marshmallow mixture together with your hands or a spoon. Then add the candies & sprinkles! Let it cool and then enjoy!

Hot Chocolate Fudge



  • 2 cups Chocolate chips
  • 1 can (14oz) + 4 tbsp Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 cup White chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups Mallow Bits (mini hot chocolate marshmallows)

In a glass bowl, combine the chocolate chips with the 140z can of sweeter condensed milk. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir until smooth adding 15 seconds at a time back in the microwave if not smooth. Pour into a foil lined 8×8 pan that has been greased with butter. Combine the white chocolate chips and 4 tbsp of sweetened condensed milk in a glass bowl and microwave for 30 seconds- stirring and heating until smooth. Spread this mixture on top of the other chocolate layer. Top with mini marshmallows- then gently press down. Refrigerate until set and then cut into bite sized pieces!



happy baking!



I introduce to you my recipe for yummy granola- which is adapted from the granola recipe of the lovely Kristin Andrus  {check her out for amazing recipes!} You can really add anything you want to this! Make it your own. Remove the things your family doesn’t love and add the things they do. We love coconut around here so sometimes I add extra! IMG_3776Granola

  • 5.5 cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1.5 cups sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup pecans- chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts- chopped
  • 1 cup flaxseed
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or shredded coconut
  • cinnamon to taste 
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or brown sugar (if you like it sweeter- add more!) we use maple syrup in our house 
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Mix together the oats, nuts, flaxseed, coconut, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Mix the oil, honey, brown sugar and vanilla together in a pot on the stove- heat until slightly bubbly and completely combined. Then, pour over the dry mixture and mix together. Once everything is coated, divided the mixture between two large baking/jelly roll pans. Bake at 300 for 15- 20 minutes. You do not want this to burn! It will not look golden- it will continue to cook/harden when you bring it out of the oven. Once cooled, keep in an airtight container. Enjoy 🙂 Use as a cereal, on top of yogurt, mixed with peanut butter & an apple!

spooky treats

Those that know me, know I love to throw a party! Especially a halloween one! Today I am going to show you some of my go-to halloween party food items. Easy, fast, and super cute!


Monster cake, poison apples, mummy jalapeño poppers, ‘witch’s brew’ root beer, sugar cookie candy corns, popcorn hands, magic wands, cheetoh pumpkins and spider web cupcakes- oh my! All of these are so simple and fast to make- which is needed when you are throwing a party.

I typically shy away from your “normal” holiday colors. I’m a sucker for purple, black, and green for halloween.


For instructions on each of these fun party foods- see below!

Mummy Jalapeno poppers

10 jalapeno peppers- slice in half length wise. {I left the stems on and seeds in for an extra kick!}
8 ounces cream cheese- room temperature
8 ounces jack cheese- shredded
1 scallion- finely chopped
2 t. Lemon Zest
1/2 tsp salt
1 package refrigerated crescent rolls
2 eggs- beaten
1 Package candy eyeballs {I purchased mine at Michaels- you can find them at walmart, amazon, target, etc}

Preheat oven to 400° F. In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, jack cheese, scallion and salt together. Roll out the crescent rolls and separate into 4 rectangles- not the pre-cut triangles- with a perforation in the middle of each. Press your fingers into the perforations to seal them. You don’t want them splitting along the pre-cut areas. Cut each rectangle into 10 long pieces lengthwise.

Fill each jalepeño half with the cheese mixture. Wrap each jalapeño half with the dough, leaving a space for the eyes. On some I used a couple pieces of the crescent strips. Brush with egg mixture and place on baking sheet.

Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes. Once cooked, and slightly golden brown, remove from the oven and press the eyes onto them where you left an opening along the top. Serve while hot!

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

2 Sticks Butter, softened
1 c. Sugar
1 Egg
2 T. Lemon Juice
2 t. Lemon Zest
1/8 t. Salt
3 c. Flour
1/2 t. Baking Soda
Purple Food coloring
Green Food coloring
Granulated sugar to sprinkle on top

Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Add egg, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt. Continue beating until well mixed. Add flour and baking soda, beat until well mixed. Divide dough into thirds. Press one-third of the white dough evenly into the bottom of a loaf pan that you have lined with foil, wax, or parchment paper. Place another one-third of the dough into a bowl and add purple food coloring to it. Once it is mixed evenly, press the purple dough evenly over white dough. In another bowl, add the rest of the dough and the green food coloring. Press the green evenly over the purple dough. Cover and refrigerate until firm (2 hours or overnight is best). Once chilled, flip over your loaf pan and unwrap your dough. Flip it back over and get ready to cut! Cut loaf crosswise into 1/4-inch slices using a sharp knife, trimming edges to make even, if necessary. Cut each slice into wedges.

Place 1-inch apart onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 7-10 minutes in a pre-heated 375 degree oven. Place cookies straight into a bowl with sugar and coat. Place coated cookies on a baking rack to cool.

Monster Cake

1 of your favorite cake box mixes or your favorite homemade batter
Homemade frosting or store bought!
1 package Oreos
1 package Oreos Minis
Regular chocolate chips
1 Box of Junior Mints

Mix, bake, layer, and frost your cake! Any flavor or colors you like! Once assembled- you can make your monster eyes. Separate all your Oreos and place them in pairs. Then, take some leftover frosting and attach the chocolate chips to the mini Oreos, and the junior mints to the regular Oreos. Once finished, use a little frosting on the back of each cookie to attach them sporadically all over the cake! Super simple and sure to be a hit!

Poison Apples

2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups water
1/2 cups light corn syrup
black gel food coloring
6 {or 12 small} green apples. Make sure they are not waxed!


Grease a piece of baking paper and place on a tray/baking sheet. Insert a skewer/popsicle stick/etc in all the apples and set aside.

In a medium pot, combine the sugar, water, corn syrup and food colouring and stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. It should feel smooth. When the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat up and keep the sides of the pot clean with a pastry brush dipped into clean water to prevent it from crystalizing. Bring the mixture to a boil until a candy thermometer reaches 150°c/310°F, or hard crack stage.

Carefully dip the apples into the hot candy mixture and place on the wax paper to set and cool. Enjoy your poison apples! Not just for a party but, you could tie a ribbon to the stick and hand them out to friends as a fun treat!

Spider Web Cupcakes

1 box of your favorite cake mix
Homemade {or store bought} frosting & food coloring if you are wanting a color
1 Package Chocolate almond bark
Wax paper
Cupcake liners

Mix and bake cake mix according to directions- in regular size cupcake tins with liners. While they are baking, print out you favorite spider web template from here. You can print a few copies, or just slide it around, whichever you prefer. Place it underneath wax paper. Now, melt your chocolate almond bark according the package directions. Once melted, pour it into a plastic baggie and cut off one of the tips of the baggie- very very small cut! You are just wanting to make a tiny hole. Then, carefully trace your template on the wax paper. Repeat. Let them cool to harden.

Once your cupcakes are cooled, frost them and before the frosting hardens up a bit, carefully push one of your spiderwebs into the frosting. Voila!

Witches Brew Root Beer

2 oz bottle of root beer extract
2 cups sugar
1 gallon of water
Dry ice

Fill your container with 1 gallon of warm water- you want it warm because it will help the sugar dissolve. It also makes the dry ice more effective!

Add the root beer extract and sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

Add the dry ice {do not touch it with your bare hands!} 10-15min prior to serving. You will need to let the dry ice do it’s thing for at least 10 minutes to cool and carbonate the root beer. Drink up!

Popcorn Hands

1 box unwaxed plastic, clear gloves
Homemade or store bought popcorn
1 bag of candy corn
**optional: spider rings

Fill each finger of the gloves with a candy corn. Then stuff popcorn into the glove until full. Once full to your liking, tie off with a ribbon! Feel free to add a spider ring to one of the fingers for an extra spooky touch! Great for kid school parties!

Witches Hats

1 Package Keebler Fudge Stripe cookies
1 Package Hershey’s chocolate kisses
Homemade frosting or a tube of store bought in whatever color you prefer!

Lay out the fudge stripe cookies upside down on the counter/platter. Squeeze  small amount of frosting in the center and press on a hershey’s kiss candy {unwrapped}. Let set- and you’re finished! How simple was that!?

Magic Wands

1 Package of pretzel rods
2 Packages of white or chocolate almond bark (depending on if you are going to add food coloring)
Food coloring in the colors of your choosing.

Melt the almond bark according to the package directions- In mine above, I used the chocolate almond bark- pour it in to a tall cup. Next, dip your pretzel rods into the mixture and lay on parchment/wax paper to cool.

Then, melt the white chocolate (to be like the ones above) and separate into two bowls and add the food colorings of your choice. Once mixed, put the chocolates in to two separate plastic baggies. Cut diagonally across one of the bottom corners and drizzle the chocolate over the pretzel rods. Repeat with the other color(s). Let cool to harden!

Orange Pumpkins/Ghostly Bananas

Cutie Oranges
Regular and mini chocolate chips
Black Sharpie

Draw a pumpkin face on each cutie orange with the sharpie.

Peel the bananas and cut them in half. Then place mini chocolate chips for the eyes, and a regular size chocolate chip for the mouth. Finished. So simple! Perfect for kid school parties!


Happy partying!