Category Archives: Friends

Superbowl Eats

OK, this will be the last of the recipe posts for a bit…I’ll be eating rice cakes and water for the next week and those two aren’t very blog worthy! I feel like ALL I’ve been posting lately is FOOD, FOOD, FOOD…so this next week, I am going to shoot for some calorie free topics. But……..

Today we had some neighbors over for the Superbowl and I tried to keep things simple with some quick and easy favorites, but I’ve been wanting to try these Cranberry Meatballs since the holidays, so I HAD to make them for the big game today. The verdict is that they were a hit because when I went to take a picture of them all nestled in the crock pot swimming in their sweet cranberry sauce, there were only about 5 remaining:

This recipe is a keeper and next time I may try them with turkey meatballs although they were just perfect with the beef variety. Super easy AND a big hit? That’s a good recipe in my book.

Then there was the always popular Sonoma Salad

which again, when I went to the bowl to snap a pic this was all that was left:

This is a great salad because it’s so versatile and can be switched out with different goodness:

{switch out the butter lettuce with spring mix or baby spinach}

{substitute gorgonzola or goat cheese for the blue}

{use dried blueberries, cherries or raisins in place of the Craisins}

{honey roasted almonds can easily replace the glazed walnuts}

{pears can take the place of the apple}

The possibilities are endless and that is why I love this go-to salad! Again, thank you Melanie for bringing this to us almost 3 years ago when we brought our sweet baby Holden home! This salad also brings back happy memories every time I serve it!

And then there is the Artichoke Dip that tickled my taste buds so many years ago in the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot! I’ve loved it and made it LOTS ever since. No oven necessary!

Normally I use quartered artichoke hearts, but Albertson’s was fresh out of them this morning so I tried these artichoke bottoms and there was nothing sacrificed. I just chopped the bottoms in my mini food processor and that was that ~ not any real difference than with the quarters.

And there she is….served with a multigrain baguette and some Ritz crakers…sheer perfection on a carb! Can’t go wrong with this one folks, believe me!

I realize that my decor looks more like a bridal shower or Mother’s Day brunch and not reflective at all of Superbowl Sunday, but nobody seemed to care…these recipes are all a hit and I hope that you try them sometime soon! Whoever is on the receiving end will thank you!

We washed all these yummies down with a good ‘ol Cape Codder or vodka cran with lime!

It was a great game with a great menu spent with great friends….another weekend down! Bring on Monday!

I hope you have a “super” week ahead!

Corny Condiment

Tonight I’m having a Mommy’s Night Out of sorts…

I’m. So. Excited.

I’m going to “Bitch Bingo” (pardon my French!). My good friend, Hollie, introduced me to this FUN, monthly get-together of women and we play bingo. Now when I think of BINGO, I think of old people with their colorful bingo dotters sitting in a smoke filled room, but this new version of the game is much more fun and since it’s Ladies Only and once a month, it gives me something to look forward to and a chance to have girl talk, laugh, sample lots of different yummies and sip on a nice adult beverage!

This is how it all goes down:
Every chickie brings an appetizer or sweet to share, a drinkie poo of their choice, a $20 “gift” pertaining to the month’s theme (this month is “Romance” for February ~ should be interesting!) in a brown paper bag and $5 to add to the pot. We play as many games as there are brown bags and the winner of each game picks a brown bag or steals a gift from another woman (that’s where the bitch part comes in!) There is NO limit to the amount of times a gift can be stolen so there is a whole lot of bitchiness goin’ on. Fun stuff!

At the end of the night, the last game is played and that lucky lady wins the pot which usually consists of $100 give or take! Pretty cool, huh? I think so!

Tonight I am taking some guacamole and this Cilantro Lime Corn Salsa to go along with the Mexican theme.

I. Heart. This. Salsa. The link above will take you to the pork soft tacos that go along with this yummy salsa. The pork soft tacos are fabuloso, too! I have made them TONS. (I use cumin instead of the paprika). Anyhoo……this corn salsa is great on anything Mexican or added to a salad, so if you decide to make it, makes LOTS! I imagine it’d be great with some chopped tomatoes added in and chips, too!

Have a super, spicy Saturday night…..I know I’m planning to! {wink wink}

P.S. Jay is taking the kiddos to Chuck E. Cheese….so glad I got a hall pass out of that escapade! Thanks, babe! XOXO

Friday Five

1. Superbowl menu is set….making it easy:

Cranberry Meatballs (as seen here)
Sonoma Salad (find it here)
Artichoke Dip (check it out here)

Superbowl sipping will be vodka crans with a twist of lime.

There…..done! That was easy!

2. Elliott made all her playdate friends some paper chains – one for each child. She was busy, cutting, taping and creating this morning…this was all HER idea! Love that girl…

3. I’ve been bitten by a creativity bug….all these cute blogs that I’ve discovered…the only thing is is that I’m not a sewer or a scrapbooker or a gardener, but I am feeling inspired and am going to look around the house and see what I can CREATE or REARRANGE or ORGANIZE and give the place a little kick in the pants for Valentine’s Day! So glad it’s on a weekend so we can celebrate as a family and I can try some new recipes! Stay tuned…

4. I am feeling a little selfish lately and am looking forward to reserving a teeny bit of this year’s tax return for MYSELF. (Don’t worry Jay….I only need a few bucks (relatively speaking, of course!) There are some goodies that I have my eye on….nothing expensive, just a couple things on Etsy, The Pioneer Woman Cookbook and a couple apothecary jars….that’s about it.

5. Countdown to Holden’s 3rd birthday party…I am having fun planning the menu, getting the favor bags all figured out, picturing the decorations all hung and working out the FUN cake that I have planned…

I am also excited to see how low I can keep the budget on this party ~ so far, so good:

*Invites were under 10 cents a piece
*FREE bounce house thanks to MEG!
*Decorations from Dollar Tree and 90% off Christmas stuff @ Target
*Making my own cake

Should be a “blast”!

Happy Friday!

A “PW” Weekend

Wow! I’m recovering from another awesome weekend.

A “PW” weekend, if you will…

It consisted of “P”lentiful “W”orkouts….

….all because of several “P”ioneer “W”oman recipes that I tried.

We took a little drive and played in some “P”owdery “W”hite!

There were a couple “P”igskin “W”ins to determine this year’s Superbowlers.

So I guess you could say that it was a “P”erfectly “W”onderful weekend!

On Saturday night I made Pioneer Woman’s “most favorite burger ever (for now)”. You can find the recipe here.

They were delish and a nice departure from the turkey burgers with cheddar and horseradish that I’ve been making for the past few years now! Jay was pleased that I finally made some HAMburgers with real ground BEEF!

Here is a “before” pic:

Um, let me just say that what you see above is 2 pounds of meat…PW uses 2 pounds of meat for TWO burgers! What? I mean I know cowboys work hard and all and can put some food away, but WOW! Those’d be some GRANDE burgers! Half pounders are MORE than enough for us!

Here is the “in process” pic:

And, my friends, here is the “after” pic when these babies are all dressed up and ready to go:

Please don’t tell PW that I served her fave burgers with Ore Ida Seasoned Crinkle Fries! Shhhhh!

I tell you, I have a whole new appreciation for the Kaiser Roll! I usually use toasted english muffins for my burgers, but kaisers are a tad crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside! I followed PW’s orders and buttered and toasted them and OMG! Sorry, little english muffins, but these were fantastic and the tabasco mayo, caramelized onions and bleu cheese put them over the top. I used fresh baby spinach as my “green” just so I could feel like there was some sort of healthy component to this meal!

After this scrumptous dinner, I ran to Target to get Holden some boots for the snow since we had a little mini road trip planned for Sunday morning. This is what I found:

Lovin’ all the Paul Frank stuff at one of my favorite stores these days!

I got up early Sunday morning and made some Monkey Bread. Another evil concoction that PW has on her blog!

Now this stuff is like a drug so be careful!

After we ate the sinful Monkey Bread, we headed to Frazier Park for some fun in the snow!

It was a blast and only about 45 minutes away!

And the weekend wouldn’t be complete without me trying PW’s Quesadillas de Camarones.

The quesadillas were good…Jay said the shrimp was “not evident”…hmmm, I think the camarones should be evident in a quesadilla named after them so next time I’ll add more of the little critters. He also wasn’t a big fan of the green salsa, so next time maybe some homemade red salsa to go alongside. After indulging in the monkey bread earlier in the day, I felt guilty about adding butter to the pan to brown and crisp up the tortillas…but I had to follow PW’s orders. Next time I may try to make them a little more figure friendly….I tried to go a little lighter on the queso, too. But overall, they were good!

I also made some quacamole….I can’t blame PW for that. That was all MY doing, unfortunately.


2 ripe avocados

1/4 onion (red or white), minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small tomato, seeded & chopped

bunch cilantro, chopped

juice of 1 lime or 1/2 lemon

salt & pepper to taste

dash cumin

That’s it! Mix it all up and dig in with your favorite tortilla chips.

I think I’ll have to incorporate more “P”lentiful “W”orkouts into this week’s agenda because there are a couple other visions of yumminess I’d like to try on PW’s blog…it’s a vicious cycle!

Hopeful in Haiti

Before I started my blog, I followed several other bloggers. One blog led me to another, and another, so on and so forth. There are a handful that I follow daily. Recently I learned of a family that has been trying to adopt a little boy from Haiti for the past few YEARS. Years, not months. Now with last week’s tragedy, this little boy’s future is even more uncertain. With Humanitarian Parole, they hope to get him where he needs to be – HOME. Home in the O.C. with his older brother, also from Haiti, two darling sisters and two loving parents who are waiting with open arms.

The mother of this precious little boy posted this video on her blog. It was written and performed by a fellow daddy who, along with his wife, is also awaiting the homecoming of their Haitian son, Amos.

As you listen to this, please pray for these orphans and their parents in the U.S. that are wishing them HOME.

One Year Anniversary

This past weekend marked our 1-year anniversary here in So Cal. Last November we moved back down south to Santa Clarita from Gilroy/Bay Area in Nor Cal. Talk about time flying! I seriously can’t believe that it’s been 365 days or 52 weeks or 12 months since we moved….proof that life is going by WAY too fast these days and a reminder to enjoy every day, make beautiful memories and appreciate your friends and family!

Our friends, The Sharp’s, recently found out that they’ll be moving to the East Coast…this makes us very sad, but at the same time we are happy that Kev has a fantastic new job and now we have an excuse to hop on a plane and visit Delaware. They came up to visit and say goodbye (sniff, sniff) before they pack up and head across the country. Their dear friends (and now ours too!), The Lundstrom’s, also came up for the night from Simi and we sat around eating appetizers, drinking wine and chatting.

Here is a picture of Holden with Garrett Lundstrom. Holdy LOVES Garrett! (and I think Garrett loves Holdy, too!)


And here is a pic of Brynn Lundstrom, Elliott, Holden and Sophie Sharp!


The next morning we went to feed the ducks at the lake in our development.


A hug for Sophie before heading to the playground.


On our way back to the car, Kevin tried to get a good pic of our fam for this year’s Christmas card. I wanted an organic, candid-type shot. Elliott is NOT liking to have her picture taken lately…sssssoooooo, we will have to try again this weekend, but here is one that was cute and almost the look I was going for. Thanks for your photography skills, Kev!


And here are our darling friends Kevin, Debbie & Miss Sophie Sharp.


We wish you the best as you enter your next exciting chapter in life! You will meet wonderful new friends, uncover new traditions and make many happy memories in your new little part of the world, Delaware! Before you know it, you too will be celebrating your one-year anniversary in your new home. We love you and will miss you lots, but remember this isn’t “Goodbye” it’s “See ya later!” XOXO