While you read this, I’ll be in sunny California! This is my first real vacation for the year, so I’m super excited for this. It’s time for our annual family get together, which can be both wondrous and stressful. Luckily, things are going fairly well and I’m just relaxing on the beach.
Let me back up a bit. We made this chili the week before we left. It’s not only easy (which is awesome because we’re still unpacking) but also makes up a lot of servings. We were able to eat this all week long. Usually we ate it for lunch because it heats up very nicely in the microwave.
This chili has a secret weapon, which is cocoa powder. It adds just a bit of richness while the chocolate taste goes undetected. Chocolate and beef actually complement each other quite nicely and the chocolate actually just enriches the beef flavor. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did! This chili became quite the regular over last winter.
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After the stress of seeing everything you own in so many boxes that they start to infiltrate your dreams, I decided that we had earned a nice drink! This Bahama Mama hit the spot and was deeply satisfying. It’s definitely been too long since we’ve made these!
Having an Irish boyfriend that doesn’t like beer means that you have a well stacked bar instead. I think we check out the liquor aisle every other grocery trip. When we first met, he came up with all sorts of drink combinations. Lately, we’ve been pretty boring and skipping on drinks. This just means that our alcohol lasts longer!
It also means that I’m not going to waste time with bad drinks. They’ve got to be sweet and delicious. I’m not one for sour/dry drinks (unless that’s a sweet and sour mix you’re adding). This tropical drink is the perfect way to end summer. It makes me a bit nostalgic for June. Can you believe that it’ll be September next week? Neither can I….where did the time go?
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WE’RE FINALLY IN OUR NEW APARTMENT!!!! I’m sorry for all the caps, but I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally be in my own space again. Do we still have boxes everywhere? Of course! Is any room organized?! Nope!! But it’s mine and I love the new place. This is a biiiiig step up from our last apartment. Once we get all the kitchen stuff put away, I’ll have a lot more counter space to work with. I hope to be able to do more stuff like breads and doughs.
For now though, I thought I’d keep it simple and comforting while I try not to stress over the overwhelming thoughts of “OMG why do we have so much and where is the best place to put it!?!?” I get overwhelmed pretty easily though. My brain just shuts off when I see all these boxes and all these potential places. We’re getting there...but I’m still counting down the days to my vacation!
This tuna noodle casserole is something I’d make when I was in high school. Of course I complained every minute about how laborious a task it was to put together. It’s a one pot dish…so it’s a super time saver. Back then, if it wasn’t cookies, I didn’t want any part of the preparation. Now though, it brings me back to those days. I haven’t made it in quite some time. In fact, I haven’t bought tuna for quite some time, but with all the stress of the move, it was time for a little comfort. I hope you find this just as comforting as I did.
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Have you ever been in a situation where you need to come up with a nice gift at the last minute? No? Oh….well then it must just be me. I feel as if I’m always looking for that last minute gift. A few years ago my mom decided to make chocolate covered pretzels for a family Christmas gift and they were a huge hit! They were so easy that I stole the idea and have made them for myself…I mean as gifts for friends.
I like to use a semi sweet chocolate instead of a milk chocolate for the base. To me, the milk chocolate is a little too sweet. You can leave it at just the chocolate, but I like to drizzle a little white chocolate on top. It makes it look just that bit more impressive. I also found these chopped mixed nuts and sliced almonds and thought that I needed some of those on these pretzels as well.
The quality of the chocolate and the pretzels are very important…though the chocolate is of course first priority. I recommend picking a brand of pretzels you trust and then picking a higher brand of chocolate, such as Ghirardelli or Bakers. I tried a lower quality one time thinking chocolate is chocolate…and they turned out just OK. It was the first time I had to take some pretzels home. Don’t make my mistake!Add a comment
My parents have the best garden. I get so many cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, and tons of other veggies that I just don’t know what to do with them. Usually I take them to work and it’s like a second Christmas in the office! Everyone always asks when I’m bringing in more cucumbers.
This time I’ve been gifted a bag full of zucchinis and there’s only so many times you can eat zucchini as it is before it gets a little old. I saw these zucchini muffins on Sally’s Baking Addiction and knew that this would be the change I was craving! Her muffins never let me down, and she’s perfected the art of the delicious big muffin top!!
I used a yellow zucchini, but a green one would work just as well. She adds nutmeg as well as cinnamon and while I like nutmeg well enough, I decided that it wasn’t quite close enough to Christmas for me and just added a touch more cinnamon instead. I also needed a few extra minutes than what she mentioned, but I think I got bigger muffins. These are incredibly delicious and they’re definitely going to be breakfast tomorrow!
I did add a little bit of sugar to the top of a couple of them. Those came out with a light color top while the ones without sugar had a darker top. I like it both ways, but adding the sugar to the top gives it a bit of a crunch. You can’t go wrong with either option!Add a comment
Hi! I’m Alexis, a 20 something college grad from the Midwest. I began to step into the kitchen when I wanted to learn how to make Korean food, and noticed that dishes which looked complicated turned out to be simple to put together (most of the time!). It’s also easier on my wallet, which is always an extra bonus. Thank you for visiting!