The Best Lasagna Ever

Last weekend, my daughter, Madison, made the BEST lasagna I have ever tasted – and that’s not easy for me to say because I have my own lasagna recipe that I’ve made up and perfected over the years.  I asked Madison where she got the recipe.  She said, “Oh, The Pioneer Woman”.  So there you go, I should have known.  Everything The Pioneer Woman makes is delicious!



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Fourth Of July Desserts

Is summer over YET???


It is so hot here in Fresno – 109 degrees today.

M – I – S – E – R – A – B – L – E

The weather says “Excessive Heat Warning in California”.

We are supposed to hit 112 degrees tomorrow.

I’m thankful for our air conditioning and swimming pool
(can hardly wait to see the electric bill)

Okay, enough about the weather….

Any big plans for the 4th of July?

We plan on making homemade ice cream, swimming until dark, and lighting some fireworks.

My husband and I love having our grandchildren in town so we can carry-on
all of the traditions that we grew up with.

If you’re looking for some yummy desserts to celebrate the day,
here are a few you might want to try!

4th of July collage

1.  Project Queen – 4th of July Brownie Pops

2.  Bird On A Cake – Patriotic Ruffled Cake

3.  The Kitchen Magpie – Easy 4th of July Cake

4.  The Winthrop Chronicles – American Flag Pie

5.  The Sister’s Cafe – 4th of July Strawberries

6.  Good Housekeeping – Cupcake Flag

7.  Skinny Taste – Red, White and Blueberry Triffle

8.  Itsy Bitsy Foodies – Stars and Stripes Rice Krispies

9.  My Juice Cup – 4th of July Cake Pops

Happy 4th of July!!







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Mangoes – Choosing, Cutting and Recipes

Mango Recipe PicMonkey Collage

Mangoes were not something that I grew up with… so I have to admit I’m still on a learning curve with them.  They are in season right now (beginning in May – September), and they are delicious!

I’ve gathered some information that I wanted to share (along with some yummy recipes) that have helped me, and I hope that they do the same for you.

First, let’s talk about how to pick a mango:


  • Most varieties will blend red-to-orange-to-yellow when they are ripe.
  • Keep in mind though, there are varieties that stay green when they are ripe.
  • Look for the mango to be full and plump around the stem.
  • Do not pick flat or thin mangoes, as they might be stringy.
  • Pick one that is shaped like a football.


  • When mangoes are ripe, they are very fragrant.
  • Smell the area close to the stem.


  • Find a mango that yields to gentle pressure with no blemishes or dark spots.
  • A ripe mango will feel similar to a ripe avocado or peach.
  • A ripe mango will be heavier than an unripened one (same with most fruits).

How to store a ripe mango:

  • A ripe mango can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

How to freeze a ripe mango:

How to cut a mango:

1.  Coconut Mango Cake – Messy Little Cook

2.  Chili-Lime Chicken Mango Skewers – Our Best Bites

3.  Orange Mango Nut Bread with Ginger Honey Butter – Cooking On the Side

4.  Mango Citrus Daiquiri – Emeril’s

5.  Mango Cake with Mango Cream Cheese Frosting – Drizzle and Dip
She also has a great conversion table.

6. Mango-Rita – Champagne Mango

7.  Mango Bars – Baking Bites

8.  Mango Struesel  – Feast On the Cheap

9.  Mango Pineapple Salsa – Brown Eyed Baker

10.  How To Cut A Mango –  Champagne Mango

11.  Mango Gingersnap Flan – NL Rock Recipes

12.  Mango and Honey Crostini – Nikki Dinki Cooking

13.  Steak and Mango Salad with Cilantro Dressing –

14.  Upside Down Mini Mango Cakes – Ann Coo Journal

15.  Mango Cupcakes – Hungry Rabbit NYC

16.  Mango Getaway Bars – Taste Of Home

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!













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Amazing Chocolate Cake

Amazing Chocolate Cake

I needed a “knock your socks off” recipe
for a chocolate cake last week.

I ran across this one from the Barefoot Contessa.
She calls it “Beatty’s Chocolate Cake”.

It was so moist.

Absolutely delicious!

Everyone raved about it.

Definitely a keeper.


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Cheesy Amish Breakfast Casserole


I hope you all enjoyed your Easter.
Ours was wonderful and the weather was perfect for our Easter egg hunt.

We had a crazy weekend (Saturday I turned the BIG 5-0) so Easter was very low-key.
So, I decided to have brunch.

The challenge was to find a menu
(besides pancake and waffles) that everyone – young and old would like.

We kept our menu simple:

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake
Cheesy Amish Breakfast Casserole
Fruit Salad

I’m sharing the Cheesy Amish Breakfast Casserole recipe.

and everybody liked it.
Definitely “Pin” worthy!





Spring Pretzel Nests


Hello Everyone!
Spring is here and I am ready for it!
I’m ready for the sun to shine, for the  birds to chirp and the flowers to bloom.

The other day the boys and I stumbled upon an empty bird’s nest.  My 3 year old got the biggest kick out of it and was so sad that there were no eggs in it.

As I was cleaning out my car a few days later (swearing that the kids were never going to be allowed to eat in my car again) I found my 7 year old’s stash of sticks and left over pretzel sticks strewn across the backseat.  Looking at the combo gave me a great idea! A PRETZEL NEST!!!  I know what you’re thinking… this lady gets her inspiration from some pretty crazy places! 🙂

My first thought was, “How am I going to get the pretzels to stick together?”  I am a pro at Rice Krispy Treats.. what choice do I have when my kids sign me up for bake sales at school and don’t tell me until the morning of?!  So butter and marshmallows it was.

I began by heating up the butter and melting the marshmallows.

But instead of Rice Krispies, I added a bag of pretzel sticks.

I lined a cereal bowl with wax paper, sprayed the wax paper with non-stick spray and spooned in my mixture.  I sprayed a spoon with nonstick spray and made a little nest shape.  Then, I let it cool.

If you want to make a chocolate nest, melt some baking chocolate and dip the whole nest into it and set it on wax paper until it sets.  They aren’t as pretty as the plain nests, but boy do they taste good!

I added some chocolate candy eggs and a little chocolate duck.   My three year old loved it.  He said, “Mommy, my chocolate duck laid chocolate eggs!’

I think it turned out pretty cute and the boys loved them!

Pretzel Nests

3 Tablespoon butter
1 bag of large marshmallows

Mix with:
1 bag pretzel sticks

Makes 4 large nests.

Thanks Mandy for having me!! Hope everyone has a great week!!


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Samoa Brownie Cookie Bars

I came across this recipe and traced it back to Jasey’s Crazy Daisy delightful blog.  Her recipes won’t disappoint any sugar addicts out there.  Be sure you pay her a visit and tell her Project Queen sent you!

Two weeks ago my husband broke down at the grocery store and bought a box of Samoa cookies from the darling Girl Scouts, in which 3 of us devoured in 5 minutes flat!  Last weekend I started thinking about the stinkin’ sweet Somoa cookies from the weekend before (are you following me?).   I decided I needed to make something like them for Sunday night family dinner.

These did not disappoint any of us!  They were BETTER than the Girl Scout Samoa’s, especially when they were cold – right out of the refrigerator.  Worth every single BIG OL’ FAT calorie!


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Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe Round-Up

As much as I love the way my mom taught me to make Corned Beef and Cabbage (just boiled in a big ol’ pot),
I’m going to branch out this year and try something new.
Which one might you try?
I’m still deciding… they all look delicious!

Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage
Family Fresh Meals

corned beef shepherds pie

Shepherd’s Pie
Holy Cannoli Recipes

Cabbage Stew
Preparedness Pro

Corned Beef Cabbage Turnovers
Recipe Girl

Corned Beef and Cabbage Calzones
Reader’s Digest

Corned Beef and Cabbage Salad

Corned Beef and Cabbage Hash
Corned Beef and Cabbage Hash
Deep South Dish

Scalloped Corned Beef and Cabbage
Rachael Ray Magazine

Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup
Skinny Taste

Corned Beef and Cabbage Pizza
Seeded At the Table

Corned Beef and Cabbage Patties
Adora’s Box

Easy Corned Beef and Cabbage
Paula Deen















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Gingersnap Cookies

You are in for a treat!!!

These are the BEST cookies.

They are sooo easy and turn out sooo pretty every single time I make them.

The odds are good people!

I’ve been making them since I was 12 years old.

 They NEVER disappoint.

They melt in your mouth with a spot of Chamomile Tea.

To die for.

So make a double batch.


Fox Hollow Cottage

mop it up mondays feature


Chicken Tikka Masala

Lately, I cannot cook worth a darn.  It is pathetic.
The only thing that comes out good is when I make cookies.

Because we cannot live on cookies alone I have to keep trying, trying, trying.  Ugh.

My problem?  I’m so burned out from 23 years of having dinner
on the table at 6:00.
My husband teases me about not having to cook for an army anymore.
I seriously do not know how to cook for 2 people.
Nor, do I want to cook at all anymore….
but we won’t tell him that.
What’s wrong with a bowl of cereal for dinner?

I decided not to give up.
I also decided not to make a kid friendly meal,
and go all out and try my favorite Indian dish.

Chicken Tikka Masala.

I found this recipe from Chef in Training.
She has some great recipes!

Give this one a try… I think you will like it.



I’m sharing with these great parties!

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