Thursday, October 23, 2014

Roasted Red Pepper Alfrado

Recipe Source: Pinterest
Made: October 12, 2014

  • 12 ounces linguine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
  • 1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
  • Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in milk, heavy cream, goat cheese and Parmesan until cheeses has melted, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add red peppers and puree with an immersion blender. Stir in pasta and gently toss to combine; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan, if desired.

Thoughts:  Pretty good.  I'm not a big fan of goat cheese so I thought the taste was a little strong, but Dakota loved it.  We will probably make this again.  It's super easy to make.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Pick Pumpkins

In 2011 it was the first year doing my 52 week project and the first year we went to the pumpkin patch.  Ok, not the first time ever, but the first time in a really long time.  I remember laughing as dad claimed he found the best looking pumpkin; the one that looked like it had exploded.  The weather was perfect and felt like fall had arrived.   We had so much fun goofing around that we decided we would do this each year.

In 2012 things were a little different.  Dad was recovering from his second bone morrow transplant and couldn’t go.  It was just me and mom.  We had fun, but we wished dad could go with us to because we know he secretly liked going last year.  It was a little bittersweet.  This time the weather was chilly and coats were definitely needed.

In 2013.  The cancer is coming back but things are still ‘normal’.  This year is was hot and humid.  We had a large storm come through in the morning and it left the farm a little muddy, but it didn’t stop us from picking pumpkins.  Just like last year dad found the best looking pumpkin.  This one looked like it had exploded, been turned inside out and baked in an over.  Dakota came with us and he found the three largest pumpkins on the farm.

This year, 2014, Dakota and I are engaged.  (Next year we will be a week away from getting married!)  Dad's still battling cancer and has a broken collar bone as a result of the cancer growing after not being on chemo for 6 months earlier this year.  However, he has recently started a new treatment plan and seems to be doing alright.  Mom has been dealing with asthma and was having some troubles breathing, but nothing too bad.  She was still very happy to come with us and keep the tradition going.  This year was also very, very cold.  You can't tell, but I have three layers of long sleeves on.  So very different from the year before.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

40 Recipes | Chicken Noodles Casserole

Recipe Source:Pinterest
Made: September 10, 2014


  • 2 cups uncooked egg noodles
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 package {16oz.}  frozen peas, carrots, beans and corn
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Chopped onion
  • 2 TBSP. Melted Butter
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning


Cook noodles according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.
Drain noodles; add to chicken mixture.
Transfer to greased 8 inch cake pan (I used a pie plate).
Cover and bake remaining casserole at 350 for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 10-15 minutes longer until heated through.

Thoughts:  It was good. Probably needed a little extra time cooking.
Make Again?:  Probably.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Watch Sunrise/Get Engaged

A few weeks ago Dakota and I traveled to Glaveston, Texas for a family vacation with his parents, sisters, and their families.  I had two things I wanted to do on this trip, watch the sunrise on the beach and see the Point Bolivar Lighthouse. 

We arrived to Texas on Monday night and we discussed what we should do for the week.  When we checked the weather (all week long before) it said it would rain the entire trip.  Such a bummer...  Since we weren't sure what the weather would be like, Dakota and I decided to try the sunrise on Tuesday morning.  That way, if it was raining, we could catch it later in the week.

Tuesday came bright and early.  I was grumpy because I wasn't ready to get up and the weather said that rain would hit in any minute.  But Dakota still convinced me to get out of bed and hope that when we got to the beach, the clouds wouldn't be covering up the sky.

We walked across the street and down to the beach.  And since this was on my 101 list I had to get a photo of us with the sunrise.

I took one photo and loved it, but knew I wanted something a little more romantic.  Dakota is not a PDA person so I asked him to humor me and take a photo of us kissing.  He agreed, but knew he probably would because we were the only people on the beach. 

I checked the photo on my camera, loved it, and wanted to get another one, just in case.  I asked him to get closer and he said ok, but make sure my feet are still in the photo.  I said, don't worry, they are. I set the timer, clicked the shutter, ran over the Dakota....

...and he dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him. 

Of course, I said yes as he slid the ring on my finger and I shook with excitement. 

I checked my camera and found this amazing photo.  (I just took my own proposal photo and didn't even know it was happening!)  We sent it to my parents and closest friends and we walked a little longer on the beach.

This was the last photo I got of the sunrise.  The bugs were horrible and I got eaten alive.  We also wanted to get back home before the rain began. 

We got to the house and showed Dakota's family the photo I got to tell them the news that we are engaged.  (All of them knew Dakota was going to ask this week.)

After the excitement wore off a little (who am I kidding, I'm still excited and shocked!), Dakota's sister noticed this rainbow in the back yard.  I got engaged and God gave me a rainbow and rainbows are very significant to my family.  I think he is very happy!

Done : September 16, 2014

Saturday, September 27, 2014

5 Local Restaurants

1.  Piatto 614 | January 25, 2013 | First date with Dakota.
2.  Bad Art Bistro | July 1, 2013 | Date with Dakota.
3.  Geneos Pizza | March 12, 2014 | Girl date with Ashto and Kenzie.
4.  Pappy's Grill and Pub | April 3, 2014 | Dinner with Dakota.
5.  Frederick Inn | August 14, 2014 | Dinner with Dakota's family.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Go for a Hike

While Dakota and I were in Minnesota earlier this month, we walked around Minnehaha Falls before our trek back home.  The weather was beautiful and it was just what we needed before making the drive back home.  It was an awesome morning.

Done: September 7, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Have a Picnic

During our family vacation in July, we stopped at a Montana state park to have a picnic on our way from Glacier to Missoula.  We found this large lake with some picnic tables along the coast.  Even though it was the end of July, it was very cold.  Mom and dad had to get jackets and I was wrapped up in 2 towels.  It was actually pretty funny to see us cuddled up together, eating deli sandwiches in summer.  Far from what happens back home.  But it was so nice to get out of the car, and have some quiet family time.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Visit the Northwest

When I wrote this item I orginally had going to Washington Sate in my head.  But that didn't happen (and most likely won't happen on this 101 list).  But that's ok.  Becasue we went to Glacier National Park and that is very much in the northwest part of the country.  And it was absouletely beautiful!  We so want to go back!  Hopefully we will!

(P.S. I still want to visit Washington State!)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Peanut Butter Brownie Bites

Recipe Source:Pinterest
Made: August 3, 2014

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon water
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, plus about 1/3 cup more for garnishing
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips, plus about 1/3 cup more for garnishing
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or grease 12 muffin cups.

In a medium sized microwave-safe bowl combine sugar, softened butter, and water. Microwave on high for about 45 seconds or until butter is melted. Stir in 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips until melted. Stir in egg and vanilla extract, mix well. Add flour and baking soda, stir until combined. Allow the batter to cool to room temperature (doesn’t take very long). Then, stir in 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips and remaining 1/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups.

Bake for 13-15 minutes or until top is set and a toothpick inserted into center comes out slightly wet. After brownies are out of the oven, wait for centers to fall. This will happen upon cooling. If not (they did not for me) then tap the centers with the back of a teaspoon to make a hole for the peanut butter.

Place peanut butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 45 seconds then stir. While brownies are still war spoon about a tablespoon full of peanut butter into the center of each brownie. Top with remaining 1/3 cup of milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chips. Cool completely in pan.

Thoughts:  AMAZING!  So good.  Definitely keeping the recipe and doing again.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Go on a Family Vacation

Badlands National Park
Mount Rushmore
Crazy Horse
Devils Tower
Glacier National Park
Missoula, MT
Grand Teton

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Bran Muffins

Made: July 14, 2014

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cup Kellogg's All-Bran Original cereal
1 1/4 cup fat-free milk
1 egg
1/4 cup vegtable oil

Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In large bowl, combine cereal and milk.  Let stand about 2 minutes or
until cereal softens.  Add egg and oil.  Beat well.  Add flour mixture,
stirring only until combined.  Portions evenly into muffic pan cups
coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 400 degrees F about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Thoughts:  I don't like bran muffins.  I made these for D's co-workers.
But D and mom tried them and said they weren't bad for bran muffins.
So that's good.  Guess I'll use this recipe if I ever need to make bran
muffins again.

(Sadly, I forgot to take photo of

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

Recipe Source: Pinterest
Made: July 13, 2014


  • ⅓ cup milk + 2 tbsp.
  • 1½ tsp. white vinegar
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp. butter, melted
  • For the cinnamon sugar topping:
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease your donut pan and set aside.
  2. In a large measuring cup, combine the milk and vinegar and set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bow, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  4. Stir in the egg and melted butter into the milk and vinegar mixture. Then pour the milk mixture over the flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
  5. Transfer batter to donut pan. You can use a spoon to spoon the dough into the individual cavities or put it in a ziploc bag, cut the corner of it, and pipe it into the cavities.
  6. Bake for 7 minutes. Let cool in pan for 1-2 minutes when done and remove from pan and set on wire rack to cool completely.
  7. In the meantime, in a small microwave safe bowl, melt 2 tbsp. of butter.
  8. In another small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon and mix together.
  9. When donuts are done cooling, brush one half of the donut with the melted butter and dip that side into the cinnamon sugar. Place back on wire rack. Repeat until all donuts have been covered with cinnamon sugar.
  10. These donuts taste best the day of but you can still eat them the day after. I wouldn't keep them longer than two days.

Thoughts:  Not good.  The dough was awful.  I liked the concept of donuts, but we will definitely be trying new recipes.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Have a Garage Sale

We had a garage sale and did alright.  Mom sold a lot of plants.  Some people even asked to have them out of our garden!  I wasn't sure how well my clothes would sell, but I made close to $40 off of them.  Not too shabby, considering I wasn't expected that much.  I still have a lot more to sell though....

So glad someone was able to find treasures that we out grew...(.both physically and metaphorically).

Done: June 6, 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Lemonade Cake

Recipe Source: Pinterest
Made : April 19, 2014


  • Cake:
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 3 tablespoons thawed lemonade concentrate $
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • large eggs $
  • large egg whites $
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups fat-free buttermilk
  • Cooking spray
  • Frosting:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 2 teaspoons thawed lemonade concentrate $
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. To prepare cake, place first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; stir well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat well after each addition.
  3. Pour batter into 2 (9-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray; sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.
  4. To prepare frosting, place 2 tablespoons butter and the next 4 ingredients (2 tablespoons butter through cream cheese) in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, and beat at low speed just until blended (do not overbeat). Chill 1 hour.
  5. Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Store cake loosely covered in the refrigerator.

Thoughts:  It was good.  The frosting was amazing, but the cake needed more lemon flavor.

Verdict:  Make again?  Probably.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Visit 5 Museums

1. Albrect Kemper Museum of Art | September 2012

2.  Atchison | May 2013

3.  Mob Museum | March 2014

4.  Neon Sign Museum | March 2014

5.  World War I | April 2014

Monday, May 19, 2014

Try 3 New Foods

1. Eggplant 8/22/13
2. Chicken and cheese tamale 9/9/13
3. Salmon 3/1/14

Done: March 1, 2014

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

WWI Museum

 Finally went to tour the WWI Museum in KC.  Absolutely loved it!  Of course, my favorite part was the view at the top of Liberty Memorial.  Stunning views of the city I call home.  This is such a great gem of our city.  I'm sad it took me this long to find it, but I'm so thankful I finally found it!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

40 Recipes| Carrot Cake

Made: January 29, 2014
A family recipe that has been made for years and will continue to be made for many more!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Volunteer at a food kitchen

A few weeks ago I volunteered at our local food bank.  We have a program called back pack buddies which offers food for children who don't get 3 meals a day.  The purpose of this program is to insure that the child will not go hungry over the weekend.  It is an incredible act of giving and I'm glad I got to be a part of it.

#54 of 101
Completed: April 10, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

40 Recipes | Egg Casserole

So I haven't posted this in so long because I lost the recipe.  I still haven't found it, but the OCD in me still has to post this recipe.

Made: January 17, 2014

Thoughts:  It was alright.

Verdict: Make again?  Probably not.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

See a Cirque du Soleil Show

Earlier this month, I traveled to Las Vegas for the first time with Dakota and his family.  We scored some great tickets and got front row (technically second row) seats for the Zarkana Cirque du Soleil show.  It was incredible and I can't wait to go back and see more shows!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Send a Letter to Someone Outside the USA

I have a very good friend whom I met in ballet class when we were in junior high.  She now lives in Germany with her husband and brand new baby boy.  I sent them a little baby gift congratulating them on their new addition.  I'm so happy for them and know they will be incredible parents!

Monday, February 17, 2014

French Toast

Recipe Source: Pinterest
Made : January 5, 2014

6 large eggs
1 1/2 cup heavy cream, half and half, or milk
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
6 slices (1 inch thick) bread, preferably day old
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
pure maple syrup, for serving

1. Whisk together, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.
2. Place bread in a shallow baking dish large enough to hold bread slices in a single layer.  Pour egg mixture over break; soak 10 minutes.
3.  Turn slices over, soak until soaked through, about 10 minutes more.
4.  Heat 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat.  
5.  Fry bread slices until golden brown. 
6.  Serve warm with syrup and powdered sugar.

Thoughts:  It was good, but still needs some tweaking.

Verdict:  Make again?  Probably.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Keep a Gratitude Journal

This was definitely something I would recommend everyone to do at least once in their lifetime.  Each day for an entire year, I wrote down something that I was grateful for.  Some days were awesome and created a list of things that I was grateful for.  Other days were hard and I really had to search for the good in that particular day.  But what I found out was that even on the hard days, I could find something good.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Do Ali Edwards' One Little Word Project

My word for 2013 was GRACE.  I want to live life full of gratitude and dignity, and I think for the most part, I did in 2013.  I so loved doing this project and learned how powerful one word can be.  Even though the year is over, grace is still going to be a huge part of my life.  I can't wait to see where it shows up again in my future!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Do project life – 2013

I’ve been scrapbooking since I was a junior in high school.  For 2013, I took a slightly different approach to documenting and embarked on Project Life.  I am so thankful I did!  While I’ve always taken lots and lots of photos, I only take them when something big happens.  Project Life forced me to document the little every day events that make up so much more of our life.  It has been so rewarding to see all of 2013’s blessings reflected back to me in one nice, neat (extremely large and heavy) scrapbook.  Project Life, I think you will be sticking around a little while longer.

50 of 101
Completed: January 3, 2014

Saturday, January 4, 2014

40 Recipes | Overnight French Toast

Recipe Source: Pinterest
Made : December 29, 2013

¼ cup butter, melted
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 loaf of French bread, sliced into 1 ½ inches thick
8 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ cup pecans, measured then chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt
Maple syrup and powdered sugar to top (optional)

1. In a small bowl combine brown sugar and melted butter and pour on the bottomw of a 9x13 baking dish.
2. Arrange slices of bread in the baking dish overlapping if necessary.
3. Combine milk, eggs, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a bowl and pour evenly over bread slices.
4. Sprinkle chopped pecans over bread slices.
5. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 4-12 hours.
6. in the morning, take the casserole out of the fridge for at least 10 minutes while you are preheating the oven to 350 degrees.
7. Bake casserole for 30-35 minutes.  If top starts browning too quickly place a foil loosely over the top of the casserole for the last 10 minutes or so.
8. Remove casserole from over and let it cool slightly before serving.  Serve with a dusting of powered sugar and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Thoughts:  I wanted more of a traditional French toast.  This was too eggy.  I really liked the idea of it though.  Still looking for something that is easy to make and doesn’t take too long in the mornings to prepare.

Verdict:  Make again?  Probably not.