Creamy Shrimp and Veggie Pasta

Mr. Insanity and I were talking about places I actually enjoy being at, other than home. I am a known homebody. My list was church, target and the supermarket. I am sure most people can relate to target, I swear they pump something into the air that has some sort of addictive quality, but I know most people hate the supermarket. In my defense, I go on Saturday with out any kids. I always have my list and a pretty solid idea of the meals for the week, but I never know exactly what produce I am going to buy. I love looking through produce and feeling inspired by the beautiful colors of the veggies, and the aroma of the herbs. Often I will find myself making small changes to the menus based on what catches my eye in the produce department. I always put tomatoes into this pasta, they help make the sauce, but the other veggies are definitely negotiable. I used asparagus, broccoli and summer squash today, but I have used carrots, snow peas, zucchini, and spinach in the past. I mostly look at the colors and try and get a blend to really make a beautiful dish. Continue reading

Peanut Butter Fudge Bars

When I decided that I wanted to create a peanut butter bar, I knew almost immediatly I wanted to steal the fudge fillling from these delicious oatmeal chocolate bars. I stumbled across those bars a few years ago and they are super yummy.  Once I knew the filling it was pretty easy to toss together a quick peanut butter cookie crust. The hardest part of these bars for me is making sure I bake them long enough, I am a known undebaker. The other key to the success of these bars is letting them cool long enough, they will be a gooey mess (but still quite tasty) if you don’t let them cool completely.  Let’s get down to baking. Continue reading

Fun Homemade “Frozen” Cake

My baby girl just turned two, and after much discussion, her brothers, I mean she, decided she wanted a frozen cake.  The kids thought I should make an ice castle and all of the figures, but since I am a little more grounded in what my design abilities actually are, we decided on a mountain with store bought figures.  While this is a time consuming process, I think it is a cake that most people could recreate.  This cake doesn’t have any detail work and is basically just a blob of cake covered in fondant.  Here is the process including some of my missteps that will hopefully help you in your cake adventures.
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Hearty Minestrone Soup

I used to really have a hard time liking broth based soups. Don’t judge me too harshly, but I can’t stand chicken noodle soup.  This is a safe space for me to admit that right?  I know everyone loves chicken noodle soup and its supposed to have magical healing abilities and all that, but it really just seems so boring to me.  Maybe I just haven’t had the right one yet (I really hope my mom doesn’t read today’s post).  For a long time, I just stuck to cream based soups, and then one day I tried a bite of French Onion Soup, and I realized broth based soups might have something to offer.  I now love a variety of broth based soups, the caveat is that they need to be totally loaded up on flavor.  This minestrone is souper flavorful(see what I did there?).  This soup is loaded with veggies, and honestly not too hard to make.  You can make this on a Saturday afternoon and have  an easy healthy lunch for the week. If the beans don’t offer enough protein, add a little shredded chicken to the soup and you are good to go.  Only bad thing is my kids won’t touch it, they all hate tomatoes, I blame their father. Continue reading

Easy All Butter Flaky Pie Crust

The leaves are turning orange and that means it’s pie season! I love pretty much every kind of pie, except custard pie, which oddly enough happens to be Mr. Insanity’s favorite pie.  I use butter in my crust and only butter, I don’t really love the flavor of Crisco (who does?) and I try and avoid it whenever possible.  I also think that butter gives the crust a better texture than a crust that has shortening in it.  I once made a butter and bacon fat pie crust, but that was impossible to work with, although it did taste AMAZING.  I welcome you to try it some day if you are a fellow bacon lover.  A warning about using just butter though, while it will taste great, and the texture is amazing, it is harder to work with than a butter/crisco combination.  You need to make sure you are keeping everything cold.  Do not, for example, try and make apple hand pies using hot filling because you will end up with a melted mess on your hands. I have learned the hard way, you can’t rush pie or hand pies for that matter. Continue reading

Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

I think I have mentioned I like to eat soups or salads for lunch most days.  If I keep my lunches and breakfasts fairly healthy I don’t feel so bad having a burger for dinner, or maybe even a slice of pecan pie afterwards.  I also need variety.  Mr. Insanity could eat the same thing every day for years and not become bored, even after decades of being together, I still don’t quite understand him. So, my quirk of needing variety means many salad dressing ideas.  I love creamy dressings, but I try and use them sparingly since they tend to be higher in calories than their vinaigrette counterparts.  I love the tangy sweetness that the honey and lemon create here. This is also a dressing you can make for any Paleo friends out there as I believe all of the ingredients in this are paleo friendly.  This is a super easy dressing that comes together in about five minutes. Continue reading

Pork and Bacon Tacos

I am excited to share this recipe with all of you.  I know I missed national taco day last week, but better late than never.  This taco is my best effort at recreating a favorite of mine and Mr. Insanity’s from when we used to actually go out to dinner.  We would go to our favorite Mexican Restaurant, sit at the bar to talk to our favorite bartender, and both order up the Tacos Caseros. Now we have many kids and getting out to dinner is near impossible, so I had to get to guessing in the kitchen and make my own version of our favorite dish. I love all kinds of tacos, but when you get bacon into the mix it is really just brilliant!  And, as a bonus, the margaritas that I used to order at my favorite little restaurant are now sold by the bottle so it really feels like we are on a date rather than at home surrounded by four kids.  These tacos are quite tasty, and even though they are not exactly like the original, they get two thumbs up from the hubby.   Continue reading