Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes seem to be a staple in a lot of people’s repertoire. Growing up, I really only thought that they came out of a box or premade from the store. And I can tell you I hated scalloped potatoes. They were horrible pieces of cardboard, sorry to the boxed brands out there. And the premade stuff from the store… yuck! I seriously hated scalloped potatoes. Until one day…

One day I went to a friends house. There for a while, we went to a friends house multiple times per week. And one night she made us dinner. She said she was making scalloped potatoes. Oh gosh, I rolled my eyes trying not to let her see my huge distaste for scalloped potatoes. Like the good dinner guest, I took a scoop and went and sat down. I planned on eating those scalloped potatoes first so that I could mask the taste with the rest of the food she made.

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Gus’s Mac and Cheeseburger

A couple weekends ago Abug wanted a new book. We decided we were going to go to town and get a new book. We asked what kind of book she wanted. Her answer: A Princess Book.  That day she came home with 3 books. A princess book, another book, and a Princess Cookbook. WHAT?!?! Yup, it exists. It’s called the Disney Princess Cookbook. After she picked out a few books, we went over to the cookbook section to browse. I saw this book and on the cover are three princesses. I figured it was a kids book in the wrong section, but when I picked it up, sure enough, it was a princess cookbook.

I’ve always been a huge proponent of learning to cook early. I got Tbug in the kitchen with me to the point at a young age I could sit in the kitchen, and actually turn her loose. I would just monitor the recipe to make sure she didn’t forget something.

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Greek Ravioli Skillet

Greek Ravioli Skillet. A perfect combination of salty and pasta. The combination of pasta, beef, Feta cheese, and Kalamata olives come together with zucchini, Basil, and tomato sauce to create a perfect Greek dish.

I mentioned yesterday that 9/11 holds a special, weird, place in my heart. Three different events happened on that day to just kind of leave me in tears. Losing my grandma was extremely difficult for me. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents (both sets, all 4 of them) growing up. Both my parents worked, so for many summers, I stayed with one or the other set of grandparents. Losing my first grandparent was difficult. You have no idea. I was in my early 20’s so I was lucky, some people don’t even get to meet their grandparents. I was extremely lucky.

So, what does that have to do with Greek Ravioli Pasta? Good question.Well… My grandma was half Greek. Her father actually came through Ellis Island. Once upon a time I went to New York City and did all the touristy things, including touring Ellis Island. That was CRAZY the things they went through coming through there. WOW! My great-grandpa died when my grandma was 5 years old. He got pneumonia a couple years before penicillin was invented. Had he gotten it after, he would have probably been saved, maybe anyway. Who really, truly knows.

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Molten Lava Cakes

Earlier this summer I was so excited when I found this Baking challenge… except, it let me down. Okay, I’ll explain. I was really looking for a reason to get excited about baking. I was also looking at finding new things to bake. Something to learn or a new recipe to try that may be different than what I already bake or something, right? Isn’t that the fun of a challenge? To learn something new… That’s what I thought…

So I was so excited to see September 1 come around. That meant something new on Sally’s Baking Challenge, except I was sorely let down. It was decorating a cupcake. Seriously? I’ve been working on making and decorating cupcakes already. I’ve had cake decorating classes. Decorating with icing and tips is nothing new to me. I wanted a challenge. And all she was doing was decorating a cupcake to look like a sunflower. You choose your own cupcake recipe. Well crap.

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Peaches and Cream Cupcakes

Okay guys, first off, I need to mention… I have an odd number of photos. Yes, there are 11 photos. For some reason I hate odd numbers. I think it is because I prefer symmetry instead of asymmetrical things. Sigh! Two… wait for the rest of this post because seriously. I’m still shaking my head! Finally, happy September. Now that it’s September, can I put my Christmas tree up yet?!?! You think I’m kidding? I’m really not…. Sadly…

Truth… Prior to a couple years ago, I’d never used farm fresh eggs. Yes, I grew up on a farm. No, we didn’t raise chickens. No one I knew raised chickens. We used store bought eggs. And truthfully… farm fresh eggs kind of freaked me out. I don’t know why? I can’t explain it. It is/was just a weird quirk with me. I say was because….. Those eggs above, are farm fresh. Yes, y’all I’ve been using Farm Fresh eggs. Truth number 2 right here… I hardly ever say y’all when speaking, but I will type it. Another thing I can’t explain.

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Lunchroom Lady Brownies

One day last week, I had a rough day. Nothing terrible went wrong per say, just it wasn’t a good day. Again… I’d take it over a really bad day any day of the week, but still. Hmm…… I wonder how many more times I can say day in this paragraph… Anyway, like I was saying before I got off on the day tangent, it just wasn’t a spectacular day. Enter in…

Lunchroom Lady Brownies.

It’s back to school in these parts. I was looking at all the back to school photos on Facebook. I was wondering if I’ve screwed up by not putting Abug in Preschool this fall. She’s only 3. But she is 3. back and forth. Round and round I went. Where I stopped, well feeling lousy about myself. I’m still not sure how I feel about the situation, but we won’t dwell on that another day…. at this point anyway.

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Aurora’s Pancakes

She’s amazing. She makes the women I dream about look like short, fat, bald men.”

Name the TV show that quote is from? If you know me… you know it is a quote from Friends. I claim myself to be a somewhat Friends aficionado. The series started in 1994 and ended in 2004. In 1994 I was 11 years old. I can’t really say I remember watching that as a kid. Probably a little above my maturity level then? But I became more and more of a fan the older I got. In fact, I own all 10 seasons + the game + the unofficial cookbook.

I absolutely LOVE pancakes. I really think it is a love at my house… minus hubby maybe… but does his opinion count? Maybe…. haha! The opinions that do count are mine and Abug. The sooner he learns that the better, am I right? When I was pregnant with Abug, there was one night early on in the pregnancy, I wasn’t even showing nor had we told many people, that I just down right, belligerently WANTED pancakes. The next morning, the hotel we stayed at had them, and they were just meh.

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Eat Like a Gilmore – Luke’s Meatloaf

When my husband and I got together, I was a Friends aficionado. It was sad really… I would quote lines and say things like crazy to the point he had to start watching it just so I didn’t have to explain myself all the time. Now we can call him a Friends aficionado also. He had a couple shows he was that way with too, one of which included Gilmore Girls. I had watched Gilmore Girls on and off, but never really paid a lot of attention. It was just usually on for background noise.

One day I was going through the Friend’s series again. He made me promise that once I was finished I had to watch Gilmore Girls start to finish. He owned all the seasons. I agreed. Man, that show is quite addicting! I really want to be Lorelai. She’s so spunky and the way she dresses. I really want her closet.

6 months to a year ago or so I found out someone wrote a cookbook. Hubby and I picked up the cookbook. I read through it but never really made anything from it. Sadly, that’s the way with most cookbooks I own and I own a lot.  Until now…

Eat Like a Gilmore: Luke's Meatloaf with a side of Mashed potatoes because who doesn't eat mashed potatoes with meatloaf! | Midwestern at Heart

Luke’s Meatloaf

If there is one thing I can tell you about the Gilmore Girls, if you’ve never watched the show… They love to eat. Bam. That’s really all you need to know. ha! Well that and with all they love to eat, Lorelai is skinny minnie. How in the heck. Oh wait, that’s right, it’s TV. Oh and she also lives on coffee. But let’s save that talk for another day, okay?

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Baking Challenge – Checkerboard Cake

I’ve mentioned a few times that I challenged myself to the “cupcake” challenge this year. You know… the Food Network January/February 2017 cupcake for every month challenge. Then a couple weeks ago I was talking to the hubs and told him that I needed a challenge for next year. He laughed at me saying, “But Nicole, you still have the rest of this year. We’re only at July.” I know, I know, but I’m thinking ahead. My idea was to do a pie for every month. Come on… who doesn’t like pie. And I may still persue that… who knows…

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Root Beer Float Cupcakes

Every so often I wind up looking up National holidays. Not the big ones that we all know like Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc… I’m talking the little ones… Like the one that hapepned on Sunday. What was Sunday? I’m so glad you asked. August 6th is National Root Beer Float Day. Nothing big, but still kind of fun to acknowledge.

Last week I wound up on a blog while doing some research and saw a recipe for Root Beer Float Cupcakes. I got it stuck in my head I needed to make those on National Root Beer Float Day. It combined 2 things in to 1. Root Beer Floats and cupcakes. And since I’ve been trying to teach myself how to make cupcakes, what better thing than to put my new fangled knowledge to work, right?

So nothing unusual about the beginning of these cupcakes… mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Easy peasy… But then comes an interesting part… Place the liquid ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat and melt together. Oh, and some of the liquid… none other than Root Beer because hellow, these are Root Beer Float Cupcakes, right? All of this was done in a bowl with a whisk… as in no electric mixer required for this step. This step=the making of the cupcakes.

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