Thursday, April 28, 2016

Puppy Chow

I love making treats for work and my team. I made these last week and they were a huge hit for our team meeting. I did not realize how easy it is to make puppy chow (mud buddies). Here is the recipe and some really blurry pictures.

What you need~
9 cups of chex cereal
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a large bowl measure out your cereal.

In a 1 quart bowl (microwavable) microwave the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered for 1 minute. Stir your mixture. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smoothly.

 Mix in the vanilla.

Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Put cereal into a large grocery store bag.

 Looks yummy. Add the powdered sugar to the bag and shake until well coated.

Looks so good. Pour out onto wax paper to dry.

I was tempted to eat it all instead of bringing to work but I behaved. I hope you enjoy this classic treat.

Until next time~
XoXo Emily

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sawyer August

Sometimes in life waiting for things is the hardest. Yesterday little Sawyer August Kussow joined this beautiful world. Most people know I do not want children. That does not mean I cannot love them to pieces. That is also why when your adoptive sister has your nephew it is extra special.

 Sisters from different Misters-
You ever meet someone when you are young and you click in every way. I always say that blood is really nothing when it comes to family for me. When I met Liz (Sawyer's mommy) we were really young and I remember her wearing these god awful socks with sandals. It was funny to me because she was so pure and kind. I was intrigued and confused by her but some sort of happiness has always radiated from her. It makes you want to be around her and hear her silly laugh. We are literally sisters in every sense of the word and watching her become a mother was really one of the best joys I have ever experienced.

Mister cool- 
I remember when Liz said she was going to start dating Brandon. I have never in my life met someone so damn smart. Little Sawyer is going to be sweet due to Liz and have brains like Brandon. He is really the type of person you have to be friends with and you go out of your way to hear his thoughts on things. PLUS, he knows how to calm all us crazy girls down. He is going to be a fantastic dad.

Enough about these amazing parents here are some pictures of the cutest little baby. He has a Jay Leno dimple in his chin. So dang cute.

I cannot wait to watch him grow into a little boy and a man someday. Life is such a beautiful thing. Welcome to this crazy and lovely world little one. Our hearts are already full of love for you.

Until next time~
XOXO Emily

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Mexican Oven Bake

Today you get 2 recipes for the price of 1. BOGO deal!
 I am not always the most creative cook I often follow recipes more than anything else or at least parts of recipes. As most people I try to really push myself out of my comfort zone. This is completely made up on the fly on Tuesday before Zumba. I prepped the meal so Ryan could throw it in the oven and we could eat right when I got home late. It was so easy to prep and it was tasty so I will be making it in the future.

What you will need~
 (For chicken)                                                         (For cauliflower)
2 chicken breast                                                      1 head of cauliflower
1 can of black beans                                               3 tablespoons of green hot sauce
1/4 cup of corn salsa                                              Nature's seasoning
~ 1 tablespoon of green onion
~ 1 tablespoon of Cilantro
1 slice of cheddar cheese sliced up
Cajun seasoning

 Cut up your cauliflower and coat with the hot sauce and Nature's Seasoning.
 Fully coated put in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 15-20 minutes. 
When they come out they are slightly spicy and oohhh so good. 

 Season your chicken breast with the cajun seasoning and put in a shallow baking dish.

 Time to add some corn and chili salsa. You can add whatever brand of salsa you wish.

Add the black beans ontop of the chicken which should have the corn salsa on it already. Top the mixture with the green onions, cilantro and finally the cheese. Put into the oven at 350 degree Fahrenheit for 30-45 minutes.

 It looked and smelled so amazing when Ryan pulled it out of the oven. I could not wait to eat it. With the cauliflower it was a hardy and healthy meal. 

Just looking at this picture makes me want to go and make it again.

Until next time~
XoXo Emily

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Cheap & Great Quality Glasses--Zenni Optical

You ever come across something that changes your life and then everyone around you for the better?

Disclaimer: I am not paid by this company, I wish!

When I first heard of Zenni I was a poor college student and I needed new glasses in the worst way. We all know most of the time of you go to a big box store you are going to pay at least $50-$80 on a crappy pair of lenses. Zenni is not like that. You have prices ranging from $6-50. Not only do they do normal glasses they do sunglasses as well as clip on sunglasses too.

I now have a large collection of glasses that is always growing. It is hard not to snap up all the pairs as they are so reasonable in price. I only ever had one pair break and I honestly think it was my fault for dropping them to much. The cool thing is all your need is your prescription to order and they do not ask for proof of it. So if you have not went to the eye doctor in ages no biggie!
Here are two of my favorite pairs.

This green/brown combo is $15.95.

This black pair is $20.90 after taxes.
Go out to the site and at least check it out if you have time I promise you will not regret it.

Until next time~
XoXo Emily

Thursday, April 14, 2016


If I had to pick one meal to select as my last meal on earth it would be meatloaf. I know I am a healthy eater now but there is something special about meatloaf. To make this a manageable option for my healthy lifestyle I sometimes make this with ground turkey. This time we wanted to get as close to my mom's as possible. Shout out to Lisa my mom who makes the BOMB meatloaf! 

I have also found a fun trick to limit my portion sizes as well as reduce the cook time by more than half. The trick you must be wondering about at this point. Make the meatloaf in a muffin tin!

Now the fun part about this recipe is that it is based off of my mom's as stated above and honestly she has shown me like 1,000 times how to make it and it is never as good as hers. You ever meet someone and ask for a recipe and they literally have no idea how much of anything they put in? That is this recipe. These amounts listed below are not exact amounts as I eye-ball this recipe like my mom does.

What you need~
1/1.5/2 pounds of meat
(depending on how many people you are feeding. I did 1 pound of ground beef)
1 cup crackers
(I had oyster so I used those and you could also use saltines) 
1 egg
Worcester sauce
1/2 cup onion
1 tablespoon of garlic or 2 cloves
Nature's seasoning or Mrs.dash

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Crush up your crackers and add your seasoning to a big bowl.
Cut up your onion and add it to the bowl with your egg, garlic and meat.

This is when you add some Worcester sauce. This is like the most underrated sauce out there I swear. I use it in a ton of recipes because it adds really good umami to a dish. When you use turkey meat it is especially helpful to add a great deep flavor to the meat. I like to add about 1-2 tablespoons.

Now you need to get your hands dirty. Mix everything together in that giant bowl until it is all evenly mixed.

Grease your muffin tin. 
Now add the meat mixture to the muffin tin and put in the oven for at least 30-35 minutes. If you want to use a loaf pan like my mom does go ahead it will take more time though. She usually makes a 2 pound loaf that takes 1-1/2 hours to cook.

Getting all crispy and tasty.

They really turn out to be crisp on the outside and are great topped with a little bit of ketchup. I served these with mashed potatoes. I have seem some people put the mashed potatoes on top of the meat like a little cupcake. That is cute but I do not like the idea of ketchup touching my potatoes.

I hope you try one of my favorite recipes ever sometime soon!

Until next time~
XoXo Emily

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Peanut Butter/Chocolate Brownies

I am always on the hunt for healthy sweet treats. It is a vast land of flour and oil most of the time. I smashed this recipe together from a couple of interesting ideas I found in other recipes. It turned out to be fantastic and an almost fudge like consistency. With it being so easy to make and decent for your waist I will be making this again. Dare I call these skinny brownies?

What you will need~                                                       

3/4 a cup of creamy peanut butter
6 ounces of greek yogurt
1/4 cup skim milk
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened coco powder
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats

 Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 8x8 pan. 

 Add everything to the blender besides the peanut butter. Blend until the batter is well mixed. It will be extremely runny (do NOT freak out this is okay).

 Now it is time to pour your batter into your 8x8 pan. Once this is completed heat the 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter for 30 seconds in the microwave. Add the peanut butter to the batter slowly in little drops and use a spoon to make a marble pattern.

Here is what it will look like after looks good already. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the brownies begin to separate from the wall of the pan. Let them cool before eating.

They are really tasty and you cannot even tell there is no oil, no flour and not like 4 eggs in them. I highly recommend you make them for your next sweet fix.

Until next time~
XoXo Emily

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Lasagna Soup

Some days you want soup but then you also really want some lasagna. This is the perfect recipe because it tastes just like lasagna. I researched for a long time on the basics of this recipe and modified it to fit what ingredients I usually like in my lasagna. You could modifier it further to if you wish. In the future I may experiment by adding more vegetables.I made this in the crock pot but you could easily make it in a hour or two in a giant stock pot on low.

What you will need~
4 cups of beef broth
1 cup of water 
1 cup V8 or tomato juice
1 pound of ground beef
1/2 cup of diced onion
2 tablespoons of garlic or 3 cloves minced
48 ounce can of diced tomatoes
6 ounce can of tomato paste
2 cups of  diced spinach
2 cups of pasta
1 tablespoon of fennel
1 tablespoon of dried parsley
1 teaspoon of  dried oregano 
1 tablespoon of frozen or dried basil
Salt & pepper or Mrs. Dash
Ricotta cheese
Mozzarella cheese

Start by browning your beef in a pan. Season with the fennel and (salt & pepper or Mrs. Dash) as you go.

Add your diced onions and garlic to the pan.

Add the seasoned meat to the top of these ingredients. Now it is time to layer your soup into
 the pot. Add tomtoes, tomato paste, dried parsley, oregano and basil to
the pot and stir.

 Now is time to add the beef broth and tomato juice to this and stir again. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Ricotta Cheese!
About 1 hour before eating add your spinach, the cup of water and pasta while stirring.

When serving add a scoop of  ricotta cheese to the bottom of your bowl. Laddle the soup over the cheese and top with mozzarella cheese. Once you do that you can eat to your hearts content.

This is going on the regular roster of favorite recipes. It was so quick to throw together and was really tasty.

Until next time~
XoXo Emily