Applesauce Pancakes



Usually when I search for new recipes online it is because I have something in my fridge that needs to be used up like the half and half a couple weeks ago. This time what was in my fridge was a little bit of applesauce.

I had opened my Grandma's home canned applesauce for pork chops and we ate most of the jar but the little bit on the bottom was going begging. I hate to waste food so I searched on All Recipes.com and found this recipe for Applesauce Pancakes. They were yummy with a hint of sweetness from the applesauce. They were also easy enough that I could whip up a batch before I went to work. Perfect!

Applesauce Pancakes
from All Recipes.com

2 Cups Pancake Mix
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
2 Eggs
1 Cup Applesauce
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup Milk

In a large bowl, stir together pancake mix and cinnamon. Make a well in the center of the pancake mix. Add the eggs, applesauce, lemon juice and milk; stir until smooth.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/2 cup for each pancake. Brown on both side and serve hot.

Feast for the Eyes



Once in a while I like to share some of the fun foods others make and I get to eat. It is wonderful to eat something you haven't made. I don't know why but for me it always tastes better coming from someone else. It might have to do with still being hungry when it is served because I didn't "test" the food as I was cooking.

These pictures are from a bridal dinner I went to last week. I was the Matron of Honor in a friend from high school's wedding and she had a dinner to thank all of us for sharing in her big day.

The food they served was amazing! I am sorry I don't have pictures of dessert. I ate it too fast!

The top picture was coconut shrimp with a sweet chili dipping sauce. I could have eaten 10 but trying to be more lady like I kept it to 2.

The other appetizer was these shrimp salad rolls. They were served with a peanut dipping sauce. I learned how to make something very similar in a cooking class a year ago and I had forgotten how much I like them. They will probably be making a summer appearance on my menu plan soon.

Our main dish was teriyaki chicken, rice, marinated cucumbers and green beans. It all tasted so fresh and perfectly cooked. My favorite item on the plate was the marinated cucumbers. Wow they were amazing! When my garden starts producing cucumbers this will be making a regular appearance at our menu plan.

Now after seeing all that don't you wish you had been in the wedding too?!?

Menu Plan Monday



The sun was out today and after a weekend of wedding festivities I couldn't make myself sit down to compose a menu plan. So now it is 10:33 on Sunday night and I figure I better get something down before the week starts. I have tried to wing it before and it is never a good thing. Here it goes...


Monday: Mom and Dad's

Tuesday: Sausage Pasta (this is going to be of my own creation so if it turns out I will post the recipe), fruit, peas

Wednesday: Lemon Chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans

Thursday: Pork Fried Rice, fruit

Friday: Enchiladas, Mexican Corn Bread, salad, fruit

Saturday: Wedding

Sunday: 4th of July BBQ

Breakfast-it is the week of trying to use up stuff from the freezer.

Monday: Pumpkin Pancakes from freezer

Tuesday: Blueberry Scone from freezer

Wednesday: Peanut Butter Granola

Thursday: Applesauce Pancake from freezer

Friday: Banana Bread from freezer

Enjoy your week!! Thanks for stopping by to check out my menu plan!

See more menu plans at I'm An Organizing Junkie.

Mango Salsa


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This week I decided to make a dish that uses mango salsa. I had this idea while at the store and didn't have a recipe but I think it turned out pretty good. The ingredients I used were mangos, red bell peppers, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper. It seems to be a simplified version of what I am seeing online. Other sources say to add jalapeño pepper, red onion, and cucumber instead of the red bell pepper. I think the red bell pepper actually added a stronger flavor that I really liked. Not to mention the beautiful color it added! I served the salsa over shrimp and rice. It was such an easy and refreshing summer meal!

Mexican Flautas



Sometimes I make something so ridiculously easy that it shocks even me. This was one of those meals. I had leftover turkey chili in the freezer I wanted to do something with and Robin Miller came to the rescue again. I just can't tell you how much I love her cookbook!

I varied this a little bit from her original recipe to use up leftover cilantro lime rice in the freezer but I will give you the recipe as she gives it. You will devour these and be so impressed with their ease. You can also do like I did and throw other leftovers into the filing. I love it!

Mexican Flautas

1 Cup Leftover Chili
1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
8 Flour Tortillas

Coat baking dish with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine the chili and cheddar cheese. Arrange the tortillas on a flat surface. Top each one with an equal amount of the chili mixture, making and even line down the center. Roll up the tortillas and secure with toothpicks (I didn't need to do this I just put them seam side down in the pan and touching). Place the flautas side by side in the prepared pan.

Spray the top of the tortillas with cooking spray, then bake at 400 degrees until they are golden brown, about 10 minutes.


Farmer's Market


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I just wanted to share these beautiful pictures that I took yesterday of the downtown farmer's market. I am LOVING all the farmer's markets right now! My fiance and I went to one on Saturday morning and then yesterday during my lunch break I found this one. We bought blueberries, cherries, strawberries, blackberries, and granola from a local bakery.

I have also developed an obsession with Dave's Killer Bread from farmer's markets. All their bread is made of all organic, whole grain, vegan, no corn syrup, artificial flavors or preservatives. It's the best! You can order it online or find it in your health food store depending on where you live. We actually found their Sin Dawg this weekend which is the ultimate cinnamon roll bread. If you are a health nut like me but crave a sweet you definitely need to check this one out. Here is the picture to entice you..

Hope you all enjoy summer and all the wonderful farmer's markets!

Bananna Split Cake


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I was trying to think of original foods to serve at a shower I was hosting over the weekend. My mom gave me the idea to make this cake which she used to make all the time. If you like banana splits you will love this cake. It would have been even better served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. MMM!

Banana Split Cake

1 Package Yellow Cake Mix (prepared according to packaged directions. Bake in 11x17 pan.)
2 Small Packages Vanilla Instant Pudding
2 Cups Cold Milk
2 8oz Packages of Cream Cheese, softened
1 Can Crushed Pineapple, drained
4-6 Bananas Sliced
1 Tub Cool Whip
Hershey's Chocolate Sauce
Cherry Pie Filling
Chopped Nuts (optional and I left them off because I hate nuts)

Once cake is baked and cooled mix pudding with two cups of cold milk. When the pudding starts to set blend in the cream cheese until smooth. Frost cake with the pudding and cream cheese mixture. On top of the pudding mixtures put a layer of pineapple, then a layer of bananas. Frost that with a layer of Cool Whip. Drizzle the top with Hershey's Chocolate Sauce and top with cherry pie filling and nuts.

Eat and be happy.

Menu Plan Monday



This week my menu plan is almost non-existent. I am in a wedding on Saturday and between the weeknight events, rehearsal, and wedding itself it doesn't leave many nights I will be home to make dinner. It is also my hubby's birthday on Friday so we will be celebrating on Sunday.

Wish me luck getting through this week. I am going to need it!


Monday: Mom and Dad's House

Tuesday: Double Decker Tacos (don't these look good!?!?), Blueberry Scones, watermelon

Wednesday: Bridal Dinner

Thursday: Pizza and salad

Friday: Rehearsal Dinner

Saturday: Wedding

Sunday: Celebrating Hubby's Birthday


Monday: Applesauce Pancakes

Tuesday: Instant Oatmeal

Wednesday: Pumpkin Pancakes (can you tell we love these and I have a huge stash of them in the freezer??)

Thursday: Toaster Muffin

Friday: Peanut Butter Granola (never got to it last week)

See more menus at I'm An Organizing Junkie.

Fun Fact of The Day



You really do learn something new every day...

This week I learned that you cannot make Jello instant pudding with soy milk. I tried and it never set. After some research I found that you need a protein in the milk to react with the chemicals in the pudding. To remedy this problem you have to do the heat and serve pudding or find a vegetarian recipe.

Big disappointment when you are ready for dessert : (

Light Fettuccini Alfredo



I have had a container of half and half in my fridge for several weeks now (yes that is a huge jar of pickle relish next to it. My husband loves pickle relish and thanks to a trip to Costco we will have relish forever). It was supposed to be used in another recipe the week I purchased it but that didn't happen. Since then it just sits there begging me to use it. When I made my meal plan this week I knew using it up was a priority, I couldn't take the guilt of letting it sit in the fridge until it expired.

I was flipping through my America's Test Kitchen cookbook and found a recipe for light Alfredo. It sounded good so I put it on my menu plan. The recipe also suggested serving it with fresh pasta. I used the recipe that was also in the Test Kitchen cookbook but it is almost identical to this post at Finding Joy in my Kitchen.

The whole meal was amazing! My husband and I both loved it. We couldn't even tell it was light. There are not a lot of recipes that make it to my binder of favorites but this one is going in there for sure. Now all I need is a pasta press to make homemade pasta a much faster process.

Light Fettuccine Alfredo
from America's Test Kitchen Cookbook

3/4 Cup Half and Half
1/8 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Teaspoon Cornstarch
9 Ounces Fresh Fettuccine
1 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Cook pasta according to the directions at Finding Joy in My Kitchen. While you are waiting for the water to boil, simmer 1/2 cup of the half and half, nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoons salt in a large saucepan. Whisk the cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup half and half together, then whisk it into the simmering mixture. Continue to simmer the sauce, whisking constantly, until it has thickened about 1 minute. Cover and keep warm off the heat.

When the water is boiling stir in 1 tablespoon salt and the fettuccine. Cook per instructions at Finding Joy in My Kitchen. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water before draining .

When pasta is done return the half and half mixture to medium low head and whisk in the pasta cooking water. Slowly whisk in the Parmesan. Add the pasta and cook, gently tossing the pasta with tongs, until the sauce has thickened slightly and thoroughly coats the pasta, about 1 minute. Season with pepper to taste.


Man in the kitchen?!



Tonight for dinner we reversed roles at my house. I was on my way home from the gym and my fiance called me to say that he was hungry. I told him that it would probably be about 30 minutes until I could start dinner and then an amazing thing happened. He said he would do dinner! (Never underestimate the power of a hungry man!). I had planned on baked salmon with couscous and a side salad. I guess when he was in the kitchen he was having fun and kept creating more and more food items. We ended up with baked salmon, couscous, a side salad, butternut squash soup, and bread. Overall I was super impressed and even more in love...until I realized that meant I had to do dishes : )

When Real People Try to do Things They See in Magazines


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Food Network Version

When I got my May issue of Food Network Magazine, with the above picture on it, I knew I had to make it for the wedding shower I was hosting in May. I thought it looked pretty easy and so cute! My original plan was to make one for each of the six tables. My mom, however, talked me down to one for the food table instead.

I can't tell you how grateful I am that my mom talked me into only doing one. This was a lot more work than it looked like it would be. I ended up with everyone involved including my Dad and husband. It started easy enough with me making a batch of cupcakes and sticking the foam and dowel into the pot. Then I put in all these little toothpicks to hold cupcakes. You would not believe how hard it was to get toothpicks into a foam ball. Felt like it took forever and when I was done my Dad said, "you know the directions say to put three per cupcake." So now I had to go back and add two more toothpicks to everything I had done.

Once the cupcakes were cooled and frosted I started to load them onto the centerpiece. This was when I realized I didn't have even close to enough cupcakes so I stopped what I was doing to start another batch. I also ran out of frosting, go figure!

Now on to day two (because I lost my patience on day one) I continued loading cupcakes onto the toothpicks only to discover it was NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE to get them on and not mess up the frosting. At that point I abandoned the frosted ones and started loading the un-frosted ones and figured I would frost them afterwards.

I finally got the topiary covered in cupcakes and then...it tipped over! I was lucky enough to catch it. This is when I had to get my Dad involved again to make it stand back up.

I tried to frost all the little cupcakes but do you know how hard it is to frost an upside down cupcake and have the frosting stay put?? You can kind of tell from the picture that I had to just frost what I thought would be most noticeable.

I ended with a very heavy, very fragile, half decent looking cupcake centerpiece. I had to entrust my husband to carry it across the street to the shower and we shoved it in a corner so no one would see the back wasn't finished.

Next time I see something that looks "super easy" in a magazine I will give it some more thought before diving in. When real people do things they see in magazines it is never as easy as it looks.

My Version

Menu Plan Monday



We had the most wonderful weather this weekend. The sun finally came out after what feels like months of rain. I even got a little sun burned on my arms! I am just scared that by Tuesday it will all be a distant memory and we will be in rain again.

This week we have a few things that will make for an interesting dinner week. On Wednesday we are having a friend over for dinner, Friday we are hosting a couples wedding shower at our house, Saturday we are going to a graduation party, and Sunday is Father's Day so I am sure that it will be busy. With all that in mind here is what I am thinking for the week but no guarantees it will all play out.


: Mom and Dad

Tuesday: Fresh Pasta, Light Alfredo, salad or peas, watermelon

Wednesday: Chicken and Rice Casserole (I am thinking of adapting it for the crock pot. Any idea of what I need to do to make it work??), banana muffins, watermelon, salad. I should probably have a dessert too since we will be having company but we will see.

Thursday: Mexican Flautas, salad, Sweet Corn Tomalito (I have had this on my menu plan twice this month and have never had time to make it. Hopefully this will be my week).

Friday: Shredded Beef Tacos (freezer-this meal has to be quick and easy since we will be getting ready for a party).

Saturday: Graduation Party-If we eat dinner before we go it will be pesto pasta.

Sunday: Father's Day


Monday: Pumpkin Pancakes (these have been on my plan a lot lately because I am using up all the pumpkin in the freezer and we absolutely love them)

Tuesday: Banana Bread

Wednesday: Peanut Butter Granola

Thursday: Oatmeal

Friday: Pumpkin Pancakes

Have a great week!

See more menu plans at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Apricot-Jalapeno Chicken with Sesame Noodles


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I mentioned that one of my favorite cookbooks is Quick Fix Meals by Robin Miller. My husband actually gave it to me for our first wedding anniversary because it was a paper gift. I thought it was cute that he knew what a traditional first anniversary gift was. I have tried many recipes from it and always love them.

Tonight I tried something new from the book, Apricot-Jalapeno Chicken with Sesame Noodles. It has been on my "to be tried" list for quite a long time. It was very spicy to me but still delicious. I never liked spicy food before I got married but somehow my husband has changed that.

I know many of you really wanted this recipe so here it is.

Apricot-Jalapeno Chicken with Sesame Noodles
by Robin Miller (with slight changes made by me)

12 Ounces Soba Noodles
1/2 Cup Sliced Pickled Jalapenos, drained
1/2 Cup Apricot Preserves
1/4 Cup Chopped Cilantro
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Teaspoons Sesame Oil
1/2 Cup Chopped Scallions
2 Tablespoons Minced Pickled Ginger (we didn't have any so I left this out)

Cook the soba noodles according to the package directions, then drain.

Coat a shallow baking dish with cooking spray.

In a blender or food processor, combine the jalapenos, apricot preserves, cilantro, salt, and pepper and process until smooth.

Place the chicken in the prepared baking dish and top with the jalapeno mixture. At this point I marinated mine all day while I was at work. Robin says you can leave it covered in the fridge for up to 3 days or frozen for 3 months just thaw completely before baking.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes or until cooked through.

Toss noodles with soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions, and ginger (if using). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve chicken over noodles.

Chicken and Waffles


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A week ago we went to a downtown restaurant that is known for it's "Chicken and Waffles". I have always heard about this but have never given it a try. The chicken had a sweet glaze over it and the waffle seemed to have a light syrup taste. It was served with mustard on the side. Overall it was just OK. Nothing I would write home to Mom about but blog worthy because its so interesting! Does anyone have any good southern recipes like this that we should try?

Crab Casserole


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This is a family favorite recipe that I come back to again and again. When I was in college I spent a semester in NYC and the meal I requested when I came home was this. I should also tell you that I hate leftovers but with this I am happy to eat away!

My husband is not a crab lover so I always mix tuna into his half which makes us both happy. I am sorry it is not a photogenic meal but it sure is good!

Crab Casserole

1 10 1/2 Ounce Can Cream of Mushroom
1/3 Cup Mayo
1/3 Cup Milk
Seafood to your liking (I use imitation crab because it is so much cheaper than real crab and canned tuna for my hubby. The original recipe calls for 6 oz shrimp and 7 oz crab)
2 Teaspoons Grated Onion
2 Cups Cooked Macaroni (You can use more or less it will just make the dish more or less creamy. I tend to use more because I like my pasta drier)

Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking mix together the cream of mushroom, mayo, milk, seafood, and onion. When pasta is done drain it and add to cream mixture. Put everything into a casserole dish and sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min.

Menu Plan Monday



Where do the weeks go? It seems like I am always sitting down to figure out a menu plan. We had a fantastic weekend spent at the beach. We even got a beautiful day of sunshine on Saturday which was a nice reprieve from the non stop rain we have been having.

At the beach we ate a wonderful meal of prime rib prepared on the Traeger Grill. We also had twice baked potatoes, salad, and corn bread. A prefect meal for our perfect relaxing day. It goes without saying that is was very hard to come home today.

My menu plan last week was 100% successful. That almost never happens so I am happy. I even got to the Crab Casserole I have had on my list for two weeks! I will post the recipe this week since I keep saying I will.

I hope this week is another success in the kitchen and I wish you all the same!!!


Monday: Mom and Dad's!!

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Tacos ( I am using beef instead of pork), Mexican Corn Bread or Sweet Corn Tomalito, salad, fruit

Wednesday: Apricot Jalapeno Chicken with Sesame Noodles (recipe to come it is from one of my favorite cookbooks by Robin Miller), salad, fruit

Thursday: Pork Chops, applesauce, green beans, pumpkin dinner rolls

Friday: Something TBD but definitely on the grill because my hubby is dying to grill

Saturday: Turkey and Cheese Burritos, chips, fruit

Sunday: Breakfast for Dinner (probably waffles, eggs, and fruit)


Monday: Baked Peanut Butter Oatmeal

Tuesday: Leftover Baked Peanut Butter Oatmeal

Wednesday: Pumpkin Pancakes

Thursday: Banana Bread

Friday: Kashi Breakfast Bar

See more menu plans at I'm An Organizing Junkie.



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As some of you know, I am getting married to Sheena's brother in a couple months! This picture is from the cake tasting for the wedding. We tried every single one and afterward we had a headache from all the sugar! The top left plate was from a cake shop, the right plate was all cupcakes from a bakery, and the little plate is cupcakes from another bakery. I liked the strawberry shortcake (top left plate, bottom left corner) and then the vanilla cupcake (bottom right). Honorable mention goes to the cookie cupcake (top right). Final decision will be the strawberry cake in a small 8 inch round for us and the wedding party and then the vanilla cupcakes for the guests. They will all have pink flowers on top and match the cake of course! It was all so much fun! More wedding things to come...

My Love Affair with Bread



I love bread. I often judge a restaurant on how good the bread is. My husband knows that often times I will eat several pieces of bread and forget about the rest of my meal. I don't know why but to me there is nothing better than warm bread and butter.

For some time I have been reading on various blogs about Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a day. I wanted to try it and checked the book out at the library twice. I am not sure why but something was always holding me back. I think I was just scared because it was a much different process than I am used to with bread.

Then one Sunday evening for no apparent reason I just jumped in and did it. I followed the books Master Recipe and was delighted with how easy it was. The long directions made me fear it would be hard but there was nothing hard about it at all. I set the dough on the counter to rise like the book talks about and looked at it every so often with pride as it grew.

The next day I made my first loaf. All we could say was WOW. It was amazing. A nice crusty exterior with a soft airy center. We ended up eating the whole loaf between the two of us (mental note do not make this daily if I want to wear any of my summer clothes).

If you have been holding back on trying this style of bread making don't wait any longer! It is not hard and the little work you put into it gives great results. I ended up liking it so much I ordered the book so I wouldn't have to end my bread making when the library wanted their copy back.

The Master Recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

3 Cups Lukewarm Water
1 1/2 Tablespoons Granulated Yeast
1 1/2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
6 1/2 Cups Unsifted, Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour

Warm the water slightly, about 100 degrees. Add yeast and salt to the water in the bowl of your mixer. Mix in the flour all at once with the dough hook of your mixer. You're finished when everything is uniformly moist, without dry patches. Put the dough in a 5 quart bowl with a lid (not airtight). Allow mixture to rise at room temperature for 2 hours. After the rising put the container with the dough in the fridge to use as you like for the next 14 days.

On Baking Day
Pull a grapefruit sized portion out of the 5 quart container. Gently stretch the dough around to the bottom to create a ball. Let the loaf rise on a pizza peel generously (yes generously-I didn't use enough the first time and I almost couldn't get it to come off) coated with cornmeal for 40 minutes.

Twenty minutes before baking preheat the oven to 450 degrees with a baking stone placed on the lowest rack. Place an empty broiler tray for holing water on any other shelf that won't interfere with the rising bread.

When bread is done rising dust the top with flour and slash using a knife across the top. After 20 minutes of preheat you are ready to bake even if your oven isn't up to temperature. Slide dough off pizza peel onto baking stone. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray and close the oven to trap steam.

Bake for 30 minutes. Try to wait for it to cool to eat :)

Chocolate Critters!


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While walking around on my lunch break at a local mall I happened to walk by these cute little creatures. They are chocolate truffles and they are oh so adorable! One is a white chocolate cat and the other is a dark chocolate lady bug. They are from a company called Moonstruck Chocolatier. Click here for their website and to see better pictures! Great gift idea...or possibly an idea for a home project?? Any takers?? Sheena?? : )