Pimiento Macaroni and Cheese Pimiento Macaroni and Cheese

Dear Pimientos,

Where have you been all my life?

In the south?

I guess that explains a few things since I grew up in Canada.

But, I have found you and I’m never letting you go.

You are delicious on just about anything. Particularly anything that involves cheese. I am in love with you.

So dear, sweet, dainty jars of pimientos, never leave my pantry. I promise to keep you warm and happy. Or at the very least, turn you into something delicious that *technically* could be considered to be warm and happy. Like this recipe.

I promise you’ll stay on the 3rd shelf, away from small hands that could drop you and palates that would under appreciate you.

You’ll like it here.

Sincerely,

Lauren

PS- I know you’re not used to getting talked to, but I’m a little…passionate when it comes to my food. You’ll get used to it.

Parmesan & Garlic Linguine {Super Easy!} Parmesan & Garlic Linguine {Super Easy!}

Hi Friends!

I finally got around to updating the photos from this post that originally went live August 1st, 2011! Crazy!! Here’s the original post below. 5 years later and I still make this recipe 🙂 So easy and so good! Enjoy!

Four Cheese Texas Toast Four Cheese Texas Toast

My kids are trying to kill me.

I’m pretty sure we’ve discussed this before. But this time I really mean it!

In the last five days, I’ve gotten 19 hours of interrupted sleep total. Maaayyyyybe 20 if I round up. Because I’m paranoid and keep track of my sleep, I know this is an unfortunately low, yet accurate number.
F word.

You’d think by now my two older ones SHOULD know how to sleep through the night. They SHOULD know how to use the bathroom. They SHOULD be able to go back to sleep on their own. But does any of this register with them at 2am, 3am AND 4am? No.

I thought I had brainwashed them enough to know to call out for DAD up in the night, not MOM.

But alas. A Mom makes the bad dreams go away at 2am, takes the toddler to the bathroom at 3am, feeds the baby at 4am and then is up packing school lunches a few hours after that.

I am a Mom. A very very tired Mom who rarely sleeps longer than 3 hours at a time. And I happen to make my family’s world go round with my 10 minute Texas Toast recipe, my semi-clean house, my IV drip of Diet Coke and the large bags under my eyes.

Ultimate BBQ Chicken Pizza Ultimate BBQ Chicken Pizza

The Pizza Friday tradition rages on.

I wasn’t going to post this recipe…as it seems with most recipes I put on Instagram.

But then I put this picture on Instagram last Friday after I made it for our Pizza Friday and everyone wanted the recipe.

I thought BBQ Chicken Pizza’s were pretty common-place {?!} but apparently not.

So, this is my *loose* recipe for BBQ Chicken pizza. I guessed at the amounts because I make this so frequently that I don’t measure. Plus, like I mentioned above, I wasn’t planning on sharing this recipe. We like a lot of toppings and that is seriously what makes this pizza so amazing.

What makes my BBQ Chicken Pizza so special:

Taco Sloppy Joes Taco Sloppy Joes

I have a love-hate relationship with messy dinners.

I love that:

>they are really easy to throw together

>they are completely non-fussy

>my kids go crazy for them and

>generally they are really hard to screw up.

I hate that:

>they’re messy.

My table, my floors, my chairs, sometimes my walls, my kids’ clothes and my kids. All dirty in a matter of minutes.

So everyday around 5pm, it’s a battle between happy kids, dirty everything or cranky kids, clean everything.

Can you guess what I usually choose? If I gave you a tour of my house, you’d know exactly which camp I’d fall. Actually, scratch that. You don’t need a tour. Just walk in my front door. You’ll see. We are the messy house dinner people. Yippee?

Tacos are a messy dinner. Spaghetti is a messy dinner. Anything involving rice or quinoa tends to be a messy dinner. Soup also falls into this category as does {you guessed it!} Sloppy Joes!

I’ve kind of just accepted the fact that I need to do dishes and wipe down the table, the chairs and the floor after every meal.

At the end of the day, I’d rather clean up after the delicious dinner than fight my kids all the way through the meal over something they don’t want to eat.

If I’m being completely honest, at the end of the day, I’d rather eat chocolate and watch Friends and pay someone to clean up dinner but, alas, Mama gotta save for our next vacation. A girl can dream.

Queso Chicken Skillet Queso Chicken Skillet
Ham & Cheese Honey Mustard Pretzel Melts Ham & Cheese Honey Mustard Pretzel Melts

Since we’re moving in the very near future and going to Hawaii in the…more nearer future {?!}, my life is insanity. Meaning, it’s filled with suitcases and boxes and a cranky baby that doesn’t nap.

It’s like a dream come true. So, not a whole lot of stuff to report…or stuff that you’d want to know about. I would tell you, bur it would be a total buzz kill.

In other news, do you all want to come to my house and pack a few boxes or hold a baby that may or may not scream in your face? That would be GRAND. 😉

Anyways, my love of honey mustard rages on. I used to hate it. Now I love it. Whole story here. Try to contain your excitement while you read.

Now, perhaps I have taken this h.m. thing too seriously, but YOU GUYS–>these sandwiches are legit. They should run for president. They are soft, sweet, a little spicy from the mustard and oh so cheesy too! It’s my new favorite thing to make for lunch and my least favorite thing to work off at the gym. SO easy and SO yummy!

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Portland weather has finally FINALLY turned a corner.

The winter made me borderline psychotic {cue all the rage}, partially because of all the non-stop rain and partially because we had to pay for a brand new roof because of said nonstop rain. But, we are finally getting more sun these days {hallelujah} and the weather is starting to warm up to enjoyable levels.

I never thought I’d see the day.

So, we had a picnic to celebrate the glorious weather. And by picnic, I mean pack up what I had already made for dinner and find a table at the park next to the library.

Fondue Night! Fondue Night!

There are not many things I love much more than melty cheese. Wellllll, maybe carbs? And, like, lemon cheesecake?! Fortunately, or possibly unfortunately, my kids are the same way.

THAT IS WHY…I introduced to them the beloved cheese fondue a few weeks ago. Not because it involves a vat of obey gooey cheese, but because I knew it would be a fabulous way to get veggies and protein into my kids. If there is cheese involved, they are all about it. Plus, it’s actually relatively stress free to make. Takes a little prep work, but generally quite simple. Use what veggies, breads and meats you have on hand and dip away 🙂

I don’t have the recipe posted below, but for this fondue I used THIS recipe. It’s one of the very first recipes I ever posted to my blog. I posted it when Brooke was barely 1 year old and Blake and Ed were just a twinkle in my eye {is that the saying?}….or something like that.

I wavered from that posted recipe slightly, using grated fontina, white cheddar and mozzarella. I also used 1/4 cup white wine in place of 1/4 cup of the milk. It’s the melty mozzarella that makes this fondue so stringy {and dreamy!}

My kids thought it was hilarious, especially Blake, and loved to see how far we could stretch the cheese!