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Shrimp, Tomatoes, and Orzo with Basil


(Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookbook, “One Pot Meals”)

Hello, my beautiful Friends!   I have really missed you!   

I am so excited to get back to blogging after this long hiatus I have been on.  I thought it would be simple to blog while my family lived in our tiny little apartment for the past 6 months, but boy was I wrong.  We were falling on top of each other all the time and adding blogging to that situation was a NO GO!  We just recently started liking each other again.  LOL!

I kept telling myself that one day I would be able to look back on this temporary decision and be happy I made it.  Honestly, I second guessed myself ALLLLLL THEEEEE  TIME!


I can finally say that the day came when I could finally say that the decision did actually pay off.  We couldn’t afford to build our home while still living in the home we had.  So, we sold first, then did a 6 month lease while it was built.

That is behind us now since we recently moved in.  (Everybody take a deep breath with me and exhale slowly now…………AHHHHHHHHHHH! )

Ok, enough jibber jabber!

In honor of the interesting Summer I had, I want to share a recipe that represents everything Summer to me!  Shrimp, basil, and tomatoes!

This recipe is both yummy AND light!




Recipe:  Shrimp, Tomatoes, and Orzo with Basil

•  3 Cups halved Grape Tomatoes, Halved

•  6 Garlic Cloves, Minced

•  2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

•  3/4 lb. Orzo

•  3  1/4 Cups Low-Sodium Chicken Broth

•  1  1/2 lbs. Large Shrimp, Peeled and Deveined

•  1 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves, Chopped


•  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Position rack in the top position.

•  In a large ovenproof skillet with a tight-fitting lid, heat 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat.

•  Add garlic and cook until just beginning to brown, 1 minute.  Increase heat to high and add tomatoes;  season with salt and     pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 minutes.

•  Add orzo and broth, and bring to a simmer.

•  Cover and bake until liquid is mostly absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes.

•  Toss shrimp with remaining teaspoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.  Remove skillet from oven, and place shimp on top of orzo.

•  Heat broiler.  Broil until shrimp are opaque throughout, 4 minutes.

•  Sprinkle with basil and serve.



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Chocolate Trifle w/ Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Trifle

This is the sweet I made for my sweets today.

This was also not what I had intended to make for them.  On Valentine’s Day, we tend to make it more about the kids than ourselves anymore.  So, the plan this year was to do steak, potatoes, asparagus, and a great dessert.  We thought it would be fun to watch the movie, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  (Did I Say that right?  I never do……..)

Little did I know how much that movie would impact my dessert making skills.

I had this great idea to fix these individual chocolate cakes with this great ganache topping with little Wilton sugar flowers on top.

Everything was going great until I got to here:


I was all like, “Oh yeah!  I got this!  Came up with this on my own.  Going to rock this and my family is going to think I’m a rockstar!”

Yeahhhhhhhhhh……. not so good after that.  Everything went wrong!


First, this happened………………





Thank goodness I still had this.  FYI:  I used a boxed cake mix.


I heart boxed cake mixes.

Not a stinkin thing wrong with boxed cake mixes.

Just sayin………..   When people say, “oh my goodness!  This is the best cake I have EVER had!”

You simply say, “Awe!  Thank you!” And leave it at that.   😉


So, I went with Plan B.  Start stuffing wine glasses and make a trifle.


I stuffed with left over cake and fresh raspberries, with some of the raspberry buttercream icing I made earlier for the cakes.

Wanna know how I made the frosting?

This is what I did:


I took two sticks of softened unsalted butter and using a hand mixer, beat for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.  Then, I slowly added 6 cups of powdered sugar, alternating between 1/8 cup of skim milk in between when the mixture got too dry.



I added a 1/4 cup of raspberry puree to the frosting, which I made by first…………


taking a pint of fresh raspberries and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar and pulsing in a blender until it was


smooth.  Since I had little left over (approx. 1/4 cup) , I used it again later in assembling the trifle.


It made the BEST tasting Raspberry Buttercream Frosting.  I often use fresh berries to flavor and turn icing a pink color instead of using red food dye b/c I have an allergy to it myself.  Needless to say, I have never had Red Velvet Cake and I often dream of how it may taste.  But alas, I shall never know.   Oh well.

Anyway, back to the trifle!


Like I mentioned earlier, after layering in no particular order, the cake, fresh raspberries, and the frosting…….. I added a dollop of raspberry puree and then some more cake and frosting.


Then, I added some more frosting ( I know!  Enough already with the frosting!) and berries and finally, the Wilton sugar flowers.

It could have been a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day with the catastrophe that was my cake making skills, but a very wise Pastor once told me, “Never compare your Behind the Scenes to someone else’s Highlight Real”!

So, here I am.  Melted cakes and all,

telling you that you can turn a mess into something beautiful and tasty  afterall.


I wish y’all a Happy and Sweet Valentine’s Day, from my







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4th of July: Yogurt “Ice Cream” Pops


There is nothing more Patriotic then RED, WHITE, and BLUE!  Even if you are talking about Ice Cream!

However, making Ice Cream is not really my forte’.  Even though I am a self proclaimed lover of gadgets, the one thing I do not have is an Ice Cream Maker. *Have to put that one on my list!

A couple of Saturdays ago, I was watching my cooking shows and one had a recipe for Strawberry Yogurt Ice Cream Pops!  I thought to myself, “That would be an AWESOME idea for July 4th!”

So with some tweaking here and there, I had it!


I just took some strawberries and mixed with some sugar and a splash of vanilla.  *Not to worry!  Recipe will follow! 😉

Allow to sit for 15-20 minutes.


Then, I took  1   1/2 cups blueberries.


Mixed with a 1/2 cup of regular Yogurt.  (I generally eat Greek Yogurt, but for this, I used regular.  The Greek is just to sour.)


Then, I tried it and realized it needed a little dash of sugar for the kids to like it.  I would have been fine without it.  But I did it anyway.


Then, I cleaned out the blender and repeated the same steps with the Strawberries.  Since I already added sugar and vanilla to this, I just blended with another 1/2 cup of Yogurt.


Time to assemble the Pops!

I bought the molds for $1.50 each at Walmart.


I layered everything in a Red, White, and Blue pattern.  Strawberry Mixture, a little regular Yogurt, then Blueberry Mixture.


Insert tops!  By the way, I love these!  They have a little sipper on the ends for anything that melts.


One lick ……….


And little babies everywhere are SUPER HAPPY!  Who doesn’t love that?

RECIPE:  4th of July Yogurt “Ice Cream” Pops

– 1 Cup Fresh Strawberries, Sliced

– 1/4 Cup Sugar

– 1 1/2 Cups Fresh Blueberries

– Tbsp. Sugar

– 1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

– 1  Cup Plain Yogurt, Divided plus Additional for Layering Pops

– 2 (4 count) Ice Cream Molds



– Combine Strawberries, 1/4 Cup of Sugar, and 1 Teaspoon Vanilla.  Set aside for 15-20 minutes.

– Meanwhile, combine Blueberries, 1 Tbsp. Sugar, and  1/2 cup Yogurt in a blender and blend until smooth.  Set aside.

– Rinse out Blender and add Strawberries and remaining 1/2 cup Yogurt.  Blend until smooth and set aside.

– Take Ice Cream molds and layer a small amount of Strawberry mixture, then a little Regular Yogurt, and then top off with Blueberry Mixture.  If you still have room, start to repeat layers in a Red, White, Blue pattern.

– Top molds with tops and place in the freezer for atleast 4 hours or until firm.



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