Airheads Crafting Mission

Thanks to Smiley360 and the awesome package of Airheads they sent me (for free) to craft with, I was able to use my imagination and “attempt” to build the colorful house from the movie Up using a varety of Airhead candies.


The Up house has its flaws, but we did our best with what we had on hand, our hopeful imaginations, and what little patience we had this day. Here are the steps for our #AirheadsCrafts adventure.

We started with the base of the house. We use a cardboard cutout of a small rectangular box to shape the house. We placed Airheads around the box. Then we placed toothpicks on either ends of the box to form the roof.

We placed a stretched out Airhead onto the toothpicks to form the roof base (to create a sort of glue for the roof “tiles”). Then we placed Airheads Xtremes across the roof base to form the completed roof.

Then we emptied out a pack of Airhead bites and stuck them onto toothpicks to create the bundle of balloons that make the Up house fly. We attached the “balloons” to the roof of the house, and then we were done!

To go above and beyond, you can attach a fron door and front porch. Our patience wasn’t great enough for those additions:/

Our daughter enjoyed eating the final product (after removing all the toothpicks, for safety reasons). It was fun, yet frustrating, to create this house. We probably should have opted for something a bit easier!

For some more fun #AirheadsCrafts ideas, visit

If you are interested in joining Smiley360, please visit here to sign up and learn more (they really are great!).


Barilla® Pronto™ Makes Life Easier

I love trying new food products, and this one made things so easy! When I showed my husband how easy it was to use, he was fairly impressed. The first impression was doubt, would it actually turn out well, would the texture be like normal pasta? It tasted just like any other pasta, just like the usual Barilla we are used to. I even tried Barilla pasta sauce for the first time and it was wonderful! This wonderful gift to us from Barilla requires no excessive boiling or waiting for pasta. Ten minutes on high is all it takes (really, even on my old gas stovetop!) and then you add the pasta into the same pan and keep it cooking until you’re ready to serve. We used the penne pasta and spaghetti, and they both turned out perfect. One pot for the pasta and sauce together, no boiling, no straining! So easy. We are not very adventurous when it comes to pasta toppings, so we just used traditional marinara for our sauce. We went meat-free with the penne but ate it with a side of garlic toast. We added meatballs to the spaghetti (minus me, I’m not much of a meat eater) along with a side of cheesy garlic toast. Both nights were yummy, and I look forward to using Barilla Pronto again in the future.  I give this product two thumbs up. Anything that makes cooking and cleaning easier is fine by me.



I received this product for free from Smiley 360. Please feel free to visit their website and sign up!


SweeTARTS Soft & Chewy Ropes


As a member of Smiley360, I have the opportunity to try certain products for free. My recent mission has been one of the most exciting missions yet! I have been given the opportunity to try SweeTARTS Soft & Chewy Ropes. Formerly known as Kazoozles, this sweet treat is a true delight. It includes a classic and familiar taste, but with a punch. The cherry punch flavored chewy ropes can be described as lightly sweet with a tangy center. It’s not real waxy or tough. It is simple to bite off and enjoy. It is the person candy treat for those who love fruity chewy type candies. I enjoy sour candies the most, and although these chewy ropes don’t make me pucker my mouth it does have a good amount of tartness to it. I definitely recommend it to my fellow candy lovers out there.

I thank Smiley360 for the opportunity to try SweeTARTS Soft & Chewy Ropes for free. If anybody is interested in learning more about Smiley360, please feel free to visit their website and have a look around!


The Yummiest (and Easiest) Soup Recipe Ever

Tonight I made a new recipe that sounded interesting and tasted absolutely wonderful: Smoked Sausage, Spinach, and White Bean Soup. It is more of cold day recipe, but I didn’t exactly plan on having a wonderful Spring day during the middle of Winter. I’m not complaining though, I absolutely love the weather today! On to the food…I pulled this recipe from the Comfort of Cooking‘s blog. It was quick, easy, and fairly frugal. It has wonderful flavor and I can almost guarantee that it will all be eaten if you make it. There will be no leftovers. I had to fight with my mother-in-law for the last bite! Just kidding…a little.

The original posting of the recipe can be found here: Smoked Sausage, Spinach, and White Bean Soup


1 Tablespoon olive oil
13 oz. smoked sausage (chicken, turkey or beef)
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
2 (15 oz.) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups (32 oz.) low-sodium chicken broth
10 oz. fresh baby spinach
Salt and pepper, to taste
Grated parmesan cheese, for serving, optional


In a large pot over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Once hot, add sausage and cook 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned. Add onions and garlic; cook 2-3 minutes, until soft and fragrant.

Stir in thyme leaves, Italian seasoning, diced tomatoes, beans and chicken broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered 25-30 minutes. Stir in spinach during last 5 minutes of cooking. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon into serving bowls and top with grated parmesan cheese, if desired.


Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce – A HIT!

Tonight I tried out a recipe from Damn Delicious, and it was just that, damn delicious! I do have a bit of improvement to make on the dish, but it turned out pretty well for it being my first time cooking chicken by searing it and then baking it. So if I can make this dish, then you can too. Why do I say this? Because I suck at cooking.

So, what is so awesome about this recipe? It has fairly simple ingredients, for one thing. Also, it smells absolutely wonderful when you’re cooking it (which I LOVE!). So if you are a fan of chicken thighs (or any chicken), tasty creamy sauces, and sun-dried tomatoes, then this is the recipe for you!



The original posting can be found here: Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce


  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more, to taste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup julienned sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, chiffonade


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side; set aside.
  • Melt remaining tablespoon butter in the skillet. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, heavy cream, sun dried tomatoes, Parmesan, thyme, oregano and basil.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Return chicken to the skillet.
  • Place into oven and roast until completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 175 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with basil, if desired.

If you know me, then you know I made some changes to this recipe. For some odd reason I just can’t seem to stick to a recipe as it is exactly laid out. So my changes include: I just bought the best and most affordable looking package of chicken thighs, which came out to be very large thighs with one more than what was needed for the recipe. Totally workable. I also skipped the kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and used my husband’s special blend of seasonings (mostly season salt with lots of Italian seasonings). I pretty much doubled the cream sauce since I had such ginormous chicken thighs, but that was the best decision ever, and I recommend doing it just so you have more sauce!

When it came to cooking time I didn’t have the required oven-proof skillet that makes this recipe so easy, so I prepared everything in my usual skillet and transferred it all to a casserole dish. Well, I used a casserole dish plus a smaller dish because my thighs took up too much space. The cooking time still worked out well though, but the sauce was not as thick as it should have been. From the reviews of this recipe it could be from the oiliness of the sun-dried tomatoes, but I rinsed mine. So I am convinced that it is the butter separating or the chicken fat rising (or something else, I really have no idea). So I recommend mixing some cornstarch with water to thicken up the sauce a bit. Then you will likely have the perfect concoction of this recipe. I, unfortunately, had a bit runnier experience, but it was still delightful. We served it with mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables.

I hope you all enjoy🙂



Sort-of-Meatless Tater Tot Casserole

I grabbed my idea for tonight’s dinner from The Domestic Mama & The Village Cook‘s Tater Tot Casserole recipe, which can be viewed here.

tatertot casserole

It turned out absolutely wonderful! It is meant as a side dish, but I served it as an entree with a side of candied yams (I didn’t have a lot of side options on hand). This meal was very flavorful and very filling for my family of five (although the little one only picked at it).

My adaptation calls for a few subtle changes. I used cream of chicken soup instead of cream of mushroom (hence the “sort of” meatless title). I didn’t have any chives on hand so I omitted them. I am also fairly positive I used more than the amount of cheese and french fried onions than what was called for. I didn’t exactly measure it, but I made sure to cover the entire top of the casserole with the onion and cheese, just to make sure I had good coverage! Plus it’s yummier that way🙂

So here is my recipe if you’re interested in trying it:

  • 1 bag tater tots (thawed)
  • ½ can cream of chicken soup (or whatever “cream of” soup you prefer)
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons ranch dressing
  • 1 tablespoon chives
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • ½ cup shredded cheese
  • ½ cup french-fried onions
  1. Place tots in a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish.
  2. In a bowl, mix the soup, milk, ranch, chives, pepper and parsley.
  3. Pour over the tots and top with the onions and cheese.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 40 minutes.



Dinner Tonight – Hawaiian Ham & Swiss Sliders

I do my best to try new recipes each week, and this is a great new recipe to try on a Friday night! I figured these would turn out quite yummy when all the reviews on the recipe were of the highest marks, plus it’s King’s Hawaiian! It’s more of a party dish than anything, but I’m one of those people who will eat anything at dinner time if it is cheap enough, easy enough, and yummy. I do believe that I will skip the fancy sauce topping next time I make this. I’m not a butter person and I could definitely taste the butter over the rolls. The appearance of the sauce kind of scared my kiddo away from trying it, but if it was just the sandwich without the topping then I’m sure she would have eaten it. I definitely do recommend this recipe though! We served these with a side of Sun Chips.

Hawaiian Ham & Swiss Sliders

Dinner Tonight – Oven Hot Dogs

I have been on a new recipe kick, so I am doing my best to put the word out on what is good and what is not so good. Many of the recipes I find are on Pinterest, so it’s good to let everybody know what recipes actually come out being as awesome as it is reviewed to be, and what doesn’t fly in the real world. When it comes the Oven Hot Dogs recipe that I have been meaning to try for over a year now, it definitely flies! There are several improvements that I would recommend though, so keep on reading!

My recommendations:

  1. Use potato bread hot dog buns! They hold up well and taste amazing.
  2. Maybe cook them for just 30-35 minutes. The time mentioned in the recipe (45 minutes) seems a bit long, and the buns were verrry toasty by the time the timer went off.
  3. Perhaps use real mayo. I used Miracle Whip and it seemed to be a bit too sweet.
  4. Chili with beans is best. I only had chili with no beans. It still worked, but I love beans. GO BEANS!
  5. I omitted the relish because I’m the only person in my house that likes relish. It still turned out alright.
  6. A 13×9″ pan was not big enough for all of my hot dogs. So I used that dish to hold six of them, and then a smaller baking dish to hold the other two. Still turned out fine.
  7. Use good quality hot dogs. We’ve been trying to save money, so we bought the cheapest hot dogs EVER. They didn’t taste very good, which kind of ruined the whole baked hot dogs experience. I usually buy Bar-S (local/Made in Oklahoma) and those are pretty cheap too, but I really like cheap hot dogs. But I didn’t like the ones we had tonight, which I think were John Morrell. My husband says they were just fine, but he will eat anything. Even my 4 year old knew these hot dogs weren’t good. That’s saying something!

So with all these tips, you should have some super yummy oven hot dogs! Happy eating🙂

The recipe from Alyssa B Young follows: Oven Hot Dogs

  • 8 Hot Dogs
  • 8 Hot Dog Buns
  • 1 Can of Chili
  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard
  • Sweet Relish

Line the inside of the hot dog buns with mayo and sweet relish. Evenly add mustard. Fill buns with hot dogs and add to a 13×9″ pan.

Top hot dogs with chili, cheese, and onion. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Recipe Review – Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas – Too Sweet!!

Some of you may have seen this Honey Lime Chicken Enchilada recipe passing around Facebook and Pinterest for the past couple of weeks. I thought it sounded delicious, and it seemed easy enough to manage, so I gave it a try! I followed the recipe nearly exactly, with the exception of using slightly less honey than what is require in the recipe. I thought it really wouldn’t require that much (honey goes a long way), and the amount I used (about two tablespoons, maybe less) was still too much. The chicken I used wasn’t the best quality (tiny frozen Best Choice breast made in the Crock Pot) , so that may have played into the overall quality of the recipe, but the seasonings used on the chicken that I put together were definitely noticeable. Some people might enjoy the odd sweetness of these enchiladas, but I just didn’t think the honey meshed well with everything else. I loved what I am assuming is a sour cream type sauce made with the the green enchilada sauce and heavy cream. That was very tasty, and I will keep it in mind for future enchilada recipes!

If any of you believe you’d actually like this…here is the recipe! My mother-in-law thought it was pretty good, but she is also 99% sugar. Sweets are what she lives on. It’s kind of scary.

The recipe by Phemomenon follows: Homey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 large limes)
  • 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, ?nely minced or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large breasts), cooked and shredded
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups of mexican cheese blend, shredded (1 small bag usually is 2 cups)
  • 1 14-oz can of green enchilada sauce (mild or medium, to your taste)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of heavy cream
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro, to garnish
  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees f. place the cooked and shredded chicken in a medium sized bowl. set aside. in a small bowl, place the honey, lime juice, chili powder and minced garlic or garlic powder. whisk together thoroughly to combine. pour this mixture over the chicken and cover with plastic wrap. allow to marinate while you prepare the tortillas, 30 minutes or up to 1 hour, in the refrigerator.
  2. heat a large griddle till a drop of water skitters across (about 350 degrees f). spray the surface with non-stick cooking spray or a oil it with a little bit of canola oil in between each round of tortillas. heat tortillas about 20 seconds on each side till warm and ?exible and some golden brown spots have appeared. remove the tortillas from the griddle and keep them between a couple of paper towels until ready to use.
  3. spray the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish lightly with cooking spray.
  4. in a medium bowl combine the enchilada sauce and the heavy cream. spread about 1/2 cup of the mixture in the bottom of the oiled baking dish.
  5. add a large spoonful (about 2 tablespoons) of the chicken mixture to the center of each tortilla in a line. cover the chicken with a large tablespoon (or big pinch) of cheese, then roll the tortilla up from one side to make a rolled enchilada – it will be more of an over lap on the seam side that rolled tightly. place the enchilada seam side down in the baking dish starting at one end with the long edge parallel to the longest side of the pan so that you end up with two columns of six enchiladas each.
  6. repeat with the remaining chicken, cheese and tortillas. you will use about 1 1/2 cups of the cheese for the ?lling and set the remainder aside for topping the enchiladas in the pan. add the remaining marinade mixture to the enchilada sauce and cream mixture, if desired. pour this mixture over the top of all the enchiladas. sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  7. bake the enchiladas for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly and starting to brown on top.

Twice Baked Potato Casserole Recipe 5 | Just A Pinch Recipes

Twice Baked Potato Casserole Recipe 5 | Just A Pinch Recipes.

I made this recipe for dinner tonight and it was wonderful! The whole family loved it, and we are definitely a family divided by different tastes. When it was finally done cooking I was a little discouraged by the way the sour cream looked (curdled and like there was a ton of it everywhere!). Turns out it wasn’t a big deal because it still tasted wonderful! So if you have some potatoes (any will work, but red potatoes work best), cheese, and sour cream, then this recipe will work for you. I added some jalapenos to the top to add a bit of spice to it. EAT IT!

Follow the link at the top to the recipe. Do it. You know you want to😀