Time for a fresh new recipe! 

I’ve been neglecting my blog but not my kitchen! We’ve tried a couple new delicious recipes this summer and I’m thinking what better time to share! 

Summer is grilling season for sure! And a great way to make amazing food without overheating the house! A week or so ago I wanted something a little different and a version if this popped up so I made my own adjustments if course lol and here is my version if grilled fiesta packets! 

You’ll need some sheets of tin foil, I used the non stick type because it seemed like a good idea but I actually have no clue if it makes a big difference! 😂

Ingredient wise you’ll need

1pkg ready made fiesta rice 

1lb approx. 8pcs chicken tenders uncooked

1pkg cream cheese

Taco seasoning

Salsa Verde

1 can Whole kernal Corn

1 can Black beans drained and rinsed,

1bell Pepper chopped

1 Onion chopped 

Shredded Mexican cheese blend

On a sheet of tinfoil layer your ingredients as follows. Rice, chicken, cream cheese, taco seasoning, salsa Verde, and finally the veggies and beans. I mixed my veggies and beans together in one bowl so I could just spoon it into each packet. Seal the packets up and grill on med-high heat 20-30 minutes or until chicken registers at 160F. Top with cheese. Serve hot off the grill! Enjoy!

Summer Recap

It’s been awhile since my last post, practically all summer actually! So, I thought I would provide a recap of everything you might have missed. 

We hosted our annual 4th of July party and as usual a ton of fun was had by all. Jordon and Keegan won the cornhole championship cup, although Amber and I sport them best, and the fireworks were spectacular! 

Andy and I made a couple quick trips to Port Clinton OH, and Put In Bay this summer. A great mini-vacay destination if your ever looking to go. The island is a relaxing spot to tool around on golf carts, hang out at the park, hike a bit, and enjoy the Lake Erie views.

Brianna’s pageant took place, she did a fabulous job! Taking 4th runner up, people’s choice award, and the elegance in evening gown award! She looked stunning, and brought home $600 in scholarship prizes! Good job Bri! 

After the pageant we attended the Jackson County Relay for Life event in memory of our son Logan. Jordon and Brianna along with a ton of their friends did a great job holding down the fort for us overnight so the grown ups could get some rest. Our Relay event is 24hrs and each team is supposed to have a member on the track at all times. The kids walk all night and then crash the minute we get back in the morning. 

Andy and I celebrated our 19th Anniversary this year on August 8th, and celebrated this past weekend in Las Vegas (my bags made it all the way there and back woohoo!!). We stayed at Planet Hollywood, a nice resort the room was very nice and had a great view of the Bellagio fountains a no added cost upgrade btw. The casino layout was congested and difficult navigate though compared to other places that we have stayed. Oh, and it’s very LOUD in this casino even in the Restaurants. Don’t let it stop you though, Gordon Ramsey’s BurGR is fantastic (more on that meal later)! 

I think that about brings us up to date! We’re prepping for back to school now for Brianna, and I have a few great new recipes to share soon too. Hope you alł had a great summer! It’s almost Fall y’all!! 

The Rose Parade and Picnic in the Park

Back at it again after a busy weekend!  This past Sunday we celebrated the Rose Festival and attended the picnic in the park, this is a local tradition that started 59 years ago!  The Rose is our official flower, and the rose festival is a Spring/Summer event that celebrates all of the wonderful things that Jackson has to offer.  Jackson MI, is known for its abundant and beautiful parks, lakes and waterways,  recreational resources and of course roses.

A little more history for you… For decades, Ella Sharp Park, community and residential gardens have cultivated the rose.  In 1931, the rose was chosen as the official flower of Jackson and we became known as “The Rose City”.

Ella Sharp Rose Garden

In 1958,  The Jackson County Rose Festival was inaugurated with The Jackson County Rose Parade, followed by The Jackson County Rose Queen Pageant in 1960.  The Parade is a celebration for local organizations to honor and reward individuals and groups. The Parade allows schools, scouting troops, churches, civic organizations and businesses to promote a positive image of themselves and the Jackson area. The Rose Parade is one of the largest in Michigan with over 100 entries each year.Over the years, various Rose Festival events complement the Parade and Pageant including the Picnic in the park event featuring a good old fashioned pie eating contest!

Rose Parade Jackson MI              Pie eating contest 1962

The event has not changed much since it inception, the route changed slightly for a couple of years and reverted back to the original location in honor of the 50th anniversary. However the picnic in park, and pie eating contest have held strong and still take place today!


So why the history lesson, well… our daughter Brianna was in the parade this year as Miss Teen JTV, proudly driven down the parade route with her Mentor Celia Napoletano, by none other that her very proud Dad, and big brother. It was truly an honor for one of our kids to be a part of such a wonderful community event.

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How bout a pageant update! 

So last time I updated on the pageant world we had just gotten our head shots back and we’re preparing for Gala…

Gala is an evening dinner event for the girls, their families, and the sponsors. It is at this event that the ladies are paired with their sponsors for the pageant. It is a very exciting night for the girls. As a reminder our daughter Brianna is one of the top ten contestants competing for the title of Miss Jackson County Teen USA. She has a very good friend, Celia Napoletano, who is competing for the title of Miss Jackson County Rose Queen. These pageants are part of the Miss USA competition and if they win they will move on to the state level competition for their respective age groups.

Brianna and Celia have grown up together in the pageant circuit, and they were both so badly wanting to be paired with the same sponsor. As each teen contestant is paired with a Miss contestant as a mentor through sponsorship….Hopefully I’ve connected all the dots here lol.

Gala did not disappoint! Celia is now Miss JTV and so of course Brianna is now Miss Teen JTV!

I am so immensely proud of these two! And I know they will do a great job representing JTV, owned and operated by Bart and Karen Hawley.

Since the gala, the contestants participated in a sash making party. Preparing hand made sashes to display during the Rose parade this coming weekend.

And…We went shopping for gowns!!! My favorite part lol!

She did choose a favorite but I’m not letting cat out of the bag just yet. Stay tuned! Up next her appearance tomorrow on JTV, and the Rose Parade!

A day for inspirations

I’m in love today lol… I love this paint

I love this house

I love these pillows..And the rest of this room lol

I love this side table…

Ooooo and this marble…Marble everywhere! 

And this! I love love love flowers! The container is perfect! 

There are so many others today but these are the highlights what have you seen lately? What’s inspiring you this season? 

Creme brulee

I recently took the dive and decided to make my “white whale” desert; creme brulee! I had always heard that it was a difficult desert to master and so I decided finally to stop being so scared and gave it a try, I mean really how hard could this be?!

 This dessert is by far my number one favorite dessert I eat it at every opportunity I get, restaurants, buffets, vacations…I’ll look for it on menus everytime we go out to eat.  I have tried probably 7 different variations of creme brulee. I’m a little bit of a conesoire in this. 

 the desert itself dates back to 1698. Which is pretty amazing the idea that a recipe can last that long and have so many different variations and they can still take it back to its origins. It is one of these simplest desserts affordable by many and used in households and restaurants alike all through the seventeenth through eighteenth centuries it continued to become popular in fancier restaurants into the 19th and 20th Centuries. 

It consists of four main ingredients egg yolks, sugar,  heavy cream, and vanilla it’s topped with a burnt caramelized sugar that has been created in a number of different ways. Original recipes used to take the sugar and carmelize it separated from the desert and then used as a disc that would top it just before serving traditional methods now brulee the sugar on the top of the desert adhering it to the top so that the sugar must be cracked in order to access the creamy dessert below.

For me there is nothing better than the sound of cracking that sugar I just know that it means there are great things to come, and with that I am excited to share with you my recipe for creme brulee enjoy!

6 egg yolks separated

Two cups heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup granulated sugar

Two vanilla beans

3 cups boiling water

4 teaspoons granulated sugar reserved

Preheat your oven to 350F. Premeasure all of your ingredients, get the water on the stove to boil. 

Remove the vanilla beans from the pods using a sharp knife. See below

In a medium mixing bowl combine all of your ingredients except the boiling water stir well until the granulated sugar has dissolved completely.

Fill 4 small ramekins with your mixture and place them into a 9×13 pan. Place the pan on the oven rack but don’t slide the rack into the oven just yet.

Very carefully pour the boiling water into the 9×13 pan around the ramekins until 2/3 covered,  but do not get the water into the mixture or it will ruin the custard.

Carefully Slide the rack into the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until the tops are lightly golden brown.

Once baked remove each ramekin from the oven using tongues do not get the water into the custard and place them on a cooling rack for up to 2 hours or until cooled completely.

Once cool to room temperature cover each Ramekin with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator for at least 7 hours or overnight.

Just before serving blot any liquid off of the top  of each Ramekin, top with a teaspoon of granulated sugar. Using a kitchen torch brulee the sugar caramelizing it until it’s a dark brown color.

Allow the sugar to cool and serve immediately! 

I was so excited that this recipe came out perfectly and that we were able to get the caramelization just right it really truly was an accomplishment for me in my culinary experiment here.I just might make more tonight lol!  Thanks for reading! 

Garlic Honey Shrimp

I’ve been in a dinner rut lately. Life has been crazy as usual and I find myself cooking the same things in an endless loop of the same old things. I was literally dying for a change of pace this week and Friday was my only day that I didn’t have estimates and errands after work; a perfect opportunity to spend some time in my kitchen!

I love the flavors that come with Asian inspired cuisine. So tonight on the menu…Garlic Honey Shrimp! 

Here’s what you need.

1lb uncooked shrimp (I bought mine frozen this time, but fresh uncooked shrimp is awesome.)

2tbsp olive oil

1/4c. Soy sauce

3/4c. Clover honey

2tsp. Minced garlic

1/4tsp. Black pepper

3c. fresh broccoli

1c. Snowpea pods

2c. Long grain brown rice

Toasted sesame seeds

Cook your rice according to the package directions s and set aside. While the rice is cooking prepare your other ingredients.

Thaw, rinse, peel, and devein the shrimp. Chop broccoli, and cut the ends of the pea pods off. Measure out your honey, soy sauce , garlic and pepper into a small bowl. 

Boil water and blanch the vegetables do not over cook! 

In a large pan heat the olive oil and add the shrimp, once starting to turn pink add the sauce and cook thoroughly. Add the blanched vegetables and rice stir well and serve topped with toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy! 

I served this with creme brulee for dessert, I’ll post on that soon! Thanks for reading! 

Kitchen Utensils

I love shopping for new kitchen utensils like these ridiculously adorable measuring cups in the shapes of little birds. I’m on a mission now because these little cuties are not located anywhere near me, but I’m determined to find something similar. They are too cute! 

The fun stuff

Let’s delve into what we do for a living just a bit more. My husband started a lawn and landscape company 10yrs ago, and four years ago we expanded it and added a retail garden center.Last season we added a butterfly house attraction at the garden center.

The butterfly house has been a fantastic addition. I love it because it brings pure joy to so many people. I’ve spent the last two days with our mobile house out in our community and seeing all the fun the kids have had with our butterflies this weekend makes me so happy.

Between our local Earth Day celebration, and the Fairy Festival we entertained over 500 people this weekend! This season is shaping up to be a great one, I can’t wait to see what else is in store!