Hawaiian Pizza

This is kind of a no brainer recipe, but I felt like I needed to post something since I haven’t been posting as much lately as I used to.  Tim was out of town all last week and this is all I cooked while he was gone.  I made it Monday night and cut it into 8 slices and was able to eat the leftovers for dinners and lunches through Thursday!  It was so strange to not have to cook for so long.  It would have been a completely different story if he was here!  That pizza would have been gone the same night I made it!  On Wednesday, Tim and I even had a laugh over the phone about how long food lasts when he’s not here!  He knows he’s a food disposal!

Hawaiian Pizza

yield: 8 large  slices, serves 2-8 depending on appetites!


1 recipe pizza dough {and ingredients to prepare it as directed on back of package}

about 1/3 cup pizza sauce

about 1 cup chopped ham {I used left over spiral sliced baked ham, but any deli ham will work}

6-7 slices of canned pineapple that has been really well drained

sliced green onion {I think I used 2 or 3} – optional

8 oz. mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Prepare dough as directed on back of the package of yeast and shape into a large circle on a pizza pan.  Spread with pizza sauce.  Top with sliced ham, rings of pineapple, chopped onion, and cheese.

Bake for about 15 minutes {+/-} or until golden brown.

Let cool 5-10 minutes, then slice and serve.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I grew up eating rhubarb in many types of desserts and sauces.  And of course it was a favorite on the pie menu at the restaurant I worked at for numerous years.  So, I’m very familiar with it and have always loved eating it, but have been a little afraid to cook or bake with it myself.  I really don’t know why, I guess I thought it would be difficult to clean or something.  But really it is similar to celery, you just rinse it off and slice it.  So once I conquered that fear, I made my first strawberry rhubarb pie!

The only problem I had was major run over as it was baking.  Next time I’ll take a few precautions to be sure I don’t have those problems again.  I’ll put a baking sheet under it to catch drips, not overfill it, and use a traditional top crust instead of the decorative one which may have allowed the juices to easily run over.

Tim loved it of course and he’s already asking me to make another one soon!  The man has loved every pie he’s ever met! 🙂

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

{Source:  adapted from Betty Crocker’s Bridal Edition Cookbook}

pastry dough for double crust pie

2 to 2-1/3 cups sugar*

2/3 cups AP flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp grated orange zest – optional

3 cups rhubarb chopped into 1/2″ pieces

3 cups sliced strawberries

1 tablespoon butter

Make the pastry (or have it made ahead and placed in the fridge or freezer}.  Roll it out and place the bottom layer in the pie pan.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Mix sugar, flour, salt, and zest in a large bowl.  Stir in the rhubarb and strawberries.  Pour into the pastry lined pan.

Cut the tablespoon of butter into small pieces and dot over the filling.  Cover with top layer of pastry dough.  Make cuts for venting.  Seal and flute the edges.  Cover edges with foil to prevent over browning. Place on a large baking sheet {to catch run over}.

Bake about 55 minutes or until crust is golden and filling bubbles.  Remove the foil about 10-15 minutes before the end of the baking time.

Cool at least 2 hours.

*If you are using rhubarb that was picked early in the season, the lower amount of sugar will probably be enough.  More mature rhubarb is more tart and needs more sugar added.

Honey Vanilla Pound Cake

Recently, I purchased a large amount of strawberries at a great price, so I wanted to use them in a few new recipes.  I decided on a strawberry rhubarb pie and strawberry shortcake using this pound cake.  Both were terrific and perfect for the heat wave we’re having.  It finally feels like summer and these desserts have summer written all over them!

Ina Garten never disappoints so I knew this would be a hit!  I don’t know whose recipes I like more – the Barefoot Contessa or the Pioneer Woman?!

Honey Vanilla Pound Cake

{Source:  Ina Garten’s Back to Basics cookbook p. 208}

2 sticks of unsalted butter, at cool room temperature {leave it set out for 1 hour}

1-1/4 cups sugar

4 extra large eggs, at room temp

2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 tsp grated lemon zest

2 cups sifted cake flour {I sifted together 1/4 cup corn starch with 1-3/4 cups Ap flour for a substitute}

1 teaspoon kosher salt {I used 3/4 tsp}

1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the bottom of a 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 2-1/2-inch loaf pan.  Line the bottom with parchment paper, then grease and flour the entire pan.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3-4 minutes, until light.  Meanwhile, put the eggs, honey, vanilla, and zest in a glass measuring cup, but do not combine.

With the mixer on medium-low, add the egg mixture, one egg at a time.  Allow each egg to become incorporated before adding the next egg.  Scrape the paddle and sides of the bowl occasionally.

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder.  With the mixer on low, gradually add it to the batter until just combined.  Finish mixing the batter with a rubber spatula and pour it into the prepared pan.  Smooth the top.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  {Mine took closer to 60 minutes until a toothpick came out clean and it was quite dark on top, but not burnt…it didn’t affect the taste either.  It may have gotten so dark because I used a coated non-stick pan?  I’ve heard that those cause browning to whatever you are baking.}

Cool for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a baking rack and cool completely.

Enjoy! 🙂

Deviled Eggs

I don’t remember when I made these and took the picture, probably around the holidays, but I’m just now getting around to posting it!

Since most deviled egg trays hold 12, you only need to cook 6 eggs but I like to make 3-4 extras in case some don’t come out of their shell nicely.  Making a few extras also allows for plenty of filling, so you can fill the eggs nice and full.  Just discard any unused hard cooked egg whites.

Deviled Eggs


6 hard cooked eggs {or more}

1 tsp yellow mustard

1/4 cup mayo {or maybe slightly more}

1 scant tsp white vinegar

s & p to taste



Remove each cooled hard cooked egg from its shell and cut in half.  Carefully remove yolks and place them in a large bowl.  Stir in mayo, mustard, vinegar, and s & p.  Mash and combine with a fork.  Once the yolks are mashed, I like to switch to a whisk and beat until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasonings and add extra mayo depending on your preference.

Place the filling in a pastry bag fitted with with tip of your choice, or just use a sandwich bag with the tip snipped off.  Pipe mixture into egg white halves.  Sprinkle with paprika.  Chill until serving.

How I make hard boiled eggs:

Place eggs in a single layer in large saucepan making sure no eggs are cracked.  Add cold water to cover the eggs by about an inch.  Bring water to a boil.   Immediately, remove pan from heat and cover with the lid.  Let stand for 20 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Place in a large bowl full of ice and let sit until completely cooled.


This my standard meatloaf recipe and there’s not a lot to say about it.  It is just so hearty and good.   You can easily switch up or add other vegetables to it if you want to sneak them into a meal.  Chopped spinach and shredded carrots are some suggestions that come to mind.  Just saute them with the onion and peppers.

The only tip I have to add is that it is imperative to chop the onion, peppers, and garlic as fine as you possibly can.  If you leave them as big chunks, the loaf will have the tendency to fall apart, especially while slicing.  So, the smaller mince/chop the better to have it hold together.


1 tsp oil

1 small onion, finely chopped or grated

1/2 green bell pepper, very finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced or grated

1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup {+/-} bread crumbs {or one sleeve of crackers such as Ritz, finely crushed}

1 egg

salt and lots of cracked black pepper

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce or more to taste


1/4 cup ketchup

1.5 tablespoons honey

splash Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp {or less} Sriracha hot sauce


In a skillet, saute the onions, peppers, and garlic in the oil until tender.  Set aside to cool.

Mix the glaze together and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, egg, s & p, ketchup, bread crumbs, and Worcestershire sauce together.  Then add the cooled sautéed veggies.  Once, thoroughly combined, shape into loaf in a baking dish.  Cover with glaze.

Bake for 45-55 minutes or until done.  Let Rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Creamy Lemon Crumb Squares

Well, here’s another terrific recipe from the Pioneer Woman! The lemon filling is fabulous!

Creamy Lemon Crumb Squares
  • 1-⅓ cup All-purpose Flour
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 stick (1/2 Cup) Butter, Slightly Softened
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar (lightly Packed)
  • 1 cup Oats
  • 1 can (14 Ounce) Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • ½ cups Lemon Juice (2 or 3 lemons)
  • Zest Of 1 Lemon – I upped it to 2 lemons
Preparation Instructions


Mix butter and brown sugar until well combined.

Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder.

Add oats and flour to butter/sugar mixture and mix to combine.

Press half of crumb mixture into the bottom of an 8 x 11 inch pan.

Mix together condensed milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Spread onto the bottom layer of the crumb mixture. Top with the other half of the crumb mixture, but don’t press.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Allow pan to sit on counter for 30 minutes after baking. Cut into squares and refrigerate for a couple of hours or until cool.

Serve cool.

Beef Empanadas

I served these empanadas as a meal by themselves, but due to their size I think they would be better suited just as appetizers.  Or, they need to be made larger to be served as an entire meal in my opinion.

I had way more filling that I needed, so I’ll cut that in half {or more} next time or I’ll double the amount of pastry and freeze half of them.  I think I’ll also add a few tablespoons of salsa to the filling next time as well.  To cut down on prep time, I made the filling the night before.

Sweet Corn and Beef Empanadas

{heavily adapted from a Cuisine At Home magazine}

Note – Below is exactly how I made them which yielded way too much filling.  We used the leftover filling in soft tacos for the next few day’s lunches and dinners.

Filling Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 small can roasted diced green chilies

1 can Mexi-corn, drained

4 scallions, sliced

2 tsp chili powder

2 tsp or more ground cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne or to taste {can sub paprika for less heat}

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

For the empanadas:

1 pkg refrigerated pie dough (2 sheets)

1 egg yolk

1 Tbsp water


salsa for dipping


Brown ground beef with garlic and chopped onion until cooked through.  Drain fat.  Mix meat and onions with chilies, corn, scallions, and seasonings.  Chill thoroughly {or overnight}.

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Unroll 1 sheet of pie dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll with rolling pin to smooth and thin out (about 1/8″).  Cut circles in dough with a 3.5″ or larger biscuit cutter (I’ll definitely make them larger next time).  Place rounds of dough on prepared baking sheets.  Repeat with second sheet of pie dough and re-roll scraps as needed.

Add shredded cheese (and some salsa?) to the meat filling and then place one tablespoon of filling on each small circle of dough.  Fold in half and crimp with fork to seal.  {You may freeze them at this point if desired.}

Blend egg yolk and water and brush it on the top of each empanadas.  Sprinkle with paprika and bake until golden, 15-18 minutes.

Serve with salsa on the side for dipping.

Recap of Katie’s Baby Shower

The baby shower that I threw recently was a success and such a fun time! 🙂

Here’s a glimpse of my schedule leading up to the shower and a recap of the day as well some tips on preparation.  Thankfully I was able to take the previous day off from work, so with that full day off, a few evening before that, and the morning of the shower,  I was able to get a lot done.  My Mom also helped out a ton.  She came to my house beforehand and I could not have done half of what was accomplished without her!


  • Weeks in advance I made the diaper cake.  It looks a little lumpy and bumpy in the pictures, but in real life it was smooth!

  • The weekend prior and several nights before I cleaned my house.   We also started stocking up on ice from our ice maker.
  • 3 nights before the shower I made the cream cheese mints.  I combined one softened block of cream cheese with 3 tablespoons butter, about 2 teaspoons of peppermint extract {or to taste} and approximately 7 cups or more of powdered sugar in my mixer.  Then rolled it into small balls, dredged them in white sugar and pressed into candy molds.  Then unmolded and refrigerated until needed.  {After the fact, I read that you are supposed to let the mints dry sitting on the counter for about 2 hours after you unmold them. Oops.}

  • Two nights before the shower I made the ice ring {just frozen pineapple juice in a mold} and the Oreo cupcake truffles.  Thanks to my friend Melissa’s recommendation, I put a spin on Bakerella’s “cake balls” and used oreo truffle filling.  I used one package of Oreos and one package of cream cheese, crushed and combined in the food processor.  I rolled them into balls and set them aside.  Next, I prepared the candy melts for the coating.  I used one package of chocolate for the majority of the bottom shells, and when that ran out, I used 1/2 package of white candy melts.  {Candy melts can be purchased at Hobby Lobby or other places where Wilton baking supplies are sold.  While you are buying the candy melts, grab the candy molds as well.}  I used 2 molds to make things go quicker.  So, fill the molds about 3/4 full with chocolate and drop in a truffle ball.  Let set until firm.  Make the top coating by melting together 1/2 a package of dark green candy melts and 1/2 package of white to achieve the medium green color I was going for.  Dip tops of truffles.  Immediately sprinkle with nonpareils of your choice.  {I like to shake on the sprinkles over an open coffee filter because it is easy to funnel the strays back into the jar.  Me = cheap}  Add a colored m&m to the top and set aside again until firm.  Store in the fridge.
  • The day before the shower is kind of a blur.  I know I made the following with mom’s help:
  • lemonade

I also set up tables and chairs, hung the baby clothesline decorations, washed serving dishes, and cleaned the kitchen and floors again.

  • The night before I made and decorated the cake and cupcakes.  I made an 8″ round white layered cake, covered it with white butter cream, added basket weave to the sides {white buttercream colored with enough Wilton Ivory color gel to reach desired color} and decorated the top with a green pea pod design.  Cupcakes were chocolate with white buttercream swirled on top.

  • The morning of the shower we made:  the layered taco dip, coffee and ice tea, and put the cocktail hot dogs with sauce in the crock pot.

Other food that my mom provided:

cheese spread and crackers

veggie tray

spinach dip and Hawaiian bread

fruit salad

All that was left to do at the beginning of the shower was heat up the pizza dip and plate all the food.  It was a hectic 15 minutes or so as finishing touches were being added and guests were arriving.  But, it all worked out  🙂

So, we ate lunch first.  After that we played 3 games {guess the baby food flavor, guess the size of Katie’s belly with pieces of yarn, and baby bingo.}  Then Katie opened the gifts.  And last, we served the cake and punch.

Lime Punch recipe:

1 carton lime sherbet

1 2-liter bottle ginger ale

1-2 cups pineapple juice or a pineapple juice ice ring.

Place the ice ring in the bottom of a punch bowl.  Scoop rounded spoonfuls of sherbet into the bowl, using all of the sherbet.  Then pour in the 2 liter of ginger ale.  Stir to combine.  Sherbet will melt into frothy slush.  You may need additional ginger ale and sherbet depending on the number of guests.