Monday, April 27, 2015

Chicken Shawarma

If you want a fresh and delicious dinner that doesn't take long to make - this is the meal for you! I made the marinade for the chicken thighs in the morning and let it chill in the refrigerator for the day. The marinade smelled fantastic! I just bought some pita pockets and made some tzatziki sauce and dinner was served.

Lots happening over here in Colorado- I should be leaving here with the kids in a few weeks so Kyle can get the house packed up. I also got a JOB! I will be working for Amazon as a Shift Manager starting this July in Philadelphia. (Logistics!!!) I have a month of training and I can't wait to start this new transition into the civilian workforce. It also gives me great pride to help provide for our family while Kyle is a full-time student at Wharton Business School for the next two years.

Chicken Shawarma
- 2 lb. chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
- lemon juice, 1 lemon
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. pepper
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 1.2 tsp. oregano
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

- Pita bread
- chopped parsley
- cherry tomatos, sliced
- cucumber, cubed
- lettuce

Tzatziki Sauce

- 1 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 Persian cucumber, diced
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp. fresh dill
- salt and pepper, to taste

1. Make your marinade and place it on your chicken thighs in a freezer bag, shake to coat your chicken.
2. Pan fry your chicken thighs with some olive oil until browned on each side.
3. To assemble your chicken shawarma, place some cut chicken in your pita bread with some cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, lettuce, and top with Tzatziki sauce.

 Pan frying marinaded chicken thighs

 Tzatziki sauce

 Pita pockets, chicken, cucumbers and tomatoes, parsley and lettuce, tzatziki sauce

Chicken Shawarma


Friday, April 17, 2015

Frito Snack Mix

Tonight, I am heading to a friends' house and volunteered to bring something salty&sweet - Frito Snack Mix! It made 2 baking sheets worth of mix! Needless to say... one of the baking sheets of snack mix was eaten by my family today... glad it made 2! I can't honestly remember the last time I even ate a Frito, but man are they good. I bought the kind with less sodium, but since the snack mix is coated in brown sugar and butter, it probably won't make much difference! This was super simple to make and can be enjoyed by many if you have an upcoming event or a few people coming over!

Frito Snack Mix

- 2 cups Chex cereal (I used 3)
- 2 cups pretzels (I forgot to buy pretzels)
- 1 1/2 cups nuts (I used almonds, walnuts, peanuts)
- 1 cup mini M&Ms
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1/2 cup butter

1. Mix your Fritos, Chex, pretzels, and nuts together in a large bowl.
2. In a saucepan on medium heat, melt your butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar. Bring mixture to a boil and allow to boil for 4 minutes without stirring it (you may need to turn down the heat so mixture doesn't overflow).
3. Meanwhile, line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
4. Add brown sugar mixture to your Fritos mixture and mix well. Place half of the mixture on one baking sheet, and the other half on the other baking sheet.
5. Bake snack mix at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Stir your mixture up and bake for an additional 8 minutes.
6. Once completely cooled, break up your snack mix and place in a bowl or sealable container. Add your M&Ms.

 Chex, nuts, and Fritos

 Brown sugar mixture boiling

 Mixing brown sugar mixture into snack mix

 Baking Sheet

Sweet&Salty Frito Snack Mix


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Coconut Buttercream Easter Bunny Cake

Happy (almost) Easter! This is a super cute and easy Easter cake that you can make. I just did a box Chocolate Fudge cake and make homemade Coconut Buttercream frosting. I bought this decorative and edible 'grass' from Target and cut it all up and placed it on top of the cake. Then I just decorated with a chocolate bunny and some chocolate eggs. Can't wait to eat some tomorrow!

Coconut Buttercream

- 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. coconut extract
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut, sweetened

1. In a mixer, beat all ingredients together until frosting is smooth.

Edible Grass

Chocolate cake with Coconut Buttercream

Happy Easter!


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Hot Cross Buns

Tomorrow is Good Friday and it is tradition to eat Hot Cross Buns! Here is a recipe from Pioneer Woman and they are delicious. A Hot Cross Bun is a small spiced cake that has a white cross on top, made out of royal icing. I used raisins in my buns, but you can use cranberries if you wish. I used my Le Creuset dutch oven to make the dough in and it was the perfect size and easy to just get one bowl dirty. You can probably use your Kitchenaide mixer with dough hook attachment as well. This recipe takes a good 2 hours to complete the buns, but they are worth it! Happy (almost) Easter!

I hope to complete an Easter Braid this weekend and a coconut buttercream Easter cake to share with you all! My in-laws are coming in for Easter and we have some dear friends of ours driving down from Denver for an Easter Brunch - I am so excited to host and try new recipes!

Hot Cross Buns


- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 4 cups flour
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup raisins


- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. all spice
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Egg Wash

- 1 egg white
- splash of milk


- powdered sugar, I used about 2 cups
- 1 egg white
- 2-3 tbsp. milk

1. In a large pot, scald your milk, sugar, and oil. Take off heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
2. Sprinkle your yeast on top and add your 4 cups of flour. Mix well. Cover with a towel and allow to rest for 1 hour.
3. Add additional 1/2 cup flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix well, dough will be sticky.
4. Sprinkle flour on your kitchen counter and flatten your dough with your hands. Sprinkle 1/3 of your cinnamon/sugar mixture on the dough and 1/3 of your raisins.
5. Fold your dough over with raisins and sugar inside and flatten and put another 1/3 of your sugar mixture and 1/3 of your raisins on the dough. Fold over once more and repeat. Fold over your dough again so all sugar and raisins are inside the dough.
6. Pull off golf ball sized dough portions and make a small ball and place on a greased baking sheet.
7. Allow dough to rise with a towel on top for 30 minutes.
8. Brush each bun with the egg wash.
9. Bake buns at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.
10. Make your frosting and place in a piping bag or freezer bag (cut a small hole in a corner). Pipe a "cross" on each bun once they have cooled.

Scalding milk, oil, and sugar

Cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, and sugar

Yeast and 4 cups of flour on top, additional flour and ingredients on bottom

Flattened dough with first round of raisins and sugar mixture

Second round of raisins and sugar mixture

After third round - dough with raisins and sugar mixture inside

Dough balls


Golden Brown Hot Cross Buns

 "Cross" added

Hot Cross Buns