Cowboy Caviar Chip/Cracker Dip

29 Apr


I was trying to think of a recipe for an appetizer/dip that was a little bit more “healthy” and fresh than the ones I usually make.  I remembered a friend making “Cowboy Caviar” at a BBQ one time so I did a little research.  I found tons and tons of recipes online for cowboy caviar and no two were alike.  I decided to combine a couple, add some of my favorite ingredients and see what happened.   I made enough to feed an army, and if I had one over it would have been gone, it was yummy!   Here’s my recipe for Cowboy Caviar… Make it for Cinco De Mayo or your next BBQ, it really was a hit!

COWBOY CAVIAR- Mountain Style 🙂

1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 orange pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 can of black-eyed peas (can use dried, just cook and drain)
1 can of black beans (can use dried, just cook and drain)
1 can of pinto beans (can use dried, just cook and drain)
1 can of  corn (can use frozen, just cook and drain)
Fresh Cilantro


Chopped Pineapple, Avocado, and/or Mango

Drain and rinse all ingredients.  Toss in LARGE bowl.

DRESSING: Bring 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar and 1 c. oil to a boil.  Remove from heat immediately and dissolve 1/2 c. sugar into mixture. Cool. Pour dressing over chopped ingredients & chill.  Serve with dipping chips or really you could even eat it like a salad…  DELICIOUS

Chicken Cherry Pasta Salad

27 Apr

It’s so funny how the weather plays a roll in what meals I’m craving or up for making.  This weeks prediction of 70 degrees has me dreaming about grilling out, backyard games, and lots of sunshine!  I figured it was time to break out the summer recipe box and see what sounded good.  I opted for one of our favorite easy to make dishes, Chicken/Turkey cherry pasta salad.  I have made this with both “meats”  and it is equally as great.  I’ve also made it with smoked turkey from the deli, leftover turkey from a special meal, and roasted chicken… I think you could leave the meat out all together and it would be awesome too!  I’m awful at measuring this out, basically the amounts don’t really matter, but if you are a measurer, Here’s the scoop:



  • 1 pound rotelle pasta
  • 1.5-2 lbs diced cooked turkey or chicken breast
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 medium diced onion (I often use green onions)
  • 4 diced celery stalks
  • 1 cup toasted whole almonds or chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 bottle of Brianna’s Poppy Seed Dressing OR recipe below (I usually go with the bottle)
  • DRESSING (if you don’t use Brianna’s Poppy Seed Dressing from a Bottle)
    • 2 cups mayonnaise
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
      • This meal is also a really great meal to take to neighbors or friends as a “surprise I made you dinner” sort of gift!  Sometimes I just love surprising people with dinner, it isn’t hard to do and it makes their lives just a tiny bit easier!

Earth Day Project!

20 Apr

Earth Day is April 22nd, so two days away!  Where has April gone, my father was right, time flies!     Every year in my Kindergarten class I used to make these paper mache Earth’s… It was a bit of an undertaking, but with lots of parents to help I was able to do it.  I tell you this because if you are afraid to paper mache with your children, just remember we did it with 20 kids, YOU CAN DO IT!  So here’s the scoop:

You’ll Need:


Newspaper cut into strips,

Paper mache paste (recipe below)

Blue and Green Paint (I used tempera)

Paint Brushes


Blow up the balloon to the desired shape.  The bigger you blow the balloon the more oval shaped it will turn, I tried to keep mine relatively small and round.  The goal of paper mache is to cover the entire balloon with the paste coated newspaper strips so GO!  I try to help the kids keep their strips flat (not crumpled) and smooth.  I also try to show them how to dip their strip in the paste and then pinch the strip and slide your fingers down to drain off any excess paste.  Once the entire balloon is covered you will need to let it dry for a day or even longer :).  You can hang it by the balloon tie to dry it, set it in a cup, or lay it flat turning it often so all sides dry.  Once the paper mache is dry you can take a marker and draw a rough estimate of the continents on your globe.  I do this just so they know where to paint.  I then have them paint the blue first outside of all the continents.  We let this dry before painting the green…  Waiting a day is ideal, but the paint will dry rather quickly….  Once they are done you can pop the balloon on the inside or just leave it to deflate on it’s own.  Viola, an Earth to last a lifetime!

Paste Recipe:

*** I always put a little white glue in with my paste, just makes me feel better about it, but it ISN’T necessary!

Mix one part flour in with two parts water… then add some white glue (optional)… Stir until pastey adding more flour or water if needed!

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

15 Apr
I know I know, it’s spring, we should be talking about grilling and salads and lots of fresh vegetables, right?  Well, I agree, but today a cold front moved in and brought some wind and the prediction of snow in the mountains so I decided to make some soup…  Plus, it’s easy to share with friends and that is exactly what I plan to do!  You might just be the recipient of a free dinner tomorrow!
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • ½ cup flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 13 cup cooked chicken (I used 2 chicken breasts)
  • ½ cup carrot, finely shredded
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 3 tablespoons slivered almonds (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • snipped parsley or chives for garnish


  1. Melt the butter in a soup pot.
  2. Saute the onion until it is softened.
  3. Blend in the flour and then gradually stir in the chicken broth. Stir constantly until it comes to a boil, keep stirring for one more minute.
  4. Add wild rice, chicken, celery, carrots, almonds, salt and simmer about 5 minutes.
  5. Add half-and-half and sherry, heat until just heated through.
  6. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or chives.

Bunny Bags

27 Mar

Cute little bunny bags… I remember when Ben and I were dating and I went to his Parent’s house for Easter… I brought these little bags filled with treats as a “thanks for having me” gift for his family.  Of course at that time I didn’t know that his mom was an amazing chef and she made fancy treats and candy from scratch, but they still appreciated my gift!  Well, fast forward a few years and here we are having our boys make these bags!   They LOVED making them and it took them no time at all.  They would be fun little bags to bring as hostess gifts or even to have the kids make at your Easter gathering… I’ve made them with a classroom full of kids, as well… You can fill them with Easter grass and treats too!  So…. Here’s the Scoop:

You’ll Need:

Lunch size paper bags


Construction Paper

Cotton Balls or Puff Balls


Google Eyes (optional, you can also draw eyes on)

Pipe Cleaners (again Optional, construction paper works too)

Directions:  I went ahead and cut out the ear shape for my youngest, but depending on the age of your kids they could do this themselves- my older two did!  The rest is basically up to your child.  They can draw eyes, nose, and mouth.  They can use puff balls, google eyes and construction paper.  Whiskers can be made with pipe cleaners or construction paper.  Really what ever you want…. The cutest part (not shown) is to add a little cotton ball to the back side of the bag as a tail, :)…  Your kids will love this too, I’m sure of it!  “HOPPY EASTER”

Baseball Player Checklist…

20 Mar

You know me, I love a good check list.  I feel like it empowers my children to do things for themselves, plus it makes my live a bit easier…  Here is the one I made for my Little Leaguer’s!  Thanks to melonheadz for the fun clipart!  Love her stuff! Screen shot 2015-03-20 at 11.57.12 AM

Fruit Rainbow…

13 Mar



This week has been simply glorious outside… The sun is shining, the temps are warmer and my toes are making their spring time debut!  There is just something so sweet about spending time outside on those first few warm days of the season!  In keeping with a spring theme as well as St. Patrick’s Day, I remembered this snack!  It’s one of our very favorites and so easy to make… I wonder if this will help us catch that pesky Leprechaun????



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