pickin’ in weco.

On this episode of “do I need this?” I visited some antique shops in West Columbia. Here is what I found:

Obviously I could find a place for everything you see here. Getting D on board for needing it all? That’s a bit of a different lobbying endeavor.

Also, I clearly need more tabletops for my pretty little funky collectibles.

Oh wait, that’s 3 tables in one in my collage of finds. Hmm …

chicken fajita roll-ups.

Have you ever paid attention to how much dairy you eat?

Let’s be real — I mainly just eat a lot of cheese. I drink milk and eat yogurt, too. But cheese. That’s my jam. Grilled, plain, in everything. You name it.

So, I decided I’d try to give it up. “You’ll have more energy,” they said. “You’ll feel amazing,” they told me. “It’ll help you lose that [baby] weight,” they promised.


I have found some recipes that don’t require cheese – shocking, I know – that are pretty good, though. This one I was able to throw together one night while Blakely was bouncing around the jumperoo underneath me.

  • For the Marinade:
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 t chili powder
  • ½ t cumin
  • ½ t dried oregano
  • ½ t salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 T cilantro, chopped
  • For the Chicken:
  • 3 chicken breasts or 6 thin sliced chicken cutlets ¼-inch thick
  • ½ red bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ green bell pepper, sliced
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, cayenne (if using) and cilantro. Set aside.
  2. Slice chicken breasts longways into 2 even slices and firmly pound the chicken to an even thickness of about ¼ inch.
  3. Place chicken cutlets into a large resealable freezer bag and pour marinade over top, making sure they are completely coated. Allow chicken to marinate for a minimum of one hour to overnight.
  4. Once chicken has marinated, evenly place 6 bell pepper slices in the middle of the chicken cutlet, roll up and secure with a toothpick. Repeat this step until all the cutlets have been rolled up and place seam side down in a prepared baking dish.
  5. Brush tops of chicken with remaining marinade and bake, uncovered, at 375 for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the juices run clear. Serve and enjoy!

oven baked spicy chicken tacos. 

After a long day away from home and out and about in Columbia yesterday, I threw these together for dinner last night when we came home.

Oven Baked Spicy Chicken Tacos


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound cooked chicken, shredded (I used cooked Rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 packet Old El Paso Hot & Spicy Taco Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomato, drained
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can Old El Paso Chopped Green Chiles
  • 10 Old El Paso Stand and Stuff Taco Shells
  • 1/2 (16 ounce) can Old El Paso Refried Beans
  • 2 cups Mexican Blend Cheese, shredded
  • Toppings — we just used salsa and sour cream. 


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 9×13 baking dish with foil.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet.
  3. Add onion to skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and fragrant.
  4. Stir in the chicken, taco seasoning, tomatoes, and green chiles. Stir to combine fully. Reduce to simmer and allow to cook for 5-8 minutes.
  5. Place the taco shells in the baking dish, standing up. I was able to fit 10 taco shells in the dish by adding 2 on each side.
  6. Spoon 1 tablespoon of beans into the bottom of each taco shell. Top with the chicken mixture, almost to the top of each shell.
  7. Sprinkle each shell generously with shredded cheese.
  8. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cheese is fully melted and the edges of the shells are browned.
  9. Remove from the oven and top with your favorite items such as jalapenos, sour cream, cilantro, and salsa. 

slow cooker chicken parmesan soup.

Friday, I made the best soup I’ve ever made. I know that that’s not saying a lot, as I haven’t made that many soups in my day. But this stuff was good. I mean real good.

Slow Cooker Chicken Parm Soup


  • 1lb boneless chicken breast
  • 1C yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 24oz diced tomatoes
  • 15oz tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
  • 4C chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4C grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2C heavy cream
  • 1 – 1 1/2C rotini pasta
  • mozzarella for topping


  1. Add chicken, vegetables, tomato sauce, spices, chicken broth and bay leaves (I substituted extra thyme because I didn’t have any) in slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
  2. Remove chicken, shredding with forks. Set aside. Remove and discard bay leaves.
  3. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Stir in parmesan cheese and heavy cream until fully combined. Return to slow cooker along with shredded chicken and uncooked pasta. Stir. Cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
  4. Serve with shredded mozzarella and optional parmesan cheese. Brown under a broiler in oven safe bowls.IMG_2506.JPG

We also ended up having it for leftovers 2 days later and added some Boston butt to it. So so good!

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jalapeno turkey burgers.

Yesterday I wanted to crash after lunch. How do people make it all day? I motivated myself to pick up B, go by the grocery store, and cook dinner as planned. I pulled this recipe from a Whole 30 meal plan I saw posted. (I added onion hamburger buns and roasted red potatoes as a side — oops.) It was good, and I’m thinking about scratching the meal I’d planned for tonight in favor of leftovers!

This isn’t my first time cooking turkey burgers. I’ve made even simpler ones with just Mrs. Dash, avocado stuffed turkey burgers,  and even chipotle bacon turkey sliders. Apparently I have a thing for them.

These were fairly simple, and I was able to fix supper while B was entertaining herself in her jumperoo thing. She pretty much rocks.

Jalapeno Turkey Burgers


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • ½-3/4 of one jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 1 medium size shallot, peeled and minced
  • zest and of one lime
  • 2 T chopped cilantro
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1 t cumin
  • ½ t sea salt
  • ½ t black pepper
  • guacamole (optional)
  • pico de gallo (optional)
  • poached egg (optional)
  • Sweet Baby Ray’s (not optional in our house)


  1. Place turkey, herbs, spices and lime in bowl and use hands to mix well.
  2. Form into four patties.
  3. Place pan on medium heat.
  4. Add olive oil to bottom of pan.
  5. When pan is hot, place patties in pan and cook for about 5 minutes each side or until cooked through.
  6. Top with guacamole, pico de gallo and poached egg if desired!

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white chicken & quinoa chili.

One of my New Year’s Resolutions has been to try to cook more — aka up my wifey game. D is such a fantastic cook. I can read directions … and then still tend to have questions. So I love a recipe that is pretty full proof. Don’t worry, I still had questions about how to operate the crockpot.

Sunday morning, after a fun Saturday night out and celebrating two of our best friends, I got up bright and early and started chopping celery to put together dinner. I plan to make it again and again, I liked it that much. We even had leftovers for supper last night.

Slow Cooker White Chicken & Quinoa Chili


  • 1½ lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, de-seeded and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (4.5 oz) cans diced green chiles
  • 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • Toppings (optional): Cilantro, avocado, shredded cheese


  1. In a 6-quart slow cooker, add chicken and the rest of ingredients. Cover and place on high for 3 to 4 hours or low 6 to 8 hours.
  2. Remove chicken and shred with two forks then add back into the slow cooker. Season with additional salt and seasonings if needed.
  3. Spoon chili into bowls and top with favorite toppings.

lemony shrimp & arugula risotto.

Lemony Shrimp & Arugula Risotto


3 T unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine – I used chardonnay because it’s the only white I had at home and I forgot to take my driver’s license in to Publix so they wouldn’t let me buy any pinot grigio. 
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 pound peeled shrimp
2 cups baby arugula
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 T chopped fresh parsley


1. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

2. Add the onion, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes.

3. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until absorbed.

4. Add half the broth (1 ¾ cups) and simmer, stirring once, until absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the remaining broth and simmer, stirring once, until the rice is tender and creamy, 8 to 10 minutes.

5. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes.

6. Fold in the arugula, parmesan, lemon zest, and the remaining tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle with the parsley and additional parmesan, if desired.img_1072

dresser reno.

D has had a dresser I’ve been itching to update for as long as I’ve known him. And we (mainly, he) finally completed that process over the weekend. Needless to say, I’m in LOVE.

The before picture is rough. This was taken after we’d moved it out of our master bedroom (with the help of removing the bottom drawers to lighten the load) in order to lay hardwoods in there. It stayed in our dining room in its current state until I convinced D to move it outside to begin the task of beautifying it.

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The handles are all too wide for the holes so I knew I’d be caulking the holes and re-drilling based on what I found to replace them with. I also had to sand it down before D primed and painted it.

Friday I went on the hunt for some great knobs because I knew it would inspire me to finally get the project completed over the weekend so we could move back into our master and take our clothes with us!

Here is the completed project before we moved it back in to our bedroom:

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Here is a close up of the knobs and handles I purchased:

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I picked up the knobs at Anthropologie and the pulls at Target. They look great together! To add to the fun, I already had a jadeite lamp base with white shade that I had used on the dresser and much to my surprise (and complete lack of planning) they look fantastic together! If you know me, you know I’m not much of a “matcher” so this was surprising and fun!


chipotle bacon turkey sliders.

Much to D’s surprise, when he came home on Friday night I was in the kitchen cooking. Here’s what I whipped up:

Chipotle Bacon Turkey Sliders


1 pound ground turkey
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 chipotle pepper, minced
2 teaspoons adobo sauce from the can of chipotle peppers in adobo (found in the international section at Publix)
2 T olive oil
8 slices sharp white cheddar cheese
8 slices bacon
8 hawaiian solls (dinner size rolls for sliders), toasted
2 ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
2 teaspoons adobo sauce from the can of chipotle peppers in adobo
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


For the sliders:
1. In a large bowl, combine turkey, salt, pepper, garlic, chopped chipotle pepper and adobo sauce. Mix until just combined. Form the turkey into equal-sized patties, about 8 burgers, though I usually make mine the size of the buns I have so you might get up to 10 sliders.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the turkey sliders and cook until golden and brown on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes each side. A minute or so before the sliders are done, add a slice of cheese on top of each and allow it to melt.
3. Top each slider with a few pieces of the fried bacon. Spread the avocado mayo on the bottom (and top, if desired!) of the bun and add the slider. Serve!

For the avocado mayo:
1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mash until combined.
2. Continue to mash and stir until smooth (you can add it to a food processor if you want it super smooth). I added some salsa to mine as well!

I used some of the remaining bacon to add to my twice baked potatoes as our side! It was delicious and we enjoyed a Friday night dinner on the porch.



black bean burgers.

I haven’t cooked lately. At all. Anything. I think sometimes you’re just in a funk … that’s what I’m calling it. A “my husband’s an incredible cook, why do I bother?” funk.

Friday I was out running errands and I texted D and told him I was handling dinner. I had a craving for a black bean burger and I was going to make it happen. So I turned to the Pioneer Woman for a how-to. And now it’s a recipe I’ll always go back to – so easy and so, so good … D even ate it up.

Black Bean Burgers


2 cans (14.5 Each) Seasoned Black Beans
1 cup Seasoned Breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Grated White Onion
1 whole Egg
1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
Salt And Pepper
Hot Sauce – I used Marie Sharps.
Swiss Cheese
Olive Oil, For Frying
Butter, For Frying And Grilling
4 whole Kaiser Rolls Or Good Hamburger Buns

  1. Drain, but do not rinse, the black beans. Place them in a bowl and use a fork to mash them. Keep mashing until they’re mostly broken up, but still have some whole beans visible. Add the breadcrumbs, onion, egg, chili powder, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Stir until everything is combined, then let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil with an equal amount of butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Form the bean mixture into patties slightly larger than the buns you’re using (the patties will not shrink when they cook.) Place the patties in the skillet and cook them about 5 minutes on the first side. Flip them to the other side, place 2 slices of cheese onto each patty, and continue cooking them for another 5 minutes, or until the burgers are heated through. (Place a lid on the skillet to help the cheese melt if needed.)
  3. Toast the buns, place patties on them, and serve!

I also made some homemade guacamole as an appetizer and as a topping for the black bean burgers! Delicious.