Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Taco Pie

I love Mexican food! I will eat it whether it is authentic or Americanized. In high school I had my lunch planned out around the Mexican line and ate nachos at least once a week. Probably not the healthiest decision I ever made but boy was it good!

Now that I am trying to stick to a very strict lactose-free diet, my options concerning Mexican food is pretty sparse. Everything has cheese or sour cream which means I cannot eat it. My solution is to make more at home with my own special lactose-free ingredients. This recipe is delicious, easy, and everything is lactose-free... a major win in my book! Here is how to make it:

  • 1 pkg crescent roll sheet
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cups GoVeggie cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup GoVeggie Mexican cheese
  • 1 cup Dairy-free sour cream
  • 1 Roma tomato
  • Corn chips
  • Lettuce
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Lay crescent roll sheet in 10 inch pie pan and spread evenly along the bottom and up the sides to make crust. Bake for 10 minutes.
  3. While crust is cooking brown ground beef in skillet over medium heat. Pour in taco seasoning and water. Simmer for 3-4 minutes or until thickened. Set aside.
  4. Pour cooked and seasoned meat into pie pan on top of crescent roll crust.
  5. Next, spread sour cream evenly on top of meat. Then, add a layer of tomatoes.
  6. Top the meat with cheese and corn chips.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Top with lettuce and serve.

You can also put the sour cream and tomatoes on top after it is done cooking instead of inside the dish if you would rather have it as a cold topping. The beauty of this recipe is that it is so easy to change to your own preference. I have also made this with Doritos which are really good but that was many years ago when I wasn't trying to stay lactose-free. If going lactose-free is not a concern of yours Doritos can be a good way to change it up. Hope you all enjoy!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Weekly Rehash 7/28/14

So many things have been going on in my life lately which made this week very busy. Last weekend I went to my cousin’s bridal shower and bachelorette party. They came up with some really clever games for the bridal shower and I had a lot of fun seeing all of the gifts she received. Afterwards we went laser tagging and I didn’t do too bad. Of course it may have helped that the bride was forced to wear all white making her an easy target causing the children to go for her instead of me… However, I’m going to pretend it was my mad skills ;).

We are all looking tough and ready to kick some butt!
While I was home visiting, my mom gave me this awesome mug. It will be well used this coming fall when I get cravings for pumpkin lattes. Us night shifters need our caffeine!

During the week some of my family came in from Arizona and I finally got to meet two of my new cousins. My aunt and uncle have been foster parents for a couple of years and finally realized their dream of becoming permanent parents in December of this year. They adopted two of their foster kids and they are just adorable. They had two other foster kids with them too and they were all a lot of fun. I think fostering children requires a special type of person and I think they both do an amazing job.

Another thing that happened this week was my green bell pepper plant actually produced a bell pepper! I have been trying my hand at gardening and it is nice when you get rewarded for all your hard work. I quickly picked it off the plant and incorporated it into some delicious fajitas… the recipe for those will be on the blog soon!

And finally, to finish off my incredibly busy week of work, family and travel I attended my future sister-in-laws bachelorette party. We started off the night dressed as Disney princesses. I was Aurora/Sleeping Beauty, which fits perfectly since I have blonde hair and sometimes it feels like all I do is sleep! We went bowling so my sister who is just starting high school could join in on the fun. Later we went to Howl at the Moon which is a fun downtown bar with a live band. The party was a nice way to end a busy week and there will be lots more coming this next week too. I still cannot believe my brother will be getting married in less than a week. It is crazy how time flies!

My sister made the flower headband and hair clip. Each princess got a different one that went with our outfits. We also wore tutus in various colors to coordinate with the princess we chose.
How did all of you spend this week? Did anyone do anything fun or interesting? I would love to hear about it in the comments section below! 

Saturday, July 26, 2014


For many of our family gatherings my aunt will make this easy Manicotti. It feeds a lot of people and is really simple to make. I converted it to a lactose-free version and added some of my own personal touches. Here is the recipe so you can make your very own!

  • 1 box manicotti shells
  • 1 large jar pasta sauce
  • 1 cup Toffuti Better than Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/4 cup GoVeggie Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 cup GoVeggie Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a 9x13 pan.
  2. Heat pasta sauce in medium sauce pan over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Set aside.
  3. Combine cheeses, egg, spinach, and spices together. Stuff uncooked manicotti shells with mixture.
  4. Place shells in pan and cover completely with hot pasta sauce. Make sure all the shells are completely covered.
  5. Seal tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  6. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

This recipe is easy and delicious. Pair it with some homemade garlic bread and you are ready to go! It is perfect for potlucks and family gatherings. The prep time is minimal and no one will guess that this dish is lactose free. My kind of meal! Do any of you have a perfect dish you use when attending potlucks or family functions? Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

He Said, She Said Bridal Shower Game

Looking for a bridal shower game that takes a fun look at the bride and groom? Look no further than "He Said, She Said"!

This game was really simple to make and everyone had a lot of fun. It helps friends and family get to know the bride and groom a little better and provides a lot of laughs. All you need to do is come up with some questions to ask the bride or groom. Make sure to ask them separately and write down their answers. Mix them up on a sheet of paper and have bridal shower attendees guess "who said what".

Sample Questions:

  • If you could be any superhero who would you be?
  • If you could live anywhere in the world where would you choose?
  • How many kids do you want?
  • What is the craziest thing you have ever done with your future spouse?
  • What was the worst date you and your future spouse ever went on?
  • When you think of school you think _______.
  • If you could describe your future spouse with three words what would they be?
  • If you were stranded on a deserted island and could have one thing what would it be?
Coming up with questions for the bride and groom to answer is a good starting point. If you know both of them really well and one of them uses a common phrase frequently you can include that also. Be creative with your questions. I know that my brother and his fiance surprised me with some of their answers. Many of them were very funny and had us all laughing.

Once you have all of their answers, eliminate any elements that would give it away such as using he or she and put the answers in quotes. For example, if the groom says he would want to be batman if he could be any superhero then put: "If I could be any superhero in the world, I would want to be batman". Be creative and remember to have fun!

Here is a free blank template to use for your own bridal shower!

He Said She Said Download (pdf)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

One thing I really love about summers is the abundance of fresh fruit. There are so many choices and I have been wanting to find more ways of incorporating them into my diet. Here is a delicious smoothie that is easy to make and full of good nutrition!


  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/4 cup spinach
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 6 Tbls water
  • 6 Tbls unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 Tbls sugar
  1. Pour all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and fully combined.

This recipe is simple to make and is the perfect size for one person. I have one of the original NutriBullets which allows me to blend and drink from the same cup. I plan on making many more smoothies this summer and this one was definite hit.

What other smoothies have you all made? What kinds of ingredients do you like to add to yours? Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Superhero Desk Chair

My boyfriend has a serious obsession with superheros and Marvel comics is displayed everywhere in his office. Artwork he finds at comic cons line the walls and he has a fairly large collection of superhero figurines. One of his degrees is in film and he proudly shows this anywhere he can.

One thing his office was lacking was a nice office chair. I debated getting him a big leather one but when I had the opportunity to inherit an old office chair from my Granny's house I took it and decided to give him something more unique. Here is how I did it:

  • Office chair of choice
  • 3 yards Marvel fabric
  • 1 yard black fabric
  • Staple gun
  • Sewing machine
  • Seam ripper
  • Staple remover
  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Black paint
  • Polyurethane
  • Plaster of Paris
  1. First, you will need to disassemble the chair. Unscrew the arms and set aside. Also, unscrew the bottom rolling portion. You should now have two separate cushions (the back portion and the part you sit on).
  2. Take the fabric off of the chair by pulling all of the staples out. Use a seam ripper to detach the pieces from each other. These will be used as the pattern pieces for the new fabric.
  3. The back of this chair had a nail strip attaching the fabric to the back so be careful and remove this part and set aside.
  4. Lay out the fabric and use old fabric as pattern pieces. The black fabric will be on the sides and the Marvel fabric will be the main portion of each cushion. Cut out your fabric.
  5. Next, place the fabric on the cushions right side down.
  6. Pin the pieces together so that you form a new cover for each cushion. You want it to be somewhat tight so that the fabric will be taut once it is all stapled down.
  7. Remove new fabric cover from cushion and sew along where you have pined it.
  8. Flip inside out and place over cushion. Pull fabric taut and staple to the wood underneath. You will be reattaching everything like it was when you took the old fabric off the chair originally.
  9. The next part that needs to be done is painting the wood parts. I decided to use chalk paint so that I would not have to sand everything before-hand. Mix 1/3 cup plaster of Paris, 1/3 cup water, and 1 cup paint. Paint all surfaces and let dry in-between coats. I ended up doing three coats to make sure everything was covered.
  10. Once it is dry, cover with a coat of polyurethane. I did not use wax because I wanted it to have more of a shine and have a smoother finish. I only did one coat but you can do several if you want more protection.
  11. When everything is done drying you can reattach the cushions and start using your brand-new, one of a kind chair!

I love how it looks in my boyfriend's office and he has already been sitting in it. It is much better than a folding chair and fits his personality perfectly! What kinds of personalized items have you made recently? Hope you enjoy and let me know what you all think!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Dairy Free Ranch DIp

A veggie tray with ranch dip is a staple dish at any get together. One problem with ranch dip though is that it is full of lactose. At my future sister-in-laws bridal shower I made some homemade ranch dip that did not include any dairy. Here are the instructions so that you can make your own!

  • 1 cup Follow Your Heart dairy free sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbls fresh chives
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried dill weed
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Serve with vegetables.

This is super simple and no one at the party believed it was dairy free. That to me is a success. For the vegetable tray, I used cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, celery, yellow peppers and broccoli. It was a nice colorful and healthy addition to the table. Nothing was left of it by the end of the night. Hope you all enjoy!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

This was another recipe that we had at the bridal shower I recently planned. It is super easy to make and is a delicious option to have at your next get together!


  • 2 1/2 lbs pork roast
  • 1 - 14 oz bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Slider buns
  1. Place pork roast in slow cooker and cook on low 10-12 hours (or on high 5-6 hrs).
  2. Remove pork roast from slow cooker and shred the meat. 
  3. Pour liquid out of slow cooker and place shredded pork roast back into the cooker.
  4. Mix in remaining ingredients and cook on high for 2 hours.
  5. Serve on buns.

This recipe came from my mom and she cooked and shredded the pork roast the night before. We finished up the prep work and the remaining 2 hours of cooking the morning of the bridal shower. This recipe is super simple and was as big hit at the party. Hope you enjoy!