Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wednesday Winners

I have a really busy day tomorrow so I decided to post our winning recipes tonight instead of tomorrow!

Like I said, I am summer-ing it up as long as I possibly can. Here are 3 super yummy, summery recipes.

Lemon Crinkle Cookies
 Makes 2-3 dozen

½ cups butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 whole egg
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons baking powder
⅛ teaspoons baking soda
1-½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

*If using a non-stick darker baking tray, reduce baking time by about 2 minutes.

-Love that they're chewy.
-Different from your normal choc. chip.
-Can't go wrong with lemon.

Zucchini Cakes
 Makes: 8 cakes
You will need:
  • 1 large zucchni grated, excess water removed (Note: To do this, after you grate the zucchini, put the grated zucchini into paper towels and squeeze to release the water)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • sprinkle of ground nutmeg, about 1/8 teaspoon (Note: If you add too much it can quickly take over the taste, less is more)
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Combine all ingredients, except olive oil, in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Using a heaping tablespoon form the mixture into 8 patties.
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once heated, add patties and cook until golden brown. About 3-4 minutes per side. Serve.
These are great when served with a dollop of  ranch dressing. Enjoy!

-Healthy sub. for potatoes.
-Fresh and light!

Basil Lime Chicken

*We had this at our friends the Bready's a couple weeks ago and I've already made it again since. Court paired it with quinoa and brown rice mix, and I paired it with a yummy basil couscous.
  • 3 Limes (juice and zest) Divided
  • 3 T Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 T Dijon Mustard
  • 3 T Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 T Soy Sauce
  • 6 Green Onions Chopped Divided
  • 4 Cloves Garlic Minced Divided
  • 2 T Chopped Basil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 3 lbs Chicken Breasts

  1. Combine the zest and juice of 2 limes, Olive Oil, Mustard, Worcestershire, Soy, 3 onions, 2 garlic cloves salt and pepper and mix well.
  2. Cut chicken into even cutlets and place in a gallon sized baggie.
  3. Pour marinade over the chicken and marinate for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat grill.
  5. Place chicken on grill and grill for 7 minutes.
  6. Then flip and cook until internal temp reaches 170.
  7. Remove from grill and let meat rest.
  8. Meanwhile combine juice and zest of one lime with extra virgin olive oil, 3 chopped onions, 2 minced garlic cloves, basil.
  9. Slice chicken into bite-sized pieces and pour sauce over top.
-Great flavor
-Simple and works well with lots of different sides.
-No baking!!

Enjoy everyone!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pick of the Garden

This (hat)
 Traded in for this: (thanks wonderful Kristi!)
 Turned into this!
These tomatoes from her garden are seriously like candy. They are SO good. Who ever said bartering was out dated? Looks like I'm going to be soaking up every last bit of summer deliciousness before it is all over.

Oh and happy back to school everybody! I have to say, I'm pretty glad I'm not doing that anymore. :o)

Saturday, August 25, 2012


This summer I have been trying to read more. I wanted to post a few recommendations for you in case you were looking for a good book or series to read. I have read two series this summer that I am so excited about. Waiting for 3rd books to come out soon.

She turns to the future in a world that’s falling apart.
For sixteen-year-old Tris, the world changes in a heartbeat when she is forced to make a terrible choice. Turning her back on her family, Tris ventures out, alone, determined to find out where she truly belongs.

Also look for the sequel:  Insurgent and a third book to come out soon.

Another young adult series I read:
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

Also look for the sequels: Crossed and Reached (coming soon).

And finally, for something a little more practical: 

The success stories speak for themselves in this book from money maestro Dave Ramsey. Instead of promising the normal dose of quick fixes, Ramsey offers a bold, no-nonsense approach to money matters, providing not only the how-to but also a grounded and uplifting hope for getting out of debt and achieving total financial health.
Ramsey debunks the many myths of money (exposing the dangers of cash advance, rent-to-own, debt consolidation) and attacks the illusions and downright deceptions of the American dream, which encourages nothing but overspending and massive amounts of debt. "Don't even consider keeping up with the Joneses," Ramsey declares in his typically candid style. "They're broke!"

Listened to this on a couple long car rides along with some of his other lectures and I am a total believer, from experience. Jer and I have started following Dave's baby steps to financial peace and it has been one of the best things for us.

Some of our favorite things to say this summer in reference to this book, "I am a gaselle" and "Live like no one else so later you can live like no one else."

Although I have read a few other great books, these are the ones that I enjoyed the most this summer. Hope you can enjoy them too!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Excited for Fall!

I'm so excited for fall, I think I have officially transitioned into a Santa Barbara-Utah girl. I'm lovin the seasons, which has not always been the case.

In honor of my excitement (and I hope yours too, because who doesn't like changing up their wardrobe every few months?)

All of my current Flowers n' Frills inventory is now 50% OFF from now until September 8th. Aka the scarf pictured above is only $14 as opposed to $28.

I also have lots of cute earwarmers, and some baby hats on mega sale too, so go check out my shop here.

If you live close and would like to purchase something but just want to come by and grab it instead of having it shipped, just e-mail me at flowers.frills@gmail.com and we can work that out.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday Winners

This week I have been slightly obsessed with my boxed set of cookbooks from Williams Sonoma, the Baking Book and the Cook Book. Literally everything I have tried in those books is amazing.

I'm proud of myself because I only used ONE Pinterest recipe this week. Yay for cookbooks!

Here goes:

Dessert First!
Classic Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

from melskitchencafe.com
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
2 3/4 cups oatmeal
2 cups chocolate chips
Cream together the butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Add Baking soda, powder, and salt and mix. Add flour, oatmeal and chocolate chips. Mix until combined. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

-These have the perfect ratio of everything.
-It makes a lot so I just threw the rest of the dough in the freezer for an easy treat later on. 
-Yummy! Duh!

Here's a appetizer for ya:
Williams Sonoma Cook Book
8 small tomatoes (I chose tomatoes on the vine)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
10 basil leaves sliced crosswise (roll the leaves up lengthwise like a cigar and it makes it nice and easy)
1 baguette

-Dice up tomatoes discarding seeds, pulp and any firm, white parts.
-Toss with olive oil and garlic to allow to marry flavors.
-Slice basil and add along with salt and pepper.
-This can sit for up to 30 minutes to marry the flavors before serving.
-Slice the baguette thin and brush each slice with olive oil. Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 min. or so, just until slightly brown and crispy.
-Top bread with about a T of tomato mixture.
*Side not, my family always added a small slice of fresh (soft) mozzarella before we added the tomato. It makes it kind of a caprese bruschetta. Yum yum!

-Super easy
-Looks fancy
-Perfect summer appetizer!

Dinner time!
Homemade pizza
From G.V. Ward Young Women's Cookbook
1 Tb. dry yeast
10 oz. warm water
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp oregano

Sprinkle dry yeast into warm water, stir gently. Let sit until it bubbles.

Stir dry ingredients into yeast water, then add about 1 cup more flour until dough isn't too sticky to work with.

Roll out flat.

Dust a baking sheet with flour. Put rolled out dough on pan and push toward edges with fingers.

Top with desired toppings.

Bake at 450 for 15-20 mins.

*I did half margherita (for me) and half sausage (for Jer)

-Easy! You don't even have to let the dough rise or sit or anything
-Better than a hot n ready from little caesars. :o)

And Finally, for the homemaker in you:
Brown Sugar Raisin Bread from Williams Sonoma Baking Book


  • 1 Tbs. active dry yeast
  • 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 1⁄4 cups warm water (105° to 115°F)
  • 1 cup warm milk (105° to 115°F)
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tbs. salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 6 to 6 1⁄4 cups bread flour, plus more
     as needed
  • 3⁄4 cup golden raisins
  • 3⁄4 cup dark raisins

For the filling:

  • 2⁄3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
     mixed with 4 1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon


In a bowl, sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of the granulated sugar over 1⁄2 cup of the water and stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the remaining 3/4 cup water, the milk, butter, the remaining granulated sugar, salt, egg and 2 cups of the flour. Beat on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the yeast mixture and 1⁄2 cup of the flour and beat for 1 minute. Add the raisins, then beat in the remaining flour, 1⁄2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Switch to the dough hook. Knead on medium-low speed, adding flour 1 Tbs. at a time if the dough sticks, until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes. Transfer the dough to a greased deep bowl and turn to coat it. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours.

Lightly grease two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Divide the dough in half and roll or pat each half into an 8-by-12-inch rectangle. Lightly sprinkle each rectangle with half of the filling, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Beginning at a narrow end, tightly roll up each rectangle into a compact log. Pinch the ends and the long seam to seal in the filling. Place each log, seam side down, in a prepared pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until the dough is about 1 inch above the rim of each pan, 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours.

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Bake until the loaves are golden brown and pull away from the sides of the pan, 35 to 40 minutes. Turn the loaves out onto wire racks and let cool completely.
Makes two 9-by-5-inch loaves.
-Not as easy but I felt accomplished
-Made my house smell divine while it was baking
-Yummy as toast and also french toast later on!
Well everyone, hope you enjoy these recipes. Let me know what you think!


Monday, August 20, 2012

It's a Nice Day for A...

White wedding!
 We got to attend Jer's BFF Sam's wedding to his beautiful Bride Alyson today in the Salt Lake Temple. I had to rush off to a meeting after the sealing so I didn't even get to get a pic of the happy couple! But it was my first time in the Salt Lake temple and I loved it of course.

Luckily, Jer got one. Aren't they beautiful!?
I am a sucker for a wedding. Let me tell you. I never get out of a wedding without shedding a tear. Every time I go, I am reminded of the day when my sweetheart and I were married and the special blessings and promises given to us.

 Another thing I am a huge sucker for is a brand spankin new baby. Every time I go visit one of my friends in the hospital after they have a baby, I tend to well up a bit. These precious angels are so fresh from their Heavenly Father's arms and what a miracle they are. I am in awe of the strength of mothers and what they go through for 9 months to get this little miracle.
Isn't little Anabelle a sweetie?! I'm so happy for Chelsie and John and their new family of 3!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sweet Victory

After we beat Katie and Dave in a rousing game of mini golf a couple weeks ago, they promised us treats for our big win! :o) We decided to cash in on this a couple days ago. We met up with Katie and Dave at Leatherby's in Kearns after Zach and Jessie's reception.
 The group. Katie is so sweet, when they showed up, she had a pair of cute mustard wedges she had bought me at H&M. I love em! Can't wait to wear them out on the town.
 These two got a banana split to share.
We got a brownie sundae. Afterward, we went to Katie's place and played games and told funny stories about our childhoods. :o)

In other news: We just got back from a whirlwind trip to Vegas.
 We drove with this cutie and her partner. (Amy just got engaged to another good friend of mine!) So excited for those two!
 Here's my number one fan, being silly as always.
And a little better shot. It is so fun to travel (short distances) and dance. We danced pretty well last night against some tough competition and took 4th. I'm grateful everyday for a body that can move and dance, what a blessing it is!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday Winners

I have skipped a couple weeks of Wednesday winners due to trips and not actually cooking all that much. :o/ BUT I have two recipes that we tried and loved last week. Here they are:

As always, Dessert First!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mounds Bars:
Raise your hand if you LOVE coconut! (I'm raising my hand.)

19 graham crackers, crushed (2 sleeves)
1 stick butter, melted
½ cup sugar
 1 14-oz package sweetened coconut flakes
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
 12 oz chocolate chips, melted
2 tbsp peanut butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar. Pat down into a greased 9" or 13" pan. Bake for 10 minutes until golden.
In another bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk and coconut. Spread on top of the baked graham cracker crust and return to oven to bake for 20 more minutes.
Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Once melted, add the peanut butter and stir until well combined. Spread over coconut layer once bars come out of the oven. Place in the fridge to cool and let the chocolate harden. Once hard, cut into small squares and serve.
2 hours (includes cooling time)

*I realized I didn't have any sweetened condensed milk on hand so I found a substitute recipe that didn't call for dry milk (which I also didn't have), and the bars turned out awesome. Click here for that substitute recipe from cooks.com.

What we liked:
-Chocolate peanut butter combo is ALWAYS a winner, let's get real.
-These taste like Mounds bars but way better because they have the graham cracker crust. Also, always a winner in my book.
-Easy, only a few ingredients, most of which I usually have on hand.
AND we enjoyed them with these two cuties. Here we are playing Angry Birds the card game. (Thanks mom for Jer's stocking stuffer!)


Crispy Cheddar Chicken

Time: 15 minute prep + 45 minutes baking

Yield: 7 servings
Recipe from adapted from What's Cookin' Chicago via Pinterest

4 large chicken breasts
2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1/4 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1/2 C milk
3 C cheddar cheese, grated
1 t dried parsley

1   14 ounce can cream of chicken soup
2 T sour cream
2 T butter
1. Cut each chicken breast into 3 large chunks. 
2. In a small food processor grind up the ritz crackers. 
3. Pour the milk, cheese and cracker crumbs into 3 separate small pans. Toss the 1/4 t salt and 1/8 t pepper into the cracker crumbs and stir the mixture around to combine.
4. Dip each piece of chicken into the milk then the cheese and finally the cracker crumbs. 
5. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and lay the chicken inside the pan. 
6. Sprinkle the dried parsley over the chicken. 
7. Cover the pan with tin foil and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove the tin foil, bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the edges of the chicken are golden brown and crispy. 
8. Into a medium sized sauce pan combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream and butter with a whisk. Stir it over medium high heat until the sauce is nice and hot. Serve over the chicken. 
What we liked:
-Once again, a recipe I had all the ingredients for. 
-Yummy comfort food. I served this with mashed potatoes and the sauce worked well as a gravy, too!
-Looks fancy but it is really pretty easy!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo!

This summer I was able to tour in Nauvoo for the second time! The first time was when I was on the Back-Up Touring Team while Jer was on his mission. It was really special to be able to go on the same tour again but experience it with my hubby!

We finally got a new charger for our camera so I was able to get all our pictures off of it and make a post about our fun trip to Old Nauvoo.
 One of the biggest highlights was attending the temple twice and doing lots and lots of family names. We also got an awesome tour of the temple following one of our sessions. Jer and I have been able to visit lots of different temples since being married.
 Ice cream social at the mission president and wife's home.

 Gotta visit the fudge factory! Big hair is a must too? :o/
 Joseph Smith is one of Jer's all-time heroes. This trip was really special to him.
 We saw Kylie perform as a "Young Performing Missionary" while we were there. She did such a great job!
 Playing pioneer games. This was Jer's favorite.
 Some of the group.
 Carriage ride around Old Nauvoo.
 Great shot Jer got of the beautiful temple.
 Making a rope.
 In the kitchen where they taught us how they made bread. We got to try some. Yum yum.
 Visiting the Pendleton log home. This was Jer's great, great grandfather.
 Inside the Pendleton home.
 Annie's custard. We maybe went there 4 times in the two weeks. But don't worry, we shared. ;o)
 The bottom name is Jer's grandfather, he signed the descendant book in '94 when he visited!
 Visitor's center.
 Temple view.
 LOVED the horses. Could have petted those soft noses all day.
 (These pictures are out of order) Hole in the door at Liberty Jail through which Hyrum was shot.
 Window that the prophet fell out of.
 Outside Liberty Jail. Thank you, mumu dress for making me look 9 months pregnant. You can bet that dress went straight in the trash can after this tour.

 The Vinson Night home. I am one of his descendants.
 Jer loves this view of the temple. He one day wants to have a painting of this in our home. They had some awesome ones in Nauvoo but they weren't quite in the budget this time around.
 Red Brick Store. The air space where the first endowment was performed.

 Chelsey came to spend some time with me! Here we are in this awesome antique shop, Chels got a hat and cool old suitcase!
 Dancing in the Lincoln Memorial Museum. One of the coolest museums I've been to.
 Where's waldo?
 Why we are Lee's favorites.
We got rained out of our last two shows. We weren't too bummed because we were pretty pooped after full shows every night. It was an adventure.

We did so many other fun things on the tour but this post would be getting WAY too long. I'm sure you can tell we had a lot of fun on our trip. There is a wonderful spirit in Nauvoo.