Tag Archives: winter

Snow Day

20 Dec

It’s finally winter in Iowa! We were predicted for 9-12″ of snow and it’s still snowing, although we only have gotten about 6 at most so far. It’s wet, heavy snow and the winds are picking up creating a blizzard warning for most of the area. My work is AWESOME and closed today so I was forced to have a snow day with my wonderful pup!


David and I attempted to make a snow man last night at about 10:00 after shoveling the first round of snow off of our driveway but the snow wasn’t quite up to par for snowman building so maybe we’ll try again tonight!

Last night

Last night

This morning

This morning

Good thing my coworker sent me home with some of her Christmas movies to borrow since I was really missing my movies this season without having TV (we have Roku boxes for our Netflix is all…).

IMG_20121219_195637Last night was like I was a kid again waiting for school to get called off. David and I watched the snow fall, watched Elf, and were drowned in kisses from this little guy….

IMG_20121219_220116So this morning waking up to the news that school work was cancelled gave me a whole world of possibilities for how I would spend my day off! I started with some shoveling before David left for work (boo he had to work still!) and then I laid back down for some Vampire Diaries and a little extra sleep, got up and made this yummy breakfast

20121220_091825and now I am just burning a new CD to listen to while I elliptical staring out at the snow blowing all around. Free days always go by SO fast! Why can’t work days go this fast?!

Since the weather is so wintery, I decided to make some homemade hot chocolate mix last night and share the recipe with all of you. I got this recipe from my sister in law’s work cookbook. It makes a ton with lots to share but you may have a hard time parting with any of it because it’s that good!! Enjoy 🙂

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

  • 8 quart box of powdered milk
  • 7 oz powdered coffee creamer (I used French Vanilla flavored which gives it more of a rich flavor but you could use original creamer too)
  • 2 pound can of Nestle Quick (I used an off brand instant mix because it came in a perfect 2 lb can…the Nestle stuff was making me do too much math trying to decide how much to use out of the can so this was easiest for me but you can use any kind.)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar




Mix and enjoy! It’s that easy! Put some water or milk in a cup, heat it up, mix in a few spoons of the mix to your desired richness and add some marshmallows on the top!


I also put some in some jars topped with a baggie of marshmallows and some Lindt mint chocolates with a small bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream to give to the other designers at work on Friday.



Now time to trade these purple fuzzy slippers in for my tennis shoes and feel somewhat accomplished today!


Comfort Food

13 Nov

With the weather getting colder all of a sudden…it’s like 30 degrees for highs the past few days! Yikes! I am getting more and more ready for the holidays, snow, fires, and all of the fun things to come during the winter time. That includes some recipes that I loved last winter that I can’t wait to bring back in the mix now!

1) Famous Dave’s Corn Bread Muffins Mock Recipe from MacaroniandCheesecake.com – these were SO good and more like a dessert than a ‘side’ but I’d love to make them healthier…

2) Healthified Mini Pizza Meat Loaves from LiveBetterAmerica.com – also very good and David loved them!

3) Lighter Cheesy Garlic Bread from Portuguesegirlcooks.com – this bread was a great replacement for our typical frozen texas toast garlic bread that we usually resort to. It was fun to make this bread on my own and it was a little better than what we usually throw in the oven as a side with spaghetti or stuffed shells. I substituted the buttermilk for 1 cup greek yogurt and a 1/2 cup milk. and for the garlic I used garlic powder and olive oil instead of canola.

4) Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup from Pillsbury.com – this is our favorite chicken noodle soup and it is SO easy! I’ve given this to many people to try out and everyone seems to love it. It’s probably not the healthiest but it’s still very good!!

5) Hungry Girl’s Minestrone Soup from hungry-girl.com – not sure if you’ve ever heard of Hungry Girl but I LOVE her recipes so much! She always has really easy recipes and they are usually pretty healthy or at least lower calorie. This soup was a huge hit last year and I actually forgot about it until I went through my recipe list for this post! Might be on the menu for next week!

6) White Chocolate Cinnamon Pretzels from YourCupofCake.com – I made a huge batch of this last Christmas to add to cookie trays. It was my favorite and I literally could not stay away from it! Probably worst than most of your holiday cookies out there but it was a delicious treat!!

Now I’m craving sweet treats for the holidays! I have some really easy, great holiday recipes like Saltine Cracker Toffee and Tiramisu Balls that I’d love to create a whole other post with. I will save those for later but for now…feel free to check any of these out and let me know what you think! If you have any ideas on making any of these even healthier, I’d love to get some feedback!

Time to snuggle with my pup and watch another episode of Revenge! Do any of you watch that show?

Taste of Home’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

25 Oct

During the fall and winter months, David and I love having soup. I will usually make at least a double batch with intentions on freezing some of it but it never fails, we always eat it up before there’s any left to freeze. This soup I found last winter from the Taste of Home’s website.

When I was in college, one of my favorite things was their Chicken Tortilla Soup. I loved getting it and dipping tortilla chips in it. So last winter, I missed it more than ever and found a ‘healthier’ way to make it at home (and I don’t have to share it with a bunch of hungry college students!) The original recipe can be found here along with the Nutritional Information although I doubled the recipe but everything else mostly stayed the same.

Taste of Home’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 cans of Fat-Free Refried Beans
2 cans of Black Beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans of reduced-sodium Chicken Broth
A bag of frozen corn
1.5 cups of salsa (usually this is just estimated by how it looks)
A few cooked and shredded/cubed chicken breasts (this could also be from a can of chicken in water – rinsed and drained, or cooked ahead of time chicken breasts and measure to your liking)
1 cup water
4 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided
Tortilla chips for dipping or crushing 🙂

*Sometimes if I have any peppers or tomatoes on hand I will dice these up and throw them in as well

In a pan, combine all of the ingredients except the cheese. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add some cheese, stir until melted. Sprinkled remaining cheese when served. And don’t forget to get some blue chips or tortilla chips for dipping. Enjoy 🙂