Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tomato and Chicken Pesto Pizza

HAPPY SUNDAY! Tomorrow I have to go back to work. I'm sad. But at least I topped off my week of "vacation" with a great weekend. I say "vacation" because it's not like I went anywhere this week other than taking Brody to school. Except for going to the "Garden of Olives" (Olive Garden) Friday night and then Publix, Sam's Club, and Wally World yesterday! By the way how awesome is Sam's Club?? Where else can you buy a container of cheese balls almost as big as your 2 year old? 

Honey Boo Boo wouldn't know what to do with herself! 

I had intended on just getting a picture of Brody with the cheese balls, however, he had other plans which included us taking them home. He also insisted on trying to do flips in front of this older couple who thought he was the funniest thing to ever walk this planet. That crazy kid. Oh and you know how they give out samples on weekends? Well I asked for one for Brody and the guy turned to Brody and was like "Do you think your sister would like one too? Haha!" Um, am I really getting old enough for jokes like that? 

So last night we babysat Brody's girlfriend and had my niece and nephew over to visit with my grandparent's that were also here. My grandmother asked that I make homemade pizza for dinner and since pizza dough was B1G1 at Publix, it was a win-win! One of the pizza's I made was my favorite pizza inspired by one of the flatbreads at Tropical Smoothie, chicken pesto.

Tomato and Chicken Pesto Pizza

Pizza Dough, I recommend the dough at Publix in the bakery area
1/3 cup Pesto, or more depending on how much sauce you like your pizza to have
1 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese
1 Roma Tomato, diced
Grilled Chicken, diced, we keep Tyson's grilled chicken chunks on hand, which works great for stuff like this

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out pizza dough as thick or as thin as you like. Spread pesto into an even layer across dough, then mozzarella cheese. Put tomatos and chicken on top of the cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

By the way, I gained a few pounds on my vacation... Way more than I want to count. So hubs, this time... 
I am going on a diet, forreal!!

And get ready for the cutest picture EVER. Your heart is about to melt...

This is Brody and his girlfriend, LaRae, as they were watching Veggie Tales last night. So adorable.

P.S. Can we talk about how Brody has a love for "matos" (tomatos)? Anytime he sees one, he has to eat it. He even picked them off of the pizza while I was making it.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Reese's Peanut Butter Cookie Brownies

Tonight for dinner we had a houseful so I made a homemade pizza buffet and my favorite go to dessert that was changed up a little. I'm pretty sure I'm about to die but at least I'm going to die a happy camper.

My absolute favorite go to dessert for a group gathering is this super easy thing I found on Pinterest whenever I first started pinning. It is literally brownie batter topped with cookie dough and baked for about 45 minutes. It just might be Heaven in the closest form. Anyway, I've seen pins where people put Oreo's and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in between the layers so I thought, chocolate and peanut butter are one of the greatest combinations EVER, maybe this time I will try something a little different...

And for this, I am truly sorry.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cookie Brownies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the brownies:
1 box brownie mix
About 16 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, more if you use mini's

Make brownies according to package directions. Pour batter into a greased 13x9 baking dish. Lay Reese's on top of the brownie batter. 

For the Peanut Butter Cookie on top (you could also use the pre-made peanut butter cookie dough):
1 egg
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Combine all wet ingredients in a bowl. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing well. When combined, put on top of the Reese's in an even layer. Bake for 40-50 minutes. 

When you take it out of the oven it should still be a little soft, you won't think it is cooked all the way through but I promise it will be fine. It will harden a little more as it cools and it will be perfect!

Make sure you stop by tomorrow for my Tomato and Chicken Pesto Pizza. It's the bomb, seriously.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Is that Selena Gomez?

I feel like in my life, I constantly struggle with my appearance, hair especially. Should I cut my hair short or should I grow it out? So this morning, while I was catching up on my Google Reader, I came across this post and said to myself, "I think it's time! Lets do this!!" I cut my hair like maybe once a year sometimes so it was long overdue for something. After texting my friend Emily, HEY GIRL HEY, and having her reassurance that I won't look like a fat girl with shorter hair, I called to see if I could even get an appointment today. Sure enough they had an opening in 15 minutes so I headed down to see my friend Racheal! Thanks girl!!

 I was shooting for something like this... 

And this is how it went down...


5 1/2 Inches later....

So, Selena if you ever need a stunt double because you don't feel like making out with Channing Tatum or whoever you are working with at the time, CALL ME! Cause we are hair twinsies now!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Honeycrisp Heaven

Have you guys ever had a Honeycrisp apple? No? I need you to do this right now, grab your keys and go to the store and buy one. No. Buy a whole bag full because you will be obsessed with them after you try them. Seriously. I used to be a Fuji lover, no sir, not anymore. Honeycrisp all the way!

Last year the hubs and I went to the annual beer fest at Baytowne Wharf, and it was so. much. fun! We sampled a bunch of beer, what would not be fun about that?? There was live music, food, and over 40 different beers to try! They also had a few different cider's there. After drinking 8 different beers, apple cider tasted like candy! My favorite was the Crispin Honeycrisp Apple Cider. It is awesome! After the festival I decided I really wanted to get some more of the apple cider but couldn't find that stuff anywhere, I even tried the Woodchuck Green Apple Cider thinking it could be a replacement, um no. None of our liquor stores had the yummy crispin. So one day hubs and I decided to stop in Wine World and BOOM there it was!!! Whenever I told a friend I had finally found it and it was at Wine World, she went and they guy told her that some girl came in and bought all that they had of it and it had been super popular since the beer festival. Oops. 

So the other day when I came across some Honeycrisps I knew I had to do something exciting with them. And what better than a Apple crisp dessert? Um, nothing. Let me tell you.

Also, if you have an apple slicer, that thing pictured below, it is very handy for cutting up the apples! Unless the apple is wider than the slicer, then it is incredibly hard to slice all the way through and you might have a little bit of trouble.

Honeycrisp Apple Crisp

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the apples:
5 large Honeycrisp apples
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup orange juice
Splash of apple juice
2 tbsp cinnamon
1/3 cup granulated sugar

Peel and core your apples. Cut apples into cubes, you could also do sliced, just make sure they are all about the same size so the cooking time is the same for all of them. Melt your butter in a skillet until browned. Add orange juice, making sure you scrape the bottom of the skillet to get all of the browned pieces of butter. Add the apple juice, apples, cinnamon, and sugar, cooking on medium heat for about 10 minutes minutes. Put the apple mixture into a greased 9x13 baking dish.

For the topping:
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix all ingredients, it is easier done by hand so you can combine the softened butter. Sprinkle evenly on top of apples and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until topping is golden brown. 

Serve with some vanilla ice cream, and some caramel ice cream topping. Trust me you don't want to skip that part!

P.S. Please tell me you guys watched Honey Boo Boo last night after I mentioned it? "I wish I had an extra finger, then I could grab more cheeseballs!!" 
Oh Honey Boo Boo, you kill me!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lazy Lasagna

One day a few months ago I was shopping in Winn Dixie. I came across the frozen ravioli's and they were B1G1. Buy one, get one is like the greatest thing ever invented! You get two of something, for the price of one! Mind blown. Ok its not really that dramatic, but it is pretty exciting whenever it's something you need. Like macaroni and cheese is almost always B1G1, score!! That stuff has its own food group in this house! So anyway, as I was  putting the ravioli into the buggy I saw a recipe on the back of the bag for "Lazy Lasagna" and I remember thinking "Why have I not thought of this before?? Use the ravioli instead of lasagna noodles! Genius!!" So now, when we have lasagna it is this recipe because it is! By the way, how freaking amazing was Modern Family tonight? Love, love, LOVE that show! Now its time for some Honey Boo Boo. Stay classy people, stay classy. 

Lazy Lasagna

1 lb hamburger meat
1 jar of spaghetti sauce, any kind our fav is prego
1 jar of Alfredo sauce
1 1/2 bag of frozen ravioli, we use the cheese one's
Mozzarella cheese
Grated parm cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown the hamburger meat, drain the grease, and add the jar of spaghetti sauce. Let it simmer while you are cooking the ravioli. Bring some water to boil for the ravioli, when it boils, add the ravioli and let it boil until they start to float. When it floats, drain the water. Put a layer of the spaghetti sauce and hamburger meat on the bottom of your pan. Next layer the ravioli's, they don't have to be perfect, you can overlap them if you want but I just do a single layer. Next, put some of the Alfredo sauce on top of the ravioli spread it out into an even layer, top with some mozzarella and Parmesan cheese then repeat the layers. Before I put the final layer of the cheese's on top I add a layer of pepperoni's. Bake lasagna for 25-30 minutes. This recipe makes a one of those big hefty tin foil pans for us and we literally eat leftovers for days!

You can, of course, adjust or rearrange the layers however you like. Although, did you ever see that episode of MTV True Life: I'm moving back in with my parents, when the daughter was making lasagna for her mom and the mom was freaking out because she wasn't doing the layers correctly? Apparently it is supposed to be "Noodles, sauces, cheeses, noodles, sauces, cheeses!!!!!!"

RIP enchiladas

So today, I had planned on sharing a recipe for some enchiladas. So why am I not sharing said recipe? Because last night hubs said "Whats for dinner?...Enchiladas sweet I'll make them!" I figured I could just let him start and I would take over after he cooked the hamburger meat... Not too long after that I go check on him and smell Dale's and worcestershire sauce and see that he is adding a can of cream of mushroom soup to the mix... I'm pretty sure cream of mushroom soup does not exist in Mexican cooking, just sayin'. 

Me: Um what are you doing??
Him: Making enchiladas... you should blog about these!
Me: Who puts cream of mushroom soup and worcestershire sauce in enchiladas??
Him: I do!

20 minutes later...
Him: So I think I got too adventurous and ruined dinner... I was jealous that you're blogging now and putting your own spin on things and I wanted to try to do the same...
Me: Ya think?! From now on unless it involves grilling, don't touch it!

This man can cook up a mean steak. 

So, RIP weird and funny tasting enchiladas... Sorry that I didn't feel guilty for throwing you away this morning...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cheddar Rosemary Beer Bread

So today, I decided to celebrate being done with Chemistry for the next 2 weeks by drinking some beer baking some beer bread. Because baking=chemistry, right? Beer bread is the easiest bread to make because you don't have to worry about the yeast and letting it rise in a warm spot for an hour and all that other junk that comes with making bread. Actually, now that I think about it, I've never even made for real bread before so I have no clue what all goes into it other than those two things.

Cheddar Rosemary Beer Bread
Yields 1 loaf

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 bottle of beer (any kind you want, I used Samuel Adams Octoberfest)
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients except the cheddar cheese, and unless you're Paula Deen remove your 6 carat diamond rings and mix with your hands, trust me it is easier. When thoroughly mixed, put into a greased loaf pan and sprinkle a few extra pinches of dried rosemary on top. Bake for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove bread from oven and top with shredded cheese.Turn your oven off and put the bread back into the oven until the cheese is melted. Serve with butter or toast it with some extra cheese. Personally, I enjoyed it toasted with a good ole' piece of Kraft American cheese. You could also change up the herbs and toppings! If you do something different, leave me a comment and let me know what you tried, please and thank you!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bora Bora here I come!

Hey girl HEYYY! I am off of work this week, so guess what that means?? I'll be spending the rest of my week here.....

JUST KIDDING!! I don't even have a passport...

Although, if anyone would like to contribute to my vacation to Bora Bora fund, I accept all major credit cards, cash, and personal checks. 

So, on my lovely week of relaxation what do I get to do? 
Catch up on school work
Spend hours upon hours wandering through Target spending $$
Watch some Judge Judy
Cook up some awesome recipes to share with my readers

I know what you're thinking. "This chick is a PARTY ANIMAL!!!" It's ok, I get that a lot (and by a lot I mean never). Which reminds me of this one time when I went through the drive-thru at Starbucks and it was super awkward.

Him: "it's going to be a minute for your drink... So how is your day going!?" 
Me: "Oh ok... Um its ok, how is yours?" 
Him: "Its pretty good, I see that you have a carseat in the back of your car but no baby...Is the baby with a babysitter? Are you going to party it up?" 
Me: "Um no actually I'm going grocery shopping"
Him: "What?! Grocery shopping is lame! You should be out partying when you don't have the kid"
Me: "Sorry I'm not really one of those people..."
Him: "...Here's your drink, have a nice day!"

I haven't been back to Starbucks since this encounter.

Anyway, did you guys know it is officially Fall? What?? I think I'm going to write a letter to see if we can get that changed for all of us here in Sunny Florida, because it never feels like "Fall" in Florida until like, December? Maybe I should start a Facebook page. Hmm...

So, I am off to eat some bon-bons go get Brody from school so he can go get a haircut. See I told you, PARTY ANIMAL!!!   

P.S. I don't really watch Judge Judy... I'm more of a "The People's Court" kinda girl.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cake Mix Fudge Peanut Butter Cookies with Reese's Pieces

Yesterday while grocery shopping, I saw some peanut butter cookie dough and thought, "Those sound good right now!" but I passed on buying it because I knew I could do something better at home. So while I was pinning this morning I came across this pin from one of my favorite bloggers and had a vision of some Cake Mix Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies with Reese's Pieces. I sort of followed this recipe but changed it up a little. I even had some little hands that wanted to help.

Cake Mix Fudge Peanut Butter Cookies with Reese's Pieces
Yields about 2 dozen cookies

1 box cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Butter Fudge Recipe)
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup peanut butter (I used Jif Creamy, Because Choosy Mom's Choose Jif)
1/2 cup crushed Reese's Pieces 
1/4 cup chopped Chocolate chips (I used a mixture of semi-sweet and milk)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients but the Reese's Pieces and Chocolate chips until thoroughly combined. Stir in the Pieces and chocolate chips, you can always add more than what I added, mix-ins are always a personal preference. Spoon about a tablespoon of the cookie dough onto a greased baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 11-13 minutes.

So there's this boy...

Let me tell you about this boy... You see, he kinda stole my heart a couple of years ago and I know I will never get it back. 

This is his "Hey baby, how you doin?? Wanna come chill in my Boppy?" face

This kid has been on this earth for 2 years and 4 months and it amazes me how much he already knows. 

He can count to 10, although sometimes he forgets seven.

He can say his ABC's, but sometimes restarts it when he gets to "Now I know my ABC's...D, E, F, G, H..."

He remembers EVERYTHING! Last Christmas while I was baking I dropped the box of corn starch in our pantry room and it made a huge mess. He talked about that mess for months. And still randomly will bring up "Mommy made mess!!" whenever he goes in there.

He has a love for Justin Bieber like a 13 year old girl.

This is his cousin's Justin Bieber doll that he was obsessed with for a month or two. 

And he loves geico's (lizards). Anytime he see's one, "HI GEICO! YOU DOING GEICO?!"

He likes to know where everyone is during the day. On our way to and from school he asks "Where Grandma? Grandma is at home. Where Grandpa? Grandpa is at home. Where Daddy? Daddy is at work, etc..." Sometimes he even goes through the list of his friends at daycare. 

The old ladies in the grocery store love him because he always says HI to everyone walking by. They eat it up and of course jump at the opportunity to tell me about "When my little one was that age ..." 

He LOVES garbage trucks. If I could emphasize the word love anymore, I would. He has 5 toy garbage trucks and if he sees one out while we are shopping, has to have it. Ok maybe sometimes I just buy it for him. He finally got one that came with some garbage cans a couple of months ago and one of the lids wouldn't stay on. So what do I do? to buy new garbage cans. I spent 40$ on play garbage cans, that are smaller than my hand. I wouldn't even spend that much on a for real garbage can that I would use. Brody, you're welcome.

Waste management runs on Saturdays in our neighborhood. What is the highlight of Brody's week? Watching the garbage truck go up and down the street picking up garbage! Of course we have a nice guy that honks and waves and seems to be just as excited to see Brody as Brody is to see him. 

Brody loves watching youtube videos. His favorites? The garbage truck videos. If you ever stumble upon a garbage truck video on youtube and think, "How the heck did this video get over a million views?" My son was 976,800 of them. 

One other thing, he is super protective of his mommy. He doesn't like when Daddy hugs me or puts his arm on the back of my seat in the car. The other day, whenever I picked him up from daycare another little boy started walking towards me and he freaked. "NO MY MOMMY!! NOT YOURS!"

This protective thing I am sort of ok with, until we have another (And no this is not an announcement!! It will be a while!!). Then I think we might have some issues...

Friday, September 21, 2012

An unusual Friday

Fridays are usually my days to grocery shop, meal plan, run errands, and finally take a shower long enough to shave my legs without having little hands pulling the shower curtain back and letting all the cold air in.

Today, however, I waited 5 hours at a Planet AT&T store for one of the new iPhones. I got to the store at 8:00 in the morning and the manager told me the UPS truck would be there anywhere from 11-2. Shoot me in the face. 

Hubs showed up about 30 minutes later right after a "you're going to be so mad at me..." text. Only because we hadn't planned on him coming.

At least there was some entertainment. Only in good ole' Crestview would there have to be a sobriety check at 10:00 in the morning. I saw this guy pull up to the Subway next door and come half way across the sidewalk which was a little odd so I was like ehh he misjudged the parking spot thingie, I've done it before. Not too long after that 2 cops show up and I was Oh snap! Homeboy is drunk! Sure enough, sobriety test. Fail. Guy gets in the back of the cop car. 
Not the black truck, that would be the hubs, the drunkies truck was on the other side.

So finally around 12:00, after hours of Facebook-ing, Pinterest-ing, and catching up on my Google Reader, UPS shows up. Long story short, I end up giving the phone to hubs because he is an apple fanatic and I could care less if I have the latest and greatest phone. 

Right is my "new to me" iPhone 4S, Left is hubs new iPhone 5. Honestly I wouldn't have liked it anyway, it reminds me of a hotdog.

I'm still waiting for "I have the best wife in the whole wide world" post on facebook... 

Friday Funnies

Whenever I need a good laugh I go to my pinterest board "funnies" 

And yes, I have seen Forest Gump, No, you don't need to tell me all the famous quotes.

I don't understand how this happens every single time.

This would be my child.

When I got home from work yesterday I was excited to see that my favorite episode of Wife Swap was on. This however, is the only part that you really need to see.

You're welcome.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Photo boothin' with my fav

"Hey you wanna take some funny pictures?"

"Brody Make a silly face!"


After this he proceded to be a lion and ROAR and tried scratching the computer screen.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Muffins

I am always on the lookout for new recipes that are secretly not that horrible for you but actually taste good. I'm not a huge fan of healthy things that actually taste healthy, unless it is just an apple. Those are pretty good on their own. Anyway, thank you pinterest, and coworkers who introduced me to this recipe! When we first talked about it, I thought you were supposed to use brownie mix, so I tried it and it was like rubbery bars of grossness. After telling the girls about my experience I was reassured that I was supposed to use cake mix, and BAM these things are yumm-o (said in my best Rachael Ray voice, the BAM however was Emeril!). 

The hubs even tried them and said they were delicious, and he usually isn't a huge fan of sweets! 

This is probably the easiest recipe like ever! You can find the original recipe over HERE on Hungry Girl, she says not to add water but from what the coworkers said, you are supposed to!

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Muffins

1 can pumpkin puree (not the pumpkin pie filling, make sure it is pure pumpkin puree)
1 box of cake mix (I used Betty Crocker Butter Chocolate Recipe)
1/3 cup of water
Handful of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients until combined. The mixture will be a little thick, don't add any more water to thin it out, I promise it will be fine! Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Fill each tin a little over 3/4 of the way full. For me, this made 12 muffins. I had a little bit of the mix left over but I divided it up and added about a tablespoon more to each of the muffins. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Mine were still pretty gooey at 25 minutes so I turned the oven off and left them in there, 20 minutes later they were perfect!

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Hey ya'll! Welcome to my wonderful new blog, A Dash of Sunshine.  Here, you can find my day to day ramblings, recipes I am trying, and pictures of the cutest kid in the whole world, I know every parent thinks that about their child but mine really is the cutest kid EVER! Please be patient as I'm still learning about this whole blogging world thing. 

 I will start off by introducing myself. Hi, my name is Jenni, and I am an alcoholic. 

KIDDING. Anytime I had to introduce myself on the first day of college classes I always thought of AA meetings. Not that I have been to one and really know how they are, but thats how they portray them on TV. Anyway, I follow a TON of blogs on my google reader and always think "I want to be like them!!" So here I am trying to be like you guys.

I have a love/hate relationship with food. I love cooking and baking, but hate that because of that I will never be a size 2. I could live off of mac & cheese and pizza (some days I do) and would be perfectly fine with eating chocolate cake for dinner, sorry but chocolate cake trumps and healthy salad ANY day of the week! Hubs makes fun of me because every week, like clockwork, I tell him "Tomorrow... Diet!" Tomorrow comes and goes and that "diet" never happens. 

Which brings me to another part of my life. Hubs and the little man. 

My 2 favorite in real life people in the world. Not IRL would be Kendra Wilkinson and Paula Deen. Brody is my garbage truck, monster jam, boats and jet skis, big trucks, airplanes, and helicopter loving 2 year old little man. He is a big ball of energy and sometimes I wish I had half of the energy he has just to get through the day. Hubs is an apple lovin', web designing, computer nerd. I'm pretty sure he has shed a few tears with the realization he is not getting the new iPhone 5... BUT I AM! Holla!

We live in the sunshine state, 5 minutes away from the beach, depending on traffic. And I hope that we never have to leave, except for a vacation of some sorts. I hope we make it to Alaska one day to see Sarah, hey girl hey!

I am obsessed with Pinterest, although some times I go through spurts of ehh I don't really care to check pinterest. And I am becoming obsessed with instagram, and just figured out this picstitch thing a couple of weeks ago. 

Anyway, I feel as though I have told you all enough for now. Again, Welcome to my blog. Sit back, eat a piece of chocolate cake (or 2), and enjoy reading what I have to say! Til next time!

P.S. I have a 3rd fav not IRL person to add. Maci from teen mom. Girlfriend please keep the orange hair!