Archive for the Recipes Category

Nov 5 2014

Fall Dessert Recipe: Apple Crisp

Happy Wednesday!  How has your week been going so far?  If this just isn’t your week, hang in there!  The weekend will be here before you know it.  I am sharing a recipe with you today for a delicious treat that is sure to put you in a happier mood!

One of my favorite things to bake in the fall is apple crisp.  I got this recipe from my mom (not sure where she got it from originally) and have been making it for years.   It is easy to make, doesn’t require any fancy ingredients and will make your house smell like fall!  Seriously anyone can make this, I promise you!  You do not have to be good at baking.  I’ve included lots of pictures for you and step by step instructions too.  For those of you baking pros I’ve noted the directions again at the very bottom without pictures in between.


apple crisp ingredients


  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup cold butter, cut into smaller cubes


  • 4 large tart cooking apples (about 4 cups when cut)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon


Heat oven to 375°.  Grease small baking dish with butter (I use the stick of butter I use for the topping and rub along the bottom and sides of the dish).  In small bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, oats, and cinnamon (note: when measuring the brown sugar, press firmly into measuring cup.  This is what is meant by “packed brown sugar”).  Add butter to rest of topping ingredients combining with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles course crumbs (once mostly combined, get in their with your hands and mash the butter into the dry ingredients).  Set aside.

pastery cutter

crumb topping

Peel and core apples. (I love this part…its therapeutic for me.  I always try to see how many apples I can peel in a solid strand.  This time 3 out of 4…not bad!  Anyone else do this?)

apple peels

Cut apples into thin slices and then cut slices into 1/2 inch cubes (doesn’t need to be all that precise.  Just make them roughly the same size pieces).  In a medium bowl, toss apples with sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon (I measure the cinnamon very liberally because I love the flavor).

apples and sugar

Pour apple mixture into baking dish.  Sprinkle crumb topping over apples.

ready to bake

Bake for about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork.

baked apple crisp

Serve as is, or add ice cream!  Enjoy!

dessert is served


Heat oven to 375°.  Grease bottom and sides of small baking dish (8×8) with butter or shortening.  In small bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, oats, and cinnamon.  Add butter to rest of topping ingredients combining with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles course crumbs.  Set aside.

Peel and core apples.  Cut apples into thin slices and then cut slices into 1/2 inch cubes.  In a medium bowl, toss apples with sugar and cinnamon.  Pour apple mixture into baking dish.  Sprinkle crumb topping over apples.  Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork.  Serve with ice cream if you wish.  Enjoy!

• • •

*This dessert is very sweet!  You can definitely adjust the recipe and add less sugar to the apples before you add the crumb topping.

Hope you enjoy!  What do you enjoy baking in the fall?  Please share in the comments section!

Signature - Alisa



Oct 17 2014

No Bean Chili Recipe

As Marissa said in her last post, we are finally seeing some fall weather around these parts!  I’d still like to see the temps drop a bit, but I’m starting to pull out the fall recipes.  One of my favorites is chili!  This no bean chili recipe is a great meal for those cold nights.  The great thing about this recipe is that it is actually best the next day…I promise you!  So, when you cook this meal make it the night before and plan to eat the next night.  All you have to do is heat it up on the stove.  The flavors have a chance to meld and the chili thickens just the perfect amount.  It has been a family tradition since I was little that we have chili and corn bread for dinner every Halloween.  So if you are looking for a quick make ahead meal for the upcoming Halloween holiday, this chili recipe is perfect.

If it’s cold in your neck of the woods this weekend, make your self a big pot of chili, break out a puzzle, get cozy under a blanket and you’ve got the perfect fall evening at home!



  • 1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 lg bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 lbs ground beef, 90% lean
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle of beer (recommend an Amber Ale)
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup  BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Rays is our favorite)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cans beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp hot sauce


  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Green onions
  • Corn chips


In large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add onions and bell peppers and sauté until tender (about 3 to 5 minutes).  Add pressed garlic the last minute or so to prevent from burning.  Add beef, season with salt and pepper and cook until browned (about 5 minutes).  Using a large spoon, remove most of the excess grease.  Add beer and cook until liquid is reduced by half.

Stir in tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, BBQ sauce, diced tomatoes, beef broth and hot sauce.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat, cool and refrigerate overnight.  The next night, re-heat chili on the stove top in the same large pot or Dutch oven.  Top chili with corn chips, shredded cheese, sour cream and green onions.  Serves approximately 8.

• • •

As I said before, this chili is best the next day, so resist the temptation to eat it the same night!  The toppings really take it to the next level…especially the sour cream and corn chips!

Hope you enjoy!  Check out more of our recipes on our Time To Cook page.

We are linking up with the Weekender Link Party. Go check out more posts on Halloween festivities!

*This recipe has been modified since I originally published.  I’m always tweaking my recipes over time to get it just right!


The Weekender Link Party

Signature - Alisa

Sep 19 2014

Pinterest Hit or Miss: Crock-Pot Mississippi Roast

Time for another Pinterest Hit or Miss!  This crock-pot Mississippi Roast recipe I’m sharing today is perfect for those cold fall evenings ahead.


  • 3 lb top round roast (or similar)
  • 1 (1 oz) package Hidden Valley ranch salad dressing & seasoning mix
  • 1 (1 oz) package McCormick Au Jus gravy mix
  • 1 stick butter
  • 8 pepperoncinis


Place roast in crock-pot.  Cover roast with ranch seasoning mix and Au Jus gravy mix.  Place stick of butter on top and add pepperoncinis.  Note: Do NOT add water!  Cook in crock-pot on low for about 8 hours or until fork tender.  Once the roast is done cooking, skim off the fat and shred meat with a fork.  Enjoy with roasted vegetables (see my recipe below).

Mississippi Roast

My Review:

Variations: The original recipe calls for chuck roast, but we found top round on sale, so that’s what we used.  It also called for 5 pepperoncinis, but we really like them so we used 8.  I thought about using sliced pepperoncinis, but I’m glad I didn’t because you get some juice from the whole ones that you wouldn’t get if you used the sliced.

Tips:  Your meat should be fork tender.  If your roast is on the large side, don’t be afraid to increase the cooking time.  Also, roasts can be expensive; buy what is on sale!  Since it is just my husband and I, we had a lot of leftover meat.  We had 3 nights of meals out of it.  Get creative with your leftovers…instead of having pot roast 3 nights in a row, we used the meat to make tacos one night.  Check out my taco recipe and substitute the marinated grilled steak for shredded roast.  You could also serve as a sandwich on a toasted roll or make taquitos.

Hit or Miss?  A hit!  This dish is perfect for the upcoming fall season.  It is the perfect comfort food on a cold evening.  It will fill your home a wonderful aroma that will leave your family or guests thinking that you have been slaving in the kitchen for hours!


To serve with the roast, I made roasted vegetables.  I’ve never roasted vegetables before, but I have been missing out.  Oh my goodness they were so yummy and SO easy to make!  I didn’t have a recipe, I just kind of threw some veggies together.  Here’s what I did:


  • 1 onion
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 carrots peeled
  • 8 small red potatoes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil


Preheat oven to 400º.  Chop veggies into similar size pieces:  I cut my onion in half and then quartered each half, sliced zucchini into thick slices then halved,  quartered my potatoes.  Place vegetables on baking sheet.  I lined mine with foil, but parchment paper would have been better, so it doesn’t tear when turning vegetables.  Drizzle vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake for about 50 minutes, turning vegetables halfway through.  Possibilities are endless; you can add yellow squash, garlic, bell pepper, tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms…whatever you have on hand!

Roasted Veggies

Hope you enjoy as much as we did!  Follow my Recipe Board on Pinterest!

Signature - Alisa

Sep 5 2014

Rotisserie Ranch Chicken Tacos

Hi All!!

It’s been a while!  I’m just popping in today to share a yummy easy meal…cause who doesn’t need those, right?!  I am always on the look out for meals that don’t take a lot of time but taste like good home cooking!  I’ve got one for you!  Actually my mom came up with this one!  I’m calling them Rotisserie Ranch Chicken Tacos.


Grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store (we like to get ours from Costco).  I get Trader Joes’ corn tortillas (they are super yummy and work well if you add a little oil to them before you heat them on the stove) and mild salsa.  Shred your chicken, heat your tortillas and add the fixings!  I add cheese, lettuce, onions, salsa and some homemade ranch dressing (mix a little mayo, sour cream, vinegar, milk, and pepper).  There you have it!   Super quick and tasty meal!  I have them for lunch the next day too!

Do you have some go to quick meals?  Please share!

Signature - Marissa

Aug 14 2014

Pinterest Hit or Miss: One-Pan Pasta

It’s Thursday my friends and that means the weekend is in sight!

If you are anything like me, you have a Pinterest board full of recipes that you never get around to making, yet every night you ask yourself “what should I make for dinner”?  Part of the problem is, if I’m going to spend time grocery shopping and cooking, I want to know that it is going to turn out good!  So I thought it would be fun to do a series where I put some Pinterest recipes to the test!  I’ll share my tips, any variations, lessons learned, and whether it was a hit or miss.  Follow my Recipe Pinterest Board to see what I might cook next!recipe ecard

Today’s recipe is a One-Pan Pasta, you can find the recipe here from Martha Stewart Living.  I love a good pasta dish, so I was really excited to try this one and 1 pan = less dishes (kitchen math :) )

one pot pasta ingredients


  • 12 oz linguine
  • 12 oz grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp red-pepper flakes
  • 2 sprigs basil, plus torn leaves for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 2 tsp course salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil sprigs, oil, salt, pepper and water in a large straight-sided skillet.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Boil mixture for about 9 minutes turning pasta frequently with tongs until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated.  Garnish with basil and Parmesan.


My Critique:

Variations: The original recipe calls for red-pepper flakes, I didn’t have them in my cupboard, so I didn’t use them, and I didn’t feel that anything was missing.  My take is use whats in your cupboard, if you have them great, but don’t make an extra trip to the store or add the additional expense for something you may not use very often.  It also called for twice as much salt, and actually course salt.  I used regular old salt and only 1 tsp, not 2, and it still tasted great to me and less sodium is always a good thing!  I used 3/4 of an onion, because 1 whole onion seemed like a lot to me, but I wished I used all of it.  The onion added a nice flavor, but wasn’t too strong.  I didn’t add any additional oil when serving, but you certainly could, especially if you eat it for leftovers the next night.

Tips:  If your pan isn’t wide enough for the pasta to lie flat I would recommend breaking the noodles in half.  It is important that the pasta be covered with water.  I’d imagine this would also make it more manageable to turn the pasta while it boils.  If you watch the video online, the cook time can be a little confusing.  Be sure the heat is on high and start your timer for 9 minutes once the water is boiling.  The total cook time will be more like 18 to 20 minutes taking into account the time it takes to get to a boil (test a noodle to make sure it is done).  There should be a little remaining water; it makes a light sauce with the juice from the cooked tomatoes.  It is best served immediately after it’s done cooking.  Don’t skip the basil and Parmesan for garnish; it really completes the dish.

Hit or Miss?  Definitely a hit and I will be making this again real soon.  Love that the recipe uses fresh, simple ingredients.  It’s filling, but isn’t as heavy as some other pasta dishes.  My husband who is a red meat sauce lover really enjoyed this dish too.  I’m not going to lie, while I was cooking I was thinking of a back-up plan in the back of my mind, but trust the recipe!

Have any questions about this recipe, leave me a comment or send me an email, I’d be happy to answer!

one pot pasta 2

one pot pasta

Signature - Alisa

Jul 23 2014

Marinated Grilled Steak Tacos

Hi friends!

It’s been a while…I miss you all!  Been busy, but glad to be back.  I have a yummy recipe to share with you today: Marinated Grilled Steak Tacos!  It’s one of our favorite meals to make on the grill in the summer.  You can really make this recipe your own by adding toppings you enjoy!  Like some heat…add jalapenos!  Want a healthier version?  Skip the guacamole and sour cream.  You can even try this recipe with chicken.

Marinated Grilled Steak Tacos

Taco Ingredients:

  • 8 oz thin cut boneless steak
  • marinade (see recipe below)
  • corn tortillas
  • Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup onions, diced
  • 4 sprigs of cilantro, chopped
  • guacamole – find my recipe here
  • sour cream (optional)
  • hot sauce (optional)

Marinade Ingredients: (adapted from recipe, source unknown)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
  • 2 tsp steak seasoning


Prepare marinade in a gallon size resealable bag.  Place steak in bag and seal.  Marinade in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, turning over halfway through.  Save time and marinade overnight, it will be ready for the grill when you get home from work!

Combine tomatoes, onions and cilantro in glass dish and set aside (feel free to alter the ratio to your liking).  Prepare guacamole and set aside.  Grill marinated steak to your liking.  Rest grilled meat under foil tent for 5 minutes, allowing the juices to re-distribute before cutting.  Thinly slice steak across the grain.  Warm corn tortillas in skillet on stove top or warm on the grill.  Add meat, cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream to warm tortilla.  Enjoy!

Makes 8 tacos.

Here are my hubby’s tacos with all the yummy guacamole and sour cream piled on!  He sure knows how to build a taco!

Marinated Grilled Steak Tacos 2

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you try these tacos!  If you enjoy this recipe, check out my Grilled Steak Salad.  For other meal inspiration check out my recipe Pinterest board, and follow me on Instagram!

Have a wonderful rest of your week!

Signature - Alisa




Jul 16 2014

Honey Blueberry Banana Snack

Happy Wednesday!  We are half way to the weekend!  Today I wanted to share with you a really easy snack I have been enjoying lately.  With a toddler it’s hard to make sure I eat enough throughout the day.  This is a quick nutritious snack that is perfect for my on the go lifestyle right now.

banana blueberry snack

Just cut up a banana, wash and dry some blueberries and put on top. Drizzle a little honey and pour the desired amount of half and half over the top, and enjoy!  I use organic blueberries (you could also do raspberries, or strawberries or any kid of fruit for that matter!), organic bananas, and organic half and half (or you could use nonfat or 1% milk for a little healthier version).   So yummy!  It would be a great dessert after dinner too!

What are some of your favorite on the go, easy snacks?  I would love some more ideas.  Feel free to follow my Food Ideas-appetizers/snacks board on Pinterest for more ideas. Also check us out on My Recipe Magic for lots of recipes.  Or check out other recipes we’ve shared in our Time To Cook tab.

Have a wonderful day, friends!

Signature - Marissa

May 28 2014

Grilled Steak Salad

It’s Wednesday already and that makes me happy!  I love short weeks :) .  I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day.  So grateful for all the men and women who have served and who are serving our country.  Also, for their families and the sacrifices they’ve made.

For Memorial Day we wanted to grill something, but had burgers last week and didn’t feel like a heavy steak dinner, so my husband and I came up with this grilled steak salad recipe.  We tag teamed on this one; I made the marinade and croutons and he grilled and did all the chopping!  It was SO good…we had it the next night too!  So, I thought I’d share the recipe with you all and I’m also linking up for Momfessionals Recipe Club.  Be sure to head over to Andrea’s blog and check out all the other recipes shared.

Recipe Club

Grilled Steak Salad

Salad Ingredients:

  • 8 oz thin cut of boneless steak – marinated (sirloin, top shoulder, etc.)
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • homemade croutons
  • blue cheese crumbles (optional)
  • ranch dressing (Litehouse Organic Ranch is my favorite!)

Marinade Ingredients: (don’t remember where I got the original recipe from)

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 tsp steak seasoning

Crouton Ingredients:

  • 6 slices sourdough bread
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 tsp garlic salt


Combine marinade ingredients in a gallon size resealable bag.  Add steak to bag, seal, set bag in glass dish, and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, turning meat over halfway through.

While meat is marinading, prepare your homemade croutons:  Preheat oven to 300°.  Cut bread into 1/2 inch cubes.  In large bowl, coat bread cubes with melted butter, olive oil, Parmesan cheese and garlic salt.  Spread onto a foil lined baking sheet in a single layer.  Bake at 300° for about 25 – 30 minutes or until golden brown and crisp, stirring every 5 minutes or so.  Cool completely before storing.

Grill marinated steak to your liking (internal temp of 155° for well done or 140° for medium-well). We like ours well done!  Rest your meat under  a tent of foil for about 5 minutes (this allows the juices to evenly distribute, keeping the flavor in your meat instead of all over your cutting board).  Thinly slice steak across the grain.   To serve, divide lettuce into individual serving bowls, top with red onions, tomatoes, egg, croutons, blue cheese and sliced steak. Drizzle with ranch dressing.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

This is a perfect recipe for those warm summer nights.  Hope you enjoy!  I’ll be back later in the week to show you how to make the paper fans we made for the baby shower we recently shared with you.

Signature - Alisa


May 21 2014

Fruit Infused Water Recipes & A Delicious Strawberry Lemonade!

Last week we shared the details on the Rainbow Ombre Baby Shower we helped throw for one of our good friends.  We thought we’d share with you today the beverage recipes that we had available for the guests: Strawberry Lemonade, Orange/Vanilla Infused Water, Cucumber/Lavender/Mint Infused Water, Berry Infused Water and Iced Tea.  They all looked beautiful and really added to the rainbow ombre decor!  These recipes are really easy and great for a large group, or could be modified for a single serving glass.  I think I’ll be making pitchers of the fruit infused water to keep in the fridge this summer.  So light, refreshing and will keep you hydrated!

Fruit Beverages

Strawberry Lemonade

Nikki made her famous strawberry lemonade.  We always make sure this one is on the menu for all of the showers we throw and the recipe could not be simpler!

  • 1 12 oz can frozen Pink Lemonade
  • 1 10 oz bag frozen sliced strawberries

Prepare the pink lemonade according to directions on package.  Blend the strawberries ever so slightly in a blender.  Combine lemonade and strawberries and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Strawberry Lemonade

Orange & Vanilla Infused Water

Michelle had the the idea to make fruit infused waters for our rainbow ombre themed shower, and I just love how the beverage station turned out.  She used this orange and vanilla infused water recipe.  Many said it reminded them of 50/50 bar or an orange creamsicle!

Orange Vanilla

Cucumber Lavender & Mint Infused Water

Lauren used this cucumber lavender infused water recipe but added some mint, which tasted so refreshing!

Cucumber Lavender Mint

Triple Berry Infused Water

Carrie created this berry infused water recipe.  This one was one of my favorites! (And look at the blueberries rising to the top…would make a great little science experiment to do with your kiddos :) )

  • 1.5 gallons water
  • 1 basket Blueberries
  • 1 basket Raspberries
  • 1 basket Blackberries

Combine water, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries in large pitcher or beverage dispenser.  Allow to infuse in the refrigerator for  at least 3 hours.  Keep chilled until ready to serve.


Iced Tea

No special recipe here…just water, tea bags and lemon!

Try these recipes for yourself and tell us what you think!  Do you have any favorite fruit infused water combinations?  Hope you have a great rest of the week friends!






May 13 2014

Mother’s Day Lunch: Cobb Salad

I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend and that all you moms out there had a nice and relaxing Mother’s Day.  We had a fun, relaxing weekend celebrating with our moms!

Sunday we went to my mom’s house for a Mother’s Day lunch.  As we were deciding what to make for lunch, I wanted to keep it simple and light as it was really hot outside.  My mom has been trying to eat gluten free, so I wanted it to be something that we all could enjoy, especially my mom.  We ended up making a Cobb salad and it was delicious!  The best part was that most of the prep could be done ahead of time so we didn’t have to dirty my mom’s kitchen too much.  I have to admit my husband did most of the prep work and my mom ended up making the dressing, which was so good!  I thought I’d share the recipe with you all (see below).  For dessert my brother and I made homemade iced cream topped with strawberries. Yum Yum!

My mom always does SO much for us and I wanted to make lunch special.  She has a beautiful backyard, so it really didn’t take much effort.  I used one of my mom’s vintage floral tablecloths as the jumping off point for the color scheme; bright pops of pinks, purples, greens and aquas.  I picked some gorgeous sweet peas and hydrangeas from my mom’s garden.  I think my dad would have liked that…my dad always loved hydrangeas and planted them for my mom.  It was a nice reminder of him, whose birthday was this past weekend.  I was able to re-use the paper fans that Marissa and I made for a good friend’s baby shower a couple weeks ago.  (Blog post to come soon with pictures from the shower)!

sweet peas

paper fans

Can we stop for a minute and look at the adorable hounds-tooth wrapping paper on the gift below!  I found it at HomeGoods; great place to find cute wrapping paper.

The OCD part of me can’t stop starring at the placement of the paper fans…let’s pretend they are moved down just a bit and a little more evenly displayed :)

chopped salad bar 2


And for the Cobb salad and vinegrette dressing I was telling you about earlier…check it out!  Great recipe for these hot summer months ahead.

Cobb Salad

Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 hearts of romaine, washed and chopped
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
  • 8 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • green onions, sliced
  • blue cheese crumbles (optional)
  • Vinaigrette Salad Dressing (see recipe below)

Salad Ingredients:  Combine all ingredients and toss with dressing.

Vinaigrette Salad Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp whole grain mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper

Salad Dressing Directions:  Combine all ingredients in a deep container.  Emulsify ingredients using a hand blender until mixture is thickened.

Cobb Salad 2

We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing like this cute pup!  This photo cracks me up…she managed to find just the slightest bit of shade.  It was HOT in our area this weekend and will only get hotter this week.

Pup relaxing

Hope you enjoy the rest of your week!

Signature - Alisa