Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Wedding Cake

Cherry Cake
1 cup sifted flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/3 cups of tap water
1 cup sour cream (whole milk)
2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
1 1/4 tsp Almond extract (organic)
1 1/4 tsp Vanilla extract (organic)
4 medium egg whites
Dash of Cinnamon
1 box of white cake mix (I use Duncan Hines)
1 cup of fresh cherries, pitted and cut in quarters

Grease and flour pans to be used.
Preheat oven to 325.
Gently stir the cake mix, flour, salt and sugar in a medium size bowl.
Add to the bowl water, oil, sour cream, extracts, cinnamon, cherries and egg whites. Beat on low for about 3 minutes.
Pour into greased pans and bake until tops are brown about 25 minutes.
Test with a toothpick to see if it is done before bringing out of the oven.
Cool on wire racks.
Ice with your favorite icing recipe and decorate as you wish!
My daughter loves to make a simple butter cream frosting and really loads it up. This is amazing and we love to store it in the refrigerator and bring out about 15 minutes before serving! 

Monday, July 22, 2019

Beet Salad

This is your new and sassy alternative to potato salad!
It is so simple, easy to prepare and pretty darn healthy!
It is at it's peak when it's had a few hours 
to chill in the frig before serving it up to the crowd.

I love it with a great brisket or a nice grilled chicken breast.

Beet Salad
 3 Uncooked Organic Beets (I prefer the golden color)
3/4 C of Mayo
1/2 C Chopped Green Onion
1 Tbls of White Wine Vinegar
Sea Salt to taste
Cracked Pepper to taste

Wash and wrap the beets in foil and bake for one hour at 350 degrees. Unwrap from foil and
slice the beets into rounds as if you were slicing a tomato. The skin will pull right off the rounds. Cut into bite size chunks and add to a medium size bowl. Add the onion to the bowl. In a small bowl whisk mayo and vinegar until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Fold the mayo mixture into the bowl of beets. Refrigerate covered for a few hours and then stir again before serving. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Sometimes I Just NEED To Be Silly

I just can't help myself.
I mean really I can't.
I am silly, really silly.
I have passed this on to my children.
It can really annoy my husband and yet, 
I still can't help myself.

Sometimes I just NEED to be silly.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Prayers For Our Children

If you were to ask a mother what her greatest fear was most likely she will
respond in some manner in regards to the safety and care of her children.
It does not change even when they become adults and even
when they have children of their own.
We mamas are a rare breed indeed. We have an innate sense of protecting our offspring at all costs. We will do whatever it takes to keep our children safe, loved, healthy and happy. 
Sometimes, at no fault of our own, we can not keep them safe from the evils of this complicated world we now live in. Sometimes all we can do is
drop on our knees and pray to God.
We pray, and beg, plead and bargain with God on behalf of our children. 
Do you know that a mother's prayers for her children are the strongest and fastest prayers to reach heavens door? It's true. God hears us and although He may not always answer our pleads and prayers exactly as we asked but we must always try to remember that He alwways has a divine plan and that we must learn to trust His will even when it breaks us and brings us to our knees in the deepest pain imaginable. We must trust that one day, when we go back to Him, we will come to understand His reasonings for our sufferings. In my heart I know that we are here to LOVE and LEARN in this life.
Everything we do can bring love and everything we experience we can learn from. Each lesson only brings us closer to God.  So keep on praying my dear friends and keep on leaning on each other but most importanly lean on God. 

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

Here is a beautiful prayer from the Mother’s Manual, by Fr. A. Francis Coomes S.J.

Holy Mother Mary,
Who by virtue of your divine motherhood,
Hast become mother of us all
I place the charge which God has given me,
under your loving protection.
Be a Protecting Mother to my children.
Guard their bodies and keep them
in health and strength.
Guard their minds and keep their thoughts ever holy
in the sight of their Creator and God.
Guard their hearts and keep them pure and strong
and happy in the love of God.
Guard always their souls and ever preserve in them,
faithfully, the glorious image of God
whom they received in Holy Baptism.
Always Mother, protect them and keep them
under your Mothering care.
Supply in your all-wise motherhood,
for my poor human deficiencies
and protect them from all evil.
Queen of the Most Holy Family,
Pray for us.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Bolognese Sauce

This is my favorite meat sauce to dump on my favorite pasta!
It is simple but hearty and the cream just makes it, well let's just say it is heavenly!
It is a great sauce to use in lasagna or shells. To make a large amount enough for a lasagna, I would probably double the recipe.  An Italian mama can never have enough red sauce stored up and this will freeze with no issues.
My favorite thing is to cook my sauce the day before as it gives even more time for the flavors to really marry.  I love a great meat sauce and when you serve this baby up you better have some amazing bread to sop it up with! 

Bolognese Sauce

1 pound of ground beef or Italian sausage
2 14oz cans of tomato sauce (Pomi or Cento)
3 large garlic gloves minced
1 cup of red wine
2 Tbls of freshly chopped basil
Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar
3/4 to 1 cup of half and half

Brown meat, drain and set aside in the refrigerator while you are cooking the sauce. Add the remaining ingredients except the half and half into a stock pot and simmer on low covered for 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes. Add the cooked meat and half and half into sauce and simmer an additional 30 minutes. Serve over your favorite pasta and enjoy!

Here are some other Italian Recipes to try!

Organic Tomato, Onion and Mushroom Sauce


Sunday, December 23, 2018

Christmas Morning Recipe!

This is an all-time favorite at
Mama Holli's house.

It is a tradition to serve these
Christmas morning
while we open our gifts but this recipe is not reserved
only for special occasions!

These puppies also make a wonderful
manly appetizer!
The menfolk just love to munch
on these while standing in front
of the TV watching some
kind of sporting event.
I pull them out of the freezer and zap
in the microwave for a quick kiddo breakfast.

The best thing about this recipe is that
it can be made ahead and frozen
until ready to use!
Here we go!
 Easy Ingredients
1 pound of mild pork sausage
(This Texas Mama uses only Jimmy Dean)
2 cans of crescent rolls
(Pillsbury - YUM)
1 block of cream cheese, softened
(Philadelphia - Going for it - No fat free)

Sausage Crescent Rolls
Brown and drain sausage. Add cream cheese to sausage.  Spray baking sheet.  Open rolls but do not separate triangles.  You will make 2 loaves from these rolls.  Place 4 triangles together on a baking sheet.  Press out the perforated holes to seal as one piece. (Now you can buy them in sheets but either will work) Spread half of the sausage mixture on top.  Cover with the remaining 4 triangles pressed together.  With your finger press all around the edges to seal the top and bottom pieces of dough.  Repeat the procedure to make the second loaf. 

Mama Denise in Texas brushes egg whites over the tops of the loaves and  sprinkles poppy seed over the egg whites. I don't do that step but if you feel like being a little fancy then go for it!  Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees.  Slice loaves and serve hot.  You may let them cool on a wire rack and place them single layer in a Ziploc bag and freeze.  No need to thaw just reheat on a baking sheet for 20-25 minutes at 325 degrees. 

I like to spice this up a bit and I add 
1 Tbs. green chilies 
and 1/3 cup of pepper jack cheese 
to the sausage and cream cheese! 


If you have discovered this recipe while looking for 
Superbowl super food then you will want this 
QUESO recipe too! 
It is ridiculously fattening and worth the calories!

Either way it is delicious!
If you like this recipe then
you need this next recipe as well!

for the 
Drunken Cheese Tray
for the 
Triple C Rolls

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Lana's Mexican Casserole - A Tex-Mex Recipe

When I was a little girl growing up in the suburbs of Houston, Texas, 
my mom would whip up this ridiculously yummy Tex Mex meal and we 
were all just so happy to see it come out of the oven! 
Lana and Darin Del Monte lived across the street, 
and this was Lana's recipe! It has such a creamy sauce 
that strangely and perfectly compliments the beef and beans.
I promise you it will be a hit and the cook will be 
sneaking the leftovers on the next day for breakfast! 

2 lbs of ground beef
12 corn tortillas
1 can of evaporated milk
1 can of green chilis
1 can of refried beans
1 can of cream of chicken
1/2 stick of butter or margarine
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 cup of olive oil
salt and pepper

In a skillet, brown the meat with the chopped onions and add salt and pepper.
Drain off the grease and set aside.

To prepare the sauce combine soup, milk, green chilis, and one cup of cheese in a medium bowl, stir together and set aside.

In a small pot heat refried beans and 1/2 stick of butter to soften. 
Take off heat and set aside.

In a skillet or medium pot add a few tablespoons of olive oil and heat on medium.
Soften tortillas one at a time in the oil, turning once, and then place on a paper towel to remove excess oil. You want the tortillas to be pliable and not crisp.

Spray a casserole dish with oil to lightly coat.
Create each enchilada by adding meat and then topping it with a few tablespoons 
of the sauce. Continue this until the casserole dish is completely full of enchiladas. If you have extra meat leftover just fill in the spaces between the enchiladas. (see photo below)

Spread the softens beans over all of the enchiladas.
Dump the remaining yummy sauce over the beans and then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top!
Bake covered with foil for about 30 minutes at 350℉. Remove the foil and then cook an adittional 10-15 minutes until the sauce is bubbly and cheese is gooey! 

I like to serve this with some really great tortilla chips and my homemade salsa and guacamole! If I am trying to be healthy I will add a green salad. 

There ya go! Enjoy!

Making the enchiladas one by one!

Extra meat? No problemo! 
Load it up baby!

Beans on top!

Sauce on top of beans and then comes the cheese!

Ready for the oven!

Need a Tex Mex Dip?

Click HERE!


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Lobster Salad

Can we just take a moment to just pay homage to this 
amazing sea creature, the lobster!
Oh MY!
Yep it's pretty amazing to munch on a nice lobster tail!
I can just slap on some butter and squeeze half a lemon
on this bad boy and I am golden all week!
Many years ago we took a vacation in Maine with the kids.
It was just heavenly! 
We skipped along the ocean, ate way too much ice cream, 
pie, fresh berries and LOBSTER!
It is just too easy to eat in Maine!
It is ridiculously reasonably priced, fresh out of the water
and readily available at just about any food establishment both fancy and not fancy!
Oh it is just heavenly I tell you!
This was my first experience with a legit......
Oh yes!
They have these hot dog rolls that split on the side and look like 
folded pieces of thick Texas Toast!
Then they stuff these grilled butter rolls with LOBSTER SALAD!
Oh and it is just amazingly yummy and so easy to prepare!
So when Sprouts has a summer sale on lobster tails I load up the buggy!
Check out this easy recipe my friends!


Lobster Salad

3 or MORE lobster tails
1 organic lemon
sea slat and cracked pepper to taste
1/4 cup of mayo
dash of paprika 

Cook your lobster tails until done. I just throw mine on the grill and wait for them to turn red!
It usually takes about 10-12 minutes.  Once cooled, take the meat out of the tails, cut into bite-sized chunks and throw into a bowl. Add the mayo and the juice of one lemon, salt and pepper and toss. You can add less lemon and less mayo depending on your preference. Add a dash of paprika cover and place in the refrigerator to chill before serving. You can serve it on a bed of greens or toast up a bun and load it up. Either way it is just the perfect summer treat! Pour up a nice glass of Chablis and there ya go mamas! YUM! 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

The United Kingdom

Painting by Olivia Nucci

“This world in which we live needs beauty in order not to sink into despair. Beauty, like truth, brings joy to the human heart… unites generations and enables them to be one in admiration.” (Blessed Pope Paul VI)

Upon my return from the United Kingdom, I have so many memories and snapshots I could share with you for days on end. I would like to share my initial thoughts upon my return. This is my second trip to the UK. My first trip was over 21 years ago. If I am truly being honest I will say that my memory has faded since that first trip a bit. Mama is getting a wee bit older my friends!

I do have very fond memories of particular events, landmarks, fine dinners and time with Steve, my amazingly beautiful middle child, Isabella Louise and many friends we traveled with but one keen memory has always stood out among the others. I remember how fondly I felt about the people in Scotland. So much so that 20 years ago, Steve and I asked the CEO of  Tom James Company if we could move to Scotland and work there. The weather is quite rainy and a bit chilly most of the time but the people, oh the people are so warm, friendly and beautiful from the inside out. They all seem to have these permanant rosy cheeks and a twinkle in their eyes as if they have a secret they are keeping but are almost begging you to ask what it is because they are just dying to bring you into it! Their main love language seems to be acts of service as they want to take "proper" care of you, feed you, fill you up with a warm spot of tea and then bundle you up warm and tight before sending you on your way. It is so beautiful and reminds me of what our world really should look like. We should want to care for and take others in, even complete strangers. Our generations should be united and woven together like a quilt. An amazingly vibrant quilt with stitches of all different shapes and sizes weaving together the most beautiful fabric from each end of the earth and stitches added by every person you meet. A quilt in constant movement so beautiful that it mimicks that of a prima ballerina performing her very first solo. Can you imagine? Each person you encounter, even for one fleeting minute, is part of your quilt and you theirs. You place a stitch in their quilt and they place a stitch in yours. Maybe it is one stitch, maybe it is thousands of stitches. And then all of these life quilts link together to become one everchanging, everlasting magnificent quilt.

I am so thankful for the beautiful stitches that the lovely people of Scotland have sewn in my quilt this past week. I now carry their beauty with me forever.

Painting by Olivia Nucci

Isabella Louise

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Super Bowl Party Food

So all mamas know that the Super Bowl
is really just a day to try out all of those amazing, 
cheese filled and low calorie appetizers we 
have been stalking on Pinterest! 
Yes Mama Nuch is right!
So I am going to make it real easy for you.
These three treats will be the hit of the party 
I kid you not!
Just pick up some really great chips and
do not forget the Big Scoop FRITOS!
Put on a fancy pair of sweats so you can 
eat all day long if you so please.
Thank me later
or not! 




Saturday, December 23, 2017

Mary Did You Know?

Can you only imagine how Mary must have felt
anticipating the birth of her son?
I can't wrap my head around it really.
I remember awaiting the birth of my first child, Jake.
I was excited, anxious, tired, nervous, and happy.
Yes I was carrying and growing the most precious gift
I could ever imagine inside of me but my son
is not Jesus. My child would not be the son of God.
It really is too much for our brains to comprehend.
Knowing the God picked her to carry His precious 
son and our savior. It really is something to behold.
So as today marks the last Sunday in advent, I want to reflect
on our Mother Mary. I want to honor her and praise her for
her willingness to accept the unknown and to trust in God.
What a brave and courageous woman. What a completely 
unconditional mother to Jesus and to all of us.
My heart is full of gratitude for you beautiful Mary.
My heart is full of love for you.

Hail Mary,
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of death.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Charcuterie Board 101

No we did not invent the charcuterie 
board but we sure do own it!
We love making up these fun and yummy boards
whenever we are all together. My kids especially
love taking turns whipping up creative new items 
to slap on the board just to get a reaction! 

It really could not be easier and yet it looks so impressive!
Pick up some special cheese and crackers and then add
anything from fruit, nuts, olives, breads, mustards, salami, 
olive oils, fresh sea salt, veggies, pate or pickles.
We like to serve it before dinner with a 
glass of wine or sparkling water.
It gives me a littel extra time in the kitchen before 
I am bombarded with HANGRY people 
standing over me forging for food.

If you don't have a board use a tray or a big bowl.
There are NO rules and NO recipe to follow.
Just have fun!

My girls are oh so proud!
Good mama training for sure!

OH I almost forgot!
Don't worry about how to pronounce charcuterie.
I NEVER ever get it right!
Happy Boarding!
We put these puppies on the board too!
Go HERE for this amazing 
Sausage & Cheese Crescent recipe!
One more board to check out!