MMZ–in black & white

Have a delightful Monday! I love this photo. It was taken at the Biltmore grounds over a year ago when my mom, sister, and I met there for a fun weekend. The late day sun peeked through a bed of clover and ivy: I couldn’t resist.  Have a great week!


Philly cheese steak crescents

I do love the dough….money and crescent dough….while there’s no doubt it’s full of stuff that I will someday regret, today: we will eat crescents!!!

Who doesn’t love a philly cheese steak or a french dip?  I found a recipe and made it my own, au jus included just for you!  You can pick a side or go with this recipe.  I promise, you won’t be disappointed for professing your love of crescents!

You’ll need:

Serves 4 at 2 a piece

30 minutes

  • 1 tube crescent dough
  • 1/2 lb. sliced beef (you can always use roast beef or slices of roast or thin sliced steak)
  • 1/4 c. chopped bell pepper
  • 1/4 c. chopped onion
  • salt/pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheese
  • horseradish or horseradish sauce
  • 1 packet au jus gravy mix or drippings

Saute meat, onion, bell pepper in olive oil. Salt/pepper to taste.  Drain meat mixture when cooked through to remove excess water. I put mine on a paper towel to cool slightly and absorb any excess moisture.

Shred or open cheese.

Roll out dough and spread horseradish or horseradish sauce on bottom of crescent.  Spread a layer of cheese to large end of each crescent and top with a few slices of meat, bell pepper, and onion mixture.

Cook in 375 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown.

While crescents cook, prepare au jus according to package directions.


Paper flower bouquets

I’ve seen a few tutorials on tissue paper and napkin flowers.  Having a plethora of tissue paper in my ‘wrapping box,’ I thought it would be a good way to celebrate Spring!

I saw a few tutorials here and here  and figured it would be worth a go.

You’ll need:

  • tissue paper (5 sheets per two flowers)
  • twist tie or string
  • scissors
  • bamboo skewers (you could even paint these green)

I am thinking about Spring so I went with pastel colors.  They also look good with my Easter garland and add a nice touch without being too much.

Take five sheets of tissue paper and lay them out together, one on top of the other.  Fold into an accordion.  At this point you can cut in half across or not.  I like two smaller flowers, some might like one giant flower.  It’s your call.  I cut.

**for the photo i used bolder colors so you could clearly see the folds**

Once you’ve cut your folded tissue, take scissors and cut a round edge or pointed edge on each end of your folded tissue.  Take a twist tie and secure it in the middle.

Now the FUN part!!!  Starting from the center, pick which color (if you’re using multiple colors like mine) you want to be inside or on the outside.  Start with the tissue you want on the inside.  Fan the tissue working from the inside to the outside and keep separating until you’re happy with the look of it.

Voila! Tissue paper flowers 🙂  If I remember, I’ll get some Easter eggs or small stones to fill the vase w/ to hide the bamboo skewers…


Easter garland

I was roaming through Target the other day, browsing in the home goods section and a nice display of Easter decorations and I came across this:

“$4 plus tax????  mmm, NO way sir!  I can make this for less than that and make it BETTTERRRRRRR” :D. <—that’s the dialogue that went through my head……

So, I went back to the craft store and bought some felt, a roll of ribbon from the dollar bin, and printed off an ‘egg shaped’ pattern from the Internet.

You’ll need:

  • Patience (just a little)
  • 6 pieces of felt
  • egg shape or a good hand
  • sharp scissors
  • craft glue
  • 1 roll ribbon (mine was 3 yards)


Cut out egg shapes.  I made four from each sheet and cut up the rest in patterns and strips for the decorations on the eggs.  Glue the embellishments as you see fit.  This is the fun part!  Kids can make some great garland!

When  your eggs are done and dry, lay them out as you like on the ribbon and glue into place.  I chose a tight garland, but have fun!


Lemon butter trout

Lemon and butter are the perfect companion to fresh trout…light, flaky, mild, with some fresh citrus at the end…

Before I die and go to lemon/butter heaven, here we go…

You’ll need:

Serves 2

10 min. (really)

  • 1 lb. fresh trout fillets, skin on
  • old bay seasoning
  • salt/pepper
  • olive oil
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1/2 lemon

Prep fillets by sprinkling bay seasoning and salt/pepper on inside of fillets. Place the fillets skin side down in a hot saute pan with some olive oil in the bottom.  Fillets will cook quickly, in about five minutes.

As fillets get close to being done, you can cover them to trap some of the steam to help any areas that aren’t quite done.  Turn the heat off to the pan, add butter and squeeze lemon over pan.

Remove fillets from pan and serve immediately.  Fillets will lift off the skin easily for serving.  For a light meal, serve with some super salad.  Always a good choice!


Super salad

Fresh veggies. Arch nemesis.  Not because I don’t like fresh veggies, I’m in love with them.  This time of year…..that’s my arch nemesis….there’s not a lot of good options for fresh veggies, making that old ‘healthy lifestyle’ a bit more difficult.

Here’s my answer….super salad!!!!

So, you might ding me because it’s over your budget, but here’s my claim….it doesn’t happen very often, it’s a treat.  It’s also very sad that fresh salad is a ‘treat’ but hey, it’s winter….

I take advantage of the grocery store fresh bar to peruse what looks fresh and delish.  I also spring for some olives and feta, among other pickled delights.  A small portion here and there is a welcome change and while you might think I’m paying out the nose for this, the containers last for days, being used for several meals.  I think that if I bought all of these ingredients to put together, the cost would be far more considering how much I actually eat (and PIC).

You’ll need:

Serves 2

  • 1 bunch lettue, I used Boston bib
  • 1 c. fresh spinach
  • Your choice of fresh items from grocery store
  • A little imagination for what tastes good together


Stovetop mac & cheese

By Wednesday, the leftovers are gone, I’m exhausted, and I’m sick of everything in my fridge and cupboards.

After making some crock pot chicken and assessing the situation in the cupboards and freezer, I settled on some stovetop mac and cheese.

I had seen several recipes, watched a ‘my favorite things-cheese edition’ on the food network over the weekend and decided to give it a try.  The nice thing: this meal can be on the table in less than 30 minutes if you’ve got the veggies and/or protein ready to go.  Cooking the pasta in milk is a two way reward system.  The pasta gets cooked and has a beautiful richness from the milk and the starch from the pasta infuses into the milk, making it an automatic thickener without having to make rue.  See? Everybody wins!

Pre-cooked meats or frozen veggies are a great way to go.  Or, you can omit them all together and just go for pure comfort….

You’ll need:

Serves 3 or 4

About 25 minutes

  • 1/2 lb. dry pasta (I used medium shells)
  • 3-4 c. milk
  • 1 c. shredded cheese of choice. I mixed sharp cheddar, mozz, and some parmesan for bite.
  • extra milk or stock for thinning if you want it
  • salt/pepper

Boil milk in saucepan and add pasta.  Cooking time will be the same but keep an eye on it!  The milk is prone to boil over due to the fats/proteins in it!  I learned from experience 🙂  While pasta cooks, shred cheese and prep other add-in’s for your meal.

When pasta is done cooking el dente, add your cheese and seasonings of your choice.  You’ll see the mixture start to get creamy and delicious looking.  If this is what you want, enjoy!  If you want to add other things, now is the time.  Add your extras and stir them in.  If you feel as though it got too thin w/ the extra ingredients, you can add more cheese and/or milk.