Pesto Pizza

pesto pizza

My in laws came in for the weekend, now normally when they come to visit they want OIP (original Italian pizza, a local restaurant that is out of this world good!) for lunch which means I don’t have to cook. We are down to one vehicle temporarily and my husband had to take it to work and my sister in law took my in laws van to visit a friend. OH No! No vehicles and nothing planed to eat! what do I do?! I frantically raided all my cabinets, I had plenty of things to make as side dishes but no meat,  and the meat I did have had no time to thaw! Then a light bulb went off, I suddenly remembered a recipe I had once seen online using goat cheese and arugula. Although I didn’t have goat cheese I had plenty of mozzarella, and this is what I came up with.


2 pre baked pizza crusts

4 Tbsp. store bought basil pesto (Classico is my favorite)

2 tomatoes sliced thinly (6-9 slices of tomato on each pizza )

1 C. shredded mozzarella

about 10 slices fresh mozzarella (5 for each pizza)

olive oil

cracked black pepper ( I bought some at Aldi’s for 99 cents!)

2 handfuls of baby arugula (or spinach, arugula mix)


Preheat oven to 450 degrees

drizzle olive oil on front and back of pizza crusts (about 2-3 tsp.) and using hands rub all over the front and back of the pizza crust. Lay crust on a pizza pan and spread 2 Tbsp. of pesto on the crust evenly. Next sprinkle with about 1/2 C of  shredded mozzarella cheese and top with sliced tomato and about 5 slices of fresh mozzarella. Sprinkle the pizza with some crack pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake in oven for about 10 minutes until cheese is melted take pizza out and let cool for a few minutes. Next top with a handful of baby arugula, a sprinkle of sea salt and a couple drizzles of olive oil.

yields about 18 small slices

and for dessert….

This delicious pesto pizza along with these decadent red velvet cup cakes from a local baker down the street from me made for a perfect lunch for my in-laws. 🙂



Thrifty to Ritchy



What do you think of when passing something like this sitting along the highway with a big “FREE” sign on it? Do you give it another thought? Well, I do, in fact not only do I give it a second glance but I am the crazy person you see loading this sort of thing into the back of my truck. Why? you might ask. I will tell you why, because unlike most people seeing a piece of trash sitting along the road I see a finished product. All this chair needed was a little TLC to become a beautiful one of a kind piece.

and… this is what I saw! Not to mention the $5 cabinet I bought online to complete this beautiful set.

what you will need:
a couple old chairs
a good quality spray paint ( I prefer Valspar)
a fabric of your choice ( I used home spun American theme)
screw driver
bucket of water and some disinfectant                                                                                                 staple gun

How I did it:
Most all chairs that have a cushion of some sort are screwed in through the bottom. Flip the chairs upside down find the screws and take them out (save them for when you put it back together). Next you want to wash the chairs and the cushions down really well with disinfectant. Once the chairs are dry you can spray paint them ( I use Valspar with primer so only one coat is needed). While the chairs are drying its time to work on the cushions. Make sure to disinfect the cushions and allow them to dry. Lay fabric down on a clean surface and place cushion on top, leaving about 2 inches on all 4 sides cut the fabric. Then using a staple gun stable the fabric to the bottom of the cushion the whole way around. Make sure to pull fabric tight as your are stapling. Once chairs are dry it is time to reassemble. Flip chairs upside down and screw cushions back on and voilà you have a beautiful chair. If you have any questions feel free to ask 🙂

The Cabinet was a little more detailed… I will get into that another day!

Healthier version of my Wake me up Pound Cake

Healthier version of my Wake me up Pound Cake

Sugar Free cake shells with coffee simple syrup
1/2 Cup coffee
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
whipped cream
1 pack sugar free cake shells

In a small sauce pan heat sugar, coffee, and cinnamon until sugar is dissolved. Then put 2 tablespoons of mixture over each cake shell. spoon whipped cream in center of shell and garnish with cinnamon!

Buttery Shrimp

Buttery Shrimp


1 – 32oz bag shrimp cooked peeled and deveined
3 garlic cloves diced
2 sticks butter
1/2 tsp lime juice
1/2 red bell pepper diced
1 TBS parsley
1/2 green bell pepper diced
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
2 pinches salt
4-5 dashes black pepper


In heavy frying pan on medium heat add Butter, peppers, salt&pepper,garlic cloves,lime juice,parsley and lemon pepper…once butter is melted add shrimp to heat through. Place shrimp on a serving plate and pour butter mixture over the shrimp. Serve over your favorite pasta or as an appitizer with cocktail sauce as follows:

Cocktail Sauce
1 C. Ketchup
2-3 dashes lemon pepper
1-1/2 TBS horseradish
5-6 dashes lime juice

Mix all ingrediants together and enjoy!

Chili Pasta Casserole

chili pasta

This is one of my favorite recipes! Anytime I make Chili I always double the recipe so I have enough to make this amazing chili pasta casserole.


2 1/2-3 Cups left over Chili

8 oz. block of Monterey Jack cheese cubed

8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese shredded

1 Tbsp. butter

1 1/2 Cups heavy whipping cream

1- 1lbs. box penne pasta


Cook pasta according to package minus 3 minutes. Drain pasta and set aside. In a medium size sauce pot over medium heat add butter, cubed Monterey jack cheese, chili, and heavy whipping cream. Cook until cheese is melted. Next pour pasta into chili mixture and stir so sauce evenly coats all noodles. Pour chili pasta into a greased 13X9 pan, cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Take chili pasta out add an even layer of shredded cheese and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Fried Tomato Sandwiches

Fried Tomato Sandwiches

2 fried tomatoes per sandwich
2 slices of bacon per sandwich
2 thin slices of fresh Mozzarella per sandwich
French or Italian bread which ever you prefer
1 tablespoon pesto mayo per sandwich
Pesto Mayo:
1 cup mayo with olive oil
1 tsp. prepared basil pesto
Fried Tomatoes:
1-2 tomatoes depending on the size of tomatoes and the amount of sandwiches made
2 eggs beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
1 Cup flour

Pre heat oven to 250 degrees.
First start with the fried tomatoes. Cut tomatoes into thin slices and set a side. Next using either a griddle or frying pan set heat to medium high and melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter. Once pan or griddle is hot and butter is melted, dip each tomato into flour, egg, then bread crumbs and fry on stove top or griddle till brown. Place fried tomatoes in a cake pan in the oven to keep warm. Next mix together 1 cup of mayo with 1 tsp. basil pesto and a pinch of pepper. Fry bacon, remember you want about 2 slices per sandwich. Place fried bacon on a paper towel to drain grease. Now its time to assemble your sandwiches. Butter outsides of sandwiches and spread about a 1/2 tablespoon of pesto mayo on each slice of bread for the inside of sandwiches. Once mayo is on laying one slice of bread butter side down place bacon on top of pesto mayo , cut two slices of fresh mozzarella to go on top of bacon, lay fried tomatoes on top of fresh mozzarella and lay the other slice of bread on top mayo side down. Place sandwich in frying pan or griddle toast sandwich till golden brown on each side. Enjoy! 🙂

*** I use less pesto because thats the way my family prefers it. Just remeber its your sandwich so make it to suit yourself. 😉 ***

Almond Snicker Doo’s

Almond Snicker Doo's

any feed back is greatly appreciated. If you have extra time please comment and/or vote @ thanks 🙂

4 Almond snickers bars (1.76oz each)
1 C. Sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp baking soda
21/4 C. flour
2 sticks butter (softened)
1 cup hershey baking chips (optional)
preheat oven to 375 degrees

Directions: In a medium size mixing bowl add salt,baking soda,flour,and sugar,mix well. Next, unwrap snickers bars and chop into small pieces. Add chopped snickers to dry ingredients. Next, mix eggs and almond extract together and pour into dry ingredients. Melt baking chips in Microwave 30 seconds at a time until melted. Add melted chocolate chips and soften butter to cookie mixture . Mix until all ingredients are blended together. Roll into teaspoon size balls and drop onto a greased cookie sheet. bake 8-10 minutes. ** If you prefer vanilla cookies omit chocolate baking chips**
yields about 3 dozen cookies

Almond Snicker Doo’s

Almond Snicker Doo's

This is about what your snickers should look like when they are chopped.

Mac & Cheese

2 C. macaroni
1/2 bag mexican blend cheese
salt,pepper,garlic powder to taste
1/2 bag yellow mild cheddar cheese
1 tsp. ground mustard
1 1/2 Tbsp. Flour
5-6 slices bacon cooked & crumbled
1/2 C. Seasoned Bread Crumbs
1 1/2 tsp parsley
3 Slices white Am.cheese halved
1 1/2 C milk
1 Tbsp. Butter
1 C shredded montery jack cheese
1/2 green pepper sauted
1/2 onion sautéed
1/2 red bell pepper sautéed

cook macoroni according to package. Sauté peppers and onions with tsp butter till transluscent.set asside. In medium sauce pan over medium heat add milk,flour,montery jack cheese,garlic powder,salt, pepper, and ground mustard until melted. Add cooked macoroni to mixture and mix pour mixture in a greased 13×9 sprinkle with mild cheddar and mexican cheese. add white American slicecs evenly . Add sauted peppers and onions,bacon and bread crumbs evenly over the top. Place 5 small squares of butter over the top (about 1 tsp. in size).
BAKE: 350 for 25-30 mins.
helpful hints-
* saute peppers and onions ahead of time and freeze, pull out and use for many different recipes.
* COOK YOUR BACON IN THE MICROWAVE! This is much quicker then using a frying pan and no mess! lay 2 papper towels on microwave safe plate lay your bacon in single layer no more than 5 or 6 slices at a time,lay 2 more paper towels on top and cook for about 3 -4 minutes. This can also be crumbled and stored in the freezer for another recipe so making extra is certainly worth it!

Brussels Sprout Casserole (photo taken before I added french Fried Onions)

Brussels Sprout Casserole (photo taken before I added french Fried Onions)

ingredients :
3 cups shredded raw Brussels sprouts
1/2 pound of bacon
1/2 a medium size onion
1/4 C.white cooking wine
16 Oz (or half a large block) Velveeta cheese cubed
1 C. heavy cream
1/2 cup french fried onions (optional)
Directions: * Preheat oven to 350 degrees *
cook Brussels sprouts in boiling salt water for 7 minutes or until tender. Drain. Cut bacon into small pieces using a knife or kitchen shears. In a medium size stock pot fry the bacon. Once bacon is almost finished cooking add the onion. Cook till translucent. Next add 1/4 cup of white cooking wine to the pan to de -glaze Make sure to scrap all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan, they will add extra flavor. Next add the brussels sprouts and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the cheese and heavy cream mix until cheese is melted. Next add salt if needed ( sometimes extra salt is not needed depending in the bacon) and pepper taste. Grease a 13X9 cake pan and pour Brussels sprout mixture in to it. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then take casserole out and add french fried onions and bake uncovered for 5 minutes or until french fried onions are crispy.

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