Saturday, June 28, 2014

Copycat Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

This year I accompanied two of my students to FACS (the new name for Home Ec). The best thing about it is that I got to learn all of the recipes right along with the students. When I told my husband about this one, he was pretty excited! We love Red Lobster, especially these biscuits! And they are so easy to make!

2 c bisquick
2/3 c milk
1/2 c shredded cheese
1/4 c margarine, melted
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Heat oven to 450. Stir bisquick, milk, and cheese until soft dough forms. Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Mix margarine and garlic powder. Brush on warm biscuits before removing from pan. Makes about 10 biscuits. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tilapia Cakes with Lemon Dill Sauce

I have been stuck-in-the-bed sick for the last two days. My husband has been amazing taking care of both me and our daughter. He always brought me a fresh glass of water when mine was getting low and the ice cubes had melted. He played picnic with our little girl and read her the same book 30 times. He was a trooper. 

So today, since I was finally feeling better, I wanted to make up for the frozen pizza he had cooked for himself the last two nights. 

We both love crab cakes, and I've been wanting to try to make some, but tonight we didn't have crab. We had tilapia. So I made tilapia cakes. They were amazing! The sauce really added the finishing touch. I served it with cucumber salad (for me) and corn on the cob (for him). Baby girl even ate some of the fish! It was easy and fast. I will definitely keep this recipe on stand-by. 

3 small tilapia fillets, cooked
1 egg
1 cup mashed potatoes (I used leftovers)
A splash of lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbs Parmesan cheese
2 tbs Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
Flour for dusting
Oil for frying

Heat oil in skillet over medium/medium-high heat. 
Combine all ingredients except flour in a bowl to make a dough. 
Form dough into small portions and coat in flour. 
Fry for about 90 seconds on each side. 

Ingredients for sauce
2 tbs mayo
1 tbs lemon juice
3 "shakes" of dill (from a spice rack)

Combine all ingredients and spread over tilapia cakes. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Beef Quinoa Taco Bowl from Ready Set Eat!

I am thrilled to bring you a fantastic recipe from the folks at! It sounds amazing, and I can't wait to try it!

Author Bio: This is a guest post by Elizabeth L. on behalf of ReadySetEat. Visit to find pasta salad recipes and some dinner ideas, too.

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy tacos!  Try this twist on the traditional taco by having it with quinoa instead of a tortilla.  This Beef Taco Quinoa Bowl will have all the flavor of a regular taco but will be much less messy.  This could even be a fun dish at a family picnic.  This is definitely an easy recipe for dinner!  It only takes a total of twenty-five minutes to make.

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 3/4 pound ground round beef (85% lean)
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 can (14.5 oz. each) Hunt's® Diced Tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 pkg. (1.25 oz. each) taco seasoning mix
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • Shredded lettuce and sour cream, optional

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions, adding the garlic salt.
  2. Meanwhile, cook beef and onion in large skillet over medium-high heat 7 minutes or until beef is crumbled and no longer pink, stirring occasionally; drain. Stir in undrained tomatoes, seasoning mix and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Divide quinoa evenly between 4 bowls. Spoon meat mixture evenly over quinoa. Sprinkle each serving with cheese. Top with lettuce and sour cream, if desired.

Cook's Tips

Quinoa is typically found in the rice and pasta section of supermarkets. Rinse well before cooking to remove the natural bitter coating, if it is not pre-washed.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Admit One

My father-in-law is one of the kindest, most soft-spoken individuals I've ever met. He is always there whenever his kids need something. He loves his granddaughter so much. He doesn't ever ask for anything. This year for Father's Day, we wanted to do something special for him. 

Ever since he attended his first concert in 1981, he has been saving his ticket stubs from games, concerts, and races. He had them all in an overflowing gallon sized ziploc bag hidden away in a drawer. I told him I needed them, and he was not to ask why. After many promises to take care of them, the ticket stubs were handed over. 

I had a display box, and I traced and painted the words "admit one" on the front of the glass. I filled the display box with the ticket stubs, placing the most favorite, meaningful stubs in the front. His first concert ticket, a football ticket from my husband's first year as band director. Many others. 

I was so excited to give this to him. A collection spanning 33 years deserves to be displayed! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

DIY Chalk Painted Dresser

I have seen so many people re-do pieces of furniture using chalk paint. They look amazing! And they should. That stuff is pricey. 

My husband has had this dresser since before we started dating. It is in really good condition, so we've kept it and used it as a buffet and now in the guest room. However, my husband's dresser that he is using now is an antique and it's falling apart after being moved so many times. We are going to take this piece and put it in our bedroom. 

Our bedroom is a work in progress. Since no one ever sees it, it hasn't been a priority to get fixed or even decorated for that matter. But recently I bought a new comforter set that matches the really pretty deep teal of our walls. It has some cream and taupe with it that goes perfectly with our cream curtains. Our furniture is not so matched. In fact, it doesn't go at all. We have a black desk/night table, a wooden chest of drawers, and a different-type-of-wooden dresser. I love all the chalk painted pieces I have seen and thought that instead of buying all new furniture, I could paint what we have. 

I followed the recipe from

It was the best of several recipes I tried. It's 1/2 c plaster of Paris, 1/2 cup water. Mix it VERY well and pour it into a cup of paint. I had the perfect cream color to match my curtains leftover from painting my kitchen, so all I had to buy was the paster of Paris- $4 in walmart's craft section! Much cheaper than the "real stuff"!

I painted the dresser with three coats of the paint and sanded it with 180 grit sandpaper to give it a worn look. 

After sanding, I coated it with three coats of Minwax Polycrylic. I could have used the wax stuff, but Walmart didn't have any. Besides, this worked just as well with less effort. Plus, it dries clear and doesn't yellow, so it's perfect for my creamy dresser. 

I absolutely LOVE the transformation! And it was so easy. I can't wait to get started on the other pieces and get this beauty into my bedroom!

PEP Talks- 15 months

Hello once again! I thought I'd make an appearance to let everyone know what I've been up to since my first birthday.  I have been so very busy learning new things and having new experiences!

So in my last post I was bragging that I had started walking just a little bit.  Well, you should see me now! I can run! And, boy, do I love to run.  I also love to climb.  I have recently discovered that I can climb up Mom's chair, climb over the arm rest, and drop safely down to the other side.  I like to do this over and over.  I imagine that I am a mountain climber scaling the highest peaks.  It is so exciting!

Back in April, Mom and Dad took me to the most wonderful place! They called it the zoo.  It was amazing! So many animals, many I'd never seen before.  There was a horse as tall as a tree! Mom said it was a giraffe.  There was also a really funny-looking, hairy baby. I know he was a baby because he crawled around on his hands and feet. And his mommy didn't even have a diaper on him! Dad said it was a baboon.  That's a really funny name for a baby.

There was also a train ride, and I got to try ice cream for the first time.  It was very cold, but very delicious! Since I know how to walk, Mom and Dad let me get out of my stroller and walk with them.  I felt like such a big girl! I even helped Daddy push the stroller! It was a marvelous day!

I have been having so much fun playing, but I have been learning, too!  I know so many words! I know names for people in my family, like Mama, Daddy, Papa, Paigey, and Cake! My uncle's name is Jacob, and I try to say "Jake" but it comes out sounding like Cake.  That's ok.  I love Cake- the food and the uncle!  I also know names for some of my favorite things: Cat, dog, bites, juice, bottle, crackers... I will tell people yes, no, bye-bye, hello, night-night, thank you... When I eat my food (I am getting better at trying new things), I say "Mmmm... Good!"  When you sneeze, I even say "Bless You!"  I know.  I'm so polite!

I love being called a "good girl."  When I do something that I'm not supposed to (Who me? Never!), I will stop when you tell me to, and then tell you I am a good girl for doing so.  Then, I will pretend to do it again so you will tell me no so I can obey you and be a "good girl" again! I love compliments!  I try to be on my best behavior.  Mom and Dad do not let me have fits; believe me, I've tried.  But apparently it is ok for other kids to have fits.  Like the little boy in Target.  He was screaming so loud he hurt my ears.  And my mom did NOTHING!! If I had been doing that, she would have been upset with me.  So since she wasn't going to handle it, I took it upon myself to do something about it.  I looked at that little boy from my seat in the buggy and told him very clearly: "No-no.  Stop."  He didn't hear me over his screaming, but his mommy did.  His mommy seemed to get mad at my mommy.  Mom pushed me away quickly.  I said, "Uh-oh..." Perhaps I shouldn't have said anything, but something had to be done to stop his screaming.  

So I've got talking and walking down pat.  I have recently taken up the drums.  I'm not very coordinated yet, so my Neil Peart impression is still a little off.  I'm not worried.  Drumming runs in my family.  Both of my grandfathers, my daddy, and my uncle Anthony are great drummers.  If I keep practicing, I know I'll be as good as them!

Now that it is summer, Mom and Dad get to stay home with me everyday, and we are making the most of it!  We play outside and inside and read stories.  We go on errands all around the town.  I love getting to spend time with them!


Between my birthday and turning 15 months old, we celebrated Easter and Mother's Day. I got my mom a beautiful ring with my birthstone. She loves it so much! We also went to a family reunion and helped Mom's childhood friend celebrate graduating from medical school!  She has a little girl like me, so it was fun getting to play with her! 

I am excited to keep learning and keep growing.  Speaking of growing, I am 30" tall and still weighing 19 lbs, 4 oz.  I am in the 20th-30th percentile for everything.  My doctor says I've leveled off.  I'm just going to be petite.  

I have been so busy these last few months!  Never slowing down; that's my motto.  Running and talking and playing... it's good to be a toddler!

Until next time!

Parker E. Poe

Friday, June 6, 2014

Better Homes and Gardens Baked Rice Pudding

This summer, after our daughter goes to bed, my husband and I have been recreating some recipes in my cookbooks- ones that we've seen but not had time to try. Tonight we made baked rice pudding from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. It turned out very well, but the real fun comes from the time we spend together in the kitchen. Here is the recipe we made. I hope you enjoy making it with your family!

3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 c milk
1/3 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup cooked rice (we had a lot left over from dinner a few night ago, and it worked perfectly)
Ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325. Combine eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until blended but not foamy. Pour rice into 6 cup casserole dish. Place casserole dish inside a 2 quart baking dish, and place on oven rack. Pour boiling water into 2 quart baking dish until the water comes halfway up the sides of the casserole dish. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Stir and top with a sprinkling of nutmeg. Bake for 20 more minutes. Remove from water and allow to cool slightly. Serve warm or cold. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Even though it has been a very long, nap-free day with a clingy baby girl attached to my leg, I miss her at night after she's gone to bed. The house is quiet. The toys are put away. My attention is not divided. I can do what I want. But I find that all I want to do is watch my sweet girl sleep. Being a parent is nonstop. It can be difficult. It can be tiring. But I cannot even remember my life before her. I would not ever want to go back. She is my heart living outside of my body. Even the toughest days are better than any day I had without her. She has her dad's big brown eyes and my smile. She is so smart. She is so energetic and kind. I am so blessed to have been given this gift, this perfect little girl. She takes my breath away and melts my heart. She is everything. 

Crockpot Chicken Ranch Enchiladas with Sour Cream Sauce


Makes 6 enchiladas

Three boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 8oz package cream cheese
1 package dry ranch seasoning
1 can rotel, undrained
1 tbs each garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin
Dash of salt

Place chicken in bottom of crockpot. Cover with seasonings and coat. Add rotel and ranch mix. Add cream cheese. Cook in low for 6 hours, stirring after two hours to combine cheese. After cooking, shred chicken. Spread chicken mixture into six tortillas and place into greased casserole dish. Preheat oven to 350, and prepare sauce. 

3 tbs butter
3 tbs flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin
1 heaping tbs sour cream

Melt butter. Add flour and form a paste. Add chicken broth and seasonings. Simmer until sauce thickens. Whisk in sour cream. 

Pour sauce over enchiladas. Bake at 350 for 20 min. Remove from oven and top with shredded cheese. Broil for three minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden. Remove from oven. Top servings with salsa if desired. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Italian Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

3 chicken breasts, cubed
1 package frozen broccoli florets
1 cup Italian dressing
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 block cream cheese
Salt and pepper
Shredded Italian cheese blend 

Blend the dressing, soup, and cream cheese until smooth. Add chicken and broccoli. Add salt and pepper. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Top with cheese. Broil for additional 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden.