Five Easy Recipes You’ve Got to Try Right Now

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Up until I quit my job to stay at home, Jon did all of the cooking in our house.  We’re pretty awful at meal planning, so we’d get home from work, play with Adelaide, do bath and bedtime and by the time that was over we’d sit down, exhausted, with no idea what’s for dinner.  Jon’s one request regarding cooking, now that I stay home, is that I just figure out what we’re having for dinner.

He still doesn’t mind doing the cooking, he just doesn’t want to think about what he’s going to make.  We’d often be like “Let’s have this for dinner!” and then realize we were out of ingredients, didn’t feel like running to the store (even though it’s literally 20 feet away), so we’d scrounge up something else or get delivery.

Now that I’m home I have a bit more time to look at recipes, take trips to the store with Adelaide to grab whatever we need, and prep dinner.  I’ve cooked every single one of these meals I’m posting, so you know they’re fool proof.  And on days I let Jon do the cooking, I try to get all the spices he’ll need out, defrost the meat, etc.

{click each meal title for recipe}

Italian Tortellini Soup

My notes: I used spicy sausage and just regular diced tomatoes.  I’d honestly never heard of Rotel, and loved it just the same without.  I served with homemade garlic bread on a french baguette (just cut down the center lengthwise and lather with butter, crushed garlic and some Parmesan), which brought the meal to another level.  This soup freezes perfectly, which was so nice to pull out on a day when we got home from a trip and had no groceries.  I also sent it to a friend who just had a baby, and he sent me a text that night asking for the recipe.  Win.

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Copycat Recipe

My notes: Okay, yes I like soup and I like sausage.  I’m not sure which soup I liked better.  Both were delicious.  This soup was super easy to make, and we basically stuck to the recipe exactly.  We served the Warm Bacon Salad (see next recipe), mostly because they used a lot of the same ingredients, so we had everything on hand.

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

My notes: I’m not sure I can convey to you how delicious this salad is.  I may have eaten some for breakfast this morning.  My only real edit is that I used regular balsamic instead of white, because after googling, decided there wasn’t much difference and it wasn’t worth buying something unnecessary.  We cut the onion really well by throwing it in our mini food processor.  Cutting onion in the food processor is my new favorite find.  Saves time and my eyes from getting all teary.  We saved the unused dressing in the fridge and just heat it up in the microwave before serving again.

Biscuit Topped Chicken Pot Pie

My notes: A few weeks ago we were having one of those cold rainy days and I wanted chicken pot pie so badly.  I found this recipe on Campbell’s site and it was beyond easy.  I’m pretty sure Adelaide could have done this one.  I used both frozen and canned veggies, because that’s what I had on hand.  I also pulled the biscuits to make them thinner before putting them on top, which I definitely suggest doing.

Best Breakfast Potatoes Ever

My notes: Technically this falls under the breakfast category, but who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner?  Okay, me.  But these help me like breakfast.  Maybe even look forward to it.  I served these with a breakfast burrito, that was equally delicious.  I kept some peppers and onions aside to use in the burritos, sauteed them in some butter for a few minutes, then added some pre-cooked chicken sausage and eggs right to that pan, cooked until the eggs were done, and put on a flour tortilla.  I then topped with some freshly grated Parmesan and salsa (I’m a big fan of Newman’s salsa) and rolled it up.  Delicious.

So there you have it.  Five meals you need to try.  Right now.

Not only are these easy, but they make me look like a super chef.  My husband is so impressed with his formerly undomestic wife suddenly making delicious meals.

You’re welcome.

Ashley’s Bridal Shower

the baloney bug

I had the pleasure of throwing my friend Ashely’s bridal shower a few weeks ago, and it was so much fun!  I made a spread of what is quickly becoming my usual go-to items: cake pops, fruit cups, chicken salad on croissants and some other sweet treats.

I love that a bridal shower gives you the setting to meet some of the people closest to the bride before the big day, so that when her day does come, you know quite a few faces.  I had a great time getting to know these ladies and can’t wait to see them all again when we’re dressed in our formal wear!


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(family secret: croissants and pre-made chicken salad are both from Costco and neither disappoint!)

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The beautiful invitations were provided by Wedding Paperie and were seriously gorgeous.  I got so many compliments on them!  You could leave them as they were designed, or customize any detail.  I loved that you could also print on the backside for no additional charge.  If you’re planning an event in the near future I would definitely recommend them!  You can see all of the bridal shower invitations here.


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I know that most people toss favors when they get home, so I almost didn’t do one.  And then as I was putting my hair in a ponytail it just came to me, “Ashely and Edward tie the knot!”

Hair ties!

I already had a ton of elastic ribbon from making headbands for Adelaide, so I picked up some kraft tags from Michaels and printed up this sign that reads “Ashely and Edward tie the knot.  Please take one!” and displayed them by the door.  Every single one of them was gone, so I’d say it was a well received favor!  For those who are interested, you can buy the elastic here.

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the baloney bug

Congratulations, Ashley!  I’m so excited for you and Edward and can’t wait to celebrate with you on your big day!

Breaking Bad Cake Pops

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The series finale of Breaking Bad is mere minutes away and I’ve got the baby in bed and the tv tuned in.  I’ve been waiting all week for this, and it’s here!  In honor of the best tv show ever, I’ve made a few snacks.

We’ve got the Walter White cake pops.  I made regular cake pops, dipped them in white candy melts and topped them with crushed up jolly ranchers.  So easy.

Jon requested a few “Grey Matter” themed cake pops, so I made a few grey ones and rolled them sprinkles I had leftover from a New Years project.

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And last, but not least, we have the Jesse Pinkman Vodka Pink Lemonade.  Oh yes, I’m ready.  Share your thoughts on the finale!

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Jesse Pinkman Pink Vodka Lemonade

2 oz Vodka

2 oz Lemon Juice

1 oz Cranberry

1 oz Simple Syrup

Add water to taste (about 3 oz)

Baby’s First Food

the baloney bug Adelaide has been showing interest in food for a while now, so for her 6 month birthday we decided to let her get a little taste.  There are seven million different decisions you have to make when starting solids, so the task was a bit daunting.  And also, once you start feeding a baby real food… you have to keep feeding the baby real food.  And the food.  It gets everywhere.


We decided to skip the oatmeals and rice cereals for a variety of reasons and head straight to real people food.  I chose avocado to start with, thinking Adelaide could hold it herself and it was soft enough that her still toothless mouth could mush up.

Brady also seemed to quite love meal time.  He generally keeps his distance from the baby, but during her meal he was glued next to her chair.  He was licking her feet as food fell, sitting patiently waiting for scraps.  I think meal time just might make best buddies out of these two.

the baloney bug

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the baloney bug ha, love that face

the baloney bug he loves his baby…or rather he loves the food she drops

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Also, I’d like to give a big internet hug to everyone who sent messages or reached out supporting me since I’ve returned to work.  It’s been so crazy difficult, and I can’t thank you all enough for the support.  And also, tomorrow is Friday.

Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches

the baloney bug

Being home during the day means a bit more daytime television than I’m used to.  I’ve seen a lot of recipes and I’ve tried exactly two of them.

For Father’s Day I decided to try to give these Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches a try.  The cookies alone were amazing, throw in a chocolate or peanut butter filling and ohmygosh, this is what dreams are made of.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

These were crazy easy to make and were a total crowd pleaser.

And by “crowd pleaser” I mean, “I ate them all“.

Love is Sweet

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This past weekend I threw a bridal shower for my friend Jessica.  We became quick friends when she started dating Jon’s best friend Matt.

I always used to tell Matt that I wanted him to date someone who I could be friends with, so I was pretty excited when he introduced me to Jess.

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I of course had to have a mimosa bar, because what event is complete without a little booze?  I served the champagne with grapefruit, orange juice and raspberry lemonade.  The raspberry lemonade was by far the most popular choice (probably because it was awesome).

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This cheese board is actually Jon’s masterpiece.  Thank goodness I had him around to help set up before the shower because preparing for a shower with a newborn takes a tiny bit longer than I expected.

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I used this recipe for the cucumber topping.  It’s just Boursin cheese and a tiny bit of heavy cream.  Easy and awesome.  Done and done.

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Then there were cheesecake pops.  Oh, cheesecake pops.

True story: I tried to make my very first cheesecake the day before the shower while Adelaide was napping.  I rushed through it and got it in the oven literally at the same time that she woke up.  I baked it for an hour and then let it cool in the oven for the recommended five hours.

And then I forgot about it.

The next morning I woke up and realized my mistake.  I’m pretty sure the guests wouldn’t have appreciated eating a cheesecake that had been sitting out for twenty four hours, so I had to throw it out and send Jon to buy a store bought one.  The worst part isn’t that I had to throw out a perfectly good cheesecake, it’s that I wasted an entire two hour nap.

Next time I would skip trying to make it from scratch and just buy a store bought one to begin with.

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Congratulations to Matt and Jessica.  We couldn’t be more excited for you!

Buffalo Chicken Tacquitos

the baloney bug -buffalo chicken tacquitos

In a hunt for easy recipes, I of course took to Pinterst and found these buffalo chicken tacquitos.  They looked easy to make and we had almost all of the ingredients already in our fridge.  I made them during the day and refrigerated them until Jon got home from work, then we just popped them in the oven.

You can see the original recipe here.

the baloney bug -buffalo chicken tacquitos

the baloney bug -buffalo chicken tacquitos

the baloney bug -buffalo chicken tacquitos

They were easy and delicious.

Also, these pictures are making me hungry.

Breakfast for Dinner

breakfast for dinner

In the four and a half years that Jon and I have been married, we haven’t had breakfast for dinner once.  Not one single time.  Shocking, I know.

Maybe it’s because I don’t like breakfast foods.

So when Jon wanted pancakes the other night I agreed, with the condition that they could be pumped full of chocolate chips and then I would top my stack with powdered sugar.  Because what’s better than a breakfast food than a breakfast food covered in sugar?

I have to say, they were pretty darn good.  But then again, so are most things garnished with sugar.

Strawberry Pistachio Salad

the baloney bug

Lately it seems like I’ve been living off of this salad.  I pack it for lunch, I make it as a side dish for dinner and I’ve brought it to dinner parties.

Growing up my parents would always bet each other that they were right, and the loser had to buy the winner a bag of pistachios.  So now every time I bring home pistachios Jon asks me if I lost a bet.  Doesn’t really matter because either way I’ve got pistachios.

To make the best ever salad, throw in a handful of the following:

Pistachios (Trader Joe’s sells them unshelled– I buy them unsalted)


Chopped Onion

Dried Cranberries

Goat Cheese

Toss with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic.  You can also add chicken to make it a heartier meal (and barbeque chicken is a surprisingly delightful addition).

also known as "delicious"

Seriously, take my word for it.  Go make this salad.

No really.  Go right now.

Nutter Butter Truffles

the baloney bug - nutter butter truffles I may have a bit of a secret addiction to Nutter Butters.  When Jon and I were in the airport headed to Fiji I stopped in one of the newsstands and picked up a bag of them.  Next thing I know a full on addiction had been formed.  Ohmygosh, so good.

So when one of my friends said she’d seen the idea of Nutter Butter Truffles floating around the internet I knew I immediately had to try my hand at them.  Ridiculously easy, ridiculously delicious.

the baloney bug - nutter butter truffles Throw the entire package of Nutter Butters into the food processor and blend down until it’s all crumbs.

the baloney bug - nutter butter truffles Mix in a stick of cream cheese.  You can start with a spoon, but you’re going to have to get your hands in there to really blend it together.

the baloney bug - nutter butter truffles Form the cream cheese and Nutter Butter mixture into balls.

the baloney bug - nutter butter truffles Dip into melted chocolate.  I use Wilton Candy Melts, like I use for making cake pops.

the baloney bug - nutter butter truffles For a little extra pizzaz I throw the extra chocolate into a bag and drizzle over the truffles.  Instant fanciness.

the baloney bug - nutter butter truffles Refrigerate them for a bit and then break off all the excess chocolate.  Serve up to your friends and impress them all.

Or just keep them all for yourself.  I won’t tell.