Friday, February 28, 2014

Fantastical Friday

We've finally got word back on my car (from the minor accident) that sounds like good news. My air intake was knocked loose and that's why my car wasn't starting - an easy fix. Hopefully, we will get her back before noon today and be able to get on the road tomorrow! We've stayed a week longer than we wanted and we really need to be back home.

It has been really fun though with all the animals - especially the puppies. I also got to do a little of the caretaking of the chickens - which is a nice preparation for hopefully a year out when we are able to have our own chickens.

Top left: Me playing with the puppies on their first jailbreak out of the crated area.
Top right: Some of the ladies.
Bottom left: Puddin (chocolate with caramel markings), Dixie (silver), and Tank (yellow)
Bottom right: Paisley (black) sleeping

In other, nonanimal-related news, I am now available for hire as a Virtual Blog Assistant. To find out what all services I provide, check out this post.

And lastly, a little blog love with some sharing of my favorite foodie finds this week :)

Fantastical Friday - Behind the scenes and a #recipe round up - don't miss out!

Almond Joy Pudding Cookies from Chef in Training
Creamy Chicken Pasta from Iowa Girl Eats
Triple Peanut Butter Monster Cookie Bars from Averie Cooks
Banana Nut Cinnamon Rolls from Inside BruCrew Life

Almond & Cream Trifle from Spoonful
Moist Chocolate Cupcakes with Oreo Cream Cheese Frosting from Cupcake Passion
Chocolate Peanut Butter Lovers' Granola from Sally's Baking Addiction
Chicken Pesto Quinoa from Culinary Mamas

Ravoli & Italian Sausage Skillet from Damn Delicious
Soft-Baked Reese's Pieces Butterscotch Cookies from Sally's Baking Addiction

Peach Mango Pineapple White Sangria from Averie Cooks
Peanut Butter Hot Fudge Reese's Brownies from Something Swanky

Have a great weekend!!


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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Extra Cheese Pizza

Extra Cheese Pizza | Check out this pizza topped with tons of cheese and a hint of basil! #homemade #pizza #cheese

Even though I make pizza often, often enough to know my pizza crust recipe by heart, I have never made just cheese pizza. We always have some type of meat or veggie on it. I think the kids were very excited to try out a homemade cheese pizza. They like cheese pizza a ton.

When Sally posted her recipe for Extra Cheese Pizza, I knew I had to make it asap and I did. I fit it into the meal plan for that month and I've made it twice since then. It's the right combination of cheeses and the basil is the perfect addition.

But honestly, the best part is the homemade crust. You can't make a good homemade pizza without a good homemade crust. I have been making mine for so long now that other pizzas are ruined. I like mine the best and I pride myself on making one mean pizza!

Extra Cheese Pizza | Check out this pizza topped with tons of cheese and a hint of basil! #homemade #pizza #cheese

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Are You Looking for a Blog Assistant?

Have you ever thought to yourself "I wish I had more time to add my blog to all those linky parties!" or "I never get to pin during peak hours" or "I should have added tags to all my blog posts from the beginning"? All bloggers can go through an overwhelming time period where they don't know where to begin with social media, promoting their blogs, etc. That's where I come in.

Overwhelmed with blogging? You may need a blog assistant! Check out what services I offer

Update 4/9/2014: I'm no longer offering some of the services and packages. Please review what has changed. Thanks!

Update 6/12/2014: ATTENTION SRC MEMBERS: Until Sept 15, I am offering an hourly rate of $5 to help set up recipe indexes. If you have a Wordpress blog, I may be able to still set up a recipe index for you - just send me an email before booking anything.

As your virtual assistant (VA), I can...
  • Help with blog basics like design, tags, recipe indexes, etc (for Blogger blogs only)
  • Basic photo editing (to include adding text/watermark or making a collage)
  • Managing sponsors, guest posts, giveaways, contributors/round ups, etc
  • Social media promotion on Twitter, Facebook, Stumbleupon, and Pinterest on mine and/or your own accounts
  • Adding posts to various linky parties throughout the week
{If something you are needing help with or looking for is not listed, email me at fantasticalsharing1 at gmail dot com and if I don't know how to do it, I can point you in the direction of someone who does}
I have hourly rates and packages. My hourly rate of $13/hour applies to all services except social media and linky parties, which are package deals you can find below. All payments are made through Paypal.

To reserve a spot for hourly, you can book me here:

    {Pinterest Pals} - $10 a week
    With over 17k followers on Pinterest, I will pin up to 5 posts of your choice to my boards and group boards during peak hours Monday through Saturday. A majority of my group boards are food/recipe related. If you would like me to also pin to your boards, your account information will need to be provided. {3 spots available}

    {Linky Love} - $10 a week
    Choose up to 3 posts to be linked up to over 20 linky parties throughout the week. I have noted when the linky parties go live and will do my best to get them up as soon as possible once the party is live. {3 spots available 2 spots left}

    To reserve my services, please email me at
    If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.


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    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

    Maple Bacon Burgers

    Maple Bacon Burgers | | #burger #bacon #beer #maple

    These burgers were another deployment experiment. I wanted to see how good they would be before I made them for Nick when he got home. I've yet to make them since he did get back from deployment, but they are definitely on the list.

    Nick has this obsession with maple. So maple + bacon + beer = a happy husband. The burgers were really delicious and even with the crappy college beer, the beer made them so good! I really would love to try this recipe with a maple porter. I think it'd be a fabulous beer to have with the maple bacon :)

    Maple Bacon Burgers | | #burger #bacon #beer #maple

    Monday, February 24, 2014

    Pecan Pie Brownies

    Pecan Pie Brownies | Who said it needs to be a holiday to enjoy some pecan pie?!

    I am going to say something that may shock a lot of people...

    I don't like pies will pretty much only eat pumpkin pie and that's it.

    Nick loves pie though and his favorite is definitely pecan pie. I've tried to compromise over the years because I do like pecans. I've made pecan pie cheesecake - which is something he brags about excessively to anyone who will listen and I ended up making for him when he got home from deployment.

    Since I couldn't find any sugar pumpkins at Thanksgiving time, I decided to try a different variation of pecan pie. Nick wasn't home for Thanksgiving, so I pretty much had free reign to pick whatever I wanted. I decided upon these brownies from Dorothy of Crazy for Crust.

    Pecan Pie Brownies | Who said it needs to be a holiday to enjoy some pecan pie?!

    They have this layer of flaky buttery crust and then I used Ghirardelli brownies because they are literally the best kind there is. The pecan pie filling on top is so perfect. I just can't take the way these 3 layers work together, but they really do and it's one of the best desserts I've ever made for a holiday.

    Friday, February 21, 2014

    Fantastical Friday

    After having my car for 7 years with no major issues or accidents, her day finally came. My husband was driving and a lady gunned it out of her hidden driveway right in front of him and he had no time to stop. My poor baby didn't look bad (and luckily our airbags didn't deploy and Nick is completely fine), but it's hard to get her to start and if you put it in drive, she dies. So now we're waiting on the people the insurance have contracted for appraisals to stop horsing around and get on the appraising. They tried to tell us there was no mechanical damage...funniest joke I've heard in a long time. Plus we're visiting family out of state...we were supposed to leave today, but that's not happening.

    Nick picked a 2014 VW Jetta for our rental while we wait to hear word on my car. My first car was a 1994 VW Jetta :) A little nostalgia...although the '94 was way better than the 2014. Holy blindspots, Batman! The color is gorgeous though - it's this really pretty sapphire-like color! And the trunk is still enormous in this updated version.

    We've also spent the last week fighting off viruses or something. I got better just to catch something else, so I spent one whole day just sleeping. Lots of time in bed means lots of time to pin...if you don't follow me on Pinterest - you totally should: here. I also joined Instagram and have been posting tons of pictures of all the animals here at my family's house. My mom-in-law's black lab got pregnant by their now-10 month old chocolate lab and she had 7 puppies. They are 3 weeks old and so adorable. So follow me for puppy pictures!

    As for the pinning, here are some foodie/blog finds for this week:
    Fantastical Friday | A weekly life recap and some blog love with a recipe roundup {click through to find recipes pictured}

    Chocolate Pretzel Pecan Shortbread Bars from The Bitter Side of Sweet | Malibu Sunset from Averie Cooks | Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes from Makobi Scribe | Hawaiian Pizza with Easy Beer Crust from Bev Cooks | Cake Mix Cherry Cheesecake from Real Housemoms | Homemade Chai Tea from Cooking in Stilettos | Mini Butterfinger Pies in Jars from Crumbs & Chaos | Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce from Damn Delicious | Bacon Jalapeno Popper Twice Baked Potatoes from Real Housemoms | Shirley Temples from This Lil Piglet


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    Thursday, February 20, 2014

    Turkey Club Wrap

    Turkey Club Wrap | A quick and yummy wrap that tastes like a classic club sandwich

    I've become the worst at taking pictures of my food that I've made so I can blog them. Especially since Nick got home from deployment and I've been redoing recipes that I've already blogged or have scheduled to post. This is one of those instances. I made the wrap a few months ago and loved it. But totally forgot to take a picture.

    I realized it was coming up while we were going to be visiting family in Tennessee, so I put it on the menu for the week before we left. I actually edited and uploaded the pictures the day we left. They are fantastic little wraps. Full of flavor and you can customize them how you would like. In the version pictured, I don't have any bacon bits and I subbed the cheddar cheese for Parm.

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014

    One Pot Cheeseburger Casserole

    One Pot Cheeseburger Casserole | Dirty just one pot with this delicious #recipe

    Right now, my most consistently popular recipe that I've posted is the One Pot Spaghetti (recipe from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures). It's insanely popular. So I'm back with a new one pot recipe that I've found from No. 2 Pencil. This one is a little variation and so delicious and cheesy! You can really vary how it tastes with whatever you choose to top it with. I had a Pin-friend tell me that she had subbed BBQ sauce for the ketchup and it was extraordinary, so if y'all make this one with variations, please comment and let me know how it tasted.

    One Pot Cheeseburger Casserole | Dirty just one pot with this delicious #recipe

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014

    Salted Peanut Nutella Puppy Chow

    Salted Peanut Nutella Puppy Chow | Regardless of if you call it puppy chow or muddy buddies, this recipe is amazing!

    Salted Peanut Nutella Puppy Chow | Regardless of if you call it puppy chow or muddy buddies, this recipe is amazing!

    You cannot go wrong with traditional puppy chow or muddy buddies, but I've loved the variations I've tried so far: Thin Mint and Milky Way. I was dying to try another one as soon as possible. I figured the best time would be Christmas season since there's a lot of snacking around the holidays. We really loved this combination - it was just perfection to have the Nutella and salty peanuts.

    Monday, February 17, 2014

    Stuffed Pepper Soup

    Stuffed Pepper Soup | Delicious, hearty soup with turkey sausage and sweet bell peppers. #recipe

    Soup is one of my favorite things in the world when done right. I'm not sure how folks are able to stomach the red can chicken noodle soup. I mean, the noodles are soggy. There are two teeny pieces of chicken and just enough carrots to pretend like you ate some veggies. Not to mention, it's just salt. Blech!

    Each Wednesday night, we have soup night as a family during the colder months. I like to make a variety of different soups - all of them with lots of veggies and different things going on. This is one of my all-time favorite soups because not only does it have bell peppers, tomatoes, and zucchini - it also has Italian sausage (of the turkey variety). It's just the most delicious, hearty soup I think I've ever eaten. Leftovers are even better. The flavors just seem to get more and more better!

    Friday, February 14, 2014

    Fantastical Friday

    Let me just start by saying how amazing it is to be home (in Tennessee)! Last Friday, there was no Fantastical Friday because we were getting ready to leave and we left home a lot sooner than expected because New York was like, "Hey guys, you're leaving tomorrow? I'm gonna drop a foot of snow on you!" I'll have to post a picture of that soon. Maybe on Instagram - I just got one! Our 6 foot privacy fence is no longer visible. School and work was cancelled, but the roads weren't too bad once you got off post, so we left around noon and made it here to Tennessee around 3am.

    We did happen to bring the snow with us - we got about 5 inches on Wednesday night. But that's fine because there are plenty of animals in the house to cuddle. One of my in-law's dogs got the other dog pregnant and she just had 7 puppies. My brother-in-law's dog and cat are also here because he just took off to Germany. Plus my sister-in-law's cat is staying here too. This is in addition to another cat plus a bunny and the outdoor animals: 2 pigs and 5 chickens. We're in the city, but it's a lot like living on a farm!

    3 of the pups - 2 chocolates and a yellow :)

    My sister-in-law's kitty, Oky, who is a cuddlebug!

    The snow before it got dark out.

    I've had lots of time relaxing and pinning a ton of foodie things. Lots and lots of yummy stuff!
    Fantastical Friday | My favorite foodie finds (find links to the recipes when you click through) and life outside of blogging lately!

    Chicken & Potato Chowder from Damn Delicious | Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookies from LiveLovePasta | Italian Baked Eggs from Damn Delicious | No Bake Reese's Peanut Butter Bars from Sally's Baking Addiction | Chocolate Mint Brownie Milkshakes from Two Peas & Their Pod | Cherry Mash Brownies from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen | 10 Minute Baked Banana Bread Doughnut Holes from Sweet C's Designs | Valentine's Bark from Lil Luna | Toasted Butter Pecan Cake from Laura's Sweet Spot | Cherry Revitalizer Smoothies from Averie Cooks | Roasted Red Pepper & Asparagus Quinoa from Inside BruCrew Life | Turtle Brownies from Crazy For Crust | Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars from Averie Cooks


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    Thursday, February 13, 2014

    Tomato Basil Chicken

    Tomato Basil Chicken - a really simple dish with a ton of flavor - it's not to be missed!

    I was so excited to try out this recipe and I was NOT disappointed. It was just so good. The pictures don't do it a bit of justice. I didn't have a good selection of fresh tomatoes, so I used the Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes and it was just one of the best combinations of food I've ever eaten.

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

    Banana Pudding Poke Cake

    Banana Pudding Poke Cake - no need to choose between banana pudding and cake anymore! Have them both in this delicious #dessert

    I've made a few poke cakes in my time. This one takes the cake - sorry, just had to get a little punny up in here. It's the very best poke cake that I've made and eaten to date. It's got yellow cake on the bottom and banana pudding on top. It's honestly the most amazing cake in the whole wide world. You can also serve this with fresh bananas to have a more authentic banana pudding experience.

    Banana Pudding Poke Cake - no need to choose between banana pudding and cake anymore! Have them both in this delicious #dessert

    Banana Pudding Poke Cake - no need to choose between banana pudding and cake anymore! Have them both in this delicious #dessert

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

    Pork Parmesan

    Pork Parmesan | Switch it up a bit with a pork version of a classic Italian dish #recipe

    Sometimes you just gotta give in and jump on the bandwagon. Today's recipe is reminiscent of a time when I didn't like chicken parmesan and now I absolutely love it and I'm breaking out as many variation recipes as possible. I'm on that Chicken Parmesan Bandwagon. It's a good bandwagon to be on, folks. It's just straight up delicious food. This pork version was perfect. Panko bread crumbs helped to keep the breading crunchy and not soggy. The marinara is just right. And angel hair is just the pasta to keep the meat to pasta ratio correct.

    Another bandwagon that I jumped onto recently is the Instagram bandwagon. Nick got a Nexus 7 tablet to use during deployment and since we don't have smartphones, I held out as long as possible. You can follow me here:

    Monday, February 10, 2014

    Cheesy Zucchini Bread

    Cheesy Zucchini Bread | Delicious, soft bread with zucchini and two different cheeses #recipe

    This year for Thanksgiving, I decided to not go the traditional route with our bready-carby side dish. I wanted some zucchini bread and I had been dying to make this cheesy zucchini bread for the longest time. It was unbelievably delicious and moist. I would love to try this one with a wheat beer instead of milk - I think they would go really well together.

    Thursday, February 06, 2014

    Salted Caramel Coffee Creamer

    DIY Salted Caramel Coffee Creamer | 4 simple ingredients to make a delicious creamer for your #coffee

    My husband and I go through a ton of creamer. So it was about time for me to try and make my own - plus I wanted to try a recipe using it and I couldn't find Salted Caramel Mocha creamer anywhere. The only thing that is weird about making your own at home is that you do occasionally have to stir it up really good because some of the caramel/condensed milk likes to settle on the bottom. Otherwise, it's a great recipe and tastes so good!

    Wednesday, February 05, 2014

    Farmer's Market Spaghetti

    Farmer's Market Spaghetti - Roasted cherry tomatoes and pasta with a touch of balsamic vinaigrette #recipe

    This is a simple dish, but don't underestimate it because it's full of flavor. I really liked making this for just myself because no one else in the family really likes cherry tomatoes and balsamic anything is out of the question. It was for me until recently too, but I'm beginning to really love it.

    I can't wait to make it again - I want to add more roasted veggies to it. Asparagus, broccoli, spinach..any greens, really!

    Tuesday, February 04, 2014

    Peanut Butter Lover's Rice Krispie Treats

    Peanut Butter Lover's Rice Krispie Treats | Blow your family and friends' minds with these peanut butter packed treats!

    I've only made a few variations from regular old Rice Krispie treats over the years and I really just preferred the original to the variations....until this recipe!

    When I was really young, the church we went to used to have like a little brunch-y type coffee thing after the service. All the adults would socialize and us kids would grab some of the food and take off to play hide-and-seek because the church was huge. There were mint chocolate bars that were standard and so were peanut butter Rice Krispie treats with chocolate topping. We always called them Special K bars. These bars sated my appetite for those amazing treats that I haven't had in ages.

    They could not have been more perfect. I loved the Reese's cups in them - that just really made them incredibly delicious. They are so sinfully sweet and decadent and scrumptious and many other descriptive words that I can't think of right now.

    Monday, February 03, 2014

    Copycat Hodad Bacon Cheeseburgers

    Copycat Hodad Bacon Cheeseburgers | As seen on Triple D, these burgers have 2 patties - one ground beef and the other - BACON!

    At our house, we used to have pizza every Friday and I started getting really sick of it. I also really started to crave burgers. So now our routine is every other Friday is pizza (homemade, of course) and the other Fridays are burger nights!

    I've shared my love for Triple D a couple times, so when I found this recipe that was a take on something that aired on Triple D - I was infinitely more excited to try it. I remember watching the episode with the Hodad Bacon Cheeseburger and how much I really wanted to try it even though it's ginormous. That's definitely a burger you share.

    Copycat Hodad Bacon Cheeseburgers | As seen on Triple D, these burgers have 2 patties - one ground beef and the other - BACON!

    Copycat Hodad Bacon Cheeseburgers | As seen on Triple D, these burgers have 2 patties - one ground beef and the other - BACON!

    This version of the Hodad burger is much smaller, but still one of the best burgers ever. This burger contains a patty of cheesy bacony goodness. A bacon patty with 2 pieces of cheese. For the patty of bacon, I wasn't able to form one just like you do with ground beef, so I just put the bacon onto my griddle in little mounds and flattened them. Once they start crisping up, they start to stick together. It's definitely a learning process on what works best though - in the end, it's totally worth it.