Food Network Star S13 Ep4 Recap - Bell Pepper Bowls

On this week's episode of Chopped, contestants were placed into yet another group challenge, thrown in the woods to make camping food... that was far from camping food, and given baskets of certain death. 

Basically. 


I get that group challenges are probably easier to film and judge, but I'd like to see more of what the individuals are capable of without Matthew telling everyone how to do it.

1, 2, 3, 4, & 5

It's Friday, so let's recap the week... or week-ish. Almost nothing has happened this week thanks to deal old Tropical Storm Cindy. 

She barely made an appearance... but that didn't stop the universe from closing down this week. 

1. This was the night before the supposed storm hit. I thought the whole "Red Skys at Night, Sailor's Delight" was a tad off, turns out it was right. We dodged the storm, which was great because our town floods with a minor sprinkle. 

The town I teach in though floods with a north wind (pushes everything from the Gulf up into the bay and so forth) and they got a bit of flooding. 



Fruity Marshmallow Treats

This past week my mother and I took the kids and ventured up to Pawhuska, OK to visit the Pioneer Woman Mercantile. She grabbed a ton of fun treats from the coffee car, the Spicy Cowgirl Coffee & Chicken & Waffles Salt Water Taffy being my favorite, however ranking clearly in the top 3 was their marshmallow treats. 

Fruity Marshmallow Treats via @labride

I polished mine off the last 3 hours of the trip back slowly picking apart the contents and savoring every white chocolate drizzled bite. 

The Mercantile Road Trip Part 2

In a significantly shorter recap of day two, thanks in part to not taking my camera anywhere and getting all of these photos off of my mother's phone, I bring you day two of the adventure. 

In all fairness there was no way you can make a trip like this with small kids without a zoo visit. Being our second big zoo to visit this year (Nashville in February) and  living close to the Audubon, I have to say that the Tulsa Zoo is my favorite so far. 


Prices were better than Audubon, but the same as Nashville. There were more animals than in Nashville. As far as how nice it is, this one and Nashville rank the same.

The highlights were definitely all 400 turtle exhibits, Harrison is turtle obsessed right now and I nearly had to peel him off the tank in the photo above.

The Mercantile Road Trip Part 1

Last week we made the 9+ hour drive to north Tulsa to go up and visit Pawhuska, OK. 

Tulsa was chosen mainly for the zoo, gotta give the kiddos a chance to run off the trapped car energy and not start a revolt against every mother in that town. 

I took a good handful pics, so let's walk around and I give you the deets on everything we did and how beautiful the area was. (true story I've long since longed to live in the country... my disdain for the deep deep south of Louisiana runs equally deep. I despise the swamp to be honest.)




I had to snap a few of my nutcase running wild in the upstairs coffee bar area. He was completely done with being held captive and let it be known while his grandmother spent the rest of our yearly earnings at the bakery/coffee area collecting everything else we didn't require to live.


Food Network Star S13 Ep3 Recap - The Mountains of Detroit

This particular episode was underwhelming, but not because of the contestants, the topic was just awful. 

Team captains were chosen. 

Teammates were picked like a 5th grade wiffle ball game. 

And then... then... the dang theme was places and a 5 course meal. Like the forest was pasta and I still to this moment in time can't figure out what the heck the forest has to do with pasta. 

The theme was just awful. 


Ever more awful than the theme was the group of people they had tasting the food. 

Meal Pinning Monday (but clearly it's Sunday)

Back from our mini road trip to The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska & it's real life and cooking.

Which might I add is less stressful than a dang road trip with a toddler.

I'm going to be uncovering puppy and turtle stickers in that car and on my body for weeks to come.

No joke I peeled one off my body in the shower the other day, they are EVERYWHERE!



[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

Food Network Star S13 Ep2 Recap - #TeamLibrary

On this week's episode of Emily hasn't been in town and near a computer so the blog has gone largely neglected... two people got kicked off the show.


On this particular episode that I've had too many sleeps since watching and can vaguely remember some details, Team Library also known as Cory + Stay at Home Mom + Mini Martha + Justin Bieber won the Beauty & the Beast themed challenge. 

Basically the contestants were divided into groups, gag... who on earth likes working in groups, and had to make dishes to go with brunch, tea, and so on, and also decorate a table. 

Sadly Food Network didn't show the sides of the team hunting for decor, at least none that I recall. 

All we managed to see were two guys leaving half their food at the store, Future Paula Dean school the Comeback Kid no one likes (leaving everyone on Twitter agreeing that he needed a leash), and poor Kao not getting her corn starch. 

The guys losing groceries were the least of my concerns, they were there and shopping. That's all their fault. However the Cao situation had nothing to do with her, she was in the decor shopping group and the one ingredient they left out of her set basically ruined her dish. 

In the end, Suzanne should have gone home and was looked over. Probably because she is a sub par character who doesn't stand out, aside from when she's on camera and you want her off the show. Justin Bieber (last row t the right) managed to stay on, but only because he was on a team that saved his life. 

I suggested he write them all thank you notes for allowing him another week. Boozy Sandra Lee ever said his dessert looked like poo. 

Instead the girl from NOLA was sent packing along with Granny Paula Dean. Paula Dean simply because she made a French soup the wrong consistency with the wrong potatoes (gotta be specific on these shopping lists because your teammates are thinking of numero uno people). I think NOLA girl's fate was stamped when she whipped out terribly predictable Louisiana dish during brunch? 

I cant' remember if she was in the brunch group. I know Cao was because of the Vietnamese Pancake Tragedy, but clearly she stayed on out of pity since it clearly wasn't her fault and she's proved she can in fact cook. 

So that's it for today, I promise next week will be more detailed since I'll be in town and able to write. 

If your watching and want some fun head over to Twitter during the show and follow the hashtag #FoodNetworkStar. I haven't seen many of the contestants on there, but Cao was last week and had some pretty funny tweets. Girl was dressed in the most stereotypical Asian outfit on earth, and thanks to Twitter she answered a long standing question... yes they are styled for the show. 

I gave her a hard time last week, but she redeemed herself this episode and was hilarious on Twitter. 

Still not a fan of over done Kentucky contestant. 

Dear other contestants... get on Twitter. During the actual show. 

Southern Cake Series: Jam Cake

Since I'm an anniversary and birthday baker this series has been slow moving. I started to bake monthly, but my waistline can't handle monthly cakes. 

This particular recipe is brought to you by our 8th wedding anniversary and my need to bake a cake that day. 

So I give you... Jam Cake. It's not the full on real recipe though, it's more of a hybrid between the Southern Living 50th Anniversary recipe and one out of my 1955 copy of Acadian Bi-Centennial. 

Food Network Star S13 Ep 1 Recap - Ugh Blake

First off, yes I know it's Tuesday and this aired on Sunday... I had other posts that needed to go up. That doesn't mean I dislike Kao? Kale? Whatever her name is any less. 

Let's have some fun over the next 12ish week and chat about who we hated, who we love, and allegiance for no apparent reason. I promise I won't try to remember any one's name and will write solely from memory. 

And by the way I'll make sure I'm live tweeting every Sunday night at 8pm central to talk trash about people as the show progresses... we could say discuss the show... but Kale's bangs are giving me nightmares. 


So why am I interested this season and I've ignored it largely for a few years? Cory Bahr.

Modest Modern Mama

This is a post is a collaboration with Modest Modern Mama, it does not contain affiliate links. 

I'll be honest with y'all, I've had a bit of a fashion issue as of late. 

Shorts seem shorter, rompers are clearly more see through, and swimwear covers less than lingerie. 

Finding clothing that fits how I want to live my life, is functional, and still cute, has just become hard to come by. Luckily I know a former blogger who started selling clothing on an online boutique a few years ago and that helped me survive pregnancy, thank the good Lord tunics were in then. 

I wasn't much of an online shopper before that. 

Now-a-days I am, thanks to a toddler who crawls under dressing room doors and leaves... and I can't exactly chase him without a top on. 

All of this brought me to a newer online clothing boutique (who just this week announced on her IG that she'll be offering at home Pop Up Shops) owned by a lovely Christian mama from Central LA who happens to share a bunch of mutual friends with me. 


As soon as I started browsing Allie's shop Modest Modern Mama I knew that I had to A) buy all the clothing and B) work with her in some aspect so that all my friends would find out about her lovely clothing shop. 

Meal Pinning Monday

It's VBS week and I'm not entirely sure I thought this menu through all the way. Hello scrambling around and rushing home after 5 every day to cook.

How do people who work 9-5 jobs do it?



[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

Five On Friday



First full week of summer is in the books and it's been nothing but happily filled days of fun. 

1. This has been my new go-to keto style lunch, I might eat it everyday until I hate it honestly! It's Chicken, 1/2 avocado, 1/3 cup shredded cheddar, 2 tbsp sour cream, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, and green onions. Heavenly.