Taco Bake


I’m back! It’s been almost 2 weeks but life has been hectic. Big news, the school board election took place Tuesday and Elisa won! Which was cause for celebration.  And now I am back to real life.  Let’s just say I am counting down the days until Thanksgiving.  In the meantime I decided I had to get myself back in the kitchen and to stop eating out.  Tonight I am making a Taco Bake in individual ramekins.  It can be hard to cook for just one or two and this recipe is perfect for just one with leftovers or you and a roommate/significant other.  Or you can double it and bake in a casserole dish for a larger family.

Taco Bake 

Serves 2; Prep time 15 min; Cook time 35 min












  • olive oil
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of taco seasoning
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 poblano pepper, chopped
  • 1 vine ripe tomato, seeded & chopped
  • 4 4″ corn tortillas
  • shredded cheddar and monetary jack cheeses
  • 6 tablespoons black beans
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sour cream
  • tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat bottom of a medium pan with olive oil.  Combine turkey, cumin, paprika, chili powder, garlic and salt and pepper in pan and cook on medium heat until meat is browned.


Add in poblano pepper, tomato, onion and taco seasoning and cook until veggies are tender, about 5 minutes.  Spray 2 individual ramekins with olive oil.  Layer meat, tortilla, cheese, and black beans twice.  Top off with meat and sprinkle with cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes until bubbly.  Let sit 10 minutes and enjoy with sour cream.


Goldfish Snack Mix


Warning- this is addicting.  Once you start you seriously cannot stop.  Ever since I discovered this recipe last year, with a few changes,  it has been my go to snack.  It’s awesome for parties, road trips, or an anytime snack to store in the pantry.  Just pile it up in a tupperware container and you’ve got a tasty, transportable snack.  I didn’t have a pan big enough to hold all the fish, so I just picked up a disposable tin pan at the grocery store for a few bucks and wash it after each use.  Works like a charm.  This is a snack any age will enjoy.  My roommate, Emily,  and I are currently munching on it while I write this post.   You can really use any type of Goldfish you like, these are just my preference! *Disclaimer: I took these photos with my Dad’s camera when I was at my parent’s house. Hence the better quality.  Christmas hurry up so I can get one!

Goldfish Snack Mix

Prep time 5 min; Cook time 1 hour

adapted from Lick the Bowl Good


  • 1 bag of cheddar Goldfish
  • 1 bag of baby cheddar Goldfish
  • 2 bags of plain Goldfish
  • 1 bag of pretzel sticks
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of worcestershire sauce
  • 1 envelope of ranch dressing mix

IMG_2839Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Combine Goldfish and pretzels in a large baking pan.  Melt butter in a microwave safe dish and whisk in worcestershire sauce and ranch mix.  Pour over goldfish and stir to coat with a spatula.  Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let mix cool completely.  Try not to eat the entire batch in one sitting!


Balsamic Pot Roast with Baby Gold Mashed Potatoes


Sundays.  Part of me loves Sundays (the couch) and another part of me dreads them.  Sunday is the day I devote to work: planning, grading, etc… Today I’m ahead of the game (besides the pile of grading that is continually staring at me).  I started off the day campaigning for my favorite school board candidate, Elisa Hoffeman and came back home where I set up the crockpot. I’ve  got the roast cooking as I type and I can tell you the apartment smells wonderful.  I am looking forward to a comforting meal tonight, along with leftover beef to make burrito bowls during the week!

Balsamic Pot Roast with Baby Gold Mashed Potatoes


Adapted from The Chic Table 

Serves 6-8; Prep time 10 minutes; Cook time 6-8 hours


  • 4-5 lbs of beef chuck roast
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • zest of 1/2 orange
  • bag of baby gold potatoes

Place roast and potatoes in crockpot.  Whisk together all remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.

IMG_2424Pour marinade over roast and potatoes in crockpot.

IMG_2425 Cook on low for 6-8 hours until roast is cooked all the way through and is fork tender.   After cooked removed potatoes and smash with a potato masher or electric hand mixer (depending on how you prefer your mashed potatoes) adding butter, cream and salt to taste.  Serve roast over mashed potatoes and enjoy!


Pumpkin Oatmeal Chip Cookies


October screams pumpkin.  I stumbled across this cookie recipe last year and they were a huge hit when I made them for Thanksgiving.  I picked up some pumpkin while at the grocery store last Sunday and have been waiting all week to find some time to make these.  This morning when I woke up I decided to take a trip to Sur La Table and treat myself to a new baking sheet and cooling rack.  After some trial and error with my oven (ugghh!) I perfected the last two batches.  Trust me, these cookies are worth the effort. Make them for your next fall party or just for yourself!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chip Cookies

Makes 4 dozen cookies; Prep Time 20 min; Bake Time 10 min

Adapted from Family Fresh Meals


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 cups of rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Set aside.  With an electric mixer beat butter and sugars until creamed together.  Add in pumpkin, egg and vanilla.  Beat until combined.  Slowly add dry ingredients to mixture until well mixed.  Fold in oats.  Fold in all three chips.


Drop dough on a nonstick cookie sheet by the rounded tablespoon.


Bake cookies for 10-14 minutes depending on your oven.  Cook until lightly browned.  Cookies will be soft, but they will firm as they cool.  Let cool for a few minutes on the pan before transferring to a cooling rack.


Once cooled store in an airtight container.  Enjoy!