Category Archives: recipes

The week so far


Sunday we went to church, then worked in the little kids room for the next service. We had 15 kids, which is a lot! But, everyone did well. James and I went on the gulch walk that the girls and I did with the library last week. It was a bit hot, but a nice short walk by the creek.

Our week – school, worship dance, HS group newbie/co-op chat, galaxy print t-shirts @library, Walk2Connect urban garden walk, Botanical illustration class work, youth groups, Teacher’s Day Out Castle Rock, Kindness Krewe (trash pick up at the park), Women’s banquet at church, hikety-hike, Mother’s day picnic at the HR Mansion.

Dinners this week – meatballs with penne pasta and marinara sauce (Hannah), cheese quesadillas and tomato soup, chicken and rice casserole (Grace), chipotle salmon and sweet potatoes, lima beans and sausage with peasant bread, grilling stuff.

Easy Chicken Rice Casserole

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite size pieces
2 cups milk
2 cups uncooked white rice
1 10 oz can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 10 oz can cream of mushroom soup
1 bag frozen peas
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dill
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste

And lunch at SAME cafe’.



The week


To do this week – donate all the cat stuff and rest of dog stuff to the shelter, pick up Zoe’s paw print, school, worship dance, Walk2Connect library walk, Creativity club, jazz at EG, Fox theater Cinco show, youth groups, ballet work/self practice, Into the Woods school showing, Star testing, ACC jazz ensemble show, Ft. Lupton heritage fair, working at church.

Dinners this week – baked mac and cheese (shocker, this is Hannah’s dinner), pintos and sausage with cornbread, artichoke chicken casserole (Grace), breakfast for dinner (toast with dandelion jelly, fried eggs, grits, sausage), tamale pie, grilling stuff.

Artichoke Chicken Casserole

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
1 cup light mayonnaise
1 pinch garlic powder, or to taste
4 (4 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
1 (8 ounce) package crimini mushrooms, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Mix Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, and garlic powder together in a bowl.
Arrange chicken breasts in a 9×13-inch baking dish; top with artichoke hearts and crimini mushrooms. Spread cheese mixture over the artichoke and mushroom layer.
Bake in the preheated oven until the chicken no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 30 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

Hot Tamale Pie

(I make my own cornbread instead of using the cornbread mix, but that’s up to you.)

2 cups diced poblano peppers
1 teaspoon salt
1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground dried chipotle pepper
2 (8.5 ounce) boxes dry corn muffin mix (such as Jiffy®)
2 eggs 2/3 cup milk, divided
4 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
4 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
8 ounces frozen corn, thawed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Spray a 9×13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
Cook and stir ground beef in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until meat starts to brown and release juices, about 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium and stir in poblano peppers, salt, salsa, oregano, and chipotle powder; cook and stir until seasoned beef is crumbly and no longer pink, about 10 minutes.
Mix one package of corn muffin mix in a large bowl with 1 egg and 1/3 cup of milk. Whisk to combine. In a separate large bowl, mix the second package of corn muffin mix with 1 egg, 1/3 cup of milk and half the Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses.
Spread the prepared corn muffin mixture without cheese into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle corn over the muffin mix, followed by remaining half of the cheeses, then the beef mixture.
Spoon the corn muffin mix with cheese on top of the beef and carefully spread over the top with a fork, leaving about half an inch from the edges of the pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, until golden brown.




James went to work, Hannah and I went to ukulele lessons at the Aurora History museum. The guy that leads it like to say that we are all beginners, but Hannah and I were really beginners at this class!

James and I went to The Arvada Tavern to hear Stephen Brooks and band play some jazz. It was so packed (and there were no dinner tables ready) so we walked down the street, had pizza, then came back to the ballroom and got an up front seat. That was nice, but I like it when they play at EG, it’s cozier.

Sunday, church – Is God powerful? He can make something out of nothing, nothing can stop Him from doing His will, but He can’t do things outside of His nature. He can’t lie, He can’t tempt with evil. But, if God is powerful, why are there moral and natural evils? Sin literally broke the world, it created a darkness that taints our physical, spiritual and natural world. God is powerful, but what we expect Him to do might be different than what He ends up doing. Why did Jesus forgive the paralyzed man of his sins first? No one could see that his sins were forgiven, but the spiritual was more important than the physical. Jesus said He would give us rest for our souls if we come together with Him, He didn’t say there would be no weight in this world or that the burdens would never be there – He said if you follow Me, burdens will be easy and my way will be light, not impossible, not heavy, not crushing – but also life will not be always happy, always easy street, never a care in the world. The thing is, God could change everything. He is that powerful. But, how we expect God to react may not be the path He chooses. The thread of faith is that I believe God is powerful enough to do anything, and I will submit to that power.

We grocery shopped, James BBQ’d a ton of food and Grace, Hannah and I went to Holy Glowga (glow+yoga), it was fun! Heather had a great devotional about how when we are broken we can shine brighter for Jesus. Through the broken times is when we lean on Him and through that we shine brighter.

Goings on this week – school, NIA, worship dance, zentangle art co-op, babysitting, youth groups, Walk to Connect walk, living history days, church, brunch art walk.

Dinners this week – (starting tonight) chipotle salmon with sweet potatoes, baked bacon mac and cheese (Hannah), sweet and sour meatballs with broccoli (Grace), sweet potato masala, chicken soup with gnocchi, pork chops with caramelized onions and mushroom soup (I got a whole bag of ‘ugly’ mushrooms for 99 cents!), beans and sausage, penne pasta chicken bake.

Cheddar-Bacon Mac and Cheese

1 3/4 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked 
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
2 cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, divided
3 slices t Bacon, cooked, crumbled
1/2 onion sauted
1 TBSP garlic minced

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook macaroni as directed on package. Meanwhile, melt butter in large saucepan on low heat. Stir in flour; cook 2 min. or until bubbly. Gradually stir in milk; cook on medium heat until mixture comes to boil, stirring constantly. Simmer on low heat 3 to 5 min. or until thickened. Add 1 1/2 cups cheese; cook and stir 5 min. or until melted.
Drain macaroni. Add to sauce with bacon; mix lightly. Spoon into 1 1/2 quart casserole; top with remaining cheese.
Bake 20 min. or until heated through.

Sweet Potato Masala

4 sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon clarified butter
1 cup diced onion
1 minced garlic clove
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1-1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pint crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup rough chopped cilantro
1/3 cup Greek yogurt, full fat

Rough cut the sweet potatoes and place in crock pot. Heat the clarified butter in a three quart lidded stockpot or saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and saute over medium heat until well caramelized. Add the coriander, cumin, cardamom, garam masala, and ginger and toast in the butter and onions for a minute or two. Add tomatoes, salt, and place all in crock pot Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Stir in the yogurt and cilantro and cook for five more minutes at end.





James, Bethany and I seem to be making a trip to Ground Up Coffee for affogato every weekend….but, it’s so good! James and I went to Bemis library to listen to Blue Sonnet jazz duo. One singer was pretty good, the one that was was playing the piano was much better at piano than singing, but overall it was a nice hour of standards. We went by Phil’s for a drink, then grabbed some items at the store before heading home for pizza night. I didn’t take a pic of them, but the pizzas looked so good. I mad a basil pesto, artichoke, olive, sun dried tomato pizza. We watched some TV, ate pizza and pie and cookies and I went to bed early.

Sunday Grace and I worked in the 2’s room with some very cute children. We played a flashlight game, blew bubbles, watched a cartoon about Paul, did a craft, colored and played. After church we headed by the library Goodwill and Payless, we ended up eating sandwiches at Ba Le for lunch instead of Dim Sum (oh, the line!) We went for a walk at Westlands park and I finally saw the Counterpoint art there.

We watched some TV back at home, read, went to PetCo and then James and I went to TNO where there were 6 Moms that showed up (that’s way more than any other TNO in a long time.) It was fun.

Our week – school, NIA, worship dance, Highlands Ranch historical meeting (did you know they filmed a mini-series at the Mansion?), HR volunteer fair, Annie musical at FR, Kindness Krewe (painting flower pots for Habitat), youth groups, water sampling, HS skate, showing of The Princess Bride (I’ve never seen it), Polynesian day at Aurora museum, Holy yoga – Glowga.

Dinners this week (starting tomorrow) – Sausage soup with tortellini (Hannah), black pepper pork loin and sweet potatoes, chicken cordon bleu (Grace), chicken tikka masala, Chinese 5 spice meatballs, lima beans and sausage

Chicken Cordon Bleu

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 slices Swiss Cheese, cut into halves
4 slices ham
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 tablespoon Shredded Parmesan Cheese
4 teaspoons melted light margarine

Place each chicken breast between two pieces of wax paper. Pound to 1/4-inch thickness. Spread mustard down center of each chicken breast; sprinkle with thyme. Top each chicken breast with a half slice of Swiss cheese and a slice of ham. Roll up chicken breast, tucking in ham and cheese to seal. Secure with skewers or toothpicks.
Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in small bowl. Brush chicken with melted margarine and roll in crumb mixture. Place in 8×8-inch baking pan. Bake in preheated 400 degrees F oven 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake 20 minutes more or until chicken is cooked through. Remove toothpicks before serving.



Saturday we took Bethany with us to coffee, ran an errand and then took James on the same walk we did Thursday. We stopped to read the plaques about the 9th street homes and he had never seen them before either. I think it’s funny that as many places we’ve been, this is 1 block from a church we went to program at, yet we never saw the houses. Back at home we watched some TV, Bethany went to work, we made dinner and went to get an Italian ice for dessert. Also Mr. Otter got a new cruise hat.

Sunday – church – Romans 8:28 we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
Is God good? Whether our current circumstances are delightful or miserable, God mixes those days and in the end – it is all worked into something good.

We praise the goodness of God because-

He has made every good and perfect thing
from snow capped mountains
to birds that sing.

He is so very good to all
whether granting peaceful days
or picking us up when we fall.

Yes, He is good all the time
when days are wretched
or sunny and fine.

We praise the goodness of God
because in the end
He is good all the time
His love knows no end.


We had lunch at home, then James and I went to the Clyfford Still museum to hear La Pompe (our fav Gypsy jazz band.) The museum was the perfect place to hear them, I think it was by far the best concert we’ve been to with them.

Also, I didn’t realize Clyfford Still ever did any art other than abstract.

After the concert we dropped by American Bonded to try them out, good drinks, bad service. Back at home we went grocery shopping then James grilled burgers while we watched the next Series of Unfortunate Events and Death in Paradise. Zoe decided sleep was better.

This week we have a lot of things on one day and other stuff spread out over the week – NIA, school, worship dance, St. John’s music at noon, dropping shoes at Soles 4 Souls, PSAT test, youth group, park day, High school musical play, HS day at the Capitol, TDO, DMNS teen night, Siren song, working at church, TNO.

Dinners this week – basil pesto shrimp over penne (Hannah), chicken parmesan and baked eggplant (Grace), pecan coconut tilapia and roasted sweet potatoes, butter chicken and veggies (Bethany), teen nite (so eating out for the rest of us), pizza night, TNO for me (so TV dinners for the rest of the crew.)

Pecan Coconut Crusted Fish

Non-Stick Foil 
4 (5 ounce) fish fillets, fresh or thawed
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

Pecan Coating: 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs

Pineapple Mango Salsa: 1 (8 ounce) cans pineapple tidbits, drained
1 large mango, diced
1/2 medium red bell pepper, diced
2 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 15 1/2×10 1/2×1-inch baking pan with Non-Stick Foil with non-stick (dull) side toward food; set aside.
Combine butter, salt and cayenne pepper in a large bowl. Add fish and stir to coat; set aside. Combine pecans, coconut and bread crumbs. Spread mixture on a sheet of wax paper. Roll fish in coconut mixture, turning to coat evenly. Press on additional mixture, if necessary. Place in a single layer in foil-lined pan.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or just until fish is opaque throughout. Serve with salsa.
For salsa: Combine pineapple, mango, red pepper, green onions, red wine vinegar, cilantro and salt. Chill; serve with fish.

Dance, art, jazz, math


‘Sup this week – school, NIA, worship dance, watercolor and pen art @ library, jazz @ EG, on-line botanical illustration class starts, potluck @ church, youth groups, dropping shoe donations at Soles for Souls, Walk to Connect tour, Creativity club, First Friday art walk, hike, La Pompe @ Still museum.

Dinners this week – beef stroganoff (Hannah),
chicken, sausage and shrimp gumbo (Grace), taco soup, cranberry glazed pork loin with sweet potatoes, chili and cornbread, chicken quesadillas.

Slow Cooker chicken, sausage, and shrimp gumbo

2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut up
1 (14.5 ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 green sweet pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound sausage cut into pieces
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 package frozen okra
1 pound fresh or frozen medium shrimp (thawed if frozen), peeled and deveined
4 cups hot cooked white or brown rice

Add tomatoes, chicken, broth, green pepper, onion, celery, Cajun seasoning, garlic, black pepper, okra, sausage and cayenne pepper to slow cooker. Stir gently with wooden spoon or rubber scraper to combine.
Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
Remove lid and stir in shrimp gently with a wooden spoon or rubber scraper. Cover and cook about 3 minutes more, or until shrimp is opaque. Serve over cooked rice.

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 (16 ounce) can black beans, with liquid
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans with liquid
1 (15 ounce) can hominy, with liquid
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 cups water
2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix

In a medium skillet, cook the ground beef until browned over medium heat. Drain, and set aside.
Place the ground beef, onion, black beans, kidney beans, hominy, tomato sauce, water, diced tomatoes, green chile peppers and taco seasoning mix in a slow cooker. Mix to blend, and cook on Low setting for 8 hours.
Top with sour cream, cheese, pico, corn chips, avocado slices.

Monday for dance we didn’t have devotionals, instead we used the time to pray with each other. We got Ann caught up on the dance and there is a few new moves that I’m going to have to practice because they are hard. Tuesday the girls had a watercolor/ink class at the library, then James and I went to jazz. Grace has been working though trig in geometry, unfair is what I call it.

Wednesday was the start of the botanical illustration class that Grace and I are taking, watching the videos I see that we have a long way to go.

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Here is my tonal sheet, just working with the new pencils.



Saturday James and I went to coffee, then we took Zoe to the pet store for Easter pictures. Yes, we did.

James and I took off for Skean Dubh at the library, a Celtic band, they were really good.

Hear them here  and here.

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Sunday, church.

Always Winter,
never Spring,
a land without hope
that the Saviour can bring.

Oppressed within on
every side,
a prison cell
where souls have died.

Just one cry
will set you free,
Lord Jesus!
Save a sinner like me!.


We went grocery shopping and then to see the new Sherlock Gnomes movie, it was really cute. For dinner we finally got to try Marcella’s. It was packed, but we got a seat without too long of a wait.

This cool car was outside.

The calamari was so good, lightly breaded and so tender. Drinks were nice, the meatballs were HUGE.

The goat cheese ravioli was my favorite.

Dessert was right up the street.

They had a little bit of the beer week ice cream left, so I had Java porter – it was more coffee than beer tasting (so good.)

To do this week – river sampling, worship dance, NIA, being a maid for a day for a friend, Wings Over the Rockies teacher envoy flight, Spring break roller skate, Bible study, youth groups, Kindness Krewe (Soles for Souls shoe drive), Good Friday craft making for church, Chatfield walleye spawning count, Peep dioramas, Good Friday, Glow in the dark egg hunt, egg dyeing, youth girls night, Resurrection day!

Dinners this week – chorizo casserole (moved from last week), homemade pizza and buffalo cauliflower bites (Grace), pork chow mein, make your own burrito night (Hannah), chicken stuffed with quinoa and sundried tomatoes, Italian sausage and peppers.

Buffalo Cauliflower

olive oil cooking spray 
3/4 cup gluten-free baking flour
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 heads cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup hot pepper sauce (such as Frank’s RedHot®)
1 teaspoon honey

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Mix flour, water, garlic powder, salt, and pepper together in a bowl using a whisk until batter is smooth and somewhat runny. Add cauliflower to batter and mix until cauliflower is coated; spread onto the baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove saucepan from heat and stir hot pepper sauce and honey into butter until smooth. Brush hot sauce mixture over each cauliflower piece, repeating brushing until all the hot sauce mixture is used.

Bake in the oven until cauliflower is browned, about 10 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and allow the cauliflower to cool 10 to 15 minutes.