A Day in the Life of Me and Mine

Wife. Mom. Ambitious Crafter and Cook.

Turkey Taco Pasta September 27, 2012

Filed under: Food,What I Made Today — cmcoker1 @ 5:00 pm

As I was preparing for dinner last night, I realized I was down to a package of ground turkey and 2 chicken breasts.  I was really hoping that I’d open the freezer and find a frozen pizza, but, alas, these were my options.   After a rousing round of “Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mo,” I chose the turkey.  Here’s what I came up with!

Turkey Taco Pasta


8oz small shell pasta

1lb ground turkey, or ground beef

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 onion, diced

1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced (optional)

2Tbsp taco seasoning

1 can Rotel

3oz cream cheese

2Tbsp sour cream

1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

fresh cilantro (optional)


Prepare pasta according to package directions.  Drain, but reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta water.  Brown ground turkey in skillet over medium heat.  Add in onion and jalapeno and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until turkey is no longer pink and onion and pepper are tender.  Sprinkle with taco seasoning and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain meat mixture.  Stir in Rotel, undrained.  Add in cream cheese, and sour cream and cook on low heat, uncovered, until all ingredients are combined.  Stir in pasta and shredded cheese.  If desired, top with fresh cilantro.

*This dish is pretty spicy.  A few ways to tone down the spice: use MILD Rotel and do not add the jalapenos.  But, I’ve been told that some like it hot…




What I Made Today: Banana Bread September 19, 2012

Filed under: Food,What I Made Today — cmcoker1 @ 10:40 am

  I have a girlfriend coming over for a visit today and thought a yummy breakfast bread sounded nice.  I adapted this recipe from my      Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.  That book has taught me everything I know!






Banana Bread


2 c. all-purpose flour                                                                                       2 eggs, beaten

1 & 1/2 tsp. baking powder                                                                            1 & 1/2 c. mashed banana ( 3 large)
1/2 tsp. baking soda                                                                                            1/4 c. cooking oil

1/4 tsp. salt                                                                                                                1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce

1/4 tsp cinnamon (I think I added a “heaping” 1/4)                   1 c. sugar

* optional streusel topping (honestly, not optional, use it): 1/4 c. packed brown sugar, 3 Tbsp. AP flour, 2 Tbsp. chilled butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9″ or 10″ loaf pan (or 2 of the small 7″), set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Set aside.  In  a medium bowl, beat eggs.  Add banana, oil, applesauce, and sugar.  Whisk until combined.  Add wet mixture all at once to flour mixture.  Fold mixture until combined.  Don’t overbeat…mixture will remain lumpy.  At this point, you can stir in a 1/4 cup chopped walnuts if you have them.  I didn’t. Wah.  Pour mixture into prepared pan(s).  If you have decided to use the streusel topping, if not you’re a crazy person, stir together brown sugar and flour.  Using a pastry cutter, or 2 knives, cut in cold butter until mixture is coarse and sand-like.  Sprinkle topping on to batter.  Bake for 50-55 minutes for the 9″ or 10″.  Check your 7″ loaves after 40 minutes.  Bake until the center of your loaf is set.  Leave pan on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.  Loosen sides with a knife and carefully flip over pan to remove the loaf.  *tapping the bottom of your pan on the counter or with a knife will help loosen the bottom of the loaf.  Allow loaf to cool or just dive on in.




Chipotle’s Cilantro-Lime Rice September 14, 2012

Filed under: Food,What I Made Today — cmcoker1 @ 1:52 pm

I had planned to make chicken fajitas for dinner last night, and I was wanting a side to go with it.  I had one lime and a bunch of cilantro left over from Little Mister’s  bday party, so I searched through my Pinterest food board and came across a recipe for “Copycat Chipotle Rice.”  Do I have any Chipotle lovers out there?!  Whether you favor Moe’s or Q’doba (Yuck and Yuck), we all have to agree that Chipotle’s cilantro rice is THE BEST.  Hands down.

The recipe came from an Indian chef’s blog, US Masala.  I changed a few things based on what I had in my fridge and pantry…but it turned out great!

Chipotle’s Cilantro-Lime Rice


1 cup white or Basmati rice, uncooked

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp green chiles or jalapenos, finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped, fresh Cilantro leaves

salt, to taste

juice of a half of lime, about 2 Tbsp

1 tsp lime zest (or just whatever you can get from 1 lime)

1/4  tsp white sugar


Cook rice according to package directions.  Set aside to cool.  In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add in chiles/jalapeno, and saute for about 1 minute.  Add in rice, cilantro, and salt.  Stir and allow to cook for 2 minutes.  Add in lime juice, lime zest, and sugar.  Stir until combined.  Serve as a side or as an addition to fajitas or burritos.




1st Birthday Party September 10, 2012

Filed under: Life,Parties — cmcoker1 @ 10:41 am

There is a lot of pressure in planning your first baby’s 1st birthday party.  With the birth of Pinterest and extremely talented and rich mothers, I was feeling a  little overwhelmed.  There were several points where I screamed, “I’m throwing in the towel! No party for you, Little Mister!”  But that was just one low point. Honest.  All in all, we had a very successful and fun birthday party.  I’ll tell the tale through some pictures.  Enjoy!

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