A Day in the Life of Me and Mine

Wife. Mom. Ambitious Crafter and Cook.

Newest iPad Sleeve October 18, 2012

Filed under: Etsy,Sewing,What I Made Today — cmcoker1 @ 4:27 pm


Check out the newest iPad sleeve in my Etsy shop!  Great idea for a Christmas gift!



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.




What I Made Today: Homemade Cheese-its August 24, 2012

Filed under: Food,What I Made Today — cmcoker1 @ 11:45 am

I have a very unhealthy relationship with Cheez-its.  I could eat them all day, every day.  So when I found this recipe for Homemade Cheez-its on Pinterest, I just HAD to make them.

Homemade Cheez-its (adapted from Robin at “A Chow Life”)


8oz sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded

4Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4tsp salt

1cup all-purpose flour

2Tbsp ice water


Start by placing cheese, butter, and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer.  With the paddle attachment, mix until thoroughly combined.


Add flour and mix on low until combined.  The mixture should resemble the consistency of sand.


Slowly add ice water until a soft dough ball is formed.  *If your dough is not coming together, add more water in TINY increments until the dough forms a ball.*


Form your dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.  This step chills the dough so that it is more manageable for our next step.   Use this time to tidy up the kitchen, take a shower, or eat the rest of your block of cheese…


After an hour, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Remove dough from fridge and divide into 2 equal parts.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough until 1/8″ thick.  Using a sharp knife, pastry cutter, or pizza cutter, cut your dough into 1″x1″ squares.  Poke a hole in the center of each square with a skewer or toothpick.  Transfer your cute little squares to the lined baking sheets, putting a little space between them.


Bake 1 batch at a time for 13-15 minutes.  Due to the high fat content of the cheese and butter, the bottoms can burn quickly.  I would suggest looking at the crackers after 10  minutes to make sure this doesn’t happen.  If you are worried, err on the side of being under-cooked!


Remove from oven and place directly onto a cooling rack.  If desired, sprinkle with a little salt while still warm.  Go ahead and try one…I know you want to!


Pretty good, right??  I love the smoky flavor of baked cheese. Yum.  If you have any left, store in an airtight container.


These cost me about $2 to make, and I actually prefer them over the ones in the red box.  I know…blasphemy.  But they have a softer texture and are just delish!  Believe me, I am a woman of convenience, but it’s fun to make things at home to see just what you are capable of.




Cloth Napkins July 20, 2012

Filed under: Sewing,What I Made Today — cmcoker1 @ 11:33 am

What did I make today??  A cloth napkin.  This is the easiest thing in the world to do.

Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or just setting the table for a family dinner, a cloth napkin can easily jazz up your table setting.  One of my friends just recently got married, and she put a personal touch on her reception by using a variety of vintage print cloth napkins.  I LOVED the look.

When I was at Marshall’s the other day, I priced a pack of 4 cloth dinner napkins between $4.99 and $7.99.  This really isn’t a terrible price for a cute napkin, but I figured I could get the same look for much cheaper on my own.

I went to my local fabric store and looked through their remnant collection.  This project doesn’t require much yardage per napkin, so you can afford to buy smaller cuts.  Most fabric stores discount their remnants to around $2/yd.  This is a good way to get a higher quality fabric without breaking the bank or angering your spouse.

So, for around $5, I was able to buy enough fabric to make 8-10 napkins and still have some fabric left over.  Not too shabby.

After a quick Google search, I found that cloth napkins come in a variety of sizes.  What I did find, is that most are perfectly square.  So I chose a 16×16 size.  Taking my seam allowance into account, I cut my fabric 17″x17″.

I trimmed the loose threads and ironed the fabric.  I then started turning the edges of the fabric 1/4″ and pressing flat.

I turned the edge over one more time to leave a smooth edge, pressing it again.  These 2 steps use up 1/2″ on each side, the reason why I cut my fabric 1″ longer than what I wanted my finished product.

A smooth edge is especially necessary in this project, since the back of the napkin will be easily visible.

I then went around a popped a few pins into the seam, especially the corners.  This is not necessary, but it does help ensure that none of your raw edge slips out while sewing.

Use a thread that coordinates with your fabric or completely blends in.  I used a hot pink.  Simply sew a straight seam all the way around the napkin to tack down your edges, back stitching at beginning and end to lock your thread.  (I sewed on the back of the napkin because my raw edges always find a way to peak out and totally annoy me. )

This literally takes about 90 seconds.  Super quick!  Yes, my seams look like I sewed in the car…I have a tendency to do everything a little too fast.  Please take your time, unlike me:)

All done!  Now all you have to do is set your table!

I look forward to showing you the real reason behind this project:)  Go make some napkins this weekend and spice up your dinner table!



What I Made Today July 12, 2012

Filed under: Food,What I Made Today — cmcoker1 @ 3:36 pm

For my first “What I Made Today” post, I failed to take pictures.  Sorry.  I will do better next time!

This morning, I had a craving for something sweet, full of carbs, and cinnamon-y.  I pulled up my Pinterest food board to see if I had pinned anything interesting. Lo, and behold, there it was: a Cinnamon Donut Muffin.  I was so excited.

If you know me, you know I have a very unhealthy love relationship with donuts.  I think it has a lot to do with the fact that Krispy Kreme was a frequent stop for my family.  When we were near the store, dad would tell us that he would stop if the red light was flashing.  But only if it was flashing.  Most days, that “Hot and Ready” light would indeed be flashing, and it would only be minutes before mom our family would have downed 2 dozen of those little suckers.  On the awful day that the red light was not flashing, my dad would pull the van into the parking lot, where we would sit until the light turned on:)

So, needless to say, when I saw a muffin that assured me it would taste like a donut, I quickly preheated the oven.  This recipe really is fantastic, but I wouldn’t say it has that distinct deep-fried donut quality.  But it was fluffy and moist and had the perfect amount of cinnamon to satisfy my craving. I thoroughly enjoyed it as a cinnamon muffin.  The texture is so light, and she even replaces most of the usual oil with applesauce.  Come on.  Healthy, right?!  That’s why I ate 4!  Like they say, “An apple a day…!”

Courtesy of the Girl Who Bakes, I give you the recipe for the Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins. Check them out and make them today.


– care


%d bloggers like this: