Red Bean Burgers

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I recently found a link that allowed me to get Martha Stewart’s “Living” Magazine for free for two years and so I figured why not?  What could it hurt?  If nothing else John could use the pages for his spray paint art or it could be recycled.  To my surprise the magazine actually offered some great recipes and one of them was this recipe!  From the April 2014 issue there is a recipe called Red-Bean Burgers with Avocado and Lime and immediately I thought that it sounded amazing!  I was a little nervous because the last time I tried to make black bean burgers they were really runny and not all that great.  These, however, were so stinkin’ tasty and they formed just like real hamburger meat and that was shocking to me!  Unless you’re actually thinking about it you cannot tell that these are not really made from cows (or turkeys).  They are also so super moist and even if you end up with burned edges (as I did) they are still so super good!


First you’ll take your red beans and put them in a food processor.  I used my fancy Ninja that John got me for Christmas!


Then you’ll blend in the carrot, chili powder, oregano, and any other seasonings you choose (try garlic powder, onion powder, and parsley) to add to the mix!


Next add in your breadcrumbs and eggs.  I would recommend adding a bit more breadcrumbs than the recipe called for.  The first time I made these they were perfect and the second time they were a little runny, so adding a bit more breadcrumbs will not hurt at all.


You will have this glorious mess once all is said and done!


Over medium heat add some oil to your frying pan and plop your burgers down and walk away.  Since these are not real meat you cannot press and flip them as you would right away.  Put them in the pan and leave them alone for about 10 minutes.  Flip them over once and leave them alone for another 10 minutes.


See?  A little burny but it totally added to them flavor and was sooooo tasty!


Add your extra interests to the burger (ex. cheese, avocado, lime juice/zest, mayo, ketchup, sour cream, onion, etc) and dig in.  SO, SO GOOD!

Red Bean Burgers

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 3 burgers

Serving Size: 1 burger

Calories per serving: 455

Fat per serving: 16.9g

Red Bean Burgers gave this an A- rating (including bread!)

Low sugar, high fiber, and high vitamin B6!


  • 1 can red beans (rinse and drain)
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp parsley flakes
  • 1/2-3/4 cups dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • EVOO
  • avocado, lime, sour cream, cheese, mayo, ketchup, mushrooms, etc (as extras)


  1. In food processor combine red beans, carrot, chili powder, dried oregano, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley flakes, breadcrumbs and eggs together until it forms a stiff medium to work with.
  2. Compress patties into burger form and plop onto medium heated frying pan with EVOO in it.
  3. Let burgers sit untouched for 10 minutes. Flip once and let sit untouched for another 10 minutes.
  4. Set up burgers as desired and enjoy!!


Cals: 455 / Fat: 16.9g / Carbs: 59.3g / Protein: 19.9g / Fiber: 14.4g / Cholesterol: 62mg

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Butterscotch Toffee Chunks

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I will warn you now.  These are not good for you.

There.  Now that we have that out of the way, let’s learn how to do this!  I got onto a peppermint bark kick over the last holiday season and then I started wondering what else I could make that would be amazing tasting and I came up with this… which has been a hit!

But again, I will tell you, they are not good for anyone trying to diet, such as myself… who loves to bake… but cannot eat these.  Boo.



Get a double boiler together.  See my makeshift?  Two pots, water in the middle, BOOM!  Pour a little bit of extra virgin olive oil into the top pan and then just turn the oven on to high and let it all start to warm up.  Pour a bag of butterscotch pieces in the top and slowly start to mix it as the pieces get melty.


THEN!  Then add a bag of toffee pieces and stir, stir, stir it up!  Doesn’t that goop look awesome?


Pour those goods onto a foiled and greased cooking tray and then smooth it out as best you can.  Sprinkle some salt on the top (I know it sounds crazy but it really helps tame the super sweetness of this)!  Put it in the fridge and walk away.  It’ll harden up in about 20 minutes.


Break into 24 pieces and then eat them with total happiness in your heart!


So easy and so fast and so yummy!  What kind of sweet treats do you like to make?

Butterscotch Toffee Chunks

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 24 pieces

Serving Size: 1 piece

Calories per serving: 126

Fat per serving: 83g

Butterscotch Toffee Chunks

So dang tasty!


  • 1 (10oz) bag butterscotch pieces
  • 1 (10oz) bag toffee pieces
  • Vanilla extract (just a little splash)
  • EVOO to grease the pan
  • Salt to sprinkle the top


  1. In a double boiler add some oil and the bag of butterscotch pieces. Turn the stove on high and slowly mix it as the pieces start to melt.
  2. Once everything starts to melt add in the bag of toffee pieces and the splash of vanilla extract.
  3. When thoroughly melted and combined, pour mixture onto foiled and greased cookie sheet and smooth out flat. Sprinkle with some salt and put in fridge for at least 20 minutes to cool.
  4. Break into pieces and eat, eat, eat!


Calories: 126 / Fat: 83g / Carbs: 16g / Protein: 0g / Fiber: 0g / Cholesterol: 0mg

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How can you go wrong with a catnip mouse?

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We’re having a weird March in Oklahoma so far.  It’s the second day into the month and we’re having a storm of rain, thunder, lightening, ice/hail, AND snow… all at the same time.  I say weird because these storms usually happen in January and sometimes February, but it’s March and I would really rather be gardening right now.  I  mean really…

So instead, since it’s cold outside, I decided to find something to sew instead.  I was working on my fancy tote bag that is going to take me seven years to complete since I have to sew each individual strip together, but I got bored and wanted to do something else.  Instead I found this cute little catnip mouse tutorial and decided I’d give it a go.  Mine is obviously more lazy looking then what the tutorial shows but my cats love them.


My cats have always been interested in catnip!  Recently I was researching different plants that I could grow in my garden that I could use in cooking and tea that would be good for me and would be beneficial in different medicinal ways.  I found out that catnip is also a stress reducer for people as well (obviously I wouldn’t recommend making tea from your cat’s catnip) and read that two-thirds of the cat population is affected by catnip and that kittens inherit that interest from their cat parents.  How cute is that?  It isn’t just something that happens… it has to be passed through cat DNA!  Ha!  Love it.

Brenna’s German Basketweave Scarf

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010314brennascompletedscarf-1My cousin Brenna is living in Germany right now as a foreign exchange student and I’m so very, very proud of her.  She has gone through some tough times while she has been out there and so I thought, hey, why not make her a scarf from home that can be comforting to her?  Soo… I made this one!  How cool is that?

010314brennascompletedscarf-2It’s just a standard basketweave knitting stitch, but I’m so happy with how it came out!

010314brennascompletedscarf-3If you’re interested in downloading this pattern, I have made it available here!  Have fun and thanks for looking!




John’s Head Wrap (Scarf)

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121613johnsscarf-3The finished product!  After having a request to make something that could be wrapped around his head and face, I came up with this!  It’s a very easy and simple pattern to complete, and it only takes one 268yd skein of yarn to complete.  He has worn it once, but to be fair he is more of a hat guy and wears his hat I made for him more often.

If you’re interested in making this scarf for yourself you can download the .pdf pattern here at my Ravelry store.




Work in Progress: John’s Scarf

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121013johnsscarfpreviewI am further along now with this than this picture shows, but it’s what I am currently working on.  I have been on a knitting kick lately and all I’ve been doing is clicking away with my needles.  I’m glad to see, thanks to Pinterest, that so many people are paying attention to knitting and crocheting these days (even if they don’t know how to a lot of people seem to be at least trying to figure out how to do it).  I’m 30 years old and feel as though my generation is responsible for the fall of our current young generation because those of us that have had children have failed to show them the real values of what is necessary in life.  Instead we have taught our children to only respect consumerism and the need to have more and more without the understanding of how to make what we need, and how to live off of our own land.  So, my mission is to make sure that the children that John and I have learn how to value everything they earn and make for themselves and focus less on having the brand new iPhone that just came out.

With that said…

John told me he needed something that he could wrap around his face when it was cold outside, so I’m making him a scarf.  I think it’s going to be very pretty, yet still masculine.  More pictures later!


Holiday Cowl

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I did something exciting.

I did something so exciting that I have a big stupid grin on my face!

I made my very first, very own, very simple and easy, knitting pattern!  It’s cold outside and I wanted something pretty, so I made myself a cowl!  WOO!  It took me two hours to make and I uploaded the pattern, FOR FREE, on  You know you want to go look at it! Do it! Isn’t it pretty?!


Refrigerator Magnets

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I had a really hard time, for some reason, finding magnets to hang on our fridge.  Like a really hard time and I’m not sure why.  I couldn’t even find the silly little alphabet magnets either and I just wanted something decorative to hang my Michael’s and Joann’s coupons with on the fridge!  I was able to find those tiny little magnet dots but I couldn’t find anything pretty.  Soo… I decided to make my own!  My own that would fit our lifestyle and my liking!

091512diymagnets6withtextHere is how I did it.  It took about 3 seconds.  The only thing I would have changed is I would have added spray adhesive to the magnet before sticking it to the block to make sure that they never disconnected!

091512diymagnets1Get some magnets and get some decorative blocks that you would like to hang on your refrigerator!

091512diymagnets2Take the blocks out and arrange them decoratively on the table and take a picture.  There is no real reason for this but it’s fun.  :)

091512diymagnets3Pull out the magnets you need and pull the paper off of the sticky side.  At this point I’d recommend some spray glue added to the sticky side, or some super glue, or some additional adhesion.

091512diymagnets4Stick the magnet to the blocks.

091512diymagnets5BOOM!  Magnets.  Easy peasy.

091512diymagnets6See?  So go do it!  Why would you not?  Get creative with it!  Make it a family project!  Have fun with it!








Cream Cheese Pumpkin Squares

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102713creamcheesepumpkinsquares-8withtextPinterest is one of my things.  One of my things that takes over my life and stops me from getting anything worth while done in my life.  Yesterday I was scrolling through Pinterest and ran across this recipe and thought I had to try it!  I made a couple of changes and decided on squares instead of loaves because… well, I wanted to and that’s that.  :)


First thing you’ll do is preheat your oven to 350 degrees and combine your pumpkin puree, unsweetened applesauce, 1 whole egg, and 3 egg whites.  I used my mixer on low for about a minute or so.


Then in another bowl you mix your flour, whole wheat graham flour, Truvia, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.


Slowly mix your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients until it makes this pretty little swirl.  :)


In another bowl mix together your cream cheese, Truvia, blue nectar Agave, flour, 2 egg whites, and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

102713creamcheesepumpkinsquares-5I used greased aluminum foil because for me it’s easier to pull the aluminum foil out of the pot and lay it straight to allow air to circulate everything to help it cool easier.  So first you’ll fill about 1/3 of the bottom of your square baking dish with pumpkin mix.

102713creamcheesepumpkinsquares-6Then you’ll layer all of the cream cheese mix on top of that and add the rest of the pumpkin mix to the top of that.

102713creamcheesepumpkinsquares-7Smooth it out as best you can and pop it in the oven for 40 minutes.

102713creamcheesepumpkinsquares-10Cut those suckers up after they have cooled completely.  I sliced mine into 16, put the whole dish in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, then pulled the aluminum foil out and put each square on a plate and popped it back in the fridge again.

102713creamcheesepumpkinsquares-9Doesn’t that just look delicious?!

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Squares

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 16 squares

Serving Size: 1 square

Calories per serving: 97

Fat per serving: .8 g

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Squares

B- rating on!

Low saturated fat, high selenium, and very high vitamin A.


  • Batter:
  • 15 oz pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat graham flour
  • 1/2 cup Truvia
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • Filling:
  • 8 oz fat free cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup Truvia
  • 1 tbsp blue nectar Agave
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 and combine pumpkin, applesauce, whole egg, and three egg whites with a handheld mixer.
  2. In a separate bowl mix together flour, graham flour, Truvia, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  3. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until they're thoroughly combined.
  4. For the cream filling combine cream cheese, sugar, blue nectar Agave, flour, two egg whites, and vanilla extract together and set aside.
  5. Fill a greased baking dish about a 1/3 of the way with pumpkin puree. Add all of the filling on top of that, then add the rest of the pumpkin puree on top of that gently and smooth out the top as smooth as possible.
  6. Pop in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Cut into 16 squares, chill in refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes and then serve!


Calories: 97 // Fat: .8g // Saturated Fat: .2g // Cholesterol: 11mg // Sodium: 148mg // Carbohydrates: 17.6g // Fiber: 2.1g // Sugar: 5g // Protein: 5.4g // Vitamin A 68% // Calcium 4% // Vitamin C 1% // Iron 5%

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Tater Tot Casserole

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052013tatertotcasserole12withtextThere is something about making something that is normally terrible for you and changing the recipe around to not only make it healthier, but make it almost unnoticeable that it was even altered to begin with!  I had never heard of Tater Tot Casserole until I moved to Oklahoma and a friend’s mother made it for dinner one night.  I felt extremely American stuffing my face with overly processed and super unhealthy food that tasted amazing!  It was also probably what helped me gain 80 pounds in a few years.  Goodness.  The problem with American food is that it is a do first, then eat, then think later type of situation and that is not healthy… at all.  So because I love to eat so much I decided that I would try to learn how to make my favorite recipes healthier so that I didn’t have to feel as guilty.  You know… think first, then do, then eat… then not have to think about it later!  Who is with me?  Yeah I knew you were!

052013tatertotcasserole1Get your stuff together.  Starting off organized always makes my cooking experience much more enjoyable for me!  Maybe it isn’t as helpful to others, but having everything right there makes less stress when you’re stirring and mixing and grabbing and blah, blah.  :)

052013tatertotcasserole2The first thing I do after I have gathered everything that I need is to put a layer of tater tots on the bottom of my greased casserole dish.  Set that aside and preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

052013tatertotcasserole3Next heat up your frying pan and start cooking your ground turkey.

052013tatertotcasserole4Throw in the minced garlic and mix it up.  At this point season your meat with whatever your heart desires.  I usually use some salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, poultry seasoning, and parsley.  The amounts do not really matter, I usually sprinkle it in until it looks like it’s enough.  :)

052013tatertotcasserole6Add in those beautiful onions and let them cook until they start to become translucent and juicy.


In a mixing bowl and stir in your bell peppers (red, orange, and green), green beans, yogurt, cream of mushroom soup, and reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese.

052013tatertotcasserole8Pour all of that over your layer of tater tots and then add another layer of tater tots on top of soup mixture.

052013tatertotcasserole9Add the glorious meat mixture on top of the second layer of tater tots.

052013tatertotcasserole10Then pop that baby in the oven for 40 minutes and enjoy the smells that fill up your house!


After it cools a little bit, scoop it out, plate it, then eat it!  YUMMY!

Tater Tot Casserole

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 8

Serving Size: 1 serving

Calories per serving: 323

Fat per serving: 14.7g

Tater Tot Casserole

B- rating (on!

High in calcium, very high in vitamin C, and very high in vitamin B6.


  • 16 oz ground turkey
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 cup of mushrooms (roughly chopped)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 medium orange bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1.5 cups green beans
  • 16 oz tater tots
  • 8 oz nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 and lightly grease a large baking dish. Put a layer of tater tots in the casserole dish and set aside.
  2. Heat up your frying pan start cooking the ground turkey. Add the minced garlic, chopped mushrooms, and the chopped onion into the frying pan and cook until thoroughly combined.
  3. In a mixing bowl combine the red, green, and orange bell peppers together with the green beans, Greek yogurt, Cream of Mushroom soup, and cheddar cheese.
  4. Pour the soup mixture on top of the tater tots in the casserole dish and then add another layer of tater tots on top of that.
  5. Put the meat mixture on top of the second layer of tater tots and then bake for 40 minutes.
  6. Chill, cut, plate, serve, eat! Yummy!


Calories 323 // Fat 14.7g // Saturated fat: 5.3g // Cholesterol 51mg // Sodium 815mg // Carbohydrates 234g // Fiber 3.1g // Sugars 4.7g // Protein 26.3g // Vitamin A 20% // Vitamin C 70% // Calcium 46% // Iron 16%

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