Lazy Apple Pie Cake


Hives! Hives! Hives! Stupid Stupid Hives!

One of our dogs spent yesterday at the vet since he was having an allergic reaction to something. Poor pup.


It all started on Tuesday night when my husband noticed Kemper’s face was extremely puffy. Instead of looking like a chiseled Boston Terrier, he looked like a Shar Pei. He would let you touch his face and body but something clearly happened. We think it was an allergic reaction to a bug bite, or he ingested a bug. Good times.

Of course, he had just been cuddling with Autumn in her bed and another in the room next to her’s before this so we carefully searched her bed (while she still slept in it!) and the other. No luck at finding any bugs.

We gave him Benadryl and had him sleep with us to monitor him, especially his breathing. Of course he threw up IN bed at 4am, and then 2 more times before 4.45am. I brought him to drop off at the vet’s office at 7am, but they couldn’t take him until 9 because they can’t take brachycephalic dogs with facial swelling without a vet in yet, in case something happened. So we headed to my office so I could grab my laptop, so I could work from home while I figure this all out. Once 9am rolled around he was dropped off for some shots. Then at 11.30 they said I could pick him up around 3. awesome! Then at 2.20 they said the swelling and hives were back and they needed to for more shots and wanted to do a medicated bath. And then at 3.45 they said the swelling was down and could be picked up at 6.30 since they think they were finally getting a head of it and he didn’t need to spend the night

He was very excited to see Price at pick up, but then promptly crashed from the crazy day and all those meds. After his 8pm dose of benedryl he could barely keep his head up. ha! Price have him a half dose at 2.30am and another at 7 this morning and it seems like we are in the clear.

So that is my story about my dog with some unknown (probably bug bite) allergic reaction.


In other news, cake!

And better yet, it is just like a pie. I’d say it most closely resembles a crumble.

lazy-apple-pie-cake_05 lazy-apple-pie-cake_06 lazy-apple-pie-cake_07 lazy-apple-pie-cake_08

Pieces are crumbly when served since the cake topping gets nice and crisp. Like I said, it’s similar to a crumble. Anyway, I think it’s great to serve in a bowl with some ice cream or the glaze I made with the cake.

The glaze is a combination of cream cheese, powered sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. So healthy… but it’s so good for a treat from time to time.


Enjoy some cake today! I think we all could use a slice.


Lazy Apple Pie Cake

Makes 12 servings


  • 2- 21 ounce cans of apple pie filling
  • 15.25 ounce box of spice cake mix
  • 3/4 Cup butter, melted

For the glaze

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 Cup powder sugar
  • 1/4 Cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste


  1. Preheat 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a 9×13 baking pan.
  3. Dump the apple pie mixture in the bottom of the pan. DO NOT DRAIN. Cut the apples to make small pieces.
  4. Sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the apple pie filling.
  5. Pour the melted better evenly over the cake mix to moisten all of it.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the cake is golden brown.
  7. While the cake is baking, make the glaze. Combine all of the ingredients in a mixer and beat until a smooth glaze is achieved.
  8. Serve pieces with glaze. (warming the glaze slightly doesn’t hurt🙂 )
Posted in Baking, Food and Drink | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicken Tortilla Soup


We went to Fall Fest at Autumn’s daycare this weekend. So fun!

It was our first time attending such an event so we didn’t know what to expect, but we were so excited to check it out. We figured it would be a good way to kill an hour, but in reality it was really great going. We all had a blast.


They had all different activities for kids like spray painting hair, temporary tattoos, crafts, and bounce houses. Tumble Bus was there and Autumn loved playing around in there but she was addicted to the bounce house. We practically had to drag her out of it since she was having such a blast. There was a slide in there that she went on over and over again. We were so impressed she climbed up the squishy steps over and over again and slid down with her hair waving around madly. The best was that she would then leap into the ladder area to repeat it over and over again. Slide hog! ha!!


So glad we were planning on getting a bounce house for Autumn’s birthday party next month. Now we need to look into getting one with a slide since that was such a hit.

After that we had a pretty chill weekend of football watching (Giants! Bills!), NASCAR watching, and naps. Oh yeah, and this awesome soup!!!

chicken-tortilla-soup_05 chicken-tortilla-soup_06

chicken-tortilla-soup_07 chicken-tortilla-soup_08

chicken-tortilla-soup_09 chicken-tortilla-soup_10

Chicken Tortilla Soup is so good with the bright, zesty flavors and rich texture. The best is that it takes about 30 minutes to make!

I cooked chicken breast for this but you can just as easily use rotisserie chicken you pick up at the grocery store while you stop in for the rest of the ingredients for this. And really, it only takes a few things to make this killer soup, so you will be in and out of the grocery store and on your way to a great soup in no time.


You can certainly save yourself some time and effort by just buying pre-made tortilla strips, usually found along with the other salad toppers, but I think the freshly made ones really make this quick soup to the next level. You can totally make them a day in advance if you keep them in an air-tight container.

As well as the fresh jalapenos and hot sauce. What?!? I am an addict to all things spicy. You certainly don’t have to be all crazy like me!

Make this soup for to great meal that you can get on the table in no time.


Chicken Tortilla Soup

Makes 6 servings


For the soup

  • 1 pound of cooked chicken
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1-2 Tablespoons taco seasoning, depending on preference
  • 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 4 Cups chicken broth
  • 15 ounce can of black beans, drained
  • 1 pound frozen corn

For the tortilla strips

  • 8+ corn tortillas
  • vegetable oil
  • kosher salt

Various toppings

  • thinly sliced fresh jalapenos, cilantro, diced tomatoes, diced avocado, grated cheese, sour cream, hot sauce


  1. Shred the chicken, set aside.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, saute the onion and pepper in the oil. Cook until the onion is translucent and the pepper is soft, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Move the vegetables to the outer edges of the pot, add the taco seasoning to center of the pot to warm and toast.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes, cook for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Carefully, blend the soup mixture with an immersion blender, food processor, or regular blender until completely smooth.
  6. Add the chicken broth, black beans, corn, and shredded chicken to the pot with the blending mixture and cook until completely warmed throughout.
  7. While the soup is cooking, make the fried tortilla strips. Cut the tortillas into about 1/4″ wide strips.  Add vegetable oil to a skillet so it is 1″ deep. Heat the oil over medium- high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the strips in batches (some temperature adjustment may be needed to perfectly cook the strips). Carefully flip after 20-30 seconds, continue to cook until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with kosher salt. Repeat until done with the strips.
  8. Serve with the freshly fried tortilla strips and your other favorite toppings. Enjoy!



Posted in Cooking, Food and Drink | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Cheesy, Bacon, Tomato, and Spinach Strata

Cheesy, Bacon, Tomato, and Spinach Strata

I can’t wait for Halloween!!!!!

I picked up a mermaid costume at Target this past weekend for our trick-or-treating. I even grabbed a red wing so when I put it on Autumn called me “Mommy Ariel” over and over again. My life is complete now.

Cheesy, Bacon, Tomato, and Spinach Strata_01

Autumn is going to go as Doc McStuffins. She is super excited about it. We are all ready with her costume and her Stuffy.

She doesn’t really understand what Halloween is yet but she heard that candy is involved so she excited, even with the decorations in the neighbors’ yards that scare her a bit.

Cheesy, Bacon, Tomato, and Spinach Strata_02

And I’m excited to share with you this flavor packed strata.

Do you know what a strata is?

It’s a breakfast or brunch casserole that is made with bread, eggs, cheese, meat, and veggies. There are so many variations that the possibilities are nearly endless.

I put in cheddar, bacon, tomatoes, and fresh spinach. I just love the sharpness from the cheese, the sweetness from the burst tomatoes, and the fresh flavor from the spinach.

Cheesy, Bacon, Tomato, and Spinach Strata_05 Cheesy, Bacon, Tomato, and Spinach Strata_06 Cheesy, Bacon, Tomato, and Spinach Strata_07 Cheesy, Bacon, Tomato, and Spinach Strata_08

Guess what guys, if you can remember the numbers 2 and 8 you can make this awesome breakfast! Yes!

Everything is in the quantity of 2 or 8… 2 Cups, 8 ounces, etc. It’s so simple!

Cheesy, Bacon, Tomato, and Spinach Strata_09 Cheesy, Bacon, Tomato, and Spinach Strata_10 Cheesy, Bacon, Tomato, and Spinach Strata_11 Cheesy, Bacon, Tomato, and Spinach Strata_12

Yes, I know the spinach on top looks a bit meh, but it’s still delish. If you want to avoid that then mix together everything but the spinach, then layer half the moistened bread mixture to the dish, add the cooked spinach, and then top off with the rest of the bread mixtures. Problem solved.


Cheesy, Bacon, Tomato, and Spinach Strata_03

Get ready for a great breakfast!

Cheesy, Bacon, Tomato, and Spinach Strata_04

Cheesy, Bacon, Tomato, and Spinach Strata

Makes 8 servings


  • 8 ounces of french bread
  • 8 ounces of thick cut bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 Cups whole milk
  • 2 Cups grape tomatoes
  • 8 ounces fresh spinach
  • 2 Cups freshly grated cheddar cheese, I suggest Kerrygold’s Reserve Cheddar
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a casserole dish, set aside.
  2. Cut the bread into 1/2″ Cubes. Set aside in a very large bowl.
  3. Over medium heat, cook the bacon in a skillet. Stir occasionally until bacon is crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Leave 1 Tablespoon of fat in the skillet.
  4. Add the grape tomatoes to the skillet. Cook until just bursting.
  5. Add 1/2 the spinach, cook until wilted. Add the rest of the spinach and cook until wilted. Set aside to cool a bit.
  6. Beat together the eggs and milk. Add the salt and pepper.
  7. Add the bacon, tomato, and spinach to the bread, mix well. Add the cheese and egg mixture, mix well making sure all the bread is
  8. Transfer the mixture into the casserole dish. Cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours. Remove from the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes prior to baking to come up to room temperature (this helps with even cooking).
  9. Bake uncovered until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, about 45-50 minutes. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.


Posted in Cooking, Food and Drink | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Keeping a Piece of Boston in our Hearts


This past spring we packed up our lives in Boston and moved to Tampa, FL.

We were so eager about the move. It was time for change. It was time for new things. It was something we were excited to do. We took it head on.

So while we have been really excited about this move, we have wanted to bring things that symbolize or remind us of Boston with us since Boston has meant so much to us. We both lived there for 12 1/2 years. Met there, graduated college together there, bought a house there, got our dogs (Boston Terriers!) there, and had our daughter there.


I have been on the search for fun things to add to our house that will bring I was checking out the goodies at Uncommon Goods and I found the perfect thing in their anniversary gifts section. (looking to get more specific?  Then look for gifts for HER or HIM)

As soon as I saw the Skyline of Love piece or artwork I knew that it was the perfect fit for us and what I was looking for. It was beautiful, cool, and you could customize it.

There is an (almost) endless list of skylines, from US and International cities, to I bet you’ll find one for you too. This is great for giving out wedding and anniversary gifts. Or to just gift one to yourself!

skyline-of-love_uncommon-goods_03 skyline-of-love_uncommon-goods_05

Don’t want a skyline? Then check out their Silhouette of Love that takes a photo that you send them and they make you a custom silhouette. So cool!!! And the very same artist, Sandrine Froehle, does another custom piece of vintage looking colorful artwork that she creates from your photos. I love her work.


I was so excited with it’s arrival. Opening up the box revealed a beautifully framed piece of art that features the skyline of Boston. I was so excited to see the Custom House on the right side of the skyline as it’s my favorite building in Boston.

The coolest things is there are different things you can customize about the artwork, besides your name and anniversary date. You can pick from 3 different backgrounds and 10 different colors for the hearts. I liked the contrast of the black and white and I thought the red heart was just so classic.

Right now it’s handing out in the loft at my dad’s house as we are stationed there while our house is being built. It’s right when we walk up the stairs so we pass by it like 500 times a day, you know, when you have to go up and down for toddler toys, socks, pillows, new hair clips, to grab the dogs that ran away with a beloved plus toy… ya know!


Even Autumn, err I mean Supergirl, likes it. (She also likes the owl that I catch her snatching up and putting in her room! ha!)

I can’t wait wait for our house to be complete so that we hang this beautiful piece of art up so that we can bring a bit of Boston to Florida.


This post is sponsored by Uncommon Gifts, all opinions are my own.

Posted in Home | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Chipotle Shrimp Jicama Tacos with Pineapple Salsa


Let’s talk politics.

Just kidding!! Ugh. I don’t even want to think about the next month leading up to the election. Maybe that is why I am so focused on house stuff now.


I recently placed an order at West Elm for curtains for our bonus room. They are a fun with a blue graffiti pattern. Kinda like crazy brush strokes. They were on sale and I used my designer discount so I got them for a steal ($12 for each panel!).

I also ordered a white porcelain hurricane and a beautiful mirror. I don’t know where the mirror will go just yet but it was too beautiful to pass up. Oh man, it has this gorgeous blue inlay pattern. Plus, it was half off with the sale and my discount. It was like fate.


Then while I was in Target this past weekend I got sucked into the Pillowfort section as I looked for stuff for Autumn. I was expecting her to pick out a girly pattern or the pink or purple they had, but she went for the navy curtains with anchors. So my whole ‘look’ for her that I’ve had in my head for the past few months is all wacky. I am still trying to figure out if her selection is serious or not. We’ll go back and I’ll ask her again to check on things.

chipotle-shrimp-jicama-tacos-with-pineapple-salsa_05 chipotle-shrimp-jicama-tacos-with-pineapple-salsa_06

chipotle-shrimp-jicama-tacos-with-pineapple-salsa_07 chipotle-shrimp-jicama-tacos-with-pineapple-salsa_08

So yeah, my life is revolving around curtains and tacos. But that’s cool since curtains are really important in bring a room together and tacos rock.

These tacos rock because they are delicious, plus they are Paleo and are Whole30 compliant.


Have you ever had a taco made with a jicama shell? They are so good! The jicama doesn’t have too much flavor that competes with the taco filling, but gives the taco great crunch. They are thin so they are pliable but the texture of the jicama still gives it some crunch.

The one thing to note is that they are pretty small tacos, all dependent on the size of the jicama. So I’d budget like 3-4 per person for a good serving.

Once you give these jicama tacos a try you will be hooked!!


Chipotle Shrimp Jicama Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Makes about 15 tacos


For the Pineapple Salsa

  • 1 Cup finely diced pineapple
  • 1/4 Cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/4 Cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno, stem and seeds removed, finely minced
  • 1 Tablespoon of lime juice
  • salt, to taste

For the Tacos

  • 1 large jicama
  • 1 pound of peeled, de-veined shrimp, tails removed (smaller shrimp is better!)
  • 1 can of chipotles in adobo
  • 2 Tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • chopped cilantro for garnish


  1. To make the salsa, combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Cover and place in the refrigerator and
  2. To make the jicama taco shells, peel the jicama to remove the outer layer. Using a mandolin, thinly slice the jicama into rounds. Set aside. (If you don’t have a mandolin then carefully use a knife.)
  3. In a blender or food processor, combine the chipotles in adobo, pineapple juice, lime juice, cumin, salt, and pepper. Using 2 Tablespoons of the sauce, marinate the shrimp for 30 minutes. (Freeze or use the remaining sauce to marinate chicken or steak)
  4. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp to saute. Cook for 2 minutes and then flip the shrimp over and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until pink and just curling.
  5. Assemble your tacos with 3-5 shrimp (depending on size of shrimp), pineapple salsa, avocado, and cilantro.
Posted in Cooking, Food and Drink | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments