Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pistachio Cake

Hope everyone enjoyed their St. Patty's Day!
In celebration I made a Pistachio Cake to take to church with us last night.

1 Box Yellow Cake Mix
1 Box Pistachio Instant Pudding
1 8oz Sour Cream
2 Eggs
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
7 drops green food coloring

Beat all ingredients together for 5 minutes or until mixed well

Pour into greased/floured bundt pan and cook on 350 for 1 hour

1 box confectioners sugar
1 stick butter
1 box cream cheese
2 teaspoons vanilla

Beat with mixer until you get a creamy mixture
This icing is so delicious - I could eat it on anything!

It was an OK cake. Nothing too exciting, since you use pudding mix in the cake it is very moist almost doughy. Maybe I should have cooked it a little longer. But the whole cake was gone after church!
Just posting this pew on here for my friend Brig. Found while antique shopping in Quitman last weekend!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Happy St. Patrick's Day Everyone!
I've found a couple of inspiring 'green' meals you could prepare to celebrate the luck of the iRish!

So I'm definitely going to be making breakfast like this for my youngins one day. Send them off to school with a little green breakfast to celebrate St. Patty's day!
Or green pancakes for the babies!
So basically, I guess I'm going to be a crazy obsessive mom! Because I would totally go all out and pack this adorable green lunch for my kids! :)

Green Spinach Salad YUMMM!

Pesto Pasta is like heaven to me, reminds me of being in Italy!

Of course gotta throw in some Rice Krispy's!

Whatever you choose, I always find it fun to be as creative as possible! I'll post tomorrow about what I'm baking to celebrate St. Patty's Day!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Moving Forward

It's been a while since I've posted. Sorry. Been a busy little bee!
Todd and I went and picked out a piece of land Saturday so we're making moves in the right direction! Hopefully we'll be meeting with an architect either this week or next and we'll be able to put a contract on the land and start the building process... Saturday after we left the potential neighborhood we stopped at a cute little hot dog shack in our future town, Monticello!!
It was an old gas station turned in to the cutest hot dog shack!
I know when we are done building and move in to our new house I'll have a couple people who might want to make a stop at Poppa's Hot Dogs while visiting me and Todd. We'll keep everyone posted on the progress of the potential new Gillean residence!

This is a picture of the old gas station

And this is the outside of the renovated hot dog shack

This place was so yummy and a great way to have a Saturday afternoon lunch!

This is the precious courthouse that is at the center of town in Monticello.

Coolest thing is the round about that circles the courthouse. Too cute!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Stuffed Shells... It's what's for dinner!!

I've created a new recipe to add to the recipe box!! The hubby and in-laws were very happy with the results of the stuffed shells, so we'll definitely be having them again one day.
  • One box of jumbo shells
  • Large container (2pds) of Ricotta Cheese
  • I had 2 small jars of spaghetti sauce (or 1 large jar, flavor is preference)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 pds of Ground Beef
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (2 - 2cup bags)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh or dried parsley flakes (I used dried)
  • Pinch of fresh garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

First, you want to brown the meat in a sauce pan. Drain meat and add tomato sauce. I add salt, pepper, dab of crushed garlic, and dried basil. While the sauce was cooking I boiled the shells. I add salt and olive oil to the water I boil the pasta in. Salt adds flavor to the bland noodles and the oil keeps them from sticking.
Before I added the sauce to the meat I set aside about a cup of meat that I added to the cheese mixture.

In a large bowl crack and scramble two eggs. Add the ricotta cheese and mix thoroughly. I added a handful of the shredded mozz cheese in to the ricotta cheese. Added a couple tablespoons of the dried parsley (I just guessed based upon when I thought it looked like enough). You just want to be able to see the green specs in the cheese. I also added Parmesan cheese and the meat and stirred it all together. I wanted meat and cheese in my shells not just in the tomato sauce. What can I say... We're fans of meat around here!

After the cheese mixture was ready, I set up an assembly line to stuff my shells! Before adding the layer of shells in the 9x13 lightly greased pan, I put a thin layer of meat sauce on the bottom of the dish.

After I layered the pan with the shells I sprinkled a thin layer of the shredded mozz cheese all over the shells. I then added the remainer of the meat sauce to the top of the shells. This actually made enough to make another 1/2 pan of stuffed shells that we put in the freezer for another night. If you make this much just make sure you put a piece of saran wrap right over the sauce pushed down firmly and then a piece of Reynolds wrap. This will keep it fresh and prevent freezer burn.
Cook on 350 for 30-40 minutes until bubbly & Enjoy! I broil mine the last minute or two to make the cheese nice and brown and yummy looking! :)

Right out of the oven!

I made a little salad bar to go with our stuffed shells. Shredded cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and crispy onion straws!

The final product - served with corn & Texas Toast!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

23 is Going to be a GREAT year :)

This past weekend I celebrated and celebrated and CELEBRATED my 23rd Birthday!! It was such a great time. I love my family and friends so much. They are all so Lovely!! :)

First of all, when we got in to Jax we went to my Daddy's before heading to Cantina Laredo. My Dad, step mom Sherri, Todd and I met my brother and sister, Jeff & Kel and Elizabeth at town center to enjoy some of the BEST homemade guacamole from Cantina Laredo.

After dinner we went back to my Dad's and had an amazing Strawberry cake that he made for me!!

He is so creative, notice the candles shaped in a 2 and 3

Then we headed to meet my StepSis Stefanie, whose birthday was Friday.

After getting a great nights sleep, we woke up Saturday morning and drove to Interlachen to have a sleepover with my grandfather whose Birthday was on the 22nd. My Boppa (grandfather) is so special to me. Not only because he is my namesake (Charly) but because he is such a loving father and definitely an AMAZING grandfather! We spent Saturday playing games, watching the combine, watching some Nascar, and mostly EATING!!

Cool story behind the cake... When I turned 1 my Boppa and I celebrated our birthday's together. My mom got us a cake that said Happy Birthday Charlie (Boppa) & Charly (me). Mom thought naming me Charly with a Y was a little more girly. But as everyone will confirm, especially my mom, I am definitely a Lauren Charly!! So, this was the first birthday since my first, that we celebrated together and my mom got us the cake above just like old times!!

Happy Birthday Charlie & Charly!!

I Love him SOOOO much! :)

I made a wish for all the wonderful things Todd and I hope to accomplish in my 23rd year of existence! 1.) Get a 'BIG GIRL' job 2.) Build our 1st house 3.) Meet & Spoil our best friends new editions on the way - Addy Robinson & Baby Wallace 4.) Enjoy our time together

I'm sure there will be many other things we accomplish as a couple in the next year and I'm super excited about all of them!!! :)

Sunday, we woke up and Mommy & Boppa cooked us a wonderful breakfast. It was so nice all being together although we missed all our other Aunt's & Uncles and Cousins that couldn't be there.

Todd & I left in time to make it back to Jacksonville for church with his parents. After church his momma made us an incredible lunch. Nice and light so we could save room for a BONEFISH dinner!! After lunch we rode out to my best friends new house so Todd and his parents could see the final product!! It's so nice and inspiring for Todd & I! After hanging out for a little while we went to dinner at Bonefish and I had a great time. I always enjoy being around Brigid & Bud and it's unfortunate it only happens every once in a while! Once she has her little baby I'll have a good excuse to pack my bags and head to JAX every weekend!!

Brig, Me & TG at dinner !

This is my third birthday cake from my mother-in-law. It was so Delicious!

I truly have the best FAMILY & Friends a girl could ever ask for. I had such a blessed weekend and I enjoyed every minute of it. Being away from everyone everyday really makes me appreciate the time I do get to spend with them. Thank you EVERYONE who made my birthday festivities extraordinary! I LOVE YOU ALL! :)

Rice Krispy Treats

I had a fabulous 23birthday weekend, which I'll post on later. Friday before Toddy boy and I left for Jacksonville I was a baking queen! Two types of rice krispy treats and banana bread! Unfortunately, I won't be posting a tutorial on how to make my MeeMaw's banana bread! BUT I will show you how I made my rice krispys!!
Regular Rice Krispy Treats

  • 7 cups Rice Krispy cereal
  • 1 16oz bag of large or small marshmallows
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 9 x 13 greased baking dish


  • Get a microwave safe bowl and melt your butter
  • Add the marshmallows to the bowl and microwave for 30 second intervals until melted enough to stir
  • Add cereal and stir until evenly coated
  • Firmly press mixture into greased dish with wet hands (helps to keep the marshmallow from sticking to your hands)
  • I put mine in the refrigerator for a little while till they were cool. Then I cut them and had a taste test!!


Chocolate/Peanut Butter Krispy Treats


Topping -

  • 1 cup of Peanut Butter
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Filling -

  • 7 cups Rice Krispy cereal
  • 1 16 oz bag of large or small marshmallows
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 9 x 13 greased baking dish


  • Make the Rice Krispy treats first. Follow same steps as above.
  • After you have pressed the treats in your baking dish microwave your peanut butter and choc chips.
  • I melted the chocolate chips first all alone for about 1 minute. Then I added the peanut butter and microwaved another minute or until melted.
  • Then pour the chocolate topping over the rice krispys and smooth with spatula
  • Refrigerate until chocolate on top is hard
  • Slice and serve!!

All packed and ready for their trip to our sleepover at Boppa's!!!