tuscan pasta with tomato-basil cream*

Today has been the best weather of the year, and I am tellin you my spirits are high! This has been the best winter/spring that I have ever experienced and probably will ever experience. I have already told the husband that we are being more exciting people this upcoming summer, because last summer was a total bummer. We are going to go to some batting cages, to St. George for some fun laying out sessions and maybe even some pool swimming, and we are going to go camping for 1 night. Camping for 1 night has been a goal of mine for 5 years now, so maybe 5 is my lucky number. Landon has still yet to go camping in his whole entire life.

*Notice I am saying ONE night. I don't really like camping-like at all. I just want to eat a legit s'more :).

We have already kicked off our quest for a fun summer today (I know, it's still spring, but it's like 80 outside!). My best friend is moving to San Diego, and so we attended her going away party up the canyon and had a BBQ. Although I'm totally bummed that she is leaving me for the beautiful state of California, I am so happy that we could have a fun get-together with some yummy food, great weather, and the best company! Which reminds me, summer parties are coming up, so bring this broccoli salad in tow. I did!

This pasta is on my not-so-new-anymore menus, and it is so delish! It is in the running for being a parent conference meal, so it must be a big deal :). I am obsessed with pasta sauces that are half Alfredo/half marinara, and this sauce reminds me of that only I like it so much more. As you probably are aware, I am infatuated with fresh basil, and this sauce has plenty of that as well as lots of other yummy and fabulous ingredients.

I am going to post the recipe as it was written on the website, however I did make some minor adjustments. Basically instead of buying sun-dried tomato Alfredo sauce, we made our own homemade Alfredo sauce and pureed in some sun-dried tomatoes. If you decide to do the same, make sure that you buy the sun-dried tomatoes that are in a jar in oil, not the dehydrated-looking kind. I would suggest making this adjustment because homemade is always better than store bought, and really doesn't take that much more time. But I won't hold it against you if you take the easy way out :). Oh, and we didn't use any white wine. So basically I did everything different but add fresh tomatoes, some basil and some Parmesan cheese. Hmmm...I think I am going to stop typing now..

Tuscan Pasta with Tomato-Basil Cream
from MyRecipes.com

raspberry filled vanilla cupcakes w/ vanilla buttercream frosting*

Last night I finally broke down and downloaded the Draw Something app on my phone and made the hubby play with me. Oh, my cute little husband. He is so funny and doesn't even try. If you have never played before, it is just like Pictionary. It lets you watch your opponent draw their picture and make mistakes and erase and start over until they finally have their finished product. Well, I was watching the hubs draw his word with my thinking cap on, just trying to get it in record time. He kept erasing over and over, and each thing he tried to draw was completely different, just leaving me more and more confused. And then I thought for sure I got it. He was drawing a dinosaur with a spiky mohawk! Then he erased and drew an American flag with "42 cents" written in the corner. Evidently his word was "stamp". So I asked him where the dinosaur came into play. What I thought was a dinosaur, was actually the Statue of Liberty. Oh man...hahaha. I was laughing so hard I was crying. Definitely my new favorite game! If nothing else, it cracks me up!

These cupcakes were the dessert at the sports banquet on Wednesday. The blog I got the recipe from suggested ways to make your store bought cake mix taste homemade, so I followed those instructions. Although, I think each store bought cake mix is different because all of the extra ingredients just made my cupcakes fall apart easily. You live, you learn. Homemade is the way to go!

I think I also kind of got anxious with my filling, because I don't think I let it boil long enough and get as thick as it needed to be. Once it cooled down and I added my raspberries, it wasn't as thick and I wanted it to be. So I added some whipped topping to make it thicker. So if you find yourself in the same predicament, I would suggest adding about 1/2 cup to 1 cup of whipped topping to your filling. It still tastes amazing!

Raspberry Filled Vanilla Cupcakes w/ Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
adapted from Tidy Mom

crusted honey mustard chicken*

I am so thrilled with this recipe that I couldn't even wait one day to share the goodness with all of you! We served this tonight at a sports banquet, honestly not having a clue if this recipe is good or not, and man oh man! It was not only good, it just about knocked my socks off! I wouldn't categorize myself as a honey mustard lover, or even liker, but I will tell you what made me think that this recipe is one worth trying. Dill. I am pretty sure that I am obsessed with almost anything containing dill. I could just about take a bath in this honey mustard/dill sauce. Ok, that's really gross, and let's not lie - honey mustard kind of looks like boogers. But you get the point. Now that I have you all grossed out will booger baths, please put this one your weekly menu and make it STAT!

*In case you were wondering, we served this amazing chicken-lish-isness with roasted green beans, loaded mashed potatoes and garlic bread*

Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken
from Weight Watchers

cookie dough egg rolls*

I have been an active participant in the Biggest Loser competition going on at my work. I have been going at it since about mid-January, but I started my healthier eating diet plan and workout regimen since the day after Christmas. Although I have been doing OK, I have not been perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I have a sweet tooth unlike any other, not to mention that food is literally my career. The competition only goes until the end of April, so I really need to kick it into gear, and stop eating things like these cookie dough egg rolls!

A couple of weekends ago I really splurged, and needed a yummy dessert to end my horrible day of eating. I asked the hubs what he was feeling like, and I showed him some options that I had saved on Pinterest. He picked these cookie dough egg rolls. He is on a cookie dough kick these days, so this came to no surprise to me. They were pretty good, but I must say that I was a little bit disappointed. I think it is because the sugar in the dough was still really gritty, and that is not my favorite thing. Which reminds me, my least favorite part about Easter is Peeps. Those things are the grossest! I will not be indulging in any Peeps this coming Easter Sunday! Anyway, so if I make these again, I will definitely be creaming the butter and sugar for quite a bit longer. However, my favorite part of this dessert is the presentation! I think they would be so cute for refreshments for an event or wedding!

Cookie Dough Egg Rolls
from Pennies on a Platter