Category Archives: Weekend Wanderings

Pumpkin Praline Cake



Happy First Day of Spring! Even though we’ve had a really mild winter I am so ready for spring and summer!

Haven’t posted in quite a while.

Since I last posted in December I have lost 20 pounds! I started Weight Watchers again on January 1st and it’s gone really well. I’ve allowed my self to “cheat” a bit…that’s bad but sometimes you just want to eat what everyone else is eating! I noticed that my feet started feeling so much better after I lost the first 10 pounds. So many positives to losing weight!

I am also slowly removing very toxic cleaning supplies in my home. As I finish a product I replace it with something that doesn’t have as many toxins. A friend of mine shared an awesome website with me that will give you their “grade” for products so that is what I have been using to find cleaning and even personal care products that are less harmful to myself and the environment.

I feel bad that I have not been posting as much as I have before. Even though my kids are grown up I still want to lead a balanced life. No matter what your age having a balanced life is so healthy. I need to keep work, family, other obligations and of course fun and adventure in check with each other.

Even though I am dong Weight Watchers I am still baking! Temptation is rough! I found a recipe for this delicious Pumpkin Praline Cake on Pinterest and had to try it. Being the big pumpkin lover I am I always have pumpkin puree in the freezer.

This cake was magnificent. It was super moist and the frosting was amazing! I had taken some to my parents when I made it and he enjoyed it. When he came to my house a few days later I offered my Dad dinner, coffee, etc which he declined but when I offered him cake he was like YES! He loved it! I think this will be on my to make all the time list.

Pumpkin Praline Cake

For the cake
1 box of yellow cake mix
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
4 whole large eggs
½ cup chopped pecans
½ tsp nutmeg
¾ tsp cinnamon
For the icing
2 cans of sweetened condensed milk
4 tbs unsalted butter
1 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease two 8” round cake pans with Crisco and then dust with flour or use non stick baking spray (what I prefer). (you could also make this in a rectangle cake pan).
2. Mix together in a medium bowl the cake mix, pumpkin puree, milk, oil, eggs, pecans, nutmeg and cinnamon until all is moistened, scrape the bowl occasionally to make sure that you have mixed all of the mix together. Pour evenly into each cake pan or pour entire contents into the larger rectangular cake pan.
3. Bake for 27 minutes – check and see if the middle of the cake is still loose – if it is, bake in 3 minute intervals until the middle is no longer jiggly and a cake tester or toothpick comes out cleanly. Remove from the oven and allow to rest until cooled.
4. On the stove top on medium heat, mix all of the ingredients for the icing together in a small sauce pan. Heat just until butter is melted.
5. Flip one of the baked cakes over onto a cake plate (upside down) and pour ¼ of the icing onto the cake. Set the other round cake on the top of the first cake (flipped upside down). (If using a rectangular pan – start with poking the holes). Using the handle of a round handled wooden spoon, poke holes into and through the cake and gently pour half of the icing over the top making sure that some of the icing goes down into the holes.
6.Allow the rest of the icing to completely cool and then gently pour it over the top of the rest of the cake.

This is a must bake cake. Serve it with coffee or milk.

If you have followed me for a while you know that my husband is an avid gardener. We’d never been to the Chicago Flower and Garden show so we figured we’d give it a try.

The flowers are so beautiful that they looked fake!

The inspiration for outdoor rooms was fantastic. I mean making furniture with concrete blocks is genius! Eddie is afraid I’m going to put him to work!

Who wouldn’t want a garden party with this decor? Makes me wish I had a huge house with a huge yard but Nah…too much work!

Happy Spring to you from me and my honey from the beautiful Windy City!

And don’t forget to make the delicious cake. Your family will thank you!




Recipe Source  loaves and dishes


















Ice Cream Cone Birthday & Weekend Wanderings



Mother Nature is playing with my emotions. I get teased for a few days and I get to wear some peep toes shoes. The next day I am wearing boots again. Please, Mother Nature send me some really nice weather that will stay for a long while. I’m done with the teasing!

It has been busy and also lazy here. Some days are pretty busy others I find myself just laying around!

Last weekend we went to a food truck festival. I learned about it on facebook and have always wanted to eat food from a food truck. Why? I don’t even know.

I thought the food was a little pricey. This was a sampler from an asian food truck. It included a Lemon Grass Chicken Taco, Pork Belly Slider and Filet Mignon Slider. The chicken was delicious! It had such a fresh taste. The pork belly was not my thing! I don’t like gooey fat. The beef slider was ok. More than anything this sampler just looked pretty!

I had to have a Lobster and Crab Roll so I waited almost two hours in line. It was funny because for the first hour everyone was real chatty and happy. When we were in the second hour a lot of people around us stopped being so happy (including us) we just stood there quietly because of the long wait and in my case my feet were killing me! And I felt that the rolls were just OK. My husband only took one bite out of the lobster roll.

The lines, OH, the lines! I waited 2 hours for some jerk chicken that truthfully would have tasted better if I had made it at home. I was so crabby by the time we got the jerk chicken that I didn’t even take a picture of it.

I have experienced a food truck festival and will never go again. I sound like a big downer. Maybe I’m too old for that kind of thing…NAH! It was the long waits in line that made me the most unhappy. It was nice to get home and put my feet up!

A while back I made this birthday card but I don’t think I ever posted it so here it is. Isn’t it cute?

I like the gatefold card because of the way it opens up. Just a little different than the everyday card.

Thanks for stopping by! We’ll chat again soon!



Supplies: Stampin’ Up!, vintage book page





King Ranch Chicken and The Cubs



This my last Monday at work before going on vacation! WooHoo! I can’t wait to start sleeping late and that starts Friday.

It was the best weekend ever. I went to my first Cubs game ever! I am so deprived. I have waited 26 years to go to a Cubs game. Thanks to the generosity of my best friend I made it to the game. I would have actually made it before but I wanted my husband to take me and he just never would…boo hooo! When my friend gave me the tickets I actually called my  younger brother right away then I told my husband! We were lucky to enjoy some fabulous seats. It was so exciting. I love Wrigley Field. The atmosphere was awesome, my Chicago Hot Dog was the bomb. The atmosphere on the streets after the game was contagious but since I had my youngest daughter with me we weren’t able to go to any of the bars. That will be another time I guess. Even the bus ride there and home was great.

That’s me and my brother in the bad selfie!

Sunday my Dad left on vacation so we went to my parents house to see him off. We all took food so of course it was a buffet of pizza, chicken and carnitas. We will be joining my Dad on vacation for five weeks and I am so excited.

King Ranch Chicken…what can I say about it other than delicious! This is another meal that I thought my husband was not going to like but he surprised me.

This has some of my favorite things including cheese, chicken and tortillas.

King Ranch Chicken


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 med. onion, chopped
  • 1 med. green pepper, cored and chopped
  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 2 cups chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • 12 corn tortillas (6-INCH), torn into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add onion and pepper, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add soups, tomatoes with peppers and chicken, stirring until well blended.
  3. Alternately layer tortillas, soup mixture and cheese, repeating for three layers. Bake until hot and bubbly, about 30 minutes.

This is the perfect pot luck meal! The filling is amazing.



Recipe source Ezra Pound Cake

Southwest Chicken Salad and Weekend Wanderings



Wow! Last weekend was so great that I was totally exhausted and didn’t post anything on Monday.

It all started on Friday when I went out for dinner with a friend of mine. Another friend had told me about a place that serves Puerto Rican and Cuban food. Well, I had to try it. It was amazing! Cafe 23 has delicious food! I had never had a Jibarito but heard that they are delicious so I had to have one with roast pork…I think I died and went to heaven when I bit into this delicious sandwich!!!

The “bread” was actually plantain. Wow!

The Arroz con Gandules was also delicious!

I need to go back to this place ASAP!

Saturday I participated in my first 5K for The Pink 5K. It’s the first time I had walked so far in about 4 years because of my plantar fascitis. What better way to spend time with friends and get a bit of exercise while we raise money for a good cause?

Here I am with my friends and a good-looking guy that works with my best friend!

Of course we needed some energy after the 5K so we absolutely had to go eat breakfast. I tried to be healthy but it was really hard.

By Saturday evening my feet were killing me. I was in so much pain, but it was well worth it. When I got up Sunday morning my back was also hurting. I am just falling apart! I didn’t want to feel bad on Mother’s Day but there was nothing I could do. What did we do for Mothers Day? We went out to eat of course! I had never been to Smash Burger. Their Smash Fries are amazing. They are made with garlic, rosemary and olive oil.

After lunch we stopped at the cemetery to leave flowers for my Grandmother then went to my parents house . I think my dad can read my mind. He had bought some Micheladas and what do you know? My back ache was cured after having just one giant Michelada! Of course later in the evening at my parents we did what we do best-eat…again! I ate so much this past weekend that I am positive I gained at least five pounds!

Even though all I did was eat this past weekend I still have a great recipe for you. I am not the biggest fan of Chicken Salad because I find it kind of bland but this recipe is a different story!

This was so flavorful.

Southwest Chicken Salad


  • 10 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 lime juice, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • dash crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 (12 oz) cups cooked chicken
  • 1 (11 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1/2 green pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro (2 tsp dried)


In medium bowl whisk together mayonnaise, lime juice, taco seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder and red pepper flakes.  Stir in remaining ingredients. Coat evenly.
Cover and refrigerate 25-30 minutes before serving.

Easy and flavorful. Perfect for a spring or summer picnic.

I have enough stored in my belly to last me a couple of weeks, but unfortunately eating seems to be a necessity. I also believe that breaking bread with another person is one of the most satisfying and  personal things in life. So go out and have breakfast, lunch or dinner with  someone you love to spend time with.



Recipe source Plain Chicken