The girl behind it all

Hello, beautiful people!!

Who am I? Sometimes I find myself asking this question A LOT. Do we ever really know the answer? I am a lot of things. I am student, an aspiring chef in my second year of culinary school. I am a crafter. A foodie, and oh how I love all things food! I am the photographer and owner of Samantha Holbrook Photography. I’m of Polish and Hungarian descent (hint the name, The Hungary Pollock), but first and foremost, I am a Mother! A mother to two beautiful, smart and sassy little girls. There isn’t anything I hold higher than those precious souls or my wonderful, sweet husband.

I feel, in all, I have been blessed beyond measure for the road my life has chosen, just for me. Whether it’s in the kitchen, at home, or outdoors, I learn new things every day and work hard to get where I am right now. I’m always looking for opportunities to capture the beauty of everyday life. It’s not often we get to sit back and enjoy what’s really around us, so I try to stop, even if for just a second, to take it all in.

I want to be able to share, with all of you, a smidgen of my life’s adventures. Hope you enjoy!🙂

Momma’s Hearty Pasta Salad

Any cookout I am invited to, I am quick to scour the buffet table of edible goodness until my eyes are fixed on the beautiful selection of salads- potato, macaroni, fruit and my favorite… Pasta salad! All just waiting to be devoured. And who better to put away a big plate of pasta salad than me? I think of it as my duty to help rid the world of dreaded leftovers that just hang out in the fridge after being forgotten. That’s acceptable, right?

If I’m asked to bring a dish or if I have a cookout of my own, you can guarantee that I am the one who brings the pasta salad. It’s always been a tradition of my mom and mine to make it for big events and it’s highly requested. Momma is a believer that a good pasta salad should be hearty and have just the right amount of dressing that is neither too wet or too dry.

Hearty Pasta Salad

After many years of making it, we found that a good pasta salad starts with a quality dressing and is best the next day as the flavors have time to really infuse into the noodles and veggies. If, after 24 hours, the salad is dry, we can simply add more dressing in as needed. Of course, you don’t have to wait a whole day to dig in but it’s like a good chicken noodle soup- always better the longer it sits.

I’m sure that there are plenty of versions similar to this, and maybe even identical, but this is how we make ours and it’s a favorite to anyone who has tried it. So, if you need something to bring to your next gathering, give this recipe a try!

Momma’s Hearty Pasta Salad


  • 1 lb. Rainbow (tri-colored) Rotini noodles
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 package of sliced pepperoni
  • 1 can of black olives, drained and sliced or halved
  • 1/2 block of pepper jack cheese, diced or small crumbles
  • 1/2 block of Colby Jack cheese, diced or small crumbles
  • 1- 16oz. bottle of Italian Dressing (our favorite is wishbone)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Cook rotini noodles according to package. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking of the noodles. Add to large bowl with lid.
  2. Dice tomatoes (saving the juice that comes out), onions, cucumber and peppers. Toss everything in with bowl of noodles.
  3. Slice pepperoni’s into half circles, separate and add to the pasta salad mix.
  4. Add olives, pepper jack and colby jack cheeses.
  5. Toss in half the bottle of dressing and the 1/3 cup parmesan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2-4 hours (or over night).
  6. Right before serving, add remainder of dressing (more or less as desired).


  • Don’t have tomatoes on hand? No problem. Just use a can of diced tomatoes and be sure to add the juice from the can as well.
  • Halved cherry tomatoes are also a great substitute for the whole tomatoes.
  • Every now and then I will switch out or add different ingredients to my pasta. I have been known to use: Broccoli florets; carrots (thinly julienned); green olives; yellow onions; summer sausage (thinly sliced and halved)

I hope you like this recipe for Momma’s Hearty Pasta Salad. You really can’t go wrong with it. Your results all depend on what you like best so don’t be afraid to play around with different variations, dressings or noodles. This just just how we like to make ours and it’s never failed us.

Got a different variation of pasta salad that you like best? Share it with me. I would love to give it a try for my next cookout.

Don’t forget to give my blog a quick follow for new recipes and a updates in my crazy life.  <3

Love and Sacrifice

As a mother, I am doing what I can to instill proper values on my children. I do my darnedest to make sure they are always showing respect, mannerly, honest and always, always full of love and compassion for those around them. With toddlers, it’s more just getting them familiar with how the rest of their life under my authority will go.

As any mother or father would, I want to see my children succeed. I never want to see them struggle, but I want them to know what it’s like. I want them to know that in order to get what they want, they have to work  and work hard for all their desires. And by working they can achieve anything. I don’t want them to feel privileged or entitled. Not that they ever could since we don’t have much and surely don’t come from a family of riches but if they ever seen the day that they established a lavish lifestyle for themselves, I want them to remember their roots and how they got to be where they soon will stand.

Being someone who has grown up in a life of struggle, from a young age living with my parents to trying to find our own place in life as adults, I’ve learned that these endeavors are exactly what I need to stay grounded and humble.

When I was younger, I thought the world was unfair and in many cases it seemed to be. My family, with my stay-at-home mom and stepdad who worked hard at all his jobs, could still hardly afford food. The bills didn’t stop coming just because we were broke and that left us with no choice but to accept food benefits, however we never abused them as there are many who do today. My brothers and I weren’t able to sign up for the sports we wished to play and going out to eat was never an option. It felt unfair that I couldn’t have a normal life. I couldn’t go to the mall buy all the “fancy” new clothes that all the cool kids were wearing. Going out with friends was rare as we never had enough money for me to spend. It was all unfair. I never understood how others seemed to have it so easy and could always afford nice things.

It wasn’t until my first job as a gas station clerk that I truly understood what being an adult is all about. It may not have been the most strenuous of occupations and most definitely not a permanent career choice, but it opened my eyes to many things. I put in many hours, taking any overtime I could get. I helped maintain a friendly atmosphere and bonded with all of my regular customers. Loved each of them like family and still continue friendships with them outside of Shell. I helped manage the appearance of the store and cleaned undesirable things that would make you gag at the sight of, among other responsibilities of the job.

Working at Shell taught me punctuality, responsibility, initiative and how to be a team player. Then came motherhood. While I was still working up until the birth of my second child, I still had to balance a work life with parenting. That in itself was a struggle. I had to learn sacrifice. I sacrificed my precious and valuable time with my girls that I can never get back, all to ensure they had what they needed and we could afford our own roof over our head. Even with both, my husband and I working, we still couldn’t afford a middle class life. We thought we were well on our way up to being “comfortable” since my husband had a new job that he loved and was quickly climbing the ladder earning raises until one day something unfortunate happened and he lost his job. All after I had already quit mine to take care of my girls while he worked.

At times, I still felt moments of resentment toward the rest of the world but I didn’t let it get to me. I had to learn that things happen, even to the best of people. I learned to live with it and instead of wallowing in the unfairness of life. I learned to make it better in the best ways I could- from baking and selling my own baked goods, painting and selling my paintings to doing photography all on the side. When I started doing that and no longer passed blame on others, I felt myself drifting into a happier, less bitter Samantha. A self that I could live with. One that pushed me to want to do better because I have little eyes staring up at me and watching my every move. All things you want for yourself become meaningless to what you want for your children.

My girls were my inspiration to finally stop with procrastination and get my butt in college. Even if I don’t get far with my newly acquired degree, at least they got to see me succeed. They got to watch me spend many late nights doing homework, sacrificing our playtime. They watched me come in the door super tired from putting in a long day in the kitchens, going straight to work at home to try and keep the house up and then back to cooking so that they and my husband have full bellies. As hard as it gets, I try to keep in mind that my sacrifices and all of my husbands will be well worth it all the in the future.

I try so hard to be a good role model for them in hopes they will never see me fail and if they do, I want them to see me getting back up and pushing forward no matter how great my obstacle. For me, that means never letting them see me break down and cry. For me, that means keeping my head up and for me, that means always being strong- if not for myself, then for them.

If we ever want our children to succeed we need to show them the way. We have to show them love and kindness. My days of parenting are nowhere near finished and I still have lots to learn. I know that I will make plenty of mistakes along the way but in those mistakes I will learn at what I need to do to be a better mom and role model. I can only hope that as they are observing my actions, that they too will learn as I did as a kid.

“It’s not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings”- Ann Landers


Up to Speed

My golly goodness- it has been way too long since I last posted. I feel like I’ve left you all in the dark these last few months. True be told, I kinda did. So… for those of you who aren’t in my family or are following me on facebook, I dropped some major news about three months ago… Are you ready?


Yep. Preggers. My little family is growing by two more little feet and would you believe it’s another little lady? Three girls, well four counting myself, living under one roof. My poor husband! Outnumbered. Even our little Yorkie, Cinder, is a girl. Deep inside I can’t help but laugh at his situation. Does that make me a bad wife? Nah. Those girls are quick to have him wrapped around their fingers anyway so I don’t think he minds too much.😉

You’re probably wondering why being pregnant has kept me from writing. Well, let’s just say these past couple months have been no walk in the park. Who ever came up with the term “Morning Sickness” has lied. It should be more like “All day sickness” or “never-going-to-enjoy-food-again sickness”. Let’s not even get started on the insomnia, Braxton hicks, and non-stop bathroom breaks along with MANY other conditions that take place in the baby baking.

Pregnancy- the only happy reason for feeling like crap.

With all that being said, imagine trying to write a blog about food when you can hardly stomach the smell of or look at anything consumable. Not fun. I’ve only just managed to start finding relief. Now that I’m almost halfway through my second trimester, I can somewhat start cooking again. Yay me!

Tums and grilled food have been my life saver when it came to finding foods that I could eat without later having to hug my toilet like we’re the best of friends (sorry, bad memories). And good thing too because I LOVE anything pulled off a charcoal grill. The smokey aroma that surrounds me every time I lift the lid just screams summer time and it’s the perfect way to end an evening with my family. These last few weeks I’ve been getting pretty creative and putting my culinary skills and advice from the grill master himself, my Grandpa Gene, to use. Ribs. Chicken. Grilled corn on the cob. Brussel sprouts. You name it, I made it. My little 17 inch charcoal grill has served me well.

Caribbean Jerk seasoned whole grilled chicken-  Bomb dot com right there!

Oh, and did I forget to mention that I finally graduated from ACTC’s Culinary Program in May? No? Well, that’s right, I am now a college graduate! Cue the clumsy, sad excuse for a victory dance!

Yes, the short girl in the middle is in fact, me.🙂

Not only did I graduate but my sassy little preschooler did too and now I have to prepare myself for her 5th birthday and get her ready for kindergarten. Excuse me while I go cry. Is it too early to blame it on the hormones?


I hope I brought you up to speed on my crazy life and hope you continue to follow me on my journey of being a mother of three. Yes, there will probably be lots of posts about my journey.

Please continue to keep an eye out for new culinary creations (when I get the chance). I may not have to opportunity to post weekly, but I will do my best to post more consistently and more often.

Now, enough about me… How have you all been? Anyone else have some new and exciting news to share? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments.


With All My Affection

Ah, Fridays! My favorite day of the week- where my days as a student are put on hold until next Tuesday and I can play catch-up on all the fun things mommies do on their days off (wait, what exactly is the fun stuff?)

Ok, so maybe that isn’t the only reason I love my Fridays. It might also be that Fridays mean…. FEATURED FRIDAY! If you haven’t been keeping up with my blog so far, my Featured Fridays are a way of showing my appreciation to my fellow bloggers. I love stopping by their blogs and reading all they have to offer, whether it’s food, family, beauty, etc…

So who’s this week’s feature? None other than Arielle from With All My Affection!


Meet Arielle


Arielle is a Vietnamese girl born and raised in Montreal, Canada. You can find her on her blog writing about food (obviously my favorite part😉  ), fashion, beauty and all of her travels. If her blog isn’t enough, you can even follow her on facebook and Instagram.

Inspiration for With All My Affection is derived from many fashion and lifestyle bloggers from all over the world. By creating her blog in 2013, Arielle has been able to share her love of life with all of her beloved readers while fulfilling her hopes of inspiring them to step out of their comfort zones, try new things and just simply learning to love life and live it to the fullest.

While normally I would opt for something food related, I just adore being able to read about all the beautiful destinations Arielle gets to visit. Places, that I can only dream of going. I can get lost in each beautifully captured image and easily fantasize walking the streets of Venice; discovering the ruins of Pompeii; or taking in all the sites of Athens. How could one not want to visit these amazing locations after stopping by her blog? 

If you’re considering seeing the world for yourself or maybe just want to pretend to escape from reality through her posts, you should really check out all of Arielle’s travels and everything else With All My Affection has to offer. 

Thanks for taking time to read about this week’s Featured Friday. Remember to check out all of my other features listed below and show them some love.

Keep checking back every Friday to see who my next feature of the week is!

Are you a blogger who wants to be my next feature or do you have someone you want to nominate? Let me know in the comments and you could be the next.



Garlic and Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Hello foodies!

We all have that one go-to meal we’ve made time and time again that never fails, whether it be to entertain guests or just something quick and easy that you can whip up and 2.7 seconds. Mine happens to be the Pork Tenderloin.

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This is one cut of meat that, when I first started cooking, was always intimidated by it because let’s face it… You can either be really awesome at making it juicy and tender or really bad at making it choke-ya dry and tough! Trust me when I say, me and the ol’loin had a few go’rounds before I got it right (thank goodness for ServSafe and thermometers to make my life easier😉 )

I love how versatile this meal can be. I have made it in a variety of ways and flavors, like cutting the loin in pork steaks (or medallions) and throwing them on the grill, roasting them in the oven surrounded by my favorite hearty veggies, and trying new flavor ideas with marinades, seasonings and sauces to enhance the flavor of the pork!

One of my all-time favorite ways to fix this bad boy is with… wait for it… Garlic (told ya, it’s in everything) and a blend of herbs. This Pork loin is so aromatic and succulent that it pairs with almost anything.

Here’s how I make it:

Garlic & Herb Roasted Pork Loin

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  • Pork Tenderloin
  • 3 Cloves of fresh garlic, cut into slices (I was able to get about 4-6 slices from each)
  • 3 tsp. Coarse Sea Salt
  • 1 tps. Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground mustard



  1. Take a sharp knife and make 5 slits in both sides of tenderloin and two slits on the ends.
  2. Stuff each slit with a slice of garlic. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the rest of ingredients.
  4. Rub an even amount of herb mix all over the tenderloin. Let sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350ºF.
  5. When oven is preheated, place the loin in the oven (on an oven proof dish big enough to hold the loin- I used my cast iron pan).
  6. Allow to cook for roughly an hour and a half to two hours or until a thermometer reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145º when inserted in the thickest part of the meat. (Using a thermometer is the most accurate way of determining its doneness, so I strongly recommend investing in one😉 ). Take the loin out of the oven and set aside.
  7. Allow to rest for ATLEAST 10 minutes. The meat will continue to cook and retain its juices.
  8. Cut it as desired and enjoy😀


I hope you like my take on the ol’tenderloin! If you are like I was when I first started this, do not let it intimidate you. You can really bring a meal to life by stepping up your game and getting out of your comfort zone. Preparing this meal is one way to do it.

Please subscribe for more recipes!





Busy Bee- Busy Break

Hello lovelies!

A fair warning for those who are expecting food- this article is probably not what you were looking for. However, I would love if you stick around.😀  (and yes, I am very aware that I skipped this week’s Feature Friday. I had been very busy getting my photography business in order for a successful new year!)

Judging by the extended forecast for good ol’Eastern Kentucky, I think it’s safe to assume that Spring has finally Sprung. So what does one do on beautiful, sunny 80º days? Shoot people, of course!

Ok, let me back that one up. If you have been keeping up with my blog you would already know this, but if you haven’t…. I am a photographer😉 ! Being the photog that I am, it’s the only time in my life where it is perfectly acceptable to say “I shoot people for a living”.

I happen to be on spring break from culinary school and the weather couldn’t have picked a better time to start changing for the better. That’s the thing I love about Kentucky. Short (mild) winters and early springs. Don’t get me wrong, there came a few winters where I felt like it was never going to end, however, there always seemed to be a sort of beauty that followed.

Since break started, I have been quite the busy bee. I don’t even know where to begin. In just the middle of the week and I’ve already managed to finish my online class assignments for the week, edited a maternity session of one of my favorite clients, got my hair done as mentioned in my latest Featured Friday, attended a double child birthday party, put together a few dinners for some more food related blog posts, and photographed some portraits of my beautiful Cousin In-law (who happens to also be a fellow blogger, Simply Anna Lisa).

Since January, I knew that I wanted to do something with my life where I could be free to do what makes me truly happy. Which is why I created The Hungary Pollock. I also find love in my photography. It’s something that I have loved since my first ever camera, the Polaroid iZone. You know what I’m talking about. The skinny doohickey that instantly imprinted your image onto pretty peel-n-stick film ( I just found that you can buy these on Amazon- BONUS!). They were all the rage when I was a kid and I was some how fortunate to be gifted that from my mom and stepdad. I went through film like it was nothing. You can find Fujifilm’s updated version of the insta print camera’s by clicking the camera below. We plan on surprising my oldest daughter with this camera for her 5th birthday. Oh the fun she will have.

Ok, I’m getting off track. Don’t ya just love how easily that happens? Anyway, photography, as well as cooking, brings happiness to my soul. Like being in the kitchen, it allows me to get in touch with my creative side and see the world around me and capture its beauty. Photography has helped get me out of my comfort zone with my (self-diagnosed) social anxiety (I’ve always been nervous to meet new people).

I know all that sounds so made up but I am dead serious. I love everything about it. I love bringing smiles to my clients faces when they are presented with their online gallery and I love making children laugh at me when I am acting a fool just to get that perfect natural smile. I love making memories with my girls and being able to beautifully preserve those special moments with the snap of my shutter!

And since January, knowing what I wanted to do, I’ve decided that I need to focus more on establishing myself as a photographer and blogger. Last year was all trial and error for me. I knew that I loved photography but I never dreamed I would be where I am today, while still not where I want to be. I owe so much to the many photography Facebook groups I am a part of for all the knowledge I’ve obtained and I owe even more to the three kindest photographers who had taken time out of my day to answer any questions I’ve had.

We are two months and some odd days into the new year and I have many goals I have set for myself for the rest of the year.Starting with building a better clientele, booking more sessions, and building my brand. With all that being said… Big changes are coming to Samantha Holbrook Photography. Starting with me offering my first ever Mommy & Me Mini-session (super pumped but at the same time, super nervous about this). I can not wait to blog about these sessions.

Want to see how the pictures turned out from my recent sessions?

Here are some of my favorite shots from David and Rene’s Maternity session:

Here are some of my favorites from Simply Anna Lisa’s portrait session:




Dee’s in the Kitchen

Hello beautiful bloggers, foodies, and readers alike!

I hope everyone had a beautiful Friday. I had a date with my favorite hair stylist today, so I sure did! I was ready for something a little less “Worn-Out-Mom” and I certainly got my much needed hair-over (is that even a thing?).

The past couple days, I have been a little under the weather with congestion so I am a little late on this week’s Featured Friday.  Never fear! I am finally ready to introduce you to another blogger who I have recently became facebook friends with (again through The Ready Steady Cook Club -or RSCC- on facebook). I just love meeting new people who share the same love for food, photography and blogging as I do.

Ready to find out who this week’s Featured Friday is?

Meet Deanne!


You can find Deanne on her blog, Dee’s in the Kitchen. Once a hard worker in the corporate world, Deanne (or Dee) knew her true place was in the kitchen utilizing her creative side, which lead her into the creation of her blog in 2015. Much of her inspiration and encouragement has been derived from her brother-in-law, who happens to be chef. 

Dee is a lover of food who finds joy in entertaining for family and friends. She never misses a chance to host a party. So if you’re looking for awesome ideas or ways to host parties of your own, this gal has what it takes to throw down!

On her blog, you can expect to find her tweaked up versions of classic family favorite recipes and a handful of her own creations, along with her own Restaurant Copy-Cats! Each recipe is accompanied with mouth-watering photos of each dish.

One recipe from her blog that I’m confident you will enjoy (being the Pollock that I am) is her made-from-scratch recipe for Peirogies, 3-Ways.

These are my all-time favorite Polish delight! Despite the time put into them, they are quite delish when made right and Dee’s recipe is very close to my own (Bonus!). If you go for the potato and cheese filling, it’s like mashed potatoes in a dumpling. And who doesn’t like mashed potatoes? 

 I really love how, in this recipe, she breaks it down in steps that are easy to follow along. With each savory filling, these babies are well worth the time put into each little dumpling. A little word of advice from The Hungary Pollock, if left with the difficult decision of choosing homemade vs. store bought- HOMEMADE ALL THE WAY! ;) 

If you’re looking for scrumptiously satisfying meals, be sure to keep up with all of Dee’s in the Kitchen updates and join the “Cooking fun”! You will not be sorry you did! 

Thanks for taking time to read about this week’s Featured Friday. Remember to check out last week’s feature, The Simple Cook, and show Colin some love. Keep checking back every Friday to see who my next feature of the week is!

Are you a blogger who wants to be my next feature or do you have someone you want to nominate? Let me know in the comments and you could be the next.

Asian Chicken Lo Mien & Honey, Ginger Sauce

Hello beautiful Foodies!

As many of you all already know, my culinary class will be proudly crossing the stage in the next couple months (Wow! That is so weird for me to even say. I DO NOT feel like it’s already time to be graduating.)

Today, my classmates and I were approached by Chef Rob about an idea he had swimming in his head for a last “Hoo-Rah” before our time in Culinary school has ended. Of course we were all intrigued to find out more. That’s when he went on to ask if we would be interested in participating in our own little version of Chopped. Do I really have to tell you our answers? One hint… the vote was unanimous!

Not going to lie- I am super, super excited about throwing down The Hungary Pollock style but I am nervous as crap to be under pressure! Sure, most likely we won’t be using ingredients as off-the-wall as Food Network’s Chopped but the whole idea of coming up with something that will blow whatever judges Chef Rob has recruited out of the water is a little nerve wracking.

Since finding out, I have been wrapping my brain around all kinds of flavor possibilities, thinking “this could go well with this ” and “that would be awesome with that”(and obviously planning for a worst case scenario with mystery food items). While details are still in the air, it’s our understanding that we will have access to everything in the kitchen and, like Chopped, we will be required to use EVERYTHING in our Mystery baskets. I’ve even jumped right in to studying my Flavor Bible (if you do not have this book- GET IT! I’ll be making a post about this wonderful find another day!).

One recipe I’ve came up with brings the flavors of Asia right to your table. Ok -confession- I actually made this a few days before learning about the Chopped Competition but still… it falls in the same category, right?

The other day I was in the mood for something Asian inspired so I whipped together a Honey, Ginger sauce; cut and fried up some chicken and threw in some julienned veggies. Oh! And let’s not forget the stir fry rice noodles! In no way would I consider myself an Asian food connoisseur, but the flavors this sauce was packin’ had me feelin’ pretty dang good about this dish!

Here’s how I make it:

Asian Chicken Lo Mien with Honey, Ginger Sauce


For the Sauce:

  • 1/3 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2/3 Cup Honey
  • 1 Tbs. +1 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbs. Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs. Ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp. crushed Red Pepper (optional if you do not like heat)

For the Chicken Lo Mien:

  • 2 Boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
  • 2 Tbs. Sesame Oil
  • 3-4 Carrots, julienned
  • 3 Celery stalks, julienned
  • 2 Green Peppers, julienned
  • 5 oz. Stir-fry Rice noodles, prepared according to box
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced on a bias



  1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.
  2. Add chicken to another bowl and coat with 1/4 cup of the Honey Ginger Sauce. Let marinate in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  3. In a wok (or in my case- a large skillet), heat Sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and stir fry until cooked through.
  4. Add carrots and celery. Stir fry for about two minutes before adding in the green peppers.
  5. Add rice noodles, Honey Ginger Sauce and green onions; stir fry 3-4 minutes or until noodles are tender.
  6. Place noodle mix on a serving platter, sprinkle with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges.
  7. Grab your chopsticks and dig in!😀


  • If you’re not afraid of a little heat, you can add as much red pepper as you like to give it that extra oomph! I, personally, love to have my Sriracha Sauce close by for those moments when I need a little extra soul warming.
  • If you do not use your noodles immediately after softening, cover noodles with plastic wrap or let them soak in cold water until ready to use. If they become sticky, rinse gently with warm water to separate!

I hope you enjoy my version of this flavorsome meal as much as I did making (and eating) it. I am always having fun in the kitchen so when I put this one together and it didn’t taste like something you just found in the trash, I just had to share with all of you.

Got another Asian inspired dish? Tell me all about it! I’m always looking for new ways to spice up my dinner options so I would LOVE to try some suggestions!



The Simple Cook

Who’s ready for our next Featured Friday? I am! Surprisingly enough I have stuck with my commitment in keeping these features going. If you know me on a personal level, you would know procrastination is my nemesis and my memory is lacking.

So who’s my feature this week? None other than Colin from The Simple Cook.

Meet Colin!img-20150523-wa0007-1

You can find him on his blog sharing his favorite concoctions or maintaining his Facebook group, The Ready Steady Cook Club,  that I mentioned in last week’s feature (Please check it out if you haven’t already, The Healthylicious Foodie would appreciate the love!). And like Clare from my last feature, Colin is another self taught cook whose love of food started early in his life. 

Colin is a hardworking father of a beautiful little girl who knows what it takes to maintain a healthy lifestyle! On his blog, you can expect to find a variety of healthy meals and simply sinful delights! From marinades to rubs and breakfast to desserts, he’s got it all! 

 I really LOVE how The Simple Cook revolves around his love of food, family and friends. In all of his dishes, these traits shine through! 

Because I’m a Wing Gal, one dish that caught my eye when reading through his blog was his Teriyaki and Honey Chicken Wings! With his homemade marinade, he brings the Taste of Asia right to your plate! 

If you love food as much as Colin, check out his blog and keep up with all of his culinary creations! 

Thanks for taking time to read about this week’s Featured Friday. Keep checking back every Friday to see who my next feature of the week is!

Are you a blogger who wants to be my next feature or do you have someone you want to nominate? Let me know in the comments and you could be the next.

Wanna be Blogger-Buddies? Contact me and let’s chat! 🙂

Don’t forget to Follow me!


Healthylicious Foodie

It’s that time again…. Featured Friday!! This week I would like to feature another food blogger whose blog I stumbled on when I joined a food lover’s Facebook group, The Ready Steady Cook Club. If you are a food blogger, have a career in the food industry or just have a love of food in general- join this group! Lots of delicious meals swirling around there with a very friendly cyber atmosphere. Best part? It’s open to anyone!

Ok, so, back to the Featured Friday. Last week, I told you all about the blog Simply Anna Lisa (if you haven’t yet, read all about her and show her some love). This week, I would like to introduce another lover of all things food, Clare, from Healthylicious Foodie


Clare is a self-taught cook who puts her time into developing easy, delicious recipes with her own healthy spin! Whether you are trying to get fit or just lead a healthier lifestyle by eating cleaner, you should check out her blog. With all of her amazing recipes and mouth watering photos you will not be sorry you did nor will your diet ;) 

With so many flavorsome recipes, it was hard to pick a favorite. However, I am a lover of fruit so a few recipes that really caught my eye were her Strawberry Chia Jam (uh yum!) and Apple Pie Quesadillas (say what?…I. Must.Make.). 

From breakfast all the way to desserts, you can expect to find way more than just the fruity meals on her blog. Let’s show Healthylicious Foodie some love and be on the lookout for new recipes, often! Oh, and don’t forget to check out her e-book, The Great Garbanzo. ;) 

Thanks for taking time to read about this week’s Featured Friday. Keep checking back every Friday to see who my next feature of the week is!

Are you a blogger who wants to be my next feature or do you have someone you want to nominate? Let me know in the comments and you could be the next.

Wanna be Blogger-Buddies? Contact me and let’s chat! 🙂

Don’t forget to Follow me!


Simply Anna Lisa

Hello Lovelies!

It’s time for another Featured Friday! Last week was Chris, a Dog, and a Food Blog (if you haven’t checked it out, please give him some love!)! This week I am featuring a dear friend of mine who also happens to be my husband’s cousin.


Meet Anna!

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You can find Anna on her blog, Simply Anna Lisa. Anna blogs about finding her personal happiness and discovering who she is as a person. On her blog, you can expect to find out what it’s like to be a Fur-Momma to two, four-legged, drooling fur babies. 


My favorite thing about her blog is her witty humor and her aspirations to complete everything on her ever-growing 12 Months of Happiness list. I think this is a great concept for anyone who’s trying to bring happiness into their lives and willing to try new things. 


Let’s show Simply Anna Lisa some love! Join her on her journey in discovering who she is meant to be in life and be sure to keep up with her 12 Months of Happiness endeavors. 

Thanks for taking time to read about this week’s Featured Friday. Keep checking back every Friday to see who my next feature of the week is!

Are you a blogger who wants to be my next feature or do you have someone you want to nominate? Let me know in the comments and you could be the next.

Wanna be Blogger-Buddies? Contact me and let’s chat! 🙂

Don’t forget to Follow me!

Angry Orchard Cupcakes

Hello Foodies! I am so excited to tell you about these awesome cupcakes! If you like apples and you like hard cider you will love these Angry Orchard Cupcakes!

Angry orchard Cupcakes with my Fireball Caramel Sauce

My husband and I don’t drink often, but when we do our go-to drink (next to my Moscato) is an ice, cold hard cider. We’ve tried a handful of ciders and we’ve narrowed our favorites down to Strongbow and Angry Orchard.

I made these cupcakes a little over a year ago for my classmates. They were a hit. I actually adapted the recipe from the blog, Brown Sugar but I wanted to see if I could come up with a recipe of my own.

To get these deliciously moist cupcakes, I simply found a basic cake recipe, combined Angry Orchard Hard Cider (Crisp Apple), Green Apples, and a few spices to top off this apple perfection. I find the hard cider enhances flavor of the apples so it’s imperative you do not leave the cider out. If you don’t like the idea of adding alcohol to your cupcakes, no worries, the alcohol actually cooks out leaving behind its crisp flavor!_MG_0543 copy

Top these bad boys off with a Caramel Buttercream frosting and a drizzle of my Fireball Caramel Sauce and they are sure to please!

Here’s how I make them:

Angry Orchard Cupcakes


  • 3 green apples, cored and peeledAngryOrchardCupcakes2
  • 2 Sticks of butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temp.
  • 2 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup Angry Orchard Hard Cider, Crisp Apple+ 1/4 cup, set aside



  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare cupcake pan by lining them with your choice of paper cupcake liners.
  2. Start by cutting your peeled apples into small dices. Add them to a bowl and pour in 1/4 Cup of the hard cider. Set aside until the end of the mixing process.
  3. In a stand mixer, beat together softened butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar; until light and fluffy. Scrap bowl down.
  4. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Working in thirds, add to butter mix. The mix may look separated but that’s ok.
  5. In a separate bowl mix in flour, baking powder, salt and spices until evenly distributed.
  6. With mixer on low, slowly add in dry ingredients. Careful not to over mix.
  7. When dry ingredients are incorporated, add vanilla; Add in the remaining Angry Orchard while still mixing.
  8. Remove mixing bowl from stand mixer. Fold in diced apples and the cider it has been marinating in.
  9. Using a portion (ice-cream) scoop,  fill the cupcake liners up about almost to the top (this is an airy batter so it will not do a lot of rising)
  10. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
  11. Top with my Buttercream frosting and drizzle with my Fireball Caramel Sauce. Enjoy the awesomeness!
Fireball Caramel sauce drizzled over my Angry orchard Cupcakes

I hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as I enjoyed creating it! If you like a super moist cake, these cupcakes are for you! I find that the more tart the apple, the better the bite!

Got a recipe you wanna share? Send them to me in the comments. I am always on the look out for new things to try.

Wanna be Blogger-Buddies? Contact me and let’s chat! 🙂

Don’t forget to Follow me!




Fireball Caramel Sauce

Hello my wonderful foodies! I am super excited to present you with this awesome recipe for a luscious Fireball Caramel sauce! This recipe will seriously knock your socks off! It’s the perfect combination of sweet and heat. It goes perfectly over cakes, cupcakes, cookies, ice cream, cheesecake, sweet breads and many more delectable desserts!

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A couple days ago, I gave you my recipe for Homemade Caramel Sauce. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do! It will be well worth the read (I promise😉 ). 

I actually can’t take credit for this idea, only the recipe. This one belongs to Sarahboo- one of my best friends and classmate-after she came over one evening for some girl time. Our original intent was to bake a batch of Chocolate Brownies but one thing lead to another and Boom! Fireball Caramel Sauce! (Is it care-uh-mell, car-muhl, or care-uh-muhl? Whichever one get’s it in my belly the fastest is good enough for me!)

This is one of the best ideas we’ve come up with together! With this in mind came the inspiration for my Angry Orchard Cupcakes and Caramel Buttercream frosting. I had a vision of boozy caramel apple cupcakes and a day later I put that vision on a plate! Who knew cinnamon, whiskey and caramel could become best friends? 

While I suggest using my recipe for a homemade sauce, you can certainly use a jar of your own favorite caramel. This recipe is so easy to make and only takes a few minutes of your time. it’s an easy way to add a little extra kick to desserts or create a beautiful presentation with a smooth drizzle on top of your favorite sweets. 

Here’s how I make it:

Fireball Caramel Sauce


  • 1 Cup Warmed Caramel sauce, jarred or homemade (get mine Here)
  • 3 tbs. + 1 tsp. Fireball Whiskey



  1. Whisk both ingredients together in small bowl until well mixed.
  2. Drizzle over your choice of sweets! Enjoy the awesomeness!


See? It’s that easy! All you need a is good caramel sauce and a few tablespoons of Fireball Cinnamon whiskey to take your dessert to the next level. I hope you give this one a try. I promise, if you like Cinnamon and Caramel you will LOVE this!

Got a recipe you wanna share? Send them to me in the comments. I am always on the look out for new things to try.


Wanna be Blogger-Buddies? Contact me and let’s chat! 🙂

Don’t forget to Follow me!

Chris, a Dog, and a Food Blog

Hello lovelies!

I want to do a something a little different than my normal posts. For the past week I have been working overtime promoting my blog all I can. From starting a Twitter account to posting on my blog’s Facebook page.

Along the way I have followed and connected with some other awesome bloggers- new and seasoned to blogging- who share a similar love for food, photography and life as I do. A few of these bloggers, I am lucky enough to call my “Blogger Buddies”.

So what is it that I want to do different? Well, I am glad you asked. Each week I want to feature some of my favorite blogs that I’ve visited. This is great way to help them build up traffic to their blog and, really, I just want to say a little something nice about their blogs that I liked about them.

One of my Blogger Buddies has already started this trend, making me the first feature of his blog, using my recipe for Tuscan Styled Pork chops. So this is kinda like a Pay-it-Forward post. I encourage all bloggers to do the same!

So, with that being said, now’s the time to introduce to you the person behind the original idea for Feature Friday- blogger, Chris Hunnicutt. 


You can find Chris on his blog at blogspot.com- Chris, a Dog and a Food Blog or on his WordPress blog by clicking Here

Chris likes to whip up scrumptious recipes, share photos of his culinary creations and even likes to do Restaurant reviews. On his blog, you can expect to find trials of his life, his family and his little dog named, Molly. Looking for healthy alternatives to the food you love? Find them on his blog. He has a handful of healthy recipes that you won’t have to feel guilty for scarfing down. 

Let’s give Chris, a dog, and a Food Blog some love! Stop on over at either of his blogs and be sure to check out his recipe for Oven “Fried” Chicken with Cauliflower Mash and Sauteed Mushrooms

Oven “Fried” Chicken with Cauliflower Mash and Sauteed Mushrooms


Thanks for taking time to read about my first Feature Friday. Keep checking back every Friday to see who my next feature of the week is!

Are you a blogger who wants to be my next feature or do you have someone you want to nominate? Let me know in the comments and you could be the next.

Wanna be Blogger-Buddies? Contact me and let’s chat! 🙂

Don’t forget to Follow me!






Homemade Caramel Sauce

The other day I gave you my recipe for Caramel Buttercream Frosting  (Along with my version of caramel buttercream, inside) for my Angry Orchard Cupcakes. Today I want to give you the recipe for my Homemade Caramel Sauce. After many trial and errors, I finally developed a recipe that I am sure you all will love as much as I do!

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I LOVE caramel!! I’ve never been able to turn down a soft, chewy piece of caramel candy or a warm drizzle of velvety caramel sauce over a cold scoop of vanilla ice-cream. In fact, when Mason (my hubby) and I make a random stop to Starbucks (these stops seem to be more frequent, lately), he always orders the Salted Caramel Cake Pops. That is, until they stopped selling them. Boo. (Insert Sad face…here).

This past Christmas, my husband asked me to make a cheesecake for his best friend and his wife (I still haven’t perfected my cheesecake recipe-boo! Sorry, Holly.). He told me that she, too, is a big fan of caramel and that’s about the only dessert she will eat. So, with that in mind, I decided I wanted to give the whole “make-your-own” caramel sauce a try. I love trying to go above and beyond when I get into baking. I guess that’s me trying to impress people, I don’t know, but being in culinary school I should be stepping up my game somewhere.

When I started, I kept in mind that the caramel is going to get its amber color and nutty flavor from the cooking down of the sugar (caramelization). I just didn’t know the best method to start with, so I tried it two ways. The first way, the very unsuccessful way, I added about 2 cups of sugar with a few tablespoons of water and cooked it in a large pot over medium heat. It started out great with very little color changes. After a few more minutes, it started crystallizing. Big nope. I tried adding a little more water to thin it and rid it of the crystals but it only worked for so long. I decided straight away that this wasn’t the approach I wanted to stick with so I remembered what Chef Rob told me about Gordon Ramsey’s method. For a simple caramel, Ramsey adds a layer of sugar in a pan over heat and lets the sugar melt down. He swirls the pan making sure the excess sugar gets melted as well. He adds butter and Viola! Caramel!

Sure enough, this way worked best for me! Ofcourse, I added a few more things to make it more of a silky-smooth sauce. This caramel has a deep amber color and is very rich in flavor that reminds me of Creme Brulee.

Here is how I make mine:

Homemade Rich, Velvety Caramel Sauce


  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3 Tbs. Butter
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 tbs. Heavy whipping cream


  1. Heat a large pot over medium to medium high heat.
  2. Add 1 cup of sugar to pot and swirl to make an even layer over the bottom.
  3. Wait for sugar to start melting then swirl pot occasionally to finish melting the rest of sugar in pot. (bring off heat every now and then if you think it’s cooking too fast).
  4. Once all the sugar is melted and has an amber color, remove from heat and whisk in butter.
  5. Once butter is incorporated, gradually whisk in the cream. Do this step slowly to keep the caramel from getting sugar clumps.
  6. If the caramel sauce seems like it is too thick in the bend of the pot, place it back on the heat and whisk constantly until it is easily incorporated back in. (As soon as you return it to the heat it will bubble up so be sure to whisk quickly).
  7. Remove from heat and allow to cool a few minutes before using diving into this velvety smooth, rich decadent sauce!

This recipe may be a little complicated at first, but with practice and patience it will come easily after you get the caramelization of the sugar down pat. If you would like to see how Gordon Ramsey does it click here.

I hope you give this recipe a try and let me know how it worked for you. What would you use this sauce on?

Got a recipe you wanna share? Send it to me and I will give it a try and even feature it on my blog. Wanna be Blogger-Buddies? Contact me and let’s chat!🙂

Don’t forget to Follow me!