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I'm Nicole. I am a wife, mother, shop owner on Mackinac Island, and lover of handmade. The little things and little moments inspire me. Follow me on my blog as I write about shop news, my travels, island life and motherhood.
Nicole
xo.

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I love going to Pinterest to find tasty and easy recipes to make when I'm in a rut! Since it's the new year, I've been looking for easy, but delicious week night meals to make! I want to be able to feed our entire family great and healthy meals - even when we are on a time crunch. 

Chicken Fajitas Bake from Seeking Good Eats

Ingredients: 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 (4 to 6 oz ) boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts,  1" to 2" pieces. If using pre-cooked chicken, you will need about 5 to 6 cups.
  • 4 bell peppers, sliced (vary the colors to make it pretty! I used green, yellow, red, and orange)
  • small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 recipe of Fajita Seasoning Recipe or Copycat Taco Seasoning Mix Recipe (feel free to use store-bought packets if you're short on time)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
  • optional: sour cream, avocado slices or guacamole, cilantro, and salsa. Don't forget hot sauce for the spicy lovers!

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In an oven proof skillet, over medium heat, saute the chicken in olive oil until the chicken is done. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  2. Add onions and peppers and saute until tender, (approximately 3 to 5 minutes depending upon your preference). 
  3. Add chicken back to the pan and stir in the fajita seasoning, sour cream, and cream cheese. Mix well.
  4. Sprinkle the top with cheese and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. 

This recipe + picture are from Seeking Good Eats. 

 

Taco Lasagna Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 green pepper finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups tomato sauce plain, no salt added (400ml)
  • 1 3/4 cups mild chunky salsa (400ml) or hot
  • 12 Catelli Express Lasagne Noodles
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup water
  • sour cream, avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, etc, for serving as desired

Instructions

  • In a large pan over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef, green pepper and onion until beef is browned and vegetables have softened (10-15 minutes).
  • Add the taco seasoning, garlic and salt and cook 1 minute.
  • Stir in the tomato sauce and salsa, and cook over medium-heat for 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9×13″ pan. Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan, then top with 3 lasagna noodles. Top with ¼ of the remaining sauce, and 1 cup of cheese. 
  • Repeat layers 3 more times for 4 layers total. End with remaining sauce and cheese on top.
  • Just before baking, carefully pour ¼ cup water around the edges of the noodles in the pan (not on top of the cheese) — this will help to cook the noodles and keep the lasagna moist! Spray a piece of tin foil with non stick spray and place (spray side down) on the lasagna. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
  • Uncover the lasagna and bake 8-10 more minutes, until thickened and bubbly and cheese has browned slightly. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

This recipe + picture are from The Recipe Rebel.

Mediterranean Nachos

Ingredients:

  • 4 pita pocket bread sliced into 8 triangles each
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas drained and rinsed, pat dry
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil + more for drizzle
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 medium cucumber diced small
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives pitted and sliced
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes julienned (I like the ones in oil and I just dab off the oil before using)
  • 1/2 cup banana peppers sliced
  • 1 small shallot thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup feta crumbles
  • 2-3 green onions sliced for garnish (I use white and green parts)
  • 2-3 Tablespoon fresh parsley chopped for garnish
  • Hummus & Tazatziki Sauce for serving 

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line one baking sheet with parchment paper and spread pita triangles across. Drizzle olive oil lightly across the pita bread, along with salt and pepper, and toss to coat evenly. 
  • On a second baking sheet, spread out the rinsed and dried chickpeas. Toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil, salt, pepper, and onion powder. Place both sheets in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, tossing each halfway through.  Check for desired crispiness and remove from oven.
  • Meanwhile, prepare toppings and dips, if making homemade.
  • When the pita chips come out of the oven, transfer them to a serving tray/plate (or just leave them on the tray!). Top pita slices with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, banana peppers, shallot slices, and feta crumbles.
  • If desired, put the nachos back in the oven for 3-5 minutes if you want the toppings to be warm, too. Garnish with green onion and chopped parsley. Serve immediately with hummus and/or tzatziki sauce.

This Recipe + Picture are from Fork in the Kitchen

It’s a new year and I’m sure you’re craving some healthier newer dishes! I hope you enjoy these meals. Let me know what you think! 

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I love the holiday season! 🎄 One of my favorite parts is the holiday appetizers! I'm highlighting some of my favorite on this week's blog. Check out these amazing apps here:
This recipe from Joanna Gaines Pretzels and Cheese Dip is just amazing! I love that you have the option to make them savory or sweet (by adding some cinnamon sugar)! Picture from KendellKreations.
 
The Cookie Rookie makes an incredible 7 Layer Greek Dip and everyone loves a good 7 Layer Dip! I love that you can make this recipe beforehand and that it doesn't have to go into the oven, since there is always limited space in the oven. Picture from The Cookie Rookie.
The Chunky Chef makes Bacon-Wrapped Little Smokies. Everyone loves them - even the kids! They are sweet and smokey, and my mouth is watering just thinking about making them! Picture from The Chunky Chef.
Women's Day complied a list of 65 Christmas Appetizers that are all great ideas for serving your family and friends during the holiday season! I love the wide range of ideas that they give! Picture from Women's Day.
The holiday season is the happiest time of the year! 🎄 I'm excited to spend the holidays with friends and family, making delicious appetizers for everyone to enjoy! I'd love to hear what you are making this holiday season - let me know! 
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I love snack time after school with the boys! It’s one of my favorite parts of the day. I love seeing the boys and having them tell me all about their days! They also love it when I have delicious snacks and treats waiting for them!  Here are some new delicious after school snacks that I plan on incorporating into our after-school routine this fall.

Apple Nachos from Good Cook

  Shot from Good Cook. Grab apples, peanut butter, Nutella and some fun sprinkles to make this nutritious and fun snack! 


Critter Crudites from Good Housekeeping

Shot from Good Housekeeping

Grab some apples, blueberries, peanut butter cream cheese and other fruit to make some delicious and healthy veggies friends! 


Grilled Cheese Roll Ups form Brit + Co.
Shot from Brit + Co

Grab some bread, sharp cheddar cheese and make these tasty little treats for an afternoon snack! 

These are some of the new recipes that I’m adding to our after school snack rotation! For more fun recipes, visit my Pinterest here for more ideas! 

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Sharing a recipe that we all love in our home! The recipe is from Gimme Delicious: Chicken and Avocado Tacos with Creamy Cilantro Sauce! 

Tacos

Shot from Gimme Delicious 

Here’s the Recipe and Instructions from the website:

For the Chicken

  • 1 pound chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 clove garlic crushed or minced
  • 1 tbsp chili powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion or garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • squeeze of lime optional

Cilantro Lime Sauce

  • 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek Yogurt or Mayo
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

To Assemble

2 avocados, sliced

6-8 small tortillas corn or flour

Instructions

To Make Chicken

  • Chop 2-3 medium chicken breasts into small bite-size pieces. In a medium bowl whisk together olive oil, garlic, chili, cumin, onion powder, and salt. Add in chicken and toss to coat completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes or up to 48 hours. 
  • To cook: Heat a large heavy-duty or cast iron skillet on high heat for 1 minute. Add the olive oil and chicken. Cook chicken in a skillet over medium-high heat until charred and cooked through, 8-12 minutes. Turn off heat and finish with a squeeze of lime (optional). 

To Make the Cilantro Lime Sauce

  • Add the sour cream, cilantro, garlic, lime juice and salt & pepper to blender or food processor. Blend for 30 seconds to 1 minutes or until creamy. 

To Assemble:

  • Char tortillas on stove-top if desired. Add some of the chicken to the warmed tortillas. Top with avocado and cilantro sauce. 

It’s perfect the perfect recipe for a weeknight- it should only take 30 minutes total to make! If you give it a try, let me know what you think!

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With how busy this season is, I find that having staple, go-to meals is perfect for making sure that everyone eats as a decent hour and making sure that it’s easy for me!

Here are three hearty and healthy fall meals I keep on constant rotation in our home!

Pumpkin Stuffed Shells: This recipe is from Eat Yourself Skinny and can be found here.

INGREDIENTS

  • 20 jumbo pasta shells

For The Filling:

  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup grated pecorino cheese
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp fresh sage, minced
  • Pinch salt and pepper

For The Marinara:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbsp pecorino cheese
  • 2 tsp. fresh sage, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup pecorino cheese (for topping at the end)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook pasta shells according to the package instructions, until al dente, and drain. Rinse with cold water and arrange on a baking sheet to cool until ready to stuff.
  3. To make the filling, mix together pumpkin, pecorino cheese, egg white, nutmeg, cinnamon, sage, salt and pepper in a large bowl until all incorporated and set aside.
  4. To make the marinara, drizzle olive oil in a large skillet and saute garlic until fragrant. Add chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, pumpkin, pecorino cheese, sage, basil, nutmeg and salt mixing well until everything is combined. Bring to a boil then turn down heat to medium/low, cover and allow sauce to simmer for about 15 minutes. This is when you can stuff your shells.
  5. Using a pastry bag (or a spoon), fill each shell with about 2 tablespoons of filling.
  6. In a 9″ x 13″ baking dish, spread about 3/4ths of the marinara in the bottom of the dish and arrange shells on top. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes.
  7. Remove foil, sprinkle with additional pecorino cheese and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes until hot/bubbly and cheese is melted.
  8. Top with remaining sauce, serve and enjoy!

 

Mini Chicken Pot Pies: This recipe is from One Little Project and can be found here.

 

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup chopped leftover chicken or 1 small fresh chicken breast, fully cooked.
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup mixed frozen vegetables peas, carrots, corn and green beans, defrosted
  • 1 package refrigerated biscuit dough

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Combine the chicken, mixed vegetables and cream of chicken soup in a medium bowl and stir well.
  • Separate each of the biscuits and place them into the compartments of a greased muffin tin.
  • Using your fingers, push down on the dough starting in the middle, then working the dough up the sides of each of the muffin compartments, as high as it will go.
  • Add the filling to each of the compartments (approximately 2 Tablespoons each).
  • Bake at 375F for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

Notes

You can substitute the refrigerated biscuit dough for refrigerated crescent roll dough if you prefer. Just cut out circles or squares of the dough to put in the muffin tin. Biscuit dough gives it a salty and firm texture. Crescent roll dough will give it a sweeter and softer texture.

 

Chicken Noodle Casserole:

This recipe is from Kleinworth & Co. and can be found here.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked egg noodles
  • 2 large chicken breasts- cooked & shredded about 2 cups of shredded chicken- leftovers are great for this or rotisserie chicken
  • 1 15.25 oz can whole kernel corn - drained
  • 1 15 oz can no salt sweet peas - drained
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 22.6 oz can cream of chicken condensed soup
  • 1 tbsp minced onions
  • 1 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 cup shredded colby jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup bacon bits
  • 1/2 cup french dried onions

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Spray 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray- set aside
  • Cook noodles to package directions (usually boil for 6-8 minutes) drain & place in a large bowl
  • Add in cooked chicken, corn, peas, condensed soup, milk, minced onions, granulated garlic, cheese & bacon bits
  • Fold to combine & transfer to prepared baking dish
  • Top with french fried onions
  • Bake 25-30 minutes or until bubbling & hot throughout
  • **Note: per reader feedback I do not advise substituting the egg noodles with another kind, such as elbow macaroni. Those tend to soak up more of the moisture & leave the casserole dry.

 

Let me know what you think of these recipes and what recipes you keep on hand for the busy fall days!

Pictures are from their respective websites. 

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