I'm a beef jerky addict. No. Seriously. To the tune of about 20 bucks a WEEK at one point. After becoming aware of the dangers of store-bought jerky (the kind that are pumped full of preservatives, MSG, sodium, and nitrates), I decided to only eat my own homemade jerky. I will never go back.

Homemade Sweet and Hot Beef Jerky


1lb Thin Cut Chuck Steaks
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbs Liquid Smoke
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp steak seasoning
2 tsp red pepper flakes

Step 1

Using a rolling pin or meat mallet, pound out each steak to about 1/8 of an inch thick (this is why I buy thin cut, they are pretty thin to start with and doesn't take much pounding).

Step 2

 In a bowl, combine all the liquid and spice ingredients. Put the pounded out steaks in a Ziploc bag, pour marinade over top of the meat. Seal and massage the bag to distribute the marinade and steaks...get all the pieces coated. Let marinade in the fridge for at least 2 hours, up to 12 hours.

Step 3

Place marinaded meat in a single layer on your dehydrator trays. Dehydrate overnight, 10-12 hours. 

Step 4

Enjoy!! Makes great gifts!

I have been promising this big giveaway since I hit 20,000 fans on Facebook so HERE IT IS!!

Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter to win this HUGE gift basket valued at over 150 DOLLARS!!

Included in this giveaway:

An original watercolor from The Inkling - "It is Well"
A pendant necklace of the original watercolor by The Inkling - "It is Well"
A CD of great Christian music from Beyond the Ashes- "Loving What's Begun"
A sheet of Black and White Chevron Jamberry Nail Wraps from The Virtuous Wife

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We love our chicken meals but sometimes we need a break! Pork Chops satisfy the whole family and these are delicious!

Apple Balsamic Pork Chops


4 boneless pork chops
1/4 cup apple cider (or apple juice)
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup apple jelly
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

To prepare for freezer: In a labeled Ziploc bag, combine all ingredients. Freeze flat.

To cook: Allow to thaw overnight in the fridge. Once thawed, remove the chops (leaving the sauce in the ziploc bag for a moment). Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saute pan. Brown the chops on both sides. Pour the sauce over the chops, cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until pork is no longer pink. Remove chops from pan, whisk in 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch into the pan sauce, bring to a boil, whisking until thickened. Add the chops back into the pan. Serve chops with sauce over top.


This is a great freezer meal. The whole family loved it!

Apricot-Honey Chicken


4 chicken breasts
2/3 cup honey mustard
1/3 cup apricot preserves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 cup chicken stock

To prepare: Place raw chicken breasts in a labeled Ziploc bag. In a bowl, whisk together the honey mustard, apricot preserves, ground ginger, and chicken stock. Pour over chicken, seal and freeze.

To cook: Thaw dinner in the fridge overnight. Once thawed, pour chicken and sauce in a baking dish, season with salt and pepper, and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

To thicken the sauce, remove chicken and set aside on a plate. Pour the liquid from the baking pan into a small saucepan. Add 1/2 Tablespoon of cornstarch, and whisk on high heat for one minute until thickened. Pour over chicken at serving.


A simple, delicious, and different take on the classic baked potato. My husband said it was the best thing he's ever eaten...and he's spoiled so that's saying a lot.

Shrimp-Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes


6 russet potatoes (washed and dried)
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp chives, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups shredded Pepperjack cheese (cheddar or monterey jack would work)
1/2 cup sour cream

Step 1
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Pierce potatoes all over with a fork. Rub potatoes with olive oil, place on baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and bake for about an hour until tender.

Step 2

Once the potatoes are done, remove from oven. Turn oven down to 350 degrees and let the potatoes cool slightly while you saute the shrimp.

Step 3
While the potatoes are cooling, melt the stick of butter in a saute pan. Add the shrimp, garlic, chives, Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper. Saute until the shrimp are done, 3-5 minutes. Set aside.

Step 4
Cut the tops of the potatoes off and scoop out the flesh into a bowl, leaving about 1/4 inch of potato in the skin. Set potato shells onto the baking sheet.

Step 5
To the bowl of potatoes, add the shrimp and all the butter sauce from the pan, the cheese, and sour cream. Mix well.

Step 6
Stuff each potato shell with the shrimp/potato mixture. You can pile any extra filling on top of each potato. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until it begins to brown on top.

Step 7
Serve with fresh steamed corn for a complete meal!


My husband has been asking for me Asian-inspired freezer meals. So I added this one to the ones to try out this month. It was a hit! Even the kids liked it. Yay!

Curry-Citrus Chicken


2lbs of chicken pieces (I used thighs but wings, drumsticks, or breasts would work)
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning

To prepare as freezer meal: Place raw chicken pieces in a labeled Ziploc bag, mix other ingredients together in a bowl and pour over chicken. Seal and freeze flat.

To cook: Take dinner out the night before and allow to thaw overnight in the fridge until ready to cook. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pour chicken and sauce in a baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Serve over rice.


One of my most requested dinners is my famous Beef Enchiladas. I often serve it alone with no side dish until recently. I was in the mood for a Spanish rice type side but opted for the couscous instead because it's so much faster! My whole family loved it!

Mexican Couscous


1 cup salsa
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup dry couscous
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 avocado, peeled and diced

Step 1
In a small saucepan, bring the salsa and water to a boil.

Step 2
Add the couscous, stir to combine. Cover and remove from heat. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Step 3
Uncover, and fluff the couscous with a fork. Stir in the black beans and avocado. Serve along side your favorite Mexican main dish!


My dad came over today and offered to watch the kids while I ran to get a few groceries. He then casually mentioned he was wanting some Key Lime Pie...clever daddy. I see what you did there. So, naturally, I bought the ingredients to make him one as a thank you for babysitting. =) Super easy and so good!

Key Lime Pie


1 prepared graham cracker crust
1 cup of key lime juice
2 cans of sweetened condensed milk
6 egg yolks
whipped cream

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together the key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks. Pour into the prepared graham cracker crust. Bake for 10 minutes. Refrigerate after baking until cool and set.

Step 2

Before you serve, spread the whipped cream over the top of the pie. Enjoy!

To celebrate reaching 14 THOUSAND fans on Facebook, I decided to giveaway a gift box containing a few of my favorite things! Thank you to all of you who have supported me and my page for the last year. I feel so privileged and honored to be able to inspire and help all of you. And I treasure all the friendships I've made in real life with other amazing ladies!

Included in the giveaway is a bag of Lavender Epsom Salts (perfect for soaking in the tub at night), a box of Honey Vanilla Chamomile tea (I have a cup every night), a bottle of raw honey from my families beehive (add a tablespoon to your evening tea), a bar of my homemade Tea Tree Goat's Milk soap, a Bible Promise Book for Women (filled with searchable scriptures and uplifting prayers), AND 5 pairs of handmade peach flower earrings made by my friend Kimeny Cricket! These earrings are adorable and go with pretty much anything. I love my set! Check out her Etsy page to see all the whimsical jewelry and other items she creates!

Entering is easy! Just use the Rafflecopter entry form below! Winner will be chosen in 7 days! Good luck everyone! a Rafflecopter giveaway

I made a couple of these "Death by Chocolate" cakes for Mother's Day and I've been asked EVERYDAY since then to post the recipe, so here it is, MOM! :)


"Death by Chocolate" Cake 

1 devils food chocolate cake mix
1 cup chocolate chips, divided
1 cup chocolate syrup
1 pkg. chocolate pudding mix
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 container Cool Whip
1/4 cup cocoa powder

Step 1

Mix cake according to directions on box; pour into greased 9x13 cake pan (I used two round pans so I could give one my mom and one to my mother-in-law). Bake 15 minutes; gently sprinkle ¾ cup chocolate chips over cake.

Step 2 

Continue to bake another 15 minutes or so, until cake is done. Remove from oven and poke holes in the warm cake with the end of a plastic spoon. Pour fudge syrup over cake. Allow cake to cool overnight, covered.

Step 3

To make the frosting: Blend together chocolate pudding mix, heavy cream and cocoa powder; fold in whipped cream. Frost cooled cake and garnish with a some chocolate chips.

Father's Day is coming up and in honor of two of the best fathers I know, I created this delicious dinner! I always make Justin and my dad a super awesome new dish on Fathers Day and this one did not disappoint.

Seared Salmon with Sweet Potato Hash and Poached Egg

4 salmon fillets
4 large sweet potatoes, chopped in 1/4 inch chunks
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/2 granny smith apple, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 poached eggs (fried or over easy works too, as long as the yolk is runny)
Salt and Pepper, Olive Oil

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. On a large sheet pan, toss the sweet potato, onion, bell pepper, apples, and garlic with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast veggies for 25-35 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes until soft and browned.

Step 2

While the hash is roasting, heat a little olive oil in a pan, season the salmon with salt and pepper on both sides and cook 3-5 minutes on each side until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Step 3

To assemble. Spoon some hash on your plate, place a salmon fillet on the hash, top with a poached egg. Salt and pepper the egg. Break the egg over the top and enjoy!

An easy and delicious cobbler recipe that works with any berry! Woot!

Blackberry Cobbler


1/2 cup sugar + 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
3 cups blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, or cut up strawberries
1 cup water

Step 1

 In a bowl, mix together the 1/2 cup of sugar, flour, and baking powder.

Step 2

Stir the milk and melted butter into the flour mixture.

Step 3

Spread batter into a greased 8x8 baking dish. Pour berries on top of batter, sprinkle berries with 1/2 cup sugar.

Step 4

Pour water over the berries, do not mix or stir.

Step 5

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes- 1 hour or until batter has risen and top is brown.

Serve with vanilla ice-cream.


 I often crave cheesecake but I never seem to have the time to prepare one. My cravings usually hit around 3:30pm and I like to have dessert ready to go by 6:00pm- you know, to enjoy after dinner. So I make this super easy and quick no-bake cheese cake in those situations. It's softer than a traditional cheesecake but tastes so good, no one will care. You can substitute the blackberries with whatever berry you want!

No-Bake Blackberry Cheesecake


1 prepared graham cracker crust
2 blocks of cream cheese, softened- (I nuke the unwrapped blocks in the microwave for 30-45 secs)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups blackberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoon lemon juice

Step 1 

 In a bowl, combine the berries, granulated sugar, and lemon juice. Toss to coat, set aside.

Step 2

Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla together until smooth.

Step 3

Spread the cream cheese mixture into the prepared crust. Spread berries over the top. Chill for 2 hours.

Step 4


 Another great recipe for those fresh blackberries you'll be picking this summer! You can also substitute the blackberries for blueberries.

Blackberry Buckle Bread

(This recipe makes ONE loaf- I doubled it which is why you see two loaves in the pictures).


1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar, divided
1 egg
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour, divided
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup buttermilk (or regular milk)
2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup cold butter

Step 1

In a mixing bowl, cream the shortening and 1/2 cup of sugar. Add egg and mix well.

Step 2

Combine 2 cups of flour, baking powder and salt: add to creamed mixture alternately with  the buttermilk.

Step 3

Spread into a greased loaf pan.

Step 4

Toss blueberries with lemon juice and sprinkle over batter. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon with remaining 1/2 cup sugar and remaining 1/2 cup flour; cut in the butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over berries.

Step 5

Bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes.