SURPRISE: Happy Birthday Jeanne!

Hello everyone,

If you’ve been following the blog and theme weeks for awhile, you know that Jeanne from Inside NanaBread’s Head is a large part of my world.  She keeps our little group organized and up-to-date on crafting, hooch, and Tex Mex delights.  She’s hilarious, caring, and absolutely one-of-a-kind.  So we decided to throw her a virtual surprise party for her 50th birthday!!!

Happy birthday, Jeanne!

We all brought a dish to share for the party…AND…we’ve scheduled an even bigger birthday surprise for Saturday.  So stay tuned!  It arrived on Jeanne’s doorstep in the form of 11 sealed packages.  🙂  heeheehee

Now Jeanne’s love of Tex Mex inspired something deep inside of me to make a cheesy dip…obviously.  So I created this Cheesy Chorizo Dip to bring to the virtual party.  Can I get an amen?

You will need:

  1. 1 package softened cream cheese (8 oz.)
  2. 8 oz. light sour cream
  3. 1 Tbsp. taco seasoning
  4. 1/2 diced onion
  5. 2 cloves minced garlic
  6. 1/2 minced jalapeño
  7. 1/2 chorizo sausage
  8. 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  9. 2 diced green onions
  10. 1-2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  11. Bag o’ tortilla chips!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Mix the cream cheese, sour cream, and taco seasoning together.

This picture is a result of me playing around with a new iPhone app.  Please disregard how ominous the sour cream looks.  I promise, the sour cream only brings love!  This got weird fast.

This picture is a result of me playing around with a new iPhone app. Please disregard how ominous the sour cream looks. I promise, the sour cream only brings love! This got weird fast.

Brown the chorizo and onion together over medium high heat until thoroughly cooked.  Toss in the garlic and jalapeño, sautéing for about 1 minute, until the flavors are released.

Chorizo browning on the skillet looks like dog food in pictures, so instead, please enjoy this snap of some chopped onion, garlic, and jalapeno.

Chorizo browning on the skillet looks like dog food in pictures, so instead, please enjoy this snap of some chopped onion, garlic, and jalapeno.

Mix the chorizo mixture with the cream cheese mixture.  Attempt not to eat with spoon.

Put the mixture into an oven-proof dish and top with the shredded cheese.

photo 1

Bake until mixture is bubbly and golden brown (approximately 10 minutes…I didn’t actually time this because I was doing other things in the kitchen.  Don’t trust me, just keep an eye on it!)

Top with the green onions and cilantro.  EAT with chips!

photo 3

Jonathan and I couldn’t agree on whether or not this was better than my original taco dip recipe, but the meat added an element of yowza!  Enjoy!

Happy happy birthday, Jeanne!


To keep the party going, check out… Kirsten’s Orange Cream Pie, Allison’s Coca Cola Cake, Beka’s Aged Manhattan, Megan’s Nutella Turnovers, Anne’s Mexican Vanilla Ice Cream Cones, Monica’s Tropical Ice Cream, Katie’s Chocolate Cake with Cooked Flour Frosting, Lauren’s Mini Key Lime Pies with an Animal Cracker Crust, Madeline’s Fig, Fontina and Pecan Flatbread, Carrie’s Coconut Banana Brownie Pie, and Kat’s Guacamole.

One Kitchen Many Hearts: Secret Santa

Happy holidays, my fine internet friends!

It’s time for another One Kitchen Many Hearts (OKMH) post from my sisters around the internet:

OKMH pic

Top left to bottom right: Me, Kirsten, Megan, Jeanne, Allison, and Kat

The holidays at our house were filled with family, holiday ham, presents, and Christmas jammies.  It has also been filled with runny noses, which did not bring out much holiday cheer in myself or my husband.  But nothing could have warmed my heart more than opening my Secret Santa OKMH box from my friend Jeanne (aka Inside NanaBread’s Head)!!!

Guess who?

Guess who?

There were squees of delight happening all over Twitter and Facebook when I found the box in my apartment.  The package arrived right after finals week had destroyed me, so the timing was perfect.

When I opened it up, my jaw about fell off my face.

secret okmh

Can’t you feel the love spilling out of every inch of this box and through the computer screen?  I mean, really.  There was so much care an attention paid to the details of this box that I wanted to fly to Texas just to give Jeanne a hug!

Somehow she remembered that my previous Christmas was void of any real decorations, so she MADE ME A TREE FULL OF HAND CRAFTED ORNAMENTS.  My heart grew 3 times that day.

Josie ran over and instinctively knew there was something in the box for her.  I thought she was charging over to eat the ornaments, but she simply grabbed the squeaky toy meant for her and went about her business.  It was hilarious!  I wish I had a better picture or even a video of that moment, but alas, this is all I have:

secret okmh

I immediately put the ornaments up.  They are all adorable, but here are some of my absolute favorites:


Love penguins? An owl holding a Christmas tree? Josie the pug?  C’mon!  Too cute!

Jeanne also found some goodies that were perfect to warm up our holiday season:




This gingerbread candle is amazeballs and has been burning every day since we got it! I highly recommend this scent as a holiday gift.


I painted my nails Christmas red.

She also included a homemade batch of the best gingerbread cookies in the world.  Jonathan doesn’t usually like desserts (wha?), but he was asking for these cookies like crazy.


Jeanne made our Christmas extra Christmas-y this year, which was really the best gift I could have asked for.  Without snow on the ground and my family close by, it was really special to have some new traditions to start with my new family.

Thank you, Jeanne!

What was your favorite gift this holiday season?  What is your favorite tradition for Christmas?


p.s. Check out what I gave Megan at Wanna Be a Country Cleaver.  To sneak a peek at what the other ladies got, visit Tenaciously Yours, Decadent Philistines Save the World, and Comfortably Domestic.


SURPRISE! Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries

Our dear friend over at Wannabe a Country Cleaver has gone and got engaged to the love of her life.  The blogging community could not sit idly by without acknowledging her upcoming nuptials.

So here we are with a surprise virtual bridal shower!

I’m not even sure what that means, but I know it involves lots of food, booze, and love. 🙂  If you haven’t already checked out Megan’s culinary journey on her blog, you should go there now…girl is ridiculously creative and takes fantastic food pics.

Mad June Cleaver pie skills. (click to be redirected to original photo source)

I decided to get really crafty for this party (I know, I had a total break from reality and decided to craft.  Move over, Martha) by making cheesecake-stuffed strawberries.

Shockingly, these little bites were extremely easy to make.  These are perfect for a party because even though they only took 20 minutes to whip up, it looks like you spent all day in the kitchen.  Plus, you can easily pop one into your mouth on the way to the champagne bar…I’m assuming all virtual bridal showers have champagne bars, no?

Berry berry quite contrary. I cannot get enough of strawberries this summer!

Grab a bunch of strawberries (1 carton), wash ’em, and hull ’em out so there is a little valley in each.

Whip together your 8 oz. cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese and no one was the wiser), 4 Tbsp. powdered sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla.  Combine them and place in a pastry decorating bag.  If you’re like me, you’ll usually put the frosting in a gallon ziplock and ask the nice lady at the grocery store bakery department to give you free frosting tips.

Then grab n’ stuff.

Then eat.

Or just grab your strawberries, dunk them into the frosting bowl, and have a party by yourself.  These bites are so good, you’ll want to celebrate!

Megan, I had so much fun with this virtual surprise party.  I hope you had fun too!  Wishing you the happiest future!

❤ Mads

p.s. Check out all of the other virtual party recipes and get to know these lovely ladies!


Deviled Eggs-3 Ways – Farmgirl Gourmet

Cheesy Edamame Crostini – Running to the Kitchen

Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Puffs – Comfortably Domestic

Easy Bacon Cream Cheese Roll-Ups – My Life as a Mrs. 

Sausage & Red Pepper Stuffed Mushrooms – Baked by Rachel

Retro Cheese Cookies – Decadent Philistines Save the World


Blueberry Lemonade Spritzers – Simply Scratch

Lemon-Berry Granita with Balsamic & Basil – Bake Your Day


Fresh Melon & Crispy Proscuitto Salad – A Recipe Junkie

Greek Salmon Wraps – Inside NanaBread’s Head


Eton Mess Shooters – London Bakes

Mini Cherry Pies – Table for Two

Summer Strawberry Jello Pie – Lauren’s Latest

Red Velvet Ice Cream Cupcakes – Cravings of a Lunatic

Good for you Bars – Tenaciously Yours