20 Nov

Philippians 4:6-9 (The Message)

 6-7Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

 8-9Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Folks. Today – I got a job as a shift supervisor at the Caribou Coffee in Osseo, MN. I feel AMAZING like I am finally going to have a life here again.
I am currently taking a break from splurging on groceries and instead, eating Ramen Noodles & Rice a Roni so for a while this blog may not be about cooking but that’s ok because I feel like life should be full. Full of love, hope, laughter, food, and most of all people. However life should we never revolve around a worry that you will not be ok, that God will not take care of you, or that everything will not turn out in the end. Today the Lord put the verse about on my heart and I have been thinking all day the simplest thing – God WILL take care of me. He always has. He always will. End of story.


Prosciutto Panini

11 Nov

It’s been awhile folks! I haven’t blogged since October I think – when I was living in an entirely different state, house, etc. It feels nice to be back in Minnesota but sadly I am in no way settled in yet. I have been spending loads and loads of time with Kevin [loving being in the same town!] and job hunting like a mad woman. In the craziness of all this – there have been days I have forgotten to sit down, or even eat. But I am taking this step by step and have decided that if Minnesota is now my home, I need to be the one to make it my home again. Starting with – yes. Cooking. My new roommates have a Panini maker and I am LOVING the possibilities of what I can make with it! The first thing I made – prosciutto Panini. Soooo yummy. If you don’t have a Panini maker you can also toast it, the same way as you toast a grilled cheese.


What you need: [For 1 sandwich]

  • 2 slices of lean prosciutto, torn into small pieces
  • 4 fresh basil leaves
  • 4 small balls of fresh mozzarella, torn into pieces
  • 4 small cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 pieces of italian bread
  • butter

Heat Panini maker to 350 degrees and spray with non stick oil. Butter the slices of bread on one side and stack the ingredients in this order [so they don’t fall out of the sandwich – bread [butter side down], prosciutto, basil, tomato, cheese, second layer of bread [butter side up]. Press in Panini maker until golden brown and cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Pantry Week – Spinach & Artichoke dip

25 Oct


In exactly one week I will be on the road in my Sable – 94 Eastbound. I’m moving back to the Twin Cities! I am super excited/nervous/anxious/etc.

This week, I am only making things that are in my fridge/freezer/cupboard. I have a bunch of stuff that is kind of random – like cans of tomato sauce, frozen peas, lots and lots and lots of coffee and loose leaf tea.  I will not eat out and I will be creative! I am going to blog what I come up with & there will be a giveaway on Sunday so stay tuned 🙂

I will start this week off with spinach and artichoke dip – I had leftover artichokes from the pizza I made during veggie week and I also had spinach in my freezer. Love the easy recipe & the combo 🙂


  • 1 can artichoke hearts
  • 1 package  frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
  • 3/4 cup  Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 3/4 cup  Mayo Reduced Fat Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup  Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 tsp.  garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together & spoon into a 8 inch pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, enjoy!

Homemade Oreos

22 Oct

I was pleaded with to make these yummy soft oreos for a co-worker of mine, and when I finally made them – I forgot to bring them to work! Oh well. I’ll just bring them tomorrow. 🙂

These Oreos are not as crunchy as normal oreos, they are softer but you are still able to dip, dunk, twist, etc. However you eat your oreos, you can do the same with these.

Ingredients :

  • 1 box of devils food cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick of butter, melted [trail & error, don’t use shortening, margarine,  or lard.]
  • 1 tub of cream cheese frosting

Mix together cake mix, butter, and eggs. This batter will not cake like or cookie like – It looks like a big tootsie roll that has been sitting in the car for too long. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease a cookie sheet, roll dough into balls that are smaller than a normal cookie. I make the balls as big as I would for a regular cookie but then divide it in half and re roll. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. When you touch the top they should be cooked through but still a little soft. Let sit until cool then using a butter knife, ice the cookie on the bottom and cover with another cookie. These cookies are best when they have had ample time to sit, about 3-4 hours so the frosting has time to harden. Enjoy!

Fried Pickles & Giveaway Results!

21 Oct


Congratulations to YoungWifey! You won an issue of Food & Wine magazine as well as 6 Blackberry Cheesecake Suckers! Please email me at aprilannfreeman@gmail.com to claim your prize!

Another giveaway in 2 weeks!


I’ve had a craving for saltly things lately & sunflower seeds aren’t doing their normal trick. So, I decided to be brave and deep fry something in my small kitchen. [Watch out smoke alarms!]
They turned out really great!


  • 2-3 large pickles, sliced [Claussen brandpreferred as they still crunch even after frying]
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning [Add more or less depending on how much spice you enjoy]
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 3-4 cups of vegetable oil
  • Hidden Valley Spicy Ranch Sauce or Regular ranch if you prefer

Pour oil into a large saucepan and bring to 350 degrees using a candy thermometer. Mix together milk & egg in a bowl and whisk, drop pickles into the egg and milk mixture and let soak for about 3 minutes. Put flour & tonys seasoning into a plastic baggie and mix. After the pickles are done soaking, toss into the flour mixture and shake, make sure none of the pickles are stuck together. Once the pickles are evenly coated, drop by slotted spoon into the oil. Pickles will be done quickly, about 3-4 minutes. Place pickles on a plate that is covered in paper towels [use 4-5 coffee filters if you don’t have paper towels] to soak up any additional grease. Serve with Ranch dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Veggie Week: Giveaway

18 Oct

I lasted a whole week eating just Veggies! To be honest, it was hard. I think if I was to make it a lifestyle I would probably end up eating tofu sausage, vegan sausage, etc. And I would for sure eat fish. Anyway, experiment done & over with but I did promise a give away – here it is!

If you comment on this or any of the other Veggie Week blogs – you will be entered into a drawing for-

1. The newest [October 2010] issue of Food & Wine magazine – there are some GREAT articles on veggies in this issue. [Also, this is not the cover of the magazine you’ll be recieving]

2. You will also recieve 6 homemade Blackberry Cheesecake Lollipops. These are delicious!

Make sure you comment on this or any of the other veggie week blogs by Wednesday at 5pm Central time – winner will be posted on Thursday am!

Veggie week: Fried Rice

15 Oct

Day 5: Undecided. So I will leave you with a recipe for fried rice.

*Recipe addapted by Fine Cooking


  • 2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1 cup peeled, finely diced broccoli stems
  • 3/4 cup finely diced carrots
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 3/4 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 4 scallions  thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbs. finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups very cold cooked brown rice
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup lower-sodium soy sauce

Heat all but 1 tsp. of the oil in a large nonstick skillet or stir-fry pan over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli stems and carrots  and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the peas and corn and cook about 1 minute. Add the scallion, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring, until the raw garlic aroma subsides, about 1 minute. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes.

Make a 3-inch well in the center of the rice mixture. Add the remaining 1 tsp. oil, then the eggs, and cook, stirring, until the eggs are almost fully scrambled. Stir the eggs into the rice mixture. Stir in the soy sauce. Enjoy!