Adventures of Mrs Pen

Musings from a Very Lucky Penny


Cooking Stuff

Super Healthy and Yummy Energy Bitez

I’m super excited to share this recipe. These puppies taste almost like peanut butter cookies and are good for you and make you feel perty great. Even my hubby likes them and he doesn’t like nothing but cheeseburgers.

Here’s the Scientifical Reasons These are Great
The peanut butter is a great source protein. The powdered milk gives ya iron, vitamin A & D. The oats have fiber and protein. The honey is a natural sweetener, plus some antioxidants (I’m no antioxidantologist though, so don’t quote me on it!). And coconut is so good for you man! It’s antioxidantifide, packed with nutrients and stuff. Ok, I only know that from the side of my coconut oil bottle. If you add flaxseed meal, you’re getting omega 3’s that are good for your heart and brains! (PS- if you’re a nursing mom, oatmeal and flaxseed meal, and coconut are GREAT for you. Just FYI)

And Here’s the Recipe


1 Cup – Peanut Butter
1/4 Cup – Honey
1/4 Cup – Powdered Milk
1 Cup – Whole Oats (you can substitute this for Cheerios if you want!)
1/4 Cup – Raisins
2 Tbl – Ground Flaxseed Meal
1/2 Cup – Shredded Coconut


1. Mix peanut butter, honey, powdered milk, oats, flaxseed and raisins together real good like with a fork or such.

Side note- My mama makes these with Cheerios instead of oats, and they’re super good. I just used oats because I didn’t have Cheerios, and since I liked em that way and oats are really nutritious, that’s my new way of making em. Also flaxseed is a random ingredient most people don’t have laying around, these bad boys taste just fine without flaxseed.


2. Roll your peanut butter dough into 1 inch balls, and roll em around in the coconut until properly coated. As you can see, I ran out of coconut (I adjusted the recipe so you won’t!), so a few of my energy bitez are coated in more oats.


3. Refrigerate for an hour or so. Then eat em up! Yumz!

Did I really just say “Yumz”?!


This is Dang Good Horchata

Horchata from Adventures of Mrs Pen

I’m not proud of the story I’m about to tell you. One time, when I was enormously pregnant, my hubby and I visited three different fast food establishments in a single trip to get dinner. Dunkin Donuts, Sonic, and a random Sonoran hotdog truck on the side of the road on our way home from Dunkin and Sonic. What can I say, the hubs had cravings that weren’t easy to satisfy.

These cravings also required a visit to a hole-in-the-wall taco stand every single day for a gigantic cup of cold horchata. If you don’t happen to live right down the street from Mexico like us, horchata is a magical cold, sweet, refreshing rice milk drink that quenches your thirst better than anything you ever had. I’m telling ya. I never had it before I was a thousand months pregnant in the middle of the summer heat, but it was the only thing I wanted. When we moved a trillion miles from that dang magical taco shop, I had to figure horchata out for myself. I’ll add that the recipe I’m about to share with you is a bit different than the ones you’ll find elsewhere, including the recipe my mother-in-law gave me, and if anyone has a true and authentic version of horchata, it’s her. However, it tastes just like the horchata at our magical taco shop, and that what we want from our horchata. Here it is:

1 1/2 Cup- Rice, uncooked
1 1/2 Cup- Milk
1 1/2 Cup- Sugar
5 Cups- Water
2 Tsp- Vanilla
Dash- Cinnamon

Horchata from Adventures of Mrs Pen

1. Put Milk and uncooked rice in a blender and blend for several minutes, until rice is gritty.

2. Let your rice and milk refrigerate for at least 8 hours (overnight works well)

Horchata from Adventures of Mrs Pen

3. Meanwhile, in a separate container, add sugar to 2 cups of boiling water and stir until sugar dissolves. Now put your sugar water in the fridge to chill.

Horchata from Adventures of Mrs Pen

4. After both your rice milk and sugar water have had time to refrigerate, pour the rice milk into the container of sugar water using a mesh strainer to filter out all the rice.

5. Add cinnamon, vanilla, and 3 more cups of water. Stir well.

Horchata from Adventures of Mrs Pen

6. Pour over ice into your finest mason jar and enjoy your dang good horchata!

And that’s all there is to it! Hope you love it as much as we do!


Addicting Whoopie Pies with 3 Ingredients


This whole thing was an accident. This morning after we finished our breakfast tamales, my hubs was thinking something sweet would be good, then he realized he was out of Twinkies. Then I decided to make chocolate cupcakes, and poured the cake mix in the mixing bowl then realized I had no eggs. Then I threw together the ingredients we did have and hoped for the best. And it was accidentally so good that is now officially one of my “recipes”. These puppies literally melt in your mouth. I ate too many. Here’s the recipe.

-1 Devil’s Food Chocolate Cake Mix
-1 Cup of Butter
-A jar of marshmallow fluff

1. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees

2. Cream the cake mix and butter together until well blended and fluffy.

3. Roll the batter into a one inch ball, and roll it through sugar, and place on a cookie sheet about 1 inch apart.


4. Pop the tray in the oven for about 6 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies crack.


5. Let the cookies cool, and then plop a spoonful of marshmallow fluff on em.


6. Mash another cookie on top to make an amazing cookie sandwich.


I took a few bites of one and then told my hubs he could have the second half. But then I ate it.


This is How I Learned to Cook.

I’m writing this for my little brother, David. This is actually part of his Christmas gift. Merry Christmas little brother!


And this has nothing to do with this post, but David is about to begin a prestigious nursing program and I’m so proud of him I could burst. To make a short story long, another hopeful future nurse recently asked him how many times he applied to this nursing program before he got accepted and what his backup plan was if he couldn’t get in. He was like, “Oh is it difficult to get in?” My little brother is so freakin smart. He’s also really low-key, and he’s going to kill me when he sees this.


Anyways, David just moved out on his own and has mentioned that his steady diet of pb&js and canned soup is getting old. Then my brain said, “Light Bulb!”

So for Christmas I’m giving him a few of my favorite spices and cooking tools, and this list of easy tips to get comfortable in the the kitchen. Don’t worry Dave, if you stick to eating a bowl of cereal for dinner every night, my feelings won’t be hurt! But for the nights that you want real food, hopefully this will get you started-

1. You don’t have to get all fancy! If you have some kind of meat, a few spices, and a side (veggie, rice, pasta or potatoes are easy), you have a good, filling meal in 30 minutes or less.

2. Check out the Manager’s Specials on meat whenever you stop by the store. As long as you freeze it or cook it right away, its just as good as expensive meat, but for a fraction of the cost.

3. You can thaw meat out easily by putting it in a ziplock bag in a bowl of water.

4. I like to buy a variety of meat (usually Manager’s Specials) and then put them in individual ziplocks before freezing them, then I am just pull them out of the freezer and defrost one or two servings at a time easily.


5. Easy Steak- put a little olive oil in a pan and warm it up on medium heat. Add some butter (the oil can get hot without smoking, and the butter will seal the moisture and flavor in the steak). Once it’s hot, place the steak in the pan with a garlic, pepper and rosemary. The pan should be hot enough that it sizzles when the steak touches it. Spoon the butter over the steak. Let it cook for about one minute on each side, until nice and brown. I usually put it on the George Foreman for another few minutes to get the inside a bit brown too, but that’s optional. And that’s how you make a dang good steak in just a few minutes.

6. Garlic and Paprika make everything tastier.


7. Sometimes turkey makes a good dinner. Sometimes it makes a good fashion statement.

8. Quick and Easy Chicken- Season your chicken however you fancy (any kind of spice works for chicken). Pour enough olive oil to cover the bottom of you pan, and warm it on medium heat. Put your chicken in the pan and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Cut the chicken open to make sure it’s cooked in the middle. Voila.

9. Poke some holes in a potato, rub a little oil on it, and microwave for about 5 minutes. If it still feels firm, turn it over and pop it back in the mic for 3 minutes or so. And now you have baked potato to complete any meal.

10. Figure out how to make something and then invite your loving sister, brother-in-law, and nephew over for dinner!

More Thxgiving Stuff – Killa Sweet Potato Casserole


Sweet Potatoes are consumed at our dinner table almost every night. That is because they are the only vegetable my hubs will consent to eat. If you put something green on his plate, no sir, he will not eat it. So every night we have roasted sweet potatoes, sweet potato fries, mashed sweet potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, or sweet potato hash browns (raise your hand if you’re hearing this in Bubba’s voice from Forrest Gump)… Anyways, my favorite of all our sweet potato escapades is sweet potato casserole. I got the recipe from my friend Bethany’s mom years ago and I know he won’t admit this, but I think it’s what made my husband fall in love with me. Its the perfect balance if sweet and buttery and crunchy (Yes that does sound healthy). I made it for our Pre-thxgiving practice feast a few days ago, and I am making it for both Thanksgiving dinners we’re attending this year. And if you ever have surgery or something and need me to make you dinner, I’m probably going to make you this. Wow I’m really starting to sound like a grandma, with her prize casserole. At any rate, this is how my prize casserole is made:


First, I get my sweet potatoes. I usually use about three medium size taters, but these ones were galactic size so I only used two. If they’re tiny, I use 4.

Then, I soften them up. This time I did this by boiling them for about 40 mins and then letting them cool to peel them. Sometimes I just poke a bunch of holes in them with a fork and then pop em in the microwave for 15 minutes, and then peel them once they’re cool. If I’m in a hurry, I peel them first and then boil them for about 30 min, then I don’t have to cool em down afterwards.

The skin pretty much falls off if you boil them first.


Then I put the sweet potaters in my mixer and blend them up real good like.


Then I add the following ingredients: 2 eggs, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, and a healthy amount of pumpkin pie spice and mix it up gooder.


Then I spread my whole mix into a pan.


I sprinkle brown sugar (about a quarter cup) and walnuts all over, then I sprinkle another 1/4 cup of melted margarine all over it.

Next I put the whole shebang in the oven at 375 for about 30 minutes, or until the brown sugar is bubbly and it’s done!


So that’s one of the dishes we will be serving on turkey day. Monday I’m planning to talk about two more important dishes that help us eat too much on T-day.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving day dish? More importantly, what is your favorite kind of pie??

I’m so excited for Thanksgiving I could die!

Turkey Roasting for the First Timer

This year I have so much to be thankful for. I’m so thankful for my husband, our baby, our friends, our church, our town, our police officer who just apologized for giving me a speeding ticket and said my baby was cute, and most of all I’m thankful for my husband again. I swear I love that man so much. Anyways, since we both have awesome families that really live it up on Thanksgiving and therefore get two feasts on T-day, I realized the only way I’ll ever learn how to cook a turkey is if I do it on a day that ain’t Thanksgiving. And that is how our First Annual Pre-Thx-Giving Practice Feast came to be.


Last night, a handful of our favorite people braved our cow-infested dirt roads to come eat and draw on our table with crayons and spread the Thanksgiving cheer with us.


We drank tea from mason jars. My hubs tried to give our fine mason jar collection away as party favors. I don’t know why he doesn’t like them.


The men-folk discussed rifle-building in the Man-Cave. I went behind enemy lines to get this picture.


Mostly we ate ourselves silly. I had so much fun that I weigh at least 5 lbs more today. And I have no regrets.

Annnyways, here is an account of my first turkey-makin experience.


To start out, I thawed my frozen bird out in a 5 gallon bucket of cold water the night before. You must be VERY careful thawing a turkey out because bacteria monsters thrive at room temperature so if the outside thaws out before the inside does, you will end up with a very unhappy turkey.


Next, I watched a hundred thousand of YouTube videos to learn about turkey roasting science. My favorite is Hilah Cooking’s video. I love Hilah; she taught me how to fry a chicken, how to sear a steak, how to grill a pork chop, and best of all she bears the uncanny resemblance to Pheobe from Friends. So this recipe closely resembles Hilah/Pheobe’s, with a few adjustments based on the ingredients I had on hand.


I put together the seasoning for inside the bird- red onions, parsley, salt, garlic, and butter. Hilah added apples, which I would have been delighted to do if the grocery store weren’t so dang far away.


Then I put together the basting sauce- chicken broth, garlic, paprika, butter, and orange juice. This odd combo of ingredients made for a sweet, tangy, juicy turkey. I used this scary looking contraption to inject the turkey with the juice, since basting really only flavors the skin. Notice, the turkey is not in sight yet. That is because once I started messing with that bad boy I didn’t touch anything else to take pictures. I prepped all this first, then prepared the operating table.


Once I got the turkey out, I took every precaution I could think of to prevent contamination. I didn’t want any sick people, man!

This is the part where me and the turkey got friendly. To make a long story short, his name was Melvin, but you can call him SpaceRocketMan for short. This part includes zero pictures because I wasn’t touching anything besides the bird. This is what we did:

1. I rinsed and dried SpaceRocketMan off.
2. I sprinkled him with salt and pepper
3. I rubbed the cavity with half the parsley/garlic/onion mix
4. I put the rest of that mix in a bowl of more butter, and rubbed it all up under his skin. Mmmm this part was disgusting.
5. I used the syringe looking thing to inject my basting sauce all throughout SpaceRocketMan, especially in the thickest spots.
6. I put him in my roaster and poured the rest of the basting sauce all over him.
7. Right before he went in the oven, I loosely filled him with stuffing. It’s important to stuff the bird immediately before putting it in the oven to prevent contamination. Also, the stuffing was awesome! The recipe is to be shared tomorrow.
8. I stuck the thermometer in the thickest part and then put him in the oven at 375 degrees.


After one hour, I opened the oven and basted the turkey, and then put it back in. I continued doing this every 30 minutes for a total of 3 hours. Every time I took it out, I rotated it when I put it back in, to help it cook evenly. I knew it was done when the thermometer read 180 degrees.

When it was done, I pulled it out, covered it with tin foil, and let it “rest” for 30 minutes. And then it was ready!


And then we ate the heck out of that bird!


These two beautiful ladies washed all my dishes afterwards. They are welcome in my house any day, day or night.

And that was all there was to it! I would LOVE to know any hints you might have for turkey making. Thanks for reading this whole long thing and you are cordially invited to the ranch for dinner!


A Healthy Meal for Those of Us Who Think Salad is for the Birds

Cilantro Turkey Burgers with Roasted Garlic and Broccoli

My dear friend Channa came for a visit last week. Now I normally have a penchant for feeding people, especially when they take time out of their day to come the way the heck out to my house. However, in this case, making food for Channa was going to be a challenge. That is because she has been following the paleo diet philosophy. That means she doesn’t eat no bread, no dairy, no sugar, no nothing the God blessed mankind with so that we would enjoy life. The diet has done her well and she looks awesome, but this was particularly difficult to me because bread, dairy, and sugar are my favorite food groups. So instead of making her lunch, I asked her to teach me how to make a paleo meal. This ended up being a win-win situation because I got an awesome lunch made for me and I learned how to make a meal so delish and guilt-free that I’ve already made it 3 times since then. (yes, when I say “win-win” I mean that I won twice, not that Channa won once and I won once.) Anyways, what she made was Spicy Cilantro Turkey Burgers and Garlic Roasted Broccoli with Lemon. It’s SO good. I’m excited to share it with y’all now!

Spicy Cilantro Turkey Burgers

First, we chopped up a quarter cup of red onions, a plump jalapeño, a cup of cilantro, and two cloves of garlic. I have a Pamper Chef chopper, so this took like 2 seconds, but if you’re looking for a shortcut, I think this could be lightly blended in a blender or food processor.

Cilantro Turkey Burgers with Roasted Garlic and Broccoli

Then we added all our choppings to a bowl with 1 pound of lean ground turkey, squeezed a lime all over it and squished it up with our hands. When I say we, I mean Channa did that.

Cilantro Turkey Burgers with Roasted Garlic and Broccoli

Then we (and I mean just Channa again) formed the meat into patties. We (excluding me) poured some olive oil into a skillet. Once the oil was hot, we put our little patties in the skillet and cooked them about 3 minutes on each side, or until brown all the way through.

Cilantro Turkey Burgers with Roasted Garlic and Broccoli
Yep, this is a picture of me and Channa both equally cooking the hamburger patties.

Roasted Garlic and Lemon Broccoli

Cilantro Turkey Burgers with Roasted Garlic and Broccoli

Meanwhile we made the broccoli. Now let me tell you, I’ve never been one to get excited over vegetables but this broccoli is to DIE for. Seriously its the best broccoli I ever had. I think my husband would even like it if he would give broccoli a chance.

Garlic Roasted Broccoli with Lemon

First, we preheated the oven at 400. Then a chopped up a bushel of broccoli (It’s called a bushel, right?) and 3 cloves a garlic. Now I recently made dinner for 9 people, and to save time I just bought a bag of fresh broccoli florets from Dole and then I could save some time and skip chopping and cleaning the broccoli (if you choose to clean the broccoli you have to dry it thoroughly or it will get soggy in the oven).

Cilantro Turkey Burgers with Roasted Garlic and Broccoli

We spread the broccoli and garlic out on a cookie sheet, sprinkled a little salt and pepper on it, and coated it with a little olive oil. And it went in the oven for 20 minutes.

Cilantro Turkey Burgers with Roasted Garlic and Broccoli

When it was done, we squeezed the juice of one lemon and the zest of one lemon peel on it. (I have a confession- when I’ve made this since then, I couldn’t be bothered to do the lemon zest, just the juice. Channa will be disappointed in me for my lack of fanciness.)

Cilantro Turkey Burgers with Roasted Garlic and Broccoli

Once the burgers and broccoli were done, Channa plated them with a few slices of avocado and we thoroughly enjoyed out healthy meal.

Cilantro Turkey Burgers with Roasted Garlic and Broccoli

I did convince her to lay her paleo convictions aside for a bowl of homemade pumpkin ice cream afterwards. I don’t think she regretted it.

This is my lil cutie checking the situation out.

I feel skinnier already!

Dinner in 20 Minutes: Walnut Crusted Chicken with Spicy Peach Sauce

Walnut Crusted Chicken with Spicy Peach Sauce
Walnut Crusted Chicken with Spicy Peach Sauce

We had some very distinguished guests here at the ranch last night. My ma and pa and two of my brothers. I just freakin love my family. We also had some dear friends, Tom and Ingrid and their son, Alex; who are also like family to us. Ingrid has been one of my mom’s best friends for a bazillion years. I always say if there was such a thing as a real life superhero, it would be Ingrid. She’s like Laura Croft in real life. She speaks 4 languages, runs marathons in foreign countries, and vacations in Iran. The world’s most interesting woman… She doesn’t always drink beer, but when she does, it’s Dos Equis.

Tom and Ingrid
This is Tom and Ingrid at our wedding, in the middle of nowhere.

Her son, Alex, is one of my hub’s best buds. Coincidentally, my hubby and I met at a poker night at Alex’s house. (Side Note: I’m sure Alex would appreciate that I mention that he is not a match maker. My hubs and I ended up together through pure dumb luck…This is a post for another day though!)

Anyways, I wanted to make a special meal for our special guests, so I dusted off this super easy recipe I found in a cookbook years ago. What I love about this is it takes like less than 30 minutes to throw it together, and it looks like a scientifical gourmet meal! Here’s how its made (and I apologize for the poor picture-taking in advance):

Spicey Peach Sauce

For the Sauce:

I mixed 1/2 cup of peach preserves with 3 tablespoons of ground mustard, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and 1/4 cup of olive oil (you can use vegetable oil or coconut oil or whatever you have, if you don’t have olive oil), some salt and lots of pepper. Mix all this together and your sauce is done; set aside.

MrsPens Walnut Crusted Chicken

The Chicken:

Unfortunately, I took very few pictures of this part. I will try to explain it as best I can.

Sprinkle some salt, pepper and paprika on some chicken. Last night I used boneless skinless breast, but I’ve used thighs or tenders. Just whatever you have in your freezer, man.

Put an egg white in one container, and chopped walnuts in another. Dip your chicken in the egg, and then dip it into the walnuts. Press the walnuts to the chicken to help them stick, if ya need to. Lay them out so they aren’t touching each other.

Pour enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a pan, and heat on medium. You can put a little piece of walnut in the pan, and if it sizzles, you know it’s hot enough.


Now you just put your chickens in the the pan and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes on each side, or until the walnuts and chicken are golden.

Last night I wasn’t watching closely and some of my little chickens ended up black. Do not despair, this chicken is very forgiving. It even tastes pretty good blackened.


Now you just drizzle the peach sauce over the chicken and devour! Even my baby brother Mikey liked it. Mikey doesn’t like anything but Taco Bell.


Okay, here’s the recipe:

Zesty Peach Sauce

  • 1/2 cup – peach preserves
  • 3 tablespoons – ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon – apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup – olive oil
  • a little salt and lots of pepper

Walnut Crusted Chicken

  • 4 Halves – Boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 pinch – Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon  – Paprika
  • An egg white (or more if you run out)
  • 1 cup – chopped walnuts
  • Olive oil


  1. Add peach preserves, ground mustard, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper in bowl and mix until well incorporated. Set aside.
  2. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and paprika on the chicken breast
  3. Add the egg whites to one dish and chopped walnuts to another.
  4. Dip the chicken breast in the egg white and then into the walnuts. Press the walnuts onto the chicken if they want to fall off.
  5. Add olive oil to pan and heat until shimmering.
  6. Add the walnut-crusted chicken to the pan and cook for about three minutes on each side.
  7. Drizzle peach dressing over chicken and serve immediately.

I hope you love this as much as my family does!

All my love! ~MrsPen

Tuesday Breakfast Tutorial: Crockpot French Toast (Or: How to Wake Up to a Hot Breakfast)

Mrs Pen's Crockpot French Toast

I chose this for today’s breakfast because I had a loaf of bread on the fritz and I haaate throwing food away. What is cool about it, though, is this morning when we woke up, breakfast was ready! No cutting, frying, cooking, and a pile of dirty dishes left for me to wash! It felt like Mother’s Day (hint hint honey).

Mrs Pen's Crockpot French Toast

So last night, I started out by mixing 6 eggs and two cups of milk in the crockpot bowl. And added a healthy pinch of pumpkin pie spice.

Mrs Pen's Crockpot French Toast

I threw in the loaf of bread, cut into quarters.

Mrs Pen's Crockpot French Toast

I mixed the eggs, milk, and bread up real good and popped it in the fridge for a few hours.

Side Note: Next time I make this, I’m going to mix some blueberries in this concoction. Or pumpkin! Or cream cheese! The sky is the limit. Let your imagination run wild!

Mrs Pen's Crockpot French Toast

In a separate bowl, I mixed 1/4 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of brown sugar.

Side Note: Next time I’m going to add more of this mixture… Let’s say 1/2 cup of butter and 1 cup of brown sugar. My hubs said this was the best part.

Ok here’s the tricky part… If your crock pot has a timer, just set it to start on high 4 hours prior to when you want to eat (or to cook for 4 hours and then switch to warm until you’re ready to eat, however your crockpot works.). My crockpot doesn’t have any kind of magical setting; LUCKILY, I do have a 4-month-old who wakes up all night. So when he woke me up at 5:00, I put the pot with the bread concoction in the crockpot, threw in about half a cup of walnuts, and layered the butter/brown sugar on top. I put a paper towel over the top and then put the lid on it (this is to prevent the condensation from making your french toast soggy) and put the crock pot on high. Sorry folks, at 5-in-the-morning I wasn’t concerned with taking pictures.

Mrs Pen's Crockpot French Toast

When we woke up at 9:00, the house smelled like delicious breakfast!

Mrs Pen's Crockpot French Toast

Now I just took a giant scoop, added powdered sugar and warm syrup and devoured! Yum.

Today’s Recipe:
6 Eggs
2 Cups- Milk
Large Pinch – Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 Loaf- Bread
1/2 Cup- Butter or Margarine
1 Cup- Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup – Walnuts
Optional- half cup berries or cream cheese or pumpkin

-Mix eggs, milk, and pumpkin pie spice in a crockpot bowl.
-Slice Bread into quarters and mix into egg mixture
-Optional- add berries or whatever extras you want to bread mixture.
-Refrigerate for a few hours.
-Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, mix butter and brown sugar
-Once the bread mixture has chilled, put it in the crockpot, layer walnuts and brown sugar mixture on top.
-Cover with paper towel and lid and cook on high for 4 hours.

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