~NOK’s Faves~

This weeks 5 favorite things, enjoy!


1) Otis Redding–Try A Little Tenderness

Have mercy I love this song!


2) Miniature S’more Pies

Miniature S'more Pies!... So simple to make and require no baking at all! They are absolutely delicious! #smore #dessert #recipe



























Click the above picture to get the recipe from Chef in Training. Seriously, these are perfect for those times when you want a little something but you don’t want to over indulge. Plus they’re great in the winter time when it’s too cold to go out and make s’mores around the fire pit.


3) Life with autocorrect…or rather without…


I know I’m not alone ๐Ÿ™‚


4) Hand–painted Prom Dress



When 18-year-old Mighty Girl Julia Reidhead of Mesa, Arizona wanted a unique prom dress, she turned it into a chance to express her love of art. The young artist carefully hand-painted a replica of Vincent van Goghโ€™s โ€œThe Starry Nightโ€ on a dress she purchased second-hand, transforming it into a stunning, wearable work of art.

When Julia first decided to try hand-painting her prom dress, it took her weeks of searching to find a dress with sufficiently heavy fabric to hold up to the layers of acrylic paint necessary for the design. She and her mother found it in a used wedding dress they purchased for $40. The dressโ€™ lace and pearl detailing didnโ€™t faze Julia, who said, โ€œThis will make for amazing textures! Iโ€™ll just paint right over them.โ€

Julia sketched her design on paper and then began to apply it to the dress, starting from the hem. She says, โ€œAs you paint you must let it dry. I used acrylic paint, so I had to wait to get the desired effect.โ€ To make the design weave around the dress, she took over the family’s dining room table for a week and painted mirror images on both its front and back. Her mother, Karen Reidhead, added, “[Julia] spent about 45 hours sketching on the dress, and then painting it. She painted it because she loves art, and thought, why not?”

Her prom date, Alden Durfee, had no idea what Julia would be wearing. โ€œHis first words were, โ€˜Wow! You painted that?!โ€™โ€ she laughs. โ€œAnd then he said, โ€˜You will be the talk of the dance!โ€™โ€ Alden says the attention she received was well-deserved: โ€œHer dress was beyond amazing.โ€

The recent graduate has plans to start a graphic design program at Utah Valley University but is now considering switching to art school. According to Yahoo Shine, she’s also planning on “enter her masterpiece in a contest focused on art made from recycled objects, and make it part of her application to art school.”

Congratulations to Julia for taking her passion and vision and making it real!

To see more, click HERE.


5) 6 Months till Christmas



All right, so it’s a teensy bit less than 6 months now, but hey it’ll be here before you know it!ย  Now’s the time to start getting your lists ready, pull together your supplies for handmade gifts, and taking stock of what Christmas decorations you want to keep, get rid of, pass on to goodwill, or possibly add more because let’s face it, adding more is always a good thing!


What was your favorite thing this week? Share below!



Mexican Salad

Evening, I’ve had some requests for the recipe of last night’s dinner. I’m so honored to receive such requests and always happy to share! It’s a crazy easy recipe and really I could have just shared it on the Night Owl Kitchen Facebook Page but I want everyone to be able to see it and try it ๐Ÿ™‚


Mexican Salad

1 pound ground beef, cooked

1/2 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 package taco seasoning

1 can black beans

1 can Rotel (tomatoes with green chiles)

salt and pepper to taste

Salad mix of your choice

Sour Cream(optional)

Salsa (optional)

Shredded Cheese (optional)

In a medium pan brown ground beef with onions and garlic. If you want you can drain off the fat, but if you’re doing lower carb it’s essential to leave it in.** Season with taco seasoning, add beans and Rotel. Add salt and pepper to your liking and serve over your favorite salad with sour cream and salsa.

**The reason I mentioned that if you’re doing lower carb to leave the fat in is this…the fat is what helps keep a lower carb eater satisfied. It’s important to get enough fat with each meal so that you aren’t finding yourself munching or craving unhealthy foods. Not everyone needs as much fat in their food, but when you have cut back on your carbohydrates then you need to increase your healthy fat just a bit to compensate. If you are using a leaner meat just add a tablespoon or two of coconut oil(the flavorless variety). Adding homemade guacamole to your salad is another great way to add healthy fat to your meal! Plus, consuming healthy fat will help to burn the existing fat in your body. Sounds like that shouldn’t be possible but trust me that’s exactly how it works. I’m not encouraging anyone to eat lard from a bucket…but don’t be afraid of healthier fat options. The health benefits trump old school weight loss jargon.

As for the black beans and Rotel, if you are just starting out with a lower carb lifestyle you can leave those out. If you still want it to have a spicy kick, however, just add some chopped jalapenos, tabasco peppers, or red pepper flakes to the meat mixture. Green chiles are low carb friendly, so add a 4 ounce can to the meat for a little heat and flavor.

Play around with your toppings, if you have the time make your own lower carb tortilla chips to serve with it OR make ultimate nachos! Those are always a hit with our family ๐Ÿ™‚


~What’s In My Purse 2014~

I’m seriously thinking this should become a yearly post for me lol Last year I was inspired by Tori Spelling to reveal all that was in my purse. While this year wasn’t quite as interesting(very little trash in there) I was still amazed at the size of the items I was able to pack into my bag. It wasn’t so much how many things that were in there, but rather just how big a few of the items were. Let’s face it, we ladies only carry what WE have deemed necessary to carry with us. We’re all different and our needs vary, so with that here’s what was inside my purse this year…


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I know, I know…holy cow she’s done it again! Yeah it was pretty stuffed lol Now in my defense, everything in there is EXACTLY what I need for any given Sunday or Wednesday night for church. I don’t always carry my bag with me every time I leave the house. I usually just grab my wallet especially if I know I’m going to be driving. Alright, here’s everything laid out…

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Ok, so what we have…

  1. One Vera Bradley wallet
  2. An owl cosmetic bag
  3. A floral cosmetic bag(I keep band-aids, pain reliever, and other first aid items)
  4. An ivory scarfย  and underneath is a blue striped pre-tied headband
  5. 2 devotionals
  6. 2 bibles
  7. 2 pens
  8. Wednesday night Summer curriculum teacher book
  9. Green Sunday morning Ladies Class folder
  10. A pair of sunglasses
  11. Half a roll of breath mints

Not bad, but trust me, my bag was rather heavy. If you’re wondering if I paired down the items at all before putting them into my new bag…sorry to say I did not ๐Ÿ™‚ Except the scarf and headband, I left those out.


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Everything fit perfectly into my new Vera Bradley bag


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And there was room enough for my iPod and iPad too! Mind you I don’t just willy nilly buy Vera Bradley bags on a whim, I prefer waiting till there’s a sale, but I have been a VB bag fan for 9 years now! Each one is special to me mostly because they come from my Mom ๐Ÿ™‚

What’s in your bag/purse?


Beef Tips and Rice

Good morning!! Hope everyone is staying dry, cool, and enjoying this break. Though with these temps it feels like it’s already summer in some places. I would just like for all this rain to stop, starting to feel waterlogged ๐Ÿ˜‰

I finally broke out the smaller crock pot since my nephew is away. It’s been quite a while since I’ve used that one ๐Ÿ™‚ Since Dad and I have been on a salad binge lately I’m trying to figure out how to keep our nightly salads interesting. I remembered I had some previously cooked grass fed cubed steak (from another meal) languishing in the freezer. I pulled that and some grass fed stew meat out to thaw overnight in the fridge knowing ahead of time I was going to put it all in the crock pot the next morning. We’re not cube steak fans around here, but after it cooked all day in the crock pot even the cube steak was tender. So let that stand, you can use a cheaper cut of meat, slow cook it all day, and get a delicious tender meal that really everyone will enjoy! And yes even my pickiest eater gobbled it up!


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Beef Tips and Rice with Peppers and Onions

Beef Tips and Rice

1–1 1/2 Lbs stew meat or meat of your choice

salt, pepper, and onion powder

1 TBLSP peanut oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 large green bell pepper, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can beef broth

Rice, to serve with


Go ahead and plug in your crock pot and get it warmed up. Add in chopped onions and bell pepper. Since the cubed steak was already cooked, I went ahead and added it to to the pot. For the stew meat, my pieces were actually really big, too big to just pop in your mouth. So be sure to cut down any large pieces, at least in half since it will render down in cooking process. Season each piece with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of onion powder. Sear in batches in a hot pan with peanut oil on both sides, then add each batch to the pot. After the last stew meat batch, pour the diced tomatoes on top, add about half a can of beef broth and the minced garlic. Cook on low for 8–9 hours. Give the mixture a quick stir to see if you need to thicken up the gravy. If you do, take 2 TBLSP flour and enough of the leftover beef broth and make a quick roux. Pour over mixture and stir in. It’ll tighten up quickly so don’t use too much! Serve over rice, potatoes, or buttery noodles.

A Night Owl’s Quick Rice for Six


Now I can only take so much credit for how I fixed up the 5 minute rice. What you choose to add to this makes it your own, the fact that I reduced the water a bit and replaced it with the leftover beef broth helps to tie in the flavor of the beef tips. The recipe for the ratio of water and rice is on the side of the box, so you can make as little or as much rice as your family needs. I just like having extra to mix in with leftovers, which I did and froze it all in a gallon size bag as another family size meal. So, very simply add to a medium pan the following…

2 3/4 cups water

1/4 beef broth, that’s leftover

2 tsp dehydrated minced garlic or 1 clove minced

1 tsp of onion powder

Bring it all to a boil and add 3 cups of 5 minute rice. Stir it in, remove from heat and cover with a lid. Do not mess with it. Just set your timer for 5 minutes and let the rice absorb all that liquid. Fluff with a fork and it’s ready to serve! It really is THAT simple!


Now, you can serve this with your favorite side veggie, ours tends to be green beans. You can skip the rice all together and just eat the beef tips over a salad as my Dad did. It’s a very versatile, quick, and easy meal! Minimal dishes which is so nice for a change ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you all enjoy and have a very blessed day!


Handy NOK Kitchen Tips:

  • It’s important to keep the lid on your crock pot while it’s warming so as to keep the heat inside the crock pot. Each time you add something else to it be sure to place the lid back on.
  • If you have leftover beef broth and you don’t want to pour it down the sink, grab a clean ice cube tray, doling out the beef broth to each section and freeze. Pop them out once frozen and store in a freezer safe container or bag. They come in handy when you want to add a beef flavor to noodles, rice, and soups.

~5 Favorite Things~


Another week is nearly done and I’m sure many of you have some wonderful plans for the weekend ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyone grilling out? Tis’ the season for it! Just finished watching Trisha Yearwood’s show where she marinated some steaks, made a fresh raspberry vinaigrette served over a summery salad, cheesy twice baked potatoes, and garlic sauteed zucchini slices. Hello! I’m not a steak person but I would make an exception to try her marinated steak recipe ๐Ÿ˜€ย 

Yesterday my Dad and nephew drove down to Florida, safely too. My nephew is going to stay down there for a little overย  month taking driving lessons from my great uncle’s stepdaughter. It’s a family tradition going all the back to my Dad. He’s going to do great down there seeing that he passed his written test with flying colors ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s going to be weird not having him around for a month. G–Man has already stepped up and started helping out where my nephew had been. Granted taking the garbage cans down to the road is big chore, he’s enjoying the other tasks, makes him feel like a bigger kid ๐Ÿ™‚

Whether you were aware of it or not, the first Friday is National Doughnut Day! Indeed, it’s a day to celebrate that cakey/yeasty confection with delicious glazes, frostings, sprinkles, or sugary coatings.

1) National Doughnut Day


Now, if you want to share the experience of making doughnuts with your family there are several yummy recipes out there. One of my personal favorite recipes comes from the Joy of Baking website. It’s a cake doughnut recipe that is easy, kids will love helping out with the rolling and cutting! And they’re fried, hey there is nothing better than a fresh fried doughnut ๐Ÿ˜‰

2)iPad Humor


Lol, this made me giggle A LOT when I saw this pop up on a friend’s newfeed on FB. Just this week I inherited my Dad’s iPad. After removing his apps, info and wiping it clean I was finally able to move all my work related stuff from my iPod to it. Talk about a huge difference in performance! I don’t think I could bring myself to swatting a fly with my iPad but it would be one heck of a way to go ๐Ÿ˜›

3) New study finds that spirulina can help treat pancreatic cancer…


Click image to read article

This was such an amazing read this week. I’m sure we all can name at least one person who has lost their battle to pancreatic cancer. My friend’s Dad died of it, so you can imagine how I felt when I saw this article via Alternative Health Solutions on FB. Instantly I shared it and checked it out. I’m all for alternative measures to that of traditional cancer treatment. After losing both my grandmother’s to cancers(one received traditional therapy and the other died too soon to be treated) I’ve made it my personal mission to seek other more natural and holistic measures of preventative treatment. This one is definitely one to keep on hand!

4) You put what into the coffee pot?!


Seriously, this made me shake my head. My nephew even said “that’s just wrong.” Well, it didn’t surprise me when I saw who shared the picture(Jeff Foxworthy) lol I’m not sure I would recommend this or not ๐Ÿ˜›

5) Bacon Jalapeno Popper Quiche

If you’re a fan of jalapeno poppers then this is the dish for you! There’s nothing else I can say except…AMAZING!!