Skip to content

He lives

2014 March 31
by Emily Hill

This Mormon Messages video is short but, oh, so powerful.

I can’t wait for the April 2014 session of LDS General Conference this weekend.


If you haven’t guessed already, I’m a blogger…and I’m Mormon. You can view my profile along with many others from so very many walks of life over on Mormon.org. Among the Mormon profiles you’ll find the amazingly talented singer Alex Boye and the just as amazingly talented violinist Lindsey Stirling. Oh, and you can alss look up Brandon Flowers, lead singer of The Killers.

Way to musically and religiously represent, guys.


ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.

Peasant bread

2014 March 28
by Emily Hill

I’m not gonna lie. I kinda like having a 16-year-old daughter who loves to bake. She’s made everything from fantastic peanut butter bars to red velvet donuts. Her latest and greatest concoction is this amazing peasant bread. We like it so much—and it’s so easy to make—I finally had to demand she bake it only on Sundays.


Peasant bread recipe


I’m not kidding. We can go through two loaves in one dinner.

Speaking of dinner, this peasant bread pairs perfectly with the one-pot turkey chili recipe I posted earlier this week. If you look closely, you’ll see it pictured in the background.

Madison found this recipe via Pinterest (no surprise there!). You can find the original recipe with variations on Alexandra Cooks. She also shares which bowls are best to use and gives suggestions if incorporating different flours and yeast. I did find the information a bit overwhelming for a printable recipe so I’ve simplified it below. But hers is worth a read before baking your first of very many batches.

Printable recipe for peasant bread below.

Peasant Bread
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This is our family’s favorite bread to have with dinner. The 16-year-old discovered it and makes it all the time. Enjoy! (Original recipe from AlexandraCooks.com)
Ingredients
  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2 tsp active-dry yeast
  • 2 T salted butter, softened
Instructions
  1. In a small mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar in the water. Add the yeast and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes or until mixture is foamy.
  2. While yeast proofs, whisk flour and salt together in a large bowl. Gently stir the yeast mixture and add it to the flour. Mix until flour is absorbed. Cover bowl with a towel and set aside to rise for at least an hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease two oven-safe bowls (e.g., Pyrex) with a tablespoon of butter each.
  4. Using two forks, punch down your dough, scraping it from the sides of the bowl. As you scrape it down try to turn the dough onto itself. Make sure the dough is completely removed from the sides of the bowl.
  5. Take your two forks and divide the dough into two equal portions by pulling the dough apart with the forks. Scoop up each half and place into prepared bowls.
  6. Let the dough rise for about 20 to 30 minutes on the counter near the oven until it has risen to just below or above (depending on what size bowl you are using) the top of the bowls.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for 15 to 17 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and turn the loaves onto cooling racks. Note: If the loaves look a little pale and soft, return them to the oven without the bowls and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

Here are a couple other bread recipes you might enjoy…or WILL enjoy if you love carbs as much as I do.


Honey whole wheat bread recipe

Honey whole wheat bread


French bread


Whole Wheat French Bread

Kid-approved whole wheat French bread


ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.

Be the most brilliant color in the box

2014 March 26
by Emily Hill


Be the most brilliant color in the box


Be the most brilliant color in the box.

Go ahead. Do it.

Don’t wait for permission or acceptance or for someone else to be brilliant first.

Stop telling yourself you’ll never be brilliant with all its synonyms (bright, sparkling, radiant) because you’re not pretty enough, smart enough or talented enough. Telling yourself those things is the opposite of being brilliant.

In other words, it’s just plain dumb.

Our world needs more brilliant colors in its box and you, my friend, are brilliant.

Be brilliant. And own it.


ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.

One-pot turkey chili

2014 March 25
by Emily Hill

Though spring is officially here, we’re still experiencing quite a few chilly nights—totally typical of Utah weather. That’s where this one-pot turkey chili comes in handy. This turkey chili is easy to make (my favorite kind of recipe) and easy to tweak (don’t like kidney beans? try pinto beans instead!). And there’s a good chance it will become one of your favorite chili recipes, especially when topped with shredded cheese, sour cream and diced avocado.


One pot turkey chili


I’m thinking you could even do this in your slow cooker or crock pot. It would add an extra pan to the mix if you saute the onions, garlic, and peppers and brown the ground turkey before throwing everything together, but it’s definitely an option if you’re going to be gone all day.


One pot turkey chili

Printable recipe for one-pot turkey chili below.

5.0 from 1 reviews

One-Pot Turkey Chili
Author: 
Recipe type: Chili
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Truly a one-pot meal. Feel free to tweak as you see fit depending on your favorite ingredients.
Ingredients
Chili
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • ¼ cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (16-oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (16-oz) can chili beans
  • 1 can corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 T chili powder
  • ½ T sugar
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
Toppings
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Dice tomatoes
  • Diced avocado
  • Guacamole
  • Tortilla strips
Instructions
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, saute onions, garlic and bell peppers in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add turkey; cook until browned and no longer pink.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.
  3. Serve topped with your choice of toppings (listed above). Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days.

ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.

Homemade Reese’s peanut butter eggs {Crafting Chicks}

2014 March 24
by Emily Hill

Right now the Crafting Chicks are hosting their Spring Fever Series and I was invited to participate.

I took me all of 2 seconds to know I’d be doing a recipe and all of 4 seconds to know it would be these homemade Reese’s peanut butter eggs.


Homemade Reese's peanut butter eggs


I’ve been dying to try these homemade peanut butter eggs since I first realized you could make copycat version of my favorite candies. (These homemade Twix candy bars are next on the list.)


Homemade Reese's peanut butter eggs


I’d love for you to head over to the Crafting Chicks and show them some love by commenting, pinning, tweeting, whatevering my homemade Reese’s peanut butter eggs recipe. While there you should also check out the other posts in their Spring Fever Series. I’m loving today’s Little Girl Room Reveal from Camille at MyMommyStyle.com. How adorable is the artwork above the bed? Love it!


ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.

DIY bucket list

2014 March 21
by Emily Hill

To be honest, I’m almost embarrassed to post this DIY bucket list project because it’s so ridiculously easy. I mean, if I came up with it and it took less than a half hour, is it even worth posting? Who knows. What I do know is I found it to be a great visual for helping me work towards all those bucket list items, from owning a beachfront home in San Diego to traveling all over Europe. The best feeling is when you get to unclip a bucket list item (clothespin) and toss it into the bucket.

I’ll be doing that in late spring when I head to Tuscany for a week-long culinary workshop thanks to this chicken Marsala panini.


DIY bucket list


I’m going to spare you the step-by-step instructions because the basics are easy and it leaves you free to up the ante on the creativity. Heaven knows mine is pretty basic. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of you throw on some custom vinyl, washi tape and/or chalkboard paint.

Materials used in this DIY bucket list:

  • Metal bucket (any size)
  • Clothespins
  • Duck Tape
  • Scotch tape (preferably colored)
  • Sharpie markers

Other materials you could use to decorate the bucket (other than those mentioned) might include stickers, paint, ribbon or fabric. Unless you’re my kids and then it would simply be Duck Tape. Lots and lots of Duck Tape.

I used the Duck Tape to put wide Hawaiian stripes on my bucket. I do think the Duck Tape makes it an easy project for kids with little added stress on Mom. In fact, they could use the Sharpie markers to decorate the bucket as well.

Just remind them SHARPIES ARE NOT FOR WRITING ON BODIES.

For your bucket list items, press small strips of Scotch tape to the end of each clothespin. Use a Sharpie to write your goals on the tape and then clip your bucket list items to the outside of the bucket.


DIY bucket list tutorial


Every time you cross off a bucket list item, unclip a clothespin and toss it into the bucket. And then do a happy dance because you’ve just done something you’ve always wanted to do.

To make the crossing off of bucket list items even more rewarding, fill the bucket with your favorite candy. Every time you throw in a clothespin, treat yourself to something sweet. Of course, this works as long as you have some serious—and I mean serious—self control.


DIY bucket list


It felt almost as great crossing off “Mediterranean cruise” as it did sightseeing in Rome and visiting Sicily, Greece, Turkey and Crete.

I really need to make a habit of checking off bucket list items. For reals.

I don’t craft very often, but here are a couple other project you might enjoy:


super easy DIY mini clipboards

DIY mini clipboards

Glass jar pencil holder "first things first" craft

Glass jar pencil holder

flower cabochon ring tutorial

Flower cabochon ring


flower hair clips

Flower hair clips

owl cell phone charm

Owl cell phone charm


ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.

Mom’s Texas sheet cake

2014 March 18
by Emily Hill

This Texas sheet cake recipe was one of my favorite desserts growing up. My mom always referred to it as chocolate cookie cake so I didn’t know its “real” name until I’d grown up a bit and heard it referred to as Texas sheet cake. No matter the name, this Texas sheet cake is easy to make and extremely easy to devour.


Texas sheet cake recipe


My favorite trick is to even out the pan every time I walk through the kitchen. It keeps things nice and neat and makes me feel better about eating half the pan.

Dessert justification is one of my many talents.


Texas sheet cake recipe


This sheet cake is super versatile and can be made for any occasion. I threw on some sprinkles because it makes it feel more like spring around these blustery parts. During the holidays my mom will often cut them into squares, frost with a couple green leaves and add one or two red hots as berries. You can pretty much decorate it however you’d like…or eat it straight from the pan immediately after frosting.

Note: If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute with milk and lemon juice. For 1 cup of buttermilk, pour 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup. Add enough milk until it reaches the 1-cup mark. Let stand 5 minutes.

Printable recipe for Texas sheet cake below.

Texas Sheet Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
One of the simplest cakes to make (though it can make for a lot of dishes). Always a hit at family parties and get-togethers.
Ingredients
Cake
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 T cocoa
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup buttermilk
Frosting
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 3 T cocoa
  • 1 (1-lb) box powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 T milk
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
Instructions
Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 18×13-inch cookie sheet.
  2. In a large bowl sift together flour, sugar and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, water and cocoa. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add to flour mixture. Stir until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl combine eggs, vanilla, buttermilk and baking soda. Add to flour mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.
  5. Pour into greased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
Frosting
  1. Start frosting the last 5 minutes of baking time.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine butter and cocoa. Melt but DO NOT boil. Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar, vanilla, milk and nuts (optional). Whisk until no lumps remain. Frost cake while still very warm.


As for my other favorite chocolate cake, this decadent death by chocolate bundt cake wins hands down.


chocolate bundt cake


ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.