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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Big Bear's Pizza Obsession and Pizza Hut's All New Flavors #flavorofnow

Pizza Hut's All New "Flavor of Now" Menu #flavorofnow

I may have won the battle of "Steak and Taters for Life" with BigBear and managed to somehow convince him that steamed spinach and chicken pineapple curry was just as scrumptious, but one thing that will never change is his love/obsession with pizza. And why would I want to change that. I mean come on, pizza is just plain good! Not to mention, I'm pretty sure that my husband has tomato sauce running through his veins. ;)

If I'm ever in question of what he wants for dinner, I can ALWAYS rely on "Pizza" being the correct answer.
He had pizza Saturday for dinner, he had pizza last night for dinner and he'll probably have pizza again tonight for dinner.

Now don't get me wrong, I love pizza too haha but he's got me beat!

Pizza Hut's All New "Flavor of Now" Menu #flavorofnow

When we lived out in the country (aka the middle of nowhere), we normally stocked up on frozen pizzas but since we've moved into the city we barely even see one of those anymore. Living in a "Pizza Delivery" area has opened the door wide open for my husband and he's not holding back!

When we first moved into our house it needed a bit of work done. We had to strip wallpaper, rip up old carpet, re-paint walls and refinish the floors. I was still in the process of packing up our old house and cleaning it up, so BigBear and his cousin were spending a lot of time at the new house working on walls and floors. What do they do when their wives aren't around to make dinner? They order pizza, lots and lots of pizza.  haha

I feel like for two weeks straight, when I'd go over to the new house or check up on him or to lend a hand with the wallpaper removal, I'd find at least one pizza box if not more. haha He was loving the fact that he could now pick up the phone and have a pizza delivered to our door.

Pizza Hut's All New "Flavor of Now" Menu #flavorofnow

And even though we've been in our house for about 3 years now and have had a wonderful (fully operational by the way) kitchen, I still catch my sweet BigBear pulling up the "Create Your Own Pizza" Menu on his phone some nights when we're deciding on what to have for dinner.

Pizza Hut's All New "Flavor of Now" Menu #flavorofnow

Now when it comes to Pizza, I don't normally offer any type of "advice". haha.

Big Bear's Pizza Order is his and his alone. He's in charge 100% and I don't even offer any "healthier ideas" or mention the fact that maybe he's over doing it on the bacon. it even possible to over do the bacon? ;)

However, when we were invited to try out Pizza Hut's new "Flavor of Now" menu, that's packed with new topping options and crust ideas, I was more than willing to slip my advice into the ordering process.

Pizza Hut's All New "Flavor of Now" Menu #flavorofnow

What's new on this Pizza Hut "Flavor of Now" Menu? I'm so glad you asked. ;)

They've got 5 new toppings to choose from:

  • Peruvian Cherry Peppers
  • Classic Meatballs
  • Premium Salami
  • Sliced Banana Peppers
  • & Fresh Spinach (My Favorite!)

There are 6 Bold New Sauces to smoother your pizza masterpiece with:

  • Classic Marinara
  • Premium Crushed Tomato
  • Honey Sriracha
  • Barbecue
  • Buffalo
  • & Creamy Garlic Parmesan  

Pizza Hut's All New "Flavor of Now" Menu #flavorofnow

And check this out! New Crust Flavors are happening too!

  • Hut Favorite - A garlic buttery blend with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan and hint of Italian herbs.
  • Toasted Parmeshan - A sprinkle of all-natural Parmesan, toasted to perfection.
  • Salted Pretzel - Transforms your crust edge into a freshly baked soft pretzel.
  • Honey Sriracha - Glazes your crust edge with a sweet-heat fusion of real honey and intense red chilies.
  • Fiery Red Pepper - A seriously spicy blend of cayenne and crushed red pepper brushed onto the crust edge.
  • Toasted Cheddar - A dash of shredded cheddar baked on for a toasty finish.
  • Toasted Asiago - A touch of shredded, savory Asiago for a unique toasted flavor.
  • Garlic Buttery Blend - A garlic buttery blend with a hint of oregano, parsley and basil.

Pizza Hut's All New "Flavor of Now" Menu #flavorofnow

With all of those options you can literally create a pizza that everyone will love!

BigBear picked his favorite toppings and was ready to go but since my favorite pizza right now is mushroom and spinach pizza I needed to make sure that I got that too!

So what exactly did we end up ordering? Two Pizzas. Haha. We ordered Big Bear his manly pizza and then we got mine with lots of fresh spinach added to it!  haha I mean come on, it's not like two pizzas would last long in this house anyways. ;)

Big Bear's Pizza Order:

 Pan Pizza - Large
 Salted Pretzel Crust Flavor
 Premium Crushed Tomato
 Premium Salami
 Hardwood Smoked Bacon
 Fresh Mushrooms

Order your Pizza! Pizza Hut's All New "Flavor of Now" Menu #flavorofnow


 Pan Pizza - Large
 Salted Pretzel Crust Flavor
 Premium Crushed Tomato
 Premium Salami
 Hardwood Smoked Bacon
 Fresh Mushrooms
 Fresh Spinach

I have to say, we BOTH loved our pizza choices.

Pizza Hut's All New "Flavor of Now" Menu #flavorofnow

So what would you put on your pizza? Are you loving the new topping and crust flavors?

Be sure to check out the new pizza options! So next time you need a quick and awesome dinner, give them a try! Want to order? Order here and let me know what kind of pizza you made!

Pizza Hut's All New "Flavor of Now" Menu #flavorofnow

Give Pizza Hut's all-new menu a try with 5 premium new ingredients, 6 bold new sauces and 10 amazing new crust flavors. Build your own creation now at
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Pizza Hut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Brown Butter Cookie Cake - Cookie Skillet - Happy 6th Blogiversary

Brown Butter Cookie Cake - Cookie Skillet

Who forgets their own blog anniversary? This girl! Ok well I didn't completely forget it. I did remember it a few weeks ago when I made this cookie cake. I wanted to make sure that I had this made and photographed and ready to go on the blog for my blog's 6th "Blogiversary". Oh and then POOF, Sunday came and went and the recipe sat in my archives and didn't even see the light of day.

But hey I did post an awesome pasta recipe for you on Sunday but as far as the birthday/blog anniversary celebrations... yeah... I spaced out on it.

Well at least I posted it for you today haha. Yep, so Sunday (Jan 25th) was my blog's 6th anniversary. I've been working on this little piece of the internet for 6 whole years. While I never imagined that I'd be a blogger, it's one of the best things that ever happened to me.

I remember sitting on my couch in NC and writing my very first little post. haha. Who knew that it would turn into this!

Brown Butter Cookie Cake - Cookie Skillet

I couldn't ask for a better career. I've made amazing friends through this blog, I've had amazing opportunities and jumped more hurdles than I can count. I'm so glad that I started this and I'm so glad you've been here to enjoy the ride with me.

So Thank you. Thank you for reading, Thank you for the comments, Thank you for the e-mails and the Social Media Shares.  If you were here right now I'd totally make you your very own Brown Butter Cookie Cake!

Brown Butter Cookie Cake - Cookie Skillet

Why a Brown Butter Cookie Cake? Um.. Cause it's a cookie cake and it's made with brown butter.

Need I say more?

Brown Butter Cookie Cake - Cookie Skillet

I don't know about you but I'd take a cookie cake over a regular cake any day. I'm pretty sure that when I was growing up that I went through a spell of like 4 years where I only wanted cookie cakes at my birthday parties haha.

They all came from The Great American Cookie Company and ALWAYS had a frog on them with green M&Ms... yeah don't ask.

Brown Butter Cookie Cake - Cookie Skillet

But why a Cookie Skillet? Because it's easy. That's why.

Back when Veterans' day came around, we were getting ready to take BigBear out to dinner (Corpsman UP!) and about 2 hours before dinner I realized "OH #&^#$ I'm a crappy wife, I didn't even make hubby a cake or special dessert or anything." I started texting my brother and after a few texts back and forth, I told him I'd figure something out.

So I jumped online and found a cookie cake recipe from, pulled everything out onto the counter and crossed my fingers.

Brown Butter Cookie Cake - Cookie Skillet

It turned out great! Whoo, The day was saved.

A photo posted by Angie Barrett (@bigbearswife) on

And then my brother's birthday came along.

I planned this one out so I'd have more time to toy with the recipes and switch out a few things for his cookie cake.

I changed out the regular butter for brown butter (omgeee it's so good), I added more brown sugar, more vanilla and more chocolate chips. I also didn't bake it for as long as I had before.

A photo posted by Angie Barrett (@bigbearswife) on
Again, we had a winner. It was the talk of the evening. I do believe I heard some comments along the lines of "this is better than the mall cookie cakes" YES! I win! haha

Brown Butter Cookie Cake - Cookie Skillet

When I was thinking of what to make for my blog's birthday, I knew that I needed to share this Brown Butter Cookie Cake with y'all.

I just couldn't keep this all to myself.

Brown Butter Cookie Cake - Cookie Skillet

Oh and as far as the decorating... haha don't judge! I never claim to be a good decorator.

Brown Butter Cookie Cake - Cookie Skillet

So, what do ya say? Have a slice of cookie cake and help me celebrate my blog's anniversary? It'll mean the world to me! <3

oo and ps. Check below the recipe. There may be something down below to help you celebrate with me!


Thanks for Celebrating with me! What's a Birthday or Anniversary without gifts? :)

So here is one for you. I'm giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card and a 11 inch Cast Iron Skillet (just like the one used for this recipe) ONE lucky winner will win both prizes!

Just enter for a chance to win below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends Feb 11th at 11:59pmEST

Brown Butter Cookie Cake - Cookie Skillet
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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sausage and Spinach Alfredo

Sausage and Spinach Alfredo

So we didn't go see American Sniper. I know I said we were going to but we decided to wait and rent it once it came out on DVD. I think that we were both a little hesitant and I personally think it would be better for BigBear to watch it at home anyways, you know instead of a huge, packed, crowed, loud theater. Yeah....totally waiting to watch it at home.

Other than that, hummm what's been going on around here...

Sausage and Spinach Alfredo

We've got about a month until we're headed to Disney! Our cousins are going on a Disney Cruise next week so that's got my Disney excitement pushed to the front of my mind! haha I literally think about our trip every day and since she's so excited about their cruise it's making me even more excited about our trip to Disney World!

That's how I am with travel. I decide to go on a trip and then I literally plan out details and think about it every SINGLE freakin day until we leave. It drives me insane but I love it. (I'm sure it also drives everyone else insane because I want to talk about it 24/7) Sorry...not sorry. ;)

Sausage and Spinach Alfredo

On to other things....

BigBear and I have developed an obsession with Vampire Diaries. We've pretty much been binge watching episodes in the evenings, on Netflix, after work. It's awesome but it also makes me want to rip my hair out.

Like the other night I literally had to tell BigBear to turn off the TV because my head was getting ready to explode from watching endless hours of Vampire Diaries every evening.

Thankfully we've broken it up a little bit over the past few evenings and watched a few episodes of Agent Carter, Sleepy Hollow and American Horror Story. But, Oh my word, y'all don't even understand. I am not a TV person, so this much TV is a crazy, insane amount for me. I'm loving the shows but sitting still that long to watch them is sending my anxiety into overdrive.

Sausage and Spinach Alfredo

You know what else has my anxiety up? Life! haha  Office work, blog work, events, dinners, gym time, tanning (yes, I NEED it so I don't burn in the sun), healthy eating, cooking healthy foods, drinking water, drinking enough water, drinking too much water, caving and eating junk, misery for eating junk, holidays coming up (Anniversary! woot woot), deadlines, trips coming up, bank accounts, bills, cleaning, housework, family and friend obligations....ahhhhhhh make it all stop or at least slow down. K?! haha Sometimes I totally feel like a hamster running on a wheel and getting nowhere. Please tell me I'm not the only one.

Oh and ps. I'm totally loving listening to my Spotify playlist of rap music from my high school days... don't judge me. I kind of miss being 16. Cool Cars, Awesome Music and No Responsibility. haha.

Sausage and Spinach Alfredo

Geez, after all of that you need some food right? Of course you do!

Notes about this Sausage and Spinach Alfredo:

  • The alfredo (in my opinion) is super rich but totally delicious. BigBear said it was perfect. 
  • After this sits in the fridge it does get rather thick. I find that a splash of milk or cream before re-heating helps!
  • The cajun andouille sausage that I buy is already cooked so I just have to heat it but if you buy sausage that isn't fully cooked, allow time to cook it throughout. 

Sausage and Spinach Alfredo
By: Angie Barrett -
Serves 4-6                                                                        (Click to Print)

12 oz cajun andouille sausage
Olive Oil
16 oz shell pasta
2 sticks of butter (1 cup)
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons paprika
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons white pepper (or black pepper)
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan 
2-3 large hand fulls of fresh spinach

Grated Parmesan for garnish (optional)


Cook pasta in a large pot filled with salted water. Bring pasta to a boil and cook for 12-15 minutes or until pasta is done. Drain and pour back into pot. 

While the pasta is cooking, add the andouille sausage to a skillet with a little olive oil and cook over medium heat until browned and heated throughout. I cook mine for about 5-7 minutes.

Remove andouille sausage from pan and set aside. Once cool enough to handle, cut the andouille sausage into coins. 

For the Alfredo sauce, add the butter and heavy cream to a sauce pan or skillet. Add in the paprika, pepper and garlic. Whisk together. Heat over medium to high heat until hot. 

Add grated Parmesan and whisk until melted. Raise the heat until the sauce starts to boil and then turn the heat off. Whisk well. Sauce should thicken as the cheese melts but won't be super thick.

Add in the spinach and stir. Spinach will wilt due to the heat of the sauce. 

Add the sausage to the drained pasta. 

Once the spinach is wilted, pour the alfredo sauce into the pasta and toss to coat. 

Server Immediately. 

*There are a few affiliate links in this post, but hey, that keeps me blogging ;)

Sausage and Spinach Alfredo
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Friday, January 23, 2015

Ingredient Feature Friday: Tomatoes - Tomatoes in 12 Different Dishes

Ingredient Feature Friday: Tomatoes -  Tomatoes in 12 Different Dishes

Whenever I make any dish that includes Spinach I always feel like I need to toss in a few tomatoes for that pop of red! This is especially true for any type of pasta dish! I don't know why it's like that but if I make pasta and I put spinach it it, I've GOT to throw in a few chopped up tomatoes. It's like I NEED that green and red together. haha.

Also, I'm really bad about buying tomatoes at the market because I fall in love with how beautiful they are annnnnnnnnnd then letting them hang out on the counter so long that I can't use them in anything. So depressing. I'm kind of bad about that.

I need some ideas for those lonely tomatoes that normally live out their lives in the basket in my kitchen.

Last Friday, I started a new thing on the blog called "Ingredient Feature Friday" and I highlighted and shared a group of recipes that highlighted spinach! Since I'm all about Spinach and Tomatoes in the same recipe I figured that "Tomatoes" would be the perfect follow up to an "Ingredient Feature Friday" all about Spinach!

So here we go...

Creamy Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup  from Pressure Cooking Today

Caprese Salad from My Own Blog Review

Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Pulled Chicken  from Cupcakes and Kale Chips

Feta-Stuffed Tomatoes  from The Kitchen is my Playground

Parmesan-Broiled Tomatoes from The Kitchen is my Playground

Caprese Tortilla Pizzas  from Home Cooking Memories

Brown Butter Chicken Pasta  from Big Bear's Wife 

One Pan Caprese Pasta  from Yellow Bliss Road

Virgin Mary Sorbet  from It's Yummi

What are your favorite ways to use tomatoes?

Ingredient Feature Friday: Tomatoes -  Tomatoes in 12 Different Dishes
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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Southwest Chicken and Rice

Southwest Chicken and Rice Recipe

I think that we are going to attempt to see American Sniper tonight. I have totally mixed feelings about wanting to see this movie and I'm going to try my best to not have a major freak out in the middle of the theater tonight. I don't do public displays of emotions and well considering I have a rough time getting through the previews on TV without changing the channel and feeling like my chest is going to explode...yeah I don't know how I'm gonna do with all of that.

I've always cared about our military but I didn't have this emotional issue with it until I married my husband. Being a military wife totally changed my view on EVERYTHING military related and even though he's been out of the military for a while I still get that sinking feeling in my chest and my heart starts to race when something military related is going on.

Southwest Chicken and Rice Recipe

I saw the preview for American Sniper, you know the part when his wife is talking on the phone with him and BOOM, things go crazy for him...yeah... I about lost it on just that preview. Perhaps I'll have a drink or two before we go. I'll probably need it. I do have a massage appointment before we go out tonight, maybe that will help ease my panic tension as well. haha -- Oh dear....

Sorry to be so spastic and dramatic.  I totally started this blog post off on the right foot, didn't I. ;)

Let's just move onto the rice and forget that I had a mini melt k.. thanks. ;)

Red Chili Powder

So do you see that beautiful red chili powder right there? Isn't is gorgeous. I never thought a chili powder could be "beautiful" but it totally is. BigBear's Uncle, Chris and his wife Carol, brought it to me from New Mexico! They use to drive a transfer truck all over the US (until they came home to take care of BigBear's Grandmother) and when they were in New Mexico visiting Carol's family they picked up two bags of chili pepper for me!

That seems to be what happens when you have family that knows that you love to cook; you get food and cooking presents! haha. Perfect! Thanks y'all!!

Southwest Chicken and Rice Recipe

While I don't cook that many spicy foods (although I wish I could), I do tend to sneak in bits of chili powder and hot sauce into our food! What can I say...I use to love hot foods. I used Texas Pete as my "ketchup" when I was in high school. haha

Red Chili Powder

Don't worry though! This Southwest Chicken and Rice isn't hot. It's not even spicy. But it could be. If you want more of a kick, just add more chili powder OR use a stronger chili powder. The chili powder I used was a mild one.

Southwest Chicken and Rice Recipe

Oh and let me talk about the rice for a second. I love saffron rice. I could literally just it plain, so that's why I chose saffron right for this dish. If you're not into saffron rice, you could totally change it out for brown or white rice but you may want to add a few more spices to the dish.

Southwest Chicken and Rice Recipe

White rice in incredibly bland in my opinion haha so I wasn't interested in using it here. So... yeah...nevermind. Maybe you shouldn't use white or brown rice. ;) Just go ahead and give the saffron rice a try. I'm pretty sure that you're gonna like it!
Southwest Chicken and Rice
 By: Angie Barrett -
Makes 4-6  servings                                              (Click to Print)

2 boneless skinless chicken breast
2 tablespoons red chili powder + an additional tablespoon or two
1 can black beans, drained and lightly rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can yellow corn, drained
10 oz yellow saffron rice (I use Mahatma Yellow Saffron Rice)
3.5 cups water


Fill a large pot with water (enough to cover the two chicken breast). Add 2 tablespoons red chili powder and stir. Bring to a boil and add the chicken. Cook the chicken for about 30 minutes or until done.

While the chicken is cooking, fill a sauce pan with 3.5 cups of water. Turn the heat to medium high heat and after the water has come to a boil, stir in the saffron rice. Cover and reduce heat to low. Let the rice cook for about 20 minutes.

While the rice and chicken cooks, drain all of the vegetables and beans and add them to a large bowl.

When the chicken has finished cooking, let it cook for just a few minutes and then shred it. Sprinkle in about a tablespoon of red chili powder, mix well. Add it to the bowl of vegetables and beans.

When the rice has finished cooking, fluff it with a fork and mix it into the bowl of chicken, vegetables and beans. Mix well and serve hot.

Southwest Chicken and Rice
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