Author Archives: annaleciaisawesome

Super Easy French Dip Sandwiches


French dips are one of my favorite sandwiches to get when I go out. I know they will never skimp on the meat and that’s all I care about! When I found this recipe, I was overjoyed! Super simple, super quick, and super delish. Three of my favorite things.

Easy French Dips

Original Recipe

French Dip Sandwiches

2c Broth, either beef or veggie

1/4c Chardonnay

1t Minced garlic

1/2t Thyme

1lb Deli roast beef, rare if possible

1T Butter

4oz Mushrooms, sliced

1/2 Onion, sliced

4 pieces French bread

4 slices Provolone

1. Melt butter in sauce pan and saute mushrooms and onion until soft

2. Meanwhile, bring broth, chardonnay, garlic, and thyme to a boil

3. Submerge roast beef in broth until warmed and remove. Buying rare deli meat helps prevent overcooking the meat and getting tough at this stage.

4. Once meat is warmed, remove meat from the broth and pour broth into individual bowls for dipping

5. Put oven on broil and make sandwiches. Layering provolone, veggies, and meat on the French bread. Broil until cheese is melted and bread is crusty

6. Dip in broth and enjoy!

Easy French Dips

Yea, there’s lipstick on my sandwich. I almost forgot to take a picture, but don’t worry, I remembered after bite one!


Massive Planter Stand


So over the winter, I discovered I have a gardening problem. I really, really, really like planting things. Since I’m in between houses and at my parents for the moment, I wanted to keep all my herbs and lettuces in pots for easy transplant and so that I can bring them inside during the winter, assuming my new house will have room for an indoor greenhouse haha. So I needed somewhere to put all my planters that would be out of the way but still get sun and be close enough to the house that I could go snip a few herbs for dinner. Thus began my disgusting process of hauling rotting 2×6’s (complete with nasty bugs) and most everything else with the lawn mower across the yard. I’m pretty happy with the end result and I did it all myself! Except for cutting the 4×4’s as I am still not allowed to use a saw.

Here is the end result!

Planter Stand

Planter Stand

I’m pretty proud of it. Here is a picture of just the frame

Planter Stand

It’s made out of 2 stair risers, 3 2×6’s, and a couple spare 4×4 posts. You could definitely just use 4 stair risers if you have them or want it to look nicer, but I wanted to use what I had. That also meant using nasty, rotten wood. Hence all the 4×4 supports. I also am only using plastic planters on it right now just in case. My dad did test it and walk up it like stairs, and it’s still standing so that’s a plus. He wouldn’t walk on the top shelf though as that one was pretty iffy.

This project took a lot more work that it looks. The original stair risers were already connected to stairs so I had to take them apart and then get the new (rotten) 2×6’s. I could have used 2×8’s since they are 8 inches deep, but I didn’t have those available. Once I had connected all of the 2×6’s, I had my dad cut 4×4’s to the height needed and then just screwed them in place. It is free standing as it is just a temporary fixture until I get my own place.

Planter Stand

Ignore the broken bird bath in the bottom corner. I owe my mom a new one since I dropped this one moving it out of the way. Whoops!

The sad part is that my dad didn’t understand why it had to be so long. 8 feet?! He thought that was ridiculous. Until I filled it up. And still have 5 planters on the deck, three in the kitchen, and a decorative one on the pool deck. In addition to what I put in the vegetable garden. We will be eating good this year! Oh and I still have basil seeds to plant and some weird mini pumpkins on a stick. The gardening never ends! At least I don’t have to weed 😉



Zuchetti is my new favorite pasta. Or vegetable. Whatever. It’s zucchini julienned or put through a spiralizer and then eaten like spaghetti! And dang, it’s delicious! Zucchini is one of those vegetables that doesn’t have a ton of flavor and just sucks up whatever flavor you put on it which makes it perfect as a pasta substitute. I have used both a julienne peeler and recently invested in a spiralizer. When it comes to big jobs like this where I need 3+ zucchini sliced, the spiralizer has my vote. For garnish, the peeler works better. This is the Spiralizer I bought. It makes quick work of spiralizing anything and I love it.



1 Zucchini per person


Salt and pepper

Enough sauce for however much zucchini you have. Go off of how much you make for spaghetti normally

1. Spiral or julienne zucchini. It will look like a lot, but it does cook down


2. Heat EVOO in a big pan and then add salt and pepper

3. Saute until zucchini is almost soft but not quite. Think al dente pasta.

4.Top with sauce and cheese if desired. I just use sauce and butter =]

Mother’s Day Garden Sign


I think I actually did a craft that turned out from Pinterest. This would not end up on this Buzzfeed post. At least I hope not. This was my first time ever using a wood burner and I really loved doing it! I will have to invest in some goggles though as my glasses did not stop the smoke from going into my eyes. For some reason, it didn’t occur to me that the burning wood would smoke. Who knew?! Anyway, I’m just going to show you some pictures now

Inspirational Pin

March 2011 137

And here is how mine turned out =]


Yes, I realize you can’t tell what it says right now. Hold up, here’s a few working shots


The first one is after I got all the burning done and then this next one is after my dad cut it. Apparently, at 22, I’m still not allowed to use a power saw. Probably a good parenting decision, not gonna lie.


Then my sister and I stained it and nailed it to a 2×2 and put it in the ground. I thought I had more pictures, but apparently, I don’t. So these will do as they are lovely. Yes, I did look up local weeds as well so that it was an accurate description of my mom’s garden haha.


Grilled Zucchini, Mushrooms, and Peppers


So I made these to go with Shrimp Tacos mainly because my sister doesn’t eat meat and this would be substantial enough to make veggie tacos with. I would have been right if us carnivores hadn’t eaten most of it. Sorry Sara. They were so delicious that I’m making them for Father’s day this weekend too. Yumm!

Grilled Peppers, Mushrooms, and Zucchini

Grilled Zucchini, Mushrooms, and Peppers

1 8oz pack Mushrooms

3 Zucchini

10 Mini sweet peppers

2T Old Bay

1T Garlic salt

1T Pepper


1. Slice the mushrooms, zucchini, and peppers and toss with EVOO, Old Bay, garlic salt, and pepper.

2. Stick in a grill basket and grill until tender. Took about 20 minutes for mine =]

3. Eat all of them before your vegetarian sister can get to them. Once again, sorry Sara

Grilled Peppers, Mushrooms, and Zucchini

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Mango Peach Salsa


Ok, after being in Louisiana and being able to get fresh seafood, I am a little deprived being back in the Midwest. Ok, really deprived. That is, until I found out that my favorite discount grocery store, Aldi, sells shrimp. And they’re the cheapest I could find. AND my grandma voted them the second best she’s ever had. Only second to the ones I made on Christmas that were fresh from LA. They aren’t harvested in the US which kind of sucks, but they taste super freaking delicious. So I made them into tacos!

I also made this awesome fruit salsa that no one believed would taste good. After letting it sit in the fridge for like an hour, I tried to get my family to taste it and they all looked at me weird. Like I was ET or something. And then they all loved it on the tacos! I served them with some awesome Grilled Veggies too for my veggie sister, but I will now be making them all the time, cause they were yummy.

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Peach Mango Salsa

Original Recipe

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Mango Peach Salsa

1 1/2lbs Raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

1T Old Bay type seasoning, I used an off brand cause that’s what was in the cupboard

1T Garlic salt

1T Pepper

2-3T Lime juice


Any other fixings you might want, but I didn’t use any


2 Peaches

1 Mango

1/2 Onion

12ish Cherry tomatoes

1 Jalapeno, seeded

1T Lime juice

2T Sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Early in the day or the night before, prep your salsa so the flavors have time to blend. It’s pretty tricky. Chop up all the fruit and veggies and put it in a bowl. Add the lime, sugar, and salt and pepper and pop it in the fridge to chill

2. Marinate shrimp in old bay, garlic salt, and pepper. I do this while the grill heats up

3. Right before you put the shrimp on the grill, toss them with the lime juice

4. You can either skewer the shrimp if they’re big enough, or use a grill tray thingy to cook the shrimp on. I opted for the tray since I was making a lot of shrimp. Make sure you spray the tray with nonstick before putting the shrimp on it so they don’t get stuck

5. Grill the shrimp just long enough so that they turn pink and opaque. You can flip them if you want, but I figure, you don’t flip meat in the oven usually, so why do it on the grill. It’s just an outside oven.

6. Assemble tacos with the fruit salsa and whatever else you crave and enjoy!

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Peach Mango Salsa

Shameless sneak peak of Grilled Veggies 😉

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Peach Mango Salsa

Sausage, Pepper, and Potato Bake


This is pretty much a no-fail recipe. You put some veggies on a cookie sheet, sprinkle them with oil and herbs and bake it. I have yet to mess it up. I do like to use canned pepperoncini peppers and sprinkle some of the juice on there but you could use any canned pepper or fresh pepper. This time I used a mixture of canned and some frozen ones left over from the garden last summer and they were wonderful!

Sausage, Pepper, and Potato Bake

Original Recipe

1lb Smoked sausage

3-5 Potatoes, depending on how many you want

Peppers. I used probably 1c various bell pepper about 6-7 pepperoncinis


Salt and pepper

Italian seasoning, if you want

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

2. Slice up the sausage and dice the potatoes and peppers to however big of chunks you like. The smaller the potato chunks, the faster it will cook

3. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray and lay out sausage, potatoes, and peppers. Drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning, if using

4. Bake 30-45 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender

Sausage, Pepper, and Potato Bake