Valentine’s Day Recipe Ideas

Valentine’s Day is Coming Up Soon!

Valentines Day recipe heart shaped sweet potatoes

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Are you looking for Valentine’s Day Recipe Ideas? There’s plenty of time left to plan, gather ingredients and supplies, and this short but sweet post will help inspire your special dinner!

You can get some cute heart-shaped cookie cutters and make these cute heart-shaped roasted lemon & ginger or cinnamon & brown sugar sweet potatoes.

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Bacon Peanut Butter Banana Cookies

food and books blog bacon peanut butter cookies
Bailey Cates Bacon Peanut Butter Banana Cookies with dark chocolate added.

Bacon Peanut Butter Banana Cookies – Inspired by the Magical Bakery Mystery Series by Bailey Cates.

Early on during the pandemic, I had a difficult time reading. I just couldn’t keep my attention on any book, and everything seemed stressful. After a few months went by, I realized that Bailey Cates latest Magical Bakery series book was out. Her books are always uplifting and inspiring. They are never too dark, or heavy, just good clean reading that always allows my mind to let go of its burdens and get lost in the fantasy of the magical Honeybee Bakery.

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Best Chicken Wings Ever!

Best Chicken Wings Ever, from your Instant Pot to oven or grill to your table in under an hour!

Quick post for you today! I posted these wings in an Instant Pot group on Facebook and want to share it with everyone here too.

Instant Pot Best Chicken Wings Ever
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Coffee Glazed Banana Scones

banana scone with coffee glaze

Happy Favorite FoodieBook Friday! This recipe for Coffee Glazed Banana Scones was inspired by Ilona Andrews Innkeeper Series.


My recipe for coffee glazed banana scones made with white whole wheat, Greek yogurt, and an espresso glaze that would put a smile on any vampire’s face! I just realized this is the second vampire-inspired recipe on my blog so far… (I’m starting to see a theme. Refer to my vampire related previous post.)

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Easy Italian Sausage Sandwiches with Tomatoes Onions Basil & Garlic!

Italian Sausage, Garden Tomatoes, Basil, Onions served on crusty roll.

I Call These “Brenda’s Italian Sausage Sandwiches.” They are an Awesome & Quick Recipe to use up Your Garden Tomatoes & Herbs!

This recipe is so easy it’s almost NOT a recipe! My Sister-in-law makes the best Italian sausage, pepper & onion sandwiches on a crusty hot baked roll. I intended to replicate her recipe for dinner using fresh garden goodies! Unfortunately, I didn’t have any bell peppers in my garden, and the ones at the meat market looked soggy and sad. I didn’t let that stop me, no way!

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Raspberry Lime White Chocolate Scones (Copycat Schwans Signature™ Raspberry White Chocolate Scones)

Scones and Honeysuckle
These are inspired by Schwans Signature™ Raspberry white chocolate Scones. I added the lime!
No Favorite FoodieBooks Friday this week. I’m so far behind in my reading, and I keep finding more & more new books that look good. So now I’m overwhelmed and have basically stopped reading altogether! I need to get out of this slump, but what can I do? I know, I’ll bake Raspberry Lime White Chocolate Scones!
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Fat Vampire Inspired Pizza

Favorite FoodieBook Friday ~ It’s time for Fat Vampire Inspired Pizza!

One of the first eBook series I read was Fat Vampire. Honestly, I hadn’t picked up a book in YEARS. My friend told me about eBook design and I was like… “What the hell’s an eBook?” So, I started using my iPhone Books app and realized that I could adjust font size, screen color, and I could even change the FONT. Whaaaaaat! This was a game changer for me! My eyeballs LOVE adjusting the font size, line spacing and brightness!

Update! Fat Vampire is coming to TV! On SYFY!!! I’m thrilled to say “I was reading that asshole’s books before everyone else knew him!” lol JT’s words, not mine.

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Easy Shrimp Fajitas

I’m not much of a planner. Sorry! If you are a lover of lists and meal plans this may not be the blog for you. But if you want to know how to turn a few fridge and freezer finds into a quick meal, you’ve come to the right place! Easy Shrimp Fajitas are great on a weeknight!


I peeked in the freezer and all I had was a couple of bags of frozen shrimp, salmon, one chicken breast, and lots of ground meat. In the fridge, I had bell peppers, avocados, cilantro, scallions, leftover Instant Pot garbanzo beans, corn tortillas, and lettuce. Here’s what I came up with! Lettuce wraps for me and corn tortillas for my husband to take to work tomorrow for dinner. It’s not beautiful but it’s delicious and nutritious.

Quick Shrimp Fajitas

Ingredients for Easy Shrimp Fajitas

  • 1 lb Shrimp
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Bell pepper (if you also have a jalapeño it would be a great addition)
  • 1/2 cup Cooked beans. I’d prefer black beans, but I had garbanzos ready!
  • 1/2 Lime (optional)
  • Scallions (optional but they add great flavor)
  • Cilantro (also optional)
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Red pepper/cayenne for heat, optional (you can just use a taco seasoning packet if you prefer, instead of chili powder, cumin, and red pepper)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lettuce and/or tortillas

First, I cut the cheeks off the bell pepper and charred them over my gas burner. Once charred I put them in an airtight container to steam for a few minutes, while you slice your onions. After a few minutes, you can easily scrape off the skins and slice the pepper into strips. Charring the pepper is optional but if your stomach doesn’t handle pepper skins very well, and you like the extra flavor from the char, I highly recommend it!

Char peppers over a flame.
Steam the skins off the peppers
After steaming the skin scrapes off easily!
Thinly slice the pepper.

Slice the onion in half then cut into slices and cook in a cast-iron skillet with a teaspoon of olive or avocado oil, salt, and pepper to taste.

Cook until onions are cooked through but not mushy.

Cooking onions

Add the beans and peppers until heated through. Set aside and use the skillet to cook the shrimp.

Rinse the shrimp and pat them dry. Add a teaspoon of oil to the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp. Sprinkle chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper over the shrimp. If you like a little heat, start with a scant amount, like a very scant quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and sprinkle over the shrimp.

Season the shrimp.

When the shrimp start to curl, you can see them turning a little white and the tails are turning pink, flip them over. Immediately season the shrimp on the other side and add in the peppers, onions, and beans. By now the shrimp are likely cooked through! Stir it and cut one shrimp in half to test for doneness. Remove it from the pan immediately. Over-cooked shrimp is not good! Especially if it’s going to be reheated and served later! Taste and add seasoning if necessary.

Shrimp cooked through.

It’s done when it’s no longer opaque or squishy on the inside. The whiter it gets, the more cooked or overcooked it is.

Serve with avocado, thin-sliced scallions, and cilantro in lettuce cups or tortillas. Freshly squeezed lime brings out all the flavor! Add salsa if you have it, but with the lime, you won’t need it.

Easy shrimp fajitas on a weeknight

If I wasn’t so tired I would have steamed some rice to go along with this… and added a nutrition label to my recipe… but I’ve been fatigued lately. I’ve had some B-12 injections, started some supplements, and hope to be feeling better soon. Yawn.

I thought the garbanzo beans would be weird but they worked in this recipe! A red bell pepper would have been pretty, but this is what was in the fridge! Let me know if you cook up something similar with garbanzo beans, I’d love to hear about it, please comment below.