This and That



1. We had a major trauma on Sunday. Maxwell almost lost the end of his index finger by sticking it in a door jam. He ended up at the ER with 9 stitches and a broken finger. He was really tough and I think Maria and I shed more tears than he did. We are praying that we don’t have to make any more ER visits.

2. Be kind during the holidays.

3. I’m sure we have all wondered about this one.

4. Thanks for your feedback on the Echo. I for sure want one now! I just don’t know if I should get the big Echo or the Dot.


5. Start your morning with donuts and it’s sure to be a great day.



1. We had a big group of teenagers over to bake cookies this week. They sampled a few, but delivered most of the cookies to people in the neighborhood. We love sharing our home and the cookie love. It was a fun night.

2. We tried out our Instant Pot this week. We made quinoa and wild rice and they both came out great. Now, we need to start creating recipes. Any requests? What Instant Pot recipes are you loving? Oh, and I just saw it’s on sale on Amazon today so hurry and get one for yourself and one for someone on your list!

3. Did you see all of the Golden Globes nominations? I am going this year with Lindt Chocolate and I can’t wait. I need to do a major movie marathon because I haven’t seen very many of the movies. What have you seen? What should I watch first? I am super excited that my favorite TV show, This Is Us, was nominated!! Yay!


4. Josh took me to a Warriors vs. Jazz game and it was SO much fun. I loved watching Curry play, he’s my favorite!

5. This cake made me laugh:)

6. There is finally an avocado emoji. YAY!

7. This cake is STUNNING!

8. Perfect holiday pancakes.

9. Bring on the veggies!

10. Baking from the heart.

11. I posted a video of my dad’s famous cinnamon rolls! They are the BEST and you need to make them for Christmas.

12. These are so pretty and so easy to make!

13. The countdown is on. Christmas is almost here. Do you have all of your shopping done? If you need last minute ideas, check out our Holiday Gift Guide and Cookbook Guide. My shopping is done, I just have to wrap…which I dread. I need little elves to help me wrap!

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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This and That

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  1. PLEASE post some instapot recipes!!! I have one and would love to find some good recipes to use. Enjoy your blog, hope Maxwell recovers quick!

  2. I finally broke down and broke an Instant Pot for myself on Black Friday, too. Am looking forward to seeing what recipes you’ve made (that worked!) and seeing the new ones that you create!

  3. Would love to see some Instant Pot recipes.  I bought one on Black Friday and am trying to figure out how to use it.  It would be great to see some vegetarian meals/entrees that can be made.  I have seen lots of recipes for meat or sides (ex. rice).  Thanks!

  4. I ordered an Instant Pot and when it arrived, I was so overwhelmed by the instructions that I returned it w/o even trying it. Maybe I will reconsider.

    I made your Double Chocolate Peppermint cookies yesterday. Mine were not as pretty as your but boy were they delicious. My grandson who is a peppermint lover thought they were excellent.

  5. Learning to love our Instant Pot so recipes from you would be most welcome. I’d love to see one-pot type of meals instead of stews, soups or chunks of meat. We cooked a whole chicken in ours (yummy) but then I was still busy with side dishes. One night we did macaroni and cheese but it received mixed reviews. On busy nights when there are sports, scouts, etc., I appreciate recipes where everything cooks all at once and is finished at the same time. Instant Pot clean up is fairly easy so that’s a plus. So sorry to hear about Maxwell’s hand. With two boys, however, I’m guessing this won’t be your only trip to the ER (speaking from experience).

    1. I hope we come up with some good recipes we can share. Being a mom of two boys is interesting. We are glad Maxwell is ok!

  6. Please do share any and all Instant Pot recipes. I bought one during Amazon Prime day last summer. My mother, grandmother, great grandmother and great aunt were all afraid of pressure cookers. They all thought it would explode so this is a whole new thing for me. I think I have used it once. I would love to use it alot but am clueless about recipes. I learned to cook by following recipes and me throwing things together, generally tastes just like that- thrown together. So please share. You are so good at putting great tasting recipes together.

  7. Sorry about the little guy, I’ve always been paranoid about door jambs! Hope for full recovery!

    Re: Echo, have you looked at their tablets? Unless you already have one, they’re really capable and incorporate the same Alexa voice recognition as the Echo and are probably about the same price, but you’re also getting video, internet, kindle stuff with the tablets, thanks for all of these links!

  8. Poor Maxwell! I’m glad he’s on the mend. I would love any Instant Pot recipes! I got myself one on a Black Friday deal.

  9. I love making cheesecake in the Instant Pot and would love to see recipes for it, since a 7″ spring form pan is not typical for cheesecake recipes.

    Last night I made potato salad in mine. Yum and so quick! I never used to make potato salad because it seemed so time consuming.

  10. I need to jump on that instant pot!  I’ve seen and heard so many good things!  I’m so sorry about Maxwell’s finger- poor guy!  He is a tough one for sure!

  11. I am so glad that Maxwell’s finger is OK! I can’t even imagine how scary that must have been – I would have been sobbing hysterically. Gosh. I can’t even think about it!

    Thank you so much for sharing my cake Maria! Appreciate it so much! xo I also indulged in an Instant Pot yesterday and can’t wait to try it out. It arrives today!

  12. Oh I am so glad his finger didn’t get totally severed. Our poor little guy’s did, in the same manner, during a rousing game of hide and seek, when he was six. The doctors weren’t able to sew the tip back on, so, his middle finger is now the same height as his index finger. He is still able to do everything as usual, it just looks a bit funny. 

    I now require that these little foam door stoppers that I bought on Amazon ( are on the top of all our doors except bathrooms – they work perfectly. And we try really hard to teach our kids that slamming doors is never acceptable, especially when excited and running through the house playing games. They’re still very young (8, 5 and 3) so this is a work in progress. But it’s working. This experience really has opened our eyes to how easy it is for them to put their fingers right in the hinge-side of the door. I am truly so happy your Maxwell’s finger was saved!