Roogs – Pupdate Round 2

I figured it was time for another Reuger pup-date!  Before I get into the latest (some good and some bad, poor Reuger) I want to show how much progress he has made.

If you remember when we got Reuger he was in pretty bad shape.  He was put on antibiotics (Ketoconazole and Cephalexin) for 60 days and as you can see from the below he looks so much better!

before after

The first photo was taken about a week after we got Reuger, and the second after two months.  I mentioned in my last update that Reuger was acting and feeling so much better, and that has only continued to improve.  The hair on his backside has filled-in even more since this photo!

Alright so back to the latest – since Reuger had completed his medications he was ready to be adopted.  He was posted to the Secondhand Hounds website (check-out his bio here!) and to get the word out on this cool dude we brought him to an adoption event at Bentley’s Pet Stuff in Edina.  He did GREAT at the event and people liked meeting him!


After the event Luke and I went out to a dinner, and when we got home Reuger was a different dog.  Extremely docile, crabby/agitated, and lethargic.  He even became aggressive towards us when we tried to move him which was not like him at all.  We thought maybe the day was just too much for him, but after a few days we got approval from Secondhand Hounds to bring him back to Burnsville Parkway Animal Hospital.

The bummer thing about dogs is that they can’t talk (although helpful I always found Clifford a bit creepy…) so it was tough to figure out what the issue was.  He didn’t have any wounds, didn’t seem to be in pain, and his blood work came back pretty normal – all good but not helpful in diagnosing!  They decided to put him back on Cephalexin thinking maybe his infection had come back and he wasn’t feeling well.

After about a week of being on the medication he finally was back to himself.  He just finished a mini two-week dose yesterday so I took him back to the vet to see next steps.  They thankfully decided we are going to try keeping him off of antibiotics to see how he does (fingers crossed).

While we were there we also had the vet look at a few bumps that appeared on his leg and on a couple of his paws.  They took a biopsy and essentially aren’t sure what it is!  Good news is that they don’t think it is anything serious, but to be sure they are going to send a sample to a lab to confirm.

Alright onto some good news – Reuger has not been aggressive with us since his “funk.”  He stayed with Luke’s parent’s (thanks Terry and Roxie) while Luke and I were on vacation and was great for them which made us feel better about him being with a new family!

His new flow and charming personality has also made him a hot commodity!  We have a SECOND meeting with a very interested (and fantastic) family this weekend, and have three other applications waiting as well!

Luke has been gone this week so I’ve been on puppy-duty.  We have enjoyed facetiming Luke and as you can see below Reuger loves to tease Stella with her favorite bone (which essentially is any bone Reuger has) 🙂


While we have loved having him as part of our family for three-plus months, we want him to find his forever home.  Hoping all goes well this weekend and with the results of his bump!

Side bar – check out this adorable Chance update:

“He has gotten really big…AND his love for digging in the snow has taken a new turn.  Muddy!! :)”


Peanut Butter Cheesecake & Chocolate Brownie Mousse Dessert “Boats”

Ahh, spring is in the air in MN which means the Gopher Football spring game is right around the corner.  To celebrate and take advantage of the great weather our fabulous Gopher tailgate crew got together for a mid-season tailgate BBQ!


In true MN sports fashion the last few months have been a roller coaster for Gopher fans.  Our team boycotted their bowl game over a horrible assault incident, our new coach was fired for backing the team, then we hired the crazy coach that is Mr. PJ Fleck!

PJ seems to be bringing positive attention to Minnesota, and Gopher fans (like myself) have a new enthusiasm for the 2017 season.  However you can’t help but laugh at some of his puns.  I mean the guy literally said he “eats difficult conversations for breakfast!”


Alright you are wondering how this all relates to desserts – so back to our tailgate party.  I offered to bring a dessert and knowing two of his most common phrases are “oars in the water” and “row the boat” I decided I needed to somehow figure out a way to make a boat-shaped dessert.  Challenge accepted (let’s be clear almost 100% of the time I am competing with myself).

My Google and Pinterest searches kept bringing me back to this site using Old El Paso mini soft shell tortilla boats as the base.  I didn’t want to do ice cream, so I brought back the peanut butter cheesecake and chocolate brownie mousse desserts I made for one of my engagement parties!

They received comments like “flecking fantastic” and “elite” so I’m calling it a success!  See the recipe below – of course you could fill the boats with any of your favorite dessert fillings 🙂

Cheers, and Go Gophers!

Dessert Boats

“Boat” Base:


  • 20 (roughly two and a half packages) of Old El Paso regular or whole wheat soft shell mini taco boats *I found these at Super Target
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • One package chocolate almond bark
  • Optional: one cup chopped peanuts


  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
  • Line cookie sheets with aluminum foil
  • Brush melted butter over each soft shell “boat” and place on the cookie sheet
  • Bake 5-8 minutes until “boats” are a bit crispy and the edges browned
  • Let stand to cool 10-15 minutes
  • Melt almond bark according to instructions and spread chopped peanuts on a plate
  • Once the “boats” are cooled, grab them carefully and dip the top edges into the almond bark then into the peanuts
  • Set upright and allow to set (10-15 minutes)

Boats are now ready for their filling!!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Cheesecake Filling:


  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2/3 Cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Cups whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Optional: chopped peanuts & melted chocolate for garnish


  • Beat whipping cream with a mixer until it starts to thicken and soft peaks form
  • fold-in peanut butter and cream cheese, mixing until combined
  • Add powdered sugar and finally vanilla, mixing until combined
  • Place filling in a piping bag or large plastic Ziplock bag
  • Pipe the filling into the “boats” (batch makes 8 to 10)
  • Top with crushed peanuts and drizzle melted chocolate (I used the leftover almond bark from dipping!)

Chocolate Mousse and Brownie Filling:


  • 1 Box of your favorite brownie mix, baked and cooled (you will need oil, eggs, etc. to bake it)
  • One box instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 1/2 Cups 2% milk
  • 1 Cup heavy whipping cream
  • Optional: top with melted chocolate


  • Bake the brownie mix according to package directions, set aside to cool
  • Beat the pudding mix and milk on medium speed until it is a pudding consistency
  • In a separate bowl, beat the whipping cream until it thickens and soft peaks form
  • Fold the whipping cream with the pudding mixture and put into a piping bag or large Ziplock bag
  • Crumble the brownies into “chunks” and place in the bottom of the boats (makes 8-10)
  • Pipe the mousse over/in between the brownie chunks
  • Drizzle with melted chocolate (again I used the left over almond bark)

*This recipe is also really good if you add 2-4 ounces of cream cheese!

Now you have your two types of boats!

For the “Oars”:


  • Pretzel sticks (32 – 40, two per “boat”)
  • Gummies (I used spiced gummies, 32-40 two per “boat”)
  • Almond Bark, melted according to package directions


  • Stick the pretzel into the gummy
  • Then dip the gummy into the almond bark until covered

Set on the the sides of the “boats” and you are ready!

**Note, these don’t taste very good – spiced gummies dipped in chocolate – my husband recommended using rolos instead and I would do that for future “boats”!

For the Sail:


  • Toothpicks
  • Paper
  • Hot glue or left over almond bark


  • Cut the paper into triangle or “sail” shapes
  • Hot glue (or I just used left over almond bark!) to stick the toothpick to the sail
  • Stick into the boats and you are good to go!

Dessert Boats



Work-Friendly Baby Shower

A lovely co-worker of mine is having her baby soon and we wanted to do something fun for her!  Our goal was to have something low-key and not super awkward since it was during work hours and we work with mostly men 🙂

If you have read any of my posts before, you know that a key to planning for me is advance prep…unfortunately life happened and I didn’t start prepping for this party until 8:00pm the night before (oops) but by keeping the recipes simple, having great co-planners, and indulging in a glass of wine/real housewives while I cooked/crafted I was able to pull it off!

See below decor, food, and games – it turned out super cute and mom/baby were pleased 🙂

The Decor:

The party was hosted on a Friday afternoon in a conference room at work.  Despite being at work, we still wanted it to feel like a baby shower.  The conference room was huge so I was nervous about any decorations getting lost, but by creating a few focal points we were able to dress it up!

The main focal point of the room was the food table (I mean everyone loves food so that makes sense right?!).  I found the pomander tissue “shower” idea on Pinterest and had been wanting to try it for awhile!  I have always bought tissue pomanders at Michael’s/Target and never again – I used a tutorial similar to this and it took literally minutes to make each one.  I will admit the “rain drops” took some time – I used paper and string I had at home and cut the paper into tear drops then hot-glued to the string and taped behind the pomanders (and the good news is these can be re-used)!

I purchased a white plastic table cloth at Target and found the banner there as well (why make it when you can buy it?!).  I’ve also found that you can’t underestimate how helpful serving-ware can be in creating a mood for your party.  Although the food would have tasted fine coming out of random tupperware, it just looks so much better when it all matches and there are different levels.  Conveniently for me I got married two years ago any my sister is a registering expert so I have a ton of white platters, bowls, etc.!


The food table!

Another “food table trick” of mine is to add a cute place for people to keep track of their drinks on the cups.  I used the same paper as the “rain drops” and cut-out little hearts, then hot-glued them to plastic champagne cups.  Adds a pop of color and a little detail!


The next focal point was the gift/game table.  It is amazing what a flower bouquet from Target and a homemade sign can do to a conference room table!


Finally (although the pictures aren’t great) we added streamers and a gold “F” in front of the chair the mom-to-be was sitting to draw the attention to her!  These tissue streamers were also purchased from Target and I use them for many of my parties!


The Menu:

Baby shower food is some of my favorite, because it can be so whimsical and sweet.  Since this was an afternoon party I kept the food pretty “snacky” with representation from both the salty and sweet sides:

  • “Dunkaroo” Dip: This is one of the first recipes I ever “pinned” and I’m not sure why I haven’t made it lately.  Anyone who was born in the late ’80’s knows how exciting it was when you opened-up your lunch to find the amazing frosting/cookie snack that was a Dunkaroo (and if you don’t you missed out – blame your parents).  This dip tastes just like Dunkaroos and is super easy to make!

Dunakaroo Dip


  • 2 Cups vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 2 Cups light cool whip
  • 1 Box funfetti cake mix
  • Graham crackers or vanilla wafers

Combine the yogurt, cool whip, and cake mix and serve with cookies/crackers of your choice!

  • Pineapple Raspberry Punch

Combine 2 liters of lemon/lime soda, one gallon of pineapple juice, and one container of frozen strawberry lemonade for this awesome punch!


  • Chocolate covered strawberries and Chocolate Mousse Cups

I used to think making chocolate covered strawberries was such a pain, but I dipped two cartons of strawberries in white almond bark in less than 15 minutes – this may be a new go-to treat!

For the mousse cups I used the pre-cooked Phyllo shells and filled them with a made-up chocolate mousse that turned-out really good!

I mixed 4 ounces cream cheese, one small box sugar free instant chocolate pudding mix, and 2 cups light cool whip.  Then I added some vanilla almond milk to help the consistency.  I brought the filling in a bag and filled the cups right before the party so they wouldn’t get soggy.  I will admit that I could have filled them better, they looked like poop in a cup, but they were SUPER tasty (and I may or may not have continued to eat the left-over filling with the left-over vanilla wafers all week)!


  • Mini Meat and Cheese Kabobs with Crackers

Simply cut summer sausage and crackers into cubes, skewer on toothpicks, and serve with crackers!

  • Popcorn and Sugar Cookies

So I had all intentions of making my grandma’s famous cookie recipe (remember this one?) but I just ran out of time so I went with the still cute and yummy store-bought sugar cookies!

The menu was getting more sweet than salty, so I added 3 types of popcorn with the “she is about to pop” theme – one cheddar, one caramel, and one kettle corn.

The Games:

Planning games has always been my least favorite part of hosting for some reason, so I’m thankful my co-worker Lindsay took over!  As mentioned we work with mostly men, so something super cheesy was out of the question.  We opted for one hands-on game and two passive games so people didn’t feel obligated to participate in everything.  Here they are:

  • Celebrity Baby Game: this was our “active game” where we gave everyone two minutes to fill-out this printable form identifying which baby belongs to which celebrities
  • Mad Libs: We passed around a baby-advice themed mad libs that the mom-to-be read at the end and was pretty amusing!


  • Diaper Advice: Finally we went with the classic diaper advice game – where we set-out diapers and people could write words of encouragement or wisdom for those late-night changes!


It was a fun shower and the mom-to-be was happy which was the goal!


Freezer-Friendly Turkey and Veggie Enchiladas with Tex Mex Quinoa

A combination of craving Mexican and playing the “what’s in my fridge/pantry” game gave me the idea to make enchiladas!  I had several left-over veggies to use-up so I figured they would be a good way to put a twist on some enchiladas.

While I didn’t realize this until after the fact, these enchiladas give me the perfect opportunity to share an important public service announcement with you – you are likely folding your tacos/enchiladas/whatever-you-make-with-tortillas wrong!

If you didn’t know, there is an art to folding tortillas.  No one wants to pick up their taco or enchilada and have all of the filling fill out (ain’t nobody got time for that)!  I learned the “proper” way to fold a taco/enchilada from my friend Kayla!  Her family owns a fantastic Mexican restaurant in my home-town of Detroit Lakes called Miguel’s (pronounced Mi-gells, not mi-gwells FYI).

I couldn’t write this post with an enchilada that falls apart, so I called her mid-fold and ensured I got the details down to share with you.

So without further ado, here is the correct way to fold your tortilla (Kayla don’t judge, I’m sure I didn’t do it Miguel’s justice):

Step 1: Fill your tortilla and fold-in the “butt” side 1/4 way up the filling (and all this time you have been starting with the side…)


Step 2: Fold the top of the tortilla 1/4 of the way over the filling (for tacos you usually leave the top open)


Step 3: Fold the right-side of the tortilla all the way over the meat filling and use it to “scoop” or “slide” the filling to the right/center of the tortilla so it is nice and secured in there (can’t have your enchilada falling apart!)


Step 4: Roll the tortilla tightly to the left until it is fully rolled

Congrats folks you now know the inside scoop on enchilada folding from Detroit Lake’s finest Mexican establishment, and you are welcome 🙂

OK back to the recipe.  It really isn’t anything fancy but hit the spot and went really well with the freezer Quinoa I had made a double batch of for my friend – a great week-night meal and not crazy unhealthy!

Enjoy 🙂

Ground Turkey and Vegetable Enchiladas

Makes: 6-8 Enchiladas
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 3-4 mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 10 oz. can enchilada sauce
  • 1 10 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 7 oz. can diced green chiles, drained
  • 6-8 whole wheat taco shells
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional, for garnish)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Heat ground turkey in a skillet over medium heat until browned then add taco seasoning (I only use 1/2 of the packet so the flavor doesn’t take-over).  Set aside
  • In a small skillet heat a drizzle of olive oil and add the onions – cook until translucent, 1-2 minutes then add the tomatoes and mushrooms, cook for 1-2 additional minutes until softened
  • In a large bowl combine the cooked vegetables with the cooked ground turkey and add the green onions, drained/rinsed black beans, and drained green chiles

Now get ready to get your hands dirty!

  • In the same saucepan you used to cook the vegetables, heat the enchilada sauce on low


  • Create a station with your enchilada sauce skillet, tortillas, and the meat filling readily available
  • Dip each side of the tortilla in the enchilada sauce so both sides are covered, then “wipe” some of the excess back into the saucepan


  • Lay the sauce-coated tortilla on a plate/working surface and fill with 1/4 to 1/2 cup meat and veggie mixture
  • Roll-up tortilla so all sides are closed (the “proper” way to do it above!)
  • Place into a baking dish and top with any remaining sauce and desired amount of cheese
  • Bake 10-15 minutes until bubbly and heated-through (*Option, cover and freeze – just thaw and re-heat when ready!)
  • Serve with your favorite side or this awesome Tex Mex Quinoa and enjoy 🙂



Freezer-Friendly Sausage & Vegetable Lasagna Roll-Ups

A close family member of mine has to have back surgery in a couple of weeks so I wanted to make some easy-to-reheat food for her to have around during her recovery.  When I’m not feeling well I want comfort food so I decided lasagna would be a good fit!  I had some veggies to use-up from a different recipe (posting soon) so I created these sausage and vegetable lasagna roll-ups.  They turned-out to be a great mix of flavors and pretty easy to make (just a bit messy).

I froze them (I love freezer meals!) but you can assemble and cook same-day as well.  Feel free to play around with your favorite vegetables or sub-out the meat for ground beef or ground turkey as well.



Vegetable and Sausage Lasagna Roll-Ups


  • 1 lb ground sausage
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1tsp minced garlic
  • 1-2 cups spinach
  • 3-4 mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 Jar of your favorite marinara/pasta sauce
  • 1 15oz. container ricotta cheese (I used low fat)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


  • Bring one quart pot of water to a boil and add lasagna noodles.  Cook until al dente (10-12 minutes).  Drain, then set aside
  • Head a skillet with 1/2 Tbl olive oil on medium heat then add diced onion and  minced garlic.  Cook until translucent, around 3 minutes
  • Add the mushrooms and spinach, heat until the spinach is wilted and mushrooms are soft, around 3 minutes, set aside
  • In the same pan, cook the sausage on medium heat until cooked thoroughly, roughly 7 minutes then drain
  • Combine the sausage with 1/2 of the marinara sauce and onion mixture in a medium bowl
  • Combine the ricotta, garlic powder, parsley, basil, and oregano until mixed together
  • Now you are ready to assemble (good time for a wine-refill break)!
  • Cover the bottom of your pan with half of the remaining marinara sauce
  • Lay the cooked lasagna noodles on a flat surface then spread the ricotta mixture over the noodle leaving 1-2 inches uncovered on the end (1-2 spoon fulls – you don’t want to cover the whole noodle because it will fall out when you roll it)
  • Next add a layer of the meat/veggie mixture on top of the ricotta (2-3 spoon fulls over the same covered portion of the noodle)
  • Roll the noodle length-wise starting on the covered side and place in the pan (seam-side down).  Repeat until you have used all of the lasagna noodles
  • Top the roll-ups with the remaining marinara and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese
  • Assembly done!  Bake at 350 degrees until heated-through and cheese is melted, 10-15 minutes.  To freeze: cover tightly with a layer of plastic wrap, then a layer of tinfoil, thaw and heat!