Maggi Beef Noodle Soup

Steve’s Grandma Mac made some awesome dishes back in the day. One of my favorites was her very simple but super scrumptious Maggi Beef Noodle Soup. It is hearty and packed full of flavor! This picture below is one of my favorite pictures of Grandma Mac! She was so sassy and always making others smile!

Grandma Mac was born in Germany and her meals were always very simple. She lived through World War II and back then, they had to make do with just the staples. Many of her recipes used basic items you can find in your pantry. I love her Maggi Beef Noodle Soup recipe! It’s hard to explain what Maggi tastes like. It is almost a concentrated beef seasoning of sorts. Grandma Mac used it on everything just like my Filipina mom uses soy sauce on everything. My mom just can’t cook without her Marca Pina Soy Sauce and Grandma Mac just couldn’t cook without her Maggi. Both of which we always have on hand in our house! We like to make mashed potatoes with this soup. I know it sounds crazy to pile starch on top of starch but we love spooning this soup right over a large bowl of mashed potatoes. It will always be one of my favorite meals to make and eat. Maggi is just amazing! You can find it in most grocery stores but it can be pricey. We buy our Maggi at the same place we buy our Marca Pina Soy Sauce, at our local Asian store! And at the Asian store, it is really cheap just like our Marca Pina Soy Sauce. You really have to buy Maggi and give this recipe a try because it is that awesome!

Printable Recipe: Maggi Beef Noodle Soup


  • Maggi Seasoning

  • 1 lb ground chuck

  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic

  • 4 beef bouillon cubes

  • 2 – 12 oz packages of Reames Homestyle Egg Noodles

  • 6-8 cups water


Sauté onions and minced garlic for a couple of minutes in a frying pan.

Add ground chuck and brown till completely cooked. Drain off grease.

In a large stockpot, add water till 3/4 full (approximately 6-8 cups of water). Drop in bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally to evenly disperse the dissolved bouillon cubes.

Add cooked ground chuck to the boiling water. Add the two packages of Reames noodles into the boiling water. Add 13-15 shakes of Maggi seasoning to the water. Boil the noodles for approximately 10-13 minutes stirring occasionally until noodles are tender.

Add Maggi to taste in each individual bowl of Maggi Beef Noodle Soup.

We lost Grandma Mac on March 14th, 2014. She lived a long 78 years and touched so many lives. Our children are both very close to their great-grandma Mac. We purchased our home because it literally is next door to grandma’s house. It has been hard on our family but we find comfort in knowing she is no longer in pain and is reunited in Heaven with the love of her life, Grandpa Mac. We miss you Grandma and Grandpa! We love you both very much!


Perfect Coach’s Gift

If your kid plays sports and has since he was 4 and is about to turn 18, you know how hard it is to come up with new ideas for the end-of-season coaches’ gifts. The cheer coach a couple of years ago made a gift for the Athletic Director. She found this huge letter “P” papier mâché. She painted it black and Mod Podged various black and white cheerleading photos all over it. I thought that would make a great gift the baseball coaches. So the captains of each team collected a little bit of money from the players to purchase the supplies. Problem was I looked everywhere for the large papier mâché letters. I found one at Hobby Lobby but it was only maybe 8″ tall. I wouldn’t be getting that many photos on something so small, lol.

Hobby Lobby is such a wonderful place full of very unique home decor items that are at face value way too expensive however Hobby Lobby always has many of their items 30%-50% off! They have the widest assortment of wooden letters in every font you can think of in sizes from a few inches to over two feet! I found the letter “M” clearanced for only $6.80. It was painted a mauve color and had some metal embellishments on it. The hubby pulled the embellishments off for me and spray painted the letter black. The “B” I found in the unfinished wood area that is originally $12.99 but it was 30% off! The hubby also spray painted it black for me. Both letters were approximately two feet tall! I also made a letter “E” and letter “S” so that all the coaches got a gift (Freshmen, JV, Varsity & Assistant Varsity). They all loved their gift!

When it comes to Mod Podge, it’s best to use pictures printed on regular to thin paper. Using regular to thin paper makes it easier to smooth out with an old credit card and easier to push any bubbles to the edge. So the hubby printed off various pictures I sized between 2-4 inches all in black and white on regular ol’ copy paper. Then I carefully Mod Podged the photos randomly on the large letters. I had to work in sections because the photos overlapped. So sometimes the Mod Podge went on the wood and sometimes on part of the picture I was slightly covering. It was tedious but with patience, completely doable! My husband used a razor blade to slice the edges of any pictures flush to the edge of the letters leaving the edges a solid black. On the back I wrote the team’s name and the year. I also had bought these awesome Felt Sticky-back Baseballs that I randomly put around the photos to cover any large black areas on the letter. They turned out really awesome. I used glossy Mod Podge and the pictures really don’t do these gifts justice. The letters were shiny and very pretty. Something their wives probably wouldn’t mind have hanging in their homes, lol. Something different and definitely awesome to give to a coach! For specifics on my Mod Podge technique, check out my post for these photo wood blocks HERE that I had made for the senior football players. The senior baseball players received their own photo wood blocks as a gift along with their senior banners, a copy of the team DVD and a Baseball Cake Pop. Their photo wood blocks turned out awesome also.

Jell-O Poke Cake

There is nothing better on a hot summer day than a cool, sweet and refreshing Jell-O Poke Cake! Not only is it a pretty cake when sliced but it is absolutely fantastic! I can tell you it is a family favorite of ours and also Quinton’s favorite! Quinton and our oldest son have been friends since they were wee young lads and I do believe if you put a Jell-O Poke Cake in front of them, they would fight for it, lol! Seriously requires only 4 ingredients (well, the cake mix requires 3 ingredients as well) and is so easy to put together! If you’ve never had Jell-O Poke Cake, well, I just feel sorry for you! LOL

Printable Recipe: Jell-O Poke Cake


  • 1 white cake mix

  • 1 cup boiling water

  • 3 oz package of Jell-O gelatin (your choice of flavor)

  • 1/2 cup cold water

  • 8 oz tub of whipped topping, thawed


Bake cake according to cake mix instructions on the box in a 9×13 metal pan.

Allow cake to cool completely.

Using a wooden spoon’s handle, poke holes in the cooled cake by pushing the handle down all the way into the cake. I went through this phase where I thought all wood in the kitchen was evil because it is so absorbent. I kind of went overboard thinking that all my wood items were packed with germs. So I don’t have any wooden spoons, lol. But I do have these awesome plastic spoons shaped like a wooden spoon that I use to poke the holes.

Space the holes about 1/2 to 1 inch away from each other.

In a 2 cup glass measuring cup, add 1 cup boiling water. Add the package of jell-O gelatin. We usually use strawberry flavor but any flavor of your choice will work. Stir until all gelatin crystals are dissolved. Add 1/2 cup of cold water and stir until well combined.

Slowly pour jell-O liquid over the cake ensuring the entire cake is evenly covered.

Be sure to pour the jell-O liquid directly down the holes you created.

Cover with whipped topping. In my picture of the ingredients I have a 16 oz tub of whipped topping. It’s just what I had on hand and it only takes 8 oz to cover the cake in a light layer of whipped topping.

Place in fridge for at least one hour before serving. Keep leftovers covered and in the fridge.

Butter Rice

I am half Filipina. This means I’ve ate more than my fair share of rice. When I was growing up, we had rice for every meal in every possible way. We had steamed rice, fried rice, rice cakes, chocolate rice, Spanish rice, you name it. I had it with breakfast, lunch and dinner. And sometimes, it was dessert (hence the chocolate rice). When I hit my 20s, I was just sick of rice. I boycotted it for almost 10 years. You have to understand that my mother always had rice in the rice cooker every minute of every single day. When we would visit my mom, our oldest son always tore up her steamed rice. I felt bad because I was basically keeping rice out of my son’s diet, lol. I’ve slowly gone back to making rice more often. Whipping up fried rice every couple of weeks keeps the kiddos happy. I am partial to plain ol’ steamed rice. Sometimes I don’t even add soy sauce. Every once in a while though, I get a craving for flavored rice. This butter rice really transforms rice into an exquisite side dish. It is hearty and packed full of flavor!

Printable Recipe: Butter Rice


  • 1 cup uncooked white rice (do not use instant rice)

  • Soy sauce (in a spray bottle)

  • 10 oz can of French onion soup

  • 10 oz can beef broth

  • 1 stick of butter or margarine


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Add rice to a 9×9 square baking pan.

Add water. Rinse dust and particles from rice by carefully dumping the water out.

Repeat as many times as necessary. Pour out as much of the water as possible.

Spray a light layer of soy sauce onto rice.

Slice butter or margarine into little pats.

Add French onion soup and beef broth. Place butter or margarine pats in pan (they will float on top of the liquid). If you aren’t too keen on that many onions, you can add all the liquid from the French onion soup and then spoon out the amount of onions you want into your pan. The onions get fully cooked down and are very soft.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake for 30 more minutes.

Stir and serve.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip is a very popular dip to bring to a party. There are very few people who don’t love chicken wings and this dip mimics that taste so well! The added plus is that you can have all the flavor of chicken wings without the bones! Which for me is a super plus plus because as you all know, I don’t do bones, lol! This whips together quickly with very few ingredients. If you are one of the maybe 5 people on Earth who have not tried this, give this recipe a whirl, you won’t regret it!

Printable Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Dip


  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened

  • 2 – 10 oz cans cooked chicken, drained

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (depending on how hot you want it)

  • 1 cup ranch dressing

  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl combine first 4 ingredients with a hand mixer on medium speed till well combined. Fold in 1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack Cheese.

Place chicken mix in a glass 9×13 casserole dish. Evenly sprinkle 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese on top.

Bake 30-40 minutes until bubbly. Allow to cool for approximately 10 minutes before serving with tortilla chips.


Red, White & Blue Strawberries


Having been born in the Philippines to my Navy father and Filipina mother, I have patriotic blood running deep within. I’ve lived in the Philippines and Japan. Been to Canada and Mexico. When you step off American soil onto foreign land, it is in that moment that you recognize and appreciate what it means to be American. The government of the United States is the result of a revolution in thought. It was founded on the principle that all persons have equal rights, and that government is responsible to, and derives its powers from, a free people. These rights are guaranteed no matter your race, your gender, your religion, your sexual preference, your socioeconomic class or any other psycho-social classification. The right to be educated, more specifically the right to be an educated woman, is the right I cherish the most.

We are in the middle of the long holiday weekend. It is Memorial Day weekend. A time to remember and give thanks to those who guaranteed our American rights. The soldiers in all of our branches along with first responders serving at the local level, the firefighters, EMTs and police officers serve to protect our freedom. Freedom isn’t free. It has been paid for with blood. Let us all remember why we are gathering with family and friends for cookouts over this weekend…this holiday reminds all of us how blessed we are to live and be a part of the great



We will be bringing to a cookout some patriotic red, white and blue strawberries! Really easy to make! Rinse and dry off ripe, fresh strawberries. I chose to use short shish kebab sticks and pierced the strawberries through the stem (but not all the way through the tip of the strawberry). You can omit this and just hold the strawberry leaves when dipping. Place blue sanding sugars in a small bowl. Melt down white candy coating (found around chocolate chips used for baking) in a small but deep enough dish that allows you to dip the strawberries 2/3 up to the stem in white candy. Gently shake off the excess. Gently dip the coated strawberry 1/3 the way up in blue sanding sugars. See the photos for how much white candy melt and blue sanding sugar to use. If using shish kebab sticks, place sticks in a styrofoam block until the white candy melt sets. If not using shish kebab sticks, gently lay the dipped strawberry onto wax paper until the white candy melt sets.


We are also taking one of our favorite desserts with us, our Strawberry Pretzel Dessert! Yum, yum, yum! Be safe friends and family and give thanks to those who deserve our respect this memorial weekend!


Happy Mother’s Day

Looking for a unique, inexpensive and super thoughtful Mother’s Day gift? Look no further! Make her therMOMeters!

They are pretzel rods dipped in white candy melt with a drizzled red line and drizzled black hash marks. They were so easy to make! Literally took a total of an hour to make over 60 of these! The hardest part was finding 60 intact pretzel rods! I used 3 squeeze bottles (like for ketchup and mustard) to make these. I filled one bottle with the white candy melt discs. Popped the plastic bottle in the microwave for 60 seconds. Then I squeezed the bottle and put it back in for 25 seconds. Although I filled the bottle to the top with the candy melts, once they melted down, it was about 1/2 full. I just put more candy melts inside and gave it another two times in the microwave at 25-30 second increments squeezing the bottle between cycles. Make sure the white candy melt goes all the way to the top! Do not put on the lid. Lay out wax paper. Dip the pretzel rods straight down into the bottle. Gently swirl the rod in a circular motion over the bottle opening to allow the excess candy melt to drip back down. Lay flat on the wax paper. Repeat until all rods are dipped. I had to refill the plastic squeeze bottle one time with candy melt discs and put it back in the microwave. Toward the end, I would dip the rod and gently squeeze the bottle (don’t squeeze so tight that you are touching the rod inside) and the candy melt would come up the rod and cover it. Repeat the same steps in melting the red and black candy melts in their own bottles. Squeeze a dollop of red (to create the bulb) and pull down the length of the white. Repeat until all rods have red bulb/lines (be sure the white is fully set before squeezing on the red). Once the red is fully set, squeeze black hash marks in even increments up the rod). These were so easy to make and so cute.

Here’s the tag above that you can download and paste into a Word document. Just right click over the picture and choose something like “save as” and save it to your computer. Tie the tag with a ribbon around the rim of the mason jar for the cutest Mother’s Day gift ever!