Friday, February 15, 2013

Mix & Match Mama

A couple of months ago my best friend was raving about this to-die-for honey mustard brisket she cooked for her family. When she told me how easy it was to make, I had to have the recipe. She sent me the link and insisted I check out the blog because it was {is!} her favorite.  She was right...Mix & Match Mama's recipes were quickly becoming staples in our weekly meal plans {HELLO Enchilada Suiza Stack!!!!}  Not only did I love her recipes, but I loved reading about her sweet little family, too!  And the fact that she's from my hometown makes me love reading her blog(s) even more.  We totally have this whole 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon thing goin' on ;)  Needless to say, I'm pretty excited to have the Mix & Match Mama herself guest posting here today!  Now I'll quit talking {which has never been an easy thing for me to do} so you can read a little bit more from Shay, herself!


 I am so excited to be guest posting today with Cara on Pearls, Handcuffs and Happy Hour! I'm Shay...also known as the Mix and Match Mama. I'm a lifestyle and foodie blogger and oh yes, the big sister of the Bachelor, Sean Lowe. My goal every day is to love on my kiddos, laugh with my friends, talk to my family and share my tidbits about parenting, fashion, food, family, celebrity gossip and travel on my blog. My hubby and I pack up the kids on a regular basis and travel around the world with them (they're 3 & 4 and have been to 13 countries!) but our absolute favorite thing to do is eat dinner as a family and spend that special quality time together. (And of course, we sit down together every Monday night to watch my little brother on TV!) Here's a little peek at what's going on in my world... 

So...what's the mama's favorite thing to do?  Make dinner for her family.  Over at the Mama's house, dinner (and dessert!) is always fast, easy, simple and perfect for a busy week night.  Good food is about the people you share it with...not the amount of time you spend slaving away in the kitchen.  On the menu tonight, Pesto Chicken Paninis and  Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats.  You will adore how simple both recipes are and your family will adore how delicious they are, too.  

Pesto Chicken Paninis

This dinner was a huge hit at my house!  It's funny because sometimes, I'll make the "fanciest", most complex meals and the reviews are so-so but this...a simple dinner I whipped together in 5 minutes was talked about for two days after.  Go figure!  This is all about taking the right ingredients and combining them to make the perfect panini...this is simple.  I used my panini press (my Aunt Pam bought me one for Christmas when I was 9 months pregnant with Smith...that's all I wanted...does that sound like a pregnant gal or what?!) but if you don't have a panini press, you can simply place your panini in a skillet over medium-high heat and then place another skillet (because it's heavy) on top of the panini to "press" it down.  You'll flip it over after about 3 minutes and repeat.  Very easy!  This makes 4 paninis.  (But, if you want a fabulous panini press, I highly recommend this one!)

Shopping List
1 loaf of sourdough bread, sliced
1 pound chopped, cooked chicken (I used fajita chicken like this)
2 cups spinach leaves
1 jar sun dried tomatoes
1 container of good quality pesto (or make your own like this)
1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat your panini press or large skillet.  Lightly spray with Pam.

Take two slices of bread and spread pesto over one side of each, top one slice with chicken, spinach, tomatoes and sprinkle with cheese.  Top with the second slice of bread.  Place sandwich under the panini press for about 5 minutes or until golden and the cheese is melted.  Slice in half and serve with your favorite chips.

Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats

Shopping List
1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup creamy peanut butter
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring sugar and corn syrup up to a boil, stirring continuously.  Once to a low boil, remove from heat and stir in peanut butter.  Pour peanut butter mixture over 6 cups of cereal in a large mixing bowl.  Combine quickly until cereal is covered and then spread out into a well greased (I use Pam) 8x8 inch baking dish.  Cool at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

Thanks for letting me share a little bit about myself today!  Check back with me next week for more Bachelor recaps and a great giveaway!  Find me on Pinterest, Twitter, Face Book and Instagram by clicking here.

Thanks, Shay!  So happy to have you posting here on Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy Hour!  Make sure to stop by Mix & Match Mama and check out Shay's delicious recipes!  And if you're a fan of the Bachelor, don't forget to head on over to Mix & Match Family and check out Shay's weekly Bachelor recaps, too!  SO stkinkin' fun!!  



  1. Hi Cara!
    Thanks for letting me be a part of Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy Hour! Have a great weekend!

  2. What!? Two of my favorite bloggers in one spot? Awesome!!!!

  3. Hi Cara! This is the first time I've been to your blog, and I love it! I headed over from Shay's blog, and now I'm your newest follower!

  4. Love the post Shay as always! and Hi Cara! I'm so excited to have found your blog and can't wait to read more :)

  5. What a fun post. Cara, love all of the meals you share. Now I'm headed over to Shay's to check out her blog.
    Primary Paradise

  6. YUM! I need new recipes so badly! I am desperately trying to be more domestic. :) Those pesto paninis look amazing! I think I'll be trying those tomorrow. I'm headed over to your blog right now!
    Sarah's First Grade Snippets

    PS. I'm loving this season of the Bachelor! :)

  7. Yum, those PB Rice Krispie Treats sound so good!! I've been following Cara's blog forever (found this blog through her teaching blog) and I heard about your blog when Sean was on The Bachelorette. This blogging world is such a small world! :)

  8. Fun to find you through the mix and match mama. She inspires my meals weekly!

  9. Oh man, those paninis look delicious!!!!!! Like something from my favorite little cafe where I love to go and write--but those are practically $8 each! Also, PB Rice Krispies are one of my FAVORITE THINGS (hello, top them with melted chocolate and it's a little square of heaven). Thank you for the recipes!

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  11. OMG just putting the pieces together and found out you also write "First Grade parade" .. my go-to and favorite first grade blog. AND I LOVE this blog!! ANDDD currently watching your BROTHER on TV! My mind is blown. Thank you for all that you share!!! Amy

  12. OMG!!! I added your blog to my favorites back in 2010 because of your tutorial of the wreath. And I come to visit and see whats new.Its been awhile for me. And to find out you are the Bachelor's sister,How cool is that.LOL Call me crazy but I just think its cool!! :)