Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup (using Chicken Burgers)

Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup | Pretty Handy Girl

Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup | Pretty Handy Girl

Did you know that Costco has chicken burgers that taste really good in soup? You read that right! Amylu Chicken Burgers are sold in Costco and they are super yummy and easy to cut up and throw into this hearty and healthy soup.

Last fall, I got a killer cold. When I’m sick I crave Chicken Noodle Soup. Raise your hand if you grew up on Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup? It was the soup my Mom gave me anytime I was ill. As an adult, I usually make my own so I can add more veggies and control the sodium. But, I still love those little squares of processed chicken in the Campbell’s version. (Am I a freak?!)

Anyway, I hadn’t been to the grocery store in a while and our fridge was almost empty. Luckily I had just enough ingredients to throw together in a pot and make this yummy Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup. My good friend gave me two Amylu burgers to try (because buying a Costco quantity of something you’ve never tried before is brave) and they were still sitting in the fridge. I was hesitant to try them, but in a pinch I had to use what I had on hand to make my chicken noodle soup.

I was overwhelmingly ecstatic by the results! The chicken burgers were perfectly seasoned for the soup. But, best of all, it had the same texture as those little squares in the Campbell’s version! I vowed to write down the recipe and share it with you, so here it is: [Read more...]

Corn Salsa

Best Corn Salsa Recipe | Pretty Handy Girl

Best Corn Salsa Recipe | Pretty Handy Girl

Y’all, I have THE BEST Corn Salsa Recipe ever! It is amazing as a side dish, especially with Spice-rubbed salmon. But, it’s also delicious for dipping chips into. Serve this at your next picnic and watch it disappear.

Ingredients: [Read more...]

Savory Spice-Rubbed Salmon


Spice-Rubbed Salmon Recipe | Pretty Handy Girl

Summertime is here and I’ve been in the mood for our favorite salmon recipe! Spice-Rubbed Salmon is the perfect meal for a hot summer evening. The spices cook to a sweet and spicy crust over deliciously flaky and healthy salmon.

Normally, I’d throw the fish on the grill, but it seems like every night this week our grilling weather has been dampened by a big fat booming thunderstorm. After letting the fish marinade for several hours, I wasn’t about to scrap our dinner plans. Instead I threw the fish in the oven. I know…I know, but cooking fish stinks up the whole house. As a brand ambassador for Filtrete, I want to introduce you to the Filtrete Odor Reduction Filter with activated carbon:


Feel free to cook fish indoors all month long! This baby helps remove the fish odors so the bad smell doesn’t keep circulating through your home .. It also works remarkably well on reducing  the smell of wet dog…{ahem} certain Handy Dog who likes to get into the creek!

But enough about odors, get ready to rock your tastebuds with this recipe. It’s seriously the best salmon I’ve ever had!

Ingredients: [Read more...]

DIY Lemonade Lip Balm


DIY Lemonade Lip Balm | Pretty Handy Girl

Happy Summer! Warm days and soaring temperatures always put me in the mood for lemonade. For a little end of the year gift for my sons’ teachers I whipped up a small batch of DIY Lemonade lip balm. But, this is a fabulous gift to make for a girlfriend or anyone who needs a little ray of sunshine. I’m joining in with Kristen Duke’s Birthday Celebration Blog Hop with 101+ Birthday Gift Ideas for your Friends!

Materials and Ingredients:

DIY Lemonade Lip Balm | Pretty Handy Girl

  • 1/2 oz. Beeswax (half of the bar shown above)
  • 1/2 oz. Coconut Oil (1 Tbsp.)
  • 1/4 oz. Cocoa Butter (1/2 Tbsp.)
  • 1/4 oz. Shea Butter (1/2 Tbsp.)
  • 15 drops of doTerra Lemon Essential Oil (make sure it is safe for digestion if not using doTerra)
  • Small jars or lip balm tubes 1/4 or 1/2 oz. (I saved eye cream jars and washed them out)
  • Saucepan
  • Glass measuring cup or container
  • Spoon
  • Cheese grater (optional)

Yield: Recipe yields enough to fill three 1/2 oz. jars. Feel free to double the recipe to make more.

Instructions: [Read more...]

Grilled Fruit Kabobs with Coconut Honey Dip

grilled fruit with coconut honey dip

grilled fruit kabobs honey coconut yogurt dip

Hi there! I’m back this month with a fun summer recipe that’s just as healthy as it is delicious-grilled fruit kabobs with coconut honey dip! While fruit kabobs are nothing new, taking them to the grill adds an extra special flavor that’s perfectly complimented by a creamy yogurt dip sweetened by honey and coconut!


  • fruit of choice
  • 3/4 cup lowfat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp shredded sweetened coconut


Chop fruit into approximately 1″ pieces. You can choose any kind of fruit you prefer. I used watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, banana, and strawberries but some other great options are peaches, plums or mango! [Read more...]

Easy Strawberry Tart Recipe

Easy Strawberry Tart Recipe

easy strawberry tart recipe

Hi there, I’m back this month to share an easy strawberry tart recipe! In our neck of the woods it’s prime strawberry picking time and I’m always experimenting with new strawberry recipes. This tart is not only delicious but it’s so easy I let my 5 year old help make it!


  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • Butter or margarine for greasing pan
  • 1/2 pint strawberries, sliced
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • Whipped cream (optional)


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

buttered pan

Using a brush or paper towel grease the bottom of a cookie sheet with butter or margarine.

pastry dough tart recipe

Unroll thawed puff pastry on the cookie sheet.

strawberry tart recipe instructions

Fill the pastry with sliced strawberries leaving a 1 inch border on the outer edges.

how to make strawberry tart

Fold two opposite sides of the pastry inward creating a lip next to the strawberries.

pinching tart crust recipe

Fold the remaining edges inward and pinch at the corners.

Sprinkle with granulated sugar and bake on the middle rack for 15-20 minutes or until pastry is golden.

making a strawberry tart easy

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream if desired.

(Serves 4)

strawberry tart recipe

What are your favorite strawberry recipes? Has strawberry season started in your neck of the woods?


~Learn More About Melissa~

White Chocolate Cookie Bar Recipe

white chocolate cookie bars

White Chocolate Cookie bar recipe

Last month we got snowed in here in North Carolina-a whopping 3 whole inches. The day before the snow came I did what every good Southerner does before a snowstorm and stocked up excessively on my milk, bread and eggs.

While I was at the store I thought to myself, if I’m going to be stuck inside with my three boys for a day or two I might as well try a few of those recipes I’ve been storing in the back of my mind.  I loaded up my cart with baking supplies and spent two days testing new recipes. This recipe, for White Chocolate Cookie Bars, was a huge hit with my boys and neighbors and I’m very excited to share it with you today!!


1 box yellow cake mix
1 box instant white chocolate pudding mix
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup +1/2 cup white chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl mix cake mix, pudding mix, water, oil, and eggs until well blended.
  • Add in one cup of chocolate chips and combine.
  • Spread mixture in a greased 9×13 baking pan and sprinkle top with remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
  • Bake 25-30 minute until golden brown.
  • Allow to cool before cutting. Makes about 20 bars.

white chocolate cookie bars

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family did!

MelissaSignature -Learn more about Melissa-

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies | Pretty Handy Girl

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies | Pretty Handy Girl

It’s that time of year! Time to bake some delicious cookies for Santa (and friends, of course. Oh okay, and for me!) I don’t bake sweets often, but when I do I like quick and easy recipes. That’s how I created this simple Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. I can’t take all the credit, because Betty Crocker did most of the work by making the mix ;-). But, I dressed it up a little with some sea salt and Wether’s Original caramels. Oh and I enlisted the help of my boys (who never turn down the opportunity to make cookies.)


Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Betty Crocker Chocolate Cookie Mix (Gluten Free or Regular) makes approx. 24 cookies
  • Bag of Werther’s Original chewy caramels
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Stick of butter

Having a mixer and a chopper makes this cookie making event even easier!



Unwrap the caramels. I used approximately 1 bag per cookie mix.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut the caramels into small pieces. Let the kids smack the chopper for extra fun (hold the base and let them smack the top.) Set aside the caramels. [Read more...]

DIY Scented Room Spray

DIY Scented Room Spray | Pretty Handy Girl

DIY Scented Room Spray | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m not exactly known for my short and sweet tutorials. But, I assure you this recipe for making DIY scented room spray is exactly that…short and sweet! What I like best about this DIY room spray is that it uses natural ingredients and natural scents. The chemical or fake smell of commercially bought room deodorizers really bothers me.

Ingredients & Supplies: [Read more...]

Pinterest Tested – DIY Translucent Powder and Greek Yogurt Pancakes



You know when you see something on Pinterest and you think, “That has to be too good to be true!” Well, these were two such pins that I recently tried and they lived up to their claims!

The first is a DIY Translucent powder from Great Oak Circle.


I made the recipe per instructions, only I ended up using 2 parts corn starch:1 part green clay and a small amount of cocoa. Be forewarned it will have a slight Kermit-de-Frog color, but it doesn’t change my hue. I’ve been wearing the powder for a month now and it cuts shine! At the end of the day my face has no shiny oily nose or forehead! (Granted with this heat and humidity I have been sweating a little.)


The second pin I tried was a recipe for Greek Yogurt pancakes by Everyday Belle.


I have to tell you I will never make regular pancakes again! These were so yummy and very filling in a good way (not the usual airy full that wears off and leaves you hungry after an hour.) I did have to add some milk to the recipe to thin the mix. But, it was still a thick pancake batter.

Please pin these projects from their original sources: Homemade Translucent Powder from Great Oak Circle and Greek Yogurt Pancake Recipe by Everyday Belle

Have a Pinterest pin you want me to test? Leave a link in the comments below.


Red, White & Blueberry Fruit Pops



Summertime is here and cool popsicles are a must on a hot day. Sure you can buy a pack of popsicles at the grocery store, but this mama is trying to eliminate food dyes and increase the healthy desserts. With that goal I set forth to create festive fruit popsicles using a few ingredients I had on hand. And I used my newest kitchen appliance, the Ninja (which I absolutely LOVE! And am not paid to say that.)

Ingredients: [Read more...]

How to Survive without a Kitchen during Renovation



I’ve been asked many times how we’re surviving without a kitchen. I have to admit, there were a few weeks of adjustment for us, but now things are humming along relatively easily. We have a makeshift kitchen and a dishwashing set up that works for us. But, living without a kitchen is a bit like being on SURVIVOR. Come on in and I’ll show you the behind the scenes peek into our lives and share some tips to help make your kitchen remodel a little easier should you choose to take on the challenge! [Read more...]

Quick & Easy Peppermint Oreo Recipe


Welcome to Day One of 10 Days of 15 Minute DIY Gift Ideas!

Want a quick and easy holiday recipe you can make with the kids? When you don’t have time to bake, but you still want to give a homemade holiday treat, try this recipe for Peppermint Oreos! (Recipe adapted from Centsational Girl’s recipe for Chocolate Wafers with Peppermint Buttercream Filling.

Quick Peppermint Oreos

Only 3 ingredients: [Read more...]

Grilled Corn Pesto Pizza


grilled pesto corn and tomato pizza recipe

I have been pinning lots of grilled pizza recipes, but honestly I’ve never grilled a pizza before. Frankly, I was grossed out by the fact that Pretty Handsome Guy has been grilling salmon, burgers and hot dogs on the grill. (Not grossed out by the food, just the accumulation of oils and grease.) Our grill has not been cleaned in five years. I didn’t want my fancy gourmet pizza to be contaminated by those greasy meats and their cooties. (Call me a grease-a-phob. Go ahead.)

Procter & Gamble sent myself and the other Lowe’s Creators a nice gift basket of products for cleaning my grill.

  • Dawn Grill Cleaner
  • Mr. Clean Outdoor Pro
  • Mr. Clean Magic Erasers

(All of them are available exclusively at Lowe’s, so grab them next time you’re DIY shopping.)

It didn’t take much to persuade me to tackle that big greasy beast. I confronted the challenge full force with gloves, an entire roll of paper towels and a garbage bag. I was determined to slay that nasty oily grill. [Read more...]