Category Archives: Holiday

This recipe is a staple in our family. I believe it originated as a Pampered Chef recipe from my sister, and soon evolved into a family staple at all occasions. It is the reason I started to eat black & pinto beans, because I never ate them as a child. I’ve also heard other people say that even though they don’t care for beans, they do like this fresh & easy salsa. It is only a few ingredients and the cilantro gives it a fresh appeal. Especially at winter gatherings like that superbowl party coming up.

I made it for a Thirty One Party this past weekend & many people asked for the recipe so I thought I’d share it here.
I’ve modified it a bit since I like sweet flavors, so this is just a slight variation from the original one.

The guys in our family add Chipotle Tabasco sauce & sometimes we add jalapeños for a kick. I love recipes like this that you can modify very easily to suit your tastes or the occasion.

Super Bowl Salsa Easy Recipe by

I double the original dressing since I want to have my salad smothered in it:

Sweet Dressing

Whisk all these ingredients until combined. Refrigerate until ready to add.
Can make a couple days ahead of time {flavor gets better over time, just re-mix when ready to use}.

I Cup White Vinegar

1/2 Cup Light Olive Oil

2 tbsp Sugar

2 tbsp Cumin {I usually drench mine in this}

1 tsp Dry Oregano Leaves

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Pepper


Rinse and drain beans and corn. Chop onion, pepper, and cilantro. Mix together in a large bowl.

Two Cans of Black Beans {Rinsed & Drained}

Two Cans of Pinto Beans {Rinsed & Drained}

Two Cans of Corn {Rinsed & Drained}

One Sweet Onion, Chopped

One Green Pepper, Chopped

About 2 tbsp of Fresh Cilantro, chopped finely. I don’t like cilantro stems so I always make sure to just use the leaves.

Drizzle the dressing over the salsa mixture.

Enjoy with a bag of your favorite flavor of tortilla chips.

Super Bowl Salsa Easy Recipe by

The leftovers are perfect for lunch, by spoon or used in a tortilla with meat {like Chipotle’s corn salsa}.
I love that I now have a reference for this recipe, as you can see the original {above} from 2005. ♥

{iPhone 4 images & edited with Afterglow App }




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I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever be a good blogger.
Not for lack of content or words, but in practice & discipline.

Fingers crossed I’ll try.
That is, try to collect myself & make it easier to combine letters with pixels.

I’ve been shooting a lot more with my phone.
It’s interesting how it challenges me to take the very simple elements of photography to a more inspired format.
The limitations become stepping stones to achieving in-camera satisfaction.

Light & composition are vital, as they ought to be.
I feel less pressure & travel lighter.
As you’ve seen through the last sporadic posts, I’ll probably use it a lot more to keep up with non-commissioned work.
I can’t tell you how many DIYs, recipes, or moments with my kids will be trapped on hard drives that will never be shared publicly.
Not because I can’t access them, but because after I shoot & edit tens of thousands of pictures,
I am completely unmotivated to touch my own.

Here is a little treat I’ve been enjoying this week.

It’s so nice when you stumble across a recipe & realize you can make it with what you have on hand.
Even if you must sub a few things here & there.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie with Coconut Milk brought to you by my iPhone 4 & Afterglow App.

I love love love Instagram & saw this recipe from @KaraGarber’s feed, {you can also find her blogging at B. H. Storm & Co. }.


I just caught up on Season Two of Downton Abbey & since I watched it in one week, I feel lost without more episodes.
I also have a tendency to hear myself think in a pathetic mimic of a British Accent.
Someone please tell me this is a normal side effect.

I hope it’s not too early to start seeing hearts for Valentine’s Day. I’m not opposed. ♥

Find me on Instagram by @AndreaDozier, or online at

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  • alli - January 18, 2013 - 11:26 am

    Love the new look!

    After watching Downton, I always find myself transported to their world at random moments of the day. : )

  • Jaclyn - January 19, 2013 - 8:56 pm

    I’ve always thought you were a very talented blog writer. I really admired your blogs back in the myspace/facebook days…it challenged me as an english major – especially since I always felt you were a much better writer than me and all I had was a piece of paper to show for it…LOL

    I miss those days…but I would never trade living a [real] life outside of social media and finding all that life has to offer. But that’s just me…;-)

  • Andrea - February 9, 2013 - 1:42 pm

    Thank you Alli! I am getting sad that this season is almost over!

    Jaclyn, wow, thank you. I feel really honored for you to say that! Writing has always been a very big part of me but I definitely wish I made more time for it! I think making everything quieter has been so healthy. I’m glad that we at least had a childhood without all the distractions!

It’s funny how common a new year is beginning to feel to me, yet I always want to clean up, wear my prettiest dress, & greet it with my best foot forward.

I don’t have any fancy resolutions or new fangled journals to kick off this year, just the same old desire to work hard & try to better myself.
A few little goals to keep me inspired & busy this winter are tucked in my pocket.
Even though I often laugh at the absurdity of making die-hard declarations each sparkling new year,
I must admit it’s a nice tradition to reflect & dream the way we do.
To ponder the narrative of the past & greet the mystery of tomorrow with a touch of innocence & a great deal of hope.

With a view of sunshine melting a thin pearly blanket of snow, warm coffee in hand, I’m ready for you 2013.


Images via iPhone 4 & edited in Afterglow App

I’m falling for this little house, even if I must cleanse & paint every little corner. ♥

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Another October has swept through and gone, but we are still relishing in all the sweet magic of a belated pumpkin carving party & trick or treat coming up tomorrow.
Damian has me swooning over those big green ears, we’ve gotten good use out of that little Yoda costume already! ♥

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As promised, here is a full tale of making a Kraken Birthday Cake.
I’ve been so temped to write “cake” with a “k” in the title.

I started baking early in the week, to give myself plenty of time to bake & decorate this cake that would be so perfect for my six year old, Kevin. He adores Krakens. He always loved Finding Nemo as a toddler & that grew into a wild fascination with underwater creatures. Especially squids & sharks. For some reason, the squids have been an obsession for a long time. When I found this cake on Pinterest, it was unanimous that this was “the one” to make. Before I even begin, I have to give Vina Jafar a lot of credit. She made her version based on a drawing. I had my iPad out at all times & made mine based on every step she had photographed from her own cake. I think it takes a lot of creativity & admiration to bake a cake from three dimensional from a drawing. I clearly took her design as my bible.
Major love goes out to Vina & the beautiful creation, “Long Journey.” If you look closely, her details {especially her ship} are phenomenal!

I documented most of the major steps through photography. My mom always enjoys the process of how something is created, so I hope you enjoy this 😉

It all started with a six eight inch layer cake. I was nervous about carving into it since it was my first time, but I really enjoyed this part & it was one of my favorite steps!

After letting the cake defrost overnight, I noticed that it was leaning forward… in the worst possible way! It looked like the heavy, carved part of cake would make it fall forward. After taking Kevin to school {a 45 min round trip} & grabbing a cup of coffee, I decided think about my options. I had a small pep talk with myself & finally concluded that even if I had to dress up a couple cake dummies in fondant, everything would be ok.


I quickly formulated a plan to make a cake dummy wedge so that my leaning cake would straighten up with support.
First, I quickly Googled, “how to cut a cake dummy” and was on my way to salvaging this kraken cake.
Here are some iPhone pics of this process {since you know I was too worried to move the cake & take pretty pictures}!

First I cut a rough wedge in a 2 inch cake dummy {no measuring or fancy estimations… just winging it}. Then I covered the newly cut Styrofoam with Crisco so that the pieces wouldn’t get in the cake. I moved the cake to rest on the cake dummy wedge & began trimming the front down even further. Instead of carefully carving like I did the day before, it was all quick & drastic chopping to remove some of the weight. Then I did another coat of buttercream before I rolled the fondant.
I’m tired & stressed just re-capping this part of the story! It definitely felt like a Tim Gunn “make it work” situation. 😉

Here is the more polished coverage of the cake baking process from that week… that thankfully… went a lot smoother!

After saving the leaning cake, I let the buttercream dry a bit too much. Since I’m not a professional baker, {I figured the guests would forgive me}, I did something on a whim… sprayed the cake with Baking Spray to get the fondant to stick. I don’t really know if it helped, but I felt more optimistic after I did it!

The fondant was probably rolled too thick, so when I covered the cake it instantly weighed it down {as you can see the dowel rods poking out}. My husband, Rocky, cut them later for me. The next step was to make fondant & gumpaste kraken parts & extra waves. Then I attached them to the cake with icing. I liked it in all white and would love to do another cake sculpture with a modern style in the future.

On Vina’s site, she uses a food marker to make her lines. I tried that, but it didn’t go very well. Maybe because the food marker was 3 years old? My solution was to mix extra buttercream icing with piping gel & dip that in vanilla extract to make it thin enough to paint with. It wasn’t ideal, but I was happy to have a relatively easy way to add dark lines.

Painting was a bit stressful, I kept wanting to be further on this cake than I actually was. Around this time, Kevin told me he found a flower more beautiful than roses. I asked him to pick one for me… and this gave me new inspiration to keep going. It helped me remember why I wanted to make him something he would like that would be unique to him!

I had never used food spray paint, and I was excited & nervous to do it! Especially because I had accidentally fallen in love with the {imperfect} Dr. Suess style of the painted lines on the waves. I didn’t know if I even wanted blue waves, but I had already bought the materials & decided to go for it. I honestly would leave it alone or spray even more delicately if I did this cake {or one similar} the next time.

For his party, I made a boats to hang above the cake as if they were the ones that sailed in safer waters.
You can find the complete DIY on how to make these beautiful paper mache boats {out of cereal boxes!} on Ann Wood Handmade’s blog. She also sells way more beautiful versions than the ones I made 🙂

 This year he actually had a decorated cake {unlike last year when I ran out of time}!
Thanks for reading this extra long post ♥

This is a shot of Kevin playing with the cake & putting his Pirates of the Caribbean legos on it 🙂


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  • Elle Ruiz - April 19, 2012 - 5:17 pm

    Andrea that is & YOU are AMAZING. Is there anything you don’t do that is just sooooo pretty? Even your baking shoes are just darling. Loved this post! Thanks for sharing a slice of your personal life. xo

  • katie's pencil box - April 20, 2012 - 4:03 am

    what a lucky lucky boy to have such a mama!
    i adore your style, miss!

  • Alli - April 20, 2012 - 2:30 pm

    oh my word, this is amazing! And you are adorable : )

  • Andrea - April 21, 2012 - 7:30 am

    Thank you {I admire all of YOU by the way}!

    It really was a very long project since I tend to work very slowly… but a lot of fun for me to just throw myself into it for the week. I think it helps that it’s a cake & not a real permanent sculpture… I could live with my mistakes much easier 🙂