Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Trick or Treat! Which is your favorite? Mine is most definitely treats! Here are a few Halloween Treats to inspire you today or just make you smile! :)
Candy Corn Macarons from the blog Annie's Eats
Candy Corn Cheesecake Mousse from the blog Glorious Treats
Candy Corn Meringues from the blog Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Vanilla Spice Oatmeal

I love lazy Saturday mornings where I sleep in till at least 9am, take a long hot shower, and then make a delicious breakfast for myself. 
This morning I made the Vanilla Spice Oatmeal recipe that I had featured in my brunch post a few weeks ago. It was amazing and so healthy! I love it when I have everything in the house to make a recipe and it comes together quick. This recipe only has 255 calories in each serving, which I love for a recipe as filling as this one. Enjoy your (hopefully lazy) Saturday morning and make something healthy for yourself today!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Easy Recipe - BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Tonight I put together an easy chicken recipe that was given to me by a close friend that loves cooking with beer! This recipe for BBQ Chicken Sandwiches is the perfect solution for sandwich night and packs a bunch of flavor for not a lot of work. This recipe also uses the slow cooker (which I have committed to using more this fall/winter). Here are the ingredients and directions:

  • boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • onion
  • 14 oz of ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of beer
  • 2 tablespoons of liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce
  • 3 teaspoons of dry mustard
  • 6 tablespoons of butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
1) Cook 4-5 chicken breasts in about 3/4 can of beer in the slow cooker with salt, pepper, and a few slices of onion for about 2-3 hours. 
2) Simmer the homemade BBQ sauce for about 30 minutes and then add the chicken to the sauce after it has been shredded.
3) Serve on toasted sesame seed buns and enjoy!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Birthday Dinner - Cincinnati Chili

Last night I made this delicious chili recipe for my husband's birthday dinner. We had a complete chili and baked potato bar for everyone to dish up and garnish with all of the fixings. This Cincinnati Skyline Chili recipe is from the blog What's Cooking, Chicago? and has been a huge hit in my family for a couple of years. This chili is always a hit with a crowd and perfect for Fall comfort food. The recipe calls for serving it with spaghetti, but we usually skip that part (we are more of the spaghetti and marina crowd than putting pasta in chili)... but otherwise the recipe is spot on! Hope you try making it for your next family get together... enjoy!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rachael Ray Cookware Set

Guess what arrived on my doorstep yesterday.... this adorable 10 piece cookware set from Rachael Ray's cooking line!
I ordered this last weekend using my credit card reward points and absolutely love that I was able to receive the entire set and not have to pay a dime, not even for shipping. I unpacked the box this morning and the adorable orange color is all over my kitchen. I have a few of the pots on the stove top to use tonight for my husband's birthday dinner with family and friends. Stay tuned for tomorrow when I will post the delicious chili recipe that is on the menu for tonight. Happy Sunday and happy cooking!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Slow Cooker Recipes

One of my worst qualities is having something in my house and never using it... for example, the slow cooker. I have had my slow cooker for almost 4 years and have maybe used it a dozen times (embarrassing to admit). I am making a commitment to use my slow cooker more often this year and Fall and Winter are the perfect time. I have been browsing through cookbooks, websites, and blogs to find a great selection of amazing slow cooker recipes to try and here are just a few:
  • Slow Berry Cobbler - found this amazing recipe from Paula Deen (the queen of southern cooking)... who knew you could make dessert in a slow cooker?!
I am looking forward to the cool nights and fall weather and coming home to a delicious smelling dinner (or dessert) ready to go in the slow cooker and hopefully making dinner a little easier and delicious!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Candy Corn Favorites

I can remember falling in love with candy corns as a child when my Dad would share this Halloween treat with me. To this day, they are still a favorite of my Dad's and also of mine! I love how candy corn inspiration goes beyond the sweet treat and has expanded to recipes and decor ideas. Here are a few of my favorite candy corn ideas:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

DIY Wedding Canvas

A few weeks ago my mom visited and we worked on this amazing craft project. 
My mom had several pictures from my wedding and wanted to make a diy canvas using a blank white canvas and modge podge. We first painted the white canvas using black craft paint and then arranged all of the pictures around the invitation in the center. Then you add a few coats of modge podge and you have a homemade canvas that look amazing! I plan on making another one of these in a few weeks using family pictures that were taken this summer. Check out this great picture of the project!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall Recipes - Outstanding Reviews!

The relaxing weekend at the lodge was perfect and the recipes I made were a huge hit with everyone and received outstanding reviews!
The chicken tortilla soup was the perfect fall recipe and was nice and filling and great with all the fixins. 
The pear crisp was so delicious that words cannot even begin to describe, but I will try... warm and gooey, toasted pecans, loads of brown sugar, and delicious sweet pears. The reviews from the family on both of these recipes was outstanding and I will definitely be making these again!

The weekends always seem to go by way too fast but we loved getting out of town and enjoying the beautiful scenery up at the lodge!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Brunch Recipes - Make it Special!

There is nothing better than an amazing brunch on a lazy Sunday morning. I love the feeling of sleeping in, staying in your pajamas till at least noon, and putting together a delicious brunch menu to savor with my husband. We love sleeping in together on the weekends and plan on savoring this luxury as long as we can before having children. I have found a few new recipes online to try on our brunch menu in the coming months, and I can't wait to taste these!
Hope you and your family can savor a lazy Sunday morning with one of these delicious recipes. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fall Weekend at the Lodge

We are leaving this morning to head up on the Grand Mesa for a short stay at a beautiful lodge with my husband's family. We will be enjoying the breathtaking fall colors, taking long walks on the property, relaxing by the fire, cooking new recipes (see the list here), and enjoying the scenery. 
This picture reminds me of everything I love about fall and I am looking forward to the next 24 hours of peace and relaxation!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Book Club Recap

Last night was another great book club night with great friends, good food, and an excellent book to discuss. I finished the book 'Those Who Save Us' about an hour before book club (always leaving it down to the wire) and absolutely loved this book. This story encompassed both the past and present of a mother-daughter relationship that made it through the holocaust and their current life in America. This story brought up several memories for me from when my grandparents would share stories about their lives in Holland during the war. This book definitely deserves an A+ and I would recommend it to just about everyone!

My favorite recipe from last night was this Seven Layer Greek Dip from the blog Our Best Bites. It was super easy to put together and a huge hit with everyone!
Of course we chose the next book club selection and I am excited to get started on 'Room' by Emma Donoghue. I have heard great things about this book and can't wait to download it on my iPad and start reading. Stay tuned for updates on the book and have a great Friday!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

iPad2 - AMAZING!

A few days ago I bought an iPad2 and it is one of the most amazing things I have ever had! The technology of this almost paper thin device is just incredible to me and so much fun to play with! I have been busy downloading apps, reading an iBook, and browsing the web on the comfort of my couch. I have been thinking about buying one for awhile and I finally decided it was time to do something nice for myself and spend the money on something I would truly enjoy. I also bought the adorable pink cover to protect my iPad and the pink is so me! I am officially addicted to my iPad, which has made fitting everything into my schedule a bit of a challenge the last few days. I can't wait to post about my favorite apps in the months to come... love love love it!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cooking with My Dad

This weekend my Dad is visiting from Salt Lake and we always have a tradition of cooking dinner together. With the fall weather here, we wanted to try a new chili recipe and ended up making White Bean Chicken Chili from the Taste of Home website. It was delicious and so easy! Of course we couldn't have dinner without dessert, so I just finished making us Pumpkin Whoopie Pies from Rachael Ray's magazine... oh my, they were amazing!
I love spending time with my dad as we cook together, watch football, and just enjoy each others' company. The perfect way to spend a Saturday!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pumpkin Favorites

Fall is by far the best time of year for baking and decorating, and pumpkin is the perfect common denominator for both! The flavor of canned pumpkin puree in any recipe is just about perfect and pumpkin can also make adorable decorations for the home and for parties. Here are a few of my fall favorites when it comes to pumpkin:

    Thursday, October 6, 2011

    One Week Till Book Club

    One week from tonight I will be hosting book club and I can't wait! This month's book, "Those Who Save Us" has been an incredible read and incredibly interesting. We have a few new ladies joining our group this month and I can't wait to introduce them to everyone next week. I can already tell that this current book club selection is going to inspire discussion and insight for all of us. I am also looking forward to preparing a delicious menu for all of us... check out my list of recipes to make here! I still have a few chapters to finish in the book and lots of shopping to do for the menu next week... but I am sure the next week will fly by and next Thursday will be here before I blink! Stay tuned for my post once I finish the book and I will be sure to let you all know how the new recipes turn out!

    Saturday, October 1, 2011

    Dinner and Dessert

    My mom is visiting for the weekend and tonight was the perfect night to make a new recipe for dinner and a dessert! We made Chicken and Cheese Lasagna Roll-Ups and they turned out great, with one exception... they needed spinach to be added to the recipe. After each new recipe I try, I always ask my husband or family if it is a do-over... and they said yes, as long as I added something green! For dessert (and for breakfast for the new few days) we made White Chocolate Walnut Zucchini Bread and it was pretty darn good. We adapted the recipe to make muffins instead of bread and I love how the zucchini makes the muffins so moist! This recipe calls for a few expensive ingredients though, like mascarpone cheese and white chocolate... so based on that, I probably will not make the recipe again. I have plenty of muffins to last us for the next few days and I can mark the lasagna roll-ups off my list of italian recipes to try (see previous post here). Hope you try a few recipes that you have seen featured here on my blog and be sure to post a comment if you do!

    Football Food

    College Football Season is one of our favorite times of year in our house and our two favorite teams are always a blast to watch. The Nebraska Huskers have been my favorite college team since I started watching football and the Utah Utes are my next favorite team from my home city of Salt Lake. Watching the games is the perfect way to spend a fall afternoon and of course enjoy delicious (and sometimes sinful) football food. Here are a few recipes we will be enjoying during this year's college football season... hope you try a few and enjoy watching your favorite teams!
    • Mini Tacos - delicious tacos in bite size cups... perfect finger food