Pumpkin Chow

The fall is my favorite season. Everything in nature changes all these beautiful colors, I get to enjoy everything pumpkin, and it starts to get a little chilly outside. Living in Arizona I didn’t really experience the fall colors as much as I do living in Seattle. I remember last year at this time of year, it was my first fall in Seattle and I was completely blown away at all the beautiful colors that surrounded me everywhere I looked. I remember sitting on the bus on my way to work and just being in awe of all the changing leaves on the trees and bushes, it made me so happy to be able to live where I live. Right now, the leaves are just starting to turn colors and when they do, and fall to the ground, I have a habit of picking them up and bringing them to our house to decorate with. That way it can feel like fall inside and outside the house! 🙂 I also love the fall because I love everything pumpkin!! I love to carve pumpkins, eat pumpkin, and decorate with pumpkins, just anything and everything pumpkin, I’m excited for. I got my first pumpkin spice latte last weekend and I was so happy. I also put out fall decorations in our house and soon we will go pick out our own pumpkins to carve. I have so many things I want to bake and cook with pumpkin these next few months, so many in fact, I’m afraid Jesse might be sick of pumpkin by Christmas time. 😉 This is the time of year where it starts to get chilly again. I love turning on our fireplace and cuddling with a warm blanket, and perhaps a warm drink, lying next to my love on the couch watching a movie. It is perfect cuddle weather this time of year!

But enough about how wonderful fall is to me, I made this freakin awesome pumpkin chow last night and I’m bringing it to our community group tonight to share. It is a perfect dessert to kick off fall for our community group. It’s really simple, but sooooo delicious. You must try this tasty treat out and let me know what you think.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of Hershey’s pumpkin kisses (I made the mistake of checking three different grocery stores for these and not one had them. I finally went to Target and they had them!)
  • 8 C Rice Chex Cereal
  • ~1 TBS Vegetable Oil
  • 1 ½ C Powdered Sugar
  • 1 TBS Pumpkin Pie spice

Directions:

  1. In a double broiler, melt your Hershey’s kisses mixed with your vegetable oil. The vegetable oil helps the chocolate melt smoother.
  2. IMG_2109
  3. While that is melting, prepare in a gallon sized baggie (or if you are like me and don’t have those, I just used a plastic grocery bag that I check for holes) pour your powdered sugar and pumpkin pie spice.
  4. Also pour your cereal into a big mixing bowl.
  5. Then once your chocolate is melted, pour over your cereal and mix really well together. It takes a minute or two of gentle blending to really coat all the cereal well.
  6. IMG_2112
  7. IMG_2113
  8. Once it is all coated in your chocolate mixture, pour all the cereal into your baggie/grocery bag and shake shake shake really well!! Make sure every single cereal piece is covered with powdered sugar. If you need to add more powdered sugar, now is the time and then shake shake shake some more!!
  9. Once everything is coated perfectly in your powdered sugar mixture, either devour right then and there or just cover your bowl with tin foil and enjoy for many days!!

Happy Fall Ya’ll!! 🙂

IMG_2114

Chicken Cesar Sandwiches

I’ve been wanting to learn to sew for some time now. I really love the idea of being able to sew some clothes for my future children, actually make all the cute little outfits I always pin on Pinterest. I know some of the basics of sewing and I know some basics about sewing machines, but I would really love to be able to turn on my sewing machine and just make a really cute onesie, or dress, or pajamas or even curtains or my own pillows. I don’t actually have a sewing machine, but it is definitely on the wish list for my birthday or Christmas. Since I have been talking to Jesse for months now, about how much fun it would be to sew, I actually went ahead and booked myself a beginner sewing class at a studio out here called Made Sewing Studio. I picked this studio, one, because they have beginners classes and two because they have SO many more classes after I finish my beginners class. They have a vintage skirt making class, an embroidery class, pillow making classes, ugh, just everything I want to learn! I’m stoked to start sewing; it will be a great hobby for me. 🙂

Last night I made a simple, quick, easy, cheap dinner that tends to be another go-to dinner for Jesse and I. It’s called Chicken Cesar Sandwiches. I like to add some lettuce on top of my sandwich and enjoy some kind of noodle salad as a side and this makes for one quick delicious dinner. Try it out; let me know what you think.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breast (I like to do two because then we have some leftovers to take to lunch)
  • ½ C Cesar Salad Dressing
  • Dash of parsley
  • Buns to put the sandwich on

Directions:

  1. Place your chicken breasts in a shallow baking dish, cover with tin foil and pop in a 350 degree oven for about 50-60 mins.
  2. Place your chickens on a cutting board. Take two forks and start shredding your meat.
  3. Place your shredded meat back into your shallow baking dish and add your Cesar dressing, feel free to add more or less of the dressing, depending on what you like. Mix well together.
  4. Sprinkle with parsley and pop back in the oven for about 10-15 mins until it gets nice and warm again.
  5. Place on top of your sandwich buns.

Enjoy!!

IMG_2103

Tortilla Chip Chicken with Avocado Dressing

Jesse and I have become obsessed with this reality TV show called The Voice. We don’t have cable or Netflix, we just have public access channels and we rent tons of movies from the library. The shows that we watch may seem funny to most people, but when you are frugal, you learn to live with whatever you can get. Some of our favorite shows to watch on public access channels includes Family Feud, (Steve Harvey is just hilarious) Shark Tank, The Big Bang Theory, the King of Queens, Rules of Engagement, and of course The Voice. The Voice started its new season last night and Jesse and I were stoked! We watched the whole two hour premiere and guess what…. We plan to watch more of it tonight. 😉 We have never actually voted for any of the contestants, but we always have our favorites. I hope this season there are some really great singers because the better they are the more fun it is to watch the coaches bicker back and forth about who is better. If you have not watched this show, you should, plain and simple.

I made one of my most very favorite dinners I have ever made, last night for dinner. I have never made this recipe before, but I can guarantee you, it will be in the meal rotation often. I called it Tortilla Chip Chicken with Avocado Dressing. Because it has so many tasty spices mixed with the delightful taste of the avocado, combined with the tortilla chips and cheese, I fell like it could almost be considered Mexican food! I slowly like more and more Mexican dishes. You must try this recipe out and let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken breasts
  • ~2-3 C crushed tortilla chips
  • Shredded Cheese, I used Mexican blend
  • ½ C Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. lime juice

For the avocado dressing: (all these ingredients can be adjusted to your taste)

  • ½ C Plain Greek yogurt
  • ~1-2 TBS of packet Ranch dip mix
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • Diced jar jalapenos (I used about 5 jalapenos, but feel free to use more if you like spicy)
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 Avocado

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. On a plate, mix together your crushed up tortilla chips and your shredded cheese.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine yogurt, all the spices and your lime juice. Mix together well.
  4. Then dip one chicken breast at a time, first into the yogurt mixture, then into the crushed tortilla chips. Make sure to cover both sides of the chicken really well with the tortilla chips and cheese mixture.
  5. IMG_2094
  6. IMG_2095
  7. Once both chicken breasts are covered in tortilla chips place them in a shallow baking dish and cook for about 40-50 mins, until the chickens are cook all the way through.
  8. IMG_2096
  9. While you chicken is cooking, prepare your avocado dressing. First smash your avocado in a small mixing bowl.
  10. Mix in your yogurt, then add in the spices, jalapenos and lime juice.
  11. Spread on top of the cooked chicken.

Enjoy!!

IMG_2097

Corn Beef and Hash

I am so excited to post this fabulous recipe that comes from a wonderful family cook! It is one of Jesse’s very favorite meals, mainly because his mawmaw use to make it! Jesse’s grandma (mawmaw) use to be one of the best cooks in the Johnson family. I wish I could have been around mawmaw when she was cooking for her family, I would have loved to learn all her tasty recipes and develop some of her skills in the kitchen. I do have this awesome cookbook of some of her recipes and I always have Jesse’s family telling me about some of their favorite things that mawmaw use to make for them. I was excited/hesitant when Jesse wanted me to put this dish on the dinner menu, not because it is mawmaw’s recipe, but mainly because I don’t like corn beef but Jesse won me over by saying he wanted to cook it. 🙂 The meal is called Corn Beef and Hash. Now, I have NEVER liked corn beef. That nasty chunk of meat that my parents use to make every St. Patrick’s day with boiled cabbage….UGH it was the most disgusting dinner ever!! So I was really skeptical when Jesse told me he wanted to have this for dinner some night. I finally caved in, and trusted Jesse and let him cook this for dinner. And let me tell you, it was soooooo delicious!! I was pleasantly surprised how tasty this dish is and it will definitely appear on the dinner menu again soon. Try it out; let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion, diced up
  • 2 Potatoes diced up, I used Russet potatoes
  • Corn Beef in the can
  • Dash of pepper

Directions:

  1. Cook your diced potatoes and onion in a well-oiled frying pan on medium heat.
  2. IMG_2068
  3. Once you potatoes are pretty much all the way done, add in your corn beef. You are going to need to break up the corn beef and spread it out in the pan, coating the potatoes really well with it.
  4.  IMG_2069IMG_2070
  5. Sprinkle in a dash of pepper, and let cook until the corn beef is brown and crunchy looking.

Enjoy!!

IMG_2071

Jalapeno Popper Bites

Just a few months ago, my brother had his very first baby, a baby girl named Lylah. She is my first blood niece, and the first grandbaby in the family, let’s just say she is really well loved! 😉 She is as cute as can be with ears just like her Aunt Sarah haha! I miss her more and more every day that I am away from her. Every weekend my mom continually sends me all these adorable pictures of Lylah, I feel lucky that I still get to see her every weekend, but I really want to just hold and kiss and hug her!! My mom tells me about these milestones that Lylah is hitting like getting her first teeth, crawling, cooing, smiling, sticking her tongue out etc and I wish I could be there to see all of them. I look forward every year to our vacation back to AZ mainly so I can see this little piece of me! 🙂 I just love her and I am really looking forward to the point in mine and Jesse’s life when we can be a part of her life.

Alright, so for dinner last night I made Jalapeno Popper Bites. Now, you may think that I use Grand Biscuits a lot in my cooking, probably because I do….but I just love how easy it is to stuff them with tasty ingredients, cook them, and you have a fast, delicious, easy warm dinner! These were no exception. They were so good!! I could have ate all 8 by myself, but that is selfish and Jesse needs to eat too I guess ha 😉 I made this with a side of cold Cesar salad noodles, yum! Try these out and let me know what you think. You may become as obsessed with Grand biscuits as me….

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tube of refrigerated Grand Biscuits
  • ~8 TBS of softened cream cheese
  • 2-3 Strips of cooked bacon, crumbled into pieces
  • Jalapeno’s (I used the ones from the jar, but fresh ones would be tasty too)
  • Shredded cheese
  • 1 TBS melted butter
  • Italian Style Bread Crumbs

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a baking dish. Any size will do.
  3. Flatten out all your grand biscuits and spread ~1 TBS (or more if you like more cream cheese) of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit.
  4. IMG_2050
  5. Then place some crumbled bacon, jalapenos (I put about 4 jalapenos in each biscuit, but if you like spicy, add more) and shredded cheese in each biscuit.
  6. IMG_2051
  7. Fold up the biscuits by pulling each corner into the center of the biscuit. Then lay seam side down in a backing dish. Place all the biscuits in your baking dish, touching each other.
  8. Then brush your melted butter on the top of all the biscuits and sprinkle on your Italian style bread crumbs.
  9. IMG_2052
  10. Pop in the oven for about 15-20mins, until the biscuits are fully cooked.

Enjoy!

IMG_2053

Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast cookies

If you are anything like me then you could eat sweets for breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon snack, before bed snack, dessert…pretty much anytime of the day! I have the biggest sweet tooth of anyone I know and I’m proud of it. 😉 I always carry a sweet snack with me in my purse when I run around and do errands and I often have some sort of sweet treat in the house for after dinner. In fact, there is a stash of fruit snacks in the glove compartment in my car. I think my favorite sweet treat is some sort of chocolate, but I am not bias and will eat anything with tons of sugar in it haha! I have tried in the past to trick myself into thinking key lime pie yogurt is a dessert…but that didn’t last long, and I try to eat fruit more often for dessert but I always find myself wanting to dip my fruit in some sort of melted chocolate!! I know I have a sweet addiction, but I don’t want you to think I over-do it every day on the sweets. Like I said, I often eat fruit for my sweet tooth cravings and if I do eat more than one sweet treat a day, I eat a small amount of it. I came up with this somewhat healthier alternative to a sweet cookie for breakfast. Jesse loves them and believe me, he would choose savory over sweet any day, so that is a testament to how great these little puppies are! I just call them Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies. They come together really quick and they are a great grab and go breakfast. Let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ C of oats (I used the quick oats kind)
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½  TBS pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 C Peanut butter
  • ¼ C honey
  • 2 banana’s mashed up
  • ¼ C Chocolate chips (or more if you like sweets!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Mix all your ingredients together really well.
  3. IMG_2045
  4. Drop a spoonful amount of your dough on a baking sheet and flatten the tops a bit by pressing them down with your fingers.
  5. IMG_2047
  6. Bake for 15-20 mins, until they are slightly brown.

Enjoy!

IMG_2048

 

Potato Nachos

As a person who doesn’t like real authentic Mexican food, I sure do make Americanized Mexican dishes for dinner pretty often and last night was no exception. I can’t help it because I know how much Jesse misses his beloved Mexican food. For dinner last night I made nachos, but not just plain ol’ nachos on tortilla chips, I made them on yummy crispy potato slices. We buy the big bag of potatoes at Costco so I’m always looking for interesting ways to use them up. I thought this was a great compromise between Jesse’s love of Mexican food and my not love of Mexican food. He spiced his nachos up a bit with salsa and jalapenos but those are certainly optional and the dish taste great with or without them. Try out these tasty nachos and let me know what you think.

Ingredients: (this dish has no measurements because you can add all these ingredients to your liking)

  • 2 Potatoes, washed well (I used Russet potatoes but any would be great for this dish)
  • Ground beef
  • Black beans
  • Corn
  • Crushed up tortilla chips
  • Shredded cheese
  • Salt/pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Dash of cumin

Garnish with:

  • Lettuce
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Salsa
  • Jalapeno’s/green chilies
  • Tomatoes
  • Guacamole

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. After you have washed your potatoes well, slice them up into about ½ in thick slices. Oil a baking dish REALLY well (or else your potatoes will stick to the pan) and place your potato slices on the baking dish. Sprinkle one side of the potatoes with salt, pepper, and chili powder. (If you want spicy potatoes add more chili powder.) Place in the oven for about 15 mins. Once the 15 mins are up, take the potatoes out of the oven and flip them over. Re-oil your baking dish and sprinkle the potatoes with salt, pepper, and a dash of chili powder. Place back in the oven until nice and golden brown.
  3. IMG_2041
  4. While your potatoes are cooking in the oven, throw your ground beef into a frying pan on medium heat, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a dash of cumin. Cook the ground beef all the way through.
  5. Once your ground beef is done, turn the heat down to low and add in your black beans and corn and cook just until they are warm.
  6. Now it’s time to assemble your nachos.
  7. Place a few of your potato slices on a plate and top them with your ground beef, bean and corn mixture. On top of that, sprinkle some shredded cheese and crush up some tortilla chips to put on top of your cheese.
  8. IMG_2042
  9. Then add all the ingredients you like on your nachos. I put lettuce, guacamole, plain Greek yogurt and a little more cheese on top of mine and Jesse put lettuce, guacamole, plain Greek yogurt, salsa, and jalapenos on top of his.

Enjoy!!

IMG_2044