This weekend is the weekend to decorate for Christmas! I usually am against putting up anything Christmas before Thanksgiving, but I realized that I am always so sad when Christmas is over because it just goes so fast. So I’m going to see if maybe celebrating it a little earlier this year will help with my end of the year Christmas blues. I just LOVE Christmas (and who doesn’t) and I wish I could celebrate it all year long…..but then maybe it wouldn’t be as special. Jesse and I are going to take our Christmas card photo’s this weekend too. This year I want to include my puppies. They are usually so bad at taking pictures, but I really want them to be included in the photos that everyone in my family will see on the Christmas card this year. So I’m going to take on the challenge of getting them to take a few good photos with Jesse and I. 🙂 They are just so cute, how could they NOT be in the family photo ;).
For dinner I made these yummy Cheeseburger Packets. As I have previously stated many times before, my favorite food is hamburgers. But this meal is not your typical beef on a bun, oh no no no! This takes burgers to the next level! These cheeseburger packets are super kid friendly because they are much easier to eat. You can really fill these packets with whatever you like to put on your burger and whenever you bite into it, it will be a little piece of heaven in your mouth (or maybe that is just the way I feel…) Try these delicious packets out; let me know what you think!
- 1 tube of Grand’s biscuits
- ½ lb. ground beef
- 2 strips of bacon
- ¼ C chopped onion
- Shredded Cheese
- 1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
- Garlic powder
- Shredded lettuce
- BBQ sauce
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a frying pan, on medium-high heat, place your ground beef and onion and cook until the ground beef is completely cooked through. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- While you are preparing your ground beef, place two bacon strips on a baking pan and place in the 350 degree oven for about 10 mins, or until the bacon is cooked.
- Take your grand biscuits and flatten them out. There should be 8 flat biscuits to fill with goodness.
- Once your bacon is done cooking, set on a paper towel to drain the excess grease, and then break into pieces into the beef and onion mixture. Mix in your Worcestershire sauce.
- In each of the center of your flatten biscuits, place a spoonful of your beef mixture. And then top that with shredded cheese. (feel free to add whatever you like on your burger into the packet as well i.e pickels, tomatoes.. I like to save the mustard and ketchup to dip my packets in once they are completely cooked, but you can choose to put mustard or ketchup into the packets before you cook them too.)
- Roll up the biscuits by bringing each corner of the biscuit into the center and pinching it closed.
- Place them side by side in your greased baking dish and pop in the oven for about 25-30 mins.
- Eat with a side of ketchup or mustard or even BBQ sauce!
I have another winner dinner here! It’s called Ham and Peas Mac n’ Cheese….that totally rhymes…haha! It’s that time of year when ham (like my totally favorite meat!) goes on sale and I love to cook anything I can with this delicious meat. I bought a pretty big chunk of ham and I just cut off any amount that I need for my particular meal, and I put the rest in the freezer. I know for Thanksgiving, most people enjoy a turkey for dinner, but if I had my choice I would eat ham and nothing but ham all night long…ok ok my obsession is not that sever, I just never get to have ham except for this time of year. 😉 One of Jesse’s favorite vegetables is peas and I thought peas and ham would taste great together so I threw it together in pasta, and voila, a delicious, speedy, dinner that people of all ages will devour! Seriously Jesse and I were fighting over who would be able to take the leftovers for lunch the next day because we both loved it so much. Try it out and let me know if you like it as much as Jesse and I did. 🙂
- ½ lb. pasta noodles
- 2 TBS Butter
- 2 TBS Flour
- 1 C Milk
- 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
- ~2 C Shredded Cheese (add more if you like)
- ½ C Plain Greek yogurt
- 1 C Frozen Peas
- 1 ½ C Ham, diced into bite sized pieces
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Cook your pasta noodles according to package directions.
- While the noodles are cooking, melt your butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Once your butter is melted, add in your flour and mix mix mix really well until the flour is all dissolved into the butter and there are no more chunks of flour.
- Then once you have that all mixed together well, keep mixing and slowly add in your milk. Once all your milk is added in turn your heat down to medium low and let the milk thicken up. I like to add the salt, pepper to the milk at this point.
- Once your pasta noodles are done, drain and place back in the pot, make sure the burner is not on where the pot is.
- Pour your thickened milk mixture, peas, ham, shredded cheese, cinnamon and Greek yogurt in the pot with the noodles and mix everything together.
- Place your pasta into your baking dish, sprinkle some more shredded cheese all over the top, and pop in the oven for about 15-20 mins. Just until the cheese is nice and melty and your peas and ham are warm.
(He is a good helper, chopping up ham for me!)
One of my Sunday routines is to make a breakfast item that Jesse and I can enjoy throughout the week. Something quick to just grab and go, but it also has to be something super tasty at the same time. I always make granola bars, but I like to make something else so we are not eating granola bars every morning. This week I made these oh so divine Cinnamon Jam Muffins. They are these sweet muffins, filled with jam and swirled in cinnamon! Ugh yeah….they are so good!! Jesse has already ate 4 of them and I barley just made them two days ago haha! He usually approves of my sweet treats, but he really has enjoyed these delicious muffins.
I am always on the lookout for breakfast items that are quick and delicious that I can make ahead of time. If you have any suggestions I sure would love to hear about them! I am asking for a bread machine for Christmas this year in hopes of making some yummy breakfast breads with it. I urge you to try out these Cinnamon Jam Muffins; let me know what you think!
Ingredients: (makes 12 muffins)
- 1 ¾ C Flour
- 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ¾ C Sugar
- 1/3 C applesauce (I used cinnamon applesauce, but plain will do)
- 1 egg
- ¾ C Milk
- Jam, any you prefer
- 1/3 C Sugar
- 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ C melted butter
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a cupcake pan, or use cupcake liners.
- In a mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon until everything is well incorporated.
- In a different mixing bowl, combine your sugar and applesauce until well blended and then incorporate your egg.
- When your wet ingredients are mixed together well, add about half of your dry ingredients to it and mix just until blended. Then add in about ½ of your milk and mix until blended as well. Repeat with the dry and then repeat with the milk until everything is mixed together.
- In your cupcake pan, fill your cupcake tins with batter until about ½ full. Place a dollop of jam in each cupcake tin and then fill the rest of the tin with batter until it is about ¾ full.
- Place in the oven for about 18-25 mins.
- Once the muffins come out of the oven, prepare your melted butter in one bowl and mix your sugar and cinnamon in another bowl.
- While the muffins are still warm, pop them out of the muffin tin and one at a time dip the top of the muffin into your melted butter first and then swirl it around in your cinnamon sugar mixture.
Place on a cooling rack, and let cool completely. Place in the fridge for storage.
Phew this last week has been a whirl wind!! I feel like it has been forever since I posted on my blog. I have so many pictures of recipes I have been making, but I have been slacking on putting them up on my blog 😦 I am going to try to get better at that. This last week I didn’t post ANY new posts because I was sick all week….booo! But since I am feeling better I thought I would take this opportunity to finally upload a new recipe. This one is No- Tomato Chili. I can’t eat tomatoes. I guess I’m allergic to them. But it’s the perfect time of year to make chili…..here in lies my dilemma. So I searched and searched for a chili recipe that had no tomatoes, but also was super yummy. I finally found just the right one (with a few adjustments of my own of course) and boy was it a delight to eat on a cold fall day. I made a WHOLE crockpot full of this chili. I froze some leftovers and I also have Frito pies and chili over baked potatoes on my dinner menu this month, so we are defiantly satisfying our craving for chili. I don’t think this meal could get any easier really. I made it one morning before I was headed to work, it literally took me about 15 minutes to throw everything into the crockpot and I just let it simmer all day. When I got home the house smelled like delicious chili! 🙂 Try this recipe out; let me know if you like a no-tomato chili as much as I do!
- 1 lb ground beef
- ½ Onion, diced up into little pieces (I used a yellow onion, but any onion would work)
- ½ Green bell pepper, diced up
- ¼ C Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ TBS Chili Powder (If you like spicy food, feel free to add more)
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 3 cans Kidney beans (I used one can of dark kidney beans and two cans of light kidney beans, but I don’t think it matters, you can use any kind of kidney beans you like)
- 3 cans of pork and beans
- 1 can of green enchilada sauce
- 1 can of beef broth
- Shredded cheese
- Some diced up jalapenos (from the jar)
- Salt and pepper
- First, in a frying pan cook your ground beef and onions until the ground beef is completely cooked through.
- While that is cooking, place everything listed above into the crockpot. Mix everything well together. I did drain the liquid from the bean cans. If it doesn’t seem liquidy enough, add more green enchilada sauce, beef broth OR water whichever you prefer. I only diced up about 5-6 jalapenos because I don’t like very spicy, but feel free to add to your liking.
- Once your beef and onions are finished, put into the crockpot and mix in really well.
- Place the lid on and cook on low for 10 hours.
It’s time Jesse and I got out of Seattle and started exploring places in the Northwest part of this country. Don’t worry, we are not moving from Seattle, at least not yet, but we are going to start taking advantage of our weekends and we are going to go on many trips while we are here. Our first stop is in Idaho, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to be exact. I am making it a goal to check out as many states up in the northwest as possible before we move back to AZ. It’s going to be a blast relaxing in Idaho this weekend. More details to come when we come back. 🙂
I made a delicious, easy, fast meal for dinner last night. I first made this meal last year around this time of year and Jesse and I have had it on a regular basis ever since. It’s simply delightful! I call it BBQ Chicken Sweet potato quesadillas. Sweet potato and BBQ mixed together you might think is weird, BUT give it a try and you will NOT be disappointed! Let me know what you think. 🙂
- 4 tortillas (I used Burrito size)
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 Chicken breast, cut up into bite size pieces
- ½ C (or more if you like) of BBQ
- 1 C (or more if you like) Shredded cheese
- Pinch of salt/Pepper/Parsley
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Place your cut up chicken breast in a well-oiled frying pan on medium high heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let cook all the way through until there is no more pink showing.
- While your chicken is cooking, poke holes in your sweet potato with fork and place in the microwave for about 5-10 mins. Until it is nice and soft on the inside.
- Once your chicken is finished cooking, add in your BBQ sauce. Mix the BBQ sauce so it coats the chicken really well. Take off the burner and set aside.
- Take a baking sheet and place two of your tortillas on it. Sprinkle with as much shredded cheese as you like. On top of the shredded cheese, add your BBQ chicken. Spread the chicken so there is going to be BBQ chicken in every bite. 🙂 And sprinkle some parsley on top.
- Then with your other two plain tortillas that do not have the chicken on it, spread your sweet potato all over it.
- On top of your BBQ chicken, add another layer of shredded cheese, and then place your sweet potato tortilla on top of it so the sweet potato is touching the cheese and it will melt together.
- Place in the oven for about 15-20 mins until the tortillas are nice and crunchy.
Jesse and I made this sweet treat together on Wednesday night. This is definitely a tag team effort and if you want to make successful Mini Chocolate Caramel Apples, you are going to need a partner. Working with caramel is super tricky, but working with caramel on apples is even harder. Caramel and apples do not want to be best friends! Caramel tends to slide right off of apples making it difficult to enjoy caramel and apples together. So I figured out an easy alternative way to make caramel apples that includes chocolate, YUM! I actually made these for Jesse’s work potluck for Halloween. They always have a baking competition at his potlucks and I like to enter just for fun! This time I actually WON! The prize was just a little gift, but the pride of a job well done really made me so happy! All of Jesse’s and my hard work paid off because people enjoyed this treat as much as we were hoping they would. So if you are looking for a fun treat to bring to a potluck, or just make for Thanksgiving this year. Try out these tasty little mini chocolate caramel apples; let me know what you think!
Ingredients: (this recipe made ~40 mini apples)
- 1 Bag of baking caramels
- 2 TBS cream (According to the packaged directions)
- 5 Green apples (I love to use the green apples because the sour of the apples taste great with the sweet of the chocolate and caramel)
- ½ C Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Mini cupcake holders
- Bamboo skewers (cut down to smaller sizes)
- Melon Baller
- I found it easiest to peel the green apples as close to the skin as possible. It is much easier to get a good ball shape if the skin is off the apples, but you don’t want to take off too much of the apple under the skin because then you will lose a lot of your apple.
- Jesse had to do this part for me because it was pretty difficult to get the ball shape with the melon baller. Pretty much take each apple and try to get as many balls out of it as you can.
- Place each ball on a cookie sheet covered in either tin foil or wax paper.
- Once you have all your balls cut out of your apples, place a cut up bamboo skewer in each ball. I think I cut them down to about the length of my pinkie.
- Then take a double broiler and melt your chocolate.
- Once your chocolate is melted, drizzle your chocolate all over your apple balls. Once every apple is drizzled with chocolate, place them in the fridge for about 30 mins so the chocolate can get super hard and stuck to the apple.
- While your apples are in the fridge melt your caramels. Place your unwrapped pieces of caramel in a double broiler and add your cream according to the packaged directions.
- Once your caramel is completely melted, let it boil for about 3 mins. Then take it off the double broiler and let cool down.
- You don’t want your caramel to be superhot or else it will melt your chocolate.
- This is where you will need another person to help you!! This is how Jesse and I did it:
- I took the bowl that had the caramel in it, and set it next to the baking tray with the chocolate covered apples on it. I also had the mini cupcake holders ready to go next to me.
- I would take one apple, hold it but the stick, drizzle caramel all over the chocolate and apple, place it in a mini cupcake holder, hand it to Jesse and he would immediately put it on a tray in the fridge.
- It is important to get these apples in the fridge as quick as possible because 1. You don’t want to melt the chocolate and 2. You want the caramel to harden up really quick before it gets watery and runny.
13. Once you have all your caramel apples in the fridge, leave them in there right before serving!