What is a better sweet treat for the holidays then Sugar Cinnamon Pecans?! Not only do they make your house smell freakin fabulous while they are baking, but they taste so delicious! I got so many compliments on these little sweet pecans and I shared this recipe so many times because people just loved them! 🙂 I put them in a cute little mason jar and gave them as Christmas gifts this year. I also kept a bunch for Jesse and I because we couldn’t stop eating them. Seriously, if you can mix together few ingredients, I highly recommend you try making these Cinnamon Sugar Pecans. Let me know what you think!
- 1 ¼ C Sugar
- 1 ¼ C Brown Sugar
- 2 TBS Cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. Salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 3-4 C Pecans
- 2 egg whites
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees. And Spray a cookie sheet with a thick amount of non-stick cooking spray.
- In a mixing bowl beat your two egg whites until nice and frothy.
- In a separate mixing bowl combine sugars, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. Mix everything together really well.
- Place your pecans in your egg whites first and mix REALLY well! This step ensures that the cinnamon sugar coating will stick to the pecans.
- Then transfer the pecans to the cinnamon sugar mixture and coat all the pecans.
- Then place them on your cookie sheet in a single layer. They can be next to each other and touching each other, just not piled on top of each other.
- Finally place in the oven for about 45-55 mins until the cinnamon mixture is nice and hard. (If the underside of the pecans is still a little wet after the 45-55 mins, its ok, you don’t have to put it back in the oven, it will dry eventually.)
- If you don’t devour them all at once 😉 then place in an air tight sealed container for storage.
Now that we are approaching the end of 2013 and about to start a whole new year, I like to think about all the things that have happened through the year. This year was the first whole year we have spent in Washington. Jesse and I were just talking the other day about how blessed we feel that we are able to live in Washington. It has done so many wonderful things for our marriage, like make us stronger in love and closer to each other, and we feel that God brought us out here to grow us in a more faithful relationship with him. 2013 has also blessed us with Jesse finding his career path of accounting. He was teaching before but was never a big fan of that. So when we first moved here Jesse was flip flopping around jobs trying to figure out what he enjoyed best. He landed on accounting at this awesome company called Zulily. Every day he actually enjoys work, and wants to pursue accounting as a full time career now, which makes this hopeful stay-at-home-mom very glad that I will have that opportunity when we have kids. This year has also given us some great friends and a great community group. We feel like we can share anything with these Godly people and they are so given and caring towards us! J Jesse and I have gone on so many adventures in 2013 and we are soooo looking forward to all the adventures and new places we will discover in 2014. Overall this year has been one that Jesse and I will surely remember forever!!
Now on to FOOD!!! This meal I made the other day doesn’t have a name so I just call it Sweet Potato with BBQ Shredded Chicken. Yeah….I call it that because that is pretty much all the ingredients involved. It’s so easy, so delicious, and hey, it’s even a little bit healthy with that sweet potato in there! J Try this meal out; let me know what you think!
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1 chicken breast
- 2 strips of bacon
- BBQ sauce (as much as you like)
- Shredded Cheese
- Diced green onions
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Wash your sweet potatoes and poke them with a fork many times, all over. This will help the steam escape from your potato.
- Then wrap your potato in tin foil and place right in the oven on the top rack.
- After the potatoes have been in the oven for about 20 mins, place your chicken breast in a baking dish and cover with tin foil. Pop that into the oven also.
- Once your chicken is done, should be about 45-60 mins, take it out of the oven and place on a cutting board.
- With two forks, shred your chicken.
- Place all your shredded chicken back into your baking dish and pour as much BBQ sauce all over it as you like. Mix the BBQ sauce, a dash of salt and pepper in with the chicken and place it back in the oven (with tin foil covering it.)
- While your chicken is warming back up in the oven, place two strips of bacon on a baking dish and place in the oven. These bacon strips will cook really fast so make sure you watch them.
- Once bacon is done, place on a paper towel to drain the excess grease. Then break them up into bite sized pieces.
- At this point, your chicken should be warmed up, your sweet potatoes should be cooked through and your bacon is all shredded up, so now it’s time to assemble.
- Take your sweet potato out of the tin foil and cut it open. Place your shredded BBQ chicken in the sweet potato and top it off with some bacon pieces, shredded cheese and green onions!
It’s the time of year when Christmas music is on everyone’s radio and I can’t ever get enough of it. I listen to Christmas music every chance I get. There is just something about Christmas music that puts me in a good mood and makes me want to bake! 🙂 Just a few days ago, Jesse put on the NSYNC Christmas album while we were getting ready for the day, and it brought back so many good memories from when I was young. I also love to listen to Michael Buble’s Christmas album, of course Bing Crosby, Mariah Carey, and Nat King Cole are some favorites too, but I really enjoy the classics like The Grinch, Rudolph the Red nose Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman.
Yeah, I think that list could go on and on, but I think I will talk about the dinner I made the other night (while listening to Christmas music.) I just call it Buffalo Chicken Casserole. I came home late and I needed something quick to just pop in the oven. This recipe was that ticket. It’s so incredibly easy to assemble, it cooks in a matter of minutes, and it taste so so yummy! Try it out, let me know what you think. 🙂
- 1 Chicken breast, cut into bit sized pieces
- 1 C rice, (I used instant rice)
- Some diced up green peppers (as much as you like)
- Garlic, salt and pepper
- ~1/4 C Buffalo sauce (if you like it spicy add more)
- ¼ C Ranch dressing (I used a combination of a Ranch packet dressing mix and greek yogurt. Either would work just fine)
- Shredded cheese
- Place your cut up chicken breast into a well-oiled frying pan on medium high heat. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook until there is no more pink showing.
- Once the chicken is cooked through, pour your buffalo sauce into the pan and coat your chicken really well with it. Turn the heat down to a simmer.
- While you chicken is cooking, follow the packaged directions on your rice box and cook your rice.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Once your rice is done, place it in a baking dish. Then on top of your rice, spread your buffalo chicken. Sprinkle your green peppers, a little more garlic, salt and pepper, and spread your ranch dressing all over. On top of your ranch place as much shredded cheese as you like. I added lots (~1 C) because I like it nice and cheesy!
- Pop in the oven until the cheese is nice and melty, about 15 mins.
Jesse and I just got back from a great anniversary trip, celebrating 3 years of marriage! We went to Portland, Or for two days and then to Husum, Wa for two more days. Portland was so cold. Jesse and I walked everywhere and we nearly froze our nose off! We were happy once we got inside and cold defrost some. We went to a Christmas market on the water, got some yummy VooDoo donuts, met the actor from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, chatted with a homeless man for about a half hour, went to some fancy dinners and enjoyed going to a Christmas lights show. It was so much fun just relaxing and going with the flow. No plans, no schedule to stick to and we could sleep in!
Then we drove on over to Husum, Wa to enjoy the next two days at the most adorable bed and breakfast. It was right along the Columbia River Gorge, so the views were spectacular! It was only Jesse and I staying there at that time, so the owner (this extremely cute old man named Jerry) would show us around the farm, introduce us to all the animals and he would sit with us at breakfast and talk to us for hours. His wife is a school teacher so she was gone all during the day so I think Jerry liked having company to talk to. 🙂 It was very cold and snowy at our bed and breakfast. We were on top of mountain, so our little car always had a hard time going up and down the mountain in the snow. So we mostly stayed on top of the mountain exploring the city, relaxing at coffee shops and hanging out with the house dog and cat. This part of the trip really made Jesse and I so happy! When we were saying goodbye to Jerry he said don’t forget about us and come back! I already miss him 😉
Since I have not been cooking dinner the last few days, I will share a recipe I made about a week ago. It’s really simple. It’s called Hawaiian BBQ Ham Pizza. Super-fast, super easy, and might I add, super delicious!! Try it out; let me know what you think 🙂
- 1 roll of refrigerated pizza dough
- ~1/2 C BBQ sauce
- 1 can Pineapple bites
- ~ ½ C (or more) of fully cooked ham cut up into bite sized pieces
- Diced green onions
- Sprinkle of garlic powder
- Shredded Cheese
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll out your pizza dough and spread your BBQ sauce all over, it’s the “sauce” of your pizza.
- Then sprinkle on your pineapple bites (as many as you like from the can,) your bite sized ham, green onions and sprinkle on top of everything a pinch of garlic powder.
- Then spread your cheese all over and pop in the oven for about 15-20 mins.
This dinner is inspired by the world’s greatest grandma! Yeah that would be my nany. I lived with her after college and before I got married for a few months and they sure were some of the greatest months! We would regularly sit down and have dinner together and this meal was one of the meals she would make form time to time. I never was a big fan of sauerkraut before, but I love it in this dish. It really brings everything together. It’s called Sausage, Potatoes and Sauerkraut. Yeah, that is all the ingredients in this meal right there, so simple and easy but so delicious at the same time. Every time I make this meal I think of my grandma and it makes me miss her. Jesse and I always have the greatest time with her because she is just so fun to be around 🙂 I can’t wait until we get to visit her in just a few short months. But seriously, if you are looking for an easy, one-pot meal that will please everyone, try this out and let me know what you think!
- 1 can/jar of sauerkraut
- 1 Fully cooked Italian sausage; it’s one of those links that’s just one long sausage that you can cut up into links.
- 2 Potatoes
- Ketchup/mustard for serving
- Peel your potatoes and roughly cut them up into big pieces. Also take your one fully cooked sausage and cut it up into about 3-4 sausage links.
- In a big pot fill about ½ way with water and add your sauerkraut, sausage and potatoes. Add some salt and pepper if you like. Occasionally stir everything.
(I used a different sausage. I used the not fully cooked sausage and it just takes longer.)
Let them all boil together until you are able to poke the potatoes with a fork and they are no longer hard.
- Serve with a side of ketchup or Mustard.
Christmas is my VERY favorite time of year! All the lights, all the music, all the food, all the great smells, just everything about this time of year makes me so happy!! We try to get as much Christmasy stuff out of this time of year as we can by going to local Christmas plays, watching Christmas movies, always listening to Christmas music, and eating lots of candy canes! (or maybe that last one is just me…) I feel like this time of year just flies by so fast, and I get sad every year it’s over. 😦 But let’s not think about that right now. 🙂 I have started working on my Christmas gifts for the family and have been getting Jesse’s Christmas presents together too. I get to use my sewing machine for Christmas presents this year! I also got to spend about two and a half hours at JoAnn’s this last black Friday picking out a bunch of cute fabric for all my gifts. Ah I just love making gifts for people! It snowed yesterday as Jesse and I were heading home from work, now I pray that it will snow on Christmas so I can actually have a white Christmas this year!! 🙂
Anywho, for my birthday I got this sweet cook book from my brother and sister-in-law. It’s all about preparing meals ahead of time and putting them in the freezer until you are ready to eat them. I love this idea because some nights I get home so late from work and the last thing I want to do is prepare a meal for an hour and then cook it in the oven for another hour! SO this book had so many great recipes that I have been trying out and believe me, not one of them has been a flop. They have all been so tasty!! This one I made is called Mustard-Oregano Chicken. I just made this meal and Jesse is already asking me to make it again haha. It’s super good; you must try it out and let me know what you think!
- 2 Chicken Breasts
- ¼ C Mustard
- 1/8 C red wine vinegar
- 1/8 C Lemon juice
- 1/8 C Vegetable oil
- 2 TBS honey
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 gallon sized freezer bag for storage
- Place your chicken breasts into your gallon size freezer bag.
- In a mixing bowl, mix all the other ingredients together. Feel free to add more oregano if you like.
- Once everything is mixed well together, pour it into the gallon sized freezer bag with the chicken.
- Place in the freezer.
- When you are ready to eat this meal for dinner, take the chicken out of the freezer and let thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
- Then simply, place your chicken and all the mustard sauce in a well-oiled frying pan on medium heat and cook until there is no more pink showing. I cut my chicken breasts up towards the end of cooking them into about four thick slices for each breast. I did this just because it cooked faster that way, and I could swirl the chicken in all the mustard sauce.
- Serve with a little shredded cheese on top.