**Please excuse the mess - I'm currently revamping my labels (that you can find at the very bottom of the page). **

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Slow Cooker Tuscan Sausage and Bean Soup

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Slow simmered soup that is perfect for a cool autumn night - and is so simple to prepare!
Slow Cooker Tuscan Sausage and Bean Soup // Slow simmered soup that is perfect for a cool autumn night - and is so simple to prepare! #recipe #soup #crockpot #slowcooker

I don't really make a lot of soup in the crockpot, but after making this recipe, I am hoping to do it a bit more. It's so easy to prep the ingredients and then throw them in the crockpot to cook for a few hours. I do agree with Deborah of Taste & Tell that these veggies get mushy if you cook them for too long, so definitely cook until your desired doneness! I love soups with lots of veggies and loved the salty kielbasa in this one. I think it may have been my first soup using kielbasa as the protein :)

Slow Cooker Tuscan Sausage and Bean Soup // Slow simmered soup that is perfect for a cool autumn night - and is so simple to prepare! #recipe #soup #crockpot #slowcooker

Friday, September 23, 2016

Quesadillas de Camarones

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Quesadillas that can be made with the camarones or with chicken as a substitute - but they are the real deal!

Camarones is Spanish for prawns. I didn't know that until I was about to post this recipe. I'm notorious for posting a recipe with a different language and leaving out a main ingredient that makes up the name. There was one where the title had mushrooms (like maybe pasta with mushrooms) and I omitted the mushrooms. This time I made Prawn Quesadillas without the prawn. Goodness gracious. However, I did include the instructions on how to make these WITH shrimp....but also sans camarones, as I made them. If you have been around as a reader for any length of time, you may have noticed that there are very few seafood recipes and if they do pop up, they are tuna recipes. Tuna is the only seafood that my husband and I eat. Our older two kids like shrimp (and my daughter loves calamari), but I have always found it hard to cook something well that I don't like to eat. Does that make sense?

These quesadillas are so very good. The sauteed vegetables really do make a huge difference in them. I couldn't find the Mexican red sauce for the protein, so I used a roasted good quality salsa. :)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

#NationalCoffeeDay with NESCAFÉ® Taster's Choice® #ad #CraftEachDay

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Instant coffee has always seemed so foreign to me unless we're talking about using it in baking. Would you believe that I had never tried it as it was intended until last week?! I was lucky enough to be chosen take the NESCAFÉ® Taster's Choice® challenge and I just have to share with y'all how that went. National Coffee Day is coming up on September 29th and I am celebrating in a new way!

I received a mission kit from NESCAFÉ® that contained a package of the NESCAFÉ® Taster’s Choice® stick packs of instant coffee (in 100% Columbian roast - yum!), a glass mug and teaspoon, an educational booklet, and THREE recipe cards - count them, THREE! A challenge where I get to drink coffee, get a coffee mug (my addiction is real), learn something new, and make a few new recipes - if I wasn't already signed up, it wouldn't take much prodding. I did go ahead and run out to get the 7 oz. glass jar of their House Blend to save the stick packs for days where I need to leave the house.


I do not work outside the home, my "work" is my blog and it's more of a hobby at the moment. However, I do have 3 children, 2 cats, a dog, and a husband and they do keep my day busy. Most of the day, it is just me and my littlest, Mason (who is 18 months old), at home. Most mornings I rush to get my coffee brewed and put creamer in it. It can be a struggle because Mason loves to climb and mess with everything first thing in the morning. If he were like his older siblings, I could set him in his high chair and give him breakfast, but he doesn't like to eat first thing in the morning. So it's a rush to get my coffee while keeping an eye on him and while both cats are underfoot meowing because they are starving. This past week, I took the NESCAFÉ® Taster’s Choice® challenge and instead of brewing my one cup of coffee, I was able to use the instant coffee by adding just hot water - no waiting. I already love the convenience of the instant coffee!


Instant coffee isn't the only new thing I tried this week - I have never had NESCAFÉ® brand coffee before. I am pretty open to new things, so I was looking forward to trying their coffee. I love that my mission kit came with an educational booklet. I got to learn more about NESCAFÉ® as a whole and why their product is so well-crafted. They use responsibly sourced beans, carefully roast and brew their beans for the best flavor, and flash freeze to lock in that perfect flavor. I also love that they are working with coffee farmers to combat environmental issues that threaten the future of coffee.

NESCAFÉ® Taster’s Choice® comes in six varieties: House Blend, Decaf House Blend, French Roast, 100% Columbian, Hazelnut, and Vanilla.


And having your morning cup of joe is as easy as adding water! It's that simple. You can purchase both the stick packs (that are for 8 oz. cups of coffee) or the glass jar that holds 7 oz. of coffee deliciousness (an upgrade from the old plastic packaging to help keep the coffee fresh) in any of the six flavors. I personally loved the glass jar because it's easier to add just the right amount of coffee to make a 10 oz. cup - which is my favorite. But the stick packs are incredibly convenient for on-the-go cups like I needed this morning when I had a doctor's appointment.


The 100% Columbian blend was the one I tried first and I loved the bold rich flavors paired with my favorite creamer. I purchased the House Blend because I favor light roasts and the House Blend was smooth and mild. It's definitely my favorite of the two, but I cannot wait to try more. I served my House Blend cup topped with whip cream and pumpkin pie spice - yum!

Morning cup while finalizing my grocery list!
Early morning blogging and because I'm an adult, I'm having a bowl of Fruit Loops with my coffee.

If you are a coffee lover, I highly encourage you to take the NESCAFÉ® Taster’s Choice® challenge and share your experiences online! Be sure to tag @NescafeUSA and use the hashtags #CrafteEachDay and #TastersChoiceChallenge when you do :)

And be sure to check out the different recipes on their website. My mission kit came with recipes for Creamy Caramel Latte, Iced Coffee, and Chai Coffee. Last weekend was ultra busy and this one is supposed to be too, so I'm not sure I'll be able to make one of them, but they are definitely on my to-make list, especially the Creamy Caramel Latte. I already have plans to concoct my own pumpkin spice latte since the local stores are out of everything pumpkin and coffee and it makes me so sad!


What are your thoughts on instant coffee?
Would you try it?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Loaded Cheeseburger Potato Soup

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 This combination of cheeseburger and loaded baked potato makes for the best kind of soup!
Loaded Cheeseburger Potato Soup //  This combination of cheeseburger and loaded baked potato makes for the best kind of soup! #recipe #soup

There is nothing more fitting than posting a soup recipe on our designated soup night. Tonight we're having minestrone, but this potato soup is absolutely wonderful. The original recipe called for pureeing the potatoes and cauliflower, but I honestly dread pulling out my blender for soups. It's just laziness. I stopped pulling out the blender for broccoli cheddar soup years ago. I like all the little pieces and chunks of veggies, so it doesn't bother me. But if you would like to, puree the cauliflower with 1 cup of the chicken broth and then add potatoes and puree until smooth. Add a little more broth, as needed. Then just add them as you would with step 5 below :) I didn't drain off the grease after cooking the turkey, but that is definitely an option if you don't want any grease making it into the final product!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Rum Frosting

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These delicious spiced cupcakes flavored with real pumpkin are topped with a decadent maple rum buttercream frosting!
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Rum Frosting // These delicious spiced cupcakes flavored with real pumpkin are topped with a decadent maple rum buttercream frosting! #dessert #cupcakes #pumpkin #maple #rum #recipe

When my husband was tasked to bring dessert in for a company holiday lunch last year, I immediately took to the kitchen to make a pumpkin recipe of some sort. I am bad for hoarding dessert recipes, but even worse with pumpkin recipes and I know they are more welcome in the fall than any other time of the year. I personally like them any day of the year, but some people look at you like you're crazy to give them a pumpkin cupcake in July. Same with if you offered someone a peppermint treat in April...even though peppermint is also good any time of the year.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Rum Frosting // These delicious spiced cupcakes flavored with real pumpkin are topped with a decadent maple rum buttercream frosting! #dessert #cupcakes #pumpkin #maple #rum #recipe

I chose to make these cupcakes because of the maple rum frosting. That's not necessarily my go-to thought when I think of what to pair with pumpkin. I knew that Nick would love it and thought it would make for a great recipe for him because he loves maple anything and rum is his favorite liquor. While I was not necessarily the biggest fan of the frosting, I loved the spices in the cupcake. Nick loved the maple rum frosting. It was really fluffy and he said the maple and rum complimented each other perfectly. They were a huge hit at the office too!