Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Beefy Nacho Soup

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Beefy Nacho Soup | A shortcut soup for a busy night - and it's cheesy! #soup #recipe

I'm finally getting around to posting the last picture in my "new" header! It's a great shortcut soup to make when you don't have a lot of time to let something simmer for a couple hours. It's hearty and cheesy. It's really just great for a quick dinner after a busy school night!

Beefy Nacho Soup | A shortcut soup for a busy night - and it's cheesy! #soup #recipe



Friday, September 26, 2014

Fantastical Friday: 80 Cozy Crockpot Dinners

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I love crockpot meals all year round - it's perfect for hot summer days, so you don't have to have your oven/stove on for long periods of time -- and it's perfect for cooler fall days for when you don't really feel like standing over the stove...you just wanna cuddle up on your couch in a huge fuzzy blanket and sip on a hot pumpkin spice latte :) I've gathered up 80 crockpot dinner recipes for you all! Be sure to check them out!

80 Cozy Crockpot Dinners | Time to cuddle up with a fuzzy blanket and let dinner cook itself! #crockpot #recipes

Monday, September 22, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

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This week is very casserole-esque. Lots of good hearty meals for the fall in this bunch. :)

{Monday}
Spicy Pasta with Broccoli & Sausage
Broccoli, Italian sausage, Parmesan cheese*, orecchiette pasta

{Tuesday}
Freezer Meal #3
Tortilla chips, Mexican cheese

{Wednesday}
Ham & Cheese Gnocchi
Onion (1), ham (12 oz.), potato gnocchi (16 oz.), gruyere, pepper jack

{Thursday}
Crockpot Beer Braised Roast Beef
sirloin roast (about 5 lb), red ale beer, potatoes, carrots, dinner rolls

{Extra}
Circus Animal Cookie Milkshake // Deep Fried Pickles with Cheese & Bacon // Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake
Corn syrup*, vanilla ice cream (gonna make this!), rainbow sprinkles, circus animal cookies // kosher dill pickles, cheddar cheese, bacon bits, panko* // semisweet chocolate chips, eggs


Total Spent: TBA

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Veggie & Egg Hash #secretrecipeclub

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http://secret-recipe-club.blogspot.com/

SRC is now hosted on Blogger and has a new look. Be sure to stop by and see it, follow it, etc. HERE.

For those who don't know, Secret Recipe Club is a great little group...well, large group, of food bloggers who are secretly assigned another blog each month. Each member chooses a recipe (or more) from their assigned blog and then on the designated Monday for their group, they post the recipe they made. It's a great way to feature a new blog - really discover a new blog - and help others to find new blogs to follow. It feels good to shine that spotlight on another blogger :)

This month I was assigned to Becky of A Calculated Whisk. I was totally excited to find there was another dessert enthusiast slash cat lady who is also a teacher in my group. I love finding out there are people who do it all - it makes me just want to pick their brain and want to find out all their secrets to staying sane :)

I was very decisive this month and had to choose between two breakfast-egg-casserole type thing: Veggie & Egg Hash or Sweet Potato & Kale Breakfast Skillet. I was hankering for some asparagus and brussels, so I opted for the first recipe.


And it was so the perfect choice! The veggies were just super delicious and everything worked together so well. It was pretty quick to make too :)



Friday, September 19, 2014

Fantastical Friday: 17 Perfect Pudding Cookies

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It's a little bit late to be posting a Fantastical Friday, but I have one and it's a good'n! PUDDING COOKIES. The last two weeks I've shared a pudding cookie recipe. They are honestly my favorite type of cookie. I am Team Soft/Chewy Cookie. I don't really eat any crunchy hard ones. Pudding mix makes cookies so incredibly soft and chewy. They keep extremely well. And there are SO MANY variations that you can make. I browsed my cookie board on Pinterest to find some amazing recipes to share with you all today :)

17 Perfect Pudding Cookies | Pudding mix makes the softest chewiest cookies ever and there are so many different kinds to make! #cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Pudding Cookies from Fantastical Sharing of Recipes - Recipe | Pin It
Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pudding Cookies from Shards of Lavender - Recipe | Pin It
The Best M&M Cookies from Cookies & Cups - Recipe | Pin It
Root Beer Pudding Cookies from Chef in Training - Recipe | Pin It
Pumpkin Pudding Toffee Nut Cookies from Fantastical Sharing of Recipes - Recipe | Pin It
Hershey's Special Dark Triple Chocolate Pudding Cookies from Something Swanky - Recipe | Pin It
Almond Joy Pudding Cookies from Chef in Training - Recipe | Pin It
Very Vanilla Pudding Cookies from Sweet Bella Roos - Recipe | Pin It
Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies from Fantastical Sharing of Recipes - Recipe | Pin It
Banana Cream Pudding Cookies from The Recipe Critic - Recipe | Pin It
Snickers Cheesecake Pudding Cookies from Something Swanky - Recipe | Pin It
Butterscotch Pudding Triple Chip Cookies from Mom's Test Kitchen - Recipe | Pin It
Chocolate Pudding Andes Mint Cookies from Fantastical Sharing of Recipes - Recipe | Pin It
S'mores Pudding Cookies from The Best Blog Recipes - Recipe | Pin It
White Chocolate Snickerdoodle Pudding Cookies from The Recipe Critic - Recipe | Pin It
Oreo Pudding Cookies from Fantastical Sharing of Recipes - Recipe | Pin It
Chocolate Chunk Peppermint Pudding Cookies from Chef in Training - Recipe | Pin It
Gingerbread Pudding Cookies from Inside BruCrew Life as seen on Chef in Training - Recipe | Pin It


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Thursday, September 18, 2014

On the Go...with Jif #Sponsored #MC

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I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for Jif To Go Dippers. I received a sample to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating. 

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Okay, so with me being a mom, currently pregnant, in college, working as a substitute teacher, and transitioning from military life to civilian life (which includes living with family, all our stuff in storage, and house hunting)...I'm basically always busy.

I was given the opportunity to try out Jif's newest genius snack: To Go Dippers. I'm basically obsessed with peanut butter right now. I love having English muffins hot out of the toaster with peanut butter on them [so the peanut butter melts!] for breakfast. It's like the only thing I can stomach. And I also have peanut butter English muffins for late night snacks. My pregnancy app also advocates eating toast with peanut butter or really anything with peanut butter. But I will talk more about that in a different post :)

#GetGoing with Jif To Go Dippers - and find out how you can win $1000 for your next adventure #MC #sponsored
Image from Examiner


Today I wanted to talk about Jif's photo contest they have going on right now through October 1st, 2014.

Jif To Go is asking fans to share pictures about how they get going. You can enter one a week for a chance to win $1000 (awesome!) for your next adventure. For more information on the #GetGoing promotion, please check out the official rules here and check out Jif on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

The #GetGoing photo promotion is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., 18 years of age and older. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. See Official Rules for complete details.

I am hoping to post some #GetGoing pictures very soon to my Instagram. My dream vacation is to finally take the kids to Disney (in Florida), but with me being pregnant right now, we'd probably have to take a mini one to my favorite local theme park: DOLLYWOOD :) For those who are like "What on earth is that?" - Dollywood is here in the great Smoky Mountains and is the creation of the amazing and wonderfully awesome Dolly Parton. I haven't been in the longest time and would love to get going over there. Of course, it's a shame I can't ride the Tennessee Tornado rollercoaster....but I know they have the country fair going on right now and that's one of my all-time favorite times of the year to go to Dollywood! All the fair food and fair rides are just the bomb dot com. Plus my kiddos have never been to Dollywood and I know they would love it.

If you won the $1000, where would you want to go??


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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chunk Pudding Cookies

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Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chunk Pudding Cookies | An absolutely addictive pudding cookie featuring peanut butter chips and chocolate chunks that are the perfect pair! #recipe #cookies

So months and months ago, I was sitting around late at night and I was really craving some cookies. I couldn't really decide what I wanted, so I took to my baking cabinet [literally full of sugars, flours, chocolate chips, etc.] and pulled out what I thought sounded good. I had a bunch of vanilla pudding and I had chocolate chunks and peanut butter chips and that was all it took for me to know that I needed to have some pudding cookies in my life. The chocolate chunks are the perfect complimenting pair to the peanut butter chips. And, of course, the cookies are wonderfully soft and chewy with the addition of the pudding. I could not stop eating these. They were so good!

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chunk Pudding Cookies | An absolutely addictive pudding cookie featuring peanut butter chips and chocolate chunks that are the perfect pair! #recipe #cookies

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken & Gnocchi Soup

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Slow Cooker Chicken & Gnocchi Soup | Creamy & garlicky soup with bits of gnocchi, chicken, carrots, and spinach! YUM! #recipe

Slow cooker soups are just awesome. I love not having my stove on for excessive amounts of time and heating up the house. I don't want to have to shed layers of clothes I just piled on because it's fall! I want to be a little chilly (I am an ice queen most of the time!) and enjoy my bowl of delicious gnocchi soup!

Slow Cooker Chicken & Gnocchi Soup | Creamy & garlicky soup with bits of gnocchi, chicken, carrots, and spinach! YUM! #recipe

When I went to make this soup, I had every intention of following it like it was written. I do that most of the time when I make a recipe for the first time. However, I could not find the creamy garlic starter sauce that the original recipe called for...so I kind of had to come up with my own. So this is a bit of an adapted recipe, but still very delicious. It's creamy, garlicky, and has some great textures and flavors with the chicken, gnocchi, carrots, and spinach :)


Monday, September 15, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

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It's birthday week this week for me! I turn 26 on Tuesday - which means I'm making some cupcakes! And apparently I'm wanting everything spicy this week, so that's pretty exciting :)

{Monday}
Freezer Meal #2
Rice

{Tuesday}
Jalapeno & Cheese Grilled Chicken
Chicken breasts, jalapenos (2), Provolone, bacon, broccoli, salad

{Wednesday}
Spicy Pork & Kale Soup
Ground pork, lemon (1), kale (1), rice noodles

{Thursday}
TJ Hooker Pizza
Lime (1), cilantro, jalapenos (2), pineapple tidbits, chipotle chillies, Canadian bacon

{Extra}
Caramel Peanut Butter Bars // English Muffin Bread // Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Buttercream
Sugar cookie mix, mini Reese's cups, 14 oz bag caramels, sweetened condensed milk, peanuts, peanut butter, milk chocolate frosting // all-purpose flour // 15 oz. pumpkin puree, powdered sugar, heavy cream


Total Spent: $168.47
My total without extras is always so much less = $101.52. I got milk, a bunch of 22 oz. juice smoothies, turkey dogs and mac and cheese for lunch today, pretzel crackers, Kcups, chocolate, Goldfish, brown sugar, decorations for pumpkin cake, Little Debbie snack cakes, and Lays Pico de Gallo chips.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Fantastical Friday

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Fantastical Friday | Blog love, Behind the scenes, & More!

Alright folks! I have a round up for YOU - 25 of my favorite finds from the last couple weeks. I'm finally beginning to get back into the swing of things with pinning things, so I have lots of things to share :)

Fantastical Friday | 25 Best Recipes of the Week Roundup #recipes

  1. Pumpkin Pecan Cookie Pie from Taste of Lizzy T's - Recipe | Pin It
  2. No-Churn Root Beer Float Golden Oreo Ice Cream from The Spiffy Cookie - Recipe | Pin It
  3. Cinnamon Pumpkin Pretzels from Tara's Multicultural Table - Recipe | Pin It
  4. Caramel Apple Toffee Blondies from Crazy For Crust - Recipe | Pin It
  5. Homemade Caramel Brulee Coffee Creamer from Shugary Sweets - Recipe | Pin It
  6. Dark Chocolate Cookies 'N Cream Cookies from Dessert Now Dinner Later - Recipe | Pin It
  7. Kielbasa, Pepper, Onion, & Potato Hash from The Two Bite Club - Recipe | Pin It
  8. Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Fudge from The Domestic Rebel - Recipe | Pin It
  9. Scalloped Potato and Ground Beef Casserole from Food.com - Recipe | Pin It
  10. Easy Mocha Brownies from My Baking Addiction - Recipe | Pin It
  11. White Chocolate Pumpkin Snickerdoodles from Sally's Baking Addiction - Recipe | Pin It
  12. Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll French Toast from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody - Recipe | Pin It
  13. S'mores Coffeecake from Roxana's Homebaking - Recipe | Pin It
  14. Salted Caramel Brownie Bites from Inside BruCrew Life - Recipe | Pin It
  15. Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Salted Caramel Frosting from Mostly Homemade Mom - Recipe | Pin It
  16. Caramel Milky Way Brownies from Inside BruCrew Life - Recipe | Pin It
  17. Cannoli Poke Cake from Life, Love, & Sugar - Recipe | Pin It
  18. No-Bake Funfetti Cheesecake Parfaits from Stuck on Sweet - Recipe | Pin It
  19. Snickerdoodle Cobbler from Cookies & Cups - Recipe | Pin It
  20. Hawaiian Pizza from Sally's Baking Addiction - Recipe | Pin It
  21. Birthday Cake Mix Popcorn from Love Bakes Good Cakes - Recipe | Pin It
  22. Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pudding Cookies from Shards of Lavender - Recipe | Pin It
  23. Cinnamon French Toast Latte from A Kitchen Addiction - Recipe | Pin It
  24. Apple Cider Floats from What's Cooking, Love? - Recipe | Pin It
  25. S'mores Brownies from Eazy Peazy Mealz - Recipe | Pin It

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Pumpkin Pudding Toffee Nut Cookies

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Pumpkin Pudding Toffee Nut Cookies | Perfect soft & chewy pumpkin cookies with white chocolate, walnuts, and toffee bits #cookies #pumpkin #recipe

September makes me such a happy person. It is by far my favorite month. The weather starts to cool down, the leaves begin to change color, school is in session (I loved this when I was a kid and, of course, I love being back in school training to be a teacher), my birthday, and PUMPKIN EVERYTHING. I won't lie...I eat pumpkin all year round. I stock up on pumpkin seasonal things...like these puddings...so I can make pumpkin treats whenever I feel like it.

Pumpkin Pudding Toffee Nut Cookies | Perfect soft & chewy pumpkin cookies with white chocolate, walnuts, and toffee bits #cookies #pumpkin #recipe

This recipe happens to be a creation of my own. I used a recipe from another pudding cookie for my base and switched around and added things to make it my own concoction. This cookie is soft! So soft and chewy. It also has white chocolate chips, walnuts, and just a small bit of toffee bits. That sounds like a lot, but they work together really well. I loved these cookies and hope you all do too :)

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Hashbrown Potato & Sausage Quiche

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Hashbrown Potato & Sausage Quiche | This quiche is cooked right in a cast iron skillet with a hashbrown crust and gouda cheese #breakfast #recipe #castiron

I'm still very new to cast iron cooking. I have a skillet and now a casserole dish/stock pot type thing. I have yet to use the latter, as I got it right before moving. The skillet is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorite things to use for cooking. I love the way it makes everything taste!

I'm a huge fan of quiches or any type of potato and egg casserole dish. So I was really excited to try this one out. Plus it has Italian sausage instead of breakfast sausage! I decided to switch out the fontina cheese with gouda and mozzarella. The gouda added a nice bacony-smoked flavor to the overall taste and it was perfect. I would love to add some kind of green to it next time - whether that be spinach or kale, I'm not yet sure :)

Hashbrown Potato & Sausage Quiche | This quiche is cooked right in a cast iron skillet with a hashbrown crust and gouda cheese #breakfast #recipe #castiron


Monday, September 08, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

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So I am now shopping on Sundays! Mondays are crazy busy with me doing half a day of observation in class and then getting home enough to eat lunch and work on my other classes before having to pick up the kids from school. But that kind of works out super well for my Monday post. So here it is!

{Monday}
Vegetable & Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini
onion, red pepper, grape tomatoes, zucchini, baby spinach, red quinoa, basil, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese

{Tuesday}
Chicken Pot Pie Braid
crescent rolls, chicken, frozen peas and carrots, cream of chicken soup, 4 oz. cream cheese, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese*

{Wednesday}
Freezer Meal #1
will post about freezer meals later :)

{Thursday}
Pizza Spaghetti Bake
spaghetti, mild pork sausage, pepperoni, spaghetti sauce, parmesan cheese, Italian cheese

{Extra}
Ultimate Cinnamon Buns // Banana Cream Pie Smoothie // Yogurt & Granola Strawberries // Freezer Meals (6 total)
4 oz. cream cheese, powdered sugar // bananas*, almond milk, whipped cream, vanilla wafers // strawberries, vanilla yogurt, granola* // will post about freezer meals later


Total Spent: $187.00
This is more than I normally spend - I've been around $130. However, with the freezer meals, I've made 6 meals instead of 1 and they will be used throughout the month, so that should cut down on costs. I also purchased some Bolthouse Farm beverages because they were on sale, plus creamer and milk. My total without those was $156.63 minus some tax which is not too out of the ordinary for a normal shopping day.


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Friday, September 05, 2014

Strawberry Coconut Baked Oatmeal

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Strawberry Coconut Baked Oatmeal | A beautiful combination that is perfect for a no-hassle breakfast that fills you up #recipe

In horrible form, here I am sharing a recipe on Friday...

It's been a crazy busy week between a day off of school, in-class observations, a doctor's appointment (14/15 week appt), and subbing for half a day for a class of very roudy 3rd graders. I'm just plain exhausted. And one of my favorite things to make and have for breakfast when I'm just too tired to do too much work is baked oatmeal.

You can throw things together quickly and you just put it in the oven. You end up with a filling, delicious breakfast - what more could you ask for? I love the combination of this baked oatmeal recipe. The coconut and strawberry compliment each other very nicely.


Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Stir Fry Soup

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Stir Fry Soup | This soup is packed with flavor and quick to make, so it's perfect for a last minute school night meal! #recipe

Picture update 2/21/2016 - we made this again with ditalini. It's a very Italian flavored soup, so I'm not sure why it should be called stir fry soup, but it's still really delicious.

Stir Fry Soup | This soup is packed with flavor and quick to make, so it's perfect for a last minute school night meal! #recipe

So it is not technically soup season yet here in Tennessee, but I can't help but want to make some. We're in the house with a/c...so that counts, right? This is a soup you can throw together incredibly fast - so it's perfect for school nights or a last minute meal type deal. It's packed with flavor and really yummy :)

Stir Fry Soup | This soup is packed with flavor and quick to make, so it's perfect for a last minute school night meal! #recipe