Saturday, December 31, 2016

Countdown to 2017: Most Popular

Yum

I always look forward to this day and love seeing what recipes were viewed a ton on my blog this year. I also look forward to seeing what other bloggers' most popular recipes are too. I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year's Eve. I'm so excited to grub tonight! We'll be back tomorrow with the last day of the countdown because it'll no longer be 2016!
       

Friday, December 30, 2016

Countdown to 2017: Best Crockpot

Yum

The crockpot, in my opinion, is one of the best kitchen tools there is. It's so versatile too. It's nice for busy days. It's nice when you want to have a lazy day. It's nice for hot summer days when you don't want to have your oven on. It's nice for cold winter days when you want a hot soup. You can make snacks, dessert, sides, etc. in it. 
       

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Countdown to 2017: Best Dessert

Yum

Ah, the day I look forward to the most of the Countdown: Best Dessert! I have the biggest sweet tooth and have entirely too many dessert recipes saved/stashed/hoarded. And that certainly will never stop me from saving more. I can't wait to see what my friends share today.
       

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Countdown to 2017: Best Main Dish

Yum

Today's category is Best Main Dish. I definitely have an abundance of main dish recipes on my blog because I make so many! Breakfast and desserts are far and few between, but main dish is 6 nights a week. We do tend to make at least one or two oldies in a week, but I am always happy to find something new to make for dinner.
       

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Countdown to 2017: Best Breakfast

Yum
 
Today's category is Best Breakfast recipes of 2016. I was surprised that I posted as many breakfast recipes as I did. I just this month started really cracking down on trying to make three breakfast recipes a week. And I've been getting around two a week...which is better than zero LOL. Can't wait to see what breakfast recipes my blogging friends share because I love breakfast foods!
       

Monday, December 26, 2016

Menu Plan Monday - December 26, 2016

Yum
Menu Plan Monday for Dec 26, 2016 // What I'm making this week #menuplanmonday #mealplan

Ah, the calm before another storm...and by that...I mean a short break before another round of tons of food! NYE seems like it has come SO quickly, doesn't it?  I'm trying to go easy on the recipes for the first part of the week to allow for more room in my fridge for New Year's Eve food.

Monday - Cheesy Jalapeno Tuna Casserole [from Cravings]
Tuesday - Crunchwrap Supreme Copycat
Wednesday - Grandma Ruth's Italian Chicken Soup
Thursday - Cinnamon Roll Donuts // Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Friday - Jalapeno Popper Pizza
Saturday - Maple Bars
Sunday - Crockpot Meatloaf

NYE Grub: White Pizza Dip, Rolo Stuffed Crackers w/Homemade Ritz Crackers, Jalapeno Popper Wontons, Deep Fried Pickles, Slow Cooker Chex Mix, Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Meatballs

------------------------------

don't miss a thing. follow fantastical on:
facebook | pinterest | bloglovin | instagram

Countdown to 2017: Best Appetizers and Snacks

Yum

It's that time of year once again! I am joined by my blogging friends to share the best recipes of 2016. The schedule is shown above in the little image - the countdown runs from December 26th to January 1st. I hope you stop by each day to see what recipes made our lists for each category. If you are a food blogger and just now hearing about the Countdown, please feel free to jump in. You don't have to participate every single day by any means. The blog hop is open from 12am EST the day the category goes live until 12pm EST the following day, so you still have time to draft something up and post it!



Friday, December 23, 2016

Fantastical Friday

Yum

Hello, everyone -- I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, whichever you may celebrate and if you don't celebrate any of those, I hope you are able to spend some time off the last little bit of this year and enjoy the company of friends and family! Happy Holidays!! I wish you and your loved ones all the best in the New Year too. :)

I will be back on Monday to start the Countdown to 2017 - see you then!

------------------------------

don't miss a thing. follow fantastical on:
facebook | pinterest | bloglovin | instagram

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Hawaiian Burgers

Yum
Pineapple isn't just for pizza -- it's pure heaven on this burger with a little teriyaki sauce to compliment it!
Hawaiian Burgers // Pineapple isn't just for pizza -- it's pure heaven on this burger with a little teriyaki sauce to compliment it! #recipe #pineapple #beef #burger

It is definitely an odd time to share such a summer-y dish, but stay with me on this one. We eat burgers year round even if we can't grill out and I seriously love these burgers. Even in the dead of winter, they make me feel warm inside like it's really not cold outside. I especially love the teriyaki sauce and provolone on the burgers AND the toasted onion rolls. Oh my gosh. The toasted onion rolls are everything. There is also a special sauce made with teriyaki sauce as well.

Hawaiian Burgers // Pineapple isn't just for pizza -- it's pure heaven on this burger with a little teriyaki sauce to compliment it! #recipe #pineapple #beef #burger

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Slice 'N Bake Hazelnut Cookies #FantasticalFoodFight

Yum
Delicious slice and bake hazelnut shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate and topped with more hazelnuts!
Slice 'N Bake Hazelnut Cookies // Delicious slice and bake hazelnut shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate and topped with more hazelnuts! #FantasticalFoodFight #cookies #hazelnut #dessert

Hello, everyone! Welcome to our second Food Fight! Fantastical Food Fight is a group of food bloggers who gets a theme or ingredient each month and makes some sort of variation for it. It could be traditional or nontraditional and can be found in a cookbook, on a blog, or be a blogger's own creation! For more details, check out this page. This month, our theme is SHORTBREAD COOKIES. Perfect timing for Christmas, if you ask me!

Slice 'N Bake Hazelnut Cookies // Delicious slice and bake hazelnut shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate and topped with more hazelnuts! #FantasticalFoodFight #cookies #hazelnut #dessert

I went to my go-to dessert vault: Sally's Baking Addiction! I found this slice 'n bake cookies recipe that is technically not quite a shortbread, but Sally made it using her shortbread cookie recipe as a base. They definitely taste a lot like shortbread and if anyone asked me, I would definitely call them a shortbread cookie. Surprisingly enough, these were a pretty big hit with the whole family. My kids loved them and that struck me as quite odd because they weren't super sugary overly sweet cookies. They were really easy to make and even though you have to let the dough chill for at least 4 hours, it seemed like they were done pretty quickly too. It worked out perfectly for me because I made the dough during Mason's nap and then baked the cookies as I made dinner.

Slice 'N Bake Hazelnut Cookies // Delicious slice and bake hazelnut shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate and topped with more hazelnuts! #FantasticalFoodFight #cookies #hazelnut #dessert

Be sure to check out the other shortbread cookies below from my fellow Food Fighters! :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Fajita Bowls

Yum
Cilantro lime rice topped with marinaded chili lime veggies and chicken make this fajita bowl better than the rest!
Fajita Bowls // Cilantro lime rice topped with marinaded chili lime veggies and chicken make this fajita bowl better than the rest! #recipe #burritobowl #chicken #maindish

I am a newbie to burrito/fajita bowls (and still haven't tried a smoothie bowl) even though they have probably come and gone in the trending foods. I'm always pretty late to the trending food game LOL. Anyways, I was intrigued by this recipe from Carlsbad Cravings. It's not just taco-seasoned chicken...it's chili lime seasoned chicken and it's seriously such a punch of flavor to your tastebuds. The chicken alone was really delicious and so hard for me to stop snacking on while I fixed the rest of the bowls. If you follow the link at the very end of this post, you can also make the chipotle lime crema for the topping instead of just plain sour cream. I have made a similar crema before, but since I am the only one that ate it...I didn't want to be wasteful and just topped mine with plain sour cream.

Fajita Bowls // Cilantro lime rice topped with marinaded chili lime veggies and chicken make this fajita bowl better than the rest! #recipe #burritobowl #chicken #maindish

Monday, December 19, 2016

Menu Plan Monday - December 19, 2016

Yum
Menu Plan Monday for Dec 19, 2016 // What I'm making this week #menuplanmonday #mealplan

Aw yeah! It's Christmas time! I am making tons of good stuff for Christmas dinner and I am so very excited about it. We will definitely be missing a few members of the family this week, but they have a very good reason to be missing out -- there will be another Little arriving! This was definitely the year of Littles for our family and it's so awesome.

Monday - Cranberry Cream Cheese Muffins // One Pan Orecchiette with Italian Sausage and Kale
Tuesday - Chicken and Broccoli Grilled Burritos
Wednesday - Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Thursday - Gingerbread Donuts // Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Tenders with Cheddar Jalapeno Mashed Potatoes and peas
Friday - 2 AM Breakfast Burgers

Christmas Eve Grub: Italian Baked Eggs, No Bake Reese's Peanut Butter Bars (maybe), Cut Out Cookies, Reese's Trees

Christmas Day Grub: Peppermint Hot Cocoa Donuts, Sweet Potato Casserole, Egg Nog Bread, Gingerbread Cheesecake, Smoked Gouda Scalloped Potatoes, Asparagus Casserole, Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Truffles, Easy Butterfinger Fudge


------------------------------


don't miss a thing. follow fantastical on:
facebook | pinterest | bloglovin | instagram

Friday, December 16, 2016

One Pot Wonder Stuffed Pepper Skillet

Yum
The one pot wonder of the world! This stuffed pepper skillet is wonderful.
One Pot Wonder Stuffed Pepper Skillet // The one pot wonder of the world! This stuffed pepper skillet is wonderful. #recipe #onepot #beef #turkey

This recipe originally calls for rice, however, when I had planned this out, it was right around the time that I had made a similar rice-based one pot meal. So I really wanted some quinoa in my life. I also for some reason had a bunch of different quinoas on hand and didn't want them to go to waste because it's not necessarily the cheapest grain.

You could absolutely use rice in this though, so if quinoa isn't in your budget or tastes, definitely pull out the rice. You main have to adjust the cooking time to cook your rice all the way though. The next time this is on the menu, I'm going to drain my tomatoes. I think that quinoa may have absorbed less liquid than rice would have, but that's for me to figure out I suppose LOL. It was still a super flavorful dish. I love having stuffed peppers without having the big pieces of pepper to cut while I try and eat. My kids appreciate it too :)

One Pot Wonder Stuffed Pepper Skillet // The one pot wonder of the world! This stuffed pepper skillet is wonderful. #recipe #onepot #beef #turkey

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Throwback Thursday #25

Yum
Throwback Thursday No. 25 | Rediscovering Old Favorites in the Recipe Archive

The first recipe is perfect for a slightly different take on plain mashed potatoes: MASHED POTATOES WITH BACON AND CHEDDAR. I made them for the Crazy Cooking Challenge years ago. By the way, if you're interested in a similar challenge - I am hosting Fantastical Food Fight on the 3rd Wednesdays of each month. More info: here.



I love these JALAPENO POPPER GRILLED CHEESE sandwiches. The jalapenos are roasted and they are pretty easy to make otherwise. I cannot get over them. Still to this day. SO GOOD.

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese | Roasted jalapenos and lots of monterey jack cheese make for one too-good-to-handle grilled cheese sandwich! #jalapeno #sandwich #recipe

------------------------------

don't miss a thing. follow fantastical on:
facebook | pinterest | bloglovin | instagram

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Cheeseburger Soup

Yum
This creamy soup is wonderful, creamy, and the perfect meal to sit down and enjoy on a cold winter day.
Cheeseburger Soup // This creamy soup is wonderful, creamy, and the perfect meal to sit down and enjoy on a cold winter day. #recipe #soup #beef

I have shared a few cheeseburger "themed" soups lately, but this one is my favorite of the lot. I have been digging creamier soups and this one is so smooth! I love that it still has traditional soup goodies like carrot, onion, and celery. Plus it also has potatoes and ground beef....and CHEESE. It's like a whole cheeseburger meal in a soup.

Cheeseburger Soup // This creamy soup is wonderful, creamy, and the perfect meal to sit down and enjoy on a cold winter day. #recipe #soup #beef

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Peppermint Kiss Sugar Cookies

Yum
These festive little "blossom" cookies are perfect for the winter season!
Peppermint Kiss Sugar Cookies // These festive little "blossom" cookies are perfect for the winter season! #recipe #cookies #hersheykiss #peppermint

My mom makes peanut butter blossom cookies pretty much every year for Christmas and I love them. I love finding similar recipes to my favorite classics. I always buy the candy cane kisses because they are so good to put in hot coffee or hot cocoa. Seriously delicious - if you haven't tried it, you have to! So I already knew these little kisses were amazing and I thought the combination of candy cane and sugar cookies and chocolate would be delicious. My cookies ended up a little more crumbly looking than Alyssa's, but still were very very good. I think I may have just ended up rolling the cookie dough balls too large. No biggie.

Peppermint Kiss Sugar Cookies // These festive little "blossom" cookies are perfect for the winter season! #recipe #cookies #hersheykiss #peppermint

Monday, December 12, 2016

Menu Plan Monday - December 12, 2016

Yum
Menu Plan Monday for Dec 12, 2016 // What I'm making this week #menuplanmonday #mealplan

I am so so so so antsy for Christmas. It's coming up so quickly and I can't believe it. This week has a few oldies and a few pretty intricate recipes to try out. I am also really excited to test out a family recipe of my sister-in-law, Chantal. I can only hope it turns out alright.

Monday - Biscoff Muffins // Cobb Salad [from Cravings]
Tuesday - One Dish Taco Goulash
Wednesday - Spicy Pork Ramen Noodle Soup
Thursday - Heath Donuts // Hobo Dinner
Friday - Grilled Chicken and Bacon Pizza
Saturday - Mocha Coffee Cake // German Cheesecake [my sister-in-law's family recipe]
Sunday - One Pot Pork Chops and Gravy with Seasoned Roast Potatoes

------------------------------

don't miss a thing. follow fantastical on:
facebook | pinterest | bloglovin | instagram

Friday, December 09, 2016

Fantastical Friday: 9 Recipes for Brownies That Will Blow Your Mind

Yum

Happy Friday! Yesterday was Brownie Day and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share some brownie recipes with y'all that I am dying to try. What is a brownie recipe you have on your "to-make" list?

  1. Cheesecake Swirled Brownies from Like Mother, Like Daughter - Recipe | Pin it
  2. Slow Cooker Hot Fudge Brownies from Wine & Glue - Recipe | Pin it
  3. Thick and Chewy Better Than Boxed Brownies from Life Made Simple - Recipe | Pin it
  4. Cookie Butter Caramel Swirled Brownies from Grumpys Honeybunch - Recipe | Pin it
  5. Samuel's Salted Caramel Peanut Brownie Bombs from Yammie's Noshery - Recipe | Pin it
  6. Nutella Brownies from Sally's Baking Addiction - Recipe | Pin it
  7. The Best German Chocolate Brownies from Averie Cooks - Recipe | Pin it
  8. I Just Got Dumped Brownies from Gal on a Mission - Recipe | Pin it
  9. Butterfinger Brownies from Like Mother, Like Daughter - Recipe | Pin it
------------------------------

don't miss a thing. follow fantastical on:
facebook | pinterest | bloglovin | instagram

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Italian Chicken and Vegetable Bake

Yum
Five ingredients thrown together and baked 1 1/2 hours for an easy, delicious dinner
Italian Chicken and Vegetable Bake // Five ingredients thrown together and baked 1 1/2 hours for an easy, delicious dinner #recipe #chicken #onedish

One dish meals are wonderful. They are a gift. They are a saving grace when I have either a busy, busy day or if I have had a bad day and discover that a one dish meal is on the menu for the night. It's so simple to just throw everything in the pan and stick it in the oven and forget it until it is done. I love that this is such a hearty meal and it's only five ingredients. It could not be an easier of a dish if it tried.

Italian Chicken and Vegetable Bake // Five ingredients thrown together and baked 1 1/2 hours for an easy, delicious dinner #recipe #chicken #onedish

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Blackened Chicken Alfredo Nachos

Yum
These untraditional nachos are topped with spice-crusted chicken, creamy alfredo sauce, and juicy tomatoes.
Blackened Chicken Alfredo Nachos // These untraditional nachos are topped with spice-crusted chicken, creamy alfredo sauce, and juicy tomatoes #nachos #chicken #alfredo #maindish

I can only attest to having two "blackened" foods and that is blackened tuna steak at a restaurant and this recipe. I think it's a pretty fantastic method of cooking and the crust of seasoning is so freaking delicious. However, I'm going to be honest and say I was totally skeptical of alfredo nachos. It took me many years to even touch alfredo and then I was still not completely sold on it. I still prefer homemade alfredo over jarred, but I will say that Classico brand makes some delicious four-cheese alfredo sauce and that is what I used in this recipe.

I was throughly pleased with how this dish turned out and impressed with how tasty it was. The alfredo was the perfect creamy compliment to the crunchy spiced crust of the chicken. The tomatoes were the perfect burst of flavor. I really love being surprised by new dishes and getting out of my comfort zone. You never know what will happen, right?!

Blackened Chicken Alfredo Nachos // These untraditional nachos are topped with spice-crusted chicken, creamy alfredo sauce, and juicy tomatoes #nachos #chicken #alfredo #maindish

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Banana Nutella Muffins

Yum
Sweet banana muffins with a rich swirl of Nutella
Banana Nutella Muffins // Sweet banana muffins with a rich swirl of Nutella #recipe #muffins #breakfast #Nutella

Banana bread is one of my all-time favorite things and I do occasionally enjoy a lovely banana nut muffin. I thought the idea of Nutella and banana together in a muffin was such a great idea and the recipe itself looked quite simple. And all those things were so true. The muffins were very easy to make and they were so delicious. The richness of the Nutella really truly is the perfect addition to a sweet banana muffin.

Banana Nutella Muffins // Sweet banana muffins with a rich swirl of Nutella #recipe #muffins #breakfast #Nutella

Monday, December 05, 2016

Menu Plan Monday - December 5, 2016

Yum
Menu Plan Monday for Dec 5, 2016 // What I'm making this week #menuplanmonday #mealplan

I decided to finally crack open my Cravings cookbook that Chrissy Tiegen wrote. I think I may have had a recipe from the cookbook last week. I am really looking forward to the two recipes from the cookbook this week and especially excited about Sunday's dinner and side :)

Monday - Middle of the Cinnamon Roll Muffins // Beef and Broccoli Noodle Bowls
Tuesday - Easy Chicken Fajita Bake
Wednesday - Pot Pie Soup [from Cravings]
Thursday - Glazed Chocolate Donuts // Caprese Chicken with Spinach Salad and Warm Bacon Dressing
Friday - Oven Baked Schnitzel Burgers with chips
Saturday - Huevos Rancheros // Butterscotch Pudding
Sunday - Spicy Italian Meatloaf [from Cravings] with Slow Cooker Buttery Garlicky Mashed Potatoes

------------------------------

don't miss a thing. follow fantastical on:
facebook | pinterest | bloglovin | instagram

Salted Butterscotch Pudding Cookies #FBLCookieExchange

Yum
These soft, chewy cookies are chock-full of butterscotch flavor with a hint of salt.
Salted Butterscotch Pudding Cookies // These soft, chewy cookies are chock-full of butterscotch flavor with a hint of salt #recipe #cookies #butterscotch #FBLCookieExchange

As the holidays approached this year, Lindsey and Julie, who hosted the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, announced that they would not be holding the swap anymore. It was so sad, but I was happy when Allison of The PinterTest Kitchen decided to host a cookie exchange and was more than happy to be her co-host! It just didn't seem right to not have the cookie swap happen. We are, of course, a lot smaller in numbers, but if Allison is game to host next year, I'm game to co-host once again!

The premise is that you are matched with 3 bloggers and send each a dozen cookies (and they don't know who has them until they receive their cookies!). In turn, you also receive a dozen cookies from 3 different bloggers. I received Best Cut Sugar Cookies from The Saucy Southerner, Double Chocolate Mint Cookies from 2 Cookin' Mamas, and Double Chocolate Buckeye cookies from For The Love of Food. They didn't make it any longer than a few days and we loved them all. I can't wait to get the recipes!

I sent a dozen each of these pudding cookies to Liz, Megan, and Colleen. I decided to not search far and long to find a recipe this year. I decided upon the butterscotch pudding cookies because my husband loves butterscotch and I figured they would hold up well in transit. I was honestly really surprised with how much I loved the cookies and how very addictive they were! The little touch of salt really made the difference!

Salted Butterscotch Pudding Cookies // These soft, chewy cookies are chock-full of butterscotch flavor with a hint of salt #recipe #cookies #butterscotch #FBLCookieExchange

If you would like to be notified of blogging events like this cookie exchange, please check out the Food Blogger Love group: here.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Gingerbread Cookie Bars

Yum
Chewy spiced gingerbread cookies in bar form topped with cream cheese frosting - perfect for the winter months!
Gingerbread Cookie Bars // Chewy spiced gingerbread cookies in bar form topped with cream cheese frosting - perfect for the winter months! #gingerbread #dessert #bar #recipe

Gingerbread is quintessential for Christmas and I don't make anything gingerbread...ever. What's wrong with me? So last year, I decided to change that and I picked something gingerbread from my Pinterest boards. I picked out a beautiful first gingerbread dessert recipe and would love to have them again soon. The base is chewy and spiced and wonderful. The frosting is creamy and finger-licking good. The combination of the two is magical and seriously perfect for Christmas. I topped mine with a little homemade gingerbread spice mix.

Gingerbread Cookie Bars // Chewy spiced gingerbread cookies in bar form topped with cream cheese frosting - perfect for the winter months! #gingerbread #dessert #bar #recipe

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Throwback Thursday #24

Yum
Throwback Thursday No. 24 | Rediscovering Old Favorites in the Recipe Archive

Two completely different recipes, but two completely incredible recipes - that's what I have to share today!

One is a fabulous snack that is super addictive and perfect for anyone who loves buffalo sauce. I was scared it would be too spicy, but it was actually pretty mild: BUFFALO CHEX MIX.

And the other recipe takes the cake...for breakfast. Instead of just regular old French toast...this recipe has an added bonus: FRENCH TOAST WITH BERRY BUTTER. Berry butter...it's literally the best. So easy to make and it adds so much to traditional French toast.

------------------------------

don't miss a thing. follow fantastical on:
facebook | pinterest | bloglovin | instagram