Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pumpkin Nutella Bread

Hello! We're nearing the weekend!!! Only 2 days of work left for me... then Friday, Saturday, Sunday I have nothing! Woo hoo!! Man, wish I didn't have to work the holiday... then it'd be 4 days!

I'm quite excited for fall to come, because I can open my windows again!! That didn't work on the farm... I got a nose full of chicken poo... but not in town! YAY! So, in anticipation for cooler temperatures I'm sharing a pumpkin recipe! I love pumpkin and stocked up last year, so I could have some throughout the year. Isn't it dumb that they don't sell pumpkin all year long? Hello... it's delicious!

And have you ever tried Nutella? It's pretty good. I like it spread on a banana or English muffin the best. It's supposed to be like a chocolate hazelnut spread... just tastes like chocolate to me! :) It goes really well in this recipe!

Pumpkin Nutella Bread or Muffins
From Real Mom Kitchen

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup water
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons Nutella 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 4 mini loaf pans with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, water, pumpkin, eggs, and extracts. Whisk until smooth and combined.

Slowly stir in the flour mixture. Mix until ingredients are combined.

Pour the batter into the mini loaf pans, making sure batter is evenly divided. Drop 2 heaping tablespoons of Nutella onto each loaf pan. Swirl the Nutella into the pumpkin batter with a knife. Place the loaf pans onto a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Place the loaf pans on a wire rack. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan and then carefully remove the loaves. Cool completely before slicing.

Totally the best right out of the oven. I made 1 loaf and about 12 muffins. I really liked it, and the girls at work said it would be perfect with a cup of coffee in the morning. (I wouldn't know, I don't like coffee) :)

It's tomato time!!! So this is on my menu a lot lately...
Big ol' juicy BLT! :) They are so easy to make with the pre cooked bacon they have these days... soooo simple. I even take everything to work and make one there for supper! Except for last night. I took lettuce, tomato, bacon & mayo... but forgot the bread. Haha. Woops.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Turkey, Bacon & Avocado Wraps

Happy New Week to you! I am soooooo looking forward to this week, because when it's done I have a 3 day weekend! Friday, Saturday and Sunday! It's been hectic the past few weekends since we moved, I feel like I haven't had a good break! 

I spent some of this past weekend canning some stuff from the garden! We made jalapeno jelly, pickled jalapenos, salsa, and some whole tomatoes! Lot of work, but everything looks like it turned out well! 

Awhile back I shared this recipe with you, and today I tweaked it just a bit and made it a wrap! Same concept, just a little different. I feel bad I haven't made these for a long time! They are very good.

Turkey, Bacon & Avocado Wrap
- Tortillas
- Deli turkey
- Bacon, cooked
- Avocado (tomatoes, salt & pepper, garlic salt... to make a guacamole)

There you see our assembly line of ingredients. I have the avocados mashed up with some tomatoes, salt, pepper, and garlic salt for a quick guacamole. 

Then all you have to do is assemble your wrap, roll it up, and eat!

Yum! Go make one!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sweet Summer Pasta

I could not help but post 2 days in a row after I had lunch today! I am quite the recipe follower, but I actually "created" lunch today all by myself! :)  (I'm sure someone in the world has already made this and it's probably in about 90,000 cookbooks, but I didn't use them!)

This pasta is like the ultimate summer dish. I used fresh sweet corn cut off the cob, roma tomatoes from the garden, and some green onions! There is also bacon and parmesan cheese in there... because they make it yummier!

Sweet Summer Pasta

- 1 box bow tie pasta, cooked and drained
- Bacon
- Sweet corn cut off the cob
- Tomatoes
- Parmesan Cheese
- Green onions
- Balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Brown sugar

I didn't measure anything, and I would suggest you just make it to your tastes. I put the pasta in a large bowl and then topped it with the quantities of tomato, corn, bacon, and green onions that I wanted. 

Then I mixed up a vinaigrette with about equal parts balsamic vinegar & olive oil... maybe a little more olive oil. (I probably had a 1/3 cup total of the vinaigrette when I was done) Sprinkle some salt, pepper, and brown sugar in and mix/shake it up. Then I tasted it and thought it was a little sour yet, so I added a little extra brown sugar. Be sure to taste it before you pour it on your pasta! Make sure you like it! 

Then mix it all together and top with parmesan!

Oh this was very good and fresh! We ate it hot, but it would also probably make a good cold pasta too. 

Yum! Speaking of delicious... umm... In Milwaukee Aunt Kathy brought us to a new place in town called "Yo Mama". Haha. Seriously. And what do you think they had there? Frozen yogurt!!! We Iowans have never been to any place like this and it was so cool! We walked in the door, where we were greeted with a buffet of yogurt, candy, and fruit! It was awesome! Check mine out!

Yep, there's definitely no rhyme or reason to mine. Cake batter frozen yogurt, cookie dough, chocolate covered sunflower seeds, gummy bears, and chocolate chunks. It was weird to put all those random things on there... but it was great!! I want one in Sioux City soooo bad! 

I mean......... hello!! Look at it! 

The triplets liked it too! :) They were so cute when they said the name of the place... "Yo mama!" It was adorable. Later they started calling it "Yo Gwamma!" Haha. :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Just checking in...

Hi! I have no food to share with you today, unfortunately. We got back from Milwaukee at 2 am Monday morning... and I still don't have my feet on the ground yet! :) Too much laundry and picking up to do... not to mention work! Haha. But I did want to say hello and share my baby shower gift with you. 

I found this idea on Have you ever been there? Are you a member? It's so cool. It's a place to find or keep interesting things you find on the internet. You know how you find something neat on a website, but then can't remember where you found it later? Pinterest can help! I love it. Anyways, here is the gift. (Photo courtesy of pinterest)

Isn't it cute? You can find inspiration on what to include here at Jen's Own Road. She has some great ideas!

I also can't resist showing you a couple other things I found on pinterest for baby gifts. Check them out! (all photos courtesy of pinterest)

Aren't those cute?! If only I was more creative! But the top 3 pictures use baby washcloths or socks to create the bouquet, lollipop and cupcakes. The last one with the stork is a baby blanket with diapers rolled up inside! :) Who comes up with stuff?! 

Well, I just wanted to share those. I'm off to work now!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Roast Beef & Peppers over Biscuits

Hello! What a gloomy day outside it is here today. It really annoys me when it's cloudy and looks like it could rain any time, but doesn't! If it's gonna be cloudy... rain already! :)

Mom, Whitney & I are headed to Milwaukee, WI this weekend for a baby shower! It's a quick trip- leaving Friday afternoon and coming back late Sunday night. We are excited to be able to share in the celebration! I may or may not have more baby cupcakes to share... haha! I actually have a gift that I'm excited to share with you, because it's really quite cute and unique! But have to wait til after the shower... cuz I can't give secrets away before! :)

Lunch today, well, I made a new "cheap & easy" recipe. It was really pretty darn good! 

Roast Beef & Peppers over Biscuits
-  2 1/2 cups Jiffy/Bisquick baking mix
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded Swiss or Provolone cheese
- 10 oz sliced roast beef (like from the deli counter)
- 2 small bell peppers, any color, sliced
- 8 oz mushrooms, optional
- 1 can condensed French Onion soup
- 1 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp garlic pepper seasoning
- 1 tsp salt

Combine baking mix, milk, and cheese in a bowl and mix until it shapes into a ball. Roll out to 1/2 inch thickness on a surface dusted with extra baking mix.  Cut into 12 biscuits using a biscuit cutter or a small glass. Bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes, or until golden brown. 

Meanwhile, in a saucepan combine beef, veggies, soup, seasoning, 1 cup water. Heat to boiling. Combine remaining 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup flour, add to saucepan. Boil until thickened. Serve over biscuits. 

I obviously topped mine with an extra slice of cheese. Cheese is good. Makes everything better! :) 

Just so you know, the amount of biscuits is probably more than you need for the beef mixture. But I love biscuits, so I made extra to top with butter and honey!!! :) Yummm.

Well, off to work, then packing, then outta here! :) Be back next week sometime!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Crispy Garlic Chicken with Roasted Green Beans

Hi there! We are still enjoying our new home! Thanks for all the well wishes!

It's been awhile since I've shared some food with you! It's been awhile since I've cooked! :) Anyways, today I have a "budget friendly" & "quick & easy" recipe to share with you. That's kinda how I roll lately with a new mortgage and more stuff to do in Sioux City! I need to save $ and cook fast! :) 

Crispy Garlic Chicken
- 4 thinly sliced chicken breasts (I used 2 regular chicken breasts and sliced them in 1/2 so they were thin)
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- 2 Tbsp milk
- 1/2 tsp each- salt, pepper, dried chives, garlic powder
- 2 cups corn flakes, crushed (1 cup total crushed)
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 Tbsp dried chives

Mix together in a bowl butter, milk, salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp dried chives, and garlic powder. In a separate bowl combine corn flakes, paprika, and chives. 

Coat chicken with butter mixture, then with corn flakes. Place on a greased wire rack over baking pan. I use my cooling rack, and put it on top of a large cookie sheet. This helps to make both sides of the chicken crispy, not mushy. 

Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes, depending on chicken thickness. 

I've already shared the roasted green beans recipe with you, but in case you haven't made them yet! 

Toss green beans with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes (time depends on amount of beans you have). You want to stir them probably once or twice. The beans are done when they are wrinkly, slightly browned, and tender to eat. 

In other news... My friend just had a baby girl!!!!! And I got to visit her on Saturday! She is so precious and totally cute! I brought over some cupcakes for the family!

Baby cupcakes! If you can see in the picture there are little baby faces on the cupcakes. If you want to re-create, all you do is dip vanilla wafers in almond bark and create faces! 

Well, I hope you have a great week! I will hopefully be back on Wednesday or Thursday with another post!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ahhh.... Our New Home

Ahhhh.... is right. I am finally relaxing on my couch with the computer in my lap! It has been a busy busy week, but totally worth it! We are over joyed with the way our house turned out, and we are so glad to be *home*. 

I will admit we had our struggles. First, as we were waiting the long month to close on the house. "Are you sure this is the house for us?"  "I don't know if there's enough space."  "That's gonna be a lot of painting to do!"  "Is our kitchen table going to fit in the eat-in kitchen?" 

Then we got the keys!! Next came the painting... ugh. We had to cover the red and navy walls all over the house. Really? Come on. Never... I say never paint all 4 living room walls bright red, or all 4 bedroom walls dark navy. It's not cool, and it's not fun to paint. But, thank heavens for Lowe's Valspar paint with primer. This does work, and I would recommend it. How do I know it was better than ordinary paint? Well, in our bedroom in Sioux Center I painted ONE red wall. Just one, that's ok people. Just one. I loved the red wall, and still had over 1/2 the gallon of paint left, so I decided to use it up in our bedroom. It did not have primer on it. And it took 4 coats over the navy blue. Four!!! I only needed 1-2 coats with the paint with primer. Definitely on my "A list". Thank you Lowe's.

The next job was organizing everything. Whoa baby. I hate this part. It's great when you find a spot for everything... but the journey there is long and a big mess! We are almost done with this part. Well, I should say that I am done with my part, and now it's Aaron's turn to finish in the basement and garage. :) 

Ok, so I'm going to try some before and after pics. The before are the pics with the seller's stuff and furniture in the pics. 

Living Room 


Master Bedroom


Guest Bedroom


We didn't change anything in here, but added some curtains, wall decor, and rug. So these are all after photos.

I unfortunately didn't have a before picture of this. But it was pink (or mauve if you know what that is). And had a burgundy shower curtain. 

Family Room (Basement)

We've divided the room into a family lounge area, and Aaron has a big projection screen that we watch TV with... it's cool.

And an office area. Which still has a little work to be done. But you get the picture. :)

Ok, I think that's all for now. Thank you to everyone who blessed us with their help in our moving process! We are so thankful to all of our family and friends for helping! THANKS!