9.30.2015

10 Festive Fall Recipes





My favorite season by far is finally upon us, so I've rounded up 10 Festive Fall Recipes to share with you:


This Autumn Chowder is packed with hearty fall veggies and is the perfect way to warm up on a crisp, cool day. 




Munch on some homemade Cinnamon Apple Chips - the perfect healthy snack at home or on the go.






Soft, cinnamon-sugar coated Cider Donuts are a favorite of mine and were a fall staple while living in Vermont through my teen years. A trip to Cold Hollow Cider Mill still tops my list when we visit!




...and cider donuts without its sidekick of Fresh Apple Cider just wouldn't be the same.



Bacon Cheddar Potato Soup is the perfect comfort food for fall.



This festive Pumpkin Roll would be the perfect addition for a family gathering.




Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna is a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs meal at the end of the day.



This Crock Pot Pumpkin Spiced Latte is not only delicious, it's super simple, too!



...and for the littles in your life, have a go at this creamy and decadent Caramel Hot Chocolate



....and it would be a festive-enough Fall season without a Good Old Fashioned Apple Pie, with freshly picked apples  from your trip to the orchard, of course. (Try it warm with a slice of extra sharp cheddar cheese - you can thank me later.)

What's your favorite recipe for Fall?

Happy Fall Y'all! 




1.21.2015

Create your Own Family Memory Jar - *FREE* Printable!

Our daughter is growing up before our very eyes. It feels like just yesterday I was getting excited about the milestones of my sweet baby walking and talking, and all of a sudden she's gabbing about boys for hours on the phone, going to her first school dance and taking frequent outings to the roller rink on Friday nights. It's so bittersweet, and lately I find myself really grasping at straws, trying to navigate a rapidly changing family dynamic with a daughter who is no longer a little girl, but a young woman.

In the blink of any eye the years fly by, the holidays come and go, and before we know it we're celebrating the coming of a new year while reminiscing about the good times and waving goodbye to the not so good ones.

This year, I have come up with an idea to help me hold on to our precious memories for a little longer - a family memory jar. It's simple, takes very little time and is a wonderful way to keep the memories you hold dear not only for the coming year, but forever.

Throughout the year, we will be writing down some of our favorite memories along the way and placing them in the jar for safe keeping until the coming New Year's Eve, when we will take a walk down memory lane by reading them all and reminiscing as we count down to the big ball drop.

Once we're done, I plan on using the slips of paper to create a keepsake of some kind - a scrapbook, a memory tree...I'm still thinking on that one, but I'd like to preserve them somehow.



Want to create your own family memory jar? Here's how:

Create your own Family Memory Jar

Supplies needed:

 Any size mason Jar
 White paper or heavy card stock (to print your graphic on)
 Paper of your choice (you could use plain white, colored, or even scrapbook paper)
 Pens, crayons, or colorful markers (for writing down your memories, of course!)
 Scissors
 Tape

Directions:

1) Print and cut out your chosen printable Family Memory Jar graphic (below) on white paper or heavy card stock.
2) Place horizontally around the jar, about halfway up, securing with tape in the back
3) Start making (and writing down) some memories!


Click here to print the above directions ---> Print Friendly and PDF

Download your chosen graphic below:


Did you create your own Family Memory Jar? I'd love to see your finished project!

1.19.2015

Mini Ham & Veggie Egg Cups

I made these Mini Ham & Veggie Egg Cups this past Saturday for a brunch I was hostessing and they were a total hit! Clean, simple and totally delicious, I plan on making up a few batches and freezing them for an easy breakfast on school days - just heat and eat! I was able to find a package of ham already diced small in the deli section at the grocery store, so that eliminated a step right away. These cuties are also super versatile, so I'm able to switch up which meats and veggies I use depending on what we're in the mood for (or more likely what I have on hand). The perfect healthy breakfast or snack!


Mini Ham & Veggie Egg Cups

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup fresh broccoli, finely chopped
  • ½ cup yellow bell pepper, finely chopped 
  • 2/3 cup ham, chopped (about 2 ounces)
  • ⅓ cup extra-sharp shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 large eggs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Spray a large nonstick skillet with clean cooking spray or a drizzle of oil (such as organic coconut oil spray or a teaspoon or two of organic coconut oil) and heat over medium-high heat. Add onion, broccoli and yellow pepper, and saute 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add ham and saute 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

  3. Combine cheese, chives, thyme, pepper and eggs in a bowl and stir gently with a whisk. Add ham mixture, stirring with whisk. 

  4. Spoon mixture into 24 miniature muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until set.

To freeze:

Make sure egg cups are completely cooled before storing. Wrap each egg cup individually in saran wrap and store in a ziplock bag until ready to use. 

To heat:

Remove desired number of cups and remove saran wrap. Wrap cups loosely in a paper towel and cook on 15 second spurts until heated through. Enjoy!


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Love this recipe or want to see more like it? Let us know in the comments below!

1.17.2015

Groundhog Day Fun plus *FREE* Printables!

Kenzie is staying the night with a friend tonight, so out of boredom I whipped up some super adorable printable coloring pages for Groundhog's Day. I thought it would be a cute way leading up to this sometimes forgotten holiday to chart your children's predictions (as well as this year's results) for Mr. Groundhog. Just a cute little activity for you and your littles to enjoy together and a sweet memento to add to the growing stash of your kids' artwork. ;)



Download and print the coloring pages below!








Did you and your kiddos enjoy this activity? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

Menu Plan: Week of 01.18.15

This week is the start of a few schedule changes going on in our household. Kenzie is playing for her middle school basketball team, and after a grueling few weeks of 10 practice hours/week, it's game time! Side note: as I type "10 practice hours/week", it doesn't seem like much...then I add in the 7 hour school days and she would already be in overtime if this was a job. Throw homework and things like dinner and actually having time to shower, and my chickadee is doing some seriously hard work lately! I'm extremely proud of her for working so hard and of what a well adjusted and amazing young lady she is blossoming into.

That being said, I'm super psyched to see her on the court again! This is her first year playing for a school-based team - in the past she's been a part of the local city league, which starts in November and runs through February with a weekly practice OR game. But from here on out it's three days of practices and either home or away games on the other two days, five days a week.

To accommodate our new arrangements, I switched the days we do leftovers since Tuesday and Thursday are game days and we most likely won't be sitting down for dinner until much later in the evening. I'm hoping that will keep things much more simple in the coming weeks!



This week's recipes:
Chicken & Biscuit Casserole
Guiltless Chicken Nachos
Super Simple Skillet Lasagna
King Ranch Chicken

Don't forget to snag this week's blank printable menu template below!



Have you tried one of our recipes or LOVE our new menu series? I'd love to hear your feedback in the comments!

1.14.2015

Clean & Healthy Chicken Tortilla Stew

Clean and healthy, this hearty stew recipe could fool even the harshest of health-food critics. and the best part is that you literally dump a few ingredients in the crockpot and walk away. Easy peasy and totally delish!


Clean & Healthy Chicken Tortilla Stew

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 (12 oz-16 oz.) jar of your favorite clean/organic salsa 
  • 1 (14 oz. ) can organic black beans, drained
  • 1 pound frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 pound frozen, mixed bell peppers 
  • 3 organic, corn tortillas, ripped by hand
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. seasoning salt (I like Everyday Seasoning from Trader Joe's)
  • Sliced black olives and plain greek yogurt for garnish (optional)

  • Directions:
    1. Place the chicken (either raw or still frozen) in the bottom of the crock pot. Pour seasonings and salsa over chicken. Add corn, bell peppers, and corn tortillas.
    2. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours.
    3. About 15 minutes before serving, add black beans and use a wooden spoon to break apart the chicken and mix everything up.
    4. Serve garnished with some sliced, black olives and/or a dab of plain greek yogurt in place of sour cream - and your kiddos won't even notice! (wink wink)
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    1.10.2015

    Menu Plan: Week of 01.11.15

    With a scheduled business meeting, a parent meeting for Kenzie's new basketball season, and also a new exercise routine on the schedule for this week, our evenings will be jam-packed nearly every night. To keep things simple, I reached into my recipe box for some tried and true, quick and easy meals. Enjoy!


    This week's recipes: 

    Sunday: Homemade Taco Seasoning
    Tuesday: Creamy Beef Stroganoff
    Saturday: Oven Baked Turkey Sandwiches


    Don't forget to print this week's blank menu template below!