Monday, October 20, 2014

Meal Planning Monday #59

I just love mid-October.  If I had to pick one of my favorite weeks of the year, it would be this one.  The air is crisp, the leaves are changing, the pumpkins are on porches and supper is bubbling away on the birthday is also this that helps make it special too ;).

Celebrate the season with five simple suppers this week and three dessert choices to get your entire family in the mood for fall.


Smith loves broccoli and Kensington loves sausage, so the marriage of this Sausage and Broccoli Cheese Soup just made sense for us.  I used a chicken sausage for the protein (my butcher has it behind the meat counter) but you could omit that altogether and just have a vegetarian soup instead.  Either way, it's a bowl of happiness.

I love making this recipe for supper!  My Italian Style Chicken and Waffles looks kind of fancy but it super simple to make!!  This is one of Andrew's favorite ways for me to prepare chicken and my kiddos go crazy for these savory waffles.  Such a fun weeknight meal!

If you're looking for a great slow cooker recipe this week, try my Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder.  Layer the ingredients, go about your day and then dinner is waiting for you that evening.

I think it's only fitting that we round out our October menu with my Beer Cheese Joes.  Big flavor, simple supper.

This yummy Sausage and Butternut Squash Pasta welcomes the flavors of fall but won't take up a lot of your time in the kitchen.  This recipe is a big hit with my kiddos!

Now, you know that my 100 Bundt Cakes are my little babies.  Each one was made with love from my heart.  That being said, out of the 100, one stands out as my absolute favorite (shhhhhh...don't tell the other 99!).  To me, it's absolute perfection...especially this time of year....

You need to make this cake.  Like this week.  You can make it un-frosted and serve it as breakfast too :).  Love.  This is true love.

For some other yummy pumpkin recipes, click here.


...don't forget, you can find 14 Easy Halloween Treats on the blog too.  These are perfect for class parties and weekend treats!

Happy Monday friends!  Don't forget to follow me on Pinterest for more holiday recipes, fall fashion and fun seasonal ideas!!


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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bar 61: Candy Corn and Peanut Neiman Marcus Bars

Did you know that if you eat dry roasted peanuts with candy corn at the same time that it tastes just like a PayDay candy bar?  Yup!  My grandmother sets out little bowls of the two mixed together each fall and we munch...a lot!  The sweet and the salty bites are just the perfect I made a bar that celebrated it.  

Festive, fun, fall...and delicious!


Shopping List
1 box of yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1 stick melted butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dry roasted peanuts
1 cup candy corn

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease (I used Pam) a 9x13 baking dish.

In a bowl, combine cake mix, 2 eggs and melted butter  Spread batter in bottom of pan.

In a second bowl, beat with electric mixer, powdered sugar, 2 more eggs and cream cheese.  Stir in the white chocolate chips.  Spread batter on top of crust mixture.

Bake 35-40 minutes until edges are brown and center set (it will still be slightly wobbly in the middle).

As soon as you pull the bars out of the oven, sprinkle the peanuts and candy corn down over the top and lightly press in.  Allow bars to cool on counter 30 minutes before refrigerating them at least 2 hours or up to two days.  Slice bars and serve.

 You don't want to bake the candy corn or the texture gets really tough.  Adding them to the hot bars as soon as they're out of the oven will give you the PayDay taste on top of your yummy bar.

Happy Halloween!

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

I have been making this recipe for years and years.  I think I started making it back when I was a freshman in college and have made it pretty much every year since.  Sometimes, I make it like a sheet cake and bake it in a 9x13 baking dish...but more often than not, I make cute little cupcakes.

You can also make these little guys and not frost them...and then you have yummy pumpkin muffins instead :).

A little pumpkin, a little spice, a lot of yumminess.

This recipe makes one sheet cake or about 3 dozen cupcakes.

Shopping List
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
1 (15 oz) canned pumpkin 
1 cup pumpkin spice chips, optional (see pic below)
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon or so of milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line 3 (12 count) muffin tins with cupcake liners or spray one 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat with an electric mixer the sugar, vegetable oil and eggs.  Set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon with a fork or whisk.

Slowly beat the flour mixture into the sugar mixture.  Beat until just combined.  Next, beat in your pumpkin until just combined.  Stir in your pumpkin chips (optional).

Pour batter into prepared baking dish or divide between your muffin tins.

Bake cupcakes 14 to 16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  If you're baking it in a 9x13 baking dish, bake about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, powdered sugar and milk together.  Add more milk if the frosting is too thick and more powdered sugar if it's too thin.  Frost cooled cupcakes and store in fridge if not serving immediately.

Such a yummy pumpkin treat!

I found these Pumpkin Spice chips on my baking aisle near the chocolate chips.  You can add these for an extra pumpkin flavor but they're definitely not required.


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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dinner Tonight: Chicken Chili Verde

At our house, dinners like this are just perfection.

I love this meal because it cooks away all day in the slow cooker and then comes together in no time.  My kiddos love this because they're into tortillas, chicken, salsa and guacamole (Texas kids for sure!).

The next time you're looking for a quick little supper to whip up on busy nights, you should make this one.  You will not be disappointed! 

This recipe serves 4 adults.

Shopping List
1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (not frozen)
1 green bell pepper, chopped 
1 small onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 (4 oz) cans of chopped green chiles
1 (1 oz) package of taco seasoning or two tablespoons of chili powder
1 (16 to 24 oz) jar of salsa verde (that's a green salsa available in many brands)
1 cup or so of chicken stock or water
8 tortillas (flour, corn or I used whole wheat)
Guacamole as a side or to garnish
Shredded Montery Jack or Cheddar Cheese to garnish
A squeeze of fresh lime juice, optional

In your slow cooker, place your chicken, chopped bell pepper, onion and jalapeno, cans of green chiles, taco seasoning, salsa and stock or water.  Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours or on high 3 to 4 hours.

When you're ready to serve, remove the lid of the slow cooker and shred up the chicken right inside the slow cooker using two forks.

Top each tortilla with a little bit of the chicken mixture, some fresh guacamole a little cheese and a squeeze of lime juice.

That's it!  Supper is done (and totally delish!).

For my kiddos, I don't want things too spicy, so I use a mild salsa verde.  The jalapenos will not be as spicy after cooking all day but you could exclude those if you think it's too hot for your family.

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