Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Times they are a changin'...FALL FUN AHEAD

Busy, Busy, Busy...

The Minnesota State Fair just closed their gates, and the weather is a changin'!  It is that wonderful time of year.  Warm and beautiful during the day, cool and brisk at night. Football games, apple picking, pumpkin patches and corn mazes.

Now, my little pumpkins are not in school yet, they will be three at the end of October, but...I still feel the excited in the change of seasons. 

This Fall I wanted to make a Fall Bucket List.  Have you seen these lists hanging out around pinterest?  If not, they are adorable, I am super excited to make mine.  Keep reading to end the suspense that I am sure you are feeling right now..duh da dah..

Twin Cities Fall Bucket List:

1.  Twin Cities Corn Maze
2.  Apple Jacks Apple Picking
3.  Jumping in the leaves, photo opps with the kiddos
4.  See a Football game
5.  Hay rides
6.  Bonfire with S'mores
7.  Pumpkin Express Train Ride
8.  Nature walk with Leaf art
9.  ScareCrow Festival
10.  Bake a treat with the apples you just picked from #2: a pie, crockpot applesauce, cobbler
11.  Play a neighborhood football game (start a tradition)
12.  Not so Scary: Como Zoo Boo
13. Go to the pumpkin patch and pick pumpkins
14.  Bake a treat with the smallest pumpkin you bought at the patch from #13: pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie
15.  Host a Halloween Fall Open House and Pumpkin Carving Party
16.  Make a Fall wreath
17.  Drink Hot Apple Cider
18.  Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate
19.  Make homemade marshmellows to top off your hot cocoa from #18.
20.  Make donuts to go with cider or cocoa
21.  Make a pinecone bird feeder
22.  Make a new soup each week with fall veggies.
23.  Go to Three River Parks Activities: Little Folks Halloween;  Halloween Farm Fun
24.  Go to Minnesota Zoo Members Only HallZOOween.
25. Host a bonefire weenie roast/ outdoor movie night

Can't wait to get started!
Join me if you want!

Add a comment with fun things your family does in the fall for fun!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Menu Planning 8/27/12

Welcome me hearties!!  Glad to see you all.  Have you had a good couple of weeks?  

Leave me a comment if you'd like!!  Remember to follow me, if you like what you see, thanks!!

Pork chops, green beans, applesauce, homemade honey bread!

Tuesday & Wednesday: 
Late nights at work, so dinner will be at the grandparents!!

Grilledcheeseburger wraps, red potato, yogurt and fruit

Grilled chicken ceasear flat bread,  chips salsa

 Fajita chowder, fruit kabobs,English muffin bread

Introducing:  Family request...a rotating you pick it, I make it meal!  Wish me luck when the toddlers choose?!?!

What's on your menu this week?
go to for more menu planning ideas

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Apple Fritter Pancakes

Sorry I didn't post a menu this week, got busy, and time slipped away!  

I found a recipe for Apple Fritters from Seemingly Greek, however I didn't feel like eating something deep fried!  Humm, quick change, and a recipe for pancakes are created!!  

Apple Fritter Pancakes!

1 heaping cup plus 1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp melted butter
Dash salt
1 1/3 cup milk
1 cup apple finely chopped

1.  Mix All ingredients together
2.  Make Pancakes!
3. ENJOY!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hakuna Matata Lunch

One of the only movies we have tried to watch with the boys, is The Lion King!  At our home this movie by Disney is an extreme interest.  
For today's lunch I decided on a Lion King Theme!

The brown on the tree is stick pretzels and the green is broccoli, the  red is tomato, the orange is food color dyed macaroni, the green is grapes, brown is turkey, the animals are iced animal crackers and cheese.  

This lunch was a well rounded success!  
What did you have for lunch??

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Caramel Apple Cider Muffins

Since it is not a secret that I love all things fall, I was reviewing previously pinned fall food items.  I stumbled upon a cookie recipe for apple cider and caramel...looked good, but I already had some cookies in the fridge.  So I thought, what 

else would be good with these ingrients??  

Everything...hmmm, I needed to narrow this down.  

MUFFINS, yes that's the ticket.  

Yummy yummy, nuff said!

1/2 cup butter melted
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 cups AP flour
12 Kraft caramels 
10 single serving packages spiced apple cider (I used Alpine)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees

1.  Cream together, butter, sugars, and cider
2.  Add milk
3.  Add baking powder, and salt
4.  Add eggs
5.  Add flour 1/2'cup at a time until well combined
6.  Line baking cups
7.  Fill baking cups 1/3 full, then add one caramel to each cup then fill to 2/3 full.
8.  Place muffin tin in oven and immediately turn oven down to 400 degrees
9.  Cook for 15 to 20 minutes 
10.  Take out to cool 
11.  Enjoy!!

**If these are not enjoyed warm, heat in the microwave to soften the caramels prior to enjoying!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

State Fair Menu Plan 8/13/12

Welcome me hearties!!  Glad to see you all.  Two weeks until the big Minnesota get together, yup, the Minnesota State  Fair, so in order to get the family excited (not that they aren't...) I will make some classic fair foods!!

Leave me a comment if you'd like!!  Remember to follow me, if you like what you see, thanks!!

Belgiun Waffles with Berries!

Tuesday & Wednesday: 
Late nights at work, so dinner will be at the grandparents!!

Grilled corn on the cob,  grilled chicken, chocolate covered frozen bananas!
 Caprese salad on a stick, chicken gyros, And mini funnel cakes

Baked Corndogs, baked French fries, fruit kabobs
Introducing:  Family request...a rotating you pick it, I make it meal!  Wish me luck when the toddlers choose?!?!

What's on your menu this week?
go to for more menu planning ideas

Thursday, August 9, 2012

S'mores Bars!

So I have been slacking on posting this week, I have been too wrapped up in watching the Olympics!  Last night in honor of wishing in fall, I made S'mores bars!  They were delightfully good!  I will be making them again come true fall!  
Clearly my pinterest addiction has sweetness in their pins!  


1/2 cup butter melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup AP flour
3/4 cup ground or finely crushed graham crackers
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 regular sized Hershey's bars 
1   7 oz jar marshmallow fluff

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1.  Spray 8 x 8 pan with baking spray
2.  Combine butter and sugar in mixer until well mixed
3.  Add egg, salt, baking powder and continue mixing 
4.  Add vanilla and continue mixing
5.  Add flour 1/3 cup at a time while continuing to mix
6.  Add graham crackers And mix until well combined
7.  Divide dough into 2 equal balls
8.  Press 1 dough ball into bottom of pan
9.  Break apart chocolates to cover dough
10.  Spread fluff over top of chocolates 
11.  Cover with other half of dough.
12.  Cook for 30 minutes, let cool, cut, and
13.  Enjoy!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

menu plan 8/4/12

Welcome me hearties!!  Glad to see you all.  How was the weekend?  

This week I am trying to channel fall, and hoping for a cool weather streak...I doubt it will happen, but I gotta try because I love fall!  Some of you may wonder if I am crazy because I am making soup.  Answer: nope!  I figure it is less hot making for the house than an oven meal!  

Leave me a comment if you'd like!!  Remember to follow me, if you like what you see, thanks!!

Soup...smokey chicken chili
English muffin bread
Monte Cristo Club
Spaghetti squash and sausage 
Hobo plate!  I love love love breakfast for dinner!!

Grilled Hawaiian hotdogs!  
Baked chimichangas!!  

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What's on your menu?

go to for more menu planning ideas

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Birthday Dinner

Today we celebrated my hubby's birthday.  I made steak with pesto butter, pasta with pesto, creamy garlic mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and pretzel rolls!  For dessert hubby had a special steak and fries dessert (ice cream ,pound cake) I made brownies, Oreo, cookie bars,  and wonton apple pies. 

Quite the spread it turned out to be!

Steak Recipe:

No Name petite cut steaks
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
Pesto butter

1.  Turn oven on to 500 degrees broil
2.  Drizzle  steaks eith olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste
3.  Broil for about 10 minutes on each side
4.  Top with pesto butter 

Pesto butter Recipe:

1 cup pine nuts
4 cups packed basil
1 heaping tablespoon chopped garlic
1 cup olive oil
1 cup fresh shredded parmigian cheese

1. Toast Pine nuts in 350 degree oven until lightly toasted
2.  Place nuts in food processor with basil
3.  Mix until well combined
4.  Add garlic and cheese and pulse until well combined
5.  Add olive oil pour slowly while blending
6. Continue to blend until well combined

Mix 1/2 cup butter softened with 1/4 cup pesto, refrigerate until formed

Pesto Pasta Recipe:
12 oz pasta
1/4 cup pesto butter 

1.  Cook pasta according to package
2.  Top with pesto butter

Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

3 pounds potatoes
2 cups 1/2 and 1/2
6 tablespoons
2 heaping tablespoons garlic

1.  Cook and mash potatoes
2.  Mix in 1/2 and 1/2, garlic and butter 

Green bean casserole 
2 bags steam in bag green beans cooked
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 package Frenchs fried onions

1.  Mix green beans, 1/4 cup milk,  cream of mushroom soup, and 1/2 of Frenches onions
2.  Place in crock pot
3.  Cook on low 1 hour
4.  Top with rest of Frenches
5. Continue cooking until ready to serve 20 min


Apple pie wontons recipe:

Apple pie filling

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees
2.  Fill wonton with 1 tablespoon apple pie filling
3.  Wet edges with water
4.  Fold into triangles
5.  Press edges together
6.  Bake until wontons are golden brown, about 10-15 mins


1 cup frozen cherries
1 cup frozen peaches
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup peach snapps
1 bottle white wine

1.  Combine all items in pitcher mix and cull until serving!

Special Steak Potato dessert:  recipe from Food Network 


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

brownies, cookies and oreos in one!

I saw this little gem on pinterest, and knew it was mandatory to make this for my hubby's b day dinner!  


1.  Line a 9x9 pan with tin foil and spray with baking spray with flour

2.  Heat oven to 350 degrees
3.  Make chocolate chip cookie dough (I bought a packaged dough and made it according to the directions!). Place in pan.

4.  Place Oreos over cookie dough

5.  Make brownies according to pack and pour over Oreos

6.  Bake 60 mins or until brownies are done.  I saw others post it only took 40 mins

I haven't cut into them yet, as they are for tomorrow night and I don't want to tempt fate,  but I wil post pics tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hubby B-day Art Project

Today is My hubby's birthday, but we will celebrating on Thursday with his family over for dinner!  

In honor of his birthday we did a fun art project/present!!  I went to Tar-jay and picked up some finger paint, painters tape, and foam poster board!  When I got home, I got the boys de-clothed and sunscreened up, taped up poster board.  The finger paint said it was washable, but why risk it on such a nice day!  I squeezed some paint into several coffee filters, and told the boys to cover the board in paint.  

Things started a little slow, but soon enough both hands on each boy were covered and spreading paint!  When they were done, paint was well spread on them and the board!  

Once the boys were done, I removed the tape, and the result.....                                                                Love it,

Monday, July 30, 2012

Voss I Spy Bottles

My husband kids are driving from Minnesota to Florida, in about 2 months for a Disney Cruise (affectionately known as the Mickey Boat, in our home!).  Yep, I know we just might be CRAZY!  Since this will be a long car ride with toddlers, I have been busy looking for car friendly, yet entertaining activities for them! 

To do this I turned to a little addiction of guessed it Pinterest!  I found the Homemade I Spy Bottles.  From the research Voss Water Bottles seem to be the best bottle for this.  It is glass, not plastic, which has both good and bad qualities.  Any who...

Directions to make I Spy:

1.  Drink water from bottle
2.  Wet and scrap laser printing from bottle (I used a little adhesive remover and a metal scrapper with a razor blade attatched)
3.  Wash, clean, and dry water bottle
4.  Find little trinkets to place in bottle (I used erasers, buttons, sequins, beads, and other random items)
5.  Place trinkets and rice in bottle
6.  Shake up
7.  Glu top on with Gorilla Glue

Menu Plan 7/29/12

Welcome me hearties!!  Glad to see you all.  How was the weekend?  

This is my late nights week at work, so Tuesday and Wednesday the kiddos go to the grandparents!  Also my hubby's birthday is 7/31, but due to work we will celebrate on 8/3 with his fam!   Since I am not 100% sure what I am making, and my hubby might try and figure out what his celebratory meal is...I won't be posting a Thursday meal!  Sorry kinda a slacker this week, I guess!

Leave me a comment if you'd like!!  Remember to follow me,if you like what you see, thanks!!

Green beans

Tuesday & Wednesday: 
The kids will eat at the grandparents since I work late!

Hmm I'm not telling...yet!! Tee hee hee

Homemade pizza!  Side salad & fruit



Hmm just noticed, I am really Italian heavy this week, oh well gotta love Italian!!

What's on your menu?

go to for more menu planning ideas

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cream Cheese Chicken Enchilatas

This recipe uses the rest of the cans of corn, chickpeas and black beans, as well as extra marinated chicken from the salad earlier this week ( 

It was a little on the spicy side!  

5 flour tortillas
3 chicken breasts shredded or chopped
Corn, chickpea, black bean mix
1 can tomatoes and green chili  drained
1 block cream cheese, softened
2 cups shredded cheese 
Roasted red pepper

Preheat oven to 350 
1.  Mix tomatoes and cream cheese and 1/2 of cheese
2.  Place heaping cream cheese on tortilla, chicken, and veggie mix on tortilla, roll up and place seam side down in pan
3.  Repeat 4 times
4.  Spread remaining cream cheese mixture and than cheese on top
5.  Garnish with red pepper
6.  Bake for 20 minutes
7.  Enjoy!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Strawberry Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Strawberry Ganche

  • Strawberry Cupcakes
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, cooled
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups finely chopped strawberries

1.  Mix dry ingrients, mix wet ingrients, combine together
2.  Heat oven to 350 degrees
3.  Spray muffin tins (makes 24 full muffins)
4.  Fill 3/4 full
5.  Bake 24 mins

Strawberry Chocolate Ganche 
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup strawberries fine chopped, than puréed 
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 bag bittersweet chocolate chips

1.  In a double boiler, mix sugar cream and puréed strawberries.
2.  Bring to a boil
3.   Take of heat and pour in chocolate chips, mix until well combined
4.  Refrigerate, wait 1.5 hours to frost
5.  Enjoy

 I had a bunch is strawberries from a recent shopping trip that were going to go bad in another day or so, I had to find something to bake...
I don't love dark chocolate, but with the sweetness of strawberries and sugar...umm umm good!  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad

Wow...another fun summer salad.  This one turned out as good as any restaurant chopped salad I've had.  

 I went to the dollar store and while I was there I found the new Kraft Sizzling Salads kits.  It called out to me to buy it, so I did.  I figured you can't go wrong for a buck!  

I was going to add homemade tortilla strips, but I got too busy and decided to add nuts for extra crunch instead.  

The kiddos ate the salad without the lettuce and nuts, and I was surprised to find that they liked chick peas!

2 heads Romaine lettuce
3 chicken breasts
1/4 bag of steam in bag corn
1/2 can of black beans, rinsed
1/2 can of chickpeas, rinsed
1 tomato
1 handful cashews

1.  Cook chicken according to directions 
on cooking sauce.
2.  Chop up washed lettuce
3.  Add tomato, corn, chickpeas, black beans
4.  Dress salad with dressing and toss
5.  Divide into four servings and top with
 some nuts and chicken!!
6.  Enjoy

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Super Summer Salad

Summer Salads are the best, and this salad didn't disappoint!

I used a summer blend of lettuce.  Then added mangos, strawberries, pineapples, and candied pecans!  I used Kraft's Mango Chiptole Dressing.

This dressing is Ah-Maze-ing.  Cub Foods in Mn the other week had Kraft dressings on sale for a buck, and I picked up this flavor, and I am soooo happy I did.  This salad is going to make several repeat performances before summer is up!  

What is your favorite summer salads?

Hot Chocolate Donuts

    Hot chocolate Donuts
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1/4 cup hot chocolate powder mix
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Chocolate Ganche
  • 2/3 cup cream
  • 1/2 bag chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons karo syrup
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2.  Spray muffin tin
3.  Mix all donut ingredients together
 4.  Fill muffin tin or donut pan 2/3 full
5.  Bake 10-12 mins
6.  Heat cream in double boiler, once hot pour over chocolate.
7.  Stir until combined add karo and stir.
8.  Dip donuts into Ganche, add sprinkles if desired!!
9.  Enjoy

Today's a rainy day here in the Twin Cities!   love the rain, but it is making me long for the fall.  So I decided to make a fall inspired dish.  The result, these donuts.  I can't wait for my little ones to get home today and try them!  I am sure they will be loved, especially with the Mickey sprinkles!!

This will be a great weekend item all fall and winter.