Wednesday, October 31, 2012

One Pot Goulash - Guest Post



Today, you can find me Guest Posting over at Kathe with an E. If you've never checked our her blog, you should! She also hosts a fun party called "You're Gonna Love It" on Tuesday's! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

All my Bloggy Friends #19


Well, we made it through Hurricane Sandy without too much incident in our neck of the woods here in Eastern NC. I am praying for those folks who have been, and continue to be, affected by her!

The 3 most viewed links last week were:

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Black-Bottom Banana Bars

Do you ever feel like you get tired of making the same ol' banana bread recipe? Sometimes, you need a new way to use those over-ripe bananas. This Black-Bottom Banana Bar recipe is sure to fit the bill!

It's kid tested and mother approved! ;)



Saturday, October 27, 2012

Vote Democratic/Republican printable (8x10)

With the approaching elections, I decided it would be fun to make some political party printables. They both fit inside of an 8x10 frame. There's one for the Democratic party and one for the Republican party. Choose your favorite one to print off!

Cheesy Ham on Cornbread

If biscuits and gravy had kin, this would be it.

This makes an easy breakfast or dinner. It's also great if you have leftover ham and/or cornbread and want a new way to eat it! Y'all know with the holiday's approaching, there will be leftover ham in our forecast .... and it's coming soon! This recipe will help you use up those leftovers in a new way!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Potato Soup

It's no secret that one of my favorite foods is soup - of any kind! There was a time when I was much younger, that I did not like potato soup. (I think it was the idea of milk in my soup that turned me off - I do not like milk and my mom always used milk in her potato soup). I'm not even sure why it turned me off that much, because I like everything else in potato soup. This was one of those meals I would sit and stare at in protest and refuse to eat. I would be threatened with having to sit there all night .... or worse, eating it for breakfast the next day. I hated it. 

After I moved out, I decided to try making potato soup on my own ..... I have no idea what possessed me to want to do that. But I went along with it and made it. The first time I made potato soup, there were no "potato chunks" and it was a mostly smooth soup, with the potatoes being like mashed potatoes .... and I used cheese and bacon - which my mom never did! That was it ..... that forever converted my thinking. Such a simple thing?! I have  gotten over my aversion of the milk being in my soup - but I still won't drink milk! It's just too gross for me!

I have made potato soup numerous times and countless ways since. I think my mom would be proud of the fact that she was right ..... My dislike was all in my head (I admit it) ... and I now willingly make and eat it. I still have to have cheese and usually, but not always, bacon. Somethings just seem to go together, ya know?!

This recipe is for a very basic, but filling potato soup. Feel free to top it off with cheese and green onions - or whatever you like (sour cream, hot sauce and additional bacon would be great)!



Thursday, October 25, 2012

It's Fall Y'all ~ Linky Party #7


Just a reminder that next week will be the last week of It's Fall Y'all ~ Linky Party! I have enjoyed this party and I truly appreciate each and every one of you who takes the time to stop by - whether to link up or to browse! You all have made this party a huge success - and I can't thank you enough!

The five most viewed links last week were:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Homemade Alfredo Sauce

This recipe couldn't be easier. Four ingredients and about ten minutes is all it takes to have homemade Alfredo sauce .... and by the way it is sooo good!! I think I am in love. {sigh}

I used penne noodles mixed with the Alfredo sauce, then served it with grilled chicken and a spinach salad. It was an easy meal the whole family loved! You could easily use any pasta you like. If you want, sprinkle it with fresh, chopped parsley on top (to make it look all fancy schmancy). 



Sunday, October 21, 2012

One-Pot Chicken and Sausage Pastalaya

I'm going to admit my envy of Cajuns right now. I am fascinated by their culture, language, music and food. I have never been to Louisiana, let alone New Orleans. It's on my Bucket List of places to go on of these days. 

When I was growing up, one of my favorite cooking shows was Justin Wilson. I loved that guy - "I gar-on-tee"! Some of y'all may remember him. Here's a video with him if you wanna check it out ...


This recipe isn't a Justin Wilson recipe ... it's a derivative of a few recipes I've found over the years. I'm not sure how authentic this is to the Cajun culture .... I'm guessing not very. Someone probably decided to slip some pasta into their jambalaya instead of rice ... and pastalaya was born. Whoever did it first and shared it with their friends should be awarded some kind of food award equivalent to the Nobel Peace Prize. To any food purists out there, I apologize in advance.

I love that this is an easy and delicious, one-pot meal - what can be better than that? 



Saturday, October 20, 2012

EASY Chocolate Frosting

I know some people are intimidated by the thought of making their own frosting. Seriously .... It is one of the easiest things in the world to make. In my personal opinion, it tastes better than any of that canned stuff. Don't get me wrong, there's a time and place for everything - but when you want a little something more - homemade is the way to go! Spread it on your favorite cake - homemade or boxed, or just stick a spoon in it .... I won't judge - it's all good to me!



Friday, October 19, 2012

Rustic Triple Apple Bread

I enjoy making homemade bread. Probably as much as my family likes eating it! :) There is something so comforting about bread making. I find the process almost therapeutic. I won't lie, sometimes, I rely on my handy dandy bread machine to help me out a little in the mixing and rising. I have never figured out how the exact same bread baked in the bread machine comes out heavy and dense ..... but taken out of the bread machine, it's light and airy? Anyone out there have the same problem? Personally, I do not like my bread baked in the machine - so I use the dough only setting 99.5% of the time.

I ran across this recipe a few years ago in a Taste of Home magazine. I loved the idea of Apple Bread, but hated the idea of baking it in the bread machine. The dough is a little sticky to work with, so be sure to flour your work surface fairly well. The end result is well worth the effort, I think.



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cake

Pumpkin is definitely, without a doubt, my favorite Fall flavor. So much so, that I wish we could get all the great Fall goodies year round. (Hello, Starbuck's - are y'all listening?!) My favorite ice cream this time of year? Yep, you guessed it ... Pumpkin Pie! I even made an unplanned stop at Dairy Queen last week just to get a Pumpkin Pie Blizzard after I saw the sign out front advertising it. You know they do that stuff on purpose. If there's a pumpkin-flavored option anywhere we go, you better believe that's what I'll be ordering. 

I originally saw this coffee cake on Pinterest and I'm really glad I did. It led me to Not So Humble Pie and this great recipe! Definitely two thumbs up from the whole crew.



Sunday, October 14, 2012

Creamy Chicken and Pesto Pasta

I love quick meals. I especially love meals that are quick and tasty. Sometimes, with seven different people to feed, it's hard to find recipes we all love. I originally found this recipe years ago (on the back of a soup can maybe? I really can't remember.) and it has been in our keeper binder since then. Served with a salad and garlic bread, it's an easy and flavorful weeknight meal the whole family will enjoy!



Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Poke Cake

Fall is definitely in the air ... on the internet ... and in my kitchen! One of the best things about Fall is all the pumpkin goodness. I am not gonna lie, Spring may be my favorite season (I love watching the flowers bloom and the weather seems perfect) .... but by far, Fall has some of my favorite foods and flavors - and is a close second in terms of my favorite season!

I learned a very valuable lesson earlier this year - apparently they don't stock canned pumpkin year-round at our local Wally World .. or any other store here in Eastern NC for that matter. I have never lived in such a place. I went to buy canned pumpkin in February of this year and was told "it's a seasonal item" .... really?! This year I am stock-piling it like it's nobody's business. I will not make the same mistake twice.

Poke Cakes are not new to the scene .... they've been around for awhile. I've seen tons of variations, but I've never seen a Pumpkin Spice Poke Cake .... and that's exactly what I'm sharing with you today! If you love pumpkin and spice, you are going to *L*O*V*E* this cake. It's like eating pumpkin pie in cake form!! Soooo good!

Oh, and if you live in a weird place like Eastern NC, where they don't sell canned pumpkin year-round, you might wanna stock up too .....

Pumpkin Spice Poke Cake

Friday, October 12, 2012

Ham, Bean and Cabbage Soup

I have tons and tons of recipes I've gathered over the years. Believe it or not, I have even purged {gasp} some of the ones I knew I would probably never make - because they were 1. too complicated 2. required weird ingredients 3. didn't fit my family's tastes or 4. because I had other similar recipes. 

If you "know" me - purging recipes is not an easy task ...... I'm sort of a recipe hoarder ... I think I need a 12 step program or something - it's really that bad. (Have you seen my Pinterest boards?! They will more than prove it to ya ..... I've just moved over into digital hoarding now - and looking at some of y'alls boards, I know I am not alone!)

I found this soup recipe years ago .... I can't even remember who or where it came from. I "filed it away" for quite some time before I ever really made it. Once, while I was looking through my recipes (because that's what all cool foodies do), I stopped on this recipe and wondered why I hadn't tried it before. I loved the simplicity .... I loved the fact that it was healthy ... and budget-friendly? Hello soup recipe - where and why have you been hiding from me?! God knows I probably have gazillions of other recipes lovingly tucked away, waiting to be rediscovered. Help me .... Don't be like me. 

This feeds my soup love .... my deep, sincere love of soup. I don't discriminate - I love 'em all. There is something so comforting in a bowl of soup .... it renders warm and fuzzy feelings.  

I like feeling warm and fuzzy feelings.



Thursday, October 11, 2012

It's Fall Y'all ~ Linky Party #5


I want to thank everyone for making this party a success every week! I appreciate everyone who stops by to share or browse - Y'all are the best! :)

The 5 most viewed links last week were:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Flat Bread Melts

My boys (husband included) love anything to do with BBQ sauce, bacon and/or ground beef. I think they could eat it every day. Seriously. Don't get me wrong ... I like it too - just not as much as them! :)

We eat sandwiches at least once a week - when I plan our menu, it's usually on Tuesday's. Truth be told, it's easy to fall into a sandwich rut. Sometimes, ya gotta think outside of the bun .... These flat bread melts made my boys (husband included) go nuts! They *LOVED* them! I felt like a rock star with all the compliments and adoration .... I didn't have the heart to tell them how easy it was. ;) We'll leave that as our little secret!

I'm gonna warn you - This "flat bread" is so good .... It was so soft and chewy and crispy and yummy. I could have easily made a meal out of just the bread! (Have I told you before that I'm a carb-junkie?!) Seriously, love this stuff. If you're a carb-junkie, you have been warned! 

I can think of a million ways to make flat bread melts using different combos of ingredients. I can be a rock star all the time with all these ideas. :) We served it up with some fresh broccoli with dip and fresh fruit on the side. It made a quick, satisfying meal the whole family enjoyed!



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

All my Bloggy Friends #16

Got soup?! 

Love Bakes Good Cakes - The Ultimate Soup Recipe List

If you have soup recipes, I'd like to invite you to my "Ultimate Soup Recipe List" Linky Party. It's an ongoing party - not a weekly link up! Stop by and share your recipes or come by to browse!


Here are the 3 most viewed link

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Ultimate Soup Recipe List (Linky Party)

The Ultimate Soup Recipe List {LINKY PARTY} #soup #linkyparty #roundup

I love soup - a lot! So much so I wanted to do an ongoing linky party just dedicated to all the wonderful soups recipes out there! If it can be called soup, link it up!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

EASY Apple Pie Bars - Crazy Cooking Challenge

I have to be honest, I wasn't really excited about this month's Crazy Cooking Challenge. No offense to the pie lovers out there - I'm just not a pie person usually. My brother on the other hand, would rather have pie than cake for his birthday! Weird, right?! 

I asked my kiddos for help with this one and this is what we came up with ....

Saturday, October 6, 2012

White Castle Casserole

One of my favorite things to do on trips through the Midwest, is eat at White Castle. I'm not sure if they have restaurants outside of that region of the United States? If they do, I have never seen them. If you've never been there and you get a chance, definitely stop in and grab a sack - and relish in the fact that you are eating a part of American history! From White Castle's website - "It's an experience that transcends time, space and sometimes, rational thought."

White Castle, founded in 1921 by Walter Anderson and Billy Ingram, is famous for it's "sliders" .... a simple, small, square burger. What you may not know is, White Castle is generally credited as being the first ever "fast-food chain". Anderson is credited with inventing the hamburger bun and for using Henry Ford's model of the assembly line in the kitchen. Who knew?

Trips to the Midwest are a little more scarce for us these days ... rising gas prices ... with 7 people in our family to feed, house and clothe ... and my husband's 60+ hour a week job ... it all prevents us from doing many things. Our priorities are in other places rather than galavanting around the Midwest eating at White Castle. Our "trips" tend to be a little closer to home right now. But that doesn't have to stop us ... we could buy those pre-packaged boxes of White Castle sliders in the freezer section of our nearest Wally World ... or we could make this super easy casserole that has all the same great taste! 

Obviously, we went for the latter ......

Friday, October 5, 2012

"Trick or treat" printable (8x10)

Halloween is not "celebrated" at our house. There are too many weirdos in the world and we just feel safer buying our own candy for the kids. We usually get a couple of bags of our favorite treats and call it good - And I hide the Peanut Butter Cups for me ;)

We still like to add a few decorations so we don't feel totally left out. I made this printable over at PicMonkey (I think I have an addiction, y'all). I am loving all the Halloween themes available right now! Anyways, I know y'all remember saying this as a kid ... So I decided to make it into a printable. 


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

White Beans with Rice

I was a guest over at Call Me PMc recently and shared this post with Paula's readers. I am reposting it here for anyone who missed it!

Cooler weather has started to settle here in Eastern NC. Our highs have been in the 70's and 80's during the day and the lows are in the 50's and 60's at night. (We even had one night in the low 40's!!) The cooler days and nights have been a welcome relief from the heat and humidity of summer. We may still have a few days here and there of the warmer temperatures, but I think our summer is mostly over ... and really, I am ok with that.

When the weather starts getting cooler, my mind automatically thinks comfort food and soup. Does anyone else do this, too? I tend to want food that is more substantial and filling ... a stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal. 

You can easily use ham or Lil' Smokies in place of the smoked sausage in this recipe. I have also been known to add chopped carrots to the mix. When we want Ham and Bean soup, this is the same base I use, with additional liquid (water or chicken broth) to make it "soupy". Sometimes, instead of the tomatoes, I'll add a spoon or two of tomato paste - to make it more like the Bean and Bacon soup you get in a can. From time to time, I'll omit the tomatoes or tomato paste all together. There are plenty of ways to change this up for your family and their tastes. 


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

All my Bloggy Friends #15

Can y'all believe it's October?! I can't! This year is flying by ... it'll be 2013 before we know it. I wish time would slow down - just a little. My baby turns one year old this month .... and my husband, Brian, will add another birthday under his belt. We have approaching holidays to prepare for. And at least for me, the colder weather means more time indoors (because I'm a wuss). Needless to say, it always seems like the last 3 months of the year are the most chaotic time at our house. Maybe it's that way for most people? 

Anyways, I am loving all the links every week. There are so many inspiring ideas and great recipes! I appreciate everyone who takes the time to link up or the visitors who just stop by to browse! Without any further delay, let's get the show on the road .....


The 3 most viewed links from last week were: