Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Roundup

Happy Halloween from the Wild, Wild Wests!

Jay and Lizzy had a fun day! 

Since the weather was iffy we put on our costumes in the morning and played outside, then went to CFA for lunch then to the mall for a merry-go-round ride and some impromptu trick-or-treating.

Home for naps then off to Dede and Papa's for more trick-or-treating and dinner.


Dad in a tiny hat. Happy Halloween!

And now just for fun, a look back at Halloween past-


2011 (also the same day we found out Lizzy was a girl and sold our house!)


and my favorite Halloween photo to date--"Cousins 2012"

Pumpkins 2013


Jay wanted one drilled and one "Jack-a-lan" so that's what we did.

We also rinsed his flip-flops a zillion times due to "pumpkin squishing my toes".

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Peanut Butterscotch Krispie Treats

This is the first thing I can remember cooking as a child.

It was the only way I knew of to make Rice Krispie treats until I was an adult. I've since tried the marshmallow way, but to me these are the real thing.

1 cup creamy peanut butter (give or take)
1/2 bag butterscotch chips
3-4 cups rice cereals n a large bowl, combine peanut butter and chips. Microwave at 60%power in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until chips are melted and smooth. (It took three intervals.) Stir in cereal and pour mixture into 8x8 buttered dish. Chill for one hour.

Enjoy and share!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Togetherness, fall edition

I might not have many frame worthy photos of these two this fall, but it certainly isn't from lack of trying.

Behold, the out takes...

the good news--

Jay's Duck Face could compete with any tween girl on the interwebs.
Lizzy is alert and very aware of the world.
Both of my kids are adventurous and explorers.
Neither can be bought with promises of candy, prizes or cash for a good picture.
They don't seem to mind being dressed in coordinating outfits virtually every day. For now.

Happy, happy, happy fall, y'all.

p.s. we did ave professional photos done by the wonderful ImagesbyNaomi so all hope is not lost. :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Jay's first football game!

'Twas the third Saturday of October twenty-thirteen,
we took the family to TitleTown to cheer on our team.

Jay and Dad went to cheer on the guys

while With Mom, Lizzy sweetly did lie.

The Tide beat the Vols 45-10
and all Jay could say was
"Can I go again??"

Menu Monday- Halloween, Chili 5 ways, Pumpkin Bread and More

Lots and lots to talk about with this Menu Monday! Stick around for some tips and tricks for your trick-or-treat week!

Chicken Tamale Pie-I am loving how easily this recipe came together and it was delicious. I used this recipe.

Dixie Stampede Soup- So many folks have mentioned this on facebook that I decided to go ahead and give this a whirl. I've had it on my "to try" list for about a year now and thought now that its soup season, let's give it whirl. Jay ate 2 before church and another after. Um, if my 3 year old will eat vegetable soup, then this one is staying in the rotation, friends! There are lots of versions out there, I adapted a few and did this:
6 Tablespoons salted butter
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp corn syrup
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
few grinds of pepper
pinch of salt
1 cup of chicken broth
3 cups of water
1 can sliced potatoes finely chopped
1 can sliced carrots finely chopped
4 cups half-and-half

In a large pot, melt butter add onion powder, garlic salt, corn syrup. Add flour, pepper, salt, chicken broth, water and vegetables simmer for a few minutes, add half-and-half and simmer on low, do not boil. 

Calzones with Chicken, Marinara, Mushrooms-I made extra chicken on Tamale Pie night and used the extra to make these awesome calzones. (Disclaimer: I made the kids a cheese pizza tonight.)

1 pizza dough (in the bakery at Publix, there is a tiny fridge with dough--did you know that?)
1# cooked chicken
1 package fresh mushrooms
1 jar marinara
freshly grated mozzarella
olive oil
salt, pepper, garlic salt italian seasoning, to taste
flour for surfaces

Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet, add chopped, cooked chicken. Once heated add entier package fresh mushrooms, saute 2-3 minutes, add salt pepper and season ings to taste. Reduce heat to low, let mushrooms continue to cook down. 

Remove dough from package, cut into thirds. Using floured hands and a floured surface, Stretch each third into  large oval shapes, spoon half of the chicken mushroom mixture onto one side of two ovals. Top with generous handful of mozzarella, fold plain side of dough over pressing seam together all the way around with a fork. Place on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and spread over entire top with hands. Season with italian seasoning. 

I used the final third oval to make a cheese pizza for the kids with the marinara and mozzarella. 

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with warm red sauce. 

Chili-for us, Chili is a Halloween must-have. If you've been following our Menu Monday plans, you may have some Chili in the freezer to make tonight extra easy. I also want to share with you how we do leftover chili at our house...

(if you follow me on instagram you've seen some of these before)

Chili 5 ways
1. Top Baked potatoes, add cheese and sour cream.
2. Cornbread Cups- I found these awesome cornbread biscuits in the dairy section and knew I had to try them out. I greased a muffin tin, pressed the biscuits into the cups, making a well. Filled the well with some thawed leftover chili and topped with cheese (all we had was sliced) and baked at 350 for about 15-17 minutes. Total homerun!
3. Burritos-using a slotted spoon, fill tortillas and roll, bake in a casserole dish at 350 for 15 minutes, top with queso OR just heat individually in the microwave and serve with chips and salsa
4. Quesadillas- in a nonstick skillet or on a griddle warm tortilla, layer on cheese, chili, peppers, salsa--whatever you like, more cheese, top with another tortilla, flip and brown second side.
5. Nachos-line a baking sheet with foil, spread tortilla chips, top with chili, cheeses, peppers, salsa, pop in 375 degree oven, top with sour cream, lettuce, tomato, guacamole.

There you have it! 5 easy ways to re-mix this fall menu staple!

Beef and Mushrooms (aka Pot Roast) click here for the recipe and the story behind that name!

also this week it's Pumpkin Bread from Miss Daisy.
1 cup water
1 cup oil
1 can pumpkin pie filling or plain pumpkin
3 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup black walnuts, chopped
1 and 1/2 cups dates, chopped
3 and 1/2 cups self rising flour
1 tsp each nutmeg, ginger, salt
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda

Mix together first 7 ingredients, sift together remaining ingredients. Mix well with pumkin mixture. Pour into two large greased loaf pans (I used 1 large and 4 small) Bake for 1 and 1/2 hours at 325 (30 minutes for the small loaves).

It is awesome!

So awesome in fact that just after I snapped this picture and put the "pumpkin cake" waayyy back on the counter, I turned around to this.

The boy and the very eager dog in the wings.

Jay took some in his lunch box he liked it so much!

This recipe is from my all-time favorite cook book Recipes from Miss Daisy's - 25th Anniversary Edition
 you can find it here. This is the 25th anniversary edition and it is UNDER $10. It is the best $10 you'll ever spend.

Its a busy week in the kitchen, and this menu is awesome and easy. I know you'll find somethings here to add to your family's favorites.

Thanks for visiting and Happy Halloween!!

I'll be back Monday for another awesome week of family dinners! Have a wonderful week!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Work with me, Fall

Ugh, wouldn't you know that just as soon as I decide to give all of this Fall family fun a-go our first fall colds hit and we're just a germy mess.

So, we've been having our fall fun at home, mostly.

We did sneak in a brief spur-of-the-moment stop at a pumpkin patch yesterday so we finally have pumpkins and have enjoyed our annual hayride. Check and check.

Other than that our last week has been full of doctor's visits, pharmacy trips and lots of fluids.

We did get a fun delivery! Our little cowboy and cowgirl got brand new boots for Halloween. These are the real McCoy. Lizzy ambled around like a newborn deer for a bit but has finally gotten use to them and has a great cowgirl swagger.

Once she got her bearings we all took to the great outdoors to scuff up our soles.

Lizzy also chose to pick up acorns and other nuts for the better part of 90 minutes. You can't buy that kind of kid entertainment.

Jay and I have been exploring and hiking everyday this week once Lizzy goes to sleep and before Jay goes down for nap. It's been great for both of us.

 Both kids have improved and both made it to school today so it looks like we're heading into the weekend strong!