Thanksgiving and Stuff

Wow! Time flies by when you’re busy with the holidays! I promise I haven’t forgotten about you, in fact, I have several new projects to post in the coming days, including a dining room chair reupholstery project, a holiday banner, a clock, and some yummy recipes.

I had an amazing Thanksgiving.  This year, I had a moment of temporary insanity, and decided to host Thanksgiving at our house, not just for my family, but also for my husband’s family.  It was pure craziness.  We have a tiny house (here is a picture of my tiny kitchen – try cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 17 in it without freaking out!) so it was a bit of a challenge, and we had to set up an extra table and chairs in the front room so that everyone would have room to sit and eat.

My mother in law brought Brussels sprouts.  Now, I haven’t had Brussels sprouts since I was about 9 years old, and I’m pretty sure I hated them, and ate only what was necessary in order to be excused from the table.  I was a little bit nervous about trying them, but they were amazing!  She made them with bacon, walnuts and pomegranate seeds.

Here is a link to the recipe I think she used, except she added walnuts, too.  Delicious!

How was your Thanksgiving?  Any new or unusual recipes this year?

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Baked French Toast

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of French bread
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups of half and half
  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, divided
  • 1 ring of smoked sausage
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar, divided

Directions:

Cut (or tear) French bread and sausage into bite sized pieces – approximately 1 inch.  Mix together and place in a buttered 13X9 pan.  Whisk the eggs together with the half and half and syrup.  Add salt, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg.  Whisk until well incorporated, then pour mixture over the bread and sausage pieces, making sure all of the bread is soaked.  You may have to use a spoon or your fingers to make sure the bread is well saturated with the egg mixture.  Cover with aluminum foil and put in the refrigerator overnight.

When you’re ready to bake it, preheat the oven to 350°.  Mix together the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, and 1 tablespoon of sugar.  Sprinkle over the top, and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, uncovered.  Serve with maple syrup, or just the way it is.

 

Fabulous Fall

Fall is here, which means it’s time for raking leaves, warm scarves and sweaters, cozy candles and delicious treats.  Here are some amazing ideas and recipes for autumn:

Pumpkin Roll

Pumpkin Pie Croissants

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Decorating with Pumpkins

Glazed Pumpkin Spice Bread

Slow Cooker Corn and Potato Chowder

Source: bhg.com via Kiley on Pinterest

Candles

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Porch Decorations

Pumpkin Dip

Baked Apples

Spiced Pumpkin Mousse

Outdoor Party

Source: busy-mommy.com via Kiley on Pinterest

Apple Cider

Decorating With Pumpkins

More Decorating with Pumpkins

Chai Tea Granola

Acorn Cookies

Source: etsy.com via Kiley on Pinterest

Acorn Wreath

Pumpkins and Candles = Beautiful

Source: lh3.ggpht.com via Kiley on Pinterest

Decorating with Candy Corn

Southwest Cowboy Chili

Well, it’s officially soup season.  I came up with this variation of The Hungry Girl’s Southwest Surprise soup.  It’s a thick and hearty, yet super healthy meal.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 16 oz frozen corn
  • 3 cans of petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 can Italian diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans pinto beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix
  • 1 packet fajita seasoning mix
  • 1 packet ranch seasoning mix

Start out by browning the ground beef in a large soup pot.

While the beef is browning, rinse and drain the pinto and black beans.

When the beef is browned, drain and add the bag of frozen corn.

Stir together and let cook for about 5 minutes.  Then, add the tomatoes.

Stir. Add the packets of taco seasoning mix, fajita seasoning mix and ranch seasoning mix.

Stir together and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and add beans.

Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!  Sometimes, we like to doctor this up even further with sour cream and shredded cheese and then eat it with tortilla chips.

Quick and Easy Chicken Teriyaki

I’m a big fan of inventing my own recipes, especially when we’re due for a grocery shopping trip and I have limited items in my pantry (note – by pantry, I mean one small cupboard, because I have the tiniest kitchen in the universe.) Anyway, over the weekend, I wasn’t sure what we were going to eat, until I came up with this delicious recipe. All you need is chicken:

Frozen stir fry vegetables:

A bottle of Honey Teriyaki Sauce:

And two packages of Oriental flavored Ramen noodles:

Put about one pound of chicken breasts into the crockpot and let them cook on low for about 6-8 hours.  Then, remove the chicken breasts, shred the chicken, and wipe out the crockpot.  Dump the shredded chicken back into the crockpot and add the frozen stir-fry vegetables and the whole bottle of Honey Teriyaki sauce.  Turn the heat up to high and let it all cook together for about an hour.

When the vegetables are cooked, fill a sauce pan with water and bring to a boil.  Boil Ramen noodles for about two minutes, until soft.  Drain, reserving about a 1/2 a cup of liquid from the noodles.  Add noodles to the crockpot, along with the flavor packets and the 1/2 cup of ramen noodle liquid.  Stir and serve!

This was delicious and was probably the easiest thing I’ve made in months.

Honey-Mustard Ranch Meatloaf

I never thought I was much of a meatloaf person, but ever since I realized what a fast, easy meal meatloaf is, I’ve been having lots of fun coming up with new twists to your old basic meatloaf recipe.

This is my favorite variation so far:

Honey-Mustard Ranch Meatloaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. extra lean ground beef (I use 93% fat free)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup honey mustard
  • 1 packet of ranch seasoning mix
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 cups of mozzarella cheese (save a little to sprinkle on top after it’s done)

Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray a bread pan with non-stick spray.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  I’ve found it’s easiest to stir with a fork, because then you can break up all of the chunks of beef.

Pour mixture into sprayed bread pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour.  Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese over the top.  Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

*I forgot to take a picture of my finished result, but it was amazing.  Just picture a delicious looking meatloaf with mozzarella cheese on top.  And maybe picture a beautiful garnish, too, even though I skipped that step.

Enjoy!