Monday, October 29, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

Menu for October 28-November 3, 2012

Hamburger steaks with mushroom-onion gravy, squash and salad
Baked burritos with sour cream poblano sauce, rice and beans
Loaded baked potato soup and crusty bread
Skillet lasagna, salad and garlic bread
Jalapeno baked fish with potatoes and tomatoes

Have a great week and a happy halloween!

SRC:Brown Sugar Granola

For this month's secret recipe club swap, I was assigned Finding Joy in My Kitchen.  "SnoWhite" is a doctor by day and cook by night.  She started cooking as a hobby during graduate school mainly as a way to maintain her food allergy and since then it's turned into so much more.  Her love of cooking started way before school; her mom and grandmothers all enjoyed cooking and were very good at what they did.  They have played a roll in her joy of cooking and are an inspiration to her while in the kitchen.
After browsing through a multitude of recipes, I finally decided on this recipe for brown sugar granola.  We've been on a granola kick lately and this seemed like it would be perfect for fall!  Another reason I decided on granola, is because my little man ALWAYS wants a snack after school and I've been looking for more healthy alternatives to give him for the ride home.  What's better than granola?  Plus, he loves it.  It's a win win; it's healthy, tastes good and he enjoys it! 

DB: Mille-Feuille

Our October 2012 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Suz of Serenely Full. Suz challenged us to not only tackle buttery and flaky puff pastry, but then take it step further and create a sinfully delicious Mille Feuille dessert with it!
Puff pastry is one of my all-time-favorite pastries.  The light, fluffy, flakiness is amazing and there's simply nothing like it.  Since I enjoy this pastry so much, this challenge was right up my alley.  It seems only fitting that I should make this at home since I enjoy it so much.  Puff pastry is delicious on it's own, but it can be filled with a variety of fillings, sweet or savory, and that enhances the flavor that much more. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Funfetti Sandwich Cookies

Before I start, let me clarify, I have never met a sweet I didn't like but I do have a few favorites.  I believe one of my all-time favorites when I was a child was funfetti; it could be cake or cupcakes, it didn't matter.  Just as long as it was funfetti!  To this day, I still love funfetti.  I'm not sure if it's the actual cake that I love or if it's the memories from my childhood that I get flooded with from the very first bite.  Either way, it's still a favorite of mine.

Friday, October 19, 2012

WC: Roasted Tomato, Mozzerella, and Spinach Sandwiches

Caprese salad is one of my all time favorites.  It's such a simple salad with simple ingredients; spinach (or basil), tomatoes, mozzerella and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, but it's so delicious, flavorful and refreshing.  So needless to say, when summer rolls around and we have tons of ripe, red tomatoes on the vine I am one happy girl!  Although it's not summer anymore we still have tons of tomatoes in our garden.  Not sure if we have magic dirt or if it's just a benefit of living in Arkansas and having ever changing weather; from day to day!  Either way, I will take it because it's that much longer I can enjoy my beloved caprese salad.
While caprese salad is amazing on it's own, over the past few months I've seen these simple ingredients incorporated into recipes and they all look amazing.  This sandwich is one of those recipes I've been eyeing and wanting to try for quite some time.  And now I'm finally getting to!  For this round of the What's Cooking recipes swap it was blogger's choice.  What that means is we get to choose the recipe we make from our assigned blog.  It didn't take me long to figure out what I was going to make from Kate's blog, that's right this roasted tomato, mozzerella and spinach sandwich!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Are you ever faced with that terribly hard decision of making a choice between cinnamon rolls or pancakes for breakfast?  I know I'm faced with this difficult decision quite often.  Terrible, right?  I know!  Well, for all of you that face that battle of having to choose between light and fluffy pancakes or gooey, creamy and sweet cinnamon rolls your days of struggle are over.  Yes, that's right.  I have the perfect solution for your delima; cinnamon roll pancakes!  You heard right; cinnamon. roll. pancakes!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Auction for a Scentsy Silhouette Warmer: Sending Love to the Turners

I am auctioning off one of the newest additions to the Scentsy warmer line, the Silhouette warmer, along with your choice of 3 Scentsy bars.  The winner of the auction will receive 1 Silhouette warmer with their choice of sleeve; everyday, Halloween or Christmas, along with 3 bars of their choice.  All proceeds will go to Julee and Preslee Turner, who lost their husband and dad in an accident a couple of weeks ago. 
To Bid:
*Place your bid in the comment section of this post.
*Be sure to leave your name, email address and bid. 
*All bids must be in $1 increments. For example; if the last bid was $12.00 the next bid must be at least $13.00.

The fine print:
All bidding will close Friday night at 10:00 PM (EST)
The highest bidder will be the winner!

Payment will be accepted via PayPal.  The winner will be emailed a PayPal invoice and once a PayPal payment has been made the donor will be contacted.

PLEASE NOTE: Auction open to US residents only.  All payments must be received by October 31, 2012.  These payments are not considered tax deductible.

To see the other items up for auction please visit any of the following blogs:
The Getts Times
Life in the Green House
Life Sweet Life
Knee Deep in Munchkin Land
SheShe Made

Also, a memorial fund has been set up in the name of Preslee:
Preslee Turner College Fund
Summit Bank
PO Box 965
Arkadelphia, AR 71923

Monday, October 15, 2012

Baked Chicken Milanese with Arugula and Tomatoes

Lately we have been on a big salad kick.  Typically, when we have salads I offer to make chicken or some other protien to ensure Spencer gets enough.  While I could fill up on salad alone, he sometimes needs a little bit more substinance to fill him up.  So when I came across this recipe on Skinny Taste I had no doubt that this would be a winner; it has a salad which we've been enjoying a lot of lately and it has chicken so I knew it would be filling enough for Spencer.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thoughts and Prayers for the Turner Family...and a silent auction for the family

As I sit down to write this, I'm not really sure where to start.  My heart is so heavy and hurts so much right now, and it's for a family I don't personally know.  This past weekend Matt Turner, a local news anchor, was in a single car accident and lost his life.  The accident happened Saturday evening, read more about it here.
Photo from Today's THV

Matt was born and raised in Arkansas and loved his home state through and through.  He was passionate about life and thankful for each and everyday.  He cared so much for others, and put others and their needs before his own.  Family was his life, the light of his life was his wife Julee and their 10 month old daughter Preslee Bell.  Matt had just recently moved back to central Arkansas to be closer to his family and to persue a career with a local new station, Today's THV.  In the short time he was on the air here he touched so many lives and made an impression on so many people.

It's amazing to me how we the audience, feel like we actually "know" people who bring the news to us on a daily basis.  I guess in a way, we feel a close bond to them since they are bringing us information about the day to day happenings in our town.  They don't just bring the news to us, they also let us into their personal lives; marriage, having children and even the sad times and loss of loved ones.  It's no surprise that we feel like we actually know these people and their families; we see them on a daily basis and we can relate to them and the goings on in their lives.  So when someone in a position like this losses their life; we not only feel like we've lost someone we also feel heavy hearted for their family during this time. 

My heart breaks for Julee, baby Preslee, and their entire family.  My thoughts and prayers have been with them since I heard the news.  I can't begin to imagine what they are all going through; but they do have a huge support system and the biggest and best support ever from our Heavenly Father.  I write all this today to ask all of you to take a a moment and say a prayer for Julee; for God to give her the strength to make it through such a tragic loss but to also give her the strength both the mommy and daddy that little Preslee needs right now.  Hug your loved ones and make every single day special.

A group of Julee's friends (The Getts TimesLife in the Green HouseLife, Sweet LifeKnee-Deep in Munchkin Land, and SheShe Made ) are putting together a fundraiser for her and baby Preslee.  It's a silent auction that will hit the blogasphere on Monday, October 15th, through Friday, October 19th.  All of the proceeds will go to Julee and Preslee.

To Donate an item:
  • Create a post detailing the item up for auction. Include a description and/or picture.
  • On Monday, October 15th visit any of the above blogs and list your item. Make sure to use the direct link to that specific post. 
  • To place a bid, leave a comment on that blog’s post leaving your email address and your bid. 
  • Once the auction ends on Friday, October 19th, we’ll have you email us with the winner’s name, email address, and the amount of the winning bid. We’ll invoice the winner

  • If you do not have a blog but would still like to donate an item:
    Please contact anyone at the blogs listed above.  They will be more than happy to assist you and to list your item.

    To bid:
  • On Monday, October 15th, visit any of the above blogs to view the list of donated items.
  • If an item interests you, click on the link to read more information.
  • To place a bid, leave a comment on that blog’s post leaving your email address and your bid.
  • Be sure to check the list often as new items will be added throughout the week.

  • Thanks for all of your help and support for the Turner family during this incredibly sad time.  It's definitely amazing to see a community (both local and bloggers) pull together to support one of their own during such a terrible time.  Please keep Julee, Preslee, and the entire family in your thoughts and prayers. 

    To read more about the amazing man Matt was and to see pictures and footage click here.

    Monday, October 8, 2012

    Weekly Meal Plan

    Menu for October 7- 13, 2012

    Jalapeno popper chicken, roasted vegetables
    Autumn tossed salad with grilled chicken and crusty bread
    Bean burritos with creamy poblano sauce, rice and beans

    Friday, October 5, 2012

    WC Recipe Swap:Caramel Almond Oatmeal Banana Bread

    For this installment of the What's Cooking recipe swap we were asked to submit a breakfast dish for a fellow blogger to make.  I was assigned Jey's blog and she submitted a recipe for banana bread, but not just any banana bread, Caramel almond oatmeal banana bread to be exact.  Yes, it's a mouthful but it is so worth it! 
    I am a huge fan of banana bread or banana cake.  Give it to me plain, with a little butter or even topped with cream cheese frosting; I'm not picky!  It's perfect for breakfast, dessert or even a snack and a great way to use up those overly ripe bananas!  But this, my friends, is no ordinary banana bread.  It's a bread that's packed full of flavor and add-ins; caramel, check.  Almonds, check. Oatmeal, check!  Not only does this bread have awesome banana flavor, but a nice creamy, melty addition of caramel.  A hearty helping of oats, for a little bit more filling bread.  And, of course, almonds for an added flavor, texture and crunch!  I'm telling you, it doesn't get much better than this!

    Thursday, October 4, 2012

    Baked Spaghetti Squash

    Fall is officially upon us!  Can you believe it's already October?  Where has the year gone?  Like so many of you, I'm so incredibly excited that fall is here!  It's time for football, chilis and stews, pumpkin, and so much more. 
    If you're anything like me, you can tell what season is nearing by looking around at the fruits and vegetables in your local market.  When I start seeing all of the fall and winter squash and gords I can't help but get excited!  That actually happened a few weeks ago for me!  I went to the store and right when I walked through the door there it was, glowing in aww.  A huge display of butternut squash, spaghetti squash and pumpkins.  What a site that was.  After I composed myself I quickly darted to the display and just stared at it in all it's beauty and then quickly snatched up a delicious spaghetti squash.

    Monday, October 1, 2012

    Chickpea Cakes with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

    A few months ago I posted a recipe from one of my new favorite cookbooks, ATK Best Simple Recipes and since then I have made several other recipes from this wonderful cookbook.  Just when I think I can't be any more impressed by all of these simple, yet mouthwatering recipes I make another and I am impressed all over again.  America's Test Kitchen (ATK) never ceases to present amazing recipes as well as the information as to what makes these recipes work.  I love, love, love this cookbook and ATK.  This cookbook helps me make tasty and nutritious meals for my family even on those hectic weeknights.  This is definitely one of those tools that all you busy people want to have in your survival toolbox.
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