Sunday, February 24, 2013

2-Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins - A Birthday Breakfast

When my friend Jennifer mentioned these muffins earlier this week, I knew exactly what to make for Ryan's birthday breakfast! This is literally one of the EASIEST recipes ever!  Just two ingredients:

1 Can Pumpkin Puree and 1 Box Yellow Cake Mix

Directions: Mix Pumpkin Puree & Box Cake Mix together, spoon into muffin tin, and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes!  Top with a dusting of powdered sugar, or if you really want something sweet, maybe add cream cheese icing.   For today, we went with powdered sugar:

The birthday boy approved these with rave reviews!  In my opinion, these are SUPER sweet and could use a little something extra.... maybe cinnamon?  They are also a lot heavier than the muffins I normally make, so a little goes a long way -- I could only eat one.   I'm looking forward to trying this again with some other flavors of cake mix!

Happy 29th Birthday to my husband Ryan! Love you and hope this year is the best yet!

Friday, February 15, 2013


Wow, this week has FLOWN by for me. Here’s some random thoughts from things that happened this week and things I’m looking forward to.......
·         When I get off work today, I’m going to visit my sister and her kids for the first time since they brought my niece home from the hospital.  Pretty pumped about it, not gonna lie. Those kids are too cute.
·         We got our tax return back (we did our taxes SUPER early this year – always easier to do it early when the IRS owes YOU money rather than the other way around) and we paid off Ryan’s truck!  I’m so thankful that we have one less payment to make each month and we’re continuing to pay down our other debts.  I felt like the bank should shoot off some fireworks or something!
·         We celebrated our 10th (wow, can’t believe it) Valentine’s day together yesterday.  Our first Valentine’s date, Ryan surprised me by taking me out to dinner – in Charleston… just picked me up from my dorm “for dinner” and hit the road to go out of town.  What a fun memory.  This year, we had a lunch date and then I made this yummy Valentine’s dessert to go with our dinner at home.  If you've got apples,butter,flour,and sugar on hand... I suggest you make this ASAP.
·         The girls from our supper club and a whole bunch of friends are starting a book club.  We had our first meeting this week and named the club Nooks&Grannies.   I don’t own a Nook or a Kindle (I’m much more a fan of the actual real-life book), but I think the name is just perfect.  Our first book is Serena by Ron Rash -- I scored a used copy on Amazon.comfor $0.92 + shipping.  Cannot wait for it to arrive so I can get to reading!
·         My fabric arrived for our new window treatments so I’m ready to go paint shopping and get started re-decorating our den/dining room/kitchen!   I’ve been scouring the internet and have some pretty fun ideas in store.  Hopefully I’ll remember to take lots of pictures along the way and keep you updated! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

New Recipes Reviewed

Well, we’re nearly half way into our second month of monthly menu planning, so I thought I should tell you how it’s going, and let you know whether those new recipes were actually worth it!   Also, I found out a few weeks ago that my friend Ginny from my pilates class reads this blog and wonders whether or not I actually cook all the stuff I post about.  And, that made me suddenly realize….. There are actually some people out there reading this that I do know in real life!   
Confession: I stalk lots of people through their blogs.  And I’m guilty of not leaving comments.  This is something I want to get better about.  I hope you’ll leave a comment here (or let me know in real life if you have the opportunity) if you’re reading.  I’d also love to read your blog(if I’m not already lurking)!  
So the answer is… I do use the menu plans to make a grocery list, and generally follow them pretty closely, but it is often hard from week-to-week to follow an exact schedule.  Lots of things get bumped around just to fit in our day-to-day activities, but I’m ok with that.   The main point is, to have food in the house for recipes we like so we don’t end up eating out all the time.   So, on to the recipe review….
New recipes we’ve made so far this year….
Chicken Pot Pie … excellent recipe (ThanksLindsey!)  I will definitely make this again.  Also, I will take my indigestion medicine before-hand because it gave me major heartburn, but I LOVED it, and so did my hubby, so that’s a win-win.  Probably need to get it back on the calendar before the weather gets warm though, cause this is a definite winter comfort food.  
Crockpot Lasagna …. Forgot to put it in the crockpot, so just emailed the ingredients to my husband with modified directions for the oven and he made it (he volunteered).  It was FANTASTIC.  I love Lasagna.  Can’t wait to actually try it in the crockpot though.  Also, don’t think I’ll ever get Ryan to volunteer to make it again, apparently he had no idea how much work goes into Lasagna.
Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches…  I should’ve known by the frequency that these show up on Leigh’s menu plans that I should’ve made them sooner!  I absolutely love any type of shredded meat in the crockpot (if you’ve read my menus, you already know this), and this was the easiest recipe yet.  We will absolutely eat this again and again.. and again!  
Chicken Enchilada Soup… oh, boy did I flub this one up.  I cannot tell you if I like it or not because I messed up not only the ingredients, but also the instructions.  It was heartbreaking because it was a TON of food, and we ended up wasting it all because it turned out so badly.  I often substitute ingredients in recipes when I don’t have exactly what it called for, and it has never turned out quite this bad.  The only other recipe I remember being this bad was when I mistakenly put Italian tomatoes and peppers in my shredded beef tacos instead of tomatoes and green chiles (that’s the last time I buy store-brand Rotel… the cans for Italian tomatoes looked EXACTLY the same).  If anyone tries this recipe and it turns out good, I’d like to know.  But I think I’m too chicken to try this one again anytime soon! 

Monday, February 11, 2013


I've been M.I.A. from the blog world for a few weeks. We've been busy, but I just haven't taken time to sit down and post. Mostly, for the last 3 weekends, I've been on the hunt for the perfect fabric for new window treatments for our den/dining room (if you've never been in our house, it's one giant area separated by two steps that go down into the den and a banister in between). Basically, I needed something that I LOVED for both rooms that also will coordinate with our kitchen since they all run together.

Also, since this is the largest area in the house, the fabric really will define a lot of other decisions like paint color, pillows, rugs, etc, and I wanted to be sure it was something that I could live with everyday for a long while! In my final attempt this weekend, I found myself staring at a particular fabric but not loving the colors. Then, I realized it was the same brand/pattern I had seen in another color at a store in Columbia. The problem was, this store had the better price, but not the right color!

So, I scoured the lovely Internet and found the right color at an even better price on eBay, so hopefully I'll have that beautiful fabric in my hands later this week! Can't wait to get started re-decorating!

Friday, February 1, 2013

February Monthly Menu

Week 1: February 1-2
·         Breakfast for dinner
·         Leftovers/Pantry Meal

Week 2: February 3-9
·          Supper Club Super Bowl Party... making Crockpot Dr Pepper BBQ for sandwiches and Oreoballs for something sweet!
·          Cheesy Lime Chicken &; Rice
·   Grilling Hotdogs/Hamburgers with fries
·          Buffalo Chicken Pizza
·          Soup, Salad & Sandwiches
·          OUT to eat once
·          Leftovers/Pantry Meal 

Week 3: February 10-16
·         OUT to eat once
·   Thai Chicken Bites with Rice and Green Veggie         
·   Leftovers/Pantry Meal x2
·        Three Cheese & Beef Stuffed Shells with Salad
·        Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup *New Recipe*
·        Grilled Pork Chops & Sweet Potatoes

Week 4: February 17-23
·        OUT to eat once
·        Bruschetta Chicken Bake & Salads
·       Grilled Steaks & Baked Potatoes
·       Cheesy Chicken & Rice *New Recipe*
·        Leftovers x2

Week 5: February 24-28
·         OUT to eat once - Celebrating Ryan's Birthday!
·         Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Goat Cheese, Tomatoes and Spinach
·         Easy Crockpot Potato Soup
·         Leftovers x2