It’s been crazy busy around here lately! We hosted my parents for Thanksgiving, and then it’s been nonstop hustle and bustle ever since then. I love this time of year, but I look forward to being able to relax a little more after Christmas.
Speaking of Christmas, I made these wood slice temple ornaments for our primary children and teachers this week. I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The image is of the Salt Lake Temple. It is one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen! We always try to do something special for the kids and their teachers who help us so much every week. Our theme for primary this year was “Families Are Forever.” I thought this would be a good reminder of what we talked about all year– how we believe our families are sealed together forever within the walls of the temple.
A few years ago, my friend Cindy introduced me to this amazing buffalo chicken dip. One of her co-workers had made it for a potluck and she quickly got the recipe and made it for our friend’s baby shower. I was skeptical, since my tolerance for spicy foods was pretty weak at the time. I couldn’t believe how much I loved it! That was just the beginning of my love for spicy foods.
From that point on we made this dip for almost every baby shower we hosted (which in our LDS ward full of young students, was pretty often). It’s definitely not your typical baby shower food, but it’s always a big hit (and our husbands sure appreciate it when there are leftovers).
This is also a great dip to bring to a potluck, football party or have when friends come over. It’s super easy to prepare, has only five ingredients, and all the cooking is done for you in the crock pot. We usually double the recipe for a large group.
It’s got just enough of a kick without being overly spicy. The ranch dressing tones down the hot sauce, so adjust the measurements to suit your taste.
If you’re hosting the holidays this year, you know you don’t want to have a million things to do at the last minute. Here are some easy things you can do in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas to prepare for holiday houseguests. Here’s to some stress-free hosting!
I love a good pancake, especially if it’s baked in the oven. You can’t beat the crispy outside, the soft center and the perfect blend of cinnamon and apples in this baked apple pancake.
I found this recipe a few years ago in a Penzey’s Spices magazine. (Sidenote: if you have a Penzey’s near you – sign up for their magazine! They have awesome coupons.) I finally got around to trying it out a few weeks ago when our preschool theme was apples. The kids loved helping me mix the batter, stir the apples and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top.
After you slice the apples, the rest of the recipe comes together very quickly. This would be a great breakfast to serve for guests during the holidays.
I’m so excited that it’s fall and you know what that means – Pumpkin Season! I can’t get enough of pumpkin doughnuts, breads, drinks and of course, desserts! My very favorite pumpkin recipe is this amazing pumpkin cake.
Growing up, my mom would make this every year. I’m sure I make it at least two or three times each fall. I just can’t get enough of this stuff! It’s got a crunchy streusel top, and underneath is an ooey, gooey pumpkin filling that can’t be beat.
I was so excited when we decided on a theme for costumes this year. I say “we,” but let’s be honest– it was mostly my decision. I’m going to keep coordinating my kids’ costumes as long as they will let me! They love to watch “Jake and the Neverland Pirates.” Addie (3) loves to pretend to be Izzy and we always say that Reed (1) looks much more like Cubby than Jake. I knew it would be easy enough to throw the costumes together once I gathered all the supplies. I was glad to find that we already owned clothing in the right colors for the shirts and pants.Fortunately Addie owns at least five hot pink shirts, so she’s got plenty of options for the half dozen Halloween events we’ll be attending during the next week and a half.
Since we live in Ohio and it was really cold here on Halloween last year, I opted to go for long-sleeve shirts and pants. Even then, we’ll probably still have to layer clothes underneath and coats on top. At least I got some cute pictures of them in their costumes before they’re all bundled up this weekend for Trunk or Treat!
It’s a sad day when we’re no longer drowning in tomatoes over here. I seriously can’t believe what an amazing crop we had this summer. This was our second year attempting to grow tomatoes (first time from seed!) and they grew like weeds. We were insane and planted around 20 of the little sprouts, and somehow they multiplied (there may have been some compost from our sad attempt last year). Our back garden was like a forest and I couldn’t even reach the back plants, let alone keep the weeds at bay. The cherry tomatoes proved to be the most fruitful and we had lots of happy neighbors, friends and co-workers who enjoyed them with us.
I was making my grocery list this week and realized I was putting tomatoes on the list FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MONTHS. It’s been so nice to not have to buy tomatoes or worry about whether or not I had enough for a recipe. Especially when those little pints of the cherry ones cost around $2.99. Seriously? I could have probably filled ten pints a week in July and August. (Note to self – future business opportunity selling tomatoes.)
My kids love smoothies, but it’s hard for me to find the right blend of ingredients. I used to just throw a bunch of fruit, juice and yogurt into a blender. It would always taste fine, but they were nothing comparable to Jamba Juice. I thought I’d finally try to measure the ingredients and based this recipe off of one on the bag of frozen berries. Finally, success! We all liked it so much, I made it two days in a row!
I had some leftover coconut milk from another recipe and I loved the taste of it in this smoothie. But word to the wise, don’t try drinking unsweetened coconut milk plain! It is bitter!
This white chicken chili is one of my favorite fall recipes. It’s easy to put together, smells amazing and makes awesome leftovers. We usually double the batch so we have can eat it for days afterward. It’s creamy, full of chicken, white beans and tons of spices. It also freezes well.
My friend Tara shared this recipe with us a few years ago. It’s been one of my husband’s favorites ever since then. I always make this for our annual ward chili cook-off. Serve it with some Rhodes rolls and homemade raspberry butter.
I’m guest blogging today over on Bombshell Bling. I’m so excited that it’s fall and you know what that means – Pumpkin Season! I can’t get enough of pumpkin doughnuts, breads, drinks and of course, desserts! My very favorite pumpkin recipe is this amazing pumpkin cake. (more…)