Monday, October 30, 2017

Jack O' Lantern cheese quesadillas


Are you looking for a fun, simple, and kid-friendly Halloween meal? Look no further than these cheese-filled quesadillas! You simply "carve" your Jack O' Lantern face into a tortilla, fill it with cheese, and pop it in the oven. These will be a hit for a quick Halloween dinner or lunch for kids and all Halloween lovers (like me)! I like to serve these with a side of salsa and sour cream or guacamole as well as some fresh vegetables because you can use slices of green bell pepper (or an avocado) to give your pumpkin a stem. They also go well with a bowl of tomato soup which is perfect if it's going to be a chilly Halloween.

The below recipe is per quesadilla. You can make as many as you need or want for your family. I can fit two quesadillas on a standard baking sheet and bake two trays side by side in the oven. The longest part of this meal prep is making your Jack O' Lantern faces. I like to lay a tortilla on a large wooden cutting board and cut with the point of a sharp paring knife. You can toast up the leftover carving pieces and dip them in your soup or salsa as well. I use a mix of sharp orange cheddar cheese (for color and flavor) and mozzarella (because it melts well and gives it the "gooey" factor). You can use whatever cheeses you like best, but try to use some orange.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

November Meal Plan

It's time for the November Monthly Meal Plan Menu and that means Thanksgiving recipe ideas! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year. I am already getting excited for the food and thinking about our menu. Here are some great ideas!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Friday, October 20, 2017

October 20th Friday Frenzy Food & Craft Link Party

friday frenzy link party 
Welcome to the Friday Frenzy, the Best Food and Craft Link Party on the Web. Why is it the best?

Hot chocolate pancakes #Choctoberfest


Disclosure: Imperial Sugar is a gold sponsor of #Choctoberfest and provided me with sugar. All opinions expressed are my own.

This is my last #Choctoberfest 2017 recipe, but it's a goodie! I hope you have been enjoying all the delicious chocolate recipes this week and that you remembered to enter the sweet giveaway (link at the bottom of the post). This recipe is for a sweet chocolaty breakfast treat for your family! Hot Chocolate Pancakes are lovely for the holidays, or Valentine's Day, or anytime you need a special breakfast for the chocolate lovers in your life. I feel like these pancakes require a side of bacon or breakfast sausages to contrast all the sweetness. They are also flexible -- you can tailor them to be like your favorite hot chocolate. I topped mine with mini marshmallows, powdered sugar, and real maple syrup. However, you can use hot fudge or chocolate sauce for extra chocolaty goodness, add a touch of cinnamon to the batter or sprinkled on top, or put some peppermint extract in the batter -- whatever you like in your hot chocolate.

This recipe will serve about 4 people. Thanks to Imperial Sugar for inspiring me to make some delicious chocolate treats this week! Check out other sweet seasonal recipes on Imperial Sugar's website.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sweet potato brownies #Choctoberfest


Disclosure: Imperial Sugar is a gold sponsor of #Choctoberfest and provided me with sugar. All opinions expressed are my own.

Guys, can you believe all the amazing chocolate recipes there are for #Choctoberfest already?! I hope you are all following along this week with our hashtag on all your favorite social media platforms. I'm excited to share my next recipe with you today -- Sweet Potato Brownies! Pumpkins are amazing and all, but sweet potatoes deserve fall love, too. They can be used in a lot of baked goods which may normally call for pumpkin. But, the humble sweet potato is often overlooked (except for its amazing pie). So, let's change that by using it in more delicious treats like these brownies. These brownies have a sweet potato topping gently swirled into the top of the brownies as well as a bit of sweet potato in the brownie batter itself. They are super moist, sweet with a touch of warm spices, and chocolaty, too. Plus their colors make them fun for Halloween party treats! Thanks to Imperial Sugar for inspiring these brownies which will certainly become a fall favorite for our family. In case you missed my Instagram post when I received my sugar, my little goblins were excited to help me out in the kitchen and to be taste testers for these yummy brownies!


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Spooky double chocolate eyeball cookies #Choctoberfest


Disclosure: I received a complimentary container of Gourmet Baking Cocoa from Rodelle, a #Chocotoberfest sponsor. I was not required to make a recipe or post a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Eye, I mean, I always feel like somebody's watching me..... I'm kicking off #Choctoberfest with these fun and spooky cookies! Not only are they fun and spooky, but they are also super tasty! I made these cookies with Rodelle's Gourmet Baking Cocoa. Their cocoa is Dutch-processed making it very rich and dark (as you can see from the cookies - they turned out perfect for Halloween). My husband and I both couldn't stop smelling the cookie batter and the cookies themselves once they were baked because the chocolaty aroma was addictive! The flavor was unmatched to some of the cheaper grocery store cocoa powders I've used in the past.

These cookies were made for our annual family apple picking day. Each year I make a treat, usually some sort of pumpkin cookie (chocolate chip, oatmeal, snickerdoodle, just to name a few), but this year I surprised everyone with something different and they were a hit! The kids liked the eyeballs (you can leave these off if you so choose - they are just for fun, but the cookies are amazing without them). Take these to a Halloween party or on a fall outing with family or friends! It's like eyes are peering at you through the dark autumn night. I modified this recipe and the below version will make about three dozen cookies.


Monday, October 16, 2017

#Choctoberfest 2017 Welcome & Giveaway!

Choctoberfest-2015-2 
Today is one of my favorite days of the year, because it is the official start of #Choctoberfest. This is the third annual food blogger celebration of all things chocolate, made possible thanks to our gold sponsor Imperial Sugar and the other sponsors listed below. Over 70 bloggers are participating in #Choctoberfest 2017 and will be posting 200+ chocolate recipes over the next week. Keep your eyes peeled, visit any of the blogs listed below, or use the #Choctoberfest hashtag on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to follow along. You can also check out our #Choctoberfest Pinterest board, where we post chocolate recipes all year long. You can also enter to win our #Choctoberfest prize pack. Thank to our amazing sponsors who are contributing the following items for the prize:

Friday, October 13, 2017

Monday, October 9, 2017

Banana spinach oat blender muffins


It's been a while now since I posted a baby and/or toddler food recipe. This is mostly because my twins are now pretty much eating what we eat most of the time. However, now that they are toddlers, they are starting to show some food preferences. They are still pretty excellent eaters, but I will never miss an opportunity to get a little more good stuff into them however I can (especially when lately more vegetables end up on the floor rather than into little mouths). I found this recipe recently and used it as a guide for making these muffins. Let me tell you how tasty these muffins are -- so yummy! Sweet from the banana, a little earthy from the spinach and flax, and a touch of warm spice from nutmeg and cinnamon. Nutmeg is a spice I love with bananas and I frequently use with greens, so it was a must-have in these. I love the vibrant green color from the (pretty much liquefied) spinach! It makes them so pretty. They would be fun for Halloween as well (maybe add some dark chocolate chips). These muffins have been twin tested and approved, but they are great for the whole family. This recipe will make about 16 muffins.


Friday, October 6, 2017

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Slow cooker eggplant "baked" ziti


This ziti is "baked" because well, it's not baked.... But, it is just like the baked ziti you know and love, except it is made in your slow cooker rather than the oven. I love my slow cooker so much. I use it all year round and to make all kinds of dishes. I've seen a lot of recipes for slow cooker baked ziti over the years. This version uses eggplant because we often have a lot of it this time of year and also because I like to add extra vegetables where I can. The eggplant also adds extra moisture to the dish. What I like about making "baked" ziti in the slow cooker is that when it's done cooking you can put it on warm and serve it at a party or potluck, or, like me, when your family sometimes needs to eat dinner at different times of the evening, and it will still be warm to eat. This recipe will feed about 6-8 people. Serve it with a side of garlic bread and/or a side salad to stretch it even more.

A note on cooking pasta in the slow cooker like this - it won't taste exactly the same as when you boil the pasta and then add it to the sauce. Cooking it together in the sauce, the pasta will retain more of a starchy flavor. This is not something that we mind, but some people may. I use a 4 quart slow cooker and this recipe just fits in it perfectly. Cooking time will vary a little depending on your slow cooker.