Sunday, November 29, 2015

November In A Nutshell: 2015

November is nearly gone. Unbelievable. This year has flown by. I'm sitting here in a bit of shock that the hubby and I are going to be putting away all my fall decor to make room for our Christmas stuff today. I feel like it was just yesterday that we were putting up last year's tree. I guess time flies when you're having fun, huh? 

The other night I found myself reading my old blog posts. Like, really, really old blog posts. Besides feeling a little sheepish at the quality of what I used to post, I found a blog theme that was left along the wayside at some point. And that theme was the end-of-month wrap-up. I found, for my memory purposes, that those monthly wrap-up's were some of my favorite posts to read. The hubby told me those were some of his favorites too. So, I think it's time to reinstate that tradition. Here's what the hubby and I got into this month:

Oh! And that top photo I took when the hubby and I took the nephews and niece to Buffalo Wild Wings on Black Friday. We had a grand time. The boys' expressions are priceless, aren't they? Haha.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Pomegranate Pistachio Bark

Happy day after Thanksgiving!

Did everyone have a great holiday? Eat a lot of turkey? Watch a lot of football? Drink a lot of mimosa's and chow down on Mom's Family Famous Clam Dip? Just me? Ok :-)

We had a great holiday around here! Everyone pitched in to bring different dishes, so my stress level was low. The turkey cooked in 3 hours and 15 minutes, instead of the 5 hours we planned on (one of my fears was that the bird wouldn't cook in time, or that people would eat raw turkey). We were pleased with that one. The Pecan Pie turned out just like the one I practiced on. Twas' a good day.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Salmon, Gouda, & Fried Egg Sandwiches

Happy Tuesday morning y'all!

I'm here posting again on Tuesday (after I posted on Monday) because I don't think I'm going to be back to the blog until Friday. The hubby and I have a super-busy week.

Isn't it always like that around the holidays?

As I mentioned previously (actually, quite a while ago), the hubby and I are hosting Thanksgiving this year. Which means a lot more work than usual. Haha. Usually we are just grabbing a couple of things and heading out the hubby's sister's house. Not this year. So, the hubby and I will be cleaning house today, with tomorrow being a prep day for the holiday. We also have to babysit our niece and our nephews tomorrow before doing the prep work, which will add a extra kick of pressure tomorrow.  I figure, as long as the turkey is defrosted, the Clam Dip is made, and the Pecan Pie is done, I should feel ready for the holiday.

Should being the key word there :-)

Monday, November 23, 2015

25 Chocolate Recipes

Thanksgiving is upon us, my friends!

It's true, October would have been the perfect month for  25 Chocolate Recipes. That being said, I think November is a great month for this round-up too. For a couple of reasons-

#1. Not everyone likes Pecan Pie. Or Pumpkin Pie. I guarantee there's people out there that might want a chocolate dessert for Thanksgiving.

#2. Christmas and holiday baking are right around the corner. There are plenty of cookies, candies, and cakes in this round-up to choose for cookie swaps or last minute party gifts.

#3. I mean, it's chocolate. Come on. It's good 12 months out of the year. It's good for 52 weeks out of the year. It's good for 365 days out of the year. You get the picture.

So, yeah. Shall we jump right in?

*Warning- pictures may induce drooling, cravings, and a one-track chocolate brain. Proceed at your own risk :-)

Friday, November 20, 2015

Classic Pecan Pie

-plus tips on making your own pie crust!

Another Thanksgiving recipe!

Pecan Pie is a serious favorite around these Southern parts. People around here, and especially the hubby's family, love anything pecan pie. Anything pecan, really. Pecan Pie Cake? Yes, ma'am. Pecan Pie Shortbread Cookies? Oh, yes. Pecan Pie Milkshakes? Bring it on. So needless to say, I've been working on perfecting my classic pecan pie.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Spinach & Mushroom Stuffed Peppers

Hello friends! Up on deck today, a vegetarian stuffed pepper. Filled to the brim with marinara sauce, rice, spinach, mushrooms, panko, and of course, cheese! These are a great alternative to the standard stuffed pepper that is usually filled with a meat mixture. Use leftover rice, and you've really got yourself a meal that seems like it would take a long time but actually comes together very fast.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

We are getting so close to Thanksgiving, I thought I would share my holy grail recipe for mashed potatoes. They are made with milk and sour cream, a sprinkle of fresh herbs, and the most important part, a truckload of freshly roasted garlic. Oh yeah. Don't make this recipe for date night, unless of course part of your date entails rebuffing the advances of vampires.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Recipe Redux: Oktoberfest Stew

Recipe Redux.

Recipe Re-do.

Whatever you want to call it, it's time for this month's Recipe Redux! This one is definitely a keeper. I've been making it ever since the hubby and I moved into our new house. Literally, I think this was THE first new recipe I ever made in my brand new kitchen. Let's take a walk down memory lane, shall we?

When the hubby and I moved out of our rental in Ashland, it was the most organized move I'd ever, well, organized. I was on top of my game. I started packing 4 weeks before our move-out date, and I went slowly, room by room. Each box I packed had a room marked on it that it should go to. Underneath the name of the room, I listed every. single. thing. in the box. It was the most helpful thing I'd ever done.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Hard Root Beer Floats

You got me.

You figured out the real reason I wanted to post my 5-Ingredient Vanilla Ice Cream on Tuesday. I wanted to post it so I could gift you all with this recipe for root beer floats. Mwhahahaha.

Ah, root beer. I can honestly say that I had not had a root beer in many, many moons. I can't remember the last time I had root beer. I usually choose cream soda, but I digress. The hubby and I were at his cousin's baby reveal party back in September. The party was winding down, and there were just a handful of us relatives sitting around the pool at the cousin's mother-in-law's house. I don't know how the subject came up, but we started talking about root beer. To be more specific, we started talking about hard root beer. I'd never even heard of hard root beer, let alone tried one. I do remember thinking it was an excellent idea though... As luck would have it, the cousin's brother-in-law had brought a 6-pack of hard root beer that he was willing to share. Needless to say, I tried the frothy beverage.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

5-Ingredient Vanilla Ice Cream

Well, as always friends, I had the best intentions to blog on Monday. However, the day had other plans. You see, the hubby and I have been having the worst problems with DirecTv. We've been having multiple outages and our box resets every couple of hours. It's been happening more and more often since DirecTv merged with AT&T. Over the weekend, the hubby and I reached our breaking point and scheduled a technician to come out and switch our boxes. And our appointment just happened to be at 8 am yesterday. Prime blogging time for Jessica. I should have known there would be trouble.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Chicken Fajita Casserole

Chicken Fajitas? In casserole form?

You mean, no screaming hot plate of peppers and chicken to burn my hands on? No constructing-every-portion-as-you-go? And, if you aren't constructing fajitas along the way, does that mean no extraneous plates of toppings lying around that you will eventually have to wash later that night?

If all that hasn't convinced you, how about this? Layers of tortilla, Spanish rice, smoky chicken, and sautéed peppers and onions, all tied together with a super-cheesy queso sauce?

Yep. You had me at queso :-)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Grown-Up Tuna Salad

Admittedly, it's November. That time of year when the weather is turning chilly, and everyone is craving food that's warm and comforting. Lasagna. Chili. Chowders. Meats slow roasted in the crock pot. Beef stews with potatoes and carrots. You get the idea. This salad is none of those things. But, if you are going to have all that comfort food for dinner, what are you going to have for lunch??

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Apple Cider & Pear Crumb Bars

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I had 3 lonely pears sitting on my counter. 3 lonely pears that I had no idea what to do with. Yes, it is that time of year when pears are in season. I have a like-hate relationship with pears. They are one of my least favorite fruits. I don't know why, they just are. We actually had a pear tree in our backyard when I was a kid, and I can honestly say I never liked them. They are ho-hum when raw and fresh. They turn revolting when you can them in a sugary syrup. You were more likely to find me atop the plum or cherry trees as a tom-boy child than in the pear tree.

That being said, I keep trying to like them. I subscribe to the idea that I could eat anything as long as it is prepared the right way. So, I keep looking for ways to enjoy pears. Most of the time, this results in 3 to 4 pears being added to the compost pile. But this time, I found a delicious way to enjoy pears.