Just one day away till Halloween. It’s raining here but it’s suppose to make its way out before tomorrow nights festivities. What are your plans this Halloween? We are ordering pizza and I plan to make some cupcakes with a Halloween swirl. Though on Fall nights like this I love to make stew, soups, and goulashes. There just happens to be more then one way to make a goulash. My other half would assume this Moroccan beef stew is a goulash. I say it’s a stew. You can decide for yourself
The aromatic smell of the allspice and cinnamon as this simmers on the stove reminds me of Fall. Most of all I dig the usage of apricots and raisins. Dried fruit really gives the dish flavor and color. I added some dried apricots to the top for more color but I cook some in the dish too. Too add a bit of green you can top with parsley or basil though we eat it without those.
Tonight, I plan on helping my daughter carve a pumpkin. I know the other half will probably take over and do his rendition of a Halloween Michael Myers pumpkin just like in the films and on the cover. I hope if it’s not to wet outside to get some pictures of my eerie graveyard and the pumpkin this evening. Do you make your own Halloween decorations? I have too much fun doing it. I don’t make costumes though. Sewing is not my forte.
Thinking of tomorrow night is anyone planning on watching the Ghost Adventures two hour Transylvania episode? I am going to try to catch at least half of it. I know for some part of it we will be trick or treating. What time do you head out? Do you wait till dusk or just go at around 7:00P.M.? We usually wait until dusk but lately more people have been starting earlier especially if it is a school night. However you celebrate I hope your preparations for All Hallow’s Eve are underway.
I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client Land O’Lakes.
Some weeks you just really want to do nothing but easy recipes that will fulfill your family. What’s worse is when you are tired of the same foods. I like making classic authentic food as much as the next but sometimes I hack it to make it delicious and easy. This Meatball Stroganoff is easy but gets easier with Land O’Lakes Saute Express Saute Starters. Helps me cut out the garlic and chopping of herbs. Super simple to start a meal off with!
I like to make a plan for the week with recipes that I know I can make or teach the teens to make. It’s great to plan meals for the week as it will help you throw out less produce. Just like tonight’s tortilla soup I made in which I also used the Saute Express Starters in it. Letting nothing go to waste!
Simply melt the starters in a pan and add in mushrooms, onions, and other goodies. The Saute Express Starters are good in soups or saute chicken. I like to just keep a notepad file of the recipes I want to make for the week. This week the plan is to make Czech goulash, Moroccan stew, taco soup, pasta pie, and a few other dishes. Do you have a weekly menu?
These are not only wonderful for sauteing foods they are also delicious on breads. Toast french bread and use it like a spread over the bread before toasting. Super scrumptious! Using #SauteExpress on Twitter or Instagram you can find more recipes featuring different Saute Express Starter flavors. They can easily be picked up in the butter and spreads section at Walmart. I have a feeling the garlic and herb and the lemon pepper will soon become a staple in my fridge.
Cooking on Friday’s is NOT my forte’. With that being said, crock pots can come in handy when you want to make a meal and run off to see the new Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters film. These Italian beef sandwiches cook wonderfully easy in the crock pot without to many ingredients too; it is a budget friendly recipe!
The new Percy Jackson movie is definitely a hit in my book. It would be fun to read the entire series but so far I have only accomplished reading the first book. As soon as the first film came out we went to the theaters to see it. Unfortunately, I did not get to see this movie on opening weekend. Though the next film I will make it a point to go see it opening weekend. Did you like the new Percy Jackson film?
After running off to see the new Percy film, since our power was out due to maintenance, we went shopping. The Italian beef for the sandwiches slow cooked the night before. Rue 21 has some great jeans on sale. My daughter picked up four pairs of jeans for $50. Can’t beat that! Once we got home from shopping I just clicked the crock pot on to warm and by dinner time the Italian beef was warmed up for the sandwiches. Made my Friday night cooking easy!
As fall approaches, my Friday nights are spent making easy dinners and watching Haven. This show has an amazing cast! I simply cannot wait for this show to come back on. Guess that means I need to make more easy dinners just like this one. Do you have any easy meals that you make on Friday’s?
Gosh! This sandwich really is the bomb! In Chicago a.k.a Chi-town, you can get these bad boys all around. Here in Texas, we have one joint in a 100 mile radius that sells these but nowhere close to what you get up north. Sometimes it is nice to go out to eat and just grab a drippy sandwich. I wish we had places here that sold good food like this Italian beef sandwich. At least for the meantime I can make these as good as the ones in Chi-town at home. So without further ado here is the recipe!
It is truly super fantastic when ground beef goes on sale. My entire family are ground beef eaters. On the other hand, I am not the biggest fan. Basically, that means hamburgers get old fairly quickly! Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joe’s is a recipe I saw on Pinterest. There is plenty of recipes out on the net for these Joe’s but I’m not a fan of the steak sauce they used or flour mixture to thicken the Joe.
Instead, I decided to use the natural beef flavor and enhance it with a bit of packaged brown gravy. It flavors the meat well and gives the texture of a sloppy joe. Onions, bell peppers, and garlic add to the flavor just like what you would expect in a regular Philly cheese steak sandwich. These Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joe’s go well with onion rings, tater tots, or crinkle cut fries.
The question inquiring minds would like to know is what cheese do you prefer on them? My oldest and youngest are not fans of cheese so they eat them without the cheese. But the age old question is how is a Philly best served with “what” style of cheese. Are you a cheese sauce (cheese whiz) or provolone fan? Tell us below how you take your Philly! The rest of my household are all provolone junkies but my middle one would use pepper jack cheese if he could.
Most of all, this recipe is so awesome because it is budget friendly and super quick to make on a weeknight before your TV shows come on. Good in the summer without heating up the house. Great in the winter cause it is a warming dish. Perfect on the go to the lake, soccer practice, or NASCAR races. It just so darn universal! I have to tell you though, I had to eat mine on Texas Toast! It does help soak up some of the sauce with a crispy bite each time. What’s your year round go to meal? Is it budget friendly?
With a 16th birthday and house remodeling taking up most of my time I have been absent from the blog for too long. Though luckily during all the remodeling I have been working on smaller projects too like DIY photography boards for my food photography. Plus, a list of recipes, including chili mac, that would look delicious here on the blog. It also helps if the family likes them.
Five people in one house can make it difficult to choose a recipe that everyone will try or enjoys. My oldest son does not like cheese. There is a few dishes that he will eat “certain” cheeses with like mozzarella. On the other hand, my daughter eats cheese but is not the biggest fan. My middle son, myself, and the other half all enjoy plenty of different cheeses. This is just a tiny dilemma since many dishes have cheese but it is super easy to remove it. Below is one dish I have found that the entire family will eat that does not come straight from mixing boxed food with canned food.
Mmm… Good comfort food. Chili Mac!
Hearty meat, fresh spices, and comfort pasta make this dish so appeasing not only to adults but children too. Top it with cheese and onions for even more flavor. My son likes to add sour cream but I like mine with cheese and red onion. For extra heat the other half adds cayenne pepper over his after it is served.
Back to the DIY photography boards. Tell me these boards are not just super pretty? I just love playing with colors and leaving some natural. I am thinking about a post on how to make DIY photography boards with cheap acrylic paint, Elmer’s glue, and plywood. Just curious if any of my readers would be interesting in reading a detailed post about this?
Here’s the recipe for Chili Mac :)
This plnena paprika polevka also know as stuffed pepper soup has been lurking in my folder for about two weeks now. I held off on it to finish the boards to photograph it on and once I finally photographed it I realized I left thick soup all along the edge and it looks horrible; well to me it looks horrible. The plan to remake the soup continued to be put off since the weather is considerably hot here for this time of year. It probably just best to go ahead and share it. If we end up with another cold and rainy day I can always remake the soup and get some gorgeous shots.
Czechs generally make stuffed bell peppers a bit different then Italians do. My other half and I figured that out the first time we decided to make stuffed peppers together. He is full blooded Czech and well I’m Italian with other heritage but more prone to the Italian as I was raised with that cuisine and values. Czech stuffed peppers are simmered on a stove with paprika, rice, and ground beef while Italian stuffed pepper are baked in the oven without paprika and a small amount of tomato sauce. This stuffed pepper soup is a rendition of Czech stuffed peppers turned inside out to make a soup. Love Czech stuffed peppers with dumplings also known as knedliky. We just had garlic bread at the time but it would have been nice to pair them with this soup.
The board turned out nice in the photograph. I am working on several others and thinking about a DIY post. Anyone that would be interested? The boards I am working on are going to be chalkboard, crackled, and stained. Most of them will be painted with basic cheap acrylic paints you can pick up at any hobby store. Hoping to get the rest of them cut tonight so I can work on them over the next few days. Also in some serious need for heavy poster board. Looks like another run to the Dollar Tree.
And now I am off to cut those boards… well make the other half do it while I eat fresh tortillas with salsa and butter. Guilty pleasure!
Yes, I love pie! Oddly enough I prefer cherry or meat pies. These Shepherd’s Hand Pies feature shepherd’s pie in a handmade pie crust. The can be made with beef, chicken or just vegetarian. Creativity with this recipe is your friends. The more intricate the ingredients the richer the flavors. I make these with beef and onion as the flavors just fall together. For vegetarians mushrooms, carrots, potatoes, onion, celery, and corn make a pie. For the gravy just use cooked carrots and blend them in a blender with a bit of heavy whipping cream. They make a fantastic gravy that is full of color and nutrients. If your a chicken fan you can do chicken with a chicken gravy and matching vegetables. If you really want to jump out of the box you can use crawfish or crab meat to make a seafood rendition.
Hand pies are delicious fresh or they can be frozen to heat up later on another occasion. This makes them perfect for movie night or for weeknight TV shows you don’t want to miss; such as Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, Haven, Grimm, and Once Upon a Time. Hmm… did I leave one out? Oh! Of course our beloved The Walking Dead. Do have to say I have been waiting for them to kill off the annoying blonde and the governor. Just not a fan of nut jobs.
Speaking of Vampire Diaries, is anyone else tired of the poor Elena thing? I am. Let’s get on with it. Damon and Elena should be together. Let Tyler hook up with the wolf chic from Secret Circle, and the judgmental Stefan and Caroline should end up together. Maybe spin off some weird love relationship with Klaus and Bonnie as they will both soon hate the new professor in town.
Anywho! Back to the pies.
Yay! The blog and I have made it two years. Though, I am a few days late on this post due to my birthday and the cold front that swept in and made everything so dark that there would be no way to get one single natural light photograph. At least the sun is back out and my son and I can have some fun photographing our favorite lunch container by Frego!
Today, for the blogiversary, I am giving away one Frego lunch container! This beast is the guru of all lunch containers. One of my very personal favorites! Here is a video to tell you why it is my favorite with all the super cool features this container comes with. We’ve used this container over and over and it works very well in the microwave and the oven. It’s sturdy and the double seal is fantastic; no leaks!
I wanted to share a recipe that I use to put in my Frego container. It’s an older recipe on the blog but one of my absolute favorites when the Autumn air comes rolling in.
For the giveaway just follow instructions in the Rafflecopter below.
*Disclosure: I was given two containers from Frego to review. I was not reimbursed for writing this post and all opinions expressed are my own.
After months of searching and preparing to make a decent Chili Con Carne (sauce/chili) I finally decided to give it a shot. I wanted the taste to be similar to what Taco Cabana uses on their enchiladas and what Sonic uses on their frito pie. Well folks, I have to admit my family said it tastes just like Sonic’s frito pie which is a plus; however, they never eat the enchiladas at Taco Cabana so that was up to my taste buds and it is pretty close.
On another note, who’s planning on seeing Ice Age this weekend? My daughter and I are thinking of going Friday morning. I love Diego! Who’s your favorite character? My daughter says I’m five. Oh well! She’s twelve and still wants to see it, so I will be five and take her
If you like it with more heat then just add more cayenne and chili powder; just reverse it for less heat.
What a fun week this was! Took my daughter to go see Hot Chelle Rae in concert and she got a chance to meet them. We delivered them 24 cupcakes that they enjoyed. More can be read about that at Muusat with a complete story including a recipe for the cupcakes and pictures.
This is a recipe I use to make corn dogs with out all the creepy lurky ingredients of those frozen dogs you buy at the store. What I truly love about making these from scratch is that you can seriously add any extras you would like to the batter. I prefer jalapenos and cheese. You could add bacon, corn, cheese, jalapenos, blueberries, and strawberries. Really the sky is the limit!
Stop buying store bought junk and try the endless possibilities at home. You can even make them mini corn dogs. Just cut up your dogs before adding them to the batter. Homemade corn dogs are the bomb diggity!
This will give you an idea of how thick your batter should be.
Don’t forget to dry those dogs.
You can fry them in a fryer or just use a pan. I prefer the pan as it uses less oil and it is definitely budget friendly.
I wish had a picture of my final project but alas the sun was going down as I was cooking these bad boys and I couldn’t get a decent picture. Next time I make some I will be sure to add the finished product picture here.
Recipe adapted from Bakingdom