Pumpkin Pie Crisp ūüćā

FALL IS HERE! Let the pumpkin baking begin. This Pumpkin Pie Crisp is delicious twist on the traditional pumpkin pie, AND it’s simple to make!

Ingredients:

Pumpkin filling

  • 1 (15oz.) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream

Cinnamon Streusel

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour*
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

*Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into the flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 ¬įF. Butter a 12-inch cast iron skillet or a medium casserole dish. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and vanilla extract. Whisk in heavy cream until smooth. Pour into prepared skillet and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add melted butter and stir with a fork until crumbly. (You can also use a hand mixer)
  4. Spread cinnamon streusel topping on top of pumpkin pie mixture in an even layer.
  5. Bake until the filling is set and the top is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes, then serve warm topped with Vanilla Ice Cream.

Fall Decor 2020

Last year when I put away my fall decorations I decided it was time to purge and get rid of a few old things that I had glue together many times. I will glue things together forever! This whole time of purging I was thinking that I would buy new in 2020…boy was I wrong!

Headed out to my favorite stores like Tuesday Mornings, TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods thinking everything was back to normal. Super excited for all the great finds I was going to find so that I could refresh my fall decorations! To my great surprise everyone is out of everything due to COVID and shipping. Hobby Lobby did have some things but nothing really jumped out at me there. Tuesday Mornings told me it was due to COVID and TJ’s and Home Goods were out because anything they had people had already bought everything.

I brought my fall decor down from the attic knowing that I was going to be light on the decorating this year. I started unpacking and it looked like a sea of pumpkins when I placed all of my pumpkins on the counter. Happy me started setting them around only to see that sea of pumpkins looked like tidal pools on the beach when I spread them out..

Sea of pumpkins

I decided to make the best of it and decorate where people were the most. This is what I came up with:

It all looks great, its just a little less. Some say less is better but I am a little on the side of more is better. Either way it worked out and reminds me of how we need to be so grateful for what we have. Who knew last October that COVID was going to hit? It is the time of year to be thankful and I am truly thankful for all I have. My opinion is gratefulness brings contentment and I am going with that.

Moral of the story: Be grateful! And don’t throw any decor out until you know there is more to buy at the store.

I did find a few great things at the Farmer’s Market for outside:

I hope this encourages you to decorate even when it is not a lot of stuff.

Velvet Pumpkins

Fall is approaching! It’s time to break out the decorations…or make new ones! These cute velvet pumpkins are the perfect decor for your mantel, dining room table, or really anywhere in your home!

Take a trip to your nearest craft store! Here’s what you need:

Styrofoam balls (you choose the size!), Velvet yarn (you choose the colors!), Knitting needles, scissors, and your husband’s drill!

You’ll start by drilling a hole in the center of the Styrofoam ball…I chose the biggest drill bit in the set! This is messy…doing it outside would probably be your cleanest bet! Next you will want to cut the bottom of the ball off just a bit–enough for the pumpkin to sit flat.

P.S. It’s easier to make this craft if the hole is MUCH bigger than the hole I drilled in my first pumpkin!

Pull off a good bit of yarn to get started and tie it to the end of your knitting needle!

Now starts the process…this takes time and patience. You’ll just want to go through the hole and back around until you begin to wrap the ball with the yarn completely. Once you run out of thread, tie it off and start a new piece.

It should begin to look something like this! If so, you are on the right track!

I forgot to mention…Once you are complete you’ll have to go on a stick hunt in your yard. The stick will be the cute little stem of your pumpkin!

Ta-Da! Looks like it came off the shelf at your local Hobby Lobby or Target!

We also did another color…

We’re in love with the velvet pumpkins…hope I can find a place for them to cozy up in my home just in time for fall!

Classic Lasagna

Be prepared to invest some time into this dish. It takes a little while to prepare and bake, but it is so worth it! It makes a lot too, so leftovers are to be expected. Honestly, I think it’s even better the second time! I even prepared a second smaller baking dish to put in the freezer.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2¬†lbs¬†ground beef or turkey
  • 1¬†medium onion,¬†chopped
  • 3¬†cloves¬†garlic,¬†minced
  • 1¬†Tbsp¬†olive oil
  • 2 15¬†oz¬†cans tomato sauce
  • 1 15¬†oz¬†can water,¬†use the tomato sauce can
  • 1 12¬†oz¬†can tomato paste
  • 1¬†tsp¬†oregano
  • 1¬†tsp¬†basil
  • 1¬†tsp¬†salt
  • 1¬†tsp¬†pepper
  • 24¬†oz¬†shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 16¬†oz¬†or ricotta cheese
  • 1/2¬†cup¬†grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 16¬†oz¬†box lasagna pasta,¬†you will only need about 15 noodles

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350¬įF.
  2. In a large pan, add olive oil, chopped onions and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add ground beef and cook until completely browned, drain fat. Return to pan.
  4. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for approximately 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente, rinse and set aside.
  7. Lightly spray a 14 x 11 1/2 x 2 1/4 baking dish (or two smaller size baking dishes) with a non stick spray then add a small amount of meat mixture in the bottom of dish. Spread around.
  8. Add lasagna noodles (approximately 5, they will overlap onto each other).
  9. Next, spread 1/2 of the cottage cheese on top of pasta.
  10. Spoon 1/3 meat mixture on top of cottage cheese.
  11. Sprinkle with 1/2 the Parmesan cheese.
  12. Next add 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese.
  13. Repeat with another layer of pasta, cottage cheese, meat mixture, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese.
  14. Final layer is pasta, remaining meat mixture and remaining cheese.
  15. Cover with foil, cook for approximately 50-60 minutes. Remove foil and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  16. Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

No-Bake Chocolate PB Balls

Labor Day is right around the corner! Are you scrounging for last minute dessert ideas for your cookout? These no-bake chocolate peanut butter balls are easy & delicious!

Ingredients:

  • Almond Bark
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted, softened butter

With the exception of the almond bark, you probably have these other ingredients right at home!

To start with you will want to add the 3 tablespoons of softened butter as well as the peanut butter into a mixing bowl.

Stir until the mixture is creamy and smooth! Next, you will want to slowly add in the powdered sugar, stirring in between to make sure you mix it all in! (secret tip: it’s so much easier to mix with your hands!) Make sure you mix it until it has the consistency of cookie dough & then refrigerate for an hour or so!

After letting your “dough” refrigerate you can take it out and roll it into 1 inch balls…

This is how many balls one recipe of this made. I rolled 18 but I probably could have rolled 20 if I was more precise!

Next comes the fun part! Melt the almond bark and start dipping!

This part can get a little messy…but they’re oh so worth it! After all the peanut butter balls are dipped let them refrigerate about 2 (or more) hours before serving to your guests! These are also best if stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

Enjoy! And let us know if anyone gets creative and tries white chocolate peanut butter balls! Yum!

Teriyaki Turkey Rice Bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 2 large carrots
  • 8 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 green onions
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 4 cups of white or brown rice, cooked
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp of granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3/8 cup of water
  • Mix soy sauce, 1/4 cup water, red wine vinegar, sugars, garlic and ginger in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir with a whisk until sugar is dissolved.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons warm water and cornstarch until cornstarch is completely dissolved.
  • Heat sauce over medium high heat. Slowly whisk in cornstarch mixture and simmer until thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced onions and cook until soft.
  • Crumble ground turkey and garlic into the pan and cook until turkey is about half cooked. Add grated carrots and chopped broccoli and continue to cook until turkey is no longer pink.
  • Pour teriyaki sauce over cooked turkey and vegetable mixture and stir. Simmer for about five minutes to combine the flavors.
  • Spoon meat over rice or noodles. Garnish with green onions and serve immediately.

Nursery Decorating on a Budget!

My husband and I are expecting a sweet bundle of joy in November and I thought it would be a great idea to blog about the process of decorating his nursery.

Before I start I just want to add…this little “room” we set up as his nursery is not a full size room! So the pricing for a full size bedroom would obviously be different than what we spent to decorate this little space.

This is an area that is about 12 foot long by 7 foot wide right off the back of our master bedroom. It worked out perfectly to have our little guy close to us once he arrives! Before, we used this area as a junk/storage space and the previous owners had it set up as a little “book nook”-just to give you a little idea of the size of it.

When we first bought our home last year the entire house was carpeted. It was a yucky, off-white, slightly-yellowed-with-age color…and we ripped up the carpet immediately! To our surprise there were beautiful hardwood floors underneath all of the carpet EXCEPT in this little space that is now a nursery!

With our house only being two bedrooms I knew that I didn’t want to convert our guest bedroom into a nursery because I’m sure we will have a lot of guest once the baby makes his appearance! So I knew the first step was getting carpet installed on the hideous floor…

Pictured: The hideous floor!

Just for the sake of you knowing the layout of the space: The picture is taken from the door of a half bathroom and on the wall you can’t see there is a closet with sliding doors. Where the gentleman is kneeling is the entrance to our master bedroom.

My husband and I started our carpet installing journey at Lowe’s Home Improvement. We waited a whopping 3 weeks for someone to come out and give an estimate…which I was not too happy with but it was okay because we have time before the nursery has to be ready! (Luckily we aren’t procrastinators!) After the estimate we were just not pleased with pricing so plan B…

We did end up buying a carpet from Lowe’s. It was something they already had in stock because if we custom ordered it would take another 10+ days to come in and after waiting 3 weeks for an estimate I wanted the carpet ASAP. We chose a grey and brown mingled carpet–I believe it was called sandstorm or something along those lines and it only costs us $99.00!

I will add–it does help to know people. My mom and my sister’s boyfriend installed our carpet for us using tack tracks and carpet pad that was only $25.00…and of course they didn’t charge us a fee! This is the final product…totally transformed the space!

We were amazed!

Now for the fun part…decorating! We already had a crib and a changing table put together that my MIL gave us the money for so that cut out a pretty big expense. We got a mini-crib and the changing table from Target for $290.00 for both! Not to mention, we got a $50.00 gift card from Target for buying over a certain dollar amount of furniture on that day…so technically it was only $240.00 for the crib and the changing table! I will link them below…

Changing table is cut off a bit–but here are the two put together!

Talking themes was hard for me only because I had my heart set on stars, moons, & clouds before I even knew the gender! But since we are naming our son Judah, he has so many lion clothes/accessories already! The lions were cute so I threw out my stars idea and we dived in headfirst with the lion theme!

So I am going to post now various pictures of the finalized nursery and then talk about the different prices of some of the things we picked up!

You can’t tell from this picture but this material has little tiny white plus signs on it–it added a cute little flair! The material from Hobby Lobby to make the curtains and the crib skirt ended up totaling around $20.00 for all!

The bible verse photo came from Hobby Lobby…it was $7.50, the J came from Old Time Pottery for $12.99, and the lion came from Target for $3.00!

I’m a huge fan of blankets/quilts and I fell in love with this one at Marshall’s. I thought it went so well with everything…it was $20!

This lion rug came from Hobby Lobby for $7.00 and the lion hanging above the changing table was $15.00. We picked up some various baskets from Goody’s, Big Lots, and Target–no more than $15.00 for all of them!

The changing pad cover as well as the crib sheet were purchased on Amazon for $10.00 for both!

I didn’t take a picture of it but we got a small white shelf for the closet from Big Lots for only $22.00! We bargain shopped all day…I’d say it was a huge success!

The total cost of decorating the nursery totaled around $245.00–that of course doesn’t include the crib and changing table because that was a gift…but if we added that in it was still less that $500.00 to decorate the entire space! Most of the times cribs alone are that much!

I was so pleased with how it turned out…the only thing missing is our baby boy!

Painted Flower Pots

What you’ll need:

  • Terracotta Pot(s)
  • Acrylic or outdoor paint (depending on where pot will be displayed)
  • Paint brushes
  • Clear sealant (optional)
  • Creativity!

Make sure your pot is dry and clean, and choose a design. You can paint the whole pot one color and then add your design, just make sure one layer of paint is dry before adding another! You can also trace out your ideas in pencil before you begin.

TIP: Paint your design in white first and then paint over it with the colors of your choice. This will help the colors POP!

Try using the paintbrush on an angle if you want to get a clean edge. You can also try painters tape if you want to get a super crisp edge.

Let the paint dry before planting anything in your pot. You can also add a clear sealant if your pot will be somewhere subject to wear and tear or spills.

Decorate with your pot and make it a statement, or paint multiple as a set. The opportunities are endless!

Simple Puff Pastries!

Do you have a sweet tooth? Do you need a simple dessert for a girls night in or a Saturday morning tea party?

Whether or not you’re just in the mood for something sweet or need to prep something beautifully decadent…these puff pastries are just what the dr. ordered!

First you’ll want to line your baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Unfold your defrosted pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface. Using a pizza cutter, cut each sheet into 6 squares. Divide your chocolate evenly among the 12 rectangles–placing the chocolate at the edge of each pastry. Roll tightly to completely enclose the chocolate inside. Seal the top of your pastry with a dab of water. Place each pastry onto the pan seam side down (this is important)! Brush each pastry with water and sprinkle lightly with sugar…

The pastries need to bake about 20 minutes or until they are golden brown…let the pastries cool for 10 minutes. You can serve these warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy your puff pastries with a cold glass of milk or a warm cup of tea or coffee. These pastries are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth and make your friends come back for seconds!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8oz) Package of Cream Cheese at Room Temperature
  • 1 (7oz) Jar of Marshmallow Fluff
  • 1/2 (4oz) Tub of Cool Whip
  • 1 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup of Mini Chocolate Chips
  • Graham Crackers & Fruit for Dipping

Mix all the ingredients together and chill in the refrigerator. Serve with graham crackers & your fruit of choice!