Sep 30, 2013

White Chicken Chili

Well another Monday is here again, and boy did it come quickly!  It also happens to be the last day of September, which means it is the last Monday I will be featuring a lunch idea.  I also wanted to mention (again, in case you missed my last post) I will be mixing up my posts a bit in the upcoming month or so.  I won't always post a Tasty Tuesday or dinner on Thursday.  I want to switch things up and post whatever is going on in life.  

My family is starting a new lifestyle change where there is no fat or meat allowed.  There is yoga, time to reflect on life, and relaxing a bit too.  Now, I won't be participating in this program everyday like my parents but I want to support them in this new step.  Therefore, I won't be making desserts as often.  I certainly know I have no restraint when it comes to dessert around the house and I don't want to tempt anyone or make them feel as if they are missing out.  I'm still going to make things, but I will try to make them when my family isn't around.  I know it will be impossible to avoid during the holidays, but for now I'm taking a break.  Although, my mom did pick up a special cookbook for this program, which has healthy desserts, I wonder if they are good?!  (In case anyone is wondering, it is by Dr. Dean Ornish and it is supposed to reverse heart disease).  Heart disease runs in my family and my dad has had a lot of problems in the past so I'm really excited for them to get started on this program and will try it out myself here and there!  

In case you are wondering why I live with my parents for the moment :), here you go: http://littlebitofsunshineblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/fathers-day-fun.html

Anyways, back to the lunch menu for today!



This recipe came right from the McCormick Seasoning Pack section.  

McCormick White Chicken Chili Seasoning Mix

It is so simple, and really tasty!

Here is the link for the complete recipe: http://www.mccormick.com/Recipes/Main-Dishes/White-Chicken-Chili

Ingredients:
1 tbsp. of oil (I try to use Pam instead of oil)
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts-cut into chunks
1 package of McCormick White Chicken Chili Seasoning Mix
1 cup of water
1 can of white beans (don't drain) *I used Great Northern Beans
Toppings optional (we don't put anything on) shredded cheese, avocado, cilantro, sour cream

**I actually shredded a rotisserie chicken for our chili.  It was so much easier then cooking chicken and it added a little extra flavor.  I didn't use the whole chicken, we saved the other half to throw in a different soup.

Directions:  Check the McCormick link above for directions!

I can't tell you how tasty this chili is.  I love this for lunch because you can have a small bowl and it will fill you up.  It is easy to take to work, just heat it up in the microwave.  Plus, it is a great alternative to the boring old sandwich...and on a cold day when you can't seem to warm up, it is the perfect lunch!  It could also be served for dinner!  A lot of times Matt and I have beer bread with this chili, it goes really great together!  

I hope you have enjoyed my lunch ideas this month and if you have any great ideas for lunch I would love to hear about them!  Stop by tomorrow for a weekend review and thanks for stopping by! 

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Sep 27, 2013

Friday Finds

It's Friday, amen.  Enough said!  :)

I found this great website recently for pumpkin patches located in Western PA.  If you are in the area it is a great website!  There is a link on the website that takes you to a list of pumpkin patches, farms, and corn mazes in Western PA organized by counties.  Check it out if you are in the area!!
http://www.pumpkinpatchesandmore.org/PApwest.php
If not, I just Googled pumpkin patches in my area and it came up.  Maybe there are more websites like that for other areas!

Speaking of great websites...
Our house is decorated for fall and I have my FAVORITE decoration out and displayed.  It is my Happy Everything plate and I absolutely LOVE this plate.  It stays out all year because you can decorate it differently all year.  It has a strip of Velcro at the top for seasonal attachments which I can change in and out for the different seasons.  You can buy separate attachments for many different occasions.  They are all so sweet and fun.  Plus, check out the rest of the site because you will want one of everything else!

                                                    


My plate (I have the mini plate) http://coton-colors.com/bright-happy-everything-mini-platter
The attachments:  http://coton-colors.com/happy-everything/mini-attachments
The website: http://coton-colors.com/

I definitely want one of everything! :)  I especially want an adorable cookie jar, it would look so cute on the kitchen counter!  Plus, everything on the website is so cheerful and fun.  You are missing out if you don't check it out!!

Well, it was a short one today, but I hope you enjoyed my finds!  Also, starting next week I'm going to be doing things a little differently.  I'm not going to be as structured as I have been (Tuesday-dessert, Wed-crafting with kids, Thursday-dinner) I'm going to mix things up.  I'm getting a little bored with routine.  If I happen to make something good, I'll share.  If I don't do much because life gets in the way then I won't post as much for the week.  I just need to mix things up a bit!  I will still be back Monday for my last lunch idea though!  Until then...have a great weekend, and thanks for stopping by!!! :)

Sep 25, 2013

Bourbon Chicken

Today I'm really excited about my post!  My cousin Jenny recently sent me this recipe because her family enjoyed it so much, I knew I had to try it.  Sure enough, my family loved it too.  It was easy, quick, and hearty!  Who doesn't love chicken with rice?!  Well, probably a lot of people, but if you are a person who enjoys both, then this is the recipe for you!!

By the way, can you believe September is almost over??  How fast life goes, I wish it would slow down!!!!



Here we go...
Ingredients:
2 lbs. boneless chicken breasts-cut into bite sized pieces 
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 crushed garlic clove
1/4 tsp. ginger 
3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup of apple juice
1/3 cup of light brown sugar 
2 tbsp. ketchup
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce

Directions:
Heat oil in large skillet.
Add chicken and cook until lightly browned.
Remove chicken.
Add remaining ingredients, heating over medium heat until well blended and dissolved. 
Add chicken and bring to a hard boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally.
Serve over rice.  

The recipe came from:  http://www.bigoven.com/recipe/201809/Bourbon-Chicken

The sauce wasn't real thick and I added the leftover sauce (from the bottom of the pan) over the rice.  This meal was so delicious!  Thank you Jenny for the great recipe!!  

Have a wonderful day and I will be back tomorrow with some random love!  Thanks for stopping by!

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More Halloween Crafting With Harper

Last weekend I went shopping and found a little Halloween wind chime craft for Harper.  I found it at JoAnn Fabrics and I knew Harper would love it.  She wouldn't leave Matt's grandparent's chimes alone when we went on our last visit.  I pulled this little kit out the other night and we had fun coloring it!  It came with a wooden cat sitting in a pumpkin, three markers, a string (which wasn't long enough so we had to use some fishing line too) and the chimes.  It was only $1.00!  I'm not a huge kit fan because I think there are so many cute things you can find on Pinterest, but I have to admit I really enjoyed using this.  It kept her busy, creating, and happy....and it was super easy to pull out and get started!  I would recommend finding a few of these for a rainy day, Michaels usually has a bunch of kits too!  


Notice she is in her Cleveland Indians hoodie, she calls it her "Papa" clothes.  Anything she sees with the Indians logo or mascot she calls, "Papa".  Lately we can't get her to wear anything (willingly) unless it is a "Papa" outfit, which is a problem because we only have a few "Papa" outfits.  It is pretty darn funny and also super challenging!  Gotta love her!



So proud of her new creation!

Hanging from the light in her bedroom, she really enjoys it! 

We also glittered a little plastic pumpkin I got at the Dollar Tree.  I found on Pinterest where people glittered pumpkins with orange glitter, they were so pretty.  I didn't have a real pumpkin, or orange glitter, but I found this pumpkin and wanted to spruce it up!  It definitely took some time to dry, but she likes it and we have it sitting on her dresser.  

The most simple things can make her so happy, I love this age!  Nothing I shared today was too creative, but they are perfect for the working moms!  I've been back to work for almost a month now, easy crafts are my friend!

Stop by tomorrow for a great dinner idea!  See you then!

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Sep 24, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Roll-Ups

Tasty Tuesday is here!  Yayyy, I'm excited!  I decided to look around at a few different recipes, blend them together, get rid of some ingredients, add others and create my very own recipe!  I'm excited because I'm trying to start creating some of my own stuff and I never thought I could!  I'm happy with the way this recipe turned out, and I hope you all are too!  My family was also pleased with these little treats!


Ingredients:
1 can of crescent rolls *I made 8 roll ups
1/2 block of cream cheese *You might want to use a little more or less, 1/2 block worked just right for me
1 small apple-peeled then grated (using a cheese grater)
Sprinkle of cinnamon (for the filling)
3-4 tbsp. melted butter
1/4 cup of sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon

Directions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly coat cookie sheet with cooking spray.
Lay out all of the crescent rolls.
Spread a layer of cream cheese over each roll.
Add grated apples over the top of the cream cheese.
Sprinkle the top of the apples with cinnamon.
Roll up the crescents.
Microwave the butter and dump it into a bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon.
Dip each crescent into the butter and then roll in cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Place back on baking sheet and then pop into the oven for 13-15 minutes-Check on them to make sure they don't burn!

There you have it, so easy and pretty darn tasty.  You might want to wait until they cool a bit.  We liked them best when they were slightly warm!  A scoop of vanilla ice cream would be amazing with these!  

Come on by tomorrow for something fun for your kiddos!  Thanks for stopping by today!

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Sep 23, 2013

Waffle Monte Cristo Sandwich

Another Monday is here and as always so is a crazy busy week.  With all the craziness we need a quick and easy lunch idea, that is just what I have for you today! 

Today's lunch always seemed kind of gross to me before trying it.  A monte cristo never sounded slightly appetizing to me at all.  I guess I never thought it through, you have the saltiness from the ham and the sweetness from the powdered sugar covered waffle, add a dab of jelly and it is over the moon good!  My mom actually convinced me to try a monte cristo when she had one and raved about how good it was.  I knew it was finally time (after years of seeing these on menus) so I went to my favorite place to get a recipe...Pinterest!

Today I bring you something so good, you will have to have another one the next day!  You might even dream about it, it will definitely leave you wanting more! 



My pinspiration is here:  http://realmomkitchen.com/14889/eggo-monte-cristo-sandwiches-and-giveaway/    You will have to click on the link to get the full recipe.  Plus, there are some other really great recipes to check out while you are there!

Ingredients:
2 large eggs
1/2 cup of milk
8 frozen waffles (homestyle or buttermilk) *makes 4 sandwiches
Sliced turkey (as much as you want per sandwich)
Sliced ham (as much as you want per sandwich)
Swiss cheese (as much as you want per sandwich)
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
Powdered sugar (lots if you have a sweet tooth like me)
Your favorite jam or jelly for dipping!

Click on the link for directions on how to make these tasty little lunch items!  

Tomorrow I hope to bring you something tasty to round off our month of apple treats.  This is something that I'm creating and trying out tonight.  If it doesn't taste right, then I will have to improvise!  lol....I'm not much for creating my own recipes but I'm working on getting better!  

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you check back tomorrow...I think it will be a really great tasty Tuesday!  By the way, my blog got a little messed up and re-posted my apple pie bars for some reason.  It took the top position over my post on Saturday.  If you missed my post Saturday, check it out and let me know what is in your dvd player now! 
http://littlebitofsunshineblog.blogspot.com/2013/09/whats-in-my-dvd-player-now.html

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Sep 21, 2013

Caramel Apple Pie Neiman Marcus Bars

So I have to say I don't know too many people who don't LOVE apple pie.  I remember my Grandma's apple pie, it was the best, her crust was always my favorite part!  I knew when I saw this recipe I had to try it.  I knew it probably wouldn't resemble my Grandma's pie, for one thing, it's not a pie.  Just the fact that there is apple pie in the name of the dessert is enough for me, then to add caramel to the top of it, well that is just the over the top amazing!!

As you know I love me some Mix and Match Mama desserts, and that is exactly where I got today's dessert.  I will tell you I tried it and LOVED it.  It was a winner here at my house, especially with the caramel to top it off!



Here is the pinspiration: http://mixandmatchmama.blogspot.com/2013/09/bar-3-caramel-apple-pie-neiman-marcus.html

I'm going to post the ingredients below, then click on the link for directions on how to make it!

Ingredients:
1 box of yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1 stick of melted butter
4 cups of powdered sugar
8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of grated apple (I just peeled mine and then grated it with a cheese grater)
1 tbsp. cinnamon
Caramel topping (the ice cream topping)

Check out the link above for directions!  As always, you won't be disappointed...really!!!

Tomorrow I have something fun up my sleeve, come on by to see what is happening!  Thanks for stopping by today!  Happy Tuesday!

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What's In My DVD Player Now?

I'm sorry I missed my Friday Finds post yesterday, this has been a slow week for finds.

One thing I LOVE to do around this time of the year is pull out my scary/Halloween/fallish movie collection.  I love to have family movie nights or watch a movie here and there on my own in the evenings.  There is something about a being wrapped up in a blanket watching a good movie on a cool fall night!  It's the ultimate in relaxation for me!  And...in case you missed my previous posts, I love scary movies, I don't know what it is, I always have!  I thought I would share some of the movies in my fall collection....maybe tonight would be the perfect night for a family movie night at your house!  

First some movies for the kiddos:


This has always been one of my favorites!

Who doesn't love a Charlie Brown classic?

This one is always a classic...Your kids could have their own football party, while the adults are having theirs!  Fall and football go together at my house (well for my husband at least)!

I remember watching this one when I was younger and I LOVED it!  I found it on amazon but just haven't purchased it yet.  They are also currently featuring it in the Disney Movie Club (if you are a member) flier.  It is a fun spooky movie!

Now for the adults:

This movie always sends chills down my back.  It is so creepy and I love it!

I don't know what it is about this movie but it totally freaks me out!  I think because it is so realistic to me.  I love it!

its Friday the 13th
This one is probably my all time favorite scary movie!  I LOVE it, that's all there is to say!

Blind side poster.jpg
Let's finish with a family fall movie!  The Blind Side is an amazing movie that the whole family will enjoy!  It's great for the fall because it has a lot of football, but it also has a lot of heart!  If you haven't seen it, I would totally recommend checking it out!!

So that wraps up some of my favorite fall movies.  Some of the older movies I purchased on amazon, and the more recent ones I purchased as they came out.  I know my local movie store has many of these titles too.  Hopefully you will get a chance to check a few out!  What else does everyone love watching...comment on your favs!

Stay tuned in November when I do my Christmas movie list!  See you Monday for a new lunch idea!  Have a great weekend!

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Sep 19, 2013

Pulled Chicken-Ginger Sliders with Cilantro Slaw

Who is looking for a crock pot meal that is not only easy but really tasty??  I have the perfect recipe for you all today!  These sliders are so much fun because they are different.  I would have NEVER thought to add slaw over my chicken sliders, that is why I LOVE pinterest and other people's creativity!  



You will need to click on the link for the full recipe because she got written permission to post it on her blog, and I did not, sorry about that!

I will mention she had Gourmet Gardens products for three of her ingredients.  They were around $5.00 a tube and that was too much to spend.  I ended up buying the ginger tube because I didn't have any and it would come in handy in the future.  As far as the cilantro and garlic, I just used what I had.  I had a small bunch of fresh cilantro and a clove of garlic that I crushed up.  Both worked fine and saved me $10.00!  

In case you haven't ever seen them, this is what they look like.  I found them at my local grocery store in the produce section. 
                                             

I hope you are having a wonderful week and the best news is...tomorrow is Friday!! Woohoo!!  See you then!  

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Sep 18, 2013

A Craft for Harper and A Craft for Me

Halloween is my favorite holiday!  I LOVE scary movies, haunted houses, and pumpkins.  I also love all the fun Halloween decorations that are out!  The other day I went to the Dollar Tree and picked up a pack of foam Halloween shapes.  There was a pumpkin, spider, witch hat, etc...  I thought they would be fun for Harper to decorate and hang up.  I'm really trying to get her involved in the decorating this year because she is old enough!  Plus, maybe my love for decorating will rub off on her!  Anyways, I decided to use glitter for this activity because it was easy (not necessarily clean, but oh well).  I got out a cookie sheet and laid the figures down, then I squirted glue on each.  I gave Harper the jar of glitter and let her have at it!  It was a really simple Halloween craft, not much prep for me, but she was involved in doing something creative and she enjoyed it!

We are learning that the glitter can only stick with glue!  :)

Most of the glitter stayed nicely on the tray.

She really enjoyed this craft!

We hung them on her bedroom door after, she thought that was pretty cool!!

It's time to switch gears from Harper's crafts to mine.  Remember when I shared this framed picture with you all?  I mentioned that I had something in the works for transforming it, well I did, and now it's done!

Of course what I had in mind was pinspired!  Check out my inspiration for this project:  http://thebaezablog.blogspot.com/2012/07/aqua-distressed-monogram-frame-vaseline.html

Before:
I got rid of the glass from the frame, but I saved the cardboard insert.  I primed the frame (no sanding-not a fan) and then I painted it with turquoise craft paint.  

I picked up some gray and cream chevron fabric from the Hobby Lobby.  I sprayed down the cardboard insert with basting spray and dropped the fabric over the front of it.  Because it was chevron I needed to make sure it was lined up perfectly so I didn't have a slanting chevron pattern!

Then, I wrapped the edges up like a birthday present and used hot glue to seal them. 

I slipped it back into the frame.  I nailed in small nails around the frame to keep the picture from falling out.  I just nailed them on the inside edges, kind of tricky but I made it work!

I bought a wooden "S" from the Hobby Lobby.  I originally wanted it to be gray but it blended in too much with gray.  I tried black and it didn't stick out well with black.  Then, I decided to go with the same color as the frame and it works!  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and it was pretty affordable to make!  I plan on having some gray walls at my next house so I think this will look great hanging up!  Can't wait!!
I hope you enjoyed my crafty Wednesday!  Tomorrow I will be back with a fun dinner idea!

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Sep 16, 2013

Ham and Cheese Biscuits

It's Monday again, boy this day comes so quickly!!  This weekend was a busy one, but nice!  We had Harper's second swim lessons on Saturday.  The pool was sooooo cold and Harper didn't love it, but she is learning to become more comfortable in the water and that makes me happy! Yesterday we spent the day with Matt's family in Cleveland celebrating his Grandma's birthday.  It was so nice to spend time with them, and Harper enjoyed the visit a lot! 


Before swim lessons :)

Playing in Great Grandpa and Grandma's backyard...having a ball!

Her first bee sting, she didn't fuss, cry, or make a peep about it.  I was shocked because I can't handle any bit of pain and she is so tough!

More backyard fun!

I have a feeling this is going to be another great week!  Friday night is the season premiere of Last Man Standing, I LOVE that show!!   Yes, I would rather spend a Friday night in my pj's watching TV then almost anything else, I'm lame like that! ;)

Anyways, after my rambling it is time to move on to our Monday lunch idea...are you ready?!?  I am!!  

This week is ham and cheese biscuits and here is my pinspiration:  http://onceamonthmeals.com/cheesy-ham-biscuit-lunch-muffins-recipe/  Check it out!!

Ingredients:
*This makes 12 cups
I shredded part of a block of monterey jack cheese (it is really how much you would like)
I had a tub of ham and used again as much as I wanted (I chopped up a few slices)
1 can of refrigerator biscuits (10 biscuits)

Directions:
Click on the link above for directions on how to make it!

I dipped them in mustard (my fav) to create a real winning combination!  They were so easy and something a little different from the usual ham and cheese sandwich.  




I hope you enjoy this sandwich and the week!!  Stop by tomorrow for a fun apple themed treat! Thanks for stopping by!


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Sep 13, 2013

Friday Finds

Happy Friday!!  I'm thrilled it is finally here, not much makes me happier than a Friday!  This weekend I have crafting plans, we are visiting family, and I plan on relaxing with my little peanut quite a bit too!  It will be a nice weekend!  What is everyone else doing??

My finds today are a fun mix, and all worth checking out!

First off, have you heard of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library??  I just recently signed Harper up, and she will get a different book (I believe it is every month) until she is 5 (I think).  I tried to find the specifics on the webpage but I couldn't.  She just received her first book on Wednesday, The Little Engine That Could.  It was even hardback!  All you have to do is check and see if your area is participating and sign your child up.  It doesn't cost you a thing, and they get a bunch of free books.  This is a wonderful resource and I hope you all have this program available to you.  When I looked at the map, I noticed there are many areas that aren't participating yet.  Check it out, you can register your child online right at the website!  
http://usa.imaginationlibrary.com/register_my_child.php#.UjLzHcZQFqU

Matt recently picked me up a box of these almonds.  All I have to say is DELICIOUS!!  If you are a fan of almonds, give these a try!  They are 100 calories a pack and can be found at Walmart!  

My last find is so sweet, I fell in love with these!  Last weekend Matt, Harper, and I went to one of our good friend's daughter's birthday party.  The party was a Sesame Street theme and these were the cupcakes:




They looked just like the characters and they were really tasty too!  She used half an Oreo for the mouth and I think a chocolate chip for the center of the eye.  Everything else was frosting (I believe)....everyone enjoyed them!  There was also number 3 cookies because her daughter turned 3!!  It was a fun party with cute decorations, I had to share!! 

Happy Friday everyone and don't forget to join me Monday for a lunch idea!!

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Sep 12, 2013

Peanut Butter Monster Cookies

Pinterest has been very good to me lately, unfortunately too good!  I just made these DELICIOUS and ridiculously HUGE peanut butter cookies.  I couldn't believe how big these cookies turned out to be, but boy did I enjoy every last bite!  If you are a peanut butter cookie fan, you must try these, asap!  

The recipe was found http://lemon-sugar.com/2012/10/peanut-butter-monster-cookies.html/  You need to check out her blog, it is so cute and has really great stuff!  You won't be disappointed!!

Ingredients:
2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup of unsalted butter-softened
1 cup of peanut butter
1 cup of sugar
2/3 cup of packed brown sugar
2 large eggs-room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup of rolled oats
1/2 cup of peanut butter chips
1/2 cup of chocolate chips
1 bag of Reese's Pieces candies 

Directions:
For directions, click on the link above!!

Enjoy!  You won't be disappointed!

Tomorrow I have a really cute and easy craft to do with your little ones!  Stop back! 
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