Thursday, October 19, 2017

Pumpkin Fun

The days are passing by quickly for visiting your favorite pumpkin farms and getting them ready for the big day. After planning our annual family outing to our favorite pumpkin farm, we enjoyed a fun weekend of outdoor fun, great food, and pumpkin decorating.  We have leaned towards paints and stickers over carving the past couple of years.  Less mess and our pumpkins last longer.  That is if the squirrels don't snack on them when you put them on your porch as ours do.  (Does anyone have any tips on that?)  Check your local craft store for paints, brushes, and peel back stickers. A painted pumpkin with your address painted on is a cute address marker and looks festive.  

Our family annual pumpkin patch Pearcefarms in Wisconsin where we climb the hay bales and run through the corn maze.  Did I mention they sell amazing apple cider donuts? And lots of other goodies!

I found these fun stickers and paints on Amazon.

They are so festive on the fireplace mantel.

Guess which one I am! 
              Have a fun and festive Fall weekendπŸπŸ‚

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Slow Cooker Guinness Pulled Pork

Today I'm serving up a delicious pulled pork that I enhanced with Guinness beer.  After it's finished cooking in my slow cooker, I offer corn tortillas I have warmed slightly in a 300 degree oven, spoon the pork onto the tortillas, top with fresh cilantro and enjoy.  All you need is your slow cooker, a 4 pound boneless pork loin,  1 thinly sliced white onion, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper, 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper,. and one bottle of Guinness beer.  Whisk all of the seasonings together in a bowl and rub over the pork loin.  Place the pork loin in your slow cooker on top of the onion slices and pour the beer on top.  Cover and cook for 10-12 hours. It's that simple. Serve with sliced avocado, fresh cilantro, or a bit of fresh shredded cabbage in the tortilla. Yum!


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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Host a Scavenger Hunt this Weekend

  This post is back by popular demand for fun family Fall activities requiring everyone to be outdoors. Visiting the local pumpkin patches and corn mazes are at the top of the list.  Tree colors are changing and the leaves are falling.  Host a scavenger hunt with a Fall nature theme this weekend.  Family and friends of all ages enjoy this activity together. 

After everyone has checked off all of their findings on their list,  build a bonfire and set up a S'more bar with all of your favorites!  What's not to love with Nutella, peanut butter, and chocolate between a toasted marshmallow and graham crackers?  For a different twist, instead of graham crackers, use chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies.  Super twist is Dip your S'more in a cup of Bailey's before biting into it!  Trust me, it's a delight:)!

  Head outside and get started. So much fun for all ages!   After everyone returns with their "finds", take a picture of everybody, print and frame it as a reminder of your Fun Fall Day. 


Monday, October 9, 2017

Chicken Tortilla Soup in a Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup  

One of my favorite soups to eat is one of the easiest to make in the slow cooker.  This recipe will make 8 servings.  Just combine all ingredients except the cheese and chips in the slow cooker first thing in the morning and sit down for tasty supper when dinner hour arrives.  

Combine 6 boneless, skinless breasts, 3 (15 oz.) cans undrained black beans, 3 (15 oz.) cans Mexican stewed tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups salsa (mild , medium or hot), 4 oz. can chopped green chilies (optional), and 14 1/2 oz. can tomato sauce.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
Before serving, remove chicken breasts and cut into bite sized pieces.  Stir back into soup.

When serving, ladle soup into individual soup bowls, top with a handful of tortilla chips, and top with grated cheddar cheese. Set out bowls of sour cream, chopped cilantro, and sliced avocado offerings so each soup bowl can be customized with favorite toppings.  

Add cornbread muffins (from a mix to save time) and you have a delicious meal. 
Happy Tuesday!  

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Pack an Autumn Picnic

~Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower~
Albert Camus

Looking for an outdoor activity this weekend?
Pack an Autumn Picnic!

Here are a few ideas to make your Autumn picnic easy and memorable this weekend. 

Enjoy the color changing of the leaves, the crisp air, and smells and sights of this wonderful season. 

I love this idea for serving your snack chips outdoors.  Roll down brown paper bags and place them in a tray for a pulled together look that is easy to toss once the snacks are gone.  Simple!

Pack your bikes and plenty of blankets to use as a table, to sit on, or for warmth & snuggling.  

Bring along warm, hearty soups in a large Thermos and bake mini apple pies.

Bring chilled champagne or wine.

Don't forget the picnic basket packed with napkins, plates, bowls & utensils.

Midwest Living

Happy Weekend!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Slow Cook Your Beef Stew

When midwest temps are cooling and the leaves are falling, I begin to pull together my favorite cold weather recipes.  They are my comfort foods that remind me so much of my childhood and coming in from school to smell the aroma of dinner cooking. With so many working parents in the household now, it's easy to keep the tradition going.  This can be put together and made in your slow cooker all day, or you can make it the night before in your oven, refrigerate and heat before serving the next day.  Both my Mom and Mother in Law made delicious beef stews, and I hope my family carries on the simple recipe we love.

Peel and slice a yellow onion.

Wash and slice fresh carrots.

Bag of small yellow potatoes, washed and no peeling required.

Large undiluted can on tomato soup, diced tomatoes and 46 oz. container of tomato juice. 

Place everything together in a slow cooker, cover and cook for 8-10 hours. If you are cooking it in the oven, place everything is a 13x9 pan, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 3-4 hours at 350.  

Sprinkle the ingredients with your favorite seasonings. TheSpiceHouse are my spices of choice for their flavor and freshness.

Smells amazing and tastes delicious!

Happy Fall!πŸ‚πŸ

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

What's your Bloody Mary Secret Ingredient?

If you are a Bloody Mary lover, I'm sure you have your own style of preparing.  Let's face it, anything goes when it comes to Bloody Mary's, and it seems the more dressed they are, the happier we are.  As you can see below, I prefer my tomato juice is V8 vegetable cocktail juice.  And I like mine with a slight spice kick.

To make 4 servings, try this easy method this weekend before your favorite football games begin, set out the snacks and find your favorite chair.

24 ounces V8, 1 teaspoon celery seed, 1 tablespoon ground black pepper, squeeze the juice of a lime and lemon, 2-3 tablespoons horseradish, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 8 ounces Titosvodka, (if you're a gin lover, that works too.) Pour into iced glasses, place a celery stalk and wedge of lime in each glass.

For extra zest, try adding a drop of balsamic vinegar on top of each drink before serving.  For my secret ingredient I like to add a tiny pinch of shaved ginger to each drink.πŸ˜‰ What's yours?

A make your own Bloody Mary bar is always fun and allows the hostess time to enjoy guests without serving everyone. Make sure you keep the ice bucket filled and an eye on not running low on ingredients.

I always love blue cheese olives!

Serve it with a BlueMoonBeer chaser. Happy weekend!

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