Sunday, October 28, 2012

31 Days of Fall - Day 19 Chili wtih Homemade Seasonings

The first cold, fall Sunday in Atlanta is the perfect time for chili.  I created this recipe years ago and it has always been a family favorite.  The original recipe called for a packet of chili seasoning.  In my constant attempt to omit MSG and limit sodium intake for my family, I searched for a "make your own" recipe.  I think I have hit upon a winner.  I plan on including this in my holiday gift baskets.

Chili Seasoning

6 t chili powder
1/2 t crushed red pepper
1T dried minced onion
1 T garlic powder
1 t white sugar
3 t ground cumin
2 t dried parsely, crushed
2 t salt
1 t dried basil, crushed
1/4 t ground pepper

In a bowl, crush parsley and basil with back of spoon.  Add all other ingredients.  Stir to mix well.  Store in an airtight container.  Use 6 t per pot of chili.

Jenny's Chili

1 pound ground beef, cooked with chopped onion and garlic
1 16oz. can chopped tomatoes with green peppers and onions
2 16 oz. can tomato sauce
6 t chili seasoning
2 sliced jalapeno peppers
1 16 oz. can light red kidney beans

Put all ingredients in slow cooker.  Stir well.  Cook on Low 8 - 10 hours or on High for 4 -5.


Meal Plan Monday - October 29

This week has been a real eye opener for us healthwise.  Both my husband and I have had some not so great news this week about our health, one of which included a pre-diabetes diagnosis.  In light of that, I have been taking a real hard look at what we have been eating.  As of this week, more fruits and vegetables will be included in our meal plans.  I have been scouring the internet for more healthy recipes.  Check out my growing Healthy Eating Pinterest board.

Sunday - Cajun Chicken Pasta on the Lighter Side, Fruit, Key Lime Pie
Monday - Crockpot Enchilada Soup, Light Cornbread, Fruit
Tuesday - Grilled Bourbon Chicken, Lighter Hashbrown Casserole, Salad
Wednesday - Grilled Chicken Salads
Thursday - Leftovers and Salad
Friday - Subway - Nanny's Treat

For more great menu ideas, visit I'm An Organized Junkie.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

31 Days of Fall - Day 18 Pumpkin Patch

Since my children were born, each October, we trek to the pumpkin patch.  It is one of our most honored family traditions.  We have been to small ones, big ones, ones in Georgia and ones in Kentucky.  For us this experience truly defines fall.

 Looking for the perfect pumpkin is most important, as the size, shape and texture will determine just how we decorate them for Halloween.
 Not one, but two perfect pumpkins.

To start at the beginning --- 31 Days of Fall.

Friday, October 26, 2012

31 Days of Fall - Day 17 Tailgate Recipes

Fall Saturdays in the South mean lots and lots of football.  It also means plate after plate of great food.  For some tailgating is quite a production.

For us, it usually takes place on our back porch with lots of friends flipping from game to game to game.  No matter where you tailgate, food extremely important.  Here are some of our favorite tailgate recipes.

Olive Cheese Bread

Marinated Cheese and Olives

Hot Corn Dip

To start from the beginning - 31 Days of Fall.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

31 Days of Fall - Day 16 Pinterest Inspiration Recipes

If you are like me, you have an overabundant number of fall recipes pinned on your Pinterest boards, but just in case you don't, here's some inspiration for you.

Apple Pie Breakfast Cereal

Apple Oatmeal Cookies

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Pumpkin Pie Cresent Rolls

BBQ Pot Roast over Cheddar Ranch Grits

I hope to try all of these in the next few weeks.  If you try one, let me know what you think.

To start from the series beginning - 31 Days of Fall

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

31 Days of Fall - Day 15 Pumpkin Granola

I've been making my own granola for a couple of years now and I love it.  It is the perfect quick breakfast served over yogurt.  I've even convinced my 13 year old to try it.  Some of our favorites are Peanut Butter Granola and Vanilla Granola

 For the holidays I like to make Pumpkin Granola.  Add dried apples and cranberries when serving for a filling breakfast. 

To start at the beginning of the series - 31 Days of  Fall

Monday, October 22, 2012

Meal Plan Monday - October 22nd

I didn't have a meal plan last week and it was a disaster.  We ate out more than usual and when we did eat at home, it wasn't a true meal, just something thrown together.  This week we are back on the meal plan wagon.

Monday - Texas Style Enchilada Casserole, Salad, Apple Crisp
Tuesday - Crockpot Beer Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Pear Muffins
Wednesday - Leftovers
Thursday - Pasta with Tomato Pesto and Italian Sausage Sauce, Toasted Garlic Bread, Salad
Friday - Subway - Nanny's Treat
Saturday - Grilled Bourbon Chicken, Spinach Parmesan Rice, Soft Sugar Cookies

For more great menu ideas, visit I'm An Organized Junkie.

31 Days of Fall - Day 14 - Corn Maze

This was our first time at a corn maze.  We decided to try out the University of Kentucky National Championship Corn Maze at Devine's Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch in Harrodsburg, KY.

 We had a BLAST!  While it was our first trip, it won't be our last.

If there is a corn maze near you and you have never tried it out, I highly encourage you to put it on your fall to do list!

To start from the beginning - 31 Days of Fall

Saturday, October 20, 2012

31 Days of Fall - Day 13 - Chicken Noodle Soup

Nothing says FALL like homemade soups, with Chicken Noodle being a classic.

This Chicken Noodle Soup recipe adapted from the Food Network Kitchen is perfect.  Served with grilled cheese sandwiches or cornbread or breadsticks it is a perfect meal for a cool fall night.  I like to make this after Thanksgiving with left over turkey. 

To start from the beginning - 31 Days of Fall.

Friday, October 19, 2012

31 Days of Fall - Day 12 Applesauce Cookies with Caramel Frosting

Apples and pumpkins just scream fall to me, any recipe including one of these ingredients always catches my attention.  These Applesauce Cookies are no exception.  The best part about this recipe is the ingredients are staples in most pantries.  These soft, spice filled cookies got a thumbs up from everyone.  I think they would make great whoopie pies too -- going to have to try that soon. 
Applesauce Cookies with Caramel Frosting
2 cups sugar
1 c shortening
2 eggs
2 c applesauce
4 c flour
2 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t cloves
1/4 t nutmeg
Preheat oven to 357 degrees.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices.  Set aside.
Cream sugar and shortening together until fluffly.
Add eggs and applesauce, mix well.
Add dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
Drop small spoonfuls (I used the large Pampered Chef cookie scoop) of batter onto parchment covered cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 - 10 minutes.
Caramel Frosting
6 T butter
1/2 c heavy cream
1 c packed brown sugar
2 t vanilla
2 c powdered sugar
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, cream and sugar.  Cook stirring occasionally until mixture begins to boil.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Let cool, then stir in powdered sugar.  Spread on cooled cookies.
I will use more powdered sugar next time, at least 1 cup if not more -- frosting is VERY runny -- more ended up on the parchement than the cookies.
To start at the beginning of the series -- 31 Days of Fall.

31 Days of Fall - Day 11 Pumpkin Topiary

This lovely now adorns our front porch.  Make with 50% off pumpkins from Michaels and supplies from my craft closet, it adds a punch to my outdoor fall decor.  It has been out for about 2 weeks and is hold up well, even through a couple of storms.  I found inspiration at A Little Tipsy and Reinvented
To start from the beginning -- 31 Days of Fall posts.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

31 Days of Fall - Day 10 Caramel Puff Corn

Around here, October means the Fair is coming to town.  For 12 days, all anyone can talk about is the Fair.  My kids and their friends love the rides, my husband loves the Indian Village and dancers, I love the carmel corn.  While I know it is terrible for my teeth (and waistline) I just can't resist.   Luckily, I found a recipe for a less carmelly, less crown dangerous version of caramel corn.  It's made with Cheetos Puff Popcorn and it is even better than caramel corn from the fair-- and a lot less expensive.  My kids call it Crack Corn because once you start eating it, you can't stop!

Caramel Puff Corn is a true fall favorite around here.

Hope you will stop by all my 31 Days of Fall posts.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

31 Days of Fall - Day 9 Purse Knit Scarf

When cool weather comes around I grab my knitting needles.  Each year I make myself and Boo Boo a new scarf.  One of my favorite stitches is the purse stitch. The purse stitch is an easy beginners lace stitch.   Here's a youtube video on how to make the purse stitch

I used LionBrand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick yarn in Pumpkin and size 15 needles to get a chucky, larger lace scarf.  It took about 3 hours to complete the entire project. 

Hope you will check out my 31 Days of Fall posts.

Monday, October 8, 2012

31 Days of Fall - Day 8 Apple Struedel Bread

I'm still trying to use up all the apples we picked last weekend.  This Apple Struedel Bread is absolutely delicious.  If  you have a couple of apples laying around I strongly encourage you to make this wonderful bread.  This was a Pinterest find, but originally posted on Semi-Homemade Mom.  If you haven't dropped by her blog, you must.  It's a great one.

Apple Struedel Bread

1/2 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 T lemon juice
2 t vanilla
2 cups apple, peeled and diced
2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt

Topping -
2 T brown sugar
2 T flour
2 t sugar
1 T butter
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat butter, sugar and eggs until creamy.  Beat in lemon juice and vanilla.  Add flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix until just moistened.  Add apples, stirl until combined.  In a small bowl, use 2 knives, a fork or a pastry blender to combine all topping ingredients until crumbly.  Spread half of apple batter into greased loaf pan.  Top with half of topping mixture.  Spread rest of apple batter over toppping.  Top with remaining topping. 

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes (original recipe said 55 minutes, mine was ready in 45).  Cool on a wire rack in pan.  When cool, remove from pan and serve. 

Hope you will read the rest of my 31 Day of Fall. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

31 Days of Fall - Day 7 Crockpot Applesauce

After our Apple Picking adventure I got started using some of our bounty.  One of our favorite apple recipes is Crockpot Applesauce originally from Eat At Home Cooks.  It is easy and delicious.  It also freezes very well.  It is always a treat in the dead of winter to thaw out a pint of this treat. 

Crockpot Applesauce

About 20 medium sized apples - any variety - I like to use a mix of sweet and tart apples
1/4 c lemon juice (or juice of one lemon)
2 t cinnamon
21/2 t vanilla
1/3 c brown sugar
1/3 c water (or apple juice)

 Toss everything in your crockpot, stir and cook on HIGH for 4 - 6 hours.  Stir with a wire whisk to break up the apples.  Serve or freeze. 

Makes 3 - 2 cup portions of chunky applesauce.

Hope you will visit all 31 Days of Fall Posts. 

Meal Plan Monday - October 8th

 Another week, another menu.  Well, it's really not much of a menu this week.  I'll be gone Monday night presenting at a conference and then the kids and I will be spending the weekend with family.  That makes it easy for me.  So, here's our very amended menu.

Monday - Daddy's in charge!
Tuesday - Ham and Potato Soup and Rolls
Wednesday - Leftovers or Sandwiches
Thursday - with family
Friday - with family
Saturday - with family
Hope you'll visit my 31 Day of Fall posts . 

For more great menu ideas, visit I'm An Organized Junkie.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

31 Days of Fall - Day 6 Hurricane Vases

Taking my inspiration from My Heart's Desire and several Pottery Barn catalogues, I made these fall hurricanes to decorate my dining room table for fall.  My dining room is small and the dining table is the focal point.  I like to keep my decorations in this room simple and these hurricane vases were just perfect.

I used green split peas, red kidney beans and yellow popcorn this year.  I also found my vases and candles at Walmart.  

Click here to see all 31 Days of Fall posts.
Part of 31 Days of Blogging at Nesting Place

Friday, October 5, 2012

31 Days of Fall - Day 5 The End of the Garden

It is always so sad to see the end of summer and nothing is more telling than the last of the summer garden.  My beautiful, vibrant garden of spring and summer is now a mess of weeds and dried out tomato vines.  One of my least favorite jobs is cleaning out and preparing the garden for spring.  This very undesirable task is necessary if I hope to have a productive and weed free garden next spring.

Our garden was very productive this year, yeilding a wide array of delicious veggies.

Now, there are just a few peppers left to be picked before pulling it all up , adding some fertilizer and putting it to bed for the winter.  Guess what I'll be doing this weekend. 

 Click here to see all 31 Days of Fall posts.

Part of 31 Days at Nesting Place

Thursday, October 4, 2012

31 Days of Fall - Day 4 French Dip Sandwiches

When fall weather hits and the temperatures start to drop, I love to throw this recipe in the crockpot.  It is wonderful to come home to the fantastic smell of these French Dip Sandwiches ready to eat.   With the increased price of beef the past few months, this is not as economical a recipe as it used to be, so I stock up on chuck roasts when they are on sale.  I buy 2 roasts, cooking one that week and freezing the other for later.  You could cook both roasts at the same time, shred, cool and freeze. 

Use a crusty bun and top with Provolone Cheese. 

Click here to see all posts from 31 Days of Fall

Part of 31 Days of Bloggin at Nesting Place.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

31 Days of Fall - Day 3 Football (and recipes!)

Football truly is a religion in the South, whether you are cheering on the Falcons, your college alma mater, any of the wonderful high school programs, or the local rec league, football means fun and friends. 

At our house a typical Saturday begins by watching our Boo Boo cheer for her Park and Rec team

and ends on the back porch cheering on teams like Alabama, Florida State and Kentucky. 

It also means delicious food.  Here are a few links to some of our favorite football food. 
Olive Cheese Bread
Hot Corn Dip
Football Dip and Buffalo Chicken Dip

Part of 31 Days of Blogging at Nesting Place.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Meal Plan Monday - October 1

I'm participing in 31 Day of Blogging in October.  I'm writing about 31 Days of Fall.  Hope you will stop by.

Sunday - Buffalo Wings and Shrimp after a trip to the apple orchard
Monday - Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs with Tomato Pesto Sauce, Asparagus and Paremsan Mashed Potatoes
Tuesday - Sesame Chicken, Fried Rice, Fruit
Wednesday -
Thursday - Fish Sandwiches, Chips and Fruit
Friday - Subway - Nanny's treat
Saturday - Chicken Enchiladas, Corn Pepper and Jack Risotto

For more great recipe ideas, stop by I'm An Organized Junkie.

31 Days of Fall - Day 2 Apple Crisp

Growing up one of my favorite dessert recipes was my mom's apple crisp.  It was best with apples from my Granny's apple tree, but since that tree is no longer there, I settle for making my apple crisp with either Granny Smith or Gala apples.  A warm, delicious apple crisp just says fall to me.

Apple Crisp

1 1/2 pounds tart apples; peeled, sliced and chopped
1/2 c melted butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c granualted sugar
1/2 c old-fashioned oats
1/2 c flour
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t salt

Arange apples in a 9" pie plate,  In a large bowl, mix together butter, sugars, oats, flour, spices and salt.  Crumble over apples.  Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

Click here see all posts in 31 Days of Fall
Part of 31 Days of Blogging at Nesting Place.