Monday, September 29, 2014

Cheesy Vegetable Soup


I enjoy eating vegetable soup, and it's great for using up the veggies that you have on hand. It's also less expensive to make soup without meat in it, and with today's meat prices, sometimes it's nice to save a few dollars.

This recipe for Cheesy Vegetable Soup has a rich creamy base, made with heavy cream and two cups of cheddar cheese. It's definitely hearty and filling, and paired with a salad and crackers, makes a delicious meal.

Making soup is such a nice thing to do for yourself, or your family, and a pot simmering on the stove is one of my very favorites things about fall.

Recipe for Cheesy Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cans (14-1/2 ounce each) chicken broth
2 cups coarsely chopped broccoli
1 cup chopped carrots
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 egg yolk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

In a heavy 4-quart soup pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly, remove from heat. Gradually blend in broth.
Add broccoli, carrots, celery, onion and seasonings. Return to heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
In a small bowl, blend egg yolk and cream. Gradually stir in several tablespoonsful hot soup. Then return the egg-cream mixture to the pot, stirring until slightly thickened. Simmer 15-20 minutes.
Stir in cheese and cook over medium heat until melted.

Serves 6.



Patricia

Friday, September 26, 2014

21 Day Fix Update


You guys! Remember when I told you I had started Beachbody and the 21 day Fix??? Well I am now almost 2 weeks in and things are going amazing. I have started a "Team Busy Mama" Facebook Group that all of the gals can post their progress, share recipes and yes even post "sweaty selfies".

This journey to better health has truly been a blessing. Not only am I in the best shape of my life but I am helping others as well. We are there for each other for support and accountability. Two of the most important tools we need to continue this amazing journey in life. I have lost 4 lbs in the last 10 days, this program is for real. The containers that come with the "Fix" help you with healthy eating and portion control. Not only are you exercising and eating right, but you are also eating better than you ever have. Oh and what other "diet" can you eat things like cookies, chocolate and wine????

I tell you what, if you do this with us, if you commit to your health, you will not be sorry! Message me for details, the sale ends at the end of the month and you don't want to miss you!
Samantha

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fall Cookie Favorite, Pumpkin Spice Cookies


Yesterday, it finally started to really feel like fall weather here. Fall makes me happy, and when I'm happy, I like to bake. I've been making quite a few apple desserts lately, and so I thought it was time to make something with pumpkin.

These Pumpkin Spice Cookies are pretty fabulous, and I made them fairly large, big enough so that one was enough for each of my grandchildren to enjoy.

I think that one of the delights of baking is the way the kitchen smells so heavenly when something good is in the oven. These cookies smell like fall itself, and should do just the trick if you need a yummy pumpkin treat fix.

I live near a wonderful market that sells fresh spices by weight, so I was able to go buy my fall spices that I need for my baking. They are super fresh and less expensive when you buy them this way. Who wants to open that bottle of pumpkin pie spice that has been sitting around for years because you only use a teaspoon or two of it every season?

So, if you are looking for a great cookie recipe, try these, soft and yummy glazed cookies, Perfect with a glass of milk on a chilly fall day.

Recipe for Glazed Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Ingredients:

2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Spray cookie sheet with baking spray, or line with parchment paper.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in a large bowl until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla until smooth.
Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared cookie sheet.
Bake for 10-12 or until edges are firm. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle glaze over cookies.

To make glaze, combine powered sugar, milk and vanilla. Stir until smooth.

Makes about 18 large cookies.

Patricia

Friday, September 19, 2014

Apple Bread Pudding


 Sometimes I think my favorite thing about fall is the desserts. I mean, who can resist all the apple, pumpkin, and other flavors of the season??

Not me, so yesterday while in the kitchen, I made one of my very favorite desserts, Apple Bread Pudding. I love making bread puddings of all kinds, and apple flavor is one of my grandchildren's favorites.

And of course, that vanilla bean ice cream on top of it is a little piece of heaven.



 Making bread pudding is so easy, and you probably have all the ingredients in your fridge and pantry.
Adding an apple to the basic recipe, will make your kitchen smell delicious. The mix of apple and cinnamon coming out of the oven is one of my favorite fall scents.



 I usually make bread pudding in a casserole dish. But I found these cute heart shaped baking dishes at less than half-off at World Market. I couldn't resist them!



Recipe for Apple Bread Pudding:

Ingredients:

6 cups stale bread, torn into bite sized pieces
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup of chopped apple pieces

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly butter a 9x9 glass baking dish, or 6 ramekins.

Put bread pieces in medium bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla and cinnamon. Add the mixture to the bread. Mix together well. Add chopped apples.
Mix apples into bread mixture. Let this sit for half an hour, giving the bread a chance to absorb all the milk.

Place bread mixture in glass baking dish. Bake for 35 minutes, or until top is golden brown, and knife inserted into center comes out clean.

Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Serves 6.



I originally posted this last October, and it's truly one of my all-time favorite fall desserts, so I thought I'd share it again.

Patricia

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kielbasa Vegetable Soup


I'm really not quite sure what's up with the weather here in Seattle. Normally by this time of year, we have cooled down with cloudy skies and drizzles of rain. Instead, we have been having 80-plus degree weather. And because I like those gray skies, I am more than ready to welcome in fall.

To at least make me feel a little bit like fall is coming, last night I made some great tasting soup. This hearty Kielbasa Vegetable Soup is packed with sausage and veggies, including potatoes, corn, onion, carrots, and celery.

 One of the things I love about making soup is the fact that you can be free to substitute other ingredients if you don't quite have everything on hand. Whatever veggies you choose to put in this soup, they will go beautifully with the rich broth. And the Kielbasa sausage lends a delicious flavor, and makes this meal very filling.

Recipe for Kielbasa Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces fully cooked Kielbasa or Polish sausage, diced
1 small onion, diced
6 medium all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
2 cups frozen, whole-kernel corn
2 cups chicken stock
1 celery stock, diced
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1-1/2 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus extra cheese for on top of soup

Directions:

In a large soup pot, cook kielbasa and onions in olive oil until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate and wipe fat from pan.
Add potatoes, corn, chicken stock, celery, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to pan.Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, cover, 15 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Add milk, cheese, onions, and sausage. Cook, stirring over low heat until cheese is melted and soup is heated through.

Makes 6 servings.




Patricia

Sunday, September 14, 2014

White Chocolate Fudge & M&M’s® Captain America Superheroes Shield Recipe

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.



Superheroes have fully taken over my house! My son is all about the superheroes in movies we watch. He has toys, towels, clothing, shoes, the list goes on of all the hero themed items we own. I must admit that I love every moment of it! I am a super hero fan Mom. My favorite is to sit down and watch a movie with him while eating movie snacks.  I have let him watch a few of the older marvel movies and now all the cool ones coming out those as well. We love Captain America with his cool outfit and save the day hero attitude. We are looking forward to watching on DVD Captain America: The Winter Soldier while we eat one of our top favorite movie snack M&M’s®.



My son has been asking for a Captain America shield to go with his other Captain America toys so we decided to head to Walmart to check out the toys while we shopped for dessert. I have been waiting all summer for September to arrive so I can make my favorite dessert ever, fudge! I am making a "winter" theme fudge to celebrate Captain America 2 The Winter Soldier available now on Blu-ray and DVD. To keep in theme with my son getting a shield toy to complete his hero look I plan to make the white chocolate fudge shaped into mini shields and decorated with M&M’s® to look like the Captain America pattern. Of course the Mom in me wanted to add a bit of a healthy kick to a sweet treat so I bought dried blueberries and dried cranberries to add to the red and blue theme of our dessert. We found so many M&M’s®  it was hard to decide which ones to get. There are so many varieties they have their own shelf!



I had to get myself a Captain America shirt to match my son of course!

I am excited to be making the first official batch of fudge for the season. I enjoy making themed fudge to celebrate fun things in life. Fudge is a tradition in my family that my Mom started. Anytime I make fudge I always try to make it just like hers in the flavors and texture. Good fudge is amazingly delicious and you only need a small amount to enjoy it. The perfect indulgence for a movie night at home.

Add dried blueberries and dried cranberries to white chocolate fudge recipe

White Chocolate Fudge & M&M’s® Captain America Shields

1 Party Size bag of M&M’s®
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup  butter or margarine
5 oz. can evaporated milk (about 2/3 cup)
12 oz bag of white chocolate chips
1 jar  (7 oz.) Marshmallow Creme
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp.  vanilla

Line rectangular pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. Bring sugar, butter and evaporated milk to full rolling boil in 3-qt. saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook 4 min. stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Add white chocolate chips and marshmallow creme, stir until melted. Add dried cranberries, dried blueberries  and vanilla; mix well. Pour mixture into pan evenly coating the bottom of pan. Let fudge cool completely before cutting into circles with cookie cutter. Organize the party size M&M’s® to separate the red and blue M&M’s®  from the other colors. Arrange red and blue M&M’s®  in circle pattern. Cut red M&M’s®  in half to make star shape in middle of shield.



You can use a coupon to save $5 when you buy Captain America: The Winter Soldier on DVD and 2 bags of M&M’s®  Candies.

Check out what other families are creating with M&M’s®  and Captain America: The Winter Soldier at the Heroes Eat M&M's site. Take the Quiz there to see which M&M’s®  you are. I was Yellow, what are you?
#HeroesEatMMs #CollectiveBias




Enter to win one of ten $100 Walmart Gift Cards from Heroes Eat M&M’s® Contest

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Laura

Friday, September 12, 2014

Making Some Of My Favorite Fall Recipes, Spiced Apple Pie Smoothies and Apple Sauce Spice Cake

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FlavorofFall #CollectiveBias


Living in Washington State pretty much feels like living in the heart of apple country, and gives me lots of inspiration to create delicious apple recipes, especially when the weather starts cooling down.

Fall is my favorite season of the year, and I'm ready to pull out my cozy sweaters, make sure we have plenty of firewood, and of course, start making some yummy apple treats in the kitchen.

My Spiced Apple Pie Smoothie is made with Mott's Apple Juice, milk, banana, and yogurt. I love it's creamy apple flavor, and it's super easy to make as a quick breakfast drink, or anytime you feel like having a refreshing beverage.


I went shopping at Walmart and picked up some of my fall favorites for the kitchen. Mott's Apple Juice, Mott's Applesauce, and the new Candy Apple flavored M&M's, made exclusive for Walmart.

When I opened the package of M&M's, they smelled just like a candy apple. So good, and of course, I had to pop a few in my mouth right away. Yes, really good!!


Nothing says fall better than an apple cake. Mott's Applesauce is the key ingredient to making my Applesauce Spice Cake moist and delicious.

My grandchildren Liam and Ashley, couldn't wait to taste this cake. They were my little helpers when we put the Candy Apple M&M's on top of the cake. I also used my favorite cream cheese frosting recipe for this cake. Cream cheese frosting is really very easy to make, just three ingredients, and makes a rich, delicious all-purpose frosting.


This cake will fill your kitchen with the best apple and cinnamon aroma ever while it's baking. My family and I had this for dessert, and we loved it. I've tried different applesauce cake recipes through the years, but this really is my favorite. And it's easy, too.

I'm happy to share my recipe with you, so that you can make this easy and delicious apple cake. I do recommend using Mott's Applesauce for this cake, it's the brand I have always bought for decades, and I can always depend on it's great taste and quality.



Recipe for Applesauce Spice Cake

Ingredients:

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1-1/2 cups Mott's Applesauce
2 eggs
package of Candy Apple M&M's

For Frosting:

2 packages cream cheese (8 ounces each) at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 8-9 inch round cake pans. Put all ingredients into a large bowl and beat with electric mixer until well combined. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 25 minutes or until done. Let cake cool out of pans before frosting.
To make frosting, combine ingredients in a medium bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
Frost and assemble cake layers, top with Candy Apple M&M's


 

You can find the new M&M's Candy Apple flavor and other fall flavors at Walmart. I found them in the seasonal aisle, but you can also check the candy aisle at your local store.


You can also find Mott's products at your local Walmart. I like buying a few bottles of applesauce to keep in the pantry for eating and fall baking.


I have some great money saving coupons to share with you. $1.00 off any two (2) Mott's sauces or Mott's juice drink and $1.50 off any two (2) M&M's brand candies.

It's great to save money on great products that I use all the time. It's so handy and convenient to just print the coupons out and take them to the store.

Here's my recipe for my Spiced Apple Pie Smoothie. I made some for my grandchildren for breakfast this morning and they loved it. And it has some healthy ingredients in it, so it makes me feel good giving it to them. And it's yummy.


Recipe for Spiced Apple Pie Smoothie

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups Mott's Apple Juice
1/2 banana
1/4 cup milk
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Just put all the ingredients into a blender, and blend until combined. Pour in to a glass and sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon.



So have you started your fall baking yet? Do you have a favorite apple recipe? I'd really love to know. Happy Baking!!




Patricia

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Melt In Your Mouth Chocolate Chip Scones


When I say these scones are melt in your mouth delicious, I'm not kidding. I've never made scones before because they seemed like a lot of trouble, and some of the ones I have eaten in bakeries have tended to be dry.

But my family and I love baked goods in the mornings, especially on the weekends when we have more time to enjoy them. So I decided to give these Chocolate Chip Scones a try, and I'm so glad I did.

I don't know if it made any difference, but I made the dough and then let it set overnight in the refrigerator, instead of just an hour. It's simple to roll it out into a narrow rectangle, and then cut it free-hand into triangles. The dough could also be used to make other kinds of scones, and I'm thinking that cranberries and walnuts would be delicious together, too.

I can see myself bringing these to a friends' house to enjoy with coffee soon. And wouldn't it be nice to bring them to your child's teacher as a thank you for all their hard work? These are just so yummy, and so worth the time it takes to make them. They are also wonderful when they are reheated in the microwave the next day, with a little butter.

Recipe for Chocolate Chip Scones

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 eggs
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
3/4 cup

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk together flour and baking powder in a medium sized bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add sugar and beat 3 minutes on high until pale and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Slowly add the flour and baking powder mixture into the egg mixture, blending well.
Then add yogurt, again mixing until blended. Fold in chocolate chips until blended throughout the dough.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (This recipe may be made in advance and refrigerated overnight.)
When ready to bake, on a floured surface, roll dough out in a rectangle shape, 1/2 inch thick and 4 inches wide. With a knife, cut the dough into triangles. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
 
 
 
Patricia

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Join me for the #IAmProtective Twitter Party 9/19

RSVP for the #IAmProtective Twitter Party

CB-Twitter-Party-Post-Disclosure-June2014-TM
 

Join the #IamProtective Twitter party 9-19 at 11am ET. $550 in prizes! #shop
 
Do you love a good Twitter Party?  You know we do and we’re excited to host a party about how we protect the things we cherish!  On FRIDAY, September 19th at 11:00 am ET, please join us for the #IAmProtective Twitter Party where we’ll be sharing tips and resources to help you protect the things that are important to you, and giving you a chance to win prizes! We’ll also be sharing information about a great contest and opportunity to help others during the party.

My children are all adults now, but when they were young, we had plenty of Protective Insurance in case of unforeseen circumstances. I felt comfortable knowing they would be financially provided for if that need ever happened. Now I'm concerned about my own financial future as I am older now, and trying to plan for my later years. Join me for the #IAmProtective Twitter Party and share what you are protective of.

Join me and RSVP for the #IAmProtective Twitter Party on SoFabChats!

RSVP for the #IAmProtective Twitter Party on September 19 at 11 am ET

DATE: Friday, September 19th

TIME:  11:00 am – 12:00 pm ET

PRIZES: 5 - $100 Visa Gift Cards

EARLY BIRD PRIZE: 1 – $50 Visa Gift Card

HOSTS: @AleaMilham, @DentistMel, @Mammamoiselle, @FrugalFamTree@tsue1136

SPECIAL GUEST: @ProtectiveLife

RULES: #IAmProtective Twitter Party Official Rules

RSVP PARTY GRID: #IAmProtective Twitter Party Page






How To Participate In A Twitter Party on SoFabChats!

TIP:  How to join a Twitter Party – sign in! Before party starts, click on the green “Sign In On Twitter” bar at the top of the page!

TIP: Who to follow at a Twitter Party? Follow the Party Team by clicking on the Twitter handle links on the RSVP page!

TIP: Want to win Twitter Party prizes? RSVP by clicking on RSVP button before you join the party, follow everyone on the Party Team, and tweet with the party hashtag during the party to be eligible!

TIP: How to win the Early Bird prize? Watch for chance to share a tweet when you RSVP for a chance to win!

TIP: Special deals and brand coupons? Keep that options checked when you RSVP for the party!
TIP: New to Twitter parties? Watch your column and Party Team tweet columns – they are slower paced and easier to follow!

TIP: Where to find Twitter Parties? Check out the SoFabChats Twitter Party Calendar to find more fun parties to attend!

Find more helpful Twitter Party Tips on SoFabChats!


Patricia

Monday, September 8, 2014

Easy Glazed Cinnamon Streusel Muffins




Cinnamon is one of my favorite flavors, and it reminds me of fall, and all the coziness that comes along with that season.

These great tasting muffins are topped with a cinnamon streusel and powdered sugar glaze that will make your morning start off on a happy note.

Besides tasting so yummy, they are super easy to make. They are made with Bisquick Mix, that old favorite from so long ago, and one my mother always had in her cupboard. I grew up with pancakes, muffins, waffles, and more made from it, and I am actually a bit nostalgic about it.

I do enjoy baking from scratch, but sometimes I pull out the Bisquick for an easy recipe like these muffins. And if you have any left over, a quick 15 seconds in the microwave makes them totally fresh allover again.


Recipe for Easy Glazed Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

Ingredients:

Topping:
1/3 cup Bisquick Mix
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons firm butter or margarine

Muffins:
2 cups Bisquick Mix
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg

Glaze:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
In a small bowl, mix together streusel topping ingredients until crumbly. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix muffin ingredients until well blended. Spoon into paper liners, about 2/3 full.
Sprinkle with topping. Bake 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Let muffins cool before glazing.
To make the glaze, mix the tablespoons of milk and powdered sugar together in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle glaze over muffins and let set before eating.

Makes 12 muffins.

Patricia