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Meal Idea Monday: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

4 Nov

Let me just start by saying this. My kids LOVE these muffins! I found this recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins on my friend Katie’s blog, Intentionally Katie. Great blog, great recipe! I double it, so that we have extra to bring to friends.

These are a BEAUTIFUL addition to the meal that you plan to bring a friend this week. Or bring over a batch to your neighbor. It will strike up conversation, and be a great way to build community within your neighborhood.

These muffins also make me so happy because they mean it’s FALL and it’s getting COOLER!!! Here in AZ, we’re all giddy after Halloween because it means things are cooling down. YEA!

Enjoy these muffins, and enjoy the smile that you will receive from whomever you bring them to. Go out and be a smile maker! 🙂


1 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1 c. ground pumpkin (canned)
1/2 c. cooking oil
1/3 c. chocolate chips

Mix together. Fill muffin cups and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Yields 24 muffins.

(I posted this recipe quite a while ago, and they’re such a huge hit that I just had to post it again.. .they are my kids go to recipe whenever we talk about baking!)


Meal Idea Monday: 4th of July FUN!

1 Jul

Hi all! How’s the weather where you are? It’s been hovering around 115-117 degrees here in sunny Arizona these last few days… whew! Needless to say, we’ve been doing a lot of activities centered around water so that we can stay cool!

On Thursday, to celebrate the 4th of July, my family is heading to a neighborhood BBQ for some great food and lots of water fun. It’ll be so fun, and then once it’s dark we’ll get to watch the fireworks show. We’re looking forward to it!

Some of you are signed up to bring a meal to a friend or family member this week, and I have some great ideas for things you can make. I think making it more festive and cheery is ALWAYS the best way to go. Anything we can do as friends and family to show our love and care, and bring some sunshine into their life is the best option!! 🙂

Enjoy, and Happy 4th of July!!!

Click for Fruit Marshmallow Kabobs recipe. Image from

Click picture for Fruit Marshmallow Kabobs recipe. Image from

Click picture for recipe...Red, White and Blue Patriotic Strawberries. Image from

Click picture for recipe…Red, White and Blue Patriotic Strawberries. Image from


Click Picture for Classic Pasta Salad recipe. Image from

Click Picture for Classic Pasta Salad recipe. Image from

Click Picture for Sensational Sirloin Kabobs. Image from

Click Picture for Sensational Sirloin Kabobs. Image from

-Lisa 🙂


National Cherry Cobbler Day

17 May

I think this is so fun… I’m finding that there’s pretty much a national food day everyday. Who knew?! Well, today is National Cherry Cobbler Day. I like the sound of that!

So I took the time to find a few really great looking recipes for cherry cobbler. This will be good practice to get you ready for Sunday the 19th, which is called World Baking Day! That’s simply a day for you to challenge yourself to bake something really fun and share it with those you love. That’s my kind of day!!

Taste of Home- Cherry Cobbler 

Cherry Cobbler Dump Cake- Group Recipes: this one looks super easy… uses a cake mix, cherry pie filling, and butter. Can’t get much simpler than that 🙂

Cherry Cobbler from The Pint Sized Baker- these look delicious!!

Cheery Cherry Cobbler Cupcakes from Quick Dish– okay, these might be my favorite!!

Here’s one more, and it’s a really good one! It’s Paleo Cherry Crisp from I Breathe I’m Hungry.

ENJOY and have a wonderful and fabulous weekend!


Meal Idea Monday: Single Serving Apple Pie In A Jar

13 May
Apple Pie In A Jar! Image from

Apple Pie In A Jar! Image from

In honor of today being National Apple Pie Day, I decided to share a delicious recipe for Single Serving Apple Pie In A Jar… isn’t this a great idea?! I found the recipe on the always amazing Our Best Bites. Super exciting news for Our Best Bites… they now have an app on itunes! So, if you have an iphone or apple device, go get it!

The cool thing about these single serving apple pies is that they are freezable before they’re baked… I love that! And I have to be honest, it’s rare that I’m in a baking kind of mood. So I can make a good amount of these when I’m feeling “bakey”, and freeze them for the future! Oh, and then I won’t eat the entire apple pie by myself… which is always fun while you’re eating it, but afterwards? Not so much. 😉

I bet the person you make these for will probably feel the same way. An entire apple pie may be too much. Sometimes a smaller portion is just right. What could be better than sweet, gooey, delicious happiness in a jar? Not much, if you’re asking me!

-Lisa 🙂

AMAZING Thanksgiving Recipes To Try…

20 Nov

Candied Coconut Sweet Potatoes: Image from

Hi there! I’m not sure if you, like me, are searching for that perfect recipe to bring to your family Thanksgiving gathering, but I decided to share some of the recipes I’ve come across that look incredible! ENJOY, my friends! And have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Stuffing from The Pioneer Woman

Green Bean Casserole from The Pioneer Woman 

Whiskey Glazed Carrots from The Pioneer Woman

Mom’s Roast Turkey from Simply Recipes

Orange Delight Jello Salad from Recipe Girl

Cinnamon Kissed Cranberry Sauce from Recipe Girl 

Apple Cranberry Pie with Oatmeal Cookie Crust from Recipe Girl

Candied Coconut Sweet Potatoes from Our Best Bites

Worlds Best Dinner Rolls from Our Best Bites

Meal Idea Monday: Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Buns AND Printables!

19 Nov

Happy Monday, everyone! Thanksgiving is only a few days away, and I’m SO excited!!! What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

My family is pretty big, and we all live here in Arizona. So we get together (about 50 of us) for a BIG lunch and a BIG dinner, lots of running around, kids playing (I feel like I don’t see my kids all day long because they’re so busy playing with their older cousins who they adore), volleyball playing the backyard, pies, cookies, football, chatting, laughing, and just a wonderful time. My favorite part of the day is at the beginning, before we all eat. We all hold hands in a big circle, and my Grandpa says a prayer, thanking God for all He’s given us.

Today’s meal idea comes to you from the wonderful Family Feedbag… it’s Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Buns, and it is the perfect breakfast or dessert for the Fall season! I hope you enjoy it and are able to bring breakfast or dessert to a friend or family member this week. Maybe even drop these off to a friend the morning of Thanksgiving. What a beautiful beginning to their day that would be! Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!!

Oh, and here are a few really cute printables that would be perfect to frame and bring along with the cinnamon buns… 🙂 LOVE the Give Thanks one… I have it framed in my home!

Image from A Step In The Journey. Click image to be able to print it!

Image from A Step In The Journey. click image to be able to

Happy National Rice Krispies Treats Day!

18 Sep

Cake Batter Rice Krispies Treats. Image from

I just LOVE finding out what fun national days there are… and today’s is such a fun one! Happy National Rice Krispies Treats Day! 🙂 Seriously, I just really enjoy a good, warm Rice Krispie Treat. It’s been SO long since I’ve had one…. until today! My kids and I are totally making these Cake Batter Rice Krispies Treats from Gimme Some Oven today!! Don’t these look delicious?!

So, make today even better by making these and sharing some with a friend! Have a great day!!

Happy National Pretzel Day!

26 Apr

Almost Famous Soft Pretzels. Image from

It’s National Pretzel Day, and I’m excited about that! The funny thing is that I went to the store today with my kiddos before I realized what today is, and we got pretzels and chocolate to make chocolate dipped pretzels! Our family LOVES them, so they are gone pretty much the day we make them. 🙂

I wanted to share a fun recipe with you for Almost Famous Soft Pretzels, from Food Network. Don’t they look amazing?! I’m a huge fan of soft pretzels, so count me in! Have a great day!!

Meal Idea Monday Guest Post: Chicken Quarters Roasted With Lemons and Green Olives

2 Apr

Hello! I’m Andrea, a stay-at-home mom and food blogger for Inspired2Cook. I love cooking, entertaining, and motivating others to get in their kitchens! Recently, I posted this delicious recipe for Chicken Quarters Roasted with Lemons and Green Olives. It’s easy to make and a great reason to throw a Spring dinner party! The dish can be made ahead and reheated, making it perfect for entertaining.

I found some really good pitted green olives at my store’s olive bar. Sample a few different types (if your store lets you do that); you’ll need 1 cup of whole olives. I think pitted work best in this recipe so that nobody breaks a tooth biting into an olive pit. If you can’t find pitted olives, however, warn your guests about the pits. Also, buy olives that haven’t been marinated (you don’t want flavors competing in the dish).

Serve the chicken with buttered orzo (rice-shaped pasta) and a mixed green salad. For dessert, serve Sour Cream and Lemon Pound Cake  with fresh berries.

I hope you’ll stop by Inspired2cook and say hello!  -Andrea

Chicken Quarters Roasted With Lemons and Green Olives

-recipe from Sunday Roasts by Betty Rosbottom

Many cooks overlook dark-fleshed thighs and legs in favor of their white-meat counterparts, breasts and wings. The truth is that thighs and legs are both moist and flavorful and can easily take center stage. In the following dish, chicken quarters (both legs and thighs) are roasted slowly in an aromatic mix of green olives, lemon, and white wine until they are golden brown, juicy, and tender. For serving, the chicken is showered with crumbled feta. Serves 6.

3 large, thick-skinned lemons 6 chicken leg-and-thigh quarters with skin on, about 3 1/2 pounds Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil 3/4 cup chopped shallots (2 to 3 large shallots) 6 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley 4 teaspoons minced garlic 2 teaspoons dried oregano 1 1/4 cups dry white wine 1 cup green Mediterranean olives, pitted or unpitted 3/4 to 1 cup chicken broth 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Arrange a rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 375°F degrees.

Zest 2 of the lemons to yield 2 tablespoons, and juice to yield 1/4 cup juice. Cut the third lemon into 6 wedges for the garnish.

Pat the chicken quarters dry with paper towels. Trim and discard any excess fat. Salt and pepper the chicken generously on both sides. Place an extra-large ovenproof frying pan (with a lid) over medium- high heat with enough oil to coat the bottom (3 to 4 tablespoons). When the oil is very hot but not smoking, add the chicken pieces in a single layer. Brown well on all sides, turning several times, for about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the chicken to a side dish. Reserve 4 tablespoons of the oil in the frying pan and discard the rest (or add more oil to make 4 tablespoons if necessary).

Return the pan to the stove over low heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until just softened but not browned, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add half the parsley, the garlic and the oregano and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the lemon zest and juice, wine and olives, then return the chicken to the pan.

Bring the mixture to a simmer, then cover the frying pan and place it in the oven. Roast until the chicken is very tender when pierced with a knife, 45-50 minutes, then remove the lid and roast for 5 to 10 minutes longer to let the juices reduce slightly. Watch carefully so that the juices do not evaporate completely.

Remove the chicken to a platter, tent loosely with foil and set aside. Add 3/4 cup broth to the pan and heat until it is warm. The mixture should have a very thin, sauce-like consistency. If too thick, add an additional 1/4 cup broth. (The chicken can be prepared 1 day ahead; cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat, covered, in a 350°F oven until hot, 15 minutes or longer, adding extra broth if needed.)

To serve, pour the juices over the chicken. Sprinkle with feta cheese and the remaining parsley, and garnish with the lemon wedges.

Market Notes: If you can’t find whole chicken legs (that is, the drumstick and thigh attached together), you can use six thighs and six drumsticks.

Picholine or Lucques olives are good green French olives that work well in this recipe.

Cooking Tip: If you do not have an extra-large frying pan, you can use a flameproof roasting pan/tray covered with a double thickness of foil.

*Photo Credit

Meal Idea Monday: Pan Fried Pork Chops, Smashed Red Potatoes, and Blueberry Cobbler

19 Mar

Pan Fried Pork Chops. Image from

A few weeks ago, I had my wonderful grandma and grandpa over for dinner. I LOVE my grandparents, and have such fond memories of spending time with them over the years. They were at all of my sports games, we were at their house for all of the major holidays, and they’re just wonderful loving people. They have 6 kids (my mom is one of them), 17 grandkids (I’m one of them of course!), and 13 great grandkids (4 of which are my kids PLUS one on the way from one of my sisters!!). They are just amazing people, they’ve inspired and encouraged me all growing up, and what can I say other than I just love them!

My grandma is a wonderful cook, and she made good and hearty meals for my grandpa all their married lives. As they get older, it is getting a little harder for her to hop into the kitchen and whip up a meal for the two of them. I know this is really frustrating for her, because she’d love to… but our body doesn’t always do what our mind wants us to. You know what I mean? SO, I wanted to make a meal for them that would remind my grandpa of the types of meals my grandma used to make for him.

I went to the Pioneer Woman website (a personal favorite of mine), where I knew I’d find many wonderful meal options. She has a section called Malboro Man Approved, which means it’s a meal her husband really enjoys. He’s a farmer; a real meat and potatoes kind of man. And so is my grandpa, so I figured this would be perfect.

I went with Pan Fried Pork Chops and Smashed Red Potatoes and Blueberry Cobbler (this recipe calls for blackberries, but I substituted blueberries) for dessert. WOW. It all turned out to be so incredibly delicious! I wish I’d made more because everyone would’ve eaten more! But it worked out fine because then I brought out warm blueberry cobbler for dessert fresh from the oven. I have to tell you that even I surprised myself at how yummy it all was! We cleaned out that dish too. I was so happy! I feel the love when the pans are empty and tumies are happily filled… I know some of you know just what I mean!

It was a really special night filled with conversation, laughter, stories, delicious food (of course!), rich relationships, and even topped off with a Justin Bieber concert from my 5 year old son Dane. He’s a huge fan of Justin Bieber, and practices his songs (singing and dancing of course) all the time, and when we have company there is sure to be a concert. 🙂 He is quite the dancer, and quite the little entertainer!

That night, I was so thankful for wonderful family, great food, and for love.

**Click on these links for the ingredients and step by step beautifully photographed directions for the Pan Fried Pork Chops and Smashed Red Potatoes AND Blueberry Cobbler (this recipe calls for blackberries, but I used blueberries instead and it turned out great!)**