Friday, November 30, 2012

Recipe Swap: Pumpkin Pie Dip

It's that time again!

Another Recipe Swap is here. The theme for this swap is blogger's choice. I was assigned the blog Does Not Cook Well With Others.  It was very hard to decide what to make, but I knew I needed something easy and quick considering I could possibly be delivering my son at anytime.  I have been pretty obsessed with pumpkin pie over the past few weeks and have been wanting to try making a dip. I saw a recipe for pumpkin pie dip and decided that now was as good a time as any! I scaled down the sugar because 2 cups seemed like it might be way too sweet for me. I was very happy that I decreased the amount because the sweetness was perfect for me. I actually made this before Thanksgiving and we had it with a few other appetizers. My family loved the flavors (and the extra pumpkin pie fix!). Thank you for a great recipe. Another big thanks to Sarah at A Taste of Home Cooking for organizing the swaps!


2/3 cup pumpkin puree
8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Graham Crackers and Fruit for Dipping


Using a hand mixer (or stand, if you choose), mix pumpkin, spices and cream cheese till smooth. Slowly add in sugar. Allow dip to rest in the fridge for about an hour. Serve with graham crackers and sliced fruit.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rum Vanilla Cranberry Sauce

It is always interesting to see who the cranberry sauce fans are at the table. I am on team cranberry, but I know others who couldn't care less if they saw the little red fruit again. I love trying different variations on homemade cranberry sauce for holiday dinners. Last year, I made a Cabernet cranberry sauce and it was divine. This year, I wanted something a little sweeter. I saw a few recipes online for bourbon cranberry and decided to make my own variation using orange, rum and vanilla.

I apologize for the photo (I was in a hurry). Hope everyone is having an awesome week!

12 oz Fresh Cranberries, Rinsed
1 cup sugar
1 cup Water
1/2 cup Fresh Orange Juice
1 tsp Orange Zest
1/4 cup Rum
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Place cranberries, water, sugar, orange juice, orange zest, rum and vanilla i a medium sauce pan. Gently stir to evenly mix ingredients. Bring cranberries to a boil and reduce heat and allow them to gently simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow them to cool (this can also be done in the fridge if you are crunched for time).

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Libby's Pumpkin Pie

In my opinion no Thanksgiving meal is complete without a pumpkin pie. Towards the end of my pregnancy I have been loving this tasty treat (and even bought a few individual slices from our bakery....). While planning our Thanksgiving menu I realized that I never made pumpkin pie. I wasn't sure where to start as far as recipes go, but decided to use the Libby's Pumpkin Pie recipe. I was very pleased at how easy this recipe is as well- the trickiest part is not spilling any filling when transfering it to the oven!!  Maybe next year I will try with fresh pumpkin for a little challenge.


3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 15 oz can Libby's 100% pure pumpkin
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
Whipped Cream, for topping (optional)


Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

Pour into pie shell.

Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan 11/26 - 12/2

We have officially past the due date! There is a sense of relief not having an impeding day on the calendar. We are not planning on an induction and are waiting on Kellen to decide when he would like to join us. I made a meal plan this week and it is assuming Kellen has not joined us (obviously that will change a few things!).  We had an awesome Thanksgiving, and I was very happy it was not spent in the hospital, but with our family and friends.  I hope everyone is doing well and had a fantastic holiday!

Here is what is on tap (tentatively!):

Monday: Out to El Serape
Tuesday: Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans
Wednesday: Saucy Chops, Leftover Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli
Thursday:  Grilled Brats and Grilled Potatoes
Friday: Out for Dinner
Saturday: Peppnernuts! Dinner with the Leckers
Sunday: Go Pack Go! Beefy Chili....yummy...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan 11/19 - 11/25

Happy Monday and Thanksgiving week!

I am so happy this is a short week.... I find myself getting worn out a little faster and love the extra time with family. Our plans are all pretty up in the air this week because of Kellen, but we still planned some meals. I am really hoping that my guy will hold out till after Friday....but who knows! I am helping my Dad cook on Friday and people have told me that I am nuts. I really enjoy cooking and have cut back a lot this month. I am looking forward to helping my Dad on Friday because we enjoy cooking together so much....maybe all the time walking around will help labor!

Have a wonderful week everyone!!

Monday: Crockpot Hot Beef Sandwiches, American Fries and Green Beans (We will be freezing some)
Tuesday: Out for Dinner with my Parents
Wednesday: Saucy Chops, Mashed Potatoes and Corn
Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving! We are celebrating with Ron's Family today!
Friday: Happy Thanksgiving/ Black Friday! We are celebrating with my Family today and potentially seeing Red Dawn tonight! I am making Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans,  Libby's Pumpkin Pie and Dutch Apple Pie
Saturday: Major Downtime = Turkey Pot Pie Pasta
Sunday:  Go Pack Go! Will Kellen make his appearance for the game? If not we will be getting
Indian Take Out

Friday, November 16, 2012

Recipe Swap: Crockpot Golden Pizza Dip

It is time for a Recipe Swap!

The theme for this swap was Game Day. As you know, I love football...mainly the Packers, and always enjoy adding a new recipe to my families game day arsenal. Packer games are a big deal in our family, and Sundays are literally planned around the game. Ron and I also love going to the games (not as much this year!) and are planning on going to the game before Christmas. We usually get there around 8 a.m. to properly celebrate before a noon game. Grill, yard games, drinks, and snacks in tow make for a great day (plus there are always lots of bands around the stadium after the game).

I submitted my recipe for crockpot spinach and artichoke dip. I reciped Golden Pizza Fondue from Kate's Recipe Box.  This recipe originally was given to her by her neighbor after she moved into a new apartment.  I modified the recipe a bit and used a crockpot over a fondue pot. Ron and I really enjoyed this dip (the flavors are very close to pizza!). I think this is a great recipe to add to my families Sunday night spread. Thank you Kate for a delicious new appetizer! Also, thank you to Sarah of A Taste of Home Cooking for hosting our swaps!


1 Tbl minced onion
2 Tbl butter
2 Tbl flour
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with no added seasoning, drained
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 lb mild cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 lb mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 Tbl grated parmesan cheese
Bread for Dipping

Saute onion in butter in a medium saucepan until tender. Stir in flour.
Stir in tomatoes. Add basil, oregano and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly for five minutes.
Slowly stir in milk.
Add cheese, a little at a time, stirring until melted. Add parmesan cheese.
Pour into crockpot and keep warm. If mixture becomes too thick, stir in a little hot milk.

Monday, November 12, 2012

SRC: Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

Ok, actually 4 counting the chocolate chips!!!

Another Secret Recipe Club has come (and the last before January).

Secret Recipe Club

This month I was assigned Fit Mamma Real Food. I really enjoyed reading her blog because she recently had a little baby! Since Kellen's arrival is literally around the corner all things baby are awesome. I liked reading her natural birth story (hoping to have one myself) I like reading about the experience of other families. Heather also has great recipes on her blog and when I saw 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies I was sold! I had a bag of semisweet chocolate chips in my pantry as well, and figured why not throw them in....who doesn't love chocolate and peanut butter??

Ron and I loved these cookies (I especially loved how easy they are to make)! You can certainly opt out of the chocolate, or replace it with another type of chip. Thank you Heather for a new cookie recipe!


1 cup natural peanut butter (I used Skippy Creamy Natural)
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Using a hand mixer, mix peanut butter and sugar till fluffy. Add the egg. Finally gently fold in chocolate chips. On a non stick cookie sheet (I used a slip mat), evenly space the cookies. Use a fork to press the cookies down. Bake in the oven for 6-10 minutes depending on the cookie size (I baked 15 cookies for 9 1/2 minutes- mine were a little large due to the chips). Allow cookies to cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire rack.

Weekly Meal Plan 11/12 - 11/18

Happy Monday! No Kellen yet..... Truth be told I have not felt in a bug hurry to have him. I figure he will come when he is ready. Luckily, I have not had a lot of discomfort (which I attribute to staying active and strong) and that could be why I haven't felt like I am "done" being pregnant. However, we are super excited to meet the little guy. I find myself wondering who he will look like and what he will be like. 

This week is pretty mellow. We are trying to keep things pretty low key with our activities and meals. Unfortunately, that means you may not see too many exciting things coming from my kitchen.... However, this week we have a few yummy dinners on the menu that are old favorites, and we are trying out a new chicken place on Wednesday.

Hope everyone had a nice weekend!

Here is what is on tap: 

Monday: Clam Chowder and Crusty Bread
Tuesday: Tater Tot Casserole and Green Beans
Wednesday: Out for Chicken at Redwood (It is suppose to be awesome)
Thursday: Beef Tacos, Rice and Beans
Friday: Out to Dinner
Saturday: Movie Day with my SIL and dinner with family to follow
Sunday: Go Pack Go! Chili...yummy!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan 11/5 - 11/11

Happy Monday! I can't believe it is three weeks (give or take) till Kellen is My doula sent me a message last night to let me know as of today she is officially "on call". It feels great to almost be at the end, but there aree some nerves. I have to say that the third trimester has been my favorite. When I first found out I was pregnant everyone told me the first and third were the worst, and second was the best. For me, second was the worst, followed by first and third is my favorite by leaps and bounds.  I feel great mentally and physically. I also feel the most ready to meet Kellen and excited to bring him into our lives. My work and my family have started baby pools for fun. I like seeing what other people think because I feel so clueless as to when he will arrive...however I put my money on November 27th if anyone was wondering. 

This week is pretty busy, but we have a few different yummy dinners planned (and some dinners out).  Hope everyone is doing well! Don't forget to vote tomorrow!!

Here is what is on tap:

Monday: Chicken Dumpling Soup and Bread
Tuesday: Out for Pizza
Wednesday: Grilled Pork Chops with Onion Blue Cheese Sauce, Roasted Red Potatoes and Broccoli
Thursday: Saucy Chops,  Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans
Friday: Out to Dinner with My Doula and Ron....Indian Food Yummy!
Saturday: Appleton for Dinner
Sunday: 3 Cheese Lasagna with Meat Sauce, Garlic Bread and Salad

Treats: Golden Pizza Fondue and 3 Ingredients Peanut Butter Cookies