Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Butterscotch Pumpkin Dip

I love a good gooey warm dip for parties! We recently watched a football game with friends and I brought this dip for dessert with green apples and graham crackers. There were lots of little kids there, so it was good to have apples and grahams for them and a little something extra for the adults.

We love pumpkin and you really taste it in this dip. I would not make it for non-pumpkin fans :)

See the super easy recipe with just 4 ingredients here

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Spicy Sausage Pasta

This recipe has over 300,000 repins! Seriously, has everyone found this online and repinned it? How many have gone through their pins and made it? ha!

I made it and loved it! It has great flavor and everything cooks in one pot which I appreciate. It is great "man" food. Very filling and spicy! I'd recommend it for a hearty eater at your dinner table.

Check out the full recipe from Kevin and Amanda here

Thursday, October 24, 2013

"Simply" Cookies

 Are you like me and looking at ingredients more than ever? A little freaked out by how many ingredients are in things that look so simple? I only eat plain potato chips now instead of sour cream and onion or Cheetos- they have three ingredients. Potatoes, oil and salt. As it should be :)

So, I was pretty excited to see these new cookies at the grocery store. Corn syrup gives me a wicked headache within an hour of eating it, so I am always looking for corn syrup free foods. I love when it is real ingredients and still quick and easy.

These cookies were wonderful! They tasted like homemade and were big! We made 6 each night and gobbled them up. They also make these in chocolate chip and peanut butter.

I would highly recommend them!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Scrapbook Paper Pumpkin

My MOPS group made these little scrapbook pumpkins last week. Super cute, huh? They were very easy and using my left over scrapbook paper, also really inexpensive. They would make great gifts during the Fall season or make a cute collage with a variety of scriptures.

Using online clip art, I made the template with a pumpkin outline and scripture of thanksgiving. The template is 7x7 inches and was framed on top of 8x8 scrapbook paper inside an inexpensive frame. I just removed the glass. If you'd like the template, I uploaded it here

Using a basic glue stick, glue the 1" scrapbook paper circles onto the pumpkin template, covering the black outline. Before you do the top row, add a stem and leaf. I used twine and ribbon.

You can use any scrapbook paper you like. I had a book of 12x12 sheets that all coordinated. I just used a variety of the orange papers.

 My cute little scrappy pumpkin perfect for the Fall.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Italian Wonderpot

I found this recipe for a big pot of noodles with lots of Italian seasonings and thought it would be a great side for the boring grilled chicken breast we seem to eat once a week.

I filled my Dutch oven with all the yummy ingredients- noodles, veggie broth, spinach, diced tomatoes, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano.... good stuff!

After a good stir and a few minutes boiling in the pot, I had this super flavorful pot of noodles! And, a big pot it was.... we have eaten 3 meals from this pot! We had it with grilled chicken one night and sausage another and we have enough to accompany another meal tonight. 

Visit Apron Strings Blog for the full recipe and get to cooking!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Disney Cruise Tips & Tricks

My family just returned from a week about a Disney Cruise that set sail to Key West, Castaway Cay and Nassau, Bahamas. It was the trip of a lifetime for us and the first vacation for my 4 1/2 year old little girl. The bar has been set so high for future trips with her!

  I did a ton of research before going reading articles on other blogs, looking at Pinterest for packing tips and talking to friends that sailed recently. They gave me great tips and I learned a few myself from my 8 days aboard the Disney Wonder.

I blogged it all on my family blog, but wanted to share a recap here in case any of you are curious, interested or booked for a future cruise! 

First and foremost, I shared lots of pictures of our stateroom and everything you'd want to know about the blow dryer, the double bathroom, the special pink princess sheets and the TV guide. 

As with any cruise, we ate some extraordinary desserts, steaks and seafood and Mickey bars at every meal. The cruise does a wonderful job catering to kids with special cups, stickers, and a great kid's menu. Most importantly, they handled my daughter's peanut allergy better than I've ever seen.

I big part of the Disney cruise experience is the characters and we took our picture with 20 of them! On top of that, we had our autograph book full in the first few days. There were princesses at every corner and we even learned how to find them without the crowds.

This is one of my favorite photos from the cruise taken on my husband's iPhone. My little bitty girl looking up at a real life Tiana with so much excitement and wonder in her face. 

Don't worry if you have boys or aren't into princesses anymore, there were lots of other Disney favorites including Mickey Mouse and friends, Lilo and Stitch, Terk, Captain Jack Sparrow and some of the cast of Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

The ship's calendar was full of activities for kids, adults only and families. My little Izzy loved the pirate party on the top deck one night. It included fireworks and dancing characters. Oh, and Mickey, ziplined across the boat. I am not even kidding. Amazing stuff!

We also put Abby in the complimentary child care every day to give us some quiet time. I explain the whole system in great detail including the security, handling of medicine, and what happens in there for the kids. You know, little things like Snow White showing up and teaching everyone how to Do Si Do.

Our ship made three stops....

We spent the day at the Atlantis resort enjoying the waterpark and dolphin interaction. 

We also stopped at Disney's private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay. It was like having the cruise ship with great food, free sodas and ice cream, characters and free childcare relocate onto land. My husband even ran in the cruise 5K on the island. We loved our time there!

Our ship's first stop was in Key West where we enjoyed seeing pretty houses, eating seafood, and finding a key lime dessert! We even left Abby on the boat for this excursion.... I promise the child care was amazing!

Nobody from Disney paid me to share my trip with you- I just loved it and can't recommend it enough! Please email me at annajenk@yahoo.com or leave a comment if you have any questions about the cruise. I am happy to help!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Fall Burlap Banner

I am involved in a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group at my church and volunteered to coordinate fall crafts day at our meeting on Monday. I needed to come up with cute and inexpensive crafts for about 60 women that could be completed in about 15 minutes. Pinterest to the rescue!

My favorite craft from the meeting was this super simple burlap banner.

At Hobby Lobby I found pennant already cut out and measured them at the fabric tables. They were 8" wide at the top and 10.5" long. They were just the size I needed, but not the price I needed. So, using my iPhone calculator, I found that I could get about 26 pennants for each yard of burlap sold on the bolt. I purchased 3 yards giving me 80 pennants for under $12. 

Using cardstock, I made the sample pennant and then traced it 80 times on the burlap. Then, I cut it out over a period of days. Cutting triangles with the point alternating up and down allowed the fabric to go a lot further.

Using stencils and a sharpie, I traced the letter F-A-L-L onto 4 pennants. Other girls did B-O-O or E-E-K for Halloween. If you have more burlap, I think HARVEST or THANKFUL would be cute.

After the letters were traced, I painted them with simple craft paint and a foam brush.

Next, the triangles were glued onto the ribbon with fabric glue. 

 Voila! An easy and inexpensive craft most anyone can do!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Two Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

My friend Natalie and I were discussing getting our kids to eat fruits and vegetables recently and she mentioned giving them pumpkin via super easy muffins she likes to make. Knowing how much my daughter loves anything pumpkin, I knew these muffins would be a hit.

They are quick, easy, moist, flavorful and relatively healthy. No oil, eggs or butter!

Two Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

1 box spice cake mix
1 can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling with all the spices in there)

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix your ingredients together and place inside muffin cups. Bake for 18-22 minutes.

Note: I like a little crunch in my muffins, so I sprinkled sugar crystals on top. Totally optional.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Southwestern Chicken and Rice

My Mom always made chicken and rice growing up and I hated it. The cream of mushroom soup taste was too much for me, so I have really avoided that dish as the head chef in my kitchen for 15 plus years! With this dish, I finally found a chicken and rice staple I can live with and love eating for dinner!

Southwestern Chicken
recipe from Pinterest, but with a dead link :(

Chicken tenderloins-cut into small squares
2 cups instant rice
1 taco seasoning packet
1 can rotel
Grated cheese- I used pepperjack

Cook chicken in skillet. Add 1 1/2 cups water, taco seasoning and rotel. Heat to boiling. Add 2 cups instant rice. Stir, remove from heat and cover. Once water is absorbed, stir and top with cheese. Let cheese melt and dinner is served.

We ate this as a casserole and our main dish. It would be great inside tortillas or on tortilla chips also. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

New Favorite Watch

I have been looking for a cool pool watch all summer and I found one just in time for our end of summer vacation- Puma Bubble Gum watch in green! 

I can't tell you how much cuter this watch is in person- the face is big which I love. The green is the perfect Kelly with a touch of lime. The blue is a bright sky blue and looks perfect- like grass and the sky. It is light. It is really soft. I love it!

See the Puma Bubblegum watch at Zappos. Plus with fast and free shipping, you could be wearing it on Tuesday!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Easy and Delicious Cobbler

I love dessert I will not lie. And, I am always wishing I had something sweet to eat about 8:30 PM. This cobbler is so good and super easy to make I joked to my husband that it was a little dangerous. You likely have all of the ingredients and 5 minutes to make it right now!

Rustic Cobbler
recipe from Mix and Match Mama (my new favorite recipe blog!)

3 cups frozen fruit or pie filling (I had frozen "cherries and berries" for smoothies in the back of the freezer and 1 can of peach pie filling)

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 egg

3/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 375. Spray an 8x8 pan with Pam. Place fruit in the bottom of the pan. Mix flour, sugar and egg together and sprinkle over fruit. Pout melted butter on top. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October Desktop

What I love about October.... scarves! crockpot meals! little kids in cute costumes! candy! candles! I could go on and on! Enjoy my favorite month!