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Okay, I have to admit that I have no idea what chilaquiles are but when I saw the recipe in Vegetarian Classics I needed to make it. If only because it calls for corn chips and I <3 corn chips.

It was SO easy. I was expecting to come home today and have to boil a sauce on the stove, etc. but none of that. You just have to mix the sauce together and layer everything and bake.

It was really good. Even Spencer said it was a keeper and normally he just tolerates my meatless meals. I will make a few changes next time. Another can of beans is definitely needs, maybe some black beans. Also, less cheese and save some corn chips for the top to have some crunch. Otherwise, perfection.

Ten-Minute Chilaquiles
Ingredients
For the sauce:
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 4 ounce can chopped green chilies, undrained
  • 1 14 ounce can pinto or kidney beans, rinsed well
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
The fixings:
  • 1 11 ounce bag corn chips
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups grated Monterey Jack Cheese
Instructions
  1. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Pour half the sauce in a shallow 2 1/2 quart baking dish, and top with half the corn chips. Drop little spoonfuls of half the sour cream all over the chips then sprinkle on half the cheese.
  3. Top with the remaining chips, sauce, sour cream, and chees. Bake 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
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This is by far my favorite chili recipe ever. It’s filled with a ton of beans, which is what I expect out of a chili. Plus it’s got pumpkin! You should know by now that I love pumpkin more than just about anything. You can’t really taste the pumpkin in it (Spencer can’t tell and I don’t tell him) but just knowing it’s there makes me feel healthier.

My original plan was to do this without meat (normally I do chicken or turkey) but Spencer said he’d prefer at least a little meat. I had about 1/2 pound of ground beef in the freezer so I browned it up to throw in the chili. It was just enough meat to know it’s there, but not so much that’s it’s the only thing you see/taste.

Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili
adapted from Taste of Home
Ingredients
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cans 15 ounces each black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can 15 ounces solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 can 14-1/2 ounces diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, cook ground beef, onion, and garlic in olive oil. Drain off fat and transfer mixture to crockpot. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook on low 4 to 5 hours.

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Gah. I’m so behind. I made these over a month ago and I’m just now getting around to posting them. Someone tell me to get my butt in gear please. Thanks.

Waaaay back when I made these I had a bunch of apples on hand that weren’t getting eaten. I tend to buy apples because I know I should eat them but I just don’t like them so they usually go bad. My mom does the same thing with bananas so I guess I learned from her. So I went searching for apple recipes and found these little things.

They were so much better than I expected. Like I said, I’m not an apple fan but I did enjoy them. I will say that I don’t think the cream cheese frosting is really needed. It was good but it made them really sweet. So sweet that I actually ended up throwing the majority of them away. If I ever find myself with too many apples again, I’ll probably make the blondies but forget about the frosting.

Apple Blondies with Brown Sugar Frosting.
Ingredients
For the Blondies:
  • 2/3 cup butter softened
  • 2 cups brown sugar packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup peeled chopped apples
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
For the Brown Sugar Frosting:
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 cups icing confectioner’s sugar, sifted
Instructions
For the blondies:
  1. Line a 13 x 9 inch baking tin with baking parchment. Set oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture on low speed, mixing until blended. Stir in apples and nuts, mixing well. Spread evenly in the prepared tin and bake until set and golden, 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on rack.
For the Brown Sugar Frosting:
  1. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar and milk. Bring mixture just to a boil then remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm. Sift in the confectioner’s sugar, mixing until smooth. Spread evenly over bar. Let stand until frosting is firm enough to cut. Cut into bars or squares.
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It’s gotten far too easy for me to fall into a lunch rut. The kid eats pretty much the same thing everyday: a slice of ham or turkey, green beans, peas, carrots, or a combination of the 3, and a piece of fruit. Me? I usually skip lunch because I never know what to eat. So my new goal is to make a couple lunches each week. Actual meals, not PB&J.

Thai salad

My first attempt was this oh-so-pretty Crunchy Thai Noodle Salad. It was colorful and fun and I’m sure most people would really like it. One of the main ingredients of the dressing is sesame oil and I always seem to forget that I hate sesame oil. I love the smell of it, but I hate the taste. Weird, right? I think I’m going to play around with it and see if I can find a good substitution that’s not so over-powering.

That being said, the husband shocked me by eating 2 huge bowls of it. Normally he turns his nose up at anything that doesn’t have a large piece of meat sticking out of it. Even the kid ate a bowl of it.

Crunchy Thai Noodle Salad
Ingredients
For the dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup tamari soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the salad:
  • 1 pound spaghetti or linguine
  • 2 cups mung bean sprouts
  • 1 cucumber peeled, seeded, and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 carrot peeled and grated
  • 3 scallions very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts
Instructions
  1. Cook noodles until al dente. Drain thoroughly and rinse the noodles under cold running water. Place noodles in a very large serving bowl.
  2. In a medium sized bowl whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Pour the dressing on the noodles and toss well. Mix in all remaining ingredients except peanuts. Let the noodles sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with the chopped peanuts sprinkled on top.
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It’s not often I get to cook breakfast for all three of us. With the husband’s schedule and my need for three cups of coffee before I’m fully functional, most days Landon and I have oatmeal or Kashi waffles. This weekend though, the husband has THREE WHOLE DAYS off.

I decided to make some cinnamon rolls last night, leave them in the fridge, let them rise in the morning, and then bake them off. Well… I made the rolls. I left them in the fridge. And they didn’t want to rise this morning. I blame my refrigerator. It likes to freeze things occasionally and I think my rolls were the recipient of it’s little prank today. I ended up turning the oven on for a few minutes, turning it off, and then putting the rolls in and they rose perfectly.

What they looked like this morning.

I’m not a cinnamon roll person. I think they’re one of those things that you either love or you couldn’t care less about. I used the “Clone of a Cinnabon” recipe from AllRecipes but I don’t think I’ve ever had a Cinnabon so I can’t tell you how much like the original they really are. But they were good. Much better than any cinnamon roll I’ve ever had.

5 from 1 vote
When I Grow Up, I’m Going To Be a Cinnabon.
Ingredients
For the dough:
  • 1 cup warm milk 110 degrees F/45 degrees C
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1/3 cup margarine melted
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 packet dry active yeast
For the filling:
  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter softened
For the frosting:
  • 1 3 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Dissolve yeast in warm milk in a large mixing bowl. Mix in sugar, margarine, salt and eggs. Add flour slowly until combined. Knead dough until smooth and elastic. Place dough in a large greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size.
  2. Once dough has doubled in size, combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Preheat over to 350.Roll out dough to a 16 by 21 inch rectangle. Spread butter evenly over dough and sprinkle with brown sugar mixture. Cover and let rise until doubled. (Or refrigerate overnight and allow to rise in the morning.)
  4. Bake rolls in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. While rolls are baking combine butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Spread frosting oven warm rolls before serving.
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