Friday, November 30, 2012

Foodie Friday: Honey Butter

My mom made this homemade honey butter for Thanksgiving and it was so good. Plus, it's SO EASY!!

2 cups (sticks) of butter
1/2 cup good quality honey

Soften at room temperature 2 cups salted butter. Soften in micro on 50% power if not very soft. Add 1/2 cup honey. More honey can be added to your taste.

We are busy getting ready for the holidays around here, decorating and the like. I need to post some pictures of our basement bathroom update! Our main bathroom renovation is set to start Monday! Wohoo!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving & Black Friday

It's been a tough past 8 days at our house. Last weekend I had a terrible stomach flu.... I don't want to horrify with the details but it was by far the sickest I've been since I moved to MN. I could hardly get out of bed to do more than go to the bathroom even by Tuesday. Thank goodness I have Jim because everything was fine after I had a lot of rest and time to get my energy back.
Thanksgiving was split between our families and although exhausting after being sick, it was really great to see everyone. Did I cook per usual on Thanksgiving? Nope, sadly I didn't feel up to cooking but it was still fine and it happens.
I went out Black Friday morning shopping with my sister Parker to Toys'R'Us, Target, Old Navy and Kohl's. Thankfully we now only have a few easy additional things to pick up and otherwise the holiday shopping is complete.
Next up, it's time to decorate the inside of the house..... Jim got the lights up outside over a week ago so it's just the trees and wreaths that we have to pull out.
Hope everyone had a great holiday week/weekend so far. Get excited, it's almost December!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Foodie Friday: Crescent Chicken

This week I thought I would share a comfort food recipe that's easy to portion and keep healthy! My final photo is lost to tech difficulties so I will have to update this later. Definitely should try this though. :)

2 small Chicken Breasts, boiled and shredded
1 bag reduced fat shredded Sharp Cheddar
1 tube reduced fat Crescent Rolls
1 can "Cream of" soup, your choice (I've used broccoli, chicken, mushroom.... any would work!)

1.  Prepare soup per directions on the can. Preheat oven to 350F.
2.  Roll out the crescents and separate them all.
3.  Inside each crescent, put a few pieces of chicken and a pinch of the cheddar cheese. Seal the "pockets" by pinching the dough together.
4.  Place the crescents into a 9 x 13 baking dish and top with soup.
5.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Happy birthday hubs!!

Today is my hubby's birthday and the good Lord decided to drop our first stick-to-the-ground snow for him overnight! He didn't have to work today (observation of Veteran's day) so he has been working on house projects instead-- what a guy!
Hadley and I made him a family photo collage for him to take to work. We went out to Benihana for dinner and that was delicious! Then Hadley helped him open some gifts.... what a mess. :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Foodie Friday: Guilt-Free Pumpkin Pie

Yet another super busy week has made for lots of fun at our house. Not one to disappoint, I thought that I'd throw together a yummy guilt-free holiday dessert for this weekend. Who am I kidding though.... we both love pumpkin pie so much at our house so we'll eat too much no matter what... hello {sweet} guilt!

Guilt-Free Low Fat Pumpkin Pie


1 Pie Shell (homemade or store bought doesn't make a difference)
1 15 oz. Can Pumpkin
1 14 oz. Can Fat Free Sweetened Condensed Milk
4 Egg Whites
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie spice
1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Salt

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2.  Roll out pie crust into pie dish.
3.  Mix remaining ingredients together and pour into pie shell.
4.  Bake for 15 minutes.
5.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 25-30 minutes or until you can pierce the center with a knife and it removes cleanly.
6.  Cool and serve with your favorite topping or just by itself.

Prayers for all of our family members this week and next week with all of the huge and tiny things that are going on. :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Hoping for some BIG changes as a result of this election! Fingers are crossed and I'll be glued to the tube after 8pm to watch the returns.
Blessed to be able to VOTE in the USA!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Foodie Friday: Challah!

We've had a busy week around here but I wanted to make sure to virtually drop in with one of my favorite Jewish recipes that's I've been making since college. CHALLAH! Don't get me wrong, in my Jewish sorority I picked up some of the best recipes. Amazing kugels, knishes, salads, dips and roasted/cured meat that I really L.O.V.E. but fresh, delicious bread? Nothing quite tops it in my book! It's important to note that having a stand mixer makes the process of challah prep so.much.easier. so I would highly recommend using one if you have that luxury (I am forever grateful for our navy blue Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer that my Pop's older sister Ann gave us for a wedding gift-- such a kitchen work-horse).

yeild: 2 large braided loaves
2 packets of yeast
1/3 cup plus 3 tbspns white sugar
2 cups of water, separated
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tblspn salt
2 eggs, separate yolks from whites
7 cups bread flour
Optional: sprinkle toppings like kosher salt, poppy or sesame seeds

1.  Warm 1 cup of water slightly (don't make it HOT just warm-- you can easily stick your finger in it) then add to the bowl of your stand mixer along with yeast and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Let sit for 20 minutes.

2.  Once the yeast is frothy and has "grown" in size, mix in the flour, salt, egg yolks, oil, remaining sugar and water. I like to alternate between a cup of flour and a wet ingredient, mixing in between to reduce the floury mess that can occur if you try to add all of the flour in one step.

3.  Mix using dough hook for a few minutes until a ball is formed and dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. You made need a little more flour so just watch during this step to make sure a distinct ball has formed. The dough should be sticky but shouldn't stick all over your hands when it's ready so add a little more flour if that happens. **If you aren't using a stand mixer, just knead on a floured surface until the dough is smooth and sticking together nicely-- this takes around 10 minutes.

4.  Move your dough ball to a large "greased" bowl (sprayed with PAM or oiled) and cover with a WET towel or paper towels so that it doesn't stick to the dough.

5.  Place in a warm location (in the winter I turn on the pre-heat for our oven for 2 minutes then turn it off and stick the bowl in there, otherwise in warmer weather I just leave it on the counter) and allow to rise for one hour.
6.  Remove towel, punch down dough and re-cover and allow to rise for another hour.

7.  Cut your dough in half. With each half, cut into 3 pieces and braid them together. Place both braids on a "greased" baking sheet. You can also braid with 4 or even  strands-- go to YouTube to find instructions, I like this one.

8. Pre-heat oven to 365 degrees. Brush tops of braided dough with the egg whites and if you've chosen to use sprinkle-on toppings, this is when you put them onto the braids. :)

9. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool on a baking rack.


I love to cut the bread and freeze slices for use as toast or croutons with soups or as panini sandwiches. It freezes and thaws out beautifully. This is really a perfect idea if you need to bring something to a family or friend gathering, large or small. My favorite dips to serve with challah are hummus and olive dip but just by itself, this challah is delicious.

Have a great weekend everyone :)