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How to Make the Easiest Apple Muffins

By Lifestyle No Comments

Hey y’all! Another fall day, another apple recipe! When fall hits, I am cooking all things apple and this recipe did not disappoint! It’s from Southern Living, a favorite of mine as all the recipes are amazing! These muffins did not take long to make and had a great flavor profile. My only suggestion to this would be that you may want to incorporate another 1/2 cup of apples. I like chunky muffins with lots of apple bites and feel like another 1/2 cup would have made the perfect muffin! Overall though, they are the perfect fall breakfast item and I highly recommend them!

Overall Review: 4.7/5

Apple Muffins

From: Southern Living https://www.southernliving.com/recipes/apple-muffins-recipe

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 cup Diced Apples
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 cup Packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup Whole Milk
  • 1/2 cup Salted Butter Melted and Cooled
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs Slightly Beaten

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Grease a 12 cup muffin pan with spray
  • In a medium bowl mix the apples and granulated sugar and set aside
  • In a large bowl — Whisk flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon
  • Stir milk, butter, vanilla and eggs in the apple mixture
  • Add apple mixture to flour mixture. Stir until just combined.
  • Evenly pour into muffin cups
  • Bake for 18 minutes until a wooden pick inserted to center comes out clean.
  • Remove muffins to wire rack and let cool.
  • Serve with butter and enjoy!

How to Make a Buttermilk Blueberry Puff – Magnolia Table

By Food 3 Comments

Y’all, why I decided to try a new dish for a get together…. I’ll never know! But this dish is so easy to make and has such a unique taste! All the eggs and buttermilk give it a very unique texture and honestly was hard for me to work through. I absolutely loved the flavor profile, everything about the flavors is exactly what you’d hope for. Between the berries, the pastry and the coarse sugar topping the flavor is immaculate. But it is a very squishy dessert and I wasn’t huge on it. If there was a way to toughen it up -it would be the perfect dessert! But it was good in its own right and is definitely worth trying!

*Fun fact, figured out afterwards it should be cooked croissants. Fun lesson learned!

Overall Review: 3.5/5

I honestly just couldn’t get over the texture, but this is a super easy recipe to make and is a great brunch item! So if squishy textures don’t bother you, give it a shot and let me know what you think below!

Buttermilk Blueberry Puff

From Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines

Ingredients
  

  • 12 tbsp Unsalted Butter at Room Temperature
  • 12 cups Cubed Croissants (6-8 large)
  • 3 cups Blueberries or Blackberries
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 6 Large Eggs
  • 2 cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Coarse Raw Sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Grease a 9 x 13 x 3 baking dish with 1 tbsp butter
  • Spread the croissant cubes evenly in the dish and top with berries
  • Use a mixer and beat the 12 tbsp butter with granulated sugar until creamy. This takes a couple minutes to do.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Beat in the cream, buttermilk, vanilla and salt.
  • Pour over the croissants and berries. Sprinkle with coarse sugar
  • Bake until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
  • Serve warm. Leftovers last about 2 days.

Bow Tie Pasta with Baby Kale & Sun-Dried Tomatoes – Magnolia Table

By Food No Comments

This pasta is AMAZING! It’s definitely a heavier dish, but the flavors that you get are astounding. Don’t skimp adding in the kale, tomatoes and artichokes. They are all necessary to the flavor profile and worth the cost! So this dish does take a bit of time, so be patient with it. None of the steps are difficult, its just that it takes some time to get everything together. I highly suggest buying canned artichokes too because artichokes are a huge pain to cut from the whole artichoke, plus you need quite a lot of them. But finding canned versions are super easy! This recipe was a huge hit with me and my husband! I was so surprised he liked it too, because there were a lot of veggies and no meat. But like I mentioned earlier, the flavors make this pasta what it is. You definitely only need one bowl at a time so this will last several days if it’s just two people eating. I’d highly recommend making this one night, especially for these coming chilly fall nights!

Overall Review: 5/5

Bow Tie Pasta with Baby Kale & Sun-Dried Toamtoes

From Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines

Ingredients
  

  • Salt
  • 1 pd Bow Tie Pasta
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 8-oz block cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 12-oz marinated quartered artichoke hearts – drained and halved lengthwise
  • 1 8.5 oz jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 5 oz baby kale or spinach
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 1/4 cup Chives — For Garnish
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duU8n_ptrv4

Four of My Favorite Easy & Healthy Snacks

By Food No Comments

Y’all, I am terrible about eating too many snacks! It’s definitely where most of my calorie intake comes from. Over the last few years, I have tended to get things like Oreo’s, chips, Jalapeno Cheetos or ice cream to munch on. The first year that we moved to Arizona, I downed so much ice cream as a coping mechanism for being so far away from family. It’s very very easy to get lost in eating sugary foods, especially if your upset or stuck in a pandemic like we are now. But I’ve been wanting to be better, to make better decisions, and that starts with thinking about how I’m snacking. So today, here are five of my favorite healthy snacks to munch on!

1.) Sliced Tomatoes

Here me out on this one! Slice some tomatoes into medium thickness and arrange them evenly on a plate. Sprinkle salt and pepper onto each slice of tomato. I would do equal portions of each as I think both are needed for this snack. Then I sprinkle goat cheese on top of each tomato slice. I try to arrange it so I will have goat cheese in every single bite. Absolutely worth the extra time to sprinkle them on carefully! Without doubt one of my favorite snacks and definitely a healthy option!

2.) Pre-Cut Vegetables

When I’m feeling motivated and really want to be healthy this is a go to option! I have done this a few times and have been so grateful for it. I get veggies like bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers and celery at the store. Cut them into bite size pieces and place them into separate containers. I’d personally go for getting one container that can hold all the veggies in separate sections, but any container will work. Then when I’m feeling hungry I grab the containers, throw some on a plate and dip them in some ranch dressing. Now I know that ranch isn’t the healthiest thing for you, but compared to eating chips or cookies I count it as a win! Plus its a good avenue to start getting your daily veggies in.

3.) Berries & Yogurt Covered Pretzels

I like to think of this as a version of a parfait. Yogurt covered pretzels have less calories than chocolate covered pretzels and when combined with some good flavored berries it hits all the taste buds. You can set these out as a cute berry board and go munch on items when you get that craving for something sweet or sweet and salty. I was thrilled with this berry board and think it was a great snack idea for the week!

4.) Pepperoni and Cheese

This one came directly from my dad! He has always been drawn to snacking on meats and cheeses. Especially when you wrap some cheese in the meat, it’s been a staple among cooks for years and its definitely a great snack. I like to get pepper jack squares (thick square cuts of cheese) and pepperoni or sausage for this snack. Wrap the pepperoni around the cheese and eat. No artificial colors, sugars, etc; just good old fashioned meat and cheese. If you are feeling on top of it, pre-wrap the meat around the cheese and hold it together with a toothpick. I swear this helps curb your appetite twice as fast as well. It’s more hearty that the other snacks and has always been a go to for me!

What are you favorite healthy snacks? Or just your favorite snacks in general! Let me know in the comments below!

Sausage & Kale Soup – Magnolia Table

By Food No Comments

There is nothing more comforting than a bowl of good soup! And this soup is seriously the easiest to make! So so good and light yet hearty and the same time. By far one of my favorite soups and one I will have on repeat this fall! Overall, the hardest part would be the prep of cutting the veggies to the smaller sizes. I would highly recommend cutting them down to the proportions that she requests so you get all the flavors in one bite and everything cooks evenly. Beyond that, this recipe will take very little effort for an amazing payoff. There aren’t a lot of spices, but the leftover grease from cooking the sausage brings all the flavor that you will need! I did a quick video to show you the process and how easy it is to make! If you make it let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Overall Review: 5/5

Sausage & Kale Soup

By Magnolia Table — Joanna Gaines

Ingredients
  

  • tbsp Vegetable Oil (I use olive oil)
  • 14 oz Smoke Sausage – 1/2inch thick slices
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 large White Onion
  • 1 pd Red Potatoes
  • 4 Celery Stalks
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 – 32 oz Boxes of Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 pd Baby Kale

Spicy Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

By Food No Comments

Every once in a while I get in the mood for some stuffed mushrooms. Personally, I love stuffed mushrooms that have cheese in them, always a crowd-pleaser! But for those like my husband who can’t handle cheese or just don’t like cheese; this is the stuffed mushroom recipe to go to! This recipe is super easy and doesn’t take long to do! It is best utilized as an appetizer but it’s great for dinner as well! If you try the recipe let me know your thoughts below!

Spicy Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Quick and Easy Stuffed Mushrooms. Perfect for those with dairy allergies as there is no cheese in this recipe!

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 Jalapeno
  • 1/2 Medium Yellow Onion
  • 2 Celery Stalks
  • 1/2 pkg Hot & Spicy Ground Sausage
  • 2 pkg Baby Mushrooms
  • 2-3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Finely chop onion, jalapeno, and celery stalks and combine in a bowl
  • Using a small pan on medium heat add 1 tbsp of olive oil and cook the sausage
  • Once the sausage is cooked combine with the veggies in the bowl and transfer back to the small pan
  • Let the ingredients simmer on low heat for 5 minutes
  • On a large baking sheet — place all the mushrooms (stems gone) with distance between them
  • Take 1-2 tbsps of olive oil and lightly coat the mushrooms
  • Using a spoon, take your sausage mixture and stuff the mushrooms. I normally have fallout and I let that cook regardless. Always good to have more mix!
  • Place in oven for about 10 minutes or until tops of mushrooms look wrinkly
  • Remove and serve!

Inadequate but Ready to be Used by God

By Lifestyle No Comments
Find my looks on: https://www.liketoknow.it/cultivateconfidence

Do you ever feel tragically inadequate? I’ve definitely had moments in my life where I feel incredibly inadequate, where everything I do just doesn’t seem to be enough. Where it feels like you just can’t make a difference in this world? I am not a psychiatrist, and I don’t know much, but I do know that these feelings happen to everyone in one way or another. It’s because we want to be the best version of ourselves and when that doesn’t happen we panic. Especially for those of us with anxiety to begin with.

But those who feel inadequate are exactly who God is looking to use. He wants to use your imperfections, he wants to use your shortcomings to show His glory. With everything that is going on in the world, its easy to feel inadequate and stuck in what could you do? What could you, a lowly person, do to help fix the world? How could you make a difference?

I would argue that you CAN and SHOULD be used. God wants to use you to show His glory. And I think that starts in your community and home. Be the change that you want to see in the world. If you want to see less racism in the world, then speak out and let your actions speak louder than those words. If you want to see those in poverty get help and get on their feet; get out and help your community. Help the shelters in your community. Speak up and assist those who are in need, don’t stay silent, let God use you. But do it the way He wants you too.

Make the change with love, joy, peace, patience and endless grace. We are called to be like God, we are called to different than the world. Let me state this again, this isn’t staying silent, its using your platform and influence to make a difference. It’s words accompanied by action. It’s not one or the other. Get out and show the world what Gods kingdom and people are all about.

That means getting out and being DIFFERENT. Be different than the world — be BETTER. Be the person who loves everyone, regardless of skin-tone or background. Be the person who stands up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. Be the one who is humble enough to help those who are in need. Help those who are in need of food, shelter or water. I think the biggest thing we face is not CAN we help, its getting out of our own way and saying we WILL help. We will be different and make a difference, we will be better than we were before.

I do not have all the answers, but Jesus does. Jesus has instructed us how to live, how to live a life that glorifies Him. Whenever you feel anger, frustrations, stress, anxiety and especially inadequacy turn to Him and let Him guide you.

I listed a few verses that I think really apply to these situations. For when we don’t know what to do, turning to scripture is always an option.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7

“Let all that you do be done in love.” – 1 Corinthians 16:14

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31

We were all created in the image of God. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. Let’s act like it and be better.

Find my looks on: https://www.liketoknow.it/cultivateconfidence

Quarantine Series – Is it possible to be positive in the middle of a crisis?

By Lifestyle No Comments

I have seen a lot of posts recently about how the gravity of what’s going on has really weighed on everyone’s hearts. Its caused stress, anxiety and depression. As someone who has experienced all these emotions for a good chunk of my life, I can relate and empathize with everyone’s feelings.

It’s incredibly easy to get lost in the noise and the black hole of despair and panic. Many times it happens so gradually that you don’t notice it’s happened until its consuming all your thoughts. And being stuck in your home, while keeping yourself safe, is adding to the stress and anxiety in your life. But take heart and think about all that we have overcome in the past! We have overcome personal, social, regional and national catastrophes as a nation. And through it all we have come out stronger than we were before. Life is always going to throw things your way, it’s always going to have ups and downs. And as stressful and disheartening as those moments are, they teach us lessons. They teach us to be kinder, loving, smarter, and more confident. If we were to not face trials in life, we would not grow and succeed.

Staying positive through tragedy, embracing change and knowing that the future is bright is all you can do. Embrace the change, embrace the good and the bad, embrace the present and look to the future full of hope. Life will be crazy and the anxiety will run high at times. But you can find joy in the midst of anxiety. It is possible to feel all the emotions at once! Let them run — be positive while still being anxious. Be joyful while still feeling the pang of sorrow. It is when we suppress them that they can take over our lives. Be okay with things being stressful, anxious, overwhelming. But also be okay with joy and light being present as well. You can feel all the emotions and its okay to do so!

However you are feeling in the midst of this pandemic, remember that its okay to feel the emotions. It’s okay to be overwhelmed, but don’t be afraid to be positive as well. You aren’t negating the things going on in the world, you are just choosing to be a light in the midst of that darkness!

Staying Confident in a World that Doesn’t Want You to Succeed

By Lifestyle No Comments

You can’t have that. That is a ridiculous idea. You wasted so much time and money pursuing something that will never work out. The amount of times I have seen disapproving faces from people when I talk about my life goals, or what my huband and I are doing in life is insane. People either don’t understand why, don’t want to, or believe that we are ruining our lives. There aren’t many people out there anymore who are genuinely there to help you and encourage you. To say that you are more than what you have allowed yourself to believe. If I could say anything to you, it would be this, you are more than you believe. You can take a chance and still be successful. You can be so much more than you give yourself credit for.

And this isn’t a generational thing, my parents decided to change careers and pursue their passion. Which is an incredible, wonderful and brave thing to do. But the amount of disapproval, you’ll never accomplish it, and general nasty attitudes was insane. First of all, we live in the United States a place known for making your dreams come true. So why can’t the average every day person pursue their goals? Because we get sucked in my debts and responsibilities and believe we can’t take care of those while also pursuing that which gives us life. And I’m as guilty of this as anyone. I get sucked into the lie that these dreams I have are too big, too far fetched, too unrealistic. But that is a load of hooey. If my husband can become a doctor (side note: he graduates in 3 months!) and accomplish his dreams, whose to say that I can’t accomplish mine.

The only thing standing between you and your goals is YOU. You and your beliefs. Beliefs that you can or cannot do something. It’s okay if you don’t have money, start where you are. Do what you can. Just push for the things that make you the happiest. Life isn’t going to magically hand you your dream career and your dream life. Just like marriage, building a career is hard. And buidling a career on the side of your full time job is even harder. So give yourself grace. Tell yourself its okay to make mistakes and to not be where you want to be. You are only guaranteed one day, so keep pushing to make today the best day. Keep pushing each day to make tomorrow a better day. Just don’t give up. If you know that you don’t want to look back on your life without having made a difference, then get out and make a difference! Get out there and help those in need, encourage those who are desperate for a positive message, and bring light to this world that is getting consumed in darkness.

Pursue your career goals, bring light to the darkest areas in the world, find ways to be positive and happy so that you can bring more light into the world. Most of all, don’t accept that life is what it is. It’s up to you to make it better. Stay focused on the end result and one day you will look back and know that you made a difference in this world. People will always be negative, there will always be those who doubt you and your abilities. Don’t listen to those lies. You were created by a wonderful and powerful God. Believe that He made you for a reason and shine that light He gave you into the world.

Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”