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 Harvest Apple Chicken Skillet

By Lifestyle No Comments

So we went apple picking this weekend and I have a serious overflow of apples! As I’m working on ways to eat all of these apples I stumbled upon this Harvest Apple Chicken Skillet and it sounded perfect! I will say right off the bat that this takes a lot of prep work. There are so many vegetables and ingredients to chop beforehand that you will need to make sure you set aside time for the prep. But once you’ve completed the prep, the cook time doesn’t take long at all!

As for taste, this is definitely a sweet and savory dish. I would say this dish is decent, but not in my top favorites. I love all the vegetables and the bacon and chicken addition. But the sauce wasn’t quite there for me. I think that a different sauce would take this dish to a whole new level! But still, it was a good dinner and a fun new recipe to try!

Overall Review: 3/5

Harvest Apple Chicken Skillet

From: https://www.closetcooking.com/harvest-skillet-chicken-with-apples/
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Slices Bacon Chopped into 1/2 inch sections
  • 1 pd Chicken Bite Size Pieces
  • 1 Onion Diced
  • 1 Sweet Potato Peeled and Diced
  • 1 pd Brussel Sprouts Trimmed and quartered
  • 4 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1 Jalapeno Diced
  • 2 tsp Thyme
  • 2 Apples Diced
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • 2 tbsp Whole Grain Mustard
  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Prep Ingredients: Bacon, Chicken, Sweet Potato, Onion, Brussel Sprouts, Garlic and Apples
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon until crispy
  • Once the bacon is done, transfer to a plate but keep the bacon grease in the pan.
  • Add the chopped chicken to the skillet and cook until golden about 7-8 minutes
  • Once the chicken is cooked transfer to a separate plate
  • Add onion, sweet potato, jalapeno, and brussel sprouts and cook until tender (10-15 minutes).
  • Add garlic, thyme and chopped apples. Cook for about 1-2 minutes
  • Add chicken broth.
  • Add cooked bacon and chicken and combine.
  • Add mustard, syrup, salt and pepper and combine. Let sauce thicken for 2-3 minutes
  • Serve in a bowl and enjoy!

5 Simple Things To Make Cooking A Breeze

By Lifestyle No Comments

Cooking, especially on a busy workday can be stressful. By no stretch am I an expert cook, but I have been dealing with busy work nights and a husband with a busy schedule for years.

1.) Use A Cookbook

Seriously, unless you are a professional chef or have been cooking for years and years, use a cookbook. It is extremely helpful as you learn proportions, foods and spices that mix well together and just gets you comfortable in the kitchen. I rely heavily on cookbooks and do a ton of recipe reviews because its the best way to learn! Just like being in school, cooking by recipe is a great way to learn. If you don’t have a cookbook to learn off of, Pinterest is a great resource. Find food boards that either have reviews of the recipe or are by a reputable chef and use those recipes to enhance your cooking skills! But don’t do the same thing over and over again. Branch out to new recipes and slowly try to enhance your skills. You won’t get better if you continue to make sheet pan dinners.

2.) Necessary Tools

Okay this is going to be an ongoing topic for me. Let’s start with the absolute basics. When you are cooking you don’t need all the expensive culinary tools. You just need the basics and then you can work up from there. So basics I found that I just can’t replicate without.

  • Grater – A grater is so important so you don’t accidentally cut yourself (like I did) and saves you endless time and frustration. Trust me trying to ‘grate’ a lemon with a knife is not the same and it hurts when you miss the lemon.
  • Hand Mixer- The standing kitchen aid mixers are beautiful, but they are expensive. So if you are just starting out, I think getting a hand mixer will be your best friend. I have been hand mixing all the recipes I have tried and the time and effort it takes to get to the consistency you want is astounding. Save yourself the time and buy a hand mixer, this way you won’t be frustrated with recipes you are trying. My husband just got me one for our anniversary and I was thrilled! My cookies and recipes turned out 10 times better than if I had mixed them by hand.
  • Ladle, Spatula, Whisks, Wooden Spoon and a Spatula – For most of the meals you will be cooking these utensils should cover the basics! But my biggest recommendation is to buy good quality! You will be hardest on these utensils so make sure they will last! My spatulas are falling apart so I’m planning to get a better quality version!

3.) Use Salt Lightly

You can’t take salt back once its on your food. Start light and add more when necessary. So when they say sprinkle salt, sprinkle lightly and add as you see fit. But be careful not to add too much or you will ruin the food you spent so hard working on. You may already know this but it is always worth mentioning. Instead of excess salt, use other spices to bring flavor. I love red pepper flakes, oregano, basil and black pepper. Salt is an essential spice, but it should be used sparingly.

4.) When In Doubt – Stir Fry

This may not be the correct way to ‘Stir Fry’, but it’s what I call these super easy and healthy meals. For nights where I want to eat healthy or have a home cooked meal I make this. There are so many ways you can vary this and its done within 20 minutes!

  1. Take a large skillet and heat with about 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Chop up a meat(or meat substitute) of your choice and add to the pan.
  3. While your meat cooks, chop up a variety of veggies. I personally go for zucchini squash, bell peppers, onions, and jalapenos. Throw those into your 70-80% cooked mixture and combine.
  4. Season with salt, and pepper.
  5. Let cook for 7-10 minutes until veggies are tender.
  6. Serve warm with sides of fruit or rice.

5.) Cook Foods You Like

I feel like people forget this, cook the foods you like. Don’t cook foods that are healthy or popular if you don’t like them. Find healthy ways to serve the foods you like. Cook the tacos, the burgers, the chicken wings, etc. Life is short, cook the foods you enjoy and just look for new ways to help make those meals a bit healthier. But to cook at home more often, you need to like doing it. And that starts with cooking the foods you actually like eating!

Overall, just make cooking fun! The more fun it is the easier it will get. And the easier it gets the more frequently you will do so! Have fun cooking everyone!

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.

How to Make After School Banana Bread – Magnolia Table

By Food No Comments

I have NEVER topped my banana bread with sugar and seriously it is a game changer! It added the perfect crunch to the top of the banana bread and made it taste so much better! I couldn’t have loved that addition to this recipe more! Overall, I really liked this banana bread. The recipe really isn’t much different than other recipes but nonetheless, it had the crunch and sweetness that you want so I will chalk it up to a success! This banana bread took no time at all to make and is perfect for rainy cold days or days of quarantine boredom.

Overall Rating 4.5/5

After-School Banana Bread

From Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines

Ingredients
  

  • Nonstick Cooking Spray
  • 8 tbsp Salted Butter (melted and cooled) — Plus more for serving
  • 1 cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 4-5 Very Ripe Bananas -Mashed
  • 1 3/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Pecans I used Walnuts
  • 1-2 tbsp Granulated Sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat to 350 degrees. She recommends an 8×8 pan but I think a bread pan works just as well! Make sure to grease the pan.
  • In a medium bowl beat (with a mixer) the butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until blended.
  • Add bananas and combine.
  • In another medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add the dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and combine. Add pecans and combine.
  • Pour batter into greased pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle granulated sugar on top.
  • Bake for about 40-45 minutes until cooked. Use a knife or toothpick to test that its cooked.
  • Slice and serve with butter.

How to Make Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwiches – Magnolia Table Review

By Food No Comments

Chicken Salad Sandwiches just hit the spot on a warm Saturday afternoon. Add it with a good glass of Arnold Palmer and you have the perfect lunch! Let me preface this by saying that when I assembled our sandwiches I did not add the lettuce/tomato. Mainly because the chicken salad was so good I felt it didn’t feel that it needed anything else, and I prefer my sandwiches without the lettuce and tomato. This sandwich is pretty standard when you look across the board at chicken salads, except for one ingredient – chives. The chives add that punch of flavor that really takes this chicken salad to the next level. These sandwiches are super easy to throw together and should be your next meal as we head into fall!

Overall Review: 5/5

Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwiches

From Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines

Ingredients
  

  • 5 Cups Shredded meat from rotisserie chicken
  • 1 1/2 Cups Halved red grapes
  • 3/4 Cup Chopped Pecans (Optional)
  • 1/4 Cup Sliced green onions or chives
  • 1 1/4 Cups Mayonnaise
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 12 Small Croissants
  • 6 Butter Lettuce Leaves
  • 2 Vine-Ripened Tomatoes

Instructions
 

  • Combine chicken, grapes, pecans, chives in a large bowl and mix well.
  • Add mayo, salt and pepper to taste and combine.
  • Cover and chill until cold — About 1-2 hours
  • Serve on croissants. Add tomato and lettuce for an additional punch.

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

Jalapeno Cornbread- Magnolia Table

By Food No Comments

Is there anything more Midwestern than a good slice of cornbread?! Seriously, whenever people mention cornbread my first thought is one of our family dinners with a big bowl of chili with a hearty slice of cornbread. It’s just one of those Midwestern staples you can’t help but love. So when I saw it in the Magnolia Table cookbook I knew it was my next recipe to review! And I was so excited to review it!

First off, this recipe is so darn easy! It doesn’t take any time to put together (except pickled – jalapenos if you so choose). The ingredients aren’t expensive making this the perfect go to side dish for any soup or dinner you might be making. The recipe calls for two optional ingredients jalapenos and ___. I opted for neither and instead cut up one jalapeno (seeds included) and threw that into the liquid mixture. I knew my husband would like the kick of spice that came along with it. My next attempt will include the pickled jalapeno option, but for today the raw jalapenos were included. The recipe does take a hot minute to bake — 50 minutes — but as long as you do this before the rest of your dinner prep you should be good to go!

Now for the one downside I have and this is towards cornbread in general. It’s a very dry dish. It’s just the way its meant to be and that’s totally okay. This is a home-style dish that is served with extraordinary amounts of butter. So be prepared to have butter on the side otherwise this is very hard to get down. Regardless, this recipe is perfect for what it was intended to be and is definitely one that I will keep in my back pocket for future family dinners.

Jalapeno Cornbread

From Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Tbsp Butter (Melted)
  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup Fine Yellow Cornmeal
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup White Corn (I used yellow)
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped drained pickled jalapenos (I used raw jalapenos) – OPTIONAL
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped roasted pimientos – OPTIONAL

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Butter a circular baking dish — It calls for a cast iron but mine is too big for a small recipe like cornbread. If you have a smaller cast-iron skillet use it!
  • Whisk flour, cornmeal, salt and garlic powder and set aside
  • Whisk melted butter, cream and eggs
  • Add liquid ingredients to the dry flour mixture. Add the corn, jalapenos and pimientos. It states to not overmix them just mix until moist.
  • But the mixture into your circular baking pan and cook for 50(ish) minutes. Once the endges are golden brown and the top is starting to brown is when you take it out. Stick a knife or toothpick in to make sure it's cooked through.
  • Cut into individual sections. I did 8, but the recipe calls for 6.
  • Serve warm with a heaping amount of butter! Enjoy!