Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hello Fall

I have been trying to fight off fall for the past few weeks.  I had such an amazing summer that I resisted that fall was quickly approaching.  The morning air had turned crisp and the evenings were cool but I still wanted summer to stick around a little longer.

Today I welcomed fall by decorating around my home.  My favorite fall decoration is the pumpkins and corn stalks on my front porch.  Some years my husband will take it upon himself to decorate for me and I am always impressed with what he comes up with.  Other years he throws the bale of straw on the porch and fills the wheelbarrow with my pumpkins and gourds from the garden and then I get to work my magic!  This year it was a team effort.  He picked the garden and delivered the goods to the porch and I put it all together. I decided to skip the straw bale because I wanted to use my "garage sale find" wheelbarrow.
My wheelbarrow was a $3 garage sale find!
photo by

photo by
Fall mums make me smile.  I purchased several this year to use in my decor!  I planted several in my pumpkin planter.  I made the pumpkin planter at a workshop for women at The Home Depot.  
Mums in pumpkin planter.
photo by the

photo by
I used my amazing potting bench today for the first time. My husband built it for me for Christmas last year out of barn wood.  I love all of the special touches that he added to it.
My potting bench.
photo by

photo by

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

I keep thinking that I am done with the zucchini for this season but then I pick another one.  I have several loaves of bread in my freezer and several dozen Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins.  We eat these all winter long.  I love to pull a couple out of the freezer and pop them into the microwave for a few seconds!  The chocolate melts a little and they are delicious.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg lightly beaten
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup oatmeal

In a medium bowl combine all dry ingredients and set aside.  In a large bowl, combine the egg, oil, milk, lemon juice and vanilla; mix well.  Stir dry mixture into large bowl and mix until moistened. Fold in zucchini, chocolate chips, and oatmeal.  Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups two-thirds full.  Bake at 350' for 20-25 minutes.  Makes about 18 muffins.  

I usually make this recipe Gluten Free by using Namaste Gluten Free Flour Blend.  I have also added some flax seed and chia seed. I also like to use my mini muffin pan.  I get about 20-24 mini muffins.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Freezer Meal: Loaded Baked Potato & Chicken Casserole

Loaded Baked Potato and Chicken Casserole

I was super excited to finally try this recipe from
I had made it as a Freezer Meal in June and it looked and smelled delicious as I was putting all of the ingredients together.  I changed a few things on the recipe and I made a few notes.

Notes:  I measured my 2 lbs. of cubed chicken and it equaled about 2 cups.  My potatoes stuck to my baking dish so I made a note to spray it better next time.  I used some homemade hot sauce but I would have used Tabasco if I did not have my own.  This recipe would be great fresh but I froze it.  I did let it thaw for a day in the refrigerator before I cooked it.  I added the chicken uncooked.  You could always brown it first.  I think it was fine uncooked but I think my "cubes" were a little large and I worried that they would not cook. They were fine but I will cut my "cubes" a little smaller next time just so I don't have to worry.

Use the link above to get a better image of the recipe and for a printable version.

I used small rectangular aluminum pans that I got at the Dollar Tree.  It is a perfect amount for a dinner and a lunch for my husband and I.  I filled 3 of the small pans so I had 3 dinners in the freezer and ready to go!

Summer in a Bowl

Summer is coming to an end and fall is on its way.  The nights are getting cool and the morning air is crispy.  Last week I enjoyed some of the last "tastes" of summer. I called it "Summer in a Bowl."  It was Umpqua Vanilla Bean ice cream topped with a fresh Oregon peach.  I could eat this 3 times a day (don't tell anybody but I actually have) however, on this day I only enjoyed it twice!
Summer in Bowl Round 1
photo by thesavvymiddlesister

Summer in Bowl Round 2
photo by thesavvymiddlesister

There is something about this summer deliciousness that makes me smile and makes my tummy happy.