Monday, September 23, 2013

Lentil Bruschetta Dip

Today I'm going to share with you a dip I discovered that I am now o.b.s.e.s.s.e.d with. It is SO good. Not only that but it actually is a healthier option than say a dip made with a whole carton of sour cream or cheese. Not that those aren't delicious, but you know what I mean ;). 

So we do all our shopping at Trader Joes. If you didn't already know I'm somewhat in love with the store. It's the BEST. They always have samples of their products in the store, similar to costco, and a few weeks ago they had some sort of dip, I noticed it said lentils, and I love lentils, so I tried it...and oh my...gosh! A flavor explosion was happening in my mouth. It was SO good. SUPER simple to make as well! 

-I buy the prepacked cooked lentils for this, but you can absolutely make your own. You'll need about 2.5 cups lentils if you cook them
-1 6oz package of feta cheese
-1 container of bruschetta sauce. Now if you do shop at TJs. Buy the fresh. It turns out MUCH better than getting the jar bruschetta. 

Mix all your ingredients in a large bowl!

 And serve with pita chips! TJs also sells pita crackers which also go really well with this dip.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pumpkin Pancake "Muffins"

So fall is one of my favorite times of the year, I love the change in weather (this cali girl HATES summer, go figure) the smell of fall, the pumpkins, apples, spices. All of it. Especially because it leads towards my FAVORITE time, Christmas time. But that's not what this is about. Usually on the weekend my husband makes a special breakfast. If we don't have time in the mornings because it's busy on the ranch that day, he will make breakfast for dinner. That was the case today. I also decided to make homemade apple sauce in the crock pot so fall was in the air at our house. He mentioned to me he might want to make pancakes but it's such a mess we figured to just put them in the muffin tins. Since fall is approaching, and the applesauce was cooking away smelling SO good I told him we should make pumpkin pancakes since the can of pumpkin puree in our pantry has just been staring at me lately. 

Holy moly. I had no idea the deliciousness we were about to experience. The pancake "muffins" turned out SO good that I had to share them with you all. They would be fantastic to make the night before also and have for quick on the go breakfasts in the morning as well.


  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4-5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Directions:

    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

    In one large bowl mix your milk, pumpkin, egg & coconut oil until combined. If the pumpkin or coconut oil is a little lumpy that's ok. 

    In a separate large bowl combine your flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice & salt.

    Slowly incorporate your dry into your wet ingredients. The important rule of thumb here is to not over-mix. Once the wet and dry are mixed together you're pretty much good.

    Spray your muffin tins with non stick spray.

    Use a 1/3 cup to scoop your pancake mix into the tins. All together this ended up making 17 pancake muffins for us. 

    Bake for 13-16 minutes, or until it passes the tooth pic test. I want to add that our bottom rack cooks faster than our top rack so watch out for that with your oven. Our bottom rack was done at 13 minutes and our top rack was done closer to 16-17 minutes. 

    These were SO moist and delicious. 

    But putting a little syrup on top took them to a WHOLE other level! 

    Sunday, September 8, 2013

    Quick & Meaningful Grandparents Day Gift!

    This is Lincoln's first Grandparents Day and I wanted to make something that would be fun and meaningful for my parents from him. But with Lincoln only being 5.5 months old we were limited on what *he* could make. Louie and I brainstormed and came up with the idea of his footprints in a frame with a picture of Lincoln and my parents. We LOVED the result, and more importantly they did also.

    Its so easy to do, and more than likely, you'll probably have everything you need at home! This could absolutely be a gift for anyone, any holiday also, not just grandparents day. 

    8x10 frame
    Toxic Free Ink
    4x6 photo 
    Printer (optional)

    So what I did first was put my cardstock in my printer and I printed out the words "Grandparents Day 2013", but you could write that out on the paper if you have lovely handwriting...which I do not. ha!

    I printed out the photo of my parents with Lincoln from his 1 month photos. I felt I should have a more up to date photo of them all, but its such a good picture I couldn't resist. 

    I just simply taped the picture on the cardstock underneath the words and then used the ink on the bottom of Lincolns feet and pressed them underneath the photo. Which is a feat within itself let me tell you! We did get a couple smudges but its homemade, it gives it more character right?...right? 

    Make sure to let the ink dry for a few minutes before placing it in the frame. And your done!

    Thursday, September 5, 2013

    Easy & Delicious Shepherds Pie

    This is a dish I've been making for years, and even though I seem to not make it that often, its definitely a family favorite. Especially my husbands. (Its meat and potatoes, duh). For those of you who don't know my husband and I were actually vegetarian for about a year and a half not to long ago and I still made this dish! Our favorite meat substitute was Trader Joes meatless ground beef. Just an FYI ;)

    1 lb ground beef 
    1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables
    1 onion
    2 potatoes
    About a cup of cheddar cheese give or take
    Brown Gravy Packet
    Heaping spoonful of sour cream
    2 tablespoons butter 
    Splash or two of milk
    Salt & Pepper to taste

    Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

    In a large pan cook your ground beef and diced onion until cooked through. Drain fat.

    In a large pot or saucepan cook your peeled and largely diced potatoes, I never time this, I just generally stick a fork in them from time to time to check. Probably about 10-15 minutes.

    Add your frozen mixed vegetables to your beef, season with salt and pepper. **I usually add a few cloves of minced garlic in at this point but I didn't have any this night* 

    Start to make your gravy, I usually always use the packets you can find in the spice aisle, but you can use your favorite brand of gravy. 

    Once your potatoes are done add them to a large bowl with your butter, milk, sour cream and season with salt and pepper. (I always usually also sprinkle in some garlic powder and cayenne pepper to my mashed potatoes but use whatever YOU like)

    And mash! Sad day in our household. My hand mixer broke! Womp Womp Wooomp. But look at me doing it all old fashioned like ;) it works just as well!

    Add your gravy to your meat mixture.

    Spoon mixture into a 13x9 baking dish and spread evenly.

    Spread your mashed potatoes on top!

    Then, add your cheese.

    Add to your preheated oven, and cook uncovered for 20 minutes.

    Let cool and serve! Enjoy :)