Archive for October 2011

Tangy Pineapple Meatloaf

October 27, 2011

Meatloaf has always been a touchy subject in our house. I loved it growing up, Paul absolutely hated it. Despite this, I tried various recipes since getting married -- none of which he liked. Until this one! I came across this recipe on Lemon Tree Creations. It's a really great blog, you should check it out. Anyway, I loved that it called for pineapple preserves. It totally makes the sauce phenomenal! And even better, it passed the husband's taste test. Love it!

Tangy Pineapple Meatloaf

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup pineapple preserves

In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix with hands until everything is combined. Press ground beef mixture into loaf pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix ketchup, brown sugar, and pineapple preserves. Pour over meatloaf in pan and bake an additional 20 minutes. YUM!!


Cinnamon Pumpkin Pancakes

October 24, 2011

This is now my all time favorite pancake recipe. We all agreed I should just make these pancakes year round instead of regular ones! Syrup is actually not necessary because they are sweet enough on their own. They were seriously that good, and just as easy to make. I actually had to double the recipe because I was only able to get about 6 decent sized pancakes out of one batch. You have to try these! They would be perfect for Thanksgiving morning while everyone's watching the parade. :)

Cinnamon Pumpkin Pancakes
adapted from My Favorite Finds

1 cup flour
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 egg
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vinegar

In a small bowl combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a larger bowl, stir together milk, pumpkin, egg, vegetable oil, and vinegar. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until just moistened. Spray skillet with nonstick spray and cook pancakes over medium heat. Turn when bubbles JUST START to appear. (If you wait to see bubbles all over like regular pancakes, they will burn!) Serve plain or with syrup.


Menu Plan Monday 10/24

What a beautiful fall morning today! I hope you had a great weekend, we sure did. Saturday we took Silas and Wesley to Weaver Orchards and enjoyed one of their fall family fun days. It was chilly, but great weather.
Saturday night was the Fall Fest at my mom and dad's church. Silas wore his Halloween costume and had a blast playing games, eating yummy treats, and riding a hayride with Grandmom. The difference in maturity from last year is really amazing! Last year nothing scary really fazed him, this year he was terrified of a scary mannequin on the stage. He was attatched to Grandmom the whole night!
This week we have some more fun things planned as well as this yummy menu:
Saturday- Stuffed Shells
Sunday- Freezer Enchiladas/Leftovers
I'll also be preparing for a turkey dinner next Monday night (Halloween) when the family comes over to see Silas and Wesley in their costumes. I'll be brining a turkey for the first time, if anyone has any tips or good recipes I'm open! :)
Linking up to Menu Plan Monday.

Liebster Blog Award

October 23, 2011

What a sweet surprise! I've been awarded the Liebster Blog Award by Erin at Table for 7. I'm so honored! This blog has been, and still is, such a fun hobby of mine. I originally started it as a way to keep my recipes handy and to share my opinions on new ones I try. I had no idea how many sweet friends I'd make along the way!

The Liebster Blog Award is given to blogs who generally have fewer than 200 followers.

Now it's my turn to award 5 of my favorite blogs!

5. The Rickett Chronicles

Once you recieve the Liebster Award, there are a few simple rules...

1. Copy and paste the award on your blog

2. Thank the giver and link to the blogger who gave it to you

3. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog

4. Hope that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers

Thanks again, Table for 7!


Stuffed Corn Bake

October 22, 2011

I'll be making our turkey dinner on Halloween when my parents and brother come over to watch Silas go trick or treating (and to give out candy while we walk him around the neighborhood). I'll be trying a turkey brine for the first time, wish me luck!! Anyway, I've tried several new recipes for side dishes and I really wasn't thrilled with any of them. I found this one in my Gooseberry Patch 101 Hearty Recipes cookbook and whipped it up right there because I happened to have all the ingredients. I had just stocked up on Del Monte canned veggies that I was able to score for $.11 per can at Weis, yeah baby!

Really though, this is such a simple and easy side dish but it was really flavorful. You could certainly mix up the flavor by using a different variety of Stove Top, I plan on trying the cornbread one next. Perfect for Thanksgiving!

Stuffed Corn Bake

1 can corn, drained
1 can creamed corn
1 pkg (6oz) Stove Top Stuffing, chicken flavored
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir until ingredients are well incorporated and stuffing has become moistened. Pour into a 2 quart baking dish and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Allow dish to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Friday Favorite Finds 10/21

Well it's been a busy week and it's going to be an even busier weekend! Luckily I still had time to bookmark some great finds. Here's what caught my eye this week:
Easy to be Gluten Free

Cooking During Stolen Moments

Once A Month Mom

Jamie Cooks It Up

Finding Joy In My Kitchen

Linking up to Friday Favorite Finds.


Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

October 18, 2011

I made these to take a along to my mom's Penny Party fundraiser at her church. It's so much fun, I look forward to it every year. For their $5 admission (donation to the youth group and Sunday School) participants get 25 tickets with their number, free desserts, and coffee. My mom puts together baskets filled with new items the congregation has donated and the participants place their tickets in the baskets they would like to win. I actually won a fall baking basket, go figure LOL! Anyway, they ask for dessert donations as well so I whipped up these cupcakes and they were a hit! It was a great day and the church made over $400 with the fundraiser. Awesome!

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
adapted from
One Crazy Cookie

16 oz can pumpkin
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup oil (I plan on using applesauce as a sub next time)
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Mix dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl (flour, sugar, baking powder & soda, and spices). In a separate bowl, beat pumpkin, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Gradually stir in dry ingredients to incorporate. Pour 1/3 cup of batter in muffin tins and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting (or make it from scratch, but I'm lazy). Yum!

Linking up to: Old Fashioned Recipe Exchange, Tasty Tuesday, Tea Party Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays, Cupcake Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Cast Party Wednesday, and Mom's Crazy Cooking.      


Menu Plan Monday 10/17

October 17, 2011

It's going to be a busy week so hopefully I will stick to the plan as best I can! I think half the battle is making sure I have all the things I need from the grocery store to make enough dinners for the week. If there's not enough time that's one thing, but at least I know I have everything in the fridge ready to go!
Tuesday- Tacos with Fiesta Rice
Sunday- Leftovers/Freezer Meal 
Linking up to Menu Plan Monday. Have a great week!

This Week's Savings 10/15

October 15, 2011

I thought I'd start a new series where I highlight the week's coupon savings and what I was able to score on the cheap. I'm a HUGE proponent of using coupons and stocking up when the price is low. My top three deal websites are For The Mommas, My Frugal Adventures, and A Full Cup. Check them out if you're interested in saving money by couponing. Here's what I got this week:

Rite Aid:
2 Playtex Dropins liners $15.18-$2 IPs-$5UPR = $8.18
1 Chloraseptic spray $5.99-$1IP-$5UPR = FREE
1 Zarbees Children’s Cough Syrup $5.99-$1IP = $5, submit $5.99 rebate = $1.00 moneymaker!!
1 Comtrex Day/Night Cold medicine $3.99 - $3UPR = $.99
1 Blistex Medicated $1.49-$1.49 UPR = FREE
Grand Total = $8.17 for everything, or $1.36 per item!!!

2 Sparkle paper towel 8pks $9.98 - $1/2mq - $2ECB = $6.98 or $.44 per roll!
4 M&M pretzels $10 - $4mqs - $3ECB = $3.00 or $.75 each!

6 Rosetto frozen pasta (2 ravioli, 2 stuffed shells, 2 tortellini) BOGO $3.29
                $9.87-$1.50/2-$1.50/2-$1/2=$5.87 or $.98 each!!
3 Smart Balance Peanut Butter $2.59
                $7.77-$1mq-$.75mq-$.75mq=$5.27 or $1.75 each, 200 turkey points earned!
4 Sweet Leaf Tea $4 - $4 IPs = FREE
4 Ore Ida Easy Fries $4 - $3 catalina = $1 or $.25 each!!
1 Heluva Good Block Cheddar Cheese $2.50 - $1 IP = $1.50 each

I'm totally bummed, I went back to Giant on Friday to get more of the $.25 Ore Ida Easy Fries but I guess someone was checking the blogs because the shelf was cleared. Oh well! My favorite deal of the week was the Playtex Liners at Rite Aid. We go through so many of them and I'm thrilled that I was able to save 56% on them. What deals did you score this week?

Fall Leaf Collage Kid Art

I used to love doing projects like this with my 2nd grade students back when I was a classroom teacher. Now that I’m pulling students out of their classrooms for reading help, I don’t get a chance to do the fun seasonal activities with them – which is why I’m so excited that Silas is getting old enough for them now! This is a really simple craft that helps reinforce a lot of preschool and kindergarten skills. Plus the end result is so nice, you’ll want to have it out for your fall decorations year after year! In fact, just last night when my sister was over she asked me where I bought it! When I told her Silas made it, she wanted him to make her one too!
Here's what you'll need:

Orange construction paper (yellow, brown, or red would work well too)
White computer paper
White cardstock
Picture frame
Alphabet stamps and ink, optional

Have your child tear the construction paper into small pieces. Silas needed a bit of help getting started with this and surprisingly he wanted me to do most of it.

I wanted him to practice tearing though (good fine motor) so I would rip a couple and then walk away to get started on dinner! Draw a leaf shape on the white paper, or you can just print out a leaf shape which is what I did because I’m horrible at freehand drawing! Drizzle glue over the inside of the leaf shape. Glue torn construction paper pieces over the inside of the leaf. Add more glue and overlap pieces as necessary.

Once glue is dry, cut out leaf shape and glue onto cardstock. I thought this looked great on its own, but I had just bought these adorable alphabet stamps at Target (Dollar Spot, score!!) so I stamped the word “Autumn” along the top of the leaf.
I’m so pleased with how it turned out, what do you think?
Linked up to: Blissful and Domestic, Home and Family Friday, At The Picket Fence, A Vision To RememberShow and Tell Saturday, Craft Envy, Tidy Mom, and Chic on a Shoestring.


Friday Favorite Finds 10/14

October 14, 2011

I just realized I missed a week of Friday Favorites, not sure how that happened! Needless to say, I have bookmarked quite a few new recipes that caught my eye.
Mama Loves Food
Finding Joy In My Kitchen

Shugary Sweets

Shaken Together

Echoes Of Laughter

Linking up to: Finding Joy In My Kitchen.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake Muffins

October 12, 2011

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I saw a recipe on Crumbs And Chaos for Pumpkin Coffee Cake that I couldn’t wait to try. Lately I’ve been making everything into individual servings to portion control a little better, so I modified the recipe for muffins instead of a whole coffee cake. These came out great, just the right amount of sweetness for a breakfast muffin. I was able to get about 15 muffins with this recipe and there was plenty crumb topping for each muffin. I plan on making these alongside my French Toast Casserole for our annual Thanksgiving breakfast. I'm totally on a pumpkin kick since my local supermarket FINALLY restocked! YAY!

Pumpkin Coffee Cake Muffins
adapted from Crumbs And Chaos

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
15oz can pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold butter

Cream together butter, sugar, and eggs beating well after each egg is added. Combine pumpkin and vanilla and set aside. Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice. Gradually add flour mixture and pumpkin mixture to creamed sugar, alternating between wet and dry. Grease a muffin tin and divide batter evenly into muffin cups (I used two muffin tins).
For topping, add ingredients into a small food processor and pulse until well combined. Have I said how much I LOVE my little food processor for annoying jobs like this?? Anyway, sprinkle a generous amount of topping over muffins. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.

Linking up to these fabulous parties. Check them out!


Scrambled Egg Cups

October 10, 2011

I think most families are rushed to the limit in the mornings and ours is no different. I saw this recipe and thought of making a huge batch and freezing most of it to just grab and reheat on the weekday mornings. Well, we ate them this particular morning and finished them off through the week before I had a chance to freeze! We all enjoyed these; they're a healthier (no biscuit needed) and cheaper alternative to a fast food breakfast sandwich. This is also perfect for little boogers like mine who love eggs. :)

Scrambled Egg Cups
12 eggs
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 tablespoons half & half (or milk)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Spray a 12 count muffin tin GENEROUSLY with cooking spray (I still had some stick and the pan needed a good soak before going in the dishwasher). Whisk together the eggs and milk; stir in the shredded cheese and bacon. Pour into greased muffin tin. Sprinkle some additional cheese on top of each egg cup if desired. Bake at 350 for 15 - 20 minutes.

The original recipe says you could easily change out the bacon for sausage or breakfast ham and I totally agree. Actually, I could see members of the family customizing their own with tomatoes, spinach, different kinds of cheese, etc. Fun!


Crazy Cooking Challenge: Super Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

October 7, 2011

I'm super excited to be participating once again in the Crazy Cooking Challenge! This month's challenge was to find an awesome chocolate chip cookie recipe and try it in my own kitchen. Chocolate chip cookies are so classic, I of course already had several versions bookmarked.

I settled on this particular recipe mainly because I LOVE chewy cookies. I had tried a different recipe before that used shortening, but they weren't chewy and they left a really greasy taste. The secret ingredient in this recipe is instant vanilla pudding, and it really works! These cookies tasted awesome and they stayed chewy. This recipe makes A LOT of dough, so much that I actually divided it in half and used semi sweet chocolate chips in one half and dark chocolate chips in the other half. I was able to get 6 dozen large cookies out of this recipe.

Super Soft Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from This Food = Love

1 pound (4 sticks) butter, softened (I used I Can't Believe It's Not Butter sticks)
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 packages 3.4oz instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 packages semi sweet chocolate chips (or mix and match your favorite kind)

In a large stand mixer, cream together butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until creamy. Add dry vanilla pudding mix until well blended. Add vanilla and eggs one at a time beating well with each addition. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour and baking soda.

Gradually add flour mixture a little at a time until well blended. Stir in chips (or divide dough between two bowls and add chips to each one). Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes (10 was perfect for my electric oven). Cool on wire racks.

These are FOR SURE being put on my Christmas cookie list!