Breakfast Egg Muffins

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If you are anything like me when working, you tend to skip breakfast most mornings in an attempt to hurry out the door for the day. I go through phases of being good and making smoothies, and they fall off the wagon when I neglect to prep one week.  I found a fantastic idea on Pinterest: egg muffins.  They can be made with whatever ingredient you like to put in a scramble or omelet.  I opted to go traditional on my first attempt and when for bell pepper, ham and cheese.  A new option for breakfast on the go!

Yummy breakfast egg muffins recipe


  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of milk (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup of chopped ham
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • salt & pepper

Ham, cheese & bell pepper egg muffins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a small skillet in cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.  Add the bell peppers and onions.  Sauté for a couple minutes until slightly softened.

Yummy breakfast egg muffins

Add ham to the pan.  Continue sautéing for a few more minutes until ham is slightly browned and vegetables are softened to desired consistency.

Ham, bell pepper & cheese protein breakfast egg muffins

In a small bowl, whisk eggs with salt and pepper.

Breakfast egg muffins

You can also add the milk at this time if desired.

Ham, bell pepper & cheese egg muffins

Add the ham and veggies mixture to the eggs along with the shredded cheese.  Stir together.

Ham, bell pepper & cheese breakfast egg muffins

Coat the muffin tin with cooking spray.  Pour the egg mixture into each muffin, filling it about 3/4 of the way full.  These will expand as they cook so make sure ot not overfill each egg muffin. Top with a little more cheese if desired.

Ham, cheese & bell pepper breakfast egg muffins

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Use a toothpick to make sure the egg muffins are solid throughout.  Remove from the tin and enjoy!  I wrapped them individually in foil and took them to work as a great healthy way to start the day.

Breakfast egg muffins recipe

Easy Crockpot Apple Butter Recipe

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Have you ever walked into the kitchen while someone is cooking apple butter or applesauce?  It is heavenly!  When my sister brought me a big box of apples from the family farm, I knew right away that I wanted to make a simple apple butter in my crockpot.  Apples are naturally sweet, so all you will need for this recipe is a lot of apples, cinnamon and some water.  Seriously, it is that simple.

Slow cooker apple butter recipe, a taste of fall

Pealing and cutting apples is made easy of you own an apple pealer.  They are really affordable, this one that I use, the VICTORIO Apple Pealer, was under $20 and well worth it!  It peals, cores and spiral slices the apples in one quick twist of the handle.

Apple Butter

Once your apples are all prepared, toss them into a crockpot.

Slow cooker apple butter recipe

Next add a 1/4 cup of water and sprinkle with a generous covering of cinnamon.  Turn the crockpot on low and cook for 2 hours.

Making apple butter

Grab your hand blender, (I use my Cuisinart Immersion Hand Blender) and puree the apples.  What you have now is delicious applesauce.

Apple butter crockpot recipe

Cover and continue cooking for another 6 hours or until reduced to about half the volume in the crockpot.

Fall apple butter recipe in the crockpot

You can enjoy immediately or can to enjoy later.  I opted to can our since it made enough slowly eat over toast throughout the year.  An easy way to love the taste of fall!

Fall apple butter recipe

Salted Caramel Pear Tart

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When your family owns a farm with tons of pear trees, you are always looking for new ways to use those pears during the fall.  While this season we lost about 75% of the pears due to a late freeze, in past years I would get multiple boxes of pears every time I saw my family in September and am always looking for good recipes.

Fall pears.  Perfect for pear tarts!

Last season, I decided to try out a dessert recipe.  After looking around Pinterest, I found this fun recipe for salted caramel pear tarts from Vikalinka.  And man, did they turn out yummy and look extremely gourmet and professional!

Delicious Salted Caramel Pear Tart Recipe


  • 1 sheet Puff Pastry
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 Pears
  • 6 Teaspoons Brown Sugar
  • 6 Teaspoons Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Coarse Sea Salt
  • Flour

Salted caramel pear tart recipe

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F to bake these salted caramel pear tarts.  Using defrosted puff pastry, begin rolling out one sheet to be approximately 1/4″ in thickness on a sheet of wax paper or another non-stick surface.  Use flour to keep from sticking to the rolling pin.

Homemade salted caramel pear tarts

Cut the puff pastry into 6 even squares.  The recipe I followed called for 8 squares, but based on the larger size of my pears I only made 6.  Next cut an “L”  shape into 2 opposite corners about 1/2″ from the edge, but don’t cut all the way to keep it attached. Grab each of the loose cut corners of the pastry, crossing them over each other and lay flat on the opposite side.  Hopefully the picture below helps explain better.  The process is really easy, just hard to explain in writing.

How to make salted caramel pear tarts

Repeat with the remaining pastry squares and brush with egg an place in the refrigerator to chill until baking time.

Making salted caramel pear tarts

Prepare the pears next.  Peal each pear, cut in half and remove center of seeds.  Slice each half as seen below.

Making pear tarts

Place a sliced pear half into the middle of each pull pastry square.  Sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon of brown sugar and heavy whipping cream.  Finish off with a pinch of course sea salt on each salted caramel pear tart.

Yummy Pear Tart Recipe

Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes or until pastry is golden and pears and delightfully softened. The magic of the oven turns the sugar and cream into a decadent carmel…AMAZING!

Homemade pear tart recipe

Enjoy your salted caramel pear tarts and you don’e even have to admit how simple they really were to make.

Delicious Pear Tart Recipe

Eat them quickly, as they start to get soggy over time and are best fresh out of the oven.  Made in fun pear recipes lately?  I am still in a fall mood and love dreaming of a brisk fall afternoon with the house filled with the sweet smell of salted caramel tarts in the oven.

Delicious Salted Caramel Pear Tart Recipe - simple and fantasic

Mealtime Monday: Gluten Free Beef Stew over Mashed Potatoes

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I know it is mid July and close to 100 degrees most days right now, but I can’t help start planning for fall.  While I love the heat and love summer, there is something special about the feeling of fall.  All the bounty of the garden flowing in, the warm home cooked meals, and planning for the holidays.  I have already started researching my Halloween decor of this upcoming October….it is never too early to start diy-ing decorations right?  So, in the spirt of dreaming of fall, here is my recipe for gluten free beef stew.

Fall cooking beef stew over mashed potatoes.  Gluten Free.


2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless chuck roast, cut into cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons gluten free flour
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cups carrots, chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 cups beef broth
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 Tablespoons worcestershire

Mashed Potatoes:
6 russet potatoes
4 ounces cream cheese
2/3 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Gluten Free Beef Stew recipe

Starting with prep, chop up your carrots and onions.  Set aside.

Beef Stew

Mix together your gluten free flour, salt and pepper.  Toss in cubed meat.  You can save money at the grocery store by picking out a roast and asking the butcher to cube it for you instead of buying cubed meat.

Beef Stew recipe for fall

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large dutch oven pot.  Add your flour coated beef cubes.

Fall recipe beef stew

Sauté beef for about 2-3 minutes, browning on all sides.  Make sure to move frequently to not burn.

Fall cooking beef stew

Remove meat from pan and set aside.  It will not be cooked through, just browned on the outside.

Cooking beef stew

Add onions, carrots and garlic to the pan.  Sauté for 5 minutes, scraping up the bits of meat into the vegetables.

Cooking beef stew over mashed potatoes

Add the browned meat, wine, broth, thyme, bay leaves and worcestershire to the pan. Simmer on low for   about 2 hours to soften the vegetables and thicken the broth.  While you are waiting, you can make your mashed potatoes.

Beef Stew recipe.  Serve over mashed potatoes

Serve over the mashed potatoes and enjoy.  I can’t wait for fall to actually be here to start enjoying delicious meals like this!

Fall cooking beef stew over mashed potatoes.  Gluten Free.

Strawberry Lime Summer Lemonade Cocktail

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Summertime, the livin’ is easy…especially when you have this fresh summer cocktail in hand!  Last summer we had a value pack of strawberries in the fridge on a friday night and I decided to experiment to make myself a delicious summer drink.  Lo and behold I no idea it would become my favorite summer sipper, the strawberry lime lemonade cocktail.

Summer Cocktail- Strawberry Lime Spritzer

Summer Strawberry Lime Vodka Lemonade Cocktail Recipe

3 strawberries
2 ounces vodka
1 sugar cube
1/2 lime, juiced
4 ounces lemonade
Splash of ginger ale

Step 1: Wash and slice 2-3 fresh strawberries.

Summer Cocktail- Strawberry Lime Vodka

Step 2: Muddle your strawberries in a tall glass along with 1-2 shots of vodka (depending in your preference of strength), and 1 sugar cube (optional). Don’t have a muddler?  I recommend getting a nice stainless steel option, like this Cocktail Muddler & Mixing Spoon for under $10 on Amazon.

Muddled summer cocktail

Strawberry Lemonade Cocktail

Step 3: Juice 1/2 lime into the cocktail.  Add lemonade and a splash of ginger ale for a sparkle.  Sip and enjoy!

Summer Cocktail- Strawberry Lime Spritzer

Now grab your drink and get outdoors!  For Alex’s birthday last year I bought and painted a couple corn hole boards, so we get to enjoy a fresh cocktail in the backyard playing a quick game.  I have been experimenting with using blueberries now too and find them to be a great addition to summer drinks.  What fresh fruit cocktails have you enjoyed on these hot summer nights?

Mealtime Monday: Pork Lo Mein

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Happy Monday!  I am back on the cooking spree and wanted to get around to sharing weekly recipes again.  To start out, here is an easy weekday recipe from Six Sisters’ Stuff for Pork Lo Mein.  The original recipe called for bagged veggies, but I opted to chop up some fresh ones instead.  Even with adding a little prep time to chop up the extra veggies, this is a good fast weekday meal to try out.

Pork lo mein recipe

Ingredients (for 2-4 servings):

  • 1/2 pound pork tenderloin
  • 2-3 cups mixed vegetables (I did broccoli, carrots, snow peas & zucchini)
  • 8 ounce Teriyaki marinade ( I used Kikkoman Marinade & Baste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Angel Hair Pasta

Easy pork lo mein recipe

Cut up your veggies, cube the pork loin and gather the other 3 ingredient.  Simple and quick prep.

Easy pork lo mein ingredients

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.

Making pork lo mein

Meanwhile, toss the cubes of pork into a skillet over medium heat.

Making pork lo mein at home

Stir around occasionally to brown, approximately 5 minutes.

Cooking pork lo mein

Add in the veggies once the meat is partially cooked.

Cooking pork lo mein at home

Continue sautéing until the meat is cooked through the the veggies are softened.

Easy pork lo mein for dinner

Once cooked, add in the sauce, ginger and water.  Stir around to incorporate and heat up for about 2 minutes.

Pork lo mein for dinner

Stir saucy meat mixture into the cooked pasta and enjoy your pork lo mein.  Simple and easy menu item for a weeknight meal.

Pork lo mein

Cookie Dough Truffles

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Looking for a simple but fun dessert idea?  You should try making Bakerella’s Cookie Dough Truffles.  I made these cute little cookie dough truffles for a 4th of July party last year and they were a hit!  I mean, who does not love cookie dough dipped in a chocolate coating?!?  YUM!

Cookie dough truffles cake pops

Let’s get this party started, all you need is:

1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
chocolate candy coating
Large toothpicks or other type of stick

Grab a bowl and and electric mixer. Whip the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, or about 3 minutes. Next, mix in the milk and vanilla.  Add flour and salt and mix on low until combined and then fold in chocolate chips.

Cookie dough truffles recipe

Chill dough for about 30 minutes to make more firm.  Roll the dough into bite size balls.

Cookie dough truffles

Pop in the sticks and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes.  Be careful not to freeze for too long or the balls will be too cold and will crack the coating.

Cookie dough truffle cake pops

Melt your chocolate coating and dip each ball to throughly coat.  If out in the sun, the balls will start to melt and get really messy.  Chill until ready to serve.  Enjoy!

Cookie dough truffles cake pops

Pizza Crescent Roll Appetizer

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Searching for a delicious kid-friendly appetizer?  Look no further!  We made these delicious pizza crescent rolls appetizers for the big game last year and they were perfect.  I mean come on, who does not love pepperoni pizza or crescent rolls?  Put the two together and you have a snack that young and old will enjoy.

Fantastic and easy pizza crescent roll recipe

The way to make these is pretty similar to my pesto sausage crescent rolls.  All you need is pizza sauce, crescent rolls pepperoni and cheese (I used a mix of cheddar and mozzarella).

How to make pizza crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a piece of parchment paper, roll out the crescent rolls into a large sheet.  Overlap and pinch any seams to make one large connected sheet of dough.

pizza crescent roll recipe

Spread on a coating of pizza sauce, leave about 1/2 an inch of dough uncovered at top and bottom longwise.

pizza crescent rolls recipe

Next layer on a small amount of cheese (not all of your cheese, just about 1/3 of it).

pizza crescent roll appetizer recipe

Top with a layer of pepperoni slices.  I spread mine out perfectly to make sure there was even coverage.

pizza crescent roll recipe-Delicious

Add the rest of the cheese on top to make it nice and cheesy.

Yummy pizza crescent rolls

Starting from one of the long sides, begin rolling this into a log.  Since you left the extra 1/2 inch un-sauced, the dough can seal to itself and keep the log closed.

Yummy pizza crescent roll recipe

Toss into the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes to make the log easier to cut into slices.  In the meantime, spray your cookie sheet with cooking spray to prevent sticking.

Making pizza crescent rolls

Cut the log into slices about a half inch thick and spread out on cookie sheet. Pop into the oven for about 8-10 minutes or until cooked and golden brown.

pizza crescent roll recipe-YUM

Serve and enjoy.  A classy way to enjoy pizza as an appetizer.  Check out more of my appetizer recipes here.

delicious pizza crescent roll recipe

Homemade Pickles

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I want to preface this post with a confession.  I have never canned before.  My mom is a canner and has been my entire life.  When you live out on acreage with a large garden you have to learn how to preserve or you will waste much of the harvest bounty.  I have been meaning to learn for years, and finally tried my hand when I received two huge boxes of pickling cucumbers from my parents.  I still have some things to learn and recipes to tweak, but overall I am pretty proud with my outcome.

Canning homemade pickles. Dill Pickles, Jalapeno pickles and more!

Let me back up a minute and talk about the produce I used.  These cucumbers are no ordinary pickling cucumbers.  They are monsters.  The first one is the typical size pickle you see in the store.  The one on the right is the typical size cucumber in my parent’s garden…

homegrown cucumbers for making pickles

And not only are they ginormous, they are plentiful.  After filling one side of my sink to wash them up, I only scraped the surface of the two boxes I had.


Since these cucumbers were so large and plentiful, I opted to cut them up two different ways, in rounds…

Pickles at home

And in spears.

How to can pickles

After they were cut up, I had read that I should coat in salt and soak in cold water for up to 24 hours and that helps keep the pickles more crisp.

Making and canning pickles

I gave that a try using bowls and plates to weigh them down to keep submerged in water.  Next time I will try without this step to see it if really helps.  I found the pickles to be a bit saltier than I would like and I am not sure if it is because of the salt bath or the brine I made.

Homemade crisp pickles recipe

While waiting for the pickles to soak, I chopped up some jalapeños and soaked them overnight in an ice bath too.  I really wanted to make some spicy pickles in this batch, and they have turned out to be my favorite.

Making spicy jalapeno pickles

The next day it was time to get canning.  I drained all the cucumbers, peeled a few heads of garlic and gathered my spices and herbs.  I made jalapeno pickles, dill pickles, pickling spice pickles and garlic pickles.

Homemade pickles recipe

With all the supplies ready, I made by pickling brine.  I used the basic recipe from A Sweet Pea Chef

  • ½ cup pickling salt
  • 6 cups water
  • 6 cups white vinegar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar

Pickling brine

As I packed each jar I switched between the types of pickles.  In the jalapeno pickles I added pepper flakes, peppercorns and garlic.  In the dill pickles I used fresh dill sprigs, garlic, mustard seed and peppercorns.  I ended up not being a fan of the pickling spice.  It tastes like cinnamon and Christmas, so for pickles it just seems wrong in my opinion.

How to can pickles - great pickle recipe

As for the actual canning process, I had to run to Target and buy a large pot, deep enough to can in, a Ball Utensil Set, and some jars.  I did not have a canning rack, so I used lid rims and wire to diy one.  I followed the process on A Sweet Pea Chef of processing for 10 minutes in boiling water.  All the jars but one sealed, so I was pretty happy with the results.

Spaghetti Squash with Feta

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I love fall and eating spaghetti squash.  Since Alex is not a fan, I tend to roast up a spaghetti squash and use it for workday lunches.  One of my favorite ways to eat it is with feta, basil and roasted tomatoes.  It is full of flavor and a great change of pace to the usual salads and sandwiches at lunch time.

Spaghetti squash salad with feta, basil, tomatoes, onion and garlic.  So good!!!


1/3 cup diced onion
2-3 garlic clove, minced
Cooking spray
1/2 medium spaghetti squash
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
5 basil leaves
3-4 tablespoons feta
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Spaghetti squash salad with feta, basil, tomatoes, onion and garlic recipe

To start out, roast your squash and use a fork to pull it into long strands.  You can learn how I roast mine by clicking here.

How to make spaghetti squash in the oven

In a skillet over medium-high heat, spray a layer of olive oil cooking spray and sauté onions and garlic until softened and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.

Delicious spaghetti squash recipes

Meanwhile, chop up your baby tomatoes.

Delicious spaghetti squash recipe

Add tomatoes to the skillet and continue cooking for about 3 minutes.

Roasted spaghetti squash recipe

Removed tomato mixture from the pan and mix with feta, basil, squash, salt and pepper.

Yummy spaghetti squash salad with feta, basil, tomatoes, onion and garlic.  So good!!!

Stir together and enjoy!  The sautéed tomato, onion and garlic mixture gives a ton of flavor and makes for an excellent change to the typical weekday lunch.

I love spaghetti squash!!