Fedoras

Seriously. You can wear them almost any time of the year but there is something about fedoras I just love. I could buy them all- and I love that you can dress them up or down. If you need to get out of the house asap and you didn’t get yourself ready and throw it on, I swear, you’d still be looking great! Here are some fun inspirations I saw and love…and how hair ideas too!

 

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Mozzarella Pesto Stuffed Chicken Breast (with Panko Parmesan Crust)

I’m so glad it’s warm here…I have been waiting for this weather. For me, I’ll take 70/80° weather anytime, even if it involves rain!

With summer time approaching finally in our neck of the woods or even changes of seasons there are always certain things I enjoy with my food more. For spring, there is something about green salads. Green salads incorporating fruits, asparagus. Summer- anything with fresh basil, fresh lime or lime juice, corn on the cob, avocados, salmon, anything fresh out of the garden. Fall- apples, squash, soups. Winter- still soups, fresh rosemary, roasts. My lists could go on, but not to say I wouldn’t eat any of these during other seasons. (Such a random thought).

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I found this recipe while on the search for dinner from a fabulous website called Two Peas & Their Pod. It is super delicious and I love pesto recipe ( which I have linked to their sauce recipe in the ingredients). How could you not love fresh basil & fresh mozzarella on top of fresh pesto and then wrapped in a panko parmesan crumb???

Mozzarella Pesto Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Yield: Serves 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40-45 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

 ingredients:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper, for seasoning chicken
3/4 cup basil pesto Basil Pesto (or use store-bought pesto)
8 ounces sliced fresh mozzarella cheese
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

directions:

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

2. Using a meat mallet or rolling pin, flatten each chicken breast to about a 1/4 inch.

3. Spread 3 tablespoons pesto onto each chicken breast; top each with mozzarella cheese, about 2 ounces of cheese per breast. Carefully roll up the chicken and secure with toothpicks.

4. Place the beaten eggs in a pie plate or shallow dish. In a medium bowl, combine panko crumbs, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Dip each chicken breast in the eggs and then into the panko parmesan mixture. Make sure the breasts are well coated. Discard any extra mixture. Place chicken on the prepared baking sheet.

5. Bake 40-45 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center and the chicken is golden brown. Serve warm.

Note-make sure you remove the toothpicks before eating.

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Ultimate Nutty Granola Clusters

I love eating granola. I could seriously go through a whole bag or container of it in one day. My favorite are the cluster kinds- it’s delicious. On top of that, I am a fan of homemade food so this was my fav.

Recently we just added a sweet new baby to the mix of our family. One of my good friends probably didn’t know this ( I call her my sista from another mista) came over and brought me a delicious jar full of this mix. I needed this recipe stat. Not only did I enjoy it, but my three year old AND my husband enjoyed it. That means, that jar was gone within a day or two…I was so bummed. Thankfully, she let me have this recipe. It is gluten-free, refined sugar free, soy free and has a grain-free option. I was excited because for me, I like to watch my sugar intake and love when there are substitutes that make it just as scrumptious. You can probably add whatever the heck you want, but this is a good start. I may have to add other things into the mix possibly.

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(that picture makes me want to make another batch)

So, I wanted to share this recipe with you all too. Many people I feel are on gluten diets and sometimes it’s hard to find some real good ones. I do have a sister who does need to be on the gluten free diet for a reason and whenever there is something good, I like to share and help others out. It’s really not that difficult to make which makes it even better!!

Ultimate Nutty Granola Clusters

Makes 6 cups (eighteen 1/3 cup/75-mL servings)

Prep time: 15 minutes .   Cook Time: 38-45 minutes 

Ingredients

1 c. whole raw almonds

1/2 c. raw walnut halves or pieces

3/4 c. gluten-free rolled oats

1/2 c. raw buckwheat groats or gluten-free rolled oats

2/3 c. mixed dried fruit (such as cranberries, apricots, cherries, etc).

1/2 c. raw pepita seeds ( I used chia seeds)

1/4 c. raw sunflower seeds

1/3 c. shredded unsweetened coconut

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. fine-grain sea salt

1/4 c. + 2 TBL pure maple syrup or other liquid sweetener ( I use raw honey)

1/4 c. coconut oil, melted

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

 

1. Preheat the oven to 275° F (140° C). Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place 1/2 cup of the almonds into a food processor and process for about 10 seconds, until a fine meal forms (similar to texture to sand). Transfer the almond meal to a large bowl.

3. In the food processor, combine the remaining 1/2 cup almonds and all the walnuts and process for about 5 seconds, until finely chopped. You’ll be left with some larger pieces and some powdery meal, which is what you want. Add the mixture to the bowl with the almond meal.

4. Add the oats, buckwheat groats, dried fruit, pepita seeds (or chia), sunflower seeds, coconut, cinnamon, and salt to the large mixing bowl and stir to combine.

5. Add the maple syrup, melted oil, and vanilla to the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until throughly combined.

6. With a spatula, spread the granola into a 1/2 inch layer on the prepared baking sheet and gently press down to compact it slightly. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate he pan and bake for 18-20 minutes more, or until the granola is lightly golden on the bottom and firm to the touch.

7. Cool the granola on the pan for at least 1 hour before breaking it apart into clusters.

8. Serve the granola in a glass jar in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks or freeze it for 4 to 5 weeks.

Tip: If you’d like to make a completely grain-free granola, simply replace the buckwheat groats and rolled oats with an additional 1 cup finely chopped nuts. 

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Hair Braiding Styles

First and foremost…this is NOT something I did whatsoever and want to make sure you all are aware of it. I promise I will get some of my own how to’s up…because embarrassingly, I only have one so far….yikes!

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I am so glad I came across this on the interwebs. I have so many people in my chair who want to do something with their beautiful long locks and are bored just having it hang so I love giving my recommendations of other techniques to have fun and try something new! I have honestly tried myself these all and it’s fun for especially summer to get your hair off your back. You don’t need super long hair to do these styles either ( it makes it just a little bit easier though). Anyways, love this website, Refinery29. (Once you click that, it will take you directly to their tutorials). Hope these ideas help!!

 

Moms Homemade Mint Brownies

I was hoping to get this post up before St. Patricks Day but these days, getting certain things done on time isn’t always going to happen (I have been realizing more and more lately). So if you still want to celebrate or if you want a yummy new brownie recipe, I’ve got it.

These brownies are quite scrumptious. My beautiful mama would make these occasionally for the family and it’s one of those special desserts as a child and now, as an adult, I have never forgotten. I love peppermint/ mint desserts or anything with mint ( I should say) so I love these ones! So will you too if you enjoy a nice fresh mint flavor.

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Here is the recipe, and enjoy!!

Moms Mint Brownies

1st layer

1 c. granulated sugar

4 eggs

1/2 c. melted butter

1 can hershey’s syrup (16 oz.)

1 c. flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Using beaters, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Beat until well blended. Bake 20 minutes in greased baking sheet at 350. Cool 10 minutes and then refrigerate 20 minutes.

2nd layer (Mint filling)

1/2 c. margarine

2 c. powdered sugar

2 TBL. water

1 tsp. peppermint or mint extract

4-5 drops of green food coloring…or a little dap of Wilsons

Using beaters, mix together well. Spread over 1st layer and refrigerate 20 minutes.

3rd layer (chocolate top)

1/2 c. butter

1 c. chocolate chips

Melt on stove top and cool for about 15 minutes after everything is smooth. Spread over 2nd layer and refrigerate for 5 minutes. Cut into little squares. (Should cut nicely). No need to over cool and no need to refrigerate after.

My little guy loves to help and wanted to include these gems of his in the pic. Legos and the hulk. They were also our helpers in the making.

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And nothing like some chocolate syrup involved too…I may need to change this recipe to dark chocolate though next time. That is one of our favs in this family. So for sure, you can definitely substitute milk chocolate to dark chocolate!

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1st layer…the brownies.

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2nd layer…mint filling.

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3rd layer…chocolate frosting

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…and you’re delicious finished product!

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Car Seat Canopy…thing.

Let me just explain one thing before I start explaining what I am posting.

For one, I am in no way a good seamstress. I took a few classes in my beginning stages of high school & stopped after that. Not because I didn’t enjoy it but because I just didn’t keep up with it. I started sewing a few things here and there recently and now I realize…when I have time…that I want to keep up with some few projects I have in mind.

There ya have it. Had to just explain that before I move forward. So, yes. The car seat canopy. First of all, I never see these out and about around where we are from. Only when I am at my church, is when I see them. I was slightly confused I remember when I saw it. Some lovely mama while back was carrying something with fabric over something large and I thought, what the heck is being suffocated underneath that? All the sudden, some of that fabric was pulled back and there was a baby…sleeping soundly in the carseat. Then it all came together. What a smart idea! I never made or had one with our first child, but now…oh yes, forgot to mention somewhere in this blog, we are expecting #2 this spring (hooray!!!), I thought I should try this out and make one. For one, it seems as though it would be nice and cozy. Two, keeps random strangers away for wanting to come touch your little ones faces. Cover those little babes right up and hopefully no one will try opening it. (Is it acceptable to somewhat lightly tap some strangers hand you don’t know if there is an attempt? Just wondering. Not that I would…well, maybe).

What do you all think? I still feel like I may be suffocating my child but I do like the idea of this. I am assuming you all have heard of Pinterest. If you haven’t…well, I don’t know what to say to you then. It’s not good. I found this girls blog on there & a pretty simple tutorial. So first off, thank you Pinterest for directing me & secondly and most importantly, thank you to Creatively Christy!  ( very fun blog if you ask me).

I will leave the directions all credited clearly to her. Click on the link, go check that out!

::Red Velvet Cupcakes::

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Let me first tell you, that little helper of mine couldn’t wait to get his hands on one of them. (Can’t ya tell)? How could you not want a cupcake though? Especially one with a nice cream cheese based frosting dolloped on the top? I know I couldn’t resist. Sorry to all those on the New Year resolutions of healthy eating…but hey, that’s what working out is for right??

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So yes. Red velvet cupcakes. That is what we baked in the kitchen today. It made me think of Valentines day already…I am going to hashtag only once for no complete reason…#howcrazyamI??? I just can barely believe we are in the mid of January already! Freezing cold over here…which I guess for us, it’s that time of year.

If you’re looking for an easy, yummy dessert to hand out…or make for yourself. Or your family. Or your significant other for Valentines day, here it is!

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Red Velvet Cupcakes

Yields: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • Chopped pecans and fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

Recipe adapted by Food Network

Whats your NYE style for 2013?

Can you believe in just a few days we will be ringing in the New Year to 2014????? I cannot, this year has flown by. I am excited for whats in store for 2014 for us. Lots of fun things happening. What is everyones plans? Typically, parties- large or small. Going out for the night, going to a friends house, keeping it local at your own home?

For us, we are bums. We enjoy just staying put. Banging on pots & pans, letting off sparklers, sometimes even falling asleep before midnight…(whoops) and sipping on my favorite…NA Sparkling Cranberry Juice. Its delicious. Really.

So with that, it is fun to get spruced up a little bit. Not necessarily like you’re headed to the Grammys, which would be fun, but just to do a little something. I have some fun hair styles, make up ideas & fashion ideas to get your brains working. Yes, even if it is just you and your significant other at home, or the kids are in bed, it’s okay to get dolled up somewhat. But staying in your pajamas is completely understandable too!

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Brownies {with ganache}

Oh boy. It’s that time of year already. Food, family, shopping, crazy filled grocery stores, decorating, baking, then eating a ton. Personally, I love it. I love the excitement in peoples eyes…except for those who are crazy shoppers getting the ‘deals’. They scare me. (Random note, that’s why I avoid black friday and only check things out online. )

So anyways, back to this scrumptious dessert everyone should try making. That is, if you enjoy chocolate, pumpkin, and more chocolate. Sometimes, you just have to indulge…Follow this awesome blog, My Baking Addiction. AHHHmazing recipes on here. Since it is November, I always like to bake with pumpkin somehow. I first saw the pictures, and then I read the ingredients and had to try this. Hopefully you will too!

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Pumpkin Brownies

Yield: 12 brownies          Prep Time: 20 minutes        Cook time: 30-35 minutes

Ingredients:

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate; coarsely chopped
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup Gold Medal all-purpose flour

For the Pumpkin Swirl

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Ganache

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Microwave chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl at medium (50% power) for 3-4 minutes or until butter is melted. While the chocolate is melting, prepare the pumpkin layer. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, pumpkin puree, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer well combined and smooth. Set aside.

3. Once the butter is melted, remove the bowl from the microwave and stir until chocolate is melted. Whisk in sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Gradually add in flour; stir until just combined.

4. Spread 3/4 the batter into prepared pan. Spoon pumpkin filling by tablespoonfuls evenly over batter. Spoon remaining brownie batter over filling. Use a knife or wooden skewer to cut through the batter several times in different directions to create a swirled pattern. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes – do not overbake

5. Remove to cooling rack to cool completely. Before serving, prepare the ganache.

6. To make the ganache, pour the chopped chocolate into a medium mixing bowl, set aside. Pour the heavy cream into a microwave safe measuring cup (Pyrex) and microwave on high for about 1 minute or until bubbles begin to form on the surface. Take care to not overheat because the cream will boil over. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow it to sit for about 3 minutes. Use a small whisk to combine the mixture into a smooth chocolate glaze. Spoon the ganache over the brownies.

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Sourced from: My Baking Addiction 

Fall Fashion Favs {Ankle Boots}

I need to get me some more of these.

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They are everywhere so I don’t feel I need to help guide you where to go, but I still will.  TJMAXX, Macy’s, DSW, Anthropology, Target, Ubran Outfitters, they are everywhere. Those were just a few that came to mind if you needed a push… Love love love. Skinny jeans, my favorite is when they are rolled up. To cute skirt with tights, dresses. Whatever it is, they are cute with anything. Here are some cute finds.