Recipe – Prize-Winning Chili

prize-winning chili - the perfect recipe for fall!

 I am planning to make this on Halloween for our family to enjoy after a crisp, fall afternoon of Trick or Treating in 80-degree South Florida.

:-)

Prize-Winning Chili

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

28 oz. can diced tomatoes

29 oz. can tomato sauce

2 cubes beef bouillon

2 (1 1/4 oz) pkgs. chili seasoning mix

7 oz. can diced green chiles

16 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

16 oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Garnish: shredded Cheddar, cheese, sour cream, minced onion

Directions:

Step 1 – Brown beef, onion, and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat; drain.

Step 2 – Mix remaining ingredients together and add to beef.

Step 3 – Cover and cook on low heat for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Step 4 – Top servings with shredded cheese, sour cream, and minced onion.

amazing chiliIn case you are wondering, I didn’t win the prize for this delicious chili recipe.

Some lady named Jan from one of my Gooseberry Patch cookbooks did.

I think you will find that the prize was, indeed, well deserved. :-)

Happy Chili-ing!

*This chili tastes EXCELLENT alongside my famous cheese biscuits!  Recipe HERE!*

How to Make Homemade Applesauce With Your Preschooler

how to make homemade applesauce with your preschooler

I love celebrating apples with my students during the month of September because Johnny Appleseed’s birthday is on the 26th.

One of the brave things I chose to do this month with my preschool class was to make homemade applesauce in the crock pot.

It was kind of hectic and the end result probably had Hepatitis A, B, and C in it, but the kids had SO much fun.

And that makes all the chaos worth it!

Here is what you will need -

applesauce 1A large crockpot

8-10 apples (we used Golden Delicious), peeled and chopped

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup water

1/4 tsp cinnamon

What we did -

Every morning when my students walk in the classroom we have Table Time.

I knew that the applesauce needed several hours to cook, so I had all the ingredients set out on the table when they arrived.

I put a trashcan next to the table and began peeling the apples in front of the children (I would NOT recommend letting a preschooler use a peeler).

So that the children stayed involved, I asked them to peel the stickers off the apples, wash the apples in our sink, and help pick up any peels that missed the trashcan (I may have ‘accidentally’ missed the garbage more than I actually got the peels in – lol!).

Next, I showed the kids how an apple corer works.

They were completely fascinated (I think I went ahead and peeled an extra apple at this point because I did not take into account what hungry vultures my students could become at the site of neatly sliced apples).

Then we dumped the apples in the crock pot.

I opened the cinnamon and let the children each get a chance to smell this comforting spice.

We measured 1/4 tsp and one student sprinkled it in.

We did this with the brown sugar and water as well.

applesauce 2Then we covered the crock pot and I set it in a safe spot on HIGH.

One of the best things about making applesauce is how lovely it makes your room smell, which is always an added bonus when working with 2 year olds and one has a bad poop.

The applesauce smell kind of cancels out that sewage smell.

Around noon, I opened the lid and spent a few minutes stirring and mashing the apples.

applesauce 3Then I spooned a small portion in little bowls for each of my students.

Be prepared that your preschooler might bypass the spoon and just go for it – possibly even head first.

applesauce 4It was a hit!

I’m glad I took the risk and did this with my preschoolers.

I’m also glad I fed it to them right before they went home so that I didn’t have to deal with the aftermath of a 1/2 cup of brown sugar.

:-)

Happy Homemade Applesauce-ing!

Recipe – Super Easy Crockpot Lasagna

crockpot lasagna - SO easy! PErfECt for fall!

 On the first week back to school I came home admittedly feeling quite pleased with myself because I had actually put a meal in the crockpot before leaving for work.

I was seriously ready to give myself a gold medal for being so prepared in spite of a total life change.

I may have even said out loud,

“Work full-time?  Psh.  I got this.”

But fast forward 4 weeks and I am fairly certain my children don’t even know what a home cooked meal is.

If you happen to be better planned than me, then I know this recipe will be a blessing for you in the back to school rush.

crockpot lasagna 1crockpot lasagna 3crockpot lasagna 2crockpot lasagna 4crockpot lasagna 5crockpot lasagna 6crockpot lasagna 7crockpot lasagna 8

Crockpot Lasagna

Ingredients -

1 lb cottage cheese

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

2 (26 oz) jars marinara sauce

2 lbs lean ground beef, browned and drained of fat (not shown in above ingredient photo)

1 (9 oz) pkg lasagna noodles

Directions -

 1. Place cottage cheese and mozzarella cheese in a medium bowl and stir to combine.

2. Add a thin layer of pasta sauce to the bottom of slow cooker.

3. Add a thin layer of cooked beef and a layer of noodles, breaking the noodles to make them fit.

4. Add a layer of cheese mixture.

5. Repeat until all of the ingredients are used, ending with sauce.

6. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.crockpot lasagna 9

Enjoy!

Happy Crockpot Lasagna-ing! :-)

*You can check out some of my other favorite slow cooker recipes HERE.*

Recipe – Friendship Casserole

friendship casserole - this recipe makes one for you and one for a friend!!!

If there’s one thing I always say to the hubs it’s this -

If we ever fall into a million dollars, on the agenda of things to do (after starting a ministry for NICU Mommies and buying a piano for my friend’s church plant) is get myself a personal chef.

Because I find myself all the time occasionally saying to my children in exasperation,

“Really?!  Didn’t I just feed you 5 minutes ago?”

Sometimes it’s nice to just not have to think. about. food.

So be a blessing to your friends.

Make this Friendship Casserole and have dinner for you and have dinner for her and have happiness for everyone.

**Recipe adapted from Mommy’s Kitchen**

Ingredients:

2 lbs ground beef, browned and drained

48 oz jar of spaghetti

2 T sugar

1 (16 oz) package medium egg noodles

1/2 cup butter

1/2 tsp onion salt (or onion powder)

1/2 tsp garlic salt (or garlic powder)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 (12 oz) package shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup EACH – sautéed green pepper, onion and mushrooms (optional)

Directions:

1.  Add spaghetti sauce, sugar, and sautéed veggies (if using) to browned meat and simmer for 20 minutes.

2.  Cook noodles as directed; drain and toss with butter, salts and Parmesan cheese.

3.  Spray 2 9×13″ pans.  In each pan layer half the sauce, all the noodles, rest of sauce, and then top with mozzarella cheese.

4.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

friendship casserole

When I was making this recipe, I asked God to help me know which of my friends needed the second casserole.

He gently nudged me to deliver it to the Happy Buddy’s preschool teacher.

It was the last week of school and she was feeling super overwhelmed, so when I texted to let her know I would be dropping off her family’s dinner, she wrote back – I COULD KISS YOU!!

:-)

Happy Friendship Casserole-ing! :-)friendship week at Happy Home Fairy - cute ideas and inspiring ways to be an awesome friend

Sunshine Cupcakes

sunshine cupcakes - these are so cute and easy. Perfect for summer!.jpgWe’ve been making these adorable sunshine cupcakes for the last 2 years on the first day of summer.

They are so easy!

sunshine cupcakes ingredients.jpgYou will need:

Cupcakes

Icing

Yellow Food Coloring

String Licorice

Mini Chocolate Chips

Candy Corn (I find candy corn year round in the candy aisle at our local Publix grocery store)

Directions:sunshine cupcakes 1.jpgsunshine cupcakes 2.jpgsunshine cupcakes 3.jpgsunshine cupcakes 4.jpg

If you’re brave You can set out little bowls with the ingredients and let your kids put them together.

These were the Happy Buddy’s…sunshine cupcakes .jpg

We’re all excited about summer over here. ;-)

Happy Sunshine Cupcake-ing!

“From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised!” Psalm 113:3 (ESV)

Recipe – The Best. Salad. Ever.

the best salad EVER.jpg

When I was in college, a woman at the church I was attending in Tallahassee invited several of us poor, starving college girls to her home for a real meal.

This was an incredible gift because, you know, college is when you fill up your cart with Ramen Noodles and wonder -

“How many days straight can I eat this stuff before dying?”

So we showed up at her house, hungry and eager for a delicious feast, and ended up discovering the greatest salad recipe KNOWN TO MAN.

And ironically, it has Ramen Noodles in it.

I’ve talked about this recipe before (here and here and here and here and here – do you get why it’s so good?), but it’s about time it has its very own post.

best salad 1.jpgIngredients (Salad):

1 Bag of Romaine lettuce

1 Bag of broccoli florets, chopped

1 Bunch of green onions, chopped

12-16 oz package bacon, cooked, drained, and chopped

1 package chopped pecans

1 package Ramen Noodles, broken up (discard seasonings)

4 T butter, melted

best salad 2.jpgIngredients (Dressing):

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar

1 T soy sauce

salt and pepper to taste

best salad 3.jpgbest salad 7.jpgbest salad 5.jpgDirections:

Step 1 – In a medium-sized bowl, mix the noodles and pecans with the melted butter.

Step 2 – Pour the noodle/pecan mixture onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Step 3 – In a large bowl, mix lettuce, broccoli and onions.

Step 4 – Dump baked noodle/pecan mixture and bacon on top.  Toss lightly.

Step 5 – Stir all of the dressing ingredients together and pour over salad.  Mix well.best salad 6.jpg

Baby showers, bridal showers, brunches, family dinners, potlucks, holidays, receptions…

This salad will be a GUARANTEED hit WHEREVER you go.

In fact, you just might find yourself wondering how much of it you can eat before dying??? :-)

Happy Best Salad Recipe Ever-ing!

Recipe – Ham and Broccoli Quiche

Ham and Broccoli Quiche - perfect for all that leftover Easter ham! A great dish for a baby or bridal shower!.jpg

Well, I had hoped that I could have gotten this post up closer to the day after Easter, but I have been wrapped up in a whole bunch of important things.

Like avoiding laundry and reading Francine Rivers’ new book.

But, if you are still eating ham (we will probably be eating it until the 4th of July), then you can throw together this delicious quiche and reawaken your tastebuds to the savory goodness of that Honey Baked.

This simple recipe works great for spring bridal or baby showers, too. :-)ham quiche ingredients.jpg

Ingredients -

1 cup half and half

5 eggs, beaten

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/4 tsp pepper

1 cup cooked, cubed ham

1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1 cup broccoli, blanched and chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

9″ pie crust

ham quiche crust.jpgStep 1 – Prepare the pie crust according to package directions.

ham quiche 1.jpgStep 2 – Combine half and half, eggs, mustard, and pepper.

ham quiche 2.jpgham quiche 3.jpgham quiche 4.jpgham quiche 5.jpgStep 3 – Layer ham, cheese, broccoli, and onion into prepared crust.

ham quiche 6.jpgStep 4 – Pour egg mixture over layers and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.  When knife inserted in center comes out clean, remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes before slicing.

ham quiche 8.jpgham quiche 7.jpgDig in!

When your hubs gets home from work, greet him at the door with a hug and…

A quiche! :-)

Happy Ham and Broccoli Quiche-ing!