Eat. Drink. Love.

POPtober Challenge ($500 OXO and Container Store Giveaway)

A funny thing happens when you reach the nesting phase of pregnancy. It’s not just the baby’s room that I want to get organized and perfect, it’s the entire house. It’s that bit of dust on the baseboards. It’s that disorganized closet.

Or, it’s my nightmare of a pantry. The pantry has been driving me crazy for months now. It’s a disaster. Everything is just tossed on the shelves and it’s no longer organized like I first set it up. Or, I should be saying, my pantry was a disaster because I finally got it organized thanks to my friends at OXO!

It’s POPtober and OXO and The Container Store challenged bloggers to reorganize our pantries. The timing was perfect for me as it’s been on my to-do list for so long. I talk a lot about OXO products on this blog because they are really one of my favorite brands. Everything is such good quality and they have so many neat tools. I was super excited to try out their POP Containers and they sent me the nicest package! I’m also a huge fan of The Container Store. If you have never been, it’s an neat freak’s dream come true. A whole store dedicated to being organized!

Apple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Bread

Apple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Bread

One of my most favorite things about fall are all of the apples! Especially honeycrisp apples. I started seeing them in my local store a few weeks ago and bought a gazillion of them and have been eating them like crazy. And well, I actually bought a few too many and needed to do something with them before they went bad. Baking them up in a nice little treat was the obvious choice!

I love baking with apples. I love the way they make the house smell while baking. It makes me feel all cozy! So I threw them in this sweet, cinnamon-y quick bread and then added a little cream cheese swirl on top because can you ever go wrong with cream cheese? Didn’t think so! This bread is wholesome and perfectly sweet. I love the big chunks of apples hidden throughout and the cream cheese makes it seem more decadent, much like cheesecake! This bread would be a great treat to bake up for house guests during the holidays or to bring to someone as a little gift. A warm slice of this bread with a big mug of coffee or tea and some comfy clothes and I am in total heaven!

Apple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Bread

Third Trimester Update

34 weeks! I thought it was time for a little update to share with you all! It’s definitely a crazy feeling knowing that this baby girl will be here in 6 weeks or less! Sean and I have been having our little freak out moments where we talk about how this is seriously happening so soon. Don’t get me wrong, we are so incredibly excited, but as first time parents, we are also feeling a little nervous. We have to feed her and take care of her. We have to keep her alive. That’s frightening.

So how am I feeling? Definitely uncomfortable at this point. I can feel her getting bigger and running out of room in there. Sleeping is still a struggle for me as I have to get up to pee about 5 times a night. And then every time I get up, I have a few seconds of horrible hip pain and I feel like I am 95 years old. And the fact that we still have over a little month to go and that she is still getting bigger blows my mind because I am seriously wondering how I am going to be able to move around. Feeling her kick around in there is really a crazy feeling while I never tire of feeling her squirming around, some of her jabs hurt pretty bad. Sometimes I wish I could see what’s going on in there! When she starts going crazy, I like to make Sean come and feel because it totally freaks him out! She also gets the hiccups about 3 times a day which cracks me up every time, but then I also feel bad for her because I hate getting the hiccups myself. I’m also getting heartburn more. Tums are my friend.

Chicken and Lemon Parmesan Risotto ($100 Amazon Giveaway)

Chicken and Lemon Parmesan Risotto

Today, we are talking all about rice. Rice is a standard pantry staple in this house. I always make sure that I have a bag handy for dinners. A lot of nights when I get home, I haven’t always thought about what we are having for dinner, but I know that if I have rice on hand, I can always come up with something! For me, rice is a lifesaver because it is the perfect vehicle for so many dishes, whether for a side dish or a main dish, and it works for so many different types of cuisines.

Chicken and Lemon Parmesan Risotto

5-Minute Pizza Sauce

5-Minute Pizza Sauce

I make a lot of homemade pizza in this house, definitely more so than ordering pizza. Homemade is always so much better, don’t you think? I typically make large batches of my tomato sauce and like to freeze some of it in smaller portions to use for pizzas, but sometimes when I’ve got my dough all ready, I go to the freezer and after what seems like 5 hours of digging around, I find that I am all out of small pizza sauce containers. Oh, the tragedy! And plain tomato sauce right out of the can is just too boring, but I always seem to have it and tomato paste on the ready so one day I just threw them together into the food processor with some garlic and spices and bam! Instant pizza sauce!

5-Minute Pizza Sauce

This sauce really couldn’t be any easier. It just takes about 5 minutes to make and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. I like my pizza sauce to be on the thicker side which is why I use a whole can of tomato paste. There is nothing worse than using watery sauce on a pizza. If you like for your sauce to be thinner though, you can certainly use less of the tomato paste.

5-Minute Pizza Sauce

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes

Look, I made you breakfast! And oh my gahhhhh, I’m drooling just thinking about these pumpkin pancakes because they are so crazy good! The baby definitely likes pancakes. Well, actually, she likes carbs in general, but especially these last few weeks. I want to eat all of the bread, and pasta, and of course, pancakes!

We had a rare rainy Saturday this past weekend where it actually rained for a few hours and it was absolute perfection because I wore a sweater and had coffee and a stack of warm pancakes was the perfect breakfast! These pumpkin pancakes are the ultimate fall breakfast. You could make them for Halloween breakfast or for guests during the holidays or of course, just for a chilly Saturday or Sunday morning. Heck, you can make ‘em for dinner if you want! Just make them!

Pumpkin Pancakes

I topped mine with some toasted pecans, but you could also use walnuts or whipped cream. If you want to make them even more decadent, you can add chocolate chips to the batter. If you can swing it, I highly recommend using good quality maple syrup with these. It just really takes them over the top! Happy fall!