Cheddar Jalapeno Bread

Cheddar Jalapeno Bread

When it comes to bread making, I prefer that of the quick variety. I know, I’m so lazy and I realize that making homemade bread is really not that difficult and there is nothing better than homemade yeast bread, I just don’t make it very often. Quick breads are totally my jam though and I make them a lot. This cheddar jalapeno version though is my first savory quick bread and it’s a definite keeper!

Cheddar Jalapeno Bread

At first, I wasn’t sure what to really eat this with. With sweet quick breads, they are great for breakfast or a treat, but savory? Then I had a total DUH moment. This savory bread is the perfect accompaniment with soups and chili recipes. I like it served warm with a little smear of butter.

One quick note – when I made this, I only used one jalapeno. After tasting the bread though, I really wanted more jalapeno flavor. And for the record, while I’m okay with spicy foods, I’m not big on a TON of spiciness. So, as someone more in the middle of the road on spiciness, if you don’t like a lot of heat, you can just use one jalapeno, but if you don’t mind the spice and flavor, I’d use two jalapeno peppers.

Cheddar Jalapeno Bread

No-Bake Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes

No-Bake Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes

So a couple of years ago, I had an idea that I wanted to create a little e-book for you guys of all no-bake cheesecakes! Many of my no-bake cheesecakes like this key lime, banana, or Irish cream and I thought it would likely go over well with readers. But, then I had a baby and life got really crazy. And now, I’m waiting on baby #2 and I’ve come to terms with the fact that between working full-time, keeping up this blog, and taking care of kids, that e-book may never happen, so I’m just going to share some of the recipes I started making because they are too yummy not to be shared!

No-Bake Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes

Cookies and cream may seem sort of basic, but it is truly one of my favorite flavors in desserts, especially with cheesecake! This no-bake dessert has crushed chocolate sandwich cookies in every layer! For the cheesecake layer itself, I used whole crushed cookies with the cream included because I love the added flavor of the cream. They don’t call it cookies and cream for nothing!

Obviously, since these are no-bake, they are extra easy to make and is the perfect choice for a make-ahead dessert, just make sure you allow enough time for them to chill and firm up!

No-Bake Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes

Pomegranate Smoothie

Pomegranate Smoothie

One of the best things about this time of year is that pomegranates are in season and who can resist those pretty pink sparkly jewels?! Not this girl! I also am a fan of pomegranate juice year round. It’s packed with antioxidants which makes it the perfect addition for your smoothies.

If you have some ripe bananas on your counter and don’t feel like baking with them, peel them and stick them in the freezer. I adore using frozen bananas in my smoothies. When you toss a frozen banana in a blender and let it go for a few minutes, you get this thick and creamy texture that is basically just like ice-cream which means you also get a milkshake-like smoothie!

I’ve posted two different versions of this recipe as I have made this a couple of ways. The first option is just to use a whole frozen banana (as pictured). The second option is to use half of a frozen banana and a 1/2 cup frozen blueberries. I think both versions are really refreshing and delicious, but I think I slightly prefer the latter as I am obsessed with blueberries and love the added flavor of them in this smoothie. You really can’t go wrong either way!

Pomegranate Smoothie

Easy Beef Stew

Easy Beef Stew

I’ve now lived in 4 states including Ohio, Florida, California, and Arizona and hands down, California has the best weather! It’s been just chilly enough for me these past couple of months to pull out my favorite cozy sweaters, but not so cold, I want to die (like I do when I go to Ohio). We’ve also been enjoying a healthy amount of rain which I also love!

We’ve been having a lot of soups, stews, and slow cooker meals because they are just warm and comforting and super easy since I’ve been feeling super lazy towards the end of this pregnancy. I was looking through some really old blog posts last week and came across this post for my mom’s beef stew and couldn’t believe it has been so many years since I last made it so I made a big pot last weekend and re-shot the hideous photos!

Easy Beef Stew

This beef stew is pretty simple to make, but it does take about 4 hours to cook. I promise that it is worth the time because that is how the beef gets so wonderfully tender! I like to add some tomato paste and extra red wine to my stew because of the richer flavor they add. It’s a great meal for lazy weekends served with some warm and crusty bread.

Easy Beef Stew

Baby #2 Update

Hi Friends, Happy Friday! I’ve been wanting to do some pregnancy updates for some time now, but life has been so busy.

I’m now 32 weeks along with baby girl #2 and this pregnancy has just been so different than my first! I know this is pretty typical of subsequent pregnancies, but I can’t believe how fast this one is flying by. With Madeline, I felt like it just dragged on and on and the waiting was awful! I remember those blissful afternoons where I could spend the day researching baby things, taking naps as needed, sleeping in, etc.. Once you have a toddler running around, that all goes away! At 32 weeks, all I want to do is take naps and put my feet up, but between work and having a 2 year-old, naps are nonexistent. Sleep is becoming difficult. This baby loves to push on my bladder all. night. long. so I am constantly having to get up. Maddie has also been having sleep issues this past week and I’m just exhausted.

With Madeline, I had to be induced on my due date because she was measuring quite small, stopped growing at 36 weeks, and my blood pressure was starting to become a problem. This time around, my doctor is monitoring baby #2’s growth and we are taking things week-by-week for now. If it seems like this baby might follow down the same path as her sister, she could end up arriving in March instead of April. Eek, I’m not ready at all!

I was basically all ready to go at this point in my first pregnancy. I have done ZERO things to get ready for this baby! Zero. And I’m officially freaking out now! Granted since this is our second child and another girl, there isn’t a whole lot that we need in terms of a lot of the smaller things, but we still have quite a bit to take care of before she gets here! Shopping for this baby is not easy with a toddler who won’t stop climbing on everything. Instead of looking at what we need, I’m too busy chasing her around the store!

Baby #2 Update

Homemade Pancake Mix

Homemade Pancake Mix

Pancakes are one of the small handful of things my picky toddler really enjoys so we make them a lot for breakfast. Plus, Baby #2 is also a carb lover so I’d be totally lying if I said all the pancake-making was just appease my 2 year-old!

I’ve tried a lot of different boxed pancake mixes and while there are certainly some good ones out there, they can be pricey and contain other “extra” ingredients that you may not want in your morning breakfast! Making your own homemade pancake mix is seriously so easy, you will wonder why it took you so long to give it a try. All you need is some flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. You can it mix up a double or triple batch and give it away as cute little gifts too and people will love you forever and always!

Homemade Pancake Mix

To make the pancakes, you just need some very simple ingredients that you likely already have in your fridge and pantry. I left these plain since I wanted you to have the base recipe, but obviously adding in other fun ingredients like fruits and chocolate chips is totally recommended! I also used regular milk, but you can use buttermilk instead if you want super fluffy pancakes with a more distinct homemade pancake flavor.

Homemade Pancake Mix