Country Supper

This recipe is another one of my momma's, and is the perfect comfort food for a chilly day. It's long been my best friend Krystal's favorite dish, and she requests it every time she comes down from out of state for a visit. It's a one-skillet meal, easy to prepare and is flexible enough that it has tons of variations (different veggies, using chicken instead of sausage, etc.) I usually prepare mine with broccoli, however I didn't have any tonight so I substituted sugar snap peas instead. It was still delish! I hope you enjoy!

What You'll Need:
1 Polish Kielbasa sausage, sliced into bite size pieces
1/2 cups chopped onion
2 tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen sugar snap peas (or other veggie, such as broccoli)
3 cups hot water
1/3 cup milk
1 box Au Gratin Potatoes
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the sausage and onion in olive oil. Add the hot water, milk, powdered cheese and potatoes (from Au Gratin box). Cook and stir until boiling. Add chopped carrots, cover and cook 10 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender. Add sugar snap peas, cover, cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Top with cheese, reduce heat and cover to allow cheese to melt.

Click below to download and print this recipe!

Country Supper


Starbucks Giveaway {Winner Announced}

The Starbucks gift card giveaway was a great success! I'm so appreciative to all that entered, and glad to have the chance to get to know all of you. With that being said, I've chosen Random.org to select the (random) lucky winner of the $10 Starbucks gift card!

And the winner is........

Congratulations, Ashleigh! I'll be contacting you soon so you can claim your gift card!

P.S. A huge THANK YOU to everyone who entered my Starbucks Gift Card giveaway! I love all of my readers, and it is all of YOU that continue to inspire me to write each and every day. YOU'RE THE BEST! That's why you deserve coffee...or lattes...or chocolate chip cookies! Thanks, lovlies!


Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

We had the first of many Christmas get-togethers this weekend, and since we were hosting, we decided to do brunch in place of a traditional Christmas dinner. I tried many new recipes, but this one was the biggest hit by far. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'm in love. I'd tell you I've been eating leftovers for breakfast, lunch and dinner ever since, but that may make me sound like a weirdo. ;)

And the best part about this recipe? You make it ahead of time and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. This gives the same affect to the English muffins as it would with a bread pudding, and everything just kind of collides in a beautiful mess of the-best-thing-that-ever-hit-your-taste-buds. Long story short, this recipe is the perfect ratio of fluffy eggs, perfectly seasoned sausage, soft, buttery English muffins,  and melty cheese. YUM!

What you'll need:

3-5 English muffins, split
2 TBS. butter
1 Pound bulk sausage, crumbled, cooked, and drained on paper towels (you can use regular, or half regular and half spicy depending on your taste preference - I used Jimmy Dean Country Mild)
7 oz. can chopped green chiles, drained
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1¼ cups Sour Cream
12 eggs

Spray a 9"x13" casserole dish with cooking spray. Split English muffins in half and butter the inside of each slice. Lay slices buttered side down in casserole dish, covering the bottom of the dish. (Break up an extra English muffin to fill in gaps if need be). 

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until combined. Add sour cream, whisking until combined. There may be some lumps at this point, but after a minute or so of whisking everything should combine just fine. 

On top of English muffins, layer half of the sausage, half of the green chiles and half of the cheese. Pour entire egg mixture evenly over the top. Sprinkle remaining sausage, chiles and cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight. 

In the morning, remove casserole from refrigerator at least 30 minutes before baking. Bake at 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Allow to rest for  10-15 minutes before serving. 

Download and print this recipe below!
Sausage, Egg, ad Cheese Breakfast Casserole


It's a Giveaway!

Hey everyone! I've got a giveaway for ya! It's super simple, so today is your lucky day!

Here's how you can enter:
  • FOLLOW this blog (3 points)
  • LIKE our Facebook page (1 point)
  • SHARE this giveaway on Facebook (2 points)
  • LEAVE A COMMENT on this post (1 point)

    Do any or all of these between today at 5:30 pm EST and Wednesday, December 10, 2012 at midnight (12 am) EST for a chance to win a $10 Starbucks gift card! I'll announce the winner on Thursday.

So, how about a cup o' joe on me? Or some hot chocolate? Or even a cookie? Everybody likes cookies!

Don't forget to come back and tally up your entries below! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Super Simple Skillet Lasagna

Can we have a moment of total honesty? Ok, good. I've never...ever... made lasagna before. *gasp* I've never even tried. And let me tell ya - I love me some lasagna. I've always looked up to a woman who can prepare the perfect lasagna, but the process looks long and I just picture myself spending hours preparing a gorgeous lasagna just to have it fall apart into a goopy mess when I cut into it. Lasagna...well, it intimidates me.

Lately, I've been seeing a lot of recipes around for Skillet Lasagna, and they all look so dang good. I figured this would probably be my safest option, so I started scouring the internet for the perfect one. They all looked amazing - but I had this picture in my head of how easy this process needed to be. I didn't want to add eggs to the ricotta, cook the noodles, drain the noodles, add the noodles and still have another 20 minutes 'til meal time.  I'm more of a "one-pot meal" kinda girl. Or maybe you could call me a "dump-everything-in-a-pan-and-pray-it-turns-out-well kinda girl. Either way, I decided to wing it. And folks, it turned out soooo well. It may not *look* as pretty as classic lasagna, but it is every bit as decadent. It's simple, saucy, cheesy, ooey, gooey, and just...well, heavenly. *sigh*

What You'll Need:
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (I like Ragu Chunky Garden Veggie)
1/2 cup water, divided
5-6 no-boil lasagna noodles, broken in half
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Season and brown ground beef and onions over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and add 1/4 cup of water and 1/3 of the spaghetti sauce to skillet. Stir to combine. Layer half of the lasagna noodles and top with another 1/3 of spaghetti sauce. Layer the rest of the lasagna noodles. Pour remaining water into spaghetti sauce jar and swirl around, then pour over the top of noodles, being careful to cover all surfaces. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until noodles are cooked. Evenly dollop ricotta cheese and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Cover and continue simmering until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

I'm already looking forward to leftovers for tomorrow's lunch! Download and print this recipe below!
Super Simple Skillet Lasagna

'Tis the Season

We decorated for Christmas last week. Have I mentioned yet that I love Christmas? Well in case you missed it the first time, I love Christmas. By July I'm making a list of everyone I need to buy for, setting a budget, and planning out which goodies we're going to bake. In late September, as the weather starts to get chilly and fall rolls in, I start itching to get my Christmas bins (all twelve of them, heh heh heh) out of storage and start rummaging through them. I manage to hold off, though, because  I like to stop and enjoy each holiday as it comes. I'm not the one who start decorating for Christmas the day before Halloween, but once Thanksgiving comes and goes, it's on.

Like many others, I feel that Christmas has been over-commercialized, over-sold, and the hype around material goods can easily take away from it's magic - but only if you let it. My reasons for loving Christmas don't come from any of those things. I don't go crazy with excitement over receiving and opening presents (although I do love giving them and watching others open). Christmas to me is about Christ, His love, our love for one another - and sharing and celebrating that. 

Christmas-time is very sentimental to me in other ways, too. Dusty and I fell in love over Christmas. During this season of spirit, generosity, and giving, I got one of the greatest gifts - someone who not only loves me so very deeply, but also walks by faith in Christ.

Dusty and I met in October of 2007, at a Halloween party. We had great conversation and lots of laughs, and for the next few weeks we talked on the phone for hours every night. I kept wondering if this guy was ever going to ask me out on a date! So, finally after about three weeks of waiting, I asked him out. Of course he said yes (he was just too shy to ask), but he wanted to plan (and surprise me) with the details of what we would be doing.

By the end of that (amazing) first date, it was like my soul was overcome with a peaceful feeling. Looking back now, I realize that I already knew that this man was going to take me somewhere beautiful in my life. I knew I never wanted to be without him, and from that moment on we were completely inseparable. 

By the time early December rolled around, we were crazy about each other. We would sit and talk for hours, laugh, and just be silly. This gave us an amazing foundation of friendship that is incomparable to any other relationship I've ever experienced. It wasn't about a physical attraction (although it was definitely there!) - we talked about the deep stuff. We had both been through a lot of hardships and pain in the recent years, which gave us a deep understanding of each other and only strengthened our bond. I found out that Dusty had nearly stopped celebrating Christmas all together. He hadn't even put up a tree the past few years because he was in such a dark place. It made me incredibly sad that this  wonderful man, who had so much life and kindness in his heart, had nearly stopped believing in the magic of Christmas altogether. 

Then one evening, as I showed up at his door, he announced with the biggest smile I've ever seen that he had a surprise for me. I didn't know my way around his neck of the woods, so I had no clue where we were going or what we could possibly be doing. After what seemed like forever, we pulled off the road and into a parking lot. I looked at him with curiosity as he pointed behind us. I hadn't been paying attention as we'd passed it, but it was right then that I realized there was a huge billboard that read "Kiser's Christmas Trees". And there they were - there were hundreds of them. 

I could hardly contain my excitement as we walked hand in hand looking for the perfect tree. We found one, loaded it up and headed back to his house to set it up. It was short, stout, and extremely cock-eyed, but it was ours, and it was perfect. We strung the one strand of lights we had, but we didn't have any ornaments. I took the Christmas tree tag, wrote our names and the year, and hung it by it's twist tie onto our tree. It was our only ornament, but  I remember so vividly as we stood together and looked at our tree exactly how full my heart was that night. We sat by the tree, a fire in the fireplace, just talking. He kissed my forehead, and all at once I knew what this meant to him - it meant Christmas was worth celebrating again. I also knew what it meant for me - I was in love with this amazing man. 

To this day, we still have that tree tag, and it is proudly displayed on our tree every single year. This is why I look forward to Christmas. Christ's love is amazing. It brought me a beautiful daughter, and then to the man who is my forever and is the best Daddy to our daughter. 

Decorating the tree has become such a wonderful way to not only celebrate Christ's love for us, but also our love as husband and wife and our love as a family. 

Here's a picture of our family tree, compete with Kenzie's many hand made ornaments, both mine and Mackenzie's "Baby's First Christmas" ornaments, and yes, that beloved tree tag.

Mine - 1984                                                 Kenzie - 2002
We also have a decorative tree in our living room, which has more "grown up" ornaments and a rustic theme.

I hope this Christmas fills you with the spirit of the season this year just as it has me. Merry Christmas.


50 Cheerful Christmas Crafts

It's that time of year again! Time for CHRISTMAS! Christmas crafts, Christmas decorating, Christmas baking....I love it all. I look forward to (and plan for) it all year - it's like a crafter's paradise. Here's some Christmas crafts to get your holiday cheer juices flowing. I think I just died of cute and went to crafter's heaven.

                                                1. Baby Sock Advent Calendar          2. Candy Cane Mice         

                                                3. Christmas Cookies in a Jar            4.  Button Snowman Cards               

                                                5. Card Garland                               6. Christmas Flower Gift
                                                7. Citrus Slice Ornaments                 8. Cookie Cutter Ornaments

                                                     9.  Cozy Tea Holder               10. Doorknob Stockings

                                                    11. Embellished Tea Towel      12. Felt Christmas Theme Ornaments
                                                    13. Felt Holly Corsage             14. Felt Purse

                                                    15. Festive Envelopes              16. Framed Inspirational Sentiment

                                                17. Garland Trick                      18. Gift Monograms
                                                19. Gumdrop Pops                    20. Handmade Santa Pillow     
                                                21. Holly Leaf Place Cards         22. Holiday Cookie Mailing Tubes

                                                23. Holiday Coffee Sleeves         24. Holly Napkin Holders

                                            25. Joyful Banner                        26. Mitten Clips

                                            27. Paper Plate Angels                 28. Monogrammed Candle

                                            29. No-sew Holiday Apron           30. Paper Snowflakes 

                                            31. Paper Stars                           32. Peppermint Ornaments

                                         33. Pinup Wreath                                34. Photo Frame Calendar 

                                         35. Poinsettia Blanket                          36.  Pretty Paperweights

                                         37. Pipe Cleaner Candy Canes              38. Pipe Cleaner Snowflake Ornament

                                                39. Snowflake Lights               40. Pretty Pincushion 

                                                41. Snow Globes                     42. Snowflake Tea Towel

                                                43. Sparkling Towels               43. Stamped Sachets

                                       45. Thoughtful Note Card Gift              46. Typewritten Gift Tags

                                       47. Tin Box Organizer                          48. Tinsel Stars

                                       49. Toy Ornaments                             50. Winter Wonderland Candle Trio

There ya have it! I'm totally in love with the No-Sew Holiday Apron, Felt Christmas Theme Ornaments and the Snowflake Lights.Which ones are your favorite?