April 29, 2016

Spinach Dip Melts

Spinach and Artichoke Dip. Such a favorite for me when I want a naughty appetizer. Slather it up on some bread grilled cheese style and it is pretty much one of the best things ever. My husband doesn't like artichokes all that much (I know...I don't know...) So I make it with just spinach. I never seem to make enough for leftovers if that tells you anything about this gooey, goodness of a sandwich.

This is a staple in my weeknight rotation for a quick and easy meal. I can't believe I haven't shared it yet! Since I do a lower carb style diet, I like to slather this on a burger. So GOOD!



Ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup of milk
4 ounce of cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 cup of frozen spinach, thawed
slices of bread (I prefer potato, white, or sourdough)
butter or canola spray for bread


Directions:

Melt butter in a skillet and then add garlic and flour until you make a paste. Pour in milk and cook for a couple of minutes. If it gets too thick, add more milk.

Add cream cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan, and pepper. Stir in cheese until melted. Add spinach and stir to combine. This dip will be really thick!

Butter or spray the sides of a bread slice in a big skillet and add thick dip onto bread and sandwich together. Flip to the other side once bread is golden brown.


There usually aren't many leftovers from this. It serves 3-4 depending on how greedy you are with your serving size. I am very much on the greedy end!

Enjoy! 

April 27, 2016

Being Frugal

For some reason, there is a myth that living a frugal life means you are living a boring life. I have even had family get on my case about not buying things. I don't care. My life is frugal, but anything but boring.

I truly believe that being frugal makes me wealthier in other aspects of life. If you want to live a fun, frugal life then read on! I have some reasons you should be...


I was financially free at 21.
Seeking financial freedom is something that many are aiming for by living frugally. Being frugal means you are most likely honest with yourself about how much money you earn, how much you spend, and how much you need in order to survive.

I have no debt.
Except my house, but I also bought a house under my budget. Having a home is very important to me, so I am okay having some debt there. But besides that, no one actually wants debt, right? By choosing to live the frugal life, you may be able to avoid debt much more than the average person. By avoiding debt, you will have less stress due to the fact that you won’t be worried about the next bill you have to pay and the amount of interest that is building up. You will also be more likely to retire earlier, buy the things that you actually do want to buy, and more.

I will have a great retirement.
Like I mentioned above, less debt helps retirement. I am able to put money into retirement. They payout will be worth it in the end by living frugally now. 

I make smarter choices.
By living a frugal life, I make smarter choices with what I have, am buying, and use quality items that will last. 

I have fun,
Anyone who thinks you can’t have fun while being frugal is crazy. You don’t need to spend a ton of money or be rich in order to enjoy life. I go on vacations, I have a beautiful home and one day will buy my dream home, I have a family, I spend time with friends and family, and more. 


Are you interested in frugal living? Why or why not? 
What questions do you have on how to live frugally?

April 25, 2016

Banana Nut Muffins

I like cooking more than I like baking. I like the creativity of cooking. The problem with baking is that you need to use exact measurements. Unlike when I cook, I kind of just pinch a little of this here and toss a lot of that there. But with baking you have to be careful and make sure you’re using the right ratio.

These banana muffins are Kevin’s favorite, so when he asked me to make him some I was ecstatic...happy to do so. Well, I made the muffins and Kevin started it off by eating 5 and oops, I cheated by eating one! The best thing about these muffins is it is just the easiest recipe. Not a lot of measurements, just throw everything in a bowl and go!

They are so good, but not as healthy as Lauren needs, so when I make them, I often make my healthy banana muffins



Ingredients:

1 box of yellow cake mix
1 package of banana creme instant pudding (jello)
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of oil
2 ripe, mashed bananas
4 eggs
1 cup of pecans

Directions:


Mix all ingredients together. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. If you want to do a loaf of this as banana bread, bake for 45 minutes.

Do you have a favorite muffin?
Happy Baking, my friends!

April 22, 2016

Cheesy Tortellini Soup

Recently my freezer and I have been having a love hate relationship. I love that it collects things for me to make some damn awesome, easy recipes, but it is entirely too small! Donate here to fund Lauren's new appliances! (I kid, I kid...) I know I say often that a recipe is easy, but this is so easy I would instruct Kevin to make it for me when I was out of commission with my ACL tear. Kevin will make it for me sometimes on days I work too when I just need a little bit of easy, comfort food to end the day. This Cheesy Tortellini Soup is just that!

It is one of those meals that takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish and it is exactly what you need at the end of a crazy day!


Ingredients:

1 bag of frozen cheese tortellini
1 cup of frozen peas, thawed OR chopped spinach (we alternate)
2 small chicken breasts
1 (14 oz) can of chicken broth
2 (10.5 oz) cans of cream of chicken soup
2 cups of milk
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
dash of lemon juice

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to boil and add frozen peas (or spinach) to boiling water until cooked. Remove and set aside and cook tortellini according to package, drain, and set aside. Slice chicken into chunks, cook in boiling water, drain, and set aside.

Add chicken broth, cream of chicken soup, milk, and thyme into medium stock pot and mix. Season with salt and pepper.

Then add shredded cheese and stir until combined. Cook for 7-10 minutes. Fold in peas/spinach, tortellini, and chicken.

Serve hot!

April 20, 2016

Spinach Ricotta Chicken

I am the first to admit that I am not the ideal blogger for a lot of reasons. I see people attend workshops, grow and gain followers (but only authentic followers), craft the BEST content every single day, etc...

This post isn't a dig at all you incredible bloggers. Please don't misunderstand me. Trust me, I love you, admire you and inspire to be you. This is me releasing my insecurities as a blogger and an adult by putting them into words. This is a challenge to myself. I know if I want to really make it.

I am embracing the fact that I will grow at a different rate than others. Some days, I feel like I'm a very very teeny fish attempting to keep up with all the big-blogger fish in the ocean.

I was talking to my good friend Alli. She will always be honest with me for the best and I love that. She knows that my food and recipes are great. But what is not great? My pictures. I keep going back and forth and overall know they need to change. I mean lets face it, we eat with our eyes first. But to me, not all food we cook at home is perfect presentation and looks pretty. I am an every girls girl. Life is busy and we need simple and yummy recipes. That is what I have. It just isn't always Pinterest worthy in terms of looks.

So all and all, if you have made it to this point in my long-winded discussion, this picture of Spinach Ricotta Chicken isn't the prettiest, but this is such an easy, yummy recipe and you should try it!

This is creamy, low carb, full of lean protein, and nutrient filled with the spinach. And absolutely husband approved!




Ingredients:


4 ounces of frozen spinach
10 ounces of ricotta cheese
2 chicken breasts
cheddar cheese to taste
pepper to taste
chili powder to taste

Directions:


Wilt spinach in a pan then add ricotta till warm and mixed.

Slice two chicken breasts in half and stuff spinach ricotta mixture in between. Top with cheddar cheese, pepper, and chili powder.

Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.
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