It was Saturday morning and my kids wanted something yummy. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in the mood to be creative and find a recipe for something yummy. Pinterest to the rescue! I found this idea several weeks ago and it sounded very easy.
I made the cinnamon sugar pull apart bread that I saw on Pinterest, for our Seahawks football watching morning. I changed things up from the original recipe and used my bread machine on the dough cycle. Mine doesn’t look quite as pretty as the Pinterest version, but WOW was it good..
Please excuse the lame food styling in this photo. My kids were starving and there were lots of groans when I said that I needed a picture before we ate.
My hubby has been asking me to make white chicken chili for YEARS. Honestly, I have never had white chicken chili… well except for that one time that he decided to make it himself and the kids named it Dad’s Throw-up Soup. It tasted as bad as it looked.
I decided that over the break I’d give it a try. I had several recipes pinned for White Chicken Chili, but none of them sounded like exactly what I was looking for. So, I decided to combine a few and make my own recipe.
Here’s what I did:
I started by cooking a pound of chicken breast in the crockpot.
It cooked for about 4 hours on high.
Into the crockpot, with the cooked chicken, went
6 cups of water
6 chicken bouillon cubes
(use 6 cups of chicken stock if you’d rather)
1/2 of an onion, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, finely diced
1 can of diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed
(or chop your own)
1 diced yellow pepper
(corn would be good too, if you are not a fan of peppers)
1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
dash of pepper
That sat in the crockpot for 3 more hours on high.
Then came the thickening.
In a pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter.
Add 1/2 cup flour and mix
Slowly add 1 cup of half and half and 1 cup of milk
Add 8 oz of light cream cheese
Add 1 1/2 cup of Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
This mixture makes kind of a mac and cheese type sauce.
Next, I added some of the chili broth from the crockpot into to cheesy mixture to thin it out a bit.
Finally, I poured everything back into the crockpot and stirred it all together.
It made a thick, yummy, cheesy, chicken chili that everyone loved.
My hubby says this recipe needs to go in our regular rotation. The kids both loved it too!
By the way, those little tortilla strips on top were just cut and tossed with olive oil and a bit of taco seasoning. Then I baked them for about 5 minutes to crisp them up. They were a perfect little topping for the chili.
Well, looks can be deceiving.
Sadly, these pumpkin pie bars were HORRIBLE! I found the recipe on Pinterest. (I won’t tell you where, because I don’t want to embarrass the author of the original recipe.) It sounded good. Anything made with brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, and pumpkin can’t be all that bad, right? Here’s the honest truth; my kids and hubby took a bite and actually spit it out. It was that bad. The whole 9×13 pan went into the garbage.
So, friends, we making
lemons into lemonade pumpkins into pumpkin pie. Instead of focusing on the horrible dessert, we’re going to focus on the food photography.
The picture on the left is straight out of the camera. The picture on the right shows what it looks like after a pit of editing.
Here’s what I did:
I increased the fill light, highlights, and shadows. Then (because I still can’t figure out the whole “white balance” thing, when it comes to food photography) I cooled down the photo by taking some of the yellow out. Yellow food never looks appetizing, so by taking out some of the yellow, it gives it a more true color. One of these days I’ll figure out which white balance setting works best for indoor food photography. I also cropped the picture to get a little closer in. When I cropped, I tried to keep the rule of thirds in mind, but by putting it into a photo collage, like the one above, it kind of cropped more off and doesn’t look quite the same.
So, there you have it. It was a pumpkin pie bar fail, but a fun food photo shoot.
We went with a rainbow theme, which thrilled my kids to no end. I’m not a huge fan of dyes and food coloring in my kids’ food, so when my daughter saw the bright colors, her eyes lit up. It was certainly a special birthday treat for her.
We made rainbow cupcakes, with rainbow cupcake toppers.
My kids were excited to tell everyone that their mom decided to do a plain old white cake this year. The little rainbow bunting was a hint of the surprise to come.
I won’t lie. The cake, cupcakes, and decorations were a lot of work (and dishes), but nothing more than I usually do for my kids’ birthdays. The result and “happy” birthday girl were worth the work!
Happy baking! (And Happy Birthday to my big 8 year old!)
My daughter has been working on a little project. We have been seeing these card table houses on Pinterest and blogs. They are so adorable! Well, my daughter asked if she could make one. Of course, I said she could. I love to see her sew!
We had most of the felt and the card table was folded up in the garage. She drew a picture of the house she wanted to make and we started working. She drew her pattern onto the felt and cut everything herself. I made the MAIL letters for her, but she did almost everything else. She still wants to add a window and a flower box to the side. I’m so proud of her work! At first, I was thinking it would be tough for me to let go and let her create, imperfections and all. I’ve been really impressed with the quality of her work! I’d claim it for my own, if I wasn’t so proud of her.
I’ll share some pictures when it’s all done. For now, it’s the perfect little playhouse, even if it’s not quite finished!