Pantry Stocker Bridal Shower Basket

I graduated from a Christian college. Cue the looks, laughs, jokes, and eye rolling.

Miraculously, I made it all of the way through 4 ½ years of Christian college without going to a single wedding. True story. This also means that now everyone is finally getting married and that also means bridal shower gifts.

As per usual, the dishes, the linens, the crock pots, the door mats, the silver ware, and cups all go on the registry. Couples sign up for all of the stuff to stock their homes and it’s lovely. But then they actually get their homes. They move in. And there’s nothing to put on those beautiful new plates. And, the bathroom needs cleaned before anyone will use it. Heaven forbid someone cuts a finger and you have to rummage through boxes, hoping SOMEWHERE there is a band-aide.

First shopping trips are expensive. On top of regular groceries, you have to stock your cabinets. There’s the medicine cabinet, the pantry, the cleaning shelf…..It doesn’t seem like a lot but it adds up very quickly. More often than not, families get a lot of the stuff. It’s useful; don’t get me wrong. When I have my shower one day, I will love those pots and pans like there’s no tomorrow. The “stuff” is needed and practical. But so often, things are double bought, or you realize after you get something that it’s not as needed as you once thought and you end up exchanging, returning, or regifting. It happens to everyone.

In recent months, my friends and I have had conversations with statements like:

“Can someone buy my pantry? I love everything on my registry, but really, I don’t need 6 sets of sheets. That grocery bill is going to be killer.”

“Why do people not buy things like Advil for bridal showers? They do it at baby showers. That should be a thing.”

My friend Liv and I went in together to help stock our friend Katie’s pantry for her bridal shower.

What we got:

Flour

Granulated sugar

Brown Sugar

Powdered Sugar

Cookie Mix

Brownie Mix

Bisquick

Minute Rice

Mac n Cheese

Pronto Pasta

Baking Soda

Baking Powder

Salt

Pepper

Peanut Butter

Jelly

Cooking Spray

Vegetable Oil

Chocolate chips

Basket

Using LOTS of coupons, we were able to make this super useful basket for under $50. We got the groceries from Target (we have a problem, we openly admit it), and the basket from JoAnn Fabrics. I had a wicked good coupon. Using LOTS of coupons, we were able to make basket for under $50. I simply wrapped each piece with tissue paper and stuffed a few extra in to help cover some tops and give it some style.

IMG_5028.jpeg

IMG_7914.JPG.jpeg

Advertisements

Baked Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

I have a confession. I am a picky eater. If you notice, my recipes tend to contain the same main components. Though I do like fruits, I am not a fan of vegetables or squash like things. This last Thanksgiving, I helped my Aunt make butternut squash. I’m not sure if it was how it was prepared or the squash itself, but I was not a huge fan. For Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend made spaghetti squash. It was good. I liked it. Which, is a big deal. I have a texture thing. I don’t like such things normally. I was hit with inspiration and went shopping today. I was going to make spaghetti squash!

Ingredients:

1 small-medium spaghetti squash

1-2 garlic cloves

Olive Oil

1/2 cup – 1 cup cheese- mozzarella, parmesan, any mix of cheese you would like

8oz tomato sauce

1-2 tablespoons minced onion (or dried onion flakes)

Meat of choice- I used mini salad shrimp, sausage, ground beef/turkey/pork, muscles, again totally up to you

Spices/Herbs- basil, oregano, parsley

Pre-heat oven to 300

1. Slice your spaghetti squash in half- I read AFTER I cut mine to bake it a bit to soften it. It is quite difficult to cut in half. So you can choose to pre-bake yours for about 15 minutes or just hack away like I did. Cut in half and scoop out the pulp, like a pumpkin.

2. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and place on a baking sheet, skin side out, that’s also been drizzled with olive oil.

3. Rip a small piece of foil, place in 1 or 2 garlic cloves and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap up and place on the cookie sheet with the squash- nothing beats roasted garlic!

IMG_5380

4. In a sauce pan on the stove, combine your sauce, meet and spices. Just kinda keep it on low while the squash is baking to let the flavors meld. I used little tiny shrimp so that the flavor was still there but so that I didn’t have huge chunks.

5. At 30-45 minutes, flip the squash flesh side up and test with a fork. You should easily be able to pull the strands away from the rind. If not, continue baking. I left mine flesh side up for another 15 minutes or so.

6. Once the squash is done, scrape out the flesh with a fork into a separate bowl. Add the sauce and half of your cheese and mix until well combined.

7. Replace the mixture back into the hollowed squash skins. Sprinkle with the remainder of the cheese and put back into the oven for another 15 minutes to melt the cheese on top.

8. Serve hot with a hearty slice of bread and butter!

IMG_5386

Baked Chicken Legs and Marinade

We are hard-core grillers, and by “we” I mean my mom. She loves to grill and does it just about anytime of year. Well, it’s been just a wee bit cold up here in Pennsylvania and she’s given up until it gets a bit better. But we had chicken legs, and I love chicken legs. We normally reserve them for grilling, but I needed something to break up the monotony of winter dinners. So I decided I was going to bake my chicken legs.

Ingredients:

Chicken legs

1/2 cup EVOO

1/2 onion

2 lemons

1/4 orange juice

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

3 garlic cloves

1/2 teaspoon Rosemary

1/2 teaspoon Thyme

1/2 tablespoon brown sugar

Salt/Pepper

1. In a large container combine: the juice of 2 lemons, olive oil, chopped onion, orange juice, Worcestershire sauce, 3 minced garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme, brown sugar, salt and pepper. With a fork, mix everything together to distribute the ingredients.

IMG_4964

2. Place your thawed (or mostly thawed) chicken legs into the container, put the lid on and shake around to distribute the marinade over the legs. Let marinade for at least 3 hours, or over night. I would re-shake every so often to redistribute the goods.

IMG_4965

3. Pre-heat your oven to 350. Place your chicken legs and marinade into a large baking dish, skin side up, and cover with foil. Place in the oven while it is still pre-heating. Bake for at least an hour and a half, or until the meat reaches 160 degrees using a meat thermometer. For the last half hour, remove the foil to crisp the skins.

4. Optional, remove foil and turn on your broiler. Everyone likes that awesome crunch skin and this is the best way to get it when you’re not grilling. Broil until the skins are turning golden brown and crunchy!

5. Remove from the oven, and let rest. Serve with sides and enjoy! We had rice and a veggie! 🙂

IMG_4972

Pumpkin Spice Cookie Bars

I’ve never had pumpkin. I have yet to have a pumpkin spiced latte, I don’t eat pumpkin pie. Something about it wigs me out. But my ma made a pumpkin roll and didn’t use the whole can of pumpkin puree. Obviously we had to do SOMETHING with the left overs. Thanks to handy dandy Pinterest, I came across this lovely recipe on A Kitchen Addiction! She titled them Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars. I adjusted the recipe just a TINY bit and didn’t do the frosting. Here is how I did it…

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter flavored shortening
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2½ C all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

1. Mix all ingredients except the flour together until well blended.

2. Slowly add flour and mix until well incorporated

3. The dough is thick. Do not fear! Press the dough into a baking dish. I used an 8×10. The original recipe suggested a 9×9 or 8×8.

IMG_4522

4. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Mine turned out just fine at 15! Poke the center with a knife to check it.

5. Let cool and eat slightly warm.

IMG_4523

For the frosting recipe, check out the original blog post at A Kitchen Addiction!

Happy snacking! 🙂

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Muffins

I thoroughly enjoy cinnamon. I’ve been on a fall spice kick for quite some time now. Nothing beats cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves all mixed up into something. They are warm and spicey and homey and wonderful. This recipe doesn’t have all of those but it’s still pretty tastey! My house likes muffins. They are quick, easy and filling to eat and just as quick and easy to whip up. I was inspired to make these yummy guys for a quick gran and go breakfast!

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup of brown sugar

Topping:

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, egg, vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, oil and milk all together in a bowl. I used a hand whisk to mix it all together until it was smooth.

IMG_4506   IMG_4507

2. In a seprate bowl mix the 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. This will be sprinkled on top.

IMG_4509

2. Line muffin tray with liners. Use a 1/4 to fill each liner.

3. Sprinkle each muffin with the brown sugar/cinnamon

IMG_4510

4. Bake for 15 minutes or until a knife poked into the center comes out clean. I love how they puffed up!

IMG_4511

They are definitely best if eaten warm! Store in an air tight container (if they happen to last that long)!

Makes 1 dozen. This is a very easily double-able recipe and is highly suggested!

Nanner Muffins

I call banana’s nanners. Tomatoes are maters and potatoes are taters. I figure my vocabulary is so vast most of the time, the world can handle a few goofball words.

I personally am not a fan on bananas. Eric and Jake like bananas. Eric buys banana’s, they eat a few and leave the rest on purpose so that I bake with them. In typical fashion, I found a few muffin recipes, blend them together and came out with these gems.

2-3 rip bananas (peals are all brown and gross looking)

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons of…….MAPLE SYRUP! My extra special ingredient that makes them OH SO YUMMY

Dash of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup dried oats

1-1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Pre-heat oven to 350

1. With a fork mash up the nanners.

2. Incorporate the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar, syrup and oats. It will be pretty runny.

3. Slowly add in 1 cup of flour and baking powder. Depending on the size of the bananas and eggs you may need to add another 1/2 cup or so to reach the consistency of a typical batter.

4. Fill muffin tins about 2/3 of the way full

5. Bake 10-12 minutes or until a knife comes out clean

Quick, easy and super delicious! Sugar can be omitted completely if chosen because of the syrup. You can also use flavored syrup. I bet blueberry syrup would be delightful! I like adding the oats for a little extra umph to fill your belly, but they too can be omitted!

216210_10201152323355305_709355618_n