Autumn Lanterns

These Autumn lanterns are pretty and easy to make. And perfect for the Thanksgiving table!

Here is what you need:

  • Mason Jar
  • Mod Podge
  • Leaves (Real or Fake)
  • Sponge Brush
  • Candle
  • Decorative Ribbon

If you use real leaves, make sure they are dried well and not damp from being outside on the ground. You can lay them out on a piece of newspaper to dry thoroughly, it may take up to 24 hours to get them completely dry.

You may also want newspaper to protect your table.

I used fake leaves so the first thing I did was pull the green plastic stem off the backs of the leaves so they would lay flat on the jar. It also helped to get them wet first with some warm water (this helped shape the fake ones better).


You can either coat your jar with a layer of mod podge or coat each leaf with mod podge (or both).


Layer leaves around on the glass, overlapping slightly in a pretty pattern.


Let your jars dry overnight. If you happen to have any stubborn edges that pop up, just apply another coat of mod podge over them…try using a rubber band to hold down the stubborn edge.

I let my jar dry about 24 hours.

Tie a pretty bow around the top of the jar, place a candle inside and light it up for a pretty autumn lantern.


 Make up a few of these and place them down the center of the table for Thanksgiving! So pretty!

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Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars


If you love Apple Crisp, Carmel and Cheesecake…this recipe will be right up your alley! I made this for my families Thanksgiving and boy was it a huge hit! I was asked by several people for the recipe and to make sure I bring it back for Christmas! The fresh apples, streusel and caramel really make these Caramel Apple Cheesecake bars so yummy…and so hard not to devour the whole pan!

Carmel Apple Cheesecake Bars

See Detailed Nutrition Info on

Ingredients

    CRUST:

  • 2 cup Flour
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Sticks Butter softened
  • FILLING:

  • 3 packages Cream Cheese (8 oz.) softened
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 3 Eggs
  • APPLE MIXTURE:

  • 3 Granny Smith Apples peeled, cored and diced into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • TOPPING:

  • 1 cup Brown Sugar (packed)
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1/2 cup Quick Oats
  • 1 stick Butter Softened
  • Caramel Topping (to drizzle)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line a 9X13 baking pan with aluminum foil be sure to leave overhang on all four sides.
  3. Add flour and brown sugar to a medium sized bowl.
  4. Cut in butter with 2 forks or a pastry blender until your mix is crumbly
  5. Press mixture into prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Add cream cheese, vanilla and Sugar to a large bowl.
  8. Beat mixture until smooth.
  9. Add eggs to mixture 1 at a time mixing to combine.
  10. Pour mixture into baked crust.
  11. Add Apples, sugar and cinnamon to medium sized bowl.
  12. Mix together until apples are coated well.
  13. Sprinkle apple pieces evenly over cream cheese mixture.
  14. Add brown sugar, flour, quick oats and softened butter to a medium sized bowl and combine well.
  15. Sprinkle topping evenly over your apple layer.
  16. Bake for 45-60 minutes. Watch for filling to set (I do this by slightly jiggling the pan.
  17. Allow to cool and then place in refrigerator. I let mine set overnight.
  18. Remove from pan and cut into 16 even sized bars.
  19. Drizzle with caramel topping.


Oh look at that ooey, gooey, caramel piece heaven right there!


Enjoy!!!

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Creamy Tomato & Spinach Pasta

Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta Posts

This super quick pasta skillet is perfect for any occasion. Quick dinner for those busy nights during the week or even a perfect meal if you are hosting a dinner party. It requires only a few ingredients and cooks up super-fast.

Regular pasta can be used but I used whole wheat adding some extra fiber and nutrients to make it a more well rounded meal. I also added sliced mushrooms and you could also add some grilled chicken breast. Just cook the mushrooms along with the onions and garlic in the beginning. If you have some super picky eaters in the houseyou could always do a plain creamy tomato sauce. Nothin’ wrong with that!

Creamy Tomato & Spinach Pasta

See Detailed Nutrition Info on

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • ½ lb. whole wheat penne pasta
  • ½ (9 oz.) bag fresh spinach

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender (7-10) minutes. Drain the pasta in a colander.
  2. While waiting for the pasta to cook, dice the onion and mince the garlic. Cook both in a large skillet with the olive oil over medium-low heat until softened and transparent (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper to the skillet with the onions and garlic. Stir to combine. Add the tomato paste and a ½ cup of water to the skillet and stir until the tomato paste is dissolved into the sauce.
  4. Turn the heat down to low. Cut the cream cheese into a few pieces and then add them to the skillet with the tomato sauce. Use a whisk to stir the sauce until the cream cheese has fully melted in and the sauce is creamy. Add half of the Parmesan to the skillet and whisk until it is melted in. Add the remainder of the Parmesan and whisk until melted in again.
  5. Add the fresh spinach and gently stir it into the sauce until it has wilted (3-5 minutes). Add the pasta and stir until it is well coated in the creamy tomato sauce. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm.

Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta 1

Hope you enjoy this meal as much as my family and I did!!

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Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches (Healthified)

My family goes crazy for these homemade ice cream sandwiches and truth be told, there isn’t even any trace of ice cream in these scrumptious little fellas! Who knew that if you freeze cool whip…it tastes pretty darn close to ice cream! Throw in a few mini chocolate chips (not too many so you can stay on the healthy side) and dollop that between to graham crackers…stick in the freezer for a few hours and there you have it…homemade & healthy ice cream sandwiches!


Here is what you need:

  • Cool Whip (I get Fat Free)
  • Mini Chocolate Chips
  • Graham Crackers

Dollop a few spoonful’s of cool whip onto a graham cracker square. Sprinkle on a few mini chocolate chips. Top with the other graham cracker square. Ignore my horrible manicure! 🙂

Wrap up- I use Glad Press N’ Seal!

Stick them in the freezer! I make up a bunch, I usually go through the whole container of cool whip as my family gobbles them up fast!!

Once frozen…Enjoy!

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New Years Party

On to planning the next holiday!!!  Christmas was yesterday and now I have less than a week to plan a fun New Years Eve get together!  I’m starting by going through the pictures of everything we did last year….it was tons of fun, let’s see if I can top it this year!!  Enjoy!

New Years Eve 2013 Party Decor

Here is some of the decorations.  I used my cutting machine to cut circles out of sparkly scrapbook paper, glue dotted them to a long string and then taped it over the top of the door so they would stay!!!

For the “Happy New Year” sign I used felt pieces I had in my craft cupboard and sparkly glue.

For the clocks on the mirror…I just googled the image, printed on cardstock and cut out free-handed.

For the masks & beads….Dollar Tree (Love that place)!

New Years Eve Party 2013

I made these little bags for all the kiddos to open at midnight…on the right is all the loot that was in the bags (Again, Dollar Tree)!  I also got the white bags at the Dollar Tree and googled a clock…printed it out on construction paper (hence the colored clocks), cut them out and glue dotted them to the front of the bags!

Brownie Clock

Brownie Clock…super easy!  I took a cardboard cake circle and wrapped foil around it. Made some mini brownies and pipped on some blue frosting for the hour/minute hands & numbers.  Threw on some sprinkles and that’s it!

cupcake bar

Cupcake bar…the kids loved this!  I made a bunch of mini cupcakes, set out some frosting and sprinkles and let them go at it!

New Year Veggies

These were a huge hit…even with the kiddos!!  Cups (Dollar Tree)…put a little ranch in the bottom and stick your veggies down in the cups!

Milk and Cookies

A little midnight snack for the kiddos (or big kids)!  Cups from….you guessed it The Dollar Tree!!

Balloon surprise

Did you know you can insert things into balloons…I didn’t but was excited when I found out! The kids loved this…I put some confetti in and a few with dollar bills!  They each picked their balloon, took a pin and popped them all on the count of 3!  (Note to self…next time don’t put it over a vent…oops)!

New Years

 

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year!!!!!