Friday, August 30, 2013

Candy Corn Oreo Cheesecake

This simple 6-ingredient cheesecake packs all the creaminess of cheesecake with the added punch of candy corn and new Candy Corn Oreos....sure to be a new fall favorite!

Let me just start by saying I'm sorry I haven't been around more this week. Jorden took the week off for one last hurrah before school starts, and we've been going like crazy all week! We spent a day at the zoo, an overnight at a waterpark, and all of yesterday at an amusement park. We've been surviving on fried food, Twizzlers, and enough snacks to last till Thanksgiving....and although it's been fun, let's just say we are ready to be done. Especially me!! I am ready to be out of my bathing suit, off of the spinny rides, and in the comfort of my own home. Where I can sleep in my own bed, eat at my own table, have my own routine, (clean my house!) and get back to making yummy food to share with all of you!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Loaded Reese's Peanut Butter Bars

Ooey gooey peanut butter bars, loaded with Reese's Puffs and Reese's Pieces and drizzled with melted chocolate. If you like Reese's, you will LOVE these bars!

When I first started blogging last October, I had great intentions of doing most blog-related things with my kids. I envisioned how much fun we would have cooking together, baking together, crafting together....especially crafting cute my posts would be with pictures of them interspersed, and how my posts would basically write themselves because of all the funny stories I'd have to share. Well, nearly a year later, I think it is safe to say I was WRONG!

Monday, August 26, 2013

$300 Target Back to School Giveaway

$300 Target Back to School Giveaway to help lighten the load of all those backpacks, pencils, markers, etc! via

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend!! We are heading into our last week of summer break....the kiddos got their teacher assignments in the mail this weekend and we (finally) did our school supply shopping yesterday. So I guess this is really happening! But not before we take one final week to enjoy summer! Jorden is off work all week and we have a bunch of fun things planned - a day at the zoo, an overnight at a water park, a few meals out, a trip to an amusement much fun! And then.....back to school!!

Have you done your back to school shopping yet?? Because if not, don't worry....I've got you covered! I've teamed up with an AMAZING group of bloggers to offer you the chance to win an AWESOME prize - a $300 gift card to Target! (Does it get any better?) I'd love it if you'd take a minute to say hello to each of them....and then, of course, I'd love it if you'd enter (and WIN!!)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Green Apple Salsa

Tart Granny Smith apples, zesty cilantro, and tangy apple cider vinegar come together in this deliciously crisp and refreshing Green Apple Salsa!

Well....I am happy to report that we made it through the week! The house didn't burn down, the basement didn't flood, and we are all still alive! I realize this doesn't sound like much of a feat....but when your husband is out of town following back-to-back vacations and you are alone with 3 over-tired kids who are completely thrown off their schedules, it sure feels like one!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

BBQ Chicken Apple Pizza

This BBQ Chicken Apple Pizza has all the flavors of the original, with the delicious addition of apples and cilantro...and extra bbq sauce drizzled on top! Made with individual flatbread crusts, this pizza comes together in no time at all and is sure to be a hit with the whole family!

Anyone who has ever looked inside my fridge can tell you that I have a slight issue with condiments.....and by issue, I mean obsession! My fridge is packed-to-the-gills the point where things are often falling out on you while you're looking for something....and I think it's safe to say that 50 percent of it is condiments!! I'm sure you think I'm exaggerating....(who has that many condiments in their fridge?)....but if you would take a look, you would understand!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Apple & Spice Oatmeal Cream Pies

Oatmeal Cream Pies are back....this time, with the delicious twist of Apple & Spice! The perfect treat for won't be able to resist the flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cream cheese, and apple that make this twist on a classic over-the-top delicious!

Growing up in a family of 6 when your dad is a social worker and your mom stays at home, money is a little tight....and one thing you definitely get used to is being told no. Don't get me wrong - my parents made all the important things happen - like sports and music lessons and family vacations and college- but when it came to frivolous purchases, like candy in the checkout lane, sodas at the stadium, or individually packaged treats....forget it!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Harvest Chicken Salad Pita

This Harvest Chicken Salad is bursting with the delicious flavors of apples, walnuts, feta cheese, golden raisins, red onion, and sweet balsamic dressing. A little taste of a pita!

Hey, Everyone! Happy Tuesday!! I hope your week is off to a great start....I spent the start of mine on vacation with my entire family! We rented out a huge, beautiful house about 2 hours from home and spent the weekend hanging out, playing games, going to the pool, making meals, taking care of 7 kids between us, and enjoying one another's company (at least most of the time....) And did I mention eating? Oh yeah....we did a LOT of eating. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Tomato-Dill Soup

This Creamy Tomato-Dill Soup is loaded with vegetables and bursting with flavor! A delicious, healthy choice for lunch or dinner....and a great way to use up all your garden vegetables!

I'm pretty sure my love of tomato soup started in college....only back then, my tomato soup wasn't anything like this! No, back in college, tomato soup meant a packet of powder you mixed with hot water and stirred....perfect for eating on the go....but definitely not the real thing! It's funny how our tastes evolve - in college, I was perfectly fine with powdered soup and semi-stale bagels. But now? Now it would take a lot for me to think that was a good idea.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mediterranean Tuna Wrap

Mediterranean Tuna Wraps combine albacore tuna, fresh veggies, kalamata olives, sun dried tomatoes and feta cheese in a delicious wrap that is perfect for an on-the-go lunch!

One of the things I am most curious about, when the kids go back to school, is how Nora and I will fill 5 days a week together.....all day, every day! Of course I love to spend time with her, and she and I have a decent amount of alone time already (any time the older two sneak off to play with neighbors or have some Nora-free time)...but 5 days a week is a lot of time to spend with a two year matter how much you love them!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Vanilla Cake Batter Muffin Tops

Vanilla Muffin Tops + Rainbow Sprinkles + Powdered Sugar Glaze + More Rainbow Sprinkles =
a VERY happy birthday breakfast!!

Today we are celebrating Greta's 5th Birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Greta!! 4 has been an awesome year for you...(much better than 3, if I may say so)...and I can't wait to see what 5 holds! Kindergarten, soccer, new friends, learning to read, maybe losing your first tooth? Whatever it is, I have no doubt you will rock it!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Salted Caramel Apple Dip

Just 5 ingredients and a hand mixer is all you need to make this deliciously addicting dip....
just in time for apple season!

Of all the things I love about fall....and there are of my absolute favorites is apple picking! There's nothing better than spending an afternoon outside, in the crisp fall air, munching on apples and filling our basket WAY past the point of full....and then heading home with a chill in our bones and more apples than we know what to do with! We've picked apples nearly every year since having kids, and every year has been a completely different experience. Here are some of the highlights:

Monday, August 12, 2013

Scotcheroo Muddy Buddies

All the flavors of Scotcheroos....all the fun of Muddy Buddies! 
Because some things were just meant to be together.

Hey, Everyone.....Happy Monday! I hope you had a GREAT weekend. We spent ours in Michigan, visiting my husband's extended family, and we had such a nice time! Truth be told, I was a little nervous about how it would go with 3 kids and a 6 hour car ride....but it was definitely worth whatever whining and arguing and construction delays we had to endure to get there! We stayed with his sweet aunt (who just happens to own a restaurant), we ate like royalty, we attended the Mint Festival Parade, and we spent time with family we haven't seen in 3 years! It was a relaxing, feel-good kind of weekend.....and the best part of all? How much fun the kids had!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Back to School Ruler Crate

It's Back to School time...and this DIY Ruler Crate will help you get ready! All you need is rulers, plywood, chalkboard paint & Mason jars...and then you can fill and organize to your heart's content!

Remember, as a kid, when you were smitten with the idea of having your own office? With your own things to organize and your own work to do? I remember loving desks and office supplies (I also couldn't WAIT to have homework) and secretly wishing, when I played any type of make-believe involving these things, that my real life was more like the make-believe! The sad thing is I was WAY more organized then (in my playtime) than I am now (in my real life)!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Teacher Gift: {Colored} Pencil Holder

All you need is a tin can, some spray paint, and a couple boxes of colored pencils to make this adorable {Colored} Pencil Holder...the perfect back-to-school Teacher Gift!

Well, folks....we've officially reached that point in summer when I am convinced that school needs to start. SOON! One of the things I'm looking forward to most (in addition to having a couple more moments of sanity in my day)? The fact that Greta will be starting kindergarten!! I can't wait to see how her year begins, her excitement and nerves on the first day of school, what new little friends she makes, and, maybe most importantly, who her teacher is!!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Balsamic Cherry Crostini

Fresh mozzarella, sweet cherry preserves, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar come together in this delicious baked crostini. Perfect for an appetizer, an afternoon snack, or a last-minute drop-in guest!

When we first moved into our house, we had a pretty heavily wooded lot. Not like state park wooded, but definitely campsite wooded....enough so that within our first year of living here, we had definitely seen raccoons, deer, wild turkeys, possums, chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, and mice. All in our yard. All within 15 feet of our house. NOT always alive....but that's a different story. In terms of privacy, it was amazing! Most of the time we had no idea what our neighbors were doing (or if we even had neighbors...) and coming from our tiny starter lot, it was great!! And then the wild cutting began.

Monday, August 5, 2013

No-Bake Butterfinger Fudge

The flavor of Butterfinger....the creaminess of fudge! A match made in heaven!!

*Note: I updated the photos and recipe for this by dipping the individual pieces of fudge in melted chocolate. The result is even better than the original! Enjoy!!

Hey, Everyone! Thanks so much for stopping by today.....I hope you had a GREAT weekend! Ours was SO nice! We had a fun family night, made s'mores for the first time all summer, went to our 1 year old twin nephews' birthday party, had some friends over for a barbecue, and Greta learned how to ride a 2-wheel bike! (No more training wheels....woo hoo!!) I love having busy weekends....and so do the kids.....but when the end of the weekend rolls around, it is always clear that the kids have been having too much fun....and not enough sleep! And last night was no exception.

Friday, August 2, 2013

No-Stir Risotto w/Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables on top of Creamy No-Stir Risotto - it only looks fancy!
(It couldn't be easier to make!)

It's no secret that I love having people over to my house, and it's definitely no secret that I love to feed them! There's something about feeding people that makes me I am really taking care of them....and there is no better compliment than someone having two or three helpings of whatever I made and being absolutely stuffed when they leave! Thinking back, it all started in college, as soon as I had an apartment. I loved the idea of inviting friends over for dinner, and in my tiny apartment kitchen I tried my hand at homemade gnocchi, bruschetta, pasta, and more. At the time, it felt so "adult" to me....and I quickly realized that I loved to entertain! When Ellia was little we had people over all the time - for brunches, dinners, cookouts, Packer games....and when Greta was a newborn I was still hosting a weekly dinner for friends while Jorden was at class. It wasn't until Nora came along that everything changed.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Strawberry-Basil Shortcake

Strawberry-Basil Shortcake....the Strawberry Shortcake you love, with a delicious twist of basil!
Because basil makes everything better!

Yesterday was such an exciting day here at our Lemon Tree Dwelling! We picked the first fruits from our little garden! Our poor little garden, that we planted too late and regularly neglect....truthfully, it's amazing that anything is growing at all. So what if our "harvest" consisted of a single strawberry....(yes, one measly little red strawberry)....that's okay. Because one strawberry is better than no strawberries. (Hey - it's the first time we've ever had a ripe strawberry in our we're making progress!) Sad, I know. But true! I'm just really terrible at keeping plants alive. I understand that they need to be watered regularly...and yet, I can't bring myself to do it. So....year after year, Jorden brings home plants...and I kill them. I kill all of them! So I guess one ripe red strawberry really does feel like an accomplishment. And better yet? It gets me one step closer to another batch of this Strawberry-Basil Shortcake!
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