Sunday, November 2, 2014

Welcoming November with Enchiladas Verde!

Well, it finally feels like “fall” in New Orleans! People are fully dressed in colorful sweaters, warm coats, and lovely fall boots. I haven’t been able to blog lately due to being on the road visiting family and working, but I’m glad to be back.  Now that November is finally here I decided to start off this month by making Enchiladas Verde. It’s a cozy meal but fairly healthy with all the veggies and light Verde sauce.  My husband and I both enjoy this meal garnished with sour cream and corn chips on the side. 

Enchiladas Verde Ingredients: 
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
½ purple onion
1 # ground beef
12 whole-wheat tortillas
1-8oz bag of Mexican cheese shredded
2 cans of salsa Verde

-Chop bell peppers and onion and sauté in a skilled with 2T olive oil. Once transparent add ground beef and sauté. Drain meat and veggies and place in a bowl. Season mixture with 1T salt, 1t garlic powder, and 1T pepper. To this, add the shredded cheese; mix this together and set aside. Spray one casserole dish with a nonstick cooking spray then begin placing the mixture in the tortillas. As they are filled, place them face down in the pan until full. Then add the Verde sauce over the entire dish. Place in a 350degree oven for 30 min or until bubbling around the edges.  Serve with sour cream and corn chips.
Fast and easy dinner for a cool and cozy evening at home!
Salute the goodness!
Beautiful veggies!
Ground beef is added
yummy, gooey cheese!
It's very hard not to taste it at this point ;)
Finished product- delicious!
 November is one of my favorite months and I’m so glad it’s finally here! Enjoy this cool and cozy weather, friends!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pumpkin Bread

Well, it’s officially my favorite time of year! With the weather beginning to cool down and the leaves starting to change colors, its finally “fall”. When riding down the streets of our community I can now see pumpkins on the porches, mums in assorted arrangements and Halloween decorations beginning to appear. “Fall” has officially arrived which only means one thing… time for pumpkin bread! My husband was skeptical of pumpkin bread originally but now he loves it! Recipes are always more enjoyable when “husbands” approve! ;) 

.       1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree (or fresh pumpkin)
.       4 eggs
.       1 cup vegetable oil
.       2/3 cup water
.       3 cups white sugar 
.       3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
.       2 teaspoons baking soda
.       1 1/2 teaspoons salt
.       1 teaspoon vanilla extract
.       1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
.       1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
.       1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
.       1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three loaf pans.
2.     In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water, vanilla and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Mix the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
3.     Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven.

Warm and fresh Pumpkin Bread!
All ingredients on the counter for the pumpkin bread!
Beating all the wet ingredients together!
Just added the pumpkin to the mixture!
Yummy goodness right there!
Benton's Kitchen
Ready to be baked at 350 degrees (F)
Pumpkin Bread :)

Happy “Fall” ya’ll!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

No Bake Cookies- So Yummy!

Sometimes, you just need a good, old-fashioned, easy recipe that reminds you of home. For me, these cookies have it all. They are easy, quick and always delicious (not to mention, my husband LOVES them)! Take a little time and try them, you won’t regret it! 

2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa
1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups oatmeal (quickoats or old fashioned)
Waxed paper


In a heavy saucepan bring to a boil the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk. Let boil for 1 minute then add peanut butter, vanilla and oatmeal. On a sheet of waxed paper, drop mixture by the teaspoonfuls, until cooled and hardened. 
No Bake Cookies!
Chocolate mixture
Oh goodness...
Boiling yumminess!
Adding the peanut butter
And the "healthy" part, the oats ;)
Ready to be dipped out by the spoonful!
Finished product!

Enjoy with a tall cup of milk and some friends and family!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Happy Fall Ya’ll!

Fall is my absolute favorite season of the year. Pumpkins, football, cool weather, colorful leaves, fires, family, and friends. All of these components make up a perfect “fall” season to me. This will be our first “fall” in New Orleans but we are really excited about it! Looking forward to Voodoo Fest, Gumbo fest and all things “Cajun” this year. To get the season started, I went ahead and decorated our cottage for the season. Next weekend we are headed to the LSU game with some of our best friends to experience all this season has to offer in Tiger Country!

Fresh candy :) 
Fall decor and a picture of our family back home :)
Apothecary jars filled with Autumn decor
Hand towels in front of the oven

Flowers and a pumpkin
Our door hanger welcoming Autumn!

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful Sunday evening!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Blueberry Bliss!

As summer comes to an end and fall is close upon us I felt it was only right to make fresh blueberry muffins one last time before blueberries are out of season. My mom always made fresh blueberry muffins for my family growing up and it’s a tradition I would like to carryon with my family in the future. She would wake up early and have them baking in the oven on Saturday mornings. To me, they signified that the weekend was upon us and our family was together. Me and my brother could smell them through the vents in our rooms and it smelled just like “home”.  Here is the recipe I love to use especially with the streusel topping! Please enjoy!

Blueberry Muffins with Streusel topping
Muffin Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries

Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed (cold)

  •        Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  •        Combine 1 ½ cups flour, ¾ cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1-cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in fresh blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  •        To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, and 1/4 cup butter. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
  •        Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the pre-heated oven, or until done.
  •        Serve with fresh fruit and bacon or sausage!

 Flour mixture combined

Cleaned fresh Blueberries
Batter before adding the blueberries
Batter mixed together 

Batter with streusel topping- YUMM 

Finished product! So delicious with fresh fruit, bacon and coffee :)

Sizzling bacon to have along side the muffins

 My Little helper doing what he does best... Relax :)

With fall quickly approaching, next up on the menu for muffins will be Pumpkin! Thanks for reading and I hope you all are having a wonderful week!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Friday Pasta!

I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for a quick and healthy meal for any night of the week. When my husband and I lived in Birmingham, we found a Greek restaurant that served a special pasta dish on the weekends and it was wonderful. We decided to recreate it at home for a quick meal on the go and it has always been a hit. We’ve been cooking this “meal in a bowl” for about 3 years and it seems to get better with time! Please Enjoy!

Weekend Pasta Ingredients:
1 cup of each Farfalle and Fusilli pasta (uncooked)
1 lb of chicken cut into bite size pieces
2 T chopped basil (for garnish)
2T fresh feta cheese (for garnish)
½ bottle of your favorite creamy balsamic vinaigrette
¼ cup chopped tomatoes (for garnish)
1 head of butter lettuce (chopped)


Boil water and cook past according to instructions on the package.

 In a separate pan, sauté the chicken in the balsamic vinaigrette until tender, which is about 10 min. Once noodles and chicken are fully cooked, drain the noodles, and mix them together in a bowl adding more dressing if it’s dry.

Add salt and pepper to taste and plate in a pasta bowl. To begin, place chopped butter lettuce in the bottom of the bowl, then add pasta/chicken mixture. Once platted add feta, tomatoes and fresh basil to bring the meal full circle.

Fresh strawberries to accent this healthy meal.

Everyone knows cooking is much more fun with a friend! Tucker is quite the moral support in the kitchen! :)

Thanks for reading and I hope ya’ll enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

Monday, August 18, 2014

WHO DAT!! Go Saints!

My husband and I had the exciting privilege of attending the Saints pre-season opener at home this past weekend and it was an experience! This city LOVES their Saints and I can understand why. When we arrived at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome you could just see the area around the dome oozing with excitement. Everyone dressed is black and gold from head to toe and completely submerged in their team. My husband and I were both dressed in full SAINTS gear and felt right at home. I love the way this city really comes together to fully support and embrace their own. Many aromas accompanied us from buttered popcorn, to nachos, and even red beans and rice filled the stadium throughout the game. I must say, this city is spicy, and I love it! WHO DAT!

 All decked out in my Saints gear!

 Incredible Superdome!

 Go Saints!


 Mercedes-Benz Superdome

No evening is complete without a snowball from Sal's Sno-ball Stand! Delicious!

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful evening!