Easy Brie & Fig Appetizer

Entertaining and the Holiday’s just seem to go hand in hand, don’t they? Nothing quite gets me into the spirit like filling my home with good friends and family, and great food! Whether you are hosting an elegant Christmas party, or you are just looking for a delicious and easy appetizer to wow the neighbors down the street, a Baked Brie and Fig in Phyllo Dough is sure to please!

Easy Brie & Fig App

Three simple steps are all that’s needed to make this elegant appetizer. Easy AND impressive?! Now that’s my idea of Holiday Baking! I bought all items needed from my local Walmart Super center which surprised even me. I had no idea that Walmart carries a wide variety of specialty cheeses, but they do, and boy was I glad to not make an extra stop!

For this recipe you will need:

  • one Brie cheese round
  • fig jam or preserves
  • 3-4 Phyllo Dough sheets, thawed but not warm
  • 1 tbs water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • sliced  baguette or crackers of your choice

This truly is as easy as one, two, three!

Spread your fig preserves liberally to the top of the Brie round.

Easy Brie & Fig App step 1

 

Easy Brie & Fig App step 2

Place the Brie with preserves in the middle of the phyllo dough and wrap the dough up around the cheese, allowing it come together at the top. Don’t worry if your creation looks less than elegant at this point, it really does end up pretty, I promise! Next, mix your beaten egg and water and brush the sides and top of the phyllo dough with your egg mixture. This your opportunity to “glue” any difficult or flakey pieces into place.

Easy Brie & Fig App step 3

Now pop that baby in an oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes and…voila! Golden puff pastry, baked to perfection and oozing with cheese and sweet fig. Can’t you almost taste it?  If you weren’t hungry before, I bet you are now…you’re welcome.

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

{Better Than Your Grandma’s} Stuffing Recipe

Whether it comes from a box or it’s Grandma’s special recipe, the stuffing is an essential part of every Thanksgiving feast.

Stuffing recipe

I must admit, I often default to (and really like) the stuffing that comes from a box. I always thought homemade stuffing seemed like quite the chore to prepare, but I was determined to find a delicious stuffing that didn’t require too many ingredients OR too much time in the kitchen.

Well, find it I did, and boy is it good!! I had most of the ingredients already in my pantry so, after a quick trip to the Walmart bakery for the freshest bread in town, I was ready to give this recipe a go!

apple sage and sausage stuffing recipe

Apple, Sausage, and Sage Stuffing

  • 1 loaf Italian bread cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 6 oz mild Italian sausage
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (I cheated and bought pre-cut)
  • 1 cup chopped celery (pre-cut again!)
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbs fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 apple cider
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Pinch of each salt, pepper, and parsley

1) Place bread cubes in an even layer on a baking sheet and bake 30 minutes or until bread is toasted/crispy. Place cooled bread cubes in a large bowl.

2)Brown sausage in pan then add to cooled bread, reserving sausage grease. Reheat pan and add chopped onions and celery, cooking until tender. Stir in apples and garlic, cook 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add salt, pepper and parsley. Stir.

3) Add vegetable mixture to bread and sausage. In a separate bowl, mix eggs, apple cider, and chicken stock. Carefully stir liquids into bread, sausage and vegetable mixture.

4) Coat a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray and add mixture to pan. Bake at 350 for 30-40 min or until liquid is absorbed and top is golden brown.

This easy and delicious stuffing truly gives the boxed stuffing and (gasp) even Grandma’s secret recipe a run for it’s money! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

My Favorite Fall Treat – Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Most of my friends know me as having a major sweet-tooth. This reputation does not come from my love of cakes, cookies, or sweet breads, but more from my love of candy! Sure, I love a good cake, but definitely have my favorites. Carrot Cake and Pumpkin Cake are two for which I would turn down even my most favored candy! Maybe it’s the cream cheese frosting…

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

My Grandmother, Mom, aunts, and sister, all make a killer carrot cake, but I first tasted Pumpkin Cake at a pumpkin farm in California many years ago, and instantly fell in love.

My sister and I found a recipe online a few years ago and modified it slightly to fit our tastes. The following is the recipe we now use, every Autumn, to create some of the BEST cake around! I’m sure there is a pumpkin farm around here, but getting fresh pumpkins at Walmart is just as good. You can even use a can of Libby’s Pumpkin Puree.

pumpkin cake recipe

PUMPKIN CAKE

2 cups fresh pumpkin puree (or 1-16 oz can of Libby’s Pumpkin Puree)
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 beaten eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped walnuts, optional

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Beat pumpkin, sugar, oil and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add eggs and mix well.
  • Combine dry ingredients, except nuts (if using) and gradually add to pumpkin mixture, beating until well blended.
  • Fold in nuts.
  • Pour into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan/dish.
  • Bake for 35- 40 minutes or until center tests done.
  • Cool completely before frosting.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

1-8oz package cream cheese
6 tablespoons softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4-2 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 teaspoons milk
chopped walnuts (optional)

  • Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth.
  • Gradually add sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
  • Add milk and beat until frosting is the spreading consistency you desire.
  • Frost cake and sprinkle with chopped nuts if you like.

Do you have a sweet tooth? What’s your favorite cake?
Let me know if you try my recipe for Punkin’ Cake and how you like it!
As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Chinese Chicken Salad {recipe}

I’m a fan of the rottiserie chicken. Our quick and convenient, go-to meal for the entire family consists of a couple of garlic rotisserie chickens, veggies, and fresh bread. We can feed our entire family for less than $20, and that’s a steal for a growing family of nine!

With any left-overs, I like to make my sister-in-law ‘s Chinese Chicken Salad, full of bite-sized pieces of juicy chicken. This salad is always a hit at our family potlucks and I only wish she could make and send me some. Her’s seems better than mine for some reason.

In stores at Walmart, right now, the hot rottiserie chicken is on rollback for $4.98, saving you $1 on each.

In celebration of the rotisserie chicken, I get to share the recipe today for Andrea’s tasty Chinese Chicken Salad. Make it tonight for a late night snack and it will taste even better tomorrow for lunch! Don’t worry, I’ll thank Andrea for you later!

Chinese Cabbage Salad 1

Annie’s Chinese Chicken Salad

Dressing
3 t sugar
3 t wine vinegar
1/2 t pepper
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 t salt
seasoning packet from chicken-flavored Top Ramen noodles

Add dressing to a mixture of cabbage, carrots, salad onions, sesame seeds, dry Ramen noodles, and Walmart’s garlic rottiserie chicken (cut in to bite-size pieces). Mix well, and serve.

chinese cabbage salad

 

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Easy Weeknight Meals {With Homemade Lasagna Sauce Recipe}

Our kiddos have been back to school for three weeks now. I feel like we’re just getting in to a good routine. Well, it’s a routine anyway.

Home.   Snack.   Homework.   Playtime.   Dinner.   Chores.   Showers.   Bed.

Every night. The same thing.

There is one thing that is generally not ever the same (in the same week, anyway!). And that is our evening meal. Dinner during the week has to be easy and quick to prepare, affordable (totally possible when shopping at Walmart), healthy, and delicious. Most of our kids like to help in the kitchen, so many of the meals we prepare are made with that in mind.

Monday is generally a rough day. You know how it is… everyone is tired and grumpy when the kiddos get home from school, and generally VERY hungry! Easy is the keyword for dinner on this day. Something prepared beforehand that can just be popped in the oven is best. The Breakfast Casserole can be thrown together in the morning, while the eggs and milk are already out, and then it’ll be just right to bake while the kids are burning off some of that negative energy on the trampoline.

Thursday is another challenging day around here. All homework and reading logs need to be turned in the next day, and there is studying to be done for quizzes to be taken on the morrow. Throwing a frozen HOMEMADE lasagna in the oven, is just the ticket for a smooth night.

By Friday night, we’re ready to PAR-TAY!!

Easy Weeknight Meals

Here is a sample of how our weekday meal plan would look ::

Monday – Breakfast for Dinner
Breakfast Casserole

Tuesday – A Family Affair
Sourdough Pizza
Garden Salad

Wednesday – Comfortable and Tasty
Meatloaf
Green Bean Casserole (It’s not just for the holidays!)
Mashed Potatoes

Thursday – A Taste of Italy
Lasagna with Homemade Sauce (recipe below)
Caesar Salad
Garlic Bread

Friday – Grill It Up!
Italian Inspired Pork Chops
Grilled Peppers and Asparagus
French Bread

~~~

Homemade Lasagna Sauce 

Ingredients:
2 28 oz. cans of tomato sauce
1 28 oz. can of stewed tomatoes
1 6 oz. can of tomato paste
1 pound of lean hamburger meat
2 large chopped onions
8 cloves of fresh diced garlic
2 Tbs. olive oil
4 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. salt
This should be enough sauce for two 15 x 9 inch lasagnes.

Directions:
In a large stock pot add tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, seasoning and
salt, cook on low and stir occasionally.
In a frying pan with 2 Tbs. olive oil lightly sauté the onions and garlic and then add the
meat. Cook slowly until done. Drain off any excess liquid and add meat, onions and
garlic to tomato sauce. Cook on low heat for two hours or until thickened to your liking. Add several more fresh chopped garlic cloves to the sauce before putting the lasagne
together.

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.