Sunday, December 17, 2017

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie Recipe

I have been craving pecan pie for months and not just any pecan pie... I remembered a chocolate chip pecan pie that I had made years and years ago.

I wasn't sure I was going to remember how to make it but I decided I had to give it a try.

For my pie I needed:

one pie crust (I used this recipe)
1 cup chocolate chips
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup corn syrup (I prefer light)
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted (and cooled)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cups pecan halves

I rolled out my pie crust and lined my pie plate and preheated the oven to 350.

Then I poured in 1 cup of chocolate chips; making sure the bottom of the crust was even layered with them.

In a separate bowl I mixed together the eggs, corn syrup, butter, sugar, and vanilla.  I added the pecans to my pie plate and poured the egg mixture over the whole thing.  I then covered up the edges of my pie with tin foil and popped the whole thing in my preheated oven.

I baked the pie at 350 for 25 minutes.

I removed the foil and continued baking for another 25 minutes or so until the knife inserted in the middle of the pie came out clean.

I set it aside to cool before slicing into it.

It takes a bit like pecan pie meets Tollhouse pie and it was gone in just a few short days!

I prefer my pie heated just a bit so the chocolate is nice and melted then top the whole thing off with a nice big dollop of Cool Whip!

Linking Up With:

Happiness is Homemade Link Party
The Lazy Gastronome

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Easy Oven Baked Vegetable and Cheese Quesadillas

I am always looking for quick and easy weeknight meals that the whole family can enjoy.  I have two pretty picky eaters so finding something we can all enjoy is often a challenge unless I want to serve pizza or spaghetti each and every night.

I decided to try making quesadillas last week and told the boys that they could pick from any of the ingredients I had assembled.

I planned to make them meatless and full of vegetables but knew that might not go over so well.

First I pulled out all the ingredients to make 4 quesadillas:

Large flour tortillas- 8
4 cups of Colby jack and cheddar cheese, shredded
frozen chopped spinach; thawed
broccoli, cooked cut into bit sized pieces
mushrooms, sauteed

I then laid two tortillas on a cookie sheet and added the individual toppings.

Evan just wanted cheese and Ian begged to have cheese and pepperoni on his.  I did have pre- sliced pepperoni in the fridge so I let him make his own.

I then added a second tortilla on top and slid it into the preheated oven at 350 for 15 minutes.

While the boys quesadillas were cooking I made some for my husband and myself.  I laid two more tortillas on a second cookie sheet and laid out some spinach and broccoli.

I topped the spinach and broccoli with cheese and sauteed mushrooms then put the final tortilla on top and slid them into the oven for 15 minutes just as soon as the first batch was all finished.

You'll know they're done when they turn a nice golden brown and the cheese is nicely melted.

Once all the quesadillas were cooked I cut them into quarters and served them with salsa and sour cream. 

They were delicious and so flavorful! 

We will definitely be making these more often!

Linking Up With:

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #127
Across the Boulevard
The Lazy Gastronome

Friday, December 15, 2017

Weekly Wrap- Up: The First Snowstorm of the Winter

We actually had snow a few times this week and while I can not say I am much of a fan of the cold, wet, white stuff, my boys sure are!  They were thrilled each and every time we saw flakes in the sky and they were always anxious to gear up and head out to play in it too.  We made more of an effort to be home this week and so much fun working on Christmas gifts and crafts.  We did take a trip one day to see some butterflies and to check out the holiday decorations at the Yankee Candle flagship store.  How was your week?

Friday the boys and I were out of the house quite early.  We had plans to meet friends at Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory and Gardens and then we were heading down the road to spent the day at the Yankee Candle Village and Flagship store.  I know what you're thinking... why would we plan to spend a day at a store but the village is so much more than that!  With room upon room filled with Christmas decorations, themed trees, hands on activities, and demonstrations we just knew it would take us a day to tour.  We had a fabulous time at both places and I think it might have finally helped put me in the holiday mood.

Evan had such a fun time smelling the different candle scents he convinced me to buy quite a few! 

Alec's favorite--- a "baking" tree

It snows in one of the rooms of the village every 4 minutes

We got learn all about the history of candle making in New England.
We woke to snow.. that just kept coming down all day on Saturday.  Ian headed off to work with his grandfather in the morning while Alec decided to make some sugar cookies-- all by himself!  The younger boys clamored to light our new candle warmer and pick out a winter scent for us all to enjoy from our trip on Friday and then donned their snow gear to head out to play.  Ian and my husband spent most of the late afternoon and even part of the evening our plowing and shoveling while the younger boys and I cozied up by the fire. We ended our night with a few family games of Phase 10 Twist and Exploding Kittens.

Sunday Ian headed out with his father to do some plowing while the younger boys and I geared up to go play in the snow.  We finally had the right kind of snow to make snowballs! After walking around and playing outside for a bit we headed in to warm up by the fire.  We spent much of the day inside. I managed to finish up all my Christmas wrapping... and then ordered a few more online gifts.

We finally made time to put our gingerbread house together on Monday.  After the boys finished up some schoolwork we did some grocery shopping and after everything was put away and we had a late lunch.  Evan, Ian and I went on a walk just around the neighborhood.  Ian worked on building a rock wall in his turtle tank around his filter and Alec spent much of the day in his room coloring and listening to Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief.

While Alec was at karate on Tuesday Ian, Evan, and I headed to Target for some shopping. After karate we went to Dunkin Donuts and the library so it was well after lunch time by the time we arrived back home.  Evan had picked up a new Lego set for himself and spent most of the afternoon putting it together.  Ian and I played a few rounds of Yahtzee and Alec read a couple of books.  He finished Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief and asked me to order him the next book on CD to listen to.  He's having such a great time re-listening to one of his favorite series by himself in his room wit his art supplies and markers that we often "lost" him over the course of the last week only to find him snuggled up in his room coloring away.

Reading The Witch Boy during lunch

Evan's new set; all put together.

I asked the boys to help me out on Wednesday with some fun holiday baking once their schoolwork was all done.  Evan wanted to make a double batch of Chex mix so I helped him with that while Alec cooked up some pasta and sauce for lunch.  The older two boys wrapped all the Christmas gifts they're giving out this year and then Alec helped me make some Oreo reindeer and Santa cookies.  I also made some Nutter Butter penguins and all three boys gladly offered to taste them for me.  All three boys played Legos together and we had to breaks now and then to watch beavers frolicking on the ice near our house; we have seen many signs of beavers around but this is the first time we have seen the actual beavers and we were thrilled to realize there were actually two of them!  We also saw a huge bird in the tree nearby and with the help of binoculars we narrowed it down to either be a bald eagle or a hawk; it was hard to tell with the light shining behind it.

The large bird was mostly in shadow since the light was behind it but we could see a lighter head and chest with the binoculars

These are the two beavers

I tried to get a close up picture but they were a good ways away from the house and my camera can only zoom so much. 
Alec had a dentist appointment on Thursday and we woke to more snow; luckily not enough to have to cancel his appointment.   The boys got their schoolwork completed and we started a new craft project; straw weaving!  Alec and Evan each made a bookmark while I made myself a scarf.  Ian spent most of the day in his room creating his own trucks out of Lego pieces.  Once his bookmark was completed Alec decided to settle on the couch listening to music and coloring in his book.  He finished up two more pages.  The beavers came back to visit real close to the house again and with the help of the zoom lens and our binoculars we discovered that they're actually muskrats!  Ian helped Alec learn to play cribbage and I spent the afternoon coaching him.

Evan's completed bookmark 

my scarf
Alec's bookmark; he made sure it had a pattern to it. 

This is the book that Alec got ALL of his coloring from this week:

Color by Number Color Counts: Tropical

Linking Up With:

Home Matters Linky Party - Grab Button

Homeschool Coffee Break