Pecan Pie Handpies

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Happy happy happy Halloween!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays because I love dressing up and seeing a bunch of kids walking around like Spiderman and Cinderella.  No, I do not find it a devilish holiday.  Halloween is what you make it people!

Rant over.

I decided to dress up as a scarecrow for Halloween.  Originally, B and I were planning on being Daphne and Shaggy from Scooby Doo, but he had work so I had a change of plans.

But the costume only cost me $4 from the dollar store and I had everything else!  Plus, I thought mine looked cuter thanthe store bought ones!  Homemade=good.

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Crow-$1, Leaves-$1, Flowers-$1, Straw-$1

Everything else I had on hand.  And I got a lot of complements!  If you guys ever need a last minute costume, this is the way to go!  You can even add a straw hat, which I didn’t have and didn’t want to buy.

Now on to the handpies.

I think the word handpies sounds really weird.  I don’t know why.  Luckily, they’re just delicious.

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And they don’t take all that much time.  Maybe an hour without refrigeration time?

Also, take my word and make your own pie crust, okay?  Will you just listen to me?  Will you just do it?

Please and thank you.

Ingredients for pie crust:

1 1/4 c. AP flour

1 Tbs. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 stick butter

1/4 c. ice water

Whisk flour, sugar, and salt together.  Cut cold, cubed butter into the flour mix with a pastry cutter or two knives until they are the size of peas.  Add water and mix with a spoon.  Knead ten times.

Flatten and store in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for about two hours or overnight.

Filling Ingredients

1 c. pecans, chopped

1/2 c. brown sugar, packed firmly

1/3 c. heavy cream

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/8 tsp. allspice

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.

Chai Glaze:

1/4 c. powdered sugar

2 Tbs. milk

1-2 Tbs. Chai powdered mix (I LOVE the Costco kind)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

Egg wash=1 egg+about 2 Tbs. water whisked together

Directions

To make handpies, roll out the dough until about 1/8 inch thick.  Cut cirlces with a large cookie cutter and refrigerate until you are ready to use them.

Spoon about 2 Tbs. of filling into the middle of each circle.  Fold them over and seal them together with egg wash.  Using the tines of a fork, seal the edges together.

Bake at 350* until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.

Spoon Chai glaze over handpies.

Serve either warm or cold.  They’re delicious either way!

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Eat them outside with coffee on a cool fall morning.  They scream fall and they are so comforting.

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Make these and then smile and be happy for the rest of your fall.  Or winter.  These are multi-seasonal.

Have a great rest of your Halloween everybody!

XOXO Sara

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Healthy Lunch Week 1: Cheese, Cracker, and Hummus Plate

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Hi everyone!

I hope everyone is having a fabulous and safe Halloween!  Look for my next post for a fun fall treat and my homemade Halloween costume!

But for now, why don’t you take a look at my new series (is that the right word?) that I will be doing on my blog!  Since I am always coming up with new easy, healthy lunch ideas, I’ve decided to start posting one every week to hopefully inspire you all to eat healthy!

My goal is to try to fit in a whole grain, a dairy item, protein, and a veggie and/or fruit.

If you guys have any sort of ideas or requests that you would like to pitch, just comment or email me!

Now to start:

I started with cheese and crackers because everyone likes those.  I added some hummus and carrots because why not?  They’re healthy.  They’re delicious.  They win.

Hummus always wins.

Nutritional facts:

Brown Rice Triscuits with Salt and Pepper (1 serving, 6 crackers)…130 calories, 5 grams fat

Lower fat cheddar cheese (1 serving, 1 ounce)…50 calories, 2 grams fat

Baby carrots (1 serving, 8-10 calories)…15 calories, 0 grams fat

Hummus (1 serving, 2 Tbs.)…50 calories, 2 grams fat

1 glass orange juice (1 serving, 8 ounces) (not pictured)…110 calories, 0 grams fat

Total: 355 calories, 9 grams fat

*Try not to worry about 9 grams of fat.  It may sound like a lot, but the fat in hummus in all healthy olive oil fats like monosaturated fatty acids.

*If you are worried about 110 calories for orange juice, you can go for a lower cal option like Trop50, iced tea, or water.  However, as long as you keep the juice to 8 oz. it is good for you!  Under 400 calories for one meal is a good deal.

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And who can resist this?  It looks delicious!  And easy!  I can dig it.

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And if you’re still hungry, add some grapes, an apple, or a banana.  They always seem to fill me up for few calories!

Tune in next week for another healthy, delicious meal!

XOXO Sara

DIY Dollar Store Halloween Wreath

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Happy Halloween….almost!

Reno is so super chilly right now.  Like, so chilly that it snowed all night so that when I woke up there was snow all over the ground!  I’ve never woken up to snow before so that was awesome.  Perks of living super close to the mountains.  The middle of the city doesn’t get any snow!

Yay us.

But like I said, it’s so cold.  Like, I am having a really hard time typing right now because my fingers are so cold.

The things I do for you people.

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With Halloween just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to make a festive wreath to celebrate.  I decorated the rest of my house with Halloween too, but this is probably my favorite decoration I have.

And yeah, I know…Halloween is Thursday so I’m kind of getting to this kind of late.  But now you can get all your ribbon on sale on Friday and make it for next year!

Luckily for those of you who want to make one before your trick or treaters arrive, this was less than $2 to make.  Frugal score.

Actually, does anyone else hate the word frugal too, or is that just me?  So inexpensive score?  Cheap score?  Whatever, it looks cute.

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Things You’ll Need

1 stick wreath from the dollar store (they’re a little smaller than normal stick wreaths, but still cute!)

Black paint (or whatever color you like)

1-3 kinds of ribbon (I found that two looked best)

Hot glue (with glue gun, obvi)

Fake spider webs

Spider ring (optional)

Total cost:  $1 for wreath, $2 for ribbon (only used probably $.25 of it though), $1 for fake spider web (probably used about $.05 of it), had hot glue/gun, had black paint (cheap at store though!)= Like I said, under $2 but I don’t know the for sure price.

Directions:

Paint wreath using a sponge brush.  You could also spray paint it, but I liked the brown showing through the black paint a little bit.  Let the wreath dry for 2 hours or overnight depending on how much paint you use.

When dry, flip the wreath over and glue strips of ribbon opposite sides from each other.  Put as much as you want, and cross a few to make it look cute!

Glue a few strings of fake web across from each other as well.  Spread them to make them look more “webby”.

Add a spider ring if you want!  I did later on which is why only one of my pictures has a spider on it.  But isn’t it so much cuter?!

I think so.

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I think it would also be so cute to use orange, purple, or green ribbon for the wreath but since my door is a blueish gray, I decided black and white would look best.

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Without drying time, this wreath took me about 30 minutes.  That’s my type of project!

Just add a little ribbon on top and hang on your door.  I got a wreath hanger at WalMart for $3.  Worth it.

Hope you all have a great Halloween!

What are you guys going to be?  B and I were going to be Shaggy and Daphne (and Lacy was going to be Scooby) but he has to work so now I’m going to be a scarecrow.  Another DIY?  Perhaps.

Have a great week!

XOXO Sara

Cream Cheese Sausage Roll Ups

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Midterms are finally over.  Hallelujah.

This past week was what I liked to call “hell week”.  First, midterms all week.  Also, school from 9ish-12ish everyday, work from 12:30-6 after that, and then go home, study, and go to sleep.

Needless, to say, I did not eat healthy or work out all week.  Partly because I didn’t have time and partly because I was feeling sorry for myself.

Because normally my work day and school day only goes from 6:30-12ish.  Which gives me plenty of time to do homework, clean, make dinner, and exercise.

I’m kind of a princess aren’t I?

But this week should be much, much better, and it’s only a four day week because this coming weekend is Nevada Day (Thanks Nevada!)  And my mom is coming to see me!!!  Needless to say, I’m excited.  SO EXCITED.

Plus I got to make these delicious roll ups for dinner this weekend.  Like I said, I normally cook healthy.  But on the weekends I like to have more fun with my cooking by making whatever I want.

The normal schedule is dinner out on Friday, easy meal/breakfast for dinner Saturday night, nice Sunday night dinner.  Anyone else have these kinds of traditions?  It’s what my mom does at home too!  Some things never change, even if you move away 😉

Anyways, about these cream cheese sausage roll ups.  It’s one of B’s faves and it’s a family recipe.  His brother sent it to me and I adapted it just a tad.  And thus, Brandon was a very, very happy man 🙂

P.S. These taste kind of like biscuits and gravy, which is one of my favorites!  Luckily, these are easier!

P.P.S. These are great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Ingredients:

1-2 package(s) refrigerated croissant dough (cresent roll dough)

1 lb. breakfast sausage, regular

8 oz. cream cheese

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. mustard powder

Salt and pepper, to taste

First, prepare by opening the roll(s) of dough.  Spread it out so that it is flat.  Preheat the oven to 350* F.

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Brown the sausage in a pan.  Drain fat.

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Add cream cheese, garlic powder, mustard powder, salt, and pepper.  Mix together.

(I know, it’s not very pretty.  But it’s delicious!)

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Place about 3 Tbs. of mixture into each triangle (for 1 package dough) or 1-2 Tbs. of mixture into each triangle (for 2 packages of dough).  (I like it better with less filling, so next time I will use 2 rolls of dough.  If you like lots of filling though, go for 1 package :))  Roll them up around the dough and place on greased baking sheets.  Some of them were messy because Brandon and I had an important rerun of The Office to get to, and the commercial break was over!

Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve these babies!  Yum!

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They’re even kind of pretty rolled up and baked (in my opinion).

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I would serve them with orange juice.  Just my opinion.

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You could even make them mini for appetizers!

Because that’s what I would do.

Have a great week everyone!   And if this is your hell week, good luck my friend.

XOXO Sara

Warm Cinnamon Sticks with Vanilla Glaze

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Doesn’t the title say enough?  Why wouldn’t you want something that is described as “warm” “cinnamon” and “glazed”?

Those are three good things all rolled together in one.

Last weekend Brandon and I were pretty burned out from our week at school and work.  So we decided on a pizza/TV night.  Brandon made some BBQ chicken pizza and I whipped up these babies and we watched The Office reruns.  The definition of our perfect night.

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Yep.  That’s a good thing.  And they’re soooo easy.  They took about 15 minutes to throw together.  Including baking time.

Hells yeah.  That’s my kind of quick and easy dessert.

Also, what’s up with me and the slang lately?  Hells yeah?  Hollah?

Must be all this delicious food getting to my head.

Cinnamon Sticks Ingredients:

1 pizza dough (needs to be prebaked.  I used Pillsbury but will try a homemade recipe next time)

1/4 c. butter, melted

1/4 c. sugar

1/4 c. brown sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

Dash salt

Glaze Ingredients:

1/2 c. powdered sugar, sifted

2-3 Tbs. milk (to make it slightly runny)

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Dash salt

Preheat oven to 350* F.  Roll pizza dough on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Mix together sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.

Brush pizza dough with butter.  Sprinkle with sugar-cinnamon mixture.

Bake for 10 minutes.  Cut into “sticks”.

Done!

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To make glaze, mix all ingredients together.  Drizzle over cinnamon sticks.

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Drizzle it real good.

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Eat them.  Watch a movie.  Be happy for forever.

XOXO Sara

Light Lasagna Roll Ups

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Hey all!

How’s the weather in your area?  Reno is FREEZING although I guess it is a lot colder than it normally is in October.  But I’m not complaining!  Bring on the snow.  Bring on the comfort food!

Which brings me to this post.  How is Italian food not comforting?  Especially lasagna.  It’s da best (in my personal opinion).

These are boyfriend approved (Brandon loooooved these) so that’s a bonus  Another one?  They take 30 minutes to prepare.  Another one?  They’re a lightened up version of lasagna.  Niiiiiice.

That’s a lot of bonuses.  Hollah.

Is it lame to say “hollah”.  Is that how you spell it?  Too bad.  I’m using it anyways.

Lasagna will do that to a person.

Ingredients:

8 lasagna noodles

1 recipe tomato sauce (try my spicy marinara sauce)

1/2 lb. turkey sausage or ground sausage (I did not use, but probably will next time)

7.5 ounces reduced fat ricotta

1/4 c. part skim Mozzarella (plus 1/4 c. for the top)

2 Tbs. Parmesan (plus 2 Tbs. for top)

1 egg

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. parsley flakes (plus more for the top)

3/4 c. spinach (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350* F.  Boil lasagna noodles for 6-7 minutes.  We want them to be a little firm, because they will be baked in sauce later.

Meanwhile, mix together ricotta, Mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, salt, parsley flakes, and spinach if using.  Spread about 3 Tbs. of mixture onto each lasagna noodle and roll up.  Set aside.

Spread about 1/4 c. tomato sauce on the bottom of a greased casserole dish.  Line each lasagna roll next to each other.  Top with the rest of the tomato sauce.  Sprinkle the tops with extra Mozzarella, Parmesan, and parsley flakes.  Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

I served mine with green beans!  We were two very happy peeps.

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I mean, look at those.  How could you not be?

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These are also really good warmed up the next day after all the flavors meld together.

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Does staring at all these pictures of lasagna roll ups make you want lasagna roll ups?  (Because this is working for me).

Alternatives:

  • Vegetarian:  This is vegetarian if you make it how I did!
  • Vegan:  Use crumbled tofu or cauliflower (see below) in place of ricotta.  Leave out the rest of the cheese.
  • Gluten Free:  Use eggplant, zucchini, or gluten free lasagna noodles in place of regular noodles.
  • Paleo:  Replace noodles with eggplant or zucchini.  Replace ricotta with cauliflower (steam and then blend in a blender or food processor with garlic and Italian spices).  Leave out Mozzarella and Parmesan.  Add meat.

Have a great rest of your week!

XOXO Sara