Easy and Skinny Pumpkin Muffins… and Racecars?

Last year I made a Pumpkin bread mix with just a can of pumpkin and water, rather than any oil or eggs. So I thought I would whip up some muffins the other day before Brent and I left, but realized the recipe was different for muffins. It called for eggs, oil, and a cup of milk. I knew I was going to use canned pumpkin instead of oil and eggs, so I decided to sub almond milk for regular milk and hope for the best! It worked out even better than I expected. The muffins were richer in flavor and creamier than I’ve ever made before. Basically you trade oil evenly for pumpkin: 1/3 cup oil = 1/3 cup pumpkin. For every egg sub 1/4 cup of pumpkin. I used 1 cup of almond milk when it called for 1 cup of milk. Then I mixed it all with the box of Pumpkin Quick Bread mix and popped it in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
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Truett calls them Pumpkin Cupcakes and loves to have them any time of the day.
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This passed Friday, after I ran Hadley up to school after lunch, our babysitter got to the house. Truett went down for a nap and wee jumped in the truck to go check out Brent’s birthday present. He had no idea where we were going or what for, so I punched in the address to the GPS and we just chatted about different things for the hour and a half drive. When we started getting close to the exit, I was reaching for my phone to take a video of his reaction, because the Speedway was right at the end of the exit. What I didn’t realize was that there was a huge sign before the exit that said “Hallett Motor Speedway Exit ###”. He looked at me with this big grin and said, “Babe – is that where we are going? Tell me thats where we are going!!” I was bummed I missed the craziness and the woohoo-ing, but he was so so excited! Then there was a gap in the trees where you could see it was a road course, instead of a circle track. That got him even more amped up. When we finally pulled up, the gates were closed because you have to drive across the course to check in. He was talking about it and then saw some of the cars go by. A Ferrari, Audi, Porsche…. he was making noises only a man can make when they see ridiculously fast cars. I told him that he got to drive one of those cars and started saying, “the ferrari? the porsche? tell me its the ferrari?” Then I was kind of bummed! Because I got him the Lamborghini!! Before I could even get it out of my mouth you could hear the Lamborghini approaching. He looked up and saw it fly by, and I told him that was the one. He just kept saying “This is so awesome. Great job babe! I can’t believe you did this!” I was pretty proud of myself!!

I sat in on the safety class before hand, and then we went outside. Where it had dropped to 40 degrees and started raining. Uuuuuugh. I brought a hat and a scarf and threw them on with my jacket. He went to the track and I went to the pit to watch him get fitted for his helmet and wait for the car to pull up. When he got in, there was an instructor inside who was explaining exactly how to get the most out of the car. I took some videos of him flying by, he was doing about 130 on the straightaways. When he finished, he said he definitely wasn’t cold anymore!
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We drove back towards home and decided to grab some dinner, so we went to a great little restaurant by the house. When we got home, the house was picked up, the kids rooms were clean, they were in their jammies and waiting for us to put them to bed! Talk about a great babysitter. We couldn’t be happier and love having someone we trust so much with our kiddos.

Hope you guys are having a great Monday!

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Green Chile Chicken Bacon Mac

I am finally starting to feel like we are getting back to some sense of normalcy around here. After multiple weddings (two of which I was in), birthdays, packing, moving, unpacking, getting our 4 year old comfortable in her Pre-K class, traveling to Texas and New Mexico, I am so excited to have a few weeks to just be.

My hubby is back in school again this semester, another full load of classes after work three nights a week. Hadley is in afternoon Pre-K class (which she loves), and Truett – well, he’s almost 2. That should say enough about him right there, right? His birthday is next Saturday, which is so hard for me to comprehend, but we will be having a little party for him the next weekend. This will be our first official party in the new house, so I am getting really excited. I LOVE parties.

Since Brent is in class until after dinner two to three nights a week, I have been trying to plan easy to prepare dinners for those nights. The kids are also at an age where they love to play together, and really play well together. In our new house we opted to not have a play room, but to give them bigger bedrooms. We can fit all of their toys, dress-up clothes, train table, basketball hoop, baby beds…everything… in their new bedrooms. It is so nice to actually have a study and a formal dining room to be used as we intended.

After I pick Hadley up from school, we usually play outside for a while and then they come in and go in one of their rooms and play while I cook dinner. Last night, they destroyed their rooms, but I made a yummy dinner that they both ate, so it was worth it! Plus we cleaned their rooms before bathtime anyway. I found this recipe on Pinterest, here is the from over at Picky Palate. During the fall I use a LOT of green chile in my recipes. It is delicious and warms up all of our fall/winter meals. I did change it up a little, based on things I had in the pantry. Brent was even saying this could be a good “leftover” meal, as far as throwing in pretty much anything to make it delicious.

I substituted Quinoa for the elbow macaroni, and I also used 12 slices of cooked turkey bacon, instead of a pound of cooked pork bacon. It turned out great, everyone ate it, and Brent said he really liked it. Here is how I did it!

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Ingredients:
Quinoa – 1 cup dry. Prepare according to instructions and set aside
2 large chicken breasts – cook, chop, and set aside.
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup flour
2 cups Milk (I used lowfat)
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (would also be good with jack or colby)
salt
pepper
1 cup of chopped green chiles (or two 4oz cans)
12 slices of turkey bacon, cooked and chopped
1/2 cup Salsa Verde (tomatillo salsa)

First I cooked the quinoa and the chicken and set them both aside. I also cooked the bacon and chopped it up into small pieces. If you use fresh green chile, peel it and chop it up, or use 2 small cans of the chopped chile from the store. To make the Rue, you melt the butter and then add in the flour. Whisk together until its well mixed, and then keep stirring for 2-3 minutes, and it will start to get a little darker in color. Pour in the milk and whisk until it thickens, 3-4 minutes. Then pour in the shredded cheese, and stir until its melted. Season with salt and pepper. I made the sauce in a large sauce pan, so that I could just pour everything else into it. In went the quinoa, chicken, green chile, bacon, and salsa verde. Mix well and enjoy!

I topped mine with some extra salsa verde because it is just so delicious!! It is not spicy at all, unless the chiles you use are hot, which mine are not. I have plenty of leftovers to have it for lunch today, yum!

Brent’s birthday was last week, but he is getting his present from me tomorrow afternoon! He has no idea what it is, so I will post pictures afterwards!! I’m so excited!