Two Weeks Off.. Baking Time!

So today marks one week off of school (with one more week to go)!  “What have you been doing?” You may ask.  Well it has been raining hurricane-like rains for an entire week, so I have been crafting (project updates to come), cooking and baking for an entire week!  I LOVE Fall because it means pumpkin and apple recipes and warm drinks and cold noses.  Here is a breakdown of the things I have made this week and my opinions of the recipes:

 

1)  Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Image

Taste Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars

Summary:  Easy recipe to make because I had everything around the house.  No eggs needed!  Made with Hungry Jack Mix.  Make sure to follow directions and place into balls as said.  Makes the removal / cutting so easy! 

Tips:  Add more sour cream for a moister bread.  It was good day of, but by the end of the second day it was not as moist.

 

2)  Baked Eggplant Parmesan 

Image

Taste Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Summary: Normal eggplant parmesan recipe.  Use homemade sauce to make it even better!  Liked the idea of breading them and then cooking for 10 minutes on each side.  More than enough time to allow them to crisp up before baking.

Tips:  Cut eggplant to 1/4 of an inch.. not too thin but not too thick either.

 

3)  Crockpot Applesauce

Image

Taste Rating: 3.5 / 5  

Summary:  Easy recipe! Skin apples, use apple corer and then throw into crockpot with toppings.  Done in 3 hours.  

Tips: I didn’t enjoy the taste of the brown sugar, but my husband did.  It seemed very sweet.  Use caution with the amount.  

 

4)  Easy Apple Cider Pork Tenderloin

Image

Taste Rating: 4 / 5 

Summary:  Yummy!  One of the best pork tenderloins I’ve made.  Great Fall flavors.  I served with the applesauce above and asparagus parmesan risotto.

Tips:  It might be good to try some rosemary with the thyme as well.  I allowed the pork tenderloin to marinade for about an hour before cooking, but you could do more.  Made it very moist.  I didn’t throw the pork onto the stove first, just put straight in oven.

5) Caramel Stuffed Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

 

Image

Taste Rating: 5 / 5!!!!!!! 

Summary:  The best tasting most amazing scrumptious cookies you will ever try.  I don’t like snickerdoodles and my husband doesn’t love pumpkin and these were the best non-chocolate cookies I’ve ever made. YUM! Make them.

Tips:  Make them now.  Make them later.  And then make some more because they will be gone.  I only put dough in fridge for 30 minutes to save time and they came out great.

 

6)  Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Image

Taste Rating: 3.5 / 5 

Summary:  Very easy to make!  Used the rest of the canned pumpkin that I didn’t use in the recipe above.   

Tips:  I added regular sugar to topping as well because brown sugar / cinnamon were a little strong.  Taste topping before adding to top. Also 25 minutes was more than enough time.  No need for more!

 

5 Steps to a Better Week

This weekend was a VERY productive one: Partially because I was majorly behind on cleaning, and partially because I’ll be working the next three weekends because the AP test is in 3 weeks! So I decided that I needed to get the house SUPER clean and organized so I wouldn’t lose my mind later on. But in doing all of the things I had to do this weekend I devised a plan for the future in order to make sure the next three weeks are not pure hell. Note: I do all of these already periodically, but could be more consistent on each.

1.) Plan ahead for meals- I do this each week. On Saturday (at latest) I choose recipes for the week, usually from Pinterest, and email my husband and I a shopping list.

2.) cook enough for leftovers- I do this every night almost, and when I don’t I regret it. Of course it’s easy for us since most recipes feed four and there’s only 2 of us. But rob and I have leftovers at least twice a week for lunch. After dinner I split the remainders up into single portions in travel containers.

3.) clean a little each day – I need to be better at this, but the plan is simple. Split your cleaning up throughout the week. Clean one bathroom Monday and one on Tuesday, sweep the floors every day and wash them once a week, wash windows Thursday, etc. Usually I leave it all for one day but I am trying a new routine.

4.) do some laundry during the week (instead of saving it all for the weekend.)- there’s nothing worse than spending all Sat or Sunday morning doing laundry. Do yourself a favor and do a few loads on Wednesday or Thursday!

5.) choose your outfits the night before – this one is a no brainer. If you’re like me, and I’m going to assume most women are, picking out your outfit before work can be a 15 minute ordeal. Save yourself time (AND STRESS) in the morning by picking it out the night before after checking out the weather. I put mine laid out in the guest room.

Hope this post helps you have a better week!