Happy Friday! Typically I reserve Fridays for my Weight Watchers update posts. I’m not proud to say that I fell off the wagon. I’m still making healthy decisions as far as portions go, but my sweet tooth is back with a vengeance! (You’ll see when you read what’s on my mind this morning.)
I plan to take a break from posting about Weight Watchers – unless a big loss happens – and focus on living a normal life while maintaining my weight.
Here’s what headlining my thoughts on this chilly fall morning in the midwest…
1. It’s time to decorate for Halloween
I saw this cute painted sign online and had to replicate it for myself!
Here’s my version! Sorry for the bad lighting, as I took this photo in the dark on the back deck. I purchased a 1x12x8 at Lowe’s and had it cut into 4 22″ long boards. I painted the orange background, traced my design, and carefully painted the details. I put these two in my flea market booth for $20 each. That was over a week ago and neither has sold. It may be time for a mark down! These cost me less than $5 each to make so there is plenty of room for profit. I have one in-progress that Jeremy says we’ll be keeping for ourselves 🙂
I also made this quick little door swag for our front door. It’s not totally beautiful, but I’m okay with that!
2. Oatmeal Scotchies… Where have you been all my life?
I bought this Nestle Toll House Cookie Dough on a whim… remember that sweet tooth I mentioned… and had no clue how delicious they would be or I would have snapped a pic! These cookies are so good. Buttery, oatmeal flavored without a ton of oatmeal texture, and the butterscotch chips take it to the next level. It will be tough to steer clear of the pre-made cookie dough section next time I’m at the grocery. They are THAT good.
3. Nuts about nuts!
Part of job my as a marketing coordinator is to keep people happy. I work at a privately-owned physical therapy clinic. There are three main groups of people that I do everything I can to keep people happy: #1 patients, #2 doctors (who refer us patients), and #3 employers/insurance adjusters (who refer us injured workers). I make holiday baskets and deliver them to doctor’s offices around Valentine’s Day, sometimes St. Patrick’s Day, National Ice Cream Day, beginning of Fall, and Christmas. This week I have been perfecting the fall baskets.
One of the hits from last year was homemade candied pecans. This year I chose a recipe that just didn’t turn out great and yielded burnt tasting nuts. Not good! For my second batch I tweaked a couple things and created this recipe. I could not be happier of how tasty and chewy these pecans are. The only change I made is that I cooked them for only 50 minutes to preserve a little chewiness to the pecans, while maintaining a crunchy sugary coating.
Easy Candied Pecans
- 1 pound pecan halves
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- dash of salt
- 1 egg while (I always buy jumbo eggs)
- 1 tablespoon water
- Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil. I recommend two layers of foil.
- Whisk together the egg white and water until it becomes frothy. In a separate bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar.
- Stir the pecans into the egg white mixture until all are wet & coated.
- Pour the cinnamon sugar mix over the wet pecans. Stir until all are covered with sugar.
- Spread these out on the baking sheet. I find that it does not need to be sprayed with cooking spray.
- Bake in 15 minute increments, stirring the nuts in between. I baked these for a total of 45 minutes, stirred, then put them back in the oven for an extra 5 minutes. Serve warm!
(Note: I recommend two layers of foil because your stirring can rip the foil, depending on how heavy duty your foil is.)
4. Comfort foods in the Crock Pot
This is quickly turning into a blog post all about food. Oh well! This morning I woke up early to prepare dinner. What – who am I… that’s what I was thinking as I rolled out of our warm bed 15 minutes earlier than usual.
Okay, I’m a chicken lover. I could eat chicken dishes all the time and be totally content. This week when I made our grocery list I had the bright idea to make a whole chicken in the crock pot. My mom did it from time to time when I was a kid and I have always thought that it yields some seriously juicy chicken. When we lived in apartment 136 I made a whole chicken on one occasion. It was pretty good, but bland. Before trying to make it again, I turned to Google for some inspiration.
This is the recipe I settled on. It seems like it will produce bold flavors and that’s what I’m all about. I turned the switch to Low at 6:45am. I should be home around 5pm if not before so it will get several hours to slowly cook. I plan to make mashed potatoes and green beans as side dishes.
I’ll report back.
5. Settling In
Last weekend while I was in Florida, Jeremy did a great job with unpacking and organizing the non-essentials. We have so much stuff – I didn’t even know where to begin with unpacking and finding a place for everything. I was so glad to walk in on Sunday evening and see how much he had accomplished!
We now have living room curtains, an area rug, and I am itching to get started repurposing a dresser I bought months ago. It will be our new entertainment center.
We are truly loving our new house and feel very much at home.
Have a great weekend!