Wednesday, October 29, 2014

No Bake Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie

Hi Friends!

I love having pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, and there are so many different variations out there. I usually make at least one pie the traditional way, but since a few family members aren't fond of the texture, I also like to offer other dessert options so that there is something for everyone to enjoy. After all, this is one meal you want your guests to like! This No Bake Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie is not only one of the kids' favorites, but it's also super easy to make.

no bake pumpkin pie with ice cream cool whip and chocolate and caramel sauce

The ingredients are simple, and you can whip this up in no time at all. And, since it can still be warm here on Thanksgiving, it's nice to have something cool after a hot meal. I usually make two pies at once because we have a lot of people to feed, but you can make one, two, three or more! 

  • I/2 gallon of Blue Bell Spiced Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream
  • 1 graham cracker pie crust
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Caramel sauce (I've got an easy recipe.)
  • Your favorite whipped topping
  • Chocolate and pumpkin-flavored chips 
I love the combination of chocolate and pumpkin, so I start by adding a layer of chocolate syrup to the bottom of the pie crust and then chilling the crust for a bit until the syrup firms up. Then, it's time to load the crust with the ice cream. 

fill graham cracker crust with blue bell pumpkin pecan ice cream

Return the pie to the freezer for an hour or so, until the ice cream is firm. Then, slather on the whipped cream, Cool Whip or whatever kind of whipped topping you prefer. Adding some chocolate chips and pumpkin chips gives the pie a more festive look that's perfect for Thanksgiving!

no bake pumpkin ice cream pie with cool whip and chocolate chips

You could definitely stop there, but I love taking these pies to the next level. I topped this one with a mixture of chocolate syrup and salted caramel sauce, which goes really well with the pecan flavor of the ice cream.

Now, here's an easy peasy way to make a quick salted caramel sauce: Just take a few mini Milky Way caramel bars and melt them with some heavy cream. Stir until smooth, and then add a pinch of sea salt -- yum!

no bake pumpkin pecan ice cream pie on a plate

Doesn't it look delish?! You could use any brand or flavor of pumpkin ice cream, but we happened to try the Blue Bell, and I loved the subtle pecan flavor.

Thanks so much for visiting. I hope you enjoy this easy pumpkin pie as much as we do!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Retro Repin Party

Hello Pinners!

It's almost Halloween, and our little Retro Repin party is now in it's 16th week! That's right, it's our Sweet 16 today, and I'm so glad to have you here. Do you have pins that could use more Pinterest love? If so, this is where you want to be. And just to give your pins some extra exposure, we have started doing weekly features. Since each host picks her own favorite, make sure to visit the other blogs and see what lucky pins have been chosen to shine t his week.

Since it's nearly Halloween, I chose these tasty-looking Halloween Magic Bars from the Cookie Puzzle as my feature this week. Don't they look tempting? It would be great if you all can click on the link and re-pin this recipe. If you can't make it before Friday, these colors would be great for Thanksgiving too!

The Cookie Puzzle: Halloween Magic Bars

Remember to link up one or two of your favorite pins, not posts. The idea is to have your pins re-pinned, which is awesome for you and wonderful for us because it makes it easier for us to get your links pinned as fast as possible. Get it? Great! 

Meet your party hosts!

retro repin party on meatloaf and melodrama

Kristina and Millie @ 2 Crochet Hooks: Blog/Pinterest
Dee @ Meatloaf and Melodrama: Blog/Pinterest
Stephanie @ Sustaining the Powers: Blog/Pinterest
Becka @ Probably Crafting: Blog/Pinterest
Felicia @ Nifty Thrifty Family: Blog/Pinterest
Leslie @ Crafty Side of Sarcasm: Blog/Pinterest
Julie V. @ Somebody's Dinner: Blog/Pinterest
Robin @ Redo It Yourself Inspirations: Blog/Pinterest

We would love it if you would follow us on Pinterest!

retro repin rules

It's time to party!

*By linking up, you're giving permission to use your photos with a link back to you for features and promotional purposes. You may also receive a reminder email, but it will not be used in any other way.*

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Duel in the Desert

Hi There!

I just had to share a bit of randomness with you today. Technically, we have two pets in the family -- our fur boys, although I really don't think they understand the meaning of the word pet! But lately, we seem to be collecting additional four-legged creatures. I've talked about Hopkins the toad, and if you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen his picture. We also have Prancer the ground squirrel, and whenever he sneaks into the yard, it just makes the fur boys go crazy. Well, lately, we've been having visits from Lester the lizard. He likes to sun himself on the fence, and this drives the fur boys wild because it's their fence, you know.

So today, I was outside taking pictures for the blog, and I decided to try to capture scenes from our own little Duel in the Desert. Lester has exceptional hearing, and whenever I would take a step in his direction, he would dive between a crack in the fence. This is kind of fuzzy because I was trying to zoom in, and the lizard was moving fast.

lizard tail peeking out from crack in fence

He's a pretty good sized lizard. I would say he's around 1 1/2 feet long. Lester kept poking his head out from between the fence blocks, trying to get a feel for the situation.

lizard peeking out from between crack in fence

And then, he waved at his furry friend, who was sniffing madly around the yard. I think Lester knew he was safe, and he was having fun with this.

AZ lizard waving from crack in fence

If only he would look up!

beagle searching for lizard in arizona

Do your dogs chase lizards? I don't know if this is a beagle thing or not, but it's so funny to watch.

Thanks for joining me for this little random slice-of-life post today. And don't forget that the Retro Re-pin party goes live later tonight, at 8 pm EDT, so get your favorite pins ready for that!  Oh, if you're searching for easy Thanksgiving desserts, I've got a real treat for you tomorrow!

Have a super day!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Primitive Wood Pumpkins

Hi Friends!

Can you believe it's almost November? That means it's time to start making Thanksgiving preparations, for me at least. I know some of you have moved on to Christmas, but since I host people at my home, I've got to keep fall alive for another few weeks. So, in the spirit of rustic love, I have another wood pumpkin craft to show you today. I made a set of Jack-o-lanterns and a little Frankenstein  about a month ago, but these primitive pumpkins are definitely different!

rustic wood block pumpkins with cork stems twine hearts and stars
I have a bunch of wood blocks, which the Hubby so kindly cut and sanded for me. In fact, I may have to start building some large dominoes or building blocks for the kiddos after the holidays! Anyway, this is what I started with. 

 2 x 4 wood blocks

My original plan was to paint them orange and write some appropriate words for Thanksgiving on each block. But, I didn't like how they turned out, so I completely scrapped that plan and painted them to look like old, worn wood. This took several coats of various colors and some serious sanding. Then, I attached some pieces of cut cork to the top of the blocks so that they would have stems.

wood blocks distressed and painted white with wine cork for stem

They still needed a little something extra, so I found some wood cutouts from my stash, and painted them with copper-colored metallic spray paint from Rustoleum. Any brand of paint would work, but this one just happens to be my favorite. 

wood hearts and stars spray painted copper metallic color

I glued the pieces onto the wood blocks, added some twine ribbon around the cork stems, and these babies were done!

wood block pumpkins with copper heart and stars and wine cork stems

When one of my kids said that these looked more like old wood blocks than pumpkins, I took that as a compliment. I usually like the color orange, especially for fall, but for some reason, I'm keeping things lighter this year.

rustic white wood pumpkins made from 2 x4 wooden blocks

One thing about these pumpkins is that they go with any color scheme. They may not fit in an ultra modern home, but that's definitely not a problem around here!

Are you getting ready for Thanksgiving yet? If so, are you hosting, or do you get to do the visiting? I'd love to know!

Thanks for visiting me, and I hope you're having a great day!

Sharing At:
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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Snickerdoodle Sunday

Hi Friends!

I hope you all had a great week, and are ready to show off your stuff at Snickerdoodle Sunday! We've got less than a week until Halloween, and I'm still searching for fun ideas for the big day. So, I picked a few of your ideas from last week's party to feature. If you're like me, and you're still searching for quick DIY crafts and recipes for Halloween, hopefully these ideas will help! If your kids are still undecided about what they want to be that night, I shared some easy DIY costume ideas yesterday. 

This DIY Halloween Broomstick from The Painted Hinge is easy to make, and it would look so cool on your front door! 

Halloween Broken Witch Broom Swag Tutorial

I made cupcake spiders last year, but these Oreo Spiders from Simple Joys are so cute, and I know my kids would love them.

How fun are these Halloween Sugar Cookies from Mommy Crusader?

Halloween Pumpkin Sugar Cookies |

What kid wouldn't like digging into these Worm Pudding Cups from With A Blast?!

Hatching Worms Pudding Bowls ~ Worms hatching from the Eggs on the bottom, slivering their way up to the top will make a quick, inexpensive treat to your Halloween table ! #Halloween #HalloweenTreats

I don't think I've ever made popcorn balls, but these Caramel Popcorn Balls from Yesterfood are easy and don't require a candy thermometer!

My older girls are inviting their best ghoul friends over, and these Minute to Win It Games from Lou Lou Girls look like a lot of fun.

10 halloween minute to win it games

Thanks so much for linking up your fun posts with us, ladies! Feel free to grab a button!

Grab button for Meatloaf and Melodrama
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I can't wait to see what you all have to share this week. Are you ready to party?

Meet Your Hosts!
Kristina & Millie @ 2CrochetHooks, Dee @ Meatloaf and Melodrama,
snickerdoodle hostessesFelicia @ Nifty Thrifty Family, Sarah @ Sadie Seasongoods

We have just few very simple rules for the party!

*Please follow your hostesses in some way- 2 Crochet HooksNifty Thrifty FamilyMeatloaf and Melodrama, and Sadie Seasongoods*
  • Link to your post and not to your blog home page
  • Family friendly posts only – old or new
  • Please, no more than 3 links to your blog
  • No links directly to your shops or websites selling things please! Reviews with affiliate links are fine!
  • Yes, you can link giveaways & link parties
Adding your link to this blog hop gives the hostesses permission to share your posts and pictures via our social media and as features on Snickerdoodle Sunday. All features will be pinned to our Pinterest boards and will be linked back to the original source.

By participating in this link party, you will be sent a weekly reminder e-mail when the link party goes live. Your e-mail will not to added to any other lists or used in any other way.


    Friday, October 24, 2014

    Last-Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

    Hi There!

    Halloween is almost here, and if your kids are like mine, they may still be trying to come up with the perfect Halloween costume. Some years were easy, and the kids knew far in advance exactly what they would be. Other years were a little trickier, and we were scrambling to put together a costume the night before -- not fun!  Actually this tends to happen most often when the kids go out with friends, and the girls, especially, have to confer with each other several times before deciding what to do!

    Anyway, I thought I would put together a short list of easy DIY Halloween costume ideas that we've relied on over the years. We don't spend a lot on Halloween, so these costumes are budget friendly too. 

    last minute costume graphic in green

    Animals -- Take a fleece sweatshirt and pants, add some accessories, and you have an easy costume in no time at all. My kids have been bunnies, dogs, cats and mice, and all they needed was some whiskers, ears and a pink-lipstick nose. Best of all, you can reuse the outfit for everyday wear.

    Dress-Up Clothes - If you have younger kids, chances are you already have a stash of dress-up clothes that your kids can use on Halloween. We've had fairies, princesses, firefighters and Jedis, and these were all things that the kids could easily use again. Oh, and buying costumes on clearance for the next year is a great way to save some cash!

    boy dressed as darth vader for halloween

    Witch or Wizard -- All you need is a cape and a hat, and you can usually find these anywhere. Or, you can always go the Harry Potter route.

    Zombie -- Zombies are easy, and you can even try different variations. Last year, we had a zombie bride and a ballerina, which were both done by using makeup to mess up regular costumes. The bride carried some Halloween flowers that I found on clearance at the craft store!

    Blast from the past -- Tie dyed shirts, bandanas and beads are perfect for revisiting the 60s. If you want to be more recent, how about trying out the big hair and bangles from the 80s? 

    Sports player -- This may not be the most original idea, but it works, and it's easy. Your kids can wear team jerseys or uniforms, and they're good to go.

    Big Kid -- My teens have dressed up as little kids, and they were really cute! They can wear ponytails, scruffy clothes, and baseball caps and maybe carry a stuffed animal or doll. They can even apply freckles with an eye pencil -- easy peasy!

    I hope these ideas were helpful. Two of my kids are still finalizing their costumes and plans for Halloween, and I may have a group of teens hanging out with us that night -- this bunch truly makes last-minute plans. Once they decide, all we have to do is put everything together -- good times!

    Are you ready for Halloween?

    Have a fun day!

    Sharing At:
    I Heart NaptimeBest of the WeekendDIY Sunday Showcase, Inspiration MondayMonday FundayMerry MondayTreasure Box Tuesday , Lou Lou Girls

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

    Easy, Cheesy Skillet Chicken Parm

    Hi Friends!

    My family absolutely loves pasta, and if it's on the menu, even the pickiest eaters will gobble it all up. And, if there's cheese involved, some family members will just inhale the entire dish! Personally, I like to include meat whenever I make pasta, and one of our favorite pasta, meat and cheese combos is chicken Parmesan. I'm a big fan of keeping things simple, so my version is slightly different from the traditional recipe. But it does save time, and this Easy, Cheesy Skillet Chicken Parm is definitely a winner in our house.

    chicken parmesan covered with melted cheese on spaghetti with basil

    Now, this isn't an exact recipe, and that's part of what makes it so easy. The good thing about it is that you can tweak it to suit your own tastes and your family's size. Basically, you'll need:

    • Chicken breasts, cut in half so that they cook faster
    • Your favorite Parmesan cheese
    • Italian seasoning
    • 2 cloves chopped garlic
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • Your favorite pasta sauce, either homemade or purchased
    • Sliced provolone, mozzarella or Parmesan blend for topping
    • Cooked spaghetti or your favorite cooked pasta
    To make the chicken Parm, you just brush the chicken breasts with some olive oil and sprinkle some salt, pepper, seasoning, and Parmesan cheese on one side.
    Saute the seasoned side of the chicken in some olive oil on medium heat in a large skillet.
    While the chicken is cooking, season the other side.
    When the first side is brown, turn the chicken over. Sometimes, I like to repeat this process until the chicken is coated with Parm and the cheese is nice and golden.

    Now, add the sauce and garlic, and simmer on low heat until the chicken is fully cooked.

    cook chicken breasts in red sauce with herbs in skillet

    Then, you can top the chicken with your favorite Italian cheese. I like provolone, but you can use whatever type you prefer.

    chicken breasts with parmesan cheese and provolone cheese in red sauce

    I usually add some herbs or Italian seasoning to the top for some extra flavor and color. See all of that cheesy goodness? That's the part my family loves.

    chicken parm with melted cheese on spaghetti

    Just serve the chicken on top of your favorite cooked pasta, and enjoy. Mangia!

    chicken parm covered with melted provolone cheese and marinara sauce over spaghetti pasta

    Thanks for visiting. I hope your family likes this dish as much as mine does. Have great day!
    Sharing At:
    Whimsy WednesdayFull Plate Thursdays