Easy Mushroom Quesadillas

Easy Mushroom Quesadillas

Hi there! I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ❤ In this post, I’d like to share with you how to make one of my favorite meals! Recently, my mom put together a new dinner for us to try one evening, and I instantly fell in love with it. It’s delicious, filling, and easy to make! Today, I’ll take you through a little picture tutorial of how to make mushroom quesadillas. 🙂

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Chicken Carbonara Pizza

Chicken Carbonara Pizza

Hello there! I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ❤ In this simple recipe post, I’m excited to share a delicious dinner my family and I have been enjoying recently! One of our favorite pizzerias, Pie Five, has this amazing pizza dish called Chicken Carbonara. I wanted to see if I could recreate it at home, and I’m happy to say that my mom and I were able to! So this post is inspired by Pie Five’s unique menu – they’ve created pizza dishes I had no idea were even possible, haha

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Weekly Challenge #1: Trying New Food

Weekly Challenge #1: Trying New Food

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have felt a recent surge of energy and motivation in my life. To celebrate these beautiful changes, I am happy to introduce this new blog series to you! But before we do that, I’m going to give a bit of my backstory.

Why I Decided To Start This Series:

I spent much of 2018 making my way through each day, spending time with my family, and trying to feel alright. 2018 was a very dark year for Elizabeth developmentally, which affected my family in more ways than I can say. I developed coping habits over those months that really changed the way I viewed life, so after I graduated from high school at the beginning of last summer, my sense of purpose was faded and tainted for a while. I stuck to what I was familiar with and held onto hope that things would be brighter someday.

Recommended Post: Life With Baby Siblings | Thoughts + Confessions

In the post I shared yesterday (click here), I talked about how my 15-year-old brother, Joshua, coped with this season of our life through music that he could relate to. The main way I coped with 2018 was by drawing into myself and only doing what I was familiar with. I stopped being adventurous, my blogging life became very quiet and I stuck to the bare minimum, and I wondered nearly every day when my life would be happy again – if it ever would be.

I’m not talking about this to complain, or to focus on the negative at all. Recognizing that 2018 was a hard year is going to help me to move forward. I’m acknowledging the fact that I lived through that year in survival mode, but now that the light of day is on the horizon, I’m ready to be happy again. The Lord led me through that long, trying season to teach me some valuable lessons I couldn’t have learned any other way, and I am extremely grateful for His love and wisdom through it all. I’m still very stoked about seeing where the Lord will continue to take me in 2019!

Since I was little, I’ve loved challenging myself and learning new things.

Growing up homeschooled plays a huge role in this enjoyment of mine, so I have my mother to thank for this! (Click here to read more about my home education.) Creativity is a huge part of my love of life, so when I had the idea for this blog series last week, I knew I had to do it.

Every Thursday on my blog,
I’m going to write about
how I challenged myself
in the week before!

These challenges will be across a huge range of topics, so I’m not even going to try to list them haha! Just know that I’m really looking forward to tracking my progress and sharing what I learn with you. ❤

Weekly Challenge #1:
Trying New Food

For my first weekly challenge, I wanted to be adventurous with food! I set out to try new varieties of food I’ve been purchasing for a long time. Before now, I stuck with the same food for so long because: 1) my skin and stomach are so finicky, and 2) I’m a picky eater, lol. It honestly took stepping out of my comfort zone to try some of these foods, and I’ll share what I thought of them below!

New Drink: Pure Leaf Lemon Brewed Tea

Expectations: I wanted to bring along a drink to the gym one afternoon that would be refreshing to have after working out, but I decided to have something other than juice or soda! (And the latter would be awful to have after exercising anyway, haha) I ended up buying some lemon brewed tea, which I had no idea if I’d like because I have a love/hate relationship with tea. I was hoping it would have a nice, fresh flavor and would be sweet enough for my liking, lol!

First Impressions: I liked it much more than I thought I would! It basically tasted like a light lemonade with a hint of tea, as well. Unfortunately, I got a caffeine headache while drinking this, but I don’t know if it was related to the drink, or to the fact that I’d exercised before having it. I think it was the amount of caffeine in it!

Final Thoughts: I’m glad that I tried it! I may get it again and have it earlier in the day; I find that caffeine affects me more the later in the day I have it. It was a nice alternative to fruit juice after a workout, but I’ll probably get something caffeine-free next time.

New Lunch: Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Sub from Subway

Expectations: I figured this sub would have a nice teriyaki flavor, which I was looking forward to trying because I love teriyaki chicken! I even added some extra vegetables to this sub (green pepper and red onion), as I was feeling extra adventurous (I’m always one to order very basic subs, so this was quite an event!).

First Impressions: It was alright; I definitely wouldn’t order it again. Subway is far too expensive for what you actually get, haha – you should get an awesome sub for what they charge! The teriyaki flavor was extremely light, and honestly, the vegetables didn’t compliment it very well.

Final Thoughts: Don’t get this. I won’t get it again. Don’t spend $6 on a sub like I did haha

New Dessert: Brownie Batter Doughnut from Dunkin Donuts

Expectations: It had been a long time since I tried a new doughnut from Dunkin Donuts, because I’ve always loved the three or four I alternate in ordering! When I found out that they had a special brownie batter doughnut the day I went with my mom and sisters, I knew I had to try it. I hoped that the chocolate flavor would be better with this doughnut than the last chocolate one I ordered from Dunkin Donuts, because that one had tasted just like straight cocoa powder.

First Impressions: I loved this one so much!!! It far exceeded my expectations; the brownie filling was beyond perfection, haha. I even took a selfie with it before I knew if I’d enjoy it or not, so you should have seen my face post-doughnut!!!

Final Thoughts: I’d order this again. In fact, the day after I had this one, I did order it again. *eyes widen* I promise, an obsession is not beginning! One was simply not enough!

New Snack: Publix Premium Yogurt

Expectations: I’ve loved this premium (it actually is, haha) yogurt for a while now, but I hadn’t tried any new flavors aside from the strawberry cheesecake (because it is amazing!). When my mom went to Publix a few days ago, I asked her to buy a few new flavors for me.

First Impressions: The white chocolate raspberry one was alright, but it didn’t have the sweetest flavor. The french vanilla one with granola was very good! And the bananas with dulce de leche one was my favorite, by far – the combination of bananas and caramel was epic!

Final Thoughts: I’d buy the vanilla and banana ones again, but I wouldn’t recommend the white chocolate one. Honestly, I really enjoy most of the yogurt I try, so maybe my review is biased, haha! What can I say? Sugar’s great!

New Snack: Triscuit Avocado, Cilantro & Lime

Expectations: I love trying new crackers, and I thought this new Triscuit flavor sounded intriguing! I figured it it would have a lingering aftertaste like other Triscuit flavors have, haha, but I knew it was worth a shot.

First Impressions: I really enjoyed them! I never top Triscuits with anything – I probably should – but these were very good by themselves, anyway.

Final Thoughts: I’d buy them again! I wouldn’t say they made my favorites list, but they were still good.

Thank you so much for reading! I enjoyed writing about all the foods I tried recently. ❤

Wisdom Teeth Surgery Survival Guide – Part Two | What To Eat + Meal Plan Ideas

Wisdom Teeth Surgery Survival Guide – Part Two | What To Eat + Meal Plan Ideas

Hi there! I hope you’re doing well. ❤ Last week, I shared how my experience with having my wisdom teeth removed went. In this post, which is the second in the series, I will be talking about what my diet was like while recovering! While my options for soft foods was highly limiting, it was worth it to not have hurting teeth and food in and around the surgery areas.

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Fall Harvest Chex Mix!

Fall Harvest Chex Mix!

Hi there, guys! I hope that you’re all having a beautiful day. 🙂 ❤ I have an amazingly delicious treat to share with you today!! It was a breeze to make, a big hit for my whole family, and because I made a half-batch, I have enough to make more, haha! This treat/snack is called fall harvest chex mix!

I got the original recipe here! Like I said, I halved the recipe, and I also omitted the Bugles. Everything else stayed the same, and the directions were very easy to follow.

Let’s jump right into this!

Fall Harvest Chex Mix

The ingredients I used are below:

Fun fact: I over-eagerly dumped the wrong ingredients together in a bowl, so Joshua and I had to separate the rice chex out by hand. lol

^ Picture proof. That’s why you read the instructions carefully, kids!

Once the candy was in one bowl and the rice chex and pretzels were in another, this is how they looked!

I made the glaze that went with the rice chex and pretzels, then poured it over them and slowly mixed it until they were covered evenly. This was very easy, as well, and I was happy with how the texture of the glaze turned out. The other times when I’ve worked with a warm sauce/glaze that has to be whisked until it reaches a certain texture has been hard for me, but this recipe made it simple!

There isn’t much of a visible difference, except you can see that they’re a little bit shiny, haha!

Related Post: Homemade Candied Pecans

The next part reminded me of when I made the candied pecans recipe for the first time back in February; you spread the food out into an even layer on the baking sheet, then bake for 45 minutes, stirring them every 15. This was my first time using parchment paper in baking, actually, and it worked very well!

Once they had cooled, I was then able to pour them in with the candy ready in the other bowl. I had done it prematurely earlier in the day (lol), but now was the time for them to make a delicious snack combo!

Sorry about the overexposure on the picture above; sometimes, the metallic siding of the mixing bowl I usually use will make my phone’s camera think I’m pointing at DIRECT SUNLIGHT, and everything gets white and fuzzy. Haha! I kept having to manually bring down the exposure because the camera wouldn’t pick up the room’s lighting correctly.

Once I had transferred this treat to the glass container I was going to keep it in, I brought out the festive props and took some more pictures.

I have never been more happy with how a still-life photoshoot turned out!!! All of the fall vibes are killing me hahaha

{Final Verdict}

This Fall Harvest Chex Mix is the best treat I’ve made in a while! However, I do have a few complaints. (Nothing big; just things I’ll change or do differently next time.) The main one is that the candy pumpkins were hard to eat – me and my whole family much preferred the candy corn, which tastes exactly the same! Next time, I’ll do more candy corn and omit the pumpkins, even though they are very cute and picture-worthy.

My only other issue was that it was hard to get a nice handful of the snack that included pieces of all the different candy and pretzels/rice chex because the heavier items (mainly the Reese’s Pieces) fell down to the bottom of the glass container. I might have to store them differently next time so that eating this treat is easier!

I hope that you guys enjoyed reading this post! I was very happy with how it turned out, and I’m sure that you’d love it if you tried it, too.

Would YOU like to make this treat?
Click here for the recipe!

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx

Apple Coffee Cake Muffins!

Apple Coffee Cake Muffins!

Hey there, guys! Hope you’re having a beautiful week so far. 🙂 I have an epic fall recipe to share with you today!! Apple and pumpkin desserts are my weakness, haha, and they are especially fun to eat in the fall. (However, I’ll gladly have them any time!)

During one of my many Pinterest browsing sessions, I came across a wonderful recipe for apple coffee cake muffins, as you saw by the title! They were a joy to make, turned out great, and I’ll definitely make them again at some point!

Related Post: Caramel Apple Pie Bars!

You can find the original recipe by clicking here! The only thing I changed was the amount of time I baked them; I used my mom’s convection oven (as you’ll see in one of the pictures below), and I set it at the temperature the recipe gave me, then watched them until they were baked all the way through.

Let’s jump right into this!

Apple Coffee Cake Muffins

These are the ingredients that I used for my batch:

Sorry I forgot to include the apples, haha!

Once I had finished cleaning, peeling, and cutting up the two Gala apples, I mixed everything together for the crumb topping. It was super simple; you just stir the dry ingredients, then add the melted butter.

Setting that aside, I tackled the dough! It was also pretty basic, nothing exciting lol; just the dry ingredients in the big bowl, the wet ingredients in a small bowl, then you mix them together.

The one thing I struggle with when making muffins is transferring the batter to the little paper muffin cups. *sighs* This was actually the easiest time yet, but I still don’t enjoy it very much, lol!

Here’s how they looked before the crumb topping:

And after:

Here’s how they looked while baking(: x

My mom helped me make the glaze once the muffins had completely cooled, as my glaze-making history is rather poor, haha! (I’ve been known to add too much milk, fail to sift the powdered sugar enough, etc … ) I did my best to drizzle the glaze evenly, and once that was done, I took some pictures.

{Final Verdict}

They were very good! The cinnamon flavor really did remind me of my mom’s coffee cake, which I absolutely love. However … the muffins turned out dry, and the apple flavor was very mild. To cook them all the way through in the convection oven, it ended up sucking all the moisture out of them. If I make them again, I will bake them in our regular oven, and maybe add some spices to compliment the light apple flavor, as well! This is definitely one of those treats best warmed up and served with coffee, and I also think that apple cider would make a wonderful addition to them, as well! ❤

Happy fall, everyone! Let me know in the comments below:

What fall treats have YOU made this year?

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx