Pumpkin Parmesan Pasta Sauce Recipe

I live in a desert. One that’s in the middle of a giant drought. It hardly ever, ever rains here. So the fact that I managed to get soaked to the bone not once but twice today is even more impressive, actually.

The first time was when I decided to take the boys to the park before school for a picnic lunch. It was in the low 90’s outside so I wanted to enjoy the “perfect” weather. We had just sat down to eat at a bench when it started coming down really hard. We were covered by a metal roof so when the thunder started, we made a run for the car- and got completely soaked in the process. We had to go home {with minutes to spare before class} so that Shane could change before class started.

The rest of my day went on very similarly- not just the rain part, but the bad luck. I had plans to meet “the girls” for dinner since our friend is in town from Australia, and I was really looking forward to the ravioli at my favorite Italian restaurant. When I got there and was trapped in my car for twenty minutes because it was hailing, I almost just went home. I didn’t have an umbrella {though the wind and rain would have just blown it away anyway} and the second I finally stepped out of my car, it was into a solid foot of rushing flood water. I made it into the restaurant totally soaked and completely freezing.

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It was just one of those days. Days like today give all new meaning to the term “comfort food” and I can promise you that I appreciated every bite of that warm ravioli! While I don’t have the faintest clue how to replicate their delicious vodka cream sauce {I’ll work on that!}, I do have a delicious and fall-themed version for you today!

This Pumpkin Parmesan sauce is perfect for a cool fall day. The sauce is creamy, rich, and filling and can be served over cheese ravioli or any of your favorite pastas. You can even use it as your macaroni and cheese sauce! This sauce comes together quickly and you can make it an even easier meal by using frozen pasta to get dinner on the table in no time!

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Ingredients:

-½ cup Pumpkin Puree

-½ cup Parmesan Cheese

-2 cups Beef Broth

-3 cloves Garlic {crushed}

-1 ½ cups Heavy Cream or Half & Half

-½ tsp. Nutmeg

-3 Tbsp. Butter

-3 Tbsp. All-purpose Flour

-Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Create a roux by melting butter in a large pan over medium heat and whisking in flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes until golden {it will have a slightly nutty aroma}

2. Sautee crushed garlic into roux for 1 minute.

3. Whisk in beef broth, cream, pumpkin, salt and pepper-simmer on low for 10 minutes until sauce begins to thicken, stirring occasionally.

4. Add parmesan and nutmeg, stirring well to combine all.

5. While sauce is cooking, boil one bag of frozen cheese ravioli {or prepare your preferred pasta} according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

6. Drizzle sauce over ravioli, dust lightly with nutmeg, and serve!

Pumpkin Parmesan Pasta Sauce

What’s your favorite kind of pasta?

Monster Rice Krispies Treats

We have just five weeks until Halloween {I know, right!?} and so everything around here is about to start getting pretty scary! We’re pulling out all the cobwebs, ghosts, and black cats and getting into the spooky spirit. Of course, it’s not Halloween without some sweet treats!

These Monster Rice Krispies Treats are creepy yet cute- and delicious, too! They’re perfect for the little monsters in your life.

Monster Rice Krispies Treats for Halloween!

Monster Rice Krispies Treats

Ingredients:

-1 8ct. Box of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats

-12 oz. Wilton dark chocolate candy melts

-1 snack size container of Mini Oreos

-1 snack size container of regular Oreos

-Multicolored chocolate candies (m&m baking candies work well too!)

-Small sandwich baggie

Directions:

1. Gently pry apart several of the Oreos, making sure that the white filling stays intact. {So, try not to lick it all off. That’s the hard part!} These will be your monsters eyes.

2. Heat the Wilton dark chocolate in a microwave safe dish in 30 second increments. Stir every 30 seconds until melted. {It took me about 3 minutes to melt 12 oz.} Allow to cool 3-4 minutes before dipping your Rice Krispies treats.

3. While the chocolate is cooling, I played around with the shape I wanted my monsters. I left a few regular size and rounded the edges with my hands. The others I cut in half and shaped into circles. They are nice and soft and easy to work with so have fun with it!

4. Dip the treats one at a time into the chocolate. Use a spoon if needed to completely coat them and lift them out with a fork, allowing the excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl.

5. Lay each treat on a plate and place an Oreo or two {white filling side up} on each monster as eyes before the chocolate sets.

6. Repeat dipping all of the treats and giving them eyes. Set the plate in fridge and allow the treats to set for about 15 minutes.

7. Remove the treats from the fridge. Scoop a few tablespoons of the chocolate into a sandwich baggie and snip the end. Place a small dot of melted chocolate right in the middle of each “eye” and stick a multicolored candy on. Again, have fun with it- it doesn’t have to be perfect and messy monsters are super cute!

*Makes approximately 8 servings. Store in a cool dry area if not serving immediately.

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What’s your favorite Halloween treat?

Turn Up Your Look for Less with Tresemmé and Dollar General

When you become a mom, you learn how to sacrifice. You give up a bite {or two} of your ice cream- per kid. You give up the chance to eat a meal while it’s actually warm ever again so that you can get fifty things for everyone before you even sit down to eat. You give up new shoes because your kid outgrows his four times a year. So isn’t it nice when you don’t have to sacrifice?

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You can get the beauty products you love- like TRESemmé products- for less at Dollar General! You don’t need to spend like a celebrity to look like one. Thanks to TRESemmé and Dollar General, you can get all of the looks you want for less. Amp up your own unique style and beauty, while keeping within budget- so you don’t have to sacrifice!

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If you’re looking for some amped up beauty inspiration, check out this style gallery! {You can even view the how-to for each of the hair styles above!} Have a tip to add? Tweet using hashtag #DGStyleTips and it will be added to the live-feed!

 What’s your best style tip?

Fall Cooking Made Easier with the EatSmart Precision Elite Thermocouple Food Thermometer {Giveaway}

I received the item mentioned to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.

Somehow, today is already the first day of fall! I’m excited for all of the fun activities and traditions that are coming up, but I’m especially excited for some of my favorite fall and winter dishes! Whether it’s roasted pumpkin seeds or the Thanksgiving turkey, we all have traditions that keep us in the kitchen a lot this time of year. I genuinely love cooking and baking, but I don’t want to spend all day cooking and away from my family! That’s why I love when I find new tools that help me be more efficient in the kitchen.

One of the things that takes me the longest when I’m cooking is making sure that food is up to temp. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very important to make sure your food is cooked to the proper temperature- but I can get a little obsessive. I will temp & re-temp dishes, cut off pieces of chicken to look at the inside, and still ask Justin if it looks okay. So when EatSmart asked if I wanted to try out their Precision Elite Thermocouple Food Thermometer, I couldn’t wait to try it out!

Thermometer

The thermometer features:

-EatSmart InstaRead Technology – Temperatures in 3 Seconds or Less; Range -40F to 572F

-1.5mm Folding Step-Down Probe – Reduces Puncture Hole Size to Keep Juices in Meat; FDA Approved

-Innovative Splash Proof Design; Anti-Microbial Nylon Case Included

-2 AAA batteries included; EatSmart 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Using the EatSmart Precision Thermometer

The first thing I noticed was the design. I loved that it folded up, saving room in my already crowded drawer without sacrificing the length of the probe {keeping your fingers away from the hot food}. The blue backlight makes it easy to use wherever- even if you’re grilling at sunset, using it in the dark oven, or just have bad eyes, it’s easy to see exactly what the temperature is on the large digital display. The temperature really does display very quickly, which prevents your dish from losing heat while you temp it. There’s also a Hold button that will keep the temperature on there even after you remove it from the food.

The only thing I didn’t like was that to turn the thermometer off, you have to fold it closed. I can’t always wash it right away, but I don’t want to close it while it’s full of meat juice, so I have to leave it open for a bit, wasting battery. However, I’ve had {and used regularly} this thermometer for a couple of months now and the battery is just fine, so it’s really not a big deal.

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Whether you’re spending the final days of heat at the grill or getting ready for holiday meals, be sure to check out the EatSmart Precision Elite Thermocouple Food Thermometer!

Buy It: You can find the thermometer on Amazon.com. It is listed at $99.99 but is currently on sale for $39.99!

Win It: One lucky reader will win their own! Just enter using the simple form below. Good luck!

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Get Ready for Halloween with Monster High Freaky Fusion Dolls!

This post is brought to you by Lunchbox. All opinions are my own.

When I was a kid, I loved dolls. I loved dressing them up and giving them backstories- and as I got older, I started to love giving them makeovers! I just thought that having them all look the same was boring.

In the {enter way too big of a number here} years since I was a little girl, doll companies have finally picked up on this and have been making all different kinds of dolls! Of course you can still find the more traditional ones, but they have lots of more funky options out there, including Monster High dolls. The Monster High dolls are a creepier but really fun version that still let you do all the normal stuff, but come with really cool backstories that allow you to use your imagination in all new ways. The dolls are really cool for girly girls and “tomboys” alike- even my very rough & tough boy wants one!

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Monster High has a new Freaky Fusion line of dolls that come with a whole new storyline. Basically, the Monster High® Freaky Fusion™ ghouls go deep into the catacombs of Monster High to help Frankie look for clues about her past and learn more about her family scaritage. There, they inadvertently set off a time machine that takes them back to the year 1814. There they meet Sparky, a misguided, teen scientist obsessed with the creation of life. Sparky follows Frankie back to modern day Monster High, causing a lab accident in which eight ghouls fuse into four new monsters!

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The four new dolls are all very different from each other but are all really cool. Here’s a bit about each of them:

Clawvenus™: Made up of Clawdeen Wolf® and Venus Mc Flytrap® – Clawvenus™ is fiercely “fusionable” and ferociously beautiful, but she may need to change her shampoo to a weed-and-feed formula.

Cleolei™ (Pronounced “Cleo-Lie”): Fusing the Mummy heritage of Cleo de Nile® with the werecat ancestry of Toralei®, Cleolei™ has some ferocious issues, but it’s nothing a quick little cat-nap won’t fix.

Dracubecca™: Mixing the Vampire heritage of Draculaura® with the Mad Scientist ancestry of Robecca Steam®, Dracubecca™ is scary sweet but still attached to rocket-powered boots.

Lagoonafire™: Fusing the Sea Monster heritage of Lagoona Blue® with the Chinese Dragon ancestry of Jinafire Long™ Lagoonafire™ loves to surf and swim like she’s on fire — literally!

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So are you a Cleo de Nile® or Toralei®? {I actually got 50% each of those two, making the perfect Cleolei!} What about your children? You can find out by taking this fun personality quiz! Just choose “this” or “that” in a series of pictures and you can find out which one your little ghouls {or yourself} are most like!

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Buy It: Walmart.com is the destination for all of your Freaky Fusion needs! Check out the Freaky fused dolls Clawnevus™, Cleolei™, Dracubecca™ and Lagoonafire™ and play sets. Visit Walmart.com to get yours today!

Which ghoulfrend were you most like?

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