Mushroom and Cheese Chicken Bake

Friday, September 28, 2012

Happy Friday to you all! Yay it's finally the weekend :) I have a yummy and EASY recipe for you today. If you are in a hurry to make anything, or even if you really don't want to cook tonight but kind of have to (yeah I know that feeling!) then give this recipe a try! It will be one of the easiest and quickest you have ever made (no, microwave KD does NOT count!!). So let me know what you all think if you do end up trying this recipe! Have a great weekend and see you next week!

Mushroom and Cheese Chicken Bake
Prep time: 15 min        Cook Time: 30 min           Yield: 4 servings

- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 pkg. chicken stuffing mix
- 1 can mushroom soup
- 1 1/2 cup shredded cheese (mozzarella, Parmesan
- 1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. In a large pot, prepare stuffing mix as directed on package. Mix in mushroom soup from the can, adding about 1/2 can of water to the mix. Stir until well combined.
3. Add the olive oil to a 13x9-inch baking. Place chicken in dish. Top soup-stuffing mixture and garnish with cheese.
4. Bake for 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked. Serve with steamed veggies.

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Fall Decor Around the House

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hello everyone! The week is almost coming to a close, and I am excited for the weekend to come! Today's post will just be a showcase on what small changes I have made to welcome fall into our home. Similar to the posts I have done this week, but this one is more on the small changes.

Let's start with the dining room. I had my centerpiece I made for my girlfriend's brunch back in August nicely displayed on my table. Of course, that needed to be changed.
So I took out the nice centerpiece I bought from HomeSense last year, re-used my LED candles I already have, and changed up the placemats with new ones that fit the decor.

On the coffee table in the living room, I added some snack-size candy for the guests who come over.

In addition to the fall vignette in the basement, I put away the small vase with white flowers I had on the tray and replaced it with some orange flowers in this mercury glass vase from HomeSense.

What Are You Listening To?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I have recently discovered (recommended by a friend actually) an awesome music site that completely throws any other online music service in the waters. I love streaming music online, especially when I’m at work. I tend to forget to charge my ipod, and in all honesty I don't have time to search through iTunes to find all the latest and greatest music out there. So for me it is easier to just keep a pair of headphones in my drawer at the office and listen to live streaming throughout the day. I used to listen on Live365, which has almost any kind of genre or type of music you can think of by finding a particular station. However, many of these online stations were only for registered (paid) members, and the free stations had commercial advertisement every two or three tracks. Many people listen to Pandora, but because I am Canadian (eh?) I cannot listen to it unfortunately.

So what is this awesome and new online music service I am talking about, you ask? It's called Songza, a new online and mobile music service. I highly recommend Songza to anyone who loves listening to commercial free music streaming. Upon entering the site, it will give you a few recommendations based on the time and day of the week (neat-oh!). What is also neat about Songza is that it does not limit you to only your desktop computer. You can download the Songza app for your Android phone, iPhone or iPad, or Kindle Fire.  You can browse for a certain playlist through what is trending now, genres, activities and even moods! Are you city cruising? Hit up a playlist under the activities tab. Feeling happy or mellow, search for a playlist for what makes you feel good! The list goes on and on!

So...what are you listening to today?

Decorative Pumpkins {DIY}

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fall has officially set foot in my town. The air is crisp in the mornings, the sun goes down earlier and earlier each day, and the leaves are starting to turn colour. Don't you just love this change in season? I do! Which is why I am on a mission to decorate my home in pumpkins, leaves and all things that remind me of this season. I went to my local dollar store the other day and found some mini pumpkins and pine cones in a bunch that were being sold for $2. So I bought two bunches.

I wanted to jazz them up a bit. I really didn't like that orange colour on them, so I whipped out my can of white paint and decided to do some mini white pumpkins. So I painted half of them white.

I also bought a can of burgundy red paint to do some in red (as a sort of accent to the white). And so the other half got a new fresh coat of red paint.

After they completely dried, I brought them in. But something was amiss. These pumpkins needed a touch of something....

So I decided to use some gold acrylic paint that I had and add a touch of gold to them. At first, what I had in my vision didn't end up turning out to be like that. So I decided to wipe off the gold using a napkin. But to my surprise, what ended up happening was a miracle (well...a DIY-disaster-turned-miracle!). It gave the pumpkins a vintage type of look, which totally worked for me!!

After drying, this is what they turned out to look like!

I also ended up giving a couple pine cones a light spray of white paint. I will surely re-use these come Christmas-time!

Linking up to:

Fall Decor {Fall Vignette}

In keeping with the whole fall theme, I wanted to showcase my fall vignette that I finally pieced together yesterday.

I took the following as inspiration:

And this is my version:
The lamp shade was from Wal-Mart (I already had a new never-used lamp that just needed a nice touch for fall). And the beautiful painting was from HomeSense.
A touch of orange faux flowers was perfect to add some texture to this scene.
I absolutely fell in love with this little guy when I bought him a while back. I couldn't wait to finally put him in a nice place for fall!
Doesn't he look so happy? :)
The decorative pumpkins and pine cones I made sit lovely in a leaf-shaped bowl on the second shelf of the glass table.
I just love these!
To continue with the whole theme of fall decorating, I will post some simple updates I did around the home later this week. Have a great day!

Fall Wreath {DIY}

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hi and happy Monday to you! I hope you all had a great weekend! I sure much decorating to welcome fall into our home. I will share my fall decor with you this week, starting with my fall wreath for today's post. The interior will be posted later in the week.

I went to the local dollar store and, while browsing through their fall and hallowe'en merchandise, I really got inspired to do some DIY crafts for fall. Especially to make a fall wreath. I have never done a fall wreath before, nor have I had one hanging on my door in the past (it was always a Christmas wreath that I had). So I thought this year would be a different story, and that I would be more into the fall season rather than waiting for the Christmas season to come to start decorating. Besides, fall is such a nice time with the leaves changing colour that you could brighten up your house with the festive oranges, yellows and greens that there is. So this is what I ended up buying from the dollar store to do a simple fall wreath.

I pulled off all the leaves from the stems, which easily came off. I took off that scary (but cute) scarecrow from the straw wreath, so I can use the wreath as a base. And those red and orange berry decors I trimmed to smaller smaller pieces to stick within my wreath. I ended up only using the mini pumpkin decors from the orange flower bunch.

I started gluing those leaves along the wreath with a hot glue gun, sort of in an overlapping manner. I glued the leaves to the front and either sides of the wreath. Then I glued some pine cones I had lying around my home, stuck in those berries between the leaves, and glued a brown ribbon to the back so it can hang easily on the door.

Ta da! This is what it looked like when I was done.
I love the colours and I love how it adds that nice touch of fall to happily welcome anyone that comes to the door this fall season!

Dutch Apple Pie

Friday, September 21, 2012

Happy Friday! Thanks for stopping by on this bakefest Friday. In the spirit of fall arriving, I thought I would share my (new) favourite dessert. A combination of warm, delicious apple pie fused together with the sweetness of an apple crisp -- a dutch apple pie! Let me give you a sneak peek into this process.

My mixing bowl looked like this...

...which turned into this....

...and topped with some of this...

...and came out of the oven looking like this...

...and landed on my plate like this:

 Do I have your mouth watering yet?

This recipe is so yummy, I would highly recommend you skip the ol' pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving this year and serve this warm dutch apple pie instead. Believe me, you will be thanked! :) Enjoy!

Dutch Apple Pie
Prep time: 20 min        Cook Time: 50 min           Yield: 1 pie

- 1 ready to use pie crust, or homemade crust

Cream Cheese Filling 
- 1 pkg cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Apple Filling

- 6 McIntosh Apples, peeled, coarsely shredded
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

- 1/4 cup large flake rolled oats
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the pie crust.
3. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and granulated sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Mix until combined. Pour into pie crust shell. Mix apples, sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl. Spread on top of cream cheese layer.
4. In a separate bowl, mix flour, oats and brown sugar. Add cubed butter and, using two forks or knives, cut butter into mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Spread crumbs over-top of apple mixture.
5. Cover the pie with aluminum foil and bake in bottom third of the oven, uncovering the pie after 20 minutes. Bake for 50 minutes or until cream cheese layer and apples are set.

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Basement Reno - Update

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hi and thanks for stopping by! As promised in my post earlier this week, here is that update to what the basement looks like now. You probably noticed the lack-of furniture in the basement (other than the needed couch, tv and some odds and ends) in the previous post. We have since updated this space to make it more cozy and homey.

As you recall in this picture, our walls looked so boring. There surely needed something to liven things up.

So a quick search on Kijiji for wall art, I came across this painting and fell in love. And for $15 for such a large picture, it was surely a steal!

So that once-boring wall now looks like this.

And again a view with the TV.

And remember that boring space right next to the TV in the corner?

Well, after buying some nice canvas art and an Ikea shelving unit, this space now has some functional usage AND decorative appeal.

Finally, a place for my National Geographic book collection and my collection of stuff.

I didn't want the background of the shelving unit to be the same colour as the walls, so I spruced it up by taping some pretty wallpaper I bought. The brown matches with the same earthy tone I was going for in this living space, while the metallic silver swirls add a touch of glam.

While this space still looks pretty much the same as it initially did, I did add some decorative pieces to the table.

Like this from HomeSense. I believe it is Julius Caesar, due to the Laurel wreath on his head. But I am not 100% sure. Either way, I loved this ceramic piece.

A nice white picture frame with the same wall paper used in the shelving unit ties into the theme.

And, of course, I had to showcase my beautiful bouquet from my wedding. I absolutely love this part!

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