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Bio: Hey Honey Pies!! Hope you don't mind me calling you that. I'm Monique, the slightly crazy chick that's going to guide you through all of these tried and true recipes! We're gonna have fun, laugh a little, and create some downright delicious dishes! Grab a recipe and lets go!!

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    Southern Fresh Peach Iced Tea

    August 23rd, 2016
    “Southern, fresh peach iced tea made with fresh, homemade peach syrup. Refreshing, sweet ice tea, perfect for those hot summer day!”

    Summer is quickly coming to an end (yeaaaaah!!! I’m a fall fanatic!) but I couldn’t let this season pass without making some good ol fresh, southern peach iced tea!

    What is it about making fresh fruit sweet teas that makes me feel all domestic and pioneerish? Like I’m living off the land or something. I know, far stretch. Fresh peach iced tea made with fresh peach syrup is a mini labor of love though compared to making plain sweet tea and it’s so worth!

    fresh peach iced tea

    Hey I’m a classic sweet tea girl through and through! I prefer not to have a lot of bells and whistles when it comes to my sweet tea. However during the summer I like to take advantage of summers bounty by incorporating fresh fruit, like raspberries or peaches!

    fresh peach sweet iced tea

    Fresh peach iced tea is my second favorite! It’s delicious and so refreshing, especially if you’re a peach lover like myself.

    I can sit out on the back porch with a good book, a gentle breeze and a glass of fresh peach iced tea and be just as happy as a lark. Only that never happens in real life around here. Not without the boys calling my name a million times. A girl can dream though.

    peach iced teaJust promise me that you will serve this super cold and let it sit for a few hours to really let those juicy peach flavors do their thing ok? Promise?

    Watch me make this Southern Fresh Peach Iced Tea from start to finish!

    Southern Fresh Peach Iced Tea
     
    Author:
    Serves: 8-10
    Ingredients
    • 3 large fresh peaches, diced into small slices or cubes
    • 5 cups water, divided (you'll also need more water to fill the pitcher)
    • 2 cups granulated sugar + more if more sweetness is desired
    • zest of 1 lemon (optional)
    • 2-3 family-size tea bags (I normally use 3)
    Instructions
    1. In a large saucepan, add peaches, 2 cups water, 2 cups sugar and lemon zest if using.
    2. Bring to a light simmer and simmer covered until peaches are soft and the peach skins has lost it's dark peachy color, about 15-20 minutes.
    3. With a potato masher, mash the peaches to release more of the juice and continue simmering for about 10 more minutes.
    4. Strain the peach mixture through a mesh strainer and discard the solids. (You'll have about 3 to 3½ cups of peach syrup) Set aside.
    5. Boil 3 cups of water.
    6. Place tea bags in water and let them steep for about 10-15 minutes and then discard tea bags.
    7. Add tea to a large pitcher, stir in the peach syrup, gradually add in water a cup at a time. (Be sure to taste the mixture as you increase the water until you find your perfect sweetness preference.)
    8. If you find that your tea is not sweet enough add in ½ to ¾ cup of sugar. If it's too sweet increase the water(please note the sweetness will increase as it sits in the fridge)
    9. Refrigerate until cold.
    10. Stir before serving and pour over ice to serve.
    11. Garnish with mint and fresh peach slices if desired.

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    Cinnamon Sugar French Toast Sticks

    August 18th, 2016
    “Cinnamon sugar french toast sticks! Crisp on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. No syrup needed!” 

    I have been on a meal prepping frenzy around here! Ya see, I’m on this mission to simplify every aspect of my life that causes even an ounce of stress.

    So far it’s been going GREAT! This week I’ve been tackling the food portion of my stress list. To make my mornings and evenings run a bit smoother I’ve been using my Sunday evenings to prep dinner for the entire week.

    french toast sticks recipe

    Mainly just the meats since this is what I dread the most . Oh and chopping up all the side dishes.

    I can’t tell you what a joy it’s been knowing that a wholesome dinner is already planned out and partially prepped. One less thing to worry about. Dear God I hope I can stick with this because it’s amazing. Highly recommended!

    cinnamon french toast stick

    This week I decided to make and freeze these delicious cinnamon sugar french toast sticks for busy mornings! I made one batch thinking I would freeze them for a trial run and we ended up inhaling these things lol  They are so good and easy.

    french toast sticks

     

    Which was a good thing because I didn’t like the way they reheated with the cinnamon sugar coating. For freezing I think I’ll go back to my old french toast recipe that has the cinnamon and sugar mixed into the egg batter.

    Nonetheless, these were awesome though! Sooooo not a healthy breakfast but I had no complaints at all! I paired this breakfast with fresh strawberries, scrambled eggs and turkey sausage.

    cinnamon sugar french toast stick

    Forget about needing syrup! The cinnamon sugar coating is ALL you will need. Trust me!  These could totally be a dessert and perfect for a brunch.

    And I don’t care what anybody says, French toast sticks tastes way better than french toast. Sure they’re the same thing but somehow having it in finger-food form makes it amazeballs!

    Double or triple the recipe because you’re gonna wanna eat the first batch instantly.

    french toast sticks recipe

    How To Make The BEST French Toast Sticks:

    • Use thick, stale bread. Yep bread that’s a few days old and a bit dried out is PERFECT. Soft, fresh bread won’t cut it. At all. It will soak up too much of the egg mixture and will result in soggy french toast. My bread was 3 days old and then I left it out on the counter all morning and afternoon to dry it out even further. I prefer Texas Toast.
    • Cook them in butter. Yes, butter! Lots of hot, sizzling yummy butter. It will give the french toast sticks a golden, crisp, delicious exterior.
    • Make a sample first! It can take a bit of practice to know when you’ve dipped the bread long enough.  If you let the bread sit in the egg mixture too long it will be soggy or undone in the middle.  If you don’t dip long enough then the french toast will be like plain bread in the middle instead of that fluffy, slightly creamy inside texture that great french toast is suppose to have. A test sample is best if you’re just not sure.

    Watch me make these cinnamon sugar french toast sticks from start to finish!

    Cinnamon Sugar French Toast
     
    Author:
    Serves: 12 sticks
    Ingredients
    • 4 slices Texas toast (day old and/or stale)
    • 2 eggs
    • ¼ cup milk ( I use almond milk)
    • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
    • ¼ cup granulated sugar
    • ½ -1 tablespoon cinnamon
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    Instructions
    1. Cut each slice of texas toast into 3 equal sticks. Set aside.
    2. In a large bowl or container, whisk together the eggs, milk, heavy cream and vanilla until uniform in color. Set aside.
    3. In another large bowl or container, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
    4. Dip the slices of bread into the egg mixture (front and back) quickly, being sure to shake off the excess.
    5. Place them on a plate or baking sheet while you dip the rest.
    6. Heat butter in a large griddle over medium heat.
    7. When griddle is hot place the dipped slices of bread into the pan.
    8. Cook until both sides are golden brown (flipping once).
    9. Take french toast directy from the pan and place into the cinnamon sugar mixture.
    10. Toss to coat. (Work quickly so that each stick is hot going into the cinnamon sugar mixture)
    11. Plate and serve!

     

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    How to Freeze Buttermilk

    August 10th, 2016
    “Can buttermilk be frozen? How do I freeze and store buttermilk? How long is it good for? Let’s dive into these common buttermilk questions!”

    How many times have you gone to make a recipe that requires buttermilk and you are fresh out of it? It happens to me often. Thank God for buttermilk substitutions, but let’s face it, there is really nothing like that creamy, thick, buttery-tart tasting buttermilk, the real deal!

    How To Freeze Buttermilk

    It makes cakes and biscuits so moist and makes for the creamiest homemade salad dressings. There is no doubt about it, buttermilk is definitely one of my favorite ingredients. Judging from how often I throw it into my recipes on this site, I’m pretty sure you’ve figure that out by now : )

    frozen buttermilk cubes

    So to ensure that I don’t run out of my precious buttermilk I’ve started freezing it! Normally it would sit in the fridge and go bad, but now after I make a recipe I freeze the rest of it.

    How do you freeze buttermilk?

    Ice cube trays!! Yep, first measure out 1 cup of buttermilk. Then pour that cup into the ice cube trays. Now you know how many cubes equal a cup. Write this on the front of a gallon freezer bag so you’ll know in the future how many cubes to thaw out.

    Freezing Buttermilk In Ice Trays

    Freeze and then you’ll have fresh buttermilk on hand whenever you need to make a batch of buttermilk pancakes at the last minute! Let me tell you, it comes in handy!

    How do you thaw frozen buttermilk?

    To thaw out, I nuke it in the microwave in short intervals or let it thaw out in the fridge overnight. Another quick way to thaw it out is to place the cubes in a sealed sandwich bag and submerge the bag in hot water (helloo breastfeeding days oh how I do not miss thee)

    how long does buttermilk last? Freeze it!

    Be sure to stir or whisk vigorously  after it has thawed since it tends to separate a bit. It may not be as creamy as it once was when it was in it’s fresh, pre-frozen state but it works just as good!  Kinda like going from your 20’s and into your mid 30’s and 40’s. You may not look the same but you can still get the job done- OKAY!

    How long does buttermilk last?

    Fresh buttermilk in the fridge lasts about 2-3 weeks after opening it. Don’t be tempted to use old buttermilk thinking “well it’s sour milk anyway” (This is so my grandmother) After the expiration date old buttermilk begins to lose it’s buttery flavor and aroma and becomes bitter and off tasting.

    frozen buttermilk

    How long does frozen buttermilk last ?

    Frozen, fresh buttermilk can last about 3 months. I confess to using my cubes past this mark though when I vacuum seal them.

    Ok so go look in your fridge and see if you have any buttermilk, check the expiration date and if it’s still some good, FREEZE IT!!!!

     


    How to Freeze Buttermilk
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Fresh Buttermilk
    Instructions
    1. Measure out 1 cup of buttermilk to start.
    2. Pour the buttermilk into ice trays.
    3. On a large freezer bag or freezer container, write how many cubes equal a cup and the date.
    4. Continue with remaining buttermilk if you are freezing more than 1 cup.
    5. Freeze.
    6. When cubes are solid, remove from ice trays and place in the prepared freezer bag or container.
    7. Store in the freezer for up to 3 month.
    8. To thaw, place the desired amount of cubes in a sealed bag and submerge in hot water. You could also place the cubes in the fridge to thaw out over night.
    9. Once thawed out whisk or stir vigorously as the buttermilk tends to separate once thawed.

     

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    Chicken Bruschetta Quesadilla

    August 8th, 2016
    “Chicken bruschetta quesadillas are easy to make and delicious! With ripe tomatoes, basil, garlic, balsamic, juicy chicken, mozzarella cheese in a buttery, crispy tortilla you can’t go wrong!”

    Lunch time can get pretty boring in my house. The boys usually go for egg noodles in chicken broth,  pizza, chicken nuggets, or mac n cheese. For my husband and I it’s usually a turkey and cheese sandwich or left overs.

    Chicken bruschetta quesadilla recipe

    It’s so easy to get in a “same ol thing” everyday food rut isn’t it? Well last week I thought I’d add a little change of pace to our lunch routine by making these super flavorful chicken bruschetta quesadillas.

    It’s the perfect time of year to make these tangy tomatoes too! Folks have been giving me fresh tomatoes left and right!  I’ve been wasting so many of them because I can’t seem to use them fast enough, even though I keep saying I’m going to do some canning. I’m a chronic procrastinator.

    Anyway it was nice to enjoy them fresh from the garden.

    Chicken bruschetta quesadilla lunchThese quesadillas definitely woke up our taste buds! They are so delicious! Even the boys loved them and Isaac doesn’t even like tomatoes!

    It’s that buttery, crisp tortilla, tender chicken, lots of mozzarella cheese and delicious balsamic tomatoes that makes them so irresistible! They pack in all the flavors of classic bruschetta!

    Chicken bruschetta quesadilla recipe

    If you’re in need of something different from lunch or dinner then you should def. make these! They are quick, easy and I’m confident you’ll love them just as much as we did!

    Watch me make these chicken bruschetta quesadillas from start to finish!

     
    Chicken Bruschetta Quesadilla
     
    Author:
    Serves: 4-4
    Ingredients
    • 10 cocktail tomatoes, finely diced
    • 10-15 fresh basil leaves, finely diced
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 2-3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 2-3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
    • salt & pepper, to taste
    • 2 chicken breast (seasoned and cooked), shredded *see note)
    • 4 (8-inch) flour tortilla
    • 2 tablespoons, butter melted
    • 8 slices mozzarella cheese
    Instructions
    1. In a large bowl, stir together tomatoes, basil, and garlic.
    2. Drizzle on olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
    3. Add salt and pepper to taste.(Add more vinegar if desired)
    4. Set aside (or refrigerate for 30 minutes to maximize flavor)
    5. Heat a grill pan over medium heat.
    6. Place a tortilla onto the pan and brush with butter.
    7. Flip tortilla over.
    8. Cut a slice of cheese in half and place the halves on one end of the tortilla.
    9. Add a row of chicken on top of the cheese and top with a few spoonfuls of tomatoes.
    10. Top with another layer of cheese.
    11. Once the cheese has started to melt and the bottom of the tortilla is golden, fold it in half.
    12. Cook for another minute and then place on a plate.
    13. Cut quesadilla in half and serve immediately.
    Notes
    For the chicken: I placed shallow slits in the chicken, brushed with butter and then seasoned generously with salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley. Baked in the oven at 350 F.

    Want more delicious quesadillas?

    Pepperoni Pizza quesadilla recipe easy
    Pepperoni Pizza Quesadillas
    cheeseburger-quesadilla-recipe-1024x682
    Cheeseburger Quesadilla
    smoked chicken cheese quesadilla recipe
    Smoked Chicken & Cheese Quesadillas

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    Fresh Watermelon Lemonade

    July 26th, 2016
    “How to make sweet & tart watermelon lemonade. Easy recipe with simple ingredients. Perfect refreshing summertime drink!”

    It’s no secret that I love me a good homemade lemonade! I mean hello peach lemonade, classic lemonade and strawberry lemonade!! Bring them all to mama!!

    watermelon lemonade recipe fresh

    Homemade lemonade is so easy to make and taste sooooooo much better than anything you will find in the store. Although  I do confess to loving that Simply Lemonade!

    best watermelon lemonade recipe

    Summer was made for ice cold lemonade! So if you haven’t made up a pitcher yet, go on ahead and give it a try! It’s so fun to play around with different fruit combinations to switch things up a bit. I ran across a recipe for lavender lemonade that looked so pretty! I’ll def. be trying that one soon.

    watermelon lemonade recipe

    But today we’re making this super refreshing watermelon lemonade. I had half a watermelon left and thought it would be the perfect time to make some watermelon lemonade to go with our grilled burgers and fries for lunch.

    sparkling watermelon lemonade recipe

    This watermelon lemonade is as simple and pure as it gets! Water, lemons, watermelon, sugar and mint!

    Yep that’s it!

    best watermelon lemonade recipe

    I just love the way fresh mint and watermelon get along. Every sip leaves your mouth cool and refreshed. It’s like a little bit of summer in a glass!

    easy watermelon lemonade recipeQuick lemon juicing tips: To soften up a lemon and make it easier to juice, microwave for about 15-20 seconds.

    fresh watermelon lemonade recipe

    You can replace the water with sparkling water or even add a few splashes of vodka! Invite me over if you decide to go the vodka route. Heeeeeeey!

     

    Watch me make this watermelon lemonade from start to finish!

    Watermelon Lemonade
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • ½ medium-size watermelon (or enough to make 4 cups watermelon juice)
    • 4-5 large lemons (or enough to make 1 cup lemon juice)
    • 1 - 1½ cups granulated sugar
    • 4-6 cups water or sparkling water
    • fresh mint
    Instructions
    1. Scoop watermelon into a blender or food processor.
    2. Process until liquid.
    3. Strain watermelon through a mesh strainer, reserving 4 cups of watermelon juice and discarding the watermelon flesh.
    4. Pour the watermelon juice into a pitcher. Set aside.
    5. Juice the lemons to equal 1 cup (use more if you prefer it really tart. I used 4 large lemons and got 1 cup of lemon juice)
    6. Strain the lemon juice and add it to the pitcher.
    7. Add in water.
    8. Stir in sugar to sweeten to desired taste.
    9. Serve immediatley over ice and garnish with fresh mint leaves and lemon slices.
    Notes
    This drink separates as it sits. So if you decide to serve it later, be sure to stir it up before serving.

     

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