Warm Up with Turkey and Noodles

Recipe Originally From: 30 Day Gourmet Freezer Cooking

The original recipe for this is in a great freezer cook book, it gives you the number of meals you can make and the different measurements for the ingredients for how many meals you are preparing. I have changed it a bit to make it more of my own.

Turkey and Noodles
Recipe Type: Dinner
Author: Monica
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
  • 1 Gallon Vegetable Broth
  • 2 tsp Chicken Bullion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C diced onion (Fresh, Frozen or Dried all work!)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Montreal Chicken Seasoning
  • 1 lb Egg Noodles or Rotini
  • 1/3 C Flour
  • 2 C Milk
  • 3 C Shredded or Diced Turkey
  • salt to taste
  1. In Large Pot, heat broth, seasonings and onion to boiling. (Emphasis on Large Pot.. too many times I have used one that was way too small)
  2. Add noodles and bring again to boiling. Reduce heat to keep it boiling but not boiling over. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Wisk flour and milk together and add to bubbling pot. Add meat, and cook everything until the juices are slightly reduced.
  4. Eat and Enjoy! This is a great comfort food meal for cold days (although I’m eating it on a warm day!). It could be easily adjusted to add more diced vegetables too!

Sweet and Easy Cornbread Muffins

Sweet and Easy Corn Bread Muffins

I love cornbread, but I seem to be the only one in my family that eats them as leftovers. I finally was smarter than usual and started making corn bread muffins so that I had an easy way to freeze the leftovers. They are perfect to pull one or two out of the freezer and defrost them just for me.

Sweet and Easy Cornbread Muffins
Recipe Type: Quick Bread
Author: Monica
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Cornmeal
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salk
  • Cooking Spray or Paper Liners
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Cooking Oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl stir together eggs, milk and oil. Add liquids to flour mixture and stir until moistened.
  4. Spray muffin tins very generously with cooking spray if not using paper liners. Fill the muffin trays about 3/4 full with cornbread batter.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes until they are slightly darker color or until a toothpick comes out clean.

My cookbook has the note to double this recipe- a great idea when you have room in the freezer. These go well with a little bit of butter and honey, or crumbled up in some chili!

Cornbread Muffin

15 Minute Suppers: Cajun Chicken Alfredo

One of our favorite local restaurants, Uncle Bear’s, makes a great Cajun Chicken Alfredo. When I was trying to copy it one night I found a great way to have an easy but delicious dinner- and it can be made in 15 minutes!

Cajun Chicken Alfredo

A quick shout out about one of the added ingredients- Bella Sun Luci’s Sun Dried Tomatoes were given to me at Blended Confrence, they were one of the sponsors there. Thanks BlendedConf and Bella Sun Luci!

15 Minute Suppers: Cajun Chicken Alfredo
Recipe Type: Dinner
Author: Monica
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-3
  • 1 Jar Alfredo Sauce (dry packets are also easy)
  • 1/3 C Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes (optional)
  • Linguine Noodles
  • Raw Chicken Breast
  • Cajun Seasoning
  • Grated Parmesan
  1. First start boiling a bowl of water for your noodles. I add a little salt to keep the noodles from sticking and to help the water come to a boil quicker. Once you hear the water boiling make sure you add your noodles. When they are done cooking you can drain them as well.
  2. Switch modes while your water is boiling and cut up your chicken into thinner slices. This will help it cook faster, and allow the seasoning to cover more area. Once the chicken is cut, cover as much of it as you can with the cajun seasoning. Cook the chicken on ‘the george’ as we call it, or on a skillet.
  3. While both the chicken and the noodles are cooking you can get the sauce ready. This is the easiest part as you are really just heating it up. Put the sauce in the pot and cook it on medium. Also add your sun dried tomatoes.
  4. Once your noodles and chicken are done cooking you can put everything together. Put the drained noodles on your plate and add some sauce. You can also put a couple pieces of chicken on your plate and sprinkle everything with some Parmesan Cheese.

We have a small family, so this is enough for us. For bigger families it is easy to double, triple or quadruple the recipe. It shouldn’t take too much longer. There you have it, a delicious dinner in 15 minutes. Try it tonight!

15 Minute Suppers #15MinuteSuppers

I’m so excited to be joining with a great group of bloggers every week to share 15 Minute Suppers with you. 15 Minute Suppers is all about getting supper on the table quickly with a homemade meal. All of the recipe shared are super easy take only 15 minutes or less to get on the table. Our lives are so busy that sometimes it’s hard to find time to sit down together at the table for supper. Well, say bye bye to the 30 minute suppers and HELLO 15 Minute Suppers!

Follow 15 Minute Suppers on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest
and look for the #15MinuteSuppers hashtag too

You have to check out these 6 fabulous 15 Minute Suppers:

Easy Taco Burgers from Around My Family Table
Sesame Chicken Salad from Better in Bulk
Homemade Beef & Bean Chili from How To This And That
Italian Couscous with Sausage from Suburbia Unwrapped
Paleo Shrimp Salad Recipe from Confessions of an Overworked Mom
Healthy Pesto “Spaghetti” from Mindfully Frugal Mom

If you are a blogger and you’d like more info, please check out the 15 Minute Suppers website or ask to join the Facebook group to participate on Fridays…we’d love to have you join us.

Sausage Link Crockpot Chili

Sausage Link Chili and Cornbread
I went to go make my version of my mom’s favorite chili (everyone who tries it immediately claims it as their new favorite chili) and as I pulled everything out to make it I realized I didn’t really have all the ingredients that I thought I did.

Go check out >Mom’s Favorite Chili here, then come back and see my changes!

I start off by cooking my tomato sauce. I buy tomatoes in bulk sometimes and freeze them so I first have to defrost them and the zucchini I add to them and puree them. I then let them cook on high in the crock pot for an hour, or for 15-20 minutes on the stove.

Next I add all of the ingredients my mom does, except this time I used sliced sausage hot links instead of ground beef. I also add a little extra chili powder.


Canisters, Cartons, and Containers: Fun Fall Basket

I might hoard bottles and bowls and jars sometimes. Or all the time. I finally am going to start using them this week, and to make myself use tons of them I am making it an entire series. To see the rest of my Canisters, Cartons and Containers click here.

Leafy Fall Basket

Fall Basket MaterialsMaterials:

Large Butter Tub
Fall Leaves (We only have fake ones, real would be so much cooler!)
Hot Glue Gun


First cut your burlap so that it will fit around your butter tub. I had a costco-sized tub and my burlap dimensions were about __”x__”

punch hole in butter tub with a nailAnother thing to do in the beginning is to punch the holes on each side of the butter tub. An easy way to do this is with a nail. It can be pushed into the plastic (near the top) on each side of the tub. This will be where the basket handle goes.

finished twine and wire

The next step is to put the wire through one of the holes, and loop it up and twist it so that it will stay. Then tie the twine to the loop of wire and twist it around the length of the wire.

Soon after you twist the twine around the wire put the second end of the wire through the other hole. Make sure that you don’t let go of the twine while you do this. Loop the end of the wire up and twist it around itself. Now you can tie the twine into the second loop and trim the ends of the twine.

Now you can start hot gluing the burlap to the basket. It will be a little weird because the bottom of the basket is smaller than the top. Just make sure to pull the bottom so that it goes around further than the top. If all else fails when you are done hot gluing the top of the burlap you can always fold in any excess burlap on the bottom so that it would be hidden.

trimming the excess burlap

The burlap at the bottom can be very messy. Now would be a good time to trim it. Also, you might notice that the butter tub print still shows through. By the time we add the leaves it shouldn’t be noticeable and if it is it would only be in bright light, like where I was taking pictures. If it bothers you, feel free to add a second layer of burlap now before we add the leaves to the basket.

The leaves can now be hot glued to the burlap. Make it fun and have them pointing in all sorts of directions. If you have a choice of different colored leaves or sizes try to alternate between them. adding leaves to basket

Finally, you will add the twine around the leaves. My twine bow didn’t want to stay put so I made sure to hot glue it in place.

Fall Basket from Butter Tub

Other than the fact that my leaves are fake I’m really happy with my fall basket. I can’t wait to put some rolls in it for our Thanksgiving Dinner!

If you happen to try making this with real leaves I would love to hear how you did it and how it went. Most parts of the country has beautiful leaves this time of year so I’m hoping someone will try it!

My Favorite Toddler Bedtime Stories {Gift Ideas}

Toddler Bedtime Stories

Reading Bedtime Stories

Before my toddler’s bedtime, we sit on his big bear and read books. I have a few favorites, and I think my son loves them because he can tell how much I love them. I try to only keep good books around, and “good” can mean many things. The main thing “good” means is that it doesn’t annoy me, or teach my son to annoy me. It also won’t usually bore him or bore me. These are a few of my favorites that are great bedtime stories for a toddler.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a favorite in our house, we even based my son’s first birthday party off of it. It makes the list of one of our top bedtimes stories because it’s a very relaxing story, it’s easy to read (and follow along with) as well as there are plenty of things that my son recognizes and likes to point out.

Happy Birthday, Moon by Frank Asch

Happy Birthday, Moon is a favorite bedtime story because it’s simple and cute. It is a conversation between the bear and the moon. It’s something that my son doesn’t understand yet, but when he makes the connection he will love the story even more. Right now there are plenty of little things that my son loves to point out while we are reading it, so it makes it fun for him but not overly-stimulating.


The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear is my favorite. (I know, I say that everything is my favorite!) I love that my son loves this book now too. He didn’t get it at first because the Big Hungry Bear is talked about but never seen. He loves this book so much now that he mouths the words along with me, and sometimes will recite them for me. I love that this book is such a cute story but it also doesn’t take all night to read it to him. (All of these books are pretty short and sweet compared to lots of children’s books. Unless you ask my husband- he thinks they are all way too long.)

Chicka Chicka ABC by Bill Martin Jr, John Archambault, and  Lois Ehlert

Chicka Chicka ABC is a shorter and simpler version of the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom that I read in grade school. It is on our top bedtime stories list because it is so short and simple and because it has an awesome beat. I think it is my husband’s favorite book to read to our son because it is the shortest on this list, but really we both love it.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus is a story that is pretty much a pigeon throwing a two-year-old’s temper tantrum. Don’t let that scare you though, I don’t think this teaches kids to throw temper tantrums.The way this book is set up it shows kids how silly they are. Just from the title (and when the bus driver asks you) it makes the kids be the ones in charge so they are supposed to keep the pigeon from driving the bus. If you haven’t read this book you should go check it out at your local library and see why it has made our favorite bedtime stories list.

What are your favorite bedtime stories? Are there any I need to go out and read so I can add them to my list?

This post is not sponsored by these authors or publishers but if you click on the links and happen to buy something from Amazon you will be helping out Monzanita’s in a small way, so thank you!

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

I love a nice chocolaty treat that also has some vegetables in it! These muffins are great to make and freeze for a snack later too. My son loves to eat them too- he thinks he’s eating chocolate cupcakes! They really could be made without the topping and be frosted! My husband likes them without the topping too. The original recipe is Chocolate Zucchini Cake from Something Edible, but I do mine a little differently!

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Recipe Type: Quick Bread
Author: Monica
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (pecan or walnuts are great!)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Mix butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Add salt, baking soda, and cocoa. Slowly add flour.
  4. Mix in the grated zucchini.
  5. Pour into greased muffins tins or paper baking cups.
  6. Mix the brown sugar, pecans and chocolate chips and sprinkle on top of the muffins.
  7. Bake for 18-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Chocolate Muffins... or Cupcakes as he calls them.
My son happily eating “Chocolate Cupcakes”

Banana Bread for Breakfast { Recipe }

Banana Bread

I think my husband let our bananas die on purpose, just so he could have some banana bread! He was a little upset that I made Zucchini bread a couple of weeks ago instead of banana bread. It was really good though! It turned out moist and delicious- it tastes even better with a little bit of butter.

Banana Bread
Recipe Type: Quick Bread
Author: Monica
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Canola Oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 2 Bananas -Peeled and Broken in half
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Walnuts (Optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Place ingredients, minus the nuts, in the mixer or blender and blend until fully mixed. Make sure there are no chunks of bananas. Stir the nuts in and then put the batter into a greased loaf pan. This recipe makes one loaf of banana bread.
  3. Bake for 60 minutes.
  4. Poke banana bread with a toothpick to see if it’s done, it should come out clean.


The Cutest Trench Coat Got Even Cuter!


Trench coats make you hotter, didn’t you know? Oh or maybe just for these guys. Or maybe I should post a picture of Bones, because she was really my {female} inspiration for wanting a trench coat. Her and about a million cute trench coats on Pinterest.


Last year about this time I bought a trench coat and cutesy-ed it up. (It’s a word now!) I didn’t take it in too much because I thought that with the winter still on it’s way I would be adding too many layers under it and it wouldn’t fit. See the original trench coat that I bought at a thrift store here. It was kind of ugly at first. Maybe just plain. Then take a look at the modified trench coat.It looks awesome, but it wasn’t quite as fitted and dressy as I wanted it to be.

My Trench Coat in Action Last Winter

It turns out that the few times I did add layers under it, I really didn’t need it as wide as it was. Also I forgot that it was a button up so even if I had too many layers I could still wear it just fine, by not buttoning. That’s what I’m sure I will be doing this winter anyway because I’m scheduled to be extra-fat around then.
Cute Altered Trench CoatFront of Altered Trench CoatAnyway, my trench coat looks so much cuter now that it’s fitted and looks more dressy (just like my inspiration! and everything I love on Pinterest) I know I will love it a million times more. Now it’s just the waiting game until it’s cold enough that I can wear it. Curse you Arizona “Fall”!
Back of Cute Altered Trench Coat

Halloween Mantle {DIY Decor)

My two year old helped me decorate our “mantle” this year. We don’t have a mantle, but our bookcases work as one whenever we want to decorate!

My son put everything up on the lower shelves, I decorated the top and added the garland and the ghost banner.

The table runner I made a few years back, its a nice little striped quilt.

The Love sign in the background is up all year long, I made that when we lived in our first apartment. To see the instructions click here.

I made the ghost banner last year. It’s a little wrinkly this year but I thought it looked spooky (plus I’m lazy!) you can see the tutorial for it over at Arizona Mama. The Garland was made from the scraps of the table runner (and some other banners I haven’t hung up yet). Check out the tutorial for the garland here.

Some of my TP Pumpkins, they are super easy to make and look cute. Click here to see the tutorial.

I made this sign a couple years ago, it’s from an old dresser drawer, and just hand painted. The skulls came from the booty I bought the day after Halloween last year.