A busy weekend in the kitchen!

Hey there! I find that when I’m around on the weekend with some extra time, I tend to spend it in the kitchen. I wouldn’t say that I’m a great cook or baker, but I love doing both and have turned out some pretty delicious meals and baked goods, so I think that’s enough to keep me happy and motivated to keep trying new things.

This past weekend, I had a blast baking festive treats and a Mexican dinner that was super quick and easy to put together. I think it’s probably the cooler fall weather that makes it so comforting to be in the kitchen with the stove going. Whatever it is, I’ll take it, because I love having fun treats in the apartment!

First up, Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread. Sunday morning I woke up and decided I wanted to bake pumpkin bread. I went online and did a quick Google search for “healthy pumpkin bread” and stumbled upon a bunch of delicious looking Cooking Light pumpkin bread recipes. I decided to try the Pecan-Topped Pumpkin Bread, substituting the pecans for chocolate chips. MMMM. A pumpkin bread smelling apartment is a great way to start the day;)

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Next up, apple crisp. I told Jessi that I would bring apple crisp to her dinner party since I had a bunch of apples from Saturday’s apple picking. I found a great looking Martha Stewart apple crisp recipe and decided to use it! I can’t say I really like to peel apples, but, there was something very soothing and relaxing about peeling and chopping on Sunday, which made for a much more enjoyable process. Could’ve been the glass of wine I was drinking while I peeled and chopped 😉

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If I thought the smell of pumpkin bread was delicious, the smell of apple crisp was unbelievable! I absolutely love all apple desserts, but apple crisp is probably my favorite. I made a few different size dishes so I could keep some, and share more.


Lastly, I made a taco salad for dinner! I didn’t want to make anything big this week since I wouldn’t be around on Tuesday and Thursday through Sunday, so using up some frozen chicken and leftover veggies, adding in beans and taco seasoning was the perfect quick and easy dinner!

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I had been craving Mexican for a while, so this totally hit the spot. The only thing missing was cheese. I bought Mexican cheese and everything… can’t believe I forgot to add it 😦 Oh well. Once I slathered everything in salsa I couldn’t even tell the difference 😉

Questions for you: What’s your favorite apple recipe? What’s your favorite quick bread recipe? What’s the best thing you ate last weekend?

“Shepherds Pie” {with a healthy twist}

I say “Shepherds Pie” in quotations because even though this recipe follows the general idea of Shepherds Pie, I made some healthier substitutions where I could. The traditional recipe calls for regular white potatoes and ground beef and while there is nothing wrong with either of those items, I prefer to use sweet potatoes (or a combination of sweet and regular) for their nutritional value (and, ok, taste- I think they taste so much better than regular potatoes) and ground turkey as I am not a huge beef person. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good, juicy burger or piece of steak every now and then, but most of the time I use ground chicken or ground turkey instead of beef since it’s a little more in line with the way I like to eat.

What made this meal even more delicious was the fact that I used carrots, onions and potatoes from my dad’s garden! There’s something about eating things fresh from the garden that makes them taste so much better. I swear, his carrots are a million times better than those “mini” carrots that are loaded with preservatives and whatnot to keep their shelf life longer.

With all that said, let’s get to the recipe!

Healthified Shepherd’s Pie


  • 1lb. ground turkey- tip- I got the “Italian Style” version and oh my goodness was that a good choice! it was so full of flavor I didn’t have to add any extra seasonings to it!
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 3 small yellow potatoes
  • 1- 1.5 cup(s) canned corn (if you want a lot of veggies in the pie, use 1.5 cups!)
  • 1- 1.5 cup(s) chopped carrots
  • 1- 1.5 cup(s) chopped onions
  • 2tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup milk



1. Peel and chop your potatoes. Place into a big pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let it boil until the potatoes are soft.


2. While the potatoes are cooking, preheat your oven to 350* and chop your carrots and onions. Heat a medium skillet with a tbsp. of olive oil and add the onions and carrots. Add in herbs/seasonings of your choice and cook until onions are translucent and carrots are soft.


3. Once the onions and carrots are cooked, remove from the pan and set aside. Heat the pan again and add the ground turkey. Cook until no longer pink.

4. When the potatoes are cooked, drain the water from the pan, add in the butter and milk and mash the potatoes. I didn’t have a masher so I used my hand mixer and it worked great! I also added a dash of salt & pepper for flavor, but that’s optional.


5. At this point, everything should be ready to assemble. Place the meat at the bottom of a casserole dish, then layer the carrots, onions and corn. Finally, top with the mashed potatoes. Bake at 350* for 20-30 minutes or until the top has browned up.



Serve yourself a big heaping of this deliciousness and enjoy!



This was the perfect meal to kickoff the cooler, fall weather that’s starting to stick around (well, except for yesterday. Where did that 90 degree weather come from?! I want sweater and boots weather!). I’ve already started to collect more fall recipes that I can’t wait to make!

Questions for you: What’s your favorite fall weather meal? What’s your favorite healthy substitution?