10 Favorite Fall Recipes

 Posted by on October 1, 2013  No Responses »
Oct 012013

October means a change in menu. Football, fall, leaves, family gatherings and cooler weather mean these type recipes from our archives…

10 Favorite Fall Recipes at www.habitsforahappyhome.com

Fun Food for Football Watching by Kim A. – hearty red chili, spinach melts…

Barbecue Cups, also by Kim – are simple, quick and delicious!

Fallish Fun- Caramel Apples Recipe at Habits for a Happy Home Fallish Fun: Caramel Apples by Kendra  – these are absolutely beautiful!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies also by Kendra

Italian Stuffed Shells – a Hodgepodge favorite!


I normally use a traditional trifle dish, but this one was going to an office function where there was limited refrigerator space.

I normally use a traditional trifle dish, but this one was going to an office function where there was limited refrigerator space.

Brownie Trifle by Kerri – always something to look forward to!

Cold Days, Warm Soup – Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup also by Kerri – perfect comfort food

Lunchtime Variety by Heidi – yep, our lunch times often get in a rut and these are some great ideas!

Yam Casserole by Littlesanctuary – perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas or Sunday dinner

And topped off with the Brownies They’ll Never Forget by Kim A. “I recommend you don’t wait until 9:00 at night and make these with your husband when the kids are in bed.  Make them right now, while the kids are still up, so they can share all the fat and calories with you.  Enjoy, and be praised for the rest of the day by your adoring husband and children.”



What are YOUR favorites?

~written by Tricia, Hodgepodge

Oct 122011

Ahhh… October…. is there a more beautiful month of the year? The weather, the colors, the crisp air, the smell of burning leaves (yes, I love it) and the nearness of the holidays make this month one of my favorites!

Closing out this wonderful month is Halloween! I have fond, fond memories of trick or treating as a kid. My mom always helped my sister and I come up with the most creative and unusual costume ideas. My neighborhood would come alive and kids would roam the streets searching for candy. In one neighborhood I lived in, everyone lit luminaries on October 31st. The whole neighborhood was a glow in these beautiful lights! I lived in another neighborhood that had so many kids that cars didn’t stand a chance maneuvering through the streets because there were so many kids and parents out on Halloween night! It was always a fun night!

When I was a child, I had no idea of the evil roots and beginnings of Halloween. After having my own children, we began to really think and pray about rather we would “do” Halloween or not. It seems “Halloween” has become like a curse word in Christian circles. You either “do” Halloween or you “don’t”. After much thought and prayer we have decided to participate parts of this holiday. With all do respect to others’ convictions I would like to share why our family does “do” Halloween.

The reason is simple. We do Halloween because we don’t want to miss this opportunity to meet our neighbors! This is the one time of year when my neighbors get together and willingly come outside. We have lived in several neighborhoods and there has not been one that has proven an easy place to meet our neighbors. People drive up the drive way into the garage and shut the door behind them before they get out of the car. And that is just when they are home. With our busy culture, neighbors are not home long enough to see their own family, let alone meet a neighbor.

Halloween night is one of the few nights people willingly come out of their homes! They might even walk straight up to my door! If I were to turn off our porch light or not answer the door, I feel like we would be missing an awesome opportunity! 

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” -Act 1:8

As believers in Jesus, we are commanded to “be witnesses”. Outside of the four walls of my house, the next people who I should prioritize hearing the gospel and being a witness to are my neighbors. How can we even think about witnessing to the “ends of the earth”, when we haven’t even meet most of the people in our “Jerusalem”? So, our family sees Halloween as a small yearly opportunity to maybe meet or build on a relationship with our neighbors that may potentially have eternal value!

Let me also say that there is a lot about Halloween we don’t do. I don’t do scary costumes, scary/horror movies, tombstones in the front yard are ghost on my door. I take very seriously the reality of Satan and how the seemingly innocent participation of certain activities can open doors to his work in my home. That stuff is real and will have no place in our home.

I also am very familiar with the origins of Halloween. I realize it was a holiday started by pagans to ward of evil spirits. But you know what if instead of hiding behind a closed door and ignoring a holiday Satan intended for evil; what if we open our doors and made it an opportunity that God can use for good! Think about it. What if for once as believers we played offense with this issue instead of defense. What if we did our part to take something intended for evil and made it good?!

Just a thought.

Here are some ideas:

-last year my husband had to work so we set up in the front yard with some lawn chairs. My kids were young and actually enjoyed passing out the candy more than “trick or treating”. We meet many neighbors that night!

-this year our apartment complex is hosting a “trunk or treat” event! I think this is brilliant and could be done in any neighborhood!

– I have heard of some families hosting a neighborhood party on Halloween night involving pumpkin carving and games.

– Another great idea I’ve heard about is to post a coffee or hot chocolate booth in your front yard. What a great way to love on the moms and dads or little trick or treaters passing by!

– (One day I hope to do this one) Host a halloween day parade! Let the kids walk a little “parade route” dressed in their costumes! You go so crazy to make “floats” out of wagons or bikes! Regardless it would be fun!

– Simply turn your porch light on and pass our some really yummy candy to kids and parents! I think a little love and warmth can go along way!

Happy Halloween!

Fun Food for Football Watching

 Posted by on October 6, 2011  1 Response »
Oct 062011

Ah, fall! Time for falling leaves, cooler temperatures, and FOOTBALL! Whatever your favorite team, there’s one thing we can all agree on…watching football on tv is made all the better when accompanied by a delicious snack. Below I’ve included two of my favorites… one for the men, and one for ladies. (Although I enjoy both of these!)

Hearty Red Chili

For the men… Shh! This delicious dish tastes like it cooked all day, but it really only takes about 30 minutes!
In large saucepan, cook ¾ lb. ground beef, 1 cup chopped onion, ½ cup chopped green pepper, and 2 cloves garlic until meat is brown. Drain fat. Stir in one 16 oz. can diced tomatoes (do not drain); one 16 oz. can dark red kidney beans, drained; one 8 oz. can tomato sauce; 2 to 3 teasp. chili powder; ½ teasp. dried basil; ¼ teasp. salt; and ¼ teasp. ground red pepper. Cover; simmer 20 min. Serve with shredded cheese and sour cream; tortilla chips optional. Makes 4 servings. I always double it, as it’s even better the next day!

Greek Spinach Melts

For the ladies… (adapted from Pampered Chef “Seasons Best” cookbook, Fall/Winter 1996).
Begin with a loaf of delicious San Francisco sourdough bread. Ahh, really we could stop right there (after a little butter is added). But we’ll keep going…if you do not, as I no longer do, live within 60 miles of San Francisco, take heart…there are places you can buy sourdough bread almost as good as that sold in the City by the Bay. My favorite local sourdough bread is found, believe it or not, at Walmart. It’s a 24 oz. square loaf called California Sourdough, and it’s often on the day old bread rack.
Slice half of that loaf (if it comes already sliced, all the better) and spread the slices out on a baking sheet. Put them into the oven at 350 just long enough to crisp them up a little…do not let them turn brown. Now take the baking sheet out of the oven and set it aside.
Defrost one box of frozen, chopped spinach. Now take the spinach out of the box and squeeze it vigorously in a clean kitchen towel. Place it in a bowl along with one chopped plum tomato, ¼ cup chopped red onion, 2 garlic cloves (pressed), ½ cup crumbled feta cheese, ¼ cup each mayonnaise and sour cream, ½ teasp. dried dill weed, and ¼ teasp. salt. Mix together and spread onto pre-toasted bread slices. Bake 10 min. at 350, or until heated through.

What favorite recipes do you have for football watching?

~ by Kim, The Daisy Muse

Fallish Fun: Caramel Apples

 Posted by on October 4, 2011  3 Responses »
Oct 042011

At our house, making caramel apples is one of those things that we must do at least once every fall. It is so easy and fun for all ages. YUM!

This is really more of a procedure than a recipe. I usually start with the recipe from the bag of Kraft caramels for the basic caramel apples.

  • 1 bag Kraft caramels
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 medium apples (the recipe says 5, but I can never get 5 out of one bag of caramels)

Heat caramels and water in saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until caramel is melted and smooth. Meanwhile, wash and thoroughly dry the apples, and remove the stems. Push popsicle sticks into the stem side of the apple. Dip apples in caramel, spooning caramel over apple to coat evenly. Scrape excess off the bottom of the apple. The original recipe suggests setting the apples on buttered waxed paper, but I have found that a greased silicone baking liner works much better. Refrigerate the apples for one hour.


Then you jazz them up a bit…

The possibilities are endless. I got most of these ideas after browsing the array of $6 apples at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. If little ones are helping (of course!) have the apples caramel-dipped and all the fixins’ chopped up and ready to go ahead of time.

  • my personal favorite – dip chilled caramel apples in melted white chocolate, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar
  • drizzle melted chocolate over caramel apples, then sprinkle with nuts
  • coat caramel apples in chocolate and then roll in your favorite candy or cookie…chopped Oreos, Snickers, M&Ms, etc…

A few tips:

  • I like to use tart apples to balance the sweetness, but you can use any kind of apples you like.
  •  A half a bag of chocolate chips is plenty for 4 apples.
  • Melt your chocolate (white or regular) in the microwave, at 50% power, with 2 tablespoons shortening for perfect drizzling/dipping consistency
  • Let the melted chocolate cool to lukewarm before dipping apples. This will prevent the caramel from melting and oozing off the apple.
  • Slice the apples before eating them. I know it isn’t as much fun if you don’t eat it off the stick, but it is a lot less messy!
  • Caramel apples will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, if they last that long. Let them sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before eating.