Stuffed Taco Bell Peppers

Delicious Taco Stuffed Bell Peppers

Yall, I cooked dinner! And it had more than two ingredients (unlike this 2 ingredient pizza dough)…I’m a little proud of myself. We are definitely settling in to life as a family of 5. Last week was the final week we had friends bringing us dinner and it’s back to the real world. We are beyond grateful for almost two months worth of 2-3 meals a week from our amazing friends! They are very talented cooks. And I will be sharing some of their recipes with you soon. 

Poppy is still sleeping through the night like a champ (most nights) and loves being along for the ride as we are in and out with her big brother and sister! Today she visited the library and duck pond for the first time before picking Chickadee up from preschool. The quacking brought a smile to her face. Chickadee and Sprout have both had a fantastic start to their school year, and we are all settling into our new normal. We are loving every moment!

Bell Pepper Recipes

If you follow me on Instagram (@astepinthejourney) you might have seen our most recent garden goodies in the Instastories. Our bell peppers rocked it this year and there were about 6 of them ripe all at the same time. So working with what we had in the freezer and pantry I whipped up these stuffed taco bell peppers during nap time, and they even have a little quinoa to make you feel really good about yourself!

Sliced Peppers

Suffed Peppers Mix

Stuffed Bell Peppers with Quinoa

Stuffed Taco Bell Peppers
Yields 8
Simple and delicious stuffed taco bell peppers with quinoa!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 Bell Peppers, halved and de-seeded (is that a word?)
  2. 1 Bell Pepper, chopped
  3. 1lb lean hamburger meat
  4. 1/2 onion, chopped
  5. 2 tbsp homemade taco seasoning (link below!)
  6. 1/2 cup salsa
  7. 1/2 cooked quinoa
  8. 1 can black beans (drained)
  9. 1 can of corn (drained)
  10. 8 oz. bag of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  11. Olive OIl
Instructions
  1. In a skillet cook hamburger meat, chopped onions, and the one pepper you chopped. When the hamburger meat is cooked, drain the grease. Then add 2 tbsp of taco seasoning, salsa and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low. Simmer for about 10 minutes then set aside to cool
  2. Cook quinoa according to package instructions
  3. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray and lay out your halved peppers
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the seasoned hamburger meat, cooked quinoa, black beans, corn & about 1/2 a cup of cheddar cheese.
  5. Fill your pepper halves with the mixture and place in the oven for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes pull out and top with the remaining cheddar cheese. Cook for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted!
A Step In The Journey http://astepinthejourney.com/
Bell Pepper Recipe

 These turned out really great, & while my kids weren’t feeling the stuffed pepper itself, they ate the filling right up! If you haven’t saved it before, here is a link to my homemade taco seasoning. I use it ALL THE TIME for Mexican/taco recipes. It’s great on ground turkey, ground beef, and chicken and since it’s homemade I know exactly what is in it. 

I hope everyone’s week is off to a great start. We ate a casserole I had frozen tonight, but I have big plans to cook again tomorrow. Everyone send your prayers!

2 Ingredient Clean Pizza Dough

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Yes, we are alive, and yes I am back to blogging today because Poppy slept 7.5 hours last night!! 7 is her lucky number…born 7/7/17, weighed 7 pounds flat, is 7.5 weeks old, and just slept 7.5 hours. We are all feeling a little more rested. She is just the sweetest addition to our family, and we are soaking in all of her “littleness!”

So while I am well rested enough to blog, I’m not well rested enough to cook a gourmet meal, and that is why today I am here to tell you my favorite new recipe that a friend in our neighborhood recently shared. TWO ingredient pizza dough. Yes, I said TWO! Self Rising Flour and Organic Greek Yogurt. Seriously, that’s it. III was VERY skeptical of this pizza making route, but after using this recipe to make the pizza for our weekly “pizza and a movie” Friday nights. He was sold. And I think you will be too!

I will share a recipe card with you, but seriously you probably won’t knead it (get the pun :)! )

Two Ingredient Pizza Dough

1 cup of plain organic Greek yogurt | 1.5 cups of self rising flour

THAT.IS.IT

Mix it together using a hand mixer. It will start to ball up, keep going a little longer and then use your hands to knead it all together! And that is it. It doesn’t have to rise…it’s ready to go! I can’t believe how good it is!

Pizza dough

To roll out the dough, sprinkle some flour on both the counter and a little more on your dough ball. This recipe will make enough dough to make a round pizza the size of a pizza stone or cover a rectangle baking sheet, roughly 12 x 17 inches. After rolling out the dough, bake 2-3 minutes on 450 degrees to give the center a head start. Then fix it up however you like. We usually brush on a little EVOO, sprinkle on an Italian herb blend, then pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and pepperonis. Bake at 450 for another 10-12 minutes until the toppings are warm and the crust starts to brown! 

2 ingredient pizza dough

And enjoy! The kids like rolling out their own mini pizzas (which is why the shape of these is a little wonky!). Then we make another “kid hands” free one for us! 

TWO Ingredient Pizza Dough
Yields 1
Simple, delicious, and quick two ingredient pizza dough
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
12 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
12 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup Plain Organic Greek Yogurt
  2. 1.5 cups of self rising flour
  3. Pizza Toppings
Instructions
  1. Mix 1 cup of yogurt and 1 cup flour in a bowl with a stand or hand mixer until well combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Knead on medium for about 3-5 minutes slowly adding the rest of the flour until dough comes together.
  2. Sprinkle a clean counter top with flour and remove dough from bowl. Knead a few turns until dough is tacky, but not sticky.
  3. Roll out and bake at 450 degrees for 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle on Italian herbs, add pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and desired toppings. Bake for another 10-12 minutes until dough crisps and the edges start to brown.
A Step In The Journey http://astepinthejourney.com/

**post contains affiliate links

Finding a Hidden Gem

This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust Mortgage.  All opinions are my own.

Finding a Hidden Gem

It’s been a little over two years since we moved into our home and we couldn’t be happier. What started as the not so perfect house in the perfect neighborhood is slowly becoming the perfect house surrounded by the best friends! We have a habit of looking for hidden gems. Houses that have a lot of potential if you can see pass either the Pepto-bismol pink master bedroom walls or white kitchen backsplash accented with pastel fruit. However, the floor plans have always been perfect for our ever growing family and with a few touches each house has become our home.  

Owning a home is more than likely one of the biggest financial commitments you will ever make. And finding a manageable mortgage that fits your lifestyle is crucial. To often buyers purchase a house that they cannot afford, or if they can “afford” are now house poor. So much of their monthly income is going to their mortgage that they have to limit the lifestyle they were used to to make the payment. Luckily, SunTrust Mortgage, has a team of experts committed to helping future homeowners with every step along the way. 

When it comes to buying a home, just like on House Hunters, you need a list of “must haves.” What is most important to you and your family when it comes to your home. We sat down and made a list when looking for our current home. On our list location was number ONE. You can change a lot about a house itself, but you can never change where it is located. We also were looking for a neighborhood with young families, a pool, and strong community involvement. Four or more bedrooms and space for a playroom were key. Since we have a young family the zoned elementary school was also important. And finally, staying UNDER our max budget…not a penny over. One thing not on our list was a house that was updated or turn key ready. We don’t mind doing a little work, I guess that is what I mean by hidden gem. Great bones, perfect location, and ready to make our own. 

Sometimes we do have to stray a little bit from our wishlists. For example, ideally I would have preferred that all the bedrooms be on the same level. However, when it came down to it my other must-haves were more important. Distinguishing between must haves and wishlists is important. I suggest making this must-have list before you start house hunting. 

We worked with a great realtor who knew these must haves and our budget.  After several weeks of looking we made an offer on a home that we knew had the potential to be the perfect fit for our family. We negociated back and for because as I mentioned before III refused to go even a penny over budget. And since we were willing to purchase a house that needed a little work, we were able to get the best deal in the neighborhood around that time. With a little work over time we have increased the value of our home and our equity in the house. You can see our kitchen updates here.

 

I’ve mentioned before that III is in accounting and finance, so how and why we spend our money is second nature to him. Each time we’ve bought a home he has spent hours doing research regarding mortgage rates, taxes, monthly mortgage payment possibilities, and how to make sure we don’t have to pay mortgage insurance premium along the way. I wish we would have known about SunTrust Mortgage during our buying process. It would have been great to have so many resources all in one place. 

So are you thinking about purchasing a new home? Then you’ve come to the right spot, because I can point you in the right direction. SunTrust Mortgage has defined the process A to Z in their “Your Guide to Home Buying.” They have answers to everything from “Are you ready to purchase a home?” to planning a monthly budget to account for your new mortgage along with your other expenses. They will help give you the confidence to make your perfect home happen and to purchase responsibly. 
disclosure

At SunTrust Mortgage, we make it a priority to learn all about your unique circumstances. Confidence starts with a conversation. 

Talk with a SunTrust Mortgage expert today. 

This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust Mortgage. All opinions are my own.

 

Meet Poppy!

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Our sweet baby girl made us a #partyoffive on July 7, 2017. Poppy is here and snuggled up on my chest as I write this post. Newborn snuggles are one of my favorite things in the world! She is currently the sweetest, most laid back little baby! She was born at 7:42pm, weighed 7 pounds and was 20.75 inches long. She is currently being smothered by her big brother and big sister and we are all soaking in her newness! Praise the Lord for a healthy delivery and baby girl, we are forever grateful! 

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Thanks for sticking around! I promise to be back soon with more recipes, kid activities and hopefully tips for successfully parenting 3 littles 3 and under. We are embracing the chaos and enjoying the journey!

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Almost Homemade Blueberry Pie

Homemade_Blueberry_Pie_Recipe

III’s favorite dessert is blueberry pie. He said recently a sign of getting older is starting to like more fruity desserts…peach cobbler, strawberry shortcake, and of course blueberry pie. His mom makes the best. I have to agree. III’s parents live on a decent amount of land and have around 25-30 blueberry bushes that have stood the test of time. III tells me stories about when he was little and how he used to pick hours picking them and then take them to sell at a local farmer’s market. He’d make $7.00 for hours of work, but it’d be all his and he was so proud. I had never had blueberry pie until I traveled to LA (lower Alabama), but I glad to say that I can now add it to one of my favorite desserts list as well. And to make things even better, it’s pretty simple to make too!

Simple_Blueberry_Pie

Now, I suppose if you were up for the challenge you could make the pie crust from scratch. I’d give you bonus points and be super proud of you. I didn’t. But if I did I would probably try our this recipe from the Pioneer Woman, basically because I love almost any thing I make using one of her recipes. Plus, she says it’s perfect. Maybe once I get settled in with my three littles three and under I will give it a go. For now, I picked up two pie shells from Publix and made sure I told them thank you for saving me some time on the way out! So, here is the run down. 

blueberry_pie_recipe

Lattice_Pie_Crust

Almost Homemade Blueberry Pie
Serves 6
A deliciously simple homemade blueberry pie
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3-4 cups of fresh blueberries (or frozen completely thawed)
  2. 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  3. 1/4 cup of cornstarch OR 1/2 cup of flour
  4. 1 tbsp cinnamon
  5. 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  6. 1 egg
  7. 1 tbsp milk
  8. 2 frozen pie crusts (or homemade if you have time!)
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. 2. Set out the pie crust to thaw/reach room temperature (it won't take long)
  3. 3. In a large bowl mix all of the blueberries in the sugar, cornstarch, & cinnamon. If you don't have any cornstarch you can use flour (you'll just need a little more than the amount of cornstarch).
  4. 4. Once the pie crust has thawed pour your blueberry mixture into one of the pie crusts.
  5. 5. Dot the top with small pieces of unsalted butter.
  6. 6. For the lattice, take the other crust out of the pan and lay flat. Use a pizza or pie cutter to slice into strips (about 1/2 inch wide). Carefully thread the trips over and under creating a weave and pinch the ends of each strip to the edge of the bottom pie crust to seal.
  7. 7. In a small bowl mix together the egg and milk. Brush the top and edges of your pie. Then sprinkle the top with a little extra sugar!
  8. 8. Cook the pie at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Then turn down to 350 and allow the pie to continue cooking for another 25 minutes.
  9. 9. Allow the pie to cool for at least 3 hours. This allows the filling time to thicken up to perfection!
Notes
  1. III prefers his extra cool, so he likes it to spend some time in the refrigerator too.
A Step In The Journey http://astepinthejourney.com/
Fresh_Blueberry_Pie

I’ve made this pie twice in the past few weeks and it hit the tastebuds right each time! For the 4th of July I added stars to the top instead of the lattice. Turned out pretty cute and festive if I do say so myself. 

square_blueberry_pie