Baked Apple Pancake

Thursday, October 19, 2017

We recently gave this breakfast casserole a try, and we were impressed! Not only was it easy to make, but it was also a welcome warm breakfast for a chilly fall morning.

What makes this so easy is that you mix everything up and then put it in a casserole dish to bake. So while it might taste like apple pancakes, you don't have to make them one by one. Give this recipe a try - you'll be happy to add it to your fall breakfast rotation.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Baked Apple Pancake

Baked Apple Pancake

6 medium apples, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
12 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled, divided
6 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 3 quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Place apple slices in a skillet with lemon juice. Toss with cinnamon and confectioner's sugar. Add 8 Tablespoons butter. Cook on low-medium heat, stirring, for 4 minutes until apples are tender.
  3. Add flour, salt, eggs, milk, vanilla, and remaining butter to a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until all ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Spread apples evenly in bottom of casserole dish. Pour batter over top.
  5. Bake about 20-25 minutes, until no moist spots are left in the batter.
  6. Remove from oven and serve by flipping portions onto plates and sprinkling with confectioner's sugar. Serve warm.
Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Baked Apple Pancake

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Baked Apple Pancake

Your family will really love this breakfast treat - it's almost like having apple pie for breakfast! (And who can resist that?) If you're looking for other tried and true fall breakfast recipes, give these a try:

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The season for pumpkin is here! If you're looking for a new cookie recipe for fall, give this one a try. 

These yummy cookies have a cake-like consistency, and the pumpkin and spice flavors are perfect for the fall season. These are the perfect dessert to bring to any upcoming Halloween parties you might have - you'll be glad you tried this recipe!

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies

4 sticks butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
12 oz. white chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
  3. Add pumpkin and eggs and beat until smooth.
  4. Add flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and baking soda and beat until well blended.
  5. Stir in white chocolate chips.
  6. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Bake about 12-14 minutes (until set and bottoms are browned).
  7. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheets and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies


Notes:
Making pumpkin puree is easy (especially this time of year when you can find pumpkins)! Give it a try! Directions for making your own pumpkin puree to freeze and use throughout the year are here.

Takin' It Back to the Old School

Monday, October 9, 2017

It's that time of year again! This year, the Harris Sisters decided to go "old school" and dress up from the 1980s for Halloween. Since this is one of the decades we grew up in, we were all too familiar with the details we'd need to bring these costumes together.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: 1980s Halloween Costumes

Choosing some items from our own closets, some from the local party store, and some actual vintage 1980s items, we were able to recreate three different looks from this decade.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: 1980s Halloween Costumes

For those of you who might not remember, there were a lot of different popular styles in the 1980s, so the first step in creating a 1980s costume is choosing which style you'd like to replicate.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: 1980s Halloween Costumes

1980s icons Madonna and Cyndi Lauper are good places to start, but you can also research 1980s street style and other popular 1980s characters like Jem and the Holograms.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: 1980s Halloween Costumes


The Devil's in the Details:

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: 1980s Halloween Costumes
  • As always, shopping your closet will be the easiest way to acquire the items you need for a 1980s costume. Pieces like light colored denim, neon/bright colors, and graphic T-shirts are items that you might be able to find.
  • Thrift stores are another good resource for purchasing items like bright colored shoes, belts, and 1980s jewelry.
  • Bright makeup and glitter eye shadow are a must for your costume! You can purchase these at your local dollar store around Halloween.
  • You can purchase any additional 1980s accessories you need to fill out your costume, such as scrunchies, big lace hair bowsslouch socks, neon jelly bracelets, buttons, crimped hair extensions, and leg warmers, online or at your local party store.
  • We used many props and pieces that were original to the 1980s, such as a 1982 Little Orphan Annie necklace, an oversized acid-washed jean jacket, Coca-Cola sunglasses, Pepsi sunglasses, Swatch watches, a Mickey Mouse watch, and a few 1980s yearbooks.
  • Because all of the Harris Sisters were in elementary school in the 1980s, we chose a local elementary school as our photo shoot location.
Make sure to check out our costume section of the blog for more tips, tricks, and ideas for this Halloween!

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Old Fashioned Lima Beans and Ham

Thursday, October 5, 2017

I am a fan of good old fashioned ham and beans.  It's a southern thing, and it just doesn't get much better.  So I cooked up a batch of these oversized limas with ham earlier this week, and they were PERFECTION.  Slow cooker meals are so easy, and there is just nothing better than a pot of beans on an early autumn evening.  


Old Fashioned Lima Beans and Ham


1 lb. dried lima beans- sorted, rinsed, and soaked
2-4 cups meaty ham hocks or leftover ham
2 onions, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp chili powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups chicken broth
Additional water

  1. Place beans in your slow cooker.  
  2. Add ham and onions.
  3. Add broth and additional water needed to bring liquid 2 inches above beans. 
  4. Stir in seasonings. 
  5. Cook on high for 2 hours, then switch to low for an additional 4 hours, or until beans are tender.


Note: 

I followed this recipe exactly as it is written and it was hands down the best ham and beans I've ever tried.  Enjoy!  

Harris Sisters Halloween Rundown: The Good Witches

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Halloween is big business these days, but always has been for the Harris Sisters.  In fact, here's another quick and easy costume idea that you can literally throw together in just a couple minutes. These throwback pics date back to 2014.  I was a first time mom with a little babe just a few months old, and we decided at the last minute to take some Halloween pics together.  A classic witch costume with a modern spin on it would do just the trick. 


Witch hats are super easy (and inexpensive) to find this time of year.  


Use the Harris Sisters Halloween tip of shopping your own closet to add a black top or dress.


Then strike your best good witch pose and you've got it!


Oh, but I did mention that these costumes had a bit of a twist.  Yep, here it is.  :)  Stripey socks completed our good witch looks, and we added our own coordinating sneakers to give these witches a modern flair. 


So there you have it.  Super simple but really cute costumes don't have to be elaborate or break the bank.  And on that note, I leave you with a bonus picture of another little good witch that got in on the action back in 2014.   See?   This costume stuff really is child's play, my pretties. 



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DIY Raggedy Andy Costume

Friday, September 15, 2017

Well, the calendar now officially says it's September, so it's time to start talking Halloween.  

I am partial to homemade put-together costumes myself, and to this one in particular.  It's so much fun to "create" a costume- so much more so than just buying one.  Well last Halloween, we decided our little redhead of a babydoll would make the perfect Raggedy Ann, and what better companion costume than Raggedy Andy.  So it happened that this costume was born into life. And although the youngsters didn't really know who we were (sad, sad), their parents sure did.  What a fun and easy costume.  Let me tell you all about it. 

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: DIY Raggedy Andy Halloween Costume

I have always said that when you are looking to create a costume, the first place you need to shop is your own closet.   You can likely find many of the basic pieces there and then start dressing your look up with some key accessories.  In this case, I used my own wide leg "sailor" jeans (rolling them into a cuff to show off my Raggedy-style striped stockings.)  I added my own button down red gingham top and black booties.  That gave me the basic attire that I was looking for.  See?  Here's the real Raggedy Andy- you can barely tell us apart, right?

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Raggedy Andy Doll

Now, if you will notice, good ol' Andy has several key accessories that add to his signature style. First off is his sailor hat.  That was a piece I didn't already own, but was easy enough (and cheap enough) to score.  You can certainly look to your local costume stores for these types of accessories, but I ended up purchasing my sailor hat for a deal on Amazon.  

Next up are his white collar and bow tie.  As it happened, I had the red gingham shirt but it did not have the right collar.  That's when I remembered a box of vintage handmade collars that I first shared with you all back in 2013.  I started digging around and deemed this one was perfect.  Again, I added my own black scarf and tied it into a long bow.  

Those red stripey socks are a must when recreating this costume, so again I turned to Amazon to find what I needed.  

And lastly, the red ragdoll wig was also a foregone conclusion.  They are actually easy enough to create on your own if you have the time and desire.  Check out this YouTube video for all the details, including some tips on makeup too. 

 

Speaking of makeup, it is the finishing touch.  Give yourself a few extra minutes in the mirror to complete your look with exaggerated eyes, big blushy cheeks, and freckles.  Don't forget to draw in Raggedy Andy's perpetual smile.  And voila!  You've got it!  Such a fun and easy look to create!  


Harris Sisters GirlTalk: DIY Raggedy Andy Halloween Costume

This post contains affiliate links. 

Cajun Shrimp Foil Packets

Thursday, August 31, 2017

I recently cooked up this quick and yummy and healthy summertime meal for my family, and we all just loved it.  And I bet you will love it too!

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Cajun Shrimp Foil Packets

Cajun Shrimp Foil Packets

1 lb. cleaned large shrimp
3 oz fully-cooked turkey/ chicken andouille sausage, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp cajun or creole seasoning
1 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 1/2 cups of corn kernels
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 
  2. In a medium bowl, combine cajun seasoning, salt and pepper. Add shrimp and toss to coat. 
  3. Place 4 large pieces (10 x 18) of heavy duty aluminum foil on a flat surface.  
  4. Divide the sausage, zucchini, bell pepper, and corn among the foil pieces.  Top each with shrimp (about 6 pieces each.) Sprinkle each packet with about 1 Tbsp each of parsley and basil. 
  5. Drizzle each packet with about 1 Tbsp of wine, and 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil. 
  6. Fold each piece of foil to form a packet, sealing tightly but leaving a little room for air to circulate. Packets may be refrigerated or frozen at this stage. 
  7. Arrange packets on a baking sheet.  Cook at 425 degrees until shrimp is cooked through and vegetables are crisp-tender, about 15-20 minutes. 
  8. Open packets slowly and transfer to bowls or rimmed plates. 
Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Cajun Shrimp Foil Packets


Notes:

The only change that I  made to this recipe was the addition of onions, because we love onions and add them to almost every meal.  :)


Total Eclipse Fever

Monday, August 21, 2017

The countdown has been on for weeks, if not months, in my part of the world. In truth, we have been patiently waiting for this day for the past 38 years, to be exact. Today was the total solar eclipse that spanned the entire continental United States of America, which is why today's event was so special. In other words, no matter what part of the country you are in, you would likely have had some view of the eclipse.  For me, I am fortunate enough to live in Nashville, the largest city in the path of totality for this solar eclipse.  What a happy coincidence, let me tell you!

Here's a look at the eclipse in Nashville, as captured by my friend, Max Garner, of Hill Valley Photography.



So I didn't have to drive for many many miles to see totality, as so many people did. Or even leave my own backyard for that matter, though you could take your pick of watch parties and events in this area.  I did in fact view the total eclipse this afternoon from my own back deck and it was every bit as spectacular as I could have ever imagined.   Armed with my eclipse glasses, I scoped out the best viewing area from my backyard earlier today. The partial eclipse began shortly after noon, with totality occurring just before 1:30 pm.  And then almost as quickly as totality occurred, within a couple of minutes, the moon started to pull to the other side of the sun and a crescent of sunlight began to appear once again.

For some reason, I just thought that the eclipse would be so much darker.  But what I discovered was that even in totality, the sun is still high high in the sky between 12 and 1 o'clock in the afternoon, and even the tiniest sliver of sunlight poking out just before going completely dark and just after provides plenty of light outside still. In fact I took a short video from my viewing location about five minutes before the complete solar eclipse, and as you can see there was still tons of light in our backyard. However I'm sure many of you also noticed the wonderful crescent shaped slivers of light that filter down from the trees. You can see them in my video below. I also took lots of pictures. So fascinating!



In addition, when the totality of the eclipse occurred here, the crickets and cicadas started chirping out of nowhere like it was suddenly night time. And as soon as the sun started to peek back out minutes after the total eclipse, birds started chirping like the sun was coming up for the first time all day.  Oh Heavenly Father, we all bow down.








As it turns out, solar eclipses are actually not all that rare. Generally speaking, there are typically at least two solar eclipses that occur somewhere on our planet each year.   Oftentimes, they occur over the vast oceans, just creating shadows in the middle of the water that very few actually see.   In fact the next solar eclipse that the United States will see is scheduled to occur in just seven years, in 2024. However that eclipse will travel from north to south over a small swath of the country, unlike the eclipse that we experienced today.

It occurred to me today that this entire nation came together to witness a special and wonderful occurrence.   Peaceful. Beautiful. Awe-inspiring. And in this day of unity, there is very little focus, in my world at least, on the negative, on the things that separate and divide us. For a few moments, there was only focus on this perfectly spectacular gift from Heaven above.  Let's all try to have more days like this. What do you say?

Honest Reviews: Home Chef

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

According to Dr. Seuss, "Unslumping yourself is not easily done!"  There is no place where this is truer than the kitchen.  Whether you are constantly chauffeuring your children all over town or you are just tired of the same old same old, mealtime can become downright tedious.

Recently, I learned about a new online meal delivery service that is making the rounds. (through my Facebook feed, anyway)  I decided to give it a whirl and ordered a few meals for my family.  There are several of the services out there.  I tried Home Chef.  Each week, on their website, they have a menu. You select how many servings you would like and which meals catch your fancy, and they do the rest. They ship you everything you need in a neat little box right to your doorstep.

So, this is what the contents of your box will look like:

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Home Chef Meal Delivery Service Review

Each meal is packaged separately, as well as any meat.  They also send a binder and recipe cards for each meal.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Home Chef Meal Delivery Service Review

They only send just what you need to make the meals, so there is no waste.  You won't have herbs dying a slow death in your fridge while you think of new ways to insert them into some other meal, and you will be able to use some oddball ingredients that you may not be able to find at your local grocer. 

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Home Chef Meal Delivery Service Review

This meal service may not be your go to for every meal because it can be expensive.  However, if your family is small, it's a good option to have.  It would be a great present to your college kid, and it's also awesome for vacation.  I happened to remember it for our recent annual Girls' Weekend Trip to St. Simons Island, GA.

We usually rent a house with a kitchen.  By thinking ahead, and using HomeChef, I was able to just order what we wanted (including Vegetarian options) and bring the box with me, so we didn't have to hunt down a grocery store while we were there.

We just poured some wine and broke out the meals. 

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Home Chef Meal Delivery Service Review

It was practically painless!

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Home Chef Meal Delivery Service Review

....and did I mention healthy?

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Home Chef Meal Delivery Service Review

Just look at the finished products:
Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Home Chef Meal Delivery Service Review
Be sure to check Home Chef out.  Let the unslumping begin!


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St. Simons Island, GA - Girls' Weekend 2017

Friday, July 21, 2017

It's that time again! As temperatures rise, you can always count on The Harris Sisters to take off to parts unknown for their annual Girls' Weekend trip. This year, we set out for St. Simons Island, GA, and there were plenty of sites to see and things for us to do.

We arrived at our little condo around 5:00 in the evening, so that night we decided to take a stroll to St. Simons Island Pier Village. Along the way, we discovered many beautiful gardens. (You might recognize these Girls Only Road Trip t-shirts from our last Girl's Weekend in Beaufort, NC.)

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: St. Simons Island, GA - Girls' Weekend 2017

And we even found a hidden, hand-painted rock, which is part of the rock painting craze that Harris Sister Misty blogged about earlier this spring.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: St. Simons Island, GA - Girls' Weekend 2017

Pier Village is centered around an actual pier and is a destination for restaurants, shops, and even the St. Simons Island Lighthouse. We made sure to get a picture on the pier before heading back for the night.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: St. Simons Island, GA - Girls' Weekend 2017

Once we settled in for the night, we got down to the business of relaxing with Hpnotiq Breeze cocktails. They were delicious, and Harris Sister Deanna has provided the recipe for you to try too! Sarcasm, wine, and everything fine - THAT'S what The Harris Sisters are made of. :-)

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: St. Simons Island, GA - Girls' Weekend 2017

The next day, we headed out to the beach to dip our feet in the ocean. (And when we returned home, we hosted our VERY FIRST Facebook giveaway for the cup holder and insulated bottle you see in this picture. The giveaway is now closed, but make sure to like The Harris Sisters Facebook Page to keep up to date on future giveaways.)

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: St. Simons Island, GA - Girls' Weekend 2017

Misty lent her artistic talents to make a St. Simons Island sign to commemorate our trip.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: St. Simons Island, GA - Girls' Weekend 2017

Many people have asked us where we got our vintage-style swimsuits, so we're providing some suggestions for you to browse.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: St. Simons Island, GA - Girls' Weekend 2017



After spending the morning at the beach, we ate our prepared picnic lunch, which consisted of sandwiches, rainbow fruit skewers, peaches (we were in Georgia after all), and potato chips. We washed that all down with Cokes marked with Harris (one of the 200 last names they added to their #ShareACoke campaign this year).


Harris Sisters GirlTalk: St. Simons Island, GA - Girls' Weekend 2017

This year marks the third Girls' Weekend that we've celebrated with special Cokes from the Share a Coke campaign. First, we celebrated in Louisville, KY with Sis Coke cans, and then last year, we celebrated with Summer, Summer, Summertime Coke cans in Beaufort, NC.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: St. Simons Island, GA - Girls' Weekend 2017

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: St. Simons Island, GA - Girls' Weekend 2017

Later that afternoon, we headed out to Get Your Muse On paint studio for a painting class. We all learned how to paint flamingos and in addition to our creative exploits, the studio offered some much appreciated air conditioning!

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: St. Simons Island, GA - Girls' Weekend 2017

Thanks to the recommendation of one of our Facebook followers, the next morning we headed off to Driftwood Beach, which is in Jekyll Island, GA. This beach is a gorgeous work of nature that features a driftwood tree graveyard. Perfect for photo opportunities!

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: St. Simons Island, GA - Girls' Weekend 2017

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: St. Simons Island, GA - Girls' Weekend 2017


Harris Sisters GirlTalk: St. Simons Island, GA - Girls' Weekend 2017


Harris Sisters GirlTalk: St. Simons Island, GA - Girls' Weekend 2017

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: St. Simons Island, GA - Girls' Weekend 2017

Later that afternoon, we checked out a park full of mossy oak trees and shared them with our Facebook followers via our VERY FIRST Facebook live video.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: St. Simons Island, GA - Girls' Weekend 2017

The rest of the time we spent hanging out, watching girlie movies, visiting a local downtown antique festival, cooking our own breakfast and dinners (which helped us to stay out of the heat), petting local pups, and planning exciting things for the blog (which you guys will hear all about in the coming months).

So if you have a chance to visit St. Simons Island, GA, go for it! It's relaxing, but it has plenty of fun stuff to do.

Make sure to check out our other Girls' Weekend posts for our rundowns on the other places we've visited.

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