Friday, October 31, 2014

Five Faves Friday (vol. 15)


How great is it that Halloween falls on a FRIDAY this year?!
Pretty freaking awesome, right!?

And, since it's Friday, you know what that means... 
My Five Faves from the Week!

Candy Corn M'n'M's - Holy smokes! How did I not know about these before?? I love anything candy-corn, especially around this time of year. My wonderful #FallFunSwap partner, Colleen, sent me an amazing Fall package and these were in there! I was totally intrigued, ripped open the bag and nearly shoved every single one of these perfectly little round bits of goodness in my mouth. Then I went to the store and bought 10 more... I'll admit it, I may have a teeny tiny addiction. I don't how I am going to make it a whole year without these. 

Image// via
Glittered Pumpkins - I am totally loving my little glittered pumpkins!! I especially love that I can use them all the way through to Thanksgiving. For a simple tutorial to make your own glitter pumpkins, click here

Sweater Weather - It's here! It's here! Winter weather is upon us. Tomorrow's high is in the low 50's and I'll take it. I'm so excited to bring out the sweaters, scarfs, and warm fuzzy beanies. Obviously I am prepared. Now that I think about it, I guess I have been for a couple of months - That Texas Weather is a tricky one.  Bring on the cold! 

Jalapeno Pimento Cheese + Bacon Sandwich - So this happened this week. I have no words... since I've got a mouthful of this yummy delicious sandwich. Recipe coming to the blog next week. Stay tuned. 

Swaps - I have participated in a few swaps and I am finally hosting my very OWN swap!! Eeek! If you haven't had a chance, go check out all the deets (details) for my very 1st #WineWednesday WINE GLASS SWAP.  Also, while you're there, be sure to sign up! You don't have to be a blogger to participate. So far I've already had a great turn out of participants and the more the merrier! Plus, at the end of the swap you'll have a new friend and a great little Wine Glass (or wine accessory) in your mailbox. FUN!!

I'm also participating in the Great Food Blogger's Cookie Swap! All the details can be found here. If you're a food blogger, you have to sign up for this swap. I already know a few great food bloggers who are joining in too. Food bloggers unite! But hurry, registration closing is fast approaching, so be sure to sign up before it's too late. 

There ya have it! The top five faves of the week.
What are you loving this week?

Wishing you all a very safe and FUN Halloween.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

#WineWednesday: Wine Glass Swap

The time has finally come! 
Guys & Gals, I give you: the #WineWednesday Wine Glass Swap

I've been waiting & wanting to host a fun swap like this for some time now. But, I had to make sure that everything was just right! I've joined several swaps over the past couple of months and have made some pretty incredible connections... not to mention the nice little package I receive in the mail is simply "the cherry on top". I've been able to connect with other bloggers, (and non-bloggers too) from all over and it has truly been such a FUN experience. So, I decided to host a swap of my own. With a wine theme, no less. 

So, what is a Wine Glass Swap? (you maybe asking)... but let's start by asking yourself this:

Do you like meeting new people?
Do you like to network with like-minded individuals?
Do you like receiving something fun in the mail?
Do you like WINE (and all things that come with drinking and enjoying wine)?

If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, then this wine glass swap is for YOU!

The rules/ concept is easy.

You'll first sign-up (by using the form below).
You'll then be paired up with one other wine glass swap participant.
You'll spend the course of a couple of weeks getting to know your partner and sharing a little bit about yourselves with each other.
Lastly, you'll send your partner a fun wine related glass or accessory and they'll do the same for you.
Open your package full of greatness and then enjoy your wine glass (or accessory)!

Sounds amazing, right!? 

Here's what you do: (official rules)

  1. When you're ready, sign up by November 12th
  2. You'll receive your partner's name and email address no later than November 15th. 
  3. Spend a couple of weeks getting to know your partner and send their wine glass (or accessory) no later than December 1st. 
  4. The maximum budget for the swap item(s) is $15 total. 
  5. Share your swap items on social media using the hashtag #WWWineGlassSwap, so we can see and share all FUN Wine Glass Swap packages. 

Note: you do not need to be a blogger to participate, however, the swap is ONLY open to US residents, 21 years of age or older.

Disclaimer: I am hosting this swap as a fun way for people to connect with each other and have fun swapping a wine glass (or wine accessory). Please note, I can not be held responsible for you and your partners actions. I believe that everyone will be fair and only sign up if they intend to swap a wine glass/accessory and participate. However, there is always a chance that someone is dishonest and does not fully participate. If you haven't heard from your partner or do not receive a swap item, please email me to let me know ( and I will do my best to try to remedy the situation. 

I am looking forward to having a great swap and I can't wait to be partnered up with one you. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

DIY: Glittered Pumpkins

Oooooh, I just love these little Glittered Pumpkins. 

They're super versatile to use around the house, and you can use them throughout the entire Fall season as decoration. They also make fun little gifts, and the PERFECT table setting  to add-on during the Fall Holidays. Best part?... They don't rot.

So, if you've got a few spare minutes, and looking for a way to spruce up your Halloween and Fall, simply make these mini Glittered Pumpkins. In no-time you'll have an adorable and custom-made pumpkin (or set of pumpkins) that are easy on your eyes and wallet.
Not to mentioned they're guaranteed to bring you many hours of joy. :)

Aren't they just so pretty!?


  • 3-4 mini pumpkins (you can use as many as you'd like or need. You can also do this with a larger pumpkin)
  • Mod-podge
  • Glitter (2-3 different colors)
  • Clear Enamel Spray

  1. After cleaning off the pumpkin from dust and debris using a damp paper towel, begin to layer on the Mod-Podge. Be sure to cover the entire pumpkin, except the stems. 

2.  Next, heavily sprinkle glitter all over the pumpkin, including the sides and bottom of the pumpkins.

3.  Allow the glitter and mod-podge to set (dry) for about 10-15 minutes, or until glitter feels dry to the touch.

4.  Lastly, in a well ventilated area or outside, lightly spray enamel until entire pumpkin is sealed. Be careful not to spray too close or too hard, otherwise the glitter will begin to separate. Note: pumpkins/ glitter will look dark and wet until dry and then they will return to original glitter color. Allow pumpkins to dry over night before displaying.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hummus (w/ Fresh Garlic)

Last weekend I threw a small get-together, and like with any good gathering I knew we needed something fun to snack on. I decided to make an array of dips to pair with chips, crackers, and the sort.
One of the dips I made was Hummus.

Hummus has been a newly acquired taste for me, and I wasn't quite sure how this was going to go over with my guests. It seems that people either LOVE Hummus or could care less. But this Hummus was a HIT!! Not only did I love it, but my guests did too.

(Ps. I'll be sharing the recipes to the other dips in the coming days. Keep your eyes peeled.)

Like any good party planner, I did some research, made a long list of ideas, and then peeked into my The Real Girl's Kitchen Behold, I found the PERFECT recipe for Hummus. I tweaked it a little bit to my liking and now I am sharing this amazing dip with all of you.

I must say, freshly prepared Hummus is SO much better than store bought. It's also really easy to make, and you can totally make it to your liking. It takes about 5 minutes to prepare and the taste is Oh So Good!

I hope you enjoy!

Hummus (with Fresh Garlic)
  • 2 cans of Chickpeas, Rinsed and Drained
  • 1/4 cup Pine Nuts (+ some reserved for topping)
  • 6 fresh Garlic Cloves
  • 1 cup non-fat Greek Yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) + some to drizzle on top
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Large pinch of Salt
  • Large pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of Paprika

  • Rinse Chickpeas and drain well.

  • Blend all ingredients in a food processor or heavy duty Blender (like the professional Ninja blender). Blend until smooth, or desired consistency. Top with a drizzle of EVOO and a few pine nuts. Add a dash of Paprika. 

Store any leftovers in a airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days. 

Party Tip: pair the Hummus with fresh veggies, such as carrots, cauliflower, and celery. Also pairs great with Pita Chips and Pretzel Crisps. 

So what do you think about Hummus? Don't you just love it?! If you've never tried it, you have to give this recipe a shot. I promise you will not be disappointed. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Five Faves Friday (vol. 14)

- ONE - 
Twitter (@amandafitoblog) - Y'all. I'm proud to say, not only am I on Twitter, but I am actually getting the hang of the Twitter game. I hosted a really fun Twitter chat last week, for the the Texas Social Media Institute (TSMRI), and it provided me with a hands-on, crash-course experience through the (sometimes overwhelming) Tweets of Twitter. I have been blessed with so many great opportunities with TSMRI and look forward to using my newly gained knowledge to further Fun In The Oven Blog and my engagement with YOU. If you're in the business of social media, I encourage you to take a peek at the TSMRI blog, or get involved with our conference next month, in Fort Worth Texas. We are still have a limited number spots available for speakers, sponsors, and attendees.

- TWO - 
Chips & Dips (& Lips) - I've been scouring though recipes and brainstorming ideas for an upcoming get together I'm hosting this weekend. The theme is "Chips, Dips, and Lips" and I'll be featuring a variety of dips (along with recipes for everyone to take home). I absolutely love dips and I thought it would be such a fun girls get-together. Plus, I'll have my Mary Kay consultant, Danel, to join me as she shows us all the new MK goods. Make-up, friends, and some fun snacks sounds like the perfect Saturday. I can't wait t see everyone. Plus, I'll be sharing my favorite dip recipes on the blog soon, along with a recap from the party.

Beer -  Craft (& Fall) Beers - I must admit, I don't usually drink beer. It's simply just not my "go-to" choice of beverage. However, I have been able to get my hands on some pretty awesome Fall and Craft beers, Pumpkin beers, October brews, and (my favorite) craft beers from the local brewery. It's great! We literally have a brewery right in our own backyard. Have you ever tried a Fall beer? Did you love it? I know I did. It pairs perfectly with a beautifully Fall sunset and a little back-porch sitting. 

- FOUR - 
Calligraphy - Next week I'm taking a calligraphy class and I'm super pumped. I've always admired calligraphy and can't wait to try my hand at it. This is also one I'll be able to check off  my Fall Bucket List - check back in next week to see how it goes.

- FIVE - 
Soups, Soups, and more Soups! - Did you catch my post earlier this week of the Cheesy Vegetable and Chicken soup? OMG. It is SO good. I've been on a soup kick lately and we've been trying out new recipes. Be on the look-out for more soup posts coming soon. The picture below is a new recipe I tried for Potato and Leek soup. It was delish! (recipe coming soon).

Wishing each of you a wonderful weekend. What are you loving this week?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cheesy Vegetable & Chicken Soup

I know, I know I keep saying this, but I'm slightly head-over-heels for Rachel, over at A Southern Fairytale. She is simply fabulous and I'm always drawn to another food blogger (for obvious reasons). Rachel posts some pretty great recipes, and each week she hosts an awesome link-up, Mouthwatering Mondays. And let me tell ya, they are truly mouthwatering.

As I was browsing her blog, I came across this delicious Cheesy Chicken Soup that she featured one week. And, since it's been pretty gloomy as temperatures are beginning to drop, this soup was calling my name.

If you're looking for a hearty soup packed full of fresh veggies (along with some chicken and cheese) this is the soup for you. How can you say "no" to cheesy chicken soupy goodness?!

Y'all! You need this soup in your life. 

Cheesy Chicken and Vegetable Soup
recipe adapted from

by Amanda Hicks
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Ingredients (Serves 8)
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, sliced thin
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, chopped
  • 1 small head of broccoli, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 can of sweet corn
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 4 cups freshly grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 4 cups of shredded or chopped chicken or a rotisserie chicken
  • garlic salt
  • black pepper
In a large pot, heat the olive oil and begin sauteing your vegetables (except for the frozen peas). Start with the toughest first, like the carrots, broccoli and onion
Keep adding vegetables- red pepper, green beans and corn while stirring until they are all softened, about 20 minutes
Remove the vegetables from the pot and place them in a large bowl, cover and set aside. Add the frozen peas to the veggie mixture.
Shred chicken and set aside
Melt the 1/2 cup of butter in the pot on a medium/low heat
Add the flour and whisk together until incorporated
Slowly add heavy cream, and milk, while continuing to whisk together
When it becomes slightly thickened, add the chicken broth and whisk to combine
Turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes
Add the vegetable mixture and shredded chicken back into the pot, Stir well to combine, then cover and simmer on low 20 more minutes
Add 3 1/2 cups of the shredded Cheddar Cheese and season well with garlic salt and pepper
Top with remaining grated Cheddar Cheese and serve warm
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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mini Pumpkin-Pie Bites

If you haven't heard: it's officially Pumpkin Season. Every other Instagram photo, Facebook status, or Tweet is "Pumpkin this", and "Pumpkin Spice Latte that"... and I am not about miss out on this Pumpkin ride. So I gave my try at these little Pumpkin-Pie Bites... with freshly prepared whipped cream, nonetheless.

I was in a slump on what new recipe I wanted to try (there's just so many!) and my handsome-devil of a husband suggested I try to make mini Pumpkin Pies. You see, usually around the Holidays I try my hand at all sorts of mini pies (i.e. apple, pecan, chocolate... you get the picture), and well, he always ends up loving those little pies. If you didn't know, my husband, B, is my certified taste-tester and the best person for the job. (He's brutally honest in the cooking department). If he likes it, I blog it. This time B suggested I try a Mini Pumpkin Pie! And, with delight, I obliged!

All this chatter about Pumpkins lately I couldn't miss this opportunity to play around with Pumpkins and Pie. A match made in October heaven.

Apparently, in our house, the mini's are much better than the whole pie, and in my opinion a lot easier to make (and transport).... You know? For the Holidays and such.

There really isn't a whole lot to these and they're fairly simply to make. There's only a handful of ingredients and if you've never whipped your own cream you're truly missing out.

You'll need:

  • Pumpkin Pie Filling
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Egg
  • Cinnamon
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Pie Crust
  • Heavy Whipping Cream

You'll also need a mini muffin pan and a mini-tart shaper, like this one (pictured - right) from The Pampered Chef

Start by pre-heating your oven to 450 degrees. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray and lightly sprinkle with flour. Next, mix your pie filling by combining the Pumpkin Pie, Cream Cheese Frosting, one Egg, Cinnamon, and Sugar. Blend until smooth. 

Next, (if needed) make your pie crust. I used Jiffy and prepared it according to package directions. Once your pie crust is prepared, roll into a large ball. Then pinch off a large quarter-sized amount of pie crust and roll into a small ball. Place a pie crust ball into each mini-muffin tin. Then, using the tart sharper press into mini pie cups. 

Next, fill your mini pie crusts with the pumpkin pie filling. I used a large freezer bag to "pipe" the filling into each pie cup. (Simply fill a large freezer bag with the filling, cut one bottom corner of the bag, and press the filling out of the cut corner). 

Next, place pies into the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until crust begins to turn golden brown. Carefully, remove pies from the oven and let cool completely. 

Next, whip up your fresh whipped cream. Using a hand mixer, on medium-high, whip fresh whipping cream and 1/2 cup of sugar until it is fluffy and peaks begin to form. This will take about 10 minutes, so be patient. (I promise it's worth it!) I usually whip for a few minutes then let it rest. Then get back to whipping again until it's ready. Once whipped to your desired consistency, cover and place fresh whipped cream in the fridge to chill. 

Once pies are completely cooled, and the whipped cream is nice and chilled, top the mini pies with a generous dollop of whipped cream.

Place mini pumpkin pies in the fridge until you're ready to serve. 

Mini Pumpkin-Pie Bites

by Amanda Hicks
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
(make 14 - 16 Mini Pies)
    For The Mini Pies
    • Pie Crust
    • 1 Pumpkin Pie (15 oz can)
    • 1 cup Cream Cheese Frosting
    • 1 Egg
    • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup Sugar
    • 1 teaspoon flour
    For the Whipped Cream
    • Heavy Whipping Cream (8 oz)
    • 1/2 cup sugar


    For the Pies
    Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
    Spray mini muffin tin and tart shaper with cooking spray. Lightly sprinkle muffin tin with flour
    Combine pumpkin pie, cream cheese frosting, egg, cinnamon, sugar, and flour in a large bowl. Blend until smooth
    Make pie crust(s) according to package directions. Roll crusts into a large ball and then pinch large, quarter-sized pieces. Using your hands roll into a small ball and place each ball into each muffin tin. Then, using the tart shaper press the small pie balls into mini pie cups
    Fill each pie cup with pumpkin pie filling
    Place mini muffins in the oven to bake for 10 - 15 minutes until crusts begin to turn golden brown
    Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack

    For the Whipped Cream
    In a large bowl combine heavy whipping cream and sugar
    Using a hand mixer whip cream and sugar on medium-high speed, allowing cream to rest between mixes
    Cream is ready once it begins to look fluffy and creates peaks
    Cover and place in fridge to chill

    Once mini pies are fully cooled down and the whipped cream is chilled, top each pie with a dollop of whipped cream. Place pies in the fridge until ready to serve.
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