Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Hear me roar

I'm pretty sure I'm someone's Facebook status tonight.  "OMG I just saw the worst mom ever! She was screaming at her kid in the parking lot at the park! Some people just shouldn't have children!"  I mean, haven't we all seen and judged someone similarly?  I do it. I hate myself for it too. My daughter darted into the parking lot this evening, trying to catch a friend.  At the same time, a van was backing up.  In that moment, I became a screaming lunatic.  I think Jonathan Goldsmith said it best, "I don't always scream at my child, but when I do, it's in a public place where everyone can hear me." I'm pretty sure he said that, anyway.

After we both calmed down, there were tears and hugs and kisses and kind friends making sure we were both ok. It sort of ruined my night though.  All I could think about was what other people must have thought. Then it occurred to me, it really doesn't matter what anyone thinks. They don't know what happened and it reminded me of that Plato quote, 'Be kind; everyone you meet is fighing a hard battle.'

Lets be kind to one another.  Lets not judge another mom for her mothering. For her kid's clothes, shoes, food, toys, bedtime, traditions, rules......fill in the blank.  That's not to say we shouldn't hold each other accountable to growing and becoming the women God created us to be.

Tonight I'm grateful for God's protection of my little girl and for Ben and Jerry's.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Does your Valentine love chocolate and peanut butter? Mine sure does! This time I've decided to look beyond the Reese's.


 Before I had my daughter, I baked a lot in my spare time. *Somehow* the baking has really slowed down in these last 4 years. I wanted an easy cookie recipe for this post and remembered these that used to get such rave reviews. All I did was toss some milk chocolate chips into my peanut butter cookie dough!

Mind blown.

I use the same Betty Crocker Cookbook my mom did when I was little. From 1974. That Betty Crocker can cook, and thanks to her (and my mom), so can I. This is where the recipe for my peanut butter cookies
comes from.

Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. peanut butter
1/2 C. shortening
1 egg
1 1/4 C. flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Combine sugars, peanut butter, and shortening till light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Mix flour, soda, powder, and salt in separate bowl, then stir into sugar mixture till you have a nice dough. Finally, add milk chocolate chips, stir by hand till they're all mixed in.

Roll a rounded tablespoon of dough into a ball, place on cookie sheet and flatten by hand or you can use a fork, making a criss-cross pattern. Place cookies 3 inches apart, they will spread a little more. Bake for 10-14 minutes, closer to 10 if you like a softer cookie, or closer to 14 if you prefer more crunch. (I like the ones that are a bit more crunchy.)

Cookie gifts are fun to give and receive! You can stack a few cookies and tie with baker's twine, you can add some to a goodie bag and make a cute tag from scrapbook paper, or place them on a a plate with a heart shaped doily. How will you give these to your sweetie?



Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Best Chicken Tortilla Soup

Thanksgiving and Christmas have come and gone and for me, there's always a little bit of sadness because I never quite capture it like I want to.  We moved the weekend before Thanksgiving and while we moved into a beautiful new home, it was still a stressful time!  We are finally starting to feel settled and as our pictures are being hung and meals are being prepared in our kitchen instead of being served out of a greasy paper bag, it's finally feeling like home.

I think my favorite room in our new house is the kitchen.  There's an ISLAND.  I've never had an island before!  I'm loving it.  Another thing I love is our gas stove.  No more impossible to clean glass cooktop, uneven heating, and random shutting off!  I'm in love, I'm in love! And I don't care who knows it! 

On tonight's menu is our favorite soup.  

Chicken Tortilla Soup.  Soup sure warms the soul on these cold winter nights.  I found this recipe many years ago on Allrecipes.  The great thing about this recipe is that it's versatile, you can add whatever you want to it and adjust the heat to your liking.


It's amazingly delicious!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

6 T. vegetable oil (you can sub chicken broth for this)
8- 6 in. corn tortillas, coarsely chopped
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1- 29oz can diced tomatoes
2 T. ground cumin
1 T. chili powder
6 cups chicken broth (1 and a half cartons)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
5 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped (I like to use a rotisserie chicken, about 2 cups shredded.)

Heat oil in a large stockpot.  Add tortillas, garlic, cilantro and onion. Saute for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.  Stir in tomatoes, bring to a boil.  Add cumin, chili powder, bay leaves and chicken broth.  Return to boil, reduce heat to medium and add salt and cayenne.  Simmer for 30 minutes, remove bay leaves.  Stir in chicken. Heat through and serve.

Top with sour cream, cheese, broken tortilla chips, and more cilantro if desired.



Friday, November 1, 2013

Thanksgiving Countdown

Well, Hello, November 1st.

Am I the only one who is sort of in shock that Halloween is over and the 'holidays' are officially upon us?

We Trick-or-Treated our legs off tonight!  Or was it last night?  I dunno....it's still night, I'm burning the midnight oil!  My sweet girl came home with her pumpkin bucket filled to the brim with all kinds of yummy treats.

All I can think about is her teeth.  And sugar bugs.  And how sugar bugs make cavities.

Well, a friend on Facebook reminded me of a fun craft that helps you cut down how much Halloween candy goes down the hatch!  I first heard about this when my girl was a few weeks old and I vowed to remember it.

I didn't.  Until tonight!

Thanksgiving Countdown.  Brilliant.

You get to blame the TURKEY for hiding the Halloween candy!  The kids will never know.  It's our little secret.

This can be done all sorts of ways, but here's what I did.

1.  Counted 28+ pieces of Halloween candy, put it in a Ziplock, and hid it in pantry.
2.  Pigged out on Threw out remaining candy.
3. Cut a cute turkey shape out of brown construction paper.
4.  Cut 28 feather shapes from construction paper.
5. Numbered the front of each feather; 1-28, and wrote a clue or riddle on the back of each feather.  (These are clues to where THE TURKEY has hidden a piece of candy; sock drawer, fridge, playhouse, booster seat, etc.)

Thanks for reading and thank you, Facebook Friend, for the reminder!

Happy November!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

DIY Pumpkin Puree

One of my favorite things to do after every trip to the pumpkin patch is make my own pumpkin puree. Our favorite pumpkin patch grows quite a few pumpkin varieties, but my favorite for puree is the Red Kuri. It makes the smoothest pies, bars, delicious bread....you can make any pumpkin treat you want! I make enough so that I can have it all year long.

Who says pumpkin is just for Fall?

One large pumpkin yields about 45 ounces of puree, which is the same as 3- 15 ounce cans.

DIY Pumpkin Puree

Cut pumpkins in half, scoop out seeds, (save for roasting or dry them for planting next summer)! Place pumpkins, cut side down, in glass baking dish filled with about 1 inch of water. Bake in 350 degree oven for about an hour, or until pumpkin is easily pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and let pumpkins rest until you can handle them without getting burned.

With a paring knife, carefully scrape the skin off and discard. Put pumpkin in a food processor and puree till you have a thick puree, sometimes you'll need to add water and sometimes you won't. (I only had to add a quarter of a cup this time. Last year it was a lot more.)

Allow puree to cool completely. Scoop 15 ounces of puree into freezer bags, flatten and freeze! Each bag is the same as one can of pumpkin.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Simple Fall Wreath

I love to decorate for Fall and lately, I'm all about wreaths.

I got a few things at The Dollar Tree and had some stuff at home already and spent 2 hours putting this little cutie together.  For me, the simpler and plainer the better, but you could totally deck this out with all kinds of fall leaves, pumpkins, gourds....there are tons of cute inexpensive things you could get to make it your own.

For this little diddy you'll need:
-a 12-14 inch wreath form, I used straw because it's cheap!
-2 fat quarters
-hot glue
-scrapbook paper
-sticker letters
-various decorations; leaves, crows, owls, scarecrows, etc. from the Dollar Tree

Cut the fat quarters into 9 long strips, and then cut those in half so that you have 18 short, squatty strips.Wrap each strip around the wreath attaching with hot glue. Embellish with all manner of fall decor!  I used an owl from Dollar Tree and a few leaves from there too.  I had a strand of berries already and I just cut a length for fun.

Before this, I'd never made any sort of banner. I mean, isn't that the kind of thing you just order off Etsy? After many, many tries, I couldn't get my triangles right.  Literally.could.not.

I had a good cry and put a Silhouette Cameo on my Christmas list.

Ready to forge ahead, I made the shape you see above.  I'm sure it has a proper name, but I don't know what it is.  I cut the paper in to 4-inch by 2-inch strips, cut a triangle out of the bottom (those turned out fine, wouldn't you know), and wrapped the top around the twine, sealing it with hot glue.  Since my paper was black and my letters were black, I needed a coordinating paper to offset the letters.

To hang the wreath, I took an extra fat quarter strip and used sewing pins to attach it to the back.  About 5 pins on each side of the strip.

Happy Fall, Y'all!


Friday, September 20, 2013

Rotisserie Chicken Series: Doritos Casserole

I had you at 'Doritos'.


It's not often that I have Doritos laying around. When I do, it's a problem. Doritos are a childhood favorite. I think because they were my dad's favorite. He's all healthy now, so he would probably scoff at them now-a-days. Doritos are my comfort food. I turn to them when I'm sad, or happy, or stressed, or bored, or when I'm procrastinating. It's a problem! I can't have these bad boys in the house unless I am truly craving them.

Enter Doritos Casserole.

I've seen recipes floating around Pinterest for a long time, so I finally decided to give it a go. The recipe, as is, is a little spicy for little kids. My 3 year old, who normally eats anything, cried. Poor baby. She got to have yogurt and a hug instead.

I think the Rotel tomatoes I used had a little zing to them, so if you want to avoid tears at the dinner table, you could substitute plain diced tomatoes and use your favorite salsa to spice up your own portion.

Doritos Casserole- barely adapted from blogchef.net

2 cups shredded cooked chicken (about half a rotisserie chicken)
2 cups shredded cheddar or mexican cheese blend (divided)
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
½ cup milk
½ cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes (drained)
½ packet taco seasoning
1 large bag Doritos
Shredded lettuce (optional)
diced tomato (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mix together shredded chicken, 1 cup of cheese, cream of chicken soup, milk, sour cream, Ro-tel tomatoes, and taco seasoning. Mix well.

Grease a 2-quart casserole dish, and add a layer of crushed Doritos across the bottom. Top with a layer of the chicken mixture. Add another layer of crushed Doritos, and then add another layer of the chicken mixture. Top with remaining cheese.

Cover and place into the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 30-25 minutes until bubbling hot. Remove from the oven and top with more crushed Doritos. Top with lettuce and tomato if you like.

Thus concludes my Rotisserie Chicken Series. I wasn't that great about posting as much as I wanted to, so it's time for a fresh start!

See you soon!