Wednesday, January 29, 2014

First Time in 5 Years.....Felt Good



I hit the gym

I hit him hard.

I started back Sunday
Went twice Monday

And twice Tuesday

The first day was comical.  None of my old workout clothes fit

I mean here I am 3 more kids later and some padding I don't remember....

So off I run to the gym (ok I drove) on a beautiful Sunday afternoon while hubs watched the kids


I felt all nervous like a girl on her first day of school....like a girl on her first date...like a girl giving birth for the first time...ok you get the point.

Before I left the house I couldn't find my old ipod (it's mini and they don't even make them anymore)
Hubs found it and it was dead....totally...like "need a charge does this thing work...ALL MY MUSIC is on it please work when I charge it" dead


I used this thing to workout and had some great fast songs I ran and worked out to...I needed her to work

I grabbed my headphones and iphone to listen to while I was there....That would work huh?!

The drive was short....3 mins....I am grateful our neighborhood has a gym at the front.  It's not huge ....a few pieces of equipment and upstairs about 3 treadmills...some bikes and ellipticals ...
I was grateful the room was empty and grabbed a treadmill and stood there.  I looked out at the window in front of me and thought...wow feels like old times. 

Started her up and put my headphones on and then realized I only had kids songs on my phone.  I have yet to fill it with all my good stuff and now all I had to walk with was


So as I'm doing my alternating speed walk/run for 25 mins I listened to the tunes of none other than 
The Fresh Beat Band

It was the only that had a beat. 

It was comical really...

Me out of shape
Only music Fresh Beat Band

Only nursing bras no workout bras (poor Cole was drinking Milk Shakes I'm sure after all that moving)

I will admit it felt great to be back at the gym  

I'm more motivated than ever

So off I'm going every morn and evening  (we are making the 3 biggies watch the 3 littles so mom and dad can work out) 

Stay tuned!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

" I'm Not Eating A Bird in a Cake "

My inlaws come over every Wednesday and I made a nice meal and a different (or try) dessert every week
Unless someone has mentioned a favorite, it's someone's bday, or I just plum wasn't creative.

My mother in law a few times has mentioned a Hummingbird Cake and I knew I had a recipe that would please

A few years ago I was walking into Walmart and someone was handing out Southern Living small cookbooks.  Who am I to pass up free cookbooks....and SOUTHERN LIVING IS MY FAVORITE.

This recipe book is by far the most amazing one yet.  It's all desserts and frosting recipes in back.  NOT ONE RECIPE HAS FAILED ME.

This is where I make the majority of my sweets from...

I remembered I had seen an Updated Hummingbird Cake and boom  knew I had to make it for my GiGi

One of my kids asked what dessert we were having and I said Hummingbird Cake
The response was less than desirable.  I reminded them it was just a name and had fruit not the bird in it....(jeepers)

No idea behind the name of the cake and the lady who started the name (if that story is true) back in the 70's didn't give a reason.  Some speculate...

►This cake is so yummy that it makes you HUM with delight, or happiness when you anticipate having a slice
►Hummingbirds drink nectar from flowers and this cake is just a sweet as a flower's nectar
►Hummingbirds themselves are associated with the lighthearted and sweet side of life, hence the name of this cake
►When the cake is served, people hover around it the way hummingbirds hover around nectar bearing flowers
►Although a cake made for people, it is a cake sweet enough to attract even hummingbirds
►Bananas and pineapples come from the tropics, and the national bird of Jamaica is a hummingbird...could this be how it got its name?
So pick the theory that makes the most sense to you, or embrace all of them as having a role in how Hummingbird Cake got its name.

Well whatever the reason...this recipe was divine

I say this is an updated version because this one does not have pecans and instead of plain cream cheese frosting it has a Lemon Cream Cheese frosting! 

My oldest child has asked me to make this and only this from now on..... It was that fantastic

Updated Hummingbird Cake
(photo and recipe Southern Living)



Hummingbird Cake
  • 3 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup(s) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon(s) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 can(s) (8-ounces) crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 3/4 cup(s) (about 5 to 6 bananas) mashed ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup(s) unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 tablespoon(s) vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • Chopped walnuts, for garnish
5-Cup Lemon-Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 2 package(s) (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup(s) butter, softened
  • 1 package(s) (32 ounces) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon(s) lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon(s) fresh lemon juice




  1. Prepare the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir together eggs and next 5 ingredients; add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. (Do not beat.) Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees F for 23 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks and cool completely (about 1 hour).
  3. Prepare the frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in lemon juice and
    zest. Stir in vanilla.
  4. Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with walnuts, if desired.






Friday, January 17, 2014

Another "Get in mah belly" Dinner For You

I had a few new recipes this week.

Taco Meatloaf  (fail) I should have known it was going to be bad because the first day it was on the menu board I had left out a key ingredient.  I put it back on the menu for a few days later and guess what?  I had forgotten to double one of the ingredients and it was lacking....so before I ever made this recipe I hated it.

Which should have told me something

I felt it was mush.  Too much liquids and not enough dry.  I altered it, but still it was lacking flavor.  It was sort of like a pile of mush

anywho....I redeemed myself

Thursdays Menu was Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole




1. We love chicken around here
2. We love wild rice....like we are all freaks for it
3. We love the 2 together
4. Momma likes casseroles

But this was delicious.  I doubled the recipe (of course) and then kids went in for 3rds.  Even Cole ate most of mine from my plate.  I was afraid by the time hubs was able to eat dinner there wouldn't be any left.  I'm def making this again 

My changes were in red.  I didn't have many

Ingredients
1 6 ounce package long grain and wild rice mix (I use the 5m kind)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 stalk celery, chopped (1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons butter
1 10 1/2 ounce can condensed chicken with white and wild rice soup or cream of chicken soup (I did both)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
2 cups shredded cooked chicken or turkey
1/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese (I probably added about 1 cup if not more)

Directions
  1. Prepare rice mix according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large skillet, cook onion and celery in hot butter over medium heat until tender. Stir in soup, sour cream, wine, and basil. Stir in cooked rice and chicken.
  3. Transfer mixture to an ungreased 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 35 minutes or until heated through. Makes 4 servings.



    I can't say enough about all the flavors together.   I added a can of each soup to the mix since I doubled recipe and thought it was a perfect balance.  There isn't anything I would change.  Pair this with a salad and a side of roasted broccoli...Meal Complete

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Week in Photos with Instagram

Looking through the eyes of my Instagram ....

My oily delivery came....to say I stalk the Fed Ex man is an understatement.  I know I'm not alone in stalking him for Oil deliveries.  I wonder if he knows this.

 I was really excited for this months order.  I was out of my Ningxia Red drink and I was excited to try some new supplements 
  Life 5 is their probiotic and the Inner Defense is to boost my immunity.  It's got extra thieves and oregano in it.  (burping is interesting) 
The Thieves purse spray makes for a fantastic shopping buggy germ rid zone..NOT TO MENTION FANTASTIC THROAT SPRAY FOR WHEN YOUR THROAT IS ON FIRE.  I will swear it prevents us from getting nasty colds
Breathe Again Roll On...b/c it's one roll on I'm lacking and Love how it helps open the chest when all stuffed up!!

I decided to try their carrier oil this time...I normally use coconut oil or fractionated coconut oil, but was eager to try theirs.  It has fantastic oils in it
Fractionated (Coconut) Oil,(Sesame) Seed Oil, (Grape) Seed Oil,  (Sweet Almond) Oil, (Wheat) Germ Oil,  (Sunflower) Seed Oil, and  (Olive) Fruit Oil.   Use this to mix with Thieves and Clove on a tooth that has been bugging us


The free stuff was just a bonus.  When you spend a certain amount each month on their ER program you qualify for free oils.  Each month it's different (last month it was thieves and christmas spirit)  this month it is Lavender and Balsam Fir.  (swoon)



I also ordered some Dr Bronner's baby soap...I have been slowly changing all our chemical products over to organic ones.  Sadly with 8 in our family it gets pricey so I needed a cheaper solution.  I'm not totally digging it for hair...but for the littles it is a great head to toe body wash. 

I made 2 foaming ones.  A lavender wash and a gentle baby wash

1/4 cup dr bronners soap
1 cup water
2-3 drops vit e oil
10 drops of your EO choice
(boom that easy)

I saved  foaming soap bottles from ages ago.  I store a ton of old soap dispensers under my kitchen sink and I knew they would come in handy one day


I'm addicted to Gentle Baby these days.
Gentle Baby is a fantastic oil for your littles skin...
I have this also mixed it with Arrowroot Powder for our baby powder.
Mixed with coconut oil/beeswax/olive oil for a lotion or booty balm
and now with our body wash

Gentle Baby has 10 oils that are beneficial to our skin
rosewood, geranium, palmarosa, lavender, roman chamomile, ylang ylang, lemon, jasmine, bergamot, and rose.
IT SMELLS AMAZING
great for moms during pregnancy and to help us with our wrinkles!  Winning!

More info on Young Living Oils just shoot me a message.  I have $30 for anyone that wants to get started with the starter kits!

Cookies Cookies Cookies
I splurged on these bad boys.  1.5-3.5" cookie letters.  All lowercase.  (swoon again) 

 so I busted them out and made some like I saw on instagram and so I had to duplicate ...

Thought I would try my hand at Valentine Orders for the local peeps

 

course needed to spell some of the  kids names too!  I ♥ Valentines Day (or as hubs calls it...Hallmark's Made Up Holiday)



This picture above?  Epic Fail  
I doubled the recipe and the rice WOULDN'T  softened.  I cooked it the allotted 20 mins and then another 10 and another 10 and by then the liquid was gone and it was burning. 
I need to try another recipe b/c it had GREAT potential.  Please share a recipe if you have one


We can't help but yell "Hey Barbie" each time we walk by her in Walmart.  The other day Lily realized she matched and we just had to snap a picture.  I wonder if they will give us this cut out when they are done with her?




 The Busy Budgeting Mama posted this recipe months back and when I see yummy food I listen. 
Here photo is nicer than mine...(see below)




Point of story...no matter what yours looks like...the chicken is moist and tender and the breading is divine.  The pasta is fresh and has a nice clean taste!  I had forgotten how much we love this recipe!!







Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I've Been Doing it over 5 Years Straight....

It's no known secret that I am a long term nursing momma

I've nursed 6 kids and suffered with  every issue you can imagine that comes with nursing (except thrush)
Bleeding nipples, check
Cracked nipples, check
Engorgement for weeks, check
Tender to touch, check
Baby refusing one side, check
Latching issues, check
Mastitis, CHECK CHECK CHECK
Blocked duct, check
Sick with flu, check..oh wait breast issues

Point is...Ive been sick as a dog, bone tired, multiple children to care for, but I still KNEW the benefits of how great it was to nurse my babes

I have had weeks were my nipples were cracked and healing.  You think...how the heck am I supposed to heal my nipple if he nurses on a million times a day.  It does trust me

The pain sometimes makes you see stars, but in the end after things heal it's heaven bliss 

I will sometimes sit there in the rocker staring at this beautiful child nursing.  Her little hand will reach up to play with my hair and twirl it.  Her little eyes glaze over with sleepiness and I watch her sleep and eat.  My heart swells each time.  Yes, 5 years later I still swoon!!!

I've been nursing for over 5 years straight since September 26th.  I nursed #4 through #5 preg and then the 2 kids together.  Then I nursed #5 through #6 preg and the 2 together.  I am down to 1 baby now.  #6 turns 18m on Feb 8th and I'm not sure he is going to be weaning anytime soon.....I pray he doesn't.

The benefits outweigh the cons.

I've run across a few blogs in the past that talk about benefits

If you are on the fence about nursing....hopefully reading other blogs with nursing momma's or talking with friends will encourage you to try.  There is a huge network of women out there to help you with all your questions and problems.  Just don't be afraid to ask!!!

Thanks to Crunchy Farm Baby for sharing this


For those of you who are still breastfeeding your toddler or thinking about extended breastfeeding, here are some of the many benefits to your little one to be on mama milk as long as possible: 

~ Breast milk continues to provide rapidly growing toddlers with a great source of nutrition.  The fat and energy contents in breast milk cannot be matched in formulas or cereals found on store shelves.  As quickly as their little bodies are growing and changing and moving, breast milk is the best source of energy, vitamins, and nutrition for them!

~ Numerous studies have shown that disease and illness prevention is directly related to extended breastfeeding.  Breastfed toddlers have fewer illnesses, shorter duration when they do get sick, and an overall lower mortality rate.  Actually - some of the antibodies that are found in breast milk increase during the second year of a baby's life!  I can certainly attest to this - at 14 months, Charlie has never been sick, even when Daddy has brought a cold home from school more than once!

~ Children that are breastfed the longest show higher overall IQs than their peers who were formula fed or breastfed for a shorter duration.  With as much information as I know is being absorbed into Charlie's busy little mind, I'm very happy to know that my breast milk is helping with his intellectual development!

~ Despite social arguments that breastfeeding causes "attachment issues," quite the opposite is true.  Studies show that children who are breastfed into toddlerhood are more independent, have better social skills, and are better at coping with stressful situations.  At 14 months, most of the reason Charlie nurses throughout the day is for comfort.  It is a wonderful way for him to cope with pain or anger or frustration - it's a great bonding tool and the perfect way for me to meet his emotional needs.

Oh, did you think that there were only benefits for your baby?  Wrong!  Mamas benefit from extended breastfeeding too!  Breastfeeding has shown to protect against a myriad of diseases, including ovarian cancer, breast cancer, uterine cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and more!  

Want to learn more about the benefits of extended breastfeeding for mama and toddler?  Check out my favorite breastfeeding resource, Kelly Mom.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Birthday Planning Back to Back

I remember when I was pregnant with #3.  My due date wasn't until Feb 4th, but she kept threatening to come weeks before (fine by me)

January 25th (morn) my contractions started, but I had lots to do.  Dropped the boys off at preschool and a friend and I went shopping, (haha yes shopping) for the day.  We had lunch, I got a make over, had a pedicure etc.  You know all the things you do while in labor.  I mean it was my last day to get things done before baby.  I just knew she would be there before night fell

I remember my friend was a nervous wreck each time I stopped for a contraction.  I kept reminding her..."No, not yet"
The lady at the make up counter freaked a bit too.  It's ok people I got this

The 25th were 2 ppl's birthday also so I needed to push it to share their date.....but

She came at 1:24 am on the 26th.  Hey I tried!!!

Fast forward a few years

I was pregnant with #5 and my due date was Feb 2nd.  Sweet Mini Me informed me I WOULD NOT GIVE BIRTH ON HER DAY.  Yes, her day

Well I obliged and gave birth Feb 1st.  Which means I have birthday parties 2 weekends in a row

This year Mini Me turns 13.  The big 13 and horror of all mean horror mom's she's NOT having a sleepover.  I know I'm mean.  But honestly with the 3 littles not sleeping at night and they are up at the same time at times in the middle of the night...I just don't have the sanity left in me for 14 screaming teens.  Girls at that.

She couldn't come up with a theme...so I did.  (sadly) 

Breakfast and Pj's

What 2 things do teens love?  Staying in Pj's all day and Breakfast foods!

So we wrapped up some tiny boxes of cereal and went to her friends houses delivering the invites.


I figure we will do foodie type stations ...Cereal Bar, Pancake Bar, Donut Bar, Pop Tart Bar (I didn't say healthy) and she requested a Smoothie Bar

on to the boy's party....
#5 requested a Dragon Party.

So I decided Castle Bounce House. 

This is my first bounce house party.  Never felt brave enough before.  

Seemed easier than trying to plan a bunch of Dragon Slaying activities for 3 yr old boys and girls.  (I can't believe he's gonna be 3)

I found the cutest invites/thank you notes and splurged instead of making them for the first time in years.

It was worth the $22

Now I'm basically hitting Pinterest for decor ideas and food themes.  You know me and my needing to name the foods to coincide with the party! 

Happy Party Planning....

Monday, January 13, 2014

It's a Southern Thing

Found this the other day over at the blog prettysouthern

Down here, there is no Pepsi. Everything is Coke. Even Pepsi is called Coke. True Southerners don’t like going North because up there, if you ask for Coke, all y’all get is freaking Pepsi.

In Northern states, iced tea is served with a box of sugar packets because Yankees are too lazy to actually blend sugar into the hot liquid to make sweet tea. Damn Yankees.

Life below the Mason Dixon line is so sweet, just like our tea and Coca-Cola. Southern accents over time have developed their own vocabulary. These words tend to come out with even more zest if the Southerner has been drinking bourbon.

Here’s a sampling of words only Southerners say
Y’all: it’s never “you guys” but “y’all”. We’ll know you’re a Yankee, or that your parents were Yankees, if you say “you guys”.

Fixin’ to: used to let your compatriot know what’s up. As in “I’m fixin’ to make me a drink”

Lagniappe: a little bit of something extra (especially for those form N’Awlins and the Gulf area)

Pocketbook: girls from the deep South’s middle-o’-nowhere areas are known to call it this instead of a purse.
 
Mash: Southerners don’t push things, we mash ‘em.

Po’Boy: a long sandwich, usually served with fried oysters, shrimp or fish. But in NOLA, your po’boy could even have plain deli meat. Po’Boys are really defined by their good, long crusty bread.

Buggy: it’s not a shopping cart, but a buggy

Might Could: a polite way of presenting your options

Caddywompus a.k.a. caddywonked: a more fun way to say sideways

Access Road a.k.a. Main Road: screw the term “service road”. If the D.O.T. is working on the highway, there’s only one road to get back on your route again and it’s via an “access road” or “main road”. And by the way, if you live in the South, that construction is going to take five years just to pave two lanes. Especially if it’s I-75 in Georgia or Florida. Same thing for I-85 in the Carolinas. Because of this tragic lack of getting the roads fixed, Southerners do not call our interstates “freeways” but “highways”. There’s nothing free about our highways (see GA-400).

Sweeper: as in run the sweeper referring to the vacuum

Made: whether you’re referring to a test you aced, a photo you took, or a baby you birthed, “made” is the verb

Changer or Clicker: you want me to pass you what? A remote control? Honey, that thing is called the changer or the clicker. There’s no controlling the remote in a Southern house. That darn thing will cause World War III, ‘specially in SEC football season.

Yankee: anyone from the North. Even if you’re from Washington D.C., you’re a borderline Yankee. But stay here long enough, plant some roots, and you’ll grow up to become a Southerner.

“Bless Your Heart”: if you’ve heard this, especially from a Southern woman, she doesn’t mean it. It’s her nice way of telling you to put on your grown up pants and deal with it. As said by one of our New York friends “I could shout a parade of Yankee-style expletives in your face and it wouldn’t be nearly as bitchy as bless your heart.”

Friday, January 10, 2014

Winter Skin Blues

During the winter months my hands are constantly in water.  If I'm not cooking or cleaning or changing poopy diapers or bathing kids...doing dishes...doing laundry than I'm not awake (bha)

I'm always washing my hands and they crack and bleed in the dry air months.  Some days they ache and I can't imagine putting them in water again.

I ran across this  recipe for Healing Salve on Pinterest the other day and was thrilled I had everything I needed

I ran to Walmart for the cute 4oz jars and bam


Thanks One Good Thing by Jillee for the recipe and instructions! 



CW All-Purpose Healing Salve

4 – 4 ounce glass jam jars 1 qt. mason jar for melting
1 cup organic cold pressed coconut oil 1 cup quality organic olive oil 4 T. organic beeswax pastilles 1 t. vitamin e oil (optional)
10 drops Lavender Essential Oil 8 drops Lemon Essential Oil 6 drops Melaleuca Essential Oil 3 to 4 drops vitamin e
all purpose salve
Add the coconut oil, olive oil and beeswax to 1 quart mason jar. Fill a large saucepan halfway with warm water, set your burner to low to medium heat, slowly melt the ingredients in the warm bath, stirring with a knife every few minutes until melted.
While melting and stirring, line up four 4 oz glass jam jars. To each 4 oz jar ~eo's and vitamin e oil.
Now you’re ready to fill each jar with the hot oils and beeswax. Carefully fill each jar to within a half inch from the rim. Let the jars cool until the salve hardens, top with a paper towel while cooling to keep dust, bugs etc from invading your lovely jars of salve! Secure lids tightly after the salve has hardened. CW All-Purpose Healing Salve has approximately a one year shelf life, depending on humidity, heat etc. Note: the consistency of salve will set up soft but solid enough not to splash around in the jar.
I’ve made a lot of salve over the last year! Camp Wander supplies our local Wyoming nursery with stacks of jar as it’s so wonderful for rough, dry gardener’s hands!
all purpose salve 2
Although a gardener’s salve was the original use, the comments flew in with testimonials of success using the salve for so many different things the list of uses kept on growing! Here’s a few ideas for the good readers of One Good Thing by Jillee from Camp Wander!
1. Extreme hand moisturizer, a gardener’s best friend!
2. Dry, cracked heels and crusty elbows.
3. All-purpose moisturizer for dryer climes. My Wyoming home pretty much demands heavy use of this salve as a body moisturizer and occasionally on my face, sparingly!
4. Soothes and heals chapped lips or any chappy place ~ Purchase small lip balm pots (HERE)
5. Soothes welts, burns and insect bites or bee sting!
6. Great for diaper rash ~ keep a small lip balm pot of salve in your purse AND diaper bag!
7. Keep your animals in mind! Sunburned noses, gashes, heat spots and post surgical wounds. The taste of Lavender and Melaleuca keep your pets from licking wounds – bonus!!   Caution: because of Lemon essential oil the salve is not intended for cats. Cats are super sensitive to citrus oils.
8. Antiseptic, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties make it great for cuts, scrapes and post wound care for kids and adults!
9. Wonderful for elderly folks and their thin, fragile skin.
10. Great for scaly scalp!
11. Mom’s favorite go to for eczema breakouts ~ safe for infants!
12. Hand sanitizer and moisturizer in one



Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to prescribe, treat, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I'm Bringing Soupy Back

I've probably tried 10+ recipes for Tomato Basil Soup and each time I think I'm getting close 

Well I'm finally there!  I found one.  I found one that I want to make again and again. 
Like so much so I wanted to scrap the entire menu for the week and just make this with different crusty sandwiches every single day

Alterations  I made?  Milk.....  I added 1/3 heavy cream and the rest milk which made this divine

I also did a stick of butter instead of the oil when sauteing the onions.  (granted I doubled this recipe so use half a stick if you are doing the recipe as is)

The Asiago Toast made this a simple easy dipping friend

(Cooking Light March 2012)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 (28-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation

Heat olive oil (I used butter) in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes.   (notice all my stove knobs stacked there?  Some child (#6), takes them off or turns the burner pilot on...ugh)



Stir in garlic; cook for 1 minute. Add basil and tomatoes; bring to a boil.  (right here I was sold)



Stir in cheese until melted. 



Place mixture in blender, and blend until smooth.   (I used immersion blender)



Return to pan; stir in milk, salt, and pepper. Return to medium-high; cook 2 minutes.

 

Now here is the crazy part (not really)...I don't do light stuff...I do the full strength.  So if you are the lightened version person go for it.  I have read too many articles about what they have to add to things to make them fat free or light etc.  I'll just stick with full fat. 

For the little toasty toasts, next time I will use garlic butter and spread that on after I broil the toast...flip and then continue sprinkling with the cheese.  The kids would like double the toast.  8 people eating the small amount I made had people fighting.  
And Momma can't have that!

Monday, January 6, 2014

1930's Old Classic



The can is always easier.  I mean you open it and pour it in and it does what it needs....but

IT'S FROM A CAN.....

"Campbell Soup Company created this American idol in 1934, introducing Continental cooking to resourceful Depression era wives and mothers. In just four minutes anyone could enjoy the concentrated essence of French cuisine for only 12 cents.   The soup base became a wartime hero"

Southern Living Jan 2014 issue had some recipes that used Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup.  I'm a huge HATER of mushrooms, but love using these can thingys in recipes.  (I know weird right?)
They look weird, smell weird, feel weird...and honestly not a fan of them by themselves.  I get all shakey thinking about biting into one. 

I've never bought them...and if a recipe calls for them I always OMIT!

But give me a recipe with a can of cream of mushroom soup?  and I'm all over it!  (don't judge)

That is until Southern Living posted their recipe for it and 2 casseroles using the homemade version...
I was sold

I bought  my first boxes of Mushrooms yesterday.  I'm like now what?  I've seen people on television blot them with wet paper towels....I mean how do I clean them?

Here is the divine recipe.  Now most recipes I researched did NOT have a package of cream cheese in it.  But I personally like the flavor cream cheese gives my recipes.  Our favorite Baked Potato Soup has it in it....and bam

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup




1/2 cup of butter divided
3 8oz packages fresh mushrooms chopped
1/3 cup of all purpose flour
2 cups whipping cream
1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened 
2 1oz containers of home style concentrated chicken stock (knorr brand)

1. Melt 3 tbsp butter in a dutch oven over medium high heat; add mushrooms and saute 10-12 mins or until liquid evaporates.  Transfer to a bowl

2. Reduce heat to medium. Melt remaining 5 tbsp butter in dutch oven.  Whisk in flour until smooth, 1 min.  Gradually whisk in cream and next 2 ingredients.  Cook whisking constantly, 2 mins or until melted and smooth.  Remove from heat; stir in mushrooms.  Use immediately, or cool completely.  Freeze in 1 1/4 cup portions in plastic freezer bags.  Thaw before using.

Which leads me to this Old Classic recipe

Chicken and Poppy Seed Casserole

Preheat oven to 350.  Stir together 2 1/2 cups Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup, 5 cups of chopped deli roasted chicken, 1 16oz container of sour cream, and 1 tbsp of poppy seeds.  
Spoon into lightly greasted 11x7 baking dish.  Stir together 1/4 cup melted butter, and 18 buttery round crackers, crushed.  Sprinkle over casserole and bake 35-40 mins or until bubbly.  
Let stand 5 mins before serving

Serve with Wild Rice and Broccoli

Now I can't say I will always make homemade but if I double this recipe and freeze them in 1 1/4 cup portions (which is equal to about a can of the Campbell's stuff) then I will be one happy camper!


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Patience is NOT My Middle Name

I don't make Resolutions.
I mean what's the point?
Who do you know that made one and kept one?
I hate sticking a big L on my head 2 days into the new year because I failed on a resolution yet again

So I make "improvements"


and of course already broke one.

I want more Patience

 

Patient:  able to remain calm and not become annoyed when waiting for a long time or when dealing with problems or difficult people

That should read "when dealing with lots of small creatures called children"

I promised myself I would work on that this year.

The kids can't learn if mommy isn't patient herself right?

They have this annoying habit of NOT BEING ABLE TO WAIT

For instance. 

"Mommy I need something to drink"

"ok let me finish changing your brothers dirty diaper"
"MOMMY I'M THIRSTY"
"Yes I heard you the first time and I am in the middle of changing your brother's dirty diaper and then I need to wash my hands... you need to be patient"
"Mommy I said I need a drink Mommy I need a drink Mommy I need a drink"


This is where I yell  "YOU NEED TO LEARN PATIENCE"

Now isn't that something?  I'm screaming they need patience and I don't have any myself

Sure enough it happened again this morning

#4 wanted me to download a free app on the ipad.  I was in the middle of talking with the hubs though and told her she needed to wait.  At which point she starts shoving the ipad at me.  So I take it and stick it up on the counter and tell her when I am finished I will load it.  I then  needed to make a phone call pertaining to what hubs and I were talking about and now she is bouncing up and down "Mommy mommy mommy load the game load the game"  at which point I give the mommy hush face and wave my finger (not even sure why I do this) and walk her to a chair to sit down to complete my call.

She of course waits about 10 seconds and starts whining for me to load her game.


My call ended and I of course yell "You will not get your game loaded since you do not know the meaning of patience"
She responds that my voice volume doesn't either.


She had me there, I mean what do you say to that?

Nice to know I am 2 days into the new year and I can't even have patience.  Gonna be a long year if I keep this up


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