Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What's Cookin'?

I thought I would share with you some things that I've made recently for my family to eat. Don't know about you, but I'm always up for some inspiration when it comes to cooking meals. Some days I just don't want to go through the whole process, especially the ending, dishes. Ugh, how I loathe the dishes. But, if I come across something that looks exceptionally yummy, it gives me more motivation, especially during this winter that seems to be dragging on. Here are some snapshots from my kitchen this past month.

Chicken Stir Fry on Couscous
I wish I'd have stumbled across the simplicity of the stir-fry earlier in my life. You basically chop up a bunch of veggies of your choice, same goes for meat if you choose to include it, and then stir fry it in some oil or broth or water. Add sauce if you'd like, I usually don't because with all the flavors of the veggies, it isn't needed, just some salt and pepper. Put it on top of rice or noodles or cous cous, etc. So easy! And the possibilities are endless.

One-Pot Roasted Chicken and Veggies
It looked a lot prettier in person, and smelled wonderful. I've made this twice and the carrots are so so so good cooked this way. Even if you don't like carrots, you might if you make this. You can also use different vegetables. Find the recipe {here}.

Beans and Rice
Another versatile meal, I don't use a recipe for this, but I'll give you the basics. Soak beans (of your choice) overnight. Cook beans. Cook rice (of your choice). Saute veggies (of your choice), in this case I used just onions, but usually add green pepper and celery, too. Take some opportunities to add salt and pepper to your taste preferences. Add the rice and beans to your veggies. Add taco seasoning and some water (find my recipe for that {here}. Mix it all together (I also added some spinach at this point to the pictured batch). The longer you cook, on low, the more flavorful it will be, but at this point you can just serve it.

Stuffed Sandwiches
I got this idea and recipe from a gal in a twin mom group I belong to on Facebook. She writes {here}.
For the bread, dissolve 1 tablespoon of yeast (I used quick rise, all I had!) and 2 tablespoons of sugar in 1 1/4 cups of warm water. Wait a few minutes and then mix in 3 cups of flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Let it rise for 10 minutes.
You can put whatever you want inside. I spread some butter, added a heap of mozzarella cheese, then hamburger with sauteed mushrooms and onions. I closed it up (you can just pull the sides up and pinch together on top or you can braid it), brushed with melted butter, and sprinkled with salt and oregano.
Bake at 350 degrees until the bread is done, then slice.

Easy Broccoli Skillet
This is more of a side dish and I found the idea {here}. If you are worried about the lack of veggies in your family's diet, dishes like this are tasty, easy, and full of a variety of nutrients.

One Pot Wonder Tomato Basil Pasta
This was so easy and pretty good. I tweaked the recipe just to fit what I had on hand, but not by much. You can find the recipe and prettier pictures of it {here}.

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
These make a great snack and it can be fun to include the kids when mixing them up. You can find the recipe {here}. A pan never lasts a whole day in this house!

Banana Cream Pie
I had some bananas that needed used one day and figured pie always tastes good! I texted my mom to get her recipe, but she was out of the house, so I just used {this one} and it turned out good. The pie tasted much better the next day after being refrigerated. It takes long enough to make it though, it is hard to wait to taste!

Well, that's what has been happening in my kitchen. What have you make lately? Any good recipes you've come across?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Reading. Catching up on all the blogs I follow! I didn't read any for about a week which puts me really behind. Feedly is telling me I have 526 unread posts, but that seems far fetched. I usually read them when nursing Elliot and Finnley back to sleep after they are in bed but before I go to bed. A couple of my recent faves are this and this.

Listening. We've been rotating through a few Pandora stations lately. Children's bible songs, lullaby station before bed, and then of course the dance cardio station for our dance parties. We have them frequently. Elliot and Finnley love being picked up and danced with. My hip was killing me yesterday and I think that may be why.

Anticipating. The end of basketball season. Have I mentioned that? It will be nice to see Tyler more than one day a week. And to have a partner to tackle bed time with the kids, although that part of the day is getting easier. Tonight as I was laying with Mason he kept telling me how he missed Dad and asking if we could go to Dad's work to see him.

Watching. By day, Animal Mechanicals. Oy. The episodes are only 12 minutes long and in each episode they play the theme song three times. Bet you can guess what is stuck in my head these days. I'm not really sure why, but Mason is obsessed with that show right now and since it is so cold every single day, we've been stuck inside a lot, resulting in more Netflix viewing than I prefer.
By night, pretty much any decent romantic comedy I can find, although I feel like I've seen every one Netflix and Amazon Prime have to offer. Suggestions???

Creating. Paintings, drawings, play dough sculptures, cookies, puppet voices, obstacle courses... anything to entertain the young ones. The girls experienced their first finger painting session the other day. It went well. They both had just one taste of the paint and made some masterpieces in which I'll be shipping off to some lucky people soon.

Hating. About three weeks ago I started no-pooing my hair. Which, if you have no idea why I'm talking about, it means I stopped using shampoo and starting scrubbing my head with baking soda and basically using apple cider vinegar mixed with water as my conditioner (that part I've been doing for a few years now). There's about a three month transition period where your hair is really greasy and yucky looking. I tried this about 2.5 years ago and didn't make it through the transition and I'm remembering why now! I do have a very important wedding coming up soon (Hi, Makenzie!), so I may have to give in and lather up with my Yes to Carrots just for that day.

Loving. The kids playing together without screaming. It doesn't happen all day long, but as time goes by these occurrences become more frequent. I often daydream about how in a couple years they will just happily play together all day long, no screaming, just love and imagination floating through the air. (Shhhh, don't ruin it for me...)

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To see what Barb, Liz, and Lindy (my sister!) are currently up to...