Monthly Archives: October 2012

Establishing Healthy Sleep Habits

Boy oh boy, do I dare even talk about this subject? One, because it’s such a sensitive topic to a lot parents and two, well I happen to have a good sleeper. I know people say I’m lucky, and I do believe I am, however I also believe I worked my butt off to have that good sleeper. It was a tough decision for my husband and I to give up rocking our daughter to sleep because we thought self soothing was more important. It was an even tougher decision as an infant to let our daughter cry at times knowing she had a clean diaper, a full belly and everything else had been checked. The worst decision of all time……was deciding if the cry it out method was for us or not. I totally respect anyone’s decision on this matter because I know it’s a tough one, NO PARENT wants to hear their child cry, for any reason. When we moved our daughter into her crib at 8 weeks old it wasn’t an easy move for either one of us. I was no longer close to her to get up and attend to her every need, I could no longer hear her breathing at all times, the worry just kicked in ten times more at this point, but we knew it was something we wanted to do sooner rather than later, my husband and I were starting to not sleep as good. My mother kept telling me we would sleep better without her in the room, I couldn’t possible imagine that this could be true, but of course she proved herself again, and not for the last time either. I have no regrets. I still rocked my baby, I just didn’t rock her to the actual sleep point, I rocked her until she got “sleepy”. I never let my child cry for more than a few minutes without going in and rubbing her back, calming her down to let her know Mommy was still there. As an infant they don’t “get” the concept of mommy and daddy coming and going. You can say we did the cry it out method, but I still spent at least a week of going in every few minutes for an hour each night before she would settle down, it was even longer process for her to get used to napping in her room. She grew accustomed to napping in her swing or the pack and play so the nap time change was days and days of me doing this until she finally would nap twice a day. It was draining and for a week straight I stayed home and did nothing but go in every few minutes to calm her down, nap time for that week turned into an all day affair. I sat there crying many days wondering if this was what I was supposed to be doing.  I even blamed myself when my daughter grew older and became a not so affectionate child, I thought it was my fault, but I’ve come to realize I did what I did because I thought that’s what worked for me and my family.  My daughter just turned two and she now cuddles with me in the morning when she first wakes up and for an hour before going to bed……..see I didn’t damage her after all! :)

Those weeks may have been  so hard for me and my husband, some ending in tears for me,  I still have no regrets and I still take credit as to why my daughter is a good sleeper, and has been since then. My sister still babysits and is amazed that she goes to bed so well.  Hey other Momma’s could have done this exact same thing and still wound up with a not so good sleeper, I don’t know, but I’ll stick to my theory and let it make me feel good. Like all of those tears were worth it in some way or another. We haven’t faced the crib stage into the toddler bed stage yet so I may change my mind within the next year!!

I know everyone has different thoughts on this topic and to each is own is absolutely right, what works for me might not work for you as a parent or for your child, however here are some tips from the specialists. Ask me again in a few months when I put Madison into a big girl bed, I may be speaking differently! Here is another good article on using the Reward System on getting your child to STAY in bed. Parenting-How I got my child to stay in bed.

How you can establish healthy sleep habits for 12-18 month olds. Typical sleep at this age

Now your baby is officially a toddler – but he still needs as much sleep as he did when he was younger. Until his second birthday, your child should get about 14 hours of sleep a day, 11 of those hours at night. The rest will come in nap form.

Your child will still need two naps at 12 months, but by the time he’s 18 months old, he may be ready for a single hour-and-a-half to three-hour nap in the afternoon – a pattern he may follow until he’s four or five. The transition from two naps to one can be difficult. Sleep expert Jodi Mindell suggests alternating one-nap and two-nap days, depending on how much sleep your toddler got the night before. You can also try putting your child to bed a little earlier on one-nap days.

There’s not much new you can do to help your child become a good sleeper at this age – look for fresh issues such as bedtime resistance to show up sometime between 18 months and your toddler’s third birthday. Your best bet now: Continue practicing the strategies you’ve been developing since your child was 6 months old, including:

Following a nightly bedtime ritual.
A regular bedtime routine will help your child wind down at the end of the day and get ready for sleep. If he needs to work off some excess energy, it’s okay to let him run around for a little while before moving on to something more calming, such as a quiet game, bath, orbedtime story. Follow the same pattern every night – even when you’re away from home. Toddlers love consistency; being able to predict when and how something’s going to happen helps them feel in control.

Stick to a consistent daily schedule, as well as bed- and naptimes.
As always, it’s also a good idea to set and stick to consistent bed- and naptimes as part of your daily schedule. If your child naps, eats, plays, and gets ready for bed at about the same time every day, he’ll be much more likely to fall asleep without a struggle.

Make sure your child is able to fall asleep on his own.
Don’t forget how important it is for your toddler to fall asleep by himself every night. You may want to consider avoiding rocking, nursing, or singing your child to sleep so he’ll learn to settle himself back down when he wakes up at night. Your child waking up and not being able to get  himself back to sleep is less than ideal for you, too – if he does wake up, he’ll probably cry for you.

Potential pitfalls

At this age your child may have difficulty falling asleep or wake up frequently at night. The reason behind both problems is probably the developmental milestones he’s reaching, especially walking. Your toddler is so excited by his new skills that he wants to keep practicing, even if you say it’s bedtime.

If he resists going to sleep, most experts advise leaving him in his crib for a few minutes to see whether he’ll calm down. If not, you may want to consider using some version of the”cry it out” approach. You’ll also have to decide what to do if he wakes up at night, can’t soothe himself back to sleep, and ends up crying for you. It’s fine to go in and check on or comfort him. But if he wants you to stay and play with him, gently remind him that nighttime is for sleep.

Esbalishing Healthy Sleep Habits for 18-24 months. Typical sleep at this age

By now your toddler will be sleeping about 11 hours at night and taking a one- to three-hour afternoon nap every day. Some children will hold onto two shorter daily naps until their second birthday. If yours is one of them, don’t fight it.

How you can establish healthy sleep habits

At this age, these are the best things you can do to make sure your child’s sleep habits are on the right track:

Help him break bad sleep habits so he can fall asleep on his own.
Your child should now be drifting off on his own at night without being rocked, nursed, or otherwise lulled to sleep. If he learns to depend on any of these external cues, he won’t be able to fall back to sleep during the night when he wakes up and they’re not there.

Think of it this way, say sleep experts Jodi Mindell and Richard Ferber: You fall asleep with your head on a pillow, only to wake up in the middle of the night and find the pillow gone. You’d probably be concerned about the pillow’s absence and look for it, rousing from your sleepy state.

Similarly, if your child falls asleep every night listening to a particular CD, he’ll wonder what happened when he wakes at night and doesn’t hear the music, and he may not be able to drop off again easily.

To help prevent this, try to get him into bed when he’s sleepy but still awake, so he can fall asleep by himself.

Offer him acceptable choices at bedtime.
These days your toddler is beginning to test the limits of his newfound independence, wanting to assert control over the world around him. To curtail bedtime power struggles, let your child make choices whenever possible during his nighttime routine — from whichbedtime story he wants to hear to which pair of pajamas he’d like to wear.

The trick is to offer only two or three alternatives and to make sure you’re happy with every choice. For example, don’t ask, “Do you want to go to bed now?” He could very well say no, which isn’t acceptable.

Instead, try, “Do you want to go to bed now or in five minutes?” He still gets to make the choice, but you win no matter which option he picks.

Potential pitfalls

Several of the most common sleep problems for toddlers of all ages are difficulty falling asleep, separation anxiety, and frequent night wakings. Children may also experiencenightmares and night terrors.

This age group has its own particular challenge, too: Sometime between 18 and 24 months, some children start climbing out of their crib, potentially putting themselves in danger (falling out of a crib can be pretty painful).

Unfortunately, just because your toddler can get out of his crib doesn’t mean he’s ready for a big bed. Try to keep him safe and stationary with these tips from Sleeping Through the Night, by sleep expert Jodi Mindell:

Lower the mattress: If you move the crib mattress to its lowest position, you may be able to physically prevent your child from getting out. This probably won’t work when he gets bigger, though.

Empty the crib: It’s safest to keep toys, bumpers, and extra bedding out of your toddler’s crib for a variety of reasons anyway, mainly because they’re associated with child injuries like strangulation and entrapment. Your child may also be using crib toys or bumpers as stepstools to help him get out. If you remove them, he may stay put a little longer.

Don’t make jumping out worth his while: If your child jumps out of his crib and you react by giving him lots of attention or letting him get in bed with you, he’ll keep doing it. Instead, stay calm and neutral, firmly tell him not to climb out, and put him right back in his crib. He’ll get the idea pretty quickly.

Keep watch: Nip his escapades in the bud by standing where you can see him in his crib – but he can’t see you. If he tries to get out, immediately tell him not to. After you’ve done this a few times, he’ll probably learn to stay put.

Set up a safe environment: If you can’t keep your child from jumping out, you can at least make sure he stays safe. Place pillows and other padding on the floor around his crib and on nearby toy chests, dressers, and other objects that could cause a hard knock.

If he absolutely won’t stop climbing, you can always move him into his own bed.  It may take you a little while to get him to stay, but at least then you won’t have to worry about him falling and hurting himself. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

How you can establish healthy sleep habits for 24-36 months

Now that your child is getting older, you can try a few new techniques to help him get a good night’s sleep, including:

Moving him into a big bed and praising him when he stays in it.
This is the age when your toddler is likely to make the transition from crib to bed, probably because he’ll have outgrown his babyhood digs. The arrival of a new sibling can also prompt the decision. If you’re pregnant, move your toddler at least two to three months before you’re due, advises sleep expert Jodi Mindell. “You want your older child well settled in his new bed before he sees the baby taking over his crib,” says Mindell. But if the switch doesn’t go well, it’s okay to put it off until the new baby is 3 or 4 months old. Your newborn may spend those months sleeping in a bassinet anyway, and your older child will have time to get used to having a sibling, making the crib-to-bed transition easier. Other reasons to consider making the move include frequent jumping out of the crib and toilet training — your child may need to get up at night to go to the bathroom.

Once he’s using his new bed, be sure to praise your child when he stays in it at bedtime and overnight. After the confinement of his crib, your child may get out of his big-kid bed over and over just because he can. If your toddler gets up, temper your reaction. Simply take him back to bed, firmly tell him that it’s time to go to sleep, and leave.

Anticipating all his requests and including them in your bedtime routine.
Your toddler may start trying to put off bedtime by wheedling for “just one more” — story, song, glass of water. Try to anticipate all of your child’s usual (and reasonable) requests and make them part of your bedtime routine. Then, suggests Jodi Mindell, allow your childone extra request — but make it clear that one is the limit. He’ll feel like he’s getting his way, but you’ll know you’re really getting yours.

Giving him an extra goodnight kiss or tuck-in.
It’s okay to promise your child an extra goodnight kiss after you’ve tucked him in the first time. Tell him you’ll be back to check on him in a few minutes. Chances are he’ll be fast asleep by the time you return.

Potential pitfalls

If your toddler starts getting up more often once he graduates to a big bed, tuck him back in and bid him a firm goodnight. Other than that, how to handle the situation is a personal decision. Experts’ opinions vary. Some say: don’t coddle him or bring him into your bed. Some say that as long as your child is falling asleep on his own, it’s fine to go in and soothe him, and others recommend going to your child immediately, finding the source of the problem and comforting him.

Another widespread sleep problem at this age: resistance to bedtime. Ease or avoid the problem by anticipating and managing your child’s before-bed requests. Few toddlers will run happily to bed every night, so be prepared for a few struggles.

You’ll probably notice that your child has some new nighttime worries these days. Being afraid of the dark, monsters under the bed, or separation from you is common in toddlers, so don’t be too concerned. Fears are part of your child’s normal development. If he starts having nightmares, go to him right away and talk to him about his bad dream while you calm him down. If bad dreams persist, look for sources of anxiety in his daily life. Most of the experts agree that if your child is truly terrified, it’s all right to let him into your bed every once in a while, too.

What’s up Momma? Soup for a windy day anyone?

Another week come and gone! The only difference between this past week and any other normal week for this clan is my baby is now two! OMG I have a two year old! Never thought I’d say that! Our Elmo birthday party was a great big success! I even had fun putting it all together.

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My baby girl deserves nothing but the best. She had so much fun, I honestly don’t ever remember seeing her have this much fun before, she wasn’t shy, she was indeed very out going, she play with all of her friends, I got a chance to actually talk to all of my friends and my family. Here is how our Elmo party went!

Madison's 2nd Birthday

We had it at the clubhouse in our condo complex and my best friend, aka Aunty Shelby helped me set up, hopefully next year we will be celebrating the big 03 in a new home!!

Madison's 2nd Birthday2

How cute is my birthday girl?? Here she is with all of her girl friends. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to have friends that have kids around the same age so my baby girl gets to grow up with the same kiddo’s!

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Yes that is a new big girl bike!! Thank you Aunty TT for spoiling me rotten :) She loves it and has already gone for a few bike rides!

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So after a long day we packed all the new toys and cloths up and headed for home. We all slept like babies that night but MM woke up with a little head cold the next day, but played with new toys and still had a good day. Here she is playing with her new blender Mommy got her so we can cook in the kitchen together, how fun will this be!!

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Daddy wouldn’t let Mommy do anything around the house, no cleaning, no cooking, no nothing, I had a hard time at first but then after a few hours I said you know what, I’m going to suck this up while I can and I even laid down in bed and watched TV for a few hours while she napped, which I NEVER do. It was nice, then we ordered dinner out!  Had a nice warm bath and here is my birthday girl in her new PJ’s!

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So what else is new?? Well I made a new soup last weekend. One you HAVE to try. I actually got this from a fellow #SundaySupper friend, she posted it for a theme called Comfort Food. It’s Supper for a Steal’s Loaded Baked Potato Soup. Thank you Lane for sharing such a great recipe, I ate this for lunch 3 different days and even added a little broccoli to change it up a bit one day! So simple and so warm and comforting!

Baked Potato Soup (1)

 

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Recipe From: Supper For A Steal
Serves: 8
Ingredients:

8 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” cubes
1 medium onion, minced
4 cups chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup butter
salt
pepper
1 cup half and half
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tsp dried chives (or 1 tbsp fresh)
Sour cream, crumbled bacon, additional shredded cheese, for topping

Instructions:

Combine ingredients potatoes through pepper in the crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
Using a potato masher, mash soup together until you have reached your desired consistency.
Stir in cream, cheese, and chives.  Also add more salt and pepper at this point too. Let it sit on warm, uncovered for 15-30 minutes to thicken.
Mix well and serve. Top with sour cream, bacon, and additional cheese if desired.
Any vegetarian friends can sub vegetable stock for chicken stock and leave out the bacon. Enjoy!

Baked Potato Soup (2)

Speaking of soups! I have another cookbook I’m reviewing! It’s called 300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder & Meredith Deeds.  So now that’s two book reviews I have to do, so stay tuned for that, I should have them done within the month.

Well Hurricane Sandy is upon us so I’ll sign off and wish all of my fellow readers to stay safe and dry this week!

3 Chicken Taco Meals-Shopping List Included

I was so happy to do a guest posting for Tara on Thursday! I met Tara through our #SundaySupper group and when I heard she was in a crunch, I was more than happy to help her out with a post on these three simple meals. She is such an inspiration, doing what she loves everyday, that’s my goal!! So today I’m going to share with you my faithful readers, three fabulous dishes in one, well not one, but I’m going to show you how one crock pot meal can turn into three! Ready???

This is by far the easiest dish to make and the best part of it is you make the original taco’s on a Sunday night (or any night) and you instantly have the makings for 2 other dishes throughout that week! How great is that??!! Here is a shopping list for you just so you can make a quick trip and have 3 meals planned for the week.

Shopping List:

2 lbs of chicken breast
1 Pkg of taco seasoning
1 Can of diced tomatoes, seasoned is always good
1 4 oz can of green chili’s
1 14 oz can of black beans
1 14 oz can of corn
1 pkg of small flour tortilla’s
1 pkg of reduced fat Mexican cheese blend (you’ll only use a cup or so)
Reduced fat sour cream
1 pkg of wonton wrappers
2 cups of shredded lettuce

Chicken Taco’s:

Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the crock and sprinkle the taco seasoning on top.

Chicken Taco's (2)

Pour in the diced tomatoes and green chili’s.

Chicken Taco's (3)

Cook on low for 7 hours. Take out the chicken and shred it. At this point it will pretty much fall apart, don’t worry if it’s not right on the 7th hour, it’s not going anywhere :)

Chicken Taco's (4)

Place the shredded chicken back in the crock, stir it to combine and let it heat through for 20-30  min or so.

Place some in the middle of a tortilla and wrap. Dip in sour cream if you’d like! Place the leftovers in a microwave safe dish and store in your fridge for another night.

Chicken Taco's (1)

Chicken Taco Salad:

I craved a taco salad a few days later and I had heard of this trick once to make your own tortilla bowls. So I gave it a shot!

Preheat oven to 350F. Add the can of corn and beans to the chicken mixture and heat through in the microwave.

While that is heating up grease the bottom of a muffin tin and manouver two tortilla’s in the middle of the cups. Maybe it’ll help to show you.

Chicken Taco Salad (2)

Place in the oven and heat for 5 minutes or until it’s crispy, be careful they burn fast! Add the shredded lettuce to the tortilla cup, scoop the chicken, corn and bean mixture on top of the lettuce and dollop with sour cream! Wala lunch! I loved eating the cup!! Place the leftovers back into the fridge for another night! I know I know there is no lettuce in this picture, when I went to go chop it up I realized it had gone bad :( I was bummed, but ate this anyways!

Chicken Taco Salad (3)

Chicken Taco Cups:

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease muffin tins with cooking spray (I used a large muffin tin). Depending on the size of the cups you use, please wonton wrappers around muffin cup to form it’s own cup. I used three for mine, making 4 points in the cup.

Chicken Taco Cups (1)

Place the chicken mixture in each cup and top with shredded cheese.

Chicken Taco Cups (3)

Bake for 10-15 min, really depends on your oven on this one, when the edges start turning brown they are done! These were my little masterpieces. Hubs and I each had two! Next time I want to make more so I can freeze them!

Chicken Taco Cups (5)

I’m a little proud of these puppies.

Chicken Taco Cups (7)

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as my family did. Thank you so much Tara for allowing me to guest post for Noshing with the Noland’s!

 

 

Trick-Or-Treat for #SundaySupper!

So I’ve never really been into Halloween. I know I know, I’m strange, I really am. I hated being scared as a kid OK. I hated that feeling that came in the pit of my stomach after going through a Haunted House or being scared half to death. However, I do love the imagination that can go into a costume, or the creativity that can go into decorating a house, and now that I consider myself an actual Foodie, I can appreciate the imagination and the creativity that goes into decorating food for a specific holiday!! This #SundaySupper has gathered together to bring you some great Halloween Treats!! Yay!! You have to check out the creativity behind these dishes guys! They are truly incredible!

When picking a recipe I didn’t really know which way to go, I’ve never made a Halloween dish before, then I was flipping through my Hannaford’s flyer one day and saw these Deviled Cupcakes made with Devil’s Food Cake from Dunkan Hines. I then came up with the idea for my recipe! Yes besides the Dunkan Hines, the rest I came up with on my own. I’m quite pride. The best part is it’s super simple and you get that creamed whipped topping that Hannaford’s puts on their cakes……..Mmmmmm….I hope no real bakers out there hate on me because I took the simple route on this one, it’s just proof that even if you don’t have the “knack” to bake, you can still bake something incredible! I will surly be trying this version from scratch at some point!

Bleeding Devil Cakes2

 Bleeding Devil Cakes

Recipe Aspired From: Hannaford’s
Makes: 24 Cup Cakes

 Cupcakes:

1 Box of Dunkan Hines Devil Food Cake Mix

Frosting:

1 18 oz carton of Dunkun Hines Vanilla Whipped Frosting
1 8 oz carton of Lite Cool Whip

Blood:

1 tube of red decorating gel

What to do:

Mix the cake mix according to the package directions for the cupcakes. The box gives you options of what kind of cake/cupcakes your making, follow the baking directions for the cupcakes.

While those are baking I stirred together the cool whip and whipped frosting. I put it into large zip lock back and refrigerated until the cupcakes were finished baking and cooling. I think the cooling part is important.

Slowly drip the decorating gel over the vanilla frosting. Tada…….instant goodness!! I was quite surprised at how good they were, so good I sent them to my daughters daycare the next day, partly for her birthday but partly because I would have eaten them all!

Bleeding Devil Cakes

Let’s see what the rest of the #SundaySupper crew cooked up for this Goulish, Scary, Crazy Holiday!!

Bewitching Brews:

Ghoulish Gruel:

Haunted Snacks:

Spooky Sweets:

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day, this Sunday (October 28th) during #SundaySupper.  We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm (Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat where we’ll talk about all things Halloween.  All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat.

We’d also love to feature your favorite Halloween recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers, too.

Dear Madison, Part III

Dear Madison Lauren,

Oh boy here we are again another month later, well more than a month because Mommy has been super busy getting her new website up and running and figuring everything out. Don’t fret, from here on our my letters will come to you on the 27th of each month. I’m sure you’ve figured out why I chose the 27th by now. :)

Wow is all I have to say about these past 6 weeks. We closed up the camp. All done for the season. By the time we open up next year your going to be so much bigger! Sooooooooo what have we been up to baby girl??

Well I signed you up for dance lessons and soccer lessons! I figured I’d try anything to keep us busy this winter. Lesson learnt from Mommy. Your just too young for these types of activities. Not that you don’t enjoy them, well OK you didn’t enjoy dance what so ever, but I did get a cute picture of you and I before we gave it up!

Dance3

Soccer, well this you liked a little better, I think it’s more about running around and playing with “things” we don’t have at home, soccer goals, nets, soccer cones, big bouncy balls, etc etc. You go every week with Jack. You love Jack. We have one more week left, we are going to take a “season” off and try it again after the new year! Again, a super cute picture of you in your “uniform” :)

Soccer Girl2

We had quite the experience one day while napping. Mommy waited a bit too long to come get you from your nap and well………you kept yourself busy. Yes with poop my love. You did play with poop. Hope I’m not embarressing you too much!! I know normally I’d freak out, but mommy instincts kicked in and I immedietly laughed. Then went running for a camera. Then threw everything in the wash, your butt in the tub and immediatly called Daddy because I needed someone to laugh with, he didn’t answer so Nana was next. It was nice laughing about that with Nana. You knew I wasn’t going to let this instant go without mentioning it…….to the world!

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Oh you took your very first “ROAD TRIP” as TT called it. 8 hours in the car in one day! Mommy was proud at how well you did. Nana, Mommy, TT, and Aunty Jo Jo drove down the Cape to see Mommy’s Cousin Erin. You did so well. Here is a picture of your outside of the restaurant we ate at on the water. You could barley keep your eyes open!

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We celebrated Mommy’s birthday! Yup……lots of birthdays during this season. You and Daddy made it very special as usual. I think you are really starting to love birthdays!

Happy Birthday Mommy

Then we celebrated Daddy’s birthday next. You loved writing out your card to him. You helped him open his gifts too!

Daddy's Birthday2

Daddy’s sometimes works Saturday’s so we can have some extra money for those extra special things we get to do together. So this particular Sunday we went for a walk and you really really discovered Fall for the first time. I saw the amazement in your eyes as you walked through the leaves and listened to them crunch under your feet. I love these kinds of days with you boo.

Fall Day

Speaking of extra special things, well one day Daddy took you to Charmingfare Farm for Octoberfest! Mommy wasn’t feeling well so I stayed home and you and daddy had a special day together just you and him! You both really love these days together.

 

We also had our pictures done this month. You weren’t very cooperative. But we got a few good shots and I can’t wait to get copies of them so we can hang them in our new home…….someday. We are still working on the home hunny I promise. We really want to go in with Nana and TT and Nana’s house just isn’t selling, but it will, what’s meant to be will be no matter what!

Photo Shoot

We made a trip to Grammy Memere’s to celebrate Mommy and Grammy’s birthday, here you are with your new favorite sweatshirt. All bundled up, too cute. Honestly thought sweetie, the obsession with the sweaters, has got to go!! You come to me or Daddy at least 8 times a day with a new T-Shirt or Sweatshirt you’ve pulled out of your draw to change in to. It was cute at first, it still is, but come 6pm it grows real old, you go through all of your draws, the dirty laundry, by the end of the day I don’t know what’s clean or what’s dirty! Simple fix for that, Mommy took all of your cloths out of your draws and we now work out of a laundry basket! Yup wrinkled cloths for you until this fixation is over kiddo!

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Oh and you and Sara-Lee at Grammy-Memere’s. Had to include this pic because Sara-Lee never stops long enough for a pic but we got one!!

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What else are you up to??? Hmmmm your eating habits still are stinky my love. You hate trying new things! You won’t even try hunny, you won’t even open your mouth and try a bite of meat besides deli ham & baloney and kielbasa! Mommy is getting strict with you…..I hate doing it but you are eating what I make for dinner end of story. It’s my own fault, I started you on things that were easy for me, packaged, processed stuff because I didn’t know what you could eat as a baby with new teeth. I didn’t do anything wrong hunny, it’s how we learn. I’m hoping by the time your five you’ll be eating more than mommy eats, like fish maybe!! OK now maybe I’m getting a head of myself, here is a picture of the pancakes I made for you, you had one, not bad, but I froze a bunch so no more processed stuff for you my dear!

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Another thing you picked up recently is books!! You finally love books!! I thought you would never be interested! I love watching you wake up in the morning and you roll over and grab your favorite book, it’s a Sesame Street baby book, so all of the characters in it are babies and they are blowing bubbles! Another favorite! You pretend to read them out loud, every time I hear you my heart melts a little more! Oh you also picked up mommy’s cooking magazines! Yah! You go girl! Get you started early!

Starting Early

Last weekend we went for our very first hike. Poor Daddy, his expectations were so high! With me and you baby girl! We made it 400 feet up about. Not bad since you had more fun playing with the leaves and Daddy carried you most of the way. It didn’t matter though, it was a beautiful day, a random Sunday where we said hey let’s go for a hike………a beautiful ride up there. Just the perfect kind of family day if you ask me.

Mommy & Me

What else? Anything else? Well A LOT…………But it will have to wait until next time hunny!! Here is a picture of our morning snuggles together while we watch Curious George and have our milk…….well Mommy has coffee. I love every day with you sweetie, every second, every moment with you.

I love you.

Mommy

 

 

Featured Friday – Mommy’s Musings

It’s Friday!!! That time of the week again! Last week I got to feature my Husband. That was fun. This week I’m introducing a special Co-Host. She is a fellow Mommy blogger that I met through doing Featured Friday, when I went on the search for more Mommy Blogs I ran into Mandy. She blogs over at Mommy Musings and she writes about a lot of things us Momma’s experience.

Besides being a SAHM to her two beautiful daughters she is also a former teacher, and her husband is a former Marine, you know how much respect I have for the men that fight for this country.  In her free time she enjoys working out, going on long walks, writing, and doing projects around the house.  She is also the biggest NY Giants fan! We won’t judge her right local readers?? :)   Mandy is a lot like me and loves throwing parties and spending time with her friends.  Something about entertaining I guess, speaking of entertaining, since Mandy doesn’t really have a Food Blog I asked her if there was a recipe she recommended that I could share with my readers and she passed on William Sonoma’s Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Crostini. I made these this week but my darn camera died so I couldn’t get a picture, but I’m still sharing the recipe with you and I’ll use William Sonoma’s picture to show you how yummy they look!

Mommy Musings

Ingredients:

Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing, plus 1/4 cup
1 baguette, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Salt and coarsely ground pepper, to taste
8 vine-ripened tomatoes, about 1 1/2 lb. total
1/2 cup slivered fresh basil leaves
2 Tbs. finely minced red onion {or more for your personal preference}
1/4 tsp. minced garlic {or more for your personal preference}
1 Tbs. aged balsamic vinegar {or more for your personal preference}
1 1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F.

Brush a baking sheet with olive oil and arrange the baguette slices on the sheet in a single layer. Brush the tops with oil, and season with salt and pepper {use lots of salt and pepper}. Bake until crisp and golden, 15 to 18 minutes. If not using immediately, let the crostini cool, then store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use.{If you are going to store it, store it with the top off a plastic container, as if the top is on, they lose some of their crispiness.}

Core, seed and dice the tomatoes. In a bowl, stir together the tomatoes, half of the basil, the onion, garlic, vinegar, the 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper.

Slice the mozzarella into 1/4-inch-thick pieces or into smaller pieces so they fit on the crostini. To assemble, lay a piece of mozzarellaon each crostini and spoon 1 to 2 Tbs. of the tomato salad on top. Garnish each with a pinch of the remaining basil. Serve immediately.

Mommys Musings

So besides this awesome recipe above I’d also like to share some awesome posts that Mandy has written up over the past few years.

1. Waiting for the Shoe to drop. Mandy has a beautiful way of writing about how life is just life and how just as all of our dreams are coming true, there is always a shoe that drops. This one hit close to home for me because with all that I’ve lost in life, I always feel like there is another shoe to drop. Read Mandy’s story and share a time when you’ve waited for the shoe to drop.

2. Pause In Chaos. This is a great post. Something we should all do on a daily basis. I know I’ve written about this before. It’s just another reminder that other Momma’s feel the same way I do. Go visit Mandy and let her remind you to Pause in the Chaos.

3. Before I was a Mom. Oh we all know this list all too well now don’t we. Go visit Mandy’s list.

4. It’s About Parenting. Not Parenting Style. I really enjoyed this article because Mandy and I seem to be on the same page as far as parenting is concerned. None of parent the same, but go see what Mandy has in mind as far as it being about Parenting not Parenting Style because she is spot on with this one.

5. Sometimes. A reflection of what’s important. Mandy’s reflection of the “Sometimes” way we get annoyed with the everyday life and the “Sometimes” we forget what life is really about.

And last but not least this post is a special post from Mandy about the days she spend alone, sad, waiting patiently for her (husband now) to return home from being overseas. Let this post remind us all of how lucky we are for those of our husbands/fathers/brothers that are home with us everyday.

6. Nothing Beats a Letter.  

Thank you for Co-Hosting with me today Mandy, I really enjoyed getting to know you and your blog. It’s so refreshing to know that there are other Momma’s out there that like to “Put it on the table” like I do!! :) Make sure you go visit Mandy and if you do let her know that this Momma sent you! Happy Friday everyone.

Separation Anxiety & The Stages

Before I talk about this I’m so excited to send you over to Tara over at Noshing with the Nolands!! I’ve done a guest post for her with my new 3 piece meal! Meaning cook one meal and it will give you two other meals throughout the week!!! Yes it will I promise, go check it out!

This is a top that hits this home big time. I always thought it was because I was a SAHM and my daughter was just attached to my hip! Now that my daughter is two and I have friends that are working moms I’ve come to realize that it really is a stage that a lot of children go through. I always want whats best for my child so when she got to be about 16 months old, with a lot of discussion with my husband we put Madison in daycare twice a week, two 8 hour days. I wanted to start writing more and I really wanted her to get more of a social setting. I did everything, I went to Mommy groups, I planned play dates with my friends, I got out once a day to just get out but still to this day when we run into someone we don’t know well she still clings to my leg. The daycare twice a week has really helped. She cried for weeks every time I dropped her off and then after a few weeks she did get better. The teachers learnt to distract her pretty well. Then about 6 months later after a week’s vacation at our summer camp I dropped her off and she started to cry again, I thought it was because we had been on vacation for week, but it continued for another month. I had no idea until reading this article that there are just different stages of it. I don’t know about you but when I read things like this it makes me feel a little better, well it does! It makes me feel better when I know that my child isn’t the only one who is glued to my hip 100% of the time. :) FYI the picture below of the momma cooking and holding her baby, that’s me some days! :)

Here are some tips according to Suzanne Schlosberg at Parenting Magazine:

Separation anxiety can happen almost overnight, which makes it shocking to parents.  What’s more, it’s often not just a one-time, babyhood phase for many kids. The tears and fears related to being apart from Mom or Dad can resurface in the toddler and preschool years, posing new challenges for parents and warranting different solutions. As disheartening as that may sound, it can be very helpful to remember that separation anxiety is completely normal, even healthy. From the earliest years of life, we should want children to encounter ordinary adversity because it’s practice for building resilience. Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to minimize your child’s angst, as well as your own, along the way.

Seperation Anxiety

The first strike: babyhood

Though the timing can vary from child to child, separation anxiety typically first hits around 8 months, when babies suddenly grasp that their parents exist apart from them, says Abbot. “Literally, it’s like, boom! They understand you can leave.” They don’t, however, understand that you’re coming back. This anxiety may last several weeks, or even a few months, until your child realizes that you’re not, in fact, abandoning him for life — you’re just going to the bathroom.

How to get through it:

start early  By 6 months, introduce your baby to other regular caregivers, such as relatives or a babysitter. Your child needs practice being away from you, hopefully well before preschool. You want someone else to hold and talk to your kid a little differently. These experiences may minimize her anxiety later on when you’re not around.

keep your goodbye short  A quick “Bye, James, see you this afternoon!” is ideal. Prolonging the departure gives your child the idea that there’s something to be afraid of.  But here’s the really tough part: Try not to let the sobbing lure you back. Reappearing after you’ve left only gives your child incentive to cry harder and longer next time.

match your body language to your words  Your child can sense your confidence as you walk out the door, flash a smile, give a cheerful wave. You’ll be faking it, of course, but she won’t know that yet. She’ll just know that you feel good about who she’s with — and she can, too.

avoid sneaking off  Parents often dash out the door when the child isn’t looking, hoping — understandably! — that this will preempt a meltdown. But that’s tricking your child, and it can break your child’s trust in you. Instead, first ask your caregiver to redirect your child’s attention right after you leave with a favorite toy, a game of peekaboo, or some new music (whatever), then say your quick goodbye.

We as parents are going to get upset when we see our children upset,  but if it’s one thing I’ve learnt is that all of these tricks are good. Being a SAHM it’s not always hard for me to leave, don’t judge here, I love my daughter, but I don’t get the time away everyday that my husband gets. I don’t get to be the fun one that comes home and makes the day cheerier, so when I go out for an appt. a trip to the gym or a night out, I take advantage. I keep my good-bye’s short and I also know my daughter is queen of distraction, it works what can I say and anyone that babysits her on a regular basis knows this. Even her daycare, I feel bad but craft time always starts as we are getting there and Madison is always first in line because the distraction works.

Seperation Anxiety2

The peak: toddlerdom

For some kids, separation anxiety vanishes before toddlerhood; for others, that’s when it starts, peaking sometime between 12 and 24 months and bringing a more potent dose of distress. This is when children develop a strong sense of attachment to the parent. You’ll see tantrums or screaming or hysterical crying. What’s also at play now is their desire to have some control over their lives. They know by now that you’re coming back, but they would prefer that you stick around. And because they also know that wailing will usually get a reaction, they give it their best shot.

How to get through it:

Develop a goodbye ritual  For example, whenever you have to leave your toddler at daycare, give her two kisses and a high-five. The ritual creates order around the departure for both parent and child.

Give your child a small job  When Ilene Siringo’s 23-month-old son, Luca, hit a particularly clingy phase, she started asking him to “shut the door for Mommy” when she left for work. This little responsibility made the transition a lot easier. “He likes to help, and he gets to have control of the door,” says Siringo, an optometrist in New York City. This strategy can also work with kids who get anxious when you have to leave the room. For instance, if you need to get the laundry, give your child a sweater to “fold” until you get back.

Provide an ETA  A child this age doesn’t understand ‘three hours,’ but you can say, ‘I’ll be back after snack time. And do your best to return when promised. It’s tempting to think he won’t know the difference if you’re significantly late, but at some point he will — and you can’t predict when. If you’re heading out for a late night, tell him you’ll see him in the morning.

Remind your toddler that you always return  When Anna Zirker’s twin boys were 2, she put her own twist on this trick: “When they’d say, ‘Mommy, don’t go,’ I’d ask, ‘What does Mommy do when she leaves?’ and they’d say, ‘Mommy comes back.”  Still works every time.

Lucky me has dealt with separation anxiety every step of the way. This is the first time I’ve heard of giving an ETA, I like that idea, though I don’t think my daughter would truly get that yet, I know it’s only a matter of time before she does. It’s funny because when I read about telling your toddler that you always return, I had no idea what I was doing to make myself feel better would also eventually make my child feel better. Every time I leave since they day my daughter was born, I always say “Mommy always comes back.” Now that she’s getting older and understanding more I say: “What does mommy always say??” “I’m always going to come home to you.” I think it will be cute some day when she can actually answer my question. 

Seperation Anxiety4

The relapse: preschool age

For parents, this may be the most exhausting form of separation anxiety. Just when you think your child’s developed a little independence, the tantrums and tears come roaring back, usually thanks to a new stress such as a new sibling, going to school, an illness in the family, or moving to a different house. Fortunately, the anxiety relapse usually lasts only a few weeks, according to experts. With a sibling, it’s about attention. They worry that they come second now, that their parents are going to forget about them. In the case of a new school, the child knows that Mommy will come back but may nonetheless feel unsafe or uncertain without her. Suddenly the child is in an unfamiliar place and isn’t sure whom to trust. Plus, he has to share the attention of the teacher with all these other kids. No wonder some of them get overwhelmed!

How to get through it:

Let your child know it’s okay to feel nervous  Catch yourself if you reflexively say, “Be a big boy.” Instead, give your child a hug and say something like “I know that you’re nervous. Let’s think of another time you were scared but it was okay. Remember the first time in the pool?” You’ll help show him that his feelings are normal — and that he’ll be able to handle them. We’re often so proud of an autonomous child that we don’t fully appreciate that the stepping-stone toward that autonomy involves a decent amount of dependence.

Plan some extra one-on-one time  After Jennifer Lehr brought home her new baby, her 2½-year-old daughter, Jules, threw a fit whenever Lehr had to tend to little Hudson. So Lehr decided to make a point of giving Jules extra attention, especially when she’d fix her meals. “I’d slow down and let her be involved.” “We’d make a smoothie, and Jules would drop in the fruit and pour in the milk and push the button.” Experts say the additional one-on-one time makes the child feel confident in the parent’s love and less threatened.

Develop a predictable bedtime routine  This is a good idea in general, but it can be especially helpful when your child is going through a tough time. It helps show him that there is order in his world. You can even make a poster board listing the exact times of nighttime tasks. For example: 6:00, dinner; 6:20, bath; 6:40, pajamas; 6:45, brush teeth; 6:50, storytime; 7:00, bedtime.

Do your best not to cave in  A preschooler who is experiencing separation anxiety may also regress in other ways, such as asking for her pacifier back or insisting on sleeping with you. When you’re exhausted or fed up, it’s only natural to take the path of least resistance and ease up on the rules you’ve established. But more than anything, a kid needs structure and routine. If you give her Binky back, it’s going to make
it a lot harder to take it away again. Instead of altering the routine, give your child extra hugs and kisses. Plus, by maintaining the sameness, you’re sending the message that there’s nothing wrong. Of course, we all give in sometimes. So if you find yourself being more flexible than you planned, cut yourself slack and try again.

So I’ve had 2 out of three, who is guessing that this will happen to me again!! I like the idea of the one on one time, I always envisioned myself to do this when i have a 2nd child. A predictable bedtime is almost always guaranteed in my home because after 7pm is well………Mommatime! Caving?? Well the only time I’ve seemed to really cave is when it involved sleep because well, everyone loves there sleep! I tend to get a little weak when it has to do with in the middle of the night. Other than that I’m pretty strict, daddy on the other hand……not so much!

****STAY TUNED NEXT WEEK WE ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT SLEEP ISSUES WITH YOUR LITTLE ONES!!***

Quinoa w/Roasted Veggies

I actually found this recipe while registering for a site, that I thought came with free healthy meals but come to find out it wasn’t free, but I did get a days worth of free recipes. This baby was one of them. I like to make myself something like this on Sunday’s to have lunch on the go during the week. A lot of the time boo and I are on the go and I get sick of soup and sandwiches so something like this is a great dish to throw together for myself, well that and my husband would probably never eat it. This is a sure way for me to eat on the healthier side even on those busy days!

Recipe adapted by: Magic Menu’s
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1 bunch asparagus stalks (about ½ pound), washed and dried
• 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced in ⅓-inch coins
• 2 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
• ¾ cup red onion, finely diced
• 2 cloves garlic, sliced
• 1 cup uncooked quinoa
• 2 cups water
• ¾ teaspoon sea salt, divided, plus more to taste
• ¼ cup chives, minced
• ¼ cup parsley, minced
• lots of black pepper, to taste
• squeeze lemon juice and lemon zest

What to do:

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

2. Place asparagus and carrots in mixing bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon
extra virgin olive oil, sea salt to taste, and black pepper.

3. Place on sheet pan and cook until the asparagus are just tender, 5-7
minutes depending on thickness of asparagus.

Vegetable Quinoa (1)

4. Rinse quinoa with cold water and drain.

5. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add remaining 1 ½ teaspoons
extra virgin olive oil.

6. Once the oil is hot, add the red onion and garlic to the pan with ¼
teaspoon sea salt and stir to coat the onions. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, until
the onions and garlic have begun to soften.

7. Add the quinoa and 2 cups of water along with remaining ½ teaspoon sea
salt and cook fully.

8. Fluff with a fork and set the quinoa aside to cool for a few minutes.

Vegetable Quinoa (2)

9. Slice the roasted asparagus spears into bite-sized pieces and toss into a
big mixing bowl along with the carrots, chives, parsley, and quinoa.

10.Gently mix the ingredients together and season with lots of black pepper,
lemon zest, and a squeeze or two of lemon juice. Serve.

Vegetable Quinoa (3)

I enjoyed this dish four different times!! Sooo flavorful and half the guilt!! Who said eating healthier was boring?!

What’s up with Momma? How about a new recipe…

I can’t believe how many recipes I have on the back burner to share with you all. I guess I just keep cooking, baking, snapping photo’s and they just build up! I’m always cooking something new, my husband complains of that often. So I will share two with you today, but first what’s going on with me?

Well my boo is turning two this weekend! OMG I can’t even believe it…..I have no idea where the time has gone. I can’t believe I can say that I have a two year old daughter. I an’t believe my baby girl is a little girl. I look at babies now and I can’t believe she was ever that small. I love this little piece of me, this little piece of my husband. We’ve had quite a few challenges lately. I know all kids develop differently, learn at different rates, but I still often compare. There I said it. I’m that mother that compares. Don’t worry I compare inside my head, I would never say any of it out loud to other mother’s. I compare in my head because I worry. It’s what I do. She says many words, each day she comes up with more words. She will repeat pretty much any word you say to her, including the “F” word, yes we tried it. Yes we laughed. However, the connection between the words and when to use them just aren’t there yet, I know it’s coming but it’s making our days incredibly painful at times, she becomes so frustrated she pulls nutty’s upon nutty’s. One after another. I’ve tried everything, I’m doing everything everyone has offered to me for advice. So we will just keep plugging away, in the mean time we will enjoy her second birthday this coming Saturday, which makes me happy because the day of her birthday party is her real birthday! Lot’s to do though! Order cupcakes, balloons, put together gift bags, wrap gifts, decorate, make food……OK I’m overwhelmed now! Stay tuned for my third annual “Dear Madison” coming up on Madison’s 2nd birthday!!

Mom’s house still isn’t selling :( Not sure what we are going to do, we really need more space, we are bursting at the seems here. Hopefully by Spring something will happen. Something has got to give.

So how does everyone like the new design?? I’ve been a busy Momma huh! I’ve been trying out some great new recipes, I’ve got some sandwiches, desserts, main dishes, appetizers, hmmmm what shall I share with you today?? An appetizer I served over the weekend that was to DIE for. It was a last minute choice. We had friends over and I had planned on making a baked potato soup however the temperature then slowly crept up to 70 degrees! I was sweating by the time we got home from our errands that I could not see myself eating soup. So I came up with a back up plan, I had whole wheat bread from the bakery, I sliced that up and added some jarred bruchetta that I had on hand (I recommend always having this on hand because it was great for a last minute decision!) Topped it with a little shredded cheddar cheese and it made a great appetizer. I’ve been wanting to try a Buffalo Chicken Dip however I didn’t have much hot sauce left so I went on the search for a Hot Ranch Chicken Dish……I ended up making my own stuff up! Glad I did! This recipe was inspired by Fabulous Housewife, I changed a few things. Here is what I came up with:

1 lb of cooked chicken
4-6 oz of shredded 2% cheddar cheese
Hot Sauce
1 Packet of Ranch Dressing
Ranch Dressing
8 oz of reduced fat cream cheese

I started by coking my chicken (I had tenders on hand) I baked them in the oven at 350 for 20 min. I let it cool, sliced it up into small bite size pieces and then drenched it hot sauce. (use what you and your family like). We like a kick.

DSCN9166

I refrigerated it for a good hour or so. When I put the dish in the fridge, I took out the cream cheese to let it soften to room temperature. I then removed the chicken and placed it on my cutting board. Then I took the cream cheese and mixed it with the ranch dressing. Just keep mixing until it’s combined.

Using the same casserole dish (had a lot of the buffalo sauce in it!!)  I layered the cream cheese mixture on the bottom of the casserole dish. I topped it with the chicken. Added the shredded cheddar cheese on top and then made a pretty design with the ranch dressing on top.

DSCN9168

Here is another tip. I didn’t have any ranch dressing, I know crazy huh. So I saved some ranch dressing mix and mixed it with some sour cream and pipped it on from using a baggie. I used about 1/4 to a 1/2 cup of light cream cheese and like 2 tbsp of the ranch dressing, stirred to combine, added it into a zip lock baggie, closed it, pushed it a corner of the baggie, snipped the corner off and pressed like it was frosting! Hey I was desperate for that ranch!! Just an example of how there is always a way! Then I immediatley put Ranch Dressing on my grocery list! Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

DSCN9169

Serve it with scoops or your favorite tortilla chips and it’s a hit for any party! Note to self: Wait for it to cool a bit, I scortched the roof of my mouth! Sorry for the ugly picture I forgot to snap it when it came out of the oven so we got this lovely shot!

DSCN9171

I also served up these bad boys…..you have to try these if your feeling “Bad” meaning if your in the mood for fried that is. You could bake them, I’m going to try that next, obviously without the coating! Spicy Fried Wings.

Spicy Fried Wings2

Well we went for our very first family hike this past weekend. it was eventful to say the least. We only made it 400 feet up, but hey we tried! It never seems to amaze me, my husband carries the back pack that must weigh at least 20 lbs, my daughter who is a good 28 lbs. and I’m the one huffing and puffing 200 feet up! OK I will pretend that that doesn’t bother me. However we ended with a picnic in the park and a picture worth a million dollars in my eyes.

Hike

If you didn’t get a chance to check out my Feature on my Husband, make sure you check it out there is an awesome Filet recipe with a Shallot-Mushroom Sauce. YUMMY…….or how our #SundaySupper crew BakedForACure this past Sunday. Lots of great baked goods over there you want to check out. This theme hit close to home for me, reading these posts and recipes and how Cancer has touched so many lives, the old the young, just made me really appreciate what I do have today.

We had our family portraits done a few weeks back, Madison was of course a bit on the moody side you could say! We got one shot of her, and about a gazillion of her and daddy, she was a daddy’s girl that day I guess. I have to go and get one of those canvas’s made!

Photo Shoot6

Oh so Thursday I’m doing a Guest Post for a Foodie Friend of mine! When she was in a time crunch I was happy to help her out, I know how it feels to be so busy and need Guest Posts’s ASAP! So stay tuned because I’m sharing a recipe that has a shopping list for you and three different recipes you can make out of one dish!!! Yes!! I’ll be doing more of these. I’m hoping to add grocery lists to each recipe eventually. Or use Zip List, is anyone familiar with Zip List? I use it to grocery shop. Stay tuned for that, I’m working on it for you!!

What else What else??? I’m excited for my Featured Friday this week, this is a Momma that I have a lot in common with and her blog is great! You will love Mandy!

I haven’t been able to tell you about my night out at The Taste of Home Cooking Show I attended a few weeks back, I’ve been so crazy busy and then with the Crock Pot Challenge (go get some awesome Crock Pot recipes!) so stay tuned I hope to fill you in on that next week.

I’m also going to be reviewing my very first Cook Book soon too, I need some time to make some of the recipes and review them however I’m excited. It’s also a Vegetarian Cook Book, I’ve always wanted to try more Vegetarian dishes so I plan on having fun with this one. It’s called The Meat Lover’s Meatless Celebrations written by Kim O’Donnel. Can’t wait for this one!

I think that’s it for now, I have a lot more up my sleeve, but I have to save some things for another day ;)

 

Spicy Fried Wings

This recipe is compliments of The Neely’s on The Food Network Channel. I made it for my husband this past weekend for his birthday. I don’t eat Chicken on a bone, but I ate one of these, after trying one bite, I went in for one!! I also think you can season them, bake them and then throw some more seasoning on at the end again, just cut out the batter and frying part for a healthier option. Still would have a kick!

Spicy Fried Wings2

Ingredients

For the Seasoning:

  • 1 tablespoon seasoning salt
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds chicken wings, split at the joint, tips removed

For the Batter:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

For the Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons horseradish
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Daddy's Birthday4

Directions

Make the seasoning: Whisk the seasoning salt, red pepper flakes, cayenne, poultry seasoning, lemon pepper and 2 teaspoons black pepper in a small bowl. Set aside 2 tablespoons seasoning in a separate bowl.

Rinse the wings under cold water and place in a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with the seasoning, then refrigerate, covered, 1 hour.

Make the batter: Whisk the eggs, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, cayenne and 1 teaspoon black pepper in a medium bowl. Put the flour in a shallow dish or pie plate.

DSCN9131

In a large deep fryer or Dutch oven, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees F. Dip the wings in the eggs, then in the flour. Place the wings, three at a time, in the hot oil and fry until golden, 8 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Make sure the oil returns to 350 degrees F before adding the next batch. Sprinkle the wings with the reserved seasoning to make them extra hot.

Make the sauce: Mix the sour cream, horseradish, chili sauce, cayenne, and salt and black pepper to taste. Serve with the wings

Spicy Fried Wings

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