I know what your thinking!! How can you make a Quesadilla in the Crock Pot?? Well you actually don’t, but you make the insides of it and assemble after a hard day at work! Wouldn’t you like to just come home, warm up a saute pan or preheat your oven and be ready to go?? I remember reaching out to my friends the day I decided to give this a go asking what everyone’s tips and secrets were on how to make a successful quesadilla! Every time I make them I try it a different way because every time I flip them, all the stuff falls out. Maybe I don’t use enough cheese to hold it together (hey I try to cut calories and fat anyway I can!) or as my husband says, “I’m too rough!” Well you have to move fast! I’ve never gotten the “art” of flipping down, I still can’t make a decent pancake because I can’t flip them very well. I try, they always end up tasting good, however they don’t look pretty. I also received a quesadilla maker one year for Christmas, I’ve used it plenty of times, but it’s still messy, things still fall out, however you do not have to flip anything! When I order them a Quesadilla while dining out I always take note of how they are cooked in hopes to bring home a new secret, I’ve even tried buying the large tortilla’s and I fill them half way and fold them over, pop them in the pannini press and wala, cut them into four pieces. Another friend suggested using a pizza pan (with the holes in it) lie out one tortilla, fill, top it and bake it, I haven’t tried that one yet but that’s next on the list! What is your trick? Share please.
I wanted something simple here, something I could throw in, just assemble on a busy night and put out all the toppings for everyone to make to their own liking. Of course I had to make one with just cheese for my picky daughter, I even tried sneaking in some peppers but nope…….it didn’t work! Oh and make sure you scroll down and see my great idea on what to do with the leftovers! Well besides make more Quesadilla’s of course!
What you’ll need:
2 large chicken breasts
Assorted bell peppers, sliced (I used one each of yellow, red and green)
3 oz of reduced fat cream cheese
1/2 envelope of Taco Seasoning
Toppings of Choice:
Shredded Cheddar or Montrary Jack Cheese
In a crock pot add the chicken and pour the salsa over it. Sprinkle the seasoning over the mixture. Dollop the cream cheese on top of the mixture. Place peppers on top, cover and and cook on low for 5 hours.
Take chicken out and shred it. Add it back to the crock pot stirring the rest of the ingredients together.
Place a skillet over medium heat, spray with non stick spray and add a tortilla. Add mixture on top and sprinkle cheese to your liking. Add another tortilla on top and cook a few minutes, let the cheese melt! Carefully flip the tortilla and cook on the other side for a few minutes, making sure you don’t burn them. Remove and continue with as many as you desire.
Serve with whatever toppings your family enjoys! Wala simple dinner!
I had some leftover and I didn’t want to make more quesadilla’s the next day for lunch so I had this brilliant idea to make a sandwich/pita out of it. It tasted amazing cold so I thought why not make it a sandwich!
Check out what other speedy and yummy recipes are being featured this week:
Tuesday | Melanie Makes: Skillet Stuffed Peppers
Happy Sunday everyone!! Spring has Sprung where we live in New England! I don’t know about you but when the Spring weather is upon us I get the jitters to bake and make breakfast! I know I know, crazy but this is my fourth Spring since I’ve realized how happy the kitchen makes me so I must admit I’m guilty of these Spring time treats I must whip up! When #SundaySupper came up with the theme of Stuffed, Roll or Wrap I knew exactly what I was going to make!! So a special thanks to Amy of kimchi MOM!! I’ve had this recipe in mind since I saw it on a cooking show I tune into every now and again called The Hungry Girl. I made some changes to make it to my families liking so feel free to adjust to what yours would love! I’ve made a few recipes of hers, and this one I knew my family would fall all over. Though they tasted like a piece of heaven in my mouth, the pictures aren’t so great so I apologize for that. I realized that they weren’t easy to photograph. I decided to go with this recipe and share it anyways because I think it’s a fabulous idea and it was super YUMMY! So yes I bounded down the stairs Sunday morning after laying in bed for an hour (my husband treats me to that every week aren’t I a lucky Momma bear??!!) I could hear my children happily playing with Daddy so I said, how about breakfast guys!?? Of course I got clapping and yes pleases all around.
1/2 cup of reduced fat ricotta cheese
6 tsp. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used peanut butter chips)
3 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
3 tbsp. of stevia (or sugar)
3 hot dog buns (or low calorie buns)
3 egg whites
Sprinkles of cinnamon & sugar (I used my Dixie Crystals shaker)
4 tsp. light whipped butter
powdered sugar for decorating
What to do:
In a small bowl mix together the ricotta cheese, sugar, and cinnamon sugar. Fold in chocolate chips. Set aside.
In a separate bowl beat the egg with the egg whites. Set aside.
Stuff the hot dog rolls with the ricotta cheese mixture and slice them into 4 nuggets.
Place the butter in a sautee/frying pan and place on medium heat. While the butter melts start dunking the nuggets into the egg mixture and add them to the pan one by one. Flip them cooking all sides, yes the mixture will come out here and there.
Keep flipping until all sides are cooked, remove them and place them on a serving plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our#SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.
Starters and Snacks
Entrees and Mains
All things Sweet
Something I do to capture my days and stay positive as a SAHM is take a lot of photo’s. They aren’t good photo’s. Most of them are taken with my phone, however they are my life. It makes me stay positive during days that are frustrating. Those days that challenge me to answer the question of why I became a SAHM. I have friends or sometimes complete strangers that say they could never do it. I have friends that must work to support their families. We all contribute to our families as mothers, it’s just all done in different ways. I’ve come to realize over the past year that becoming a mother changes you. I used to think it was in a way that made me a cranky bitch of a person to be around, however I’ve discovered in the last few months that it’s more in a way that has made me a stronger person. Not a better person, a stronger person. It’s made me see that us mother’s really need to stick together. A lot of people do not like my honesty. I’ve come to see that it’s a part of me that has changed, I cared (and sometimes still do) way too much of what people think about me. The decisions I make as a person, as a wife, as a mother. Time is only showing me that I no longer care. Us mother’s need to stick together because in the end we all end up doing the same thing, we do what’s best for our families. End. Of. Story.
There was so much controversy on the radio/TV last week on a statement that Gweneth Paltrow made about how hard it is to be a working Mother on the set of a movie. How it’s harder for her than most working mother’s. I didn’t get all huffy and puffy and say “how dare her!” OK well maybe I did for a second, but in the end she gave an opinion about her own situation just like everyone else out there does. What’s hard for me as a SAHM might not be what is as hard for another SAHM. Or what is hard for a working Mom may not be what another working Mom battles, or vice versa. I don’t deal with Momma guilt, I deal with guilt that I don’t make enough time for myself and then when I do I feel bad for that too. How about the grass is always greener effect. Someone called up and spoke about the comment Gweneth made. She said “Why can’t all of us Mothers just stick together and stay united.” I found myself screaming in my car “YES!!!!!!!!! WHY CAN”T WE??!!” We all have our battles that’s all I’m saying. Gwenth has her battles I have mine, the neighbor has hers with teenagers, my other friend has hers with a newborn, etc etc etc. We are all moms, we all have our battles, times are great, times are tough, can’t we all just accept that and stand behind one another?? I’ve never been a working mother…. Gosh I even hate saying it like that because yes, my everyday life is work, I don’t hang in PJ’s all day, watch soap opera’s and eat popcorn, well maybe the PJ part, but a working mother that has never been a SAHM doesn’t know what my battles are, so call it whatever you want but I’ve never had a job to get to everyday, responsibility outside of my home, honestly it stresses me out even thinking about it so I can only imagine how hard it is to have that on top of everything else we have to take on. However I’m not going to lie and say it doesn’t upset me when others think SAHM’s have it so easy, it’s a sensitive subject with me, my husband’s career gives me the option of staying home however don’t think I don’t have credit card debt or that I don’t cut coupons because trust me I do! I put off food shopping some weeks because the money isn’t there. So what I’m getting at is we all have our struggles, I get it, I can see the working mother’s side…..or I can only imagine the side. I’m just wondering why some don’t seem to see mine? Being a mom is hard work for anyone whether you work, travel, are black, white or stay home!! Don’t you agree? It’s hard work but I bet there is one thing we can all agree on………it’s well worth it.
So, back to Gwenth’s statement, I’m not saying I agree or disagree with it, all I’m saying is I respect it because as people, never mind mothers we should respect people. Accept them for who they are. I often make the comment of I don’t love everything about every single person in my life, but I was raised to be respectful and accept people for who they are whether I agree or disagree with their actions or decisions. It’s OK if everyone isn’t like that, everyone is different and it’s what makes the world go round that’s for sure. While driving and letting someone have the right away, I feel good, I did something nice for someone, they wave, I wave back. Then when it’s my turn and someone cuts me off instead I find myself saying (Besides F-You buddy!!) “Gosh if the world were full of nicer people maybe this said world would be a better place to live in!” Then I remember how different we all are.
When I read blogs or comments from people about motherhood I laugh at the honest stuff. The stuff when people are elbow deep in poop and think “this is what my life has become”, because let’s face it, we’ve all thought it at least once in our everyday lives of parenting it’s just some people are bold enough to say it and some are not. It’s OK. For me it’s been about it REALLY BEING OK to admit it. For the first time in my life I believe I am.
I may decide that going out to dinner with a girlfriend or going for a walk refreshes me and resets my patience so I can get back home and be the best possible Momma I can be. Where as another mother may decide to curl up with her husband or simply crawl into bed! Neither is right or wrong, we are both mothers. My husband tends to read a magazine or listen to music after we put the kids to bed, me I choose to watch any Drama I can on TV because it zones me out. I usually ”need” to leave the house more during the week to get away from the kiddo’s and he feels the “need” to do something special with them one night a week because I’m home with them 12 hours a day and he is home with them for only two. Sometimes I opt to go shopping after dinner kidless and I’ll say I’ll try to get home before the kids go to bed, but he says, no don’t worry about it, take your time. Or for example this week I felt bad having two nights in a row of appointments after dinner that left my husband putting them to bed two nights in a row. He said so what, I said well it’s not an easy job. Feeding one, bathing another, dealing with my toddler who won’t poop until she gets a diaper on at night so she then proceeds to poop 4 times a night, oh and don’t forget those stall tactics each night she dishes out! I make myself feel horrible for not “Loving” that part of the day, while my husband doesn’t “Love” it, he also hasn’t been at it all day with both of them, so come 6 my patience are shot and the real nice mommy voice is fading! Hey if that makes me a bad Momma in your eyes, it’s OK, to me it makes me just “Momma.”
So I take you to a week of photo’s. A week of photo’s I snap when I see a moment I want to remember…..photo’s I want to look back and on see wow, we had a really good week and I can’t wait to make it even better next week. Or wow I’m a lucky lucky woman to have such beautiful children, a healthy family and a husband who adores me. Capturing those moments makes me go on, it makes me stronger, it makes me. What do you do to recharge and feel truly blessed?
We may start our mornings at 5am sometimes but how can it not start great with this handsome man!
And yes this new cream cheese and coffee makes me glad to start my days at 5!!
Then a quick snapshot of my babies as Madison heads to school for Red Sox day!!
Three days a week I spend one on one time with my little man. I’m reminded of how blessed I am to have this time with him as I had all the one on one time in the world with MM. My little man and I have nice walks on a nice day! Some days we meet up with friends and other days we just snuggle and cook. What’s a walk in the park without a snack!
Or if Madison is home with us we do crafts. Here we are getting ready to host our second annual Easter Dinner so we are making place settings with everyone’s name on them. This year she did each one herself!
Or when my baby girl comes home from school proud as can be with this:
Or a random Sunday when Daddy takes Drew out for some Daddy Drew time. I sat in my office working and this is the view I got. He sat in this swing for a good hour or more just watching Daddy do yard work, he was so happy.
Then later that same night it was warm enough to have our first grilled meal! Bring on the Spring!
Nothing makes me happier than seeing this kid eat! He loves food! Not junk either, real good nutritious food!!
I can’t forget about how happy it makes me to share my children with my family. Watching their faces light up and smile when they are in the same room with them.
How each and every person in our lives can make them smile in their very own little way!
Seeing snuggles just makes my day.
Then of course there are those nights when “someone” won’t go to sleep, so a few extra minutes of snuggle time with Daddy may just do the trick!!
Last but not least, when both kids do nap on the same schedule, Momma FINALLY gets a late breakfast and some meal planning time!!
Oh I can’t forget when Daddy decided to buy Mommy a few new books while out one night……I love that he always thinks of me.
And at the end of the day………I look at these two precious lives and I thank god for them!!
I’ll leave you with one more article that I’ve found recently that just about summed it up for me. Sometimes someone else’s writing just says all the words we need to hear. Check it out. Why Being a Mom is Enough.
I’ve never been able to master the art of “baking” fries. I won’t fry them because I’d rather just order take out fries. I’ve tried baking them at all different temperatures, time lengths, I just couldn’t see how everyone else got them to be anything but mush. I love fries, rather they are mush or now because, well they are potatoes and I love all kinds of potatoes, every which way! I’ve followed numerous amounts of recipes to a T and they still wouldn’t come out the way I wanted them to. Sooooooo I reached out to my Facebook Foodies and there was a suggestion of soaking the fries (all cut up) an hour before you bake them. Genius! Why didn’t I think of that!! I always jacked up the temperature in hopes of crisping them but then they would just burn and get soggier!
Now I’ll be honest, this failed when I did the sweet potatoes, however I believe it’s because of the size I cut the potatoes. I have a special blade in my new food processor that is specially made for cutting french fries, I had to try it. How ever they came out really small like McDonald’s style (or as Madison would say Old McDonald’s) sooooo with that being said I do believe if I had cut them into large chunks like my other ones this would have been a success. I’m sharing because, well I’m a sharer, but also because the seasoning on them were awesome! For the Parmesan seasoning, I used a seasoning that came in one of those jars I got as a gift awhile back, it has 4 different kinds of spice blend, well one of them was a Parmesan and Garlic blend, it was soooooooooo good, so good that I’m going to try make my own, I was wondering if you combined the ingredients below and just pulsed some parmesan cheese in a blender if that would give me the texture I need for seasoning. Or of course the kind you sprinkle on your pasta! I’ll let you know how it turns out when I do it, but use your favorite seasonings for your fries if you don’t want to try it! For the sweet potatoes, I used Dixie Crystals Sugar and Cinnamon shaker! Love that thing! You can just use sugar and cinnamon of course.
Baked Parmesan Potato Fries
4 baking potatoes ( I used just plain brown ones, not thick skinned but not thin either)
Plastic Zip Lock Bag (call me crazy but trust me)
Parmesan Cheese (grated, the kind you sprinkle on your pasta!)
Baked Sweet Yet Spicy Fries
3 large sweet potatoes
Red pepper flakes
Dip these babies in an amazing new creation. Mix together some BBQ sauce a little dijon mustard!! Holy yummy! Sprinkle some more red pepper flakes for more of a kick!
What to do with both recipes:
Cut the fries in large strips, you want them in the size of steak fries. Place your fries in a bowl of water for an hour before baking.
Preheat oven to 425F. Drain your fries. Add them to a zip lock bag, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the seasoning, I go heavy because go heavy or go home! Use your judgement their is no right or wrong.
Shake them up, make it fun, dance around the kitchen! Once they are all coated let them sit while the oven finishes preheating. Dump on a baking sheet and spread them out, no piling high on these babies. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn fries once and bake another 20 minutes.
I’m going to experiment with other seasonings but the Parmesan one was awesome and the crispiness of the fries were awesome! Now if your wondering what those meatballish things are from our date night it was my Southwest Meatballs I made a few months ago and froze. Nothing like taking out a bag and throwing together a meatball sub for a date night in!! I highly recommend it. That’s the beauty of Date Night In. Sometimes it’s takeout, sometimes it’s pulled out of the freezer like this one, sometimes I go all out, sometimes we go out! Though the last 3 times we’ve made plans to go out for a nice evening, a place I’ve been dying to get to since we moved here a year ago, they’ve gotten cancelled due to some kind of illness running rapid! So yes I stopped making plans because then maybe we won’t get sick anymore this season! HA! This night we enjoyed these subs, a glass of champagne and a movie. I don’t even remember what movie it was so I can’t even give you a review! Sorry!!
However Volume Six of Date Night is happening tonight as I practice my dish for the Gallo Event I’ll be taking part in next month!!! How exciting, I get to drink….uchhm…I mean cook with wine again!!!! Stay tuned!!
Happy Friday! Did you miss me last week? Well the truth is I’m beyond a busy bee. I don’t write half as much as I’d like to, I may cook every night and 4 out of the 7 nights it’s usually something different so I have my camera on my shoulder, my iphone on the counter as I cook, however I never get to sharing these awesome dishes I’m making! Some of them I’m duplicating from foodie friends, hey what’s the point of having foodie friends if your not going to try their dish! I’m also experimenting in the kitchen these days myself and adding my own spin to recipes I’ve made in the past.
I don’t have any new Featured Friday’s lined up after today, I know I can get them, I have pretty awesome foodie friends and who wouldn’t want to be featured!!?? I may have to start doing them every other week however because Spring is coming, my babies are dying to get outside and this Momma is dying to hit the track and loose the last ten pounds of this Momma weight!! Don’t worry though, I’ll have plenty to share with you.
Guess what else is new?? I’ll be sending out newsletters weekly!! Well I’ll start weekly but it may end up being monthly because it took more work than I thought…..but we shall see how it goes! How exciting, hey you guys are busy and can’t always get to my posts, I get it……..I’ll be here to remind you!!
Soooooooo who are we featuring today?? Well that would be Erin from The Law Student’s Wife. I don’t remember how I came across her blog I want to say it was while searching for a recipe. I loved her design, I loved the theme and name of it of course, who wouldn’t want to support their hubby by writing a blog come on! Her blog was born as a need to be a budget-friendly cook, to find her way and hobbies while her hubby is stuck in the library, so this is how Erin shares some of their adventures together. Like me the dinner table is where her and her husband spend some quality time together. She believes in creating healthy yet delicious dishes. Creating lighter twists on the classic comfort foods is what Erin enjoys the most, she loves when her friends and family try a dish and find out it’s actually “good for you” because she incorporates fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Erin and her Law Student husband reside in Wisconsin and are perfectly happy in their cramped downtown apartment. By day Erin is a Business Analysis Consultant and by night she describes herself to be an urban explorer, Thai-food junkie, grammar nerd, and sloppy runner. (Oh no…..don’t look at my grammar Erin I’m terrible!) Yikes!
Let’s talk about some of her recipes…..I made her dish a few weeks early anticipating some busyness coming my way, however then she went and created this dish that I HAVE to try now! One Skillet Spicy Ranch Chicken, OK OK I’m kind of having a skillet obsession these days so this one jumped out at me! We all know how much I’ve been fantasizing about making homemade granola bars and such, I haven’t quite jumped on the band wagon yet but as soon as I’m done typing this I’m headed to the kitchen to whip up Erin’s Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars. Also, if you know me you know once a week I make a new healthy dish and leave it in my fridge for the week so I always have a healthy lunch to eat when I’m on the go during the week. Well here is one I’m making ASAP! Quinoa, Chickpea and Almond salad with Roasted Scallion Sauce.
Oh and before I share with you what I did make from Erin’s blog let me mention a few other things she’s got going over there. Tips & Trips. This is an awesome sections featuring “How to make the perfect carmelized onion.” or “How to make pizza dough from scratch” which I have yet to accomplish! She also has a section called Trusted Baking Tools, which everything she mentions is “Law Student’s Wife” approved, and she’s even included helpful notes for each item as well! AWESOME! OK OK I know you want me to share what recipe I made! Let me tell you that I got to enjoy this meal all by myself on a weeknight…….HOT! Yes hot fresh right off the stove top. My husband offered to take my daughter out for dinner, my son was hmmm….somewhere, I’m assuming with my mother because I actually got to sit down, read, and have a glass of wine with it! So he must have been spending sometime with his Nunny!! I made this dish especially for me. I will start calling these dishes “Healthy go to Lunches.” Since I realized I didn’t have to cook that night for my family I quickly thought what I’d actually enjoy. I then remembered this dish I had searched out on Erin’s blog weeks ago! Success!! It was creamy and delicious! I ate it all week for lunch too. I’m not embarrassed to admit that to you all.
The only things I left out were artichokes and the capers. I don’t know why, I have yet to try either of these additions that I hear people speaking such great things about! Capers are in Chicken Picatta and I love that dish, so go figure! I also didn’t use fresh parsley because I didn’t have any on hand. I have yet to figure out how to keep fresh herbs on hand and have them last more than a few days. Besides grow them myself, which I am looking into by the way! I wish I had the fresh parsley, though it was still a delicious meal I just bet that would have been a great finishing touch!! OH and I added peas and scallions! I love peas and my husband doesn’t so I like to add them to whatever I’m making when I’m cooking for myself! Scallions, I don’t know I just felt like it!
It was a super simple dinner to make. I don’t get to eat a hot meal often, or one of my choosing for that matter so it was nice to do this for myself. I also think my daughter would have liked this because she loves creamy pasta’s and peas too so the next time maybe I’ll save some for her. Maybe……
Don’t forget to go visit Erin and let her know this Momma sent you over for some yummy recipes! Or connect with her:
Now this is a dish that is sure to please anyone in the family. It’s healthy yet hearty. Has your vegetables already in it for a one dish meal! However…….you will have a lot of dishes at the end.
Not so pretty huh, but don’t let that scare you because I have a few reasons as to why this dish is worth all of those dishes above! The first reason is because it’s good of course! Healthy but GOOD! I can’t even believe my picky kiddo ate this. Another reason is because I was able to make two casseroles out of this, we ate one that night (it served a good 4 adult portions) and then I froze the other one for a busy weeknight dish! Another reason is because after I made this recipe, I had an Ah-Ha moment if you will. Healthy Cream of Mushroom was born!! YES!!!
So thank you to Melissa who blogs over at Bless This Mess because her recipe inspired me to create this Tetrazinni dish and my new addiction to Healthy Cream of Mushroom, which by the way I will be experimenting with Healthy Cream of Celery and Healthy Cream of Broccoli too because I’ll never buy a canned soup again! So stay tuned for that.
Have I convinced you yet that this dish is worth making? Hey make it on Sunday and store in the fridge for a busy night! Wala dinner is served in about 30 minutes!
OK let’s talk ingredients:
Throw a pound of chicken breasts in the crock pot with a little chicken broth and seasoning and you have your cooked chicken for this dish. Use leftover chicken if you desire or even rotisserie chicken will work!
You can use frozen broccoli if you’d like you would just skip the first part of the directions for the sauteing the broccoli with the mushrooms.
I started with step one first. While I started step two I got all of the ingredients measured out for step three because it happens fast and I like to have everything ready to just poor in.
What to do:
Spray 2-two quart baking dishes or one large baking dish with cooking spray. Add sauteed veggies to the drained pasta. Pour most of the sauce into the mixture (leaving about 1/2 cup sauce).
Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the top and pour the remaining sauce around the edges of the dish(es).
Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 5 minutes.
As a mother of two little ones I often find myself completing this sentence……A LOT.
“You know your a mother when…” Fill in the blank. I’ve got some whoppers I’ll tell you. I’ll just share a few of my favorites with you so you get the gist.
“You know your a mother when you kiddo spits up, you use your glove to wipe it up, rub it on your pants and be on your way, and then forget to throw the gloves in the laundry.”
“You know your a mother when your picking up after your kids have gone to bed, you pull a toy out from under the couch, along with the cat fur and old cherrios that come with it, and proceed to push that fur and old Cherrios back under the couch since you just vaccuumed……4 days ago.”
“You know your a stay-at-home mother when putting on make up and a pair of high heels makes you happier than you were on your wedding day.”
OR have you every had the conversation with your husband that starts with “Is this what our lives have become??” Call me ungrateful or whatever you may but we have had a few silly moments that have started with that because if you can’t keep it real (or funny) with your husband than who can you keep it real with?? Our moments usually come when one of us are elbow deep in poop and we both look at each other and say……”Really….is this what our life has become??” OR how about when you finally sit your butt down on the couch after cooking dinner, cleaning up, bathing the kids, reading stories and tucking them in and all of a sudden both of them start crying. Yes I turn to him and say “Really…..is this what our life has become?? Then I finish it with, “I”ll see you in about 18 years.”
Where am I going with this post? Eh probably no where besides a good ol’ fashion bitch fest but hey, it’s why I blog, because I can. I wouldn’t change my life for all the money in the world and yes when my husband and I started our family we knew we were going to have to give things up and that our lives were going to forever change, however, we just had no idea how much, you never do until you suddenly there.
Let me take you through a typical Saturday night before we had kids:
Hubby works, comes home, takes a shower, puts on some really nice smelling stuff, gets dressed in 15 minutes and is ready to take me out. I, who have already showered before he got home, puts my make up on, has already gone through 5 outfits, picking the one I feel the best in, slides my coat on and we are out the door and headed to either our favorite restaurant for dinner or out to meet friends for drinks. We stumble in say around 11-1130, I have one more night cap by myself because, even then I still loved that alone time sitting on the couch while I absorbed myself in my favorite drama filled show. Crawl into bed around 1230-1, snuggle up against the love of my life and fall asleep dreaming of our happy life we are headed for. Wake up Sunday morning around 930-10 and say, yah let’s go get some heavy greased breakfast, want to call blah blah blah and see if they want to join us.
Here was my Saturday night last night:
Hubby works, comes home (now normally he stumbles onto the couch because he’s dead tired from working 60 hours this week so I can stay home and raise these beautiful children of mine) skips the shower and tries to have a 15 minute nap before I pull something out to make for dinner, however last night was…….nice. He said he was going to make an effort on not being so tired all of the time. Not sure you can really work on that hunny but I’m going with it. So where was I, yes, he came home with a bottle of champagne, a few $1 toys from Walmart and a smile that I could have just kissed off his face, he turned on the hockey game and I took both kids down to my sisters place to give him that last 20 minutes of the game in peace. My sister feeds my oldest Mac N Cheese and I’m totally OK with it because I’d rather eat a hot meal once my kids are in bed and we can actually taste it and enjoy it. Back upstairs to start and pull out dinner that I’m making for my husband and I while he takes both kids upstairs to play to give me an hour to myself. Ahhhhhhhhh an hour. I whip out my cooking magazines, open my laptop and start planning what’s for dinner this coming week, yes I plan, I plan a lot because I want the food to be in the house, and I want it to be healthier prepared meals as well. I pour myself a glass of wine and and hear the buzzer from the washer go off, time to switch the load. As I’m switching the load I remembered I needed something in the pantry (in the office, yes my food pantry is in my office) as I’m in that closet (where the cat food also is) All 3 cats come whizzing in, “OK OK guys yes I will feed you.” Now the oven preset beep for it being preheated goes off, I arrange the potatoes and put in half of our dinner. I sit back down, crap, forgot my wine, get back up to get it, as I’m about to plop down yet again I can hear my youngest whining and I realize it’s 5:30 one more hour to go buddy before you can have that bottle, better get him a snack, then it dawns on me that my oldest had her Mac N Cheese dinner at 330 so she’s probably going to need a snack too, off to the kitchen, I pull out some veggies (that I thank god had already cut up earlier in the week) place them on a plate with some low fat ranch dressing and bring them up to my husband so the kids can have a snack. (Hey at least it was healthy) I finally plop down on the couch again and start flipping through my magazines. I plan dinners for the week, look at the clock and realize it’s time to start our bedtime routine…..even if it a little early, one because my kids have been up at 5am these days and two because, well I’m ready to have that alone time I still long for at the end of the day.
Nope never did get to sip on that wine.
We get the kiddo’s in bed by 6:45 I finish our mini meatball subs, I’m happy with the fact that I FINALLY made great french fries in the oven without having to fry them, sit down to watch the 8pm lifetime movie, I barley keep my eyes opened to finish this movie, I climb into bed with 10 minutes left, hubby is sewing (yes folks he sews) and I fall asleep before the movie even ends. ”Yup this is what our life has become” And I love every second of it!!
It’s just so funny to think back and compare the things that used to make us happy before we had our family and the things that make us happy now. How those screaming, dirty clothed, smelly children have become our everything, how I never even have 5 minutes to my damn self these days, however I wouldn’t change it what so ever. The everyday hectic world around us goes goes goes and we just go go go with it. I often sit back and just watch my children. My husband is on his phone, my oldest is running around but I sneak a quick peak at my 9 month old as he reaches for toys and I see him scoot himself over to get it, we have to remind ourselves to stop and cherish those moments. I just witnessed my son learn how to get a toy….seems so minimal but it makes my day. It makes those long days of changing dirty diapers, counting to ten and wondering if the winter germs are ever going to end give a small little bit of meaning to them. If it’s one thing you can take home from reading this post it’s, who would have thunk that soaking your french fries in water for an hour before baking them would give you a crispy french fry!!
Since I’m still mastering this thing called baking, I tend to have to repeat recipes. Sometimes the second one comes out better than the first and sometimes it comes out A LOT worse than the first. When I find one I’ve mastered a few times it becomes a favorite that I go back to over and over again for my family. When the SundaySupper group said they were partnering up with Dixie Crystals, bringing you the theme of, Springtime Sweets, I knew I had to try something different. For some reason I love baking in the Fall and Spring, call me crazy but Spring just makes me want to bake tasty, sweet and delicious treats. While flipping through one of my favorite cooking magazines I came across a picture that lured me right in! I knew I had to create something like this, since it didn’t come with the recipe, nope it didn’t, I needed to go on-line to get it however it also said I could use my own bread recipe to make this fabulous recipe. I figured I’d have the best of both worlds I’d get to make something I know I’ve mastered, but put a spin on it. I then had my Ah Ha moment of what I’d be bringing to the SundaySupper table this week using Dixie Crystals Sugar. When I received my package in the mail I couldn’t believe how heavy it was! I thought I’d have enough sugar to last a lifetime so you can imagine my surprise when I opened the box and saw all sorts of goodies, dark brown sugar, light brown sugar, white sugar, powdered sugar plus more! I know I always say I like cooking better than baking, I probably always will but now I’ve got to get my bake on.
This post is sponsored by Dixie Crystals. All opinions are my own.
4 ripe medium bananas, mashed
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, separated
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Bosc pears (usually it calls for 3 but a little someone in my home got to one before I baked this!)
Pam baking spray
Preheat oven to 325°. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan with baking spray. Trim the bottom of the pears by about 1/2 inch. This allows them to sit flat in the pan. Measure out 1/4 cup of flour on a flat plate and dust the pears leaving the tops clear since this will be the part that peaks over the top of the bread. I just used my hands. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the remaining flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside.
In a large bowl cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer.
Add egg whites, bananas, apple sauce and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of the bowl and mix again. Do not over mix.
Pour batter into loaf pan and place the pears into the batter leaving the top poking out. bake on the center rack for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (My oven took the 50 min but I checked it at 45)
Let the pan cool at least 20 minutes, bread should be room temperature before slicing.
I’m so amazed I was able to do this and have it taste amazing the first time around! Maybe I’m finally getting this baking thing and thanks to Dixie Crystals I have plenty of supplies so I can try a different bread recipe with it next time! Go and connect with Dixie Crystals now!
Why you ask?? Well because they are a platinum sponsor of the Food and Wine Conference and they are holding a Brownie Dessert Contest. If you like to bake then this contest is for you and you should go and check it NOW, the winner gets a bunch of things including:
Make sure you check out the other Springtime Sweets that these food bloggers brought to the party today!!
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.
I had to look and see the last time I wrote to you was after the New Year. I can’t believe how fast time flies. I struggle with this post because of some things that Mommy is battling within herself. Do I go back to work, do I stay home? It’s not that I don’t want to be home with you and your little brother. I love nothing more than knowing I have that time with you. Someday you will see the reasoning behind all of my rants to you. Until then lets talk about you.
You are no longer a toddler sweetheart, I don’t think you have been for quite some time now Mommy is just in denial! I wanted you to stay two forever. Though I wasn’t a fan of the tantrums and frustrations I had no idea that three was even harder because guess what??!!! You are learning how to “feel”. Who would have thought that watching a little person learn how to feel would be such an amazing time in my life but also such an emotional time in my life because I see you battle things that I can’t help you with. You hate going to school. Well once you are there you have fun, I see you go off and play with friends. I’ve also seen you sit alone and play too (which you never do at home) your teachers say you are so quiet and barley say anything, that’s not the Maddie I know! You are so loud and free at home. I guess that’s a good thing, you are just more yourself when you feel comfortable, nothing wrong with that. One day this winter you fell and your face when right into the snow. You then said to Daddy, “Is it OK for me to cry Daddy.” When your daddy told me that I cried because you were so confused on when to cry and when not to. So now we try to explain more to you. We have to remember your older now and you understand more than we think you do. So we talk about happy feelings and we talk about sad feelings and whatever feelings may come up, like if you fall and get hurt. All I know is I will promise you that I will raise you to be a sweet, caring, thoughtful Little Girl.
When you belted out the ABC’s the other day perfectly I beamed from ear to ear. I couldn’t have been more proud. Now if we could just tackle your sleep problems then maybe we’d all be better off You have an active active imagination, it’s a fun stage, listening to you walk around the house “talking” on the phone, having conversations with Grampy, Memere and Aunty JoJo. However it’s tough at night when you wake and you can’t fall back to sleep so you “read” your books to your babies, which then wakes up Drew and Mommy. (Never Daddy he could sleep through a war zone) Yes you have to read your stories like your teachers do, nice and loud!! You are getting better with your indoor voice though I have to admit.
Another thing we’ve been doing is having Mommy/Maddie Date night. It’s been so much fun!! You love going to the Nines. You are always such a good girl too. In the next few months I have some fun day/nights planned with you, I’ve noticed since I’ve been planning this separate time with you, you’ve been acting out less. Daddy spends so much time alone with you, it just happens a lot at night or on the weekends, but Mommy is carving out that time more to make sure you get your Momma time! How about Build a Bear, painting ceramics or an Ice Cream night??!! All things we are going to do soon!
We also went to the movies one morning just us two, well we met your friend Olivia there but it was nice for us to get away just the two of us, plus you were such a good girl. Your very first movie and you loved loved loved it, though when we bought it a few weeks later you wouldn’t watch more than 5 minutes of it but that’s OK!
We’ve recently been to the library so we could show Drew where you and I used to go when Mommy was pregnant with him.
You go the store a lot with Daddy too, you are such a little helper, all you want to do is help all the time. You just want to be with him and do all of the things he does, it’s super cute, though I wish sometimes you followed me around like that sometimes. Though it does make me feel better that when I do leave the house, your always asking Daddy where I am, I’m trying to get out more often because it’s healthy for us to miss one another. I’ve noticed that you reach for me more and you want me more when I’m not always here 100% of the time. So what if you prefer tools over girly things! Look how much fun your having! You always help Daddy work with his tools hence the always wanting to be like Daddy. You want to wear T-Shirts like Daddy, you want to wear pants with strings like Daddy and you want to wear a hat like Daddy. I’m realizing that your happier wearing T-Shirts and sweatpants than Mommy trying to push dresses on you but please know I’m probably never going to stop trying
You were helping Mommy a lot in the kitchen for a while but it comes and goes! It doesn’t seem to catch your attention for too long, but every now and then you ask for the stool and you climb up to help. I’m going to keep at it though because when you do try you always have fun and Mommy loves having you by her side. Even if you do just stand their and eat the ingredients!!
We’ve had a rough winter with it NEVER going away and everyone being sick over and over again. One thing I’ve come to realize is that you are such a little trooper! You always have been sweetie. You’ve been sick the least of all of us but have been slammed the past few weeks and you just get up and get going again, gosh what I’d give for your amount of energy my love. I don’t know if you remember me saying at some point that you aren’t big on cuddling or touching. I have to say you’ve come such a long way. For me you’ve become a little cuddle bug. You climb into my lap when you get tired (which is a lot these days since you aren’t sleeping too great) You snuggle when you don’t feel well. You are also the first to remove my arm off your back if you don’t want it there either LOL! That’s OK though I like that you have your own little personality and you know what you like and dislike.
Your hat for instance, I can’t get you to go anywhere without it. I know your hiding behind it. Your incredibly shy. I try not to worry that it’s not going to become a long-time problem however that’s what Momma’s do….we worry. At least you look so gosh darn cute in any hat your wear. I will give you that! I just sometimes wish you knew how much beauty you are hiding. How beautiful those big blue eyes are……maybe someday.
Spring is approaching……I hope!! You are dying to get outside to the yard, the park, the camp! We all are honey. The snow is still melting but we go out. We go for walks around the block, you ask question after question. What is that? What does it do? Where does it go? All about the water drains. You are pretty fascinated by them LOL, you throw sticks and leaves down them then we walk to the next one and you want to know where the leaves go…..you crack me up, your curiosity just makes me smile and tell you the best explanation I can, sometimes I don’t even know where I come up with them!! It’s part of this age that I love the most. Your imagination, the innocent curiosity and the way your mind works. It’s so amazing, I try and concentrate on the good parts of this age instead of the testing and the little attitude you have developed lately! You like bossing your Daddy around I’ll tell you. I lay in bed on Sunday mornings, I’m in my glory because I don’t have to rush out of bed, Daddy is in his glory because he’s with his babies and I’m listening to you boss him around, do this, do that, I want this. Oh man he doesn’t even see it my love, he’s just so smitten by you and loves being around you that he doesn’t see sometimes it can turn into quite the attitude when we are in public or around others! OH well he will learn, just like Mommy did. We will continue to teach you and guide you the best way we can Boo.
Next time I write we will be into full Spring by then, hopefully the snow will be gone and we will be making our way up the Camp since we didn’t get to spend too much time there last Summer. Until then my sweet girl.
XOXOXO Love you,
Welcome to Baby Led-Weaning-Our Experience Part II, it was supposed to be out last week, but as usual life gets in the way! However I’m always thinking, yes I’m that nut job that walks around going about her day and thinks “wow that would make a great post, I should talk about that. Or how about that “ah ha” moment when you catch yourself saying (and don’t say that you don’t) “This is what my life has become?!!” Just admit it, we’ve all thought it, or if you haven’t than I’m the delusional one then! Like today, the perfect example when I was elbow deep in my what….the eighth poopy diaper of the day (and it was 1pm) and at the last second of wiping my son pulled the wipe from me and yup……..my hand went right in. Right directly in.
To spare you the details of how the rest of that change went and how when I went to actually put the diaper in the diaper bin and the bag split and all the dirty diapers fell out I’ll just move onto the second part of Baby Led-Weaning. I think it can be considered the second half because I believe (and remember I’m new at this I’m just sharing my experience with you) he’s actually consuming some foods!!! Now that he’s actually swallowing food and digesting it it’s filling him up and his formula and bottles are all wacky. Some advice that was shared with me through a local Mom’s group was the bottle/breast always comes first for the first year. So sometimes I have to watch what I give him because if I give him too much food he eats less formula and then guess what???!! Yup he’s up at all god hours of the night looking for formula! So now it’s just a matter of figuring out what works for him, some days when I have errands to run or play dates I skip breakfast or lunch, 90% of the time he has dinner with us because I’m pretty big on sitting down to eat dinner as a family.
Food or Formula??
Since my son is now 9 months old I know he’s slowly going to cut down on his formula consumption (but then again knowing my pork chop maybe he won’t!!) According to authors of the book I’ve read by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett, “If a baby is allowed to determine the start of solid feeding and the pace of its progress he will follow his own natural path toward more solids and less milk.” Every baby is different so of course each one will go at their own speed. As your already seeing most likely with your little one is that things happen in bursts so to speak, alternating weeks when they aren’t doing anything new and weeks in a row when they are learning and doing something different every day.
Eating Enough but Not Too Much:
I know as a Mom I worry…..worry worry worry, is he learning the things he should be learning? Is he eating enough? Is he sleeping enough? etc etc etc…..if you don’t worry, well your lucky. One of the things I worry about is if my baby (or toddler for that matter) is he/she eating enough. Persuading babies to eat food they don’t want is easy to do if they are spoon-fed. Babies who learn to feed themselves will naturally manage their own intake, they simply stop eating when they are full. This means they eat as much as they “need”. End. Of. Story. Also, allowing your baby to take his/her time to eat is extremely important. Since the baby is in control of how much and how quickly he eats not only makes the meal more enjoyable for baby, but also it helps recognize more easily when they are full. I can see now how spoon-feeding can interfere with the sensation that tells them if they have had enough. If someone was piling food into your mouth and just kept going wouldn’t you take it? Again the parent controls the amount and how long it takes? I kind of like the idea of my baby getting to take his time and enjoy each piece of food and chew it to his capability.
Will My Baby Choke?
I know this is a big one for me, this one held me back with my first child, however if I had researched it more maybe I would have decided to go this route. As long as baby is in control of any food going into his/her mouth and he/she is sitting upright, BLW doesn’t make choking any more likely than spoon-feeding. This brings us to the difference between gagging and choking. Gagging is a retching movement that pushes food away from the airway if it is too big to actually be swallowed. The baby will open his/her mouth and pushes his/her tongue forward. The food may then appear at the front of his/her mouth and may even vomit a little. I’ve often seen this with my son, he actually leaves the food sitting on his tongue for a long time figuring out what to do with it. I love this because I actually see him learning, it’s just learning to eat vs. ride a bike I guess. It never lasts long and most babies will continue on with their meal as if nothing ever happened. (Yes my son keeps on trucking) I can honestly say the more they become familiar with it the less they even gag.
Will My Baby Be Well Nourished If I Choose This Method?
I can see why this would be a concern, I thought about it, parents assume the child is going to reach for the item that would be more appealing to them, lets say a donut versus a carrot stick. However according the research I did, there is a myth that babies who are eating by spoon will eat the right foods because…..well the parents choose the foods, in fact, the opposite is probably true, many parents who spoon-feed their children report that they have terrible trouble getting them to eat good foods, often resorting to tricks such as hiding them in foods, or promising treats if they eat all of their veggies. By contrast, most parents who have tried BLW say their child eats a huge variety of foods without needing to be persuaded, including those foods that most children would never try say like cabbage! Now I can’t attest to this quite yet, I have my 3.5 year old who is extremely picky, each week I try a different pasta concoction of some sort to sneak in veggies, and every week she picks them out, every night we are saying a certain amount of bites before she can have a snack, which at least always ends up being a piece of fruit because it’s the one thing the kid will pig out on. Once my son becomes a toddler I will surly do a part IV of this and let you know my thoughts on my son.
Is It Really OK To Let My Baby Have Control With Food?
I wondered about this myself only because, yes I’m a control freak LOL, but also because I’m big on my kids knowing that they aren’t the boss (though Daddy has a hard time with this one!!) It helps tremendously with the discipline factor. However I was happy to have learnt what I had when I read up on this section. Think about this, when a child learns to crawl, walk or talk, they all do it upon their own developmental stage right? Every child learns these things at different times right? We don’t control that, so why should eating be any different? Learning to eat solid foods is just as much as a natural stage of development as walking or talking is! No parent would actively prevent their child from walking when he/she is showing signs of it. Many parents without realizing it will exert negative control over their baby’s instinct to eat, by preventing him/her from feeding herself/himself or not allowing them to make any decisions at mealtimes. As a parent, the only control we need is deciding which foods he/she is offered and how often. As long as we deliver them nutritious foods, it should be our babies decision as to what he/she eats, how much and how fast.
I will say this again so I don’t cause too much controversy. I respect any mother and the choices she makes. For a lot of reasons, one because I’ve been their and I know how hard these decisions can be. Also, because I’ve done it both ways BLW and spoon-feeding and I had my reasons for choosing each one. We all make our choices and we all have our reasons, I’ve always been a firm believer of what works for my family may not work for yours. Breast feeding is another big choice, I always wanted to do it, I loved the idea of the nutrients it brings a baby, the cost alone made me think a lot about it, however in the end it wasn’t what worked for my family. End of story. In the end you have to choose what works best for you, your family and your little one. I’m here if any one has any questions, I can only answer them as honestly as I can, I can only tell you my experiences and the knowledge that I have learnt along the way.
I will leave you with another recipe of course. The one I left you with last time was a hit for a week or two, now he could do without them. Be prepared to see your baby change his mind a lot, one week I noticed Drew loving hard fruits and one week he loves all foods that turn to mush, I love watching him discover what he’d rather leave behind and things he gobbles up! Drew is 9 months old today and he is still working on those grasper fingers. The grasper fingers are the thumb and pointy finger, the two fingers you use to pick up little pieces, once he gets that down I’ll start cutting up foods really small so he can grab them!! He still chooses the chunks over the pieces!
This recipe I made last summer when trying to make homemade burgers. Madison never took to them, but I’m going to be trying them again soon for Drew on the grill (if the snow ever melts and sun shines bright!) I like that they are packed with Quinoa and that you can freeze them for weeks upon weeks. Don’t be afraid to shape these into shapes your little one can handle!