Monday, February 28, 2011

I have a confession...

I just got these undecorated and in the attic on Saturday [February 26th]...


The big tree was down the day after Christmas but the trees in the children's room were a different story.  I kept forgetting about them.  The only time I really go upstairs and in their rooms is either at night to tuck them in or in the mornings to get them going.  I finally made myself go up there on Saturday to take them down & put them away!  I seriously thought about just putting them in the attic fully decorated!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

SciQuest Field Trip

Banks and all the other 2nd Graders at BD headed to SciQuest [a hands on Science museum] for a little field trip on Friday.

They took a class and did a little experiment on the affects of gravity on balance.  Then they ran wild in the museum for hours where they learned about...






and Burps & Belches.

Then they learned how the organs work together to digest their foods and why proper nutrition is so important to healthy bodies from Stuffee.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

family favorite: chicken tacos [crock pot style]

I am not a huge crock pot cooker.  Maybe I just haven't found the right recipes.  This one for chicken tacos did catch my eye.  It is super easy and perfect for when you need to get dinner on the table quickly after a long day at school/work.

All you need is...


6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 1 envelope taco seasoning & a 16 oz. jar of salsa

All you do is...


Dump everything into a crock pot and stir it a little to blend everything together.  Then you cook it on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.  [I cooked mine on low all day while we were at school.]

When you get home, you chicken will look like this..


...and your house will smell delicious & delightful!

I just shred the chicken with a fork...


...and it is ready to serve...


My kids are meat & cheese type of taco eaters.  You can add other ingredients like lettuce, sour cream, diced jalapenos, diced tomatoes, sliced avocado or guacamole to your taco shells.  Debbie had all the kids and families over one Sunday for these.  She set up a chicken taco bar with all the fixings.  This recipe would be perfect for a group!

Got any left over meat?  There is so much you can do with it...

  • Chicken Nachos - just layer some chips on a baking sheet, top with chicken and some cheese.  Bake at 350° until the cheese is melted.  Top with things like lettuce, sour cream, diced jalapenos, tomatoes, sliced avocado or guacamole.  Dig in!
  • Chicken Quesadillas - I use my griddle because I have a family of 5 and need a bunch ready at once.  I put some chicken and cheese in a flour tortilla and grill until browned.  You could do it in a skillet too.
  • Chicken Tortilla Soup - put 1 cup of leftover chicken taco meat, 32 oz. chicken broth, 1 can of rotel, 1 can of corn, 2 T. chopped cilantro and 1 T. lime juice  in a pot.  Simmer for at least 30 minutes.  Garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream & tortilla strips or chips.
  • Chicken Enchiladas - roll some chicken and some shredded cheese in a flour tortilla.  Place seams side down in a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Top with a can of enchilada sauces and some additional shredded cheese. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

wordless wednesday


Monday, February 14, 2011

cooking for the ones we love

What holiday at our house doesn't revolve around food? I can't think of any. Why should Valentine's Day be any different?

The kids were busy all weekend picking out the perfect Valentine cards for their friends at school...


Banks picked Phineas and Ferb with Valentine Dots. Mary Reese chose Peace sign themed cards complete with a tattoo and some Valentine Hershey Kisses. Owen didn't go to school he did not participate!

I spent a good chunk of Sunday in the kitchen baking for all the ones we love.

Mary Reese took sprinkled heart shaped sugar cookies to school for her class to share.

I made cheese straws for the teacher hospitality "room" at Banks' school.

Then I made about 10 recipes of this to share with everyone else...


fleur de sel caramels

I made my first batch on New Year's and everyone has been hooked since. It seemed like the natural treat to send all our teachers and friends.

I actually found this fleur de sel salt at one of the "heathly grocery stores" in the neighboring town. It was not on the regular spice aisle but in a little specialty spice section near the specialty coffee. It was on the bottom shelf, so you kind of had to dig to find it. The texture is nothing like plain old table salt or sea salt [even though it is a type of sea salt]. The bottle says "the caviar of salt at your fine dining table". It cost a pretty penny but the recipe only calls for 1 teaspoon.

This is what my refrigerator looked like by Sunday afternoon...


There were bags of caramels tucked in every corner.  We hope everyone enjoyed them. They seem to disappear quickly at our house.

I fixed a special breakfast for everyone this morning...


pink heart shaped pancakes

[I really wanted some more donuts but a I didn't feel like getting up at 4 am on a school morning to get those going. We have to reserve those for non-school mornings.]

I just greased my cookie cutters with a little cooking spray before I poured in a thin layer of my yeast pancake batter tinted with pink coloring...


Once they were set, I removed the cookie cutters and flipped.  Mary Reese has already requested them again for breakfast in the morning.

I usually try to cook us a "special" meal for tonight, but I was tired. I opted for...


Easy Peasy Valentiney Beefy Enchiladas. least I served them on a Valentine plate!

I did give them a special treat for dessert. Any guesses?


Bananas Foster

My kids think the flame aspect of the dessert is way cool.


It was delicious and delightful as always!

We hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day with the ones they love!

Friday, February 11, 2011

here we go again

More snow.  Snow had become a four letter word around these parts.  This semester, we have missed a total of four days of school and had numerous delayed starts for inclement weather.  Our children have not been a full five days of school since the second week of December.  And for a routine-loving momma, it has gotten very OLD!

There was not nearly the amount of snow we got about a month ago, but the roads were a thin sheet of ice...


When I got up this morning, the roads did not look that bad.  But I heard lots of crunching as cars drove down our street.  When I turned on the news, they were reporting 19 wrecks already that morning.  I guess it was a good idea we weren't out in it trying to make it to school on time.

We made the most of our snow day.  We started the morning out making donuts...


They were delicious & delightful!  A yeast baste dough, fried in oil and rolled in can you go wrong?


Some were powdered and some were cinnamon-sugar.  I think the cinnamon-sugar ones were my fav.  We are doing to have to audition for Biggest Loser:  Family Addition if the snow keeps coming.  All I want to do is eat...and anything that is not healthy!

After our donuts, the kids bundled up for a little sledding adventure...


The sleds are a new addition since the last snow [thanks Popsy]!  Our little hill in the front was perfect...



Banks was not thrilled everyone wanted to jump on with him...


Finally a solo run...



Thank goodness we are scheduled for a full day of school today...which meant my 5:15 am boot camp was on schedule!  I needed it after my foodfest yesterday.  It is always a wonderful calorie-burning session...and no two classes are alike.

The local meteorologist promise warmer temps by Sunday and on into next week.  Bring on the flip flops!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

flashback to 12/16/08

When I picked up Owen from school yesterday, I laughed so hard I almost wet my pants.  He was not in the same clothes he left the house in and he was not happy about it!  He had an accident and there was not an extra set in his they found him a clean outfit in the closet.  They said he just sat in the floor of the gym and pouted for about 20 minutes after they changed him into this...


The blue jeans were girl jeans.  Did you notice how much they were rolled up?  They were a size 4T.  They said he got a little better when they put the baseball sweat shirt on him.

They laugh at him because he doesn't like to use or wear anything that is not his.  One day I forgot his sippy cup.  They said not to bring one back because they had some extra ones.  He refused to drink out of it because it wasn't his.

Mary Reese's favorite teacher remembered the time she had an accident and had to wear borrowed clothes.  Flashback to 12/16/08.  She didn't like her choice either.