Friday, June 29, 2012

Faith Friday

So tonight while at girls' night we talked about guys, and dating, and crummy relationships.  In the middle of this I realize that most of us don't have fairy tale stories even if we do end up with a prince.  Let's face it, most of those Disney princesses didn't have an easy time of it either.  If they didn't have an easy time of it, what chance do the rest of us have?

None.  Bad things happen to good people and bad people.  That whole it rains on the just and unjust thing.

We actually have an advantage over those Disney princesses.  Those princesses had to go through all of those awful things and not know if their dreams would come true in the end. Good news for us!  Our prince has already claimed us.  I don't know if I could do half the things I do if I didn't know for sure it would be all right at the end.  I would be an awful Disney princess.  But I have faith in Jesus, the Prince of Peace.  He has already won the battle for me and it makes it a little easier to go through some of the tough parts of life when I know I'll get my fairy tale ending.

Patriotic Cookies

Ever since Melissa taught me about cake batter cookies, I've been a baking fool! So, you'll notice the Cookies label on the side of the blog. If you click that label, you'll find different possibilities for cake batter cookies!

Here is one recipe I tried today!

Cake batter cookies:
1 box cake mix
1/2 cup oil
2 large eggs
1 tb water
3 cups fillers (nuts, chocolate chips, etc)

1. Mix the cake mix, oil, eggs, and water
2. Add the 3 cups of fillers (I used white chocolate chips)
3. Spoon out

4. Bake at 350 for around 10 min

Depending on how much you spoon out, you could have a lot of cookies! I had a little over 3 dozen.

Unexpected Happiness

Sometimes good plans can go wrong. This is the story of one of my good plans, that ended up being a great realization.

Once upon a time, I was wandering through the Magic Land of Pinterest. In this wonderful magical land I found a quick recipe for some healthy frozen snacks. So, I bought the ingredients.

Fresh fruit and Greek yogurt

The plan was to lay the fruit out and spoon the yogurt over it. So, I did.

Next step was to freeze it. Once frozen, you'll have a fresh, frozen, healthy, bite-size treat!

However, did you know that frozen treats are hard to chew? And they might cause freeze-burn on your tongue?
I was distraught! I was disappointed! I needed saving from my well intentioned plans!

Enter my Prince Charming.... and his birthday gift for me.

(ummmm.... ignore the pizza boxes underneath)

My Prince (aka- my hubby) got this for an early birthday gift! Isn't he just the sweetest thing?

So, I popped those frozen treats into one of the cups, added some milk, and a scoop (or two) of vanilla ice cream and VOILA! It was F.A.B.U.L.O.U.S!

You can find this magic blender of happiness at Walmart. It was about $20 and worth every penny!

I'll be visiting the Magic Land of Pinterest again, this time looking for smoothie recipes!

Monday, June 25, 2012

An almost wordless post

Interested?  Yes, of course you are....

Here's what you need.....

All ingredients from first picture...

1 cup of each from the 2nd picture....




10 minutes or so later...

Oh, you might have some leftover dough...I'm sure you'll come up with a good use for that...

You don't have to read this part if you don't want to.  My favorite kitchen gadget is a scoop.  It's great for cookies, sausage balls.....basically gets you to the yummy stuff faster.  You can use any cake mix you want for this, although I recommend adding a little extra oil to chocolate cake mix.  You can use your own variety of add ins, but you need to adjust the amount.  Toffee bits and pecan bits are little bitty so you don't have to adjust that.  The bigger your ingredients, the smaller the amount of them you should use or your dough will not be able to hold it all together.  This batch made 42 cookies and had some leftover dough.  I didn't want to get out another pan for just a few cookies.  Yeah, you know I just wanted to eat the dough instead.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Faith Friday- Renewal

It's summer vacation, and you'd think that I'd be rested and relaxed.

You'd be wrong. Rested and relaxed are not in my vocabulary, especially when dealing with 3 hyperactive kids. (as seen here with Hubby)

They are the light of my life, however I have occasionally looked for a traveling band of gypsies to donate them to.

I get bogged down. I get worn out. I get a feeling of inadequacy.
What was God thinking, giving these souls to me to watch after? Was He not paying attention to the sins I committed in the past? (or maybe He did pay attention and this is my pay-back..... hmmmmm... that might take some looking in to.) I can only hope that I've learned the lessons I need in order to raise them properly.

One lesson came unexpectedly yesterday morning. Look at these guys...

A mommy and daddy bird made this nest months ago. You are looking at the 5 little birdies that hatched a little over a week ago. Cute, huh? I took this picture on Monday when the kids and I were playing on the front porch.
(frozen water with "treasures" in it, and some wooden excavation tools. Lasted for hours!)

The baby birds didn't cry out. They didn't bother us at all. And we, in turn, left them to their own devices. So, imagine my surprise yesterday morning when I got home from walking with Melissa and saw this!

Out of their nest and in the corner of the porch. Not scared of me or the world in general. Taking their time and figuring things out for themselves.

They don't have all the answers, and Mom and Dad aren't around to show them the way, but they are brave enough to look life in the eye and say, "Ok, World! Look out! Here I come!"

I want to be like these birds. I want to be able to look at my kids the way these birds look at the world. I don't have all the answers, but I'm going to be confident in my abilities. I'm going to flounder, I'm going to lose my way (and my temper), but I'm going to have a goal in mind. Nap time.

And when everyone wakes up, I'm going to be renewed and ready for the rest of the day. :)

Isaiah 40:31

New International Version (NIV)
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Vegetarian Fiesta Bake

This is a re-engineered recipe from one I found at Homemaking Challenged. Their recipe called for chicken, but one reader suggested using black beans instead. Genius! I also added taco seasoning and a few other little changes.

package of flour (or corn) tortillas
2 cans black beans (drained and rinsed)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 can rotel (drained)
1/2 packet of taco seasoning
shredded cheese (fiesta blend)
not pictured, but used!

1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray 9x13 baking dish
2. Count out half of your tortillas and cut them into pieces. Layer them on the bottom of your baking dish.

3. Mix the soups, rotel, and the taco seasoning in a bowl

4. Spread half of the mixture over the tortillas

5. Spread one can of black beans over mixture

6. Layer of cheese

7. Layer of tortillas (but don't use all of them!)

8. Rest of mixture and other can of beans

9. Last of the tortillas and more cheese

10. Bake covered at 350 for 40 min. 

11. Dish out and enjoy!

If you're feeling inventive, try these variations:
1. Replace one can of soup with a can of refried beans (Hubby's idea)
2. Add a few chopped onions in with the layer of black beans (mine)
3. Add some chopped avocado (Hubby's idea)
4. Use your favorite salsa instead of the Rotel and taco seasoning (mine)

Can you think of some more inventive variations? Share in the comments section!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings

I'm from the south and I didn't know how to make chicken and dumplings until just recently. I should have my G.R.I.T.S. card revoked. (That's Girls Raised In The South- for those of you who were wondering)

I found the recipe {HERE}and decided to test it out. Here's what attracted me to the recipe:
1. fast
2. easy
3. no real talent required!

Boneless/ skinless chicken breast (3-4)
2 cans cream of chicken
1 can chicken broth
1 tb parsley (or however much you want)
1 chopped onion (or 1 cup of the frozen stuff I use)
2 tb butter
1 can of flaky biscuits (you'll only need 4 of them)
*Black pepper (to taste)*
It's not in the original recipe, but I felt it needed a little something when the Hubby and I were eating it. 
If you decide to use all of the biscuits, you'll need to add another can of chicken broth to the recipe.

1. Spray crock pot with cooking spray
2. Add chicken

3. Add soup, broth, onion, butter, parsley, and pepper

4. Cook 4-6 hours- use a fork to break up the chicken pieces

5. During the last hour, cut up 4 of the biscuits into pieces and add them to the pot.

6. Let the biscuits cook in the pot for the last hour.

7. Enjoy!

Hubby and I loved the recipe, and I'll have enough for my lunch and dinner again tomorrow! Woo-hoo!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Crockpot Chicken/ Bacon/ Ranch

The title pretty much says it all. This is another recipe that, if portioned properly, can last my family for 2-3 days. (Only 2 if I eat it for lunch too)

I found this recipe on the Crock Pot Girls Facebook page. I'm not sure of the author, but I know that it's good! My favorite part of the recipe, besides it being fast and easy, is the sauce. I could just eat the sauce over rice any day. :)

Boneless/ skinless chicken- not pictured
 (the size it up to you, but I prefer tenderloins)
1 can cream of chicken soup
*1 can cream of mushroom
(not pictured and optional- depends on how much sauce you want)
1 ranch packet
2 cups sour cream
1 package bacon bits

1. Spray the crock pot (even if you use a liner)
2. Place chicken strips in the crock pot

3. Mix the soup, sour cream, ranch, and bacon in a bowl

4. Spread the mixture over the chicken

5. Cook
Cook on high or low, I promise it doesn't matter.

6 Serve over rice or noodles.
I do love my rice, but Hubby prefers noodles. *sigh*

** I didn't use the cream of mushroom, but it doesn't mess with the recipe too much. Adding it just makes a creamier sauce.**