Friday, August 30, 2013

Chicken N' Dumplings

With the need for another new dish in my repertoire and with it blazing hot here in SoCal, I wanted to make something for dinner that was easy and could be made in my Crock-Pot. It seems that lately, with our 100 degree temps, turning on the oven adds just enough heat in the house to offset the AC and make everyone miserable. So a-searching I went for a recipe for chicken and dumplings, easy style.  This recipe is so simple, it's silly!

Chicken and Dumplings
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 onion, diced
2 cans refrigerated biscuits
2 tablespoons butter

Place all ingredients except biscuits in Crock-Pot and pour enough water over mixture to completely cover. Let cook until meat is tender and cooked all the way, about four hours on low or two on high. Then about thirty minutes before serving, add the biscuits and allow them to cook through but not so much that they dry out. You can adjust this recipe by adding more veggies with the onion, trading the biscuits for noodles or potatoes or adding your own twist! Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I am all about making my mark in my home and putting personal touches throughout. I decided to make a little wooden sign recently with one of my favorite bible verses, Micah 6:8, to put in my kitchen. That verse speaks so much to me as it is a simple reminder daily of where my priorities should lie. So off to Michaels I went in search of the perfect items for my sign. I already had a weathered piece of wood found in the garage that would be the perfect size. You really do need to consider the size of your sign. You can use canvas or wood or even do it on a glass picture frame but be sure your wording is proportional to your piece. This project is super easy and requires very few things to assemble. It would make a great, inexpensive gift too! Here's what you need:

- Wood, glass or canvas as a base
- Paint, unless you want it on a blank piece
- Mod Podge/foam paintbrush
- Letter stickers

Start by painting your piece if you're going to. Once dry, mock up your piece with your wording. Make sure everything looks perfect before sticking the letters on for good. Then coat your piece with Mod Podge. Be generous and make sure it is even with no big globs. It will dry clear but it needs to be a nice, even coat. Let dry overnight and voila! You have a personal and fun addition to your home decor.
What projects are you working on??

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Morning Scramble

All of a sudden, I am thrust in the morning rush that goes with having school-aged children. Although my daughter is just beginning kindergarten, I realize I must be much more organized for our mornings to run smoothly. School starts at 7:45 which feels early considering I like to leave by 7:15 to allow for any hiccups, which are inevitable with little ones. And considering some days my little ones sleep until 7:00, we don't have much room for error. Which I learned last week. So to make mornings easier, it helps to get organized the night before. Or even better? Prepare everything the Sunday before the school week. So that's my plan...get organized and have lunch and breakfasts ready to go ahead of time because apparently, a granola bar just does not suffice for breakfast, according to my daughter.
So I did my big shopping trip for the week this morning. At 6 am. With my little guy in tow, who was up with the sun raring to go. Once home, I divided snacks into five-year-old-sized portions so I can just grab and fill her lunchbox before heading out the door. I highly recommend this method because it takes all the guess work out of what to make for lunch. String cheese and crackers, sliced fruit, Pb&j, small bags of chips or nuts...anything that can be assembled ahead of time should be. Then grab and pack! I decided to allow her the option of buying lunch once a week (since she was envious of the buyers on pizza day...) so I only need to plan for four days. Here's what our lunch and breakfast plan looks like for this week and I'll go ahead and throw in dinner too!! I hope this gives you a little inspiration for your week to come!!

                Breakfast          Lunch                         Dinner
Monday: Smoothies          Pb crackers/grapes      Fettuccine Alfredo w/Chicken and Broccoli
Tuesday: Yogurt/Granola  Buying!                       Stir Fry w/Chicken and Veggies
Wednesday: Pancakes     Granola Bar/fruit           Homemade Pizza
Thursday: Cereal/fruit       Pb&J/Chips                 Meatball Sandwiches w/Corn on the Cob
Friday: Toast/Bacon         String cheese/crackers   Dinner out!

How do you make mornings easier???

Friday, August 9, 2013

PB & J...Bars

Do you and your family love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Peanut butter on crackers? On apples and pancakes? Well, we do. All of the above! Peanut butter is a staple in my house and something that I offer frequently, especially when a picky eater rears it's head. So any recipe with peanut butter involved is worth trying for me. These peanut butter and jelly bars are a hit in my house and make the perfect snack or breakfast on the go and are perfect for kid's lunchboxes. They are not too high in sugar, which makes it easy to serve to the kids without guilt. I recommend making the full batch if you have a large family or if you plan to freeze half but trust me, they won't last long!! The full recipe yields enough to fill a 9X13 pan, about twenty servings. If you are going to half it, then use an 8X8 pan.

PB & J Bars (Full recipe)
3 cups flour
2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups peanut butter
jam for top, about 1 cup
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon baking powder

Mix all ingredients except jam and place in pan. Spread jam over top and bake for about thirty minutes at 350 degrees, just until edges are browned. Enjoy!!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Where is the Love??

So I don't know about you, but being in the throes of the early years with little kids, most romance between my hubby and me is few and far between. Although we were never a super sappy couple to begin with, these days, it feels like a miracle just to be able to have a conversation! Once daddy is home, the kiddos want all his attention, so we spend time as a family, catching up about our day and playing. Then it's time to get the kids bathed and off to bed. Once we've cleaned up and watched a show or two, it's lights out for us too. We are definitely in survival mode and recently I mentioned to my hubby that since my kids paw on me all day long, I have a tendency to want to just sit. Alone. Quietly. I realize this has to be a recipe for disaster, but really, my kids suck the life out of me and most days, I just have nothing left to give.
Sure, we see the occasional movie together on date night and we manage to kiss each other hello and goodbye, but it should be better. So with the hopes of rekindling the life and spirit of our marriage, I am going to make a concerted effort to give a little more of myself. Whether I'm tired or not, I am going to make a pledge. First thing? I think Mama could put forth a bit more effort in the appearance department. I will try to pull my (ragged) self together and do a quick clean up of the house before hubby arrives. Secondly, I'm going to aim to be more affectionate on a daily basis. Who says just because you've been married ten years you can't hold hands and cuddle on the couch?? Done and done.
Lastly, and this is a toughie for me, I need to find more helpers so we can get out together more. I have a sickness that keeps me obsessing about my children even if we're just going out for a quick bite to eat. I know I need to let this go because, like "they" say, soon our kids will be grown and it will just be the two of us! I'm excited to see where things go in our marriage and I know that the years to come will just keep getting sweeter and sweeter but let's be real, it ain't gonna happen on it's own.
How do you keep your marriage alive???