Monday, December 31, 2012

A to the Z

Here is the list of questions/topics for anyone that wants to join in on the fun! Blog it or Vlog it, People!

Ok seriously this is bringing me back to MySpace days!  I loved surveys...I know I'm a dork!

A. Age: In 2013 I will turn the Dirty 30!

B. Bed size: Queen

C. Chore you hate: Which one don't I hate?? If I have to pick one it would be vacuuming.  I need to invest in that vacuum that cleans on it's own.  What will they come up with next?

D. Dogs: A Boston Terrier named Bella...she is a feisty pain in the butt!  And a Schnauzer named Willie Nelson!

E. Essential start to your day: Pinterest....yeah I know it is an addiction!  It helps me wake up

F. Favorite color: Orange or Pink or Green

G. Gold or Silver: Silver.  Gold makes me feel gaudy

H. Height: 5'0" Yes I am a Shorty Doo Wop

I. Instruments you play: Well I have tried the piano and guitar and never stuck with it but I sing.  My vocal chords count right?!

J. Job Title:Bitch or Jack of all trades.  Ok seriously My Official Title is Administrative Assistant but it should have a side note of Manager, Cook, Handyman, Secretary, Billing, Medication Manager, Babysitter, Human Resources, Nurse, Mental Health Specialist and many more.  I don't even have a freaking degree but still do those jobs!

K. Kids: Marcus-9.  McKennon-My Angel Baby 5/11/11

L. Live: Live like there is no tomorrow 

M. Married: Nope

N. Nicknames: Bananalisa, Shareefa (Don't ask lol)

O. Overnight hospital stays: Just when I had my babies

P. Pet peeve: There are so many

Q. Quote: “I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.”
Marilyn Monroe----Enough Said

R. Righty or Lefty: Righty

S. Siblings: Chenoa-In Heaven and Callie-22 

T. Time you wake up: Depends on the day but usually 6-7

U. University attended: Haha I wish 

V. Vegetables you dislike: Brussel sprouts and Broccoli---gag 

W. What makes you run late: Marcus usually

X. X-rays you've had: Teeth, arm

Y. Yummy food: Don't get me started, I LOVE food

Z. Zoo animal favorite: Penguins or Seals

Friday, December 28, 2012

New Year's and all that comes with it!

For the last year and a half I keep saying this is going to be a better year and life can't get any worse.  Well guess what??  It did and has.  To say that I am broken and have hit my bottom is an understatement.  I need a lot of healing and help.  I don't usually make New Year's Resolutions because who really follows them anyway?  Most people follow them for a month or so and then it is back to the same old habits.  That's ok, who is judging?? Not me for sure!  So I am not going to call them resolutions, just goals.

*I want to change this blog.  I love food and the majority will be about food but I also want to make it about my life and the healing process I am going to try and get through.  After losing a child and the love of my life it will probably take a long time and it might bring some people down (Sorry about that).  I want it to be honest and completely be free to be myself...which will include a lot of foul language and drinking (Again...sorry about that).  Wait maybe I am not sorry, I have to be myself right? 

-A side note:  I am not a writer and have never really been one so don't expect a lot of great writing pieces from me.

*I want to start working out and eating better.  I know, I know everyone says this and I have said it many times.  This time I am serious.  I don't want to do it to lose weight because I really don't need to.  I want to do it to feel better, to feel strong and to feel good about myself.  It might keep me off the couch watching hours worth of NCIS.....Oh but that Gibbs just keeps me hooked:)

*To find God again.  I used to be a regular church goer.  Two to three times a week I was there listening and praying.  It felt great.....and then I lost my son and that changed.  I was and am not able to understand why God would let a child be taken away from his mother but I need to try.  I need help to heal and that's the only way I know how.  It might take time, probably ALOT of time but it is a step in the right direction.

So that is it for now....

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dinner Plan 12/16-12/30

We have had a busy couple of weeks so a lot of these are repeats because I never got to them! I am not doing the full two weeks of meals because of Christmas!


 Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

 Fast and Easy Ghoulash

 Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken with Fried Rice

 Italian Crescent Casserole

 Crunchy Black Bean Tacos

 Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff

 Curried Pumpkin Apple Soup

 Sausage, Red Beans and Rice


 Mini Sausage and Potato Frittatas


 Cheese Danish

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

I had some leftover evaporated milk and heavy cream and knew there was no way I was going to end up using it.  I didn't want to throw it away so I brainstormed and realized I could make Macaroni and Cheese!

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

8oz of pasta (I used GF spirals because that is what I had)
1/4 Cup Flour
4 Tbsp Butter
1/2 can evaporated milk
1/2 pint heavy cream
2 cups cheese (I used Colby Jack)
1/2 Cup Parmesan
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp Nutmeg

 Cook Pasta according to the package, rinse and drain.  In a saucepan melt the butter, whisk in the flour and let it brown slightly.  Slowly add evaporated milk.  The flour will keep soaking it up, when the evaporated milk is gone add the heavy cream.  If you don't have either of these you can use milk.  When the liquid is soaked up add the two cups of cheese.  It will be really thick.  Add Milk a little at a time until you get it as thin as you want.  Add the parmesan, pepper and nutmeg.  Make sure you taste it and add more salt or pepper as needed.  It is very creamy and tasty.  If you use sharp cheddar it would be even better!

And because we are weird, I added smoked sausage and corn on the top.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Music.....Food To My Soul

"As a music lover, if it looks good, you’ll see it. If it sounds good, you’ll hear it. If it’s marketed right, you’ll buy it. But if it’s real, you’ll feel it."
Kid Rock

I couldn't have said it better myself.  I have always been a huge music person.  I don't mean that I just listen to it.  I listen to it, love it, criticize it, respect it and  most of all feel it.  I've been to more concerts than I can count and listen to almost every kind of music.  To say that I am a music lover would be an understatement.  To me music is one of the biggest parts of life.  It helped me get through rough times and made me smile in the happy times.  There is a song for every occasion.  If you don't think so just ask me I can find you one;)

Saturday night my Dad took my sister and I to the Keith Sweat, Color Me Badd concert.  We were going old school (well my old school at least).  I felt like I was back in high school.
Anyway it was at the Paramount in Denver.  It is a beautiful, historic place. My sister tried to take some pictures, it was pretty dark though.

The stage and the ceiling which is so much cooler in person!
This guy came out and played a ton of hit songs from 1991!
I don't know how many people remember Color Me Badd from 1991 but the lead singer was about 100 pounds lighter.  I normally wouldn't care but it made his performance pretty bad.  He couldn't catch his breath long enough to hit those high notes.  Kind of a bummer but still entertaining.

There is Keith Sweat!  Not a great picture but he can still sing!! Towards the end of the concert he invited a group of the crowd to come and stage and dance!  He also did a moment of silence for all the kids in Connecticut!  

I have been thinking about those kids and their parents and siblings for days now.  I have lost a child but not in a tragedy like that.  My heart aches for them!

My handsome Dad and gorgeous sister.  As you can see I got the short gene lol

Now yesterday I was listening to Ray Lamontagne on Pandora and came across Amos about food to my soul.  His voice is beautiful and most of his songs are acoustic.  The best part of all?  He made me feel his songs, I am in love!

It started to Rain-Amos Lee

Like music, rain is also food to my soul.  So when you combine them it is always a win:)  Enjoy!



AMOS LEE BY LEE,AMOS (CD) (Google Affiliate Ad)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Toilet Paper Art

I have been seeing toilet paper roll art all over pinterest and thought hey I can do that!  So I made artwork for work and also at home.  Marcus has a ocean themed bathroom so he made seaweed, fish, an octopus and a shark.  He is so creative! Here are the pictures

If you haven't made these before it is so simple!  Collect those toilet paper rolls.  Cut them in one in circles and start creating!  Hot glue them and spray paint them.  Easy!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Freezer Cooking In An Hour Breakfast Style

I love freezer cooking but only for breakfast or lunch.  I enjoy making dinner every night or every other night I should say! Even when we are home I never like to make breakfast so having it ready in the freezer when all we have to do is heat it up is a life saver.  Today I made four different breakfast items in an hour.  The banana bread took 40 minutes to bake but we don't count that.  I usually get out three bowls and all the ingredients for everything I am making and put it in the bowls.  Then I plan what is going in the oven first, second,and third.  I like to bake everything all at once since I have a propane oven and it uses quite a bit.

First up were these Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins
These were good but a little dry...could have been me though!

 Second were the Mini Sausage and Potato Frittatas
These were fantastic!!!

 Third was the Chocolate Avocado Banana Bread
I was hesitant about this recipe but it didn't disappoint me at all and who can go wrong with chocolate anything??!!

 Last but not least were my basic waffles..everyone needs a basic waffle recipe right?
I made these while making everything else. See how easy it is to make 2-3 weeks of breakfast??

Mini Sausage, and Potato Frittatas

Mini Sausage and Potato Frittatas

 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
 1/4 bag of frozen hashbrowns
16 oz breakfast sausage-cooked
5 eggs
 1/2 Cup Milk
 1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese
 1 tsp pepper

 Preheat oven to 375. Mix the egg, oil and milk then add the rest of the ingredients. Grease a muffin pan and add 1/4 cup of the mixture. Bake for 10-15 minutes. It makes 12.

 Eat them right away or keep them in the fridge for a couple days. These were so good I had to stop myself from eating all 12...not kidding!

Basic Waffles

After getting that waffle maker there is never a need to buy eggos again:)

Basic Waffle Recipe

2 eggs
2 Cups Flour
1 3/4 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp Vanilla

Mix them together, add 1/3 cup and keep them cooking until they are how you like them!  Simple and delicious!

Dinner Plan 12/2-12/16

Well my monthly dinner plan and shopping just isn't working so I am trying out every two weeks.  I also decided to just list my dinner plan instead of doing it by week.  I like to make things when I want to make them and don't usually follow the order so this way I can switch it up.  

 Main Dishes

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken With Fried Rice

Lazy Enchilada Casserole

30 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup

Grilled Pork Chops

Crockpot Salisbury Steak

Ham and Kale Quiche

Deep Dish Pizzas

Sausage, Red Beans and Rice

Italian Crescent Casserole

Spaghetti With Smoked Sausage and Pepperoni


Cheese Danish

Chocolate Avocado Banana Bread

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins


Protein Bars

5 Minute Guacamole and Tortilla Chips

Sweet Potato Crackers

30 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup
6 Servings

1 Can Chicken Broth
1 Can Water
1 Can Diced Tomatoes (I used Muir Glen Fire Roasted-Yum)
1 Can Black Beans or 1 Cup Frozen
1 Cup Frozen Corn
1 Cup Shredded Chicken
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Pepper
Crushed Tortilla Chips-optional

Combine Chicken broth, water, spices and tomatoes on high heat.  When it comes to a boil add Beans, Corn and Chicken. Let them cook for about 5 minutes.  Add cheese and tortilla chips to the top and eat away!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sweet Potato Waffles and Strawberry Syrup

I am one of those crazy ladies that loves to go Black Friday Shopping.  Every year I have a game plan.  This year I wasn't able to make it but I still had a friend of mine and my mom pick me up a couple things.  One thing I have wanted for years but never buy (who knows why?) was a waffle maker.

Isn't she pretty???
As soon as I got it home I had to start making waffles. Marcus is a waffle freak, he will eat 6 of them if you let him. I had some pureed sweet potato in the fridge so I got to work!  

Sweet Potato Waffles

 2 eggs
 2 Cups Flour
1 3/4 Cups Milk
1/2 Cup Sweet Potato Puree
 1 Tbsp Sugar
 1/4 tsp salt
 1 tsp Vanilla
 1/8 tsp cardamon
1/8 tsp cloves
 1/4 tsp nutmeg
 1 tsp ginger
 1 tsp cinnamon
Whisk it all together and put 1/4 cup for each waffle in the waffle maker. I can't tell you exactly how many this will make. We have kept it covered in the fridge so we can make some every morning. Yum! It tastes like fall!

 Now to my favorite part....I do not like maple syrup. Anyone that knows me knows that I love sugar! But maple syrup is too sweet for me...weird I know. So I started making my own fruit syrups, or compote they could be called. It is so simple and probably a tiny bit healthier than maple syrup.  

Strawberry syrup

 1 Cup Frozen Strawberries
1/2 Cup Water
 2 Tbsp Sugar
Put it on high heat and leave it until the strawberries are soft.
Mash it down and let it cook a few more minutes. Puree it or leave it chunky. Then put it over your waffles!
Anyone have any foolproof waffle recipes?? I would love to go waffle crazy, breakfast, lunch and dinner! HAHA

5 Minute Guacamole

I don't know about you but I LOVE Guacamole!  I really love it with fresh garlic, onion and tomato but let's be often do we have time to make it?? I sure don't.  This is a guacamole I have been making for years.  It is a great snack, or addition to a mexican dish and only takes 5 minutes to make!  Another plus is that it is good for you.  Ok except for the salt but you can always cut that down.  Like most of my recipes you can make it the same way I do or make it your own:)

5 Minute Guacamole

2 avocados-peeled and pitted
1 Tbsp Lime juice-you can also use lemon juice  or a mix of both!
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Garlic powder
2 tsps Onion powder
1 Tbsp Chili powder
1 tsp Cayenne pepper-adjust to how much spice you like
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp Cumin

Mash the avocado.  I tend to like it chunky but you can mash it until the clumps are gone.  Add the ingredients and mix well.  That's it!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Apple Crisp

I know I am a little slow but this is the dessert I made for Thanksgiving.  Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!  My mom taught me to make this and we always switched it up with different fruits and cake mixes.  Here is the basic one, feel free to make it your own.

8x8 pan greased
6 apples sliced (Or canned apple pie filling)
1 Tbsp flour
2 tbsp Cinnamon
Half a bag of cake mix (I used yellow)
1/2 cup oatmeal (any except steel)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup walnuts
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
7 Tbsp butter

First preheat your oven to 375. Mix the apples with the flour and cinnamon and put them in the pan.  In a bowl add cake mix, oatmeal, brown sugar, nutmeg, and ginger.  Using a pastry cutter cut the butter in until it is crumbly.  Sprinkle it over the apples and then sprinkle the walnuts over that.  Bake for 30-45 minutes until it is brown and bubbly.

Silly me forgot to take a picture of it after it was done cooking but here are some of the before:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Soy Sauce Chicken Drumsticks

I made these and they were delicious. I just wish I had used foil in the pan because I had to soak my pan for 3 days! Oops! Learn from my mistakes lol
I only made 3 drumsticks so adjust to how many you use.
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
1/4 Cup Honey
1 Tbsp Lemon juice
Mix them together and marinade those drumsticks. I forgot to do it ahead of time but they still came out delicious.
Bake them at 400 for 30-45 minutes, depends on the size!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Grilled Pork Chops

People probably think I'm a nut when I serve them pink pork chops but as soon as they take a bite there is no longer doubt. My favorite marinade....catalina salad dressing! Try it! And if you love it let me know!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Crock Pot Salisbury Steak

Salisbury Steak is one of my favorite meals!  I make it at work for thirty people and we always look forward to it.  I decided to make it in the crock pot for dinner tonight and it was a mistake!  Not the food but deciding to do it on a day when I am home.  It was torture having to smell it all day!

I usually make this with hamburger patties.  I cook them halfway and then put them in the crock pot the rest of the time.  I only had cube steak but it worked great!  The key to this salisbury steak is that you have to put everything in order in the crockpot.  I am not sure why but if it changes it doesn't taste as good...maybe it is just me!

Here is what you need to make dinner for two, double and triple if you need to.

2 cube steaks or hamburger patties
1 Cup of Onion-Chopped in big pieces
1 Cup mushrooms (Optional-I don't like them so I left them out)
2 Tbsp Butter
1 Can Diced tomatoes
2 cups of brown gravy-you can use the packets or make your own

I put the cube steaks in the crockpot and turned it on low.  Next I chopped the onion into big pieces.  I do this because I love the flavor of onion but not the texture so the big pieces make it easy to take them out. Put the onion and mushrooms into a sauce pan with the butter on low for a couple minutes.  You will start smelling something fantastic coming from that pan and then you can transfer it onto the cube steaks.  Pour the diced tomatoes over that and the brown gravy over that.  Cook it on low for 4-5 hours. Pretty simple and you can pair it with rice, baked potatoes or mashed potatoes!

And Yes I love using Marcus' plates lol

Here is how I made my brown gravy:

I know it takes more time and honestly it's a pain in the butt but it's delicious and you can make it as salty as you want or don't want.

2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1/4 cup flour-this depends on your gravy
2 cups beef broth or two cups of water and 2 beef bouillion cubes

Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat until warm.  Whisk a tiny bit of flour into the oil at a time.  You have to constantly whisk it until it it really thick.  This is where I slowly add the beef broth.  You have to let the flour soak up the broth a little at a time. Keep adding it until it starts to look like gravy.  When the broth is all in it, bring it to a boil then shut off the heat.  It should thicken up.  Make sure you taste it and add a dash of pepper.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ham and Kale Quiche

When I think of quiche I think...gross.  Ok so I used to.  A friend of mine mentioned that she made a bunch of pie crusts to put in the freezer and that she was making quiche out of them.  I gave her that "gross" look and she told me they don't have to be that way!  So I thought I would give it a try.  It was a good idea because man were we missing out!  Marcus even had seconds, that's when you know it is a keeper!  I made the Pioneer Woman's pie crust.  Took it out of the freezer last night.  I know she says not to thaw it too much but for me it was much easier to roll out.

I admit I didn't roll it out to it's full potential but for good reason.  I don't like burnt crust!  I know you can put foil around the edges and all that but this morning I was feeling a little bit lazy.  So it was lower than the top of my pie pan.  It didn't make a difference in the taste or affect the dish in any way.

Anyway Preheat the oven to 400 and put the crust in it for five minutes, otherwise it won't cook all the way.

Take 1 cup of Ham (I used lunch meat, again lazy lol), 1 cup of Kale, 1 Tbsp of Garlic Powder (1 Diced Garlic Clove if you are feeling motivated), and 1Tbsp of Onion (1/8 onion chopped) and put it in a skillet on medium heat for just 2 to 3 minutes.  It just brings the flavors out.  While that is cooking beat 3 eggs with 3/4 cup of milk in another bowl.  Add some salt and pepper, it really depends on your tastes.  Pull the oven rack with the crust out and add the ham and kale mixture then the eggs.  I added some cheese on top because Hey everything tastes better with cheese!  The reason I didn't take the crust out completely is because I didn't want to splash the egg all over.  It keeps the stove top clean!  Bake at 400 for 12 minutes or until it isn't jiggly anymore (That's my technical term haha).

1 Pie Crust
1 Cup Ham
1 Cup Kale
1 Tbsp Garlic powder (1 clove Garlic diced)
1 Tbsp Onion Powder (1/8 Onion diced)
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup cheese, any kind

Yum Yum!  This makes a great dinner too!  Anyone have any great quiche recipes they want to share??

The 5 Reasons I Stay Off of Facebook!

When I joined Facebook in 2009 I never knew how much it would affect my life.  At first it was exciting to be able to catch up with people you haven't seen in years, to see their every day lives and to share pictures of my own life.  For years I became addicted to other people's lives.  I became annoyed with some of them, happy for them, sad for them, mad for them, you name it I was right there with them.  There were many discussions of politics, religion, family, motherhood, partying, and anything else you can think of. When I discovered the world of blogging it was so helpful to have them all in one place, to see the daily deals and coupons.  It was even helpful to have the news in one place.  It was even great to be notified of birthdays constantly.  I could go on and on about the positive parts of Facebook but one day I woke up and deleted my Facebook.  I will admit it was difficult and there have been many things that I have missed since then but guess what I DON'T CARE!

There are probably more than 5 reasons why staying on Facebook is good but here are the 5 reasons I stay off of Facebook:

5. I worry about my own life!  Yes catching up and keeping track of weddings and babies is great but it takes the focus off of what is important.  My real life relationships with people!  I know some people can do both but I couldn't and recognized that!

4.  I don't spend so much money!  I know this sounds funny, even to me.  Spend money on Facebook?? How?? You might say.  Those blogs that I love so much were constantly posting great deals and coupons.  When I saw a great deal I would buy it!   I can say that some of those deals were worth it but some were not!  I always talked myself into needing something because it was a deal.  Now I buy what I need, not what I think I need.

3.  No more news!  Yes Facebook is where I first saw that they got Osama Bin Laden, and many other news stories but face it the news these days contains sad stories.  I cannot remember the last time I saw a news story about something happy!

2. People no longer know my business and pretend to care about it.  I am an emotional person and have on more than one occasion posted very personal things.  I regret it but sure can't take it back.  When we lost our son people were constantly writing me on Facebook telling me how sorry they were and asking if they could help.  This was wonderful but it became very overwhelming in a time that all I needed was my family and some alone time.  I mean for weeks people would not leave me alone.  I really did appreciate it all but it was too much.  Now I tell it to myself lol That's not the same but it keeps my business away from hundreds of people.  Sometimes people forget just how many people can see your whole life on Facebook!

1. I can get stuff done!!  This is the best one yet!  I actually get off of my butt and get things done around the house.  I admit I was such a Facebook addict I spent hours a day on it even if nothing was happening.  I have tackled projects that have been put off for a year!

I thought for sure I would miss it but really don't.  I miss all the blogs I had and their daily posts but that's why I have email.  I can subscribe to them and read them when I feel like it!  It's almost like I feel free.  That may sound funny to some of you but it is a huge relief to get rid of one addiction.  People joke about it but it really is!  Times have really changed and technology is relied on for EVERYTHING!  It is nice to get back to the real world and remember that a face to face conversation with someone means more than any Internet conversation!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Zoo-James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

 When I think James Patterson novels Zoo is definitely not my definition.  I read it pretty fast but only because once I started it, I wanted to find out what happened at the end.

It was about a guy named Oz that suspects something is happening all over the world to animals to turn them against humans. Think 2012 but without the weather. Cats and Dogs are turning on their owners and killing them. I won't go into more detail because if you decide to read it I don't want to ruin it for you.

 I can't say I liked it and I can't say I hated it. It was just....there. Definitely not one of his/their better ones! I have read every other James Patterson books, working on the Alex Cross series right now (Yes I'm slow)and I could have done without this one!!

Dinner Plan 11/4-12/1

This month I kept it pretty simple.  I'm not crazy about this once a month grocery shopping, I keep running out of things but I'm going to try one more month.  I just need to plan a little better!

Week 1-
Chili (Recipe to come)

 Diced Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Mixed Vegetables

Cereal for 2 days since I was sick

 Italian Chicken

 Chicken Stir Fry over Rice

Taco Bites

Week 2-
Hamburger, Fideo and Vegetables

Grilled Pork Chops

 Soy Sauce Chicken Drumsticks br />
 Chocolate Chip Pancakes

 Chik Fil A Nuggets

 Week 3-

 Chicken Tortilla Soup (Recipe to come)

 Taquitos (Recipe to Come)

 Brown Sugar Chicken

 Black and White Bean Chili (Recipe to come)

 Week 4-

 Grilled Cheeseburger Wraps

 Mini Deep Dish Pizzas

 Salisbury Steak

 Black Beans, Rice and Vegetables

 Cookie Dough Bites

 Banana Peanut Butter Bites

 Sweet Potato Crackers

 Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola Bars

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pancakes (We like peanut butter, chocolate anything around here!)

 Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

 Cinnamon Scones

There are so many recipes I have in my head that need to be shared so this will be updated at the end of the month with a bunch of recipes!!

Pineapple Upside Down Muffins

My Aunt has been telling me about these pineapple upside down muffins that they used to have at Perkins. All of our Perkins have closed in Colorado so I never got the chance to taste these creations she talks so highly about! She told me about the topping so I searched and searched for a copycat recipe and found nothing, so here I am blindly copycatting (Is that a word?)a recipe I've never tasted. I don't know how Perkin's muffins taste but these are definitely yummy and I will be making them again!

 Pineapple Upside Down Muffins
 Servings 10

10 Pineapple Rings
10 Stemless Cherries
 6 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
 4 Tablespoons Butter, Melted

 2 Cups Flour, whatever you prefer
 1/2 Cup Sugar
 2 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
 1 egg
 1 Cup Milk
 1/4 Cup Butter, melted or Coconut oil to make it healthier

 Melt the 4 Tablespoons of butter and mix in the brown sugar. Grease the muffin pans really well and add a spoonful to ten of them. Lay the pineapple rings down and put a cherry in the middle. Mix the rest of the ingredients and add to the top of the pineapple and cherries. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Check with a toothpick to make sure they are all the way done. These are what they look like...yum

21 Days to a More Disciplined Life: Day 5,6,7,8 and 9

Hello!  Thankfully I am just now feeling better and getting to all the things that haven't been done in the last couple days!  The stomach flu is not fun and takes everything out of you I swear.  Good thing I have 5 days off to play catch up. 

I did Days 5, 6,7,8 and 9 today to try and catch up.

Day 5: 5 Steps to Developing discipline-  I will admit that I have discipline in certain areas of my life but only if they involve fun haha!  Since my big goal is to run a mile in 21 days I have to make sure I stick with it. 

My reasons why I want to stick with it:

*To show myself that I don't hate running!
*So my body will feel better
*To show myself that I CAN!
*To feel strong
*To have more energy

Likely Obstacles:
*Cold Weather
*Busy life

How to develop new behaviors so that these obstacles won't get in my way:

*Run 3-4 times a week, even if it half a mile and inside
*If I am in pain I will stretch and do some jumping jacks and walking
*I can get very busy but I always have time for TV (one of my bad habits), take 15 minutes from something I am watching and run up and down the stairs or run in place in front of the TV.

Day 6: Be Realistic- I have been being realistic from the start, running a mile in 21 days is pretty realistic for me.  If I had said 2 that would be a far reach for me!

Day 7: Resist Negative Thought Patterns-Instead of saying I can't I will just get up and Do It!

Day 8: Put Your Goals on Paper- I admit it, I am a post it freak!  I like everything written down so this is perfect!

Day 9: Break Your Goals Into Bite Sized Pieces-I am going to write down on the calendar the days I will work out and where I want to be.  That doesn't mean I will meet those exactly but I am ok with that and know that it will at least be a step in the right direction!

I plan on running this afternoon when it is a little warmer!  I am also trying to get back on a flylady schedule to get my house clean and ready to put on the market in a couple months.  Does anyone have any advice??

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Zucchini Cupcakes

My niece's 1st birthday party was this last weekend.  I made a tutu for her and the cupcakes.  My sister came over the day before to help me.  She was dead set on zucchini cupcakes that look like watermelons. A friend of ours found these cupcake liners
Aren't they cute?

Anytime my sister and I get together we start out with a recipe and end up ignoring it and making our own.  She brings out the creative side of me!  So here is our version of a zucchini cupcake, although they have the consistency of muffins.  Nobody was complaining though!

Dry Ingredients:
1 Cup of sugar
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
2 1/2 Cups Flour
2 tsp Cinnamon
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Nutmeg

Sift together or if you aren't professional like me whisk it together!

Wet Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Apple juice
3 eggs
1/2 Cup Canola oil (or Coconut Oil )
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 Cups Zucchini (chopped or pureed)
2 Apples (Peeled and chopped)
1/2 Cup Pineapple Tidbits
1 Carrot-Shredded

Mix together the apple juice, eggs, oil, and vanilla.  Add to the dry ingredients until just combined.  Fold in the zucchini,carrot, apples and pineapple.

I tried out the method of pre-heating the oven to 350 then lowering it to 325 when I put the cupcakes in.  It is supposed to help the cupcakes rise and as far as I can tell it worked.  This recipe makes 50 so if you are looking for a smaller batch half it.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

They were a big hit at the party.  They weren't too sweet.  My sister had the bright idea to use whipped cream and that was a big old melting mess lol but you live and you learn right?!

Here they are with no whipped cream, they didn't even need it!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Spicy Tomato Soup

Here I go with the tomatoes again! If you want to know why I use them so much go here!

A friend of mine is having a baby soon so I decided to make her some freezer meals. The problem was she is allergic to almost everything ( poor thing). So I had to develop some yummy, healthy, gluten free, egg free, dairy free, almond free and corn free meals.  Holy moly!

Here is one full of veggies and protein:

3 cloves of garlic
Olive oil
1/4 chopped Onion
1 carrot shredded
1 can Rotel
1 26.5 oz can of Spaghetti Sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tsp sea salt, more to taste
2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
4 Cups water
1 Cup Kale
1 Cup Zucchini, pureed or chopped
1 Cup Great Northern Beans
1/2 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 TB paprika
Dash of red pepper flakes, more if you want it spicy

In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, salt and pepper.  Cook for about two minutes then add Rotel, spaghetti sauce and diced tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, water, kale,  zucchini and spices. Let them come to a boil, puree and then add beans until heated through. This is the fast version.
There are many options for this soup.  You can put it in the crock pot and let it cook all day. Serve it chunky. Add some pasta. Or even puree the beans with it so it is smooth. 
I like to let it simmer for at least an hour before serving it, gives the flavors time to marry!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Egg Carton Bats

Last night my son had a Halloween Sleepover with three other boys!  They had pizza, vanilla pudding parfaits with chocolate cookies and Halloween sprinkles, watched Hocus Pocus and made Egg Carton Bats!  Since we have chickens everyone is always saving their egg cartons for us so I knew we had plenty to work with.

You start out by breaking the egg cartons into 3's. I tried cutting them with scissors but found breaking them apart was much easier!

Gather some black paint, paint brushes, ribbon, and googly eyes.  Most of these things I have gathered from the dollar store or walmart over the years.
Paint the egg cartons.  The boys did this, I made sure they just covered the outside really well. Let them dry completely.
Glue on the eyes or if you are lucky the eyes have a sticker already on them.  Then poke two holes on the top for the ribbon.

Put the ribbon in one hole.
Pull it through and put it up the other hole.

Tie it at the top then hang it for some cute, easy Halloween decorations!