Monday, October 22, 2012

Sleepy boy

Yesterday afternoon I laid my boys down for their afternoon nap, and instead of falling asleep like they normally do, they kept talking, playing and distracting each other.  3 hours later after repeated threats, consequences and frustration, I gave up and let them just get up.  Elijah is a little boy who NEEDS his sleep so it was no surprise that minutes after I let them get up this was the scene in our living room.

Who doesn't love a good video of a sleepy kid!!!  ENJOY!




Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Drumming Giraffes

Tonight I pulled out an old costume of Hayden's to see if it would fit Elijah for an upcoming "Dress Up Party."

I'm probably bias...but he's a pretty adorable giraffe!

Elijah ~ 2 1/2 years




What struck me the most about him running around in this cute little outfit was not how adorable he was (and he's cuuuuuuute) but the choice of toy he paired with his ensemble.  In fact, it made me search back through the archives to find this... October 2009.

Hayden ~ 21 months.
 
Yep... these brothers share more than just their dashing good looks, they march to the beat of the same drum!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Lemon Oregano Chicken

I'M BACK!!!!  I'll make no excuses for why I haven't blogged in so long... but here I am, with a delicious chicken recipe that is both tasty and easy, and the best part SUPER QUICK!!!!  I love complete meals that come together really fast, but look and taste like you invested a lot of time into them, and this chicken takes only about 10 minutes!!



The original version of this recipe can be found here, but I made a few changes that I think made it quicker and easier, and far less of a hassle to clean up!  I double the sauce (coz' it's yummy) and I cook it stove top rather than baking it.

Here's what you'll need:


Chicken tenders (although chicken breasts or thighs would be delicious too), lemon juice, honey, olive oil, garlic and some dried oregano!

Start by defrosting your chicken if it's frozen like mine!  Lightly season with salt & pepper.


In a small bowl mix the following ingredients together:

6 tablespoons of lemon juice.


2 tablespoons of olive oil.

4 tablespoons of honey.


3-4 cloves of garlic, minced or chopped.  (oops, forgot a picture)



And then 4 teaspoons of dried oregano leaves.



Give that a good whisk together.


Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add your chicken.


Immediately pour your sauce mixture over the chicken, spreading it as evenly as possible.


Now cover it and let that baby cook for 7-10 minutes, or until your chicken is cooked all the way through.




And just like that... dinner!  I served mine with wild rice and green beans.  The pan sauces are great spooned over the rice and chicken.  It's sweet, with the right balance of acidity and a great flavor.  My boys and hubby devoured it!!!


Bon appetit!



LEMON-OREGANO CHICKEN
(As modified by me)

INGREDIENTS:
8-10 chicken tenders (or 3-4 chicken breasts)
6 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons honey
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 teaspoons dried oregano
Salt & Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1.  In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, honey, garlic and oregano.

2.  Heat a skillet over medium high heat.  Add chicken and and season with salt & pepper.  Then pour lemon juice mixture over chicken.

3.  Cover skillet and cook for 7-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Use extra sauce in pan to spoon over chicken. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

World's Best Potato Soup

It's the first day of spring here in Oregon - and I was woken early by a call saying school was canceled due to snow.  Let me point out that we had no snow all winter, but now that it's March it's our third snow day of the month!

So since I'm holed up at home, I thought it was the perfect time to introduce my favorite soup recipe.

Meet the world's best potato soup!
I wish I could claim this recipe as my very own, but I got this from my good friend, and fellow blogger  Amy and I haven't stopped thanking her since!  It's also become a favorite recipe of my husband's hunting friends as he makes this soup every year at elk camp for the whole group.


Here's what you'll need:
Potatoes, onion, celery, sweet corn, cream of mushroom soup, bacon, chicken bouillon cube, cheese & half & half.

Start by preparing your potatoes.  For this recipe you'll want to pick out 6-8 nice Russet potatoes.  You are leaving the skin on so make sure to scrub them down really good.


Take these lovely diced potatoes and throw them into a stock pot, add 2 stalks of chopped celery and 1 whole onion, chopped.



Add five or six chicken bouillon cubes.



And fill your stockpot with just enough water to cover all the vegetables.  Then bring to a boil and allow to simmer on medium heat until your potatoes are within 15 minutes of being all the way cooked.  (Approx. 10-15 mins).



While this is boiling away, cook up your bacon in a skillet.  I used a whole pound because we like bacon around these parts!  I prefer my bacon a little on the chewy side rather than crunchy... but you cook it how you like it.  Give it a chance to cool down and give it a rough chop.


While your potatoes are boiling, and your bacon is cooling, shred yourself 2 cups of cheddar cheese (or whatever you have handy).  And keep this to the side.


Now comes the fun part.  To our soup add 2 cups of half & half, 1 can of cream of mushroom soup and 1 cup of frozen sweet corn.  




Lastly, add in your bacon pieces and shredded cheese.  At this point you can taste and decide if you want to add additional seasoning like salt & pepper.  To me the bacon & cheese add plenty of salt, but we're big pepper fans so I always add a little.  Keep stirring, allowing the cheese to melt thoroughly and keep on simmer until the potatoes are completely done.


Now take a big whiff of the goodness, congratulate yourselves on deciding to make this, and serve it up with your favorite bread...for this family that's some good thick slices of french bread.


Mmmmmm.... that looks good!



Happy soup day!!!  Enjoy!



WORLD'S BEST POTATO SOUP:

Ingredients:
6-8 Russet potatoes
1 onion
2 stalks of celery
5-6 chicken bouillon cubes
1 pound of bacon
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups half & half
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup of frozen sweet corn

Directions:
In a large stockpot, scrub your potatoes (skin on) well and chop into bite size pieces.   Add chopped celery, onion and chicken bouillon cubes and enough water to just cover vegetables.  Bring to a boil and allow to cook on medium heat until potatoes are within 15 minutes of done.  (Approx 10-15 mins).

In a separate skillet, cook your bacon, chop roughly and set aside.

Grate two cups of cheese and set aside.

To the soup add cream of mushroom soup, half & half and frozen corn,  bacon pieces and cheese and stir until cheese is fully melted and the potatoes are all the way done.

Serve up with your favorite bread!




Friday, January 13, 2012

4 years ago...

Four years ago on this day this boy changed my life in the best way possible...



When he arrived, all 7lbs 1oz of him - my heart doubled in size, perhaps even tripled.  And four years later he's done nothing but expand what I thought was already an impossible amount for love for him just by being him.

He's sweet.
He's cute.
He's funny.
He's expressive.
He's SOOOOO smart.
He's thoughtful.
He's sensitive.
He has the most contagious laugh.
He's kind.

And he says adorable things like, "Mom, I just love you so much" ALL.THE.TIME without being coaxed and it's all I can do to not throw him in the car and drive him to the nearest toystore and say, "Pick whatever you want!" 


MELT.MY.HEART!

That and he reminds me so much of his father... another boy I happen to adore.

Dear Hayden,
Happy birthday to my handsome little man!
I love you so very much
and I'm so proud, so happy,
so blessed to be your mommy!

I love you forever & always.






Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Savory Swiss Chicken

Tonight I made this for dinner.

Hello tasty chicken smothered in cheesy-creamy goodness!


And it was delicious.
And SO easy. 
And my little family of four ate it ravenously.
I love meals like that, so I'm sharing it with you!


The ingredients were all things I had on hand which is always a plus!  Chicken, swiss cheese, milk, bread crumbs, butter, cream of chicken soup and some good ol' Montreal chicken seasoning.  
(Printed recipe at bottom of post.)


I started by seasoning my chicken in a casserole dish with some montreal chicken & black pepper.


Then I added a slice of swiss cheese to each chicken breast (and a little extra on a couple of the bigger pieces of chicken).



Next I mixed a can of cream of chicken soup with half a cup of milk and poured it over the chicken.




Then I melted three tablespoons of butter and mixed it with 1 cup of bread crumbs, before sprinkling over the entire dish.



I baked it at 350'F for one hour and PRESTO - one delicious dinner ready to go!



The sauce mixed with the breadcrumbs is delicious and would be excellent over rice, or served with pasta... but tonight I served it alone with green beans and some homemade cheddar cheese drop biscuits.



SAVORY SWISS CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Montreal chicken seasoning (or similar) to taste
Black pepper to taste
4 slices of Swiss cheese
1 can of cream of chicken condensed soup
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons of butter, melted
1 cup breadcrumbs

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350'F.

2. Place chicken in a 9x13 casserole dish and season on both sides.  Cover each breast with a slice of swiss cheese.

3.  Mix together soup and milk and pour over the chicken breasts.

4.  Melt butter, and mix together with bread crumbs and then sprinkle evenly over top of the dish.

5.  Bake at 350'F for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Baked Mac N' Cheese

Sometimes you just need comfort food... and at our house - this dish screams comfort all the way!!!

 

This is a favorite with my boys... and I much prefer this over the box variety!  It's so quick and easy, and fun to add variation to also.

Here's what you need: (for recipe scroll to bottom)


2 cups dry pasta, 2 tablespoons of flour, 1/2 cup butter, 1 1/2 cups milk, 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, salt & pepper (and some ham if you want to add meat).

Start by cooking your pasta according to box directions.  I like to use different pastas than the regular old elbow macaroni... so I usually let my little man choose what kind of "noodle" we'll use.  We'll walk down the pasta aisle inspecting all the boxes while Hayden "hums" and "hahs" examining all his choices.  This particular pasta has been very popular the last several shopping trips... Trottole.  It's a big fat spiraled fun-looking pasta and it works great with this dish.  The recipe calls for 2 cups of dry elbow macaroni...but since this pasta was so fat, I just used approximately 10oz (just over half the box).








While your pasta cooks, melt your butter in a medium sized pan.


Add your flour and stir it together, allowing it to cook for a couple minutes all together.


Add the milk all at once and stir together until mixture thickens and becomes bubbly.  Also season with salt & pepper to taste.


Stir in the cheese.  I use regular medium cheddar, but this would be a great recipe to experiment with some sharp cheeses, or use a blend.  Even pepperjack would add a nice kick if you want to get really crazy!!


Drain your pasta and add the noodles in to your sauce.



My husband is of the philosophy that a meal with no meat is not really a meal ... so at this point I throw in my cubed ham too - you could go one step further and make it a Hawaiian dish by throwing in some pineapple chunks with the ham too.  Or forget that and go with some nice chunks of bacon or your favorite sausage.


Combine it all together - then pour into a baking dish and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes at 350'F.


If you like a "crust" on top... you can broil it for the last couple minutes to brown the cheese on top and make a semi-crunchy layer.

Mmmmmmmmmm..................... it's delicious!!


Then dish yourself up a generous portion with some steamed veggies and you've got yourself a winner of a meal!  I sprinkled a bit of paprika on ours - it adds some extra flavor and it's just pretty!!


And there you have it...easy, tasty, and oh so comforting!!




BAKED MAC' N CHEESE

Ingredients:
2 cups dry elbow macaroni (or other pasta)
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
salt & pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
1 - 1 1/2 cups cubed, cooked ham (optional)

Directions:

1.  Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.

2.  In a medium pan melt the butter, add flour and stir together, cooking for 2-3 minutes, but do not brown.  Add milk all at once, and salt & pepper and stir until mixture thickens and bubbles.

3.  Add cheese and mix until cheese is completely melted and combined.  Stir in pasta (add meat) and pour into a baking dish.

4.  Bake at 350'F for 30-35 minutes until golden brown on top.  For a crisper top layer, broil for a couple minutes at the end.  Serve immediately.