Sunday, March 24, 2013

What We Have Been Eating


I haven't made a WWHBE post in forever!! The last one was almost a year ago! Things have been really crazy for us this year and I haven't had the time or state of mind to record many of our meals. On a good day I will remember and snap a couple shots but that is usually about as far as it goes. I have been trying to focus more on actual meal planning lately. In order to get the most out of my coupons, I match them with things that are on sale in the stores weekly add, but sometimes I just wish someone would say, "Here, you are making this for dinner, here is your grocery list, have a nice week." Funny enough, you can hire people to do this for you on the Internet at a site called emeals. Maybe something to think about. In the meantime, here is What We have been eating!


Quesadillas 3 Ways...I am a sucker for slapping something into a tortilla and calling it a day. I had some chicken and a lot of tortillas so I made 3 different kinds of quesadillas.

My Traditional Quesadilla

2 Flour Tortillas
Ortega Taco Sauce
 Chicken {I used Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken Strips}
Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Place one tortilla into a skillet, top with sauce, then chicken, then the cheese. Place 2nd tortilla on top and cook on both side until tortillas a crisp and cheese melted.


Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadilla

2 Flour Tortillas
Chicken
Ranch Dressing
Bacon { I like to use the bagged real bacon pieces}
Shredded Mozzarella and Cheddar cheese

Follow same assembly instructions as above.

Pizzadilla

2 Flour Tortillas
Pizza Sauce
mini peperoni's
mozzarella cheese

Follow same assembly instructions as above.




I put some of each sauce in little cups for dipping and BAM, dinner! Something for everyone.


Another winter favorite this year is a Crock Pot Chicken and Noodles recipe I stole from my sister in law.


What you need

Bag of boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 Stick of butter {and a couple pats for your veggies}
1 Can of cream of chicken soup
2 Boxes of chicken stock
1 Package of egg noodles {I use Reemes}
Carrots
Celery
S&P

Place your bag of chicken {still frozen}, chicken stock, soup, and butter into your crock pot and turn on high. Cook until chicken falls apart on its own, then shred while still in crock pot.



Saute you chopped carrots and celery in butter until they start to soften. Add noodles and softened veggies back into the crock pot and add more stock. Continue cooking until noodles are done, adding more stock when needed.




What have you been eating? Go to crock pot meals? Interesting quesadillas?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cavatini

SO, I am a food rut kinda of person. I LOVE to cook new things and am in no way a picky eater but when I find something I really like, well..I REALLY like it, like all the time. This isn't a bad thing most of the time, except for when it comes to restaurant food. Like the time I discovered the spicy chicken soup at Carraba's and wanted to eat there like 3 times a week. Good for me and my belly but not for the family pocket book. One of my go to restaurant meals around Washington is the cavatini at Bobes. For you out of towners that don't know, Bobes is an family owned Italianish restaurant here in town that has the BEST pizza, lots of sandwich's, pastas, and even grill foods during the week. If you are a teenager and are from Washington, Indiana, you have more than likely worked at this place and I am not exception.  Another previous "Bobe's girl" posted a while back about making cavatini for her family at home { You can check out her blog here} DUUUHHHH! Why have I never tried this? I have made other versions of restaurant foods so I don't know why I never thought to duplicate recipes I already KNOW how to make. So I did...and it was gooood!


Here's my version.

What you need

1 Box of pasta {bobes uses some shell version I couldn't find so I used rigatoni}
1 lb of ground hamburger
1/2 large onion
1 green pepper
pepperonis
shredded mozzarella
Jarred spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven to 400.

Boil pasta until slightly under cooked {it will cook more in the oven}

Meanwhile, brown meat on stove top, drain, and add sauce.

Chop onion and green pepper to your preferred size. {Bobe's also adds mushrooms}

Layer pasta into bottom of baking dish, top with sauce and meat mixture. Push desired amount of pepperonis down into mix.

Then top with UNCOOKED peppers and onion.


Top with shredded cheese and a few more pepperonis.


Bake until cheese is melted and pepperonis have started to curl.

Dish it out and get down!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Online Learning

The Internet is an amazing place. It is full of everything you could ever want to know and some things you wish you never did {like the lyrics to Grease Lightning!?!? Who Knew?} With learning in mind, the Internet is a sea of learning websites. You can earn your high school degree, a college degree, get a dogs pedigree...you get the message. You can even find a tutor, using sites like tutor spree, to help you do all this online learning.

As a mom, I love to encourage my children to learn something from everything they do. Isabelle, at 5, is really starting to get into "playing" on the computer. She spends hours taking care of pets at American Girl.com and playing with her favorite characters like Dora and Doc McStuffins at Nick Jr.com, but her new favorite is Abcmouse.com.


Isabelle is quick to remind me that it is a "learning system" and not a game lol. She asked to go to the website after seeing a commercial for it on TV. {she LOVES her commercials, always trying to tell me which latest TV gadget I NEED to have haha} We set it all up and I pretty much lost my computer from then on.



She made her avatar look just like her and made it almost 40% of the way through the preschool program in the first few days.


It keeps track of everything she has learned and she earns stars and tickets for every lesson completed. The tickets can be used to purchase toys and decorations for your online room, furniture, or in Isabelle's case, lots of pets and clothes! She has so much fun and is excited to learn more. Which makes me grin, and cry, and the smile and cry at the same time, which doesn't look as pretty as you may think. How do your Little's learn at home?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Christmas 2012

Christmas this year was COMPLETELY different from last year. {You can revisit Christmas 2011 here} We were back in Indiana with our family which was great, but very, very hectic. Also, let's not forget we now have TWO children!! We missed out on a couple of our usual traditions during the madness, but were happy to be all together for the holidays. One tradition I was able to keep up with {but not photograph as much as I wished} was our elf on the shelf NoNo. We had a BLAST with him last year { you can read about him here and here }


Sadly these were the only pictures I got this year.



We always spend Christmas Eve with my family and this year we had it at our house. I spent HOURS decorating the house and it was super fun to cook and play hostess to my family. If you missed all of the Christmas d├ęcor over at my other blog From Florida to Flora; Our Home Sweet Home, then you can click here to check that out.







The kids kicked off the festivities by opening their traditional Christmas Eve gifts. This is carried over from when I was a kid and we got to open one gift on Christmas Eve. Our kids get 2. One is their Christmas jammies and the other is usually a small toy or book.


She insisted on wearing this outfit, believe me...not my choice








Big sister helping Jude with his gifts



The rest of us opened our gifts and visited and before long it was time for a couple pictures in front of the tree before heading upstairs to bed.

The Beatles throw we got for my dad





Jude's 1st Christmas

Before long the night had passed, the sun was rising, and Santa had come {but not before mom snuck down and took a few photos}

The view walking down the stairs

Santa came!!!

Santa always leaves his gift out and unwrapped that way the kids know mommy and daddy have SOME part in Christmas and all those presents ;)


Jude got a train table and a chase me kitty




Isabelle got a doll house and Leap Dog



The middle gift was somewhat of a mystery???

Cat supplies?

That's right...Cat supplies. Santa left a stocking full of cat supplies and a note that hinted there might be something in the bathroom.


Isabelle's stocking

Jude's stocking

Isabelle finding the cat stocking

 
We of course had to play with the kitty before we opened the rest of our gifts.







We had to be out at my husbands parents house by 9 a.m. so we practically had to force them to open all of their presents to get through in time.









Checking out his Elmo





Before it was time to head out, Isabelle decided to name the cat! Meet the newest member of the Sweet clan...Rocko



Time for some Christmas fun with the cousins.

Take 1

Take 2

It is what it is




Anna and Jude

Reese licking Isabelle's feet

Jude and Leighton checking their stockings


Present time




The girls and their sassy Justice outfits


Pretending she is "texting" on her calculator in her new chair





He loves his big cousin Anna

I wish Christmas never had to end...Until next year, Merry Christmas!