Monday, November 19, 2012

I want to be better...






Are you ready to rumble?? Seriously are you? That's what I feel like I am doing..preparing for a throw down... a holiday throw down. Except I cant quite get "there". Know what I mean? But its not just a holiday throw down..its a life throw down... Let me give you a glance inside of my head...please keep all hands inside of the ride...please remain in an upright position...and for safety sake do not unbuckle...ever.

My house is not clean. I don't mean it is dirty..well you know a little dirty but mainly its just stuff is piled here and piled there and watch out your going to step on a lego...or a hot wheel...or a tiny action figure..trust me they all hurt the same. The lego curse is alive and thriving in my home. I have a thousand things I need to get done before the baby comes. Projects that I need to attend too.. Like the stocking of my freezer with meals that my husband can easily help me prepare because I have to have a C-section. I am not due until Jan 22nd.. I wont make it that far though. I will be lucky to make it until Christmas. I am already having contractions with her... I have had a few almost hospital scares where the contractions all the sudden pattern up and you can just tell they are getting closer together.. I haven't had to go to the hospital yet to get the shots to stop it but only because this is not my first rodeo and I know all the tricks...so far those little tricks have been good enough.. but there will come a day where they aren't anymore...and that day is coming and it will be soon. I know it without a doubt in my mind. The thing is my contractions aren't for the most part because I over do it. Its just something that happens to me. My Dr described it as an incompetent uterus.. like all the sudden boom it goes stupid... So anyways its not really a shock that there is an organ in my body with a less than stellar i.q. The point of this post is that the holidays are right on me and I am so not ready. However I want to be really honest... I'm never ready... this year just happens to hit me where it hurts. There is an inside story to why I am even more off my game than I normally am. I turned 31 this year on April 18th. No age is not what is kicking me when I am down. As a cancer survivor age doesn't bother me much. It means I am here for another year.. but 2 days after my birthday on 4/20 the worst day of my life happened. I was driving down the road going to walmart with my then 3 year old while my husband and 2 year old were at home taking a nap. I had been anxious all day. I kept feeling like something bad was going to happen. My cell rang and before I picked up I knew something had. My grandpa...who raised me... who brought me home from the hospital was in a really bad accident on the farm. I knew as I had turned my car to follow the helicopter he was being carried in that this was it he was gone...one day I will tell the whole story... because I remember it so clearly that it kinda feels like I was watching a bad movie not living it...but right now at this moment I don't want to relive it. I survived a few gatherings this summer where he wasn't at the table...but the holidays were his. The man loved to eat... I cant think of a single memory of a dinner where he wasn't there and he was the life of the party. I have felt different since I lost him. I know its depression. I know the symptoms. I haven't had the energy I had. I also quit doing my part time business... that's a whole different story... I was accomplishing one of my greatest dreams. I just stopped it though..and so far haven't restarted it. This would normally be my busiest time of year. I sold jams, jellies, baked goods and country crafts. I have just been dragging really through life lately... I really thought I would be one of those moms who had her shit together....but guess what..  I am one of those Mom's that occasionally has pieces of it together...like half the puzzle..but then a good stiff wind comes and blows it all apart again. I read alot of Mom blogs and all I can think is... Some of these chicks are apparently taking good drugs... What is it? How do I get some?  I mean yeah I can play a good game in the kitchen. I mean I could possible score a few points of off them...because the kitchen is my escape I guess...but as soon as we leave the kitchen my ass is going down...because while I was in the kitchen trying to perfect my recipe for lets say Stroganoff... Mrs. Perfection got all down with her bad self and Martha Stewarted her entire house... The way my house looks I am pretty sure Martha would have it burned down. Anyways I guess what I am saying is I only have 2 kids and still am barely keeping my head above water... What happens when I add the third? I know this post isn't what you wanted to read.. you wanted a joke and a recipe.. I guess this is basically me searching for a recipe.. a recipe for my life... Like I need a recipe to be a better housewife...a better mom...a better wife... I just need a recipe for a better me... So maybe I will start posting my attempts at getting it together. I cant be the only Mom that feels like everyone else is doing it better... Everyone else has these days too right?


Im going to link up with some other Mom's @ Mommy Moments and Mom's Monday Mingle.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Not Your Moma's Roast Chicken....

Have you ever got poultry drunk? Or how about shot it up? Wait a minute its not what you think. I am not contributing to the delinquency of fowl...nor am I starting a drug habit in the animal kingdom.. What I am doing is making a really good and really yummy dinner. Have you ever made roast chicken? Like a whole chicken. Its one of our favorite meals. I have a yummy no fail method... you know as in you cant mess this up...I mean seriously I have two monsters doing laps around me at any given time plus I have pregnancy brain which means I forget things like constantly....um what were we talking about again? Oh yeah chicken. Anyways lets get this bird to going...


Here is what I started out with....


 That's a 6lb chicken...a bottle of beer.. not that you need the whole bottle...and injector needle...a meat thermometer and my rub of choice today.

First thing I did was wash the chicken and pat it dry... then I rubbed it down really good with my seasonings of choice. Inside, outside, under, over...under the skin on top of the skin... really get this bird covered...  I took a coffee cup poured the beer into it and drew some up into my needle..I pour some beer into a coffee cup so that someone who is not pregnant can finish the beer and it doesn't go to waste.  I stuck the needle into the bird all over it..in the breast legs etc.. I really plumped her up. Here so you can get an idea.

 
 
Ok now here is where I show you baby brain again... I forgot to take a picture of a few steps... So lets use our imaginations shall we? I took a half of onion cut into chunks and stuffed it up inside of the chicken after injecting..Then I washed my hands really well and started preparing our roasting pan. If you think getting my chicken drunk is the weirdest thing I am going to do to this bird...well you would be wrong...
 
 

 

No your eyes do not deceive you...that my friend is a bundt cake pan...and no I didn't forget we were making chicken and switch to a cake post midway thru...which to be honest if someone was going to do that.. I would be the one... Anyways take a cookie sheet and cover it in foil. Sit your bundt cake pan on top. I sprayed liberally with nonstick spray on the inside of my pan... Ok so you have your chicken..but you need to make your chicken a seat. I wouldn't dream of just dropping that pour bird down in that cold hard pan...enter vegetables... Now you can use any combo you want...potatoes carrots corn cobbettes etc.. This time I did carrots and onions because my kiddos love carrots..and they also requested mashed potatoes with this meal. So I took a 1 pound bag of baby carrots dropped them right in the bottom... half of an onion chopped up, salt, pepper, 1 T. of olive oil..and 1 T. of brown sugar. I mixed it all inside the pan.

 
 
Ok now you take the south end of your chicken and place it over that opening...ahem.
 
 

 
 
Tuck your wings behind the bird...and now put your bird in an oven preheated to 250 degrees and set your timer for 5 hours and walk away. Thetas right 250 degrees for 5 hours... So for 5 hours you don't have to do anything else...the oven is babysitting your chicken... Somebody has to watch that chicken...because I can't leave my monsters alone for 30 seconds...I don't have time for chicken watching... Of course at some point I have to peel potatoes and all but hey that's what they make duct tape for... so you can tape your kids to the wall and get a few minutes peace... Joking just a little mommy humor.. I would never tape my kids to the wall... it would be wrong..and it would probably ruin my paint job...lol
 
 
When she is done she will probably look something like this...
 
 
 
Now she is sitting lopsided... but she is perfectly fine. I took the chicken out and put it on a platter surrounded it with the carrots and onions.. .Then I had a go at the juices and broth left and made some gravy... Also just for safety sake I checked the temp of the chicken in the meatiest part of the thigh to make sure it was done and it was perfect... I served it with the roasted carrots, onion, mashed potatoes gravy, peas, and big fluffy rolls.
 
 
Ok now there are several ways you can vary up my recipe.... you can leave off the injecting with beer part I mean you may prefer your chickens sober...no judgement.  I just really like the flavor and moistness it imparts... you can stuff it with lemon halves... rub it with butter.. I mean seriously Ina Garten can make roast chicken thousands of different ways or so she says... Also if you don't have 5 hours you can roast it at 375 for 1-1.5 hours or until your meat thermometer says its done... What ever floats your gravy boat... All that you really have to do is make this chicken..standing up in a cake pan...because who doesn't love a talented chicken with good posture... It also helps it is so good and you don't want to miss out on it! Plus who knew a cake pan is useful for something besides cakes.
 
 
Linking up for fun at the following:
 
 
Clean and Sensible-Creative Spark
 
Well Crafted Home-Well Crafted Wednesday
 
Hope Studios-Tutorial Tuesday
 
Not Just a Housewife-Show me What ya got!
 
Home Stories A to Z-Tutorial Tuesday
 
Adventures of a DIY mom-Terrific Tuesday
 
Susie QT Pies-Fall Menu Plan
 
Family Food and Travel-Wonderful Food Wednesday
 
Sew Much Ado-We Did It Wednesday
 
Someday Crafts-whatever goes Wednesday
 
Southern Lovely-Show and Share
 
Creations by Kara-Look What I Made
 
 
 
Beyond the Picket Fence-Under $100 Linky


Monday, November 12, 2012

Birthdays...Contractions...and Glazed Doughnut Muffins

I've been quiet for a while on here. Sorry about that.. I didn't disappear so much as I went nesting mode....and I have been having contractions.. which at 30 weeks pregnant isn't great. Unfortunately.. its the 3rd baby...and its happened every time. I will end up having to go to the hospital a few times...get pills to stop...and shots...then she will come early anyways. My Dr is shooting for 36 weeks...but she said she is afraid it will be more like 35 weeks. Can I just say I am not ready yet... I am not ready yet...I am not ready yet. In the mean time life has certainly been flying by. My oldest just turned 4 yesterday... I don't know how I didn't give him permission... seriously these kids are out of control...they age without permission and are born without permission... So on his birthday I let him choose pretty much every meal what he wants.. My little man has a muffin obsession...and a doughnut obsession...and one day quite sometime ago I found a recipe on King Arthur. I made them and the kids loved him..but the cinnamon and sugar topping...it went everywhere...everywhere I tell you... Any ways M1 (monster number one) asked for doughnut muffins... because he has a memory like an elephant...and I had already forgot all about them. So that's what I made.. except this time I decided these things would have to be glazed...because I wasn't going thru that whole cinnamon sugar episode again. Mine is just slightly different than the recipe. I added cinnamon less nutmeg and I think I even assembled them differently... plus instead of the lovely but messy cinnamon sugar...a nice little glaze.


Doughnut Muffins

  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  •  1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 cup milk

  • Preheat the oven to 400. I used muffin liners but sprayed the inside of them to make sure they peeled off easy. I mixed the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl. I creamed the butter vegetable and both sugars together... Then I beat in the eggs one at a time making sure they were completely mixed in.. I mixed in the vanilla extract. Now I took the flour and sprinkled some in and poured in some milk.. I alternated like that and ended with the milk. Once I got them all mixed in I stopped so I didn't over mix them. I filled each muffin cup up evenly with a cookie scoop... It filled them all the way up and made a total of 12. I baked them for 20 minutes until they were just a light brown... I tested with a toothpick at 15min and it still needed to cook a few minutes more. I got them out let them cool till I could handle them and then I glazed them. Now the cinnamon sugar was good but I wanted something my little guys could maybe eat without me having to you know clean cinnamon and sugar off of them for 20 minutes. The glaze was easy. I melted 2 T of butter and a mixed with a cup of powdered sugar a splash of vanilla and then about 3 T of hot water.. mix it until you get a thick consistency.. I used a fork and did it till a thick strand dripped off.. Then I dipped the top of each one and let them set up for about 5 mins. They are really yummy and super easy... try them soon!...Oh and notice in the picture.. I let them dry on a cookie rack with a piece of wax paper underneath...makes it ever so much easier to clean up.

     
     
    Linking up for more fun:
     
     
    Naptime Review-Mom's Monday Mingle
     
    Sew Can Do-Craftastic Monday
     
    The Life of Faith-Mommy Moments
     
    Sumo's Sweet Stuff-Market Yourself Monday
     
    DIY Home-MMM #81
     
     
    Well Crafted Home-Well Crafted Wednesday!
     
    Not Just a Housewife-Show what ya got!
     
    Hope Studios-Tutorial Tuesday
     
    Home Stories A to Z-Tutorials and Tips
     
    Adventures of a DIY Mom-Terrific Tuesday
     
    Family Food and Travel-Wonderful Food Wednesday
     
    Sew Much Ado-We Did it Wednesday
     
    Someday Crafts-Whatever Goes Wednesday
     
    Southen Lovely-Show and Share
     
     
    Creations by Kara-Look What I Made
     
     
     
    Beyond the Picket Fence- Under $100 Linky
     
     
     
     
    

    Thursday, November 1, 2012

    First Halloween...and a Happy Anniversary

    So it wasn't really my boys 1st Halloween.. I mean yeah they are 3 and 2 but before tonight we never went trick or treating. I didn't feel right taking a little nugget around for candy they weren't going to eat. Now they do candy occasionally so trick or treating time it was... My 3 year old was Thor...my 2 year old was a dino...and my hubby was a biker and I was his old lady... Which technically my husband "was" a biker in real life. We sold the bike last year when we realized hey we aren't going to get to ride for a very long time...but it was kinda last minute... we got the boys ready and they got upset we weren't in costume... so I put on some "hooker" makeup... which is really just hot pink and black smokey eyes that I never have the occasion to wear..some long gorgeous eyelashes and then all black including my big tall knee high boots..My hubby pulled out all his leathers and pulled his hair back in a pony tail and off we went. It was so much fun. My boys didn't really get the whole candy part but while we were at my grandmothers church they got an apple and they were more excited about the apple than all the candy bars combined... They kept saying is the apple getting hurt by all this candy? I assured them it was fine....they did eat a sucker and a few pieces of candy.. I will let them have it in small doses for a little while.. We had the most fun just hanging out with friends and seeing friends. So now onto the anniversary part.. It was our 6 year anniversary.. let me put this into perspective because I heard this all day yesterday.. yes we have been married 6 years and now have 3 kids...and yes I have been pregnant for more anniversaries than I have not been pregnant for. But apparently we are doing something right 6 years still going strong. Apparently...lol. Anyways I love all my monsters... big, tall, little and small... Now marching on into November.
     
    You didn't think you were getting out of looking at my monsters did you? Ha

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

    My Cancer Story...I was never going to tell here..part one

    I was never going to tell this story here.. not because I am ashamed of it...not because I don't want people to know. I just kinda wanted this blog to be cooking and crafts..and crazy parenting stories. But I woke up this morning with the need to tell this story...with the need to let it be known... Which you know what that means to me. Someone out there needs to hear it right now. Someone out there is where I was.. So share this story..send people to this page if you know they are fighting and need to hear it... Even when they give you no hope... there is hope.. there is always hope. I am living proof of that. I will tell it in parts..because its a very long story..and although I am proud to have fought it...telling it for me is reliving it. To be honest with you.. I wouldn't change a thing. It made me who I am today.. it shaped me and my heart.

    I'm 31 and a stay at home mom... of soon to be 3 kids. I can close my eyes and I would still be riding horses down trails.. slinging mud on four wheelers ...chasing chickens around.. waiting on Friday night or Saturday morning..because that's when the adventures always began. It didn't last long enough... those care-free kid days. I lost them at 17 years old. I went for a job that required a physical. A simple finger stick changed my life. A few days after that finger stick I was told my life was over. When I was 17 years old I was diagnosed with A.M.L. leukemia. A rare and aggressive cancer. At the time they found it 39 percent of my blood was cancer. I was told no one over 18 percent had every survived it. Therefore I was terminal. They gave me 2 weeks to live. Every time those doctors opened the door and came in they had bad news...horrible news. I was then offered an experimental chemo... If I took this chemo...my hair would fall out... I would never be able to have kids not that, that mattered because I would live maybe 4 weeks. Boy did they sell it good. To a 17 year old what they just describe was as good as saying your gonna die anyways how bout you be a guinea pig first. I refused the treatment. Because in GA 17 is a legal adult and they couldn't do anything to my body that I didn't approve of.  My Uncle lost his mind on me. My Uncle Bron... I was always close to the men  in my family. My Dad wasn't around much... well my biological Dad I didn't meet until I was 16 years old... and my Step-Dad whom came into my life at 2 years old didn't have much time for me. But my Papa... my Uncle Bron and my Uncle Greg had plenty of time for me. I was the first born grand-baby. I was born to a teen Mom. Who loved me but my grandparents were controlling.. and so they and my Mom raised me. I bounced back and fourth between everyone in my family though. I was a village baby. What I mean is everyone had a hand in raising me. So today the person I am is as much pieces of my Mom as it is pieces of my Uncles and Grandparents...all squished into the pieces that could be only me. Back to my Uncle. I was in Atlanta 80 miles away...he drove towards me like on a mission. I believe I could even feel him heading for me. I waited in my hospital bed dreading what was coming... In stomps Uncle Bron... I figured he was mad he wasn't he was crying. Not openly but I could look in his eyes and read it. The tears he wasn't shedding in front of me. I could feel his fear..his sadness and his anger. He loved me...he wanted me to fight... we are fighters by nature.. Way too much Irish courses through our veins to lay down and take it. He begged he pleaded and eventually he conned me into it. So I took those treatments. He stayed with me through round one. Asked me if I needed or wanted anything... he would get it for me. I did. So I rattled off my list. Pizza Hut Pan Pizza with pepperoni and extra cheese, a tattoo and a corvette. He looked at me with a serious face and said I will get the pizza now... I will pay for the tattoo and hold your hand if the Dr clears it...and you will have that Corvette as soon as I can find you one.. He left and went all over Atlanta in search of Pizza Hut...  Its not one of the main chains down there so it took him an hour to find one and get back. By that time I was set up for my first chemo. I sat there with chemicals pouring into that central line that had only been placed this morning. My first in what would be a long line of surgeries. I couldn't feel the chemo going in. Just like they said. I wouldn't feel any pain from it... that would come later. Anyways my Uncle Bron walked in with the pizza and sat it down. I couldn't eat. I was a bundle of nerves. He walked over to the window and said here is your Corvette...pointing to what I thought was outside. I got up excited the chemo forgotten for a moment... and padded over to the window to look down. I couldn't see a corvette in the cars below.. He said its there keep looking. So I did I kept looking... finally I turned to him and he said look down. I looked down and sitting on the window sill was a hot wheel corvette. I busted out laughing.. Called him a jerk and got back in bed. He cleared the nerves out...and so I was ready for pizza... I ate that pizza only to feel the first of the side effects kick in just a few hours later and lose that pizza.. which he was also there for.. there to hold my hand for the first treatment and he was there to hold my hair back for the first of the side effects.... he was there beside me for the whole journey...off and on... the village that raised me was all there at one point or another.... I am looking at the corvette now. It sits on my desk.. it sits on my desk and reminds me everyday...everyday is a gift..and someone I love...loved me enough to beg me to value that gift...even if it was for 2 weeks... or a month. I am just blessed it has been 14 years now... Sadly the man who loved me so much is no longer with us... he knew more about the gift of life than I realized at that time.

    To be continued.....
    This was just part one of a very long story...

    Sum it up Sunday....Apple Bread

    Well to sum up my weekend its been pretty good. We had alot of fun.. it got cold here all the sudden. Friday found us out for ice cream cones and playing at the park... but Saturday was hoodie weather..and today it time for a cup of hot cocoa. I woke up this morning and got started on a few household chores... laundry and cleaning up from last night. Weekends always do that.. They are lots of fun but they destroy the house. I started a loaf of apple bread so the kiddos would have something to munch on today....and now tonight I am making something I have never done before. Have you seen Dorito Casserole? Sounds horrible... and it may very well be.. but it is what my husband picked out after I rattled off things I could do with some of the left over cooked chicken.  Jury is still out. I found a few recipes and then I kinda of winged it with other ingredients..because I can't follow a recipe to save my life...or so my husband says...lol. Here is my recipe for Apple Bread... Try it out. The family loves it. See you later this week darlings.. Since I have absolutely no plans to try and kill myself with a big project again... freezer cooking in small doses is about all this preggo chick can handle.
     




    Apple Bread

    1 1/2 cups flour
     3/4 teaspoon baking soda

    1/2 teaspoon of salt
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
     1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    1 cup sugar
     1/2 cup melted butter

    1/4 cup applesauce
     2 eggs
     1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    2 cups peeled and chopped apples


    Preheat your oven to 350. Spray a 9 by 5 loaf pan with nonstick spray. Combine the flour baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. Stir with a whisk till equally combined. Add in the butter, applesauce eggs and vanilla and stir until combined. Fold in your apples and any add ins*. Scrape the batter into your pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

    *good add ins are 1/2 cup of raisins or a 1/2 cup or chopped pecans.

    P.S. Isn't that bread pretty... lets keep it real here... the reason you only get to see one side of the loaf... my 3 year old helped himself to a hunk while it was cooling..lol Check out the links below where you can find my bread recipe and lots of other cool links...


    Sew Can Do-Craftastic Monday

    Project Inspire-Just Something I whipped up

    You are Talking too Much-Meet Me Monday

    Or So She Says-Great Ideas

    DIY Home Sweet Home-MMM #80

    Sumo's Sweet Stuff-Market Yourself Monday

    Mom's Crazy Cooking-This weeks craving

    Adventures of a DIY Mom-Terrific Tuesday

    Home Stories A to Z-Tutorials and Tips

    Not just a Housewife-Show me what you got!

    Family Food and Travel-Wonderful Food Wednesday

    Sew Much Ado-We did it Wednesday!

    Southern Lovely-Show and Share

    Someday Crafts-Whatever Goes Wednesday

    Creations by Kara-Look What I made!








    Thursday, October 25, 2012

    Losing track of time



    Well I have been inactive blog wise for a few days. I don't want to let it fall by the wayside. I like writing and building friendships here online. But sometimes life swallows me up.. Its a busy thing taking care of a 3 year old, a 2 year old and being pregnant. I have been freezer cooking since Monday. I cant do alot or get it done all at once. I have been having contractions.. So I have to do everything in stages. I am only 27 weeks pregnant so contractions are not a good thing. I did this with both the boys. I go early. My husband is 6ft 5in tall and just doesn't make small babies...and despite being a plus size girl from what my Dr says I am just built small on the inside so... Here is what I have done since Monday. I did 2 pans of chicken enchiladas... 2 pans of a chicken and broccoli casserole. I baked banana bread. I have cut and bagged almost 40 lbs of chicken... I have the chicken cooked so that tomorrow I can assemble... Chicken spinach manicotti... mexican chicken casserole... Chicken Parmesan and a few other things. The great thing about the chicken parm is I just breaded and cooked the chicken breasts...flash froze them so now all I have to do when we want to eat them is bake for 20 mins and they can be eaten with or without sauce... It gave me the idea for some chicken parmesan sandwiches too. I know it doesn't seem like alot but while I am doing all this I have to stop...fix and clean breakfast up... stop fix and clean lunch...and stop fix and clean up from dinner.. I have a big doctors appointment tomorrow for the sugar test... blah I hate that orange sugar syrup they make you drink. It makes me sick every time. I am going to stop by and get me a iced coffee as a treat after... have a small caffeine fix and hopefully come home and get this stuff done and over with so I can have a great weekend. I have to tell you the enchilada sauce I made may be the best I have ever got done. I have some left over in the fridge and I have an idea to make a chicken enchilada stack for dinner this weekend. What have yal been up to? Anything fun? I could use some fun right now.. fun to fight the exhaustion. Hopefully I will be back with some recipes as soon as I get this done...

    Cas <3

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

    I am still here just working away....Freezer Cooking

    I just wanted to say to any comments or new followers I have got in the last few days I will get back to you as soon as I can. We had a busy weekend... very full with fall plans. We had leaf fights and picnics...and campfire cooking. Lots of wonderful family time. Yesterday I was exhausted because 27 weeks pregnant and non-stop go-go-go with two very active boys is a recipe for being wore out. I did take the time to start gathering what I needed for today.... Today's adventure is freezer cooking. I plan on making at least 5 meals that can go in the freezer... This is very unplanned but hey go with the inspiration right? So far the main ingredient is chicken breast. Because that's what I recently got a good deal on. I got 40lbs of organic chicken breasts for 1.99lb. So part of it will be trimmed and cut up and just bagged for meals. Then half of it is going to be made into the actual meal and frozen. First up Chicken Enchiladas... I have to cook the chicken and make the enchilada sauce.. Then I am going to do some chicken spinach manicotti... I am going to throw together a bag or so of a crockpot meal..that way it just dumps and cooks...I also am going to do a couple of different chicken casseroles. I am winging it today but I will certainly post a list of what I was able to accomplish. Do any of you do any kind of freezer cooking? If so what is your go to recipes?


    So just know all my wonderful new friends I am not ignoring you... I promise I will be back.. just as soon as I get my head above the water...or out of the freezer...or away from the stove...lol.

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

    Weekend Wishes

    We have plans this weekend...lots of beautiful fall plans. So far a camp fire with a hot dog and marshmallow roast. Raking leaves pretending to fuss when my monsters jump in them. A picnic to a local historic battlefield location. So I may not post again until Monday... Till then I wanted to wish each and everyone one of my followers a Merry Weekend...a Happy Weekend... a Magical Weekend.


    Just in case you can't read it it says:
    -And above all watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places those who don't believe in magic will never find it.

    So this weekend I urge you...no matter what life throws at you...no matter what is going on... take a minute and find the magic. Its there you just have to look. Now lets go see if this night owl can magically make herself go to sleep.

    Friday, October 19, 2012

    The gift of Motherhood

    The best part of my day comes early before the world is awake and going...its when I hear those sleepy footsteps come rushing to my bedroom. I smile into my pillow when I feel him scramble up and over me...its a king size bed with lots of pillows but I know within a few moments I will have my pillow stolen. He will cuddle up to me and I will pull him closer wrap him tighter in my arms...I don't fall back asleep as quickly as him...My brain has woke up too much...I marveled a second too long at the gift he is. So I say a prayer of thanks slowly saying thank you for each of my blessings..Haven..Soren... Brian...this new little baby wiggling in my stomach...asking that they be protected and watched over..the list goes on till I drift back to sleep...depending on what time it is I may only have a moment...if I am lucky a few hours....Hours of him close to me... breathing with me...his heart beating near me...we were this close once...closer..for 35 weeks he was mine all mine and now I share him with the world..My last thought before I drift back off is usually that I almost missed this magic...I almost missed out on these amazing tiny moments...we wake up noses almost pressed together...tangled in quilts and each others hair..looking directly into each others eyes...the sweetest smile with sparkling blue eyes is staring right at me...he usually pats my cheek in the way I guess I have his since he came into my life...He says hello Moma every morning...and my heart melts...every time...it never gets old...it never gets boring...hearing those words is magic every time...seeing that face is a gift.. I am so very thankful for the gift of being a Mom...for the moments I get to share with him..both of them...all of them...being a Mom is the greatest gift I have ever been given. I am so thankful each and everyday...for every moment...for every second that I was given of being a Mom. At 17 being told I had cancer and 2 weeks to live... to surviving but being told I would never have children... Sometimes like right now I see that gift so clearly... so sparkling, so shiny and new. I hold on to these moments... Because being a Mom isn't always pretty...it isn't always fun... sometimes it hurts sometimes its heartbreaking... but no matter what the day brings... I held 2 little lives in my stomach... and if I am blessed in January it will be 3... I have had more blessings in this lifetime than some people see in several. I have been given the gift of Motherhood...and will be forever thankful.


    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

    Pumpkin Butter...and a temper tantrum

    Its that time of year...pumpkin pumpkin everywhere. There are alot of ways to use pumpkin. Since I am a Fallaholic...yes that's right I am officially addicted to Fall. Its my favorite time of year. I thought I would show you one of my favorite pumpkin recipes. Its pumpkin butter. Have you ever had a fruit butter? Like apple butter is pretty common...and peach butter is out there.. Basically what you do is you take pumpkin and some ingredients and then cook it low and slow. It is awesome served on toast, bagels, scones or a hot buttered biscuit. I have a few ways I like to use it that I will post recipes for.. but first things first I got to show you how I make it. Because you cant make the other recipes...if you don't have the star ingredient.

    Now I really like to make things homemade. Its fun for me. Generally my pumpkin butter is no exception. I love to get a pie pumpkin cut it and roast it and make homemade puree. I tried to do that this time. Except I bought an indestructible pumpkin. Nothing I did would cut it. I have never had this happen before. I used my sharpest knife...and then I sharpened it even further. I may or may not have went to my husbands tool box and got a screwdriver and hammer...ahem.. NOTHING WORKED! I then may or may not have had a little temper tantrum where I threw the pumpkin down outside on a concrete porch...and that pumpkin may or may not have BOUNCED...into the yard like nothing happened. Needless to say after gathering my Southern belle composure (haha) I proceeded with the recipe using a can of pumpkin. So check it out...this is the method before pumpkin madness...


    Pumpkin Butter

    1 can of pumpkin
    1/2 c + 1 T. Brown Sugar
    1 t. cinnamon
    1 t. pumpkin pie spice
    1/2 t. cloves
    2 T. Orange Juice
    3 T. Apple Juice
    2 t. vanilla
    1/4 -1/2 c. pecans

     Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast the pecans for 5-7 minutes. Put the pecans in your food processor and make a paste...adding a little pumpkin puree if you need to. I literally had to process it for almost 5 minutes with my little mini processor. Put all your ingredients in a sauce pan.. bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 35-45 minutes. Taste along the way and feel free to sweeten additionally or add more spices to your taste.This will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks... or you can freeze it for 6 months
    *you see those weird spaces up there... pretend it was on purpose and not just that I repel technology and blogger hates me...because no matter what I do...they wont go away!! Even my husband computer guru extrodianar tried and looked at me and said well you did it again...you broke technology.




    I am linking up at the following:

    Someday Crafts-Whatever goes Wednesday

    Mom's Crazy Cooking-This weeks Craving

    Southern Lovely-Show and Share

    Sew Much A Do-We did it Wednesday

    At Home, Take 2-Wonderful Food Wednesday

    Somewhat Simple-Blog Linky Party


    Blissful and Domestic-Friday Feature


    Western WarmthWeekend Warmth

    French Country Cottage-Feathered Nest Friday

    Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons-Kitchen Fun and crafty friday
     
    Simply Designing-Simply Linky
     
    The Shabby Nest-Frugal Friday
     
    Lovely Crafty Home-Lovely crafty Weekend
     
    Just us Four-Pinworthy Projects
     
    Homemade Simple-Foodie Friday
     
     
    Tatertots and Jello-Weekend Wrap up
     
    Six Sisters-Strut Your Stuff
     
    Or So She Says-Your Great Idea

     
     
    You are talking too much-Meet me monday
     
    DIY Home Sweet Home-MMM #79
     


    Let's talk dirty for a minute... as in laundry. Homemade Laundry Detergent Actually

    My monster man... is a dirty man. He does dirty stinky nasty work. I have 2 monster boys... they also like to get pretty dirty. Needless to say laundry at my house is a chore...and buying laundry detergent can put a dent in my household budget. For a while now homemade laundry has been blowing up the blog world and I really wanted to make it and save some money. I however refrained...because I wanted a guarantee it worked. I also wanted a promise that my super sensitive skin wouldn't have a meltdown that resulted in a trip to the dermatologist for shots... See I tried cutting corners with laundry detergent. I bought Sam's brand that was supposed to be comparable to Gain. Gain is what I always used so that is the results I wanted. I had a very bad allergic reaction and broke out everywhere... ahem...everywhere. That resulted in a huge dermatologist bill because I had to get shots... a few actually. Not to mention that I had to rewash every piece of laundry in my house because by the time we figured out it was the detergent it had been a while. So lots of money, time and hours of work lost. I swore off ever switching laundry detergent again...because it was worth the extra money knowing I wouldn't be a walking hive with itchy parts you cant really itch in public. Well you can..but people get all judgy. Almost a year passed and again I was feeling the pressing of the budget and couponing helps but not enough. So I looked into making my own detergent. Everywhere I looked I seen you had to buy bars of laundry soap and grate it...and then you mixed in a big tub and it didn't smell good. See that's the thing I need my laundry to smell good... I know its kinda vain and maybe silly but to me its comforting. I love at night after a shower burying my face in a towel and breathing in fresh laundry. Or how it smells when you pull a quilt out of the linen closet when you are making your bed... so yeah I need smell... Then there were recipes that you cooked and it made thick liquid detergent supposed to be similar to store bought... but it was hit or miss..every time I read a comment that said it was great the next one said it was awful. Also I read  more than one review that said it screwed up their plumbing and septic system...um yeah that's all I need cost the family even more trying to save money again. I didn't want to waste time and money on awful. So I kept searching. Till I came across a liquid recipe that involved no grating...and I it had good reviews. I made it and it didn't work as well for me as it did some of the other people... So I tweaked it a little changed some of the measurements...and added something to make it smell. So now I have been using it for about 3 months. I love it. It smells awesome. It gets my clothes clean..also it gets my stinky monster's clothes clean.. and the best part is...It only costs me about 1.20 a gallon (or less depending on the couponing deal I get for the dish detergent and smell booster)...and every gallon I can get between 26-30 loads out of... say what???  Yep its cheap its easy and it smells so good!!  Its all really thanks to the original post I found at One Good Thing by Jillee. You can click the link for the original...but below is mine.

    1 gallon of laundry detergent

    6 T. Borax
    6 T. Washing Soda
    6 T. Gain in Wash Scent booster
    5 T. Dawn dish detergent ( I use the blue original only)
    Almost a gallon of boiling water.

    I take a gallon jug. I recycled some vinegar jugs. I go thru alot of vinegar. I use it for cleaning and laundry. Anyways take a funnel and measure the Borax, Washing Soda, and Gain into the jug. Now I take a glass measuring cup that holds 4 cups and microwave water till it almost boiling. I pour that into the jug and shake..with the lid on. I take the lid off in between shaking though.  I leave this on my counter because it takes a little bit of shaking to make and get dissolved. I keep microwaving water and filling and shaking till I get almost half way full...by this time pretty much dissolved. So then I measure in the Dawn and shake some more... now this causes suds... but its ok... I shake into everything looks good and dissolved. Then I top it off with warm water directly out of the faucet and shake a again. As your topping off with the warm water the suds actually come out. Let it cool and its ready to use. I generally shake it before using every time. I use between 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup per load...depending on the size of the load. On my husbands really gross clothes I use about 3/4-1 cup.

    Here are a few things I thought you might have questions about:

    It doesn't make suds in the washer... that does not mean it is not cleaning.
    It is really thin and watery.
    It starts out pink because the gain granules are pink..
    It turns blue because the dawn.
    It has been great on my sensitive skin.
    It seems to me that the clothes actually smell better longer. Because when I walk into the closet or towel cabinets it smells fresh all the time.
    For each gallon I get between 25-30 loads.
    It costs me about .5 a load..gain costed me about .16 a load.




    Linking up at:

    Hope Studios-Tutorial Tuesday

    Sew Much a Do-We Did it! Wednesday

    Southern Lovely-Show and Share

    The DIY Dream-From Dream to Reality

    Farm Girl Friday

    Somewhat Simple-Blog Linky Party

    Blissful and Domestic-Friday Feature

    Western Warmth-Weekend Warmth

    French Country Cottage-Feathered Nest Friday

    Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons-Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday

    Simply Designing-Simply Linky

    The Shabby Nest-Frugal Friday

    Lovely Crafty Home-Lovely Crafty Weekend

    Just us Four-Pinworthy Projects

    Clever Chicks Blog Hop

    Tater Tots and Jello-Weekend Wrap up

    Six Sisters-Strut Your Stuff

    Or So She Says-Your Great Idea

    Project Inspire-Just something I whipped up

    You are talking too much-Meet Me Monday

    DIY Home Sweet Home-MMM #79





    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

    Me, Myself and I:October

    I got a new reader today and I hoped over to her page to check her out and get to know her. I do that will all you guys. Her first post was a set of questions that she answered. I thought it was great because it helped me get to know her. Since the only thing yal know are the bits and pieces of what I posted on my first-ever blog post I thought I would do it to...and maybe give yal the chance to know me a little better...you know without having to read an entire autobiography.. I followed her link back to the original and will post my link to their page so here goes.

    1. What is your favorite season?



     
     
    Without any hesitation I can say Fall. I wait for it all year long. I love the cooler temps... I live in the South and I understand as a woman we aren't supposed to sweat... so I glisten...alot...lol. I love the changing color of the leaves. I am looking outside my windows right now and my green Maples are kissed with orange and yellow. Everywhere you go there is a kaleidoscope of colors. We went up in the mountains the other day and stopped at an overlook... It looked like Mother Nature had laid out her most beautiful quilt. Reds, oranges, browns, yellows and green took my breath away. There is a magic in the air...almost a breathable sparkle that is only there at this time of year. This is my time of year... Summer kills me... The Fall breaths me back to life.
     
     
    2. Talk about a moment that changed your life.






     
     
    I could tell you a thousand moments that changed my life..that shaped who I am today.. but I will tell you about the biggest. When I was 17 years old I was diagnosed with AML Leukemia. I was given 2 weeks to live... because at the time that they found my cancer I was 39 percent cancer cells instead of blood. No one past 18 percent had ever lived. I was offered an experimental chemo that they hoped would give me an additional month. I took that chemo at the insistence of my Uncle Bron. He was the only one who could talk be into it. After the first round of chemo they could no longer find the cancer in my blood. In the end I took 7 rounds of chemo over the course of a year and a half almost. Each round of chemo had 2-4 drugs in it and lasted anywhere from 5-7 days. I almost died several times during treatment. I am now 31 years old. The doctors begrudgingly gave me the title of remission after the cancer never came back after the first chemo treatment...but I had to follow the protocol laid out and take all the additional rounds. It has remained in remission and I pray that it does so.. I pray everyday that it does so... So the moment that changed my life.. I became a cancer warrior!
     
     
    If you could be any crayola crayon color, what would you be and why?
     
     
     
     
    I would be midnight blue... because I am a night owl. Midnight is my morning. You know how everyone waits for sunrise.. Well I appreciate a beautiful sunrise.. but my heart sings underneath the moonlight. A full moon in a dark sky with diamonds sparkling around it will always be my time. I force myself to go to bed when my inner clock says stay up...no matter how early I get up midnight will always be my time!
     
     
    4.Describe yourself as a Superhero: Superpower? Name? Sidekick?
     
     
     
    Hmm I thought about this one alot...because its a good question. The truth is I probably would not make a very good superhero... I know myself to well. I probably wouldn't save anyone... because my kids need saving every 5 minutes and I am occupied enough with them. If I could fly it wouldn't do anyone any good.. I am afraid of heights.. and even if I could fly have you seen Ironman? The military tried to shoot him out of the sky.. and that would be my luck. If I was psychic enough I would totally be on a lottery number mission. So in short I don't think that I would ever be cut out to be a traditional Superhero... However I do think there is one that I could absolutely pull off.
     


    5.If you had all the money in the world but could only shop at 3 stores, where would you shop?
     
     
    Super Target
     
    Micheal's
     
    Kroger
     
    I have a confession it may get me kicked out of the girls club. I don't like to hardcore shop. I like to cook and craft and sew. I like to go to antique stores and flea markets.. but as for hitting the mall...ummm no thanks..
     
     
    Now if you enjoyed this head over to My Beautiful Crazy Life
    
     
    
    
    

    Monday, October 15, 2012

    Menu Plan Monday 10/15





    I menu plan just about every week. It helps me alot with time. It saves me money because if I am prepared we aren't as tempted to order takeout. But because I am pregnant sometimes my tastes changes so I make my menu flexible. I keep a list of meals that I plan on making that week on my calendar. I keep lunch ideas...snack ideas so I can feed my monsters in case prego brain kicks in...and the boys say we are hungry mommy...otherwise you know I might stand in front of the fridge staring in the cavernous depth with no clue what to make. Just in case you have never been pregnant...let me tell you a fun fact most moms leave out... I don't know if its a conspiracy...or they can't remember to tell you. Being pregnant destroys brain cells... I am so forgetful now its unbelievable.. I don't know maybe I was before 3 pregnancies... I can't remember..so I choose to believe babies are killing my brain cells. Anyways down to my meal plans for this week. Mainly I just list the main entree and leave sides off because its easy for me to do veggies etc... sometimes if I want something specific with them I will list the entire meal.

    Breakfast plans- Egg Nog French Toast, Pumpkin Muffins, Strawberry Yogurt Parfait, Baked Oatmeal Muffins (these are all the special breakfasts I plan on making. Most mornings we have toast with eggs, or we have eggs and biscuits...but if I feel inspired to make a special breakfast I list it on the menu...because otherwise shortly after the inspiration and acquiring of all ingredients...I will forget ) Breakfasts are usually with a side of eggs or fruit and a yogurt cup.


    Lunch plans- Tomato Soup with grilled cheese sticks, individual pizzas, homemade lunchable, pb & j with Veg. Soup, Baked chicken nuggets.. Plus they can have any leftover dinner items they choose. I generally serve everything with a veggie and fruit. So they have options of carrot sticks, broccoli fries, corn cobbettes, apples, bananas, and pears.

    Dinner Plans

    Teryaki Chicken and Veggies served over brown rice.

    Baked Pasta/Cheater Lasagna, Salad and/or Steamed Broccoli, and garlic rolls

    Parmesan Tilapia, Roasted Potatoes, Slaw, Hush Puppy Muffins

    Chicken and Dumplings Casserole, Green Beans, Faux Fried Apples

    Cinnamon Rolls, Trash Eggs, Baked Hash Browns (trash eggs-scrambled eggs with crumbled sausage or ham, cheese, sometimes mushroom or other veggies I have on hand)

    Hamburger Steaks with Mushrooms and Onion, Creamed Potatoes, Sweet Peas, and Corn Bread

    Camp Fire Hot Dogs, Chips, Slaw and Baked Beans (this is going to be our little home Halloween type party...kids requested the menu..and they requested to cook it over a fire)


    I stumbled upon a place where other people get together and show their menus... I think its awesome because its going to help give ideas for future meals so I am linking up. Go check out

    Menu Plan Monday



    Thursday, October 11, 2012

    Cheating never felt so right...

    I cant help myself. Sometimes I cheat. There I admit it. Ive got it off my chest. I am not the good little farm girl. Sometimes I am the bad girl...living life in the fast lane.... and by fast lane I mean sometimes I just don't have time to cook from scratch. So whats a girl to do... Take some help from the grocery store. That's right. Get it however you have to.. If its good and it makes you happy and your family happy then do it. My husband doesn't like sweets or so he says. Except occasionally I make something and he will literally make himself sick eating it..especially brownie experiments. So what does that mean. It means I go wild with brownies. I add things that make no sense. Sometimes it makes perfect sense when baked and sometimes I know that I probably need to go back to the drawing board. This is not one of those times.. I nailed it. Now the name might be confusing Strazzberry what is that? Well I make alot of jams and jelly every year and I experiment with flavors on those too.. this is made with my very own jam...its a strawberry-raspberry blend... but feel free to just use raspberry or you could do strawberry also... its all good. So go out and get the stuff...or if your lucky you have already got it in your pantry... and make these now!




    Brownies with a Strazzberry Cheesecake Swirl

    1 box of brownie mix (your choice of brand plus ingredients called for on back of box)
    8 oz cream cheese softened
    1 egg
    1/3 c. sugar
    1/2-3/4 c. Strazzberry jam thinned a little
    Vanilla-optional
    nutmeg-optional

    Preheat your oven to 350 (or the temp called for on the brownie mix). Grease the bottom of a 9 by 13 baking pan.

    In 1 bowl mix your brownie mix with the ingredients it calls for on the back of the box following the directions. I listed vanilla as optional because I replace a tsp of water with a tsp of vanilla extract. Just because its out of the box doesn't meant you cant boost the flavor.

    In another bowl mix the cream cheese, sugar, and 1 egg until smooth. I like to add a splash of vanilla here also and a dash of nutmeg... Admire my technical cooking jargon.. if I had to put a measurement on the vanilla it would be 1/2 tsp..and the ground nutmeg would be just a sprinkle. Again your just boosting the flavor so you can choose not to use those optional ingredients.

    For the jam to be thinned you can heat it for just about 20 seconds or so in the microwave...

    Now put half the brownie batter in the bottom of the pan. Spread it out as evenly as possible.

    Next put the cream cheese mix over top...again spread evenly as possible.

    Top the cream cheese mix with a thin layer of the jam. None of this has to be perfect as your spreading some batter will probably peak through. Its ok..

    Now follow it with the last layer... The rest of the brownie batter again spreading it out as evenly as you can.

    Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes (ok the time could change based on the mix you use. Start with the time on the back of the box...check it.. if they are still really wet add 5 mins and check again. With the batch in the picture I started at 23 minutes and went all the way up to 33)

    Now cool and enjoy!


    Linking up at:

    Somewhat Simple

    Someday Crafts-Whatever goes Wednesday

    The 36th Avenue- Share Awesomeness

    At Home Take 2-Wonderful Food Wednesday

    French Country Cottage- Feathered Nest Friday

    Blisfull & Domestic- Feature Friday

    The Shabby Nest-Frugal Friday

    The Fresh Egg Farm Girls-Farm Girl Friday

    Six Sisters-Strut your Stuff

    Or so she says-Great Ideas

    Western Warmth-Weekend Warmth

    Project Inspire-Just something I whipped up.

    DIY Home Sweet Home

    Skip to My Lou-Made by you Monday

    You are talking too much-Meet me Monday

    Family Food and Travel-Wonderful Food Wednesday

    Mom's Crazy Cooking-This Weeks Craving

    Monday, October 8, 2012

    Where did the weekend go?

    So I am sitting here surrounded by Christmas and Halloween Crafts... It feels like a bipolar holiday. On one side of me is bats..and another is Santa Claus. It was one of those weekends that seems to fly by... some fun... some smiles... a bunch of stuff goes wrong. Today I sat down and worked on a few holiday things. I am trying to finish a garland for our mantle.. little black felt bats... and maybe some twine and fabric.. I will certainly post a picture when it gets done. For now although its a bit ahead of schedule I got an ornament done for our tree. See our tree is a mish mash of different ornaments. No two are alike. At one time I made and sold my arts and crafts. I was always so busy making things for other people our tree suffered. I got the urge today to make one for my tree..so I broke out my sculpting tools and clay. Here is what I came up with.


    So now you know a bit of what I did this weekend. What were you guys up to? Did you get crafty...or maybe creative in the kitchen?

    Linking up with the following.

    Project Inspire- Just Something I whipped up
    Sew Can Do- Craftastic Monday