Category Archives: Food

Monster Treats

Last week we went to a friend's house to make a little Halloween treat. She found the idea here on Pinterest. These were really easy to make and the kids had a lot of fun. We decided to make them with Fruity Pebbles because her daughter doesn't like Rice Crispies. This was a delicious substitution!

You just make crispie bars, melt some chocolate, then decorate. Easy easy easy. Goofy faces and thumbs up were had by all.

After the treats, the girls had Alex chasing the remote control car around. It was the funniest thing. 🙂

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Best Breakfast Potatoes Ever

I was looking for a good potatoes and veggies meal and I came across this recipe from The Pioneer Woman for the “Best Breakfast Potatoes Ever”. And they don’t disappoint. I would be surprised if any of the food she made wasn’t delicious.

I have made this a number of times and I love it more every time. It’s really simple and you can add/eliminate anything you want. I’ll admit I add WAY too much food, but who cares if there are more peppers and onions mixed in? Chuck and I won’t complain. Smile

You literally chop up the peppers, onions and potatoes, throw some butter, olive oil and seasonings in a bowl, mix, dump on a pan and throw it in the oven.

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That was with purple potatoes, a small Yukon Gold potato (because it needed to be eaten), a red onion, two medium yellow onions and I think 4 small-ish bell peppers. That picture was before I put it all in the oven. It cooks for about 30 minutes. This was a HUGE batch so it didn’t get quite as browned/crispy as other, smaller batches have gotten, but there were no complaints.

Here is the meal after it is cooked. It doesn’t last long on my plate. Chuck likes to add cheese to his.

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Back when we first started dating and neither of ate any vegetables, we used to make something similar on the stove top with chicken and potatoes. I commented to Chuck one night when we were eating this that I couldn’t believe we ate the chicken and potatoes meal before without peppers and onions. It just seemed wrong. He laughed and told me I had come a long way. Smile He is right, and I am happy about that.

Definitely give this one a try. You won’t be disappointed!

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Yogurt Bites

I saw on Pinterest, long ago, that you could use regular yogurt and make your own yogurt bites. I filed this away on one of my boards and promptly forgot about it until we were in the baby food aisle and my kids wanted yogurt bites. So instead of buying my 4 and 2 year olds baby treats, we headed to the grocery section to buy some yogurt.

All you need to do it get some yogurt (I imagine you can use any kind, but I let them pick the flavored they wanted). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Fill up a plastic bag with the yogurt and cut a small hole in the corner to squeeze the yogurt out. Then just squeeze the yogurt onto the parchment paper into bite-sized pieces.

After you have the tray filled, place it in the freezer until they harden.

Then remove them from the parchment paper and place them in a plastic bag in the freezer for snacking.

 

The girls went nuts over these. They were easy to make and the girls had fun watching me make them and picking out the flavor they wanted. And it's something they can go get for themselves to snack on. (Which I always love!)

Just note that they do start to melt if you leave them out too long. But no problem! Just get a spoon and eat them right up! And for this reason, it might be a good idea to put them in a bowl or on a plate so they don't melt all over your table or hands. Just think of all the stickiness! 😛

 

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Quesadillas

These Quesadillas that I found on Pinterest are my new favorite go-to meal. The recipe made about 9 of them. I ate one and froze the others and I pull them out to have for lunch or dinner. They are so tasty and I’m usually disappointed that I only cooked one. 🙂 Now I will be sure I keep my freezer stocked full of them.

The only changes I made were that I used slightly less than a full packet of seasoning. I don’t usually like a ton of taco seasoning. I also added a small amount of water to make everything stick together well.

If you’re looking for a tasty meal to have on hand, I highly recommend making them. Also drink them with a little ‘Rita of some kind if you have it. Yum!

 

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Quinoa Chili

I’ve been trying to broaden our food menu and try some new foods. We don’t usually eat much (if any) meat at home, so I have been trying to find some more vegetarian meals that we like. We had some friends over recently, I was in the mood for chili and I had just seen a friend post this yummy Quinoa Chili recipe and her family gave it rave reviews. I was sold!

The house was a little crazy with the kids running around and our guests, so I didn’t take any pictures while I was making it. But you really just throw everything in the pot and cook it up! (Well. You need to cook the quinoa first.) I was pleased it didn’t need to cook for a very long time (like some chilis do) and it was really easy to make. The recipe said to add the corn at the end, but I added it along with everything else since I used frozen corn. I also used petite diced tomatoes because I don’t care for large chunks of tomatoes. And I did add the lime and cilantro (the recipe says they are optional, but why leave them out!?)

The chili was a huge hit and we all went back for seconds, with our friends asking for the recipe. I’m always up for trying a recipe when it comes highly recommended from a friend. If you are looking for a meatless chili, that isn’t overly bean-filled, but will still make you full, try this one!

After four of us had seconds, I was still able to save some for leftovers and still had enough to freeze for another meal! Here’s a picture of the leftovers (when I remembered to take a picture of the meal).

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The Amazing Grape Cutter

This may seem weird how excited I am about this little tool, but I love it! I was wandering through the store when I saw my new favorite gadget. It jumped into my cart so quickly!

First, my kids love fruit. In any form. They adore grapes, but they are such a pain in the you-know-what to cut into pieces they won't choke on (stupid grapes). This thing is great. It quarters the grapes so quickly that I won't dread buying grapes anymore. I took a bunch off the stems and then cut a huge pile in a minute or so! This is a bowl after they had eaten most of them.

I am planning to use this a ton in the future as Alex starts eating solid food. You could cut up all sorts of things into little bites quickly! Now, go to amazon and buy one for yourself right away!

 

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SodaStream

I broke down and bought myself a SodaStream. I really don't like drinking water, but have come to like sparkling water. A friend of mine has one and raves about how much she loves it and uses it all the time. I must say, I'm hooked. I have started drinking more water than I normally do and it's just plain fun to make it!

If you're on the fence, I say go for it! I haven't tried the drink mixes that come with it because they are packed full of sugar. I have definitely found a new gadget I love, and I'm looking forward to trying some flavor conditions of my own with it!

(Also, I got the “Jet” and found the best price through Target with free shipping and 5% off with my redcard.)

 

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Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery

My mom came to visit us during her spring break from work. One of the fun things we did (that I had been wanting to do) was go to Chateau Ste. Michelle. It is only about 15 minutes from my house and since we had a nice morning, we went to visit and take a tour.

The grounds were beautiful. They have a small area with grape vines near the entrance (which I didn't take a picture of), but their vineyards are in another part of Washington.

The tour was quick (took about 30 minutes), informative and fun. This location bottles Riesling. The machines weren't running the day we were there, but it was still really neat to see.

There were lots of boards/displays to read (which I didn't spend much time doing because the kids were with…and because I usually just look at the pictures).

There were many barrels of wine being stored. It's amazing to think of the amount of wine they can store inside them.

They also do a concert series at the winery in the summer. There was a big sign of the artists that played in 2014.

After the tour, they lead you into a big room for the wine tasting. We got to try three different wines: Chardonnay, a summer blend and Merlot. Yum!

Then you can go into another room for a paid sampling or browse the gift shop and wine shop. I was going to buy some wine, but decided I would wait for now. I'd love to go back and do a more thorough wine tasting when I don't have three kids with me and then I will buy some!

The kids were all really good and I think they even had fun. Maddie was even listening because she was able to tell Chuck about it later. They offered crackers to the kids and grape juice. So if you take kids with you, that might be fun for them. The winery also has a couple of peacocks on the grounds. We did see them from a distance as we left, but weren't close enough to get a picture of them.

Overall, it was a lot of fun and a fun morning outing to do. I don't think I would go alone with the kids because well, wine sampling with your kids was a little awkward. But if you bring a friend with, it wasn't nearly as weird. 🙂 I will definitely be back, though. And I think I'll make plans to check out the other winery across the street, too!

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Crockpot Fajita Soup

I had a request or the recipe. Since I changed so much, I figured I should do a post to show how I made it.

I have to say that I'm not usually very good about finding a recipe and modifying it. Especially the first time. Usually, I would try a meal following the directions and then change it up the second time. I guess I was feeling daring.

HERE is the original recipe I found on Pinterest.

These are the changes I made:

  1. Eliminated the chicken. I decided to make this a vegetarian meal.
  2. Instead of adding two cans of cream of chicken soup, I made my own “cream of anything” soup mix that I also found on Pinterest. I used vegetable bouillon for the mix. Then added the recommended amounts of mix and water for two cans worth.
  3. Used vegetable broth instead of water.
  4. Added a can of pinto beans.
  5. Added a bag of frozen peppers and onions.
The meal was really good and so very simple to make. I'm already counting down the days until I can make it again! This is definitely going to be a staple in my rotation of meals and I think you should try it, too.

 

 

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Annibirthary 2014

Last week, Chuck and I celebrated our 10th anniversary! And on the same day, I turned 34. It was a big day last week. We spent our day in a pretty unconventional way for an anniversary…packing/decluttering our house. (But we did take our early anniversary trip a couple months ago to NYC.)

We did have a few visitors. My friend, Nicole, and her daughter came by in the morning to play. The girls love her daughter and they play really well together. Her daughter is the same age as Dannie and she is due with a boy a few weeks after our boy is born. Nicole brought some pizza for lunch. My dad also stopped by to bring me my birthday potatoes. Yep. That’s what I wanted….twice baked potatoes. He gave me lots of them and they are delicious! He also brought a fruit bouquet. It was a yummy lunch!

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And my mom came by to bring some lovely flowers, dinner (Chinese food), a couple cards and then stayed through nap time to help us clean out some things and helped Chuck move some furniture around the house that I can’t help with. It was such a helpful and wonderful gift.

I was also a super spoiled girl! My sweet hubby got me a new iPad. I got an iPad right after Maddie was born and the girls have pretty much taken it over. So as a birthday/anniversary/new baby is coming gift, he surprised me with a new one! I was so excited. My case came for it yesterday, so now I feel like I can use it more without the fear of breaking it every time I touch it. Smile

I was also lucky enough to have two birthday dinners with some girlfriends. I have some wonderful people in my life and I am so thankful for all of them!

It was a wonderful year and I am so excited for all the big things that are to come for our family this year!

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