Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tasty Tuesday- Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli and Rice casserole

Okay, this meal honestly took me about 13 minutes, and it was delish!
1 can of Chicken broth
2 cans of chicken
1 bag of broccoli cuts, thawed
2 cups minute rice
6 oz Velveeta cheese, cut up into cubes

Okay, so this part is super hard, are you ready? Boil the chicken broth. When it's boiling throw in your rice, mix. Then throw in everything else. Cover, take off heat. Let it sit covered for 10 minutes, then stir until all the cheese is melted. Voila'! You're done. It's yummy, and both my husband and my kids loved it. I call that a win! Although it wasn't as saucy as I would like. I think next time I'll throw in a can of cream of chicken soup.

And for all you who don't give a rip about recipes or projects, here's a couple pictures of my kiddos doing their favorite activity :)

Don't you just love the concentration on their faces? :D

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A mini update while I'm in Christmas present making mode. :)

I have been ignoring this blog shamelessly. It's because I've been busy. I finally finished one whole Christmas present last night at about 9 p.m. (it had a lot of parts I'd been working on it for awhile) and so today instead of barreling into the next project, I decided to deep clean my house. When I'm working on a project, a lot of things slide. I still do the dishes that need to be done in order to eat, wash the clothes that need to be washed so we can all be decent, but I don't fold and put away any of it, in fact, most of mine and Tyler's is currently in a pile at the foot of the bed, and I don't scrub counters (and you can tell) so today I'll be cleaning all day, then I'll watch my episode of bones while I make the pattern for my next project and get back in the grind tomorrow. I feel bad for neglecting this blog so much, but I absolutely have to get out my packages by the first weekend in December or else they won't get to the recipients on time. I also just ordered my Christmas cards and I'm working on my Christmas letter, I'd like to get them out by December 1. I like to enjoy my holiday, not be stressed about cards and presents and such. Can you believe that Thanksgiving is in a week? What are you thankful for?
 I'm thankful for my little girls and their daddy.

And I'm grateful for the simple things in life. :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday whatever-Giving back

Wednesday Whatever, HA! Funny right? Anyway, I wanted to share something with you all that happened to me last night.
So it's been snowing up here, a lot. And the base housing office will give you a "ticket" if you don't clear the snow off your driveway and the sidewalk within 24 hours of snowfall. More often if necessary. So Monday night I went out and shoveled 4 inches of snow off the driveway (btw, did you know that an hour of snow shoveling equals 700 calories burned?) and my neighbor across the street was shoveling with one of those all plastic crappy little shovels. I always cringe when I see one of those, sure it costs much less than a good shovel but it takes you at least 5 times as long and it doesn't really get all the snow off anyway. And if any of it is packed down, say from your car driving in and out of your garage, forget about it. It just can't get it off. Anyway, so after I finished mine, I walked across the street and offered to help the guy with the crappy plastic shovel. He said no thanks, about 3 different times. Then I offered to let him borrow my shovel, "no thanks, I'm buying one of those tomorrow" Okie-dokie dude. If you want to do everything the hard way, who am I to stand in the way of your happiness? :P So it's the next night (Tuesday) and it had snowed a little bit, not a lot so it wouldn't take that long. I get all bundled up, start up my ipod and start scraping the tire tracks (I do the hard stuff first, makes your lines easier) so as I'm going along I notice a little lady (meaning short and petite) scraping a driveway two doors down from mine...and she had one of those crappy plastic shovels (honestly people, it's Alaska, you'd think we'd all know better by now right?) so I finish up the tire tracks and I look back over at the lady and I just get one of those impulsive feelings. So I stop doing what I'm doing and walk over to where she is chipping away at over a week's worth of driven on snow. She looks up and asks, "Can I help you?" I said, "Actually I was wondering if I could help you." She says yes. I was happy because I like to help people. And we are both scraping away and I find out that she doesn't actually live there, she is the supervisor of the guy that lives there. He is deployed and his mother lives there with his kids. She's got chronic back arthritis and I met her a little later, she was also bald, which usually equals chemo and cancer in my head. I was floored. Here was my neighbor, I had no idea that she needed help, and I followed a feeling and it ended up being a blessing for this lady. So I helped the supervisor. We scraped that darn driveway in negative 10 degree weather for over an hour. I brought over my shovel and my heavy duty ice scraper. I was thanked several times by both Mary (the lady who is living there) and Dana (the supervisor) and it was nice. I like helping people but it's really nice when it's someone that really needs the help. When I was done doing that driveway I said my goodbyes and walked back to my house and finished shoveling my driveway. I was on such a high. Helping each other is what we're all here for. We're all in this together. I told Mary when she said thank you "tis the season" and it really is. November means being Thankful. For me, when I'm focusing on what I'm thankful for, I want to bless others too. Charity means more than giving money to the Salvation Army, it's being willing to be out scraping for an hour extra when I could have had mine finished and back inside in 15 minutes. I'm not trying to toot my own horn because I am far from perfect but I just wanted to say that sometimes what someone needs is so simple and easy to give, you just have to be paying attention and be willing to listen to that feeling. I hope during this season to help many more people. :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tasty Tuesday- Lasagna casserole

Okay so this is pretty darn quick, tasty, and since I use bow-tie pasta, the kids love it. SCORE! First I wanted to show you something funny. :)

Apparently this is what happens when I boil water during the winter. That'll get old fast. :P Anyway, back on topic. The recipe. Ta-da!!
1 box Farfelle (bow tie) pasta
1 lb ground turkey (the lower in fat the better)
1 26 oz can spaghetti sauce ( I used the kind that comes with meat in it, because that's the kind that I have a million of for my food storage)
Freshly grated Parmesan, you'll need the whole wedge
2 cups Mozzarella
2 cups frozen mixed veggies (because anytime I can sneak more veggies into my kiddos and hubby is a GOOD thing lol!)
2 Eggs
1 lb cottage cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Okay, cook up your meat, if you used ground turkey you shouldn't have to drain, if you used ground beef than you definitely will have to. While your meat is cooking, get your water heating up for your pasta, while you're waiting for the meat to cook and the water to boil, mix most of your grated Parmesan (I'm really wishing that I measured this but one of those little wedges you get in the refrigerated section grates down to two cups or so. I leave out about a third of it for later but throw the rest in the mix) sorry, so mix 2/3rds of your Parmesan, your cottage cheese, 2 eggs and salt and pepper. Mix well. By this time your water should be boiling so throw in your pasta. When your meat is done add it to your cottage cheese mix, then add your veggies and pasta sauce. When your pasta is done, throw it in there too (I'm sure you've figured out that you need a large bowl for this. ;D)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spray a 9x13 with cooking spray. Throw about half of your pasta mix on there. Toss 1 cup of your mozzarella  and half of your remaining Parmesan on top, even it out. Then put the other half of the mixture on, even out, then top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Throw in the oven for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

p.s. Funny little thing about Parmesan. It took me a lot of years before I realized that the dusty stuff in the green sprinkling can is NOT real Parmesan. It's so much yummier and stringier when you use the real stuff. Especially if you're making an Alfredo sauce, mmmmmmm....yummy.
Yes, this picture was taken after hubby had already dug in. Oh well, at least he liked it! :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thoughts of the day, being Thankful

I've been a little MIA on the ol' B-LOG, but I have a good excuse, I've been working my little behind off getting Christmas presents done. It sucks because that means I can't put them up until after Christmas since most of the people I'm making stuff for read my blog, that would be lame to ruin the surprise SO I'm going to change gears for a bit, I'll still be putting stuff up but I'd like to focus on Thanksgiving. I've noticed myself kind of skipping over Thanksgiving and just treating it like a dress rehearsal for Christmas dinner, but this year I want to focus on Thanksgiving as it's own holiday, the traditions, the meanings and especially focusing on what I am thankful for in my life. Today I am grateful for my little girls. They are always giving me kisses and cuddles and I just love being a mom and I think that I have the most adorable little girls on the planet, (of course I am not biased in any way, shape or form hee hee!) I am very happy and content in this life that I have chosen, sure there are difficult days, but the rewards completely outweigh the hard things.

During my Thanksgiving research I came across this little tidbit: did you know that the original Thanksgiving meal not only had turkey but also waterfowl, venison, fish, lobster, clams, berries, fruit, pumpkin and squash? Most of those have continued on in Thanksgiving tradition except the seafood. I never would have guessed except it would make sense, Plymouth colony was on the coast, it would make a lot of sense to serve seafood. I'm thinking about having crab (because I don't like lobster) on the table this year, in honor of the first Thanksgiving. :) Have a wonderful day everyone. Recipe tomorrow!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tasty Tuesday- Creamy Caramel Fruit Dip

Oh dear heavens, thank goodness that it's November!! Yay! I'm so excited. My favorite t.v. show (Bones) is coming back on Thursday, people don't look at me like I'm crazy when I listen to Christmas music. Woo hoo! BUT it also means that there's only a few weeks before everything has to be shipped out from up here or else risk it being late. I guess it's time to get presents cranked out. I've got a lot of cool things on my list this year, I'll be taking pictures as I get them done but won't be able to share them with you until after Christmas, wouldn't want to ruin surprises. Anyway, so I threw my first Halloween party yesterday (although really, there wasn't much Halloween about it) and it was great. But can you believe that I didn't take a single picture?? Lots of yummy food and good company and zero pictures. Oh well. One of my favorite recipes is my mother-in-law's Creamy Caramel Fruit Dip, despite the name, there is no caramel in this recipe.

Creamy Caramel Dip 
1 Pkg (8oz) cream cheese 
3/4 C packed brown sugar 
1 cup (8oz) sour cream 
2 tsp vanilla extract 
2 tsp lemon juice 
1 C cold milk 
1 pkg (3.4oz) instant vanilla pudding mix 
In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Add the sour cream, vanilla, lemon juice, milk and pudding mix, beating well after each addition. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. Serve with fruit.
Oh my YUM. This is one of those dips that you put a ton on and people say, "Hey, you want some fruit with your dip?" ha ha! I love it and it's perfect for any party. Apples and this dip is pretty much what I ate for breakfast. lol! Enjoy! I know I did. ;)