Monday, December 12, 2011

13 days until CHRISTMAS!!!!

Can you believe how fast the time is going by?!? Are you rushing yet to get everything done? Is your house full of craziness and excitement?? Have you started your baking? There is SO MUCH TO DO this time of year!! My Family has spent the last week moving so we haven't even had the chance to THINK about Christmas!! I know so many people stress alot this time of year making sure they have everything done and perfect! But don't forget to stop, breathe, relax and DANCE!! That's right! Grab your kids, your spouse, your neighbors kids or whoever, turn on some music and just dance!! I promise you will feel better!! AND it could even win you a GREAT prize!! Email me a picture or video of you, your kiddos or spouse dancing to be entered into the drawing!! I promise it's a GREAT PRIZE TOO!!! Here are the rules: Send me a picture or video of someone in your Family dancing to by Friday December 16th. I will post each of them and then you get your friends to "like" my page and go comment or like your photo. The person with the most votes wins!!! Happy Dancing everyone and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas is Coming!! Have Your Kids Been Nice?

Can you believe Christmas is less then a month away?! Is it just me or do kids seem to act up more around Christmas time? At least mine does!! And lately he has been TOP NOTCH NAUGHTY!! What would be a better way to scare your kids into good behavior then a personalized message from Santa Claus himself!! That's right!! My good friend Lee over at LDP Production is offering personalized messages from Santa!! You can listen to the demo here.  He is GREAT at what he does and because he is such a great guy he is offering a $20 deal for Cyber Monday!! You can email him at  for details!! I can't wait to see the look on Troop's face when he gets his message!! Merry Christmas ya'll!!


Monday, November 14, 2011

Fantastic Fried Chicken!!

So I recently found out Cpt Hunk loves Fried Chicken. You would think after nearly 10 years and me ALWAYS cooking, he would have said something!! Oh well. It reminded me of a great recipe that I haven't used in years and thought I would share it! It's one that has to marinate so be prepared ahead of time! Remember, handling raw chicken can be dangerous so be sure to wash your hands thoroughly and spray your counter when you are done! I use Clorox anywhere spray!

Fantastic Fried Chicken

4 lb chicken, cut in 8 pieces or 8 legs, thighs or drumsticks
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp ground dried oregano
2 cups buttermilk

Mix the spices together and add to raw chicken. Mix so the spices coat the chicken. Then pour the buttermilk over the chicken. Let marinate for 6-8 hours or overnight.

Flour Mixture:

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder

Fully coat the chicken in the flour mixture. Heat up about 2 quarts of oil (peanut or canola are fine) to 350 degrees. Then add the chicken and cook for about 20 minutes. Super easy, super crunchy and super yummy!! Goes great with mashed potatoes and gravy!! I used the chicken stock from my freezer meals to make the gravy!!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Budget Friendly Spice and Seasoning Mixes!

The other day I opened up my pantry in search of something and found a packet of taco seasoning. I thought to myself "Where in the WORLD did that come from?" I have NEVER used taco seasoning for my taco meat! I pulled it out and remembered a recipe I used awhile back called for a packet of the stuff and I must have bought two of them. So it got me thinking and made me wonder how many people actually use the stuff to season their taco meat. Hence, the question I posted on Facebook. I got to doing a little research and found out that those taco seasoning packets are one of the most popular seasoning packets that are bought!! REALLY!?!?! In MY opinion (hope not to offend anyone) I DO NOT like the stuff. If I wanted mushy red meat in my tacos, I would go to Taco Bell! Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE me some Taco Bell, I just don't want my home made tacos to taste like it. However, there are so many of you who DO love the stuff and I just wondered, do you know how EASY and CHEAP it is to make? Stop spending $1+ on pre made packets and make your own!! I bet you have all the ingredients in your cabinet! And I'm not just talking about taco seasoning. You can make so many spice blends that are EXACTLY the same as what you find in the store for a FRACTION of the cost!! Plus, you don't have to worry about all the extra salt, preservatives or mystery ingredients that usually just call themselves "spice". Hmmm... On that note, here is a recipe for some home made taco seasoning that is JUST like the store bought stuff!

Taco Seasoning

1 tbs chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp course salt

Mix together then add to beef with about 1/4 cup of water. This makes enough to season 1 lb

Here is a link that has a TON of home made spice recipes! Not only are they super easy to make but they can also make great gifts! Everyone needs spices, right? You can even make them cute!

Another super easy home made concoction I wanted to share with you is Hot Cocoa mix. We go through the stuff like crazy in the winter at our house! We just made a big container of it the other night and it sits on our counter for easy access!

Hot Cocoa

25 oz powdered milk
11 oz powdered creamer (They have so many flavors but I use plain then add the flavored creamers laters)
16 oz Nesquick
1 cup powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt

Mix it all together and store in an airtight container. Use 1/4 cup of mix for a cup of hot cocoa! ENJOY!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Food Pictures!!

Apparently, today is NOT my day!! Some pics from my camera got deleted from my card and I'm not really sure how...But, I still have three pics from my cooking day on Friday!! I seriously cooked from 9 am til 330 pm! I got everything done except my bread, chili and empanadas!! I was pretty proud of myself!! Plus with all the chicken I boiled I made a TON of stock!! My plan tomorrow is to get all of the hamburger meat cooked up so I can make my chili and empanadas! Today I am making bread. I found some hazelnut flour at the store so I am SUPER excited to make some hazelnut bread! YUM!!

Here is all the food right before I began! I forgot to mention while I was doing all of this I was also cooking yummy food in my Crock Pot for my Friend's Bday party which I had that night!!

Potatoes for the breakfast burritos!!

Most of my finished product!! 1 jar plus 24 little muffin cups of chicken stock!!

We actually had one of the bags of the healthy BBQ chicken last night! It was delicious! The only complaint were the sweet potatoes. Neither of my boys really liked them!! Next time I will use regular ol' russetts!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Shopping List WITH Recipes

Hey Everyone! Sorry it's so late. I had a shopping list all typed up for ya and then blogger closed out on me without saving! UGH! BY then I had to start dinner for the Fam!! Anyway, I decided instead to inlude links to where you can find each recipe so you can pick and choose what you want to make and then go from there!! These are the meals/items I will be preparing tomorrow:

Healthy Mama BBQ Chicken
This page includes a couple other recipes as well!!

Corn, Black Beans and Beef Empanadas

Breakfast Burritos

Pizza Crust

Honey Wheat Bread


Chicken Pot Pie Filling

I will also be making prepared hamburger and taco meat as well as shredded chicken! Also, Chili!!
Here is the recipe for that!!

1 1/2 pounds ground beef (80% lean)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups tomato sauce
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 15oz can red kidney beans (rinsed, drained, warmed)
1 pound spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 medium sweet vidalia onion, minced

In a large dutch oven, add the oil along with the onions and cook until they soften. Add the ground beef to the pot. Saute the beef and break up the meat with a potato masher.
Once the beef has browned and is broken up, add the garlic, followed by the spices - chili powder, cayenne, dried oregano, cocoa powder, ground allspice, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground black pepper and one teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in the tomato sauce, broth, water, vinegar, sugar, and drained beans scraping the pan bottom to remove any browned bits. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer. Stir occasionally until the chili is deep red in color and has thickened slightly, roughly an hour. Season with salt and hot sauce to taste.
To serve, plate up spaghetti and top with chili. Garnish with cheese and onions if desired.
* To make ahead/freezer meal - Prepare the chili as directed above and allow to cool completely. Place in a freezer safe container and freeze. When ready to enjoy, defrost completely and bring to a simmer over medium low heat before serving.

I know this seems like a lot but I promise you (as well as your Family!!) will be satisfied with the end result!! I will post pictures as well as talk about how my cooking went on Monday!! Happy Weekend everyone!!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Preparing for Freezer Meals!

This week I have decided to spend an entire day preparing MRC's (meals ready to cook) for my Family. I have spent the last few days preparing and making sure I have everything I need for these freezer meals!! I am very excited and will be sharing all of the recipes as well as pictures from the BIG DAY!! I thought, in case some of you would like to join me, whether at my house or from your own homes, I would blog today about the things you need to know before hand! I thought about typing it all up on my own but Troop isn't feeling good today so HERE is a link where you can download, save and print all of the info!! I hope you are as excited as I am!


Monday, October 3, 2011

Wash My Washing Machine?!?!

The other day a dear friend of mine called me in distress because her washing machine was leaving strange spots on her shirts! She asked if I had any idea why or what it could be. My first thought was, "Your washing machine must need washed." Sounds crazy right?! We all already dread the "L" word and the thought of having to wash out the washing machine after doing all the laundry sounds less than appealing! Luckily, you only need to do it every few months! If you use liquid fabric softener I would recommend doing it once every six weeks or so. Here are some easy tips to cleaning out your TOP LOAD washing machine.

First, run a cycle of hot water along with two cups of vinegar or lemon juice to loosen up the soap and grime. Remove the fabric softener receptacle and soak it in hot water and detergent. Clean the bleach dispenser with a spray cleaner, paper towels, and Q-tips. Don't forget to clean the top rim of the wash bucket which is up and under where it can't usually be seen easily. Run the washer empty on a hot cycle one more time.

While this is going on, check all your hoses for leaks. Over time, the water hoses that came with your washing machine may start to leak or even burst. It is good preventive maintenance to check these hoses from time to time for any sign of wear or weakness. Most manufacturers recommend replacing hoses every 5 years. Make sure your hoses are not a disaster waiting to happen!

Once you've soaked the fabric softener receptacle, replace it and polish up the outside of your washing machine with vinegar and a cloth towel. Your washing machine now looks better and will run better as well!

My dear friend, however owns a front load washer. I do not. So I did some research and found some ways to prevent the mildew smell and water build up in your FRONT LOAD washing machine.

•Always leave the door and dispenser unit slightly ajar after the laundry is done. Front-load washers and the detergent/softener dispenser drawer must dry out.
•Never leave a wet washload in the washer overnight; remove it when the washing cycle is complete and leave the door open.
•After a load is done, always rotate the drum with your hand to see and remove all items. Some could be sticking to top or sides of the washer drum.
•Use softener sheets in the dryer instead of liquid softeners in the washer.
•Liquid detergents may leave less residue than powdered formulas which may not dissolve properly.
•Use less than the recommended detergent level for your load. Too much detergent can cause a residue build up. Experiment until you find a minimum measurement that delivers a clean wash. This is also a money saver.
•Occasionally wash some loads such as whites, linen and towels in warm or hot water to help flush out wash residue.
•Always clean your washer as per your product manual. High efficiency front-load models have a cleaning cycle and it's imperative that you periodically run this cycle as directed.
•Check the gasket just inside the door opening and remove any visible debris. You can also wipe it to speed the drying process.

I hope this helps some of you out! Feel free to share your own tips to cleaning out your washing machine!! Happy Monday Ya'll!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Even The Best of Us Have THOSE Days!!

My sister recently emailed me a recipe for Crockpot refried beans!Being a HUGE fan of mexican food (both cooking and eating) of course I wanted to make them right away! On a side note, does anyone really like the smell of soaking/cooking pinto beans? I sure don't and Captain Hunk DEFINITELY doesn't! So on my first attempt to make the beans, I put everything in the crockpot and went to bed! We started smelling the beans in the middle of the night. At 7 am the next morning, Captain Hunk came home from PT and said "Those better be the BEST DANG beans I have ever tasted because the whole downstairs STINKS!" I went down to check on them and all of the water had cooked out of the Crockpot and the beans were burned to the sides! So if you think cooking pinto beans stinks then you should smell BURNED cooking pinto beans! It was BAD, to say the least!! But it didn't keep me from trying batch number two, which I immediately started!! Thank goodness I own two Crockpots!!  THis time they turned out FANTASTIC!! The only downside is I felt like I had to add more salt because they were a little bland! We still ate them though! Don't they look yummy?!
So I decided to make them again for my friends only this time I changed it up a bit and did green chiles instead of the jalepenos it originally called for. It made a WORLD of a difference in flavor. No extra salt or seasonings was necessary. I have the best friends who are always willing to be guinea pigs for my new creations!! So I decided to share a few recipes with you that I think went very yummy with the beans!! First here is the bean recipe:

Refried Beans

1 onion, peeled and halved
2 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
½ fresh jalapeno or other hot pepper, seeded and chopped (I subbed this with two fresh chopped anaheims)
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
One big pinch of cumin
6 cups water

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker.
       Cook on high for 8 hours or overnight while you are sleeping.
       Remove the bigger onion chunks and drain the excess liquid. If desired, save excess liquid until the final product is desired consistency. I HIGHLY recommend this!
       Mash remaining beans with a potato masher and voila! You have homemade refried beans. I don't have a potato masher so I just put my beans in my Kitchen Ninja and pressed the pulse button until they were to my liking!! And by the way, Captain Hunk thought they were pretty dang delicious!!

Next I thought I would give you my salsa recipe!! Now before you get TOO excited, keep in mind this is my FRESH salsa recipe and not the one that many of you have tasted. That recipe is staying locked in my book until someone steals it from me or I die!! :) In my opinion though, I think I am starting to like this fresh one more and more!! Here are some of the ingredients ( as well as some for our next recipe) that I started with.


1/2 bunch cilantro
2 lbs roma tomatoes
3 fresh Anaheim green chiles
1-2 fresh jalepenos
1 medium yellow onion
2 Tbl Lemon Juice
Garlic Salt
Cayenne Pepper
Chile Powder

Put the tomatoes in  boiling water and boil for 5 to 10 minutes or until skins begin to come loose. Then place them in a cold water bath. Mean while, finely chop the onion. The chop the green chiles as well as the jalepenos. You may roast your green chiles if you like. I turned on my gas stove and did it that way! :)

Peel the skins off of the tomatoes and cut off stems. Then add the tomatoes and cilantro to the blender and blend until smooth.
Put all ingredients in a bowl. I don't really measure my spices so you can put in how much of each until it tastes to your liking! Also, if you like to add extra yummy stuff to your salsa, try adding a fresh chopped peach or mango. I made one jar of regular and one bowl of mango! The mango was my favorite!!

The next recipe I want to share with you I found on Pinterest. A FANTASTIC website with creative ideas! I can't really take credit for it other then the extra avocado I added!

Guacamole Salsa

1 lb. tomatillos (or more if you want it thinner)
1 jalapeno pepper (or more if you like it spicy)
1/3 bunch cilantro
1 thick slice of onion
1 garlic clove
1 avocado
1 tsp. salt

Peel and wash the tomatillos - they are usually found over by the cilantro & peppers, and have a husk on them. Cut them into quarters and put in the blender. Follow with the jalapeno, cilantro, onion, garlic, avocado & salt. Be sure to put the tomatillos in the bottom of the blender and not the avocado so it doesn't stick to the blade. You might have to help it start by shaking or using a mixer at first. But, once it gets going the juice from the tomatillos will help move the other ingredients around.

I decided to add an extra avocado because my tomatillos were very citrus(y). And you can never have TOO MUCH avocado!! :) It was so yummy and disappeared quickly!! Don't always judge things by the way they look! ENJOY!!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Green Chile Mashed Potatoes!

I have been doing HORRIBLE at staying on the task of blogging everyday! It just seems like it's that time of year when things start getting crazy! But the exciting news is I am about to announce our giveaway winner and I am giving you a recipe today!!

Green Chile Mashed Potatoes

6 large potatoes rinsed, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup milk
2 4 oz cans chopped green chiles
4 Tbls butter
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes until soft. Dump in a bowl and add milk. Blend until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir together. These are rough estimates of the amounts I use. You may add more or less of each ingredient depending on desired taste or thickness! Captain Hunk usualy adds triple the amount of butter and cream cheese! There are many ways to make this side dish, but this is MY way! This is a great complement to steaks or chicken on the grill!


Friday, September 9, 2011

1st Giveaway is FINALLY here!!

 So I know I originally said that I wasn't doing a giveaway until I reached 100 fans, BUT I decided that I already have ALOT of amazing fans! So let's do a giveaway NOW!! Woo Hoo!! Everybody loves cookies right?! What about cookies served in a hot pan, topped with ice cream and chocolate and caramel and...Ok, you get the picture!! Well my Family LOVES these cookies in a pan, also known as Skookies!! So I decided for this giveaway the prize would be This!!!  YEP!! All of that! Two pans, hot pads, a recipe book AND cookie mix!! Awesome right?! You know you want this to be yours!! So, here are the rules. Go to our Facebook Page. Click "Like" to become a fan. (I know a lot of you are already fans on the page.) Then promote "Jack's" page on your page and share with your friends!! Let's see how many NEW fans we can get!! Once you have promoted the page on your own, leave a comment or click Like under the post with THIS SPECIFIC BLOG! Then I will add your name to the drawing pool!! If you don't have a Facebook page then tell a friend about us verbally and leave me a comment on here so I can add you too! Tell your friends about the giveaway so they can have a chance too!! This is for ALL of my fans, no matter where you live! I will ship the prize directly to you!!! I will announce the winner on Wednesday Septmeber 14th! Thank you all for your support and GOOD LUCK!!!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Farewell Mr. Hamilton!

Have you ever had an appliance that you just absolutely LOVED?! I do. Well, I have several, BUT, I have a Hamilton Beach hand mixer that I got for my wedding from my Aunt Lorrie 9 years ago! It came in a cool case with three different attatchments. I use this mixer for ALMOST everything. (The Kitchen Aid is used for bread doughs and whipping cream.) I can't even tell you how many dozens of cookies and bowls of Green Chile mashed potatos (sharing this recipe soon) we have been through together! More than I can count! Anyone who has been to my house in the last 9 years has probably seen me use this, or used it themselves. Just the other day I thought to myself "This mixer wants to last forever!" Well folks, I jinxed it! Just today I got him out to whip up some yummy cookies for our new neighbors and just as I was mixing in the chocolate chips Troop yelled "IT'S ON FIRE!!!!" He wasn't really on fire but he was smoking and then finally chugged his last little chug. Thankfully the cookies were already mixed. Out loud I said "What a sad day." Troop said "It's not a sad day! We get to eat cookies!" I love his optimism! So with that said, I have to say goodbye to my trusty hand mixer and begin the hunt for a new one. NOT COOL! So I decided in his honor I had probably better eat a few of these cookies instead of taking them ALL to the neighbors, since they were his last batch and all! If you know where I live, I have plenty to share!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie and Chocolate Chip Cookies!!!

I'm not going to lie! I use the Hershey's Chocolate Chip cookie recipe right off the back of the bags of chocolate chips!! It's my favorite of all of the ones I have tried. I am a chocolate chip snob and prefer Hershey's milk chocolate chips. Or the REALLY good kind from Bakers in Utah! (Thank you K!!) You can order from them here. I live in a place with very high elevation and my cookies always come out flat if I don't use enough flour. I have to add ALOT more to get my cookies nice and plump!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 cup flour (3 1/2 cups for High Altitude)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups chips (any flavor)

Soften (not melt) butter. Add sugars, vanilla and eggs. Mix well. Add dry ingredients. Mix well. If you are using the high altitude recipe your dough will start getting crumbly like this:

Don't fret! Keep mixing and you will come out with a nice moist dough like so:

Add the chips and mix well. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet. Don't roll them too big or you will end up with burned edges. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-9 minutes. I pull mine out before they are completely cooked through to help them stay soft! Store in an airtight container. Don't these look AMAZING?!?

This next recipe is one of my prized posessions!! I spent many hours coming up with and perfecting this recipe! I even have the original paper that I wrote all of my madness on! Check this out:

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

1 lb chicken cubed
1 cup carrots chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup celery
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup onion chopped
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp celery seed
1/8 tsp ground oregano
1/2 tsp garlic salt
2/3 cup milk
1 3/4 cups chicken broth

Finely chop all of the veggies:

Combine carrots, chicken, peas and celery in a big saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes. Drain the water. Add the onions and butter. Saute until butter is melted. Combine flour, salt, pepper, celery seed, oregano and garlic salt in a bowl. add the milk. Whisk together until the flour is dissolved. Add the chicken broth. Stir again. Simmer until thick and creamy like so:

Pot Pie Crust

1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbl butter 1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup milk

Mix together flour, powder, and salt. Cut in the butter like so:

Cut the butter in using a pastry blender. Blend it in very well.

Add the milk and mix until the flour is all mixed in and the dough is soft.

Roll the dough out to about 1/8 inch thick. Using your ramiken dish, (The dish you will cook the pies in.) cut four round pieces. You will use these for the top of the crust. Using something smaller, cut four more for the bottom piece. after they are cut, roll them out a little bigger and thinner. PLace the bottome pieces in each dish.

Add the batter to each dish then top with the crust. Using your fingers, press the crust to the inside edge of the bowl.

Cut four small slits for breathing holes and bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Unfortunatley, I don't have pictures of the finished product because I made this for another Family tonight and took them over unbaked!

I promise your Family will love these! The individual dishes make them fun! This makes enough for four medium sized dishes. You can also bake it in an 8x8 baking dish and cut the crust to fit! My Family enjoys cottage cheese with ours!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

JUST a House Wife?!!

Today I decided I want to give you a look into my everyday life. Someone the other day scoffed a little when I said I was a stay at home Mom. "Oh, so your just a house wife." was there response. JUST A HOUSE WIFE?!? I was sitting at the Dr and didn't really feel like defending the rest of us "House Wives" at that moment. I have been thinking about it and it kind of got me angry but then it made me feel bad for the girl. She obviously does not have the opportunity that I do to get to stay at home and take care of my Family. So maybe she was jealous? Or did she really think being a "House Wife" is a pitiful thing? Either way, I documented my whole day today so YOU can see what type of things this "House Wife" does during the day, you know, aside from eating my Bon Bons and watching Soap Operas. GAG!

6:05 am: Troop knocks on my door wanting to cuddle in my bed.
6:20 am: Beach Body work out for 45 mins. Today was Cardio, lower body and abs
7:15 am: Start making breakfast so my boys start the day off good! Today was Blueberry muffins with strawberries and bananas. That means I had to bake the muffins AND cut the fruit! WOW!
7:45 am: While the muffins were baking I mixed up 5 DOZEN chocolate and peanut butter chip cookies.
8:00 am: Eat breakfast with my boys
8:30 am: Clean up breakfast/dishes and continue baking the rest of the cookies.
9:00 am: Get showered and ready for the day. Captain Hunk was nice enough to get Troop ready for me today! :)
9:40 am: Get Troop in the car and head to pick up my Visiting Teaching Companion. I won't go into detail about how we got extremely lost on our way to the first house!
10:15 am -12:20 pm: Visit sisters in my ward.
12:30 pm: Come home to feed Troop lunch.
1:00 pm: Load Troop back in the car and head to Target to pick out Thomas the Train stickers for Troop's dinner chart and chicken broth. And GO ME for ONLY buying what I needed! :)
2:00 pm Start preparing dinner. Chopping carrots, celery, onions and chicken, only to find out Captain Hunk has a meeting and won't be home until 7:30ish so he was heading home for an early dinner then heading back to work.
2:45 pm: Put my prepared ingredients back in the fridge for tomorrow and figure out something quick I can prepare for Captain Hunk.
3:30 pm: Try to get Troop to lay down on the couch with me because he was in SERIOUS need of a nap. Plan failed!
3:45 pm: Wake Captain Hunk up from his quick snooze and then fold my last load of laundry that I didn't get to yesterday.
4:30 pm: Troop thinks we should make "Jello shapes." I only have one box of Jello. So Off we go to the Commissary for another box of Jello, and oh ya, the cottage cheese that I had forgotten for our pot pies. Good thing we aren't having them until tomorrow.
5:00 pm: boil some water to make our Gelatin. Get it all mixed up and put in the fridge. Troop keeps running to the kitchen every 5 minutes to see if it is Jello yet!
5:15 pm: Feed the dog...I forgot to mention I did that this morning too.
5:25 pm: Sit down to Blog.
There you have it folks! Keep in mind I still need to make dinner for Troop and myself. I think it's a chicken nugget and carrots kind of night!
Don't get me wrong, I definitely have days where I get together with my favorite girls and we just chat the day away while the kids play, but going nonstop with chores, chasing Troop, grocery shopping errand running and so on is the norm. And THIS "House Wife" wouldn't change it for the world!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Marzetti (Squiggly Spaghetti)

Here is a recipe, as promised, with ground beef! I found this in an OLD recipe book my super awesome Great Aunt gave to me! It's called Marzetti, but as it seems to go in my Family, Captain Hunk calls it Squiggly Spaghetti! It's pretty yummy and very easy! If you aren't a mushroom person, it tastes just fine without them! :) This recipe makes 2 (2 quart) casserole dishes. I always cut the recipe in half. You may make both and freeze one for up to three months! I LOVE freezer meals!


1 (12 oz) pkg egg noodles
2 Tbl butter
2 large onions, chopped
2 cups sliced frsh mushrooms
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground oregano
2 (10-3/4 oz) cans tomato soup
1 (12 oz) can tomato paste
2/3 cup water
2 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Butter 2 (2 quart) casserole dishes. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain; set aside. In a large skillet, melt 2 Tbl of butter. Add onions and mushrooms; saute 5 to 6 minutes or until onions are tender. Crumble in beef; continue to cook, stirring until meat has lost its pink color. Drain off fat. Add salt, pepper, oregano,tomato soup, tomato paste, water and Worcestershire sauce. Cook and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in drained noodles and 2 cups of cheese. Divide mixture evenly between the two dishes. Top each casserole with 1 cup of cheese. If preparing ahead, cover unbaked casseroles tightly with foil and freeze upto three months. To serve, bake, uncovered 45-55 minutes (1 to 1 1/4 hours if frozen) or until heated through.

I plan to make this for dinner tomorrow night so I will add pictures to this post tomorrow! :)

It's not JUST the Terrible Two's.....

I found this article on CNN the other day and thought many of you would enjoy it! Don't forget to take the Quiz at the end!!

Two-year-olds get all the buzz, but the truth is, tantrums and mayhem can strike at any age, for a variety of reasons. "Most toddlers begin testing limits shortly after their first birthday and continue until about age four," says Ari Brown, M.D., author of "Toddler 411."

So how did the Terrible Twos become such a pop-parenting phenomenon? "It's an old-fashioned idea and not supported by research," says Alan Kazdin, Ph.D., director of the Parenting Center at Yale University. The term was coined in the 1950s, perhaps because so much pressure was put on families to be detergent-commercial perfect that the moment a child grew out of compliant infancy, moms were freaked out.

But modern parents agree -- every kid is different, and every year presents new joys and challenges. Read on for a fresh perspective on each stage. 5 tantrum stoppers that actually work


What's to love: They can be wonderfully cuddly. And since many 1-year-olds haven't yet realized the power of the word "no" to antagonize you, they can often be more compliant than their 2- to 4-year-old sibs. Their distractible nature means you can get them to stop fiddling with the oven knob by giving them a pot and a spoon to bang with.

What's tough about it: Establishing good sleep patterns is still a struggle throughout this year, as you drop the morning nap, lengthen the midday one, and solidify bedtime. All that snooze drama can make for an overtired, cranky kid. In addition, his limited vocabulary makes for misunderstandings. (He says "nana." You put him on the phone with Nana Helen. He wanted a banana. Cue meltdown.)

How to make the most of it: They need about 13 hours of sleep (11 at night and 2 during the day), so try to make it happen, suggests Bronwyn Charlton, Ph.D., co-founder of SeedlingsGroup, a collective of child-development experts in New York City. Inadequate sleep stacks the deck against you: A tired toddler is a cranky toddler.


What's to love: There's no denying it -- 2-year-olds are stinking cute! Their curiosity about the world is infectious. And while they certainly get into trouble, their mishaps feel accidental, making them easier to forgive.

What's tough about it: Two-year-olds are fully mobile. Translation: They're into everything. And that means this is the first time you've had to set limits (no climbing the bookcase, crossing the street, or picking up cigarette butts off the sidewalk). Your child has never heard "no" so many times in her short life -- and she doesn't like it. To top it all off, 2-year-olds don't yet have the language to express feelings, so they resort to pitching fits. Their young brains can't handle extreme emotions without going a bit haywire.

How to make the most of it: Praise often: "You didn't throw any toys today! Great job!" When she blows her stack, ignore her, as long as she isn't hurting anyone. Yelling or attempts to subdue -- even with affection -- make tantrums last longer. Kazdin notes that a tantrum is a futile time for discipline. "Wait until your child is able to absorb what you say." Why toddlers throw tantrums


What's to love: The reasoning skills that can make life with a 3-year-old trying also make it easier for him to understand why he has to wear sunscreen. And his ballooning vocabulary means no more misunderstandings. Plus, how cool is it that you're having a conversation with your kid?

What's tough about it: "Research shows that age three is the peak of defiant behavior," says Kazdin. You're more controlling (you have to be -- he's a force of nature now!), but he wants autonomy desperately, which makes life a series of battles. And your child is up for it: That improved reasoning lets him enter into high-level negotiations ("I'll put on my pajamas now if you give me a piece of chocolate").

How to make the most out of it: If what he's doing -- say, taking all the clothes out of his drawer -- isn't hurting anyone, ignore him. "Behavior that gets no attention will go away," promises Charlton. In nonnegotiable cases, carefully restrain your child or move him to another place.


What's to love: Your child's personality expresses itself more, so you'll know her triggers and what to do when something does set her off. And since she's likely in preschool now, you both get a break from each other. That makes a big difference in your energy and patience.

What's tough about it: Think age 3, but with an even larger vocabulary with which to slay you. Plus, 4-year-olds are navigating new social waters in the outside world, so they're more likely to act up at home.

How to make the most of it: When she has a fit, stay calm. Afterward, ask "Can you think of something better to do next time?" Share your own tricks, too: "When I get upset, I like to close my eyes and take a deep breath." 10 clever ways to get your child to give up the pacifier

Do you have a terrible or terrific 1, 2, 3, or 4-year-old? Take our quiz!


Your 18-month-old fights like mad against being strapped into his car seat. You finally click the buckle. He...

A Wails for the whole 20-minute ride to the store and bites you when you take him out.

B Cries for five minutes and then falls asleep.

C Is quickly distracted by the sippy cup you offer.

Every morning when you leave for work, he...

A Clings to you for the entire 30 minutes before you go, as you apply mascara, choose earrings, and eat breakfast. If you attempt to put him down or hand him off for a second, he lets the entire neighborhood know that hell hath no fury like a baby scorned.

B Sobs as you say goodbye and bangs against the door for a few minutes after you've gone.

C Objects just enough for you to feel loved.

It's time for her afternoon nap. She...

A Hides under the couch where you can't reach her and shrieks amid the dust bunnies.

B Allows you to put her in the crib, but rattles the railings and cries for 20 minutes.

C Falls asleep if you stroke her cheek for a minute. Incredible kids birthday cakes you can bake


In the car, your son drops his favorite book in that spot where neither of you can reach it. He...

A Screams bloody murder until you pull over and get him the $#&!ing book.

B Cries for a while but settles down when you hand him a small bag of Cheerios.

C Says "Oopsie!" and gazes out the window.

Your daughter can't get the shirt off her doll. She becomes frustrated, but when you offer to help with the undressing, she...

A Yells "No!" and whips the doll at you before breaking down in tears.

B Throws the doll on the floor and gives up.

C Sits quietly and watches how you do it.

At a playdate, your boy's friend snatches something he was playing with. He...

A Throws himself on top of his friend and wrests the toy out of his hands, twisting his pal's arm in the process. In front of his mother, no less.

B Whimpers a bit, then engages in a brief tug-of-war with his playmate.

C Looks annoyed but quickly finds another toy.


Walking out of the mall, she asks to be carried. You're pushing her baby sister in a stroller. When you refuse, she...

A Throws herself down in the middle of the parking lot, forcing you to break out some heavy-duty threats (no Disney World, ever!) or bribes (a lollipop! Five lollipops!).

B Moves as slowly as an inchworm, stretching out the trek to the car to an agonizing 20 minutes.

C Scowls briefly.

Your son finishes his ice cream and asks for more. You say no, and he...

A Tantrums so hard that he throws up.

B Repeats "But why?" in Most Annoying Voice Ever for five minutes before giving up.

C Says "I really like ice cream a lot."

You give your girl a pink cup instead of red. She...

A Spills the contents of the offensive cup on your shoes and squawks "Wrong, Daddy!"

B Whimpers until you make the switch.

C Pouts cutely when you say the red cup is dirty.


Your daughter notices that you have given an eighth of an inch more juice to her brother. She...

A Spills both glasses out of spite.

B Surreptitiously switches the glasses.

C Asks for a little more juice, please.

When it's time to leave the playground, she...

A Screams "No way, lady!" then keeps playing.

B Hard-bargains 15 more minutes out of you, but then leaves calmly.

C Nods in agreement and begins searching the grounds for her lost hair clip.

Your son is playing superheroes. When his friend tells him he can't be Iron Man because he's not strong enough, your son...

A Demonstrates his strength by punching him.

B Tells him he doesn't want to play anymore and hops on your lap for a cuddle.

C Ignores the unkind remark and keeps on playing.

How did your kid score?

Two or more C's We don't believe you. But if you're telling the truth, consider yourself very lucky. That kid is a dream.

Two or more B's Your child is typical, with good and bad days. That's to be expected from a "preoperational thinker" (illogical and unable to consider other points of view), which is what all kids are until about age 6.

Two or more A's Twenty percent of babies are born with a high-need temperament, which can last years. A spirited kid is exhausting, but he is not "bad" and, with your love, will grow up happy and well-adjusted.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Flour, Flour, FLOUR!!

This morning I was at the grocery store and nearly SQUEALED with excitement when I saw my brand of flour in 20 lb bags!! You think I'm crazy, right? Think again!! About 8 years ago my Mother in Law gave me a bucket of flour that she brought home from New Mexico. I used to think flour was flour. NOPE! This stuff was AMAZING!!! It is SO fine that you never have to sift it! It makes baked goods turn out light and fluffy and is just all around amazing!! The bad part was no where in MT sold it so my Mother in Law ordered it in bulk so we could stay stocked up!! When I moved to Colorado my Aunt found a local grocery store that sold it, but only in 5 or 10 lb bags. We go thru too much flour in this house!! Sometimes they run out and that makes for a very unhappy Wife! Now that I know I can get it in the big bags, I will be adding it to my food storage!! Someday I know I will live in a  place where I don't have such easy access to it!! I think everyone should try it out!! It's called Blue Bird flour and is made in Cortez, CO. I know many places in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Texas sell it. If you can find it, try it!! It is a little more then regular flour but it is SO WORTH IT!! I promise! If you would like to find where you can buy it, click here and you can call the number!! To my Colorado friends, you can buy it at King Soopers or Albertsons. It's on the bottom shelf in the baking aisle in a cute white flour bag!! Happy Baking!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Jack's YUMMY Peanut Butter Cookies!!

Don't those look delicious!! First of all, I apologize again for missing yesterday!! I hope these cookies will make up for it!! You know you can practically smell them RIGHT NOW and are rushing to your kitchen to bake them!! The main secret to this recipe is...wait for it... CINNAMON! Yep!! I am a little bit of a food snob and I get GOOD cinnamon that is 5% saigon! YUM!!! You can buy that from Food Wise!

Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 mins! You may add kisses or peanut butter cups for some more yumminess!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Armed Forces Vacation Club!!!

Hey Everyone, I know this is not a traditional post, but I felt like it was unfair to keep this info to myself!! I know I have quite a few followers who are Military and this applies to YOU!! My Aunt told me about this site and it is an AMAZING way to save money on your vacations!! Not to mention is has some GREAT places to stay! Check it out!! Click here to see it!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Yummy Chicken Parmesan!! (Yogurt Chicken)

I know it's Monday but with me leaving for a few I wanted to make sure I got in BOTH recipes for the week! This one is a Family favorite!! Traditionally known as Chicken Parmesan, Captain Hunk named it yogurt chicken and the name has stuck! This recipe was requested by one of our followers and I decided to share it with everyone!

Yogurt Chicken

2 cups Ritz crackers crushed
3 Tbl grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp garlic salt
8 Boneless, Skinless chicken breasts
1 cup PLAIN yogurt
1/4 cup butter melted

Combine the cracker crumbs, cheese and garlic salt. Dip each piece of chicken into the yogurt, then roll them in the cracker crumbs. Place in a 9x13 baking dish. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 mins. Serve on top of thin spaghetti noodles with your favorite sauce and sprinkle with fresh Mozzarella!