Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tis the season to be...



The Holidays seem to be coming quicker than a freight train..I was ahead of the game before Halloween but I have since fallen prey to the disorganization of the season. The girls are sick, my house is a mess, I missed my hair appointment due to the above mentioned illness and I am just behind.  I had such grand plans for myself, I was going to be one of those moms that everyone looked at and said.."How does she do it all?""

My original plan for the season:

"I will not be behind this year, I won't find myself shopping on Christmas eve"


                (Note to self, start checking sales ads)

"I will not be putting up our Christmas lights in blizzard like conditions". 

                (Note to self, remind husband to put up lights)

"I will not be mentally scrambling to find the perfect gift for mom, dad, husband and children"

             (Note to self, start some lists. Be a good listener to any subtle hints)

"I will make something exciting for Thanksgiving a fun desert or new side dish"

         (Note to self, start trolling for new recipes)


Reality Check: 

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and the kids are sick so we are staying home, I didn't have time to plan any thing so our dinner will be courtesy of Honey Baked Ham and Bob Evans! 

Black Friday is the next day- I have 2 things on the list and neither is a Black Friday item nor on sale anywhere. I also have no idea what to get for my mom, my dad or my husband.

The lights aren't up and we are supposed to be getting a big dump of snow tonight and the weekend looks like a weather mess.

I guess I could try again with a new plan or just scrap it and stay in my pajamas tomorrow with the girls enjoying our store bought, last minute dinner..

Note to self, tomorrow will be the very best day because I will be home with my family, hunkered in and snuggled up and trying to recover from all sorts of things! 

For a million reasons, tomorrow I will be extra Thankful!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and may your holiday be filled with extra blessings!
Stephanie

(Please don't forget to enter the awesome Tutu giveaway in my previous post)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tutu Giveaway!

 "Anything you can imagine is real"
-Author unknown

I find myself consistently surrounded by talented women and wanted to share about a friend of mine. Heidi and I had little girls around the same time and once Heidi became a mother she also became inspired. Heidi has since started a small business creating tutu's and eventually she hopes to plan tutu birthday parties.  My daughter has some adorable handmade tutu's from Dress up Designs and I have received many a compliment. 

This is the tutu she made for my Abby's first birthday, it was purple and had a lace detail that made it unique.
                                        

When she made a tutu dress for Abby to be a Tutu Scarecrow I truly fell in love, I couldn't believe how many compliments we received on her costume!

                                     

I am lucky enough to team up with Dress up designs for my first giveaway. You can win a dress from 0-6 or a tutu skirt in any size. Dress up designs has made adult tutu's, teen tutu's, flower girl dresses and of course many other designs. Enter the giveaway and once the winner is announced we will do our best to have this to you by Christmas.  These are perfect for parties, birthdays, holiday photos or just a regular dress up kind of day! Thank you Dress up Designs.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here are some other adorable tutu's made by Dress up Designs!






Monday, November 11, 2013

Grocery time with my girls..

              "You only truly appreciate your parents when you become a parent yourself"
                                          -Author unkown

  I have been constantly amazed at the amount of words my two year old is learning. It feels like every time I turn around she can say 10 more words. When my daughter turned two it seemed like she had her own plan and ideas and they conflicted with mine. Most times her and I are on the same page but sometimes we aren't and that makes for some trying times. I try so hard not to laugh at her when I shouldn't but her face is so cute and serious that I can't help myself. Now that she is learning 1000 words a day (so it feels) I find my self staring in awe and thinking to myself. 

"I have the smartest two year old in the universe"



I do find that the more words she learns the easier it is to understand her when we are mis-communicating and I love this. She can tell me when it hurts and where, she can use words to let me know when she wants more juice and can pick the snack she wants. We find it amazing when she can fill in words from a favorite book or when she says someones name for the first time.

This weekend I was at the grocery store with the girls and while I was searching for the milk I heard my sweet two year old say..

"uh, oh toot?" I laughed and said..thats okay baby. Then she said.. 

"uh, oh, sissy pooped?" I replied with a " nope, sissy didn't poop" Abby replied with a hearty and kind of loud..

"buh bye, poop" (this is what she says when she is done pooping)

Out of the corner of my eye I can see this couple enjoying my conversation with my sweet girl. I can just tell they are parents by the way they are trying not to laugh. Just when I think that we have moved on from all the toot and poop talking.. I hear her toot!

" Uh, OH Mom, toot?"

She tooted and then asked if it was me, I started laughing and said.. "nope, mom didn't toot it was Abby"..

The couple that was trying not to laugh just lost it and gave in to the funny.  When I walked by them I said...
"You can't do anything because she will call you on it"

Abby always makes me laugh and I guess I should be careful when in public because if she learns more words we could be in trouble.  At least the nice couple had some free entertainment at the grocery store..










Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Skinnytaste- Mexican Carnita in the slow cooker! Grandma's birthday.


We just celebrated my Mothers birthday and I wanted to handle the menu, she watches our daughters when we work and does a fabulous job! I know I could never really repay her but when we have a chance to celebrate her I try to do my best. I had previously made the Carnita's for just my husband and I and they were fantastic so I knew this would be a hit. 

We all grew up in Arizona so my family just naturally loves Mexican Food, I wanted to make a few different items and Skinnytaste has so much to choose from. I had previously also made the Green chile enchiladas and knew those would also be a hit. My little sister jumped on board and also made Fried ice cream. This post will be full of great recipes.

If I haven't said it before, I say it again. I love skinnytaste! You have to check out her website and I believe her cookbook is soon to be on the shelves.

Skinnytaste Mexican Carnita


Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork)
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 4 oz (1/2 cup)  Old Points: 4 pts  Points+: 4 pts 
Calories: 176 • Fat: 7.7g  Protein: 25.8 g  Carb: 1.3 g  Fiber: 0.1 g


Ingredients: 
  • 2.5 lb pork shoulder blade roast, lean, all fat removed (I used Smithfield)
  • 6 cloves garlic, cut into sliver
  • cumin
  • dry adobo seasoning (I used Goya)
  • garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup 99% fat free chicken broth
  • 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (to taste)
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions:

Season pork with salt and pepper. In a medium sauté pan on medium-high heat,brown pork on all sides for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Using a sharp knife, insert blade into pork, cutting small holes and insert garlic slivers. Season pork generously with cumin, adobo and garlic powder all over.

Pour chicken broth in the crockpot, add bay leaves and chipotle peppersPlace pork in crock pot and cover. Cook low for 8 hours. After 8 hours, shred pork using two forks and combine well with the juices that accumulated at the bottom. Remove bay leaves and adjust salt and cumin (you will probably need to add more). Let it cook another 15-30 minutes.

****if you are unable to find adobe seasoning, I made my own from this allrecipe.com site**** 
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/tracis-adobo-seasoning/


Next I made the green chile enchiladas. This recipe seems like it takes alot of time but the second time I made this it went alot quicker. I couldn't find fresh Jalapeno so I used jarred and it tasted just as good as fresh jalapeno. These are also so light and are just as delicious the second day. I am using skinnytaste pictures becasue I haven't yet mastered taking my own food pictures. 




Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas with Creamy Green Chile Sauce

skinnytaste.com 
Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1 enchilada  Old Points: 4  Points: 5
Calories: 230 • Fat: 7.3 g  Protein: 20.4 g  Carb: 28.7 g  Fiber: 12.2 g  


Ingredients:


For the Chicken and White Bean Filling:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
  • 15.5 oz can Navy beans (or Cannellini beans)
  • 8 oz cooked shredded chicken breast
  • 1/3 can water
  • 1 chicken bullion
  • 1 tsp cumin
For the Green Chile Enchilada Sauce:
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup fat free chicken broth
  • 7 oz can chopped green chile
  • 2 jalapeños, chopped (I used jarred)
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 3/4 cup reduced fat Mexican cheese
  • 8 medium low carb tortillas
  • chopped fresh cilantro or scallions (or both!)

Directions: 
    Preheat oven to 375°.


    For the Filling:
    In a medium pan, heat olive oil on low. Add onions, garlic and saute until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add green chiles, beans, water, bullion, and cumin. Mix well and cover.Simmer on low 15 minutes. Remove cover, add chicken and cook an additional 5 minutes, or until it thickens and liquid boils down. Set aside.

    Green Chile Enchilada Sauce: 
    In a large nonstick pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and starts to turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add flour and stir well. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth. Whisk until the sauce becomes smooth. Cook over medium heat until the sauce boils and thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Add green chiles, jalepeños, and salt to tatse. Cook another minute then remove from the heat. Stir in the sour cream.

    Spread about 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish.Fill each tortilla with 1/3 cup of the chicken/white bean filling. Roll the tortillas and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Continue filling remainder of the tortillas.

    Pour the enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Top with cheese. Cover with aluminum and bake 20-30 minutes, until the enchiladas are hot and the cheese is melted. Remove from oven and top with fresh cilantro or scallions.

    I will have to find the recipe my little sister used for the fried ice cream, it was delicious. We had such a nice time and I loved being able to cook for my family.  My daughters are hugged and loved on every minute of the day and I know there is no better place for them when we are working. I never could have imagined what it was like to see my mom with my daughters. They have such a deep and loving relationship, my two year old wouldn't know what to do without her grammy and I know that Hayden will feel the same way. 

    I always wonder if she knows how much we appreciate her and how much she means to me. I will forever be grateful to my mommy for everything she does for all of us.

    Happy Birthday Mom!


    Friday, November 1, 2013

    Skinnytaste- Kalua Pork



    I had to share this recipe. My friend turned me on to www.skinnytaste.com a delicious and healthy way to cook at home! Let me start by saying that I have made almost 8 of her recipes and have been impressed by each one.  Being that fall is in full affect and we are breaking out the scarfs and jackets, I wanted to also break out my crock pot.

    I took to Skinnytaste for some crock pot ideas and stumbled across this one..

                                                  Crock Pot Kalua Pork




    This is ridiculously easy to make and it has so many ways to serve. When you read the directions it states to put your pork in the crock pot for 16 hours. This for us worked exactly and we had a fantastic dinner. I brought leftovers for lunch the next day and I swear it was even better. My husband and I ate ours with fried rice the first night then my husband ate it as a sandwich the next day. It is FANTASTIC. The only thing I changed is the recipe states 1 tbsp of liquid smoke (can be found in grocery store near the bbq sauce). I used way more than the 1tbsp because the pork is so big. I used 1/2 the bottle and made sure the pork on all sides was coated at least lightly with the liquid smoke. The flavor was amazing.

    This will literally taste like you roasted a pig..your friends will be so impressed! You have to try Skinnytaste, in fact I think I am going to do like the movie Julie/Julia and try to cook my way through all of Gina's recipes.

    Happy Cooking, next week I am trying the buffalo burger quesadilla!

    Crock Pot Kalua Pig
    Adapted from La Fuji Mama 

    Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
    Servings: about 8 • Serving Size: 4 oz   Old Points: 4 pts  Points+: 4 pts
    Calories: 160 • Fat: 7 g  Protein: 24 g  Carb: 0 g  Fiber: 0 g
      Sugar: 0 g

    Ingredients:  

    • 3 lb pork shoulder blade roast, lean, all fat removed
    • 1 tbsp liquid mesquite smoke
    • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
    Directions: 
      Place pork in the crock pot and stab it all over with the tip of a knife. Rub sea salt all over pork. Drizzle the liquid smoke all over and set crock pot to low; cook about 16 hours.


      Remove from crock pot and place on a large platter. Remove any fat you may have missed and shred pork with two forks. Discard liquid reserving a little as needed to keep pork moist.