Monday, October 31, 2011

Be gentle...

I have some "40 Dishes in 40 Days" posts to do but for now I want to share with you a beautiful post that I recently read.
It really made me think.
We often jump to conclusions about a person when we have no idea what they could be going through.
We all have our battles we fight that nobody else knows about.
Sometimes I wish that I could wear a sign saying, "I'm having a hard time, please be gentle with me."

Everyone needs a sign like this at one point or another.
We should keep that in mind when somebody is quiet or mean or just behaving differently than they normally would.
Maybe they need a little extra love today.

Click HERE to read the post.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

40 Dishes in 40 Days - #6 - A SALAD!

My lovely sister introduced me to this salad and I LOVE it.
Forgive me in advance for not giving exact measurements as I just throw everything in.

Deluxe Salad

Chopped Romaine lettuce
Chopped apple peices
Chopped avocado
Chopped tomatoes
Chicken pieces (I just use my cooked, frozen chicken so I didn't have to prepare chicken just for this salad)
A little cilantro (this wasn't an original part of the recipe, I just love cilantro)
Poppy seed dressing 
(Briannas, Rich Poppy Seed Dressing is by far the best one I've tried)

This picture of the salad without the dressing definitely doesn't do it justice.


Friday, October 21, 2011

40 Dishes in 40 Days - #5 and a tip.

First of all, notice that I changed the name of this little adventure?
I change it from 40 Meals in 40 Days to 40 Dishes in 40 days.
I made this change because most of the time I am not sharing every little part of every meal... 
...and I might include some desserts too.

Next, I need to share a little tip with you.
This is something that makes my life easier, especially when I'm cooking like crazy like I feel like I'm doing now.

In the morning I pull out my crock-pots, I have 3 of them (they were wedding gifts).
Then I throw in frozen chicken breasts, the amount depends on the size of the crock-pot. Usually I put the same about of chicken breasts as the size (in quarts) of the crock-pot, unless the crock-pot is huge, (ex: 4 quart: 4 chicken breasts, 5 quart: 5 chicken breasts, 7 quart: 6-7 chicken breasts).
Add a little oil (about 1-2 T)
Add a packet of dry Italian Seasoning (1.5 for bigger crock-pots with more chicken breasts, I do this with my 7 quart)
Add a 1.5 C Water (2 C for bigger crock-pots with more chicken breasts, I do this with my 7 quart)
 Cook for 7-8 hours on low.

After it's done cooking make sure the chicken is done and remove it all from the crock-pots.
Let it sit out until cool enough to put in ziploc bags.
Put bags of chicken in freezer and pull out whenever you need chicken!

 Lastly, I'm going to share a recent recipe I used to make Lettuce Wraps.
They were soooo good.
I may or may not have eaten 3/4 of them.
And I made them the quick way by pulling out a couple bags of my already cooked and frozen chicken (recipe above).

I'll share the recipe as you should make it with raw chicken.
If you do use your cooked, frozen chicken like I did, just let it thaw, shred it into small pieces, and throw it in at the end when you add the water chestnuts and sauce.

I doubled this recipe.
We love leftovers.

Lettuce Wraps

3 T oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 C water chestnuts
2/3 cups mushrooms
3 T chopped onions
1 tsp minced garlic
1 head of lettuce

Stir Fry Sauce:
4 T soy sauce
4 T brown sugar
1 tsp rice wine vinegar

Special Sauce:  
(Next time we won't make this as I think we didn't even need it.)
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C water
2 T soy sauce
2 T rice wine vinegar
2 T ketsup
1 T lemon juice
1/8 tsp sesame oil
1 T dry mustard
2 tsp hot water
1-2 tsp garlic and red chili paste (if you want)

Make the special sauce by combining the sugar and water in a small bowl, add the next 5 ingredients and mix well.  Refrigerate this sauce until you are ready to serve.  Combine the hot water with the hot mustard and set this aside as well.  Eventually add your desired measurement of mustard and garlic chili sauce to the special sauce mixture to pour over the wraps.

Mince water chestnuts and mushrooms to about the size of small peas.  Prepare the stir-fry sauce by mixing all ingredients together in a small bowl.  Bring oil to med-high heat in a wok or large frying pan.  Sauté chicken breasts for 5-6 minutes per side or until done.  Remove chicken from pan and cool.  When chicken is cool, mince into small pieces just like the mushrooms and water chestnuts.  Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan.  When oil is hot, add garlic, onions, and mushrooms to the pan.  Once mushroom mixture is done, add chicken, water chestnuts and the stir-fry sauce to the pan.  Sauté for a couple of minutes until completely warmed.  Serve mixture in lettuce cups and top with special sauce.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

40 Meals in 40 Days - Meals 2, 3 & 4

We've caught a bug.
It's so awful to see my littles sick.
I really hate it.

I have been working on my meal making, despite the fact that my boys can't hold anything down.

Here are a few of the meals that I have made since my last post.

Hawaiian Haystacks

I love Hawaiian Haystacks
And these were easy peasy, so that made me happy.
I made very little changes (I would never put cheese over mine, that would be a weird combination for me) and it was fantastic.

Breakfast! (Waffles, eggs, ham, fruit, whip cream... the works.)

These were great but I think I kinda screwed them up.
In this recipe you put in the yolks and egg whites separately,
whipping the egg whites and gently folding them in with the rest of the mixture at the end.
I think I was a little rough with my "folding" and it turned out too runny.
So I just added more whole wheat flour and they worked out fine.
I also added blueberries, I love blueberry waffles.  
P.S.. Have you read the anderson crew blog?  It's fabulous.

The Tomatillo soup I mentioned last week.

The soup was great.  I made a few changes (including extra lime and more jalapeno) and it was really yummy.
I absolutely love soup though, so I'm kinda partial.
I also used avocado pieces, green onion, and chips as the garnish on top.

I also made a really tasty tilapia dish that I will post about later when I am not so exhausted.
Here's to hoping my kids start feeling better soon.
We are all tired and so is our washing machine.
Watching movies and cuddling on the couch isn't too bad though.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

40 Meals in 40 Days - Day 1

I grew up in a home with an incredibly domestic mother who also worked outside our home to support our huge family.

I remember coming home from school hungry, so ready to eat something. I would open the fridge and look through the cupboards and there was nothing to eat.  All we appeared to have was the very basics... butter, milk, flour...
Then, not too long later, my mother would get home from work and she would make a huge fancy meal for us, made out of things she found in the same fridge and cupboards that I wasn't able to find anything decent to eat in.
I hoped that someday I could be like her.
I wanted to learn how to cook meals like she could.  Out of seemingly nothing, she made something fabulous. Every day.
Then I got married.
And I realized....

That I don't like to cook.

I said it.
I don't like to spend hours in the kitchen just to make something that we are done eating in a few minutes (that is.. if I'm not sitting by my children for an hour trying to get them to eat just a few bites) and that I have to clean up afterward.
But, you see, I want to love to cook.

I want to have a home that always smells like my mother's home.. like a home cooked meal, made from scratch.
Don't get me wrong, I do cook, I just keep it really basic and easy for the most part. The problem with this is that the very quick and basic meals don't usually taste as good and they aren't as healthy.
So, I am going to spend the next 40 days (from now until the day before Thanksgiving) concentrating on cooking better meals and getting out of my comfort zone in the kitchen.

40 meals in 40 days.

I will share my experiences with you guys and let you know what I'm cooking.

Thanks to Pinterest and Allrecipes, yummy recipes are pretty easy to find.

Yeah... my food Pinterest board is twice as big as any of my other boards.  
I love food and I am going to love to cook it, even if it kills me.

For tonight...

Friday, October 14, 2011

My baby's a bug killer...

It started out as an innocent observation.

They were curious about the little creature.

I thought it was cute so I quickly snapped some pictures.

Then he did it.

He stepped on it.

And as if that wasn't enough....

He wanted to finish the job with his ball.

I don't know where this boy came from. 

But he sure can rock a cute innocent look.

That's for sure.


I love him.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Disneyland Surprise

I was thinking earlier how bizarre it is that I've posted so many videos lately and I decided that I would wait a while to post any more,
Even if I saw a really good one.

Well, that changed when I saw this video.

I love this.
So, I'm sharing it with you so you can love it too.
This little girl's reaction to her surprise Disneyland trip is completely awesome.
I hope I can give my kids a surprise someday that makes them this happy.


Thursday, October 6, 2011


A little of what I believe.

Hope you're having a fantastic Thursday.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Here it Goes Again

This music video came out a while back but I came across it again recently and I'm amazed all over again. 
Can you imagine how much practice it had to take to pull this off? 


Monday, October 3, 2011


Hello friends.
I hope you enjoyed the weekend. 
We sure did.

We watched General Conference and I'm feeling really uplifted.
I really love conference weekend.
And it was nice to have some time to relax because my body. is. sore.

Last week I started P90X and, my goodness, I'm hurting.
I started because I had some really lazy weeks and I felt that I needed an exercise plan..
 I've heard some pretty great things about P90X..
Then a friend offered to lend me discs...
So....I jumped in.
Want to know the really crazy part?  A while back I also signed up to run the Halloween Half Marathon.
You see, I ran it last year and it was super fun, so I wanted to do it again.

Probably not the best timing on my part.

Anyone want to run it with me?

Maybe posting about this insanity will help me stick to my goals.

Oh heavens.
Here's to 83 more days...