Saturday, October 10, 2015

Turkey Bison Chili with Quinoa

Let's try this again, the first time I wrote this it got deleted.  Awesome. 

So it's been a little extra chili lately here in good ol Michigan.  Chilly weather screams soup and chili to me, last week was soup and this week it is chili!

I usually do chili in the crock pot because it's a nice even temperature and I don't have to worry about it burning. In this house we have a gas stove and that will go low enough that I don't worry about it burning. Our last apartment had an electric stove and they have a mind of their own. I would never do this on an electric stove.  With the kids going to bed super late last night and sleeping terribly, the day got away from me, I did this on the stove today. 

The original recipe I found here at Nancy Creative .  It sounded delicious the way it was but we tweaked it, of course. :)

We have been trying to eat healthier. Leaner meats, less fat, more protein, stuff like that. We used turkey and bison instead of the beef.  I left out the oregano mostly because I didn't have any, I'm sure it would be delicious in there though. The big thing I did was add the quinoa.  With as much good stuff it has going for it, how could I not. We love quinoa over here! 

Here's my recipe:
1.25 lbs ground turkey
1 lb ground bison
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups vegetable juice
1 tablespoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup beef broth
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can diced tomatoes
Brown the meats in a large pot.  Drain and rinse. Return to pot, all the rest of the ingredients.  Bring to a boil the reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for at least an hour. Serve with grated cheese, sour cream, on a baked potato or any other way you like to eat chili.  

This is what it looks like right after I added all the ingredients. 

And this is what it looked like after and put 1.5 hours of simmering. You see the little curly Qs? That's the cooked quinoa. That's when you know quinoa is done.

I suggest having this chili on top of a baked potato with the spoon bread.  YUM!!! 

We had it with This Spoon Bread. We have angel food cake with berries for desert. I also made some monster cookie dough because I just wanted cookie dough. I'm weird like that. It might get baked tomorrow or I might leave it in the fridge and eat it all. There's really no telling with me  :) 

That's all for now. See you next time y'all. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Let's get dedicated.

I know I have been severely neglecting this blog and that bums me out. I wanted to start this to have a place to talk out everything, post recipes I try, projects, pretty much everything. I really want to be dedicated to this. I downloaded the app so hopefully that will help. 

We have 2 kids now so life is even more crazy than before. I am literally typing this during bath time.  Yesterday's 'I can't believe I said it' quote was "Why are you trying to stick dominos to your brothers face?" He didn't care at all and she was entertained, it was just random. :)

We have been trying to get more dedicated to saving money also.  We are moving next summer, trying to fix up the house while we can, and not go broke.  It's hard when there are so many things we want to do. We have to keep reminding ourselves that we are moving so none of this is for us really. I'll post pictures as we go along, before and afters.  It's coming along nicely for sure,definitly better than it was when we moved in here alittle over 2 years ago.  It's slow going now woth hubster working long hours and with the 2 munchkins, but it's coming along.

Time to get the kids cleaned, they have become bored with playing.

Til next time

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

One year later

I can't believe it!  It has be one year (and 2 days) since bitty girl was born!  It's crazy.  It feels like it has both went by so fast and took so very long to get to this 1 year mark.  So much has changed in the last year.  Bitty girl is walking now, eating or at least trying, and food you give her.  Her favorites are kielbasa, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, and yogurt drops.  All whole foods, she has NEVER liked the baby pureed foods. Her and I often share scrambled eggs for breakfast and she likes Chex cereal as well. 

We have moved 800 miles with multiple (excruciating) car trips for house hunting, moving, and visiting family.  It is torture seeing how bitty girl hate the car seat with a passion. We have bought a house.  They hubby is a recruiter for the Navy now. There is currently about 30 inches of snow on the ground! Yea, 30 inches!  I don't think I've seen grass since October! O_O  seriously. 

In the past month, I have decided to try a grain free diet.  It was so hard the first week! I am so into baking, and I didn't have any grain free ingredients yet.  Luckily, after I got a few, mainly coconut flour, all was better.  It's still hard, but way easier than it was that first week.  I've also already lost about 7 pounds!  In the past week, I have become an Advocare distributor after seeing great results the people of the web has had and great results from a friend.  I was all about it.  I can take the products while I still nurse bitty girl, another huge plus, because she is showing no sign of stopping.  I get my Advocare products on Friday.  So we (hubby and I)  will start taking them on Saturday.  I will make sure we get before and after pictures and measurements :)  I have Spark, Rehydrate, Catalyst, and ThermoPlus coming! 

Earlier this winter I found this recipe for Potato and Kielbasa Chowder.  Oh man, it is wonderful!!  Perfect for cold winter days and it's done in the crock pot so it takes like no effort! The first time we made it I followed the recipe, mostly. I used dried onion instead of fresh onion because we are not onion lovers.  This last time I made it I used poultry seasoning and dried dill as my seasonings - AMAZING!  Turkey sausage instead of the regular kielbasa (It is also wonderful with andoullie too).  I used 3/4 of a block of 1/3 less fat cream cheese instead of the cream for the awesome creaminess.  By far my favorite yet.  Next time I might try it with Greek yogurt for the creaminess.

Bitty is up and wants to play, toodles for now!  

Monday, February 3, 2014

Chicken and Wild Rice soup

Today was one of those days where I just needed a big hot bowl of comfort.  It was -5 degrees here this morning!  Yea, NEGATIVE 5.  I know, it's winter in Michigan, but still, that's cold stuff right there. 

I've felt run down all day.  Little girl has been very clingy today.  It didn't help that she woke up at 530. After girly's nap, I was craving soup big time.  Chili will be made later this week, but today I wanted the ultimate comfort food.  As you probably already guessed from the title, I made chicken and wild rice soup.  It started out to be chicken noodle, but I remembered that my dad brought me some wild rice.  Score!  Had to figure out how to cook that first

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

48 oz chicken broth
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 small potatoes, chopped
1 12-13oz can white chicken breast or 2-3 chicken breasts cut to bite sized pieces
1 can carrots
1 tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper 

1/2 cup uncooked wild rice

1 1/2 cup water or chicken broth

Combine wild rice and water/chicken broth.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover and cook for 45 minutes.  

Pour chicken broth into a large pot.  Add chopped celery, potatoes, and raw chicken breast pieces if you are using them.  Add seasonings.  Boil for 10-20 minutes until vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked. After veggies and chicken are cooked, add the carrots and canned chicken if you are using it.  Add the cooked wild rice. Stir to combine well.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or longer.  Stir well before serving.  Enjoy! 

I ended up letting it simmer for about 30-40 minutes at the end while I got girly to sleep.  I could smell it through out the house and couldn't wait to try it!  It is delicious.  I'm having a second bowl now :)  

Potatoes aren't normally in chicken soups, but I really like the taste of them in the soup.  This is definitely what I needed after today.  The perfect amount of comfort and I am finally warm after being freezing all day. 
Seriously, how awesome does that look?!
The hubby said it was ok.  He isn't a fan of the celery in it and he said the potatoes are weird.  If you think you'd agree, then don't add them :) The good thing about recipes is that they are more like guidelines.  Mix and match and do whatever makes you happy.  

Time to relax a little before bed!

Good night moon

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Crock-pot Parmesan Chicken

Yesterday was they Husbands birthday.  His favorite food is Chicken Parmesan, which is totally delicious.  However, it takes more time to make than the 11 month old Missy will give me.  In comes the crock pot!!  I love my crock-pot.  Like obsession kind of love.  I thought there HAD to be a way to make this easier, so to Pinterest I went!  I used This recipe from The Country Cook.  I made my own sauce for it though.  When I first started making my own sauce, I used this recipe from Life in the Lofthouse and it's good but it wasn't just right for my taste.  I've made it maybe half a dozen times since I first found the recipe.  Needless to say, I no longer buy jarred spaghetti sauce.  It's just not the same anymore.  I can tweak the seasonings with each batch depending on what mood I'm in and tomato sauce cans are cheaper than the prepared spaghetti sauce.  

My in-laws came up for the day for husbands birthday.  We had a very good day.  I'm glad I used the crock pot, it made for more inactive cooking time giving us more together time.  Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures because we ate it too fast.  Oops =P The measurements for the breadcrumbs and cheese are estimates, I never measure them and just add and mix until it looks right.  

Crock-Pot Parmesan Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
Small amount of oil to sear chicken
29 oz jar of spaghetti sauce or homemade sauce (recipe below)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.  Or different kind if you want
Cooked pasta to serve

Spray crock pot with non-stick spray or use a liner. 

Pour sauce in the crock-pot.

In one small container, beat egg and milk until well blended.  In another small container, mix bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.  Heat up skillet with the oil.  You want to put the chicken into a hot skillet so you get a nice golden crust.  We aren't cooking the inside, just making sure we have a good crust.  Coat chicken breast in egg mixture, then dredge in the bread crumb mixture until well coated.  Place into hot skillet.  Repeat with the other chicken breasts.  Fry the breasts for just a couple minutes on each side until the breading is crispy.  Once they are crispy, put them into the crock pot, on top of the sauce.  Cover and cook.  6-7 hours on low or it took me about 4 hours on high. 

30 minutes before you are ready to eat it, sprinkle the top with shredded mozzarella cheese.  Replace lid and allow cheese to melt. 

Serve with cooked pasta and extra cheese.  [We really like cheese]

Easy Pasta Sauce

29 oz can tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons dried parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon oregano.

Mix all ingredients together.  Use as you would jarred spaghetti sauce.  

I like lots of seasoning in my sauce. :)

I will make sure I get pictures next time I make it and link back to the recipe.  Everyone enjoyed it very much, including our 11 month old.  

We had red velvet cake roll with cream cheese filling for desert [and breakfast this morning].  It was so very good.  I think it is easier to do cake rolls than doing regular round cakes, less time frosting and a whole lot quicker!  

Happy Birthday Hubby!!!!  Welcome to your 27th year of life!!!  We love you!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Nap time with Hot Cocoa!

I don't think I've said it on here before, but crazy baby is a terrible sleeper.  Seriously.  She fought an hour long nap yesterday for 3 hours!  I'm not even kidding.  She sleeps in a carrier(Lillebaby complete) because if I try to lay her down she wakes up.  Instantly.  Then there is NO HOPE of getting her back to sleep for hours!  This carrier is a lifesaver.  I would die without it.  Not even kidding.  She is asleep in it right now.  After a half hour nap this morning, was up for 3 and a half hours, yawning and rubbing her eyes the whole time.  And fussing.  And crawling in my lap.  Anyway.  Crazy is asleep.

I am freezing today!  Two cups of hot tea, oatmeal, hot cheese covered cauliflower; none of it helped.  Hot chocolate seems to be doing the trick. However, while I was trying to get the champion sleep fighter out, it cooled off.  I would microwave it, but that would most likely wake her up and I would rather chew off my arm than wake her up.  Which really wouldn't do any good since she is attached to me.  Back to this hot chocolate.  It is amazing.  The original recipe came from here /Best-ever Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe- Cooks Country.
You have to log in for some trial or subscribe or something.  I didn't have time for that, so my dad just emailed the recipe to me.  I love my daddy!  I changed the recipe, because that's what I do.  I'm sure it would have been great the way it was, but I wanted a creamier cocoa.  I find that adding pudding mix makes it just the right amount of creamy.  Also using whole milk powder instead of low fat whatever stuff.  My recipe!

3 cups Nido Whole milk powder (found at Wal-mart in the international food isle)
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 cups Dutch-processed cocoa powder  (I used Hershey's Dark Chocolate cocoa powder)

1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1 box chocolate fudge pudding mix**

Combine ingredients in large bowl. Working in two batches, pulse ingredients in food processor until chocolate is finely ground. Store in airtight container for up to 3 months. 

To make hot cocoa, stir 1/3 cup of this mix (give or take depending on how chocolaty you want it) into 1 cup of hot water (or hot milk if you used non-fat dry milk powder). Top with whipped cream or mini marshmallows. (or a bunch of ghost marshmallows left over from Halloween ^_^)

**  I have also used Cookies and Cream pudding mix- Yum-O  It doesn't matter if there are chunks of cookie in it because you run it through the food processor anyway.   You can really use any kind of pudding.  White chocolate, cheesecake, what ever tickles your fancy.  

I used all of the mix.  I need more; stat! 

Peace, love and hot chocolate. 

P.S. as I type this I am eating Gooey S'more cookie dough.  I will post that recipe later ;)  Amazing.  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Back to crazy land

Hello, blogging world.  It's been almost a year since my last post, life got crazy. A year ago tomorrow I started this blog to share recipes.  I feel like it's weird that I thought about the blog today, just about to the day that it was started.  Anyway, back to why I'm here.  Like I said, life got crazy.  Baby girl was born on 3 March 2013.  A beautiful 7lb, 2oz, 20 inches long, bundle of crazy.  She will be 6 months old here in a few days.  It has definitely been a crazy 6 months with her.  She's been a very high needs baby.  She spends a lot of the day in a carrier attached to me because it calms her down and keeps her happy.  As I am typing this, she is asleep in it on me.  I love the carrier too.  It makes my life so much easier because I can keep her close, calm her down and still have 2 hands to do what needs to be done around the house. Yup, house!  We bought a house, in Michigan! No more apartment life for us, at least for a while.  Navy life. Also, I can kiss her a million times a day.  She is in the carrier when we go to the store and we get so many comments on how good of a baby she is all of the time.

We moved out of the apartment in June, baby girl was 3 months old.  Let me tell you, that was HARD!  She was still colicky and would scream and want to be held all the time.  Needless to say, I wasn't very effective, for that I am very sorry and very appreciative to the help we had.  After that, I stayed with my in-laws until we moved into the house, about a month.  The hubby was at a school in Florida for the entire month.  Super tough!  We closed on the house the first part of July, then we moved in!!!  Yay for having a house!  Its so great to be able to do what ever we want without having to ask anyone.  We are still working on getting everything unpacked and settled.  Its pretty hard with a demanding baby and long hours at work.  I love being back in Michigan.   It feels really good to be home. 

In the last year, we have tried a lot recipes. Some better than others, but all edible and at least ok.  Today, I made three things.  Kale chips, Chocolate Latte cookies, and a chicken pasta skillet thingy for dinner.  The kale chips were a whole lot better than I expected.  I have no idea why I didn't try them earlier!  I took kale, removed the center stem, washed, dried, put in a bag and shook in alittle bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Then I spread out the kale pieces on the trays of my dehydrator, sprinkled with salt to dry away.  In about 2 hours, I had crunchy delicious salt and vinegar kale chips.  Let me tell you, they were the perfect mix of salty, vinegary, crunchy with a little bit of sweetness. 

After those, I decided that I wanted cookies.  A couple weeks ago, I made these Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies .  They are amazing and I definitely recommend that everyone make them.  I wanted to try something like that, but different. Chocolaty with a little kick of coffee.  I played with the recipe and came up with one for Chocolate Latte cookies.  I used white whole wheat flour instead of the all- purpose, half brown sugar and half Stevia in the Raw, added some cream to make up for the dryness from the wheat flour, some instant coffee granules, Hershey's Special Dark pudding mix, then white and dark chocolate chips (edited recipe below).  They turned out super tasty.  I did all of this with baby girl in the carrier (I feel so talented sometimes =P).  The hubster should be home in a few minutes and I will make him try them, but I'm pretty sure that he will love them too.  Chocolate and coffee anything is right up his alley, along with anything buffalo chicken :)  I have an awesome recipe for a buffalo chicken pasta bake too, but that will wait for another time. 

The skillet pasta thingy was good too.  I used the Savory Lemon and Herb Philadelphia Cooking cream.  Green beans, chicken, pasta, cooking cream and a few other things.  It was good, but I don't know if I would make it again though. 

That is all for tonight, I have to get this little girl in her bed so I can sleep too.  Good night all :)

Chocolate Latte Cookies

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Stevia in the Raw
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant Hershey's Special Dark chocolate pudding
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350° F.
Combine flour, dark chocolate cocoa powder, instant coffee and baking soda and set aside. In the bowl of electric mixer, cream together butter, brown sugar, Stevia in the Raw and pudding mix.  Beat in eggs, whipping cream, and vanilla.  Add flour mixture until combined.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Roll into 1" balls and place on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown