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!