So…the basement walls went up last Wednesday! Which was pretty exciting! I was all prepared to have some sort of weather delay since it was very cold and there was snow in the forecast, but the cold temps didn’t stop them and it barely flurried, so up they went! A few things to get done–cement pads and some plumbing rough-in for the basement–and then on to framing. Hoping to start that in 3 -4 weeks, but I hesitate to even give a time goal on that…it can be so weather dependent and we have had our share of unpredictable weather this winter/spring….
Lately some of my friends and I have been talking recipes so I thought I would share a few….my kids are in this extremely picky stage…one day they will eat strawberries and then the next day “strawberries are the worst and I can’t believe you put that on my plate today!” Face palm. There are only a few options from each food group they will eat, so we are pretty limited…well except for the grains…they love their carbs! And then Sutton is in phase where she eats a few bites, announces she’s done and then tries to rid her area of the food that’s left…last week she dumped a nearly full bowl of spaghetti (sorry Dennis and Sherri…it did all clean up!) all over the kitchen floor because she was done and I wasn’t moving fast enough to get it off the table! Needless to say, meal time can be very stressful…between her antics and Hudson getting up and running around multiple times (“Hudson, sit down and finish your dinner!”) is why I usually light a nice smelling candle and pour a glass of wine (Mom Hack #1)…because when the spaghetti hits the floor, it’s really not that bad when you have a glass of wine down….
Does laps around the soccer field and the house at dinner time.
Mom Dinnertime Hack #1
Does this face look like it would dump out a bowl of spaghetti? Yes.
For breakfast I make myself and the kids smoothies…there are so many recipes out there, but here’s what we do:
1 cup of frozen fruit (I usually do strawberries, peaches, or mangos for the kids)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup Greek yogurt. My kids like a vanilla flavor, but I would recommend if you are starting them out to just use plain because it’s less sugar. Don’t let them get used to the sweet!
Mix all up! I pour a little bit each morning into their cups and then leave the rest in the fridge for after school. Super easy, fast and healthy snack. I could also write another whole paragraph (or maybe even blog post…)on the “picking out of the cups routine”, but I will spare you. Let me just say, it’s is a big deal to both of them and sometimes one (the little one) ends up in tears because of course they both want the same ones…sigh.
You get a smoothie! You get a smoothie! And you get a smoothie!
My little helpers! Kind of.
Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes
Another breakfast item we do is pancakes. I make them in a big batch (sometimes I even double it), freeze them and then defrost in the mornings. I definitely don’t get up early enough to make pancakes from scratch (unlike my own mother did for us–shout out to Mom for that!)
Heat up your griddle or pan to medium high. I usually put my griddle at 350.
-2 cups of white whole wheat flour
-2 tsp baking soda
-1.5 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
Mix all the above dry ingredients together.
In another bowl….
-1 tsp honey
-2 large eggs, slightly beaten
-1.75 cups of milk
-2 tsp of butter, melted
Mix all the above wet ingredients together. Make a well in your dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in the well. Okay, this well thing always gets me. I feel like my well always collaspes and it ends up all over the bowl so do whatever. It usually turns out okay.
-2 ripe bananas
-1/2 – 3/4 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Mash up the bananas in a bowl, mix in the nuts and then fold into your mix.
Spray cooking spray or lightly butter the pan/griddle. Use 1/4 cup or even just a spoon to drop batter on to the griddle/pan. When lightly brown on the bottom, flip. I make a big batch, let cool and put in a ziplock bag into the freezer.
To reheat I put in the microwave for 20-30 seconds and then the toaster on a light setting.
Of course we do our share of Mickey Eggo waffles, but I am trying to phase those out slowly…although I did just see a Mickey Mouse waffle iron on Amazon! Maybe I will make those in bulk and freeze!
Chicken Tortilla Soup in the slow cooker
Guys…secret recipe is about to be spilled….this is my go-to for when we are going to have a busy night and I can’t make a meal, guests come into town (because it can be ready whenever they arrive), or I know Adam will be working late/out of town…basically we have this at least once a month. I am actually quite proud of this recipe because I altered an original recipe a little bit, which is huge for me since I am not a skilled cook! Also, both kids will actually eat this one which it’s nice to check off a protein and vegetable in the same food!
In a 4.5 quart slow cooker:
-Put 3 (big) – 4 (small) boneless chicken breasts on the bottom of the slow cooker.
-In a separate bowl mix:
-1/2 cup of chicken broth
-2 cans (15 oz ea) of diced tomatoes, undrained
-1 can of black beans (15 oz); I try to drain as best I can
-1/2 to a full can (4 oz) of chopped mild green chiles, drained
-1/2 yellow onion
-2 Tbsp of minced garlic
-2 Tsp of ground cumin
-Add 1/2 -3/4 cup of frozen corn
-Add a full can (16 oz) of refried beans
Cook on low for 7 – 8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. I stir a few times if I can during the day just to mix the refried beans up, but it will still taste good if you don’t get to this until the end!
Before you are ready to eat (or at some point during the cooking), take each of the chicken breasts out and shred the chicken with two forks. Put back in and mix up. Add more 1/4 – 1/2 cup broth if you want.
Makes 4 – 6 servings.
Some additional toppings we like to put on: shredded cheese, avocado, tortilla chips, or cilantro.
My best friend in the kitchen.
Another quick and easy recipe…who am I kidding…all of my recipes are quick…I just don’t have time to spend in the kitchen cooking a long meal with two littles. When we do a family dinner, I end up prepping all the sides during nap time. It just gets too hectic….
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a cast iron skillet….heat up on medium 1 – 2 Tbsp of olive oil with some salt and pepper. Next up: sautee some vegetables! I basically fill the entire skillet –maybe like 1.5 layers–with vegetables. I throw in some frozen peppers and once they are pretty cooked I add some spinach and tomatoes. While the veggies are cooking, beat 8 eggs in a bowl and add 1/4 – 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. My favorite to put in is parmesan reggiano, but I have also used finely shredded cheddar or the cheddar/jack mix. Once the veggies are cooked, add in the eggs/cheese mix to the vegetables and let cook for ~10 minutes. Then I put it in the oven for a good 5 minutes, until the eggs on the top are cooked. Recently I got a really good deal on goat cheese from Costco, so when I take out of the oven, I have been adding a little extra goat cheese to the top too! You could always eliminate the shredded cheese out of the egg mix and just do the goat cheese on top.
There you have it folks! Enjoy!