Monday, April 16, 2012

New and improved chicken salad

I'm starving. Tim is working late. Peyton hardly eats. I resort to raiding the fridge. Happily, something new is born.
Chicken (I used about 1 1/2 cups of a roasted chicken from Sam's)
celery- chopped
Sour cream
dash of salt and pepper

I used a 2/3 mixture of yogurt to sour cream. Just enough to make it moist, probably about 3 Tbs total
It was awesome, and healthy, no mayo!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Party Time!!

The brown cow party

So the week of his actual birthday has passed. Here I am, this week, trying to convince him that it isn't ANOTHER actual birthday and that he will, in fact, not be four.
I went with a milk and cookies-brown-cow-party. Here are a few pictures:

The boy is three!

We spent this past week celebrating our wonderful, hyper, lively, curious, troublemaking, smart, adorable, and adored son. He turned three and I really can't believe it! He has single handedly changed my life and he brings us so much joy.
We started the celebration on his actual birthday, making birthday cupcakes that he got to decorate.

Then on the weekend we had tons of out of town guest (they were actually here for a church conference, but as far as he was concerned they were there for HIM). We did squeeze in a playdate though.

Then, after the guest headed home, we took Peyton and his BFF cousin to our local organic farm. Peyton is obsessed with all things farm culture so that was a definite win.
Then the big birthday party this week. Peyton's Gram and Poppy from va were there along with his aunt, uncle and cousin from new jersey. The brown cow party was a hit!
More pictures to follow of the actual party, I just couldn't resist sharing the pictures of the week leading up to the actual party!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Banana Oat Pancakes

Check these puppies out! On our new quest to eat as many whole grain and fruits as possible, I've invented these. I think they're pretty good....and filling. Espcially after eating plain, old fashioned pancakes (I need to eat about 20 of those to fill up)

1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder 
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 large banana, very ripe, mashed
1 cup 1% milk
3 large egg whites
2 tsp oil
1 tsp vanilla
*1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats*
Without the oats, these are just as good. My hubs actually prefers them without, I like them with the oats though.

combine dry ingredients. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and pour onto hot griddle (in pancake shape/size of your choice :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Whole wheat carrot muffins

These are some of those super tasty, healthy muffins I made. I'm pretty excited that I finally got up the courage to try making my own recipes instead of half following someone else's. YAY for creativity (I don't have much so I feel like it's OK to be excited when some shows up)
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
dash of salt
1 shredded apple (I leave the skins on)
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup craisins (or raisins if you prefer)
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons veg. oil
1/2 cup honey

In a medium bowl, mix together dry ingredients and set aside.
beat egg and mix with applesauce, oil and honey, mix in dry ingredients and add vanilla. mix in apple, carrots and craisins.
Mixture will be thick (more like a quick bread batter than a cake batter)
My calculation came up with about 150 cal per muffin.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Beautiful Day

Sometimes I just want to be thankful for all I've been given, so this post is just a "Thank You, Jesus" post. The weather has been amazing and so out of character for March in our area. We've been spending more time outside and the boys love it.
It's time like these I just look at these boys and I'm blown away by my own little family and how much I am blessed. If you don't like pictures, feel free to skip...I just had to!
My little almost 3 year old and almost 5 month old! Time sure does fly :)

"Cader bug"

Yes, Tim just got back from a bike ride. No, he doesn't routinely wear his tight clothes around the house.

So happy!

One more time...

Let’s see, how many times can you start a blog…again. I’m terrible, and persistent maybe J
Anyway, I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting in the kitchen and have had some folks ask for some recipes
I decided if I was going to be typing them out and pinning them, they may as well be on my blog. At least something should be on here. Additionally, we recently welcomed a new director at work and she is BIG into journaling. Not a meeting goes by that she doesn’t encourage it. So, maybe this blog can help me in that arena as well. Plus, there’s my one faithful follower. (Hi mom!)
Life has been busy, but pintrest has kept me afloat. Even my husband adores the idea. He’s especially interested since he reaps the benefits of new, delicious food on an almost nightly basis…well, at least weekly. It even made his life easy at Christmas. We do home sharing with our iPhones and iPad so he has the pintrest app on his phone. While most men may be slightly peeved at the idea, he caught on to the fact that everything on my boards was actually things I liked. (He’s above average in smarts, I assure you J) So he clicked on a watch I had pinned, it took him right to the site and he bought it in 2 clicks. Saving him precious time and gift shopping energy. Obviously, I love this as well. So, enough praises of pintrest, on to my stories.

Here's my not sleeping boy!
we added a wonderful baby boy to our family in October and let me assure you he is beyond amazing. If only I could get that little tub-of-goo to sleep more than four hours at night, we would be golden. Oh well, I’m enjoying it, how can you be grumpy when they are so darn cute? And I’m still plugging away at school, becoming a family practice nurse practitioner. This sucks up way to much of my time and I will be so glad to finally be finished with school forever. Maybe before Peyton starts school we will be able to enjoy a few years of school free time in our family. Tim and I have been married for almost 11 years and not one year has passed where one of us (if not both of us) was in school. Needless to say, it’s getting old.
Anyway, on to my run on blogging…I’m going to start with a recipe I got from pintrest and then “tweaked”. That’s what I like to call it anyway. Really it’s my incredible inability to follow a recipe. I NEVER make it just like you’re supposed to. The upside is sometimes it’s amazing; the downside is sometimes it’s terrible and I have nothing to blame it on but myself. But I am learning, good ingredients *Usually* make good food.
 These are Salted Caramel Chocolate Bars. I did not invent this recipe from scratch. Here is the original. I did however tweak it and came up with my husband’s favorite “pintrest food” to date. First thing, I halved the recipe and still filled a 7x11 dish. With something this rich, that’s enough, trust me. Also, I found that the caramel instructions weren’t right, so here is my version:
For the shortbread layer:
1 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
dash of salt
½  cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼  cup sugar
For the caramel layer:
 ½ cup (1 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
½  cup sugar
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
For the chocolate layer:
4 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
½  tsp. light corn syrup
¼  cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Fleur de sel or sea salt, for sprinkling (sometimes I leave this off, I know it’s “salted caramel” but I like it without)
·         To make the shortbread layer, preheat the oven to 325° F.  Line a 7 x 11-inch baking pan with parchment paper.  In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir with a fork to blend, and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well blended, about 1-2 minutes.  With the mixer on low speed blend in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and press in an even layer over the bottom of the pan.  Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden.  (If the crust puffs up a bit while baking, just gently press it down while it is cooling.)  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.
·         To make the caramel layer, combine the butter, sugar, corn syrup and condensed milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted.  Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a low boil, stirring constantly.  Continue boiling and stirring until the mixture turns an amber color and thickens slightly (note, if you cook too low, it will NEVER thicken right and if you cook boil too high, it doesn’t turn the right color. This is the tricky part).  Pour the mixture over the shortbread layer, smooth the top, and allow to cool completely and set.  (I chilled at this stage to ensure that the caramel layer would not melt when the warm chocolate was added.)
·         To make the chocolate glaze, combine the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.  Pour evenly over the caramel layer and use an offset spatula to smooth the top.  Allow to cool for a minute or two and then sprinkle with fleur de sel.  Chill, covered, until ready to slice and serve.

I’m starting…again