Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chicken Salad Wraps

I'd like to say that we've been eating pretty healthy around here lately... 

Yep, I think it's true. We've been healthy.

Although we had these quite a while ago, they're still notable and going to be in the normal dinner rotation from now on. They seem especially perfect for summer since it's a light meal.

You can get the original recipe HERE... but, as usual, I did a few things to make it a bit different (like omitting the 1/4 cup of mayo and adding a bit of ranch instead).


  1. 1-2 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into cubes or shredded
  2. 4-6 whole romaine lettuce leaves (one for each wrap)
  3. 4-6 tortillas
  4. about a cup of your favorite salsa
  5. one small onion, diced
  6. a squirt or two of ranch dressing to make it more moist
  1. Cook the chicken, then cut it into cubes or shred it.
  2. Add the salsa, diced onion, and ranch to the chicken. Stir.
  3. Place one romaine lettuce leaf in each tortilla and add the chicken mixture on the leaf.
  4. Enjoy!
 And... in 'life news'... 
Landon is saying dada AND mama!!! 

... and pulling up on everything in site. Especially dangerous things...

It just warms my heart to hear him talking. Especially when he's waking up in the morning or when we're on a car ride. He's getting so big!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pop-Tart Tuesday - Blueberry Parfaits

I sense a theme in many of my recipe posts - and that is the quick and easy theme!

These are the most wonderful, most healthy yummy thing that I've made lately. I don't want to even say that I made them, I just put them together - that's how easy it is.

All you need is:
Your favorite yogurt
Some cereal or granola
Frozen fruit of your choice

I layered the ingredients above and added a drizzle of honey to the top - mostly to make it look pretty - but it added a nice sweetness to the whole thing too. We just had these as a snack, but they would be a great breakfast treat, especially wonderful if you made them the night before. That way, you could stumble out of bed, turn on the coffee pot, open the refrigerator, and find this yummy treat all ready for you! Brilliant!


P.S. It's actually sunny here today!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Pancakes Every Day

Ahhhh... I just absolutely adore pancakes.

I honestly think that they are one of the best food ever invented. You can add anything you want to them and they will (probably) still taste good. I've been experimenting with different things to add and I have a few favorites so far:
  1. Pumpkin Spice - I just add some pumpkin puree and a bunch of different spices like cinnamon and cloves... and ginger sometimes too.
  2. Apple Cinnamon - Slicing the apples really thin does the trick for me! I don't like apple chunks in them so thin slices end up in these pancakes with a dash or two (or three!) of cinnamon.
  3. Blueberry... yup, that's about it. I just add frozen blueberries. :) This makes me feel super-duper healthy, of course.
I'm feeling a bit too lazy to get up and grab the recipe right now but I will mention that I get it from a fabulous cookbook that we got for our wedding. It's from William-Sanoma... the title escapes me right now but I'll share that later too. 

I will leave you with a picture of our Saturday morning breakfast a few weeks ago though...

It was absolutely delightful!

Makes me wish it were Saturday morning right now...

Mmmmmmmmmmmm, pancakes!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Favorite Time of Day

My favorite time of day tends to be 10 o'clock p.m. This is because I get to see hold my little man while he's very sleepy and very still. During the day Landon is extremely active - he loves to crawl around to his heart's content and get into as many things as possible before I redirect him to another mommy-approved activity. 

He usually falls asleep on my shoulder after his midnight snack. 

It's the best feeling in the whole world. 

I am really looking forward to putting him to bed one day and having him sleep the whole night through, but for right now, I love getting to snuggle while he sleeps and sometimes baby snores right next to me. It makes me realize how quickly he's growing up and how much I need to treasure every moment I get with little Landon before he becomes 'big boy' Landon.

Off to my favorite time of day - 


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Salad Saturday - Peanut Butter Banana Bread

 I hate bananas. In general, I really dislike fruit. One of my bestest friends calls me a 'fruit freak' because I really cringe a little when I see an orange, kiwi, or watermelon... I have my annual banana and move on with my life.

For some reason, about a month ago, we had an overabundance of bananas at our house (hubby likes to eat one a day - such a good example). So, I thought I'd bite the bullet and make some banana bread before they all went bad. I normally wouldn't mind wasting a little fruit, but I was in a productive mood (a mood I want to cultivate as much as possible).

While searching around on All Recipes I found a recipe that looked amazing! It includes peanut butter, one of my all time favorites! The recipe is HERE.

Justin decided to play football with it before we ate it.

I followed the recipe almost exactly, except I only had creamy peanut butter. We've had it with chunky too, but ended up enjoying it more with the creamy.

Anyway, it was super yummy and didn't taste like bananas - the peanut butter taste completely took over the bread! Yippee! :)

Looking forward to making this for Landon later, especially if he inherited my aversion to fruit.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

An Epic Day

Yesterday was one of those days that only comes around once in a while.

It wasn't a perfect day. Landon didn't take one of his naps, his schedule was off, et cetera - but it was as close to a perfect day as I've had in a long time. We'll call it 'an epic day'. 

To start things off, I put a chunk of corned beef in the crock pot. I always grew up having it only on March 17th so this was a fun little dinner mix-up. The RECIPE came from allrecipes.com and was absolutely amazing! I'd never had corned beef and apples before and it definitely didn't disappoint.

I added small chunks of potatoes and apples, that's what you see bobbing around in the crock pot.

In addition, while blog browsing, I read a tutorial on no-sew fabric flowers at Ruffles and Stuff and really wanted to try it out! Here's what came out of that little adventure:

They were really fun and easy to make. 

I even added a little blue flower and a ruffle to a onsie to bring as a gift to a baby shower I'm going to this weekend.

All in all a good day!

(Which made today harder to live up to... but joy-filled all the same!)


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pop-Tart Tuesday - Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

A dessert is not dessert unless it has chocolate...

... usually...

However, I recently found this great recipe for peanut butter cookies that are (almost) as good as having a chocolaty dessert. It all began on evening when the smallest of chocolate morsels could not be found and ended up with these:

I was skeptical at first since I tend to burn overcook things a tid-bit. But I've recently started using the timer on our oven (novel idea, don't you think?) and even when the timer is going off for 3 minutes because I'm chasing after Mr. Motion, they still turn out alright! 

Here's the recipe:

  1. 1/2 cup of margarine (I've been using butter and they turn out fine!)
  2. 1/2 cup peanut butter
  3. 1/2 cup sugar
  4. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  7. 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  8. 1/4 tsp. salt
  9. 1 3/4 cup of flour
  1.    Blend the butter, peanut butter, both sugars, egg and the vanilla together.
  2.    Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together and add to the 'wet' ingredients.
  3.    Chill the dough for 15 minutes (this was in the original directions... I always forget and put it in the   freezer for a few minutes while the oven, which I also forgot to pre-heat, is getting ready!)
  4.    Form the dough into balls, roll them in sugar, and place on cookie sheet.
  5.    Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
The best thing about these cookies is they actually stay soft instead of getting crispy and are sooo easy to make. Yeah for gooey peanut butter!

Happy Baking!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Cheese of the Month Club

Before I got to be a stay-at-home mommy, I was an elementary school teacher. In a short three years in the education field I got to teach Kindergarten, a 4th/5th grade split and two years of a 4th grade spectrum (honors) class. I absolutely adore teaching and really miss it a lot... 

... but this isn't a sob post today, it's a happy one! 

Last year, my class knew that I absolutely love cheese - the previous year's class had written them letters about their 4th grade experience and a handful of students mentioned my love of the best dairy product ever created. So, during teacher's appreciation week I received a 6-month certificate for what a lovingly refer to as, "The Cheese of the Month" club. 

It's not a club really, it was just a certificate for 6 lovely cans of cheese from the Western Washington University Creamery. I got a little distracted (having a baby does that to ya!) and didn't get to turn in my certificate until two months ago. We got our first can in April and it was AMAZING! I ordered the Cougar Gold, which is a basic cheddar. We had lots and lots of macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese, quesadillas - basically, whatever I could put cheese on, I did. No complaints here.

This month, we received a can of Sweet Basil. And, just like with the Cougar Gold, we are adding it to everything. The most notable meal would probably be tonight's Sweet Basil Mac & Cheese. 

  1. 4 cups of pasta
  2. 2 1/2 cups of milk
  3. 3 Tbs. flour
  4. about 2 1/2 cups of shredded cheese
  5. a tiny bit of Sriracha
  6. some breadcrumbs
    1. Boil the pasta according to package directions
    2. While the pasta is cooking, put the milk on medium/high in a sauce pan, when it's warm whisk in the flour (avoid clumps!). Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    3. When pasta is finished, drain and put in an oven safe dish.
    4. Add the cheese to the milk/flour mix... add a squirt or two of Sriracha too! 
    5. Pour the cheese mixture over the pasta - don't stir it though... and add the breadcrumbs on top.
    6. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees

      If you want to order your very own, WSU cheese, you can go HERE!

      Many thanks to the 4th graders of Room 18!


      Sunday, May 8, 2011

      Happy Mother's Day

      I was blessed with the most wonderful mother in the entire world!

      She is so encouraging, helpful, and beautiful. She's taught me so much about being a good wife, how to follow Jesus well, and how to be an awesome mom. I love her so much and am truly grateful that she's my mom! <3

      I'm also super grateful that I get to raise this little man:

      Joyful beyond belief and with more energy that I know what to do with.
      I love you, Landon!

      Happy Mother's Day!


      Saturday, May 7, 2011

      Salad Saturday - Sweet Potato & Pear Side

      Here's a quick, yummy side we tried this last week:

      Sweet Potatoes and Bartlett Pears

      Just cut up sweet potatoes and Bartlett pears (or any other kind of pear that you enjoy). Cover them with a bit of olive oil and seasoning of your choice - I used a dash of cloves and a bit of cinnamon, a bit of brown sugar was necessary too. Then bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes. 

      This was the perfect side for basic grilled chicken and, BONUS, it's one of the best veggies for you because it has tons of both vitamin a and e and other good things. I usually cut up a few red potatoes and bake them for a bit, but after reading how nutritious sweet potatoes are for you, I think I might make a switch. The pears added a sweet taste to the mix too.

      I think Mr. Motion will like this one in a few months!

      Mmmmmmmmmmmmm... carotene!


      Friday, May 6, 2011


      I have no idea how I didn't know about this photo editing and creating site before now!

      Have you checked out Picnik lately?! 

      It's an absolutely amazing site that let's you do just about everything that you could ever want to do to a picture. You can add words, resize your photo, add stickers, change the color... seriously, whatever you can imagine, you can do on Picnik. (Can you tell I really love this site?)

      And, the very best part is that it's all free!

      Here are a few photographs that I've redesigned using Picnik:

      A mini-collage of my sister's wedding...

      My son eating reading a book...

      Little, baby Landon...
      Ah, the possibilities are endless...

      My sister-in-law did warn me though that this site is a time-sucker. I think she's right.

      Happy editing!


      Tuesday, May 3, 2011

      Pop-Tart Tuesday - Resurrection Rolls

      Yeah for the very first Pop-Tart Tuesday!

      A while back I was reading my all time favorite blog, I Am Momma Hear Me Roar. The writer, Cheri, is probably the most creative, productive person I have ever 'met'. On Fridays she features another blogger's idea. Whether it be a craft, recipe, or creation, she tries it out and let's her readers now how it goes. Before Easter Sunday she was trying out these amazing rolls from Kim at Feathers from My Nest and they looked like a lot of fun - so Justin and I made some together. (Isn't it the best when your hubby bakes with you?!)

      To make these yummy rolls all you need is some frozen pastry dough, marshmallows, some butter, sugar and cinnamon. You take the dough, roll it completely around a marshmallow, brush some butter on it, roll it in cinnamon and sugar and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350. That's it! Isn't that amazing?

      They're called Resurrection Rolls because after you bake them, they're hollow inside, illustrating the empty tomb after Jesus rose from the dead. What a fun treat for Easter! 

      Here's how ours turned out:


      (a post-baked roll with marshmallow oozing out the sides)

      Now, for ours, I could not find the frozen pastry dough anywhere so I made the recipe for cinnamon rolls that I make on occasion. It worked out alright, but I think they would have been more puffy if I had used the dough from the store. We noticed that it was very important to cover the entire marshmallow with the dough, or the marshmallow would explode, leaving you with a tomb with a hole - I guess those ones could have been the tomb after the stone had been rolled away! :)

      I really think this will be a good, food-y way to showcase the empty tomb. While it's too late to make them for this year's Easter (sorry 'bout that), you could either make them for a yummy treat or keep them in the archives for Eater 2012. 



      P.S. I had never heard of these before but the curriculum for our kids' program at church had them as an activity to teach the kids about the empty tomb last Sunday. There was no way I would attempt this with 14, 3 through 6-year-olds, but if you have a few kiddos at home (or are the super-duper organized type) it would be a great activity.

      Monday, May 2, 2011

      Free Things are Lovely

      I'm not sure if it's just me...
      ... but aren't free things just so much better?

      They seem to sparkle more, taste more delicious, and just seem generally better than the items you have to pay for. Using coupons even adds a bit of a glimmer to an object. 

      Recently, a friend put up a link on facebook to become a member of Rue La La. If you signed up you got a $20 credit for one of their boutiques. I signed up and have been stalking the site since mid-April to cash in on this sweet deal. Of course, $20 on this site won't get you very far, but I knew if I waited patiently enough, something would come up...

      And today something did!!!

      Really cute, really plaid, serving spoons for free! Yippee! 

      They're a little brighter than I would normally choose but since I won't be using them every day, they're perfect! I'm already excited about making a salad and using these happy spoons to serve it. I think it will be make eating salad a whole lot more cheerful. :)

      If you want to become a member of Rue La La it's super easy. Just follow THIS LINK to sign up. 

      Happy Bargain Hunting!


      P.S. Decided to abandon the whole signature thing... would love to add and HTML code of some sort for a fancy signature, but can't figure it out yet. Sigh.

      Sunday, May 1, 2011

      A Sunny Sunday

      Ah! So many things to be grateful for today! 

      I got a new Bible and got to use it today. I love it because it's old-fashioned looking and green.

      Isn't it cute?

      And, Justin and I got to grill out again today. Grilling is quickly becoming one of my favorite activities - fire, just a little bit of cleanup, and that yummy grill taste - what's not to love?

      But most importantly, it's sunny outside, which is just making me giddy.

      Happy Sunday!

      P.S. I'm going to be playing around with a signature of some sort for a while...