Friday, December 28, 2012

Good and good for you

I love a meal that leaves me totally satisfied without feeling like Im about to be induced into a food coma. This meal hit every delicious spot and gave me energy to go about my mommy duties. Lately I've been really careful about what I have been eating. Lindsey has been up all night and my food needs to give me energy, not drain me. I love a greasy bacon burger with the rest of America but this momma needs a little more good for you food. The squash in this dish is to die for good.

Let me introduce balsamic herb chicken and butternut squash with brown butter... You're welcome :)


Balsamic Herb Chicken
serves 2
-2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/3 cup Olive oil
- 1 Tbls rosemary, oregano, thyme, parsley
- 1 tsp honey

Mix the last 5 ingredients together and let chicken marinate for at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 and cook for 25-30 minutes until the juices run clear. This all varies depending on thickness of the chicken breast.

Butternut Squash with Brown Butter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 butternut squash (about 1 3/4 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup low-sodium canned chicken broth
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon dark-brown sugar
Directions

Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown. Add squash; saute, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and tender when pierced with a fork, about 16 minutes.

Add chicken broth, the water, and brown sugar; cook until liquid has evaporated and squash is nicely caramelized, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper. Serve.



Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Babys First Christmas

This Christmas was one filled with joy. Watching lindsey open all of her gifts was priceless! She seriously got every toy imaginable and now my living room looks like toys r us exploded...



Pretty princess after church on Christmas Eve



Im so thankful for skype. Eventhough my parents a thousands of miles away, they were able to watch baby girl open the presents they sent.





This dog takes up practically our entire living room. But princess loves it :)


We hope your Christmas was filled with joy and love and always remember the real reason for the season <3

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Hope for the Hurting

Today my heart hurts. The mass shooting in Connecticut is weighing heavy on my heart. Hearing about how so many innocent lives, lives of mere babies, were taken shakes me to the core. While I was rocking my angel to bed last night, I cried. Cried for all those mommy's who are mourning the loss of their babies. Cried for the families who are now experiencing tragedy at what is supposed to be a joyful time of year. Parents who sent their children to school to not only not have them return, but to have to now buy caskets that should not be made that small. 

What happened in Connecticut is tragic. When grief like that is experienced the only thing to do is pray. Pray for those families who have lost a loved one. Pray that the Lord surrounds them with his love and brings them peace. Pray that they turn to Him as they attempt to make sense of this horrendous act. The Lord will never leave you. If we put our faith in Him, especially in the most dire of circumstances, it is possible to find peace. Peace that those babies are now in a place that does not know the pain of the world we live in. Their lives were cut short and that is nothing to take lightly. But the Lord is a merciful God who begs us to let Him heal that pain. And He will if we let Him.

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds" Psalm 147:3

This past week has been full of pain and heartache for my boyfriends family. His Uncle Mike had a triple bypass and two days later his Uncle Greg passed away from a heart attack. Both have families and children. I pray the Lord heals the Williams family and comforts their hearts. 

This world is a world full of sadness, pain, anger and tragedy. If we were to go day to day on our own, it would swallow us whole. But those who walk in the light will never be left to walk alone. 

"Your sun will never set again and your moon will wane no more; The Lord will be your everlasting light and your days of sorrow will end." Isaiah 60:20



Thursday, November 8, 2012

Making Your Own Baby Food

I am very blessed to be able to stay home with Lindsey. It is something I never take for granted. Since I am home, I try and use my time wisely and really enjoy making her baby food. I take comfort in knowing exactly what she is eating. Now that she is eating more "adult" food, I would rather make it than buy it. Not to say the jars aren't healthy! They are and I still use them for travel and going out but when we are home she normally eats what I make. I also make her food just about as flavorful as ours is. I do watch the amount of heat but I know I don't like bland food so why would she? :)

Pumpkin & Carrot 
1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
1/2 cup carrot puree (2 jars of baby food carrot)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbls vanilla yogurt

Mix it all together. When I serve it to Lindsey, I find I need to add a little water to thin it out. I keep half in the fridge and freeze the other half.



Butternut Squash Applesauce
Recipe adapted from here
3lbs gala apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 lbs butternut squash peeled, seeded and diced
1/4 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon

Throw all ingredients in your slow cooker on high for 4-5 hours and low for 8. Once the ingredients are nice and soft, I used my hand mixer to puree. This also makes a large amount and I froze a good portion. 


When making veggies or fruit I just throw the amount desired in a pot of boiling water until tender and soft. Then I puree it in my baby bullet. A food processor or blender would work just as well. Add as much water that you boiled the veg/fruit in to the consistency your little one prefers. There are so many benefits to making your won baby food. It is money conscious, health conscious and you can control how much you make. I always make a large amount to cook all in one day and store in the freezer. That way I have enough to last me until the next big cooking day.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting and apple cider glaze

Okay this is seriously the easiest, most delicious and moist cake I have made in quite sometime. The cake itself is only 2 ingredients. I was a little apprehensive as I was mixing it because it was really thick I though there was no way it would be that moist. But boy was I wrong. Give this bad boy a shot because frankly, its way to good not to.



This picture does not do justice. Blame it on the iPhone and my lack of photography skills.


Pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting and apple cider glaze
Makes a 9x11 pan
1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
1 box yellow cake mix
1 tsp cinnamon

1 can cream cheese frosting

Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbls apple cider ( I used apple juice)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350. Mix the puree, cinnamon, and cake mix with a hand mixer until well incorporated. Spray a 9x11 pan with non stick spray and spread evenly. Bake for 25-30 min until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely and spread with your jar of cream cheese frosting. Mix ingredients for glaze until powdered sugar dissolves and drizzle over.

Monday, October 29, 2012

We're back & 8 Months

Me and the little one have been visiting my family in Arizona for the past couple weeks! We had such a wonderful time and it was so hard to say goodbye. Cant wait until they come out in February! The countdown has begun!









They got engaged the last day of my trip!! Such a wonderful way to end the two weeks.






My precious angel is now 8 months old. Granted this post is over a week late :/

In the past month you:
-CRAWLED! you are moving so so fast mommy can barely keep up
- tried many different finger foods and we are hoping to be done with a bottle soon
- make the cutest scrunch face as a smile now! Makes me melt!
- before we went to arizona you were up many times through the night. In AZ you slept amazingly, I hope that continues...
- are now in 12-18 months, big baby :)
- flew on a plane again! You are such a great traveler
- got your first cold :( 
- started to say uh-oh and repeating many sounds. you are a vocal little thing

I love you so much precious girl. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Lead Your Lambs

My mother, the wise Christian woman I learn from, posted this on facebook the other day:

Yesterday I heard about how Jesus compares us to sheep. Not lions or rhinos or something cool. Sheep. They are a dumb animal and listen to the voice of their master to keep them safe. Those that wander off can't hear the voice of their master and are led astray and lead their little lambs down with them. Lead your little lambs to God and set a good example for them. Take them to church and teach them to listen to the loving voice of their master so that one day you will be together in heaven. The only thing you can take to heaven are your children. This poem says it all. 

‘Twas a sheep not a lamb that went astray
In the parable Jesus told.
‘Twas a grown sheep that wandered away
From the ninety and nine in the fold.

And out on the hilltop, and out in the cold,
‘Twas a sheep the Good Shepherd sought.
Back to the fold and back to the flock,
‘Twas a sheep that the Good Shepherd brought.

Now, why should the sheep be so carefully fed
And cared for even to-day?
Because there is danger if they go wrong,
They will lead the lambs astray.

The lambs will follow the sheep, you know,
Where’er they wander–where’er they go.
If the sheep goes wrong, it will not be long
Till the lambs are as wrong as they.

So still with the sheep we must earnestly plead,
For the sake of the lambs to-day.
If the lambs are lost, what a terrible cost
The sheep will have to pay!

-C.C. Miller

Our Children are the only things we can take with us to Heaven. That right there says it all. Whenever me and Brian get into a discussion about me "pushing" religion on Lindsey, I simply tell him: It is my duty as her mother to give her the foundation of a relationship with God. To know the merciful Father in Heaven that she can always turn to and cast her cares on. And if she decides later in life that she wants to venture away from her faith, that will be her decision. But I will know I instilled what I could in her.
 
If I didnt, what kind of sheep would I be? I would let my little lamby wander this Earth with only earthly things to turn to. That is not the kind of life I want my daughter to know. This world is cold, cruel, and harsh because of the sin that has infiltrated our homes and lives. But when you know God, that cold cruel world has hope. Faith that one day this earth will be gone and we will journey to our heavenly home full of joy and wonder. Faith that through the Lord we can accomplish anything. Faith that through the Lord we do not have to struggle alone, we can cast all our cares on him. Doesnt that sound like a much better life? I know it has been for me since I gave my life to God.

Brian also asks "How do you even know there is a heaven?" Well I know because my faith and the bible tells me so. And if there isnt, then I will lay in the ground for the rest of eternity and wont know the difference. But if there is, I would rather have my faith and know I will join my Father in heaven, and my parents, and hopefully Brian and Lindsey someday, rather than take the chance of going the other way. 

We were told this the other day in bible study: "Theres a price to pay if we would gain spiritual wisdom, but there's an even greater price to pay if we dont gain it."

Guide your lambs. Take them to church. Read to them their bible. Make sure they know the rainbow is Gods way of telling us he will never send another flood (Gen 9:13-17 NIV) Make sure they know that the Lord has a plan for them. Plans for a future and plans for hope (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

And above all make sure they know "For God so loved the world that her gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16 NIV)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Twist on a Classic

Ever get tired of the same ol white or wheat bread? Have I got a change for you! Waffles. Yep you read that right. The same delicious breakfast food has been turned upside down and made savory and a bit spicy with the addition of jalapenos and cheddar. Dont knock it til you try it. And I urge you to try it.


Turkey Club on a Jalapeno Cheddar Waffle
Makes 2 Sandwiches
- waffle mix, any kind will do
- 1 jalapeno chopped
- 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
- lettuce
- bacon
- turkey
- ranch dressing

Mix the waffle mix as directed (mine makes 4 waffles per batch) and add in jalapeno and cheese. Heat up waffle iron to medium high and a skillet for the bacon. Cook the bacon until nice and crisp. Pour the mix in the center of the waffle iron and press down. Let cook until its starts steaming and has a golden brown color. Assemble turkey, bacon. lettuce and ranch in between and waffles like you would bread. Then viola! New take on an old classic! 

Hello Fall

Fall has officially fell here in Northwest Ohio and I could not be happier!! I love the leaves changing colors, and the crisp cool air! It has been especially chilly the past few days. Nothing screams for soup more than chilly weather. I love chicken tortilla soup. It reminds me of my Grandma. She gets it anywhere and everywhere they serve it. I spiced this up a bit and its delish! Way easy too since I just threw everything in the crock pot.


Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
Serves 2 
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika 
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 7 oz can chopped green chilies
- 1 10 oz can Hot Rotel (we like it spicy but you can use regular if you arent a huge fan of the heat)
- 16 oz low sodium chicken broth
- 1 can black beans
- sour cream, cheese, tortilla strips, lime, avocado for topping

Place chicken in a well greased crock pot. Sprinkle Seasonings on top. Pour the rest of the ingredients over the chicken and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6. You can take the chicken out to shred it or leave it in and do it that way. Either way it is so tender it falls right apart. Top with your preferred toppings!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Burger Remake

I have a love affair with burgers. Well actually I have a love affair with most foods, but thats besides the point. I stumbled upon this recipe and it sounded so interesting I had to give it a try. The only sweet potatoes Ive had are at thanksgiving with roasted peeps on top. Yes peeps. Ill save that for next month. Anywho I urge you to break out of your food comfort zone and whip this up. Its really quick and really good!


Terrible photo but you can only do so much with an iphone and a grumbling tummy


Smoky Sweet Potato Burgers with Roasted Garlic Cream and Avocado
Adapted from here


ingredients:
2 cups coarsely mashed sweet potatoes (or yams), about 2 large potatoes

2 bulbs of roasted garlic (cut top off, drizzle with olive oil & wrap in foil, roast at 375 for 45 min)
1 cup cannellini benas (rinsed and drained if canned)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup oat bran
1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon cumin

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1 avocado, sliced

2/3 cup plain greek yogurt or sour cream

1 teaspoon maple syrup

extra salt and pepper for seasoning yogurt/cream

directions:
Pierce potatoes (I used 2 large) all over with a fork and place on a paper towel, setting in the microwave. Microwave for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove, slice in half and let cool until you can scoop out the flesh.
In a large bowl, coarsely mash beans with a fork. Add in sweet potato and mash together, then add in spices, salt and pepper, minced garlic, egg, panko and flour. Mix together until combined, then place bowl in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. This helps form them into patties, but as a warning they are still somewhat messy.
While mixture is chilling, combine yogurt/sour cream with 2 bulbs (squeezed out) of roasted garlic cloves, maple syrup and a sprinkle of salt and pepper in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth then set aside until ready to use.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Remove mixture from fridge and form into 4 equal patties, then place in the skillet once hot. Since the mixture can be wet and messy, do not move until they are fully cooked and golden on one side! This takes about 5-6 minutes. Then, add more oil if needed (this really helps cook them) and flip burgers very gently. Cook for another 5-6 minutes. Top with avocado

Thursday, September 20, 2012

7 MONTHS

This month:











This past month you:
- swam in a baby pool for the first time! You loved it until you decided to try and eat your feet. That scared you a bit.
- have began eating gerber baby puffs! You finally got the hang of putting the little things in your mouth. You forgot to chew once or twice but thankfully they dissolve and you havent done it since!
- rolled off the couch :( I felt like the worst mama in all the world. I saw the whole thing happen and could not get to you in time. Luckily you weren't hurt, just a little (a lot) scared. We both had a good cry.
- Went to your first wedding! yeah you are show stealer :)
- got your two bottom teeth!! it was a rough week for mama and baby. you would only sleep with me and would hardly eat your baby food. They look so cute though. Maybe one day you will let me get a picture!
- put your hands in mamas mouth anytime she talks to you or sings to you. its odd but hey you like it.
- Love going grocery shopping! you yell and talk the whole time. its pretty darn cute.
- are almost crawling! you can move backwards but havent discovered forwards yet. 
- give mama the biggest smile whenever she comes in the room or gets you from your nap. This just melts my heart every time.

My sweet angel you are growing so fast! I cannot believe it has already been 7 months since the Lord brought you to me. You fill a part of my heart I never knew was empty. I just love you so much words cannot even describe.



*I know I just posted Lindseys 6 months. The pictures were on time but the post was a tad late...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Good Stuff

I am beat. School is in full swing and baby has been teething for the past week. I barely have time to shower, let alone blog. I know I have seriously been slacking. Ill still post every now and then but right now, it just is not my top priority. I have a couple posts planned for this week, including baby girl's 6 months. Yeah thats how far behind I am.

Now to the good stuff. This recipe was just too amazing I knew I had to put it on here. If not for all of you, for me to remember to make it again. Yeah that good!! If you have never had goat cheese I strongly urge you to try it. You never know whether you like something until you give it a try :)


Herb and Garlic Roasted Chicken with Cranberry Goat Cheese and a Honey-Balsamic Reduction over roasted Asparagus
Serves 2
- 2 bonless skinless chicken breasts, pounded out to be a little thinner
- 1/4 cup Lawrys Herb and Garlic Marinade
- Cranberry Goat Cheese (use to your liking)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 lb of Asparagus
- Salt & Pepper
- Olive Oil

I like to pound out my chicken a little to quicken the cooking process. I place the breast in a ziplock bag and go to town with a skillet. Mainly just to flatten the really fat part and make it the same size. After that, pour the marinade in the bag and let sit for 30 min-24 hours in the fridge. Once marinaded, preheat oven to 350 and place chicken in a baking dish. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until juices run clear. Take the goat cheese out of the fridge to bring to room temperature. Meanwhile, rinse asparagus and break the woody ends off. Line a baking sheet with foil (easy clean up) and arrange asparagus. Drizzle Olive Oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Once chicken is cooked, turn your heat up to 400 and cook asparagus for 10 minutes. While asparagus is cooking, heat honey and balsamic vinegar in a sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk it together and let it reduce. It will thicken up and be done at the same time as the asparagus. Grab your plate and start to assemble.  Place some asparagus on the bottom of the plate, lay the chicken on top. This is where your own taste buds decide how much goat cheese to spread on your chicken. Drizzle with the honey-balsamic reduction and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

6 Months

I cannot believe my little princess is half a year old! Where has the time gone??










This past month you:
- have started only sleeping on your stomach
- have had peaches, pears, apples, peas, carrots, green beans, bananas, and sweet potatoes
- have started hating veggies so we put a little fruit in with the veggies and that seems to work
- had your first sinus infection
- started having stranger awareness and a couple meltdowns when someone new holds you
- are such a wiggle worm! ill put you in one place on the floor and your in a new one every time I look
- are sitting up all alone!
- still get up a few times in the night. Mommy misses her sleep
- have started making this really loud yelling noise every time we are in church, the grocery store and pretty much whenever you please. It is so adorable though.
- have grown out of a lot of your 6 month clothes! We have a chunky monkey on our hands!
- love giving mommy kisses :)

I love watching the world through your eyes angel. Everyday spent with you is the best day ever. Mommy and Daddy love you so very much.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Never Forget

Today marks 11 years since the terrorist attacks on America. I remember like it was yesterday watching on the news the second plane crashing into the World Trade Center. It felt as though all of America stood still.



Today in one of my classes we were discussing the anniversary and one girl said something that purely disgusted me. She said "Its been 11 years and people are still making a big deal about it." I could not even believe my ears. Of course people are still making a big deal about it because it was a big deal. No it was a HUGE deal. It was one of the biggest tragedies America has ever experienced and that we are still dealing with today. People lost mothers, brothers, sisters, fathers, husbands, wives, children. Over 3000 people lost their life due to a terrorist attack. I cant think of one year when it wont be a big deal. It had a huge impact on us as a country and still impacts us today. She was so ignorant about it.



Let us NEVER forget the men and women who LOST their life that fateful september morning. Those who have given their lives fighting for our country the years following that day. The men and women who went into those burning buildings to save as many people as they could. Some who didnt ever come back out. Never forget what our country went through. Never be as ignorant as that girl.