Monday, November 19, 2012

Star Wars Birthday!

We had so much fun at R's, Star Wars themed 4th birthday! The C3P0 and R2D2 cutout was definitely worth it! Made for great pictures! If you have any questions on how I made something or where I got it, just ask!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Magnet board via pinterest..kinda

So have you seen those magnet boards with the ABC's modge podged on it and a cute toddler playing at it, on pinterest? Well I took that idea and made it more "pre-teen". These are oil drip pans from Ace Hardware, which I had to order and wait 2 weeks for but at $7.42 each, it was worth it. It does have that stamp on it, but my son thought it was cool, and so did I. It also doubles as a dry erase board! Look how sweet the first message is??!! Ok.....I wrote it....but it doesn't make it not true! When I take pics of the rest of the room I will go into more detail, just thought it was cool and wanted you to see!
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Chicken Tetrazzini Recipe

This is a HUGE favorite in my house with all the kids and my hubby.  
This makes a lot, but if you have a family of 6 like me, it makes just enough with a little bit of leftovers.  The leftovers are always gone the next day.
I am going to give a few different options on how to make it.

Chicken- 3 breasts or grab a ready made Rotisserie chicken at the store if you're in a hurry
3/4 can of chicken broth (if you boil your chicken you don't need this)
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 can of cream of chicken and mushroom soup
1 8 oz. bag of shredded sharp cheese
1/2 cup of onion (finely chopped)
1/2 cup of celery (finely chopped)
1 tbsp butter
1 16oz pkg of THIN spaghetti
Secret Ingredient*** Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning
Optional :Mushrooms and sliced green olives

Let's get started!
Cooking the chicken:
**Option 1- You can put your chicken in a big pan of water and boil it for 1 hour until the chicken is done.  Take it out and put in a bowl and shred it, set aside for later. You can then grab a cup of that chicken flavored water to use for later.  Save the rest of that water to boil your noodles.
**Option 2- I forgot to take my chicken out of the freezer last night, so this morning I stuck my frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot with a cup of water.  Cooked on low for 8 hours - 2 birds, 1 shredded chicken AND chicken broth done.
**Option 3- Shred a cooked rotisserie chicken and use a can of chicken broth later.
Alright, now we are going to saute the veggies.  This is where more options come in.  Because I am making this for the kids AND for us, I do this a little wonky.  I saute my finely diced onions, celery and a little mushroom in butter.  (They are finely diced so the kids can barely see them) I do NOT add my extra mushrooms or green olives yet.  

Next I add my soups and broth (appox 8oz) to my cooked veggies until nicely mixed.  Then I add the entire package of shredded cheese until it becomes a melty goodness.
Here is where we add the chicken, and then the secret ingredient.. Tony's.. greatest seasoning ever!  I sprinkle it on the chicken before I mix it in probably about a teaspoon in all.

At this point (if you used option 1) use the rest of that water to go ahead and boil your noodles.  You might need to add more water.  I cooked my noodles an "al dente" about 6 minutes because I planned on baking my tetrazzini later. 
*** Noodle side note*** You can go ahead and cook your noodles all the way if you are in a hurry, you do not HAVE to bake this dish at the end as everything is cooked when you assemble it.  Many a busy night we have just eaten it right off the stove and it's still VERY good! 
Now that your noodles are cooked and the water is drained..dump that chicken mixture right on in!
Mix it up really well.  I test it and see if I need to add more seasoning.  Remember it's spicy seasoning though, so go light for the kiddos.  My dinner is done, well for the kids....
*** If you're in a hurry you can eat this now! Everything you've added is cooked!

NOW, here is where my other options come in, green olives and extra mushrooms.  I go ahead and put half the mixture I just made, in a lightly greased 8x8 baking dish for the kids.  THEN I add my green olives and extra mushrooms, and some more Tony's to the remaining mixture for the hubby and I.  I then put this into another 8x8 for us.
You can tell ours is on the right with the extra chunkiness.  You can bake like this...but... you might want to top with a little sprinkling of cheese for some extra yum!
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly!
Here it is right out of the oven! YUMM
I hope this will be a new family favorite in your house as it is in mine!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Crockpot Mexican Chicken Soup

Crockpot Recipe!
This could be called Chicken Tortilla Soup, but I didn't add the tortillas on top so I decided it's just Mexican Chicken Soup.  It had a good spice to it and was really easy.

1 can mexican rotel (use mild for a milder soup)
2 cans chicken broth
1 pkg taco seasoning(again use mild for a milder soup)
2-3 chicken breasts (mine were frozen)
1 small can tomato sauce
1 can fire roasted tomatoes with garlic
1 tsp cumin
1/4 onion chopped finely
1 tsp minced garlic
1 can black beans drained
1 can corn-drained
Add all to crockpot, cook on low 8 hours.. shred your chicken in or out of the crockpot,
put in a bowl, top with sour cream and some crunched up tortilla chips if you want..ENJOY!

Family Photos- what to wear?!

This is probably one of the hardest things for a mom.  You would think it would be something like balancing work, home, family, cooking, cleaning etc...but NO, it's planning your whole family's wardrobe for pictures! I stress out over this EVERY time! I didn't want everyone wearing the same thing and color as we have in past years, but wanted to make sure we looked cohesive.  I was pretty happy how it worked out. Oh and it helps to have an AMAZING photographer, which we do.  
I also really wanted to make sure the older kids were dressed appropriately for their "pre-teen" age and not look too babyish.
(E's plaid shirt by Abercrombie, B's solid navy by American Eagle, J's Cardigan by Hollister)
Of course R's toddler outfit had to be stylish too!
(Navy long sleeve shirt by Land's End, Cardigan by H&M) 
Hubby and I jeans by American Eagle, my top Forever 21, his plaid shirt Daniel Cremieux @ Dillards
We always have a good time, which includes us climbing the tree BEFORE the kids got to!
I liked R's cardigan open..but being 3 he kept wanting to take it off so it ended buttoned up later.
Make sure you grab quick individual shots while you're there!
I also did these fun matchups from last year's pics to see how much everyone has grown!
Sept 2010 vs Dec 2011
 I think the most important thing for great pictures is to have fun and try and be comfortable!