Friday, December 27, 2013

A Conversation with Broden

I saw this idea on pinterest, so I made up my own questions and plan to sit down with B and interview him each year :)

A Conversation with Broden

My favorite food & drink is:
What do you want for dinner on your birthday:
One food that I really dislike is:
My favorite place to go out to eat is:
My favorite color is:
My favorite toy is: 
My favorite song is:
The book I’m loving right now:
My “studliest” outfit is:
My favorite animal is:
My favorite game/sport is:
My favorite holiday is:
The best show on TV is: 
My favorite movie is:
My favorite thing to learn about in school is:
The absolute best thing about playing outside is:
My best friend is: 
My favorite thing to do with my friends is:
The thing I do most awesomely is: 
Three words that describe me are: 
My favorite thing to say: 
I could do this all day: 
My favorite place to go is: 
The coolest person (my hero) on Earth is: 
If I had $1000 I would buy: 
My favorite thing that happened this year was: 
This past year, I learned how to: 
What does your mom do during the day: 
What does your dad do during the day: 
How old is mom and dad: 
What is your favorite thing to do with mom: 
What is your favorite thing to do with dad: 
What is your favorite thing to do with Graycie: 
What do you like about your mom: 
What do you like about your dad: 
Before my next birthday, I hope I’ll get to do: 
Before my next birthday, I hope I’ll get to visit: 
Before my next birthday, I hope I can:
When I grow up, I’m going to become a: 
When I grow up, I’m going to live: 
Who would you like to marry someday: 
If I could anywhere in the world, I’d go to: 

B's alphabet book

Brody LOVES to read, so I just had to make him his own alphabet book for his 1st Birthday!  It was so much fun to make - and I'm so excited to watch him learn his A-B-Cs!

Click here to create your own Shutterfly photo book.

Here is what I associated with each letter, but there are so many options!  I just looked through all my pictures and put them into letter folders - and then went back and picked out the ones I liked the best!  I could have made like 5 of these books...haha!!!

A: Apple
B: Boating
C: Camping
D: Daddy
E: Easter Bunny
F: Friends
G: Grandparents
H: Hiking
I: Ice Fishing
J: Jack O Lantern
K: Kisses
L: Lake
M: Mommy
N: Naked
O: Outdoors
P: Pool
Q: Quilt
R: Remote
S: Snowman
T: TubTub
U: Uncle Sam
V: Valentine's Day
W: Wagon
X: Xmas
Y: Yummy
Z: Zoo

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Craft

Brody's 1st Christmas needed some cutie foot and handprints to remember just how cutie he was :)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Baked Brie Bites

Christmas Eve at the Sodahls - and my new app was a big hit!!  I, personally, would add more cheese or cranberry sauce and kick up the flavor a little more.....but these were good as is too!  AND they are festive :)

1 box Athens Mini Fillo Shells
4oz brie cheese
1/2 cup cranberry sauce
3 Tablespoons chopped pistachios

Preheat oven to 400 - cook shells according to directions. 

Cut the brie into 1/2 teaspoon chunks and place one in each mini fillo shell.  Bake for 5 more minutes, until the brie is melted.

Remove from the oven and dollop a scant spoonful of cranberry sauce on each little brie tart.  Sprinkle with pistachios and serve warm.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Laundry Room Art!

Who says you can't have pictures in your laundry room!!  How cutie is this??  :)

Pant hangers
Laundry photo shoot of baby (or cat)
Mod podge
8x10 canvas (get at Michaels)

I had a little photo shoot with B and his laundry - and then I edited the photos to be in black and white (cause eventually I want to paint the laundry I can convince Ross!) Anyways, then I just mod podged them to the canvas and hung them up with pant hangers!  Super cutie!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Cranberry Rollups

Christmas celebration with the Ronhovdes today, so I made a festive appetizer!  These were so, so, so good!  A nice bonus is they take about 5 minutes to make - and they taste like heaven!!  A for sure go to app for the Sodahls in the future!

1 (170g) package dried sweetened cranberries
1 (250g) container cream cheese spread
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions
4 large flour tortillas (use spinach for Christmas!)
Combine all ingredients except tortillas, mix well.  Divide and spread mixture evenly among tortillas.  Roll up tightly, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.  Cut in to 12 slices - and serve!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Party Hats

Pom Pom

Make a circle out of your paper - cut it in half  (mine was about 7 inches long).  Then put the ends together and make a cone.  Tape / staple it shut -- hot glue cute pom pom on top and cut out the year and tape that on!


Fold a single newspaper sheet in half.  Fold in each corner on top to meet in the middle.  Fold up the bottom edge twice of the side facing you, then flip hat over and repeat on other side.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Tissue Pom Pom

8 sheets of tissue (cut square)

Line up the 8 sheets of tissue paper - and cut into square.  Then start folding all of the tissue layers over like a concertina, approximately 1″ wide, and continue until the whole length is pleated.  (As you go along be quite firm so you have good crisp fold.)

When you reach the end, make sure that you use something as a paperweight so the concertina doesn't come undone such as a pair of scissors.

Add a strip of wire around the center of the tissue.  You will need extra wire if you intend to hang it from a high ceiling or wanting it suspended to add depth.

Cut both ends of the tissue.  You can either cut a curve for a soft look or at an angle for a more spike effect.  As you will be cutting so many layers of tissue, it may be a good idea to do this in stages, by cutting in to 3-4 layers at a time

Gently start pulling the layers of tissue apart.  Take your time as it is easy to rush this part, and you will only end up with holes and tears in the tissue.  Keep going until you have pulled all of the layers out - and you are DONE!  Super cutie!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Santa Cookie Plate

White plate
Permanent markers
Kiddo to draw fun stuff :)

I have been trying to find a cutie cookie plate for Brody's 1st xmas - and then I saw this idea.....awesome!!!  Just decorate a plain white plate with permanent marker - throw it in the oven (put it in a cool oven) - set to 350 for 30 minutes - then let it cool completely in the oven - and take out and you have an awesome plate!!!


He was really excited...I couldn't get a still picture...

Friday, December 13, 2013

Annual Christmas Ornament

As you all know, I'm obsessed with Christmas/traditions (that's why we have 7 trees!); I'm obsessed with documenting Brody's life (that's why I have a blog!); and I'm obsessed with reliving memories (that's why I scrapbook)! -- SO I came up with a fun tradition to recap the year - Brody / Christmas style!

I plan to make him a yearly Christmas Ornament.  The best part is that inside - there is a little write up of what B accomplished / special memories from that year.  AND then each year - before we put it up on the tree, we can take it out and RELIVE the memories :)

Clear glass ornament (from michael's)
Marker pens that write on glass (from michael's)
Fake snow
Hot glue gun

All I did was take the hot glue gun - put his initial on one side and how old he was on the other - then sprinkle glitter on top of it.  Then I wrote the year - tied with a ribbon - and slipped the "memories" inside!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tuna Noodle Casserole

This was pretty good.  I was really hoping it would be better though....I love myself some casseroles!  It wasn't uber flavorful - but B liked it :)

Serves 6 - Recipe by Our Best Bites

8 ounces medium shell pasta, cooked al dente according to package directions
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 medium stalk celery, thinly sliced or diced
¼ cup diced onion
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced or diced
olive oil, as needed
4 tablespoons flour
 14.5 ounce can chicken broth (just under 2 cups), warmed
1 cup milk, warmed
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
⅛ teaspoon dill
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, more if desired (I desire)
2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
5 oz can tuna, packed in water, more if desired
1/4 cup Ritz cracker crumbs or 1/4-1/2 cup broken up potato chips (I recommend kettle style)

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet.  Add celery and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add onion and cook 2-3 minutes longer, stirring often.  Add mushrooms and cook 3-5 more minutes, until mushrooms are golden and tender. If needed for moisture, add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan after the mushrooms are added; more if needed during remaining cooking time.  Remove vegetables from pan and set aside.

Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in pan and add flour.  Stir constantly for 30 seconds.  Slowly add broth and milk, a little at a time while constantly whisking until mixture is smooth.  Bring to a low simmer.  Add salt, pepper, and dill.  Stir constantly until thickened and bubbly, 2-3 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and add lemon juice, parsley, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.  Whisk until smooth and taste.  Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, and extra lemon juice if desired.  Remove from heat and add pasta, vegetables, and tuna.  Stir to combine and place in a 3 quart baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese (feel free to add more if you want)  and sprinkle cracker crumbs or chips on top.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until top is golden and pasta is hot and bubbly.  Let rest 10-15 minutes before serving to allow sauce to thicken.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Kalua Pork Hawaiian Pizza

Mmmmm pizza!!!  As you know, I'm not a HUGE fan of pizza -- BUT I did really like this!!  I love that it used leftover pork from a previous meal: Kalua Pork Sliders, so we got 2 meals from making 1 thing of pork!  Very easy and good for a week night!

Pizza Dough
Pizza Sauce
Shredded mozzarella cheese
About 2 cups shredded Kalua Pork Roast
About 1 cup fresh chopped pineapple
Any other desired toppings like sliced colored bell peppers, sliced red onions, roasted garlic, pepperoncinis, crumbled bacon, etc.

Spread about 1/2 cup sauce (you’ll want an even layer, not too thin, not too thick) over the pizza crust. Top with the shredded pork, pineapple, and any other desired toppings. Top with shredded cheese and cook according to directions.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Kalua Pork

Who doesn't love a crock pot meal!!  The best part about this recipe - I have multiple meals you can use this in!!!  You can totally just make pork sandwiches with this..OR Pork Sliders with Mango/Pineapple Salsa ...OR Kalua Pork Hawaiian Pizza!!

2.5-3.5lb boneless pork shoulder (butt) roast
Sea salt (pink Hawaiian sea salt if you can find it; SMOKED Hawaiian sea salt if you can find that)
Hickory-flavored liquid smoke (if you can’t find smoked sea salt, or for a little more smokey flavor)

Rinse the pork roast and pat it dry. Pierce the entire roast with a fork. Sprinkle generously with the liquid smoke (about 1 tablespoon, more if you have a very large roast) and sprinkle with the sea salt (start with about a little less than tablespoon and see how far it gets you; you can always add more after it cooks). Rub the salt into the roast. Place the roast in a slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until the meat shreds easily with a fork.
Remove the roast from the pan and place it in a serving dish or on a serving platter. Shred it, discarding any large pieces of fat. Drizzle enough of the cooking liquid over the pork to re-moisten it and keep it from drying out. Plan on 6-8 ounces of pre-cooked meat per person–pork shoulder is quite fatty, so the weight will really cook down.

Kalua Pork Sliders with Pineapple-Mango Slaw

SOOOOOO GOOOD!!!!  This was so easy to make - and was so delicious!!  I don't really know what else to say except SOOOOO GOOD!!!

OBB Cookbook


2 cups shredded purple cabbage (cut shreds into about 1″ pieces)
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 rib celery
1/3 cup sliced green onions
3 heaping tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 cup diced mango
1/2 cup diced pineapple

3 tablespoons mayo
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon sugar
1 heaping teaspoon orange zest
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1-2 dozen Hawaiian Rolls
1 Kalua Pork Roast about 3 lbs
optional: bbq sauce

Note:  Since you’re putting the slaw on a small bun, make sure to dice everything relatively small so you get a little of everything in each slider!

Combine all slaw ingredients and gently toss.  Whisk dressing ingredients together.  Add dressing to slaw and toss gently until everything is lightly coated.  Chill for 15 minutes.  Slice Hawaiian rolls in half, top with shredded Kalua Pork and a generous spoonful of slaw.  Top with other half of bun.  (If desired, you can squirt just a wee bit of bbq sauce over the pork.  I don’t like to use a lot because it takes away from the simple smoky flavor of the pork, but if you have a sauce you really love, it’s pretty good in there.)

Yield depends on how full you make them. I would estimate 1 1/2 dozen very generously filled sliders and 2 dozen moderately filled ones.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Craft

Again - something SUPER easy but very thoughtful and cute for a Thanksgiving Day Card....OR for a baby book / scrapbook in my case :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Spaghetti Bake

Ross LOVES spaghetti...and I like it, but never really am in the mood for it.....but THIS - I would eat this every single day!!  This was soooooo yummy!!!!  Such a fun twist of your typical spaghetti!  DO IT UP!

1 lb of ground beef
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
8 oz of cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 lb cottage cheese
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 pkg spaghetti 16 oz
Grated cheddar cheese

Preheat your oven to 350°. Boil your spaghetti noodles until al dente (firm).  Drain and set aside until ready to assemble.

Combine the cream cheese, sour cream and cottage cheese until well blended.

Brown  your hamburger and when done, drain well.  Combine the hamburger with your spaghetti sauce.  Ready for assembly?

Put a few slices of butter into a 9×13 pan then pour half of your spaghetti noodles on top.  Take your cream cheese mixture and pour on top of the noodles. Spread well over noodles.  Pour the rest of the noodles on top of the cream cheese mixture.  Put a few more slices of butter on top of the noodles.  Pour your spaghetti and meat sauce on top of your noodles.

Now it is ready to put into the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, pour the desired amount of grated cheese on top and return to the oven for 15 minutes to allow cheese to melt

Spray Painting Light Fixtures


Of course, all of our bathrooms have gold light no thank you!  Instead of spending tons of $$ replacing all these bad boys - I SPRAY PAINTED!!!  Yes, that's right...You can spray paint light fixtures and they look amazing!!!!


Spray paint
Sander (is that what they are called?!)

Take your light fixture down - clean it - sand it - clean it again - sand it again...repeat this until you think it's good and sanded!  This helps hold the paint in :)

Then spray the fixture with primer - this is what I used!  (you can get this on Amazon, Michaels, or Home Depot)

After that dries (we let it sit overnight) - then you spray paint the color.  Again, I got these on Amazon but I saw the same ones at Michaels and Home Depot.  Let them dry overnight - and BAM!  You have new light fixture for the total cost of $10 :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Ahhh Rossy....he really wanted to make chicken noodle soup from scratch - so  I finally found a recipe that didn't take all day....and this was really, really good!  Even Brody liked his 1st taste of chicken noodle soup :)

6 cups chicken broth (1 1/2 boxes or 3 cans) - this recipe works great: Homemade Chicken Broth
1 lb cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces (rotisserie chicken is perfect)
1 cup sliced carrots
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 onion, minced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 bay leaf
1 handful of chopped fresh parsley (or 1 Tbsp. dried parsley)
1/2 teaspoon basil
Creamette noodles

In a large pot, heat some olive oil over medium heat and add onions and garlic. Saute for a few minutes and then add chicken broth, chicken, bay leaf, and basil. Bring to a boil. Add carrots and celery and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until carrots and celery are tender. When carrots and celery are almost done, add chopped parsley. Increase heat to boiling and add noodles - Cook until noodles are tender.

Homemade Chicken Broth

Ross was adamant about having "homemade" chicken noodle soup.....SO here we are!  This was surprisingly really easy :)  We made up the broth - and then used it with Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup - YUMMY!!!!

1 leftover chicken (aka carcass) with excess fat removed (rotisserie chicken works awesome)
2-3 ribs celery, if they have leaves on- don’t cut them off!

2 carrots or a handful of baby carrots
1/4 of a large onion, or 1/2 of a smaller one
3 cloves garlic, smashed with a knife
10 peppercorns
1 heaping tablespoon kosher salt
Herbs:  fresh sprigs of parsley, thyme, and a bay leaf.  Rosemary and sage also good.
OR use dried herbs.  I use 2 teaspoons each of sage, rosemary, and thyme, and also a handful of fresh parsley.

Trim any excess fat off of chicken.  Place all ingredients in a large stock pot and fill with water until it reaches about 1-2 inches over the top of the chicken (Generally that’s about 4 quarts for me, which is 16 cups).
Bring to a simmer and cover pot.  Simmer for 1 hour.  Strain mixture to remove solids.  Cool broth to room temp and then store in portioned containers in the freezer for up to 3 months, or in the fridge for about 5 days.  Quantity varies, but it will reduce in volume after simmering.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Baby Mousetrap Halloween Costume

So I'm OBSESSED with Halloween, so it's only fitting that I have to come up with the most creative / cute costumes for B Man :)  It was his 1st Halloween and all!!  How cute and awesome is this?!

Mouse costume
Toy Cheese
Black Duck tape
PVC piping
Gold spray paint
Furnace Coil
Red Paint

Halloween Craft

I had to post this cause it was so cute and so easy!!!  Just need some waterproof finger paint and your kids foot :)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Sweet Potato Burrito

So Brody is 9 months old - and I'm looking 9 months prego still.....and because I won't make time to work out (I justify that I need to be with Brody when he is awake since I'm a working mom....) - I figured I can concentrate on what I eat and see where that takes me!  This was UBER healthy (prior to that dollop of sour cream!) - and it was really really really good!!!  Ross said "this would be really good with chicken" - go figure...but it was really good even without meat!!  MAKE IT and pray I shed lbs!!

Serves 4
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked hot paprika (or chipotle powder)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
sea salt and black pepper
4 to 6 whole wheat tortillas
2 roasted red peppers (I used jarred)
2 cups cooked black beans or 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1+ cup shredded Jack cheese
Avocado Salsa Verde
2 ripe avocados from Mexico
1 cup mild salsa verde, jarred
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh jalapeño, deseeded and roughly chopped (optional)
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves
up to 2 tablespoons water, to thin as necessary
sea salt, to taste (optional)
1 1/2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 small red onion, finely chopped
finely chopped jalapeño (optional)
sour cream

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Scrub and peel the sweet potatoes. Chop them into large, bite-sized chunks, about 1 to 1 1/2-inches wide/long and 1/2-inch deep. Toss the sweet potatoes with the olive oil, cumin, smoked hot paprika, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper. Make sure they are lightly coated in oil on all sides. Pour the sweet potatoes onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Arrange the sweet potatoes evenly in a single layer. Do not overcrowd. Bake for about 45 minutes, flipping the sweet potato chunks halfway, until they are golden and caramelized around the edges.
Make the avocado sauce: in a food processor or a good blender, combine the avocado flesh, salsa verde, garlic, jalapeño (skip this if your salsa is spicy) and lime juice. Blend. Add the cilantro and blend again. Add water to thin out the sauce if desired; the sauce should glop easily off a spoon. Taste and blend in some sea salt or add another squeeze of lime if necessary. This sauce should taste like a real kick in the mouth; you’ll know you’re done when you can’t stop going in for another spoonful of the stuff.
Make sure the oven is still on at 450 degrees Fahrenheit.* Place your tortillas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. In the middle of each tortilla, put down a couple strips of roasted red pepper, then pour 1/3 cup black beans down the center and top it all with 1/3 cup roasted sweet potato chunks. Sprinkle 1/4 cup or more of jack cheese on top. Pull one edge of the tortilla over to the center of the burrito, then pull the opposite edge over to overlap a bit. Gently roll the burrito over. Repeat with remaining burritos. Bake your burritos for about 5 minutes on the middle rack, until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are lightly crisp.
Carefully transfer each burrito to a plate. Smother it in avocado sauce, sprinkle with ample romaine lettuce, some chopped red onion, jalapeño if you’d like and a dollop of sour cream. Go at it with a fork.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Beef with Broccoli

Winner, winner - beef dinner!!!  Ross said "I can't even tell the difference between this and Chinese take out" -- what what!!!  This was sooooo easy - and soooo yummy!!  The Rons loved it too!!!  Huge hit!  Made this with brown rice!!!

1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1  tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons veggie oil
1 1/2 lbs flank steak, sliced into thin strips

Whisk together the baking soda, sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce, water and veggie oil in a large bowl.  Toss the steak with the marinade to coat.  Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour, then proceed below.

1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon sherry
3 tablespoons veggie oil
2 heads broccoli, crowns only

In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, flour and sherry until smooth.  Set aside.

In a large wok or saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of veggie oil over high heat until shimmering.  Add broccoli and saute 3 minutes, stirring often.  Transfer broccoli to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium-high.  Carefully add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the hot pan.  Add the marinated meat and half of the sauce mixture and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring often,until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink.  Stir in the broccoli and remaining sauce.  Saute for 1 minute more - serve!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Creamy Brie & Mushroom Pork Chops

Um YUMMY!!!!  This was sooooooo good!!!!!!  I don't even know if I need to say anything else....I loved it, Ross loved it, N-Ron loved it!!!!  Make it!!  (We did white rice under it - perfection!)

Makes 6 servings: OBB
6 lean pork loin chops, trimmed of excess fat (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2-2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 large white onion, cut in half and cut into 1/4″ slices
2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups low-fat milk
3 ounces low-fat cream cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon olive oil
4-5 ounces Brie cheese, trimmed of the rind (don’t kill yourself getting it off, but you want most of the rind gone) and cut into 1/2″ cubes

Rinse the pork chops in cool water and pat them dry with a paper towel. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Roll each pork chop in the seasoning mixture and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375. In a large oven-safe skillet, heat the tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat, swirling the pan to coat with oil. When hot, add the pork chops and cook until golden brown on each side. Transfer the pork chops to a plate and set aside. Add the butter to the skillet (try adding 1/2 tablespoon at first and add more if you need to). When it’s melted and bubbly, add the onions, mushrooms, and garlic and saute until the mushrooms are tender and the onions are starting to caramelize.
While the onions are cooking, combine the milk, cream cheese, salt, flour, and coarsely ground black pepper in the jar of a blender and blend until smooth. When the onions have finished cooking, add the sauce mixture and cook until bubbly and thickened. Remove from heat (or turn it to very low) and add the Brie cubes and stir to combine. When the sauce is smooth and the cheese is melted, add the pork chops and cover with a lid. Place the covered pan in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the pork chops have reached 165 degrees F. Serve over rice or with boiled baby potatoes.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Maple Drizzled Apple-Cinnamon Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

YUMMY!!!!!!!!  I'm a grilled cheese connoisseur, so I got pumped when I saw this recipe!  This did NOT was so yummy!!!!   I would make this again and again....I really liked the sweetness of the apple / cinnamon!!
Makes 4 sandwiches: OBB
Measurements are approximate.  These are sandwiches- don’t overthink it!
4 slices rustic sandwich bread
8 slices sharp cheddar cheese (or enough to cover all the slices)
1-2 sweet, crisp apples (honey crisp were amazing)
ground cinnamon
kosher or sea salt
3-4 tablespoons real butter
100% real maple syrup

Butter each slice of bread and place slices butter-side down on a cutting board.  Place cheese on each slice of bread.  Core apples and slice into 1/8 inch slices.  Place apple slices on 4 slices of bread and lightly sprinkle them with ground cinnamon and salt.  Put sandwich halves together and grill in a hot skillet, or on a Panini grill, or broiled in the oven, flipping sandwiches and cooking until each side is golden brown and cheese is melted.  Drizzle with maple syrup, or serve on the side for dipping.  

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Italian Chicken Roll-Ups

Ahhhh I haven't cooked a new meal in forever!!!  It was the first time since I've had my blog that I almost missed a month with a new recipe, so I snuck a couple in at the last second :)  Guess that's what happens when you sell your house and have to pack up all your kitchen stuff!!  We are living with the parents now, so figured I would pay them back for their hospitality with some home cooking!

This was soooo good!!  It was really easy to prep too - and then you can relax (or get dinner ready for your baby!) while you wait for it to bake!!  Awesome!!!

Serves 6 : Recipe OBB

3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup spinach leaves
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Garlic Bread Seasoning
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Pizza Sauce (or your favorite marinara sauce)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together the ricotta cheese and garlic bread seasoning and set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Place a chicken breast flat on a plastic cutting board and cover the entire board with a piece of plastic wrap. Pound the chicken breast with a meat mallet until it’s about 1/4″ thick (it will have spread considerably). Cut the pounded chicken breast in half. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.

Line a chicken breast with spinach leaves. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture over the spinach leaves, leaving about a 1/2″ margin from each edge, then sprinkle with mozzarella. Starting at on one end, carefully roll up each chicken breast and secure with 2 toothpicks. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.
Roll each stuffed chicken breast in melted butter, then roll in the Italian seasoned bread crumbs and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven or until the chicken is cooked through. If you want to brown the tops a little, turn on the low broiler for 1-2 minutes (be sure to  keep an eye on it–burning things at this point would be very sad).

Make up your pizza sauce for dipping while you wait!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Baby Food - Mango

This was Brody's all time favorite food so far!  He can't get enough....I think he would eat these until he was sick!
One mango yields about six ounces of puree.

When purchasing fresh mango, look for fruit that's free of nicks, bruises, and other blemishes. A ripe mango will give slightly when you squeeze it and have a fruity aroma at the steam; the color can vary between red, yellow, or orange and isn't the best indicator of ripeness.

Wash the mango with a mixture of three parts water and one part white vinegar to remove bacteria. Rinse under cool running water and dry.

Use a knife with serrated edges to slice the thickest part of the mango on either side; cut as close as possible to the pit. Make three horizontal and three vertical cuts (down to the peel but not through it) in the flesh of the mango. Scoop the flesh out with a spoon.

Puree mango in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add water as needed to reach desired consistency.

Refrigerate leftover mango puree for up to 3 days. Freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in your refrigerator.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Baby Stuff

I've been getting lots of emails requesting my lovely baby spreadsheets, SO I created a new link on my blog - "Craft / Baby Index" (top header on left) - to store all that loveliness.  Enjoy :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cookie Sandwich

Hmmmm heaven in your mouth!!!!

1 recipe of Chocolate Chip Cookies
Strawberries - diced
Cool whip (or Whipped Cream)

Grandma Mimi's Chocolate Chip Cookies

A co-worker of mine won an award for the "best chocolate chip cookie" - so we thought we would give it a try tonight at cookbook.  These were good....and we made them even better by doing this: Cookie Sandwich.
Kerry Olzenak Award Winning Recipe

1 cup butter-flavored shortening
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon hot water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
12 oz package chocolate chips
2 cups oatmeal

Cream shortening and stir in sugar and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mix until smooth.

Add vanilla, hot water, soda, salt, flour and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Add oatmeal and stir well.

Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 9-10 minutes or until golden brown.