Momma’s Meals has MOVED!!! Come on over!!

Next month marks the anniversary of Momma’s Meals moving to www.mommasmeals.org. It’s been a great change for me, and there are a lot of new exciting things going on. New topics, new recipes and this Momma has a new baby we welcomed this past Summer. I’ve noticed that I’ve had some views and some new followers show interest in my new site so I wanted to extend the invitation to come on over and check out the new site!!! Hope to see you over there! :)

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Happy Birthday to Momma’s Meals!!!!!

This is my last post on this version of Momma’s Meals……..I’m so happy to show you my new site………Wish this Momma a Happy Birthday because one year ago today I posted my very first recipe on Momma’s Meals. So what are you waiting for???? Go now!!!!

Momma’s Meals……..Who Said Mommahood Came With a Recipe??

Hearty Pork Stew for #Sunday Supper

When you think of fall what is the first thing that comes to mind? If you had asked me this about 5 years ago my answer would have been a lot different than it is today. Fall time to me years ago meant the end of summer and the beginning of the cold, and that was enough to set me into a “winter mood.” Now……..Fall means the end of a HOT brutal summer, driving down the street turns into a beautiful scenic ride, amazing smells coming from the kitchen, all day Sunday’s in the kitchen with the sounds of football in the background. That sounds like Fall to me.

Fall Day

I always wondered why I’d want to live in New England when I hated Winter so much, but I’m glad I’m so close to my family that I could never move far away because now I really appreciate Fall. The colors are just so beautiful. The sound of the leaves hitting the ground and blowing around, is like the sound of the ocean to me.

So what do you think of when you think of Fall? How about All Things Orange??? Yes Orange!! That’s what my #SundaySupper team is honoring this evening.  Pam over at The Meltaways is our gracious hostess with the mostest tonight!! Thanks for hostessing such an awesome seasonal event Pam!!

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm(Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite recipes featuring our favorite fall color. All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat.  We’d also love to feature your easy go to recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers, too. Not my kitty but had to share because it’s so cute!

Fall Kitten

I chose a hearty soup I’ve been wanting to try since last year. I have to be honest because, well I have to be, it was missing something. I’m using this opportunity for any of you to tell me what spices or fresh herbs I could have used in this recipe so I can attempt to make it again. The other problem I seem to have is thickening anything, a soup, a gravy, a stew, anything. I can’t seem to do it. At all. Like not even close. I’ve tried every combination, flour and water, cornstarch and water, and this recipe actually called for flour and butter. I know your probably thinking it’s the ratio or that I’m not mixing it before adding it to the recipe, but I always follow the recipe and I always mix it before adding it to the recipe. I was talking to my grandmother about it one day and suggested shaking it in a jar first, I even tried that! I’m hopeless! HELP! Any suggestions are welcome!

Pork Stew (6)

Hearty Pork Stew
Recipe Inspired by:
Betty Crocker
Serves: 6

Pork Stew (1)

1 1/2 pounds pork boneless loin, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices (1 1/2 cups)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 carton (32 ounces) Progresso® chicken broth (4 cups)
2 cups 1/2-inch diced peeled parsnips
1 1/2 cups 1-inch cubes peeled butternut squash
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

What I did:

I started by chopping up the vegetables……..now that looks like a lot of orange to me!

Pork Stew (2)

I added them to the crock pot and then cut up the pork. I then added the salt, pepper and sage to the meat and rolled it around.

Pork Stew (3)

I added everything else to the crock, and added more salt, pepper and sage and stirred it. I cooked it on low for 7 hours.

Pork Stew (4)

I stirred the margarine and flour in a separate dish, then added it to the crock in 3 different tablespoons. Stirred it for a few minutes, covered and cooked it on high for one more hour. I also added the peas in at this time too because mine were canned. This is what the recipe said to do. I wish I knew what I was doing wrong!

Pork Stew (5)a

Sunrise  (Breakfast and Brunch)

Paula from Vintage Kitchen Notes is bringing her Orange Ricotta Pancakes

Kris from In The Kitchen with Audrey and Maureen  is making her Sweet Potato Pancakes

Erin from Dinners Dishes and Desserts is baking up some Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Heather from Girlichef is bringing Pumpkin Doughnuts with Spiced Buttermilk Glaze

Nicole from Daily Dish Recipes is making Pumpkin Donut Puffs

Patti from Comfy Cuisine is bringing Classic Orange Marmalade

Claire from The Realistic Nutritionist is baking up some Spiced Low-Fat Pumpkin Biscuits

Sunithi from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz is making Spice Pumpkin Ricotta Muffins with Craisins and Walnuts

Wendy from The Weekend Gourmet is cooking up some Pumpkin Maple Oatmeal

Jamie from Mama Mommy Mom is bringing Butternut Squash Butter

Chelsea from Chelsea’s Culinary Indulgence is bringing Pumpkin Spiced Donuts with Chai Icing

High Noon (Soups, Salads and Sandwiches)

Renee from Magnolia Days is serving up some Butternut Squash Soup

Beate from Galactopdx is bringing her Carrot Ginger Soup

Jen from Juanita’s Cocina is making some Sweet Potato Salad

Megan from I Run For Wine is making Roasted Butternut Squash and Italian Sausage Soup With Adult Grilled Cheese

Sarah from What Smells So Good is filling our bowls with some Spicy Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup

Alice from Hip Foodie Mom is coming with her Roasted Carrot and Quinoa Salad

Susan from The Wimpy Vegetarian is making Spiced Sweet Potato Cider Soup

Tora from Tora’s Real Food is bringing Butternut Squash and Tomato Soup

Melanie from From Fast Food to Fresh Food is making Monty’s Pumpkin Soup

Lyn from The Lovely Pantry is bringing Pumpkin Coconut Soup

Kim from Cravings of a Lunatic is whipping up some Mandarin Chicken Salad

Sunset (Dinner and Main Dishes)

Amber from Mama’s Blissful Bites  is bringing Rice and Fig Stuffed Mini Pumpkins

Sarah from Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends is offering up some Pumpkin Ravioli in Sage Butter Sauce

Pam from The Meltaways is making some Spooky Stuffed Peppers

Shelia from Pippis In The Kitchen Again is serving her Roasted Squash and Ricotta with Honey

Patsy from Famfriendsfood is bringing her Carrot Souffle

Elizabeth from The Hand That Rocks The Ladle is making Baked Sweet Potatoes with Maple Pecan Shallot Butter

Laura from Small Wallet Big Appetite is bringing Chicken and Sweet Potato Fritters

Mehereen from Chattering Kitchen is making Sichuan Orange Glazed Chicken with Toasted Sesame Seeds

Tammi from Momma’s Meals is making Hearty Pork Stew

Kristin from Kwistin’s Favorites is making Orange Chicken

Soni from Soni’s Food For Thought is cooking up some Rigatoni with Pumpkin Ricotta Sauce

Shelby from Diabetic Foodie is cooking up some Moroccan Vegetable Stew

Dara from Generation Y Foodie is bringing Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Brandie from Home Cooking Memories is sharing a DIY Baked Sweet Potato Bar

By The Bonfire (Sweets, Snacks and Sips)

Carla from Chocolate Moosey is making Pumpkin Tiramisu with Pumpkin Butter Caramel Sauce

Heather from Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks is offering up some Pumpkin Cake Truffles

Shelia from Cooking Underwriter is bringing Sweet Potato Bacon Beet Salsa

Anne from Webicurean  is making some Drunken Pumpkin Bread

Karen from In The Kitchen With KP is making Oven Baked Sweet Potato Chips

Leslie La Cocina De Leslie is making Sweet Potato Atole

Seet Fei from My Trials in The Kitchen is bringing Sweet Potatoes Mini Balls

Bree from Bree’s Bites is bringing Peanut Butter Pumpkin Bites

Tara from Noshing With The Nolands is bringing Oranges En Suprise

Susan from The Girl in The Red Kitchen is making Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scone with Pumpkin Glaze

Conni from Mrs. Mama Hen is making Orange Glazed Poundcake

Isabel from Family Foodie is baking up Moist Pumpkin Bread Reisipe

Cindy from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings is baking up a Vegan Pumpkin Orange Cake

Brenda from Meal Planning Magic is whipping up some Pumpkin Cream Cheese Fruit Dip

Laura from Family Spice is making some Gluten Free and Unprocessed Pumpkin Bread

Kathya from Basic and Delicious is baking up Butternut Squash and Carrot Bread

Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake is serving up Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

Stephanie from The Cookie A Day Challenge is whipping up some Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwiches

Katie from She Like Ruffles, He Likes Truffles is bringing Pumpkin Harvest Cookies

Nancy from Gotta Get Baked is baking up some Orange Macadamia Dark Chocolate Cookies

Angie from Big Bear’s Wife  is bringing Orange Soda Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes

Katy from Happy Baking Days is bringing Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze

Sandra from Midlife Road Trip is bringing Orange ya glad it’s fall! Hungarian Apricot/Walnut pastries

In case you lost count, that is fifty nine delectable dishes! I don’t know about you, but my mouth is already watering!

You MUST Come hungry!

Featured Friday – Inspired Housewife

I am more than thrilled to introduce you to today’s Featured Co-Host! Amee is the housewife, mother, wife and writer behind Inspired-Housewife, a blog about One Woman’s Life Journey Through Marriage, Motherhood and Self-Identity. Let me just say that Amee is such an inspiration to me. She blogs about raising three children, cooking gluten free, attempts at home schooling and raising a special needs child. This Momma amazes me, she’s got great info on Autism, Kid Ideas & Crafts, and even a section on birth and babies!! One of my favorite things to do is search through other blogs. I find a blog I like, I mark it, I contact the person and then I schedule them in my calendar for a Friday that works for them. My favorite part though, is when it gets to be the Sunday before, when I get to sit down and really go through people’s sites, read about them, read their stories and search through recipes. I feel like I really get to know the people. Anyways, you need to go visit Amee and check it out because when I was sitting here this past week and came across her post on DIY PVC Pipe Sprinkler Tutorial, I was highly impressed, ask my husband I told him all about it!

Amee graduated with a Media Studies degree and has a passion for singing, writing, cooking and making each day count as if it were her last. I love that she married her “Super-Man” and has two fat cats too, who doesn’t love a housewife that adores her husband and includes her kitties in her intro!!

 So the recipe I chose to make of Amee’s was her Coconut Curry Chicken in the Slow Cooker, I chose this one because I use my Crock a lot and I had a busy week so I wanted something I could leave for my husband while I attended my very first Cooking Show/School! (More about that next week) I tried a Curry dish this summer and my husband and I really liked it so I wanted to give another one a shot. Plus adding coconut……that was fun!

Chicken Coconut Crock Pot Curry

Recipe From: Inspired-Housewife
Serves: 4

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Ingredients:

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic (crushed)

3 tablespoons of standard curry powder

2 pounds of frozen or fresh chicken breast meat (about three or four breasts depending on size)

3 tablespoons of brown or white sugar

1 14 ounce can of coconut milk

1 24 ounce jar of regular tomato spaghetti sauce

2 14.5 ounce cans of stewed tomatoes (do not drain you need juice)

1 teaspoon each of black pepper and salt to taste

Instructions:

Add all of the ingredients into the Crock Pot.

Stir well. Place the chicken breasts into the mixture and push down into the bottom. If the chicken is frozen cook on low for 7-8 hours, if they are defrosted (as mine were) I put mine in at 12:30 and cooked it on low until 4:30 then switched it to warm until my husband got to eat it since he was on MM duty! I served it over rice and it was spectacular!! My husband even texted me during the cooking show to tell me it was fabulous!! :) Had it for lunch the next day too!! Thanks for sharing Amee! Now go visit her and tell her this Momma sent you!

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What Advice Would You Give a New Momma?

How many times have you heard people say “Enjoy every moment” while you were pregnant? Or how about “Enjoy the time alone with your husband that you have because you’ll never have it again!” I remember A LOT of people saying these things. However, I truly believe that you really don’t “understand” what they mean until you have experienced the actual moment. For example, my bad habit is not “enjoying the moment.” I’ve done a lot in the last two years since having my daughter that MAKES me enjoy the moments. For one, I blog about it, it’s a lot of the reason how Momma’s Meals started :) I often said when my daughter was an infant that I realized I’m not an “infant” person, meaning it wasn’t really the stage I enjoyed the most, I couldn’t wait until my daughter could walk and explore the world. I then quickly found myself baby proofing my home. Then I couldn’t wait for her run and play, now I find myself locking the fridge, toilet and cabinets, I spend my days putting her cloths away 20 times at the least since she loves emptying her draws! I just said this summer, I couldn’t wait for her to start talking so she could tell me the things she wanted instead of crying and whining them, well I’m not wishing for anymore stages. I’m trying to enjoy the stage I’m in now because I know three months from now I’m going to miss it. That’s how quickly it goes by. I already miss the infant stage, do I miss the sleepless nights, heck no, but I do miss going to the bathroom by  myself, being able to eat when I want to eat, or getting more accomplished in a day besides a load of laundry and dinner on the table. I miss making funny noises and faces just to get a smile from her. I miss having her lay on the couch beside me and just be content. It’s not that I didn’t listen to other mother’s (mine specifically!) when they told me to enjoy these stages, It’s simply a part of life to experience them to really learn from them. I can give any new momma lots of advice, will she follow them, maybe, maybe not, but that’s OK, I often think back to the advice that was given to me. Some I followed. Some I didn’t. I think the best one that all Momma’s should know is that you really do have to do what works the best for your family. What works for your family may not work for mine. I learnt that hard, I thought I was a bad mommy because I wasn’t doing it the way I was “supposed to” or because my child wasn’t going through the stages that my friends children were going through. Bottom line, all children are different and you have to make choices that work best for you and your family.

One more piece of advice from me. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t love 100% of motherhood. That was my biggest battle when I first became a mother, I thought I was “supposed” to love the sleepless nights, I thought I was “suppose” to love that I was never going to be able to come first again. It was a big adjustment for me because I didn’t love EVERYTHING. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are a lot of moms out there that are cursing me saying of course I love everything about Motherhood, well then hunny, you are lucky very very lucky because I don’t love everything. I love A LOT, and the A LOT ALWAYS outnumbers the everything else, but I’ve finally accepted that some parts, stages or days just suck. That’s my thought process at least. AND it’s OK. I’m OK with it, I don’t care what anyone else thinks of my thought process :)

Maddie in the kitchen

OK, with that let’s move onto other tips shared by some of my Momma friends!

Sleep when the baby sleeps or accept/ask for help when it’s needed or offered!!! Your never alone. When help is needed, ask. I second this suggestion. I wouldn’t sleep at first when Madison slept during the day, I was a terrible “day” sleeper. What worked for me and my family was the first three weeks we were home my husband home with us (yes we were very lucky) he can sleep during the day with no problem. (or on a picket fence) so he did the night shift for three weeks straight because he could sleep during the day. I couldn’t. So I did the day shift. It worked for three weeks, and after that I did learn to sleep during the day because, well my body needed it and I would force myself to lay down. Asking for help, yes yes yes. I was bad at it, I still am, but I’m getting there. I don’t hesitate in asking my mom to take Madison on a random Sunday when my husband and I are just exhausted and ready to rip each others eyes out :)

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New moms of more then one kiddo don’t expect the children to be the same….Things are so much different. This advice is good for me, I need A LOT of advice for what to expect when your on #2! I know I would probably assume that it would be the same with a new infant, he/she will act the same, sleep the same, have the same personalities, but I  know this is NOT true. Scary but true.

Don’t let yourself get flustered by people telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. Follow your instincts and listen only to those who you value their opinion and that you have asked for their opinion. When you become a parent people often feel that this gives them permission to give their opinions freely and often it is, while with good intent, not helpful at all. This goes back to what I was saying earlier I think. A lot of people offer advice but what they don’t realize sometimes is that they are making you feel worse than you already do. A lot of the time I started to  not ask for advice because I was realizing that I was comparing, and that made me see that I can’t do that because it often lead me to be upset with myself.

Sibling rivalry IS a given; a mother ALWAYS has enough love to go around. This is a question I asked my mother when I interviewed her last week. I remember a lot of moms that were going on #2 that was worried about being able to have enough love to go around. I guess it’s natural, just like it is when you have your first, mommyhood does kick in. I will have to take this advice since I only have the one :)

Mommy & maddie

Keep “dating” your spouse…every month make a date even if it’s only going out to have dinner. This one is big for me and my husband. The first year my daughter was born (and I mean the whole year) we had date nights planned at least once a month. We would line up a babysitter and make the plans in advance, another thing we did was for each birthday, anniversary or holiday instead of getting each other a physical gift, the gift would be some sort of Date. A few baseball games, dinners at our favorite places or tickets to a comedy show. We’ve actually been not so good with this on the second year, we really need to revamp this up again! I know date nights can be expensive but we’ve thought of ways to keep the cost down. During the summer my sister would take my daughter over night at our summer camp and my husband and I would stay home and just watch a movie. Don’t have a sitter, that’s ok too, pick one night a week, put your child, or children to bed and have dinner just the two of you alone. I’m big on family dinners but one night a week isn’t going to hurt your child to eat alone. I even sit with her while she eats, then I start cooking and my husband puts her to bed, we get a hot meal, quiet time to talk.

I think moms need to remember to take care of themselves and be okay with not being able to be super-mom. It’s amazing what a few hours or caring for yourself and relaxing can do for your disposition! It seems like its hard for moms to give themselves a break and I think all moms deserve them! I could haven’t said this better myself. Honestly I’m getting worse with this. When Madison was an infant, I did make time for myself because I was a SAHM and I NEEDED it. I was going to go insane if I didn’t get out at least two nights a week. Then it got expensive. Now, Madison goes to school 2 days a week so it helps me more though I spend most of those hours doing other things for my family or writing, but it’s something for me, it’s something I enjoy. I also ask my husband and best friend for pedicure gift certificate’s and things like that. It’s so easy to get comfortable. I’m comfy in my yoga pants and T-Shirt why leave home after dinner when I’m tired? Well once every few weeks I make myself because I need it. I love getting together with my mommy friends, no one knows it better than them so even if you are just talking about your family and children, who cares, it’s nice to get dressed, put some make up on and treat yourself! This week, I started back to the gym, I hate going at night, I bit the bullet though because I forgot how good it made me feel. I know it’s easier for SAHM’s to make time for themselves (well most) working moms I imagine would be tougher because they only get a few hours a day with their little ones and the weekends, it’s hard to break away and take that time. I promise you it’s always worth it. I as a mother “need” to miss my daughter, when I got home from the gym last night, my daughter ran to me!!! Usually it’s my husband when he gets home from work, it felt amazing!

Enjoy your children and please (my mistake) don’t feel like your house must be perfectly clean. Children won’t remember how clean the home is they remember the times together. It’s so true……so so so true, sometimes I wish I wasn’t so anal about having a clean house, it’s really something I can’t control, there are times when I envy friends that can sit still for more than 15 minutes. If this is the case for you, make it fun with your kiddo’s. I let my daughter “help” me. She has her own broom and it still gives us time together. I let her bake with me, it’s a bonus, we get yummy treats but also some good laughs in between. Can’t sit still like me? Go to the park, go outside and throw a ball around, those are the moments I want my daughter to remember.

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Always try to remember how short of a time they are little. You will be tired from sleepless nights and have a to do list that is a mile long that just never seems to get done but trust me this time will go too quickly. Stop and enjoy the cuddles, you won’t regret not doing the dishes more but you will regret not holding them more. Seems like us Momma’s may be learning a thing or too, because this piece of advice is pretty similar.

Again, it’s really hard to learn these things by listening to people rather than experience them yourself, but every time I think of these words of advice I do stop and enjoy the moment. When your having a bad day, no sleep or just want to cry. Look at your baby and think “OMG, I created this life.” It always cheers me up!!

Thank you to all of you Momma’s that gave advice, don’t stop giving it, remember they may not listen, but every time you pass it on, you remember to follow your own advice again.

Pecan Crusted French Toast Sticks

I love breakfast. I love making breakfast. I love eating breakfast. Yes sometimes we have breakfast for dinner. I found this recipe in a parenting magazine (I think). I made it a few weeks back and LOVED it. I made a few without the pecan crust just in case my picky child decided she wasn’t having it. Which I’m glad I did because she wouldn’t eat them, so I gave her the plain ones. The only thing I would do differently next time (and there will be a next time) is I may try putting the pecans through the food processor a few times to get them even smaller in size. Other than that, this was an awesome breakfast. Serve it at a brunch by making them ahead of time and placing them in  fancy dish and leave them in the oven! I didn’t give exact measurements because this is where you have to really make it “your” dish.

Ingredients:

Bread (I’ve used, whole wheat, I sometimes use thick bread, like I did here, and sometimes I use low cal/carb bread too.)
1 Egg
2 Egg Whites
Cinnamon
Pecans

Pecan Crusted FT (3)

What to do:

Chop up the pecans as small as you can (or process them) mix them well with the cinnamon and place in a bowl.

In a separate bowl add the egg and egg whites (again use your judgement depending on how many your serving)  I am usually making them for my daughter.

Cut the bread into sticks. Dip each stick in the egg mixture, press it into the pecan mix and fry them in a pan sprayed with cooking spray.

Pecan French Toast

Cook on each side. I always pour whatever I have left for eggs on top of my final pieces! YUMMY. Serve with your favorite fruit! Here we decided on raspberries since we had just picked them!

Pecan Crusted FT (2)

What’s Up Momma? – Week 2

Here we are again! Week two! Two is an exciting number for this Momma this month. My baby is turning two!! OMG!! Seriously that is what’s up with this Momma for the next few weeks,  Birthday plans. I’m thinking Elmo since it’s her new favorite, she doesn’t say too much still so when she yells “Kitty” when the cat runs by or “Elmo” at the TV I’m pretty proud. Plus there is Elmo everything out there, so I really can’t go wrong. We are having a small party at the clubhouse in the Condo complex where we live so it should be fun, I love seeing her play with other kids. When she does. I wanted to rent a bouncy house because she loves them, but that will have to wait until she turns three unfortunately.

elmo

Soooooooo that leads me to the Condo situation. UGH…….my mother’s house is still not selling. Those of you who need catching up, we are buying a house with an in-law for my mom but we need to wait for her house to sell to do this. It’s been on the market since May. I know it’s not that long for a home to be for sale, but it is to me when we are slowly busting out of this condo. I’m exhausted dragging my two year old, groceries every week, and whatever else up a flight of stairs and through 4 doors just to be home. Though I could use the exercise and Madison learnt to climb stairs on them, they’ve grown old. 980 square feet was perfect for my husband and I. Add another child……….too small! Add a second child, impossible!! Don’t worry there is no #2 but I’d like for there to be someday…….SOON! It’s tiring, my mother and my sister have to leave the house in tip top shape everyday when they leave, there are open houses every month that quickly get our hopes up, hours daddy has spent away from us to help do some work to the house. Not to mention all of the work my aunt and my cousin have put into this who are our realitor’s. She’s dropped the price A LOT. Yes she started high, but so does everyone else, she can’t just give it away. Since my father has been gone I’ve wanted nothing more than to have my mother around more, let her see my babies grow up and become little adults. She deserves that. We deserve that. Sooooooooo for now we will keep trucking and keep at it. Who wouldn’t want to live in this beautiful house. So many awesome family memories here.

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What else, well did you  hear about the Crock Pot Challenge that will be happening this month? Yup, this very Momma is hostessing this gig and I’m excited to have a few other bloggers who will be joining me!!!! So comment here if you’d like in on it and I’ll send you an invite via FB, you don’t even have to be a blogger, do it for fun with me and it enters you a chance to win a Crock Pot!! Yup from me!

Well as usual I took on so much this week, closing up the camp, making two awesome dishes, one for my Featured Friday and one for #SundaySupper of course. Luckily for me they are both Crock Pot dishes! Yay! My hunny is having a boys night out Friday, he’s so excited, it’s too cute. Then comes the long weekend! We have tickets to Charmingfare Farm so we will be making a trip to their Pumpkin Festival very soon.

Also, I don’t know why, I don’t know what made me say yes. An old friend texted me on Monday asking if I still belonged to the gym, yes I do, yes I still pay for a membership but do not go…..well her schedule shifted and her daughter has dance classes up the street so she joined it for something to do 3 nights a week while she waits for her daughters classes. Heck, I needed the motivation anyways so off I went. Yes at night can you believe I did that! Another close friend of mine, she posted on FB about this October Challenge another blogger friend is running. Check it out. I saw it, read it, and said what the heck! I’m not sure I’ll be able to do every single thing on the list but hey, it’s effort, and we all know that one healthy choice leads to another healthy choice!

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I have to admit, it feels good to kick this baby body in the butt. Though I may not be saying that come 8pm tonight when I’m all done the Power Hour class we are attending. I’ve gone before, it kicked my butt and I never went back. I’m nervous because I pushed myself through that class, I literally felt like throwing up at least four different times throughout the hour. I felt things jiggle that never jiggled before! I had to watch it! Why do they put mirrors in those classrooms anyways? I don’t need to see these things! I’d be very happy watching the instructor or the person in front of me who happens to be in shape that I can be envious of! So my vow today will be to try the class and not push myself. Take a break when I need a break, slow down when I need to slow down. Wish me luck!

Here are the Protein Shakes I’ve been having in the morning, they are very filling, though I do miss physically eating :(

Banana Berry Smoothie (4)

Simple as pie. Any fresh fruit you want, I do a half a scoop of protein powder but I’ll probably up it next week to a full scoop. I sometimes add fat free yogurt, 2 tbsp. I use skim milk and no ice because I like mine thin, with no chunks!

Banana Berry Smoothie (3)Banana Berry Smoothie (1)

 

Oh……the redesign of Momma’s Meals……..it’s coming along. Poor Jenn, she’s probably going to hate me by the time this is over, I feel like I don’t have good “Blogging” lingo. I know what I want but explaining it are two different stories for this Momma. I’m getting excited though, she’s doing a great job, I’ll have a lot to tweak after she’s done just because things change when you have a new design so be patient, I promise to get it up and running as quickly as possible. I’ve kept you all in mine with this redesign. Trying very hard to not change things around too much and make it hard to navigate, I don’t want to do that to you my faithful readers!

So don’t forget to join me Friday, I’m featuring a new blog and this Momma is amazing!! Then there is Sunday Supper, your going to love this weeks theme my friends………Think Fall my friends :)

Featured Monday – Momma’s Meals

I thought since it was my birthday I’d ask to be cooked for. I don’t often ask for that, usually because I enjoy cooking, but I have to admit, for once, it was nice to sit and relax while someone else cooked for me. I came up with this idea a few weeks before my birthday and asked my husband if he would be willing to cook, take pics, and give a review for my birthday. He said yes. I was able to pick three dishes and he was to choose which one he would cook. During my search I was trying to be nice, keeping in mind it was a Friday, he’s tired after working all day. I chose two dishes that consisted of baking chicken in the oven, easy enough right. Then I chose a Sesame Chicken that you make on the stove top, of course this is the one I really wanted but I allowed him to choose. He picked the one I wanted! YAY! Madison and I had lunch at our favorite family place down the street from us.

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We had some down time, it was a rainy day so we snuggled.

Happy Birthday Mommy

Then as soon as daddy came home from work I got a few gifts :) He can never wait to give me my gifts, you can tell he’s a giver because he’d rather give a gift than receive a gift……he’s so sweet. Here is boo boo looking at the gift they made me.

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Then I got this box, if you know me you know I love butterflies, so when I opened the gift and saw this beautiful box that had butterflies on it I instantly fell in love.

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I knew instantly what I wanted to do with the box, boo has been bringing home artwork and things from daycare and I have no safe keeping place for the things I want to treasure, well now I do!!!

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What’s that you ask? Christmas ornaments?? Yes they are indeed. I started this tradition when my daughter was born that each year I would buy a Christmas ornament for her and pack them away so when she gets married some day I can give her a gift with all new ornaments and she will be able to decorate her first tree :) I know cheesy, but I heard it on the radio when I was pregnant and loved the idea.

Here is my hubby starting my dinner!! I have to admit, he’s pretty good in the kitchen :) I love this man.

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Healthy Sesame Chicken
Recipe by: The way to his heart

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour or 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  •  1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into medium sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce, use less if you have a sensitivity to salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dark sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh scallions (both green and white)

In a gallon-size plastic bag, combine flour, salt, and pepper. Add chicken, seal bag, and shake well to coat.

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Coat a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and warm over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skilllet and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minute, or until no longer pink. Transfer to a plate.

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Reduce heat to medium. Combine soy sauce and sugar in skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, about 1 to 2 minutes max. Add oil and sesame seeds. Add chicken and scallion. Toss and serve immediately.

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The picture isn’t all that great, it looks burnt but it’s not. I asked for it over rice with Broccoli!

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My hunny did good!!

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We went my MIL’s house for dinner Saturday night. Her birthday is next week, so we celebrate together, she invited my mom, grandmother, aunt and uncle as well. We had a real nice family dinner, her boyfriend is quite the cook! My Momma got me beautiful flowers :)

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Here are some of my birthday cards and gifts. (don’t look at the dust, I’m a bit behind on the housework!)

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Originally my husband was supposed to feature me today, you know say a lot of nice things about me, I love this woman, she is the best thing that ever happened to me, she rocks in the kitchen, but………………we had a lot going on this weekend which included attack of the fruit flies in our house and well football! Then come 7pm when my daughter went bed last night my husband and I were eagerly awaiting the premiere of Revenge!! Our favorite show so……..I simply asked him one question.

When I asked you to do this for me for my birthday, why did you say yes? “Because I knew it would make you happy and I love making you happy.” OK so it wasn’t the “Because you deserve it” answer I was hoping for but it was good enough for me!

Stay tuned, my husbands birthday is in October so I will be featuring him and cooking a recipe of his choice.

5 Ingredients or less for #SundaySupper

How happy does this theme make you?? Yah, who isn’t all about easy but healthy dishes to put together for a busy night. Even being a SAHM I look for these kinds of dishes and ingredients. So join me in thanking our fabulous Hostess this week!! Amber from Mama’s Blissful Bites is our hostess with the mostest and I couldn’t be happier. What was that? Oh that name sounds familiar?? Yes it does, that’s because this Momma was a Featured Co-Host just last month! So Amber thought of this genius idea of a meal with five ingredients or less, I knew this would be a great theme for a lot of my readers because, well we are all busy! I could have made a harder decision on what I chose to make, I could have been more creative, but I didn’t want to. I saw this recipe while browsing through Eating Wells website.

Pesto, Tomato & Feta Pizza
Recipe Adapted from: Eating Well
Serves: 2 adults w/one child

Ingredients:

I used one pre-made pizza dough (StoneFire, one of my favorite whole wheat doughs)
1 large tomato
1 Pkg of dry Pesto Sauce (Or homemade if you have any on hand!)
4 oz of Reduced Fat Feta Cheese
Fresh Cilantro

Make Pesto according to package directions. This took seconds and I was able to put half of it away for later use.

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Pour and spread Pesto onto the pizza dough (If you are using homemade dough you may want to cook the dough for a few minutes to stiffen it up.)

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Place sliced tomato on top of the pesto, layering however way you like it.

Pour feta on top of the tomatoes.

Sprinkle with fresh cilantro. The original recipe called for basil, but I only had fresh cilantro and I was NOT disappointed. The good thing about pesto is that it has great flavor already so you really don’t need to use any seasonings.

Cook for the amount of time your dough takes. Mine was for 12 minutes at 400F.

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I can’t even believe the flavor this pizza had. I’ve never had feta on pizza before, but you know me, I love trying new pizza’s. This is surly one I’m glad I tried!! Feta doesn’t melt like other cheese, actually the pizza didn’t even look cooked when it was done, but boy oh boy was it ever. :)

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So simple, but so good. Yeah it was lunch the next day.

Pesto, Tomatoe & Feta Pizza (4)

Here are some other MUST TRY dishes for you and your family on those busy nights when you want to whip up something quick and easy! Stop on over and tell them this Momma sent you! Also, Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm(Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite 5 Ingredient Recipes! All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat!  We’d also love to feature your apple recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!

Breakfast, Starters, Butters and Jams:

Main Dishes:

Desserts:

Beverages:

Happy Birthday! An Interview w/my Momma!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOOOOOO MEEEEE……HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! OK that’s the extent of my singing. I’ve been working with Madison all week on “Happy Birthday” but we weren’t very successful! Oh well maybe next month by daddy’s birthday.

Happy Birthday

When thinking about what I wanted to write about for my birthday post, nothing just jumped at me until the other day. I thought about talking about “My Journey” how I got to be where I am today, but that’s boring and I’ve probably already bored you with all of that at some point or another. I thought and thought, and then I remembered the person I love spending my birthday with is the person who brought me into this world. My Momma!!! I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about her, I talk about her a lot. She’s awesome. She is the strongest, smartest, most loving person I have ever gotten to know. Yes I say gotten to know because as an adult now, as a mother myself now, I have gotten to know her in a whole different light.

Here we are at my wedding.

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I needed her as a child to provide for me, I needed her in my teenage years to guide me into making the right choices. I needed her in my twenties to be a mother and a father since we lost my dad so young. Now, I need her as a friend. When I found out I was pregnant, my mother was the first person I wanted to tell. Well besides my husband, but he was there :) She waited so patiently while I found the “right one”, waited by the sidelines until we were “ready” to start our family, so when I thought about giving birth I wouldn’t have it any other way than having my mother, my best friend by my side. I know a lot of people who thought I was nuts, thought that it’s a private moment between husband and wife, and though it is, I couldn’t have done it without her. So think what you will, I needed my mommy god dammit!! :) So here we are waiting for Madison’s arrival. Her looong arrival. I would never want my mother to lie to me. I would never expect her to lie to me, however that day, the day I gave birth to my daughter, I needed her to lie to me, she knew me enough to know that she needed to lie too. About what? Well I’m a baby, I hate pain, we just don’t get along. So when it came to pushing, when I kept asking everyone if she was coming along? If those hard pushes I was putting all of my effort into was paying off? If Madison was any closer to being born? No one was answering me. My mom took one look at me and lied. She lied, can you believe it??? She said “YES!!” A lie that seems so little was so big to me because 3 hours later when Madison was born, my mom was the one that helped me in the way that I needed help. As they say, no one knows their own daughter more than the mother is so true.

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She was one of the first ones to hold Madison. Here is my mom holding her first granddaughter.

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Once I started thinking of questions I wanted to ask my mom for this post, they started flowing…..man did they flow! All of a sudden I just had a million questions. I cried when I read the answers. My husband asked me why, but I didn’t really know. Maybe because I don’t feel like the “happy child” she so often describes me as in these answers, maybe because a part of me longs to be that happy child again. Or maybe just because I’ve come such a long way since being that happy little girl.

1. How did you feel when you realized you were pregnant with me and had to share your love with two children? I had no doubt that it was going to be fine, as I knew I had plenty of love to go around and I already had a great 2yr old at home.  I was very excited for two babies. (I secretly wanted 2 girls)
I hope I can be this excited when expecting #2. I hope I have as much confidence in myself as you did. If I don’t yet, maybe it means I’m not quite ready yet.
2. What day of the week and what time was I born? Was my labor hard?  You were born on a Thursday morning at 7:35 am.  Compared to number one, I actually slept thru part of my labor with you.  I would consider it a very very easy birth.
I guess I can only hope and pray my second labor is as easy as yours was. Specially since I thought the first one was so bad!
3. Was it hard juggling two kids? I think had you not been  born with congenital dislocation of your hips, then it would have been very easy as you were also a very good baby, as was your sister.  But juggling trips into Childrens Hospital and having a 2 yr old at home waiting wasn’t always easy.
Maybe I could think of you when I feel like I can’t juggle two kids. That had to have been hard.
4. Did my big sister love me right away? Be honest!! She really wasn’t old enough to understand or love, but u definitely peaked her interest. 
Ha! I wish I could have remembered just how much I peaked her interest!! :)
5. What was one unique thing about me that you remember as a baby? I think your good natured personality.  you were the happiest baby ever, not to mention the bluest eyes and blondest hair. 
I guess my daughter gets that from me huh, daddy has some pretty amazing blue eyes too. Good natured personality, wonder what happened to that…… :)
6. What were some of my birthdays like as a child?  Well one I remember well was planned for the same day as hurricane Gloria.  The others were when you really loved being the center of attention….
I remember that, I do, I was so bummed LOL. Center of attention, my how I have changed because now I hate being the center of attention. Though I still love my birthday :)
7. Tell me about a favorite memory of me and you? I think one of my fondest is down in Disney World when you would fall asleep in your plate every night at supper, and you were just so excited  to be there, with your all your babies.  You had two double ear infections and flew at 3000 feet and never complained about the pressure in your ears, yet your Aunt cried. 
Ah good ol Disney World. I can’t wait to bring Madison there some day. Minus the ear infections of course.
8. Tell me about a favorite memory of me and dad? I think that would have to be on Christmas mornings, it didn’t take much to please you, and he loved watching you come down the stairs and seeing all the toys under the tree. 
Oh yes……Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho…..still can hear it like it was yesterday. As a parent I can imagine those faces on Christmas morning, I can’t wait for that. I remember how much dad loved Christmas, it’s so nice to love it again. Finally.
9. How did dad help you with being a SAHM? I’m not going to lie about that.  not much at all.  When he had to stay with you while I couldn’t be with you he did it well, but he never followed a schedule or picked up anything.  It wasn’t like it is today.  Once you weren’t babies anymore he was much better at it.  I don’t think he had a lot of confidence in his baby abilities.
Andy used to be like that at first. He would care for her, give her what she needed, but do that, do laundry, feed himself, or any other chore, nope! But now, not sure where my husband went but he may just be “getting” it.
10. Do you ever wish you had more children? Yes sometimes I really think I do, we just couldn’t afford any more, but would have loved another baby, you were sick a lot but you were a very happy baby and kid. 
Wow really. Well what’s meant to be will be I suppose. Guess you may have pushed it asking for 3 great kids :)
11. Did you enjoy cooking, what was my favorite dish growing up? Yes loved cooking it was my favorite time of the day.  Your favorite dish was Chinese pie with spaghetti, and my spaghetti, you loved that.
Ohhhhhhhhh yes Chinese pie, your Chinese pie….hmmm I’ll have to share that recipe with my readers soon. Yummy.
12. What was my least favorite dish growing up? One you tried to get me to eat over and over, but I just wouldn’t. (this is when I’ll tell Maddie, EVERY VEGETABLE!) you hated all MEATS, except chicken,  and veggies weren’t your favorite either.  You loved your mashed potatoes.
Something like my daughter, no meat, no veggies, loves starches though! Like mother like daughter!
13. Did I ever help you in the kitchen? Or show interest? Yes as a matter of fact your father built you a stool and you would stand by the stove and stir whatever needed stirring.  You also loved to bake and frosting cakes was your very favorite,and I baked a lot of birthday cakes.  I never bought a birthday cake ever.
Awh I remember that now that you say it. I remember your electric mixer, I’ll never forget that (just bought Madison her very own for her birthday shhh….) I had a sweet tooth when I was a kid, I so remember that. I will never forget your birthday cakes. So good. Who needs a store bought cake when they come with love from Mommy!
14. What was your favorite age with me? I would have to say 5 years old.  Mrs. Casey used to tell me you were the happiest child in the Dracut Middle School.  You were always smiling, and you were so good.
I have a feeling I’m going to love that age too. Good Ol Mrs. Casey!
15. Do you still have any of my baby items? If so what things?  I believe I still have a pink one piece snow suit, and I believe it was a 18 mos. and had a pair of mittens and hat to match.  I loved it on you.
If it was pink, it was for me!! I will keep a few of Madison’s things that I love too.
16. Was I an affectionate child growing up? Extremely and with your whole family not just me.
This one is a shocker. Not that I’m not affectionate because I am. I do wear my feelings on my sleeve, however my daughter doesn’t, and I hate that she whines and pushes my hands off her when I try to put my arm around her or rub her back, I guess I can just hope she out grows it.
17. What was one of my favorite toys as a child? your dolls and doll carriages, you loved playing HOUSE!  and as you got older it was  School with all the neighborhood kids.
Ha! Another very opposite of Madison! Stuffed animals and wagons yes, dolls and carriages no! I can’t wait to see how this one plays our. Remember I used to put Muffin in my baby doll carriage! Man that cat hated me!
18. If my father were here today what would he say when he laid eyes on his first granddaughter? He would love her blue blue eyes and her smile.  He would also spoil her rotten.
No doubt that he would spoil her rotten, more so with love and kisses, but seeing the blonde hair and blue eyes would probably make him very happy.
19. If my father were here to give me one piece of advice what do you think it would be, since you knew him the best.  Never let HER be the boss, because if you do she will be spoiled rotten, and it would take away from her beautiful face.  He would want her to be a good girl, not a brat.
Yah Dad was never a big fan of spoiled brats. Thank god! I appreciate everything I have today because I wasn’t spoiled, but I hear you, he would want a little girl he could be proud to show off not a screaming bratt :) We are working on it dad!
20. If you could give me one piece of advice about parenting what would it be? Be consistent don’t send mixed signals between her mommy and daddy, be there for her no matter what, let her make her own mistakes, and learn from them, and last but not least, teach her the importance of family values, they go a long a way, and nobody will ever be there for her like family.  Because they love you unconditionally.
I can’t wait to teach her more about the importance of family. Since she was 2 months old Daddy goes up and down the halls pointing to the pictures showing her who is who……..no problem with showing her that, that I promise you. I know letting her make her own mistakes will be tough. No one wants to see their child hurt, but I also know the importance of it.
So that’s my Momma folks! Couldn’t have asked for a better one. Hence why I’m so hard on myself I think, I just want my children to feel the same way about me as I do about my mom.

Madison at one month old. Ha, I just packed that little outfit away this week, I can’t believe she was that small.

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Thanks for doing this with me mom, and as always thank you for always being there for me. I love you.
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