Chicken Parm Meatloaf

I was searching around for something to do with ground chicken the other day, the last time I made something with ground chicken it was Chicken Parm Burgers, and I was amazed at how much it tasted like biting into a big fat dish of Chicken Parm, however it’s minus the pasta, minus the calories and carbs! Then I thought hmmm……how about a Chicken Parm meatloaf! Making Meatloaf different is the only way I can get my husband to eat it so………..low and behold I found this puppy!

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Chicken Parm Meatloaf
Recipe From: What’s Cookin Chicago
Serves: 4

1 lb ground chicken (ground turkey can be substituted)
1 egg
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 small onion, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pasta sauce (homemade or store bought)
1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
minced parsley for garnish

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What to do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan with cooking spray, set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, thyme, oregano, basil, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. To not over handle the mixture otherwise it will get tough. I’m not going to lie here, I don’t measure anymore when making certain things, and this is one of those things. I must toot my own horn here, that’s how good it was!

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Don’t forget the trick I taught you all this summer!! Place a thick piece of bread on the bottom of your meatloaf so the grease has place to go! I remembered this time! It was PERFECT!

Place the mixture in the greased loaf pan and form into a loaf. Top the meatloaf with pasta sauce (I used my homemade pasta sauce that I made last weekend, don’t worry it’s coming soon!).

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I will surly be making this again!! We loved it, I always know when it’s out of this world when my husband says “10 out of 10!”

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Loving the “Mommy” body…..

Who loves there Mommy body?? Anyone??? Going once going twice???? Oh look at you all jumping up and down raising your hands!! What good mommies you are!! Well one day I’m jumping up and down (while slightly holding the jiggle) while other days I want to crawl into a hole, never eat another thing and drag out my “before mommy” cloths and magically slip into them! This story is how I’ve, over time, a lot of time, became happy with my Mommy body.

Here is a picture of me way back in the day…..when I could show off my belly!! Hey that was only ten years ago :(

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Who’s with me? Ugh…….how can I complain about the extra poundage when I have the most beautiful person on the face of the earth sitting beside me? (I’m a little biased, I’m aloud, just like you are). Here is the thing. I may not have lost the weight I gained while pregnant, but my story just proves that it’s not about the numbers. Being pregnant doesn’t just “up” the numbers on the scale.                                                                     Here I am on my honeymoon….

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So anyone who knows me, knows that I had a fantastic pregnancy. So perfect that I hate talking about it because I don’t like to make my loved ones say “You lucky bitch.” Yes there I said it. I know I would be saying that about my friends if they had the “perfect” pregnancy and I didn’t. Don’t worry, I know karma will come back around for #2 and kick me in the ass. Anyways, I justify my weight gain by remembering how great my pregnancy was. I glowed, I lost weight (don’t worry it just because I stopped drinking my wine), I ate whatever I wanted, though I did eat all the things I was supposed to as well. I was truly a happy person, I had everything I ever wanted, as each month went by with every kick I felt, I waited and waited patiently to meet my baby girl. Well and counted down to when I could quit my job ;-)

Here I am about 6 months pregnant. We were pretty active I guess, we walked the track down the street a few nights a week.

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18 lbs. later and 24 hours of birth I had finally met my sweet angel. I left the hospital two days later in sweatpants but 11 days later when I attended a family bridal shower I fit into a pair of jeans I hadn’t even fit into the day I found out I was pregnant. Talk about going out on a high! Whew! I can say what every new parent says, we didn’t eat when we wanted to, and when we did it was take out for the first three weeks. The funny part was when I was pregnant I could eat pizza, fried anything and all the take out that I wanted and didn’t get that “Fat-bloated” feeling!! Well that’s probably because I was fat and bloated already but didn’t care because I had a human being growing inside of me. Anyways, I was skinnier than I had ever been. I thanked my lucky stars and jumped on the scale. I must have ran out of the bathroom knocking over my husband saying I was at my lowest weight in years!! I said I’m a lucky one. I’m one of those lucky chosen ones that miraculously just looses the baby weight without having to do anything!!!!

Here I am on Thanksgiving, a month after Madison was born. Never thought I’d want to go back to that weight!!

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Well I lived on this high for all of four months. Hey it was good while it lasted. Then slowly but surly “things” started happening. Now granted I did gain some weight, but I’m still at the weight I was the day I delivered my daughter (minus the daughter of course) so all in all, I’m really happy with that, what I’m not happy with is what has become of my body! Things go south isn’t even funny. I gained cups sizes galore while pregnant, that didn’t go away. I slowly started to get the belly back that I so quickly lost after I delivered. WHAT!!! Where did that come from when I didn’t have it for the first four months after delivering. My butt grew, my arms grew, even my feet grew!!

Here I am last summer heading out for a MUCH needed girls night out.

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Now I look 5 or so months pregnant. I’m comfortable at home, but the second I walk about the door I have a fear that people will assume I’m pregnant again. It was OK when you have an infant, people will assume it’s “baby weight” well I have an almost two year old, people can’t assume anymore.

So here is the conclusion I’ve come to. I love my body. I love that my body held and nurtured life for 10 months (yes 10 months!!) I love that I experienced what a lot of woman can not experience. I love the connection I will always feel because of  this very body. Here is the question. How do you “really” feel comfortable with it? I want to go on that show “What Not To Wear.” The style I used to have is obviously not working for me. I’m OK with that. That really cute fall style that everyone adores right now, the skinny jeans with the tall boots and the sweaters with scarfs, yeah that’s not happening over here between my larger calves, my height and my boobs. I’m OK with that. No seriously I am, I just need help finding what does look best on me, where I can feel beautiful. When I can love putting on cloths again. At this point I’d never trade in my yoga pants because……….well they are comfortable and why where jeans and such when I’m home a lot. Why wear jeans to bring my daughter to soccer or dance at 9am. However, when I do go out for the occasional moms night out or a date night with my husband, or god forbid I say it, get my family portraits done next month, how do I know what is best for this Momma’s body??

Here is a picture of me and Madison from this summer.

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I seriously want someone to nominate me for that show. It’s not that I don’t want a new style, I just don’t know how to go about doing it, can I hire someone?? No the magazine articles for “what body are you?” does not for me. I’m an Apple shape, or a Pear shape, that crap doesn’t cut it. I’m OK with not being able to wear what the style is in today, but there has to be a style out there for me.

I’m happy with where I am because I eat fresh foods, whole grains, and non processed foods. I won’t even buy frozen vegetables anymore because I want to go fresh. I take vitamins, I drink a lot of water, I hate soda, I have one cup of coffee a day. I may not exercise regularly, but I’m even OK with that because my time is spent with my daughter and when I’m not with her, I’m doing what I LOVE to do, cooking, taking care of my family or writing to all of you lovely people. I love it all. It’s taken me almost two years to be OK with my mommy body. I know I’m going to extend my family at some point so I’m not all that concerned about looking my best right now. Besides the doctor told me they couldn’t reduce my breasts until I’m done having children so why bother! ;) Honestly if you were to look at the pictures I’ve taken since my daughter was born you’d see they were all of her or her and my husband. It’s not always my weight, I take horrible pictures. I mean really horrible pictures. Does the camera really add ten pounds? The only pictures I was ever happy with were my wedding pictures and I chalk that up to it being such a happy day that it all just came natural for me. I have to start taking more pictures with my daughter she needs pictures of her and mommy.

Here we are a few weeks ago making daddy a pizza.

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Are you happy with where you are at with your Mommy body? What did you do to get there? Do you have a style you can share with me that would help hide my baby belly but still make me feel good? Yes I’m envious of the woman out there that go right back to their usual looking bodies but I can promise you that it’s never the same for them either, I’m done being jelous of woman that look the same after having children. It is what it is, I can’t waste my time on that, I have better things to think about. I know plenty of moms that look fantastic after having children but they are still complaining about all of the things someone like myself complains about. It’s just made me realize we are all moms and we all have our “Mom” bodies. Being comfortable and happy with yourself is what’s important. I’m almost there……..just need to find that “style” that works for me! So who is nominating me for What Not to Wear?? Here is the link if you need it :) http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/tv/what-not-to-wear/what-not-to-wear-casting.htm.

Dinner Dishes & Dinner Parties

Whether you want to host a small gathering or a large dinner party we all get frantic when it comes time to the actual date. Whether it’s a holiday or just a special Sunday Dinner we all want it to be just perfect!! Or maybe I’m the only one that longs for that perfect space in my new house to entertain with family and friends. Fall is such a beautiful time to decorate anything, why not make it into a Fall Dinner?? Well someday I will I suppose, so for now, I’ll dream, and share those dreams, decorations and just the right dishes with you! Thanks to event planner Tara Wilson here are some great tips on entertaining.

Setting: To me this is an important part. I someday will have beautiful dishes upon dishes to serve with and eat off of, for every season and every occasion! If you do like to entertainlike me, you are shaking your head up and down with anticipation of what’s next! If you don’t like to entertain, keep reading! Dishes and recipes come later! The setting to me is a great way to liven up your space, add some color to your dining room or kitchen.

Theme: Oh this is a fun decision too. Using a theme whether it be a holiday, birthday party or just your favorite things, stick to that them when picking out invitations, favors, centerpieces or napkins. I just recently started liking fall, maybe it’s because my daughter was born right smack dab in the middle, but if I remember correctly, our engagement party was also planned for October and I decorated in a fall style. Winter can be beautiful with all of the pine trees, snow and pretty white lights twinkling. How about an empty wine bottle with a string or too of battery operated lights in it to spread around or use as a centerpiece. Holly berries and snow melted pine cones decorate my arch way in my home. Spring can be fun, break out the spring flowers, nothing more beautiful than a fresh flower that smells amazing to get you geared up for Spring. Summer, of course summer is fun, break out the sand, seashells and star fishes! You can get a package of them real cheap at any craft store.

Centerpieces: Do you remember planning your centerpieces when you got married? Or planned a special party? I sure do. You don’t have to spend a lot to get a lot. Dried flowers, wheat and just natures elements can give you a beautiful centerpiece in a “look fancy” glass vase. Or how about a hurricane vase to add lighting to an outside event, use candles or white lights. Multipurpose, adds ambiance and lighting. A fall centerpiece I always like, and granted I get them at my local floral shop, but I love love love flowers in a small little pumpkin. How festive is that! Centerpieces can be so fun and easy, how about a glass jar with colored beads on the bottom and a floating candle or even a real fish! Here is a picture from my wedding. I did a bottle of wine (with our names and date of the wedding) with two candles lit, 2 wine glasses with our names on it and a cork tied to the bottle with a ribbon. You think I like wine??

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Drinks: Fun Fun Fun!!! Do you remember my fun Sangria recipes this summer….super idea for any summer gathering whether it a be a family baby shower or a back yard BBQ. When I think fall I think apple flavored anything, Ciders, or how about cider spiked with champagne? That is so on my list to try VERY soon. With winter I think, warm and cozy drinks like a Hot Spiced Cider, Coffee drinks, Folders has some awesome recipes like a Cinnamon Mocha Coffee, or even a simple hot chocolate. Stick a candy cane in there or a marshmelow and serve on a pretty platter and your good to go. Spring makes me feel giddy because it’s the start of the nice weather after a long, cold winter, well for me it is. It screams break out the BBQ so again I’d choose a Sangria, flavored Martini, like the Watermelon Martini I made a few weeks ago, or heck any frozen drink!

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Appetizers: This is one of my favorite courses in any dinner. It’s a great way to make a little of a lot! That’s how I say it at least. I love picky foods, some Sunday’s I make a bunch of Apps for my husband and I and we pick for lunch.  Welcoming guests as they come, probably with a little grumble in there belly is a great idea to hold them off for the main event. Try a simple cheese pallet using different kinds of cheeses, remember, buy some you may not like, others may, besides, less calories for you! Serve them with a fancy cracker or even a sliced baguette, along with peanuts, craisens and dried fruit. Some of my favorites are Pepperoni Puffs, Veggie Pizza Bites, Salsa Roll Ups (always a big hit), Spinach Cups, and Spicy Mustard Kielbasa

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Entree: When I entertain, no matter how big or small, I like to choose a dish that doesn’t require a lot of work right before it’s served, another words something that can be served at room temperature or something that can be made a head of time is always good. I prep as much as I possible can before my guests arrive so I can actually enjoy my company. There is no reason why you can’t serve a nice cooked whole chicken or pork tenderloin, it’s just choosing the way you cook it and doing all of the prep ahead of time, then all you have to do is slice and serve. Here are some of my favorite dishes I serve to dinner guests, now keep in mind, my dinner guests consist of another couple and two year olds, but I’ll include some fancy ones too. I made a Sweet Potato Lasagna with Brown Butter Cream Sauce or Skinny Alfredo Lasagna, it was awesome, its something you can make a head of time and pop in the oven when your guests arrive, and it still impresses. How about a Glazed Chicken w/Butter & Pecan Rice, something that sounds and tastes amazing but won’t take too look. Chat with friends while making this dish on your stove top. The Mustard Crusted Parmesan Chicken will surly impress any guest and it’s something you can make right before anyone arrives and just pop it in to bake. You want to make beef? Well a great dish that you pop in the crock pot is my Beefy Onion & Mushroom Steak Tip Dinner, pour it over a Mashed Potato or a simple rice pilaf and think of all the time you’ll have with your guests while this cooks. Some people like to serve pork, you’ve come the right place because my family LOVES pork! Here are my favorite, Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, stuff this with sage and parmesean cheese and impress your guests, another one that can be prepped before they arrive. I served Sweet Barbacoa Pork to guests before and it was a hit, a crock pot dish will leave you with plenty of time to get ready! Lastly, Individual Chicken Pot Pies, this dish will impress anyone, well maybe because I love serving things in individual little bowls,  you can make this a few different ways, I’ve made it with actual crust on top, or you can plop in dough on top of each serving and let it puff up in the oven. Serve it with mashed potatoes and be done, what’s easy about this you ask? It’s cooked int he crock pot! Yes all you have to do is assemble them before your guests arrive, pop in the oven when your ready to eat. You trust me right? Try them!

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Doesn’t this make you just want to have a dinner party?? I can’t wait to have a bigger home so I can throw a goooood one! That’s it your all invited!! :)

Crock Pot Challenge – 2012 Style – Who’s In?

So when I first started blogging last year, I wanted to put together a Crock Pot Challenge where you all cook the same dishes and compare, comment, etc etc. Well one, I didn’t have an audience at this time last year (that wasn’t family), two, I didn’t have foodie friends and know even a quarter of what I know now since blogging, and three, it’s close to impossible to all make the same dish, we all have different tastes, styles, and a lot our families have food allergies that we should think of. So where does that leave us for this year?? Hmmmmmmmm…well I’ve been thinking. I want to make it fun so let me know what your thoughts are and we can tweak it a bit if need be.

1.) 5 Crock Pot dishes for 5 Days in a row. Monday-Friday. I thought this would work best because we all know as bloggers that the weekends can be slower, audience wise. Plus some of us have prior commitments for Sunday Supper :)

2.) Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner or Dessert – Who cares as long it’s in the Crock Pot right!!?? Part of this being a Challenge, and trust me, I made it a challenge last year by making it 10 days! You have to actually make the meal the night before to post it the next day. So Sunday – Thursday night. That’s how I did it and I wrote up my post that night after my daughter went to bed. I also didn’t do pictures so it was easier, this year I’ll try to commit to doing 2-3 pictures for each meal. (that’s up to you)  I’ll give a time of posting at 11am EST that way if someone can’t get it done that night you have some time in the morning to do it.

I could change it to making the meals whenever and then just posting them 5 days in a row on your blog, during the week specified, but I wouldn’t think that would be much of a challenge. I guess I see the whole challenge as using your Crock 5 days in a row! If this would cause you to pull out let me know because I’d like to do it, even if we have to change the rules (You can vote below).

3.) I’m not even sure how making everyone do at least one dish the same would turn out with everyone’s likes and dislikes, Sooooooooooo since I’m running this awesome challenge, how about one day during those 5 we choose, you have to pick one of my Crock Pot Dishes and on that same day I will choose one of yours. Sorry I can only do one :) I can pick one from a hat.

4.) I’ve had a few friends, that do not have blogs, express interest in joining as well. I think it’s a great idea seeing as my aunt did it with me last year and we both had a lot of fun comparing, and if it wasn’t for her I would have been doing it alone! I think I will leave it up to you all if you’d like to get your friends, family or followers involved on your own side, but I think at the end of the challenge I will collect pics from anyone that may have participated that does not blog, and post them on a separate day to share other people’s recipes and results. Kind of like a results of the Crock Pot Challenge Post.

5.) We will go over our stats at the end of the Challenge and post which recipe was viewed the most on our last post of the Challenge-that Saturday.

***For those of you who would like to join (my lovely friends and family) all you have to do is cook within that week, take a pic (if you want to) email me the recipe and reviews and I will include it on my follow up Crock Pot Challenge post when it is over.  Share some new recipes with me, your families favorites but you must pick at least one of mine to make throughout that week.

So all we have to do is figure out a week. I know we will never choose a week that works well for everyone so unfortunately I have to choose one that works for me since I’m running it. I do Featured Friday’s on Friday and I’m already booked through November so it’s not fair to take that away from someone I’m Co-Hosting with so the only weeks that would work for me are these, so I’ll take a vote at least and I’ll just hope and pray that you can join us!!

So here are the rules to sum it up, and I am flexible so please do let me know if you have any idea’s!!

-I’ll send an event invite via FB so we can all chat there. I’ll ask you what your dishes are the weed before so I can let others partaking know what your dish is so they can have your link ready. I can do up a list and you can copy directly from me.
-The week before the challenge (or whenever you’d like) you announce that you’ll be joining the Crock Pot Challenge of 2012 Hosted by Momma’s Meals. Mention the rules and whatever else you’d like, you don’t have to reveal what dishes you’ll be making, I think I’ll be keeping mine a secret :)
-Post your meal each day, linking back to me as your host and including a list of those participating.
-On the Saturday after the challenge, do a wrap up, talk about the challenge, how it was talking and exchanging questions and idea’s, include friends, family and followers if decided on that route, and also the top recipe that was viewed on your blog.

Please let me know if you have any other idea’s or questions and we can start spreading the word. Once we decide on all the rules and the time I’ll do up another post that you can use to ask people if they’d like to join. :)

Thanks guys, I look forward to a fun and funky challenge with you all!

What’s up with Momma?

So this will be my normal Tuesday posts once my new site launches. This is when you will be updated on “What is up with Momma?” Fun pictures of our week, last minute recipes, laughs, whatever may it be! I’m taking Monday’s off because, well Sunday is Sunday Supper on-line and at home, and it’s a family day that I’ve come to miss. We love our camp but it’s nice to have out Sunday’s at home alone.

In case I loose some of you, eeccheeem, I ‘m sure I won’t but just in case. No Featured Friday this week. Don’t be sad. I should be sad, It’s my birthday Friday and I’m just going to be another year older!! AHHHHHH!!!!!! Sooooooo my hubby is cooking dinner for me on Friday and he will be blogging and Featuring little ol’ me, so it will be a Featured “Monday” a week from today! So stay tuned, you aren’t going to want to miss this! Maybe I’ll be nice and offer to take the pictures!

What is up with Momma? Hmmm…..well you already know what I’ve been working on and my goals of where this little turned bigger, some day turned great blog is going.

This week I cooked up a few new things. Don’t forget to check out the Chicken Lo Mein I made. It was an awesome dish and it doesn’t leave you with that full, bloated feeling you get when you order Chinese from the local place down the street!

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Madison and I attended our second week of soccer. It’s too cute, it really is. Maybe I can get her to wear her actual Soccer T-Shirt to our lesson……and maybe I can snap a few pictures because the kids are super cute.

Madison discovered that she can play in her toy boxes, the storage boxes we use to store her toys in. I actually have a video of her falling backwards in it, but I feel bad because I saw it coming. Can you??

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Yes she did, and she hit her head on the sit n spin, but didn’t even cry…….I should have kept recording!! Wednesday we babysat Jack. He is a friend, we also play soccer with Jack. He was a good boy. Madison, not so much she just really didn’t want to share. I know, I know all kids go through the “mine” stage. Luckily Jack didn’t cry but when we went to dinner the next night at a friends house, she made Olivia cry. Saying “mine” “mine” when it was all of Olivia’s toys. I know kids have to hash it out but it kills to me see my child make another child cry. Here she is with Jack, taking a water break :)

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You know Thursday’s are daycare days so Momma gets to actually think of herself when making lunch…….it’s so nice. So nice that I made lunches today (Sunday) for the week so I don’t have to eat like crap! But here is one of my new creations. It’s whole wheat bread, Thin N Trim Santa Fe Turkey Breast (right in your deli) 2% American Cheese, sliced avacado and my condiment as usual is horseradish mixed with sour cream….yum…….I grilled it right in a frying pan!!! SOOOO good!!

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Friday was……..well Friday. TGIF! I featured another awesome Momma!! Don’t forget to go check out her site and tell her this Momma sent you over. Here are my babies, Daddy and Maddie love to watch music video’s, you can always tell it’s Friday if Daddy has a beer in his hand!

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Momma made her very first homemade pasta sauce. I was always a jarred girl because well….I never ate red sauce enough, but now that I’m married and my husband loves it, and I do love pizza, and stuffed shells and lasagna, I figured I’d try a batch and freeze some for the winter. It came out AWESOME!!!! I made it with my Southwest Meatballs.

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I’ve had this recipe on my site for ages but I never made them so I decided to give them a shot! Skinny style of course. They were awesome. If you don’t like a kick you can cut down on the hot stuff but I loved the kick. I made it with smart taste spaghetti and my husband thought he died and went to heaven. Stay tuned for the recipe for the sauce, it’s my Aunt’s recipe so I’m happy to go and tell her I tried it and loved it! Even jarred a bit for pizza’s and Enchilada’s later this week! Stay tuned because I have an awesome two in one dish to tell you about, meaning I made it one night and used the leftovers to create the a dish later on in the week!

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But now I’m jumping the gun. We headed to the Cape Saturday morning. Early for us, my boo isn’t used to flying out of bed, getting dressed, and running out the door and eating breakfast in the truck. It was fun. Here she is ready to hit the road! She doesn’t look tired now does she?? At least she has all of her babies with her.

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It was a long day for an almost two year old, but my cousin bought a house down there a few years ago and I’ve been dying to see it. We had a nice lunch out on the water, it was great to sit outside and enjoy the weather. My husband used to go to the Cape once a summer to get away, the days before MM :) Here she is outside the restaurant we ate at.

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And here is Madison and my sis, TT loves her babe, they played outside by the Koi pond all day long! (yes she was eating chocolate chip cookies………can you tell)

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Yesterday, Sunday was a lay low day. Daddy has hockey….here is Madison thinking she’s going with Daddy….”here daddy don’t forget our hockey stick………”

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Momma cooked in the kitchen most of the day, it’s nice to get ahead, I have recipes lined up for you guys!! Here is a sneak peak for tomorrow……..

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But let’s not forget about our Sunday Supper event. Apples Apples and more Apples was our theme, so if you didn’t get a chance to check out these awesome recipes from an amazing group of bloggers, now is your chance! Go! Now!!! 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I woke up on Sunday morning and thought………..Ahhhhhhhhh a day off. My husband worked Saturday and my mom, sister, aunt and I headed down to the Cape for the day to visit a cousin. That’s 6 hours in the car my friends……with an almost 2 year old……not fun. We made the most of it and had some laughs, so my of course when I woke up Sunday morning, the last thing on my mind was cooking or baking, but it wasn’t. Of course not. I felt like Fall was here! I got the Fall bug. I did the Fall jig!

Now I’m not a great baker, cook you a 5 course meal, absolutely!! Bake, not so much. However I am getting better. With some awesome recipes from some of my favorite foodie friends. I’m getting there. During some of my Featured Friday’s I have chosen some awesome desserts to make from these ladies.  Here are my recent tries.

Apple Pecan Muffins
Double Chocolate Banana Muffins
Orange Creamsicle Cookies

But today……..I won’t delay you any longer, I know you want at these yummy fluffy cookies! Trust me, they are fluffy and flavorful and you will eat them for lunch like I did. Plus it made my whole kitchen smell AMAZING! I you like your cookies hard and stiff, this probably isn’t the cookie for you!! If you like them soft and fluffy like they just came out of the oven, these are for you!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies 
Recipe from: My Baking Addiction
Makes: 16 Large Cookies

Ingredients:

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1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon milk
1 tablespoon vanilla paste (extract will work just fine)
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

What to do:

1. Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt.

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2. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well. This is what it will look like……looks like pumpkin puree apple sauce! Hmmmm………

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3. Add vanilla and chocolate chips and mixed together.

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4. Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350°F (175°C) for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm. (I baked these at 350°F for 16-18 minutes)

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The original recipe called for 15 minutes but my fingers fell right into the cookie so I cooked them a few minutes longer and then they firmed up. I also used a pampered chef cooking stone (love those things!) Look at those things! I just want to eat them all, I’m not a big sweets fan to be honest, I used to be, but now adays give me a good dip and chips any day, but these………WOW.

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I had two for lunch, packed them up to bring to Maddie’s daycare because I will eat them all!

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Apples Apples and more Apples for #SundaySupper

Sunday Funday! My favorite thing to do in the fall is spend the day in the kitchen baking, cooking and getting my family ready for the week (I know it’s crazy, but I love it) Football is on in the background, my daughter runs around giggling and laughing because daddy is home, what is better than that? Oh yes Sunday Supper! Well this week our hostess is Cindy from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings. What’s that you say? She sounds familiar? Well she is, she did a guest post for this past summer. Well Cindy was kind enough to host all of us for this weeks Sunday Supper! Guess what the theme is?? Apples Apples and more Apples my friends!! What better than a good apple dish during this time of the year! Well you’ve come to the right place because you are going to want to run to you kitchen and make one of these when you done checking out this list. What did I make? Well I decided on a side dish because it gives me a good chance to try something new on my family. Can I just tell you that these were my husbands words the second he dove in “OMG I could eat this whole dish.” Then between the two of us we almost did!! OK well he got to take leftovers to work at least! I actually got this recipe from the Weight Watchers website, I did a search for a sweet potato dish with apples and here is what I got! I cut exactly in half because I didn’t need to serve 10 people I made enough for 4 so this is what I did.

Apple Topped Sweet Potato Mash

6 Points Plus Value
Prep time:  20 min
Cook time:  90 min
Serves: 10

Ingredients:

Apple Topped Sweet Potato (1)

4 large sweet potatos
1 tbsp of salted butter
2 Medium Apples (3 if you want to munch while you slice!) it called for Golden Delicious but I used two different kinds. Peeled, cored and sliced very thin.
1/4 Cup of unsweetened OJ (I didn’t know it said unsweetened and I’m not even sure if what I used was, but I don’t care because it was good!)
Salt & Pepper
Nutmeg & Cinnamon
Cooking Spray

What to do:

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until very soft, about 1 hour. Remove potatoes from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350ºF. Let potatoes stand until cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and cook, gently turning occasionally, until golden and tender, about 7 minutes; remove from heat and set aside.

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Cut cooled potatoes in half and scrape out pulp into a large bowl; discard skins. Add juice, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper; mash with a potato masher.

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Lightly coat a 1 1/2- to 2-quart rectangular or round baking dish with cooking spray. Funny side story, I almost forgot the spray! I had to take the potatoes out, rinse the dish, and spray it. Crisis averted!  Scrape potato mixture into baking dish; arrange sautéed apples over top in pretty pattern.

Bake until bubbly around edges, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon (I used pepper at this point because I knew it would be sweet between the sweet potatoes and apples, I wanted to offset some of the sweetness. I did.

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I think it’s a great dish, different from the normal mash potato or rice dish, plus as far as I know sweet potatoes are healthier so I’ll take it! What is that you ask? What’s is the recipe for that awesome steak you see there? Oh that’s Here!

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Notes:

You can assemble this dish up to 4 hours in advance (up to the point of baking it). Keep it refrigerated but let it come to room temperature before cooking it. This is what I did. I was babysitting for a friend of mine that afternoon so first thing in the morning I made my sweet potatoes, and left it right on the counter until I was ready to mash. I made the mash later on in the afternoon during nap time and put it in the fridge along with the sliced apples (I put them in water so they wouldn’t brown). When I went to make dinner, I took the dish out, sauteed the apples in butter placed them on top and and stuck it in the oven and made the rest of my dinner :) You could probably make this with Yams as well. OK one more for the road.

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So grab yourself a cup of coffee (or glass of wine) and start pinning, taking note or bookmarking these lovelies!! 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 apple 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!
Soups, Salads, Starters and Breads

Main Meals

Sides

Desserts

Beverages

 

Featured Friday – Mama Mommy Mom

Let me introduce you to today’s Co-Host. Jamie is the Mom and blogger behind Mama Mommy Mom. I’m excited to feature Jamie because I’ve officially broken into the “MOM” side of blogging It’s so exciting to Host with other Momma Bloggers!! Why?? Well I can relate, we can relate. Jamie took a silly project and turned it into a creative outlet/fun way to connect with other parents and foodies!! What was that? The name of her blog? Where did she get is? Well if you really don’t know, you can click Here. It’s a common giggle in my family so I knew the second I found Jamie where she got the title, I instantly chuckled. Jamie has been a loving wife for 12 years and Momma for 4. She’s got two adorable children who take up most of her time, but she also loves to fill her life with food, projects and her wonderful friends in her spare time. She even teaches you how to make a Tiered Dress. Check it out!! I love all Momma blogs but I like Jamie’s style of writing. It’s like mine. That makes me like her. Now go visit her. Now. OK after you read what recipe I’ve cooked up from her collection. Yes you read that right, Recipes!!!! It’s a double day!

Teriyaki Chicken Sandwiches

Now Jamie loves mayo (have you met my mom Jamie?) this momma doesn’t. Whenever something calls for mayo I’ve been replacing it with sour cream. It’s working!! I chose this recipe because on Tuesdays and Thursdays I like to make myself a nice lunch, usually healthy if I can help it. Why you ask? Oh because those are the days my daughter goes to daycare and I can eat what I want, when I want, at the pace I want. It’s nice to treat myself to that twice a week wouldn’t ya say. So when I saw this on Jamie’s blog I said ohhhhhhhhhh I like the pineapple with the red onion on top of the chicken!! Score for Momma! This took seconds, between marinating it, throwing it in the oven to bake and assembling it, it literally came together. It was an awesome lunch……all to myself :)

What I used:
Light Mayo (eeeehm….sour cream)
Teriyaki Marinade (any brand works)
Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (trimmed and flattened)
Red Onion (thinly sliced)
Dole Pineapple Rings
Whole Wheat Buns
OK well I made this sandwich in sections so I don’t have a starter photo, and then my camera decided to shit the bed so I used my phone camera, I’m shocked because usually my camera takes great pictures, but this time it didn’t :( I got a few to show you though.

I combined the Teriyaki Sauce and Sour Cream (OK Mayo, whatever!)

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I layered it on the bottom of a baking dish, (lined with foil, I’m lazy) and then squished the chicken in it and made the chicken one with the marinade pretty much. I let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so before I baked it at 350F for 20 min.

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I baked mine, Jamie grilled hers, I’d rather grill it too, but I was at home. Where there is no grill. While it was cooking I toasted my bread with butter in a non-stick pan, I used this awesome bread I found in the grocery store bakery because I try to watch the calorie and carb counts. (not that it does anything for me, but it makes me feel better). Oh and word of advice. Listen to Jamie when she says to pound the chicken breast first to flatten it because I didn’t. Well I tried to, with a can opener, because I don’t have a meat tenderizer, I know crazy, I just had a messy sandwich on my hands that’s all. I didn’t care though, I was alone, happy to be a mess. I know your wondering what I had with that sandwich but your going to have to wait for another time, this is Jamie’s show! :)

Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich (1)

I battled the same thing as I do every week when I’m picking and choosing from great recipes. Which one should I try, do I want a breakfast item, lunch item, baked item, dinner that my family will eat item??  Hmmm….I almost made her Coka-Cola Pot Roast, I asked my husband if he would like pot roast since we had it about a month ago, he said nah. Then I asked him what he did want this week for dinner, I got the same answer I always get. Steak. In comes Jamie’s Recipe. Which I think would work great on Chicken too. This one caught my eye because he loves Soy and I love Garlic! Win Win!
Honey, Soy and Garlic Marinade

Use your judgement on ingredients, Jamie suggests using more Honey if you like it sweater, more soy if you like it saltier or more garlic if you love the garlic (like me). I ended up using less honey and more soy :)

Honey, Soy & Garlic Steak (5)

Oh and Jamie I took your advice, I stood back when I first started whisking away!! That honey can get sticky, so thanks for letting me learn from your soyed (if that’s a word) tank top!! I used Strip Steak because it’s what my hubby likes, me not so much, I hate fat on a steak, but I cut around it and get my four bites :) I let it marinate for an hour, but when I try it again, which I will be since my husband said it was a #10. (we don’t get many of them Jamie, pat yourself on the back!) I will let it marinate all day!!

Honey, Soy & Garlic Steak (1)

Another chance to use my hot skillet! (it’s kind of new if you can’t tell.) So when it was time to cook these puppies up I threw them in and poured some of the leftover marinade right in there!! Jamie says to use some beef broth if you need some liquid, I had mine ready but didn’t need it. Scrape the pan and get the bits in that juice!

Honey, Soy & Garlic Steak (2)

I let them cook a bit, flipped them and added some mushrooms!! That will be the last time I buy canned mushrooms, way too salty for us, we are fresh fresh all the way!! I just love steak and mushrooms for some reason. Oh put the lid on for a few minutes, let the juices mingle!

Honey, Soy & Garlic Steak (3)

I worry when I cook any kind of steak, I know steak continues to cook even when it’s off the source of heat, I know my husband likes his medium rare and I like mine medium to medium well but I usually just guess! Boy oh boy am I a good guesser! Well I was that night at least! 10 out of a 10, I think he was VERY happy with his steak!

Honey, Soy & Garlic Steak (4)

How yummy does that look??? Minus the fat, I can’t believe my hubby eats that. Ugh….I get the yucks just thinking about that in my mouth! Lucky for me I don’t let that stop me from eating a good steak!!

As always it’s been a pleasure featuring another great dish, from another great blog, from another great Momma! Thanks for Co-Hosting with me Jamie! Now go check out her stuff :)

Oh and stay tuned for next weeks Featured Friday, you are not going to want to miss my husband cooking me dinner for my birthday!! And writing about it!! :) Oh and it won’t be Friday, it’ll be a Featured Monday next week since Friday is my real birthday!!! I can’t wait to see how he does.

Watermelon Martini

Of course this Momma is going to be leaving you with one more Summer (or as I say Summa) time drink”e”poo!!! I made these one night for my girlfriend and I……let’s just say we only had one ;)

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What you’ll need:

1/4th of a watermelon (I bough a half of a half)
4 oz of Citrus Vokda (any kind would really work)
2 tbsp of simple suger
Juice of one lime.

What to do:

I ran the watermelon through my small food processor then I added all of the ingredients into a shaker with ice, stirred and poured! That’s about it! Garnish with a small piece of watermelon if you choose!

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In the day of a SAHM

What is your day like as a SAHM mom? I originally thought of writing about this very subject just to show my husband what it is that I (we) do all day long. Well I started documenting everything I did minute by minute but by 11AM I was like F*k this! Threw it away and went about our day! Instead I’ll just talk about it.

I thought about being a SAHM all my life….how great would it be to play with your kids everyday, teach them about what’s going on around them and to just be there to hug alllllll day long! Then I became one. I don’t think of those things anymore believe it or not. I think about what’s going to be for dinner, when I’m going to get to the laundry, when was the last time my floors were washed, did I pee yet today? Am I teaching my child the very best that I can? What will be the repercussion if I allow her to do this, do that? Worry, worry, worry. Mmmm……

Well last week a friend of a friend posted a comment on FB about being jealous of SAHM’s. That it was a beautiful day and she just wished she could enjoy it. Well I must have been PMSing because what started with a simple comment back fired and got me pretty peeved. I don’t know why, I shouldn’t let anyone’s opinion bother me. I guess I just get really upset (genially of course) when people who have never been a SAHM make comments like that. I would NEVER EVER make a comment about the day in the life of a working mom. NEVER. I am extremely lucky to be where I am, and it may not last forever. However kid you not, it is a job and it is the hardest job I’ve ever had.

This friend of a friend is entitled to feel however which way she wants, I just felt better speaking my peace. The comment started with a fun but a “Hey, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be!” like a “Hey I’m not out enjoying this beautiful day either.” so when she ever said “yeah I get to do all of the things that you are talking about on my only two days off”, no it didn’t stop there, it ended with a “Have you ever food shopped on the weekend? Not fun :). We are all entitled to our opinions and honestly I would have said the same thing almost exactly two years ago. However, Yes I have food shopped on the weekends, I used to work 50 hours a week. I just politely added that “Us SAHM’s, never get a day off, and we all know NO MOM never gets a day off whether you work or not :)

I love my job. I truly honestly love my job. Yes I have to say this to myself at least three times a day if not more sometimes. Hey whatever gets me through the day. Like today for example. I avoided at least 5 meltdowns but once nap time came to a kiddo that is already over tired. Momma – 5 Madison – 0 quickly turned to Momma – 5 Madison – 8 Daddy – 2 :) Sometimes it really amazes me how quickly a great day can go BLAH in a matter of seconds!

It’s ok, my husband and I are in it together, learning the ropes, surviving by an inch. Each day brings on more stress, more questions but also more love. Isn’t that what matters?

What do you do as a SAHM? How do you fill your days? How do you stay busy? I’m already thinking of what we are going to do on Wednesday and Friday just to get out of the house!

Sometimes we go to the Park:

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Sometimes we ride bikes:

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Sometimes we make dinner:

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Sometimes we have to work :(

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Sometimes we bake:

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Sometimes we watch movies:

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Sometimes we learn new things:

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Sometimes we play with play dough:

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Sometimes we JUST WANT OUT MOMMA!!

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Sometimes we are caught sneaking snacks:

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BUT WE ALWAYS MAKE TIME TO STOP AND APPRECIATE THE TIMES WE DO SHARE! Because let’s face it, sometimes you just need to get your feet wet to learn, there is always a reason to swim in PJ’s. :)

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Now go hug your children!! :)

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