Chicken Lo/Chow Mein-Noodle Vocabulary

Well I had to do a google search on this recipe, well the recipe is compliments of one of my featured Co-Hosts, Ramona over at Curry & Comfort. Thanks Ramona! I’m trying to  understand the different between Chicken Lo Mein and Chicken Chow Mein. Ramona says Chow Mein but google seems to be leaning towards Lo Mein. Well I made my dish a tad bit different than Ramona, I had pre-made noodles and tossed them with the veggies and sauce, then served.

Question: What is the Difference Between Lo Mein and Chow Mein?

Answer: People frequently assume that the main difference between lo mein and chow mein is the type of noodles that are used. It makes sense – after all, chow mein noodles are crisp while lo mein noodles are soft, right? Actually, the main distinction between these two popular dishes lies in how the noodles are prepared.

Know Your Noodle Vocabulary

Mein or mian is simply the Chinese word for noodles. Lo Mein means “tossed noodles,” while chow mein or chao mian means “fried noodles.”

What Type of Noodles are Used in Chow Mein and Lo Mein dishes?

Both lo mein and chow mein are made with Chinese egg noodles – wheat flour noodles with egg added. Fresh egg noodles (preferably about 1/4-inch thick) are best for lo mein, while either fresh or dried can be used to make chow mein. Either way, the noodles need to be softened in boiling water before cooking. Dried noodles are parboiled in boiling water for 5 to 6 minutes before using, while fresh egg noodles only need to be boiled for 2 to 3 minutes. The exact amount of cooking time will depend on the thickness of the noodles, so be sure to follow the package instructions if available. But whether you’re working with fresh or dried noodles, the goal is to boil them until they are just cooked but not too soft (what the Italian’s call “al dente,” or “cooked to the tooth”).

How are Lo Mein and Chow Mein Prepared?

One method of preparing chow mein noodles is to fry them separately into a “noodle pancake” and then pour the stir-fried meat and vegetables over the fried noodles. The chow mein noodles can also be stir-fried with the meat/poultry and vegetables.

With lo mein, the parboiled noodles are frequently added near the end of cooking to heat through and toss with the other ingredients and sauce. Alternately, the parboiled noodles may be tossed with a sauce and the stir-fried ingredients poured over.

I don’t care what it was because it was all going to the same place! My Bellay!!! So let me tell you how to cook it up and you can be your own judge!
Sauce:
1/4 soy sauce
2 Tbs oyster sauce (I omitted this because I couldn’t find it in the store!)
1/4 cup Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
2 tsp brown sugar
1 Tbs sesame oil
1/8 tsp Chinese Five Spice (I used Hot Shot, I figured spicy is spicy!)
1/4 chicken stock with 1 Tbs of cornstarch made into a slurry

Chicken Lo Mein (1)

Directions:

Cook pasta noodles 1-2 minutes shy of package instructions. (I skipped this part because I knew mine were already done to that point so I added them at the end.)  Drain and set aside until later. Add 2tsp of cornstarch to sliced chicken and allow to set for a few minutes.

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Heat a wok on high heat and add sliced chicken and stir fry for 2 minutes. Then add the ginger, garlic, red chili flakes and some salt and pepper. Don’t forget to go easy on the salt because of the soy sauce.

While this was happening, I then made my sauce. I just stirred it inside a measuring cup for easy access

Chicken Lo Mein (2)

Next add the sliced cabbage, celery and any other vegetables (accept the bean sprouts). Stir fry for another 2-3 minutes.  Add your sauce ingredients and stir fry until sauce begins to boil and thicken.

Finally add the bean sprouts and cook for a minute then add the cooked pasta and toss well with the sauce and vegetables.  Taste for seasoning and serve hot.  Don’t be afraid to taste and add what it may be missing to your taste. I’m really bad at the whole “making a slurry” or “thickening” process it’s sometimes called, my sauces never thicken :( However I didn’t care because the taste was amazing.

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Serve with chow mein style crunchy noodles or good ol’ fashion fortune cookies. My husband loves fortune cookies.

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How yummy does that look! Madison loved the noodles! Even ate a few pieces of chicken! Yay!

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Oh and here was my husbands fortune that night………Ha!

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Momma’s Update

Wow it’s 2:37pm and this Momma doesn’t have a post up? Hmmm, that’s not like her… (I mean me). People think I’m nuts because I post every single day. Well I am nuts, but I love posting everyday. However that needs to stop. Well not needs to, but in order for me to put more quality into Momma’s Meals I need more time in the day? More sleep? Yes all of that too, however that’s not going to happen. My husband and I need to spend more time together, Madison get’s her quality time with Mommy why shouldn’t Daddy?? I’m relaunching Momma’s Meals next month and I’m really trying to get more into writing about the recipes I cook, the challenges we as a family face every day, and well just life.

Fall is a busy time for us, we close down our Summer camp. Bye – Bye camp we will miss you. Here is Madison enjoying her last weekend with her friend Layla. :)

However Madison just started dance lessons on Saturdays and Soccer lessons on Monday’s. My husband, daughter, mother and MIL all have birthdays in the fall. Whew……..should I go on? I’m already tired!! Oh did I mention we are buying a house too? Searching for a house with my mom so she can have an in-law, which means she is currently selling hers. We must not forget this baby girls 2nd birthday party either!!

So what’s in store for this Momma? Well a lot. I’m pursuing avenues so I can do this “writing thing” Full-time. I’m venturing more into the “blogging thing” to make some money for my family, so one day I can FINALLY say “I love my job”. I’m not sure on a launch date for “Momma’s Meals……….Who said their was a recipe for Mommahood?” It will be this fall and it won’t have too many changes, I’ve worked hard all summer starting to slowly gear up for it. I’ve met some great Momma’s out there that have awesome Momma blogs too, so I can’t wait to feature some of them for Featured Friday’s.  Jenn over at Munchkins Designs is busy at work, giving Momma’s Meals a new look!Here is what the new schedule will look like:

Weekly Update-Tuesday. This will allow me to update you on what we’ve been up to, I know how much you care! OK well the grandparents of this beautiful baby girl will some day care. My husband also gets to see in pictures and more detail about what we do  each day.

Parenting Post- Wednesday. This will be when we talk about anything and everything Parenthood, whether it a be a tip, a certain topic (please do email me of you have one). I keep saying to myself “I should blog about this.” Then never write it down, then of course never remember.

Featured Friday Co-Host – Friday. One of my favorite days of the week. I have the pleasure of introducing yet another awesome blog to my usual readers, where you can go and check out more yummy recipes or now even meet other Momma’s that blog (to stay alive). :)

Sunday Supper – Sunday. My other favorite day of the week. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Sundays in my home. Snow is falling, good food cooking in the kitchen for dinner or future dinners that week, football games on in the background (well for me), and cuddled up on the couch with a nice and warm fuzzy blanket (stay tuned for a pic of me and my favorite blanket to cuddle in). Well this is also a day where we eat as a family, and thanks to Isabel over at Family Foodie, not only do I get to eat with my family but I also get to share the table with my foodie family too!!! (OK that was a lot of Foodie and Family in one sentence but you get my drift!  So join me on Sunday’s while I share a new theme each week and meet my foodie friends around the table for Sunday Supper! 

5th of every month-Dear Madison. This is when I share letters to my daughter. This is hard for me because this is where I’ll admit the ups and downs of Parenthood to her, where I’ll mention the amazing accomplishments we conquer on a monthly basis, but also all of the rough patches we may have a long the way.

Random Recipes & Chuckles. This will be random, it’s good for Quick recipes that I make up on the fly but may not take many pics of, but would love to share. Chuckles of course because we all have to laugh our way through parenthood or we’d all go insane :)

What else???? Hmmmm…..well I’d also like to get another Crock Pot Challenge going this Fall. Maybe around Novermberish, I’ve come so far in the blogging world since last year, that I believe I’ll be able to really make it fun this year!!

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO once again I thank you for all of your support. Special thanks to you Momma’s out there that help me with my posts by being honest and open with me. A VERY special thanks to my husband for allowing me to make all of my dreams come true. Well and for giving me the newest idea on my next venture!!

STAY TUNED…………

Chicken Con Queso for #SundaySupper

It’s that special day of the week again my dear friends! Sunday has quickly approached and it’s time to sit down and have a nice family dinner together. What is cooking in your kitchen?

Well I know what’s cooking in mine and what’s cooking in all of my foodie friends kitchens! Tonight’s theme is Mexican baby! Oh ya, you heard me! I wanted to try something different because I’ve made Enchilada’s, queso dip, Empenada’s, taco’s, and even Chicken Enchilada Soup! I should have a Mexican Page! Well maybe just a Mexican Post naming my Mexican dishes. There has never been a time that I’ve made a Mexican dish and didn’t like it. So this time I wanted to make an actual meal out of it. Something different. I wanted to incorporate Queso with chicken!! Wala! I found this recipe and changed it up a bit to make it a full meal. I added corn and beans to it and served it with Broccoli to make it a great dish.  Trust me you don’t want to miss this Fiesta!!

This week, Heather over at girlichef is hosting!! How cute of a name is that first of all! Thanks so much for hosting this great Fiesta Heather!! These dishes look amazing! You’ve got your drinks, your apps, your main dishes and your sweet endings! First let me show you what I’ve cooked up for you!

Chicken Con Queso

Adapted From: Food.Com
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

1 10 oz can of Cream of Chicken Soup
1 1/2 Cups of shredded cheese (I used 6 blend reduced fat)
2/3 Cups of evaporated Milk
4.5 oz Can of green chilis
2 Large Scallions, chopped
1 1/2 Cups of tortilla chips, crushed
1 lb of chicken breasts, chopped (You can also use left over chicken from another dish)
1 small can of corn, drained
1 can of black beans (I used Cannelini because it’s what I had)
Salt & Pepper
Red Pepper

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What to do:

Cook the chicken first using salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (this adds a little kick, it is a Mexican dish after all!) **This is where I would sprinkle the chicken with some taco seasoning next time I make this dish.)

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While that is cooking, in a large mixing bowl, combine the soup, cheese, milk, chili’s, beans, corn and scallions all together. Add the chicken to the mixture once it’s cooked through and stir well. **This is also where I would stir in some more taco seasoning.”

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Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray, crunch the chips and layer them on the bottom of the dish.

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Bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until you see it bubble around the edges.

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Dip in. Scoop. ENJOY!

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Now to send you off with some other great Mexican inspired dishes to go and try (like right now!) my foodie friends have done an outstanding job preparing these dishes for you!

Sopas (Soups), Ensaladas (Salads), and Entremeses (Starters)

La Comida (the food)

Postres (desserts)

Bebidas (beverages)

 

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day (this coming Sunday, September 16) 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 for a Mexican Fiesta! All you have to do is follow the#SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat!  We’d also love to feature your Mexican Fiesta recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!

Liebster Award!

Guess what!!!!??? I was awarded the Liebester Award from another blogger!! Yay me!! I think this is a great way to get new bloggers some more faithful followers!

What is the Liebster you ask?  The Liebster award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is a German word meaning: sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. I was nominated by April over at First Time Mom and Dad. Pssst….she will be Co-Hosting with me come November so stay tuned!! Thank you April! :)

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The Rules:

1.    Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2.    Answer the 11 questions the person giving the award has set for you.
3.    Create 11 questions for the people you will be giving the award to.
4.    Choose 11 people to award and send them a link to your post. Go to their page and tell them.
5.    No tag backs.
11 Random Facts About Me:
Ok so here we go! 11 random things about me….I actually love this, and I have a few on my About Me page because it’s a great way to say something so random about you and not have to explain…….though I always feel the need to explain!
  1. I despise clutter, dust is ok, but clutter. No.
  2. I have no respect for people who judge.
  3. I hate people who think they are better than anyone else.
  4. I have a glass of wine (or two) every night and a cigarette before I go to bed. (AHHHH!!)
  5. I “need” to shower ever day, skipping a day makes me feel gross.
  6. I used to have a shoe addiction, now it’s yoga pants. Every color, every brand, every style. I own.
  7. I hate sports.
  8. I don’t eat any seafood, anything with mayo or any meat on a bone. My Food quirks.
  9. I secretly love Disney movies.
  10. I fell in love for the first time at 15, don’t say it isn’t possible because it is.
  11. I hate all eyes on me, being the center of attention but I sucked it up to have the wedding of my dreams.

11 Questions I have to answer

1.    When did you start Blogging and why? I started blogging in Decenber of 2010 however, Momma’s Meals was born in October of 2011. I originally started blogging to document my experience of becoming a parent (aka vent sessions) Momma’s Meals was born because I realized I loved cooking and documenting me and daughters life together will be something she can treasure forever.
2.    Do you eat breakfast? Yes everyday faithfully. When I used to be an avid work-out girl I ate two a day! I’m laughing now because I consider walking up the stairs a work out! Ha!
3.    If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? I’m right where I want to be though I dream sometimes.
4.    Mini Van or SUV? SUV. Converted from a car to an SUV about 6 years ago.
5.    Flats or heels? Oh boy, I love my heels, miss them. I’ve become a flats girl.
6.    Ocean view or Mountain view? Can I have both? If I were to have to choose it would be Ocean, it’s the sound.
7.    Dream profession? Stay At Home Mom who blogs and makes money from it. :) 2 years ago it was a High School Counselor.
8.    If you had 1 million dollars and you had to spend it or give it away what would you do with it? Buy a home here large enough for me, my husband and children with two in-laws, one for my mom and sister. Buy a vacation home somewhere tropical. Pay off all debts and put the rest away for my children.
9.    Biggest Pet Peeve? People who judge others. If I was raised not to, how come others weren’t?
10. Worst habit? My wine at night.
11. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In a home, with more children, blogging for a living. I know I’m living the dream!
11 Questions for people I am Awarding:
  1. What is your favorite Season and why?
  2. What is your favorite Holiday and why?
  3. Where were you five years ago?
  4. What is your one goal that you will try your hardest to accomplish in this lifetime?
  5. Do you come from a large family or small family?
  6. Best part of about marriage?
  7. Name one thing you love about yourself:
  8. Favorite Dish:
  9. What is one weakness you wish you could change or have changed?
  10. Dream Kitchen or Dream Master Bedroom?
  11. Phone, email, text or Instant Message?
11 People I’m Awarding:
Also I invite any and all of these wonderful blogs to Co-Host with me for a Featured Friday! Check it out here and let me know if your interested I can schedule you in now!!

Featured Friday – Diabetic Foodie

Let me introduce you to a pretty special lady I’ve met through this wonderful adventure I call the blogging world. Shelby is the blogger behind Diabetic Foodie. She grew up surrounded by terrific Southern cooks who loved food. Even though Shelby found out in 1999 that she was a Type 2 Diabetic she didn’t let it stop her from eating delicious home cooked meals. She managed her diet via food exchanges. She started taking walks every day after work and even dropped 30 pounds. For several years, she managed her diabetes without drugs and just simply paid attention. Then life happened, (damn that life, it always does that doesn’t it!) After changing careers, changing states twice and remarrying, Shelby was told by her doctor that her kidneys were not as healthy as they should be.  Her philosophy then evolved into using fresh, local foods whenever possible, incorporating more whole grains and using healthy fats and lean proteins. She also eats a lot more hearty dishes that happen to be vegetarian. I’ve been through Shelby’s blog extensively because well, I wanted to make every dish! Ask her, I changed my mind 3 different times. My new one is that awesome Far East Steak Salad she made last week! Her blog is NOT just for diabetics, I promise you that, her recipes are for anyone who wants to cook a heart healthy, fresh and lean meal. Maybe some of these delicious recipes will help inspire me to loose the end of this baby weight, my kiddo is going to be two, I’m not even sure I can consider it baby weight anymore! Maybe Shelby can do a guest post for me when my new site takes off next month on how to make a change in eating habits, I for one NEED to do this. Oh and guess what!!?? Shelby’s step daughter lives in NH!! She plans on visiting soon and she may just be the first foodie friend I get to meet, how exciting would that be! So, I decided to make a recipe from Shelby’s collection that would include my daughter since she’s been loving the kitchen with me lately. Plus I love the idea of making breakfast things that my husband can take to work all week, and MM can have a quick and delicious breakfast on the mornings we are out the door early (which is pretty much everyday!) Plus I thought it would be a good idea to incorporate a great recipe for everyone that is already picking apples this year!

Apple Pecan Muffins

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Cooking spray
2 Tbsp plus ¾ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup chopped pecans
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole grain pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce (I like Mott’s Natural)
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup lowfat buttermilk
1 Gala apple, peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch chunks

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix together 2 Tbsp of the brown sugar, the pecans and the cinnamon. Set aside.

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In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole grain pastry flours, baking soda and salt.

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In a large bowl, mix remaining ¾ cup brown sugar with oil until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add applesauce and vanilla.

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Add flour mixture to applesauce mixture alternately with buttermilk. (Add half of flour, half of buttermilk, remaining flour, remaining buttermilk.) Mix just until combined; don’t overmix or muffins will be tough. Gently stir in apple chunks. Scoop batter into prepared muffin pan. Sprinkle with pecan mixture. Tap pan on counter to remove air bubbles.

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Bake for 20 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean.

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Let cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen, then remove from pan. Cool on rack. I even added some fall cutesy inserts in them, not even sure that’s what they are called but hey it’s cute!

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How yummy do these look!! These will be breakfast this weekend while we are at our campground!

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Do you think it was Madison Approved?????????

Apple Pecan Muffins

Makes 12 muffins
Per muffin: 228 calories, 8g fat (1g sat), 36mg cholesterol, 232mg sodium, 37g carb, 2g fiber, 20g sugar, 4g protein

Don’t forget to go check out some other great healthy recipes over at Diabetic Foodie. Thank you so much for Co-Hosting with me Shelby, and as always, you are always welcome in my kitchen!

Pork Tenderloin – Fall Style

Foodie Friends Friday

I was searching for a recipe that had sweet potatoes in it that went with pork tenderloin because I was going to be busy that day and my husband was working so I wanted something that would be ready for MM and I when we were ready for dinner. This was THE PERFECT FIND!! Now notice how Maddie checked it out the night I made this dish. Scroll below to see how I got her to eat it the next night! I’m very proud of this fabulous idea of mine! This recipe is adapted from Recipe Secrets.

Fall Preview

Caribbean-inspired spices give this dish a new twist. Throw everything into the slow cooker the night before and refrigerate. Start cooking first thing in the morning on high heat, then switch to low before leaving the house.

Ingredients:

¼ cup (50 mL) light brown sugar
½ tsp (2 mL) crumbled dried thyme
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
¼ tsp (1 mL) black pepper
¼ tsp (1 mL) cinnamon
¼ tsp (1 mL) ground nutmeg
¼ tsp (1 mL) ground ginger
¼ tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper (optional)
2 lb (1 kg) sweet potatoes (3 medium), peeled and sliced ½ in (1 cm) thick
1 medium onion, chopped
1½ lb (750 g) pork tenderloins (2 small or 1 large)
2 medium apples, peeled and coarsely chopped (one for snacking on!!)
¼ cup (50 mL) dried cranberries
1/4 cup (30 mL) water

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What to do:

In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, thyme, salt, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cayenne. This recipe works well for me because I’m Type A and like to mix my spices ahead of time so I can just sprinkle or roll the meat right in it!

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Arrange the sweet potato slices in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add the chopped onion and sprinkle everything with about half of the sugar and spice mixture.

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Coat the pork tenderloins with the remaining spice mixture and place them in the slow cooker on top of the vegetables. Depending on the shape of your cooker, you’ll probably have to curl the tenderloins around a bit to make them fit — that’s fine. Top the tenderloins with the chopped apples and the cranberries, then add the water and cover the cooker.

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Cook on low for 5-7 hours, depending on your crock pot. Mine cooks really fast so it was ready in 5 hours.

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To serve, remove the tenderloins to a cutting board and carve crosswise into thick slices. Spoon the sweet potato-onion-apple mixture into a serving bowl and arrange the pork slices around the edge. If there’s any liquid left in the slow cooker, serve separately on the side.

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Your left with this scrumptious fall dish! It had awesome taste!! The Craisins and apples made the dish!

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Makes 4 servings. (I used one large tenderloin and it fed 2 people and one for leftovers!) Ok so now do you want to know what I did with some of the leftover sweet potato/apple mixture?? You really want to know? I pureed it!!!! Yes I did, right in my little blender, I added it to two different pasta’s this week seeing as Pasta is STILL Madison’s favorite, it was a great way to make it a little sweet but get some good nutrients in her!!

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Parenting Post-What do you do when you want to give up?

Parenting7

This is a subject that I hold close to my heart for a lot of reasons. Many of them being that I’ve known a lot of people in my life who have battled depression. Luckily for me I was not one of them until I had my daughter and developed PPD two years ago. What do you do when everyday seems to be an uphill battle? What do you say when someone asks how you are doing, when in reality you are dying in the inside. How do you act when you are out in public smiling when you want to be home crying? All questions I’m sure you’ve asked yourself before. We’ve all had our struggles whether it was loosing a loved one, suffering from depression or just down right hating life some days. What do you do when you have those days? How do you pick yourself up and turn it all around. I chose to write about this very subject today because I think sometimes just hearing that you are no alone in the way you may feel can help turn anyone’s day around. Knowing that you are not the only one who has these feelings can make any person feel human again.

So let me start with my day. It’s September 11th, a day that will always leave your heart just a little heavier than normal kind of day. My almost two year old daughter has been throwing fits over what cloths she is going to wear each and everyday. (I know already, I thought that was a teenager thing!) Anyways, I started giving her choices, either she can pick what shoes she wants to wear with it, or she can pick which pants to go with a top I’ve chosen. Well the day before she became obsessed with a fleece long sleeved sweatshirt. Wore it around the house naked. (it was 84 in btw) My husband gets home from work, sees me trying to make dinner, and the doll that he is says he will take her to the store to get a new soccer ball while I finish cooking. (she had her first soccer lesson that morning) She comes out of her room wearing sweat pants that don’t fit (he asks are these supposed to be capri’s? No dear they are not). She has a onesy on the same color as the pants and then a tank top over the onsey with ruffles on the sleeve, a shade darker than the pink of an outfit she picked. Did I see the harm in this? Nope. Too cute, so off they went. Before my husband went to bed last night he just happened to mention that she went to bed with the fleece jacket on she was obsessing about all day. Now normally I wouldn’t care but it’s like 90 degrees in her room and we can’t open the window or she would wake up from the noises outside (her window is above a parking lot in our condo complex) I said you have to go in there and take it off, she’ll sweat to death in that thing. So he did. No problem. Never thought of it again. Until this morning…..when it was time to get ready for school (aka daycare). Of course I wanted to dress her in a white t-shirt with a blue jean overall dress and red panties for the day since I wanted to do something patriotic. I knew I would have a hard enough time struggling to get a dress on her so when she came running out with a onsey (that was clearly too small for her (she opens the draws where I keep her cloths that she has outgrown) I said ok, she can wear this even if it is too small, it did say “Red, White  & Cute” on it so my thoughts of the cute adorable blue jean dress was gone from my head and I thought she would be thrilled with the onsey SHE had chosen. Wrong. Oh so Wrong Momma. It was 55 degrees out this morning, and though I walked out in a tank top (I’m always hot) I wanted her to have something on her arms since she had shorts on. Ah Ha!!!! The fleece jacket she loved so much yesterday! OMG Momma you are so smart I say to myself. Wrong again my friends. FULL MODE MELT DOWN NUTTY. I mean on the floor hands and feet kicking, unzipping it every two seconds while I put on my shoes and slapped some cover up over the bags under my eyes. It was like a devil came into my child and was taking control. I had two options. One, take off the sweatshirt, give her her own way and quietly walk down to the truck. Two, pick up the child that is screaming yelling trying to yank the darn thing off, letting neighbors hear because my hallway is like an apartment. Which do you think I chose? Three months ago momma would have chosen option one. Daddy would have chosen option one. Well today was the day that I chose option number two. YAY Momma!! She screamed the whole time I strapped her in, I sat in the front seat of my truck frantically texting my mother saying that the devil had taken over my child. I ignored her, continued to post a rant on my mommy group on FB asking advice from other mothers, wondering if they deal with the same things. After I was done I turned around and she was sitting there quiet as can be  holding her pup pup and smiling. I said “Now are we going to go to school and have a very nice day?” Her response. “Yah”. So off we went. Oh my goodness!!!!!! By the time I had dropped her off and got back to my truck there were at least 6 replies from my mommy friends stating there own battles, and what they do. I felt SO much better. I didn’t feel alone anymore, I didn’t feel like a rotten mother. Though I would have normally let that situation get me down for the rest of the day I breathed, I went food shopping (yes I actually enjoy food shopping, don’t judge a momma!) and then home to write this experience to share. Now that I’m sharing I think I’ve found the reasoning behind the melt down. It’s not that she didn’t want to wear the sweatshirt.  I honestly think it was because I was covering up the shirt that SHE chose to wear today. :( I kept trying to tell her that she could take it off when we got to school, but a two year old IS NOT going to understand that. Did I make the wrong decision? I don’t know, but I’m proud for not giving in. Any two year old that may think they are the boss…..whew watch out!

Parenting

I asked a bunch of moms what they do when they have days like this. Days when they just want to throw their hands up in the air and give up, give in. Here are some great tips and just yet another way of showing that we as mothers ARE NOT ALONE with some of these feelings we deal with on an everyday basis.

“I keep telling myself that the kids are only young for a short period of time and just take a step back and breath. After all we are in the best years of our life right now! Enjoy and don’t stress you may not have a tomorrow. Not that is is right but that is the way I handle it. I also cry at times because I don’t think I am a very good mom.” Well all I have to say about that comment is she’s dead right. No not about the being a bad mom, I know for a fact that this woman is a great mom. I just think sometimes concentrating on the now, and realizing that tomorrow our children are just going to be bigger, and the day after that even bigger to try and enjoy the now can really help the mind refresh.

Another local mom says, “There are days I just need to get out of the house, leave everyone there, don’t make supper don’t make anything, don’t do anything for anyone, just go and be by myself whether be at the gym, shopping, or just driving around in the car! Well first off, let me give props to this mom, because the gym would be the last place I would end up! I’m not going to lie and say I haven’t done this. What I try to do now is not get to that point of course, don’t we all. I try and schedule those times out ahead of time so I look forward to the time away. Whether it be dinner out with a friend, a pedicure or even just a trip to the market alone.

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Here is one mom’s story I’d like to share, this is from a woman who I’ve come to admire over the years. She is not my age and her kids have since grown, but she’s had her own struggles in life and I take her advice to heart. “We used to run around being silly. The boys didn’t know it was my weight loss plan, they just thought their mom was fun and silly! I never had the patience for bedtime, I wanted to freak out by the time the four of them would stop jumping out of their beds, asking for things, or just running around when they were supposed to be going to sleep…so my husband took on that job. They kissed me good night after bedtime stories were read (by me, because I put my heart and soul into it and loved playing the characters) and my husband handled them after that. Just figure out what is best for the kids and what is best for you, and let it all work out and know you did your best. You don’t expect perfection from your kids and they need to learn not to expect perfection from us.” I like this story because she has such an awesome way of making her children see the fun side of her when some days she wanted to die inside. I love that she passed on a job that she felt she was no good at to her husband because he could handle it better than her. SHE ASKED FOR HELP. If it’s one thing I agree with this momma on it’s asking our husbands for help, it’s why they are there, and if it’s not a husband how about a friend or a parent? It took me a LONG time to be able to ask for help. Now I say “Hunny please take her and do bath time I need a few minutes. Now sometimes I don’t even have to ask, like last night. :) I also agree that you don’t expect perfection from your children, they need to learn not to expect perfection from us. VERY well said.

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Another Momma friend of mine that I’ve recently met had some great tips, even ones I’ve tried:

1. Put the kids in their rooms with gates on, you breathe (I did this yesterday, when Madison go so whiney out of control for no reason I put her in her crib with some books and toys and went into the kitchen to start dinner.)
2. Lock yourself in the bathroom for a few minutes (Definetly have done this)
3. Take a long shower. Pretend reality isn’t there. If someone watching your kids of course!
4. Do yoga (trying this one now!)
5. RUN! Seriously. As far as you can and as fast as you can. It relieves lots of stress. Feel better. Don’t pass out.
6. Eat healthier. A healthy you is prepared for a healthier day! (hehe)
7. Smoke. Yeah, I said it. Just nothing illegal. (One a night for the past ten years, see I just confessed.) Oh and not when I was pregnant of course.
8. Cry and move on. (crying really does help….it must release something within your brain.)
9. Pretend you can’t understand them! (j/k, kind of ….)
10. Get them and you out of the environment. Go outside, down stairs, on the porch. 
11. Walk away
12. See an angel healer. (Wacky right? Guess that’s how I roll ) I’d love to do this!smile

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I have tried all of these things. What helped me the most with my anger and lack of patience is honestly, one bad episode. After yelling wacky mommy showed her ugly face, I realized I didn’t want to be THAT mom. Who was that person? It’s not helping them. It’s not helping me. I then let go and not try to control so much. I have a control issue. “You listen to me. You do what I say. Why would you do that?” ect. Seriously. After one crazy mom moment, the clarity of who I wanted to become and be for my kids changed my view. The shift was influential. The core of anger is usually fear. I had to figure out my fear to understand my anger to change my behavoir.

This momma makes a great point, the core of anger is usually fear, so what is your fear? Well I already know mine, and I’m working on it. My issues of “having” to be the perfect mom. I’ve come a real long way.

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Lastly, another momma offered a few great tips. “Ever since I went back to work I have been having these overwhelming days more frequently then ever before. I feel like I want to be superwoman and I fall short of any superhero abilities. When I have days when I just want to give up and run away I am learning that it is okay to admit weakness to my husband. I don’t know about you but I put a lot of high expectations on myself and when I fail my own expectations I am too proud to show my weakness. So being honest has been a humbling and growing experience for me. On those days when I am overwhelmed my husband picks up dinner from a take away and after dinner I get in the bath with my 1 year old and then hubby takes her away to get her dressed and ready for bed while I have a longer soak alone in the bath. So far it is the only way I have found to have a bath because every time I try to just have it after her bed time it just never seems to happen.”

I love hearing others say they admit their weaknesses to their husbands. It’s hard for anyone, I expect to have superhero abilities too, and because I’m a SAHM, I hate asking my husband for help or admitting defeat because he works too. I also like the bath idea, I used to do that a lot when Madison was younger, maybe it’s time for me to try that again!

So with all of that said, I hope I can make at least one Momma feel better today. If so then I have done my job by sharing these tips, idea’s and stories with you. On another note, I want to add that this advice and these stories do not fall alone on mothers or parents, I think the advice can be spread to anyone feeling down about anything at all whether your a mother or not. I see a few of my loved ones still struggle in my day to day life with depression and as a person that loves them all I just want to reach out and help. Make it all better. Take away the pain. I know I can’t do that, but talking to people you love and knowing you are NOT alone is a start.

A special thanks to the mom’s that answered this question for me, sharing your personal thoughts and feelings. To my mom who helped me deal with my devil child this morning, and my mommy friends who made me see that I’m NOT ALONE.

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***These are my personal feelings and I’m by no means a professional, my quotes come directly from people whom I have permission from.**

Chicken Alfredo Pizza

Ok it’s pretty bad that under my Pinterest account I actually have a board for just pizza! Sad huh! That’s how much I love pizza, it’s my total weakness of weaknesses! Sooooooo here is one I whipped up for lunch one day when I was by myself because well………I love white sauce and hubby loves red sauce.

Make. Bake. Slice. Eat. Enjoy.

Ingredients:

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4 tbsp of light alfredo sauce (I used Ragu, they have a light version, but I know a lot of brands do)
1 Cup of cooked Broccoli, diced
1 Cup of cooked chicken, diced
Salt & Pepper
Garlic Powder
Pizza dough (I use Stonefire a lot when I’m in a rush because it’s easy)
1 Cup of reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese

What to do:

Well I used some left over chicken that I had from another meal, sometimes I even cook 3 out of the four chicken breasts and leave one for something like this, or even try the perdue singles, when you can buy 6 breasts all individually wrapped and frozen, perfect for that too.

Preheat oven to what your dough recommends. Mine was 425. I chopped my chicken small, it’s just how I like it. If you know me, you’d know that I’m a bit Type A with my pizza and salads. I cooked my broccoli for 2 min in the microwave with water first.

I spread the alfredo sauce on first, feel free to use more, I just try to keep the counts down! (Counts aka calories, fat and carbs!) I also mix my salt, pepper and garlic powder in a separate bowl (I know I’m strange) then I sprinkle the seasoning on top.

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I then add the chicken and broccoli and then the cheese on top. Bake for how ever long your dough suggests, I placed mine right directly on the wire rack ( I like mine crispy)

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Then you get this delicious looking lunch!! All just for you!! It’s like a burst of yumminess in your mouth!

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What did I say before? Make. Bake. Slice. Eat. Enjoy. I believe this is the Slice time.

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And this would be the Eat. Enjoy section.

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Show and Tell Monday – Let’s Talk Babies….

Remember a few weeks ago I did a Show and Tell Monday on Wedding Bells brought together by an awesome Blog called From Mrs. to Mama? Well this past week was a fall theme and I couldn’t get it done quick enough, knowing this weeks was about babies, I decided I had to take part in this one. Thanks again Becky for an awesome Link up!

1. Tell us your favorite baby names? Aside from your own babies, if you have some :)

Well I never realized how hard it was to name a child. I mean come on. It’s forever. Here were my basic rules when thinking of names for my child when I was pregnant. One, the name must fit well for a baby/child. Two, the name must fit well for a adolescent/adult. Three, the name must fit well as an older person’s name. (I’m not about to say old people) and finally, four, you have to be open and OK with a nickname because most likely if you send you child to school as an “Elizabeth”, your most likely going to get “Liz” after the first year of school no matter how much you try to push “her real name.” With that being said when my husband and I were expecting we had four names in mind, two boys, two girls.

Hannah Lauren – This is what I wanted.
Madison Lauren – This is what my husband wanted.

Lucas Lawrence – This is what my husband wanted.
Drew Lawrence – This is what I wanted.

If you don’t know me, my father’s name was Lawrence, and we lost him over 11 years ago to cancer, I’d literally give my left arm to have him so damn straight I was going to try to incorporate my father’s name into my child’s. Why not name a boy Lawrence? Well………I don’t like it, it goes to rule number 4. I love the name Lawrence, hate the name Larry. :) Sorry Dad I still love you. Also, if you don’t know me, my husbands name is Andrew, it’s my favorite boy name (of course I had to marry someone with my favorite boy name!) He didn’t (doesn’t) want to name a son Andrew Jr. he feels very strongly about having a Jr. so I came up with Drew, because if you name him Andrew, again in comes rule #4, he will come home from school as Andy. So why not name him just Drew.

How did we decide on Madison, a few reasons, one I thought it was super sweet that my husband came up with name (aka. found it on the top 100 names in 2010) my father named me, it’s very special to me. Also, my uncle, my godfather’s name is Matthew and we call him Matty. Insert rule #4 again, very important. Do I mind if people call her Maddie. NO!!!!! It passed, insert Madison Lauren Forcier. Don’t even ask about a second child, though we have picked up a new favorite, even if it is a little too Kardashian for me, it is where I picked it up. Mason. :)

2. Show me your “dream” nursery {can be your baby’s nursery or one that you love}
I always had a vision of what my babies nursery would look like, of course it was a girl, because for as long as I knew about babies, I wanted a girl. I also envisioned White furniture. My husband made my dreams come true.

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3. How many children would you like to have? How far apart?
It’s funny how you want to plan it, you dream it, but honestly right now, we are just living it. I always wanted a large family, I always wanted my children to have a lot of siblings. Then I had one. Then I became a SAHM. Then I went insane. No J/K, well not completely but it’s a lot. My husband and I currently own a condo that has 2 bedrooms and 1000 sq feet, we are bursting at the seams. My daughter will be 2 next month. Once I decided that I only wanted two, I figured 3 to 4 years between them would be nice. We are currently looking to buy a home, though we thought we would have by now, things happen for a reason and well……..Madison will make a great big sister. Someday. :)
4. Tell us what you think the importance of parenting is?

Mmmm good question. Parenting to me has a few different definitions. The importance of it to me is who you are raising your child. Meaning, demonstrating good values, implementing manners, that kind of thing I believe is so important. It’s probably the hardest thing about motherhood/parenthood that I’ve found. I feel like every decision I make from cheerio’s or french toast to how you discipline play a roll on what kind of person she will become. Then the other half of me (the smart half) kicks in saying, as long as she’s healthy, happy and smiling, she will be who she is meant to be. I can’t help but want the very best for all and any of my children.

5. Show us your favorite newborn photo {can be your children or random}

Of course I’m going to use this opportunity to show off my beautiful child. What mother wouldn’t. These are of the first week we were home.

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6.  Tell us some things you promise to never do as a parent {and if you are a parent, did you stick to it}
Ha, funny I always said I would never yell at my child. But I do. I mean I raise my voice. I thought I would have all the patience in the world as a mother, and well, I don’t. I’m human. The most important one to me is never let your child feel as if they have disappointed you. Never let your child go to bed upset. So far so good on this one! Today was the perfect example. Madison’s first dance class was today. I was definitely more excited than she was. After crying through the whole getting dressed process ( tights, leotard, ballet slippers), then sitting through the 30 min class on the side lines because she wouldn’t join the other kids, all I could think of was how bummed I was that she didn’t like it. I still put her in her car seat, kissed her head, and said, “you did so good today baby”.  That’s what we do as parents.
Just had to add one more. As recent as they come.

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Chicken Chili for #SundaySupper

Well it’s officially football season guys……and gals. I’ve heard plenty of my girlfriends comment “I’ve officially lost my husband to football!!” It’s funny my  husband wasn’t really a football fan when I met him (I think it was a trick) but within the past few years he’s become, well lets say a football fan! AH!! It works for me because I set myself up in the kitchen for the day and then we are both happy. Yes I just admitted it, I use Football as a reason to make some really great yummy dishes. Mine as well make the best of it! So today’s theme for #SundaySupper is Tailgating parties and all the wonderful food that comes along with it. Heck yeah I was getting involved with this one, and let me tell you……….the recipes for this theme……….AMAZING!!! Lane over at Supper for a Steal is hosting this week! She’s got some great recipes and well……..DEALS! I chose not only a Chili but a Chicken Chili because I’ve always wanted to make one, I’ve made so many kinds of Chili’s, one because I love it and two because my husband always challenges me to make it “hotter”. Well I realized that though I may never get it hot enough for him,  I have finally gotten it to just the right temperature for me!

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Earlier this summer I got these dried chili’s and never used them, I forgot I had them! I pulled them out as I was making this dish and quickly looked up what I could do with them and how I could add them to this chili, especially since I forgot my Chili Powder up at our camp so I felt like I needed to improvise! unfortunately since I didn’t put a lot of time and effort into researching it ahead of time it didn’t work well when I blended it. It was still thick and pasty so I only added about 2 tbsp of the blended chili however……..I did add some of the water from soaking the chili’s. Did you know you can soak Chili’s? I didn’t know that, I added about 1/4 Cup of that water and when I blended the chili and garlic, I added about 2 tbsp. of that into it, you don’t have to do this part but I thought I would still mention it. Here are my Chili’s soaking in water.

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And my Chili’s I blended with some of that water and garlic.

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Recipe Adapted From: Budget Savvy Diva
What You Need:

2 cans white beans ( rinsed) I used Cannellini & Great Northern
1 can corn, drained
1 can Rotel, undrained
1 package ranch dressing mix
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp onion powder
1 8 oz package light cream cheese
2 chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (I used Hot Shot)
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of  pepper
1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
2 Garlic cloves minced
1 Jalapeno Pepper, Chopped
Pinch of Cinnamon

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It’s as simple as throwing all of the ingredients into the crock pot! I obviously chopped my hot pepper up first. Feel free to add as many as you’d like, I may add a few more next time!

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Here is a picture of everything in the crock……..simple simple. Mix it all around and then add the chicken breasts on top of everything and sink them down into everything.

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Then add the cream cheese right on top. Don’t even worry about mixed it in, it needs to melt.

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I cooked this for 8 hours on low, I took the chicken out after 7 and shredded it, trust me at this point it shreds real easy! I put it back in and blended the cream cheese (it breaks up real easy at this point, if it already hasn’t) I then let it cook for another hour to let it all blend together!

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Feel free to serve whatever you like on top, sour cream, green onions, or even crumbled nacho chips!!

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Join us on Sunday as we share our favorite tailgate recipes and tips. Hop on twitter at 7pm EST for the live #SundaySupper chat.

The Lineup

Pre Game Warm-ups:

On the Sidelines:

Main Events:

Overtime:

From the Cooler:

Wine Pairings by Wine Everyday

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