Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I can foresee breaking up a lot of fights

My sweet sweet Stephanie is handful. Very funny and affectionate but a handful. Dare I say even a ball buster. I can't leave her alone for a moment because she's always getting into something. I can't even have Eva in the swing because Stephie is always trying to give hugs and kisses to her baby sister. The hugs and kisses are fine it's just that she tries to climb into the swing with her. OY!! I'm so worried that the whole thing is going to tip over. Getting anything done during the day is challenging.

Yesterday I had to take Alexandra to her orthodontist appointment. I dropped her off and then ran an errand and then parked out front waiting for Alex to come out. Now I don't know where Stephie came up with this new form of of bothering the baby but I can already see lots of fighting between these two.

I was killing time texting when I turned around and saw that Stephie had removed her sneakers and socks and was sticking her foot in her sisters face.

Smell it...smell it

Poor Eva :-(

I guess I should be grateful that she thought enough of her sister to remove her socks and sneakers, right?

I don't think that she was trying to be mean. I think that she saw that by doing this she got a reaction out of me...and kept on doing it. I'm scared to find out what she'll come up with next.

Monday, March 29, 2010

In need of some inspiration

The babies have been keeping my busy and the thought of cooking anything let alone something new makes my head hurt. Eva has been rolling from tummy to back and we've been working on back to tummy. Stephanie has learned to escape from her crib. Wonderful. I was cleaning the floors during her nap and I heard that she was awake so I was trying to finish up quickly when I heard a ruckus coming from her room. I stopped mopping and open her door and she comes running out of her room with her hair loose and wild. Oh no! She starts laughing and starts saying oh no with me. Since I was pregnant with her I knew that she'd be my wild child!

Who needs pants when I can wear mommy's Uggs?

I've been making my lentil soup on a regular basis lately since I've come to realize that it is one of the very few meals that Stephanie will actually eat...once it has been pureed. I'm not sure if it's a texture thing with her but whatever works, right? I can't have her living on goldfish fish. I hope this food strike ends soon.

Tonight I am remaking a chicken dish that I posted about last week. I was so disappointed with how it came out that I decided to make it again but this time with boneless chicken breasts. I can't wait!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cute picture alert!

I just had to share this picture I took of the babies. I was on my bed with Eva when Stephie came over to join us.

Stephanie is always giving hugs and kisses to her little sister (and pulling off her socks). I was able to catch this lovely moment when Eva reached up to embrace Stephie. I absolutely love how they are looking at each other. I only wish that Stephie hadn't realized that I was taking her picture because she immediately let go and tried to grab my phone.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Herbed Chicken & Vegetables

The first time that I had this was at my friend's house. We were getting together with the kids and our moms. She made this chicken dish for the first time and I loved it and really wanted to make it at home for my family. I'm almost embarrassed to post it on here since it's not really a recipe but it was too good to not share.

Herbed Chicken & Vegetables

  • 2 medium all-purpose potatoes (about 1 lb.), thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 4 bone-in chicken breast halves (about 2 lbs.)*
  • 1 envelope Lipton® Recipe Secrets® Savory Herb with Garlic Soup Mix
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 425°. In broiler pan, without the rack, add potatoes and carrots; arrange chicken on top.
  2. Pour Lipton® Recipe Secrets® Savory Herb with Garlic Soup Mix blended with water and Olive Oil over chicken and vegetables.
  3. Bake uncovered 40 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked and vegetables are tender.
**This recipe can also be made in your slow cooker. I may try it that way but I would brown the chicken first and then add it to the slow cooker.

Ready to go into the oven

Just a bit overdone but still yummy.

My verdict: I liked it but I loved it at my friends house.

I used bone in chicken breasts like the recipe states but I wish I would have used boneless like Cecilia had. And I wish that I hadn't gotten distracted since I overcooked the chicken a bit and it was dry. I ended up using 2 envelopes of the mix because my bone in breasts were HUGE. I also used frozen sliced carrots since it was easier and I thought it looked nice with the ridges.
But since I know how good it could be I will absolutely be making this again.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lemon Chicken and Rice with Artichokes

Happy Sunday! What a fantastic weekend! The first two days of spring have been amazing with lots of sunshine. I am so happy that the cold wintry days are behind us. After running a few errands with the girls today I decided to go to the playground so that Stephanie could run around a bit while Alexandra chased her. I sat on a bench watching while Eva napped in her infant seat.

Stephanie getting a push from Alexandra


Shhhhh....don't wake the baby

I came across this recipe on the Cooking Light website a while back and finally decided to give it a try. It was very easy to make and after a long day with the kids this is exactly the kind of recipe that I was looking for.

Lemon Chicken and Rice with Artichokes

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 2 1/4 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 cups instant rice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese

Heat a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add chicken, chopped onion, and red bell pepper; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in rice, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in artichokes, and cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with cheese.

My verdict: Not bad. I decided to also add some garlic and a few good shakes of Italian Seasoning. It needed a bit more salt and I think that next time I will squeeze a bit more lemon on top when serving. But we all really liked it and this will definitely make it into the dinner rotation.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Stuffed Peppers

Happy Spring!!!

I have quite a few recipes to blog about but I stupidly erased the pictures that I had taken with a real camera (since I usually use my cell phone) thinking that I had already uploaded them onto my laptop.

I decided to share my recipe for Stuffed Peppers anyway. My oldest, Alexandra, turned 12 on the 10th and she requested stuffed peppers for dinner. I thought it was an odd choice since she gets to choose whatever she wants for dinner. I remember the first time I made them. I wasn't sure if she would eat it so I decided to let her help me make them and maybe that would encourage her to give it a try. It worked.

I originally found this recipe on allrecipes.com but I had saved it on a document on my computer and no longer have the link to the original recipe. Below is the original recipe along with the changes that I made.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 green bell peppers
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

I added the following ingredients:
  • minced garlic (2 -3 cloves)
  • diced onion (1/2 cup)
  • diced bell pepper (I used the tops of 2)
  • shredded cheese (I used mozzarella but you can use whatever you like)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place the rice and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook 20 minutes.
  3. In a skillet over medium heat, saute the onions, garlic and peppers for a few minutes and then add the beef and cook until until evenly browned.
  4. Remove and discard the tops, seeds, and membranes of the bell peppers. Arrange peppers in a baking dish with the hollowed sides facing upward. (Slice the bottoms of the peppers if necessary so that they will stand upright.)
  5. In a bowl, mix the browned beef, cooked rice, 1 can tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  6. Spoon an equal amount of the mixture into each hollowed pepper.
  7. Mix the remaining tomato sauce and Italian seasoning in a bowl, and pour over the stuffed peppers.
  8. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, basting with sauce every 15 minutes, until the peppers are tender.

*I boiled my peppers for about 4 minutes to cut down on the baking time. I topped the peppers with lots of shredded mozzarella cheese. Because I boiled the peppers first, I only had to bake my stuffed peppers for 30 - 35 minutes.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Brunswick Stew

This is a very tasty and hearty stew from Cooking Light. Below is my version with a few adjustments made. If you'd like the original recipe click on the link above.

Depending on my mood I will sometimes serve this on its own in a bowl or like this time I served it over white rice. This picture is of my lunch the next day when everything is all mixed up....it was still pretty darn good.

This one is definitely worth a try.

Brunswick Stew


  • 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tbs EVOO
  • 1 tbs all purpose flour
  • 1lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 - 3 cups fat free, less sodium chicken stock (I sometimes use broth)
  • 2 tbs no-salt added tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 10 oz package of frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 10 oz package of frozen Lima beans, thawed
  • 1 10 oz package of frozen peas and carrots, thawed

Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan in EVOO, then add onions and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine flour and chicken in a bowl, tossing to coat. Add chicken to pan and cook until lightly browned. Gradually stir in stock and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Add tomato paste and next 5 ingredients (through to Lima beans) to pan. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spare Ribs & Crock Pot Potatoes

I think that I've mentioned it before but I'm not much of a cook. There are a few things that I make that I think come out well and my critics tend to agree with me. My version of ribs is one of them. I was even told last night that it's one of the best things I make. Score!

I also decided to include my crock pot potatoes. I usually cook them in the oven but since the ribs were in there and I am not blessed to have 2 ovens, I just tossed them into the crock pot.

Spare Ribs

  • 3 lbs pork ribs
  • 1/4 cup of EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 3-4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 tsp Goya Adobo
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice (I usually just squeeze 1 lemon)
  • 1 packet of Sazon Goya with Coriander & Annatto
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp of black pepper
  1. In a bowl mix together EVOO, garlic, adobo, lemon juice, sazon, oregano and black pepper.
  2. Place the ribs on a foil lined baking sheet.
  3. Rub the marinade all over the ribs and let marinade in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  4. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 350 oven for 1 hour. Remove foil and cook for an additional 20-30 minutes.

Ribs drenched in the yummy marinade.

Just taken out of the oven.

My yummy dinner!

Crock Pot Potatoes

  • 2 - 3 pounds of red potatoes cut into large chunks
  • EVOO
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • oregano
  • paprika
  1. Place potatoes in a large bowl an drizzle with EVOO.
  2. Add whatever seasonings you like. I used S&P, garlic powder, oregano and paprika for color. DO NOT UNDER SEASON!
  3. Cook in crock pot on high for 4 hours

  1. Cook for 45 minutes in a 400* preheated oven turning halfway through.



Monday, March 8, 2010

Crochet Flowers

Since I began crocheting hats I've been searching for a pattern for a flower that I love. I think that this is finally the one. But I will of course keep my eyes open for new patterns.

I've mentioned before that my middle daughter Stephanie will not keep a hat on her head. I've made her several hats in different styles and colors but its a no go. My oldest will only wear hats in the winter but they'd better not have any flowers on them. Or be too girly.

So that leaves my sweet baby girl Eva. She's too little to complain although I did have to keep Stephanie away from her to take these pictures because she was trying to pull them off of her head.

I like the off white/pink combo for spring and it should go with most of her outfits.

I posted the pattern for the hat before but I wanted to post the pattern for the flower. It's a variation of a couple of different patterns. I
like how it overlaps a bit.

5 Petal Layered Flower

CH 5. Form a loop.

1. SC CH 3. 5 times in loop.

2. SL ST in LP. CH 3, 9 DC, SC in previous round. 10 DC in next LP, SC in previous LP. Continue around 3 more times, SC and SL ST in beg CH.

To attach it I used a yarn needle and some yarn that is the same color as the flower to sew it down. Make sure to not sew down the layered parts. It looks much nicer to see it kind of sticking up.

I really hope that this pattern makes sense. I've never written a pattern before so I looked at other patterns online to see how it should be written.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Gran'pa Emmanuel's Macaroni with Sausage and Cannellini

It's not my grandpa's recipe...it's Rachael Ray's. I saw this recipe several years ago and it's been a staple in my house ever since. I love a dish that includes beans. I usually follow this recipe as is but have in a pinch used jarred sauce.

Sorry for the crappier than usual picture. I had a better pic but accidentally erased it. I promise to start taking better pictures with a real camera instead of my cell phone.

Gran'pa Emmanuel's Macaroni with Sausage and Cannellini

  • 1 tablespoon (1 turn around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 /2 to 2 /3 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 /2 to 2 /3 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can (28 to 32 ounces) chunky style crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 20 leaves fresh basil, torn
  • 1 pound ziti rigate (with lines), cooked to al dente
  • Crusty bread and grated Parmigiano or Romano, for passing at table


Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Drizzle in extra-virgin olive oil and add sausage. Break up meat as it browns. Add garlic and onion and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium low. Add tomatoes and beans and simmer 2 or 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and fold in basil to wilt. Combine sausage mixture with cooked macaroni and serve immediately with grated Parmesan or Romano and crusty bread.

Note: If your butcher counter does not have bulk sausage, buy links and split casings to remove bulk sausage meat.