Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cheeseburger Pasta

I love pasta. All kinds of pasta dishes. Especially delicious cheesy ones. This one is no exception.

I was a bit wary of using Velveeta since I had never cooked with it before. But since I always follow new recipes to a tee I trusted that it would be fine.

I found this recipe on Lauren's blog. Her blog is one of my go to blogs when I'm looking for some inspiration and I am so glad that I came across this recipe. It was mmm...mmm...good!

I did try to make this dish a bit healthier by using multi-grain pasta and ground turkey breast. This is the perfect comfort food dish to make on cold nights and snow days. And the very best part is that its a one pot dish!

Cheeseburger Pasta
  • 1 lb ground turkey breast
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 3/4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1T mustard
  • 2 cups elbow mac, uncooked
  • 4 oz reduced fat Velveeta, cubed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Saute onions until translucent in a large skillet.

Add ground turkey breast and brown meat, drain.

Add water, ketchup, mustard, S&P and mix well.

Bring to a boil and add pasta. Simmer on med-low heat, covered, for 8-10 minutes (until pasta tender).

Stir in Velveeta and cook until melted, stirring occasionally.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Party

Yesterday my girls and I went to a Halloween party at the school where Stephanie goes to open gym and Eva and I go to Mommy and Me. The party was for the kids in the pre-k program but the teachers are fond of my girls so they were invited to join in on the festivities.

Cute pumpkin

Pretty Fairy

As usual my kids ignored me when I tried to take a picture of them together : /

A rare picture of me with my babies

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Took the plunge...sort of

I needed a new cell phone since Eva banged mine on the table a couple of weeks ago and since then it's been freezing up and turning itself off. I've always wanted a smart phone but didn't need one. It seemed like a waste of money and couldn't justify the extra cost.

I was browsing through Verizon's website checking out the cell phones when I saw this.

It screamed out to me and I caved. It's the Blackberry Curve 3G9330 smartphone in fuchsia. Is it the latest and greatest model? Probably not considering the promotional price. Does it have a fancy shmancy touch screen? Absolutely not. I hate touch screens. Is it the fastest? Who the heck knows? But it's pink and I love it!

And it's mine.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My 100th Post!

For my 100th post I thought that I'd share an email that my mother sent me with some interesting facts and helpful hints.

Do you do any of the following?


Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to
pick the little 'stringy things' off of it. That's how the primates do it.

Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store.
If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil.
It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!

Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating.
Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef.
It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of
spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.

For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints
in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.

Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste
of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.

Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply
chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them
in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350
for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yummm!

Reheat Pizza
Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low
and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on
the cooking channel and it really works.

Easy Deviled Eggs
Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

Expanding Frosting
When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer
for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes
with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

Reheating refrigerated bread
To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in
a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food
moist and help it reheat faster.

Newspaper weeds away
Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers,
put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with mulch and for-
get about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not
get through wet newspapers.

Broken Glass
Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.

No More Mosquitoes
Place a dryer sheet in your pocket.
It will keep the mosquitoes away.

Squirrel Away!
To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper.
The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.

Flexible vacuum
To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel
roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in nar-
row openings.

Reducing Static Cling
Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt
or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose.
Place pin in seam of slacks and ... ta da! ... static is gone.

Measuring Cups
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water.
Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such
as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

Foggy Windshield?
Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of
your car . When the window s fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

Reopening envelope
If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside,
just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals

Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and
leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you
bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair.

Goodbye Fruit Flies
To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2' with Apple Cider Vinegar
and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the
cup and gone forever!

Get Rid of Ants
Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it 'home,' can't
digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works
and you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

The heating unit went out on my dryer! The gentleman that fixes things around the
house for us told us that he wanted to show us something and he went over to the
dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I always clean the lint from the fil-
ter after every load clothes.) He told us that he wanted to show us something; he
took the filter over to the sink and ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a
mesh material ... I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like. Well ...
the hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn't go through it at all! He told us
that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh that's what burns out the heating unit.
You can't SEE the film, but it's there. It's what is in the dryer sheets to make your
clothes soft and static free ... that nice fragrance too. You know how they can feel
waxy when you take them out of the box . well this stuff builds up on your clothes
and on your lint screen. This is also what causes dryer units to potentially burn your
house down with it! He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long
time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with
hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months.
He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long! How about that!?!
Learn something new everyday! I certainly didn't know dryer sheets would do that.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Banana Bread

I have finally found a recipe for banana bread that I love!!!

I have made quite a few versions in the past and they were ok but never blog worthy. Until now.

This is the perfect thing to have for breakfast or as a snack and let me tell you that it will make your house smell AMAZING. I even went outside a couple of time just so that I could open up the door to smell the bread baking in the oven.

I was browsing on allrecipes.com for a way to use up the bananas that were going to go bad if I didn't use them soon. I found this recipe for Banana Bread that had a lot of excellent reviews so I decided to give it a shot.

Oh I am so glad that I did. My rear end is not happy because I've eaten half of the loaf myself. My daughter helped me and we followed the recipe exactly as written. We all liked it so much that I don't think that I will alter the recipe at all the next time that I make it.

Banana Bread
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter or margarine. Beat the egg slightly, and mix into the creamed mixture with the bananas. Mix in sifted ingredients until just combined. Stir in milk and nuts. Spread batter into one greased and floured 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) until top is brown and cracks along the top.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fridays = Coupons!

Click here for 20% Friends & Family at JC Penney or use promo code R20PERKS. This is good for 2 days online and 1 day in store.

Enter promo code ONLOVE30 at Old Navy and receive 20% off of your purchase of $100, 25% off of your purchase of $125 or 30% off of your purchase of $150.

Click here for 20% off of your entire purchase at The Children's Place or enter promo code CSCKF4J710A.

Click here for 15% off of your entire purchase or enter promo code WOWSAVE15
at Kohl's.

Click here for coupons to Babies R Us. Click here for coupons exclusively for Rewards R Us members. Click here to save 30% on your clothing purchase.

Click here to receive 20% off of your purchase of $40 or more at OshKosh B'Gosh. Buy a jacket get a free hat!

Click here to receive 20% off of your next purchase of $40 or more at Carter's.

Enter promo code 39279 for 20% off at Payless.

As always go through Ebates to earn cash back when shopping online!

Happy Shopping!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sausage Tortellini Soup

I saw this recipe a few days ago on Running Mama Cooks. Kelly is a fellow Nestie who also likes to blog about simple but yummy foods.

As soon as I saw this recipe I knew that I wanted
to make it. I love soups. I especially love hearty soups that are almost like a stew. This was a HUGE hit in our house and I think it will be making it again very soon and very often.

I ended up using all 6 links that came in my package and used 32 oz of chicken broth. My supermarket had a sale on apple cider this week so they were completely sold out. I used apple juice and it was fine. I also used a larger package of tortellini. I think it was 12 oz. The next time that I make this I will use more chicken broth or maybe vegetable broth.

I can't begin to tell you how AWESOME this soup was. So so good. The next time I go shopping I think I'm going to stock up on tortellini to always have it on hand to make this soup.

Sausage Tortellini Soup
  • 4 links of Italian sausage
  • 4 cloves of pressed garlic
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, 16 oz
  • 1 can tomato sauce, 8 oz
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 medium zucchini, grated
  • 8 - 10 oz pkg cheese tortellini
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
Remove sausage from casings and crumble into a large soup pot. To remove the casings, you can use a sharp knife to cut a slit down one side of the sausage and then peel back the casing.

Brown sausage over medium heat, stirring frequently. I use a potato masher to break up the sausage quicker. Drain fat if necessary. Meanwhile, chop onions and garlic and add to the sausage. Continue cooking until onions are translucent and your sausage is cooked.

Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, juice, water, chicken broth, carrots, oregano, and basil. Cover and simmer for 1/2 hour. Add parsley and zucchini and simmer for another 15 minutes or so.

Add the tortellini and cook until tender, and then serve with grated Asiago or Parmesan.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Crockpot Chicken with Black Beans and Cream Cheese

Have I told you lately how much I love using my crock pot? I love being able to dump a bunch of ingredients into the crock pot in the morning and have a yummy meal ready in a few hours.

I found this recipe on the message board that I frequent. A while ago many of us submitted favorite recipes to share with others. Someone was raving about this particular recipe but didn't mention who originally submitted the recipe.

It was really, really good. Next time I make this I will not use frozen chicken breast. I had to cook it almost 2 more hours. Thank goodness that I begin cooking it early in the day. I would also add some seasoning. It was a bit bland for me. But I always follow a new recipe exactly as written the first time. The next time I may play around with it a bit to suit my tastes. I also shredded my chicken. The breasts stayed intact so it could have been served that way. I chose to shred and I'm glad I did. The sauce was delicious and I liked mixing up the chicken and sauce with the rice. YUM!

This is not a great picture. I served it with brown rice and it looks really blah. Trust me that it was good.

Crock Pot Chicken with Black Beans and Cream Cheese
  • 4 - 5 boneless frozen chicken breasts
  • 1 can drained black beans (15 oz)
  • 1 can drained corn (15 oz)
  • 1 jar of salsa (15 oz)
  • 1 package of cream cheese (8 oz)
Place 4 -5 frozen chicken breast in crock pot. Add drained black beans, drained corn and jar of salsa over the chicken. Cook on HIGH for 4 -5 hours. Add the cream cheese right on top and let sit for about 1/2 hour. Stir and enjoy!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday to my baby girl Eva!!!

I had a wonderful birthday with my family and friends. My husband took me to my favorite restaurant to celebrate.

But yesterday was my sweet baby girl's 1st birthday. I can't believe how quickly the year has passed. I remember that I when I first found out that I was pregnant and was told that my estimated due date was October 12 I told anyone that would listen that my birthday was on the 9th and she'd better not be born on my birthday.

Well, she showed me.

She wasn't born ON my birthday. She just had me sent to the hospital on my birthday and was born just after midnight.

My usual ob/gyn appointments were on Tuesdays. But that last week by doctor was attending a conference. My original appointment was canceled but was told he was seeing patients that, like me, were at the end of their pregnancy on Friday afternoon. My birthday.

I never went to my appointments alone since Stephanie was just over a year old. My mother or my husband would go with me. Since I was feeling well I went alone with Stephanie.

My doctor checked me and told me that I was dilated 5 cm. I was? Really? But I wasn't feeling any contractions. He also thought that was strange since being dilated 5 cm meant that I was in active labor. I was sent to the hospital immediately because he was worried that if I went home and waited to start feeling contractions I wouldn't make it to the hospital in time.

I drove home in traffic anxious that I'd begin feeling contractions. I made several phone calls arranging for my brother to come and stay with Stephanie until my mother could get there. I called my husband to meet me at the hospital. I called my father to drive me back to the hospital. I also call my best friend to let everyone know that I was headed to the hospital.

I didn't begin feeling my contractions until after 8pm. I got an epidural around 11pm and I was about 9 cm dilated. My water broke minutes later. The nurse checked me again and left the room. My doctor lived close to the hospital and was there in minutes. He told me he had left his car parked at the entrance to get to me quickly. It was time to push.

At 12:15am my sweet Eva made her debut.

October 10, 2009

October 10, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Happy Happy Birthday to Me!!

I am 35 today and I can honestly say that I am happy. I have a handsome and loving husband, 3 beautiful daughters, devoted friends and wonderful family. I'm a lucky girl.

It's just after 8am and am already having a wonderful day. I got some snuggle time with my husband before he had to get up to go to work. The babies are still sleeping so I was able to enjoy a nice long shower and a cup of coffee. I am also getting lots of love and birthday wishes from Facebook land. The only thing missing is my oldest daughter since she's with her father this weekend.

I may get the babies up, fed and dressed because momma wants to go shopping. We're going out to dinner tonight and I want to wear something new and pretty.

I am also remembering that exactly one year ago today I went to my ob/gyn for my weekly visit and was sent to the hospital immediately since I was dilated 5cm even though I wasn't having any contractions.

But that story will have to continue tomorrow when I post about my baby girl's first birthday.

But for now....Happy, Happy Birthday to Me!!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

I haven't posted coupons in a while...

...for no other reason than I'm lazy. But since I've been awake since 5am I decided to post some coupons for Columbus weekend.

Click here for coupons to Babies R Us.

Click here for 15% off of ANY purchase (promo code SAVE15MORE) or 20% off of your purchase of $100 or more (promo code SAVE20MORE) at Kohl's. Enter code GR8DEAL75 to get free shipping on your order of $75 or more.

Click here for 20% off at The Children's Place or enter promo code C3CKF4J710A.

Save 30% on outerwear at Gap. Online sale only. Get free shipping on your order of $50 or more when you enter promo code GAPSHIP50.

Click here for 25% off of your entire regular priced purchase or 50% off of any regular priced item at AC Moore.

Click here for 20% off at OshKosh B'Gosh.

Click here for 20% off at Carter's.

Enter code SAVE40 to receive an additional 40% off of sale styles at Loft. Get free shipping on all orders of $125 or more.

Don't forget to use Ebates before shopping online!!

As always, Happy Shopping!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

This makes my heart hurt

Stephanie was bitten in school :-(

Everytime I see my daughter's face I feel so very sad and incredibly angry. I know that these things happen but they usually happen to someone else's child.

Not my child.

Apparrantly Stephanie and other little girl were playing inside of a play house when she was bitten. Since they are both only 2 years old it's difficult to get whole story. Stephanie's teacher told me that she was very surprised to see the mark on her face because she didn't scream or cry. They asked the other girl and her English is limited so they had to wait until her mother came to pick her up. It seems that Stephanie wanted to play with her doll and the little girl didn't want to share.
So she bit my daughter.

Her mother scolded her, obviously and told her that she should never bite. She apologized to me. My husband is furious. My oldest daughter was shocked and saddened. My mother wants to drive down and bite the little girl back. I am trying to be understanding. I hate that this happened. I am relieved that my daughter is ok and that at the very least the skin wasn't broken. I can only hope that the teachers will keep their eyes open and that Stephanie stays the hell away from the biter.

Maybe I'll buy her a muzzle for Christmas ;-P

Monday, October 4, 2010

Here's some more FF

I'm a failure.

I swore that I would read a real book before I would read some more Fan Fiction. I tried. I really did.

My daughter went to the library and I asked her to borrow "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and "The Help" for me. I couldn't get into Dragon tattoo at all so I read some more FF. I did start to read "The Help" and was really enjoying it but my 2 weeks were up so I went online to renew and wasn't able to since someone else was waiting for it. I may just buy it for my Kindle.

Now for some Fan Fiction!

I puffy heart Edward Wallbanger!! I am not a laugh out loud kind of girl and this story really had me LOL!! Clive the cat is awesome and the texting was too funny. My favorite part was movie night. I was literally laughing so much that my middle daughter Stephanie got the giggles just by sitting next to me. It something that I could so see myself doing. This is a must read. It's nearly complete and I'm going to be sad to see it gone. I can see myself reading this one again.

I am currently reading The Appointment. It is also near completion. I am really enjoying this one. It's more complicated than the other stories that I have read but I can't wait to see how it ends.

My next story will be "With Teeth". I can't find it online anymore but someone sent it to me in a document. If you're interested in reading this post a comment and I will send it over to you.

Happy Reading!