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Dec 28, 2012

Quote Friday


The parenting journey of discovery can be an intense roller coaster of experiences and emotions.
When your child has special needs, that roller coaster has additional loops, whirls, inclines, cones, and steep falls- some scary, some joyful, and exciting.
The speed of the ride, the jerks and starts, the spins and drops, can be as upsetting as they are invigorating to both parent and child.
There are many potential bumps on the road to getting and accepting a child's special needs diagnosis and even more challenges to face when that road widens to include external supports, expert recommendations, and treatment.
No matter what diagnosis and what avenue of treatment, 
you, your child, and your support people embark on, it's important to remember that EVERY child is a gift. Your child is a beautiful puzzle that you help put together with the nurturing love and attention that is a parent's greatest strength. 
Some puzzles are simple,
others a little more complicated.
But, as parents, we are forever connected to our children, 
helping to define and strengthen the interlocking pieces that make them who they are, and forming a bigger, clearer picture together.

Dec 21, 2012

Banana Pancakes

I have come to really LOVE banana pancakes this year. 
I had never had them before, but I would always listen to Jack Johnson's "Banana Pancakes" song and thought....I just need to make these already!
So...I did and this recipe (according to the husband) is the BEST pancake I've ever made.
So, it's a winner of one in my book and I just cannot get enough of these!


Ingredients
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 or 4 Tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
4 Tablespoons melted butter, cooled & divided
2 cups milk
2 bananas, mashed to desired consistency 
Maple syrup
Instructions
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. 
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a large bowl then make a well in the  center. 
In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, 2 Tablespoons melted butter, and milk. 
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients then whisk until just combined.
 Fold in bananas.

Brush pre-heated skillet with a bit of remaining melted butter, then pour a scant 1/4 cup batter to form each pancake.
 When bubbles appear all over the top of each pancake, flip then cook until golden brown. 
Remove to a plate and very loosely cover with foil to keep warm.
 Repeat with remaining batter then serve with warm maple syrup.

Source: Iowagirleats.com

Quote Friday


If your actions inspire others to dream more,
learn more, and become more,
you are a leader.

Dec 20, 2012

Bacon Apple Rasberry Vinaigrette Salad


This salad is absolutely delicious.
I made it for Thanksgiving and I love the combination of flavors it brings.

To make this you will need:
2-3 Romaine Hearts, Shredded
1-2 apples chopped
1 pkg. Bacon, cooked and chopped
1 pkg. Walnuts
1 pkg Feta Cheese

Dressing:
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 cup Red wine vinegar
1/2 small Red onion ( I skipped this)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp poppy seeds

Add the chopped romaine and all the other ingredients into a large bowl.

Combine the first 5 ingredients for the dressing in a blender and mix until smooth. 
Slowly add in oil while blender is running.
 Stir in poppy seeds.



Source: http://aaronandcarlyn.blogspot.com

11 days before Christmas


Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38am.
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate. 
Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air. 
They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there. 
They were filled with such joy; they didn't know what to say. 
They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.

 “Where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse. 
“This is heaven" declared a small boy. "We’re spending Christmas at God's house”. 
When what to their wondering eyes did appear, 
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near. 
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same. 
Then He opened His arms and He called them by name. 
And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring 
those children all flew into the arms of their King 
And as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace, 
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face. 
And as if He could read all the questions she had, 
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad. 
Then He looked down on earth, the world far below 
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe, 
Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand, 
“Let My power and presence re-enter this land!
 “May this country be delivered from the hands of fools” 
“I’m taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools! 
Then He and the children stood up without a sound. 
“Come now my children let me show you around.
Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran. 
All displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can. 
And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight, 
“in the midst of this darkness, 
” I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

Dec 16, 2012

Quotes


I have another batch of quotes that I've found that I love.
BUT first.....
I've been reading a few books this year about near death experiences and there is a quote from these books that really resonated with me.
So, I created a little sign for my kitchen.
 Here it is!



I found this and I thought it was PERFECT for Logan.
(He's all about the Mommy.)

and these just touched me.



* I live by this*






 YES!!!!



Happens all the time....

and i LOVE glow worms.
Had one as a kid and now my children have them,
so this made me smile :)

Hope you enjoyed these too!

Dec 14, 2012

Quote Friday


Accept- then act.
Whatever the present moment contains,
accept it as if you had chosen it ...
this will miraculously transform your whole life.

Dec 7, 2012

Quote Friday


There's always going to be bad stuff out there.
But here is the amazing thing-
light triumphs darkness, every time.
You stick a candle into the dark, 
but you can't stick the dark into the light.

Nov 30, 2012

Quote Friday


We can't live in the light all of the time.
You have to take whatever light you can hold into the darkness with you.

Nov 23, 2012

Quote Friday


We are not human going through spiritual experiences, 
we are spirits going through human experiences.

Nov 16, 2012

Quote Friday

A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night,
and in between he does what he wants to do.

Nov 2, 2012

Cook Bacon in the Oven!

Earlier this year I learned another way to cook bacon, and boy did I need it because every time I cook bacon I always burn it....and then the house fills with smoke....seriously, every time.
So this is my new go to!


Cook bacon in the oven!


Cover cookie sheet with foil first.

You can either do 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or
 400 degrees for 10 minutes, 
but I prefer the longer time because more of the fat renders out. 

Then all the bacon is done at the same time, meanwhile you were free to make the rest of breakfast! 

If you really want to save time, cook them til they're almost done and then, drain them and pop them in a ziploc bag and store in the freezer.

 When you want a bite take how ever many pieces out and put them in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Source: Martha Stewart

Quote Friday


An elderly man, in the final days of his life, is lying in bed alone. 
He awakens to see a large group of people clustered around his bed. 
Their faces are loving, but sad. 
Confused, the old man smiles weakly and whispers, 
“You must be my childhood friends, come to say good-bye. I am so grateful.”
 Moving closer, the tallest figure gently grasps the old man’s hand and replies,
 “Yes, we are your best and oldest friends, but long ago you abandoned us.
 For we are the unfulfilled promises of your youth.
 We are the unrealized hopes, dreams and plans that you once felt deeply in your heart,
 but never pursued. 
We are the unique talents that you never refined, 
the special gifts you never discovered.
 Old friend, we have not come to comfort you, but to die with you.

Oct 31, 2012

Lemon Blossoms

Holy Amazing.
These little things are pure deliciousness.
They are super tiny, so of course you can't just eat one!
The glaze makes them and they are sinfully good.
PAULA DEEN'S LEMON BLOSSOMS

You will need:
1  yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 oz.) instant lemon flavored pudding mix 
4 large eggs
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons water

To Make: 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
 Spray miniature muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, and 3/4 cup oil. 
Beat for 2 minutes. 


Spoon 1 tablespoon of the batter into each muffin tin,



and bake for 12 minutes. 
Turn the cakes onto a cloth towel.


In a medium bowl, sift confectioners' sugar. 
Add lemon zest, lemon juice, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, and water, stirring until smooth. 


Dip the cakes into the glaze while they are still warm, covering as much of the cake as possible.
 Place the cakes on a wire rack with wax paper underneath to catch the drips.
 Let the glaze set thoroughly before storing in an airtight container.



Source: Paula Deen




Oct 30, 2012

Pecan Pie


She did it again.
It's amazing how the Pioneer Woman convinces me to make things that I'm not even into!
I saw her make this on tv and it just looked so good, so I had to try!
It was super easy and very tasty!
Careful though.....it is super sweet.


Pioneer Woman’s Pecan Pie

Ingredients
1 whole Unbaked Pie Crust
1 cup White Sugar
3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
½ teaspoons Salt
1 cup Corn Syrup
¾ teaspoons Vanilla
⅓ cups Melted Butter (salted)
3 whole Eggs Beaten
1 cup (heaping) Chopped Pecans

Preparation Instructions
Get your pie crust all ready and rolled out.


Next, mix sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, eggs, and vanilla together in a bowl.

Pour chopped pecans in the bottom of the unbaked pie shell.


Pour syrup mixture over the top. 


Cover top and crust lightly/gently with foil.
 Bake pie at 350º for 30 minutes. 
Remove foil, then continue baking for 20 minutes, being careful not to burn the crust or pecans.

NOTE: PIE SHOULD NOT BE OVERLY JIGGLY WHEN YOU REMOVE IT FROM THE OVEN. 
If it shakes a lot, cover with foil and bake for an additional 20 minute or until set. 
Required baking time seems to vary widely with this recipe. 
Sometimes it takes 50 minutes; sometimes it takes 75!


Allow to cool for several hours or overnight. 
Serve in thin slivers.


Source: Pioneer Woman

Oct 28, 2012

Steakhouse Potatoes

I found this recipe this summer and let me tell you that I can no longer make baked potatoes any other way!
I am seriously addicted to these!
You can add all sort of yumminess on top of them too!
I think I've already made these about 10 times in the span of 3 months!



Steakhouse Potatoes
To start off, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
Scrub the potatoes under running water to remove all the dirt.
Pat the potatoes dry with a paper towel.
Using a fork, carefully pierce the potatoes two to three times per side.
Brush the whole potato with olive oil. This will make the skins nice and crispy.
Sprinkle the tops with some sea salt.



Place them directly on the middle rack of the oven. 
I like to place a foil lined baking sheet underneath just in case anything drips off of the potatoes.
Bake for 45-60 minutes or until a fork is able to pierce the potato with little resistance.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
Run a knife lengthwise across the salted top, leaving about 1/2 inch on both sides.
Using both hands, pinch each side of the potato.
While pinching, push towards the center of the potato, forcing it to open up.
Keep pushing and squeeze the fluffy insides up. It might take one or two tries, but it will look like one fancy potato once you master this technique!






Source: Iwashyoudry.com

Oct 26, 2012

Bacon wrapped Meatloaf


Let's preface this with that fact that I do NOT like meatloaf.
So I was REALLY skeptical to try this recipe, but since it came from the Pioneer Woman and every one of her recipes is a hit, I thought I would go for it....
and I am so glad I did!
It was really moist, had lots of flavor, and it was wrapped in bacon which gave it this really good caramelized outer casing which was delish!
I highly recommend this recipe....it just may change your thoughts on meatloaf!

Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf

Ingredients:
1 cup Whole Milk
6 slices White Bread
2 pounds Ground Beef
1 cup (heaping) Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
¼ teaspoons Seasoned Salt
¾ teaspoons Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
⅓ cups Minced Flat-leaf Parsley
4 whole Eggs Beaten
10 slices Thin/regular Bacon

Sauce:
1-½ cup Ketchup
⅓ cups Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
Tabasco To Taste

Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 Pour milk over the bread slices.

 Allow it to soak in for several minutes.

Place the ground beef, milk-soaked bread, Parmesan, seasoned salt, salt, black pepper, and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Pour in beaten eggs.

With clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined.
Form the mixture into a loaf shape on a broiler pan, which will allow the fat to drain. (Line the bottom of the pan with foil to avoid a big mess!)

Lay bacon slices over the top, tucking them underneath the meatloaf.

Make the sauce: add ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and hot sauce in a mixing bowl. Stir together. Pour 1/3 of the mixture over the top of the bacon. Spread with a spoon.

Bake for 45 minutes, then pour another 1/3 of the sauce over the top. Bake for another 15 minutes. Slice and serve with remaining sauce.

Source: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl

Quote Friday


Do what you can 
with what you have
where you are.

Oct 24, 2012

Baked Zucchini with Mozzarella


I'm always on the hunt for side dishes and this was easy and tasty!
You can get creative and add different cheeses, but the best part is putting it in the broiler and just browning the cheese a little......mmmm.

Baked Zucchini with Mozzarella

2 medium sized (or about 5 small) zucchini
Johnny’s Garlic Spread & Seasoning 
salt
2 C shredded mozzarella cheese


To Make: 
Slice your zucchini up into 1/2 inch rings.
Lay them out flat on a large cookie sheet. 
Sprinkle with Johnny’s Garlic Seasoning and a bit of salt.
Bake in the oven at 350 for about 10-15 minutes or until crisp tender.
Take the hot pan out of the oven and sprinkle the zucchini with cheese.
Turn the oven to broil, throw that cookie sheet back into the oven and let the cheese get all bubbly and a bit browned. This should only take about 3-5 minutes.
Be careful here. Broiling things in the oven can get out of control in a fast hurry.


Source: http://realmomkitchen.com



Oct 23, 2012

Easy 7- Up Marinade



  • I saw this recipe for 7 Up Marinade floating around Pinterest and I wasn't sure if it would be all that good or have very much flavor.
    I don't even like 7-UP normally, so I wasn't too sure about the recipe.
    But I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised!
    This added to chicken gives a wonderful light taste and I will definitely make it again!

    *Remember*
    You have to let it sit overnight, so factor that into the menu planning!



    Easy 7-UP Marinade

    You will need:
    2 cups 7-Up
    1 cup soy sauce
    1 Tbsp. horseradish (Optional) 
    1/2 tsp. minced garlic
    1 cup oil


    Instructions:
    In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together.

    Trim Chicken and poke holes with fork.

    Place chicken in a 9x13 and pour marinade over top and cover. 

    Place in fridge.

    Marinade 8 hours or overnight

    Grill chicken and eat up!


    Source: chef-in-training.com

Oct 22, 2012

Roasted Zucchini and Carrots

Looking for a new and different side dish to go with dinner?
Then look no further! 
I love the tastes of these 2 veggies together and I love the sweetness of the carrots against the spices.

To make these delicious roasted zucchini and carrots you will need:
Carrots
Zucchini
salt and pepper
smokey paprika
any other spices you like (cumin, cayenne, crushed red pepper, thyme, rosemary, sage,etc)


To make:

Preheat oven to 425 F

Cut your veg into 3-inch sticks, making sure they are even in thickness.

Line a baking tray with baking paper and a light layer of olive oil.

 I used salt and pepper + smokey paprika.
Lightly toss your vegetable  with a tablespoon or so of olive oil (not too much) and the herbs and spices.
Spread your seasoned veggies over your lined tray and roast, tossing halfway through, for about 20 minutes or until golden and slightly browned at the edges.


Source: VoraciousVander.com

Oct 21, 2012

Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta


I love lemon, I love pasta, and I love the Pioneer Woman!
So, no surprise here....this recipe was a huge hit!
I loved the flavor and we will FOR SURE be adding to our mix!


Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta

You will need:
4 whole Grilled Chicken Breasts, Sliced
1 pound Penne Pasta, Cooked Until Al Dente
½ sticks Butter
3 whole Lemons, Juiced
¾ cups Heavy Cream
¼ cups Half-and-half
1-½ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese or Romano
Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
20 whole Basil Leaves, Chopped


To Make:
Cook pasta, reserving 1 cup of hot pasta water when you drain. 
Set pasta aside in a colander.
In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. 
Squeeze in the juice of 3 to 4 lemons. 
Whisk together.
 Pour in cream and half-and-heat. 
Whisk until hot. 
Dump in cheese and whisk until melted.
 Add salt and pepper. 
Check consistency, adding some of the hot pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed.
Pour pasta and sauce into a large serving bowl.
 Sprinkle remaining basil all over the top, then add sliced chicken breasts.
 Serve immediately!

Source: The Pioneer Woman

Oct 19, 2012

Quote Friday


How you spend your time is more important 
than how you spend your money.

Chicken, Green Bean, Potato Throw All In

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and the directions weren't all that clear, but it looked super simple and on this night that is what I needed!
All you do is throw together chicken breast, potatoes, and green beans and toss it all together with some Italian dressing mix & butter and  in the oven and voila!
dinner is done shortly after!
It was really good, but the mistake that I made was that I bought small white potatoes and figured they would cook fine, but everything else was done, and they weren't.
So next time I will be sure to cut up the potatoes to ensure that they will cook as well.

Here is what you will need:
4-6 chicken breasts, I cut mine up into smaller sizes
Potatoes, cut up ( i used about 20-25 small ones)
Green beans, fresh (about 1/2 pound) or 1 can, drained
1 stick of butter
packet of Italian Dressing Mix
foil, to cover


To Make:
For the italian dressing mix I just used a packet of Hidden Valley, but there are many brands to choose from and they all work just fine.
Arrange all the cut up chicken in the center, then the potatoes on one side, and green beans on the other.
Sprinkle a packet of Italian Dressing Mix over the entire top and then pour over a melted stick of butter.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 F for 1 hour.




Oct 17, 2012

Easy Garlic Chicken

What a fantastically easy recipe! 

On those night where things are hectic, or the kids are just being crazy, or you just don't feel like being in the kitchen that long, here is a great, easy recipe to pair with some potatoes, veggies, and dinner bread. 



  • Easy Garlic Chicken
    You will need: boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
3 teaspoons olive oil
To Make:                              Preheat oven to 500°F and lightly grease a casserole dish.
In small sauté pan, sauté garlic with the oil until tender.
Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar.
Place chicken breasts in a prepared baking dish and cover with the garlic and brown sugar mixture.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Bake uncovered for 15-30 minutes.


                                                                    Source: Food.com