Friday, August 31, 2012

chocolate covered sweetness

I've really missed doing my "weekly highlights" with you all! Hoping to get back to it this week.

But for now....

Here are the photo's of the week:

ClaireBell left her hot chocolate in reach of this little munchkin. As you can see, he enjoyed it :) 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

lastest tasties

I've tried a few new recipes this month and have been anxious to share them with you!! Nothing super special about them, not gourmet, and not exactly healthy...but they are easy! and cheap! who doesn't want that, right?

First off...Tex-Mex Crocpot Chicken

3lbs. raw chicken, thawed
1 block cream cheese
1 can original Rotel
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly
1 can sweet corn, drained
1 red onion sliced or diced, whichever you prefer

Ingredients for later:
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Throw it all in the crockpot on Low for 6 hours. After 2 hrs., use ladle to spoon out 1c. of the liquids, then add the remaining ingredients and stir.

Stir every two hours.

Once the 6 hours are up, turn off and shred chicken. It should be tender enough to just use two forks and pull it apart while still in the crocpot! how easy is that?!

It should look like this:

I served it in tortillas with all the normal taco fixings, with chips and Spanish rice on the side. Delish! give it a try!

Next on the menu we have....Garlic Baked Fries

These homemade fries turned out great!

6 garlic cloves, minced
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 russet potatoes cut into wedges or strips
3 tbsp cornstarch/cornflour
1 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 450.F

Combine the garlic and oil in a large bowl, warming it until the garlic is fragrant. I used the microwave for about 1 minute.

Spoon 5 tablespoons of the oil (leaving the garlic in the bowl) to the baking sheet coating it well.

Add the potatoes to the bowl with the garlic mixture and toss to coat. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and microwave on high power until the potatoes are translucent around the edges, 3 to 6 minutes, shaking the bowl to redistribute the potatoes halfway through cooking.

Combine the cornstarch, salt, pepper, onion powder, and cayenne in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the hot potatoes and toss well to coat.

Arrange the potatoes in a single layer, very important if you want them to get crispy, on the prepared baking sheet and bake, turning once, until deep golden brown and crisp, 30 to 40 minutes.

Serve with ketchup, mayo or sour cream.
And last, but certainly not least.....Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
3lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pack Ranch seasoning
1 bottle Buffalo sauce, I used Texas Pete but next time I'd use Red Hot- Wings
The beauty of crockpot cooking..throw it all in the pot and cook 6 hrs on low.
*note, I only used about a quarter of the bottle of sauce, the recipe called for the whole thing! I think about half would have been perfect! Unless you're just a glutton for punishment and like your mouth to be on fire! haha.*
Serve on hearty buns with your favorite veggies and mayo.
I hope you give these a try! Or maybe it will inspire you to pull out the cookbook (a.k.a. pinterest board) and try those new recipes you've been drooling over!
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

hurricane Isaac

While many are out buying canned goods and batteries, boarding up windows, and strapping down patio furniture......

Here's what we are doing


All the icky foam gathered on the shore; the results of large waves and rough seas.

The lifeguards were all on high alert

After the rain started, the wind picked up, and the water was simply freezing and scary, we decided it was time to go.

Please pray for all of those who will be effected by Isaac. We are so thankful God has decided to spare us from too much of this bad weather. And He has even given us time to enjoy the view :)

you never outgrow playdough

One of ClaireBell's birthday presents this year was playdough. I was skeptical of the idea when my hubs mentioned she old enough? what about the mess it will make? and considering we have carpet under ALL of our tables, the thoughts of picking playdough out of the floor with my fingernails just didn't seem too appealing to me.

BUT...I gave in. And I'm so glad I did!

She looovvees it! I should have known with her wild imagination it wouldn't take her long to figure it out and come up with her own ways of playing with it.
Good job Hubby! Kudos to you.

I also discovered you never outgrow fun with playdough! Pizza anyone??

Clairsy's version........

"Take a picture of me with the cake, mama!"

Possibilities are endless!

Christmas tree by: Dakota =) even daddy's like playdough

lol...she kept insisting to be in the pictures :)

We have had tons of fun playing with this smelly stuff! And for those of you who know my ClaireBell you know she has tasted it....more than once.

Monday, August 27, 2012

growing avocados

Grow your own avocado tree in a few easy steps!! All you need is an avocado, toothpicks, a glass jar and some water!



Step 1: Cut the avocado in half, lengthwise, being careful not to injure the pit

Step 2: Wash pit carefully to remove any flesh. You want to leave the skin/seed cover on the pit!

Step 3: Holding the pit "narrow" (pointed) side up, stick four toothpicks into the middle section at even intervals, to a depth of about 5 mm.

Step 4: Add some water to a small glass container (i used a pickle jar) until it reaches the very top rim. Your container's opening should be wide enough to easily accommodate the full width of the avocado pit.

Step 5: Set your avocado pit (with inserted toothpicks) on the top rim of the container. The toothpicks should sit on the rim of the container, leaving the pit only half-submerged in the water. Make sure the pointed end is up and the rounded end is in the water, otherwise your avocado will not grow.

Step 6: Set the container in an undisturbed place - near a window or any other well-lit area in order to begin rooting and the growth process.

Step 7: Change the water every 1-2 days. Do this to ensure that contaminants (i.e. mold, bacteria, fermentation, etc.) do not hinder the avocado's sprouting process.

Step 8: Wait patiently since avocado takes several weeks to start growing its roots. Over the next 2-3 weeks, the avocado's brown outer layer will begin to dry out and wrinkle. Soon after, the pit should begin to split open at the top and bottom. After 3-4 weeks, a tap root should begin to emerge at the base of the pit.

Step 9: Continue to water the plant accordingly. Take care not to disturb or injure the tap root. Continue to allow the avocado pit time to establish its roots. Soon, the avocado will sprout at the top, releasing an unfolding leaf-bud that will open and begin to grow a shoot bearing leaves.

Step 10: Plant the baby tree. When the roots are substantial and the stem top has had a chance to re-grow leaves (after at least one pruning), your baby avocado tree is ready to be planted in soil. Remove the sprouted pit from the water container, and gently remove each of the toothpicks.

Use a 20-25 cm terracotta pot filled with enriched soil to 2 cm below the top. Smooth and slightly pack the soil, adding more soil as needed. Once the soil is prepared, dig a narrow hole deep enough to accommodate your avocado's roots and pit.

Step 11: Carefully bury the avocado pit in the soil such that the top-half of pit shows above the surface of the soil. This ensures that the base of the seedling trunk doesn't rot under the soil. Pack the soil lightly around the pit.

Step 12: Water your plant daily or enough to keep the soil moist. Avoid over-watering to the point that the soil becomes muddy. If the leaves turn brown at the tips, the tree needs more water. If the leaves turn yellow, the tree is getting too much water and needs to be permitted to dry out for a day or two.

Step 13: Continue to tend to your avocado plant regularly, and in a few years you will have an attractive and low-maintenance tree!

I've gotten as far as the 9th step! I took these pics a couple weeks ago and they have grown soooo much since then!

I have two different types of avocados just a regular and the other a "slimcado" which has less calories and fat than the other.

It has been so fun watching them grow!

Give it a try!!

9/22/12 update pics


Friday, August 24, 2012

my little man

Where to start. What to say. About this precious little boy who stepped into my life 1 year ago today.

From the moment I found out God had created you, I loved you. Your Daddy and me were overjoyed and anxiously awaited your arrival. I planned, prayed, and was still unsure how my heart would have room for the love you would need. How would I have enough time and energy to take care of you both? Wow, did that change the second I saw your sweet face! You stole my heart little man. And you still have it. I love you so much. You teach me daily even in your young age. You challenge my mama skills and like to push me to my limits. I am so thankful for you. And thankful for the close relationship we share. You have taught me patience. You have taught me to depend on Jesus more than ever for satisfaction, strength, and mercy. You are everything I ever dreamed of in a son and sooooo much more. I'm so proud of you sweet little boy. Happy first birthday, Ry-ry!
All my love,


Ryder's nicknames:

little man

He is a little charmer. Just ask any of his nursery workers.

All you have to do is glance his way and you will get a smile

He is funny.

He is WILD!

He is all. boy.

He will choose a ball over any toy in the room.

He loves, loves, loves his daddy and sister

He doesn't like his bed. never has. still praying he will someday.

He looks like his daddy.

He is my favorite little boy in the world.

He has changed my life forever.

Wow. One year of life. A great one. The best my life has ever known. Thank you, Jesus for our Ryder.