Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Another Dinner Recipe from Chelsea!

The Best BBQ Chicken EVER!

This is my favorite BBQ sauce:
1/2 Onion, finely chopped
2TBS vinegar
2 TBS brown sugar
4 TBS lemon juice
1 cup ketchup
3 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. prepared mustard

Mix everything together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Use boneless chicken breasts, cut into smaller pieces, or bone-in legs,thighs, etc. Baste the chicken with the sauce and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes (longer for bone in meat)
Always check before you eat to make sure its done inside. You can turn and baste the meat throughout baking. You can also cook on the BBQ, unless of course its covered with snow!

Dinner Tonight

Veggie Lasagna
I love the veggie lasagna from Stouffer's but it is kind of expensive and makes a ton, we usually eat it for two or three days after. so here is a recipe that seems very similar, I will add some notes of ways to make it easier!

12 lasagna noodles
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 heads fresh broccoli, chopped
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 small zucchini, sliced
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
3 cloves garlic, minced(or go by a bag of mixed veggies from the freezer section)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper(or buy a can of your favorite alfredo)

1 (8 ounce) container small curd cottage cheese
24 ounces ricotta cheese
2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided(this actually sounds like it might be an adequate amount of cheese! but hey, throw in some extra just for fun)

These are for making your own sauce and cooking the fresh veggies, you can probably just use the frozen ones without cooking them first, also if you by sauce skip the sauce instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish.
(I have never boiled lasagna noodles prior to baking in my life. I realize some people do this but it seems silly when you can just add some extra water to the sauce and add the dry noodles. they cook up just fine in the oven this way! and it saves you a half hour of cooking time!) Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add lasagna noodles and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot add broccoli, carrots, zucchini and garlic. Saute for 7 minutes; set aside.
Place flour in a medium saucepan and gradually whisk in milk until well blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook 5 minutes, or until thick, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in spinach. Reserve 1/2 cup spinach mixture. In a small bowl combine cottage and ricotta cheeses; stir well.

Spread about 1/2 cup of spinach mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan. Layer noodles, ricotta mixture, vegetables, spinach mixture and 2 cups mozzarella cheese, ending with noodles. Top with reserved spinach mixture, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Cool for approximately 10 minutes before serving. (if you want to make it with dry noodles, build the lasagna like normal then pour about a 1-1 1/2 cups water over the entire thing! you can make this in the morning and leave it in the ridge till your ready to cook as well!)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mother of the Week!

I'm excited to present to you our very first Mother of the Week!

Meet Chelsea K, a busy mother of two boys ages 2 and 4. On top of wrangling these energetic little guys, she runs her own business doing digital scrapbooking and making crafts to sell. She loves to plan and host parties and would like to one day own a party-planning business. She is the branch president of the Happy Moms Club in Cache Valley, Utah and has coordinated and hosted several Happy Hours and Guilty Pleasure Days. Her ideas for Happy Moms Club are fresh, new and awesome!

Happy Mom Goal

A Moment of Silence. The other day I was sitting in the living room, I was on my laptop Face-booking my husband who was downstairs on the computer, my kids were watching TV and my cell phone was ringing. It was loud. We are moving into the holiday Season which means that soon there wont be much chance of slowing down... we get so busy with all that we do and there is so much noise! My challenge for you is this: Plan a day this week to turn everything off. Shut the computer down, send the cell phone to voice-mail, unplug the tv. Do it on a day when you can all be together. Spend time with your family outside (if its still warm enough) or go for a drive (leave the radio off) and sing silly songs with your kids. Sit on the front porch. Enjoy the quiet. It will amaze you how relaxing it is to take a break from technology.

Happy Kid Goal

Cold Weather Fun. As we head into the winter season, I find myself dreading the days when I can't send my kids out of doors without spending hours bundling them up. With the help of your kids, put together and "Indoor Kit" filled with fun things to do inside. This could include construction paper, scissors and craft supplies, fun music you can dance to (they still need to get some exercise) bean bag games, puzzles, etc. Make the items appropriate for your child's age. You can use a box or a plastic tote, spend an afternoon decorating the box, the package is half the excitement later when they are bored and need something to do!

Happy Husband Goal

Ok I am going to take some inspiration from my own Husby, he has been so funny lately. I don't know if he feels like we're losing the spark or what, but the last few weeks he has been working really hard to make his appearance like it was when we first met. Lol! He finally shaved his scruffy beard back to a neat goatee, he got his hair cut, and frosted...etc. So the goal for this week, think back to the time you were dating or were a newlywed and pick out something you used to do that you have forgotten about, and throw it back into your relationship. For instance, i used to wear feathers in my hair...just randomly, but Dave always tells me how i never do crazy things like that anymore. So bust out the marti gras beads, put on an old cd you used to listen too, or go on one of those dates where you had crazy fun without spending any money because you were so poor!

Happy House Goal
Sort and store clothing! Go through clothes for your kids as well as you and your hubby, pack away anything that still fits but is out of season, and pack up the things that have been outgrown and pass them on to a friend or family with smaller children, or take them to good will! I am a huge believer in Pay it Forward, I have been on the receiving end and I love to pass it on. Another awesome way to pass on, especially this time of year is freecycle.com. This is a free website where you can post and recycle any usable items! You can post for things you need and things you have. I know there are a lot of people who are struggling this year with all that has happened with the economy, and im sure we can all use some good karma!

Dinner Tonight

Homemade Mac and Cheese
Not only will your kids love it, but you will too!

Ok, so if you read the last recipes i submitted, you know i don't actually adhere to recipes very well. If this is really hard for you, im sure you can look one up online to find some proportions...sorry!

Elbow Macaroni
Sharp or Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Salt and Pepper

Boil the Macaroni till its just underdone- it finishes cooking when you bake it. I use a whole bag to make a 9x12 pan of mac n cheese.
Drain the noodles and spray with cold water (this stops the starches from sticking together). Spray a pan with cooking spray and make a layer of noodles on the bottom (about half the noodles)
Sprinkle the flour evenly over the noodles (a light dusting), salt and pepper, then cheese. (If you're me, you use lots of cheese!)
Then repeat the process, noodles, flour, salt pepper, cheese. Then you pour the milk over the whole thing. (You pour enough so you can start to see it through the noodles.)
Bake at 350 for 15 minute, then stir. It should start to thicken. Bake another 10-15 minutes till its crusty on top. yum. Don't eat it all at once. Share with the kids. If you want to get a little crazy you can use a combination of different cheeses....Parmesan, assiago, Gruyere, whatever strikes your fancy.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dinner Tonight

Okay, this recipe sounds a little unusual, but trust me... it's incredible!! Chelsea and I recently served it at a big dinner party and it was a huge hit!

Cheddar Soup with Granny Smith Apples

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 onion, diced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dry mustard
4 cups chicken broth
2 granny smith apples
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
10 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 3 cups)
Hot pepper sauce (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until tender and aromatic, 5-7 minutes.
2. Sprinkle flur and dry mustard over onion and stir to evenly coat. Continue cooking, stirring often, for 1-2 minutes.
3. Add broth, stirring until well blended.
4. Peel, quarter and core 1 of the apples and finely chop it. Add apple to the soup, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the soup is thickened and the apple is tender, about 10 minutes.
5. Stir in cider and grated cheese and cook a few minutes longer, stirring constantly, until the cheese is fully melted.
6. Puree the soup in a blender. Stir in a few drops of hot pepper sauce and salt and pepper to taste.
7. Quarter and core the remaining apple and cut in 1/2-inch dice. Ladle the soupe into warmed bowls, sprinkle with diced apple and serve immediately. Makes 4-6 servings. Serve with warm bread or rolls.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dinner Tonight

Meatloaf... Southwest Style!

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup barbeque sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery salt

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Mix the ground beef, eggs, onion, bread crumbs, salsa, ketchup, barbeque sauce, salt, pepper, and celery salt together in a bowl; transfer to a loaf pan.
Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown on top, about 1 hour.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Dinner Tonight

Grilled Chicken in Coconut sauce

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup shredded coconut, toasted
pineapple tidbits
chicken baste
chicken broth

Mix together a bit of chicken broth, salt, and pepper and bullion to make a paste. Baste chicken and grill until cooked through. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, heat coconut milk and sugar until boiling. Slowly add cornstarch 1 teaspoon at a time until the sauce reaches desired consistency. Add toasted coconut to sauce. Remove from heat.
Spoon coconut sauce over chicken. Top with pineapple.

Serve with rice cooked in water, lime juice and sugar.

2 cups minute rice
2 cups water
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup sugar
Chelsea and I kind of made this recipe up last night. I made it for dinner for my family, and it was soooooo good!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

This Week's Goals

Happy Mom Goal

The first big holiday of the season is over...time for a breather! Go treat yourself to a mani or pedicure, maybe even a facial or a massage. Not in your budget?? Buy some inexpense massage oil and ask your husband to give your tense muscles a rub down when he has some time this week.

Happy Kid Goal

November is another great month of fall. You're likely to have a bunch of fallen leaves in your yard (or at least somewhere near your home) and a leftover pumpkin or two.

Here's a cute idea: (I did mine a bit differenlty than the above pic.)

Have your kids walk around the yard and gather some fallen leaves that they like. Using basic school paste, let them brush some on a medium-small pumkin (pie pumpkins work well) and glue each leaf to your pumpkin making a sort of collage. After the glue has dried, try taking gold glitter glue and outlining the leaves with it. It's a fun spin on pumpkins after Halloween is over and done!

Happy Husband Goal

Break out a funboard game sometime this week after the kids have gone to bed. The one above is mine and my husband's favorite! Board games lighten the mood and give you some time to goof off while you're together. Throw in some ice cream as well if you'd like!

Happy House Goal

Do you have a storage freezer in your house? We just recently got one, and really love having it. But, is it just me, or do they get cluttered ridiculously fast? Here are some great ideas for freezer organization that you should try this week:

A. Collect each food category in its own basket. This way, you can take a basket out to look through it without freezing to death and wasting energy.

B.Label baskets using plastic luggage tags that are easy to read and easy to change.

C. Label your food containers and freezer drawers and shelves so things are put back where they belong.

D. Straigt sided, stackable bins make the most out of door space. Their artight, locking lids help prevent freezer burn.

E. Get a tiered shelf meant for dishes and use it in your freezer store frozen pizzas, casseroles and desserts without them being crushed.

F. Freeze soups flat in plasic bags on a baking sheet, then "file" them in a bin. They take up less space and thaw faster, too.

G. Keep a list of what's in the freezer right on the door. When you take something out, erase that item. Keeps pens and labels handy in a magnetic box.

Voila! A wonderfully organized and efficient freezer!

Dinner Tonight

Taquito Enchiladas

(kids love it!)

12-14 Chicken Taquitos

1 19-ounce can green or red enchilada sauce

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1 2&1/4-ounce can sliced black olives, drained

Sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F

2. Arrange taquitos in a shallow casserole dish in a single layer.

3. Cover with enchilada sauce.

4. Sprinkle with cheese and olives.

5. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve with sour cream. Makes 4 servings.

This Week's Pep Talk

Whew! I don't know about you, but halloween is one of those holidays that, as fun as it is, totally wipes me out. All the planning and prep work, decorating, baking, throwing parties....not to mention the completely wound up children on a sugar high! It's enough to put any mom out of commission for at least 3 weeks! Unfortunately, there's no such thing as a mom being out of commission, so it's back to work for all of us. But, with more holidays coming up fast, make sure you give yourself a little down time. It's really okay. Moms are the glue that hold everything together, so without you, there's no fun. You are amazing and I'm sure your kids really do appreciate the work and money you spent on their costume and makeup, the candy and decorations you bought, and putting up with their ornery-ness afterwards! Haha!


Sunday Dinner

On the menu tonight:

Lemon Rosemary Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons no-salt seasoning
2 lemons, thinly sliced
8 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine (substitute with cooking wine.)
1/2 pre-crushed garlic

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2.Trim any excess fat from chicken and rinse under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels.
3.Use pastry brush to brush both sides of chicken breasts with olive oil and season with no-salt seasoning. Set aside.
4.In a baking dish, lay 2-3 slices of lemon and a sprig of rosemary for each breast. Place chicken breasts smooth-side up on lemon and rosemary. Top each chicken breast with another sprig of rosemary and 2-3 slices of lemon.
5.Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through.
6.Remove chicken to a platter and tent with foil. Place half of the rosemary from the baking dish in a small saucepan and scrape in any browned bits. Add chicken broth, wine and garlic. Bring to a boil over meduim-high heat and cook until reduced by half. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer.
7.Serve chicken hot with sauce, garnished with a fresh slice of lemon and a rosemary sprig. Serves 4.

~Have a wonderful Sunday!

Welcome Ladies!

This is our Happy Moms Club! If you're here, it's because you want to become a happier wife and mother....something we strive to help you do! Check this blog each week for your daily goals, pep talk and advice(More info on the SIDEBAR.) There are several units of the HMC, but each group is encouraged to have Happy Mom's Happy Hour every other week, complete with non-alcholic drinks and chatting time! Also, once a month you should have Guilty Pleasure Day, which will be a few hours out to lunch or a movie or something, without your kids. That's right, you heard me, KID FREE! So start saving your pennies! Leave a comment to let us know if you would like to be part of our club! It's free to join, all you do is leave a comment and log on each week to get your goals and peptalk. Also, feel free to leave comments with any suggestions, advice, or something to make us giggle a bit!


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