Sunday, December 29, 2013

Breakfast Enchiladas

I made these Breakfast Enchiladas.  The few changes that I made were;

-used cooked and crumbled turkey sausage instead of ham
-used low-fat half and half
-added 1/2 tsp black pepper to the egg mixture before pouring over the enchiladas
-used whole wheat tortillas

I thought they turned out really well, and a nice change instead of breakfast casserole on a breakfast for dinner night.  I served them with sour cream and hot sauce.  I thought they tasted like a healthier version of the McDonalds breakfast burrito, which I happen to like.  I'm sure we'll be having these again as breakfast for dinner, or a make-ahead brunch dish.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Handmade gifts

This year I wasn't feeling as creative or ambitious as I normally am, but I still managed to make a few homemade gifts for Christmas and some upcoming birthdays.

some clothespin magnets/ chip clips

some homemade note cards

a chalkboard platter from a dollar store serving tray

some monogram tote bags

salt dough Christmas ornaments (the ones with letters are for tying to gifts to label who they are for)

some fabric and marble necklaces

felt dolls

glass marble magnets

chalkboard placemat

kids tool belt

baby crinkle squares and giraffe rattles

a fabric covered journal

a kids apron

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Chile Relleno Casserole

I made this Chile Relleno Casserole.  For once, I followed the recipe as directed and liked it so much that I wouldn't change a thing.  I really liked it and found it a combination of Mexican comfort food at its best, all wrapped up in a simple, healthy casserole.  Jeremy thought it was just ok, but he's a little more hard to please than me.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole

Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole

I wanted to try something a little new and different so I took my "go to" breakfast casserole recipe and changed it up by replacing the whole wheat bread cubes with hashbrowns, and making a few other changes (the addition of dijon mustard was quite tasty!).  We both really liked this, and Jeremy said he liked it even better than the original.  You could easily use ham or bacon in place of the sausage, and add in any veggies (onions and peppers maybe) into the mix also.  This is one of those that is easy to make the night before, refrigerate overnight then pop in the oven the next morning.  And it is definitely a hearty breakfast for dinner for us also.

-1 (30 oz) bag frozen shredded hashbrowns, thawed
-1 lb turkey breakfast sausage, cooked and crumbled
-2 c shredded cheddar cheese
-10 eggs
-2 c skim milk
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1 Tbsp dijon mustard

Combine hashbrowns, sausage, and cheddar in a medium bowl, stirring well.  Spread into a greased 13x9 pan.  In the same bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over potato mixture.  Bake at 350 45-60 minutes, until set and edges begin to brown.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Texas Sheet Cake

I've been eyeing and wanting to try recipes for Texas Sheet Cake for a while now.  I was intrigued by the idea of a  moist chocolate cake, with a warm glaze-like icing poured over and melted into the warm cake.  It was worth the wait; Jeremy, his mom, his dad, and me all enjoyed this cake.  I used this recipe for the cake, but used hot coffee in place of the boiling water, and yogurt in place of the buttermilk.  I baked as directed, and then topped with the entire batch of icing from this recipe, prepared as directed.  I will definitely make this cake again, it's a great casual/ everyday sort of cake recipe that is fuss free.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Four Cheese Lasagna with Turkey Sausage

Four Cheese Lasagna with Turkey Sausage

I usually make the sauce a day ahead and then assemble the lasagna the next day, but that isn't required- I just like it that way because I don't feel like I spend quite so much time straight in the kitchen working on this. I also usually assemble the lasagna the morning I'm serving it, then refrigerate all day before popping in the oven for dinner. Again, this isn't necessary, but it makes the dinner rush seem less hectic.

-1 box whole wheat lasagna noodles
-2 Tbsp olive oil
-1 onion, diced
-6 cloves garlic, minced
-1 (29 oz) can crushed tomatoes
-1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
-2 tsp salt, divided use
-1 tsp black pepper, divided use
-1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
-1 Tbsp sugar
-1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
-1 egg
-1 (15 oz) container part-skim ricotta
-4 oz goat cheese
-1 c shredded parmesan cheese
-2 c part-skim mozzarella cheese

Soak noodles in hot tap water for 20 minutes, then drain.

While noodles soak, heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Cook turkey sausage, breaking up with a spoon while cooking, until it is cooked through. Set sausage aside. Place onion in the same pot, over medium heat. Cook 10 minutes, stirring. Add garlic, cook 1 additional minute. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, red pepper flakes, sugar and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

While sauce is simmering, in a medium bowl, combine egg, ricotta, goat cheese, parmesan, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Stir to combine.

Grease a 13 x 9 dish. Spread 1/3 the sauce on the bottom of the pan. Top with a layer of noodles. Top the noodles with 1/2 of the cheese mixture. Sprinkle that with 1 c mozzarella. Repeat layers of sauce, noodles, cheese mixture. Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 c mozzarella. Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes, until browned on the edges.

Friday, December 6, 2013

28 weeks

Here is what is going on with Elisha this week according to;

Your baby can now support some of her weight on her legs, and she loves to bounce — something that can strengthen her muscles for walking later on. Hold her under her arms and help her stand up on the floor or on your lap.

You may need to help her start moving by lifting her off the ground (or your lap) but once she starts, just watch her go! Be ready for lots of giggles.

Your baby's fine motor skills are coming along. By now she can probably scoop things up with one hand and transfer an object from one hand to the other fairly easily. Fine motor skills involve small, precise thumb, finger, hand, and wrist movements and are used for actions like picking up things between the thumb and finger.

Gross motor skills are required for activities like crawling, which use large muscles such as those in the arm, leg, or feet or the entire body. To encourage your baby's development of these skills, place a toy just out of your baby's reach and watch her try to get it. If she cries because she can't quite reach it, give her encouragement — but not the toy. She's just venting frustration and will become more physically confident more quickly if you don't make everything easy for her.

After a few tries, she'll be able to lean forward to grab the toy and then straighten herself again. Before long, she'll be rocking back and forth on her hands and knees or maybe creeping (pushing herself around on her belly) or even repeatedly rolling over to move about the room. Help her move around easily by dressing her in loose, comfortable clothes.

Your baby's also showing an interest in small parts and the details of the objects around her. Her ways of exploring are growing beyond banging and gumming, although those are still part of every toy interaction. As she explores, be sure to keep buttons, coins, safety pins, balloons, rocks, and other choking hazards out of reach.

Elisha is still doing great.  

He continues to amaze me at just how happy and laid back he is.

He's still nursing every 3ish hours and eating solid foods 1-2 times a day.  As of now he has happily tried every food that I have given him.  So far we've done rice cereal, banana, avocado, yogurt, sweet potato, and carrots.

He is definitely getting more mobile.  Now if I put him down in the middle of the room within seconds I will find him on the other side of the room against a wall.  He rolls over and over in the same direction until he hits a road block.  He makes some attempts to scoot, but isn't very successful at it.  His best move other than rolling is when he lies on his back and scoots himself by quickly turning his head from side to side and pushing with both legs at the same time.

After a several month hiatus in sleeping through the night, he has started to sleep through the night again this week.  He has gone several days in a row of sleeping from 8 pm-ish to almost 6 am each day.  This makes this mama VERY happy.  Once I have him doing this for over a week, I think I'll be ready to move him from his current bedroom (the living room) to his crib in Noah's room.  He's also taking 2-3 additional naps during the day at about an hour or less each.

One of Elisha's favorite things to do is to go grocery shopping.  I wear him in the baby Bjorn carrier as we walk around the store and he faces out watching everything, and everyone.  His hands hang at the perfect height for him to grab onto the grocery car handle and he grasps it tightly as we walk around the store.  It's quite adorable, it looks like he is pushing the cart.

Here was Noah at 28 weeks.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Mango Chicken Curry

This is another recipe from the book Bread & Wine.  If I wasn't holding a book/ cooking club for this book I never would have tried this recipe... it seemed a little too eclectic for my tastes (shredded coconut, and raisins in a curry?).  But I'm glad I did try it because it was very good.  I think I still prefer a Thai and coconut milk based curry over this one, but I enjoyed it, and will very likely make it again.  

Mango Chicken Curry

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 lbs chicken breasts
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • Chicken broth (4-5 cups)
  • 1/4 cups currants or raisins
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 mango, pitted and diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 tbsp shredded coconut


  • 1
    Mix together flour, curry powder, salt and pepper. Cut chicken into small pieces, and toss with mixture.
  • 2
    Cook chicken until browned. Set aside.
  • 3
    Combine garlic, onion, ginger and red pepper in pan with olive oil. Cook until onion is softened (about 4 min)
  • 4
    Add chicken. Lower heat.
  • 5
    Add 4.5 cups chicken broth. Reduce broth by 1/4. Add raisins, tomatoes, and mango. Heat through. Remove from heat, and add lime, cilantro basil and coconut.
  • 6
    Serve over rice.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Choose Joy

As I mentioned in my weekly update last week, we have had some "bad" circumstances over the last few weeks (car breaking down twice and still not fixed, kids sick twice with fevers, conflict with people we care about, and more).  This has had me thinking about;
1 Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  
I have been pondering what it means to give thanks in the circumstances we consider “bad” along with the “good”.  Especially in light of;
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Knowing that God works in ALL circumstances, for the good of His people changes how I look at the circumstances that I perceive to be "bad".

I've decided to choose  joy, the giving of thanks, and praise over being led by my circumstances and feelings.  I've been thinking on;

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I'm choosing to focus on the good in each and every situation, to see and meditate on the true, noble, right, pure, and lovely... and when I can't seem to find those attributes in my circumstances I choose to meditate on the One who is those things, who is with me, who is in everything and working all for the good of His people whether I see it or not.  I'm choosing to spend my time and energy investing in Him and His Kingdom, and not dwelling on the works of the enemy, who has come to steal kill and destroy.

I'm asking myself in each situation, "Where is God in this?".  "What is His purpose in this?".  "How could He be at work in this for the good of His people?".

This is all a choice of the heart.  It's not some trite cliche in which I slap on a smiley face and act like everything is fine.  It's the act of taking my thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ and not letting my head and heart be filled with lies.  It's the act of guarding my heart with Truth and engaging in battle with the Sword of the Spirit.

Some may accuse me of not being "real", or "in touch" with my circumstances.  But when did being "real" become a license to embrace and live in poor circumstances, feelings, and lies, giving power to the enemy?  I think we should be "real" with those we are in community with about our struggles, but we should never spend more time and energy talking about the struggles then on Truth, Christ's victory, and the cross.

I've resolved to spend my time dwelling on and discussing God, His attributes, and His works, and not the works of the accuser. To let His Truth permeate my heart and minister to my soul.

In a podcast I listened too recently, the speaker talked about how what you focus on is often what you become, even if you don't want to.  That when you put a whole bunch of time and energy into not being something (i.e. an alcoholic, a rageoholic etc.) that you are still giving that thing all of your energy and attention and more often than not, you end up there, despite your best efforts.  So rather than trying to not be something, I'm focusing on truth, on good, on love, and choosing joy.  And He who has called me is joy, He is peace, and He is in me, so it is my nature to be these attributes.

Despite your circumstances and feelings choose joy today friends, choose hope, choose love, praise, and the giving of thanks.  Choose to walk in victory and not give the enemy a foothold in your heart.