Thursday, August 29, 2013

Mustache Bash {Liam turned 1}

Its been almost three weeks since we celebrated Liam's first birthday. We had a "small" dinner with Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, which is small for most families, it was 16 for us and that isn't everyone. To make things easier we did a pasta bar. We put out three types of pasta, three types of sauces, two toppings, salad fixings and homemade bread with a dipping oil for dinner and we had two desserts, cupcakes and chocolate pavlova. I made a couple of cute menus to go along with and called it a day. Easy right?

My menus looked like:





I grabbed a couple of snap shots of the food with my parent's camera since mine was dead and we were saving it for shot of the birthday boy and his "smash" cupcake. I'll try to update the post when I get those from them. But for now all I have is dessert shots. We didn't really decorate beyond that, we just used white serving dishes and mason jars. In fact any decor we used was just left out from our Family Cookout two weeks prior. Good timing huh? 

Vanilla Confetti Cupcakes with Swiss Buttercream and Chocolate mustaches. I bought my mold at Bake It Pretty

Chocolate Pavlova with whipped cream and strawberries. 

I know my husband took some pictures and/or a video with the camera with barely a charge but they have disappeared into oblivion. I've searched the entire computer and they are gone and I wiped the memory stick after I uploaded them. I don't know what I was thinking?!!? The one time I try to be efficient it backfires. Oh well, we have out pics from our phones

and the shots I put on Instagram and the pictures my sister put on there as well. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

What's For Dinner?

Been a little while since I did one of these posts so I thought I'd do one but I don't have that much to show. Mostly because I keep forgetting to snap a picture before I dive in. My bad.

 Spinach Pesto Penne 
 It is so good and I can sneak some good stuff in on my picky eater!

 Birthday Pancakes
(okay so this was breakfast not dinner)
A birthday tradition in our house.

BBQ Chicken Nacho
I am 100% addicted to these. I've eaten them 3 time in the past two weeks. 

Buffalo Chicken Chili

 Spaghetti with Zucchini
We started replacing the typical ground beef with chopped zucchini one night because we were out of been and had zucchini that had to be eaten. Now it is the only way we eat it.

 Honey Lime Shrimp Tacos.

My old favorite.

ice cream for dinner.
Some nights you just need a an ice cream date with three handsome men. (aka my hubby a two boys) 
My mix was Toasted Marshmallow topped with chocolate cookies, Watermelon Sorbet and Pina Colada. All eaten separately, I just couldn't make up my mind. 


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Currently.

My Doodlebug turned 1 last Sunday, y'all. I don't like it one bit. He's not supposed to grow. I still owe you a post for that. Next week, I promise.

Also, I'm going to apologize in advance for there being spotty posts for the next couple of weeks. I'm not sure what is going on with me but I don't feel well. And for me to admit that means I really don't feel well. After the hubs business trip, in a couple of weeks, I'm scheduling an appointment with a doctor. Other than while pregnant, I haven't been to a doctor since I was probably 16. And before any of my family gets any ideas; No I am NOT pregnant! :) But hopefully a doctor can either help me or point me in the right direction. 

Tonight (Friday) is usually date night so I was going to try to cook a real meal for us, which hasn't been happening much lately. But now he's working late, so we are having these, swapping the blue cheese for mozzarella. Unlike me, the husband HATES blue cheese. We've had them before and wow, I mean WOW, why didn't I think of this? (Also, I'm writing this the night before posting it so I'm not crazy I do know what day it is, usually.)

I've been window shopping the internets for a couch for a bit, we won't be buying for a long while, but ours has seen better days and since it was an impulse buy that has not lasted nearly long enough, I'm prepping before we dive into another. But I kind of really want this dude. Its so impractical and I'm sure, won't be around when we get around to it but, I love it! Plus he doesn't match my color scheme at all. I would have to redo the whole living room and hope the boys didn't ruin it. Guess I'll keep searching and find something a little less in your face.

While I'm sitting here typing this I get a text from Bob, she's my cousin, yes SHE, but that's another story for another time, yeah so back to the point, she sends me a text saying she thought of me because she and her Mister were making ham and couldn't decide if it was country ham or city ham. Back earlier in the summer we, along with my bestie, went to see NKOTB and Boyz II Men, your totes jeally right? (I apologize for the end of that sentence, I am definitely not hip/cool/not awkward enough to pull that off!) So, you're saying what do they have to do with ham? Wellllll, give me a minute, I'm getting there. So we stopped at an awful waffle, which I LOVE by the way, and although we had all eaten there a trillion times we had never seen this before, there was an option for country ham and city ham. We, being the county bumpkins we are, had no clue what that meant started snorting with laughter and Googling this phenomenon. Guess it not really a phenomenon but whatever. We were all shocked that there was such a thing a "city ham" although we had all eaten it throughout or lives we just called it ham! It also made me start singing this spicy little tidbit Monkey watched over and over on my phone. You should also watch the Grandma's Special Pants video. Makes me think of my Granny. Shhhhh... Don't tell her, she's mean, y'all.

Judging by my last paragraph I think I'm sleep deprived. I blame the one year old, he's got teeth coming in like CRAZY!

Here are a few of my favorite recipes that I'm dying to try from this week.
This handy little number is on the menu for the week the Daddy Monsster is out of town and the munchkins need some cheering up. I love anything s'mores but frozen s'more pops! Whaaaatttt!?!!? This one isn't from this week but this ice cream needs to be in my mouth pronto! This cake is on the to make list.

And if you want a totally obnoxious amount of recipes and party pins follow me here.

I made this to hang over the boys play kitchen, which is going to be making its way into my kitchen so they can get the chef on while I get my domestic goddess on.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

One year ago today... (a little late)


*** This post was meant for Sunday morning, when Liam actually turned one but we were too busy celebrating and I forgot to post it. We also had our traditional family dinner for his birthday, I'll post pics soon.



One year ago at 6:08 Liam was born and my life changed, again. I transformed into a mother when Caleb was born almost 4 years ago but I didn't know if my heart could hold enough love for another precious human being. It did. I had no idea I was capable of loving two people so much and so similarly and so differently. Liam has changed our house, he has changed each of us.
We all adore him and he knows it. His brother loves him more than we knew would be possible but he also annoys his brother more than we knew possible too. He worships his brother like nothing I have ever seen. Liam lights up when Lee walks through the door every night from work. He loves playing with his daddy and he adores him more that he realizes. He looks at me with a love that I have never seen before. Caleb loves me, but he is as much a daddy's boy as he is a mommy's boy, Liam on the other hand wants to be with me 24/7. He looks at me as if I am his whole world, and I am in awe of him. Caleb loves to play with him and wants him to do everything thing he does, as long as he doesn't have to share his food. My favorite thing though, is watching them play. Caleb loves to grab him and sing to him "Baby Doodles, Baby Doodles, such a cute baby" and Liam cracks up laughing and wraps his arms around Caleb's neck like he never wants to let go.
Of course they fight already too. There may have been a baby, blanket burrito situation where Liam was really annoying Caleb and he may have wrapped him in a quilt and rolled him off the couch, while I was running through the house, in what felt like slow motion doing the whole "Nooooooooooooooooo" slow motion voice thing too. He was fine, in fact he thought it was fun and started trying to roll off the couch and bed himself after that. But when asked why he did that Caleb solemnly looked at me and said "Mommy that was plan B." What, the what? I know Lee and I will be breaking up fights in the future but I know they will be as thick as theives. This boy has made our home so much louder, chaotic and crazy but he has also made it happier, more joyful, and brighter. I would not change a thing and I cannot wait to see who this little sticker becomes. He is such a happy baby and so smart too. I know all Mom's think that but truly my children are the smartest! :) Liam has made our home feel complete.
Happy Birthday Liam Mommy and Daddy love you!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Overnight Iced Coffee



I love love love ordering an iced or frozen coffee. But I could never duplicate it at home. Making a cup, mixing in cream and sugar and then pouring it over ice just isn't the same as what you can buy at a coffee shop. I was stumped until I stumbled upon a couple of different types of iced coffee, some used cream, some used milk, some used half and half but they all used sweetened condensed milk, one even used just sweetened condensed milk. I played around with the idea of what I was wanted until I settled on this recipe. At some point I may purchase a french press so that I can make a cold pressed coffee but for now making a cup with my Keurig the night before works just fine.


Before bed I brew one cup in a mason jar, I don't add anything to it, I just put on a lid and toss it in the fridge. The next morning I stagger to the kitchen take care of the boys breakfast beverages and make my coffee. I open the jar add as much ice as it will hold and pour in however much coffee cream I feel the need for, this stuff is sweeeet so you won't need much. Sometimes I add a bit of milk or creamer if I want it milkier than sweet. Then I give it a stir, grab a straw and start my day. That is it, all done, as Mickey Mouse would say "Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!" Now if you don't have a Keurig you could make a small pot or just put some back from some you made earlier the day before, whatever works for you.



Iced Coffee Cream
1 12oz can evaporated milk
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
stir together, pour into a container and refrigerate until ready to use.
This makes enough for a full weeks worth of iced coffee for me and the hubs!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Seared Salmon Caesar Salad

Something happened to my husband maybe he shed his old taste buds and they were replace with all new salad loving taste buds or maybe he just gave in a discovered what he's been missing. Either way I am NOT complaining! He has also started taking an interest in helping me cook, which I am loving. When we met he could make quesadillas and scramble eggs, that is it. He was extremely happy to find a girl who knew her way around the kitchen since that meant he no longer had to live on take out.



I made this salad wayyy back on July 4th for lunch and the mister helped and can now make salmon and homemade croutons. He was also surprised how easy homemade Caesar dressing was. He is totally on board with my "make everything homemade" mentality. Now that is easier said than done but salad dressings are some of the easiest and quickest things to swap out for homemade and 9 times out of 10 are much better tasting.   


Homemade Croutons:
french baguette (preferably slightly stale)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced

Cut you baguette into cubes. In a large bowl toss your croutons with the garlic and oil. In a medium skillet over med-high heat brown the bread until golden brown. Let cook on a paper towel. Once cooled toss on your salad. You can store these for about a week in an airtight container. If you are making the salmon do not clean skillet! 

Homemade Caesar Dressing:
(I used and immersion blender but you could absolutely use a blender or food processor. I also used a mortar and pestle but you could use a spoon and a bowl.)
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 anchovies, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

Using the mortar and pestle combine the salt, pepper, garlic, and anchovies and work into a paste. If you are using an immersion blender combine the paste and all ingredients into a bowl or deep cup and and blend until combined and emulsified. If using blender or food processor place everything except olive oil into the blender and combine. Once combine stream in olive oil while running until emulsified. You can also make this by hand with a little extra work. Always taste as you go, you may want to add extra of somethings, sometimes! Should keep in a covered container for about a week. 

Sauteed Salmon:
Oil left in skillet from croutons
salt
2 salmon fillets

Sprinkle salt on either side of salmon and over med-high heat brown salmon (should only take a minute or two on each side)  in same skillet with same oil as the croutons. Once browned on either side, turn down to med-low. Cook until it flakes easily with a fork (usually about 5 min or less depending on the thickness.) Let rest until ready to assemble salad.

For the Salad
(for two)
2 cups loosely packed chopped romaine lettuce
2 tablespoons Caesar dressing
a small handful of croutons
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan
2 salmon fillets

Toss lettuce in dressing. Place onto two plates top with croutons and cheese. Place salmon on top and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Currently.

I can't stop eating this salsa, I have eaten it with a dollop of sour cream and tortilla chips for lunch everyday this week, and once for dinner. I mean, wow, Pioneer Woman, wow!


I have been trying my best to nurse this poor sad little rose bush back to health, I honestly thought all hope was lost. Somehow I didn't kill it and noticed my little bloom when I pulled in the drive way last week. Maybe by next summer it will have a several. In the process though I think my hydrangea my be a goner. I have to dead head it but even the leaves are brown. :( I'm heartbroken about this.


In less than a week my baby will be one! Where has the time gone? No seriously, tell me! Feels like a month ago I was sick with worry, holding back tears while some doctor I didn't know was telling me to trust her and that they were going to induce my labor over 5 weeks early. But now I wake up every morning and realize that I have a totally happy, healthy, fat, silly, laughing, crawling, refusing to walk baby boy. Seriously, he could walk if he wanted to but he would rather be carried or crawl because its faster. He can stand up and even bounce unassisted, without holding onto anything. But take a step, nope, he won't. He leads with his giant head and loses his balance. Its actually pretty funny to watch. He is a total Momma's boy and I am hoping it stays that way for a bit. I'll take all the snuggles I can get. I miss my snuggles from the big one so I' going to take advantage! This Sunday we will have a traditional birthday pancakes and a family dinner and do a smash cake to celebrate my not so itty bitty baby. All of this makes me want to have more, then my husband reminds me that my body always tries to kill me when I'm pregnant and I think remember why we are stopping with two and that feels like enough. 

Somehow on my mission to save money and combine the boys parties we have gone from the boys splitting one big party and having a small family gathering for each on there birthday to actually having a theme on those get together! We are having a mustache themed party for little man and a Minion themed party for not as little man. And their big party is a Mickey Mouse party. I blame my mother! She is a bad influence, we need no excuse to throw a party. I've been working on the menus for the past couple of days. I'm not sure if I'm done or not but this is what I've got for now. 






Monday, August 5, 2013

Chicken Taco Chopped Salad



This summer has been all about salad, tons and tons of salad. This one is amazing!! It is filling and perfect. Truly perfect. Now the hubby hates, hates, hates anything to do with ranch. I on the other hand love a good ranch, but only a good ranch. But because of his hatred he had the salad with salsa and said it was wonderful.




Taco Chicken Chopped Salad with Cilantro Lime Ranch

Salsa Corn
3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/4 cup salsa
In a small skillet over medium high heat saute corn until warmed through, add in salsa stirring often until warmed. 

Cilantro Lime Ranch
1/3 cup Greek Yogurt
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon powdered ranch mix
juice and zest of 1 lime
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Stir together yogurt and milk. Stir in remaining ingredients. 

A salad for 2:
mixed lettuce
1 grilled chicken breast, chopped
2 sliced on bacon cooked and chopped
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips
1 avocado, cubed
1 cup salsa corn
To plate,  pile a couple of handfuls of lettuce in the center of a bowl. Layer the topping in a line completely covering lettuce. Serve dressing on the side. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Family Cookout


Well... Ok the title is a bit misleading. We did cookout on the grill that morning but about an hour before there was a huge downpour so we set up inside but luckily it stopped and we could eat out side and the kids could play in the pool. But it was still a bummer because we had a lovely table planned out and anddddd all of decorations clashed with my Mom's hideous wallpaper. (no that is not an insult to her it came with the house she just hasn't gotten it covered up yet) Thenn I went to print out my neon menus and they printed some wacky colors no where near what I designed but they still worked out. It's all good we still had amazing food and so much fun... Until my Granny had to go to the emergency room at the end but that's another story and no worries she is fine. She just gave us a bit of a scare.

You can see more shots on my Instagram feed

How about roasted veggie kabobs? Yum!
And I didn't take a good shot but COCONUT RICE y'all!!! 
So goood!

We had several homemade salsas for the chicken, pork tenderloin and sausages.
Pineapple Mango
Creamy Tomatillo
and 
Lemon

The "drink bar" had Sweet Tea
with Blackberry Syrup,
Peach Mint Syrup
and
Lemon and Lavendar Syrup
 and


For dessert we made S'mores.
We set up a S'mores Bar that had so many options and was a hit with the kids and adults. 
Cookie options were:
Graham Crackers
Chocolate Chip (crispy and soft)
Pecan Sandies
and Butter Cake

Marshmallow options were:
Extra Large Plain
Strawberry
Keylime

Chocolate and Other Goodies options were:
Milk Chocolate
Dark Chocolate
White Chocolate
Mini Candy Bars
Lemon Curd
Toasted Coconut
Strawberries
(We were supposed to have a caramel sauce too but I forgot to get it out, oooppsss. Just pretend its there on the otherside of the lemon curd, okay? Thanks.)

We made a list of suggestions but some of the best ones were one of a kind creations!

My little monkey had Chocolate Chip cookie with milk chocolate, a strawberry marshmallow and fresh strawberries.

This one is chocolate chip cookies (soft batch) a plain marshmallow, a mini 3 Musketeers and toasted coconut.

The one on the right was the same as Caleb's first one but minus the strawberries.
On the left was butter cake, a huge marshmallow, Lemon curd and toasted coconut. No chocolate at all.
It was my favorite!

 My cousin, Keith, created this, it was an open face s'more with butter cake on the bottom, a lime marshmallow, lemon curd and toasted coconut. He may have also added a piece of pork tenderloin to it. Not for everybody but that sounds pretty good to me.
My Momma about to try to stuff all of that in her mouth. Her's was butter cake, plain marshmallow, lemon curd, coconut and strawberries.

I'm pretty sure the cake, lemon curd, coconut, strawberries and lime marshmallows were the surprise favorites among the options. I really think we may have to recreate this idea, sooner than later!