Monday, August 3, 2015

Ode to A House and a New Adventure

When we bought this house five, almost 6, years ago, I remember thinking this could very well be the house I died in—and I was fine with that. (How’s that for a ray of sunshine?!) Most of my childhood was spent in one house (where my parents still live), and I imagined raising my kids in the same way–in one well-loved, just-right-for-our-family house.

I know a house is just a house, but I really do love this one. It has sweet memories for me, and I have envisioned, many times, our kids growing up here and as adults, bringing back their own families (filling it to the brim!). I have a soft spot for this house because it really has been a refuge for our family in many ways. I’ve loved spending my days here, chasing babies here, filling the walls with art and the house with furniture. I have felt calm (for the most part!), happy and blessed to live here. I truly love this house and now that the end is near, I am nostalgic  and have a lot of mixed emotions. 
But, the truth is, you just never know what God has planned for you.
So we have bought the Warner's house next door to my parents. We have rented the Warner's' house (I am going to have to stop calling it that) to the Graumanns for 18 months. We will live with Mom and Dad until they find a home in Jacksonville. 
And, so a new adventure begins for our family. . . in 18 months, along with a lot of projects.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Meal Planning Monday

I am going to start doing these a week late (if at all) so that I can make notes and remember what worked and what didn't. 

This week I tried 2 new recipes and  both were hits. So much so that I wanted to make sure that they were here instead of lost in all my pins on pinterest so that I can find them easier. 

Pioneer Womans Chicken & Noodle We have made this before and it is always good. We ended up having leftovers from the week before so we ate this for lunch all week. It was nice to warm up and enjoy some comfort food every day. 


Baked Ravioli This actually surprised me at how delicious it was.  I used Publix frozen Beef Ravioli. JJ & I both agree that ravioli is our favorite that we have tried so far. This recipe is really easy to make and with crispy cheese on top is A-MAZING! I had some for leftovers this week. I just put some more mozzarella on top and put it in the oven. Just as good reheated as it was the night of. 

Chicken Alfredo Roll Ups - The easiest, no-fuss chicken alfredo you will ever make, conveniently stuffed in the butteriest roll ever!
Chicken Alfredo Rollups  This was another surprise.  It is no secret that I am not the biggest fan of chicken. I have to have a lot of sauce or have it hidden in a bunch of ingredients to really like it. This one fits both of those bills. The recipe makes 8 and we at all of them up. I served these with sweet potatoes cut like fries. This is the first meal I have ever made that both kids ate everything on their plates and asked for more. JJ & I loved these as well. I think that next time I will double to recipe and have some for lunch for the week.  I don't think they will be good reheated in the microwave but in the oven should be great. 

Ham & Cheese Biscuit Sliders  I have made these before and they are great and easy. The kids love them because the honey adds a nice sweet touch. I am going to serve these with butter beans on the side for a nice well-sounded-ish meal. 

So, great meals this week. all that I want to make again!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Breakfast Egg Muffins

I saw this on a blog a few months ago and finally decided to make them for JJ & I to have during the week. This recipe is great because it can be personalized to each persons tastes. Mine can have more veggies and his can have more meat. 

These are just as good leftover. All you do is pop them in the microwave. They will last in the refrigerator up to 10 days. 

Healthy Egg Muffins filled with cheese, sausage and veggies - YUM! { }

Healthy Egg Muffins
Cuisine: Breakfast
A healthy and delicious breakfast option - Egg Muffins filled with cheese, sausage and delicious veggies.
  • 10 eggs
  • 1-2 tsp. seasoning of your choice. I use garlic pepper
  • 1-2 cups grated low fat cheese. I use co-jack
  • ½ cup lean meat, turkey sausage, ham, etc. We like turkey sausage
  • Optional ingredients: 2 green onions diced small, ¼ cup diced spinach. Any chopped veggies would be a good addition.
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. A silicone muffin pan or cups will work best for this recipe, but a standard muffin tin will work too. Just double your paper liners and spray well.
  2. Mix all ingredients together, whisking your eggs first.
  3. Pour into sprayed cups filling almost to the top.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, checking often. Some muffins might take longer, depending on how many additional ingredients you add. Eggs will puff up and look like they are over flowing. Dont be alarmed, they will set back down to normal size.
  5. These will hold up well in the refrigerator for 7-10 days. I put two muffins in a snack sized bag for the hubs to pop in the microwave each morning for a quick breakfast. YUMMY and a great start to the day!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Monterey Tortilla Casserole

Monterey Tortilla Casseroles

In Mexico, this dish is served for breakfast; stateside, families enjoy it as a quick and tasty dinner, too. Follow the make-ahead directions and heat the frozen casserole in a microwave for a meal that's ready in minutes.

Monterey Tortilla Casseroles

4 servings

15 mins

35 mins to 40 mins 350°F

Nonstick spray coating
6 inches corn tortillas, each cut into 6 wedges
cups cubed cooked chicken
cup loose-pack frozen whole kernel corn
16 ounce jar salsa verde
tablespoons light dairy sour cream
tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro
tablespoon all-purpose flour
cup crumbled Mexican Chihuahua® cheese or crumbled farmer cheese (4 ounces)
Light dairy sour cream (optional)
Snipped fresh cilantro (optional)
Chopped tomato (optional)
Jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced (optional)


  1. Spray four 10- to 12-ounce baking dishes with nonstick coating. Place 5 tortilla wedges in the bottom of each dish. Place remaining tortilla pieces on a baking sheet; bake in a 350 degree F oven about 10 minutes or until crisp and golden. Meanwhile, combine chicken, corn, salsa, the 3 tablespoons sour cream, cilantro, and flour. Divide mixture among dishes.
  2. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree F oven for 20 minutes. Arrange baked tortilla pieces atop casseroles. Top with cheese; bake for 5 to 10 minutes more or until heated through. If desired, garnish with additional sour cream, jalapeno slices, cilantro, and tomato. Makes 4 servings.

From the Test Kitchen

*To Make Ahead

Assemble casseroles as directed above, except do not top with baked tortilla pieces; place baked pieces in a moisture- and vapor-proof plastic bag. Freeze casseroles and tortilla pieces up to 1 month.
To bake frozen casseroles:
Bake, covered, in a 350 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Uncover; bake about 20 minutes more or until heated through. Top with tortilla pieces and cheese; bake for 5 to 10 minutes more or until heated through. Garnish as above.
To micro-cook frozen casseroles:
Cover microwave-safe casseroles with waxed paper; micro-cook on 30% power, allowing 4 minutes for 1 casserole and 5 minutes for 2 casseroles. Continue cooking, covered, on 100% power until heated through, allowing 2 to 4 minutes for 1 casserole or 3 to 6 minutes for 2 casseroles, rotating the dishes once. Top with baked tortilla pieces and cheese; micro-cook, uncovered, about 30 seconds more or until cheese is melted. Garnish as above.

Nutrition Facts

 (Monterey Tortilla Casseroles)
    Per serving: 
  • 479 kcal cal., 
  • 21 g fat
  • (3 g sat. fat, 
  • 98 mg chol., 
  • 1247 mg sodium, 
  • 45 g carb., 
  • 7 g fiber, 
  • 34 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Meatloaf Cupcakes


I made this a few weeks ago and JJ loved it! It was his favorite way to eat meatloaf. It works for me too. I like my meatloaf a little more well done so this was perfect and the smaller size worked for the kids. 

Meatloaf Cupcakes

Note:  This is the meatloaf recipe that I used.  Feel free to use one of your own favorites.
For the meatloaf:
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 small onion, grated
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup panko crumbs
2-3 splashes Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
For the sauce:
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
For the potato “icing”:
3 cups boiled potatoes, chopped into chunks
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup half and half or heavy cream
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
Preheat your oven to 350 F.
Prepare the meatloaf by combining all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Mix until incorporated.  Don’t over handle the mixture or the meatloaf may be too dense.  Chill while you prepare the sauce and potatoes.
Make the sauce by whisking the chili sauce, brown sugar and mustard together until smooth.  Set aside.
While the meat is baking, w hip the boiled potatoes together with the egg yolk, half and half or cream and salt until smooth.  Stir in the melted butter.  Fit a pastry bag with a large star tip and fill with the potato mixture.  Set aside, but do not refrigerate.
To assemble the cupcakes,  lightly spray a cupcake tin with nonstick cooking spray.  Fill each indentation with a small handful of the meat mixture, gently pressing it down until it is completely filled.
Spread a teaspoon of the sauce around the top of each cupcake, and bake for about 30 minutes, until the meat is cooked through.  Remove from the oven and turn on the broiler.
Pipe some potato “icing” on top of each cupcake.  Put the cupcakes under the broiler for a few minutes until the potatoes are lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
Remove from the oven and enjoy.
Makes 12 meatloaf cupcakes.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Meals for the Week

For a healthy-ish low-carb dinner. We have BBQ Chicken Salad  Hope this is good!
(This was a hit with JJ & I. I made 1 modification. I put BBQ sauce on the chicken before cooking it so that it had more of a BBQ flavor. We gave the kids just part of the BBQ chicken breast for their dinner and H told me that dinner was very good!)

BBQ Chicken Salad - This healthy, flavorful salad comes together so quickly, and it's guaranteed to be a hit with your entire family!

JJ & I loved this last time I made it  so I will be making it this week

Monterey Tortilla Casseroles

Always delicious and there are leftovers! (NOTE: use the whole 15 ounce can of tomatoe sauce and more cheese)
(JJ informed me at dinner last night that this is one of his favorite meals. I was shocked because it really isn't my favorite. Maybe with more sauce and more cheese I could come to love this as much as he does).

Enchilada Casserole Recipe

Rigatoni with swiss chard and Sausage - from FNM November 2014 issue. Pg 90