Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday Night Burgers!

Its hump day and man I am not in the mood to cook! So thankfully I am pulling out the burgers from the freezer cooking day and grilling. Burgers are easy but they get boring just throwing in the same old ingredients. So we are going to kick it up a notch and make these burgers YUMMO!

Grab a lb of ground sirloin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, bacon crumbles, blue cheese crumbles, toss them all in a bowl and mix together. I like to use my hands so you can get everything mixed in well then shape my burgers from there.

The best part about these burgers is that you have just made a gourmet burger in under 5 minutes!!

Chicken Spaghetti - Tales of Cooking Whole Chickens

First off! I am so sorry I didn't post this last night! Hubby stayed home to help me with the kids while my head continued to pound and I lost track of the day.

When it comes to saving money the easiest way to do that is to find the cheapest products. Right, duh! So when you think of chicken I'm sure most people think of buying boneless skinless chicken breasts but thats actually the most expensive way to purchase chicken. Although it is the easiest and no cleaning involved. I prefer to buy whole chickens, cook them, then freeze the meat. I have MULTIPLE recipes that call for pre-cooked chicken so it is really the easiest way to do this. Bi-lo or Publix regularly has whole fryer chickens on sale for .79 a lb or less! Thats a whole lot of savings!! Especially when you really have to wait once a month for BLSL chicken breasts to go on sale for $1.99 a lb.

So back to the point...

I purchased 4 whole fryer chickens and got to work cooking. 2 I did on the stove in a pot with onions, garlic and a little salt and pepper in a stock pot. The other two I did in the oven with lemon pepper. None of these methods really flavor your chicken but the stove top method was super moist!

Now after cooking I have over 5lbs of meat ready to freeze and use later. Some of this I set aside for my chicken spaghetti. Now for the extra steps...

To save even more money I decided to use the "entire" chicken. Yes, the whole thing! I saved the bones and made chicken stock then I used the insides and neck to make a brown chicken stock! Don't be scared!! These were both VERY simple and not much work.

Chicken Stock

Take out a stock pot and throw in all the bones. Add carrots, onions, garlic and celery. I didn't have carrots on hand but really you can throw anything in this pot. Its really to just flavor the stock. Fill the pot with water to completely cover the bones and set on medium high until it boils then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover for 3 to 4 hours. Once you've let it simmer away for hours strain the liquid and refrigerate!

Brown Chicken Stock

This is something you need to start after you have made the stock because you will use 2 cups of the stock in this recipe.

Take your gizzards, heart and liver pieces along with the next and brown in a little oil and butter. Once brown add 2 cups of chicken stock, a few bay leaves,thyme, salt and pepper then set on medium until it starts to boil then partially cover and turn down the heat to low and let it simmer for 2 to 3 hours. Once its done strain your liquid and refrigerate.


Ok I know its time consuming but for the most part its just simmering away on its own with no work from you and your kitchen will smell YUMMY!

Now for DINNER!

Chicken Spaghetti


Spaghetti noodles
2 cans cream of chicken
8 oz shredded cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups precooked chicken
salt and pepper

Cook your spaghetti noodles according to the package. In a bowl combine chicken, soup, cheese, chopped onion, salt and pepper then add spaghetti noodles and mix together. Place in a baking dish sprinkle more cheese on the top and cook for 45 minutes on 350.

To add something extra chop up some green and red bell pepper! ENJOY!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sudafed Makes For An Odd Mommy

Waking up at 4:30 this morning with a head ache wasn't a good start to the day. I came downstairs at 5:30 and refused to take anything hoping some water would wash it away.

Mistake #1

I climb back up the stairs to whine to D at 7 and crawl back into bed praying for death. Yes, it was that bad. It was one of those head aches that you feel at the back of your skull and in your temples that literally makes you feel like your head is literally going to explode. Finally D comes back in when I was crawling on my hands and knees to get to the bathroom and asks me if I want to take something. YES PLEASE!! ANYTHING!!!

D brings me 2 Advil and a Sudafed Sinus.

Mistake #2

Im pretty sure at this point that I have a migraine from sinus issues however Sudafed makes me loopy and I feel high. This may or may not be a good thing. The boys think its hilarious! I am much more goofy with them albeit slightly sluggish. All in all I am just glad to have the headache gone.

Stay tuned for Tuesday's dinner recipe!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Apparently Monday is the day for typing.

In my attempt to save money I menu plan. Its the easiest way to save money on groceries and not run out at the last minute getting pizza because I haven't planned for anything and there isn't anything to eat! Since I haven't been updating my blog regularly then you have missed my freezer cookings which has really stocked my freezer. So menu planning should be pretty easy.

Monday - Lemon and Herb Chicken
Tuesday - Chicken Spaghetti
Wednesday - Blue Cheese and Bacon Burgers
Thursday - Italian Meatball Soup
Friday - Pizza
Saturday - Monterrey Melts
Sunday - Appetizer's!

The only recipe that is not something that is in my freezer are the Monterrey Melts and the Italian Meatball soup. All recipes will be posted the day of!

Lemon Herb Chicken is one of my favorite recipes with chicken. From this is so easy!


2 tbsp. lemon zest
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. fresh rosemary leaves, finely minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2-4 lbs. of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks
2-3 tbsp. melted butter
Thinly sliced lemons, for garnished

Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large zipper-lock plastic bag. Seal the bag and shake well to blend. Place the chicken pieces in the bag with the marinade, pressing out excess air and sealing once more. Refrigerate and let marinate for 2 hours. To use this for freezer cooking quadruple the recipe and place in 4 freezer bags then freeze.

Once thawed out or marinated for 2 hours remove chicken and reserve liquid. I like to grill these and bast with the marinade but you can also bake these. To bake preheat your oven to 425 brush chicken with melted butter and bake for 50 to 55 minutes. Halfway through the baking pour remaining marinade over chicken and continue to bake. Once done let rest for 10 minutes covered loosely with foil.


Chocolate Honey Fudge turned Peanut Butter Fudge

This fudge is from the oh so nice Chocolate book I told you about earlier. I couldn't wait for naps to get started to I put on a movie and got to work. 5 minutes into movie I am gathering ingredients and Conner walks in and announces "Mommy can we eat lunch now, I don't want to watch the movie". So of course I get sidetracked! Lunch made, kids sitting quietly eating and now all I see is JIF peanut butter...

Change of plans people!

My fudge went from Chocolate Orange Honey Blossom to Peanut Butter Fudge!

Where did the Orange Honey Blossom come from you say? Well 2 weeks ago we were in Athens, GA and I stopped at a road side stand and there it was! So Orange Blossom honey was what I had to have!

Meanwhile back in the kitchen I see the JIF along side all of my ingredients and decide to make a change because honestly vanilla and orange honey don't sound all that appealing with peanut butter.

So I get to work starting with 5 table spoons of butter, 1 14 oz can of sweeten condensed milk, 1/4 to 1/2 cup of peanut butter, and 1 lb chopped chocolate.

Stir like your mama taught you over a medium low heat.

Remember we don't want to boil this just get it all melted and yummy!

Keep stirring because as soon as you think you are done a little piece of butter will pop up and scream! I'M NOT MELTED! Ok really it won't scream but you might laugh when you see it pop out of there.

Butter a small glass dish then go back to your nice yummy melted fudge and pour it straight into the dish.

Now for the finale! Take a butter knife and grab some peanut butter then start in a corner and run it in a zig zag through the fudge. I did this several times and although not perfect it works!

Pop that in the fridge for and whole or until solid and your done! Simple!

Cooking is my hobby, Eating is my Passion!

There are days, like today, that all I want to do is find delicious recipes and make them all. I have already found several in my aimless wanderings of the blogger universe. All require a trip to the store which I don't really have the money to do at this point in time. We just got back from a weekend in Atlanta that was exhausting but fun and of course the boys need to catch up on sleep and that didn't happen this morning so now add grumpy kids with grumpy mom and not so clean house... Well you get a mommy that uses food and cooking to avoid the mess right in front of my face. So lets avoid all of that and get back to FOOD! Let me just start by listing all of these yummy recipes I have found so far!

Japanese Cream Cheese Cake (looks heavenly!!)
Chocolate Honey Fudge (On my to do list for nap time!)
Chocolate Fudge Tart
Boston Creme Pie
Deviled Eggs (don't ask me why)
Italian Meatball Soup

Ok I will spare you from the rest of my list because I know you are getting hungry just reading the names! Did I mention that I happened to have picked up this new book, its heaven in a small little hard bound book! I am literally drooling on the pages so you may not want to borrow it...

Its times like these that I think, am I pregnant?

Oh yea NO, so not pregnant. I just like to eat!

Later today I will post my adventures in making this fudge!! STAY TUNED!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Real Or Not Real???

Recently I have been looking at random things online. Yes, its dangerous, I know! I came across a store on Amazon that sells sterling silver jewelery with cubics zirconium that looks REAL! Ok, well it looks real online and so I bought one that looked similar to my wedding band I got for our anniversary last year. It cost me $20 so if it was too good to be true I wasn't out much money. I have worn it for a week now and I feel like there is too much bling on my left hand! Seriously! It LOOKS SO REAL!!

Can you tell which of the wedding bands is real?? I bet you can't!!

This got me to thinking... Why spend $3000 on a real ring? lol Yes, I am really saying that and no I would never know if D had gotten a fake ring although I know it isn't fake and of course I wouldn't request a fake ring over the real thing but when you are a mom of 2 and there is no way I will be able to buy the real thing to match my other wedding band for many many years to come this works perfectly fine!

Check out all of their collections at...

Ramblings On A Dreary Monday

I'm going to start this with a simple, I miss pregnancy...

I just sold Conner's first crib and crib furniture. Don't worry we still have Noah's crib and just never used the changing table so I sold it. Along with a lot of baby toys that are taking up too much space and in 2 years when we have a new baby I don't mind buying new ones. It made me so sad to see it go though! I keep seeing all of my friends updates of having their second baby and I get a little choked up missing the belly and the tiny baby. It also hit me a little harder how long it will be until we have another baby when my mom reminded me that Michael graduates this year and she is thinking about pushing her 50th birthday trip to Costa Rica to June. I know its only 2 months but It was 9 months and now its 11 until we start trying.

My mind starts freaking out a little bit when I start worrying about if we will even get pregnant on the first try and then I am looking at 2 years or more before I see that cute little pink face....

But to every down side there has to be an upside and mine is that they boys will be a little older. In 2 years both kids will be in school full time so baby number 3 gets a lot of mommy time. In 2 years we might be in more of a position to move to a bigger house. Ill be 29! Wow thats weird....

Alright Ill stop whining...

Saturday, May 1, 2010


I can't believe our vacation is over!! It felt like we planned it forever and its already over! I loved it and honestly I was really dreading every minute of it. From the 4 hour plane trip to my lack of Spanish. I also knew we were going to meet alot of Darien's family and I was a little nervous about that as well.

Our first plane ride down to Panama was pretty uneventful and I am really glad! Although I love to fly I honestly almost had a panic attack when we were getting ready to take off. I know I have no control and that I am more likely to die in a car wreck than a plane crash but as soon as the car started to move I clutched to Noah thinking my babies are on this plane and we could all die. It was pretty irrational but still I was so scared until we got in the air and I relaxed a little. After 4 hours we finally landed and the boys were exhausted! Going through customs then immigration I really thought I was going to die from exhaustion and heat since there was obviously no AC in the airport. The boys were grumpy and running around like crazy chickens then came meeting the first round of family at 9pm.

We finally got into the rental cars after Darien argued with the Budget car people who were trying to charge us WAY too much. Finally on the road and the boys were asleep within seconds. We drove to the bed and breakfast which was about 15 minutes from the airport and I got to see a little of this new city at night. Next morning the hotel had a yummy breakfast prepared for us and then we headed out to Gamboa. Gamboa is about 25 minutes from where we were staying and this is where Darien grew up along with his sister Caryn who was along with us. It was definatly hot! The boys were still pretty exhausted since they woke up at 730 after not going to bed till 1030 or 1130 our time.

We did a little sightseeing after Gamboa then headed back to the hotel to put the kids to bed. Nap wasn't exactly what they wanted but oh well we tried! That night we drove to the causeway and at dinner at a little restaurant by the water with Marybell and her husband and 2 kids. The oldest of her kids was 6 and Conner flirted the entire dinner with her. It was very funny to see him flirting and he is only 3!! After this long day after traveling we were ready for bed and good thing because we had a 4 hour drive to Las Tablas the next day.

Las Tablas
I thought I would need my book for this 4 hours trip to Las Tablas which is where Darien's grandfather Abuelo Chago lived along with his aunt Elsie. Of course I didn't open my book the entire drive because it was too interesting looking around at all of this new stuff that I had never seen before. The boys did very well all things considered and after getting pulled over by Panama police who then my FIL had to bribe so we didn't get a ticket we finally arrived around 4.

Conner and Noah ran around while Darien flipped out that they were going to get into something that would kill them. His grandfather lives in a farm area where people don't really have internet, phones or TV. The house sits right across the street from a small bar that is typically just for men if we didn't know the owner. His grandfathers sister lives right behind his house and owns a little store that sold coke in a bottle for .25! The beer that the bar sold was well over 20 oz and they were only a dollar! My favorite part by far was sitting on the back porch just listening to everyone talk. Life out there was very simple. The rooster woke me up the first night at 3am bc apparently he was confused on the time. The boys chased chickens around the front yard who had excaped from the neighbors backyard, we relaxed most of the time and tried not to think about the heat then when Saturday night rolled around the rain came.

Panama is known for its heat and for 6 months out of the year they have a rainy season that is then followed by the dry season and it was just our luck that we happened to be there the first night of the rainy season. Around 9pm the rain started and didn't stop. The first time it rains apparently the transformers aren't really ready for it and they tend to stop working which means no power at all. We had an air conditioning unit in our room so we could sleep at night and that went out. So with not much else to do we decided to go to bed at 10 and I was rudely awoken about 3 hours later drenched in sweat! The power still hadn't come back on and the room was definatly starting to get really hot. About that time Conner woke up having pooped... No lights, which means no water, no ac and a poopy child... Darien graciously took care of it because honestly I couldn't see a hand in front of my face without my glasses and there wasn't a flashlight in our room which made the situation worse.

Darien finally got Conner cleaned up and back in bed so we could go back to sleep which we did and I awoke about 30 minutes later to power! The AC was back on! Praise the LORD!! oh wait 30 minutes later the power was back off... 90 degrees at 5am and humid as all get out does not make a happy mommy...

Sunday was pretty and we hung out around Las Tablas enjoying the small town. There have only got to be a few thousand people who live around this town yet there are about 20 different restaurants that sell the same food. Please tell me why? There are also 4 lavaderia's or laundry mats that have 5 or 6 washers but only 1 dryer! WHY? I know most of these people hand wash their clothes then line dry them but during the rainy season its so humid that nothing dries! OH well, gave us an excuse to go back into town to find an internet cafe which there are about 4 or 5 of those as well.

Monday we drove to Pedasi and visited the beach where the boys had a ton of fun getting soaked and very sandy. I really enjoyed this town because there were Americans living there, a beach, yummy food and you still got the Panama feel from the locals. I very much want to move here...

We ate at an American owned restaurant and the only way you could tell was because A it was called something Gringo's and B they had ranch dressing as a dip with EVERYTHING! We headed back to the house and decided that Tuesday since it was our last day we would go find a pool and get some sun since we hadn't really gotten much on our trip even though it was really sunny most of the trip and awefully hot. Tuesday we headed out at 10 to get a Panama hat downtown, get a flat tire fixed, pick up our tried laundry and then head to the pool. Once we managed to get to the pool we found out it didn't open till 2 so we drove around trying to find things to do to pass the time. We took the kids back into Las Tablas and ate lunch then actually got the tire fixed which cost us $2 then ran back to the house to drop off the leftover pizza to Darien's dad and finally back to the pool!

The pool was wonderful! Even though the boys hadn't had a nap they were so excited to play in the water that we stayed there till almost 6. It was wonderful and just a really great way to end our trip. The next day we packed and said our goodbye's then got back into the car for our 4 hours drive back into Panama City for our last night. I was more sad than I thought I would be. I really enjoyed our trip and honestly want to pick up and move there. To be able to emerse my kids into a different place, learn amazing things and live in a place thats laid back and beautiful! Plus I could see how easily I could open a restaurant, or open a small shop. Our trip was so amazing I am counting the days that we can go back. Im sure Darien is thinking the same thing since his grandfather is 89.

The flight back was a little more tiring but only because we had gotten up at 4am then the kids at 4:30 and they didn't sleep at all in the plane or on the drive back to my inlaws. I am really glad to be home but I miss Panama and all the friends I made there. Don't worry Panama! We will be back!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Can I Just Play A Game Today..

It's called "I Wish.." and yes it is just what you think it is! Ok I promised myself I wouldn't use as many exclamation points (by the way I just googled the correct spelling of that, sorry Mrs. Moore.). Ok back to the point! Sorry just had to do that...


So the I wish game... I am sitting here on my couch listening to my kids watch Veggie Tales and sing along or at least try to sing along and I am bored... Yes, bored. I thought about baking but D is on a diet so I probably shouldn't tempt him although he isn't really a fan of the sweets. I need to do a little laundry but I don't really want to. I played with the kids all morning and now they would rather play alone. HAHA tired of mommy time!

So back to playing a game...

I wish... This blog didn't look so sad!

I wish... I could remember to make coffee in the morning

I wish... I remembered to take pictures of everything I cook so I could share it with you guys! (my 5 readers that consist of family)

I wish... I could supress this need for a baby for at least another year or 2.

I wish... I didn't miss being pregnant

I wish... my head would stop hurting right now!

I wish... The Super Bowl was here already!!

Ok I think I am done for the wishing game...

What a sad post this turn out to be! Pathetic I know!

OH well, onto cookies!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Do you ever dream of living somewhere else? Not so much being a different person but just picking up and moving to a different part of the country. This is how I have felt recently and I can't really put a finger on why. Darien and I have always wanted to leave near a big city but not necessarly in a big city. Columbia isn't what you would call a big city and it seems like recently we have become stuck here. Don't get me wrong I love being around my mom and my brothers (well the ones that are here!) and I have lived in Columbia pretty much my entire life but I feel restless here.

Currently we are stuck though until we get our house paid down more. With the economy the way it is our property value went way down which means we would have to sell our house way above market value or pay to get out of the house which isn't an option. So what to do what to do.... :) Guess we put our dreams aside for now and concentrate on paying down our house and bills!

We have put the 3rd baby picture on hold until later in 2011. Man that sounds like so far away but now that its 2010 it will come faster than I realize. Although I have been feeling the baby itch for some time now I realized that I just want to enjoy the boys for awhile and see what God gives us later when the boys are a little older. If we get preggers in late 2011 I will be 28 or possible 29 since I would be due in 2012! Conner will be 5 and Noah will be 4 which I cannot believe!! Time is going by so fast! My babies will be 3 and 2 this year! When we have a 3rd Conner will be in Kindergarten and Noah will be in preschool!

I am honestly perfectly happy with how my life is going right now and even with the bumps in the road I am truely blessed! I have a wonderful husband who deals with all my emotional roll a coasters, 2 beautiful boys who continue to amaze me and wonderful family and friends. (NO i am not high) So I guess I need to stop dreaming and step back into reality and get back to the boys who have now started to watch a movie since I took a break from playing blocks to write a few blogs. :)