Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bathing Beauty...

E has been having lots of fun in the tub with Twisted Peppermint scented shapeable foam soap from Gramma (of course!) Silly, clean fun!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Domestic Diva: chicken pot pies

Remember that slow cooker chicken I referenced in my post yesterday about the cream of broccoli soup? Well, I stretched it even further this week....I also made chicken pot pies!

This is another "fly by the seat of your pants" recipe...

Chicken Pot Pies
Mix shredded, cooked chicken, cooked canned or frozen veggies of your choice, salt, pepper and/or seasoned salt or herbs of choice and cream of chicken soup (or you could use cream of mushroom or even cream of potato) with one soup can of milk. Stir. Divide mixture among four big oven-proof ramekins. Top with canned biscuit dough. Bake at 350 degrees for at least 30 minutes, until filling is bubbling and biscuit dough is baked through (this is important....sometimes it's hard to tell when that dough is done...test it with a skewer, so you don't end up with a raw blob of dough under that lusciously browned crust....and don't ask me how I know this! Ha!)

(Incidentally....Hubby always jokes that I beat my whole chickens until they have nothing left to give....We always eat off a whole roasted chicken the first night, I usually make broth from bones and bits, and I use the meat shredded off the bones in casseroles, soups and more....Definitely a great way to stretch a dollar....or two!)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Domestc Diva: Cream of Broccoli Soup

Our local supermarket often has huge bags of broccoli for 99 cents. This broccoli is supposedly "past its prime"...but we've enjoyed it steamed and have not noticed anything "off" about it at all. And our family eats a lot of broccoli - a favorite around here, for certain. In fact, each week when I go to the store, E reminds me to get broccoli and bananas. Too cute!

Last week, I scored another 99 cent bag of the good ol' green stuff. This was a little more limp than the usual fare, so I opted to make a new favorite - cream of broccoli soup. This is one of those "make it up as you go along recipes". I've made it with or without cheese and this time opted to add some shredded chicken from a whole chicken I'd recently cooked in my slow cooker. Topped with homemade croutons? A yummy, very filling dinner!

Here's a "rough" recipe...

Cream of Broccoli Soup
Boil broccoli in chicken broth in large soup pot or dutch oven
(I used chicken broth made from the bones and scraps of a whole chicken I'd cooked in my slow cooker).
Add seasonings to taste: salt, pepper and/or seasoned salt, garlic, etc.
Blend cooked broccoli and broth with an immersion blender until smooth.
About 30 minutes before serving, add one can of evaporated milk (could also use cream, half and half, sour cream....whatever you have on hand!) and shredded chicken. Heat through, stirring well.
Top with croutons and shredded cheese.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Domestic Diva: Fresh Blueberry Pie

A few weeks ago, I was asked to make a few pies for an event at church. In addition to a chocolate pie, I tried out church-friend Libby's recipe for fresh blueberry pie. This is so easy and so good! I can't wait to try it with other fresh fruits this summer....peaches, strawberries, blackberries.....mmmm!

Fresh Blueberry Pie

In a 1-1.5 quart saucepan, bring to a boil:
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
After sugar is dissolved, add 1 cup blueberries.
Cook for 1-2 minutes.
In a separate bowl, mix together
1/4 cup cold water
2 heaping tablespoons cornstarch OR
5 tablespoons flour
Mix well, then remove sugar/berry syrup from heat and add thickening.
Return to heat and cook for about 2 minutes or until thick.
Remove from heat and add 3 cups fresh blueberries.
Cool, then add to baked pie shell.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Little Domestic Diva: Peanut Butter Cookies

We recently tried a recipe for peanut butter cookies from dear friend Brit over at Living with 3 Boys (check our her awesome blog!). Cooking with E? Always a blast! The cookies? Yum!

Monday, February 15, 2010

There is no going back...

Many of you may remember the tough business decision I faced last year....after much prayerful consideration, last November, I turned in my notice to my biggest freelance PR client.

Today, I received a voice mail from the CEO of that very same business asking me to come back to work for them again.

The very thought makes my skin crawl.

I've known it 100 times and in hundreds of ways ever since I turned in my notice....but today confirmed it....I made the right decision for me and the right decision for my family.

Even when Mr. Big CEO came "crawling back" to me, begging me to do work for them again....I knew I couldn't do it. Not for any amount of money. I'd rather have my time (and my sanity) as my pursue other freelance projects much more to my volunteer in my daughter's focus on my focus on my be myself.....and NOT to be the stressed-out PR consultant to Mr. Big CEO.

While it's good to know that I'm wanted and needed by companies like this (dare I say that they might miss me and my skills?) it's even better to know and be confident that I did the right thing. I made the right decision.

There is no going back.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love Day: sweet times with family

A quiet Valentine's day in our house....hubby and I went out to dinner Saturday night with a giftcard from my parents while they babysat E (thanks, Mom and Dad!), but Sunday itself was set aside for a quiet family, the Sunday newspaper, piddling at home, a nap for Mommy and E and a special dinner....perfection!

The scene was complete with one of E's favorite meals....grilled cheese, a banana, yogurt (which E affectionately calls "gurt", even though she knows the real name....I love this!) and milk in a cute, special Valentine's cup from her beloved preschool teacher...

I could not resist making these cute heart salad croutons. I saw the heart idea in our local paper, and remembered that sweet bloggy friend R made her own croutons a few weeks ago. R, I used your recipe, but added a few extra spices (we like things zippy around here...) YUM! I'd made something similar a long time ago, but forgot how yummy and easy this is. And who doesn't have stale bread laying around? This is a great way to use it...

And, we had one of our favorite easy meals
which uses a cheese soup and sour cream sauce
served over chicken and rice to create luscious yumminess...

Made this yummy pb and chocolate pie
from this magazine - so good and so easy!

A fun, yummy family celebration of love!

(The terms "love week" and "love day" are lovingly
and blatantly swiped from my very creative friend Kim...)

Bloggy friend giveaway

My bloggy and in-real-life friend Brit has a great giveaway going on over at her blog Living with Three Boys of Our Own....Mommies, you don't want to miss this! Check it out!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Love week: More snow scenes

One of our favorite parts about this week's snowy display was the way the snow turned the trees into lacy wonderful-ness. Enjoy some of the pics we snapped in our neighborhood and around town!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Love week: Snow day!

Our area received record snowfall Thursday into Friday. This is all beautiful and wonderful until your power goes out for 12 hours....thank heaven's for a gas-powered fireplace and a patient daughter who thought the entire thing was great fun! We had fun building snowmen, making snow angels, throwing snowballs at our fence and so much more! E didn't like the taste of snow ("It's cold, Mommy, and tastes like nothing....") but she thought it was great fun to play in. She asked if we could do this again next weekend. Considering this event was rather record-breaking I doubt it. And my Texan heart has had enough cold and snow....for now!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Love week: School Valentine's Party

E had such a fun time at her "decorate your own cookie party" at school on Thursday! The only problem was, she was so hungry, she opted to eat her cookie before even applying any yummy frosting or tasty candies....silly girl! She also adored "getting mail" in her little Valentine box. Such a fun day! And we were able to get the party in before the snowy weather blanketed our area!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Love week: Gettin' ready...

E's class Valentine's party...

to make treat bag tags and more...

Had one very excited
red-and-pink-decked-out "Star Student"
ready to go to school on Tuesday...

Fun week....with more fun to come!
Stay tuned for pics of
Thursday's Valentine's party!