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Friday, June 13, 2014

Father's Day Week Recipes (Hubby's Choice!)

I'm trying out some new recipes this week.. and bringing back a few that I haven't made in awhile! I'm pretty excited about these finds (thank you Pinterest) and I thought I would share them with you all!

And since it's Father's Day weekend... we made it Father's Day week! Hubby requested lots of chicken this week, so chicken it is! Haha! :) We are making everything he wants for dinner... every day! :) I hope you all enjoy if you are going to be making the same things! :)

Saturday we are having a Father's Day picnic and we are bringing Fiesta Ranch Dip. You can click that for the link or you can view the ingredients/instructions below :)

Ingredients:
    1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch Original Salad Dressing and Seasoning Mix
    16 oz sour cream
    10 ounce can Rotel Original (drain excess liquid)
    11 oz can of Mexicorn (drained)
    3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients in a medium size bowl.  Chill in fridge for 1 hour.  Serve with your favorite tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Sunday is obviously Father's Day and Ethan requested Baked Macaroni and Cheese (I will try and do my sister-in-law justice.. she makes the best) and brats! Here's the recipe I located for Baked Macaroni and Cheese.

What you need:
2 cups elbow macaroni or other similar sized pasta
5 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
8 ounces velveeta, cut into small cubes
1 cup shredded cheddar plus 1/2 cup for topping
1 cup shredded swiss
salt and pepper as desired
butter for greasing baking pan
Directions:
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Rinse and drain.
Grease a 9x13 glass baking dish.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions, paprika, salt and pepper and saute for 5-7 minutes or until onion is tender. Add flour, stir until it's combined into a paste and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add milk and heat until sauce begins to thicken, stirring often. Stir in the velveeta, 1 cup cheddar and swiss and remove from heat once cheeses are melted.
Pour macaroni and cheese sauce in the baking dish. Stir to combine. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheddar evenly over the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until top starts browning.

Monday we are going to have Chicken Pot Pie (thank you Pilsbury!)

Ingredients
Crust
1 box Pillsbury™ refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
Filling
2cups diced cooked chicken
2cups Green Giant™ Frozen Mixed Vegetables, thawed
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1(12-oz.) jar roasted chicken gravy

Heat oven to 400°F. Soften pie crust as directed on package. Remove 1 crust from pouch; unfold crust. Place crust in bottom and up sides of 1-quart casserole. In medium saucepan, combine all filling ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Pour into crust-lined casserole. Remove second crust from pouch; unfold crust. With small cookie cutter or sharp knife, cut holes in crust. Top casserole with crust; seal edges with fork or flute, trimming edges if necessary. Bake at 400°F. for 20 to 30 minutes or until filling is bubbly and crust is golden brown. If necessary, cover edge of crust with strips of foil after 15 to 20 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning.

And since it's the letter 'F' week for the girls, we are making dessert... Fruit Loop Bars!

6 tablespoons margarine (works much better than butter for this recipe)
16 ounces mini marshmallows
12 cups Fruit Loops

Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper and spray with a non-stick spray.
Melt margarine in a large pot over medium heat.  Add marshmallow and stir until melted and smooth.  Remove from heat.  (Don’t over heat the marshmallows. It can cause the cereal to become soggy)  Add Fruit Loops and stir until evenly coated with marshmallow.  Press into pan using greased parchment paper.  Chill until set. Cut into yummy bars.

Tuesday we are going to have Monterey Chicken.

Ingredients:
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed
Salt and pepper
1 cup barbecue sauce (our favorite is Famous Dave's brand, but any kind would work)
10 pieces bacon, cooked
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese and cheddar cheese mix, shredded
Fresh diced tomatoes
Diced green onions

Pound the chicken breasts so that they flat (this will also help make the chicken very tender). Season with salt and pepper.
Cook the chicken over an outdoor grill over medium high heat; 6-7 minutes per side or until fully cooked. If you don't have an outdoor grill, you could easily cook it over an indoor grill or in a skillet on the stove top that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
After the chicken is finished cooking, transfer the chicken breasts to a large baking sheet covered in aluminum foil. Spread 2-3 tablespoons of barbecue sauce over each chicken breast. Top each chicken breast with 2 slices of bacon and and a handful of the shredded cheese mix. Place the baking sheet in an oven broiler (or microwave long enough to melt the cheese). Top with diced tomatoes and green onions. Serve immediately.

Wednesday we are having homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. We had some at Bob Evans over the weekend and Ethan requested we have some at home!

Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup adapted from Pink Lady
1 large Onion -- sliced
2 Carrot -- sliced
2 Celery stalks -- sliced
4 ounces Mushrooms
2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Thyme
1 tablespoon Parsley
10 ounces Peas -- frozen
3 Chicken breasts
5 cups - Water
3 cups Noodles

Directions:  Place all ingredients in crockpot, except noodles, in order listed. Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours (HIGH 4 hours). Add noodles. Cook on HIGH another 1/2 to one hour until noodles are cooked

Modifications:
-I used chicken broth.
-I did not add mushrooms.
-I used whole grain egg noodles.

Thursday, I am planning on cooking Chicken Ceasar Wraps with baked chips. Thought we would have something cold since we've been having lots of warm dinners this week.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Caesar salad dressing
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 package (8oz) cream cheese, softened (we used low-fat and it tasted fine!)
2-3 cups Romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
1/2 large red pepper, diced
1 can sliced olives
5 tortillas (regular, whole wheat, or flavored are all good! I used Garlic Spinach Herb wraps)
3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed/shredded
Shredded cheese
Dash of garlic salt

Directions:
Combine Caesar dressing, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, garlic, and pepper. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add 1/2 of dressing mix to cream cheese and mix well; set aside. Stir in red pepper, olives, and chicken into remaining half of dressing mix (not the cream cheese mixture) and sprinkle a dash of garlic salt on top (if desired- it depends on what you like). Spread 1/4 cup cream cheese mixture on each tortilla, spoon chicken mixture over it, then top with Romaine lettuce and shredded cheese. Wrap it up and enjoy!


And Friday is going to be another request by the hubby! Chicken Marsala Tetrazzini.

Ingredients: 1 (8-oz.) package vermicelli, 1 (8-oz.) package sliced fresh mushrooms, 3 cups chopped cooked chicken, 1 cup frozen baby English peas, thawed, 1 (10 3/4-oz.) can reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup, 1 (10-oz.) container refrigerated light Alfredo sauce, 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1 cup (4-oz.) shredded Parmesan cheese, 3 ounces finely chopped prosciutto, 1/4 cup Marsala


    1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add mushrooms and prosciutto, and sauté 5 minutes.
    2. Stir together mushroom mixture, chicken, next 5 ingredients, and 1/2 cup cheese; stir in pasta. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
    3. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until bubbly.


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Letter 'F' Activities (June 16th-June 20th)

The Letter 'F' Activities (June 16th-20th)

Monday, June 16th- FRUIT LOOP BARS. We are going to make Fruit Loop Bars for a snack today. Recipe is HERE.

Tuesday, June 17th- Draw/Trace the letter 'F' and hang it on the fridge.

Wednesday, June 18th- Make FISHY faces. We will discuss how FISH starts with the letter F and we will have a blast learning how to make a FISHY face!

Thursday, June 19th- FRENCH TOAST. We are going to make FRENCH toast for breakfast and we are going to discuss how FRENCH TOAST starts with the letter 'F.' This should be a tasty treat for the girls and we should have a lot of fun making it together!

Friday, June 20th- We are going to go FISHING! 

Fantastic!


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Thursday, June 12, 2014

5 Months Pregnant (20 Weeks)

We are...

HALF WAY THERE!


Have I ever stated how much I LOVE maxi dresses?? It's all I wear right now.. LOVE it :) They are so comfy-- it's just wonderful :) 

We've been on vacation this week and I feel so refreshed :)

'BabyBump' says that baby is about 7-8" long and about 10-11 ounces. 

For some reason, I've been REALLY nauseous this week again? Like certain smells just take me down.. I'm not sure what's up! 

We only have 17-20 weeks left until we meet baby #3! That's only 119-140 days!!

I'm slightly freaking out because the only thing we have right now is a bag full of clothes. That's it. I have all girly stuff, folks! Poor fella. I feel so behind on getting things prepared for him! Hopefully I can kick it in to gear soon! 

And now for the weekly questions--
How far along? 20 weeks.
Total Weight Gain? 3 so far :)
Maternity Clothes? Just LOTS AND LOTS of maxi dresses!!
Stretch Marks? I have some from both pregnancies already!
Sleep: Rough! I have been dreaming A LOT!
Best Moment of This Week: Seeing baby boy KICK from the OUTSIDE! Vacationing with my family :)
Miss Anything? Just not being worried all of the time! I know that sounds horrible, but when you're pregnant, you're making sure you feel baby, making sure no one hits baby, making sure when you're sick, baby is still fine. I feel like a worry wart sometimes  :( I mean, I worry about my girls, but at least their outside of my belly and I can see them and know everything is okay.
Movement: Yes!
Food Cravings: Nothing really :/
Anything Make You Queasy or Sick? I've been very nauseous this week.. especially with smells!
Gender: BOY!!
Labor Signs: I'd sure hope not! :)
Symptoms: Nausea in the AM, peeing constantly, feeling movement :)
Belly Button In or Out? She's an innie!
Wedding rings on or off? On and sometimes off at night! My hands seem to swell then for some reason?
Happy or Moody this Week?  I've been happy this week!
Looking Forward To: Our doctor's appointment in 2 weeks :) I can't wait to hear his heartbeat!

Cheers to 20 weeks.. on to 21 weeks!!


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Letter E Activities (June 9th-June 13th)


Letter E Activities

We are going to be on vacation for a few days of 'E' week, so I tried to incorporate some fun stuff at our hotel with the letter 'E!' We'll see how it goes! :)

Monday, 6/9/2014: Take a picture with an ELEPHANT. Discuss how elephant begins with the letter E. Tayler loves saying the word elephant, so this should be a lot of fun for her  :)

Tuesday, 6/10/2014: EAT something new! We will discuss that EAT starts with the letter 'E' and we will try something new! This is mostly geared towards Tayler because she is extremely picky! And since we will be on vacation, it seems like the perfect opportunity!

Wednesday, 6/11/2014: Trace the letter 'E' (and learn to draw it on our own too!) and hang it on the fridge.

Thursday, 6/12/2014:  Today, we are going to point to our EARS and learn about how they work.

Friday, 6/13/2014: EYES. We are going to discuss the fact that EYES begin with the letter 'E' and we are going to draw EYES on a sheet of paper!

Exciting!

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Our D-Week Recap!

Letter 'D' Activities
Monday 6/2/2014: We are going to trace/draw the letter 'D' and hang it on the fridge. Tayler really likes doing this every week... Quinn just kind of hangs back and watches, haha :) 
 

 
Tuesday 6/3/2014: We are going to DRAW pictures for DADDY. We can discuss that DADDY starts with the letter 'D.' We can't wait to make him really pretty pictures that he can look at when he gets home from work :)
 




 
Wednesday 6/4/2014: June is DAIRY month (according to First School Preschool Activities.) So, we are going to make chocolate shakes and have some string cheese and enjoy those for DAIRY month. I want to talk to Tayler and Quinn about what DAIRY is. They both love cheese sticks and milk of course, so I think it will be a fun day for them!
 

 
Thursday 6/5/2014: We are going to play with 'DRUMS' (a.k.a bowls, pots, pans, spoons.) The girls love making noise, so I am sure they will really enjoy this! We will talk about how DRUMS start with the letter 'D!' 
 


 
Friday 6/6/2014: We are going to DIG in the DIRT. The girls will absolutely have a blast with this!! I'm sure Mommy will have a blast cleaning their clothes TOO LOL. I also plan on playing music so we can DANCE today too! 
 
 



Delightful!


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