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Friday, May 31, 2013

Kids in the Kitchen Cookbook Review

I was sent this great cookbook from Time for Kids: Kids in the Kitchen Cookbook.  Here are a few things great about this cookbook:

1. It has amazing pictures!  I love cookbook with photos!  It's very hard for me to tell if I want to make, let alone eat a new recipe if I have no idea what it will look like.
2. The recipes are indeed kid-friendly.  There are several recipes my kids and I are excited about trying!  And like the cookbook says some of them are actually recipes kids could make!  My kiddos are still a little small for a majority of the recipes but not this one!  On the Go Munchies Mix in the snack section is on our list to try out!

3. There is a ton of extra information in the cookbook besides the recipes that kids will enjoy.  Most of the recipes have a "feast on this" section that gives interesting facts about the foods used in the recipe or the country of origin for the dish.  There is a glossary of terms, a section on cooking basic skills and tools, and information on making healthy, smart food choices.

This would be a great cookbook to use as part of a homeschool curriculum.  My family would have to change some ingredients for allergies but the basic concepts of the recipes are adaptable.

We are looking forward to trying the munchies mix and this innovative take on grilled cheese using provolone and mozzarella sometime really soon...

But we started by trying out Wheel in the Sky Tortilla Pie...

  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup fresh salsa
  • 1 cup black-bean dip 
  • 4 (8-inch) multigrain flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese
  • cooking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 450
  2. Combine chicken and salsa in medium bowl
  3. Arrange tortillas across a work surface.  Spread 1/4 cup black-bean dip over each tortilla.
  4. Top tortillas evenly with chicken mixture
  5. Coat a 9-inch spring form pan with cooking spray.  Stack tortillas in bottom of pan
  6. Bake in over for 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated and cheese melts
  7. Remove sides of pan.  Cut pie into 4 wedges. Serve immediately.

We thought the stacked tortilla pie idea sounded amazing but of course 2 out of 4 of us are allergic to chicken so we made a few changes...

While we didn't make the exact recipe, it was a great jumping off point!  I love cookbooks that have great recipes but also inspire my own creations!  We made a beef version with corn, cheese, tomatoes and corn tortillas (my son's allergic to flour tortillas)!  It was excellent!  I highly recommend this cookbook full of kid-friendly innovative recipes! 

I'll be taking an extended vacation from the blog to go on vacation, renew my vows with my hubby and get started with our homeschooling journey... check back for new posts in a few months after I recharge my batteries and get a handle on our new homeschooling lifestyle! :-)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mac N' Cheese to the Rescue Review and Giveaway

Mac n cheese is a staple pantry item around here.  I'd love to blame that on my kids, but the truth is, I have had a long standing love affair with mac n cheese myself!  My favorite kind of mac n cheese growing up was this brand called Leonardo's Macaroni and Cheddar.  My parents bought it at Sam's Club, and I remember at first I was skeptical that this non-Kraft mac n cheese would be a good, but really I think it's soooooo much better!  I'm sure my parents were trying to pinch a few pennies buying it.  Boy, did they luck out huh?  I haven't seen it in any stores for a log time but I just Googled it and you can buy it right here at this link!  I may just have to do that! Ahhh!  The power of the internet!

As you can see, I LOVE mac n cheese so, when I got the chance to review with new cookbook Mac N Cheese to the Rescue by Kristen Kuchar I couldn't have been more thrilled!

The cookbook is full of 101 recipes that use leftover or box mac n cheese.  They take a regular pantry item like mac n cheese, which is awesome all on it's own, and give it a fresh spin and added flavor!

The first recipe we tried was Amore Mac!  It was very simple and easy to make!  You probably have all the ingredients in your pantry or fridge already!

You can see the page is doggy-eared.  My husband went through and picked out all the recipe he wanted to try.  Sounds like mac n cheese with a facelift will be a weekly menu item for awhile for us! 

We took the Amore Mac to a church pot luck and there wasn't much to bring home!  I barely got a taste of it but it was surprisingly delicious for such a simple meal.  The great thing about this recipe in particular is that you could use any kind of jarred marinara to add a little something extra to the dish.  Personally, I think a sauce packed with mushrooms would be amazing!  Doesn't all that cheese have you drooling?!

You could win your very own copy of this inspiring cookbook!  Check out the Rafflecopter link below!

Here are a few more recipes from this cookbook from other blogger friends of mine:
Jalapeno Mac Corn Bread
Southern Fried Chicken Mac N Cheese
Carolina Pulled Pork
 Little Island Studios

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post.  I received a copy of this cookbook free of charge but all opinions are mine. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mommy Confessions: Mother's Day Edition

Mother's Day is Sunday! Wow!  The last couple of weeks have gone by really fast!  Actually, the last year has gone by really fast!!!  This June it will have been a year since I became a stay at home mom.  Some of you might remember that last August I wrote a post about leaving the working mom world and becoming a stay at home mom. You can click the link to read that post.  I had only been a SAHM for about 2 months at the time and I included this top ten things I has learned so far.  Here is it to recap:
10.  Sneaking into the room where children and screaming at each other is much more effective than yelling "quit fighting!"
9. A schedule and a plan are necessary for sanity but truly must be flexible
8. It seems safer to stay home all day but getting out is needed for everyone not just mommy
7. I have more time to do things I want to do than when I was working 
6. The things I want to do have changed A LOT
5. Being needed by someone is really nice!  Even if they don't always say thank you
4. I had forgotten how to have fun
3. I really didn't know my kids as well as I thought
2. Time for stress relief and exercise is even more important than when I was working.  Sometimes even Mommies need a time-out!
and drum roll please...
1. I LOVE being with my kids!  Sometimes I get really mad at them and sometimes I want to squeeze them so tight because they make me so proud.  Every moment is equally as important and an amazing blessing!
All of these are still true almost a year later.  I am still figuring out how to do all of this and I have learned some new things.  Some of them are surprising even to me and some of them are just plain funny!
10. I miss my kid when he's at school.  In fact, we've decided to homeschool next year, not just because I miss him, of course.  There are LOTS of reasons but what it boils down to is that we have decided it's the right thing for our family.  I don't believe it's right for every family or that it will for sure be the right thing for ours down the road but it's right for now.  In case you need more of an explanation than that, we resonate with a lot of the thoughts in this article,

9. I've learned I say no A LOT and I'm trying to say yes a little more.

8. I am very rarely in pictures!  Read here for how I plan to change that.
7. Not working has caused parts of my brain to turn to mush!  I'm working to change that.  Read more about that here.
5. I recently got a pedometer.  I thought I was more active staying at home but um... not really!  Working on getting off the couch and watching less Dora the Explorer and Doc McStuffins.  My daughter says my new job is "chalk drawer."

4. There are apparently infinite ways to arrange and rearrange furniture in a room.  I used to get the itch to rearrange every six months or so but with being home all the time, I feel the need to reorganize much more often!  Good news is that my house is getting really organized!
 6. I now have a secret mom only chocolate stash! I am IN LOVE with pretzel M&Ms.  Shhh! Don't tell my husband.
3. I say some REALLY bizarre (and hilarious) things to my kids.  Of course I have also learned that kids do some super bizarre things... check that out here.
2. I have a lot more time to make homemade treats for my kids.  I am addicted to this cookie batter recipe from Sally's Baking Addition!  It's for triple chocolate chip cookies but I have been using all different kinds of chips, M&Ms etc!  Good thing I'm on a new plan for exercise with all these cookies I've been baking!

And # 1. Apparently, I wear mom jeans... Whatever, I love my Old Navy Jeans!  They fit me and my pocketbook. HA HA HA!

Hope you all have a wonderful Mother's Day!

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