We’ve been enjoying the humdrum of normal life these past few weeks. Thankfully, for the past month or so, we have all be relatively healthy despite all the many colds and flu’s going around.

Lucas is becoming such a big boy, so quickly. I blink and he’s learned something new. This past week, I even started looking into registering him for preschool. Seriously, how can my baby be almost ready for preschool?? What scares me even more is that in a year and a half, he’ll be head to school. Real school. On a bus. I think my heart is already breaking a tiny bit. He talks daily about when he’s older and gets to ride on a bus like Aunty Tay. Lucas loves learning and is really starting to grasp and enjoy Story hour on Tuesday mornings. Before he had very little to say about his morning there, besides how excited he was about the picture he coloured and the candy Mrs Mya and Mrs Grace gave him. Now, he is really starting to talk about what the Bible Story was, what new songs they learned, and of course, all his friends! I wish I could be a fly on the wall and see how interacts without Mommy around. He seems to really enjoy it. With his new love of his friends, comes constant requests to invite kids over, or to go to their house. I love seeing my sweet boy being so social, especially because he used to be so shy.

Caleb, oh Caleb. This kid is a serious handful. He has a zest for life that keeps me running in circles. I love love love this boy to pieces, but he sure does make me pull my hair out some days. Everyday his is learning new words, and finding was to communicate. Early this week he came running to me and said “Mama, help!” I followed him and found one of his toys stuck out of reach. I was so excited to see him communicating so well. He is also very stubborn. If he doesn’t get what he wants, how he wants, when he wants, he will throw himself on the floor and kick his legs and cry. As soon as I turn my back, he gets up and pretends like nothing had happened. Caleb loves books, especially the type of books with real life pictures of trucks, animals, objects. He loves it when we say “Where is the shark?”, his eyes quickly scan the page and he finds and points to the shark. As busy as this boy is, he is sure a softy. He still loves to cuddle on my shoulder at bedtime and gives the sweetest hugs and kisses. He is also becoming very aware of his surroundings and gets frightened quite easily. While taking a walk with Oma a few weeks ago, we stopped to watch a dump truck and digger. He LOVED it, until the dump truck starting moving. He freaked and clung to me. I think he realized how big a dump truck is, and how small he is. He is also not a fan of strangers, specifically gentleman. The other day while shopping, a sweet older gentlemen smiled at him, and he burst into tears “Mama, mama!” he cried. Poor boy!

The boys are getting really good at playing, which is freeing up some of my time to get back into the kitchen. My monthly meal plans are going great, and I have the chance to throw in a few new recipes to try. So far the results have been great. Annie’s Eats is still one of my favourite food blogs and I have yet to find a recipe on her site that we don’t LOVE. The latest one I tried was her Veggie Fried Rice with her Crispy Baked Chicken. Mmmm, so yummy!! Another huge hit was from a new blog I found through Pinterest, Lauren’s Latest. Caleb gobbled up these super easy, super yummy, No-Bake Chocolate Chip Granola Bars. I will definitely be making them again.

I also found myself with 5 very ripe avocado’s on my hands. I received a salad dressing recipe from my sister, and I hunted down a very simple guacamole recipe that we devoured by the bowl full.

Avocado Dressing
1 ripe avocado
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Throw everything into your blender or magic bullet, blend until smooth. Voila, a delicious (and relatively healthy) dressing. I served this over a spinach salad with bacon, cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, and croutons. And even my spinach hating husband LOVED it. I also love the idea of making my own dressings. My kids LOVE to dip things, and this was the perfect dipping consistency and would work well with carrots or cucumbers.

Simply Guacamole
2 ripe avocados
1/4 cup medium salsa
1/4 tsp garlic salt/powder
1/4-1/2 tsp minced garlic
S&P to taste

Throw everything into a blender or magic bullet and blend until everything is incorporated. Or to use less dishes and a chunkier version, mash everything together with a fork. Serve with tortilla chips. We had this for lunch today, and Caleb was licking huge amounts straight off his chip! Yum!
Enjoy the rest of your weekends!

Advertisements

I originally wanted to post this on Harold’s birthday yesterday, but planned on sharing a new recipe at the same time. I just couldn’t share until I had actually made and served this dish, and can tell you in advance it got a two thumbs up.

First off, I’m wishing my dear husband a very happy 27th birthday! He’s such a great man who blesses my life every single day. He is so loving, kind, compassionate, understanding, funny, and exceptionally helpful. I hope that he had a great day, and I’m looking forward to celebrating many more in the future.

My man, is a pasta man. He isn’t a picky eater at all, and 99% happily eats whatever I make from mac n’ cheese from a box, to gourmet pastas. When we first started dating, more often than not he ordered pasta while dining out. Since we’ve been married, he more often chooses a hamburger. I’d like to think he feels that restaurant pasta just can’t measure up to his wife’s amazing cooking!! (Haha, pat on my back!) This dish is a chart topper.

This recipe comes from The Pioneer Woman’s blog. I follow 10+ food blogs online and absolutely love perusing their websites and tagging recipes that I hope to try in the future. I had heard GREAT things about this blog, but had yet tried to make any of her recipes. More often than not I was missing one, two, or many of the ingredients. However, when planning Harold’s birthday meal, this was my first stop! I knew I could find something that would knock Harold’s socks off.

Cajun Chicken Pasta

  • 3 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Cubes
  • 3 teaspoons Cajun Spice Mix, More To Taste
  • 1 pound Fettuccine
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Green Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced
  • 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced
  • ½ whole Large Red Onion, Sliced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 4 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
  • 2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • ½ cups White Wine
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • Cayenne Pepper To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • Salt To Taste
  • Chopped Fresh Parsley, To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain when pasta is still al dente; do not overcook!

Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun spice over chicken pieces. Toss around to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet over high heat. Add half the chicken in a single layer; do not stir. Allow chicken to brown on one side, about 1 minute. Flip to the other side and cook an additional minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a clean plate.

Repeat with remaining chicken. Remove chicken, leaving pan on high heat.

Add remaining olive oil and butter. When heated, add peppers, onions, and garlic. Sprinkle on remaining Cajun spice, and add salt if needed. Cook over very high heat for 1 minute, stirring gently and trying to get the vegetables as dark/black as possible. Add tomatoes and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove all vegetables from the pan.

With the pan over high heat, pour in the wine and chicken broth. Cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Reduce heat to medium-low and pour in cream, stirring/whisking constantly. Cook sauce over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until cream starts to thicken the mixture. Taste and add freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, and/or salt to taste. Sauce should be spicy!

Finally, add chicken and vegetables to sauce, making sure to include all the juices that have drained onto the plate. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until mixture is bubbly and hot. Add drained fettuccine and toss to combine.

Top with chopped fresh parsley and chow down!
Recipe from: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/04/cajun-chicken-pasta/

Comfort food is where it’s at.

What is with this rain…seriously 80mm in two days! CRAZY. The snow is blocking our neighbours driveway from draining into the storm drain and it is completely flooded. Bleh!

These two dishes are guaranteed to warm you to the core. They are creamy, and yummy, and perfect for these yucky winter days. These two recipes are from two of my best girls from high school, Rianne and Lynette. I still can’t believe we have become stay-at-home Mom’s: cooking, cleaning and taking care of our babes from our journalism and volleyball days.

Both dishes are relatively easy, and quick to prepare. They do require a bit of time in the oven, but your kitchen will be so warm, and smell so yummy.

Chicken Pot Pie
3/4 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1/2 cup peas or corn (or both :))
3 cups cooked chicken
3/4 cup chicken broth/stock
1 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup boiling water
3 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. curry (or more to taste)
Pie crusts–store-bought or homemade (I use the same recipe as I do for apple pie)

Cook first 3 veggies 5-6 minutes.
Melt butter and saute onion. Add flour and seasonings. Add stock, cream and water. Boil until thick and smooth. Add veggies and chicken.
Put bottom crust in pie plate. Pour pot pie mixture in and cover with another pie pastry.
Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, then 350 for 20-25 minutes.
This next recipe is so creamy and so delish. This is just the base recipe, but the sky is the limit on additions you can do. I made this dish last night and added some garlic seasoning,  1/4 cup cream cheese, and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese – SO GOOD. This is a perfect side along some slow roasted in the slow cooker…chicken…roast…ribs. Mmm.

Scalloped Potato’s
6 medium potatoes
1 large onion
4 tbsp. butter or margarine
4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 c. milk

Preheat oven to 350 F. In medium saucepan melt butter. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Add milk. Stir constantly until boiling; remove from heat.
Peel potatoes and slice thinly. Peel onion and chop, or if you prefer, slice thinly and separate into rings.
Layer half of potatoes and onions in 2 L casserole dish. Pour half the sauce over. Layer rest of potatoes and onions on top. Cover with rest of the sauce. Bake covered for 50 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Serves 6.

Enjoy!