Sunday, October 9, 2011

Southwest Stew

I wanted to post this dinner, because I was pretty happy with the ease of the product and the yummy fact of the dinner. A friend of mine hosted a Wildtree party a few weeks ago and since I was out of state I ordered a couple random items from the website, including the Southwest Stew. I had no idea, at that point, that the products were made of all natural ingredients and sans all the crazy fillers. This makes me ubber happy... hmm maybe ubber is going to be the word of the week again this week... Anyways I was impressed with how good this was with so little effort and since the majority of our meals are cooked from the freezer I love that we were able to freeze half for a later date!

Basically this is a fancy name for chili and that's what it was. The only variations I took from the directions on the box are below, otherwise it was as directed.

  1. I mixed 1lb lean ground beef with 1lb ground turkey for the 2lbs of meat.
  2. The kidney beans were put on top from the beginning. I can't remember to add beans an hour before it is completed. 

Ingredients ready
Ground Beef & Turkey 
Think he'll notice?
Dinner 2
Ran out of freezer bags, so must vacuum pack.

Let the cooking begin!

Cooked and ready to eat!

Dinner is served!

PS. In my opinion, this is too spicy for most children

Friday, September 30, 2011

Chicken Spaghetti

We just had Chicken Spaghetti from the Pioneer Woman and it was awesome! I made two of them my last bulk cooking day and it was a perfect freezer meal.

I've read The Pioneer Woman for years, but this was the first recipe I've actually used. It was cheap, easy and the casserole dish was was scraped clean (very good sign).

Recipe: Chicken Spaghetti

Prep Time: 30 Minutes | Cook Time: 45 Minutes | Difficulty: Easy | Servings: 8


2 cups Cooked Chicken
3 cups Dry Spaghetti, Broken Into Two Inch Pieces
2 cans Cream Of Mushroom Soup
2 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup Finely Diced Green Pepper
1/4 cup Finely Diced Onion
1 jar (4 Ounce) Diced Pimentos, Drained
2 cups Reserved Chicken Broth From Pot
1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1/8 teaspoon (to 1/4 Teaspoon) Cayenne Pepper
Salt And Pepper, to taste
1 cup Additional Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese


Cook 1 cut up fryer and pick out the meat to make two cups. Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar.

Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil).

A Few of My Favorite Things

This week doing normal things I kept thinging "I love this". Since this kept happening I figured I'd make note of some of them. I love:

-my magic bullet. It grids my coffee beans then goes directly into make a frothy latte.
-my super awesome Kreuig coffee maker, such yummy goodness without throwing half down the drain.
-the DIY network. I just wish I could afford to do all the projects. Some people by clothes, I buy crafty goodness.
-my Tupperware can opener. Have no idea why the lid remover is so awesome to me, but it is. Plus no sharp edges for little fingers.
-baby swing and bouncers. What did they do without these? Hours of entertainment for mom, dad and tot.
-spray tans. Look good, feel good without damage. (Yes I do them)
-my Miche bag. It's huge and can fit everything for brookie, jackman and mommy.
- my sewing machine. It is cursed at more than anything else in my life, but it keeps trucking along.
-gorilla glue. Nuff said.
-X Factor. This is pretty funny because I typically dislike reality/talent tv with a passion (ok maybe Teen Mom is a guilty pleasure but that's because its such a train wreck).
-browser bookmarks. I used to print out everything I found online, just to never be able to find it again.
-YouTube and WiFi can entertain a 3 yr old perfectly while waiting.
-the good ol crockpot. Especially when coming home and its been cooking all day.

That's some of what I love right now. I'll write them down next time so I don't forget.

Happy loving

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cloth Diaper Craziness

Laundry Day
When I tell people that I cloth lil yank they usually look at me like I'm speaking another language. They think it's even stranger when I tell them I actually like it. I think that's the thing with cloth though, either you love it or you don't, but even those that say they don't I think they just didn't really give it a chance. The other misconception is that I'm a tree-hugger. Umm no. While I try to do my part in creating a greener world, there are still many things I could do. Actually I started CDing because #1 many of them are super cute, #2 Momma's got save some money and #3 there is a huge reduction in waste. Who knew there was an entire CDing language with initials flying around EVERYWHERE. There are some great informational blogs on CDing with awesome acronym decoding, this is the site that really helped me get started.

This is my first post on cloth diapering, but not the last. Here's what we have and what I think of each:

Flip Hybrid Diaper System (both snap and hook & loop)

These are my favorite! We have a bunch of the flip inserts, bought both new and at and and they are probably my favorite. I also used prefolds (I prefer Indian to Chinese), but while I have 6 of the organic inserts I'm not really crazy about them. They seem nice and are pretty soft, but they just don't suck it up that well. We also use the disposable inserts when heading out. I'm not completely sold on them, because she has had 2 major blowouts with the disposables though she blowouts out disposable diapers nearly every time she wears them.

The Flip covers have fit since lil yank was about 3 weeks old and she was a month early. Plus they are one-size, which is a major selling point for me. We have 5 different colors for a total of 8 Flip covers, 6 organic inserts and 15 inserts, I think.

What I like best about the Flip is they hold it in so well! Unlike most diaper covers, there are tucks on the front and back so no pee is sneaking out. THIS MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE! (see below) Plus they are very trim, she can wear her regular clothes over them without looking like she has a bear belly.


This is the Flip's red-headed step-child, literally. Both diaper covers are made by Cotton Babies and they look alike, but you can feel the difference! Econobum is WAY thinner and there are no tucks. It's still a good diaper cover, and one-sized, especially for the price. This is the answer if the initial cost is holding you back!

Cutey Baby

Remember I was talking about cloth diapers being cute? This is what I'm talking about. Just because it holds poop, it doesn't have to look like it! These diapers are adorable, BUT...she weighs 13.5 lbs and they are still a bit big. While the website doesn't exactly say they are one-size, there aren't actual sizes to make you think otherwise. These are AIOs and they are the AIOs I like the best, but I haven't really tried that many because of their cost.

One main draw to these besides the aesthetics is the ease. The insert is connected and just comes right out in the wash, which is a huge +! The scratchy side of the velcro is removable for washing, but I'm not really sold on this. It makes the velcro bulkier because instead of 2 pieces of velcro, there are 4 (but 2 are sewn together) and I don't really have a problem with this with any of my other diapers. The box set is really neat and so very practical. There are 6 AIO diapers, 2 wet/dry bags, rolls of liners and extra velcro.

YOYOO Diaper Cover
More of the same with the YoYoos (the tucks are again the only think really missing). I really like the ease of the diaper covers. I like that if it's just pee, the cover can be used again. Since lil yank is a girl, she doesn't like being wet and I can't imagine the laundry I'd be doing without the cover feature.


I'm being real honest here. I know everyone is crazy about Kushies, but I'm not. I just don't like them. Maybe it's because she's still on the lower end of the weight scale for the size, but they leak... AS SOON AS I PUT THEM ON HER. Do you know how frustrating that is? Maybe I have a bad batch. Whatever the reason, the ones I have, I do not like. We have the 5 infant pack of the Ultra Washable.

Proraps Classic Diaper Cover

These are a basic diaper cover, again no tucks so the risk of leaks is greater and they are sized, but they are affordable. And that about covers it.

Babyland & Coolababy

These diapers are all over ebay. They can be purchased individually or as a package. I'm not real into the stuffing of pocket diapers, just because of the stuffing part. Personally I think it's a pain in the bootie, but I have a friend that now has her son in pockets only. These come straight from China, if that affects your buying decision, so also expect delays. I find that the odor when urine hits the PUL is stinkier with these diapers than with anything else we own.

I make her soakers (yes they will be for sell soon) and these with an insert and diaper cover are what she wears at night.  Wipes were then the next natural switch for me. When you are putting cloth diapers in your pail you really don't want to me hunting through it looking for disposable wipes and if you wash them, they turn into fluff, tangled mess. This makes the switch a fairly easy one.

Cloth diapering has been a real eye opener financially. B is nearly 5 months old and we have had 3 Jumbo packages of newborn diapers, as well as a box of Kirkland diapers. The box is still over half full. I think that's pretty incredible. She doesn't stink, her room doesn't stink and I don't swirl them in the toilet. I soak them in the washer, prewash, then wash and hang. Not bad my friend, not bad.

Just a note - These are purely my opinions!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Craft Bummer

I told myself all day that all I wanted to do during "craft time", aka after the kids are in bed, was bows. All I wanted to do was make a ton of bows, then tomorrow stack and finish them. So I think I forced the issue tonight. My bows look like crap and that makes me bummed!

Today, I got some new fabric that I'm going to make lil yank dresses with matching bibs for the fall and I think that's where my head was. Ughhh. Bows aren't hard, but you do have to be a little focused. So now they are ucky and I have to find something to do with the 30 or so that were made today.

Okay, I feel better now. Just needed to get that out. Now to sit in my big comfy chair watch 3 back episodes of Vampire Diaries and finish crocheting my new owl hat, that I can do without a brain.

This weekend I will be decorating for Halloween, winterizing the yard, sanding the entry bench (tutorial to come) and start the baby's dresses. Then thrity-one party on Monday! It's going to be a busy one!

Super Yummy Garlic Honey Meatballs

Looking for something simple the whole family is sure to love? This is it! Big Yank eats them up as fast as his shrimp. I love taking this to new moms, because she can just pop'em in her mouth with the baby in tow, plus it's always a dad favorite. The original recipe is here and it's great, but I like to make just a couple changes, because  I love the sauce and there's just not enough of it in the original recipe.

When I make this I cook the 2 pounds of meat, but I use half for this recipe and I freeze the 2nd pound of meatballs for spaghetti or a different meal later.


  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 5 tablespoons soy sauce


  1. In a large bowl combine eggs and milk. Add the bread crumbs, onion and salt. Crumble beef and turkey over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-in. balls. Place in two greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pans. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, saute garlic in butter until tender. Stir in the ketchup, honey and soy sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain meatballs; plate. 
  3. Serve with rice, meatballs and topped with a ton of sauce. YUM

 Happy Cooking!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Blog Hop

Learning more about blogging every day. Who knew there was more to do on a blog than just posting family pics... Taking part in my first blog hop this weekend and very anxious to see what happens. We shall see!

Here's a pic from the lil yank today. Sorry for the blur, she was swinging. OMG I think she is SO adorable (good thing since I made her)!