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)!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Skunked Dog...Ewwww

We have the WORST luck with skunks. 3 years ago a skunk died under our porch. Do you know what happens when they die? All the smellies in their body are released, think skunk spray times 10. We had to move out for 3 weeks, all cloth items had to be washed about 5 times and fake jewelry, cheap metals had to be tossed.

So tonight we are getting the kids ready for bed and big yank goes "That's a stinky skunk". I thought he was talking about the baby's diapers because her pail wasn't ready yet, but no it was a skunk in the back yard spraying the dog.

If your dog gets sprayed, do not get messy with tomato juice and don't get the expensive enzyme treatments. We are currently on our 2nd treatment of the below solution and it's pretty much gone. The first took it almost all out, except his head.

Dog Channel home remedy

The most popular home remedy for de-skunking your dog is as follows:
1 quart 3 percent hydrogen peroxide
¼ cup baking soda
1 teaspoon dish detergent (I prefer Dawn)
Wet your smelly boy down and rub the mixture into his coat. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse thoroughly. If you have any of this solution left, discard it immediately because it becomes combustible when stored in a closed container.

Update: 2nd treatment completely knocked it out! Yay! He's not sleeping in my bed tonight, but he should be fine tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ready to Craft

The kids and I returned from a 2 week trip to the Dallas area today. This trip turned out to be way more exciting than originally anticipated, but it's still nice to be back home. What did we do in Texas? Let's list:

  1. Gramps' 90th birthday party
  2. Visit from BFF and family from Austin
  3. Meet the baby and pool party
  4. Other BFF and husband have beautiful baby girl
  5. Husband leaves after 1st week to return to work
  6. Can't find sewing supplies, so I decide to remove everything from mom's crazy garage and guest bedroom  to organize her. 
  7. Drive out to East Texas to visit Mamaw and Aunt & Uncle
Mom and I were supposed to just sew and craft the entire time, but since I couldn't find supplies we didn't get to that. BUT at least she is organized and can find everything now. Unfortunately that has not diminsed my NEED to craft in any way, but has at this point actually increased it. So I am not listing the projects I am ubber excited to get started on (in no particular order):
  • Bows, Bows and more Bows. We visited this sure cute resale shop/ baby boutique and I bought some bows for the baby and OMG I want her to wear them everyday. I have sold bows in the past, so getting going on that won't be a problem since I started tonight. 
  • Rag Rugs, Table Runners and Placemats. My Mamaw crocheted these while I was growing up and I've been itching to talk to her about them. This weekend I had the chance. The rug I am going to make for the living room will basically be a granny square or hexagon pattern, just need the fabric. Salvation army here I come!
  • Making a cute yet functional entry way. This one is close, but I just have to complete it. I have the old wooden toy box (sans old ucky paint) that will be the bench, paint and fabric for said bench just need the foam. Also waiting for fancy hooks (hobby lobby) and crown molding for coat rack and finally the "family nerve center" with mail spot, calendar and chalkboard. 
  • Flower clips. With alll these friends having baby girls, including myself, i need to get busy on this. Little yank looks absolutely adorable in a simple yet huge pink daisy on a headband, since she's bald. 
  • Pillowcase and a line dresses. This is totally a new obsession and I can't stop. I've already purchased some cute fabric and will begin the cutting process soon. 
  • Fleece soakers. Mom bought us the most adorable fleece fabric while we were back home and I can't wait to get that little clothed diaper a bit more fashionable. The pattern is complete on this one, just again need to do it. Do we sense a pattern here?
  • Little Yank's mobile. Oh wow is that baby growing everyday. I've been looking for a mobile since I was pregnant and still haven't found anything, but it's time for something. She is so interested in everything around her now, so girlfriend needs something to look at. I have decided to make a mobile from different coordination ribbons and acrylic crystals and beads. Also thinking of making these for the holidays in the entry. 
  • Fabric wreath. Lastly I will be decorating for Halloween this weekend and next, and with that comes wreaths. I wanted to try something different this year and my fabric wreaths will be it. I'm thinking of making one for each season and giving sets for Christmas presents. Yes, it's time to start thinking about that. 
So wow, that's quite the list. I'm also still making my denim bibs and fancy burb cloths, both of which are super cute. Now I just need to do some work in order to afford to complete all these projects and to do that I must sleep. Good night friends. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

the Purpose

I think I'm up for blogging again. The Big Yank's blog is still up here, but for the last year I was post just images and nothing informative, unless of course your name is Mimi. This blog will be different.

My hands and thoughts are everywhere right now; the Big Yank (Jackson) and :Little Yank (Brooklyn), starting Urbane Spa & Tan, my crafting that is currently focused on sewing, refinishing furniture, work, the Giant Yank (Tony), gardening, bulk cooking, cloth diapering and So yes, I thought since I have nothing better to do, I'll start a blog. Eventually though I will also like to move my photo invites and crafts under the Raisin' Yankee name.

There will be a lot of different things going on here from recipes and crafts to kids and reviews, so please be sure to use the labels to make navigation easier. And with that, away we go...

Final note... I will never be referred to as a Yank. I am and always will be the Texan.