Tuesday, October 14, 2014

automne 2014: Meal plan 10/13-10/19

I am ahead of the game this week (for once). I have next week's meals all planned out and they are fall/Halloween themed! I feel like a really organized blogger mommy that has cool, homemade surprises ready all month long. There are six days of meals because Friday or Saturday is going to be an eat out night. I haven't tried any of these recipes except for the grilled hamburgers & hot dogs so I don't have any reviews for them. Most of the recipes are from the October/November issue of Allrecipes Magazine and a few are from Relish which I got in my Sunday's paper.


Country Style Steak
Mashed Potatoes (I usually use this recipe)
Broccoli & Cheese Steamer (I like Green Giant's boxed ones)

Ultimate Chicken Fingers
Homemade Mac and Cheese
Corn Steamer

Calzone Snake
Texas Toast Dip'n Sticks (on sale at my local Farm Fresh this month)
Green Salad

Hamburgers & Hot Dogs
Corn (I like Green Giant's Frozen niblet corn 12 pack)
Parmesan Knots

Eat out Night

Saturday Brunch:
Baked Denver Omelet
Crunchy Apple & Grape Salad

Easy Brown Sugar Pork Roast
Apple Walnut Cranberry Salad
Sweet Cooked Apples
Apple & Twix Pie

None of these recipes are my own, nor am I paid for my opinions by any companies mentioned. Just my honest opinion. Please follow the links provided for original recipes. I am just a stay at home mom trying out delicious recipes by other super awesome cooks.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

été 2014: Broke Vaycay: Woodchuck Ciderbration

This past weekend, the Man of the House and I took a weekend excursion to Middlebury, Vermont for the Woodchuck Hard Cider Ciderbration.

Get this...I won that trip.

Free. Everything! Entering sweepstakes sure does pay off!

Day One: Travel Day

Our flight left on Friday from Norfolk International and we were supposed to have a connection in Philedelphia BUUUUTTTT due to some delay we circled the airport for about 15-20 minutes, missing our connection to Burlington by mere minutes. We were on standby for 12 hours in the Philadelphia airport. Waiting at gates with anticipation, hoping that some poor passengers didn't show up and we could take their spot. But alas, each and every flight was full or we were not close enough to the top of the priority list. Our replacement flight was confirmed for 8:55 pm.

Yes. P.M. What a tiring day in Philadelphia. We haunted Local Tavern in Terminal F for hours. Playing on their free iPads for hours like zombies. We tried different drinks (alcoholic and non).

I must say the outfit I chose for a few hours of flying was not a good one. It ended up being uncomfortable and I was freezing. The shirt was a little too big and it kept slipping all over, showing my bra, riding up, etc.

Lesson learned: Always expect a delay or layover. Comfy is key.

Shirt: H&M (thrifted)
Shorts: American Eagle Outfitters (Cut-off from jeans)
Cardigan: Mossimo/Target
Sandals: Mossimo/Target

We wandered from terminal to terminal, aimlessly. I can confidently say that I never want to do that again. Finally, we boarded our confirmed replacement flight at 8:55 p.m. We arrived in Burlington, VT sometime around 10:30 p.m.

From that time on, the vacation went awesomely. We hitched a ride with Middlebury Transit and rode the 45 minutes or so to the shire town of Middlebury.
Middlebury Inn 
Day Two: Morning Sightseeing

Plaid Shirt: Land's End (Thrifted)
Shorts: same American Eagle ones
Sandals: same Mossimo ones
Bag: unknown brand (Thrifted)

Day Two: Afternoon Ciderbration

I think our little weekend getaway was wonderful. On Day Three we just got up had some breakfast and caught our flight home. I wore a black jersey dress, my white cardi, and some black flip flops. Lesson seriously learned. 

The only thing missing. C-Bot. I really wish she could have been there. Next time! I am planning a weekend birthday trip to Williamsburg for all of us!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

été 2014: Meal Plan Monday...on Tuesday.

This week is a short week in the meal department. On Friday, man of the house and I are taking a weekend trip to Vermont! I wanted to make this post a Monday regular but I was so busy yesterday I missed out. But it will show up next Monday I promise!

Easy One Pan Ratatouille from the Mama Owl Blog
Fresh French Bread
Green Salad

Grilled Brats and Hot Dogs
Fresh Steamed Green Beans with Butter and Parmesan

Tuscan Pasta with Tomato Basil Cream from My recipes
Snowflake Rolls from Grocery Store
Pan-fried Squash from Ready Set Eat

Very Greek Grilled Chicken from Kalyn's Kitchen
Healthy Red Potato & Dill Salad from Table for Two
Southern Skillet Corn from Kevin and Amanda

I already made the ratatouille. It came out scrumptious! It was my first time eating and making this and it was so simple and delicious.

What I learned from making ratatouille:

1. Eggplant is good not yucky.
2. I can't wait to find more recipes for it.
3. French comfort food isn't fancy schmancy!
4. It also makes you learn things. (see all of the above)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

été 2014: Grilled Tuscan Chicken

This is totally a summertime dish. Easy, bright and lemony, kitchenless. My family loved the crispy, flavorful skin and tender, juicy meat. We used split chicken breasts because they are super cheap and we are hardcore budgeting. I'm sure any type of chicken will do, pretty much because this marinade is awesome.

Because cookbooks are expensive and must-have bestsellers are not in the budget right now, I am a frequent flyer to the library. I am there literally twice a week. It's sad. And nerdy.

On my holds list are always cookbooks. I found this little treasure in the brand spanking new cookbook by Debbie Mazar and her Tuscan husband Gabriele Corcos, Extra Virgin. Let's just say this cookbook is definitely on my wishlist. I found tons of great recipes. During my checkout I tried this one and it is now going to be a summertime staple.

I basically marinaded it. My man cooked it. We ate it. I love that!

Grilled Tuscan Chicken
Taken from Extra Virgin

2 small handfuls chopped rosemary
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
2 (3 1/2 lb. chickens), cut up (I used 2 packages of split chicken breasts)
3 large handfuls arugula (I used Organic Girl Super Greens)
Lemon, sliced for serving

Special equipment needed: 2 foil covered bricks (I did not use)

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Add the chopped rosemary, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to a large resealable plastic bag.

Oil the grill grates, remove the chicken from the marinade and place the chickens skin-side down on the hot grill rack.
Place 2 foil-covered bricks on top of the chicken to weigh it down. Grill 20 minutes, then remove the bricks and flip. Continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before carving.
Serve the chicken on a bed of arugula with lemon slices.

I served the chicken breasts with an organic spring salad mix and fresh mushrooms and plain old white rice.I love summertime for easy cooking. My kitchen is cool and there is WAY less clean up.
You can really taste the brightness of the lemon and of course the fresh rosemary just compliments that beautifully. Summer in a bite!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

été 2014: Coffee with a Canine

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to guest on Coffee With a Canine. It is a great blog that features owners and their fur babies. I was super excited to have the opportunity to put their cute little faces out there in the internet-sphere. I do have very handsome fellas.

Scrolling through the posts, you can read about other owners and their dogs. Some are authors, some are bloggers, some are just awesome dog owners. I personally love to take a peek at pet owners and how they interact with their babies. I love to hear the stories of how they came to be together and what their idiosyncrasies are. You never know you may find a piece of advice that could help you out.

My Roscoe is a really sweet guy (inside the house). Affectionate, a snuggler (inside the house). But as soon as we step foot outside our front door, he is in aggressive, overly-anxious mode. His hackles are up. His ears are forward. He is ready for any dog to come his way. And when a dog does finally cross our path, Roscoe is growling and going crazy. Walks are really tough for us. Hopefully our patience and the implementation of an e-collar will help us work this out. He responds well to the vibrate mode and we really refrain from zapping him unless it is necessary. If he gets to worked up, however, he might as well not even be wearing the collar. It has no effect.

One day we will get this right. For Roscoe's sake and for the sake of my poor hand and arm which takes quite a beating from a 80+ lb. dog going ape shit. He has been to socialization programs and done puppy/beginner classes. He can not relax enough to play with any dog. I don't think I've ever seen him play past 8 month old. I feel so bad because he can not socialize with his own kind. Play rough, chase, nip.

Please advice would be great! If you have experience with an insecure aggressive dog, please let me know your story. I need all the help I can get. We really love Roscoe, but walks are NOT FUN but he needs them badly.

Check us out at Coffee With a Canine!


Saturday, August 2, 2014

été 2014: August 2nd: Balsamic Grilled Chicken

This recipe we recently tried this week turned out to be a hidden gem.
I made it on a whim. I had all the ingredients on hand and we were looking for something quick and easy to throw on the grill. 
Enter this fabulous marinade.

Seriously, it was OMG good. Even C-Bot liked it, which is rare.

I paid like $1 for this cookbook at a thrift store a LONG time ago.
My grandmother always loved Mr. Food so how can I go wrong.

Balsamic Marinated Chicken
From Mr. Food Cooks Chicken

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 chicken breasts, split, skinned and boned (I used 3)

In a large bowl, combine the marinade ingredients.  Add the chicken, cover, and marinate in fridge for up to 1/2 hour. (I marinated mine overnight) Remove the chicken from the marinade, discard the excess, and grill for 8-10 minutes per side, or until chicken is fork tender and no pink remains. Serve hot or cold.

That's it. You have dinner. 

I served mine with pesto noodles and frozen cauliflower and carrots in butter and Parmesan.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

été 2014: July 31: Healthy Snack

In my quest for unprocessed healthy snacks for a VERY picky eater, I came upon these little gems on Pinterest. I love easy recipes and C-Bot loves chocolate so I gave them a whirl.

I must say, they came out delicious!!! They were a hit with C-Bot and Man of the House. I would double the recipe because they don't make many unless you make them tiny. I will be making these on the regular so that we can have a quick, healthy pick me up.

They took me maybe all of 5 minutes to mix together, but you have to cool for an hour.

I froze half the batch to pull out as necessary. 

No-Bake Energy Bites
Found on $5 Dinners

1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats or rice krispies.
2/3 cup peanut butter 
1/3 cup honey
1 cup shredded coconut flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
about 3/4-1 cup mini chocolate chips

Add the rice krispies (or oats) to a bowl, crush lightly with your hand or potato masher.
Add the peanut butter, honey, coconut flakes and cinnamon and stir together.
Then add the chocolate chips.
Chill in the fridge for about an hour. Then form into balls.
Voila! You are done!

Monday, July 28, 2014

été 2014: July 28th: Thrift Haul

On Sunday, my mother and I made a quick morning run to one of our favorite thrift shops. I picked out a few things in my hunt for summer/fall transition clothes and maybe to wear on our trip to Middlebury, Vermont in August.

Delia's Cotton Top $.99

I plan on wearing this little top like everyday. Comfy and loose just like I like my everyday mommy clothes. I can wear this now with cut-offs and later with jeans, a chunky sweater, and Converse.

Old Navy Dress $2.00

I plan on transitioning this into fall with a neutral loose sweater. I can see it now. With a cute pair of booties and I have a cute and comfy fall mommy outfit.

Old Navy silky button down $5.99

I will probably end up dressing this up for a date night or bar night with the fiance. Jeans and chunky gold jewelry.

Aeropostale skirt $2.99
I'm not quite sure how I'm gonna wear this. I see this style of skirt all over the internet but I will probably put on a loose, white tee, tuck in the front and wear a pair of gladiators. I may try it on and hate it forever and banish it to the back of my closet. It's a toss up.

Children's Place tee for C-Bot $1.99
Sometimes this thrift doesn't have a great selection of kids' clothes in C-Bot's size. All i picked up for her this time was this Children's Place Ice skating tee. 

I spent $21 bucks (I also got some books and a DVD for C-Bot not pictured). 

The thrift store is Second Chance Thrift and I highly recommend it. They are very careful about where they put their tags (so no holes like the Salvation Army jerks do). The girls who work in there are great and I always find some pretty trendy stuff. Plus, it's neat and clean. Definitely check them out!

When I get to wearing them I will post up selfie outfit shots. Let me know how you like my mommy styling!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

été 2014: July 26th: Mommy Clothes: Summer/Fall Transition

Via Woman with Grace

Long Cardigan, Loose Top, Crisp White Shorts

Found on Pinterest. No link. Please let me know if it's your picture!

Olive blazer, Simple Black Dress, Leopard Scarf, Barely There Sandals

Via Fashionista Trends

Loose Sweater, Cut-Offs, Natural Fabric Bag, Brown Strappy Sandals
Found on Pinterest, If this is your photo please let me know!

Summery Fedora, Bright Pop Cardi, Simple White Tee, Black and White Shorts

Via Refined Style

Neutral Light Sweater, Loose Shorts

Via Polyvore mandys120

Neutral comfy tee, cut-offs, and shiny sandals

Via The Honeybee

Comfy oversize sweater, maxi skirt