Ingredient of the month: Cream of Chicken Soup

Do you want to be our newest author? Click here!


Clam Chowder

I think I may have posted this one already, but it is really good.

Clam Chowder

2 8-ounce bottles clam juice
3 cans chopped clams
2-3 large baking potatoes, peeled and well chopped
½ cup butter
1 large onion, minced
¾ cup flour
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 ½ cups milk
salt & pepper

1. Sauté onion in butter in a large pot. When onion is browning, add flour and cook 2-4 minutes.
2. Add clams and juice to the pot and bring to a boil.
3. Meanwhile, boil potatoes until just tender.
4. Add cooked potatoes to the clam pot when it is boiling.
5. Reduce to simmer and add milk and cream. Season to your liking with salt and pepper.
6. Serve hot with bread or crackers.

Serves 4-6

And in case you don't know how to make cocktail sauce, here's one for that:

Combine all ingredients:
2 Tbsp horseradish
½ cup ketchup
1 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp lemon juice
½ cup chili sauce
Salt and pepper

When well mixed, cover and chill.

Makes about 1 cup

Use this for fried shrimp or cooked shrimp. I always make a bunch before we go to Rocky Point cause all we do there is eat shrimp!


Broiled Salmon

So this isn't seafood because well my husband hates it and so I never cook it, I do thaw shrimp and dip it in cocktail sauce but that is a no recipe needed kind of food. Anyway, on to my broiled salmon:

Fresh Salmon (from the grocery store)--take a non seraded (for the life of my I can't spell it) knife to take the scales off, I lay it on a cutting board in the sink and use the knife against the scales. If that makes any sense.

lemon pepper seasoning

brush the butter over the salmon and then sprinkle with the lemon pepper. broil until golden brown. Mmmm I use to eat this every birthday along with Fettucine Alfredo, its great because calories don't count on your birthday!! :)


Tricks of the Trade Help

Hey Mommy Bloggers!
We need your help! There are a few of us who seem to have a lot more tricks of the trade questions than everyone else but we are running out of ideas! The rest of you couldn't possibly have perfected motherhood already... right!? :)
So from now on if there isn't a volunteer for the week then we're just going to assign someone to do it. If you can't, that's totally fine just let us know as soon as you can! And if you'd rather not ever be assigned let us know that too. We just really want to keep this blog alive as long as we can and to do that we want all our authors to be involved.
We'll just go in alphabetical order so just watch for your name on the sidebar. And if you have a question and want to volunteer just leave a comment! I added a link on the sidebar labeled "Have An Idea" so you can easily volunteer or make a suggestion.
Thanks everyone!!


Kid Hair

So, excluding church or meetings with distant family members or friends, my little girl could possibly be mistaken for a homeless child. Nothing against homeless children, but her hair is usually pretty tangled and stringy with the occasional (okay, more than occasional) glob of encrusted food. It seems like other kids looked so put together and I'm sure I'm missing an essential step in kid grooming. We use a detangler in the morning, but for this week's tricks of the trade I want to know what products are the best for kids hair and how you keep them looking nice. Also, what hairstyles work the best for your kids - boys and girls (my boy is bald right now, but I'm sure we'll be in the same boat with him in a few years!). Also, there's a great hair blog that has tons of cute ideas, so check it out and please give me some inspiration!

Canning Peaches

You'll need:

Ripe peaches (about 3-4 per jar)
White sugar
Boiling water
Clean quart jars and lids/rims
large stock pot

1. Peel peaches. You may dunk peaches in boiling water briefly to make peeling easier. Cut peeled peaches in half.
2. Make a solution of 1 cup water to ½ cup sugar. Heat to boil and stir till sugar is dissolved. Then remove from heat.
3. Sterilize jars and lids with boiling water. (this means you need to boil water and put about a cup in each jar, and swirl it around, even for new jars. Lids are done by placing in boiling water for a minute or so. Lids can only be used once to seal.)
4. Pack peaches into jars all facing one direction to the bottom ring of the jar. (this just makes them pretty, if they face in 1 direction)
5. Add sugar solution to top ring.
6. Place lids on jars securely(use tongs so you don’t contaminate them) and seal with rims. (rims can be used over and over again)
7. Place jars in large stockpot. Fill pot with plain tap water to just cover jars.
8. Bring water to boil and cover with lid.
9. Boil 20 -25 minutes.
10. Remove jars, place on counter to cool.
11. Test lids (after jars have completely cooled down) to see if they are properly sealed. You know the jars have sealed if they don’t give on the top. Unsealed jars can be resealed using a new lid or eaten promptly.

This is how many I did one morning, with some help! Note: the blue pot is one we used to can in. That's all you need. You DO NOT need a pressure canner or water canner to do this.

I hope I've described everything. It has just kind of become habit for me now so I have a hard time remembering if I got every thing. If you have any questions, leave a comment and I will comment back. Good canning!


Particles of Faith

Like Laura's friend, my husband and I were impressed by Elder Ballard's Ensign article and have started a blog called
Particles of Faith. Some of our friends and family will be sharing small parts of their testimonies on this blog in hopes to get people interested in the gospel. If any of you have blogs, could you please add our link to them so that we can get more readers? Thanks for your help and let me know if you have any suggestions!


Jalapeno Jelly

I'm not a huge spicy fan and I'm not a Jalapeno fan at all, but every Christmas my mom makes this jelly and we eat it with crackers and cream cheese until every last drop is gone! It's delicious and addicting! So try it! I helped her make it last year and was surprised at how easy it was. I always thought jam was hard!

Jalapeno Jelly

1/2 cup lemon juice
2 cups green bell pepper (about four) seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup canned chopped jalapeno chili peppers
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup white vinegar
2 bags liquid pectin
green food coloring
Ritz crackers
Cream cheese

Blend together lemon juice and both kinds of peppers in a blender. Add sugar and vinegar and blend some more until it's mixed. Then in a large pan (this bubbles up high so make sure your pan is big!) boil mixture for 5 min. Then mix in pectin and food coloring (enough to make it green) and pour into jars and seal. Let it set overnight on a counter top.

Now this part is crucial. After it's set up take a Ritz cracker, spread on some cream cheese and then some of this jelly and pop it in your mouth! YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM!!!!!!
It does have a kick to it so don't forget the cream cheese!

And I don't actually know how to seal a jar. I just put the tops on and let the jars sit on my counter overnight so the jelly sets up. But then we eat it after that so we never have a real need to seal it! But if anyone knows how to seal a jar feel free to teach us! :)


2 for the price of 1

It's my turn to ask a question...for those of you with 2 or more kids, any advice on making the transition from one to two a little smoother? Obviously it's going to rock Quinn's little world, no matter what, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on things we can do to be more prepared. And advice on how to help ME transition would be more than welcome too! :)


Won Tons

I thought I better post today since I'll be out of town for awhile. So, here's our favorite "appetizer" - usually we eat it as a meal, with rice and veggies, but they are fun to take as appetizers to any event or potluck.

Directions: buy a package of wonton wrappers (found in the cold part of the produce section - by the pre-made salads). Brown about 1/2-1 lb. sausage. When sausage is cooked, add very finely diced celery, and one egg lightly beaten. Stir it around until the egg is cooked. You can do any combination of wonton filling you want, this is just what we like. Some people do shrimp, or ground pork, and add water chestnuts, grated carrots, or whatever else you think would be good. Once the filling is all done, start wrapping the wontons according to the directions on the back, this is the fun part.... get your whole family helping you or it will take awhile.... but it is WORTH the wait! :)

Here's how I wrap them: (I should have pictures for this, sorry) I turn them so they are diamond shape in front of me, put a little filling in the middle, wet the edges with my finger, with water, fold it up so it makes a triangle. Then wet the edges again and fold the corners into the middle - they end up looking like a little triangular hat.

After you wrap them, you just deep fry them in a little oil until they are crispy and golden brown. Then we serve them with our special won ton sauce:

Sweet and Sour Sauce:
2 Tb. cornstarch or 4 T. flour
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. vinegar
1 c. sugar
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. ketchup

Bring to a simmer, and stir constantly with a whisk until thick and bubbly. Like I said, we eat our wontons with rice, sweet and sour sauce, and veggies.... it is always a special occasion when we make wontons!!!


Tortilla Roll-ups

My mom used to make these. They are super easy and are a yummy snack or can be used as an appetizer at a party!

Tortilla Roll-ups
flour tortillas
softened cream cheese
diced green chilies or ham deli slices
Spread cream cheese on a tortilla then spread green chilies over. Roll up and slice to create these small circles. OR spread cream cheese on the tortilla and then place a layer of ham slices down and roll up. Both versions are really good! I usually make both. (And this is not my picture but this is how they look when you're done)


The Mommies (from sea to shining sea)

I thought it would be fun to see how many different states we represent. Mommy Diaries started off primarily in Minnesota and it is so great to see how it has grown!

Being LDS

Our friend Jocelyn (who used to be a floor manager for "Wolf Blitzer Reports" on CNN...she's brilliant!) was inspired by the recent cover article in the Ensign on sharing the gospel online. She just started a blog called Being LDS, and it's really well written. She also includes lots of great links, which would come in handy if you had a friend interested in learning about the Church on their own time. Hope you can check it out!

What Did You Do All Day?

Don't you love when your husband asks that question? For some reason it always sounds accusing! But now I really want to know! What do you do all day?
How do you organize your day? Do you have a set schedule or does your daily schedule change... daily? Do you make sure you get out of the house every day to the park or a playground or just to run errands? What if you don't have the car for some reason or it's too cold/hot to go out and play, what kind of activities do you do around your house? Do you have a craft/activity planned for your kids every day? And if so... please share your creativity!!
When do you squeeze in the cleaning and the cooking?
Basically... what do you do all day? :)
And... who wants to do a question in the next few weeks?
My brain is fried! :)


Overnight French Toast

So, I have just found this delicious treat for a scrumptious breakfast, or we like to have it for dinner! and even though I missed the breakfast week of posting, this does have eggs in it :)
Melt together over medium heat until dissolved:
1/2 c. butter, 1c. brown sugar, 2 T. corn syrup
Pour into 12x18 pan (jelly roll pan, or as I know it- big cookie sheet)
Then, get either a loaf of French bread or a loaf of Texas Toast. (cut the french bread into really thick slices) Place the bread into the pan.
Mix 5 eggs, 1 1/2 c. half and half (or sweetend condensed milk), 1/2 tsp. salt, 1tsp. vanilla
Spoon over top of bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (or, make it in the morning, and eat it for dinner).
Bake at 350 for 30 min. uncovered. Flip over when out of oven and serve with your favorite syrup


Breakfast Casserole

I think every time I post a recipe I say how much I love it. I'm pretty sure I just love food in general, so I'll stop saying that.... here's a good recipe though! My sister taught me to keep all the ends of my bread (we don't eat those for some wierd reason) in my fridge to use for stuff like this, or to feed to ducks, or to make frech toast with. So, I think I'll start doing that, I usually just chuck the ends, but now I'll just shove them in the back of my fridge for awhile :)

Egg and Sausage Casserole
1 doz. Eggs
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
2 c. milk (1 ½ c. w/ eggs; ½ c. with soup.)
1 lb. Sausage
¾ t. dry mustard
½ medium onion
1 can mushroom soup
salt & pepper
sliced bread (cut off crusts then butter and cube.)

Place buttered bread cubes in 9 x 13 pan. (Use enough to cover pan.) Brown sausage and onion in saucepan. Pour on top of bread cubes. Sprinkle w/ grated cheese. Beat eggs w/1 ½ c. milk. Add dry mustard and salt and pepper. Pour over cheese. Cover and let sit in refrigerator overnight. Mix soup w/1/2 c. milk . Pour over casserole. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 ½ hours


Screaming in the Store!

My Dad came up with this question and I thought it was pretty good. We talked a few weeks ago about punishment but the responses were mostly centered around what you do at home or in a place where you have a time out spot available. So now I want to know what do you do when you are in a public place, like a store or a restaurant, and your child starts misbehaving?

BBQ Cups

I'm finally back! I was out of town for a while and then my internet went down but it's fixed now so I can finally catch up! So here's my BBQ sauce recipe! Sorry it's late!

BBQ Cups
1 lb hamburger
BBQ sauce
1 can refrigerator biscuits
3/4 cup grated cheese
Brown Beef, add BBQ sauce and set aside. Place refrigerator biscuits in ungreased muffin cups, pressing dough up sides to edge of cup. Spoon beef mixture into cups. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake at 400 for 12 min.



So I am debating on getting a double all-terrain stroller (like a jogger but the front wheel will swivel) and it's made me think of how horrible stroller shopping is. Does the perfect stroller exist? When my first was born we thought we just HAD to have the stroller that could fit the car seat in it. While it was a great stroller we only used it with the car seat a handful of times. Then when #2 came along we went cheap and got 2 umbrella strollers and a little gadget that connected them. I started dreaming of my double jogger stroller after a 2.5 mile walk one morning with the kiddies in the umbrella fun at all. This would be our 3rd stroller though and I can't really seem to convince myself that going through 3 strollers in 3 years is very affordable or practical. I know some moms that have gone through LOTS of strollers.

I know some opt for the sit and stand version...what do you like best? Is there a certain brand that you love? Do you think it is outrageous that some strollers are $800?? What would you recommend to new moms? Personally, I would tell them to buy a double stroller from the get go and make it an all-terrain one at that...but that's just me.

Homemade BBQ sauce

I may have posted this before, so if I have, sorry! We eat this bbq sauce on everything, it is delicious, and easy! We use it for pulled meat (chicken, pork) sandwiches, with beans, liked baked beans, on pizza (bbq chicken pizza), meatball sandwiches, and it can even be frozen.

BBQ Sauce

1 32 oz. bottle of ketchup
1 cup water
1/4 cup prepared mustard (I like to use spicy brown, but any kind works)
1 c. brown sugar, packed
1 TB dried minced onion
2 TB liquid smoke

Mix all together in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a simmer for a few minutes (I usually do like 10 minutes or so). Sauce can be stored in the refridgerator for weeks or may be frozen.

PS - when I make Cafe Rio salad, I do a pork roast, shred it, and then put this bbq sauce on it. It is delicious!!!