Ingredient of the month: Cream of Chicken Soup

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Hahaha, Its Me Again!!!

I'm expecting my third child, and we are so excited, we find out the gender a week from tomorrow!!! My 3 year old Mikelle, is dead set on having a another girl, and she nearly breaks down into tears when I ask her what she'd do if its a boy. I have been talking about how fun little boys are too, but its not working. I really felt that my first two were girls and they were, this one I feel like is a boy, I could be totally off my rocker (I'll let ya know next week), but if it is a boy I need to be able to prepare Mikelle before she finds out the gender. The one thought I have is to let her pick out the little blue outfit to bring him home in. But I need more, I need to have some ideas for this week to prep her before we find out and some for immediately following the ultrasound. I know some of you are thinking why not just wait until I know, but if I do that she'll be shocked when she hears its a boy and she needs to be prepared for the "just in case". So please help!!!

Also thank you for the "hitting" hints, Kaylee still hits but its not as bad now that I deal with it differently, so thank you!!



I have no idea if I spelled that right.  Shalee can correct me, I think it is Italian?  Anywho.  I've been craving this because it is yummy.  I'm not a tomato fan, HOWEVER, this is one of the only ways I can eat fresh tomato.  I don't have a real recipe, so I'll just tell you how I make up my own version of this....

Buy some yummy artisan french bread/baguette.  It has to be artisan, the bread is what makes it so good, and you can't have soggy bread, ew.  Sometimes I buy the demi baguettes from Costco and use those a lot.  Then, you chop up a fresh tomato, I do it really fine and petite (like I said, I don't do tomatoes well).  Put the tomatoes in a bowl and stir in a LITTLE olive oil, and a splash of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and whatever else you think might be good.  Italian seasoning, maybe?  Then I like to spread a little pesto sauce (kirkland brand from Costco is my fav, I could eat it plain with a spoon right out of the jar!) on my bread and put it under the broiler for a just a minute or two to get it a little toasted, then top it with the tomatoes and LOTS of PARMESAN CHEESE!  Then it goes back under the broiler until it is nice and toasty and melty and bubbly.  YUM, it is so good, I love it! We eat it with pasta tossed with the same pesto sauce, and salad, it makes a great little side dish. 

Enjoy, let me know if you have questions about my weird directions.


Princess Pasta

I noticed the ingredient this week was parmesan and thought it's about time I posted something on here, so here we go. This is a really yummy dish that a friend mad and since it's simple to make I have loved it ever since. My husband and I enjoy it a lot and there are hardly leftovers. A good side dish for this is some steamed broccoli with lemon. On little side note is that I do not like mushrooms so I don't add them and sometimes I do not have minced onion or parsley on hand so I leave those out and it's still pretty good.

2 T butter
1 T minced onion
4 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/8 t salt
4 oz. ham, cut in thin strips
1 T fresh parsley, minced
1 pound short pasta such as penne
½ pint whipping cream
1 c grated Parmesan cheese

Melt the butter in a skillet on medium heat. Add onion and sauté it until soft and white. Add mushrooms and salt. When mushrooms are done, stir in the ham and parsley. Remove the skillet from the stove. Cook the pasta and drain completely (do not rinse). Return the pasta
to its pot on medium high heat. Pour in the cream. Stir the pasta until the cream begins to bubble. Add 3/4 cup of the cheese. Blend well and remove the pot from the heat source. Stir in the ham mixture, holding some back for topping. Put the pasta in a serving dish, scraping cream from the sides of the pan. Sprinkle the pasta with remaining cheese and arrange the ham topping in the center. Garnish the pasta with parsley. Enjoy!


I know its not my turn...

But I have a 1 nearly 2 year old who has a fascination with hitting her older sister. I feel like all I do is walk her to time out time after time after time. I make her apologize and I give her a stern "no hitting". She screams during time out, but then soon is hitting her sister and smiling about it. WHAT SHOULD I DO??? She once had a pulling hair fascination and I decided to give her hair a tug just to show her what it felt like, because my 3 year old doesn't fight back she just reverts to tattle telling, so my 1 year old didn't know what it felt like, it worked she never pulled hair after that..she just moved on to hitting, and I won't smack her. :) So please any suggestions!!!


Bacon-wrapped Prunes

I know this is going to freak some people out. I have made peace with that. However, these little puppies are so good. They are meant to be an appetizer and if you make them and anyone scoffs at you just tell them that they are French. That will explain a lot.

Bacon (cut into strips about 3 inches long)
Toothpicks (I like the flat ones)

Wrap each prune with a piece of bacon and secure it with a toothpick. Bake on a cookie cooling rack on a cookie sheet in a 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes (just until bacon is cooked). The are best served at room temperature.

Seriously, I don't like prunes either, but these are good. Go ahead and mock me. I can take it.


Chicken Supreme

Yum! I got this recipe from my mom a couple months ago and it's so good! And it's perfect for Sundays because you can have it cooking while you're at church!

Chicken Supreme
2-3 (2 oz) pkgs thinly sliced lunch meat ham
8 slices bacon
8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups sour cream or plain yogurt
2 cans cream of chicken soup

Night before: Put layer of ham slices in a greased 9x13in pan. Roll strip of bacon around each breast and place on top of ham. Mix soup and sour cream together and put over top of chicken. Refrigerate overnight.
Bake covered (otherwise it will be dry!) 300 degrees 3-4 hours.
*Cook on top of a cookie sheet as sauce tends to boil over.


Apple Poppyseed Salad

Here's my most favorite salad.... I hope I haven't already posted this. It includes bacon, which happens to be my favorite part!

a mixture of Romaine and Iceberg lettuce
half an apple, finely chopped
grated swiss cheese
crumbled bacon
a handful of green peas
and sometimes I add craisins and grated carrot (if I feel like it)

Now the best part.... Brianna's Poppyseed dressing (or Target's Archer Farms works too). You can dump a little on there (don't over do it, it'll get soggy), or let each person do their own.


Chicken over Rice...with bacon

This is yummy!!!

In a 9x13 pan lay bacon in a single layer covering the bottom. Then add 2 cups rice top with enough chicken to cover. and add 4 cups water, then add 1 can cream of celery soup (without the water). However I like it with 1 can cream of..celery, chicken and mushroom. Yum yum yum!!! bake in a 350 oven for 1 hour or until rice is done and chicken is cooked.

How do you Relax?

Admittedly, one of my favorite past-times, even before kids, was taking naps. But, unless the stars are magically aligned, I rarely get to enjoy my most-beloved hobby. With cloudy skies and lots on my to-do list, at the end of the day I have been feeling exhausted. Do any of you have any ideas to help feel recharged when you don't actually get to take a siesta in the middle of the day?


Media Savvy

My son is three. He is talkative and smart. He is funny and strong. He loves to dance and eat. Also, he is afraid of everything. I love movies and so I was so excited to show some of my favorite children's movies to my son. After the first few it was apparent that my previous sense of what was a children's movie and my son's tolerance for said films were not totally compatible. As in, Finding Nemo runs about 32 minutes in my house because of all of the 'scary' scenes that we have to skip. So, to all of the other moms of media-sensitive children out there: here is a useful little website for you. It is called Common Sense Media and it gives acurate (for our family, anyway) ratings of all kinds of media. Now, maybe I will stop subjecting Anthony to the more traumatic episodes of Little Einsteins!

Chicken Salad

It's a no-brainer, but we like to have a fresh salad topped with warm grilled or sauteed chicken. We eat this even though it's winter(technically). The best way I have to get my kids to eat salad is to put all the fixings in different bowls, like cheese, croutons, shredded carrots, lettuce, chicken, tomatoes. Then let them assemble their salads and choice of dressing. It takes just minutes to prepare and is good for you and a change from all those heavy meals. Serve with soup and bread if it's not filling enough(like for my husband, salad is just something he has to eat before the main dish is served).

Since We're Roasting...

We are literally roasting down here in Florida...we turned on the AC the other day in our home :)

But instead of trying to make you jealous and since we're on the topic of roasting, I thought I'd share a new recipe I found here. It's a delicious "Cheesy Roasted Red Pepper Dip" that I served on slices of baguette (it's also good with Tortilla chips.) It was a nice change from Spinach Artichoke Dip and everyone that tried it loved it. It only took about 10 minutes to prepare and then I threw it in the oven 45 minutes before the party. The next day I zapped the leftovers in the microwave and it was still yummy.



Roasted Asparagus

I found this on Pioneer Woman and I LOVED it.  Plus it was really easy.

All you do is wash and pat dry however much asparagus you want.  Layer them on a cookie sheet in a single layer, brush with olive oil, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper (I used sea salt and fresh ground pepper).  Then, the trick is to make sure your oven is really well pre-heated before you put them in there.  So, set your oven at like 450 and wait until it is fully heated.  Then pop the asparagus in there for about 7-10 minutes or until they start browning a little.  It depends on how you like them, I like them a little more cooked, but with some crunch, I think 10 min. in my oven was perfect for me.

Another variation I heard is to add some red bell pepper as well, I haven't tried it but I'm planning to this week!  My 2 year old loved the asparagus and even ate them cold the next day. If you want a better, more colorful recipe, go to the pioneer woman cooks website!



Some of the women in my ward want to put the framed living christ document surrounded by Greg Olsen pictures. I know there is a certain way the pictures need to be assembled and that there is a template out there. Does anyone have the template or directions????


Keeping a clean house

So I kind of forgot it was my turn for Tricks of the Trade but here it is. How do you keep your house clean when its too cold to play outside. I feel like all I do is straighten up my house. I even have a play room with rules that no toy is to come upstairs, but its not always followed. I feel like I spend my day picking up this or that. When its warm outside, I'll pick up the house during naps and then we'll head outside in the afternoon, but any ideas on how to keep it clean in the winter without spending your entire day straightening??