Ingredient of the month: Cream of Chicken Soup

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Stranger Danger

My daughter is 4 and starts preschool on Tuesday. I haven't discussed stranger danger with her before now, but feel that with her starting school its time. How did you mothers go about it, how did you warn her without making her terrified of leaving your side? I'm all about passwords, have you done a password with your 4 year old child and actually not have them tell others? Any advice please!!!


Grilled Salmon with Veggies

So I almost feel like this is cheating for the weekly ingredient, but it does have cilantro in it, so here goes. By the way, we LOVE cilantro at our house! We use it in a lot of things, but this is what we had tonight, so I was thinking about it when I saw the ingredient of the week.

I buy frozen salmon at Costco or Sam's Club and they come prepackaged in serving sizes. I just defrost the meat, then put it on a piece of tin foil. We add whatever veggies we happen to have in the fridge, but tonight's was especially yummy, so here's what was in it:

One chopped zucchini
One lime (squeezed over the salmon before cooking)
One diced tomato
Cilantro, diced up small
One small chopped onion (whichever kind you like)
A few cloves of garlic, finely chopped

Just defrost the salmon (if you get frozen like me), put it all together in the tin foil and roast it on the barbecue for a few minutes on each side. It's really tasty! Even my husband will eat this, and he's not real big on fish.

I paired it with mashed potatoes and asparagus, but it is also good with rice and broccoli or your favorite veggie.


Meal time madness

There are about a million things that I could ask other moms about to get advice but there has been one thing lately that is driving me nuts and as I look around I find that its a really common problem. Mealtimes. My five year old thinks that he is entitled to eat what he wants and when he wants. I will slave over a big well balanced home-cooked meal and he will turn up his nose and say "No thanks, I think I'll just have some cereal." Sometimes I feel like I make four different meals at each mealtime to suit the tastes of each member of the household. Hubby wants eggs for breakfast. Jack hates eggs and wants toast. Abe throws the toast and eggs on the floor and begs for a banana. I know that I need to just get strict and let the kids go hungry or eat whats for dinner but most of the time its far easier to just bust out the goldfish crackers or chicken nuggets. Food storage really gets me going. I can barely get my husband and boys to eat fresh gourmet masterpieces, let alone canned meals or reconstituted dry milk. I have a year supply of food but honestly, its just so that I can check the obedience box and hope for the best during the apocalypse. I have a million fabulous recipies for wheat and chicken chunks, but no one will actually eat them but me. Do you guys have any good strategies to get the family all eat the same meal? With all of the special orders I feel like we are operating a restaurant. (My husband is the worst one, by the way) Maybe I should just give in and buy a year supply of rice krispies and go-gurts.


A Pioneer Woman Dinner

I'm not going to pretend that I'm not one of Pioneer Woman's die hard fans. How I can love reading stories about a stranger's life on a cattle farm is beyond me...but I do! And aside from her humor and photography I LOVE her recipes. I've yet to try a recipe from her that I don't like. She's recently added a potato recipe that is so DELICIOUS even my Idaho-raised husband loves it. Tonight we had Steak Bites with a side of Potato Bundles. I wish I were more original and could post something of my own but it's that good so I couldn't help but share. Looking for a great meal this week? Try it- you won't regret it!

P.S Since we're on the topic of potatoes PW's Mashed Potatoes are great too!

nothing new....

.....but still delicious! My favorite way to do potatoes is roasting them with the lipton onion soup mix. I love it this way, I especially love using the leftovers as hashbrowns the next morning!

Oh, one other thing I like to do with potatoes is to do "baked" potatoes in my crockpot. I wash them off, pile them in the crockpot, sprinkle with a little salt (it helps the skins get a little crunchy) and cook them on low until they are nice and soft. This is a great way to have baked potatoes in summer, you don't heat up your whole house! I make a whole bunch and then I can use them in other stuff for a few days, once again, they make awesome hashbrowns the next morning!! Just dice them up, put them in a fry pan with a little olive oil, or butter, and salt. Then let them get brown and crispy! This is the only way my three year old will eat potatoes, and it is SO SO easy!!



Calling all you experienced Moms! My daughter is about 2 1/2 now, and up until the last couple months she was on a nap schedule for the most part, napping every day unless we had something special going on that day during naptime. Well, now she refuses to stay in bed, wants to play, doesn't fall asleep no matter what I try....unless she's in the car.

Do any of you have any tricks for naptime? If you can't keep your kids in bed, what about quiet time? We've tried it some, but again, it's hard to keep her motivated to stay in her room for quiet time.

Let me know if you have any good ideas...I'm all out!


Taqueria Tacos

This is my favorite Mexican food recipe. We don't make it very often as flank steak can be pricey, but it makes a ton and they are so delicious, like really good restaurant carne asada tacos. The marinade is like magic. I have used cheaper meat, and while it still tastes great, it is a little tough and just not the same. Try it, you'll love it. The pico is fabulous on it and I don't like tomatoes or onions, but I love it! Also, you can just warm the tortillas, but they tend to be dry and crack. If I'm going to the expense of making these, I go all out and enjoy every last fat gram. Make with homemade refried beans for a true Mexican touch.

3 pounds flank steak

Corn tortillas


1/3 cup vinegar

½ cup soy sauce

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 limes, juiced

½ cup olive oil

1 tsp each of salt, black pepper, white pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, dried oregano, ground cumin, and paprika

1. Marinade meat by pouring mixed marinade over steak in a large glass dish. Turn to coat both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and sit in refrigerator 1-8 hours.

2. Make the pico topping by combining the following:

1 white onion, chopped

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 limes, juiced

1 tomato, chopped

3. Fry corn tortillas in hot oil, drain and set aside.

4. Cook meat by heating 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cut steak in thin strips. Cook in oil while stirring until meat is cooked through but not tough. Cook in batches as to not overcrowd in pan. Keep cooked meat warm by covering it.

5. Serve meat on tortillas with grated cheese and the pico salsa.

Serves 10


Homemade Salsa

I LOVE homemade salsa. It's pretty good canned as well, but nothing beats fresh salsa and tortilla chips. Mmm... my mouth is salivating right now. Seriously, this is the best.

So there isn't really an amount to anything here, just make as much as you want. But when I make it, I make alot. So I'll give you what I usually do.

6-7 tomatoes
3/4 green pepper, chopped
1 lime, squeezed
1 chopped jalepeno (remember the seeds inside are what is really hot, so don't just chop the whole thing and put it in unless you like it REALLY hot... I'm telling you this from experience. Although, that batch did last a long time, because we couldn't put very much on each chip!)
1/2 onion, chopped
cilantro - optional
garlic powder

I cut the tomatoes first, and see how much I have, then add a small amount of everything and keep adding what I want until it tastes just right. But those amounts are generally what I end up using. Sorry, this is kind of generic but it gives you the opportunity to make your best salsa, just how you like it!


Love At First Sight?

It's the first week of the month again! That means we get to find out more about our great mommy authors and readers! And make sure you scroll down and see Kara's awesome craft tutorial afterwards!
The question for this month is: How did you meet your husband? And/or how did he propose to you?

One Hour Craft - Placemat Pillowcases

This is just too good to pass up! I saw this idea on a blog a few weeks ago, and as I've been trying to decorate my living room, I decided I needed some different pillows. Well, I found some very cute, very inexpensive placemats at Pier 1. Basically, the directions include 3 steps:

1. get a seam ripper and open the seam just enough to fit your hand inside
2. stuff, stuff, stuff
3. hand sew it back up

It is seriously so easy and satisfying to do a project in less than an hour. And I love them!! It's a great way to spice up any room, and placemats come in a HUGE variety of colors, textures, and patterns. I'm planning a whole bunch more of these babies. For a more detailed tutorial, go HERE!