A big change

>> Thursday, April 7, 2011

Since the end of November, Chris has been unemployed. He, along with the other managers, were let go just weeks before Christmas. It was a huge setback for us. Over the last few months we have struggled but with the help from a few amazing people we were getting by. Recently, we decided it would just be easier if I got a part time job to help make ends meet while Chris was trying to get a job that paid enough to support us. After a very short search, I got not only a part time job but a full time job as well! I was unable to keep the part time one and quit after a week to focus on the full time.

I've been working at a local Walgreens and so far I really like it. Sure, getting up early and standing on my feet all day really sucks but it is getting better. I have a set schedule which I love and the benefits that will come are pretty good as well. Mostly, it is just nice to get out of the house and do something just for ME for a change.

Chris is really taking well to the stay at home dad role. The house is always in order, dishes and laundry done and there is a yummy hot meal ready for me when I get home. He drops me off, puts Elizabeth on the bus then has some one on one Daddy Christopher time. In the few hours before the kids get home, he does the errands and shopping. Kids get home and its off to get me from work. It is all working very well. A car is in my near future and that will change things even more. I love this new independence I have and am even making friends at work. Although they are all much younger!!



>> Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ohhh we had SUCH a good day yesterday!! We drove up to Canadian border, popped into Duty free just to look at prices. ($50 bucks for a carton of Canadian cigarettes.. it is over $100 for a carton in my hometown!). From there we drove down over Lake Champlain into VT and down past Burlington over to where Ben and Jerrys, Cabot Creamery and Green Mountain coffee is.

We first went to Cabot and got an amazing deal! We got a 30 month aged Cheddar 2lb block for $7 dollars! To compare for you, in Walmart a 1/2 lb block of just reg Cabot is $3 bucks. Chris also bought me a shaker of Cabot popcorn cheddar cheese because I love cheesy popcorn LOL.

From there we went to Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream factory and it was their winter festival day! Free cones and free factory tours! They usually don't run production on the weekends but did for the festival so we got to see them making the ice cream. Apparently I didn't get the memo it was spoil mom day but it was. Chris bought me a stainless steel coffee mug at B&J's because I don't have a travel mug and yay 25% off so we only paid $8 for it

After B&J we went to Green Mountain coffee to pick up some beans. We got Sumatra and Costa Rica beans(two that aren't sold in stores here) and we also got a coffee from the cafe for the trip home. Large Latte....$3.50! And it was better than any $12 dollar cup at SB! We made our way through Montpelier just to see the area and onward home.

Oh and about spoil mom day, Chris bought that cheese and shaker JUST because I like sharp cheddar and he didn't even think he would like it. I said why would you buy me a whole block of cheese? He told me that he knows I like the sharp cheddar and he knows I've been so depressed lately, especially after hearing my parents aren't coming this summer and I'm always sacrificing for everyone else that he wanted to do just for me. So I happily accept my new travel mug and my very yummy cheese :) I'm glad we didn't spent too much either, the guilt of that would of killed my happiness. Plus he does like the cheese so yay, he gets to share :)


A special Day

>> Thursday, February 10, 2011

A very happy birthday to my sweet princess. Elizabeth turns 7 today! Where has the time gone?


Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

>> Friday, February 4, 2011

1 pkg boursin garlic cheese(in deli section of walmart or your grocery store)
1 pkg cream cheese
1 pgk frozen spinach- thawed and drained
1 can artichokes- drained

Throw everything into a food processor until well blended. Add to a small casserole dish and back at 350 for 30 mins. Serve with tortilla chips.


Garlic Chipotle Mayo

>> Thursday, February 3, 2011

This has to be one of the easiest, yummiest dip/spreads we have made.

3 ingredients easy!

1 cup mayo
1 tbsp chipotle sauce. Tabasco Chipotle is the best but Goya isn't too bad either.
2-3 med size garlic cloves.

Smash your garlic and chop it as small as you can. Add a little salt and drag your knife against it on your chopping board to make a garlic paste. Add to your mayo with the chipotle sauce, mix and lock away in the fridge for an hour or two before use.

We use this w/on:
chicken nuggets
steak sandwiches
chicken burgers
pulled pork sandwiches
as fry sauce

**Your breath will be awful so keep some breath mints nearby.. it is worth it though!**


Honey Mustard Chicken

>> Thursday, January 20, 2011

This is a family favorite that goes back to my childhood. The recipe started out as my Aunt Mo's but of course, I had to make a few changes along the way. Here is my version of Aunt Mo's honey chicken!

1 lb chicken pieces. I prefer thighs and drumsticks but you can do breast too if that is what you prefer, your cooking time will vary depending on if your breast is split or boneless*
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp ginger(if using fresh grated ginger up it to 1 tsp)
3 tbsp butter(or marg)- melted

Salt pepper and about 3/4 cup flour for dredging.

In a bowl mix a couple shakes of pepper and salt into the flour and evenly coat each piece of chicken, shaking off any excess flour.

Arrange your chicken pieces in a baking dish so they are close but not touching. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

While your chicken is baking, mix together your sauce ingredients in a medium sized bowl. When your chicken is done, take it out of the oven, using tongs you want to roll each piece in the sauce getting a good coating over the whole piece. Put it back in your baking dish and pour the remaining sauce over the chicken. Put it back in the oven at 350 for an additional 25 minutes.

I serve this dish with rice and a nice crisp green veggie, green beans are my favorite side.

*boneless chicken breast will bake at 15 mins then an additional 10 mins with the sauce on, until the juices run clear.

This also makes a great dipping sauce for chicken nuggets.


Taco rice via rice cooker

>> Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We got an 8 cup rice cooker for Christmas and we just love it. It steams veggies, it cooks rice and we have also been doing a few rice casserole type dishes. Today, we will talk Taco Rice!

1 lb lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 pkg taco seasoning.

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar or colby jack
2 cups rice
1 can diced tomatoes with chilies
1 small can diced olives

Sour cream and green onions to garnish.

In a pan, prepare your taco meat according to the directions on the package.

In your rice cooker, add the rice with the amount of water suggested by your cooker. Add tomatoes, olives, prepared taco meat and cheese. Set your rice cooker for the normal cycle and walk away!

That is it!

When your cooker turns to warm, let it sit 10 mins then serve with a dollop of sour cream and a few chopped green onions on top.

I also make this recipe with shredded chicken and I add a half cup of thick salsa, omitting the shredded cheese (expect if you want a little for garnish).


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