Tag Archives: cook

Mini Meal – Salad w/ Grilled Chicken

22 Aug

Hey everyone! Mini Meal #2 coming at ya!! Salads are a GREAT way to have an easy to meal to take and it’s fairly easy on the budget to purchase too!

Grocery stores are great when it comes to pre-packaged salads. Buy the smallest bag you can find and grab a small bag of shredded cheese and whatever extra toppings you might want. Grab a pack of chicken tenderloins while you are at. Freeze them in separate bags (to how much you eat each meal). This one I think I used one skinny tenderloin and it was perfect.

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Dice up your chicken into bite size pieces (because who wants to have to cut chicken again when you are trying to eat? NOT ME! I’m lazy.. haha) Throw some butter or oil in a pan and sprinkle it with pepper or whatever seasonings you love.

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Throw it on top of your lettuce mixture and add your extra toppings. For this I used mozzarella cheese and olive garden dressing. I’m obsessed with olive garden dressing!!!

Need to pack it for work or school? Pack the dressing separately and add it during lunch!

Enjoy!

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Missing Something?

13 Feb

Hey everyone! Just wanted to make sure you weren’t missing what we are chatting about over at A Charming Twist!

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Monday I posted my famous Chicken Cacciatore Recipe – this is one that Emma helps me with all the time 😉 It’s super easy and super delicious!

Tuesday Leslie posted about Nail Art! There are some seriously awesome ideas on her page and even a really cute one for Valentines Day!

Today I posted What’s New in my closet! You know finding a great deal is an all time favorite of mine so you won’t want to miss the deals I got on these!

 

Thanks for stopping by today!

 

Love Always,

J

 

 

A Little White, A Lot of Color!

10 Dec

This weekend I had a high school reunion with one of my best friends! We spent the entire weekend shopping, crafting, catching up and creating a masterpiece 🙂

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This girl rocks my world! She is always up for a good time and ready to get crafty in seconds 🙂 We are so much alike that it’s scary sometimes but my favorite thing about her is that she always surprises me! Just when I think I know her so well, she shocks me with more personality and drive. Catching up was way past due and I am so thankful we found the time to make it happen.
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During our shopping trip I bought a new item for my craft show table to display my new necklaces. Nothing shows off what you make than seeing it worn and I felt like this necklace needed that. I’m excited for this new addition to my table 🙂

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We also bought a pack of 80’s glam sharpies. We love color and we decided to try a project with them! You’ll get to see the whole thing soon but for now I’ll just give you this as a sneak peak 😉

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Another sneak peak is what’s about to happen! There is going to be a huge change in my blogging life. I am now starting a blog with Leslie! We are still working on getting it set and ready – so it won’t be open until January but I am so excited I couldn’t not share!

The Underestimated Mom will still be updated but more like two – three times a week instead of almost daily. Most of my time will be spent making articles for A Charming Twist. If you are interested in keeping up with Leslie & I head on over there now or starting in January.

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We are also offering a space to add your button to our page! If you are interested you can email me or our joint address on our page! We will also be doing guest posts so if you think you have something awesome you want to share that’s craft, fashion, food, or home decor related – you’d be the perfect fit for our blog!

Lot’s of fun new things going on!

Hope you are as excited as I am 😉

Love Always,

J

Nick Mom, You Crack Me Up

24 Nov

I don’t know if you all have heard of Nick Mom or not but while staying up and finishing chores I decided to watch it one night. I haven’t laughed so hard in such a long time! This show is like Comedy Central for mothers.

 

For those of you who are mothers that love to laugh at all the ridiculous things that your kids get into – this is for you. For those of you who are mothers that get offended easily – don’t watch this!! As for me, I’m a mom that laughs and this made me laugh.

They have two different shows that I’ve seen: Parental Discretion which is basically like SNL for Moms. Some parts are funny some parts are just plain dumb.

Another show is Mom’s Night Out which is stand up comedy, again funny.

Something you probably weren’t expecting, the commercials are even jokes and one liners to make you smile. This was definitely an interesting night for me!

Don’t have time or want to stay up to watch these shows? Oh don’t worry, they have a website! NickMom.com get your laughs in when you want 😉

Thought I’d share the fun!
Love Always,

J

Happy Thanksgiving!

22 Nov

This year for Thanksgiving – we are spending time in Front Royal with Brian’s side of the family. We do it potluck style where we each bring  something, we catch up, watch the game (I married into a Redskins family), and eat!! I can picture it now – the men in their jersey’s hanging out in front of the TV, the women talking about life, and Emma running around like she’s been eating sugar for weeks 😉

So while that image entertains you (hopefully as much as it entertains me) here’s a list of things I am thankful for this year:

My loving family.

The ability to do what I love each day.

That even though sometimes we are stressed out and trying to make things work around here – that we are able to do it and we make it through all the hard times together.

 

I know that there is WAY more to be thankful of but right now, those are the most important for me 🙂
What are you thankful for this year?

 

Love Always,

J

Keeping It Old School

14 Nov

If there’s one thing I love the most – it’s a fresh pad of paper 🙂 I know that sounds ridiculous but it’s the only thing that keeps me organised!

One Steno pad lasts me about 2 months. So every 2 months I get a fresh new one to re-organize my goals and lists. On the first page I put my Money Goals for the two weeks and the year. It keeps me on track for how much I hope to make in order to make this my sole income. It also gives me a perspective on what my goal was for the past 2 months and what I made during that time.

I also make a list of things I want to finish in that two months. As soon as it’s finished I get the joy of crossing it out!! It also is a way to remind myself to put it in my inventory list, know what yarn I need to purchase to replace the materials, and when it’s sold I mark it out on my inventory list to put it in outright for my taxes.

How can you be organized without a shopping list?! This girl can’t! I write things down in two sections: Home & Work. In order to keep this sheet available for two months I tend to white out what I’ve purchased so I can use it again 🙂 This page gets some serious love by the end of two months!

Then on the rest of the 75 sheets I write my daily lists of what I want to accomplish. It includes: housework, Emma’s needs, my goals, and sometimes even reminders for Brian. Since I’m limited on time I can get projects done, I schedule those during nap time and night time. You’ll see it says crochet during nap time, which today means I’ll be finishing up a boot cuff and making a matching one to create a pair. It then says crochet after bath time, which means I’ll be finishing up cup cozies and starting on a scarf.

It may seems silly to not organize my things on the computer but I can’t always take my computer with me when I’m shopping, I need time away from my computer (especially when I’m trying to get things accomplished), and I like the satisfaction of writing things down and crossing them off my list! It’s a joy I just can’t even explain!

How do you organize your life? Do you make sure to re-evaluate your list after a period of time?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Love Always,

J

Preparation Meets Opportunity

22 Aug

In this case – preparation meets the opportunity to spend less being grumpy in the kitchen 😉

So I did it! After all those lists, coupons, and shopping – I prepped the heck out of this weeks meals. I sat down a decided out of the two week list that needed to be prepped – which ones I was going to do for this week. Here’s the list in case you forgot:

  1. Taco Soup
  2. Enchiladas
  3. Vegetable Soup
  4. Tortilla Roll Ups
  5. Muffins
  6. Banana Bread
  7. Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
  8. Meat Sauce: (3 meals)
  9. Red Sauce: (2 meals)
  10. Crockpot chicken in broth for meals: 8 meals worth
  11. Hard Boiled Eggs: 6-8

So for this two weeks I did:

  1. Hard Boiled Eggs (8)
  2. Crockpot Chicken (3 Meals Worth)
  3. Meat Sauce (3 Meals Worth)
  4. Taco Soup
  5. Banana Bread

I’ll be doing the rest later as I go (you may notice a few things came off the list – those are the ones I’m going to make when I want them and save the rest for leftovers).

I started off with the meat sauce and the hard boiled eggs. Since meat sauce takes attention and a lot of standing in front of the stove I decided to pair it with eggs since those are easy peasy and I could easily check on them.

One of the tricks I use to my sauce is to let it cook for a while on medium low. Get all those seasonings in there and cooked really well so it’s even (this takes a little stirring too). Once it was done I put it in a container and put in the freezer. When it’s time to cook I’ll just defrost in the fridge the morning of, throw it in the pan on medium to warm up and TADA we are done. Easy peasy.

When the eggs were done boiling I cooled them off under the sink with cool water and put them in a container (shells still on) in the fridge. Later I can decide if I want to make egg salad sandwiches, put an egg in a fresh made salad, or have a hard boiled egg for breakfast! I made enough to have all three options. Leaving the shells on is something I chose to do so the eggs wouldn’t absorb all the other smells in the fridge as well as making them last longer. But now I won’t have to wait 15-20 minutes for these suckers to be ready to eat.

After that I put chicken broth in a crockpot with three meals worth of chicken. We buy chicken tenders at Sam’s Club because it’s cheaper to buy it in bulk and chicken tenders cook faster that big chicken breasts. Since there’s three of us in our family I use three chicken tenders. These cook on high for 2-3 hours. I kept checking them to see how they were doing.

While those where cooking I moved on to the banana bread! The first time I did this recipe it took FOREVER so I always make sure I am going to have plenty of time and not try to do anything else while I’m making this. Which meant while I was waiting 2-3 hours for the crockpot I had plenty of time!

Now that I’ve done this recipe a couple of times it’s getting easier and faster to do and my confidence in making this has spiked since I haven’t messed it up yet 😉 After it was all ready I popped it in the oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Yummmm. It came out looking fantastic! I let it cool for 10 minutes and then came back ready to cut it up and give it a taste test.

Brian helped with the taste test and decided it needed chocolate chips in it. I told him this was supposed to be a somewhat healthy breakfast or snack alternative and if he wanted chocolate chips he’d have to ask his mom to make him some 😉 haha. Good thing she lives five minutes away – so I can get away with that!

After all that the chicken was ready. I pulled them out of the crockpot and put three tenders in each container and stuck them in the freezer. When it’s time to make a meal I’ll defrost them in the microwave throw some sauce on them and heat them up in a pan 🙂 (I just saved myself 30 minutes of cooking in the kitchen!)

Since I had just bought some fresh hamburger meat I went ahead and made mini hamburger patties to freeze. I thought sliders would be the perfect lunch for the girls and I one day since they have little fingers and big buns are hard to hold. Emma and I actually had a taste test of these Monday and they were DELICIOUS! ❤ It took about 15 minutes to make.. maybe less than that and one pan to clean 🙂 I can handle that!

Taco soup was the other thing on my list but we previously made that so I was off the hook there 😉 If you haven’t heard of taco soup click this link and you can see the recipe for it. It’s so easy and so yummy I make a batch every time we run out so there’s always some on hand at my house.

This entire process took about 3 and a half hours including stopping for 30 minutes to eat dinner. Doing this every Sunday night might just be worth it to make each meal during the day cut in half with easier clean ups.

I’ll keep you updated on how it goes 🙂

Love Always,

J

If you like my blog – click on the link below daily to vote for me!

Making Food Easy

20 Aug

One thing that this family does not have – is a good grasp on food and making our grocery trips the best. Part of my budgeting is couponing. Part of my couponing is not buying things we don’t need. Part of my problem is I don’t know what we really do need..

So to solve this problem I made lists upon lists upon lists: Are you ready for this?

First off – I grocery shop every two weeks or less if possible. So I needed to make 14 different meals for each three meals a day.

Breakfast:

  1. Waffles
  2. Cereal
  3. Pancakes
  4. French Toast
  5. Sausage Biscuits
  6. Bacon Egg & Cheese Sandwhiches
  7. Oatmeal
  8. Muffins
  9. Banana Bread
  10. Yogurt & Granola
  11. Cream Cheese Bagel
  12. Oatmeal Smoothie
  13. Breakfast Bar
  14. Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Then I separated lunches in two sections. One for the girls and one for me because we obviously eat different lunches!! Brian’s left out of the lunches since he buys lunch each day at work and he has his staples on the weekends that are always in the house.

Girls Lunches:

  1. Pizza
  2. Fish Sticks
  3. Ham & Cheese
  4. Quesidilla
  5. Hot Dog
  6. Raviolis (Mac N Cheese)
  7. Chicken Nuggets
  8. PB & J/Banana
  9. Cheeseburgers
  10. Chicken Noodle Soup
  11. Egg Salad Sandwiches
  12. Meatball Mini Bites
  13. Tortilla Roll Up
  14. Pasta Salad

Lunches for Me! (Note: There are a few main course meals in here because Brian refuses to eat them – so I make them for lunch and just portion myself appropriately)

  1. Chicken Potatoes & Carrots
  2. Chicken Rice & Veggies
  3. Enchiladas
  4. Taco Soup
  5. Beanie Weenies
  6. Rotel Chicken Wraps
  7. PB&J
  8. Ham & Cheese
  9. Pizza
  10. Vegetable Soup
  11. Quesadilla
  12. Egg Salad
  13. Tortilla Roll Up
  14. Leftovers

And finally the easiest to think of meals – but the hardest to get myself to cook them.. Dinners!

  1. Spaghetti
  2. BBQ Chicken & Pasta
  3. Steak Bites & Potatoes
  4. Tacos
  5. Baked Ziti
  6. Teriakyi Chicken Rice & Corn
  7. Lasagna
  8. Breaded Chicken & Pasta
  9. Sloppy Joes
  10. Chicken Cacciatore
  11. Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwhiches
  12. Quesadillas
  13. Chicken Cordon Bleu & Pasta
  14. Easy Chicken

You’ll notice some of these meals are repeats of lunches but since I have two weeks I can do one meal for lunch and the next week for dinner. That way we don’t get sick of it but honestly they could be eaten for lunch or dinner!

Okay!! So now that I have the list of food and my grocery list all set I needed to come up with a prepping plan to make it easier for the rest of the two weeks easier.

Prepping Plan: I hope to do a majority of my cooking on Sunday. The meals that probably won’t get prepped on Sunday will just be made the day I want to eat them and the leftovers saved for another meal 🙂

Fully Prepped Meals:

Chicken Potatoes & Carrots (throw everything in the oven and cook for 30 min)

Chicken Rice & Veggies (will probably be made the day I want to eat it and saved for another day of eating)

Taco Soup (This batch makes enough to last a loong time and is frozen. Will only have to make this every 3-6 months.

Enchiladas

Vegetable Soup (again frozen)

Tortilla Roll Ups (refrigerated and easy peasy)

Muffins

Banana Bread

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – which might be knocked off my list depending on how irritating they are.

Partial meals to prep:

Meat Sauce: (3 meals)

Red Sauce: (2 meals)

Crockpot chicken in broth for meals: 8 meals worth (lunches & dinners) this makes it easy to pull out a cooked piece of chicken, shred it, and cook it in a quesadilla with some cheese and veggies. Same with other meals – just heat up with whatever sauce you use and it’s ready to go. I think I’ll be splitting this up into a weekly event where I crockpot four meals worth and divvy it up for certain meals then repeat on the next Sunday.

Hard Boiled Eggs: 6-8

Along with the meals are of course, fruits, veggies, pretzels, crackers, and a few other snacks/sides! But now that I have a serious list of what we are going to eat for the next two weeks and enough choices to not get sick of things, I am thinking our grocery list will dwindle down without all those unnecessary foods that never get made into meals or go bad before I actually use them.

Let’s see how this goes 😉

On Wednesday I’ll be posting about my prepping that I did all day Sunday 🙂 and I’ll let you know if it was worth all the trouble.

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

J

If you like my blog – click on the link below daily to vote for me!

What A Pretty Sight!

24 Jul

This was my view yesterday 🙂 Emma and I spent most of the day on the back porch soaking up the sun and playing with her new toys. Here’s a sneak peak of her new house with plenty of more pictures to come from the entire party!

 

My little girl playing house! She made me apple juice, watermelon, and pancakes from her grill 😉 haha!

 

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Love Always,

J

A Wrap That Will Make Your Mouth Go “O”

16 Jul

This is for that moment when you are sick of the usual foods you are eating, just a plain chicken wrap is driving you insane, and you don’t mind a little bit of kick. And by kick I mean, you don’t mind a little green pepper bite!

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Marinate Time (if preferred): about 3-4 hours

Makes: Two – Three Wraps

Ingredients:

1 large piece of boneless chicken breast

Tortilla Shells

2-3 cups of Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing (Kraft)

1/2 of a small can of Rotel (I used diced tomatoes with green peppers but there’s a ton of choices!)

Chopped Lettuce

Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Ranch Dressing

Instructions:

To Marinate –

Put chicken in a zip lock bag with the vinaigrette dressing, seal, and lay in the refrigerator to marinate for 3-4 hours or longer.

Cooking –

Defrost chicken if not thawed completely.

Put a skillet on medium heat and spray Pam or dab a little oil in the skillet.

Dice chicken into cube size pieces.

Throw the chicken in the pan and let it cook for about ten minutes making sure it’s cooked all the way through.

Turn the skillet down to low or warm and add 1/2 small can of Rotel in the skillet.

While it’s simmering chop lettuce and put in a small container with a lid.

Add shredded cheese to the container.

Add Ranch dressing to the container (your preference on how much).

Close the container and shake it up really good so it’s all mixed up and there is a little ranch on every piece!

Pull out your tortilla shell, add chicken & tomatoes, add lettuce mixture, wrap it up & eat!!

If you are anything like me this is what you’re wrap will look like in seconds! ❤ I love a nice change of pace when it comes to food!

This is the kind of meal I always look forward to during lunch. I’ll marinate the chicken in the morning and know it won’t take that long to make – which when you have a toddler is a must! It’s also fantastic for when you are really hungry but don’t want something that heavy to eat. If you aren’t a green pepper fan, you can always do just diced tomatoes or any of the other rotel’s if you are feeling brave!

Hope you enjoy!

Love Always,

J

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