Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cheddar Bacon Chicken

I found another great recipe last week and made it to share with my mom and dad while we are still in Virginia. I have to admit if you just read the ingredients to this recipe you might talk you're self out of making it but I beg you to not do that. My family loved it and my sister even made it the next day for her pregnant friend that's about to pop. Pretty good endorsements right? If you make it leave a comment and let me know it really is a great easy hands off recipe!!!

Cheddar Bacon Chicken (in the crock pot/slow cooker...did I forget to mention that? )

2tbs of olive oil, spread around in the bottom of the crock pot.
6-8 Chicken tenders or 4-5 chicken breasts whichever you prefer, FROZEN. Place chicken in slow cooker after spreading around the olive oil.

Mix together 1/2 cup Ranch dressing, (any kind will do) and 1/4 cup Teriyaki sauce. (I use Kikkoman Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce, so don't worry if you can't find Teriyaki sauce in a bottle without the label saying marinade too!) Stay with me, these ingredients, I will admit sound rather odd together but the combination is amazing and I was incredibly pleased with how great this tasted in the end.

After the ranch and sauce are mixed, pour it over the chicken. If you're chicken is kinda laying on top of other chicken pieces cover all the chicken as best you can. But DON'T STIR THE CHICKEN IN THE SAUCE, it will mix the oil in and your food can end up stuck to the bottom of your slow cooker. That's never good. :)

Next, cook 12 slices of bacon, and crumble them up over the frozen chicken in the slow cooker.

Sprinkle on a cup of cheddar cheese, put the lid on your slow cooker.

This will cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8.

Oh the smell of this while it cooked kept me coming back into the kitchen sneaking peeks. All of the Cheddar Bacon Chicken was GONE by the end of the night. The kids weren't to hip on it but Kenzie did try it and say it was pretty good though she didn't rave over it like the adults did.

I hope you enjoy. We certainly did!
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Brownie Cups

Oh so easy, oh so delicious, oh so worth not ever buying a box of brownie mix again. For real!!! This recipe is totally freezable to so I'm adding it to my bulk once a month cooking menu!!

Brownie Cups

1 cup or 2 sticks of butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 eggs
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and chocolate chips, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, flour and vanilla. Fold in chocolate mixture. Batter will be runny.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.

Bake at 325 degrees for 35-38 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Sprinkle 1 cup of chopped pecans in muffin cups before baking if desired.
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Yep, that's right. I have nothing to say. I just hope it maybe brought a weird smile to your face like it did mine. Just another day with the kids. :)
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Friday, June 12, 2009

Eek! Look what I did.

Before you look at the picture just know that I've wanted this for a long time, a very very long time. So I jumped at the chance to do it while I'm in Virginia for awhile since I don't have a hair stylist in Huntsville that I trust enough to go to with this. I absolutely love it, without a doubt this is the best and most fun hair color I've ever had. It came out just like the picture I had in my head! I know it's not for everyone but I'm incredibly happy with it. It's a wonder what I little hair dye will do for a person. :)

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

You have to try these.

Honey Bars!!!!

Seriously, you have to try these!!! I'm not kidding. When I read the recipe I thought, 'this has potential to be a really great dessert or one of those that you just don't like enough to ever make again.' I also thought, 'hmmm I don't much care for honey but I'll give it a try.' So I made them the other day and man oh man oh man were they a hit. Everyone in the house ate them for the rest of the night. The. Rest. Of. The. Night.

No kidding, the recipe is simple and easy and delicious and it's such a change up from brownies and cookies. Yummm I'm already wondering how soon is too soon before I make these wonderful things again? Here's the recipe for Delicious Honey Bars:


3/4 c. oil 2 c. flour
1/4 c. honey 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. sugar 1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg 1 tsp. cinnamon


1 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
A few drops of milk

Mix the oil, honey, sugar and eggs together.

Set aside, and mix the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon separately.

Add dry ingredients to the first mixture. Mix well (it will be thick).

Spread into a greased pan (I used an 11 x 7), and bake at 325 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix icing ingredients together; the consistency shouldn't be too thick, but not too runny either. I add the milk 1/4 tsp. at a time while stirring until I get it right.

Ice while warm.

Cut into squares after it has cooled.

Seriously, go out and get the ingredients for these Honey Bars if you don't have the ingredients in the house. This should be tonight's dessert!

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It's here.

The toothbrushing soap finally arrived!!! Yay!!!! So far I'm the only one that has used it. Mackenzie is our brush your teeth girl at nighttime for the two yonger ones, and I haven't taken the time to show her how to use it yet or the right amount to put on the younger ones brushes. It's easy, wet the brush, rub in a circular motion until you coat the bristles, then brush and rinse.

This is a great alternative for regular chemical FULL toothpaste and another good way to go green.

There's very little flavor here even though it says it's Strawberry Lime and since I don't get that burn/tingle feeling I often wonder how well it's cleaning but it's getting the job done no doubt. I'm curious as to how the kids will respond. Evan Grace HATES toothpaste cause it's 'spicy'. We'll see I'll have to post an update when I finally get the time to show them the new toothbrushing soap!
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Monday, June 8, 2009

Homemade Brushetta...yummm!

So while I'm in Virginia I'm doing the grocery shopping for my mom, as well as cooking. While on my CVS/Walgreens run today I stopped in at Food Lion. No, they don't have Food Lions in Alabama but I wish they did. I got some pretty good finds in there.

One of the pretty good finds I bagged was 2 loaves of French Bread for $0.94 EACH. So before I tossed it in to my cart, ok ok, AS I was tossing 2 loaves into my cart I started thinking of what to make with these wonderful loaves of fresh french bread. I had menu planned spaghetti for tonight so I thought, garlic bread, then I went a step farther because I know my mom like's Brushetta bread but doesn't really make it often. Soooo I made this up on the spot. Mixed up my own garlic butter, spread it on both sides. Baked it for 5 minutes, flipped them, brushed on some oil, sprinkled on Italian seasoning, chopped Roma tomatoes and Parmesan cheese and cooked another 5 minutes. Wow was it good.

Oh, for those of you wondering what I'm going to make with the second loaf....all I'll say is it involves a crock pot and a dozen eggs. Maybe I'll get a chance to make it this weekend.
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Dixie Caverns

My sister and her husband and I took the kids to Dixie Caverns today. It's only an hour from where we live and I hadn't been there since I was in grade school. I remembered loving it and being amazed at how BIG it was. It's not as big as I remember it, but it's still just as gorgeous. Maybe more since I can actually appreciate more of the natural beauty. I already can't wait to go again. I'm just a cave lover.

At the end of the tour our guide took us back to the large open area where we started and explained to us that if we were ever lost in a cave without a flashlight that we would go blind after a week because the human eye would strain so hard to focus on something it would simple wear out. Then and only then would hysteria set it. (Why didn't I bring a flashlight?) Then our guide calmly told us she was going to shut off the lights so we could experience cave darkness and that she would be back in about a week to turn the lights back on. Ha ha. Very funny. She did turn the lights off and I'm telling you it was darker than anything I had ever experienced before. But the best part had to be when Isaac spoke up above the group a few seconds after the lights turned off and said, 'Whoa, I just turned invisible'. The entire trip was worth it just to give him the experience of 'being invisible'.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A clean van.

I'm not sure what got into my mom this evening, but after we spent the day around the house, chatting, cooking, playing outside with the kids, I found her in my van in a cleaning frenzy. Keep in mind that my dad has always said I could raise chickens in my van due to all the crumbs and lets just face it, the all around non-existent cleaning, it was filthy!!! My mom hates a dirty vehicle and apparently it doesn't even have to be her own vehicle in order for her to clean it because she hates the mess of it so much. The kids got involved in the cleaning and much to my surprise Isaac was the most helpful. My mom and I sweetly asked my dad to take out the backseats so we could shop vac all the crumbs and wet clean some spots in the carpet. Which he did, mumbling something about crumbs and chickens under his breath.

Then my dad, always ready to use the power washer, took it upon himself to clean the rugs in my van and shortly after Isaac caught sight of the water jetting out of a tiny hose, he had to get in on the action. After awhile my dad let him do it all by himself, which he loved and afterwards Isaac even decided to help with the scrubbing of the van's carpet. He was in a state of excitement the entire time, he kept going on and on about how clean the van was getting.

Once my dad had the power part of the power washer turned off, Evan Grace got a turn at the rugs with the watchful eye of big brother Isaac looking on and waiting to help or possibly another turn. (Sorry about the different light in the pictures. I was playing around with the setting on my camera to get a good, realistic shot. This one isn't it!)

This is what my lovely Mackenzie did the entire time. Wait, that's not true. She took a car cleaning wipe and swiped at the dashboard a few times. Oh yeah! Then she decided it would be better to clean my arm with it??? Yuck! She looks simple doesn't she...ha ha; pay back for smearing my arm with car cleaner stuff.

Oh, a short PS. We no longer could raise chickens in our van. I'll have to take pictures tomorrow once all the rugs are dry and everything is put back into the van. We got the seats in but we're washing the car seat covers and waiting for the rugs to dry. I'm so excited, it's like having my van detailed on the inside. I just wish it had that new car smell too!!

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Couldn't help but post this.

This is my dog Daisy. I took this picture, uploaded it to my computer and do you want to know the first thought that crossed my mind? Come on, yes you do. Look closely at the picture though. She's sitting up, eyes closed, and look at the back legs? Both of them are up and off the ground and honest to the good Lord above my first thought was, "I guess her dogs were tired". Wonder how tired I must be to find that as funny as I did. It's a cute picture, I had to post it. Really I did.
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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Rice Box

I've been wanting to make the kids a rice box for a long time, but just seemed to get sidetracked with other things to make and play with. Plus, I grew up playing in a sandbox at one of our sitters houses and remember loving it, but also remember how it seemed to stay with me hours and sometimes days? later. I didn't want the experience of having to be the parent that complained about cleaning up sand either, so rice it is. Since we're in Virginia for awhile and the weather here is gorgeous aside from some rain showers I thought why not just make it here. So we took off to the store and got a Rubbermaid with a lid and though the picture below shows 40lbs of rice I only needed 20lbs. So I'll have to take the 2nd bag back. :)

After I dumped one of the bags of rice in the Rubbermaid we loaded it full of small toys that I let the kids pick out at the DollarTree. Ahh don't you love the DollarTree for things like this?
The kids then spent the next hour, digging and playing in the rice box. Isaac kept telling me how much he loved it and how he liked the feel of the rice. Evan Grace was tickled pink sitting and digging up the clear plastic princess slippers only to bury them and start all over again.

Isaac picked out pirate coins and some bug rings to put in the rice box but he ended up playing more with the magnetic fishing pole set. Evan Grace and I would half bury the crab, sea horse and octopus and he spent his time finding them and then catching them with his pole. Over all I'd have to say the rice box was a big success. Both of them asked if they could play with the rice box again after dinner. I'm glad they like it.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What we're doing in VA.

....Lots of swinging. Thanks to my dad, who made each of the rope swings. The one on the far left of the screen he made twice. For some reason Isaac and Ev were afraid of the first one????

....Watering plants and planting flowers.

Daisy is addicted to rolling and eating the grass.

Kenzie, well I'm not sure what she's doing in the bottom left of the picture collage but she's having fun. :)

(Yes I know that the two youngest kids clothes don't match. But hey, they got dressed themselves so can I really complain?) At least Kenzie has some fashion sense about her.
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