Thursday, December 15, 2011

Nightmare on Potty Street

Today has been one of those days you want to start over with a new plan or forget ever happened. I decided today would be the perfect day to start potty training my middle son. He is 2 1/2 and has been showing interest not necessarily in going to the bathroom on the potty but making it known that he doesn't like when his diaper is wet or dirty so I figured what the heck...let's do this! It also helps that he is obsessed with his older bro so I figured I could use him as an example. Tell him "Don't you want to be like Vaughn?" or "Vaughn is a big boy, don't you want to be a big boy?". Vaughn was a breeze to potty train yet under no circumstances did I think my little Nixon was going to be easy. Lets face it, I call him my monster for a reason. He cried every time I tried to put him on the potty, he peed 5 times in his underwear and did the doody as well (this one he shut himself in the closet so he could be in private). Not even ONE drop made it in the vicinity of the bathroom today. Kinda made me wanna get the diapers out and call it a day but tomorrow is a new day, right? Or maybe I wait for a few more months and see if he is in a better frame of mind. Maybe its me that needs a better frame of mind? I am running on a lot less sleep since we have a 10 week old in the house. I guess I need to remember that patience is a virtue and never give up in the land of potty training.

Here is a pic of the "big boy" sans diapers.

Since today was so hectic I opted for quick and easy hamburgers and french fries. No pics tonight just the recipe. I love meals that can be ready in 20 minutes or less. Its usually never this easy but is always nice when it can be done.

Cheeseburgers (Serves 4):

1 1b ground beef or ground chuck
Montreal Steak Seasoning (use as much seasoning as you has salt and pepper so no need for extra)
Garlic Powder
2 tbsp Cheddar Cheese per patty
4 hamburger buns (lightly toasted)
Ketchup and Mustard

In a bowl combine meat, steak seasoning and garlic powder. Evenly portion out 4 patties and create a divot in the center.

Pre-heat large skillet and spray with non-stick cooking spray (I used olive oil flavor but butter will do). Grill on each side for about 5 minutes. When on the second side, top with cheese. I like to tent with aluminum or cover with lid for the last minute so cheese melts.

I topped with lettuce, tomato, ketchup and mustard but options are endless. I served these with pickles on the side and some seasoned fries I got from the freezer section of my grocery store that cooked up in about 15 minutes.

Even though these weren't the gourmet type burgers I usually like to make, they were pretty good. Quick and easy and delicious. Next time I do burgers I will make some blue cheese burgers or BBQ bacon stuffed with my beer battered onion rings...tune in next time. Bon Appetite. <3K

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"Crack" Saltine Toffee

Since dinner was leftovers of last nights fare and we were officially out of what our family so lovingly refers to as crack toffee, I decided to make some more tonight. I found this recipe originally off of Pinterest (totally addicted to btw). I have made some great food from recipes I have found and this dessert/snack is no different and pretty addictive. Click here to see original site where I found it on Make Life Delicious blog. I have also posted step-by-step and instructions below.   

Here is everything you will need:
 Line baking sheet with tin foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Lay out saltines in a single layer about 40-45.
 In sauce pot, melt and bring to a boil 1 cup of butter and 1 cup of dark brown sugar. Boil for about 3 minutes.
 Once done, quickly poor over and spread over saltines so they are all covered with butter/sugar mixture.
Bake in 400 degree oven for 5 minutes until bubbling.
 Once out of the oven, sprinkle with chocolate chips and let sit for 5 minutes.
 Spread chocolate evenly over toffee and crackers. Let sit until cooled. (Note: I like to pop in the fridge for 15 minutes once cooled to set chocolate and make breaking up easier)
 Here is the finished product. I like to just roughly break up and store in an air tight container (if you haven't eaten all in one sitting.)
 This is the way I do dessert! YUM!


  • 40-45 saltine crackers
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1- 12 ounce bag of semi sweet chocolate morsels


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. 
Line cookie sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Line cookie sheet with saltines in a single layer.

In a saucepan combine the sugar and butter and bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Immediately pour over saltines and spread to cover crackers completely.

Bake at 400 degrees for 5 to 6 minutes or until toffee bubbling. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips and let sit for 5 minutes. Spread chocolate to cover toffee completely. Let cool and break into pieces. (Note: I like to pop in the fridge for 15-20 minutes after its cooled to completely set the chocolate.)

Big thanks to Sunshine at MLD for posting this awesome recipe and adding 5 lbs to my hips. :) Bon Appetite! <3K

Its a Mexican Fiesta Kinda Night

So my goal was to post every day and only two days in and I am already slacking. O well. Chalk it up to a life with 3 very needy kids (4 if you count the dog). :)
So yesterday I turned 33!!! To be honest this whole getting older thing is for the birds. I mean, is it really happening?? I still feel 21 most days like I could go out and party the night away and wake up and do it all again. I often times can't believe that I have 3 kids and have been married for 12 years. Time flies but I refuse to let my progressing age get me down. So last night I made something I had been craving for a while and I knew the family would love...chicken enchilada casserole, Mexican rice and beans. It was a hit. The recipe comes from a friend who actually is Mexican so I figure its fairly authentic. Hope you enjoy!

Here is everything you will need for enchiladas:
 First order of business is to boil your chicken. This can be done in advance since it takes 30-35 minutes.
 Once the chicken comes to a boil, I like to add salt.
 While cooking your chicken get the sauce ready which consists of the enchilada sauce, cream of mushroom soup, sour cream and salsa jalapeno. Stir all together and bring to a boil.
 Once chicken is cooked, shred. I like to use two forks to pull apart. Set aside.
 To assemble-use a 9 x 13 baking dish and put enough sauce to cover the bottom.
 Take your corn tortillas and layer on the bottom crossing over each other.
 Next put another layer of sauce to cover the tortillas.
 Next is a layer of cheese.
 Next layer is chicken, then sprinkle green onions and olives.
 Repeat layers ending with the final layer being tortillas, sauce and cheese. I like to sprinkle a little of the onions and olives so you know whats inside and to give a little color.
 Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Here is everything you need for the rice:
 Here is a pic to show how I got everything ready while the chicken was cooking and ready to just put in the rice and casserole.
 Heat up just enough oil to cover the bottom of your skillet over medium heat.
 Toast the rice in the oil for a couple minutes and then add the onions and saute' until brown. 
In a separate pot add water and chicken bouillon and bring to a boil. 
 Once rice and broth are done, add broth to rice along with tomato sauce and cilantro and bell pepper.
Cover and cook for approx. 20 minutes. As tempting as it is DO NOT STIR! Once done, remove bell pepper and chunks of cilantro and fluff with fork.
 Yes I know I should make my own beans but a girl has to cut SOME corners. Still tasty.
Here is the finished product. Turned out great with plenty of leftovers which we had for dinner tonight. YUM!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

  • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used 3 large)
  • 1- Large can of Green Enchilada sauce
  • 1- Regular can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons Salsa Jalapeno
  • Corn tortillas (18 if you use a 9 x 13 pan)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese ( I used an entire large back and a little more from another bag because I don't skimp on cheese around here if I don't have to.)
  • 1 bundle of green onions/scallions
  • Sliced olives (I used a small can but you can use a larger can if you prefer more)


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place chicken in a large pot of cold water. Once water comes to a boil add salt. Takes about 30-35 minutes. Once done, shred and set aside.

In a sauce pot, boil together enchilada sauce, mushroom soup, salsa jalapeno, and sour cream. Once its boiled its ready for the dish.

In a 9 x 13 baking dish, pour sauce to cover the bottom of the pan. Then place 6 corn tortillas on top overlapping. Like this:


On top of tortillas pour more sauce to cover tortillas. Sprinkle a layer of cheddar cheese, half of your chicken, then olives and green onions. Then another layer of 6 tortillas, sauce, cheese, last half of chicken, olives and onions. Top layer is tortillas, sauce and cheese. If you want to sprinkle olives and onions that is optional.

Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 until cheese is melted and bubbling.

Mexican Rice 

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (enough to cover the bottom of your pan)
  • 2 cups-Rice (I used 2 cups but you can make less or more depending on how much you need)
  • 1 Brown onion
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 4 cups of water (2 cups of water for every cup of rice)
  • 4 teaspoons chicken bullion (1 teaspoon for every cup of water to make broth)
  • Bell pepper (a couple pieces for flavoring)
  • Cilantro (how much you put in depends on how much flavor you want out of it)


In a saucepan, add water and bullion and bring to a boil. (Note: you can use chicken broth to substitute). For every cup of rice use 2 cups of liquid.

Its always a good thing when your 6 and 2 year old clean their plates. Its a keeper! Bon Appetite! <3K

Monday, December 12, 2011

Croque Madame Casserole

Tonight's dinner had all my favorite elements: bread, cheese, and ham along with some extra special bits of goodness. This recipe is slightly modified from a recipe I tried from Paula Deen. I have tried a few other recipes and this one is my fave. You may have heard of a Croque Monsieur. The only difference between the two is the Madame has an egg and the Monsieur does not.  Here are some pics I took along the way:

Here is everything you will need:
 First start by melting 6 tbsps of butter (yes you read correct) and once melted whisk in 1/4 cup of flour and  cook for 1 minute to get rid of flour taste.
 Slowly whisk in 2 cups of milk and cook for 3-5 minutes until thick and bubbling.
 Add in dijon, pepper, salt, and nutmeg and whisk together. 
 Mixture should look like a thick cream sauce.
 Pour a thin layer of sauce in bottom of greased 8 x 8 casserole dish.
 Layer slices of bread on top of sauce. Overlapping is ok.
 Now layer slices of ham on top of bread.
 Now goes a layer of cheese. Remember its Gruyere and probably not cheap so make sure you don't overdo it. In my opinion its cheese so it can never be overdone but I would hate for you to break the bank. 
 Continue on with your layers until you end up with the last layer being sauce. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
 During the last couple minutes of your casserole cooking start your eggs. You can do them in batches or like me since I have a big pan I did them all at once. Fry them or do them over medium however you choose. We like a little runny yoke so I don't cook them as long.
 Layer on top of casserole and use remaining cheese. Pop back into the oven until cheese is melted.
 Great served with fruit if for breakfast or a light salad if for dinner or like us we just had it alone because it is not a light dish. ENJOY!!

  • 6 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, plus 2 tablespoons for eggs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt (you don't need much since the cheese and ham are already salty)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper plus more for eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or pre-grated is fine
  • 8-10 slices sourdough bread (I wouldn't use anything other than a white bread)
  • 3/4 pound black forest ham
  • 1 1/2-2 cups grated Gruyere (I used an 8 oz. package)
  • 6 eggs


Preheat oven to 400 degreesF. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish.

Melt 6 tablespoons  of butter in a large skillet over low heat until bubbling. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and cook until thick and bubbling (about 3 to 5 minutes). Whisk in the mustard, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Pour a thin layer of the sauce into the prepared baking dish and cover it with 4-5 slices of bread, then slices of the ham and an even layer of the Gruyere. Repeat the layers once more, ending with a third layer of sauce to cover all. Bake the casserole for 30 minutes. Remove it from the oven and cut into 6 equal pieces. (This makes it easier for serving up later)

Working in 2 batches (or 1), melt butter in the skillet of medium-high heat. Crack eggs in the skillet and season with pepper (again I didn't add salt since its already a salty dish). Cook until the whites are nearly set, flip over and cook for 30 seconds to a minute. You are going to top each portion of the casserole with a fried or over medium egg. Top with remaining Gruyere and pop back in the oven for a few more minutes until cheese melts.

This is so yummy and big thanks to Paula Deen for the UH-Mazing inspiration. Bon Appetite! <3K

To Blog or Not to Blog???

Debating on whether or not to blog has been plaguing my mind for some time now. I guess I finally have my answer because I find myself here doing something I really don't know if I have a passion for...yet! I have only recently even started looking at other peoples blogs due to my obsession with Pinterest (I know I am not the only one). I ask that you excuse my lack of blog etiquette since I am obviously a novice. I hope to share random thoughts, crafty ideas I have gotten from Pinterest, lots of carb loaded recipes, my love of wine and my love of all things swine. Considering I have three kids under the age of 6 this could be an unreachable feat but I am going to do my best! Cheers to the start of what I hope to be a fun, informative, and entertaining blog. <3K