Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thankful Thursday's...it really is the little things.

Today will be pretty short and simple. It has been a long week...planting season is upon us, it comes with the territory! So tonight went I got home to a quite house, the hubs and Charlot were out. I realized how very thankful that I have a home to come home to. One that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. One that though small is overflowing with love. I am thankful that I have a nice comfy couch to rest on and I am really thankful that someone invented DVR. Yes it isn't really the big things in life it truly is the littles that mean the most. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

She loves spring...


On our drive to the sitter’s this morning my daughter announced to me that it was almost spring! “Momma spring will be here after Easter is over!” She apparently can only handle one occasion at once. Then she says, “Oh I love spring.” Me too sweetie why do you love it? “Spring break!” She’s three I thought that every day was kind of a break. Plus where in the world she came up with the concept of spring break I have not a clue. But sure sweetie I could use a spring break as well! Let's just hope that once she is old enough for an actual "Spring Break" she chooses to come home and spend it with her momma...please!!!

This chick has no clue.


This conservation brought me to remember some of the things my kiddo does really love about spring and the Easter season. These pictures are of the cute “Egg Tree” that she and I created; she had a blast helping me with this. The other pictures are from a recent trip to Orschlen’s. Each year around Easter these stores get loads of chicks, ducks and baby bunnies in and they allow kiddos to touch and handle the little cuties. This is a great reward for Charlot she loves these little guys, and no we did not bring any home! If you have one of these stores in your area go check it out your kiddos will love it!





Happy Spring everyone and enjoy your Easter!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spinach Artichoke Dip Pizza with Chicken and Bacon


We had a bit of a watch party on Sunday night at my parents’ house to watch the Food network Series “America’s Best Cook.” A friend of our family who my bro and I grew up show against was competing on the show so I decided it was a good excuse for a party.




In the process of planning the party food came up and it was requested that I make my Shrimp and Pesto Pizza again. Well that was all fine and good but I knew I needed something else, a new exciting pizza. Well lo and behold I thought why not mesh spinach artichoke dip and pizza, of course that would be great. And the results came back pretty darn positive another pizza to keep in my rotation.

Even though our friend didn’t make the finals she did an amazing job representing the Mid-west. Especially mid-west farmers. She would have made my team for sure but apparently the Food Network forgot to call me to judge/mentor. It was fun watching her and celebrating with some great pizza! Give this bad boy a try!

Spinach Artichoke Dip Pizza with Chicken and Bacon

1 can pizza dough (I used Pillsbury whole wheat)

1 ½ chicken breast Seasoned with Salt and Pepper and Sautéed

3 Strips of Bacon Diced and browned

1 container of Garlic Herb Cheese

1 Can Artichokes in water Drained and diced

Juice of ½ lemon (cuts the richness)

1 bag of Spinach

1 ball Fresh Mozzarella sliced thin

Heat oven to 400. On a large cookie sheet spray with Pam and sprinkle on some cornmeal. Spread your dough out to reach all sides. Prick the dough all over with a fork prebake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes

Mix your garlic herb cheese, lemon juice and your diced artichokes. Spread over your cooled crust and top with sliced mozzarella cheese. Top with as much spinach as you like. I used quite a bit because we like the green stuff. Then add on the chicken and bacon.

Throw it back in the oven for an additional 10-12 minutes! Remove from oven, slide off cookie sheet on to a cutting board, and allow it to cool a few minutes before doing this. Slice it up and dig in!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Quick and Easy Beef Lo Mein



Oh man do I love Chinese food especially Lo Mein… plus we have an amazing Chinese restaurant here locally. I seriously haven’t found one I like more. Then there are those times that I don’t really want to drive into the next town to get takeout from this lovely little place. Plus if I make it I get to control the ingredients that are going into the mix plus I can bump up the veggie content!


Last Thursday was one of those nights that I needed a quick supper and I had gotten a beef sirloin steak out of the freezer so I needed to incorporate it into the meal. Typically I use those steaks in fajitas or even slow cooked with tomatoes but I just wasn’t feeling either of those. I really wanted some Chinese. Me being me I threw caution to the wind and decided I would give making my beloved Lo Mein a go!

I wanted to quick marinate the meat and add more veggies to this dish. The result was a great balance of savory, sweet/tangy, and spicy. Plus as I said before I was in control of the ingredients and the amount of each ingredient which was really great! Please don’t judge the fact that I had frozen egg rolls with it, they were in my freezer and with no shame I will say they were delicious as was the main course. Give this recipe a try for a different quick and easy week night supper. Feel free to switch up the veggies to meet your family’s needs, cabbage, green onion, broccoli, carrots would all be great!

Beef Lo Mein

1 Sirloin Steak (1-1 ½ lbs.) thinly sliced across the grain. (I threw mine back in the freezer for a few minutes to make slicing thin easier!)

1 Onion Thinly Sliced

2 Bell Peppers Sliced in match sticks

2 cups Sugar Snap Peas

½ Lb Fettuccini Pasta

Marinade

¼ cup EVOO

¼ cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce

2 TBSP Sugar

2 Cloves Garlic Minced

1 TSP Ground Ginger

¼ TSP Red Pepper Flake

1/2 Orange (Juiced)

Salt and Pepper to taste

In a gallon size zip top bag add your meat with all marinade ingredients close the bag and shake it around so that all meat is evenly coated. Place back in the fridge while you prepared the remainder.
Cook pasta according to package directions.
In a large nonstick skillet heat 2 TBSP EVOO. Once your oil is hot add your onion (I do onion first because I like it to get all the way cooked.) Once your onion is softened take your meat out of bag don’t pour the sauce into the pan what is on the meat is plenty. Add meat to the hot skillet stirring quickly to speed cooking, add peppers at this time too.
When meat and peppers are to desired doneness add peas and pasta stirring quickly to coat the pasta in the sauce. Squeeze the other half of the orange over the dish at this time. If you feel you need more sauce you can add some pasta water or a bit of soy sauce. Your peas will still have a nice bright green color and a nice crunch to them as well!
Please enjoy!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thankful Thursday's..

So due to the overwhelming amount of posts on Facebook telling me it was Natioal Siblings Day I decided to jump on the bandwagon!

I truly am thankful for my brother he is such a blessing in my life I am not real sure what I'd do without him. But not only am I thankful for him today I am so very thankful for all memories I have from us growing up together...here are just a few 

On the paper route we shared (we were the definition of cool) we had a game to see how many political signs we could hit in the yards.

Washing sheep together at the state fair with zero water pressure, then getting yelled at by dad for the lambs not being clean.

You ditching your truck multiple times with me in it. 

Nearly wrecking my truck in our parents drive way.

Going to the jackpot show in Higginsville by ourselves because we made dad mad, woops

Three words Cards Kathryn Cards (sorry this is totally inside, story another day)

Walking pigs for hours on end. Oh wait we still do that.

I know I was super annoying at times and I still am, but I have never looked up to someone quite like I look up to you...one final memory...

The night they announced you would be serving as the 1999-2000 State FFA officer for area 6 and they put the duct tape on your jacket to read Association. I had never wanted to be more like you than I did on that moment.

Love you big bro!



Now these two are not my blood siblings but they have been in my life for so long I can't imagine life with out them. There have been ups, downs, cheers and tears but through it all I am very glad that when I married your brother you became my sisters.

Don't think I won't go Down memory lane with you two as well...

Mer swimming through corn

Rach sharing a bed in Des Moines

The crazy after thanksgiving shopping trip

Mer when does oil boil

Rach prom dress shopping, heaven help me

Ther are many more but I'll save those for later as well. I am very proud to have you in my life and I pray you feel the same! 

Love you two