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Easy Baked Chicken Legs with Paprika Rub

Categories: Cooking, Food, Uncategorized

9 Comments

My kids prefer dark meat to the chicken breasts.  I used to think that it was because the dark meat was more moist, but to be honest I now think that it is because they can pick up the legs in their hands and not have to bother with those pesky utensils.

I like to buy chicken legs because they are insanely inexpensive. Also, if you have any children who are picky and like bland food, once the skin is removed after cooking the spiciness disappears. (I am going to admit to you all right now that I had to look up how to spell spiciness. That just doesn’t look right. But then again, neither did any other way I tried to spell it.)

 
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Baked French Fries - Easy, Spicy, Delicious

Categories: Cooking, Food, Uncategorized, side dishes

16 Comments

Who doesn’t love french fries? Crazy people that’s who.

So if  you are a crazy person just stop reading right now.  Then go and find yourself some medication.  Come back once you are sane.  Trust me, you will want to.

I have to confess right here that I had never made french fries from scratch before this. The thought of slicing up all of the potatoes seemed like way too much work when I could just open up a bag of already seasoned fries and dump it out onto my baking sheet. But a couple weeks ago I was making dinner and thought, ‘Oh what the heck, let me try.’
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The Best Banana Bread (or Muffins) in the Whole World

Categories: Cooking, Food, Uncategorized

14 Comments

This is what my children call it.  And really who am I to argue with it.  They are so stingy with their praise that I take it wherever I can get it. Last week when all my kids were sick with the coughing plague they requested I make this.  In fact, my 9 yr old was upset that his siblings had the audacity to eat the bananas and not let them go “bad.”

I have used this recipe since before I had kids.  When I was pregnant with my first child I brought it as a snack for my lamaze class and it recieved rave reviews from everyone. And I don’t just mean the pregnant people who would eat anything.
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Baked Pork Chops with Apples

Categories: Crockpot, Food, Uncategorized

5 Comments

When you think of pork chops what is the first thing that comes to mind? Applesauce, right?
or if you are a child of the 70’s the Brady Bunch episode where Peter is imitating Humphrey Bogart and says, “Pork chops and applesauce. That’s swell.”

In fact every single time I make pork chops I have to say this. And every time my kids ask me why I am saying in a weird voice.

So when I found this recipe I thought it was perfect, apples and pork chops cooked together!

I really liked it.  My kid were kind of meh, whatever. They are such party poopers sometimes.
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Southwest Chicken and Bean Soup

Categories: Cooking, Crockpot, Food, Uncategorized

7 Comments

You should make this.  Right now if possible. 

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Brunch, Entertaining Recession Style

Categories: Cooking, Entertaining, Food, Uncategorized

21 Comments

I have noticed a new trend– families doing Sunday brunch together instead of dinner parties or going out for cocktails.  It is more casual, low-cost, and definitely kid friendly.

We had another family over for brunch and one of my children said, “This is so awesome.  It is like when we stay at the Holiday Inn Express!”  I assume that was meant as the highest of compliments.  It made me think about why brunch is such a fun meal to host, the food choices are endless and varied. 
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The Little Luxuries

Categories: Uncategorized

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The other day I came home from running errands, the crockpot was cooking dinner I had put inside of it before I left the house.  The housekeeper had just left and the house was sparkling clean.  As I walked inside and looked around I thought, ‘This must be what it feels like to have a wife.’  You know, a good wife, not a slacker wife. 

Money has been tight around here lately and some people might look at my bank account and wonder why on earth I still have a housekeeper.  The truth is that it is my one thing, my one luxury.  I don’t get manicures or pedicures anymore.  I don’t get anything waxed, except for my eyebrows, but I really consider that to be a gift to the rest of the world.  I switched to a much, much less expensive hairdresser who frankly does the job just as well.

Having someone come in and clean my house top to bottom every other week takes a huge stress load  off of my shoulders.  I would rather cut back in other areas than let it go.  Sometimes I feel like it is a bit selfish, that there are other things that I could better spend the  money on.  But in the end I have decided that it is  okay to be a bit selfish sometimes.  As mothers, and probably even moreso as working mothers, the guilt over doing anything that is just for yourself can be overwhelming.  Motherhood as sacrifice has become an insidious part of our collective conscience. 

I was talking to a  friend about the one luxury you allow yourself, despite the economy.  Her answer was getting regular manicures.  I have another friend who spends one morning a week at the bookstore drinking her coffee and reading a book.

What is the one luxury that will have to be pried out of your hand kicking and screaming?  Tell me that there is one thing you do for yourself that is a little selfish.  If you can’t think of one thing that you do maybe you should consider adding one to your life on a regualr basis.  Commit to being just a tiny bit selfish in the New Year.

Taco Soup

Categories: Cooking, Crockpot, Food, Uncategorized

6 Comments

I have been neglecting my crockpot lately. I think I have just become tired of the same old recipes I make it in over and over again. 

But then I got this cookbook, Make It Fast, Cook It Slow in the mail from my friend Stephanie O’Dea.  And oh my goodness I have been reinspired to to use my crockpot. (I also broke down and finally bought an immersion blender)

In case you don’t know Stephanie, she was the blogger who decided to use her crockpot every day for an entire year and blog about the experience.  I absolutely love this cookbook.  Not only does Stephanie have the recipes she used during her year long project, she also tells you what she and her family thought of the various dishes.  Her daughter is Celiac, so all of the recipes are gluten free or have gluten free alternatives to the ingredients.

Last week I made the Taco Soup recipe.  It was so good that I hid the leftovers for myself to eat for lunch all week. 


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Hello-lo-lo-lo

Categories: Uncategorized

2 Comments

I think I hear an echo in here.

Tap, tap, tap… this thing still on?

So, Chris, what have you been up to? Eating bon-bons while reclining on a tropical getaway?

I wish I could say that was what I have been up to, even though I know it would make all of you hate me just a little bit. The truth of the matter is that I have moved again. I have been sick twice or is it three times now– it is all just blending together. I transitioned my children to public school and have four kids playing on four different sports teams.

The organization of my household has all but disappeared. And cooking? Forget about it. I had been making quick things, the old stand-bys, and take out. How could I write about cooking quick nutritious meals when even I was failing to do it.

At the end of last week, I think I finally turned the corner on being sick, knocking furiously on wood here. And so begins the catch up, the delegating, and the letting go of perfectionism. Because at this point things don’t need to be perfect, they just need to be done. My clothes need to be hanging in the closet. I can color coordinate it all again LATER.

And so it is the same with writing back here. I have a great recipe I want to share for macaroni and cheese. It is so good that my children said it is BETTER than the stuff out of the blue box. I know! That is a compliment of the highest order.

Do you know what has been holding me back from sharing it the past couple weeks? I don’t have any photos of it. I kept telling myself that I would make it again and photograph it… but that never happened. (See above for mention of foods we have been eating lately)

Today I was cleaning up my house and unpacking some boxes when I thought, does it really matter if there are no photos. No, it probably only matters to me.

And so look for the baked Macaroni and Cheese recipe later today. And bring your imagination for visualizing photos of me cooking, stirring, and mixing. Why yes, I have lost weight and my hair is perfectly colored and styled. Thank you for noticing, um in your imagination. Sometimes it really is better than the real thing. And might I say, you look fabulous too.

Stuffed Jalepeno Pepper Poppers

Categories: Cooking, Entertaining, Holiday Entertaining, Uncategorized

12 Comments

These are so easy to make… are you beginning to sense a theme with my cooking? Yesterday I whipped up a platter of these and brought them outside to my sons’ friends that were hanging out in yard with him. Yes I realize teenage boys will eat anything, but they will also tell you if it isn’t good while they are eating it. They inhaled the peppers.

One boy picked one up off of the platter and said, very seriously, “Everything is better with bacon.” If I had a teenage daughter I would have immediately proposed an arranged marriage.
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