Archive for May, 2012

  • Homemade Pizza

    Date: 2012.05.30 | Category: recipes | Response: 0

    Chris’ mom used to make homemade pizza for the family when he was growing up and it’s become a family favorite around our house too.  Sometimes we grill it and sometimes we bake it.  I like it both ways- doing individual pizzas on the grill is a bit more labor intensive, but tastes fabulous.  The other night we were having 50 MPH winds so we baked it.  As we were preparing the dough my first inspiration struck- what if we coated the crust with our favorite cheesy garlic?  Um, yum!  We decided to double the recipe so we’d have lots of leftovers (I love cold pizza too!), but we were running low on toppings after we made the first three.  And that’s when the moment of pure genius occurred.  Dessert pizza.  Cause that’s how we roll.


    dough (makes two pizzas)
    2 packets of dry yeast
    2 cups very warm water
    2 tsp sugar
    1 tsp salt
    4 TBS olive oil
    5 cups (a little more or less as needed) flour

    olive oil and garlic cheese sprinkle (or other seasonings- dry ranch mix would be awesome)

    Dissolve yeast in very warm water, add sugar and oil.  Place into Kitchen Aid with 2 cups of flour and salt.  Mix with dough hook, adding remaining flour slowly.  Let dough rest 5 minutes.

    toppings– (pick and choose your favorites!  These are some of ours-)
    pizza sauce or Alfredo sauce
    sliced olives
    sliced mushrooms
    shredded cooked chicken
    Italian Blend or Mozzarella cheese

    Preheat oven to 425º.  Divide dough in half- shape and stretch dough to fit two pans (we use a baking sheet with a Silpat).  Lightly coat dough with oil and then sprinkle with cheesy garlic- flip dough and coat second side.  Top with sauce and toppings.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating cookie sheets half way through.


    Grill it!  This tutorial changed the way I make my pizza.  It is SO GOOD!  Plus I love having personal pizzas for everyone with their favorite toppings.

    Preheat your grill to medium/hot.  Gather all of your toppings right near the grill.  You need to be prepared to work fast and having a helper is ideal.  Divide your dough into 4 or 5 individual pizzas.  Use your hands to shape the first two or three crusts and liberally coat each one with olive oil.  (Now, we have had a lot of trouble with our dough sinking into the grill, making it impossible to flip- we started using a piece of foil under the first side and are much happier with the results.  I don’t know if our technique is bad or what, but this way just works better for us.  Do as you will.)  Place each crust on the grill and close the lid.  When it’s puffy and ready to flip generously coat the top with olive oil.  Flip your crusts (we remove the foil at this point) and quickly load it up with your favorite toppings without burning your fingers!  Close your lid again and remove from the grill as soon as your cheese starts to melt and the bottom is firm (the second side goes much quicker than the first- don’t let it burn!).  The Our Best Bites tutorial is much better than mine- I recommend reading it before trying this method at home!

    Dessert Pizza

    dough for one pizza
    melted butter
    peanut butter
    melted chocolate

    Take one pizza worth of dough and shape it for your crust.  Coat your dough with melted butter and then a generous amount of cinnamon and sugar on the top and bottom.  Bake at 425º for 15-20 minutes.  Immediately spread with peanut butter and drizzle with chocolate.  Die and go to heaven.  You’re welcome.


  • Menu Plan May 27-June 2

    Date: 2012.05.27 | Category: meal plan | Response: 1

    What are we having for dinner this week?

    Sunday- cheesy beef stroganoff

    Monday- we’ll grill something!

    Tuesday- sausage crescent rolls

    Wednesday- chicken enchiladas

    Thursday- tilapia

    Friday- spinach artichoke bites (I’ll add chicken)

    Saturday- burritos

  • Lord Bless This Home

    Date: 2012.05.21 | Category: home improvement | Response: 1

    I was given the opportunity to participate in another awesome DaySpring review- and of course I said yes!  I received this beautiful “Lord Bless This Home” plaque which looks perfect next to my front door.  It is such a nice way to greet people who come to my house with a statement of faith.

    I think that the silver text  helps balance out the street numbers and light fixture on the other side of the door.

    Doesn’t that look nice?  I love it!

    Here’s a close up!

    (We used special masonry screws rather than the ones that came with the plaque- the originals come in a matching silver tone. I snapped this picture before I took a sharpie to those screws- don’t worry I fixed it!)

    I am so thankful that the Lord has blessed me.  With a wonderful husband, three healthy children, an abundance of riches.  I need to always remember that the Lord blesses me so that I can share those blessings with others.  Hopefully this sign will be a reminder of my many blessings and that I can and should pass them on.

    Are you interested in picking up one of their Lord Bless This Home signs?  They are part of this month’s (in)spired deals and they are on sale!

    Legal disclaimerese- I was given this product to review by (in)courage by Dayspring at no cost to me.  The opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own!

  • Menu Plan May 20-26

    Date: 2012.05.20 | Category: meal plan | Response: 0

    What are we having for dinner this week?

    Sunday- dinner with friends

    Monday- salmon

    Tuesday- orange beef

    Wednesday- crescent roll quiche

    Thursday- freezer find!

    Friday- cheesy beef stroganoff

    Saturday- pizza

  • Spinach Alfredo Lasagna

    Date: 2012.05.17 | Category: recipes | Response: 0

    I’ve been avoiding the grocery store this month to help with the budget after an unexpected car repair, so I’ve been trying to use ingredients I already have on hand for dinner. The other night I came up with a winner. I altered the inspiration recipe enough that I’m going to go ahead and call this one an original. It is a super cheesy creamy lasagna that satisfied my craving for an indulgent dinner on Mother’s Day. Even if I did have to cook it myself.

    Spinach Alfredo Lasagna

    8 lasagna noodles (boiled per package instructions)
    2 chicken breasts (cooked and cubed)
    10 oz frozen spinach (thawed and drained)
    2 cloves crushed garlic
    1 can sliced mushrooms
    1 can sliced olives
    Cheesy garlic seasoning
    1 jar Alfredo sauce
    1/3 pkg feta cheese
    2 cups shredded mixed Italian cheese
    2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

    Spread a thin layer of Alfredo sauce in a 9×13 pan.
    Sauté chicken, spinach, garlic, mushrooms and olives with cheesy garlic. Remove from heat and add remaining Alfredo sauce and feta.
    Layer half of your noodles, half of the meat mixture, and half of the cheese in your pan and repeat. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


  • Beef Nacho Casserole

    Date: 2012.05.11 | Category: recipes | Response: 1

    So I forgot to start the crock pot the other day.  Thankfully I hadn’t put anything in it yet- I just completely forgot that I had planned a crock pot meal until about 3:30 in the afternoon.  I have a bunch of pre-cooked ground beef in the freezer (I’ve switched back to doing it in large batches on the stovetop, sometimes I was getting a weird texture from the crock pot that I don’t get on the stove) so I decided to pull out a pound and search online for a new casserole recipe.  I’m pleased to report that I hit upon a winner!  I found it on All Recipes, but of course I altered it a bit!

    Beef Nacho Casserole

    1 pound ground beef
    1 1/2 cups chunky salsa
    2 cups frozen corn
    1 can refried beans (I had half a can left from another recipe but a full can would work just as well!)
    1/2 cup mayo
    1/2 cup ranch dressing
    1 teaspoon fajita seasoning
    2 cups crushed tortilla chips (I used the new Tostitos Garlic and Black Bean chips- YUM!)
    2 cups cheddar cheese

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring to crumble, until evenly browned. Drain grease. Remove from the heat, and stir the salsa, corn, beans, mayonnaise, ranch dressing and seasonings into the beef. In a 2 quart casserole dish, layer the ground beef mixture, tortilla chips and cheese twice, ending with cheese on top. Bake for 20 minutes uncovered in the preheated oven, until cheese is melted and dish is thoroughly heated.

    Now if only I were a good blogger who took pictures of my food…


  • Menu Plan May 6-12

    Date: 2012.05.05 | Category: meal plan | Response: 0

    What are we having for dinner this week?

    Edited based on my successful Costco trip and an evaluation of my freezer but still no regular grocery store run…

    Sunday- spinach chicken and artichoke pasta (from the freezer)

    Monday- chicken and rice casserole

    Tuesday- pulled pork

    Wednesday- orange beef

    Thursday- ranch pork chops

    Friday- GIRLS NIGHT!!!  (Chris and the kids are on their own!)

    Saturday- chicken pot pie

    We’ll see.  Several of these recipes are dependent on a trip to Costco and who knows if that will happen!

  • What Life is Like With 3

    Date: 2012.05.01 | Category: homemaking, just blabbing, parenting | Response: 1

    Well, I admit it. Having three kids is kicking me in the butt. We’re actually doing fine; we eat 3 meals a day plus a snack, we change out of our pajamas (most days!), we’ve made it to church every week since James was 3 weeks old. You know, we’re fine. But I am exhausted! Chris has track season right now, so 4 days a week he doesn’t get home til 5:30 or 6 which is when I try to serve dinner so I’m doing all that without help- and with the addition of my 2 nephews on Mondays and Thursdays. Plus he’s gone all day Saturdays at track meets. James is doing great at giving me long stretches of sleep at night, but JT has started having nightmares and calling for us in the middle of the night several times a week. Gone are the days of sleeping in until 8 or 9, at least one or two of the kids is up by 7 am most days. Which makes it awfully hard for me to take a shower, so I’m lucky to get one every other day lately. Odds of me getting more than half an hour of all three (or five) kids resting at the same time in the afternoon are pretty low. Maybe twice a week I get a decent break- so then it’s always a big decision… do I sleep? shower? start dinner? catch up on email? pay bills? blog?

    Anyway, all that to say- Hi. I’ve missed you. Here’s what’s been happening around here lately…

    JT has started showing a lot more independence. He’s dressing himself most days, using the potty on his own, helping with snack and meals, doing little things to help with James and Kate. He is a great big brother!

    The other day we got the kids loaded up in the car to head to church. While clicking JT in to his seat we noticed he was wearing socks, but no shoes. So I ran in the house and grabbed a pair. Once we got to church I was helping him put them on and I discovered that he was wearing a pair of jeans under his khaki pants! This week he wore his pajama bottoms under his pants. Silly silly boy.

    JT watched me using the toilet the other day and asked “Mama, is that tricky how you go pee pee without a penis?”

    We had an exercise bike in our foyer and JT pushed it across the room. I asked him how he did it and he said “Well, I was doing really hard work!”

    JT climbed up so his feet were higher than my head at the playground!

    JT broke out in some wicked hives in the middle of the night all over his legs. He started calling them his “bubblygerks”.

    Kate gets super possessive of James. When she’s holding or hugging him she doesn’t want any help and heaven forbid someone else wants a turn!

    Kate was watching me breastfeed and noticed the blue veins on my breasts. She became very concerned and said “Blue! Blue! No drawing!” She thought someone had drawn on me.

    (please note that two of us are still in our jammies!)

    Kate loves to pick out her own hair bows! She has also taken to carrying a pair of footie pajamas around as her lovey. Lucky for us she’s not picky about which pair!

    Kate is definitely two- she’s got a real willful streak and she’s likely to melt down over any small injustice. But she’s still super sweet, so kind, really funny and loves to cuddle in with me every chance she gets.

    The good news is we’re all happy. The kids love James and don’t seem resentful of the time he takes at all.

    We loved having Grandma and Grandpa here for three weeks in March and then our friend Daniel here during spring break. That added some nice variety and was a lot of help!

    (please note the kids are actually fighting over the baby- and they’re in their jammies!)

    Both big kids are go go go all the time. They are super adventuresome and always climbing and jumping and creating and getting into stuff!

    We’ve been having lots of fun playing hide and seek, coloring and using stickers, playing outside (Oh thank you God for the warm spring weather we’ve had!), building with blocks, and reading books.

    It’s nearly impossible to get the kids to sit still long enough to take a picture.

    This is the best Easter picture we got of the family- do you see how crazed we look?!?

    The sweet boy who tipped us over the edge!

    James just turned two months old, he weighs 13 pounds 11 ounces which is 87%. He’s a great eater!

    He’s smiling and noticing his toys and the people around him now. He’s a great sleeper and he’s pretty easy going.

    So you see why I haven’t been on the computer much lately. Most of my Facebook and email time is on the phone while I’m breastfeeding. The blog has just had to go for now. Thanks for understanding, I’ll be around as often as I can!

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