Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pinned it. Tried it. Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

I have made this recipe twice.  It is super easy to make, but definitely lacks in an over-the-top flavor.  I will say though that this last time I used REAL onions instead of dried and it added a little more wow. 
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Pasta Cordon BleuRecipe courtesy of Dunne at With a Cherry on TopServes 6
1 lb. Pasta (I used bowtie, but I think Penne would've been perfect)
1 cup Chicken Breasts, cooked and cubed
1 cup Ham, cooked and cubed
1 1/2 cups Milk
8 oz. Cream Cheese (softened)
2 Tbsp. Dried Minced Onion
2 cups Swiss Cheese, shredded

Cayenne Pepper1 cup Panko Crumbs (I used regular bread crumbs and they worked just fine)
1/2 cup Butter, melted (I used 1/4 c. butter and it worked great)

Cook the pasta al dente.  Drain and return to the pot.

Add cooked chicken and ham and toss to combine. 

Preheat broiler.

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream cheese and onions over med-low heat.  Stir frequently, until it becomes smooth (about 5 minutes). 

Stir in the pasta mixture.  Add swiss cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer pasta to a baking dish and top with Panko crumbs. Pour melted butter over crumbs and broil until browned (I gave it 4 minutes).

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Friday Talk (a few days early): The Birds and the Bees

I am writing a very serious  post today.  (Although the picture would seem otherwise)

The Birds and the Bees. 


I recently talked to my 8 yo about it.  I had to.  She had heard about it and was asking OTHERS!  Ouch.  My husband and I knew that if she was talking to others about it, we should probably interfere and make sure that she had her facts straight and wasn't broadcasting to everyone around her (that wasn't an issue). 

After I found out that she knew about sex, I had a lot of emotions:
1.  Denial.  What?  My child?  No way.
2.  Fear.  What else is she learning that I am not aware of? 
3.  Anger.  Who told her and took that 'calling' away from me. 
4.  Rash judgement.  Should I pull her out of school and homeschool her? 
5.  Sadness.  My baby is growing up too fast.
6.  Scared.  My baby is growing up too fast in a scary world!

Yesterday morning, BEFORE I found out, I  was driving her to school and I had a feeling that I needed to tell her how much I love and appreciate her. I went on to say that some people may not be good examples at school, but she had the Holy Ghost and that she would be able to know what was right or wrong.

She started to open up a little, saying that a lot of her friends were swearing and when I asked if she did...she said, "NO!"
Oh, that was the least of my worries...little did I know that an hour later, I would find out she knew.

After I found out, I immediately called my husband.  He was good enough to remain somewhat
calm.  He was concerned about where she had heard it from and that she had learned at such a young age.   We knew that we needed to talk to her that night.

In order to prepare for our upcoming discussion, I knew that I needed to have a few resources.   I searched " LDS Forum + how to teach your child about sex" and I was pleasantly surprised by a few of the websites.

The first one: Being LDS gave some great insight. She had a guest blogger who said that she started talking about it to her 3 year old. Nothing too revealing, but just gave a roundabout way of where babies came from. As a side note, I get that. We have done the same thing, especially when I was pregnant with #3. 

The second one: The Golden Seven gave an FHE on it! It was so well put together and well-said. Some of her sources said to start teaching them at age 8 (well, I guess we are there whether we like it or not). She brought up Adam and Eve, Noah's ark and explained that there was a reason that Heavenly Father placed a man and a woman on the earth. Brilliant really. An approach that I never would have thought about, but now that I have it...I want to run with it! (and I did!)

When I was done reading these articles, I still wasn't sure whether I should run over to the school, pull her out and homeschool her until she was old enough to get married.  Yes. Probably not. But that doesn't make these "homeschooling" feelings go away. (Another side note: I have been having some inklings of homeschool for a while now...just don't want to go through with it!)

As a mother, I feel nothing short of a failure. I haven't protected her. I have noticed she hasn't been the 'same' sweet girl and that she has been treating us and her friends differently. I know they grow up, but have I missed something?   I know things change, that I can't keep them cocooned for ever, they hear things...but it doesn't make this feeling any easier.

I also know that there are people around the world that are going through the same thing.  They are scared to death about "the talk".  But as someone who has JUST gone through it and lived to tell, it is going to be ok.  There is a real threat to our homes and our children, but as parents we know how to protect them.  Be open and honest.  They need this more than being sheltered.  They will find out about it anyway, be sure that you aren't holding off because of YOUR uneasiness.

Sex is a sacred thing and it is being thrown around the four walls of a classroom or at the wind during recess. We can't sit back and let our children learn it from someone else. We need to be proactive and be willing to open our mouths and hearts to our children.

Last night went REALLY well.  I used a bit of the FHE lesson and was able to open up a dialogue with her.  We have an "open door policy",  so nothing was off limits.    She was a bit reluctant at first, and she was embarrassed a few times, but we discussed a lot of things and I made sure that she knew NOT to talk to her friends about something as sacred as procreation.

I am hoping that my kids realize that they can come to us when they hear things. Here's to hoping...


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pinned it. Tried it. 7 Layer cups

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picture via

I made these for the superbowl and they were a HUGE hit!  So good, sooo easy, easy to hold and we weren't worried about double dipping :)

I changed a few things, like putting them in those small plastic cups (PERFECT) and making sure that I had an exact idea of what was needed for each cup. 
*my changes in red
I found that putting 2 TB (+/-) of the refried beans, sour cream, guaco and salsa worked really well.

An easy recipe for Seven Layer Dip.
  • 1 – 16 oz can refried beans
  • 1 – 1 oz package taco seasoning
  • 1 8 oz container sour cream
  • 1 package of pre-made guacamole from Aldi (so easy and good!)
  • 1 cup pico de gallo or salsa
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (for gluten-free please use fresh shredded cheese. Pre-shredded cheese often has gluten added to prevent caking)
  • 1 2.25 oz can black olives, chopped or sliced (3-4 olives, cut up per cup)
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  1. In a small bowl mix the refried beans and taco seasonings.
  2. Spread the mixture in a pie plate sized platter or several small individual containers.
  3. Next, layer the sour cream followed by the guacamole and salsa.
  4. Top the dip off with Cheddar cheese, chopped olives, and green onions.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Follow up to addiction

I was just talking to someone about Facebook and how it is destroying families and marriages.  I am not surprised by this at all.  It is a sad world we live in. 

I will say that I was so into being on Facebook and checking up on people and whatnot that finally I stepped back and sort of "snapped" out of it.  I knew that I couldn't do it on my own, so I asked my hubby to change my password...and NOT TELL ME!  :)  I will say that it has been good for me to be off.  I don't spend as much time on the computer and I am able to do other things.  I get on occassionally and I get on under Luke's name once a day and it is fine.  I don't feel like I have to be completely consumed by it. 

I know that many addiction solutions aren't this easy, but enlist the help of loved ones.  (That's why they're called loved ones. :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday talk: Addiction

There are so many things that people are addicted to:  eating, sleeping, reading computer.  Wait, that's me!!  :)

But in all honesty, addiction is a very hard battle.  Drugs, alcohol, pornography, gambling, video games, working, exercising (although I don't have a major problem with that!  ;), watching TV, shopping, etc.   It is a very real and unsettling thing.  It can disrupt and ruin lives; your life, their life, your childrens' lives. 

A few weeks ago, we had a lesson in church on addiction. I wasn't able to attend, but I would have liked to.  I think that many people associate the word "addiction" with someone that is bad.  So, for me to say that I have tendencies toward addiction (spending too much time on the computer, reading until I finish a book and even wanting to sleep more than my body needs) is a big deal.

Now, reader beware.  I am not confessing anything major here.  But I do wonder how many others "suffer" from this.  Are you a closet crafter?  Like to do TOO many remodels around the house?

I was reading a bit about the LDS Addiction Recovery Program.  There are 12 steps (very similar to the 12 steps of AA) that I thought were very encouraging to read:

Twelve Steps via

1 Honesty
2 Hope
3 Trust in God
4 Truth
5 Confession
6 Change of Heart
7 Humility
8 Seeking Forgiveness
9 Restitution & Reconciliation
10 Daily Accountability
11 Personal Revelation
12 Service

As I took a step back, I realized that this list wasn't just FOR addiction, but for being a good, well-rounded person.  Who doesn't want to be honest, humble?  Or of service?  I think that even if you don't have a problem or even a serious one, this program would be at least a great way to build character.

Maybe along with my New Year's Resolutions, I can start with one step a month.  To become a better person and to look more towards my long-term goals...


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Circle of Moms

I have a friend from my college days that is pretty much awesome. She has amazing style that I could never dream of rockin'..and yet? She does it with ease!

She is a wife, mother and domestic goddess. Seriously. Cori is pretty much the type of wife and mother I can only hope to be one day. (In college, I was her visiting teacher for a bit and her apartment was decorated SO cute...she sewed her curtains and I was in awe of that :) Fast forward 8 or so years and she MAKES some of her own clothes. And they are chic!

With all of this in mind, do me a over to her blog: La Vie Petite and check it out. When you are satisfied that she is simply amazing, click over here and vote for her!

I submitted her name and blog for the Top 25 Fashion & Beauty Moms- 2012.

From the website:
Are you a mom blogger with an eye for style? We’re searching for the best fashion and beauty mom blogs – blogs written by moms that share fashion and beauty tips, products, and trends, and inspire us by showing how motherhood and style can coexist.

We are trying to promote and recognize the work of moms who blog with this contest, rather than blogs that are intended for mom readership.
Therefore, this contest is only open to moms.

Since I honestly believe that she is exactly what the above states, I'll be voting for her daily.
Do me a favor. Put her link on your blog!

Monday, February 13, 2012


 Shutterfly has a great offer for those of you that like to print books.  40% code: BOOK40

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pinned it. Tried it.

Southwestern Chicken Pile-up

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If you want a meal that is extremely easy, healthy AND tastes good..try this!  I have made this a few times and each time the family gobbles them up.  (I am able to adapt what goes on for my stubborn #2).  I have included the original recipe link (click via above), but I have made my own personal changes below!


1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon salt-free Southwest seasoning
1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic powder
2-3 boneless,
skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded
6-8 whole-wheat pita (6 1/2" diameter) OR the new sandwich thins split in half

Red-pepper flavor hummus (I use about 1/2 package and spread enough to top the pita)
2 tablespoons no-salt-added canned black beans, drained and rinsed
Red onion strips
Red bell pepper strips
Chopped tomato
Shredded Cheese

4 teaspoons guacamole or fat-free sour cream (optional)


Preheat the oven to 450°F.

My chicken is usually frozen, so I usually boil it and then either take out and shred or else grill it a few minutes to get all the pink out.
Sprinkle the seasoning and garlic powder evenly over the chicken.
Meanwhile, place the pita on the grill rack. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until lightly toasted. Place the pita on a nonstick baking sheet. Spread evenly with the hummus. Top evenly in layers with the beans, the reserved chicken, onion, red pepper, tomato,  and cheese.

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate. Slice into 4 wedges. Top each wedge with a teaspoon of guacamole or sour cream, if desired.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday talk: Discipline and Resolutions

That post title doesn't seem like it makes much sense, but with all of the jumble of this'll get it.

After that last post, I had some reassuring comments.  It's nice to know that there are mothers, sisters, aunts, grandparents, etc.  that "get it" and have either faced a similar problem or knows someone who has.  Thank you!

In other news, did you know that spanking your child has been linked to long-term effects? HERE is the article.  We posted about Discipline last year. 
Do you agree?

And last, but not are your New Year's Resolutions/Goals going? 

While driving home from Chicago after our NYE fun, we had a few that we thought would be appropriate for our family this year.  I don't remember writing them down, but I DO remember that we were going to go until June, and reevaluate how the first half of the year had gone and if we needed to change anything.

A few of our goals? 
Read the scriptures as a family. 
We have these goals more exact in our minds, but I really think that writing them down (like in year's past) would have been a bit smarter than trying to just do them off the fly.

Any goals you would like to share?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sick, Sick, Sick

Remember how I said I was back? Yeah, that was before my little one got pneumonia. It has been a long, long 2 weeks.

Not sure if I have mentioned that #3 is on a clinical trial through the University Hospital Rainbow Babies & Children-Pulmonology Department? If not. He is.

He has never been officially diagnosed with asthma..or anything for that matter, but there HAS to be something wrong with his immune system SOMEWHERE! Here is a run down of his sicknesses:

First time getting a breathing treatment:

Right before he got his tubes in:

Running total:
Double Ear infections (4) + Ear infections (6) + Croup (2) + H1N1(1) + Pneumonia(2) + Bronchitis (2) + wheezing (13+)= one sick kiddo

Here is the actual month-by-month sick count:

June: Born (hard time and very scary-was blue and not breathing)
July 2009:  He started all of this sick  "business" when he was 5 weeks old.  He had a horrible cough NOT normal for a newborn.  The dr. knew it wasn't "right" but said not to worry about it...
October 2009(4 months old): Gets H1N1
1 week later it turns into a bronchial infection and wheezing
December 2009: 3rd-Ear infection, low oxygen levels, wheezing.
-10: Turned into a double ear infection (while on medicine), wheezing was incredibly bad= Atypical Pneumonia
February 2010: croup + ear infection (medicine prescribed
Two weeks later: ear infection hasn't gone away, wheezing didn't go away (we had 3 different medications and they didn't work)
Referred to the pulmonologist
1 week later: Pulmonologist said that you probably have asthma, but they wouldn't diagnose in a baby so young
March: healthy!
April: double ear infection
3 weeks later: cough, wheezing,
June: ear infection
July: Bonchitis
August: Hand, Foot & mouth Disease
September 2: Small fever + cold turned into a major scare:
Sept. 6: low pulse/ox levels, wheezing, ear infection. Started throwing up. Dr. wanted to put you in the hospital, but didn't want you to get worse. Sends us home.
Sept. 13: double ear infection
October: cold, but was able to fight it without meds!
December: Double ear infection=Surgery to put tubes in
January: tubes
January 28: sick
February 11: croup
March 7, 22: ear infection/ear draining + cough, runny nose
May 19: Flu
July 12th: Put on the clinical trial
August: sick
September: Very sick. Almost sent to the hospital
October: coughing again
December: cough
January 23, 2012: cough + wheezing = 3rd time to start the clinical medicine. After 4 days, it didn't get better so he started the NEXT medication. We went in to the dr. 2 days later and you he was running a fever, the medicine hadn't made anything better...and they found that you had pneumonia :(
UPDATE 2.16.2012:  You finished the APRIL, OCELOT.  The Amoxicillan was finished this past Saturday, 2.11.12 and started coughing AGAIN on Sunday..and now have a double ear infection, with wheezing, coughing, runny nose.  We need to get you better!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pinned it. Tried it: Yummy and goodness!

Last week I made these for a Sunday treat. 

I decided that instead of dipping them in regular chocolate, I'd try it with this:
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Magic Shells just seemed like it would be the easiest and it sure was easy, just wasn't the right taste.  I used milk chocolate chips and it was just too sweet. 

For the Superbowl I melted semi-sweet chocolate chips and it tasted much better.  The dip was MUCH thicker than I would have liked (note to self:  make the magic shell with semi-sweet choc. chip)

They were a hit!  Both times.  So, so good...just make sure that you have a whole lot of people, so you don't eat them all.  (Makes about 40)