Saturday, July 23, 2011

Chicken Pasta Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Pasta Salad is one of those summer time foods I love on a nice hot day. I usually cook the pasta late at night and assemble the day before to allow the flavors to meld. This salad is best after marinating in the fridge for at least 6 hours and is all the better the next day. For me there is nothing better on a hot summer day then a nice cold pasta salad.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Our Birthday

Tomorrow we will celebrate our birthday. My husband and I where born on the same day 6 years apart. This years a milestone birthday for me, I don't feel ready to have. Where have the years gone and when did the kids grow so much? Why does this all happen so fast? Can I not put the rest of our lives in slow motion.

So being me I asked my husband what exactly have I accomplished in the last 13 and a half years we have been together? I work part time, I can count on 1 hand the number of times I have put in 40 hours in a week at my job. He looked at me and said you have been raising 3 wonderful children and have done an amazing job! Me being me again said are you sure I've done good enough? His response of course you have.

The kids have grown so fast our daughter is going to middle school this year which scares the day lights out of me! It seems like just yesterday, I was baking banana bread 9 months pregnant in the kitchen when my water broke and then refusing to go to the hospital until the bread was baked. I will say it was worth the wait since we came home to banana bread ;) She is an amazing child, her voice was blessed to her by God and a amazing intelligence. She had scored 2nd highest in the district for her hi-cap testing last year and will be starting middle school off in the hi-cap program. She always has tips on how to improve on things or save money. She is old beyond her years.

It seems like yesterday our middle son was pushing around furniture and learning to walk. He was such a blessing as a baby he had the most amazing eye's. He now has idea's of his own and becomes frustrated with his siblings messiness. He has become less snugly and more opinionated. But when no one is looking and his siblings are busy he sneaks in for a hug and a kiss. He is my math whiz. He teaches me patience, as we are so much alike sometimes.

 Then the baby of the bunch reminds me he is no longer a baby but a big man. He still looks at me and tells me how much he loves me and how pretty I am almost every day. I dread the day he's to old to  say that and becomes embarrassed. I think he is my reminder to slow down.

I really don't know how full time working Mom's do what they do. It has been hard enough working part time for the last 7 years. I worry have I done well enough?

I blink and before I know it the kids will be asking their Dad to teach them how to drive, scary thought. He reminds me sometimes I am over protective and I have to let the kids grow a bit with in reason. Some times he is my voice of reason. He is amazing. My husband for the last 7 years has worked 50- 75 hour work weeks, yet he still finds time to spend with the kids. He's been up in the morning after working till 5 or 6 am to fix them breakfast and take them to school. He tries to come home when he works late for dinner even if it means he's only home for 20 minutes. He doesn't complain about what he has to do. He just reminds me one step at a time and we will get through this. I love him so much!

So I am spending today deciding what I would really like to accomplish in the next 10 years. I would love to go to Italy and France, learn something new, help my blog to become successful, continue to spend quality time with my kids in hopes they will enjoy coming home to have dinner on the table as they grow older, and make sure my husband, family and friends know just how much I love them and how thankful I am for everyone! As another blogger reminded me yesterday, do something you love everyday. So I will try to incorporate that into my life going forward. Our time here is so short and goes so fast. But I feel so truly blessed for my family and friends!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Herb Quinoa

Herb Quinoa
So this is my story... I had bought quinoa awhile ago and figuring the kids and the husband might find repugnance to the new grain on the dinner plate.  I hid it waiting for a good opportunity. This was the night! I was making salmon and decided to try the quinoa on the side. Surprise, surprise, all the kids loved it and my middle son asked to have it again the following night. So we will be adding this into our regular rotation instead of rice. The kids thought it was like sticky rice and my husband became inquisitive with questions and interest. It reminds me of a mix between rice and couscous. So be bold be brave and give it a go. I found mine organic in the bulk section of the local super market and it was pretty inexpensive.
2 cups chicken broth (I used homemade)
3 teaspoons chopped chives, 2 teaspoons chopped parsley, 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary.
Bring broth to a boil and add 1 cup quinoa. Stir in herbs and lower heat to low. Cook about 20 minutes.  
Quinoa
Add another tablespoon chopped parsley. 1/2 a fresh squeezed lemon, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and salt as needed. Stir and serve.

Cook time: 20 minutes
Preparation time: 7 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 3 teaspoons Chives, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 a Lemon, juiced
  • pinch Salt or more to taste dependent on stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Parsley, chopped
Preparation Instructions

Bring stock to boil over high heat. Once boiling add quinoa, chives, parsley (reserve 1 tablespoon for the end), rosemary and garlic powder. Stir, return to simmer and turn heat to low. Cover and cook 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork, squeeze lemon juice over and add salt, pepper and remaining tablespoon chopped parsley. Serve with your favorite meat in place of rice.


Saturday, July 09, 2011

Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese


Ultimate-Macaroni-And-Cheese.jpg
This is the most creamiest, delicious, macaroni and cheese. As I am writing this my oldest saw the picture and said, "oho macaroni and cheese that taste so good!" I'm pe.sure she was hoping I would make this again tonight but I am lacking ingredients. I happened to make this the night of our neighborhood block party and seemed to receive  rave reviews. Now my daughter read she missed the neighborhood block party because she was on a trip and became all bummed, then went on to say "well at least can you make this tomorrow for me?" I think you have the idea of how she feels about this mac and cheese now so I will move on and share my recipe.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Roasted Chicken Dinner In One Pan

This was so delicious. I love only having 1 pan to clean up after dinner! The names rather lame but it is what it is and I guess when something more creative pops in my head,I will change it. Other wise I might sit on this recipe for another few days or months or years before I post and let's just say this is way too delicious and easy not to make! Once again another favorite part is the chicken stock I made after dinner and froze. Homemade chicken stock is so much more tasty then anything you can pick up at the store!
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