Names have been changed to protect the innocent...and my husband...and me...but not the dog. His name is Dexter.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Recipe Swap Wednesday-Chicken Enchilada Rice

This is a recipe that I ended up making because I was missing at least half of the ingredients for the recipe I had intended to make.  Honestly, my heart really wasn't in making the original recipe.  I was really looking for something a little lighter and with a little more kick.

After taking the plunge, I was a little worried by how well it would be received.  My girls are not really picky eaters, but they....have high standards at times.  And they are expressive of their likes....and dislikes.  They are certainly not the world's worst food critics, but I don't really want to keep making recipes that my family doesn't really like.  This particular recipe....they each had three servings.  And have already asked me to make it again.  I made it for the first time yesterday.  They liked it that much!

So, without further ado........

Chicken Enchilada Rice (not a very creative name, but it's all I've got for now)
2-3 chicken breasts (or one freakishly large chicken breast)
Small can of green chilies
4 tablespoons butter

Place the chicken, green chilies and butter in your crock pot.  You can cook it on low for 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours.

About 30-45 minutes before serving (right around the same time you can put rice in the rice cooker....or in a pan if you're fancy) add an eight ounce block of fat free cream cheese (cubed) and about a half a cup skim milk, or more if you would like it a thinner consistency.  Stir this in, shredding the chicken as you go and let cook for the remaining time.  Serve over rice and enjoy!

Also, my apologies about the lack of pictures.  It was gone before I had a chance to take one.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Recipe Swap Wednesday-Granola Bars!

I originally found this recipe on Pinterest and have since tweaked it around to make it work for us. And now I share with you!

No Bake Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup raw cane sugar (I bought mine in the Winco bulk section--not too expensive)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups puffed rice or quick oats, or combination of both
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
In a large bowl, stir together your rice and/or oat combination and set aside.  In a sauce pan melt butter, honey and sugar until it comes to a boil.  Reduce heat and boil for two minutes.  Add vanilla and pour mixture over your rice/oat mixture.  Mix well until the ingredients are evenly coated.  Allow to cool for a few minutes and then add chocolate chips.  (You can also substitute other things for the chocolate dried cherries, cinnamon and raisins, etc.)  Pour mixture onto a greased jelly roll pan and press to one end.
Cool at room temperature and cut into bars or squares, whatever you prefer.  I recommend not waiting longer than an hour since they seem to set up pretty quickly.
And then you can just sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labors.  And really enjoy that these yummy granola bars are actually very little labor.

And I should mention that these awesome granola bars are gluten free.  Thankyouverymuch.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

True Confessions

I think it's time for some confessions.  We need some good, old fashioned, tawdry confessions to brighten these bitterly cold days of January that truly do suck the life out of us all.  I'll go first.....

  • I'm still not over my weirdness with listening to FM 100. 
  • I actually keep a heating pad in my car on my seat and plug it in every time I go anywhere.
  • It's my white trash version of heated seats and I'm totally okay with that.
  • I gave up drinking soda three weeks ago.  Even the precious Mountain Dew.
  • Since then I have gained three pounds.  
  • I'm turning into a bitter old woman with a gray hair that gains more weight with each healthy choice I make.
  • Again....bitter.
  • I'm convinced that my blood is actually half Mountain Dew.
  • Surprisingly, quitting the Mountain Dew has not been as hard as I thought it would be.
  • I'm finding that's the case with most things that I think will be hard....just jumping in is the hardest part and then it gets easier from there. 
  • My phone is making me a lazy typist.  
  • I originally typed "typer" but it seems that is not actually a word.
  • I love Auto Correct and the more ridiculous it is, the more I love it.
  • My favorite so far is about flaunting toilets.  I won't go camping without them.
  • I've completely lost my mind and gone in to full fledged delusions.  The current delusion is that I actually have the capacity to run a half marathon.  
  • Once I start training, I'm pretty sure I'll gain fifty pounds.
  • Oh, the is multiplying.  
  • Probably like my gray hairs.  
And now it's your turn.  Tell me some of your shallowest, lightest secrets.  Anything to take my mind off the extra three pounds and lack of Mountain Dew in my life.

Monday, January 14, 2013


The last 36 hours have been less than great.  It started with this yesterday morning....

My first gray hair.  It's kind of gone downhill since then.  I don't foresee tomorrow being much better.  Let's all keep our fingers crossed for Wednesday. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tip Tuesday-Homemade Butter!

The first time I took homemade butter to a family dinner (I do believe it was Thanksgiving Day a few years ago) my sweet brother asked me if I now had a cow living in my back yard.  Although I do not have a cow yet, some day I will my friends!  Alpacas need friends too.

Until then, I buy the cream at the store....the way of the city girl.
Then I put it in a container and shake....shake....shake....
We pass it around and take turns.  I just be sure to check the lid before passing it to CG because, for some reason, when he shakes it the lid comes off.  Not messy at all.

This is what it's going to look like when it's done (before pouring out the buttermilk).  You'll know it's done because you'll be able to hear the butter clunking around the container. 
I usually separate the buttermilk and use it for biscuits or for my in-laws cat.
Be sure to press on the butter to get all the extra fluid out.  I like to put it in a shallow ice cube tray so that everyone can have an individual butter pat.  You could also add honey or other seasonings for a specialty butter. 
And, really, who doesn't love pumpkin shaped butter.  This is a really easy and fun activity to do with my kids.  They LOVE making butter and sharing it with everyone. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Ugly Truth About Shoulder Surgery

Ah...shoulder surgery....the thing that has pretty much ruled my life since September 7th.  I can't even tell you how many times I've said or thought I could do something only to realize after that fact that I can't, actually, do that.  Like, pick up 30 pound kids, carry a sleeping Babs into the house when she's fallen asleep in the car or effectively console one of my girls when they get hurt.  Or do a hand stand.  Ya know, the usual. 

Honestly, I really didn't know what I was getting myself into.  Most people that I talked to about it just said that I should be glad that it wasn't to fix a rotator cuff because that surgery is truly awful.  So I did a lamb to the slaughter.  Don't get me wrong, I have benefited already since I'm not in constant pain, which is nice.  And I wasn't naive enough to think the process would be easy and painless.  But seriously....I had NO idea it would be quite this mind numbingly hard! 

There are the big things, like physical therapy.  It's at least an hour and a half each day at home and two hours when I go in to meet with my physical therapist.  She's awesome and has the misfortune of not only being my physical therapist, but also becoming my regular therapist since she has to listen to me whine about how hard it is.  And hear all about my various cooking/baking/crafting/socializing/parenting fails.  It's like having to read my blog (by force) in amazingly interactive technicolor HD 3-D without having the advantage to just click away when you can't take it anymore.  I've recently started blog stalking her and I think I may have crossed over that fine line going from annoying patient to annoying online stalker.  Pretty sure there's a HIPPA violation in there somewhere.
My wall of exercises....not all of them pictured but you get the idea.

I don't think people really realize how physically and mentally draining physical therapy is.  It takes a lot of energy to focus on making sure the form is correct and retraining your muscles to do it right after years and years of doing it wrong in order to compensate for one of my many, many genetic shortcomings.  Just imagine exercising for almost two hours every day and never losing any weight.  That's pretty much where I'm at.  And not bitter at all.  And I'm not at all bitter about my sssllllloooooowwww progress either.

But it's funny how it's been the little things that I have struggled with the most.  Things like going to the bathroom, but using your non-dominant hand.  Just try it....I double dog dare you.  It will be a learning experience.  Or struggling to put on shirts or sweaters, get a pan out of the oven, grocery shopping, hanging up clothing, pointing, turning off my alarm, etc..  Also, putting on pants with one arm is not nearly as easy as it looks, but I appreciate being able to use both arms now.   I still can't put something in my back pocket with my right hand.  Such a simple and oh so frustrating thing.  It's also quite fascinating to watch people watching's like a car accident, there's nothing you can do but you just can't look away.   

Slowly, but surely, I think I'm getting there.  I volunteer in my daughters' classes, cook dinner, do laundry and try to keep up with all the things that need keeping up with.  It's not perfect but at least there are clean clothes to wear.  And some day I'll actually get all the Christmas decorations put away.  Maybe.

There have been some less than sympathetic people that have taken the attitude of "it's been months, what's the big deal".  But most people have either forgotten (which is pretty easy since you really can't tell anything by looking at me) or are understanding and thoughtful.  And I sometimes wonder if my hurry to get back to "normal" for the sake of my girls has made my progress that much slower.  But it doesn't really matter now.

I do realize (most days) that I will eventually get back to normal and I'll have an arm and shoulder that works really well and can keep up with me.  So, until then I will just keep doing my physical therapy, try to keep the whining to a minimum and hope that when I got back to the doctor he doesn't have to follow through with the second surgery he said I might have to have.  Because, let's face it, we will all have nervous breakdowns if I have to have surgery again.

Okay, rant over.  Sorry about the whining.  We will now return to our regularly scheduled....awesomeness?

And Happy Friday. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012...A Year In Pictures

Because pictures are way cuter than any font. 

Oops....looks like I didn't take a single picture in January.





All of these pictures are trapped on our not-really-working-anymore laptop. :o(
Among them are pictures of the end of school year for Lolly and swimming lessons.







Happy New Year!
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