Monday, December 15, 2014

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

Sorry it's been a while since I last posted.  Been busy with returning to work, Justin in school and working, getting carpet in the basement, celebrating both of our birthdays (I'm turning 30 on Friday!) and the holidays.
 
Time is flying by.  But it's fun.  So I'm sorry I haven't posted, I am doing my best to catch up.
 
Here is a recipe I wish was a little bit better, but I wanted to share it with you anyway.   Click HERE or the picture for the link. 
 
http://www.stayin-afloat.com/p/slow-cooker-honey-sesame-chicken.html
 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Hi Ho Hi Ho...

back to work I go. :(

This thursday (12/4) is when I go back to work after having Caleb.  Can't believe the 12 weeks have flown by.  It has been amazing time being able to spend it with him and being able to bond - I will miss being able to hold him.

What does this mean for the good ole' blog?  It only means it will probably be swamped with a bunch of slow cooker meals and a minor break - while I get into the swing of things.

Slow cooker meals are a major plus for everyone though.  So don't be heart broken.  :)  I am going to aim to post recipes at least twice a week - so be sure to check back often.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mexican Chicken Enchilada Pizza

I love pizza.  We are also trying to eat healthier and there isn't much that is really unhealthy about this recipe other than the sour cream, cheese and crust.  But really in moderation it's not terrible. 

Click the picture for the link:


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Pizza


I love spiciness and this hit the spot.  It was covered in blue cheese (per Justin's request) and I love buffalo sauce.  The Asiago slices were a nice touch on top.   Have I got you convinced?  Click HERE for the delicious recipe!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup


What better way to solve a cold or a flu then by homemade chicken noodle soup?  This soup is hearty and makes you feel good --- even if you aren't sick!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers

I made these a few weeks ago.  Nothing like a convenient dinner to come home to after a long day at work.  It was very filling and was pretty healthy.   Click the picture for the recipe and my experience:
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup

Gotta love all day slow cooker recipes.  Although this didn't quite work out for our family, doesn't mean it won't work out for yours.  I still feel the need to share it with you because it was delicious.  So give it a try, you may not be disappointed.

Here's the recipe (click the picture):



Friday, November 7, 2014

6 Month Birthday for the blog!

Not sure how I missed it but I've hit the 6 month mark for the good ole' blog!  Hot damn!  I'm really happy.  I have enjoyed sharing all the recipes I have found and tested for my family and YOU!

Looking forward to what the future brings, the number of visitors has been keeping steady - so thank YOU!  And for all my friends who enjoy trying the recipes I share and providing encouragement and feedback --- thank you :)

Since Justin and I love Mexican food, what better way to celebrate the 6 month mark (I'm technically a few days late) then to share a Mexican recipe!

Click the picture for the recipe:

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Stuffed Pizza Burgers

I'm not a big fan of burgers because I'm too impatient to make them, usually.  But I saw this recipe on one of my new favorite blogs (thanks Bethie for showing me her blog!!!),  PointlessMeals (Pointless referring to the Points for Weight Watchers ;)).  She has so many delicious recipes I plan on trying.  This one was very easy and worth doing.... and I plan on making them again sometime soon.

It makes me wonder - do you have any delicious stuffed burger ideas?  This has my mind running - thinking of all the different concoctions to try!

Click here for the delicious recipe:


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Buffalo Chicken and Bean Chili

I couldn't wait to share this recipe.  In fact I made this for dinner tonight (technically last night since it's 12:18 a.m.).

Don't be mislead by the "Buffalo", it requires Frank's Red Hot Sauce.  But it's not a buffalo sauce.

Also, it uses ground chicken --which was only $2.99 a pound versus $3.99+ for ground beef.  I may have to use chicken more!

Click the picture for the delicious recipe:

Monday, November 3, 2014

Chicken & Cheese Casserole

Remember that saying from the Pantene commercial that says "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful."  Well this recipe is more of a "don't hate me because I'm delicious."

If you want comfort, you have found the right recipe. 

Click the picture for the delicious cheesy recipe:


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps

Who doesn't love Mexican food?  Better yet, who doesn't love Taco Bell?  Click here to enjoy a Crispy Southwest Chicken Wrap that tastes just like Taco Bell's Grilled Stuffed Burrito!

Click the picture for the recipe:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Witch's Hat Brownies


I cannot believe it's already Halloween.  This year has flown by.  Next up is Thanksgiving, then Christmas and then 2015.  I remember back in the 90s, 1990s that is, when I thought 2010 was so long away.  And now it's here and gone. 

Anyway, click here or the picture above for the creative recipe/guide to making these awesome Halloween treats!


Saturday, October 25, 2014

3 Ingredients Meatballs

Well, with the limited time I've had lately I have decided that I'm going to change up my formatting for the recipes I share.  You probably won't notice much of a difference, but it's become a hassle to take pictures of each step of the cooking process.  Let's be honest, how many times do I have to show a picture of chopping a vegetable?

So, going forward I'm going to share 4 pieces of information that I look for in other blogs: 1. picture of final product, 2. opinion on recipe (whether it was more work than is necessary, delicious, etc), 3. ingredients picture, and 4. of course the recipe itself!

Anyway, I made the devilish but delicious infamous 3 ingredients meatballs.  Crazy.  Jelly, chili sauce, and meatballs --- easy, heavenly and sooooo worth it.

Click the picture for the delicious recipe:



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cheesy Chicken Doritos Casserole

I should never ask for Justin's opinion about my blog layout, background, and coloring.  When I think I have something good, and I ask him, he gives me this smile that says  "you don't really want to know my answer so I'm going to give you this sheepish grin."

I love him. So therefore, the current selection is his choice.  Between you and me, I don't think he's ever visited the blog unless I asked "have you checked out my post from the other day?"

Anyway.... I recently made Cheesy Chicken Doritos Casserole. 

Yes, you read that right --- Doritos in a casserole.  Yum.

To check out the recipe, click on the image below:


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Chicken Chow Mein

It's so easy to get behind the blog when I have an infant, rambunctious toddler and a crazy house hold to try and manage. It was much easier when to work on the blog when my toddler went to bed ---but now that he decided he wants a big boy bed (aka no crib) ---he won't sleep unless someone cuddles with him until he's out cold.  So therefore, my "blogging time" is gone.  Absolutely positively gone.  I'm trying to squeeze it in here and there... but then the youngest is pretty fussy, too.

But that's the point of my blog though, about showing how I keep stayin' afloat.  It wasn't just a catchy phrase, it's my reality.

Anyway,  here is a new recipe that I made a few weeks back - I give it a B-. I think next time if I were to make it, I would double the sauce as the sauce to noodle ratio was too low.   However, I encourage you to try it, you may do better than me.

Click HERE or on the picture for my experience and the recipe:

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Baked Parmesan Pork Chops

This recipe was so easy that pictures are not necessary......

Okay, let me be honest here - when I made these delicious pork chops, I was 9 months pregnant...exhausted physically and mentally, my patience was non-existent, and I was a starving woman (while still working full time).  So therefore, there are no pictures. 

I'm sorry.  But alas this recipe is so easy and delicious - it's still worth it to share with you my followers.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Introducing.....


It's been a month since my last post...and we've been sort of busy. *smile*  I never knew I could have so much love in my life.  As you can see above, we had our baby boy just a little over a week ago and it's been amazing.

I was so busy freaking out about parenting 2 kids, but it's turned out to be much easier than I could ever imagine.  Of course, it's not always going to be easy --- but just like parenthood it's about survival.

I am fortunate to be able to have the first 12 weeks off with Caleb.  So, I will do my best to post to the blog as much as I can.  I actually have a backlog of recipes to share with you but just did not have time or energy while pregnant. 

A little history about the name, I initially found the name Caleb in a romance novel and added it to the name list.  In fact, it was the first name I had on the list.  But before I presented my list to Justin, I knew the names had to be good and if possible, have a deep meaning (which is important for both of us).  So I started doing research...skip forward to the selling point... I simply googled Joshua and Caleb, and Google listed a bunch of bible references.  (By the way, I try not to discuss religion in life, and especially in my blog, as we all have our own personal believes. ) To sum it up, Joshua and Caleb were the 2 spies under Moses that did not go along with the majority of opinions about the Promised Land but stood by their own believes.  They ended up being the only 2 spies to survive out of 40 and they did make it to the Promised Land.

I want my Joshua and Caleb, to stand up for what they believe in no matter what the rest of the world thinks.  I also want them to have each other's backs through thick and thin.  So after reading about the story of Joshua and Caleb, I knew that this could be the name.

Now Caleb's middle name doesn't have as much historical importance but memorable.  Robin was my mom's name.  She passed away July 2013, right before I got pregnant with Caleb.  Many people probably assume that I selected the name Robin for obvious reasons. However, since I had found the name Caleb, I asked Justin to select the middle name.  I only said "If I truly hate the name you pick, I will veto it."  When I asked him the next day about what name he would want, he said "Robin."  And I said, "Are you sure?  You don't have to feel pressured to do it."   He said, "I am sure."  

I said "Why do you want to use the name other than because it was my mom's name?"  And he goes "I liked your mom and I miss her."

And that folks is one of MANY reasons why I love him.


By the way, I am recovering very well after my c-section.  The usual pains but I'm a tough "old" bird.  (Yeah, I'm using the word old.  Ever since I complained to my OB about the belly not shrinking after delivery, she said "With 2nd baby and getting older, it takes longer." )

I hope to get to posts in the next couple of weeks. 

Love ya all!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pork Tenderloin with Peach Salsa

Boy time is flying by, in 4 weeks and 2 days I will be meeting my 2nd son!  I cannot believe.  August is flying by, we have so much going on and so much not going on that I can't seem to keep the days straight.  Justin is going on a mountain biking trip this weekend, through mid next week.  I hope I can survive. 

My menu planning has been paused because we either are so busy during the week, or too busy during the weekend to shop for it, that I've been making the staple dinners or we've been going out to eat. 

Sigh....

Fortunately, though I realized I haven't shared one of the recipes I made a few weeks ago.  Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Peach Salsa:

I got this recipe from my friend Jenny. This was the first recipe she made for Justin and myself a few days after I had Josh. He was a summer baby, so the peaches were deliciously ripe and the salsa was flavorful and added a nice kick/refreshing bite to the dry-rubbed pork tenderloin.
 
Click the picture for the recipe!

http://www.stayin-afloat.com/p/pork-tenderloin-and-peach-salsa.html

Monday, August 11, 2014

Easy Homemade Sliders

Been so busy around the house preparing for this baby.  Early nesting has begun.  Justin and I decided to install canned lighting in our not so pretty basement.  It's our first step in Basement Overhaul 2015. Imagine the '70s, now imagine it in basement.  I'm talking green wood paneling, green/gold felt carpet, and other random green accents.  It's horrible.  

But with having 2 kids soon, and one is crazy active and needs to wear out his energy, I decided to make some of the basement dedicated to him and his toys. 

In Basement Overhaul 2015, the next steps are declutter, paint wood paneling and get carpet.  Expected goal of deadline around March. 

So as Justin was setting up the eletrical to the lights, I was cleaning... nesting... I literally caught myself cleaning the tops of my washer and dryer (which are hidden deep in the basement).

I also got some time to myself, and decided to hit up Joann's for material for my newest little man. I bought some material to make him a baby blanket, me a nursing cover and us a baby sling.  Supposedly, this baby sling can handle my Joshy too --- not quite sure if my back would agree.

I have also been clutter cleaning --- trying to pick up things that don't belong where they are sitting ---which takes up a lot of time and energy.

However, I have been trying to add recipes that I have made but not yet shared with you.  Here is one that was easy, fast and delicious --- plus great as leftovers!

http://www.stayin-afloat.com/p/easy-homemade-sliders.html

Thursday, August 7, 2014

30 Minute Shepard's Pie

In the picture below, do me a huge favor and only focus on the bottom 3/4s.  The life of a parent can be challenging when trying to satisfy a 2 year old with a new meal.   Or so I thought.
 
In any case, this recipe turned out delicious.  Will be making it again.  It was so comforting, and quickly filled our growling tummies.  It was also awesome reheated.  And I do not lie, it took 30 minutes to make.
 
*The picture link has been corrected.* 
 
30 Minute Shepard's Pie

Monday, August 4, 2014

Eggless Cookie Dough

Almost 8.5 months pregnant (I could say 8 months but those 2 weeks matter, I tell ya), I am craving sugary items. I was thinking cookies. But then I realized we didn't have any eggs in the house. I wasn't about to go to the grocery store with Joshy in tow just for one item, that is for a recipe that is completely unnecessary. And Justin is mountain biking tonight, so it's just Joshy and me. 

.... Cravings suck though.  So I didn't give up, and I turned to the Google. It seems there has been a mad craze about "Eggless Cookie Dough".   So, I thought --- it's edible because there are no eggs in it!  What a great way to satisfy my craving. 

It would have all worked out, had I had chocolate chips like the recipe calls for.    I try not to stock the house with unnecessary sweets... so I used crunched up peanut butter M&Ms and white chocolate chips that were leftover from camping and random other baking recipes.

The peanut butter from the M&Ms I think flavored the dough weird... so I will need to try it again.  

However, I say this is a very promising recipe --- as it has potential if you use the RIGHT ingredients.   Click  here or the picture for the recipe. 

And don't believe all the other pretty pictures online, this is how mine turned out --- I won't tell you what I think it looks like, I will let you make your own opinion.    






Corn Bread Pudding

I'm pretty predictable when it comes to side dishes for meals.  Mashed 'taters, buttered noodles or rice... nothing special.  Of course, you can't really have steak with out a potato of some kind - right?

Recently I got sick of the usual sides and wanted something new and easy to try.  One of my friends recommended corn bread pudding. 

I was skeptical initially, but after reading the ingredients - I was convinced I had to try it.

Thankfully I did. It was delicious!  It was easy and filling too.  We all enjoyed it.  Click the picture for the fast and delicious recipe!

http://www.stayin-afloat.com/p/corn-bread-pudding.html

Friday, August 1, 2014

Easy Potato Salad

 
Last week I was challenging myself to find new sides for meals.  So, to kick off my next few "appetizer/side" recipes, I figured I would start with one that turned out to be easier than expected.
 
I know potato salad isn't a big thing, you can buy it at the store near the bakery /special foods section.  However, this... *deep breath* ... recipe I'm about to share is delicious.  Best part it is doable, and you don't have a party size amount to store in your frig.... unless you want to (just double the recipe!).  Justin is a bit of a stickler about his potato salads, it has to have egg in it and it has to be mustard based and he refuses to eat the kind you buy in the square container at the store.  
 
If you take this to a family gathering, people will be fighting over licking the bowl.  I.AM.NOT.KIDDING.  It's that good.  It's soooooo good, I made the picture above so huge so I could get your mouth to water.   Did it work?  Because I'm seriously considering making it again next week.... consider it done. I'm making it on Sunday so we can enjoy it for lunch sides all week.  Hell yes.  (Sorry I swear when I get excited... when I talk with friends...when I get scared...when I'm nervous.... I swear like a sailor sometimes.)
 
I enjoyed this recipe so much... I'm going to show the title picture again below.
 
Click the image below if you want this recipe.
http://www.stayin-afloat.com/p/easy-potato-salad.html




Wednesday, July 30, 2014

BBQ Chicken Nachos

A few weeks ago, I was craving a new version of nachos - so I tried BBQ Chicken Nachos.  Although I wasn't a fan with how much was required for the cheese sauce (I've since learned I could have used jarred cheese sauce), it was still enjoyed by all.  It can be as spicy as you like or as cheesy as your lil heart desires (no pun intended) --- so try it out, I don't think you will be disappointed.

I can't believe it's been a few weeks since I made this - boy have I gotten behind on posts.
 
http://www.stayin-afloat.com/p/bbq-chicken-nachos.html

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

DIY Baby Blanket

Sorry I have been slacking lately, the pregnancy has been catching up to me quickly.  Plus we lost power the other day (thanks to nasty storms) and that just kills any motivation when you have to live off a generator.  

But thankfully a few days before that, I was able to get time to myself and finish some much needed crafts for a friend.  To start you off...here is a fun and easy pattern to make baby blankets.  

It's a very long pattern (because I explain it as if you are new to sewing) so be sure to first read it beginning to end and then follow it.  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I'm Alive!

Hey All,

Boy time is flying by.  I blink and suddenly it's the same day of the week but an entire week has gone by. I have been making many new meals lately and working on some much needed projects for a friend and myself. 

On one hand it means no immediate posts to share but on the other hand it means many more posts (including crafts!) for the future.   I have over 5 new recipes and 3 baby DIY projects to share. 

Be sure to check back in the upcoming days as I share my different experiences!

Hope the summer is treating you well!

Love ya'll,

Chris

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Deliciously Easy Spaghetti



Like I said in the previous post, poor Josh has pink eye.  So today we focused on not passing it to the rest of us.   Originally I thought I would make pork tenderloin and peach salsa for dinner, but then I was too exhausted when it came down to dinner time.  So I stuck with something simple and comforting, the one and only spaghetti.

Only this is a fun spaghetti - because you can add any sort of stuff to it - because it's homemade.  I am so excited that I took pictures of this tonight.  It's the best batch I have ever made. It's made so many leftovers, I have frozen enough for an additional family meal, Justin is taking some for lunch and I have some sauce for Josh and I for lunch tomorrow.

Oh, and before I forget, Josh ate 3 servings of noodles with sauce on top of each serving.  Every other bite he was moaning (I am not joking).  Being very pregnant, I laughed the first 2 times almost to the point of peeing my pants when I realized it was him and not Justin (Justin provides moans as feedback for delicious recipes).  Justin may have also moaned but Josh was more vocal about it.  Haha. I love my guys.

Anyway, I want to share how I made it --- share it, pass it on but don't forget --- make it!!!

Been Busy

Sorry I haven't posted in the last few days, I've been up to a lot, but the best part is I've taken tons of pictures - now I just need to share my experience with you.

I have multiple recipes to share, a before and after of decluttering a kitchen cabinet, some easy to do baby crafts (including video!), planning on making homemade playdough for the kiddo, and I am currently working on next week's menu.

I need to finish the baby gifts today, but there will be a few fun and informative posts shared in the next day or so!  I am excited.   Stay tuned for some cool posts!

Thanks for being patient! This is one of the challenges when being a career mom, I have to be able to juggle family/home responsibilities with decreased hours at home - and that means sometimes although I am taking picture of a bunch - I can't post as much as I would desire.   Love you guys!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Blackened Chicken with Fiesta Lime Rice


Since our vacation was cut short, Justin and I had the luxury of staying home for a few days.  Once the camping stuff was taken care of (thanks to Justin doing most of it since I was suffering from weather change), we got to enjoy actually hanging around the house and doing nothing other than what we wanted.  It was nice.    So nice, we had discussed how we would love to be rich and not have to work. 

Then Monday came along.

Don't know about you, but I hate the Mondays after vacations... no, wait. I dislike every Monday. I love my job, don't get me wrong. I just love my personal life more. Haha.

Now today is Tuesday, and it's a bitter sweet day because today marks a year since my mom passed away.  To prevent tears, I won't ponder on it here.

*Sigh*

But I will gladly share with you what we had for dinner on Sunday. Click the pictures for the specific recipe. :)

http://www.stayin-afloat.com/p/grilled-blackened-chicken.html
w/ a side of: 
http://www.stayin-afloat.com/p/fiesta-lime-rice.html


I also made the BBQ Chicken Nachos and plan to post the recipe sometime this week!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Slow Cooker Sticky Chicken Upgrade

I've posted this recipe plenty of times before and it's delicious.  

But now it's even better...because for us busy parents (stay at home or career) other than having kids, one of the many other things we have in common is trying to stay sane through parenthood.  So let me explain...  my Slow Cooker Sticky Chicken has been tested by yours truly.... and I can confirm that it is an ALL DAY SLOW COOKER recipe.  I had mine cooking on LOW for 9 hours and on WARM for 2 hour - and it was delicious. 

SCORE!

This is definitely something to look forward to.

So just to let you know, I updated the recipe page for my beloved recipe and wanted to share with you --- just in case you happened to overlook this delicious recipe.

How many times can I say delicious?  *lifts shoulder* How many times do I have to say it before you click this link?

CLICK HERE FOR THE DELICIOUS SLOW COOKER STICKY CHICKEN RECIPE!

And on that note, I should add - you won't see any updates on the blog until at the earliest Monday, July 14th... as I am escaping reality, technology and civilization from Wednesday night to July 14th.   That's right - we are camping! (But alas because I'm the planner I did manage to reserve spots at "Modern" (aka showers/flush toilets) campgrounds. :)  It makes this pregnant lady happy!

Wanna know where we are going?  Google - Porcupine Mountains and Copper Harbor, MI!  YAY!   I cannot wait to take Joshy and Justin agates (google it) hunting / beach combing!

Happy Independence Day America! 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken


This grilled chicken is delicious.  It is a very easy recipe to throw together.  I imagine you don't necessarily need fresh tomatoes and could use a drained can of dice tomatoes but I have not tested that theory. However, if you're unable to go to the store - I am sure the canned would be sufficient enough. 

I'm not a big fan of pesto (the main herb is basil) but the basil in this recipe works out really well.  

Recommendations:
Dry basil is fine.  Roma tomatoes work best.
 
Recipe adapted from here.
 
Serve with your favorite side and enjoy!  You can thank me later ;)  And if you have leftover tomato mixture, add it on top of the chicken if you need more.  Josh (see below) enjoyed eating it as a salad.   The kid loves flavor just like his mom!

 

  • 4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts(1 lb.) (or filet 2 large chicken breasts)
  • 1/4 cup Kraft Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing, divided
  • 1 - 2 tomato, finely chopped
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 2 tablespoons of dried basil
  • aluminum foil

If you have thick pieces of chicken, filet them now.  Put them in a freezer bag.  Add 2 tablespoons of the dressing.  Close the bag and gently massage the chicken and dressing until chicken is covered with the dressing. You can marinate the chicken for an hour or so, or not at all - but at least get the chicken covered by the dressing some how.  

Start off by dicing the dicing the tomatoes.  Put the diced tomatoes in a bowl with the rest of the dressing (about 1/4 of a cup), the cheese, and basil to the bowl. Mix until well blended. 

Start pre-heating the grill (up to 400°F).  When the grill is heated, pick a side and put the chicken on the grill. Shut the lid and let it grill for about 5 to 8 minutes on each side. Check at 5 minutes and then rotate them.  When they are about 1/2 way cooked, flip them.  Again, shut the lid and let them cook for 5 to 8 minutes.  

Check on them, when they are almost done - cut a piece of aluminum foil 12 inches long.  Spray it with cooking spray on one side.  Place it on the grill with the sprayed side up.  Put the chicken with the flattest side facing up on the foil.  Add the tomato mixture and grill until the cheese has melted.  

Serve with your favorite side and enjoy!


Friday, June 27, 2014

Black Bean Salsa


I love black bean salsa. I've never made it before, so this was a first for me. Unfortunately, I have to say I think I did something wrong because it wasn't like other salsas I had. Although I received many compliments, I'm not sure if they were complimenting before or after they tried it. For some reason, when I ate it - I just tasted black beans.
 

If you've been stalking my blog, you may

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos



Josh's party was a huge success! I was starting to wonder if we would have beautiful weather for his party as there were a few nasty storms that appeared each day before his party --- however it was a comfortable sunny and 70 degrees outside during the actual party.  Perfect for a June outside party.

He had so much fun seeing all of our friends and their kids.  Plus his Grandma D, Aunt Laura and baby cousin Zeph came all the way from Wisconsin just to be there for him. Plus my brother and his family (which includes Josh's favorite cousin Drew).  It was such a beautiful day.

The best part was I actually got to enjoy it - I kept things really simple on my end.  Although we provided a lot of food, a lot of it was either prepped the day before or the morning of - with not many steps needed.

Take this delicious Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos recipe.  It's 3 ingredients.  THREE.  You throw it all together - and let it cook for hours.  When you come home, you can devour it.  It's AH-MAZE-ING. Trust me.


Click here to see the delicious Slow Cooker Chicken Taco recipe!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Slow Cooker Pork Tacos


So I don't usually cook with pork. I should cook with it more since it's cheaper than beef. I made this recipe for Joshy's 2nd birthday party. It went really well because he loves tacos, it was easy to throw a taco bar together and it was delicious.

I received many

Grilled Garlic Parmesan Zucchini


I'm not a huge fan of zucchini but I was looking for something different to try.  However, I wanted to mix up the usual grilled items. I Googled a bunch of different search parameters.  I then saw "Grilled Garlic Parmesan Zucchini" and I was curious.  

I am happy I took the chance on this recipe.  I was concerned the garlic parmesan spread would stay a weird texture, but the Parmesan melted and it was such a delicious bite.  I want to make it again. 

The only problem is that I wasn't sure which way to cut the zucchini. The spread was a bit annoying to apply. 
Recipe adapted from user: "AngieItaliano", HERE
 
Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of parsley flakes (I used dried)
  • 3 zucchini
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Slice the zucchini into your choice of pieces: round slices or flat pieces (half it, then slice the halves lengthwise).

Melt the 3 tablespoons of butter (20 seconds in the microwave). Mince the garlic. Put both into a small bowl.  Add the Parmesan cheese.  Don't forget the parsley, like I almost did!
 
If the zucchini is thick, spend additional time grilling it to soften the zucchini. 

Once all pieces are ready, start spreading the Parmesan spread onto the flattest side of the zucchini.  Quickly place the pieces with the spread facing up.  Once the spread was bubbling and creamy looking - put them on a serving plate and let them sit for 5 minutes before serving. 

Boy were they delicious!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Easy Monday Dinner




Looking for a delicious meal to throw together after work? There is a 55 minute bake time required, but if you plan accordingly -- it's worth it. For example, I wasn't officially set on making it last night until about 6:15 and then I started making it. We sat down to eat about 7:30.

I assumed Josh wasn't going to eat any because he had a "dinner" right when we got home of a full banana and honey/peanut butter half sandwich(slice of bread folded in half). But he ate a good chunk of this dinner too. I assume a physical growth spurt? Just in time for his 2 year check up. Nice.
Anyway, this recipe is delicious.  It's one of those, if you don't want to make it that night - the ingredients can store pretty well (just throw the ground turkey in the freezer).   
It has the healthy side of ground turkey, but the deliciousness of cream and tater tots.  Nothin' wrong with that!
Enjoy!
http://www.stayin-afloat.com/p/tater-tot-casserole.html

Father's Day 2014

Happy Belated Father's Day to all the men who have kids, k9s, mentored kids or dream of having kids!!!
I hope you all got to relax and celebrate the day all about you.

For Father's day, I let Justin decide what he wanted for dinner.  His request was dry-rubbed ribs and dirt cake for dessert.

Since I never made dirt cake before, I decided I should probably make it the morning of Father's day. 

Josh was wide awake when I made this...

 
 
I am impressed how fast kids learn the words "candy", "cookie" and "elmo" before other words... like "potty".  Referring to the picture above, this is Josh.  He's turning 2 on Sunday.  Two. Dos. Zwei (German for 2).  My baby is turning 2.  *grabs the heart* It almost hurts.  But it's been a really cool experience.
 
Let me set the stage for the above picture - my house was a mess and I had not put all the grocery items away from Friday night (this picture was taken on Sunday).  So my adventure seeking 2 year old, although tall for his age, was standing on a package of paper towels.
 
I could walk about 10 feet and put them away in my storage. But it's easier just to plop them next to the peninsula counter and walk around them 3 days in a row.  So that's what I did.
 
He was initially fascinated about the noise the food processor was making.  So he was doing some investigating - bright kid what can I say?  Yeah, yeah I'm biased.  But he's bright and cute...and tall...and talkative....  Okay, I'll stop bragging. 
 
And then when he saw the opened package of Oreos.  He nicely pointed at them and said "Mommy, I want cookie." Long pause as his finger was gently massaging a cookie through the plastic.  "Peas."  Sigh.
 
So being 9 oclock on a Sunday morning, I naturally said... yes.  It was a one for you, one for me situation.  Besides you're only a kid for a short time, live it up.  As for me, I love Oreos.
 
By the end of the dessert making session, he got 2 Oreos out of the deal.  And then he got to lick the spoon. 
 
Anyway, the ribs were delicious.  Justin and I aren't really fans of BBQed ribs.  It's like eating steak sauce with steak.  You spend so much on meat to cover it with a sauce, seems so wrong.   So I oven baked dry-rubbed baby back ribs.  I used a Kroger brand pork rib rub found in the seasoning aisle.  Never used it before - but it was delicious.
 
The dirt cake wasn't too bad either.
 
Read the recipes here:
http://www.stayin-afloat.com/p/oven-baked-dry-rubbed-baby-back-ribs-v1.html

http://www.stayin-afloat.com/p/dirt-cake.html
 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Entire Grilled Dinner


This is a 2 for 1 post!  Score!  It's taken me 2 years, but I have now realized why people do not like to take their kids to restaurants. Of course, you overachievers, who just spoke out loud by saying "I don't mind it" are either crazy or lying or you have an angel of a child..  make me green with envy.

Restaurants are supposed to be relaxing because all you have to do is order, eat and pay.  Pretty simple. But add a toddler...and well... suddenly you have to entertain, discipline, distract, and hold...while trying to order, eat, and pay.

Long story short - that night reminded me that it's just easier to make food at home.  Since Josh is an outdoor lover, I made a full meal of grilled items.  It was delicious.  Mouth watering good.  Better than I expected.  I recommend both. Do I have your expectations up?  Good!  You won't be disappointed.

So click on which one you're interested in:





Saturday, June 14, 2014

Completed Sesame Street Faces

I've mentioned multiple times that we are having a Sesame Street themed 2nd birthday party for Joshy.  And surprisingly, it's next Saturday. In 7 days.  AHHH. I can't believe it!  There isn't much to do other than clean, food prep and decorate.

The projects I have been making, are really for my own enjoyment - to be quite honest. LOL.  I've been basically testing my abilites and using my new cutting machine.  It's been fun.  I enjoy it.

So I have made strides since my last post about the Cookie Monster, Elmo and Big Bird head... read that post HERE.

I have now completed those 3 faces and hoping to make a few more.

Here is a close up of Cookie Monster before I outlined his eyes.



And here are all three of the characters. 



I am hoping during this weekend I will get to make Oscar the Grouch, Abby Cadabby, Bert and Ernie... but we will see. :)

Check out the Crafts Tab for all the different projects I've done!  (Currently there aren't many --- but it's an ongoing list!)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Crock-Pot Black Bean Soup

 
Who doesn't love an easy meal to throw together in the morning and coming home to an already made dinner? 
 
This is an especially great soup to serve on a cold rainy day.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Applicable Article about my thoughts

I was cruisin' through my Facebook feed and a friend shared the following article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bunmi-laditan/5-minutes-in-a-moms-head_b_5445948.html

It's basically how every mom or the "organizer of the family" thinks.

I felt like sharing because it is applicable to all the things I want to accomplish, but barely ever accomplish.

And, if my bedroom is a reflection of my marriage, my marriage is a clean and open book relationship that is low maintenance...thanks to all the "clean" clothes, closets with no doors on them ("open book"), and a bed that is never made ("low maintenance"). 

Yes, some day soon I have to put away the clean laundry, as I have run out of Amazon boxes to store the clean clothes in.   You know it's bad when the pile of clothes is taller than your 2 year old.... which makes me think... I should probably check the washer to make sure the towels that I put in there on Saturday made it to the dryer.

This article made me feel normal. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sesame Street Part 1


I made the above sign a few weeks before I started this blog, but this weekend I did get time to make a few other things for his 2nd birthday party (theme is Sesame Street).

I explained my experience in each of the pages - so I will make this short and sweet:

Personalized Sesame Street Foam Board sign
Sesame Street Character Cutouts(still in progress)

Enjoy!






Grandma Robin's Easy Spaghetti Salad


One of my friend's son's 2 year birthday party was yesterday and I made this delicious passing dish on Friday for the party yesterday.  Yes, I made it the day before.  That's one of the secrets to it, letting the noodles absorb the dressing.

Anyway, you can use either rotini or spaghetti noodles.  I enjoy the rotini noodles the most because all of the Italian dressing and cheese gets absorbed into the creases of the noodles.

Now that I have typed up the recipe and see all the pictures, I only wished I had saved some for myself. LOL.

Anyway, sorry I've been quiet lately - this week flew by and I still don't have a menu for this upcoming week.  UGH.  I am hoping to get it done in the next hour and post it here!

Click here for the delicious recipe!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

One Month Birthday


Well, the blog has survived a month of being active!  It doesn't seem like a big deal, but regularly posting to the blog takes a lot more time than you would expect.  I find it a nice escape and being able to share so much in my life with you.  So since we reached a birthday/milestone for the blog.  What better way to celebrate a birthday, than by talking about desserts.  So, I thought I would share a few dessert recipes that have caught my eye (click on either the picture or link below for the recipe links).