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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Yoda for Halloween, Eli is

**Just in case you weren't sure, the title of this post is Yoda speak for "Eli is Yoda for Halloween"**
{Both his brothers are going to be Jedi Knights, but they haven't worn their costumes so I don't pictures yet!}
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Monday, October 29, 2012

Monster Initial T-shirt for Halloween

I love making crafty shirts for my boys for the holidays. The only problem is that when I make their crafty shirts they're usually very holiday specific, which means once Halloween {or Valentine/St. Patrick's Day/Thanksgiving/Christmas} is over, they really don't wear their shirts again. So this year for Halloween I decided to try and make a shirt that was a little more generic so the boys could wear them longer...but the shirts still needed to be a little scary with some fun fall colors just to make use it really looked like a Halloween shirt too:)
I came up with these fun Monster Initial T-shirts and I think they are the perfect Halloween {but works the rest of the year} shirts...
 ...and I think Eli agrees:)
 Here is a close up of the shirt so you can kind of see what all I did to make it:
I started by printing out a big E in a bold font. Then I use it as a pattern to cut out a piece of black felt. After I had my felt E, I used the paper E to cut out the {SUPER cute} chevron fabric...but I made sure to cut the chevron E a little smaller so you can see the black felt E underneath it {I was going for a layered look}. Then I cut out some fun monster features {teeth, horns, spikes, and eyes|} using felt and other fun fabrics. I attached each feature to the big felt E with spray adhesive, then I sewed on the chevron E, then I finally attached the whole thing to the t-shirt with a little spray adhesive and a stitch around the outside edge.

And just in case you think that I forgot about my bigger monsters, here are Henry and Grant's Monster Initial T-shirts too:)

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Biscuits with Chocolate Gravy

Earlier this month, I set out on a mission to make homemade biscuits. I've tried my hand at homemade biscuits before, but for some reason they always turned out hard as rocks or not very tasty I never was able to get the perfect biscuits! So after stumbling upon a pin about different flours used to make biscuits, I decided I needed to heed the advise of the blog post and try again at making some delicious homemade biscuits! I'm going to be honest here and tell you that I tried three different times over four days, and I only ended up with okay biscuits...which means I need to keep trying. But along with my okay biscuits, I also made a REALLY delicious chocolate gravy! 
Now I know when most people hear the words chocolate and gravy together they think it sounds disgusting...when I first heard about chocolate gravy when I was in college I thought it sounded pretty gross too! BUT it's not! It is actually really yummy and I'm so glad that I tried out this recipe, because it almost made up for my just okay biscuits:)

I found quite a few different variations on chocolate gravy, but this easy recipe from VarmintBites looked like a good recipe to try! And it did not disappoint! 

Chocolate Gravy
5 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
4 Tbsp sugar
1 cup milk
1-1/2 tsp vanilla

Melt butter in skillet.  Add flour, cocoa powder, and sugar. Cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes.  Slowly add the milk, making sure to incorporate it fully.  Cook for another 2 minutes, until thick. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla.  Serve on warm buttered biscuits.

Linking up here..
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Monday, October 15, 2012

Kid-Friendly Fruit and Yogurt Smoothie

What kid doesn't need to add more fruits and veggies into their diet?!? I try to serve up fruits and veggies with almost every meal {and yes I count pasta sauce as a veggie sometimes}, but sometimes it can be fun to mix things up a little! I've found one of the easiest way to get my boys to eat their fruits {and veggies can be mixed in to} is to turn them into a smoothie. Now, this isn't really a recipe, more like a list of ingredients that you can mix, match, and combine to make any kind of fruit and yogurt smoothie that your kiddos will love! 
 Start with yogurt in a food processor or blender.
Any kind of yogurt will do.
We use vanilla flavored yogurt, but plain, greek, and even homemade yogurt will work.
 Toss in a handful of frozen blueberries.
 Add some frozen strawberries.

{We like a lot of strawberries!}
The more frozen berries you use, the thicker your smoothie will be.

Cut up a fresh orange...
 ...and let your little helper squeeze in the juice.
You can also just a little bit of orange juice from a bottle if that is what you have on hand...or just leave it out!
At this point, you an add in any other kind of fruit {bananas are yummy in this smoothie}you like, and you can toss in some spinach to get a serving of veggies in the mix too! 
Then you put the lid on your food processor....
 ...and let your helper turn it on.
 Blend the ingredients for a few minutes to make sure all the frozen fruit is mixed in well, then serve your smoothie in a mason jar with a cute striped straw.
And full of good stuff!

Linking up here..
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Monday, October 8, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings

Fall is finally making it's way to Mississippi. And fall weather mixed with late night football practice pretty much screams for a crock pot meal! I have to be honest and tell you that up until a few weeks ago, I really only ever used my crock pot to make an annual pot roast and to heat up cheese dip for parties. I don't know why, but for some reason the crock pot just never really appealed to me. But with our afternoons being so busy lately, I decided using my crock pot was the only way I was going to be able to feed my family a meal that didn't include frozen chicken nuggets or pizza! I've actually tried quite a few different recipes, and this delicious recipe for Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings has been my favorite by far! 
I searched around for an easy crock pot recipe, and I found this one at BubbleCrumb.comThe thing I liked most about this recipe is that it is very similar to the recipe that my mom uses for her chicken and dumplings, except it uses a few more canned ingredients and a crock pot. I modified the original recipe to make it a little easier and to suit my family. I started with a couple of frozen chicken breast. Actually I threw in two smaller sized chicken breast and about four frozen chicken tenderloins because that is what I had in my freezer.
I added in two cans of cream of chicken soup and then I added enough chicken stock to cover the frozen chicken pieces. 
I gave the cream of chicken soup/stock mixture a little bit of a stir in the crock pot and then added a couple pats of butter and a little sprinkle of some dried parsley, salt, and pepper. 
Then I put the lid on my crock pot and let it go on high for 4-5 hours. The one thing I love about cooking with my crock pot is that it is almost impossible to overcook something. So if you accidentally leave your chicken in the crock pot a little longer it will be fine and still moist and delicious!
After the 4-5 hours is up, I pulled the cooked chicken out of the crock pot and shredded it up with two forks. Then I added the shredded chicken back to the crock pot.
I got my tube of refrigerated biscuits out. I used butter flavored biscuits because that is the kind that my mom always used in her Chicken and Dumplings, but the original recipe calls for Grand's biscuits. Use whatever kind your family prefers, just know that the butter flavored biscuits add a really yummy, buttery flavor that regular biscuits won't. I rolled out my biscuits a little with a cup and then cut each biscuit into four pieces. Next time I'm going to cut them a little smaller to make the cooking time a little shorter and to ensure that the dumplings aren't still gooey when it's time to eat. 
I then dropped my biscuit pieces in a few a time and carefully stirred them into the liquid. At this point, you can also add a little more stock or even a splash of milk if you think you need more liquid. After I added all the dumplings, I let it cook for about another hour on low. The cook time will really depend on how big you cut your dumplings, so keep that in mind. 
Serve up these delicious and easy Chicken and Dumplings with a side of butter beans and maybe even some warm cornbread on a really cold day! These Chicken and Dumplings were a big hit at our house. Henry even said he liked mine better than my mom's, thought Grant said he still prefers Grammie's:) 
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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

September Recap Via Instagram

We started September off with a short camping trip.
 We did a lot of bike riding....
 ...got yummy snoballs...
 ...made popcorn over the campfire...
 ...did a little geocaching...
 ...and went to the beach one last time!
 I got a sunburn...and it was not pretty!
 I decided to start using my crock pot more...but then forgot to buy chicken:)
 We celebrated Eli's 4th birthday.
 The fall is all about football in the south!
 We had a fun barnyard brunch birthday party:
 Grant had a sore throat so we went to the doctor and wasted a couple hours for them to say it's just a virus.
 I took advantage of the fall like weather and headed to the walking track.
 My blog disappeared for a day {and scared me to death}!
 We had smoothies for dinner on a busy Wednesday night.
 I got a much needed pedicure...
 ...and treated myself to Starbucks while shopping at Target:)
 We took the Airstream to our annual family reunion....
 ...and I took this picture of the boys again:
 I started following along with She Reads Truth on YouVersion.
 I went back to Target again:)
 Eli cried when I picked him up from school because he wanted to stay!
 The photobooks that I order from Shutterfly came in the mail!
 I made some yummy chicken and dumplings in the crockpot.
 I wore a new dress with my pretty turquoise sandals.
 Henry and Grant played football....
 ...then we watched the Bulldogs play football.

 Eli decided to add a little graffiti to his arms and legs on the way to town.
 I took some meds that made me sick so I ate tons of saltines trying to make myself feel better.
 I played around with the new panorama option on my iPhone:) SO MUCH FUN!
 The boys' pee wee football team was in our local homecoming parade.
 The boys went swimming at a birthday party...at the end of September!
 Silly Eli asked me to "unwrap" his banana for him:)

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