Thursday, September 29, 2011

Loving your spouse all year long...

We don't celebrate Valentine's Day in our home (except with the kids). I know it's odd to be writing this at the end of September, but it has been on my mind. So, when Valentine's Day rolls around I hear the same song and dance from My Sweetie. He says that Valentine's Day is a holiday made up by the greeting card companies. He says he doesn't need a date on the calender to have to remind him to tell me he loves me. Instead, he tells me all year long.

Sometimes, he tells me in big ways, like when All Clad Cookware shows up on my door unexpected. Sometimes it's a simple loving post of my Facebook wall, or a huge note on living room floor telling me how much he loves me.

Recently, when at 2:00 AM, I went downstairs to the fridge for the babies bottle, I find this little gem:

I too, try throughout the weeks and months to remind My Sweetheart that I love him. Little notes in his lunch sack or a bag of Corn Nuts on his dash board that say "I am nuts about you"! Little things with love notes on them.

We both try to make sure that even with our crazy lives with work and raising three small children, that we take the time and really say I love you in our own special way!

How do you show your spouse you love them?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bringing Back a Classic: Cobb Salad

I am not sure what really prompted me to make a Cobb Salad this past Summer, I think I was just having a serious craving for one.

After the first one I made, the kids and hubby raved so much, I made it a regular on our meal plan. However, I think the home made Ranch Dressing sealed the deal. With plenty of herbs in the garden, it was fun to go out with Sissyboo and pick what I needed for the salad dressing.

If you are looking for a classic to add into your weekly menu, here is the oh so easy recipe:
6 slices bacon
3 eggs
1 Romaine lettuce, shredded
2 cups chopped, cooked and diced chicken meat
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

On the bottom of the salad plate, add the romaine, then evenly divide and arrange chicken, eggs, tomatoes, blue cheese, bacon, avocado and green onions in a row on top of the lettuce. Dressing is on the side.

Pioneer Woman's Ranch Dressing
1 clove Garlic
Salt To Taste
1/4 cup Italian Flat-leaf Parsley
2 Tablespoons Fresh Chives
1 cup (Real) Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Sour Cream
Buttermilk (as Needed To Desired Consistency)
Apple Cider Vinegar (optional, To Taste)
Worcestershire Sauce, To Taste (optional)
Fresh Dill (optional, To Taste)

Mince the garlic with a knife and then sprinkle about an 1/8 to ¼ teaspoons of salt on it and mash it into a paste with a fork. Chop the parsley, chives and any of the optional herbs very finely and add to the garlic.

In a bowl combine all ingredients, adding other optional ingredients as you wish, tasting frequently and adjusting seasonings as needed. Chill for a couple of hours before serving, thin with milk or buttermilk if desired.

This salad makes my family, very happy! I have the picture to prove it:

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Fall Favorite...

Every September I start scouring the produce shelves for these summer treasures, Concord Grapes. You may even see me buy two or three packages at the same time, because they are hard to find. However, if you look hard enough, you will find the grapes, off to the side of some obscure shelf in the produce department.

You know that you 've eaten a grape when you 've had a Concord Grape. They are rich and robost, and the perfect healthy snack!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Homemade is the Only way to go..

Every week I make my own salad dressings. Why would I want to do that when every grocery and specialty store has entire aisles devoted to them? Mainly because I like to control what my family consumes! Have you looked at the ingredients on the back of a bottle of salad dressing (not just the calories)? I have always said, if I can't pronounce what it is, I am not going to eat it. Plus you know it can be good for you if it's shelf life is several years!

So, I have put together a list of just a few of my families favorite home made salad dressings. Some of the ingredients I have had to adjust so it will be pleasing to the palate of my family. My hubby and the little ones like bright bold flavors. When I make a salad, that is always the first thing gone off of their plates!

Just click on the link and they will take you actual recipe:

Honey Mustard Salad Dressing/Dipping Sauce (I also use this s a a dressing for a warm chicken wrap)

Ranch Dressing (great for dipping or along with a Cobb Salad)

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette (yummo warmed over dark greens and blue cheese crumbles and pecans)

Aunt Betty's French Dressing

St. Louis Style Italian Dressing (great with the salad listed. It's a St. Louis thing!)

Blue Cheese Dressing

Poppy Seed Dressing (Great with a Spring Strawberry Salad)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Here is my menu for this week. Most are tried and true recipes, however, I am adding a Pioneer Woman's recipe from her show this past Saturday. That darn woman keeps making things my hubby wants me to cook. I am going to have to stop watching her show with him! Ha ha

Monday: Chicken Quesadilla's (these are literally the best I have ever had). I make them with left over chicken from Sunday's dinner.

Tuesday: The Marlboro Man's Sandwich

Wednesday: Nigella's Spanish Chicken with Chorizo (family favorite)

Thursday: Pan Bagnat This was also a request from my honey. He has GOT TO STOP watching the Food Network! Ha ha

Friday: Home made baked chicken strips with home made honey mustard dipping sauce

Saturday: Firm Picnic at the St. Louis Zoo (fun times)!

Sunday: Roast Chicken (so I can have leftovers for Monday nights meal)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dusting off the Cobwebs...

As you know, I am having a hard time finding the time to blog. For so long, I have wanted a family, and literally all my dreams have come true. So I just want to soak up every second with them.

However, fantasy football has started back up, so I have a bit more free time then usual on Sunday afternoon and evening after the kids go to bed to blog. But don't think I am not right beside my honey helping cheer on his teams! He always has two teams so there are a lot of football players to get to know. (I hate the fact that they change every year! Just when I get to know who is who, the season is over).

So, I am dusting off the blog cob webs for a wonderful Fall blogging season. I looking forward to sharing some tried and true recipes, Fall decorating ideas as well as some family updates.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A break is needed...

Dear Friends and Family,

I have decided to take a break from blogging. Just a short break, until I can find some free time. I want to spend all my time with my small children and there are some days I feel so distracted by things like the IPAD, Facebook, telephone, television and blogging. I want everything I do to be done well and be done with a purpose. As for blogging, it has fallen to the last page of my to do list.

I only get one chance at my children's childhood and I don't want to waste it by always being on the computer. I agonize over not blogging on a daily basis and recently realized, this is not something I HAVE to do. So when I get a chance, I will blog, and when I don't I won't beat my self up!

Enjoy the picture above! It cracked me up.