Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Easy Crockpot Shredded BBQ Chicken

I made this for dinner last night with Mac and cheese, acorn squash, and salads. I eat mine plain. Jared puts his on bread. I made it in hopes that the leftovers would be a good lunch meat for Jared. I hate paying $6 or $7 for lunchmeat at the deli. It is pretty much amazing, as all ATK recipes.  

Okay, some notes about the recipe:
1. The original recipe calls for a mixture of boneless, skinless thighs and breasts. I bought a bunch of chicken breast with skin and bones on super clearance at the grocery store. That is what I used and it turned out delicious. I just fished them out at the end and pulled off the skin and the bones. It was slightly more work, but I believe the skin and bones gave the breast meat more flavor. All that to say, use whatever you have. 
2. I made a double batch and frozen some of it for later after the baby is born. I fit 6 breasts in my crockpot (I think it is a 6 quart). I give you the recipe for a single recipe. 
3. I didn't have enough bbq sauce for a double batch, but I still think it is delicious. 

Shredded BBQ Chicken
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 
3 pounds chicken
1-1/2 c bbq sauce 

1. Put chicken in bottom of crockpot. Sprinkle on spices. Pour on 1/2 to 3/4 cup of BBQ sauce. I used a bit of water too because I was trying to get all te BBQ sauce out of the jar. 

2. Cook for 4-6 hours on low. 

3. Take chicken out and shredded with a fork. Strain juice in bottom of crockpot. Mix 1 cup juice with remaining BBQ sauce and chicken. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Pumpkins muffins

10 dozen of them packed, frozen, and waiting for baby two to arrive. I used a recipe I adapted from the frugal girl blog. You can search frugal girl and pumpkin muffins to find the link. I cut the sugar in half, made them half whole wheat, and used applesauce for a 1/2 cup of the oil. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I stated that yesterday was a beautiful day, but I equally love the rain of today. It is a perfect rainy day. Martin and I ran around in the rain this afternoon because one of us wasn't sleepy for our nap. I was falling asleep on the couch and he was still bopping around. So I took him outside; I woke up and he became tired. Ha ha. 

Here are two bibs I made for a baby shower. The fabric on the left is much more pink, but it looks red here. I like to make big bibs because small bibs are worthless by the time a baby starts eating real food. I threw these together really quickly while Martin napped on Monday. I need to make myself some bibs. I only have three big bibs that were all given to me. I usually use a cloth napkin when they are dirty. Ha ha. Poor Martin. 

I also made two quick burp clothes. 

Lastly, I am so excited that tomorrow is Friday!! Why? Because I haven't seen Jared all week. He has had something EVERY night this week, except Monday when I had a baby shower. Poor Martin. He misses Jared too. We are both happy to have him all to ourselves tomorrow night. I really love having people over on Friday nights, but so often Friday is our only free night and I am selfish and want it all to myself. 

How is life so busy? Our kids aren't even old enough to be doing anything yet. One of them isn't even born yet. 

Have you been working on any fun projects recently? I finished one that I am excited about and will post next week. I like it so much that I am determined to eek out some time to make myself one too. :) 

What is your go to baby shower gift? I love burp clothes and bibs. I find them so useful and adorable. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

White Chicken Chili

I made this recipe up (because I was missing half the ingredients of the recipe I wanted to follow) in honor of the first day of fall and because I am still recovering from a cold and wanted soup. It was delicious. 

2 onions
2 jalapeƱos
1 red pepper
2-3 garlic cloves
3-4 tsp cumin

3-4 cups chicken broth
1-2 chicken breasts
3 cans cannelloni beans

1. I browned the chicken breasts in a pan with some olive oil and salt a pepper. Then I diced it up. But if I had had bone in chicken breast or thighs I would have boiled them, made stock, and added the chicken shredded. 

2. I heated some vegetable oil in a pan and added the diced onions and peppers. Once they softened and started to brown, I added the garlic and cumin for about 30 seconds. Then i added all but one cup of the chicken broth, the two cans of beans, and some corn (I just shook some in from a bag if frozen corn). 

The extra cup of stock and the third can of beans I blended up until smooth in my food processor and then added that to the soup. 

3. Simmer for 1-3 hours. Eat with chips, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, etc. 

Today, my parents graciously took Martin, for the morning, so I could get a few things finished around the house. He was very excited to see "nanad" and "mama". I made 10 more quarts of applesauce (it took 2 hours), emptied my trash cans, dusted, washed diapers, graded labs (no funny answers this week), straightened my living room, sorted through piles of old magazines and threw most of them away, and put about 300 photos into albums (real photos, the ones you can hold in your hand and take out and look at without a power supply). 

Oh, and I have had the windows open all day. It is glorious. I love this weather. My house smells so clean and fresh and I haven't even started really cleaning it (ie vacuuming and wiping down things). 

I am off to put away a few loads of laundry and wipe down some counters and my kitchen table. I am so thankful to be feeling better. Praise God for health. Pregnancy colds seem to last so much longer.  I actually slept for two 3 hour periods last night, which might be why I have energy today. :) For the last week I have been waking up almost EVERY hour. Ugh. 

Speaking of pregnancy. I was 33 weeks on Sunday. I took this picture on the way out to lab on Monday. You can see about half my apples sitting in that bin and bag. They are all now a giant pot of applesauce. Woohoo. FYI: I kept them by the front door so the fruit flies didn't invade my kitchen. It seemed to work. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

My Weekend

Martin and were still recovering from colds this weekend, but we managed to go to the Fiddlers Convention for a while and out to lunch at Panara with Jared. Thank you so much to anyone that has ever given us Panara gift cards!! We love going on dates there. 

We also did a few errends around town, watched some Jeeves and Wooster and college football, made some baby shower gifts (more on that next week), and finished the 2 more pillows for the play closet. 

Oh, and we made some applesauce too. Martin had fun carrying apples from one room to the other and dropping them into the pan once I peeled them. He is a good helper. :) 

I love each stage of his life. He makes life so much fun and he is such a ham. Jared and I are constantly laughing at him. Martin does stuff and then looks at us, as if to say, "aren't I funny?" What a wonderful little boy. He is going to enjoy having a brother; he loves little kids. I am so thankful to be his mom. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

It's that time of year...

No knead bread, Italian eggplant rolls in red sauce, and salad for dinner. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Random Topics and Help Needed

1. Martin has finally started enjoying forts!! Jared had to be somewhere Wednesday evening and Martin and I both are recovering from some weird cold or allergies.  We built forts and knocked them over. Then we ran cars down the cushions at an angle. The fun is only beginning. I am looking forward to the first giant cardboard box that comes to our house. :) 

2. I also let Martin dump water all over the kitchen floor while I cooked dinner... Why? It keeps him busy, cleans up easily, and teaches him how to pour water from bowl to bowl. Oh, and it is FREE!!

3. I finished grading my labs today during nap time. This was the only funny answer: 
Q: What gas is it and why is it important?
A: the gas is called oxygen, it is important because it kills fishes and other organisms. 

How can you be in college and think fishes is a word or that oxygen kills them?!? Sigh. Otherwise, I have a really good class so far this year. I have told the baby that he can't come more than six days early. If he comes any time after November 3rd at about 730 or 800pm, that would fit my schedule perfectly. 

4. I made a maternity shirt. It is based on a design of another shirt I have that I really like. It turned out mostly well. 

5. After taking care of a sick baby this week, I have finally gone grocery shopping, gotten dressed in something not covered in snot, emptied my sink, semi straightened my house, run my dishwasher, and washed three loads of clothes and a load of diapers. I am almost caught up. It is amazing how much you accomplish when you aren't constantly holding a sick toddler. Speaking of sick toddler... He is getting way too heavy and long.  

6. Also speaking of the sick toddler... He has had four bloody noses in the last week. I have never had a bloody nose. I imagine they are quite upsetting. I need your help.  

Do you have any tricks for toddlers with bloody noses (ie how to distract them and how to stop the blood... He hates having his nose pinched)?

Do you have any tricks for getting blood out of clothes? 

How do I stop him from rubbing his head all over the crib when he falls asleep at night? He loves to smash his face into his blankets. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


I love hand-me-downs and thrift store clothes. How else can you get such good quality clothing for free or around $2 a piece of clothes?!? I am very thankful for good quality clothing, especially knowing a second little boy is coming along to wear out more clothes. Thank you to everyone who has ever given me clothes!!! We love you.  You have saved us SO much money!! Thank you for your generosity. 

My third option for clothes is Target. I found jeans there the other day, on clearance, for less than $2 a pair. And let's not forget about the 5 pairs of shoes for less than $20 I found last month at Target!! 

This is my latest find:
4 pairs of swim trunks and a rash guard in sizes 2T-5T!! 

My boys are set for the next few years for at least one pair of swim trunks. I bought these 50% off at Target at season end. I need I remember to do that more often. 

Also, I went to the big twice yearly consignment shop at the civic center and bought 22 items for cheaper than $50. It was mostly in sizes 2T-5T. I will need a few more summer things, which they sell in their spring shop, but mostly I am set for those few sizes. Oddly, 3T is my weakest lot right now (I should look for a coat after season in 3T and 5T). 

P.S. I am not saying that I don't need hand-me-downs. But even if I don't receive any more hand-me-downs, I wouldn't have to buy that much (t-shirts and play clothes). I mostly have stocked up on dress clothes and pants.  I am guessing pants are going to take a beating from two active little boys. 

For dinner tonight:
Sour cream chicken
Squash and zucchini

Thursday or Friday dinner:
New recipe - stuffed eggplant (if the recipe is good, I will post it)
No-knead bread
Spinach salad