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I actually made up an original recipe! Holy cow! Or should I say chicken…

I boiled chicken breasts this morning to use for my planned dinner, only to realize that I was missing a seriously important ingredient to prepare my first plan. I looked through what was already here and decided to make up a little something of my own.

What you will need:

Chicken breast shredded (can make ahead of time or just pull some from a rotisserie)
About a cup of cooked baby carrots (I boiled mine in a little water while making the gravy)
Soured gravy mix (the white gravy, or homemade if you like)
Can of biscuits (I used Publix)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven as directed by biscuit directions.
2. Shred chicken.
3. Mix gravy according to instructions on packet.
4. Place biscuits in a baking dish (sprayed with nonstick or greased).
5. Layer chicken on top of biscuits.
6. Slice carrots if you like and place over chicken.
7. Evenly pour gravy on top.
8. Bake according to biscuit directions.
9. Enjoy!

**you could add celery, peas, corn, onions, Whatever you fancy. Tastes like chicken and dumplings without the mushy dumpling taste. Yummy! It was a hit with my toddlers.

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I made this recipe from Six Sisters with spaghetti and garlic crescent rolls. I followed the recipe (except for halving the breasts; I just cooked them longer) and just served with spaghetti and basil tomato pasta sauce.

Avocado Chicken Parmesan

To make the garlic crescent rolls, I simply unrolled the rolls, melted butter and mixed in some minced garlic. I brushed the mix over the rolls, placed a little shredded mozzarella inside, then rolled them up and baked according to the directions on package.

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I couldn’t figure out what to make for dinner the other night. I knew we had some leftover burger buns from a cookout. I thawed out ground turkey but wanted something to make using both and things that I already had on hand. I came across Six Sisters recipe. Six Sisters Sloppy Joe

I did not have onions, green peppers, or celery on hand so I omitted them. Instead of ketchup I used Bulls Eye BBQ sauce. I also added thinly sliced carrots (leftover from a veggie tray!) and a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce. It turned out delicious! I am not a photographer, just snapped a quick pic before I ate it! My boys really enjoyed it too. I made fries to go with them fromfries

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This summer I am trying all kinds of new recipes during the boys’ nap time! Since they are from various sites and blogs I am compiling them here in one place.

To die for brownies:

I did exactly as is in the recipe, but I did not make the frosting, I did double it. Delicious brownies! My hubby doesn’t normally eat brownies and I caught him a few times enjoying the treats,

Best Brownies

For the 4th of July my husband made “Camp Stew.” It is an Alabama thing. He called his uncle for the recipe, to which there are nor specifics on Ingredients or measurements. I’ll have him give me the gist to post soon. I know it involves potatoes, chicken, pork, cream corn, lots of tomatoes, ketchup, worcestershire sauce among other things. It was amazing! Our guests all took home gallon freezer bags home to freeze and enjoy later (it makes A LOT..in a pot big enough to bathe our twins!).

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In addition to the stew I made a light refreshing drink found below. I had go make it twice as the first batch quickly disappeared! All I used was three cups of Publix Lemonade, one bottle of Champagne, and a handful of frozen blueberries. I served immediately over ice unfortunately I didn’t take any pics of it, but I am certainly making it again!

champagne lemonade

I also made a spinach artichoke dip. I only used one and a half cream cheese packs, as my husband misread my text while be was grocery shopping (I wrote spinach dip in parentheses followed by all the ingredients, which he bought one cream cheese and 2 packs of pre made spinach dip..silly hubs! There’s a man for you, not noting all details!). I did need to bake it for about 5 extra minutes. It was completely gone after our get together, so I’m thinking it was a big hit!
spinach artichoke dip

Moving onto dessert….
Apple Squares…
I made these for a play date. My friend took some home for her husband she loved them so much! I double the recipe and didn’t measure the apple. Just used two small red apples. I also omitted the nuts.
cinnamon apple squares

Croc pot BBQ chicken…. Ohhh yum. Yum, yum, yummy.

I thawed out chicken breasts (tenderloins really) and wanted to do something in the slow cooker. I cam across this treat. It was zesty and delicious!!! I used Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce (and not quite a whole bottle..just whatever I already had in the fridge). I made mini sliders out of these by baking the mini Pillsbury biscuits.
zesty slow cooker BBQ chicken

Florentine egg biscuit bake.
Brunch or breakfast for dinner. I made this one night and my mom asked for the recipes and has made it twice for her sisters dinner night. Really easy. You can also add bacon, sausage, onions, peppers, or whatever you fancy! Since there are only six muffin spots in my baking pan I made mini spinach pizzas with the extra spinach and cheese..they were pretty yummy.
florentine egg biscuit bake

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Keep calm and keep cooking! I love my summers off!

I’ve officially been out of school for two weeks. I just adore summer; not at all for the suffocating sweat inducing humidity. I am in touch with my inner domestic diva. I never, and I mean never, was much of a Susie homemaker. I would’ve never imagined myself baking and cooking for fun. Yet, I am doing it!

The first week of summer was eventful. Our first family vacation. It was amazing to reconnect, rejuvenate, but not very relaxing (I believe that word is out of my vocabulary now with 19 month olds). Our little family of four beached it up, played, ate ice cream, napped, ate delicious food. And watched awe inspiring sunsets. It was magnificent. If only my husband and I could live like that daily; no stress or work! Vacation. So much feeling, memory, and life experiences conveyed by that three syllabic ordinary word.

Part of my first week of freedom dashed with mourning the loss of a younger cousin. Reconnecting with family really makes one rethink fights, feuds, who said what, who did what to whom. When it comes down to what really matters in life, it is our family. Family is there for the most dark times to help put the pieces together regardless of the past. An unforeseen, unexpected, and unnecessary death of a young newly wed member of our US army certainly makes life seem short. The bond of families laced with childhood memories is not to be underestimated. A few of my favorite memories with this cousin involve crazy whirlwind holidays with fifteen or so cousins going nuts opening gifts, wrestling and playing with each other. I recall one family vacation when he was quite young chasing the girl cousins around a beach condo saying, “Dirls, Dirls, where are you Dirls?” He was always a handsome boy (must run in the genes!). Coincidently, my last memory of him was with our
Outlandishly large family gathering at the same beach celebrating the marriage of our oldest cousin. There was a lot of wine and dancing involved. A great memory to hold onto of silliness of young adolescents turning into young adults.

Well, back to the current state of week two: summer splendor. In five days I managed to bake brownies (all from scratch, not that box mix!), banana bread, twice baked potatoes, potato skins, florentine egg biscuits, rice pudding, slow cooker BBQ chicken, creamy corn casserole, and sweat potato fries. Man, this is living. I simply love staying at home with my boys, cooking, cleaning, playing,and even doing laundry! I am so incredibly jealous of all those mommies who can afford the luxury of staying at home ALL the time with their children; what a privilege. I really see changes in them in these short two weeks; makes me sad with wonder: what little moments am I missing out on during the school year? I know I am more fortunate than most working mamas with all the school holidays, and to which I am grateful. My parents encouraged me into this profession and I remember them saying what a great job it is to be teacher with a family. I truly understand that now as a parent.

I a so eager to spend the rest of summer enjoying my boys. Hopefully it doesn’t pass too quickly. Maybe I’ll even get a stay at home job!

Well, my boys never cease to surprise me, my husband and I are often silly. I bet many folks would think we are total weirdos at times! That’s what makes our lives fun and interesting. We always joke around that our boys are going to grow up to be so goofy because of us. Well, that just might be the case here.

One afternoon we kept hearing a banging noise from the nursery. We listened carefully. Heard it again followed by hysterical one year old giggles. What in world was going on in there? My husband and I snuck in to quietly spy on our boys. That is when we saw it….our lil headbanger. Both boys standing up in their cribs. One grasping the rails like prison bars and then..banging his forehead into the side of the crib. His laughing twin egging him on. This continued twice more until we were spotted and their attention span diverted.

This was certainly not a one time isolated incident. Not only does he bang his head into his crib, but now he does it while crawling or walking around the living room. He will walk up or crawl to the wall, place his hands on it, then gently bang head. His brother does it every once in a while..but they are always cracking up.

Is is normal?!! Maybe he is going to be a lineman or defensive football player. Who knows! At least he does it gently! For now we will just enjoy these quirky moments with our boys. One day I am sure I will miss the head banging days.

This weekend one boy has me wondering. My sons take two naps. Each time they woke up my husband and I are baffled. One son manages to undress himself! We walk in to find him awake standing up happily rested in his crib without his shirt! How in the world is he managing this?! I can’t wait to catch him in action to see how in the world my 14 month old takes off his shirt…is he doing it in his sleep? Before he falls asleep? When he first wakes up? It is quite funny, although the new mommy in me is also worried that somehow he is going to hurt himself. Maybe we should just start having him sleep without his shirt for napping! Maybe his twin will start doing the same, too.

We only have the voice monitor. It is times like this I wish we would’ve gotten a video one!

One of my boys has the flu and double ear infections. Finally this week with three trips to the doctors and third kind of antibiotic he is feeling better. This leads me to my fight with the car seat.

My husband got up for work this morning ( no school for me…teacher work day and my report cards are finished already). I asked our awesome sitter to come over to watch one boy so I could take sickie pants to the doctor for his third and final antibiotic shot. My husband so sweetly transferred one car seat from his SUV to my tiny car. The seats fit much better in his vehicle.

All morning routines went on as normal. Sickie and I said or bye-bye to his bro and our babysitter…we were off…..so I thought. I placed the diaper bag on the front seat…and baby boy in his usual car seat. I went to buckle him in when I realized the straps were extremely tight. I couldn’t even fit his arms through!! I called my husband to inquire how and why did he change the straps. He didn’t, apparently. After some frustration I brought sickie boy back inside so the car seat and I could have at it. With straps everywhere and my husband explaining them to me..just adjust it at the back, I had to take out the car seat and flip it completely upside down to adjust it. After cursing it out (and probably my husband, too!) it was ready to go. I got baby boy, buckled one side in only to discover…oh ” mother father!!” I didn’t adjust both sides. This time, already running late, I took out, flipped over, and readjusted the darn thing with the boy on my lap. My neighbors probably listened to my sailor talk to a car seat and think I am completely insane. No sleep will do that to you. Anyway, 30 minutes later we were buckled in and on our way to get a painful shot.

I think I won that round…if I had to fight the twin seat, I think I would’ve lost! Oh I have a whole new appreciation or my husband for always getting the car seats situated. Thank goodness for him!

I was never into cooking or being a domestic diva. When I got married I made a few things when I felt like it, but we mostly ate out or ordered something out. After the twins arrived that became nearly impossible! My husband likes to cook now, too. I get tired of the same old meals so I’m testing out some online recipes…with my twist (which usually means I don’t have all the ingredients so I improvise!).

Tonight we had thawed out ground beef so I went on Pinterest in search of something new and easy that all four of us would enjoy. I stumbled upon this

http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2011/01/cowboy-dinner.html

Instead of 1 cup of corn I used a can of mixed veggies and a small can of medium salsa. It turned out pretty tasty…all my boys loved it. I will definitely mix it in the dinner rotation. Don’t judge it by my photos!!

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My boys LOVE sweet potatoes. I made sweet potato fries with cinnamon and sugar they loved it!

Preheat oven to 450.
I used 2 sweet potatoes.
Slice into French fries and put in mixing bowl.
1 teaspoon of oil ( or 2 depending on the amount and size of potatoes) cinnamon, and nutmeg ( and sugar if you please)Mix together to coat fries.
Spread on baking sheet.
Bake 15 minutes. Flip them over. Bake 15 more minutes.
Then sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top to you taste.
Yum!

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My family …and other toddlers have taste approved my sweet potato bread. Next time I make it I will post the recipe and pics!

Ugh. The body of a mom after having a baby…or babies. One always hears about the extra baby weight. No one ever tells you that your whole body will change and not go back to previous normal. They say..give it a year. Ok. i gave it a year..now what?! Or…this one gets me…you look good…for having twins. one day I would just like that last phrase to drop.

I know there are mothers with awesome bodies…but now that I am a mom I’m thinking that most of us secretly hate our bodies. It’s tough because the children these wide hips and belly fat, stretched out body, made are worth it. The hot bod is gone, and that is ok. There is hardly time to worry about appearance when working full time, being a mom to twins year olds, and a wife. Sometimes though, when I happen to have a few minutes extra when getting ready, I will really stop and look in the mirror and totally dislike what I see. I was never happy with my body..but what girl or lady truly is. Looking back I wish I would’ve appreciated it more because now I fear I won’t get it back!! It is so hard to wear clothes that just don’t feel right, to have extra hip fat, to have my belly looking all sorts of nasty. My husband is the best. I know he thinks I look good. It is just hard to deal with the body change. Some days I just want to feel smoking hot again.

My goal for this year is to loose some weight, I gained seventy pounds when I was pregnant and lost most of it…maybe twenty to fifteen pounds are left. I don’t know how I’m going to do it without time to really and truly exercise. I am also working on loving to learn the body that did an amazing thing…grew the two most beautiful babies in the world. I wouldn’t go back to my old body for anything. I love my boys and the changes that come along. I just want to look and feel a bit more confident in my mommy body. All of my pre-baby clothes are away in the attic (as my bf suggested)and I bought some much bigger sizes…which was tough, but made me feel a whole lot better.

Here are some words of advice:

Girls and ladies– appreciate your body, later on you’ll look back and realize how good you used to look!

New mommies-it’s hard, I know. Get rid of the maternity clothes…wearing those around post baby doesn’t make you feel good. Man up, or mommy up, and buy super cute bigger sizes. Try out new styles as previous ones may not flatter your new body like they did before. Adorable accessories help, too, and you can keep those no matter what the size.

All of us should remember this: no one knows what size you’re wearing anyway! I find it best to not look at the size on the tags as I get dressed I the morning, too. If you don’t see it, then you won’t even think about it If you are comfortable and feel good in some new threads.