Saturday, January 22, 2011

A little out of practice!

Today I have been hanging out with my little princess, Breanna! We are having a blast! There have been tea-parties, sing-alongs, more Elmo and Dora than I need to see in a day and lots of catch aka "throw and chase" with the ping pong balls!  I am getting pretty good at deciphering her language too...that really helps with her frustration levels!

Hard to believe I did this completely by myself...TWICE! lol  I had the routines down, let me tell ya!  I could do homework, clean the house, shower, cook dinner, get laundry done, grocery shop, etc. etc. etc. and I didn't even miss a beat!  Today I feel like I can't watch Breanna and do ANYTHING else!! I already owe DJ three dollars!!  "Keep an eye on Bre while I run upstairs" and "D can you please watch Dora with Bre?" and then there is the infamous, "D go get Bre's cup/bottle/binky/fill in the blank"

Honestly though, we are having such a blast with her.  We NEVER get little girls around here, and she has had us all laughing our butts off with her cute lil' self!!  Thanks Brad and Di!! Hope you are winning thousands!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

LIfe is so unfair sometimes

Today my 14 year old son is going to his first funeral. This is a part of growing up and dealing with the more difficult aspects of reality, so I am fine with it.  However, no matter how "natural" and "real" death may be, the death of a child before a parent is just not right. Kamron is going to the funeral of his friend's sister, who died unexpectedly at 24. This family has been wonderful to Kam, and he really wants to be there for his friend and show his support, but there is this small part of me that is aching at the thought of him exposed to this cruel and unexplainable "aspect of reality".  As I was talking to him this morning about what he can expect, I told him that the hardest part of going to a funeral is not thinking about the person who passed, but seeing the overwhelming pain and sadness left behind in those who loved them the most. I told him to be prepared for that, because I can think of no greater heartache than that of a parent who has lost a child.  I have known this sadness almost my entire life...secondhand of course.  I remember my grandma telling me at a very young age that when my mother died it changed her forever.  Again, in high school when a very close friend's brother died, I watched their mother change before my eyes...almost disappearing inside herself.  Everyday is a struggle for someone who has lost a child, because you have to find reasons to stay alive when all you really want to do is be with your baby. It is a cruel existance if you ask me, and the people who are living it, and enduring that pain everyday, are stronger than the rest of us could ever even hope to be.

RIP Aubri Jo Chance and many prayers to the Bilyeu/Chance families.

Spanish Rice

A friend gave me this recipe and said I could share it on here!  I can't wait to try it.


1 cup rice
...1 lb. hamburger
1 onion size of egg
2 cups diced celery
2 tsp barbecue spice mix
1 can tomato sauce (no. 303 can)
1 green pepper

Rice in boiling water, bring to boil, set aside. DO NOT STIR RICE, keep well covered
for an hour. Saute onion, celery and green pepper till done or clear. Brown meat in
separate pan, then mix together. Add tomato sauce and simmer till rice is done. Mix all together and bake one hour in slow oven. (325 degrees).

Be sure to cook the rice until done. Sometimes setting it aside as stated, it does not get cooked through so check to be sure.

We always make a double or triple batch as this heats up well for left overs or lunches. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Today I served root beer floats to my classes.  They earned it, and I was happy to do something nice for them to reward their hard work.  However, I have to say I was a bit annoyed with the bad manners of some of them. :(

For the most part, my kids were very thankful and appreciative; saying thank-you and cleaning up after themselves.  There were a few, however, that don't seem to know the meaning of the word "polite".  I wonder what some of the parents would say had they seen the rude behaviors that I witnessed.

To start off, there were a few that complained about what I was giving them.  I heard, "I hate root beer", "do you have any other kind of ice cream besides vanilla??" and even, "You should have asked us what we wanted". 

Then there were those who spilled and didn't even bother cleaning up after themselves!  I had plenty of napkins and even wet wipes, but they chose to just leave it for the next person to take care of. 

Like I said...the majority of my kids are awesome, and they were genuinely appreciative.  It's just too bad that a few "rotten apples" have to spoil the bunch!


Chuck roast (I use two but I like to freeze a pan of enchiladas too)
beef broth
Ortega green chiles (in the can)
tortillas (flour or corn, I use both)
cheese (Cheddar and Jack)
red enchilada sauce

I cook the roast in the crockpot with the beef broth, chopped cilantro and chopped onions all day (1 hour on high and 6-8 hours on low)  It will shred easily when it's done.  I shred it and put it back in the juices on warm while I prepare the rest of the items.  I pour enchilada sauce into a baking dish that is large enough to dip the tortillas in.  I warm my tortillas prior to rolling them.  This keeps them from coming open or tearing.  You can use a tortilla warmer or just the stove top if you don't have one.  After warming the tortilla, I dip it into the sauce and lay it in a baking dish (the one I'm going to use to cook them) while I fill with shredded beef mixture and top with cheese.  Then, I roll the enchiladas and lay them side by side till the pan is full.  I pour more sauce on top of the rolled enchiladas (because we like them saucier) and then top with more cheese.  I also top with black olives, but that's a personal choice. I cover the pans with foil and heat for around 45 minutes at 375.

For shredded chicken enchiladas the process is very similar, except I boil the chicken breasts in a pan of water and shred them.  Once the meat is shredded, I put it back in the pan with green chile sauce, cilantro and green onions and let the mixture simmer.  I also use the green enchilada sauce and flour tortillas only when rolling them.  I usually only use Monterey Jack cheese for these, but I'm sure cheddar would be great too. 

Both of these are yummy and a big hit in our house!   It's quite a lot of work though, so that's why it's good to freeze some if you are going to go through all the work to make them!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Chile Rellanos (sp??)

6-12 large, roasted and peeled chiles (Anaheim or Poblano are the ones I've used)
3-6 large eggs (approx. 1 egg for 2 chiles)
1/4 cup flour
Brick of cheese cut into 1/4 inch thick rectangles as long as the chile (I use Monterey Jack)
Deep fryer or a large pan with 2 inches of oil

Roast and peel the chiles.
Slice them about halfway down, scrape the seeds and membrane out, trying not to tear the chile.
Place a slice in the chile, but make sure the edges still come together.
Coat the chiles with flour.
Batter:  Mix 3-6 egg whites until stiff. Fold in the yolks and some salt and pepper.
Dip the chiles in the batter and then put into the hot oil.  Cook until they are a crisp, golden brown.
Remove the excess oil with a paper towel.

These are delicious!

This chili is DA BOMB!!!

onion soup mix
1/4 cup bacon grease
2lbs round steak
2lbs sirloin steak
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp pepper
1 can tomato paste (6oz)
1 can tomato sauce (8oz)
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa
1 cup coke or pepsi
1 tbsp hot sauce (I use Tobasco)
3-4 cans of beans undrained (I use black, pinto and kidney)
2 lg cans refried beans

Prepare the soup and set aside 1 1/2 cups
cut steak into small pieces and brown in bacon grease
pour in soup and let simmer for around 10 min
stir in salt, chili powder, cumin, pepper, beans, tom paste and tom sauce
bring to a boil
cover and simmer for 1-2 hours stirring occasionally
stir in cocoa, coke/pepsi and hot sauce
simmer 30 more minutes

Todd likes ground beef in his chili, so I usually add around 1 1/2 lbs ground beef with the steak and brown in the bacon grease. It's good that way too, but I like with just the steak better.

I usually double this recipe, because there are a lot of us, and we like to have the chili for leftovers or freeze some for later.

MLK day

I think it's important on 3 day weekends to try and keep in perspective WHY we are home in our PJ's at 1:00 pm, watching Lifetime movies and making mental lists of all the things we SHOULD be doing with this extra down time.

So as I was talking to DJ about the Rev. Dr. King, and listening to him tell me all of his wonderful accomplishments he learned about in school, I made sure he knows that we have a lot to be thankful for in our family.  I told him there was a time when Black people and White people were really not supposed to love each other and have children together, and because of MLK, I was able to have a child with his father and now I have him!  After thinking about this for a moment...DJ said, "Well I guess I have 3 reasons to be grateful to MLK. First, that you are my mom, Second, that I can use whatever drinking fountain I want, and Third, I don't have to go to school today!" 

That pretty much sums it up!  :)

Date Night

Funny how this whole "date night" concept changes as we get older.  First of all, movies are picked based on the times they are shown.  There is NO WAY I am making it past 11 at the movie theater...that's a given.  Where we are eating dictates which theater we are going to, which in turn dictates the time, so basically food controls our entire night.  Surprised?  I'm not. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Adding one to my crockpot post!

Pot Roast

Chuck Roast
1 lg bottle V8 juice
fresh garlic
fresh jalapenos

Cook roast and veggies in V8 juice on high for 1 hour and on low for 6-8 hours. Add finely chopped garlic, jalapenos and cilantro for last two hours.  This pot roast has a "kick" to it that makes it unique from others I've tried.

Crockpot recipes I can't live without!!

French Dips are a household favorite around here and SOOOOO easy!

Chuck Roast (I usually do two, because we have a lot of mouths to feed!)
Onion soup mix
your favorite seasonings
2 pkg aus jus
your favorite rolls or buns (we use sourdough hoagie rolls)

Follow the directions on the soup mix packet and put in the crockpot on high.  Add roast(s) seasoned to your liking.  I use seasoned salt, garlic salt and garlic pepper.  Cook on high 1 hour, and then turn to low and cook 6-8 hours.  Take roasts out of crockpot and shred with two forks (it will just fall apart at this point), removing fat.  I then put the meat back in the soup mix and let it simmer while preparing the aus jus and grilling some onions for the french dips.  You can warm your rolls up in the oven, add cheese if you want, and then pile with tender roast beef and dip in the aus jus!  You won't be dissapointed!

Pulled Pork

1 14 oz can beef broth
3lbs boneless pork ribs
1 bottle bbq sauce

Pour broth into slow cooker
add ribs (seasoned)
cook on high 4 hours
shred the pork and put back into crockpot (drain the broth first) on low with the bbq sauce.  Simmer until hot.
Serve on rolls or buns.

Roasted whole chicken
Whole chickens (I do two at a time so I can use the leftover chicken for something else)
wash inside and out and rub with olive oil
Season to your liking
I add a half of an onion to the cavity
make three small tin foil balls and place them on the bottom of your crockpot so the chickens will not stick to the bottom
cook on high 1 hr and low for 8-10 more

Side salad and appetizer recipes I love!

Chinese Chicken Salad

2 heads cabbage or lettuce
1 bunch green onions
4 chicken breasts (shredded)
2/3 c slivered almonds
6 tbsp sesame seeds
2 pkg ramen noodles

4 tbsp sugar
2/3 cup sesame salad oil (olive oil works too)
1/2 rice vinegar
1/2 tsp pepper
2 flavor packets from ramen noodles

Brown almonds in 3 tbsp butter.  Remove and brown sesame seeds.  Set aside.
Make dressing.  Mix all ingredients together and refridgerate.  Chop lettuce and green onion.  Add almonds and sesame seeds when cool.  Mix lightly.  Right before serving, crumble noodles and mix through salad.  Add dressing a little at a time and mix gently.

This salad is a hit at any function.  Advice:  Don't try to save.  The noodles get soft and the lettuce gets soggy.  Nasty!

Italian Pasta Salad
2 boxes multi-colored rotini pasta
1 bottle Italian dressing of your choice
Salad supreme seasoning
Pepperoni (I use turkey pepperoni)
Cheese (I use cheddar and mozzarella)
red bell pepper
green bell pepper
red onion
black olives

Cook pasta and rinse well with cold water.  Finely chop vegetables and pepperoni.  Cut cheese into small squares. Mix everything together with dressing and season generously with salad supreme and pepper. Chill 1 hour before serving.

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
3 hot Italian sausages, casings removed
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
8 oz cream cheese (room temp)
1 large egg yolk
olive oil
24-38 mushrooms (depending on size) cleaned and stemmed

Mix all ingrediants together and rub mushrooms with olive oil. Cook until heated all the way through.

Crack in a crockpot!
1lb ground turkey
Frank's hot sauce
1 pkg Ranch dip
1 container sour cream
1 8oz pkg cream cheese

Brown ground turkey, drain and put in crockpot with other ingredients.  Just add hot sauce to taste.  Cook on low until creamy.  Serve with chips.  My favorite is the Fritos Scoops!  Beware: This is addicting!!


I decided to jump on board the 21st century and give blogging a try.  I am hoping to use it as a way to share things with those who are close to me; things like favorite recipes, poems, anecdotes and vents!  I'm learning as a go, so be patient with me, and please let me know if I should do something differently.