Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chicken Noodle Soup

What else is there to do on a cold cloudy day off of work than to throw together a batch of soup in the crockpot and sit back and wait for dinner? I searched the the fridge and pantry for anything that looked good and then dumped everything into the crockpot!

I added cornbread to mine which made it a little sweeter.

Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 3 large chicken breasts
  • 1 can of peas and carrots, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of carrots, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/3 cup of frozen corn
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 chopped yellow onion  
  • 1 cup of canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of green beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 stalks of chopped celery (I didn't have any this time)
  • 2 cups of whole grain noodles or whole grain brown rice (I had to mix them b/c I didn't have enough noodles.)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in the crockpot and cook on low for 5 hours.  Shred the chicken if it has not fallen apart on its own and then add the noodles.  Cook for one hour on low.  Serve with whole wheat toast or corn bread!   

Pork Chops and Baked Apples

Last week I switched up our normal dinner routine of chicken or ground turkey with some pork chops.  They were really tender and delicious especially paired with the apples.

After browning the pork chops, place them on top of the apples.

Right out of the oven!

My plate.
Baked Pork Chops with Apples
  • 4 medium sized pork chops
  • 2 apples (I used a Granny Smith and a Gala)
  • Cinnamon and brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Brown pork chops in pan (5 minutes).
  3. Slice apples and sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. 
  4. Spray baking dish and line with apple slices.  Put pork chops directly on top of apples. 
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Cover with foil and continue baking for another 15 minutes or until done.

Overnight Crockpot Oatmeal

I've been dying to try an overnight crockpot oatmeal recipe, so I prepared the following and took it to my parents' house on Christmas morning.  I thought it was really good, but could have done with a little less cinnamon and a little less time in the crockpot.  I also prefer to make my oatmeal with almond milk rather than water.  It ended up cooking/staying warm way past 9 hours, but it was still good. 

Apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, and Craisins

Add oatmeal on top.

Perfect for cold mornings.

Overnight Crockpot Oatmeal with Apples


•    2 apples, chopped
•    1/2 cup of Craisins
•    ½ cup of chopped almonds
•    1/3 cup of brown sugar
•    4 cups of water
•    2 cups of old-fashioned oats
•    2 teaspoons of cinnamon
•    1 teaspoon of salt


1.    Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together and then coat the apples and craisins.
2.    Mix oatmeal with water and salt.
3.    Put apples in bottom of crockpot and pour oatmeal on top.  Do NOT stir.
4.    Cover and cook overnight on low for 8-9 hours.
5.    In the morning, stir thoroughly and serve with milk and additional brown sugar.

*Adapted from

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas Eve

Here's the recap of our Christmas:  Spent Christmas Eve celebrating with a yummy lunch at Angela's house.

One good lookin' tired bunch

Mom and Dad

Someone is excited about Christmas...

Once we got home we tried to hit the sack early so that Santa could stop by.  I didn't seem to get the memo and was up three or four times during the night....munching on peanut butter balls and peanut butter blossom cookies.  I think I might have an eating disorder that appears once the sun sets.  We knew E was going to have a hard time sleeping because he has been up for the last two weeks with Chrismas excitement.  So, yes, this 16 year old was up at 3:30 am with dreams of ukelele's and paper boy hats in his head.  Not sure where we found this kid;)  He woke me up at 5:00 when he decided to get some cereal...he knew exactly what he was doing.

We opened our presents, walked the pups, and showered before heading up to my parents' house for breakfast and Round 3 of Christmas.  The big hits of the morning at our house included a Garmin 410 for me, matching iPod Nano's for Rich and I, and a ukelele and e-reader/tablet for Evan.  Breakfast at was fabulous and I think we made off with at least half of Rockfish Gap Outfitter's Northface collection thanks to my Mom and Dad:)  Hailey got dropped off so she could get her Santa gifts from Grandma and Papa and Mike.

Fruit salad

Country ham rolls

Big eaters and my big jug of apple cider vinegar water;)


Thanks Grandma and PaPa

Doggie blanket from Daddy

Hailey and Mike reading about Jingle the husky pup!

"Jingle was just what I wanted!"

Kindle Fire and new vest!

Dad getting into his gifts

I think we like purple:)
2nd jacket of the morning:)

Can't imagine what I'd need a thermos for? COFFEE.

Mom, Dad, Gracie and Holly

Mom and Holly

Dad and Gracie

Round 4- Hailey came back to our house to see what Santa left her!  I think she was shocked when she saw the enormous dollhouse and I was shocked that she needed a stool to reach the 4th floor nursery! It was a shame that we didn't have much time to play before it was time to head to Round 5- Mimi's house.  Is your head spinning yet?  It was only 12:30 pm...

"LOOK what Santa brought!"

She was so excited that she dropped everything else.

So much fun!

What is over here?
Tuck those dolls in for nap time.
It even has an elevator!

After dropping E off for Christmas time with his mom, we headed to Mimi's for what is always a marathon event.  We stuffed our faces, had some spiked Egg Nog courtesy of my dad, and opened gifts. All with a lot of sitting around and talking and oh yes, listening to Hailey say, "Can I open MY presents now?"  She's not spoiled at all.

Mimi and Dad

Kevin and Bonnie

Shannon and Matt

Rich and I ended the evening by our lonesome selves.  We dropped Hailey off at her mom's and E spent the night with his mom.  I don't think I would have had the energy to do much else and lonesome I most certainly was not. I even managed to sleep in until 7:00 am.  Amazing.  I didn't make it to the gym until 9:30 this morning, way too late by the way.  I was drained.  The alarm is set for 4:30 am so I can start my day off right tomorrow!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Santa is on his way...

It's a good thing that he has lots of helpers...

2 hours for complete assembly...

I think I may be playing with this all night!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Everyone is excited!

because it is the eve of Christmas Eve!

Miss Maddie Moosie in her Christmas finest!

Hailey camped out ready to watch "Prep and Landing"

The tree

Schmackal snoozing.

Tired pup

Not so tired kiddo.

Loaded Lasagna

After searching for lasagna recipes online I decided to throw together my own version for dinner last night.  I think this is another one of those easy meals like meatloaf that you can put in the oven and forget about, but at the same time load it up with tons of veggies.  When we eventually have little ones who refuse to eat their veggies I will certainly be loading their meals with hidden vegetables like pureed carrots. 

Boil whole wheat lasagna noodles and let dry.

Brown 93/7 ground turkey with onions.

Roast zucchini at 350 degrees

Layer sauce then noodles...

Add zucchini...

Add cottage cheese, then spinach, then ground turkey, then cheese!

Loaded Lasagna


    * 8-10 whole wheat lasagna sheets
    * 1 lb cooked ground turkey (93/7)
    * 1 chopped yellow onion
    * 2 cups pasta sauce
    * 2 cups low fat cottage cheese
    * 2 tsp garlic powder
    * 2 egg white
    * 3 medium sized zucchinis (thinly sliced the long way)
    * 2 cups spinach
    * 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Boil the lasagna and lay out to dry.
3.  Place the zucchini slices on a spayed cookie sheet and roast for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
5.  Brown the turkey and onions in a pan.
6.  Combine cottage cheese, garlic powder, and egg white.
7.  Begin layering the lasagna. 
•    Spread a layer of sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish.
•    Then layer 3 lasagna noodles
•    Followed by half of the roasted zucchini
•    Then half of the cottage cheese mixture
•    Followed by half of the spinach
•    Then half of the ground turkey mixture
•    Then 1 cup of shredded cheese
8.  Repeat the layering process.
9.  Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
10.  Let cool for 15 minutes and then dig in!