Monday, January 13, 2014

What's for lunch?

Being a stay at home mom, it's not all soap operas & bon-bons, if they even make still those.  I am the chef, house keeper, baby sitter, etc..... you get the picture.

One thing I try to do is make sure my husband is fed before he goes to work.  He works most nights so lunch is usually the biggest meal of our day. Trying to come up with different things for lunch is kind of challenging.  My hubby isn't always up for my creations or recipes I find on Pinterest. Add in an almost 3 year old that hasn't fully started to enjoy the spicy side of seasoning, things get real tricky.

I do turn to Pinterest for guidance & ideas often.  But 9 out of 10 times, I am missing at least 2 ingredients.  This is how new recipes are discovered.  I was inspired by my friend's desire to make buffalo chicken stuffed shells.
(Which by the way, I cannot WAIT til she actually makes them.  They look amazing!)

Thinking Buffalo Chicken,  I took a gander in the fridge, cupboards & pantry.  BOOM!

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese!

2 Cooked Chicken Breast - I boiled mine & shred it
4 C Cooked Pasta - I used Cavatappi, I love the shape
1 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 C Shredded Mozzarella Cheese 
1/2 C Blue Cheese Crumbles
1/4 C Milk
1 Tbsp Dry Ranch Seasoning
1 Tbsp Two Sisters Brazen Buffalo Blue Cheese Seasoning
1 C Panko Bread Crumb

*Note-I am missing a few ingredient in my picture

-I sprayed the casserole dish with cooking spray
-Next put all the ingredients, except the bread crumb, into the greased casserole dish & mix together.
-Top with the bread crumb & bake covered with foil for about 15-20 until the cheese is melted.
-Take the foil off & put under the broiler for about 4 minutes, just long enough to make the bread crumbs brown. Be sure to keep an eye on it, that broiler is a beast!

This is one of my new favorite recipes & 
I will definitely be making it again.  
As always, you can make it to your liking.  
Add more cheddar or take out the Blue Cheese.
If my son wasn't eating with us, 
I would have added a little Red Devil hot sauce!

I hope you enjoy this easy lunch casserole 
& have a great week!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Surprise Savings

I went to the grocery store on a Saturday, BIG mistake.  Being a stay-at-homer, I try to make it a point to do things during the week.  I figure, one less person in the mix on the weekend the better!  I actually enjoy going shopping.  Odd as some may find it, but I have always liked going to the store.  Now it's like a day at the spa (ok, maybe not THAT great).  Food shopping is sometimes the only time I get out alone so I try to savor the moment.  Nothing like getting a cup of coffee & seeing what is on sale that.  And bonus when I have a coupon!!!

I went to the store with my list & a wad of coupons.  I seem to buy a lot of produce.  Unfortunately not everyone in my house is obsessed with veggies, so I tend to throw out a lot. I needed mushrooms & was very excited they were 10 for $10...aka $1.  That was until I got a look at them.  Someone must have expected New Years Resolutions of consuming lots of mushrooms and over ordered.  I will admit, those sale mushrooms were probably just fine.  I cannot buy or eat foods that look bad.  A friend pokes fun at me for doing it all the time, lol.

Still needed mushrooms...wasn't buying the sale ones...then I remembered the good 'ol "Bulk" veggies.  They ones you can pick yourself & not be obligated to buy a whole container when all you need is a few.  So I threw about 6 descent sized shrooms in my bag & it was the perfect about for my hubby's delicious Puttanesca.  (We will save that recipe for another day, but here is a little preview)

Hubby's Puttanesca

Much to my surprise, I only paid $1.19 for the perfect amount of mushrooms! And the savings didn't stop there.  I needed a few cloves of garlic.  I usually just by the garlic minced in a jar. I know the flavor is so much better with fresh, but something that small being chopped or cut by me is scary. Since my husband would be doing the slicing & dicing, I figured I'd grab the fresh stuff.  Usually, I would go right for the 2 in a pack.  Why not, it's there & ready to go. But that day, something was telling me to get 1 bunch of garlic cloves. SCORE!  Paid $0.07 for it.  I couldn't believe when I got home & looked at my receipt.

So moral of the story, when trying to cut corners & shop a little smarter, buy the loose items.  It could really save you quite a bit of money.  I know this isn't brand new information, it was just my "Ah ha" ,light bulb on moment. Trying to make this year better mentally & financially so this is a start in the right direction.

Have a great week!

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year...New Me!

2013 had lots of ups & some downs. 
Now I am ready to start 2014 on a positive note!

I never make a big deal about resolutions.  Let's be honest, a lot of people are just setting themselves up for failure.  I like to just think of things that I want to make happen or try to do.  Whether, trying to accessorize more, try a new dish or try harder to make sure I blog once a week... I just don't want to beat myself up in a month when I didn't loose those 10 lbs or I didn't end world hunger.  I do have a few things that I do want to do

So this year I started off by starting to clear out the clutter in my "Office".  I am trying to spend more time here, so why not make it a place I really want to be.  The first thing I did was moved my desk.  I felt like I was boxed in & I think it affected my mind. My mind & I am free to move about now.  I find that keeping pictures of special times or vacation help me to be in my happy place.......Ooooooommmm

My office serves a few purposes.  I am a Party Lite consultant.  With that comes a lot of product & supplies.  I have dedicated one entire shelf unit to my Party Lite.  I did leave the top shelf for my pictures & Mason jars filled with decorations. Items get retired often, so I end up with a lot of old pieces.  I need to sell those. Hmmmm, I see another thing I can add to my 2014 "To Do" list.

I have also decided to teach myself how to sew.  My niece decided she wanted to make her own clothes so my best friend got her a sewing machine.  Needless to say, Twy has yet to actually use it.  So I will be the new owner of a sewing machine.  My mother-in-law is quite the avid sewer & she does some great things.  One of my favorites is her place mats.  She makes them for ever occasion AND they are double sided! I want her to teach me how to make them. I tell her all the time that she could sell them at craft shows.  I also really want to make cute aprons.  Something a little more stylish than your Grandmother's 50 year old apron.

My personal #1 mission is to blog at least once a week.  Having an almost 3 year old makes it a little more challenging, but I am up for it.  A lot has happened since September & I am looking forward to sharing some of my ideas & recipes.  Cheers to an AWESOME 2014!