Friday, August 16, 2013

Lasagna Roll Ups

Let me start off by saying I LOVE Pinterest! Best invention EVER!! Yesterday, during the freezing cold snow day here, I spent about an hour pinning recipes and ideas for redoing the girls bedrooms (a post for a later date)! I stumbled across a recipe for little lasagna rolls ups that another friend had pinned and HAD to make them!! They just looked too delicious! I should preface the following by reiterating that I did not come up with this recipe! The link to the recipe will be posted at the end of this post and give credit to the original recipe poster! Anyhow...back to me making lasagna roll up. The recipe I found was for spinach and cheese roll ups but I decided to add a bit of ground beef to them, bc I like meat lasagna. Next time I think I will add shredded chicken. Anyhow...here is the recipe how I made it... Ingredients 1 pound lasagna noodles 1/3 pound lean ground beef 15 ounces light ricotta cheese 1 cup Italian Blend cheese 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 egg 10 ounces frozen spinach 15 ounces pasta sauce of your choice...I uesd Bertolli Four Cheese Rosa salt and pepper (to taste) non stick spray (as needed) Directions 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 2. Brown ground beef and drain off any fat. Set aside. 3. Get a large pot of water boiling with a dash of salt. When it comes to a full boil add the lasagna noodles and cook until al dente (soft but not soggy...about 12 minutes). When they are done boiling drain in a strainer. 4. While the noodles are boiling...Prepare the filling. Thaw the package of frozen spinach in the microwave, then squeeze out as much excess fluid as possible. Combine the spinach, ricotta, Italian cheese blend, Parmesan, egg, ground beef, pepper and salt. Mix until well combined. 5. Spray your baking dish with non stick spray. 6. On a clean surface lay out a sheet of parchment paper (it keeps the counter clean and the noodles are sticky!) Lay out a few noodles at a time (I did 4 at a time). Place a couple tablespoons of filling on each noodle and spread out to all the edges. The filling doesnt need to be thick bc when its rolled up it will be compounded! (I put bit too much on my first 4 but still had enough for 12 noodles) 7. Roll up each noodle and place in your baking dish. Repeat until your filling is gone. I had enough filling and room for 12 roll ups so I had some noodles left over, which is ok...you may need spares if noodles rip/break during boiling or rolling. 8. Top roll ups with your sauce, covering completely. The sauce will help the noodles stay moist during baking. 9. Cover your baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Recipe found here on Pinterest! The original blog is apparently no longer available though :(

Friday, July 26, 2013

Baby #3!!!

Here are the latest ultrasound pics of baby#3!!
Also...find the December Group on Facebook by clicking HERE !!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Holiday Card Heaven

Some of you may have seen my post on the awesome Christmas Cards I got from Shutterfly 2 years ago.  After all the exciting new changes to my family this year I figured photo holiday cards were a must.  You can only imagine how excited I was when Shutterfly contacted me to blog about the awesome new collection of cards they have for the upcoming holiday season.  They have traditional cards with traditional red/green/gold/silver coloring and non traditional cards with fun, funky colors and designs!  It took me about an hour to decide on a card design.  They just have so many amazing cards to choose from!  Luckily they make it easy for you by letting you narrow down your choices based on color preference or number of pictures, flat or folded cards, etc!  I finally decided on this one...Falling Snow Frames Holiday Card...


No, that is not my family...you will have to stay tuned for the final card design.  I have the pictures all picked out and now I just have to decide what to put on the inside.  One of my very favorite features is that you can have them print your holiday message inside and then you don't even have to hand write all 200 of you Holiday Cards!!  Honestly, I don't know what I would do without Shutterfly for holiday cards and photo books   My parents and Eric's mom are getting Wedding Photo Books for Christmas this year!  I think I might make a photo gift of some kind for the hubby and an ornament or two for the Christmas Tree!  Designing and ordering on Shutterfly saves me so much time during the Holidays!  I want to make so many creative gifts but I just never seem to have as much time as I would like to hand make them all on my own.  This way I get to use my creative side in a time efficient manner!  Its a win/win scenario!  Be sure to check out all the amazing special offers Shutterfly has to offer and order some photo gifts or your own!  Show your creative side without having to bust out your Cricut and glue gun this Christmas!  Be sure to follow Shutterfly on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and check out their blog for fun ideas for pictures, cards, photo gifts and more!  


*This post was sponsored by Shutterfly and I did receive compensation for writing this post!  My opinions are my own and I love Shutterfly even without the compensation!*

Monday, July 30, 2012

Photo Contest!

Two posts in one day...how lucky are you guys!

I recently was asked to blog about a contest being run by my favorite photo site, Shutterfly!  I have blogged about them before, back when I shared our Photo Holiday Cards, and will again when we order all our Wedding photo gifts for family & friends!  They offer so many amazing products and services and have some of the best prices on the web!  Be sure to check them out for all your photo printing needs!  Now, on to the contest...

You can win a trip for 4 to the BAHAMAS and get a professional photo shoot to help you remember this awesome vacation forever!  All you have to do is go here and upload your favorite photo and caption based on this weeks theme!  You can get a gift just for entering and you can enter at any point over the 5-week sweepstakes!  How awesome is that?!  You still have time to submit a photo for the Sports & Activities theme for Week 4 and for the Parties and Celebrations theme for Week5!  Make sure to check it out and enter!


PHOTO THEMES
•       Week 1(7/9): Americana - ended
•       Week 2 (7/16): Great Outdoors - ended
•       Week 3 (7/23): Water Fun – current week
•       Week 4 (7/30): Sports & Activities
•       Week 5 (8/6): Parties & Celebrations
PRIZES
       Instant win prizes just for submitting a photo!
       Weekly prizes (contestants can enter one time/week)
       Weekly featured photos: up to 5 weekly entries will be selected from the gallery and featured on the Facebook fan page.
       Grand prize: trip for 4 to Bahamas, 4 nights, family photo shoot

*Disclaimer:  All opinions about Shutterfly are my own personal opinion and were not facilitated by gifts or offers from Shutterfly.  I was offered a photo book promotion for sharing the contest information but that is all.




I'm back!

Okay, I don't even really know where to start!  I haven't blogged in ages!  So much has happened since the my last post!  I will try to sum it up quickly...

The biggest news I have to share is that I GOT MARRIED seventeen days ago!  It was HOT but wonderful!  Eric and I are very happy to be together again and raising our girls as a family, after being apart for 5 years.  The girls are loving it as well.  You can look forward to a post of wedding pics with more details as soon as I get more from our photographer!


Last week we got some very exciting news, Eric has been hired as a paid Fireman by one of our local departments, which is wonderful.  It would be even better if said department would go full time paid.  For now they are only part time which means Eric will have to continue working 60+ hours a week, which sucks, but its a HUGE step in the right direction.

In January I started teaching childbirth education and breastfeeding education for Baby Love Birth Services, to go along with all my doula stuff.  I am LOVING it.  I also help organize/run a HUGE baby fair that happens twice a year, Baby Love Essentials!  We have had 2 events so far with our 3rd coming up this September.

Since January I have had the honor of attending two different twin births as a doula.  One was a home-birth and one a hospital birth, both were vaginal deliveries!  Both babies were born breech at the home-birth, one complete breech and one footling breech.  Baby B was born breech at the hospital birth!  Both were truly amazing experiences and I feel so lucky to have been able to be a part of them!

I stopped homeschooling in January this year and sent "M" to school for the very first time ever.  I felt like I was not able to devote enough time to school with "M" & "L" bc at the time I was working, teaching and organizing the baby fair on top of doing school. She started right after winter break ended at a local public elementary school.  She started in 2nd grade and it went WONDERFULLY!  Her teacher was AMAZING and not at all your typical elementary school teacher.  She was very laid back and relaxed about everything. She even told me that I can opt "M" out of the standardized testing in the future if I want to.  She is very liberal and a "hippy" so we got along really well ;)  "M" loved her and absolutely LOVES school.

"L" will be starting kindergarten in the fall!  I am sad and excited at the same time.  I am really happy that she got into the class we requested.  They are trying out a program at the school where the kids stay with the same teacher for both kindergarten and first grade.  I really wanted her to be in the classroom where they do this.  We got our teacher assignments over the weekend and she will be in that class!  Both girls are so excited for school to start in a couple weeks!

Eric and I are very excited to start TTC after the girls are back to school!  We both know for sure we want to have another baby and would love to have one next summer.  I am getting ready to start the exciting journey of temping and charting my cycles.  I am hoping and praying we get pregnant right away bc I am such an obsessive control freak the TTC is extremely stressful for everyone involved or not involved really (not that it isn't for many couples...its just stressful for me in a different way, not bc I've had a hard time getting pregnant but bc I obsess over my temps/charts/ovulation etc and make Eric do the deed twice a day for a week surrounding my ovulation and try to control getting pregnant like I do everything else!  Maybe this time will be different...don't hold your breath though!)

I am hoping to try and get at least one blog post up a week starting now and then we shall see how it goes.  I have so much to share, I just haven't been making time to do it.  I guess I will have plenty in couple weeks with Eric working days and the girls both in school all day!  I am not going to know what to do with myself!  I haven't been home without a child in over 8 years!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Cutest Most Amazing New Baby Swaddler! The Woombie!

If you have ever seen/read "The Happiest Baby on the Block" you know that swaddling is amazingly helpful and wonderful with a tiny new baby.  I could never get the hang of swaddling, it was never tight enough or they cried so I gave up & I did not end up swaddling either one of my girls.  Who knows, if I had, it may have led to a lot less sleepless nights for me!  When I have another baby I plan to swaddle the heck out of them and when I do I aboslutely will be buying a bunch of the cutest new swaddling item on the market, the Woombie!! 



I know, even the name is cute and wait until you see how absolutely adorable your little one looks all Woombie'd up!  One of my favorite blogs, Make it and Love it, had a post and giveaway about the Woombie and that is how I found out about it! You can enter her giveaway here to win your very own Woombie or Woombie Donut!  She always has the absolutely cutest products and ideas on her blog!  Don't believe me?  Check out these adorable felt hair accessories or this super cute shrug!  I know, adorable and amazing right!?  Anyhow...back to the Woombie...

It comes in a couple wonderful, practical different styles for different point in your little darlings swaddling life.  The first style is the Original Woombie.
The Woombie site says "The Woombie is the safest & most NATURAL way to Swaddle your baby, encouraging baby to softly stretch extremities as needed, just like in the womb. The Woombie comforts, softly confines arms & gently compresses baby's unique curves to hug baby... helping baby sleep better, preventing Startling issues, face scratching, overheating and also preventing dangerous loose unraveled blankets from covering baby's face."  

This is what I needed for my girls!  They hated not being able to move their little arms at all.  This lets them move but not enough to startle them!  Its PERFECT!  The picture to the left is the standard Woombie, the starter for you baby, made in the style of your typical sleep sack with a zipper up the front but with no arm holes. They come in all different colors and patterns so you will be sure to find just the right one for you little prince or princess!
The next style is the Convertible Woombie, made basically the same as the original Woombie but with the option of having arms out if baby is awake, etc!  I know, great thinking right!  You can swaddle and unswaddle baby in seconds!





The next style is the Leggies Woombie.  The top portion is the same as the Original but the bottom has two separate legs!  Another great benefit of the all the Woombies, and especially the Leggies, is that you don't have to worry about babies legs being swaddled too tight, or in the wrong position, which can cause problems like hip dysplasia.  I have been reading about this a lot lately and I'm ecstatic to have a product to recommend to my friends and doula clients so they wont even have to worry!
The 4th and final Woombie is the Convertible Leggie, an absolute must for every mom.  It allows baby to ride safely buckled in their carseat and you can still easily swaddle and unswaddle them to put them in or get them out of the carseat!  I know, you are absolutely dying to get one or ten of these as soon as possible for your little one and every pregnant friend you have!  Its okay, I feel the same way!  Don't forget to visit the Make It and Love It blog for a chance to win your very own Woombie and make sure to visit the Woombie sight to order and see their other amazing products like the Woombie Donut and Mo'Mo Blankie!  Make sure to leave me a comment and tell me what you think!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

One of my very favorite things to make and take to get together's is Mini Chicken Pot Pies.  I absolutely LOVE this recipe from Betty Crocker.  I have modified it slightly to make it my own and it is delicious.  Its always a HUGE hit with children and adults! ( Following the Pot Pie recipe is a mini recipe of how I cook my chicken for this and some other suggestions)  Here is what you will need:


Tools:


1-2  Twelve cup muffin/cupcake pans
3 inch round biscuit/cookie cutter
Rolling pin (having both a mini and a standard will work best.  Use the mini to roll out the cut out circles and the standard to re-roll out pie crust)
2 sheets of wax/parchment paper (to cut & roll out pie crust on)


Ingredients:



1 (10ounce) package frozen peas & carrots (or frozen veggie of your choice)
1/3 cup butter or stick margarine
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup chopped onion
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 ¾ cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 ½ to 3 cups cut-up cooked chicken or turkey
3 9inch Pie Crusts ( or 2 boxes, each box will have 2 pie crusts if your buy the refrigerated)
Non stick cooking spray

Directions:

1.  Rinse frozen veggies in cold water to separate, drain.
2.  Melt butter in 2-quart saucepan over medium high heat. 
3.  Stir in flour, onion, salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly; remove from heat. 
4.  Stir in broth and milk.  Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.  Boil and stir 1 minute.  
5.  Stir in Chicken and veggies; remove from heat. 
6.  Heat oven to 425 degrees.
7.  Unroll 1 of the 2 pie crust onto your wax paper.  Cut as many circles with your biscuit cutter as you can fit.  Remove excess and save.  
8.  Using the mini rolling pin roll out each 3 inch circle just slightly so that it will fit in your muffin cups covering the bottom and sides.  
9. Very  lightly spray your muffin pans with non stick cooking spray.
10.  Line each cup with your rolled out circles.
11. Roll out the saved excess pie crust and repeat steps 8-10 until all your muffin cups are filled. (Use part of the 3rd pie crust if needed.)  
12. Unroll 2nd pie crust.  Using your biscuit cutter cut out circles.  Remove excess, roll out and cut out circles, until you have 24. (Use rest of 3rd crust if needed.)
13.  Fill each muffin cup with Chicken mixture, 1/2 to 3/4 full. 
14. Top each with your 3 inch circles of pie crust and gently seal the top and bottom crust together.  
15.  Place in your preheated oven and bake 10 - 15 minutes, or until lightly golden.  Watch them because it will take more or less time depending on your oven.
16.  Cool and gently remove from muffins pans.  A quick swipe around the sides with a butter knife will normally be all thats needed to remove them easily!
17.  Share and enjoy!!

If you have any of the chicken mixture left over you can it does freeze well and makes a delicious quick meal on mashed potatoes or rice!  If you are just doing this for your family you can always only make 12 and save the rest of the mixture.  You can also just make one large pie, like in the original Betty Crocker Recipe.  Just cook the pie following the directions on the the box. 

As I said before I will share the quick and easy way I pre-cook my chicken for this recipe.  Normally I use about 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and 2 (14 oz) cans of chicken broth.  I season it depending on what sounds good but normally just add a little garlic and some pepper.  I combine everything in a pot and simmer over low heat until chicken is cooked thru but not dry, about 12-15 minutes.  I then either shred or dice the chicken and Voila, its ready for chicken pot pie (or chicken tacos or chicken salad or whatever!)  Make sure to use the broth you cooked the chicken in for your chicken pot pie, there is no reason to waste it!  Another easy way to pre-cook the chicken would be in your crock pot.  You could do a whole chicken and use the rest for other meals later in the week!  Please leave a comment and let me know how you liked your mini chicken pot pies!