Saturday, April 13, 2013


I am not a huge pancake lover, and because of this I don't really think to make them all that often.  Well, my boys DO like them and are starting to ask for them more and more.  So, I make them, and they LOVE them, and they ask me to make them almost every day!  I still limit it to Saturdays and special occasions...but today is Saturday so I am going to share my recipe for making pancakes! So easy, so yummy and I bet you have all of the ingredients in your pantry or fridge right now!  The following recipe makes about 18 pancakes, they store wonderfully in the fridge or freezer!

2 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 TBL baking powder
1 1/2 TBL sugar
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups milk
1/2 stick butter, melted

Cherry Syrup
1 pound pitted cherries (I used a bag of frozen cherries, check ingredient list it should just say sugar or anything added!)
1/4 cup water
1 TBL sugar
1/2 tsp lemon zest

In a mixing bowl mix flour, baking powder and sugar together.  Make a well in the center and put your eggs and milk in the well.  Stir together, just until combined...there will be lumps!  Finally pour in your melted butter and stir that in as well.  Now its time to cook them!  I like to use an electric griddle because its non-stick and easy!  The key to super fluffy pancakes is to cook them slowly and whatever you do DO NOT press them down with the spatula!!  I always have maple syrup in the house, but my favorite way to serve them is with a fresh fruit syrup/puree'!

While you are making your pancakes put all the ingredients for your cherry syrup in a saucepan and cook over high heat until cherries are boiling.  Now, put in a blender and blend until smooth (I used a stick blender which didn't get rid of all the cherry skin, a traditional blender will make it completely smooth!)  That's it!
PS.  Want to be a super cool mom and make SPRINKLE pancakes?!?!  I thought you might!  Just add in a handful of sprinkles to the flour mix before you add in the wet ingredients.  Then top with more sprinkles!  This is a great birthday treat, or way to celebrate special days!  Use red and green sprinkles at Christmas, red and pink for Valentine's Day, or even the colors for your kid's sports teams!  So fun!  Here is Braydon on his 5th birthday loving some sprinkle pancakes!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

It's Valentine's Day!!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!  I have been busy and haven't blogged in a while.  I know I've said it before, but I will say it again...being a mom to 4 little boys is CRAZY {or if I was cool like the young kids I would say cray cray!}  I love it...but am constantly exhausted and constantly going!  It's all good though, because today I have 5 sweet Valentines to love on!

I joined in on a fun little Valentine's Swap and wanted to share what sweet Colleta from Colletta's Kitchen Sink sent me!  Alissa and Caroline hosted the swap and sent me Colletta's name, her blog info and some of her favorite things and I put together a fun little package for her and in return she sent a package to me!!  Getting fun mail is seriously one of my favorite things EVER!!  So when my package arrived I couldn't wait to tear it open!  She sent a comfy, cozy valentines throw with a heart pillow along with a love wax warmer!  So fun!  Thank you Colletta!!!

I tend to down play Valentine's Day because Braydon's birthday is the day before, my hubby always works and I'm in a house full of boys...BUT it has been so fun this year as I decided to embrace it!  The cozy throw has been snuggled by me with all my boys and the warmer has added a fun warmth to my mantel decorations!  Tonight I am going to take it easy for dinner, especially since Casey will be working anyway.  I know I share pasta dishes often, but lets face it kids LOVE pasta!!  I always put veggies in it and I figure if a little pasta will get them to eat the other stuff they can have pasta all the time!!

Lemon Broccoli Pasta
`1 pound short pasta
`3 cups broccoli florets {I prefer fresh but frozen works too!}
`3ish tablespoons olive oil
`Zest of 1 lemon
`Juice from 1/2 lemon
`1/4 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
`Salt & Pepper

Boil your pasta according to the directions on the package in salted water.  3 minutes before the past is done add in your broccoli florets.  Drain pasta/broccoli and then return to pan.  Add olive oil and toss.  Next add lemon zest, lemon juice and parmesan cheese and fold it it.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with freshly grated parmesan on top!  My boys can't get enough of this pasta, in fact my most picky eater calls me "the best mommy in the whole wide world!" when I feed him this dish!  Seriously delicious!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Family Time and Spinach, Artichoke Pasta

WOW!  I can't believe Christmas has come and gone and I have neglected my blog once again :(  BUT, I am so happy to say that while I was neglecting my blog I was living life to the fullest and enjoying the Christmas season with my hubby and sweet boys!!  We went to Christmas concerts, advent services, Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo, Breakfast with Santa, we shopped, baked cookies and so much more!  It is so much fun seeing the joy of Christmas through the eyes of my boys.  They LOVE Jesus and they sure do love celebrating His birth and all of the Christmas "perks" that go along with it!!

Holidays also mean lots of lonely nights being a chef's wife.  The restaurant is BUSY doing Christmas parties and entertaining guests on vacation.  It is so easy for me to become frustrated with his job and all that it entails, but this year was different.  Don't get me wrong, I still had my occasional "pitty party".   BUT, I really tried to focus on the time we were together rather than dwell on the time we were a part.  I think we drank hot chocolate and snuggled in Christmas jammies every night we were all home in December.  I had our fireplace going, candles lit and Christmas music playing almost every night.  This might seem like its obvious, but I don't know what makes me think I can't do this every day!  There is something about listening to music, especially Christian music, that just makes my heart happy!  I plan on continuing our December family time through the new year!

Here is a picture of my family on Christmas night! 

It wouldn't be a blog post without a recipe right?!?!  So, here is what I made last night!  The boys LOVED it and so did I :)

Spinach Artichoke Pasta
1 pound pasta, cooked according to directions in SALTED water (I used gemelli)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, sliced or diced
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 pound frozen spinach, thawed and water squeezed out of it
1 lemon, zest and juice
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus more for topping
salt & pepper

Start by getting your pasta boiling.  While that is cooking heat up olive oil in a large skillet add in onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper.  Let that saute for a minute or 2 then add in the spinach and artichokes and saute until its all heated through.  At this point pasta will be cooked.  Drain and add cooked pasta to the pan with vegetables.  Add lemon zest and juice as well as parmesan and fold it all together.  Serve hot with grated parmesan on top!  There is something about the lemon in this pasta that makes it so delicious and kid friendly too!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Be Generous!! Eat Lasagna!!

Hello blogging world!  How is everyone enjoying their Tuesday??  I started my morning off with MOPS (Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers).  It is always such a fun time, we have breakfast, hear from a speaker, do a craft and get to hang with other moms all while our kids are being smothered with love and having a BLAST.  Win Win in my book :)

Today our speaker spoke on teaching our kids to be generous.  WOW!  I was beyond moved.  I try to be generous in my day to day life, but I could do MORE and can definitely encourage my children to have a more generous spirit.  She really focused on 3 points: learn the way God has gifted your children to be generous, give them opportunities and encourage them to be generous and be an example of a generous person.  Honestly I never really thought about the fact that I need to teach generosity.  Of course,  I have taught them to share (which they do sometimes!), to love others, to pray for those less fortunate, etc...but I can't say that I have consciously taught them to be generous.  A lot of what she talked about was using their God-given gifts and letting them explore being generous through what God gave them.

I am inspired and motivated to put this into practice.  One way in which I am able to show generosity is through cooking.  I LOVE people, especially moms and what a better way to serve them than by making a meal for a family in need, or right after the birth of a baby, or just because life is hectic and a meal would bless their day!  One of my favorite meals to make for families is lasagna! 

What you need:
1 box lasagna noodles (the kind you HAVE to boil)
2 jars of your favorite tomato sauce (or homemade if you have on hand!)
32 oz container ricotta cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
handful of basil, finely chopped
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Start by boiling a big pot of salted water! 

When boiling add in the lasagna noodles and cook according to the directions on the box.  In a small pan saute onion and garlic in a little olive oil for 2-3 minutes.  Put ricotta in a bowl and add in eggs, basil, onion/garlic combo and salt and pepper and combine.  When noodles are done drain and get your assembly line in order :) 

Then just layer your lasagna!  Start with a little bit of sauce on the bottom of a deep 13x9 baker, then lay out the noodles, next spoon a layer of ricotta over noodles, pour sauce over ricotta and then a layer of mozzarella.  Then noodles again and continue this process until your baking dish is full!  I do at least 4 layers.  Then sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top.

Cover with foil and put into a preheated 350 degree oven for about 45 mins (it needs to be heated thoroughly because of the egg).  Take off the foil and let the top get golden brown and bubbly for the last 3 mins.  IMPORTANT STEP!!  Once the lasagna is out of the oven let it sit for 10-15 minutes before you cut it!!  (oops.  apparently we were hungry and I didn't take a picture of the final product!)

**The above recipe will create a 13x9 lasagna, as well as an 8x8 or 9x9 lasagna.  Keep one for your family and be generous with the other :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thankful...and pumpkin french toast!

Let me just start by saying I am soooo glad Halloween is over!!  I am so not a fan of ghosts, witches, skeletons, zombies and other ewey, scary stuff!  I feel like as soon as October (or even sooner!) starts I, as a mom, have to be on the look-out.  When we walk in to a party store, craft store, Target, etc there are images that my kids are scared of and things I just don't want in their little minds.  I'm constantly avoiding certain places or telling my kids to cover their eyes as we walk through.  Then, don't get me started on kid TV!  My "safe" shows for my kids are no longer safe and my kids don't understand why I won't let them watch certain things.

 Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE dressing my kids up!  This year they were all superheroes: Captain America, Batman, Spiderman and Superman.  So cute, so fun!  THAT is what Halloween is about for me and my family, just a fun time to dress up and let my kids (and me) eat lots of candy!

Then, what happens November 1st?  It's like Fall is over.  Pumpkin patches are closed, pumpkins go on sale and stores move all their Fall stuff out in order to make room for Christmas!  Again, I am so excited for Christmas.  BUT, what about THANKSGIVING!?!?!?! 

I LOVE Thanksgiving, it is a time to reflect about how blessed I truly am.  I saw some others doing #novemberthankful on Instagram and decided to join in!  Every day during the month of November you post a picture of something you are thankful for.  It can be a full night of sleep, coffee, a picture showing God's grace, or anything in between.  What a great idea!  As much as I am looking forward to Christmas and the birth of my Savior I am going to take this time to be thankful every day and to remember that all of my blessings come from my Lord and Savior.  So, join me in keeping Fall alive a little longer and make my delicious pumpkin french toast below!

Pumpkin French Toast
1 loaf white bread (I used french toast bread)
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup milk
4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
Maple syrup and powdered sugar for serving

In a shallow bowl (I use a pie plate) whisk all ingredients besides the bread.  When combined well, put bread in mixture to soak it up, make sure you turn so both sides are coated.  Heat a non-stick pan or griddle and lightly coat with butter or cooking spray.  Put pumpkin coated bread in pan and turn the heat to low/med-low.  Cook until nicely browned and then flip.  Cook until both sides are browned and serve with maple syrup and powdered sugar :)  This is super yummy and a great way to enjoy FALL!

Friday, November 2, 2012

How I'm feeling today.

Today is a different kind of day...I am feeling really melancholy and I'm feeling this strong desire to open up, be honest and share my soul with whoever will listen (or read).  I want my blog to be a little different than how it was in the past.  It will still have lots of recipes, but I want it to be about my life, kind of a memory book for my family.  I got that idea from reading my friend Ashlee's blog (you can read it here)!  She is a friend from high school, we recently reconnected and I LOVE reading about her family and her heart :)

So, these are the things on my heart today:

i wish i had a magic fairy that would do my dishes every day
true friendship is so precious
being the wife of a chef is lonely
my children bring me great joy
God is so FAITHFUL
being a mom is hard work
i wish Halloween candy counted as negative calories
i can't wait for sunday date night
God has a plan for my life that is different and better than what i could plan for myself

How are you feeling today??  Is your heart heavy??  Can you relate to my thoughts and feelings??  I would love to hear your thoughts! 

and for those of you hoping for a is a super simple and yummy TREAT to pair with your favorite fruit...I did not create this recipe...I am stealing it from my mama...I hope she doesn't mind!

1 jar marshmallow cream
1 block cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tblsp. lemon zest

Whip all ingredients together and enjoy!  Seriously so good!

Sunday, October 28, 2012


When we had our first son I never even considered making baby food.  My hubby had other ideas...he made it known that it was ubber important to him that our baby be fed only the best!  Well, of course, I agreed I wanted him to have the best, so I would buy organic?!?  What ended up happening was me buying only the best, organic fruits and veggies and pureeing those to give him super wholesome and yummy food that were straight from my kitchen so I knew exactly what was in salt, no sugar, no chemicals! 

I bought a couple of books and LOVED and went to work!  Now that I am on baby #4 I have perfected my method and am able to fit baby purees into my regular kitchen time!  I am happy, Liam is happy and my chef is REALLY happy :)

This is what you will need:
big pot, with lid
ice cube trays with lids (or baby food freezer trays like this)
freezer gallon sized bags
fruit or veggie

I have pictures of making apples so I'll use those as my examples.  The first thing you want to do is wash your produce really well!  Then prepare for cooking.  I don't peel apples when I make them (except with Braydon I did because he would gag over the tiny specks of skin), so I just remove core and cube them and throw them in the pot!  I add a couple cups of water, you don't need to cover the apples, you need just enough that the bottom of the pot is covered and the water should go about an inch up from the bottom of the pot.

cutting up lots of gala apples
ready to cook!
 Cook on low/medium heat, covered, and stir occasionally until very soft.  Now its time to puree them!  Put in blender with a little bit of the cooking water.  Blend on high, taking time to stir the apples so the food gets fully pureed.  Depending on the strenght of your blender this might take some time :)  I normally blend for about a minute!  I also try and keep mine pretty thick( not chunky, but thick)!  Babies can handle thicker foods faster than you might think so I make mine thick and thin with water or breast milk at each feeding...that way you can get the consistency you need each time! 

*When pureeing HOT food remove lid slowly!  Contents have a tendency to pop!  Ouch!*

 Leave out enough food for that feeding and then transfer pureed food to ice cube trays, then put those in the freezer!  Once frozen, pop out cubes of food and transfer to gallon freezer bags and label with type of food and date you made it!  Each ice cube slot is normally an ounce, so when your baby is ready for a meal grab out however many cubes ounces you need! 

I normally make about 5 pounds of baby food, which will make 80 or more ounces of baby food (depending on how much water is used).  From start to putting it in the freezer it normally takes me about an hour and I make one new food each week, slowly adding to my collection.  Then I can also mix foods...grab 2 cubes of peas and 2 cubes of carrots, mix them together and its like a whole new food!  If you have a little one, why not give it a try?!?!  It doesn't take much time, is super healthy, saves a lot of money, and gives you a sense of accomplishment! 

This was a SUPER long post, I hope I didn't scare you off!!  Please let me know if you have any questions, or if your going to give it a try!  I love talking about cooking and I love talking about babies...put the 2 together and I'm a happy girl :)

Liam's 1st solid meal...SWEET POTATOES!

First Foods Cheat Sheet
Sweet Potatoes-peel, cube, steam, puree in blender
Pears- cube, steam in a little water, puree in blender
Peas- I buy frozen (make sure only ingredient is peas...a lot of companies add salt!), steam, puree
Apples- peel (or not, but there will be flecks of peel which some babies don't like), cube, steam, puree
Bananas- cook to order, (if brown just mash and serve) peel, microwave for 20 secs then mash
Avocado- must be soft, just mash and serve (can add water or breast milk to make creamy)
Green Beans- remove ends, steam, puree...for a long time :)
Acorn Squash- cut in half, remove seeds and lay cut down in baking dish, fill baking dish an inch up the side with water, cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 mins or until soft, scoop out flesh and puree
Carrots- peel, chop, steam or boil, puree
Butternut Squash- same as acorn squash...see above!
Parsnips- peel, chop, steam or boil, puree
Peaches- chop, steam, puree
Pumpkin- same as acorn squash...see above!