All posts by brittouss04

About brittouss04

I'm a wife, a mom of two human children and two fur-children. I like to cook; I LOVE to eat. I dread to clean, but a messy house makes me crazy. I love music and dancing. I love going out into the world to experience newness. I'm inspired by green energy and tiny homes.

Cooking with leftovers

I came up with this idea to limit cooking time so I could have more mommy baby, mommy daddy, and just mommy time… Mostly I just have more mommy baby time but here’s what we did this week and it was great!

DINNERS
1. Spicy VeggieMania Chilli
-brown extra ground beef and set aside (double), chop extra onions, cilantro, tomatoes and shred extra cheese, other veggies and set aside

2. Pork, Texas BBQ baked beans, broccoli

3. Tacos
-reheat ground beef, use the extra onions, tomatoes, cilantro and cheese

4. Pork fried rice
-using pork from day before, cubed, and cook brown rice, stir fry onions, garlic and other already chopped veggies, add soy sauce

5. Nachos
-tortilla chips, the leftovers: ground beef, onions, cilantro and tomatoes, bake, reheat left over BBQ baked beans to dip chips in

6. Italian Sausage
-use onion, red and green peppers from Chilli and steam sliced pieces to serve on top of Italian sausage

BREAKFAST
1. Broccoli, cheese crustless quiche
-broccoli left from pork dinner uncooked, cut into tiny pieces, add cheese, onions, salt pepper, 6 eggs, dash of milk, mix up and put into pie dish. Bake 50 min at 350.

2. Chilli eggs
-Leftover Chilli, spoon out most of tomatoes, serve mostly beans and spicy veggies, put in with scrambled eggs

3. Breakfast burrito
-dice up leftover Italian sausage, spinach, and make scrambled eggs. Let cool, then finish off tortillas remaining from Taco night, and stuff, roll and freeze for an easy reheat breakfast during the week.

Yummmmm….

Advertisements

Household Paper Organization

Ok, so it has gotten bad, really bad at our house. Papers are everywhere. We have stacks piled up high. Unread mail. Mail we opened, yet need to do something with. Papers from my numerous Preggo check up doctors visits. Bills. Cards. We just filed our taxes, so we’ve got miscellaneous paperwork for that strewn about. It’s a madhouse.

Before the baby comes, I made it a goal to organize those crazy papers of importance that have cluttered our dining room table and our kitchen breakfast bar.

Although it’s not perfect yet, I sat down yesterday to develop an organizing system we could use to eliminate the unnecessary paperwork and keep what we truly need in one neat area.

Today I will begin actually physically going through our madness and filing, recycling or shredding.

I searched online for “Tips for Filing for Families” and “home file organization ideas”, etc. After all the reading I came up with this game plan…

File Folder Organization
-Insurance Policies
•Auto
•Home
•Life
•Health benefits
-Health & Medical Records (file tab per person in household)
•Immunizations
•Other medical history
-Vital Records (file tab per person in household)
•Educational Records
•Will
•Birth Certificate
•Social security card
•Religious Certificates
-Household Records
•Mortgage/Lease
•Taxes & W2’s (by year)
•Warranties
•Vehicle (titles/loans, warranties, maintenance records)
-Retirement
•401K/IRAs
•Investments
-Finance
•Credit Cards
•Student Loans
•Other Savings accounts
-Employment
•Pay stubs/Login Information (as a former recruiter, I know it is good to keep at least the first and last paycheck from each employer, as it shows your employment length and if you received any increases in pay during that time span)

I know this may not be an all encompassing list, yet I hope it helps simplify filing possibilities for you and your family! I’m looking forward to getting our house on track and in order!

Food Prepping Before Baby

We are having our first baby! She is due April 1st! With anticipation for sleepless nights, a recovering body, and a husband who has to get right back to work, I decided to come up with a list of 10 Freezer Friendly Meals that I can start making now, and slowly check off my list until baby arrives. I’m about 25 weeks pregnant now, and set a goal to make one of these recipes per week. I will either make double batches, or just set our leftovers aside for a quick easy meal when we are too exhausted to do anything else. This way, instead of calling too frequently for Chinese, Pizza and anything else delivery, we can have a HEALTHY meal with easy access. Now, some of my meal choices are healthier than others… But they are all still better than what the delivery man might bring!

1. Chicken Salsa Pockets
2. Asian Lettuce Wraps (just have fresh lettuce when ready to eat – my favorite is the buttercrunch lettuce that still has its roots attached for ultimate crunchy freshness!)
3. Chicken Noodle Soup (hopefully we will have bread handy, if not crackers or grilled cheese will go along nicely with this!)

20131217-164924.jpg
4. Crockpot Chicken Fajitas (just have tortillas and avocados ready to go!)
5. Crockpot BBQ Spareribs (serve with any veggie like corn, green beans, or a salad or baked potato)
6. Our favorite Chili recipe… (It’s evolving and depends what’s in our cupboards. Just add cheese and crackers… Maybe serve over noodles to span it out)
7. Stromboli (yummy with salad)
8. Flank Steak (serve over rice or with noodles)
9. Crockpot Pulled BBQ Chicken
10. Italian Wedding Soup (serve with warm bread, maybe naan)

And, if it weren’t an obvious choice already…. I already have my favorite homemade cookie dough recipe in my freezer! I suggest all soon to be mothers do the same! Only downside is that That recipe might just not make it through uneaten before baby gets here!

Our Delicious Camping Trip

John and I had been talking about going camping together since we met. “We have to go camping; we will this year!” Well, many memories, two dogs, and a marriage later… (4 years later), we finally did it!

I spent a long time prepping for the meals, going shopping for our camping essentials. See my lists below:
Snacks 
You would think we were camping with 4 kids as well. I may have over-planned just a tad.
Breakfast
The pancake batter was easy and fun. I just got the add water only batter because I was paranoid a batter with eggs wouldn’t stay cool enough and could go bad. I bought a $1 something squeezable bottle from Walmart and a small container of syrup for a yummy, and fancy camping meal.
The granola bars were for Breakfast 2 – the day we were packing up and heading home. No need to get fancy, no time to re-clean everything. It was good to have a simple meal planned that day.
 
Lunch
We only needed one lunch, the Saturday we were out there. Ours was fun and easy. John’s folks have these Pudgy Pie sandwich grill tools. Basically, you make your sandwich, and shove it in this tool, that is the shape of a square (white bread), and that’s it. Put it in the fire, flip it over, let it cook for a bit, and wha-lah! You have a delicious sandwich that is seared together, and everything in the middle is warm. Kind of like a campfire Panini. 
 
dinner
Ok, talk about some fancy camping… the Chili Tortellini was easy. Basically, we made our favorite Chili in advance. Had some the week before camping for dinner, froze the rest. All we had to do was pack the frozen Chili in the cooler (like a giant ice pack —- niiiice), and bring the Tortellini. We had a Four Cheese Tortellini. We boiled water, cooked the Tortellini, heated up the Chili, and yuuummyy! Chili was served on top of the Tortellini.
Due to my over-zealous camp planning, we had a little too much of everything. Especially the chili. Although the Tilapia was easy to assemble, put in a foil packet, and the plan was to cook it over a fire… it rained the second night. Pretty early, and pretty hard… so, no fire for us. And no chance to try our Tilapia creation. We decided on leftover Chili Tortellini and our abundance of snacks. Here was the recipe I adapted for our Foil packets: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Lemon-Garlic-Tilapia
 Dessert
Arguably the most important part of camping… believe it or not, we never got around to either of these camping staples! We were so full from the meals! S’Mores, we brought the stuff to make your good ole traditional S’Mores. I saw other recipes online that jazz them up a little, but why fix it if it ain’t broke. S’Mores are one of my all time favorite summer time snacks. 
The apple recipe would have been easy… definitely want to bring less snack stuff next camping trip, so we can have room for delicious dessert like this! http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Apples-by-the-Fire
I hope that these recipes give you great ideas for what you might bring along on your camping trip. If you are traveling with children, then all these ideas would likely be perfect for you! For a trip for two (plus two dogs), like ours, you may want to cut down a bit. Yes, you’re going camping. BUT if you do forget something (God forbid, right), there is a camp store on site, and you can always leave to go into the next town to get a supply. Our camp even had a restaurant on site, so if you want to keep it more simple… just plan on meal over there.
Who Said Camping Couldn’t Be Delicious!?!?!

Doggie Artwork

Lily and Lola are our two beautiful doggies. Lily came into our life almost 3 years ago, and Lola about 6 months ago. Lily is an almost 3 year old Boxer mix. Lola is almost 5, and is a Beagle-Boston Terrier mix. They are both adorable and have their own wonderful personalities. John and I love them, and dogs/animals in general. We will likely always be a two dog home! One of my favorite hobbies is painting. I never claim to be good – but I love it! So as we build our home together, it is important for us to incorporate our dogs too!

In my head, I have designed this future home that has an entryway with a Doggie Corner. It has a bookshelf with dog toys and treats neatly displayed in cute Container Store jars. It has hooks to hang their leashes and harnesses, a dog bed, their dog bowls, and a place to wipe their paws. I also imagine one of those “Family Rules” signs, but it has things about Dogs (obviously). Next to that is a framed picture of each pup, and some homemade paintings.

If that dream home does not quite meet my specific criteria… I will at least incorporate some doggie artwork! Be it in the future nursery, the hall, or what have you. These are two examples of Doggy Art that I’ve done so far…Image

This blue dock painting was inspired by a trip to a cottage on a lake with Lily.

The two canvased wiener dog painting was a gift for John (who has an obsession with wiener dogs, specifically)!

Image

For the Wiener Dog painting, I bought Velcro stick ons from Michael’s and a few different flowers, so we can change the flower in her hair to go with the season! I know, kind of lame… But it’s really fun to mix up the art, and make it more a part of your home that way!

Bum & Boob Cookies

Although I found some other Bum & Boob cookies online that were more beautifully decorated then mine… I was quite proud to give these to my soon-to-be-Hubby for him and his buddies for his bachelor party weekend.

They are soooooo easy to make. Basically, make your favorite sugar cookie recipe. Roll the dough out, use a heart shaped cookie cutter to get the shape of the bum and the boobs. Cut off a bit from the tip of the heart. Those will be the Boob Cookies.

image

Cut a bit more off the Bum ones. image

Then bake, decorate, and wallah!

My hubby and his friends enjoyed them! For the taste and the funny comments that come with stuff like this!

I would definitely make these again for a Bachelorette Party or as a gag gift for friends. Easy, fun and hilarious!boobbuttcookies