Mobirise




Blogging since 2009, I'm a 1950s housewife to the bone and I love to share what I've learned with others. I'm a lifelong foodie, raised with Sunday dinners at my grandmother's and daily scratch cooking in my childhood kitchen. I'm a nerdy homeschooling mama of 3, and a wife of 17 years.

I drink tea when I knit and coffee when I do everything else.



From Memorial Day to Labor Day!
Day 1 - Skirt Steak w/ Chimichurri
Day 2 - Top Sirloin w/ Homemade Rub
Day 3 -
Rib Eye w/ Herbed Butter
Day 4 - Rosemary Chicken
Day 5 - Top Sirloin Gyros
Day 6 - Kansas City Style Pork Chops
Day 7 - Steak and Mushroom Kebabs
Day 8 - Dad's Hamurgers, 2.0
Day 9 - Top Sirloin w/ Mushrooms
Day 10 - Kid's Lunch
Day 11 - Chicken Souvlaki
Day 12 - S'mores Cones
Day 13 - Short Ribs



Kitchen & Sewing Skills!
Intro - Syllabus
Lesson 1 - Running & Whipstitch
Lesson 2 - Cookies

Summer Home Ec

Domestic

It’s so funny to me how often homeschoolers will pick a whole other curriculum for summer and their kids are so excited! Mine worked hard all year and finished two weeks ago. Now, they are already asking me about the summer school ideas they had. Months ago, they all – even my 16 year old – said they wanted to cook more this summer. Specifically, they all want to be able to do more for themselves and to be of some actual assistance lol. The girls also said they wanted to do more sewing, and to learn new skills.

That’s when I thought it would be fun to put together a fun little 8 week summer home ec program. I have been really inspired by the Great British Baking Show, I love the way they do three challenges (signature, showstopper and technical) in each catagory. I can’t do it that way in a short summer course, but I think that’s how I’m going to deal with cooking and baking for the next school year.

I went through all my kids sewing books and all my kids cookbooks, then I turned to my bookmarks. Then I laid out a timeline and edited it about 15,000 times. ;)

Obviously, you can do this right along with us from June 5 – July 28, or you can do a week here and there, you can mix up the weeks if you feel so inclined. I just thought it would be fun to share a program I put together for the kids, and I’m sure a lot of you will find it useful. I have broken each week down into two sewing lessons and two kitchen lessons for a total of four a week. Depending on your schedule it may work better for you to do home ec weekends or just weekdays. It’s as flexible as you need it to be, but we will be doing our sewing projects on Mondays and Fridays and our kitchen projects on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Every weekend for the next 8 weeks, I’ll share with you my specific ideas for upcoming week. Of course you can substitute your own projects or recipes instead if you like. It’s all a jumping off point to getting inspired. For sewing, I have two kids at the same beginner level, and three kids at two different skill levels in the kitchen. So all the recipes have two options. I will also update as we do these projects to share our progress and I’d love to see if you join us by tagging #summerhomeec on Instagram, or sharing your photos in the comments.

Week One – Sewing Basics and Cookies
  Monday (sewing) – Just the Basics: threading a needle, running stitch and whipstitch
  Wednesday (kitchen) – beginner: chocolate chip cookies / intermediate: gingersnaps
  Friday – (sewing) – Adding On: sewing on a button and trim
  Saturday – (kitchen)- beginner: oatmeal cookies / intermediate: soft sugar cookies with frosting

Week Two – Finishing in Sewing and Making Breakfast
  Monday (sewing) – Finishing Part One: making a hem
  Wednesday (kitchen) – beginner: pancakes / intermediate: french toast
  Friday – (sewing) – Finishing Part Two: Making casings
  Saturday – (kitchen)- beginner: boiled eggs / intermediate: fried eggs

Week Three – Pattern Making and Lunch
  Monday (sewing) – Making it Your Own: Making a simple pattern
  Wednesday (kitchen) – beginner: grilled cheese sandwiches / intermediate: mini pizzas
  Friday – (sewing) – Bringing it to Life: Stuffing and stitching closed
  Saturday – (kitchen)- beginner: chicken noodle soup / intermediate: beef barley soup

Week Four – First Projects and First Pies
  Monday (sewing) – Project One: Stuffie
  Wednesday (kitchen) – beginner: blueberry pie / intermediate: lemon meringue pie
  Friday – (sewing) – Project Two: Tote Bag
  Saturday – (kitchen)- beginner: tourtiere / intermediate: chicken pie

Week Five – Drawstrings and Cakes
  Monday (sewing) – Project Three: Drawstring Tote, Part One
  Wednesday (kitchen) – beginner: simple chocolate cake / intermediate: two layer vanilla cake
  Friday – (sewing) – Project Three: Drawstring Tote, Part Two
  Saturday – (kitchen)- beginner: strawberry cake / intermediate: oreo pudding poke cake

Week Six – Sewing Machine Intros and Bread
  Monday (sewing) – Sewing Machine 101: The Basics
  Wednesday (kitchen) – beginner: basic white bread / intermediate: dinner rolls
  Friday – (sewing) – Sewing Machine 101: Pot Holder
  Saturday – (kitchen)- beginner: pretzel bites / intermediate: cinnamon buns

Week Seven – Sewing Machine Projects and Donuts
  Monday (sewing) – Sewing Machine Project One: Simple Toy Skirt
  Wednesday (kitchen) – beginner: basic chocolate cake donuts / intermediate: basic yeast donuts
  Friday – (sewing) – Sewing Machine Project Two: Custom Pouch
  Saturday – (kitchen)- beginner: cinnamon sugar donuts / intermediate: baked vanilla donuts

Week Eight – Final Projects
  Monday (sewing) – Sewing Machine Final Project: Apron, Part One
  Wednesday (kitchen) – beginner: blueberry cobbler / intermediate: meringues
  Friday – (sewing) – Sewing Machine Final Project: Apron, Part Two
  Saturday – (kitchen)- beginner: fudge / intermediate: baked Alaska

Here are the specific details on what we are doing this week!

On Monday, we’ll be threading a needle, which I think is pretty self explanatory. We’ll also be learning the running stitch and the whipstitch. For this, I’m just using basic needles and colorful thread on felt.

On Wednesday, we’ll be making cookies! The beginner recipe will be this chocolate chip cookie recipe from my grandmother, and the intermediate recipe will be this gingersnap recipe from Food 52.

On Friday, we’ll be learning how to add buttons and trim to pieces of felt! We’ll learn how to add buttons with four holes, buttons with two holes and buttons with the little nub on the back. ;) We’ll add lace, rick rack and other fun trims to felt as well. It really doesn’t matter what you choose, just some kind of trim for practice.

On Saturday, we’ll bake some more cookies! The beginner recipe will be this oatmeal cookie recipe from Better Homes and Gardens, and the intermediate recipe will be this copycat Lofthouse cookies recipe from Your Home Based Mom.

The children and I are so excited to get started and I can’t wait to see and share with you what they accomplish with this project this summer!

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Spicy Chuck and Meat Claw Review

Domestic

Just heads up, I talk about meat claws from Cave Tools in this post, and yes I was sent the product to review. My review however, is unbiased and honest.

My family likes to try out new recipes, but they are so married to their favorites that I absolutely cannot, save for some very extreme circumstances, not serve certain things on certain days. Monday has to be spaghetti and meatballs for #meatballmonday or my husband may lose track of the days of the week. ;) Tuesdays are always tacos, two ways. The kids love ground beef tacos and I make Mexi-Asian hybrid chicken tacos for the grown ups. Sunday is always a roast of some kind, I usually go between this spicy chuck recipe (served with pico de gallo and rice) or a roasted chicken with root veggies and scratch gravy.

I used to associate Sunday dinners with a lot of work, because I grew up next to my grandparents, two uncles and an aunt and they always did up Sunday dinner for all of us (themselves, plus my parents and my sister and I). Sometimes it was low key, but usually it was a feast. Now, I like to cook things on Sundays that are super chill so I can do other things, and this meal is perfect. The pico de gallo is better the next day anyway, so making that the night before all you have to do in the morning is set up the roast and then make the rice before you eat.

It doesn’t even feel like a recipe, it’s so simple. You can make your own adobo sauce and soak some peppers in it, or buy canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I season the chuck with a little salt and pepper and then place it in a baking dish. (This dish is from the Temptations line and I love, love, love this set!) Cover with at least two large cans worth of peppers and sauce. The sauce is pretty thick, so I fill each can about halfway and rinse it out into the dish.

  

Cover with foil and cook it at about 350F for about 5 or 6 hours, then take it out and poke at it a bit. I take all the peppers out and shred the chuck. Until now, I have been using two forks to shred the beef, that’s how I always saw my parents do it and though I was aware of meat claws to help with this step, I had never tried them before. They’re just like two forks, right? Actually, they’re not! They are way sharper than I anticipated them being and do a much better job than using forks. The way you hold these claws, you have a much better grip and more control over the meat. You’re also shredding more at a time than you would with forks. I found them to be very easy to use and they worked well. I am sure I will use them every time I have meat to shred.

At this point, I make sure all the beef is covered in sauce, I rewrap in foil and pop it back in the oven for another hour or so. This is when I make the rice, stir the pico and call the kids to set the table. Pretty simple! I always add avocado and Greek yogurt too. ;)

This meat is so good the next day! I make fresh rice when I have it for lunch the following afternoon, and often eat it with warmed up corn tortillas for little tacos. The Temptations dishes I have all come with lids for the fridge! No extra tupperware!

If you want to get yourself a set of these meat claws, you can pick them up on Amazon and even get 15% off with this code – MEOY47SI

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Menu Monday with Cornbread Stuffed Jalapeños

Domestic

Menu Monday is back by popular demand – who knew you guys cared about Menu Monday?! Thanks for the emails, ladies! ;) I write out the menu and usually stick it somewhere visible in the kitchen. Wee One #1, who has all of a sudden transformed into a hungry almost teenager, will see something he’s really excited about and ask to rearrange the week (‘can we switch today with Sunday so we can have buttermilk fried chicken, pleeeeease?!’). I went through a year long period of blissful extended vacation when we first moved to California and I would have swapped days without a thought. Sure, I still had laundry for 5 to do and yes we were homeschooling, but I had no real time constraints, nowhere I had no be at any specific time. It started slowly with one little taking Jiu Jitsu a few times a week, then the other two started taking dance a few times a week. Then before we knew it, not only were they getting better at their chosen activities, they were pushing themselves harder and asking to go more often! So now we’re at the dojo 4/5 days a week and at the dance studio 6/7 days a week! I know! We also moved to a much coveted, much bigger apartment, which of course means more cleaning. Duh. So now I find myself unable to mess around with dinners because, for example, while I will be homeschooling all day today (final week stretch woot woot), Wee One #1′s Jiu Jitsu keeps me out exactly when I should be making dinner, so dinner has to be something I can make and finish early and then heat up with no mushy consequence – you know, like stew. When I know I’ll be home all afternoon (like pretty much every Sunday) I can make something that is a serious time and mess investment and it’s all good. Sorry little people, no meal switching. You’ll just have to eat your stew and long for Sunday. ;)

Ever since the The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook entered my life, I have been cooking and baking up all kinds of neat things that (shocking) everyone has loved! Usually at least one person is not 100% happy with dinner, but from this book, they’re all happy. I know. It’s my new favorite thing. I can’t bring myself to post recipes from her book since I have been reading her since the dawn of time (aka 2007), but since she does post some of her cookbook recipes on her blog and I’ll happily post those. More this week!

This week is full of Pioneer Woman goodness, and some other goodness as well. ;) The Cornbread Stuffed Jalapeños are not a PW recipe, but they’re crazy fantastic! The original poster intended these jalapeño poppers to be cheesy jalapeño cornbread but switched them up because she’d done the spicy cornbread a zillion times before (I may be paraphrasing). This is one of those things that reminds me of the foodie differences between Canada and The States, I have never had cheesy jalapeño cornbread. That’s ok, I’m sure I’ll get the opportunity!


This Week’s Menu June 3 – June 9

Monday – PW beef stew with buttermilk biscuits and lemon meringue pie for dessert

Tuesday – ranch crusted chicken pieces with homestyle french fries & salad, and PW homemade donuts for dessert

Wednesday – PW meatloaf, bacon mashed potatoes and PW roasted cauliflower, and ice cream sundaes for dessert (with tiny fudge brownies)

Thursday – barbecue pork chops, smashed potatoes & candied carrots and samoas cookies for dessert

Friday – spaghetti and meatballs with all-day tomato sauce and PW ‘Knock You Naked’ brownies for dessert

Saturday – chicken Alfredo with cornbread stuffed jalapeños, and cinnamon roll cookies for dessert

Sunday – buttermilk fried chicken, mac & cheese, & broccoli and toasted coconut cake for dessert

Cornbread Stuffed Jalapeños

Cornbread Stuffed Jalapeños via Oh, Bite It!

12 medium fresh Jalapeños

1 cornbread mix

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (reserve 1/2 cup for sprinkling on top)

1 cup corn (canned or fresh, whatever)

Cornbread Stuffed Jalapeños

Clean out your peppers, if you like it spicy leave some of the seeds in, otherwise clean them out. I usually wear gloves when I handle peppers but I didn’t when I made these and yeah my fingers were all burny for about half an hour after. Sigh. Wear gloves, people!

Cornbread Stuffed Jalapeños Cornbread Stuffed Jalapeños
Follow the instructions for your cornbread mix, then add in the corn and 1 cup of the cheese.

Cornbread Stuffed Jalapeños
Now, duh, fill those babies in! When they’re full, sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese on top! Cook at 350 for about 20 minutes and voila!

Cornbread Stuffed Jalapeños
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Pioneer Woman Dr Pepper Shredded Pork

Domestic

I love me some Ree Drummond (aka The Pioneer Woman), I love her too much to post recipes from her book on my blog – hoooowever, she has posted some recipes from her book on her blog and I feel comfortable sharing those. Not all of them, so you’ll have to buy her cookbook if you want to make her roasted cauliflower – which you should absolutely do!

This recipe, for a slooooow cooked shredded pork that will make your home smell alarmingly good. I mean that – alarmingly good. Especially if you’re in and out of the kitchen or if you go outside to play in the yard and then you come in – zomg so so good. Kind of like when you cook down stew all day, but times about eleventy billion.

Pioneer Woman Dr Pepper Shredded Pork

Dr Pepper Shredded Pork via Pioneer Woman

1 whole large onion
1 whole pork shoulder (5 – 7 lbs)
salt & pepper
1 11 oz can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (or whatever chilies you can find in sauce you like)
2 cans Dr. Pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar

I couldn’t find the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, but being that I live in Southern California I’m sure it’s just because I only looked in one place and then made the executive decision to just use a can of green chilies in some other kind of sauce because I just wanted to cook this crazy concoction already. Ahem. So, I did.

This an an all day situation, but thankfully it requires very little babysitting. Start by cutting an onion into quarters and break the layers apart a bit. Lay them on the bottom of your pan. Salt and pepper the roast and plunk that on top of the onions. Now empty the can of peppers or chilies onto the roast. Then the Dr Pepper. Then the brown sugar (add this into the liquid and not just on top of the roast).

Now pop it in the oven for somewhere in the neighborhood of six-eight hours. I checked on mine at the 5 hour mark and turned it on it’s side. Then again at 6 hours and turned it again. At 7 hours it started to fall apart perfectly.

You can use this meat for whatever you can think of. I served this on sesame buns with a rice pilaf and green beans. :) A serious hit with all 5.

Pioneer Woman Dr Pepper Shredded Pork
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Man Pleasing Chicken

Domestic

What a name! I feel really inclined to say ‘people pleasing chicken’ but then I feel terribly cheesy. When I pinned it, that’s what it was called and it went on my kitchen recipe card like that! For the record, the only ‘man’ that ate it was my 12 year old who declared it ‘boy pleasing chicken’.

There are times when I feel like spending the whole afternoon in the kitchen dicing, stirring, mixing and washing. This meal is for those afternoons when I don’t – or when I can’t. The sauce has just three ingredients (four if you count the black pepper) but sometimes that’s all you need and in this case, these three ingredients play off each other so well it tastes like there is more to it than that. It’s a little sharp but has a sweetness to it and is very juicy, it just falls apart with your fork. The best part about it of course is that you can pop it in the oven and get back to whatever else you need to do before dinner time!

I served this with basmati rice and green beans. The rice was a great combo with this chicken because the sauce works well with it as well. We poured the leftover sauce on the rice. Wee One #1 loved it and the other two liked it enough to eat most of it – which is pretty rare around here.

Man Pleasing Chicken

2-4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup of dijon mustard
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1 tablespoon of rice/rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons black pepper

Just whisk together the mustard, maple syrup and rice vinegar and pour over the chicken breasts in a casserole dish. Sprinkle with black pepper. Cook for 45 minutes at 350.

Man Pleasing Chicken
Man Pleasing Chicken
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Happy New Years Eve (and a Deceptively Delicious round up)

California, Healthy

Happy New Years Eve!! Tonight we’ll celebrate with the littles early and call our parents and then we’ll celebrate at midnight and call a bunch of friends on the East coast at 3am. Hehe. That means YOU, Talea! I am looking forward to tonight, but I’ll wait and show you all the silly fun tomorrow!!

In 2011 I set out to cook and bake my way through Deceptively Delicious. I made a decent dent in it, more than half of the recipes, and I kept making recipes from it this year. There are just a few I haven’t gotten to yet. It’s a fun book full of sneaky ways to add vegetable purees into everyday recipes, focused on getting your kids to eat them but it works just as well with husband and yourself! I’m not big on a lot of the healthiest veggies so I love to add them in to recipes! I know they’re there and I’m getting the benefits of them without sitting down to a plate of spinach, you know?

Here are four of the recipes I made a while ago, but just posted. All of them were simple and tasted great!

Deceptively Delicious - Quesadillas Deceptively Delicious - Quesadillas

There have been a lot of serious winners from his book in our house and a few not so well received dishes. This one though has become our oldest little one’s favorite snack. He asks fot it several times a week. Just before we moved to LA, I made this for him and a three of his friends and they inhaled it. For the record, none of those kids would ever eat squash or navy beans or even sour cream! (read)

Deceptively Delicious - Pink Pancakes Deceptively Delicious - Pink Pancakes

In a food processor (a blender will work too), mix the water, ricotta cheese, beet puree, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour this into a mixing bowl and whisk in the pamcake mix and grated apple. Don’t mix it too much, it’s supposed to be a little lumpy. I don’t think I have to tell you how to make pancake from this point, but make sure you use the cooking spray because it would be a shame for these babies to stick (read)

Deceptively Delicious - Pasta with Bolognese Sauce Deceptively Delicious - Pasta with Bolognese Sauce

I am the only person in the house that isn’t a big fan of spaghetti and pasta sauce. I actually kinda hate it. If I make it for the fam and I don’t feel like coking something else, I’ll eat it. Another exception is if we are visiting someone and they make it. Otherwise, noooo thank you. This sauce though? Not bad at all. I honestly didn’t mind it at all and I think it was the addition of the sweet potato puree that made it better. (read)

Deceptively Delicious - Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Deceptively Delicious - Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I was a little nervous to present these to the kids because they’re not big on raisins OR nuts in their cookies so these didn’t go ove too well with them, but a few of my girlfriends were over when I made these and they loved them! No one had any idea there was zucchini in them until I told them. You could add wheat bran or ground flax to these to really up the fiber without changing the taste! Or swap the raisins for dried cranberries! (read)

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Chicken Parmesan

Domestic

Super, super easy weeknight dinner (or super lazy weekend dinner ;) ) that tastes like you worked a lot harder than you did. My favorite kind!

We have had a pretty laid back but still busy holiday season. It was different spending the holidays with just the 5 of us (and some wonderful local friends) but there were a lot of pluses to it. At the end of some nights, meals like this were all I was able to muster. Thankfully, my husband and the littles loved them. Phew!

Chicken Parmesan

3/4 cup breadcrumbs
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 chicken breasts, halved
salt & pepper to taste
1 large egg, beaten
2 cups pasta sauce (homemade or jarred)
1/4 cup olive oil
6 ounces mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 400 (or broiler). Mix breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dip chicken in beaten egg, then in crumb mixture, making sure it’s coated all over.

Pour the pasta sauce into the bottom of a baking dish. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken breasts until golden (just a couple minutes each side). Then place the chicken on top of the pasta sauce.

Top each piece with mozzarella and bake for about 20 minutes or so. I always serve this with a plate of garlic penne because it goes so well with the pasta sauce, but really, you could use whatever side you like.

Chicken Parmesan
Chicken Parmesan
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Thanksgiving Rewind

California, Domestic, Kids, Marriage

So as I mentioned about eleventy billion times last month, we took a road trip out to Las Vegas to celebrate our first American Thanksgiving with our dear friend Nichole and her four children! She is originally from the south and I am..well, I’m me, so we went all out. Our Vegas adventure was short and sweet. We drove out after dinner on Wenesday, checked into Circus Circus, did some late night wandering around the hotel and went to bed alarmingly late. Fun! We had an incredibly lazy Thanksgiving morning, much to Nichole’s dismay, but we did have a fantastic evening together once we finally got there!

The whole menu is pretty crazy, but it was a lot of fun and there were 11 of us total. We had to leave all the leftovers with her (sorry!!), but there are 5 of them so that made sense anyway! She made a lovely turkey with stuffing and gravy, she and her wee ones also made the cranberry sauce, ham, pinto beans, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. I brought my very first sweet potato pie, apple crumble, cocoa brownies for the kids and my trio of tarts; lemon meringue, pumpkin and Sailor Jerry pecan (and of course my cherry apron and matching headband – essential items).

I’m linking to three recipes I just put up on the site from that day. They are all equally bananas-amazing.


Lemon meringue has been one of my husband’s favorite pies since we met so I have a lot of practice with this, and I’ve tried a few different recipes over the years but this has been the absolute best one. (read)

These are another piece of the trifecta of awesome that was my tart collection at our first American Thanksgiving. Half a dozen are made without any run and the other half are spiked with Sailor Jerry. (read)
Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet Potato Pie
It sounds typical to say I’m from Canada and I’ve never had sweet potato pie, but I think it’s just all in who you know and my exposure to Southern Belles up to this point has been pretty limited. However, I spent Thanksgiving this year with a real life Southern Gal, and she put me in charge of the sweet potato pie – she even gave me her Granny’s recipe. (read)

On Friday, we picked three of the zillion things there are to do in Vegas with kids and each of them was a hit.

First we just went downstairs to The Adventuredome in Circus Circus. As the name implies, it’s an indoor amusement park, and it’s way bigger than this Canuk remembered from my own childhood! Like, woah. We wanted to get to make sure we got to do all three things before we headed home so we let the kids each pick a couple of rides and away we went! Please note there are very few actual horses on the carousel. Wee One #2 picked the dragon and Wee One #3 picked the flying bunny. There were also flying bears and pigs. I honestly thought that was pretty rad.

We are all a little in love with Vegas and we’re all eager to go back again. This was our first road trip since we moved to LA and I have to be honest, it feels pretty amazing to come home to California. Like, taking a vacation from vacation!

Our next stop was The Silverton to check out the aquarium and the mermaid that was rumored to hang out there. While we waited for her to make her entrance, we saw a leopard print sting ray. What?? We spent some time this summer with Wee One #3′s Godmother, exploring the aquarium in Long Beach and we got to see a lot of sting rays but I had no idea that leopard print sting rays existed! So cool!
The chocolate factory was a must do because every year for years and years and years, going back before I can remember and ending when my granny started getting ‘the old’, my aunt went to Vegas every year with either her girlfriends or her sister in laws or nieces or all of the above. Every single time she came back, she’d bring us Ethel M chocolates. It only felt fitting for us to hit the chocolate factory and pick her up a box of Ethel M chocolate. The kids thought it was pretty cool to see where M&Ms come from, though I’m sure this is not the only place they are made!

This picture is hilarious to me and really sums up where they are right now. Wee Ones #2 & 3 are crazy and hyper and delightfully insane. Wee One #1? Well, he’s 12 now so he’s not about to get into shenanigans with them ON CAMERA, but trust me, he is just as delightfully insane as they are. ;)

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Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Domestic

Chicken Pot Pie is one of those meals that pretty much all of us are happy with, though Wee One #2 still picks out the corn. What’s with that? Corn is the hardly-even-a-vegetable vegetable that kids actually eat! Anyhoo, so she ‘hates corn’ but otherwise is happy with this and the rest of us eat it up. I try to make more than one at a time and stick one in the freezer so I can come to my own rescue a couple of hours before dinner and I’m not finished with the kid’s school for the day and my husband is on his way home – insert your own dinner time stress here.

However, I have sometimes used that extra chicken pot pie and am left with the ingredients and no time to make the actual pie. So, enter Bisquick. I will post a proper recipe for homemade Bisquick but essentially it’s just flour, baking powder, salt and either butter or shortening. Also, as far as I’ve read (will need to experiment before I actually post about it) the recipes that include powered milk are the best. So, if you have some Bisquick on hand or the ingredients for homemade Bisquick on hand this recipe is crazy easy. The only painful part (and it’s only painful if you’re dealing with a time crunch) is the rolling out of the pie crust. With this recipe, you mix up the batter, make the filler and then layer it all into a muffin pan. Genius, right? I know! After about 15 minutes or so of prep and then 20 minutes (ish) of baking while I clean up the kitchen, and dinner is done! Which is great because it takes about 35 minutes from the moment my husband signs out of Skype to when he arrives at the front door. So win-win!

You’re welcome.

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
1/2 – 1 cup corn (depending on how much you love or hate corn)
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons rosemary (I chop mine a little so they’re not so ‘pokey’ as Wee One #3 would say)
2 – 3 potatoes, chopped and boiled
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 cups chicken gravy

Mini Chicken Pot Pies
Mini Chicken Pot Pies
It’s so simple it’s silly to even call it a recipe. Mix the chicken, corn, pepper, rosemary, potatoes and chicken stock in a bowl. Prepare the Bisquick batter (usually just Bisquick and water). Fill each muffin cup about 1/4 full with batter and add filling. Not so little that they’re diet pies, but not so much that they explode in the oven. Then top with the rest of the batter. Voila!
Mini Chicken Pot Pies
Mini Chicken Pot Pies
Bake them at 350 for about 20 minutes and clean your kitchen! Kidding. Well, you probably should but I’m not going to bully you into cleaning. At the very least make a simple (cheater) side to go with it – and heat up your gravy! We usually break them open at the table and pour gravy over them. This is pretty obvy one of the kid’s plates and yes, it was attacked by some kind of gravy monster!
Mini Chicken Pot Pies
Mini Chicken Pot Pies
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Bacon-Cheddar Potato Rounds (and a serious Williams Sonoma giveaway)

Domestic

It’s no secret that I’m big on full-out meal planning, so of course I have been trying to map out a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration – especially since this year it involves a longish road trip and a long time, long distance friend. It’s also no secret that I adore pretty kitchen gear and ever since I started collecting treasures in our new place in California, I have been absolutely smitten, so I am hunting for the perfect dishes and bakeware to bring with us on our Thanksgiving visit. This amazing giveaway is so timely and right up my alley I am so excited to present it to you guys!

Just three simple steps will get you entered in this giveaway for A set of 4 Harvest Pumpkin Tiny Taper Holders from Williams Sonoma, 10″ x 6″ Scalloped Italian Bakers from Sur la Table and the matching Wire Baker Racks.

1. Check out The Country Crock Chronicle and leave a comment on an article there.

2. Like So Very Domestic on Facebook.

3. Leave a comment here to let me know you did!

A winner will be chosen by a random draw and posted on the blog on Monday, November 12 (the winner will also be contacted via email). The winner must reply with their mailing address within 24 hours or a new winner will be chosen by a second random drawing. Good luck!!

This year we are spending Thanksgiving with a dear friend of mine and her four children, and I have been trying out different side dish ideas to help make it a really special holiday. This was one of my favorites so far (you can find loads more inspiration over at Country Crock and here on the blog in the next couple of weeks).

In trying out and coming up with different recipes for Thanksgiving of course the emphasis leans towards bigger is better and this time of year especially the menus often tend to be a lot richer. We don’t need to give up the richness completely, but it is a smart to make adjustments to recipes to make them healthier for ourselves and our families. Years ago I would have made this recipe with butter, traditional bacon and full fat cheddar cheese. However, with a few small changes I was able to make this recipe much healthier! Country Crock has 0g trans fat, no-nitrate bacon is always a better choice than a bacon (either pork or turkey) made with nitrates and low fat cheese is a no brainer switcheroo.

Bacon-Cheddar Potato Rounds

4 potatoes, sliced about 1/2″ thick
1/4 cup melted Country Crock
black pepper, to taste
8 slices of no-nitrate, turkey bacon, cooked and chopped
8 ounces low-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onion or chives

Bacon-Cheddar Potato Rounds
Bacon-Cheddar Potato Rounds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Using a pastry brush, cover both sides of each potato slice with Country Crock and put them on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle with black pepper and cook for about 45 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through.
Bacon-Cheddar Potato Rounds
Bacon-Cheddar Potato Rounds
Once the potatoes are cooked, sprinkle with the cheddar cheese, the bacon and then top with the chives or green onions (or use a mix of the two). Cook for another 10 minutes or so until the cheese is melty and serve alongside your main! I had intended them to be cut up and eaten but more than one person picked them up and ate them as finger food!
Bacon-Cheddar Potato Rounds

Thank you to Country Crock for being a sponsor. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.

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