Monday, March 26, 2012

Post-Dinner Club

Chris and I have had such a busy, but fun weekend!  Saturday was our dinner club, and I think everything went really well!

Side Story:  I found chargers like I had envisioned at Hobby Lobby last Thursday but never found any great napkin rings.  I refuse to pay retail prices for something that is just OK.  So Friday morning Rachel and I went yardsaleing (or as I tell Rachel, "treasure hunting") and I found napkin rings just like I was wanting! It was a bag of 10 new, silver napkin rings with the Dillard's tags still attached.  I got 10 of them for $7! Yay! AND I found them in time for the dinner party! Bonus!

Back to Saturday...Chris wanted to get the yard looking nice before everyone came over, and it has rained to much this past week (to clarify, I am not complaining!) that he had to do it all on Saturday morning.  With a 17-month-old and  Christopher in the house, there's pretty much no point in cleaning ahead of time, so of course I waited until Saturday to do most of that, also.  Then I had to make Pasta Fagioli and Lasagna.  (We had made the tiramisu the night before.) So it was a very busy day, but I think everyone had a good time!  It is so nice to have a break from the usual dinner routine, and we had some excellent company!  Thank the Lord for church families, both new and old.

Sunday we made a short trip to Stillwater.  I always try to think of things to do on the weekends since Chris likes to have plans, but rarely likes to make plans.  So Friday night I called a couple of friends and thankfully they planned to be in town!  I got to eat lunch with one of my oldest friends, Julie Brown.  (Sorry Julie, I still call you Julie Brown!)  We had a good time catching up!  And then I got to spend the rest of the afternoon with my cousin Lydia!  Rachel loved running around campus, but of course she was too busy to take a nap so it made for a long day for her.  Thankfully, we were able to keep her up on the car ride home, and she slept like a baby all night long!  Oh what a difference a good night's sleep makes!

Campus Tour

Rachel has hit the going limp phase. Why do kids do this? And where do they learn it??

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pre-Dinner Club

This Saturday is our chance to host our church dinner group.  I am cleaning, doing laundry, and shopping like a mad lady!  I decided that I wanted chargers for the table recently, so I went on a hunt this morning to find them.  Rachel has wet through onto her PJs, quilt, sheet, mattress pad (you get the idea...) every night this week, which equals a LOT of laundry.  But! In the midst of this, I got my groceries bought yesterday and am really looking forward to our turn to host.  We are having Italian, and I hope everything goes smoothly.  I'll update after Saturday!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Caesar Wraps

We have been BUSY over here! But it's the good, outdoorsy kind of busy! Since the extra daylight and warm weather arrived at the same time, Rachel and I have been cleaning out flower beds this week. It's amazing what some weed-pulling and a dozen bags of mulch will do! I fed my pansies, well basically all the plants in the West bed, a couple of weeks ago, and I cannot believe how much everything has grown! And my peony!!! It's growing so much and so fast; I am super excited!

Watching Mom spread mulch is hard work....I think I'll just sleep while she cooks dinner.
It's this time of year that makes it awfully hard to stay in the kitchen. One of my favorite easy, light dishes to makes is Chicken Caesar Wraps. I use my Parmesan chicken recipe, toss some green lettuce and Romaine together with a bit of dressing, and ta-da! Dinner!

All you do for the chicken is: Melt 3/4 stick butter in a pie plate (or some other shallow dish), stir in 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, and 1/2 tsp salt. Combine 1/2 cup bread crumbs with 1/4 parmesan cheese (in this case, the canned kind is a perfect option!) in a small bowl. Dredge 1 lb chicken tenders in butter mixture, coat with crumb mixture, and place in a 9x13. Sprinkle any remaining butter and crumbs on top. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.
Note: This chicken recipe is so super easy, and so super yummy. It's ridiculous. A lot of times I will make this with potatoes (since the oven is on anyway) and some other veggie, and do Caesar salad with the leftovers. But with weather like this, I just went straight for the "leftovers."

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"Frito Chili Pie"

We grew up eating this stuff.  I was the pickiest eater alive as a child, so I took the time to pick out each and every chili bean; I started eating about the time everyone else had finished.  Eventually I decided it wasn't worth the time and that chili beans weren't that bad anyway.  But it wasn't until much later that I realized there were no Fritos in our chili pie.  I remember the first time I saw this on an actual restaurant menu (at Eskimo Joe's in Stillwater) and I told my friends that my mom made that all the time, except without the Fritos.  As it turns out, I like it much better without them. 

I think each of my sisters makes some version of this dish.  It's super easy, quick, and inexpensive- so that makes it pretty popular with all of us!  My oldest sister has actually grown to make fun of it because we all make it once in a while (or maybe a little more often...) so it seems that one of us is always making it. Anyway! To make non-Frito Chili Pie all you need is:

1 lb ground beef
1 pkg mild taco seasoning
2 cans chili beans
1 c. cooked rice
chips or taco shells
any toppings you desire (sour cream, cheese, tomatoes, cilantro, etc)

Brown your meat and drain any excess grease.  Sprinkle with seasoning and add beans.  Simmer while rice is cooking.  That's it.


I forgot to mention you might need some keeps tiny hands pretty occupied!