Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pick Three M'Lord!

Another month come and gone... it was a big one for us. Read on for details.

My Sweetest Baby Boy,
Oh my, what a month this has been! You are getting so big already, I can hardly believe it. This month you hit a few new milestones:
~You rolled over from your tummy to your back. While you were laying on your tummy you were fussing a little and started to rock back and forth. Then all of a sudden you'd flipped yourself completely over. I started to clap and cheer and you immediately stopped fussing. Your eyes got big and you looked at me like, "My view of the world just changed. What happened?" I've tried to get you to do it a few times since, but you won't do it every time. Sometimes you'll just lay on your tummy and glare at me.
~You've started laughing this month. You won't usually do it spontaneously, it has to be coaxed out of you. We usually get the best laughs out of you when we tickle you or give you your toes to suck on.
~You're starting to discover your feet. Anytime I sit you up so you can see them you look back and forth between them trying to figure out what they are and how you control them.
~You are definitely the happiest in the morning and will talk to me for hours when you wake up. You are quite the little story teller!
This month I went back to work. You've adapted to it better than I thought you would, and are actually handling it better than I am. I've cried on the way to work all week long, and you are the only thing I can talk about once there. You get to go play at Nana and Pops' house, and love all of the attention you get there. Your world is also expanding a bit at a time. You are seeing some new places and meeting some new people. For the most part you are such a happy boy and like to just hang out with Mom and Dad, doing whatever they are doing. We love watching you grow and change, and we look forward to seeing what you will do next!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Recipe Swap

Thanks so much to everyone who shared favorite recipes with me! It's made for some fun new dinners in the Borges house. In return, I'd like to share some of my favorites with you. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do! Settle in, it's going to be a long one...

Mac 'n Cheese With Dogs
3 cups elbow macaroni, cooked
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
2 cups milk
1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 package l'il smokie hot dogs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350. In sauce pan melt butter, add flour, salt, pepper, onion, and garlic. Stir until smooth. Add milk and stir continuously until mixture thickens and begins to boil. Remove from heat. In a deep baking dish combine noodles, cheese, and hot dogs. Pour in sauce and stir until well combined. Top with parmesan cheese. Bake 30 minutes or until parmesan is forming a crust on top. (Curious George didn't like mac'n cheese until he tasted my homemade stuff. It's sure to be a crowd pleaser, and kids love the hot dogs in it!)

Cowboy Delight
1 lb ground beef
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can tomato soup
1 1/2 cups cooked macaroni

Combine beef, chili powder, garlic, salt, and pepper in a 12 inch skillet and cook until beef is browned. Drain fat from beef. Add soups and pasta to ground beef. Cook over medium heat until bubbly. Great when topped with shredded cheese.

Farmer Pie
1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pkg brown gravy mix
1 can corn, drained
1 can green beans, drained
2 cups prepared mashed potatoes
1/2 cup grated cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Brown hamburger and onions. Make gravy mix per package directions. Mix gravy into hamburger and simmer 5 minutes. Layer hamburger, beans, corn, potatoes, and cheese in deep baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes.

Chicken Pillows
1 package crescent roll dough
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 can cooked chicken, shredded
6 green onions, chopped finely
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350. Mix cream cheese, chicken, onions, and sauce together. Scoop into rolls and close up into a pouch. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until browned. Serve with chicken gravy and mashed potatoes.

Ranch Cheddar Chicken
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1 Tbsp flour
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup cheddar cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Combine dressing with flour in a shallow bowl. Coat each chicken breast with mixture. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Combine cheeses and sprinkle on chicken. Bake 25-30 minutes or until juices run clear.

Chicken Parmesan
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
4 tsp paprika (I like smoked paprika)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 egg whites
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1 jar marinara sauce
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss bread crumbs with oregano, garlic, paprika, half of the salt, and half of the pepper.
In another bowl whisk together egg whites and milk.
In a 3rd bowl stir together flour and remaining salt and pepper.
Dip chicken in flour, then egg wash, then dredge in bread crumb mixture.
Place in a greased 9x13 baking dish. Bake about 15 minutes.
Top with sauce and cheese and bake an additional 15 minutes or until juices run clear.

Spaghetti Casserole
1 lb lean ground beef
8 oz tomato sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
8 oz spaghetti noodles, cooked
3/4 cup mozzarella, grated

Brown hamburger. Add tomato sauce, salt, garlic, onion, pepper. Bring to a boil. Simmer 5 minutes. Combine cottage cheese, sour cream, and onions in a bowl. Combine noodles with mixture. Layer noodle mixture with hamburger mixture in 8x8 baking dish. Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese and bake 5-10 minutes more until cheese is melted.

Fish Tacos With Cabbage Slaw
4 cups thinly pre-sliced green cabbage
1 cup chopped plum tomatoes
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
5 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1 lb tilapia fillets
1 tsp chili powder
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas

Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl. Add juice, one tablespoon oil, and 1/4 tsp salt; toss well to combine.
Heat remaining two teaspoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish evenly with chili powder and remaining 1/4 tsp salt. Add fish to pan; cook three minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from heat and cut fish into bite sized pieces.
Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon fish and cabbage mixture into tortillas.

Creamy Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds)
8 slices mozzarella cheese
8 slices deli ham
8 slices bacon
1 can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz sour cream
3/4 cup uncooked long grain white rice (not minute rice)
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 375. Combine rice and water in bottom of 9x13 pan. Top each chicken breast with 2 slices of ham and cheese, alternating layers. Wrap 2 slices of bacon around each breast and secure with toothpicks. Place the chicken on top of rice. Stir the soup and sour cream in a bowl until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture over the chicken. Cover the baking dish. Bake 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Crunchy Chicken with Ham Sauce
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup milk
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 Tbsp flour
2 cups herb seasoned stuffing, crushed
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
1/3 cup chopped cooked ham
Cooked white rice

Stir 1/3 cup soup and 1/4 cup milk in a shallow dish. Coat the chicken with flour. Dip chicken in the soup mixture. Coat the chicken with the stuffing. Place the chicken on the baking sheet. Drizzle with the butter. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
Heat the remaining soup, remaining milk, cheese and ham in a saucepan over medium heat until the cheese is melted, stirring often. Serve the chicken and sauce over rice.

I hope these are helpful to y'all. Bon Appetit!


Saturday, April 9, 2011

On Heroism

"So many misconceptions surround the notion of heroism. Far too many categorize a hero as a champion on the battlefield, a commander of legions, a master of rare talent or ability. Granted, there have been heroes who fit those descriptions. But many men of great evil as well. Heed me. A hero sacrifices for the greater good. A hero is true to his or her conscience. In short, heroism means doing the right thing regardless of the consequences. Although any person could fit that description, very few do. Choose this day to be one of them."
~Beyonders, by Brandon Mull

I've been reading this book a little bit at a time over the past few weeks. Lately the Sharkbaby hasn't been napping so well, so my free time has been a bit cut short, but I've still managed to squeeze in a few pages a day. I was reading a bit this morning (when I should have been planning for my Young Women's lesson tomorrow) and this quote stuck out to me.

If you truly believe this school of thought, which I do, we all have the potential to be heroes everyday. There's a sticking point, however: We have to CHOOSE to be a hero. Yes, some people are born to greatness, but for most of us it is a choice.

How often do we truly choose to do the right thing despite the consequences? How often do we truly listen to our conscience (or for those of my readers who share my religious belief, the Holy Ghost)?

And on the flip side of the coin, who have we chosen to be our personal heroes? Do we look up to people who are doing the right things... or do we idolize "evil" people with great accomplishments?

And then comes the big question: What kind of example am I presenting? Am I presenting myself in a way that I could potentially be a hero?

This idea has been on my mind a lot lately. Now that I have a baby who is going to be looking up to me, who is going to be emulating the way I live my life, I need to set a good example. I need to live my life in such a way that the Sharkbaby will look to me as one of his heroes. I need to work on doing the right thing despite the consequences.

So I'm challenging myself (and anyone else who wants to take it on) to live my life worthily of being somebody's hero.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Share the Love

Hello, my name is Pippi, and I'm addicted to shopping online.

I have a serious problem here, folks. I have the standards that I check daily:

Groupon (but I only shop this one through swagbucks so I can earn points toward Amazon gift cards)

Yeah, I check those EVERYDAY (some of them several times a day). And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I'm also a member of several online shopping clubs. You know the ones: Amazonmom, Huggies, Pampers, etc. And I find new ones all the time. It's a little bit out of control.

And who can beat the convenience of shopping online? I don't have to get dressed. I don't have to do my hair. I don't have to load Sharkbaby into the car seat and lug him through a store. I can sit on the couch in my jammies, hair un-brushed, and have whatever I need brought right to me.

I had a little epiphany today, though. For me, it's not just about the good deal, although that is a huge plus. It's as much about the anticipation of my stuff arriving as anything. I love getting stuff in the mail. I get so sick of all the credit card offers, coupons, and junk mail. It's a little bit of a rush when I get a package, a letter, or something else that's really just for me. Anytime I order something I religiously track it's progress from it's start to my door. I check daily to see how much closer it is. And when my doorbell rings, I'll admit, I get a little thrill. It's that moment of, "It's finally here! I must open it NOW!"

I'm pretty sure that this is an addiction I won't be able to kick, however. So, I guess I'll just keep shopping online and try to practice the theory of Everything In Moderation.

P.S.- I left you all links so you can share in my joy!


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