Monday, July 29, 2013

CheesyTater tot casserole

Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole

Who doesn't like tater tots? Who doesn't like cheese? Well, I like both of these items....really, I love them. I loose control when they are both around. So, remember that show 19 kids and counting with the Duggars? Well, I was fascinated by that show, all those kids behaved so well! They run that ship so smoothly. A feat I have yet to master with my 4! Anyways, one night many years ago when the show had just started, they shared the recipe for their favorite dish, Tater Tot Casserole. I made it for my family and they enjoyed it. Their recipe is different than mine, just because I as always was using what I have. Here is the Duggars Recipe Everything I used is listed below. Can I get a whoop whoop for store brands baybee!!! I have a friend that worked in a juice factory for a while, that is where he told me that the juices were all the same except one can went and got a name brand label and the other can went down the line and got the store brand label. I was like whatttt? I felt so duped. That was like 15 yrs ago. Anyways, after that, I try to buy store brand if it is cheaper. However there are items that are NOT the, you won't find generic Mayo or Ritz crackers...there are no comparisons for the real deal.
Bag of tater puffs(lol), cream of chicken soup, cheddar cheese, ground beef, I added peas to get a veggie in there and 1 cup of milk and 1/2 an onion diced.

My new unnecessary kitchen gadget that dices the onion in a perfect dice.

Push down this white lid and......

voila, perfect dice, no tears.

Brown ground beef and then drain excess oil.

Add onions and cook till translucent.

Toss in can of cream of mushroom, peas and milk.

Should look like this.

Place the ground beef mixture into a casserole dish and line tater puffs on top.

Place in a 350 degree preheated oven until the Tater Puffs are golden brown.

Take out of oven and cover generously with cheese and place back into oven until the cheese is all melted.

I covered with foil so it wouldn't burn.

See, cheesy goodness!

Served alongside some broccoli....dinner is served. Yum!

Monday, July 15, 2013

I am broken!

So, it turns out that I am broken. Yup, B*R*O*K*E*N*!!!!! I went to the doctors recently and my thyroid levels are on their way up, iron levels up, energy level up....sounds good....right? Well, I learned from my Dr. that I shouldn't expect to feel normal again. I will always have to be taking this synthetic thyroid hormone and sometimes it will be enough for my body and sometimes it won't and then my medication will have to be readjusted. Turns out this little cute butterfly shaped thingy in your neck area controls everything. That might sound insane, right??? We always think about the major organs controlling primary functions and having "absolute power" (Said in my Yoda voice). Yeah, so that big brain you have floating in those brain juices....yeah, that big guy answers to the delicate butterfly shaped mechanism, those miles of intestines, emotions, weight, sensitivity to cold, the list is endless. My brain is like this....see below....

Yes, unless, I set an alarm on my ain't happening. One time I forgot my older son at school....whew was he mad. I can think about sayyyyy something I want to Google....I open my laptop and then blank.....the slate has been erased. I try and try and try and sit there and think, I was here to look something up....what was's TERRIBLE! I feel like Dory from Finding Nemo. I get embarrassed and angry. Sometimes I feel like my kids and hubby are all in on a joke when they all tell me, we told you Mommy and I am like, UM, NOOO YA DIDN'T! I would remember THAT!!! I am beginning to accept this, at the same time I do feel that my medication is beginning to help my brain to work again. My hips and shoulders still hurt, stomach issues have calmed. I still have days when I can't eat much. I am still gluten free 95% of the time. I swear, for a period of time I went to Zumba 3-5 times a week (sometimes more) I was trying to eat healthy and I dropped NOT ONE POUND!!! I didn't care because I love Zumba sooooo much. I have this goofy grin on my face the whole time I am trying to groove while tripping over my own two feet. Yeah, I am pretty awesome....hahaha....joking!!! Fact is, I don't care what I look like! The fact that I have went to Zumba and made it through the class is enough to lift my spirits. Before I started treatment, I was no longer able to make it though a class without feeling like passing out or major stomach pains. I am still trying to do research on Hypothyroidism, before treatment my brain couldn't fully assimilate the info. After I read it....gone....ugh!!! This sucks! I am hoping things sink in a little more real soon!

Wrote this a couple of days ago and then WHAMMO! 2 Day migraine coupled with what almost ended in a hospital visit because of horrific stomach pains. Ultrasound next week...wondering if my gallbladder decided to join in on this attack since all my other body parts have been on the attack and it might be considered way too UNCOOL NOT to jump on the bandwagon. Who knows what the heck is happening here! I know WHAT ISN'T HAPPENING!!!! Stuff I cooking and going places with the kids. I have been glued to my laptop, trying to learn more about this crazy disease.

May you all have a wonderful evening! :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

World's Best Jello Recipe

Worlds best Jello Recipe

I can honestly say that I have yet to meet a kid that doesn't have nothing but love for Jello. I think the color hypnotizes them. I recently came across this recipe that is so cool! When you look at it, you turn your head to the side like a confused and intrigued adorable little puppy. You wonder, how is there this light color on top? Did you go through all the trouble of layering Jello.....wellno...(hahaha) Well no, in fact I didn't! All I did was add some heavy cream to the mix and what came out was this awesome concoction that showed a creamy looking layer and then the regular looking Jello settled at the bottom. So what you do is get one of the small boxes of Jello, add to one cup of just boiled water and mix until very well dissolved, next add 1 tsp of unflavored gelatin (this will keep it from getting all watery and help maintain its firmness) and mix until well dissolved. Last, add 3 tbsp of heavy cream. Now here is where you may be like WHATTTT? You may think you totally messed up, when in are right on track! See, what happens is the mixture starts to look almost flaky. Yes, it looks like it has flakes of white milk in it. Don't worry, it will turn out A~okay!!!

See the gorgeous transparency and creamy looking top layer?

Now imagine making them in like 6 or more colors!

Wow, that would be a TOTAL SHOW STOPPER!

Here is a demonstration.

Potatoes O' Brien

                                                               Potatoes O'Brien

I remember being a kid and my mom making this in a big iron skillet on Saturday mornings. My Mom is the BEST cook. At ANY given moment, a crowd could go to her house and she could whip up a totally delish meal in NO time! I am sooo jelly! I hope that I inherit her skills! Hear that Mommy??? I want you to leave those skills to me in your will, I called them FIRST!!!  I could go into further detail regarding her culinary expertise, but lets focus on this one for now, since I recently made it.
I like this meal because I almost always have these simple ingredients on hand, and if you want to add a little unique twist, add some chorizo and top with avocado and a drizzle of crema and this is even MORE AWESOME!!!!

The trick is to make sure that you cut all the ingredients the same size.

Season the ingredients well, with salt and pepper to taste. When the potatoes are about halfway cooked, add the other ingredients and when the potatoes are cooked through, this is ready to devour. I like to make the potatoes real crispy....YUM!!

So, yeah......maybe I should have placed them next to some sunny side up eggs, but I don't remember what happened that day. THIS is what I ended up Oh well, it tasted GRRRRRRRREAT!!!

Tomato Basil Squares

Have you ever had Tomato and Basil ANYTHING? If you have, well, then you are completely aware of this pairings EPIC deliciousness! Yessss, they belong together, for eternity......eeeeeternahteeey! You know like from the Richie Valens that! Anyways, I have this recipe that is from the Pampered Chef, which is one of my favorite places to get cooking gadgets.
Look at me being a total nerd, posing so proudly with my gorgeous creation.

Here is whatcha need people, a 10 oz refrigerated pizza crust, 2 cups of shredded mozzarella, 1/4 cup of grated FRESH Parmesan Cheese, 2/3 Cup of Mayo, 2 tblsp FRESH Basil leaves snipped, 1 clove of garlic pressed (crushed) and 4 plum tomatoes, sliced.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, roll out your pizza crust and place on a pizza stone or PC rectangle baker. Place your sliced tomatoes onto the rolled out crust. Combine mozzarella, fresh parmesan, fresh basil, garlic and mayo. If you like a kick of spiciness add 1/2- 1 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes. Once all these ingredients are combined, spread the mixture carefully over the tomatoes you have lined the crust with. Make sure you have the whole crust covered.

Here is what it should look like. Now place in your  preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Now if you like a crunchier crust, as I do, you should bake the crust for a bit before you place the tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients,

Ready for a taste test!!!!

Here is a demonstration!

Colorful Spinkletastic Cake

I have been on a colorful kick lately. If it is a bright color, I wanna wear it....but the children refuse to be seen with me......hmmm....wait! Wardrobe change! Hahaha, maybe I could actually go to the grocery store without a child breaking down because I refuse to buy them a Lunchable, since I HAVE lunch meat and cheese I can cut up for them at home!!!!! OMG! I found a loophole!!! Mommy will be dressing as a rainbow and you olders can stay and take of the youngers and I shall go vacation for an hour at the nearest grocery store. Here is what I picked up on my last vacation, (lol) not only will I be dressing as I rainbow, I shall consume its colors in abundance until the colors ooze from my pores and I see beautiful rainbow rays have replaced my own reflection in the mirror....okay, that is a total lie. I have to eat gluten free, so I don't eat these goodies, but I sure have fun admiring the colors when they are done and seeing my kiddos admire the pretty colors too! Now, if I was making this for a party, I would have made more layers, but since it wasn't and I just wanted to try out the process, I only used one box of cake mix. I was only able to make two layers with one cake box mix and since they didn't bake up evenly, I lost a little cake. Slicing off the top to even the layers, gave the kids a little something to keep them from poking at the cake and gave us a glimpse at the beautiful colors that were hiding inside. (the top of the cakes turn brownish when baked up.)

You will need one white cake box mix.

Get a cup and cover with a sandwich baggie.

Get one ladle full of batter and place inside of the baggie that you covered your cup with.

Now get your food coloring. I used electric food color gels, they bake up to gorgeous vibrant colors! You can use liquid colors, but the colors will be slightly muted. I placed 3 squirts into each cup.

Now using a separate spoon for every color, mix in the food gel until well incorporated.

Now take out as much air from the bag and seal shut. If you have spots that are still white, just massage the color until it is all well colored.

Now snip a small corner off of the bag and squeeze half of the contents in the bag into one 8 inch cake pan and the other half into another 8 inch cake pan. Once you have done that, shake the batter so that it spreads. For your next color, again empty half of the contents of your sandwich baggie into the center of the color that you previously poured. I chose the colors to according to how vibrant they looked to the next.

Here is what it looked like once I was done with all the colors. My first color, the electric pink, got lost!!! Boo to that! But, the colors, oh the colors....sooo, soooo, Dr. Seussy....right?  

Here is the top that I lopped off to even my cake out and the kids were so happy to see its beauty!

Now here is why I called it a SPINKLETASTIC CAKE!!!!! I threw sprinkles EVERYWHERE! I tell ya, if the kids had been standing still enough, I would have frosted them and covered them in sprinkles too! They were too fast for me....DAMN!

I tried my best to capture the beautiful colors, but failed miserably. Had I made more layers, you would have seen its TRUE GLORY....or better yet, YOU can try to make it yourself and behold its fabulosity with thine own eyes!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hi there!

Wow, have you been? I know I have been neglecting you blog, but see I have met a new friend,You Tube. You Tube and I have been spending quite a bit of time together. You are both great, but have different qualities. On You Tube, I can show my friends stuff I do in video format....which can be fun........but don't be jealous because YouTube can NEVER replace you. With you, I feel way more free to let the crazy out. I don't think I have done that with you just yet....because we were still getting to know each other. I think now is the time to unleash the cracken.....
Don't worry, in the chance that I do get brave enough to let it all out, I shall do so in small doses. I mean, I don't want you to think I am cray cray. The fact of the matter is that we are all a little crazy in our own way. What pushes your buttons? I can tell you one thing that drives me bonkers! I mean, I
feel like a silver back gorilla doing this in my head.....
Self portrait

See, even now I am holding back.......I really feel like this

So this is the angry beast that certain behaviors bring out in me.

CAN ANYONE RELATE? Please tell me I am not alone!

Thenre is this guy I know....I am not going to name names! See, I ask him very nicely to stop throwing trash like lemon rinds, ends of zucchini and chia seeds and tomato ends into the sink. When I happen to go wash dishes which I handle 90-95 % of the time, I turn the water on and it starts filling into this soupy disgusting mess. Whoa, the gorilla in me starts a twitchin and I want to start beating my chest and flinging poo at them. I feel as though I am forced to clean up a disgusting mess, and that the person that shall remain nameless has no care for what I must endure. That whole silver back gorilla behavior wouldn't be very lady like though. I am after all perfection incarnate........hahahaha......right? Okay so that may be stretching the truth JUST A SMIDGE!

I have a question for you, should you be brave enough to answer.....