Monday, October 31, 2011

Mexican Tortagna

This meal is amazing! But I never know what to call it so I made up the word "tortagna." It's "tortilla" and "lasagna" put together :)

1 pound ground meat
taco seasoning (or spices pictures below)
1 can enchilada sauce
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
2 cans beans (your choice)
1/4 cup chopped black olives
1 cup frozen corn
5 tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

I use these spices instead of taco seasoning.

Brown your meat with 2 tablespoons taco seasoning.

Add enchilada sauce, tomatoes, beans, black olives, and corn.

Cook for five minutes.

Place a very thin layer of sauce in bottom of Crock-Pot.

Spoon 1/4 of the meat mixtures onto tortilla. It will spread out. Don't worry about that. Top with 1/5 of the cheese. (I know I said cheddar but since I was almost out I used mozzarella on the bottom layers.

Repeat 3 more layers. Place fifth tortilla on top and cover with the last of the cheese. We were having our meal for Sunday lunch so I made this Saturday night and refrigerated overnight. Then in the morning I popped it into the Crock-Pot base!

Cook on low for 4 hours.

Cut with a knife and dish out. It's great leftover!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Piano!

The piano has arrived! Actually Justin went to Kingsport to get it. Thanks, honey! We are so excited! Micah cracked us all up playing it before he went to bed :)

Now to get it tuned....

Isn't it pretty? I think I'm going to put a mirror over it. :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Favorites: Lions

There was a Halloween party at Toddler Time today! Micah was a lion! He actually seemed to really like the costume. :)

Investigating the toys

On the prowl

Showing the baby wipe who's boss :)

Cheesin' for the camera!

What? You didn't know lions could read?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Chicken Delicious

Crock-Pot meals are amazing! I especially like them for Sunday lunches and Wednesday nights. It really streamlines the schedules. This is one my mom made while I was growing up. The only thing I did different was use bone-in chicken because that's what I had! (And yes, that name is really what my mom called it!)

4 (or more) bone-in chicken breasts, with skin
salt and pepper
garlic powder
onion powder
herb seasoning mix -you can see mine in the picture below
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Place chicken in Crock-Pot and sprinkle liberally with seasonings.

There they are!

Stir together soups and pour over chicken. If you are out of one soup, use two of the other.

Sprinkle cheese over the top. Cook on low for 6 hours.

Yum! And this broth would be perfect to make some gravy. I may have to try that next time.

Serve over rice. Pour broth over top of chicken.

Since I used bone-in chicken, we discovered it was neater and easier to eat if you pulled the chicken off the bone before you served it. Delicious!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Where We've Been

Dropped off the earth for a week, didn't I? I think you'll see why!

We bought a house!! We've been working on this since March. Yes, March. It was a short sale and it did seriously take 6 months to get everything done. But it's ours and we're in! We're so thankful for it! God worked out every detail for us to be able to buy it.

So here's pictures. I started packing the apartment last Thursday while Justin was out of town on a trip for church. Then we moved Monday and Tuesday. I LOVE this house. It's fantastic!

Micah's room isn't here because I took them during his nap. I'll put them up later!

View out the front door! There are railroad tracks across the road.

Living room! Love my big to find curtains!

Other side of the living room. We are getting the piano from Justin's parent's house on Saturday!! Hurray! It's going right where the keyboard is!

Our bedroom! It has a massive closet. And another window.

Dining Room! And the screened in porch to the left. You'll get a picture of it after the empty boxes are taken away :) And there's a closet in the corner of the dining room that you can't see from this angle!

Refrigerator, counter, and cabinet space!

Loving the counterspace beside the stove! I didn't have any before! And we do plan on repainting all that orangish color paint. That's too much, even for the Tennessee fans that we are!

Hallway to the front door, plus coat closet

Looking down the hallway. Micah's bedroom is to the right. You can see the linen closet and the extra bedroom straight ahead. Bathroom's on the left.

The bathroom is divided in two parts by a door. There's this long counter and sink in the outer part.

And sink, toilet, and tub in the inner part. (And the towel's only temporary. I don't want people to see in my bathroom at night!)

Huge closet at the end of the hallway next to the kitchen! Can we say kitchen storage?

Half bath! An older lady lived here alone. Hence all the pink!

Laundry room, looking out the side door. And yes, that's a monster closet there too!

Obviously I've had 6 months to think about decorating so I have all kinds of ideas! I'm so excited to get started on them!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Beef Wellington

This probably qualifies as my husband's favorite meal. I haven't said that before, have I? Because seriously, this one is his favorite!

And yes, I know beef wellington is supposed to be fancy with pastry and a serious hunk of meat. But my grocery budget doesn't support that. :) Plus, this is how my mom taught me to make it. And you don't mess with momma's recipes!

1 pound ground meat
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 can tomato paste
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 refrigerated pizza crust or french loaf

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brown ground meat with salt and pepper. Drain off grease and add cayenne pepper. Cook for two minutes. Add tomato paste and incorporate into the meat mixture. Melt cheese into meat. Roll out the pizza crust or french loaf into a rectangle. Place meat onto one side of the bread and roll up. Place seam side down in a greased loaf pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes until bread is browned.

Turn onto a plate and slice.

Enjoy! We always eat this with mashed potatoes and a green veggie.

(Side note: I almost always use ground turkey now. I ALWAYS season ground turkey with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and steak seasoning.)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Favorites: Missions Conference

Tonight starts our Missions Conference at church and I am so excited!! I love missions conference and look forward to it all year long.
Here's the link for more information about who is going to be with us this year!

Missions Conference

And as always, you can watch it online! It starts at 7 p.m. ET.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies

Justin took a bowl of these cookies to work today and brought back an empty bowl! Sounds like everybody enjoyed them!

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dark chocolate chips

To toast pecans, melt one tablespoon butter in an oven-safe dish and add chopped pecans. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, stirring two or three times. You should start to smell a heavenly aroma. (You can also do this on the stovetop in a dry pan for a shorter amount of time but what's the fun in that?)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars. Beat in eggs and vanilla until just combined. Add flour mixture in thirds and mix well after each addition. Stir in toasted pecans (if you want pecans in all your cookies) and chocolate chips.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons two inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 12-14 minutes (check your oven) or until golden. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Don't Talk, Just Do

Don't talk, just do. You don't have to correct everyone, inform them of your viewpoint, or give them a lecture about how you do it. Just do it. They will see the results.

Courtesy of my wonderful hubby :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Metabolics Appointment

Micah had a metabolic appointment in Cincinnati today so off we went this morning. It was a gorgeous day and we stopped at a rest area to let Micah get out and run around for a while. He loves getting out; the car gets old for anybody. And he no longer sleeps while traveling.

Studying his toy

Micah weighs right over 29 pounds and I forgot to get his height. I'll find out this week. His doctor thought he looked really good and was pleased with his progress and his eating habits, specifically that we hadn't used his g-tube for quite a while. It takes some persuasion to get all the formula in him but it happens! His nutritionist was on vacation so we didn't get to see her but I'll talk to her sometime this week about formula changes.

The only concern was that Micah isn't talking yet. I'm not too worried about it at this point but we are going to start thinking about some options if he continues to just jabber.

His doctor also suggested that we start a blog that focused on low-protein cooking. He said he had several patients that could use the resource. So guess what we're throwing around ideas for? Yup, another blog is in the making. Right now I'm stuck on a name though. Any ideas?

We ate at Olive Garden on the way home! Yummy, my favorite! And we actually got home at 4:30, early enough to put Micah down for a nap and take one myself.

Justin and I were at King's Island on Saturday and we were discussing our first trip there several years ago. We were on our way home when we mentioned how far away Cincinnati was from home and how long the trip seemed! We've done it so much now that it seems like a drive down the road. Thankfully God has blessed us with fantastic people to help with Micah's care!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Broccoli Chicken Casserole

This is one of my favorite company dinners. It takes no time to put together and has easy clean up!

3 cups cooked chicken
1 package frozen broccoli florets, thawed
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheddar cheese
1 box herb stuffing

Mix chicken, broccoli, and 1/2 cup cheese in a casserole dish.

Pour both cream soups over top and spread out.

Top with another 1/2 cup cheese.

Mix stuffing with enough boiling water to dampen all of it. Let soak for five minutes. Using fingers crumble and spread the stuffing over the casserole. Top with the rest of the cheese. Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes, until warmed through and cheese is melted.

Ordinarily I would have a picture of the finished product here. But we had company for dinner the night I made this and I didn't want to postpone dinner to take a picture! Use your imagination!

It's delicious, quick, and only uses a few ingredients. My favorite kind of meal!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sourdough Rolls

I love sourdough bread! But sometimes I need a little variety if I'm serving a big group of people, like at church. So the last time I made rolls instead of loaves of bread.

You can start out with the sourdough bread recipe.
When you get to the step where you roll out the dough and form the loaves, stop! That's not what we're going to do. Instead pull out small sections of the dough and roll into balls. Arrange in pans, leaving space for dough to rise.

Let rise for 30-40 minutes in a warm place. Be sure to cover your rising dough!

Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown on top.

I tossed them into an upside-down cake server and took them to church. Then I arranged them on a cookie sheet, heated them under the broiler, and poured melted garlic butter over them!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Organic Acidemia Association

The Organic Acidemia Association updated their website! The main page has a slide-show and Micah's cute face is in there! Go check it out!


Those similar words in the Bible like "instruction", "reproof", and "rebuke" all center around gaining and growing in wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. We are taking the correction of the Bible and godly leaders in order to grow as a Christian. Since we never "arrive" in the Christian life this is something we will be doing our whole lives as we grow and stretch toward maturity.

This week I have been examining some areas of my life and tweaking my thoughts and behavior concerning those subjects. I have been challenged in many ways as I've considered and accepted the implications of those decisions. The good news is that these things won't hinder God's work in my life as I've surrendered to His plan. I would hate to limit God in my life over such ultimately trivial things. (The issues aren't trivial but my "objections" would be.)

There would only be bad news if I were refusing to accept or follow the instruction and prompting of the Holy Spirit. Proverbs 5 talks about the end result of the person who refuses to accept correction.
7. Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth. 8. Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: 9. Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: 10. Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger. 11. And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed.
That is not the end result that I want. But how did that person get there? What drastic path did they start down to lead to such horrendous results? There wasn't a drastic path. A simple, often overlooked, path led them there. It's explained in the next few verses.
12. And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; 13. And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!
They refused to accept instruction. The last verse of that chapter states, "He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray." I think I'll heed this warning and continue to listen for correction and make the necessary changes in my life.