We’ve moved!

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hi, I have decided to move and you can now join me at http://www.thejellybeansoflife.com, Hope to “see you” soon!

thanks!

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Tuscan Chicken & Vegetable Soup

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So for the past three days I have been saying I am going to make a chicken and veggie soup. I was inspired by a recipe that I came a cross in the september issue of Cooking Light magazine. (One of my favorite magazines I might add 😉 I like to read through cooking magazines for inspiration on new recipes.

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I had two chicken breast in the freezer that I roasted a couple of days ago with the intention of making chicken salad. However I never got around to it so it sat in the fridge for a couple of days.

To use up the chicken and some leftover wild rice I had, from a stuffed acorn squash I made the day before, I decided to try my soup idea tonight!

To reduce my amount of work and make things much easier, I bought a package of mediterranean vegetables and chicken boubon cubes.
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The original recipe calls for green beans and carrots chopped but when you’re a full time working mom such as myself who cares for having to chop every vegetable, so we have to manage ways to cut corners when we can. 😉

I pretty much just shredded my chicken and sauted it along with the veggies in olive oil, added a can of petite diced tomatoes, and added the broth and let simmer for about 15mins. Finally I added the leftover rice and ley simmer on low heat another 15mins and it was done!

We garnished with parmesan cheese and had garlic bread on the side. Everyone enjoyed it abd I was very proud of the outcome.
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For a more detailed recipe email
me and I would be happy to share.

Recipe Remix….Apple Cinnamon Muffins

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So yesterday I posted a recipe for pumpkin and butterscotch muffins, that I said I would probably try using applesauce instead of pumpkin at a later date. Well due to my daughters relentless pleas for more muffins (by repeating over and over to me “muffin please, muffin please”) I decided to succumb to her stubborn persistence (which she gets from her father, I might add) and try the applesauce substitution this morning.

I also decided to make them this morning because I enjoy handing my husband a fresh homemade muffin before he walks out the door to go to work. I feel like I have accomplished something before my day even starts, and honestly people it takes no time at all to whip together a batch of quick muffins. It took me all of ten minutes to throw the batter together and they took about 20mins to bake while I finished getting ready this morning.

On to the recipe, so as I was saying I used the same recipe that I posted yesterday the only things I did different was instead of the 1 cup of pumpkin I substituted 1 cup of applesauce, I only added the cinnamon and left out the other spices, and instead of butterscotch chips I cut up 1 small apple into tiny dices and added them to the wet ingredients before I mix the wet and dry ingredients together.

They came out just as moist and were actually even better because they weren’t as sweet as the pumpkin and butterscotch ones. This is definitely a keeper recipe! So give it a try to let me know how they turn out for you guys.

**After thought note: The recipe calls for all-purpose flour, however I only use unbleached flour, I like it better, so if you can find it at your grocers then please try it. It is great for baking and is less processed than bleached flour**

Recipe Remix: Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Pumpkin and Butterscotch…Who Knew

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Autumn is my FAVORITE season by far. I love the cool weather and colorful scenery that nature provides us during this time of year. I also love all the flavors of the season. Pumpkin, cloves,cinnamon, nutmeg, aromatic pear and apple desserts, ahhhh I just love it all I tell you.

There is nothing I love more than the smell of fall baking in my home. I also prefer, most of the time, to make muffins and breads from scratch because they are usually cheaper than buying pre-made ones from the store. I always have all the ingredients, at any given time, in my house to whip together a quick bread or muffin recipe. So I tried two new recipes this weekend that were amazingly good and a big hit with the fam. They were so good I decided to share the recipes.

The first was a pumpkin and butterscotch muffin recipe that I found on the Allrecipes.com site. This is a cool site to get some good recipes. I always try to find recipes that have good ratings and this site usually has a pretty good amount of reviews to look through.

The recipe was for mini muffins but I made regular sized muffins. The recipe as written provided me with 10 nice sized muffins. I would post a pic of my finished product, however the muffins didn’t last longer than a day in my house. On the site there are a lot of pics posted by others.

So try the recipe out and let me know what you thought of it. I am placing the link to the recipe below.

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Mini-Pumpkin-Butterscotch-Muffins/Detail.aspx

I end up having so pumpkin left over so I decided I was going to make pumpkin pancakes the next morning with the leftovers.

For this, I actually found a recipe from none other than the dynamic homemaker her self Martha Stewart. I have never tried any of her recipes so I was a little excited to see what she had to offer in the recipe area. I don’t particularly care for her design ideas usually, although I do like her crafts so this was a chance for me to try something else she dabbles in.

People the pancakes were AWESOME! So awesome that I immediately text my best friend to tell her about them. Super moist and lots of flavor. I did alter the recipe by adding the butterscotch chips to the batter (I figured it worked well in the muffins why not throw some in the pancakes, what the heck I like to ad livin the kitchen anyway). I am sure they would have been just as tasty without the butterscotch though, because they were perfect in texture. I think next time though I will try to alter the recipe and add some different spices and applesauce instead of pumpkin and see how that turns out.

Pumpkin and Butterscotch Pancakes

Again I am posting the link to the recipe below. If you don’t try the muffin recipe you should definitely try this pancake recipe.

http://www.marthastewart.com/271839/pumpkin-pancakes

Well all I hope you take the time to enjoy one of these scrumptious recipes this season, and until next time, enjoy!

three great sites for families

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I have been using 3 new sites that I think are pretty awesome and very useful. The first site is called http://www.cozi.com. It is a site that helps manage your family’s schedule and helps keep everyone on track in the family by email and texting. The reasons I love the site are listed below:

  1. the shopping list feature is great because I use it everyday by adding items to it as we run out at home and then when I get ready to go to the store all I have to do is simply have the list sent to me as a text message. I can not stress how great this has been for someone who is infamous for making list right before I leave for the store and end up walking out of the house without it.
  2. the fact that I can set up appointments for my husband and kids in the calendar and have Cozi email my husband a couple of days before hand to remind him of his upcoming appointments. This is great because my husband is very forgetful and I usually have to keep his appointments in my calendar in order to make sure he doesn’t forget, now I can add the appointment and then forget about it if I choose because Cozi reminds him for me.

I could go on and on about the things I love about the site, however I have two other sites that I want to discuss as well so I will keep my likes to 2 things per site. 🙂 you can thank me now, lol.

The next site that I have recently started using is a site called http://www.mint.com. I like this site because it helps you manage your families finances in a very easy format. I also love that it tracks trends in your spending and sends you a report every week to let you know how you are doing in comparison to the budgets you set for the month. however if you can’t wait till the end of the week you can easily check in each day and see right in the homepage how you are doing. My two favorite features in this site are:

  1. The ability to see and track your spending by store, category, or a number of other ways. It helps me to see easily where most of our money is going .
  2. I love the ability to create budgets and see how I am doing by day and easily see how much I have left in each category any day I choose.

Although this site is a great tool i forewarn you in advance that it can be pretty eye-opening and even convicting once you see exactly how much you spend on things you don’t think you spend that much on.

Lastly the site I have been using for a little over a year now, is called http://www.mixbook.com. The reason I love this site is because it lets you scrapbook your photo memories all electronically. I love scrapbooking but I DONT like spending all that money on scrapbooking materials nor do I have the time to cut and paste and stick and whatever else that needs to be done in order to paper scrapbook. I also have enough clutter, so I am not interested in adding the additional clutter of more scrapbooks. My two favorite features with this site are:

  1. they offer great designs and lots of options for decorating your electronic scrapbook, and they even have the option to have your scrapbook printed should you choose to do so.
  2. I love the fact that I have the option to email my scrapbook as soon as I finish to my friends and family for them to enjoy my work and photos as well. 🙂

Well those are my three new favorite sites I hope that someone will find this info useful and give them a try. If you have already use them before please share your thoughts and let me and others know what you think about them as well.

Have a great night! 🙂

Farm bound

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I had a great day with the fam today we went out to this small town not far from here called Dexter, Mi to visit  Jenny’s Farm-stand. They were offering free pony rides, hay rides, and a straw maze for kids. The town also had their annual Dexter Daze Festival going on today right in the center of downtown Dexter. I enjoyed the event mainly because it felt like a Fall preview, and Fall is my favorite season. Jenny’s Farm-stand is known for their fresh homemade apple cider and their homemade pumpkin doughnuts. I didn’t get to try either today as I was out voted by the rest of the family who wanted burgers for lunch oppose to the farm fresh delectables. We are planning to go back though in October for pumpkin picking and the corn maze so I guess I will be able to try them both then.

The most enlightening part of my day came when we left the farm and headed over to the downtown festival. i happen to come across this dance academy that actually except students at age two! I am so excited because my daughter will be two in October, so I will be able to register her for ballet class this fall. I am so excited! I know it may seem like a small and trivial thing to be excited about but for me as a parent it is important that I keep my kids in some form of activity that requires them to do some exercise. All the other dance academies that i have looked into at the youngest start at age 3 and even then the programs are not ballet specific, they are just intro to movement courses. I personally feel that these type of classes are a waste of investment as I can instruct my own child to just dance freestyle. Nonetheless i am excited because this program is actually pre-ballet and Tap specific which will be great for my daughter to get involved in.

I hope to post some pics soon from the days events, however I have to first download them………which may take a while so be forewarned.

OAN: I am proud of myself this is the second day in a row that I have written on this here blog and that is an improvement……lets see if i can make it three 🙂

everything in moderation….especially when it comes to a tuna and artichoke sandwich

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so i tried a new recipe today that i found on food network courtesy of the lovely Giada DeLaurentis. I had this sandwich once at this cafe in Kenosha, WI, when I use to live there that was really good. The owner mixed tuna and artichoke and put it on chiabatta bread with a lemon dill aioli. It was sooo good. So I have been wanting to re-create the sandwich myself. So i searched online for some recipe ideas for a tuna and artichoke sandwich and came upon Giada’s recipe.

I made a couple of changes but for the most part I followed her recipe. The first bite was um ummm delicious, however after I ate half my sandwich and began to start the second half i start to feel that the sandwich was a little to rich for me. I probably should have let it go, but of course I didn’t and i finished the sandwich and now I have a stomach ache.

Lesson learned? Sandwich is awesomely delicious, however next time it may be best to eat it in moderation. 🙂

Here is the link below in case anyone wants to try the recipe for themselves. Enjoy!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/tuna-and-artichoke-panini-recipe/index.html