Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Food: Easy Tuna Casserole

The word easy in this recipe title is really an understatement.  This is truly beyond easy to make, and it's very good.  This is obviously isn't a major undertaking of a meal, but it's good to have quick and easy recipes for nights you either don't have a lot of time, or just don't feel like making a large meal.  I found this recipe awhile ago, here, but switch out an ingredient for one I prefer more and include more tuna than the recipe calls for.  With such simple recipes, you can do a lot to personalize it to what you and your family like best.

3 cups of cooked macaroni
2 cans of tuna, drained
1 small can of condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup of shredded Cheddar
1-1 1/2 cups of frozen peas, thawed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook pasta according to the box.  Then, in a 9 x 13 baking dish, combine macaroni, tuna, soup and peas.  Mix well.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Top with cheese and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

There you have it!  A super easy, super delicious meal.  It's so simple, and I usually have all of the ingredients on hand if I ever have to whip it up last minute.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Date Night!

On Saturday, Eric and I got the evening to ourselves as his parents babysat the boys.  It was so nice to get out, just the two of us.  Now being parents, it's interesting to see how date nights evolve.  Before, a date night would be dressing up a bit, dinner and probably a movie.  We have had this type of date night since the boys have come home, but last night was totally different.  We spent a lot of the night shopping around for certain clothing pieces we have been in need of, grabbed dinner at Adobe (an in and out Mexican restaurant) and ended the night playing games at a coffee shop.  I know it doesn't sound like much, but it was nice to spend a night just hanging out with each other.  This is something we would do as errands or as a night when we didn't have anything planned, but now, this is counted as a date.

And I'm so proud, I even thought to snap a few photos while we were out.  Now, just to warn you, I have the first generation iPhone, so the quality of these photos is poor, but they're photos nonetheless. 

And just because I love deals, here are my finds.  I got two pairs of jeans (which I needed badly) from Nordstrom's Rack and a dress from J Crew, all on clearance! 

Eric also had success with what he was looking for.  So, all in all, it was a very nice, relaxed evening and a perfect date night :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I can't forget about Atticus

A couple of weeks ago, I posted numerous photos of Baxter, showing all of the different faces he makes.  Well, I can't forget about Atticus.  Although younger, less mobile and more passive, he still has a lot of personality.

I actually took these pictures for my mother-in-law, trying to get a picture that she could print in black and white, similar to one she already has of Baxter.  Unfortunately, none of them were what she was looking for, but as a result, I have some great photos of Atticus' many faces.

So, without further adieu, here is my little munchkin, Atticus.

He is such a cute kid, right?!  I know, I'm partial because I'm his mom, but I can't help but swoon over his cuteness.  It's been so incredible to watch his personality bloom over the last few months.  When he first came home, he was pretty much a blog.  No babbling, moving or yelling.  He just sat there.  Now he tries to talk to us, yells at us to get our attention and is trying his hardest to scoot around.  This transformation is one that I will always remember.  He's becoming such a kid, and moving away from being a baby.  It's exciting and sad all at the same time.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The results are looks like I have some allergies

At the beginning of the month, I had an appointment to be tested for food allergies.  And this past Monday, I had my follow-up appointment and received a list of the foods I have sensitivities to.  None of my allergies are very severe, but there were still nine foods that showed up on the test.

Unfortunately, some of them are major contributors to my usual diet.

 Cottage Cheese

 Swiss Cheese

And since there were a couple of dairy products in my results, the doctor suggested that I avoid dairy altogether...yeah, fun.


Egg Whites
I already thought I was sensitive to eggs.  I just thought I was sensitive to commercial eggs, but this covers both commercial and organic.

I had a feeling this would be on there, probably because I love bread to much.


So, the roasted veggies recipe I just posted, yep, can't eat it anymore.  Man, and they were my favorite.  Thankfully, I am still able to eat sweet potatoes, I just need to avoid russet and red skin.


Yeast includes both baker's and brewer's yeast.  I don't drink beer, so brewer's isn't a problem but I do love my Sunday morning bran muffin, which will now need to be forfeited.  This Sunday is going to be a sad, sad day.

So, what does this list of sensitivities mean for me?  Well, the doctor said that I should completely eliminate them from my diet for 3 months, and then I will be able to slowly reintroduce them one at a time to see how my body reacts.  Since none of them are considered severe, I can try reintroducing them to see how I handle it.  It may be a slight enough sensitivity that I can eat it without having any sort of reaction.  But I guess I will just have to wait and see.

I will be spending a lot of time this week looking for recipes and meals that avoid these things, which won't be easy.  I mean, yeast is in pretty much everything.  I will also be counting on a friend of mine who is an awesome cook and allergic to soy, dairy and gluten.

I have to keep telling myself that it's only for 12 weeks and then I will know for sure what makes me feel sick.  It's worth it...right?

Source: Google Images

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New Food: Chicken Enchilada Casserole

I know I already posted a recipe for enchiladas, but this is still delicious and I just love .  It's from my mother-in-law, and she's a marvelous cook.  There are a couple of other recipes I am going to post from her, including one of Eric's all-time favorites.

But until then, here's the recipe for enchilada casserole.

1 medium onion
2 tbs oil
16 oz. crushed tomatoes
4 oz diced green chilies
8 oz tomato sauce
1 package of taco mix
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp salt
3-4 cups of cooked chicken
Cheese (whatever kind you prefer)

I actually added black beans too.  Eric and I aren't big tomato people, so I tried to add something in place of the tomato.

Saute onions in oil.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 15-30 minutes

Grease 9 x 13 pan and add thick layer of mixture.  Then top with 1/2 to 1/3 cups of cheese.  Repeat until entire mixture is used.  Cover with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes at 325 degrees.  About 5-10 minutes before it's finished, add a top layer of cheese and remove cover.

There you have it!  Quick, easy and oh-so good.  You could always add Mexican rice as a side, and guacamole or sour cream are great toppers too!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Moving on up

Yesterday was the first time I dressed Baxter in something the size, 12 months.  To tell you the truth, it was a little sad for me.  He's just so little still.  How can he be wearing 12 month clothes already!?  And in two short months he is actually going to be 12 months old.  I am still in denial about that fact.

Being in this new size makes him seem like such a man.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

When the husband's away, a housewife's sewing machine will play

A couple of weekends ago, Eric had to go out of town for work, so I had Thursday through Monday night to myself.  And now that the boys are here, I don't have the option of going out in the evenings unless there is a babysitter.  Thankfully I had some sewing I wanted to do.

I am not even close to a real seamstress, I just wing it and hope it fits.  Well, I had a 30% success rate on this particular night.  I had a bag of tanks that I was going to get rid of, and a bunch of movie t-shirts from a friend who works at a theatre.  The tanks were too short, so I didn't wear them anymore and I was hoping to use the t-shirt fabric for something.  So I combined them.  I took the tank (since it fit me already) and added length with the t-shirt, creating a tunic.

Here is what I started with.  I attempted this with three different tanks and t-shirts so not all of the photos have the same top in it.

I tried on the tank to see where I wanted the t-shirt to start and marked it with chalk.  Then I laid the t-shirt over the tank at the point it started and free-handed how it would taper out.

Once I had the tunic lines drawn, I just cut it out.

After everything was cut, I sewed the bottom half together.  Once I had two complete pieces, I just sewed them together.

Like I said, I made three tops but only one actually fit me.  Thankfully, my younger sister-in-law is super tiny and is always open to trying out my make-shift clothes :)

This top is one that didn't end up fitting me, so off it went to another closet.  It's so easy when you combine pieces you weren't planning on wearing, that way it's no big deal if it doesn't work out.

Here is one that actually worked for me.  I am very excited to have it for summer.  And I have actually worn it already, under a cardigan.  It works both ways.

And if you don't like the seam line where the two come together, you can just add a cute belt.  Like this.

Although I missed having Eric home, I tend to craft a lot more when he's away.  After the boys go to bed, Eric and I usually watch a movie or make dinner, but when he's gone I fill my time with creative projects.  Plus, absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Outfit // Sunday

On Sundays, what I wear can range from super casual and comfy to really dressy.  It just depends on what we're doing throughout the day.  An average Sunday is started with bran muffins and french press coffee, then the afternoon is spent at one of our parent's house, and during the evening, we have a bunch of people over to watch a movie.

So Sundays are always a lot of fun.  And once the  weather gets nicer here, our morning breakfast and coffee will be spent on the porch.  Last summer we sat on our porch every Sunday morning, except for the few times that it was too cool or raining.  And for Michigan, only having a couple bad Sunday mornings is incredible.  We are so looking forward to starting it back up, it's the highlight of our week.

Anyway, this is what I would consider a typical Sunday outfit.  I still have to take care of the boys, so it's nothing too restricting or uncomfortable, but it's also something I wouldn't wear during the day in the middle of the week.  I am in love with high-waist skirts.  This one I found for $1, and just took it in on the sides and shortened the hem.

Top: Forever 21
Skirt: Thrifted
Leggings: Target
High Socks: Target
Boots: Aldo
Necklace: Modcloth

I hope you enjoyed my little outfit features this week.  I am excited to do it again once the weather gets warmer and my wardrobe is able to shift towards summer.  I am just itching to dive into everything that has been stored away all winter, and all of the cute clothes out for spring break don't help either!

Have a fabulous week!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Outfit // Saturday

On Saturdays, we usually always have something going on.  Whether it's a date night, having people over to our house, or heading over to a friend's house.  Since it's almost a given that we go out, I usually will wear something a little nicer than what I would wear during the week.

I love dresses so much, but it's hard to wear them in the winter.  This year, I have continued to wear them and added leggings or skinny jeans for the needed warmth.  I can't wait for the day when it's no longer necessary. 

Dress: Forever 21
Cardigan: Target
Tank: Target
Jeggings: Target (I actually bought some.  Never thought it would happen.)
Boots: Aldo