Monday, January 31, 2011

Buttermilk Waffles for Breakfast and Curry Chicken for Dinner

I'm not sure if I didn't sleep very well last night because Jeremy left for work at 2 am, or because at that point both the boys joined me in bed and made a Mommy sandwich out of me- either way, I was TIRED when I began my Monday morning.
The routined statement of Cole, How did you sleep Mommy?  I had a great nap!, was said and then, wait for it ... I'm hungry!!  I must have growing boys, because I hear that statement ALL day long and they eat ALL day long!  Well, that was my cue to start something for breakfast after their baths.

Cole requested waffles, so as I finished the batter, he tells me he wanted pancakes- this happens EVERY time I make pancakes and waffles, whatever it is that I make, he wants the opposite.  Waffle batter was made, so waffles we ate!    The waffle batter I make is super quick and easy ... perfect for this kind of morning.  Mix 1 c flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp sugar, 1 c milk ... I used buttermilk today, 1/4 c oil and 1 egg in a bowl and then pour right onto the waffle iron.  Not too difficult huh?! Braydon loves to flip the waffle iron while cooking, so he took that job this morning.

While the waffles were cooking, Braydon began his daily ritual ... scooting the kitchen chair over to our Confectionary Corner, and eating chocolate raisins.  This boy LOVES chocolate ... I can't deny where he got the craving from, but some days it is a bit obsessive!

Mouth full, no shame ...

After a few handfuls of chocolate raisins, breakfast was ready and I was able to convince him of a better breakfast option.  Yesterday, they helped themselves to chocolate chip cookies while I was making beds- this is how I found them ... I am thinking I need to start hiding our treats!!

I will be thinking about how to cure our chocolate addicts, but for the time being, we had breakfast.

I served some sliced apples and strawberries with their waffles, and as you can see from the picture, Braydon didn't appreciate the added color and removed them from his plate ...

and he donated them to a more grateful Cole!

As I was cleaning up the breakfast dishes, the boys watched Sesame Street and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to capture this cute moment ...

They went from hugs and cuddles to tackling each other onto the floor and tickling each other -the great life of brothers.

We spent the rest of our day with a quick Costco run for the handful of items I forgot to get the previous week ... and we couldn't leave without our churros and yogurts-and then of course a Starbucks run on the way home.

When we got home I continued on with this ongoing mission to make the boy's playroom a picture of organized chaos, especially trying to utilize their playroom closet space.  After every birthday and Christmas I purge the old and organize the new ... I managed to get some baskets for some of their things and today I began labeling them.  The upside to using baskets is the obvious clean look and hidden toy- but in doing so I have found that because the toys aren't as visual to the boys, when a basket is brought out after a week of not being played with it has the new toy appeal once again.  Mommy loves the clean look and the boys like playing with the toys again- its perfect!!  I hope to be done with my playroom project this week, but this is what was accomplished this afternoon.

Yep, its time again ... gotta think about dinner!  Thankfully, I got this great QUICK dinner idea from my Mom.  She had made it the night before and raved about it.  What is better than a quick, already tried and true dinner??  Nothing!- so I brought out my faithful crock pot again and got started.  Since I started this later in the afternoon, I put the setting to high and placed 2 chicken breast in the crock pot.  I then added 1/2 c of salsa and 2 tbsp of curry.  That's it!!  

When I'm ready to serve dinner I am going to add 1/2 c of sour cream to the salsa and curry and top the chicken with the sauce.  The house smells AMAZING and the best part is that it was that easy and I so appreciated a yummy and quick meal for our Monday night!  I am going to get started on some corn bread to enjoy with our chicken and then cuddle up with my boys.  Daddy should be home soon- he has been at work for 15 hours now and counting, inventory day for PB! ... hopefully we will all get some sleep before our Tuesday comes ...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Creamy white wine chicken with Roasted red pepper potatoes

Creamy White Wine Chicken & Roasted Red Pepper Potatoes

This particular Sunday has me wanting a beautifully orchestrated Sunday dinner, but to put it simply ... I don't want to be in the kitchen all day to do it!  I love when it is overcast outside and cool, but these are also the days that make me want to be lazy, throw my pjs on, climb back into bed and watch movies- but as we all know ... this is not the life of a Mommy!
I convinced myself that if I spent about 45 minutes prepping for dinner this afternoon, then I could leave dinner to cook and get to enjoying my day with the kiddos.  My house was oddly quiet this afternoon as Cole was at church with Grammie and Papa, Jeremy was at work and Braydon was napping ... Braydon woke up super sleepy this morning so the verdict isn't out quite yet if he was catching up on sleep from late nights this week or if he is starting to get sick-either way he needed to be sleeping, so we stayed home from church to make sure he didn't share whatever it was in nursery!!
SO, considering I could knock dinner out quickly with no distractions, I did.  I started heating my crock pot on low and put in 3 chicken breasts.  In a bowl I combined about 1 1/2 c of white wine with a few dashes each of thyme and rosemary, with some crushed garlic.  When I cook with wine, I use TJ's 2 buck chuck ... it gives it the desired flavor for cooking, but you don't have to spend a ton doing it.

After mixing the wine with the seasonings, I poured it over the chicken in the crock pot.  After looking at the consistency of the broth, I decided I wanted a creamier texture- I then added a can of cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup to the chicken as well.  Perfect!  Now I am done with my chicken.  I covered the crock pot and let it cook until we were ready to eat.

I wanted to have a side to enjoy with our chicken and decided to use a medley of potatoes.  This idea didn't seem like it would take too long to make, but once I got started I found myself creating more and more steps.  By this time, Cole had returned from his church and lunch date with my parents- and of course he says, What are you making Mommy? Can I help??, Absolutely!

Whenever I use fresh fruits and vegetables, I use this wash on them ... another TJ find ...

After a good wash, I sliced my potatoes up to make roasted herb potatoes.

I began by making a marinade for my potatoes.  In a bowl I combined 1/2 c olive oil, 1/2 c balsamic vinegar, 1/4 c chopped onion, 3 tsp thyme, 3 tsp rosemary, 1 tbsp garlic powder, and a few dashes of red pepper flakes.

Cole helped me mix the marinade up while I began cutting the potatoes into cubes and wedges.  Once the potatoes were cut, Cole placed them in the bowl of marinade.

Once all the potatoes have been cut, mix the potatoes well with the marinade and then prepare a baking sheet- coating it well with olive oil.

We then took a strained spoon and transferred the potatoes to the oiled baking sheet.  Be sure to cover the baking sheet in a single layer to allow ALL the potatoes to bake.  Make sure to also leave the remaining marinade in the bowl- you will use this again.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and when it is ready, bake the potatoes for an hour.

While we waited for the potatoes to cook, we played SUPER HEROS!!

To play super heros correctly, you need your capes!

Getting ready to jump!

Cole showing his Mr. Incredible muscles

Cole's (Mr. Incredible's) action shot of him flying!  

After the potatoes have baked for an hour, we then returned the potatoes to the reserved oil marinade from before and tossed the potatoes again.

If you are making these potatoes a while before your planned meal, you can refrigerate the potatoes at this time, and then when ready to eat, transfer them back to a baking sheet to cook again at 400 degrees for another 20 minutes, which is what we did today.  If you are planning to have your meal within the hour, skip the refrigeration and go straight to tossing the potatoes in the marinade again, transferring back to the baking sheet and cooking for the additional 20 minutes. 

Once the potatoes are tender and golden they are ready!

We served our roasted red peppered potatoes with our white wine chicken and some lemon.  We had a great, early FAMILY Sunday dinner when Daddy got home from work.

We are finishing our evening with some quiet playtime in the playroom before the boys head to an early bedtime tonight!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

C is for Cole and Chocolate Chip Cookies

 C is for Cole and Chocolate Chip Cookies

What a fun day at home the boys and I had- we had a visit from Grammie and Papa at the house and then spent the afternoon PLAYING!

We played trains ... 

We thought it would be fun to trace our bodies on butcher paper and then color them ...

and then we got the munchies, so chocolate chip cookies called our name!

Cole found the recipe in his cookbook and informed me that C is not only for his name, but for cookies too!  What a fabulous moment for him to share his C with his beloved treat!!  While I prepped the ingredients and preheated the oven, the boys played some more.

Time to begin baking!  Our oven was set to 375 degrees and we started by adding our ingredients in a bowl ... 3/4 c sugar, 3/4 c packed brown sugar, 1 c softened butter and 1 egg.  Cole is my awesome helper- he loves to unwrap the butter ...

I usually soften the butter in the microwave, rather than leave it out ... as you can tell, Cole helped me with melting the butter too.

Now it was Braydon's turn to help me mix the ingredients together ...

Cole was smelling the bowl ... I wish I could capture his expression as his eyes roll back and he says, Oh Mommy, it smells so yummy!!

Both the boys helped me add our remaining ingredients ... 2 1/4 c flour and 1 tsp baking soda.

Now the best part!  The chocolate chips are added- every time I make these cookies the amount I add changes, but it is about 2 cups ...

We had to take turns mixing the chocolate chips into the batter, as it is a favorite activity for both Cole and Braydon ...

In the end, we ALL were holding the mixer ... whatever keeps the smiles coming right?!

Our batter is now ready to be placed onto the cookie sheets ...

I placed them on the sheet in tsp size dollops.

While I placed the cookies in the oven, the boys went back to playing ...

Braydon decided our cookies were ready and put the oven mitts on ... don't worry, I don't let him get near the oven, he just likes to feel the part!

Mmm, 11 minutes later they are done!

I love this shot of Cole, he is totally eyeing a specific cookie!

By this time, we had our dinner and THEN our cookies for dessert, played a bit more ....

... and then got ready for bed as these guys were tuckered out from the day!  What a fun day we had -I am blessed with such wonderful, loving, and playful toddlers!

This guy is off to bed, good night!