Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday-One Year

Making Tuesday Tasty-Traditional Irish Soda Bread

St. Patrick's day festivities will be upon us very soon. Here is a great recipe I found for a traditional Irish soda bread.  The baking soda, or "bread soda" is used to leaven the bread instead of yeast.  Enjoy!

White Soda Bread

3.5 C all purpose flour
2 tbsp. caraway seeds (optional)
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1.5 C buttermilk


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly flour baking sheet. Mix flour, caraway seeds, if using, baking soda and salt in large bowl.  Mix in enough buttermilk to form moist clumps.  Gather dough into ball. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead just until dough holds together, about one minute.  Shape dough into 6-inch-diameter by 2-inch-high round.  Place on prepared baking sheet.  Cut 1-inch-deep X across top of bread, extending almost to edges.  Bake until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom, about 35 minutes.  Transfer bread to rack and cool completely.

*recipe courtesy of epicurious.com*

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Baby Carriers

My son just turned one and I was really interested in using a baby carrier with him while growing.  I like to have my hands free, and to be able to carry baby around for comfort.  I didn't know how much I would need it until he came into the world. One of the carriers I considered was one of the backpack pouches, they put the majority of the weight on your back for a more comfortable fit. You can also carry your child a few years like this, or up to 45 pounds.

I also tried slings, which are a version of a soft baby carrier.  When my son was very small, I carried him in the sling to allow myself hands free time at home while cooking and cleaning.  I also put him in there when I went to church or out in public so that I could do whatever task I needed to do. We both felt close and he enjoyed the swaying, while lying cradled in the pouch.

I did my homework and looked into the pros and cons of each carrier.  Some of them were too confined for my son as he got older, as he wanted to be down exploring his world.  Some were just too hot, especially out in the desert heat.  I also thought I might look for the safest baby carrier, as there are some concerns while using some of them.  Ultimately though, I went with safety, price point, and something my son would enjoy/tolerate.  I think my experience was a good one overall, and I'm really happy to have used one.

Wordless Wednesday-Fun

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy First Birthday To My Boy!

Hard to believe that my little boy is already a year. It blew by so much faster than my first. He is enjoying his new freedoms and having a blast exploring his world!

Making Tuesday Tasty-Slow Cooker Chicken And Pasta Soup

I think slow cooker meals are fabulous on time and the fact that they are one dish items. I don't necessarily like everything braised together but, they can be very delicious and healthy if put together right. Don't be afraid to season your food with natural seasonings!  Also, try to keep the sodium levels down by not adding dressing, dip, or high sodium soups to your slow cooker food.  Here's a slow cooker meal that's right up my alley! Enjoy


  • 4 carrots, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 long strips lemon zest
  • 4 sprigs fresh dill, plus 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup small pasta, such as pastina
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 bunch fresh spinach, stemmed
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 ounces feta cheese
  • Lemon wedges and crusty bread, for serving (optional)


Combine the carrots, lemon zest, dill sprigs, olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker. Season the chicken with salt and add to the cooker. Add the broth and 4 cups water, cover and cook on low, about 8 hours.
About 20 minutes before serving, add the pasta to the slow cooker, cover and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.
Stir the chopped dill, peas and spinach into the soup and cover until the spinach wilts, about 2 minutes. Stir to break up the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and crumble the feta on top. Serve with lemon and bread, if desired.

*recipe courtesy of foodnetwork.com*

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mama Share Mondays-Mother-in-laws

Maybe it's because I've had a pretty good one, but often I don't see why there's so many issues between wives and their Mother-in-laws.  I think communication is probably the number one reason why families and friends have trouble in the first place.  There's usually a lack of communication about how someone feels, or how someone made a person feel.  Then, anger sets in and there's a mountain between the two people.  Here are some suggestions for both parties involved.  Please share yours in the comments section of this post.  I would LOVE to hear some suggestions!

  • Communicate, communicate, communicate.  If your in-laws are stepping on your toes or over a boundary, please speak to them and explain your side.
  • Realize that the way things are done now, may not have been done before. That means that someone from a previous generation doesn't have the same views always as you do about what needs to be done.
  • Allow the Grandma's to see their grandchildren.  They've waited a long time to be able to be part of the grandchild's life.  Mother's who are stingy with their children, don't allow the child to experience being with the older generation.  There's a respect learned, sometimes dying art forms like playing cards with Grandpa, sewing with Grandma, etc.
  • The same can be said for the Grandparents.  Play with your grandchildren.  Don't let your retired life and socializing get in the way of being with your grandkids.  They won't have memories of you to last their lifetime.
  • Wives, if your husband is a mama's boy, you should deal direct with him.  Speak to him about his treatment of you, and what you would like to see happen. It's good that a man respects his Mother but, his life shouldn't revolve around her either.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy Monday :)


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Food Network

Food Network

Written by my friend Teodoro Martin

My husband is getting tired of me cooking the same thing every week for dinner. I was thinking that I need to learn how to make a few new recipes. We have DIRECT TV so I can watch the Food Network to get ideas for meals. There are so many different shows that give me ideas for a variety of meals to make. I really love the Italian shows because the recipes are fairly easy and my husband always loves whatever I make. I feel like I can never go wrong with Mexican dishes either. It’s hard to actually cook the meal while watching the shows, so I usually try to write down the ingredients and recipe. The good thing about the Food Network is that if I miss a recipe that I think we would have liked, I can go on their website. They have each show listed and the recipes for the meals that were shown. Since watching the Food Network, I have been able to provide some variety for our dinners, and I think my husband is very happy.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Wordless Wednesday-Tunnel

Making Tuesday Tasty-Almost-Famous Molten Chocolate Cake

Here's a showstopper recipe if you want to impress your honey on Valentine's day :).  Chocolate always seems right for Valentine's day. :)


For the Cakes:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 tablespoons melted, 4 tablespoons at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup natural (not Dutch-process) cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

For the Fillings and Toppings:

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • Caramel sauce, for drizzling
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make the cakes: Brush four 1 1/4-cup brioche molds (or use 10-ounce ramekins or jumbo muffin cups) with the 2 tablespoons melted butter. Dust the molds with cocoa powder and tap out the excess.
Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Bring the milk and 3/4 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat; set aside.
Combine the vegetable oil, 4 tablespoons room-temperature butter and the sugar in a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl and beater as needed. Add 1/2 cup cocoa powder and the vanilla; beat 1 minute on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl. Add 1 egg and beat 1 minute on medium-low speed, then add the remaining egg and beat 1 more minute.
With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture, then the hot milk mixture. Finish mixing the batter with a rubber spatula until combined. Divide the batter evenly among the molds, filling each slightly more than three-quarters of the way.
Transfer the molds to a baking sheet and bake until the tops of the cakes are domed and the centers are just barely set, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack; let the cakes cool until they pull away from the molds, about 30 minutes.
How To Assemble the Cake:
Make the Filling: Microwave the chocolate, cream, butter and corn syrup in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring each time, until the chocolate starts to melt, 1 minute, 30 seconds. Let sit 3 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Reheat before using, if necessary.
Use the tip of a paring knife to gently loosen the cakes from the molds, then invert the cakes onto a cutting board.
Use the knife to cut a 1 1/2-inch circle on the top of each cake, cutting almost to the bottom.
Hollow out the cake with a spoon; save the scraps. Wrap the cakes with plastic wrap and microwave until steaming, 1 minute.
Drizzle plates with caramel, then unwrap the cakes and place on top. Pour about 3 tablespoons filling into each cake.
Plug the hole with a cake scrap. Save or discard any remaining scraps.
Top each cake with a scoop of ice cream. Spoon more chocolate sauce on top, spreading it thin so it hardens into a shell.

*recipe courtesy of foodnetwork.com*

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mama Share Mondays-Valentine's Crafts

Here are a few basic ideas to share with others for Valentine's day. I think Valentine's day is a fantastic DIY, crafty kind of holiday. You can give your friends, children, parents, etc. something sweet and from the heart.  Please share a link or idea in the comment section.

  • Pencil toppers-Wrap some fun pipe cleaners around a pencil, top with small cut out paper hearts(you can put sayings on them like conversation hearts if you want), give them out individually or do a bouquet.
  • Make your own Valentine's for school. Cut out different colored hearts and different sizes.  Layer for a cute effect or keep plain and write your message. Attach a piece of candy or a small piece of chocolate.
  • Make lollipop flowers by drawing and cutting out a flower shape of your choosing and using different colors or patterns of paper.  Punch a whole big enough in the center to place a lollipop. Write a little note on a "leaf" or attach a tag.
  • Make some mini Valentines by drawing and coloring some shrinky dinks. Punch a whole at the top before hand and bake for recommended time. Give out for Valentine's and it can be a keepsake to put on a keychain, necklace, etc.
Please share your ideas in the comments below!