Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cheesy Turkey Meatloaf Cups

Holy yum. I can't even lie...the dinner I busted out last night was pure deliciousness. Ground turkey has never tasted so fabulous.

Props to me!

Here's the recipe for the cheesy ground turkey meatloaf cups I whipped up. A definite crowd pleaser!

This recipe will yield about 15 lil meatloafs. This will give you a family dinner, plus a few for leftovers (and we love leftovers here). If you want a smaller batch, just cut the recipe in half :)

2 lbs of 93% lean ground turkey
1 cup of Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Sharp cheddar cheese, cubed (I used almost a full bar of Cracker Barrel extra sharp white cheddar)
2/3 to 1/2 cup of ketchup
1 tablespoon of Worsteshire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons of onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 eggs
Diced sweet mini peppers
Bacon crumbles

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Place the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl. Crack the eggs into the bowl and add breadcrumbs, ketchup, Worsteshire sauce, onion powder and pepper. Now take your rings off, roll up your sleeves and get your hands a little dirty :) Mix everything together with your hands until all of the ingredients are combined.
 



Spray a cupcake pan with a little non-stick spray, like Pam. Grab a clementine-sized amount of meat, form into a ball and drop it into each slat in the pan. Then take a cube of cheese and press into the center of each meatball. Top each with diced peppers and bacon crumbles.


 

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

These are seriously yummy. I can't wait to make them again. 
Derek called them meat muffins, which had me in a fit of giggles because it sounds so funny, and then proceeded to top his off with a little jalapeƱo ketchup. I dipped mine in Lea & Perrin's steak sauce and Conner enjoyed his with a little plain ketchup. 

Dinner time win!






Thursday, January 23, 2014

Holding On

I'm sure I'm not alone in this...

Tonight Conner, who had downright refused a nap today, was so pooped out by the end of the night that, in a rare moment, decided to grab his blankies, climb on me and fall asleep.

These are rare moments indeed...the kid is so active that most mornings, afternoons and evenings he can be found running laps around the kitchen and dining room. So for him to willingly snuggle and fall asleep on me has become a moment that comes few and far between.

And so I find myself not wanting those moments to end. Desperately clinging to the feeling of his head on my chest, the sweet smell of his baby shampoo in my nose and the warmth of a snuggly toddler cuddled on his momma. I constantly try to live so deeply in those moments...I just want to hold onto them forever because I know that the day will come when my baby boy doesn't want to snuggle with me when he's tired. There will come a day that he won't need me to lay his head down on.

It reminds me of when I was a little girl. My dad used to tease us that he was going to take us to the doctor and tell her to make us little babies again so we couldn't grow up any more. I used to think he was being silly. Now, as a parent myself, I realize that while he was teasing us at the time, he likely wasn't kidding so much. Children seem to grow so quickly...time flies by too fast. Truly, what I wouldn't give to keep Conner this little forever (even though I still fully look forward to continuing to watch him grow into the incredible person he is destined to be).

And so in an effort to hold onto such moments forever, and living in the age of smartphones and instant pictures, I always grab my phone and take a snapshot. Those pictures of my sleeping, sweet little boy are such sweet reminders of those rare, special moments...and my perfect little way of holding on.






Thursday, January 9, 2014

DIY Lost Socks Sign!

So I'm in the process of making over my little laundry nook. At the top of my stairs, I have a closet that houses my washer and dryer (which will be getting it's own makeover in the next month or two) and then a random little nook that I've been using as our laundry pile spot. It's looked like crap since we moved in because I never took the time to do anything with it, but as time has gone on it's driven me increasingly crazy. So yesterday I grabbed a pretty laundry sorter and worked on a small project to help start making my laundry nook attractive looking.

I bought a wooden plank at Michaels along with some really pretty Martha Stewart wood stain that comes in some unconventional colors (I used the light teal stain!). I had the rest of the stuff I needed at home already to made a super cute sign that I'll mount on the wall and hang mismatched socks from.

For this craft, you will need:

A wooden plank
Wood stain
Craft paint
Glue gun
Stencils
Paint pens
Clothes pins
Small stencil brush

I started by staining my plank. I only did one quick coat of stain because I really like the weathered, beachy effect it gave the wood. I let it dry for about an hour.



Then I laid down my stencil and lightly stenciled my pattern on the plank


In the center of each flower thingy, I added just a little dot of paint and let it dry. Since I used acrylic craft paint, it dried relatively quickly.

I then hot glued four clothespins on the bottom of the plank and with my paint pen, I wrote "Looking for my Solemate" (ha, see what I did there? Since it's for socks?) on the board. I just need to nail on a picture hanger on the back and it'll be perfect in my nook :)












Wednesday, January 8, 2014

And The Winners Are...

Congratulations to Ashley and Stephanie, the winners of soap goodies from my One In A Mel'lion giveaway!

Thanks to all who entered! And stay tuned, there's another giveaway already in the works!


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Kid Food: Lunchtime

If there's one thing we probably all know, it's that at one point or another kids can be picky eaters. It's one of the many challenges I've discovered along this path of mommyhood. One minute the kid is scarfing down bananas like they're never coming back...and the next minute they're on the floor and he's refusing to eat them.

I'm always trying to come up with meals that will keep Conner interested, especially when I know he's on a kick of particular food. Lunch is usually his biggest meal (he's not much of a breakfast eater, and dinner is sometimes a challenge) so here's what he's digging today, and it's soooo simple.

The dude has been on a berry kick lately, so I whipped up a little sandwich for him...



A little blueberry cream cheese and thinly sliced fresh strawberry on a multigrain flatbread round (this is the Kirkland brand from Costco). Put your halves together, cut into quarters and you've got yourself a happy toddler. I served this up to C Man with yogurt and tangerine slices on the side.

Who knows what he'll be into tomorrow, or heck even tonight at dinner, but this tickled his fancy today so I'm a happy momma with a full bellied toddler :)

What are your kiddos eating?





Saturday, January 4, 2014

A Little Holiday Recap

Ahhhh.

For as much fun as they are, I'm glad the holidays are over and life is returning to normal. The lights and decorations are put away for next year, the cookies have been eaten, the new toys played with and life can swing back into normalcy (for whatever that really is...).

But it's always fun to do a little recap :)

This year we went with a group of friends to the local zoo's annual Zoolights display. It was actually super cute and really beautiful...until Conner decided to throw the epic meltdown of all epic meltdowns because he didn't want to be so bundled up in the 20 degree weather. And so while the world seemed to be ending to my apparently opinionated two year old, we decided to cut our losses and leave early.

Maybe next year.

But at least I got some great pictures!






Following the Zoolights disaster, Derek and I enjoyed going to our first Military ball together and then began preparing for Christmas. This year we decided to stay here on the West Coast as it's just becoming too expensive and too much of a hassle to fly home for the holidays. Besides, we really wanted to be able to spend Christmas in our own home, and have Conner wake up to find that Santa had paid him a visit in his own house this year. 

Derek and I really enjoyed shopping for C Man. For the first time, we didn't have to worry about getting gifts for him that would need to be opened on one side of the country and then shipped back to the other. We got to really get into getting him some fun, special items this year which was just so exciting for us!

When Christmas Eve arrived, we enjoyed a really nice, quiet evening. We had baked salmon, risotto and warm foccacia bread for dinner and then settled in to watch some of our favorite Christmas movies with Conner. Then it was time to hang our stockings and set out cookies and milk for the big man :)






Then after prayers C Man went to bed and the magic began...the tree went up, the lights glowed and our living room was transformed into Christmas galore.

It was kindof the best thing ever.








In the morning, the look on Conner's little face was priceless. The lights! The presents! So many things! The magic of Christmas is truly just so precious.





We finished off the holiday having dinner with friends and Derek's parents who arrived that afternoon from the East Coast, and then we rounded out the holiday season by enjoying a very quiet New Years Eve, watching the local fireworks on TV.

It was a wonderful holiday season, and I hope yours, however you celebrate it, was just as wonderful!




P.S. Santa loved my cookies ;)



Friday, January 3, 2014

Quick Fix: Skillet Chili

Ok, so sadly this post is pictureless because when I was being a genius and whipping up this awesome meal last night, it totally didn't occur to me to snap a few shots of the awesomeness I was making. So bear with me and use your food imaginations...

One of my favorite, easy, winter time meals is skillet chili. A little ground turkey, some tomato sauce and if your the hubby, beans and veggies. Toss in some spices let it all simmer and you're good to go.

Except last night when I discovered I was missing half of the spices I needed and had already browned the meat...and didn't have time to make something else...and I really wanted chili...

Crap.

Except not! Because suddenly genius struck...

Use a packet of taco seasoning.

What?!? Yep. Taco seasoning. While it's not totally the same, when you mix everything together it actually comes out awesome. And when you're in a pinch it works great!

So here's what I did:

Brown 1 lb of ground turkey in a large skillet.
Add in one 8 oz can of black beans, one 8 oz can of Del Monte zesty chili style diced tomatoes and if you like it a little spicy, half of an 8 oz can of Del Monte diced tomatoes with jalapeƱos. Stir it all in the pan with the meat and simmer for a few minutes.
To that, add your packet of taco seasoning and 3/4 to a whole 8 oz can of plain tomato sauce.

Let it all simmer again for a few minutes, then serve hot with cheese and sour cream.

It's nothing fancy, and instead of the taco packet you can always add your own seasonings or even use an actual chili seasoning packet, but when you're in a pinch a seasoning packet from a taco kit will save the meal :)

Enjoy!