Thursday, July 31, 2014

Trace Says

Some of my favorite blogs do random posts about their kiddos. Kind of like an online journal. I’m going to start doing updates on my sweet boy as well as some Trace Says posts featuring the runny, random things he says.

This morning we were on our way to one of his sitter’s houses. A newish song came on with lyrics stating “I’m all about that bass, bout that bass, no treble.” Well Trace kept singing “All about that face,bout that face, no trouble.”

The other day we were playing in the backyard as we do almost every evening. It was starting to near bath/bed time so I told Trace that he needed to start picking up his toys. He replied “Mommy don’t worry about it.”

Trace doesn’t like to share his food. Mommy doesn’t either so I’m pretty sure he gets that from me. Anyway, we were driving to one of the baby-sitter’s (my sis in law) before work and Trace was shoving his yogurt covered raisins in his mouth pretty fast. When he finished he said “Look Mommy! All done! Don’t have to share with dem (them) kids (meaning his 2 cousins).”

Lately Trace has been calling Chad and I “You guys.” It cracks me up every time.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Trace's First Cardinals Game

Trace is a veteran when it comes to Blue’s hockey games, but had never been to a Cardinal’s game before. A Cardinal’s game had been on our to-do list last summer, but we never got around to it. Our summer calendar started filling up fast so Chad and I picked a date and set a plan to finally take T to a ball game. And boy was he excited about it!!! He watches the ball games on tv and loves it. I took him to one of Chad’s softball games at the beginning of summer and after we left Trace said “I liked Cardinals game Mommy.” Poor little guy had no idea how different the actual Card’s game would be compared to Chad’s Sunday night softball league. Ha!

The game was around lunchtime so we got downtown early and grabbed some burritos at Ballpark Village. Those burritos are to die for. Seriously so good. I had brought some waters in our backpack diaper bag so we took the burritos into the stadium to eat. Well the temperature was in the high 90s and we had bleacher seats. Absolutely no relief from the sun! Trace sat still for awhile while he took it all in. Then he started to get antsy. I packed lots of snacks for him, but we had to keep going for walks to keep him occupied.

All in all Trace did really good. He only made it until the 5th inning, but it really was very hot. Chad and I were uncomfortable so I can’t imagine how poor Trace felt. We went to the game knowing there was a good chance we wouldn’t see the end of it so we were completely ok with leaving early. Next time we take him it will be to an evening game! I think he’ll do much better when it isn’t unbearably hot.

Go Cards!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Yogurt Bites {{No Bake Dessert}}

Sooo…… remember the 4th of July? Yeah it was awhile ago, but I’m just now sharing the recipe for the dessert I made. And it’s a healthy one. Hollar. I like this recipe because you can adapt it for whatever flavor you’re in the mood for. Oh and did I mention it takes about 5 minutes start to finish. Double holler.

1 ½ cups Greek yogurt (fruit flavored tastes best)
1 small box of gelatin mix (I like to use Jolly Rancher flavors)
Can of whipped cream (optional)
Sprinkles (optional)

For The Fourth of July I made two batches. One was with strawberry Greek yogurt and blue raspberry gelatin mix. The other was strawberry Greek yogurt and wild berry gelatin mix. I wanted the colors to be red and blue and these gelatin flavors worked with that.

Step 1. Mix your yogurt with the gelatin mix.

Step 2. Microwave on high for 1 min. Stir well. Microwave 1 additional minute and stir well.

Step 3. Line a mini muffin pan w/ mini cupcake liners. Pour your mixture into the mini cupcake liners. Let sit in the fridge for 1 hour minimum.

Step 4. Top with whipped cream and sprinkles right before you serve if you wish. These need to be refrigerated and start to stick to the liners if not kept in the fridge until the last minute.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Casserole

This is a super easy one guys! And all of the ingredients are ones that I typically always have on hand. I love dishes like that. 

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Casserole

1 (6 oz) package of chicken stuffing
1 ½ pounds of chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
1 (16oz) bag of frozen broccoli florets, thawed and drained
1 can (10.75 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
½ lb (8 oz) Velveeta cut into ½ inch cubes
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Prepare stuffing according to box directions. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400. Grease 13x9 baking dish.

Combine chicken, Velveeta, broccoli, onion powder, Italian seasoning and cream of chicken soup in a large mixing bowl. Pour into casserole dish and spread out evenly. Pour the stuffing on top and spread out evenly.

 Bake uncovered for 40 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked.

*** I typically prepare this the evening before, cover with foil and place in the fridge. Then Chad will throw in the oven while I’m on my way home from work and dinner is completely ready by 5:45. Easy!

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Casserole Printable Recipe

Monday, July 7, 2014

Mini Banana Cream Pies

This is my new favorite dessert. Hands down.

1 (16.5 ounce) roll of refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 (3.4 ounce) box of banana pudding, prepared according to box direction for pie
1 banana, cut into 24 slices
Spray can of whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 24-cup mini muffin pan. Make sure it is greased well!

Divide sugar cookie dough into 24 pieces and roll into balls. Place each ball in the muffin pan and press down to slightly form into the pan.

Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes. Watch closely!! If they are undercooked they will fall apart when you try to remove them from the pan. If they are burnt…. Well burnt cookies are just terrible.

While cookies are bake, prepare the pudding and chill it.

After cookies are removed, let cool slightly in pan then remove and let them finish cooking on a cooling rack. If they cool completely in the pan they will begin to harden and become very hard to remove. This happened to me once and it was a disaster!

After cookies are completely cooled, top with a spoonful of pudding and a banana slice. If you aren’t going to serve immediately you’ll need to place them in the fridge to keep cool. Right before serving top with cool whip.

Beware… these suckers are addicting. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Caribbean Chicken Wings

This is Chad’s number 1 request meal and I honestly don’t make it very often. I’m not really sure why because it’s fairly simple to make these wings and they are really good. They have just the right amount of spice.

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/ 2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
3 lbs wings

Combine soy sauce, honey, both sugars, fennel, cayenne, allspice, thyme, ginger and garlic in a blender. Add the vinegar, lime and orange juice and blend until smooth. Marinate the wings at least 4 hours. I typically marinate overnight at least.

Preheat oven to 350. You’ll want to line your baking sheets in parchment paper...This will help with the clean up! Bake 20 minutes.

Meanwhile bring the marinade to a boil over med heat and cook until reduced by 1/3, about 10-15 minutes.

Remove the wings from the oven and brush with glaze. Raise temp to 400 and bake 20 minutes longer. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday friends!!! I hope you all had a great week. I looked at our calendar earlier this week and discovered that we have something going on every weekend except two from now until September. I almost had a panic attack! I’m looking forward to all the fun stuff we have planned, but would love it if time could just slow down a bit. Anyway… here are some of the hi-lights from our week.

Trace has become quite obsessed with our neighbors outside kitty. Every morning the first thing he says is “Black’s hungry.” Oh yeah, I guess I should mention that Trace has taken the liberty of renaming him (or her?) to Black. Luckily our neighbors are nice and don’t mind if Trace feeds their kitty occasionally!

Soooo my bff S is back in town for the summer. I just love having her over to our house to play and Trace sure does too. She came over for awhile on Saturday. We started off by heading to Schnucks for doughnuts. Then the kids played Play-Doh in the driveway while I painted our front door. After that we headed out back for lunch w/ Nick and Lauren too. Fun day.

I took Trace to one of Daddy’s softball games this week. Last summer his bedtime was still at 7:30, but we pushed it back til 8:30 over the winter so this was his first softball game. The games before ran over by an hour so T and I only stayed for two innings before I had to get him home, showered and in bed. On the way home Trace said “I liked the Cardinal game.” Poor little guy thought the softball game at the local park was major leagues. Too funny! He’s going to his first Cardinal’s game in a couple weeks and we’re excited to see how he’s going to react to that. He loves going to Blue’s hockey games so we think he’ll love the Cardinal’s games too.

My sweet little boy was at the grocery store with Daddy one night this week and they passed the flower display. Trace asked if he could buy Mommy some and Chad said yes. It sure did make my heart smile to see Trace get out of Chad’s truck holding a bouquet of flowers.

We had my family over one night earlier this week for dinner. Those of you who know me really well know that I don’t often relax and let loose. This is something I’m working on and I feel like I succeeded in doing some relaxing while the fam was over. We had a blast!

I couldn't get this picture to rotate for some reason... weird. 

I hope you all have a great weekend!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Buffalo Ranch Chicken Panini {{ or Grilled Cheese }}

This sandwich is awesome. Like a toasted chicken wing!

What you need:
1 bun (I used an onion bun here)
1 teaspoon butter
1/8 cup cooked chicken, shredded
2 tablespoons ranch dressing
2 tablespoons buffalo wing sauce
1/8 cup shredded mozzarella
3 tomato slices

Step 1) Preheat Panini press or skillet. Spread butter on the sides of the bun that you want toasted.

Step 2) Place bottom bun on Panini press (or skillet). Spread 1 tablespoon of wing sauce on non toasted part of bun. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of ranch on top of the wing sauce. Top with chicken and then cheese. Drizzle remaining wing sauce and ranch over cheese and place the top bun on top.

Step 3) Cook your Panini. My press took about 7 minutes. Remove from press and gently pull slices apart to add your tomato slices.

Step 4) Enjoy!! 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Trace's Butterfly Habitat

For Christmas my parents (Mama and Papa) bought Trace a butterfly habitat from Insect Lore. It came with a coupon code to order the caterpillars. For $5 shipped we got 5 caterpillars!!! They came in a plastic jar along with their food. They started out as tiny little things and grew very quickly. Trace was super excited to periodically “check on” his caterpillars.

As they grew....

About 7 days after we received the caterpillars they turned into chrysalis and attached themselves to the top of the jar. The jar actually had a very thin piece of paper that the caterpillars attached to instead of the actual lid. 

The directions said to give them 3 days to turn into chrysalis before transferring them to the butterfly habitat and that is what we did. The directions said to safety pin the paper they were attached to the inside of the habitat and they should turn into butterflies several days later. Trace and I were helping them making their move one morning and I only had one safety pin handy. Well I pinned the paper to the habitat and accidentally hit one of the chrysalis with my hand. It started swinging and shaky like crazy and it was so creepy. I just screamed. Trace looked terrified. Looking back I wish I could have kept my act together, but I was NOT prepared for it to move. After the paper was attached, it became clear that one safety pin was not good enough. So T and I had to run upstairs to get another one. Trace asked where we were going and I told him “To save the butterflies.” We got the 2nd safety pin and then repeated the process of the chrysalis shaking and hitting my hand and me screaming. Pretty neat stuff. It then became obvious that one more safety pin was needed. I told T we had to run upstairs again and he screamed “Save the butterflies!!!” and took off running for the stairs. The 3rd safety pin worked like a charm and we were done for the time being.

The aftermath of the food jar...

Several days later the Painted Lady butterflies began hatching. Now this was neat to see!!! Chad, Trace and I all randomly checked the habitat to see how they were progressing. I think Chad and I were just as excited as Trace was about it all. Fun fact- When butterflies hatch out of their cocoons this red liquid bursts everywhere so the habitat looks like a butterfly massacre occurred. You can keep the butterflies in their habitat for about a week as long as you feed them. We used cotton balls soaked in sugar water and the butterflies really went crazy whenever we dropped a fresh one in.

Once they were ready to be released we did so in our front yard. The instructions said they typically stare in the area where they were released for a week or two, but we didn’t see those suckers again! 

Trace was also gifted a butterfly feed garden, but we didn’t use it this time. I plan on ordering another batch in the next couple weeks and will use the feeder outside after we release them to see if they stay in the area. This is such a fun toy and I'm glad Trace has it! It will be fun for years to come because it's not something he'll outgrown in a year or so!!