Fathers Day 2019 at least the House did not catch fire… yet

FathersDay
2019

We should note first of all. The house did not catch fire. But if I’m being honest that would have just been fitting for how our evening was going.

While I began making our Trick Daddy Tacos Dinner, our little PS was helping unload the groceries.  Because cooking dinner at the same time as she helps put away groceries is super easy.  She put the healthy cereal in the storage container and she decided she needed a bowl, a few minutes later little A came in the kitchen looking for that healthy cereal. (Cinnamon Toast Crunch- not the chocolate that is just too much…  healthy is the regular kind)The rule is milk in bowls at the table. Since Keith is educating the children in classic television and Gilligan’s Island was on, both girls took dry cereal in their bowls to the family room to watch with him.  I have no idea what actually happened but I heard glass breaking, little A called out “its good”. I came back to see a Correlle bowl smashed on the edge of the rug in the family room and on the wood floor. Since most of the family was now trapped by glass J and I cleaned, swept, and vacuumed up the tiny shards of glass.

Not knowing that was just the beginning of the events I went back to the kitchen to continue making ‘tacos’ for dinner. ( we were actually going to have steak, the little kids wanted to trick their daddy)  I had the evening meal planned out so the cooking ended all at once.
steak
loaded baked potatoes with mushrooms
bacon wrapped asparagus
corn on the cob
mini baguettes
caesar salad
chicken for the non steak eaters
root beer floats
dessert by E

The corn cob water was beginning to boil, the potatoes had 10 minutes left, the table was mostly set.  The glasses had scoops of vanilla ice cream chilling back in the freezer. It appeared that the Father’s Day trick dad taco meal would be a success.

And then…

I wrapped the asparagus in bacon, slinging bacon grease all over the counter and floor, the timer for the potatoes dinged, I turned off the oven and went to start the grill.
Three.
Two.
One.
Ignition.
Nope.
No ignition.
The grill would not start.
The sprinkling turned into rain and the detailed timed out plans were quickly crumbling.

Keith took a crack at starting the grill for grilled ‘tacos’, it did not start for him either.

We opted to pan-sear the steaks, (because we had no other choice) sticking the asparagus in the hot oven, the skillet was heated to smoking hot for the steaks.  The kitchen, sitting room, dining room and family room all filled with smoke.  The oven was not cooking the bacon (I HATE MY OVEN) the smoke had not yet set off the fire alarm, because the boys grabbed all the fans in the house and began opening windows.  Rain was coming in the kitchen window as smoke billowed out.  Oil splattered on the floor from the pan of steaks, they were a little crispy on one side.  The bread did not go into the oven to warm, and a glass of root beer float fell on the dining room.  The loaded part of the potatoes was still in the fridge.  J set the meat to rest, I put the bacon asparagus in the hot pan to finish cooking.  R almost slipped taking food from the kitchen to the dining room.  My plans were shot and all I wanted to do was cry.  R saw me leaning over the oven, and checked to see if I was okay.  I sucked it up and declared that next year we really were having tacos they are much less stress.

Dinner was delicious, Keith was showered with love notes and gifts.  Both J and E spent their own money to gift him with things they knew he could use or would love.  Their sweet selfless love of their daddy touched my stressed heart!

We played a few games and even let him win!

What about you, any Fathers Day cooking disasters?

Go hug your kids, and maybe someday we can laugh about this disaster meal.
jen

p.s. follow me on Instagram Overholt9
(because I never changed the blog name and the baby is 5 now)

 

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Cereal with Iron(y)

This morning I was asked what is for dinner.
(I should mention that earlier in the week I asked each child what they wanted for dinner this week,  E chose nachos, J chose fried shrimp, O chose pumpkin pancakes and breakfast stuff, R chose shrimp scampi and little A chose cereal)  Tonight is little A’s choice.  Which brings us back to the question I was asked as E stood in the kitchen this morning before school.
What is for dinner.
I looked up at her and said Cereal.
She instantly took on the face of an annoyed middle school girl (she has this look quite practice!) I asked “what?” she did not want cereal for dinner, she wanted “real food” (I am using quote marks because she said it in a tone that implied that cereal is not food)

Now for the IRON(Y)
I know you will enjoy this!
At least once a week she looks at the ‘real food’ I have prepared for dinner, and says in a middle school girl tone, “can I have cereal?”
Did you see it?  When I make ‘real food’ she asks for cereal, but when I decide that cereal is an actual family meal, she wants “REAL FOOD”
So for now, she is annoyed with me for making cereal for dinner, when I could have made “real food” that she would not eat but ask for cereal instead.

Go hug your kids and enjoy what ever ‘real food’ you choose to have for dinner
jen

An Olive by any other name…

This last week it was a mom win meal night.  I was making nachos. What is not to like with nachos?  A whole meal piled on chips!

I had everything for the nachos except olives. The ground turkey was seasoned and simmering on the stove top, the beans were warming in the oven and the queso cheese bubbling away.  I had plump red tomatoes and a perfect avocado. (You all know how difficult it is to get a perfect one!  I had a perfect one.)  I realized I did not have black olives. So I sent Keith on a search for sliced black olives. He took the baby along with him. Now at this point I feel like I should say Keith is a very smart man, and he is quite skilled at many things, he goes to Publix, weekly for me but he does not like to go buy things that he normally does not buy. If it is new to him, he wants a specific name brand. So I gave him one. I even spelled it out to him.

They left and I proceeded to slice and dice.  Shortly after, he called a kid asking them about the olives. I spelled the name again. The kid repeated the message. I grumbled about how could he not find the can. Then as I was slicing the avocado with one of my new Christmas knives (thanks Kim) I took a huge slice in my thumb. Hilarity broke out as bandaids were searched then antibiotic cream while trying to clean and bandage my poor thumb with a heart beat, Keith called again. Then came a series of texts and pictures. As I stood being bandaged by R and C took away the sharp knife  I smartly said how can it be so hard?  I sighed at the time it took him, My sweet husband is ever so patient with me.  He texted me a picture asking if ‘these’ will work.  He could not find the brand I sent him for.  I was so wrong.  It was the brand I THOUGHT I sent him to get, only not at all what I actually told him, and S P E L L E D O U T F O R H I M…  img_5858I almost told him a red can but instead I told him a brand that does not exist in Olives…

When he came home  I apologized and hugged him. I showed him my bandage thumb and apologized for being so wrong and so confident.

Nachos for the win, non-existent black olives for the not win

What about you, ever been so confident and so wrong?
go hug your kids they need the love!
jen

A Bean by Any Other Name Is Probably a Lima Bean

I am fond of most vegetables, and the ones I am not particularly fond of I know with enough butter and salt I can eat them.  All but one, there is one measly vegetable that I just cannot make myself eat.  In case you were wondering, it is the Lima Bean.

Last night for dinner I made lima beans.  Not on purpose though, it was completely on accident.  Because why would I make a vegetable that I actually hate?  We try to eat early on nights when O has a game, if we eat too late then no one goes to bed at bed time.  So last night I made a steak and potato dish, that is not the reason for this post, nope, it is the vegetable I picked.  A few weeks ago when I was in the freezer section at Publix, I grabbed a few bags of the typical vegetables for meals.  In effort to mix it up I grabbed a bag of BUTTER PEAS.  They were green and white bean looking things in the picture on the bag.  We like beans and even though my kids are extremely picky they will try new things so they can have input on it coming into the rotation.

I dumped them in boiling water just as dinner was finishing up.  Gave them a few minutes to get hot, and put the bowl on the table.  I scooped the babies up first so they would be cool enough to eat when I gave her the plate.  I put butter and salt on top and served myself a spoonful.  When I passed the bowl I told everyone they had to try both a white one and a green one.  The census was mutual they were nasty.  I thought they tasted like lima beans, O thought the same, Little A said “they are not terrible but I don’t want to eat them ever again.”  R looked it up for us, apparently they WERE lima beans.  They will never make it back into the vegetable rotation in our house.

Did you know that butter peas were also lima beans?  Do you actually LIKE lima beans, or do you hate them?  You should read Bad Case Of Stripes by David Shannon, it is a cute little story about a girl who wants to fit in more than anything else, and after that backfires on her she just wants to eat a plate of lima beans.  Check it out if you get a chance!

Every few days I either lose my keys or lock myself out of the car or house.  Mostly the house, sometimes the van too, but mostly the house.  Yesterday afternoon I locked myself out of the house.  I had both the babies (Ellen’s baby and PS) in the car.  I had both girls buckled in their seat, I ran back to the house to grab the keys, the door was locked.  With the keys inside, hanging so nicely on the hook.  So at 3:10 yesterday I sat in my van and waited for a rescue.  It was lovely in the car, both babies played, talked, shouted, then cried.  I sat and thought about dinner, I thought about our evening plans, and birthday shopping, I texted a friend (never fear, the van doors were open and the weather was in the high 60’s we were safe) and I laughed at the baby who had pooped out her diaper.  When I changed her 5 minutes earlier I wondered how she did not get poop on her clothes, there was so much poop in the diaper.  I cleaned her up, and snapped her clothes back on, stuck her feet in shoes and then locked us out of the house.  So there we sat, one of us in poopy pants but not poopy diaper, stuck in the car, and waiting for our help.

I know what you are thinking, you are thinking why don’t I have a hide-a-key, or why don’t I give a spare key to the neighbor?  Well I don’t have a hide-a-key because I don’t think they are safe, and I already gave the neighbor a key, borrowed it at one time, and never gave it back to her.  So the spare key was hanging on the key rack right next to the car keys I needed.  (I’m just glad I did not make that as a resolution for this year…)

What about you, do you lock yourself out with regularity, what do you do to stop it from happening?

Go hug your kids, they need your love
jen

Strawberries and Nacho Cheese

Strawberry season is just coming to a close for us down in this southern region.  We’ve got a few more weeks but then we will have to rely on imported from the north or strawberries from California {when does their growing season end?}  I love this season, and even more I love how very cheap we can get the flats.  If you drive out to where the farms are, in the evenings, you can see workers selling flats for as cheap as $5 a flat.  We had a fund-raiser at school and they were going for $5 a flat there too, which meant I did not have to drive out to the farms I could pick them up in car line at school.  So I did.  I’ve put up 3 flats of berries so far and have 1 more flat to put up.  We’ve eaten almost 2 flats of them already.  I am surprised we are not turning red from the berries.  I would make jam but I am in the minority at our house for Strawberry Jam.

Have you read the children’s book JAMBERRY?  If not I suggest you get a copy it is a sweet story about a little boy who goes berry picking.  It was C’s favorite book as a toddler.  We read it so much I had to buy a new copy we actually wore the book out.  We both can recite it almost word for word, 18 years later I still love that book.

As I was saying with that many flats of berries, I have been washing then and slicing them to flash freeze them.  I can use them later to make strawberry things or smoothies.  I think we’ve had strawberry short-cake more than is normal in the last few weeks.  What do you do with your strawberries?

O went peach picking with a family friend this weekend.  So now I have to freeze sliced peaches, to use in baking later on and for smoothies.  She is planning on going again this coming weekend.  The peaches are small but tasty.  I’m making a peach cobbler to go with our dinner tonight.  {Chicken chili poor C hates soups he wants to “chew” his food}

Now that C has his cap and gown, it is time to start planning for his Graduation Open House Party.  I have asked him if he wants to combine with friends and have a group one, which is quite popular down here, he says his friends don’t want to have an open house.  {are they crazy the party is the time to get gifts for college, or just money and gift cards… they are missing out.}  So I have been playing on pinterest looking for ideas on foods/themes/decorations/and invites.  The only thing he knows he wants is for the food to be Nachos.  How simple is that.  Today when I was starting my grocery list for next week, I put down Nacho Cheese, the good kind, from the can at Sam’s club, and I felt a little pull at my heart.  In buying the food stuffs for the open house party, I am acknowledging that it is really happening, we have a cap, and a gown, and now we will have some of the foods stuffs, I can’t stop time no matter what I try.  His party is not for a few more weeks but I figure if I start buying the non perishable food stuffs now it will save me some stress and effort in the long run.

I had a friend ask how little A’s hair was growing, if the comb over was still rocking and if we were able to “do” her hair.IMG_2214This is what I have to work with
{Don’t mind the dirty laundry basket behind her, I try to ignore it}IMG_2215I have to put product in her hair to make it lay flat, then comb over some long hair in hopes of “pinning” down the super short hairs.  Then after I fix her hair I have to use clips to hold it in place.IMG_2217So by the end of the day her hair looks like this.  I know technically it looks like bangs but they are crooked, and the hair at her crown is now an inch long.  Only about 8 more months before I can think about cutting it all to even it out.
{Don’t mind the chocolate under her nose or on her cheer, I try to ignore that too}

What about you?  What fruit is in season for you?  Did you have a graduation open house party?  What was the food/theme?

Go hug your kids, because if they are not already out of high school, they will soon be choosing their party food.

jen

Sorry if the title was misleading, No one here is serving strawberries with nacho cheese.  
That would just be nasty…

Freezer Meals Take 1

Okay, so I officially have 10 weeks left.  I would be thrilled to have less than that but I have 10 weeks left.  My friend said I have started nesting.  If so, then Yahoo! there are plenty of things I need to get taken care of in my house over the next 10 weeks.  I am sure that Keith would be thrilled to see the stacks on the sewing dresser or the random get to it later stuff taken care of.  I have prints to frame, I have bows to make, I have Christmas stuff to sew.  If I am nesting bring it on!!!

Yesterday, I began to fill my freezer.  I know that after I give birth, whether it is a “normal” delivery or another c~section, I know that my family will still want to eat.  I will still have to plan the meals, and organize the dinner time.  Oh, I can send the big kid to Publix for groceries, with a detailed list, he is fine.  Sure, the princess of the kitchen can cook anything she sets her mind to.  I can order pizza, but we are not fans of pizza too often.  I still have to do the planning, lets be honest here, some days the planning is even more than I have energy for.  My solution is to fill my freezer now.  The more frozen dinners we have in there the easier it will be for me in those first few weeks when my energy comes in small bursts.

I love to make freezer meals during our busy season, I usually double each meal as we have dinner, serving one meal while freezing the other.  Not so this time, last time either, which was so exhausting but the reward was worth the exhaustion.  This weekend when I went to Sam’s club and bought 12 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts I had a plan.  I had meals to make and meals to freeze.  Because I am often asked for freezer meal ideas  I decided this was easier than posting them over and over on Facebook.  If you are not remotely interested in freezer meals, then skip this post and each following post which would be obvious by the title.

The whole fill the freezer process can get quite messy so if you are a little concerned than stick to one recipe a day, yesterday I knocked out 3 recipes for a total of 9 meals {we did eat one of the chicken enchiladas meals for dinner it was yummy}  I knocked out those meals, but my floor is sticky and my counter could use a scrubbing again.  I cooked 9 lbs of chicken on Sunday, let it cool and refrigerated it over night.  So in all the recipes assume that the chicken is PRE COOKED.  NO RAW MEAT is used in these recipes.  Watch the SODIUM, too many times we add salt to foods already filled with sodium, pre made meals or canned goods, or processed foods add sodium to meals they are often are packed with sodium.  Check it out you will feel less bloated when you start to watch the sodium.  I tell the kids, taste first salt later.  Remember there are a lot of people in my family but I have a few who don’t eat more than 3 or 4 bites at a meal so you will have to be the judge as to how many this will feed for your family.

White Chicken Chili
{2 meals for the freezer}
2lbs chicken breast {cubed}
4 cans reduced sodium garbanzo beans drained not rinsed
2 cans navy beans drained not rinsed
2 cans white beans drained not rinsed
2 small cans of chopped green chilies
1 box of Carroll Shelby’s no sodium white chili seasoning
{If the other beans can be low sodium go for it, the meal can be quite salty if you are not careful}

1 in a large bowl combine the chicken and the seasoning mix
2 in large freezer baggies divide the seasoned chicken into 2 baggies
3 add into each baggie 2 cans garbanzo beans, 1 can of navy, 1 can of white beans and 1 can of chopped chilies

Seal and freeze.

To Cook
remove from freezer put into crock pot add 1-2 boxes of reduced sodium all natural chicken broth (note that said BOXES not cans)  turn on the crock pot on high and let it go.  You want the broth to be higher than the chili when you get started and adding only 1 box at a time,lets you add more to make it how you like it.  I usually cook mine all day.

Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, onions and rolls with butter.

**I used to freeze the broth in the baggie and discovered that while freezing there would be some spillage and I would end up with chicken broth on the inside of my freezer or on top of other foods.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alfredo Chicken Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms
{3 freezer meals}
3 lbs of chicken breast cubed
2 boxes of Ziti style pasta {whole wheat}
4 jars of Newman’s own Alfredo Sauce {I used 2 regular and 2 roasted garlic}
3 large handfuls of fresh spinach leaves
8 to 16 oz of fresh mushroom caps sliced
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cook pasta until 1 minute shy of Al’Dente
2 in a large pot combine chicken, cooked pasta sliced mushrooms and 4 cans of sauce
3 divide the chicken/pasta/mushroom into 3 baking dishes, as you layer it in sprinkle the spinach leaves on top, add layers until all the mixture is used up.
4 top with the shredded mozzarella cheese

Cover and Freeze

To Cook
Place frozen dish into 350 degree oven, and bake for at least 1 hour

** If you use whole wheat pasta and cook 1 minute short of the recommended Al’Dente than the pasta remains firm when baking.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chicken Enchiladas 
{4 Freezer meals}
4 lbs chicken breast cubed
2 small cans of chopped green chilis
1/2 cup chopped onion
6 cans of refried vegetarian style beans
18 oz of canned tomato sauce
16 oz shredded cheese
7 cans of enchilada sauce

1 Combine Chicken/beans/chilis/tomato sauce in a LARGE bowl
2 pour 1 can of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the baking dish (use about half reserve the rest for the next pan)
3 scoop 1/2 cup of the chicken mix into soft shells, add shredded cheese and wrap (It is full I kind of folded/wrapped it)
I can stuff about 14 stuffed shells into a pan, it takes a lot of squeezing to do it
4 start to line the baking dish with rows of stuffed shells
5 top with 1 can of enchilada sauce
6 cover with more shredded cheese

Cover and Freeze

To Cook
bake at 350 for 1 hour 30 minutes
Serve with sour cream

There you have it 3 different meals that freeze up nicely.  I know, it was a boring post but I keep giving out these recipes.  You will notice there are no pictures of the food, I find pictures of food so yucky to look at unless you are a food photographer.  You can use your imagination and there is no expectations as to how yours is supposed to look.  Off to cook some more today, if I can get all of yesterday’s dirty dishes washed.  The meals did not actually make that big of a mess, but I did not get it all cleaned up, feet and ankles were too swollen.  Or maybe I’ll get something accomplished in the house.  Fingers crossed that I actually am “nesting”  how nice to get some things done around here!

I’ll soon have pictures to post of the bassinet bedding I am making for Ellen’s baby, Keep praying for baby girl, the birth mom, and for us as we wait on God’s timing.

Even more exciting, I will soon have pictures of O’s bedroom.  The transformation has been amazing, from a termite problem attic to a full bedroom.  It is almost complete, the carpet is in, now we are just waiting on me to go get the light bulbs, and curtains.  It is great!

We also have a birthday this week!  Big sister A is having a party!  A family party!

Go hug your kids they need some love.  Don’t forget to share what you are thankful for.  Have you had success on freezer meals?  What is your go-to meal at your house?

jen

A Little Candy and Chick Fil A

This week our local Chick Fil A’s have offered free breakfast.  I don’t know if every CFA is doing this promotion, but ours are.  And you all know how very much I love CFA!  If you do not know that you must be new to my blog.  Welcome, I’m Jen and I love CFA!

As I was saying… FREE BREAKFAST
FREE
As much as I love CFA I love FREE even more!

If you care this is our schedule:
Monday Chicken Burritos
Tuesday Chicken Egg and Cheese Bagel
Wednesday Chicken Minis
Thursday Spicy Chicken Biscuit
Friday Chicken Biscuit

I have loved the chicken burrito for a few years now, so I was very glad to get that on Monday.  We took care of morning business, a chiropractor appointment and then breakfast.  Yum If you have not tried one I would encourage you to try it.  Unless you HATE green or red peppers but ours are sliced long so you can pull them out.

Tuesday Morning 3 of the kids were up and dressed by 6:30 so we could go get breakfast before getting dropped off at school.  Let me say even YUMMIER but H U G E as in no one could finish them.  The 2 little kids ate the rest as an after school snack.  It was great but if you are only a little hungry than it is too much!  I was surprised at how good it really was.  Loaded with protein so if you are looking to add more in your diet.  The bagel was really good too, soft and toasted just right.

We had a little snafu on Wednesday morning waking up so I dropped 2 kids at school early, the other big kid chose a tardy and went to CFA with J and E.  It was chicken minis and what is not to like?  Ok E is not a fan of the little biscuits but the rest of us are.

Today J and E were up and ready to leave the house at 6:30 for the spicy biscuit.  J is a fan of spicy sandwich and E is not.  She did manage to eat about half of hers before her mouth was “too spice” to finish.  I love their spicy sandwich but have a hard time convincing my stomach that spicy chicken is a breakfast food.

Tomorrow is the chicken biscuit and they all are wanting to go.  This business of getting up and out of the house at 6:30 is for the birds.  I’ll be glad for next week and no early depart times.

Now I love a free breakfast but I cannot eat so early, on the mornings I have taken the kids I don’t get anything for me or little A.  We go back a few hours later, enjoy our morning and play a while on the play place.  I am sure there are some tacky, greedy, people who are going from the North CFA to the South CFA or how ever they can to work the system getting 2 or more free breakfasts out of it.  But that is dishonest, same with taking your CFA cup home rinsing it out and taking it back in for free refills.  We all know that free refills are for the day of your visit not the week after.  Those people are tacky and greedy too.  Come on people if you want a drink buy the cheapest and enjoy the refills that day.  Don’t blow it for the rest of us honest people who are doing things right.  I have no problem when you buy the “refill” cup the plastic logo cup that entitles you to free refills but to take the paper or styrofoam cup and reuse that… yeah tacky.

Halloween Candy is out!  Yahoo!!!  We are a big fan of candy corn and the day I posted the full pumpkin jar the kids took FOREVER before they read the blog and saw the pictures.  We still have candy corn, had to refill the jar but we still have it in there.  Sadly the lid is in 2 parts and R said “no amount of orange sharpie is going to fix that lid”  I plan on gluing it together next week.

I love a good candy corn and when I saw some new candy corn products at Target I had to share.  I am sure that both of these products have been out for a few years, I just discovered them.  Actually I know that one has because for the last 2 years I have seen pictures of the bag on face book.  But I have never tried either product.  {I tried and the pictures will not rotate please don’t hurt your neck looking at my amazing picture taking skills!}

530552_10202582885399599_791873361_nS’mores Candy Corn.
Many of you know S’mores are my favorite!  So when I saw the S’mores candy corn I thought “Score”  2 favorite things in one!
That afternoon we had a mini taste test.  The S’mores were yuck.  I was shocked at how NOT like a s’more they really tasted.  They did not taste anything like one.  I even gave it a 2nd try taking 2 of them at once thinking maybe the one alone was not strong enough.  Nope.  Not good.  The bag has been sitting hardly touched by anyone in the house.  It might be time to send it to Keith’s office and let the teachers enjoy them.

1186348_10202582885039590_1919440364_nM&M Candy Corn.
This was a the one I have seen pictures of all over face book.  When we were in Target buying more hangers for the JBF sale {I’ll do a whole post on Monday I know you can hardly wait!}  I saw them next to the bags of candy corn.  Bought them, brought them home and waited for kids to arrive.  We all tried them.  While I am not sure how much they “really” taste like candy corn they are really really good.  Those have been enjoyed more than I thought they would.  But I guess candy corn and chocolate, what is not to like?

Have you tried either?  What do you think about them?  And what is your favorite CFA breakfast?  Mine is still the chicken burrito, while little A really loves their cinnamon minis.

Go hug your kids, life is just too short.  People are always saying “I wish I could say I Love You just one more time,”  one more hug one more I love you!  Go and give someone a hug and an I love you today!
jen