Easy Crockpot Chicken Chili

I am so so happy to be typing right now! After a crazy summer and then the business of getting everyone settled back into the fall routine it is nice to be able to sit down and endulge my hobby. I have had so many ideas over the last few months that I have been dying to get onto paper…or well onto the screen, I guess pen to paper is no longer a saying that makes much sense. Insanity is definitly an apt name for what is going on here, between sports, school, church and all the other lifely obligations, it has been nuts! I have two in full time school now, and one at preschool and I was assuming I would have all the time in the world to create and blog this year…..I was wrong! I think that when all of the boys are gone, my sweet little Lilly bug doesn’t know what to do with herself and just starts looking to create her own little amount of insanity. Anywho, we have seem to hit our stride and I am hopeful that I can get back into the swing of things. I am ignoring the leaves and hoping that a giant wind will come and take care of that mess for me while I type. Continue reading

Peanut Butter Frosting

If there is one quick easy way to take any chocolate cupcake and elevate it to supreme status, it has to be peanut butter frosting. This frosting is so simple and so quick that its almost a crime to make cupcakes and not use this frosting. I would say that chocolate peanut butter cupcakes are my most requested cupcakes. I like to use this recipe for cupcakes, but whatever your favorite chocolate cake recipe or mix is probably a perfect vehicle for this frosting. I have made this frosting with vanilla cupcakes that I filled with strawberry jam for a peanut butter and jelly cupcake, and while people liked them, they got non of the fanfare that chocolates ones did. This last time around I was out of piping bags so I just used a ziplock bag and cut a corner off to pipe little mounds of delicious frosting that I topped with a peanut butter cup, because the only thing better than a cupcake, is a cupcake with candy on top! Continue reading

Creamy Avacado Dressing

May is here, spring has sprung, and the trees are starting to turn a beautiful bright green. My eating habits tend to follow the weather, if its warm and bright, then my body just craves salads. When winter comes, eating salad just becomes a chore, I run from them towards soups and stews and all those comfort type foods. While I am craving salads, I also have this weird inability to eat the same thing two days straight, so I need to create a variety. I find the easiest way to change it up throughout the week is with different salad dressings. I can make a couple different ones and just store them in the fridge for the week. I made this dressing with a good amount of lime juice because I was fearful the avacado would turn green on me without plenty of acid, and it turned out I really liked the tart lime with the creamy avacado. I was able to keep this dressing in a jar for a week and it stayed a bright green for me. Continue reading

Nana’s Banana Bread

I love to create and share my own recipes, generally I never stick to another persons recipe, I always add my own spin…. but that doesn’t fly with Nana’s banana bread. I have made many, many loaves of banana bread trying to win my family over but, they are insistent that nana makes the best, and its not in anyone’s interest to change it. About a year ago my Gabe just asked his Nana to write the recipe down so his mom would stop messing it up. Continue reading

I failed blogging

For those few people following out there on the interwebs, it is painfully obvious that I am a complete blogging failure. When I started this endeavor in September I was going to post at least three new wonderful, creative, yummy recipes every week, HAHAAHAAA! That soon became two, then one…..then none. Birthdays came, then holidays, then every one of my children became walking Petri dishes of viruses and bacteria and grossness and I stopped, I came to a screeching, crashing, burning, halt. What happened next? I was embarrassed, I failed, I was a miserable failure and couldn’t even face opening up the program to type again. I didn’t stick to my plan, I allowed my life to get in the way, and I was totally ashamed. I am a mom, I am a woman, I should be perfect right?! I was recently telling one of my girlfriends to not put so much pressure on herself, she was doing a great job and no one else sees the minor imperfections that are glaringly obvious to herself, but here I am totally refusing to see that. So, what now? Give up? Pretend I have been blogging all along and just post a new recipe (tried that) or own that I am just a crazy mom in an insane house doing my best and that is totally ok. I want to create new and fun recipes for myself and for my small group of followers, and I am going to get back to that, but I think I might start sharing a little about what goes on around here from day to day as well. Maybe someone will read this and realize that we are all imperfect and struggling and that’s ok. Maybe this will help motivate me in some areas of life that need some serious motivation, and maybe I will fail at blogging again, and that’s ok too. My current goal to share a new recipe every Monday morning. I am feeling confident about this schedule….but who knows what will happen between now and Monday right?

As far as the sharing goes, I think it will be good for me to share occasionally what life is like. I don’t really venture out, I have very little interaction with people that exist outside of my home, unless one dimensional facebook conversations count. I leave the house on Saturdays to go to the grocery store, and I do smile at the people I pass, and I go to church on Sundays, but trying to have a conversation with anyone while four kids are creating a tornado around you is pretty impossible, also I live in New England, so we are not known to be a sharing bunch. I am going to try and share about the insanity once or twice a week. I hope that I don’t put people off by doing this, but really who cares, I know my mom will like to read about my life, so I will retain one follower at least! I guess that is all the rambling I have for now, my little Lilly just came up and wiped her snot filled nose all over my pants and then sneezed on my screen, so that is a pretty good indicator that I have no more time to type.

How do I end these things? Signing off? Until you Next time? Eewww she sneezed on my hand…..later.

Spicy Chicken Soup

It has been so insane in our house over the past few months, birthdays, holidays, sicknesses, more birthdays, more holidays more sicknesses. I love the elementary school that my kids attend, but I really feel like it needs to be hit with a giant Lysol bomb. I am so excited to be back to our schedule! Also, it feels great to be back to home cooked meals. Between prepping for parties, and wrapping presents and baking cookies, I had no time to actually feed my family. I want to say that all of the kids are super happy that they aren’t having more nights of mini wheats for dinner, but lets be honest, they would be content eating cereal dinners forever. After all of the heavy foods over the past few months it is so nice to be able to have a nice light bowl of soup, also I don’t know what it is about spicy food but I always feel like the heat is kicking my metabolism into overdrive.

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Extra Blue Buffalo Chicken Dip

I am sharing this buffalo chicken dip for my fellow lovers of the combo of a spicy wing generously dipped in tangy blue cheese dressing. Now don’t get me wrong, I have had many tasty buffalo dips in my time that did not have this bluey goodness, but when I started to make the dip for myself I wanted to really up the blue cheese flavor. Also, if you have a slightly evil streak like me, this is a good way to trick people into trying blue cheese that swear they hate it. Now, when it comes to the hot sauce I really love Franks original red hot sauce. I have tried a couple of other varieties of buffalo sauce and the dip just never has right flavor. I guess if you are used to a different buffalo sauce give it a whirl, but I will be sticking to the Franks. Continue reading

Creamy Shrimp and Veggie Pasta

Mr. Insanity and I were talking about places I actually enjoy being at, other than home. I am a known homebody. My list was church, target and the supermarket. I am sure most people can relate to target, I swear they pump something into the air that has some sort of addictive quality, but I know most people hate the supermarket. In my defense, I go on Saturday with out any kids. I always have my list and a pretty solid idea of the meals for the week, but I never know exactly what produce I am going to buy. I love looking through produce and feeling inspired by the beautiful colors of the veggies, and the aroma of the herbs. Often I will find myself making small changes to the menus based on what catches my eye in the produce department. I always put tomatoes into this pasta, they help make the sauce, but the other veggies are definitely negotiable. I used asparagus, broccoli and summer squash today, but I have used carrots, snow peas, zucchini, and spinach in the past. I mostly look at the colors and try and get a blend to really make a beautiful dish. Continue reading

Peanut Butter Fudge Bars

When I decided that I wanted to create a peanut butter bar, I knew almost immediatly I wanted to steal the fudge fillling from these delicious oatmeal chocolate bars. I stumbled across those bars a few years ago and they are super yummy.  Once I knew the filling it was pretty easy to toss together a quick peanut butter cookie crust. The hardest part of these bars for me is making sure I bake them long enough, I am a known undebaker. The other key to the success of these bars is letting them cool long enough, they will be a gooey mess (but still quite tasty) if you don’t let them cool completely.  Let’s get down to baking. Continue reading

Fun Homemade “Frozen” Cake

My baby girl just turned two, and after much discussion, her brothers, I mean she, decided she wanted a frozen cake.  The kids thought I should make an ice castle and all of the figures, but since I am a little more grounded in what my design abilities actually are, we decided on a mountain with store bought figures.  While this is a time consuming process, I think it is a cake that most people could recreate.  This cake doesn’t have any detail work and is basically just a blob of cake covered in fondant.  Here is the process including some of my missteps that will hopefully help you in your cake adventures.
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