The best way to mix powdered formula without using a blender.

Items needed:
Mixing bowl with pouring spout
1/4 cup measurement
Whisk
Water jug, with ounces listed on the side

It takes about 60 seconds to make a batch of formula. Start by measuring out the specified amount of water (For me it is 23 ounces), then add powdered formula (I add one cup). Add 1/4 cup of formula at a time, whisking vigorously for about 10 seconds after each addition. Pour into water jug and store in fridge. Ta-da! This method works great for me as there are NO clumps in the end result.

AM asked a few months ago to see pictures of where we had moved to. I haven't gotten that done yet, but here is a peek at the microwave and oven combo. This place is outdated, but it works.

Further proof that I don't know any real nursery rhymes.


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She's my babe-eh
She's my little pancake-eh
She makes the earth quake-eh
whenever she screams.

Oh she's my chunk-eh
She's my little funky monkeh
She gets so grump-eh
whenever she screams.

Bring on the recipes!

I have no pictures, but trust that these are some deeelicious soup recipes. I've made a TON of soup over the past few weeks and these were the top favorites. I will add pictures the next time I make each of these. Enjoy!

Oh, as a side note, don't buy Swanson chicken broth! I recently bought a few boxes of the "Kitchen Basics" brand of chicken and beef stock (found next to the Swanson brand) and KB is sooo much better. The color of the stock is much darker and richer which means better tasting. You can thank me later.

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I skipped the bread and decided to sprinkle my soup with slices of fresh Parmesan cheese. This soup really does give you the flavors of Chicken Parmesan, but with a lot less calories. Be careful to not overcook your chicken so it stays moist and flavorful.

Chicken Parmigiano Soup
4 Servings - Recipe from Rachael Ray

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil,
plus extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
4 chicken breasts, pounded out and cut into bite-sized pieces
salt & freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, 3 chopped, 1 for rubbing bread
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (28 ounce) can pasta-style chunky tomatoes (I used a 28oz. can of tomato sauce because my husband has issues with the texture of tomatoes)
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup fresh basil, chopped

For the Parmesan Bread:
8 slices Italian bread
1 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese

1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat with 2 T of extra-virgin olive oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to pot. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until just cooked through.

2. Remove from the pot and set aside. Add the other 2 T of extra virgin olive oil along with the chopped garlic, onions and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 3-4 minutes.

3. Add tomatoes and the stock, bring to a simmer and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add chicken back to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped basil and stir to combine.

4. While the soup is cooking, drizzle the sliced bread with some extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and toast until lightly golden, about 3-4 minutes.

5. Remove from the oven. Rub each piece with the garlic clove and top with Parmesan cheese. Place back in oven for 1-2 minutes.

6. Serve soup topped with 2 pieces of Parmesan toast or, if you prefer, put the bread on the bottom and the soup on top.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
My grocery store didn't have orzo, so I used the smallest pasta I could find and added it after the meatballs had a chance to warm up in the soup, then boiled according to the pasta directions. Also, I used 4 cups chicken broth and 2 cups beef broth to use up an already opened box of the latter.


Italian Wedding Soup

4-6 servings

24 Italian meatballs, premade (I buy the frozen bag of meatballs at Costco or Sam's Club)
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 box of frozen spinach, thaw and squeeze out excess liquid
1/2 cup orzo pasta, uncooked
1/3 cup finely chopped carrots
grated Parmesan cheese

1. In large sauce pan, heat broth to boiling; stir in spinach, orzo, carrot & meatballs. Return to boil; reduce heat to medium.

2. Cook at slow boil for 10 minutes or until orzo is tender. Stir frequently to avoid sticking. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

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I found that this soup tasted infinitely better after it had sit on the stove just staying warm for a while. It is much thinner than most chowders and has a lot less calories as well.

Chicken Corn Chowder
4-6 servings

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups 2% low-fat milk
2 cups chopped, cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels or frozen corn kernels
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (14 3/4 ounce) can cream-style corn

1. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery and jalapeño, cook for 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.

2. Add flour, cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in milk and remaining ingredients. Bring to boil, cook until thick, about 5 minutes.

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Normally I am not a bean eater. I have texture issues with them. That being said, I LOVED THIS! Sweet, savory and smoky. I am not certain what combo of beans I used, I think I substituted 2 cans white beans for the kidney beans and pork and beans. Just use whatever beans you like! This soup was TO DIE FOR when paired with Cornbread Supreme.

Calico Beans
6-8 servings


1/2 lb. bacon, cut into pieces
1/2 large onion, chopped and cooked
1 lb ground beef, browned
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. mustard
2 Tbsp. molasses
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. liquid smoke
2 cans white beans
1 can butter beans (do not drain)

1. Cook onion and bacon in a skillet, then add all other ingredients together and mix in a large roaster. Bake for 40 minutes.





- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
This is a great soup for when you have a cold and you are craving a bowl of steaming broth and fresh herbs. If you can, do buy the fresh herbs. They add so much flavor and brightness to the soup as compared to using dried.

Super Sunday Supper
2 qts, 6-8 servings

24 Italian meatballs, premade (I buy the frozen bag of meatballs at Costco or Sam's Club)
2 Tbsp. butter
2 cups water
1 can 10 1/2 oz condensed beef broth
1 28oz can tomatoes, undrained , chopped
1 envelope knorr spring vegetable soup mix
1 can julienned carrots, drained
1/4 cup chopped celery tops
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 tsp each:
black pepper
dried oregano leaves
dried basil leaves
1 bay leaf

1. Combine all ingredients except meatballs in 5 qt. dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add meatballs. Simmer for 20 minutes longer.

Calico Beans - Good Eatin'!

Calico Beans
6-8 servings


1/2 lb. bacon, cut into pieces
1/2 large onion, chopped and cooked
1 lb ground beef, browned
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. mustard
2 Tbsp. molasses
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. liquid smoke
2 cans white beans (drained)
1 can butter beans (do not drain)

1. Cook onion and bacon in a skillet, then add all other ingredients together and mix in a large roaster. Bake for 40 minutes.

It's just that...well...

I have the cutest baby ever. There it is.


Just kidding! She IS pretty cute though. :)

Christmas Recap


How was your Christmas?? Ours was very relaxed. Christmas Eve we went to a dinner at an extended family members house. It had the most delicious ham with a sugary, syrupy crust. Mm. After dinner my sister in law, her brother, and I made lattes, cappuccinos and Italian sodas for everyone. So much fun!

On Christmas we hung out with the baby in our jammies for the better part of the day. That evening we had a big prime rib with baked potatoes, broccoli salad and asparagus. Dessert was a retro blueberry jell-O salad (surprisingly good!) and a pre-made caramel apple pie.

Sweet & Savory Spinach Salad

by Divine Domesticity on December 24th, 2007

I grew up eating this salad. It is the only salad I can recall eating as a child that I loved. My mom made the dressing from scratch, but you can save some time and buy a pre-made poppyseed dressing instead. I don't know what it is about the combination of spinach and poppyseed dressing, but it is oh so good.

Sweet & Savory Spinach Salad
Makes several servings


Spinach, rinsed
Sliced button mushrooms
Bacon, cooked & crumbled
Poppyseed dressing
Croutons & Hard boiled eggs (Optional)

1. Mix all ingredients and enjoy!

Strawberry Cheesecake Squares

by Divine Domesticity on  December 24th, 2007



This is a great recipe for when you don't have tons of time to make a proper cheesecake, or, if you only have one block of cream cheese in the fridge and can't make it to the store to buy any more.


Cheesecake purists can omit the jam from the recipe with no other changes. I enjoyed the jam in these squares, but next time around I'm going to go the purist route.


Strawberry Cheesecake Squares
Makes one 8" x 8" pan, 16 squares

5 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 (8 ounce) packet cream cheese, softened (Don’t use whipped cream cheese — It will never set up properly)
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Approx. 1 cup fresh strawberry jam

1. Heat oven to 350-f.

2. In a medium bowl blend thoroughly butter, brown sugar and flour with a fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Put 1 cup of the mixture aside for topping. Press remaining mixture into an 8×8x2 inch baking dish sprayed lightly with cooking spray; bake for 15 minutes. After cooling for a few minutes, spread the jam on top.

3. In another bowl combine sugar and cream cheese, mixing until smooth. Thoroughly beat in egg, milk, lemon juice and vanilla. Spread over the baked crust and sprinkle with remaining brown sugar mixture.

4. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool, then chill for at least 1 hour. Cut into 16 squares; serve.

Did someone say chocolate AND pecan pie??

by Divine Domesticity on December 23rd, 2007

I'm going to be uploading some old recipes over the next week or so. Enjoy!

These are great for when you aren't in the mood to make pie crust from scratch. Chewy and chocolaty. It is hard to go wrong when you are dealing with pecans and chocolate.


Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

Makes one 9" x 13" pan, about 32 bars

 

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line bottom and sides of a 9×13 inch baking pan with aluminum foil.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 1 stick room-temp butter, brown sugar, flour,and salt until coarse crumbs form. Pour mixture into prepared pan; press firmly into bottom.

3. Bake until lightly browned, 25-30 minutes. Let cool, 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in same large bowl, mix eggs, corn syrup, granulated sugar, and 2 TBS melted butter until well combined. Add chocolate chips and pecans; spread over crust.

5. Bake until set, 25-30 minutes. Cool completely in pan before lifting out (use foil to lift). Cut into 32 bars. (I cut them into 16 bars)

An oldie but a goodie

by Divine Domesticity on December 23rd, 2008

These are my favorite chocolate chip cookies ever. They are buttery, chewy, a little salty and utterly delicious.

These are great paired with some high quality ice cream. I went the Häagen-Dazs route.




Flat-and-Chewy Chocolate-Chip Cookies
Makes Approx. 30 Cookies

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 ¼ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
8 oz butter, softened
1 ½ c. packed light brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 c. chopped high quality milk chocolate chips
2 c. chopped toasted walnuts (optional- I skipped them)

1. Preheat the oven to 325-degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.

2. In a mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy, 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla. Add the flour mixture all at once and blend until a dough forms. Fold in the chocolate and walnuts. Chill the dough.

3. Roll 2 1/2 -tablespoon lumps of dough into balls, then place on the baking sheet and flatten to 1/2 -inch-thick disks spaced 2 inches apart. Chill the dough between batches.

4. Bake until the edges are golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes. (Check them at 12 minutes to be sure) Let cool slightly on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack. Makes 30 to 35 cookies. (I make badonka cookies, so I got about 15)

Monthly Newsletters: Month Three

Month three bites the dust!

All the time you are growing up. Smiling more, crying a little bit less. You are an absolute joy to spend my days with.

You are fitting into your 9 month and 12 month clothing. What is UP with the way they size baby clothes? Or are you just a giant chunker and I am in denial?

No. It must be the way they size the clothing. You will learn that the sizing standards in the clothing industry are cruel and ridiculous when you are older.

You started sleeping through the night. Oh thank the Lord. Your longest stretch has been 8-9 hours straight. You ROCK little girl. Oh, I'm still chugging coffee and diet Pepsi, don't get me wrong.

You wore your first of many fancy little dresses. We learned that you really dislike headbands and hats of any kind. They must cramp your style.



You smiled big at your pug Stewie for the first time. Notice Letta at the bottom of the monkey pile. She gets no respect. Poor old ugly thing!

You tried out your crib for the first time. You promptly took a nap. Good girl.

At the beginning of the month you got your first shots. We had a 3 hour trip home after seeing your doctor and you slept like a champ the whole time. Thank you for that.

You found your feet at the end of the month. You are a girl on a mission. Whenever I am trying to feed you, change you, diaper your squishy little butt, you are GRABBING your shins trying oh so hard to reach your feets.

You are so, so beautiful.

Month three was wonderful. We finally get to see little snippets of your personality now that we are almost over the colic stage. You give momma the biggest smiles, the loudest squeaks. You are so happy. I prayed the entire time I was pregnant with you that you could remain innocent and happy for as long as humanly possible in your life. I am so lucky to be able to be a part of your happiness.

Love,

Momma

Violet wants to wish you all a happy holiday season!


Now bring on the loot, beeyotches!

Christmas Recipes!

by Divine Domesticity on December 11th, 2007

I've said it before. Party food is the best kind of food. All of the recipes below are delicious and perfect for entertaining.

Bacon Tomato Dip
Makes 3 cups
View Printer Friendly Recipe


1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup diced green peppers
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1 lb bacon, cooked crisp, cooled and drained (I used good quality bacon bits to save time)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
black pepper, to taste
shredded lettuce (to garnish) (optional)
crackers and bread cubes for dipping

1. In medium bowl, with mixer, blend sour cream, mayonnaise, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, chopped onion and green pepper, garlic powder, and black pepper.

2. Crumble bacon into small pieces and add to mixture. Add chopped tomato and stir well. Garnish with shredded lettuce just before serving, if desired.

3. Serve with Townhouse crackers or Wheat Thins. Also good served in a bread bowl with bread cubes to dip.

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Japanese Chicken Wings
4 servings

3 pounds chicken wings
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour for coating
Vegetable oil, for frying
white sesame seeds

For the sauce:
6 tablespoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons water
1 cup white sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
2 teaspoons salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. Cut wings in half, dip in egg and coat with flour.

3. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Fry wings until deep brown. Place in a shallow roasting pan.

4. In a small bowl combine soy sauce, water, sugar, vinegar, garlic powder and salt. Pour over wings.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes, basting wings with sauce often. Turn oven to broil and cook for 5 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with white sesame seeds. Serve.

------------------------

Retro Glazed Meatballs
6-8 servings

1 (12 ounce) jar grape jelly
1 (12 ounce) bottle chili sauce
Half of a large bag of frozen, pre-cooked meatballs (eyeball it)

1. Mix jelly and chili sauce in a saucepan over med-low heat. Stir until combined.

2. Add frozen meatballs to a slow cooker. Pour jelly sauce over meatballs, stirring to coat the meatballs.

3. Cook on high for 2 to 3 hours or on low for 5 to 6 hours, stirring occasionally.

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White Chocolate Peanut Butter Party Mix
Many servings

3 bags good quality white chocolate baking chips
9 cups crispy rice cereal squares, e.g., Rice Chex (You can do half regular and half toasted oat cereal if you prefer)
3 cups pretzels
1 to 2 cups slivered almonds
1 large bag Reese's Pieces

1. Melt chocolate in a large saucepan over low heat or in microwave until just until soft. Stir until melted. Combine all the other ingredients in big roaster pan or bowl. Stir chocolate into mixture. Turn out on waxed paper.

Huh...well....yeah.

Not much happenin' over here. The baby is taking a nap in her swing and I am exhausted. We were all hit with the flu and have been sick the past week. I am feeling a bit better today but my body is still very tired.

I guess I never filled you in on where we moved to, eh? Well, we moved to the Kansas City, KS area. A BIG CITY! Especially compared to the town we were living in before, which had about 15k people at most. I've been sneaking to Panera Bread (for gingerbread bagels with hazelnut cream cheese), Chipotle (for the steak fajitas), Houlihan's (for the raw tuna tacos) and Sams Club (for pretzels and polish dogs) every chance I get. I live literally just a few feet away from a HUGE HUGE mall and a Target. Goodbye money! I just love Target. I could spend so much money there, if only I had some. Hehe.

I'm going to try to limit all the baby picture posts to the monthly newsletters for the most part. Although I will sneak a few good ones in once in a while. Like now:


I love this little dress. It has a little blue mouse on the front. CUTENESS.

I have been eating some great food lately, which I don't have pictures for, but I will get the recipes up soon. In the mean time, have a great week peeps!

We had a good morning.

Make sure you have your speakers on so that you can hear:
1. Violet make a noise like a kitty cat
2. Violet rip a loud fart

It should also be noted that at some point during this video, (I wonder when, ahem) Violet pooped her pants. She is so lucky I am her mom and feel the need to share this video with the world.


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