Monthly Archives: July 2012

Dinner Around Here

I modified two recipes I found on for dinner last night.

The first was Skinny Chicken and Alfredo. The original recipe can be found here.

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled (I cooked it in a non-stick pan rather than grilling it) and cut into chunks (about 2 cups)

1 full head of roasted brocolli florets

8 ounces fettuccine

Extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic (I used garlic salt to taste)

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup fat-free, low sodium chicken broth (I added extra to accomodate extra brocolli.

1/4 cup plain Yoplait greek yogurt

1/4 cup skim milk

dash black pepper

1 pinch ground nutmeg

3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic salt and cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes.

Whisk in the flour until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth, Greek yogurt, milk, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring gently, until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup Parmesan.

Add cooked chicken and broccoli to sauce mixture, followed by the cooked pasta. Toss to combine and serve with more Parmesan, if desired.

Prep Time:

10 minutes

Cook Time:

15 minutes



Blueberry Cream Cheese Bread can be found here.  I didn’t alter this recipe much at all, except to add more blueberries.

  • ½ cups Butter
  • ½ cups Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 whole Egg Yolks
  • 1-½ cup All-pupose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ⅓ cups Milk
  • 1-½ cup Blueberries (I did about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour
  • 2 whole Egg Whites
  • ¼ cups White Sugar
  • 8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese
  • ½ cups Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Flour
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon Orange Zest
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • ½ teaspoons Vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon Water

Filling In a medium bowl, whisk together cream cheese, sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, egg and orange zest. Set aside.

Glaze: Stir together the glaze ingredients and set aside.

For the bread: Cream butter and sugar (1/2 cup) until fluffy. Add salt and vanilla. Add egg yolks (save the egg whites as you’ll need them later) to the sugar mixture; beat until creamy.  Set aside.

In another bowl, combine flour (1 1/2 cups) and baking powder. Add this mixture, alternately with milk to egg yolk mixture.

Coat berries with 1 tablespoon flour and add them to the batter.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add sugar (1/4 cup), 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter.

Pour 1/2 of the batter (or a little less) into a floured and greased bread pan.  Layer the filling over the batter and then finish with remainder of batter.  This will create a layer of “cheesecake” between the blueberry batter.

Pour glaze over top of unbaked loaf and bake at 350F for 55-60 minutes–this actually took about 20 minutes longer to bake.

Sorry the photos aren’t that great.  I didn’t take any while cooking so these are what our leftovers look like.  I thought these two recipes would be pleasing to my kids.  Nope.  I’m afraid they are so used to refusing food that it just comes out of reflex.  Let me know if you make them and how your kids feel about them.


107 Fun

The temperature topped out at 107 degrees (sorry Canadian friends, I don’t know what that translates to, except pickin’ hot).  So what did my family decide to do…go to the park, of course.

My husband and daughters biked to it.  I was not feeling well due to lack of sleep so I drove.

There are two playscapes at the park.  We spent time at both.

Here are some pictures I got of Caitlyn and Sue on the tire swing.

And one with Patrice.

And Patrice climbing

So what summer fun have you had?

So 2

The invitations are being sent or delivered, 1 by 1.  Some are Elmo, some are princess.  Yup, Patrice and Caitlyn are having a joint party.  I mean, can you blame me, their birthdays are 4 days apart!  My baby will turn 2 and my oldest baby will turn 6.  Wow!  When did I, I mean they, get so old?

Caitlyn is growing up to be a very nice little girl, who doesn’t want to be called cute or “my baby” anymore.

Good thing I have Patrice who will let me do both! (yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, someday she won’t like it either).

But for now she does.

She also loves Elmo.

She loves to give huggies and kissies.

She is slowly learning new words. You can probably guess her favorites: No, Why, and Elmo.

She is starting to be able to play with her sisters–she loves to chase, or be chased, by them.

She is a barrel of fun, laugh and giggles.

*Elmo image is from Pinterest

That time of year again

We have a tradition around these parts. Every year we go to Dexter Blueberry Farm to pick…you guessed it…blueberries.

We even went the year Patrice was due any day.

This last Saturday the picking was rated excellent so off we headed.

And our first creation with the blueberries…

Here is Comes Secret Mommyhood Confessions

Patrice has been very different than I older two in one key feature…she has not liked tv or shown a preference for any character toys. The older two loved Barney.

Now let me say, my hubby and I are in the minority. We do not mind Barney. Not at all. But Patrice wanted none of it.

There is one characters I can’t stand…

So go ahead, guess who makes Patrice so excited she jumps up and down yelling “Yay.” And guess what mama has now bought several Elmo videos, some for now and some for her birthday? And guess what mama now has a Pinterest board to save Elmo ideas…yup, this mama.

Something Something Button

*both images in this post were found on Pinterest

Proud of Her

I was afraid of everything as a kid.  Especially of getting hurt.  So I didn’t do a lot of things.  I didn’t even try.

This is one area I am glad to say Caitlyn is NOT like her mommy.  She tries and conquers things all the time.  And I am so proud.

Patrice also has no fear, though I had a lady at the park try to tell me how to treat her. Sigh.

Such a brave cutie

Sidewalk Paint

The older girls, and a friend, helped me make sidewalk paint today.

We mixed 1/3 cup cornstarch with 1/3 cup water to get the base for 9 colors.  Added food coloring, stirred and voila–sidewalk paint.

Mixing in color 1

Mixing in color 2

Sue singing

Using our creation

A few minutes of fun in the sun

8 years

I mentioned in my therapy appointment yesterday that today marked 8 years since my dad died. The doctor asked what I was going to do to mark the anniversary. I have to admit, I wasn’t prepared to answer that question. Typically, I’m sad and then mad at my husband because he doesn’t read my mind and comfort me.

Some years I have driven to the grave, but that is impossible this year. The doctor then asked who I could talk to who would share similar memories, so later I will be calling my older sister. We started sharing memories yesterday via facebook and I am looking forward to hearing some of her thoughts on dad. I have more memories from growing up, but she has more of the last years of his life. He walked her down the aisle at her wedding and met all three of her kids. He died 4 months before I got married and never met any of my girls.

But one big way I am marking today? I found a cake recipe on pinterest that is similar to what I used to bake for him, complete with a frosting recipe identical to the one I used.

A Cake in Memory of my Daddy

Happy Anniversary in Heaven Daddy.  We miss you!

*The cake isn’t pretty, I almost didn’t post it, but hey Patrice left her mark on it and my daddy wouldn’t have cared he would have dug in.  I rarely make cakes,  but I think I am going to make this a tradition.


Enjoying daddy’s cake with my family

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Thank you

Thank you all so much for your love and care yesterday.  That post was hard but good to write.  I am not sure where to go from here.  My heart and soul are a little raw.  I think I will leave you with this bit of cuteness.

Deeply Personal

I am about to write a post that may be the most personal I have yet to publish.

I picture a huge auditorium of women. They are of every age, culture and church denomination. There are thousands of them.  They are all there for one purpose and reason–to learn about and worship God. 

I’ve been there, I have gone to the conferences and concerts many times. And enjoyed them. But today, this day? I can’t imagine going, or wanting to go, ever again.

Something has happened over the last few months. I have gone from ambivalent about my faith, to just not caring.

I know what I believe to be true. I know Jesus is the Son of God, born to the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sins and rose again on the third day. I know it to be true, I just don’t care. And I don’t care if I ever care again.

I have believed this since I first went to church at age 4. I went to a Christian liberal arts college and was a missionary in my 20s. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have questioned God about things, but I have always cared about my faith; my response has always been to pray. This, this is different. I don’t even know what it is.

I am not mad at God. I am just done. Going to church is so hard. Last time I went I had to take anxiety medication to get through it. Some of it is because of a crowd, but some of it is this serious disconnect between what I believe and what I care about.

There is no feeling left. There is no sense of direction. There is no hunger for the things of God.

Verses I have known and found comfort in seem hollow and empty. I know all the right things to say, they just fall flat. Now, more times than not, I find my comfort in music like P!nk, Cold Play and Adelle, not in Christian artists like Wayne Watson, Steven Curtis Chapman and Mikes Chair.

Will I ever find myself drawn back to the Bible? To prayer? To church? To large conferences? To concerts?

More importantly, will I feel a tug toward the Lord, toward His truth? Will my walk with the Lord come out of this intact? What will it look like if it does? What will I look like?

I have no answers. I am quite rudderless right now. I put one foot in front of the other to walk, but don’t know where I am headed or if I want to go there.




Linked up for Pour Your Heart Out.