Monday, November 28, 2011

Turkey Tetrazzini

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Our was fantastic. We invited two of our favorite families over to share the day with us and everyone brought their "specialty" dish. The food was A-MAZ-ING! I'm still stuffed!

During soup week I shared with you one of my favorite recipes using Thanksgiving leftovers and today I'm sharing my new favorite recipe for Thanksgiving leftovers. It comes from PW and it's wonderful!


  • 1 1/2 pounds spaghetti, broke in half
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Pound white mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup white wine
  • 1/3 Cup flour
  • 4 Cups turkey (or chicken) broth
  • 1 Block 8 ounce cream cheese
  • 3 Cups cooked (leftover) turkey, shredded or diced (chicken would be good too)
  • 1 Cup finely chopped black olives
  • 1 1/2 Cup frozen green peas
  • 4 Slices bacon, fried and cut into bits
  • 1 Cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra broth for thinning
  • 1 Cup Panko bread crumbs
Cook pasta until not quite done-al dente according to package instructions (it will finish cooking in the oven). Drain, rinse and set aside.

In a large pot, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute for a couple of minutes. Add mushrooms and salt, then saute for a couple more minutes. Pour the wine and allow it to cook with the mushrooms for several minutes, or until the liquid reduces by half.

Sprinkle in flour, then stir in the mushrooms around for another minute. Pour in the broth and stir, cooking for another few minutes or until the roux thickens.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Cut cream cheese into pieces and add it to the pot. Stir to melt (don't be concerned if the cream cheese remains in little bits for awhile; it'll melt eventually!) 

Add the left over turkey, the olives, the peas, the bacon, and the cheeses. Stir to combine, adding salt and pepper as needed.

Add the cooked spaghetti and stir to combine. Splash in more broth as needed; you want the mixture to have a little extra moisture sine it will cook off in the oven. If it's a little soupy that's fine! Add up to 2 more cups of liquid if you think it needs it.

Pour the mixture into a large baking dish (I put mine in two 9x9 foil pans. It made plenty and now I have one in the freezer for later!) and sprinkle the top with Panko crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly and the crumbs are golden brown.

This was a crowded pleaser at dinner last night (once I removed everyone's mushrooms). The girls cleaned their plates and declared me the "best cooker ever!" I thought it was delicious, mushrooms included, and I'm looking forward to having leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey Day Fun

I am thankful for so many things in my life, I truly feel lucky for all that I have. Today I am also thankful that the girls enjoy running. As you know the hubby and I are pretty passionate about running and races, and I love that it's something we can do together as a family.
Today the whole family got up VERY early and headed to our local YMCA for their first annual Wishbone 5K and Youth Fun Run. It was Lo's second "official" race and NoJo's first, both girls were super excited and practically jumped out of bed this morning.

Since they blocked the streets we had to arrive early, but that gave us a chance to cheer on the 5K runners and our good friends Traci and Eric. I was so amazed at how many young kids were running and even more amazed at how fast they were! I cannot wait until the girls are old enough to do a full 5K with Nate and I!!!

The Fun Run was through the woods behind the Y. The girls were really eager to start. Lo even tried to be at the front of the line which is totally not like her and both Nate and I were proud of her eagerness.
NoJo was being ridiculously feisty and refused take any pictures. Lucky for us Daddy is quick with the camera!
The girls were joined by their friends ZZ and Cam.
As the girls lined up they held hands. It was so cute. They wanted to run it together.
They wanted me to run behind them, but soon after the start I was left behind. They were serious about this race. Half way through Lo politely asked NoJo if they could stop holding hands so she could go faster and then she really took off.
I could tell NoJo was tired but she kept on running!
Both girls finished strong and had a blast! Daddy and I were so proud!

It was a great morning and I hope it can be our Thanksgiving tradition!

Have a very happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The World's Ugliest Dresser No More!

Last month I bought the World's Ugliest Dresser off of Craigslist.
I seriously can't believe that someone would actually choose to paint anything poop brown, but someone did and they were selling this baby for only $10! Score!!!

It had been sitting in my dining room all primed and ready to be painted for weeks. Having eight people over for Thanksgiving later this week was all the motivation I needed to get the project done.

You know the drill....Zinsser Primer, coat of paint in Disney's Tigger's Tummy Yellow, a light distressing and Annie Sloan's wax.

The results were fab-u-lous!
The original drawer pulls were disgusting so I needed to replace all of them. With six drawers needing two knobs each it could have been a pretty pricey fix. I really didn't want to spend a ton more money on the pulls than the actual dresser. Thank goodness for Hobby Lobby. That have a awesome selection of decorative knobs and lucky for me they were 50%! I love it when that happens. To cut down on the cost I decided to mix a few higher end knobs with the cheaper ones. The ceramic hearts were only $1.50 each (after my discount) and the glass knobs ranged from $2.50-$3.50 each (again after the 50% off). It still cost me more than the dresser but I saved myself almost $25 by getting them on sale.

These glass flower's are Lo's favorite.
The pretty blue ones came in a close second.
Sometimes I get a little heavy on the distressing, but this time I kept it under control. I focused on the corners and edges, were it would wear naturally.
I love how it turned out.

It looks great in Lo's room. We're in the process of updating it, getting rid of her baby furniture and decorations and making sure she has more room to do her art projects. I can't wait to show you the final results. We're working on it little-by-little, but I hope to have it done by the end of the year. Fingers crossed we'll get everything done in time!

Have a great Tuesday and thanks for checking in!

Monday, November 21, 2011

What's the Buzz All About?

As a nurse and mom I wash my hands more times than I can count each day. Add in the cold, windy Indy weather and all winter my hands are red, raw, chapped and covered in eczema. It's not pretty. For the most part my Carmex Hand Lotion does the trick, but for the times I need something more my Bert's Bees Hand Salve is my saviour!
The hand salve is definitley not a "use throughout the day" type of lotion. It goes on fairly greasey, almost like rubbing butter on your hands, but it's absorbed fairly quickly and the results are completely worth it. I usually use it right before bed and wake up with soft wonderful hands. You could also use overnight moisture gloves if you're worried about getting any of the salve on your bedding.

You can find Bert's Bees products pretty much anywhere now (Target, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Meijer). Check out Bert's website for their store locator and you'll have fab-u-lous hands by morning!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Slow Cooker Corn and Potato Chowder

This recipe comes courtesy of Pinterest.

It grabbed my attention for a few reasons:

  1. It was topped with bacon-EVERYTHING is better with bacon!!!
  2. You can make it in the crock pot-Huge time saver for the busy Mama.
  3. It's soup-I'm sure you've all heard enough about my everlasting love for soup.
  4. You don't have to peel the potatoes-Again, another time saver!
  5. I get to use my immersion blender-Cooking is much more fun if you get to use fun gadgets!
The original recipe comes from Mama Loves Food. She's got a lot of de-lish looking recipes so make sure you check out her blog! It makes a TON of soup so next time I'll cut the recipe in half and still have enough for left overs!


  • 2 1/2 pounds Russet potatoes (approximately 5 medium potatoes), NOT peeled, diced into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1 pound of bacon cooked until crispy and delicious and then crumbled
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 medium sweet yellow onion, finely diced
  • 8 cups of corn kernels, I used frozen corn
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups half & half
  • Put 1/2 the bacon (save the other half for garnish) and all the other ingredients EXCEPT the half & half into the crock pot. 
  • Cook on low for 11 hours or high for 6 hours
  • Blend 1/2 the soup with your immersion blender (or in small batches with your standing blender)
  • Add the half and half and continue cooking, uncovered, for 15 minutes until heated through.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with corn bread muffins and watch both disappear. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Soup-er Necessary Kitchen Gadget

I'm sure you all already know how much I love soup! I even dedicated a whole week to one of my favorite meals. There's nothing better than getting a belly full of yummy, delicious, fresh ingredients on a chilly day.

When I'm in a soup makin' mood my immersion blender is my go-to gadget that I can't live without!
You can find them pretty much anywhere and you can get them for under $30. My original immersion blender was purchased at a friend's yard sale for $5. It finally died on me and it's replacement arrived yesterday and will be put to work tonight!

So what's an immersion blender for? I use my primarily to make creamy soups. It helps me avoid having to use a blender and saves me dish washing time. You can also use them for making tomato sauce, mashed potatoes, baby food, applesauce, smoothies...pretty much anything you wanted blended.  Some of the fancier models comes with various attachments, but I just stick to the standard model. As an added bonus they're pretty small so they don't take up a lot of storage space.

I'm trying a new crock pot soup recipe tonight and if it's a keeper I'll be sharing it tomorrow!

What are your go-to kitchen gadgets? Shout 'em out-we'd love to hear them!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Turkey Lurkey Loo

This weekend we got to work on a fun family project for Lo's class. Each child was given a blank turkey. The instructions were to decorate it, as a family, in way you'd like. You could use any materials except food. The perfect project for our crafty family!

Since the turkey was for Lo's class she was our "project manager." She was in charge of the design and chose the materials and color scheme. We were able to give suggestions, but ultimately the decision was up to Lo. We took a quick trip to Michael's to get a few crafty bits and got down to work. We were each given a specific job from Lo. Daddy and Noa colored and I was the official hot-guler!

I love our little turkey lurkey loo! We decided to make him a Thankful Turkey and cut out paper feathers. We each talked out what we were thankful for and Lo wrote it down on the feather. It was a great experience for all of us and a super fun family activity.

Have a fab-u-lous Wednesday!

Monday, November 7, 2011

What A Difference A Day Makes

I finally have climbed my way of of Noa's overcrowded, overclothed room.

In case you forgot the disaster, here's what it looked like before:

She's going to be 4 next month and I couldn't believe how many 18 month and 2T clothes were in her closets. She's small, but she's not THAT small.

1 weekend, 4 20-gallon tubs, 2 large bags for Goodwill, 5 rounds of my new Avett Brothers CD and 2 days later we have organization!

It's so pretty! Now I don't have to keep the closet doors closed!

I do have to admit that the 4  20-gallon tubs weren't enough...I had to go back to Target yesterday and get 4 more (lucky for me there were on sale!)...Our spare bedroom is going to need a little organization now too....
Have a great Monday and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Lost In Organization

This weekend I've decided to tackle a HUGE organization project that I've been avoiding for a long, long time. NoJo's room. It's a total disaster and the longer I've waited to fix the problem the more disastrous it has become. I've never came up with a good system to organize clothes as the girls grow out of them and it's become an out of control problem.

Here is my current system:

Isn't it so pretty? (in my defense Noa does contribute to the problem by grabbing clothing from the bottom of the pile and just throwing things back in.)

In the past I've put the outgrown clothes into empty diaper boxes. This is what the top of the closet looks like:
The way Noa decides what shoes to wear is by whichever shoe she can find two of:
Her dresser drawers aren't much better:
I've currently been dealing with the problem by doing this:
See? You just close the door and the mess magically disappears!

A few weeks months ago (I've really been putting it off) I bought a few 20 gallon tubs at Target.
So today is the day! Project "Organize Noa's Room" starts NOW! If you don't hear from me in a few days you might wants to send someone to come find me, just to make sure I'm not stuck underneath a pile of old clothes and socks!

Have a great weekend and thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Smurfy Halloween

As usual we "locked in" our Halloween costume ideas in early September. The idea for this year's costumes all started with Logan and her desire to wear high-heeled shoes. She wanted to be Smurfette because Smurfette wears high-heels. From there it was easy. Noa would be the only other female smurf, Sassette*, Nate would be Gargamel and originally I was going to be a mushroom house, but as usual time became a factor and I went as Azrael, Gargamel's cat instead.
As far as costumes go, this has been my easiest in the past few years. Most of the clothing and shoes came from Goodwill (shocker I know). The Smurf hats were the only thing that I truly made. The yarn hair was just attached to knit beanies so they are nice and soft (meaning not itchy and scratchy) and as an added bonus they kept the girls' heads warm. I did end up putting a little chin strap of elastic on each one to prevent them from sliding off as the girls ran from house to house. The blue turtle necks and tights were actually white ones that I dyed. Nate's bald head was the most expensive piece. I bought a bald cap at a local costume shop and glued on black fur for Gargamel's hair. My rough total was $40 for all four costumes, if Nate would have been willing to shave just the top his head it the total would have been closer to $25! Such the party pooper!

All in all I think we are a Smurfy Looking bunch!

*On a total side note I can't believe how many people did not know who Sassette was! What did these people do in the 80s?!?!?! For those of you who were too busy crimping your hair and pegging your jeans to watch the Smurfs let me educate you. Sassestte was one of the 3 Smurflings created by Gargamel. Originally she was an evil Smurf, but Papa Smurf worked his "Smurfy" magic and made her good. She was spunky, sassy and always getting into trouble-just like our Noa!

I'd also like to give props to my neighbors who went as Bob Ross and his happy tree-LOVE IT!!!

So fun and creative!
I hope everyone had a happy Halloween! My girls are in total candy heaven and I'm sure they'll be bouncing around the house all week!