Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pancake Recipe

I posted previously about "pancake success" and posted a link to the recipe there; however, I keep having to go back to that link to find the recipe, so I thought I'd go ahead and post the recipe here so I can find it more easily. This recipe is based upon the linked recipe I posted previously and has what I doctor it with included in it as well.

Pancake mix recipe
Dry Ingredients:
1 ½ cups sifted flour
2 ½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
1 tbsp sugar
Combine these 4 ingredients.

If you want to add chocolate chips or nuts, you can do it now as well.

Liquid Ingredients:
1 beaten egg
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla
Beat all ingredients in a large bowl. Add the dry pancake mix and stir gently until moist.

If adding bananas, add them now.

Head a griddle or pan to medium high heat (375 on griddle)
Pour approx 1/4 cup batter for each pancake.
Cook until small bubbles form then flip and make sure each side is golden brown.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My Children Keep Me Healthy

My children keep me healthy. Yeah, you read that right. . . But I can see how that is confusing. I frequently hear people complaining about their kids bringing home every bug imaginable. And believe me, mine do that, too. Everything from lice to colds has made its way into my home, courtesy of my children.

So I bet you're wondering how my kids keep me healthy. . . I think it all boils down to the fact that they make me care about what I put in my body. You wouldn't put regular fuel into a diesel engine (well, not if you cared about that engine). And yet so many of us put the wrong fuel into our bodies without giving it a second thought -- and believe me, I have been guilty of that on many occasions. I have also been guilty of not eating enough in order to lose weight and struggled with eating disorders in high school. And honestly, if you were to remove the influence of my children from my life, at this point I am confident that I would live off of buffalo chicken dip, cereal and fries with the occasional salad when the mood struck. But because I care what goes into my children's bodies and because I want to be a good example for them, I pay attention to what goes into my body and I eat veggies and fruit and drink water and avoid HFCS, artificial colors and other additives and do my best to be healthy because my kids don't need a supermodel or a sumo wrestler for a mom. They need me to be healthy and happy and they need to be healthy and happy, too.

I read a quote once that said the best way to show your child the right path is to walk down it and that is how I try to live my life.

So a big thanks to my 4 beautiful girls who keep Mommy healthy. Its important.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

No More Coasting. . .

I realized something yesterday. I am inherently lazy. Well, relatively speaking. I spend most days working from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep if you consider nursing working. But yesterday, I managed to get the house cleaner while watching my 4 kids and my 2 nieces with a headache than I get it when my sister and BIL are around to help and I feel fine. You would think having more adults around would result in getting more done and honestly, before yesterday I thought that it was having 7 kids around was what was holding me back from getting done all that needs to be done. Now, I think its me. I think when there are more adults around, I give myself permission not to do all that I can do. I allow myself not to do the best I can do. Instead, I coast along, doing less than I could otherwise do. I am limiting myself and ignoring my self-imposed limitations. Or, rather, I was. Now that I've acknowledged it, I am holding myself responsible for figuring out what to do to fix it. I don't want to be lazy. I don't want to coast along. I want to do my best because my kids and I deserve my best all the time. Not just when I'm the only adult around. So y'all are my witnesses. NO MORE COASTING for me.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The best darn buffalo chicken dip recipe EVER

I developed a taste for buffalo chicken dip when I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter, Evie. We went to a family friend's child's birthday party and her neighbor had brought buffalo chicken dip. I was hooked.

When I'm pregnant, I generally crave foods I've eaten before, so when I got pregnant with my 3rd daughter, Izzy, I craved buffalo chicken dip. But I didn't know how to make it.

I suffered through that pregnancy, craving buffalo chicken dip and when I got pregnant with my 4th daughter, Rory, it started all over again. But this time, my friend, Rebecca hooked me up with a crock pot buffalo chicken dip recipe that was pretty good. Not to be undone, my sister, Joanna, who is ALWAYS finding better recipes than mine (and I love her for it because then I can steal the better recipes LOL) started making buffalo chicken dip.

We moved in with her in February and I think I've eaten buffalo chicken dip 3-4 times a week since we moved in. So far, she has always made it. A couple days ago, I convinced her to tell me the recipe and today, I made it myself. While waiting for it to bake, I decided to type this up so I won't ever be able to lose it and so others can benefit from it. Here is the recipe. Use with caution. It is extremely addictive.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 pkg boneless skinless chicken breast (about 3 breasts), cooked and shredded
about 6 ounces of shredded mild cheddar cheese
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
3 TBSP sour cream
3/8 cup hot sauce (Louisiana brand recommended or Frank's in a pinch, but NEVER use Tobasco. I love Tobasco sauce and its great in chili, but just doesn't work in this recipe. At ALL.)
1.5 tbsp Sriracha (oriental hot sauce)
tortilla chips

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Spray 9 x 9 pan with cooking spray.
3. Combine all ingredients except chips.
4. Put in pan.
5. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
6. Broil for 5 minutes.
7. Enjoy.
8. Repeat.

Its a vicious cycle. Its like that Lambchops song that never ends. Start the cycle at your own risk ;)

Monday, April 4, 2011

The hardest part so far. . .

The hardest part of being a single mom for me so far has been the single part.

I love being a mom. I enjoy time with my kids. Most of the time. And the frustrating times probably happen less often now than they did before my husband left.

The hardest part, as is true in almost every situation, is the change. Even while Joey was at basic training and AIT, my awareness was that I had someone on my side. I believed I had a partner, teammate, friend, confidante. I believed I had someone that loved me no matter what. Obviously, that was not true, but as far as I knew it was.

Changing what we believe isn't easy. Going at it alone isn't easy, but its not the being alone that is the hardest. Its the changing of my perspective. I am happy I have a truer perspective of reality now, but it is hard to change your perspective. Especially when its a change you never expected, never wanted and never saw coming. Its hard to have to abandon belief, no matter how faulty you determine that belief to have been.

I am not looking for any type of relationship right now. Love is an investment and all my capital right now is tied up in my kids. I like it that way. They are mine and I am theirs and we will love each other no matter what. There is great security for me in that. I do not want to invest in someone new right now. I am fairly certain that I am incapable of trusting anyone right now. But its still hard. Its hard to feel alone and lonely. Realistically, I have probably been alone for a while, just unaware of it. I am finding awareness to be a hard process.