Chicken Freezer Cooking Session: 4 Meals in 30 Minutes

This weekend I got some chicken breast on sale and found some recipes to use them for. So I decided to shoot for a mini chicken freezer cooking session. Now that I have a little girl chomping on my heels, getting dinner on the table every day feels like an insurmountable task. So when I found these recipes and was able to do the prep work on the weekend with minimal effort I was excited to try them.

FreezerCooking1I doubled two recipes to make 4 freezer dinners. There was not much prep work involved, a little bit of veggie chopping, ginger grating and some measuring. That’s about it.Chicken Freezer Cooking

1. Slow Cooker Ginger Peach Chicken
2. Red Pepper Chicken

FreezerCookingFinalNow all I have to do when I want dinner on the table is thaw the night before, put in the crockpot in the morning, throw some rice in the rice cooker and make a veggie for a side. Much easier than preparing everything the day of.

 

What My Baby and Our Garage Door Taught Me About Frustration

garagedoorOur garage door needs some TLC. It’s actually the motor I think. When the weather is below freezing and stays that way a while the door has trouble opening all the way. Sometimes if you open and close it several times you can get it to go up enough to get the car out. We have a small car, thankfully. And we’ve about got it figured out how low the door can be so we can still get the car out.

Sunday, before church, the door would just not cooperate. It would not go high enough to get out. After like 7 tries up and down with no success I was getting frustrated. We finally were able to locate the emergency release and manually opened the door so we could pull the car out.

As the car warmed up I waited for my husband to lock the door and close it back so we could be on our way to church. We were going to be late. I hate being late. I was mad at the situation. I was getting frustrated that it was taking so long to re-lock the garage door. John came back to the car and I thought he should do something one way while he was thinking of another way. (They were both right, but I was too frustrated to see that in the moment.) I got mad and yelled at him. Continue reading

Pinterest Dinner: Black Bean & Quinoa Enchilada Bake

quinoapinBlack Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Bake from Two Peas and Their Podquinoa2

I love that this recipe is healthy, minus the cheese. It is also meatless. I’m not a vegetarian, but meat can be expensive so I always enjoy some good healthy alternatives. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I love enchiladas, but quinoa enchiladas? It was surprisingly tasty.

quinoa1I think it was a little runny, but we found it worked really well with some tortilla chips. You could use it as nachos, or even as a filling for tacos. It did taste good on it’s own as well. It’s not something we will make every week, but it’s a definite keeper!

Our Latest Blizzard and How It Reveals A Problem in Our Culture

blizzard15Chicago’s 5th largest snowfall hit Superbowl weekend. It started Saturday evening and ended early Monday morning with snowfalls around O’Hare reaching 19.3″ Sunday was when the worst of it hit, and the afternoon/evening was especially brutal with high winds creating white out conditions.

And yet…people would not be deterred from going about their business. I’m not knocking you if that is you. It’s not completely your fault. You live in a culture that pats you on the back and says, “Way to Go!” if you can carry on in the face of anything mother nature throws your way. I’m not saying that we should hibernate all winter either. For some reason, people wanting to be out and about in the blizzard this year really bothered me and as I pondered why I came to the conclusion that it’s because it reveals an attitude in our culture that I despise, even though I fall prey to it myself. Continue reading

Free E-Book: The Four Seasons of Marriage

The 4 Seasons of Marriage: Secrets to a Lasting Marriage – Kindle edition by Gary Chapman. Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com..

Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages, has some great insight on relationships and marriage in particular. I think this will be a great read for any married couple! Get yours free thru Feb. 13th.

*Please check the price before purchasing as it may have changed.

Love Is…

menjonIt has been a challenging year to say the least. The birth of our baby changed our lives in more ways than I ever thought possible. Not only have we lived on less sleep than any other year, but we have faced physical challenges that were completely unexpected. My poor husband had to adjust to having a newborn and a wife who could barely walk all at the same time. Thankfully my physical limitations have improved, but I still have some limitations. And I’ve been an emotional roller coaster since April. Our marriage has been put to the test. Not that it’s been bad, but it’s not been easy. I am so thankful that we communicate well.

But even beyond words, I know my husband loves me because he has shown me in so many ways. He has loved me when I had nothing to offer him but tears, again and again. He has loved me when I have been harsh with my words and impatient. He has loved me when I’ve done nothing but complain. He has given me space to work through my mess. He is giving my body time to heal, even though I know it’s really tough and taking a long time. He has given me grace and forgiveness time and time again. He encourages me and serves me. He helps with chores and with our daughter.  I honestly don’t know what I’d do without him. He’s not perfect, but he loves me well despite myself.

My prayer for this year is that God will give me the strength and energy to love him well and be as gracious to him as he has been to me.

Sleep Training – Part 2

crib2I mentioned last week about how well our sleep training had gone, and how thankful I was to have a scheduled bed time. This is still the case. However, the sleeping through the night only lasted that one week. Now she is back to waking every 3 to 4 hours, so I am back to being exhausted again. I had a book recommended to me, so I may check it out from the library and let you know how it goes.

As far as nap training goes it’s a mixed bag. She has been taking afternoon naps in her crib, but they have been very short – way too short. And her morning naps have still been with me. So I think I’m still going to have to do some adjusting. The good news is that she has been learning to put herself to sleep in her crib and not cry so that is a plus. We’ll get there. Eventually.

Sleep Training Worked for Us

crib3I wasn’t sure what to do about her sleep problems. She used to sleep so well. From about 2 to 3 months Maddie slept through the night. I thought I was going to be one of the lucky ones who had a good night sleeper. And then…. Around 6 months it was like a flip switched and suddenly my good sleeper turned into a nightmare. She would go to bed at different times every night, sometimes keeping us up until almost midnight. She would wake often, about 2 to 3 times a night to feed. Part of the problem was teething, part of the problem was a cold she had, and part of the problem was us. At this point I was still feeding her to sleep most nights, but as time wore on she would often wake after feeding and then not want to go to bed. Continue reading

New Years Goals for 2015

I am not a fan of New Years resolutions, but I do think it’s important to take time to reflect on the past year, to celebrate successes and learn from failures. I feel like every year my ultimate goal is the same – to become more like Jesus. Let’s just say, it will be a work in progress til the day I die. So in the mean time I have to set smaller, attainable goals to keep me headed in the right direction. Continue reading

A Break in Blogging this Christmas

For the first time in our marriage both John and I were home for Christmas vacation. We have taken time off in past years, but we’ve gone to North Carolina. This year was our year to be here, and I don’t think I’m quite ready to travel with our little one yet anyway. It was wonderful! I loved having him home. It was a true vacation for me as well. Being at home with our daughter I have to time everything from showers, to cooking dinner, to bathroom breaks, but with my husband home I got spoiled. The Monday after he went back to work felt like the longest day ever. Continue reading