Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mommy's little helper and her baby sister!

I've been cooking a lot more lately which is a good thing for my blog and the new cooking page I have created on facebook. It feels so good to get out in the kitchen and make new things and more often than not I have a little helper along for the ride. She doesn't really help me, but she is out there. Pulling all of the can goods out of the lazy susan, taking the pots and pans out of their cabinet, and pulling the cereal boxes out of their home. That list could go on but I'm tired and don't feel like writing it all down. Let's just say that after we clean the dinner mess we have to go around the house and pick up every single item Addison dragged out. It makes me tired just typing

Here's Mommy's little helper making an italian love cake which was a big flop in our house. Don't you hate getting all excited for a recipe, spending precious money to buy the ingredients, and then you end up throwing most of it away because the family just wasn't feeling it? I hate that! Money around here is a precious thing since I'm no longer working and five dollars here and there really does add up. Especially when you have two kids in diapers and one on formula.

Here she is from Monday night, or maybe it was Tuesday, lord who knows. Anyway, we were making lasagna buns which I stumbled across over at Cassie Craves. I'll post the recipe on the food blog eventually...I hope. Did I mention I am really tired tonight? LMAO

If stacking cups keeps her entertained, then by all means, stack away. She actually pulled these all out the package and made one stack with them. I thought it was really cute, notice the tongue sticking out? She's concentrating so hard!

Below you will find her in one of her two favorite spots lately. For awhile she was taking over the bouncy seat and now she's taking over the swing. Even though she is about 97% at being really good with her baby sister, she still has her moments. Like the other night when I was on the floor with Cadence and Addison came up and kicked her in the head. She got in trouble for that and then she stopped crying long enough to come over and dangle her foot over the top of Cadence's head as if she was going to stomp on it at any second. The girl is only fifteen months old and I know already I am going to have my hands full with her growing up. She LOVES to try our patience and I know that she knows the meaning of the word no even though when we say it she looks at us like she's dumber than a box of rocks, gives us a good glare, and then keeps on doing what she was just being told what not to do. God help us when the terrible twos start!

Here's my other precious child. I know I have mentioned it before but seriously, the first month and a half of her life, I honestly thought I was going to have to kill myself. She cried ALL.OF.THE.TIME! There was no consoling this child and I can't tell you how many times I got so frustrated I just cried right along with her.

Now she is a completely different child. She's so happy and she is always smiling and talking to us. It just melts my heart at how precious and wonderful she is. I am reminded every single day how blessed I am to have these two little girls in my life. My only complaint with her is how noisy she is. She wakes us up every single morning talking to herself. It's so loud that my Mom asked me yesterday to start shutting our bedroom door because she can hear her talking in her
This is her chatting in the morning! It's cute and I love hearing it, but we are not morning people around her. It's take Mommy and her big Sissy a little while to wake up, we don't wake up all bright and sunshiny like she apparently does. I'm hoping one day she can turn it down a notch or two!

And then because this is one of the best pictures I have ever taken, my little Miss Sunshine!

If that picture doesn't melt your heart, then there's just no help for you!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Triple Threat Brownies

Looking for something sweet to make that's easy to throw together? You must try these brownies. They hit the spot without being overly sweet.

Triple Threat Brownies

Source: Me


1 box of Better Crocker Fudgy Brownies, the 13x9 family size

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup white chocolate chips

2/3 cup caramel bits


1.) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2.) Mix brownies according to the back of the box. To mixture add the pecans, white chocolate chips, and the caramel bits.

3.) Add mixture to a greased 13x9 baking dish and bake for 25 to 30 or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool before cutting or else your brownies will crumble upon taking them out like the picture shows. Somebody, OK me, couldn't wait for them to cool before taking one for a test drive.

Serves with a nice big glass of ice cold milk and you have a heck of a dessert on your hands!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Coca-Cola Roast

What is it about certain foods that qualify them as being comfort foods? Is it their cooked all day, from scratch taste? Or maybe it's their ability to take you right back to your Grandmother's kitchen as if it were yesterday?

No matter why, I for one love comfort foods. Especially when they were made by my Grandma Murphy. Man how I would love to be able to sit at her kitchen table right about now and gobble up some of her fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and her boiled cabbage. I still haven't met anyone who could match her skills in the kitchen.

One of my comfort foods is pot roast. Not only do I enjoy the roast itself but the vegetables thrown along with it. I stumbled this fantastic recipe for pot roast awhile back but never blogged about it. At least I don't think I did. If I did I enjoy it so much it won't hurt to post about it twice.
Coca-Cola Pot Roast

4 lb. beef sirloin roast
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 packet of dry brown gravy mix
2 tbsp. water
1 package of dry onion soup mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup, I used the golden mushroom soup and we all know why!
1o oz. cola flavored carbonated beverage, aka...coca-cola

I also added five small to medium size potatoes, chopped

1.) Place roast in a crockpot followed by all of the vegetables.
2.) In a small bowl combine the gravy mix and water, mixing into a smooth paste. Add onion soup mix, mushroom soup and cola flavored beverage. Pour over the roast and the vegetables.
3.) Cover crockpot and cook on low for eight to ten hours.

Low and slow is the answer to a tender piece of meat!!
The original recipe calls for it to be done in the oven. Its so much easier in the crockpot!

A little girl I know really enjoyed pot roast night. So glad I could satisfy her need for some comfort food right along with me!

"Yummy delicious Momma!"

Friday, May 20, 2011

A funeral...

This week was a pretty crummy one for us. Daniel's Dad passed away this past Saturday. There is no preparing for that phone call, even when you expect to receive it at any moment. I think the hardest part about getting older is that the older you get, the older your parents get. I know the day will come when I have to say good-bye to them, but I pray that it is a long ways off. I can't imagine living life without my parents or even my siblings but that's life for you. Daniel is thirty three years old and he just said good-bye to his Dad. My heart aches for him, as well as for my daughters since they will never know how great their Poppy was. I know that there are others who have had to say good-bye to parents at an even younger age, how blessed they are to have guardian angels, but how sad that they have to go through life without the people who would support and guide them most.

Daniel with his oldest brother Chuck along with his baby brother, by ten and a half months, Dustin. Just look at those smiles will ya!

Death has a funny way of bringing you together with loved ones that are still living. It reminds you of the value of family and what being together as one does for your spirit. Daniel's oldest brother lives in Kentucky along with his two youngest children and their families. We made a vow on Tuesday before we sent them off that we would try harder to be more of a family. No more of this only getting together for weddings or a funeral.

Here is another picture of the boys along with their Mom, Sue, a few of the grandkids, and three of the great-grand kids. The two baby boys are great-grandkids, while Addison and Cadence are grand-kids.

I think we are all holding up pretty well given the fact we just lost the patriarch of the Blankenship family. I think it helped a little that Charlie had been in a nursing home for the past year or so. We had gotten used to visiting Mamaw without Poppy being there at home with her so it won't feel all that unusual to us when we continue to visit without him being there. We would love to still have him there but we all know that he is better off. Charlie fought a hell of a battle these past few years, especially this last one, and it's reassuring for us to know he's finally at peace and in complete comfort.

Rest in peace Poppy! Please watch over my babies and help me to keep them safe from harm.

Charles E. Blankenship Sr.

June 15, 1934 to May 14, 2011.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Jalapeno Bites

I got this recipe from my soon to be sister-in-law Paula this past Monday. I would have loved to have gotten the recipe under better circumstances but what can you do. On Saturday, Daniel's Dad passed away and on Tuesday we held his viewing. Monday night all the immediate family gathered at our place for dinner and some much needed time together. Isn't it sad that the only time you see family that's in another state is for funerals or a wedding? We made a vow to spend more time together and I hope it's one that we all stick to.

Anyway, the hubs loved these. When I say loved I mean he ate a ton on Monday, then ate a ton more after the viewing on Tuesday, and then was saying how he could eat some more on Wednesday. These will definitely be made again and he's already thinking of ways to kick them up a notch.

Jalapeno Bites

~Paula Harris


12 jalapeno peppers

1 8oz. block of cream cheese, softened

1 C. parmesan cheese

1 lb. bulk sausage


1.) Pre-heat oven to 350.

2.) Brown sausage in a medium skillet over medium high heat.

3.) Slice each pepper lengthwise to make 24 while browning sausage. Scrape out all of the seeds and set aside.

4.) In a small bowl mix together browned sausage, softened cream cheese, and parmesan cheese.

5.) Stuff about a tablespoon or so into each pepper half.

6.) Bake peppers in oven until bubbly and golden brown.

Paula advised that you can also use the zesty sausage and grill the peppers if you would like. Daniel is looking forward to wrapping a piece of bacon around them and grilling them.

Monday, May 9, 2011

This and that thrown all together...

Somebody has been a horrible, horrible blogger but what can I say other than you all should be used to it by now. I have been updating the food blog more so take what you can get from

We have had a very busy month since I last posted, Cadence turned two months old, we celebrated Easter, Mothers Day, and a few nice days outside when it wasn't raining...which seemed to happen this entire month. We live right along a river which means when it rains like this we flood, and we flood bad. There are only three or four ways to our house on a normal non flooded day, but the flooding this month has been so bad we've been forced down to one and that was pushing it on one day in particular when Daniel thought he might have to turn around and stay at his Mom's. Seriously, I had to go to another town to do my shopping and it was no fun.

On a more fun note here are a few pictures that I have taken during the past month or so. They are backwards from earliest to latest in the month but folks, it's eleven o'clock at night, Addison has kept me up the past several nights, and I'm working on the lap top which makes things more challenging when it comes to rearranging everything. I'm sure you'll forgive me once you see all of the adorableness of my daughters. Is adorableness a word??

First up from tonight's dinner, sister was loving her fajitas and cottage cheese. Do all children get this messy when they eat? We're about to the point that we just strip her down to her diaper because without fail, she gets food everywhere. I actually found chunks of dinner in her diaper when I changed her.
And from before precious little baby sporting her very first pony tail. I can't believe how grown up she looks when her hairs pulled back. I sent a picture of her to my sister via cell phones tonight and she didn't even realize it was Addison at first. Yeah Nikki, I'm sending you a picture of some random child I picked up and titled it...her first pony tail...lmao!

Next up, Mother's day. Mother's day was so special for me this year. Last year money was extremely tight for us and Daniel wasn't able to buy anything in advance, he did buy me a gorgeous ring while I waited in the food court at the mall, but I guess I had my first Mother's day all hyped up in my head and what happened wasn't what I imagined. He was able to do so much better this year. He bought me a family bible. There's something about having a bible meant just for your little family with the date of when you became man and wife, births, and deaths that really makes this whole family thing real. I will cherish it for the rest of my life. We spent Sunday evening with my Mom and my siblings and we can't get together without playing a couple rounds of cards. Addison crashed half way through dinner so she didn't join us, but Cadence stuck around to make sure nobody was cheating.

Earlier on Mother's day we spent some time with Daniel's Mom. Instead of going out and fighting off the crowds at some restaurant we picked up some broasted chicken, potato salad, baked beans, and mac and cheese. We had a nice lunch just being together and not dealing with other people. It was during this lunch that Addison was introduced to her very first chicken leg. The child cracks me up.

Next up, the weekend after Easter. We spent that Saturday evening at my Aunt Robin's and Uncle Dan's for my cousin Heathers birthday. We decided to go over early because they live right across the street from a school with a really nice playground. What kills me is that this school is my old school, and this playground is the very same one that I grew up playing on. Who knew all those years ago when we were playing pretend during recess, that so and so was married to this guy, and a couple of us were their kids, that I would actually be standing there watching my own real children play on it. It tends to remind you that you're getting older.

Heather took this family shot of us which I LOVE. Part of the reason why we went over early, besides to play on the playground, was so that I could take pictures of her boyfriends children. I am so glad she was able to get a good one of us...I took lots of good ones of them.

Here's Addison going down the big kid slide...check out her hair.

Prior to us leaving, Cadence thought she would try her hand at the Wii. Don't you just love that little smirk? If you look closely there is a little hand at the bottom right of the picture. What you don't see is that Addison had just snatched Cadence's bottle and was talking to her as if she was reassuring her it was all right. I can imagine Cadence was smirking because she knew she had just back washed in it prior to Addison taking

Next up to bat....Easter. I am so upset about Easter I can hardly talk about it. I had been sick with another Crohns flare the previous few weeks and of course Easter was no exception. I barely ate and was in no mood to do anything but wish the day would hurry up so that I could get home. Can you believe that I took no pictures of the girls and their Easter baskets? I feel like such a horrible Mother. I did manage to take this one only because it was to funny not to. This was after my daughter, who has you can see from the beginning of the post, has no table manners, had stuffed an entire deviled egg into her mouth. Once again, the child cracks me up!

Next, Cadence's two month birthday. I can't believe how different she looks from birth and her one month photo. Her eyes are getting bluer and her cheeks are starting to fill out. She has calmed down so much these past few weeks that we are actually able to really enjoy her. She's smiling at us big time and about two weeks ago she started to giggle. She loves her big sister and as you can see below the feeling is mutual. Addison is so loving towards her...well most of the time anyway. Addison tries to feed her her bottle, give her her gas drops, and likes to help pat her on the back to burp. Addison loves to say Sissy and first thing every morning when I put her down from her crib she waddles over to the pack and play and on tip toes peers in on her "Sissy". She also likes to snatch Cadence's blankets off of her when she's in the swing and then tries covering her back up. Of course we have to make adjustments because the blanket usually winds up over her sisters face. Addison has also started trying to share her toys with her Sissy. We look over and there lays a stuffed animal or something on Cadence in the swing. I pray that these two continue to love one other and that they grow up being best friends.

The official two month shot. Just look at that hair, and those eyes, oh those eyes just melt me into a million pieces.

Another loving moment between sisters.

And last but not least, family time. Daniel's Dad is in very bad shape. We expect the call letting us know he's went to be with our Lord any day now. Daniel's Dad was in his forties when Daniel was hatched so he's in his mid-seventies now. Between strokes and a few heart attacks he's been dealt a pretty crappy hand. My heart aches not only for my husband who is so proud of his daughters and wishes his Dad could be around to watch them grow up, but it aches for my daughters and future children as well. I am saddened that they will never truly remember him or that he won't be able to watch them grow. The relationship that I had with my Grandma Murphy is so precious to me, but I had her for twenty four years, even though I feel anger towards the fact her other grandchildren had her for much longer but appreciated and loved her much less. Addison and Cadence and their future brothers or sisters won't have any time with him and Daniel will no longer have his father. I can't imagine a time when I won't have one of my parents. To be honest I can't even think about it without giving myself a panic attack. The thought of death, especially my own, is something that's been bothering me a lot lately.

Anyway, since Charlie won't be around to watch them grow, I wanted to make sure they had something to remember him by and to remind them that they did have him for a little while. During our latest trip to the nursing home I made sure to cart my camera with us so that I could snatch a family shot. Here it is...I hope not only Daniel, but the girls as well, will treasure it.

Well, that's been our month in a nut shell. I promise I will try to do a little better with updates. I feel like the girls are growing by leaps and bounds so I really need to keep caught up with their everyday shenanigans.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sausage and Crescent Roll Bake

This is a perfect recipe for all of you who are planning a Mothers Day brunch of some sort, however I made ours for dinner one night along with some scrambled eggs and it worked out just fine.

My sister Nikki shared this recipe with me a few years ago during an evening of wedding preparations for her upcoming nuptials. Simple ingredients, simple to prepare, and easy to serve...what more could you ask for.

Sausage and Crescent Roll Bake


2 rolls of crescent rolls

1 lb. Bob Evans regular sausage

2 blocks of cream cheese (8 oz. each)

1/4 finely diced onion


1.) Brown sausage and diced onion on medium high heat.

2.) Once browned, turn off heat and add both blocks of cream cheese. Gently mix sausage and cream cheese together until cream cheese is completely melted.

3.) In a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish roll out one container of crescent rolls to form one sheet.

4.) Add sausage mixture to bottom layer of crescent roll and gently spread to cover the entire bottom.

5.) Add second container of crescent rolls to form top layer making another sheet.

6.) Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until top is golden brown. Serve immediately!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Baked Chicken and Sharp Cheddar Taquitos

Boy do I have a recipe for you to try! What's even better is that you can try it Thursday to celebrate Cinco De Mayo. We will be celebrating our wedding anniversary that day so I did a Mexican themed dinner for us this past Sunday instead.

Baked Chicken and Sharp Cheddar Taquitos~


1 rotisserie chicken, meat removed

1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (I forgot to add this to ours)

2 tbsp. red onion, diced

2 tbsp. poblano pepper, diced ( I used an anaheim pepper)

Juice of one lime

Dash of cumin

Dash of oregano (I omitted)

Dash of garlic powder

Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Corn tortillas

Cooking spray

Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded


1.) Remove all meat from chicken then chop into pieces.

2.) Place the meat in a large bowl. Add the diced bell pepper, chopped cilantro, diced red onion, diced poblano pepper, lime juice, and the seasonings to the top of the chicken meat. Toss all of the ingredients together. Taste and add more seasonings if desired.

3.) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

4.) Wrap ten corn tortillas in damp paper towel and microwave for 1-2 minutes to soften.

5.) Place a bit of cheese in the center of the tortilla then top with chicken mixture and roll.

6.) Place, seam side down, on a baking sheet that's been coated with cooking spray. Finish rolling the rest of the taquitos, then spray each of them with cooking spray.

7.) Place in the oven and bake for 5-6 minutes then turn over and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. .

8.) Serve with guacamole, salsa, sour cream, or hot sauce. Serve immediately and enjoy!

The picture I have shown is pretty crappy...that thing in the back of the picture is a failed recipe that I spent forever making only for us to not enjoy it one bit. If you want a better picture of the actual taquito please go the For the Love of Cooking blog.