Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

I don't know about you but I always seem to be short on time. I usually forget that I need to even prepare a dinner until it's 5 o'clock and my toddler starts whining about being hungry. "Dinner mommy, EAT!" and to be 100% honest, there are many nights where dinner is thrown together and consists something of a bowl of kix and a bagel with cream cheese. So I have hit ummmm the dairy food group.... oh and breads?! Great, mom of the year. Usually my husband isn't too fond of these types of dinners. He works afternoons and  evenings so our dinner becomes leftovers for him to take for lunch and dinner at work the following day. When I don't make a legit dinner.... you guessed it, he goes without. Ok, not really. He packs himself something boring like a salad and maybe a frozen dinner. Not really gaining myself any wife or stay at home mommy points. 

So, when I want to make something super simple that will guarantee plenty of leftovers for the hubs,  I go with a casserole. Over the last 2 years as a stay at home mom I can safely say we have this about once a month and it satisfies us all. No complaints yet! I call it a loaded baked potato casserole, and then I also add chicken to the mix. 

Bear with me here because at this point in the game I just throw everything together without measuring a thing. I am positive you can't mess this bad boy up. So here ya go....

{with chicken}

  • 4-6 russet potatoes
  • 2 uncooked chicken breasts
  • olive oil
  • hot sauce
  • minced garlic
  • cheese
  • green onions
  • cooked bacon or bacon bits
  • sour cream ( optional for topping )
Prep time: 10mins
Cook Time: 60 mins. 

-Preheat your oven to 475 or 500 degrees, yes that is HOT, but perfect for roasting your taters. Now let's get started.....

First, chop both your potatoes and chicken into bite size pieces. ** Don't cross contaminate people, I assume you know those rules** Set aside. Next, in a medium size bowl mix together about 1/4c. olive oil, aprox. 4TBS. hot sauce ( I use Frank's RedHot original or buffalo sauce but I'm sure any favorite would work) you can use more or less depending on the amount of heat your family likes, and then I throw in about a spoonful of minced garlic. Mix. 

Now toss the potatoes into the mixture to coat them well. Use a spoon to remove potatoes once coated and place in casserole dish. The trick here is to make sure you have left some of the sauce mixture behind when removing the potatoes. Next, add the chicken to the sauce in the bowl and coat it well. Set it aside in the fridge to marinate while you roast the potatoes. Place your casserole dish of potatoes into the oven to start roasting! * Check the potatoes and stir them around every 15mins for even roasting* While they are cooking start cutting up your onions, bacon and grate some cheese. Once your potatoes are fork tender (about 30-45mins) remove the dish, TURN THE OVEN DOWN to 450 degrees and pour the chicken and sauce mixture onto the roasted potatoes. Bake for an additional 15 mins. or until chicken is fully cooked through.

Last, remove casserole dish, top with onions, bacon, and cheese and return to the oven for an additional 5mins or until cheese is melted. Now, Serve with sour cream! Yummy!! 

I hope you all enjoy this as much as we do around here. I know personally, these are all staple ingredients in my house, so I never have to worry about running to the store last minute. Also, while the hour long cooking time may seem like some planning needs to be involved, it really goes by so fast and even my 2 year old loves watching it cook and will stop whining for dinner knowing this is on the way.

What is YOUR favorite 'go to' dinner? 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Back to reality

Aw man. I'm sorry guys..... time has gotten away from me.....again.

The "extreme heat" (read as mediocre to most who owns an A/C unit) that we have been having, of about 90+ degrees has thrown me off track for EVERYTHING! I'm talking meal planning, exercise, heck even doing my hair, has been pushed to the way-side. Instead I just sit outside drinking iced coffee while the kiddos play in the baby pool. Sitting in my hot and muggy office space to type away on a computer just sounded gross. Sure, I could use my phone or even my tablet, but for some reason I feel the need to write blog posts ONLY from my PC. Weirdo...I know.

Anywho.... since I last blogged, ages ago it seems, we went on a small vacation, picked berries, went on several play dates and even enjoyed a spray park! We sure have been enjoying all of our free time this summer. I have so many things to get caught up on! 

I have been learning to hate love running. I downloaded the C25K app on my phone and boy does it break it down in to manageable chunks! If y'all are anything like me and not much a fan of running but want to get into it, I highly suggest it! I have also been looking into a program called MixxedFit which is a dance/club inspired workout. I feel like once I get into great shape I may even look into teaching at a local gym or something. As Justin would say "never say never." Ew...sorry I will never quote him again. I am also eating clean 5 days a week and giving myself 2 cheat days. (still within a good calorie range) and drinking TONS of water. I figure I missed the boat on having a rock solid bod this summer so I am super determined to get there by next summer. Lots of time. I plan to document but may or may not post much along the way. I might wait until I have solid footing in the weight-loss dept. before I give any tips etc. or share anything on here. Mostly because I have fallen through every other time.

So, I am off to get organized and back to normal. Have an awesome week babes!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Comparison is stealing my joy Yo!

So here I am entering TONS of giveaways minding my own biz, when BAM, blogging inspiration hits. Clearly this happens on an average of about 2 times per month these days....

Annnnyway, I have noticed lately that if I am not getting something new everyday it feels like something is missing. I end up feeling incomplete and not very happy. I have been winning giveaways left and right, we are just getting over the month and a half of birthdays in our house, and I have found loopholes to so many systems that enable me to get things for free or cheap. So basically I look more forward to getting the mail each day than anything else. That is a super sad fact! As a Christian I realize that all these materialistic things are becoming more important than God is when it comes to how I am using my time. It's obvious that money is a "God" for many people, and this is essentially the same thing. It has been weighing on me a lot and I posted this on Facebook yesterday:

It hit me like a ton of bricks (after not getting anything but junk in the mail of course) That I am so focused on the material things in life and not focused where I should be. As a society in general we are taught to compare. Do I look like the model in that magazine? No? Well then I better aim to look like her asap because SHE is normal, there must be something wrong with me. Am I driving a new, nice car that I can feel proud taking a picture of to post on Facebook? No? Well shoot there is something wrong with our family that WE can't afford one too. We need to please everyone else, which is why everyone is up to there eyeballs in debt. All this time I thought I was avoiding being one of "those" people, because we are "good with our money." The fact is, sure I am not spending heaping amounts of money, or putting my family further into debt by spending beyond my means, BUT, I am still one of "those people." I still compare myself to everyone else, I just find the cheap or free way to get what they have. 

I consignment shop for clothes, I use gift cards, I ask for the things I really want as gifts for my birthday, I use coupon codes, and free shipping offers, I get rewards for referring friends, I win contests, I secret shop, I sell things I don't need, and I fill out surveys for extra money. 

and there it is..... the bottom line


Friends, none of this is coming with us when we leave this place. I know it is not an easy thing to do to stop being so dang materialistic but I think we should all start trying now. Checking the mail and getting shiny new things every day has become an addiction. Opening the packages to reveal the gifts waiting inside gives me a high. My heart and mind are in the wrong place. It is time for that to change.

I challenge you to find what is holding your heart. Is it the fact that everyone else has an "amazing relationship" (more on that later by the way!!) Is it that everyone else has a higher "status" at work, or is doing better than you with the same job. Maybe you think other moms have got it all together and you still just can't figure it out. Let it go..... seriously.

Who's with me?

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