Make Some Butter Today.

Make Some Butter Today.

Found this on The Thrifty Couple’s Facebook page.

This is adorable. Not cost effective, but creative, fun, and adorable.


HOMEMADE Creamy Chicken and Dumpling Soup in the Crock Pot! (it’s possible?!)

Today, I was looking online for a nice recipe for creamy chicken and dumpling soup to make in the crock pot…. yeah right. You know what I found? “Mix 2 cans of creamy chicken soup and water, then add in pop-n-fresh biscuits, broken into pieces and cook for an hour or two” WHAT THE CRAP?! I was pissed. Like, thanks guys, I’m so glad that’s a recipe. Now, if that’s how you cook, that’s totally cool… but that’s just not what I was expecting when I searched for an actual recipe. I’m talking from scratch, mothereffers, FROM SCRATCH. What’s good about this is that it is relatively low-carb (you can leave out the roux and make it not creamy and it would still be delicious).

So here it is… I actually made this recipe up! It’s totes mine and I love it. Even my hubby said it’s some the the best soup he’s ever had. (it’s a lot easier than it looks, I REALLY didn’t want to leave anyone stranded not knowing what to do, so I spelled it all out.) Make this and you will never love another soup like this one again…. never. ever.

Creamy Crock Pot Chicken and Dumpling Soup


  • 1 – 2 lbs chicken (I used the leg quarters because they are so tender in soup and fall right off the bone – and they’re usually cheap)
  • 62.5 oz chicken broth + 14.5 oz water (1- 48oz College In Low sodium chicken broth + 1 – 14.5 oz can of chicken broth + 1 can full of water. Feel free to chance this up, but make sure you cover the chicken with liquid in the crock pot!)
  • 2 large (3 small) carrots, diced medium
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced medium – large (you want the onions to still be onions after sitting in the crock pot all day!)
  • Spices! Try thyme, sage, parsley, oregano, rosemary, lemon pepper, garlic powder, and a little salt.
  • 5 Tablespoons flour
  • 5 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Cup milk

For the dumplings:

  • 2 Cups flower
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 – 1 Cup COLD water 


  • Place Chicken quarters, broth, water, veggies, and spices in the crock pot and turn to high.
  • Cook on high for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Turn the crock pot down to low and let it cook for another 1 – 1.5 hours, or until the chicken in cooked and falling off the bone. (You can also leave this on low for about 6 hours or so, instead of starting it off at high)
  • Take the chicken out of the crock pot and separate all the bones out. You can also shred up the chicken and cut pieces that are a little big.
  • In a saucepan, combine the butter and flour together, and stir the whole time (this ensures you cook the flower without burning it)
  • Add in the cup of milk and STIR, STIR, STIR! (you will end up with something that kind of looks like mashed potatoes)
  • Add some of the chicken broth from the crock pot to the roux (this is called tempering) until it is nice and creamy, then add the whole thing into the crock pot and stir it around.
  • Let this cook on high while you mix up the dumplings.
  • To prepare the dumplings: Mix the flour, salt, and spices together in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Slowly add in a little bit of the water, mix, and then a little more, mix, then the rest of it. (Don’t kid yourselves here; you need to be using those hands for this!) Finally knead the dough out on a clean, floured surface. Let the dough rest for a few minutes so it can breathe and get ready to be yummy. Finally grab little, 1 inch pieces and roll them into a ball-like shape and you’re good to go!
  • Drop the dumplings into the soup but MAKE SURE you stir the soup up before you add the dumplings because if you do it after ,you will just break them up into mush.
  • Let this whole thing cook for about another 45 minutes to an hour (depending on the size of the dumplings)
  • Serve
  • Happy dance.

Please do me a solid and if you post this someplace else, let me know or link back to me. It would be awesome. 🙂

A not-so-great picture of my soup!

A not-so-great picture of my soup!

GoGo Squeez Me! (food for thought)

I fully support, and am a little jealous of, moms who make all their baby food and do the all-natural, organic, clean eating thing for their families (come feed mine?).  On the other hand, that’s just not me. At least most of it isn’t.

My kids love these GoGo Squeez applesauce pouches. Harper uses them and doesn’t squeeze them all over the house, Haley loves them, and they are a great way to get my kids to have healthy snack without a fight (and on the go!) The problem? They are SO expensive. MY solution?  I bought a box of them and a jar of applesauce and refilled them. It worked okay, but I couldn’t see through the case, so I couldn’t be sure they were clean (not a good idea).  Then, I went out looking for reusable pouches thinking they were going to be cheap. WRONG. Wal-Mart wanted over 7 dollars for ONE pouch, I don’t think so, Wal-Mart.

Then I found this. Infantino’s Fresh Squeezed refillable pouches. They actually have an entire line out for people who make their baby food. The line comes with the steamer, grinder/processor, the pouches, and the pouch filler station. Since I am done with the baby food stage, I didn’t really need all that, I just bought the pouches. Now let’s be clear here…. The pouches clearly say not to refill them so I’m pretty sure I can’t tell you to do that. I can tell you that I refill them. I can tell you that it works great. I can also tell you that I have yet to have a problem refilling them. But, I can also tell you that a box of 50 was only 16.99 at Target, so not refilling them isn’t really going to kill you.

The other thing that I like about doing this is that I can be as ambitious or lazy as I want. I have made both fruity and veggie batches of applesauce in the pouches. I actually used some sweet potato, carrot, and squash stage 2 baby food that I had left over and mixed it 50/50 with the applesauce and loaded the pouches with that. The kids loved it and didn’t even notice that thy were eating veggies! (win) I also just made a batch the other day with 1 part applesauce, 1 part thawed frozen mixed berries, and a little splash or orange juice, all blended up. Even I enjoyed that! If I’m feeling lazy, I can just use plain applesauce in there and call it a day. I usually make like 10 at a time for them and they go pretty quickly. You obviously don’t HAVE to use applesauce, you can do blended yogurt, smoothie, or if your kid likes veggies unlike mine, some other kinds of puree.

The time they can be out depends on what’s in them. I take them with me in the diaper bag when I’m out for the day. If where I’m going has a fridge, like a friend or family member’s house, then I stick it in there, if not, then so be it. I wouldn’t leave these out overnight since they aren’t sealed like the applesauce pouches you buy from the store.

If anyone has any ideas for veggie or other mixes, or if anyone has tried/uses/tries this, leave a comment and some feedback!

Birthday (mis)Happenings.

There has been SO much going on lately that I’m not quite sure which way is up and which way is out the freakin’ door.

Harper’s first birthday just passed on Wednesday. Yay! She was sick with a fever for 103.8 and we spent it at the doctor’s. Boo. And there I am, freaking out thinking, “you WOULD spike a fever on the anniversary of the day you did the scariest thing ever to me. NO MORE BIRTHDAYS.” Back in the real world, it was only a fever. No symptoms. No helicopter ride to CHOP in Philly. No nothing. Just a fever. A fever that she happens to still have, day later, but a fever nonetheless. Her party was supposed to be tomorrow. Was. I had to cancel it today due to the fact that she is a limp pile of whiney with a temperature hovering around 103 still. So, happy first birthday, Harper. On the plus side, I definitely nailed the Cheerio cake is was setting out to make for her party (she might be sick, and she might have no party, but damnit the kid will still have her Cheerio cake!) Here’s the recipe if you’re interested. I didn’t have round cake pans, so (at my husband’s suggestion) I used a monkey bread (also known as a bundt pan with a higher price tag) and the Cheerio cake now is the shape of a Cheerio; BRILLIANT!

My take on the Cheerio First Birthday cake from Betty Crocker.

My take on the Cheerio First Birthday cake from Betty Crocker.

Cheerio cake shaped like a Cheerio; Cheerioception.

Cheerio cake shaped like a Cheerio; Cheerioception.

The Cheerio cake from an artsy point of view. Because I can.

The Cheerio cake from an artsy point of view. Because I can.

Also, it took almost an hour to place all those Cheerios.

In place of her party, my parents and brother are stopping by for some of this cake and some coffee in the morning and we’ll all just wish her a happy birthday and to feel better.

Am I rescheduling the party? Well. I don’t know. I kind of feel like a jerk for asking people to set aside time for me twice. Maybe I’ll do something small with some friends/family next weekend, if they are around. What would you do? Reschedule the party last-minute, or just say “F it” and plan for next year?


Veggies: Cruel and Unusual Nourishment.

If your kid is anything like mine, dinnertime can prove itself to be…. challenging, monotonous, even.Chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, spaghetti (with butter only, of course), pizza… you know the deal. If it looks like a vegetable, smells like a vegetable, or even sounds like it could be named after a vegetable, it’s out of the question.

I don’t know about other moms, but I have found only a few ways to sneak veggies into my kid without a meltdown. I rely on Fruitables (made by Apple & Eve) and any other food/drink that has some kind of sneaky vegetable juice or something. (Shoulda had a V8! *smack*)

I recently took a stand and decided that this kid was going to eat her vegetables or she wasn’t leaving the table, because, ya know, that worked so well in the past. I made her some spaghetti with a little bit of tomato sauce that I had in the fridge, and I mixed in a bag of steamed veggies, trying to be sneaky. When (as expected) she detected the infiltrators, which was immediately, she started in with the whole “I’m not hungry” bit. When that didn’t work, she went to crying, then to yelling, then to throwing the fork. All of those things just led her to a standoff with me at the table.

I made her eat them, yeah that’s right I MADE her. I sat there with her and actually fed her those stupid vegetables for 45 minutes until they were all cold and gross. Then, when she told me she was full, I asked again, and threw the contents of the bowl out. 15 minutes later, she asked me for a snack and I said NO. She looked at me like I just killed a puppy in front of her. She went to bed that night with no snack, no nothing and I felt accomplished, crappy, but accomplished.

The next night I served chicken nuggets.

The veggie thing has really got me stopped up. I mean, it’s not like I’m strapping her down and gagging her with carrots or anything. Any ideas for getting  toddlers to eat their veggies? I’m pretty much just sticking to mac and cheese for the time being, counting potatoes and corn as veggies, and praying this just fixes itself because I am SO OVER the Guantanamo Bay of dinner tables thing.


Portion control issues and A Freakin’ Giveaway, Ya’ll!

This weekend has been super busy. Friday, my house was Grand Central Station, Saturday consisted of birthday parties all day, and today was a beach day (FINALLY) and dinner with Dad. By the way, anyone who knows me know the beach thing is BIG NEWS! I have lived by the beach my entire life and have pretty much not seen since we had Haley, 3 years ago (there have been a few trips, by that I mean less than 5). Also, this weekend, Friday included, has been an uncharacteristic few days of carnivorous face-stuffing.

I have been doing pretty well with portion control (thanks to my brother, I started pre-bagging my Wheat Thins into 16 Wheat Thin portions, as per the serving size on the box). Lately, I have been going as little crazy with the portions (an entire dinner place is 1 portion size, right?) and it’s starting to wear away at me. I did a pretty good job of eating the portion size (give or take) lately, so imagine my disappointment when I noticed myself eating away my weekend.

I don’t know about you guys, but it always seems so crazy to me to measure out food all day long, it’s so difficult. Then I realized that I can use the digital kitchen scale my hubby bought me for Christmas two years ago to weigh out the portions, since the weights are on the container/box/bag that the food/snacks come in. GENIUS! Then, i figured that I can use the kitchen scale for DIY baby food too! CONVENIENT! Don’t have a digital kitchen scale? Well, I can fix that!

I’m doing a freakin’ giveaway! wooooooooooooo!!

SlimKicker is sponsoring the giveaway of this super fancy digital kitchen scale! This one looks a lot nicer than mine.

What the heck is SlimKicker?! Well it’s this really fun website for people tired of trying to lose weight the boring way. It’s this calorie counter/exercise logger website that turns your weight loss woes into a fun game with levels, challenges, and rewards. I signed up and it’s definitely fun and interesting. Some of the challenges you can do are quitting soda for a week or eat a salad for a meal every day for 7 days; stuff you might even do already! You get points for logging food (more points for healthy food), logging exercise, and a bunch of points for completing the challenges. And, you upload a picture of the reward you want: new outfit, shoes, dinner for two, whatever you really want to give yourself, and when you rack up enough points, it’s yours! Want to see what it’s about? Try their calorie tracker game here!

Here’s how to win that awesome scale:

SlimKicker is looking for new and interesting challenges for you and everyone else to complete! Leave me a comment with one or two sentences suggesting a new, interesting, fun challenge. They’re going to check back here after a week, pick the one they like the most, and I’ll announce the winner (who is gettin’ a new scale)! Seeing and how both myself and the website and run out of the US, this giveaway is limited to US citizens only.

Good luck, eveyone!