Friday, October 26, 2018

Life Lately

It's been so long since I've written one of these posts I've almost forgotten how to do it. I know what held me back from first starting my blog, so many years ago, was the uncertainty of where to start. I feel like that's kind of where I am now. But like I did then, I'm reminding myself to just start somewhere. Anywhere. So here I am.
It's finally fall, and the cooler temps are bringing us to life! We celebrated Hadley's 5th birthday in early October. How can this baby be 5 already? I'll never know.
We celebrated her birthday at home, and she requested a filet in lieu of a cake. That's my Hadley. :)
We sent birthday snacks, hats, and plates to school, and she had such fun celebrating with her classmates.
Before her steak dinner, she opened presents and got some really fun gifts this year...her favorite was a VTech camera from her Nana and Grandad.
October is also a fun month because it ushers in the Mississippi State Fair. We went one afternoon, after school, and had the best time just walking around and eating all the bad-for-you food. The petting zoo was our favorite, and I'm convinced we need to find an alpaca to adopt.
Lily celebrated the 50th day of school last week so we pulled out her poodle skirt from the year before. I found it on Amazon, and I'm glad we have it so Hadley can wear it one day too.
Hadley's school had "Dress Like a Farmer" day, and they milked pretend cows, gathered blueberries, and shucked corn. She's got to be the cutest farmer there ever was!
Lily wanted to sign up for gymnastics this year, and I have to admit I was hesitant. She took ballet and jazz last year and hated (yes, hated) every second of it. We found a gymnastics place here that would let her try it out first, without the commitment, and she did and has loved every minute of it. She's in a beginner's class, and her goal this year is to master a cartwheel. She's come so far, and I'm really proud of her persistence and courage to try new things. She's really proud of her bridge and practices them approximately 100 times a day.
Rob and I have been to two Mississippi State football games and have had so much fun on these "dates." Our Bulldogs aren't doing as well this year as we'd like, but we've had a good time being there to support them.
I'm still working a few weekends a month and usually enjoy my time at the hospital...even though many days it is stressful and I feel like I need to clone myself to properly take care of my patients. But that's the life of a nurse, I guess. I'm working on Sunday and am hopeful for a good day.
Lastly, I just wanted to share a few snaps of my girls...
Oh, you could never convince me there is anything sweeter than a sleeping child. (I hope she'll want to sleep with Bunny forever.)
School picture day for Hadley. She picked out her outfit for pics, and I love it.
Took this of Lily right before school drop-off. I know I'm crazy, but my heart always sinks a little when I drop them off. I'm thankful they love school, but I do miss them when they're away.
 And this cutie in her headband. She's gotten so headstrong about her clothes and accessories! She's definitely more of a girly-girl than I ever thought she'd be!
Hope everyone reading this is well! Life is good and smooth right now, and we'll take it and savor it for as long as we can. I'm certainly thankful for the good. Hope everyone enjoys their weekend.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Easy Enchilada Bake

If you're looking for an easy weeknight meal packed full of protein, here you go! Bonus: it involves a slow cooker and requires very little prep!
Easy Enchilada Bake
Southern Living: Slow Cooker Suppers
1 (19 oz.) can enchilada sauce
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (11 oz.) can yellow corn with red and green bell peppers, drained and rinsed
3 cups chopped cooked chicken (I used a Rotisserie chicken)
1/2 cup mild salsa
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles, drained and divided
2 large eggs
2 Tablespoons chopped jarred roasted red bell peppers
1 (8 1/2 oz.) package corn muffin mix
6 oz. pre-shredded Mexican four cheese blend
Stir together enchilada sauce, black beans, corn, chicken, salsa, scallions, and 1/4 cup each of the chopped cilantro and diced green chiles in a lightly greased slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.
Whisk eggs in a medium bowl; stir in roasted bell peppers, muffin mix, and remaining diced green chiles. Spoon batter over bean mixture in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low until cornbread is done, about 1 hour. Sprinkle cheese over cornbread; increase heat to high; cover and cook until cheese melts, about 5 minutes. Spoon into bowls and garnish with cilantro.
Easy peasy. And made plenty for at least one night of leftovers, maybe two! Enjoy.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Creamy Sausage & Tortellini Soup

It finally feels like fall outside here, so I knew I wanted to make some soup to welcome in the cooler days! I combined bits and pieces from two recipes to make the perfect Creamy Sausage & Tortellini Soup! Original recipes are from Life Made Simple and Two Peas & Their Pod. It's a great hearty soup and is easily a meal in itself!
Creamy Sausage & Tortellini Soup
1 lb. Italian sausage, rolled into 3/4 teaspoon size balls
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups chopped kale
1 teaspoon kosher sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups chicken broth
2 cups half & half
2 cups cheese tortellini
In a skillet brown the mini sausage balls until cooked through. This will take about 5-7 minutes. Place the sausage balls on a plate lined with paper towels.
In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook until tender, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add in the chicken broth and whisk to combine. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 6 minutes.
Add sausage, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, kale, tortellini, and half & half. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes or until the tortellini is fully cooked.
Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top if desired. Serve with crusty French bread.