With the exception of taking Gabriel to the doctor for bronchitis, we had a quiet, peaceful New Year’s Eve at home.
We had delicious snacks,
and celebrated the end of one year and the beginning of a new one.
I made this delicious taco dip, which we all love. It is so easy to throw together, and it can easily be adapted, according to what toppings each family member desires.
1 pound ground beef
1 package of taco seasoning
2/3 cups of water
1 can refried beans (we usually use black refried beans)
16 ounces of sour cream
1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
- Add ground beef to a pan and cook over medium high heat.
- Drain the grease and add the taco seasoning and water. Reduce the heat to low and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
- In an 8x8 glass pan, spread the refried beans and cook in the microwave for 2 minutes.
- Spread the sour cream onto the beans.
- Add the taco meat to the top of the sour cream.
- Sprinkle the cheese onto the taco meat.
- Garnish with cilantro.
- You can stop there, or you can continue to add your choice of toppings - salsa, avocado, jalapeno, onions, etc.
- Serve with your choice of chips.
We have had such a good winter break.
We spent time with Sean’s family and my family as we celebrated Christmas together.
We went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
We made s’mores.
We played games.
We started the process of re-decorating rooms.
We have simply enjoyed being together as a family.
We have really enjoyed cooking again. Sean made a delicious Bourbon Chicken. I have started taking quick pictures of food again because I realized that we often cannot remember the food that we liked, and, without documenting it, we often cannot find the recipes either. I am sure that I will get busy again, and food will not become as much of a priority. However, it is one of my goals to try to capture our family food life as often as possible because food has always been one of our family love languages, and that is important to me.
2 pounds boneless chicken, cut into bit-sized pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup apple juice
2/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup orange juice
2/3 cup soy sauce
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
- Heat oil in a wok over medium high heat.
- Add the chicken and cook until browned.
- Remove the chicken (at this point, we set some aside for our picky eater).
- Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl and then add it to the heated pan.
- Return the chicken to the pan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
- Serve over steamed white rice and garnish with green onions.
As I was looking through old blog posts for recipes, I realized how much my life has changed in the past couple of years. Of course, the littles are not nearly as little anymore. Once they all started school, it was not necessary for me to be a stay-at-home mom anymore. However, the fact that they are the center of all of our decisions did not change. When I reflected on what my life was like before I had children, when I was home with children, and when, over the course of four years, they all started school, I realized that a few things had remained the same. I love my children and my family with all of my heart, and I am passionate about education. Becoming a teacher seemed like a very natural and logical step. As I do with everything, I have poured my heart into it. I love teaching, and I know that it is a huge blessing that I work at the same school as two of my children, while one is still in the same district, just a quick car ride away.
I do, however, miss writing and cooking something more than what I can manage to throw together at the end of an exhausting day. On Christmas Eve, I decided that I wanted to change that. I want to write again, take more pictures, and continue my little online scrapbook. It brings me so much joy, and I know that my children will love reading it one day, too.
Without even intending to do it, I developed a little breakfast casserole on Christmas Eve. I wanted something that I could just throw into the oven with the cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. This breakfast casserole definitely delivered. It will definitely become a Christmas morning tradition.
Sausage, Egg, Potato, and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
2 baking potatoes
1/4 cup butter
1 pound of sausage
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup goat cheese
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
- Grease an 8x8 glass baking dish.
- Peel the baking potatoes and cut them into small cubes.
- Add butter to a cooking pan and heat over medium heat. Add the potatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes, until soft but not falling apart.
- Remove the potatoes from the cooking pan and add them to the glass baking dish.
- Add the sausage to the same pan and brown for about 15 minutes, until cooked through. Drain the grease on a paper towel-lined plate.
- In a bowl, mix together the eggs, whipping cream, goat cheese, salt, and pepper.
- Add the cooked sausage to the egg mixture.
- Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes and mix together.
- Cover the mixture with the cheddar cheese.
- Store in the refrigerator over night.
- Preheat the oven to 350 and bake for 30-35 minutes.
- Serve with sour cream and salsa.