2 Blondes and a Ginger

2 Blondes and a Ginger

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Only Reason Why I Like Chicken Pot Pie

I've always liked chicken, pies, and pots, but for some reason when you throw it all together, I'm not a huge fan. That is until my mom started making this chicken pot pie recipe. I believe it is a Southern Living Recipe, and we all know that Southerners know how to cook. There are 3 things that I can promise you about this recipe.

1. If you're a chicken pot pie eater, you will never use another chicken pot pie recipe again. If you're not a chicken pot pie eater, you will be converted.
2. You are not going to lose any weight eating it. That's why it is just an "every now and then" meal.
3. Your kitchen is going to look like a disaster area when you're finished. You may even feel like Bill Nye the Science Guy while you are boiling, sautéing, and baking.

Last night I made dinner for a family in our church that just had a baby. I doubled the recipe so that I could make enough for Jeff and I to eat. It is one of Jeff's favorites! It's great because you can do a traditional pot pie in a pie pan, or you can put individual servings in ramekins and top them with pieces of a pie crust or with phyllo dough. Here's the recipe:

Chicken Pot Pie

2 Pillsbury pie crusts (come in 1 package)
1/4 c butter (1/2 stick)
1/4 c flour
1 1/2 c chicken broth
1 1/2 c half and half
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 T butter
8 oz mushrooms
1 small onion finely chopped
2 hard boiled eggs chopped
3 1/2 c chopped chicken (3 or 4 breasts) You can boil the chicken, but as my mom says, "Baking it is just so much better."

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt 1/4 c butter and add flour in skillet. Gradually add broth and half and half. Cook until it is thick and bubbly. Stir in salt and pepper and set aside. Sauté onions and mushrooms in 2 T butter. Place pie crust in pan. Add veggies, chicken and eggs to sauce. Pour into pie crust and top with the 2nd crust. Make sure you vent the crust! Bake for 30-40 minutes. You may want to let it sit for a few minutes and allow some time for the sauce to thicken up a little more. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Poop-Oh! in the Bumbo

Once upon a time, there was a little boy named Graham. Whenever Graham sat in his Bumbo chair, it made him have to poop. One day his aunt Abbey was watching him while his momma got ready for the day. Sure enough, after a few minutes in the Bumbo, there was a stench in the air. Abbey, being the responsible aunt that she is, immediately picked up her nephew to save his mom the trouble of changing yet another diaper. When she picked up Graham, she noticed that he had left her a little present in the Bumbo. She said to herself, "Well, I will handle the dirty diaper and outfit first, and then I will deal with the present in the Bumbo." She went upstairs and put a fresh diaper and clothes on Graham, then returned to survey the mess. But upon her return, she suddenly realized that the present was gone. Had a cleaning fairy come to the house? Surely not! She hadn't believed in the cleaning fairy for quite some time now. Then she looked around and saw the culprits. Two King Charles Cavalier Spaniels running around the house, happy as could be. The end.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Crazy Mom Syndrome

I felt like a crazy mom yesterday. You know what I'm talking about. One of those moms whose hair is disheveled. Her outfit has been quickly thrown together. You can tell she is really worn out, she can't handle her kids.....you know, a crazy mom.

Yesterday I planned out some meals for the week and decided to go to the grocery store. When I go to the store, I always take Graham in his car seat and set it down in the grocery basket. It usually works pretty well when Jeff and I are shopping together, but when I'm by myself, the clumsiness is magnified, and I seem to run into things like the security beeper bars. I have no idea what you call them, and I'm sure they have some official name, but you know what I mean, right? One time I couldn't see in front of me because the car seat was sitting up high, and I kept ramming the grocery basket into the security bars at the Kroger entrance. I definitely got some stares, and I think I've since noticed a sign on the security bars warning you of their presence. Hello! If I could have seen the security bars, I wouldn't have run into them! Anyway, back to yesterday. I decided that since Graham is what you call a "supported sitter" and since I am afraid he is going to fall out of the car seat when I run into things, I would try to put him directly in the basket. He can sit briefly on his own and seems to do okay in a high chair, so I thought yesterday was the day to graduate to the big boy seat at the grocery store. Yeah....I have had to do some rethinking! It was fine until Graham wanted to climb out of the grocery basket. He would start leaning over....slowly he would slide. I would catch him, put him upright, and then he would start leaning over again. Needless to say, I had to keep my hand on him the entire time. It takes some serious skills to keep one hand on the baby, one hand on the basket, and find a way to park the basket where you are only an arm's length from whatever you need, because when you reach for something, you've still got to have that one hand on a baby. Maybe if I had played my brother more often in Mario Cart, this would have come easier! You just try doing this at the milk fridge where you add in a whole new dynamic of having to steer, open a fridge door, grab the milk and hold on to your baby. After about an hour in the store, I decided I was finished. Graham was eating my grocery list anyway, so I really didn't know what else I needed. I thought about abandoning the basket and making a break for the door, but I really needed some chicken for dinner! So I got geared up to go through the checkout line. Again, it became quite difficult to reach in the basket and keep a hand on Graham. The sweet lady behind me gave me a pity smile and asked if she could help. "I think I've got it," I replied while thinking to myself, "Yeah, I've got the crazy mom syndrome." I explained to her that it was my first time to try to put him in the basket and that I obviously should have waited. "Yeah, he's probably too young," was her reply. I wish she had been out in the parking lot to tell me this before I had gone in the store. The adventure, however, was almost over. Who would have thought I would need both hands to sign the receipt? After a few attempts, I had to ask the cashier to hold down the receipt so it would stop curling up. Finally, I got my groceries loaded in the car and vowed to not try putting Graham in the big boy seat until he is the most proficient sitter upper you have ever seen.

And just in case you were wondering, I did spend an hour in the store, and I didn't come away with half of what we needed. I got a lemon to make hummus with, but I neglected to get the tahini or the secret ingredient- chickpeas. I got bread to make meatball subs, but I failed to get the meatballs. Where do you find those things anyway? I've never bought them before. Those are just a few things that didn't make their way to my basket during a very stressful visit to Kroger! Yep, I was a crazy mom yesterday, and I only have one kid! What am I going to do if I have any more children? You better starting praying that God will give me a third arm!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ready or Not!

I was going to wait until Graham was six months old to start solids, but because he is starving and only a couple of weeks away from six months, I threw a bib on him, sat him in his cute high chair, and shoved some oh so delicious rice cereal in his mouth. Then I freaked out. I'm not ready for this baby food thing. I have been planning to make baby food for Graham, and I am just not ready. I don't even know how to work my Beaba Babycook machine. When do I give him baby food? Does it have to be three meals a day? How much do I give? How long do I need to give a certain food before introducing another? What foods can he eat at this age? Do I have to add milk to make the foods thinner? In the past two days I have done some research and more importantly asked several moms how to handle the baby food situation. Who would have thought that baby food would stress me out so much? So for any of you wondering.....here's a little bit of what I have discovered.

Don't worry about three meals a day. You can slowly work into it. Some people just give 1 or 2 meals for a month or two when starting solids. Lots of people start with rice cereal first and then begin introducing vegetables and fruits. Some good first foods for babies are sweet potatoes, avocados, bananas, apples, and pears. You have to cook fruits for the first 8 moths with the exception of avocados and bananas. Who knew? You usually wait on meat until your child is 8 months old. Don't give honey or corn syrup to your baby before he is a year old. Don't give cow's milk to your baby before he is a year old. You should not give coke to your baby or to any other living being! (A friend let me borrow a book called Super Baby Food. The book is very helpful, but the author can be a little extreme about some things like not even approving an occasional soft drink for an adult!) You don't want to wait until your baby is starving to give him baby food. Babies should still be getting most of their nutrition from breast milk/formula; baby food is not a replacement. When you introduce a new food, you must wait 3-4 days before introducing another new food. This does not mean you can only serve that one food in the interim. You can continue to feed your baby all the food that you know he is not allergic to. You may have to change your baby's clothes as well as your own clothes at every feeding. Go to http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/ for recipes, tips, schedules and more. It is a very helpful site! There is so much information out there on a simple thing called baby food! I'm sure I'll make adjustments along the way, not adhere to everyone's advice, and end up doing what works best for our family. I'm sure I won't buy all organic foods, and I'm sure I will have jars of commerical baby food in my pantry to go along with the food I make.

So ready or not, we've progressed to the baby food stage. I'm off to plan some baby food meals. What do you think the theme of week 1 should be? Mexican? Surely it would be okay for me to throw in a few tortillas and some spicy chicken with the avocados I had planned on serving Graham!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunny San Diego

Well we did it. We took Graham on his first trip across the county and succeded with minimal crying and fussing. Jeff, Graham, and I hopped on a plane to San Diego to see my dear friend Lydia, her sweet husband James, and their adorable daughter Ruby. Graham and Ruby were supposed to be only 2 weeks apart, but Graham changed that when I had to deliver a month early! However, 6 weeks isn't that big of a difference, and the older they get, the less of a difference it will make. Graham had lots of firsts this past week. His first airplane ride, his first trip to the zoo, his first time to pet an animal, his first time at the beach, his first time to see fireworks, and his first time to hold a girl's hand. I'm just hoping he didn't see the fireworks while he was holding Ruby's hand. I don't think I can handle this romance moving that swiftly. The babies were quite adorable interacting with each other. They were especially adorable when they were screaming in unision as we fought our way through LA traffic! Fortunately the majority of the time they were good tempered babies which made for a fun and relaxing trip. We ate lots of Mexican food, went to a Dodgers game, saw Michael Jackson's star and people trying to sell Micheal Jackson T-shirts for $100, saw the Hollywood sign, went to a couple of beaches (This time, thankfully, we did not accidentally end up on a nudist beach!) roamed around for hours at the San Diego Zoo, and simply enjoyed the company of good friends. I am so sad they live so far away! It was a great trip, and even though Graham will never remember it, I think he had a great time as well.