My Birthday

I recently celebrated my birthday. I now consider myself to be in my mid-30’s (I’m 34). I felt like an orange cake with chocolate frosting. I made this orange velvet cake and topped it with this chocolate buttercream frosting. It tasted great! Orange and chocolate just go well together.

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We celebrated at Nonna and Papa’s house. They gave me a gift certificate to a local Chinese food restaurant and offered to watch the kids for us so we could have a real date night! My sister and brother-in-law gave me a pretty cake/dessert tray. I also got a meal in a basket (complete with cake mix!) from my godmother and uncle. Jonathan and the kids gave me two Camelbak water bottles-just what I wanted!

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I had a great laid-back birthday and always love spending it with family. Here’s to an awesome 34th year of life!

Oh Yeah, I Guess I’m 33 Now

My Mom started off a conversation with me at the beginning of February with, “So, you’re 33 now…” It really hadn’t occurred to me that I was a whole year older. You see, the weekend we were set to celebrate with family two of our girls came down with the stomach bug. I was really excited to celebrate too, because I had spent a few hours making a Strawberry Dream Cake like I saw on Pinterest. All that to say, I didn’t feel like I was a year older because I had not blown out candles and eaten birthday cake. So I bought myself a few more weeks of being 32.

My Dad suggested freezing the cake, which is what I did, and we finally celebrated my and my Grandma’s birthdays this past weekend.

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What’s Cooking: Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

Jonathan and I are a fan of enchiladas, but we’ve always stick to the red sauce variety. I’ve always wanted to try a white sauce enchilada and this recipe for Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas piqued my interest.

IMG_7115Modifications/Substitutions: I didn’t make any changes to the recipe, though I changed a few methods.

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To cook the chicken I popped a few frozen pieces in the crock pot for a few hours. A handy way to shred chicken is to use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. It literally takes seconds to shred the chicken. IMG_7108IMG_7110

Also, rather than add the chicken mixture and then a bit of cheese in each tortilla, I mixed the cheese with the chicken mixture and then added that to each tortilla.IMG_7107IMG_7111IMG_7112IMG_7113

The Verdict: After our first few bites we were pleased with our meal. By the time we were maybe halfway done we were honey-ed out. It was a bit on the sweet side. If I were to make this again I might cut the honey amount in half.

Is it Family Friendly? Not quite. Abigail did tell us a few times how yummy it was, and she did eat most it. Sarah wasn’t into it at all.

Would I Make it Again? I think I am more likely to try a different white enchilada recipe first.

What’s Cooking: Pulled Pork

We go grocery shopping once a week (at least). I make our weekly menu at the same time, basing a lot of what we’ll have on what’s for sale that week. A few weeks back pork butt was on sale. I didn’t know what to do with it, so I went to Pinterest for help. That’s where I found a recipe for “Best Ever Pulled Pork Sandwiches“. I saw that it involved using a slow cooker and less than five ingredients, so I was sold!

IMG_7081Modifications/Substitutions: Coke was on sale, so we went for that instead of Diet Pepsi. Plus, we don’t do diet soda here. Also, I like cole slaw with my pulled pork sandwiches, but I didn’t factor that into our grocery list. So, I made a carrot slaw with carrots in a sauce made of mayonnaise, a splash of vinegar, a drop of Dijon mustard, and a pinch of sugar. I thought it was pretty good!IMG_7070IMG_7074

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The Verdict: this was a very easy and affordable recipe to make. I thought there would be a little more flavor, but nothing really knocked my socks off. I will say though, that it was even better as leftovers.

Family Friendly? We actually didn’t even have the girls try this and gave them hot dogs instead. This may be more of an option for them when they are a bit older.

Make Again? Sure, but probably not until pork butts are on sale.

Banana “Ice Cream”

We don’t buy bananas every week because many times we have one or two left that end up in the banana bread stage. I had recently made banana muffins and did not feel like baking again (as much as I love banana muffins). Instead, I decided to try out a popular pin I’ve seen on Pinterest for one ingredient Banana “Ice Cream”.

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Abigail helped with the first step: slicing the bananas. We stuck them in the freezer for a few hours.

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The next step wasn’t nearly as easy as the first. The directions suggested using a food processor, but I went with the blender. That didn’t work very well (though it may have been because I tried to do too much at once). I then did small batches in my food processing attachment to my hand blender and finished it up in the large blender.

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The bananas were a little on the soft side, so we put it in the freezer for an hour or so.

The girls loved it. Even Lily gobbled it up. This is such an easy and healthy way to use up very ripe bananas. We will definitely be doing this again!

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