Crockpot warm crab & artichoke dip

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We are in full force re-decorating mode over here but that’s certainly nothing new. This week we have been working on what is considered the dining room, which like hello, we have absolutely no use for a formal dining room. The only dinner parties we are hosting consist of mac & cheese and juices boxes am I right? We are turing the room into a homework/study room for the kids. We’ll have desks, maps, our family computer, open shelving for books, and other learn-y things. The room is right off the front of the house and the kitchen, a perfect place to put our family computer so I can keep an eye on my little buggers.

I also decided to tackle the laundry room this week because I dunno,  I’m insane. The sitch with the laundry room is that we are going to totally gut it someday and turn it into a mudroom with lockers, because it is right off the back door coming from the garage. There is a huge walk in closet upstairs that we would like to transform into our laundry room. But because we are not millionaires, that will have to wait a few years. I thought I could just let the laundry room sit until then, whenever then may be,  but it’s really just the worst. It’s yellow on the top half of the walls and it might possibly be the worst shade of yellow known to mankind. The bottom half of the walls are painted an awful tan color and are made out of.. wait for it….p l a s t i c wall sheeting,  that is supposed to look like wood I think? I don’t even know really. I am not sure what it is, but its bad. I spend so much time in the laundry room that this week I just decided to start painting. Plus, I had plenty of free time as we stay-at-home moms do, double plus, painting is something I can do alone. There is something so rejuvenating and therapeutic about painting. Out with the old, in with the new. I am about halfway done with the walls and fake wood wall thingys, the light fixtures are changed (thanks Ralphy), and I’m going to cover the old plastic cabinets with some vintage floral wall paper. It is coming along quite nicely! I will definitely be sharing pictures when it’s all done.

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Beyond that , this week has been rather movie like really.  And by that I mean everything has gone wrong in an almost comical way. We are calling it “The Holzmann Show” because if we don’t laugh about it, I can guarantee you we are going to be crying about it, and that’s no fun.  A few highlights of the production, for your viewing pleasure include, but are not limited to: A kitchen table leg falling off , causing the table to collapse and gracefully slide the warm meal that was about to be consumed right onto the hardwood. A chimney inspector makes a grand cameo to explain how a proper chimney and fireplace should be installed, and that ours was certainly NOT one of those, and if we ever want to use our fireplace again it will cost us the small price of 15 thousand smackeroonis. Special appearances from a teething 6 month old baby that only wants to be carried or nursing ALL DAY LONG, and sleeps a total of 3 hours a night, and a 3 year old boy who finds it hilarious to do the opposite of what his mother says. Let’s not forget a husband who is working days AND nights, so the days don’t feel like they ever really end… and the lead role played by a crazy lady who just wants 5 minutes to herself Alright alright, I’m done.

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I like to think I am accustomed to the chaos of our family and that I can handle it pretty well, but honestly, I have my moments where I get really frustrated and want to scream. Sometimes I do. This week I did. Having a “big” family tests me in so many ways… I am not like the moms who can handle ALL OF THE THINGS (there are so many things) with eloquence and grace. I work really hard to try and enjoy this incredible life God has given to me, but I don’t always succeed. I am a total Martha that is always striving to be more of a Mary. Motherhood is the most incredible gift that God has given me, but it can be such a roller coaster and learning to adapt is challenging.

So on this cold, windy, day I am warming my toes by the fire (in our other fireplace), and drinking dark chocolate hot cocoa, watching the Packer game, mind you there is a baby on my lap, and 3 little boys running around playing tackle football in my living room, but still, feeling extra blessed.

<insert brilliant transition here> Speaking of warm fire, how about a warm snack from the crockpot? (there it is!), I have been using my crockpot like its my job lately. Like for real. At least 3 times a week our meal is a crockpot meal and it’s amazing. It makes me look like a super star with a hot meal ready for my boys at the end of a long day. Sometimes I don’t even tell Ralph I made it in the crockpot. I’m like “can you believe I had time to make these beef brisket sandwiches and mac and cheese bites, whist keeping the house spotless and mothering so effortlessly all day long?”, (all of that stuff really does happen every day) Anywho….this warm crab dip from Pinch of Yum totally rocks. You can make it in the crock pot, your house will smell amazing, and it’s gooey and super cheesey. Soul food. Also perfect game food. I am warming the leftovers up right now for Ralph and I. I served mine with tortilla chips, crackers and some extra cheese for sprinkling on top. No complaints.

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Ingredients
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 14 ounces canned or jarred artichoke hearts
  • 8 ounces canned jumbo lump crab meat
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1¼ cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup Gyurere cheese, shredded (or parmesan)
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Your favorite dipping chips
Instructions
  1. Remove the seeds from the jalapeño and pepper. (wear gloves! I never learn...) Then chop.
  2. Saute peppers in a teaspoon of olive oil and set aside.
  3. Drain artichoke hearts and chop.
  4. Drain crab and chop.
  5. In your pepper pan (which is now empty because you set them aside), melt butter.
  6. Add flour and whisk until you get a paste. Let the mixture bubble for a minute.
  7. Slowly pour in milk and whisk.
  8. Let the sauce heat over low for a few minutes to thicken.
  9. Then pour sauce, salt, cheese, artichokes, crab, scallions , peppers, and lemon juice into a small crock pot.
  10. Let it heat all together on low for about an hour before serving.
  11. Sprinkle with extra cheese right before serving with chips or crackers.

 

 

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Happy Valentines Day & One Pot Chicken Spaghetti

maternity 28 weeks

Happy Feast of St Valentine from 3 out of 4 of my Valentines to yours! I can’t wait to celebrate with the boys at their Valentines parties at school, we worked so hard on our cards this year. We have some fun things planned for our Friday night at home as well! Love is in the air!

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Keeping it simple for dinner tonight and making this one pot chicken pasta from Yellow Bliss Road. We have made this recipe a lot over the winter season. 1 because it is delicious and 2 because one pot, duh. You won’t believe how simple this is and how flavorful it turns out.

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one pot chicken spaghetti

Print
Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into one inch chunks
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 small onion diced
  • olive oil
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 box dry pasta
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce (26-28 oz)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot on medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and onions and sauté for 2 minutes.
  3. Add chicken pieces and season with salt and pepper. Cook until no longer pink.
  4. Add jar of spaghetti sauce, chicken broth, water, bay leaf, diced tomatoes,and seasoning to the pot. Bring to a boil.
  5. Add dry pasta. Reduce heat to low.
  6. Simmer for 20 minutes stirring only a few times.
  7. If all the pasta isn't covered by liquid, add more chicken broth or water.
  8. Stir in cheese and serve warm.

Recipe adapted from:Yellow Bliss Road

 

Happy Weekend and don’t forget to enter the Pink Blush Maternity giveaway before it’s too late!

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2013 Favorites

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2013 was a great year for our family and for this blog! Thank you all for your visits, pins, comments, e-mails, and kind words. I wanted to share the most popular and favorite recipes of 2013 plus a few of my favorite other posts. I did not post nearly as much as I would have liked to this year, due to all the pregnancy sickness that was thrown my way, but I still really appreciate you all hanging on and supporting me! I love sharing our family’s favorite recipes, and bits & pieces of our life with you on here, it brings me great joy. God’s blessings for 2014 to all of you.

1. Sloppy Joe spaghetti bake-: My number one visited recipe of this year and one of my easy favorites! Eliminate that gluten as much as you can!sloppy joe bake (1)

2. Heirloom tomato and goat cheese tart: I have pregnancy cravings for this ALL THE TIME. Wish I would have froze some of those beauties.

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3. Gluten-free Mexican pizza: So delicious and fun to make with the kids! This recipe made Family Fun magazine this year which was uber exciting for me!mexican pizza4.Banana cream pudding: You will never appreciate the flavor in this pudding until you make it yourself. Trust me.

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5. Merlot Meatballs: This is my favorite recipe of the year. I make these regularly in the winter now with a heaping pile of mashed potatoes and veggies along side them. You can’t beat this sauce.

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My other favorite posts of 2013:

1.JS Conf 2013: This post will always remind of my battle with anxiety and how this trip changed my ability to deal with it on a daily basis. ameliaisland (26)

2. A halloween to remember: I love this post because years from now when the kids are grown, and I sit down and read it, I will be filled with so many emotions about them growing older and thankful I recorded how I felt on that very day. But I can’t even think about that right now because….pregnancy hormones. pumpkin rissotto (2)3. Holzmann party of 6: Because NEW BABY! DUH!! yay!

Remy14. Meet Ralph: A post I am glad I took some time to write about my incredible partner in life. I love our life together and it is only the beginning.REAL5. 20-week pregnancy update : I asked Ralph probably 10 times if he thought I should take out the rant about having more kids. I am so glad he told me to keep it in there. I can’t tell you how incredible all your sweet messages about that post made me feel. Sometimes the world needs a little honesty.

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xoxo

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Crockpot fall apart ribs

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When fall rolls around the crock pot makes it’s way up from the basement and finds a temporary home in the kitchen. I use my crock so much during the fall and winter months that I leave it out on the counter. That being said, I like to look for “challenging” crock pot recipes if those even exist? But you know what I mean right? I don’t always like the recipes where you just dump some cans of condensed soup, along with some raw meat and call it dinner. Sometimes those recipes work out and are great, but a lot of them turn out rather tasteless and sloppy. I like to think you need to put a little bit of work into a meal to get good results. So while these ribs are not hard or a lot of work, in fact they are quite simple, you don’t just toss everything together in one step. I promise you it really isn’t much work at all and the results are tender and savory fall off the bone ribs.crockpot ribsYou are welcome to skip making the sauce and use store bought if you’d like! I have found myself married to a man that detests store bought BBQ sauce. I think it comes from his dislike of anything “sweet” on or near his meat. He is real manly about meat, you know how that goes. This recipe for BBQ sauce is a little more savory than sweet if you like that kinda thing.

Print
Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons paprika
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 8-9 lbs pork ribs
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1-cup raw honey
  • 5-8 drops hot sauce
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • ground pepper
Instructions
  1. First make the BBQ sauce.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk ketchup, honey, hot sauce, dry mustard, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and pepper.
  3. Pour sauce into a sauce pan and heat on medium until everything is incorporated.
  4. Mix together dry ingredients to create a rub: paprika, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
  5. Cover ribs with rub on both sides and place in the crock pot on low heat.
  6. Let the ribs heat for 2 hours then pour sauce over the top.
  7. Heat an additional 4-6 hours.

Hope you are having a blessed week friends!

 

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Pumpkin risotto

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Pumpkins are certainly on the brain lately and I love it! I have been trying to incorporate more pumpkin into our diets this month and this recipe has proven to be a winner. Another fun new recipe I tried was pumpkin banana muffins and they were incredibly moist and went over particularly well in our house. Here is the recipe I used with a few substitutions. Anyway, back to the risotto! I don’t make risotto often because it always sounds like a lot of work. I wanted to try it out in the crock pot to see if I could achieve a good risotto but also be super lazy about it. Turns out it worked really well. *and the crowd goes wild for team lazy

pumpkin rissotto

The ultimate lazy cook challenge: could I make a meal out of this without making anything else to go with it? Enter, chicken apple sausage. The apples from the chicken apple sausage and the pumpkin go together so well. Give me anything apple this season, the apples are incredible this year!  You can’t keep us away from the apple orchards these days, especially now that the honey crisps are coming around. Yum. You know that saying an apple a day… keeps the doctor away. Let’s just say we shouldn’t be needing to see any doctors for a long long time.

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Ingredients
  • 1-15 oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 cups short grain white rice
  • 32 oz vegetable(or chicken) broth
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced OR 2½ tablespoons Tastefully Simple's Garlic Garlic
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or grapeseed oil)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 package chicken apple sausage (Costco carries delicious apple sausages stuffed with gouda!)
  • ⅘ handfuls spinach
  • water as needed
Instructions
  1. In a large crock pot toss in uncooked rice, broth, butter & pumpkin.
  2. Turn crock pot to high for an hour to let the rice cook.
  3. In a medium sauce pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Toss in garlic.
  4. After about a minute toss onions into pan with garlic. Heat until onions are translucent.
  5. Next, slice chicken apple sausage into small, bite-size slices. Toss into the same pan with the onions and garlic. Heat until lightly browned.
  6. Add sausage mixture to the crock pot, stir and turn heat down to low.
  7. Cook risotto for at least 5 hours or until rice is fully cooked.
  8. Toss in fresh spinach right before serving.

A few other favorite pumpkin recipes:

*updated Here is the link to the pumpkin caramel apple crisp. The recipe is in a free downloadable e-cookbook under dessert recipes!

pumpkins (2)Speaking of pumpkins, check out our pack this year! In order, Liam’s, Jack’s, Remy’s and baby’s. Pumpkin seeds are roasting in the oven as I type!pumpkins (1) pumpkinsHappy Halloween festivities this week and next, to you and your littles! Remember to follow us over on Instagram for picture updates. I am excited to see all the fun costumes this week.

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