Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cheesecake Filled Strawberries

As I was surfing the internet last night, looking for some meals for my weekly meal plan, I came across these strawberries. They looked delicious so I added them to the menu for dessert tonight. I can't wait! I was fortunate enough that my sister Kim showed up to help with these! Yay for sisterly moments! And yes mom, we used the infamous strawberry *claw*!

We prepared the strawberries by removing the stem and hollowing out the insides a little bit. This was mostly Kim's job : )

I used my mom's cheesecake recipe for the filling: 8 oz cream cheese blended until smooth, add 1/3 cup lemon juice, and 1 tsp of vanilla and beat together. I put it in a ziplock bag and cut the corner. This made filling each strawberry super easy. 

Initially we started out with 1 lb of strawberries, but quickly prepared the other container as we had a ton of extra filling. We also cut the bottoms of the strawberries off so they would stand on their own. VERY helpful!

And for the final touch, we sprinkled crushed graham crackers on the top. Yummy! I can't wait for dessert tonight!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Apple Chips

My boys love apples in just about any form, so today I figured we could give this a try. These apple chips are yummy!

They turned out to be super easy to make, especially with Hunter's help!

Hunter began by bringing me all the apples....he bit into a couple in the process!

I cut the apples in slices and Hunter helped to sprinkle the sugar-cinnamon mix. Some were a little more sugary than others!

We baked them at 200 for about 3 hours to dry them out. I think if I would have cut them a little thinner, it wouldn't have taken as long. 

These boys couldn't get enough!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Milestone Day for JP and Mommy

Please tell me I'm not the only mom that has cried when it was time to take the crib down?! Today has been all about helping JP to become a big boy, and in doing so, he's been promoted to a toddler bed. 

Little JP at 2 years and 16 days old
We've been working with Hunter on his bed time routine as I am tired of fighting bed time every night. The past few weeks we've been doing pretty good.  It's been a lot less stressful on both of us. Desperate for the bedtime battle to stop, I began reading this book. I'm only halfway through but have learned a lot already! 

One of the ideas was to give your child a "lovie", which Hunter already has, his Winnie the Pooh blanket. I read that often times kids will use a sibling as a lovie because they find comfort in having their "friend" so close. So needless to say, I found this to be the perfect opportunity to get JP out of his crib. It was going to happen sooner or later!

We began by getting the boys super excited about sharing a room. Hunter asked me a few times prior if JP could sleep with him, so he was excited to get his wish! Moving Hunter's room around turned out to be a little bit more difficult than I anticipated. Hunter's "big boy" bed was just bigger than I thought, and the ledge that runs around the room added to the problem. 

We ended up taking out Hunter's desk because it was just too big for the room, and WAY too big for him. And it was only used as storage for his toys. Typical. It was replaced with Great Grandma's rocking chair, so mommy or daddy can monitor, if needed. And three nights in, it's hardly been used!

How did I take this whole transition? Pretty good. Until Perry took the crib out to the garage... I cried. And cried. And cried.

I guess I just figured the crib would stay upstairs for a while longer....just in case, you know, the boys need separated, or we have a little girl? Perry tried to reassure me that it'll only be in storage and we can get it back out if we need it. Not helpful - my baby is no longer a baby!

Little JP at 6 days old

Monday, February 20, 2012

Broccoli Salad

I'm not going to admit that I have picky eaters at home, but let's face it, who's kid isn't a picky eater from time to time? One day my boys LOVE Mac & Cheese the next time they won't even look at it. Despite their finicky behavior, I bought a cookbook for kids, full of food kids *supposedly*  like. I found one that not only the boys will eat, but dad will too!

Lucky for me, it was really simple! 
All you need is:
1 bag of Broccoli ( I used the Broccoli Steamers in the freezer isle)
1 container of Cherry Tomatoes
Italian Dressing (or of your choosing)

Depending on your mood, you can make it either hot or cold. Often times when I plan ahead, I'll thaw the broccoli in the fridge and then eat it cold. Other times I'll heat them up in the microwave.
I cut the cherry tomatoes in half, mostly to prevent the boys from choking. 
Mix together and add a little dressing, and Wah-La! Yummy salad in minutes!

I normally eat it just like this, but the other day I had salami left over in the fridge that we needed to use up. That was a great addition too!

I used to completely hate broccoli up until recently. I'm pretty sure it would made my top 15 Favorite Foods list if I had one. I'm also excited that little Hunter and JP often request "trees" for lunch/dinner. Speaking of which, this is my lunch today - Can't wait!