Pumpkin Oatmeal Walnut Cookies

I loosely followed a recipe from the Quaker Oats website for these cookies. I say loosely, because I’m an idiot. Lol! I thought my batter seemed a bit too moist so I checked the ingredients list again. Sure enough it called for one cup of pumpkin, not one can. Oops! 

I just added a bit more oats, flour and sugar. I had already deviated from the recipe by adding nutmeg and allspice too. πŸ˜‰

I know baking is sort of a science,  and the ingredients really matter so we’ll see how they turn out in a few minutes when the first batch comes out of the oven. 

Ok, so I may have made the first cookies a bit too big. They were browned nicely on the bottom, but since they are so thick a tad too moist. They are bit gummy and cake like.

I think the flavor is good. I LOVE pumpkin pie, but the rest of my family could take it or leave it. πŸ˜‰ If they really hate these, I will have to freeze them. I never freeze baked goods though, so I wonder what they’ll be like thawed. Hopefully my family thinks they’re edible and I won’t have to find out.

I’m making the next batch smaller, and just watching them closer so they don’t burn.

They are smaller, but a bit darker. πŸ˜’ I think they will be just as cake like as the first batch too. Oh well, not every recipe will be a winner. (Especially when the recipe isn’t followed exactly.)

I offered the 2 year old a cookie, and he wanted one until he saw it. He called it yuck! It’s official, the 11 year old doesn’t like them either. πŸ˜›

Advertisements

Another Saturday Crock Pot Meal

The picture doesn’t look great, but it smells yummy. πŸ™‚

This Saturday crock pot idea is really working well for me. Tonight we are having a pot roast with carrots and potatoes. I went to bed around 10 pm, but the baby was awake at 2:30 to nurse, and the 2 year old was awake at 3:30 with a poopy diaper. 😦 I wasn’t able to fall back asleep until 4:30 so, I did not feel very rested when the boys were both awake for the day at 8:30. Thankfully they woke up the 11 year old too. πŸ˜‰ He helped me with the 2 year old while I nursed the baby again. By 10 am I was able to have dinner going in the crock pot.  

My husband used the crock pot this week too. He cooked up some chicken breasts for dinner the other night, and made enough for lunches for a couple of days. He simply put 4 frozen breasts in the crock pot with some spices and let it cook all day. He was able to shred the meat with a wooden spoon since it got so tender. For dinner he made mashed potatoes and gravy to go with the chicken. I had made a batch of cole slaw the night before so that went well with it too.

For lunches we made wraps with the chicken, some salad mix and honey mustard dressing. They were satisfying, and a nice healthy choice. The fact that chicken breast is so much cheaper than the deli meat we were buying for sandwiches is a bonus too.  

Unfortunately leftovers won’t work for my husband’s lunch tomorrow, but I know what I’ll be having. πŸ™‚ 

I’ll probably make some more chicken tomorrow so he can have a nice wrap Monday, and the rest of us will be able to make wraps or tacos out of the chicken for our lunches too. These little time and money savers are making my hectic life a little less so. 

Mom’s Chicken Pot Pie

0423171826

I knew what I made wasn’t really my mom’s pot pie recipe, but I didn’t think it was too far off. Tonight, I checked my recipes to find my copy of my mom’s pot pie recipe only to realize I wasn’t even close to the original. I guess I can say this is my own pot pie recipe. πŸ™‚

I won’t be sharing exact measurements for much, since I don’t measure the ingredients. I just wing it every time I make it. πŸ˜‰

I use frozen chicken breast, sometimes 2 large ones sometimes it’s 3-4 of varying sizes. I usually put in about 3 medium potatoes. I like using red skin potatoes, and I do keep the skin on them. For other vegetables I use Normandy blend, which is a combination of broccoli, cauliflower, yellow squash, zucchini and carrots. My husband does not like peas, so we never eat them. My mom’s recipe called for both onions and peas, but my family does not like them. Her recipe called for a can of cream of celery soup, and sometimes I will use one. Usually I use Β cream of chicken soup.

The first step is to get a pot of water boiling. It has to be large enough to hold the chicken and vegetables with enough room to boil without spilling over. I season my water with poultry seasoning, garlic salt, pepper, a bay leaf and sometimes I’ll add a dash of oregano or basil. Next I put the chicken in the pot. I put in whole frozen breasts. While they start to cook I wash and cube my potatoes into bite size pieces. I add those to the water, and take out a chicken breast. I cut the chicken into bite size pieces. At this point it will still be frozen in the center, but it cuts easily. I toss those pieces back in the water and cut up the rest of the chicken the same way. At this point I preheat my oven to 350 degrees and add some of my frozen Normandy blend vegetables to the pot. I don’t measure, so I just put what I think will fill my pan.πŸ˜‰ The pan I use is 13″x9″. While the mixture starts boiling again I work on the pot pie filling. I melt a stick of butter and pour that in the pan, then I add the can of cream of chicken soup and a cup of the water from the pot stirring it all together. My next step is to mix the topping, which is equal parts milk and Bisquick. I use 2-2 1/2 cups of each. By this point it’s time to drain the chicken and veggies. I usually don’t save the liquid, but it feels like a waste to dump all those flavors down the drain.😞 I make sure I pull out the bay leaf I had seasoning the liquid and spread everything into the pan, coating it with the soup mixture. Finally the Bisquick mixture gets poured over the top of the meat and veggies. I try to poke any of the bits under the topping to make sure the topping covers it all well. Then it goes into the oven until the topping is golden brown. My new oven cooks faster than my old one, so it only takes 45 minutes instead of an hour.

I know it’s not a traditional chicken pot pie, but my family really enjoys it. I still think of it as my mom’s pot pie, since I have taken a few steps from her original recipe. πŸ˜‰

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

Saturday’s are hard for me. 

I work Friday’s 4am-2:30pm, getting up to pump at 1:45 to start my day. The commute to/from work is nearly an hour, so I get home around 3:30pm to a house full of boys. Since I am still breastfeeding the 7 month, old I usually have to sit down with him shortly after I arrive home. 

I don’t get much done on a Friday after work, but I almost never get to nap. Yesterday was no exception. It wasn’t overly strenuous, but after putting away my work gear, fixing myself a large iced coffee, and nursing the baby we went out to the golf course next to our property. I had the baby in a front carrier, so I didn’t play, I just walked the course with the boys. (Hubby, 11 year old, and 2 1/2 year old) We were out just over an hour, then we came in and fixed a nice easy dinner. Chicken ravioli with broccoli in alfredo sauce, with some garlic toast. πŸ™‚ We watched a movie as a family, then played some mad libs. It was 11:30pm by the time I was settled in bed. I really hoped the baby would cooperate and give me some rest. He didn’t wake up until almost 4am, so I got a decent amount of sleep. πŸ˜‰ Hubby was up getting ready for work, and about to leave. I brought Jacob to bed with me to nurse, and kept him with me nursing him every couple of hours until about 8am. 

Since I have been trying to stick to my meal plan, I knew tonight’s dinner was scheduled to be chicken tacos. I got dinner in the crock pot just after 9am, and now I know I don’t have to worry about anything until dinner time tonight. 

Being so sleep deprived during the week, going to bed around 10pm to have my first alarm go off at 1:30am is rough. Saturday can be so exhausting when it’s my responsibility to get up during the night with the baby, so hubby can get his rest before his work week starts. He doesn’t get enough sleep either, since it was 11:30pm when we went to bed and his alarm goes off at 3:30am. πŸ˜› I am just grateful that baby Jacob didn’t choose to be up at midnight or 2am like he does sometimes. πŸ™‚

Here is my chicken taco “recipe”…

I put mild salsa in my crock pot to cover the bottom, sprinkle on a generous amount of taco seasoning, place frozen boneless/skinless chicken breast on top of the salsa/seasoning then add more salsa on top of the chicken. That’s it!

I will let it cook on low for several hours, and then shred the chicken before dinner. Tonight we are having soft tacos, so we will just put some of the chicken and salsa mixture on a soft tortilla and add lettuce, cheese and sour cream to our liking. 

This is after cooking for about 3 1/2 hours. The chicken creates a lot of liquid as it thaws and cooks. I know I shouldn’t open the lid, but I can’t help giving it a bit of a stir. If it’s too moist at dinner time, we can just use a slotted spoon to serve.  Once the chicken is shredded I’m sure it will seem thicker.

I am looking forward to a nice relaxing day without watching my clock to make sure I am ready to prepare dinner. Often times the baby will need to nurse, or 1 or both of the little ones will require diaper changes at crucial moments of dinner preparation. I tend to burn food, over cook pasta or make other mistakes when I have to do so much multi tasking. I hope to make more successful meal plans in the future to make these difficult days easier. πŸ™‚

A Sweet Treat

I haven’t shared recipes here yet, but I thought this one was worth it. πŸ™‚

This might look gross, but I assure you it is not. πŸ˜‰

These are frosted walnuts. A co-worker several years ago shared this recipe with me, but since I no longer work with her or stay in touch I don’t know who actually deserves credit for creating it. The recipe is so simple and delicious.

Ingredients…

1 pound shelled walnuts

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions…

Melt all the ingredients besides the walnuts in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the liquid to a boil while stirring constantly. Boil for 4-7 minutes. (I usually try 6-7) The original directions say to pour the nuts in a large bowl, then pour the liquid over the nuts and stir gently. I think this just creates another dish to clean and since the frosting cools quickly I prefer to add the nuts right to the saucepan and make sure they are evenly coated before I pour them out onto a greased cookie sheet. Let them cool completely, then break them apart. They should be stored in an airtight container. 

We eat these by the handful, or sprinkled on icecream.
Enjoy!