Love Overflowing

Apple, Cheddar and Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds extra-lean ground turkey
  • 1 large egg (I used a 1/4 cup of Egg Beaters)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 green apple, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1/2 cup dried unsweetened cranberries

Directions

Use a 4-quart slow cooker. In a large mixing bowl, mix the ground turkey with the egg, seasonings, apple, cheese and cranberries. I used my hands. Make golf-ball sized meatballs and place them into your stoneware. Stagger stacking. Cover and cook on low for 5-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours.

While they cook, juice will collect on the bottom of the crock, and the meatballs will begin to look bright white and slimy. Don’t be alarmed- they will continue to cook and will brown. They don’t seem to stick together in a big blob so you will be able to separate them.

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Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

Serves 8

  • 4 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, chopped
  • 1 (26oz) jar pasta sauce
  • 1 cup buffalo wing sauce
  • 8 to 10 uncooked traditional lasagna noodles
  • 1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
  • 3 red, yellow or orange bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 cup water

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken, pasta sauce, and buffalo wing sauce. Ladle a big spoonful of the sauce into the bottom of your stoneware. Cover with a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles. You’ll have to break to them to get a proper fit. Add a smear of ricotta cheese to the top of the noodles. Add a layer of bell pepper, and top with some shredded cheese. Repeat layers until you run out of ingredients. Add the blue cheese crumbles. Put the water into your empty pasta sauce jar and shake. Pour the liquid over the top of the entire lasagna. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours, or on high for 4 to 5 hours. When the cooking time is complete, unplug the crock and take off the lid. Let the lasagna sit for 20 minutes before cutting.

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Chicken and Dumpling Soup

Serves 6

  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken (I used breasts. 3 lbs seemed excessive to me so I used a little over a pound and there was a lot of chicken.)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 16 oz frozen vegetables
  • (2) 10 oz cans cream of something soup, or alternative below
  • 1 can refrigerated biscuits

Use a 4 qt slow cooker. Put the chicken and vegetables into the bottom of the crock. Add the cream-of soups or the substitute. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

An hour before serving, shred the chicken with two large forks, and drop in the biscuit dough. Cover and cook on high for another hour. The dumplings are done when a knife is easily inserted and comes out clean. The dumplings will be spongy and will brown a bit on the sides and top. Serve in bowls, with a dumpling or two per person.

Alternative soup

  • 4 tbl butter
  • 6 tbl flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning

Combine ingredients in a saucepan.

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Slow cooker cookbook

I have always loved my slow cooker, crock pot, whatever you chose to call it. I am always on the hunt for recipes that tasted good and weren’t overly bad for you. My friend, Stephanie, told me about this book “Make It Fast, Cook It Slow“. I love cookbooks. I really do. I have a ton of them, many gathering dust. I decided that I would get this book from the library first to see if it would be worth purchasing. Must be a popular book because it took a month or two before I got it. I started going through the cookbook, writing down what recipes that I would be interested in trying. 5, 10, 15 recipes later, I decided that I really just needed to purchase the book. So I did!

I have about 20-30 recipes I want to try out of it. So far, I have made 3. Huge progress, you think? Not so much. I am getting ready to make a menu for May so I will be pulling it out shortly to decide what I want to try next.

My friend asked me to post the recipes that I have tried so the next few posts will be yummy!

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Tea with Beauty and the Beast

Emily and I attended “Tea with Beauty and the Beast” at the Magic House this past weekend. We met up with my sister, her daughter, her friend and two daughters. The girls had a wonderful time! This was definitely an event that we would attend again.

When we arrived, the girls were given their choice of tiara or crown to take to their table and decorate. Not just with markers but with jewels. Lots and lots of bling to decorate their tiaras. Once everyone was bedazzled, the show began. They put on a short play of the story “Beauty and the Beast”. During intermission tea, apple juice and pastries were served. Yum! After the show was over, the kids got to meet the characters of the show and have their pictures taken, along with getting their “autograph”. It was so cute seeing Emily eye the Prince.

After the tea, the kids got to play in the Magic House. I don’t care how often you go, you can never see everything. We have been half a dozen times and still haven’t been able to do every activity. We tried to hit the major ones since our time was limited. Emily actually climbed up a third of the beanstalk for the first time! She would never attempt it before. It’s amazing what a little “younger cousin doing it” motivation will do. By the time we left, everyone was pooped out! There were still so many exhibits that we didn’t get to see. We barely scratched the surface. Just means that we have to go again! I think Zachary is at a good age where he would start to enjoy the “Little bit of Magic” area. He will have to come with us next time.

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Ultimate Sandwich Makeover

I love HouseParty.com. I have been lucky enough to have been chosen to host 2 parties. Most recently being Kraft’s Ultimate Sandwich Makeover. A fellow awesome playgroup momma and I both were selected to host. Instead of having two separate parties, inviting the same people, we decided to combine our loot and have one big party. Amy was amazing and opened up her home and did most of the work. She’s awesome, have I mentioned that?

The spread was laid out- Oscar Mayer carving board meats, Kraft Big Slice cheese and three different flavors of Kraft sandwich shop mayo. All courtesy of Kraft Foods! Amy and I provided bread and other sandwich fixins’ while the guests brought food to share. We had quite the buffet going on! If you went home hungry it was not fault but your own!

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to “host” as much as I would have liked. I think poor Zachary was just so worn out from his busy weekend that he was in protest mode. He didn’t want me to put him down at all. When I finally got him down, he freaked when he couldn’t see me. Fun times. it got so bad that he just couldn’t stop crying. I had to jet out of party pretty quickly. Luckily, some wonderful moms helped me load up the car and get outta dodge. I am sure they were happy to see the screaming child go!

It was a great party though! Amy did a wonderful job of setting everything up. There was a lot off food and a lot of great conversation. It’s always a great time when you *try* to get some adult conversation in during the day. Even better when you succeed! Kraft was very generous with their freebies and coupons. Again, I love House Party!

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Going on a hunt…

‘Tis the season for the bunny and egg hunts! It’s always so much fun for me to see the kids scramble after little plastic eggs. Emily is at the age still where she isn’t concerned with the number of eggs that she gets. She just wants to enjoy the hunt and excitement of seeing what is in the egg.  Zachary….Well, this is his first egg hunt season. He was a little overwhelmed at the first egg hunt we went to. I don’t think it was the hunt itself as much as the sheer number of kids there. He has been going through a little separation anxiety so he was a little clingy. He didn’t want me to put him down for quite some time so that made picking up eggs a little difficult.

Our first egg hunt was with our amazing playgroup. The amazing hunt organizer stuffed over 400 eggs for the kids to hunt and spread them out over a large field in the park. My hat is off to her because I can only imagine how much time she spent stuffing, closing and hiding. She did an amazing job! Thanks Ana! Besides the egg hunt, there was food. Lots and lots of food. Our group sure knows how to eat! This shindig was a lot of fun! Zachary eventually warmed up to the whole thing and had fun. He actually got down and played at some point. Emily even got to dye some eggs! She had a blast of course!

I don’t have any pictures of the second hunt. It was just Daddy and Zachary. Unfortunately, it has rained the day prior to the hunt. Hunt day was wet and chilly. Zachary enjoyed some donuts and playtime with Daddy before they slip, slided in the mud.

The next egg hunt was held down the street from our house! It was our subdivision’s annual egg hunt. Always a great time! They have tons and tons of eggs for the kids to hunt so there are no fighting. They even have an area roped off for the 3 and under crowd. Emily got her first “painting”. She has never had her face or hand painted, if you can believe that!

Both kids had lots of fun. Zachary was finally getting into the whole hunting thing and picked up some eggs to put into his basket. The kids then got to pick some attendance prizes. I love that Emily isn’t about the biggest. most expensive. She was happy with a little stuffed bunny and a paddle ball. Zachary got a car in an egg and was more impressed with the egg. Got to love the innocence. Soon enough it will be about bigger and better. I am enjoying it while I can.

Luckily, the weather has been pretty nice for the past week or so. We have been able to get out and enjoy. I love spring!

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Organic?

Do you like the concept of buying fruits and vegetables without pesticides? Who doesn’t, right? The problem with buying organic is cost. Let’s face it- it costs a lot more to purchase things that are healthier for you. I came across a recipe to make your own fruit/vegetable wash. Super easy, super economical. Eat your lettuce and peppers without worry!

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 cup of water

That’s it! Cheap and easy. All you do is pour all the ingredients into a clean spray bottle. Mix well. Spray on fruit or vegetables to remove any harmful pesticides. Let stand for minutes and then rinse thoroughly.

Can’t get much easier than that!

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To the farm…

Purina Farms that is.

The kids, Grandma and I headed to Purina Farms with our playgroup last week. What a beautiful day it turned out to be! The weather was perfect and the crowds weren’t bad at all. A great say to visit the Easter Village.

We had never been before so this was an exciting adventure for all of us. During Easter, they have an area set up with lots of baby animals to see and some to touch. Chicks, bunnies, piglets, lambs- just to name a few. They were very cute! Emily really enjoyed being able to touch many of them. Zachary- not so much. He was more concerned with why the women had floppy bunny ears on. He just couldn’t get over their appearance to focus on the animals. He really enjoyed looking at the kitties though.

There is also a cow that you can milk! Emily had no problem milking the cow. Which is kind of amusing considering she would not see Peter Cottontail when we arrived. Zachary just went with the flow for most things. I think the biggest hit of the day was the dog show. We got to see dogs and a pot bellied big play with Frisbees and go through the obstacle course. We even got to see them jump into a pool after the Frisbees. The show was really neat. We then went on a wagon ride before our picnic lunch.

It was a really fun day. Totally worth the 45 minute drive. The kids really enjoyed themselves, as did I. Zachary was so worn out that he fell asleep in the car. That rarely happens. What is even more rare was the fact that he went back to sleep when we got him into the house. He was farmed out.

Sorry about the poor picture quality. I remembered to charge my camera battery but forgot to actually put it back into the camera…. Doh!

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Another dress project

I am really wanting to become better at sewing. I need another lesson, but I am trying to learn as I go for now. I can do the very basic stuff. Most of the time. I want to learn how to do gathers, buttons, zippers, etc. One project at a time I guess.

Last week I sat down to work on a dress for Emily. I had an idea of what I wanted in my head so I got to work. I measured and cut and pinned. And then I realized that I totally didn’t measure or do the addition correctly to make the dress work. Doh! I was determined NOT to let the material go to waste though. I thought about it and figured a way to salvage the dress. I found some fabric in a coordinating color so I incorporated it into the design.

I don’t think it turned out too bad.  It’s not what I had imagined at first but it’s still cute. Once I had it all cut and pinned finally it really only took me less than an hour to sew. I am getting better…

Finished product

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