Crockpot Chicken & Dumplings

The crockpot is seriously the best invention ever.  We use it at least 2 times a week here.  I wasn’t sure how this Chicken & Dumplings would turn out – I hate soggy biscuits.  It was wonderful!  Landon said it also tasted great as leftovers the next day.  It made our dinner rotation and I just add whatever I have on hand to the pot.  Peas, carrots, rice….just to add some heartiness!  I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Crockpot Chicken & Dumplings

Ingredients
3 Chicken Breasts, thawed
2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup (i used the healthy choice)
1 can chicken broth (i used the low sodium healthy choice)
1/2 onion, diced
salt/pepper to taste
any “mix ins” you like – peas, carrots, rice, etc.
Biscuit Dough (you can use the canned kind, or whip up some bisquick.  I used 1/2 of the recipe of bisquick for biscuits)
Instructions
Place the chicken in the crock pot and season with some salt and pepper.  Add the soup, broth and onions.  If you add rice, I waited to add cooked rice before I put the biscuits on. This will look gross….just kind of give it a quick stir and then cover and leave it alone for about 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.  
Remove the chicken and cut or shred with the fork.  Return it to the soup mixture.  Cut (or tear) the biscuits into small pieces and stir them into the mixture.  Return the lid and cook on high for about 30 minutes, or until the biscuits are done.  Enjoy!

Back in "Business"

A year ago I decided to stop keeping up with this blog.  For the last year, I have been referring to this  blog for all my favorite recipes.  It’s kind of like my online recipe book.  It’s actually easier to document my favorite recipes on here for easy reference, and I know that a few of y’all were disappointed that I wasn’t sharing my favorite recipes……so I decided to start sharing again!  I can’t promise the pictures will be pretty OR staged (i will try my best to make it look appetizing), but I CAN promise that any recipe I post is a keeper!!!  I’ve got lots of crockpot recipes to share, and some clean eating meals as well!
Here is a quick and easy recipe I made TWICE last week.  It is adapted from the Banana Nutella Cake with Nutella Frosting over at Two Peas & Their Pod.  Although I haven’t made the frosting, I’m sure that it is AMAZING.  The cake is perfect without the frosting (and added calories) so I’ll keep it that way for now.  I made it into muffins for a breakfast play date!  Please see the original recipe by clicking the link above if you are interested in making the frosting.  :O)
Banana Nutella Chocolate Chip Muffins/Snack Cake
Makes a 9×13 pan or about 18 muffins
Ingredients
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar (i used half stevia/half sugar)
2 large eggs
1 cup plain greek yogurt (i used fage 0%)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1/2 cup nutella
handfull of chocolate chips if you want!
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9×13 pan or muffin tin.
Cream the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the yogurt and vanilla.  Mix in the bananas.  
Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Gradually add the dry mixture only until blended.  Throw in the chocolate chips and give it a quick stir if you are using them! Spread the batter evenly in the pan.  I didn’t measure the Nutella, I just dropped little spoonfuls on top of the cake and swirled it in with a knife.  
Bake for 20-25 minutes for the cake and 15-18 minutes for the muffins, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
ENJOY!

Sweet & Unexpected Moments

I don’t know if you read my last post, but God has really been testing me in the area of patience and love the last few days.  Instead of seeing certain circumstances as “nuisances”, I have really embraced them and enjoyed every minute of “unplanned” time with the girls.  
Here’s my sweet Lily bug. She was rebelling against nap time, but Lauren was OUT.  So I grabbed Lily and we made cookies.  She insisted on wearing the beanie. We had such a sweet time together – I rarely get to spend time with the twins one-on-one.  
Tuesday morning came along.  Let me just tell you our schedule right now on Tuesdays: 
8:00 – Brooke wakes up, gets ready for school
8:30 – wake the twins up and get them dressed and fed.
8:50 – we really should leave the house by now, but I usually forget SOMETHING and have to go back into the house several times, as well as chase Lauren around to get her into the car.
8:55 – get to school.  On Tuesdays the twins go to a “mother’s day out” program.  For some reason they HATE it.  Yesterday Lauren was in the corner of her room by her crib holding on for dear life.  I have to pick them both up and carry them in.  I WISH I had a video camera so y’all could see how crazy we look. As much as I LOVE a 3 hour break once a week, I don’t want to take them somewhere they are not comfortable, so we are praying about some different options.
12:00 – Pick the twins home, race home feed them and lay them down.
1:50- wake the twins up and load the car.
1:55 – unload the car to go get Brooke from preschool.
2:00 – reload the car
2:05 – get home and unload the car.
2:06 – wish I could take a nap
 Since Lauren has some SERIOUS allergies, not to mention she had a firm grip on my hair, I decided to keep her with me.  I felt SO guilty for leaving Lily there alone, but we paid for the month, and I knew she would have fun playing.  Lauren & I went to Utica Square and had a wonderful time together.  I didn’t get to peacefully shop, but I had so much fun with Lauren just running around freely in the BEAUTIFUL weather.
So last night by the time I had cleaned up after dinner, I was SO ready for bed.  I was also feeling like I was coming down with a weird “bug”.  So when the girls went to bed, I just melted into bed.  1 a.m. came around and I was WIDE AWAKE.   I laid in bed until 3 just tossing and turning trying to fall asleep.  I finally got out of bed and sat at the computer looking at Pinterest, and contemplating whether or not to go to Wal-Mart.  I decided getting clothes on was too much work.  As I sat there, I heard an odd sound coming from the twin’s room.  I walked in and Lauren was choking and having a hard time breathing.  I picked her up and she coughed up some of the allergy drainage that she was choking on.  We got some snuggle time in, and I laid back down and fell asleep pretty quickly.  God allowed me to wake up for those few hours so that I would hear Lauren choking.  I’m so thankful even though it meant missing a few hours of sleep.  I know he will give me the energy to get through today….and I’m sure that Starbuck’s can help the situation a little bit too.  :O)

Seasons…

I can’t believe it’s already fall.  I can’t believe Brooke just turned 4, and the twins are already 2. Brooke is already in school…even if it is only for two days a week.  Life seems to be going by SO quickly between school, birthdays, speech therapy and cubbies.  I ended last week feeling like a complete FAILURE.  I was late to school almost every morning, I got in “trouble” for leaving the twins in the car while I ran Brooke into preschool (gasp, I know), she wore the wrong shoes to school (shoes I specifically bought because I thought they were acceptable), and I really struggled with anger for the last couple weeks at various circumstances.  Guilt settled in as I thought about my impatience, selfishness, forgetfulness, etc.   I pulled out a letter that my sweet friend Terri mailed me a few weeks ago and tears came to my eyes as I realized how sinful my actions have been.  I’m thankful for God’s forgiveness, but I know that there isn’t a way to go back in time.  I needed a reminder of my duties as a mommy.  I NEED to show Christ to them.  I HAVE to share parts of this with you because I know it will be an encouragement to many of you other young mothers.

For The Young Mother: Ministry, Guilt, and Seasons of Life, by Jani Ortulnd.

“As a young mother everyone wants SOMETHING from you – your family, your church, your boss, your neighbor.  And most likely, you give way more than you ever thought you could.  But along the way guilt nibbles at your soul, eating away your inner peace and joy.  And it often lingers through the years, even after your children are grown and gone.”

“Don’t waste your guilt – but instead listen to it and evaluate it.  Take it out of the shadows and examine it in the light of Scripture.  Lay out your feelings before Christ.  Is this guilt legitimate conviction of sin?  Then confess your sin, receive His forgiveness and ask Him where and how he wants you to change.  But maybe your guilt is a nagging, self focused fear that if you were just a bit better or worked just a little harder, then you would be noticed and admired enough to feel okay about yourself.  That is a false guilt, rooted in pride.  It will hurt your family and hinder your relationship with your grace-giving Father  If this describes your guilt, then remind yourself that through Christ’s death and resurrection,  you are accepted by god.  The solution to false guilt, as to true guilt, is the gospel. “

“Remember my mission field – one reason a young mother can feel wrongly guilty is that she forgets that her first and primary mission field must be her children.  Mothering calls for the best in us as women.  As mothers, we SHAPE the souls of our children and ultimately influence the world.”

“Heart for the Home – Ministry to our children means being “all there”.  It means rejoicing that you get to show your children how to peddle a tricycle, make their bed, build good memories and share their toys with others.  You serve your family, and ultimately your heavenly Father, by helping  your child do that puzzle for the seventeenth time, by washing those sticky fingers, by planting a little garden, by acting out Bible stores and praying together.”

The last few weeks, I honestly feel like I spend my days cleaning up messes, changing diapers, breaking up fights, disciplining, getting in and out of carseats, and running from place to place.  I don’t want these sweet, little years to go by without taking advantage of the love that I can show my girls.  I want to sacrifice “my” time by spending time teaching, playing and loving my girls.

“And so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”
Titus 2:4-5