Adventures of Supermommy

May 11, 2010

Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Filed under: Uncategorized — adventuresofsupermommy @ 6:28 pm

This is the “baked” kind of mac-n-cheese, not the creamy kind.  Also, this recipe can easily be doubled for a bigger crowd.

8 oz package macaroni (I like spiral pasta, the cheese sinks into the ridges so nicely)

1 large can of evaporated milk

1 1/2 cups milk

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1 cup medium cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 cup margarine or butter, cut into tablespoon-sized chunks

2 eggs

pepper, to taste

Cook macaroni according to package instructions (don’t forget the salt or it’ll taste nasty) and drain. Mix everything together in a large bowl.  Grease crock pot with a little butter or margarine or spray with cooking spray.  Pour into the crock pot.  Optional: sprinkle on more cheese on the top, because who doesn’t like more cheese?  Cook on low for 3 1/2 to 4 hours (or cook on high for 1 hour, then low for 1 – 1 1/2 hours).  Don’t leave it on high for the whole time, or it’ll be burned to a crisp.  Enjoy!


April 30, 2010

Homemaking: The Lost Art

Filed under: Cooking and Recipes, Crafts and Projects, Rants — adventuresofsupermommy @ 8:59 pm

First, I would like to point out this blog entry by a friend of mine.  If you haven’t read it already, please do so.

All I gotta say is AMEN, Sister!  I might not have the punk style leanings, but I have found that when someone asks about something I’ve made and I tell them I made it, I get so many people that look like they’re going to fall over with surprise.

I mean, I took home economics in high school.  I’m shocked when I find out that it’s not offered everywhere anymore.  Yes, we might be turning out teenagers and young adults that know more about computers or fixing cars or whatever, but geez!  These kids can’t cook for themselves or sew a button on.  Example:  My sister in law.  She doesn’t really know how to cook Hamburger Helper. I was asked to sew a patch on her nursing (student) uniform for her.  She went to a fine arts magnet school, but she doesn’t know how to do the simple little domestic tasks!

America’s statistics for obesity are on the rise, right?  Fast food and convenience foods are to blame, right?  To a point, I think so.  I think a big part of it is that nobody is teaching youngsters to cook anymore, so we’re ending up with adults that can build rockets but not cook a decent meal.  I could be wrong, but I think there’s a little correlation there.

I don’t think my role as a housewife is one of servitude.  I would rather think of myself as a domestic goddess.  Not only do we eat yummy food that I cooked, I’m working on having some original and unique clothes for myself and my girls.  I will post some pictures sooner or later.

So, there’s my opinion.  Cheers to all the parents and domestic goddesses and gods!

April 29, 2010

Potato Soup Recipe

Filed under: Cooking and Recipes — adventuresofsupermommy @ 12:37 am

This soup is great when we’re low on cash, it’s filling, warm, gooey, and comforting.  I am NOT saying that it’s low-fat.

Okay, please forgive my lack of measurements.  I tend to add something until it “looks right” or “tastes right”.  Just keep tasting things as you go and adjust the seasonings to your taste.  This is a VERY forgiving recipe.

Potatoes: Yukon gold potatoes are the best (but more expensive), Red potatoes are a close second, but any old potatoes will do in a pinch.  I’ve even made this soup with a few potatoes of different varieties, and it turned out really good.  The quantity?  umm…  depends on how much soup you want to make.  I make a pretty big pot, cuz this stuff is really good left over.  So…  2-3 pounds?  Wash them, peel them, cut them up (not too small… 1 to 1.5 inch dice), put them in the pot with some salt and cover them with water.  (At this point, I hope you have a good soup pot with a decently heavy bottom).   Cook until fork tender, but not falling apart.  Also, carrots are nice to add, good flavor and they add some color.

While that’s cooking, I tend to take a package of bacon and cut it into bite-sized pieces.  (Use kitchen shears, it’s easier.) Dice up some onions – One large one or two mediums.  If you like celery, and have some on hand, slice it up too.

When your potatoes are done, drain them in a colander and sit them aside for a few minutes.  They’ll stay hot, I promise.

In the same pot, don’t bother washing it, just throw it back on the stove over medium heat, throw in one stick (1/2 cup) of butter or margarine (butter is better), the bacon, onions, celery and sweat it until the onions are translucent.  This means don’t cook them too fast, you don’t want them to brown, just soften.  If they do burn, it’s not going to hurt anything, the soup will still taste good.  Yes, there is both bacon fat and butter in this soup.  I said it tasted good, not that it was low-fat.

Once the onions are softened, add one can of chicken broth.  You can use vegetable stock or whatever you like if you wish.  Time to season: I use lots of black pepper, parsley, and a little garlic powder.  You salted the potatoes already, and bacon is salty enough, and chicken broth is usually pretty salty as well, so don’t add more salt until you get it all put together and taste it.  Return the potatoes to the pot, stirring gently from here on out so they don’t fall apart on you.  Add one can of evaporated milk or just regular milk.  Bring the soup back to a simmer.  You don’t want to get up to a rolling boil from here on out or you might scald the milk, and that’s not what we’re going for.

If you like your soup “soupy”, you’re done.  Go on to the next step.  However, I like mine thick.  How to achieve this?  Instant mashed potato flakes.  Just add about a half a cup at a time until you reach the consistency you like.

Time to add CHEESE!!!  Shredded cheddar, or whatever you like.  As much as you like.  We like lots of cheese in our house.  You can either add it to the pot and let it melt or serve the cheese on the side or both.  Mmm, cheese..

That’s it.  I hope you like it.  Feel free to tweak it to your own tastes, add things, make it your own!

P.S. If you reheat it, you might need to add some more milk to loosen it back up, as it tends to thicken up a lot when refrigerated.  I haven’t tried freezing it, though.  I don’t think potatoes would freeze and thaw all that well, I don’t know.

April 23, 2010

Learning How to Let Things Slide

Filed under: Parenting — Tags: — adventuresofsupermommy @ 1:02 am

My house is not clean and tidy.  It probably never will be unless I have hired help and a babysitter.  There are always toys on the floor, dishes in the sink, at least one load of laundry that needs to be washed, and a pile of mail that needs to be gone through.  You just have to learn that this is the way of life when you don’t have a butler like Alfred to clean up after you.  Am I happy about this?  Not exactly, but I just have learned how to deal with it.

The important thing is this–Is your house safe enough for your kids and you?  It’s one thing to have last night’s dishes in the sink, but is there mold growing on dishes from last week?  Do you and your kids have clothes to wear?  Is the living room a tripping/falling hazard?  Are the kids going hungry?  If any of this is true, then you can’t let it slide.

What things do I let slide?  Making the bed, cutting the grass, cleaning out the closet (which you have to do often when you have kids that grow out of clothes so quickly), and picking up the toys (to a point).

April 21, 2010

Can’t Sleep

Filed under: Crafts and Projects, Rambling — Tags: , , , — adventuresofsupermommy @ 10:10 am

My brain just will not shut up.  It seems that over the past few weeks my long-dormant creative side has woken up and is making up for lost time.  Never mind the fact that I have chores to do during the day, and that I’m dog-tired during the day when I don’t get enough sleep (I do have to wake up at least once overnight to feed Aby).

I’ve recently found a website that isn’t helping with this. There’s just so many ideas on there that I can’t wait to try them.  From turning old t-shirts into dresses for the girls or myself, dresses made from pillowcases, things to make out of PVC pipe, a belt made out of ribbon scraps, tote bags…  it’s really woken up my creative side and given me a million and one ideas for other projects that I can make.  And most of it I can make from junk I’ve already got around the house or that I can get super-cheap if not free. I have a sewing machine, but I’m not the best sewer.  I know what I learned from my mom and in home-economics in high school, but that’s about it.  I hope to get better as I go along, so I’m going to pick the easiest projects to work on first, learn from my mistakes and keep going so I don’t get discouraged.  Wish me luck!

I even found directions on how to make your own laundry detergent that is gentle and super-cheap, without all the extra additives that makes brand name detergents so expensive.

I will clarify this:  I do recycle.  I’m not anal-retentive about it, though.  Recycling doesn’t cost us anything where we live, we have an extra trash can for recyclables that’s only slightly smaller than our main garbage can, and you throw it all in there (paper and pasteboard, cans and bottles, but not glass) and they sort it out themselves.  It’s no harder than throwing stuff in the trash.  So, while looking at all of this that’s not only earth-friendly–it’s cheap.  That’s the main point.  One income with two babies has us strapped, so whatever we can do to save money here and there is welcomed.  Who doesn’t want to save a little cash?  Even if we weren’t on a tight budget, I still don’t mind saving money.

I will post pictures of anything that I do get around to making if it looks good enough to not be embarrassing.

Lists, Goals and Priorities

Filed under: Parenting — Tags: — adventuresofsupermommy @ 12:59 am

I am a list-maker.  I think I get it from my mother.  While I’m sitting there breastfeeding Aby, I can make a list of the things that need to get done on my Blackberry since Kaylee will want my paper and pencil if it’s in reach.  Once it’s all down on the list, I can prioritize what needs to get done first and let the rest slide until I have the time to do it.  Getting things crossed off the list is encouraging!  At the end of the day, you can see what all you got accomplished.

I’m also guilty of breaking down tasks into every little aspect of the job.  Instead of “Laundry”, it’s Gather laundry, Sort laundry, Wash laundry, Put away laundry, etc, because in all honestly, it might take me a few days to complete all of those steps.  I’m not totally silly about it, I don’t put things on there like going to the bathroom or feeding the kids, but it still helps me to know what is important to get done, as well as sharing the chores with your sidekick.  Big projects that are going to require help might need to be scheduled ahead of time, when you have enough hands on deck to take care of things, so having them on the list reminds you to keep those in mind when you will actually have enough people around.

Getting your priorities straight is important.  Taking care of a screaming baby or kissing a booboo is more important than loading the dishwasher.  Keeping the house safe for everybody is more important than making the bed (which I almost never do), which leads me to my next topic: Learning how to let things slide (coming soon).

April 20, 2010

What a Long, Busy Weekend

Filed under: Cooking and Recipes, Family, Rants — Tags: , , , , — adventuresofsupermommy @ 12:09 am

Gods, I’m tired.  Got a lot done over the weekend, though.  I made pancakes Sunday morning like this:

Yes, I had to interrupt hubby's breakfast to take a photo.

Yes, I had to interrupt hubby’s breakfast to take a photo.

Then, after cleaning up in the house and in the yard and in the garage a little bit, Kaylee got her sandbox.  I think the picture says it all.

And today, we went to Babies R Us to get diapers, etc…  and a woman in the parking lot complimented how cute Kaylee was.  She didn’t see Aby at the time, and I was loading the kids into the car anyway, so I picked up the carrier so she could see.  She asked their ages, and I told her (21 months and 2 months) and this is the kicker.  She said, “And you’re pregnant again?!”  I mean, the woman didn’t take the time to think about what she was saying.  She didn’t do the math that I have an infant right there and wouldn’t have time to get pregnant enough to show in such a short time, much less lose pregnancy weight…  I’m trying not to be offended, really.  Psh. I mean, I don’t think I look pregnant…  maybe a little soft around the middle, but…  *pouts*

Oh, and I managed to break my sewing machine.  I’ve got to try to get it working again.

April 19, 2010

Accepting Help and Learning How to Delegate

Filed under: Parenting — Tags: — adventuresofsupermommy @ 12:56 am

Every super hero needs a sidekick and/or support staff.  Batman had Robin and don’t forget Alfred!  Ironman had Pepper to look after him.  At this point, I salute single parents.  I wouldn’t be able to do it if I were on my own.

I will be totally honest, this is my weakest point.  I see something that needs doing and I do it, even if it wears me out completely by the end of the day.  It drives my husband crazy.  I am trying to get better, I really am!  Here are  my thoughts on the matter:

1.  If it takes longer to explain how you want it done or to ask to do it, just do it yourself.

2.  If you have a particular way you want something done and your sidekick doesn’t do it the way you want it done, just do it yourself and save yourself the drama.  For example, I fold the bath towels a certain way so they’ll fit in the linen closet better.  My husband folds them differently.  Hence, I just fold the towels the way I want it done.  It doesn’t bother me to leave them in the laundry basket until I have time to fold them.

3.  If it’s easier to get someone else to do it, just ask.  It’s easier to ask my husband to stop at the store and pick up milk on his way home from work than it is to get all of us dressed and loaded up in the car and go to the store.

4.  Family members are usually glad to come over and play with the kids while you do chores.  Having someone to keep the kids out of trouble and play with them can earn you valuable time to do things.  You can still take the time out to change diapers if your helper doesn’t want to or fix them something to eat, but fifteen minutes can load the dishwasher, (or check your email, or pay bills… ) right?

5.  Divvy up the chores around the house.  What chores is your sidekick good at doing or willing to do?  If you don’t trust your sidekick to sort the laundry the way you want it done, you sort the laundry and let them do the rest.  One of you pick up the toys and the other can vacuum.

April 16, 2010

Taking Care of Yourself

Filed under: Parenting — Tags: — adventuresofsupermommy @ 12:52 am

You often hear the phrase “Sleep when your baby sleeps” and most mothers laugh at the principle.  It’s true.  You’re not going to be able to do anything if you’re tired and run-down, so you might as well learn to let the dishes sit in the sink until later and get a little shut-eye.  This is especially true for parents with young infants that aren’t quite sleeping through the night yet.  Healthcare providers will tell you over and over that not getting enough sleep is not good for you.  Your body needs time to rest and recuperate, they’ve done studies that you can lose weight or maintain your weight when you get enough sleep, and you’ll be able to stave off getting sick if you’re not run down.  Do the research, after you’ve had a nap.

Get yourself “dressed” at least a few times a week.  Wash your face and moisturize or whatever your skin care regiment is.  I’m not saying you’ve got to get up and wear makeup and style your hair all the time, but wear something other than pajamas or sweats all the time.  Put on some clothes that fit and flatter your figure at least a little bit like a pair of jeans that fit, and it’ll boost your self esteem.  I’m not saying wear your nicest outfit, it has to be washable of course, we’re not getting silly here.

Keep current on your medicines and doctor’s appointments.  If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of your kids as well.

I’m not even going to tell you about getting exercise.  I don’t follow an exercise program, I have a toddler and an infant to keep up with.  My idea of lifting weights is picking up the kids, especially the car seat.  I get enough cardio chasing after Kaylee, not to mention doing things like vacuuming the floor, picking up laundry, doing dishes…you get the idea.  If you want help kicking it up a notch, put on some music or wear one earbud of your MP3 player (so you can still hear the kids, of course), and dance around a little bit.  It’ll make you feel good.  And dance like no one’s watching of course!  Shake your booty!  Your kids will not only not care, but they’ll probably love it and dance around with you, and getting them exercising early is one of the best things you can do for your kids.  Lead by example, they say.

Which leads me to the next point:  Eat right.  You’re trying to feed your kids healthy foods anyway, right?  I’m not saying takeout is a sin, but don’t rely on it.  It’s cheaper to cook things at home anyway, right?  I try to limit fast food to one or two times a week, when you absolutely can not manage to cook something.  Your pediatrician will be proud of you.  **I will do my best to post some recipes and tips on how I manage to cook a decent dinner in very little time (and cheap, too).  Find some recipes that you can cook ahead or freeze, re-make the leftovers into something else, etc.

April 15, 2010

The Mission Begins

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — adventuresofsupermommy @ 12:51 am

“Remember, the important thing is to have healthy, happy kids—not necessarily a clean house.  If you survive with most of your sanity, that’s an added bonus.”

I am a stay at home mom with two beautiful little girls.  Kaylee is almost two years old and Abigayle (Aby) is two months old.  Somehow I manage to feed both of them, keep a not-so-clean house, and sometimes I can fit in a craft project or two.  I often hear “I don’t know how you get it all done with the two of them.”  Sometimes, I don’t know how I get it done, either.  My girls are happy and healthy, though, and that’s the most important part.

This blog is about my opinions on child-rearing, tips on how to get anything done and my observations on the world and a place for me to brag about my babies.  If you don’t agree with any of my opinions, that is not only okay but welcomed.  Some of these things may work for me but not for you, and that’s okay.  I just hope you find something useful or even thought-provoking.

Like I said, I’m a stay at home married mother.  My deepest respect goes to working parents, stay at home dads, and single mothers.  You are all super-heroes to me!  So if I say anything that seems to be gender-specific, don’t take offense.  I only hope you can get something out of my ramblings, if only a tip here and there or even just a few laughs.  Even people without kids might find a few tips here.

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