Thursday, December 31, 2009

Marsala Butter Chicken

Prep: 15 minutes     Cook: 25 minutes     Makes: 4 servings

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves ( I used chicken tenderloins)
salt and ground black pepper
all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
12 whole garlic cloves, cut in half
1 bag (16 ounce) peeled baby carrots
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup of Marsala wine
1 cup of low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves ( You can substitute 1 teaspoon of dried thyme leaves for the fresh. That is what I did)

1. Place each chicken breast between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound to 1/4 inch thick. Remove plastic. Season with salt and pepper. Place flour on a shallow dish. Coat both sides of chicken in flour; shake off excess. In a large skillet, fry chicken in 2 tablespoons of hot oil over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Transfer to a plate; set aside.

2. In the same skillet, over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. add the garlic and cook and stir for 2 minutes or until the garlic starts to turn golden brown. Add the carrots and butter; cook and stir for another 2 minutes. Add the wine and the broth. Stir in the sugar, salt, pepper, and thyme. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half. Return chicken and juices to the pan, coating with sauce. Simmer for another 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened.

(adapted from Sandra Lee cookbook)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sesame Steak Stir Fry

My dad gave me some great cookbooks for Christmas.  This came from the Sandra Lee book above.  I have never made anything from her until now. I will definitely be making quite a few dishes from this book. This was an easy and tasty recipe.  The only thing I would do different is serve it over rice but it was very good alone.

Prep: 10 minutes     Marinate: 8 to 24 hours     Cook: 17 minutes    Makes: 4 servings

2 pounds of flank or skirt steak
3/4 cup sesame salad dressing (I used Asian ginger dressing)
2 tablespoons of light soy sauce  (I used regular soy sauce)
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of minced ginger ( I used sliced ginger and chopped it)
4 teaspoons of crushed garlic
2 tablespoons of canola oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 bunches of Swiss chard, leaves separated, rinsed, patted dry, and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil ( I had sesame oil but did not end up using it)

Cooking Instructions:
1. Slice steak into 1/2 inch strips, slicing against the grain.

2. Place steak in a large zip-top plastic bag and add the salad dressing, soy sauce, lemon juice, ginger, and teaspoon of garlic. Squeeze out air and seal. Gently massage bag to combine ingredients. Marinate in      refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours. Remove steaks from the marinade; reserve marinade.

3. In a large skillet or wok, over high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add beef and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Remove from skillet.

4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Add onion and remaining 3 tablespoons of garlic; stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add chard and stir-fry for another 3 minutes. Add 1/2  cup of water and stir-fry until almost dry. Add the reserved marinade, another 1/4 cup water and stir-fry until almost dry. Add steak to pan and stir-fry for 2 minutes our until heated through. Drizzle with sesame oil just before serving.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pictures - Thank you Kelly!

We took pictures last week for the holiday. Ezra was not very cooperative but his pictures look amazing.  Even though I am pregnant, I wanted to make sure I got special pictures of him before his little brother arrived. Being on the last trimester is not easy during Christmas.  As soon as I got off bed rest, I emailed Kelly.  She was fantastic. She squeezed us in such short notice and was a pleasure to work with .  Ezra was teething and not very happy.  All you moms out there know how that is.  I just wanted to say thank you Kelly for capturing such special moments for us!!!
Here are some of the pics of Ezra:

And the pic below is of my soon to be addition:

Monday, December 28, 2009

Weekly Menu

I am very excited about our menu for the week.  They are all new recipes.  I got two great cookbooks from my dad and the cutest apron from Abe's parents.  I am looking forward to cooking this week and Abe is looking forward to eating.  Here is my menu for the week. Of course my sous chef, Ezra, will be helping.

Monday: Burritos (leftovers in freezer)
Tuesday: Sesame Steak Stir Fry
Wednesday: Marsala Butter Chicken with Baby Carrots
Thursday: Greek Style Shrimp Scampi and Linguine
Friday: Bloody Mary Burgers
Saturday: Lemon, Garlic, and Cilantro Baked Stuffed Tomatoes

Dessert: Cream Cheese Kolochy and Apple Cider

A Wonderful Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas with family this year.  I am so blessed to have a great family.  Ezra got spoiled with toys.  It works out great since I am due next month.  The toys can keep him busy while I begin to adjust to being a mom of two. I look forward to a wonderful holiday again next year with our new addition to the family.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Glass Tile Pendants

I have finished my first glass tile pendant. Very excited! After a few trial runs, I think I have mastered it.

 I should be getting my sterling silver soon so that I can start on those.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Head, Shoulder, Knees, and Toes

I sing the head, shoulders, knees and toes song to Ezra all the time.  Ezra now walks around touching his head and saying the word head.  He does not know the whole song but it is the cutest thing watching him. I am always fascinated by the things he picks up.  I LOVE BEING A MOM!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Publix Savings

Spent: 96.18
Saved: 76.25

Great shopping trip at Publix this week. These are my free items for the week:
3 Hot Wheels - donated to Toys for Tots. 
2 Glade Fragrance Collection Candles - I love candles
2 Goody Bobby Pins

Gotta hit Target for some free batteries this week.  Happy Shopping!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Weekly Meal Plan

Every week, I plan our meals and bake one dessert for the week. Ezra always helps me with dessert which is a blast!  Here is my meal plan for dinner this week:

Monday - Stuffed Shells with Homemade Pasta Sauce
Tuesday - Shrimp Scampi and Broccoli
Wednesday - Homemade Pizza with Roasted Garlic and Pepperoni
Thursday - Chicken Fried Rice and Eggrolls
Friday - Leftovers
Saturday - Breakfast for Dinner

Dessert: Upside Pineapple Cake

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Toys for Tots

If you give, you will receive. I have always been a firm believer in giving. I have been donating during the holidays for years. Abe and I donate to Toys for Tots every year.  We look forward to it.  It is such a great feeling knowing you are giving to a child. Especially now that we have our own. Two years ago, I started stocking up on toys to donate for the holidays. Twice a year, Target marks down toys to 75% off.  I always get excited about it. It is a great way for us to be able to give more.  We just finished dropping off our toys today.  I hope we are able to bring some smiles to a child's face. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Free Nursing Cover

Udder Covers sent me a new promotion last night for a free patterned nursing cover. If you aren't nursing, they make great gifts for someone that is. You can get any of their nursing covers (regular price $32) FREE. You just pay the $8.95 shipping. The code is Christmas. Go to, click on "Shop Now", select the product you would like and you will automatically be directed to the center of the page where you can enter the promo code. They also have 3 piece gift sets available with this promotion. The promo gives you a $32 discount off your total order no matter what you put in the cart. It is valid once per transaction, so you can order as many times as you like!  Happy Shopping!!!


Well, I am a Gymboree addict and they are having a great sale.  Right now, everything is an additional 25% off. They are also offering FREE SHIPPING with any purchase and I have a code for an additional 15% off the price.  The code is 111F3V9UV080247.  It expires 12/24. You can also earn some gymbucks right now. Have fun shopping!!!! Click here to start shopping!

American Eagle Sale

American Eagle is having a great sale.  Right now tops Buy One Get One 50% off. They are also offering Free Shipping.  I also have a code for you to use to save an additional 25% off your entire order but it is only valid today 12/8. The code is  56296478. The code can also be used for 77kids and aerie. I ordered some tee's for Ezra for $3.75. Have fun shopping!!!  Click here to for AE site.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Those Big Brown Eyes!

It has been so hard not being able to pick up Ezra. Especially, when he tugs my shirt or pants to pick him up. I am such a sucker for him. I feel so bad when he cries because he doesn't understand mommy has his little brother in her stomach and she can't pick him up. It breaks my heart into pieces. So what I started doing is sitting on the floor everytime he tugs at me.  I then hug and smother him with kisses!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Yummy...Banana Pancakes!

Daddy and Ezra made pancakes together.  It was so cute watching them work as a team. Of course, Ezra ate the banana daddy was planning to put in the pancake. Abe laughed so hard when he caught him. It was hilarious. Ezra really enjoyed the pancakes he made and so did mommy and daddy.

That is a good banana.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Christmas Tree is up!

We finally put the Christmas tree up! I love Christmas. Ezra enjoyed destroying all of my bows.  I couldn't help but laugh when he got his hands on them.  He was too cute.  Abe and I always enjoy decorating the tree.  We buy an ornament every year for us and now that we have Ezra, we buy him one too.  It is always fun shopping for one.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sick Baby!

When Ezra woke up this morning, he had a pitiful look in his eyes. He had a fever again and his cough sounded worst. So I scheduled an appointment with the Pediatrician. Since I can't pick up Ezra and have to take it easy, Abe took him to the doctor. It was so hard not being there to baby him. I eagerly waited for Abe to call me. Ezra has an upper respiratory infection and ear infection. He was sent home with a nebulizer and a few meds. I can't wait till I have my healthy Ezra back!  I hate seeing my baby sick.

Here he is with the nebulizer.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My baby wants to come out but he needs to bake in the oven longer!

Today was a busy day! Yesterday, I was getting some labor pains. Of course, that got me worried because I am 32 weeks. I called the doctor last night and she wanted to me to come in today to get checked because it sounded like I was having preterm labor. After getting checked by the doctor, she told me my cervix is thinning out and my stomach is measuring a lot smaller than my last visit.  So, off to the hospital I went to get an ultrasound. At this point, I was not too worried about my stomach size because the same thing happened with Ezra, but I was a bit concerned about my cervix.  During pregnancy, I tend to stay small. I spoke to my doctor after she got the results from the radiologist.  My cervix has thinned out quite a bit. She has prescribed me some meds and I have to go back next week to take some more test. I also have to rest as much as possible and sit as much as I can.  Apparently, I am doing too much. This is going to be difficult. Staying still is one of the hardest things for me to do. I love being busy. I am also not allowed to pick up Ezra.  That will be a challenge. He is 1! Wish me luck!

P.S. I got to see the baby today while they did the ultrasound and I fell in love.  He is so beautiful.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bye, Bye Raleigh!

We are suppose to be on a plane tomorrow headed to Raleigh, NC to see Ezra's pop and grandma. Unfortunately we will be home. I was looking forward to some cold weather and relaxation. I am very lucky to have the greatest in-laws.  I love them as if they were my parents. They are so good to Ezra.  I also get a nice break because all they want to do is play with him. Sunday, Ezra got sick. I was trying everyting to get him better quick. He is getting better but, of course, like all viruses....we have to ride it out. We were still thinking of going until this evening. I was getting some sharp pains and tried to ignore it and pretend like it was nothing. So much for that plan. I ended up calling my doctor and I have to go in for a check up.  She says it sounds like I am having preterm labor.  I was scared she was going to say that and hoped she wouldn't. At least, the in-laws will be coming down for Christmas and Ezra gets to be loved and spoiled by them.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Poor baby!

Ezra woke up with a fever and stuffy nose yesterday. Today, he has fever, stuffy nose and cough.  I hate when he gets sick. I always feel so bad for him. It is never fun. Today, all he wanted to do was watch Elmo and cuddle on the couch. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the cuddling. Since I am such a sucker for him, I baked him some cookies today. Me, him and daddy enjoyed them together. I hope my poor guy feels better soon!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bakugan Battle Brawlers

At 5 a.m. this morning, I embarked to Wal-mart.  I know, Walmart on Black Friday, not fun.  My nephew is a big fan of Bakugan and I know how much he would love the video game for his Nintendo Wii for Christmas.  And anyone that knows me, knows I have to get the cheapest price possible.  I love saving money.  Needless to say, Walmart was the only store that had it on sale and a good one. They were selling the game for $25 which retails for $50. I have been shopping on Black Friday for years.  It is a tradition I do every year but I never shop Walmart on Black Friday.  That is another Well, I was at Wal-mart looking all over for the game.  If anyone has ever shopped at Walmart on Black Friday, they know that finding something there is so hard.  I was starting to get bummed because I was there almost an hour and could not find the game. I finally found it in a stand by the groceries of all places.  I was so happy when I saw it.  There were only two left!  VICTORY!  When I held the small item in my hand, all I could think is the things we will do for the ones we love. Especially the children.  I could only imagine when Ezra gets older and really wants a certain item, how I will go that extra mile to make sure I get it for him.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day!

Thanksgiving was a hit!  We enjoyed spending time with the family. Ezra had so much fun playing with his cousins. Here he is with all of his cousins:

Ezra, Jenna, Jacob, Nathan, Elijah

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I truly have so much to be thankful for!

I love Thanksgiving!  It is so much fun to have the family together and enjoy each others company. I am so blessed. I have a wonderful family and was blessed to marry into a family that I love so much. Tomorrow, Abe and my family will be coming over.  We always have a good time together. Ezra will be able to play with all of his cousins.  I always love watching him interact with them. Of course, everyone will chow down on some good food.  The men will be watching football while the ladies go through the black friday ads. I hope everyone enjoys their Turkey day!

Gap is having a great sale! is having a GREAT sale!  Sweaters for men and women and fleece for kids and babies at 50% off. If you combine it with a 20% off code GAP20, you will save even more.  Woohoo!!! You can get men's sweaters from $16 and women's sweaters from $14. Not too bad!!! Free shipping on $50 or more. These always make great Christmas gifts!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Santa Buddies Disney Movie

Ezra loves dogs.  He gets so excited when he sees one and says "doggie, doggie" over and over again.  It is so adorable. So, today we went to pick up the movie Santa Buddies.  I can't wait to see how he reacts when he watches the movie.  Target has the blu-ray combo movie pack on sale for $19.99. It includes a blu-ray and standard dvd. There is a $10 coupon you can use for the combo pack. Here is the link to print the coupon:  Click Here for Coupon


Monday, November 23, 2009

Baking With Ezra - Peach Cobbler

Ezra and I baked a Peach Cobbler.  It was so yummy and of course fun with my little guy. It is such an easy and quick dessert.

1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup margarine, melted
1 (29 ounce) can sliced canned peaches, drained
 ground cinnamon

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2.In a large bowl, combine flour, sugars, baking powder, salt and vanilla. Pour milk into dry ingredients and then stir in melted margarine. Mix thoroughly.
3.Pour mixture into a 9x13 inch baking pan. Arrange peaches on top and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Here we are baking together and yes that is my preggo belly.  Ezra enjoyed placing the peaches on the dish. He also enjoyed tasting them!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Staying on a budget

Spent $128.37
Saved $97.67

Just finished my grocery shopping trip for Thanksgiving and food for the week.  Didn't do too bad!  I started couponing about 2 years ago and now I can't stop.  Trust me, there are days that I don't want to do it but the guilt of spending more money than I need to kills me. It does take work and time, but I find it to be worth it. I have put us on a budget of $300 a month for groceries and other household items.  Every grocery trip, I log in the amount I spent and saved in an excel spreadsheet. I also have a monthy calendar that I write out my meals for the week.  I base my meals on the meat that is on sale and my stockpile. So far this month, I have spent $274 and saved $183.  Sometimes with coupons, I end up getting free stuff.  Like today, I got a free Rachael Ray magazine and mozzarella cheese.  I will be heading to walgreens later today to get my free reynolds wrap with coupon.  Well I am off to enjoy my Rachael Ray magazine while my italian beef is cooking in the crock pot for dinner!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Baking with Ezra

Last week, Ezra and I baked Apple Dumplins together. They were delicious! I wasn't sure how he would do or if he would even like it.  To my surprise, he loved it.  We had so much fun together. He helped me place the chopped apples on the dough. Of course,  he took a few bites into the apples and placed it on the dough. It was the cutest thing ever.  When we brushed it with butter and sugar, Ezra decided to lick the bowl of sugar dry.

Because of the great bonding experience and watching him enjoy helping mom bake, I will be doing this with him weekly.

My little helper

Yum...some good tasting apples.