Monday, August 20, 2012

"Honey Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs"

My friend Sam (Hi, Sam! Do you read this blog? I don't know...) shared this recipe with me, and again... "it's too good to keep to myself, I don't know where it originated, and you should make this as soon as possible". Especially since it's great on the grill and those days are numbered!

Sam's Honey Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs


1/4 C vegetable oil
1/3 C honey
1/3 C soy sauce
1/4 t black pepper
3 chicken breasts, cut into pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion cut into pieces
2 bell peppers cut into pieces
(I added 8 cherry tomatoes as well)


Whisk together oil, honey, soy sauce, and pepper. Before adding chicken and garlic, reserve a small amount of marinade to brush on while cooking. Then add garlic, chicken, onion, peppers, and tomatoes to the bowl and marinate at least 2 hours.

Thread chicken pieces onto skewers and keep vegetables on separate skewers (since cooking times are often different). Grill until chicken is cooked through and until vegetables are cooked but still slightly firm, turning and brushing with marinade as you grill. Serve with rice.

*Might I recommend preheating your grill to the highest heat, and just before you put the kabobs on to cook, turn the heat way down? This is the only way I've figured out how to grill chicken without totally charring it.

"Sausage Bake"

You need this sausage and egg casserole in your life. It's my favorite thing to eat for breakfast and if your kitchen is anything like mine, you'll already have most of the ingredients on hand. It's so good I contemplated keeping it my own secret. But that's not very nice, now is it?!

I have no idea where to give proper credit for this little gem, but my mom received it from my aunt Sherry (Hi, Sherry!) so as far as I'm concerned, she created this. Since I adjusted a few things I added myself to the title. :)

Sherry and Ashley's Sausage Bake

French bread or baguette*
3 T melted butter
Garlic salt
Sleeve Turkey Sausage**
2 C shredded cheddar cheese
6 eggs
3/4 t dry mustard
1 can cream of mushroom soup

*If you have a leftover baguette or something similar, use it even if it's slightly stale! The original recipe called for 2 1/2 C herb flavored croutons so you could sub those for the bread / butter / herbs.

**I prefer Whole Foods' Breakfast Turkey Sausage.

Grease a 9x13 dish. Tear, slice or cube the bread and cover the bottom of the baking dish. Drizzle melted butter over bread and generously sprinkle desired amount of garlic salt, oregano and basil. Place under the broiler until bread turns golden brown - you're basically making your own croutons but I think they taste so much better than packaged ones!

Brown the sausage and layer over the bread. Then layer cheese over the sausage. Beat the eggs, mustard and mushroom soup in a bowl and pour over all. Using the back of a fork, gently press down over all areas of the casserole, making sure that the bread is completely covered by the egg mixture. Cover and let sit over night in the refrigerator.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours the next morning, making sure the egg is set and cooked all the way through.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Swing Sessions - Maddie

August, 2012

My favorite new picture of her:

Fever aftermath

We laid low after coming home from the lake house - Maddie ended up catching the virus Ellie had and came down with a fever as well. So we unpacked, did laundry, and relaxed. 

Sick girl helped me bake muffins one morning. She is suddenly glued to my side in the kitchen, always dragging her step stool in and insisting on watching whatever I am doing. 

Later that evening, after putting the kids to bed, I drew a bath for myself. Little miss decided she didn't want to go to sleep, and crashed my bath. 

The next day I put her hair up in a ponytail (mainly b/c I couldn't get a brush through it! ha), and she requested to wear her new stick on earrings.

I thought the combination of earrings and high ponytail made her look so grown up.

Last weekend - at the lake

Last weekend was lake house weekend! 
Mom drove up with the kids and I on Thursday, and after getting ready for bed that night the kids got excited to go out on the boat the next day.

A little sibling love!

Breakfast from Tom's Donuts

During our grocery trip at Meijer my mom spoiled the kids by letting them each pick something out.
Well whaddaya know?! Ellie picked out the freakiest pink and purple unicorn with saucer-eyes, and is now totally attached to it. I love that my mom bought it for her, because I never would have! Such a fun grandma-thing that I remember my grandmothers doing for me. (My grandmas would buy me those Hostess Snowballs treats! Ha)

Baby girl's strawberry curls are as cute as can be. 

He picked mama a dandelion. Aw. ;)

Being at the lake is good for:

mashups on the deck...


coffee and a great view...

breakfast in the fresh air...

snuggles on the pier...

and watching the boats go by.

Sadly, Ellie came down with a pretty nice fever. We did everything we could to keep her cool and comfortable and by Friday evening, when Daddy and Grandpa arrived, she was feeling better. So we all went for an evening boat ride!

Maddie spent time figuring out the life jacket buckles.

"Stop taking my picture, MOM!"

Doesn't matter where we are. They wrestle.

And wrestle.

Maddie got to drive the boat, a rite of passage.

She also found her sea legs, walking around the boat as we rode around, rarely losing her balance.

The kids swarmed Grandpa when they realized he was giving out driving lessons and allowing the horn to be honked.

Maddie found a bar to hold on to that was down on her level, and rode like this for a little while. Silly girl!

We had so much fun while we were there, but decided to leave on Saturday when Ellie's fever came back after the boat ride on Friday evening and spiked to 103 in the night. I'll admit to being fearful that she would have another febrile seizure (she was shaky and moaning and not sleeping well), and was so thankful when we made it through the night without incident. 

On the way home, we ran right into a decent rainstorm that caused us to pull over at an oasis. The winds were pretty high but after about a 1/2 hour we were back on the road and made it home safely. Ellie bounced back from her fever virus the next day and all was well!

Friday, August 10, 2012

I wish I could commission Degas

Mommy and Maddie: lookalikes?

This is me when I was little (yet enormous):

And this is Maddie: