Family Adventures, Recipes

Weekend Recap & Crock-Pot Chicken Quesadilla Recipe

It was quite an eventful weekend with the Florida Morehouse family! Little Johnny and I enjoyed a fun Saturday afternoon with our friends at the Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge and Big John competed in an MMA fight. Thanks for all the support from friends and family!  I was also busy packing for our trip up to Wisconsin (first time flying alone with Little Johnny!)

Let’s talk about a yummy crock-pot recipe…

I am enjoying sharing easy recipes that I’ve been trying out.  This past week I made a yummy chicken quesadilla where I cooked the chicken in the crock-pot! It was so yummy and easy, plus we had leftovers to use for other meals. I shared the steps on my instastories, so feel free to follow me on instagram for more inspiration! 🙂

love crock-pots, probably more so now that I am a mom. The fact that I can prepare it ahead of time and try to avoid the evening “witching hour” as much as possible is a lifesaver! Big John doesn’t get home from work until 9pm, so I need all the help I can get! Once Johnny gets to a certain hour of the day, it’s difficult to get any tasks done…especially dinner! Here’s to crock pots making dinner time easier! 🙂

(P.S. If there are any other easy recipes you have made using the crock-pot, feel free to share within the comments!Also, I’m still learning on how to take pictures of food, so bare with me)

Easy Crock-Pot Chicken Quesadillas 


Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds of chicken breasts

1 can of corn

1 can of black beans (I usually rinse mine)

1/2 tablespoon of cumin

1 tablespoon of chili powder

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon of oil

(This is an estimate of the amount of spices I use as I tend to just eyeball it.)

Steps:

  1. Place a tablespoon of oil into the crock-pot
  2. Add chicken, corn, beans, cumin, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt
  3. place on low for 3 hours and it should become “pulled” chicken when it’s done
  4. place the mixture on tortilla shells and top with cheese
  5. Use a skillet on medium heat and grill the quesadillas

It was so yummy! I had to add homemade guacamole of course, which you can find my recipe below.

>>Homemade Guacamole <<

This mixture would even be good as regular tacos, rice bowls, or just “as is”.

Here’s to a wonderful week ahead!

Wishing you well,

~Amanda

 

Motherhood, Recipes

Tips and Tricks with Saving Money on Groceries & 7 Day Menu

We all like to save money and if we can eat well out of it too, than it’s a win win in all situations! Let me start off by saying that this is NOT a sponsored post. I am simply sharing my tips and tricks that are helping us to save money on our grocery bill, along with the new found love I have for…Aldi.  We all have to grocery shop at some point, so why not save money while you’re doing it without the extra step of couponing!

I always new about Aldi, but never actually shopped there until I started staying home with Little Johnny. We had to find all kinds of ways to cut back on our spending and the grocery bill was a huge oneMy only complaint is that right now I do have to drive about 20-25 minutes to get to the store, so let’s get on building an Aldi near us, shall we?! 🙂 Mind you, we live right next to a Publix too…so it’s very tempting to just say “forget the drive” but the amount we save is so worth it!

Here’s a little secret about me…I am not a couponer…(if that’s even a word, haha)! I applaud all mamas that take the time to coupon. I don’t have the patience for that right now and I realize how much money you can save along with even getting money back sometimes, but my life is already a little hectic so I’m just keeping it simple with a few tips & tricks that drastically help to cut back on our grocery bill!

This grocery trip I spent $67.89, which includes a planned out menu for 7 meals (I’m a pinterest meal planner :)) and a few added snacks, and beverages. We are a family of 4, so we tend to have a lot of leftovers that ends up just being our lunch for the week. Before I share my menu with links to the recipes, let’s get into a few tips &tricks that I have been doing to save.

Tips & Tricks with Saving $ on Groceries


  • Shop at Aldi- There prices are  unbelievably cheap, and you’re not risking the quality of your meals either. So far we have no complaints. (By the way this week the eggs were 48 cents & avocados were 89 cents!
  • plan out your menu for the week and write down a grocery list!
    • It’s a bit of work to complete this, but well worth it throughout the week because I don’t have to worry about thinking “what’s for dinner”. I just look at my board and I’m good to go, it truly is a lifesaver for the weekly dinner time stress. And by the way, I’m a traditional lady with grocery lists and I literally just write it down on scrap paper.
  • Stick to your list!
    • This is always the hardest thing for me, but sticking to your list and not adding on is one of the easiest ways you’ll save (but it does take some self-control on your part..)
  • buy in large quantities of meat and use it for more than 1 meal
    • For example the pork roast will do us for a couple of meals, so I planned 2 dinners out of it…pulled pork sandwiches and pulled pork nachos.
  • build your spice cabinet!
    • I have collected a variety of spices over the last couple of months which has helped me to not have buy more spices.
  • Check your fridge and cabinets before you grocery shop!
    • This is another simple one, but something I’m even guilty of not always doing! When I see that we still have some leftover fruits/veggies along with other spices I try to incorporate it into my planned out meals (mostly as side dishes) so they’re not going to waste!  You’d be surprised with the variety of things you can make out of leftovers, which also tastes yummy too! (Google is a great friend for this! ;))
  • use “protein fillers” within meat-
    • I buy cans of black beans every time I go grocery shopping and I use them within my ground turkey or other meals as “protein fillers” so that I can divide the pound of meat into at least 2 meals!
  • Use a calculator! 
    • I’m going old school with this, but it truly helps to keep track of what you’re spending!
  • Skip the snack aisle and shop your produce & meats first!
    • I use to does this backwards where I would shop for the things that are just extras, but sometimes we just don’t have the wiggle room to purchase them. So when I shop for the necessities first than I can see if I am able to splurge.
  • pay with cash and leave all your cards at home!
    • This might be extreme, but if you don’t have the cards on hand and are limited to just the money you have, those extra snacks that you really don’t need won’t be added on… I’m so bad with getting caught up in the snack aisle and even though it’s small added costs, it does add up.

7 Day Menu for the Week 


(we are not on any type of diet, we simply eat food that sounds good to us but in balanced portions.)

I have included all the links to where I found the recipes so make sure to click on them!

Meal #1 Sunday

Main Dish- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Side Dish- I already had sweet potatoes so I just added it as our side. You can also include honey cinnamon butter! 

photo credit is to allrecipes.com

(P.S. here’s a quick and easy trick I learned to bake sweet potatoes in the microwave if you’re in a hurry, wet a paper towel and wrap it around each potato…it creates a “steamed approach” to cooking them.) 

Meal #2 Monday

Main Dish- Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup & Garlic Bread 

This is a really easy recipe, but still gives it that “homemade taste”.

Meal #3 Tuesday

Main Dish- Ground Turkey Enchiladas 

Side Dish- Tomato & Corn Lemon Salad 

Easiest side dish ever! Simply mix in a can of corn, cilantro, and chopped tomatos. Then add lemon juice and salt to taste. (Usually I add black beans too, but the enchiladas already call for them.) 

photo credit is to diethood.com

Meal #4 Wednesday

Main Dish- Southwestern Chicken Alfredo Pasta 

Meal #5 Thursday

Main Dish- Pulled Pork Nachos

I’m using my leftover pulled pork from earlier in the week. I even had enough to freeze for another meal.

Meal #6 Friday

Main Dish- Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza  

photo credit is to countrysidecravings.com

Meal # 7 Saturday

Main Dish- Baked Ziti 

photo credit is to countrycook.com

What are some tips that you do to save on your grocery bill? I hope this has helped you in planning out your meals as I know it can be a bit stressful at times! Enjoy!

Wishing you well,

~Amanda

 

Recipes

Fresh Balsamic Vinaigrette Topping for Sausages, Hot Dogs and More!

Weekends for the Florida Morehouse family tend to be more about “work” these days. With the opening of our small business (I’ll soon share more details about our new transformation) and the start of my at home job (VIP Kid), weekends have been a little less play and more work, which will all hopefully pay off in the long run.

While I don’t have any fun adventures to share with you (although we did end up going to a summer party), I thought I would share an easy dinner that I made on our Anniversary (which was on 6/22). This spread was so easy and perfect for a summer evening! It’s a fresh & classic take to vamp up your traditional sausage!

Recently I have been hooked on checking out all the Country Home, as well as Better Home and Gardens magazines from the library! I read this statement in there that stated:

In 1900, 98% of our meals were prepared and enjoyed at home. Today , that number has dropped to less than 50%. ”

Now, I realize we have more options of places to eat, and life is busier along with many changes, but I just find these numbers staggering!

-Side note-Did you know the library has many hardcover magazines to check out?! ‘m obsessed with going there every couple weeks to get new ones. Some are 10 years old, but style always tends to repeat itself, right?!… I love the inspiration it provides.

I’ll be honest, before we had Little Johnny Big John and I were all about eating out! We loved it, but we spent way too much money just on food alone (plus I wasn’t as healthy as I am now). I rarely cooked and never took chances in the kitchen to create my own meals. Now we took a big shift in our food department and are enjoying home cooked meals (grilling out counts too)! In a way I’m thankful that we had to cut back in our food expenses because it has forced me to get out of my comfort zone and explore my kitchen! 🙂 Also, making a point to sit down at the dinner table and enjoy our meal is something I am cherishing as a mom.  I’m adding a collection of recipes myself that I have either adapted from other recipes or thought of on my own. Plus I am learning all about the spices that compliment each other, definitely a learning process for me!

Here’s the back story behind this meal. It’s nothing extravagant, but it hits those taste buds just right. I needed to find something that was a lighter approach besides the traditional condiments to top off the yummy blue cheese filled sausages I found at Aldi! I’m a big fan of balsamic vinaigrette and I knew this topping would do the trick.

^^These are the sausages I found at Aldi and I grilled out! They’re very yummy!

Seriously, this is the simplest recipe ever! Even if you’re not as “hands on” in the kitchen, you can make this! 😉

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of coleslaw mixing
  • 1/2 of a red onion, diced
  • 1/2 tomato, diced
  • pinch of salt
  • a splash of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing

Directions:

  1. Chop all your ingredients and add them to a large bowl.
  2. Pour the balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing, lemon juice, and salt into the bowl
  3. Mix well!

 

Pair this meal with grilled corn and a potatoes! Hello, taste buds! 😉

 

What’s your favorite toppings on a sausage?  Enjoy!

Wishing you well, 

~Amanda

Family Adventures, Recipes

Weekend Recap & An Italian Pasta Salad Recipe for Beach Days

It’s been a while since the Florida Morehouse family had a day to just relax & enjoy our beautiful Florida weather TOGETHER! We decided to dedicate our Sunday to a beach day! I was so excited about just enjoying my little family at the beach, that I decided to put together a fun picnic for us! We ventured over to our local Trader Joe’s just to get a variety in our menu. I love the idea of a yummy pasta salad at the beach (and of course chips & dip) because it’s not too heavy on your stomach OR messy!

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We ended up going over to the East Coast, and found a family friendly beach area near Cocoa Beach called Cherie Down Park. It couldn’t have been a more perfect beach day. The weather was gorgeous with temperatures in the 80’s, sun shinning, and that salty breeze just floating in the air. There is something about the beach that helps to take me away from the stress of “life” just for a while (long enough to recoup and get back to it once when we get home).

If you don’t live near a beach, and you’re feeling the blues…put this video on in the background, trust me it’ll help.

I’ll probably be raising a “beach toddler” because it seems as though Little Johnny really enjoys it too!

Before I move onto my easy Italian Pasta Salad for the beach, let’s talk about

BEACH TOYS! 

Any guesses as to where we purchased just a few beach toys? Yup, the Dollar Tree! If you don’t know already, well I’m kind of obsessed with this store, especially since having a little one. I use to shop here all the time for teaching supplies, but now things have shifted to more toddler items!

They have a wide variety of fun beach toys. We all know that these toys tend to get lost a majority of the time, so why spend a hefty amount. Here’s just a few of the items I bought and Little Johnny loved playing with them.

  • pin wheel
  • bucket & shovel
  • football
  • squeeze balls
  • kite (we didn’t get to play with it this time though)

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I truly try my best to keep the packing simplified when we go to the beach. 🙂

OKAY, onto the recipe!

I’m bringing back my new obsession again….Mason Jars! This is the 3rd time I have used these jars at the beach where I stored our lunch. Now, you’re probably thinking “why doesn’t she just use Tupperware?” Well, I have this “weird” quality about myself where if the food is in a pretty jar, plate, or bowl I find it more appealing…Is that just me, or do you enjoy eating out of pretty things as well? 🙂

Anyways, beside just being “appealing” Mason Jars work very well at the beach because they truly help to keep out the sand. They’re so easy to hold onto and eat right out of them. So, I ended up storing our Italian Pasta Salad in these beauties. 🙂

Ingredients

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  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese
  • 1 box of tri-colored rotini
  • 1 can of black beans (make sure to rinse them)
  • 1 cup of cup of pepperoni cut into quarters
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of oregano
  • 1/2 cup of balsamic vinaigrette (or adjust to your liking, you may have to add a bit more the next day if you refrigerate the pasta salad.)

Directions

  1. cook  the tri-colored rotini by following the box directions
  2. Meanwhile, cut up the red bell pepper, and pepperoini and place into a large bowl
  3. add your spinach, cheese, black beans to the large bowl
  4. once the tri-colored rotini is done, run under cold water and place into the large bowl
  5. add the oregano, lemon juice, and balsamic vinaigrette, MIX WELL
  6. divide the pasta into your mason jars, and your good to go!

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If you’re wondering did Little Johnny enjoy it, well the answer is NO. He’s a picky little eater. Big John and I really liked it though! 🙂

Is there a yummy recipe you enjoy for beach days? 

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Here’s to a great week ahead!

Wishing you well,

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Family Adventures, Recipes

Weekend Recap & Crustless Mini Quiche Recipe

This past weekend was quite eventful for the Florida Morehouse family. Big John had a kickboxing fight in Atlanta, which I am so proud of him for coming home with a win! As his wife I see how hard he trains and what it takes to get into that ring. So that’s a big celebration right there! Little Johnny and I had a weekend at home and attended The Great Duck Derby at Mead Botanical Garden. Sounds fun, right?! Well it WAS (I’m always a sucker for these kinds of events!)

Before I go into detail about our Duck Derby and my appetizing recipe… I have to just say, I am one TIRED mama! When Big John is away it’s definitely a hard thing to manage the household just by yourself, and although he works long hours it’s still hard to know that you’re by yourself for that period of time. WHICH, during that time everyone depends on YOU to keep going.

By everyone, I’m referring to Little Johnny & our second child (Miss LadyBelle, our dog).  They can both be a handful at times! =)

You know that famous line from Finding Nemo “Just keep swimming.”, well that’s exactly what I kept telling myself. Even though it’s hard at times you just have to keep going , because eventually there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. You may not always envision it in the moment, but it’s definitely there waiting for you. All your “strokes” leading up to that point is what leads you there.

So, what I’m trying to say is I truly appreciate all that my husband does for us, even more so when he’s away on a trip. I’m sure many of you can relate!

Back to my actual post. If you live within the Orlando area and like exploring peaceful nature areas, Mead Botanical Garden is one of them. Little Johnny and I love going here. It just so happened that this past weekend there was an event called “The Great Duck Derby”. It was so cute to see all the rubber ducks racing down the setup they had in the lake.

Each duck was $5 and the proceeds went to the Mead Botanical Garden to help with the maintenance of this beautiful area.  It’s a great place to take a short hike, have a picnic, and just be outside exploring! Sometimes you may even spot an owl! img_6385

Now, what you’ve probably been waiting for! (If you’ve made it through my rambling, big round of applause to you!)

Quick story– Before being a stay at home mom, I honestly was not the best cook. I dreaded it every day. Now, it’s still not my favorite, but I’m learning so much since being home, which now I’m starting to add to my own recipe collection. This just shows that sometimes you can truly surprise yourself! I thought I would never post recipes on my blog, but I decided this is part of my journey with motherhood as well, so why not!

Crustless Mini Quiche Recipe


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There are so many different combinations you can make, but I choose to just go with what I had leftover in my fridge! It is crustless, but I did end up putting a few bread crumbs into the mixture.

**This recipe is intended for a serving of 12 muffin quiches.**

Ingredients: 

– 12 eggs

-1/4 cup of milk

-1/2 cup of chopped up onions, tomatoes, and green peppers (I bought the “pre-cut” veggies from the store just to save time, plus it was on sale!)

-1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

-1/4 cup of bread crumbs

-1 teaspoon of salt

-1/2 teaspoon of pepper

-1 teaspoon of salt

-1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

-1 teaspoon of parsley

– muffin pan

– olive oil or non-stick spray

Directions: 

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk together eggs, milk, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  3. Add in your onions, tomatoes, green peppers, and 1/4 of your cheese to the mix.
  4. Spray your muffin pan with your choice of non-stick spray
  5. Add the quiche mixture so that it’s about 1/4 way full for each quiche.
  6. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top of each quiche.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the egg is cooked through.
  8. Let cook for 5-10 minutes before running a butter knife around each oven. (Make sure you don’t skip this step, otherwise they will STICK!)
  9. Sprinkle with parsley and enjoy!

These are great as leftovers as well, which makes for a quick breakfast on the go. Just store in an airtight container, and pop them in the fridge!

How was your weekend? Any good stories you would like to share? (Obviously, I enjoy a great story, haha!)

Here’s to a great week ahead!

Wishing you well,

 Happy Mama, Happy Wife, Happy Life

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Recipes

Hey mom, what’s for dinner? Let’s make it a BBQ Chicken Garden Salad kind of night!

That’s a question I’m sure many of you have heard before. You know what?!  I can even remember as a child asking that continuously to my mom. I’m so truly sorry about that mom. Dinner time is the time of day that I tend to dread, especially when I haven’t gone grocery shopping in a while, AND there is no way I’m running to the store with an over tired baby and a dog that desperatley needs to be walked! (I call this the witching hour, everybody needs something STAT!) I’m being very bold right now in blogging about a personal recipe. I am by no means a true “chef” in the kitchen, but what I do enjoy is learning from others and trying fun new recipes. 

Here’s the story: It’s a Saturday night, and it’s dinner time. BUT Guess What? I remembered that I have nothing planned for dinner, and I don’t have an “emergency frozen pizza”  on hand (you know what I’m talking about) 😉 So, it brought me to this moment where I rummaged through my fridge grabbed all that I could imagine would taste good together, then BAM! Dinner was served and you know what? I truly made a great dinner! My husband was even impressed, A+ for this mama! (plus for a bonus it was a healthier meal for us)

Continue reading “Hey mom, what’s for dinner? Let’s make it a BBQ Chicken Garden Salad kind of night!”