Friday, February 24, 2012

Chicken Taco Soup With Avocado

This is a great new twist on taco soup and SO YUMMY!! I tweaked it a little from 365 Days of Slow Cooking. Check out Karen's blog to find lots of slow cooker recipes. Her cookbook was just released as well with tons of new recipes that I want to try. I loved this soup because you just throw everything in your slow cooker and forget about browning the hamburger before. It has such good flavor and the avocado adds a great touch. Try it, I think you'll love it as well.

Chicken Taco Soup With Avocado
  • 2-3 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chile peppers
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Avocados, sour cream, grated cheese and tortilla chips

1.  Combine chicken, salsa, peppers, beans, corn, bouillon, water, tomatoes, cumin, chili and garlic powder in the slow cooker. 
2.  Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours.
3.  Remove chicken and shred and add back into the slow cooker.
4.  Serve soup with sliced avocados, sour cream, cheese and tortilla chips.
Yum! Enjoy!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

No One Perfect Way

"There is no one perfect way to be a good mother... Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children... What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else." Elder M. Russell Ballard-

Monday, February 13, 2012

Baby Bacon

We are all so excited for our little girl who will join us in 3 months. We have decided to name her Megan. Unfortunately, she already has a nick-name. Travis talks about her all the time, but he pronounces her name as "Bacon". It is so funny...and the poor girl, it will probably stick. But you know, bacon isn't such a bad makes everything better, you can't get enough of it, and everyone loves it; just as we will Megan.
So in honor of our Baby is one of my favorite clips from Jim Gaffigan about bacon:

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I love Elder Holland's conference talk We Are All Enlisted. In it he coaches us to decide which team we are playing for, good or evil, and to play our hearts out because victory means everything. With this game one the line, am I coaching my kids to play their best? I must admit that when it comes down to the intense moments of this game of parenthood, I do a lot of choking instead of coaching. Thank goodness for other great coaches like Elder Holland to give me the pep talks that I need to get back in the game!
"Let me mix in an athletic analogy. This is a life-and-death contest we are in, young men, so I am going to get in your face a little, nose to nose, with just enough fire in my voice to singe your eyebrows a little—the way coaches do when the game is close and victory means everything. And with the game on the line, what this coach is telling you is that to play in this match, some of you have to be more morally clean than you now are. In this battle between good and evil, you cannot play for the adversary whenever temptation comes along and then expect to suit up for the Savior at temple and mission time as if nothing has happened. That, my young friends, you cannot do. God will not be mocked.
So we have a dilemma tonight, you and I. It is that there are thousands of Aaronic Priesthood–age young men already on the records of this Church who constitute our pool of candidates for future missionary service. But the challenge is to have those deacons, teachers, and priests stay active enough and worthy enough to be ordained elders and serve as missionaries. So we need young men already on the team to stay on it and stop dribbling out of bounds just when we need you to get in the game and play your hearts out! In almost all athletic contests of which I know, there are lines drawn on the floor or the field within which every participant must stay in order to compete. Well, the Lord has drawn lines of worthiness for those called to labor with Him in this work. No missionary can be unrepentant of sexual transgression or profane language or pornographic indulgence and then expect to challenge others to repent of those very things! You can’t do that. The Spirit will not be with you, and the words will choke in your throat as you speak them. You cannot travel down what Lehi called “forbidden paths” and expect to guide others to the “strait and narrow” one—it can’t be done.
But there is an answer to this challenge for you every bit as much as there is for that investigator to whom you will go. Whoever you are and whatever you have done, you can be forgiven. Every one of you young men can leave behind any transgression with which you may struggle. It is the miracle of forgiveness; it is the miracle of the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. But you cannot do it without an active commitment to the gospel, and you cannot do it without repentance where it is needed. I am asking you young men to be active and be clean. If required, I am asking you to get active and get clean."

Saturday, February 4, 2012

In My Hands Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer

I just finished an amazing true story about a small Polish girl who made a huge difference. In My Hands, Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer by Irene Gut Opdyke is Irene's incredible story of courage to help those in need no matter the cost. Just 19 when WWII started, she rose above her own hardships to help her Jewish friends. She wrote:
"You must understand that I did not become a resistance fighter, a smuggler of Jews, a defier of the SS and the Nazis, all at once. One's first steps are always small: I had begun by hiding food under a fence. Now I was making plans to get a wagon to transport in secret the Morris brothers and their sisters."
The stories of WWII are horrible, but from them also come stories of hope, miracles, and love. This is one of those stories.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Surprise Cupcake Cones

I made these for Kaylee's birthday party and they turned out so was a fun twist on a cupcake and easy to do.
Surprise Cupcake Cones
recipe from Betty Crocker the big book of cupcakes
First make 12 regular size cupcakes and 12 mini cupcakes

Yellow Cupcakes (makes 24 regular cupcakes)
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  •  2 1/3 cups flour 
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 2/3 cup milk
Mix butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. On low speed, alternately add flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture. Beat until just blended.
Spray muffin cups so the cupcakes are easier to get out. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.
Bake regular cupcakes at 350 for 20 minutes and mini cupcakes for about 15 minutes.

Make the Frosting
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 3-4 Tbsp milk
  • red food coloring
Mix butter, sugar, and vanilla. Gradually add milk until frosting is smooth and spreadable.

Ingredients for cupcake cones:
  • 12 regular and 12 mini cupcakes
  • pink frosting
  • candy
  • 12 flat-bottom ice cream cones
  • sprinkles
  • maraschino cherries
I made a cupcake holder by slitting an X with a razor blade in the top of a shirt made assembly and serving much easier!

Shhhh, here is the surprise: Fill each cone with candy:
Next, frost the tops of the regular cupcakes and take off the cupcake wrappers. Turn the cupcakes upside down onto the cones. Do the same with the mini cupcakes, turning them upside down on the regular cupcakes:

Frost (I had to add a little more milk to my frosting so that it spread easier. It was a little runny, but it made the cones look like melting ice cream). Add sprinkles, and a cherry on top.

Enjoy! These would make a cute party favor as well:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Paper Strip Hearts

Kaylee and I had a fun time putting a simple Valentine's craft together thanks to Sugar Bee Crafts. All you need is 6 one inch strips of paper, string, and a stapler. Here's how:
Make the strips different lengths - 2 long, 2 medium, and 2 short.
Lay them on your table from left to right short, medium, long, string, long, medium,short:
Starting at the left, pick each strip up in order- putting each one behind the one before it. Make sure the string to hang it gets put between the two long strips, then staple the pile at the bottom:
Pull the two outside strips down, hold, and continue with the rest until your layered heart is formed, stable at the bottom:
Hang and enjoy! Super easy, kid friendly, and turned out cute!