Sunday, April 25, 2010

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

We have a lot of lentil, split peas, and dried beans from WIC so I try to come up with different ways to use them. Here is a slow cooker recipe for lentils. Great with corn bread on the side.


2 c. dried lentils
1 c. water
5 c. chicken broth
1 1/2 c. diced cooked ham
4 roma tomatoes chopped
1 medium onion chopped
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. chopped carrots
1/2 t. dried basil
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. dried thyme
1/4 t. black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 T chili powder (optional)

Put everything in the crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours. The chili powder gives it a nice kick, but if you have kids that can't tolerate any spice, better to leave it out (or use less).

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Taco Pasta

So I got the taco pasta idea from Rachael Ray. I love how you don't have to have taco shells and eating it with pasta makes it less messy for the kids.

This is Rachael's recipe:

Here is my version of her recipe (sorry, forgot to take a picture):


1 lb. medium shell pasta (I would have used whole wheat if I had it on hand)
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 c. taco seasoning or 1 packet of taco seasoning
1 medium onion chopped
2 tomatoes (or you can use 14 oz canned tomato, drained)
1 bell pepper (I used half green and half yellow), chopped (my kids don't like bell peppers so I put it in the blender with the chicken stock and puree it... and then the kids will never know! =))
1 1/2 c. chicken stock
1 c. frozen corn
2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

(you can use anything that you would put on a normal taco, but here is what we had...)

Lettuce, chopped
Tomatoes, diced
Onions, chopped
Green onions, chopped


- Cook pasta as directed on box. Drain and set aside.
- While pasta is cooking, brown the meat.
- Then add the onions, tomatoes, and taco seasoning. Cook until the onions are tender.
- Preheat broiler.
- Puree bell pepper with chicken stock (if your family is okay with bell peppers, then just toss it in). Then add to the meat.
- Add the corn.
- Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Then add the pasta and stir to combine.
- Taste the pasta. Season with salt if needed. (I had to add some salt to mine.)
- Transfer pasta into an oven safe pan and sprinkle on the cheese.
- Put under the broiler until the cheese is melted (it took me about 4 minutes in my oven)
- Serve and top with desired toppings!

The kiddos loved it. Even though they didn't want any toppings, I knew that they were still getting some veggies from the pasta! I think our Natalie ate more than Jocelyn when we had this last night!

This heats up really well too!

Monday, April 12, 2010

felt playhouse

So for Jocelyn's 3rd birthday I am going to make her a felt playhouse. I'm getting ideas from all over and trying to combine different ideas. I just ordered the fabric from so hopefully it will come sometime this week. I already planned what I want on each side. It is going to fit over a card table that Jacob use to use for studying. I'm in the process of planning out how big I want everything. I'm using graph paper to plan things out and to make sure everything fits right. I finished graphing three of the sides, and only have one more to do. One side is going to be the front door with a mail slot and a pot of flowers. The other side will be a window with half a tree which will have apples to pick. Next the other side of the tree will be the next panel along with a dog house. On top of the dog house I am going to put a cat =). Natalie loves cats. Then the last side is going to be the garden. I want to have a corn plant, tomato plant, lettuce, and carrots. Hopefully the garden side will fit all of my ideas that I have. It's the last side that I haven't planned out on graph paper yet. The graph paper is nice because I can see everything in proportion to each other. I am way excited to get this all finished!

here is the site that first gave me the idea that I wanted to make one of these!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring Photos

These are the dresses that I made for the girls. It's their new spring dress (made from fabric that I had leftover from me making dresses/ties for my family for a YW project!). The girls were so excited to wear their dresses outside! Here are some of the pictures I got of them... let me know which is your favorite!

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