Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - The First Major "Boo-Boo"

So, the Little Man and I were enjoying the beautiful weather last week and were playing a game of chase in the front yard. Unfortunately, he went running for the front door and got caught up in a branch. The results are not so pretty. He was a real trooper - cried for a few minutes and then was ready for the next event!

Here's some pics of our little Mixed Martial Arts fighter:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Homemade Tortillas

Mexican food (or Tex-Mex) is a HUGE favorite in our household. Honestly, I could serve beans and tortillas every night of the week and my 2 guys would be happy. I am a fan myself. Having grown up in Texas, pretty much any food that involves tortillas in some form or fashion (flour, corn, fried, you name it!) is high on my list of comfort foods! It was always a treat when I picked up some of the fresh made tortillas from Central Market. In fact, if I wanted them for a recipe, I had to buy 2 packs because 1 was sure to be demolished from snacking.

With our recent move to Tyler, I have not yet found a good source of homemade tortillas, so I thought it would be a worthy task to take on at home. Lord knows, I don't have to worry about them sitting in the
fridge. So, I found a recipe on one of my go-to recipe sites: Homesick Texan. And got to working.

I am not going to lie - this is pretty time consuming for the result of only 8 tortillas. I am thinking in the future that I will double the recipe. But, it was so good to have fresh tortillas that haven't been sitting on a shelf for who knows how long! These tortillas are definitely yummy, half of them were gone before the night was over (I didn't start making them until after dinner when the Little Man was asleep!).

The only changes I made from the original recipe were to substitute some whole wheat flour for the white flour and I used a stainless steel skillet (that's all I've got). I know, I know, how can I call my self a Texan and not have a cast iron skillet?

Want to try it for yourself? Here's the recipe!

Texas Flour Tortillas
from Homesick Texan

Two cups of all-purpose flour (can make them whole wheat by substituting one cup of whole-wheat flour for white flour)
1 1/2 t. of baking powder
1 t. of salt
2 t. of vegetable oil
3/4 C. of warm milk

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and oil.

Slowly add the warm milk.

Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed.

Knead for two minutes on a floured surface. Dough should be firm and soft.

Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 20 minutes.

After the dough has rested, break off eight sections, roll them into balls in your hands, place on a plate (make sure they aren’t touching) and then cover balls with damp cloth or plastic wrap for 10 minutes. (It’s very important to let the dough rest, otherwise it will be like elastic and won’t roll out to a proper thickness and shape.)

After dough has rested, one at a time place a dough ball on a floured surface, pat it out into a four-inch circle, and then roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s thin and about eight inches in diameter. (If you roll out pie crusts you’ll have no problem with this.) Don’t over work the dough, or it’ll be stiff. Keep rolled-out tortillas covered until ready to cook.

In a dry iron skillet or comal heated on high, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side. It should start to puff a bit when it’s done.

Keep cooked tortillas covered wrapped in a napkin until ready to eat.

Makes eight tortillas.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Day Late, But not a Recipe Short! Tasty Tuesday - Tuna Burgers

We had a bit of a hitch with dinner last night with the Little Man napping for 4 hours which messed up my run to the store for an egg I needed for this recipe! So, last night was a last-minute pizza pick-up, but we were back on track tonight with some yummy Tuna Burgers. Since we are on a budget, these are a more budget-friendly version of burgers for the weekly menu. And, for our family, preferred over beef burgers anyway, so it's a win-win!

This is a recipe that I found on the All Recipes website, but I have modified it a bit. The original recipe calls for 1 6-ounce can of tuna and says it makes 4 patties. I almost double the tuna and get 3 decent sized patties - I'm thinking the original recipe writer might have used these as appetizers ;-). I have also adjusted the seasoning a little, toning it down for our family. Here's the recipe:

Tuna Burgers


  •  2(5 ounce) cans tuna, drained
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs (make your own by toasting 1 piece of bread and grinding it up with about 1/2 teaspoon of  Italian seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup minced celery
  • 1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 hamburger buns (I made my own whole wheat buns with this recipe)
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 4 leaves of lettuce (optional)
  1. Combine tuna, egg, bread crumbs, onion, celery, red bell pepper, mayonnaise, dill, salt, pepper,  and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well. Shape into 3-4 patties (mixture will be very soft and delicate). Refrigerate for 30 minutes to make the patties easier to handle (Do not skip this step! Makes it much easier to handle!)
  2. Coat a non-stick skillet with cooking spray; fry tuna patties for about 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through. These are fragile, so be careful when turning them.
  3. Serve on buns with tomato slices and lettuce leaves, if desired.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cloth Diaper (Cover) Review - Gen-Y Universal Cover

I had the good fortune to win a Gen-Y Universal Cover during a photo contest by Gen-Y. I have had it for a couple weeks now and thought I would post a review. Now, I have to start out by saying that I am not a cover kind of girl -- we use pockets, AIO's and AI2's. I think I tried a cover at one point during a diaper trial, but ended up sending it back. That being said - if I had gotten this cover to begin with, my diaper stash might have been a little different.

Gen-Y has 3 different styles of covers - Classic, Simplicity and Universal. I chose a Universal because it can be used with virtually anything: prefolds, flats, cloth inserts, disposable inserts, contour diapers and fitteds. The other covers cannot be used with cloth or disposable inserts, which are my only current options.

Here's a little on the Universal cover from the Gen-Y website:
"The GEN-Y Universal cover is designed to make your cloth diapering experience easier, simpler, and more fun! Inner leg gussets contain anything your child can dish out. Our super soft polyester/ spandex jersey binding is gentle and comfortable against your baby's skin. Specially shaped inner flaps on the front and back work perfectly to hold any lay in or insert in place, while a gathered front allows you the room you need to use with fitteds or contour diapers. A snap down rise and highly adjustable legs and waist mean you need just two sizes for the perfect fit from birth to potty. Wipe-clean or air-out inside so you can reuse until soiled. Poly-resin snap closures allow air circulation, are more difficult for your baby to undo, and won't snag or wear out with time. Machine wash/ dry with your other diapers... What's not to love?
GEN-Y products are made in the USA."

Now, on to the cover:

Outside of cover (Fun print!)
Inside of cover - all PUL - you can just wipe clean and air out until soiled!
Inside stuffed with insert (I used my SoftBums microfiber inserts because one side is fleece)
Check out the awesome double gussets!

Close up on the print

Diaper being modeled by the Little Man

Being silly - going night-night on my quilting ruler!  Note the snug fit around his legs.

What I love:
  • Fun, fun prints - they were out of some of my favorite prints - this was actually my 3rd or 4th choice, but I still love it. It was hard to choose from so many cool prints.  Also love how they color coordinate the snaps and gussets with the fabric.
  • The big flaps in the front and back really keep the inserts in place
  • The gussets - the double gussets are awesome at keeping EVERYTHING in!
  • Flexibility - this cover can be used with anything! We are thinking this will definitely be one of our go-to options on vacation - using disposable inserts, when we have limited access to laundry. 
  • Cleanability - Little Man has actually not soiled the cover yet. He had a couple poops, but they stayed on the insert, so we actually haven't even had to wash it yet.
  • Clean lines - sine this is a side-snapping cover, the snaps are pretty much out of sight. They also have the rise adjustment snaps lower down so they aren't visible from the front either.
  • Customer Service - Elizabeth was great to work with - she was able to answer all of my questions and she did so VERY promptly!
What could be improved
  • Since I have no other diapers that use the side snaps,  I have a harder time snapping these than my other dipes, but if I had more of these, this probably would not be an issue. 
  • The price of the Universal covers is a little steep for me - the covers are $21.99 each ($22.99 for Minkee covers) - this is more than pretty much all of my pocket diapers in my stash and the cover does not come with any inserts. However, I do have to add that you are paying for quality - these are very well made covers AND they are made in the USA. Also since they can be reused so easily, it would be possible to reuse the same cover for most of a day, which makes the price more accessible. Also, their Classic and Simplicity Covers are less expensive (ranging from $11.99 - 17.99). So for someone on a budget, they have other options. 
The Final Tally
The cons are far outweighed by the pros for this cover. This is not one of the first ones I grab, but more because of the fact that I am much more comfortable with pockets, AIOs and AI2s. It is a well made, fun cover and we just might have to invest in a couple more before our next trip to California because it could help greatly decrease the bulk of what we have to pack! With the airlines charging for checked luggage, taking a suitcase of pockets can be pretty outrageous on the pocketbook!

**This is not a paid post. I received the cover as a prize in a giveaway with no expectations of a review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Not-So-Wordless Wednesday

Before the pics - I just wanted to apologize for the break this past week. The Little Man has been sick and there are a few other things going on around here, so I was not able to post this week. I am going to try and get back on track this week.

For the actual Not-So-Wordless Wednesday part - a picture of my 2 favorite guys in the whole world! I am blessed to call them my husband and my son! My husband takes care of Carter when I am at work and I love coming home and seeing them in action. I may walk into a series of car races down a ramp, a book being read on the couch, or puzzles being done at the table. A great picture to go with this story would be a pic of one of these moments, but those are all on my mental camera, so this one will have to do - my guys hanging out at the Pumpkin Patch a few months ago.

Do you have any mental pictures that you want to share? Post them below.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New blog hop

There is a new green blog hop starting up - you ought to go check out some of the great blogs that are participating!

Tasty Tuesday - THE pie crust recipe

 OK, I am going to apologize because I don't have a single picture to go with this post - except for a partially eaten pie and the 2 pie crusts in my freezer! I was making this pie crust while Little Man was running around and pictures just weren't happening. But, I wanted to share this recipe with you. It has only been recently that I have gotten back into making my own pie crusts - the ones in the refrigerated aisle were just soooo convenient. But, with my quest to get back to the basics and remove the chemicals/indecipherable ingredients from our daily eating, I thought it was about time. 

I started out with a pie crust recipe from the Pioneer Woman - check out her post for all the cool food photographs of this recipe! I modified it a bit today and think I have gotten it how I like it. I subbed out some of the shortening for some butter, which makes for a much better flavor in my book - without losing any flakiness. I also decreased the salt and added a little sugar to sweeten it up. 

One of my favorite things about this recipe - it makes 3 pie crusts at one time - you just put each dough ball in a Ziploc baggie and freeze it until you need it - even better than the ones at the grocery store because I don't have to run out and buy it - it's already in my freezer!

So, here is the recipe:

THE Pie Crust
adapted from Pioneer Woman


  • 1 C. Crisco (vegetable Shortening)
  • 1/2 C. butter
  • 2 C. All-purpose Flour + 1 Cup White Wheat Flour (I have done this with all white, as well as all wheat) 
  • 1 whole egg
  • 5 T. cold water
  • 1 T. white vinegar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 t. sugar

In a large bowl, with a pastry cutter, gradually work the Crisco and butter into the flour for about 3 or 4 minutes until it resembles a coarse meal. In a small bowl, beat an egg with a fork and then pour it into the flour/shortening/butter mixture. Add 5 tablespoons of cold water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Stir together gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
Separate the dough into thirds. Form 3 evenly sized balls of dough and place each dough into a large Ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (about ½ inch thick) to make rolling easier later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using it immediately it’s still a good idea to put in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill.)
When you are ready to use the dough to make a crust, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 15 minutes. Place the dough between 2 sheets of floured waxed paper and roll the dough, starting at the center and working your way out. (Sprinkle some flour over top of the dough if it’s a bit too moist.) Continue rolling until it’s about ½ inch larger in diameter than your pie pan.
Take off the top piece of wax paper and gently turn the pie crust over into the pie plate. Gently press the dough against the corner of the pan. Go around the pie pan pinching and tucking the dough to make a clean edge.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cloth Diaper Review - Doopsy SD

I realized that my blog has had very little about cloth diapering since my first few posts - not too good for a blog called Diaperville! So, I thought I would post my first review on the Doopsy SD. I was so excited to win this diaper from Mama Chocolate. This was my first cloth diaper giveaway win and what a fun one to win!

Inside of diaper (the lining is super soft fleece)

Outside of diaper - love the color and all the snap options!

Comes with 3 inserts (forgot to show the microfiber insert, sorry!). In the picture is the SUPER Doopsy™ Insert which has 4 layers of Bamboo Double Loop Terry (70% Bamboo, 28% Organic Cotton, 2% Spandex), as well as a layer of PUL (polyurethane laminated fabric) and the removable Extra Absorbency Pad made out of 2 Bamboo Hemp Terry Layers (30% Hemp, 70% Bamboo).

Rear view in action:

The Little Man had fun showing it off!

and putting it to work on his rocking horse

What I love:
  • Hip snap which makes for a better fit and no wing droop.
  • The color - I really love the bright orange and all their other colors are bright and fun as well!
  • The rise - it is high enough for a good coverage.
  • The multiple inserts - you can adjust the absorbency you need - a plus for my super heavy wetter!
  • The fit - I can get a good snug fit around Little Man's legs without red marks
  • Big pocket for stuffing
  • Extra strip of PUL on front to reduce wicking
  • Room to grow - Little Man is on the largest rise setting, but is still 2-3 snaps in on each side, so I think this will definitely last through potty training!
What could be improved:
  • Absorbency - I do have a super heavy wetter and I may have to admit to user impatience - I only washed it two times before using, so I think the bamboo may not be at its peak yet (I have used it a half dozen times, so it has only been washed about 8 times). This diaper has held well for normal daytime use, but we have had some leaks during nap time. I was really hoping to add this to my nap time stash. Note: I did use it for Little Man's nap time again today and had no leaks, so it is probably user impatience!
  • Although I love the big pocket for stuffing - I wish it would lay flat when I put it on - it is almost always sticking up out of the back when I put it on Little Man - I have to tuck the extra fleece into his diaper
  • Although I like the idea of the multiple layers of the insert for decreasing dry time, would love it if it could somehow undo itself from the agitation of the washer. I am not a huge fan of having to mess that much with a super wet insert. My solution: I just don't stuff it in - I layer the inserts like in the picture below and then stuff the pocket.

All in all, I really do like this diaper - it is great for daytime use and I am hoping that after a few more washes it will be a good nap time diaper as well. For little ones that aren't super heavy wetters like mine, it would probably work as an overnight solution.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Semi-Wordless Wednesday

I think I know what I will be hunting the consignment shops for next. We made a quick trip down to Austin this weekend and Little Man had a GREAT tie playing with this little mini Dirt Devil, complete with removable dust buster. The perfect toy for our little cleaner.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

I am very fortunate that Little Man eats his veggies without too much of a fuss (the boy LOVES broccoli!! He did not get that from me). So, I don't worry about him getting his daily servings of vegetables. However, like any mom, I am not averse to getting in more veggies in unusual ways. It's better for him, and better for me and the Mayor ;-).  Which leads us to today's recipe - Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese. I am a huge fan of mac and cheese, but I had stopped making it because my old recipe is a heart attack on a plate. So, when I was browsing through the many cooking blogs I love, I was intrigued by this recipe and had to try it. It has now become a fairly regular entry on the weekly meal plan. It's healthy AND pretty easy on the budget.

First thing to do - chop your butternut in half, plop it face down in a baking dish and roast it until it looks like this:

After the squash is ready, scoop it into a pot with your milk and chicken stock and blend it together with your nifty immersion blender that you got for Christmas. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can blend the mixture together in a blender or food processor. I did not do this the first time I made this recipe and the texture was really grainy, so I highly recommend finding SOME way to blend it!

While you are making the sauce, cook your pasta to 'al dente' texture.

Doesn't the sauce look so much prettier?

Then remove the sauce from heat and stir in all your spices, shredded cheeses and ricotta. If your pot is large enough, you can add the pasta directly into the pot and stir until your pasta is well coated. Then transfer it into a greased baking dish.

Top your pasta with a mixture of bread crumbs, cheese and olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes covered, then pull off the foil and cook for another 30-40 minutes. Serve yourself a big plate of yummy mac and cheese immediately!


Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

Recipe by A Cozy Kitchen

1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound) cut in half and roasted
1 cup homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock, skimmed of fat
1 1/2 cups mil
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional - I leave this out because of Little Man)
1 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 cup of extra-sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated (4 oz.)
4 tablespoons gryuere or Parmesan cheese, finely grated (1 ounce) (I have use other hard cheeses like Romano, as well)
2 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon olive oil
butter to coat baking dish
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the butternut squash in half and put face down on a baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes.  When you take it out of the oven, scoop out the seeds and discard. Then scoop out flesh and set aside.  Combine squash, stock, and milk in a medium saucepan; - blend with immersion blender, blender or food processor and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer for about five minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in nutmeg, cayenne, and salt, and season with black pepper. Stir to combine. Add cheddar, Parmesan and ricotta cheeses. Stir to combine.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles; cook until al dente according to package instructions, about 8 minutes.

Drain noodles and add them into the pot with the cheesy squash sauce.

Lightly grease a 2.5 quart casserole dish with butter. Transfer noodle mixture to dish. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, remaining 2 tablespoons gruyere or Parmesan, and oil; sprinkle evenly over noodle mixture.

Cover with foil, and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil, and continue baking until lightly browned and crisp on top, 30 to 40 minutes more. Serve immediately.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

So cute!

I got kind of crazy about entering all of the amazing cloth diaper giveaways that were happening around Christmas. I swear, I would spend hours at a time. A few minutes of my time for a sweet new CD or cool accessories, I'm in! Well, I have had a little luck. First, I won a Doopsy SD diaper from Mama Chocolate. I'll do a post of my review of that in the near future - I'm trying to give it a month before I give my opinion on it.

But, I don't have to wait on sharing this super cute package of burp cloths and a wipe case that I won from Creative Mommas! I actually won it from another blog, Spunky Junky, but they were handmade by the amazingly creative sisters from Creative Mommas. Their blog has all kinds of cute projects to do. I am planning on making some hooded towels for Little Man from their tutorial.

When I opened the package, I was so excited. These burp cloths are well made. I do my share of sewing, so I can tell you there sewing skills far surpass mine ;-). The cloths have cute black and white prints on one side, and an absorbent white fabric on the other. Fortunately, Little Man is beyond the need for burp cloths (but, boy, did we go through our share when he was little and had acid reflux!). However, I am planning on using them as super chic napkins to replace the paper napkins I have stopped buying. I have no doubt that my hubby will greatly appreciate not having to grab kitchen rags to wipe his hands at dinner!

I am also looking forward to replacing my old wipes case with this cute one, although I'm almost afraid to use it, it's so cute!  Well, I just wanted to share because I thought some of you might be looking for some cute burp cloths for yourselves or as a baby shower gift - I know they would be raved over! If you want some of your own, you can find them at their Etsy shop, along with many other cute prints! So, head on over to their blog or shop, and let them know I sent you.