Happy New Year

First, let me wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! This morning I loved hearing my alarm go off, grabbing a half cup of coffee, and hitting the gym early. Routine…it is a wonderful thing! Tomorrow we are all back to work, a meal plan is made for the first time in over two weeks, and our shelves and refrigerator are stocked with healthy options to begin the year. I have made no great new years resolutions since I already feel I do my best physically when my body allows, I do my best financially when the funds are there, and well, I guess the only thing I can hope for in the new year is good health. Which I really have no control over above and beyond what I already do to stay healthy, so I will let it be what it shall be.

Let’s see, Christmas for us was wonderful. Family…as small as our is, is a wonderful thing. We ate, drank and were merry as many of you were also I would imagine.

We celebrated one birthday during the holiday…our son’s falls the day after Christmas.

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And since he is an adult now, many of his gifts revolved around getting out on his own and having the basics he will need when this happens. Yes, I did buy my son a laundry hamper as a gift. He told me to buy practical gifts which I did….and I LOVED every minute of it;-)

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We also had a milestone happen in our family. Our son bought his first car which we picked up the day before Christmas Eve. These moments make me proud as a mom….slowly he is making a life for himself and spreading his wings. Next, he tells me, is apartment hunting. Oh boy, this brings me back many years. Can I seriously be this old already that my son is ready to move out….wow, where do the years go?

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Lets see, back to Christmas, we ate tons of food….some healthy and some not so healthy…..but all artificial sweetener free. We host here at our home every year and we also pick a theme to celebrate the holiday. This year we decided on a home cooked meal and pajama Christmas. So meatloaf, glazed carrots, and mashed potatoes were on the menu. Birthday cake and ice cream was dessert. Along with some appetizers to share before dinner like this pickled shrimp recipe we tried for the first time which ended up being a big hit.

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I even snuck in a new treat….and I assure you it was well deserved some days.

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With the week off between holidays, I had ample time to restock the freezer with freezer meals. Soup is a favorite for me to freeze and eat later.

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I am killing the early morning workouts….which I am proud to say I missed not a single day through the holidays. However, this is more for my mental health than my physical health during this time of year. It’s a great holiday stress reliever.

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I also have been experimenting with some new recipes from a new cookbook I received from Christmas. I know most people get new recipes online now a days but I don’t have a whole lot of time to search and find recipes. So books are still my favorite way to find new recipes. And my slow cooker is going to be my best friend with two newborn babies starting with in a week of each other here. Oh boy, time will be limited for sure.

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Also over the holiday break I enjoyed an afternoon snow hike with my son and a few feathered friends we saw along the way.

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And let me tell ya, snow adds a whole different spin on hiking….wow, were we tired after about 3 miles of snow hiking an area trail.

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We did this hike while dad ventured out for the first time to ice fish an area lake. I, like always, thought it was too early, our son also thought it was too early, but arguing with a fisherman is pointless so we made ourselves busy while he took his chances with the ice thickness. He came home a few hours later with not a great ice report but enough to be able to limit out on his catch of the day. IMG_0099

That sums up my last two weeks. As I adjust to new children to care for and we all adjust to going back to work, let’s savor the reality that routine is really a nice thing to have. I loved the holiday break but for me personally, normal life is not a bad thing either.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Crock Pot Shredded Taco Chicken

This shredded taco chicken dish I would not really even consider a recipe. I literally threw what I had in a crock pot before leaving one day so I would not have to deal with any preparation when we returned from a day of hiking. It turned out very tasty so I thought I would share it with you all.

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Crock Pot Shredded Taco Chicken

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 cups of any salsa (I used Pace)

1 Tbsp. taco seasoning mix

1 cup frozen corn

1-15oz can black beans

Lay the chicken breast in the crock pot and sprinkle them with the taco seasoning. Pour the salsa over the top. Then pour the frozen corn on top of the salsa. Cover and set to low for 6 hours.

Next,after 6 hours, take two forks and shred the chicken breast right in the crock pot. This will be very easy to do at this point. Take your beans and rinse them under cool water. After rinsing, add them to the chicken mixture . Heat them for about 10 minutes and serve.

I chose to serve the chicken on salad greens with our favorite taco toppings. You could also serve this in shells or tortillas with your favorite taco toppings. Which ever you prefer will be just as tasty.

Enjoy!

 

Crock Pot Beef Stew

I have the perfect beef stew recipe for those nights when you need dinner fast. You could even chop all your veggies the night before. Then before you leave in the morning simply toss them in, mix up the sauce, pour it over the ingredients and your done.

Here you go, give it a try and see what you think.

Crock Pot Beef Stew

1-1 1/2 pounds of beef stew meat

1 cup of frozen peas-thawed

4 large carrots

3 medium potatoes

1 medium onion

1 tsp. of your favorite grill seasoning

1 can tomato soup

1 can golden mushroom soup

Spray your crock pot with non stick cooking spray. Prepare your veggies by washing them and peeling the potatoes and carrots. Cut all the veggies into stew like chunks.

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Layer the beef first in the crock pot. Next the veggies. (NOT THE PEAS)

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Mix in a small bowl both cans of soup together along with the seasoning. Pour this over the top of the beef and veggies. Cover and set on low for 6-8 hours. A half hour before your ready to serve add the thawed peas.

So super easy. This recipe also freezes well if you have leftovers.

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Enjoy!