Simple Strawberry Shortcake

Good morning!

I have missed you guys! Having a puppy in the house really does cut into your time and energy.

I have been getting up at all hours of the night with her to make sure she does well with potty training.

I feel like Sundae has been one of the easier dogs we have had, when we picked her up she was already whining and fussing to go out to use the bathroom. Which is one of the hardest things to train a dog to do.

We have had a couple of accidents in the house because she didn’t whine but we are doing better and better each day. We took her to the vet yesterday and she weighs a total of 4.4lbs! So cute.

But let’s talk about this recipe really quickly.

If you need a last minute recipe for a holiday like today I have the perfect one.

I love this recipe because it is easy to have on hand and it takes little to no time to prepare.

If you want to have homemade pound cake you can definitely do that, this is just if you are in a crunch or have little to no time to make a quick dessert.

All of the ingredients are kept refrigerated and can be purchased ahead of time so you aren’t finding yourself in the grocery store instead of poolside with your family.

Ingredients:
a tablespoon of granulated sugar
1 container of strawberries
a can or container of whipped cream
1 container of Sara Lee Pound Cake [in your frozen section]

Toppings: [optional]
Sliced Almonds
Chocolate syrup

Directions:

Cut your strawberries into quarters, toss in sugar and keep in refrigerator. You can always add more sugar depending on how many strawberries you decide.

Cut your pound cake into cubes or slices depending on how you’d like to serve them. I like to cut mine into cubes so serving in a glass or plastic cup is easier.

Once you are ready to serve go ahead and put whipped cream into the bottom of the glass you are serving in, top with strawberries then pound cake cubes, and repeat until your desired amount per glass. Once that is done you can put on additional toppings.

You can add more toppings depending on who you are serving and their needs.

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A Mom's Review on Hello Fresh

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Happy Friday, you filthy animal!
[that was an Austin Powers reference, I don’t think you’re filthy.]

Time is flying especially with a toddler! I have been so busy tidying up, and organizing all while J comes behind me and creates another mess.

/Mom-life am I right?/

For years, I kept seeing all the buzz about Hello Fresh and I was just like the cost is ridiculous. I mean who would pay 80 dollars for 3 meals?

Then Hello Fresh had this amazing deal for so much off of your first box, etc., and we tried it. And I. was. hooked!

When I sat down as a busy mom and women, I realized how much Hello Fresh freed up time, keep me a bit more sane, and helped with my dinner time schedule.

I found us eating dinner much earlier freeing up time for E and I to actually have a conversation and it not be in passing. We were able to fit in a movie on some nights before bedtime and we felt a bit more of a family rather than an ever moving circus.

Convenience

With Hello Fresh, there is no going to the grocery store, there is no “oh, shit! I forgot the tomatoes”.

Everything you need for your meals is packed in these boxes, then separated neatly so each meal has a bag with the ingredients and then the meats are packaged separately.

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All you’ll need is your oil, butter, salt, and pepper. But every thing else is perfectly proportioned out for your meal and delivered to your door.

There is no searching online for your groceries, loading your toddler in the car, and then running over to pick them up. There is also no running around a packed germ infested grocery store un-necessarily looking for everything you forgot you needed and trying to deter a toddler from everything they “need”.

Delicious

So far we have loved all of the meals and I love learning how to make, creams, sauces, and other things I never would have tried had it not been in our box.

Most of the meals, Jax has been pretty fine eating. He isn’t a picky eater but he does love vegetables more than he does meats at the moment but if it comes with a sauce he will eat it.

So far I have learned how to make Chipotle Crema, Maple Mustard, Garlic Mayo, Garlic Herb Rice, and this Apple Carrot Slaw [I wish I ate all of in one sitting].

If you are delivering soon, having company over, or even trying to impress someone with your new found cooking skills. I completely recommend Hello Fresh.

You get to pick your meals for the week, so if you want to mix it up, have something a tad bit fancier [you will have to pay for an upgrade], or even just something simple as burger or tacos. They have it all!

Little to No waste

Another thing I love about using Hello Fresh is that we don’t have any waste, so there aren’t any bad tomatoes, onions, celery, carrots or any of that going bad in our refrigerator.

Which ends up being less things we need to “keep” in the fridge, less things that expire, less things that may cause the fridge to stink and for me less things to throw out when I do the weekly cleaning on Fridays.

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All of the recipes I cook out of a book or via Pinterest all have me buying containers or packages at a time of ingredients that I don’t use for the rest of the week or month and then I find myself throwing so much out.

So for me, not having to throw anything I just paid extra money for verses the things that are proportioned out with Hello Fresh is another cost saver that I didn’t factor in initially.

Ease of Cooking

All or most of the recipes are pretty easy to cook, you aren’t having to cut the meats because they are already cut to whichever type of cut you need.

All of the ingredients are proportioned out if you are doing the 2 person meal you may have some left over ingredients, but nothing too major that you couldn’t either just use for another quick recipe or discard if needed.

With each meal box you receive recipe cards and with each card there step-by-step with photos on how to accomplish the recipe.

There is also information on what utensils you’ll need or extra ingredients that you should have around the house and if you don’t a quick pick up at the store should do the trick.

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Final Thoughts

I will admit I was completely against these box meals at first but for me as a stay-at-home-mama, it has helped me so much in a space that I was stressing so needlessly about. I am an avid over-thinker and I desperately needed to take something so trivial off my plate.

If we do decide that adding another little one to our family is a good idea. I think Hello Fresh is the perfect way to prep meals prior to heading to the hospital or just having ready for when we return.

While I know as mom’s we should ask for help, E and I as a couple aren’t great at it yet. So being able to prepare fully for our family to increase, or just a busy week. We both agree that Hello Fresh is just one of those things we love.

And the best part, if you are going out of town or not feeling the meals planned for that week. You can skip that week or put your account on hold.

I Made Meatloaf

You guys!

I. Made. Meatloaf.

Okay, this may be a very small accomplishment for most people out there but for me it is HUGE!

If you know me, you definitely know that I didn’t grow up hanging out in the kitchen with my parents and boiling rice, wasn’t my forte.

Growing up, I had a easy bake oven and I loved it.

I loved being able to throw something I mixed together into a “oven” then tossed it into the microwave — as sad as that sounds. But the best part was when my brother would enjoy them as well. He would always encourage me to make cakes because he always loved eating them.

My parents both shared the responsibility of cooking in our house, but my dad was the main cook in our household.

My dad would get home earlier than my mom and so he would stop at the grocery store, pick up whatever it is that they were cooking and get things started. My mom would get home and help him in the kitchen and then we would eat.

On occasion I would help cut up some things at times but I was too “slow” for my dad and he would just usher me to the side so he could finish cooking.

When it was time to be a wife and cook things on my own, I was happy that I lucked out and married a guy who grew up in a household of cookers and loved to cook himself.

But then he found a job that required him to work nights and the responsibility of cooking fell on me, I knew making sandwiches wasn’t going to get me too far or him for that matter.

I was a horrible cook, besides cutting up “seasoning” onions [that was an issue in itself], cilantro, and tomatoes. It was possible that I could potentially kill you with a meal.

I couldn’t even boil rice y’all and to this day I absolutely hate cooking rice on the stove top, I honestly prefer to do it in a rice cooker.

If you follow me on social media you are aware now-a-days, it is a bit different and I have come a long way since my burnt rice and easy bake oven days. I have upgraded to an actual oven and I am decent in the kitchen.

I love finding new recipes on Pinterest and while this may show my age, I really love getting new cookbooks as gifts, or things I steal from my friends [with their knowledge, of course].

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Austin Baby, Yeah

Austin Baby, Yeah

Sorry, the title was a play on years of having to watch Austin Powers, lol. 

I recently visited Austin, TX with one of my girlfriends and we had a blast.  I don't think. I have ever walked away from a weekend with Teresa upset that I went on the trip. 

We have been to LA, Austin, Waco, Miami, Atlanta, and Las Vegas together.  We base our trips on food, and the hotel.  

I am going to recap our Austin trip today, and if you are planning a quick trip to Austin I have a few recommendations!

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3 Quick Ways to Use Your Leftover Chicken

hello loves!

I am back today with a simple way to utilize left over chicken, whether it be rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken breast, or baked chicken.  For us a family of three we sometimes will tend to have left overs just depending on how hungry E is that night.  I usually like to get the most out of our dinners, especially since eating out can get real pricey fast.

Besides utilizing them the next day for left overs of exactly what we cooked the night before sometimes I can stretch them for another dinner completely, that way we use all of our food, without having to throw out too much or do too much work every single night. 

 

3 Way to Use Your Leftover Chicken

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1. Chicken Salad

Once you take your chicken out of the container start to shred it so that you get smaller pieces of chicken instead of legs, thighs, breast, etc.  Whatever cut you have make it smaller, by shredding it with your hands it gives you more chicken, plus it will give the chicken the ability to mix better with the mayo and other ingredients.  

Note: You can use a food processor instead of using your hands that is totally up to you just know that you will have finer pieces of chicken.

Directions:
I typically will dice a tomato and red onion, but on occasion Eric will add in celery [not my thing] he will add it into his portion.  Then once everything is in the bowl, I add the mayo and mix it all together.  I sometimes get a little cajun seasoning and season it after the mayo has coating everything well, just for a little extra taste.  

If you make your own baked chicken and season it really well, then you can probably avoid this step.  Sometimes when I am in a rush I get the store bought chicken and they aren't really seasoned all the way through.

2. Chicken Pizza

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Ugh I love me some pizza, like it is one of my favorite food but the regular pizza places just aren't doing it for me anymore and I am liking the gourmet pizza places more and more.  Especially the ones that use a brick oven, YUM!

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I recently had some left over baked chicken and I decided make a homemade pizza.

Directions:
To start shred the chicken by hand, throw on your favorite pizza ingredients or mine: white sauce, red onions, mushrooms, mozzarella, and parmesan.  I added all of that on top of a gourmet store bought pizza dough, sauce first then cheese, and finally the chicken.  

3. Chicken Tacos

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If you have already shredded your chicken by hand for the chicken salad and the pizza you can always save some of it to make, tacos!  

All you will need is:

  • Tortillas or Crunchy Taco Shells
  • Sour Cream
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Beans [we eat black beans, yum]
  • Guacamole
  • Pico  

And there you have it 3 simple ways to utilize your left over chicken.  

I know our house can get busy around here, E will get off later than expect, J will not be in the mood to go down for his nap and we have to use what we got to get what we want, dinner!  I know there are a lot of busy moms out there so I hope this helped you loves!

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If you love this post, please let me know so I can come up with some more great ideas for you guys.  

Toast2Texas: Kerrville, TX

I am finally diving into our trip to Kerrville, TX that I gave you guys a sneak peek on my insta-stories, if you don't follow me on Instagram then this is all new to you and you should definitely keep reading. 

A couple of months ago we had the most wonderful trip to Kerrville, Texas and it is exactly what this mom needed. We drank wine, ate well, and had so much fun with the locals!  

We stayed at The Garrett House which is hosted by Kim Richards, she fully remodeled this cozy two bedroom house and made it into this beautiful, comfortable, chic home away from home. You can find her on instagram here, and her AirBnb here

This trip was hosted and set up with Lauren from Toast from the Host, Stacy Anderson of The Hurried Hostess and in collaboration with Amanda Hewitt from A Positively Beautiful Life, and myself!

You can find all of their Instagrams below, and they are a definite must follow, tell them I sent you over.  

 @toastfromthehost

@thehurriedhostess

@positivelybeautifullife

Above photos credit: Stacy Anderson Photography

The first day we had the cutest set up from Lauren of Toast from the Host, in collaboration with Master of Mixes and y'all there Peach Margarita Mix is soo damn good! I could've had the entire thing in one day.  The food was all prepped and set up by Lauren who is absolutely amazing at hosting and also the sweetest person ever.  If you are hosting, or need help with party ideas, tips and tricks, get in touch with Lauren.  

Our first morning Lauren had the most delicious-ness of a breakfast set up for us and before diving in we actually took some photos, because as they say if you didn't photograph it, it didn't happen. 🤔 .

It was waffles, sweet rice, fresh strawberries and mimosas, yes please!  

Before we left, we had the pleasure of stopping at Pax Coffee and Goods and it has been one of my favorite places to visit. Besides having some great coffee, the employees are kind, and the decor is just beautiful.  It is definitely a place to stop while in Kerrville, daily!Sponsors:

House: @thegarretthouse

Flowers: @viridiandesignstudio

Invites/labels/menu - @kandsdotco

Confetti Poppers - @dopeassconfetti

Margaritas - @masterofmixes

Home - @thegarretthouse

Bath bomb - @whippedupwonderful

Candles - @circle21candles

Necklace - @beadedbayjewelry

Mask - @thecomfyden

Grape Juice - portion of lunch

Rails, a Cafe at the Depot - dinner

Bikes - Hill Country Bicycle Works

Cookies - @sprinklepopdotshop , @trulymadplastics @tudorhousecookies 

 

Cream of Mushroom Chicken and Rice

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This recipe is one of my all-time go to for a simple and easy dinner. It is filling and delicious. 

Ingredients: 

1lb of chicken breast

1 cup of rice

1 handful of asparagus

1 can of cream of mushroom/chicken

Shredded Parmesan

Juice from half a lemon

Salt & Pepper for taste

Garlic powder

2 tablespoons of Olive Oil

 

Depending on if you have a rice cooker or if you just cook yours on the stove top you'll want to put one cup of rice with two cups of water to boil or in your rice cooker per the instructions.

Then season your chicken breast to your liking, I usually use a Tone's seasoning in combination with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. 

Once the chicken is seasoned. In a large skillet heat up the olive oil on medium heat, once oil is hot put in the chicken cook until both sides are golden brown.  

Transfer the chicken to a plate, then put the cream of chicken/mushroom into the skillet. I typically leave all of the seasoning and oil from the chicken so that it seasons the cream of chicken/mushroom if you are doing this as well, make sure to pick up the low sodium version of the cream of mushroom/chicken.  

Mix the cream into the drippings of the chicken and keep warm you can start on your asparagus with a little salt and pepper then before serving you’ll want to squeeze the lemon juice and sprinkle the parm. 

You can transfer the chicken back into the cream of chicken/mushroom or you can just pour the mixture on top of your chicken totally up to you.  

Plate, Serve + Enjoy!  

 

Tip: You can also use cauliflower rice to make this gluten free!