Homemade margaritas

Homemade margaritas

I grew up with a pool, and you could say my childhood summers were basically just one pool party after another. I learned a lot watching my mom and dad host pool parties. I learned from my dad that pool chemistry is important. I learned from my mom that my bathing suit game should be

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Make nap time extraordinary — for mom

Make nap time extraordinary — for mom

I became a stay-at-home mom almost six years ago, and one thing (among many) I’ve struggled with for that entire six years is taking time for myself. It’s one aspect of parenting that doesn’t change. Kids go through all kinds of stages and phases, so my days and routines have changed drastically throughout the past

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Beet pancakes and veggies for breakfast

Beet pancakes and veggies for breakfast

I’ve written before about how most of my brain power is used up with figuring out ways to get vegetables into my kids’ diet. Recently I’ve stumbled upon some tips that I have to share, because even if you’ve got the kind of kid that eats brussel sprouts on the regular, there’s no such thing as too

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Preheat to 350, if you can get around to it

Preheat to 350, if you can get around to it

Any serious baker or pastry chef knows — the secret to amazing results is precision. Serious bakers weigh the ingredients because measuring cups are approximate at best. They use temperature-controlled cookware, and regularly-calibrated ovens. ‘ You can’t just dump all the ingredients in the bowl, you have to follow the instructions. You must not over-beat, you must not over-knead. You have to

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Raisin Bran Chia granola bars

Raisin Bran Chia granola bars

We eat a lot of granola bars in our house. They’re portable, usually mess-free, and they’re good at sneaking in healthy ingredients. Plus, they’re almost always delicious. Most granola bars have nuts, though, (or they’re made in a factory with…) and not only can the kids not take foods with peanuts to their school, but we also

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Made with little hands and big heart

Made with little hands and big heart

It’s almost Thanksgiving, and I wanted to do a little something for my kids’ preschool teachers. I sort of struggle to tell my kids’ teachers that I’m thankful for them because just saying it seems rote. I’m thankful for you, but do you have any idea how thankful? Seeing my little boy blossom as a student who loves

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Sneaky food swaps for picky eaters

Alternate title: How I’ve kept my kids from getting scurvy on their preferred diet of jelly beans and begging for jelly beans.  At David’s 5-year check up, the doctor asked if he ate a variety of foods, and I kind of tilted my head and admitted, no, he’s pretty picky. The doctor asked me to tell

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Yummi Pouch cloth snack bags

Moms pack a lot of snacks. A LOT of snacks. In fact, my grocery list usually includes “snacks I can pack.” When we’re out, keeping the kids’ well-fed is second only to making sure they’re buckled in their carseats. Cereal? Packable. Crackers? Packable. Muffins? Packable, not durable. Popsicles? Not packable, sorry Mary Virginia. I pack

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Just in time for Thanksgiving

I don’t often give parenting advice here, but Thomas asked me to tell you about this. Give your babies a chicken bone. A chicken bone, cooked and stripped — it’s nature’s teether. All my babies have loved chicken bones because all babies love chicken bones because, what’s not to love? It has flavor, it’s the perfect shape for holding and

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Strawberry chia seed jam

There was a time in David’s life when he wasn’t a picky eater. He ate every single thing we put in front of him. Green beans! Butternut squash! Catfish! Tofu! I’m ashamed to admit I was smug. I gave myself credit for his palate. I had, after all, done everything right. Then one day David became

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Grilled mushroom + sausage + arugula pizza

When  I was pregnant I had an aversion to arugula. It wasn’t the taste, it was the texture — the wiry stems. I couldn’t eat sausage either. Once again, the texture. It was a shame, because I had no problem eating 13 Egg McMuffins every day, but couldn’t stomach the thought of this recipe. That

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Parade of cakes

Parade of cakes

My sister has four kids, and they all have birthdays in the eight-week span between January 10 and March 6. As if that wasn’t enough celebrating, my sister’s, mom’s, and Granny’s birthdays are in there, too. Seven birthdays in eight weeks. That’s why I specifically didn’t make any New Years resolutions about no sweets or eating healthy. My sister and her family is

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A Lightning McQueen birthday cake

A Lightning McQueen birthday cake

I thought long and hard about a theme for David’s third birthday. For his first and second birthdays I chose based on the decoration potential. This year I thought long and hard about David’s interests and finally, reluctantly, chose to throw him a Lightning McQueen party. He likes Lightning McQueen a heck of a lot

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Candied Grapefruit Peels

These days, when Tom comes home and there’s something like a 7-lb bag of pretzel M&M’s sitting on the counter, I just shrug my shoulders and remind him that I’m pregnant; I have no control of decisions at the grocery store. The same thing happened last week when I made candied grapefruit peels. I’ve never

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Oven-roasted tomatoes

Since I posted about squirrels eating all my tomatoes, we haven’t had any more squirrel problems. I can’t believe I wasted so much worrying about how to get rid of squirrels when all I had to do was threaten them on the Internet. Now, at the end of the season, we’re finally harvesting tomatoes. Our

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My worst nightmare, battered and fried

Did you ever see the show Fear Factor? It was a reality show where bikini-clad women and shirtless men would “face their fears” by competing in icky and scary challenges for $50,000. Most of the challenges involved  eating, and some sort of swimming/underwater challenge. My brother and I really wanted to apply — most of

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Peppers

I thought my pepper plants were done for the year, then I sprayed some epsom salt on the leaves and turns out they had some oomph left before the end of the season. My mom and dad have made this dish as long as I can remember. We call it “peppers,” with no other adjectives,

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Jalapeno poppers

Even though we have a small garden we seem to be overwhelmed at harvest time. What we want is the exact amount of basil called for in the recipe I’m making, not a basil bush that will bolt and turn brown at the fall breeze. In the spirit of overwhelming fresh produce (I know, what

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Did someone say PIZZA PARTY!?!

A few weeks ago we had the Purdy family over for dinner. The Purdys have an insatiable appetite for pizza, so we thought, why just have DINNER when we can have a PIZZA PARTY!? Before they arrived, I made dough (the dough recipe I use is at the bottom of the post) and rolled out

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Salsa Verde

I love to cook, but I’ve never posted recipes before. I’ve really really thought about it, but I figure that as long as Pioneer Woman is blogging, you don’t really need my recipes. Today I’m making an exception since my mom’s been asking for this recipe for weeks. She’s coming to visit this weekend, an

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Refuel

Unless you count my daily bowl of cereal, this is the first thing I’ve cooked since David was born. Fried potatoes, yummmm… My dad always ate these for breakfast. It’s a good thing, too, because otherwise I wouldn’t know how to make them, and my husband LOVES fried potatoes for breakfast. So Saturday morning I

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