summer cooking: dinner & dessert

Friday, July 31, 2015

Cilantro-Lime Chicken and Rice and Blueberry Cobbler with Homemade Ice Cream

This dinner and dessert are so super easy and everyone in your house will love (at least mine did)! It's also a one pot dinner which who doesn't love those! All I did was bake some bread to go along with it and everyone devoured it!

Bad news...I only have 1 picture ;)

But here's the recipe...from Pinterest of course

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: About 4 servings
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 green onions, chopped (keep lighter and darker portions separate)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, rinsed and well drained
  • 2 cups minute white rice (don't use regular rice!)
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot add chicken, season with salt and pepper, and saute until cooked through, about 6 minutes, adding in lighter portions of the green onions and garlic at last 1 minute of cooking. Stir in broth, green onion greens, green chilies, lime zest, lime juice, black beans and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture to a boil, add rice, fully immerse rice in broth, and allow to boil 20 seconds, then remove from heat and immediately cover with a lid. Let rest 5 - 6 minutes.
  • If needed, return pan to medium heat and cook and toss 1 minute to allow rice to absorb excess moisture. Remove from heat, toss in cilantro and let rest uncovered 3 minutes.
  • Recipe source: Cooking Classy

  • 3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 9x11 or 9x13 dish with nonstick cooking spray. Mix the blueberries and sugar and pour into the bottom of the prepared dish. Whisk together butter and cake mix. Crumble over blueberries.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, until bubbly and browned on top.

I also made a batch of homemade vanilla ice cream in my ice cream maker to go along with it. We are in LOVE with homemade ice cream pretty much to the point we can't go back to store bought ;) I advise everyone to get an ice cream will thank me later ;)

Edited to add:

Here is a link that I wanted to share to a blog that I love. This post is so great and well written. Take the time to read it :)

keeping austin weird

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Last week after a doozy of a Monday I decided to pack up the kids on an adventure and have a fun Tuesday! I wasn't going to let the week get us down, especially with only a few weeks of summer left.

We headed into Austin to visit the Texas History Museum and had way more fun the I could have ever imagined. Milly is awful about riding in a stroller but has come to enjoy riding in the Ergo on my back and I must say that's so much easier to me as well. I love carrying her instead of pushing a big stroller. The boys were so into the museum, much more then I ever thought they would be. Since they haven't learned about Texas History in school seeing all the people that helped make our state what it is now was fascinating to them. They couldn't believe that it was once owned by Mexico. They stopped and read the signs and I elaborated on stories for them all while they watched wide eyed. It was really fun :)

One of our favorite parts was watching the rebuilding of an old ship that was found and is from the 1600's. The boys closely watched the workers carefully cleaning each piece of wood. Aiden couldn't believe that you could get a job doing that and claimed that he wants to be an archaeologist when he grows up ;) Or as he put it "treasure hunter."

There was also a showcase on roller derby which all the kids loved. They had videos of an actual roller derby match and they couldn't take their eyes off it! We might have to get tickets to a live one...I think our whole family would get a kick out of that. 

After all the museum fun we stopped by a little cafe in the museum and had lunch on the patio overlooking the Capital. It was a great afternoon and we all had a really nice time which was nice because like I said before, Monday was a doozy ;)

our mantle

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I love a beautiful mantle. Our old house had the TV hung above the mantle so I never got to decorate it until Christmas came along and I could hang the stockings from it. When we were building this house I was so excited that we had other wall space options for the TV so I started planning what would grace my mantle between seasons. 

And then I changed it...

and changed it...

and third times a charm ;) After a purchase on my girls weekend and an purchase on etsy my mantle is perfect!

The arrow was my purchase over the weekend. I had originally planned to hang it somewhere but once I got home I just put it there and thought hey that looks cute! The lace banner I ordered for Milly's birthday photoshoot but when it got here it was GORGEOUS! I love how it looks over the mirror...really completes everything.

The branches, rocks, vase, candle, gray balls and glass jar with gray balls are all from Target. The "K" is from TJMaxx and the cross Aiden made at VBS. I think it's so pretty and the colors were the same as the candle and I just love how it all looks. It all came together slowly but surely and now we can enjoy it until Halloween...I have very very spooky and fun plans for my mantle then ;)

girls just wanna have fun

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Last weekend I had the pleasure of taking a fun overnight shopping trip with a few of my fav girls! 2 of them had birthdays and 1 was the big 4-0 so a night away with friends was a must. When planning the trip we decided that a shopping weekend in Waco was the way to go. Most of us watch Fixer Upper and have been dying to hit up the stores in the show and a few others in the area. We had an absolute blast! Lots of fun and funky things were bought and oh man there were sooooo many laughs. I am still laughing about things from the weekend ;)

Common Grounds coffee shop from Fixer Upper

Magnolia Market!  from Fixer Upper as well

Umm yeah we bought a few things ;)

One of the houses from the show. I was trying not to be too stalkerish and only took a side photo ;)

After I came home and got settled back in I sat and thought about how truly lucky I am to have such great friends. I never really realized how important it is to have close friends at this time in our lives when being a mother can literally take over. It's nice to unwind and just be a woman surrounded by her friends speaking from her heart, laughing and just plain having fun :)

let them cook

Thursday, July 23, 2015

I have a confession...

I am that mom that wants to do everything herself because it's easier and faster. Yup that's me. I would rather put away all the laundry so it gets done right, make beds, clean up toys and cook. I like thing my way and I like them done fast. 

However as the boys get older I know they need to learn how to do these things so I have been working my hardest to put these crazy normal feelings aside to help them become amazing adults.

That's why this summer on the to do list was "learn how to cook." I'm a sucker for lists so I knew if I had it on the list my little mind would make it happen ;)

Aiden as easy...he wanted to learn to make quesadillas. No bigs! After 1 day he had it mastered and you know what???? It's freaking amazing that he can make his own lunch and make it for his brother! I have no idea why I waited so long for this ;) It's definitely working in my favor!

Asher, on the other hand, is our budding chef and wanted to make something a little more difficult. Corn Dogs. So I hopped over to my trusty Pinterest page and found this recipe for homemade corn dogs.

Now they had to be fried and he couldn't really do that so aside from the frying he did everything else by himself.

And they turned out amazing! So delicious really and I'm not a huge corn dog fan. Add a cute glass (from TJMaxx) with some root beer and a side of mustard and we had quite the delicious lunch!



1 cup flour, divided
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 cup milk
8 hot dogs, cut into thirds
Vegetable or canola oil, for frying


Preheat about 3 inches of oil to 350 degrees over medium heat.
Combine 2/3 cup of flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, garlic powder and onion powder in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the milk.
In a pie plate or other shallow dish, add the remaining flour.
Dredge each hot dog piece in the flour and then dip it into the cornmeal batter. Shake off any excess batter, but be sure that the hot dog is fully covered in batter.
Drop into the hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden brown and crispy.
Fry in batches, being careful not to over crowd the pan.
Drain on a paper towel lined plate and keep warm in a 200 degree oven until all of the hot dogs are fried.
Serve immediately with ketchup and mustard, if desired.

3 years old

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I have no idea how this is happening but in a little over a month my sweet little Milly is turning 3. She is still such a baby to us...hence why she still walks around most days with a pacifier in her mouth wearing diapers...but I cannot deny the fact she is growing up.

While we don't do big birthday parties anymore I still love planning something fun and special for my littles. I use to take the boys to get their picture made every year on their birthday until they were 5...then I just let school take care of that ;) Instead of "Studio" photos with Milly I like to create a scene and take my own. 

1 year pics

2 year pics


For her 3 year birthday we are doing a Sesame Street little family party and then on her actual birthday going to Sea World (because they have a whole Sesame Street kid area). I didn't really want to do a character photo shoot so I was shopping around on Etsy and found this adorable dress and then it all came together ;)

Then shopping around some more I found these boots!

Then this fabric garland

So we are going with a country theme. We have a park kind of close that has an old barn. I'm thinking I'm going to take her out there and set up a cute little set and *keeping my fingers crossed* hopefully I can get a few good pics. She is at an AWFUL picture taking stage ;)

I'm also still shopping for a lace headband or bow. I have found a few but just not the perfect one yet.

And I must show you...while I was shopping on Old Navy for the boots I found these other shoes on sale that I had to order!

I mean hello she is my one and only girl ;)


Monday, July 20, 2015

One of my favorite places to decorate is an entryway. I just think it's important to have a nice inviting place so when your guest walk in it greets them. 
My aunt and uncle gave me this piece of furniture but it looked very different when I got it ;) I'll write a post on how I redid it!

rug from Target

I also love decorating for holidays/seasons. I have decorations for every single holiday or season and am always ready to get them out when it's time! 

Our entryway is another place in the house that has changed a few times ;) I now love exactly how it looks!

4th of July is one of my fav holidays and I love the decorations I have for it...especially my new glass stars this year! They are gorgeous and look so beautiful on the mirror. Hanging things on a mirror and chalkboards are 2 of my fav (and go to) design options so you won't be surprised to find both of those in my entryway :)


Sunday, July 19, 2015

"Love God, serve God; everything is in that." ~ St. Claire of Assisi

Milly: dress hand me down; shoes Circo; Bow Bloomies Handmade
Aiden: shirt Gymboree; shorts Target; shoes Crocs
Asher: shirt D&G (via TJMAxx); shorts Old Navy; shoes Target

working on Asher photog skills ;)

Me: skirt Stitch Fix; shirt and shoes Target; hoodie Evy's Tree
I cannot say enough great things about this hoodie! It's the softest hoodie I've ever owned and it's super lightweight...almost sheer but keeps me warm in church because man it's cold in there! ha!

Happy Sunday! 

My father in law is in town and we had all of the plants planted in our yard yesterday so it's been a busy and exciting weekend for us here in Central Texas :)

home stretch

Friday, July 17, 2015

I can't even believe I'm typing this but we are in the home stretch of summer. Seriously didn't it just start??!! We only have 3 weeks of summer left until school starts so in an effort to get many things checked off our "to do list" we have been busy!

The kids and I along with Emily and Alexi headed to Austin last Thursday to play at Zilker Park and swim at Barton Springs. I love how you plan things in your head and they are perfect...magical almost. Then reality hits and it's a small disaster ;) That's how this trip was!

Playing at the park and riding the train were super fun! Milly loved the train so much she almost fell asleep.

Now comes the interesting part. 

Barton Springs is a famous spring fed pool in Austin that stays 68 degrees year round. It's really freaking cold! Ha! My kids have never been so I thought it would be fun taking them. Well, Thursdays it's closed for cleaning. The good news is right outside the pool it drains into a small river where you can swim anytime and it's the same kind of feeling.

Or so we thought...

While I absolutely love Austin there are times I find myself thinking umm what in the world is going on when I am participating in an Austiny activity. Most of the people there were "normal" however there were more then a few not so "normal" people hovering around. As in homeless people and people that looked like they needed a new "extra curricular" activity (if you know what I mean) ;) Plus we were not all all prepared for the crazy amount of dogs swimming around. I'm not really a dog person so I was mildly freaked out. But it wasn't just any dog it was the large amount of pit bulls swimming not too far from my kids. While I know there are pit bull advocates out there I'm sorry but I don't really want them anywhere around my kids. So the kids swam and had fun and Emily and I nervously watched for about 20 minutes before we just couldn't take it anymore. We left there laughing about how crazy the whole thing was ;)

On a much calmer and more normal note...last weekend we went to see The Minions Movie as a family. Milly has been dying to see this movie since we saw a preview last summer! She loves the Minions and tells everyone Bob is her boyfriend ;)

before the movie we hit up the arcade where Cam won these stuffed animals for the boys. You would have thought they hit the jackpot as excited as they were. My kids really get excited about anything...I hope that never changes :)

It was a super cute movie and everyone enjoyed. Milly has been telling Cameron thank you for taking her since we went. She is SO cute! 

We have 8 more things on the list to get done in the next 3 weeks! Summer school is going great and the boys only have 10 more days before they are done! Woo hoo!!!! It's been a painless process which has been awesome. I'm hoping that it has all paid off and when school starts they are right on track!

Happy Weekend!!!!!
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