Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Strawberry Shortcake Cake ala Pioneer Woman

Photo courtesy of Pioneer Woman

Ok, so I have thus far posted a lot of borrowed recipes but I'm working on balancing that out. Joel's family came into town over Mother's Day weekend and one of our outings was to a local farmer's market. It ended up being only 4-5 sad little folding tables worth of produce but we did get some yummy strawberries! So, after a few days I needed a means to use the remaining fruit. As timing would have it, Pioneer Woman had the same issue at her house! This cake was yummy:) and not nearly as rich as I thought it might be given it has cream cheese icing. Ok, here is the recipe: Strawberry Shortcake Cake. Enjoy!


I'm sure my mom got a big kick out of our conversations last week when I called desperate for some ideas on meals that feed a crowd. I fed dinner to my FRG, Family Readiness Group, at our first meeting. I need to prepare for about 20+ servings so I called up Dr. Butler. My Atoo, her mother, is probably one of the only people I know whose only version of her Chicken salad recipe makes 96 servings:). Needless to say, the Musick ladies know how to entertain! So, getting back to why I probably amused mom, I came set on the idea that I would make chili. My mom made chili on a fairly regular basis of course, but she always mashed up the beans so I wouldn't know they were there...that's right I have a bean issue as well. Well since I've been forcing myself/coming around the last 5 years, I decided chili was ok by me. The meal turned out beautifully and I felt I was back to my roots buying industrial-sized cans of beans and tomato sauce at SAMS for my ingredients:). Next time I make this I am trying ground turkey, it's a much better fit for the Hilborn family palate!


  • 1 lbs ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 large onion, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 (15 oz) can tomatoes
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t paprika
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1 t Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 (15 oz) cans pinto beans
  • Cayenne Pepper and Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
Saute the onions and garlic in a large dutch oven, until they begin to sweat. Then add, the ground meat. Saute until the meat is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and turn the mixture on high until it boils, reduce the heat to med-low and maintain a simmer for 1-2 hours. Remove the lid and let the mixture thicken in the last 20-30 minutes of cooking. The chili will have thickness at this point but will still look more soup-like than chili-like. Let it stand for 5-15 minutes before serving. At that point, the mixture should be the perfect thickness!

Blueberry Pancakes with Blueberry syrup

Photo courtesy of Smitten Kitchen

If you've known me for any length of time, you know that I'm a picky eater. Ok, if you're my family you know that is the understatement of the century:). However, I now like to think of myself as a reformed picky eater. I had weird food quirks but I am attempting to work through them. One of those long-standing quirks was a dislike of blueberries. I know, you're thinking I'm nuts, they're wonderful?! Well you're right, they are but I don't even know now if I had ever tried them...and if I did it was long ago as a child...I mean they're blue?! Anyway, I discovered a serious love of blueberries in the last 3 years or so and I had some amazing blueberry pancakes with blueberry syrup at Cracker Barrel, of all places, and it is the only thing I like at that restaurant. So I went in search of a recipe for me to make them same meal. Here are two and they are, Mwah! *four finger tips pressed to pursed lips then, release*, fabulous:).

Smitten Kitchen Blueberry Pancakes
Blueberry Syrup from a Recipezaar contributor

Thetford ideas

All my best ideas come from the Thetfords. Ok, ok so all my best blog ideas this last week have come from them since Staci started a blog for them, yay! On said blog, she mentioned today how we used to cook together every Tuesday evening for my husband and her then boyfriend, now husband:), while we watched Gilmore Girls. I miss those days and the fellowship we enjoyed during the dates. But alas, God has placed them in Texas and us in Kentucky/Tennessee. So she decided to post a recipe every Tuesday in honor of our date nights. In the interest of stealing all her good ideas, I am going to catch up on posting recipes:). Some of these are my spin and one or two are completely borrowed. Don't worry my citation-minded friends, mom I'm taking to you now Dr. Butler, all those research papers and time spent on bibliographies will not be forgotten;). Regardless, ALL of the recipes are completely worth trying out!

As my wise mother so aptly put it, as she always does, I am now out of the fog. At six weeks postpartum I wasn't so achy and out of body anymore. At 3 months my hair slowed it's shedding and I was able to manage venturing out, my vocabulary started to return...slowly:). And since about 5 months postpartum, I have been back to my attempts at whole food eating, or at least making as much of our diet at home as possible. I have also gotten back into some sewing, like making Ethan cloth diapers. And then realizing that he wasn't a fan, nor was I! Ok, ok I've meandered long enough, back to food:). Because I am feeling so game to tackle real cooking, entertaining, etc...I have tried LOTS of new recipes over the last month or so. This may take me a few days but I am determined to get these all posted.

On another blog note, I am planning on taking a video of Ethan sweetly chatting, squealing, etc... soon in the interest of fair and balanced coverage of his emotional outbursts! Really that is how he spends most of his day but the meltdowns really are sort of hilarious. I know, you think I'm awful, but he is safe and ok just dramatic. And my hope is to give him LOTS of love but not reinforce that he can have a meltdown and every toy, blanket, etc... will magically be just how he wants it, where he wants it. Wow this post really meandered...ok, next post will be the first of many recipes!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not Me! Monday, Part Deux

Here is my second installment of MckMama's blog carnival, Not Me! Monday. And opportunity to tell about the slightly embarrassing events in your life that you may wish you in fact did not take part in.

This past week I did not take all of 48 hours experimenting with cloth diapers to realize that I am a HUGE fan of Huggies! I did not walk around with fingers that smelled strongly of zinc because Ethan has a diaper rash. I did not practically force feed Joel more roasted chicken and meatballs because we STILL had leftovers of them and nearly make him sick of both (two of his favorite meal staples around here). I did not purchase a whole new stroller travel system because I should have listened to my mom and sisters and purchased a new one in the first place, not me! But if I had done that, I would at least have gotten a well-rated system on sale that will now last until Ethan's 30 lbs., not 22 lbs.:). I did not forget my glasses twice this past week and run into another patron at the grocery store (granted the car seat doesn't help matters) and halfway grope my way through the store, that would be what a silly woman would do. Finally, we did not skip church yesterday because Ethan woke up early and so was still napping when it was time to head out for church. We're very serious about fellowship so we wouldn't do such a thing;). Have a wonderful Not Me! Monday.

Monday, May 11, 2009

"Not me!" Monday

Ethan still freaking out now that he had what he wanted...

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, Ethan is really a fan of the freak out these days. I do think early on set separation anxiety plays a part in addition to the aforementioned perfectionism.
So, in honor of MckMama's
...I did not l
et Ethan wail so I could take a video of the meltdown for the blog, not me! I did not let him sit and wail several times today because nothing would make him calm down to the point where his whole little body was red, splotchy and covered in tears.

Sorry that this is sideways, I always forget that my videos cannot be reoriented!

I did not almost pummel several individuals during my errands today because I did not have lunch before running errands. I did not nurse Ethan in the car at SAMS after most of said errands and almost pummel a man 2x's my size when he rammed our car fender repeatedly with his grocery cart rocking our car...WITH US in it! Not me. I did not walk out the door without deodorant on Mother's Day.

Oh man, that was really cathartic. Have a wonderful "Not Me!" Monday.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ethan's Baby Dedication

Ethan's Baby Dedication took place today, Mother's Day. And what a milestone in Ethan's life! Joel's family was with us to commemorate the event. Our Pastor put it aptly as he described how much we ache as parents to be able to impart salvation on our children but alas that is now God's plan for humanity. Instead we commit ourselves as a family and a church body to strive to be like Christ for Ethan to show him the truth of Savior in our lives. I was humbled by the weighty responsibility but encouraged that there is already a fellowship, in our church home as well as family and friends, that are that to be Christ in his life.
On a much lighter note, Ethan looked so darn cute! Thanks Mimi & Pops, we miss you!

Happy Mother's Day!

Joel's family came into town this weekend and we were able to enjoy sweet time with them. Ethan LOVED holding court on his quilt surrounded by everyone!

Ethan was a doll on Mother's Day and we were glad we could share it with the Hilborns. Here are a few shots as we opened cards and gifts after church:

Happy Mother's Day!

Ethan is 5 months old!

I am a week late but I wanted to write this post nonetheless. Ethan was 5 months as of Sunday, May 3. In this past month he has become very proficient at sitting unassisted and is now daily adding to the tasks he can accomplish while sitting up. Unfortunately, he has also spent the past month exploring his emotional side. He now throws sobbing/screaming fits if he cannot do something or he is in any way thwarted from his goal. Thankfully I can rest in the fact that God intended Ethan just for Joel & I as parents. Not only did he come by that temper from both us, sorry son, but we also are gifted with an abundance of bad behavior of our own to spur on our loving discipline. But man, it is rough having to abstain from reinforcing the cycle! He and I have had LOTS of talks about the appropriate ways to ask for help or to accomplish a task and that screaming is not one of those ways. I know he's 5 months old, but I don't want scream=mommy cuddles me to be what he learns from all of this. That being said, I do cuddle him plenty even if I do try to talk him down first!

He is such a happy baby, even with his fits, and I am so thankful to be his Mama!