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let's catch up

I can't believe a month has gone by since I blogged, but then again I can believe it.  I've hardly had time for myself these days so finding time to blog has been hard as well.  We're "in the trenches" as some other Mom's have told me with a 2.5 year old, almost 4 month old, husband in grad school, and as of this weekend my mother in law is visiting us for a bit.  Life is full and busy and Praise the Lord (!!!!) it is finally feeling like spring outside today.

This past month we have been real over the snow and hope yesterdays sitings were the last we see until Christmastime.  We made it to a local winery with everyone else the one day recently that it was warm, and we've explored some around our still new-ish country surroundings as well.

We've found a great restaurant we love, a lovely little bakery, and are thankful still for this house and season we are in, although I'll be happy when grad school is over- one more year!

I know this time will be gone before we know it - Anderson is growing up so fast it seems and Tucker is right there behind him.  I love each of their stages, though of course they each have their moments.  I tell Anderson his whining really hurts my ears and Tucker still hasn't figured out going to sleep to the point where I'd feel like Benjamin and I could safely leave for dinner alone.  Soon I'm sure we'll be able to.

In cooking news we're living off freezer meals.  I'm thankful to have a friend who I cook batch freezer meals with and last week I added to our supply but making some meals that are frozen then just need to thaw and go into the slow cooker for easy dinners with the warming temperatures.  We'll see how they all taste but it feels good to have dinners done in advance for sure.  I used recipes from the site All Things Katie Marie.  I also made and froze Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls and although they were delicious warm I wouldn't make and freeze them again.  Any cinnamon roll recipe suggestions?

That's all for now but I hope to be back again real soon... with recipes and pictures of my almost four month old if you don't mind...


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Guest Post: New Mom (Anytime) Gift Guide

Today's Guest Post is from Michelle Perez of Simply Complicated.  I met Michelle in college and since then she has gotten hitched, had a baby, and lives in Guatemala where her family are doing some great work.  Read more on her blog and until then, check out her gift guide for new moms!  Thanks, Michelle!

I am a new mom to and am still very much in the ups and downs of learning how to how to take care of a very small human and myself. Even though I think all new moms would be happy with a nap, a long shower and a meal on their doorstep I have put together a gift guide that stretches a bit beyond the basic. You could say this is just in time for the holidays, but the truth is, this is an anytime of year gift guide. Enjoy.

1. Sugar & Spice Kitchen Towels We all know new moms like and appreciate home cooked meals. But I was surprised as a nursing mom, how hungry I was all. the. time. Friends of mine were so sweet, because they brought over a meal AND muffins or bread or baked goods …

quesadilla pie

This is a dinner I've been thinking about and trying to figure out when I'll make it next.  It'll probably happen sometime this weekend because it was simple and oh-so-satisfying.  It was a perfect new-mom meal. New-Mom as in I had time to make it, and I'd like to bring it to new mom's too.

I'm tempted to even make a few and stock my freezer with them for when we're hungry or when I need to bring someone a meal, a task I think I'm finally now up for seeing as I've been able to figure out our schedule more and get back in the kitchen.

Apart from pulling apart the chicken this dish comes together really quickly.  The original recipe calls for 1/3 cup chopped pickled jalapenos, an item I thought we had in our fridge but it turns out what I thought were pickled jalapenos were actually molding olives.  Not so great.  Next time I'll add in the jalapenos but they're definitely optional.

So this weekend, you should make this.  Dare I say my mouth i…

canned tomato sauce with basil and garlic

When I think about canning I want to make things that I'll use year round.  I want staples that I can go to that'll make pasta sauce, chili and stuffed peppers that much more delicious.  I want to make a recipe that tastes amazing in large part because the tomatoes used in it were fresh in the summer then preserved.
Although I did can some tomatoes last summer I ended up not using them as often as I thought I would.  I still found myself going to the store for diced tomatoes here and there when I should have been in the mindset to use my canned tomatoes and just crush them into the recipe.  Canning fail.

So, this year I decided to make some sauce.  It was an all day affair, let me tell you, but worth it in the end.  I looked to the Ball website for canning recipes and used their recipe for tomato sauce with basil and garlic.  You can see the original recipe here.  
I did tweak it some.  I didn't strain the sauce but rather pureed it in the Vitamix which really did away wi…