Fat Tuesday=Double time Wednesday!

Hurricanes and Gumbo!!  It’s Fat Tuesday, baby!! Sadly, I didn’t have a Hurricane, but I sure did have some gumbo! We had a little Mardi Gras party at work.  Definitely the highlight of the past few weeks.  From the Louisiana Breakfast Hash  to the Gumbo it all lived up to it’s name.  Except for the salad.  There was no fat in the salad.  Um, I didn’t have any salad.  I must do double time at the gym tomorrow.  Especially since I made….wait for it…wait for it..Red Velvet Oreo Balls.  It’s a good thing I’m the Wellness Champion for the department. Hey!  It’s not my fault they call it “Fat Tuesday”!

Red Velvet Oreo Balls

  • 36 Red Velvet Oreos
  • 1-8oz pkg Cream cheese, softened
  • White Chocolate Chips, melted
  1. In a food processor, finely crush Oreos, pour into a large bowl.
  2. Add cream cheese and mix until blended.
  3. Roll into 1-inch balls.  Freeze 10 minutes.
  4. Dip into melted chocolate, place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
  5. Refrigerate 1 hour, or until firm.


Warning: These are addicting.  I think more addicting than regular Oreo balls.  Proceed with caution, or plan on extra time at the gym.

On a completely separate note, we have caught up with Grimm; life as I know it can resume again.


Slow Cooker Sunday!-Beef Barley Soup

Holiday season is over. Valentine’s is over. Football is over……Wake me up in April. Seriously, I’ve added enough insulation to get me through until then.  Wait!!!  Fat Tuesday is coming.  Let me add another layer of gumbo and hurricanes.  Then hibernation begins!!  If I could I totally would. I’m kidding of course. Sort of.

How was everyone’s Valentine’s day?  I spent the day with the kids. I made pink pancakes for breakfast.  The ol’ man went to a movie with a friend who lost his wife a few years ago. We’ll hit the movies next weekend, when they aren’t so crowded; and you know how I feel about restaurants on Valentine’s.  I made mini chicken and waffles for all of us.  Doesn’t that scream romance!  I made something without vegetables in it.  The kids think that’s love. Win for Mom!

Mini Chicken and waffles!  No real recipe here.  I mean, you totally could make homemade waffles, and bread the chicken yourself.  I make this when we are running from work to soccer to the grocery store, ‘Oh shit it’s 7:30pm already’ what am I going to make for dinner?  Eggo mini waffles, and chicken strips.  Bake the chicken strips according to the directions on the package, pop the mini waffles in the toaster. I cut the strips in half, make a little sandwich, spear with a tooth pick to hold them together, drizzle with maple syrup.



So parenting challenge #14,864?  The 16yo wants to read 50 Shades of Grey. Some of you are thinking, where’s the parenting challenge? The answer is no. She’s 16, are you out of your mind? The ol’ man did say no.  But I’m not entirely against it.  I know I’m not going to make a lot of friends with my opinion of 50 Shades, so I’m going to just touch on it a little. She has friends who have read it.  She reads books from the “romance” section already. I mean she is 16,  I’ve played Cards Against Humanity with her, so I know not a whole lot in the series is going to be shocking to her. Ok, so there may be a little shock. I’m impressed that she even asked at all.  Easily, she could have purchased it to her tablet, and we would never know.  She didn’t ask permission to smoke her first cigarette, or do shots of cake batter vodka. Proof that she’s unsure why it’s wrong. I’m not entirely sure I disagree with her. I lived that lifestyle for a few years before I met the ol’ man, who is very vanilla. So I feel like if she reads it, we know she’s reading it, when she has questions she can ask, and we {I} can answer them. Real answers. If she reads it behind our back, she will ask her friends questions and goodness knows what the hell they will answer with. Part of me feels like 50 Shades is romanticizing S&M; just like Pretty Woman did for prostitution.  The reality of the lifestyles just isn’t as black and white has Hollywood and fiction makes it out to be. Probably one of the best things about fiction. Bottom line, I told her if I got written permission from her mom that it’s alright for her to read them, then she can borrow the books. She can duke it out with her father.

On to things that will get me in less trouble! Slow Cooker Sunday!  Today, in our -25°F, snowy weather, nothing sounds better than Beef and Barley Soup!  Straight from Betty Crocker 🙂 The kids liked it, although 2 of the 3 thought there was too many vegetables, and not enough beef.  Damn carnivores!

Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup

  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 C)
  • 2 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 2 lbs Beef boneless chuck, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Pepper
  • 2 Medium carrots, cut lengthwise in half, then cut into 1/4″ slices
  • 1 C Pearl barley, uncooked
  • 8 C Beef broth
  • 1.5 C frozen sweet peas
  • 1 C frozen corn
  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Cook onion, garlic, beef, salt and pepper in oil until beef is brown, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Spoon beef mixture into 6-quart slow cooker.  Stir in carrots, barley and broth.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for 8-9 hours.
  4. Increase heat to high. Stir in frozen peas and corn. Cover and cook 8-10 minutes or until peas and corn are hot.





Peppermint Mousse Cups

I know, I know..a post 2 days in a row.  What?  What’s going on here? Crazy, right?!  I really wanted to get this Peppermint mousse recipe out to you since there’s only three days until 50 Shades of Grey is released. Um.. I mean until Valentine’s Day!  This would be super cute to do with the kids or bring to a Valentine’s Party at work.  And since I have every intention on going to the gym tomorrow night, here I am 🙂  In general, I don’t watch television. I do make time for Vampire Diaries on Thursday nights. The ol’ man just got me hooked on Grimm. I think he’s a jerk for doing that.  Now I’m frantically trying to catch up. We just started Season 3, and Season 4 is on the tv now; it’s a little frustrating.  The point here, as I’m sure you are wondering, is the time I would have normally made time to try to get to the gym, is spent watching Nick the hottie on Grimm.  🙂

This little treat is perfect for Valentine’s Day. Or any day really. Pillsbury had this recipe in one of their Christmas books from like 2007.  If you want to make your own chocolate shells, you can it’s pretty simple. I totally took the easy way out and bought them at the store.

Peppermint Mousse Cups

  • 1.5 C Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 C White vanilla baking chips
  • 1 C Whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp Peppermint extract
  • 2 drops Red food color
  • Colored sugar or crushed peppermints
  1. Line 24 mini muffin cups with petit four paper cups. In a small sauce pan, melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips over low heat, stirring frequently. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of the chocolate into each paper cup.  With the back of a small measuring spoon, spread the chocolate up sides to within 1/8″ of the top.  Chocolate should be warm enough to spread. Refrigerate about 20 minutes or until completely set. (Or go to the store and purchase them!)
  2. In a small microwavable bowl, microwave the vanilla baking chips uncovered on high 1 minute.  Stir in 3 tablespoons of the whipping cream; microwave about 30 seconds longer or until the chips are completely melted. Stir in peppermint extract and food color.  Cool slightly.
  3. Carefully remove paper cups from chocolate cups.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat remaining whipping cream with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold melted vanilla chip mixture into whipped cream. Spoon or pipe whipped cream mixture into chocolate cups. Refrigerate until serving.  Just before serving, sprinkle with candy.






It’s 5 o’clock Somewhere-Superbowl Edition!

When I was younger, I didn’t care much to watch football or the Superbowl.  It was more interested in hanging out with my friends.  Or Duran Duran.  I was definitely more interested in Duran Duran than in football.  My dad, however, watched every Sunday. During the fall, as I was running in and out of the house, he was cooking and baking while watching the game.  Every. Single. Sunday. Always one of my favorite memories.

Now  we come Superbowl Sunday 1983.  I had no idea who was playing, nor did I give a shit. My brother, who is 3 years younger than I am, was {is} crazy obnoxious. (He doesn’t read my blog, I can say that). So, it’s Superbowl Sunday, I just got out of the shower. I was cleaning my ear with a Q-tip, my brother whips open the bathroom door. The door hits my elbow, the Q-tip pierces my ear. To this day, I remember the pain. Superbowl Sunday 1983…spent in the emergency room. I’m pretty sure my brother is still grounded.

I bet my dad needed one of these that night!  Cranberry Fizz Punch!! Great for Superbowl parties since when doubled, it makes a lot! And goodness knows we may need it for the half-time show. I’m kidding!!!!  This punch can be made with or without the good stuff.  Ahem..I mean vodka.  In fact, you can make it without any alcohol; and then the adults can add a splash to their glass.  Double the recipe…it’s that good.

Cranberry Fizz Punch

  • 1 qt Cranberry Juice Cocktail, chilled
  • 1 C Grapefruit juice, chilled
  • 1 C Orange juice, chilled
  • 1/2 C Sugar (start with less than 1/2 C, add slowly, taste along the way)
  • 2 C Ginger ale, chilled
  • Vodka, as you see fit, or added to individual glasses
  • Ice cubes with lemon wedges and cranberries (optional)
  1. Mix cranberry juice cocktail, grapefruit juice, orange juice, and sugar until well blended.
  2. Add ginger all just before serving.
  3. Add vodka at your discretion (a lot, a little..no judgement here, just don’t drive)




Who’s ready for some football?!

Who am I kidding?  WHO’S READY FOR SPRING?!  I’ve had it with white knuckle driving.  Ok. Good night friends!

Alright, alright.  It’s not really good night.  Although I’m very tired.  Monday’s always suck for me at work. And on top of that, guess who was up late last night doing her book report?  Yeah.  My parenting skills at their best.  I talk the best parenting game.  But the bottom line?  I suck.  I didn’t do any of it for her, like she wanted. But I did let her stay up to finish it, even though I had many many threats of “bed at 9”.  She didn’t like the feeling of being unprepared. I think the next time, there won’t be so much procrastination.  A parent can hope.

Football!!!  Every year Autumn and I have a Superbowl party.  It’s usually just us. And it’s fun 🙂  We’ve been trying various recipes over the past few weeks, just to change up our party menu. We seriously make enough food to eat leftovers for a week.  I’m not entirely convinced that there will even be a Super Bowl this year, but we are going to party like there will be.  And our decorative balls will be inflated!

If you have read any of my previous posts, you know how I feel about meatballs, Oreo balls, cookie balls etc. When I saw these Chicken Parmesan Meatballs from Rachel Ray, it was game on.  I knew this would be on the menu. Next time I make them, I may try baking them.  The kids LOVED these. Let’s focus on what’s important.. I loved them!! Feeding a real crowd?  Like more than just 2 people?  Double the recipe!

Chicken Parm Meatballs

  • 1lb Ground Chicken
  • 1/2 C Grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 C Panko
  • 2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Egg
  • 16 cubes Mozzarella
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 C jarred arrabiatta sauce, warmed (I used regular spaghetti sauce)
  1. In a bowl, mix chicken, Parmesan, panko, Italian seasoning and egg.
  2. Gently form meat around cheese into 1.5-inch balls.
  3. In a nonstick skillet, cook in olive oil over medium-high heat, turning. About 8 minutes.
  4. Serve with sauce.


Who can turn down Mac and Cheese?

It’s Sunday again!  Where did the week go?  What happened to “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere” Thursday?  It was lost in Autumn’s Social Studies project.  She had to pick a Native American artifact to recreate and give a presentation about it.  She made a dream catcher.  Autumn has always had one over her bed to help with her bad dreams, so we used that as a guide. Easy enough right?  Right?  Um. No.  Until this little project, I’ve never really looked at them before. I’m totally impressed with the intricacies of the middle. It was harder than we thought it was going to be!

This weekend, she waited to the last minute to do her book report that’s due tomorrow.  Somehow this became my fault. WTF?  Um…no.  You made choices, and some of those choices were not to read.  If the report is not complete by 9:00pm, that’s too bad.  Sorry kid, you’re going to have to wing it tomorrow. Meanest. Mother. Ever.  Yes indeed. Procrastination will just cause you an ulcer. Better she learn that now than in college.  Although, sometimes I work better under pressure.  I would NEVER tell her that.

How about a little comfort food?  I’m going to post a few appetizer recipes throughout the week in preparation for the big game.  But tonight, I’m giving in to a billion calories and a recipe will likely clog your arteries.  Sometimes, you just need that, ya know?  You could actually use this Mac and Cheese for the big game!  It serves a lot  and who the hell would turn down mac and cheese?  You know what would be really good?  OOOOOOO…making little sliders and putting a spoonful of this Mac and Cheese on it.  Dip in ketchup! Cheeseburger sliders!! Perfect for a party!! Carbohydrate suicide, but great for those who don’t care about carbs!  Damn, I wish I had thought of that before I started this post!

Ok…focus.   This recipe has been floating around the internet in various forms. I like it because it’s for the slow cooker.  SLOW COOKER SUNDAY!!!!!  It’s easy and if your kids don’t like this, then there may be something wrong with them.  I’m kidding of course! (But seriously, consider taking them to the doctor.)

Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

  • 16 oz Macaroni, cooked and drained
  • 16 oz Monterey Jack cheese, cubed
  • 16 oz Colby Jack cheese, cubed
  • 16 oz Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 1 Stick butter, cut into sliced
  • 16 oz Milk
  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
  1. Spray slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Layer 1/3 of the macaroni in bottom.
  3. Layer 1/2 of the cheese, butter, salt, pepper and garlic powder
  4. Repeat #3 with the last 1/3 of the macaroni on top. Pour milk over macaroni and cheese.
  5. Cook on low for about 4 hours and stir around 2 hours.

Not going to lie here, I put all of the macaroni down first.  Then all the cubed cheese, and then the milk. At the halfway point, I stirred as directed. And then added the salt, pepper and garlic powder.  I also cooked it on high for 2 hours.  I did not read the directions.  Luckily for me, it turned out great. OH!  And I halved the recipe.  It still made a lot!



A Little Something New….

During my “laid up” period, (currently ongoing since I have no clue how to slow down), I’ve had a moment or two to browse through other blogs, check out their face book pages etc.  Last week I changed the look of my blog, was accepted into the Top Mommy’s Blog network (feel free to click on the link on my main page to give me a vote!!), and was thinking about themes.  So, heads up my friends! I’m going to be making changes to A Little of This and That! Small ones, but ones that I hoping will increase readers and maybe get some affiliate links.  Yeah, still trying to figure all that out.

Ok..so changes. First and foremost, I should explain I do NOT do well with change. It took a lot of effort to change the look of it last week. So much indecision! I hope you like the final product!! Back to my point. I thought I would do Slow-Cooker Sundays, and “It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere” Thursdays.  OOOOOO and a Scrapbook page.  The Scrapbook page would just have pictures posted to it, for ideas.  Scrapbooking is personal, so to give instructions like a recipe is not where I want to head with that. Place a strip of paper 3/4″ of the edge of the 12×12..tooooo much

Mommy moment of the week?  Explaining how lesbians get pregnant to a 10 year old. Not a great achievement  in my mommy career; as I used the words “baby making stuff” to describe sperm.  Luckily for me, she is not as versed in the whole “how baby’s are made” as I was at her age.  I mean, I think she has a clue, but no specifics.  So when it came to how did Kimmy get pregnant? It was a little difficult.  In the end?  She looked at me funny and she didn’t care about the words out of my mouth, she’s just so excited for the baby to be here!

Slow-cooker Sunday’s you say?  We start today!  I’m playing it out to see how it goes. This recipe is from Betty Crocker.  I did make a change or two, just to lighten it up a little.  It was delicious, even with the bacon!  I don’t like bacon, so the next time I make it, I’m going to try it without it.  Kid-approved, ol’ man approved.  Definitely worth a try!!

Slow-Cooker Ranch Chicken and Pasta

  • 1lb Chicken breasts
  • 6 Slices bacon, cooked and diced
  • 2-3 Cloves of Garlic (admittedly, I used like 5 cloves, but they were small!!)
  • 1 pkg Ranch dressing and seasoning mix
  • 1 Can Condensed cream of chicken soup, 10.75 oz (I used Campbell’s Healthy Request)
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream ( I used plain Greek yogurt)
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 C Water
  • 8 oz Spaghetti
  1. Spray 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray; place chicken breasts in cooker.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix remaining ingredients except spaghetti. Pour over the top of chicken.
  3. Cover and cook on Low heat 6 hours or on High heat for 3-4 hours.
  4. When about 15 minutes are left, cook and drain spaghetti as stated on package.
  5. Just before serving, shred chicken with 2 forks, and toss creamy chicken mixture with cooked pasta.


Happy Anniversary! I should have made a real cake!

What?  A Friday afternoon and A Little of This and That has a blog post up?  What’s going on?  The world is coming to an end!!  Simmer down.  The world is just fine.  Ish.  I’m on an unexpected sick day, and decided to get a post in since I can’t really do anything else.  So before I start a Gilmore Girls marathon on Netflix, I’m gracing you with my presence. Again. I really have to blog more often.

Speaking of blogging, today is A Little of This and That’s one year anniversary!  I’m still as clueless today about this whole blogging thing as I was then.  I’m not entirely sure I would have known about the anniversary if I didn’t get a notification from WordPress.  Just like I don’t know anyone’s birthday without the help of Facebook.  I hope you still like the blog, even with all of its inconsistencies, and mishaps.  I’m pretty fond of it. I have great intentions for it! Tell all your friends.

The little one made it though her 10th birthday, fairly unscathed.  Her father didn’t call her, but other than that I think she had a pretty good day. She’s so funny.  Even though she’s 10, with the mouth and attitude of a 20 year old, she’s still so innocent.  We were playing the Family Feud board game, (yes, for those of you under 25..they still make games that aren’t on your computer, tablet or cell phone) and it’s the fast money round.  I’m Steve Harvey, or Louie Anderson, whatev, and the question comes up “Name something a couch potato needs”.  She screams out “Salt” like it is the number 1 answer.  She was so confident.  I nearly peed myself laughing so hard.  She just stared at me in confusion.  I. Love. Her.

So in honor of potatoes, and A Little of This and That’s anniversary; today I bring to you Meatloaf Cupcakes.  I made these a while ago, just never blogged about them.  It’s just fitting for today.  I was going to post about creamy mushroom pasta, but you get meatloaf.  Both fantastically great recipes!  The Meatloaf Cupcakes take a little bit of work, so they are definitely a weekend meal.  I’m giving you my recipes for meatloaf, and mashed potatoes.  Feel free to use your own recipe, and just assemble accordingly!

Meatloaf Cupcakes


  • 1lb                   Lean ground beef (I like 90/10)
  • 1                       Egg
  • 1/2 C               Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 1/4 C               Grated Parmesan cheese (add more if needed)
  •                          Salt and pepper
  •                          Seasoning to your liking (garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning etc)
  1. Mix all the ingredients together.  Fill a muffin pan with the meat mixture. I spray each little thing with some cooking spray.
  2. Bake at 375°F for about a half hour, maybe 45 minutes.  Just until done.
  3. Meanwhile, make those taters.

Mashed Potatoes

  • 6-7               White Potatoes (maybe more depending on little they are)
  • Milk
  • Garlic Powder
  1. Wash and peel the potatoes.
  2. Boil the potatoes until fork tender, drain.
  3. Mash them up, I like to use the hand held blender.
  4. Add in garlic powder to taste.
  5. Add enough milk a little at a time to give the consistency you want.  If you are piping them through a piping bag, you want them smooooooth. But not runny.


  1. Take the little meatloaf cakes out of muffin pan.
  2. Either dollop or pipe the mashed potatoes on the meatloaf cakes.
  3. Sprinkle with chives (if you like chives)
  4. Dab with a little ketchup



Off to rest with the Gilmore Girls!  Happy Weekend everyone!!


Strive for 5 in 2015!

Strive for 5 in 2015?  Only if it includes chocolate.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year? Happy Holidays and New Year’s Resolutions?  I’m not entirely sure where the time has gone, but apparently, I haven’t posted since 12.17.  Wtf?  Where have I been?  What’s going on?  I know I’ve thought about posting, prepped things to post, and taken pictures.

Our home was invaded by a virus from Hell.  That happened.  I’ve had 10 days off from work, and I was sick 7 of them. Our Christmas, besides the plague, was great. It’s always so wonderful to spend time with family. And we all shared the viral love! The tree is still up.  That’s how you know the severity of the situation. But now I’m feeling better.  All in time to go back to work.  Good times!

Anyone make any New Year’s Resolutions?  Not me.  I make them throughout the year.  Every Monday to be exact.  I swear this is the “week I’m getting my shit together”.   By Wednesday,  I’ve given up and start all over again the following Monday.  I’ve never said I didn’t have commitment issues. Tomorrow is Monday. Due to my inability to have appropriate portions chocolate chips this weekend, it. starts. tomorrow.  GAME ON.

The first recipe of 2015, is a healthy one!! You lucky devil you. I’m dragging your ass on to the healthy wagon.  Honestly, I’ve found this recipe over the fall, and just never posted it. I don’t think, anyway. It’s so good.  I’ve made it a few times. And if you must know, it is fantastic with fruit, but also super delicious with Nilla Wafers.  Shhhhh!!  We will save that for a random Wednesday.

My apologies in advance if you have a peanut allergy.  This dip is totally worth hives! Although, not really worth anaphylactic shock. Pick your battle.

Peanut Butter Fruit Dip

  • 1 Tbsp                            Honey
  • 1/3 C                              Peanut Butter
  • 2-5.3 oz Containers    Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  1. Whisk together
  2. Serve with fruit
  3. Not with Nilla Wafers.



On a completely separate note, I’ve decided I love Ed Sheeran.

Drink a little, bake a little…

Of Eggnog that is!  What were you thinking?  You were thinking I was posting a drink recipe that we all desperately need right now?  Yeah…I’m working on that!  I saw one on Pinterest, like an Andy’s Mint cocktail or something?  Yeah..definitely going to be trying that. I will take one for the team, and let you know how it works out.

Mall shopping is overrated this time of year.  That is all I’m going to say about shopping. Other than, ALL OF MINE IS DONE!!!  I may need to pick up a stocking stuffer or two.  Right now all they have in their stockings are toothbrushes and hand sanitizer.   Yes. I am a fantastical mom.

Back to Eggnog.  I love Eggnog, and all of its fat and calories. When I saw these little bread loaves from Taste of Home, I was like YES! I. Must. Try. These.  And so I did.  They are super easy, and so tastey! I used smaller loaf pans than what this recipe calls for, and I got 6 loaves. Just adjust your baking time.  And please, for the love of Pete, remember the sugar.  The first batch I made, I tasted it after I poured it into the loaf pans. (I was licking the spoon..shhhhh)  It was awful! Lesson #1 learned: Taste before you pour into greased pans. Lesson #2: Sugar is very important!

Eggnog Mini Loaves

  • 2 1/4 C           All-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp        Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp           Salt
  • 1/2 tsp           Ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp           Ground nutmeg
  • 2                     Eggs
  • 1 C                  Eggnog
  • 3/4 C             Sugar
  • 1/2 C              Butter, melted
  • 2 tsp               Vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp               Rum extract
  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  2. In another bowl, beat the eggs, Eggnogg, sugar, butter and extracts; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  3. Pour into three greased 5 3/4″ x 3″x 2″ loaf pans.  Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  4. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
  5. After cool, wrap and give to your favorite neighbor. Or boss. Stuff in stocking?