Posted in Meals and Recipes

Monday Meals: Corned Beef & Cabbage + Irish Soda Bread

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Ours was pretty low key in comparison to recent weekends and what our spring weekends will be like! So, it was nice to have a little downtime.

As I mentioned in my What’s Up Wednesday post, something I’m looking forward to in March is making Corned Beef and Cabbage and Irish Soda Bread. Growing up, we always had this meal for St. Patrick’s Day, so I started making it for family as well. I guess we could make it any time of the year, but I only make it on or around March 17th πŸ™‚

Rather than share photos and the recipe after I make it this year, I thought I’d go ahead and share now in case you’d like to make the recipe too!

Corned Beef & Cabbage with potatoes and carrots

I always end up buying my corned beef at least a week in advance because I’m always afraid the grocery store will run out. haha Of course, they never do, but I like to be prepared.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of beer
  • 1 lb (or more) of red potatoes, cut in halves or fourths
  • 1 white onion, cut into fourths
  • Baby carrots
  • 1 head of cabbage, cut into fourths
  • 1 – 5 lb flat cut corned beef brisket

Directions:

  • Put corned beef in slow cooker and pour one beer and as much water as needed to cover the corned beef brisket
  • Put potatoes, onion wedges, baby carrots in the slow cooker as well.
  • Cook on low for 10 hours (Mine is usually cooked in 8-9 hours)
  • Take out cooked corned beef and wrap in aluminum foil
  • Put cabbage in the slow cooker and cook in the liquid on high for 1 hour.
  • Enjoy!
  • **I usually cook for 8 when I’m making this and having family over—so I actually use two slow cookers to make two corned beefs. I’ve learned to do this as the corned beef seems to shrink + if there are leftovers, that’s a bonus!
  • Also, we like Mr. Mustard on the corned beef…and every year, I forget to buy it and my brother gives me grief #itsatradition (He now knows to bring it because I will inevitably forget!)

Irish Soda Bread

Y’all, this is one of my favorite recipes…and definitely worth the effort.

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. unsifted flour
  • 2 Tblsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tblsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • 1 c. buttermilk

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Grease cookie sheet.
  • In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt.
  • Cut butter in with pastry blender or fork until crumbly.
  • Add raisins.
  • Add buttermilk; mix with fork only until moist.
  • Turn out onto floured board. Knead 1 minute until smooth. Shape into a ball. Flatten into 7 inch(ish!) circle (about 1/2 inch thick)
  • Press floured knife 1/2 through the bottom; do again at right angle into quarters.
  • Bake 30-40 minutes until golden brown & hollow sound when tapped.
  • Cool on wire rack, brush top with melted butter & dust with flour if desired.
  • Serve with butter. Enjoy!
  • **I know some of these steps may sound complicated, but I promise they aren’t. All the steps probably take ten minutes from start to the oven. I’m not a huge baker…and this is probably the most “complicated” thing I bake each year πŸ˜‰ #evenIcantmessitup
Last year, Hadley had to share a recipe that showed a piece of her heritage…so I actually have a pic to share with you.

We have some Irish in us, and St. Pat’s Day has always been one we celebrate. The corned beef recipe is my dad’s and the Irish Soda Bread is a recipe I got from my mom, so all family is represented at the table!

An Irish Blessing: ☘️ “May your troubles be less, and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door.” ☘️

I hope you try these recipes out and enjoy them!

Have a great week,

Jen

Posted in Meals and Recipes, Not Just a Mom, Traditions

Not Just a Mom: Family Food Traditions

Hello! How was your weekend? We got back late Saturday night, and I’m still up to my eyeballs in laundry, suitcases, and errands. I’m going to continue to chip away at that stuff today too.

I swear…after the 4th of July, the summer just really starts to slip away. It’s already the second Monday of the month, so I’m co-hosting this fun link up with some of my favorite bloggers.

So far this year, we’ve discussed:

This month’s topic is: family food traditions.

Today, I’m sharing the first few food traditions of ours that immediately came to mind.

Corned beef and cabbage:

My entire family looks forward to March 17th! They know this means we get to have corned beef and cabbage as well as Irish soda bread for dinner. I’ve shared those recipes before, and here they are again!

I grew up on these dishes around the holidays, and I’m glad to have carried the tradition on for my family.

Cookie cake:

We are big cookie cake people. Honestly, I think we started having cookie cakes around the time the kids were born. I remember picking a double stuffed one up at Sam’s Club for my brother’s birthday in 2010. Then, it just became a thing we do for birthdays, anniversaries (sometimes), Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

We always look forward to this sweet treat!

Christmas cookies:

Like many families, we make Christmas cookies every year. Again, I grew up baking cookies, and started doing that with my kids when they were little.

The kids always loved making the Hershey kiss peanut butter cookies, and when they were little, the best help they could be was peeling off the silver wrapper on the kisses. Now, they can make the cookies without any help from me!

Years ago, I added in the chocolate peppermint crinkle cookies I found on Pinterest, and those are our two main cookies. Sometimes, the kids will use cookie cutters on sugar cookies and then ice them, but we don’t do that every year like we do the other cookies.

My mom always sends us Christmas cookies, and then when we visit KC at Christmas, we make cookies as well. We make Spritz, Pfeffernusse, and Lebkuchen cookies as well as waffle cookies using the waffle iron that’s been in our family for well over 100 years.

Back to school:

Another tradition we have is our Back to School Breakfast. I started doing this when the kids were in kindergarten. I keep most of the supplies in a box and just bring them out the night before school starts. This is a fun tradition….

…that I tweaked last year. With the start of middle school, I decided to have a Back to School Brinner the night before the first day of school.

It was a success, and I think that will be the plan this year too. Honestly, it felt weird waking up on the first day already having that traditional meal over with, but it also was the perfect time for that transition.

Red plate:

Growing up we had the “You are Special” red plate. My mom served us dinner on it for anything from getting a good grade on a test to passing our driver’s test!

She gave one to us maybe four or five years ago for me to carry on the tradition with the kids.

The kids get it after report card time, after a game/performance/sports season, for being extra helpful and more.

So…those are some of our traditions. I’m sure I’m forgetting some, but those were the first to pop up in my mind!

What food traditions do you have in your family? I’d love to hear!

Next month, our topic is binge watching tv shows. Considering in binged all six seasons on Schitt’s Creek in the past month, I know that will be the first on my list!

If you have a blog, we hope you’ll link up with us. There are always so many great posts to read too!

I hope you have a wonderful Monday.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=c0efdbe6b4add43dd7ef
Posted in Meals and Recipes, Not Just a Mom

Not Just a Mom: Quick Family Dinners

Hello! How was your weekend? We had a great one with my dad visiting for few days, Hayden’s baseball tournament, some pool time, and an early Father’s Day (and my brother’s birthday) celebration.

Today, I’m co-hosting with these ladies for our Not Just a Mom series.

This month’s topic is Quick Family Dinners.

I try to meal prep and make my grocery list for pick up most weekends. I like to have a plan for the week ahead. With the kids being pretty busy most evenings, almost anything I make is quick.

I turn to one of my favorite cookbooks a lot for meals all year long:

Some of my favorite recipes from Shay’s Simmers cookbook that I turn to quite often are:

The best “cooking hack” is putting chicken in the slow cooker, cover it with water, and then shred when it’s finished cooking to use for meals.

Also, when I thought of this topic, I immediately thought about sharing a few favorites from each season. Here are some pretty quick recipes my family enjoys!

Winter:

Of course, the winter months are perfect for soups and chilis!

Chicken Chili

Spring:

In the spring, we start eating lighter meals.

  • Salmon with roasted Brussel Sprouts or broccoli is a family fave! (I love that our Kroger has salmon that can be baked in the foil packs with spices and herbs that can be added in. The salmon is always flavorful, and the clean up is easy.)
  • Of course, every March I make Corned beef and cabbage & Irish Soda Bread.
Soda bread

Summer:

During the summer months, we grill out, and I typically make one of these side dishes, during the summer months. Fresh fruit is also an easy side dish when the weather is warm. Watermelon is definitely a summer fave!

I found this recipe on Pinterest for a Sushi Roll Bowl a few years ago. I tweaked the recipe a bit, but it’s such a healthy and refreshing meal in the summer.

Fall:

I start making hearty meals / comfort food once the weather cools down in the fall.

One recipe I always look forward to in the fall is Pumpkin Sausage Penne Pasta. I’ve had this recipe for years, and found it in a Kroger coupon pack. It’s so good.

Pumpkin Pasta

I also make Turkey Rice soup with Thanksgiving turkey leftovers.

Turkey Rice Soup

Other Ideas:

Other easy dinner ideas all year long include tacos, grilled cheese and tomato soup, and pork loin with a veggie or Trader Joe’s side. Like the salmon, I love the Smithfield pork that is cooked in the bag. It’s such an easy “go to” although I always forget that it takes about 45 minutes in the oven, but the clean up is easy!

Favorite Trader Joe’s Sides:

Y’all know I’m a faithful Trader Joe’s customer. While I love most everything from TJ’s, their side dishes have been my best “mom cooking hack” through the years. They have so many great options, and they are all so delicious.

Here are some of my faves: {all found in the frozen section}

  • Mexican Street Corn
  • Mushroom Risotto
  • Gnocchi
Favorite TJ sides

I love to cook, and I would say that most everything I make is a pretty quick and easy dinner! Also, I’m a big fan of leftovers, so if a recipe takes an extra bit of time to make, I always think it’s worth it for leftovers the next day!

Next month’s topic is Home Tour! I can’t wait to see a sneak peek of everyone’s homes!

Thanks so much for reading, and make sure to check out the other ladies’ posts too! I hope you have a great week.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=a8b40ada7693d64e5923
Posted in What's up Wednesday

What’s Up Wednesday

Hey! Happy What’s Up Wednesday! I can’t believe that next week is March! February flew by, and at least this week, we’ve thawed out, the snow has melted, and we’ve had temps in the 50’s! It actually feels like spring…which probably means we’ll get two snow storms in March here in Kentucky.

Today, I’m linking up with Sheaffer and Shay for WUW!

WHAT WE ARE EATING THIS WEEK:

  • Sunday- Sliders and soup!
  • Monday- Andrea’s Creamy Beef and Rice and broccoli
  • Tuesday- My kids’ school had a fundraiser at Chipolte, so we had a Taco Tuesday where I didn’t have to cook!
  • Wednesday– Shay’s Chicken Tortilla Soupwhich is a family favorite!
  • Thursday– Shay’s Beefy Cornbread Casserole Obviously, this recipe is on Shay’s blog, but it’s also in one of her cookbooks that I hadn’t used in a while. I made it a couple weeks ago, and it was so good! We all loved it, so I wanted to make it again before winter is over.
  • Friday and Saturday– I’m sure we’ll eat out or get carry out per usual on the weekend.

WHAT I’M REMINISCING ABOUT:

The first day of school. As I’ve mentioned my kids haven’t stepped foot in their school since March 13, 2020. This year, they’ve been home with me three days a week and have attended school with a pod of kids the other two days. Fingers crossed, one week from today, they will be back in school with only three months left in the 5th grade.

WHAT I’M LOVING:

My Air Fryer…

haha

I received so many awesome suggestions after my Tuesday Talk post last week. (I’d love even more, so let me know some of your favorite Air Fryer recipes!)

Besides using it to reheat items or cook frozen foods, I’ve made veggies for dinner side dishes, donuts, and sliders. Up next: cinnamon rolls…I mean, just the store bought ones, but I’m going to bake them in the Air Fryer. I can’t wait to give them a try!

The donuts were delish!

WHAT I’M WORKING ON:

This is so random, but I’m working on deleting photos from my phone. I save all my photos to Shutterfly, so there’s ZERO reason why I need to keep so many on my phone. That being said, I was up to like 9,000 photos and was just waiting for Apple to tell me my storage was full! Anyway, for some reason, deleting so many photos seems overwhelming to me, so I set an alarm on my phone to delete 100 photos a day. I’ve been doing this since January 1st, and I’ve gone from 9,000 to 4,800…now, that’s progress, y’all! I probably should have just called the Home Edit ladies…or given them my phone to return to me when there are 52 photos left on it πŸ˜‚

We also just finished up sorting and delivering Hadley’s Girl Scout cookie orders. She still has a few more orders that will come in, but 90% of her cookies have been delivered!

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

Besides school, work, dance, and basketball, the kids had plenty of fun in the snow over the past two weeks…and have a couple of broken sleds to prove it!

Travis and I made it out to dinner at one of our favorite places last Friday night. I love a 6:30 reservation by the fire…and home by 8:00!

I’m continuing my Beachbody workouts, and finished up Muscle Burns Fat. On Monday, I started Muscle Burns Fat Advanced. It might as well be called Muscle Burns Fat EXTREME because Megan has me cussing half the time…which must mean she knows what she’s doing!

WHAT I’M DREADING:

I’m not technically dreading anything right now, but of course, I continue to feel unsettled with the plans for return to in person learning. I hope once the elementary kids are phased in, we are ready to get a plan for the middle and high school kids. Right now feels very similar to the end of the school year last year when we were living on a two week by two week timeline with such uncertainty about educational plans.

*Edit: After I had this all typed out, we received the email and phone call with a plan to get all grades back in the building by the middle of March. Fingers crossed that Covid cases continue to decline and the plan can be carried out as scheduled. 😊😊

WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT:

Hayden and Hadley getting to (hopefully!) finish their last few months of elementary school in the building. Maybe I will have another Back 2 School Breakfast next week??

WHAT I’M WATCHING/READING:

American Idol is back, and we usually watch it as a family.

Recently, we watched The Blindside and Top Gun with Hayden. He loved both movies. I don’t think I have seen either movie in years, and they were fun to watch.

Tomorrow, I will share the books I read in February. I’m currently reading We Were the Lucky Ones. I don’t typically read historical fiction, but this novel has captured my attention!

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO:

Erin Andrews and Charissa Thompson have a new podcast called Calm Down. They’ve only had one episode, and Kevin Hart was their guest. Erin and Charissa are smart, funny, and sassy! I’m sure I will tune into this one weekly!

WHAT I’M WEARING:

Apparently, joggers and more joggers.

I a few weeks ago, Old Navy was having a sale, and I picked up these joggers. I love that they are high-waisted and form fitting but loose at the same time.

My Old Navy didn’t have the joggers in black, so I turned to Amazon….because why would I pay for shipping at Old Navy if I could find an option on Amazon where shipping is free! (and fast!)

I’ve dressed both pairs of joggers up and down…sweater, sweatshirt, tennis shoes, leopard flats, etc. The material of both lends to them being versatile.

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND:

Well, this weekend is what happens when make up basketball games and tournaments for two teams collide. Hayden has two games on Saturday and two games on Sunday!

Hadley’s talked me into taking her to Target to “look around…” Yikes…I’m scared just typing that out! She wants a few items for her room and maybe couple pairs of leggings or joggers because we’re all hoping pajama pants aren’t going to be a daytime wardrobe option soon!

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:

I’m looking forward to spring weather and corned beef and cabbage on the menu. Also, Hadley has her first dance competition in March and baseball will be in full swing next month as well.

Thanks so much for stopping by today! Make sure to check out the other ladies’ posts too!

Take care,

{this post contained Amazon affiliate links…}

Posted in What's up Wednesday

What’s Up Wednesday

Hello! It’s the last Wednesday of the month which means I’m linking up with Sheaffer and Shay for this month’s What’s Up Wednesday.

WHAT WE ARE EATING THIS WEEK:

We were spoiled by the sunshine this weekend, and now we are back to overcast and rainy skies…so I thought soup sounded good. Also, I always try to make something on Sunday that we can have leftovers on Monday. Mondays just always seem so difficult getting in the swing of the week, so not having to think about dinner on Monday evening is always a bonus.

Sunday/Monday: Taco Soup

Tuesday: Trader Joe’s Fried Rice with Honey Walnut Shrimp and Mandarin Orange Chicken. I love Trader Joe’s. What I love most about Trader Joe’s is that I usually just wander the aisles to plan a meal or two. Whereas, when I go to Kroger (or place my online Kroger order), I always feel like I need a list! This was a quick and easy meal last night that we enjoyed overall…but I didn’t love the sauce that came with the shrimp. I wish I had left it off. The chicken (& sauce) was delish!

Wednesday: Baked chicken thighs, bagged salad, and Bob Evans mashed potatoes.

Thursday: We now have a basketball game tomorrow night #tourneytime , so we’ll probably have leftover baked chicken with Trader Joe’s Roasted Potatoes. We’ve never tried these before, so hopefully everyone likes them. Every time I go to TJ’s, I pick up one or two new things to try!

Friday/Saturday night: I’m sure we’ll eat out.

Did you see my Monday Meals post with two quick (and easy!) pasta recipes? Both are delish!

WHAT I AM REMINISCING ABOUT:

I can’t believe we’ve had Homer for almost 9 months. He was about 12 weeks old when we adopted him. So….Homer is almost one! Whew! Homer is a handful…and I tell him every day that he’s lucky he is cute! This week alone, I’ve found him licking my facial cleansing brush, he snatched a glazed donut out of the box on the counter, and he ran around the house with the kitchen towel in his mouth. Also, my hairbrush is missing. He swears he’s innocent and Hadley denies borrowing it…so I’m still on the lookout for it! I swear he’s like having ten toddlers!

June 8, 2019. Little Biscuit!
February 2020. Sweet (and ornery!) Biscuit

WHAT I AM LOVING:

At the end of the summer, I started buying the single wick candles at Bath and Body Works. I love that the three wick ones are more aromatic but sometimes they were almost too strong of a scent…and the three wick ones take up more space. So, for fall, I bought three single wick fall fragrances and did the same for the holidays. This way, I can place the candles around the house easier since the single wick ones take up less space and provide just enough of a refreshing scent. Of course, I always use a coupon (or hit up a sale) when buying the candles whether it’s the single or three wick ones. (I feel like I just used the work wick more than I should have. Sorry!) These three scents are my newest purchase for spring.

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

It’s basketball tournament time, so that sports season is wrapping up. Hayden is prepping for baseball season while Hadley continues to dance two days a week. Both kids went to birthday parties last weekend which kept us busy on Saturday. Then, on Sunday, Hadley attended the Mardi Gras party at our church while Hayden had basketball practice. Next month, Hadley has Academic Team competition, so she’s been prepping for that as well.

WHAT I’M DREADING:

Honestly, I wasn’t dreading it but I was overwhelmed getting Hadley’s Girl Scout cookie orders out. She surpassed her goal of selling 350 cookies by selling 441 boxes of cookies! I just never want to mess up an order, and it’s a lot of money to collect and sort! I’m glad the bulk of the ordering is past us!

WHAT I’M WORKING ON:

I’m working on getting back on track with my eating and exercising. I was off to a good start in 2020 and then I got the flu. After that, my eating was ok but I wasn’t really working out. So, I’m back on my Lean intermittent fasting program combined with carb cycling, tracking my macros, and working out. This program works for me…when I do it! So, getting a handle on my eating window and exercise before spring break is a good goal for me right now.

WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT:

I’m excited about spring break! It will be here before we know it. We decided to go to NYC…but all we’ve done so far is purchase plane tickets. We are waiting to tell the kids once we firm up our plans/itinerary. What are some “musts” for us while there?? Give me all the ideas, please! I’ve always wanted to visit NYC in the fall, but we didn’t have our act together at that point to plan a trip. I’m excited to take the kids as I think they will enjoy it and appreciate it…and are able to walk/keep up with whatever we do.

WHAT I’M WATCHING/READING:

Y’all, I’m in a slump. Or a February Funk…I started two books this month and haven’t finished either. I like them…I just have been so tired at night, I go straight to bed. Plus, our weekends have been a bit busy, so I don’t know…I’m not off to a solid start with reading in 2020. The two books I’m reading are The Broken Girls (on my Kindle) and American Royals (hardback). Again, I’m really liking them and hope to finish them this week…and start fresh in March. Do you have any good book recommendations?

I’m excited for Good Girls Season 3. The show just started back, and I hope to get caught up on it this weekend. There aren’t many shows Travis and I watch together, but that’s one of them!

Also, I found a show Up and Vanished on the Oxygen Channel on Hulu and have watched a few episodes.

And…we watched about half of Jurassic Park earlier this week…It’s one of those I remember watching as a kid and thought Hayden and Hadley would like it…but when I looked over to see Hadley crying as the dinosaur tried to eat the kids, I started to think I must have been over ten-years-old when I saw it. πŸ˜‚ Hayden wants to finish it, but Hadley will probably pass. We may not have time to finish it until the weekend anyway…maybe Hadley’s trauma will subside by then!

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO:

I still listen to a few podcasts when I can. I regularly listen to include Willie Geist’s Sunday Sitdown and then usually add other podcasts of interest based on who is being interviewed. I’m excited because Landyn has a podcast in the works. I’m excited to listen to it when it become available.

WHAT I’M WEARING:

I bought these slippers at Target right after Christmas, and I love them. I had thought about buying the Ugg version as I’ve heard great reviews, but didn’t feel like spending that kind of money on slippers. These have been the perfect thing to put on my feet when I get home! Nice and cozy. (One of my slippers has even survived almost being #homered!…so I guess you could say that they are good quality!) πŸ˜‰

Also, I recently had to wear this pink gown…twice. Since I turned 40, it was time for me to have my first ever mammogram. While it wasn’t the best thing I’ve every experienced, it certainly wasn’t as painful as I expected it to be. As I left my appointment, the mammographer mentioned that it’s very common to get called back for an ultrasound especially to establish a baseline since it was my first mammogram.

A week later, I did receive a call to come in that week for an ultrasound. Thankfully, I was somewhat prepared for the call, so I didn’t panic. (Although, I am a worrier by nature!) As soon as the sonographer called me back to the room, she immediately told me she thought everything was fine, but they just wanted to confirm all was good. Her reassurance combined with the dimly lit room and the warm blanket she gave me, put me at ease. I had a couple of cysts as well as a fibroadenoma, which I learned is very common in women and benign.

I was actually relieved to have the mammogram scheduled. I’ve known women who have had breast cancer even in their early thirties. That being said, it was almost scary for me to be in the 35-39 years of age…where doctors say, “You are too young to worry about _____” when I know people who have had their lives changed in an instant at a younger age.

I’m thankful for a healthy report, and I’ll also be very grateful for that yearly appointment and peace of mind.

mammogram day & ultrasound day

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND:

Hadley has a tournament game on Saturday (and both could still be playing if they win), but other than that we don’t have too much planned. It may actually be a lowkey weekend which we haven’t had in awhile.

I think Travis is going to take Hayden to the UK basketball game on Saturday. I hope to read, get caught up on house stuff, groceries, etc.

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:

March means that the Homster is turning 1! We’ve always gotten our dogs a vanilla ice cream cup from Dairy Queen, so he has that to look forward to. Since we don’t know his actual birthday, in the future, we’ll probably celebrate him (w/ the ice cream) on June 8. His gotcha day!

Also, March means St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve got a little bit of Irish in me, and grew up having corned beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread to celebrate March 17th. I make those recipes now for my family, and we always look forward to the tradition.

That’s it for this month’s What’s Up Wednesday. Make sure to check out Sheaffer and Shay’s posts too!

Take care,

Jen