Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sayler Chili

There are a bazillion ways to make chili. Here's Mine.

Here is my family's favorite.

We call it "Sayler Chili".

This recipe is delicious, freezable, and so easy an 8 year old can make it with a little help.

 Before you have a heart attack. Confession time.

I do use a chili kit.

I learned this trick from my mom. She always had her favorite kit of spices, so I learned this speed trick from her.

My current favorite kit is this one by Carroll Shelby's.

I like it because they individually package each of the spices inside. That means I can add more or less of each of the spices.

I used to be afraid to add all of the cayenne pepper, but I have come to love this one just the way they have it packaged!.

Last secret.

Not everyone thinks chili is true chili if it has beans. I understand that.
But this is my chili, with my name, so it will have beans.

(For those of you with lots of kids like me, beans are a filler. Tomatoes are fillers. chili without beans is expensive if you are feeding 5 boys!!! So I use beans. Lots of beans!)

 This chili is extrememly forgiving.

Simply throw in 2-4 cans of whatever your favorite beans are at the moment.

I came up with our current favorite combination because I was out of the beans I usually have on hand. It was such a hit that I had to swear an oath that I wouldn’t change this recipe!

I use:
Dark kidney beans
Bush's grillin' beans (bourbon and brown sugar)
and those weird looking Ranch Style Beans.

Do not panic when you open the Ranch beans!
They look kinda gross, but they are delicious!


If you have a favorite chili recipe, feel free to link in the comments!

You'll find the actual recipe and grocery list here!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Cheerful Breakfast

Three of my five children are sick with fevers today. I decided to serve them breakfast with a smile!

Gingerbread Men Eggs

You need:
  • bread slices
  • eggs
  • cute cutters (smaller than the bread slices)
  • butter

      Why gingerbread men? 

Because I couldn't resist the fevery child's request! I usually use the rim  of a glass to cut circles into the bread.

Directions: How to get your kids to smile.

Use the cutters to cut shapes into the bread.


Paint all the bread pieces with butter.

Fry the eggs right in the middle of the bread cut-outs. Keep your heat low. Today, my griddle was too hot so the eggs did not turn out "pretty". They were tasty, though!

Fry up the little men, (or whatever shape you used: circles, hearts, stars) until the toast is the desired color.

Plate and serve! There is something magical about eating fun food. It's worth the extra effort to put a smile on someones face.

Don't miss a tip, recipe, or menu plan! Enter your

My gift to you: Secret Recipe: Homemade Snickers!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Homemade Snickers

I made Homemade Snickers for my hubby's work BBQ this week.

I am giving this amazing recipe away to those who are looking to impress their family and friends with their masterful baking abilities.

I do not know about you, but I love preparing something that makes people drool:).

Secret Recipe: Homemade Snickers!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Roast Chicken = Easy Dinner!

Throw a chicken in the oven. Well, maybe you shouldn't throw it.
Either roast a whole chicken or pick up one of those ready chickens at the store. I always roast mine with McCormicks Steak Seasoning.

Here are a few ideas for you.
1. Place the chicken on a platter and give your army some warm bread and a salad. Don't let them use utensils:). Let everyone tears their pieces of chicken tight off the bone. Your kids will remember the meal forever!

2. Chicken Quesadillas.
Shred chicken and place about 1/2 cup in a tortilla with your favorite Mexican cheese. Add some grilled onions and green pepper. Fold tortilla over and brown on a griddle (or large pan).
Cut into thirds. Serve with salsa, sour cream, and or guacamole. Yum.

3. White Bean Chili.
Add shredded chicken to 16 oz of medium salsa. Heat on stove (in pot of course). Add 2-4 cups of chicken broth, couple cans of white beans, and a small can of diced green chilies. Delicious!

                                               4. Chicken Pasta.
Add shredded chicken to your favorite spaghetti sauce and serve over pasta.

5. Chicken Divan.
Add shredded chicken to 4cups steamed broccoli, 2 cups cheddar cheese, 8oz sour cream, cup mayonnaise, can of cream of chicken soup, 2tsp cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Top with crushed Ritz crackers and drizzle 3Tsp melted butter on top. Toss together and put in 9x13 pan. Bake 30 minutes at 375.

6. Red Chicken Chili.
Shred chicken. Add to big pot. Add favorite chili mix, 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 can pinto beans, 1 can kidney beans. Heat through. Serve with warm tortillas.

7. Chicken Enchiladas
Shred chicken and add to large bowl with 1 can cream chicken soup, 1 can celery soup, 16 oz sour cream, 2 cups shredded cheese, tsp chili powder, salt and pepper to taste. Mix.
Add about 1/2 cup- 1 cup mixture to center if a tortilla and roll like a tight burrito.
Layer rolled tortillas in a 9 x 13pan.
Pour 1 larger can enchilada sauce over top and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
Bake at 375 about 40 minutes (bubbly goodness).

8. Chicken Salad
Make a beautiful salad and top with shredded chicken.

I buy my whole chickens at our bulk food store in California. My family needs 1-2 chickens depending on the meal. Now, I know these recipies are it exact. Beautiful right? These meals are the kind you cannot mess up unless you try really hard. I change them up all the time!

Buy a couple of chicken and throw them in your freezer. They only take a few hours to thaw and cook, but they make fantastic meals (if you like chicken like we do).

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Time to Simplify

School began for my family in mid-August. It's amazing how school can throw a monkey wrench in my ability to put home cooked meals on the table. I have 5 boys, ranging in age from 7 to 19 and they are always hungry. My survival plan?

Currently I am running a super simple menu. The busier life gets, the more I stream line meals. I still double and freeze meals all the time. I highly recommend you do the same. These bags of prepared food in my freezer have saved me many times already this year. Just tonight we enjoyed spaghetti and meatballs because I had a bag of frozen meatballs in my freezer! I knew it would be a very busy day so I threw them in the crock pot with a simple sauce and forgot about dinner until about 5:00. Crock pot + one big pot of boiling water and dinner was ready in no time.

Here's my super simple meal plan for September:
  • Sunday: Italian (spaghetti)
  • Monday: Sayler Soup
  • Tuesday: "Taco Tuesday"
  • Wednesday: "Whatever Wednesday (Leftovers or whatever I can whip up)
  • Thursday: Tortilla Soup topped with chips and shredded cheese
  • Friday: Homemade Pizza
  • Saturday: Roast
This is a rinse and repeat menu. Eventually school will slow down a bit and add some more variety, but this works for me right now!

Do you have a weekly menu? I'd love to hear about your favourite meal of the week...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Are You Ready for Anything?

So your plans were all set, you woke up full of expectations for all that you and your children would accomplish today.
What a great productive day you are going to have!

(pitter patter, pitter patter) "Mommy, My throat hurts." (Zip; all you plans fly out the window while you tend to a feverish little one)

It happens to all of us. Me more than others. Well, it feels that way to me.

I have learned to prepare for these "Monkey Wrench" days. The first tip I will share with you is advanced meal preparation. Sounds a bit crazy, especially if you are not a female. Trust me. When your day goes terribly wrong, or one or more of your little darlings comes down with a nasty bug, you will thank me.

Think about the dinners you will make this week. Which ones can be easily doubled and frozen? Got it?

Do not argue with me or yourself. Your homework for this week:

  • Plan ahead and make a double batch of 2 meals and freeze them into zip-lock bags. 
  • Label the bag with a sharpie and place the meal into your freezer.

If you have no idea where to start, here are two of my staple freezer meals. I always double these and freeze a batch for later. These recipes are easy and delicious: Sayler Soup and White Bean Chili. (click here)

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Month of Freezer Meals!

I have stumbled upon a fellow blogger and woman after my own heart.

She calls herself the Once a Month mom. Don't you love that?

 Her whole premise of that she prepares a month full of freezable meals based on the seasonal foods available. The reason I love her blog so much is that she gets that this kind of cooking is extremely intimidating for someone who has not cooked in bulk before.

She has taken the time to assemble mini menus as a sort-of tutorial for people like me. (Yes, I cook in bulk, but this was overwhelming even for me!)

Check out her blog. Its loaded!!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Breakfast on the Go!

Hi there! Does anyone else struggle feeding their family great, healthy, yet easy to make breakfasts? I mean 356days a year, year after year breakfasts?
I sure do. I keep drifting back into the cereal aisle and buying my weekly ration of dried cereal.

My boys are ravenous at breakfast time, so unless I buy the "Really Healthy" cereal, I am constantly running out. If you've read my blog before, you know that I always have frozen waffles in my freezer, but I've really been wanting to do something different.

I finally stumbled upon an answer. Brace yourself.
Personal Sized Baked Oatmeal!

That's right! Individual servings of oatmeal, baked in cupcake papers, ready to pop into the freezer. I made my first batch the other day and I loved them. 3 out of 5 boys loved them too, and the other two? Well, they just do not like oatmeal. Oh well! We cheerfully eat what we are served right?

I love serving oatmeal. Its warm and filling. My kids would argue about whether they think it is edible, but not only do they like it better each day, I notice I am hearing less and less complaining. Even my most hungry boy makes it almost to lunchtime without begging for a snack!

You gotta try this one!
Be sure to visit the link above to see the full post from "Sugar-Free Mom".

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups applesauce, unsweetened
  • 5 cups, Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2 3/4 cups milk (I used 1%)
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 6 packets of Sweetleaf Stevia or 1 1/2 teaspoons stevia powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Optional toppings: raisins, walnuts, chocolate chips
  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, banana and Stevia together in a bowl.
  3. Add in oats, salt, baking powder, flax and cinnamon and mix well with wet ingredients.
  4. Finally pour in milk and combine.
  5. Spray a 12 and 6 capacity muffin tin with cooking spray or use cupcake liners.
    Pour mixture evenly into muffin tin cups.
  6. If using toppings add them onto the tops of muffins now. If using fresh or frozen fruit, drop it right into the batter.
  7. Bake 30 minutes until a toothpick in center comes out clean. Cool and enjoy or freeze them in gallon freezer bags.

Monday, February 20, 2012

77 Birthday Cakes and Counting!

I have been planned, baked, or ordered over 77 birthday cakes since 
I married my husband. 

I was surprised when I added up the birthdays we have shared with each other and our children. Coming up with creative and tasty ways to say "I love you" for each new celebration has become quite the adventure.

Enter Pinterest.

Have you taken a few moments to get acquainted with this girls Internet paradise?
I didn't like it at first, but it has grown on me! I have stumbled upon the most incredible (fill in the blank) in any category you can think of here. Fashion, decor, food, etc...

This is where I happened to stumble on The Kit Kat Cake. (You have to see Melissa's, so click here!)

I had to let you know how great it was! My son chose a buttery yellow cake, with chocolate frosting and we were all stunned how delicious it turned out.
Be sure to check out Melissa's site for more amazing recipes!

How about you? What's the latest "Must share" you have stumbled upon?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lots and Lots of Veggies

Some of you may be wondering where the heck I have been, others may not have noticed I haven't posted in a few weeks. That's OK. Being "A Stay at Home Mom, homeschooler, and wife" keeps me more than a little bit busy. Throw in a few respiratory infections and stomach flu's and I think you can agree with my "guilt-free" style of writing.

Writing is one of my biggest passions, but I refuse to feel guilty when the reality of life jumps in front of my thoughts. Ahhh, it feels good.

Back to the Title of my post. About 10 days ago I weighed 11 pounds heavier than I do today. I had enjoyed every bite of food I put in my mouth, and I had the hip measurements to prove it.

My husband informed me that we were going to "reboot".

My first thought was, oh no. My second thought was teach me.

Although I will not go into great detail here today, my husband and I have been eating nothing but fruit and veggies, including vegetable juice blends for the last 10 days or so. We feel great and both have lost over 10 pounds each. We are excited, to say the least.

As I am being forced to learn to live on a totally foreign diet, I am delighted to have stumbled onto a few amazing recipes. These have quickly been added into my handy-dandy recipe box and will grace our plates for many years to come.

First recipe I have been dying to share:

Green Vegetable Soup

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Leeks, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 head Broccoli, trimmed to small florets
2 medium Zucchini, cut into half moons
1 head Spinach, roughly chopped
4 leaves Basil
1 tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground Pepper
6 cups water
3 Tbsp. fresh Basil, chopped
In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add
the leeks and garlic and saute for 3 minutes. Add the broccoli, zucchini, spinach,
basil, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add the water and bring to a
boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the
chopped basil.
Makes 4-6 servings
Per serving:
Calories: 126
Protein: 5 g
Fiber: 4 g

This is so light and delicious! It is not a make and save type recipe, but I love it anyway!!!

PS- If you want to see what we are doing, there's a great Netflix show called
fat, sick, and nearly dead