Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: The Fabulous Green Dip

Thanks for sharing your recipe for this delicious green dip, Katie!! This is SO good with tortilla chips, but you could also serve with veggies, or as a dressing. Yum!


The Ingredients:

  • 16oz sour cream
  • 16oz mayonnaise
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 package ranch dressing mix
  • 1 small jar jalapenos (mild or hot, depending on your taste)

The Directions:

Drain jalapenos. Trim cilantro if necessary (some people use stems, some don't). Put all ingredients in a food processor & blend until smooth. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Saltine Toffee Bark

This dessert was shared for Tasty Tuesday last year, & it's been a favorite since... here it is again in case you missed it the first time!


The Ingredients:

  • 50 saltine crackers (approximately)
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) of butter
  • 1 cup soft brown sugar
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup topping - M&M's, sliced almonds, sea salt, or anything you like

The Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 9x13 jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Spray foil with cooking spray & line pan completely with saltine crackers. You may have to break some in half to fit, but try to fill the pan completely.

Place butter & sugar in a medium pot over low-medium/low heat. Stir until butter is melted. Once melted, bring to boil for exactly 3 minutes. Stir constantly.

Once it's nice & bubbly, remove pan from heat & pour evenly over saltine crackers. Spread mixture with a knife... however, it doesn't have to be perfect. Try to move fast during this part so the toffee doesn't harden. Place pan in oven & bake for 7-8 minutes. The toffee mixture will spread evenly over the crackers as it bakes.

Remove pan from oven & then sprinkle chocolate chips on top of the toffee while it's still hot. Let the chocolate chips melt for a few minutes & then spread all over the toffee with a spatula.

Sprinkle topping on top & then place in fridge for 30 minutes. Once chocolate has hardened, break pieces off the foil & store for up to 2 weeks.

Monday, February 16, 2015

RESCHEDULED: MOPS @ Night!!

UPDATE: MOPS @ Night kickoff has been rescheduled due to weather. We will be meeting on Monday, Feb 23, 2015. 

So, so excited to announce that beginning in just a few weeks, Anderson MOPS will be hosting evening meetings! Please come! Invite your mama friends!

Many Anderson preschooler moms aren't able to attend our regular morning meetings due to work, homeschooling, childcare issues, etc. So during February through May, we're doing a pilot run for a new monthly meeting option called MOPS @ Night!



Here are the details for our MOPS @ Night KICKOFF!

  • When: KICKOFF is Monday, February 23rd at 7:00pm! After the Feb meeting, our regular MOPS @ Night meetings will be the 3rd Monday of the month, Mar through May.
  • Where: Boulevard Baptist's Christian Activities Center (brick building behind the church) in the Upstairs Multipurpose Room
  • Who's Invited: These meetings are open to ANY mother of a preschooler (pregnancy through kindergarten), whether you attend the morning meetings or not!
  • Cost: FREE!!

Want more info? Here ya go...


Will childcare be available during MOPS @ Night?
No, childcare will not be available during our evening MOPS meetings. These meetings are for moms only! :)


Will the evening MOPS meetings be just like the morning meetings? 
Nope! The evening meetings will have a completely different agenda from the morning meetings, so please feel free to come to both. And bring a friend! Or three!


What will we be doing at MOPS @ Night?
We'll have a chance to get to know each other, enjoy appetizers, desserts & coffee, learn through video teaching & discuss thought-provoking topics that are relevant to this stage of motherhood... It's going to be kinda fabulous!


Free is awesome!! Will MOPS @ Night always be free?
Our pilot run during February through May will be completely free... this is a chance for you to check us out & decide if MOPS is for you. After the May meeting, the MOPS planning team will figure out if MOPS @ Night should be a permanent thing!


Have more questions? Please email me at sarahrettew@gmail.com. Hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Skinny Chicken Pad Thai

Any Thai food fans at your house? Try out this recipe for skinny pad thai... it's delicious!


The Ingredients:

  • 1 package pad thai rice noodles (I prefer Annie Chun's from Publix, found in the ethnic foods section)
  • 1 lb uncooked chicken breast, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (found in the ethnic foods section)
  • 4 cups uncooked broccoli 
  • 1 uncooked carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced ginger, fresh
  • 4 tsp peanut oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked bean sprouts (found in produce section)
  • 2 1/2 oz salted peanuts, minced (makes about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

The Directions:

Soak noodles in cold water for 1 hour to allow them to start softening.

Place chicken in small bowl & cover with 1 tbsp fish sauce, set aside.

Steam broccoli & carrots until crisp-tender, about 8-10 minutes. Drain & set aside.

In another small bowl, combine remaining 3 tbsp of fish sauce, 3 tbsp of lime juice, sugar, water & ginger. Mix well & set aside.

Coat a large skillet with cooking spray over medium-high heat; add 2 tsp of peanut oil. When hot, add chicken. Cook, stirring occasionally until chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove chicken from pan & cover to keep warm.

Drain noodles thoroughly. Coat skillet again with cooking spray & add remaining 2 tsp of peanut oil. When hot, saute garlic for about 30 seconds. Add noodles & fish sauce mixture; cook while stirring until sauce is mostly absorbed, about 3 minutes. Stir in chicken & peanuts, then remove from heat. Add remaining tbsp of lime juice, bean sprouts & cilantro; mix well. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Oreo Delight

Oreo Delight is a light & fluffy dessert... always a crowd-pleaser!


The Ingredients:

  • 1 pack Oreos
  • 2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 large container cool whip
  • 8-oz cream cheese, softened

The Directions:

In a large bowl, combine pudding & milk. Blend until completely mixed. Add cream cheese. Mix well. Add cool whip. Mix well.

Finely crush half of Oreos & add to pudding mixture. Pour pudding/Oreo mixture into 9x13 pan. Crush remaining Oreos so that large pieces still remain. Sprinkle remaining Oreos on top.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.

Monday, February 2, 2015

courage to be real

Did you know that according to the American Academy of Pediatrics,  almost ALL mothers experience some symptoms of the baby blues?

Did you know that 1 in 10 moms will experience the more intense symptoms of postpartum depression?

During our January MOPS meeting, we talked about the courage to be real. To speak up about what you're feeling. To ask for help. To listen to other mamas without judging their "realness." 

Being honest & real is not always something that comes easily for women. The female culture encourages anything BUT real, from our nails to our hair to our Spanx to our surgical "tweaks." Society often pressures us mothers to be fine, to pray it away, to not admit weakness. 

We're particularly vulnerable during the early childhood years, when your hormones are off-kilter, your world has shifted with the birth of a new baby, & you may be more socially isolated than before. Your inner voice says "You should be thankful. You should feel blessed. Suck it up." 

Our goal for Anderson MOPS is to create a place where it's ok to be real, & it's ok to ask for help. So what better way to kick off 2015 than with our January speaker, Donna Tingle?! Donna is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) with one of our MOPS sponsors, Anmed Health. She spoke briefly about postpartum blues, depression & anxiety, & then opened up the floor for questions... & there were LOTS of questions!

THE BABY BLUES

Most moms experience at least a few symptoms of the baby blues after the birth of a child. Usually these issues will go away within 2-4 weeks after your baby is born. Signs of the baby blues include:
  • some good days & some hard days
  • trouble sleeping
  • mood swings &/or irritability
  • crying for no reason
  • feeling very anxious for no apparent reason
  • hopelessness &/or sadness that you can't explain
  • difficulty concentrating

POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION

Out of the moms who experience the baby blues (described above), 1 in 10 will have more intense & prolonged symptoms of postpartum depression. If you have these symptoms, you should call your doctor to talk through it. Please don't think you're broken or screwed up... you're one of MANY moms who just need help finding their balance again.  
  • mostly hard days
  • feel completely overwhelmed
  • having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • mood swings, irritability, impatience, or even uncontrollable anger
  • crying for no reason
  • feeling very anxious for no apparent reason; your thoughts are racing &/or you can't sit still or relax
  • hopelessness &/or sadness that you can't explain; feeling like you'll never feel better or back to normal
  • difficulty concentrating, or making a decision; feeling like you're in a fog.
  • feelings of guilt that you're not doing a better job or that you're not thankful enough
  • feeling detached & disconnected, like you're just going through the motions


Do you have a friend who you think may be struggling? You might be wondering how you can help. Tell her that you're worried about her & that you care about her. Make time to sit with her & listen. Be available to really hear what she's saying. Don't be afraid to suggest seeing a doctor or a counselor. If she's worried about logistics -- childcare, finances, insurance -- offer to help her figure it out. 

CHECK OUT THESE RESOURCES FOR MORE INFO:


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Slow Cooker Macaroni & Cheese

This mac & cheese looks truly delicious... & the slow cooker option allows it to cook while you're busy doing other things!


The Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (8 oz) elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 4 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 can cheddar cheese condensed soup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

The Directions:

Boil macaroni until tender. Drain. In medium saucepan, mix butter & cheese. Stir until cheese melts.

In slow cooker, combine cheese mixture, eggs, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard & pepper. Stir well. Add drained macaroni & stir again. 

Turn slow cooker on "low" setting & cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.