Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Tex-Mex Chicken Corn Chowder

Abbey shared this recipe... it's a fall favorite served with sweet, buttery cornbread!

The Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15.25 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can (14.75 oz) cream style corn, undrained
  • 1 can (14.5 oz diced tomatoes with garlic & onion, undrained
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans or red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1-2 cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
  • Optional: spices to taste (cumin, garlic powder, southwestern blend, etc)
  • Toppings & extras (shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, fresh cilantro, tortilla chips)

The Directions:

Combine all ingredients & bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover & simmer for 5 minutes. Spoon into bowls & add desired toppings. YUM!

And click here for the cornbread recipe that Abbey bakes to go with this tasty chowder!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Oreo Delight

This dessert deliciousness is sitting in my fridge right now... SO, so tasty! Thanks for sharing, Jennifer H!

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 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, October 21, 2013

craft tutorial: fall votives

For our October craft, we made super-cute fall votives!

fall votives for our sweet MOPPETS volunteers

Here's the tutorial for making your own votives at home....

What you need:

  • a glass votive holder or vase
  • cute tissue paper
  • paper punch or scissors
  • mod podge (available in the craft department or here)
  • any other embellishments... we used jute on the votives pictured above


First, use your paper punch or scissors to cut the tissue paper into shapes. For an autumn votive like we made in the meeting, you may want to do fall leaves or pumpkins. For a Christmas votive, you could do a variety of Christmas-y paper punches or cut snowflakes out of white tissue paper. For Valentine's Day, hearts would be cute, shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Paint one section or side of your votive with a thin layer of mod podge. Place your tissue paper decorations on the votive. Once you've added & arranged your desired number of paper embellishments, cover with another thin layer of mod podge.

Repeat until entire votive is completed. Allow to dry completely.

Use as is or add additional embellishments. Pop a candle in & you're done!

More crafty ideas:

These votives would be perfect seasonal decor, teacher gifts, hostess gifts for the holidays... SO many options!

Here are just a few variations:

Winter votive with snowflakes:

Super-cute heart version for Valentine's Day or just to brighten someone's day:

Or bring some happy flowers into your home with this fun version:

& adding a cute personalized tag makes your lovely votive even more special!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October meeting recap... the Mom Comparison Trap!

Last Thursday was our second MOPS meeting of the year... so much fun! So glad to see all you ladies... we're averaging 56 moms per meeting this year, which is pretty much awesome. Y'all keep inviting your friends... we'd love to have them!

Quick business recap:

  • Semester/yearly dues were due at the Oct meeting. It's $30 per semester or $60 per year. If you invite someone to MOPS & they decide to join, our trusty treasurer Melissa will calculate a prorated amount. And if you love MOPS & want to join, but the dues are an obstacle, pleasepleasePLEASE let us know & we'll work something out. Money should definitely not be a reason for someone to miss out on our mama fellowship.
  • We had sign-ups for the MOPS photo sessions, which will be on Friday, Oct 25th. The cost is $40 per 30-minute session. All of the slots are booked (yay!), but we have a waiting list available as well. Please contact me (Sarah) if you'd like to be added to the waiting list. I'll be in touch with everyone who booked a session with location details.

For our craft, we made votives that are perfect for fall! Tutorial to follow soon...

This month's speaker was Rozalynn Goodwin, who is the Director of Policy Research & a lobbyist for the South Carolina Hospital Association. She's been recognized as a rising business leader in The State Newspaper's annual "20 under 40" feature, & has been published on the MOPS International website as well as MOPS's MomSense Magazine.

Rozalynn spoke on the dangers of the Mom Comparison Trap. I capitalize it because it's a big deal, people. We've all felt it at some point, we've all read Facebook statuses or looked at pictures or perused Pinterest & felt inadequate, even if it's only for a brief, fleeting second.

Rozalynn writes:

I wanted to be a SAHM yesterday... or at least a WAHM. Anything but a WAWM (work at work mom -- I just made that up).  
I make this statement having fully accepted that it may result in my name being crossed off the guest list for the Supermom Soiree that I assume occurs annually. I have not yet been invited. Quite frankly, I don't care if I am invited to join ladies discussing how they grow their own fruits & vegetables, cook & can them, all after a typical 10.5 hour day in the office; just in time to give four children baths, pedicures & manicures, & make wild passionate love to their husbands.  
I "don't do" fake people well.  (click here to read complete post)
She went on to share the challenges of being a working mom, the guilt of not being able to be in two places at once, the drama of potty-training & the story of Lola the Monkey (which she also shares in this blog post).

Rozalynn shared 2 Corinthians 10:12, which says that we should not classify or compare ourselves to others... that it isn't wise.

She writes:
Mommy guilt is real and often the result of unrealistic self-expectations. No mom can have it ALL. There are trade-offs and seasons for every aspect of work and life.  
And no other mom, whether at home or in the workplace, has it easy. The quicker we recognize that, the quicker we can get on with our lives and the fulfillment of family and individual purpose that awaits us.  
Click here to check out Rozalynn's blog, "Spit Up On My Blazer."

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

Pumpkin & chocolate?! What's not to love!

The Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp allspice or ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

The Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or spray each cup with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, spices & salt.

With a mixer, cream butter & sugar until light & fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture & pumpkin puree, beginning & ending with flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chips.

Fill muffin cups evenly with batter. Place in oven & bake for 18-20 mins, or until firm to the touch & a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on wire rack to cool.

*Note: the batter can also be baked i a 9-inch loaf pan instead of muffin cups. Spray the pan with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50-60 mins, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Beef & Veggie Stir-Fry

 Don't know about y'all, but I love one-dish meals... they're tasty & there are fewer dishes to wash! WIN! I haven't tried this stir-fry recipe yet, but one of my facebook friends vouches for it. It's on our menu for next week...

The Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup sherry or water
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp canola oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 lb. sirloin or flank beef, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 8 oz fresh snow peas
  • 1 lb fresh asparagus or broccoli
  • any other veggie your family likes (squash, zucchini, bell peppers, baby corn, carrots, etc)
  • rice or noodles, cooked

The Directions:

In a small bowl, whisk soy sauce, sherry (or water), cornstarch & sugar.

Transfer 1/4 cup of the mixture to a large bowl; stir in garlic & 1 tbsp oil. Add meat & toss to coat. Let marinate for at least 15 minutes (or overnight for maximum flavor).

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add half the beef. Stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until no longer pink (don't overcook to avoid making the beef tough). Remove from pan. Repeat with rest of beef.

In same pan, heat remaining 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add mushrooms & onion. Cook while stirring until mushrooms are tender. Add snow peas & other veggies; cook 2-3 minutes longer or until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Stir remaining soy sauce mixture & add to pan. Bring to a boil; cook & stir 1-2 minutes until sauce is thickened. Return beef to pan & stir until heated through.

Serve with rice or noodles.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Halloween Popcorn!

It's OCTOBER, people! Time to kick off fall festivities (if they're not already in full swing) & treat yourself & the kiddos to a Halloweenie treat...

The Ingredients:

  • 2 bags microwave popcorn (recommend Pop Secret HomeStyle because it's not too buttery)
  • 1 lb package almond bark or white chocolate candy coating
  • 1 1/2 cups candy corn
  • 1 1/2 cups dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 1/2 cups Reese's Pieces

The Directions:

Pop popcorn according to directions on package. Place popped popcorn in a large bowl. Pour peanuts & candy on top.

Break up almond bark or candy coating & melt according to package directions. Pour over popcorn mixture. Stir until everything is well-coated & then spread out on waxed paper.

Let it sit until completely dry & then break into clumps of Halloween goodness!