Friday, September 28, 2012

Fake It "Home Made" Meals

Let me just go ahead and admit it.  My name is Carrie.  I'm a working mama and don't cook dinner.

Ahhhh.  Now I feel better.

In all fairness I really do enjoy cooking.  But I enjoy cooking for the social experience of eating together... the good food is just a by-product in my opinion.  Which is probably the root of my bad eating habits since I clearly don't eat to "fuel my body" necessarily, but that's an entirely different post all together. 

Despite enjoying cooking, it doesn't always happen.  In fact, more often than not we're scrambling to pull something together quickly because we either didn't make it to the store or I didn't thaw something in the morning or we're just out of time to fix something before we start knawing on empty spoons.  So, I thought I'd share two of my favorite tricks.  The caveat -- I need MORE of these tricks so comment at the bottom and share your last minute "home made" fake outs.

Oh, and my definition of a fake out is that it could pass for home made....But isn't necessarily.

FIRST:  Jack Daniel's ready to eat meat.  Sounds a little gross, granted.  BUT I SWEAR.  It's.  Freaking.  Awesome.


This stuff is so good that I may or may not have put it in a crock pot and taken it to a party for sliders.  And accidentally forgot to mention that it was STRAIGHT from the package.  I've made my own pulled pork too and it's a definite toss up which one people liked more. 

In a pinch for dinner at home?  No prob.  This comes out of the fridge, a quick poke of a hole in the package to vent, and thirty seconds in the microwave and DING!!!  Dinner is served.  When it can be this good out of the package, I tend to wonder why I would bother to do a pulled pork in the slow cooker.  It's honestly THAT good.

But don't take my word for it.  Go get some.  Run, don't walk.  (I get mine at Target for like $7.99 and we always have enough leftover for a lunch the next day.)


Papa Murphy's.  But here's the key:  if you want home made taste, skip pizza.  It's still going to sit in your tummy like junk food (duh, it is).  BUT, switch gears and for $10 you can take home one of these beauties:

Their lasagna is AWESOME.  Again, I'm not going to cite specific times, but I will confess I may have passed it off as my own a time or five two.   Promise, it was just twice but I've considered on many other occasions.  For you other sneaks, it comes in a disposable alumninum pan wrapped in saran wrap...totally even looks homemade but more importantly it TASTES homemade.

So those are two meals that I go to in a pinch.  They're cheap, super fast and don't have the taste of restaurant food that I get tired of after a while. 

Now, since we all know there are seven days in the week, I need AT LEAST five more ideas!  Share some of your tricks with me!  Pretty please???  This could ensure that I don't cook anymore during the week and save my family from eating Eggos for dinner.

BTW -- I'm of course not receiving any compensation for these reviews.  These are totally my independent opinion and any and all tricks I shared are yours for the taking.  I'm not a big time blogger, ya'll.  Just a mom without any time.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Who me?

Looking more and more like a little boy and less of a baby.  Somebody tap the breaks around here!!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Updates from "Camp Turner"

I think it's pretty funny that I read some blogs almost daily and am disappointed when there's nothing new...yet I go two or three weeks without writing anything.  Oops.

We've pretty much just put our heads down and plowed through the past couple weeks.   There's been lots of changes and I feel like things will FINALLY calm down.  That's always asking for trouble though, right?  I mean, as soon as you think you have things under control -- BAM!--- that's usually when chaos strikes in our house. 

So...what have we been up to since Luke's party?  Well, our nanny quit.  And gave us four days notice.  Then our A/C broke and it took five days to get it fixed. Kelsey's mom came to visit to help out with Luke until we could find a replacement to watch Luke, our cable went out, we had a huuuuge lizard in the guest room (while my mother-in-law was in bed, of course, and there was a massive Godzilla gecko on the guest room ceiling!) my mom had surgery, we hired a new nanny (and it's working out great!), and we've been working like dogs.  Whew!  I got tired all over again just typing all that.  Ok, so maybe it doesn't sound like all that much but holy moly.  It was a little like summer camp between the no A/C, no TV and the outside coming inside...Camp Turner!  Hopefully, things are status quo now and we can just cruise into fall (oh please, please please bring on the fall weather...I'm so excited to pull out boots and sweaters!)

I feel like I haven't been documenting Luke's accomplishments like I should and since that's the true purpose of this 'ol blog, here goes:

From his first full day with Dawn, his new babysitter.  Seems happy to me!
He's really "talking" more:  Mama, Dadda, Bye-Bye, Baby ("BayBuh"), Meow.  It's incredible how excited we get when he even tries to mimic our pitch but doesn't get quite get the sounds out.  We think he's genius even when he fails.  I suppose that's pretty close to the definition of a parent, huh?

Luke's definitely standing on his own.  And now that he's figured out how to sit down on his own...he can even catch himself when he starts to fall!  With the darn hardwood floors throughout our house, it's a huge relief.  I just know he's going to be walking around soon though and we'll have another learning curve.  I'm ready for it.  But I'm so not.

He's a wild man in the bath tub.  Flipping onto his tummy and kicking and splashing, standing up, trying to rip the soap tray off the wall.  We usually have to tag team the tub time.  On our list this weekend is to buy one of the no-skid pads for the tub.  I told him the other day, "You and Grandma Alberta [my grandma] are going to be twins!" and I don't know what it was but he got a huge grin and laughed and laughed.  So, we'll be getting a tub mat.

But, putting his lotion and his diaper on after bathtime...FORGET IT! By the time he's clean, in jammies all cozy and ready for bed, I usually need a shower from my work out.  But overall, he loves the water and I think he just gets upset to get out of the tub.  He loves the pool too.  I hope that next summer he still loves the water this much because it's been so fun to take him to the pool all summer. 

With fall coming, we are excited to take him to a high school football game.  We're still trying to figure out how to accomplish this since most games start at 7:30 and he can barely make it to his 7:00 bedtime.  But we're determined to find a way!

We've also entered the cabinet phase.  You know, where the only thing he wants to do is pull everything out of the cabinet?  Yep, our house is constantly a wreck.  He takes everything out, puts it back in, takes it back out...over and over.  But always ends with it out.  Funny thing is that Kelsey asked me the other day if I'd ever heard of any other babies getting in the cabinets like this.  I said, "yep, I think it's kind of a phase most kids go through".  Then as if he didn't believe me, he's all "then why do they make cabinet locks?"  Oh, sweet daddy.  Because we only let him in CERTAIN cabinets...the Luke-safe ones.  Sweet, sweet, daddy...always thinking, that one!

Have a great weekend!  We are taking Luke out to dinner tonight and then he has a little friend's birthday party tomorrow.  Other than that, we'll just be maxin' and relaxin'...and sleeping sprawled out like a teenager!