Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bacon Cheddar Mashed Potatoes #KernelSeasons



I was so excited when Kernel Seasons approached me again to help with the launch of their 3 new flavors: Bacon Cheddar, Buffalo Wing and Pizza.  Not only was I excited but the kids couldn't wait to try what I was making. 

I decided to use the Bacon Cheddar seasoning in my trusty mashed potato recipe I use from Allrecipes.com with a few simple tweaks.  My kids gobbled these up and asked for seconds.  My husband said they were amazing.  Enough said.  The delicious taste of bacon and cheddar without out all the calories.  Definitely a win in my book.


Ingredients:




  • 6 Red Potatoes, washed and cubed
  • 1/2  cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup margarine/butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 capful of Kernel Seasons Bacon and Cheddar seasoning



Washed potatoes.  I don't peel them because I like the texture and additional nutritional value the skins add.



Directions:

  • Place cubed potatoes in a large pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and cook 20-25 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.  This means that the potatoes slide off the fork when pierced.




  • Drain well and put potatoes back into warm pot.
  • Add warm milk, sour cream, salt, pepper, butter and bacon cheddar seasoning.




  • Mash well (incorporating all ingredients) until light and fluffy.




I hope your family enjoys this as much as mine did!


P.S. I have another recipe I will be posting using Kernel Seasons Pizza Seasoning in the next few days.  Stay Tuned!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Berry French Toast Bake

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 loaf Italian bread cubed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flavored creamer (I used Irish Cream)
  • 3/4 cup  milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 8 oz package cream cheese softened
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup rinsed blueberries
  • 1 cup hulled and quatered strawberries
Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Beat 3 eggs into cream and milk.  Mix in cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. 
  • Pour egg mixture over bread and set aside.

  • Mix sugar into cream cheese until smooth.
  • Spray 8x8 pan with nonstick spray.
  • Fill bottom of pan with 2/3rds of bread mixture.
  • Top with 1/2 the berries.




  • Dollop cream cheese over berries.





  • Top with remining bread and finish off with remaining berries.




  • Bake for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes checking for doneness.




***Changes I would make next time would be to use the whole loaf of bread so I have more bread mixture to cover the top.  I will probably up the eggs to 4 and the milk combo to 1 1/2 cups when I add more bread.  I would also double the cream cheese mixture.  No complaints about the original finished product though.  The kids inhaled it!





Thursday, May 10, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

It's always hard when faced with a tough decision.

This past week I've had one of those lying  heavily on my mind. With everything else going on its been tough to give it the time it needs to fully weigh the pros and cons. The impact it may have in a positive or negative way on my family.

My father's sister passed away last week. I spent Sunday and Monday out of town attending the memorial and spending time with my cousin.  My mom's mom has been in the hospital for over two weeks now.  She has been getting worse instead of better. Now, my mom's sister is also in the hospital.  May has not been a good month for my family.

So the decision I needed to make had to wait. I put it off. I attempted to ignore it. All I received in return were sleepless nights with everything worrying me and weighing me down. My anxiety levels have  been up and panic attacks on the horizon.

Today I researched and asked in depth, detailed questions about the choices I had to make. The deadline was approaching fast.

This evening I am confident in the decision I finally made. There was not necessarily a right or wrong choice. However, there was a lot of grey area and opportunity for negative future impact.  I decided for my families sake to chose the option that was a guarantee.

Who knows what the future may bring but at least this way I know where I'm going and what I need to do to make it work.

Now I pray there will be no regrets. I'm 90% certain there won't be. Now to focus on the positive, move forward and make things happen.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Homework Time

Why yes....that's an ice pack on my back.  I'm hot and sweaty. And my baby is waiting patiently for me to play with her once I finish my homework.
 
Oh, and yes it looks like a tornado hit after I get home from school.


Sunday, May 06, 2012

A lot on My Mind


I'm having trouble sleeping tonight. Many things are zooming around my head and I can't make it stop.

Maybe if I blog about it I'll finally sleep.

Here goes:

1. As of tomorrow night my grandma will have been in the hospital for 2 weeks. She slipped and fell while getting into bed. My cousins convinced her to go to the hospital and she's still there.

The swelling and pain from the fall have made it difficult for her to walk. She's in her 80's. They also discovered she has a kidney infection and other problems.

To make matters worse claims of neglect were made by some family members against others that she was living with. Family drama ensued and Facebook was a disgusting free-for-all for some. I was appalled.

This has all weighed heavily especially since my family (including my parents) don't live close by. It's sad. My mom comes from a big family and 90% still live in the vicinity.

2. My Aunt passed away Monday.  My cousin called me up in tears. She didn't know who else to call. My Aunt has bern distant from everyone for years. That made it hard for my younger cousin to make and keep family connections. I found her on Facebook a few years ago and we've kept in touch ever since. Unfortunately she's also estranged from her older brother.

So, I've tried to support her the best I can from 5 hours away. It's been a mess planning my aunt's memorial.  She was cremated within days. We tracked down her brother. He's across the country and can't get the funds together to come. That's creating problems because he wants his sister to wait indefinitely on the memorial.

She's finally decided to go ahead and have it without his blessing. I'm leaving in about 6 hours to drive the 5 hours there with my dad. I need to be there for her. I think we'll be the only relatives and that's just heart wrenching. I won't let her down.

And finally,

3.  My workers comp lawyer called Friday with a settlement offer. Larger than the previous one from two weeks ago.

I don't know what to do. If I take it then my case is closed and I get no more medical.

If I keep it open hypothetically I can get bi-weekly payments as long as I'm working and make under $312/week.

I'm only 37 (38 in July).  Is it worth it to settle?  It's about the equivalent of 8/9 years of my bi-weekly payments.   I'm only working part time (approximately 20 hours/week) at $8/hour.  Is it worth it?!

I've spent the last 3 hours on google trying to find the right answer. My lawyer says I should. But he'd also be getting about $30,000 from the settlement.  I have no answer.

My heart says if I take the money I have to carefully budget it.  Can I do that properly is the question. If I don't take the settlement will something effect my payments down the line? 

I hate the uncertainty of it all. Do I go with the lawyer or my gut?  I have to decide by Tuesday. I just don't know.

And that my dear readers is why I'm still awake at 3 a.m.

***Please forgive me if everything isn't clear and coherent. I'm beyond exhausted and stressed. Thank you for taking the time to read.