School 1 week...check!

I know I know this isn't a true WIUW but we are going for this anyway today!

My life seriously flies by way too fast!  And I know that I'm not taking enough time to really enjoy my kids and everything we have going on. Sometimes it is just going through the motions (which really means just running from one activity to another and another and another so on).  So here is a perfect example.  My big kids have already been in school a full week!  And my little one had her first day of preschool yesterday.  And the baby well we have a few years!  You may not want to go through all of this but maybe some of you can relate and maybe others of you are much better mothers that say "no" and don't get too bogged down with activities.

Here's a list of what our week has been for the first week:
Wed.  School, karate, football practice
Thurs. School, check out for Dr. appts, 10 year old birthday, karate, preschool open house, scout pack meeting
Fri. school, play with friends, (which somehow resulted in a beach / lake area in the sand pit in the back yard), football practice
Sat. football game, 1st volleyball practice, several runs to the DI, and a clean garage!
Sun. Church, my normal sunday drive with the Hubs!, birthday dinner-cake and ice cream with family for the 10 yr old
Mon. school, karate, football practice
Tues. school, 1st day of preschool, piano lessons, 1 on 1 football practice with grandpa, volleyball practice
Wed. school / preschool, another check out for dentist appts., scouts, football practice
rinse repeat and do all over again.

Is anyone with me here or do I need to really hear "Just say no"

So see that is why sometimes I have a hard time really enjoying and living in the now.  However this week I have also been much better about reading to my kids and Dad has even sat down with us a few times its been great. Kids have not been getting to bed as early as I'd like but they seem happy and we are having a great time.  So you win some you lose some.

Okay I know serious tangent but I promise this post involves food and it actually deals with school too so now we are ready right?

Do you have any 1st day of school traditions?

For the last several years on the 1st day of school we have a little bus stop breakfast.  It really helps that there are 10-12 kids at our stop.  So we all go out early and pump the kids with some sugar before we send them off on their first day of school.  And everyone loves it!!

Here are some of the pics of what we have going on....

This is what everyone loves
Homemade doughnuts!

Homemade cinnamon rolls
We also had fruit and juice, milk etc.  but really who wants that when all this WARM goodness is around.  I totally snag a couple doughnuts for myself every year!  I just can't help myself!  It's also a little hard to get mad when you find the kids sneaking extras...
His comment is "what I haven't had breakfast yet I can't go to school hungry"
There was more of this cheesy grin every where I went

Oh and the modeling poses where's the runway
Did you see we even have a couple of dads (the blonde one's mine!) that come join in the fun.
Then the moment we've all been waiting for ...
The bus of course.
They all choose to ride and of course 1/2 the moms follow because we then have to get shots at school too (Yes I'm one of those moms and one day I may scrapbook with them too).

So that's a run down of our tradition on the 1st day of school.  What do you have going on?  I know lots of you started on Monday and yet there are still some of you that haven't started yet so here's an idea for you if not!


WIUW: Cake Mix Cinnamon Rolls!

Now go back and read the name of these cinnamon rolls again! Don't you just love it! Yes! It really uses a Cake Mix! Well If you are reading this then You might be like me looking for some quick and easy yummy breakfasts to make for your back to school kids (Naoni's kids start today! I'm kind of jealous we don't go back until after labor day.)

Ok, so no doubt you've obviously figured out our first ingredient... Now lets give you the rest!

1 white or yellow cake mix
2 pkg yeast
1 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups hot water
3 cups flour
butter to taste
cinnamon to taste
sugar to taste

Ohmygosh! I just realized that there are eggs in the picture and NOPE this recipe does not call for eggs!! Oops sorry my bad!

combine the first 4 ingredients, mix well.

Add 2 1/4 cups of hot water. Mix.

Add 3 cups flour and knead (yes knead you'll have to take your rings off and use your hands its the only way! Trust me!) Once your done it should look something like this:

Now let rise until double in size.....I let mine rise for about 45 minutes and it looked like this hope you can see the difference:

Now take your dough and roll it out into a large rectangle shape (I had sprinkled a little bit of flour on my surface, but I'm not sure you would even need it?!)

Now melt butter and spread onto dough (I used 1/4 cup) Then sprinkle your desired amount of sugar and cinnamon


Now roll up your dough

Now cut into 1 - 1 1/2 in slices and place on pan and let rise until double it's size

While you are waiting for your rolls to rise pre heat oven to 350 degrees (I let my pan of rolls sit on the stove top to help them rise faster!)

Once your rolls have doubled in size place them in your oven and bake for 20 min

While your rolls are baking you could make up a quick frosting I just used:
1/4 c butter melted
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
dash of salt
 then add powder sugar until it reaches the consistency you want (You'll want it a little thinner than normal frosting)

You might wanna let your rolls cool off a little more than I did I got a little carried away with all of the icing but come on doesn't it look yummy?????

So my kids aren't actually dressed and ready for school (Hee hee it's almost 10 at night here! we're all about ready for bed I hope! PS the boy in the middle is part of our extended family....not my son by birth but by friendship to my son and has been with us most of the summer!)

Well I hope you all enjoy your cake mix cinnamon rolls! I have a kitchen to go clean!


Banana Muffins WIUW

With school getting ready to start soon… (agghhh I know bite your tongue right!) Wow has summer flown by as much for everyone else like it has for us? Really I’m not sure where it’s gone!  We have one week until school starts.  I can’t believe it.  So I’ve been talking with my kids about what they want to take for lunches this year.  They get so bored with PB&J so we are going to try and mix it up more this year and they came up with some great ideas.

I decided that I’d work on getting some new breakfast items to try out for school this year too so this is today’s WIUW Banana oatmeal muffins.
Banana Oatmeal Muffins
And would you believe I found it on Pinterest? here is the link.  Also it helped that we had breakfast for dinner so it went well with our dinner. 

And yep of course it was easy.  I’ve never made batter in the blender but wow I’m totally sold.  Pour everything in the blender mix until smooth and pour into the muffin pan.  My favorite was just pouring no scooping out the batter so quick and clean!  Yep that’s my style!

Here you go!
2 ½ C Old fashioned oats (not quick)
1 single serving cup of plain low fat greek yogurt
2 eggs
¾ C sugar – or sweetener of choice – (could use 2Tbs stevia)
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2 bananas

* Makes 12 Muffins
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Do not use paper liners.  Either spray the pan or use silicone or foil liners (or – now is the time to look into a silicone pan. Yep I’ll be looking into that soon)

Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until oats are smooth.
Pour into muffin pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
And test on your would be consumers!
Mine totally passed!  Yahoo!  Here’s to one new breakfast for school days.  Throw in a side of fruit, some juice, maybe some yogurt. Yay not cold cereal everyday!  (as a total side note I NEVER get a fun pic of all of my kids! yes one is still missing-she was in the high chair out of the pic but still messy hair end of day this is one of my new favorite pics)

So when do you start school?  I know some have already.


Cream Cheese Chicken  #WIUW

Warning! My family loves, loves, loves this! And I'm hoping your family will too! And of course because it's me posting this week and not my sister Naoni you'll notice that once again we're going to be using your crock pot (Hey it is really hot this summer in WI, and I love not heating up the whole kitchen!) And You'll also notice we are using only about 5 ingredients! (2 more than I usually use!) Just kidding! But you get the idea I really go for those quick n easy recipes!!

So Lets get started! Turn your crock pot on high!

1/2 c butter
1 envelope Italian Salad dressing mix
1  10.75 oz can cream of chicken soup
1  8 oz pkg. cream cheese.
2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 in strips (Sorry not pictured)

Place butter in bottom of crock pot and melt.

Once your butter is melted stir in your Italian dressing mix.  then place your chicken in the butter mixture and stir well. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, until chicken is cooked. 

Once chicken is fully cooked remove the chicken (Place on a plate). Add soup and cream cheese to the liquid in the crock pot. Stir to melt and mix well, until smooth and creamy. Now place cut up cooked chicken back into crock pot, stir and mix well, (Sorry for the terrible picture!)

 you may now serve over , egg noodles, rice or mashes potatoes (my family prefers noodles!)

I have heard that there is a lot of different ways to make Cream Cheese Chicken please share if you do something different!



Summer Salad WIUW

Well if you like summer salads you have to try this week's WIUW.  Its fresh, its light, its perfect for summer its one you have to try.

See look at these ingredients doesn't is just scream to you?? Really can you imagine mixing up avocados, mangoes, green onion, tomatoes (I totally didn't get them in the pic oops) and cilantro mix this with one of my new favorite foods - Quinoa - Really have you had quinoa before? Oh you have to try it!  Oh and don't forget the yummy lime dressing...

Well shall we begin?!
Okay first see doesn't this scream yummy fresh summer?

Black Quinoa Salad w/Mango, Avocado & Tomatoes
 (I'm always looking for fresh quinoa salads so I was so excited to have this one it is for sure a fav!)
Here's the ingredient list
1 C. uncooked black quinoa (I used Red, but white is also great too)
2 C water
Pinch of salt

1 large mango diced
2 large tomatoes diced
3 green onions sliced
1/2 C chopped cilantro
2 medium avocados, diced
1/4 C fresh lime juice
1 TBS olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Rinse the quinoa then add water, quinoa and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over meduim heat.  Boil for 5 min.  Turn heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes or until water is absorbed.  Remove from heat fluff with fork and let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl combine quinoa, mango, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, avocados.
In a small bowl mix lime juice, olive oil and cumin.  Pour dressing over salad and stir until combined.  Season with salt and pepper.
Oh how I love this one!  I made this for a fun Olympic party with neighbors and there wasn't any left and I only got a small amount but I can eat this as the meal so guess what I made twice this last weekend.  Yep it's that good!

Are you enjoying all of the olympics?  My favorite so far has been to watch it with my little girl she is so happy to sit and soak it all in with me!