From the kitchen of the casserole Queen: Venison Edition

Today marks the last day of hunting season. If you would have asked me ten years ago if I cared I would have said nope. When I met my husband I did not eat red meat or ham. Still don’t eat ham (bad ham sandwich once) It got kinda sketchy when we started eating meals together. Obviously by the title of this post he hunts so he is into eating red meat. Eventually I gave in and started eating red meat again. I even help wrap it and grind it up if necessary.  I have never participated in hunting yet. Not sure if I ever will because sitting in a stand all day isn’t up my alley. I would maybe consider it if squirrels were the animals being hunted. To me squirrels are rats with fluffy tails.

Present day I am listening to the hum of our meat grinder and loving it cause that means we will have hamburger in the freezer. It is so nice to go in the freezer and get some venison hamburger out. You are probably wondering if it has a gamey taste. It doesn’t as long as you mix it with beef when you grind it up. (We try to do half and half and we use beef roasts) I wouldn’t suggest using it for burgers on the grill but for casseroles, chili and spaghetti it is great. It is very lean too. We also cut up tenderloins and I love to use them in the crock pot. You are probably thinking “Wait you are the casserole queen what are you doing using the crock-pot?” I do like to dabble in the crock-pot and these tenderloins are wonderful after they spend some time in the crock-pot. Of course I am going to share the recipe with you but unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of the finished product. I am a blogging newbie especially with the pics 😉 Very easy recipe and it doesn’t taste gamey at all because of the ingredients.  I am also going to share a chicken casserole recipe for those that don’t like venison.

Venison Tenderloins in the Crock-Pot (I don’t have a name for it really)

1 pound tenderloin

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can french onion soup

1 can golden mushroom soup

1 can mushrooms

1 cup bread crumbs

I cut up the tenderloins (smaller than what they already are) before I put them in and then I mix everything else together including the bread crumbs. If you want to you could use fresh mushrooms. I would suggest frying them up a little before putting them in. I leave it in the crock-pot for six hours and serve it over noodles. I cook it on low because my crock-pot is crazy and it cooks everything really hot. I would try it on low first because you don’t want to lose your liquid and have tough tenderloins.  It is very good and easy to double. I have doubled the meat before and I only added an extra can of cream of mushroom.

 

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

1 package of chicken breast

1 box of wild rice

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can of mushrooms (again you can use fresh)

1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese on top

I fry my chicken first cause you know how I feel about chicken not being done 😉 While I am fryin’ that chicken up I make the wild rice according to the directions on the box. Then you can mix it all together and put your cheese on top. Once you mix the ingredients together if it looks a little dry I just add some milk. Then pop it in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes.

I hope you all enjoy these recipes as much as we do! If you add anything fun let me know so I can try 🙂

 

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Meat in the freezer 😀

 

 

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Chicken and wild rice casserole 🙂 This time I used marble cheese. Very good!

 

When mommy is sick does the world stop spinning?

You guessed it I am sick. Ugh, I absolutely positively hate being sick. I am the whiniest, most unbearable sick person ever. I was feeling a little funny yesterday but I figured it was just my lingering sinus infection. At about 3:30 this morning Avery climbed into my bed and woke me up. That’s when it all went to hell in a hand basket. My throat felt like it had razors in it and my nose was stuffed to the brim. Great. I had so much on the to do list today but now it will probably get pushed to the side. Oh did I mention Avery is getting some more teeth? I wish I could keep her mouth open long enough to count those suckers cause I would think she should be getting close to having all of them. So she is just a little cranky herself and having a fever off and on. She is still going strong at 7:50 a.m. so this is going to be a very long day.

Now as I sit and type this I am giving myself a pep talk on going to the store. Of course when I opened up the fridge I saw we are low on milk (the only thing Avery will drink) we need roasts to grind up venison (yay meat in the freezer!) and we have no cold medicine. I keep telling myself you can do this; go to the store or you will regret it. I have already mapped out my route so I can be home as soon as possible. I hope this post makes some sort of sense as my head is plugged and I keep day dreaming while writing. I took a Benadryl last night and for some reason it makes me feel like I am floating above my body. I apologize if it doesn’t and maybe I will learn my lesson and wait until I feel better to write.

I am going to say something that may be a little taboo. Doesn’t it seem like when mommy is sick life just keeps going and she better wipe her nose and throw in a cough drop and keep going. And sometimes when other people are sick they get taken care of a little more. Use your imagination for the other people I am talking about. Maybe I am just on a rant today because I don’t feel good and as I mentioned before I am kinda whiny when I am ill. Of course I don’t expect my two-year old to take care of me.

I wish I could say that I will be watching some of my fave movies today and enjoying couch time but that isn’t so. I have a toddler pulling on me and upset about her own troubles. But if I did get a couple glorious hours to indulge in movie time here are some of my top picks.

Steel Magnolias

Terms of Endearment

The Evening Star (sequel to Terms of Endearment)

Julie & Julia

It might not be a great idea to indulge in a huge cry-fest when you are ill but I would definitely risk it. I am sure these are obvious picks but I have met someone who had never seen the first two. I of course borrowed them to her asap. If you are in and out of consciousness due to being ill maybe you will only be awake during the funny parts 😉

I am hoping for a little rest tonight when husband gets home from hunting. The one thing that could make my day better is if he brings home some more meat for the freezer (and if I rejoined the world instead of floating above it)  I love having that ground venison in the freezer throughout the year. It makes meals a lot easier and cheaper. We can talk more about that later. Sorry Benadryl tangent. My coffee is starting to kick in and I am getting a small burst of hazy energy so it’s off to the store for me. (Maybe I should get a ride) Unfortunately, the world has not stopped and I have a little woman who is very upset because I didn’t hold her hand so back to reality.

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Just need a little pick me up

Mommy has one nice shirt

About 500 times a day my daughter yanks on me and my clothing.  Usually I don’t mind because I am in my uniform of sweatpants and a comfy shirt. But on days like today when I actually put a nice top on I have to drop the hammer on my dear little girl. I pretty much have one “nice” top and then some scarves to go with a plain shirt. Good thing I only have two Thanksgivings to go to. Of course it is much more fun to shop for Avery because she fits into everything and she can wear cute shirts with kittens and hearts on them. Pretty sure if I wore a shirt with a cat on it I would get picked on ruthlessly. That’s why she has way more outfits than me.

I really never planned on the destruction this girl would do to my closet. She has turned more crew neck tees into v-necks than I can count. It seems like every time I go to pull out a shirt it is totally stretched out. She can turn an innocent outing into a PG-13 movie real quick. It seems like whenever we go out in public Avery decides to pull my shirt down and expose me. She has actually yanked on my pants in my public as well.

So once again today I had to explain to Avery that I only have one nice shirt and she had to stop pulling on it. That of course was after she “did” my hair for a while. Maybe Avery will have a career in fashion someday and that it why she is transforming my wardrobe 😉

My little office girl in training ❤ Don’t even ask her how her board meeting went today 😉

 

Big girl bed and potty training; I must be crazy?

We are moving into our second week of potty training and the end of our first month in the big girl bed. The more literature I read I am understanding it is not recommended to do both at the same time. I am starting to understand why.

After many attempts of going on the big potty Sunday we had success. Not only did we have a number one but we had a number two as well. I was so excited I wanted to take a picture! (I decided against it) So Avery got a star on her potty chart, a big hug and kiss from her momma and her potty made the princess noises. Avery could have cared less. She pulled up her pants and walked away still checking her emails on her Leap Frog laptop. I didn’t let that deter me; I was on the horn telling tons of people how Avery went on the potty and what a good girl she is. Fast-forward two days and we are back on the potty. We have sat since but no dice until today. I could tell it was going to happen and I was super excited until I peeked in the bathroom; there was Avery with her laptop and a pile of poop on the floor. She had dropped her laptop so she hopped off the potty and I am assuming while she was picking it up she pooped on the floor. Ugh! I did get her back on in time for her to finish her duty on the potty. (Does that get a half star then?) I do blame myself because I should have been in there with her but of course I just wanted to finish up washing a couple of dishes and I could still see her from the kitchen so I thought that would be good enough.So again my bragging about my child totally came back to haunt me. (You would think I would learn my lesson) I guess it could have been worse and I am assuming more jobbies will end up on the floor. She did seem disturbed that her poop was on the floor so maybe she will let the laptop go next time until she is done.

The big girl bed has been going better than I thought but we have been having some hiccups. It seems like Avery likes to crawl in bed with us around 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. every other night or so. I also have a problem not falling asleep in her bed. Last night I was so tired when I put her to bed that I think I fell asleep in there. I am pretty sure I did anyway. I vaguely remember getting up and going to our bed in the middle of the night. Unless I was sleep walking or dreaming which we all know how vivid and realistic my dreams are so it could have very well been a dream. Then my worry always has to kick in. I sit and wonder “Is she still breathing” “Is she warm enough?” Then I have to go and check. After I am done shining my phone on her to see if she is breathing and tucking the blankets around her one more time; I am surprised she is still sleeping through all of my poking and prodding.

Before we started any of this business we talked about doing one at a time. We both decided on the big girl bed first because we were sick of getting pelted with tiny fists and feet every night. But then I started to realize that Avery needed to sit on that potty and I didn’t want to miss my window. She does seem “aware” that she is going potty and she does not want any of that poopy business in her diaper. I am hoping that this works out and we can just do both at the same time. I knew there would be trials and tribulations with both (especially potty training) so I better just stock up on Lysol wipes and dive in. Am I crazy? I probably am but if I can be done with diapers and get some sleep I will be a very happy crazy person 🙂

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I gave her the full star, at least she was in the vicinity of the potty 😉

Am I getting older or younger?

Lately I have been noticing that I seem a little older. I know I am but my actions, thoughts and my body are really reflecting my age. I know I am only in my thirties but lately I feel so different. Like for instance I was on a walk last night and I saw a young girl walking into a store and I thought to myself “Oh my what is she wearing?!?!” Now if you would have asked me five years ago what I thought about her outfit I probably would have said “Gosh I wish I could wear something like that.” Another example is that my skin is sooo dry. Today I put lotion on got something out of my bedroom and walked back to the bathroom and my legs felt like they were in the desert. Do you lose moisture in your thirties? Is that a thing? I might spend some time on WebMD today.

The other day I was talking to someone and they mentioned they had some pain in their knee. I said “It must be the weather my knee is bothering me too.” What the what was I saying!?!? Not that I was lying I was having some pain in my knee but I never thought the weather would control how I was feeling at this age.

There are some things that are happening that make me think the clock has been turned back. The other day I was washing my face when I noticed a small patch of black dots on my chin. They were blackheads. I haven’t had those since high school. Then there is the pimples. I really thought being a ripe old 32 I wouldn’t have to deal with blackheads and pimples anymore. If you are anything like me when you get pimples they are always in the most embarrassing places. My latest outbreak included pimples on my chin and forehead. These things had their own zip codes; there was no way I could cover them up. This is just simply not acceptable. I probably don’t take care of my face like I should so maybe this is my face punishing me. If the clock is going to turn back I would like to have the figure I had in high school not the pimples.

No one told me that in my 30’s I would look my age, feel 10 years older and still have teenager problems. At the store I am buying zit cream, Icy Hot and ibuprofen. Not a combo I would have thought would be happening. I feel like this is a really cruel trick that is being played on me and I am hoping that it stops soon. Until then I will have to try to figure it out.

Fractured Time
Is the clock moving forward or back?

 

Why would I need to look nice

This morning we have been busy getting ready because I have a Doctor’s appointment. Lately we have just been busy getting out and doing things. (I am trying to not be such a homebody) This morning while I was giving Avery a bath I realized something; there is no way I am actually going to get a shower in before we go. (Except the small one I got when I turned the water on because someone left the shower on) Lately I have been so busy getting Avery ready and cleaning the house I really have not been doing anything for myself. My hair needs to be done and I am lucky if I get any make-up on before I leave the house. I usually have good intentions but then something happens. Last week Avery decided it would be better to play in the toilet and rub her butt on her chalkboard table then it was for me to get ready. I did get my nails painted last night by some of the little’s that I watch 🙂 Not that I need to be all done up but it would be nice to leave the house without stains on my shirt and my hair a mess. Avery has started “doing” my hair. She plays with it for a while and then “checks” her work by looking me in the face and smiling. Maybe someday I will have someone do my hair that is not a toddler 😉 Don’t get me wrong when I look at Avery with her cute piggy tails, freshly bathed and a cute outfit it makes me happy to have my own little cutie to dress up. I just hope in the near future that I will have the chance to get a little fancy. Until then it will be headbands and yoga pants for me. (sigh)

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Little manicure 🙂 They told me they were licensed by the elementary school they go to.

Is this really Christmas?

I have been thinking about this post all day and I have finally gathered up the courage to write it. There have been a few of my posts that I have a small panic attack when I hit publish. I really don’t mean to offend anyone by my posts but I do try to say how I really feel. I am moonlighting at personal trainers because I didn’t want to rethink writing this anymore so I hopped off of the elliptical and here we are.With all of that being said here goes nothing.

As I watch all of the black Friday sales being released I sit back and think why in the world would I want to go out and possibly get trampled just for a gift. I have never been black Friday shopping and maybe I am just too lazy to go. The thought of hundreds of people running to get 50 t.v.’s does not appeal to me. I would rather be curled up on the couch watching White Christmas. I tried to participate in cyber Monday and ended up deleting my cart cause it took to long. Maybe I don’t have the patience. I like to save money as much as the next person but I am not going to leave the comfort of my home or my Thanksgiving dinner to go save a little cash. I also have a very big love for shopping but it ain’t gonna pull me away from that turkey.

Another piece of this Christmas puzzle that has been on my mind is the money being spent on it. Maybe it’s because funds are a little sketchy right now after some car repairs. Or maybe I have finally had enough of the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping. I have been out a couple of times already and let me tell ya it’s a jungle out there. Everyone is super crabby; employees, fellow shoppers and me. Carts are being crammed into aisles and shelves are being wiped out. Of course I want to be able to get my daughter and step-son the things they want and need but should I really go broke for it? I would never want them to feel worry about money or anything like that when they are children but should I teach them it is okay to go into debt for some toys? I am guilty of overspending in the past and going way overboard on Christmas shopping. But this year I just really don’t want to.

When I was little there were a couple of things that I looked forward to about Christmas. Of course toys was one but I also looked forward to seeing all of my cousins and the Christmas eve program at my church. I loved getting all dressed up, doing the program and the candlelit service. After church we would get brown paper bags with popcorn balls, peanuts and some other candy. I loved getting that bag. If you asked me today what I got for Christmas when I was five I wouldn’t have a clue but I still remember sitting in that church and enjoying that service.

To me Christmas is about family and of course the big reason for the season. I don’t make it to church every Sunday and I probably don’t go as much as I should but I want my daughter to know what Christmas is about. It’s not about spending your whole paycheck and maxing out your credit cards. It’s about celebrating a very important Birthday and spending it with those you love. To me that is really Christmas.

Casserole Queen: I <3 Corn Edition

With winter weather upon us in Wisconsin I have been whipping up some more casseroles and I would love to share these two with you. The first one is an easy weeknight meal and the second is easy but it’s more for a weekend meal because of the bake time. Unless you are one of those lucky people who gets done with work in the early afternoon 🙂 I also wanted to share my love of corn. Best vegetable ever!! It is always a bonus when I get to add corn to my casseroles.

The first is Corn Casserole. I just love this one, it is so easy and you usually have leftovers because it makes so much. Just always remember to put the corn in. One time husband was nice enough to make supper and he made this recipe. He forgot to put the corn in. I was having a bad day and when I discovered there wasn’t any corn in the casserole I may have overreacted. I said “You forgot the corn?!?!” “It’s called CORN Casserole!!” Needless to say I still get picked on for my little outburst 😉

Corn Casserole

1 pound hamburger

1 package cream cheese

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can corn (or half package of frozen corn)

1/2 package Elbow Macaroni (you can easily add a little more if you would like)

1 cup milk

Top with bread crumbs

Brown hamburger and boil noodles. While this is happening I soften my cream cheese and mix my other ingredients together minus the bread crumbs. I always soften my cream cheese because if I don’t I feel like my arm is going to fall off when I mix it in. You can butter your bread crumbs if you would like. I am a little too lazy to do that but I imagine it would be very good 🙂 After the hamburger and noodles are ready you can mix everything together and sprinkle the bread crumbs on top. I put this in a 9×13 pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350.

Hamburger Bake

1 pound hamburger

6 potatoes

1 can vegetable beef soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

That’s it 🙂

Peel and cut up your potatoes and lay them out in your casserole pan. (Do not boil them) Next break up your uncooked hamburger onto the potatoes. Then spread both soups over the hamburger and bake for two hours at 350. (You can check it at 1 1/2 hours) When it’s done it tastes like it was in the crock pot all day. I of course add corn but you could do so much more with this recipe if you want to. Sorry I don’t have a picture of this one 😦 Use caution when buying beef vegetable soup. One time I bought vegetable soup with alphabet noodles and didn’t realize it until I found an A on my plate 😉

I hope you enjoy these if you try them!! If you add anything fun or have any suggestions let me know!

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Corn casserole before
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Corn casserole after

Potty Time

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Ready to go 😉

You guessed it today is the day; we are starting potty training. We have been preparing for months. We got a potty chair tons of cute underwear, pull-ups and a Elmo DVD. I probably should have had her on the potty a long time ago but I didn’t. Call it lazy or stupid but I pushed it to the side until today.

I have been really thinking about it for a couple of weeks now and my decision was made this morning in the form of a diaper change. If you don’t like talking or reading about bowel movements maybe you should skip this one. I promise I won’t get too graphic. Anyway back to this morning. Avery was playing in our room off of the living room. It was supposed to be a place for our desk, husbands hunting stuff and just a odds and ends kinda room. It has become Avery’s toy room. I walked in there to see what she was up to when I got a whiff of what she was doing. OMG have you ever looked in your kids diaper and thought this belongs in a toilet? I did today. So upstairs I went to retrieve her potty chair and pull-ups.

Avery has been playing with this chair for a long time. It has a little button that you push when they actually go and it makes little princess noises. Not really sure how else to describe the noises. It’s a princess potty chair. Of course the button is exposed so she has been pressing it. She has also been showing what I think are signs of being ready. She is “aware” that she is going to the bathroom or at least I think so. She runs off and hides when she has to do a jobbie and you better not follow her. If you do you get the “glare”; she likes to have a little peace and quiet 😉

My biggest dilemma so far is I can’t decide whether to put her in pull-ups or just start with underwear. She really doesn’t care to wear diapers anymore; so I am thinking maybe if I put her underwear on she will do better. Another problem is our main bathroom is upstairs. You are probably thinking just put her in the downstairs bathroom dummy. Well the problem with that is the bathroom is extremely small. There is enough space to turn around and that is about it. I really don’t think the chair will even fit in there. This potty training thing is all new to me so any tips or advice are welcomed. I hear the “princess sounds” of the potty chair so we better get started. Wish us luck!!