Kid Tested, Mother Approved-FOOD!

Hello Friends!  So I thought it had been a bit since we have talked food!  Out weather here in Wisconsin has been all over the board!  We were at 50 earlier this week and today I think we have a high of 24!  I know we are so ready for spring heck I’m ok with jumping straight to Summer!  I thought I would share some recent recipes we have made that have received thumbs up by the two biggest critics in our house and if you have kids I’m sure you agree.  If the kids like what you cook it can make dinner more enjoyable!  I will also mention we did do “Hello Fresh” for a few months and absolutely loved the variety and the quantity was perfect.  It got me out of my funk of feeling like I was cooking the same things each week.  Plus, it had all of us trying new things and again the kids really liked I would say 98% of the dinners we made.  So if you haven’t tried it I would recommend it as I think they are still offering a first week free.

Let’s talk soup as Joe loves soup and I like making them for a few reasons.  Many times the recipe makes enough to freeze and have another meal next month.  The Chicken Tortilla Soup was the first recent one I tried.  Everyone enjoyed it we added Frito’s to it as well as cheese and Joe and I added jalapeños!  It was filling and there was an entire second meal to freeze with the left overs!

Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup was the next soup we made!  I honestly had no intentions of making this soup but realized I had to bell peppers in my fridge that were about to be expired.  I hate when I buy food and forget about it or why I bought as I’m sure I saw a recipe I wanted to try.  But then life happens and there went that idea!  This soup wasn’t an all day process it took me about an hour and a half from start to finish as it simmers for 30 minutes.  Joe loved this soup as he said when we have stuffed peppers they can be a pain and sometimes there is more bell pepper than you want and not enough filling.  With it in soup form you decide the balance.  Flavors of this recipe were good we added cheese.  The kids aren’t big bell pepper fans so they ate the filling only.  Which I am fine with as they ate what I made and a side of bread with butter.  We are a big dipping family so bread and butter is often on the table at dinner time!  This one had leftovers too but I decided to enjoy this for lunch for a few days as to freezing.

For those of you that aren’t in soup mode I recommend trying Potato Chip-Crusted Spicy Macaroni and Cheese.  We love a little spice in our life so I knew this would be a hit.  S is the only one that prefers things a little more bland so I didn’t put as much jalapeños in but still but a good amount.  You can always add spice but can’t remove.  This was a quick recipe and again all the ingredients were on hand.  The portion of this was maybe more enough for a family of 6.  Or of 4 with kids that have larger appetites.  This too was lunch for me for a few days.  I will also say I’m not a macaroni leftover kind of person.  I just think something happens when they get cold that just doesn’t make them work the day after.  But I think there is enough going on with this recipe that I was happy to eat it as leftovers.

Last is the recipe that I LOVED but I am a goat cheese fan.  The creamy deliciousness of this cheese is just so good to me.  Joe is not a huge fan of goat cheese he’s definitely the less adventuress, more traditional one when it comes to food.  But I will say he did have two servings so you decide how much he really didn’t like it…I think he secretly loved it.  Ok so the recipe is One Pot Chicken Rosemary Goat Cheese Pasta.  Oh ya I am not a huge rosemary person so I eyed my portion as in everything but know I did a bit less than recommended.  Yes, all the magic happens in one pot who doesn’t love this?  After a good meal who wants to be doing a ton of dishes?!  Not this girl!

Ok well here are a few recipes to get you warmed up!  Have a fantastic weekend and until we meet again, cheers!🍻

Bread, Muffins, and Dinner OH MY!

Hello Everyone!  Well per my last post it’s been crazy around here as furniture refinishing has been going on daily.  But I actually have been doing other things!  COOKING!  I know, I know we all cook but due to the fact that I have let grocery shopping get away from me I’ve had to get resourceful.  By this I mean open the fridge and pantry and work with what you have!

First up I’m sharing my newest and favorite addiction making my own bread!  I had a great conversation with my uncle a few months ago.  He shared that he was making his own bread!  I was intrigued as I’ve always had an interest in this but one I don’t own a bread maker and two kneading is a pain the you know what!  So first things first he said there are no machines and no kneading!  WHAT?!  He now had my attention and supplies for the basic recipe are minimal.  He shared with me the Jim Lahey method of bread making.  So I borrowed the book he had given to my mom and read.  I couldn’t wait to try it out.  Problem was I didn’t have a cast iron pot…hmmmm!  Mom always has the necessary supplies for my random needs.  She finally said I could borrow hers as long as I returned it! My first go at it I burned the bread but out of curiosity I cut it in half.  It was super soft and delicious.  So I didn’t give up I prepped my next loaf.  Using bread flour, active yeast, salt and water you drop it all in a bowl give it a quick mix and cover it.  Now’s the trick WAITING & WAITING & WAITING some more.  EIGHTEEN hours to be exact.  Which I just set my phone timer.  Then you remove it and place it onto a floured cloth (lint free) form the dough by tucking then cover it for two hours.  Thirty minutes prior to this rise completing you start the oven once ready you warm your cast iron pot then it’s time to bake the bread!  Here’s the quick part!! Thirty minutes with lid on then they say twenty-thirty lid off.  This is where I had my issue, my oven runs very hot so for me six minutes with the lid off is perfect!  I’ve now made fives loaves and looking forward to my next one being with kalamata olives!  Would eventually like to do as my uncle not purchase store bought bread and use all homemade.  As the cost is minimal and really it takes no time just patience.  So if you are considering baking your own bread I strongly recommend the Jim Lahey No Knead Method!!

Next is these delicious little breakfast muffins that were all gone within 24 hours of making!  If that says anything for how they taste I suggest you get in the pantry.  This recipe was one I found on pinterest the only problem I had was I was out of milk.  So what does one do?  Well I grabbed the heavy whipping cream I mean heavy whipping cream makes everything delicious if you ask me!  I also used whole wheat flour as to white flour. Then I started not paying attention to the recipe just the ingredients (which I never do being a baker).  Putting all ingredients in and mixing.  It seemed thick and lumpy like cookie dough.  Hmm didn’t expect that!  Oh well three scoops per muffin and into the oven they went.  Out came some delicious cinnamon and sugar muffins!  I hadn’t even put the topping on yet and they were great!  once I rolled them in some butter and cinnamon and sugar mixture they went from great to phenomenal!  I typically don’t recommend many substitutes who am I kidding lately I’m substituting up the wahzoo!


Next is a great little dinner that everyone enjoyed!  I had a breast and a half of chicken left from the three pack I purchased and had no idea what I was going to do with it.  Then I remembered I wanted to try these mini pot pies.  I boiled the chicken while the kids ate breakfast.  Then shredded it put in a bowl and put in the fridge.  Grabbed the bag of frozen vegetables out and put them in the sink to thaw.  We ran out the door doing the days plans.  Several hours later we got home and I grabbed the crescent rolls out of the fridge, the now thawed veggies and shredded chicken.  Then I looked at the recipe…once again crap I didn’t have any garlic and herb soup?!  Never had seen it to be honest.  So cream of chicken it was and I added a pinch of garlic salt, pepper, and I believe Italian seasoning a pinch of that mixed with chicken, thawed veggies viola I had my pot pie insides!  Rolled out the crescent rolls placed them in the muffin tins.  Which I’ll be honest the crescent rolls didn’t work so great so I ended up using a roll of pizza dough I had.  I know random but I had it and thought why not.  That worked much better!  Stuck them in the oven and once ready added a sprinkle of pepper and served.  I ended up having six extras to put in the fridge and ten that I bagged and froze.  I have no idea how they will be when I defrost so stay tuned.  The important thing here was the KIDS loved them.  I think because they were just their size.  S is on a broccoli kick too so she was happy they were loaded with this!  I will also say I likely would not have this much left over but Joe wasn’t home for dinner hence the abundance left over!


Ok so there are my food shares for this week!  If you have done any great recipes lately please share as I love to try new things!  Another thing to remember just because you are out of one of the ingredients doesn’t mean you can’t make it.  Get creative I always say the pizza delivery never messes up if it comes out horrific!

Have a great rest of your day!  Cheers!

Lisenby Week in Review

Good Morning and Happy Friday Followers!

This week has been all over the board for me as far as having any sense of what day or time it is!  Ugh I hate when this happens as I like to be in control of just about every aspect of my life; I know I need to chill a bit but it’s me.  So when I’m freaking at Joe about running late, garbage going out, house being a mess when friends are coming for dinner, blah, blah, blah (I’m sure this is all he heard the whole time) and he responds with IT’S WEDNESDAY! NOT THURSDAY! ARGH! That freaking just spins me as then I’m like oh crap and FANTASTIC as the same time!  A slight apology is given to the clearly brains behind our operation aka Joe and we move on with the day!  So here I am Friday and just connecting.

Not sure if I shared but next week K turns 4!  I know first I’m seriously not old enough to have a 4 and 5 year old!!! LOL! Second when the heck did this happen and how did March creep up on me so fast!  As we have discussed I LOVE birthdays I think they are just a great day to make someone know how special they are to those around them.  WELL…I totally forgot his special day was so soon so guess what we are celebrating at the same place we had S’s party!  With how crazy last month was time just got away from me😟 I have known how he wanted a Lego party for some time but to do all the details and get entertainment I just don’t have the time to feel it would be a success.  Joe said the kids loved S’s party let’s just make it easy on everyone.  So I am still going to do a Lego cake for him and he asked for Lego and Minion cupcakes to take to school.  I found a really cute print out for Lego invites for free (see below).  We will do goodie bags keeping in Lego theme.  I also found a cute print out of a Lego man that I’m going to do on the birthday boys shirt!  So yes, 2016 so far has started with two toddlers sick multiple times and having the EASIEST birthday parties you can think of to date.  You know what?  I’m am totally good with this I’m realizing I’m not super woman and life happens.  We can’t always maybe do exactly as we plan but that’s ok!  So we will celebrate the weekend after again another deep breath as I couldn’t get invites out with only a week and a half until his party.  I just didn’t think that was good party invite etiquette?!  That’s just me!  So I will share a few pics when K’s big day arrives!  For now here is the invite and link so you can use!  I did mine out of primary color construction paper and the inside paper I used cardstock  so these cost ZERO!  I appreciate hubpages for sharing and allowing the use!

Let’s chat about food quick as I don’t think we’ve gone there in a week!  So this week dinner along with everything else has been shot!  But a recipe I have done and everyone enjoyed was a ground turkey taco skillet!  We had a cousin sleepover and I realized I hadn’t really planned for dinner so I pulled this recipe out of my “Food” board on Pinterest quick. My kids love when we have taco’s as as to having them in tortillas I buy scoop style chips and spoon a bit into each.  Yes some may say this isn’t the healthiest but let’s discuss healthy for a minute!  Is having your child not eat any dinner and being a grazer on snacks throughout the day healthy either?  I think this is a choose your battles and provide sufficient amounts of healthy items within the meal this then counters the “unhealthy” item on the plate; what do you think?  So this recipe has ground turkey, corn, and brown rice as well as other ingredients.  I also give the kids an applesauce cup to have as I’m preparing their nacho’s and a glass of milk.  For this recipe itself I was out of salsa as well as lettuce so we did without.  My nephew and S loved them; actually had seconds!  I typically do 6-8 chips on their plate.  K on the other hand he didn’t like his corn warm so yes I picked it off.  He then ate his plate as well!  The recipe does call for green chiles I did have the 4oz container when I prepared and once the kids were served I added the remainder for Joe and I.  So if you have a picky eater but they love a good chip I absolutely say try this route!

On to Joe I have promised to share an update of all that has kept him out of the house…some call it a J-O-B!  Joe does not refer to what he does as work.  He is a firm believer if you do what you love its not work at all.  So he has completed some really fantastic projects recently.

Including a 1846 farmhouse restoration project using all original materials and erecting a new traditional firebox!  The homeowner also had him do restoration tuck pointing on inside walls.

He is also in the final stages of finishing up a new build home that he has used a total of 180 tons of stone on!  Which in layman’s terms is the outside of the home, built-ins in the great room, a powder room, six fireplaces with floor to ceiling stone and a roof terrace!

He recently completed a phase of a home remodel!  This client is huge fan of nautical so he wanted a 650 gallon saltwater tank built into the wall!  Joe loves these types of requests!  He currently is finishing up the homeowners spa and designing his wine cellar!  Pictures to come soon!

So these are just a few things Joe has been focusing on…I honestly could share for pages all he has going and has currently completed but this gives you an idea of the passion he has for the work he does!  I’m updating our houzz page often so please do follow us there!

Well the weekend is here so make it a great one!  I look forward to the kids finishing up their spring crafts and sharing VERY soon!  Cheers



Lisenby Week In Review!

Hello Everyone,

I hope your week has been great!  The weather has been beautiful here over the past few days which has helped with the mood of life these days!  Getting outside for a great run, start of some painting projects and the kids enjoying the fresh air and their playhouse again.  Signs of spring can put anyone in a better mood!

Unfortunately, S has come down with THE FLU!  I was just discussing with my mom how I’m pretty sure my family has been sick the ENTIRE year so far.  S has been hit pretty hard as she hasn’t gotten off the couch since Friday morning.  Today is the first day fingers crossed we have been vomit free.  I know TMI but there really isn’t an easy way to share the joys of the flu.  I’m hoping we can get back up and running by this evening as I hate to see her miss school but I also hate to have her bring the bug to the classroom.  Let’s talk about more exciting news!  What do you think?


Let’s talk food first as we haven’t shared any history making recipes recently!  I think today is the perfect day to talk about two delicious dinners I made so far this week!  I am loving when I try a new recipe and it is a hit by everyone in the house.  I know I have said this before but I am a firm believer that if you have your kids help you in the kitchen they will eat what they have made until their tummies are full.  The other thing I’m finding especially with K is that he loves to smell and try each item as we are adding them.  Then trying the final product tasting how it all came together makes him sooo happy!  So up first we made Grilled Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa.  Earlier in the day S had wanted mashed potatoes so we whipped (no pun intended) these up to go with it.  This dinner was light before we added the potatoes 😂.  The kids absolutely loved this chicken they had the salsa on the side so it played the role of their vegetable.  Imagine this S didn’t touch the mashed potatoes.  She said they were disgusting…Joe ate four servings and K had two so I guess as it goes different strokes for different folks!  Any who, I absolutely would recommend this as a weeknight dinner.  It is also a great getting the kids involved as we are only teaching them skills that will benefit them now and later!  The next dinner I’m excited to share was that of Skinny Lasagna Rolls.  I was hesitant on this one more so of how it would go over for my meat and potatoes husband then anyone else.  This is a vegetarian dinner at least I made it that way as the sauce I used was also a vegetable pasta sauce.  The kids well S was iffy on this one but ended up eating enough to get her dessert and lately I’ll take it.  I must have said it a few times as she is completely under the impression that you don’t know if you like something until you have tried it at least eight times.  So this gives me seven more times to prove to her she likes spinach! LOL!  This would be so easy for a busy mom to whip up while the kids are eating breakfast cover and put in the fridge so it’s ready to pop in the oven when you get home!  The longest part was making the noodles so 12 minutes but within that time I mixed up the filling.  You could even make the filling the night before and make noodles when you get home.  So here you have it two pretty healthy and quick dinner recipes!

Now after we have filled our bellies with delicious food we have to mention that great thing called exercise!  A year ago I wouldn’t catch myself typing the word let alone doing the actual act.  Well I started my new me journey on the 2nd of January of this year.  I completed Jillian Michaels “Ripped in 30” about a week ago.  I did do a few of the weeks for two weeks as it felt right.  After completing her workout I researched other programs to do at home.  I have been still running but typically I can only get out twice a week:( I wanted something that would continue to challenge me but I also didn’t want to spend a ton on a program.  The program that I have started is Fitness Blender.  I’m doing it via youtube which is great as I actually set myself up in my office as you can do with no equipment but since I’m on marble I use my yoga mat and I add my weights so items that cost little $7 to be exact as my mat I got at Five Below and my weights I bought at the Goodwill!  Fitness Blender is free with PLENTY of workouts and challenges to do.  So for all of you still sticking to your new year new you commitment I strongly suggest checking out Fitness Blender! (I was not paid for promoting any of this either)  Here are a few shots as I am still doing my daily pics and sharing them to be held accountable.

WE ALMOST FORGOT!  Valentines celebrations and MY BIRTHDAY also happened this past week!  With the passing of my grandma last week honestly was kind of a blur. S & K were also fighting the flu so celebrating wasn’t a priority but when you have toddlers you have to put your focus on them and making it special.  So here are a few pictures of how we celebrated.  The kids made banana bread just before the weekend to enjoy for the holiday! On Sunday we made cookie cutter bird seed hangings as we are soooo ready for spring! Sid and I created her Valentines day box and last I did a variety of things from lax and mimosa’s for the morning of my birthday to oysters and Rum Chata for a birthday dinner celebration!  There were a few fun things in between too including phone and text messages throughout the day and fun gifts of flowers, running gear and of course Starbucks!  The best gift I received had to be that from S & K!  They went and picked out cards for me and filled them out themselves.  They were super sweet and were honestly all I needed to make my day great!

I have so much more to share but think I will stop where I am!  I’m looking forward to sharing some of Joe’s recent work accomplishments in my next post and a few fun crafts I have been working on!  Have a wonderful day!  Cheers🍻


Lisenby Week In Review

Hello Friends!

I hope you are all having a great week!  It’s like once the kids got healthy it’s been a game of catch up on EVERYTHING!  Guess what I am still not caught up!  My house for starters needs a permanent housekeeper.  Joe called Monday letting me know a client would be coming to see the house at 2pm…this gave me two hours to have the main floor spotless or show ready as he says!  My dishwasher always seems to be blinking saying please empty me!  My office is a war zone; if you know me this is a struggle.  I have a slight 😉 case of OCD.  So this is a struggle but sometimes you just have to close the door and say filing, bills, and all other paperwork we will talk VERY soon!  Then there is the “L” word no I’m not talking about the warm and cozy word LOVE!  I have no love for the chore of doing laundry!  The first of the year I committed myself to doing a load a day to avoid the Sunday 15 load day.  Well I make my own detergent and last Wednesday I ran out!!!! So it sat and sat some more than I was able to make more on Sunday so today I’m ALMOST caught up!  Did I mention I’m trying to squeeze working out in to my daily routine?  Yes, I have been sticking to it; I’m shocked too!  Oh yeah and there are two little crazy children running around demanding just about anything and everything from me!  You know feed me, let’s make valentines, help me in the bathroom, MOM, MOM, MOM!  Where did they come from!LOL Then there are the crafts that need to be finished so I can get them to the shop mom and I have stuff at to make some moola!  So guess what this is bumped to the top!  Don’t worry the kids were fed and bathed!  And here I am blabbing to you about this. You are probably laughing but thinking isn’t this every mothers life!  It is I just needed to share!!

So our adorable bunny projects have been brought to the shop in time for Spring/Easter sales!  I love the fact that the shop Simply Marvelous here in Wisconsin has allowed us to expand what we bring in as we started with our furniture and now the owner has our seasonal items.  These particular seasonal items are really the only ones she will have for guests to choose from!  Which is great for us plus if you ask me they turned out so cute they are all any home needs.  Ok maybe a great wreath on your door too!

Last week I didn’t share details about our little princesses birthday!  Yes, the one of two above that is constantly needing things:) Ms. S turned 5 and as I shared we ended up having her birthday at an indoor amusement center.  We had 17 kids of varying ages so this location did seem to be very appropriate even though I was hesitant.  I will also say having no mess to clean up was FABULOUS!  The one thing I did do for her day was make her cake.  Since we were at a location we really did away with a theme except for this and her goodie bags.  She loves Littlest Pet Shop so she wanted that as her cake theme.  I ended up doing red velvet cake for one level, chocolate/white for the second and third with buttercream frosting and marshmallow frosting!  For goodies bags I struggled as I hate to just say here is a bag of sugar go drive your parents up the wall!  Again, not being able to do too much else as we were not at home I wanted to make them special.  So we for the girls we did puzzles, the surprise package with a pet shop pet, 3 pieces of candy.  For the boys we ended up doing teenage mutant ninja turtles as LPS doesn’t really offer a boy per-say surprise package.  We did TMNT puzzles, TMNT mini lego’s and 3 pieces of candy.  The older boys we gave them WWE playing cards and also gave them tickets to do bumper cars!  Overall, I think everyone had a great time!

Ok so as promised we need to discuss some good eats over this past week!  There have been a few but the best and HIGHLY recommended one is going to be a pulled pork recipe! I did get this via Pinterest and I am so glad I did because it was amazing.  A few little side notes!  This is a plan ahead dinner as it is a slow roasting one which means prepping dry rubs and brining for at least 24 hours.  It is so worth it!  Also, she recommends using a disposable roasting pan.  I used mine and if you remember from above my dishwasher issues and catching up…well yeah this soaked for two days after as it was caked!  So do yourself the favor and grab a roasting pan they sell them at the dollar tree!  Or foil line your roasting pan.  Lastly, this recipe does not need any sauce but I know that some people have to have a sauce for EVERYTHING!  This was good with a honey bbq but again no sauce is needed.  There is a little kick to it!  The kids did not enjoy this but I’m sure if less spice they would have.  With these I also made baked french fries which yes the kids ate and asked for seconds!  Again, not planning well I had to juggle cooking these at a high temp while the pork was at very low temp but it all worked out.  So next time I will start my pork first thing in the morning as it takes all day this way I can take it out to rest while I make the fries!  So here you are, enjoy!!  Thank you to those that posted for us to enjoy as well.

Well, I’m off to empty the dishwasher and fold my 368th load of laundry for the week! Lol!  Have a great rest of your evening.  Cheers!

Let’s Talk Food

Hello Friends!
I am completely exhausted after this weekend as Ms. S turned 5!  But I had to share some delicious recipes as last week was the first time I scored a thumbs up four days in a row from both Joe and the kids on dinners!  This NEVER happens in our house.  Its often a thanks but no thanks from Joe.  In my defense he is usually not eating what I make when it is done.  As he doesn’t get home at that time so he is re-heating and honestly nothing looks that great re-heated!  So in keeping this short and sweet so you can quickly do your grocery list and have your meals set for this week here we go!  I will mention all of these started at Pinterest but I tweaked a bit which I am making note of for you!

Let’s start with Day 1 where we had Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili!  This recipe was sooo easy as you just throw it all in the crockpot and let it go!  This does have a little kick to it just a heads up.  May want to substitute the green chiles.  It is nothing over the top but S needed us to cool hers down with a bit of sour cream.  The rest of us love a little spice kick!  Joe of course added jalapeños to it.  My sister who lived in India also told me that you can add plain yogurt  to food that is too spicy!  They recommend having this over rice but we chose to have it either on a tortilla or alone.  Otherwise, I did not change anything about this recipe it’s great as is!

I love trying different types of meatloaf I know you are probably thinking REALLY?!  Yes, so this week I wanted to do one with ground turkey as we are kicking ground beef around here for a bit.  This recipe Joe told me was THE BEST meatloaf he has ever had!  YES!  We added a twist to it as we did not do spinach in it but did do minced garlic.  We also put ours on onion rolls with a slice of mozzarella!  Again, this was another quick, easy recipe that the ingredients were all standard in my fridge and pantry!  LOVE THIS!

Now it is on to probably my favorite recipe we had!  Healthy Buffalo Chicken Wraps!  If you remember I have been working out and it’s going great but I also could not and have not committed myself to a crazy diet!  PORTION CONTROL is and always will be my issue but I have committed to this and doing great at it!  So back to this yummy dinner!  These wraps were so good I at them for lunch the next day!  The things I changed with this recipe was that I used Frank’s Red Hot Sauce as I didn’t have buffalo sauce on hand and I also omitted the celery as I just wasn’t feeling it.  For the kids I didn’t dip in hot sauce but otherwise built as directed.  We all came back for seconds on this one.  I cooked two large boneless chicken breasts on the George Foreman.  I will say the kids did have curly fries with theirs, I obviously skipped as the wrap was enough for me!

Last on the list is Crock Pot Creamy Chicken Ranch.  I will say I was nervous by this one for two reasons.  Joe in the past has made it clear that using the crockpot once a week is plenty.  The second the picture honestly doesn’t seem to enticing to me.  Well as the saying goes don’t judge a book by it’s cover.  My sister made this and said her whole family loved this including her two little boys who are VERY picky eaters.  I had an appointment and thought we would give it a whirl!  I’m very glad we did as everyone loved this.  S even asked for a second bowl of it!  Joe had multiple servings as well.  I again used to large boneless skinless chicken breasts.  At this time I will mention as I seem to notice many people have an opinion of what company has the best pre-packaged chicken. I used to ALWAYS get all our meat from a local butcher but lately I just haven’t made it to the shop so I have found myself in Wal-Mart.  Likely part of why we have kicked ground beef as the difference of ground beef there and at the butcher shop is seriously drastic! Back to chicken when I have had to buy in the past I have bought the organic brand they carry Harvestland.  The product has been good and price seemed comparable to the butcher.  But the size was noticeably smaller.  They recently started carrying Forester Farmer’s Market.  The size is a bit larger than Harvestland.  I guess what I’m getting at is if you can’t get to the butcher and Wal-Mart is in your path I so far have had success with both of these brands!  Ok back to the recipe.  I did not change anything on this one and I did make her dry ranch dressing mix!

There you have it a little food loving for you for this Monday afternoon!  I hope your family enjoys these as much as we did.  I thank those that created these recipes as well! Cheers!

Get In My Belly!

Hello Everyone,

Well the weekend came and went and after I left my parents on Sunday after stuffing my face with mom’s vegetable soup and baking powder drop biscuits I realized I keep meaning to share some recipes of food I have made and been asked to make many times over.  With that being said I feel confident you too will be asked to make these many times over.  I will also say a few of these are adapted from family members (which I have noted) and I don’t think they will mind you using at your next gathering!  One last thing my mom and I as you know love to bake and you may find it shocking but many of our recipes outside of baking consist of using the shake method.  I have noted quantities but please know we typically just use one shake, two shakes, etc.  So let’s get cooking and baking!!

So let’s talk about a bread that will knock your socks off!  Banana Bread!  Yes, I eat this at all times of the day even for dessert!  That’s when I add a little extra butter!!  I believe the story goes that my mom pre my dad dated a man, I know I was shocked by this as well but that man’s grandmother gave my mom this recipe.  My parents have been married for over forty years so if the man’s grandmother would like credit within my blog I would be happy to do so.  Just send me a note!  My family has been enjoying this recipe for many years and now my family enjoys it as often as banana’s turn brown.  As my opinion is NEVER throw brown bananas away always bake with them!  Then take the peels and cut them up and bury them a few inches deep in your vegetable garden to rid it of aphids!  These little pest HATE banana peels!  So here is the recipe for the Banana Bread!IMG_0988

Let’s move to my Tomato Basil Bruschetta!  This is something I can’t even remember where I learned about but I have been making for years.  It is always a hit actually I made for our “Friendsgiving” party this year and mentioned I was going to make for our New Year’s Eve party.  Well I brought out my other appetizers and my one friend waited about half an hour and said “I thought you were making your bruschetta?”  Then Joe chimed in “Ya where is the bruschetta!”  I honestly was just not really interested in whipping it up as we had just ate a big dinner a few hours earlier.  But I ran upstairs and whipped it up as I don’t like to let my guests down!  So if you decide to make these just plan to be asked to make them again.

2016-01-19 09.17.38

Next is what Joe likes to say “The best pretzels you will ever have!”  He actually thinks these should be made and sold at baseball games in place of popcorn or peanuts!  Actually, I would totally agree with this statement!  They are super addicting and the recipe I will share makes two bags full so there is plenty to share weather to snack on at work or have as a bar snack when friends are over!  The cheese dip I can’t vouch for as I never make it as these little gems need no stinkin’ dip!  Lastly, I do think the pretzel is what makes these what they are so I recommend trying to find the Tom Sturgis brand!

Last on my list of appetizers is one that my brother-in-law shared a few years ago at Thanksgiving!  It’s a brie with jalapeno jelly, pecans and crackers!  This is another one that is perfect for any occasion and available year round.  I will say I usually share this one in the fall/winter months but again can be used any time of year.  This is more of a lay out and guests put together to enjoy then really any work on your part!  I can already tell your loving this one!  The most important part to this appetizer with that being said is choose a great platter to display it on!  As a side note I used to always use Braswell’s Jelly but they stopped carrying it at my local grocery store so I switched to Reese Mild and I think it taste just as great!  I found Reese’s right by the apricot jelly, etc.  Braswell’s I found at a small end cart in the produce section.

Now let’s talk about my grandmother’s Baking Powder Drop Biscuits!  These are so simple and go perfect with just about anything but with soup I loved!  Adding a little butter or a squeeze of honey is always welcome!


On to the soup!  Mom made vegetable soup on Sunday and yes this is my blog and yes sharing what I do is all great but you know what sometimes someone else does something great and it’s worth sharing!  My mom is a vegetarian but my dad is not.  I will also say dad is the main cook in my parents house!  Yes I know you didn’t expect that.  Don’t discount my mom here.  My mom is a great cook but when we were younger mom always worked later than dad so I think this is a big part of why dad has always done.  As we joke the dinner bell rings promptly at 5:30 at their house each night.  If you are not there you don’t eat.  This is no joke I remember as I kid sliding in on my bike just in time to eat.  Once dad cleared and washed the dishes you were well you know how the saying goes S#*! out of luck!  Ok so back to the soup it is vegetarian but hearty.  Joe ate a bowl mom sent home and thought it was fantastic and I will say he is typically the one to not even give something a try if there is no meat involved!  I know silly man!  So here you have the Vegetable Soup Recipe!


One main course item I feel necessary to share with you is one that will fill your home with the great aroma of sesame seed oil.  Which in our home means Joe’s favorite dinner is being served!  Pork Tenderloin with a few seasonings!  The smell alone of this is inviting and I will also say for Christmas we did the same recipe with our beef tenderloin and was just as good but I think the pork showcases the flavors a bit better.  The amount of each seasoning will depend on the size of the tenderloin.  Just make sure it is covered on both sides with the oil.  The black pepper is the other stand out ingredient here so don’t be shy.  The garlic powder is an accent so just sprinkle; not so much of a shake for this one!

Ok now it’s time to talk about our sweet tooth…Now you all know I am a baker or maybe I should rephrase that I have a love for baking.  Yes I went to culinary school but as in the title of chef I think ALOT of work goes into earning this title and can sometimes be used by people who may not have done the work to earn it.  So let’s just say I’m passionate about baking.  I share this passion with my mom as well.  It is one thing we LOVE to do together.  We have had many crazy experiences in the kitchen always ending in one thing a great dessert!

I think sharing a no bake cheesecake is a good start for us!  Not that I’m doubting any of you and your skills because I’m not but this cheesecake is so good and with a few holidays just around the corner that brunch is an appropriate meal to celebrate them I think this will go over well with your guests!  Plus there’s a bit of champagne in it and no we don’t bake it out so CHEERS!  It is our Strawberry Champagne Cheesecake.  One thing I will mention about cheesecakes baked or not.  When we had our micro bakery and did the cheesecakes for a local restaurant we had many trials and errors with pans.  I will say my ALL TIME favorite springform pan to use is one with an extra lip on base.  They are a real pain to find.  I ended up getting mine from an individual bakery supply contact I found.  Back to the cheesecake the key to this cheesecake is set up time.  Make sure you allow this cake at least 24 hours to set up.  If for some reason you go to use it and you can’t slide it off on to your platter have a back up plan.  Mine is to have wine glasses or small bowls ready and a ice cream scoop!  The taste will still show through and you will still be a rock star!  You can totally play it off as this was what you planned on.  I will say this has only happened to me one time but it has happened so don’t freak just rock it!  P.S. Don’t mind the ingredients on the paper this is how most of my recipes look; that just means they get a lot of love!2016-01-19 10.45.15 WOW!  Now that was fun!  I have many recipes to share and will try to be better about doing so and also more specific and maybe less shaking!  If you have any problems with opening the recipes let me know.  I just took pics so you could open and print and simply add to your box of recipes!  I hope you and your family and friends enjoy these as much as me and my family and friends have!  Cheers!

Happy Holidays!

Hello Friends!

So happy to be checking in with you!  As three times in the past two weeks I have sat down to write and have gotten half way and then I have little helpers either wanting to assist in typing or I have the always loved “MOMMMMMMM!” being screamed…usually to tell me they have to go to the bathroom (which they do completely alone but like to let me know), or someone isn’t being a good sharer!  Story of my life and if your a mom YOURS!!!

Anyway, the holiday season is here!  I will admit so many factors played in to my struggle with really getting in to the season this year.  Including the weather being gorgeous (I’m NOT complaining).  When you live where come Thanksgiving it snows until usually or at least end of February. Then this year we have had 45-60 degree weather the entire week of Christmas and the weeks leading up to it.  Which I’m sure to some is FREEZING!  But to us midwestern peeps this is warm.  I’m not saying I live here for the seasons because I don’t, I actually have a very hard time with winter.  I do however love the way it looks especially on Christmas morning!  But then happy to see it leave!  Another factor which I mentioned in my previous post 2015 has been a challenge for our company.  Joe did some really beautiful work and has been booked out until end of Spring 2016 but when we decided to make business changes we realized some things that needed to be addressed and it got rough.  Which I’m happy to say I think we are over that hump but my goodness that was a stressful few end of year months there. We also know it had to happen the one specific contractor has been un-professional over the past few weeks.  Or maybe I should say kept us fighting!  I’m just going to say you can’t run a company from a tree stand… Ok wait maybe some companies you can but not in the construction company.  Appreciate those that are with and have been with you giving 110%.  The few things that have happened have reminded both Joe and I that we never will treat those that work for us this way.  Ok I’m done…had to just vent for a second!  My quote for all of this is “No one changes the world who isn’t obsessed” not sure where I grabbed this but when I read a few things jumped out.  Mainly change and obsessed.  Joe is the most obsessed person I know about stone and with obsessed comes passion.  These things are needed to make change happen.  So I look forward to many positive changes and success to Moonlight in 2016!  So here is why I struggled to decorate.  Then I did decorate and…this is where I started another blog with “It wouldn’t be the Lisenby’s if…

It wouldn’t be the Lisenby’s if…

Duke (our just one year old shepherd) didn’t decide while I ran errands to tip over the half gallon of red and not any red SHOCKING red paint in my craft room.  Walking through it and creating beautiful paw prints outside of the GINORMOUS pool of paint throughout my house including all over my couch!  Thank heaven I wasn’t gone too long and was able to get just about all of it off my floors.  The couches on the other hand are done!

It wouldn’t be the Lisenby’s if…

When arriving home Duke hadn’t knocked down the Christmas tree and stepped on a glass ornament.  Leaving water everywhere and pine needles scattered like confetti throughout the house!  The Christmas tree went to the front porch and all the ornaments were hung off our metal railing going up stairs.  Duke was fine thank goodness!

2015-12-27 10.23.18

There are many more which I will continue to share but these are just a reminder that it doesn’t only happen in your house we all feel your pain!  Yes, I do still recommend buying a puppy if you were thinking and this post made you question.  As we all including my siblings say “if he wasn’t so cute!”

Christmas arrived and we had a great eve and day!  Christmas eve we spend with our grandparents.  First stop was Joe’s Grandma who is seriously one of the sweetest ladies you will meet.   We were an HOUR late!  Which is standard for us-boo!  Over the past two years grandma has shown many signs of aging.  She felt terrible that she forgot we were coming.  The kids were ecstatic to see her.  There is something warm about her that especially Kole just loves.  He kept going by her snuggling and giving her sweet eyes.  Grandma told us a few times how much trouble we were going to be in down the road with him and the ladies!  Letting Joe know his children were beautiful; which was so sweet.  As parents we all think our kids are the cutest but when grandma says it, it makes you feel really good.  Joe set up a tea party and the kids invited her to join them having orange juice and cookies.  She shared a few stories about Grandpa and their Apple Orchard and how it came to be.  Which I can say I never really heard.  We brought their gifts from New Grandma and New Papa (Joe’s mom and dad) with us so the kids could open there.  They did so and loved their special gifts.  They had books made that included the kids and their friends!  These added to the magic that as a toddler Christmas brings.  The visit was wonderful and reminded us that we need to make it happen more often.  The moments Grandma would loose track of what was going on were hard but I also know she has truly enjoyed her life the life that Grandpa and her made together.  I can honestly say they shared an incredible love.  One that all should experience.

2015-12-24 16.57.30

Next was to my grandma’s house.  Which for as long as I can remember is called the “Mad House on Midland!”  Which it always hold true to.  My grandmother has went through five rounds of chemo.  She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 79 and given one year to live. That was in 2008 and here we are 7 years later!  After the last round being so hard on her body and truly not doing anything she decided it was time to stop.  Letting her body and this terrible disease take its course.  Her stomach very bloated as it is filled with cancerous tumors and her unable to leave the house as her leg strength is not there as it used to be.  She got out of the hospital the weekend before eve.  She was very weak at our visit and barely spoke.  If you ever met my grandmother you wouldn’t believe this.  My grandmother is a very strong in every sense of the word women.  She has always been a no messing around, crack the whip lady.  But at the same time loves you with all she has.  The mad house part of this is that at all events at her and my grandpa’s home are crazy!  A lot of talking over one another and a lot of laughing until you cry moments!  Even with grandma sick this still was the case.  With only two of her kids and their kids and their grandkids there it’s LOUD!  I know she didn’t say much but I truly think this makes her the most comfortable.  Never knowing her house to be quiet this was how home is and should be at the “Mad House on Midland.”  Overall, the visit was nice it reminded me of how much I enjoyed going to their home growing up but also made me sad to know that life has a window and we never know but in this case I’m sure it’s not much longer.  Over the years family dynamic has changed which changed my relationship to my grandmother.  Once very close seeing pretty much daily if not then weekly is now at a few times a year.  As S asks every time this grandma is spoke about as she only remembers her meetings with her when she had no hair so she refers to her that way.  “Will she get better?”, or the day after our visit “I hope she is feeling better today.”  We all know its a journey and when it ends we don’t always know but what we do with it is up to us.  I can’t change the past but I can make sure I stay close to my grandma now.  The kids elves Francesca and Frankie delivered their departure gifts and a letter to the kids at my grandma’s house.  The box contained reindeer food, magic pajama’s that would help them sleep, socks, mini lego/littlest pet shop surprise pack and ornament.  The kids loved this.  We spread our reindeer food when we got home and the kids were in their magic jammies before we left my grandma’s!

2015-12-24 21.19.44

We celebrated Christmas the week before with my other Grandma!  This visit is always nice.  Grandma always brings the best homemade cookies and looks amazing.  I swear she hasn’t aged she is 87 or 88 (can’t remember) and looks amazing!  Our visit is always nice I honestly don’t know exactly what we often talk about but I do know she let my dad know he is EXACTLY like his father was!  She also shared with us that her doctor has called her twice to discuss her weight and she let them know both times she wasn’t interested in discussing it or having them assist her in how to loose it!  I almost fell of the chair as my grandmother is sweet and in no way needs to loose any weight.  Plus as I said to her “Grandma at what point do you just get to enjoy your life?”  I mean when you are 100 are they going to be calling you with this?  Have the extra cookie you deserve it!  She always puts thought in to the kids at Christmas going out buying them gifts that are always perfect.  She is a wonderful women and hope when she did go in for her appointment last week she let the doctor know what I said!

2015-12-19 16.06.21-1

Christmas day started at 650am with Sid saying “Mom I must have been on the really good list, there is like 51 presents down there for me! Come on lets go take a peak!”  Me sooo tired as I didn’t wrap any gifts until Eve said “Go tell Daddy.”  So she climbed over “Daddy let’s go take a peak!”  Joe said “Kole’s still sleeping we need to wait.”  She said “I won’t open his just mine! Come on let’s go take a peak!”  Joe said “If she says lets go take a peak one more time!!! LOL I said ok let’s go the big day is here!  I will get coffee you get Kole!  Sid woke him he wasn’t having it “I WANT DADDY!” Joe went in there and after S brought up the ton of presents and he saw them with his own eyes he said “Hurry daddy get down there!”I will mention there was not 51 presents for each child!  But at four I know it probably seemed like it! Sid decided to try and guess each gift before opening which she did a pretty darn good job at! HMMMM!  K just opened and enjoyed each one.  Many of the gifts were for both and those they have played with exactly so.  S received and is loving her mechanical cat which has been named Scarlet.  K received a John Deere service station which is the only gift he actually showed me to tell Santa.  So glad I found as he LOVES!

My family arrives in the afternoon for gift exchanging from Grandma and Papa to the kids.  Cousins pick names so they exchange and Santa shows up for stories and gifts!  Then we eat!  Its an eventful afternoon/evening!  Everyone SHOCKINGLY was a bit late this year-my family is ALWAYS early!  So Santa arrived and the kids loved his visit as his books include each of them in the story.  For dinner we had broccoli and cheese soup, ham, beef tenderloin on the grill, creamed corn, sweet potato casserole, and pistachio marshmallow salad.  We enjoyed basil, tomato and mozzarella skewers and brie, pecans, and jalapeno jelly on crackers while we waited!  Grandma and Papa then gave their gifts out!  This always gets a bit crazy!  S and K as well as their cousin Samuel are the littlest and still get a bunch of FUN stuff as I noticed the older boys were like WHAT!  As my sister said this was the year she had to explain to her oldest that once you hit a certain age your gifts cost a lot more so you get less. My parents made each of the kids gifts this year.  As I told my dad they are very lucky to have such talented grandparents.  My dad built S an American Girl Doll one room module as well as a bed to go inside.  My mom got a wicker chair and made curtains and clothes for her dolls!  My dad made K a fire station as he is obsessed with fire and rescue vehicles.  Mom gave each of us kids a journal with a letter asking that we each begin January 1st with each day writing one positive thought/sentence/paragraph/book.  As we can easily consume ourselves with negative but need to find positive in each day.  She started this when she retired and was having a hard time.  This coming year she plans to take a positive picture each day.  Something great to do and I encourage others to take on this challenge for 2016! Thanks Mom!  Well I think that wraps up our holiday season so far!  I hope all of you are having an amazing December as well.  Looking forward to New Years Celebrating! Hoping to do a balloon drop for the kids!  Keep you posted!

Have a great Sunday! Cheers!

It’s a Deere Party!

We recently celebrated K turning the treacherous three! With a little boy in love with anything that does work but at the top of his list is always DOZERS! We had to branch out a little this birthday as we had a construction party last year which was a blast. So in keeping with trucks per say I suggested we have a John Deere Party! He was all about it…All I need is the go ahead and its off to the races or in this case off to the local tractor supply store!
Invites were my first task and I am a huge fan of Etsy for all my party printing needs! Well and gifts, and well pretty much its a great site for just about anything! Anyway, I love to include a picture of the year prior in my invites so I went with the following!

Kole's 3rd Birthday

Now it’s on to decorations, clothes, favors, food, entertainment! Last year I made a hard hat piñata and the kids loved it! Being March and still chilly I asked K if he wanted to have another. I couldn’t just do a piñata but again due to theme and weather its a bit hard to do something fun as last year it was colder for his birthday so we had a digger brought over for the kids to get rides and dig up all the snow around and do pictures. This year my same great friend who is a collector of CAT and John Deere anything suggested I used some of his kids riding Deere’s! I loved it as K could participate and the kids were all going to be in the range of eleven and under! So we borrowed three riders! For food I did fried chicken (free range chicken), deviled eggs (fresh laid eggs), chex mix (chicken feed), chips (farm fresh potatoes), vegetable tray (farm fresh veggies), I attempted to make a John Deere cake (2nd fondant cake) and I surrounded the cake with mini chocolate cupcakes as mud! For our favors I reached out to the internet; what did we do before?! I ordered plastic John Deere cups, John Deere popcorn, John Deere gum, John Deere suckers, I put all of the goodies in a John Deere bag! I loved how these came together! John Deere has seriously so much cute stuff out there for parties! Since we didn’t splurge on entertainment I thought everyone in John Deere gear was a must! The site I found them on had a huge clearance event going on-SCORE!!  For decorations I’m kind of believe less is more I mean why spend a fortune on decorations?  Kids come to the party for the fun and parents and family come for the food and company; right?!  So I always keep it pretty simple.  My friend again who is a collector borrowed me three large signs to place around the house, he also borrowed me a collectors little trailer which I used for the favors.  I purchased John Deere balloons, plates, napkins.  I simple made my place cards by saving images off the net and typing up my own.  I love burlap and we have a ton of it around the house in all forms sacks, large pieces from fabric store, on a reel…you name I probable have it!  This is the perfect table covering for this theme I thought!  So again nothing crazy heck barely anything now that I am saying it! LOL!  Yes, I do count my tableware as decorations as it had John Deere all over it!  You should too!


It’s time to say “Thank you!”  For this I too went to the internet and found a great site with free printable!  They had a blank John Deere invite but being blank it worked perfect for my thank you cards!










Since we were in Disney for S’s fourth birthday we wanted to something of a WOW factor for K!  So with help from friends and family we were able to get a CAT dozer for him!  A friend drove two hours to pick it up then my dad picked it up from them and charged it overnight so it was all set for the big day!  I truly appreciate those that help me on these days or to make these days happen as they are so important!  I can honestly say this party was the one I didn’t find myself feeling like crazy town the day of.  I think I could have done a bit more but you know what my three-year old had a great day with friends and family and that is all that mattered!









I hope your next little ones party is a blast and remember it’s not about how much you spend its about how much fun your kids have!  Have a great day!  (invites) ( FREE thank you cards) (favors, tableware, clothing) (favors, tableware, clothing, candle)

Lisenby’s Happenings

Ok so I have been MIA!  This summer has been bananas as I’m sure yours has been too!  The great part of summer is there is always something to do…Fairs, sporting events, parties, simply enjoying the sunshine with those that mean the most to us!  Well I am back!  Friday was Joe’s thirty-fifth birthday so of course I had to have a theme!  Beer tasting was what seemed perfect.  So off and running I went…chalkboard tablecloth, aged vinegar bottles with cotton tails and grass inside.  Mason jars for pretty much anything I could find its use appropriate so that meant water glasses, soup, jar tops I covered in chalkboard paint and used for place cards.  For food we did cheese displays, Brie on toasted baguette, large soft pretzels with two cheese dipping sauces,  potato and beer cheese soup, seven different brats, and I made individual beer mugs filled with chocolate cake and bailey’s ganache!  Oh yeah and the beer we planned to taste four but I ended up doing five!  The night was a success, everyone left happy and full just what I hoped for.  Most important Joe had a great birthday!



Morning of Joe’s birthday the kids gave him the gift they made and then it was off to the beach!


Other than getting myself all stressed over a party that in my opinion was a success.  As they say if guests come happy and leave happy you have accomplished this which they did!  The kids and I have just been up to other summer shenanigans!   Which have included our summer hunt for amazing treasures at local rummage sales, we added a few peeps to our crew including my two nephews who of course when it was time to do a quick snap had to show their love for mom and dad via diet coke!  My mom showed her love for no one other than yours truly! Lol!  Backyard swimming has been great when weather has permitted.  This Midwest weather has been bananas!  Resulting as three of the four having colds! Ugh! We had to do another visit to our friends at The Bear Den Zoo.  This time bringing Papa who is recently retired and cousin Phoenix!  The kids completed their rookie sports season which after Aunt Connie left Papa joined us, which was fantastic…Papa still thinks they are just too little to understand as he of course expected them to be soccer, football and t-ball players after this program was done but they were more like pro climbers at a new playground with a new group of kids! We babysat my Aunt and Uncle’s little girl who is going to be two which shockingly super easy.  Joe on the other hand decided he is very happy with just two kids as keeping your eyes on three takes some skill!  We set up the camping tent but due to rain in the forecast we were only able to watch a movie but none the less S and K loved it!



Well we are off to get some eggs from a friends chicken farm!  I am working on creating a unique high heel dessert for a friends baby shower next month.  I am also planning our Halloween party too!  But with the madness of summer wrapping up I will be checking back very soon!  Until then have a wonderful Wednesday!