Friday, May 30, 2014

Fun Food Friday- Celebrating the big 2-0 with M&M Bars

No, I'm not turning 20, that would be something. :)  Although it is something I think is almost as exciting.  A few months ago I was reading the blog of a girl I know from RYS stuff and she was talking about doing a 6 week health and habits challenged where you really work on your self-control of what you put in your body and she talked about different things she did during that challenge.  I was at a point where I knew that I needed to lose weight.  For one, I had gestational diabetes with both pregnancy and my doctor told me that 50% of women who have gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years and it all depends on if you maintain/gain weight after your pregnancies.  Well, I definitely had put on weight after the twins which brings me to secondly, I was to a point where my clothes didn't really fit very well so it was either lose weight or go buy bigger clothes. :)  When I was pregnant with GD it was easy to eat super healthy because it was for the health for my baby(ies).  I decided I needed to look at it the same now, that for not only my sake but also the sake of my little guys that I needed to get control of my life and be healthy because they need their mommy at her best to take care of them.  Now you would think that chasing after 3 little boys all day every day would be enough to keep you in shape, but the problem was I would sit down once they were all down for their naps and congratulate myself for making it to that point with a Diet Coke and snack that usually consisted of chocolate in some way.  And then after they went to bed at night I'd do the same (without the Diet Coke, I can no longer drink caffeine right before bed and sleep :)).  So as I read my friend's blog and thought of the different things she was doing, like cutting out sugar, not eating after 8:00pm, drinking a lot of water, getting plenty of fruits and vegetables, I decided it was time for me to change the way I ate, so I did.  So that is why the healthier recipes lately. :)  And I'm very happy to say that as of this morning I have lost 20 pounds (well, actually 22 pounds to be exact :))!  Hence, the big 2-0! :)  I think that one of the reasons that I have been able to do this is because #1 I don't feel like I'm on a diet, this is just how I eat now (I don't even count calories, I just make sure what I'm eating is healthy- which means a lot of salad :)) and #2, I allow myself one cheat a week. :)  So I usually save it for something good, nothing store bought, but a good homemade dessert. :)  One of those cheats has been these M&M Bars.  And actually I messed up and only put in 1/2 the butter so it was healthier than planned (although way more crumbly).  I had these bars at my in-laws once and they were so good so I got the recipe from my MIL.  All my boys love something sweet and M&Ms are definitely a hit around here, so these bars fit the bill. So if you're looking for something a little sweet, try these out.  And thanks for letting me share my life with you. :)  I figured if my friends was brave enough to share her journey to be healthy, I could too. :) 
Ingredients: Quick Oats, Flour, Brown Sugar, Baking Soda, Salt, Butter, Sweetened Condensed Milk, M&Ms

To a big mixing bowl add 2 cups of oats...
1 1/2 cups of flour...

1 cup brown sugar...

1 tsp baking soda

and 3/4 tsp salt.  Stir together.

Melt 1 cup of butter (I messed up the recipe and only did 1/2 cup of butter which I guess made it a little better for us, but it was pretty crumbly)

Add the butter to the dry ingredients...

And mix together until it resembles coarse crumbs

Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the mixture...

And press the rest into a greased 9x13 pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes

In the meantime melt 2 TBS butter in a small saucepan

Add 1 cup M&Ms

Use the back of a spoon to crush the M&Ms

Remove from heat and add a can of sweetened condensed milk

Stir until smooth
Pour on top of the crust...

And smooth over
add 1/2 cup of M&Ms to the remaining crumble...

And sprinkle on top of the chocolate layer

Press down into the chocolate

Return to the oven and bake for 15 more minutes

Until it's lightly golden.  The chocolate won't be completely set, it will do that as the bars cool

Once cooled (for at least an hour), have at them

They bring a smile to this boy's face

And this boy's

This one is too busy concentrating on enjoy the deliciousness to smile :)

M&M Bars 
2 cups quick oats
1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup + 2 TBS butter
1 1/2 cups M&M's
14oz sweetened condensed milk
Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt.  Melt 1 cup butter and add.   Mix until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, set aside 1-1/2 cups.  Press remaining crumbs into greased 9x13pan.  Bake at 375 for 10 min.  Melt 2 Tb butter over low heat.  Add 1 cup M&M's and break them up with the back of a spoon.  Remove from heat and stir in condensed milk; spread over crust.  Combine reserved crumbs and 1/2 cup M&M's.  Sprinkle over chocolate mixture and press lightly  Bake 15 minutes until golden brown. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Life with the Bussis'- 5.28.14

We have been having some absolutely beautiful weather over here, so we have spent quite a bit of time enjoying the outdoors.  Thursday we took a little stroll over to the playground, always a favorite of the boys:

Micah was so sweet, he wanted to read a book to his brother.  Unfortunately his brothers weren't quite so cooperative :)
One more video for you :)
Silly brothers, they really do love each other :)

Silly Jonathan and David, we go outside to play and all they want to do is be pulled around in the wagon.  That is until Micah got off his bike, then both wanted to ride the bike.  So I would put one in and push him while the other one screamed next to me.  Then I would switch them and then one not in the bike would take over screaming.  It was really fun. :)  We have noticed that David is starting to have some major tantrums where he just cries and cries for about 10 minutes and nothing gets him to stop.  Micah did the exact same thing when he was about David's age so I'm hopeful David will grow out of it like Micah did.

My sweet little angel... ha ha :)

Saturday morning we headed over to the playground at the public school.  The boys loved all the different sand boxes
So that made them very excited when they woke up from their nap to find that their sandbox Steve's Dad had built for them a couple of weeks ago was filled with sand!  We got the sand from a guy at church but it has been so wet in our backyard that he hasn't been able to get a tractor back there to fill it until Saturday.  It's so nice to have a big sandbox right in our backyard for the boys to play in, I'm sure many hours of this summer will be spent in it.
We were enjoying the outdoors so much that we decided to just eat dinner outside.  Steve went and picked up Arby's and we ate on the driveway. :)  They downed their food, I think being outdoors makes them eat better :) I think we will also be doing a lot of that this summer
After dinner we played some more outside.  David thought he was pretty funny stealing Daddy's hat

Jonathan decided to borrow Micah's helmet too
My boys in their Sunday best.  As you can see Jonathan and David are so not cooperative

They're much more cooperative when they're in their comfy clothes :)

We had a fun Memorial Day.  Micah spent Sunday night at Steve's parents house and went to a parade with them Monday morning.  Steve, the twins and I went for a bike ride Monday morning.  As you can see, the boys really enjoyed the ride.  After our ride we headed over to Steve's sister's house for lunch.  All in all, a fun day.
This morning I had to go to the greenhouse to get some things for my garden (which is now full of dirt and ready to be planted).  I thought I could handle it on my own.  I put the twins' leashes on figuring they would enjoy getting to walk around.  Well, they didn't.  Unfortunately their carts only fit one child, and are just shelves so there wasn't anywhere to put the second child.  I put David in the cart and was holding Jonathan, but I had to put him down to pick out some plants.  I had my back to them for a minute and turned around and here is how I found Jonathan, he had climbed into the shelf on the cart!  As you can see, there really wasn't room for him to sit there, but he was determined he wanted to sit in the cart :).  Oh boys.  Oh, and Micah insisted on pushing the cart, without my help.  Yeah, he ran into me a couple of time. :)  So as you can see, it was a lovely outing for us all.  It just reminded me that with 3 young kids there's no such thing as a quick errand or easy trip. :)

When we got home from the greenhouse the picnic table I had ordered for the boys had been delivered, so I put it together.  They are big fans of it already.  They even got to eat their lunch on it.  Although we discovered it's much easier to have the twins buckled down in their high chair, they did a lot of roaming. :)  I got the table to go outside so they can eat their snacks and lunches out there.  It just looked fun and they still had some Christmas money to be used. :)

The umbrella from their water table even fits with it so they can sit in the shade
So that was our week.  We've also continued to have lots of running noses and colds in the eyes.  I actually went to the doctor yesterday because I had sores in my nose for the past couple of weeks that weren't going away.  The doctor decided that I have allergies and that was the cause for the sores which made sense because I've also been having very itchy eyes.  So hopefully the allergy medication I'm taking now will help clear that up and my runny nose that I've had for the last couple of months will stop. :)  So then that made me wonder, is that maybe what the boys have?  Because they seriously just have runny nose after runny nose but don't really have other cough symptoms.  So I asked a nurse from my pediatrician's office who goes to our church if she thought it could be allergies and she said yes and told me what I could give them, so we're trying that for them too in hopes that maybe, just maybe we will experience some health around here.  We shall see. :)
One other random thing that I just want to make sure that I don't forget about the boys is it is so cute when they give Steve and I hugs.  We must both always go "awe" when they hug us, so now everytime they give one of us a big hug they say "awe."  So stink'n cute! :) 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Fun Food Friday- Ranch Roasted Pork Chops with Potatoes

I love dishes that combine elements of your meal, for instance, meat and potatoes.  This is one of those and bonus, it's super easy and quick to make (prep time, not cooking time).  So if you're looking for another way to use those pork chops, try this one out!
Ingredients: Pork Chops, Red Potatoes, Ranch Dressing & Seasoning Mix, Olive Oil, Pimentos, Onion (which I forgot to put in the picture:))

To a 1 gallon zip lock bag add 1/3 cup olive oil...

And the Ranch mix

Squish together to mix up

Dip the pork chops in the mixture

And place in a greased 9x13 pan

Dice up 8 small (or in my case, 4 large) red potatoes

Place them in the bag with the oil mixture...

Seal and shake up until the potatoes are coated

Then just pour the potatoes over the pork chops

Slice up an onion into rings...

And place on top of the potatoes (notice I only did it on half because Steve claims he doesn't like onions :))

Cover with Pimentos (which you usually find in the grocery store by the olives :))

Then just cover the pan with foil and bake at 325 for 1 hour and 15 minutes, removing the foil for the last 30 minutes.

And there's dinner!

Serve with a salad and roll and you've got yourself a great meal! :)
Ranch Roasted Pork Chops with Potatoes
6 boneless pork chops
1/3 cup olive oil
1 pkg Rand Dressing & Seasoning Mix
8 small red potatoes, diced
small jar pimentos
onion, sliced into rings
Combine the oil and ranch mix in a gallon zip lock bag.  Mix the pork in with it to coat.  Place the pork in a greased 9x13 pan.  Pour the potatoes into the bag and shake until coated.  Place the potatoes over the pork chops.  Then cover with onions and pimentos.  Cover with foil and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the pork is cooked through, removing the foil for the last 30 minutes.