Thursday, January 26, 2012

chicken potpie

I LOVE chicken potpie and I love using my crock pot.

Tonight, I had a great success. I tried a recipe that married the above. I've been trying to utilize my crock pot more to help with smoother dinner times. It's just so challenging to get healthy, filling meals on the table that don't take hours to put together. AND, if your children are like mine, the 4-6 o'clock hour is not their best time of day. I was thrilled when REAL SIMPLE (my absolute favorite magazine) featured crock pot recipes in their last issue.

I just have to share with you. It turned out fabulous and was so easy.

creamy chicken potpie

8 oz cremini mushrooms (I actually used diced potatoes, because I'm not a huge mushroom fan)
1 med onion, chopped
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken
kosher salt and black pepper
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 bag frozen mixed veggies
1/3 cup heavy cream

1. In a slow cooker, mix together the mushrooms (or potatoes), onion, flour, thyme, bay leaf, and 1/2 c water. Place the chicken on top (I thawed mine ahead of time to speed up the cooking); season with salt and pepper.

2. Cover and cook until the chicken and vegetables are tender, on low for 7-8 hrs or on high for 4-5 hrs. I shredded the chicken at this point.

3. Thirty minutes before serving, heat oven to 425. Cut pastry into 4 circles. Place on baking sheet and bake until golden, 8-10 min.

4. Ten minutes before serving add mixed vegetables, cream and 1/2 t salt to the chicken mixture and stir to combine. Cover and cook on high until heated through, 5-10 min more. To serve, place the chicken mixture in bowls and top with pastry rounds.

Conner saw the pastry puff cooling and asked what it was. I told him it was for the chicken pot pie. He got excited and I dished mine out to show him. He wasn't as impressed then (Conner is a good eater, but not as adventurous as Shep) and said, "I want my chicken potpie without the chicken or the pot. Just the pie, please. Shep loved it, though and ate an entire bowl.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Conner's Stats at 4

Conner had his big preschool/kinder 4 year old well-check today. He loved taking the hearing test and aced it. We have to redo the vision test in 6 months. I think he missed a few legitimately, but Shep was being a HUGE distraction.

Here's his 4 year old stats:

Height: 42 in (75-90%)

Weight: 40.6 lbs (75%)

When the doctor walked in he said, "Hi Dr. Shah, shots or no shots?" I had already braced him for the fact he probably had to get a few big boy shots today. He showed the doctor how he could write his name and was charming. He told the doctor that he had joints in his arms and legs and demonstrated how he would move without them. Then he told her that your brain sends messages to the rest of your body. Guess he wanted to make sure she was up on her stuff. He had told me he was going to close his eyes during the shots and pretend they were He forgot about that plan when the time came and got a little dramatic. As we left the clinic he exclaimed, "I hate shots. I really, REALLY hate them."

Shep was trying to do absolutely everything he could to get attention. He was hitting himself on the head and falling to the floor. They he started fake coughing, because I'm sure he thought, "The doctor will definitely pay attention to me if I'm coughing." That boy has grown a lot. At 2 3/4 yrs he's already bigger than Conner was at 3. He measured in at just under 39 in and 36.8 lbs.

Conner and Shep aren't the only ones that are growing. Baby #3 seems to be doing some growing himself/herself. I have a feeling my last appointment was the last time I'll see the 120's for awhile:) This picture was from Sunday marking 28 wks. Can't believe I'm already going to to the doctor every 2 wks now.

Friday, January 20, 2012

got winter?

Winter days have been pretty scarce so far. I think it's gotten below freezing twice and that's fine with me! I used to be sad at our lack of winter, but we're cooped up SO much during the long, long summer that's it been wonderful to be outside so much. The boys ride their bikes pretty much every day. I think I'm enjoying it even more since we might very well live somewhere cold next winter...

We had a picnic last week.

Can't beat flip-flops and shorts in mid-January!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Conner is 4

Conner turned four today! He was so excited. He had his first celebration a couple weeks ago with family and friends back home.

Ever since his party he has been counting down the days until his actual birthday.

He had school today, so he took cupcakes to share with his classmates. I wasn't going to be with him when he had his cupcake, so we stuck his number four candle (which he picked out several months ago, just to make sure they weren't gone by the time it was his birthday!) in a piece of banana bread:)

He's been eyeing this monster truck set for quite awhile.

I got him a Spider Man shaving kit. He was thrilled and had to try it out right away, which made us a little late for school. Shep got a little carried away with the shaving cream.

Since we were late for school, all the kids where waiting by the door to sing for him when he got there. The weather was absolutely gorgeous (we had shorts on again), so we spent most the afternoon riding bikes. Conner picked to have dinner at his favorite restaurant, Phil's Ice House. Can't go wrong with an Amy's Ice Cream next door, complete with a playground. It was such a fun night. We don't get to have family night's very often with Zack in school, so it was extra special.

Happy Birthday Conner!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

it's a girl!

One of my sweet friends is having a girl, that is:) We had a shower for her yesterday and it was a blast!

I did a first this week. I made my own frosting and it was a revelation. I will never use store bought frosting again! It was so easy and so, SO delicious! I still need to work on the decorating part.

Here's the recipe I used:

The mommy-to-be with some of the hostesses.

Most of you know Shep gave up his nap quite awhile ago. Every once and awhile he just crashes. He fell asleep on the couch watching football last night around 6 pm.

I gave the boys some spray bottles with water in them in hopes it would keep them busy for awhile so I could get some work done. They enjoyed it, but it got rather messy and wasn't as peaceful as I had hoped. They kept "accidentally" spraying each other.

Zack starts school Tuesday. He's been busy working on his dissertation all break, which needs to be done around the time baby #3 is supposed to arrive. Looks like it's going to be a crazy couple of months. I am so happy to be able to announce, "This is the LAST semester."

I've read several good books lately. Stay tuned for a book post soon:)

Sunday, January 8, 2012


A couple years ago we started the tradition of a Stanton family bingo game. This year, the boys were old enough to join in. (Conner was ready that is, but of course if he played Shep would need to be included)

Shep with his game sheet. He wouldn't let anyone help him.

Conner took it very seriously.

Shep was much more interested in getting different colored game pieces.

Then he lined them up on the table.

But, when Conner yelled bingo and got an "eating prize" Shep figured out pretty quick what he needed to do so he could get his own "eating prize" as he called it.

He quickly lined the five game pieces he had collected in a row on his game sheet and yelled, "Bingo!" I guess he did understand what he was supposed to do:) Unfortunately, I didn't get any more pictures. Shep refused to let me help him find a gift to open, even though I could tell which one had an "eating prize" in it and he opened something he was quite disappointed in. And there were some tears. In the end, he got an "eating prize", so it was all good.