Sunday, October 30, 2011



Lit Fest Magazine is part of a feature being done this week on an awesome blog for writers: Writers In Business...The Business Side of Writing. Brigitte Thompson, author of Writers In Business is a freelance writer, author of multiple books and accountant who runs an accounting firm in Vermont.

Head on over to Writers in Business and learn about the Lit Fest Magazine and Crazy Moms Everywhere giveaway which runs Sunday, October 30 until Saturday, November 5. This gift bag is truly one of a kind, perfect for everyone! It includes over ten items, most of which we talk about on these two blogs constantly. Such as waffle mix, an unbelievably amazing stuffed monster every kid loves, children's books, cook books, and much much more!

Learn the guidelines and rules over at Writers in Business and enter today! SO AWESOME!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Grown-Up Drinks!

One of my favorite things about the Fall Season is the yummy beverages. I have always despised apple juice, but love hot apple cider and look forward to it all year. I only drink black coffee but can be found sipping a Pumpkin Spiced Latte on a couple occasions in October and November. I'm always looking for a new fall beverage and today after messing around in the kitchen I came up with an idea.

Sobieski Cinnamon Vodka is amazing. I mixed it into a Coke and it taste spectacular. Then I had another idea. Why not put a tiny bit in some hot apple cider! Score! Cinnamon Apple...Amazing! A great beverage to sip with your feet up after the trick or treating is complete and the kids are snuggled tightly in bed!

Last Minute Halloween Snacks!

I LOVE HALLOWEEN! I get into it. I make snacks, I make gift bags, I visit many, many costume stores. I make chili, buy tons of candy and get dressed up EVERY, SINGLE YEAR! I ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY LOVE HALLOWEEN!

Yesterday I had planned a little get together for my daughters class at the park. It was a half day of school and I thought it would be a great time for moms to get to know each other as well as have the kids play without all the restrictions of school. Plus here in Phoenix it's been 100+ degrees until a few days ago....finally we could play outside, NO MORE indoor playrooms! YAY!!!

Then suddenly an hour before I was heading to pick up the kiddo and meet everyone at the park I realized that even though this was a last minute thing and I had told everyone to bring a picnic lunch, I should have some snacks and some sort of drinks just in case. Plus it was a few days before Halloween.....I had to do something fun!

Problem...I had ONE HOUR. No way to make my usual ridiculous overblown Halloween cupcakes!  I ran to Target and got thinking. I filled a drink container with ice and orange gatorade, grabbed some stuff to make a Halloween snack mix and some cookies and candy to make a silly little cookie thingy! Ta-dah! Yummy, Halloween snacks!

HALLOWEEN SNACK MIX: Popcorn, Candy Corn, Peanut Butter M&M's, Pretzel Sticks.
I put little brown lunch sacks next to it, with about four inches cut off so it was more snack and kid size. Everyone had a great time filling up their bag and eating their favorite parts of the snack mix.

WITCH HAT COOKIES: I saw a few different versions of a cookie like this over the past few weeks and thought it was a great treat the kids could help prepare. The kids went nuts for it and with the awesome Pillsbury Easy Frost Orange Halloween frosting these were even easier to make. Grab the Keebler Fudge Stripe Cookies and Hershey Kisses and you are all set.

You now have easy snacks you can buy and prepare in less than an hour.

Fairy Cupcakes for the Princess

My little princess totally shocked me when I asked her what type of cupcakes she would like for her 6th birthday. She looked me in the face and announced....FAIRY CUPCAKES MOM!

My little munchkin has tons of interests. Last year she wanted pink and purple cupcakes with guitars. She loves princesses, singing, dancing, dolls, flowers, butterflies, anything colorful and imaginative but she has never much interest in fairies. At this moment I still have no idea what brought this on other than the fact that the girl sitting next to her at school is going to be a fairy for Halloween. But whatever the case, I took off for the cake decorating store with fairies in mind!

I walked up and down the aisles and before long had a plan. Fairies in the Garden. They had flowers and butterflies and little fairies as well. I grabbed a a frosting tip to make grass, I figured this could be kinda fun!

I had to make some cupcakes with grass and some with dirt because my baby girl LOVES chocolate. She asks for marble cupcakes every year so some would have vanilla frosting and others a delicious chocolate and cookie crumble. YUM!

This was the final result!

Poor Little Sickie: Chicken Soup

My husband never gets sick. He never ever ever gets sick. So when he does actually get sick about once every other year its usually pretty bad. After two days of feeling terrible for him I usually whip out the hardcore meds.....homemade chicken soup. It works every time. This time it worked so well Mr. Man was feeling a million times better the very next day (which is a big deal because he was really sick!)

The best thing about this recipe is the ginger which in itself is a great thing when you're not feeling so hot. Another added bonus is how incredibly simple the recipe actually is. I ran to the store in the morning and had soup made before noon...woot, woot!


2 tablespoons olive oil
1.2 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons ginger finely chopped fresh ginger
2 32-ounce containers low-sodium chicken broth
1 16-ounce container low sodium chicken broth
1 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 medium turnip, peeled and chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 2- to 2 1/2-pound rotisserie chicken
1/2 cup frozen peas
4 scallions, sliced

1 cup pasta (penne, ziti, or orecchiette)


1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Add the broth. Stir in the parsnips, carrots, celery, turnip, and ½ teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.

4. Meanwhile, using a fork or your fingers, shred the chicken meat, discarding the skin and bones.

5. Add the chicken, peas, and scallions to the saucepan and cook until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes.

6. Add pasta to the finished soup and serve in individual bowls.


Well I was doing really well with my TRY SOMETHING NEW EVERYDAY thing but then suddenly things got way too nuts around here I couldn't post everyday. I was doing new things I was really excited about and looking forward to posting but then I was one day behind and then two, three, fours days! I couldn't keep track of what I had done and posted and when was what....OIY! Welcome to Mommyland! Sometimes I try to do way too much and this time it all caught up with me.

By the way, in the midst of all the chaos I was the chairperson for my daughters kindergarten class project for their annual school auction fundraiser. We made a book that all the kids participated in and it turned out amazing. We also painted a bookshelf which looked adorable. All the kids put their thumbprints in a tight row and we made it into a caterpillar. It was awesome! We raised a ton of money so some of my Looney Toons craziness lately was worth it!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Phoenix Zoo....DAY TEN OF NEW THINGS!!!

All I can say is "Who Knew?" Not me, that's for sure! The Phoenix Zoo was one of the biggest shocks of my life (I know what you're thinking...must be a boring life) but seriously, it was INCREDIBLE!

Voted one of the Top 5 Zoo's in America for Kids, I can see why. Built in an area of town that has land to spare makes this Zoo a mass of wide open spaces, perfect for animals to live in a way that seems comforting and kind. Leaving this zoo I had the feeling that the animals were happy and that is not always the case when I walk away from the zoo in various cities around the country.

We began our day hiking a mountain which eventually had us at the top of the hill looking at Big Horn Sheep. Growing up in Las Vegas, Big Horn Sheep have always been one of my favorite animals and seeing them relaxing in peace in a their natural habitat absolutely tickled me. Next we moved onto the giraffes who you could actually feed as they spread out on a massive field with bull and tiny deer of some sort. Throughout the day we discovered a monkey area where you can walk amongst them playing in the trees, my kiddos rode a camel, we played for over an hour in a farm area which covered every area of farm life and let the kids have a ball while doing it, oh and there was a giant cactus slide that the kids loved and I still can't believe it wasn't a real cacti.

Hours upon hours can be spent hiking, playing and learning at this truly outstanding zoo. Next time you find yourself in this awesome desert make sure to hit up this hot spot...and give me a call, I'll go back any day!

Day Nine! Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies!!!

I've been on a peanut butter and chocolate kick. My recent love for oatmeal has had me thinking of creating a new cookie. I wanted to combine a few recipes and come up with a cookie that has all the elements I've been dreaming of. 

I found a recipe that with a few tweaks could easily become what I had in mind. I quickly got to work. 

I'm not going to share the recipe yet, because although the this round little delight was incredibly flavorful and hit the mark in so many ways, I was not thrilled with the texture. Immediately after the cookies came out of the oven I knew how to fix it and wanted to start over. Next time it will be perfect!!!


Soccer game! Yes, although I feel like I was just putting on my baby brothers cleats, it is now time for my little munchkin to strap on some shin guards and start playing the game. It's sort of a surreal feeling. Soccer was the single item in which my family completely evolved around. Soccer was not a game, it was our life. And I never even played. My little brothers played and my dad coached. I did a ton of babysitting, shoe-tying and cheerleading. I wasn't just a sister to my kid brothers, I was a sister to an entire team of kids. My sister and I both began to resent soccer a bit because it was not our thing but it was definitely our family ten years later I'm back on the field, trying wipe the slate clean and look at the game in a completely different light.

It's easy to be positive when it comes to my little man. My baby boy is Mr. Positive and his giant smile and bright eyes are evident on the field. As he chases the ball he is almost laughing and I just about squeal with joy myself. My little monkey is having a ball!

There is nothing like seeing your child try new things and have a blast as they're doing it. On this saturday morning my baby was trying a "new thing" and that easily translated into my "new thing" as well.

DAY SEVEN!!!! Selling the baby stuff!

"Trying Something New" today came in the form of five boxes of baby clothes that have been sitting in our garage for about five years. When we moved this summer my husband was stunned to realize I've been holding onto all the onesies, footsie pajamas and adorable little dresses and instead of passing them on to the world of new little munchkins, I've been hoarding them in large tupperware boxes.

So while I have been giving away to the Salvation Army and Goodwill for years, I thought this time I would try out the resale boutique up the street. I packed up the car with my massive amount of stuff and headed on out. I'm pretty sure the Traverse was dragging in back because it was so heavy. My kids were looking at me like i was nuts, and even more so when they watched me carry box after box into the store. More than once I hear, "Mommy, what are you DOING?"

The one thing I've learned from resale stores over the years is that even though these stores need your stuff, because its the only way they make any money, they will always treat you like you are annoying them and your stuff totally sucks. It's tough to get past the judgemental eyes and more than once I have walked out and said forget it. This time however, when I realized how much work went into getting here, I was forcing myself to stay!

An hour later I walked out of the store with a tiny bit of cash and three boxes of clothes. Pretty lame for sure! I realized the feeling you get when you walk into a store like this with your awesome, slightly used stuff, is in itself NOT worth any amount of money! Next time I will give it to a neighbor who has just had a baby or call one of the many companies always looking for donations. It's the ONLY way to go!

Day Six....SCONES!

I have dreams about scones. Their crumbly exterior, usually containing some sort of fruit or nut component that sweeps me off me feet. I was spoiled at a young age; my first job was in a coffee shop and we baked the absolute most spectacular scones in the world (well maybe in the United States, and at the very least in Las Vegas). I wish I had the foresight at sixteen to know I should have taken the recipe with me when I moved on to my hostess position at eighteen. But I was young, naive and imagined a world of simple recipes which resulted in out-of-this-world pastry. Oh how I was wrong...

So when a nice older man set up a table at my local Whole Foods, giving samples of his scone mix which he and his wife serve at their Bed and Breakfast in Tucson I was far more excited than your average shopper.  The best part of his was plain with a fabulous list of different types and what ingredients you will need.

On this day, DAY SIX of TRY SOMETHING NEW I decided to make Apple Cinnamon Scones. OOOHhhhhhhhh boy were they delicious. Have I mentioned I LOVE TRYING ALL THESE NEW THINGS!?!

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Although I had all sorts of grand ideas for trying something new on Wednesday, it turned into a day of mommy-firsts. It was one of those days where I drove here, went there, got in the car, out of the car and felt like with a blink of an eye, the day was over. 

My first "first" of the day had to do with going on a tour of a pre-school for my three and a half year old son. I am an old fashion girl who has a hard time with the thought of sending my three year old to school, but unfortunately in a day and time when every kid his age is in school, I knew the best thing was to start looking at schools. My munchkin and I walked the grounds, taking in everything this outstanding place has to offer and I was both extremely excited for him and terribly sad. My youngest child and almost certainly my last child, will soon be leaving my side and starting something of his own. I'm not one who usually gets sentimental with these things, choosing to be more excited for the growth and experience my child has to look forward to, but this did pull at my heart strings. I was slightly stunned that at 29 years old I was watching my my baby turn a corner in his life which undoubtably means I too will find myself on a new journey as well.

I left the pre-school with a sentimental heart as well as an extremely positive feeling towards the school I had just seen. I was feeling good but knew a day of non-stop, full speed ahead chaos was ahead of me. I had one hour to hit a few different stores and pick up all the supplies for the art project I was responsible for in regards to my daughters school auction. I am the chairperson for the KS class project (first number 2) and the deadline was sneaking up on me. I was on my way to have each kid in her class grace a single wall shelf with their fingerprint and name, although I wasn't exactly sure what I was doing and how it would come together.

The guy at Michaels had assured me that I was buying all the right paints and such for my project but after the paint began to dry on twenty one fingerprints I watched in horror as paint began to chip and peal away. With one hour before I had to return back to school to grab my baby girl, I found myself at Michael's again, buying a sealant and praying to God things would work out. 

My need for speed became an issue and although I was able to secure the safety of the kiddos' fingerprints, I had somehow made the massive mistake of writing 2001 instead of 2011 with a Sharpie paint pen! Now I had a huge blob and smear to solve....not to mention it was 2:45, I was almost late for pick-up!!!

When I returned home with kids in tow, I made a decision I rarely choose (first number 3 for the day). I decided to set the project aside and return to it in a day or two with a clear mind. Thankfully just in time to leave for my favorite part of the week....The Downtown Phoenix Public Market on Wednesday Nights! Or in other words......FOOD TRUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

First number four came in the form of a chocolate covered banana from Mojo Bowl at the Downtown Public Market. We hit up this market every Wednesday night because the produce is spectacular (perfect for our morning vegetable juice) but also because we cannot pass up the mobile food biz done right. Short Leash Dogs feeds us, while Mojo Bowl and their refreshing all-natural shaved ice satisfy our sweet tooth at the end of the evening. This time however, as Mojo Bowl begins to expand their menu I tried the Chocolate Covered Banana with nuts. This frozen chocolate-y fruit on a stick was out of this world good and I ended up sharing with my entire family as each person chimed in over and over again "can I have a bite".

This day of firsts was a challenge but in the end so incredibly satisfying. The constant action was exhausting but as I fell asleep that night I drifted off to dream land with a smile on my face. Life is good!

Chicken with bacon....heck yah!!!!

Tuesday nights dinner was a new recipe and one I was extremely excited...Chicken with Cabbage, Crispy Potatoes and Bacon. The steps were simple and although the ingredients were extremely basic, they were ones I don't often use (cabbage, bacon), especially in such a fashion. I had extremely high hopes and had a feeling it was a meal that could please everyones different tastes.

The crispy tiny pieces of bacon, the cabbage cooked in a way that turned it into a tangy slaw, crispy chip like potatoes and simple grilled chicken. So yummy, so easy, SOOOO great!

Try this one and please the masses!!!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

S'more Cupcakes.....Yes Please!!! (Day 3 of New Things)

On day three of my NEW THINGS challenge, I was racing to get a million things done and wondering if I was going to miss out on a NEW THING already! I had my regular Monday chaos combined with my every-other- Monday volunteer work in the cafeteria at my daughters school. I thought I might have a chance after lunchtime but mopping my floors took way more time than I thought (yuck, the weekend really adds some extra sludge) and before I knew it I was getting back in the car to pick up the munchkin!

After the munchkins dentist appointment it was time to prepare dinner which I was worried about because I was rushing and I destroy meals when I'm rushing (or talking on the phone)! But shockingly enough, dinner was awesome. So awesome my husband took this picture. I will post the recipe another day when I have time to figure it out because I've made so many adjustments to the recipe over the years I'm not even sure what I do anymore.

Oh and for those keeping track, it was chicken meatballs with penne pasta, baby heirloom tomatoes, small buffalo mozzarella balls and basil.

So anyway, I had crumbled and SMASHED the graham crackers for my S'more cupcakes earlier in the day, in between mobbing the floor and picking up the kiddo. As soon as I washed the dinner dishes, I grabbed the graham cracker crumbs, chocolate bars, butter and marshmallows and immediately got started!

This is what you'll need!

- 2 cups crumbled graham crackers
- 3 Hershey's chocolate bars (1.5 oz), chopped
- 11/2 sticks butter, melted
- 12 marshmallows

Using one 12 cup cupcake pan, place liners inside and then spray the inside of the liners with cooking spray.

Mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Once combined really well, add the chopped chocolate.

Scoop the mixture into each cupcake holder, a little more than half way full. Press down on each, so they are packed inside.

Bake at 325 degrees for ten minutes. Remove from oven and place a large marshmallow on each. Return to oven and bake another ten minutes. Cupcakes are finished when the marshmallows are golden brown.

Remove from oven and place pan on a baking rack. After cupcakes have cooled for 20 minutes, pop each out of the cupcake liner and sprinkle with powdered sugar!

These cupcakes are easy and OH SO TASTY! They taste great with a glass of red wine and in my eyes they seem more like a grown up version of the campfire treat!


Here's mine with a big giant bite taken out!

Yep, I made a Cognac Sauce!

I'm not a very saucy girl! I've attempted a couple simple gravy recipes but have never been thrilled with the result and never, ever have I tried to make a sauce. I've always wanted to, but this has been my kryptonite, something I am terrified of and the results I've experienced thus far can be the death of my mood and my meal. I'm embarrassed to admit that I usually rely on recipes that don't require 'saucing it up' or I reach for a powdered version that instructs you to just add water! Horrible, I know. I can feel your judgement already!

SO last night I gave in and after throwing my silly little fears out the window, I created not only a NEW meal for my family, but one that was unbelievably yummy and to top it all off, embarrassingly simple yet dripping with a tasty sauce. Cognac sauce to be exact!!!

The meal was out of the latest Real Simple magazine: A skirt steak with cognac sauce, crisscross fries (which are store bought and the best I've ever had) and a romaine salad with an oil and vinegar dressing, red onion and crumbled blue cheese. Here is the recipe for your own cooking pleasure:

I bought Alexia Waffle fries which are all natural and already seasoned to perfection! I also switched out the blue cheese for another crumbled cheese because we had it on hand! The oil and vinegar dressing is simple but really delightful, possibly one of our favorite aspects of the meal. And the cognac sauce....well we have an overly stocked liquor cabinet and a beautiful cognac was on hand for my cooking pleasure. I recommend you use a good bottle...the sauce reduces and the flavor stands out, which wouldn't be so awesome if you went for a cheap-o brand!

Day Two of 31 DAYS OF TRYING SOMETHING NEW went great! Now....what to do tomorrow?


Recently, after a ton of change in my life (massive amounts actually) I have fallen into a slight rut. I have been cooking the same things every week, following the same routine every day (which is comforting I know, but sometimes we need to throw a wrench in our carefully constructed system) and at the end of the day, although feeling fulfilled I knew something needed to change.

On Saturday afternoon, after futzing around for a bit I knew what I had to do. I pulled out my favorite baking bible and began searching the pages. This time I wasn't going to simply bake one of my four favorite recipes which lay within these pages, I was going to try something new!

I decided on a peanut butter cupcake with milk chocolate glaze. This was the decision for many reasons: (1) the kids and adults in our home would all enjoy it equally. (2) I had all the required ingredients. (3) It was a new version of the old reliable peanut butter cookie I had been thinking about making for days.

The result of my TRY SOMETHING NEW experiment was a massive success, which doesn't always happen and is the thrilling part of thinking outside the box. I am one who believes in trying new recipes on a regular basis (although I haven't been doing it lately) and like I tell my husband on a regular basis...Attempting a new recipe is 50/50 on whether we will have a great or terrible meal/treat, but if it turns out well, we suddenly have a new addition to our regular rotation. There is something to be said for that, for sure! As for my husband, not sure what he thinks of this motto, he does in fact have to eat the lousy experiments and the look on his face as he slowly eats a disaster of a meal is pretty sad, although to his credit he has only suggested we throw out a meal and cook a frozen pizza once or twice!

So this weekend I made an exciting decision! For every single one of the thirty-one fabulous days in October I will attempt something new. Most will be food oriented, either a meal or a delicious delightful treat...but you never know, I may even get crafty or go sky-diving (however, this is very, very, very, unlikely)!

Stay tuned to see what happens!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Fun Little Marshmallow Project!

My daughter's school decided a three day weekend wasn't enough, a four day weekend would be much better. So on this day after Labor day, I was looking for new little projects to do with the kiddos. Enter my favorite entertainment and arts and crafts wonder woman Amy Locurto at Amy has a million and one incredible ideas and I'm always game to give them a try. Today she was painting marshmallows which immediately I wanted to do to!!!!

I tried Amy's way which included mixing bright food coloring with milk in many different shades, in individual cups. The kids and I had a blast making marshmallow magic. The colors weren't totally bright once on the fluffy cushion of goodness, which may have been because my food coloring is kind of lame, but whatever the case we had fun. My kiddo even remarked, "Mom this is the best project ever, lets do it everyday!"

After a while we had surpassed the milky paint and were itching for something better. A lightbulb went off in my head. I melted some Candy Melts which I always have on hand for treat making (but white chocolate would work too), we made some small sections of the stuff on a plate and used food coloring to make our very own pallet. Our second painting project looked to be just as much fun as the last! This time we used toothpicks instead of paintbrushes and it was a blast. The kids were concentrating and meticulously working on each little curve of their canvas. The marshmallows were gloopy and silly (and this project doesn't last forever because the melts and chocolate will eventually harden) but so much fun to do. We had a great time sitting on a picnic blanket on the kitchen floor, cross-legged, bumping knees and trading colors and brushes. The kids squealed with glee when I told them they could eat their masterpieces. REALLY MOM!?!?!?! they screamed in absolute heaven. BEST DAY EVER....for them and for me!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

TASTY TUESDAY! Waffle Lady Giveaway Winners!!!!!!!!!

Well fellow Crazy Mommas, the time has come to pick a WAFFLE WINNER! I am so excited and thankful for the tons of people who have emailed me and commented on my blogs for the chance to win these tasty treats over the past few weeks. I am an advocate for GOOD food and serving your family the absolute best products. The great thing about Waffle Lady Waffles, Oatmeal, Syrups and Granola is that you get some of the best stuff on earth yet are never reminded that its healthy (until you read the box)!

So.....thank you one and all for entering our latest giveaway and if you didn't win this time, I guarantee we will do it again!

Winner of the Gift bag: Jackie Welling

Winner of the refer a friend contest: Chelsea (not only for referring a ton of friends but also for writing a breakfast haiku!!!

Okay ladies! Email me your address and we are all set!!!!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WAFFLE LADY WEDNESDAY: Yay, Giveaway time!!!

Back by popular demand....Waffle Lady Giveaway time! I've heard multiple times in this past two weeks that my friends and neighbors are bummed they missed out on the last Waffle Lady Gift Bag, so to satisfy one and all and get a few more peeps to learn about my very favorite product out there, IT'S GIVEAWAY TIME!

Win this gift bag and receive an awesome box of California Whole Wheat Pancake and Waffle Mix and a cup of Daily Oats! These healthy, tasty delights will not only satisfy your fam but thrill you when you realize that both are incredibly healthy and a terrific way to start your day.

Also, my awesome friend Lauren Brown was lucky enough to try Waffle Lady last week and will be discussing her thoughts today! Check her out on THE BLOG ADDICTS DAILY DIGEST, an awesome blog I read every single day! (THE BADD BLOG:

Enter a comment below, make sure to leave your email address and tell me your very favorite thing to eat for breakfast! Winners will be chosen randomly (but an awesome breakfast comment will earn you a few extra points) next Tuesday, September 6. Also, if you tell a friend to enter the contest and they tell me in their comment that you sent them, you will be entered to win an extra prize. The more people you send over, the more chances you have at winning!!!

Good Luck Friends!!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

TASTY TUESDAY! Yummy Beer Battered Onion Rings

YUM! BBQ season is winding down which would explain why we've spent the past couple weekends making as many summer BBQ meals as possible. While checking my recipe book for some tasty side dishes to go along with burgers, hot dogs or pulled pork sandwiches I remembered these oh-so-satisfying rings of crunchy goodness. Last summer I made these far too often and they became a regular item whenever my hubby's friends were watching a hockey, football or basketball game in our living room (they raved and requested them again and again!)


1. One cup flour, plus half cup flour
2. One cup any type of beer
3. Kosher salt and Crushed Black Pepper, to taste
4. One onion sliced the thickness you'd like your rings
5. One large pot with about 5 inches of vegetable oil

-Mix one cup flour and beer together with a whisk. Pour through a strainer to get rid of lumps. Let sit for 15 minutes.
-Take half cup four, season with salt and pepper and set on a plate.
- Warm oil over medium heat. I never use a thermometer...just warm it overmedium heat for about 10 minutes.
-Once batter has set for 15 minutes, take onion rings, dip in dry flour and then place in beer batter. Toss a small 1/4 teaspoon of batter in oil and see if it starts frying, if not wait for oil to become hotter.
-Take two or three at a time, dripping with batter (better to be COVERED in batter, then sorta kinda covered) and drop in oil.
-move onion rings around in oil with tongs until desired doneness, preferably golden brown.
-Remove rings from oil and place on a paper towel on a plate, season with kosher salt. Continue process until all have been fried.
CAUTION: OIL IS careful.
CAUTION: Beer battered onion rings are addictive

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thankful Thursday! THE LAST BROWNIE

Today I'm sentimental. As my munchkins grow up, my baby brother is about to go away to college and our lives evolve at a pace I never expected I look around my living room and laugh out loud at the craziness. It's a scene many mothers know...a homemade fort, fishy crackers and chaos. I usually lack the patience but today I'm watching my house be turned upside down and I simply smile.

With my baby girl spending her first week in Kindergarten and my beautiful boy growing at a rapid pace, I am simply thankful. Thankful for their existence, thankful for their smile, thankful for their unwavering joy, giggles and love. I feel blessed for the man who entered my life exactly ten years ago, swept me off my feet and changed my life in an instant. Thankful for my crazy parents who did not bat an eye when I spoke of getting married and moving away from them at nineteen years old.

And at this exact moment I am thankful for THE LAST BROWNIE. I'm thankful that the rest of the enormous brownie platter my mom sent home with me three days ago is finally gone and one crumbly almost stale chocolatey square is left. I'm thrilled I can get my mind off these delicious delights which have been calling my name since they entered my home and move on with my life. So excuse me....I am going to go watch the kids build their fort, listen to their laughter....and eat this brownie, YUM!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Mischief: Her Comes Kindergarten

Today after a two months of sleeping late and letting the kids lounge a bit, I woke them up at 6:30. Tomorrow is the first day of Kindergarten and we must be prepared!

As I think about my munchkin's progress, growth and sudden maturity into a school age child it fills me with pride and sadness. I have a hard time watching people grow old anyway, so seeing my own pride and joy becoming a little person rather than my baby is heart wrenching, although beautiful. I want her to be all she can be, I want her to discover all her dreams and know I am always behind her. I want my little angel to be a good person with outstanding morals, unwavering strength and a solid head on her shoulders. I pray she can attack this life and one day look back at it with immense pride. I want it to be, no matter what, HER life. Not mine, not her husbands or her friends. I hope she always knows at her core that the world is hers, to make of it what SHE wants!

In the past few weeks, possibly with the looming knowledge of Kindergarten coming and my days slightly less chaotic (so I think but something tells me one child at home will be even more difficult than two....) I've been trying to establish my freelance writing career and another website. Not sure why I do these things, always looking to cram my schedule to its limit...but I somehow sense I'm trying to do exactly what I want for my daughter. To build a life I can be proud of...a life I can one day look back at and know I attacked each tiny possibility and filled each day with fun, love and excitement. I want to constantly evolve and make my ever changing dreams come true.

Check out my first freelance article:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I LOVE granola. Love, love, love granola. But I also think very few granolas are made well. Too sweet, too artificial, to hard and boring....I finally gave up all together. The last great granola I had was from a farmers market and long gone from my grasp.

Enter my favorite lady...THE WAFFLE LADY! I know by now you've heard enough. I can hear you now...yes, Amanda, we love The Waffle Lady. But seriously, this lady does much more than waffles and even oatmeal. She makes the absolute best granola in the world.

When we moved to Phoenix, I was devastated to learn we had move to a WAFFLE LADY free area. Not one store carried my prized brand. I did what every rational girl would do, I order four cases of oatmeal and twelve boxes of Waffle mix. Yes, even I know I'm nuts. As a thank you for such an order the wondrous Waffle Lady threw in some granola for me to try.

So now I'm hooked. I've gone from Waffle Lady Daily Oats each morning to alternating between that and Chobani Greek yogurt with Waffle Lady granola poured all over it! So yummy....

Get this...these are the ingredients in this holy moly awesome bag....
Organic Old Fashion Oats, Natural Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Natural Almonds, Natural Vanilla, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Raw Honey, Butter, Salt.

It's amazing!

Oh and friends....the link for the WAFFLE LADY Gift Bag didn't work last week, so it's still up for grabs. Email me at for your chance....ends Monday, August 8.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday Mischief: The Couch Debacle

The three year old male who lives in my house, who happens to be my son, who cracks me up on a regular basis and amazes me with his unwavering love and kindness has shown me he is undoubtably a man.

We moved to a new house a couple months ago and in the immense world of change, my little guy decided that waking up early was his new way of life. He'd walk in my room just as the sun came up and whine to watch TV on the couch with his blanket and juice cup. Because I was heartbroken over all the change my kiddos had gone through (leaving the city, home and family they'd grown up with) I gave in and began curling up with him on the sofa at 6am.

It didn't take long for my five-year-old baby girl to catch on. Something was happening long before she got up and she didn't like it. She'd wake up to us giggling to cartoons and in no time decided this was not going to happen on her watch.

What came next was a battle for superiority. My children decided they would rather lose their favorite toy than be the last one up. A game of "who can get up first and get control of the couch for twenty minutes in the morning" had begun and much to my chagrin. Little feet tip toeing into my room at all hours is tough enough, but when its for ownership of the couch and television and undivided mommy giggle time, its enough to make you crazy.

I put a swift (sort of swift) stop to it, three weeks of 5am mornings was killing me and the mood of my sleep deprived children was like nails sliding slowly down a chalkboard. "THAT'S IT", I stomped my feet one particularly early day..."NO MORE!"

Things have returned mostly to normal until this morning when the little guy crawled out of bed, realized his sister was already up and took off running down the hallway. With blanket, cup, stuffed animal and his much loved ducky in hand he sped down the hall, face showing anger and despair. This even tempered, happy-go-lucky little boy was going to control what was his. In minutes his comfy morning routine was completely set up and he had put his name on it. The couch was his and he was not giving it up to anyone!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fantastic Friday! A Change of Scenery

Last month when my family moved from Southern California to the desert, it was a tough transition for a group of people who have Southern California running through their veins. My husband, children and I were all born in beach climate and were use to moisture, sand and sun.

When we moved into our new home our walls were bare and I was on a hunt for art. I scoured the stores, visiting every possible option. Nothing and I mean nothing was good. I refused to buy some generic flowers I'd seen a million times (seriously every store had the same flowers or watercolor french scene).

Now enter Jim Amos Photos on Etsy. I discovered this store, recommended by one of my very best friends and presto, I suddenly had the two things I was missing in my new desert oasis: art for the walls and stunning images of everything I love in Southern California. I was inspired by his colors, impressed by his technique and intrigued by the shots he captured with utter perfection. I felt his photos deep in my soul.

Head on over and discover the Jim Amos store on etsy:

And now because Jason Bogs, the man behind Jim Amos Photos is one of the best people I know, he is giving CRAZY MOMS EVERYWHERE a chance to win one of his photos. Leave a comment here with your email address or email me at and you too can hang the best parts of Cali in your home. This image will be yours in a 5x5 size! You have until Noon, Wednesday August 3 to enter! Good Luck!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thankful Thursday! Pizza Night Gone Wrong

With so many complaints and bouts of irritation floating through the air these days I find it necessary to mention the simple, beautiful things in life of which I am thankful.

Yesterday I was exhausted. A night of little sleep, I was trying desperately to be patient and get through the day. When I totally destroyed dinner, a meal I was looking forward to cooking all day I was beyond agitated. I knew I shouldn't be so disappointed, it was only food but then again that's exactly why I was so bummed. I had worked hard on organic beautiful meats and veggies and Whole Foods pizza dough to make homemade pizzas on our new pizza stone. The kids pepperoni turned out well but the spicy chicken sausage, bell pepper and mushroom pie for my husband and I, not so much.

But when I reflected on the day, on the fact that I got my kids on ice skates that afternoon and was stunned at their ability at three and five years old, I was so thankful. I felt the gift of an ice cold arena to escape to on these fire hot Phoenix summer afternoons. And I took in the fact that while my husband works hard I am given the gift of staying home with my babies and enjoying such an excursion.

As I cleaned up the mess of my dinner disaster, feeling slightly better I heard a familiar sound. The laughter of my two children rang throughout our house, my husband cracking up as well. I took a peak around the corner, my hands damp from soaping dishes. I looked at my three loves sitting on our couch, laughing hysterically and I smiled wide. What were the watching you may ask....Happy Days, their new favorite. "Hey mom" my three year old said between fits of giggles, "come see Ralph Malph, he's running around a boxing ring."

Yes, I am Thankful!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

WAFFLE LADY WEDNESDAY! Chocolate Chip Waffles

By now anyone that knows me knows I'm obsessed with Waffle Lady products. With just one taste, you too will know why.

Waffle Lady Chocolate Chip Waffles are a thing of beauty. My daughter's favorite thing to eat for breakfast is waffles. It's our biggest debate and for a very stubborn five year old girl it can be quite a battle. She is a healthy kid who eats tons of fruit, has a vegetable juice every morning (we are crazy fresh juice makers and have somehow convinced out kids to drink a juice we make containing kale, celery, carrots, cucumber and bell pepper every morning) and has never been an excessive sugar consumer. Yet the fact that she wants waffles soaked in syrup every morning makes me nuts. To stop her hunger strike (I'm serious, she's stubborn) Waffle Lady has saved my life.

Waffle Lady Chocolate Chip Waffles are all organic. They may be chocolate chip, but The Phenomenal Waffle Lady has done it right, including the absolute perfect amount of chocolate chips, making the waffles decadent yet not overly indulgent. Made of simple, un-processed, wholesome ingredients this waffle mix is something even the most health conscious mother can be incredibly pleased with. Last week, I even convinced my munchkin to ditch the syrup and eat the waffle sticks (we like to cut them into sticks and dip them into syrup) with a fresh fruit salad and either turkey sausage or a scrambled egg.

My love for the Waffle Lady is a passion which began with my very first taste but has grown with each addition sensational bite . You too can begin a life long affection. Add a comment with your email address and enter to win an awesome Waffle Lady Gift Bag complete with three Waffle Lady products, coming to you straight from the lady herself! This contest will run until Monday, August 1 at noon, I will then announce the winner here. Make sure to tell your friends, the more people to submit, the more likely another one of these terrific contests will occur next week! Here is what the gift bag will be:

To find out more about The Waffle Lady and her products, go to:


In our home we don't eat, we dine. Food is a treasure to be respected, savored and enjoyed. Personally it took me a long time to understand this but once I did, my life changed forever.

When I was twenty years old this queen of junk food married a healthy, food respecting man. I had never eaten a salad with a meal and my husband scoffed at my ignorance. Like it or not I was going to make a change. I started slow, iceburg lettuce with a couple slices of tomato. Thankfully I hate creamy dressings, so my very blah salad was always covered in some sort of tangy vinaigrette.

Over the years I've evolved greatly. I never minded trying new things, just preferred to eat sweets, processed food, meats and carbs. I still overindulge on treats (everyone has a vice), but everything else in my diet has improved. Salads are probably the number one dramatic change in my life. I love to experiment with flavor and texture combinations. I love that I learned to appreciate the underrated brilliance of butter lettuce, the fun of a wedge (no not the shoes) and the fact that texture plays a huge part in whether you enjoy your feast in a bowl.

Last night I prepared chicken parmigiana for dinner but because of the relentless heat in AZ I wanted a lighter experience from a normally massive meal. My conclusion: skip the pasta, make a chunky fresh tomato sauce, and create a delicious, vibrant summer salad. The results were amazing!

Salad ingredients include:
One head of Romaine lettuce (the center where the leaves are smaller, lighter and more crisp), chopped very thin
One head of corn, cut off the cob and not cooked
Small chunks of red onion (even if you dislike onion, its a necessary component and if sliced thin you will barely notice them).
3 tomatoes cut into chunks (go with the real thing not the tiny cherry or grape tomatoes, it will give the salad more moisture)
A Quarter of a Hot House Cucumber, pealed and cut into chunks
Fresh, very good quality Parmigiana cheese grated coarsely

Toss with a light Italian dressing (I've recently started buying Whole Foods 365 Italian or Balsamic dressings....they are great with this).

For my Chicken Parm recipe, go to my online magazine

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


The reality of being a mom to school age children has finally hit. I remember being ten years old, looking at my mom on those hot, school-free days, and knowing without a doubt that she was going to rip her hair out! Two and a half months for kids to be out of school may seem like paradise to little energetic munchkins, but to a mother who can only think of so many activities, so many project, so many local kid-friendly places to visit, it can be a bit of an uphill battle. This week, as my bouncing baby girl is on the verge of beginning kindergarten, I've realized what my mother went through and what so many others go through as our kids run circles around the house and we stare, trying not to go crazy! We've had a fabulous summer, filled with change, growth and experience...but as the last weeks wind to a close, the chaos and my inability to control it is apparent.

I write this post with a bit of caution. On Sunday night I watched Diane Sawyer's interview of Jaycee Duggard and was affected to my core. I was outraged at the state of our 'system' that lets vile, inhuman beings walk the earth because of prison overcrowding and the parole officers who are paid by our tax dollars to NOT do their job. I was touched by a mother, who never gave up, who searched and prayed and waited for her baby to come home. And I was stunned by a woman, only a bit older than I, who was kidnapped, raped and forced to do the unthinkable, yet shows an unimaginable sense of hope and love in her heart. The last moments of this interview, just when I suspected I could cry no more, Jaycee's mother looked into the tv, speaking as one mother to another and gave a beautiful piece of wisdom. She spoke of leaving her home the morning Jaycee was kidnapped and rushing out the door, more concerned with herself than her daughters. Worried about getting to work on time she decided NOT to kiss them goodbye. Painstakingly, she told me and the millions of mothers watching, to take that 'minute' for your might be an inconvenience to you but it means something to them.

That evening as I tucked my babies in bed and my precious girl argued and persisted for one more kiss, one more sip of water I took a deep breath and prayed for patience, I kissed my little one, hugged her (maybe a bit too tight, I was emotional) and counted my blessings. Yes, the summer may be long and filled with commotion, but it is ours and it won't be here forever. I'm incredibly thankful to have such energetic kiddos causing havoc to our lives even if half the time, I want to rip my long, thick blonde hair out in chunks!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Cherry Pie

Life in our little world has changed drastically over the past month and a half. We're living in a new city, becoming familiar with our new home and new neighborhood. For me, two extra things I've had to get use to are shopping in a new market where I don't have my regular rapport with the produce guy or a butcher who knows me by my first name and a new kitchen. My new stove is electric and my oven seems to bake quickly, so I've spent my time recently avoiding baking (which for me is NOT easy). Today however when I walked into Whole Foods and was confronted with a massive display of succulent cherries on sale, I knew there was only one thing to do. I grabbed three bags and took out my iPhone....Googling a cherry pie recipe. Thirty minutes later I left the market with everything I needed to make a yummy cherry pie and homemade whip cream......(except I soon realized, a cherry pitter).

I ran home (the kids where with their grandparents and I was determined to get this baby in the oven before they returned) and began pitting cherries. Without a pitter, it was a mess but not nearly as difficult as I expected. I was finished before I knew it and ready to get to work on the rest. I chose to combine steps from various recipes, coming up with what I thought would work best. Other than not pinching the crust well enough and experiencing a bit too much oozing of the cherry filling....I think it turned out perfect. The hubby obviously agreed, placing his plate in the sink and proclaiming "that was the best piece of pie I've ever had."

The moral of this story is....I'm glad I bit the bullet and baked a scrumptious treat. Yes the new oven bakes quickly but I've figured out it's quirks and am moving right along! Thank goodness for a sale on cherries!!!