Chocolate Bird Nests

Easter is fast approaching and in this house, Mama likes to impress the guests with the unexpected.  Its an illness, I blame Martha Stewart.  All hail Martha!  *ahem*

Anyway, a few years ago, we made a neat variation of this treat using M&M’s for Christmas.  Not sure how we decided that nests were Christmas-y but, they were good and pretty, and you just don’t question that.  Right?  Right.  When we made them, we just piled the goo onto parchment paper and made freestyle nests.  They were awesome, of course, but they were also pretty big.  Like, palm of your hand big.  Kind of large for a sweet treat.  So as I planned out this treat in my head for Easter, I thought I would dig out my muffin pan and use that for smart portion control.  See how I roll?  When I grabbed what I thought was my standard size muffin pan, I actually grabbed my mini muffin pan that I had completely forgotten I even owned.  (Darn babies, stealing Mama’s brain cells)

And then the proverbial light bulb went off and aha, I say!  No really, I did in fact say “Aha!” outloud.  Then Noah, my toddler, says “What Mommy?” To which I say, “Mommy had a great idea!”  To which he says, “Awesome!”  See?  I’m not the only one in the house that over uses that awesome word.  I just used the word ‘awesome’ to describe the word ‘awesome’.   Yup.

Back to the nests!

Gather up your Chow Mein Noodles,  Chocolate Chips, and egg shaped candy.  I used Robin’s Eggs, which were my second choice.  I sent Abe out to get the little candy coated Cadbury Eggs, but he “couldn’t find them”.  Whatevs.  I think you get the idea.  You could also use jelly beans or M&M’s, whatever your little heart desires really.

Next, melt your chocolate chips.  This is my handy dandy chocolate melter thingy that I got from QVC.   Don’t judge.  Home shopping is AWESOME and convenient.  I’m not sure if they sell it anymore, but its pretty nifty.  It only heats up warm enough to melt the chocolate, never scorches.  Of course, thats its only purpose though, so if you don’t plan on melting loads of chocolate on a regular basis, you could do the double boiler method.  Or the microwave, if you’re brave.

Once its all melted, I threw about half the bag of chow mein noodles into a large bowl and poured the melted chocolate on top, stirring it all together to coat the noodles.  I already had my mini muffin pan ready to go and sprayed with non stick cooking spray just in case.  Using a spoon, put blobs of this mixture into the pan, noticing how it is already looking totally awesome and nest like.  Once all the cups are filled, bust out your eggs and plop those puppies into the nests you just made.  I did two eggs per nest because…..I wanted to.

See how pretty and nest like they are?  The melted chocolate will work as a glue to hold the eggs in place, no worries.  Then I like to place the tray into the fridge or freezer to harden.  I will admit, I had some anxiety wondering if they would come out of the muffin tin without sticking.  They seemed pretty well stuck when I pulled them out this morning.  I grabbed a butter knife to loosen the edges and they popped out without a problem though.

So cute!  And not too big!  My mix made 24 little nests with one globby spoon full of chocolate and stray noodles for Mama and a bowl of chocolate-y goodness for the babies to fight over.

I am *hoping* this lasts at least through Saturday when we are having a cousin playdate with the kiddos after some Easter activities.  If not, well then there is photographic proof that I did indeed make these treats.

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Raw Meat is Icky

Seriously.  Blech!  I hate touching raw meat.  Not only does it feel absolutely disgusting, but I think of all the germs and scariness all up in it.  Yeah, I’m kind of a germaphobe.  But don’t get me wrong.  I love meat.  It is delicious.  If God didn’t want us to eat animals, he would not have made them so darn delectable.  True story.

We had some ground beef sitting in the fridge that needed to be used, so Mama busted out the rubber gloves this morning and did some super quick freezer cooking.  Don’t judge.  You probably want to use rubber gloves when you touch raw meat now too, don’t you?  Don’t you?  Its okay, its an awesome idea, do it.  DO IT.

Have you heard about freezer cooking?  Its all the rage these days.  Its actually kind of brilliant, especially if you have a crazy schedule with work and kiddos.  Basically, you get meals ready to go and stuff them in freezer bags, store them in the freezer, and just pull them out for quick easy meals whenever you need them.  With Abe working fulltime and Matt and Bella in school and scouts and dance, yada yada, it has been a huge time saver.

My first stab at freezer cooking was……meh.  Heres a tip.  Taste test your recipes before making ginormous batches for several meals.  Don’t blindly trust yummy sounding recipes you find online.  You will regret it and your family will start to groan when you go to the freezer for an awesome freezer meal.  Trust me, I know this from experience.  I have a few meals in the freezer still that I am avoiding like the plague.  And a few had to have such massive rescue work just to make them “eatable” that really, it took as much time as cooking from scratch start to finish.

Today’s super quick freezer meals are a family favorite that lends itself to freezing well.  Meatloaf.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy as my Bella would say.  Each meatloaf will easily be two meals plus extra for spaghetti, and I made two loaves.  Probably took me about 15 minutes total to pull everything out, whip it together and then throw it in the freezer.

Yeah, I wear gloves to touch raw meat, so what?

Mama’s Meatloaf

Ingredients:

Ground Beef

Egg

Onion Soup Mix

Worchestshire Sauce

Ketchup

Oats

Rubber Gloves (MUST HAVE!!)

Basically everything just gets mushed together and put in lined loaf pans.  I lined my pans with foil and filled them, then threw them in the freezer to, you know, freeze.  Once they are good and frozen, I will take them out of the loaf pans and throw the wrapped up ready to heat meatloaves into a Ziplock freezer bag with the cooking instructions written on the bag, you know, in case Abe decides to cook, and boom!  Easy freezer meal.

 

Its not a glamorous recipe, I realize, but it is my mama’s recipe, so it is in my opinion, the best meat loaf ever.  My mom usually cooks hers in the microwave though.  *gag*  Mine gets thrown in a 350 degree oven for an hour or so to get that yummy thoroughly cooked flavor.  Delicious, and so much less vomiting.  Its a good thing.

 

Well hello there!

So I have decided to blog.  Actually, I’ve blogged before.  A long, long time ago, and we won’t mention that blog here.  But here I am, new to Word Press, excited to share and learn with all my soon to be blog friends.  *smile*

I guess this is where I tell you a little bit about me.  I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not to use real names or fancy made up names.  I’ve done the made up names before, and to be honest, its hard work keeping all those mentiras straight.  And that was three kids ago!  Far too many brain cells have been lost through pregnancies since then, so for my sanity’s sake, I shall use our real names.

Hi, my name is Angie and I’m a blogger.  Oh, did I mention that I am a dork?  Yeah, I’m pretty dorky.  Thats cool.  So is my husband.  And my kids.  We’re all dorks here, and pretty darn proud of it.  Also, sarcasm runs through our veins.  Its true.  My oldest son is showing signs of the illness already, making mama proud.

Okay, so I’m Angie.  Got it.  My husband’s name is Abe.  Huh?  Abe as in short for Abraham, you say?  Yes.  Abe as in short for Abraham.  I love his name.  How many Abe’s do you know?  Not many, I would gather.  My husband, on the other hand, not so crazy for the name.  Apparently, kids are mean and made fun of his awesome name when he was younger.  Who knew?

We have four children.  Yes, we know how babies are made.  Yes, they are all “intentional”.  Yes, we have other hobbies.  But hey, making babies is pretty fun, right?  Once people get over that number, they almost immediately then ask, “Are you done?”  Aye papi!  When did that become anyone’s business besides the people who decide to raise the babies in the first place?  You will hear me moan about this often, I apologize in advance.  But to answer for all those who care to know, I don’t know.  Do I want more children?  Yes.  Will we try to have more children?  Yes.  I think I finally got my husband on the crazy train.  But that said, who knows if we will be able to have any more children?  I am a mama who has suffered through a painful miscarriage and secondary infertility.  It took nearly two years and several rounds of fertility drugs to be able to conceive my third child.  If God blesses us with more, I will be happy.  If not, I will still be happy.  I have four gorgeous children that are my reason to breathe.

Ah, the children!  Yes, as I said, I have four children.  Matt is the oldest and he is 9.  He is the quiet, easy going book worm.  Don’t let that fool you though.  He can torture his younger sister like nobody’s business!

Next is Isabella.  She is 6 and she is sugar and spice and everything nice.  Her favorite color is pink, and subscribes to the philosophy that everything is better with a little glitter and lace.  Shes our little dancing star.

Then came Noah.  He was hard work!  This was the Clomid baby we waited oh so long for.  He is oh so very 2 right now.  Oh so very 2.  *sigh*

Last but not least, is our little Saraphina.  She is 9 months old and just happens to be the only latina looking baby in the bunch.  Yes, see, mama has latina roots, dark hair, dark eyes, darker complected.  Daddy is…..white.  Like, whoa, put some sunglasses on esse, that boy is white!  I kid.  But he has european roots, blonde hair, blue eyes, and freckles.  Now, in elementary school, weren’t you taught that darker hair and eyes were the dominant gene?  I was, so color me confused when my first three babies all came out blonde and fair.  With each pregnancy I would wonder if I would ever get my “Mexican baby”.  Well, it took four tries, but Little Miss Saraphina definitely takes after her mama!  *yay!*

Thats not to say I think any of my other kids are any less cute.  They’re mine, so they’re gorgeous.  *smile*  But its nice to have a baby that looks like me.

This introduction has turned into quite the little essay.  Are you still reading this?  Wow.  Cool.

So I guess this blog will basically be all the things I love.  Lots of mommy talk, recipes, crafts, vents, you know, awesome stuff.  Welcome to the circus that is this mami’s life!