Quick Tip: Fluffy scrambled eggs

Have you ever made scrambled eggs that turn out chewy and dry?

When I first made scrambled eggs on my own I couldn’t figure out what the problem was – until I went over to my mom’s and had hers.
“How do you make these so fluffy?!” I’m sure I was a little bit frustrated.

Until she told me the trick: a little milk beaten in with the eggs. Now I never make them without milk.

Eggs also need to be seasoned.  I leave out the black pepper because I’m not a big fan of it in EVERYTHING – but some form of salt is necessary. My preferred method is parmesan cheese.  I use it to season a lot of things; abd I heard Alton Brown say that parmesan IS, in fact, a seasoning, so I’m sticking with it 😉

Start with the parmesan at the bottom of the bowl (otherwise it just lays on top and isn’t properly incorporated), crack your eggs into it, then add a splash of milk. I use 1 or 2%. Skim is too watery and anything heavier detracts from the flavor of your eggs.

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My morning egg mixture: parmesan cheese, 2 whole eggs, 1 egg white, and a splash or two of milk

I always use a fork to beat the eggs unless I’m making a double or triple batch… then use a whisk!

Next time you make eggs, try them this way. They add great flavor and a light texture to omelettes or veggie scrambles!

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Veggie scramble with spinach, onions, yellow pepper, grape tomatoes, and baby Bella mushrooms. And cheese. Lots of cheese 😉

The One Hair Product Every Busy Mom Needs

Wait, you’ve heard that one before? I know, I have too. I get really tired of infomercials, commercials, print ads, and magazines extolling the “GREATNESS” of a product, only to shell money out and realize it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. That’s why when I find something I like, I stick with it.

And this product, I LOVE.

Aveda Style Prep

Aveda Pure Abundance Style Prep

Have you ever been one of the following situations? (Busy moms, answer YES!)
1. It’s your day to shower (because there’s no way you get one EVERY day, even on a good week!) but something happens. The kids skip their naps, there’s no babysitter available, a pressing matter pops up that takes up your shower time. And you have to be somewhere later! Your hair is not styled, and in the state it’s in, it won’t BE styled until it’s washed again.
2. It’s NOT your day to shower, and even though your hair is usually perfectly fine with this arrangement, it decided to be stubborn today and looks greasier than normal. Showering is NOT in your schedule today.
3. You showered last night, because that’s the only time you CAN shower – when everyone else is sleeping. But now you have a major case of bedhead that even a straight iron and hair spray can’t fix.

So what would you do in these situations?
1. Maybe grab a hat???
2. Try baby powder, and hope it all blends in when you brush it??
3. Use lots of gel and try to put it in a pony tail that doesn’t have stray hairs sticking out from everywhere?

Now I’m sounding like an infomercial (sorry). Let’s get real.

It used to be I “couldn’t” shower at night, because when I slept on wet or even freshly dried hair, it got all wavy in the wrong places – and didn’t look clean anyway, so what was the point? And yes, I’ve used the baby powder trick a time or two. And no, I don’t own hats really, so that was never an option for me. It was basically change my plans to “stay-holed-up-and-hope-no-one-drops-by-unexpectedly” so I wouldn’t have to go out looking like a grease ball and smelling like a zoo.

But I got this as a gift for Christmas (thanks Mom!), and I am so sold on the necessity of this one little bottle that I will definitely shell out the money for it when I run out. (If you’re curious, it’s $24 on Aveda’s site.)

Plus it’s simple and fast: spray some all over (or only on problem areas) and comb to distribute. Then blow dry or curl or straight iron the problem right away.

I can now shower at night with confidence knowing I’ve got this baby in my cabinet!
And greasy hair is a thing of the past!
Untamed waves and fly-aways? Not a problem for this momma!

I reverted back to the infomercial voice. Apparently I can’t help it. 😉

I am in no way being paid to endorse this product. (But I will accept money after the fact, if you’re offering, Aveda. 😉 )

Find an Aveda salon near you: Salon Locator

Mom VS Mom: the Great Food Debate

I’m a breastfeeding mom; I love nursing. It’s a great bonding time for mommy and baby. Baby’s breath and poop actually smell good. And of course there are health benefits! Call me lazy, but honestly, more than anything, I love the convenience it affords.

That is, if you are able to get past the common misconception that breastfeeding is “natural” and should come easy to you and baby. And past the sore nipples. And the latching issues. And wondering if baby is getting enough. Especially when baby is so soothed he/she keeps falling asleep at the breast. Just getting past the general questioning of your technique that happens those first few weeks should be a celebrated event.

Maybe convenience is not quite the right word.

With my first, I only made it four months before throwing in the towel and switching exclusively to formula – even with an extremely abundant milk supply. You see, she was born a little early, with jaundice. Everyone was so concerned about getting her the fluids she needed, which would help fix the problem. Unfortunately, that caused more problems – because even though the nurses marveled at how much I could pump the first day, they still supplemented with formula. So when she had trouble latching by herself, they offered all this extraneous equipment to help the process along. This was a big mistake, but I didn’t know that at the time. It was my first baby; I had no idea what I was doing! I just thought, “Wow, how cool that they have all these ways to help!” The only thing it helped, though, was ensuring that A was never comfortable nursing naturally from me; I was always augmenting with some other device.

Thankfully it was easier with my other two kids – though not completely free from challenges. But more and more I’m hearing stories of moms who, even after experimenting with diet, supplements, and pumping schedules, are unable to provide enough milk to breastfeed exclusively.

A friend shared this post on her page, urging the ‘mothers who failed’ not to base their self-worth as a mom on the fact that they used formula. She writes,

We momma’s should not be defined by how we feed our children. It is wrong and mean and terrible that these days, our worth as mommas is found in FOOD. (We women have enough problems with that topic already.)

This debate does not end when our children grow past the age of reliance on breast milk or formula. It reminds me of a another article that criticizes our society for placing so many pressures on us regarding the quality and quantity of food we eat – so much so that our food choices become an idol. My mom raised us to understand eating healthily as always having balance. As you may have read, I’m eating more fruits and vegetables – and I feel GREAT! So I know the benefits of eating right and have experienced them first hand. Similarly I know the benefits of breastfeeding. But this day and age, the stakes have been raised. It’s become such a disputed point that breastfeeding moms judge formula-feeding moms – and organic mommies judge non-organic mommies… or preservative-free judge preservative inclusive, gluten-free judge gluten-inclusive, no food dyes judge food dye givers; insert special diet here and there will always be two stances at war with each other. As I’m learning more and more through the Honest Momseries, we each do what we believe is best for our families, with the information we search out, after painstakingly weighing all the options and whatever limitations we have.

So, fellow moms: instead of automatically jumping to criticism of another’s food choices, can I make a proposal? That we gently and impartially ask a mom who’s made different choices from us WHY they’ve made those choices. (If you’re the one being asked, don’t jump immediately to being offended.) And in learning what motives led to that decision, we can observe our children more meticulously. And if our child displays those same symptoms or behaviors, we can reevaluate the choices WE make.

Let’s be the kind of moms that seek to understand one another, believe the best in one other, and encourage one another, instead of being so quick to judge.

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. – Matthew 7:1-2

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves… – Philippians 2:3

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! …encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. – 2 Corinthians 13:11

Best BBQ Pork in Crock Pot

For the first few years of my marriage I didn’t really use my crock pot. I felt like it was more work than help, as I still had to prep everything, but I had to do it EARLIER instead of having all day. My husband and I didn’t really eat enough by ourselves at that time, so we always had leftovers (and I hadn’t figured out how to repurpose them yet). Yes I viewed this as a problem. I guess I wasn’t too good at cooking, so if it already didn’t taste great, who wants the leftover version of something you had to suffer through the first time? Ha. Plus that big crock pot insert was so ANNOYING to clean. Sigh.

This meal is the one that got me interested in the crock pot again. It is SO UNBELIEVABLY EASY that I promise, even if you think you’re the worst cook, you can’t really mess it up. So here is the “First Meal”: BBQ pork ribs in the crock pot.

All you need are: a crock pot, a package of country style pork ribs (bone in or boneless, either will do), a bottle of BBQ sauce, and some water. Yep. That’s it.
I always buy the family pack of these, because they are generally cheaper and that way I can freeze half of it for next time.

Side note: Have you seen these Ziploc Perfect Portions? I love them, because they make it quicker to defrost frozen meats, plus it prevents the mess (you put them on like a glove, grab your meat, and pull the plastic over the meat to form a bag. Fold it and you’re done!) It’s great if you have a smaller family and want to portion out 2-3 chicken breasts at a time, or even if you have a larger family but want to separate the meat to decrease defrost time. Plus then you can keep everything in a large gallon bag and take out only the number you need instead of potentially wasting extra food you won’t use.
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So. All you do is put the pork in the crock pot…
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squeeze the bottle of BBQ sauce on top…
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And add water to the top of the meat.
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Then cook on low for 8 hours. That’s it!
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I love this because…
1. It’s so easy. No prep required.
2. My kids love it.
3. My husband loves it.
4. I love it. The pork is so tender!
5. The Second Meal opportunities!!!
6. It smells so good all day.

Stay tuned for Second Meal ideas!