Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Elf Mischief 2013

Yes, it's that time.  The crazy elf has returned to our Haus for Christmas 2013.  So as the days progress (and we have less sunlight!) I will add the elf photos as they happen.

Getting captured by the army guys

Curling ribbon, and curling some more.  Christopher used my sons scissors, which made Mr. Non-Stop a little unhappy.

Zip-lining through the front hall.  Looks easy, but I had to use double stick tape to get the candy canes to stay and tape around the hook so Christopher wouldn't move.

Full view of the zip line.

Christopher must of needed a midnight snack, he ate the centers of the Oreos!

 There is always time to fish!

 Christopher was all set for the Big Ten Championship game. (too bad the Buckeyes didn't win!)

 Creating a peppermint tree and leaving a big mess

 Hanging out in the dining room light

Hanging out with the Nutcrackers.  Mr. Non-Stop has the hardest time with this one.  Used the same spot as last year!

Learning how to use the copier!

Really Christopher?  TPing our tree?!

Hanging out with the Christmas Moose and Reindeer.  He was trying to blend in!

Christopher found my stash of bows and decided to decorate part of the kitchen

Keeping a really close eye Mr. Non-Stop!

My son loves this music box with Nutcracker soldiers.  We couldn't use it while Christopher was stuck in the doorway!

Christopher replaced all the photos of Mr. Non-Stop with photos of himself!

Spreading Christmas cheer with green milk!

 Playing a little Angry Birds

 Hanging out with the snowmen.  This one was tough! (Mommy had to be called in to find Christopher!)

 Christopher usually stays on the first floor, not this time, he came upstairs and covered up the door to Mr. Non-Stop's bedroom!

Good luck and remember to have FUN with your elf!  I base most of my ideas on activities and things my son is interested in.

For last years ideas go here: Christopher 2012

Merry Christmas!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Halloween 2013

My favorite time of year - fall in Ohio!  Festivals, pumpkins, FOOTBALL, the changing of the leaves.  I just can't get enough!

It didn't take much searching for me to find a costume for Mr. Non-Stop - MINION!

We were lucky, we had some of the necessary pieces at home.  But here is what you need:

Overalls - I was lucky, these were in a pile of clothes I received from a friend.  They were a size to small, which made them too short to wear, but since the legs are tucked into the boots it didn't matter!
Yellow hooded sweatshirt - I attached a snap at the neck to keep it closed in case it is really cold. This was the hardest item to find.  It is about 3 sizes too big, but I figure he can wear it for the next few years to play in!
Black gloves - these are the cheap, small stretchy ones.  Actually they are mine, but they fit him and he was able to still take candy without having to take them off.
Black boots - from last year! (they still fit! bonus!)
Pipe cleaners - from my craft stash, but easy to find.  I bent them into a "V" and whip stitched them onto the hood.  I can just just the thread when we are done with the costume to remove the pipe cleaners.
Goggles (dollar store! It's a clown set)
Black elastic - I taped the elastic to the Goggle arms so they would sit on his head or he could wear them.  Found the elastic at Walmart
Logo - I Googled "Gru Logo" and found numerous images.  I downloaded a large image.  The logo ended up about 4" x 4".  I used white fabric for the backing (just a square).  The black was actually an iron on knee patch.  This turned out to be the perfect weight, it was stiff enough for me to cut the logo without any trouble.  I ironed the black onto the white and then whip stitched the logo onto the front of the overalls.  I can just remove it when we are done with the costume.

Total cost $10.00 (sweatshirt was $8, Goggles $1, Elastic $1)  We had everything else at home!

Of course the day we went to Trunk or Treat it was 70 degrees!  He was hot!  But it's Ohio, quite often it is snowing on Halloween and this costume allows for layers and no coat.

Now, onto the grown-ups costume party we attend every year.  I was scrambling to find a baby sitter, so the costume was very last minute.  I had to (again) get the hubby to agree.  This turned out great and was super simple!  Robbers!  
T-shirts - Target (on sale 2 for $22), plus I use Cartwheel at Target and saved an additional 15%, plus, I'll wear mine again! 
Knit hats - $1 each at the dollar store.                       
Money Bags - We had one money bag at home (don't ask me why, I haven't a clue).  The other bag (mine) was $1 from Pat Catans Craft store.  I used a thick marker to make the $ sign.  It was a tote bag, I cut the straps off to use as the ties for the tops of both bags.
Masks - I made the masks from 1 piece of felt (25 cents at Pat Catans).  I used the black elastic I bought for the Minion costume to make the strap. I knew we wouldn't wear them for very long, so I didn't want to spend money on masks.

Enjoy the cool temperatures and beautiful fall colors!
Go Buckeyes!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Chicken Enchiladas - Verde

Chicken Enchiladas are one my families favorite dinners.  For years I always used red sauce with beef, but when I started using chicken I wanted a different flavor.  The mild green sauce is perfect!

They are super easy and quick!

Cooked chicken (I keep baggies of cooked chicken in my freezer for easy meals!)
Enchilada sauce - green
Red onion
White cheese (I had mozzarella, Monterrey Jack works great too!)
Jalapenos - optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Lightly spray your baking dish, I have a 10 x 10 dish I use, but I've also used a 9 x 13 for this same meal.  I had about cups of shredded chicken.  Enough to make 4 enchiladas.  There is only 3 of us, so it is the perfect amount.  If you need to make more then 4, you will need additional green sauce!

Chop 1/2 of a medium sized red onion. I put the onion in a dish and microwave them for about 45 seconds, this way they are a little bit soft but not super mushy.  I just don't want crunchy onions in the chicken mixture.

 Using a fork, shred the chicken so their aren't big chunky pieces.  Then add the onions into the mix.  Heat the mixture in the microwave for about 2 minutes.  It's doesn't have to be steaming hot, but you don't want ice cold chicken either.

Pour a little bit of green sauce into the bottom of your baking dish.  Just enough to coat the bottom.

You can use any medium size tortilla.  I've even used the small fajita size, it just means I have to roll more than 4 enchiladas.  My choice for this meal is the Target brand, Market Pantry high fiber tortillas.  Because they have the sauce and the cheese, my hubby and son don't realize I'm sneaking in extra fiber!

Preheat your tortillas in the microwave.  I keep our tortillas in the fridge, so taking the chill off is a must, otherwise they will crack when you try to roll them!

Time to load 'em up!
I split the chicken mixture almost equally between the 4 shells.  One usually has a little less for Mr. Non-Stop.  I add about 1/4 cup of shredded cheese and a large spoonful of green sauce.

Roll them up (I don't even attempt to tuck in the ends) and place in your baking dish.  I try to make sure they are all facing the same direction and that the edge of the tortilla is tucked under and placed on the bottom of the baking dish.  You can see the open side would be to the right.

Top the enchiladas with the remaining green sauce, add shredded cheese and we like jalapenos, so those go on 3 of the enchiladas. I leave them off Mr. Non-Stops.  Also, I put way less cheese on the top of mine, but extra cheese on the other three.  Mine is the one all they way to the left, you can still see some of the green sauce under the cheese, not the case on the other three!

Time to bake.  I normally bake this at least 25 minutes without a lid.  What is nice, if my hubby is running late, I can turn the oven down to keep the food warm.  There is enough liquid to keep it from drying out.
This time the dish was in the oven about 30 minutes.  You can see the cheese started to brown, yummmmmm!

This was mine, before the toppings, you can still see some of the sauce.  We top ours with lettuce and salsa.  My hubby and Mr. Non-Stop use sour cream.

What I really like about this recipe, it isn't super fatty,  I can control the amount of cheese on mine without having to change the entire dish.  I almost always have all the ingredients at home, so I can just throw dinner together.


The Chop Haus

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ranch Dressing gone WRONG!!

It seemed so simple

1 cup plain greek yogurt
1 package dry ranch mix
1/2 cup milk

Whisk it together and "poof" low cal ranch dressing.


It looked good, tasted really, really, really bad.

Now maybe it was the ranch seasoning packet I picked, but this in NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM comes even close to ranch dressing.  I am not a world class chef, but this one is pretty hard to screw up! 

I am going to give it one more try.  I bought Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix. (not dip mix)  I'll let you know what happens!

I'm willing to try anything, but it better taste good!

The Chop Haus

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sidewalk Chalk Paint

Oh all those little pieces of chalk!  Scraping my fingers across the driveway.  I've had enough!  Mr. Non-Stop loves to paint so it was time to come up with a way to use up all those little pieces!

I grabbed some baggies, small cups, bucket of water, sponge brushes and a hammer!  What I really liked about this activity, it won't stain and just washes off with water!

First we sorted all the chalk into small piles so our colors weren't mixed.

Then each pile of chalk went into their own baggie

Then the fun part - smashing the chalk
Not TOO hard or you will put holes in the baggie.
Word to the wise - pulverize it.  We still had some chalk chips in our first batch.  I went back through and smashed any little chips into dust! It makes much better paint if it doesn't have chips!

Add a little bit of water at a time.  Too much water and the paint color will be really faint when it dries.

 Here we are, ready to paint!

We both painted.  As our pictures dried, the color came out more, but still looked like chalk.

It was kind of hot today, the dog didn't want to move!

Here's a couple of during the drying and after.  The paint doesn't look like much more than water lines, but after it dried you could see the colors.

Have fun this summer!

The Chop Haus