Some crazy stuff

A few wacky things are going down here at Chez Rees.

1. We’re trading in our sweet urban digs for a laid back country locale.

Even though we are super excited, it will be a little weird to leave our house. It’s been our home for 12 years. Bye bye Grandview! **sniff**

2. Kids are eating food.

I know it sounds nuts. But I finally figured out a way for us all to have dinner together without the kids having hot dogs and macaroni from a box every night. THIS SOLUTION IS SO OBVIOUS I KNOW YOU ARE ALREADY LAUGHING AT ME.

I asked the kids what protein options they liked, then made a list of the things they both like. It actually includes normal foods like pork chops, chicken breasts, bacon, and sausage links. Next, I asked them what fruits and vegetables they liked. Then, (this is the crazy part), I went to the store and bought those foods. Innovative, I know.

Now we just have one of those proteins for dinner every night, and kids get to choose what fruit or vegetable they’d like. No one yells. Everyone eats. It is a whole new dinner experience.

They also have a list of healthy snack options on the fridge.

When they whine about being hungry, I just tell them to get something from the list.They actually do this. It is – like I said – crazy.

3. I’m reinventing my blog.

I’m moving it to its own URL and changing the format just a bit. It will have a new look and a new name, and maybe even a store. I have a super cool partner who’s joining me. She’s an artist and you are going to love her work. The 6yo will also be pitching in from time to time.

It should be launched in just a few weeks, so I’ll let you know.

4. I’m doing CSA again.

After taking last summer off, I’m getting back into a Community Supported Agriculture program again. I’m pretty excited. My first delivery is super soon, so you’ll start to see a weekly menu planning post like this one. Even if you don’t have CSA, what I get from CSA reflects what’s in season and what you’ll find at the farmer’s market, so I’d love to hear your ideas for using stuff.

5. Summer summer summer summer!


Strawberry yogurt parfait in a jar – Secret Recipe Club

I’m loving this “in a jar” trend. I’m totally on board.

These salads in a jar have been one of my most popular posts.

I store everything in them now, from leftovers to spices.

L to R: mustard powder, coffee, oregano, cumin (I won’t show you my leftovers)

Inspired by the Fruit Brochettes and Strawberry cream cheese dip over at Heavenly Treats and Treasures (my assigned Secret Recipe Club blog for the month), I did a giant strawberry yogurt parfait in a jar.

It made a perfect light dinner (after the glut of Easter candy I *borrowed* from what E. Bunny had left), and I made another one for breakfast.

Strawberry Yogurt Parfait

  • 16 oz strawberries, sliced or crushed (I did one layer of each)
  • Single serving container plain Greek yogurt (I like Fage)
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 T honey

Mix yogurt with vanilla and honey. Layer in jar with strawberries. Easy peasy!

Of course you could use any combo of fruit you wanted. Mango would be divine. Kiwi would be nice, too. And, you could flavor the yogurt with some lime or lemon zest, or maple syrup instead of the honey. Or, you could add some granola to the mix (though it may get a little soggy if you leave it overnight).

Secret Recipe Club

Check out what everyone else did with their secret recipe assignments below:

Carl wears a pink robe

Carl, generally, is naked. But it’s ok, because he’s a cat.

On this day, against my admonishment, hubs and the 6yo opted to dress him.

Note the 6yo, completely collapsed from hysteria. You can just see the glee on her face, behind hubs’s hand (the one shimmying the cat’s leg into the arm of a doll robe).

One of the great things about Carl is that he tolerates such behavior. God love him.

Secret Recipe Club – the chewy

It’s SRC day once again.

Secret Recipe Club

I’m super excited, because the blog I was assigned, Good Thymes and Good Food, is awesome. There are a bunch of recipes there I’d love to make, like this buffalo chicken dip and these crash potatoes. This method for cooking microwave popcorn will be put into practice here soon, to satiate my 10yo’s love of the stuff. But for this day, I couldn’t resist the Chewy. We have a serious sweet tooth at our house. And even though I know I just made chocolate chip cookies not too long ago, those are long gone. These did not disappoint.
The Chewy from Alton Brown, via Good Thymes and Good Food

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 ¼ cups bread flour
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt 1
  •  tsp.baking soda
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 ½ tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda; set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, pour in the melted butte. Add in the sugar and brown sugar and cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed.
4. Add in the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
5. Chill the dough (in the freezer for about 15 minutes or the fridge for about an hour), then scoop onto prepared baking sheet using two spoon.
6. Bake for 10-14 (depending on size) minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5-7 minutes.
7. Cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Homemade frozen dinners

I know you know that- as a general rule – my kids don’t eat my cooking. So in an effort to at least give them something that wasn’t full of chemicals, I tried making one of their frozen favorites: chicken strips. I just sliced some chicken breasts into strips, then breaded and fried them (in Crisco – eek). Then I froze them individually. Once frozen, I put them all in one bag for reheating in the oven or microwave at a later date. Good news and bad news.

Good news: My son loved them. He asked what I was doing, and when I told him, he said “it looks like you’re doing it right by coating it in that white stuff.” When his sister asked the same, he answered, “she’s practicing her frying skills.” True enough. They reheated beautifully, in the oven especially.


Bad news: My daughter hated them. She said they “just don’t taste right.” Also, my house smelled like one of those gross truck stops (where they have showers and restaurants that feature fried chicken and chicken fried steak) for at least a week. Perhaps frozen pizza might have less of a lingering odor?