Grilled Duck Wraps

 

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As we are in the midst of the holiday season, it can only mean ONE thing.. you get to eat, and eat A LOT! That’s always always always a good thing, right? It also means another thing, for my husband, which is..duck hunting season. Over the past week, he has gotten up at 4:30 am every single morning to go duck hunting. I cannot even fathom that thought, but he loves it and I get to reap the benefits..DUCK WRAPS!

These are what we are going to be talking about on the ole blog today, and you’ll definitely want to stay tuned. It’s an easy peasy recipe, except for the waking up at 4:30 am to go hunt the meat.

Before we get into the recipe, here is a picture of my husband’s view while duck hunting. Okay, so maybe it would be worth going one day, who knows.

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Isn’t that view lovely?!

Cast of Characters:

-6 large jalapenos

-1 block of cream cheese

-1 package of thick cut bacon

-1 speckled belly goose

-a generous amount of a spicy seasoning of your choice

-a generous amount of black pepper

-Italian dressing (just enough to coat the wraps)

Recipe:

  1. Begin by cutting each breast into 6 pieces.
  2. Season the breast pieces with Italian dressing, spicy seasoning, and pepper.
  3. Halve and deseed each jalapeño, which will give you 12 pieces to work with.
  4. Now it’s time for the fun part, putting the wraps together. Grab one piece of duck, one piece of jalapeño, and however much cream cheese to your liking. Wrap all three things with one piece of the bacon.
  5. Place a toothpick through the middle of the wrap to hold everything in place while grilling.
  6. Place the wraps on a very very hot grill just long enough to crisp the bacon (these directions are coming from my husband. He is not a very particular person, as you can see).
  7. Place the wraps into a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown.
  8. DIG IN!

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Don’t these look delicious?!

Because they absolutely are!

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All of my husband’s hard work sure did pay off, and I’m ever so grateful!

I secretly get excited for duck season just for these delicious flying things!

I hope this motivates you to wake up at 4:30 am just to go hunt some food to put on the table!

Happy Hunting everyone! 🙂

Beef Stew

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This beef stew recipe is one of mine and my husband’s absolute favorites this time of year because it warms you right up when it’s chilly outside. It’s easy and it will get your house smelling soooo sooooo good! Here is how you make it:

Serves 4-6 happy bellies

Ingredients:

-4 tablespoons olive oil

-1 tablespoon butter

-2 pounds of beef stew meat

-1 white onion, diced

-4 garlic cloves

-1 can or bottle of beer

-4 cups of beef broth

-3 tablespoons worcestershire

-3 tablespoons tomato paste

-2 teaspoons paprika (for a little extra kick)

-salt and pepper to taste, I tend to use lots because of the potoatoes

-2 teaspoons of sugar

-4-6 small new potatoes, diced

-4-6 whole carrots, unpeeled and diced

Recipe:

  1. Start by heating the pot you are going to use for the soup with the olive oil and butter.
  2. Throw in the meat just long enough to sear it. You do not want to thoroughly cook it, as that is what the simmering is for later on. Remove from pot.
  3. Throw in the onion and garlic cloves and cook for a few minutes until the onion and garlic are tender.
  4. Pour in the can of beer.
  5. Pour in the beef broth.
  6. Worcestershire sauce.
  7. Tomato paste.
  8. Paprika.
  9. Salt and Pepper.
  10. Sugar.
  11. Then, return the meat to the pot and simmer for 1.5-2 hours on low heat. Until the meat is very tender.
  12. Add the potatoes and carrots to the pot after the 1.5-2 hours of simmering, and simmer for another 30 minutes or an hour until the veggies and potatoes become tender.
  13. If you like your stew thicker, you can add a couple of tablespoons of flour to thicken it up.
  14. Grab some bread and enjoy your delicious beef stew

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Oat Ball Delite

If you haven’t tried these delicious oatmeal balls, then you are missing out!! They are healthy, sweet, and give you ENERGY! Cut out the coffee and caffeine, and trade it in for one of these instead. Your body will thank you later! 

YOU WILL NEED:

-1 cup of dried oatmeal

-1/2 cup dried coconut flakes

-2 tablespoons of chia seeds

-1/2 cup of dried flaxseed

-1/2 cup of chocolate chips

-1/2 cup of peanut butter

-1/3 cup of honey

  
Stir everything together in a bowl. Side note: these things are STICKY! You pretty much have to get into with your bare hands. Throw in some extra chocolate chips, and it’ll be worth it. 

Roll them into little balls as big or little as you’d like. Whatever tickles your fancy. Before eating, store in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes so they will harden a bit, then enjoy!

You can store in the fridge up to five days, or freeze them! I freeze mine in individual bags so they are easy to grab on the go for breakfast every morning!  Quite frankly, they are a pretty nice sweet treat at night while I am relaxing and watching tv! 

  
Trust me, they ARE as delicious as they look! I am looking forward to enjoying them over the 3 hour season finale of the Bachelorette tonight! Who wins?! Are they still together? Can’t wait to find out! 
Happy Monday!!
Love Always,

Alyson 😘

Staying Organized as a Busy Mama

Do you feel like your world is sometimes spinning out of control and you can’t quite keep everything organized? OOPS I forgot to the pay the water bill..I really hope they don’t turn my water off. We are all guilty of this, or maybe it’s just me. Yes, this has happened multiple times at our house because it’s so hard to keep up with kids, schedules, dinner, appointments, bills, life, etc.

Today, I am going to show you my absolute new obsession of the year and it really has helped me stay completely organized and it’s actually fun because it’s SOOOOO cute!! Orrrr maybe I’m just a weirdo mom and love office supplies. Yep, that’s probably the one.

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I’m such a sucker for anything cute. Anything with quotes. Anything you can personalize. This is that thing. 3 n 1.

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Isn’t this the truth? We work really hard as mamas so we better be playin’ real hard too (without our kids sometimes).

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This is just a snapshot of the full February calendar. LOOK AT THAT QUOTE!

Every month has a cute inspiring quote and who doesn’t need some inspiration in their life?

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Here is a sample of my week and how I plan.

I put bill drafts.

I write down appointments in red.

They have these cute birthday stickers in the back and you won’t ever run out.

I write down errands and tasks I need to complete on the left under goals and notes.

I write my dinner plans for each night at the bottom under Meals, Plans, Exercise, Daily Dos.

Who has time to exercise? Not me. I envy those who do.

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I even write down play dates, church, grocery store outings.

I’m not going to forget a thing!

Did I mention I lurrrrrveee it?

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In the back of the planner, there is a place for notes. PAGES N PAGES PEOPLE!

Did I mention I love this thing?

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There are birthday stickers, appointment stickers, mani-pedi stickers, Hair appt., blank stickers, and MORE!

I am obsessed. Have I mentioned that yet?

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There is a really cute pocket folder holder at the back of the planner. You can keep loose papers in there y’all!

Have they thought of it all?

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Then, there is a zip pouch. The best thing? It comes with personalized stickers! What? And even personalized cards!

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Here is the back. YES, you get to pick a photo!

Please get one of these. It will really change your life.

They’re called Erin Condren planners and NO THIS IS NO ADVERTISEMENT.

Just a crazy girl who really loves her stuff.

I have to go. My baby just fell backwards and bonked his head. Oh, the life of a mom. I hope you can figure out how to stay organized! I will make another organization post in the near-future!

Happy Monday!

Love,

AO

The Best Is Yet To Come

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The best is yet to come…what does this mean to you? To me, it means a lot. You may ask why and how that one simple quote can mean so much. Well, here is how…

Last Christmas (Christmas 2013), I was pregnant with my first-born. My sweet grandmother had given me a cute maternity shirt for my birthday. The shirt says, “The Best is Yet to Come.”

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Back then, when I was actually wearing the shirt, here is what it meant to me: the best is yet to come because I am about to me a mom, and I’ve heard being a mom is pretty great.

Today, here is what it means to me: I had no idea what I was about to endure less than a month away. I wasn’t due until mid-april, but that January my life would change forever. It would never be the same. I wouldn’t be able to drop everything for my friends and go out to dinner and movies with them as often as I could, I wouldn’t be able to go to bed or sleep in when I wanted, I wouldn’t be able to run errands when I wanted and for however long I wanted. Some may look at it and think that is horrible and they never want the responsibility of another human being. Of course, at times I wish I could be doing other things, but I enjoy being a mom. It’s the most rewarding job I have ever had.

In that picture, I didn’t know my child would be in the nicu 5 hours away from home for a few months. I didn’t know he would be 10 months old and still mainly fed through a tube. If you would have told me all of this while I was wearing that shirt that day, I would have thought it to be the most miserable times to come. It literally has been “the worst of times and the best of times.” The best was yet to come. I have never had a heart so full and I would not take away any of the hardships that I have faced. I could look at that shirt and say, “pshhhhh, yeah right. The best did not come.” Instead, I choose to look at it and say, “I grew in my faith more than could be imagined. I am very blessed.”

“Because you know the testing of your faith develops perservearance.” -James 1:3

Since the day my son was born, I knew everything would be worth it. It really has been. Every day when he does new things, it makes me proud and makes my heart full. I want people to learn that just because hardships happen in life doesn’t mean the best isn’t in your present nor future. Blessed is the man who undergoes trials. God is putting your faith to a test, you need to pass that test. He is giving you a chance to grow, shine, and share with others. He wants you to connect with friends and family and grow closer to Him together. When we are going through hard times, sometimes we forget to stay positive and to lean on God.

If you are going through a hardship today, you are truly blessed. God is so proud of you for staying strong and shining your light. Here is your chance to shine, or your chance to crumble. I hope you choose to shine.

“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” -James 1:12

“Rejoice in your confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” -Romans 12:12

“I have told you have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33

If you are going through some earthly trials and tribulations, lean on God and you will have peace. Pray about your current situation and have faith when you do… “You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.” -Matthew 21:22

God has been so faithful to me in prayer over the past year, and I hope He can do the same for you. Sometimes we forget the things we hear all the time and it is good to remind ourselves of these simple and common verses.

God Bless!

Chicken & Veggie Stir-Fry

It’s the season of Winter, which can only mean ONE thing..You feel like you have gained weight and have been eating too much comfort food. The holidays are over, the new year has begun, and you are ready to make a change in the kitchen. You just don’t really know where to begin, but I am here to tell you to try this easy and delicious stir-fry.

Can you really ask for a quicker meal..15 minutes? I think you can put aside that amount of time for a quick and healthy meal. It beats running through a drive-thru on your way home from work. Just do it and you will be proud.

Some health nuts might laugh and laugh, but I am calling this dish healthy. It’s healthy for my husband and I anyway and we feel better about ourselves.

Cast of Characters: squash, zucchini, red bell pepper, carrot, chicken, brown rice or noodles, thyme, cavender’s greek seasoning. salt, pepper, worcestershire, liquid smoke, and olive oil.

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To begin, pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a wok. If you do not own a wok, any pot/pan will work.

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Rinse, dice, and pat your chicken dry so your seasoning will stick better.

You don’t have to rinse your chicken, but chicken freaks me out.

Throw your chicken into the wok with the olive oil.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add cavender’s greek seasoning.

Add 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke.

Add 1 tablespoon of worcestershire.

Turn on high.

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While your chicken is cooking, chop your vegetables up.

I dice the bell pepper, squash, and zucchini..I grate the carrot with the cheese grater (my husband won’t eat carrots any other way).

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Once your chicken looks like this (about 3 minutes on high) you know it’s time.

Time for what? Time to throw in the good stuff.

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Throw in your veggies.

Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Add 1 teaspoon of thyme.

Stir around and let the heat remain on high until cooked.

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Once your veggies are cooked to your liking (we like our’s extra soft-about 10 minutes) turn the heat off.

It’s time to dish up your easy and delicious meal.

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Serve by itself, or over rice.

Last night we ate it over brown rice, but you could serve over noodles as well.

I love this recipe because you can totally change it up however you’d like. Different veggies. Different seasoning.

You name it.

I hope you enjoy and feel proud of yourself for both cooking and eating healthy!

With Love,

AO


2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

3 Whole Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

1 Yellow Squash

1 Zuchinni

1 Whole Carrot, Grated

1 Red Bell Pepper

Salt and Pepper to Taste

1 Teaspoon Thyme

Cavender’s Greek Seasoning to Taste

 1 Tablespoon of Liquid Smoke

1 Tablespoon of Worcestershire

Brown Rice or Noodles

Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables

There’s not a lot of dinners much simpler than roasting a chicken. Am I right, or am I right? To me, it is one of the easiest and delicious meals out there. It’s good for when you have a lot to do around the house and need something easy for dinner, it is easy for Sunday lunch, and it is even easy if you just want to eat it because it’s delicious.

You can use this recipe and change it however you’d like: different spices, herbs, and vegetables..they pretty much all taste great.

The Cast of Characters: whole chicken, sweet potato, russet potato, carrots, onion, salt, pepper, olive oil, worcestershire, liquid smoke , rosemary, and basil.

Roasted Chicken 1

To begin, go ahead rinse, pat dry, pull the bag out of the cavity and butterfly your whole chicken by cutting the backbone out. If you don’t know exactly how to butterfly a chicken, you can watch that here on this Youtube video.

After you cut the backbone out and have it flattened out, you can add your seasoning: salt and pepper to taste, basil (1 tablespoon), and rosemary (sprinkle until covered about 2-3 tablespoons).

Roasted Chicken 2

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a pot (I use cast iron because it makes the chicken taste better. I BELIVE!!!) and throw the chicken in skin side DOWN. In the picture this is skin side UP. Sear it on high for 6 minutes, then flip it over to skin side UP.

Roasted Chicken 3

Now, dice up your vegetables.

Roasted Chicken 4

Throw them into a plastic bag and add: 1-2 tablespoons olive oil (just enough for the herbs and spices to stick), 2 teaspoons of salt, 2 tablespoons of pepper, 1 teaspoon rosemary, and 1 teaspoon of basil. Seal the bag and shake, shake, shake until combined.

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Throw your veggies into the same pot as your chicken. Now for the good stuff: add 2 tablespoons of liquid smoke and one tablespoon of worcestershire. Stir the veggies around.

Roasted Chicken 6

Put into a 350 degree oven for 1 hour 10 minutes, uncovered.

Then, COVER with a lid for 30-45 minutes until veggies are soft.

You can cut up the chicken afterwards, or serve it whole. I serve it whole because it literally falls off the bone. It is soooo delicious and flavorful. My mouth is watering as I type this!

Roasted Chicken Final

Again, this is so easy! Your family will love it and it’s healthy!

ENJOY!

With Love,

AO


1 Whole Chicken, Rinsed and Patted Dry

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Basil, 1 Tablespoon

Rosemary, 2 Tablespoons

Liquid Smoke, 2 Tablespoons

Worcestershire, 1 Tablespoon

Olive Oil, 2 Tablespoons

Veggetables:

1 Sweet Potato, diced

1 Russet Potato, diced

1 Yellow Onion, Sliced

2 Carrots, Quartered

Olive Oil, 1-2 Tablespoons

Salt, 2 Teaspoons

Pepper, 2 Tablespoons

Rosemary, 1 Teaspoon

Basil, 1 Teaspoon