Monday, June 25, 2012

WFD: Spicy Pepper Steak

As we dive into summer here at the Chaos home, the days are certainly getting longer... but somehow shorter as well. Time escapes me more often than I'd like.

We're on break from our beloved Music Class, but we're already excited to start again in July. If this is something you've thought about, and are in my local area, there are free demo classes going on this week!

Wed June 27th 10:00 a.m.
Thurs June 28th 9:30 a.m.

If you're interested in joining a demo class, click here to reserve a spot and RSVP.

We welcomed a new member into our extended family this month! We're so excited about our new niece/cousin, a sweet baby girl born on the 15th. She's absolutely beautiful, and will make a great addition to our already fabulous family!

And, last but definitely not least, we've started the official countdown-to-vacation! We'll be spending a week with family at a beach in Northern Michigan, in just under two weeks! Which raises the question, why does it take longer to prepare for a vacation than the vacation itself actually lasts? Hmm...

Busy, busy, busy. That's the word around the Chaos home right now. To compensate, I made one of my very-very-quick meals tonight. Be warned this is a recipe that calls for one totally processed food item: Velveeta cheese. Love it or hate it, it works fabulously in this stir-fried steak recipe. So delish, but so, so easy! To off-set the fake cheese, I serve it over brown rice. I think that wins me back some points.

Spicy Pepper Steak



  • 1 lb top round or flank steak, cut into strips
  • 1 red pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 green pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 small-med onion, sliced  
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes*
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper*
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp parsley flakes
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 4 oz velveeta, cut into into 1/2" cubes


  1. Season steak w/ garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper & red pepper flakes to taste. 
  2. Cook in a large skillet sprayed with cooking spray (I use organic canola oil) on med-high heat. Cook 8-10 minutes or until no longer pink, stirring frequently.
  3. Drain any excess fat/oil and add vegetables, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, parsley and garlic powder.
  4. Cook 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Add velveeta and cook on low, covered for an addition 5-10 minutes. Stir Frequently.
  6. Serve over (brown) rice.
*Omitting the cayenne pepper & red pepper flake will take this from holy spicy! to normal.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Word About Cooking and WFD: Chicken Caesar Sandwiches

Cooking. Ah, we have a love/hate relationship, you and I. You've both scorned me and burned me (quite literally). You've captivated me though, and as a girl who used to joke about ordering a mean take-out, this is quite the feat.

I've come along way in the last few years, and I can only hope I'm getting better. I really enjoy it now, the art of putting together the perfect meal. Hopefully soon I'll learn to photograph it as well, so that you don't have to suffer my horrendous cell phone pics.

What can you expect from me though, in terms of recipes here at citc? Well, you're going to get a mixed bag. I try, quite hard, to provide my family a well-balanced, mostly organic diet. I'm a big fan of the 100 Days of Real Food blog, and I try to stay away from processed foods and evil things like HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) as much as possible. I subscribe to Door to Door Organics, as I've mentioned here before, and I buy organic milk and eggs, chicken and beef.

But, we're not 100% there yet with everything, and I still rely on some "convenience" items. I still try to make sure they have a decent ingredient list, and you'd be surprised how many big label brands provide pretty some simple stuff lately. One of the things I've used recently, in my chicken pizza recipe, is Prego Veggie Smart Pizza Sauce. It's simple; tomatoes, vegetable purees, and spices. But it comes in a jar, and lately that has a stigma. It also has a bit of a higher sodium content. But you don't need a lot to go a long way, and it is packed with some good veggies.

I'll always do my best to disclose any really questionable ingredients that come up along the way. <evil laugh>

And without further ado, a great recipe a friend of mine found via everyone's favorite site to both love and hate, Pinterest. It's from the blog - The Girl Who Ate Everything. This is modified a bit from her recipe, but not by much. Photo also by gwae.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Caesar Sandwiches


  •  2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2-1 cup water
  • 1/2-1 cup Caesar Dressing (we used Brianna's)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Lettuce
  • Hamburger buns, slider buns, or tortillas to serve on


  1. Season chicken breasts w/ black pepper. 
  2. Place in crock-pot and cover with water (about 1/2-1 cup).
  3. Cook on low heat 4-6 hours, then remove chicken with slotted spoon and drain/clean crock-pot.
  4. Shred chicken, removing any fat.
  5. Mix chicken, Caesar Dressing, Parmesan Cheese, pepper and parsley.
  6. Return to crock-pot for half an hour on low, or simmer over low heat on the stove for 20-30 mins.
  7. Adorn with lettuce and serve on buns, tortillas or even over salad.
Delicious! This is honestly the best new recipe I've tried in months.  

Monday, June 4, 2012

Making Music Together

For those of you wondering, here's the quick update on the missing Where Bear... after a brief stay at Grandma's house, he was completely wiped out - she must have taken him shoe shopping! He has been resting comfortably in Abbey's bed, and hopes to be back up to his adventures soon.

While Bear rests, we've been up to our "usual" adventures, which includes our weekly music class at the Grosse Pointe Music Academy. Local readers, if you haven't checked these guys out for lessons, you really must. It's a great school, with wonderful instructors.

We love our music class dearly, it's something Abbey and I have been doing together for over a year now. The program we are in is called Music Together, and it's a class designed for kids birth-5 years, along with their parents or care-givers. This is their mission-statement:

"To provide the highest quality music and movement experiences to as many young children as possible and to involve their parents and other adult caregivers, including early childhood professionals."


Watching Abbey develop in this class has been amazing. When we started, she couldn't even talk, let alone sing. Now not only does she know entire songs by heart, she actually remembers songs and their movements from classes we took at the very beginning! It really does amaze me, and it warms my heart to watch her participating every week. It's been such a bonding thing for us, and something I definitely recommend for parents of infants and young children. There are classes available nationwide, and you can see if they are in your area, by visiting the class locator, here.

Just bear in mind that the singing and dancing you do in this class will, inevitably, wind up on your top ten list of things you'd never thought you'd do. Don't say I didn't warn you.