Monday, February 25, 2013

In the Kitchen

If you've kept up with my blog over the years (or know me personally!), you'd know I'm not the best of cooks. I'm not a complete disaster, but I would rather spend my time outside of the kitchen. In truth, my husband cooks far more than I do. With that said, I do take the dinner reins when the urge strikes and I do try my best. Usually things turn out quite well and people seem to be pretty pleased with my efforts. :) Here's a few meals I've made recently that were mighty tasty! 

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

This was super delicious and Sam said it was his new favorite casserole. I made it on Valentines Day and even the kids gobbled it up. Credit for this recipe is given to http://www.chef-in-training.com.

My changes to the recipe are as follows: I made ranch from the hidden valley ranch packet and used almost all the ranch made....much more than what the recipe called for. I used milk instead of heavy cream for my sauce and had to use Wondra to thicken it up. I added chopped onions to the recipe and cooked those in the bacon drippings. I then added the bacon drippings to my sauce. I used tons more cheese too and even added some on top. No one said this was a healthy meal!


  • 10-12 oz penne pasta
  • 2 cups cooked and chopped chicken
  • 3/4 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream (milk would be fine, too)
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/3 cup ranch dressing
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Cook pasta according to its package's directions. Drain. I always add a little olive oil after I drain it and stir in around so the pasta noodles don't stick together or the pot.
  2. Toss in cooked and chopped chicken as well as cooked and crumbled bacon into the pasta.
  3. TO MAKE RANCH ALFREDO SAUCE: Melt butter in saucepan, add flour and stir to combine. Once you have your roux, add heavy cream (or milk) stir constantly until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in Garlic salt, onion powder and ranch dressing until well combined.
  4. Pour ranch alfredo over pasta, chicken and bacon. Stir to evenly combine.
  5. Add in shredded cheddar cheese and stir to combine.
  6. Pour into a casserole pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.

Whole Chicken in a Slow Cooker

I usually stay away from cooking meat. If it's not simple like browning hamburger or cooking a chicken breast on the stove, then the meat duty falls to my husband because I know I would fail miserably. However, during my mom's last visit, she did a whole chicken in a crock pot that turned out great and I felt that was something I could handle. I was right. I found a recipe I liked and got to work. The chicken was magnificent and moist. I beamed with pride over my meat accomplishment! It wont let me copy and paste the recipe over, so visit http://www.thelittlekitchen.net/2011/02/03/whole-chicken-in-a-slow-cooker/ to view the recipe. 

If I recall right, I followed the recipe exactly, making no changes.

Slow Cooked Macaroni and Cheese

I'm a fan of Mac and Cheese. I have one recipe given to me by my mom (given to her by her mom) that I make a few times a year.....usually for larger gatherings like the kiddo's birthday party. I like making it for a freezer meal as well. My mom and I made a few pans for the freezer right before Timothy was born. Anyway, I found a recipe for mac and cheese in the crock pot and thought I'd try it. It turned out great and the kids acted like they had died and gone to Heaven. I couldn't keep my fork out of it the whole time it was cooking. In fact, it turned out so yummy, I made it a second time for a Super Bowl party we went to. Credit for this recipe is given to http://momswithcrockpots.com/

I used different noodles and doubled the whole recipe. I added garlic powder and chopped onions. I'm pretty sure I added more cheese too....because I always do that.....to everything. Haha

  • 8 ounces medium shell macaroni
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese or a Cheddar blend
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. Cook the macaroni following package directions. Drain in a colander and rinse with hot water. Drain well.
  2. Generously butter the sides and bottom of a 3½- to 4-quart slow cooker (I use about 2 tablespoons of butter).
  3. Combine the macaroni with the remaining ingredients in the slow cooker and blend well. Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 2½ to 3½ hours, stirring a few times.
  4. If desired, spoon the cooked macaroni and cheese mixture into a baking dish, sprinkle with a little more cheese, and put under the broiler for a minute or 2, just until cheese is melted.

Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups

I know I've already talked about this one, but these are SO DELICIOUS I thought I'd post it again just in case you missed it. I think I only posted the link last time, so I'll post the whole recipe this time. I've made this tasty dessert twice (the first time being a double batch for Sammy to bring to work for Valentines Day) and it's a hit with everyone who's been so lucky to have had one! Credit for this recipe is given to http://www.blueeyedbakers.com

Other than doubling the recipe that first time and being super careful with melting my chocolate, I followed the recipe exactly.


*1/4 cup butter
*3/4 cup peanut butter
*3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
*1/4 cup sugar
*1 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips
*1/4 cup milk
*Sea salt


1. Line a  muffin tin with papers (you could also use a mini muffin tin if you prefer).
2. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter & peanut butter together for 45 seconds.  Stir until smooth.  
3. Add graham cracker crumbs and sugar and mix to combine.  
4.Distribute mixture evenly between the prepared muffin cups and refrigerate for 15 minutes to set peanut butter layer.
5. After the peanut butter has chilled, combine chocolate and milk in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 25 second intervals until chocolate is just melted.  Stir until smooth. 
6. Distribute chocolate evenly over the top of the peanut butter layer. 
7. Sprinkle with sea salt and chill until firm, at least 30 minutes.  Store covered in the fridge.

With love,
Mama Hauck

Friday, February 22, 2013

Bryan Maternity Sneek Peek

Last Sunday I went and did a maternity shoot. Here's one of the photos I got....

The shoot went well, but it could have gone better. It was sunny out, but it was really windy and cold, making getting all the shots I wanted a bit difficult. I'm going to go back hopefully tomorrow to finish up the shoot. I'm a little annoyed with myself and embarrassed I wasn't able to get all the photos in one sitting. I feel like that makes me look kinda bad. But you know...shit happens and I'm not perfect or a professional. And I certainly can't control the weather! So better luck tomorrow, right?

With love,
Mama Hauck

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Love Their Smiles

Last Wednesday Anthony received another award from school! This one was for knowing all his letters. Sam was able to get off work early this time so he could go. Anthony was very happy to see us all sitting on the bleachers! Afterwards, since school let out right after the assembly, we walked to Anthony's class behind him and picked him up. He was super stoked to be a "car rider" and not a "bus rider." Haha

We then took a trip to the park for a little play time since we were in town and had no other plans for the day. The kids were so excited! It's not very often We get to go to the park with Papa! I love to see their smiles.

With love,
Mama Hauck

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

My little stinker butt has had me up since 4am. Apparently he didn't get the memo that it's Valentine's Day and all Mama asked for in the way of showing her some extra love was a little extra sleep. Oh well.

Remember the Valentine photos I took of Timothy for his 9 month photo shoot? If you don't, check them out HERE

Super freaken cute, right? Happy boy, big 'ol smile, just a barrel of laughs. There's nothing sweeter to see on Valentine's Day than a handsome baby boy in his suspenders and bow tie with a smile on his face. Doesn't he just make your heart swell? Doesn't he make you want to take your lover out on a nice romantic date? Doesn't he make you want to rush home and make cute babies of your own?


Well.....not ALL the photos turned out so happy. The truth is, it took 4 tries over the course of 2 hours to get those happy photos. Talk about needing to exercise my Mama (and photographers) patience!

I thought it would be funny to share with you the not so happy Valentine photos, because, well, maybe the happy ones weren't up your ally. Maybe you have a heart of coal. Maybe you think love sucks. Maybe your boyfriend dumped you. Maybe your girlfriend cheated on you. Maybe you hate Valentine's Day. Maybe you could relate to the anger and tears. Maybe the last thing you want to see on Valentine's Day is a happy baby looking all cutesie. Maybe. 


Well if you're that person, then these ones are for you! 

Happy Valentine's Day! (Or not!)

With love,
Mama Hauck

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ready For V-Day

I love being a Mama!! Everything you enjoyed and loved as a kid just comes rushing back into your life when you have your own kiddos. Like making valentines. SO MUCH FUN!! The kids had such a great time picking out the Valentine cards and assembling the little goodie bags. Molly picked out Hello Kitty and Anthony picked out Spongebob. I picked up little clear goodie bags with twist ties, some assorted candy, and Valentine pencils. Super simple, yet super fun Valentines! 

For the teachers, I got the idea from Pinterest to make little candy "tackle boxes." The kids helped pick out some candy, gum, tissues, and hand sanitizer. I love how they turned out and I'm sure Anthony and Molly's teachers will love them as well! 

Anth and Mols can hardly wait for tomorrow. They're both having parties at school and I'm so excited for them. I can't wait to see all the Valentines they bring home! 

The kiddos and I also put together some fun snacks for Papa to take to work tomorrow. There's a banana that says, "You drive me bananas!" an orange that says, "Orange you glad you're our Papa!?" an apple that says, "You are the apple of my eye!" some recees pieces that says, "I love you to pieces!" some sweedish fish that says, "You're the only fish in the sea for me!" and finally some smarties that says, "You sure are a sweetie!" 


I also thought it'd be nice to make some goodies for Sam to take to work to share. I made these cute heart shaped rice krispie treats and then homemade peanut butter cups. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but the peanut butter cups are seriously DELICIOUS and I am pretty impressed with myself that I didn't screw them up. They were actually very easy to make, but I'm not the greatest of cooks, so even pulling off something that is easy is a major win for me! haha If you'd like the recipe, go HERE. You won't regret it. YUM!! I hope the guys at work like the goodies!!

When the kids get home and Sam gets off work, we'll have our own Valentine's Day celebration. I'm going to make chicken-bacon-ranch casserole. Check out that recipe HERE. I'm excited! We'll also give the kiddos a few goodies and gifts to cap off the day. 

And then.....dentist on Friday! LOL!! Here's some candy just in time for the dentist! :)

With love,
Mama Hauck

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Simple Kid Friendly Valentines

I'm a fan of anything having to do with hand and foot prints. We do crafts with hand prints for pretty much every holiday! I'm also a fan of easy. Keep it simple, keep it fun....for the kids AND for Mama. :)

Many thanks to Pinterest for these fun kiddo Valentine Ideas!

Mail a hug: This was Molly's craft.

Foot print bookmark: Little Timothy's craft. Who doesn't love baby feet!? 

Heart hands card: Anthony's craft. I was pretty impressed with his spot on hands placement. Perfect heart!

Thumb prints: Good for the whole family!

With love,
Mama Hauck

Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy 9 Months!

Valentine's Day is coming! In celebration, I bring to you my now 9 month old lil' man in his V-day get up. Caution: your heart will melt. Happy 9 months Sugar Pie!

With love,
Mama Hauck