Saturday, June 22, 2013

Recipes That I Love

People are always asking me for great recipes, so I compiled a few of my favorites!  I hope you enjoy some of these and let me know if you try any of the recipes!

Tortilla Soup

2 Cartons of Chicken Broth
2 Cans of Cream of Potato     
2 Cans of Black Beans - Drained and Washed                 
1 Can of Tomato Sauce               
2 Cans of Mexi Corn                 
1 1/2 Lbs of Chicken - Boiled, Cut & Cubed                             
1 Chicken Taco Seasoning       
Fresh Cilantro - Chopped & Minced                                       
Cheddar Cheese                            
 Tortilla Chips                                       
Sour Cream

Combine ingredients and cook on low for 2 hours.  Put Chips on the bottom of the bowl and top with Sour cream and Cheese.

Pork Chops on Rice

1 Cup of Rice   
1/4 Cup of Butter 
1/2 Cup Chopped onion             
4 OZ Sliced Mushrooms                       
1/2-Teaspoon Salt                  
1/4-Teaspoon Pepper                       
 4-6 Pork Chops                          
10 oz of Mixed Beef Bouillon               
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire 
1/2-Teaspoon Paprika                
1/2 Teaspoon of Nutmeg                 
1/2-Teaspoon Thyme

Combine Rice with butter in a skillet. Sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally until rice in golden brown.  Remove from heat stir in mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour rice mixture into Crock Pot.  Arrange Chops over Rice. Combine Beef Boullion and Worcestershire, pour over chops. Sprinkle paprika and nutmeg over chops. Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours.

Lemon Sauce Chicken
Only 150 Calories per serving!

1 Package of Chicken Breasts 
Vegetable Oil Cooking Spray   
Pinch of Salt                              
1-Tablespoon Vinegar                 
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice                      
1/8 Teaspoon of Pepper                
1 Cup of Chicken Broth                 
1/8 of Cup Parmesan Cheese      
1/2-Cup Sliced Mushrooms

In a large frypan, apply cooking spray at medium heat, add salt to chicken, then place in frypan and cook 10 minutes or until chicken is brown and can be forked easily. Remove chicken to ovenproof dish.  In frypan and vinegar and lemon juice. Cook 1 minute, add salt and pepper. Pour in chicken Broth stirring constantly and heat but DO NOT boil. Pour Sauce over Chicken sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese and mushrooms. Set oven Temperature at broil with rack 6 inches from heat.  Broil until chicken is lightly browned.

Old World Manicotti
(Grandma’s Secret- she used to stuff the cooked manicotti by “piping” the filing into the pasta. First Grandma would put the cheese mixture into a large plastic storage bag. She would seal the bag and then cut off one corner, making the cut about the same size as the manicotti opening.  Then she would gently squeeze the bag to fill the pasta with the cheese mixture.) 

12 Large Manicotti Shells           
4 Cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese, Divided                           
2 cups Ricotta Cheese             
6 Tablespoons Fresh Basil OR         
2 Tablespoons Dried Basil         
1 Jar Spaghetti Sauce, Divided          
1/2-Cup Graded Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Spray 9 X13 baking dish with cooking spray.    Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, Rinse with cool water.  Let past dry on paper towels.  For Filling in a medium bowl stir together 3 cups of mozzarella with Ricotta and fresh basil.  Using a spoon carefully stuff pasta shells with prepares mixture.  Spoon 2 cups spaghetti sauce into prepared baking dish.  Arrange stuffed pasta over sauce. Pour remaining spaghetti sauce over top of pasta. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.  Bake Manicotti for 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with Parmesan, bake 10 minutes longer. Serve immediately.

Stuffed Green Bell Peppers

1 Package (10oz) Frozen Corn
1 Can (15oz) Red Kidney Beand, Drained and Rinse
1 Can (14oz) Diced Tomatoes
1/4-Cup Salsa
6 Green Bell Peppers, Tops Removed and Seeded
2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Divided
1 1/2 Cups Cooked Rice
1 Tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp. Pepper
1/4 Cup Chopped Onion

Combine all ingredients except, 1/2 cheese and green peppers, stuff peppers with this mixture. Arrange peppers in crock pot, cover and cook on low 6-8 hours (on high 3-4 hours) Sprinkle with remaining cheese the last 30 mins. of cooking

Southwest Chicken and Corn Dinner
10 minute prep time! Who can’t do that.

Aluminum Foil
1 Tbs. All Purpose Flour
5 Chicken Breasts or Equivalent
3 Tbs. Taco Seasoning
2 Packages (10oz) each Frozen Corn (in butter or add Butter)
1 Med Green Bell Pepper (cut into 1 inch pieces)
1 Med Red Bell Pepper (cut into 1 inch pieces)
1 Med Onion (cut into 8ths)

Heat oven to 450 degrees, form the aluminum like a bag to completely enclose chicken, sprinkle flour inside bag, sprinkle chicken with taco seasoning mix, place chicken and vegetables single layer in aluminum bag, fold all open ends of aluminum to seal, place bag in a jelly roll pan (15 1/2 x 10 1/2” x 1”) Bake 50-55 minutes or until juice of chicken is no longer pink when center thickest pieces are cut. Carefully fold back aluminum for steam to escape. Makes six servings

Meat Loaf

1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 1/2 lbs Ground Beef
1 1/2 Cup Fine, Dry Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup Chopped Onion
2 Tbspns Chopped Parsley
1 Tbspn Worcestershire Sauce
1 Egg Slightly Beaten
1 Tspn Salt

Mix thoroughly except 1/2 cup soup, shape firmly in loaf, bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/4 hours, blend remaining soup, 1/4 cup water, 2 Tbs. of drippings, heat stirring often, serve with meatloaf. Makes 4-6 servings.

Spinach Tortellini Soup
Easy delicious soup and can be made in minutes! 

1/2 Bag Fresh Spinach
1 Bag of Cheese Tortellini
1 Cup of Sliced Mushrooms
2 Cartons of Chicken Broth

Combine all ingredients in Crock pot and cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Chili-Beef Macaroni
This hearty supper entrée takes 10 minutes or less to prepare and only 15 minutes to cook!

3 ounces elbow macaroni, uncooked
3/4 pound lean ground meat
Vegetable Cooking Spray
1/2 Cup chopped Onion
1/4 cup chopped Green Pepper
1 clove Garlic Minced
1-Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
2 Teaspoons Chili Powder
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 Teaspoon ground cumin
1/2-Teaspoon Pepper
1/4-Teaspoon Salt
1 (15 Ounce) can red Kidney Beans, drained
1 (14 1/2 Ounce) can no salt added whole chopped tomato’s, undained and chopped
1 (8 Ounce) can tomato sauce

Cook macaroni according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.   Cook meat in a skillet until browned, stirring to crumble.  Drain. Remove meat and set aside.  Clean skillet out and spray with cooking spray, lace over medium heat until hot.  Add onion, green pepper, and garlic; sauté until tender.  Add meat, macaroni, mustard, and remaining ingredients; stir well.  Bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stuffed Crust Pizza
You can make this version faster than you can get a pizza delivered – and keep the tip!

Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon cornmeal
2 Packages (10 ounces each)  Refrigerated pizza crust
1 Package (12 ounces) mozzarella string cheese sticks (12 sticks) divided
1 Garlic Clove, pressed
1 can (8 ounces) pasta sauce
1 1/2 ounces pepperoni slices (24 slices) Optional – Use any toppings your family will love!
1-ounce fresh Parmesan cheese grated (about 1/4 cup)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Put olive oil in bottom of stoneware pan (suggested).  Sprinkle evenly with cornmeal.  Unroll 1 package of pizza dough across one end of the pan. Repeat with remaining dough, filing pan. Press dough together in center with fingers to seal.  Place 10 of the string cheese sticks end to end, around the edge of the pan on top of dough.  Roll edge of dough over cheese making sure to keep covered cheese next to sides of pan; firmly pinch dough rolled over cheese to dough under cheese to tightly seal.  Lightly spray surface of dough with olive oil.  Press garlic over dough, spread evenly along with sauce and slightly up sides.  Top with pepperoni. Shred the remaining 2 sticks and Parmesan cheese evenly over filing.  Bake 18-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Cut into squares.

Chicken Fajitas

2 tablespoons canola oil
3 boneless chicken breast halves, cut in thin strips
1 medium onion, cut in wedges
2 cloves garlic
4 mild green or red chile peppers, seeded and sliced
1 sweet red bell pepper, seeded and cut in strips
1 green bell pepper, seeded/cut in strips
1 zucchini, trimmed, cut in strips
8 flour tortilla, warmed
1/2 cup sour cream
1 bunch green onions, trimmed, sliced

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet; cook the chicken strips over high heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes, or until cooked. Drain and serve.
Add the onion, garlic and chile peppers to the oil in the pan and sauté over high heat for 2 minutes.  Add the bell peppers and zucchini; cook over high heat for 4 minutes, or until the vegetables have begun to have a blackened look around the edges.
Return the chicken to the pan and heat until sizzling hot. Serve right away, with warm tortillas, sour cream, guacamole, sliced green onions, and chopped tomatoes. Serve with hot cooked rice and refried beans, if desired.
Serves 4.

Chicken in a Pot

2 Carrots, Sliced
2 Onions, Sliced
2 Celery Stalks , Cut into 1 inch pieces
1 Whole Broiler Chicken, 3-4 lbs.
1 Teaspoon of salt
1/2 Teaspoon of ground Pepper
1/2 Cup of Water, Chicken Broth or White Wine
1/2 Teaspoon dried Basil

Put Carrots, onion and celery in the bottom of stoneware. Place whole chicken on top of vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add liquid over top.  Sprinkle basil over top. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours (HIGH: 3 1/2 to 5 hours, using 1 cup of water).  Remove chicken and vegetables with spatula.

Chicken Tetrazzini

1 Tablespoon Margarine
3 Cups sliced Mushrooms
1/3 Cup Minced Onions
1/2 Cup Flour
2 1/3 Cups Canned Chicken Broth
2 Cups Skim Milk
1/4 Cup Light Cream Cheese
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese, Divided
1/4 Dry Sherry
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon garlic Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
1 (2Ounce) jar diced Pimentos, drained
1 (7 Ounce) Package cooked Spaghetti
2 Cups Cooked chopped Chicken
Vegetable Cooking Spray

Melt Margarine in large sauce pan over medium heat, add mushrooms and onion and sauté 7 minutes or until liquid evaporates.  Stir in Flour.  Gradually add broth, milk, and cram cheese; bring to a boil. And cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, stir in 2 tablespoons for parmesan cheese and next 5 ingredients.  Stir in Spaghetti and chicken into mushroom mixture.  Spoon mixture into a deep 3-quart casserole coated with coking spray.  Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons for cheese.  Cover bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Bake, uncovered 10 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Golden Onion Soup

3 Cups of  Parmesan Croutons
1/4 Cup Margarine
1 Tablespoon Packed Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 Large Onions cut into 1/4s and sliced
2 Cans (10 Ounces each) Condensed Beef Broth
2 Soup cans water
1/4 Cup shredded motzarella
Melt margarine in ovenproof Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and Worcestershire Sauce.  Toss in onions into margarine mixture.  Bake uncovered 2 1/2 hours, stirring every hour, until onions are deep golden brown.  Stir in broth and water.  Heat to boiling.  Serve with Croutons. Top with Cheese.


4 broiler-fryer chicken breast halves
1 jar (16 ounces) medium chunky salsa, divided
1 can (15-1/2 ounces) light red kidney beans*
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped black olives
1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips, warmed
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

In greased, shallow, 1-1/2 quart baking dish, pour 1/4 cup of the salsa and spread evenly. Spoon kidney beans over salsa. Sprinkle chicken with chili powder on all sides and arrange on top of beans. Rub chicken on top with garlic and pour remaining salsa over chicken. Place in 325°F. oven and bake for about 1 hour or until fork can be inserted in chicken with ease. Garnish with olives, tortilla chips and cheese. When serving, spoon beans and sauce over chicken. 

Makes 4 servings.

*Rinse kidney beans in cold water and dry on paper towels.

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells

16 jumbo dried pasta shells, prepared according to package directions, rinsed and drained 
1 pound extra-lean ground beef 
1 (1.25-ounce) package Taco Seasoning Mix 
1 cup water 
1 (16-ounce) can Refried Beans 
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided use
1 jar (16-ounce) jar Salsa, divided use
1/4 cup sliced green onion 
Sour cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Cook beef in large skillet until brown; drain. Add seasoning mix and water; cook over low heat for 5 minutes or until thickened. Add beans and 3/4 cup cheese; mix well. Spread 1/4 cup salsa over bottom of each of two 8-inch-square (2-quart) baking dishes.  Fill pasta shells with beef mixture; place half of shells in each baking dish, filled side up. Spoon remaining salsa over shells; top with onion, olives and remaining cheese. Cover one baking dish with plastic wrap, then overwrap with foil. Label and freeze for up to 2 months.
Cover remaining baking dish with foil. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with green onions and remaining cheese. Serve with sour cream.

Pepper Sirloin Steak

2 Pound Sirloin Steak
1/2 Cup Mrgarine
4 Teaspoons Dried Parsley
1/4 Cup Minced Onion
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 Teaspoon Ground Pepper
1/2 Teapsoon  Dry Mustard

Lightly score edges of steak at 1-inch intervals.  Preheat grill or broiler.  Combine margarine, parsley, onion,& Worcestershire sauce, pepper and mustard in a small sauce pan.  Heat stirring continually, over low heat until margarine melts.  Reserve 1/4 mixture.  Place steak on grill or broiler.  Brush with butter mixture.  Cook, basting frequently with butter mixture, about 6 minutes per side for medium.
Place steak on a serving Platter.  Cut thin slices across the grain.  Drizzle reserved butter mixture over steak.


Olive oil-flavored vegetable cooking spray
3 (4 oz.) skinned, boned chicken breast halves, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 med.-size sweet red peppers, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 med.-size sweet yellow peppers, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
10 oz. fresh shitake mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
3 tbsp. Chablis or other dry white wine
1/2 c. canned low-sodium chicken broth, undiluted
6 oz. rigatoni, uncooked
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 c. diagonally sliced green onions
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium high heat until hot. Add chicken, pepper cubes, mushrooms, minced garlic and jalapeno pepper; saute 4 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned. Add wine, and saute 2 minutes or until wine evaporates. Add chicken broth; reduce heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, 2 minutes. Remove chicken mixture from heat, and set aside.
Cook rigatoni according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well. Place rigatoni in a large bowl; add olive oil and toss well. Add chicken mixture, and stir well. Add sliced green onions, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and chopped cilantro, tossing chicken mixture gently to combine.

Crisp Dijon Chicken

1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon salt-free herb seasoning blend
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup cornflake crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 bone-in chicken breast halves

In a shallow bowl, combine yogurt, seasoning blend, lemon juice and mustard. In another bowl, combine the cornflake crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Roll the chicken in yogurt mixture, then in crumb mixture. Place in a greased 8-in. square baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 35-45 minutes or until juices run clear.

Black Bean Soup

2 cans (16 ounces each) black beans undrained, divided
1 cup water
1 teaspoon MAGGI Reduced Sodium Chicken Flavor Instant Bouillon
Nonstick cooking spray
1 small onion chopped
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1 cup bottled chunky salsa
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1/3 cup plain yogurt (optional)
Fresh cilantro leaves

1 can beans with liquid, water and bouillon in blender or food processor; cover. Blend until smooth. Coat large saucepan with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes or until onion is tender.

ADD blended bean mixture, remaining beans with liquid, salsa, lime juice, cumin and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve topped with yogurt. Garnish with cilantro.

Margaret’s Taco Soup
I needed a crock pot recipe, so I googled it and found this recipe. It was very good and easy!

1 Pound Ground Beef (I used ground turkey) with a little salt and pepper
1 Large Can Crushed Tomatoes 
1 Can (12-15 oz) of whole kernel corn 
1 can of black beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 envelope of Taco Seasoning
1 envelope of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
1 cup of chopped onions (I used a whole white onion)

In a heavy skillet, brown the ground beef, cooking and breaking up until no longer pink. Combine all ingredients in crock pot with juice from beans and corn, cook on low 4-6 hours. Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream and shredded cheese.

I served it with salad and it comfortably fed 10 people. I hope everyone enjoyed it.

Slow Cooker Lasagna

1 (1 pound) package Bob Evans or Owens(R) Italian Sausage Roll
1 (9 ounce) package no-boil lasagna noodles, broken into 2 pieces
12 ounces ricotta cheese
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 (26 ounce) jars pasta sauce
1 tablespoon dried parsley

Spray interior of slow cooker with non-stick vegetable spray.  In medium skillet over medium heat, crumble and cook sausage until brown. Place in slow cooker. Add noodles, ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella, pasta sauce and parsley. Stir gently to combine.  Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. 5 minutes before serving, top with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Cover to melt cheese.
Chicken Cacciatore
1 3/4 cups Swanson® Chicken Broth (regular, Natural Goodness™ or Certified Organic)
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each ) diced Italian-style tomatoes
4 cups mushrooms , cut in half (about 12 oz.)
2 large onions , chopped (about 2 cups)
3 lb. chicken parts , skin removed
10 cups hot cooked spaghetti , cooked without salt

MIX broth, garlic powder, tomatoes, mushrooms and onions in 3 1/2-qt. slow cooker. Add chicken and turn to coat. COVER and cook on LOW 7 to 8 hr.* or until done. Serve over spaghetti. *or on HIGH 4 to 5 hr. TIP: For thicker sauce, mix 2 tbsp. cornstarch and 2 tbsp. water. Remove chicken from cooker. Stir cornstarch mixture into cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 10 min. or until mixture boils and thickens.

Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1 1/3 cups water
3/4 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts halves
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Stir the soup, water, rice, onion powder, black pepper and vegetables in an 11 x 8-inch (2-quart) shallow baking dish.  Top with the chicken. Season the chicken as desired. Cover. Bake at 375°F. for 50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender. Top with cheese. Let casserole stand for 10 minutes. Stir rice before serving.

Easy Shepherd's Pie

1 1/2 lbs ground round beef
1 onion chopped
1-2 cups vegetables - chopped carrots, corn, peas
1 1/2 - 2 lbs potatoes (3 big ones)
8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt, pepper, other seasonings of choice

Peel and quarter potatoes, boil in salted water until tender (about 20 minutes).
While the potatoes are cooking, melt 4 Tablespoons butter (1/2 a stick) in large frying pan.
Sauté onions in butter until tender over medium heat (10 mins). If you are adding vegetables, add them according to cooking time. Put any carrots in with the onions. Add corn or peas either at the end of the cooking of the onions, or after the meat has initially cooked. Add ground beef and sauté until no longer pink. Add salt and pepper. Add worcesterchire sauce. Add half a cup of beef broth and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes, adding more beef broth as necessary to keep moist. Mash potatoes in bowl with remainder of butter, season to taste.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Summer Bucket List

Summertime and the living is easy. . . the long, lazy days of summer are here. Beach weather, watermelons, fruit-flavored sorbets, sand-between-your-toes, fireworks, barbecues, flip flops and bathing suits come to mind for most people when they think of summer.
Remember when you were a kid and you would start planning all of the things you were going to do during the summer even before the bell signaling the end of the school year had rung?   
On the first day of summer, my daughter Megan said, “I’m bored, Can I have a friend over?”  I thought 90 days off!  What am I going to to with them!  So here is our 2013 Summer Bucket List!

Summer Bucket List 2013

Blow Bubbles
Visit an Amusement Park
Play Basketball
Visit Cousins
Cloud Watching
Slip N’ Slide
Try A New Food
Breakfast Picnic
Play in Sprinklers
Roller Blading
Research a Country
Eat Waffles
Word Search
Take a Family Picture
Tic Tac Toe
Play Volleyball
Make Smoothies
Play Flashlight Tag
Play Pool
Hula Hoop
Trace Bodies With Chalk
Plant Flowers
Face Paint
Play School
Star Gazing
Tie Dye Shirts
Play Board Games
Visit A Museum
Leaf Rubbing
Make a Hat
License Plate Game
Water Balloon Toss
Host a Play Date
Write a Story
Scavenger Hunt
Ride Bikes
Go To The Library
Have A Family Game Night
Go To A Fair
Play Baseball Game
Thumbprint Art
Water Fight
Write A Letter
Paint A Picture
Take A Nap
Shop For School
Night Swim
Sleep Outside
Go On A Hike
Kick a Soccer Ball
Cannonball Into A Pool
Walk A Dog
Call A Friend
Sleep In

Children's Chores: Getting Help Around the House

Children's Chores: Getting Help Around the House

Children will do almost anything to get out of chores. Typical excuses run the gamut "from 'I’ve got a stomach ache,' to 'I’m a kid. I shouldn’t have to do chores,'" says Mason Turner, MD, chief of psychiatry at Kaiser Permanente, San Francisco Medical Center.  
In fact, one survey found that 74% of parents report that their children rarely help with chores unless asked. And a full 50% of parents say they spend as much time arguing with their kids about chores as the children spend doing chores.
For many parents, it may seem easier to do the chores themselves. If you’re one of them, this article is for you. 
Use Chores to Teach Life Skills
"When kids do chores, they’re learning responsibility. They’re learning that life requires work," says James Sears, MD, co-author of Father’s First Steps: 25 Things Every Dad Should Know. For kids, chores are more than helping out; they are lessons in basic life skills. By loading the dishwasher, mowing the grass, or doing their laundry, "kids learn how the world works," 
Make Chores Predictable
To take the sting out of chores, Set aside a time each week when the whole family does chores, Saturday morning from 8 to 9 for example. "Then you don’t get into battles about when chores get done." Having the whole family do chores at the same time also helps. Your kid knows that every Saturday morning, this is what the family does.
Assign Chores by Age
Tasks that are clearly over your child’s head will make chore time dreadful for everyone. The following suggestions can get you started on assigning age-appropriate chores. Then it’s your turn to get creative.
  1. 4 and 5 years old: Sort socks, put away toys, help set the table, stack magazines.
  2. 6 and 7 years old: Take the dog for a walk, empty the dishwasher, prepare lunch, make the bed.
  3. 8 and 9 years old: Set the table, load the dishwasher, clean the bathroom sink, feed, brush, and bathe the pet.
  4. 10 and 11 years old: Put away groceries, run the dishwasher, fold laundry, take out trash.
  5. 12 and 13: Do laundry and put it away, change sheets, mow the grass, make simple meals, clean the shower and toilet.
Make Chores Personal
Cleaning his own room will make a lot more sense to your son than having to clean his sister’s room. Personalizing it is important because you’re teaching your child self-reliance and how to take care of himself. The rewards will be obvious: your son gets to spend time in a tidy room where everything is put away and easy to find. 

Saturday Morning Chores
Column A - 1 Chore Column B - 2 Chores

Vacuum the House Clean Toilets
Clean your Bathroom Do Dishes
Wash all Windows Bring Laundry Down & Separate
Water the Front/Back Yard Pick up Dog Poop
Swiffer Sweep All Tile Floors Clean Cat Box
Wash car Feed Dog / Cat
Take Bella for a Walk
Empty The Trashes
Clean Out the Car
Get the Mail

Five Steps to Disciplining Your Kids

It's not easy disciplining your child.  Here is my tips and advice that can help you handle temper tantrums, set healthy limits, manage power struggles, and discipline with love. Keep the peace, and change both of your behavior for the better.  

Five Steps to Disciplining Your Kids

Do you need alternatives on how to get through to your children? Are you at the end of your rope? Here are Five Steps on How to Discipline Your Kids—without spanking.

1. Commit Yourself.

It's crucial that your child knows that you're going to do what you say you will. If you explain what a punishment will be, and then don't act on it, you will have less credibility the next time. Make a commitment to your child's discipline, and be consistent in your behavior toward them.

2. Be Realistic in Your Expectations of Your Child.

Don't ask your child to do anything he/she cannot do. Make sure that what you are asking of your child is a behavior within his or her reach — if it's not, your child will get frustrated and be less likely to listen to you in the future.

3. Define Your Child's Bad Behaviors & Consequences.

For us we had a meeting and defined the things that we considered Bad Behavior.  Once with had the list of Bad Behaviors, we place a value on each behavior and assigned a consequence of a certain number of lines.

4. Give Your Children Predictable Consequences.

It's important for your child to understand that the same result will come from the same behavior. Make your child feel like he/she has control over their life: If your child behaves in "Way A," they need to be sure that they will always get "Consequence B." If he/she can count on the rules staying the same, they're more likely to abide by them.

5. Use Child-Level Logic.

Explain your values in terms your child can understand. Take the time to explain the reasons behind why you are asking he/she to behave in certain ways — if your child understands the kinds of behavior you'd like them to avoid, they're more likely to apply that reasoning to different situations, instead of learning to stop one behavior at a time.

Here is our Bad Behavior and Offense 

Bad Behavior Offenses

Level 1 Offense - 300 Lines

  • Lying

Level 2 Offense - 75 Lines

  • Being Mean to Makenna & Macey

  • Disobeying Mom & Dad

  • Not Listening

  • Interrupting

  • Saying “Why”

  • Showing Off / Trying to be Cool

  • Being Disrespectful

Level 3 Offense - 35 Lines

  • Not Keeping Your Room Clean

  • Not Following Your Schedule

*If you give us a hard time about your consequence your lines double without warning.