MommyinColorCooks: Chicken Parmesan Pasta

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MommyinColorCooks: Chicken Parmesan Pasta

Its been some time since I tried something new. I hate long drawn out explainations to recipes so I’ll be brief. I was bored with dinner, hit Pinterest for something new, Amani was next to me and pointed at the chicken parm pasta recipe from Damn Delicious. That’s it! Here is yhe recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 pound penne
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions:

1) Salt and pepper your chicken.

2) Pour tomato sauce into crockpot as well as the spices and onion. Stir.

3) Place chicken into mixture and set pot to low 4 hours.

4) Cook pasta according to directions on package. Shred chicken then pour pasta on top. Add cheese.

5) Let cheese melt about 20 minutes or so and voila!

*VERDICT

I loved this recipe! It was filling and I had 2 days worth of leftovers. My family enjoyed the chicken with the pasta which is something we dont normally put together.I added an extra hour to cook time because I had HUGE pieces of chicken breast and I really wanted it to be tender.I accidentally use diced tomatoes instead of sauce, but once I realized my error, I added a jar of pasta sauce 3 hours in. I think I will keep the addition of the tomatoes because it was just sooo good! I will be adding this dish to the rotation. Id you are a visual learner, there is a video of the recipe being made and it really is simple. I wish I would have added a touch more salt. Gonna give this recipe 3/4 crockpots.

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My Baby Development Series

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My Baby Development Series

For those of you who dont know, I have a monthly livestream series on Periscope. Its called Oh,Baby! and it follows the development of my son,Avery. I want to bring Avery live with me so you can all drool over him. He is in the first episode,though.You can catch it every 5th of the month at 10 am EST. THE next one airs this coming Tuesday. If you jave missed any episodes, here they are and I hope to see you live with any questions or comments you may have. If I cant answer your questions at that time, I will post the answers on my Facebook page. As always thanks for the likes,follows,and shares!

Episode 1- Introduction/Labor& Delivery:

https://www.pscp.tv/w/b0k0GjFWR2p2RFJwa0paUU98MWpNS2dPRExWdm1LTIwmjCsRiI323gRd37VS0Shed8-SKg8CDvbyp-YLDkfU

Episode 2- Routine:

https://www.pscp.tv/w/b0k1VjFWR2p2RFJwa0paUU98MWdxeHZuUk1ibHF4QoVJGxyXQrOiSiwY2uCl9OaY2Y33DGGzhu36MEfsltiV?t=2s

Episode 3- Settled:

https://www.pscp.tv/w/b0k0vDFWR2p2RFJwa0paUU98MXlOeGFPa1pOcnZHartPIfmc6lpnX1A1UPJfPJNsnqRMVhqGGldAjrK-u5TX

Favorite Parenting Podcasts

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You all know I love podcasts!! I have found soooooo many in so many of the subjects I am interested. So it should be no surprise that I have some parenting podcast favorites as well. These podcasts are both relatable and informative. I’ve even chuckled at an episode or two. They have made me think of myself as a parent differently which has led to be adjusting the way I parent my kids. I hope to find more podcasts to love but I the meant time here are a few I enjoy(in no particular order):

1)Spawned w/Kristen and Liz of coolmompicks


Show Info:

Hi, we’re Liz Gumbinner and Kristen Chase of CoolMomPicks.com. We’ve got a microphone and more than the two minutes the Today Show gives us, and we’re not afraid to use them. Join us (and some awesome celebrity guests) for candid parenting culture discussions, non-judgy (mostly) tips, and a good dose of humor, if we’ve had enough coffee. Which is always. Named a top podcast by The Washington Post, Mental Floss, Business Insider and Fatherly; 2016 Iris Award winner for best parenting podcast.

Latest episode: How To Make More Time So You Can Do More of What You Love

2) Mahogany Momology

Show Info: An online dialogue pertaining to the concerns and carefree parenting of Black motherhood

Latest episode:Common Law Marriage

3)That’s Inappropriate

Host(s): Meredith Masony and Tiffany Jenkins

Show Info:
Wife, Mother to three children, dog Mom of two, and founder of That’s Inappropriate and That’s Inappropriate Parents. I started this community back in October of 2014 because I felt alone and thought I was the only Mom who was losing her mind on a daily basis.

My mission is to educate parents about choosing their battles in life and helping women find themselves. As a parenting and women’s empowerment expert I strive to help every parent I can. My journey through illness and self-discovery has given me the insight necessary be able to help others. My book Scoop The Poop released in Nov. 2016 and it was a #1 new release in Parenting and Humor. I have traveled to conferences to speak on parenting, women’s empowerment, and how I created a business while juggling marriage and raising three kids. Join me in the Hot Mess Express Community for Perfectly Imperfect Parents.

Latest episode:Blowups at the Christmas Play, SAHM Mom Depression,and The “Nag”

4)Experiencing Motherhood Single and Black

Host: Kim Williams

Show Info: In the Experiencing Motherhood: Single & Black Podcast, Kim will be sharing her experiences throughout her single mom journey along with tips and tricks to inspire and uplift other moms. Kim will also bring on other guests to talk about various topics related to single parenting in the black community

Latest episode: Homebuying for Single Moms

Life Redux

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It’s been a heck of a month y’all!!! Life sure has been different since 2019 hit. Even though Avery arrived a few weeks before the new year, the change until a fresh start really helped my family settle into welcoming a new member. Okay this is the part where I gush all over him. If that’s not for you, leave now. I’m kidding, I.NEED.ADULT.COMPANY.

Avery, weeks 1-5

I took on quite a few brand goals for myself. If I want to be tween serious and do this for real,I have to start thinking of myself as a brand. I’m a PeriGirl and we have a broadcasting/live streaming challenge called #JanuWantIt where we go live everyday through the month of January. I’ve fused that with doing social media prompts(#MDGBIZBOOST)created by my Peri sister, Michelle D. Garrett. I use her prompts as topics for my broadcasts. Two birds, one stone.

I have a Periscope goal if getting to one million hearts,I’ve restarted my book review series, The First 100. Its a mini review of whatever book I’m currently reading. It will air Mondays at 10a.m. EST. There is also a new series, also on Periscope, called Oh, Baby! Every 5th of the month for the next year I will be doing updates on Avery’s development. I will have him as a cohost so if you’re into cute babies, join us on February 5th at 10 a.m. EST

Lastly this space is back with new content every Saturday. I’m pursuing some coin with blogging so I’m doing Amazon Affiliates. I finally figured out how to add the links just this past week so I’ve been updating older posts that I’m going to be sharing with you via Twitter.

With all these goals, I have to admit it’s not so easy with the addition of Pops. As soon as I sit down to take a half a breath, he is screeching at the top of his lungs for attention. It’s like he knows I need to do other things. I drag myself to the bathroom,Pops in tow because leaving him alone for a half a second causes meltdowns. At 3 a.m. you can literally find me peeing with a screechy newborn in my arms. Don’t get me wrong, I have the luxury of having my mom right across the hallway to pitch in and help whenever I need. However, I miss being able to roam around my neighborhood while Amani is in school during the week. Or not roam around and sleep until noon. Those days are gone and sometimes I feel pulled in many different directions trying to be a mom to a preteen,a mom to a newborn,and a novice entrepreneur. What the heck am I thinking?!

But I do kind of thrive on the constant busyness. It feels good to know that I’m tired at night because I’m working towards a better future for me and the kids.

2019 Quarter One Goals

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2019 Quarter One Goals

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you all enjoyed your families, friends,and significant others during the holidays. I also hope you’re ready to get down to business this year like I am.My theme/word for this year is consistency and so I’ve picked goals that will help me focus on that.

Now that I’ve given birth to my son, Avery, I’m ready to start earning some coin to support my children. I have been blogging for 7 years now and I haven’t earned a dime on my words. I’ve been hearing a lot about affiliate marketing and I actually have an Amazon affiliate account but I’m not sure how to use it for the blog. Thank goodness for YouTube and podcast because I plan on using them to learn just how to use affiliates successfully. I dont plan on making a whole lot of money but something is better than nothing.

I was also considering becoming a brand ambassador for baby brands or reviewing items for compensation. Dont misunderstand me, I will only review products I have actually used for my baby and I assume an added benefit is that I would get some items for free to do the reviews. Once again, I have no idea how to do that but I know who to ask about approaching brands.

I started a baby development series on Periscope called Oh,Baby! and it will follow my journey into motherhood a second time around as well as document Avery’s progress and growth. Already in the first episode I think I mention poop quite a bit and if I dont,dont worry it’s coming lol. I will go live every 5th of the month at 10 AM EST,with Avery as my co host.

Last but not least I’m restarting a second series on Periscope called The First 100,in which I review the first 100 pages of the book I’m currently reading. It’s not a long drawn out review just a little snippet to what your appetite and help you decided if you want to read it. It will premiere on Monday January 7th, 2019 at 10 AM EST.

I have quite a few social media goals I know but I have a personal goal as well. There is a real concern about health for my mother and her doctor us urging a lifestyle change,which includes healthier eating. My daughter’s doctor also is concerned about health issues for her due to weight gain and so I’ve decided to do a complete overhaul of my refrigerator and eat healthy via the recipes I make. Some of my family’s favorites can be made in a healthier way and so my plan is not to focus on losing weight but to focus on being healthier as a family. The weight loss will just be a bonus.

I would love to hear some of your goals for 2019. Leave them in the comments or hit me up across all social media at mommyincolor(mommyincolor89 on Twitter) Let’s hold each other accountable

3 Thing I Learned During Pregnancy

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I am so glad to not be pregnant anymore. The last few weeks were really uncomfortable. I developed some weird pain in the top of my swollen foot along with a multitude of weird pain inducing and sometimes gross symptoms. But now Avery is here and I’m feeling a little reflective. This pregnancy was very different from the first one birth physically and mentally and I definitely learned a few things about myself and pregnancy:

1) Being dehydrated can cause preterm contractions. I went into the hospital 2 weeks ago because of contractions. They didnt hurt and I had been having them for a few days so I chalked it up to Braxton- Hicks contractions which are not a big deal and no cause for alarm. I was told that I was having contractions because I was dehydrated. (Of course I am Doc, I’m peeing every ten minutes🙄)You see,

Your uterus is a big muscle and, just like any other muscle in your body, it can cramp up when you don’t have enough water.
When someone is pregnant, their blood volume increases by almost two times its usual amount, she explains. If they become dehydrated, blood flow to the uterus is reduced, causing uterine cramping or contractions due to the lack of hydration. “The uterus’s response to the lack of blood volume and fluids is to cramp, which can result in menstrual-like cramping or contractions”- Shannon M. Clark, M.D.

I was encouraged to drink 10-12 glasses of water a day for the rest of my pregnancy and sent home. The water did make the pain disappear.

Dehydrated in the Labor and Delivery Unit

2)Asking for help is a must. When I used to see pregnant women being treated like a handicap person it made the feminist in me enraged. I was determined to be able to do all my normal tasks just as I had always done. Once I hit 7 months, I realized I just couldnt do things. I was too ashamed to admit that I needed help especially after I had been all “I am woman,hear me roar” the whole time. My brother came to me one day and said he had overheard me on the phone complaining about cleaning the house all by myself. He apologized for not realizing just how much assistance I needed and vowed to take out the garbage and clean the litter box for me. He did.

3)Lamaze breathing really does work. Avery’s birth was a scheduled c section but I was feeling more intense contractions and 2 hours after being admitted my water broke. I got nervous because I knew the contractions would only get worse. I immediately flashed back to Amani’s birth and the excruciating pain I experienced during labor. This time,I wanted to be more in control so I took deep breaths as the contractions hit. Surprisingly to me,they really helped. Focusing on my breathing helped distract me from the pain,which on a scale of 1-10 hit a 7.

All in all, I had a great pregnancy. Yeah I had a huge belly and painful edema but I learned that pregnancy is a delicate process you’re body goes through and asking for help not only takes the already heavy load off of you,but it helps bring together family for the preparation of a baby. I’m proud of myself for managing my pain and labor and delivery was quick(5hrs,15 minutes). My first pregnancy experience was full of shame and sadness. I couldnt enjoy watching Amani grow inside me but this time I was filled with overwhelming joy. I encourage all expecting moms to embrace the journey and listen to your body.

What To Expect: My Journal Entry

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What To Expect: My Journal Entry

If you are following me on Periscope then you remember when I got my copy of What To Expect When You’re Expecting Pregnancy Journal and Organizer back in my 10th week.

No one aside from me is going to see what I wrote in for a long time so I decided to share one of the prompt pages from the journal section. Also,I encourage all you mamas to be to use it as your own journal entry. Enjoy!

THE EIGHTH MONTH

memories&milestones

Baby’s Latest Moves: the kicking and punching is at an all time high, Avery is most active when I’m settling in for the night

I felt my first Braxton Hicks on: haven’t had any yet

Besides the obvious,this part of my body is swollen,too: my butt. Amani is always slapping me on it and talking about how huge its gotten 😬

How I’m Feeling About My Body: I like my growing belly but am self conscious about the bottom half of it because Avery’s head is not there so it’s just soft and jello like

How I’m Feeling In General: sometimes I panic about Avery coming and sometimes I’m just like “Its all good”

My most recent clumsy moment: tripped over my own foot(at least I think it was my foot, I can’t see my feet anymore)

Recently I dreamed: I was chasing my deceased cat down the block,but I couldn’t catch up to her. I woke up crying.

The best pregnancy advice I’ve gotten lately: Rest when you need to

The worst pregnancy advice I’ve gotten lately: none

I’m most sick of hearing: Why did you wait ten years to have another baby?

The nicest thing my partner said to me: He told me my skin looked good

The nicest thing my partner has done for me: he is moving and will not move until his new place is approved by me. He wants to make sure I’m comfortable letting Avery be there.

What I’ll Miss Most About Being Pregnant: eating whatever I want without getting odd looks from people

What I’ll Miss Least: the constant peeing. I pride myself on peeing 2x a day tops but lately it’s been at least 10-20x a day.

What I’m Looking Forward To The Most About Being A Mom: trusting my own judgement when making decisions about Avery. I let other people dictate my decisions when Amani was first born and it made me less confident in myself as a mom.

My message to baby: I can’t wait to hold you

Dad’s message: N/A

Baby Haul

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The best thing about being pregnant,aside from being able to eat what I want, is buying cute baby stuff. My close friend and neighbor gave me her son’s baby clothes and his hardly used car seat. As soon as I folded those things away, I was bitten by the shopping bug. It took me two months after that to buy Avery’s clothes and I think that’s because his health was still a question and I was scared to hit things and something awful happened. But now that that is not an issue anymore, here’s a few things I’ve picked up for my little prince

You’ve already seen the crib in my house,but here is what it looks like outside of the box:
Dream On Me Davenport 5-in-1 Convertible Crib-

I had to buy the mattress separate but I got the same brand that made the crib:

Dream on Me 5″ Coil Spring Mattress-$34.99

A bed needs sheets so…(I realized too late that these sheets are for pack n plays. I hope it doesn’t matter).

Pack N Play Playard Fitted Sheets 2 pack-$17.95

Amani would like to show off her baby brother to her friends when it is warmer and I don’t want to pull out the stroller, I can throw on this really cute carrier:

Infantino Flip 4 in 1 Baby Carrier

I suspect Avery will spend a great deal of time getting milk drunk and passing out. He will drool profusely like his sister did and these are the SAME bibs she had:

Neat Soultions 8 pack bibs

I remember how swaddling was a good way to calm a baby,so I wanted to get some nice soft blankets for the perfect nap time:

Flannel Baby Blankets Two by Two 4 Pack

I also bought some milk storage bags, a mattress cover,and some pacifiers. I got most of these things from Target,where my baby registry is. I like their prices and relied on their quality so I’m glad to use them again. Oh,the mattress came from Walmart as did the sheets.

What’s left on my list of baby essentials to get are:

diapers

bath items

medicine cabinet

I love a good deal or sale so if any of you know where I can get the best deals on the above mentioned, drop me a line!!!

MommyinColorExpects:34 Weeks

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MommyinColorExpects:34 Weeks

Hey everyone!!! I’m back!!! First, I really just want to thank all my followers old and new. I can’t believe I was able to get new readers despite the blog being stale for the last month or so. I am so thankful for that!

I was finally able to get a new phone after my old one had been dropped so much, it started malfunctioning. There are a million things I was unable to do with the old phone and I can do EVERYTHING with my new one so YAY! Let’s get into some baby business.

I am currently 34 weeks(approx. 8 months) and Avery is thriving. He is around 5 pounds and is developing at a normal pace. For those of you who follow me on Periscope, you know that there was a concern about Avery’s health when I was 5 months along. There were some cysts found on his brain which did not surprise me. I had the same issue with Amani when I was pregnant with her. Upon her birth, she was born completely healthy is and still is today. I had to have a total of 4 sonograms and a fetal MRI to monitor and determine the nature of the cysts. I went to my last sonogram about two weeks ago and there was no sign of the cysts on Avery’s brain. The sono tech was pleasantly surprised and relieved. I just responded that I knew everything would be fine. We also found out that Avery is in breech position. That means that his feet are still facing the bottom of my stomach and his head is at the top. He should actually be turned around. Here’s what I mean:

I had my last prenatal exam this week and since Avery is breech my o.b. thinks it’s best I get a c-section. Delivering him vaginally in his current position would be a hard and possibly risky delivery and because my prior birthing experience was also not vaginal, we want to be as safe as possible. I’ve been hearing and seeing a lot of articles regarding the mortality rates of Black moms giving birth and its honestly scared the crap out of me so now I just want a safe and quick delivery.

I plan on breastfeeding right from the beginning and so I have been reading up on it. The first thing I learned is that you can store breastmilk for up to a year. I was like ” Say what?!”. I have learned about storing it and that breastmilk develops in stages when you first start. Right now I’m expressing colostrum,which is a watery liquid and the starter milk for Avery. It will change a week or two after we’ve settled into our routine and there are benefits not just for him but me as well. I got a breast pump,too!

I still am not ready for Avery but I’m getting there. His crib and stroller have been ordered which were the most major purchases to be made. Now that it’s done, I’m breathing easier(not really because breathing gets harder week by week). Now all that’s left is a paint job,curtain changes, packing the hospital bag, and buying Avery a snow suit or 2, bibs,diapers,wipes, pacifiers,and just in case formula. I’m hesitant about buying formula because I’m so anxious for breastfeeding to work but I am going to be prepared for IF it doesn’t. This is my last month to do everything and I’m feeling a little pressure to get everything done. However, everything has fallen into place so I’m going to just relax and enjoy buying cute baby things.

MommyinColorCooks: Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings

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MommyinColorCooks: Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings

I found some old pictures in one of my Evernote notebooks. It was of chicken and dumplings I made for my mom and I last Winter. My mom had a taste for her childhood favorite dish and it was the perfect excuse to pull Lucille down from her throne. I almost forgot where I got the recipe but after digging through my crockpot recipes on Pinterest,I found the recipe. I found it on Spend with Pennies and what I really liked about it was that there was a shortcut to making the dumplings. I know that many folks like to do EVERYTHING from scratch,and while I admire that,it’s definitely not me. I like layering ingredients into Lucille and that’s pretty much all you’re doing with this recipe and there aren’t a gazillion ingredients either. If you decide to make this, please let me know by dropping pics of your creation in the comments here, or on Twitter using the hashtag #mommyincolorcooks,or on Facebook. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 large onion , diced
  • 1 can (10.5 oz) cream of celery soup
  • 1 can (10.5 oz) cream of chicken soup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups frozen vegetables or peas and carrots , defrosted
  • 1 can (8 pieces) refrigerated biscuits (Buttermilk, Country or Homestyle)(I used Buttermilk)
  • DIRECTIONS:
    1. Add onion to crock pot and top with chicken breasts.

      2)In a small bowl, combine cream of celery soup, cream of chicken soup, parsley, poultry seasoning and pepper. Spread over chicken breasts. Top with chicken broth and cook on high 5 hours.

  • 3)1 hour before serving (after 4 hours of cooking time),cut biscuits into thin and flat strips. Add vegetables to the slow cooker and stir. Add biscuit strips on top. Replace lid as quickly as possible.

    When serving,take chicken breaks out if crockpot and slightly shred. Put back into slow cooker and stir (the dumplings will break apart,its fine). Let cook an additional 10 minutes and serve.

    I made this dish originally 8 months ago so I’m fuzzy on details. However, I remember loving the biscuits serving as dumplings. If done just right they can be crisper on top while keeping its roughness. It was also very hearty and filling. I believe I added a little salt to taste because it tasted a little bland at first.

    I’m not sure of the serving size but I made it for just me and my mom and we had leftovers for the next 3 days or so. Next time I make it, I will livestream it from Periscope. Once agajn,enjoy!!!