Della Devoted!: 2019

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Instant Pot Chicken & Dumplings







If you're a Southerner, then you've heard of Chicken & Dumplings. You've more than likely even ate Dumplings if you like them. My Family absolutely loves them, especially my son. He requests that I make them all the time. I love Chicken & Dumplings! They have always been one of my favorites, but I don't love making them. In fact, I find them very messy and time consuming. I have always dreaded making them until I decided to try them in my Instant Pot.



The Instant Pot has made a world of difference. Why couldn't I have discovered an Instant Pot years ago? Imagine how much easier our lives would have been and how much time we could have saved.


The Instant Pot cuts the boiling time of the chicken down by 20-30 minutes. It also saves time with the simmering, it doesn't take nearly as long to bring the juices to a good simmer.



All together, these delicious dumplings can be made in about 35 minutes in what would normally take me an hour or longer. That saves you at least 30 minutes. So, why would you make these any other way after learning how to make them in the instant pot? I love the fact that I no longer have to stand over the stove for an hour to make everyone's favorite Southern Meal.


Ingredients:
1 package of chicken breast tenderloins
2 cups of Water
Pinch of Salt
1-32 oz carton of chicken broth
1 stick of butter
2/3 cups of Milk
2 cups of Original Bisquick Mix

Dumplings:
2 cups Original Bisquick Mix
2/3 cups Milk


Method:
Place Chicken Breasts into Instant Pot along with 2 cups of Water and a pinch of salt and turn instant pot on manual for 11 minutes. While Chicken is boiling, make the dough for the dumplings. When timer is up, carefully quick release the steam valve and allow the steam to release. Next, remove chicken from pot and shred. Leave water and juices from the chicken in the instant pot. Once chicken has been shredded add it back to the pot. Then add carton of chicken broth and stick of butter. Switch to Saute Mode on High and bring to simmer. Once it is simmering good , drop dumpling dough into the simmering pot. Let simmer for about 15 minutes. Once dumplings are finished let them cool and enjoy.

* You might want to make a double batch because everyone will love these and want more than one serving.



Friday, January 18, 2019

High Five For Friday

Welcome to the weekly High Five For Friday link-up hosted by Tif @ Bright On A Budget, Becky @ BYBMG, Whitney @ Come Home For Comfort, Whitney @ Polka Dotty Place  and myself. We're glad you're here! High Five for Friday is where we come together to share five highlights or five favorite things from the past week each Friday.

1) We had a nice and relaxing weekend last weekend. I love weekends at home with my little family watching netflix. I just hate that Raylan was sick all weekend.

2) I finally found a pair of budget friendly moccasins to wear to work. I've looked and looked for a pair that I liked and would fit my budget, but never had any luck. Tif from Bright on a Budget found a pair at her local Target and I'm so excited. I can't wait to get them! 

3)  I tried this Pioneer Woman Glazed Donut recipe and it was absolutely amazing. They taste just like the donuts from Krispy Kreme and other places. I ate way too many, so they didn't last very long at our home. 

4) Yesterday was our second Ice Cream Thursday date. I love it and so does Raylan. It's a nice little reward for a week of hard work at school. It gives him something to look forward to each week. 

5) The Walmart closest to us finally has Online Grocery order and Pickup available now. I placed our first order and I pick it up this evening after Raylan's doctors appointment. I'm so excited! I know this will be a game changer and make things so much easier for this busy mom.

               That’s a wrap for my week. How was your week? I hope it was great!


* Don't forget you can drop links for up to 3 of your posts each week and you can still drop your link for a Friday 5 post!


Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to link-up below. Have a blessed and safe weekend!







Wednesday, January 16, 2019

How to Have an Outdoor Adventure with Your Kids

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There’s nothing better than heading off into the outdoors with the family for an adventure. There’s only one problem: thanks to video games and smartphones and the other hyper-entertaining products of the 21st century, it’s not always easy to get children to agree to leave the warmth of the home and spend a day in nature. But only for the first time. If you get things right during your outing, you won’t have any trouble convincing them to head out to Mother Nature with you in the future. Below, we take a look at some tips to ensure everything goes as smooth as possible.

Source: Pexels.com

Keep Things Modest

A family adventure is not an opportunity for you to show off how fast you can complete a hike. If it’s going to be fun for everyone, then you’re going to have to keep things pretty modest. Your children have the smallest legs; they can’t keep up with the giant stride of an adult. As the old rule goes, the slowest person should set the pace. Avoid making the journey into the outdoors a mission to conquer something, and instead just make it about enjoying the adventure of being in nature.

Comfortable Clothing

Your children will have a good time. But these are children we’re talking about it here; it doesn’t take much for their mood to change. They’ll go from “isn’t this the best day ever” to “I want to go home” in a matter of moments. While you can’t always prevent this change of mood from happening, you can decrease the chances. One of the most important things is making sure that your child has comfortable clothing; they’ll suffer, and then you’ll suffer, if they don’t. Make sure you’re buying one or two ultra-soft kids shirts before your day out. You’ll also want to get them a warm coat - they can always take it off if they don’t need it.

Pick an Activity

There’s nothing wrong with just heading into nature and seeing what happens, but if you want to make the journey into the outdoors a regular occurrence, then you might want to consider picking an activity. This could be hiking, cycling, horse-riding, skiing, or anything else - it’ll all depend on what your family is naturally drawn to and what the terrain near where you live is suited to. Once you’ve all got a passion for the activity, you’ll have something that will allow you to explore the world in an interesting way.

Freedom to Roam

Though you might have an activity, and will want to ensure that your children are kept safe, it’s important to indulge in your child’s “wild side” a little bit. There’s nothing more frustrating than wanting to explore but being told “don’t go there, don’t do that” all the time. If you’re sure that the area is safe, then give your child the freedom to roam. The idea isn’t just to take your child to the outdoors, but for them to fall in love with it.

Nacho Chicken Fajitas



It's no secret that my family loves Mexican Food. Like, we really really love it! When my husband and I were dating, we would eat mexican two to three times per week. Since we've been married and especially now that we have a child, we don't go out to eat as often as we used to. It gets expensive,
so I try to fix as many meals as I can at home. One of my go to favorites is Nacho Chicken Fajitas.


This is a favorite of my husband's and it's super quick and easy. It's also perfect for game Days, family game nights or for any occasion. It's sure to be a crowd pleaser.



Ingredients:
1/2 bag of restaurant style Tortilla Chips
2- 12.5 oz cans of White Chunk Chicken Breast
1 package of taco seasoning
1/2 bag of three color pepper and onion strips
1 can of Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilis
Shredded Mozarella or Taco Blend Cheese
Butter (optional for frying)

Instructions:
Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish and preheat oven on 350. I use canned chicken to make the process even quicker.  I simply add a little butter and fry the chicken on medium to low heat for about 10 minutes. I then add a pack of taco seasoning with the amount of water that it says to add on the package. I let that simmer for about 5 more minutes and then I'm ready to assemble everything else together.  After chicken has been fried and seasoned, layer casserole dish with Tortilla Chips. Completely cover bottom of dish with tortilla chips. I make sure to add plenty of chips and even layer chips on top of each other. Then, spread chicken out over top of the chips. Next, add pepper and onion strips on top of chicken. Finally, add can of tomatoes and chilis. Bake on 350 degrees until chips get lightly browned. About 20 minutes or so. Be sure to keep an eye on it. You don't want your chips to get burnt. When it's finished, sprinkle cheese over the top and enjoy.

* You can also add refried beans, jalapenos or any other toppings that you prefer. It's absolutely delicious and it's the perfect appetizer. It would be perfect for Super Bowl!









Monday, January 14, 2019

The Perfect Stepping Stone: Encouraging Our Children To Take More Responsibility For The Pets




As difficult as it can be to raise respectful kids, when we’ve got a pet in the household, it can go one of two ways- the children may find themselves getting bored of the pet, and shirk their duties, or they will go the other way and do everything they can. While most families have a pet, getting our children to take more responsibility for the pets is something many parents don't tend to do. Usually, it's because it's easier for us to do the tasks rather than ask the children for the millionth time! What is the solution?
Rewarding The Kids
A very simple approach is to reward the children, and it's a practice that seems to work well with younger kids. As they get older, you can gradually take away the reward system, or make the reward different. But to begin with, if you want to instill in your children the habit of looking after them, then we've got to find a way to engage the children until this habit sets in. Sometimes the simplest methods are the best!
Making The Duties Fun And Interesting
This is always easier said than done, but there are always fun tasks to do, not just playing with the dog, but walking them as well. The fact is, if you are forcing your children to do the more mundane tasks, it's hardly a surprise that they get bored quickly and rebel. Instead, think about the more fun aspects of looking after the dog, or, at the very least, incorporating fun activities into the essentials. Brushing the pets, for example, could be a great excuse to play with the dog. And you could ask your children to go and play with the dog, but while they're at it, they need to make sure that the dog is brushed. It's important that you figure out the right way to word it. A lot of the conflict between our children comes from the fact that we tell our children to do something because we've “said so”. It shouldn't be much of a surprise that they refuse to do it. But rather, take the subtle approach, and give your children the fun things to do, but sneak in and essential task without placing too much importance on it, and the task will be done, and the children will spend time with the pet!
Getting The Children To Be Aware Of The Consequences
And, if your kids are too clever, or savvy to your tactics, then making your children aware of the consequences of their actions could force them to take more responsibility. If your dog is unwell, and you are dispensing medication or alternative therapies like CBD oil, and you ask your child to dispense the medication, this is a lot of pressure. Not only do we have to be aware of the CBD oil for dogs dosage, but we also have to ensure we are giving it at the right time, and what we're doing is actually of benefit to the dog. If your children are old enough, then you can supervise them with this duty, but as with any medication, there are strict instructions to be adhered to. This can be a lot of responsibility for a child, but there may be times in life when they have to step up to the plate- as long as they’re old enough! For example, if you know that there will be times you're not going to be home, if you teach the child how to administer the medication and reinforce how important it is that this is done, then it will be a great way to teach them responsibility.
In many ways, responsibility for a pet is the perfect stepping stone. If your children can look after their pets completely, then as they get older, you can trust them with more things. And not only does it take a load off us, but teaching children that responsibility is something we have to do as soon as possible. When we have pets or numerous duties to perform, if our children say no, and dig their heels in so many times, we can feel tempted to give up for an easy life. But it's very important that we teach our children the various responsibilities of life, and a pet can be the perfect starting point. After all, pets require care and attention, but not too much, and this can help our children develop into caring people. And even if you don't have pets, a dog isn't just a great way to teach our children responsibility, but it can help us to grow together as a family. There's nothing quite like a dog that gives you love and affection regardless!


Easy Breakfast Casserole


 I've never been much of a Breakfast person. I eat breakfast but, it's not my favorite meal of the day. In fact, there are only two things that I really love for Breakfast. One is Biscuits & Gravy and the other is Breakfast Burritos. I'm a sucker for McDonald's Breakfast Burritos. They are my favorite! Recently I decided to see if I could try to create a recipe that would taste like Breakfast Burritos but in a Casserole form.


 I wanted the casserole to be big enough to not only feed my little family, but my dad, brother and uncle as well. It actually turned out quite amazing if I must say so myself. My dad even approved and that's a big deal because he's like the king of breakfast. There isn't a breakfast entree that he can't fix.


I used a 9x13 casserole dish and there was plenty enough for all of us plus some left over. I cut mine up in small sections and rolled them up in soft tortilla shells. It tasted almost exactly like McDonald's breakfast burritos, except for the sausage. Neither my husband nor I like sausage, so I opted for Bacon instead. You just can't go wrong with Bacon!


I also added red, yellow, and green peppers along with onions and it was pure perfection. I saved what was left over and rolled them up in tortilla shells as well. I froze them so that I could reheat them for breakfast on busy work mornings.  This recipe is so easy to make and it makes enough to feed a small crowd. Make this once and your family will look forward to this every weekend.


Easy Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients:

6 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 bag of 3 color pepper and onion strips
Real bacon bits (the soft kind not the hard crunchy kind)
Black pepper
1 cup shredded cheese ( I used the taco blend)

Instructions:

Crack and add all 6 eggs to a large mixing bowl. Then add 1/2 cup of milk and beat well. Next add 1/2 bag of  pepper and onion blend. Then add bacon bits and a dash of black pepper. Mix well and pour into a sprayed 9 x13 casserole dish. 

Bake on 350 degrees for 35 minutes. When breakfast casserole is finished, sprinkle cup of cheese over the top and let melt. Let cool, serve and enjoy. 






Friday, January 11, 2019

What To Do When You Suspect Your Parent May Have Dementia

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There are few things more important to life as family. We all have an obligation to take good care of our family just as they take care of us. It goes without saying that those of the Christian faith spend their lives with a strong biblical perspective on the importance of family but by no means is the love and care of the family unit something that’s limited by bias of faith and culture. Whether we are of the Christian faith or indeed any faith, one thing we all grow up with is the inclination to honor our father and mother and give them the same love and care in their dotage that they gave us when growing up.


With this in mind, it can be an extremely stressful and upsetting time for us when we suspect that a beloved parent may have dementia. While many of us show signs of slowing down cognitively as we age, it’s important to know the difference between an attack of “brain fog” and the symptoms of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. Here we’ll look at how to spot the signs of dementia and what you can do if you suspect that a parent may be a sufferer.

Knowing the signs

As with any illness, the key to effective treatment is an early and effective diagnosis. The trouble is that many with dementia can be reticent to admit it and extremely apprehensive when it comes to getting in front of a medical expert. The most important first step you can take is to know the signs of dementia and be mindful of when and where you see the symptoms manifest. This will help you to make the case to them and to convince them that it is in their best interests to come out of their comfort zone and seek the treatment they need and deserve.

Keep an eye out for the following behaviors;

Difficulty learning new things or developing new skills- Many older people are fairly resistant to new technologies (especially when it seems to evolve at such a staggering pace), but when your parent shows difficulty using a new gadget like a new smartphone, TV remote or new car this can actually be an early sign of dementia.

Bad judgment / poor decision making- Our parents have always been there for us in our teenage years when we showed impulsive behavior or poor decision making. The reason why we tend to engage in these behaviors when we are young is because we do not have a well developed prefrontal cortex. This prevents us from fully measuring the consequences of our actions and engaging in more reckless behaviors. However, dementia can also affect the frontal lobe of the brain, leading to bad judgment, poor decision making and recklessness.

Forgetting big things- Little things like forgetting where we put the car keys or when that dentist appointment was are neurological misfires that happen even to the best of us. Anything from not eating enough to failing to drink enough water can lead us to forget the little things. When our parents forget big things, however, like what month or year it is then this may point to more serious issues.

Difficulty managing finances- Do you push open their door to see an ever-growing pile of unpaid bills on the doormat? Failing to keep up with finances is another common sign of dementia.

Lethargy and depression- It can be heartbreaking when a parent appears to be losing their joie de vivre and interest in their hobbies and leisure activities. If your parent shows a diminished interest in their favorite leisure activities it can also be an indicator that they may be suffering from dementia.

Repeating themselves- Many parents have a habit of cracking the same jokes again and again. However, if they tell you the same thing multiple times in a short space of time this may also be a key indicator of dementia.

If you notice any or all of these symptoms the next step is to…


Keep track

Dementia is not the kind of illness that creeps up on us overnight. It tends to be slow and gradual making it hard to keep track of, especially for the sufferer. Although it may feel intrusive and cold, the kindest thing you can do for them is to keep track of instances of the above symptoms. This will help you to build a case for why they should seek medical attention for their potential condition. It will also help a medical expert to make an effective diagnosis and administer the correct cognitive or pharmaceutical treatment.  

Talk with an expert

If you’re at all unsure about how to broach the subject of dementia with a loved one, perhaps you may benefit from the advice of an expert. Even if the prospect of residential care is a long way away it may be worth liaising with someone from a residential care provider like Parc Provence. These are people who spend all day every day working with people with various forms of dementia and preparing bespoke and individualized care packages for them and their advice may well be invaluable to you. There are also charities like Alz.org who provide a plethora of free advice and information.  

Although they will be unable to discuss confidential information with you, it may also be worth talking to your family doctor and seeking advice on how to...

Encourage them to seek treatment

Ultimately, the most important thing that you can do for a parent suffering from dementia is to encourage them to seek the treatment that they need. Show them the evidence that you have gathered and impress upon them that things are not going to get better of their own accord. Explain to them that there are many different kinds of dementia and getting the right treatment now can make all the difference later.

Give them your support, love and empathy

Finally, the most effective thing you can do for them is to remind them that come what may you will always be by their side to give them the love, support, empathy and compassion that they need in this difficult time. Just as they were your rock as you navigated the trials of your early years, so will you be theirs!