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Tuesday Cook Off ~ Skinny Kung Pao Chicken

Tuesday Cook Off ~ Skinny Kung Pao Chicken

Usually Skinny recipes don’t appeal to me.   It’s not that I don’t like them but I try to eat in moderation whether it’s skinny or not.   But my husband was bugging me to make a few skinny recipes.   He’s trying to lose a couple of pounds I think 🙂  I told him if he would stop snacking on pretzels and cookies at night the couple of pounds would come off.   He agreed but still wanted skinny recipes.

Since Kung Pao Chicken is one of his favorite Chinese take out meals I decided to try this recipe I found on Cookinglight.com.   I was a little worried because sometimes the skinny recipes come up a little short on favor.   This one did not.  In fact, next time I think I will add just a little extra crushed red pepper.   The recipe called for 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons and I added 1 teaspoons because the boys.  Everyone loved it!  This recipe is simple to prep before and literally only takes a 15-17 minutes to make after the preparation is done.   We all agreed this one is a keeper!

Skinny Kung Pao Chicken

Yields about 4 to 6 servings (depending on who is serving:) )

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon bottled minced ginger
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper (about 1 large pepper)
  • 1 cup snow peas, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts

Directions: 

  1.  Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until softened. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add chicken; sauté 3 minutes or until chicken begins to brown.
  2.  Combine 3/4 cup water and the next 5 ingredients (through crushed red pepper), stirring with a whisk until sugar dissolves. Add water mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Add bell pepper and snow peas to pan; cook for 2 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender and sauce thickens. Sprinkle with nuts.

Do you have a great recipe you would like to share?  Just email us at Linda@mybabypajamas.com.  Please attach a photo if you can.  If your recipe is chosen, you will win a $25.00 Gift Certificate to our website.   Who doesn’t want free kids pajamas?  Please share this contest/giveaway!

Don’t forget where to find great footie pajamastoddler pajamas and more at My Baby Pajamas.

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My Baby Pajamas January 2014 Freebie Friday Giveaway

My Baby Pajamas January 2014 Freebie Friday Giveaway

My Baby Pajamas January 2014 Freebie Friday giveaway starts today, Friday January 3, 2014.  This month My Baby Pajamas is giving away one pair (1) of size 10 Boys Skivvydoodles Sea Life pajamas.  These pajamas are a two piece set with long sleeves and long pants.   Perfect for the winter months.   What better way to start off the new year!

Here is how to enter to win:

  • Main entry: Answer the question on this blog post: Do you make New Year’s Resolutions?  If so, what is yours?
  • extra entry: subscribe to our newsletter for our website ( already subscribe, let us know).
  • extra entry: Follow us on Twitter
  • extra entry: Like us on Facebook
  • extra entry: Follow us on Pinterest
  • Must have a U.S. Mailing address and be 18 years or older to enter.   Good Luck!

This giveaway will end on Friday, January 31, 2014.   We will announce our winner by Monday, February 3, 2014.   Winner will be picked by Random.org

Good luck to everyone!!!

Congratulations to Anne Dall! She is the winner of the My Baby Pajamas January 2014 giveaway.

Baseball String Bracelet

Baseball String Bracelet

Take me out to the ball game

Take me out with the crowd
Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks
I don’t care if I never get back
Let me root, root, root
For the home team
If they don’t win it’s a shame
Aahh.
For it’s one,
Two,
Three strikes you’re out
At the old ball game

It’s that time of year…baseball season.   I just love baseball season and it’s not because my husband played Major League Baseball either.   It’s just something about baseball and summer.   Maybe because it’s the lazy days of summer and the kids aren’t in school.  I don’t know what it is but I love it!

It’s also little league baseball time around the country.  Now, here in Arizona we are finishing up our little league season because it’s just too hot to play in the summer.  My youngest son ends his season this week and we will have the year- end season party this weekend.   Since my husband is the manager, I wanted to do something special for the boys at the party.   My friend, Erin, posted a picture of these baseball string bracelets she made for her boys today.  I just knew I had to make them for the party.

Do you have a baseball fan in your house?  This would be a cute and fun gift for them.

Here is how to make the baseball string bracelets:  I made two today!

You will need a baseball (you get two bracelets from one ball), a Xacto knife, plus a scissors helps too.

First you will need to cut out the stitches all the way around the baseball.  Try to get your cuts as close to the stitches as possible without cutting them.  When you are all finished you can use the scissors to cut any uneven parts.  You will have to apply a fair amount of pressure, and maybe even go over each line twice to cut all the way through the leather.

Once you have cut all the way around the stitches you’ll need to remove the leather pieces.  The leather is stuck onto the ball inside with some adhesive, so it could take a little elbow grease to get it off.

Once you take both leather pieces off you’ll need to remove the strings.  They will still be in once piece and should be easy to pull off.

Here’s is what your baseball should look like at this point:

baseball string bracelet

You won’t need the ball or leather any more for this project.  Locate the point on the seam where the stitching begins/ends, this is where you should cut the remaining leather.  You will see the extra string at this point.   Be careful not to cut off the excess string, you’ll need every inch!

Find the middle of the seam and cut it in half.  Each piece should be around 8 inches long.  Begin unraveling the stitching at each end of the bracelet until you have about 4 inches of string unwound.  This should leave about 1 to 1 1/2 inches of leather sticking out.

Cut off the excess leather without cutting the strings.  You should now have two ends that have 4 inches of string and 5 inches of seam in the middle.

baseball String bracelet

The best closure I found for this bracelet is simply tying the two ends into a knot each time I wear it.  To do this you will need to braid each of the loose strings and secure with a knot.  The strings will be gummy in the beginning from the adhesive used to attach the leather to the ball, but this will go away after you wear the bracelet a few times.

You will notice the leather is formed into a circle; the leather will flatten out as you wear your bracelet.

Good luck!!

Who are you rooting for this summer?  It’s “Go Cubs” in this house 🙂

Random Thoughts of the Day

It’s that time again when my mind is racing with useless random thoughts.   Sometimes it can be so time consuming with all the thoughts running through my head.   It’s probably because I haven’t been able to run the last couple of days.   I have been under the weather with horrible sinus problems.   What are you thinking about right now?

1.   My youngest lost a tooth last night…while sleeping.  Who loses a tooth when they are sleeping?   Has this happened to any one else’s child?

2.   I now have a teenager that should help with chores, why is it that I am still the one putting out the trash all the time?

3.  Why does my dog get a sudden burst of energy right before we go to bed or/and are in bed.   It’s not like we don’t exercise him.   Does this happen to anyone else?

4.  Watching Modern Family while writing this blog.   I just love that show.  Did you know that the character Luke (Nolan Gould) graduated High School at age 13!

5.  What’s the going rate for a lost tooth?

6.  I love Instagram!!  A lot of my friends live all over the country.  We use Instagram to stay up to date on everything in our lives.

7.  Really can’t think because my head is pounding to bad!  I hate sinus infections 😦

What are your random thoughts?

Ultimate Blog Party 2013

Hi, my name is Linda and welcome to my blog and website.   I want to thank you for stopping by and chatting with me.   I can’t wait to get to know you all better.   Here is a little information about myself:  I am a wife and mom of two boys.   My husband and I just celebrated our 20th anniversary.   My husband and I are from Chicago but now live in the Phoenix, AZ area.  Our boys are 12 years old (will be 13 in a couple of weeks)  and 7 years old.   My website is Mybabypajamas.com and it specializes in high quality pajamas for newborn to tween.   I have been in business since 2007 and have watched my company grow and mature.  My Baby Pajamas is in the process of revamping the company and will only specialize in 5 brands of outstanding pajamas!  My blog started as a business tool but over the years I have found I really enjoy blogging and hope to grow this side of the business too.

When I am not working on my business and blogging, I enjoy running and competing in races.  I love my yoga HOT, reading, playing sports with my boys, hiking with my family and rescued pit bull mix Chance and cooking (and baking)!  Well, I don’t want to bore you, please stay and take a look around.   Some of my favorite post are the Tuesday Cook Offs.   These are really getting popular!  Did you know that the number one thing moms google is recipes?  That is how the Tuesday Cook Off posts were born.  The most popular Tuesday Cook Off is the copy cat recipe for Auntie Anne’s Pretzels.   They are a must try recipe!

Thank you for stopping by and I look forward to getting to know you all better!

My Baby Pajamas family

My Family

My Baby Pajamas

Al and I just celebrated 20 years together 🙂

My Baby Pajamas

Our rescued pit bull mix Chance

Tuesday Cook Off ~ The Best Blueberry Muffins

Tuesday Cook Off ~ The Best Blueberry Muffins

In our house blueberry muffins are a big request from my husband and my youngest son.   My husband likes them so much he will even make a box of Jiffy blueberry muffins on his own.  GROSS!!  Anyway, I came across this recipe that has a crumb topping.   I just love crumb toppings!  Well, I just had to give it a try.   Also, these blueberry muffins are made with Greek yogurt that really makes these muffins moist.  I promise if you like blueberry muffins, you will LOVE these!  Enjoy baking 🙂

Here is the recipe:

 Yield: 2 1/2 dozen standard muffins

Ingredients

For the Batter:
    • 4 eggs
    • 2 1/2 C sugar
    • 1 C canola oil
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 2 C plain traditional Greek yogurt (I’ve never tried using fat-free and don’t know how it works)
    • 4 C AP flour
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 3 C fresh or frozen blueberries tossed with 1 tbsp of flour just before adding to the batter
For the Crumb Topping:
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 C AP flour
  • 1/2 C butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Make crumb topping by combining all ingredients in a bowl and pinching with your fingers until the butter is fully incorporated and it looks like coarse sand. Set aside.
  3. Combine the eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla; mixing until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt and baking soda.
  5. Alternately add 1/3 flour and 1/3 yogurt to the sugar mixture and repeat, stirring just slightly between each addition. The key to moist muffins is to keep the batter from becoming over mixed. Only mix until no dry spots remain- there will be lumps and that’s okay.
  6. Gently fold in the blueberries, mixing only until they are evenly distributed.
  7. Scoop batter into muffin tin until 2/3 full. Spoon 1 1/2-2 tbsp of crumb mixture on top of each muffin (it will look like a lot of crumbs).
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with only moist crumbs.

Source of the recipe is heatherlikesfood.com
Do you have a great recipe you would like to share?  Just email us at Linda@mybabypajamas.com.  Please attach a photo if you can.  If your recipe is chosen, you will win a $25.00 Gift Certificate to our website :)  Who doesn’t want free kids pajamas?  Please share this contest/giveaway!

Don’t forget to where to find great footie pajamastoddler pajamas and more, My Baby Pajamas

Tuesday Cook Off ~ Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tuesday Cook Off ~ Double Chocolate Chip Cookies (Levain Bakery Copy Cat Recipe)

This week My Baby Pajamas is featuring the famous Levain Bakery Double Chocolate Chip Cookie from New York (of course it’s a copy cat recipe so who knows if it’s the real thing).   But I will tell you this; these cookies are delicious!   The recipe makes about 12 of the giant double chocolate chip cookies.  However, I didn’t want to have these huge cookies lying around the house so I made the cookies smaller and reduced the cook time.  They turned out perfect!  The cookies are very rich cookies so I could not imagine having a huge cookie.   All I have to say is if you like double chocolate chip cookies, you definitely need to make these, your family will thank you 🙂

Here is the recipe:

Yield: 12 very large cookies
Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1¼ cup sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup dark cocoa powder
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar.  Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Mix in the cocoa powder until well blended.  Add the flour, salt and baking powder to the bowl and mix on low speed just until incorporated.  Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.  Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead briefly by hand to be sure the ingredients are well combined.

Divide the dough into 4 ounce portions (or divide into 12 equal pieces).  Roll each portion of dough into a ball and flatten just slightly into a disc.  Place on the prepared baking sheets, a few inches apart.  Bake 16-20 minutes.  Let cool on the baking sheets 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make 30 smaller cookies:  I measured about 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons of cookie dough onto the baking sheet.  I then cooked the cookies about 12-14 minutes.  If you want the cookies gooey I would cook around 12 to 12 1/2 minutes.

Enjoy baking!

Source: My Baking Addition

Do you have a great recipe you would like to share?  Just email us at Linda@mybabypajamas.com.  Please attach a photo if you can.  If your recipe is chosen, you will win a $25.00 Gift Certificate to our website :)  Who doesn’t want free kids pajamas?  Please share this contest/giveaway!

Don’t forget to where to find great footie pajamastoddler pajamas and more, My Baby Pajamas :)

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Right from the oven 🙂

February 20, 1993, we were both just 23 years old.   What were we thinking getting married so young?   Well, we were in love!  We met in college through a mutual friend and knew we were going to be together forever.   Was it love at first sight…hell no!  But it developed into the kind of love that stayed up late talking and laughing until the sun came up.  It still is on some occasions.  Not as much as we like because a) we have two boys b) we have to work in the morning c) we are old 🙂  So what are the secrets to our happy marriage?

1. Communication:  Talk to your spouse about something other than work, money, kids, and the relationship.  This is very important and know we all forget to communicate with each other.   When the open communication is gone, the walls go up.  Once the walls go up, it’s hard to break them down.   Surprise your spouse tomorrow with a 10-minute talk without the kids around.   Ask how they are doing.

2.  Let go of the past, learn to forgive:  Letting go of the past is key to a happy marriage.   Why waste energy and time trying to change something that has already happened.   Focus on the now, not the then!

3.  Affection:   Men crave affection more than women.  Surprise!!  Men look for affection that is non sexual and want to feel special and wanted.   Women, however, don’t crave this as much because we get this feeling from our girl friends.   Make sure to take the time to make your husband feel special.   Take the time to text him or call him at work just to say hi and I love you.   My husband and I now do this on a daily basis.   Seems stupid but it’s special every time.

4.  A crisis doesn’t mean the marriage is over:  Crises are like storms: loud, scary and dangerous. But to get through a storm you have to keep driving. A crisis can be a new beginning. It’s out of pain that great people and marriages are produced.

5. Laugh and laugh a lot: Make the time for alone time in this crazy world and just laugh with each other.  Watch a funny movie together.   Talk about something silly but just remember to laugh!

6.  Marry your best friend 🙂

breakfast recipes

While parents need to eat breakfast to perform at their daily best, kids need to eat breakfast even more.   Kids bodies are always growing and their bodies rely on regular healthy food intake.  When kids skip breakfast, they can end up going for long periods of time without food and this period of semistarvation can create a lot of physical, intellectual, and behavioral problems for them.

If you and your kids regularly skip breakfast in the interest of saving time, calories, or getting a few more minutes of sleep, remember that eating a wholesome, nutritious morning meal will probably save you time in the long run.  This is an interesting fact: studies show that kids who skip breakfast are tardy and absent from school more often than children who eat breakfast on a regular basis. Preparing a good breakfast can be as quick and easy.  Make sure to check back with our blog tomorrow.  My Baby Pajamas Tuesday Cook Off will feature two quick and easy breakfast for adults and kids.   Both recipes are a big hit in our house and the great thing is they can be prepared on the weekend and stored in the refrigerator for the week.

Adults tend to skip breakfast in an effort to lose weight but doing this can actually do the opposite and make you gain weight not loss weight.  According to research, skipping meals, especially breakfast, can actually make weight control more difficult. Breakfast skippers tend to eat more food than usual at the next meal or nibble on high-calorie snacks to stave off hunger. Several studies suggest that people tend to accumulate more body fat when they eat fewer, larger meals than when they eat the same number of calories in smaller, more frequent meals. To teens, especially teenage girls, skipping breakfast may seem like a perfectly logical way to cut down on calories and lose weight. It’s important for moms to educate their kids about the importance of the morning meal and the role it plays in maintaining good health and preventing obesity.

Mom and Dad, your kids look up to you and if you don’t eat breakfast, why should they?   By eating breakfast everyday, you are showing your kids how important it is to eat breakfast plus you are establishing a good healthy habit that will continue a life time.

Be sure to stop by tomorrow and check out our two fast and easy breakfast recipes for the whole family!

P.S. Last day to save 50% off entire website.  Footie pajamas, toddler pajamas and more!

National Chocolate Cake Day

National Chocolate Cake Day!

My Baby Pajamas is excited that it’s National Chocolate Cake Day.   That alone is the best reason to bake a cake today.   Now my boys are not a big fan of icing.   In fact, either am I or my husband.  It’s just too sweet for our taste.   So with that being said, I decided to go to our favorite chocolate cake without icing.  It’s the easiest cake to make and then you just sprinkle with powered sugar.

Here is the recipe:  Thank you Recipe Girl!

Ingredients:

1 box Devil’s food chocolate cake mix
1 small box instant chocolate pudding mix
4 large eggs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
12 ounces chocolate chips
16 ounces sour cream
powdered sugar, for dusting

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease bundt cake pan.

2. In large bowl, use an electric mixer to mix chocolate cake mix, pudding, eggs, water and oil until smooth. Use a rubber spatula to fold in sour cream and chips. Stir until the sour cream is incorporated.

3. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

4. Cool thoroughly before removing from pan. To remove, invert onto serving dish and tap firmly on pan. If necessary, gently run a plastic knife around the inner circle of the pan.

5. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving for a nice presentation.

Happy Baking today!!

About Me:

Hello and welcome! I am a 40 something year old mom of two boys, living in Scottsdale, AZ with my husband Al. I started My Baby Pajamas in 2007 and have watched it grow and mature. I love to blog but am not much of a writer per say. I am a avid runner and love to compete in races. I like my yoga HOT and love to hike with my family and our pit bull mix dog, Chance. My favorite time is hanging with my family and cooking homemade dinners and hearing about everyone's day while my husband and I enjoy a glass of wine.

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