Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tavern Chicken

The iPhoto definitely doesn't do this dish justice!  At our house, the husband does the grilling, so he put the marinated chicken on while I cooked the pasta and in no time we had a delicious meal.  I used penne pasta(because that is what I had in the pantry)and a store bought bottle of alfredo sauce to save on time. 

4 boneless chicken breasts
1/2 bottle of garlic and herb marinade
4 thin slices of prosciutto
4 slices of provolone cheese
alfredo sauce

1.  Put chicken in a gallon baggie and pour garlic and herb marinade over it to marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours.
2.  When ready to cook, place a dry towel over the bag of chicken and pound the chicken breasts to ensure quick and even cooking.
3.  Grill chicken until almost done.  Place a slice of prosciutto on each chicken breast and then a piece of provolone over the prosciutto and close lid to melt cheese for about 2 minutes.
4.  Serve over cooked pasta tossed with alfredo sauce.

Inspiration found at plainchicken

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

WARNING: These fudge-like bars are extremely rich!  My husband  really likes desserts that mix chocolate and peanut butter, so when I saw these on pinterest (the-girl-who-ate-everything) I knew I had to try them.  He loved them, and they are very easy to make.

1 package plain yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
12 oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2.  Combine cake mix, 1/2 cup melted butter, peanut butter, and eggs.  Press into a 9x13 pan reserving 1 1/2 cups of the mixture to crumble on top.
3.  Melt chocolate chips, condensed milk, and 2 Tbsp butter on stovetop. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
4.  Spread chocolate mixture over the peanut butter mixture in pan and then crumble (or plop) the reserved peanut butter mixture on top evenly.
5.  Bake 20 minutes.  Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Easter Story Eggs

"And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain . . . . And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins . . . . If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.  But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead."    - 1 Corinthians 15:14,17,19-20

Teaching the Bible to my kids is great for so many reasons, one of which is that it allows me to see these stories through their eyes as if for the first time again.  It's good to have a fresh look at the resurrection story.  The truth of Christ rising from the dead gives us HOPE as Christians. It is what our faith is based on.  A real man - JESUS - walked on this earth, lived a perfectly obedient life, and paid the penalty for our sins on the cross.  The fact that he is God and rose from the dead conquering sin and death means that we have the hope of everlasting life.  I want my children to have this hope!  

This year I decided to tell them the story by using the "12 days of Easter" egg idea.  I used deliacreates and anordinarymom for inspiration, and used objects I already had around the house.  I did buy the dozen eggs at Dollar General for $1.

After numbering the eggs 1-12 with a Sharpie, I collected the items needed to fill the eggs and here is my list:
1.  Matthew 26:26-27, 39 (piece of bread)
2.  Matthew 26:14-15 (3 dimes)
3.  Matthew 26:48-49 (lips sticker or chocolate kiss)
4.  Matthew 27:1-2 (knotted twine)
5.  Matthew 27:15,17,21, 24-26 (piece of bar soap)
6.  Mark 15:16-17 (purple fabric, thorn)
7.  Matthew 27:31-32 (nail, toothpick cross)
8.  Matthew 27:50-51, 54 (crushed rocks)
9.  Matthew 27:57-60 (strip of white cloth)
10.  Matthew 27:60-66 (a flat stone)
11.  Mark 16:1-6 (bay leaf)
12.  Matthew 28:5-6 (empty)

I wrote all of the Scripture references out and included them in each egg along with the object for the day.  We read the first one at lunch today, and because my kids are 2 and 3 I have included two objects in each egg, one for each of them.  Today, Alivia opened egg #1 and said, "Oh, a snack," since it was a piece of bread.  She ate her piece of bread, closed the egg,  and passed it to Weston so that he could have a turn opening it to find the surprise.  This is a good idea for young kids with short attention spans because you only read a few verses a day and then discuss them.  I can't wait until we open the empty egg on Easter to reveal that "He is not here, for he has risen, as he said." (Matthew 28:6)

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chicken Piccata

I'm an Italian food fan and this dish is just as good, if not better, than what you can order at an Italian restaurant.  My husband says it's one of his new favorites.  While engaged to my now husband, my grandfather told me that "the key to a man's heart is his stomach."  So thank you, pinterest, for your help in this area.

3 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1.  Place chicken breasts in plastic ziplock bag
2.  Combine first 6 ingredients and pour over chicken in bag
3.  Marinate overnight in refrigerator
4.  When ready, grill until done
5.  Allow to rest for a few minutes before cutting to retain juices

2 cups dried penne pasta
2 Tbsp butter
6 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup half and half
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1.  While chicken is cooking, prepare pasta according to directions.
2.  Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
3.  In the same sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat.  Whisk in garlic and lemon juice.
4.  Pour in half and half and whisk until hot.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
5.  Add parmesan cheese and basil and whisk until cheese melts.  Add reserved pasta water until you reach desired consistency.
6.  Toss with pasta.  Serve with chicken.

inspiration from plainchicken

Loaded Potato Soup

     A few years back I started a new tradition at our house where we have soup on Saturdays in the fall.   There is just something about fall weather, watching Alabama football, and enjoying a warm bowl of soup at home.  I like to try new recipes most Saturdays, but this one has become a regular.  Since this potato soup has become one of our favorites, I thought I would share it.  Everyone agrees that the green onions are what really make it delicious.  

4-5 lbs. new potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 in. thick slices
1 small onion, chopped (I use frozen chopped onions)
2 (14 oz) cans chicken broth (I use a 32 oz. box)
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 pt. half-and-half
Toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon, green onion slices

1.  Layer sliced potatoes in a lightly greased 6 qt. slow cooker; top with chopped onion.
2.  Stir together chicken broth, salt, and pepper; pour over potatoes and onion. (Broth will not completely cover potato and onion.)  
3.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 to 5 hrs or until potatoes are tender.  
4.  Mash mixture with a potato masher; stir in half-and-half.  
5.  Cover and cook on HIGH 20 more mintues or until mixture is thoroughly heated.  
6.  Serve in bowls with desired toppings.

*You can also cook potatoes on stovetop with broth, onions, salt, and pepper until tender (I also add water); Mash and add half-and-half, cook on medium for 20 min. and serve with toppings.

Inspiration from Southern Living 2006 Annual Recipes

Parmesan Knots

Need a simple, but yummy bread to go with your Italian dish?  These parmesan knots are quick and easy, look cute, and taste great!

1 tube (12 oz.) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/4 cup canola oil
3 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.  Roll each biscuit in between hands (as if rubbing palms together) to form a 12 inch rope and tie rope in a knot.
3.  Place on baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.
4.  While baking, combine other ingredients in bowl.  
5.  Brush oil mixture on warm knots immediately after removing from oven.

inspiration found at realmomkitchen

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Chocolate Banana Bread

If you are a chocolate lover like myself, you will love this wonderful spin on banana bread complete with cocoa and chocolate chips!  It is very moist and tastes great for a few days.  I found this recipe on pinterest, originally posted by the sisters cafe.  

1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups mashed bananas (about 3)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
2.  Spray 8x4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.  
3.  Beat sugar, eggs, and oil with electric mixer on medium speed until combined. 
4.  Beat in vanilla and bananas on low speed.  
5.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.  
6.  Beat dry mixture into banana mixture on low speed just until combined.  
7.  Stir in chocolate chips.  
8.  Pour into loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  

Don't forget to let your helpers take a lick!


Saturday, March 10, 2012

I Am From

This is where I'm from - a little bit of present mixed with past . . . .

I am from a town, not too far from the city, with tractors, cows, and corn fields right around the corner

from diapers and snotty noses and messes to remind me it's all holy things

food coloring
finger paint

broken lamp
I am from the brick house in the middle of the neighborhood - the one with the purple door

I am from the Dogwood's blooming as a first taste of spring, offering beauty and life

I'm from stools at the kitchen counter that welcome conversation about life and learning while preparing meals for family and guests

Thanksgiving 2011

from Bible drills and weekly chapel services
diaries, fishing, tree houses and pony rides

I'm from making movies, swimming all day, climbing trees, and playing in the woods

from pastors who "preach the word" and members who keep coming to listen

the best preacher I know
I'm from organizing, bargain shopping, party planning, project scheming, bicycle riding, park playing, trampoline jumping, sport cheering, teeth cleaning, scripture verse memorizing, church going, Bible studying, school teaching, ABC chanting, picture coloring, song singing, menu planning, grocery shopping, food cooking, dish cleaning, book reading, laundry sorting, floor mopping, flower planting, grass cutting, friend calling, guest welcoming, living life at home

and from date nights and family snuggle time

I'm from work now and play later and Trust in the Lord with all your heart 
and Be careful little eyes what you see

I'm from turkey and dressing twice a year surrounded by family
pictures that need to be printed and kept in albums for memories to be remembered

I'm from the south, USA, and hard-working grandparents

From serving God in all of life, because it's all spiritual
worshiping God for who He is and grateful for His grace

From sweet childhood memories stored away in mind and heart, making me thankful for my parents and the home God placed me in, then and now

children giggling, keeping things in perspective, as I enjoy the simple things in life

idea taken from Ann Voskamp, author of 1000 Gifts, and blogger at a holy experience.

to write your own "I am from" poem find template here