Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chicken Parmesan Bake

Here's an easy weeknight meal that offers the taste of Chicken Parmesan without the hassle of pounding out, breading and frying the chicken. This recipe by Chef John was recommended to me via Grandma Honey's blog. I've made a few tweaks just to adjust for my own preferences, but for the most part have stayed pretty close to the original recipe.

Chicken Parmesan Bake
printable recipe
serves 4-6

olive oil
red pepper flakes
3-4 minced garlic cloves
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 jar marinara sauce (I used Barilla traditional marinara)
8 oz mozzarella, shredded
4 oz parmesan, grated
italian seasoning, salt, and pepper
5 oz bag of garlic croutons

Preheat oven to 350F. Drizzle olive oil into a 9x13" baking dish and generously sprinkle with red pepper flakes and garlic cloves. I did not skimp on the pepper or garlic, but it was not over powering at all, so don't be afraid of it being too spicy!

Cut the chicken into 2-3 oz cutlets. This is optional but I felt it made the chicken more flavorful and ensured that the chicken was cooked through. Some reviewers of the original recipe complained that the whole breasts were not cooked through in the allotted time, but I did not have this problem when I cut up the chicken a bit.

Arrange the chicken breasts on top of the olive oil in the baking dish. Season generously with salt, pepper, and italian seasoning.

Spread marinara sauce on top of chicken, and sprinkle on half of the mozzarella and parmesan.

Distribute the croutons evenly on top and sprinkle on the remaining cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350F for 35 minutes, uncovering for the last 15 minutes so the croutons have a chance to crisp up.

Serve with a salad and french bread.

Monday, October 10, 2011

my current favorite cookie

Not having a ton of time right now but still having plenty of chocolate cravings, I've been enjoying recipes and pictures from other great blogs. These are my current favorite cookies from the blog How Sweet It Is. Cured my chocolate and peanut butter cravings at the same time! Why is it that my sweet tooth just intensifies when I'm pregnant with baby boys?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Hello There!

I haven't been blogging very much lately, not really any excuse except for this little guy:

That's right, in January we will be welcoming a new baby boy into our family! We couldn't be more thrilled.

We had a great summer and our kids enjoyed every minute of it. I found myself spending a lot less time in the kitchen, first because of the morning sickness all-day nausea, then because I found it easier to stick with some of my old favorites instead of trying new recipes while we enjoyed the beautiful Colorado weather.

In July, Hannah turned two. Cake and a balloon, all a 2 year old needs, right?

Isn't she turning into such a pretty little girl? She has such a fun personality too, a little more feisty than Nathan, but we figure with an older brother already and a younger brother on the way, it's a good thing that she is able to stick up for herself.

While I haven't been experimenting too much with new recipes, I have been starting to bake my favorite pumpkin recipes. Yummy!


I've picked up crocheting again. Check out this cute hat I am making for our new baby boy! I purchased the pattern from this seller on etsy.

I also have started making my own cleaning and personal care products incorporating essential oils, thanks to a class I attended by Jenn Oldham. This is a video of her demonstrating how she makes her own laundry detergent, lip balm, and deodorant.

The secret is in the Certified Pure Therapeutic-grade Essential Oils sold by doTerra. I'm sure I will blog more on this in the future, because I am falling in love with all the uses I have found for these awesome oils, including relieving stress, nipping colds in the bud, and cleaning my house.

I hope to be back to the blog a little more consistently in the future, so see you soon!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Peaches and Cream

Last night I tried a new dessert recipe that my aunt had sent my mom, called Peaches and Cream. Oh my word, was it good! So good in fact that I convinced myself that it was kind of like coffee cake and had it for breakfast this morning. My kids kind of gave me the side-eye as I ate dessert for breakfast but it was worth it.

Like a cross between cheesecake and cobbler, this dessert is sure to win you friends, or at least start end your day right.

printable recipe
Peaches and Cream

1 (3 oz) package vanilla pudding (not instant, you need the cook and serve kind for this recipe)
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
1 egg
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk
1 (15 oz) can of sliced peaches
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup + 1 tsp sugar, divided
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine pudding, flour, baking powder, salt, egg, butter, and milk in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Beat for 2 minutes then spread in a greased 8x8 inch square pan or 9 inch deep pie pan.

Drain the peaches, reserving the juice, and arrange on top of the fruit.

If you're feeling frisky, sprinkle a couple of handfuls of blueberries (fresh or frozen) on top.

Combine cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and 3 Tbsp peach juice. Spoon on top of fruit.

Mix together the remaining tsp of sugar and the cinnamon.

Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture on top of cream cheese.

Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes, until cake mixture is golden on the edges.

Let cool down a bit, then serve warm. If you're impatient like I am and try to dig in too soon, you will end up with an (albeit delicious) mess.

However, if you let it sit up a bit it will lend itself to more tidy serving.


Chronicles of a crazy mom

Friday, April 15, 2011

Chicken Curry over Rice

I literally sat down to write this blog post three times in the past week. Each time I ended up playing solitaire on my computer for an hour instead, not because the recipe isn't good but because when my husband is out of town I am pretty much burnt out by the time I get the kids in bed and the house clean. Which means the blog suffers.

Fortunately for the blog, not to mention my emotional well-being, my husband is on his way home! Which somehow gives me the motivation I need to get this recipe posted before he returns and I go MIA from the blog for a few days while we enjoy being a family in the same house again.

This rather unconventional take on chicken and rice comes from my mom. It is topped with rice, peanuts, eggs, and bacon bits, which is tastier than it sounds. Give this a try next time you need a quick, tasty weeknight meal.

printable recipe
Chicken Curry over Rice

2 cups of cooked, chopped chicken (or turkey)
1 stick of butter
3 Tbs of flour
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup milk
1 Tbs curry powder
peanuts, raisins, chopped hard-boiled eggs and bacon bits

Melt butter in skillet.

Add flour and brown over medium heat.

Add curry powder, milk, and soup.

Stir until mixture boils.

Turn heat down to medium-low and add chicken.

Simmer for 20 minutes.

Prep garnishes.

Serve curry over rice and top with garnishes.

So Followed Saturday

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Photobucket issue

So I have a lot of pictures on this blog, between the step-by-step recipes and pictures of my kids. Awhile ago I ran out of room on blogger (did you know there is a limit on how many pictures they will post on your blog for free through their hosting service?) so I started storing my pictures on photobucket. That worked great until yesterday, when photobucket started experiencing "issues." Their website says they are doing maintenance, so hopefully things are resolved soon and my pictures come back!

Are any other bloggers out there experiencing this problem?

Friday, April 8, 2011

No Fail French Bread

Yesterday afternoon I invited my dear friend Melanie and her darling 6 month old daughter, Summer, over to make dinner. Our menu included:

No Fail French Bread

 and, as I mentioned in yesterday's post

We had so much fun cooking together. Between the two of us we had all of the ingredients except for the kale, so it was a great money-saver. When we were done cooking, we divided up the food and she left with plenty of soup for her family, a loaf of french bread, and several slices of cake. I discovered I love cooking even more when I am cooking with a friend.

I want to share this amazing french bread recipe with you. I have attempted to make homemade french bread before, and it has never turned out. So when I saw a recipe for "No Fail" French Bread on my friend Rachel's blog, I knew I had to try it out. True to it's name, the bread turned out perfect on our first try.

By the way, if you have a minute, check out Rachel's awesome blog: Family Ever After, she has it all: recipes, craft ideas, great pictures and funny stories. I love it!

printable recipe
No Fail French Bread

1/2 cup warm water
2 TB yeast
Mix and dissolve.

2 cups hot water
3 TB sugar
1 TB salt
1/3 cup oil
Put in mixer, dissolve.

Add yeast mixture and 3 cups flour. Beat well.
Add 3 more cups flour. Beat well to form a soft dough. Don't worry if the dough is more soft than normal bread dough.
Let rest 10 minutes. Stir batter down, let rest 10 minutes. Repeat process of stirring dough, followed by 10 minutes of rest until it has been done a total of 5 times.

Turn dough onto floured board and knead only enough to coat dough with flour.
Divide into 2 portions. Toll each portion into a 9x12 inch rectangle. 
Roll up jelly roll style, omitting the air bubbles. Arrange lengthwise on a greased cookie sheet. 
Brush tops with a beaten egg while (optional). Slash 3 times diagonally on each loaf. 
Cover, let rise until doubles, about 30 min. 
Bake at 400 for 35 min.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Happy Anniversary to us!

Yesterday was my husband and my 4th wedding anniversary! Unfortunately he was out of town, but when he comes home tonight, I intend to celebrate a little by serving him Texas Sheet Cake and Blue Bell ice cream. Yummy! We've been eating well and exercising hard all week, so it's time to treat ourselves a bit. Besides, he deserves something special for putting up with me for this long!

Happy Anniversary, honey! I love you!