NFR: Tag, I’m it! I got 5 on it

April 28, 2008 at 10:53 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

My wonderful friend Clara has again tagged me for some more meme fun.  I actually enjoy these kinds of things and think they are super fun to read on other people’s blogs.  Must be my Psychology minor coming through.  : )  Without further adieu….

Five things found in your bag/purse:

1. Ibuprofen
2. Shout Wipes – never know when these will come in handy
3. About 10 lip glosses – I can never have too many
4. Sunglasses
5. I wish I could say cash but I never carry it…so more like, debit cards 🙂

Five favorite things in your room:
(As Clara said, this doesn’t specify which room so I’ll go with our bedroom)

1. Whatever book I am currently reading from the library
2. My Marpac white noise machine so I can sleep;
3. My big soft comforter
4. Our plastma TV
5. My trunk – it is a keepsake trunk – many many sentimental items in it

Five things you have always wanted to do:

1. Sip on wine in Tuscany while overlooking vineyards
2. Win the lottery
3. Open up a profitable children’s store where I can paint items for kids rooms
4. Donate a huge sum of money to the Make a Wish charity
5. Take about 2 months off from work and Tommy and I travel through Europe (this is of course after we have won the lottery…HA!)

Five things you are currently into:

1. Blogging
2. Traveling
3. DVR’ing shows I wouldn’t normally watch
4. Learning about different wines and trying them
5. Celebrity gossip (always)

Five people you want to tag:

I’m guessing by now everyone has been tagged who would do this so I’ll skip this part. : )

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Honey Glazed Chicken

April 28, 2008 at 10:43 pm | Posted in Chicken | 1 Comment

Surprise!  Another chicken recipe.  You are shocked right?  : ) 

I stumbled on the My Kitchen Cafe blog a couple of weeks ago and I instantly fell in love.  I love how her recipes are easy for dinner and most of the time things that kids will actually eat.  Those with kids know what a challenge this can be.  I’m pretty sure I survived on Spaghettios and corn for several years of my life.  Oh yeah, and pizza with the toppings scraped off.  Anyway…back to the recipe at hand.  I saw this recipe for Honey Glazed Chicken on My Kitchen Cafe and thought it would be something fun to try one night when the kids are here.  I served this wtih white rice and edamame (green beans for the kids).  It was a pretty fun dinner because I bought some fortune cookies (I wanted to make them but ran out of time…darn it!) and Tommy brought home chopsticks from work and the kids had a good time trying those out.  Will picked up on it instantly which is no surprise since he is extremely coordinated just like his daddy. 

Ingredients

* Note: I doubled the sauce as suggested by My Kitchen Cafe.  I suggest doing this!

2 lbs of diced uncooked chicken breast
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
4 TB butter
1/4 cup honey
3 TB lemon juice
2 TB soy sauce
1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Directions

Heat oven to 350. In a shallow dish combine the flower and seasonings. Dip each piece of chicken in flour mixture and coat evenly.

Melt 2 TB butter in a shallow baking dish, large enough to accommodate chicken in a single layer. Arrange chicken in pan and bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt remaining butter and add honey, lemon juice, soy sauce and ginger.

After chicken has baked the 30 minutes, turn each piece over and pour sauce mixture evenly over chicken. Bake another 30 to 40 minutes basting frequently.

 

Pig Rating:  The pig thought this was pretty good.  He said, “Tastes like Chinese food.”  Um, yeah.  I guess that is good?  Anyway, he said he liked it.  : )

Mrs. Pig Rating:  I am not a huge fan of Chinese food but I wanted to try something different and I thought this was really good.  I will probably make this one again.

Little Pig Rating:  Will liked it – I think he liked just picking it up with chopsticks.  Sheridan (Miss Picky Pants) did at least try it but she wasn’t a fan.  She, like me at that age, will probably spend a couple of years eating nothing but ravioli and green beans.  Hindsight….

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

April 22, 2008 at 11:38 pm | Posted in pizza | 2 Comments

As most people know by now, pizza is my favorite food.  EVER.  I could eat it every single day and never get tired of it.  However, also as most people know, I try to eat healthy most of the time.  I’ve been trying to find a good pizza dough recipe so I won’t feel quite so guilty when I do eat it (which is sadly only about once every 2 weeks.  I hate being a woman and having to worry about things like fat thighs and abs.  Seriously.)  Anyway, I came across this recipe on Amber’s blog (which I love).  I decided to make garlic/potato/chicken pizza this past weekend for lunch so I tried this dough out.

Ingredients: (copied from Amber’s blog)

To make 12 ounces dough:
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 package quick-rising yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons), such as Fleischmann’s RapidRise
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2-2/3 cup hot water (120-130°F)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

To make 1 pound dough:
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 package quick-rising yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons), such as Fleischmann’s RapidRise
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup hot water (120-130°F)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

1. Combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a food processor; pulse to mix. Combine hot water and oil in a measuring cup. With the motor running, gradually pour in enough of the hot liquid until the mixture forms a sticky ball. The dough should be quite soft. If it seems dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons warm water; if too sticky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons flour. Process until the dough forms a ball, then process for 1 minute to knead.
2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Coat a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and place it, sprayed-side down, over the dough. Let the dough rest for 10 to 20 minutes before rolling.
3. Place a pizza stone or inverted baking sheet on the lowest oven rack;preheat oven to 500°F or highest setting. Roll and top the pizza as desired(we suggest a 13-inch circle) and bake the pizza until the bottom is crisp and golden, 10 to 14 minutes. Serve immediately

Make Ahead Tip: Store in a plastic bag coated with cooking spray in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before using.

Nutrition Information:
Per 12 ounces: 766 calories; 12 g fat (2 g sat, 8 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 142 g carbohydrate; 26 g protein; 16 g fiber; 1,882 mg sodium.
Per 1 pound: 1,032 calories; 18 g fat (3 g sat, 12 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 189 g carbohydrate; 33 g protein; 21 g fiber; 2,509 mg sodium.

Pig Rating:  The pig picked up a piece of this, took a bite, then he started looking the piece over as if though he were looking for a bug on it or something.  I was like, “What is wrong with your pizza??”  He said, “It tastes healthy.”  But he did eat it and he said it wasn’t so bad.  : )

Mrs. Pig Rating:  I really liked this!  I will definitely make this one again.  I didn’t think it tasted “healthy” in my husband’s words.  Maybe not as doughy and gooey as some crusts, but in trying to be healthy, I think this is a definite good and easy recipe!

Menu April 20 – April 26

April 22, 2008 at 11:21 pm | Posted in Menus | 1 Comment

Sunday- Fast Fancy Chicken, corn, salad

Monday (kids) – turkey breast (cooked in crockpot with potatoes and onions), corn, green beans, salad

Tuesday- Italian stuffed chicken breasts, roasted red potatoes, salad

Wednesday (kids) – tacos

Thursday – Penne w/Vodka sauce with chicken, salad

Friday (kids) – Honey glazed chicken, edamame, rice, fortune cookies (maybe homemade if I get crazy..HA!)

Saturday (kids) – dinner at my mom’s house (she doesn’t know yet…hi mom!  We’re coming on Saturday!)

Over 5,000 Hits!

April 17, 2008 at 6:30 pm | Posted in Randomness | 12 Comments

Some of my fellow bloggers who have over 25,000 hits on their blogs probably think, “Ah, 5,000 hits…amateur.”  But I have to say, I think it’s quite exciting!  A blog milestone for me!  Thank you to all of my readers who check for updates and comment on my blog.  I really do enjoy doing this even though I’m not so great at updating sometimes.  : ) 

Special thanks to Clara and Nikki for getting me into this crazy world and helping me out along the way.  : )

Bruschetta Chicken

April 16, 2008 at 12:42 am | Posted in Chicken | 11 Comments

I have been wanting to make Bruschetta chicken for a really long time.  I absolutely love every Italian food I have ever tried and I figured that I could make this one pretty healthy and still yummy.  I love tomatoes, basil, chicken, etc.  Tommy however…does not share my love for tomatoes.  He is out of town tonight so tonight was the perfect night for me to make this meal.  I have to say…I am not disappointed at all.  My only disappointment is that I didn’t make 2 chicken breasts so that I could take one to work tomorrow.  : ) 

I based the recipe that I used on this one that I found on allrecipes.com (this one makes 4 servings)

(Not the best pic but I attempted…LOL)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup KRAFT Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing, divided (I used Good Seasons Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette with roasted red peppers dressing)
  • 4 small skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup KRAFT Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Directions

    1. Place large sheet of heavy-duty foil over half of grill grate; preheat grill to medium heat. Pour 2 Tbsp. of the dressing over chicken in resealable plastic bag; seal bag. Turn bag over several times to evenly coat chicken with the dressing. Refrigerate 10 min. to marinate. Remove chicken from marinade; discard bag and marinade.
    2. Grill chicken on uncovered side of grill 6 min. Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, cheese, basil and remaining 2 Tbsp. dressing. (I used my George Foreman grill…I didn’t feel like going outside…)
    3. Turn chicken over; place, cooked-side up, on foil on grill. Top evenly with tomato mixture. Close lid. Grill an additional 8 min. or until chicken is cooked through (170 degrees F).

    *  Note:  Since I used my George Foreman to grill the chicken, once it was grilled through, I put the mixture on top of it and put it in the oven on broil for about 6 minutes. 

    Mrs. Pig Rating:  This was SOOOO freaking good.  This is a really easy recipe that isn’t too horrible for you.  I had a side of steamed broccoli with this.  I think I’m discovering that I adore basil.  I will eat this one again any day of the week.  I think serving this with pasta would be good but since I had pasta last night I didn’t want to go there again.  Just……MAKE THIS.  : )

     

    Chillin’ in the Windy City with Good Friends

    April 11, 2008 at 9:38 pm | Posted in Chicken, Fun | 16 Comments

    Last weekend I had one of the greatest weekends that I have ever had.  I have made all of these amazing friends on The Knot while we were planning our wedding and now we have all been married almost a year (whaaat?!) so we continue our relationship with one another on Facebook – we refer to each other as our JFacie or Jknottie friends (J = July).  I really can’t imagine my life without these girls in it now.  I never ever thought I would be the type of person to make “online” friends.  It’s completely wild, but now I have made some amazing friendships with girls from all over – MASSACHUSETTS (happy Nikki?), California, New York, MIchigan, Minnesota, West Virginia, Texas, and the list goes on. 

    We discussed having a get together sometime about 8 months ago and lo’ and behold, the get together day finally arrived last weekend!!!  We all met in Chicago coming from all over the US – there were 15 of us I believe.  It truly was an amazing weekend!!  So much good shopping, good drinks, good jokes, good conversations, etc.  For all of my Chicago girls I give you a big whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? (You totally see my guido face right now right?).  HA!

    Since this is a food blog, let’s talk a bit about our food experiences while in the windy city.  We wanted to go to non-chain random places as much as possible and I think we had some great experiences.  Our first night for dinner we went to a place called Viand which was right across from our hotel.  The food at Viand was really, REALLY good.  I had Amish chicken, oven roasted, preserved lemon, garlic, rosemary sauce, & baby red potatoes.   I think everyone enjoyed their food there except my poor friend Jamie.  Honestly though, she ordered something called “Angry Grilled Calamari”.  NEVER order anything with the word Angry in it!  They came out with no sauce so she asked for some sauce and they dumped it on the calamari and boy were they angry then!  Luckily she has such a great friend (ME!) who shared my dinner with her.  HA!

    (I’m pretty sure Kat hates this picture…sorry Kat!)  Jamie, Kat, and Sarah at Viand.  Jamie doesn’t look angry yet…the calamari haven’t come out at this point. 

    Of course while in Chicago, we had to get Chicago style pizza.  Those of us who had been to Chicago before suggested Gino’s.  I won’t lie – part of the thrill of going here is definitely being able to leave your mark and write all over the walls.  It’s fun right?  No matter how old you are!  We ordered so much pizza it was sick.  I personally love Chicago style pizza at Gino’s.  Some of the girls didn’t like it though – the topings  under the sauce freaked some people out and I think the crust is what threw a lot of people off.  My friend KT said it tasted like cornbread.  HA!  You can’t go wrong with pizza in my book.  Period.  Check it out though?  Looks good right?  And check out all of our Jknot nicknames written on the wall now – we are forever etched into Gino’s East.  It will never be the same. 

    My friend Clara, the cupcake queen said she for sure wanted to go to Molly’s Cupcakes.  We had heard that they had a cupcake bar where you decorated your own cupcakes and something about swings in the restaurant???  We were so there.  So about 6 of us loaded up in cabs (one cab on the way there….comfy…) and went.  It was so worth it!!  Some of the bar stools are swings which is adorable.  The cupcakes tasted AMAZING and the cupcake bar was so cute – you could decorate with all sorts of sprinkles, jimmies (proud of me Nikki??), etc.  I got a mini cupcake because I was full from lunch but oh so good!!!  Check us out!

    Molly’s cupcakes store front, Alanna and I on the swings at Molly’s (so cute!), the toppings bar, and our cupcakes!

    Saturday night we had dinner reservations at Weber Grill.  We first stopped off at Pops for Champagne on the way to have a drink…or five or six in my case.  HA!  It was definitely a cool place for us to stop – we had a big table in the back (they must have heard about us before we got there..hmmm) and went through 3 or 4 bottles of champagne.  It was so good!!  Then we went to Weber Grill (across the street).  We felt a bit overdressed there but we had such a good time!!!  We weren’t all that hungry so some of us got actual food, some got appetizers.  I know that Kat, Jamie, Andrea and I went through 2 pitchers of awesome white sangria before our food even got there.  Oops.  We split some appetizers – fire roasted spinach and artichoke dip with grilled pita chips, and a Weber sampler which had rib fingers, beer can chicken tenders, steak skewers and bbq shrimp.  The best thing about this place in my opinion though were the pre-dinner rolls – they were pretzel rolls!  They were so amazing and I need to find a recipe for them – NOW!  I think another favorite was beer butt chicken – we were all goofy so anything with butt in the name was a must.  It was very good too! 

    Yummy champagne at Pops, KT and I at Pops before dinner at Weber.  White sangria…so good.  Too good actually.  Check out the butt on that chicken!!!

    Things got a little crazy that night.  Some of my friends even took shots who don’t even normally drink!  I won’t mention names here…. (I’m sure she’ll make me delete this…look while you can!)

    A few things – do not eat leftover Gino’s pizza after a night of non stop drinking.  It will not bode well for you.  I was miserable the next day.  Just let me blame it on the pizza instead of all of the alcohol I inhaled, mmmkay?  Also, do not eat chips and cheese dip at 4am – not a good idea.  It might end up on hotel sheets and you might feel like poo the next morning.  Panera has awesome breakfast sandwiches – who knew?!  Amazing after a night of drinking. 

    Overall, an absolutely amazing trip.  I love all of my friends and the memories of that weekend (the ones we remember anyway…uh….) will last a lifetime.  : )  When is the next get together girls?! 

    Reese’s cup anyone?  : )  (Is it ReeSUS or ReesEEEs?)

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