Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Chicken Broccoli Cups

In an attempt to find an alternative to The Pampered Chef's chicken broccoli braid I came up with... "The Cup"!  Here's how I made it:

In a bowl I combined:
2 Cups grilled chicken cut into bite size cubes
1 1/2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used white, but yellow would be great too)
2(ish) Cups of broccoli chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/2 Cup mayonnaise  

1/2 Cup shredded cheddar for topping
2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls (I used the garlic butter and it was amazing!)

I sprayed a large muffin (the monster muffin size) tin with non-stick spray (not sure if I needed it, but it was worth the little effort to avoid anything sticking) and then arranged the crescent rolls in each "cup".  I tried to do it all "neat and fancy", but I ended up just piecing it together and I think it looked fine!

 See... I just smooshed them in.

Then fill almost to the top.  

Top with reserved cheese....

 Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.....

Super simple, quick (under 25 minutes), great way to use up leftovers, didn't take a lot of dishes and *delicious*!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Dream Jar

My youngest daughter (5) has been having a hard time going to sleep.  UGH!  As a stay-at-home mom bedtime is something I look forward to after a long day and the last thing I want to do is end the day on a bad note.  She was getting up saying "I can't sleep", "I'm lonely", "I'm bored" all within the first five minutes of putting her down.  (Of course my favorite was when she said "dad puts me to bed sloppy" and explained that he didn't do all the hugs and kisses and quick stories and whatever else to make bedtime last a few minutes longer.)  

She is a great story teller so one night I decided to give her three things to think about to help her fall asleep.  I think it was something like "puppies, rainbows and fairies"; she was thrilled!  We've been doing this for a few nights and I am sort of hoping that her "sloppy father" (tehe!) can help with bedtime again and perhaps a sitter (gasp).  So I came up with a "Dream Jar"!  I would find a jar and put some ideas for her to think or "dream" about.

Attempt One: 
 Glitter!!!  Kind of like "pixie dust" filled with papers.  So, I gathered some tools - an old clean jar, glitter (purple of course) and some spray adhesive.  

Oh the fun!!

Oh the mess!
I should mention that my husband *hates* glitter, Easter grass and packing peanuts.  Typically they aren't aloud in the house, but I had a glitter stash in case of such an emergency - shhhh.
I quickly realized that I couldn't touch the jar without being coated with the stuff.  Then I thought of what her bedroom would look like... and how this would "effect my marriage".  I then spent the next 20 minutes or so trying to wash the glitter off the jar, the table, the floor, my hands - it wasn't pretty! - Attempt One = Fail!
Attempt Two:
I needed a new jar.  The one I used was still covered with glue and I was running out of time.  I used to scrapbook (okay, only for a year and only for my first child) and have some (TONS) of stickers left over.  I spelled out the word "dream", added some stars, hearts, and boarder stickers (in an attempt to hide our buddy "Mr. Peanut").
I took an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of purple paper and wrote down girlie words like "fairy", "balloons", "flowers" and "ballerina" in pretty script - 10 down and 2 across then cut the paper into strips and curled them around a pencil.  
I love this!!  She loves it!  After our story and prayers she picked out three strips of paper and I read them (did I mention that there was no reason for me to write the words in pretty script because she can't read - duh!).  She was thrilled!  There were tons of hugs and thank you's.  
Attempt Two = Success!!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cilantro Lime Chicken and Salad

I was looking for something light and refreshing to grill and found this recipe that called for cilantro and lime and chicken - Perfect!  I tweaked it a bit and here is what we came up with:

Wanna try it?  Here's how I made it:

In a bowl combine:
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
zest and juice of 2 limes
4 cloves garlic, minced

Cut 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts into strips and add marinade and a 1/2 cup cilantro cut up. 
 (If I was just making this for adults I would add some red pepper flakes - about 1 Tbs. too)

Let hang out for about 30 minutes.  This gave me time to contemplate sides... so I made some rice and a salad with a cilantro lime dressing.  
The salad dressing blew us all away!  It made a lot and I can't wait to try the leftover on some grilled shrimp.

Cilantro Lime Dressing (care of Simple Food Healthy Life):
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chobani 0% plain yogurt
1 tbsp lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tsp sea salt

I combined it in the blender and then found that I needed to add another handful of cilantro (my bunch was small).  Wow!  It was amazing!

To make the salad I just used iceberg lettuce and added about 1/3 cup of chopped peanuts and 1 cup of slivered sugar snap peas for some crunch.  My kids went nuts over the salad!  There were clean plates all around, which is not a daily occurrence. 

Back to the chicken... 
We (I say "we", because my husband actually did it) used metal skewers and threaded the chicken.  He grilled it for about 10 minutes (until it was cooked through).  To "guild the lily" I added some chopped peanuts for an added crunch.  If I had more time, (gasp) I would have pressed the cooked chicken into some chopped peanuts, but throwing a handful over the top also fit the bill.

Super tender, delicious, the kids asked if we could have it every day!