Friday, March 16, 2012

Thursday Dinner Challenge

Well, life has been a little crazy this week.  So Darlene and I weren't able to Skype while we cooked dinner last night.  But that didn't stop us from making the recipe that we decided on earlier in the week.  Click here to visit Darlene's post about her chicken dinner. 

This week Darlene chose our menu and she shared her Chicken Roll-Ups Recipe.

Thanks so much for the recipe Darlene.  Supper was DELICIOUS.  The chicken was amazingly moist and tender.  Although I do have a confession to make.  The recipe called for Zesty Italian Dressing which I knew I had in the pantry.  Small problem.  It expired in November of 2011. what?  I had a hungry family to feed and no time to run to the store.  So after searching through the refrigerator and cabinets I decided to use Caesar dressing.  It was wonderful.  Of course I didn't confess to the family until after they all tried it and loved it.  
In the future I might try adding some fresh cooked spinach.  Or even some steamed asparagus rolled into the chicken would probably be delicious.  But it sure doesn't need anything.  It is delicious just as it is.
Here is the recipe for  Chicken Roll Ups
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I doubled the recipe)
  • Mozzarella Cheese (sticks or shredded) (I bought a block of Mozzarella and cut it)
  • Red Pepper Flakes ( red pepper flakes either.  I sprinkled a little cayenne pepper)
  • Zesty Italian Dressing (Delicious with the Caesar Dressing I used)
  • Italian Bread Crumbs (aha...finally an ingredient I actually had)
  • 2 paper plates 
  • 2 sheets of waxed paper
  • meat pounder 
  • Instructions
    1. Cut your chicken breast in half 'longwise' to make 2 'thinner' pieces from each breast.
    2. Between waxed paper, pound your chicken breasts to make thinner.
    3. Sprinkle chicken 'lightly' with pepper flakes, place cheese at one end and roll up.
    4. Dredge first in Italian Dressing ... then in breadcrumbs
    5. Place on foiled baking sheet - sprayed with Pam
    6. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes.
    7. Darlene will be out of town next week so no Skype crafting or cooking.  :(  I guess the good news is that I have two weeks to pick a great recipe for our dinner challenge.  The pressure is on. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Making Dinner with a Friend

My friend Darlene and I have been having SO much fun Skyping.  She is generally working on making beautiful cards and I am usually busy creating images for Shelly's  Lately, we have both been busy doing some exciting work for Shelly's Images which we hope to be able to reveal very soon.

The problem with Skyping has been that we work all day in my studio and her cave and then we look up at the clock in a panic because the day has somehow FLOWN by and now we each have to figure out something to make our family for dinner. 

So we made a plan.  We decided that once a week we would plan something to make for dinner together while we are Skyping.  It was so fun to be "in Darlene's kitchen" with her.  Our only hiccup in the entire plan is that Darlene is an hour ahead of me in time zones.  So we need to find dishes that we can prep and that I can cover and refrigerate to cook just a little later.

This week our menu was "Man Pleasing Chicken".  This is a recipe that I found on pinterest.  We also decided to make oven roasted potatoes.  Darlene made steamed asparagus.  And I made steamed cauliflower.

Here is the recipe for "Man Pleasing Chicken"
  • 1 package Chicken thighs- about 6
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup Maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon Rice wine vinegar
  • Fresh Rosemary (I used green onion and added before cooking)
  1. Preheat oven to 450. Put a 1 1/2 pound package of chicken thighs into an oven-proof baking dish. Salt and pepper the thighs. Mix the mustard, syrup and vinegar in a separate bowl.  Pour your maple mustard mixture over them, turning the thighs in the mixture so they are fully coated.  I added some chopped green onion to the top of my chicken.  
  2. Put the chicken thighs into the oven, and let them bake for 40 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 155ºF. Baste the tops of the chicken with more sauce half way through. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving. Plate the chicken, making sure to spoon some extra sauce over the top. 

This is such a fast recipe to prepare and it sure makes the kitchen smell amazing.  My family was waiting with plates in hand when the chicken came out of the oven.  The only change that I might consider is finding a way to tame the mustard flavor just a bit.  Maybe a few tablespoons of mayonnaise would temper the mustard.  The roasted potatoes that we made were made by coating potatoes in a bit of oil in a ziploc.  Sprinkle on one packet of Lipton Onion Soup mix and pour into a greased baking dish.  The potatoes take about the same amount of time to bake as the chicken so it worked out perfectly. I cut my potatoes and added oil and then sat them aside in the sealed ziploc until I was ready to put everything in the oven.  That worked just fine and is a trick I will definitely use again.

I can't wait to read Darlene's post to hear how her dinner went.  If you want to read Darlene's post about our Dinner Adventure just click here

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Beary Lucky

This week at Shelly's Images Blog we are hosting a Green and Gold Challenge for St. Patrick's Day.

My project is for a very special little boy in our neighborhood.  I feel "beary lucky" to know him.  :)  It is full of twix candy bars and green foil chocolate kisses.  I also included a little toy tractor and trailer with fences, and horses, and farmer figures.  I think he will have so much fun playing with all the goodies.  And maybe he will even share some of his candy with his older brother and sister.

My daughter Meghann colored this cute image the other day when we were crafting together so I don't have copic colors to share.  

  • Beary Lucky Digi from Shelly's Images
  • Copic Coloring
  • Patterned Papers from my stash
  • Bow tied with wide grosgrain and thin satin green ribbon and then cut with my brand new i-magicut tool from imaginisce. (LOVE this new tool)
  • Bead Sprays that I made using wire and beads
  • Gold heat embossing on the hat buckle
  • Popcorn Box Template from Hemidemisemiquaver
  • ATG for gluing box
  • Scrap Dots from Helmar for gluing the bow
  • Scrap Dots for attaching the image with a little bit if a pop up
Thanks for stopping by my blog.  

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pretty in Pink

A few weeks ago my daughter Meghann was here for the day visiting.  We had so much fun chatting and crafting.  She actually colored this pretty pink Giraffe.

My card is for a very special little boy in my neighborhood.  Luke, get better really soon!
I thought that Luke might like the little pop up heart inside of this card.  This pop up was a template that I found while looking through pins at Pinterest.  I will give you a link below.

Image: Shelly's Images "Giraffe"
Sentiment: Shelly's Images
Copic Coloring
Frame: Freebie from SVG Cuts
Heart Pop Up Template: