Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ricotta Stuffed Chicken Breasts & A Big Mess

First, I would like to share with you that when your cheap plastic sugar container (that holds a 5 pound bag) breaks and spills all over the floor and DOWN THE A/C VENT, your Dyson will vacuum it all up. Dealing with the vent was interesting. Picture a sugar geyser in your kitchen. Did I have the presence of mind to go TURN THE A/C OFF? No. I just stood there and watched it blow like Old Faithful. Oh and you'll have ants for a week, I'm sure. We still have them.

2011 07 26 Stuffed Chicken-1

This happened on the night that I was making the Panko Crusted Ricotta Stuffed Chicken Breasts (or whatever they are called--their title is too long in my opinion). Here it is:

2011 07 26 Stuffed Chicken-2

The whole process was a blur since I was dealing with the sugar geyser. Please excuse my poor photograph also. Again, I was dealing with the sugar. The only thing I'd change about this recipe: I wouldn't pour sugar all over the floor. That is all. It was good.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Chicken Caprese Sandwich

First, check out these dudes (or dudettes) that were hanging out on top of the BB gun target. Sorry for the blurriness of the photo, I couldn't get my lens to focus on them very well before they flew away.

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Hawks or Falcons? One of each? Who knows?

Now, for the sandwich. Of course I had to make it because it has my three favorite things: Tomatoes, fresh mozzarella & basil.

2011 07 14 Chicken Caprese Sandwich-1

What I changed:
The recipe calls for Italian bread crumbs. I used plain and it was just fine.
I "floated" my buns, which means I browned them in a pan (set on low-medium) of butter. Think grilled cheese crustiness. Yum. Not healthy.

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What I should have done:
I should have pounded the chicken breasts thinner. The blandness of a big chunk of chicken outweighs the tomato/mozz/basil combo.

Here's the sandwich! It was delicious! I give it a 5/5.

2011 07 14 Chicken Caprese Sandwich-3

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

This Week's Menu

I don't really blog about how much I love to cook, but I do love to cook. I mostly love to cook because it's just another outlet where I get to make things THE WAY I WANT THEM. I really hate going out to restaurants because they are inconsistent and there is no way of knowing how the food is prepared. So I cook.

I like to just choose 4-6 meals each week that I will cook. I'm not dead set on having hamburgers on Tuesday, spaghetti on Wednesday, etc. I just buy what I need for those meals, then pick and choose as I go.

So here's what we're having for the next 4 meals:
1. Chicken Caprese Sandwiches & Homemade Baked Onion Rings
2. Panko Crusted Chicken Stuffed with Ricotta, Spinach, Tomatoes & Basil
3. Florentine Shrimp Pasta
4. Sandwiches (Tuna, Ham, etc.--we'll be at the pool for this meal)

I'll try to photograph and blog about all of these. I'm most interested in the Stuffed Chicken Breasts! Happy eating!

Tornadoes in the South

I started this post a long time ago and couldn't finish it. I was overwhelmed by everything involving the tornadoes and had not had time to process everything. Our 2nd home & Kit's brother's home were damaged pretty badly, but all of our family & friends were not injured. I'll follow up with another post soon. This is not a short story by any means!

This week has been very scary and emotional for my family. As you have probably heard, about a billion tornados ripped through the south, killing hundreds and causing who knows how much in damage to homes, businesses and land. Unfortunately, my family is affected by this greatly.

My husband, a consultant, was assigned to a project in Albertville, AL. Where?! Here:

View Larger Map

They were hit by the storms on Tuesday, causing his hotel to lose power. The next day, he tried to find a different hotel and there were none available. So he drives back home. With the storms that were even worse chasing him, one county away. I was scared to death that something would happen to him and that he wouldn't have a safe place to take shelter since there is NOTHING between here and Albertville. He made it home safely.

However, which we did not know until that evening, his hometown was pretty much flattened by the tornados. The destruction is devastating. Here's a link to a photographer from that area with some photos: CLICK HERE

Monday, July 11, 2011

{Homeschool}: Field Trip to Foster Falls

Kendall and I visited Foster Falls today to do some hiking and swimming. We were not disappointed by either activity!

First, the hike. The terrain was super steep and rocky. I would give the terrain a 5/5 on difficulty. However, the hike is short. It's about 0.3 miles or 15 minutes if you measure distance in time like we do here in the south. So overall the hike gets a 3/5 on difficulty. The scenery was to die for. Everything is so lush and green, a stark contrast to the land before walking into the woods.

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I didn't take my dSLR, only my point & shoot camera, much to my dismay. Next time I will take the big camera to get some better photos. Anyway, I think I saw 4 or 5 different types of mushrooms (one was red!), lots of moss and ferns. There were also some different types of evergreen trees. I'm no botanist so I can't tell you the types of plants. As we descended down the steep path, we reached a point where the temperature went from hot (it was about 90 degrees outside) to cold. The cold was from the waterfall's cold water and from the canopy of the trees. It was nice!

Now, the swimming. I stepped one foot in that water and knew that I would not be going in all the way. It was FREEZING so I just found a rock to sit on while I supervised Kendall's swimming & rock throwing time.

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On a side note, how long do you think a pair of Teva sandals lasts? I've had these for 13 years. They've been repaired a few times with some Shoe Goo, but they are still kickin'. I wore these for 3 or 4 lifeguarding seasons at our local water park, Six Flags White Water. They even have my maiden name written on the inside!

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Publishing my Laptop Sleeve Pattern!

I designed the Padded Laptop Sleeve a couple of months ago and the response has been great! I thought you sewers out there would want to make your own, so I created a pattern for you to use to sew your own!

I asked three of my sewing buddies to test this pattern for me. One of them is a beginning sewer and she was able to complete the sleeve without issue. With that said, it is easy enough for a beginning sewer to complete!

The pattern gives instructions to make any size laptop sleeve and includes written instructions along with dozens of photos & diagrams depicting the steps. Includes instructions for French seams! It is in PDF format and will be emailed to you within 24 hours of your cleared payment. The price is a mere $8.50! Click the photo below to go to the listing!

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Padded Laptop Sleeve Pattern

Since I do make and sell these in my shop, the pattern cannot be used to make items for sale and is for personal use only.