Sunday, April 29, 2012

2012 Week #14

3 large chicken breasts
5 C corn flakes
3/4 C flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 C milk
6 T olive oil
1 12 oz package bowtie noodles (farfalle)

1 10 oz container Philadelphia Cooking Cream (Italian Cheese and Herb Flavor)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 C chicken broth
1/2 C milk

fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
In a small food processor crush the corn flakes into crumbs.
Add the 1/2 t salt to the 3/4 C flour. Stir to combine.
Place the flour, milk and crushed cornflakes each into their own separate pan. Loaf pans work well for this. If you don't have three loaf pans, do not dismay. You could use pie tins, or round cake pans...what ever works for you.
Place your chicken breasts in a gallon sized Ziploc bag and seal the top.
Pound the chicken flat with a meat mallet. You will really be thankful for the Ziploc bag in this step. Who wants a bunch of chicken guts flying around their kitchen? 
Take a pair of sharp kitchen scissors and cut each breast in half. 
Dredge the chicken in the flour. Be sure it gets covered on both sides.
Lay the floured chicken onto a small cookie sheet and slide the sheet into the freezer. Let it hang out there for about 5 minutes.
Start cooking your pasta.
Remove the chicken from the freezer and dredge each piece in the milk......
.....and then immediately into the corn flake crumbs. Again, be sure both sides are covered well.
Add the olive oil to a hot skillet.
Carefully lay each chicken piece into the hot oil. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt and pepper. Cook over medium high heat for about 5 minutes....
....or until the underside of each piece is nice and golden brown. Turn the pieces over. If the bottom of the pan is dry add just a bit more olive oil to the side of the pan. Swirl the pan around a bit to let the oil flow to all sides.
Cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Let the chicken cook for about 7 more minutes, being careful not to burn the bottoms.
When your chicken has been cooked through remove it from the pan and place it on a plate. Cover with tin foil.
Into the same pan pour your broth, Philly Cooking Creme, Cream of Chicken, and milk. Whisk the sauce around and let it get all warm and bubbly. Should only take about 3 minutes.
Slice your chicken into strips and serve over your cooked pasta and sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley if you choose.
This was pretty good but sort of a disaster as I was cooking it!  The chicken was taking forever to cook so it was getting burned on the outside and still not done in the middle.  Oil was flying everywhere and every time I took off the lid I had grease flying on my arms.  The kitchen was a DISASTER by the time I was done and then the end product was okay but nothing overly fantastic.  I did like the corn flakes as the breading but I think if I ever try this again I will bake the chicken.  I might try it again just so that I can see if I like it baked and if that makes it easier and less messy.  If anyone decides to try this one, let me know what you did and how it turned out.  
I just joined the gym this week so I can't be making meals like this much anymore.  Okay, Pinterest, find me some healthy meals that my family will like :)  I will gladly take recommendations from any of you that cook healthy meals...hint hint, Mallory Crain ;)    

Sunday, April 22, 2012

2012 Week #13

Cheesy Broccoli Soup
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped carrot
1 stalk celery, finely chopped (feel free to add more celery if you like celery; I don't, so I don't add much)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
4 cups chicken broth (I usually use a mixture of low-sodium chicken broth and broth made with chicken soup base because it gives it such nice flavor)
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 Tablespoon flour
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup milk
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 heaping cups shredded cheddar cheese

Melt the butter in a large soup pot. Add onions, carrots, and celery and saute over medium heat until tender. Add garlic and cook 1 or 2 additional minutes. Add chicken broth and potatoes, bring to a boil, and cook until potatoes are tender. Mix flour with water, add, and simmer until soup is slightly thickened. Add milk and broccoli and cook until broccoli is just tender and soup is heated through. Stir in cheese, allow to melt, and serve.
We loved this soup! Well, I did :) I think Jay did too. Carter wasn't interested but he was sick and he doesn't eat much when he has a fever. I thought it was super easy and doesn't have tons of ingredients. Loved it!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Madelynn is ONE month old!

Our baby girl turned one month old yesterday. Time goes by so fast. She is such a sweet little lady and we are madly in love with her. She is just as cute as can be!

She is still in newborn clothes and newborn diapers. She is a petite little thing! At her two week appointment she was 7 lbs 8 ounces (25th percentile) and 20 1/2 inches long (50th percentile). Her head was only in the 40th percentile which made me laugh because I don't think Carter's was ever less than 70th percentile.

She smiled at me for the first time at 3 weeks old. I know...I almost didn't believe it either. But since then she has smiled for me two more times and two other people once. She really looks at us now in the eyes and seems so ready to smile lots...I know it's coming soon. She takes really great naps during the day (at least three long 2-3 hour naps every day and some shorter ones too).

She is super patient with her brother (who LOVES to hold her and kiss her). She eats great, sleeps all day, and loves to be held at night (we are working on that). She sleeps 3-4 hours at a time at night (usually) but sometimes is difficult to get to sleep.

It seems like she is going to have blue eyes just like her daddy and brother but it might be too early to really be able to tell.
She doesn't like taking a pacifier or swinging in her swing...apparently my kids just don't do either of those things. She still sleeps in our room in the pack n play and I'm not quite feeling ready to send her to her own room yet. Carter was in his own room at 26 days old so we are a little late with her :) Soon...
We are so thankful for our sweet girl! She completes our family (for now) and has brought so much joy into our home. Right now she is sound asleep on daddy and I just love watching that!
We love you Mady girl!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

2012 Week #12

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup green salsa
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice (juice from half a lime)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp green onions
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup shredded Mexican flavored cheese
small four or corn tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, ground cumin, chili
powder, onion powder and garlic. Once combined, stir in the cilantro and green
onions. Add the chicken and cheese; mix thoroughly.
(If you decided to prep this in advance, refrigerate the mixture at this point until
ready to continue.)
Working with a few tortillas at a time, heat them in the microwave between two paper towels until they are soft enough to roll (about 20 – 30 seconds).
Spoon 2-3 Tablespoons of the chicken mixture onto the lower third of a tortilla. Roll the tortilla as tightly as you can. Place the rolled tortilla seam side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas until the mixture is gone. Make sure the taquitos are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with kosher salt.
Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until crisp and golden.
Serve with salsa, sour cream or guacamole.

We really liked these but sadly they didn't do great things to Madelynn's tummy. So no more of these for me for a while along with many other things :(

And here are my sweet babies...Carter just loves holding Madelynn but sadly this time she was not thrilled. Usually she is super patient and likes being around her brother but I just like this picture :)

And my sweet girl...

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Weekend

I am just warning you now...
If you don't REALLY LOVE looking at pictures of my kids then I suggest you stop now :) This post is picture overload!
Here is our Easter weekend in pictures...

Madelynn got her first bath at home because her belly button finally fell off. Carter really enjoyed helping. Madelynn seemed to like it for the first minute and then she was done :)

We colored Easter eggs with Carter for the first time. He really enjoyed it. This is a hard activity to do with a two year old because we just couldn't let him go at it. We really had to do most of it so that our entire table and floor wasn't stained. He did really well though.

This is the face we get when we ask him to smile for a picture...

After nap time we hid his eggs outside in the front yard and had Carter go hunt for them. This was good practice for him for our church Easter egg hunt the next day.

He was super proud of his eggs...

On Saturday we went to out church's Easter egg hunt. Jay had class all day so he wasn't able to come :( It was my first time taking both kids out on my own. It went really well! I put Madelynn in the front pack and Carter was so good! He loved the Easter story and stood right by teacher Rhonda the whole time. Toward the end he started getting a little silly and put his basket on his head. He was so good though! It was just funny that he wanted to be up front the whole time while all the other kids sat on the floor with their parents. I would have done that too if I didn't have sweet Madelynn on me :)

After the story they got to decorate their baskets with stickers. Carter was so cute and careful to put his stickers on right where he wanted them. I like how his friend Eden next to him is watching what he is doing. Those two are so cute together!

And then the hunt began...
He knew exactly what to do because of our little practice run at home the day before. He is getting all of his eggs with his friend Keira. Seriously, this kids has so many little girlfriends.

Carter and Colton had matching baskets. They weren't overly impressed ;)

Emptying all the eggs to get his candy.

Carter and Keira watching the big kids do their Easter egg hunt

Jay and I did an Easter basket for Carter for the first time. We gave it to him Saturday evening. He was super excited about it!

All dressed up and ready for church on Easter. He looked so handsome!

After church we went to my mom's for lunch. Before we even went into the house we thought we would try and get a family picture...
Total disaster! Both kids were screaming. Madelynn was hungry and Carter was mad because we made him stop walking up and down the driveway to do a picture. This is the best we got for our first attempt.

After lunch and a little bribery, we finally got a nice picture of the four of us. Carter is so hard to photograph right now. He is super unpredictable and we never know when he will be in the mood to let us get a picture. We are usually chasing him around to try and snap something cute. Madelynn is a lot easier right now because she can't go anywhere :)

Grandma with her grandbabies

After lunch we went home and put Carter down for a nap. Madelynn slept too so Jay and I got to chill and watch a movie. Then we decided to go down to the capital and try and get a few pictures of our kiddos with the cherry blossom trees. This was a disaster. Really the whole day was a bit of a disaster. Carter was just in a terrible mood all day and very naughty. Madelynn was also cranky and cried a lot. Both Jay and I were in a bedroom with Carter at my mom's talking to him multiple times because all he wanted to do was walk up and down my mom's driveway. He threw a fit when it was time to eat, go inside, take a picture, etc. Then he threw a fit when it was time to go home, when it was time to get in bed and take a nap, when he woke up, when daddy's helicoptor needed to be charged and he was told we couldn't fly it right then, when we wouldn't go outside and blow bubbles, etc, etc. It was just one of those days! He loved walking around the capital but also wanted to be completely in control of where he went, even if it was walking toward the road. And throughout the whole day, Madelynn cried too. There were so many times that both kids were screaming at the same time and Jay and I would just look at each other and laugh. It was a crazy day :) But we love our two amazing kids and are so blessed that those days are few and far between.

Now does this look like a kid who would throw tantrums? He is just too cute! But he does know how to test his limits :)

I would have loved a picture with my little man but Madelynn was much easier to take a picture with.

This is what our day was like...

But then I fed her and was able to get some great pictures of Madelynn in her Easter dress.

And then I even got some precious moments with both kids. Carter was kissing her feet and I just LOVE these pictures!

He really loves his little sister!