Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Missing In Action

Hello Everyone!  It has been a few weeks since my last post.  If you are a regular follower, I apologize for going missing in action.  One of my last updates was "things are getting busy...I'm going to try to continue posting a few times a week..." and then poof, I disappeared.  While I think it's unrealistic to try to commit to a few posts each week, I do promise at least one new recipe every week going forward.

I always find that Spring and Summer are my toughest times to keep up with my recipe blog.  While I absolutely love cooking and trying new things, once the weather warms up, I am on the deck in the evenings, enjoying a glass of wine while Serena exerts her energy outside, with dinner cooking on the grill.  I had a fantastic meal the other day (pictured) which is fairly typical of my warm-weather menu, but there's not much to it to review--bacon wrapped fillets, salt and pepper seasoned shrimp skewers, grilled veggie pack, and cheese bread.

Right now, Serena is about to wrap up her dance and gymnastic classes.  This means we have rehearsals, a recital, awards, and other end-of-class activities.  She has been accepted to a Christian Academy and will be starting Kindergarten in August, which we are both thrilled about.  That leaves the next few months open to vacationing without school restrictions, at least for her.

I continue to go to the local university to finally finish my Bachelor's degree.  While I know the outcome will be rewarding, it's challenging too.  I currently have an A in both Fall semester classes but they are very time consuming.  Unfortunately, I've got a few semesters of this left to go.  At work, I've been given some additional job duties which makes for a busy 8 to 5 day.  It's a true balancing act.

We have alot of vacations already planned this summer -- the mountains, the beach, Great Wolf Lodge, plus a few adult-only trips.  I've decided to start playing golf again and want to add a few new recreational things to my personal resume over the summer.  More about this later~

This year, I am planting a fairly large garden (3 times the size of last years).  In it will be red onions, sweet onions, beans,okra, silver queen corn, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, and banana peppers.  I will also grow basil, thyme, parsley, oregano, rosemary, and chives.

There's several other things that are going on that I'd love to share and hope to do so little by little in my upcoming recipe reviews. 

I hope everyone is doing well and I look forward to posting regularly again... Thank you for your patience.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Chicken With Mushrooms

I was looking for an easy meal I could throw together with items I already had in the house when I found this recipe.  This was easy enough and both me and Serena enjoyed it~

Chicken With Mushrooms
slightly adapted from Allrecipes

3 cups sliced mushrooms
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cups chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Saute mushrooms for a few minutes with 1 Tbsp olive oil.  Dip chicken into beaten eggs, then roll in bread crumbs.  In skillet, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil.  Brown both sides of chicken in skillet.  Place chicken in a casserole dish, topping with sauteed mushrooms, and shredded mozzarella cheese.  Add chicken broth to the dish and cover with tin foil.  Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.  Remove foil and brown cheese.  Serve with pasta or rice.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mexican Sour Cream Rice

Man, have I been busy!!!  But with that said, 2011 has been an absolutely awesome year for me thus far.  I came into this year without resolutions but with a list of things that I wanted to do.  And so far, those things are well underway.  I'm back in school to finish my Bachelor's degree and this semester is going great (as of right now, I have an A in both classes), I have several vacations planned for this spring and summer, I'm spending more time with my friends and loved ones, I'm being a better parent and spending more quality time with Serena, I'm knocking out my TO DO list at home, and I'm living a healthier and happier life in general... 

I saw this last week over at On My Menu, one of my favorite blogs, and immediately added it to our menu.  I liked that this could be made with low-fat/non-fat items so I could have the flavor without all the calories.  This will definitely be a repeat side dish for us...

Mexican Sour Cream Rice
slightly adapted from On My Menu

1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
2 cups non-fat low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
1 4-oz can diced green chile peppers
1 cup 2% shredded Mexican cheese
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
salt and ground pepper to taste

In a large pot, bring the rice and chicken broth to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish.  In the pot with the cooked rice, mix the sour cream, green chile peppers, 1 cup of cheese, corn, and cilantro.  Season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to the prepared casserole dish.  Bake uncovered 30 minutes in preheated oven.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Asian Glazed Drumsticks

I saw this recipe some time back as a favorite chicken dish on one of my favorite blogs that I follow.  I'm not sure why I waited so long to add it to my menu.  I thought this was great!  Serena ate two chicken legs, so needless to say, she liked it.  And it was a perfect week night meal.

Asian Glazed Drumsticks
Gina's Skinny Recipes

8 medium drumsticks, skin removed
Pam spray oil
1 cup water
1 Tbsp Sriracha hot sauce
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 tsp sugar
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp ginger, grated
2 Tbsp scallion
1 tsp sesame seeds

In a heavy large saucepan, brown chicken on high for 3-4 minutes with a little spray oil. Add water, balsamic, soy sauce, agave, garlic, ginger, hot sauce and cook on high until liquid comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes. Remove cover and bring heat to high, allowing sauce to reduce down, about 8-10 minutes, until it becomes a thick glaze, turning chicken occasionally. (Keep an eye on glaze, you don't want it to burn when it start becoming thick) Transfer chicken to a platter and pour glaze on top. Top with chives and sesame seeds and serve.