Saturday, January 14, 2012

Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu

This has been a long time favorite of mine. 

Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Honey Dijon Mustard
Swiss Cheese sliced
Ham sliced

Set oven to 350

First you will need to pound the chicken flat.  Most people would say put the chicken breast between two pieces of wax paper and you totally can do that but the wax paper breaks down, tears, then you have to use more.  Instead I use a plastic baggie.  You can zip it closed and then you will also prevent chicken goo from slinging all over your counters.

So place one breast at a time in a plastic baggie, zip it closed squeezing out the air, and pound away.  I use the flat side of a meat mallot but a rolling pin, canned veggies or even a cast iron skillet will do the job!

Take the chicken out of the bag and squirt some honey dijon mustard on it. 
            I put the bottle in a baggie so I don't have to worry about clean hands or salmonella.

Spread it out with the back of a spoon. 

Add a slice of ham!
 A slice of swiss cheese!
 Then roll it up!  You can secure the roll with wooden toothpicks...naturally I didn't have any so I used twine.  I actually think it worked better.  Don't worry if a little cheese or ham is hanging out some will oooze out while baking anyway.

So line them up in a casserole dish then spray with cooking spray.  You could brush olive oil on them but the baking spray lightens it up!

Now comes the breading!  Out of necessity one I had to make my own breadcrumbs and now I will never go back.  I usually save the ends of the bread that no one eats and tear it into cubes and freeze it for stuffing.  This time I took those ends, tore them into small pieces, threw them in my food processor, sprinkled on some italian seasoning and processed them into crumbs. 

Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top of the chicken and pat it down, flip the chicken over and repeat; spray and sprinkle.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until light brown and chicken is cooked through.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Chicken Enchiladas

These enchiladas don't last long in my house.  Make them with your Crock Pot Mexican Chicken they are easier then you think.

Chicken Enchiladas
as with any recipe you can sub whatever ingredients you choose

crock pot mexican chicken
whole wheat tortillas
shedded sharp cheddar cheese
enchilada sauce (leftover sauce from crock pot mexican chicken)

First you will have to roll your enchiladas, same concept as rolling burritos.
Lay your tortilla flat and spoon a heaping spoonful of the chicken in a line just right of center.
Sprinkle about 1 Tbsp of the cheddar cheese over the chicken.

Fold the bottom up and the top edge down.

not sure why the picture turned but you get the idea
 Next fold the right edge over the chicken

Now roll the whole thing end to end.  On your first roll you will sort of tuck that fold in, this will prevent your filling from oozing out.

Put your enchiladas in a casserole dish seam side down.

Pour enchilada sauce all over.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until the enchiladas are light brown and look crisp.


Crock Pot Mexican Chicken

Juicy, Delicious, Easy
3 words is all it takes to describe this chicken.
Use it on tacos, quesadillias, enchiladas you'll never go back to your old way of making Mexican Chicken

I got the original concept for this chicken from an old friend Karaleen but I decided to come up with my own taco seasoning recipe because those packet seasonings just don't quite cut it for me.

You don't have to make your own taco seasoning but believe me it makes all the difference in the world.

Here's my recipe:
Taco Seasoning

1/2 T chipotle chilli powder (or 1 T regular chilli powder)
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1/4 t oregano
1 1/2 t cround cumin
1 t kosher salt
1 t black pepper

Simply mix all the ingredients.  Use 2 T per lb of meat.

Mexican Chicken
I am giving the recipe for 1 lb of chicken but I always make 3 lbs and freeze what we don't use.  It's even better the second time around.

1 lb chicken breast
chicken broth
2 T seasoning mix (or use a packet of seasoning mix) per pound of meat
2 tsp flour  per pound of meat

Put the chicken breasts in the crock pot.  Sprinkle the seasoning mix over the chicken then add just enough broth to come to the tops of the chicken breasts but not cover them.  Set crock pot to whatever time frame you have available, however low and slow is the best.

Once the time is up remove the chicken breasts to a cutting board (I do one at a time).  Using two forks shred the chicken, it will literally just fall apart.  Put the shredded chicken in a bowl then spoon some sauce over it.  Make it as juicy or dry as you desire.

Don't throw away the leftover juices!!!  Put the juice in a jar and use it for enchilada sauce.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

12 Disciples

This week we are learning about when Jesus chose his 12 disciples. We talked about how we can follow someone or something. First we played follow the leader. One of us was the leader and the other two followed that person around the house. So I asked the girls what did they use to follow each other? They said their feet! Then I asked the girls how else they cluld follow Jesus when we can't see him and they said they could follow him with their heart. We sand the song "I have decided to follow Jesus" then we made the craft. I traced the girls foot, they cut it out. I wrote the words and they glued their foot to the heart. Finally they used the foam letters to spell JESUS on their foot.

Friday, January 6, 2012

What's the deal?

So lately my Lillie-Kate is obsessed with death!!  I think it's so strange.  No one close to us has died recently and none of her little friends (what few she has) have lost anyone either.  Within the past two years four of our neighborhood dogs have died, including our own Shazzie, and so I assume this is where this is coming from. 
Other then that I have to admit in recent weks the subject of death has come up between my husband and I or on the phone with my mom quite often.  My sister-in-laws(sil) mom has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and it is untreatable.  I have talked to my husband about it and received updates from my mom on the phone and I know many of these conversations have been in front of her. I am so sad for Dawn(sil) and her family.  I know Linda, her mom, from going to my brother's house or from neices and my nephew's bday parties.  So I have cried about it and I know I've cried in front of the girls.
The other thing that has recenly happened is a MOPS friend suddenly lost her brother due to a brain anyurism.  He was only 29 and obviously it was very unexpected.  The subject of Ryan has been brought up several times in front of the girls but not necessarily in direct conversation with the girls.
So anyway she brings up the subject of death often.  She comes up to me and will say Mommy I don't want you to die.  or I don't want to die, or I don't want anyone I love to die.  She'll say I don't want you to go live with Jesus yet I just want you to stay with me!
So my questions are, one: Is this normal? especially given the recent subject matter discussed in my house.  How do I approach this?  I have told her that I also don't want anyone I love to die and that when we do die we get to live with Jesus and that is an incredible gift but the people we live behind miss us.  I don't want to promise her no one will die because you never know what is going to happen.
Second:  Is it inappropriate for me to discuss Linda or Ryan in front of the girls?  I honestly didn't think much of it.  I have tried to explain to the girls what has happend and encouraged them to pray for both families.  Am I out of line?  I just feel like they need to learn empathy and what their cousins are about to go through is going to be so difficult and I want them to pray for their cousins.
Third:  When Linda does pass away what do I say or do with the girls?  My decision would be to not take them to the visitation or funeral.  They don't know her and I feel like they are too young, they are only 4.  But should I explain to them where I am going and why?

I suppose I understand why this is a subject she has brought up a lot lately but I'm not certain how much she understands about death.  She never mentions Linda or Ryan but does talk about all the dogs a lot.  She will tell random people how Snickers and Lucy died and how Shazzi and Buddy died last year and how it makes her so sad.  I guess this is just the first of those deep subjects that will come up in their lives I just wasn't expecting it so early on.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sisters Sisters, There Were Never Such Devoted Sisters

Kirby is teaching Lillian how to make toast! I love the relationship they are forming!
I hope and pray they can grow close together and be best friends.  Growing up I always wished I had a sister.  I didn't get my sister until I was away in college and while she is not literally my sister by birth I have thought of her and considered her my little sister for years now.  I remember the first time I used the word sister for Sami.  The twins were born and she was visiting us at the hospital with my parents.  A nurse asked who everyone was and I said this is my mom Karen, and dad Al and this is my Sami.  The nurse looked at me and said and Sami is.  I said Sami is well, she's like my, um well Sami is my sister.  and Sami shook her head in agreement and from then on I have never thought of her differently.  I am so proud of the young woman she has become.  She is so resolute and confident, and such a hard worker.  I look forward to watching her grow and change now that she is moving into her adult years.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Heidi speaks to my heart

So if you haven't done so yet you have to check out this blog:  Our Out-of-Sync Life!  I really believe that God put Heidi and her blog in my life.  It all started with my search for a pre-school curriculum.  Heidi is the creator of ABC Jesus Loves Me.  It's a wonderful curriculum that I am very happy with, very easy to follow and thorough.  Not only does it teach the basic preschool concepts but it also inlcudes bible lessons.  and although I went to a private christian school trough eigth grade I too am learning so much about God and the bible.

So anyway to get back to the point.  Our Out-of-Sync Life  is a blog also written by Heidi.  This is how I know God led me to her.  She also has a "sensory sensitive" child.  I have learned so many great tips from this blog that has not only helped me with my sweet girl and her sensory issues but both girls.  and it's not only about sensory disorder.  She covers many topics from crafts, to recipes, to preschool, to living a Godly life, she speaks to my heart.  So her latest post is New Year New You.  It is actually a series of blogs she will be writing.  I love how she explains that "God made us beautiful and that we can feel good about ourselves and how we look and as a Christian it is okay."  So it is okay to try to make yourself look and feel better.  Right now she has a giveaway:  Good Girls Don't Have to Dress Bad: A Style Guide for Every Woman.  She has read the book and gives it a raving review.  Head on over to Our Out-of-Sync Life for a chance to win a copy of this book.  I am entering for a chance to win too!  and actually she gives it such a great review that if I don't win I may just look into buying a copy for myself!

Spatial Relations

This week in preschool for math the twins are learning about Spatial Relations.
Above, Below. Near, Far. Up, Down. High, Low

For fun we decided to play Simon Says.  Lol that was a joke....they don't get it.  So that's okay we just played Do what I do.

This was on day one: 
The girls chose a marker or pencil to play the game with.  I told them silly places to put their marker or pencil using the spatial relation words.

They didn't exactly know all the concepts but they picked up on them very fast, and I learned something valuable.

Put it below your chin!

Near my ear!

Far from me
(love the princess clothes?)

When you tell the kids point the marker down, they put it on the floor; point the marker up, they put it high in the air.
Soooo I made it a point to teach them that up doesn't mean high and down doesn't mean low.  I will have to watch what I say because it is so tempting to say "Put it up high"  However, this does confuse them.  We are working on this concept and I model it by making sure I add the work "point" and showing them.  When I say, "Point the marker up," I just hold it in front of me and point the writing end up.  At first they hold it high in the air but as long as I don't say anything or move onto the next concept they will see me and adjust.

So on day two I will let the girls be the leader and come up with silly places and on day three I have a print off called Little Mouse Little Mouse that is actually intended to teach color concepts.  He came from Ms. Kim our PAT coordinator and he came with different color houses.  You are suppose to hide Little Mouse behind on of the houses and the children get to guess which color house he is hiding behind.  Instead I will direct the twins to put the mouse above to pink house, or below the blue house, or to point the green house up and the yellow house down, or to put the mouse near the yellow house or far from the purple house.

Monday, January 2, 2012

MOPS craft turned Christmas presents

For our December MOPS craft I decided to have the ladies make painted plates.
I liked this activity so much that I actually bought more paint and plates just for myself and made Christmas presents with it!!!

I got the original idea from WhiMSy love: Tutorial...or Not Tutorial

So I made a couple of examples, drew out some sketches for ideas, and let the ladies choose what they wanted. 
My ideas were to make a Cookies for Santa plate since it was December but I also shared the idea of a Happy Birthday plate, or Happy Birthday Jesus plate.

I wish I would have taken pictures of all the steps but I didn't and you can head on over to WhiMSy love for a bettter picture tutorial.

You will need:  a clear glass plate, you paint on the back and your design shows through
                       enamel paint
                       paint brushes and a dry erase marker

This is the paint I used

Step one:  Soak your plates in warm water to remove the stickers.

Step two:  Clean the surface you are going to paint with alchohol.  I bought alchohol wipes for my MOPS group which made it much easier and one wipe was more then enough for two or even three plates.

Step three:  Choose a design.  I sketched my designs in my sketch book and chose one I was happy with.  I also sketched several on printer paper for ladies at the meeting.

Step four:  Thank goodness for WhiMSy love for this idea.  On the front of your plate draw your design with dry erase marker.  When you turn it over to paint the design will show through plus it make is sooo much easier to do your lettering.

Step five:  Now it's time to paint.  You need to decide what features you want in front, like faces, or sprinkles on a cupcake.  Paint those features first, let them dry then you can add the next layer.  Paint in thin layers.  They may look streaky at first but paint a layer, let it dry, then add another layer.  The thinner the layers you paint the fast they will dry!!

Finally:  Let it cure.  You can either just let it sit for 21 days or cure it in your oven.  Put the plate in your oven paint side up.  Turn the oven to 325, time 20 minutes then turn the oven off.  Leave the plates in the oven with the door shut until they cool. 

I think I've found a new hobby I love coming up with new designs, I love my stick figure designs.

This one is for Grandpa.  It is all the Great-Grandchildren and I had so much fun trying to make each figure resemble all the kids. 

This one is for my mom's book club!

and this one was for my mother-in-law.  I tried to make a fancy hat that swoops down in front of the face covering one of the eyes (didn't come out exactly how I visualized it)