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Parmesan Crusted Chicken

April 3, 2014

Hello!

I have to admit to y’all that I am not a big fan of chicken.  I mean, I like it, but I am always looking for a new way to make it so it’s more exciting.  So please share recipes with me!  I was searching Pinterest, as I try to do when I have time, and came across this delicious recipe. I had all the ingredients on hand, which is key for me.  With our sweet baby, we aren’t always fully stocked in the kitchen because we are so busy with him.  (And who wants to grocery shop when you can laugh with the sweetest four month old around?)

The recipe is really simple and we made it in record chicken-cooking time.  Check it out here.

Cut.Bake.Stitch: Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Cut.Bake.Stitch: Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Ingredients:
-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
-Salt and pepper (fresh ground or not)
-1/2 cup grated Parmesan, Pecorino, or Asiago cheese (I used the stuff from the jar.)
-1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
-2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley (I used the dried kind.)
-2 garlic cloves, chopped (I used minced garlic)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Line a large pan with foil or spray a casserole dish.  (I used a large pyrex dish.)

2. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in prepared dish.

3. Combine cheese, panko, oil, parsley, and garlic in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Cover chicken with panko mixture.  I made entirely too much to just “cover” my chicken breasts.  It filled my whole pan.  (I was trying to not have a few tablespoons of panko left in my box.)

5. Roast chicken until crumbs become golden brown.  I covered the whole dish for the first 10 or 15 minutes, then removed foil and allowed crumbs to crisp.  This was a very quick process.

The recipe I used from Bon Appetit added romaine to the mix and roasted it as well.  Looks delicious, but I didn’t have that in my kitchen.  We made some rice and veggies for the sides and it was delicious.  I have to say the flavor and crispiness of the panko made this chicken delicious.  I will definitely make this one again.  It’s too easy!

Cut.Bake.Stitch: Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Cut.Bake.Stitch: Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Happy chicken eating.  (That sounds kinda odd. Oh well!)
-Amanda

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Oatmeal Bake

March 24, 2014

Hey everyone,

I’ve been cooking!  Unfortunately I haven’t taken great photos, so bear with me.  You’ll have to understand I have to try to cook quickly between feeding a baby, rocking to sleep, or trying to do laundry, etc.  In order to allow me to eat breakfast quickly and easily, but still healthy… I found this delicious recipe online.

What’s great about it, is that it’s great freshly baked or reheated.  It’s flexible in the ingredients so you can make it as sweet or healthy or not as you’d like! (Check out her website for all the possibilities.  I’ll outline which changes I made, but she has tons of options.)

Here’s how it goes…

Strawberry Baked Oatmeal with Chocolate

Ingredients:
-2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (I used extra thick)
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tbsp grated orange zest
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 cup chopped walnuts
-1 cup sliced strawberries
-1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
-2 cups skim milk
-1 large egg
-3 tbsps butter, melted
-2 tsps vanilla extract
-1+ ripe banana, 1/2 inch slices
-optional, Honey/Agave/Brown Sugar

Directions
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Spray a 9 by 9 baking dish and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix together oats, baking powder, orange zest, cinnamon, salt, half the walnuts, half the strawberries, half the chocolate.  If you are using sugar, add it here.  I’ve added my agave here once, but it might work better in the milk mixture.  Pour this into the prepared dish.  Arrange the remaining strawberries, walnuts and chocolate on top as well as banana slices.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, milk, and vanilla extract.  Don’t mix your butter unless your milk has come closer to room temperature.  The cold milk will cause the butter to become solid again.  Pour the melted butter over the oat mixture, then add the egg-milk-vanilla mixture.  Make sure it’s evenly distributed over the oats.  Gently shake dish to ensure it’s reached the bottom of your dish.

4. Bake for about 35 minutes or until the milk has set and the top is golden brown.  (If I weren’t trying to eliminate processed sugar, a brown sugar crumbly top would be amazing.  Just an idea.)

5. Serve warm.

IMG_5605

Not the best photo, but seriously delicious.

It is so delicious.  Try it once following the recipe and then make it your own.  I’ve made it twice now, doubling it the second time.  Tip for doubling: don’t quite double the milk.  It’s not necessary and just requires a longer bake time to help it set.  I think I’d like to try different fruit, maybe blueberries.  What kind of fruit would you put in it?  If you know me, I doubled the chocolate for this recipe, but you can do whatever you see fit.  Also, the strawberries make the dish really sweet, so the second time I made it, I cut those down. I mixed banana into my dish because I really like the flavor with the strawberries.

I thought it was equally delicious reheated the next day.  When I made it the second time, I put individual servings in the fridge to just pop in for breakfast over the week ahead.  So easy and healthy!

Happy Breakfasting,
Amanda

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Garlic and Goat Cheese Spaghetti Squash

March 17, 2014

Good morning.  Are your taste buds ready for something good?  And y’all, this stuff is good.

I’ve been trying to figure out some good recipes that are both gluten free and delicious.  And this is seriously delicious.  Additionally, I decided this week I wanted to meal plan.  (I’ve seriously wanted to make some big life changes for the better with this Lenten season.)  While approaching meal planning, I did a lot of research and realized it’s insane to even begin this process.  How many of you meal plan?  Do you weekly, bi-weekly, monthly?  I’m so interested in this thing.  Maybe I’ll start blogging with my research, ideas, and plans!  We can do this together.

Ok, back to this recipe.  I found a great blog that had a week of meals and I quickly found this delicious recipe.  I already had tilapia on hand (see Tuesday’s meal on the blog), so we just needed some greens and the ingredients for Garlic and Goat Cheese Spaghetti Squash.  Lately I’ve tried to branch out with my spaghetti squash meals away from actual spaghetti to other pasta dishes.  I made a few real good ones (and didn’t photograph them, I’m sorry), but decided this one needed to be photographed and blogged about.

So let’s get to the recipe.  It might be the easiest thing ever.  And as you know, I follow recipes loosely.  I hope that doesn’t discourage you from making it.  These things are flexible.

IMG_5726

Spaghetti Squash and Goat Cheese

Ingredients:
-Garlic (I used minced, about 2 heaping tsps, you can use fresh – up to 8 cloves depending on your taste buds)
– 3+ tbsp butter
-1/4 cup Dried Parsley
– 3/4 cup Olive Oil (this can vary depending on how big your spaghetti squash is and how much sauce you want)
-Salt and Pepper, to taste
-1 Spaghetti squash
-Goat Cheese (the recipe says 11 oz, I think 8 oz is plenty and I used a large squash and LOVE goat cheese)

Directions:
1. Prepare your spaghetti squash according to your favorite way.  I do mine like this, but the recipe I followed tells you to cook it whole.  Try whatever you want, but remember if you’re putting it in the oven, it takes a while so bake it early.

2. In a pan melt your butter and add in garlic.  Saute the garlic for 10 minutes.  I used minced, so I probably didn’t cook it for that long, but I did want the flavors to blend nicely.

3. Once the garlic is sautéed, add parsley, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Blend together and heat for 3-5 minutes.  Turn off heat and set aside.

4. Once your spaghetti squash is cooked (and cooled), grab your fork and “pull” it apart.  You can leave the “spaghetti” in the squash for a bowl serving, or put it all in a large dish.  I always put mine in a large dish to help portion it out for sides.

5. Pour the butter-garlic-oil mixture over the squash and mix well.  It should coat and soak into the squash evenly.

6. Serve with crumbled goat cheese over the top.

IMG_5724

I don’t think I can express to you enough how delicious this dish tastes.  Sadly our squash turned a little mush-like instead of stringy, but it tastes the same, so who cares, right?  I am definitely going to put this dish into my arsenal of meals for future weeks!

Happy eating,
Amanda

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2 Ingredient “Cookie”

February 3, 2014

Hello!

I hope you’ve been loving Sarah’s posts as much as I have!  She is great at what she does.  I’ve been a little preoccupied with my new bundle of joy, but have had the opportunity to cook a little more due to this Polar Vortex affecting the country!  Unfortunately I haven’t taken nearly as many photos of cooking and baking as I should.  I did take pictures of this little treat, probably because it was so easy to make.  I do have to comment that it wasn’t terribly enjoyable… as a cookie for sure.  It might be good in yogurt or something else.

I was searching pinterest and found this little recipe: 2 Ingredient Cookies

I was really excited for a healthy recipe that used my old bananas!  Everyone on the website talked about how great these were; no complaints!  So I made a double batch… here’s how to make them.

Ingredients:
-2 ripe bananas
-1 cup oats (I used rolled oats, maybe that was the problem)

Optional ingredients:
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-Chocolate chips
-Walnuts
-Raisins
-Cinnamon

Procedure:
Mash the banana up with the oats.  Add a few mix-ins, don’t over do it or it won’t stick together.

Bananas and Oats

Bananas and Oats

Cook on 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  The other blog says to cook longer if you want them crispier… mine turned out chewier.

Finished cookies

Finished cookies

I’d repurpose these to be a crumble in yogurt or oatmeal.  On their own they were just kind of chewy… not the texture I like for cookies.

Let me know if you try these… I know I didn’t really sell them, but maybe with steel oats or another type of oats.

Good luck!
-Amanda

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Beef Soup

January 30, 2014

Hello!

With this polar vortex affecting much of the country, it’s a great time to make soup!  For this one, I called my grandma to find out how she puts it together.  It is really a flexible recipe… check it out!

Beef soup

Beef soup

Ingredients:
-Stew Bone (I didn’t have one so I used 3 lbs of stew meat)
-Beef Stock
-Vegetables
-Potatoes
-Squash
-Zucchini
-Carrots
-Celery
-Kale
-Tomatos
-Frozen Peas
-Frozen Corn
-Green Beans
-Vermicelli
-Parsley
-Salt and Pepper, to season

Directions:
This is a simple, one pot soup.  I put beef stock in my pot and added the stew meat.  If you’re using a stew bone, let it boil before adding everything else.  Once you’ve chopped your veggies to the desired size, add them to the pot.  I used a big stock pot for this so I could put as many vegetables as possible.  At this point add salt and pepper.  I go overboard at this point because as the meat and veggies cook, they need to absorb seasonings to help flavor them.  It helps each be flavorful.  I let mine cook for hours to help the stew meat be tender and the flavors blend perfectly.  Near the end of cooking, add the vermicelli.

Beef Soup

Beef Soup

It’s the perfect dish for a cold day!

Enjoy.
Happy Soup eating,
Amanda

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Everyone needs an Apron

January 27, 2014

After all my quilting leading up to the holidays, our older sister asked if I could help brainstorm and make a fun gift for her friend’s one year old, Wilder.  With a little thinking and researching, we decided an apron would be both cute and practical for this little dude.  He’d be able to wear it while painting, cooking, or simply as a new accessory!

Fat Quarter Options

Fat Quarter Options

We picked two fat quarters and an accent binding (to use for ties).  And then I had to figure out how big – or small rather – a 1-year-old is!  I measured, sketched it, cut it and started to sew!  In about 10 minutes flat, an apron was made!  I have to say – it’s pretty darn cute too.  I might be making these for everyone’s kids soon.  :  )

Apron - Blue Side

Apron – Blue Side

Apron - Yellow Side

Apron – Yellow Side

Hanging Apron

Hanging Apron

Enjoy,

Sarah

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A Quilt for James

January 23, 2014

Ah, my third and final nephew of the year.  My sister – as you all know from her previous post – gave birth to her sweet baby boy, James, in December.  I had picked out the fabric for this quilt before knowing what gender she was having, but I based in on colors she was featuring in the nursery.  I think it turned out adorable – if I do say so myself.

James' Quilt

James’ Quilt

It actually took me quite a while after purchasing the fabric to decide on my final design of the quilt.  I wanted each nephew to have a different pattern, so I picked rectangles and spent hours doing calculations to pick just the right size.  Each rectangle was cut 3″ x 7″.  This used the fabric so efficiently I had to NOT use one row to ensure my backing fabric fit!  All-in-all, the quilt came together better than I expected.  Especially because this was also the first time I made my own binding – which I LOVE on this quilt.

James' Quilt Back and Binding

James’ Quilt Back and Binding

I had a great time making all of these sweet nephew quilts, and I’m excited to watch them grow up (with the quilts, of course!).

Until next time…Enjoy.

Sarah

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