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August 2013

Throwback Thursday

I was looking through the blog and realized that we have posted many pictures but none of us yet (just in case any of you are visual people). So I went digging through my memory box (yes I still have one…and yes its an actual box filled with photos, empty one hour envelopes and negatives…for the generation that has not idea what I am talking about, I’ll say it slower….neeee-ga-tiiiive).

I dusted this gem off and decided it would be a nice addition to our blog.  So here is proof that Jodes and I have been friends since high school. This picture was taken in the parking lot of our high school, right before graduation, 10 years ago (boy I feel old- when did 10 years fly by?!). Anyways- Enjoy! and happy throwback Thursday!

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Chicken Crepes

Okay, so this was a pinterest recipe, that definitely brings out my French side…lol.  The last time I remember making crepes, was when I was a kid.  I remember we had to do a recipe from our heritage, and being mostly French this was the recipe that I had chosen, except I did dessert crepes, but either way they are just as yummy.  As with most recipes I find on pinterest I tweaked it a bit compared to what I found, but was completely satisfied with the results.

Chicken Crepes

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Ingredients:

Crepes:

2 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
cooking spray for pan

Filling:

1/2 cup condensed cream of chicken soup
2 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 1/2 tablespoons cream
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3/4 tablespoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper
2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, chopped into bite-sized pieces

Topping:

1 1/2 grated cheddar cheese
1/3 cup cream

Instructions:

Alright so the first thing that you want to do is make the crepes.

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Whisk the eggs and gradually add the flour slowly making sure it is full incorporated after each addition.  The batter will resemble a thick paste once all the flour is in.

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Then slowly add the milk, continuing to whisk until all of it is incorporated.  Let the batter stand for 30 minutes or refrigerate if you are making it more than 30 minutes before use.  Put a skillet (non-stick works best) on medium to medium-high heat and let it warm up.  Now here is the fun part, if you can, try to get the kids and any other distractions out of the kitchen when making these because they cook fast.  My daughter was not as cooperative as I would like and well….I messed up a few.  Spray your skillet with cooking spray and add a couple tablespoons batter, enough for it to be a few inches in diameter, then swirl it in the pan so it spreads around, covering the whole pan.

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Cook until the underside of the crepe is lightly brown and flip. Let the other side get golden brown and you are ready to repeat for the rest of the batter.

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Preheat your oven for 200 degrees and now comes the filling.  All you need to do is mix the chicken, cream soup, mayonnaise, cream, minced garlic, onion powder, lemon juice, salt and pepper together in a bowl (or in my case the pan I cooked the chicken in) till thoroughly mixed.

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Now we need to fill the crepes.  Lay out a crepe and add about a 1/4 cup of filling in the middle.  Spread it so it is rectangular in shape.

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Then roll it up and place in a greased baking dish.

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Continue for the rest of the crepes or until your baking dish is full.

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Sprinkles the top with the shredded cheese and drizzle with the cream.

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Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

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Enjoy!

Fake it until you make it kind of Monday

When I go grocery shopping I have a list of meals for the week. I list every ingredient needed and try to just get what is on my list. This drives my other half crazy. Just to spice things up, I try to go shopping without a list and hope for the best. This was one of those times I’m glad I just faked it and bought a bunch of random stuff…

This week, I am like many Americans…I have no idea what I am going to make for dinner until I get home. So needless to say I did not plan a head tonight and had nothing deforsting while I was at work. When I came home I pulled out some chicken and figured at some point I’d figure it out. While the chicken was cooking I pulled out my recipe cards and started flipping through them. It was the decision of a lifetime, 7 layer taco dip with chicken, Fajitas or chicken and broccoli ring. It just so happened I had everything in the house for the chicken and broccoli ring, and figured why not (because lets be honest what are the odds I would have every ingredient by chance again- without preplanning it).

This is a staple in my house when it gets colder out. It is a papered chef recipe and I hope you try it and share it with your family and friends…

Chicken and Broccoli Ring

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Combine all of the ingredients into a bowl. I use a bag of frozen broccoli (its just easier), I do not have any dill mix so I just use dill weed (but if you happen to get a chance to get some it will give it a different taste), I also only use a quarter cup of Mayo (its healthier and I think it tastes better). Also I don’t put the egg wash or almonds on the outside.

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Then lay out the crescent rolls in the pan (and plus if you’ve had a bad day and the crescent rolls don’t open you can get all of your frustration out by hitting the crescent roll tube against the counter)

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Then put the ingredients in the pan surrounded by the crescent rolls.

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Fold over the crescent rolls to enclose the ingredients.

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Bake for 25-30 mins. Enjoy.

Rainbow Dash Inspired Tutu

So obviously, I’ve been off the handle for about a week or so…

However, I have finally finished my daughter’s tutu that I made for her birthday party in a couple of weeks. WOO-HOO! One thing down, so many more to go.  I have a couple more recipes coming your way as well, but figured I would switch things up a bit and post my new sewing project for you first.

Okay, so I’m sure you will notice as I post more about projects for my daughter’s birthday, that we have what some might call an unhealthy obsession with My Little Pony.  Personally I just keep saying I’m reliving my childhood through my daughter, but meh, I don’t care.  There are plenty worse things out there right now that she could be obsessed with so, yeah.  Sure, I know all the names and probably could recite some episodes by memory alone (thanks to Netflix having complete seasons, and my daughter knowing how to operate the Wii all on her own), but this was something I liked as a little girl, so I may indulge more than I should and I can’t help it.  My daughter’s favorite is Rainbow Dash, so I figured my as well doll her up in the blue and rainbow.

Rainbow Dash Inspired Tutu

Supplies:

8 yards tulle (more or less depending on the size this is for a child’s size 8)

32 yard ribbon for trim

satin blanket binding for the waist band

1/2″ elastic

thread

safety pin

scissors

sewing machine & needles

pins

Instructions:

So first off the reason it took me so long to complete this was the ribbon for the trim.  I couldn’t find what I wanted, so I ended up buying two packages of satin blanket binding and cutting them into 3/4″ strips and using a lighter to singe all of the edges so they wouldn’t fray.  That took me a couple of days because let’s face it lighter gets hot and holding one down for extended periods of time can be painful.  Once I had the trim all set and ready to go it only took me two nights to put the tutu together.

First you are going to want to fold the tulle in half, length wise and cut it into two 8 yards strips.  After that you are going to want to fold it in half again with both pieces on top of each other and pin it as best you can on the fold.  Be patient, tulle can be difficult to pin and make it do what you want because it is so slippery of a fabric.  After the fabric is pinned you will sew all the way down the fabric approximately 1″ from the fold.  This will create the casing that the elastic will later go through.

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After the casing is sewn, I trimmed the edges of the fabric.  I trimmed the top two layers about one inch shorter than the back, so it would have a tiered effect.  Sorry, if it’s unclear in the photo, blue tulle on top of my blue cutting mat doesn’t show up very well.

DSC02399After every layer is trimmed up we can start to sew on the trim.  I just topstitched it on to the bottom of the tulle on all 4 layers.

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After all the trim is on you are going to have something like this going on:

DSC02401Attack of the blue tulle!!!  Haha.  Now we will want to sew together the back seam of the skirt.  I did each layer separately from the stitching from the elastic to the end of the trim.  This makes the seam less bulky.  Make sure not to sew the casing for the elastic closed.

DSC02417Now we will want to measure how long the elastic will be.  I just took my roll of elastic and wrapped it around my daughter’s waist for measurement.  I gave it and extra inch for the overlap and cut.  I attached a safety pin to one end and fed it through the casing.

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After you have fed the elastic through all of the tulle, it is time to sew it together.  Overlap the elastic by an inch or two and run it through your machine a few times.

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After that, I had my model try it on:

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And now the birthday party out fit is complete, okay so I cheated on the shirt…….but hey, there’s only so much time in a day:

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Unfortunately, it was past my models bedtime when the skirt was finally complete, but I’m sure I will more photos to post after her party in a couple of weeks.

Blueberry Monday

Last week my mom, grandmother and I went blueberry picking. As a kid my step father would take me out and we’d pick for what seemed like an eternity. I’m not sure if it was the amount of blueberries that were expected to be picked or my age, but I remember coming home and helping him “process” the berries(I use that term loosely). We’d wash, dry, sort then freeze them for the winter. Mind you it was nice to have blue berry pancakes in the winter but any activity that lasts over an hour to a child is _________ (well I’m sure you can fill in that blank.

Well now that I’m in my late 20’s and I can pick as many I want and I actually had fun doing it. I ended up with one big bag of blueberries in my freezer. Hello blueberry pancakes or any other blueberry concoction I happen to come across.

When I got home, I decided to try something new (a concoction if you must). I went hunting on Pinterst. I found a recipe for blueberry chicken. Yes I know that must sound odd, but it was actually pretty good. When my other half got home from work I told him what was for dinner. He stops right in his tracks, looks at me like I have three heads and asks “so what in gods name do you pair with blueberry chicken?!” But after the first bite, he wasn’t complaining anymore (basically because his mouth was too full-but I’ll just pretend it was because the chicken was THAT good).

The recipe below calls for a lot of fancy cooking techniques, which I didn’t follow, and some ingredients, I didn’t have, but the end result was still really yummy.

Here is what I did differently: the recipe called for 1Tbs Butter, I used olive oil. I didn’t have any white wine in the house so I used vegetable broth. I also didn’t have any balsamic vinegar so I substituted 1Tbs cider vinegar plus 1/2 Tsp of sugar. The recipe called for searing the meat and placing it in the oven. Personally I just made the sauce, put my raw chicken in it and baked it until the chicken was done.

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Below is the original recipe.

Blueberry Chicken

Ingredients
  • 4 large chicken thighs (bone in, skin on)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 3/4 cup onion, diced (about 1/2 of a large yellow onion)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 3 cups fresh blueberries
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle the skin side of the chicken thighs generously with salt and pepper. Put a large oven-proof skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the chicken thighs skin side down. Sear without moving at least 8-10 minutes, until the skin is a deep golden brown. Remove the chicken thighs from the pan and put them on a plate. Pour off all but 1 Tablespoon of the chicken fat in the pan, then add the butter and onion. Cook the onion about 4 minutes, until it is softened and starting to brown around the edges (if it cooks too fast, turn down the heat a little). Add the wine, vinegar, mustard, rosemary, and blueberries. Bring the blueberry mixture to a boil and let it cook about 10-15 minutes. The fruit will start to pop and the mixture should start to thicken and reduce – it won’t be thick, but it shouldn’t look incredibly watery. Put the chicken thighs back in the pan, skin side up this time, nestling them on top of the sauce. Try to keep the blueberry mixture off the chicken skin so the skin can crisp in the oven – if you bathe it now in the sauce it will taste good but the skin won’t crisp and will turn out soft and rubbery. Put the skillet in the oven and roast the chicken for another 45 minutes. When the chicken is done, let it rest on the counter 5 minutes before serving. To serve, carefully remove the chicken thighs from the pan, put them on a platter, and drizzle the blueberry sauce around them and down the middle of each piece of chicken, leaving some of the crispy golden skin showing.

Give it a try it’s blueberry season. Why not try something new.

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