Sunday, February 16, 2014

Love is...

I hope everyone had a good Valentine's Day!  What a fun day to remind everyone you love, just how much you love and care for them!  Parenthood has made me pretty sappy and I have had a few people around me go through some extremely tough situations lately, which have had a profound effect on my day to day thinking and actions.  I have found myself stopping more often throughout the day to pray and appreciate my sweet family and think of how blessed and thankful I am for them.

Love is...

Looking in the rearview mirror, making eye contact with a sweet face in the back seat, and smiling at each other.

Love is...

Bowing our heads to pray in church and feeling my husband's hand reach out to hold mine.

Love is...

That first moment I see my babies in the morning and how all they want is a hug.

Love is...

How each of my kids fits perfectly under each arm.

Love is...

Sitting around the dinner table, listening to music, and talking about our day.

Love is...

Knowing that God is in control and guiding my family through each day.

Love is...

Having a Savior who thinks I am to die for!


I know you all have missed me.  :)  Here are some recipes we will be having for our dinners this week:  Unstuffed Chicken breasts with ham, gruyere, and roasted broccoli, mu shu pork wraps, tuna melts, slow cooker chicken stroganoff

Unstuffed Chicken Breasts with Ham, Gruyere, and Roasted Broccoli adapted from America's Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook (a gift from my awesome aunt for Christmas)
*If you don't have gruyere, then Swiss cheese is a cheaper and just as good alternative

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds broccoli, crown cut into large wedges
1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and pounded if necessary (I took 3 breasts, and halved them horizontally, to make 6 thin cutlets)
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
4 ounces deli ham
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded (1 cup)
15 Ritz crackers, crushed

Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat to 475 degrees.  Brush rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil.

Toss broccoli with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.  Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.

Arrange chicken breasts, side by side on one side of prepared baking sheet.  Spread mustard over top of chicken, then top each breast with 1 slice ham and 1/4 cup cheese.  Sprinkle cracker crumbs over cheese and press on to adhere.

Lay broccoli, cut side down, on opposite side of bakingsheet from chicken.  Bake until chicken is cooked through and broccoli is well browned and tender, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfwa through baking.  Serve.  (A dish with everything cooked in the oven at the same time?!  How awesome is that?)

***My sweet sunshine girl ate all of her chicken and only bites of her broccoli.  My sweet little bear boy ate seconds of broccoli and only bites of chicken.  Sigh.  If you put the two together, then I guess you can say they liked it!

Mu Shu Pork Wraps  Also adapted from the America's Test Kitchen Cookbook
We had a pork chop dish last week for dinner and I had bought a value pack of pork chops.  I cooked up the chops I didn't use and will use the already cooked pork in this recipe.

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
5 teaspoons soy sauce
1 pork tenderloin, trimmed and sliced thin
6 scallions, white parts minced, green parts cut into 1 inch lengths
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 bag coleslaw mix
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced thin
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
8 (6-inch) flour tortillas

Whisk 2 tablespoons oil, cornstarch, flour, and 2 teaspoons soy sauce together in medium bowl until smooth, then stir in pork.  In separate bowl, combine scallion whites, ginger, and 1 teaspoon oil.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in 12 inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking.  Add half of pork, breaking up an clumps, anc ook, without stirring, for 1 minute.  Stir pork and continue to cook until lightly browined, about 1 minute; transfer to clean bowl..  Repeat with 1 teaspoon oil and remaining pork; transfer to bowl.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to now empty skillet and return to high heat until just smoking.  Add coleslaw mix and mushrooms and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.

Clear center of skillet, add scallion mixture, and cook, mashing mixture into skillet, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir scallion mixture into vegetables.

Add cooked pork, with any accumulated juices, scallion greens, hoisin sauce, and remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce to skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened, about 30 seconds.

Meanwhile, stack tortillas on plate, cover and microwave until soft and hot, about 2 minutes.  Serve pork filling with warm tortillas and extra hoisin sauce.

Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff adapted from AllRecipes (awesome website and app)  I wouldn't be able to plan meals each week without my slowcooker.  I always have at least one meeting a week that goes to 5:30.  This week is no exception-Parent/Teacher Conferences on Thursday until 6:30.  Hello slow cooker meal!!!

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cubed
1/8 cup butter
1 package dry Italian dressing mix
1 package cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
(I know doesn't sound the healthiest, but come on, it's just one night!  And you can always use less cream cheese and use a healthified cream of chicken soup)

Put chicken, butter, and dressing mix in slow cooker.  Mix together and cook on low 5-6 hours.
Add cream cheese and soup, mix together and cook on high for another 1/2 hour or until heated through and warm.

Serve over egg noodles and with a side salad, and voila, you have a complete meal!

**If I don't use this recipe for conference night, my husband will just whip up a scrumptious breakfast for dinner meal. 

Tuna Melts adapted from Martha Stewart Living, but it's Emeril Lagasse's recipe
Need a cheap dinner idea???  Here you go!  I grabbed 4 cans of tuna last week, just in case we lost power with the snow last week.  We didn't need to use them, but it sure helped me plan a meal for this week!  My husband is not a fan of tuna, but when I made these he actually said they were really good!  Yeah buddy!

4 cans tuna, drained
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
4 slices crusty bread
8 thin slices tomato (we do not use tomato)
4 slices provolone

Heat broiler with rack in highest position.  In a medium bowl, combine tuna, mayo, onion, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and oregano and stir until combined.

Arrange bread on a baking sheet and spread a little mayo on each slice.  Divide tuna salad evenly among slices (I have found that this makes more than just 4), then top with 2 slices of tomato and one slice of cheese.  Broil until cheese is golden brown and bubbling, 3 to 4 minutes.

I would serve this with leftover salad from the night before and some chips. 

Happy Eating!

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