Thursday, February 24, 2011

Keree's Quiet Book

I helped my friend Keree make a cover for her quiet book and I snapped a few pictures to show you hers.

She doesn't sew or have a sewing machine, so she went the pellon route. Her pages are all pellon, and then she drew traced the patterns on with a pencil. She used fabric markers to color on the designs, clever right?

All of her patterns came from Mormonchic.

For the cover we tore apart an old pair of jeans and she used some leftover fleece for the initial. We saved one of the back pockets for a little treat pocket on the inside cover. Turned out fabulous!

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lemon Linguine

This pasta is truly heavenly. The linguine is great on it's own, but I like to add some grilled chicken on the side. It's also good with fish, I did a lemon pepper Tilapia last time, mmmm. There are lots of recipes for lemon linguine out there, trust me I've made a lot of them, but this one is the best. Some use lots of olive oil, or cream and one you used the starchy cooking liquid from the noodles to make the sauce. This recipe isn't too heavy, has lemon in every bite and you don't feel like you're just eating oily noodles. It makes a lot, so I usually half the recipe and we still have leftovers (it's even good cold as a pasta salad). Pile on the Parmesan (make sure to get the fancy shredded stuff) and enjoy!

Husband Rating: 5 stars (duh!)

1 lb linguine
4 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, juiced and zested
2 cups sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
3/4 cup. fancy shredded Parmesan cheese
Parsley to garnish

Preheat oven to 375. Cook linguine according to package directions. In a skillet over low heat melt butter. Stir in minced garlic, cook 1-2 minutes. Add lemon juice and olive oil, turn off heat. Add sour scream and stir until smooth and creamy. Sprinkle with lemon zest and salt. Pour in the linguine and stir until combined. Pour creamy linguine into baking dish and bake, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove lid and bake for 5 minutes more. Squeeze lemon juice over the top and top with Parmesan cheese and parsley.

I got this great little juicer in the $1 bins at Target, it makes juicing the lemon sooo much easier. To get the zest I used a little cheese grater. You can't have too much lemon in my opinion, so I add about 2 Tbsp. of lemon zest to the sauce.

This time I made it I didn't have any linguine noodles, so I used spaghetti. Still delicious! Linguine noodles are flat, so they hold the sauce really well, but they are thinner and easier to eat than fettuccine. You can't go wrong!

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rescuing a box of gross crackers

You've done it too right? Bought a box of whole grain, healthy crackers only to discover they dry and kinda gross. I hate that, because I'm just too frugal to throw them away. I got a little creative and rescued that box that was destined for staleness in the back of the pantry.

Husband Rating: 5 stars (amazing!)

Here's what I did:

Cut 6 six boneless skinless chicken breasts into bite-size nugget pieces

Pour crackers into ziploc bag and crush. I used a rolling pin so they would be finely crushed, or you could take our your diet aggression and bang them on the counter:) To the cracker crumbs at 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, 3 Tbsp. flour, dash of pepper and garlic salt.

Melt 1/4 cup of butter. Dip chicken pieces in butter, then put in the ziploc bag. Toss to coat. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray cookie sheet with cooking spray and arrange chicken nuggets. Bake 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked and breading is golden.

No joke here, they are quite delicious and crunchy! I served a handful with fries, carrots and ranch for lunch, so good. I divided the remaining nuggets into freezer containers (shown above) and tossed them in the freezer for a quick meal for later.

To reheat the frozen nuggets you can microwave them (since they're fully cooked) but it does make them a little soggy, I prefer the oven so they keep their crunch. I put them in for 15 minutes and 400* and they were piping hot and crunchy.

A few weeks later I served this meal w/ the same nuggets. I served mashed potatoes, chicken gravy, maple-glazed carrots and the very same chicken. I'm calling it Harvest Baked Chicken, because that sounds better than "Gross Cracker Chicken."

Now, go crush some crackers!

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Cookie Cutters

I love my Valentine cookie cutters, don't you? The hearts, the kissy lips, the X's andO's, the cupids . . . but I don't so much love making sugar cookies. Anybody else? It seems like they turn out too hard, too soft and breakable or too sweet. Besides, if I make a batch of cookies guess who is going to eat them all? Me. Yikes.

So, I want to do some fun activities with my cookie cutters that don't involve an insane sugar overload. Here are my favorite ideas:

Heart-shaped French Toast

Mini Valentine Pizzas (cute right? Cut them out, add sauce, cheese and toppings and bake)

Heart-shaped Peanut Butter and Jam Sandwiches

Valentine Cheesy Bisquits

X and O Jello Jigglers

Heart Shaped Eggs & Toast

(Photo from Martha Stewart)

What are your favorite ideas?

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