Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Truman Farm

Today a bunch of us got together for a "children's social" and Truman University's Farm. Tab had a blast and Benton tolerated being toted around. We started out visiting the greenhouse. Tab could have cared less about the plants. He just wanted me to turn the water on so he could spray me with the hose.
Then we went out and they were checking out the cows.Tab thought that this was particularly neat, but wasn't quite sure what was going on.Then they had them plant some pumpkin seeds. Tab continuously poked around in the dirt with his name stick. I'm not even sure if there are any seeds left in the dirt. He also ate a fair amount of dirt and then got upset about it when it didn't taste like chocolate.I tried to get the boys to pose for a cute outdoor picture, but they aren't really into the whole cooperating thing.
What is a visit to a farm without a hayride? This was as close as we could get to a picture with all three of us in it. Sigh.
Then they got to go pet some horses. This was Tab's favorite part. Pardon the picture, my camera got turned to some funky setting. Benton liked the grass but wasn't so sure about the horse.We came upon a grassy area covered with dandylions and stopped for a minute. Tab LOVES to pick dandylions.Benton, well, he likes to eat them aparently.I tried to get a picture of how funny his hair is. It was just blowing in the breeze. His hair is so fine and sticks straight up to begin with. It was hilarious. This is the C'mon mom, I'm so done with having my picture taken look.We had a lot of fun and it was so nice to be outside!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sacked Out

My boys rarely just fall asleep. They are the have to be in bed type, with making an occasional exception for the car seat. A few weeks ago we had preschool group at our house which is held during naptime. As soon as everyone left Tab sacked out on the couch. He couldn't even make it to his room.
Man, I love a sleeping boy about as much as I love a sleeping baby.Speaking of sleeping babies...Benton hasn't been doing so well at night. By not so well, I mean up every half hour to an hour ... for the past week. Needless to say, we are headed to the dr. today to see if there is an ear infection or something. So after last night being the worst, I was standing up holding him while I was at the gym this morning and he completely zonked. He didn't even wake up when I put him in his carseat. I would like to think that meant I get a nap. Alas, too much to do in a day when I don't take a nap.

Friday, April 25, 2008

At Last...

Spring is in the air. I just love the smell, the sun, the grass. Ahhhh.... It has been a particularly cold and snowy winter and this warm weather has been music to my soul. It has been great for getting Tab out of the house. He just craves being outside. We have been making sure to spend some good playtime outside each day. So I thought I would share a few pictures of him loving it up.
Tab really enjoys his bike, but over the winter he has reverted back to pushing himself around using his feet on the ground. We've been trying to get him to pedal but he just wouldn't. So I decided that I needed to show him. Jason saw fit to take a picture, so enjoy your laugh.Tab mostly enjoyed riding circles around his brother. Benton got a kick out of it too. He giggled pretty much the entire time.However, I think Benton was a little jealous of the mobility factor that Tab has going for him. It's your own fault little man. If you weren't so stubborn...We decided that Tab needed more than just a bike to play with outside to keep him interested so we got him a T-ball set. (Actually, I'm going to take the credit for this one. Jason didn't think Tab was "big enough". HA ) Tab loves it. We set out to go to soccer the other day and Tab informed me that he wouldn't rather stay home and play T-ball.I have to admit that he is pretty darn cute doing it. And the sunglasses are cute too. And no I'm not cruel forcing him to wear them for pictures. He always asks for a pair when we spend anytime playing outside. Good thing we have a good supplier. Thanks grandpa. Anyway...And just look at that boy swing. He is actually pretty good. I was surprised by how far he could hit the ball.And don't be fooled by that little body and those scrawny arms. He can hit the ball pretty hard too. I learned that the hard way. I had a welt left in my arm by the ball to remind me not to stand near him when he is swinging.I think one of his favorite parts of going outside to play is that he know that if he runs around in the neighbors yard laughing and and squealing long enough the neighbor boys will come out and want to play with him. And when they come out, they open the garage door. And he knows that when that door opens, he has access to this.
Apparently we aren't good parents because he doesn't have his own. Or so he thinks. He loves to load up their wagon and pull it around. He wants me to let him pull Benton around, but I just don't think Benton would be all that happy about it.One of the little boys brought out Croquet and "set it up" for them too play. He was too cute. He was walking around looking at the pamphlet while he was setting it up. Tab thought that this looked like a pretty cool game. Although at first it was kind of scary as he thought the Croquet sticks were large hammers. Yikes. Stand clear. He had a hard time picking just one. Our little neighbor kept getting after him to pick just one color. There were a lot of sighs involved. I had to stiffle my laughter.
For a while he had settled on red. It was fun to watch them trying to hammer the balls through the little tunnel they created as the course.And one last picture for good measure. Tab posing for the camera.

"You're Underdressed"

Tab and I were playing with his dress up clothes the other day. We had a blast. He is really into the whole make believe thing and it is just so cute. Anyway, as I was saying we were playing dressup. He wanted to be the police officer and wanted me to be the "fire engine man". So I played along. And yes, I'm aware that I look like a freak in a 2 year olds dress up costume. But really I couldn't say no.Tab really enjoyed learning how to use the handcuffs. Although I think he got a little annoyed that Benton wouldn't play along and keep his hands inside them. I told him that police use them to take people to jail. I told him that he had to tell people that they were under arrest when he put the cuffs on them. So I would put them on me and Jason and tell us, "You're underdressed mommy!" I was too cute. I just couldn't correct him.

Tab has also started to really enjoy playing with Benton from time to time. We just happened to catch a picture of one of those times. Tab let Benton wear his police hat so that he could play too. Isn't he a cutie? (And yes Alissa, I know he has "ear bangs". I've finally consented to trimming them.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pool Noodle Doorway Curtain

I found this great idea is a parenting magazine recently. You take pool noodles and slice them up. Then you thread them together and hang them in the doorway. So while Jason's mom was in town we found some pool noodles and went to work.Tab loves having them hanging from his bedroom door frame. When ever you go into his room he insists on "opening" the door for you aka parting the curtain.Benton is a pretty big fan of them too and that makes me an even bigger fan of them. The only thing that I would do differently if I were to do it again would be to get plain circle pool noodles. I didn't think about the scalloped ones. They ended up looking like flowers and more "girly" but hey what does he know?

Monday, April 21, 2008

My First Flower

When we got home from the gym this morning Tab was running around enjoying our nice warm weather, FINALLY. He found a dandylion and came running over and said, "Smell mommy. It's for you! It stinks pretty." Who can resist such a cute little boy? It's the moments like this that make all the "other" moments worth it.

Robeez eat your heart out

Ok, so these aren't nearly as nice as Robeez, but I made them myself. I have a bunch of fun ideas for them. I'm excited to make a few more pairs. I found a fun tutorial online for these. The next pair I have several changes that I am going to make that will make them nice and more durable. I'm sure I'll post them too.

And here is a picture of Benton sporting his new shoe

Sunday, April 20, 2008

With my urge to do so much cooking...

I have felt the need for proper aprons. Ok, they've been on my long list of to do projects for a while. But I was recently inspired by a friend who made a few. Walmart was having a big fabric sale so I picked up some cute little bits. I stumbled across this cute Camo and thought it would be perfect to make Tab a cute apron that he can use for helping me cook and painting, etc. I decided I didn't need a pattern for an apron. They are simple right? Yep. I just sketched out what I wanted it to look like and then measured Tab to get the dimensions that I needed and then sketched it out again onto some large sheets of paper. Then I got to cutting and sewing and it was THAT EASY. I had a blast.
Here is Tab modeling his new digs.
And a better picture since he was more into playing with his trains than he was modeling.The thing to the right is just a washcloth that I attached binding to that I made out of the camo fabric. Every cook needs a towel to wipe their hands on right?

Friday, April 18, 2008

In the Mood for Food

Sunday I was in the cooking mood. I already had Rosemary Roasted Chicken and Potatoes on my menu. But I decided that that wasn't going to satisfy my urges. So I decided to be adventurous and make a tart for the first time. Ok, so a tart doesn't really qualify as adventurous, but it was completely new to me. I also decided to break in my new ice cream maker. I'm completely in love with it by the way.

So, first up dinner. It is the most amazing chicken. It is all about the cream cheese baby. Bring it on. We had a little leftover asparagus on the side as well as some fresh sourdough. And lest you think I'm domestic or something, the sourdough is courtesy of Panera. Pardon me for starting to eat before I remembered to take a picture.

The chicken got a little dark. I probably should have basted it again during cooking... but hey I was lazy.
Rosemary Roasted Chicken & Potatoes

1 pkg. Cream Cheese, Softened
3 tsp. Dried Rosemary Leaves, divided (the original recipe only calls for 2 but I like the flavor to
be a little stronger. I also used crushed because I like it a little finer)
1 tsp. Black Pepper, divided
1 Whole Roasting Chicken (about 3 1/2-4 1/2 lbs.)
6 Tbs. Zesty Italian Dressing.
2 lbs. Red Potatoes, cut into 1" chunks
6 slices Bacon, cooked, drained, crumbled
2 Green Onion, sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together cream cheese, 2 tsp. rosemary and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Starting at neck of chicken use fingers to carefully separate the skin from the meat of the breast, thighs, legs etc. of chicken, trying not to tear the skin. Spoon the cream cheese mixture under the skin, using your fingers to push and spread the mixture into the thighs, legs and over the breast and so on. Place the chicken in a 9x13 pan. Brush with 2 Tbs. of the dressing. I actually usually use a ton more than this. I like to give it a good coating.

Toss the potatoes with the remaining 1 tsp. rosemary and 1/2 tsp pepper in a separate 9x13 pan. Bake chicken & potatoes 1 hour and 15 minutes or until chicken is cook through (165 degrees), stirring potatoes every 30 minutes. Add bacon & onion to potatoes, mix lightly.

Transfer chicken toa large serving dish, reserving the juices from the pan. Let chicken stand 10 minutes before serving. Spoon potatoes around the chicken. Serve chicken and potatoes with the reserved juices over the top.

I decided to be brave and try making a tart. Have I mentioned that I'm really into trying new things lately? Oh, you got that memo huh. So I borrowed a tart pan from my most genius friend, Katherine. While making the crust I was reading the directions and wasn't quite sure what they meant. So I called Katherine and she set me on the right path along with some other good tart-making advice. Anyway, it turned out great. I will definitely be keeping this recipe around to make again. Lemon Tart

1 1/4 cups Flour
2 Tbs. Superfine Sugar
1/2 cup Butter, diced
1 Tbs. Water

2/3 cup Heavy Cream (Be still my soul)
1/2 cup Superfine Sugar
4 Eggs
grated rind of 3 Lemons
3/4 cup Lemon Juice
Powdered Sugar for dusting

To make dough, place the flour and sugar in a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add the water and bring together to form a dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured counter and use it to line a 9 1/2" loose based tart pan. Prick the base of the tart shell with a fork and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Line the tart shell with foil and baking beans and bakie in a preheated 375 degree oven, for 15 minutes. (The whole baking beans thing is what I called Katherine about. Apparently it is just to weight the shell down so it doesn't slump. Correct me if I'm wrong Katherine. I just used a bag of dried black beans.) Remove the foil and baking beans and cook the tart shell for 15 minutes more.

To make the filling, whisk the cream, sugar, eggs, lemon rind and juice together until thoroughly blended. Place the tart shell, still in its pan on a cookie sheet, and pour in the filling. Bake the tart for about 20 minutes or until the filling is just set. Let cool, then lightly dust with powdered sugar and serve. (I like this hot much better than I do cold, and I'm impatient so... we ate it hot and it was divine.) The ice cream was my first attempt with my new Cuisinart. I love it. I just had to share a picture of it. Isn't it so cute? The picture makes it look kind of like the green that they used on appliances in the 70's, but technically it is Nile Green, just in case you were wondering.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Belly Laughs

Today I was picking up in the living room when I hear this coming from the kitchen. So of course I had to get the camera and investigate.

Monday, April 07, 2008

A Slew of New Recipes

I have been really into cooking for the past several months. Perhaps it is the whole not working all day and then having to come home and cook thing? Whatever the reason, I'm in love. The only problem with being in love is that I often become obsessed with things I fall in love with. This would be the case with cooking. Another problem caused by this obsession is that I find myself expanding the spices and other products that I MUST have on hand. Why is this a problem? This is why. This is about all of the cupboard space that I have for food and it is tiny and overflowing. I don't have room to expand.
Yet again another problem this is causing is that I can rarely stand to use margarine or this. I have to almost be desperate to even consider it.Finally, a reason my new found love is bad for my life. He compains that I'm making him fat. I think he's hot. And let's be honest... the sitting studying all but 2-3 waking hours a day is more likely the culprit.For some reason I really enjoy trying new recipes. I enjoy trying new things more than I like making the things I know and love. Weird eh? Anyway, last month I decided that I wanted a bunch of new recipes to try so I went searching through blogs and cookbooks, but mostly blogs. I found a bunch that looked yummy, so I tried them all out. I will share with you the ones that I will be keeping around to make again. But first I thought that I should share some credit. I don't remember which recipe came from which blog, but here are just a few of the blogs that I have on my bookmarks. Enjoy!

And now for the recipes...

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

6 Tbs. Honey (be liberal)
5 Tbs. Lime Juice (be liberal)
1 Tbs. Chili Powder
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 lb. chicken, cooked & shredded
8-10 flour tortillas
1 lb. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
16 oz. green enchilada sauce (I used almost 2 full 10 oz. cans)
1 cup heavy cream

Cook chicken and shred. Mix the fist 4 ingredients & toss with shredded chicken. Let chicken marinate for at least 30 min. Pour about 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Fill tortillas with chicken & cheese, saving about 1 cup of cheese for topping. Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the cream & left over marinade. pour sauce on top of the enchiladas & sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min. or until brown & crispy on top. You are now in heaven.

Potato Pierogi
(I'm sad that this is the first time that I had ever had pierogi because they were to die for. But lucky you, this is the only one a took a picture of.)

1 1/2 lbs. Baking Potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks
4 Tbs. Butter
3 small Onions, finely chopped
salt & pepper to taste
1-2 pkg. Pot Sticker (gyoza) wrappers (my stores don't carry them but wonton wrappers are the
same thing, just square.
Potential Toppings
3-5 green onions thinly sliced
1/4 cup chives
2 Tbs. chopped Parsley
Fried onions
Sour Cream
Melted Butter
Basalmic Vinegar

Cook potatoes in a large pot of salted, boiling water. Drain and set aside. Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet & cook the onions until softened and lightly browned, darkly browned in spots. Mash potatoes and then mix in onions & cooking butter. Season generously with salt & pepper.

Line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper. Working one at a time, brusht he edges of the wrapper with water and place a spoonful of filling in the center. Fold the dumpling in half, pressing edges together to seal. Place dumplings on cookie sheet.

Heat a tiny bit of oil (1-2 Tbs) in a non-stick skillet, add dumplings in a single layer. When they are golden and spots are browned, turn & brown on other side. Add enough water to equal about 1/4" or less in depth. Be careful not to add too much. Cover & cook 3-4 minutes. Remove lid & check for doness. Pierogi should be tender but not mushy. (You can also use a boiling method, but I think these turned out perfect this way.

Top with desired toppings. I prefered just sour cream. Jason prefered the basalmic vinegar. The melted butter was ok too.
Honey Glazed Chicken

1 1/2 lb. diced, uncooked Chicken
1/3 cup Flour
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
6 Tbs. Butter
1/2 cup Honey
6 Tbs. Lemon Juice
4 Tbs. Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour and seasonings. Coat chicken in flour mixture. Melt 2 Tbs. butter in backing dish large enough for chicken to lay in a single layer. Arrange chicken in pan & bake for 30 min. Meanwhile in a small saucepan, melt remaining butter & add honey, lemon juice, soy sauce & ginger.

After chicken has baked 30 min. turn each piece over and pour sauce mixture evenly over chicken. Bake another 30-40 min. basting frequently. Serve over rice.

Tamale Pie

1 lb. Ground Beef
1/2 med. Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
10 oz. can Red Enchilada Sauce
1/2 Corn
1/4 cup sliced Olives
1 tsp. Salt

1 1/2 cups Cornmeal
1 cup Water
3/4 cup Evaporated Milk
1 tsp. Salt
1 (4 oz.) can diced Green Chilis
1/2 cup shredded Colby Jack

For Filling: Cook beef, onion & garlic in large skillet. Drain. Add enchilada sauce, corn, olives & salt.

For Crust: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease 9" pie plate or 9x9" baking dish. Combine corn meal, water, evaporated milk & salt in a med. saucepan. Cook over med-high heat, stirring frequently, 5-7 min. or until thickened. Stir in chilis. Reserve 1 cup cornmeal mixture, spreading remaining cornmeal mixture on bottom & up sides of the baking dish. (It stays "in place" better if you refrigerate it for about an hour before baking.) Bake for 10 min. Cool slightly. Sppon beef mixture into crust. Spread reserved cornmeal mixture on top. Bake 15-20 minutes, sprinkle with cheese & bake another 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Beef & Broccoli

1 2/3 cup Rice
1 2/3 cup water
1 lb. boneless beef sirloin steak
4 1/2 Tbs. Cornstarch
28 oz. (2 cans) Beef Broth
5 tsp. Soy Sauce
2 Tbs. Brown Sugar, heaping
2 cloves Garlic, minced
5 cups Frsh Broccoli florets

Cook rice according to your preferences. Slice beef into thin strips. Combine cornstach, broth, soy sauce, brown sugar & garlic, mix well. In lg. skillet, over med-high heat, cook meat until browned. Sti broccoli & liquid into beef. Cook until it boils & thickens, stirring frequently. Serve over rice.

Home Made Chicken Noodle Soup

1 gallon Water
1 (3-4 lb.) Whole Chicken, cut into large pieces
1 lg. Onion, peeled & halved
4 Bay Leaves
15 Whole Black Peppercorns
1 bunch Celery(2/3 chopped into lg. pieces, 1/3 chopped normally)
1 lb. Carrots, don't peel, just cut off ends & cut into lg. pieces.
2 stalks Lemon Grass, chopped (my grocery store does carry this, so I left it out and it was still
1/4 cup chicken soup base (can use boullion)
1 lb. carrots, chopped normally
8 oz. egg noodles (recipe below)

Place chicken and water in a large pot over high heat & bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover & simmer for 30 min. Skim foam and fat as needed. Keep pot on heat and add in onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, large chuncks of clery & carrots & the lemon grass & simmer covered for 1 hour.

Strain broth & reserve chicken. Add broth back to pot & stir in chicken soup base, chopped clery & carrots. Bring to a boil & then reduce heat 7 simmer, cover for 20 min. or until carrots & celery are tender.

Meanwhile, when chicken is cool enough, remove skin and shred into bite sized pieces. After carrots are tender, add noodles to the pot & simmer until noodles are cooked. Srir in chiken & heat through.

Egg Noodles
2 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Milk, room temp.
1 pinch salt
2 eggs, beaten, at room temp.

In a large bowl, mix together flour & salt. Add eggs & milk. Knead dough until very smooth, about 5 minutes. Let rest in covered bowl 5 minutes (VERY IMPORTANT) On lightly floured surface, roll our dough to desired thickness. (I would say try to go pretty thin). Cut into desired lengths & shapes. Allow to air dry before cooking. (I had to let mine dry almost all day, turning once.)

Macadamia Crusted Chicken with Mango Salsa

1 lb. Chicken Breasts, cut in strips
1 cup Flour, seasoned generously with salt and pepper
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
8 oz. Macadamia Nuts, finely chopped
2 cups Plain Breadcrumbs
Oil, for deep-frying
Salt for seasoning

Mango Salsa

2 medium Mangos, finely diced
3 Tbs. Red Onion, finely diced
2-3 Tbs. Cilantro, roughly chopped
1 fresh Jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
Juice from 1 lime

Cut the chicken into strips, Dust the chicken strips with the flour, then dip them in the egg and, finally, coat them generously in the combined nuts and breadcrumbs. Chill for at least 30 minutes to firm up.To make the salsa, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and season to taste with salt and black pepper. (I liked to use Kosher Salt) Set aside. Fill a large, heavy-based saucepan one-third full of oil and heat to 350 degrees, or until a cube of bread dropped in the oil browns in 15 seconds. Cook the chicken strips in batches for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown all over, taking care not to burn the nuts. Drain on crumpled paper towels. Serve the chicken strips warm with the salsa. (I baked mine in the oven at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. This turned out good but I can tell it would be better deep fried)

Sweet & Sour Chicken

3-4 Chicken Breasts
3/4 cup Sugar
4 Tbs. Ketchup
1/2 Vinegar
1 Tbs. Soy Sauce
1 tsp. Garlic Salt
Salt & pepper to taste
Corn Starch

Cut chicken in strips. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Dip chicken in cornstarch and then in egg. Fry in a little oil until brown. place in baking dish. mix together sugar, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce & garlic salt. Pour sauce over chicken. bake for 1 hour @ 325 degrees. Turn chicken every 15 minutes. Serve over rice.

Chicken & Rice with Rosemary
1 Whole Chicken, small
3-4 cup Chicken Broth
3-4 cups Water
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbs. Fresh Rosemary, chopped
Basil, dried
2-3 Tbs. Garlic, minced
2 cups Rice
Salt & Pepper for seasoning

Remove skin from chicken and rinse. Place chicken in slow cooker. Add chicken broth & water. There should be enough liquid to cover about 2/3 of the chicken. Coat top of chicken with EVOO. Sprinkle garlic, fresh rosemary and basil on and around chicken. Cook chicken on high for about 5 hours. The chicken should fall apart very easily when it is finished cooking.

Next, separate chicken fromt he broth mixture, placing chicken pieces in a large bowl. Strain the broght mixture, saving all broth. straining the broth will ensure no small bones are left in the broth. Put about 4 cups of strained broth back into slow cooker. Shred chicken and add back into slow cooker also. Add 2 cups rice. Check the slow-cooker often, sritting each time. You will probably have to add more broth while the rice finishes cooking. When rice is tender, the dish is done. Season with salt and pepper. (I tried not to open the crockpot to stir to often because it makes it take much longer to cook the rice).

Chicken with Spicy Peanut Sauce

1 lb. Chicken Breasts
1 Green Onion, cut into several pieces
1 piece of Ginger, cut into several pieces
1 Tbs. Cooking Sheery
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
a little water

1 Tbs. Peanut Butter
2 1/2 Tbs. Canola Oil
3 1/2 Tbs. Soy Sauce
2 Tbs. Sugar
2 tsp. Vinegar
1/2 tsp. Sesame Oil
1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 Tbs. Green Onion, minced
2 Tbs. cilantro, chopped

Cook all ingredients except those for the sauce together in a shallow pan, cover, over med-low heat for 20 minutes. Allow chicken to cool slightly, cut into strips. Make sauce while chicken is cooking.

Whisk sauce ingredients together without cooking. Serve over chicken and rice.

Oven "Fried" Parm Chicken Fingers

For Chicken:
1 cloved, Garlic, crushed
1/4 lb. Butter, melted
1 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Tbs. chopped fresh Parsley
1 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
3 Chicken Breasts, thawed & cut into strips

For Honey Mustard Sauce
2 Tbs. Cornstarch
1 cup Water, divided
1/2 cup Honey
1/4 cup Prepared Mustard

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine crushed garlic with melted buatter. in another small bowl mix together the bread crumbs, cheese, parsley, salt & pepper. Dip chicken strips into garlic butter, then into crumb mixture to coat. Place coated chicken pieces into a lightly greased 9x13 pan. Drizzle with remaining garlic butter & bake uncovered in preheated oven for 35-40 min., or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.

Dissolve cornstach in 1 Tbs. water in a saucepan over low heat. Add honey and mustard, mix well. Add remaining water, bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 1 min., stirring constantly. Serve with chicken for dipping.

Orange Beef & Asparagus Stir Fry

3/4 cup Orange Juice
3 tbs. Soy Sauce
1 cup Honey
1 Tbs. Cornstarch
1 tsp. Chili Oil
1 lb. Flank Steak, cut into thin strips
2 Tbs. Peanut Oil or Canola Oil
2 cups Asparagus, cut into 2" pieces
1 red Pepper, cut into strips
1/2 cup sliced Green Onion
1 cup Shredded Carrots
2 tsp. Fresh Ginger, grated
1 tsp. Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Honey roasted Peanuts

In a bowl, combine orange juice, soy sauce, honey, cornstarch and chili oil. Add steak strips, tossing to combine. Heat 1 Tbs. peanut or canola oil in large skillet, over high heat. Add Asparagus and stir fry for 4 min. Add peppers, scallions, carrots, stir fry 1 min. Add ginger and garlic, stirfry 1 min. Remove veggies to a bowl.

Heat remaining Tbs. of oil & add steak with desired amount of marinade to make sauce for veggies and to go over rice. Stirfry 3-4 minutes. Add reserved vegetables, stirfry until heated through. Serve over rice. Top with peanuts.

Savory Baked Chicken

1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup Butter, melted
3 Tbs. Lemon Juice
1 Tbs. Dried Oregano
1 tsp. Garlic Salt
1 tsp. Dried Crushed Rosemary
1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
2 1/2 lbs. Chicken Breast Tenders

In a large ziplock combine olive oil and next 6 ingredients, add chicken. Seal bag and chill for at least 1 hours, turning occasionally. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove chicken from marinade and place in 9x13 pan. Spoon some of the marinade over chicken and bake 25-35 minutes. Serve over rice with some of the juices from the pan.

Chicken Spaghetti

2 cups cooked chicken
2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely diced green pepper
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1-4 oz jar diced pimentos, drained
3 cups dry spaghetti, broken into two inch pieces
2 cups reserved chicken broth from pot
1 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 additional cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Bring water to a boil & add chicken parts. When finished cooking remove chicken from water and set aside. Reserve two cups of broth in a small dish. Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup cheese and reserved broth. Slowly add broth until spaghetti mixture is stirable but not soupy. Add as much or little as needed. Place mixture in 9x13 pan and top with remaining sharp cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly.

Hope that you enjoy these recipes!