I like to have "pantry dinners" in my bag of tricks for when I need something easy for dinner.
My friend "pinned" this chicken recipe and I thought I would give it a try.
A quick note on Pinterest ~ I don't get it. I mean I understand the concept, but whenever I try and find something I just get 500 "pins" of the same thing. When I click on a "pin" to get more info I'm inevitably sent to another board with nothing more than the same pic and link to another board. Ugh
Anyhoo... my friend's pin showed up facebook, I clicked and found this easy and surprisingly tasty recipe. If you need an easy meal that is made with stuff you probably you hand give this bad boy a try
Chicken Ala Tiffani (aka Italian Chicken)
4 Chicken Breasts
8 oz lite Cream Cheese
1 can Fat Free Cream of Chicken Soup
1 packet of Italian Dressing Mix
12 oz Whole Grain Pasta
Now the original "pin" had this as a crockpot recipe and while it worked okay, I think if you sauteed the chicken in some garlic and EVOO it would add some nice additional flavor (if veggies are your thing, throw in a couple of those as well)
For the crockpot ~ combine the first 4 ingreds in the crockpot and cook on low for 4 hours and then serve over cooked pasta.
Now while this isn't going to win you Top Chef, it was tasty enough to get the thumbs up from the kiddos so that is "winner" in my book.
As a teacher who is now on the parent side, I see things from quite a different perspective.
It can be tough to have been "brought up" to believe certain things are "best practice" and when I don't see them happening it makes me go hmmmmm.
A while back I posted about my Jerry McGuire moment.
I truly believe that you are either part of the problem or part of the solution and I'm choosing to be part of the solution.
One of the perks of being a former teacher is that I know how the game is played. Parents have a lot more power than they realize, but the trick to say things in a way in which you will be heard.
Tonight a group of parents will start this ball rolling in hopes of raising the level of possibilities for our children.
We joke we are at war with the status quo, so who better than to be our unofficial mascot than William Wallace himself. (think what you may about Mr Gibson... Braveheart is one of the best movies of all time and William Wallace could not be any more swoonworthy) So embracing "What would William Wallace do?" We will stand up for our kids and fight the good fight so that they receive the kind of education they deserve taught by inspired educators.
Here in the PNW we have a little candy company called Brown and Haley.
(Maybe you are familiar with Almond Roca ~ no Christmas is complete without it, just fyi)
Well they also make something called a Mountain Bar.
I loved these when I was little and hadn't seen them in the store in years. Yesterday my mom and I were in a little local gift shop and they had them. I plunked down my 69 cents and chose the Peanut Butter one.
As I was about to rip into it, I decided I would just check to see what the calorie count on this baby was.
It stopped dead in my tracks. I was so excited for my peanut buttery goodness, but I just couldn't justify that many "empty" calories (especially with something the size of a half dollar) so I put it in my purse. Later in the day, I decided that if I just ate half of it that would be better than all of it. I ate half of it and it just wasn't as good as I remembered and certainly not worth the calories I just gave up.
I was bummed yet proud of myself at the same time.
The old me would have just popped it in my mouth and not given it a second thought (I might have even gotten a second one for the road, tsk tsk) but my newly more aware self took a second to think, evaluate and then decide.
Even though I still ate half of it, I realized that I won't be temped in the future and a Butterfinger mini packs the same punch (maybe even slightly better) and is on 80 calories.
It all comes down to choices and every calorie saved gets me that much closer to my goal.
As with every January 1st we look ahead with excitement for things to come.
Fresh starts always seem to be the theme of the day.
Trying to get a jump start on my New Year's Resolution, I started mine on Dec. 2nd.
I was watching a YouTube video on simplifying and the chick made a good point ~ why wait?
So I didn't.
I've really been trying to be more mindful of my eating.
Most days go well, some are less than stellar, but still much better than before.
Focus on the positive, right??
One of my goals is to eat more eggs. I'm not a huge egg fan to begin with, but I know they are a good source of protein and good way to start your day. For me, the secret for eating eggs is to mix them with things I do like so I've been enjoying this little breakfast casserole.
I whip it up on Sunday and breakfast is ready for the week.
The best part it is only 230 calories per slice and surprisingly filling.
Pair it with some fruit or a smoothie and you are good to go.
Benji's Egg Casserole
3 servings of hash browns
1 C 1% milk
2 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1 C bacon bits (I use the Kirkland "fresh" bacon bits)
In a 9x9 pan layer hash browns, eggs/milk, bacon and cheese
Bake at 350 for 55 min
Makes 6 servings
The house is quiet so I thought I would do a little post of our annual Christmas party.
It was a few weeks ago and it went really well.
Way back when, I remember watching an episode of the Wonder Years and it was about the neighbors who threw a Christmas party every year.
I remembered thinking, "when I grow up, I want to be those neighbors".
When we bought our current house, we kicked off our annual shindig tradition ("Yokofest" as it is known in the hipster circles of Browns Point).
This year it was legan (wait for it) dary.
We had over 50 folks so up and the house was FULL and buzzing with that good party vibe. We have a pretty eclectic group of friends but it is usually the same crowd year after year. So despite the fact folks are from all over W. WA, they have gotten to know each other making mingling much easier.
After 8 parties, I think my sister-in-law and I have found the secret. We kept the food simple. In years past we have found ourselves slaving away in the kitchen and not with our guests. What's the point of having a party if you don't get to enjoy yourself?? This year, the goal was to have all the food done and out by 7:30-7:45. The party starts at 7 but we know folks like to be fashionably late so this worked out perfectly.
We pride ourselves on a good spread. Good food and lots of it. We try and offer lots of options (nothing worse than going to a party and you don't like or can't eat any of the food) It is a lot of work, but the end result is worth it.
At the end of the night, the best part is always the people. We are so blessed to have so many dear friends who make the pilgrimage every year to kick off the holidays in our home and I wouldn't have it any other way.