Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Parmesan Fried Chicken Tenders

I would like to start this recipe by declaring my undying love for my electric skillet. My Gramae had an older version of this. The outside was an orange-red and it sat on a small shelf beside her kitchen table. She used it almost every day. I would walk in and smell the chicken or country fried steak. The apples or pancakes. It was a multipurpose tool.
For some reason, I forgot about this type of cooking appliance. I saw one on Amazon while making my Wish List a couple of years ago. (By the way, these are really fun to do. It is like shopping. Like when you got to do a wedding registry or for your baby. You pick all sorts of fun stuff out, email your list to family, and then wait for the surprises at the holidays!! ) I saw this skillet and all those memories came flooding back.
My wonderful mother-in-law got this for me 2 Christmases ago. I don't think a week has gone by where we do not use it. I highly recommend buying one of these.

I found this recipe on Pinterest. I changed it up some. I also tried to do the butter sauce. It was an epic fail. I am horrible at sauces. I need to take a class on them or something.

Ingredients:

1 pound chicken tenderloins
2 egg whites
2 tsp corn starch
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs ( I save the heels of my GF Udi's bread in the freezer for times when I need breadcrumbs)
1/2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Combine the egg whites, cornstarch, and a tablespoon of lemon juice in a shallow dish for dredging. Combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley, salt, and pepper in food processor. Pulse until small crumbs are formed. Pour into another shallow dish.
Dredge each chicken tender in the egg white mixture, and then in the breadcrumb mixture. Make sure the chicken is completely covered with the breadcrumbs. Set to the side on a dish until all are done
Preheat skillet to medium high
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Add butter to skillet
Fry chicken on each side 2-3 minutes
Transfer chicken to greased baking sheet
Cook 8-10 minutes

Serve!!



Monday, March 24, 2014

Cleanse Shmeanse

For those of you who have been following along, I just finished up a cleanse today. I went on this terrible difficult healthy cleanse to try and make my stomach feel better. I have had stomach issues for a while now. I went off gluten and am taking some medicine and it has gotten way better. Lately, though, I have started feeling bloated and yucky, so I wanted to get all the junk out of my body in order to feel better and find out what was bothering me.

I did not have that hard of time with this cleanse. It is easy to follow. It changes every day. It is full of foods I like. Sure I had a LONG day when I was working at the Sweet Shoppe, but I am proud to say I persevered. And I have not had one single pop in over a week!!
fruit smoothie (frozen cherries, pineapple, and water)



I did not go on this cleanse to lose weight. I am happy at my weight. The article said I would lose 10-17 pounds. Well, I gained one. This is not the cleanse's fault. This is the way my body works. 
 tomatoes, corn, peppers, onions, broccoli

This food plan had very little fat in it. My body does not do well on these types of diets. I never lose weight like this. Which is fine, this diet was very healthy and I could eat as much as I want. But it did confirm my "fat hoarding" theory. My body hoards fat. When I was a nursing mother four times over, people would always say "That baby weight will just fall off of you when you nurse". Nope. Not me. My body was trying to get rid of more fat than normal and it freaked out and my metabolism almost went into a coma. There was little fat content in my milk. My kids never gained much weight until I switched them to formula. I tried all the natural methods and pumping and even some medication and nothing worked. As soon as I quit nursing, I would lose 20 pounds within the first month. I am a fat hoarder. 
I love peas
Now if I ever do a low carb diet, I lose weight like crazy. Probably because I have always been sensitive to gluten and did not know it until now. When I think about it, anytime I have consumed a lot of starchy foods, I feel bad and get bloated. 
fruit salad, yummy yummy
This week has confirmed for me that my hormones are the culprit for my stomach issues. I will be reading about some different natural approaches to controlling them over the next few weeks. I'll let you know what I decide to do.  For now I will be limiting my consumption of starchy foods (grains and potatoes) to 2-3 servings a day. I will make sure I have good fats and fruits and veggies with every meal. Speaking of good fats, my daddy is bringing me some milk from our cow who just calved. She is grass fed and a Jersey, so this will be some yummy, sweet milk. As my Dada always said, The Cream of the Crop.

grass fed ground beef patties with tomatoes
The other thing I have noticed this week is my insomnia is back with a vengeance. Maybe it is something else, maybe not. I have not felt lethargic all week, but I have not felt "right"
steamed cauliflower
So anyway, here is my theory. Every one's body responds to things differently. Different diets affect people different ways. Different workouts work for some people and not for others. You just have to find what's right for you.
pineapple water
Many good things came from this week. I am no longer drinking pop. I have gotten used to drinking a lot of water and I like it. I have switched to homemade, all natural creamer. I realized I like eating lots of fruits and veggies every day. I have been doing some form of exercise every day. So I am not disappointed in the least.
fried apples with cinnamon
So, what works for you? Maybe if we all share, we all will find something new to try. 









Sunday, March 23, 2014

Gramae's Pineapple Rice (My favorite food EVER)


I posted a picture of pineapple rice on FB a few weeks ago and several people asked for the recipe. Usually when I talk about this, people act like it sounds gross. So I am really happy to share it with you all. My Gramae used to make this all the time, and her mother , Mama Hall,  did as well. It is my comfort food. 


Pineapple Rice
  • 2 cups white rice (I am sure brown would work too. If we are having rice for supper, I usually just make 2 more cups to save for this. I have used 2 day old rice and it still tastes good. I also use minute rice, which my mother and grandmother advise against. But it works just fine for me)
  • Milk, Half and Half, or Cream (this is a matter of preference. I love cream the best, but it is full of fat. I am not sure skim milk would work, but I think coconut milk would be good in this. As for an amount, I start with half a cup.)
  • Pineapple (once again, a matter of preference. I use pineapple tidbits, but crushed would work as well. I have never used fresh because you need to use some juice from the can)
  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice (as mentioned above, I use some of what is in the can)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • sugar to taste (I think honey would work well too and I will try it next time)





Instructions:
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add  all the ingredients. 
  2. Stir well 
  3. Bring to a simmer
  4. Stir one more time, put burner on LOW, and put lid on
  5. Let it sit for 8-10 minutes (I stir it every 2 minutes to keep things from sticking
  6. Serve it hot (or cold, my dad and I love it straight from the refrigerator the next day)



This recipe makes a great breakfast. Or dessert. Or lunch.....
Seriously it is so good and naturally gluten free and wonderful. I know it sounds weird, but if you like pineapple and rice, you will like this. I promise. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thursday's Thoughts

Technically it is Friday. But i have not been to bed, so it is still Thursday to me!
~ MARCH MADNESS!! Need I say more?
~ Actually, yes I do need to say more. I have Florida winning it all on my realistic bracket and Kentucky on my wishful bracket. When Florida almost blew it today, I was freaking out. We have all our curriculum until the beginning of April based on basketball. We all fill out a bracket. I do 2. D picks his teams because he knows how good they are because he watches sports ALL THE TIME. Kiki picks based on uniform and how fun the team's name is to say. For instance, she had Wofford going to the Elite Eight because she likes the way it sounds. LM picks according to mascot. Here is her theory : A horse trumps everything. A dog beats everything but a horse. If it is neither of these, she picks whichever team has an animal. If they both have animals, she picks based on which one could kill the other. This hurt her this year. She had Western Michigan winning the whole thing because they are the Bronocs :( At the end of the tournament, whoever had the most correct picks gets to pick what we do for a family night. D is already planning his: City BBQ followed by the Lego movie. I am thinking about having everyone snuggle up all day, eating takeout, and watching the entire Little Rascals collection.
~ I am doing a seven day cleanse. I have had only fruits and veggies for the last 3 days. It isn't as bad as I thought it would be. I cheated just a little by adding peanut butter and milk a little bit each day so my medicine won't make my stomach hurt. But I am excited to be making changes to my diet. After this, I am going to follow the fat resistance diet. Not to lose weight, but because it is supposed to also help regulate hormones. This is it if you want to see what it's all about.
~ Jimmy Fallon might just be my most favorite celebrity EVER. Wait, my second favorite. Harry Connick Jr. is my all time favorite. But anyway, Jimmy is great. The kids and I watch it every night. They love it too!! D and LM are fighting right now about which one will be the host after Jimmy retires.
~ I have been working really hard to get my house organized and clean. What I used to do was clean and organize a room and then move on to the next. However, while I was cleaning that room, the other ones would get messed up again. I finally have found a "system" that works for me and I am keeping things clean. It is amazing how much happier I am in the morning not to wake up to a chaotic house.
~ I am also trying to "work out" a little each day. Tonight I lasted a whopping 3.5 minutes on the elliptical so I see the Olympics in my future
~ We were outside almost all day today. Like the awesome mother I am, I totally forgot to sunscreen my kids. Kiki is a little pink, LM is browning up, and D and Jo look the same. These kids' Italian roots keeps them from burning. When we went to the beach, I would put SPF 35 on the before we headed out for the day and never reapply. They barely tanned! Me, on the other hand, turn into one big, red freckle. And that's only after 10 minutes.
~ So we have a few nice days, and then it is back to coldness for about a week. Stupid winter. This mama wants to plant stuff!! #TeamSpring
~ Billy Joel is on The Tonight Show. I will never forget the time Jeremy, Alysia, Kelly, and I had nosebleed tickets to see Elton and Billy and when we walked in they moved us to the SECOND ROW ON THE FLOOR!! For real, the Backstreet Boys came in and where a row behind us . One of my all time favorite concerts.
~ My very favorite concert was when Mandi and I saw Stevie Knicks at a small amphitheater. She was fantastic.Or wait, no, last summer;s NKOTB concert was the best ever.  Celine's concert was great too. And Alanis's. And Janet's. OOH I almost forgot Alison Krauss.  I freaking love concerts. Live music is my favorite thing ever.
~ I am reading a book about the affect shame has on us. It is really enlightening. It will change the kind of friend I am.
~ I did not like the Divergent books, but I think the movie looks good. Is it?
~ We are trying to plan a vacation and I was asking LM where she wants to go. She wants to go to Burgin. BURGIN. For a week!! We go there all the time. She kills me. She worships my daddy and wants to live with him. She would not even miss me.
~ Speaking of Burgin, Jo spent the night there on Monday. This is the first time she has spent the night away from me in well over a year. Not because I don't want her to (sort of) but because she refused. She all the sudden decided to go and had a great time! I am so proud of her.
~ Kiki has decided to have a slumber party for her birthday this year. Seeing as how I am the self proclaimed Queen of The Slumber Party, I am pretty excited for this. I had a slumber party every year for my birthday from the time I was 8 until I was 22. Raise your hand if you attended one, or all, of these.  No one stays up later than me. Many have tried, but they failed!!

~ I am getting my hair done next week. I think I want this color.
img5050b1968024899357e26ea004e60e5e Short layered bob hairstyles 2014
and maybe this cut.
bob haircuts for round faces
or this
Short hair
or back to short but more bangs......
Who knows what I will pick. Maybe I'll let Alicia pick for me

Anywho, that's all I have for this week. What about you? Thoughts??

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Our version of Irish Soda Bread

All month we have been learning about St. Patrick's Day and Ireland. We read about shamrocks. We found Ireland on our map and colored their flag. Last week we decided to make Irish Soda Bread. 
We used this recipe we found on Pinterest. There are a million of them. We also looked up the history of this bread. We learned a lot of fun facts. 


 I had the two oldest take turns reading the recipe for us. We talked about the different types of measurements. Each child took turns adding ingredients to the bowl. I decided to move everything to our dining room instead of having everyone crowding in the kitchen.




They also took turns mixing the dough. Then everyone got a chance to knead it as well. We added raisins to ours, which, we learned, is called Spotted Dog Bread. The kids thought that was hilarious.

When we took it from the oven, they all got to enjoy a piece of warm homemade bread. They loved it! These are the activities that make me love homeschooling. 









Thursday, March 13, 2014

Share the Health


I am blessed to know many wonderful people from all walks of life. Every person is different and cares about different things. The common thread, I have noticed, was health. It may be physical, mental, or emotional, but there is some aspect of health that we all think about. I thought it would be fun to start a Facebook group that addresses this commonality and celebrates it. A place were we could come and ask questions about fitness, foods, and stress relief. A place were we could share each other's successes, no matter how small. A place where we could learn about new things we have never heard of. A place were we can ask others who have really tried something how it worked for them. A place free of judgement. 


I am proud to say we have created just that. The page is called Share the Health. I could not be more happy about it. It is the first thing I check in the morning and the last thing I read before I go to bed. I thought it would be a page where about 10 of my friends joined. I started it last week and we already have 82 members!! If you are on FB and would like to join, let me know and I will add you. 


So far we have discussed a variety of subjects. Oil pulling, gluten, FitBit, at home workouts, dental health, breastfeeding, natural beauty products and so much more. The thing I love is that no one is on there arguing. If something is not for you , you can just not get involved in the discussion. This page is not about weight loss or going totally organic. It is about you and how you can get your family closer to the people you want them to be. We joke and encourage one another. I seriously love it. 




Monday, March 10, 2014

Titan Cookies

These cookies are so yummy and chewy and chocolaty and peanut buttery and oatmeal filled and OMGoodness I am going to have to make some right now!!


I found the recipe on this blog and tweaked it a little. I can never make a recipe the exact way it says. I am such a rebel.

We named them Titan Cookies because I made them during the TITAN SNOWPOCALYPSE...

Oops!! I forgot to mention: GLUTEN FREE BABY!!!


Ingredients:
  • ⅔ cups quick cooking Oats (gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 cup  Peanut Butter (I used Jif Crunchy)
  • ⅔ cups Brown Sugar
  •  Large Eggs
  • 1-½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract (i just started using the real Vanilla and not the imitation stuff. It may be more expensive, but WOW, can you taste the difference!)
  • 1 cup semi sweet Chocolate Chips
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In small bowl, mix together the oats and baking soda; set aside
  3. .In a stand mixer, beat peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth, about 3 minutes. 
  4. Add dry ingredients and mix
  5.  Fold in chocolate chips with a spatula
  6. Use a medium size scoop and place scoops onto cookie sheet 2 inches apart, then barely flatten the top of the cookie with your hand. 
  7. Bake cookies for 9-15 (i know this is a wide range, but my oven cooks longer than some and I don't want you to burn yours!) minutes and remove when edges barely begin to turn a golden brown. The cookies may look a little underdone, but they will continue to cook once you remove them from the oven. 
  8. Cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool 

Makes 16-20 cookies.