Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Smothered Chicken

Happy Wednesday!

Today is a sad day for me - one of the girls I work with is leaving the company and moving to Virginia.  It's an exciting time for her and her husband but a sad time for those of us who have to look at an empty desk for the next few weeks until her replacement gets here.  

This girl is really one in a million.  She always has a positive attitude and she is one of those people that you feel lucky to know.  We're really going to miss her!

One thing we have in common is our love of food.  I shared this recipe with her yesterday and I think you will like it too.

Lightly Smothered Chicken  (Recipe from this website http://www.nutmegnanny.com/2011/01/17/lightly-smothered-chicken/)

Ingredients
12 oz boneless skinless chicken breast - grilled (I used the Tyson Ready Grilled Chicken - such a time saver!)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 green bell pepper - sliced (I used two)
8oz mushrooms - sliced (I omitted these)
1 large onion - cut in half and sliced
1 clove garlic - minced
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper - to taste
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat olive oil in pan and add green peppers, mushrooms and onions. Saute until soft and then add garlic, oregano and salt and pepper. Stir together and set aside.

In an 8x8 pan add the grilled chicken. Slather chicken evenly with dijon mustard.

Take warm vegetables and top chicken. Cover vegetables and chicken with reduced fat cheese.

Cook in the oven until the cheese is melted. Approximately 10 minutes.

And, for your viewing pleasure, here is the recipe by pictures.





Oh.my.word was this amazing!  The best part?  It took me less than 20 minutes from start to finish.  It's a real winner in my book!

Question of the Day:
What's your favorite veggies?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, July 29, 2013

If You Give A Kid A Pen.....

Happy Monday!

How was your weekend?  Mine was great!  On Saturday, we took the little guy to my mom's house and the hubby and I went out for lunch.  Our date days are few and far between, so it was nice to spend some time with him.  

On the ride home, John was upset because he dropped something he was playing with and I couldn't easily reach it.  I dug through my purse and the only thing I could find was a pen.  We were literally ten minutes from home and he has experience with pens....no big deal, right?

Wrong.  As soon as I opened his door, I was met with a pen-covered kid.  At first he looked up at me as if he were going to be in trouble, but I started laughing.  My husband looked at me and said "well, what did you think was going to happen?"  I rushed John into the house so we could take some pictures.  After he saw that I wasn't upset, the smiles came out.



Ah, the joys of having children.

Sunday was a low key day for us.  We had crazy torrential rain, so we stayed inside for the majority of the day.  We had some bread and eggs to use up, so breakfast for dinner it was.


It's amazing how the simplest dinners can turn out to be the most delicious!

Question of the Day:
What was the highlight of your weekend?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thankful Thursday

I've been slacking hard core lately but with good reason - over the weekend and partly into the week, our house got hit with the stomach bug.  I didn't even know the stomach bug existed in the summer.....but apparently it does.

Today, I'm thankful that we're relatively back to normal.





Source

If there's one thing that I'm super phobic about it's getting sick - stomach bug sick.  Makes for a fun time with a child, doesn't it?  Thankfully I have a husband who is spectacular at handling things like this.

Question of the Day:
What are you thankful for today?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Parmesan Roasted Green Beans

We're definitely in the middle of summer.  There's a major heat wave in Philly right now with excessive heat warnings for the entire week.  Thankfully I work in an air conditioned building so I shouldn't complain too much.

One of the good parts around the summer?  The summer produce!  I picked up a bunch of green beans because I couldn't wait to try this awesome recipe from Budget Savy Diva.

Parmesan Roasted Green Beans

8 oz of green beans
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Parmesan Cheese

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400.
In a medium size mixing bowl place green beans ( trim off ends), small amount of oil ( enough to coat beans), pinch of salt and pepper. Mix till everything is covered.  Lay green beans onto a cookie sheet and sprinkle a “healthy” amount of cheese on top.  Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes – green beans should be crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Enjoy ( you can garnish with extra cheese if you like)



These were amazing!  In fact, I'm looking forward to going to our local produce store so I can make it again.  Even the little guy was a fan!

Question of the Day:
What's your favorite summer fruit or vegetable?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, July 15, 2013

Now That Was Easy

Happy Monday!

How was your weekend?  Mine was pretty great.  We're having some people over to our house this weekend, so the hubby and I spent most of our Saturday night frantically completing house projects putting the finishing touches on some projects that we had been putting off.

I go through hummus like crazy in my house - so much so that I buy it in bulk.  It's one of the few things all of us enjoy.  My mom told me about a super-simple hummus recipe that doesn't use tahini.  We tried it on Saturday and it was really yummy.

Super Easy Hummus

2 cans chickpeas
2 tsp of lemon juice
olive oil
water
salt


Put chickpeas, lemon juice and olive oil in a blender and combine.  I started off with two tablespoons of oil and gradually increased it to get the hummus to the right consistency.  I added a small mount of water and  salt towards the end.  The water helped everything move around in the blender.  I'll definitely be making this again, but next time with roasted red peppers or buffalo sauce.  The possibilities are endless!

Sunday morning I woke up to news of Cory Monteith's passing.  So, so sad and tragic.  I was a big Glee fan when the show first started and have sporadically gone in and out of my Glee-watching phases.  I feel like I knew the guy, and days later, I'm still thinking about it.  What a bummer.

Source
 Question of the Day:
What was the highlight of your weekend?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

Today, I'm thankful to get myself back on a semi-regular exercise schedule.  As a perk of sending John to his new school, the family gets a free gym membership.  Now I literally have no excuse to get myself back to the gym.  Last night I took advantage of a Zumba class and afterwards I felt amazing.  I don't think I've ever had this much fun working out.




While I'd like to think that I look like the instructor in the video below during class, truth is, I probably looked more like the lady in the white shirt.




Sidebar- I definitely give her props for her efforts.  I'd love to be able to do Zumba at her age!

Question of the Day:
What are you thankful for today?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Brownie Poppin'

I'm the person who's the last to hop on a bandwagon.  I don't know if I've been hiding under a rock, but I've recently fallen in love with the show Cake Boss.  I mean really, the talent of the bakers is extraordinary.  I like to bake, although I wouldn't consider myself particularly good at it.  I've decided to push myself a little bit, and so I think I'll have to bake more often.

My mom had a 4th of July barbecue and I told her I was going to bring a dessert.  Cupcakes were on my mind, but while I was at Target picking up the ingredients, I came across this box of goodness.


Brownie pop kit
Brownie pops are something I've always wanted to try my hand at making but have been too intimidated.  For $2.99, the kit came with the chocolate wafers, the sticks, sprinkles and brownie mix.  You can't beat that, right?  

I had little hope for these turning out okay, but I pushed on.  The first step was to bake the brownies and let them cool.


Once they are cooled, cut off the hard edges all the way around the brownie and slice into twelve pieces.  Take the brownie square and fold the corners into itself and roll until you have a ball.

Melt some of the chocolate wafers, dip the sticks into the melted chocolate and insert them in the brownie balls.



Put them in the fridge for 30-45 minutes.  Once the brownie pops have chilled in the fridge, melt the rest of the chocolate, dip the brownie pops in, cover with sprinkles and viola!  You have brownie pops.




This was the easiest dessert to make and it took much less time that I expected.  They were a hit for both the kiddos and the adults!

Question of the Day:
What's your favorite dessert to make?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Background Musings

Happy Monday Tuesday!  I was home with John yesterday - he caught another case of the croup.  I took him to the doctor with intent of getting him a nebulizer, but since he doesn't have asthma, she said it wouldn't help.  Instead I came home with a prescription for an oral steroid to give him in case of another flare up.  Thankfully, he woke up today without sounding like a seal.

Over the weekend, I went to a bridal shower for my cousin's fiancee.  It's hard to believe my cousin is getting married in almost 2 months!  It seems like we were kids just yesterday!


Bridesmaids and the bride-to-be(she's in the red)
The shower was at a restaurant called 19 Bella.  It was a quaint Italian restaurant with the best homemade macaroni and cheese I've ever tasted.  It was nice to have an afternoon out with the ladies.  We don't get too much time to hang out without the kiddos.


I was really excited to hang out with my brother's girlfriend, Linda.  She's such a sweet girl, and we don't get a lot of time to chat since we don't see each other too often.  What I do wish, though, was that the person taking this picture would've told us to move over about six inches.  (Note the photo in the background)


One of my favorite moments from the entire day was getting one-on-one time with my niece Sophia.  My cousin captured this photo and I'm in love with it.  The genuineness of her laugh and my smile makes me so happy.  On a funny note - I was asking her who she liked better - me or Uncle Kev (my brother).  Whenever she said Uncle Kev, I tickled her.  That's what was going on in this picture.


All in all it was a great weekend, and even though it was a long one, it wasn't long enough!

Question of the Day:
What was the best part of your weekend?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie