Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tomato Chicken

I don't know what else to call this except tomato chicken. It is so good, and it is by far the easiest thing I have made in quite awhile.

First, here are two pictures of Oscar trying to get at the food while I'm cooking!

The first thing that you need to do is heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a pan. Add the chicken breasts, 1/2 yellow onion diced, 2 cloves diced garlic, salt and pepper. Cook about 3 minutes per side, until lightly browned on each side.

Add 1/2 cup dry white wine, bring to a boil and let simmer for a few minutes.

Add one can petite diced tomatoes (drained) and oregano. Partially cover and let simmer five to seven minutes, until the sauce becomes a bit thicker and the chicken is done.

I served mine with the Parmesan garlic rice by Rice a Roni.

We are now sitting down at the kitchen table to eat and Oscar is plotting his move to get on the counter and eat the remnants...

He is getting closer....

Now he has come up behind Dad and is trying to figure out how to get on the table without us noticing.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

In Tribute to the Colts Game Today...

Let's go Colts! Just one of our favorite clips from SNL when Peyton Manning was the host!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Feeling Reflective

I can't believe it has been almost eight months since we have been married. I can't believe how time flies! I just thought I would post some pictures for everyone.

Here is a card that Vicki made for us - it is one of our engagement photos, and one of each of us when we were little. I will write the word at the end of this post.
A picture from the wedding...
A picture from our wedding slide show - one of Kevin when he was little!

And one of Heather :)
The words on the card are:

The Magic of Love
Love is like magic, and it always will be. For love still remains life's sweet mystery! Love works in ways that are wondrous and strange and there's nothing in life that love cannot change. Love can transform the most commonplace into beauty and sweetness and splendor and grace. Love is unselfish, understanding and kind, for it sees with its heart and not with it's mind! Love is the answer that everyone seeks... Love is the language that heart speaks. Love can't be bought, it is priceless and free. Love, like pure magic, is life's sweet mystery! ~ Helen Steiner Rice ~

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My 'famous' Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

I have to apologize ahead of time because I forgot to take pictures at each step and I haven't quite figured out how to take good pictures of food yet! We love these sandwiches, but we don't make them that often because they are fried and unhealthy, but really really good!

All you need is oil for frying (I use vegetable oil), eggs, flour, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, and Franks Red Hot Sauce. Oh yeah, and chicken breasts!

The first thing that you need to do is out about a 1/2 inch of oil into a large frying pan and heat over medium to medium high heat. Then scramble eggs in one large dish, about 3 eggs will do it. In another large dish, mix a good amount of flour, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt to taste.

I did take any pictures of this part, but you will take the chicken breasts and dredge them in the flour, then the egg mixture, then back through the flour. I usually repeat this step so the chicken breasts are double breaded. Reduce the heat on the oil to medium and add the chicken breasts. Allow to cook about 5 minutes and then flip them. Cook another 5 minutes or so, or until both sides of the chicken are a golden brown. Remove from oil and pat dry with a paper towel.

Heat your broiler to low. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the breaded chicken breasts on the baking sheet. Cover each side with Franks Red Hot and then add cheese to the top. I typically use pepper jack cheese, but provolone would work well too. I also put the buns on the sheet as well so they get toasted. Allow to broil for about a minute - watch closely because the cheese melts very quickly and the buns toast pretty fast too.

We usually garnish our sandwiches with tomatoes and pickles and dip them in ranch dressing.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Really??? Did anyone know this?

Honestly - I read this on the internet and could not believe that I didn't know this before now! I literally dropped the computer and went to my cabinet to check and see if it was actually true. Turns out, it is! You know all of those fights that you get in with the aluminum foil and plastic wrap dispensers? There is a built in tab on the side of the box designed to hold the roll in the box, you just have to push it in! Of course, this tidbit of information would have been helpful over the holidays when I was wrapping layer after layer of cookies in plastic wrap and the roll kept coming out of the box. Anyhow, I just had to share because I refuse to believe I'm the only person who didn't know these tabs existed.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Oreo Balls

Kelly gave me this recipe over the phone just before Christmas and said I just had to make it because they were so good. So, I tried the recipe and she was right! They are really good and really addicting. I made them again this weekend for the Hall Christmas and everyone wanted to know how to make them, so here it is:

All you need is one package of Oreo cookies (any kind will work - I prefer the mint), one 8 oz package of whipped cream cheese, and chocolate candy coating (I use the vanilla kind, but you can use any type).

The first thing that you need to do is separate the filling into one bowl and the cookies into another. Add the whipped cream cheese in with the filling.

Use a hand mixer to blend the filling and cream cheese together.

Crumble the cookie part and add to the filling mixture.

Fold the crumbled cookies into the mix. Don't use the hand mixer because it will turn a weird gray color.

Roll into small balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.

Put in the refrigerator for about an hour, or until they get firm.

Melt chocolate over medium-low heat on the stove. Once melted, turn down to low.

Dip the balls into the chocolate and let harden. It's quick if you put them in the freezer for about 5 minutes.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

For all of you who might miss the snow.... it came today! We are lucky enough not to get snow totals in feet here, only about 5 or 6 inches, but that's still quite a bit! Here are some pictures. I'll take more tomorrow during the daytime - we didn't get home until after dark today.

A Marriage Built to Last

Last night Kevin and I started a new 6 week class at our church called a Marriage Built to Last. I was surprised at the number of couples in the class ranging from our age to people that have been married for 30+ years. Kevin even ran into a lady that he went to Hanover with! We wanted to take this class to learn how to make our marriage stronger. Let's face it - nobody has a perfect marriage. There are always areas for improvement. Anyhow, the class includes a video/workbook series by Chip Ingram. You can view the website here. There is a video on the website also that tells more about the series. Kurt Warner is also very involved in this series, for all you football fans. Anyhow, it's a great series that anyone can facilitate. Maybe it's something you want to do in your church or small groups!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Tex-Mex Chicken Soup

I can't say that I came up with this idea on my own. I have been reading the blog The Noble Pig for about a year now. She always posts recipes with step by step photos. I love it because I like to know how things are supposed to look through the cooking process. It's a really interesting blog, you should check it out sometime. Anyway, I copied this idea from her because I like it so much. I can't promise that this will be a regular thing because everything that I cook is not always blog worthy :)

I love soup, I just don't get around to making it as often as I would like to. Today, since it's about 8 degrees outside, we thought it was the perfect day to have soup for lunch. I really like this recipe because it's really simple, and is really healthy. The name probably makes you think that it is spicy, but it really isn't, which is why we add hot sauce to ours. Here is what you need to do:

Prepare the chicken that you are going to use. I prefer to buy the rotisserie chicken at the store because it is already cooked. However, you can boil a chicken or bake some chicken breasts instead.

Shred the chicken into a bite size pieces into a bowl and set aside. Usually the rotisserie chickens give you a lot of chicken, so I reserve half of it to use in another recipe.

Dice about 3/4 of an onion, and 2 cloves of garlic. You can add diced green peppers if you want, I just didn't have any at home. Saute in a heavy duty pot (the same pot you will make the soup in) with a tiny bit of olive oil, until the onions are translucent.

Add 3 regular sized cans of low sodium chicken broth, one 14.5 oz can of undrained diced tomatoes, black pepper and salt to taste, 1 to 2 tablespoons of chili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon cumin. I also add some hot sauce. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. Add one cup frozen corn and the shredded chicken. Simmer for about 5-10 minutes.

I like to serve the soup with crushed tortilla chips, diced avocado, and shredded cheese. It also goes well with any type of bread.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Goals for 2009

I have never been good about New Year's resolutions for two reasons.

1. They were just too ambitious to keep. For example: I'm not going to eat out for lunch anymore. Let's be honest - I don't do well with leftovers, anyone who knows me can tell you that. There are also just times when we don't have much food in the house and I don't want to go to the store, like today when it's a whopping 10 degrees outside.
2. I made up something that I wasn't really serious about, like I'm not going to watch so much TV. I love TV and it's my down time after I get home from work, and then Kevin and I have our shows that we watch together, so that was a New Year's resolution that was doomed from the start.

This year, we have decided to make some goals for ourselves, instead of resolutions, although they are kind of one in the same.

1. Pay off our debt, with the obvious exception of things like car loans and the mortgage. We feel lucky to not have a lot of debt, but we can make a plan to get rid of it.
2. Get healthier. Before the holidays, I got into Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. It was awesome and kicked my butt for about a week. Then the holidays came with all of the business and the food... It was probably not a great idea to start it before the holidays. Now that they are over, I'm hoping to get in at least one workout a day. I'm really hoping for one in the morning and one in the evening, but I understand that might not always be possible. Kevin is really into his perfect push-ups - it cracks me up, but if that's what he wants to do, that is OK with me!

3. Eat healthier. We don't eat that unhealthy, but some changes could be made. We are not very good about eating balanced meals, so will be our goal. Oh yes, and to not eat so much 3 cheese texas toast. We will no longer buy that in bulk!
4. Have date nights at least once a week. No, we don't have kids and are pretty much together all the time. However, we tend to eat dinner in front of the tv most nights, where we aren't really talking because we are watching the shows. I'm talking about dinner at the table without the tv on.

We will see how those things go! Stay tuned for updates!

Welcome 2010!

We are really happy to begin our first New Year together as a married couple! We can't believe that we have been married for 7 months now - it seems like the time has flied! We haven't really made any New Year's Resolutions, except for my desire to start a blog. I have been thinking about it for awhile, but never really got around to it. I think it's a great way for us to keep in touch with family and friends that we don't get to talk to or see very often.

We spent New Year's Eve with our friends Ben, Heather, Jim and Ashley, at Britton Tavern. The Flying Toasters were playing there. If you remember, they are the band that played at our wedding. We really love them, so it really wasn't much of a shock to anyone that we were doing that for NYE. We really did have a blast, and called it a night around 1am - which is the latest that we have been out in awhile. I guess we are getting old!

On New Year's Day we spent the majority of the day in the basement watching football and watching Ohio State win the Rose Bowl! We were so excited that they finally were able to play at their best in a BCS game. My parents got us an Ohio State flag (along with a North Carolina flag for Kevin). Kevin was such a good husband and went outside to hang it in 15 degree weather. I would have taken a picture of it, but it was too cold for me to go outside!

We hope that everyone has a very happy and healthy 2010! Here are some pictures from NYE: