Week 16: Gingery chicken and broccoli

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This dish is incredible. The kids all voted yes on it. However, my son, who is not a fan of any chicken except Chic-Fil-A, said he liked the sauce just not the chicken. The sauce was onions, broccoli (eaten without complaint), garlic, freshly grated ginger, chicken broth, soy sauce, and pineapple juice. For once, this recipe had green on top and it was part of the recipe. It was cilantro. I’m not a big fan but made the dish as written. I think it turned out pretty close to their design. Here is my dish.

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I tasted as good as it looks. The one thing I would change is add more broccoli. One cup wasn’t enough. As for rice, I just made white rice in my rice cooker. Simple dish and quick to make. I served it with pineapple too. This is a good go-to dish on a busy night. It will be a part of our meal rotation and will make it into my purple index file box of recipes that is reserved for ones I use a lot.

This week we returned to school after a week off for spring break. We had a great time on spring break, in spite of a bit of illness. We went to the beach, Carlsbad flower fields, and my favorite restaurant – Snooze. However, the first week back was full every night. Monday was a baseball game plus two meetings for me at the middle school. Tuesday I saw my FAVORITE singer, Barry Manilow, at the Staples center, while my husband and a babysitter managed all the practices and meetings at home. Wednesday I saw my other FAVORITE singer, my son, who sang in the school choir at an Honorary Service Awards event. Thursday led us to the High School to prepare my eldest for her arrival there next year. Yikes! Friday should have been uneventful but sickness returned to our home. Whew. I wanted to make this dish and all were well and somewhat rested by Saturday to eat it.

I don’t like being this busy, especially at night. Next week is much better. All the activities we engaged in were fun, important, and worth it. We just wished they weren’t all the same week. When Saturday arrived and our only agenda was one baseball game that was 5 minutes away, we rested. We did a puzzle, I cooked, we enjoyed sitting outside in the shade, we gardened, we talked, and we just hung out. Laughter brought energy to those of us still tired. Joy invaded our home. Busy seasons and busy weeks are inevitable. We prepared ahead of time for this one.

When your season slows, make sure you slow with it. A day of rest brings joy. Rest is relative to each person too. Some rest by hiking. Some rest by doing a puzzle. Some rest by napping. However you rest, schedule some relaxation into your week or weekend. It is rejuvenating. I am sure you look at my week last week and think “she’s crazy to do all that.” Maybe, but weeks like that aren’t the norm for us. We have them periodically. I don’t enjoy them but I endure them and strive to plan ahead to make them manageable. The Bible refers to a Sabbath day – a day of rest. I feel our Saturday was our Sabbath this week. Some weeks our Sabbath is a Monday or Wednesday. I encourage you to schedule that time of rest, Sabbath, in your week. Take a Sabbath as a family. It does a body good!

Dream Big!

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Week 15: Fruit Dip

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Once again, I am blogging late.  I was delayed from last week.  It was Easter weekend then our Spring Break.  We hosted our families and friends on Easter, which was a lovely day.  The weather allowed us to eat on the patio and enjoy dessert and conversation outside too.  The day after we headed to San Diego for a few days.  Sunday afternoon, I did a quick grocery store run to fill up the refrigerator again.  When I did, I bought a brick of cream cheese.  When I got home, I dumped it in my Kitchen Aid bowl and turned it on.  Once it was creamy, I added a cup of brown sugar and a Tablespoon of vanilla extract.  After a few minutes, we had fruit dip.  Only two of my kids tried it.  One didn’t like it and the other thought it was yummy but a bit too sweet.  I, on the other hand, loved it.  As you can see from my picture of my creation, it isn’t so pretty to look at.  The picture from the website looked a bit less brown.  Not sure how to make it look pretty, maybe you can’t, but the taste will woo your guests.  It’s a quick, easy, yummy, option for a party.  I ate it with apples.  I remember making something like this years ago.  I don’t remember it looking this brown either, but remember it was good.  Not that fruit needs a dip, but if your strawberries are store-bought, most likely they need a boost these days.  Mine fruits have been so bland.  However, we bought fresh strawberries in Carlsbad and those were delicious.  No dip required.  So if you find yourself with bland fruit, whip up a quick fruit dip and restore the sweetness.

I hope your Easter weekend was joy-filled.  We truly enjoyed one another and our traditions.  One of my favorite hymns is always sung that day too “Christ the Lord is Risen Today.”  So powerful.  I hope you were able to experience the sweetness of Christ’s resurrection.  Don’t wait until next Easter to taste it again.  He is risen.  He is risen, indeed!

Dream Big!

P.S. The print is a bit hard to read.  It honestly is just cream 8 oz of cream cheese, add 1 cup brown sugar and 1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract.

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Week 14: Three Herb Chicken and Mushrooms

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I didn’t get a picture of mine and it was devoured so quickly there were no leftovers to snap a shot of.  This was a last-minute decision and so glad I made it.  Easy, easy, easy weeknight meal.  The sauce is incredible.  My one of my kids who dislikes mushrooms even liked it.  She ate no mushrooms but loved the sauce.  One of my kids even slurped the sauce off of her plate.

Once again I used chicken breasts instead of thighs.  I also doubled the amount of mushrooms.  Next time I would triple it.  The other change I did that I recommend, was adding some butter (or olive oil) when cooking the mushrooms.  It was so dry in the pan after the chicken baked in it.  For once a recipe had green in the picture and had it in the recipe.  However, I skipped the parsley.  If you live in my neighborhood, I have fresh thyme and rosemary growing in my front yard.  Feel free to come by and grab a few stalks.  I had been looking for good recipes to use these herbs.  This is one of them.  This will be a go to dish on a busy night.  One of my favorite recipes so far.  I hope you try it and add it to your cooking rotation.

Tomorrow is Easter.  I am not making anything new.  I am going for simple so I can enjoy my family and friends.  Whether you are cooking complex, enjoying someone else’s cooking, or sharing potluck, enjoy the gift of Easter Sunday.  The gift of eternal life isn’t just for our future, it is now.  Enjoy the gifts of today, of friends, of family, of the beauty of nature, of the opportunity to hug someone, of knowing that you are fully loved by God.  I hope the cute little bunny candy and decor reminds you to smile.  Life is a gift.  Let’s fully embrace that incredible gift of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, who gave His life for us.  Now He is fully alive and preparing a place for us to share forever with Him.  For now, we get to learn how to love Him more, receive His love more, share His love more, and fully be who He desires us to be.  I love you friends!  He is Risen!  He is Risen Indeed!!!!!

Dream Big!

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Week 13: Chocolate Silk Pie

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I have a few comfort foods that make life better.  Chili dogs is one and chocolate silk pie is another.  However, never together.  A few weeks ago, my husband brought home a pie.  It was a chocolate mint pie for St. Patrick’s Day.  Yummy but it reminded me of how long it had been since I had chocolate silk pie.  After a very long and trying day, I commented, “I need some chocolate silk.”  He ran to Marie Calendars to meet my craving.  We all indulged and were smiling ear to ear.  (I must say that I don’t condone eating unhealthy food to soothe your emotions.  However, everything in moderation.)  After getting a taste for it, I decided to find out if I could make one myself.  And I did. It was delicious.  My son helped me make it so he could earn a Cub Scout badge.  It took time but was easy.  The recipe required us to melt chocolate (microwave or over a pot of water).  We used the microwave.  Her trick was to add some peanut butter chips to add to the creaminess.  If you add too many, it would taste peanutty.  Her amount was perfect to keep the chocolate flavor.  If you don’t own a kitchen aid mixer, the next steps will be torture on your arm holding a hand-held mixer.  After creaming the butter and sugar, you add one egg at a time every five minutes and keep mixing at medium speed.  Super easy on a kitchen aid.  Not so much with hand-held.  I am blessed to own a kitchen aid.  The kids played ball until the timer beeped, then ran to the kitchen to add the next egg, then ran off.  After pouring the mixture into a store-bought chocolate pie crust, it was put in the refrigerator overnight to set.  Here is my pie. wpid-20150330_181927.jpg The weird part is that this is no bake and it had 4 eggs.  I felt a bit weird eating raw eggs in a recipe.  However, after the first bite, all concerns left.  No one got a tummy ache so I trust all is well.  This is truly a tasty pie.  I didn’t add whipped cream or shavings since the best chocolate silk pie doesn’t usually have that.  You can add whatever you like. I do recommend this pie.  It’s not too late if you still need an Easter dessert.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Dream Big! wpid-screenshot_2015-03-30-21-09-26.pngP.S. This is actually from last week but we didn’t eat it until Monday so I couldn’t write it up last week. However, Week 14 will be posted momentarily so we are all caught up.