Saturday, November 26, 2011

Freezer Recipe: Rosemary Chicken

First new dinner recipe in a long time!

Rosemary Chicken

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons Rosemary Leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, halved (Later)

Mix all the first 6 ingredients together in a freezer bag.  Then add the chicken breasts cut to appropriate size.  Squish the bag around to coat, then freeze.  

When you are ready to cook:  First, thaw overnight, then pour into a baking dish with the small red potatoes.  Mix it all together , place in a thin layer on a baking dish and bake at 425 for 30-35 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  

This recipe was adapted from McCormick's recipe found here.

I bought 30 pounds of chicken....and then sent my husband back for more!

So, after a freezer cooking hiatus, I got a serious bug, and made plans to make a TON of freezer meals.  I wanted some new recipes also so you'll be seeing them, too!

Here's what I made:

chicken fingers
stovetop chicken casserole
hot "wing" chicken
italian chicken
low fat cream cheese stuffed chicken
shredded cooked chicken for easy chicken noodle soup
walnut chicken
chicken cannelloni
stir fry lemon chicken
rosemary chicken

I ran out of chicken, but have the ingredients for coconut adobo chicken and tex mex chicken soup.

So, right now I have 26 meals in my freezer!  Plus, we just made some super yummy turkey broth I can't wait to make soup out of, and 2 bags full of yummy banana muffins with chocolate chips and walnuts!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Christmas Gift Idea for Kids

Need an idea for a child in your life? Consider wooden blocks. Coming in various sizes, wooden blocks can be a house for Blue, a tower, a castle, a town-- anything in the imagination. I've seen our blocks played with for years; one of those toys that never get old. And, when combined with Swagbucks, you can use gift cards won to get some for free!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Freezer Meal Friday: Banana Chip Muffin Recipe

Well, I had meant to post this on Friday, but it didn't happen.  At first I thought it was still Friday SOMEWHERE in the world, but no.  Its not. (Its already Sunday in Australia).  I've had an interesting week, including me buy 30 POUNDS of chicken breast, and then later sending my husband out for 12 more!  I've never made so many freezer meals in such a short time, but when I'm all done, I should have some brand new recipes to post each Friday for the next few weeks.  So far in the freezer we have Stovetop Chicken Casserole, Rosemary Chicken, Lemon Chicken, Italian Chicken, Hot "Wing" Chicken and Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken. I plan to make 2 more Stovetop meals to give away, chicken fingers, walnut chicken, coconut milk chicken adobo, and Tex Mex Chicken Soup.  I think I'll need still more chicken!

This week we had some extra children for an evening, including a young teen. She mentioned something about banana muffins, so I said, "Hey, do you want to make some?"  She thought it would be fun.  I brought to the table 6 or 7 ripe bananas, 2 plates and 2 forks to mash.  She looked really confused and said, "I thought you meant from a box!!!"  I almost never bake from a box. So, we took to mashing and enjoyed a quick and easily freezable banana muffin recipe.  It makes a quick and easy breakfast!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

6 or 7 large ripe bananas (mashed) (I've used 5 and its been okay, too.)
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup of butter (one stick-softened)
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 bag (about one cup) dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray muffin tins with cooking spray. (We were able to use one 12-count regular tray and one tray of mini-muffins). Combine the flour, salt, and baking soda in one container.  In another container cream butter and brown sugar together, then add the eggs and bananas. Next, pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and stir until moistened.  (I just do this recipe by hand, not with a power mixer).  Bake for about 30 minutes depending on the size of the muffin tin.  Check with a toothpick in the center of the muffin.  Eat some now, and cool and freeze the rest by placing them on cookie sheet to freeze and then transfer to freezer bags, OR just go straight to the bags (once cool).  It works both ways.

This recipe was adapted from this one.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

How to Pick and Slice Your Own Pineapple

For me, pineapple mostly comes from a can. Occasionally I'd find it at the grocer freshly cut, but mostly it came to us canned. My girls LOVE pineapple. In our home, we try to avoid chemicals like BPA and it just never occurred to me it was leeching into the canned pineapple. I thought about buying one of those fancy pineapple corer/slicer things, but a friend of mine recently challenged me to just try it with a knife!
You can kind of see in the photo I had already taken the first step: cut off the pretty pineapple "hair." Next you cut off the bottom. I used a chef's knife for all the cutting. I also washed the pineapple before starting and after I had removed the skin.

After you remove the top and bottom, start on the sides, trying to stay as close to the skin as possible so you don't lose very much pinapple-y goodness.  After this, I thought for a minute I was done and could easily chop it, but I was wrong.  There's a cylindrical core of rough pineapple about an inch in diameter.  Slice around that, and then chop up.  It really is quite YUMMY!  Definitely beats the canned stuff.  I also think its cheaper this way!

Also, I asked the produce person how to pick a pineapple.  If you want to eat it right away, you want one that is brown like mine.  The ones that are greener look prettier, but they are not ready to eat.  The riper the fruit is, the softer it will be.

So go ahead and try it!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Operation Christmas Child

It's here! It's time to pack boxes for Operation Christmas Child. For those of you who are not aware, this charity allows you to pack a shoebox with small toys and toiletry items and the charity will send the box to children around the world in poverty. Last year our boxes left North America and travelled to two different continents. If you register and pay for shipping ($7) online, then they will email you with your box's final destination.

Once you pack and print off your tag at , then you can drop the box off at a drop off site nearby.

It's a great opportunity to bless others at Christmas and to teach children how to serve others.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

50 cent polos!

I'm not a huge Walmart shopper, but when looking to fill Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, it's a convenient one stop shop. So, imagine how excited when I found these 2 pack polo shirts marked down to $1!!! I got one for each of the OCC boxes and for my girls! (Learn more about Operation Christmas Child here.)

Science Museum

We recently had the opportunity to visit Discovery Space of Central PA. What a fun, inexpensive, and educational day trip! We participated in a science program about animal habitats and enjoyed the various exhibits - especially the archeologist dig and flight simulator. There's even a small toddler play area. Just remember to bring money for the meter!

We aren't members yet, but this center also participates in a reciprocal membership with dozens of science centers across the country!  I love this, because when we travel we get to experience all of them for little or no additional cost!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Quick Easy Lunch

This is not a sponsored post-- I just really love this product! When I need a quick lunch, I just boil some of the pasta (this variety is wheels) and toss it with butter or olive oil and parmesan cheese. The kids gobble it down, and it's full of healthy green vegetables!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fun Snack Idea

What happens when you bring fruit to a youth group event? Some gets eaten. What happens when you put it on a stick? It goes fast! This simple fruit kabob went even faster than the brownies and cookies that we're also brought! Can't wait to make some myself for an afternoon snack for my family!