Monday, February 27, 2012

New Recipe Night - Easy Garlic Chicken

This has to be the EASIEST, quickest New recipe night's a keeper!

Easy Garlic Chicken
4 boneless chicken breasts
4 garlic cloves
4 Tbsp brown sugar
3 tsp olive oil (I'd use 4 tsp, that way it's all "4's")

Preheat oven to 450 and lightly grease a casserole dish.
In a small sauce pan, saute garlic with the oil until tender.  Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar.  Place chicken breasts in baking dish and cover with the garlic and brown sugar mixture.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Bake uncovered 15-30mins.  The smaller the breasts, the less time cooking.

Really, could it be any easier?  Served with some rice and a salad and call it done.  Of course, since it's chicken Zack wouldn't even look at it, but John liked it a lot.  It was so quick and easy that I forgot to take a picture, but for once it looked exactly the same as the pic!  Yeah! 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Best wife in the world? You be the judge...

Woke up at around 730am this morning and walked into John's office to say good morning and he said... "I've been thinking..."  At that point I should have just walked back out had my tea and then gone back up to see him.  Instead I stood there and he said, " I think I need a new car.  It's about time to trade in my car and I like these Honda Elements and since their not making them anymore I can probably get a good price on one."  I smiled, nodded and went down to get my tea.  Fast forward about 4 hours.  I'm up at the school helping out with Crew counting money... John calls and says... "I went to CarMax, they'll give me more than I expected and there's THE EXACT car I want in Omaha, can I put the $750 shipping fee on the Visa?"   Say what???  Who in their right mind wakes up one morning, decides they need a new car, goes out finds one and 4 hours later is putting the money down?  My HUSBAND that's who!
I have trouble deciding if I want the pork chop or the chicken breast for dinner and he buys a new car in less than a day?  We are so different in so many ways! :o)
Turns out, not only did he do all this, but he cut our car payment in half at the same time.  Guess I can't really complain!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New Recipe Night - Herb and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts - Failure #1 - 2012

Finally an end to the New Recipe Night success streak.   It wasn't an epic failure, as a matter of fact John liked it, but I did not.  And really since I'm the one cooking it, it's really only my opinion that counts.  This one sort of had the deck stacked against it from the beginning.  Generally I steer clear of anything that involves stuffing anything.  I find that for the most part, my stuffings always leak out all over the pan leaving me a mess to clean up.  I also avoid anything that uses the broiler as the main method of cooking because I inevitably set off the smoke detector.  This happens often enough that now as soon as the smoke detector goes off, both John and Zack yell, "Dinner's ready!" and come running.  Whatever....
But, the promise of warm, yummy goat cheese lured me in... I love me some goat cheese, but not this goat cheese.    It was mixed with mint, parsley and panko crumbs and it just ended up being dry, which meant it didn't leak out of the chicken, but I'm not sure dry stuffing is any better than leaking stuffing.  The smoke detector did go off as predicted and the resulting chicken was sort of rubbery and weird.  Not an epic failure like the historic Peanutty Chicken, but still not a keeper.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Aunt Clare's Day Present to myself!

I realize that you are supposed to give these out as Valentines to, say a whole class of children.  But when it comes to Rice Krispy treats I AM like a whole class of children.  So I kept them hidden in the basement and   I. ATE. THEM. ALL. MYSELF!
Enough said.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Aunt Clare's Day

This is the first anniversary of the official Hyzy renaming of Valentines Day!  Instead of succumbing to the complete commercialization of what is a retarded holiday, last year in honor of my wonderful Aunt Clare I renamed it.  And now I approach Aunt Clare's day with her spirit in my heart.  I think one of her greatest pleasures must have been buying, collecting or making gifts for other people.  She never forgot anyone and her gift packages were sometimes hilarious, sometimes over the top and always filled with the spirit of love.  So... now I spend the days leading up to Aunt Clare's day thinking about what sorts of small silly gifts and surprises I can leave around the house and hidden for my family.

This is what I came up with, with a little help from Pinterest...
I painted these rocks which I will take on our walk today and drop in various yards and put on various mailboxes for people to find on Aunt Clare's Day.  Just a little random treat for strangers.  Zack laughed at me and said I was goofy, but I don't think he means it. :o)  I also made these really cute bookmarks for all my favorite readers.  Keeping with the bookmark theme,  I found the perfect bookmark for the Zman as well... no sissy hearts for my boy! What else speaks to my Zackman's heart....bacon!  So, here it is... Bacon Hearts!  I mean really could I have hit it more on the head for my boy...Zombies and bacon.  I say Aunt Clare's Day...SCORE!

For John, I put a heart of sticky notes on his mirror and wrote something I loved about him on every note.  I know, nauseatingly mushy, but he likes that kind of thing and I am NEVER mushy!  He's a mushy guy and sometimes I feel like he got the shaft when he married me.
Brenna missed out a little, but I did send her a care package with candy, nail polish, quarters for laundry and a pink toothbrush!
All in all, I gotta say this has been the best Aunt Clare's Day ever!  Probably the first in my life that I've actually looked forward to with anticipation.  I've enjoyed the weeks leading up to it planning and shopping, crafting and making.  I was so excited when everyone got up to see the things I had hidden around the house.
Me, enjoying Valentines Day??!!!  I can't think of a better testament to my Aunt Clare's spirit of love and giving.  She was an amazing lady and is missed everyday and while she may be gone I think she has managed to give me the best Valentines/Aunt Clare's Day present ever!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

New Recipe Night - Bourbon Street Chicken

I found this recipe on my new addiction Pinterest.  I can't stop that thing, you can lose hours on that website just looking at nothing.  But I did find this nugget of yummy.  When I stumbled on it I figured I had to try it since this is the only chicken Zachary has EVER eaten voluntarily - that wasn't pressed into a shape and breaded... As a matter of fact it's one of the only reasons I will go to the mall when he asks, because I'm pretty much guaranteed to get him to eat some "real food."  Now I'm sure there are many who would claim that Bourbon/Teriakyi Chicken from the mall probably only qualifies dubiously as "real food."  But in our house, when it comes to Zack, anything non-carbohydrate based is considered "real food" including hotdogs, corn dogs, bacon or even PBJ.  If it's not a waffle or cereal and has protein anywhere in it... we jump for joy if he'll eat it.  So, Bourbon Chicken...SCORE!

Bourbon Street Chicken
2 lbs boneless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 tsp ginger
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup apple juice
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp cornstarch (if thicker sauce is desired)

Heat oil in a large skillet, add chicken pieces; cook until lightly browned.  Remove chicken.  Add remaining ingredients, heat over medium heat until well blended and dissolved.  Add chicken and bring to a hard boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered.  Serve over hot rice.

Easy Peasy, lemon squeezy.  Zack proclaimed it "good" and ate all that I gave him.  Another keeper!  The only thing I might do differently is try and put it in a crock pot so that the chicken gets a little more tender.  It was quite as tender as the mall chicken.  And we all know that if there's anything to aspire to it's "mall chicken!"  :o)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Snow one way or another

This has been the weirdest winter... it's been in the 50's and 60's, we even hit 72 the other day.  No snow in site, so if nature won't make it, then I will!  My sister-in-law, MaryBeth, makes the most amazing paper snowflakes.  She claims she just uses regular scissors and her imagination... but I feel certain she must have magic scissors and a platoon of snowflake fairies.  I finally whined and wheedled and piti-fulled my way into getting her to send me some!  They arrived the other day and I've been studying and studying them and I still don't think I will be able to match them.
If  you look closely you'll see that "One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong.  Can you guess which thing is not like the others before I finish my blog?"  Although for my very first try I think it's not too bad... Can you guess...go ahead...did you guess?
Top left corner...  I'll keep trying....