Monday, November 26, 2012

Gifts from the Heart

Every year for Christmas my family draws names and gives gifts, but these gifts are different than most, because the only requirement in choosing the gift is that it can't cost any money.  We have found that removing buying from gift giving increases the thoughtfulness behind the gifts.  We exchange gifts on Christmas Eve, and always record the giving since many are one-time experiences.

Here are some of the things we have given over the years made by the giver and always featuring the recipient:
Funny songs
Story books
ABC book
Games such as "Who wants to be a Millionaire" with trivia questions about the recipient
Drawn Portraits
Stories about when they were young
Photo Collages

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Zucchini Mozzerella Chicken Rolls

First, the real recipe that I found on Pinterest:

Here's the picture.  Click on it if you want to see the site.

Next, my version, made with stuff on hand:
A bit dusy on top.  Not very uniform in size, but then, everyone can choose just the right sized piece for them.

Not very spiraly, but, hey, its all about taste anyway, right?

I like the original recipe because it's healthy, and I had similar ingredients in the house tonight.
The original recipe is called Chicken Rollatini Stuffed with Zucchini and Mozzarella
What is rollatini??  My version isn't fancy enough to be called rollatini.
 Besides, I could barely roll the chicken.  I'd have to call it "foldatini")

Zucchini and Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Rolls
(Gotta love the conflicted format)
1 tsp olive oil--I added more like 2 Tbsp in order to saute.
4 cloves garlic, chopped--I planned on mincing the garlic instead, but I couldn't find the microscopic piece that for some strange reason is not permanently attached to my garlic mincer.  It enjoys hiding from me.  So I actually did chop the garlic and it turned out fine.
1 1/2 cups (1 medium) zucchini, shredded --Rather than zucchini, I had summer squash.  Not as colorful, but every bit as delicious and nutritious,  maybe.
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Romano cheese (or parmesan) --I used parmesan because that's what I keep on hand In the freezer.
3 oz part skim shredded mozzarella--a nice low-fat cheese, and I have tons of it because Costco sells a giant bag of shredded mozzarella.
salt and pepper to taste
8 thin chicken cutlets, 3 oz each --What is a chicken cutlet?  I used three breast halves.
1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs --I have two kids who can't digest wheat bran and a husband who shouldn't eat white flour, so I opted for oats instead of bread crumbs.  I put them in the blender with seasonings.
1 lemon, juice of--I didn't have any lemon, so I didn't use any.
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and fresh pepper--Fresh?  As opposed to frozen, or what?
olive oil non-stick spray.--I didn't have any olive oil spray, so I used canola oil spray.  Sorry.

First I preheated the oven to 450 degrees.  Then I had to defrost my chicken, then I filleted each piece in two.  I say "filleted" because I don't know how else to describe the way you cut the chicken.  Let's see...turn the blade of the knife parallel to the cutting board and slice through the chicken till you have 2 pieces half as thick as the first.  There.

 I sauteed  and seasoned the garlic and squash and spread it over the chicken.  I realized at that point that I'd forgotten the mozzarella so I sprinkled it over each piece.  Then I rolled up the chicken.  I dipped the chicken in egg instead of lemon and olive oil for no particular reason.  Then I rolled the rolls in the oat mixture and put it seam-side-down in a baking pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Next, I sprayed the top of the chicken.  I should have sprayed it more so that the chicken wouldn't look dusty after being cooked.  I cooked the chicken at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.

I served it with salad.  Made by Thomas.

(Tear Your Own Lettuce--Not noticed by Mom until it was too late.)
Served elegantly in the spinner

I have heard that you should have at least 3 dishes at the dinner table.  
Can I count salad dressing as a dish?   We had 3 kinds to choose from...

First Reactions to the chicken:

Brian: "What is that?
Thomas: "What is this?"
Miriam:  "What is it?"

Katrina didn't mention it.  Didn't eat it.  She just sat and decorated her plate instead--


In the end, everyone besides Katrina enjoyed the chicken and cleaned their plates.  It was a delicious, nutritious meal.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

How to Make Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce with Mushrooms

I saw a recipe like this on the Food Nanny, and thought I'd try my own version,  I also consulted my favorite recipe website, .  We served the sauce over pasta.  Brian, who is a food snob, absolutely adored it, and the kids loved it, too except for Katrina who refused to try it.   Here are step by step photos and directions.  Happy roasting!

2 peppers  (I used orange, but I figure red, yellow, or even green will do although green will be more strong and less sweet.  I'm all about using what you have and what you can afford.)
Olive Oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 tsp dried basil or 1/4 c. fresh
1 c. milk
1c. cream
1/2 lb mushrooms washed and quartered
1 tbsp bullion (chicken, beef, or veggie)

Monday, April 23, 2012

I found these cute lollipops while on  So cute!  Directions Here.

How to Make Tissue Paper Blossoms

Easy enough to make with the kids, beautiful enough to be displayed anywhere!   Find step by step instructions on .

Thursday, April 5, 2012

How to Make a Dishtowel Easter Bunny

I just found this towel bunny and I'm so excited to give it to my neighbor for Easter!  All it takes is a dish towel, two dish cloths, and a bit of ribbon.  Find instructions
from Family Corner by clicking HERE

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Folded Flower Pop-Up Card

If you liked my folded flower card post, you'll love this idea, too.  It comes from:

Waffle Wednesdays

If you are looking for a fun, informal way for your kids to socialize with your friends in your home, read on.

Brian came home one day and told me about a mom who treated all her teenagers and their friends to a waffle bar every Wednesday.  Since we've always wanted to be that kind of parent, we decided to try the same thing.  This last Wednesday was our family's first Waffle Wednesday.  We served waffles and the following toppings:  Nutella, strawberries, syrup, and whipped cream.  The waffles were delicious, and the kids seemed to have lots of fun.  It promises to become a firm and delicious tradition!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Gospel-centered children's gift ideas for LDS Parents and Grandparents

Since I am just beginning grand parenthood, a condition of which I am ecstatic about, I am putting together a list of things that I want to give as gifts to my grand kids.  First of all, I am planning to give them store-bought, church-related gifts for their birthdays and home made family-related gifts for Christmas.  I think.  Let's see how it all pans out:

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How to Make a Cloth Napkin Rosette

I came up with the idea for these cloth napkin rosettes at Christmas time when we were setting our Christmas Eve dinner table. This is the one time each year where we use cloth napkins!