Monday, May 2, 2016

Broccoli & Cheese Stuffed Chicken - Win (Updated!)

A miracle has happened in our house. Everyone ate their dinner. Everyone. And they LIKED it. 
Seriously, this never happens anymore unless it's grilled cheese or pizza. My son, who hates anything new even if it's the exact same foods served in a new form, ate this dinner. My daughter, who despises meat and anything green, ate this dinner. My hubby, who as much as I love him, is not the healthiest guy, ATE THIS DINNER. 

They liked it.

See? Miracle.

I must apologize ahead of time. I knew I'd like this dinner, the chance on my family eating and liking it was 50/50 for the reasons listed above. So there are no pictures at this time. But because it was so well received it will be put into our regular meal rotation, so pics are to follow.
So far, this is the only one.

See? Miracle.

I made a couple minor modifications to the recipe from Quick & Easy Recipes. First was I bought thin cut chicken breasts. It made the work easier, but the pieces were small and the wraps didn't stay together well when cooking. Next time I'd buy butterflied chicken breasts, or just do it myself. That way I'd have larger pieces of chicken to get more stuff in.
I also used my own all purpose spice rub from Martha Stewart instead of the seasoning listed in the recipe. The stuff is seriously fantastic and I'm never one to promote someone/something, but I put this on everything and I give it to my family every year for Christmas. 
You definitely want to get all your stuff prepped before because once you start rolling chicken it gets messy. And toothpicks are key.
I also skipped the sauce as mentioned in the recipe. I felt it didn't need it at the time, and really the flavour was fantastic without it.

Paired with a side of cauliflower/potato mash (1/2 a cauliflower head and 1 lrg potato, boiled and mashed as regular mashed potatoes) and this dinner was a healthy hit all around.

And a bonus? I'm going to pre-make the stuffed chicken for my hubby to cook on a night that I work, making it a super quick meal for him and the kids until I get home.

Overall? A slightly surprising win, especially since it was such a hit with the kids.

Definitely give this one a try!

UPDATE - I've made this a few times and it's still a hit. However I do find that some times if my chicken is too thick, it's undercooked when I just cook it in the pan. Most recently I cooked it in the oven at 350 for about 15-20 min and they came out perfect without any undercooked parts. I think from now on oven cooking will be our method for this recipe

Monday, March 14, 2016

Nail Polish Watercolour Mug - Win

I saw this one a while ago and never got around to trying it until Superstore had huge mugs on sale for $1.50. I need a lot of coffee in my life, so huge mugs are essential. Bonus points if they fit into my Nespresso, which this lovely item did.

Double win

I decided to experiment on it and try the nail polish watercolour decoration method. I figured that if I botched it, no one would notice and it's not like it was an expensive mug.

So, how'd it go?

I used this tutorial here and this one too. Both methods are pretty much the same.

I got all my stuff ready to go. I don't paint my nails much (not allowed at work, blah blah blah) so my colour options were limited. 

First thing I learned? Use new(er) nail polish. Or warm it up a bit. First round all the drops just sank to the bottom of the tin. Luckily it's easy to clean up, just swirl a tooth pick around and it'll pick up the polish on the top.

Second thing I learned? Use a bright DEEP colour. The paler aqua colour needed a lot to even show up on the white mug. So expect to use more polish if you want to use a paler/lighter colour.

Third? Keep that water warm. As soon as it started to cool, the nail polish would harden up on the surface before I even had a second to pick up my mug. 

What happens if you don't work fast enough
And finally? Keep a LARGE bottle of nail polish remover around, unless you're super confident at this kind of thing. It took me a LOT of dips and trials to get a look I liked. The good thing is if you work fast, you can wipe it off with a paper towel and nail polish remover if you make a mistake.

Overall opinion?
I kind of really like it. I ended up doing two colours and it gives the mug a really neat look. The mug MUST be hand washed, and I try to avoid the outside as much as possible. I've been using it for about 2 months now (which is why I took so long in posting this) and it's holding up beautifully. 

So whether you'd be making these for yourself or for a friend, it's a definite win.  It's a really inexpensive gift or project, especially if you have lots of nail polish sitting around. Just give yourself some time to play with it, and be prepared to make a mess.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Apple Crisp - Win

Apple Season!

I always liked apple picking as a kid and I missed it when we moved away. And now we're back and live in fruit country. AND my family has apple trees in their yard. How cool is that! So one night we all went over and picked apples.

Another favourite of mine growing up was apple crisp. It was always a staple dessert for holidays in our house. So when Thanksgiving rolled around I volunteered to make dessert and Apple Crisp was on the menu!

There are SO many versions and ways to make apple crisp. Or crumble if you prefer. The Apple part is mostly the same, but the topping is the part that differs. Small chunks vs large, oats or no oats. It's a little daunting. I wanted a recipe that would be tasty, easy, and portable since we were traveling for our turkey dinner. Then I came across this recipe from Rock Recipes and really liked the way she laid out all the tips to make the perfect apple crisp.

For my recipe I used Granny Smith apples. They're my go-to apples for the majority of baking (and eating actually). The tart taste balances out the sweet of most desserts and they hold their shape very well during the baking process.

The recipe came together easily. All I did was cover it well and bake it when it was time for desert. You really want to pat down and smooch the topping into the apples, but don't. Doing as recommended and leaving them in chunks like you see below really makes the topping crispy!

It was so tasty that I didn't get a picture after baking but before eating. So I guess it went over well with the family! This recipe and method was a definite win!

Happy Baking!!