Night in Africa
Broccoli Chicken Roll
BookCooking.net (click here for website)
I was leaving work late last week with no plans for dinner. I knew I would have to run by the grocery store so I quickly pulled up my Pinterest boards and looked for something quick and easy. This Broccoli Chicken Roll caught my eye. I'd been considering it for quite some time, and when I looked at the recipe, I realized I had most everything that I needed. I just needed to grab some chicken and some broccoli and I'd be ready to go.
Being really tired and really hungry, I was not going to be able to cook chicken myself so I did something I NEVER do. I bought chicken in a can. I am not a huge fan of it. I'm not even a little fan of it, but exhaustion had seriously lowered my poultry standards. As I never buy chicken in a can, I didn't know that I would have so many choices. I eventually decided to go with the Tyson grilled all white chicken. One 12 oz can worked perfectly for this recipe. After deciding on the chicken, I grabbed a crown of broccoli and started for home.
Once at home, I started chopping vegetables and mixing ingredients while my son worked on his homework at the kitchen table. When it came time to put it all together, I moved my creation to the kitchen table so Matthew could participate in the compilation stage of the recipe.
I covered up a baking sheet with tinfoil, put a glass upside in the center of the pan, and started laying out the crescent triangles in the shape of the sun. I then placed the chicken/broccoli mixture in a ring around the glass. When my ring was complete, I pulled up the points of the crescents to encircle the mixture. My son was so impressed with the presentation he insisted on me taking pictures. I'm glad he did so that you can see the before and after oven pictures.
The recipe called for bell pepper, any color would do. I used orange because that is what I had on hand. I thought the pepper made for a nice crunch in the dish, but as my husband and son don't like pepper, I won't be using it again.
Once cooked, the dish is really very colorful and pretty. It was very easy to make, inexpensive, and healthy. I was happy that it called for fresh broccoli which is one of my son's favorites. The canned chicken worked perfectly in it. I will be using that for this dish from now on. I took leftovers the next day to work and showed it off to my friends. They thought it was amazing, and they loved the taste. I will definitely make this again. I'd like to make it for one of those faculty/staff luncheons that we are always having. I have a feeling we will be seeing this dish showing up on a fairly regular basis in my house.
Chef Mommy is the BOMB!
Chef Mommy (click here for website)
As my good friend Laura would say, "O to the M to the G"! My family and I just finished off Chef Mommy's Pork Tenderloin and Pan Sauce. It was absolutely amazing!
I followed her instructions exactly with one exception. I always like to marinate a tenderloin overnight so I made sure that baby was soaking for a good 24 hours. When I got home tonight, I heated up the pan, seared the tenderloin, and popped it into the oven. I made the pan sauce according to the plan right before serving and poured it over the pork.
The end project looked fabulous, and it was so flavorful and tender. I've experimented with several tenderloin recipes, but without a doubt, my family all agreed that this was by far the best yet! Not only is it tasty, it is also easy to make with very little preparation involved. I will definitely be making this recipe again and again.
This is my first Chef Mommy recipe, but if her other recipes are this good, I will be strolling regularly through her blog.
Tomorrow, I will be sharing the Broccoli Chicken Roll that I made last night. I was sure to take pictures of it for you!
The Great Sixty Minute Clean Up
The Great Sixty Minute Clean Up
While scanning through Pinterest posts, I came across several parenting pins. When I come across these little bits of parenting genius, I am most impressed by their simplicity. The best ideas are often common sense kinds of suggestions that never in a million years would ever cross my mind.
Having spent a week battling over homework, bedtime, tooth brushing, baths, television, and even snacking with my eight year old son, I was feeling like the least empowered parent ever. Reading the advice of these perfect Pinterest parents, I was determined to think of some little nugget of knowledge to share with the world. If I could find that gem of genius, I knew that my parenting inadequacies would fade in the brilliance of my creativity and problem solving abilities. I just had to think. ,As it turns out, I had to think a very long time, and after quite a bit of thinking, I realized that I don't have anything worthy of the term "brilliant", but I do have The Great Sixty Minute Cleanup, and now I will share it with you.
Before I continue, I must give credit where credit is due, to my sister, Lisa. She is one of those parenting powerhouses that we all strive to become. She has proven her superhuman abilities through the trials and tribulations of raising two near perfect children. I called her one day seeking some advice on how to deal with a huge problem, keeping the house clean without having to dedicate my life to it. Working full time outside of the home and having a long commute to boot, time is at a premium. Her solution? She had discovered the power of the kitchen timer in overcoming this all too familiar and commonly shared dilemma. On Saturday mornings, she would assemble her entire family along with the required cleaning supplies together into one room of the house. She would set the kitchen timer for twenty minutes, and everyone would break into a cleaning frenzy that would last until the timer signaled the cessation of the cleaning in that room. The family would then move to the next room, and the process would be repeated until all rooms in the house had been cleaned. I was amazed by her ingenuity and began to make plans of my own.
As my child was younger and my house was smaller, I knew that adaptations would need to be made. Hence The Great Sixty Minute Cleanup was birthed. With great expectations for cleanliness, I gathered my family together. My husband and son were about to learn of our grand new experiment. I would be setting the kitchen timer for exactly 60 minutes. During that sixty minutes we would each be assigned an area of the house to clean. My son would be responsible for his bedroom and the living room where his toys gravitate. My husband and I would divide and conquer the rest of the house. I am the best at putting stuff up and organizing. My husband is the king of surface cleaning, vacuuming, and chemicals.
I was giddy with anticipation. Would this really work? Would my floors be toy free? Would my child no longer be able to use the dust on the shelves as a modified Etch a Sketch? Could we actually work together as a family to clean up our home? I knew the key to my success was rooted in competition and music.
I told my son, that he would be responsible for selecting the music for our cleaning session. We pulled up the Direct TV music stations, and my boy went straight to the Salsa channel! I think the music is in his blood! Next I explained to my fellow cleaners that there was much more than cleaning at stake today. The person that worked the hardest and did the absolute best job of cleaning, would win control of the television for the night. Yes I did! As I am never in charge of the television, I would be missing out on nothing, but the big and little man were now going for one of the most coveted prizes in the household, the remote control. It was on!
The music was playing. Everyone was in their assigned positions. I set the timer to 60 minutes, and the first ever Sixty Minute Cleanup was underway. We all worked as quickly as we possibly could, sneaking peeks at the progress of our competitors There was dancing and lots of smack talk. Taunts were flying about who was watching what on television that night. The house was getting cleaned, and on top of everything else, we were having fun!
When the sixty minute timer screeched at us, we had all accomplished our assigned tasks, and we had completed more than three hours of cleaning in one hour. I was ecstatic because I had a clean house and a fun new family memory. My husband was happy because I was happy, and my son was happy because he won the right to wield the remote control for one whole evening.
We have now had many Great Sixty Minute Cleanups, and although the boys, especially the bigger one, groan every time I tell them that we will be having one, I think they both secretly enjoy the special time that it has become. We have cleaned for a trip to the local park. We have cleaned for a chance to stay up later on a weekend night. We have even cleaned for a special dinner at McDonalds. The prize is always changing, but amazingly, the winner is always the same. He keeps assuring me that one day that one day I will be the winner. Of course, I know that I already am.
A little help for a clogged drain?
Tidy Mom (click here for website)
Having developed asthma and a fondness for coughing my lungs up when using cleaning products, I cannot use typical drain declogging (word mine) products. While strolling through fellow pinner Blaire Smith's boards, I came across this pin.
You can check out Tidy Mom's blog for her exact recipe, but basically I poured some baking soda and vinegar down the drown. I then covered up the drains with plates and waited thirty minutes. A fabulous chemical reaction took place that resulted in fizzing and bubbling.
After waiting for thirty minutes I rinsed out the sink with warm water. The results? The drain was a little bit better, but still a little stubborn going down. These results were to be expected as my lungs have made it impossible for me to use any other chemicals for a long time.
As recommended by Tidy Mom, I repeated the process, but the second time I had my eight year old son drag a step stool over to the sink, and I let him conduct an experiment. His hypothesis was that the bubbles would defeat the grease because "bubbles scrub stuff and get it clean." I was hoping he would be correct.
The results after the second treatment? It worked! I have a sink that drains perfectly and no lungs were harmed in the process. This pin rates 5 stars for its ability to clean while at the same time being safe for sensitive lungs. It also makes for a really cool science experiment with your kid. An all around winner!
Sweet Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin
Mel's Kitchen Cafe (see recipe here)
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I made this recipe yesterday with a 4.5 pork loin that I bought at Aldi's, my favorite grocery store. I doubled the recipe on Mel's site because my pork loin was over twice as big as hers. At about 9:00 in the morning, I rubbed in all of the spices, put the pork loin in my slow cooker, poured a half cup of water over the top, and set the slow cooker to LOW.
After about six hours, I shut the slow cooker off and made the glaze. While the glaze was simmering, I shredded the meat. Having a picky husband, who seldom likes anything that is not a basic meat and potato, I kept the glaze and pork separate to serve. I put a little of the glaze on his plate for testing, and knew that the recipe was a huge success when he said, "It's not that bad. Put a little of it on the meat".
I will definitely be making this recipe again and again, and that is something that I rarely do. I'm not a foody so I don't know how to describe all of the tastes, textures, and what not, but let it suffice to say, it was dang good! I love that special something that balsamic vinegar brings to a recipe. Beyond the taste, this recipe could not be any easier to make.
I do have have one warning. Don't be like me and leave the meat in the slow cooker too long. Mine cooked much faster than I thought it would so it was a little dry. Next time, I'll cook it about five and a half hours and remove from the slow cooker immediately. I can't wait to try this again!
Thanks Mel for a real winner.
My name is Stacy. I'm a wife and mom who works full time as a teacher in an elementary school. This blog is my attempt to keep up with my journey through Pinterest with a few side trips along the way.