Monday, March 31, 2014

Parmesan Crusted Chicken in Cream Sauce

I tried a new recipe for dinner last night and it was a hit. My mom sent me the recipe, but as usual I tweaked it a bit. I may have been busy cooking for a certain dinner date and I'll tell you that he was very impressed!

 Parmesan Crusted Chicken in Cream Sauce

2 c. brown rice
1 can (14 oz.) chicken broth, divided--I use water and chicken bouillon, much more economical
6 Ritz crackers, finely crushed or Panko bread crumbs. I used a combination of both.
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1/3 c. cream cheese

Cook rice. I use a rice cooker--love it!--using 1 1/4 c. of the broth and 1/2 c. water. Meanwhile, mix cracker crumbs and Parmesan cheese on a plate. Rinse chicken with cold water, shake off excess water. Dip chicken in cracker mixture, turning to coat.

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken; cook 8 to 10 minutes on each side or until chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Place chicken on serving plate. Set aside; keep warm. 

Add remaining 1/2 c. broth and cream cheese to same skillet.Cook on medium heat until mixture just comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Simmer 3 minutes or until sauce thickens. Spoon sauce over chicken. Serve over rice. 

While the chicken is cooking, steam broccoli, cauliflower, and baby carrots. Toss in melted butter and salt to taste. The veggies make a great addition to this meal.

Friday, March 21, 2014

One-Minute Chocolate Frosting Recipe

I found this recipe on and it was so incredibly easy to make and delicious too! I needed a quick chocolate icing to frost my one-year-old's football cake and this worked great. 


I think I'll use it to ice brownies next. Yum!

1 Minute Chocolate Frosting Recipe

Makes 1 1/2 Cups


1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Mix together. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Add vanilla. Cool partially, then beat with a mixer for 3 minutes or until spreadable consistency.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Pancake on a Stick

A little Farm Girl Food from Adri

Growing up in Idaho, I learned that a hearty breakfast is essential to keep you going on the farm. Last time I visited my Rupert roots, my mom had a new breakfast idea to share. This one is for the kids, but can I just say how yummy it is--and I'm a grownup!
Here's simple directions to create your own pancake on a stick.

Start with some delicious sausages, browning in the frying pan, filling the house with that unmistakable country breakfast smell.
 Then mix up your pancakes and pour out a big rectangle shape of batter.

 Skewer the sausage--we used chopsticks, but you could also use bamboo skewers.

Wrap the rectangle pancake around the sausage and put one or two toothpicks through to keep in place.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Three Pepper Glaze

plateKate here again with another recipe.
I love this meat glaze. It can be used for pork (shown above), chicken, or beef. It is mighty tasty no matter the meat and so simple. I generally mix the glaze, pour over meat in a slow cooker, and cook on high for five hours. The following recipe is enough for a 3-4 pound roast. You will want to halve it if you use it as a basting glaze on steaks. Here's what you'll need:
1 cup honey
6 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. each red pepper sauce and ground red pepper
Combine all ingredients. Now here's where it gets fun. You could:
chicken glazePlace a fryer in a slow cooker and pour glaze over it.
5hoursCover and cook on high for 5 hours.
shredded chickenShred chicken and spoon sauce over. Serve in salads, tacos, burritos, over rice, or on a bun.
porkchopsOr place some pork chops in the slow cooker.
chopsnglazePour glaze over the pork chops.
vegesScrub some potatoes and carrots. Prick potatoes. Peel and slice carrots. Place on top of pork chops.
5hoursCook on high for five hours.
plateThe glaze flavors the potatoes and carrots as well as the pork chops.
onionsOr you could cook a beef steak in the glaze. 
Then saute some sliced red onion to create a mouthwatering sandwich.
My family loves the spicy sweet flavor of this glaze. I cooked a pork roast in this glaze in the slow cooker for Sunday dinner once thinking I would shred the leftover meat and cook it an additional hour in the slow cooker while I did dishes etc. Then we could have it for taco or enchilada filling later in the week. It didn't work because they ate every last bite of the roast! (Sorry, no pictures of the pork roast.)
I have since cooked a pork shoulder roast with this glaze in the slow cooker for 5 hours, removed and shredded the meat, then stirred it back into the sauce in the slow cooker for an additional 1-1.5 hours of cooking. It was oh so good. We've eaten the shredded meat over rice, in tacos, and as sandwiches. It is fairly spicy. The first time I ever used this glaze my children were gulping milk in between bites and comments of, "This is really good!"
I've never tasted Cafe Rio's sweet pork, but if it is a hot, sweet this recipe might be close. The meat would be really good in a Cafe Rio style salad. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Three Pepper Glaze
1 cup honey
6 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. each red pepper sauce and ground red pepper
Combine all ingredients. Pour over 3-4 lb. roast in slow cooker and cook on high for 5 hours. If desired shred meat, return to slow cooker, and cook in glaze for another 1-1.5 hours. (This will make it super spicy.)

Kate is the author of The Guy Next Door and a new early reader series Seasons on the Farm.

Monday, March 10, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Breakfast Ideas with Green Breakfast Burritos

St. Patrick's Day is coming up and we want to help you celebrate!
Young children love to look forward to each holiday big or small. Here's an easy breakfast idea you can do to put the green into this Irish day.

Green Breakfast Burritos

Crack 4 eggs into a bowl (or more depending on your crowd). Add 3 drops of green food coloring and beat eggs lightly, until blended.
Cook scrambled eggs as usual over medium heat in your saute pan.
Warm up flour tortillas, sprinkle a little cheese, then add green eggs.  My kids like a dab of mayonnaise in their burritos.

You can wrap up the egg burrito before the kids see and let them take a surprising bite or show them the green beforehand.
Serve with kiwis, green grapes, green apples, or your choice of green appetizer.
I purchased some Green Machine Naked Juice on the fly for this celebration, but I'm pretty adept at making my own green smoothies so don't be afraid to add a little spinach to your smoothie and make it your own personal shade of green.

Serve and enjoy! Looks like some of these kids might get a pinch if they don't put on some green!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Upcycling Makeup Box Into Card Holder

Okay, I think this is really fun. You'll have to tell me what you think of my trash-turned-treasure!
My mom came to visit last weekend and we were making some cards on her awesome Big Shot Press from Stampin' UP! So cool--I have one now!

I dug out some paper scraps for another project and found a box I had saved. I brought out the box--it was from a Mary Kay Makeup Product (my sister sells MK) and I showed my mom.
"Look at this cool box," I said "What should I do with it?"
My mom got a twinkle in her eye and said, "Run as fast as you can to the garbage."
We laughed and then started brainstorming.
And here's what we came up with...

I used my favorite red sticky strip tape--it's a double adhesive. I actually turned the box upside down to create this little masterpiece.

My mom helped me measure and cut some darling patterned paper to cover it with.

I was almost finished when I realized I needed to line the inside of the box to so I could hide the makeup instructions. I used two strips of black ribbon as a hinge for the box lid.

We made some cute little cards with the Big Shot that fit perfectly in the box and my mom had envelopes to go with them.

Then we added a chic flower made from the same paper and again using the Big Shot and I stuck it to the top of the box.

Voila! A darling gift! Now I just need to part with this and let someone else love it.

How about you? What have you created lately from something ordinary? What are some of your hobbies?