Tag Archives: cooking

Healthy Chicken Salad & Refreshing Mango Dressing

12 Jun

My husband has dubbed our house the “House of Horrors” over the past few days.  All five of the kids have been sick…the really yucky kind!  All that “horror” has left me craving something healthy and refreshing.  Go figure.

I was looking for a mango dressing on Pinterest, but ended up making my own…with inspiration from the ones I found. IMG_2699

Then I took what I could find and made this salad.  I never put walnuts in my salad, but since my freezer has a few bags my dad picked off the tree, I was excited to use them.  I think it might be a new salad staple.

mango dressing chicken salad

The kids who were feeling good enough to eat again loved it and even had seconds.  Winner! Winner!  I added the feta and chicken individually.

The Chicken Salad:

diced apples

diced tomatos

walnuts

(as soon as the avocados are ripe, it will go here)

Feta

Chopped chicken breast

Disclaimer:

I don’t measure much when it comes to making things without a recipe.  Even then, it’s hit and miss.  So, know that the “recipe” here may need to be adjusted to your liking.

The Mango Dressing:

2 cups chopped mango (I just used frozen)

1/2 T chopped garlic

2 T apple cider vinegar

1 T honey

2 T olive oil

4 T apple juice

1/2 tsp ground pepper

You could probably reduce or eliminate the oil and apple juice if your fruit is not frozen.  My mango was frozen, so it was really thick.

Just throw it in the blender hit go!

IMG_2703

Hoping for healthier days!

Chicken Fruit Vegetable Wheat Bread Thing Recipe

28 Feb

I don’t even know what you call this.  But, my kids requested it for lunch after we had it for dinner, so I figured it was blog worthy.Now, I am no pro in the kitchen.  I can’t taste something and tell you what’s inside.  I call my sisters in the middle of new recipes all the time for translation.  But, since I’m married to a pretty healthy eater (who totally imposes his healthy views on his family…sheesh!), figuring out  something that’s a step above the taste of cardboard gets me pretty excited.  And for the record, we (the kids and I) do enjoy cookies, french fries, candies and pastries whenever we get the chance.

There’s a “topping” and a “spread” and the bread.  I really wanted to make bagels for the first time for this, but I didn’t have the time, so I bought (well, my sister picked it up from Costco for me) the bread.  Although I did make bagels that night and I am in LOVE.  But, this bread is awesome anyway, I love it.For the “topping,” I just chopped up apples, cucumbers & threw in Craisins.  You could change this up depending on your crowd…more veggies, more fruits, whatever!I cooked some chicken breast in my super awesome oil core electric skillet.  It keeps it really moist.  If I didn’t do that, I’d probably boil it so that it doesn’t dry out.  Just dice it up.Then, I tossed it all together.For the “spread,” I just combined some cream cheese, ranch powder & some milk.  I creamed it together as best I could.I toasted the bread.  You don’t have to, but it does help keep the bread firm so that it can hold all the toppings.

Swipe on a little of the spread, scoop on your toppings and that’s it!  Kid’s love it!  Hubby loves it!  I love it!  It’s easy!  I’m happy!Pretend not to notice the paper plate.  It was an “I don’t wanna do dishes” kind of night.

Here’s the breakdown:

Makes about 10-12.  In my house, that’s about 4-6 servings.  It just depends on your eaters.

Toppings:

1  apple

1/2 Cucumber

3/4 C of Craisins

2 Chicken Breasts (I added nothing to the breasts)

Spread:

Approx 4 oz (a block is 8 oz) of cream cheese

1/3 packet of a powdered Ranch sauce

About 1/4 C of milk.  Add milk slowly until you reach a peanut butter-like consistency.  I used powdered milk because it was all I had, but I bet whole milk would taste great…or even heavy cream!!

Any bread will do.

If you do make it, I’d like to know what you think.  Or at least what my kids could call it in place of, “that thing you made with the sauce and the bread and the stuff on top.”

Enjoy!

Feeling the LOVE

14 Feb

I started off Valentine’s Day in my daughter’s classroom. I had the kids make valentine hair accessories for themselves or to give away. They came out really cute. Wish I had a chance to snap some pictures.

For my kids, I sewed everyone a pillow case to go with their new pillow. I hate that it takes a whole day and a number of loads just to wash the pillows. I was at Wal Mart one day and I saw these “travel pillows.” They aren’t tiny like for the airplane. It’s almost exactly a standard pillow cut in half. It’s perfect for kids. They are really soft too. For just over $4, it was totally worth it. The best part, they are small enough to toss in WITH a load of laundry. Think of all the money I’ll save on utilities! I’m throwing all the old pillows out.For the girls, I used leftover fabric from their Christmas blankets. I never posted it in my “Gifts I Made This Past Christmas” posts, but here it is.Believe it or not, it’s exactly what she had on her Christmas list. “A blue blanket with snowflakes. And if you can put words on it that say, ‘Let it snow!” So, that’s what she got. Joann’s had a sale, during Christmas and their fleece was only $3!!!

For the boys, I just used GI Joe fabric that my son picked out a year (or two or three) ago for a blanket that was never finished. I put brown minky on the backs of theirs so that they would have a soft side too. If it wasn’t for cutting the fabric, these whipped up really fast. They were excited about it, so it made me happy. We had Family Home Evening tonight instead of last night, so they snuggled up on their pillows while we watched a short video.For dessert, I copied what my sister did for her family. I made heart shaped cinnamon rolls.I added a little twist and dyed the frosting pink. They were kind of ugly by the time the frosting went on since they cooled a little bit first. They didn’t ooze like they normally do. Anyhow, the kids were psyched, so it was worth it.The hubby and I are having our Valentine’s date on Friday. I’m looking forward to it! And with that, here’s a fun quote by a man I love and admire.“I am satisfied that happiness in marriage is not so much a matter of romance as it is an anxious concern for the comfort and well-being of one’s companion. Any man who will make his wife’s comfort his first concern will stay in love with her throughout their lives and through the eternity yet to come”
-Gordon B. Hinckley

WE made bread today

18 Oct


She had a little fun before clean up.
At least she tried to clean up.

Inexpensive Spoons That Are Not BENDY!

5 Aug

When I was cooking dinner, I left my cheap Wal Mart spoon sitting against the hot pot and it looks like it should’ve melted, but it didn’t. Then I was reminded of a time when I first bought these cheap FOUR FOR A DOLLAR spoons.  I bought them to use as part of the party favors for my daughter’s baking themed birthday party. We baked a bazillion cookies and in the process of taking pans in and out of the oven, I must’ve left the spoon on one of the pans.  Anyway, it made it through the entire “bake” and came out with NO BURNS!  My sister and I both expected to pick up a soft BENDY spoon, but it was perfect!  They are really hard too.  So when you’re stirring a dense dough or a big pot of anything, the spoon moves where you move it.  See all the spoons we used that day! It’s not BENDY.  So, at four for a buck, I highly recommend these super inexpensive spoons.  They’d be great to accessorize gifts for Christmas or kitchen themed wedding showers too.  And the best part, if you’re trying to be more diligent about doing  your part to not purchase items made in China, if you do pick these up, your buck stays IN THE USA BABY!

p.s.  The clip from Friends where Pheobe introduces the word, “bendy” is one of my favorites, but keep in mind, it’s not exactly G-rated.

Winter Focus with Polar Bears

8 Jul

Yesterday, we had a few friends for some activities.  The focus was winter and Polar Bears based on the Magic Tree House book, Polar Bears at Bedtime.  Here are a few activities we did.

We made snowflakes using this formula here  The kids had to take these home to wait for the result that looks like this.  The crystals are more visible than in the picture.

Next, we made igloos with marshmallows, toothpicks and a little bit of frosting.
Finally, we had a polar bear snack.  I changed a few of the recipe items, but I got this idea here.  I used those round flat breads and cream cheese.He said that the banana peel is his halo.  Ha!

Picky Eater?

5 Jul

Not that kind of “picky” eater!I’ve never had a picky eater.  My kids pretty much eat and enjoy (my grandma taught me not to LOVE your food…only to ENJOY it…we LOVE people) anything edible.  I couldn’t understand all this “picky eater” business.  Until #4.  What a pain in the rear!  Some days you just let them eat whatever they want so that they get food in their bodies.  Other days, you remember that if you don’t give them exactly what they want, they won’t starve…and eventually they’ll eat.  I’ve gone some days where she just eats snacks.  And then the next day I’m trying to make up for it, so I give her eggs with every meal.  Well, I’ve recently discovered that she’ll do almost anything…if it comes on a toothpick!

Here, I started with just the ham.  Then, I added the raisin and cheese.  She sat and ate about two dozen of these.  It is super easy to prepare.  I actually ended up just giving her only about six at a time because I didn’t want to waste any of it.  So, I just re-loaded the toothpicks between feedings.

See, she did great with the toothpicks!

Today, I’m going to take leftover chicken and cut them in to squares with little chunks of cheese.  She doesn’t do milk (another weird phenomenon!), so I’m always giving her cheese.Not sure if there’s a correlation, but for the most part, I didn’t give my first three sweets until they were at least a year.  This little girl pretty much got whatever she wanted thanks to her older sibs.  I wonder if that has something to do with her being picky.

Do you have a picky eater?  Any suggestions?