Tag Archives: food

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!

The Wedding Shower

31 Jan

After the fun we had at the jewelry party, it was time to focus on the shower.  We had a “Tea Party” theme.  The bride’s sister who lives thousands of miles away flew in the night before the shower.Everyone did their part to make things pretty.My  little sister did all of the names on doilies by hand.  It was a really elegant touch.My SIL used her handy-dandy cricut to cut out all those adorable boxes.  To make it even better, they were filled with chocolate covered macadamia nut clusters smothered in caramel.We played some games and ate.Look at all these hand-made prizes!  Lucky for us, even if we didn’t win, we still got a prize at the end.Fresh baked bread was filled with different sandwich fillings.  We had three “flavors” to choose from.  It was delish!This flavor of lemonade was new to all of us.  It was a big hit.Spinach salad and these cream filled strawberries on the side completed the meal.  It’s great having a pastry chef in the family!  She stuffed them with a mix of cream cheese, powdered sugar and a little vanilla.  They were topped with graham cracker crumbs.After we ate, it was time for gifts.  The bride received a beautiful heirloom pearl necklace from her sister who had been keeping it safe for 14 years since her own wedding!  It was a really sweet surprise.She also brought a gift from her son who used his own money to buy his favorite aunty some comfy PJs.We all chipped in while my SIL worked her magic and made this beautiful pearl set (She’s wearing all three pieces) for her.  I wish I had a link to her online store, but IT’S NOT UP YET!!!  (no pressure Ky…but HURRY UP!).My other sister found a great idea to make a basket of “Dates For A Year” since my brother and his bride lived in two separate countries and didn’t get to “go on dates” much.  We thought it was a good idea from the beginning, but seeing everyone fill it up was so fun and creative!  For January, they went box car racing.  Other dates they will have to look forward to are driving around the island sight seeing with gift cards to various stops around the island.  A day at the park with a frisbee and a Jamba Juice gift card.  A hammock to take to a beach park and hang out.A DVD for “The Bucket List” with a “worksheet” to fill out their own bucket list.An envelope with two five dollar bills.  They go to a mall or superstore and each spend five dollars on the other person that is an expression of love and creativity.  I wish I could remember them all.  She was really excited about it.  I think we all were!  My mom also gave her the beautiful simple frame.I almost forgot.  My oldest sister made these refreshing fruit popscicles.  She used an ice tray as a mold.  They look so pretty too!It was a super fun day with the most important women in our life.  We were so anxious for the big day!

That night, we packaged all this beautiful rock candy that my sister made to look like sea glass.  So cool!  Can’t wait for the wedding!!!

Cold Flu Sore Throat Home Remedy

4 Oct

Well, we’re now on to week three of sick germs and cooties in my home.  Fortunately for me, I’ve accounted for about 50% of the germs.  I keep thinking the worst is over and then I’ll have another bad day.  Yuck.  I’m sick of it.  Here’s the one thing that’s brought me comfort (other than some alone time with my sewing machine).
Ingredients:

Honey

Water

Lemon Juice (fresh squeezed lemon is best)

Ginger

Herbs of choice

A friend gave me some chocolate mint leaves and a lemon something.  Can’t remember.  All I know is, it tasted yummy and I could feel all those herbs and that strong ginger killing all those cooties.

Just mix your ingredients and either microwave it in a mug or if you’re cooking for the whole family, throw it all in a pot.  I add all ingredients to taste.  Sorry, no measurements.

A rough estimate for one cup would be about a cup of water, 2 TBS of lemon juice and 2 TBS of honey.  Heat it up to a temperature that works for you.

Hope you’re feeling good.

Pigs Love Potatoes…And Baked French Fries!

6 Sep

Today, we read the book, “Pigs Love Potatoes"".”  It’s a really fun counting book.  As we were reading, my son was starting to recognize the numbers in “words,” so that’s really exciting.  After we finished the book, we located Idaho on the map since that’s where lots of potatoes come from.  We put my good friend’s picture on there because she’s from Idaho.  I’m sure she’s thrilled to have her head on our wall :).

After that, we made some homemade baked fries.  He cleaned the potatoes and I let him peel one of them.  I wish I let him peel earlier, because he did such a great job.I found some recipes online and took a little of each to come up with our concoction.  First, I cut them all to look like “french fries.”Next, we put it in a huge bowl and added olive oil,paprika,salt,chili powder,pepper,and garlic powder.This is how it looks.Then, I had the chefs stir it all up.When we were finished, we decided that instead of running the oven twice, we’d just hold off until dinner time to cook it.  We baked it at 400 degrees at true convection (425 with standard baking) for about 20 minutes.  Really, I don’t measure if I don’t have to, so I just guessed how much to put in.  When you bake things, you can use a bit more seasoning that you normally would because they lose some of the taste in the bake (I learned that on the internet).  In keeping with my habits, I usually determine bake time by how it looks.  So, when it was a little golden, we pulled it out.I didn’t get a “final” picture because the hubby had to run off to a meeting so we were trying to hurry and get dinner on so we could eat before he left.  The kids loved it.  My oldest boy told me that it was much better than McDonalds because I put love in it.  He’s such a charmer.

Back to the lesson.  He was dying to use his new set of Prismacolor Colored Pencils"", so he did a “real life” drawing (and coloring) of a potato.  He noticed that it kind of has a “greenish” tone, so he put a lot of green in there.I thought it came out great.  It’s a simple drawing, but he thought it was so cool that his creation looked just like the real thing.  Sometimes, we get so in to the lesson that forget about the other little person.  She was hiding in the cupboard with her finger in a jar of Nutella!Never a dull moment.


Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nuts & Picky Eaters

13 Aug

Remember when I talked about my picky eater?  Well, I’ve found another thing that seems to work.
This is packaging from the boxes of Hawaiian Host chocolate covered macadamia nuts.  It’s a good thing I was able to make sure all the chocolate was eaten so that we could use these containers!!!Please pardon the crappy iPhone pics.

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.