Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Whoa! How did I go two whole weeks without posting??

This has been a busy month for everyone I'm sure, and I am no exception. I had a really lovely Christmas with my family and friends this year. We had the "smallest" Christmas we have ever had, and I enjoyed it the most of all so far. My husband and I did not even exchange gifts this year, and we purchased minimal but meaningful gifts for our loved ones. Because I was laid off work for 3 months, our funds were incredibly low. My first paycheck since I returned to work arrived on Friday the 23rd and off I went to do some insane last-minute shopping. The rage on the roads around this time of year is astonishing. What happened to Christmas spirit? I knew what I was getting into when I headed out to Target two days before Christmas, and so should everyone else who headed there too. Sure, it's frustrating and annoying and you wish you could run people over sometimes (or is that just me?), but I don't understand getting so mad at the the traffic, or pedestrians crossing the parking lot, that you feel the need to shout out your window and throw your hands in the air and scream, red-faced, within the confines of your car where no one can hear you until you appear to be seconds from literally exploding. I witnessed this very scene at least a dozen times on Friday, as well some peeling of the tires and horn-honking for good measure. Oh well, Merry Christmas to you too :)

We did something different this year for Christmas. We went out to dinner on Christmas day to a local hibachi grill with my parents and had a fun, expensive, and delicious meal. I don't know if this will become a new family tradition, but I wouldn't mind if it does! After all the ham, turkey, potatoes, corn, green beans, etc. etc., a little fried rice, veggies, chicken, and shrimp sounded absolutely perfect.


Onion volcano spewing fire.
My plate, after nibbling on it a bit. Yes, there was that much food! Plus a salad and soup prior to the main meal. Yummm!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Winner winner, chicken dinner. (Recipe)

This week has really flown by for me. My free time has significantly decreased, and I'm going to bed much much earlier as well as waking up at an obscene hour again. I will get back in the swing of things very soon I'm sure, but in the meantime we have been eating pizza, reheated frozen left-overs, and grilled cheese. I did cook a "real" dinner once this week, and it was thrown together rather quickly so I was shocked at how delicious it turned out. I had thawed out chicken but didn't have much else at the house to make a meal out of, so I intended to stop by the store on the way home and pick up a few things. But of course I forgot, and so here I was at home with thawed chicken but no idea how to fix it. I remembered a recipe I found on Pinterest (pinned from here, which is an adaptation of an adaptation of this recipe) that I'd been wanting to try, that really only used a few basic ingredients. I made a few modifications for our tastes and due to being on a time crunch, but all in all it was a good meal. Here is my version of this easy & yummy recipe...



CRISPY CHEESY CHICKEN





Chicken:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into halves
1 egg
1/2 c milk
1 sleeves buttery round crackers (like Ritz)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice
1 tbsp oil or butter for frying
dried parsley, for garnish

Sauce:

1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 c sour cream
2 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 c shredded cheese of your choice


Lay out three separate bowls or pans. In the first bowl whisk together the milk and egg. Place the shredded cheese in the second bowl, and in the third crush up your crackers and combine with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I didn't want my crackers crushed too fine so I just used a potato masher to crunch them up until I was pleased. You can also crush them in a small food processor for smaller crumbs.

In a small pot on med-low heat, combine the sauce ingredients: soup, sour cream, butter, salt, pepper, and cheese. Stirring occasionally, heat until all ingredients are melted and make a smooth sauce. Turn heat to low to keep warm while you make the chicken.

For the chicken, heat your oil or butter in a frying pan on med heat. Dip your chicken pieces first into the egg mixture, then into the cheese, then into the cracker mixture to coat. Place each coated chicken piece into the pan and fry on each side for 5 min. Turn the heat down to low and cover with a lid while the chicken finishes cooking for an additional 5 min.

To serve, I placed a large helping of mashed potatoes in the center of the plate. I used Bob Evans refrigerated Original Mashed Potatoes (so delicious and perfect for when you don't have time to make your own!). Then I placed the cooked chicken strips right on top of the mashed potatoes and poured a couple spoonfuls of sauce over top. Sprinkle some parsley on top for some extra flavor and a nice finish.

My husband and I both were pleasantly surprised with the meal. It was also very filling so I am thankful I hadn't decided to make another side item to go with it. I ended up eating only one chicken strip and all my mashed potatoes, and I was STUFFED. My husband had two strips and was down for the count, too! That meant leftovers for work the next day for me, yippee! :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Finally!

For the past nine weeks* I have been on furlough from my job due to lack of work, and yesterday I received the call I have been praying for... I'm returning to work on Monday! Not only that, but I've been offered a promotion. This makes me a VERY happy girl!!! As much as I enjoy sleeping in, and having hours and hours a day to blog, browse the net, play on Facebook and Pinterest, watch as much TV as I want, and all the other great things a girl can do with unlimited amounts of time, I am in desperate need of a steady income again. I may be posting less, but my posts could perhaps be more exciting now that I have money to due stuff again :-P

* I completely misquoted the number of weeks I was off work here. It was much closer to 13 weeks. Woops!
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