Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Paula Deen's Chicken Divan

I made this tonight & we all liked it a lot.  Apparently it's a good freezer meal, too.

You can see the original recipe here but I'm going to post how I did it.  You can decide what works for you.

1 bag frozen chopped broccoli (14 oz.)
3 chicken breasts (or more if you have them; I only had 3)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream (At this moment I realize I forgot to include this ingredient!  Ooops!)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 T lemon juice
1 t curry powder
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine (I didn't have this so I used a few sprinkles of white wine vinegar; not the same)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 T butter

Cook broccoli as directed on package.  Drain & put in large bowl. 
Cook chicken (I boiled mine).  Shred & put with broccoli.
In separate bowl, mix soup, mayo, sour cream, cheddar, lemon juice, curry, salt & pepper, & white wine.  Mix well & pour on chicken broccoli mixture.  Mix well & pour in baking dish.  I think mine is 9x13 or something like that. 
Mix parmesan cheese & bread crumbs in small bowl & then sprinkle on top.  Dot with butter. (I omitted the butter, ya know, to be healthy & all.  I think I'll use it next time.).
Cook at 350 degreese for 30 minutes.

This doesn't exactly look pretty.  Even Jeremy's first comment about it was "This looks interesting."  He enjoys all these new recipes I throw at him.  But we all ended up liking it a lot.  I'll definitely make it again but actually follow the recipe a little more closely.

14 Months Old

The day isn't over yet so I'm not late on this.

- Shaylin is walking!  I've failed to blog about this major milestone.  Mom fail.  But yes, she is walking.  She was taking only 1 or 2 steps at a time only a month ago.  Now she is mostly walking everywhere she goes.  If she loses her balance & falls down she'll usually crawl to continue on her way. 

- Shaylin has had moments of being a picky eater but for the most part she still eats really well.  Pancakes are still her favorite meal.  Actually, she loves breakfast in general, whether it's pancakes, biscuits, french toast sticks, or scrambled eggs.

- Her vocabulary is getting better, although a lot of her words sound similar.  Her most said word is "Da" (short for daddy).  She can say momma but chooses not to.  She can also say dog (& will woof like a dog, too), milk, ball, hi, uh oh, & thank you (which she says when giving you something).

- She loves watching Sesame Street now.  She doesn't usually watch the entire hour though.  She loves Elmo & Big Bird.

- No matter what tv show we may watch, when the end credits roll, she'll stop what she's doing & clap.  Sometimes she'll do her little booty dance, too.

- When a song plays that she likes, she'll rock her head from side to side.  The Sesame Street intro is one time she'll do it.

- Sleep has finally been going really well.  She's down to 1 nap a day, usually lasting around 2 hours.  She's in bed by 8:30, awake, & eventually puts herself to sleep.  Sometimes with a little bit of a fight but nothing too traumatic.  And she's sleeping at least 11 hours straight through the night!  This has been going on for about 3 weeks now so I really hope it's here to stay & she's not about to make another change.

- Yesterday Shaylin sat down to her little dollhouse & played with it for a good 15 minutes all by herself.  She kept talking the whole time & putting all the furniture on the 2nd floor of the house.  It was so precious!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Seriously, how has she gotten so big?!

She doesn't look like a baby.

She looks like a little girl.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

One nap a day

I've kinda been dreading the day when Shaylin would be ready for one nap a day.  It's been nice having her take 2 naps a day.  It gave me 2 periods of time each day to myself, whether it be working out, cleaning, or taking a nap myself.  Back in December I was wondering if she was ready for the switch because she wasn't sleeping long during her naps.  But I was stubborn & stuck to our routine & eventually she went back to normal.  So it confirmed to me that she wasn't ready.

The start of Shaylin's day varies.  It's gone as early at 6:45 to as late as 8:30, but that late was rare.  7:30 is most normal.  So by 10 she'd be ready for a morning nap.  And then her afternoon nap was at 3.  Both naps would be at least an hour but rarely up to 2 hours. 

Sundays have been the one day of the week when she would get only one nap a day.  It's been like that for quite a while now.  With church at 10:30 (and Sunday School at 9:15 if we make it) there's just no way she can have a morning nap.  Sometimes one of the ladies in the nursery can rock her to sleep for about 10 minutes but usually she's too busy playing to want to sleep.

This week I decided to take the plunge & try switching her to one nap a day.  Monday was great.  Shaylin slept for over 3 hours!  The rest of the week has varied.  She's been teething really bad so she'd wake up & then go back to sleep.  But most naps were 2 - 2 1/2 hours in total.

A big reason why I wasn't ready for the switch was how it would change my running routine.  I like running in the mornings.  I have more energy in the mornings.  And then I can rest in the afternoons.  But now I have to wait till around 2:00 before I can run.  However, the nice thing about this is since she is taking longer naps now, this gives me more time to run longer.  If she sleeps at least 2 hours, I can easily run 5 miles, cool off, shower, & rest for a bit before she's ready to get up.

This is just another step towards my baby girl growing up.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rosemary Ranch Chicken

Ok, so I said I'd be posting a bunch of recipes.  Still behind but I've got a nearly 14 month old so give me a break!

This is a really good marinade.  I've done it as kabobs using chicken breasts & I've used chicken tenders.  Both have made incredibly tender chicken.  And the fact that it uses ranch dressing is a major plus for me. 

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 ranch dressing
3 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T minced rosemary
2 t salt
1 t lemon juice
1 t white vinegar
1/2 t black pepper, or to taste
1 T white sugar (optional)
5 chicken breasts (I've done it with less)

In a bowl mix all ingredients together.  Put chicken in bowl & cover with marinade.  Cover & keep in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  Thread on skewers (if making kabobs) & grill.

I'd probably make these once a week & be totally ok with it.

Chicken Parmesan . . . in the crockpot?

Yesterday I took a stab at making chicken parmesan in the crockpot.  You can find the recipe here

It looked easy to make & it was.

It tasted good.

But it really didn't look or taste like chicken parmesan.

The chicken wasn't just tender.  It came apart when I took it out of the crockpot.  A little bit of the cheese got too close to the edge so it was burnt.

I served it with spiral pasta that I kicked up with some olive oil, garlic salt, pepper, & oregano.

So was it a good recipe?  Yes, if you're not looking for something exactly like chicken parmesan.  But since it wasn't, now I just want to make real chicken parmesan.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Root Beer Pulled Pork

After some encouragement from a friend, I'm going to get back to posting recipes.  There have been a few good ones recently so expect more posts.

Here's one I found through this same friend.  It's crazy easy & crazy good!  You can see the original recipe here but I'm going to post how I did it.

Pork tenderloin (2 lbs.)
Garlic salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
12 oz. root beer
Bottle of bbq sauce
Hamburger buns

Rub tenderloin with garlic salt & pepper.  Place in crockpot.  Stab with a fork a few times.  Pour in root beer.  Cook on low for 5 hours. 

Remove tenderloin & shred.  Pour out root beer.  Put pork back in & pour bbq sace on top & mix.  Continuing cooking on low for an hour.  Serve on buns.

Oh my goodness!  I can't believe how good this was!  I tasted the pork before mixing it with the bbq sauce & it was good just like that, though it definitely tasted like it was cooked in root beer.  I'll definitely be making this again & try it with different bbq sauces. 

Another Sleep Change . . . But a Good One

Shaylin is a very inconsistent sleeper.  She tends to get into a new routine every 2 weeks.  I never really know what to expect.  I got a good eater, not a good sleeper, I guess.

Her latest change is something I'm really liking & hope it's here to stay. 

Pretty much since birth her bedtime routine ends with me holding her on the couch till she falls asleep.  Over 13 months later I regret that I didn't do something different.  It has made some nights very difficult. 

Last week there was a night where Shaylin just would not fall asleep.  She kept looking around, playing with my hair, whatever she could do to stay awake.  So I decided that from then on I would not hold her for longer than 30 minutes.  Then I'd lay her down & let her cry it out if need be.

The first time was hard.  There was about 20 minutes of crying/screaming (Shaylin's really more of a screamer).  But then this week something changed.  She's still looking around, being goofy.  But then I carry her to her room, give her a kiss & tell her I love her, lay her down, & leave. 

And you know what?  I've done this now for 4 nights in a row (counting tonight) & she hasn't cried at all.  Sometimes I hear her talk for a bit but that's it.  She seems to actually just roll over & go to sleep on her own!  I'm so proud of her!

Now the real test will be if this continues for more than 2 weeks.