Monday, June 27, 2011

Best Cookies on the Block

There's an episode of Friends after Chandler & Monica get engaged where their friend Phoebe realizes she never gave them a engagement present.  Monica says that she would like Phoebe's grandmother's chocolate cookie recipe.  She thought they were the best cookies ever & knew if she had the recipe she would someday be the mom in her neighborhood who made the best chocolate cookies.

Well, I think I'm that mom! 

But you can't have the recipe.  You see, it's a family secret.  I wasn't even given the recipe until I said "I do".  And that's the only way you can get the recipe.  But I can tell you they are pretty awesome! 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Creamy Chicken Tacos

Here's what I made for dinner tonight.  Another quick one but makes enough to feed a large family for one meal or a smaller family for quite a few meals.  And it uses the crockpot so no oven, well unless you use taco shells.

2 lbs. chicken breasts
1 can (14.5 oz) fire roasted tomatoes
1 container Philadelphia Cooking Cream Santa Fe flavor
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained
taco shells or tortillas

Throw the chicken in the crockpot (mine was frozen solid).  Then add tomatoes, cooking cream, corn, & beans.  Don't even need to mix it (unless you want to).  Cook for 6-8 hours or until chicken easily shreds.  It took 6 hours for mine to be able to shred.  Once it was shredded I put all the chicken back in, stirred it up, & let it cook for another hour.

I thought this was great!  I ate more than I care to share.  And Shaylin loved it!  It's not at all spicy which is great for little ones but not so much for the grownups.  I think it could have used a little more spice.  Or you can just put salsa on your tacos I guess.

There was a lot of liquid in it which is likely because I used frozen chicken.  Or maybe I didn't drained the beans as well as I thought.  So that's my only complaint.

One of these days I'll remember to take pictures of the food so I can share that, too.

Bada Bing Pork Chops

Ok, I didn't come up with this recipe title.  It does deserve a better name though.  I made these pork chops this week & thought it was a great & simple marinade.  Best of all it called for stuff I already had in the refrigerator, particularly the applesauce.  I absolutely loathe the stuff & Shaylin hasn't cared much for it either.  Jeremy likes applesauce but wasn't eating it so this was a great way to use some of it up.

6 bone-in pork chops (I'm sure the boneless ones would work, too)
1 cup Italian dressing
1/2 cup applesauce (mine was a cinnamon applesauce)
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
juice from 1 lime

Mix ingredients (minus pork chops, of course) together in a bowl.  Pour over pork chops in a sealable container & be sure all are covered with the marinade.  Refrigerate overnight.  Grill them the next day.

Again, super easy & quick to prepare.  Jeremy didn't think his chop had a ton of flavor but I'm thinking he got one that wasn't covered well enough in the marinade.  The one I ate was great!  Shaylin even liked it & ate an entire pork chop to herself!

Sesame Noodles

Ok, I've done a lot of new recipes lately (and doing another one tonight).  So I'm going to attempt to post as many of them as I can to share. 

This one was a super easy one.  Best of all, it doesn't involved the oven!  Now that it's summer & the electric bill is going to go through the roof, I've gotta find other ways to cook.  I loved this recipe too because it was so easy to prepare & makes a good quick dinner.  You can find the original here but I'm going to post how I did it.

12 oz. thin noodles, cooked & drained (I chose thin spaghetti)
2 T sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T rice vinegar
3 T sesame oil
4 T canola oil

Boil noodles as directed, drain, & leave in pot.
Whisk all the other ingredients together in a bowl.
Pour sauce over noodles & toss.

Doesn't that sound easy?!  I also added shrimp.  I bought the frozen kind that's already deveined & peeled, then pulled off the tails, & cooked them in the skillet for a bit in some teriyaki sauce. 

Marathon Training: The Sequel

Marathon training began this week.  I decided to stick with the same schedule I did last year.  Since I ended last year's race without collapsing & the day after didn't leave me walking funny I figure it's a good plan & shouldn't mess with something that works.

Very little changes from what I've been doing for a while.  I still only run on Mondays, Wednesdays, & Saturdays, which is my long run.  If my shins will let me, I will do some speed workouts on Mondays & Wednesdays are dedicated to hill training.  Saturday long runs are just that . . . long.  I've gotten myself up to 11 1/2 miles so far.  Eventually I'll have 3 different 20 milers.  Last year I only completed 2 of them & one of those times was on the treadmill.

I'm very excited about the prospect of running this marathon again.  Last year I ran it 8 months post-partum.  Now I'd be 20 months post-partum.  I'm also faster & stronger than I was a year ago.  And I know the mistakes I made last year & have learned from them.  If all goes well I should have no problem finishing under 5 hours. 

So for the next 3 months on Saturday mornings, when you sleep till 8 or 9, just remember that I will have run 12+ miles by then.  Such is the life of training for a marathon during the summer!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Worst Blogger Ever!

I'm fully aware I have a blog.  I even somehow still think of myself as a "blogger".  But you wouldn't know it by how often I post anything.  I think of things but never get the time to do it.  And by the time I do find the time the post doesn't seem relevant.

So for now I'll just post some updates & thoughts.

Summer is here.  No, it's not June 21 yet but summer comes to Texas much earlier.  I think we've even hit 100 degrees once or twice.  The hot weather means Shaylin's outside play needs to be much earlier than before.  The poor girl is just as white as her momma & daddy! 

For the past 9 months or so Jeremy has been working a 2nd job.  The decision wasn't easy.  We weren't necessarily strapped for money.  But if we wanted to speed up the process of paying off debts & some other future plans this was the best way to do it.  But we've now gotten to the point where it's taken a toll on all of us.  Shaylin ends up only seeing her daddy on the weekends.  I could desperately use the help with Shaylin in the evening.  And Jeremy is just exhausted, both physically & emotionally.  So we have decided that he will quit the 2nd job at the end of this month.  We'll still be able to pay our regular bills & buy groceries.  Other things just have to change.  But we're kinda ok with that because we want our family to be together & as long as we're together we'll be happy.

I plan to start training for a marathon again.  However, should God allow something to come into our lives, then the running will stop.  I'm excited about the possibility of running the marathon again.  I'm still not quite as fast as I have wanted to be but I'm still faster than I was a year ago.  I should easily keep this one under 5 hours but I could possibly get it close to a 4:30 finish time, which would be incredible.  I just have to play it safe because I've struggled with shin splints here & there.

Shaylin continues to grow & is less of a baby everyday.  I need to start writing down all the words she can say so I can get a real count.  She's got quite a few teeth & is currently at 11 1/2.  Her eating habits are still pretty good.  We've discovered she likes peas & corn which is good since she doesn't like green beans anymore.  Bananas & peaches (from a fruit cup) are the only fruits she still eats.  I'm trying to get her to eat other fruits but so far we haven't had much success.  Most foods though she will eat, which makes meal planning much easier.

That's pretty much it for us.  Hopefully I can get into a better routine & get back to blogging because I really like doing it.