Ever find yourself really wishing you had more time to get ready for Christmas... December just seems to SNEAK up on you? Well, maybe we can make a difference... together!

Monday, March 12, 2012

A couple of FAMILY fav's!

As I'm starting to prepare my Christmas Menu, I thought I would share a couple of our new favorites that are FOR SURE going to be on our December meals.... 

(Pictures will be coming... don't give up on me :)) 

On Sunday I usually make a large dinner ... I don't mind. I quite like it actually.  For several reasons.  It usually means that my kids are coming home for dinner - and we will ALL be home... sit down together and enjoy family chat time.  I LOVE it! I know it is usually stated that Sunday is a day of rest - and well, most see it as a day to "rest" and not a order for preparing big meals... but for me, preparing a big Sunday dinner is just that - RELAXING. I enjoy it!  I simply do not have time during the week to do it - so I look forward to Sundays... for this and other reasons as well. 

A few weeks ago, I came down with a WHOPPER migraine headache... It hit me while at church... I had to teach my class in the room with the lights off AND my sunglasses on.  It was a bad one! Hadn't had one like that in a long time! Somehow I managed to make it all through church and as soon as I walked in the house - straight to the bathroom to change my clothes... THEN I climbed right into bed... I was out. I needed it.... apparently. 

While I was sleeping I remember running around in my dream looking for a recipe for "baked chicken".... BAKED CHICKEN???  what was I thinking.... WHY was I thinking about baked chicken. WEIRD.  I had the dream several different times... and when I FINALLY became conscious again... I was CRAVING baked chicken!  OH MY!  So, I headed straight to the computer - looked at baked chicken recipes and finally decided to take a chance on this one.... and guess what! It has now become a family favorite! We have had it 3 times since.... MMMM-MMMM GOOD!!! I challenge you to give it a try! :)

Baked Chicken

8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
 (I use chicken tenders - worked better for my family and I used about 16 pieces)
1 cup sour cream
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice 
(I had bottled and it worked just fine... I think...)
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp celery sale
2 tsp garlic salt
dash of pepper
1 (6 oz) pkg of chicken seasoned stuffing mix - crushed into crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking dish 
In a medium bowl, mix the sour cream, lemon juice, soy sauce, celery salt, garlic salt, and pepper. Dip each chicken breast in the sour cream mixture, then roll in the stuffing mix to coat. Arrange chicken in the prepared baking dish. Drizzle with the melted butter. 
(***as a side note, I have done this a couple times, and the FROZEN chicken worked best for me - the sour cream mixture "stuck" to it better than on the thawed chicken... but you can try and see what works for you ;)***) 
Bake 40 to 50 minutes in the preheated oven, until the chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear. 
 M-M-M.... so good!  (And the leftovers are even better! :)) 

Then... I also discovered this amazing roll recipe... I can't remember where I found it - so if it looks familiar to you, please let me know - I'd love to give credit where credit is due.... 
Parker House Rolls 
3/4 cup warm water 
1 TBSP yeast
3/4 cup scaled milk
7 TBSP sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil
4-5 cups flour

Place 3/4 cup warm water and 1 TBSP of the sugar in mixer bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar.  Sprinkle the yeast on top of water/sugar mixture and set aside for a few minutes.  Once the yeast has become bubbly (or active) add the milk, remaining sugar, salt and oil to the yeast mixture and mix well.  Slowly add the flour, making sure that the dough remains "slightly" sticky.  Once all flour is added continue to mix for 7 minutes.  Then remove dough and place in a lightly oiled bowl and then place in a warm place and let rise for about 3 hours.

Roll dough out to just under 1/2" thickness, cut with a cup the size you prefer.  Place a slab of butter towards one side and fold the other side over being sure to "pinch" the edges closed.  Place rolls on cookie sheet and set back in a warm place and let rise for 20-30 minutes.

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Bake rolls for 10-14 minutes.  And.... just try to not SNITCH one while they are hot.... I bet you can't stop yourself!  They are just divine! 

Yep- pretty sure this is the new family favorite roll.... 
And certain to be on my December meal plan! 
How is your December meal planning coming along?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I just couldn't resist.....

A co-worker has been gone.... 
for 2 yes TWO LONG weeks to .... HAWAII.... none the less!
RUDE! :)

I mean really.... 

She sent me this .... 
with the message...
I'm enjoying every minute and relaxing ...
I feel so bad for her... NOT!  :)

While I was driving home in this..... 
NOT relaxing and NOT enjoying every minute! 


I made her this...... 

ALOHA!  I mean  

Welcome home! 

I asked her to bottle up some SUN and HEAT!.... 
I wonder if she did.....

(Note: That is not the EXACT picture she sent me - I can't download if from my phone... but it's pretty darn close.... and that is NOT a picture of the storm I was driving home in... I was driving... I couldn't take a picture... but it too, is pretty DARN close!)
HEY!!! I just had a great idea! 
Perfect neighbor gift! 
For Christmas of course!!
GEEZE!!! I'm one smart donut..... COOKIE!