Meals and Treats lately…

Meals and Treats lately…

pI actually feel like I’ve been doing some productive cooking and baking lately!  Last week I had three nights in a row of home cooked dinners which is now considered a record!   Bonus points for having leftovers for lunches./p pThen I made some awesome cupcakes for Superbowl Sunday…which we ended up just staying at home.  Needless to say we enjoyed cupcakes for days and have leftovers in the freezer for when I get my next cake craving :)/p pThese aren’t my recipes but just wanted to share because they were delicious and pretty easy./p pFirst came out of the January/February Cooking Light!  This is the one that boasts “Chicken 25 Ways!” on the cover.  Well, we had chicken in the freezer so I checked out the options./p pa href="http://lh6.ggpht.com/-X4vD-MSN4cU/URhiOV1s3DI/AAAAAAAAQfU/zuuW6m8qQy0/s1600-h/IMG5607%25255B2%25255D.jpg"img alt="IMG5607" border="0" height="311" src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/-L9t1wABk7RY/URhiO5fDXJI/AAAAAAAAQfc/OklsmarYctA/IMG5607thumb.jpg?imgmax=800" style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px;" title="IMG5607" width="465" //a /p pI thought the a href="http://www.cookinglight.com/food/recipe-finder/chicken-dinner-recipes-00412000073938/page22.html" target="blank"Chicken BLT Salad/a sounded great, and made sure to get all the ingredients that day at the store./p pEverything’s better with bacon…/p pa href="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-1yivsH-OBrs/URhiPO8glAI/AAAAAAAAQfk/umolDc8WkHU/s1600-h/IMG5605%25255B2%25255D.jpg"img alt="IMG5605" border="0" height="311" src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/-DN4YH9A28PY/URhiP5BXjLI/AAAAAAAAQfs/jWZXyK8n8Dk/IMG5605thumb.jpg?imgmax=800" style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px;" title="IMG5605" width="465" //a/p pCrispy chicken/p pa href="http://lh6.ggpht.com/-tNSwSS8HoF4/URhiQXboCjI/AAAAAAAAQf0/Dl6xCe4iDIg/s1600-h/IMG5609%25255B2%25255D.jpg"img alt="IMG5609" border="0" height="311" src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/-qetDqYc7mHM/URhiQ5K03AI/AAAAAAAAQf4/g33xzlZ5B-k/IMG5609thumb.jpg?imgmax=800" style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px;" title="IMG5609" width="465" //a/p pBut my favorite part was the dressing!!/p pa href="http://lh3.ggpht.com/-N0HCdSapnWY/URhiRCxKXcI/AAAAAAAAQgE/NwrZphZSUew/s1600-h/IMG5617%25255B2%25255D.jpg"img alt="IMG5617" border="0" height="311" src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/-gVY8cg7-Zpg/URhiRsHc8FI/AAAAAAAAQgM/JPumzf1mB2w/IMG5617thumb.jpg?imgmax=800" style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px;" title="IMG5617" width="465" //a/p pSeriously, that buttermilk dressing was awesome and I’d make that to have on hand any day!!  Tasted like a delicious restaurant dressing, but not as heavy as most creamy dressings./p pMy changes to the recipe:/p ul liI used chopped romaine instead of iceberg/li liI let the chicken sit in buttermilk for about 30 min before dredging in panko…I didn’t use the egg white./li liIf I did it again I’d use a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/crunchy-parmesan-chicken-tenders-recipe/index.html" target="blank"Giada’s method for the chicken/a as it always comes out crispy.  This version was good, but not great…I found the breading didn’t crisp up as well./li /ul pa href="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-oy9LS9tNhvY/URhiSHTAwBI/AAAAAAAAQgU/-lweABIsTYE/s1600-h/IMG5612%25255B2%25255D.jpg"img alt="IMG5612" border="0" height="311" src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/-s0IaHN4iJkU/URhiSQ1YJnI/AAAAAAAAQgc/VoRf1nU8RDA/IMG5612thumb.jpg?imgmax=800" style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px;" title="IMG5612" width="465" //a/p pI’m not even a huge blue cheese fan, but a little bit worked great with this salad./p pa href="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-z8ytrULlqAs/URhiTcV3tdI/AAAAAAAAQgk/oTYFyCg5ztI/s1600-h/IMG5611%25255B2%25255D.jpg"img alt="IMG5611" border="0" height="311" src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-fp5vZxuDr8I/URhiT-bhlQI/AAAAAAAAQgs/HmiiVvyeOA/IMG5611thumb.jpg?imgmax=800" style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px;" title="IMG5611" width="465" //a/p pThe next day we set up the crock pot to do the work./p pMy friend had told me she made this a href="http://www.eatliverun.com/crock-pot-spinach-lasagna/" target="blank"spinach lasagna in a crock pot/a and it was SO good.  Sounded like a great weeknight meal so I added it to my list./p pThis was soooo simple.  We already had some Italian sausage in the freezer, and all I needed was a good jar of sauce, no-boil lasagna noodles, frozen spinach, ricotta, and mozzarella.  /p pThe only “prep” needed was to make the spinach and cheese mixture and slice up the sausage./p pBrian comes home for lunch some days to walk the dog, so we planned it for one of those days as it only takes 5-6 hours to cook.  We assembled it the night before and he just turned it on that day at lunch time.  I came home to this:/p pa href="http://lh6.ggpht.com/-ahEgPqvk0n0/URhiUTZAuWI/AAAAAAAAQg0/6NEzC6QAljc/s1600-h/IMG5621%25255B2%25255D.jpg"img alt="IMG5621" border="0" height="311" src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/-1fHOwjZUYJo/URhiU4FYU1I/AAAAAAAAQg8/9UIJDH0oCMo/IMG5621thumb.jpg?imgmax=800" style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px;" title="IMG5621" width="465" //a/p pMy thoughts:/p ul liThe lasagna sits kind of in the middle of the crock pot, don’t worry if everything doesn’t go all the way to the edges./li liI cut my sausages into coin slices so I used a lot more than 4 per layer…maybe she sliced hers the long way./li liDon’t worry too much about the order of the layering…it will come out good no matter what./li /ul pa href="http://lh6.ggpht.com/-TzPyTUFiHw/URhiVNkpRcI/AAAAAAAAQhE/ifchAmE03XA/s1600-h/IMG5623%25255B2%25255D.jpg"img alt="IMG5623" border="0" height="311" src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/-XfA6-KCHzc/URhiVkHXWVI/AAAAAAAAQhI/7PmiBccdqtM/IMG5623thumb.jpg?imgmax=800" style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px;" title="IMG5623" width="465" //a/p pDelicious and super easy./p pa href="http://lh4.ggpht.com/-J4wfvWSJJlY/URhiWO5A3I/AAAAAAAAQhU/aguccCJthDc/s1600-h/IMG5624%25255B2%25255D.jpg"img alt="IMG5624" border="0" height="311" src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/-9xj6Ux2Ppk/URhiWhbzwI/AAAAAAAAQhg/msapVQX1oZc/IMG5624thumb.jpg?imgmax=800" style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px;" title="IMG5624" width="465" //a/p pNow the sweet!/p pa href="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-lkTM5a3qMac/URhiXGHEffI/AAAAAAAAQho/Hs7EpicB5Q/s1600-h/IMG5630%25255B2%25255D.jpg"img alt="IMG5630" border="0" height="311" src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/-qYt19R6jkM8/URhiXW6171I/AAAAAAAAQhw/u62x4rIzHdk/IMG5630thumb.jpg?imgmax=800" style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px;" title="IMG5630" width="465" //a /p pOh yes.  Funfetti.  I’ve been craving a good vanilla-y birthday cake type cake for a while now!!  Specifically with a good butter cream…the butter cream I grew up with./p pYou don’t need the sprinkles but it just makes it so much more fun.  I googled “homemade funfetti cupcakes” and thought a href="http://www.eatliverun.com/funfetti-cupcakes-with-vanilla-bean-buttercream/" target="blank"this recipe looked pretty simple./a /p pMy notes:/p ul liI didn’t want to waste my vanilla beans here, so I just used 2 tsp of vanilla extract in the batter, and 2 tsp of vanilla bean paste in the frosting./li liI made MINI cupcakes and they bake 9-11 min, and I got about 30 from this recipe./li liWhenever I make this simple butter cream (butter, confectioners sugar, milk, vanilla), I always start with the recipe and then add more sugar and milk as needed until I get to my desired consistency…plus it makes more and tastes just as delicious.  Oh and I always use salted butter./li /ul pa href="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-gQBeh7K2e2I/URhiX4y1CqI/AAAAAAAAQh4/K3DQbCNQM9Y/s1600-h/IMG5631%25255B2%25255D.jpg"img alt="IMG5631" border="0" height="311" src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/-Anv3DisxuS0/URhiYbtmbrI/AAAAAAAAQiA/NezNz9f544Y/IMG5631thumb.jpg?imgmax=800" style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px;" title="IMG5631" width="465" //a/p pSuch a great vanilla cake!!   /p pa href="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-xLcTPdEN97A/URhiY21t7GI/AAAAAAAAQiI/Zb0jncQ8WM/s1600-h/IMG5632%25255B2%25255D.jpg"img alt="IMG5632" border="0" height="311" src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/-7Ueu42U7fAE/URhiZQ7e5rI/AAAAAAAAQiQ/FpJIT0kriMQ/IMG5632thumb.jpg?imgmax=800" style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px;" title="IMG5632" width="465" //a/p pSo happy we have some of these babies in the freezer!/p pOn a healthier note we broke out the juicer!!/p pa href="http://lh4.ggpht.com/-6Kh1OtrN9tk/URhiZ1uYASI/AAAAAAAAQiU/lNYgptR4qnA/s1600-h/IMG5625%25255B2%25255D.jpg"img alt="IMG5625" border="0" height="311" src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/-E2eOhsAyb3o/URhiaQ6hjQI/AAAAAAAAQig/d38T4Wpk9AU/IMG5625thumb.jpg?imgmax=800" style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px;" title="IMG5625" width="465" //a/p pI love getting a small green juice sometimes at Whole Foods but then think how stupid it is when we have a nice juicer at home and used to make these all the time.  /p pIt’s a great way to get lots of nutrients to the baby :)/p pa href="http://lh4.ggpht.com/-Zg5Njj9KgRg/URhibJsFOI/AAAAAAAAQio/9pFhC8tWrDY/s1600-h/IMG5627%25255B2%25255D.jpg"img alt="IMG5627" border="0" height="311" src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/-olyKH8-CnGE/URhicD23reI/AAAAAAAAQiw/MGFdyuoPWbc/IMG5627thumb.jpg?imgmax=800" style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px;" title="IMG_5627" width="465" //a/p pIn other news:/p ul liworking on the nursery!  We’ve purchased the crib, dresser, and glider!  /li liBrian’s working on a new closet upstairs so I can turn the 2nd bedroom (i.e. my closet) into the nursery./li liThe baby registries are all done and my shower is in a few weeks :)/li liI’m 30 weeks!!!  Holy crap!!  Sorry no new pictures, but I’ll have to take a new bump shot this week!/li /ul pSo there’s my update!/p pstrongMade anything good lately??/strong/p

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