Monday, February 28, 2011

Recipe Entry: Cider-Glazed Chicken with Browned Butter-Pecan Rice

I received a lot of great looking recipes over the weekend that I am excited to share with you and to start adding to our menu! Keep 'em coming friends! If you missed the info on the giveaway you can find the details here.

This recipe is from Liz. Sounds like a good one! I have included her notes:

"This one is absolutely fabulous and my husband's favorite. Super easy. I usually omit the parsley."

Cider-Glazed Chicken with Browned Butter-Pecan Rice
Source: Cooking Light

Total: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cutlet and about 1/2 cup rice)

  • 1 (3.5-ounce) bag boil-in-bag brown rice (such as Uncle Ben's)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 pound chicken breast cutlets (about 4 cutlets)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup refrigerated apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Cook rice according to package directions in a small saucepan, omitting salt and fat; drain.

2. While rice cooks, melt 1 teaspoon butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan. Add cider and mustard to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until syrupy. Add chicken to pan, turning to coat. Remove from heat; set aside.

3. Melt remaining 5 teaspoons butter in saucepan over medium-high heat; cook for 2 minutes or until browned and fragrant. Lower heat to medium; add pecans, and cook for 1 minute or until toasted, stirring frequently. Add rice and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; toss well to coat. Serve rice with chicken. Sprinkle with parsley.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Share Your Recipes and a Giveaway!

***The Giveaway has ended. Thanks for the great recipes!!***

A friend recently emailed me and asked me for ideas for blogs that feature simple and healthy recipes. I follow several food blogs and they feature tons of delicious recipes, but often they are pretty fancy, complicated or time consuming. I realized that many of my favorite weeknight recipes come from "normal people." This got me thinking.

I am asking you to send me your favorite "go to" recipes. I will share them here so that we can all get some new ideas and inspiration. AND to provide a little incentive to you to share some recipes, for every recipe you submit, you will be entered to win a fabulous giveaway! What is the prize you ask?! A $20 gift card to- none other than my favorite store- LOFT!

The Nitty-Gritty:
-Recipes should be relatively simple, nothing really time consuming or fancy. Save those recipes for a later recipe exchange.

-Recipes should be relatively healthy. No Paula Deen donut burgers or anything :)

-Give credit where credit is due. Give the source of your recipe if it is not your original.

-Email the recipes to me at or my personal email if you have it. Feel free to include a picture if you can, but this is not required.

-You will receive one giveaway drawing entry per recipe submitted. Multiple entries are encouraged :)

-Recipe submission deadline is Thursday, March 10, 2011 at midnight. This gives you 2 weeks to get your act together.

-The LOFT gift card drawing will happen on Friday, March 11, 2011.

-Now GO! Email me some recipes and I will start sharing them!

Note: LOFT is not affiliated with this giveaway. I just thought it would be a good prize.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Deal for You!

Check out this deal for 4 yoga/modern dance classes for only $10! I take this class regularly and I highly recommend it, even if you don't have much/any dance experience. It is challenging, relaxing and fun too. My friend Alisa teaches it and does a great job!

If you live around here, you should check it out and you will have a friend there with you- ME :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Get Your Coupons and Get to Publix!

Publix is having a wonderful sale called Viva Italia! They have some awesome coupons available in the store or available to be printed here. They make for some wonderful deals!

I got all this:

for only $7.95!

If you are near a Publix then you can totally do this deal too even if you haven't been clipping or printing coupons. The trick is to stack the Viva Italia coupons to make the most of your savings. I asked at the customer service desk at my Publix and they said it was fine to stack the coupons.

If you are new to this here is an example scenario. Perhaps you have a lot of great recipes that call for breadcrumbs. This would be a great time to stock up.

Buy 20 Progresso Bread Crumbs at $.91 a piece (they are BOGO this week)--> $18.20
Then use (5) $1/4 Progresso products coupons found here--> subtract $5
AND use (1) $5/20 Participating Products coupon found here --> subtract another $5
****End Total= $8.20 for 20 cans of bread crumbs, or $.41 per can!

Chances are you don't need 20 of one item (unless you have a huge family or hoarder tendencies :). The great thing is you can mix and match participating products to add up to your total 20. I bought 4 breadcrumbs, 8 Progresso Beans, 4 Progresso Broths, and 4 Green Giant Veggies to get my 20 total participating products to use the coupon. The other items I got were also some great deals and you can see the coupon matchups for those here.

If you have the $5 off $30 purchase coupon from this week's paper then you are really in business! Hope this was helpful. I know it is a bit tedious, but thought it might help some to see the breakdown. I am happy to answer specific questions about this. You should totally jump in and take advantage of this if you are interested in couponing. It is the perfect scenario since you don't have to have a bunch of coupons from past Sunday papers.

I think I might go back this weekend and get another 20 items!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

When I was in college, my campus minister's wife Rosie would make this wonderful cake for RUF events. My friend MD and I always anticipated it and even special requested it on occasion. Come to find out, it has to be the easiest cake recipe ever (aside from simply mixing up the boxed mix as is).

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake
-1 package cake mix, any flavor
-1 package instant pudding, any flavor
-4 eggs
-8 oz sour cream
-12 oz chocolate chips, or any other flavor
-1/2 cup oil
-1 cup chopped nuts (i usually leave these out, personal preference)

Mix all the ingredients and bake in a greased bundt pan for 55-60 minutes on 350.

The possibilities are endless! One of my favorite combos is yellow cake, vanilla pudding, and chocolate chips (as seen above). You could go wild thinking of different types...triple chocolate, chocolate cake and peanut butter chips, chocolate cake with white chocolate chips, cake with mint chocolate chips, etc.

What combo do you think sounds best?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

I previously starting posting pics from our dating days in honor of our approaching anniversary. Today is a collage of more pics from before we were married.

For my valentine, who I love more and more every day. He is so giving, so fun, and my very best friend!

(Click on collage to enlarge)

(FYI- weekly meal plan is now on the right side of blog)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ring Around the Posie

If you will recall this time last year, I (with the help of some of you) was busy making TONS of posies and decorations for the Father/Daughter Valentines Banquet at church. They were really fun to make and I ended up with a big box of them after the event.

Lately, I have been seeing tons of cute Valentine wreath ideas on blogs, like this one from Our Best Bites:

Or this one from Thrifty Decorating:

I was inspired to bring out the posies and make a Valentine wreath! I had a grapevine wreath and simply tacked the posies onto it.

It was really quick to put together (especially since I already had the posies made)

I like the seasonal touch to my window!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


A big congratulations to Aaron who brought home two awards this past weekend from a model airplane show!! He entered 2 planes and one got first in its category and the other third!!

Lots of hard work and skill went into these:

Great job Aaron! I'll even donate a cake plate for the display :) (temporarily that is)

And now a few more photos from our dating days...

Hanging out at Sonic with friends. Nothing like lots of laughter and a cream slush!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Meal Plan

It's that time again for a weekly meal plan. This week is a low carb edition:

Monday- Black Bean and Turkey Chili, Salad
Tuesday- Southwestern salad with Chicken on top
Wednesday- Spicy Ground Turkey Lettuce Wraps
Thursday- tuna stuffed avocado
Friday- Chicken Tortilla Soup

Also, we are quickly approaching our 3rd anniversary! Until then, I thought I would show some flashback photos from our dating days :)

At a gas station on our way to my home...Aaron's first visit there!

At the Botanical Gardens during that trip home

Friday, February 4, 2011

Back by popular demand....

It's been a while since I posted a grocery shopping photo or reported on couponing. I am still keeping it up, just not the documenting part of it very well. This afternoon I have been scuttling about in the cold rain to knock out the grocery shopping. I hit up Aldi and Publix in a crazy burst of inspiration (I don't usually go to 2 grocery stores in one is exhausting enough :).

Do you have an Aldi nearby? If so, I STRONGLY encourage you to check it out! They have great prices on dairy and produce...things that I find it hard to get deals on at Publix and what I was primarily looking for today. Aaron is trying to eat less carbs and I wanted to stock up on eggs and veggies.

I was pleased to spend $26.26 on 2 dozen eggs, a gallon of milk, lots of produce, peanuts, string cheese, 300 sandwich bags for lunches and 5 cans black beans.

It was a good week at Publix for stocking up on rotel, salsa, sour cream. There was also free deodorant, cheap hummus, and a good price on ground turkey.

I was happy to spend $17.96 and save $43.62!

All said and done I spent $44.22 and was able to stock up on a lot. That puts us $10 over budget for the week on groceries but I think we will be able to shave that off in coming weeks. Who said you can't eat healthy and coupon?!