Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Maybe it's time we stop making resolutions...

Happy New Year!!! How fun is that? I have always been someone who loves a clean slate, a new chance to be better, be more efficient, more organized, basically more on top of my crap. I love a new week, I love a new month, and I really REALLY love a new year. But let's think about this for a second...

If you had all your old planners, journals, whatever going back several years, would you notice that you start out so strong every January 1st, making lists and making plans and basically prepping yourself to conquer the world...only to completely give up come February when you're not seeing the progress you wanted, or frankly not following through on all those big things you planned? I know I would. It's a big hamster wheel of futility, and I think I am finally ready to jump on. Want to join me?

Towards the end of 2018, I started reading a book called "The 12 Week Year". Their tagline was "get more done in 12 weeks than others do in 12 months". Um, yes please. Sign me up for that. So I loved it, and kind of half assed started implementing my first 12 week year, which I only halfway stuck with. Fast forward to December and they came out with a kind of workbook to go along with it, "The 12 Week Year Field Guide. I haven't finished reading this second one yet, but it really has me motivated to get on board with the 12 Week Year concept and start living my life as if I know what the heck I am doing. So there's that. I have all the worksheets printed out and put in the tracking section of my bullet journal. I am DOING this. Hold me accountable...accountability is a big part of what they encourage during your 12 Week Year.

So, as for this resolution saying I am getting on board FOR REAL with the 12 Week Year a setting of a resolution, or just a declaration that this is the way things are going to be done now? I'm not really sure, but either way, cheers to a new year, new beginnings, and a new outlook!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Manga Monday Review: Shrimp, Leek and Spinach Pasta

This week's Manga Monday recipe was a super simple one, which you can find here:

Alright, I liked that it was easy, and it was yummy...but my daughter thought it was too plain (not enough saucy goodness for her, basically) and I think I would have preferred if the spinach were cooked first. I guess I am used to cooking with spinach and having it wilted, but this was mixed in after cooking, so it didn't achieve that wilted status. Bottom line, simple and pretty tasty, but I don't think I would make this one again.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Manga Monday Review: French Dip Sliders

This week my Manga Monday recipe was for French Dip Sliders, found here:

Okay, first off, these were SO easy. And so quick! By the time the oven was heated I already had the sliders assembled and ready to go in. Then it was just a matter of making the Au jus for dipping while they cooked. So simple!

The only side note I have about the recipe is that it did need more butter than indicated - you're supposed to cook the onion in butter, and then brush the tops of the sliders with butter before baking them, so I melted an extra 2T of butter for that. Then of course the butter for the au jus.

My daughter doesn't eat sandwiches, so she was out, but my husband and son and I all loved them, and my son even took the leftovers to school for lunch today (after I convinced him that I am sure they would still be good even if they were cold).

The bread was just crispy enough, and the cheese was perfectly melted after just under 20 minutes in the oven.

The recipe didn't come with any side dish suggestions, so I made french fries (always a fan fave) and asparagus. Nothing fancy, but it was all yummy.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Manga Monday Review: Famous Butter Chicken

This week I made Famous Butter Chicken, found here: Only I kinda didn't. I was out running kids around, so hubby actually made this one. And it was DELISH. I absolutely loved the Ritz crackers as breading on the chicken. And I did contribute to the cooking, by crushing up the Ritz crackers for him ahead of time. I crushed up considerably more than the recipe called for, and he said that it was barely enough, so if you're trying this at home, crush up about two sleeves worth of Ritz rather than the 1 cup that it calls for.

Aside from that, everything was spot on. Cooking times were perfect, it was very tender and juice. Hubby served it with mashed potatoes, which was good, but it would have worked well with baked potatoes, steamed asparagus, broccoli, etc. Basically whatever you want to serve with this should be a hit. I would definitely make this again, and maybe I would even be the one making it next time!

I didn't get any pics of the entire meal, because he didn't wait for my daughter and I to get home from errands before he served it, but here's a pic of one piece. Nice and crunchy without being too crunchy. Basically all around yum.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Manga Monday Review - Crack Chicken Tacos

Week two of Manga Monday and I haven't quit yet. That's something, when it comes to cooking.

So this week, I was making this recipe:

Apparently this particular chicken is used in other recipes over on, because they referenced their crack chicken being a big hit in other stuff. This was my first experience with it, however.

Breading all the little chicken pieces took just north of forever, but once that was done there really wasn't much else in the way of work. And I will say it did take more than the 2 cups of panko that the recipe called for, so if you make it I suggest having extra on hand.

While the chicken cooked in the oven, I prepped the BBQ sauce. I was a little bit skeptical of it, with the garlic powder and brown sugar, but it was actually delish!! You're basically putting that on the tacos instead of sour cream and everyone loved it.

The meal was a big hit with my family and I would absolutely make it again. Word of caution, though...this chicken does NOT taste fabulous re-heated, so next time I won't bother saving any leftovers.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Manga Monday Review - Garlic Parmesan Chicken

So as I posted earlier in the week, this year I am committed to trying some new recipes. And while a Garlic Parmesan Chicken isn't exactly revolutionary, this is what I chose for week one. Original recipe here:

First off, working from home, I adore slow cooker recipes because I can throw them in around lunchtime and not think about them again til dinner. But honestly, for people that work in an office elsewhere, or outside the home, how do you arrange it? I feel like most recipes I see want you to cook for about six hours on low, and for a lot of people that would mean starting it before 8am when they leave the house, and then it's essentially done mid-afternoon. So I'm really curious how that works. But in any case, I am right here at the house most days, so it's working out wonderfully for me.

With this particular recipe, it wanted the chicken to be seared in a pan first, which doesn't seem to be the norm with most slow cooker recipes I've used, but it worked out well, as while that cooked I had time to chop up the potatoes and garlic. Side note - who sells a garlic peeler?? I don't at all mind chopping it, but peeling might be the death of me! Honestly, if you work for a direct sales kitchen related company and have something that peels garlic, or know where I can pick one up, leave me a note in the comments. I feel like this is a must have in my life!

Once the chicken was seared and the rest of the ingredients assembled, I threw it all in the slow cooker on low for six hours (the recipe suggested 4-8 so I split the difference) and pretty much didn't think about it again until dinner. That to me is a huge win because I am easily distracted and sometimes forget about this whole "feed the family" thing.

I did really like that the entire meal was all in one place, and there was no needing to prepare side dishes, etc. a half hour before dinnertime, as is the case with a lot of slow cooker meals I have made in the past.

The end result? Easy and everyone loved it. The chicken didn't at all dry out, the potatoes were particularly delicious and despite the five cloves of garlic, it wasn't overly garlicy in the slightest.

I definitely think this one will make a re-appearance on our dinner table sometime soon.