Archive | December, 2012


29 Dec

So when I said I reclaimed my kitchen last night, I meant this:


Avocado Chicken Parmesan (from Cuisine Paradise)

What you will need:

2 chicken breasts
Panko bread crumbs
2 eggs & 2 T. milk, lightly beaten until combined
Pasta Sauce
1-2 Hass avocados
mozzarella cheese





Pretty basic breading technique here.  Make sure you spray the foiled sheet tray with oil and also spray the tops of the chicken with oil.  This kind of helps the chicken brown because we aren’t doing a pan-sear and Panko browns funky anyway.

Then, bake at 400°F for 8-10 minutes.  I keep my chicken in longer because I get really weird-ed out by poultry after serving us raw chicken one night.  (Not my fault – there is no light in my kitchen!)

Grab the essentials:


When the timer goes off, spoon pasta sauce over the chicken, top with sliced avocados and mozzarella cheese.


I only used 1 avocado and honestly I can’t imagine using both.  Start with 1, then add more if you need to.

It gets baked another 8-10 minutes and then you have my permission to completely devour it.


Now, my cupboard are pretty much bare at this point.  We’ve been surviving off of coffee and Christmas cookies for days.

The best part of this meal is the price tag, which I estimated based on how much I used of the items I purchased:


This brings the grand total of our meal (which gave 2 ample servings with plenty of ingredients to spare) to:




Endings & Beginnings

29 Dec

I had starting writing this using the WordPress app in my phone.  But when I tried to find my draft post when I signed in this morning, it was no where to be found.  Rookie mistake for thinking draft posts on my iPhone would transfer to my WordPress account on the computer?  Am I going crazy or should that be a thing you can do?

Despite how it may look, I have no clue what I am doing.

Here is a lost post from last night:



The puppies are all at their new homes.  All the puppies.  NOW I CAN DO ALL THE THINGS.

Oh, sweet silence.  And sweet hours spent not straining to hear what puppy mischief is going on in the other room.


I do miss them.  The house feels a whole lot emptier without them.

The grown-ups are starting to wonder where all the people went.



Hallie is going to take it especially hard.  She was an awesome aunt!

But, tonight I reclaimed a little bit of my kitchen.  Granted, the only light source I have right now is a clip-on spotlight I aim at different parts of my counter.  But, I wasn’t being swarmed by romping nuggets or nibbled on or constantly on the swivel for pooping off the newspaper.


Despite my walls covered in yellow linoleum flooring (don’t ask), it was exhilarating.

And will be x2 in the morning, when we don’t have to clean up puppy mess for 40 minutes before we even really wake up.

Oh, and for the record, this morning was BLISS.

Albuquerque In Our ♥

28 Dec

One of the benefits of having Spanish in-laws:  the food!

For Christmas Eve, the MIL came over and I attempted a little heritage-themed dinner.

She brought over her famous Spanish tortilla, which is primarily made from eggs & potatoes:


My dish, however, ended up more Tex-Mex than Spanish.  So we had an Albuquerque themed Christmas Eve dinner. ♥


I’m thinking that they name this recipe “Smother Chili Colorado” because its got a cowboy feel to it.  Heavy, smoky flavors and not a lot of spice.

I started by throwing a pound and a half of dry-rubbed (ancho chili powder, salt, & garlic) beef tips into a crockpot.

Then, I added a full can of red enchilada sauce and let them cook on low for 7 hours.

They literally fell apart.


About an hour before the meat timer was scheduled to go off, I made some cilantro-lime rice (recipe below):


And black beans cooked in cumin, coriander, salt and pepper:


Once everything was finished, I just had to assemble the burritos,


smother them with the remaining enchilada sauce and shredded cheddar cheese.


Then, I set them to broil for around 7 minutes.

We served them with a side of our favorite red beans and rice.

¡Feliz navidad!


Christmas Cookie Exchange

27 Dec

I hope this blog post finds you still euphoric off of Christmas spirit!  I know I am!!

As I get older, I am becoming strangely fond of Christmas.


This year, I did something unprecedented.  I baked with a friend!

I know, what a silly thing to get excited about.  But, my kitchen is small and under construction most of the time, so it was nice to take my favorite hobby to a place where it could spread its holiday wings.

I decided to bring supplies for three recipes to the ♥butcher’s house.  Armed with six of our favorite Christmas cookie recipes, we toiled late into the night!

It paid off.






The macaroons turned out great, considering I hadn’t tested the recipe before jumping in.  At the ♥butcher’s suggestion, we included the yolks in subsequent batches and found them much improved!  The sugar cookies were wonderful and so was his gingerbread.  I ended up icing mine with a cream cheese icing one I got home.  He also made chocolate crinkles (my favorite cookie of the night) and “everything cookies” with oats, currants, apricot and raisins just to name a few ingredients.

Not pictured are my snickerdoodles, which were a hit.  So much so that I hit the delete button on their pic by accident.

The night was a success, with both of us taking home giant boxes of cookies to share with our loved ones:


I brought cookies with my everywhere for days!

A few that I took to open presents Christmas morning with her♥ family:


And some I mixed in with my mom’s assortment:


Her peppermint candy cane cookies are seriously amazing.


What Christmas cookie traditions do you have?

Laundromat Lunch

18 Dec

This week, my business achieved a huge milestone!  (Damn you, Facebook, for making that sound so cheesy.)  We moved into our new location.  It took many many weeks of constant toil, but we did it.  We now have room to run our business and plenty of room to grow.  I feel like the luckiest girl in the world right now!

Saturday marked our official grand opening, which we celebrated with a party at the new facility.


That means Monday was our first official day of “normal” work.  It was both exhilarating and anticlimactic.  It’s so hectic right now between the puppies and launching this expansion that I have barely cooked a substantial meal in weeks.  Call me crazy, but the thing I’m most excited about right now is having a schedule.  Knowing when and where I need to be helps me get back into the habit of cooking all three meals instead of depending on “grabbing a quick bite.”

Today, for lunch I made broccoli bites from Stacy’s Snacks


What You Will Need:

16 oz. broccoli florets (fresh or frozen will work), with the liquid squeezed out
1 c. bread crumbs (I use Panko)
3 eggs
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese








Lucky for me, I live just around the block from where I work.  Since we are currently whelping puppies, we have to check in every hour.  Unless it is unbearably cold or wet outside, I try to walk home on these breaks.

I’m learning to love my little walk, even when it looks like this outside:


So, this is the first of what I’m sure will be a long series of laundromat lunches.


I had plenty left over and we reheated them for dinner.

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