Thursday, February 28, 2008

Crunchy Ranch Chicken

With our new meal rotation, I have a list of 50 meals. some of them are meals we eat all the time, some are just easy meals we can throw together on those nights we just don't want to spend a lot of time cooking. We're still going to plan for 2 weeks at a time, we're just going to draw numbers 1-50 out of a cup and those will be our meals for the next few weeks. Then I'll go shopping for the ingredients for those meals when we get paid. Similar to what we've been doing, only a wider variety of meals! and if we don't like them, we'll scrap them and pick another one.

Tonight we tried Crunchy Ranch Chicken. and in an effort to be like the Pioneer Woman, I took pictures as I cooked. I LOVE pictures when I'm looking for recipes to try. My idea of a good cookbook is a picture on every single page, with every single recipe. That's actually how I buy my cook books, is first by theme (y'know, like a pasta cookbook, or chicken) and then by how many pictures there are inside.

so here goes.
This recipe was very simple and only took me about 1/2 hour from start to eating. I like recipes like that. It was something that Matt can cook up even! *smiles* yeah right.

I started out with a bowl full of cornflakes, and then crushed the heck out of them with a glass cup. it was harder than I thought. Next time I think I'll put them in a ziplock bag and use my rolling pin. I thought about doing that this time, but I usually end up getting crumbs all over because the sharp pieces poke through the bag.
I got my cup of cornflakes and had left over (because I didn't crush enough the first time. . .) so I put them in a ziplock baggie and we'll use them for the next time we make this recipe. Which we will.
Then I added a good dash of italian seasoning. Enough to empty my bottle!! But that's ok because I had bought another bottle to refill this one. I used italian dressing because the recipe called for fresh parsley. . .and well, I just don't have fresh herbs on hand. it's be cool if I did though. I also added some garlic salt and some pepper. And just stir all these good thing together!
then you put some ranch in a bowl, with a little bit of water to make it more runny.
Take your chicken--I used two chicken breasts, the recipe called for 1 lb of chicken breast, but I don't have a kitchen scale! I don't even have a bathroom scale! so i pulled my last two chicken breasts out of the freezer this morning. . .ok, I pulled them out this afternoon.
I chopped the chicken into bite-size pieces. The recipe said to cut into thin long strips, but I like this way better.
dump all that chicken into the ranch mixture and stir it all up. I had a hard time not licking my fingers when they got ranch on them. Coat the chicken pieces in the corn flake mixture and place on a greased pan.
Those look good even before they're cooked!! yummy. . .

Crunchy Ranch Chicken

1 cup cornflake crumbs
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup ranch dressing
1 teaspoon water
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips

--Combine cornflake crumbs and parsley.
Combine dressing and water in another bowl.
Dip chicken into dressing mixture. Cover with cornflake mixture. Place on lightly sprayed non stick pan. Bake 8 minutes or until tender in a 425 degree oven.

Like i mentioned above, I used italian seasoning instead of parsley, and cut the chicken into bitesized pieces. We also cooked it for about 10 minutes, and cut a larger piece in 1/2 to make sure it was cooked all the way through. the two chicken breasts weren't quite enough, but it was perfect for the ranch and corn flake mixture. Hardly any left over!

We'll cook this again. most definitely.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

feeling hungry

I'm trying to get back on my schedule of making a dinner at least 4 times a week. What I had been doing is creating a meal plan for two weeks at a time--from payday to payday--and then going shopping at the beginning of the two weeks to buy all our groceries.

Then I had a baby, and that all went south.

Since Katryn was born we've eaten horribly. Actually we've hardly eaten! I'm slightly scared to leave katryn in the room alone when she's sleeping on our bed--she doesn't sleep in her bed--because I know how Indy is, and she's sooo curious in her that I'm afraid I'll walk in and Indy will be laying right next to her, licking her face. We'll give Katryn a few months before we let Indy do that. After she has control of her limbs and can kind of protect her face a bit.

anyway, we had some meals delivered to us from the kind sisters in my ward the first few days, and luckily it was enough to last us the first week. Then we got pizza, and matt's mom cooked for us a few times, and we had grilled cheese, quesadillas and ramon. That's really all we've eaten the past four weeks. It's sad really. and we need to eat better and more often (my 2 'meals' a day aren't cutting it while I'm breast-feeding i think)

I decided to create a 30 day rotation. And by rotation I just mean a list of meals I want to eat, meals we normally eat, a few new ones to try out and such. Then we can pick and choose as we want and cross them off. If we like them, I'll move it to the next 30 day list, if we don't, then we'll pick something else to try.

I hope this works for us!

so I've made my list, and I only have 20 meals and I'm kinda stumped for 10 more meals. I don't want anything too difficult because Matt's not really a cook. Wait--he's not a cook at all. I taught him how to boil chicken last night. His cooking involves grilled cheese, quesadillas, raman, and cereal. I'll teach him yet

In my search for more meal ideas I went to my favorite place for anything lately: Baby Center. I'm addicted to this page, I spend soo much time on here it's ridiculous. But I don't really have much else to do right now until it's warm enough to take Katryn outside.

They have boards for everything, it's great! I play around on the scrapbook board, the food board, the LDS board, the January 2008 babies board, I research all things baby on here. . .basically do pretty much everything here.

On the food board, I found a thread where everyone was posting their favorite food blogs. So now I have quite the list! here's one of my favorites. . .which if i remember, Ashley gave to me at one time as well. The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Soo funny, I loved it. And so many pictures! it's like the best cookbook I've ever found. and i don't have to pay for it.

now I have a whole list of food blogs to help me find more recipes. Oh, and if anyone has anything they think I should try, let me know! I'm open to suggestions!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Tag, I'm it

Nancy tagged me for this. Here are the rules: Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 3 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

10 years ago today...
uhh. . .Feb 15th, 1998. . .I was in 8th grade, and probably complaining about homework and hating it, I shared a room with my older sister Jenni, who was getting ready to graduate from high school, and my best friend was gone to Israel-byu Jerusalem where her dad was teaching, and we would email each other all the time (and I mean ALL the time)

5 things on my to-do list today:
I don't keep to-do lists, because i never get them done. I do however, keep little goals in mind, but don't let myself feel guilty if I don't get them done. Like today, I want to be able to eat a full meal, finish my book, and perhaps do a load of laundry. Maybe I'll get ambitious and do a load of dishes too!

I enjoy:
Reading, writing, being outdoors doing all sorts of things like walking, hiking, rock climbing, camping. I like yoga and taking naps (especially in the sun). Spending time with Matt and Katryn and Indy. Watching tv, and movies. I like to cook, but I don't have the patience for it really.

What would I do if I were suddenly a billionaire?
Hrm, buy a house with LOTS of land and then get lots of animals to run around on that land, pay off school loans and pay for school in full. Pay for all my relative's houses, set up school funds for Katryn and my neices and nephews, put a large chunk into a savings type account and give the rest away to the church and charities. But like Nancy, I don't know if I can even fatham how much a billion dollars is. . .

3 of my bad habits:
1-Sleeping too much and sitting around all day
2-not paying enough attention to my puppy (the poor girl!)
3-I pick at my nails and lips when I'm bored, I guess I just need something to keep my hands busy

5 jobs I have had:
1-Janitor
2-rock climbing instructor
3-assistant manager at an outdoor store
4-assistant manager at Kid to Kid
5-customer service representative at the willey


5 things you might not know about me:
1- I'm very, very shy--I can't even call and order pizza, let alone call my visiting teachee's or something like that. I don't get out of my comfort zone very well
2-I have a hard time working with girls, too many girls spending too much time together creates too much drama which makes me annoyed.
3-spiders freak me out. They used to not, they used to not bother me at all, until I ate one. oy
4-I play World of Warcraft--yup, and I really like it too.
5-I have a secret that only 5 people in the entire world know and would shock everyone--and I mean it! but I'm not telling


Ok, and now I will tag GLENN, ASMOND, ASHLEY, and ANYONE ELSE who wants to play. :) I'm curious about other people now.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Warning: Emotional Breakdown Ahead!

I knew that having a baby would be a lot of work, and I knew that I wouldn't get much sleep. but i didn't know how I would react to everything. I had an idea of how I would be, but it turns out I wasn't very close to be accurate.

a few nights ago, I went to bed around 10pm, while Matt kept an eye on Katryn--which means keeping her noises to a minimum (if possible--she makes a LOT of noise--see here). He came to bed around 1am, and i fed Katryn and she stayed awake until 5-6am. I was a wreck. Complete emotional mess. I'm a sleeper! I used to sleep around 10 hours a night. That's how I function the best, I've been like that for about 10 years. so trying to get by on 4 hours of sleep does not work well for me.

I tried everything to get her to go to sleep. I guess her falling asleep wasn't really the problem. I'd hold her and she's fall asleep, I'd lay her down in her bed and she'd wake up and start crying. so we'd start the process all over. I'd even wait until I knew she was completely out and slowly lay her down--keeping my arms under her for a while so she'd get accustomed to the feel of her bed in place of my arms. No luck.

Matt took her for about an hour and had her sleep on his chest, since she sleeps best being cuddled/held. so I got a bit of sleep, but that was probably not a good thing. I was even MORE tired than I was before, if that was possible. I'm carrying Katryn around, crying but not really knowing why. That happened a few times that night. I even had to just lay her down in bed and leave because I was such a mess and I just sat in the bathroom and cried for a while.

The next morning I felt a little silly about how I had reacted, but sleep deprivation had set in on me. We finally fell asleep around 8am, when matt got up for work. I just held her in my arms and we were able to sleep for about 3 hours.

I wasn't excepting emotional breakdowns because I have a baby now. I've never really been an emotionally strung person, if that makes sense. I rarely cry, or get upset, mad etc. I'm an easy-going person. But having a baby changed that completely, and I wasn't expecting that at all. I imagine I'll have more breakdowns as she gets older, but hopefully as she starts sleeping longer through the night, and I start getting more sleep, it'll be better. Hopefully.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Snow day

Church was canceled today. Which is ok with me, because I wasn't going to go anyway, it's way too cold and snowy to take a baby out I think. That and Matt has to work, and we haven't got a carseat base installed in my car yet.

It has snowed AT LEAST a foot since in the past 3 hours. Matt went out to shovel, so he could get his car out, and it's coming down as fast as he could shovel he said. He saw an ambulance and fire truck try (note the use of the word try) to come up our road, and they couldn't make it. And he's supposed to get our little neon out of our neighborhood and then back later tonight, after it's snowed more?? oy

I was hoping he'd stay home, because I get bored just sitting her with Katryn. She's just not very exciting yet. I'm waiting for her to 'wake up' in about a month or so. Right now she's just a snacker and a sleeper. Which is normal I think. Well, it's normal for her.

So Matt called the store manager and he didn't answer his phone. He called the district manager, and she's out of the country. Called other local stores (the provo store) and no one answered. he doesn't have the power to not open the store because of weather, he'd get fired.

He's attempted to go to work, he took his dad's blazer, since it can handle the snow better than our little neon. i called my sister, who lives near his work, and she said it was just windy there. I hope he made it there safe!! but I wish he could've stayed here with me. . .oh well, we're having steak for dinner at least!