A few things happening in my life right now, in no particular order of importance, but just so you know are:
- Waiting for husband to get back from deer hunting and hoping he bagged a big one.
- Dealing with The Toddler and The TANTRUMS and The Potty Training...and feeling woefully inadequate.
- Regaining approximately five, FIVE I TELL YOU, of the pounds I have recently lost due to traveling for business, family visits, and just plain not paying attention.
- Trying to figure out how in the world to lose this five and another five before the rest of my business trips this fall which include...
- (and this totally deserves it's own bullet point because...doggone!) Chicago for four days at end of October.....coming back home for three days, then going to Anaheim for four days.....home for eight days, then going to Missouri for a personal trip for four days.....home for about a week before traveling to Oregon for Thanksgiving with family....then home for three days before traveling back to Anaheim for another conference for three days....home for one whole day before my 37th birthday.
- Trying to figure out if my husband and I should move our kids halfway across the country for an educational opportunity which could either be the greatest thing to hit our family ever...or give us the hugest most biggest unbelievably largest financial hit ever. But as long as there's no pressure, we should be fine.
- Um, when am I supposed to sleep or exercise for the next three months?
Remember when I promised you guys that I would put recipes on this site? And then remember how I haven't done it yet? And remember how you guys thought I would? Wasn't that funny? Good times. No, seriously, today marks the inaugural post of RECIPE FRIDAY, and I have included some very good ones for you. (Now, keep in mind that RECIPE FRIDAY will not be every Friday, just whatever Friday I actually have a recipe worth sharing and the time in which to post it. And it may not even be on Fridays, because if I actually have a recipe AND the time at the same time? Then I am going to post it no matter what day, because...well, please refer to the bullet points above. Disclaimer Done.)
The first recipe is from a friend of mine that I have had forever, Kay. An interesting note about Kay, besides the fact that stuff happens to her that I have never heard of happening to another human being ever, and that she used to teach 4-H, so you know her recipes are good, is that she never calls me Missie. From just about the day we met, she has always called me Tilda. It started with her calling me Missie Matilda, then morphed to Matilda, then just Tilda. In fact, whenever she refers to me in a conversation with someone else who might know me, she has to stop and say, "Oh, I mean Missie." She is an absolute hoot and just a fun fun gal to work with and have for a friend.
This meatloaf is so good and easy to fix, that it should be a crime. This works great with any ground meat you have on hand. I have made it with combos of hamburger, ground turkey, ground elk, ground deer, Italian sausage, whatever you have on hand will taste great. And if you only have 1lb of meat, adjust your recipe accordingly.
1 lb each hamburger and ground turkey
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup barbeque sauce
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup oatmeal
Salt, pepper, and garlic salt to taste
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Add more oatmeal if it's too sticky. Form into a large loaf shape in 13x9 pan. Cover with foil and bake for one hour at 350 degrees. Remove cover, spread a little bbq sauce on top, and bake for about 5 more minutes. Let stand for 5-10 min before serving.
**you can also add chopped garlic for a little extra flavor. A little cheddar cheese on top would be delicious, too. The leftovers, if you have any, are great for lunch the next day.
This next recipe comes from my new friend, Geanne from New York. We met on a Weight Watchers chat room site and instantly hit it off. We started emailing each other pretty frequently, and the phone calls came soon after. She is just hilarious and I love love love her accent! Her husband was worried that she became such fast friends with some person she met online and said something like, "How do you know she's not a stalker and will show up at our door and kill you or kidnap our kids?" And yes, he is in law enforcement. When she told me that, I just laughed my head off, because seriously? I do not have the energy to regularly post on my blog, much less become a cross-country stalker. As far as her kids go, while they are incredibly adorable, um...no thank you. I have two of my own that I would sometimes like to foist off on other people. I do not want to be adding any more to the tribe.
Anyway, this chicken recipe is so good that my husband has actually asked me to make it again. If any of you knew me well, you would know what a big deal that is. Because chicken? And me? Not such a good combo. I can take a perfectly good chicken and do things to it that make it dang near inedible. It's a talent...try not to be jealous. It strikes fear into the heart of my guys when they ask what's for dinner and I reply with "Chicken." I asked Geanne, who is part Italian and therefore should know how to cook well, if she had any good chicken recipes that wouldn't add 47 lbs to my rear after eating and be completely dork-proof, and she sent me this. I consulted with my friend Becki over at Cooking With Whine (see the linky over there on the right? Go check her out for she is hilarious. I want her to move by me and be one of my new best friends) who gave me some great ideas for add-ins to the filling. Make this for company and I guarantee they will think you were slaving in the kitchen all day. And then they will buy you better presents for your birthday. Moreofawoman--world peace and presents through chicken. Catchy, no?
GEANNE'S CHICKEN PARMESAN BUNDLES
1 pkg cream cheese, softened
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach (10oz) thawed, drained
1 1/4 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
6 tablespoons parmesan cheese, divided
2 cloves minced garlic, or more if desired
1 tsp salt, and pepper to taste
1 tsp Italian seasoning
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded out to 1/4 inch thickness
10 Ritz crackers, crushed (about 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce, heated
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cream cheese, spinach, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 3 tbsp of parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning until well blended. Salt and pepper the chicken breasts, then spread the filling over chicken breasts. Starting at one of the short ends of the chicken breast, roll up chicken tightly. Secure with toothpicks or kitchen string, if desired. Set aside.
Beat egg in shallow bowl or pie plate. Mix remaining 3 tbs parmesan cheese and the cracker crumbs in separate pie plate. Dip chicken bundles in egg, then roll in crumb mixture. Place seam-side down in a 13x9 baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
Bake for 35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove and discard toothpicks, if using. Serve topped with spaghetti sauce and remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese over noodles.
**Becki's Ideas for Additions were chopped sun-dried tomatoes. My friend Katie who is also a gourmet cook suggested artichoke hearts and feta cheese. I think she may have said pine nuts, too. Go ahead, get all crazy with it! Live large and in charge! Embrace the ingredients!
Moreofawoman--freedom through stuffed chicken breasts. Catchier?
This is some good stuff, people. Try it this weekend and let me know what you think.
Next week's recipe: Toddler In A Box