Family News and Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Three weeks have passed since I last posted here. I can’t believe it has been that long! I seriously try to write more frequently, but it seems like 3 weeks is the norm these days! Here is what’s been happening on the home front.

Last week we did indeed get the freezing temperatures that I was afraid of. Most of the gorgeous blossoms that I showed in the previous post froze when our spring-like temperatures dropped into the 20s for several nights in a row. Our plum trees had bloomed a few weeks earlier than the peaches and were already showing tiny plums. They also froze and turned black in the freezing temperatures.

We had a bridal shower for Ben’s lady. I am so glad my sister was able to come for it! And we had a birthday party for Little Miss Mia’s daddy! She really wanted to blow out all the candles by herself, so he had to discourage her!

But the best news of all was that my girl’s man came home safely from his deployment! I just love this picture!

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Now for the recipe! I had never made stuffed chicken breast before this try, and the guys loved it! It was not as hard as I had thought it might be. I didn’t follow a recipe, but just went by what I have read online about stuffed chicken breasts. I am sure that there are people out there who know tricks to make it easier!

  • 3-4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2-3 tbsp. heavy cream
  • several large hands full of fresh spinach (sorry! I didn’t measure!)
  • salt and pepper
  • 12-16 slices of bacon

Carefully slice open the chicken breasts making a small pocket in the side of each.Be careful not to slice all the way through. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the two cheeses and the heavy cream and mix well. Lightly steam the spinach to soften. Squeeze all the moisture out of the spinach and stir it into the cheese mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into the chicken breasts. Wrap each chicken breast with bacon, using about 3 slices per piece of chicken. The amount of bacon will depend on the size of each chicken breast. Place wrapped chicken in a slightly oiled pan. Bake at 350 degrees until juices are no longer pink and the bacon looks crispy, about 40 minutes. Again, baking time will depend upon the size of the chicken breasts. Thicker pieces will require longer baking time. Serve with a green salad on the side!

 

 

 

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Getting Kids to Eat

Those of us who have kids in the house, or have had kids in the house over the years know how tiring it can be to get them to eat what you  have spent time preparing! We all know how important it is for our children to eat well-balanced meals and to get proper nutrition for their growing bodies.

Unfortunately, those precious children, whom we dearly love, don’t always love the food that we put in front of them. During dinner, they will just push the food around on their plates making it look like they are eating at least some of it. Ya’ll know what I’m talking about.

When our kids were young, we always had family dinner together each evening. The children were required to eat at the table with us…no cell phones, toys, books or other distractions were allowed. And they were required to at least try a bite of everything that was served. If I served up their plates, I tried to give them small servings so that finishing dinner was not a terrible trial in the event they didn’t care for the meal. However, if they served themselves they had to eat what they had taken.

I am sure you all have fun stories to tell of your children and their eating habits. One of mine would walk by the stove as I was preparing dinner. He would stretch tall to see what I was cooking in the pan or pot. “What’s for dinner, Mom?” was the question. If he didn’t like the answer, I heard, “I’m not hungry.”  We decided that it was perfectly fine if he was not hungry. He had to sit at the table anyway. And if he didn’t eat, he got nothing as a snack in the evening when his siblings did.

One of my other children hated casseroles. There was something wrong about having different foods touching each other on the plate! And of course, there were always the vegetable battles.  “Eat your peas, Louise” was a story that we had read one time, and it became a phrase said often at our supper table!

Today I read a blog post about getting kids to eat. Holly, over at Home Sweet Home with Holly, shares a great idea that she has used in her family. I can see how Rating the Recipe would work well with older children. Wish I had thought of it years ago!

If you still have kids at home, give it a try!

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Wow! It’s been several days since I’ve been here on the blog! I just checked the views and we are at 20,998! Almost to 21,000. I know that is just small stuff to those who are really into the blogging world. But for little old me, that is amazing!

Last weekend we had all the family together again!!!! I was so glad that it worked out for my girl and her man to come as well as son #2 and his favorite lady friend. It has been since last Labor Day that we were all together, and with one of my Blue Stars heading overseas for several months, and another one of my Blue Stars also leaving soon, it will be a while before we can all be together again. I cherish the times we can all be under my roof and around my supper table!

We decided to have our 4th of July celebration on Saturday since my girl and her hubby would have to travel home on the 4th. Saturday was such a fun day!! While some of the guys went for a run, the girls and I  went shopping! Seriously, what else would we do, right?  In the afternoon  and evening we played some bocci out in the yard, played several very loud rounds of Scattergories, ate some amazing food, set off some fireworks, and laughed–a lot!

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In addition to grilled steaks, we had potato salad, baked beans, tomatoes, hummus and salsa with chips, watermelon, etc. You know, all the good stuff that goes along with 4th of July! For dessert I had gotten a birthday cake for Barbi, but she decided that it would be better to celebrate all the July birthdays instead of just hers. Our combined ages equal 106!

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On the spur of the moment I decided to put together some jalapeno poppers to add to the meal. These are very easy to make, and all the guys loved them! I really don’t have a recipe that I follow, but I will try to give close estimates on the amounts. They are THM-friendly, too!

The jalapeno peppers that I used were huge! Our local Aldi had them in a package of 5 for less than 75 cents! The bigger peppers are much easier to work with than smaller ones.

5 jalapeno peppers

2-3 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 wedge of garlic and herb cheese (got mine at Aldi)

Sprinkles of onion powder, garlic powder, salt (to taste)

5 slices of bacon

Cut the peppers in half length-wise and remove the seeds. Combine the cheeses and spices and mix well. Spoon the cheese mixture into each pepper half, using all of it.

Wrap each stuffed pepper half with a slice of bacon and place on a jelly roll pan.

Bake in 350* oven for about 15-20 minutes. The bacon should be getting crispy. Enjoy!

 

Zucchini Boats

I got to spend some time this weekend with my sweet little grandgirl. Oh my, does this child love her apples! She’s a mess!

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I’ve been looking for some new recipes lately to help the hubby get back on track with his eating habits. I found a recipe tonight in the new THM cookbook and was pleasantly surprised that I could play around with it a little and make it something to his liking but still have it low-carb. You know me…I almost always change up recipes! I used  ground sausage instead of the called-for chicken chunks. I also added some seasonings along the way.

about 3-4 medium zucchini squash

3/4 lb. ground sausage

1/2 medium onion, diced

1 tsp. minced garlic

salt and pepper to taste

one medium tomato, diced

sprinkling of basil, ground red pepper, and oregano

mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400*. Cut the zucchini lengthwise and hollow out the middle. Spray a cookie sheet lightly with coconut oil. Place the zucchini boats on the sheet and bake about 10 minutes.

While zucchini is baking, brown the sausage with the onion and garlic. Drain off any fat. Add the salt, pepper, basil, ground red pepper, and oregano. Stir well to incorporate spices. Add diced tomato and stir.

Scoop the meat mixture into the zucchini boats. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Return pan to oven for an additional 8 minutes or so. Zucchini should be tender and cheese melted.

Any leftover meat mixture can be served in a bowl with mozzarella cheese melted over the top.

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“There is no construction zone.”

Story first, then recipe. It was rather crazy.

Last weekend we had the opportunity to travel to FL to see our 2Lt. Since we were to be leaving early in the morning, I was looking forward to snoozing in the car on the way there. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, I ended up being a driver on the trip. The 2Lt was in need of a new-to-him car (the reason is another story for another day), and he had purchased one from a friend. A friend in NC. And of course, since we were already planning a trip to see him, he asked us to bring the car down for him. This meant a trip to NC to get the car and then the trip to FL. Thankfully son #3 made that drive with his dad.

Although we tried to stay together for the most part, we didn’t attempt to while we went through Atlanta which we hit during  the early morning rush hour. I knew that we would come to the highway split where we would go to the right while lots of other holiday travelers would go to the left. I was watching very carefully for that split. Soon the traffic had thinned out and I was happily driving along looking forward to breakfast when my phone rang. The hubby had decided to stop a little earlier and needed to tell me where to meet him. “Oh, good,” I said. “How much farther is it after the construction zone?”  After a pause, he replied, “Jan, there is no construction zone.” Sigh…I had totally missed that split in the highway even though I was carefully watching for it!! It took me 45 minutes to turn around and drive back to that split and finally make it to the restaurant! Thankfully, the traffic was not nearly as bad as it had been 45 minutes earlier!

Now for the recipe. Tonight for hubby’s dinner I decided to try something new. It truly was an experiment since I just created as I went along. It ended up being Skillet Pizza. I guess you could also call it Pizza in a Bowl. It tastes just like a pizza but without the crust, so it is low-carb!

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1 lb. ground turkey

1 jalapeno pepper, diced

1 small onion, diced

several mushrooms, sliced

1/3 cup or so of pizza sauce (just a guess since I didn’t measure)

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/3 c. Parmesan cheese

1-1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown the meat in a large skillet. Add the pepper, onion, and mushroom pieces and let them cook as the meat browns. Drain off any fat.

Add the pizza sauce, seasonings, and Parmesan cheese and stir well. Spread the mixture in the pan and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top. Turn off the heat and cover the pan. Let sit until the cheese melts. Enjoy with a green leafy salad.  Makes 2-4 depending on how hungry you are!

Skillet Trout

Since the hubby and I have been eating the THM way, I have been serving more fish and chicken than red meats. Hubby usually likes almost any kind of seafood. Me? Not so much. I remember as a child when my family would do the occasional meal out. Dad and Mom loved the local fast food fish place. I am pretty sure that my brother and sister did as well. However, I just could not bring myself to order fish. I would always order chicken strips instead. Yes, I was that child. I still order chicken at a seafood restaurant. I do like a tuna wrap once in a while, but that’s about the extent of my seafood consumption.

A few weeks ago I was able to buy some fresh trout at a fairly decent price. When I get deals like this, I will freeze individual portions to make it easier when the time comes for cooking it. Last night I pulled out the trout and then proceeded to search for some trout recipes. I found several and combined them using some of my THM knowledge gained over these last months.

The hubby has always enjoyed fish breaded and fried. The breading, though, is usally full of carbs. Knowing this, I decided to experiment using psyllium husk flakes as my breading. It worked quite well! Whole psyllium flakes have 10 grams of carbs in 2 tablespoons. However, those carbs are all dietary fiber! This means it is really zero carbs! Tim’s trout turned out nice and crispy and well-seasoned!

2 tbsp. whole psyllium flakes

salt, basil, garlic powder,  and onion powder to taste

2 tbsp. or so of Dijon mustard

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 filet of trout (4-6 oz. maybe?)

coconut oil for frying

Heat coconut oil in a large skillet. Combine the psyllium flakes with the seasonings on a plate. Mix well and set aside. Combine the Dijon mustard with the lemon juice and spread half of it on one side of the fish. Set the fish on the psyllium mixture to coat well.

Place the fish, seasoned side down in the skillet and fry for about 5 minutes. While it is frying, use a pastry brush to apply the remaining mustard mixture. Sprinkle the remaining seasoning mixture over the fish. Gently turn the fish over to fry on the second side, about 4-5 minutes. Remove pan from the heat, cover and let it rest for about 3-4 minutes or until the fish is done all the way through.

Serve with a green leafy salad!

Crustless Hamburger Pie

Ok, so I have been AWOL for the last few weeks. So sorry about that. My stay-at-home-mom status changed about 2 weeks ago when the need arose for a new church secretary. I’ve been helping out in our church office each morning for a few hours. It is a fun change although a bit challenging since I’ve not had any formal secretarial training! My college degree was in education, and I was a teacher in traditional schools for 7 years and a home schooling mom for 20. However, I am enjoying learning something new even if it means getting out the door (properly dressed!) by 8:40 in the morning!

I was looking for a new ground beef recipe the other day and found several for hamburger pie. I did a little combining and came up with this one that the family enjoyed. While one recipe called for ground beef, other ground meats can be used as well. Next time, I will probably try a combination of ground beef and sausage. I really liked the way it all held together without a crust. Pair it with a green leafy salad, and you have a delicious THM meal!

1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained

1/2 c. tomato sauce

2 tbsp. ground flax

1/2 tbsp. Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 egg, beaten

Combine all these ingredients and stir together well. Pour into a greased 9-inch baking pan. A pie dish works well, too.

For the topping combine the following ingredients:

2 eggs, beaten

3 oz. softened cream cheese

3 tbsp. heavy cream

1/2 tsp. dry mustard

1/4 tsp. black pepper

Whisk the topping ingredients well and pour over the meat mixture. Spread about 3/4 c. grated white cheddar cheese on top.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until the center is firm and the top is lightly browned. This recipe serves 4. Double it for a larger family!