Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Getting excited...

     One of the best things about keeping this blog (besides you wonderful readers) is being able to look back and see how I am doing.  I have found that I am a very cyclical person.  What I mean is, I get an idea in my head and go at it full force for a while then peter off then find some sort of catalyst that sparks the fire again and start all over.  Getting my butt back in the kitchen seems to be doing it again!  The old saucepan catalyst!  I have to say, as far as my kitchen adventures go, I am quite proud of my dinner creation last night.  Last night I decided (for the hubs and myself) to attempt homemade chicken fingers.  This may not seem like much, but you have to remember who you are dealing with here.  I was about to attempt
  1. Making chicken fingers from scratch
  2. Keeping the calories in check
  3. Impressing my should-be chef of a husband
boneless, skinless chicken breasts...egg wash...and garlic/salt/pepper panko
     I assembled my ingredients, and with the "supervision" of my little helper we set to it.  I have to admit...I have never dredged anything.  I like the word, it sounds funny...but the actual action of dredging is one I had not yet tried.  I did have enough "know-how" to buy panko when shopping to offer a slightly healthier version of the breadcrumb, and added some kosher salt, black pepper and garlic powder.  I sliced the chicken into strips and dipped in the egg wash, rolled in pancko and placed on my cooking sheet.  My little one offered much encouragement from her step stool and was very excited about being in charge of the veggies!  I did cop out a bit with the kiddos and made them Tyson chicken nuggets, but I was worried if the strips didnt' turn out well...at least the kids should be able to eat; plus they are dinosaur shaped...so fun!
     Sadly, this is the only picture I have of my creation.  Dinner smelled so good cooking, that everyone was actually at the table waiting for me to give them their plates.  The final product was the chicken strips, mixed veggies and applesauce (can't WAIT to hit the orchard so I can make homemade...that is something I HAVE done and am quite good at if I do say so myself).  The dinner was a huge hit.  My husband even commented on it again later saying how good it was.  I could get used to this.

     My renewed energy in the kitchen is reminding me that I can do many things.  I am (as I can only hope you are too) a Pinterest junkie.  I have been finding some great recipes on there as well as from you and from surfing the web.  I have also started to mark more and more things off what I call my "Mission Accomplished" board.  The board of fun things I find on Pinterest and actually DO!  Most recently I took the message center idea (which has gained a great deal of popularity it seems) and did my own version for our kitchen. 

Not only is this a great way to keep the whole family organized with special events highlighted, but it's my own version.  It gets me using my cricut even more, and is a fun way to add more decor to my home.  It's not even September yet and I have that ready to go...and while it is waiting to be hung on the wall, I have already started planning out my October board.  BOO! 
     I have also started to find a LOAD of craft ideas that I can eassily make for gifts for people.  I too am feeling the crunch of the economy, especially with two growing kiddos, so homemade gifts are l\ooking like the perfect answer to the upcoming holidays.  The ones I am finding and really liking are things that are inexpensive to make, plus you get the added bonus of telling someone you made their gift and that to me makes it more special.  I have also decided (early enough this year) that I will be knitting some gifts.  I have wanted to do this the past few years, but don't think about it until mid-November usually.  Even with my fun little knifty knitters, I need more time than that. 
     If you are a Pinterest fan, check out my boards and share some of your own.  Happy Tuesday!

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