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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Chicken Bacon Pinwheels for Dinner

Um, am I the only one who gets stuck in a rut at dinner? Please say no.
I have limited ingredient options to work with to begin with (Due to my picky-like-a-toddler husband) but I feel like we eat the same 3 meals over and over again. The other night I was staring at my ingredients for one of those same three meals. and went-- we gotta do something here to make this more interesting.
So I did.
And It was a hit with the family! Sam gobbled his up and said, "Thank you for making this delicious meal for me, Mama!" (High praise from the child who has eaten little more than a few graham crackers to keep himself alive this week.) Wesley blew through three. Yes, THREE chicken pinwheels. And even Z commented that the chicken had really good flavor and this was a great meal. And Suddenly, there was a multitude of Angels! Praising God, and saying, Glory to God, and Peace on your dinner table!!!

...sorry. That retelling got a little dramatic.

So I took a picture of the well enjoyed meal and shared it's success on instagram. And then you guys were all, What is this delicious looking meat? Is that bacon? Can you make it for me? Can you tell me where you got the recipe?
I always cringe just a little when someone asks for a recipe that I made up on the fly. Because... What if I don't remember it perfectly? But due to high demand... I dusted off my brain and recorded the details for ya'll. Because I love you, so here you go:

Chicken Bacon Pinwheels with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

2 good size Boneless skinless chicken breast
1 lb thick sliced bacon
1/2 tblsp whole grain mustard
1/2 tblsp dijon mustard
1/2 Tblsp honey
1 tblsp white wine vinegar
1 tblsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat over to 400 degrees.
Whisk together mustards, honey, vinegar, and oil, taste and season/adjust ingredients to your liking. (My husband doesn't like his very sweet)
Pound out your chicken breast until approx 1/2 inch uniform thickness. Cut chicken into long strips the same width of the bacon, (approx 2 inches)
Lay down a strip of bacon place a strip of chicken on top (your bacon will be longer, and you want that), and smear a small portion of the vinaigrette, then starting on one end roll up the bacon and chicken snugly and secure the end of the bacon with a toothpick all the way through. repeat with remaining chicken.
Place rolls in glass baking dish, at least 1 inch apart. Brush (or spoon on...) tops of each roll with more vinaigrette. Bake for approx 30 mins, or until chicken is cooked through and rolls are firm. You may finish with broiler to get the bacon nice and crispy, if desired. (remove toothpicks before serving)
This made 8 pinwheels.
I served them here with butter and parsley whipped potatoes and roasted broccoli.

Much simpler than it looks, but kinda looks fancy, doesn't it??? Hope you and your family enjoy it as much as we did! Let me know how it goes :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Life Changing Coffee

I've been meaning to tell you all something really awesome I learned about earlier this year.
Something that is... life changing! Maybe I throw that phrase around a little too much. Hang out with me for a while, you are sure to hear it. So I was delighted to discover a company who also liked to throw it around... but for good reason.
...for good Coffee.
Life Changing Coffee.
If... you are not a coffee lover, don't tune out just yet. Because there is a lot to love about this coffee even if you don't love it in your mug.

Mission Arabica is a company launched just a year ago by a couple of guys who were looking to change lives... specifically the lives of impoverished third-world villages. They do this by helping establish coffee plantations, then purchasing their crop for a fair price, then selling that coffee and... Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Funds are reinvested in more villages... and more lives are changed.
Awesome, right? I mean, that's a reeeaaally simple, broad over view of what they are doing, but read up on the Mission Arabica Website it's really interesting and informative!
If you ARE a coffee lover... there is even MORE good news. Life Changing news. You can purchase some of the specialty grade Mission Arabica coffee and be a part of the process. And... it is GOOOOD coffee friends. Z and I have been enjoying it for a couple months now, and we are going through it like water! (Z is particularly fond of their Christmas blend? But I believe it is being discontinued soon because... well, Christmas is over. This is heartbreaking news.) Anyway. Clicky-click on that link above and stock up before continuing on.
I'll wait.



...Okay. Got your coffee? Here's some more good news for coffee lovers.
Coffee Recipes.
I mean, you knew that you could brew yourself a nice cup of coffee... you might know how to make a latte or even a frappaccino, if you are quite fancy. But did you know coffee could transform your Turkey? Your chilli? MARSHMALLOWS?!?! For real, Guys.
The Mission Arabica Recipe blog just launched a few months ago, and I have actually contributed a few recipes! If you are interested in checking out the recipes I contributed... hop on over to their site. The recipes are there in their entirety with pictures and everything for you. Because we love you.


Look, I know that I just admitted a loose affiliation with the company, but I hope you don't think that I am raving about them for some kind of personal gain, or compensation. Because I am not. And I wouldn't say such things if I didn't believe them. I just... believe in this company. I am impressed with the work they are doing. I'm impressed with their product. I am excited to be a even a small part of what they've got going on. I'm excited that lives are being changed... and I am even excited to have a good source for really quality gourmet coffee.
Anyway. If you find any part of this intriguing or exciting... I encourage you to check out their website, their blog, their recipes, subscribe to their emails. There's good stuff happening.
Life changing stuff.
(Forgive me, I just love throwing that phrase around.)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A story (Or, the blogger's annual promise to be a better blogger)

 Let me tell you a story.
One that you are likely familiar with if you have spent any time in the blogging world.
A long time ago... I started a blog because I wanted to share some pictures and some ideas with friends and family. Then I started getting realy into it-- posting regularly. My blog got some traffic, some attention. And while I was never someone who made money off my blog (NONE, I promise) people began to assume I did? and also, I started to act like I did. I put a lot of my time and energy into this.

So now's the part of the story about losing my spark, or realigning my priorities, or blogging for the 'wrong reasons' (are there right reasons to blog for?), or also, I had kids and this became less important. Also, did you know I have two blogs? One mostly dedicated to my thoughts and rants and whatnot and one mostly dedicated to my craftiness and projects and whatnot... and while it seemed a good idea to keep those separate, two blogs? Who am I? What kind of time do I think I have?
Anyway... I dropped off the face of the earth for most of the last year. Did you notice? But I miss blogging. I miss writing. I miss having an outlet for my thoughts no matter how erratic they may be. I also miss getting to share stuff I make. Because creative people... sharing and exchange of ideas is what fuels us, am I right?

So this story ends with me trying to get back to it. Back to it with a little moderation. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. You don't have to make money from your blog to sucessfully share ideas and participate in real conversations. In fact... maybe that's a little truer way TO share ideas and participate in real conversation. (Angry money-making bloggers don't shun me)
At the very least... I have DARN cute kids, I tell you! And you won't want to miss their antics and pictures. (Yay, mom-blogger!)

And dang it I need an eloquent way to wrap up this post, but I can't really think of one today. (Real life, friends)... so... I won't.