Friday, December 16, 2011

Here, there and everywhere!

Happy Friday Friends!

This week has been a blur of excitement with several catering orders, my son's preschool Christmas program, last minute shopping and three Christmas parties. The Holidays are in full swing and I'm enjoying every minute of it. I hope you're doing the same. It's easy to get overwhelmed (especially when making several hundred cookies in a single oven) but in the end, I take a deep breath, pray and it all works out.

I made some fun treats for a reception this week and wanted to share the photos. Don't Christmas cookies put you in a fun mood? (That and a 2 lb. box of Godiva you find calling out your name in the kitchen!)

My meals this week have been a trip to our favorite pizza place, burgers on the grill, pigs in a blanket and some tomato basil bisque with cheddar and ale grilled cheese sandwiches ( but nothing overly gourmet or difficult.

I'll let you get back to your mad dashes through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh for the many festivities going on, but wanted to give you a quick hello.

One more week and we celebrate the most important Birthday of all!


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Show Stopper!

I was recently asked to participate as a vendor in a Holiday Homemade Craft Show. Held in someones home, 7 vendors who all specialize in homemade gifts (think candles, art, ornaments, linens/pillows etc.) sold their specialties to anyone and everyone who stopped by. I have never done this and was excited about getting the word out about my catering business.

Naturally my foodie booth was placed in the kitchen of the home...strategically placed by the complimentary quiche and mimosas. I baked Snickers Popcorn, Banana Bread, Kit Kat Cakes, Red Velvet Whoopie Pies, Carmel Fudge Brownies, Homemade Hot Chocolate and other such fun.

Thanks to the support of all who stopped by, my booth was nearly a sell-out! I came home with 4 lonely little items that quickly disappeared to the joy of my children. I made some great catering contacts and was excited to take a step into unchartered territory for me and my little business.

God is good!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Cheez-It Encrusted Chicken

Greetings friends! I'm munching on Peppermint Bark while juggling my to-do list, wrapping gifts, chauffering my children, helping them learn the lyrics to their Christmas program, figuring out when we're going to get our family Christmas photo taken for our cards, putting away the laundry, vacuuming, attending choir rehearsals for our church cantata (this weekend) and praying that the mahi tacos I have for dinner turn out as good as I hope. Anyone there with me?

It's the most wonderful time of the year and I am in the full throws of holiday cheer, while trying to keep my head above the eggnog, err, water.

We've been living on quick fix meals that I can make several of at a time so that when I've got gift wrap coming out my ears, I can run to the freezer and thank the Lord for a meal that will be ready in 30 minutes to the tune of 350 degrees. One such wonder is a Cheez-it cracker encrusted chicken that received rave reviews from the fam.

It's so easy and I've literally had the recipe since 11th grade (good 'ol Home Ec. class really had some winners!). The exception was, we MICROWAVED this in 11th grade and it was nowhere as good as the version I have below. Such a hideous error. Baking is key. Let's fix it!

3-4 chicken breasts
Cheez-it crackers
1 stick of butter
salt and pepper
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Take 3-4 chicken breasts and cut them into large cubes.

Next, crush 1 1/2 cups of Cheez-it crackers, and melt a stick of butter. Keep in separate bowls.

Take a chicken cube, dip it in the butter (who are we kidding here? I make no low-fat claims in any of my recipes). Then roll in the bread crumbs before placing in a greased pyrex dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes and top with grated cheddar cheese 2 minutes before pulling it from the oven.

Honey, this is so good you can't even imagine! Pair it with some creamy mashed potatoes and a side salad and have yourself a merry little Christmas. The great thing is, it also freezes beautifully so you can pull out that extra pan in a pinch!