Thursday, February 26, 2009

Garlic and Cheese Chicken

I made for dinner tonight one of my favorite recipes. So, I thought I would share. Please don't rely entirely on the picture when deciding on whether or not you want to try it. I am not the best photographer and if you could only smell the aroma of this dish, it would complete the picture. It is very simple and tastes soooo good.

1 tbsp butter
1 clove of garlic, minced
3 tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 cup of ricotta cheese
4 tbsp grated parmessan cheese
3 tbsp bread crumbs
2 breasts of chicken with skin on (this usually comes only with the bone in)
salt & pepper

(Note: This is a perfect dish for 2. If you are making it for 4, just double the ingredients! It is that simple)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On the stove, melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add garlic and fry gently without browning, stirring for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parsley, the cheeses, the bread crumbs, & salt and pepper. Carefully loosen the skin around the chicken. Using a spoon, or your hands, stuff the mixutre under the skin. Use equal amounts on each piece of chicken. Arrange the chicken in a large roasting pan. (I would spray some non-stick spray on the bottom of the pan) Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.

(Note: If at 30 minutes the tops are looking too brown, cover loosely with a piece of foil for the remaining 15 minutes.)

This dish smells so good cooking and the garlic and cheese has such a good flavor! Enjoy!

Signs of Spring

What are the signs of spring? Well, it was quite evident today while we were basking in the warm 80 degree temps, that yep, spring is near. (If not already upon us!) Some early signs are the jasmine vines that are blooming everywhere, the pear trees are starting to sprout their little white blooms, and the snakes are a crawlin'! I just had a feeling when I went for my walk this morning that I was going to happen upon one of those slimy little, good for nothing characters. Thankfully he was small and seemingly harmless, but I steered quite clear of him. My mom used to always say that if you see a baby snake, the mother isn't too far away, so I got right out of there. So spring is upon us and it is a little early this year. I think the groundhog must have been a little confused this year.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Le Petit Hameau

Just wanted to share with those of you who read this blog some info about the store my in-laws own. They have very graciously given me a little part-time job there and I have enjoyed working there a lot the last couple of months. In fact, I loved a lot of their product before I started working there and now I just want to buy it all to put in my home. The name means "the little hamlet" and the store mainly carries items that have been imported from Europe. There is some American made things in the store and some home decor items bought from the local market, but the best stuff is what they have personally hand picked while on their travels to Europe. My favorites being the Italian pottery and French Provence linens. I have actually personally been to the ceramic workshop in Certaldo where they get the Italian pottery and love everything that man makes! It is just him and his one assistant that hand paint everything and he only ships to their store here in the US. They also have jewelry from Barcelona and Paris and some of the best smelling candles, soaps, and lotions I have ever seen. The German Christmas corner is also very unique and is so beautiful t look at. Who cannot be happy looking at Christmas stuff all day long! So check out their website, and better yet, come stop by sometime. They are located in Keller and I work on Wednesdays and Fridays until mid-afternoon! Come say HI!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Office/Playroom Swap

So Charlie and I have spent the last 2 days swapping my office for a girls playroom. My office was not so much used as a real office and the current playroom was not located central enough to the house and was too small. So we decided to make the swap. So now, Sarah, has the playroom of her dreams (minus a TV, which daddy will ensure she has that soon!) and I have an office back off the master bedroom with a gorgeous view of our backyard and pool. I think this swap solved a lot of our issues with Sarah having a playroom close to the kitchen and family room and now my office is more private and the old nursery off the master is much more suited for its new role.

Above: My new office space. It is hard to get a good picture because the shape of the room is circular. It is in a turret off the back of the house.

Below: My old office and now Sarah's new playroom. She is loving it!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Swan Lake

Back in July I bought tickets for Sarah and I to go see Swan Lake. It was a long time coming, but soooo worth the wait! Texas Ballet Theater put on an amazing performance of this magical classic. I have only seen one other ballet done by them (The Nutcracker) and was expecting this not to be as good. The Nutcracker was so great, I didn't think they could top it. Well they came pretty close. The sets were wonderful, the costumes were beautiful and the dancing was excellent. The lead roll of Odette could not have been danced any better in my book. She was so great in that role. I always cry at the ballet and this was no exception. The final scene was so moving I had tears in my eyes. The only thing that could have made this performance any better was to have a live orchestra. So if you live in the DFW area...go support your ballet so they can have enough money to get the orchestra back! Sarah thought it was great, as well, but it was a little lengthy and not as "fun" as the Nutcracker. All in due time she will be as mesmerized as I was!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Heart Day!

And oh what a day full of hearts it was!!! We started off the day with heart shaped pancakes! Of, course. That is Sarah's favorite breakfast! We then all exchanged Valentine's and gifts. Charlie, as usual, spoiled the girls and me. Flowers, clothes, stuffed animals. I think an itunes gift card was good to reciprocate the giving! NOT! He always goes above and beyond. That is one of the many reasons why I am so happy he is MY valentine! Then after Sarah's dance class she had some of her little friends over for a playdate and Valentine crafts. They enjoyed making Valentine collages and paper rose bouquets. After a little dress-up and pretend play they had heart-shaped sandwiches (of course) and Valentine red fruit cups. Heart-shaped chocolate cookies were sent home in their little goodie bags! The adults had sandwiches and strawberry salad. See photos below. It was a fun little day and will end with none other than Heart-shaped pizza and some family time. Maybe if we are not totally exhausted, the hubby and I can pop some popcorn and watch a movie later! Treat! Well, I hope all 2 of you who probably read this blog have/had a wonderful Valentine's Day. Hearts to you all!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Lauren, Lauren, Lauren!

I have taken some photos of Lauren recently and just wanted to share. She is a total handful these days, but she is also getting sweeter by the second. She is doing great at daycare 3 days a week and absolutely LOVES being in the young toddler class. She will start full time over there in about 1 more week. She is so cute sitting at the little table and chairs having snack with all of her friends. The only not cute part about it is that they are all actually eating the snack and Lauren just licks on it, but I have every confidence we will be there soon. I think being around those kids that often will be good for her to want to start eating regular food. I am already seeing little signs of progress, so I have my fingers crossed she will turn the corner soon. We have been practicing at home a lot, too! (Note the pictures) She is also waving bye-bye, trying to say Sarah and Ma-ma, and she dances up a storm! She is a sweetheart, just ready for her to get a little easier!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tornado Warning in February

Well tonight was a clear sign to me that winter is over and spring is on the way! It is February 10th and we had our 1st tornado warning of the year! It took me 3 attempts to get Lauren to sleep tonight and about 10 minutes after I finally got her to sleep the tornado sirens start going off!! AGH! So, Sarah was already by my side and I dashed upstairs and grabbed the sleeping Lauren, then back downstairs and into the closet we went. Peaches, too! We hung out for about 10-15 minutes. The sirens went off briefly during that time, but then came back on. Once I felt all was clear, I went and checked the computer and put Lauren back to bed. I held her in my arms the whole time and she never woke up! Even through Sarah talking a mile a minute and Peaches acting like a weirdo, she was out like a light! So both are safe and snug back in their beds and that is where I am headed too! After all that, I don't think there ever was a real tornado, but better safe than sorry! Too bad Charlie missed all the fun!
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