Friday, July 26, 2013

Pinterest Picks 6

Pesto Chicken Stuffed Shells
There's just something about pesto + chicken that makes me happy. These were very rich, so I think I might add more chicken to it in the future to offset some of the richness of the cream cheese mixture.

Cheesy Garlic Cauliflower Sticks
You've seen the pins. Pins that try to trick you into thinking that cauliflower can somehow be a substitute for bread. It's a lie, y'all. Cauliflower != bread. I would go so far as to say cauliflower < bread. Really, the smell of the cauliflower cooking doomed this recipe for me. After I had mixed the garlic into it, it was a little more manageable, but eww that cauliflower smell. It doesn't use a whole head of cauliflower, so I fed the rest of it to the baby and he loved it for some reason. My husband loved these "cheese sticks", but he didn't have to smell the cauliflower cooking. :) Zucchini Parmesan Crisps OK so the word "crisps" is up for interpretation on this one. I'm sure it was user error, but the only thing crisp was the browned parmesan cheese. Even so, they had the flavor of skillet fried potatoes, so I ate them. :) If anyone has tips on how to make them actually be crispy, they would be fantastic and I would like to hear all about it.

Baked Parmesan Paprika Chicken
Ah the smell of butter in the oven. I mean...ah the smell of chicken in the oven. Seriously though, this smelled great cooking, was simple and quick to prep, and tasted great.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

My Take on Amber Teething Necklaces

There comes a time when you're just sick of having to see your kid shove his fingers in his mouth and scream with teething pain. We tried several pain relief tactics (natural teething tablets, natural teething gel, Tylenol, Motrin, cold teethers, vibrating teethers...) before we finally tried the amber necklace.

If you cloth diaper, you've probably seen amber necklaces all over the place. When we first inquired about them at our local cloth diaper store, about 80% of the kids that were in there with their parents had one on and the parents were singing their praises.

How does it work?

Baltic amber contains Succinic Acid, which has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. As the skin warms up the amber, the acid is released and absorbed through the skin.

I can't say that it takes away 100% of his pain, but I can tell a huge difference in the amount of drool that's pouring out of him when he doesn't have it on vs. when he does. In the last couple of months, he has decided that it's appropriate to put the necklace in his mouth (it's a really short necklace, so I would have thought it was impossible), so he hasn't been wearing it as much. I have heard that the earlier you start a child wearing the necklace, the less likely they are to notice they're wearing it and mess with it. I guess we missed the boat on that. :)

Here's a picture of him back when he didn't try to eat the stinkin' thing (Courtesy of my sister. If you're in the Tupelo area and need some photography, she can hook you up!)

At 10 months, we are now up to 12 teeth, so share your best teething tips! I expect that his cuspids will all come in at once any day now.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Pinterest Picks 5

Asparagus Gratin
This looks fairly impressive and it was a big hit with my husband, but I didn't love it as much as I expected. Probably because it required a decent amount of prep work and I'm just not that into prep work. I think it's best saved for special meals. All in all, I like this asparagus recipe better.

Mexican Rice I actually love Mexican Rice, but I had never tried to make it until I ran into this recipe. As it turns out, it's really quick and easy. I might try the same recipe with quinoa just to see how I like it.

Baked Chimichangas. The link takes you to my inspiration for trying this, but I actually kind of marched to the beat of my own drum on this one. I'll paste my own version below. My husband said they're the best chimichangas he's ever had and it's a huge bonus that they're not deep fried!

1 lb shredded and seasoned chicken (I cooked two chicken breasts in the crock pot with about 1/2 a packet of dry ranch and probably the equivalent of 1 packet of dry taco seasoning, plus about 1/2 cup of chicken broth. In the future I will add about 6 oz of cream cheese to the crock pot to keep from having to mix it together later.)

about 6 oz cream cheese (could use less and could use the 1/3 less fat kind)

cheddar cheese


cooking spray

Cook the chicken and combine with cream cheese and cheddar cheese, spoon it out on a tortilla and fold it up, placing it seam side down on a wire rack (I put a wire rack on top of a cookie sheet to catch any melty cheese). Spray the top of the tortilla with a small bit of cooking spray.

Cook at 350 for about 15 minutes, flip the chimis, spray tops with cooking spray, and cook another 15 minutes.

I made some steak ones too using cut up steak that my husband grilled the day before. Just sprinkled the steak strips with dry ranch, taco seasoning, mixed in the other 2 oz of cream cheese and some cheddar cheese and folded them up.

I made a dipping sauce with sour cream + Frank's Red Hot.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Cloth Diapering and Solid Foods

Back when The Fish was still EBF (exclusively breastfed), I mentioned that the rules for formula fed and solid fed babies are different than the rules of diapering an EBF baby.

Now that we've been feeding solids for nearly 4 months, I can weigh in on how our diaper routine has changed.

I have a little 1 gallon bucket that I keep beside his changing table. If he poops, the diaper along with all of the poopy cloth wipes go into the bucket until I get a minute to spray them out. Once they are rinsed, I dump them into his main pail. This system has worked fine for us. I will say that the sooner you get around to spraying the diaper, the less work it is. That probably goes without saying, but I just thought I'd throw that out there.

We have the Flo diaper sprayer. I haven't tried any of the other brands, but it does the job. I think it was about $50. There are cheaper brands out there and there are ways to make your own with a kitchen sprayer, but this one's spray power is pretty adjustable and it's easy enough to use.

The first time my husband installed it, the instructions that came with it left out some details that caused the sprayer to leak a little. We did a little googling and found what the problem was and haven't had any problems since. It comes with everything you need to install it (including the flexible line that connects the toilet to the water source), so you don't need to purchase anything else with this brand (aside from maybe a wrench of some sort). One "con" is that you have to shake the water out of the spray head before you put it away after each use or it will drip a nice little puddle on the bathroom floor. The second time my husband installed it (we just moved), he had it all put together in a jiffy, so it seems pretty easy once you overcome the questionable instructions. Totally worth the $50.

We are no longer on a septic system, but I still haven't tried the flushable diaper liners. I'm used to spraying his diapers anyway, so I just don't see the need. Plus, I think often enough he can I put this...exceed the limits of the liner with the masterpieces he makes for me, and I would end up needing to spray parts of his diaper anyway. They are probably a great idea for people who travel with cloth diapers or people with babies who are less ambitious poopers.

Fun bonus! I don't know how this happened, but somehow blogger sees some of my pics as .gifs. Isn't this Harry Potter-esque?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Pinterest Picks 4

S'mores Bars!
I love it when I see something on Pinterest that looks delicious and I can go straight to the pantry and make it. It's like destiny! These are messy, gooey, yummy deliciousness!

Sour Cream Chicken Bake
This only has a few ingredients, takes almost no prep time, and you could make enough to feed a crowd easily. The taste is similar to poppy seed chicken, but with less prep time. I've made it twice now and I will say that using the Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix as a topping really is better than using regular bread crumbs.

Honey Lime Chicken Skewers The pin doesn't take you to where the recipe originated, so if anyone knows who owns this recipe, please let me know so I can update the pin. We have made this twice and the second time I made extra just so we could have leftovers. It's that good! I marinate the chicken all day so that it really soaks up the flavors.

As an aside, was I the last to know about these nifty herbs that come in a tube? They last a long time in the fridge as opposed to buying the little packet of fresh herbs. I used the cilantro kind for the chicken skewers. It did not have a strong flavor, but I can't keep an herb plant alive to save my life and when I buy the little packets of fresh herbs they always go bad before I use them all.