Thursday, March 27, 2014

Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken

Try this twist on a classic Asian dish!  Much healthier than the traditional fried version.  It was delicious!  I hope you enjoy!

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup agave syrup or honey*
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce (natural, no salt added)
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes**
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water
For serving:
  • 1-2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup quinoa or rice (optional)
  • 2 cups broccoli florets (optional)
  1. Place chicken in slow cooker and lightly season both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine onion, garlic, agave, tomato sauce, soy sauce, oil and red pepper flakes. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 3-4 hours, or high for 2 hours.
  3. Remove chicken to a cutting board, leaving sauce. Shred chicken into bite-sized pieces; set aside. If using, prepare quinoa or rice according to package instructions and steam broccoli florets.
  4. In a small bowl, dissolve 4 teaspoons cornstarch in 1/3 cup water; add to crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce. Cover and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes, or until slightly thickened.
  5. Add shredded chicken back into sauce. Serve over quinoa, top with steamed broccoli, scallions, and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
*If you prefer a sweeter sauce, you can add an additional 1/3 to 1/2 cup agave syrup or honey.
**You can increase or decrease the amount of red pepper flakes depending on your spice preference. For kids, consider reducing the amount to 1/4 teaspoon or omitting.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bug Themed Baby Shower

Diaper Wreath

I had the honor of co-hosting a baby shower this weekend for my friend Erin.  When she said she was doing a bug theme for the nursery, I was really excited!  Most bug-themed ideas I found on Pinterest were either ladybugs or for a baby girl.  So, we had to be a little creative but what we came up with was really cute!  

The Food

The spread!

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on whole wheat bread
Chicken salad sandwiches on croissants
 Chicken Salad:
  • 1 lb chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonaise
  • bunch of red grapes
  • 2 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced almonds (or any other nut)
  • salt & pepper
The proportions are just an estimate as you may want your salad more dry or creamier based on your preference. You can easily substitute different nuts rather than almonds.

"Snail" wraps: tortillas, little bit of butter, salami, and green leaf lettuce.  Use a gherkin for the snail.

Southwest Spinach and Artichoke Dip (recipe here)

White cupcakes (recipe here)

"Dirt cake" with gummy worms
 Dirt Cake:
  • 1 package Oreos
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 container cool whip, thawed
  • 2 packages chocolate pudding
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 package gummy worms (regular or sour)
Cream together cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar.  In a separate bowl, mix together chocolate pudding, milk, and cool whip until smooth. Mix the pudding mixture with the cream cheese mixture.  Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour, or until set.  Meanwhile, crush Oreos using a rolling pin or food processor until "dirt" consistency.  Layer Oreos, pudding mixture, then Oreos again in individual cups or a trifle dish.  

Pesto Pasta Salad
 Pasta Salad

  • 4 cups uncooked pasta
  • 1 cup fresh basil pesto
  • 2 tbsp chopped green olives
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • several fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • salt and pepper
Cook pasta according to instructions.  Make sure water is salted.  Drain pasta when it is al dente.  Toast the pine nuts in a small pan over medium-high heat until most of the nuts have a golden brown on them.  Move them to a cool bowl to rest.  They will burn if you leave them in the pan.  Put pasta in a big bowl, mix fresh basil pesto, olives, and pine nuts.  Gently mix in cherry tomatoes, peas, basil, and olive oil.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve at room temperature. 

Fruit Salad
The Craft: Necktie and Bow tie Onesies
I used the same idea from my sister's baby shower (post here) to create necktie and bow tie onesies for Erin's little boy.  Use Heat Bond n' Lite iron-on permanent bond paper for the appliques.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Blanket, Bibs, and Burp Cloths

It's that season again! Baby shower season! I've been busy sewing away for multiple baby showers this spring.  I just finished this set and thought I'd share since it came out so cute.  Check out my previous post for tutorials on the blanket and bib.  For the burp cloth, I bought a package of cloth diapers and simply sewed a strip of the main fabric down the center.  Super easy and super cute!  I hope you enjoy!