Food Glorious Food- Cheddar Baked Chicken

It’s been too long since I’ve shared a recipe (Because you know I’ve been having a love-hate relationship with my kitchen and all). One of the first Pinterest delights that I tried was a recipe my friend Cathy had pinned called Cheddar Baked Chicken. It is an absolutely amazing dish and always a hit at our house.  It might not be the most healthy because of the Ritz crackers and the sauce, but it sure does taste delicious and there are plenty of substitutes out there: check out this list for some great substitutions. While writing this, I decided I might just try a healthy alternative version of this next time I make this dish just for kicks and giggles.

Ingredients:
4 Large Chicken Breasts
1/2-1 whole block Cheddar Cheese
1 Sleeve Ritz Cracker (or substitute)
1/2 cup milk
1 Egg
Salt
Pepper
Parsley
Any Spices you might like

For the Sauce:
1 Can cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
1 TBS SC
1 TBS butter
Parsley

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400°
Squish up your Ritz Crackers in the cracker sleeve and then dump the crackers crumbs into a bowl. (If you prefer to use a food processor have at it, I just view it as one more thing to clean up so I skip it.) Add salt, pepper and whatever spices you like to the crackers.
Shred your Block of cheese into another bowl.
Mix your milk and egg into a third bowl.
Grease a large glass baking pan.
Cut up your chicken breasts into about 3-4 pieces per breast.
Dip your pieces of chicken in the milk mixture, then the bowl of cheddar cheese. Press the cheese into the chicken, then dip into the crackers.  Lay the breaded chicken in the pan.  Repeat for all the chicken pieces.  Sprinkle any leftover cheese and crumbs on top of the chicken in the pan.
Cover the pan with tin foil and bake for 35 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes until chicken is golden brown.

For the sauce:
Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat until thoroughly heated. Pour over chicken (or in the case of little persons put on the side so they can dip.)

Pair with some veggies or a salad and you have a delicious meal you will be taking requests for in the future.

What Working Mom’s do during their “Lunch Break”

If you ever wonder what us working moms do during our lunch break I can tell you we are sometimes lucky to actually squeeze food into the lunch break. . . it’s all about getting as many tasks completed that we can do sans child so that we can spend more quality time with the kiddos.

This is what we do. . .

We run errands.  We buy dry goods from the grocery store, anything we can leave in the car without fear of spoiling or melting or becoming toxic while it sits there in our car from lunch until we make it home.  We pick up pet food from Petsmart or Petco. We get gifts for birthdays and holidays.  We get our oil changed.  We go to the bank.  We renew our registrations.

We stay in the office and catch up on household business.  We make phone calls. We schedule appointments.  We research classes and things to do with the kiddos when we are with them.  We make sure the bills are paid.  We budget.  We make meal plans and grocery lists.  We catch up on emails that are long overdue for an answer.  We write on our blogs. We read parenting articles. We finish making costumes or crafts for upcoming holiday parties for the kiddo.  We try to figure out other jobs where we could work from home.  Sometimes we even try to read a few chapters in the never- ending stack of books telling us “the correct” way to parent while sitting in front of our desks eating a salad, a sandwich, or last night’s leftovers.

If we are lucky we quietly eat an actual lunch at our desk quickly in about 15 minutes so we can leave early to pick up the kids because there’s always a little bit of guilt tugging our heart strings that we are working moms.

If we are super stressed we call in the big guns and schedule an overdue lunch date with one of our closest friends, because meeting them at the park with the kiddos Saturday mornings only allows for about 10 minutes of actual adult conversation while a lunch date allows 45+ minutes of actual adult conversation plus some much-needed stress relief.

So, in case you’ve ever wondered what we do. . . that is what we do.

And so it begins. . .

crafting

I have collected the supplies for the child’s Halloween costume endeavour.  As per my usual ways I have looked at a million pictures, pinned and printed ideas and bought what I think I need. I will probably not follow a single pattern I have printed (except for ears that I already cut out except they weren’t even a pattern but a cutout of a picture. . .) I will end up hand sewing most of it because my sewing machine and I have an on again off again relationship (aka I am scared of the sewing machine) and it will not look anything like I hoped. . . A few times the thoughts have flown through my head “What the eff are you doing?” and I tell those thoughts, “Back off, I am making my child a costume.  I can and will do it and he will be adorable, also I’m crafting and crafting makes me happy.”

Wish me luck. . .

DIY Dog Halter

I swear that one of the best inventions that I have ever used with my dog is a dog halter (aka Halti or Gentle Leader).  For those of you that aren’t familiar with a dog halter, it’s kind of like a horse halter, but for dogs.  The halter goes around the dogs muzzle and behind it’s ears and the leash attaches at the bottom of the halter.  It doesn’t go around the neck so you don’t have to worry about choking your dog, especially if you have a dog that pulls.

We use the halter with our dog because she’s a herder and she tries to chase squirrels every chance she gets. If you put Sadie on a normal leash she pulls and pulls and pulls which makes taking walks or going anywhere kind of unpleasant. When she puts her halter on (as much as she hates it) she is a perfect little lady.

This weekend my husband took my vehicle and left me his to take the kiddo and dog to the park, totally fine, except that Sadie’s leash and halter were still in my car when he left.  I had already told both child and dog we were going to the park and they were both running around the house excited, so backing out wasn’t an option.  I grabbed some medium weight rope from the yard and decided to fashion my own halter for the dog before we headed out.  It was really fairly simple.  I made a loop around her nose, then crossed the rope and pulled it up around her head behind her ears and tied my knot.  I pulled it off her and threw it in the car with us and went to the park.  It worked like a charm.

diy halter

I often see people with large dogs that are literally being dragged by their dogs.  I used to be one of those people.  I dogsat for some people who trained service dogs and was introduced to the Gentle Leader.  I tried it on our dog and after the initial breaking in period I became a huge fan and decided to never go back to another type of leash method.   I will warn you if you are going to use the head halter on your dog there is a breaking in period.  The first time we took our dog out in public with the halter on she kept trying to get it off.  She put both of her paws in the halter and flipped a few somersaults in an attempt to get “the thing” off her face.  It was quite entertaining to the passerbyers while I stood wide-eyed and mortified watching.  She eventually figured out she couldn’t get it off and is now okay with it for the most part.  She will still occasionally try to rub it off on your leg if you stop to pet her while she has it on, but for the most part, she is fine with it.

One other thing I will warn you about if you decided to give a halter a try is that uneducated people you run into on your outings will think it’s a muzzle.  I’ve exchanged more than a few heated words with people who have screamed at their children “No don’t pet that dog, it’s wearing a muzzle!” Because you know I’d take my dog that needs to be muzzled to a public park filled with people, small children, and other dogs while I also am toting around my own small child.  (Ok, there are some idiots who might try that, but I am not one of them.)  I just try to educate the people that it’s a training tool, like a horse halter and that the only thing you have to worry about with Sadie if your a small child is getting licked in the face.