Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chicken Milano

So, I have decided that my food doesn't look as yummy as it tastes because I take the chicken and shred it and mix it with the sauce. With a big family, you do what you can to make everything stretch. Plus, I don't feel like cutting up chicken for four kids.

On that note, this dish is d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s seriously. It could be served in a restaurant (if it looked prettier). So, try it. You can go for "the look" and leave the chicken whole, or you can stretch it like me and shred it. At least you know you are guaranteed chicken in every bite!  

1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
8 ounces dry fettuccini pasta

1. Cook pasta as directed while preparing the rest of the meal. The noodles are thicker and take a bit longer to be done. Cook the chicken by itself in a little bit of olive oil. Then remove chicken and put it aside. Melt butter in the same pan. Add the garlic. Stir a few times and then add the sun-dried tomatoes and the chicken broth. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until the tomatoes are tender. Add the cream and bring it back to a boil. Simmer on medium until the sauce thickens. Add basil and salt and pepper to taste.
2. At this point you can serve the sauce and chicken over the noodles.
Mo Tips: I shred the chicken and add it right into the sauce. I then cover the noodles with the sauce. My directions on this are not verbatim...because the recipe was too long and I could type the exact same thing shorter.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

He can't wait until he's 8!

And he doesn't have to wait anymore! My first born, my baby, turns 8 today at 12:23PM. Seriously, where does the time go? I can't believe I have a bike riding, scar wearing, Lego playing, Star Wars loving, video game playing, little brother (and sister) annoying eight year old!

I bet you didn't know that Jaxen was my second smallest (Owen is a shoe in) baby but he was the biggest. Kaysen started out big, Jaxen didn't. However, as I look at his baby records, he is only one pound off of where Kaysen has been. Hard to believe when you look at how thin he is now.  He started walking at nine months. After the initial freak out, I thought it was pretty cool. He started thinning out then (or rather stopped plumping up) and burned his energy on moving and groovin. He hasn't stopped since.

Jaxen at 4 weeks. This is when Shaunton and I were gullible enough to pay over $200 for portraits. Ahh, those were the good old days. Live and learn. Learn we did. We learned that Jaxen required rocking in the middle of the night. Dad would put him in his car seat and just swing it until he fell asleep. He slept in that car seat for the first few months. I didn't know what his problem was, but 3 kids later I have a better idea.
One of the advantages of having an early walker is watching him have fun egg hunting and walking around the mall. We did that a lot (the mall that is). He would hold onto mom's hand and dad's hand and we would walk with him in between. We really didn't have much use for a stroller with this kid. After him though, we didn't have the patience to let the others kids walk. They were so S.L.O.W and the novelty of watching them walk wore off on the first. The stroller got used much more often.

Jaxen is one of our only children that looks the same way now as he did when he was three. (He is five in this pic, but trust me, he looks the same at three.) It also seems like he "grows the slowest". He seems to stay the same height and weight until you throw him up against the growth chart and see that in fact he is an inch taller than he was 6 months ago. He is my slow and steady kid. Everything in moderation, right?

Jaxen loves soccer and even though he may be the smallest kid on the team...by a landslide, don't let that fool you. He is quick and has no fear. He will get up into the mix and go after the ball, even if you are two heads taller than he is. He may not be the fastest, but he can outlast them all. He has endurance and stamina. He is my little energizer bunny.

That doesn't mean that he doesn't need to take a break every now and then. I mean, how are you supposed to be at your best if you don't take breaks in between levels?

I am still in disbelief that my little boy turns eight. He is going to be baptized on Friday. I am excited. I am sad (only because he is growing up too fast). I am proud (he knows his stuff!)

I love you sonny boy. Surely you are my favorite-st biggest boy in the whole wide world.

Happy Birthday Jaxen!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Chicken and Cheese Pasta

I liked this recipe because it was pretty simple and was something new with ingredients that I had on hand, and the kids like. (Just don't tell them it has onions in it.) It is a keeper.
Chicken and Cheese Pasta
1 basic roast chicken                         1 small red onion, finely chopped
400g tortiglioni or rigatoni pasta         500g jar tomato pasta sauce
1 T olive oil                                       2 C grated mozzarella cheese
2 garlic cloves, crushed                     100g baby spinach leaves

Remove skin and meat from the chicken. Discard skin and bones. Roughly chop flesh.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salt water, following packet instructions, until just tender. Drain. Return to saucepan.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion. Cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes or until tender. Add onion mixture, pasta sauce, chicken, 3/4 cups cheese and spinach to hot pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Toss gently until well combined. Spoon pasta mixture into a baking dish. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and heated through. Serve.

Mo tips: I used egg noodles instead of the rigatoni (didn't have). I used boneless skinless chicken breasts for the chicken and not pre-cooked one from the store (I am too cheap). I used 2 chicken breasts. I also shredded the chicken and pulverized the onion (so the kids would eat it). I also mixed  about 1 1/2 cups of cheese into the mixture and a full bag or regular (not baby) spinach. Good luck with the grams. ;)