Tag Archives: easy

A Rotel Wrap!

20 Mar

This is for that moment when you are sick of the usual foods you are eating, just a plain chicken wrap is driving you insane, and you don’t mind a little bit of kick. And by kick I mean, you don’t mind a little green pepper bite!

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Marinate Time (if preferred): about 3-4 hours

Makes: Two – Three Wraps

Ingredients:

1 large piece of boneless chicken breast

Tortilla Shells

2-3 cups of Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing (Kraft)

1/2 of a small can of Rotel (I used diced tomatoes with green peppers but there’s a ton of choices!)

Chopped Lettuce

Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Ranch Dressing

Instructions:

To Marinate -

Put chicken in a zip lock bag with the vinaigrette dressing, seal, and lay in the refrigerator to marinate for 3-4 hours or longer.

Cooking -

Defrost chicken if not thawed completely.

Put a skillet on medium heat and spray Pam or dab a little oil in the skillet.

Dice chicken into cube size pieces.

Throw the chicken in the pan and let it cook for about ten minutes making sure it’s cooked all the way through.

Turn the skillet down to low or warm and add 1/2 small can of Rotel in the skillet.

While it’s simmering chop lettuce and put in a small container with a lid.

Add shredded cheese to the container.

Add Ranch dressing to the container (your preference on how much).

Close the container and shake it up really good so it’s all mixed up and there is a little ranch on every piece!

Pull out your tortilla shell, add chicken & tomatoes, add lettuce mixture, wrap it up & eat!!

If you are anything like me this is what you’re wrap will look like in seconds! <3 I love a nice change of pace when it comes to food!

This is the kind of meal I always look forward to during lunch. I’ll marinate the chicken in the morning and know it won’t take that long to make – which when you have a toddler is a must! It’s also fantastic for when you are really hungry but don’t want something that heavy to eat. If you aren’t a green pepper fan, you can always do just diced tomatoes or any of the other rotel’s if you are feeling brave!

Hope you enjoy!

Love Always,

Jennifer

Pocket Pillows – A Love of Mine

1 Mar

I’m bringing back an oldie but a goodie!! If you followed me on my previous blog you know that I love making pillows :D I don’t sell these pillows on my etsy store mainly because what I make I love so much I can’t let them go! I’m not really sure what these pillows are really called – so pocket pillow is my name for it!

First I cut out the fabric in three pieces. The two back pieces I ironed down a half an inch to make it a finished edge.

After sewing down the half inch edges I pinned the pillow all the way around in preparation to sew!

That zig zag triangle stitch is obviously my favorite ;) I feel like it makes everything so sturdy!

Once it was done I flipped it inside out!

Put the pillow in through the pocket in the back and it’s ready to go! Pocket pillows are my favorite because they are easy to sew, easy to get the pillow in and out for washing (I do have a messy toddler in my house), and you never have to worry about laying on an uncomfortable zipper when you are taking a nap :)

The one negative to a pocket pillow is because it has the opening in the back it doesn’t hug the pillow extremely tight. I don’t mind that so it’s not a problem for me.

What do you think?

Love Always,

Jennifer

For those of you with little ones around the house – you know how difficult it is to cook and keep a child entertained! Lately Emma has been wanting to be by my side while I’m cooking. I love the idea but it terrifies me that she might get hurt in the process so this week we have been playing around with different ideas on how to let her do a little cooking of her own (more like prepping ;) but that’s okay!)

One of my favorite lazy meals is to make chicken cacciatore because the prepping is so easy. I thought this would be a good meal for Emma to help out. I let her put the chicken strips (pre-cooked & frozen) into the pan (cold – before I put it on the stove).

 

She had a blast picking out which pieces fit where in the pan and loved finding the big pieces! This was a good 10 minutes of entertainment and since it didn’t matter how long it took to make it I just let her have fun with it.

While I was cooking the chicken and making the sauce (since that’s not so child friendly) I let her scoop the rice into a measuring cup. Laying down a paper towel or napkin is a great idea in order to not have a mess of extra rice pieces to clean up!

Letting her pick out the scoop was exciting for her and I think she was pretty proud of herself when she finished!

Waiting for the food to be ready is the time when Emma is wanting my attention the most. In order to keep us both sane I found an easy project she could do since she wanted to keep helping Mommy!

 

I let her put the spoons and forks away. She loves helping me unload the dishwasher – which really means handing me the clean things and saying, “I DID IT!!” so instead of her handing me each utensil I let her do it all by herself. Not only did the time fly by but dinner was ready as soon as she finished :D

Do you have fun ideas to keep your kids entertained while your cooking? I’d love to hear them!

Love Always,

Jennifer

Easy Canvas Art!

30 Jan

I love finding crafts on pinterest that seem easy enough anyone could do it! So I found one and gave it a try:

I found this three canvas whale wall art which I can just imagine in a little boys room or a play room! Since my husband and I are house shopping we might as well start getting ready for Emma’s play room right!? Haha!

Materials:

3 Canvases – any size

Three colors of blue you’d like and white paint

A couple different sized paint brushes

A light blue or gray pencil for tracing

A paint tray (or paper plate)

Scrap paper to avoid messes!

A cup with water and paper towel for your brushes

I know this is really light and hard to see – but I lightly drew an outline of the picture. You don’t have to be an artist to do this just eyeball the picture and attempt to do it similar on your canvas. The great thing about colored pencils is that they are erasable :D so keep trying until you are happy with it!

Take a small paint brush and your darkest color and outline the area so it’s easier to keep the paint where you want it. If you mess up don’t worry you are going to finish it off with white so you can still fix it.

Remember that this doesn’t need to be perfect at all! You can probably see goof ups all over mine but half the fun of painting is making a mess!

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Once you are done outlining you can fill in the larger areas with a larger brush (time saver) and don’t worry – it will need another layer so this isn’t the final look.

Outline the second.

Fill it in!

And repeat with the top! Let it dry for a good while.

The ending is TO BE CONTINUED!

What do you think so far?

Love Always,

Jennifer

Dollar Store Cupcake Display/ Organizer

This is a cheap way to make a $4 Dollar Store purchase FABULOUS!

From the Dollar Store I bought:

1 pkg of range top covers (comes with 2 sizes)

2 small glass candlestick holders

1 valentines day tin (the top is basically just like the range top covers, just perfectly smaller!)

*All of this came to $4! if you have the hardware supplies on-hand, this is the cheapest project ever!

From the Hardware store I bought:

1 can of KRYLON metallic silver spray paint

1 tube of all-purpose adhesive

*This came to about $10, and then I got home and realized I already had all-purpose adhesive….Oops!

Instructions:

1. Turn the Large range top cover upside-down so the design is on the bottom.  Take the bottom of one candlestick holder and place it directly in the center inside the large range top cover and trace around the base for the candlestick holder.  Glue the base of the candlestick holder to the center.  I would use something heavy to encourage the glue to adhere strongly and wait about 12 hours to dry for best results, but if it feels sturdy and the directions on your glue say 1 hour, then go for it and head on to the  2nd and third steps.

2.  Take the medium cover and do exactly the same thing.

3. Now you want to attach the large and medium range covers, with one candlestick holder between them. Take the medium range top cover and place it on top of the candlestick holder attached to the large range top cover.  Make sure it is centered and use your glue to attach the two.  Then wait for the glue to dry (I turned mine upside-down for better book balance, but do whatever seems right to you).

4.  Now you just take the small tin cover, turn it upside-down and attach it to the candlestick holder at the top of your structure using the glue and wait to dry.

5.  Spray paint, draw some designs, or otherwise decorate, and you are done!

I hope you all enjoyed my cheap craft of the day! Now go make cupcakes :)

Keep it real,

Leslie

I found this idea off of Pinterest a long time ago and am finally getting around to trying it out! Hand Painted Cork Coasters! The best way to decorate your coasters the way you want them.

If you don’t use cork coasters already then you won’t mind me RAVING about them for a few minutes right!? Here are a few reasons why I love cork coasters:

  • They are lightweight
  • Easy to store
  • Doesn’t clash with furniture
  • When you put a cup on it, it makes it harder to move the cork – therefore less spills!
  • Easy to clean – wet paper towel with a spot of soap, wipe, rinse, let dry!
  • THEY SOAK UP WATER! There’s nothing worse than having a coaster for your cup, it sweats, and then the water drips onto the table. Defeats the purpose of a coaster I think!

Where can you find cork coasters? Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Crate & Barrel, World Market – pretty much anywhere you can buy home accessories.

How expensive are they? Around $3 to $5 for a set!

You’ll also want a paint pen or two to go with it. You can find those at any craft store for about $4.

So today I am going to decorate some of my own!

The hardest part is coming up with a design or idea of what to draw!

For this project I just decided to have fun with it and do whatever came to mind first :)

I think they turned out pretty cool! The best part is you can flip them over and have a different design on the other side!

What do you think?

Love Always,

Jennifer

String Cheese Mozzarella Sticks

Who loves cheese? Everyone!  Sorry for those of you who are lactose-intolerant, because you are really missing out on these scrumptiously simple hors d’oeurves.  Both adults and kids will go crazy for these morsels and this is a fun and easy recipe to try out with the little ones.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bag of String Cheese (12 Sticks)
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 5 tbsp Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
  • 5 tbsp Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 2 tsp Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tbsp Dried Parsley
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray
  • Canned Pasta Sauce

Instructions:

Cut string cheeses in half and  put them back into the bag.  Put into the freezer until fully frozen (this helps to keep the mozzarella sticks from melting into puddles in the oven, but you should still monitor them closely while baking).

Add some flour to a plate

Whisk an egg in a bowl

Mix seasoned bread crumbs, panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley flakes, and oregano in separate bowl.

After you remove your string cheese from the freezer, roll each one in the flour, dunk into the beaten egg, and then coat with bread crumb mixture. Repeat this with all of your string cheeses.

If you want to bake now, set your oven to preheat at 400 degrees fahrenheit, line a baking sheet with foil, and spray cooking spray onto the foil to keep from sticking.  Then just place your cheese sticks onto the foil and spray the tops with a little more cooking spray.  Bake in the bottom third of your oven for 3-4 minutes and then turn over and bake on other side for 2-3 minutes (If you wish to save these to bake at a later date, you can place them on a wax paper and save in the freezer! So convenient).

*Watch these little guys closely! If you cook each side too long, they could melt into puddles!

My friend Connie and I decided to make this project a girls night with champagne and we added some of the sweet marinara (the last recipe in this post) to dunk our salty, juicy mozz sticks in!  You can thank Connie for all of the mouth-watering pictures!

String Cheese Crescent Rolls

Once more, a tasty mozzarella snack you can make in just minutes!

All you need is one bag of string cheese and a package of Pilsbury crescent rolls.

1.  Cut your string cheese in half (Just like the string cheese for the mozzarella sticks!)

2.  Put the halved string cheese back into the bag and place in your freezer until fully frozen

3.  Place one string cheese half to the top of each crescent roll and roll ‘em up!

4.  Place the crescent rolls onto a non-stick pan sprayed with a bit of cooking spray (I used some aluminum foil for an even quicker clean-up)!

4.  Cook at 350 for about 15 minutes and voila!

This is one of my favorite easy snacks and they are great after school snacks for the kids!  Just add some pepperoni and dunk in my simple marinara for a  pizza effect! If you are making something yummy for a grown-up party (or just wanna get some veggies in the little ones), you can add mushrooms, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, spinach or anything you choose!

I hope you enjoyed these snack creations!

Sweet Marinara

This is a dynamic marinara that goes great with the taste of a salty mozzarella snack!  I decided to do this tutorial based on a recipe I found on a website, but the marinara was a bit too tangy for my tastes, so I changed it up a bit and made it a bit sweeter.  I tested this marinara with my family and friends in combination with both of the string cheese snacks featured above and the reviews I got were very positive. :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 can diced tomatoes (with most of the water drained)
  • 1 can tomato puree
  • 10 Leaves fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano (you can use fresh, but I didn’t have any on hand)
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Drain the water from your diced tomatoes and empty into a medium sized bowl.  Use a tool or your hands to squish them up a little more.
  2. Add tomato puree to the drained, mashed diced tomatoes (this makes it chunky and smooth at the same time).IMG_0295
  3. Grab a stove-top pot and add 1 tsp of olive oil on medium-low heat, then add all of your smashed garlic, making sure not to scorch it. Then begin chopping up your basil if it is fresh.
  4. Add the bowl of diced & pureed tomatoes along with the basil,oregano, salt, and pepper.
  5. Turn down the heat and cover; let simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Add 2 tbsp of sugar and stir
  7. Add a couple of whole basil leaves to the top if you are looking for a good party presentation :)

Nothing is easier than easy chicken!

Ingredients:

Two Frozen Chicken Breasts

Two Cups Chicken Broth

One Can of Cheddar Cheese

One Can of Cream of Chicken

One Scoop of Sour Cream (optional)

1/2 packet of Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix

Egg Noodles

Instructions:

Pull out your crockpot, plug it in, and set it on low! Start out by adding your frozen chicken breasts:

Then I like to add enough chicken broth to cover the bottom of the crockpot.

Add in one can of cheddar cheese

Add in one can of cream of chicken

Add in one half of a packet of onion soup mix

Add a scoop of sour cream, I like to use one large spoonful! (This is optional)

Let your chicken slow cook on low for 4 hours then take a wooden spoon and break up the chicken so that it’s shredded!

I like to add a little shredded cheese to top and let it cook on low for another hour and it’s ready.

While the cheese is melting I boil the egg noodles – wait until you are ready to eat to do this!

One the noodles are ready, drain them, and serve them on the a plate with the easy chicken on top!

This meal is a favorite at our house!

Don’t you just love meals that are this easy!?

Love Always,

Jennifer

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