Sunday, April 30, 2017

Italian Herb Marinated Chicken

I had tried my hand at making a homemade version of the Good Seasons Italian dressing.  I found a few recipes on Pinterest and while I thought the dressing was delicious my boys did not agree.

We finished off the bottle but I still had a lot of dressing mix left and thought perhaps I could make a good  marinade out of it.

I was right!

We served the chicken with a tossed salad and some squash casserole

I mixed in 1/4 cup vinegar and 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil with all the leftover herbs and spices then poured it over the 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts and let it marinade all day.

I cooked the breasts under the broiler for 8 minutes per side and then checked to make sure they were cooked fully.

They were chock full of flavor and everyone gobbled them up!

Just look at all those herbs and spices! 
Now I keep the Italian dressing mix in the pantry to use as a marinade!

Italian herb mix:
  • 1 Tbsp garlic salt
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 Tbsp Parsley
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp. salt 
To make marinade:

Mix half of the Italian herb mix with 1/4 cup vinegar and 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil.   Whisk together and pour over chicken.  The longer they marinate the more flavorful the chicken becomes.  Then bake as desired.

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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Peanut Butter Brownie Truffle Cake

My boys rarely want a traditional birthday cake.  I actually miss making and frosting cakes but the birthday boy always gets to choose what we eat.

Ian decided this year he wanted a truffle cake made with brownies, some sort of peanut butter taste, some chocolate pudding and Heath bars.

So that's what we made!


Box of brownie mix (13 x 9 family size)
Chocolate instant pudding and milk the box calls for
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
container of cool whip
Heath bars (about 6 crushed) or an 8 oz. bag of Heath toffee bits

Prepare brownies in a 13 x 9 pan, following the directions on the box.  Let them cool completely.

Prepare pudding according to package directions and let sit for just a bit to firm up a little.

Mix together cream cheese, peanut butter and powdered sugar

Assemble all of your ingredients together-- brownies, pudding, peanut butter filling, cool whip and heat bar crumbles.

Start by cutting the brownies into thirds and crumble one third of the brownies into the bottom of the triffle dish.

Top with one third of the peanut butter filling.

Add one third of the pudding, one third of the cool whip and one third of the heath bits.

Continue to layer ingredients; brownie, peanut butter, pudding, cool whip, Heath bits until you've reach the top of the dish.  I do push down gently on the brownie layer each time as I add them to make enough room for three complete layers.

Then chill and serve!

Look at all those yummy layers!

I like to add lots of Heath bits.  

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Friday, April 28, 2017

Weekly Wrap- Up: The Week I Changed the Format

Looking back through my blog this year I am noticing that every weekly wrap- up sounds pretty much... well... the same.  We do a few pages in math, reading, writing and language arts most days.  We sprinkle in some geography, read aloud a few books, and add in some art projects.  But for the most part I feel like our weekly wrap ups are getting long and boring and repetitive.  So from now on I am only going to focus on the highlights or big moments of the week!

This week we spent most of our time out of the house (and hardly touched our books at all!).

On Friday, after finishing most of our schoolwork, Alec helped me make a pudding pie with a shortbread and Oreo crust.  Then we all headed out to go see Born in China.  We rented Sing on our way home and spent a rainy night watching a fun family movie.  What can I say? It was a movie kind of day!

Sing - Special Edition (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD)

Saturday, Ian went to work and Evan went with us to visit some family.  They had built a new house recently and we had yet to see it or really meet their newest family members.  We checked in on our seeds that we planted on Easter an were amazed at how much they had grown!  We ended our night watching The Founder.

They all look the same because we planted cucumber, zucchini, & squash
Founder, The
Sunday we had a birthday celebration at our house complete with a yummy truffle cake recipe that Ian had requested. (Recipe).

Monday we decided to set aside our books altogether and head to the beach for the day. We brought my sister and nephews along and even though the sun went away before we arrived we had a nice time visiting, breathing in the salt air, and playing.

We did a fun African silhouette painting on Tuesday as part of our school day (you can read all about it here) and spent most of the rainy day inside in our pajamas.

The younger boys attended their zoo class and learned all about endangered animals on Wednesday, they even managed to make it out into the zoo to learn about some of the endangered animals there between all the rain drops.  Once home we elected to play a few games.  Zooloretto became a new family favorite and Alec and I both played multiple games.  We also played rummy and Rummikub.

Zooloretto Board Game

Thursday we had friends to meet up with friends at a different zoo.  We had a great time watching all the baby animals, riding the sky ride, taking the woodland train out to see the herons, swan and elk.

(yes I chopped my hair... no I don't really like it... so I'm trying to grow it back out)

One of my favorite animals-- the cotton top tamarin; they're so tiny!  

This baby siamang kept us quite entertained! 

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