Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Julie's Bachelorette

 I spent Memorial Day Weekend at the beach celebrating this bachelorette...
We had a great time soaking up the rays and celebrating the bride to be. I loved getting to spend a whole weekend catching up with my high school friends, it has been too long since we all got to hang out for an extended period of time. 
 I have to soak up every minute with sweet lace! I'm still adjusting to living in different cities...I guess I may never adjust!

Saturday night we sported matching tanks for our night out on the town...
My only shot of the whole group... 
 The countdown is here! Only 4 more days until she is a Mrs!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chicken Cordon Bleu

I have made Chicken Cordon Bleu a few times, but I have found a new "go to" recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu. This recipe came from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. I have liked every one of her recipes that I have tried, and there are many more on my list that I need to try.

First you make the bread crumb coating. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Pulse the crackers and bread in a food processor until they are coarsely ground. Drizzle in the melted butter and pulse to incorporate together. Transfer to a sheet pan and bake for about 5 minutes
Lay out your slices of ham and top with shredded swiss cheese. Roll tightly and set aside. My ham rolls were too long for my chicken, so I had to cut them in half. 
Cut a slit in the thickest part of the chicken breast and slide a ham roll into the center of the chicken breast. Press chicken to close, use a toothpick if needed. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for atleast 20 minutes. 

Mix together the eggs and dijon mustard. Put in a shallow baking dish.  Place the flour in a third shallow dish. Once the chicken has been refrigerating for a little bit you can take it out and start the breading process. First dip the chicken in flour, then the dijon/egg mixture, then lastly the toasted bread crumbs. 

Transfer the chicken to a lightly greased rimmed baking sheet. Bake on the lowest rack of the oven until the bottom of the chicken is browned, about 10 minutes. Move the chicken to a middle rack in the oven, reduce the temperature to 400 and bake until golden. In my oven it took about 20 minutes (after the first 10 minutes at 450) Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Chicken Cordon Bleu
25 Ritz crackers 
4 slices white bread
6 tablespoons butter, melted
8 thin slices deli ham (about 8 ounces)
2 cups shredded swiss cheese
4 thick boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
Salt and pepper
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup all-purpose flour

*This recipe serves 4-6. I cut it in half and made two chicken breasts.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Little Brother's Graduation

This weekend we went to Memphis to celebrate my little brother's graduation. It is so hard for me to believe he is done with high school! In my head he is still just a little kid. When he was in elementary school his field day shirt said "Class of 2012" every year. I remember seeing it on his 2nd grade self and thinking that 2012 sounded so far away. But here we are, with our 2012 graduate. It was such a great weekend spending time with family and celebrating Steven's accomplishment. 
So thankful for my siblings!
I can not get enough of these sweet babies! 
Big life events are always a great reminder of God's faithfulness to our family, we have so much to be thankful for!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Chicken Marinade

We made some grilled chicken last night that gets two thumbs up! I love grilling this time of year...correction...I love the husband grilling this time of year. We have been on the hunt for a good chicken marinade, and last night we tried one that we both loved. It was good by itself, but it would be really good in some sort of pasta dish because it has a lemon/garlic taste. 

Chicken Marinade
*Recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Juice of 1 lemon, appx. 3 Tablespoons
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic, about 2 medium cloves
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients and pour over chicken. Marinate overnight in a ziploc bag. Grill or cook in frying pan. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Eli's First Birthday

This weekend we had the joy of celebrating a very precious life. The little nephew man turned one! My sister did a great job planning the party and made all the party decor herself. I contributed the cupcakes and the smash cake. I love an excuse to decorate a cake, I never get to do that anymore! 


The icing was definitely his favorite part. He dug in! 

 So thankful for this precious baby boy. Also, thankful that the husband switched around his work schedule so that he could come to the party!

These two are great parents! It has been so neat to be able to see them transition into the role of parenting. We had a great day celebrating Eli's first year of life and enjoying time with family. It is has been an incredible joy to get to live in the same city with them and to be able to watch Eli grow! 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Beauty and joy are found in every overcoming

I find myself daily encouraged by Ann Voskamp's wisdom on her blog. One of her recent posts was a shot straight to my heart. If you do not already read her blog, you need to start!

"When we fixate on the worst in something, we render ourselves incapable of fixing anything. But attend to the good in something-and we act towards the best in everything...To be an optimist for a moment you have to be a pessimist. Because sometimes you can only be an optimist when you have a plan for the pessimist in you. So, you play out the worst case scenario: What is the worst thing that could possibly happen? And there aren't wolves, trouble, kids, hatred, debts, messes, betrayal, teenagers, disease, lack, hard times, untruths, diagnoses, or disappointment that could possibly separate you from the love of God. Nothing can separate you from Him...Focus on the good in the struggler and the straggler. Believe just this moment that everything is being transformed. Every step towards something beautiful already accomplishes something beautiful. Beauty and joy are found in every overcoming along the way."

I loved the daily scenarios that she plugged in to the truth that is found in Romans 8. I found myself plugging in my own personal scenarios, and was overcome with how petty the things I worry about are. It was a great reminder to always make the connection between the things that overwhelm us and the truth that nothing can separate us from the love of God.