Thursday, September 27, 2012

Caprese Chicken (aka Deconstructed Chicken Parm) Recipe - Repost

This is one of my FAVORITE things to cook and it is Terry's favorite thing I make.  I posted it last year, but a couple people were curious about it so I thought I would post it again!  I call it deconstructed chicken parm. or caprese chicken.  Either way, I personally think it is delicious.


- 3 to 4 Chicken breast (grilled, baked, or breaded*)

-Fresh basil - as little or as much as you like (chopped)

-1 Small onion (diced)

- Garlic (as little or as much as you like - I use at least 1 tbsp or 3-4 cloves)

-2 containers of cherry tomatoes halved (I actually use more but we really love tomatoes in this house.)

-1 package Fresh mozzarella cheese (thin to medium sliced). If you can’t find fresh shredded mozzarella cheese is good, but if you can get fresh use that!

*Now you can grill the chicken, bake it, or bread/fry it (to bread and fry the chicken I suggest pounding out the chicken a bit or buying chicken cutlets so it cooks all the way through and the outside doesn’t get burnt but stays golden brown. Then for the breading - place pounded out chicken (or chicken cutlets) in flour, then egg wash, then bread crumbs and fry up in a skillet with a little vegetable oil). I have tried both breaded and grilled and both are wonderful.  Just depends what you are in the mood for!


- Grill/bake/fry some chicken breasts. (Your preference.)

Pounded out chicken

- While the chicken is cooking........In a skillet with a little olive oil and over medium heat cook up a small or half a medium onion diced with some garlic.

- After a couple minutes (just enough time to let the onions start to soften) add the halved cherry tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Let them cook until the tomatoes start to fall apart and are soft and cooked and create a little bit of a sauce.

- Remove from the heat. Add as much chopped fresh basil as you want and let heat through.

- When the chicken is done cooking, place chicken on a baking sheet or oven safe container and add the tomato and basil mixture on top of the chicken breasts.

- Add slices of fresh mozzarella over the tomato mixture. You can also add Parmesan cheese if you like. Sometimes we do sometimes we don't. Heat in the oven for maybe 10 minutes at 350 to make sure the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted. (everyone's oven is different so this can vary)

- Serve with pasta, a salad, a veggie or whatever sounds good!

I don’t measure…so I am not sure about the exact quantities but you can adjust as you go and make it how you prefer :)


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Talk To Me - Tuesday Twenty

I love making these up and it has been who wants to play?!

1. Favorite sound? / Least favorite sound?
I know it is cliché, but my sons laugh is truly the best sound I have ever heard.  As for least favorite….there is a list.  A loooong list.  I think I suffer from Misophonia (self-diagnosed of course).  Most noises drive me bonkers!  Not like a little annoyed, like I want to hurt or throw something at the person making the noise that annoys me.  I think loud chewing and slurping usually annoy me the most.

2. Anything unusual in your purse or pocket?
Today in my purse I found a bag of cheerios, a burp clothe,  hand wipes, a package of post-it notes, my flip-flops, and 3 Electric Light Orchestra  Cd’s.  Don’t ask.  I think if I keep looking in my Mary Poppins bag I may even find my son hiding.

3. One thing you have always wanted to do but haven’t?
Travel.  Like really travel.  Perhaps out of the country to Ireland or England.  Just wish flying wasn’t required and instead we had mastered teleportation.

4. One thing you have done but never want to do again?
Go back to High School.  I hated H.S.  It was not fun and I have no interest in going to any reunions.

5. Something you are afraid of? (Besides the fear of something happening to someone you care about.)
I am really afraid of heights.  Like, I hate going over bridges and even going up open staircases gets me anxious. Oh and dolls. Creepy, life-like dolls. *shiver*

6. Favorite word/s?
I don’t know if they are my favorite but I always use them way too much – awesome and seriously.  I also love to hear kind words like please & thank you as I feel they are not used as much anymore.

7. Least favorite word/s?
Moist. Panties.  Ew….  And definitely don’t use the words together.  I also HATE all these phrases or half words being used lately.  i.e. amaz-balls, tot ridic…things like that. SAY THE WORDS!

8. What is the first thing you notice about people?
Their smile and their eyes.  I think you can tell so much about a person based on those two features. Also, their manners.

9. Favorite color?
Green…any shade.

10. If you could only eat 5 foods the rest of your life, what would they be? (you can say an individual one like cheese or a meal like meatloaf and mashed potatoes)
Cheese, my deconstructed chicken parmesan with pasta, bread & butter, tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa, & gumbo.

11. Today I am thankful for:
Cool weather. I love cooler weather….Fall is da bomb! (Please still like me even though I just said da bomb)

12. If you could witness any event from the past, what would it be?
I would like to witness how things like the pyramids and Stonehenge were created so that I could go on the history channel and tell it how it REALLY was and tell them whether they were infact created by aliens or if we were just more resourceful back then.

13. What do you want to be when you “grow up”?
I still don’t know.  I miss event planning, but not corporate events more like kid events or fun events.  I have thought about getting my masters in recreational therapy….that sounds very interesting to me.  But, maybe after Terry completes his schooling then I can think about going back to complete mine.

14. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Learn a different language or two.  Also sewing on a sewing machine so I can make Henry some awesome homemade costumes.

15. Have you learned anything new recently?
This past year I have been learning patience and acceptance that not everything is going to be or needs to be perfect.  I am still learning this every day.

16. What are you most looking forward to in the coming months?
Celebrating my favorite time of the year and seeing how Henry reacts to it all!! Pumpkins, thanksgiving, and Christmas, OH MY!....…I can’t wait to celebrate with him!

17. What things do you dislike about yourself that you want to improve?
 I hate how obsessed and worried I get about things.  I will lay in bed all night worrying about whether I turned the stove off or locked the door or put the garage door down and if I don’t  triple check it and tell myself over and over I did it before I go to bed I go crazy.  I basically have a routine and must follow it.  I am getting better, but if Henry’s room was off by even a degree to what I thought it should be I would worry to the point of crying.  I also repeat myself and have to do things multiple times and it gets annoying.  I am not spontaneous and sometimes I wish I was. Sometimes.    And how hard I am on myself and the way I do things or look.

18. What things do you love about yourself?
I think I am a kind person.  I also think I am polite, especially out in public.  Of course I think I am funny…that is a given.  I think I am a pretty good cook and love sharing that with people around me.  I also love my green eyes.

19. If you could have ANY animal as a pet, what would it be?
An elephant for sure.

20. One thing people may not know about you?
I was not a funny person growing up.  Infact, I was told multiple times that I did not have a sense of humor.  I don’t think it was until I was in college that I loosened up and started becoming funny and that stick started falling out of my ass.  I am still very awkward around strangers, but over the last decade I have really come out of my shell and I think I am hilarious, even when people don’t laugh at my jokes….you know,  due to the fact that they are in shock at just how funny I am.

Bonus - Current celebrity crush/es? (If you know me at all, you know I had to have this question)

There are way too many good looking people out there :/  I have included pictures for your own viewing pleasure and as much as I hated it I made sure the eye candy had their shirts on. Ugh....guess their faces will do. (P.S. can you tell I like a scruffy type guy ? Of course I do, my husband has mutton chops and has bright blue eyes!)

I think Johnny Depp is a given for everyone.  

Matt Bomer (he is gay but I would be his beard)

Alex O'Loughlin (He is sexy and has an accent, delicious!)

Jared Leto (Arrogant/rocker/activist with eyeliner. What’s not to love)

Zac Efron (Shut up, we all need at least one young’n on our list)

Ewan McGregor (Have you heard him talk or seen him smile? *swoon*)

Iris…this picture is for you!! :)

Hey Kylee and Michelle, there are no wrestlers on this list! Are you proud of me?! :)  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

6 Years of Marriage + 12 Years Together Means It Must Be Time For Anniversary Cake....And A Blog Post!

Six years ago today I married this man.

Was he my soulmate or the man of my dreams, eh....I don't know about that :)  

But I will say he is pretty darn amazing and I love the life and family we have created together over these years and I am still just as excited as I was 6 years ago to continue on this journey together and I still feel those flutters around you like the first time we met 12 years ago. (Though part of it may be caused by indigestion.) 

This journey has been thumbs up, for sure!

Over the last year, WE have taken a back seat to our child as we focused on getting through this first year.  With this new year, we are back to making sure that besides taking care of Henry, we also take care of US and our relationship.  It is tough.  Marriage is tough.  Some days you have to work on it, which Terry and I have found out more this last year.  But the thing is, there is no one else I would want to make this journey with and have by my side as my partner, my friend, my husband, and now the father to our child.  Well, not unless Johnny Depp could be a part of our marriage on occasion. No?! Ok, then just you is fine....I guess.


While this last year has really pushed both of us, I feel that we have actually become stronger and closer than ever before.  I love you for all that YOU are.  Thank you for being there when I need support, or to laugh, or a shoulder to cry on, or to get my jokes....especially the ones that only I think are funny.  Thank you for all your love and encouragement and not giving up on me even when I am being crazy and have given up on myself.  And thank you for giving me the most amazing gift a person can ever receive.  

I love you, my husband...BUNCHES and BUNCHES! mmmmwwwaaaaahhhh xoxo

Sunday, September 09, 2012

The First Year....

(Birthday boy, first thing in the morning on his birthday!)

Yesterday, my son turned one.

*insert heavy sigh*

I have been trying to write this post for a long time.  There is so much I have wanted to write down, for my own record, about him turning one and this first year.  From all of his firsts, to what he loves now, to how I feel about the first year coming to an end, to how much this little one has changed my life.  The problem is I just keep writing and writing about this first year because, well, what a year it has been.

You see, this has been a year full of different emotions and experiences.  Some of which have been truly wonderful and yet others have really pushed me in different ways.  Because of this it has been hard for me to capture in words all the emotions associated with this first year because there are just so many, including some that I haven't been proud of.

The thing is that even though you have 9 months to prepare, you are never prepared for all that comes with having a kid. I know, it is such a cliché thing to say and yet so true.  One day it is just you and your husband and then in one magical moment you have this tiny little stranger, whom oddly enough you already love unconditionally, come into your life.  This little person requires 100% of your attention, love, affection, patience, and just your overall being.  You don’t even really know this little person, you are but strangers, and yet you know you would do absolutely anything for them and you push yourself to places emotionally you never realized you would go for another person. 

And while you always know you will do ANYTHING for this person, you have some days where you wonder how you will get through, days where you just feel like you can’t give anymore, and days where you wonder if you are going to give up.

Yeah, some first birthday post Jenn. 

But friends, in those moments….the moments that people hardly share, the ones that challenge you as a person, a wife, and a mother.  It is there where you find out just how much love you really have to give to this little part of you. Your child.

In those moments where you are crying and wondering if you can keep going, you look into the eyes of this amazing little miracle that you and your husband created together that is totally dependent on you, and you know that you will never give up because you know this love is so strong and the kind of love you are physically unable to give up.  These are the moments that make you not only stronger but make that love even stronger.  It is when this little person learns that he can always count on you to be there for him, no matter what.  And it is when you learn just what you are capable of as a parent and how far you will go for this tiny person and just how much love you really have to give. 

As I said, this first year has been bit challenging at times for me (and I know going into the second year will be no different)…..but it has also been THE MOST AMAZING year of my life.  Any frustrations I feel along the way are worth it 100 times over, just to feel this kind of love and to see the way my son looks at me. Oh to see him look at me. *sigh* I feel privileged to be a part of HIS life.

Looking back I no longer see a tiny little stranger that I held in my arms those first few months but this little boy who is developing his own personality and who has managed to change me forever.  He feels like he was always suppose to be OURS....and to imagine life without him is impossible.  And while I am sad to see this year come to an end, I am also looking forward to see just how much more he will grow and continue to amaze me in this next year.  Before becoming his mother I didn’t realize that you could love someone the way I love Henry and I also didn’t realize that this love just grows and grows over time.  In the coming year I am excited to see myself grow into this humbling role of a mother and to see just how much more love I have to give. 

My dearest son.  I love you more than any words could ever express and I feel so blessed to have you in our life.  I am sorry for any times I may not have been at my best as your mother, but I can promise you that not a second has gone by that I didn't love you with all my being and that I will always strive to be the best mom I can be for you.  I guarantee we will both have days where things aren't perfect, but know that I will never EVER give up on us.

Love always,

First year video HERE. (For some reason it won't let me insert it into the blog)
I have sung this song to Henry many nights and have sat crying to it many more nights.  It just speaks to me and everything I have gone through this year, so I only felt it appropriate to make some totally sentimental video montage to the song. Of course I did.  Now excuse me while I go cry.....again.

**I have pictures from his birthday coming later this week after we go to the doctor for his 12 month visit and get his latest "stats".  But overall his birthday was wonderful and I can't believe I now have a ONE year old!!