Recipe Review: French Bread Chicken Melts

So I’m 99% certain that I found this in a Cooking Light magazine at some point but naturally, I can’t find the source online.  Nonetheless, it’s a yummy recipe so I’m going to share it with you.  I’ve tweaked it a bit so I’m going to tell you how I make it.

french bread chicken melts

French Bread Chicken Melts

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 white or yellow onion, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and sliced into thin strips
  • 2 cups cooked, chopped chicken breasts (I just cooked two chicken breasts in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes and used that)
  • 1 loaf of French bread
  • 1 package of sliced mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup honey Dijon salad dressing (optional – we don’t use or like this and instead we substitute a bit of chopped garlic, salt and pepper)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add onion and bell pepper; coat vegetables with cooking spray.  Cover and cook 8 minutes or until very tender, stirring occasionally.  Add chicken and salad dressing; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently.
  3. Split bread in half horizontally; place bread halves on a baking sheet, cut sides up.  Spoon chicken mixture onto bottom half of loaf; top each slice of bread with a slice of cheese.
  4. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts and bread is lightly toasted.  Place top half of loaf over bottom half.  Cut loaf into 4 equal portions.

THOUGHTS

  • This makes a quick and easy weeknight dinner.  We like to serve this with homemade Cream of Tomato Soup.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

 

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Recipe Review: Cream of Tomato Soup

One of my husbands favorite comfort food meals is grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup.  I’d been on a search for a good, creamy tomato soup recipe that would satisfy him and this one from Taste of Home definitely does the trick!

cream of tomato soup

Cream of Tomato Soup

Serves: 9 (really more like 6 large bowls)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes
  • 4 ounces Philadelphia® Cream Cheese, cubed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped coarsely (1” x 1” pieces, approximately)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
  • 2 cans (11-1/2 ounces each) V8 juice
  • 1 cup half-and-half cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil

DIRECTIONS

  1. (note: I have adapted the original Taste of Home directions) In a food processor, combine coarsely chopped onion and garlic cloves – pulse until onion is finely chopped and has almost a gritty consistency.
  2. In a large saucepan, sauté onion and garlic in butter.
  3. While onion and garlic are sautéing, combine stewed tomatoes and cream cheese in a food processor; cover and process until smooth. Set aside.
  4. Once onion and garlic are soft and a slightly golden color, whisk in tomato soup and V8 until blended. Gradually stir in the cream cheese mixture, cream and basil. Cook and stir until heated through (do not boil).

THOUGHTS

  • This tastes like the kind of tomato soup most people grew up eating – Campbells condensed tomato soup… it’s just a bit more grown up.
  • I did not make the seasoned oyster crackers that are listed on the Taste of Home website as an accompaniment to this soup but they sure sound tasty!

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Those that say you can’t take it with you never saw a car packed for a vacation trip. ~Author Unknown

So Changing My Marbles will be on hiatus for the next week or so while my hubby and I get some much needed R&R in The Ozarks.

Just to make you jealous, heehee, here are some pictures of the loveliness that we’re about to experience…

The Ozarks (1)
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The Ozarks (2)
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The Ozarks (3)
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The Ozarks (4)
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The Ozarks (5)
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The Ozarks (6)
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The Ozarks (7)
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See you next week!

Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick. ~Gwyneth Paltrow

I’ve seen this article posted on about half of my friends Facebook feeds in the last week.  Finally, last night right before bed, I took the time to see what all the fuss was about.  I watched the YouTube video and I got it.  I bawled.  If you haven’t watched it, click on this link here and go do it now.  I’ll wait.

Dove Real Beauty

Really – go watch it!

Are you moved?  Did you cry?  It’s ok if you did.  I certainly did.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am more beautiful than I realize.  This is something I struggle with Every. Single. Day.  It doesn’t help that I’m overweight but I think that every woman has this same struggle.  Only a very small percentage of us actually see ourselves the way we are.

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  What do you see when you look in the mirror?

 

Recipe Review: Please Cheese Me (i.e. Healthy Mac N Cheese)

I’ve been making this for several years now and my husband and I both love it.  It’s originally from a website called Hungry Girl but I make it slightly differently.  It’s delish!  It’s also quick to make so it’s great for weeknights.

Please Cheese Me - a healthy alternative to mac n cheese (note - for picture source, click the Hungry Girl link above)

Please Cheese Me – a healthy alternative to mac n cheese (note – for picture source, click the Hungry Girl link above)

Please Cheese Me

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 boxes of frozen cauliflower in cheese sauce
  • 2 cups uncooked whole wheat spiral (rotini) pasta, uncooked
  • 4 wedges Laughing Cow Original
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare pasta according to the instructions on the box, and then drain well and set aside. While pasta is cooking, place cauliflower in microwave and cook according to manufacturers instructions (note: it may take longer than suggested on the packaging).  Make sure to stir your cauliflower every few minutes to prevent burning.
  2. Put cooked cauliflower (with sauce) and Laughing Cow in a food processor and process until smooth.  Add any salt or pepper at this time and re-blend.
  3. Pour sauce over pasta and stir to combine.

THOUGHTS

  • If you want to change up the flavor, you can use a different kind of Laughing Cow (other than the Original).
  • This is not going to replace Kraft Mac N Cheese like you ate growing up.  However, it’s much healthier and contains about half the calories and less than half of the fat of the packaged kind.
  • Note: this photo shows the pasta topped with parsley.  I’ve never served it this way and probably wouldn’t.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Window Shopping Wednesday – Honey be Good

Holy moley my loves!  I ran across this shop the other day and OMG!!!  Talk about some cuuuuute fabrics!  Eek!  Plus, they’re good for you and the environment.  Check it out…

All of the cotton fabric in our shop is certified organic by either The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) or the Organic Exchange. Look for the ‘Growth and Production’ tab on the fabric detail page for information on the certifying entity.

We also carry hemp blends. Hemp is naturally pest-resistant, uses less water than cotton and is generally considered a sustainable crop not needing certification. Our solid color hemp fabric is a hemp/lyocel blend. The hand screen-printed textiles are on a hemp/GOTS organic cotton base cloth.

This weeks featured shop:  Honey Be Good

This Modern Home Fat Quarter Bundle … oh… what can I say about it?  Uhh, I’m in love with the llamas?  So stinking adorable.  This would make a to die for quilt.

Modern Home Fat Quarter Bundle

I {heart} these Banksia Trees!  Can’t you just imagine a pillow made with this fabric?

Banksia Bloom - Banksia Trees

This print is called Chick Chick by Nancy Mims and if you look reeeaaaal close you’ll notice that the redish color is actually hens standing on top of eggs.  Cheeky!  For some reason I’d really like to put this fabric on something in our screened patio.

Chick Chick by Nancy Mims

This print is called Harmony Art Sateen – 10 Flowers and I can totally see this in a little girls room somewhere… perhaps as a line of fabric on the bottom of a solid white quilt?  So sweet.

Harmony Art Sateen - 10 Flowers

My MIL is going through a bit of a bird phase and I’m sure she’d love this Little Blue Birds print by Havana.  This would be really cute as a seat cover on a screened in patio chair.

Havana - Little Blue Birds

When I saw this fabric I thought “how mod!” which is funny considering it’s called MicroMod – Tick Tock White.  To add a bit of glitz, I would sew clear sequins onto the small white dots in the center.

MicroMod - Tick Tock White

I think this New Leaf – Festoon fabric would make an adorable skirt for the spring, especially if topped with a cardigan set.

New Leaf - Festoon

Have a little one in your life?  This Nursery Flannel – Ele-fête! might just be the perfect thing!

Nursery Flannel - Ele-fête!

This Raaga – Roost print is just lovely.  I love the colors and you know I love me some peacocks.

Raaga - Roost

Does this make anyone else want to hoard fabric or is it just me?

Happy shopping!

In Honor and Remembrance: My April RAOK in Honor of Sandy Hook

raok sandy hook

As I’m writing this, it’s actually the 15th and yesterday, on the 14th, I did a Random Act of Kindness in honor of Sandy Hook Elementary.  You can read about my year-long pledge here.

Unlike last month when I did something for a complete stranger this month I did something for someone I see nearly every day… our mailman (or woman).  In truth, I’ve never met the person who delivers our mail but I’ve seen them drive by hundreds of times.

I went to the store and picked up some white chocolate truffles then came home and wrote a little note for them. Monday morning I stuck them in our mailbox and put up the flag.  I know it’s something little – but hopefully it’ll brighten their day.

raok-edited

What about you?  Did you do a Random Act of Kindness this month in honor of Sandy Hook?  I’d love to hear about it if you did.

Note:  I read about an amazing Random Act of Kindness that someone else recently performed for Sandy Hook.  You can check out that story here.

Drip Drop Painted Terra Cotta Pot

So I’ve been on a bit of what I call an interior gardening kick lately.  Basically, I have a small houseplant problem and might be running out of places to put them.  Anyway, I ran across this adorable little cactus the other day and decided to paint a terra cotta pot to showcase it.  The colors will make a tad bit more sense later – I have another craft project that I’ll hopefully get around to some day that includes these colors.

Anywho – I went to my local Michael’s and picked up a terra cotta pot and some terra cotta paints (they’re right by the pots so they’re easy to find).  Then when I got home I just turned the sucker upside down and dripped a few paint drops and let them rooooll on down the sides.  Quick, easy, and still cute.  Score!

(painting terracotta pots 4)-edited

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(painting terracotta pots 2)-edited

I’ve also done some research and looked up some other painted terra cotta pots for inspirational ideas.  Have a look and click on the ‘source’ beneath the pictures to be taken to the originator…

Solid Painted Terra Cotta Planters
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Colorblock Painted Terra Cotta Planters
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Lady Bug Painted Clay Pot
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Neon painted terra cotta pots
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Recipe Review: Pecan-Crusted Catfish

So I’ve had some leftover catfish filets in the freezer for a while now and decided to use it up on this recipe.  I’m fairly certain I found this in a Cooking Light magazine a while back but I couldn’t find it online.

Pecan-Crusted-Catfish

(note: this picture is not mine – the source can be located here)

Pecan-Crusted Catfish

Serves:  4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • ½ cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup pecan meal*
  • 4 (6-ounce) catfish filets
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 lemon wedges

* note:  I couldn’t find pecan meal so I did some research and it turns out that it’s really just finely chopped up pecans.  I pulsed some pecan pieces in my food processor until they looked small and similar to whole wheat flour.  Make sure you don’t over process or you’ll end up with pecan butter (i.e. peanut butter made out of pecans)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine first 6 ingredients in a shallow dish; stir well.
  3. Combine breadcrumbs and pecan meal in another shallow dish.
  4. Pat fish dry.
  5. Dip fish in egg mixture and dredge in breadcrumb mixture, pressing firmly to coat.
  6. Spray fish with cooking spray.
  7. Place fish on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.  Serve with lemon wedges.

THOUGHTS

  • I had everything I needed on hand except the lemon which made this dish quick and easy.  Oh… and it’s also really, really yummy.
  • I served this with some steamed broccoli and both my husband and I really enjoyed it.  This will definitely be served again at my house.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: P.F. Chang’s Dumpling Dipping Sauce

Remember when I told you a while back that we made our first trip to Trader Joe’s?  Well, one of the things we bought while we were there was some chicken and vegetable potstickers.  They’ve been hanging out in our freezer since then and we decided to cook them up the other night and make this dipping sauce to enjoy as well.  I have no idea where I originally found this recipe – I just searched for a copy cat of P.F. Chang’s Dumpling sauce years ago and found it.

P.F. Chang’s Dumpling Dipping Sauce

(note: this image is not mine – the source can be found here)

P.F. Chang’s Dumpling Dipping Sauce

Serves: not listed, but this made enough for probably 6 servings for my husband and I, perhaps more.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 oz white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon chili paste
  • 1 oz sugar
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • sesame oil, to taste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp cilantro leaves

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine all ingredients.

THOUGHTS

  • My husband loved this – I thought it was waaaay too salty.  I added a lot more sugar to mine and it was much tastier that way (for me at least).
  • I’ve recently found a post on the P.F. Chang’s website that shows their recipe for their sauce.  I think I’ll be trying this sometime soon.  However, after looking over the ingredients I don’t think they were 100% forthcoming.  We’ll see.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.