Italian Foil Pack Chicken

Are you looking for a simple, super delicious dinner?  Try this one out!

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Have you ever made a foil packet dinner?  I have two on the meal plan for this week and I love them!  You literally toss everything into a sheet of foil, fold it up and bake it!  And the clean up is super simple too!

I sliced up all my veggies, but if you aren’t on a super tight budget you could make the dinner even faster to put together by purchasing veggies that are already chopped up! (I just loved cooked carrots!  So healthy and such beautiful color!!)

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So here is the simple process.  Slice the veggies, cut the fat off your chicken, put it all on a sheet of foil, spoon a little dressing over the top, fold up and bake…yep thats it!

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This particular recipe included 4 oz of chicken breast, sliced yellow onion, julienned carrots, julienned red peppers, and 2 tablespoons of Italian dressing in each foil wrapper.

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** Don’t judge my wrapping skills…not pretty I know, but most effective! **

While these babies were cooking it filled out house with the most amazing smell!  They came out of the oven perfectly steamed to fork tender!  Hubs scrapped off the veggies, so I ate double helpings.  It was so delicious and definitely in our “make-again” folder!

Italian Foil Packet Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
 Ingredients:

  • 4 heavy duty sheets of aluminum foilIMG_5319
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 red bell peppers, julienned
  • 4 large carrots, julienned
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basel
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite Italian dressing

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375.
  2. Cut excess off breasts, and cut into 4 oz pieces (if you have pups, don’t throw away your excess – see below)
  3. Put carrots in the  microwave with one teaspoon of water and microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes.
  4. Mix the basil, garlic, and Italian dressing together in a small bowl.
  5. Place one piece of chicken on each sheet of foil (season with salt and pepper)
  6. Cover and surround each piece of chicken with carrots, peppers, and onions.
  7. Spoon 2 tablespoons of dressing mix over each chicken.
  8. Fold the sides of the foil over the chicken, covering completely.  Seal the packets closed.
  9. Place foil packets on a baking sheet, and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

So if you have pups, like we do….save your scraps you cut off of your chicken.  (Spilling secrets here – I always cut a little more off than necessary because I know it’s going to the girls ;0)  I wrapped up their scraps in foil, and only added carrots and 1 tablespoon of Italian dressing – NO onions, peppers, or salt & pepper.  Onions are BAD for dogs – DO NOT feed your babies onions!  I baked their chicken with ours and made a special dinner bowl for them when it all came out of the oven!

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Yep – my 2dogs are spoiled rotten!  They loved the chicken of course and gobbled it right up!  The hardest part was keeping the kitty out of their bowls long enough for me to snap a picture.  And I leave you with a quick little video of  the girls saying “thank you” for their special chicken dinner! :0) Their sweet tails wagged the whole time they were eating!

 

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Hand Crafted Dog Bowls

It’s about time we did another project for the doggies!  Yeah, and we needed to use up some scrap wood….aaannnnddd….we had this ugly thing in our kitchen:

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Yes – that big ole, chewed up, drooled on dog bowl sits right in the middle of our kitchen walk-way…where everyone can see its ugliness.  Of course the girls need to eat, so it is kind of a necessity. But, after some serious complaining, I convinced the hubs that this necessity didn’t have to be an ugly eye sore! 

Here is how the design process went down:

Me:  Sweetie….is it possible…

Hubs:  No

Me:  wait…hear me out…we have a ton of scrap wood right?

Hubs:  No

Me:  Yes we do!  So anyways…I have been in love with this table that I have seen online.  See it here?

Hubs:  Hmmm….that is nice, but we don’t need a table.

Me:  I know, but is it possible…

Hubs:  No

Me:  Fine, I knew you wouldn’t be able to do it anyways.  I will just go out to the shop and build it myself…with YOUR tools.

Hubs:  Wait – what are you wanting again?

Hehe – it works every time!  It is true that I have been in love with a particular table I had seen online and we really didn’t need a table at all.  So I asked hubs if he could shrink it down to dog-size and we could replace the old ugly dog food bowls.  And really people….my husband is AMAZING!  Here is the outcome of that conversation, a little scrap wood, and a boring weekend…

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I mean – stop the train – that is the most beautiful dog bowl I have ever seen!!!  Our dogs are living high class now my friends.

Here is the low-down on how we took that pile of scrap wood and turned it into dog bowl beautifulness:

1.  Check out wood pile and find pieces to work. (See, plenty to work with there)

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2.  Make sure you have a supervisor on site.

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3. Rip the boards to the size you want – we used all 1 x 2 boards.

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4.  Measure, Cut, Measure, Cut

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5.  Glue the top pieces together and put a frame around the outside (the top measured 11 x 23)

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6.  Put a second solid piece under the slats on top for stability.

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7.  Center the bowls, trace them, and cut out the circle holes 1/4 inch inside the line you traced

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Intermission to show you how crazy messy our work table got during the project – whoa!

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8.  Check in with the supervisor. I mean it – just the most precious girl ever!!

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9.  Leave the rest of the building up to the genius, math-minded husband.  He was actually using the Pythagorean Theorem to find the measurements for the angles pieces…wowza.

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10.  Let the supervisor and her co-supervisor inspect the work (actually checking to make sure it wasn’t too tall…got a little worried for a second when it ended up being 16 inches tall instead of 14.  It would be horrible to have a beautiful dog bowl that your dogs couldn’t eat out of!)

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We got the 2dog stamp of approval to move forward with the beautification process.

11.  Sand and Stain to your heart’s content.  No pictures here because this is where the hubs left me to it!

12.  Wa-La – done – beautiful!  I am so so so happy with the finished project!  It turned out more beautiful than I expected.  I am no longer embarrassed by my dogs’ food-bowl – life is good Smile.

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Happy Valentines Day

Yes, I know, Valentines Day is one of those holidays that people think retail made up to doop people like me into spending more money.  But, I will use any excuse to spoil my boys and let them know how much I love them!

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I started by making some yummy treats for the boys!  My bestie and her precious little one came over last weekend and we made some super yummy deliciousness for the boys (and her family).  The chocolate dipped strawberry sugar wafers were a HUGE hit!  And who doesn’t love a good ole’ fashioned rice crispy treat?!

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Then I had this sweet little surprise for the boys as a special way to let them know I love them and think that they are my world!  A dozen roses?  No, but much better!

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For M – Gummies, gum, and gobstoppers

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For Hubs – White Chocolate Cookies and Cream (his favorite), Twix, and Kit-Kats

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I love my boys more than anything!  I hope they like their little bouquets!  And of course we couldn’t leave out my girls!!  A special treat for them too!

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Here is the Dog Cookie Recipe:

  • 3 cups of whole wheat (or regular) flour
  • 1.5 cups of old fashioned oats
  • 1.5 cups of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes, dissolved in 3/4 cup warm water

Mix all ingredients until well blended, scoop onto a cookie sheet (or into the Bake-a-Bone, like I did) and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden brown and crunchy.

 

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Please take the time to tell your loved ones how special they are to you!  Not just today, everyday!

A BIG Snow

In Georgia you don’t get to see a lot of snow.  You may get a dusting of snow every couple of years, but every 5 years or so, we get a doozy.  And this year we got a doozy for sure! 

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You can see by this weather map, that Gainesville already is in the 8-12 inches of accumulation range…wowza!  So what do you do when you get THAT much snow? 

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YOU PLAY!  Of course!!!!  We got out and played in the snow with our ocean skim board…lol…only in Georgia would you use your beach toys to play in the snow.

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We had so much fun sledding! Of course I also had to try and get some pictures of my girls, but that was another task that is more complicated in the snow.  Harley and Willow just wanted to RUN and play and RUN….no time for picture posing!

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After all the snow play, it was time for a snow snack.  Snow Cream!!!  I have never had snow cream, and neither has M, so we pulled up the fabulous internet, found us a recipe, and made our very first batch of snow cream!

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  Ingredients

  1 cup of half and half (or milk)

  1/3 cup of sugar

  1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

 

And of course SNOW!!  You will need between 4 and 6 cups of fresh white snow!

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You start by mixing your milk, sugar, and vanilla until all your sugar has dissolved (about 3 minutes).

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Add your fresh snow and start to stir…

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…and watch the magic happen! 

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Your mixture will turn into ice cream right before your eyes!  So cool!  You can put it in the freezer for a little while before you eat it if you want to harden it up a little, but M and I couldn’t wait.

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Its sweet, and cold, and made of snow!  It doesn’t get any better than that!

Winter Storm 2014

Yes, in Georgia, a dusting of snow is considered a “Winter Storm”.  He he.  Well hey, like one of my students said today “it only snows here like every three years.” So don’t blame us when we over-react a little.  I know all those milk sandwiches we are all having for dinner (that’s why everyone goes to the store to buy milk and bread right?) are going to be yummy!

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I will say that I have been secretly (well, not really so secretly) hoping for a good snow since we moved into our home 2 years ago.  I really want a pretty picture of my home covered in snow!  I already have a plan of how I can get out of the house and up to the top of the driveway without putting footprints in my picture.

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I also can’t wait to play in the snow with my 2Dogs – my furbabies!  Last time we had a good snow, Willow was only a pup, but she LOVED it!  She loved pulling my niece and nephew around on their sled, and we practically had to drag her inside to warm her little red belly up by the fire.

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I also can’t wait for Harley to play in the snow.  She has never seen snow!  I think she is just going to LOVE it too!  I just hope she doesn’t get scared of it, since she can be timid about the strangest things…like the refrigerator….and the cat….

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Well – I think we will come in and warm up…wait for some good accumulation and the boys to get home, and then head back out for some real fun!  Harley wants to know who will come play with her in the snow?

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Bake-a-Bone

** This is not an endorsement for the Bake-a-Bone. **

Just so you all know, I have the sweetest grandma on the planet.  I love her so much, and she knows me so well.  Hubs and I stopped by for a visit the other day, and she told me she had something for me.  And then she gave me this…

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Oh my…does she know me, or what?!  I couldn’t wait to get this home and give it a try!  The Bake-a-Bone came with 30 recipes for all different types of dog bones, but I started with the Peanut Butter, because I know my girls just about die for anything peanut butter.

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It was so easy to just whip up the batter, spoon it into the bone-shaped cavities, and then close the lid.  7 minutes later, you open the lid and have perfectly baked dog cookies!  Repeat until your batter is complete!

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They turned out just perfect!

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The girls absolutely LOVED them!  I can’t wait to try all the recipes this summer!

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