Something New

Hello readers! It has sure been awhile but now that spring actually seems to be here I am ready to get back into things! Zach and I have been a busy pair, working and playing. I keep joking that we are almost real adults, we have been casually looking at houses and in a few weeks the lease on my Mini is up and we have been looking for a more practical car. With the four cars we have owned recently none could comfortably hold more than two passengers, sure the Mini does have a backseat but people can only sit behind me since I have to have my seat pulled all the way up…yay short legs! So the search has been on for an SUV, we think we have decided what SUV we want now we just have to find “the one.” I will admit I am kind of sad to see the Mini go, it was my dream car since BMW rereleased it back in 2000, I am proud of myself for achieving that dream, but on to the next dream.

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My current Mini (Dorothy) with my first Mini (Bluebell)

In other news, Toews is exactly the same, napping all the time and “helping” me around the house, she’s also very good at taking up an entire side of the bed (usually Zach’s side). I will admit she still cracks me up daily and I can’t imagine our life without her.

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Lately I have been trying new things around the house and I am way too excited to share this one with you today. I have always had a dislike of cooking meat, in fact I avoid it pretty much all together. I kind of joke with Zach that when I am cooking we are vegetarians because I avoid cooking meat as often as possible. Sure I can make tacos with some browned ground beef, and I will gladly heat up the pre cooked meats you can buy at the grocery store, but I have stayed away from raw meat, I always worry that I wont cook it correctly and make us sick.

Well a few weeks ago my mother in law asked me to guest post on her blog, MaryFranSays, she is having Sweeps Week and is featuring 5 guest bloggers. I was so excited she asked me and I got to work figuring out which recipe I wanted to showcase for her readers. After a lot of thought and some input from her, I landed on an old favorite, the only problem I would have to make shredded chicken, it seemed I was going to have to get over my aversion to cooking raw meat. Well the good news is, I DID IT!! and it actually turned out really well and now that I know how easy it is I will be using this recipe many times over, seriously you can use it for just about anything that requires shredded chicken or create your own recipes!

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For this recipe you will need olive oil, chicken breasts, salt, pepper and chicken broth or water.

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Pour some olive oil into a nonstick skillet, I used about enough to cover the bottom of the pan.

If desired you may season the chicken with salt and pepper prior to the next step, I did not because of what I was going to use them for, your call if you want to.

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When the oil is hot enough pace the chicken breasts into the pan, top facing down and let cook for 5 min until golden brown on top.

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Flip the chicken and add the chicken broth or water.

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Cover the pan and let the chicken simmer over medium heat for 7-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. While simmering add additional liquid as needed 1/4 cup at a time if evaporates too quickly.

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Let cool slightly.

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Place chicken breasts into mixer with paddle attachment, turn on, it will thunk around for a few seconds then shred nicely.

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Tada! Look at that beautifully shredded chicken! I made that!

Easy Shredded Chicken

(Two breasts make about 2 cups)

  • Olive oil
  • 2 (about a pound) Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth or water

In a large nonstick pan with a lid, heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan over medium heat until hot and rippling. Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides if desired.

Place chicken top facing down in the hot pan and let the chicken cook for 5 minutes until golden brown.

Flip the chicken over, add chicken broth or water, cover the pan and let chicken simmer over medium heat for 7-10 minutes until chicken is cooked through. While chicken is simmering add additional liquid 1/4 cup at a time as needed if liquid evaporates too quickly.

Let chicken cool slightly before shredding. Place chicken breasts into bowl of mixer, using paddle attachment, turn mixer on medium speed. The breasts will thunk around for a minute then will shred nicely. I actually walked away for a minute or so to let it shred.

Use immediately in any desired recipe or it will keep in the refrigerator, well covered, for up to 3 days or can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Enjoy! This chicken was too easy to make and is super versatile.

Now that I shared my newfound excitement for shredded chicken you must check out my mother in law’s blog on Thursday to see how I used it, the recipe is one of my absolute favorites and now that I know how easy shredded chicken is I am so pumped. Check out her blog by clicking here or visit marylamphere.com to read more. Check out the other guest bloggers that will be posting all week starting today!

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26 Years Later

Mid November is pretty important for our little family, four years ago on November 11 someone special came to live with us, our kitty Toews!

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When we think back about how much things have changed it makes us laugh a little bit, the first night we had her, she would not leave my side now its her house and she just lets us live here. From time to time I look back at all the photos we have of her and its so weird to see how much she really has changed, when we first got her she was so skinny and stayed that way for awhile, we were worried she wasn’t eating enough, then we got her fixed and we no longer worry if she is eating enough. It is weird to me because both Zach and I feel like we can’t remember what it was like before we had our little troublemaker, she is so much a part of our life.

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Toews is not the only reason Mid November is important to our little family, it is also Zach’s Birthday! So this year I have been baking something special to celebrate birthdays, I knew what I was going to make for Zach before I even started this blog, Funfetti Cupcakes from scratch! I also got up at 6:30am to bake him Jiffy blueberry muffins because they are his favorite. Nothing says ‘I Love You’ like 6:30 in the morning, especially from me, I am not a morning person, but it was worth it for my hubby!

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I know I have mentioned it before but Zach is the King of surprises, you have to wake up pretty early (literally) to get a surprise on him though. He did wake up before I had even put the muffins in the oven but he was good and didn’t peek before they were done, even though I am sure he knew exactly what I was making him. His friend Eric really did get a surprise on him, he built him his own double Kool-Aid tap, seriously, it’s actually pretty awesome and Zach loves Kool-Aid so he was super excited.

Anyway on to the yummy stuff cupcakes!

Funfetti Cupcakes 1

For this recipe you will need flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, milk and sprinkles.

Funfetti Cupcakes 2

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

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Beat eggs and sugar in a stand mixer with paddle attachment until light and foamy. (Approximately 2 minutes)

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While beating slowly pour in melted butter then vanilla.

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While mixing add half the dry ingredients, then add all the milk and finally the rest of the dry ingredients. Do Not Over Mix!

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Gently fold in sprinkles.

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Pour into cupcake pan. I added more sprinkles to most because Zach doesn’t like frosting and I wanted them to look more colorful.

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Bake 20-25 minutes. you may frost them after they have completely cooled. My chocolate frosting would be fantastic with these cupcakes!

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Enjoy!

Funfetti Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350. Grease or line cupcake pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Beat eggs and sugar in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until light and foamy (for about 2 minutes). While beating slowly pour in melted butter then vanilla.

While mixing add 1/2 the dry ingredients then add all the milk and finally the remaining dry ingredients. Do Not Over Mix! Gently fold in sprinkles.

Pour batter into cupcake pan. Add additional sprinkles if desired. Bake 20-25 minutes. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting if desired, check out this post if you are looking for frosting recipes.

Happy Birthday Zach!