In an effort to make more of the things I love -- good food, pretty things, and organized spaces -- I bring you Making An Effort Monday!
Efforts were made this week, my friends. Oh yes, efforts were made. Two new recipes AND making TONS of baby food. I know you want to say it, so I will say it for you. "DAAAAAANG girl!"
Okay, first recipe. This is my "own" recipe, although it is not all that creative and for all I know it's some recipe that has a name and everyone has heard of it and thinks I'm an idiot for thinking I "made this up." Whatever. I wanted to do something with chicken breasts wrapped in bacon, so I decided on this. (Dear god, I hope this isn't Chicken Cordon blue or something. That would be embarrassing.)
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, defrosted
Turkey bacon (uncooked)
Spicy brown mustard
I flattened out the chicken using the flat side of my meat tenderizer, then spread a tiny amount of the mustard on the chicken. I layered that with a slice and a half of Swiss cheese, rolled them up, and rolled a few slices of bacon around the outside.
I plopped them in a baking dish and I think I ended up baking them for about 40 minutes at 450. I just cooked until the juices on the chicken ran clear.
They ended up looking like this:
I know you might be thinking, "Veronica, that bacon doesn't look very cooked."
Don't worry, it's cooked. That's the beauty of the turkey bacon I use -- it doesn't get overly crunchy. I know not everyone is in favor of that, but I love it.
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I was a little nervous to use the mustard, which was my dad's suggestion, because of THIS fiasco, but I didn't taste it at all, and the bacon gave the chicken a delicious flavor. It was also very juicy. Yum.
Jeremy's rating: 5 out of 5 stars
When asked for comment, he said, "Excellent!" and held up an "okay" sign. Then he said, "No, wait. Muy bueno."
On Saturday I also filled my freezer with all this lovely, colorful baby food I made.
Then on Sunday I tried another new recipe.
I found the recipe for Lemony Garlic Chicken Thighs in Family Circle and decide to revise it a bit and also use chicken breasts instead. Here is my version:
Lemony Garlic ChickenINGREDIENTS:
5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 garlic cloves, smashed
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash of cayenne pepper (because I'm zany like that)
3 large handfuls of fresh spinach
8 ounces angel hair past (I used Barilla plus - multigrain plus extra protein, fiber, and Omega-3)
1. Trim chicken of any excess fat, place in slow cooker and scatter garlic cloves on top.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice and chicken broth. Pour half (about 1/3 cup) into slow cooker. Cover and cook for 3 hours on high or 5 hours on low.
3. Remove chicken to platter and keep warm. Discard garlic cloves.
4. In a small bowl, stir together remaining 1/3 cup of lemon juice and broth mixture, cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Whisk into slow cooker bowl with spinach and cook another 30 minutes on high.
5. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Stir half of sauce from slow cooker into pasta and serve remainder over chicken.
Here's how it looked:
The flavor was good in the pasta, but it was a little blah in the chicken. In fact, I would make just the pasta in a heartbeat. I also would have used a little less black pepper. However, I really liked it, and will probably add it to the meal rotation.
Jeremy's rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Jeremy said, "I don't like rating these because I will just give everything a 5 out of 5, you know that."
Hmm, so maybe I won't ask Jeremy for his rating anymore? He's inflating the star averages, and that's just not acceptable.
And that was my effort-filled weekend. Tell me about your efforts in the comments!