Crock Pot Honey Chicken

Source: MMM…Cafe

Here is a quick one for you.  I was able to run home for lunch, throw this into the crock pot, and come home later to a delicious dinner for 2.  There were actually leftovers for another night, but someone left the tupperwares out on the counter all night…not me, just saying.  What was extra great about this recipe is, if you good at guessimating proportions, you don’t need a measuring cup or spoon.  I just eyeballed all of the ingredients and the sauce turned out great!  Sweet and savory.  Next time, I may give pork a try.  Thank you Pinterest!

crock pot honey chicken

1.5 lb pound chicken breasts
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup chopped onion (or 1/16 cup onion flakes)
1/8 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon. vegetable oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
In the crock pot, stir all the ingredients minus the chicken.
Add the chicken to the sauce, and spoon the sauce over the top to coat the meat.
Cook on low for 4 hours.
Remove chicken breasts, cut into cubes or shred.  Add the chicken back to the crock pot and stir with the sauce.
Serve over rice, noodles, or even couscous! 

Week 17

How big is baby? The size of an Onion!
Baby Development FYI:  Baby continues to beef up. Now she’s about 5.1 inches long and weighs about 5.9 ounces. Her rubbery cartilage is now turning to bone. And she’s growing some meat on those bones — putting on some fat. She’s growing a stronger, thicker umbilical cord, too.

My body has been invaded, how’s that going?  Feeling the round ligament pain.  It’s more annoying and uncomfortable than painful.  I think I felt an actual ligament…pop?  It felt like a bunch of threads on the side of my belly just snapped all the sudden.  I haven’t gotten the dark line from my belly button to my pelvic bone, but the little hairs have gotten darker, kinda funny.  Speaking of the belly button, it is getting shallow.

Still haven’t felt the baby kick, but I think I’ve been feeling it roll over.  Does anyone think it’s funny that you can’t tell the difference between a fetus, poop, or gas??  And my belly finally looks PREGNANT.  Everyone commented this week how I looked pregnant.  Woohoo!! (I may regret wanting the belly in a few weeks, but whatever)

What’s been on my mind? Names names names.  We’ve pretty much decided on a first name for a boy, and the middle name for a girl.  So we are close, but will be keeping them a secret 🙂  

Baby-mobile.  Been car shopping for something with more room and conveniences, but is not a minivan.  Not that there is anything wrong with a minivan, I’m just not ready for the jump.  Maybe in 5 years?  The top of my list right now, Honda Pilot and Mazda CX-9.

Back to the cloth vs. disposable diaper decision.  I really wanted to cloth diaper, but after really thinking about what would be realistic for us, disposable diapers seem to be best fit.  

Crazy Cravings: HAMBURGERS.  I just want to slather ten in ketchup and a ton of mustard.  Oh and with onions!  Also had a weird craving during church… George’s Original BBQ Sauce with cucumbers.  So a barbecue pickle.  Haven’t satisfied the craving yet.

Highlights:  Being at the beach, relaxing, sleeping in, pigging out, etc.  It was a great last vacation JUST US.  Our nephew who is about 9 months was there.  He was a ball and so entertaining!  He left (with his momma and daddy) Saturday afternoon and Nate and I just looked at each other “now what do we do?”  It was kinda boring without the baby so we packed up and left the beach a day early.  So we both agreed that was a good sign that we are ready!

Week 16

How big is baby? The size of a Avocado!

Baby Development FYI:  Now, she’s about 4.6 inches long and weighs about 3.5 ounces, and she’s big enough that your doctor may be able to hear her heartbeat.  She’s listening to your voice, thanks to tiny bones forming in her ears.  She’s growing hair, lashes and eyebrows.  And she’s forming taste buds.
My body has been invaded, how’s that going? Now I’m stretching.  I feel it.  Feels pretty cool and weird at the same time.  I wouldn’t consider it painful though.  I’ve definitely noticed my belly getting a bit wider and pooching out (yey!), and have been wearing my maternity pants. My yoga pants are getting snug, which I’m sad about because they are so comfy!

What’s been on my mind?  Going to the beach for a week and relaxing just me and Nate! Well, and Nate’s sister, her hubby, our cute nephew (first beach trip!), 2 of our favorite couples, one of their girls, and Nate’s mother.  It will be a FULL HOUSE.  I haven’t had the guts to try on a maternity bathing suit.  All the ones I’ve seen have been f-ugly…like most leftover bathing suits at the end of summer.  So I’ve bought a few coverups and will probably wear my regular bathing suits, but not show the pale belly.

Anxiously awaiting movement!  I can’t wait to start feeling little flutters and kicks.  The OB said most 1st time mommy’s won’t feel the first flutters until 18-20 weeks.  But some friends have said they first started feeling them at 16 weeks.  So, I’m just on the look out for anytime now. (hoping it is at the beach while Nate and I are together) 

I thought we would cloth diaper, but I realized that totally depends on the daycare vs. home daycare situation.  It seems too early to figure out daycare options, but we need to decide on diapers!

Crazy Cravings: Trying to resist my dairy craving because it is tearing me up.  I’m loving fruit juice and chocolate this week.  I’m drinking a whole jug of juice a day.  I’ve noticed an increase in the amount of food I need in a day.  Not a drastic increase, but I’ve noticed.  There must be a growth spurt going on 🙂 

Highlights: Again, wearing maternity pants.  Going to the beach for Week 17!

Week 15

How big is baby? The size of a navel orange!
Baby Development FYI:  The average fetus at 15 weeks weighs 2.5 ounces and measures 4 inches — and his proportions are becoming even more normal, since his legs now outmeasure his arms. You probably can’t feel it yet, but she’s squirming a ton!  She might even be hiccuping in there.  She’s making lots of progress: her joints and limbs can all move now.
My body has been invaded, how’s that going?  I felt pretty “normal” last week which was nice.  Tried to enjoy that by making a visit home to see my parents, family, and friends.  Learned a few coping maneuvers for some of the “unpleasants” I mentioned last week…thanks Carol and Spencer!  I completely missed taking a picture of my 15 week bump, whoops. But week 14’s bump pic was taken on the last day of week 14, so the last one will have to do. 
Oddly enough, I can still fit into some of my pants with a beband, but the beband is starting to get uncomfortable.  So I made a trip to the mall to buy maternity pants.  They really aren’t as bad as I thought they would be.  However, do the maternity pant designers think all pregnant women have a flat ass?  These jeans do nothing to give you…shape, and if you had shape to begin with, the pants flatten it out.
What’s been on my mind?  We registered at Baby’s R Us on Tuesday which was a lot of fun.  Registering definitely got us more excited for the end of January!  The baby clothes made me want to snuggle with the baby right now.  Baby car. Names. Daycare vs. nanny vs. working part-time vs. staying at home vs. full-time vs. working from home.  I always thought I would be a full-time working mom, but this week my thoughts started to wonder about all the possibilities.  And I feel like I need to consider all the options so that whatever we choose, we will know it is the right decision for us.  Looking forward to our beach trip coming up on Week 17!

Crazy Cravings: More dairy and loving some Frosted Flakes!

Creamy Baked Ziti Casserole

Back when I shared this post, I froze the leftover spaghetti sauce.  That’s all gravy, but how many of you freeze food with every intention on eating it in the future and then don’t?  We are guilty of this.  So I was determined to do something with this leftover sauce besides chuck it in the trash in a few months.  

The beauty of cooking with leftovers is, all I need from the grocery store was cheese.  Everything else was already at home in a cabinet or freezer so my grocery bill was awesome.  While at the store I came across something new I’d never seen before, Philadelphia Cooking Creme.  You can find it directly beside the cream cheeses.  So I decided to just give the Italian cheese and herb flavor a whirl. There are so many interesting flavors to try out, I can’t wait to try more!  So if any of you have cooked with this stuff and have any yummy recipes to pass along, please email them to me.

Creamy Baked Ziti Casserole
Creamy Baked Ziti Casserole
1 lb dried ziti
1 10 oz tub Philadelphia Cooking Creme – Italian Cheese and Herb
1-2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 cup italian bread crumbs

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees 

-Cook ziti according to directions on box
-In a large pot, heat spaghetti sauce until heated through.
-Add 3/4 the tub of Philly Cooking Creme and 1/2 a cup of mozzarella to the spaghetti sauce. Stir until cheese is melted.
-Stir the ziti into the pot with the cheesy spaghetti sauce.
-Add the mixture to a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Add the rest of the Philly Cooking Creme to the top of the baked ziti, just dab it on with a spoon.  Sprinkle shredded mozzarella and parmesan over the top, then the breadcrumbs. 

-Cover with foil, and baked in the oven for 25 minutes.

-Uncover the dish and continue to bake until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

Week 14

Morning Bump
Evening Bump

How big is baby? The size of a lemon!

Baby Name this Week:  Luigi.  I realized this week we would be referring to our baby as “it” until IT is born which is so boring and not personal.  So from this week forward I will give the baby a funny nick name until we give him/her a real one. 
Baby Development FYI:  At week 14, your baby is 3.4 inches and 1.5 ounces, Luigi’s almost doubled in weight since last week and keeps on growing. Luigi’s probably sucking it’s thumb and wiggling it’s toes in there!  Luigi’s kidneys are making urine, and the liver and spleen are doing their jobs, too.  And Luigi’s growing lanugo, a thin, peach-fuzz-like hair, all over it’s body — it will help Luigi keep warm!
My body has been invaded, how’s that going?  Bloated. Bloated. And more bloated. I’m starting to think my body is using the bloat as a way to stretch my stomach out for the upcoming months.  My bump still looks like a large beer gut, so I’m really looking forward to looking pregnant and not like I need to cut back on the 6-packs.  I’ve gotten my energy back for the most part, but I tire quickly.  The energy has come in spurts.  I’ll get a ton of cleaning done and then crash to the recliner.  My hair is starting to sprout new strands and definitely getting thicker.  I’ve been getting headaches now, so I’m increasing my H2O intake.  I’ve been sleeping really well this week which is always nice.  Only having to get up 1-2 times during the night.  This maybe due to my purchase of this lovely machine:

I haven’t mentioned this before because I debated if it was TMI, but reading other blogs in the past, I was always looking for the nitty-gritty truth about pregnancy.  Like, what are these moms-to-be NOT telling us? Well, what I haven’t been telling you for weeks is, I’ve been constipated like no other.  And when I actually “get to go” it is a special event that calls for a celebration at the end.  And I may or may not be getting a “hemi”.  Not sure what’s going on down there and if it has to do with the constipation or something else haha.  Will update you! Gas. Burping and farting.  If you are the type of girl that has never passed gas in front of your husband, look out.  You might as well break the ice…or wind… now!  So there.  I said it, I’ve told you.  The really not so pretty parts of pregnancy that I will probably never get the guts to share again. 

What’s been on my mind?  Honestly, not much.  Just day dreaming about what it will be like to hold a baby and have who ever it is in my belly on the outside.  I’ve been reading a lot of reviews on baby gear and trying to prepare for registering.  Reading about baby monitors kinda freaked me out.  It seemed like every single one had several malfunction reviews.

Crazy Cravings:  More onion dip.  More ice cream.  More milkshakes. More chocolate milk.  Did I mention that I’m lactose intolerant?  So these cravings are quite painful.  I need to find out if it is safe to take lactaid or something.  Potato chips. Chick Fila. Made a pasta sauce with crush tomatoes, roasted garlic, balsamic vinegar, and oregano that to me was delicious…Nate, not so much.  Orange juice.  I would really LOVE to chow down on some deli meat.  Especially cappicola and prosciutto. Had this ginormous hamburger for lunch on Saturday and it was AMAZING!

Appointments/Classes:  Nadda this week.  Our next appointment will be on August 29th.  Check up + ultrasound.

Highlights: Nothing major this week which is a highlight to me.  This is the most “normal” I’ve felt since being pregnant.  So just trying to enjoy it.  I went shopping for a few maternity clothes and found some great deals on shirts.  Jeans will be where I splurge a bit.  And I’m really looking forward to next week, being the size of an ORANGE.

What Goes in to Printing a Catalog?

Part of my job is managing our spring and fall catalog production.  This includes coding all the plants we will be offering, pulling and matching images, color correcting images, lots of proof reading, image proofs, compiling customer mailing lists, press checks and oh, this all sounds so simple (it’s not)But I am the freak of nature that finds this whole process fascinating and fun.  We had to switch printers due to our last printer of 10 years closing it’s doors.  So yesterday, my boss and I traveled to Lynchburg, Virginia to meet with all the printing staff we’d already been in much contact with, tour the building, and do a live press check.  Here are some pictures my boss took with his fancy camera throughout the day and thought I would share them with you.

Me with the ginormous barrels of ink.  The ink is vegetable-based, yum!

Each roll of paper is over 51,000′ long…that’s 10 miles. On average, our printer uses 1300 miles of paper a day!

So huge.  I was imagining these were wheels of cheese.
Each paper roll weighs over 1 ton.
4 of these plates are created (1 for every ink color).
The press switch is flipped on!
As the first pages come off the press, the pressman compares the images we sent to the colors coming off the press to make sure they match.

Me, examining each image to be sure it matches and making adjustments as needed.  The catalog is printing on the press as we do this, so the changes you make are “live” within seconds.

One of the screens used to do press checks.  This monitor shows the colors for each column on the page.  We have to adjust the amount of ink to get the most accurate color of the live plant as possible.  By adding/removing yellow, magenta, cyan, or black.  But adjusting color for one image can affect the other images in the same column…so it is tricky! 

This machine folds, staples, collates, and addresses each catalog.