Alfredo Chicken & Broccoli

I found this recipe on Cooking Classy. It was pretty delicious. I made just a couple of changes to her version. 

What You Need:
12 oz dry fettuccine pasta
1 lb chicken breasts 
1.5 lbs broccoli crowns (chopped into florets)
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp minced garlic
3 Tbsp flour
2 cup milk (2%)
Salt and pepper
3 oz cream cheese, cubed
1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan
3 Tbsp heavy cream
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Lemon zest (just a touch)

What You Do:
Grill the chicken and cut into strips
Cook pasta according to package. 
Add in broccoli when pasta has 5 minutes left to cook
Drain them together (save 1/4 cup water in case you need to thin the sauce later)

In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat, add garlic and flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour milk into flour mixture, whisking constantly until mixture smooths out. 
Add in cream cheese and parmesan, whisk until smooth.  
Add cream and salt and pepper (to taste). 
Stir in lemon juice and just a touch of lemon zest. 

Once it is all mixed you will need to serve quickly or it will begin to thicken. If you want to thin it, add the pasta water (or even more milk). 

Toss pasta, broccoli in chicken in sauce and serve immediately. 

Chicken Fried Rice Casserole

I found this recipe on pinterest. I have made it a few times but hesitated to put it on the blog because in my opinion it is a lot of work to make. However, I keep making it again so I decided it was worth posting. 

Just FYI: To make the friend rice you have to cook white rice at least 24 hours in advance! 

What You Need:
For the fried rice:
2 cups uncooked white rice
1 1/2 cups of peas
1 1/2 cups of cubed carrots
2 cups ham, chopped (optional, but it is good in there!)
2 eggs
2 Tbsp oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp white sugar
1/8 tsp ginger
1 pinch crushed red pepper

For the Casserole:
1 large chicken breast (or 2)
1 lb broccoli crowns
1 small bag snow peas

For the sauce:
3/4 cup LOW SODIUM soy sauce (or it will be super salty)
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp white sugar
3/4 tsp ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp garlic minced
2 Tbsp corn starch
2 Tbsp cold water

What You Do:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
Start with the sauce and chicken, then while it is cooking we will make the fried rice. 
In a medium saucepan mix together soy sauce, water, sugar, ginger, sesame oil and garlic. Bring to a boil, continue boiling for 1 minute. 
In a small bowl mix together the cold water and cornstarch. Add 1 tsp of the hot soy sauce mixture to the bowl, then slowly pour it all back in the pan, whisk until it begins to thicken. 
Place the chicken in a baking dish and pour about 2/3 of soy sauce mixture over top of it.
Bake the chicken for 30 minutes, remove and shred. 

To make the fried rice (to save time I like to do this while the chicken is cooking):
Cook your white rice 1-2 days before you want to make/serve the casserole. Let it dry (just leave it sitting out, covered). 
Steam the carrots and peas, set them aside (I usually just put them in a microwave safe dish, cover in water and cook for 5-6 minutes)
In a large pan, scramble the eggs, set them aside. 
In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, sugar, ginger and crushed red pepper. Set aside. 
In the large pan, add the rice and oil, cook over medium heat until hot and the rice is popping. Add the sauce mixture, peas, carrots, ham, eggs and stir until heated through. 
Set aside. 

Steam the broccoli and snow peas and add them to the fried rice. After the chicken is shredded add the chicken. Mix it all together and put in a 9x13 dish. Add a few tablespoons of the left over sauce mixture and stir to mix. 

Place the dish back in the oven for 15 minutes, serve warm. 

Sadly, this is the only picture I have of this dish and it wasn't complete. But it is delicious!! 

Mini Lemon Meringue Pies

I decided to do a spin-off of Trey's mom's lemon icebox pie recipe for Easter. I basically made them in to little cupcakes instead of one big pie. They were just as delicious!

What You Need:
18 cupcake papers
1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 Tbsp sugar (separated into 4 and 2)
1 stick of butter (melted)
3 large eggs
2 cans condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup lemon juice (or more, to taste)

What You Do:
Preheat the oven to 350. In a bowl, combine 1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs and 4 tbsp sugar. Add melted butter and mix. 
Disperse crust mixture into cupcake papers, and press down to "compact" it. 

Place in oven for approximately 8 minutes and remove.

Combine condensed mix and 2 egg yolks (save the whites in a separate bowl), add lemon juice and stir (taste it, you can add more lemon juice if you want).
Stir by hand and pour into completed crusts. 

In a glass bowl, mix on high, 3 egg whites until fluffy.
Add 2 Tbsps of sugar. Beat until glossy. Add 1 tsp vanilla and mix.
Spread over filling and place in the oven on low broil until brown.

Chill for 2 hours before serving. Should make ~18 cupcake size pies. 

Spring is here!

It has finally warmed up outside and we are really enjoying the nice weather.

We get to hang out on the porch a lot, take the dogs on evening walks, play lots of frisbee.

Little man came to stay for a week while Frank and BJ were out of town. He insisted on sitting on my lap anytime I sat down and sleeping in our bed. We enjoyed having an extra snuggle bug. He even got playful from time to time.

We are hoping to do a few yard works tasks in the coming months, the first was to move the garden box to a spot that is actually sunny all day. We have tried it in multiple places but our back yard gets so little sun that it hasn't been successful. Trey spent a day this weekend swapping the azaleas with the garden box and we are hoping it will bring lots of goodies this year! It's also nice because now we can look out the kitchen window and see what is sprouting up. 

Sunday we went to Mom and Dads for Easter dinner and the dogs got Easter baskets :) Vegas hid behind the couch with her new toy so that no one else would try to steal it. 

We also went outside in time to see the International Space Station flying over head! It travels at 17,000 MPH. Crazy. 

Emerald Isle Half Marathon

Trey and I ran the Emerald Isle Half Marathon at the end of March. It was the second weekend of my" spring break" (we ended up making up 3 snow days during spring break so I got a 4 day weekend instead).

It was a rather cool day for our race, which was nice running weather. It was only 40 degrees and misting rain a little bit at the start line, so it wasn't very fun to stand there waiting for the race. My fingers were numb for about the first mile, but we warmed up plenty after that and the cool weather kept us from getting too hot. 

We ran together the whole time. This was Trey's first half marathon, really his first time running lots of long distances. He did a great job, I am so proud of him. We started out a little bit faster than we had been (he wanted to get out from behind the pacer in the tiny shorts) during our training and kept it up for the most part. 

You can see Trey behind the lady in the purple/black jacket but I'm basically hidden behind her.

The race took us through some neighborhoods on the sound side, then back over to Ocean Drive going up the island. After about 7.5 miles we turned on to Hwy 58 and ran the rest of it back down the bike path.

I was cramping and exhausted at mile 10 but Trey kept pushing me. His legs were about to give up on him for the last 2 miles but we made it across the finish line in 2 hours, 9 minutes, 9 seconds! It was faster than I was expecting and really felt great for the most part. 

We stayed at his parents' house for the weekend. After the race we enjoyed a lot of lounging around, an afternoon walk and then grilled steaks and watched the NCAA tournament.