December 29, 2009

the BEST chicken ever

This recipe came from a fabulous lady that I went to church with and was close to back in college. It is so good and so easy! We have it so often I have the recipe memorized.

What you’ll need:
1/2 cup butter (or margarine), melted
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breast


What you’ll do:
In a pie plate or shallow bowl combine butter, mustard, and Worcestershire. (Sometimes, I marinate my chicken in this mixture for about 30 minutes.) In a plastic bag, combine crumbs and cheese. Dip chicken in butter mixture, then shake in crumb mixture. Place in 9x13 pan. bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.
(I do not take pictures of every bit of the process, sorry.)


What you’ll think:
That really is the BEST chicken ever!


Shown with (lower fat) homemade alfredo on angel hair pasta and steamed broccoli. Goodness on a plate!

December 28, 2009

out with the old, in with the news

okay, so for the news I told you about the other day. (as if you really remember or care)

Jacob got me a new camera! He found a screaming deal on ebay, of course. And like I said I have been having some fun with it.

How do know someone got a new camera for Christmas? They take pictures of everything. Like one of three Christmas turkeys.

Then, your husband takes it for a little joy ride and you get pictures like this.

bye, bye Kodak Z710. You shall be retired to my classroom forever.

Hello, Rebel. You and I shall become great friends. I just know it.


last photo taken with the Kodak

December 24, 2009

and hearts will be glowing

Can you finish the line in that song?

Jacob and I are essentially done with Christmas. We will be heading out to his folks’ house later today to have a small family meal. It won’t be anything extravagant.

No worries though. We did celebrate in grand fashion already. All of his family got together last weekend and earlier this week to celebrate.

Jacob’s extended family on his dad’s side all get together every year for a Grab Bag Christmas. Jacob’s grandmother sit has two bags, one for the kids and another for the big kids. Mrs. Claus (Jacob’s grandmother) and Santa Claus (Jacob’s dad) man the bags so there is no peaking. There are always some really crazy gifts and you never know what is really in the box until you open it. It’s great!

This year we had about 45 people and I think 17 of them were GiGi’s great-grandchildren. Three of the cousins are pregnant. so there will be even more next year. Isn’t that amazing?

Then, we had Jacob’s family Christmas Monday night. We really only get the kids presents and then Jacob’s parents. We got the kids flashlights and headlamps. (You can see why back in this post) Taran and his wife brought the best two presents ever though. They made a slideshow dvd of all the old-timey slide pictures of my mother-in-law when she lived in India AND their brand new 10 day old baby girl. Yep, they top as the best gifts this year.

A bunch of pictures from the weekend.

086 This train set belonged to Jacob’s grandpa. It is 71 years old and still works!
063 a little premature unwrapping
042 having a blast on the zip line
157 uncle jacob with battery duty on new toys

There are so many more I wish I could share. Hope you have had the most wonderful time of the year with your loved ones so dear.

Merry Christmas Eve!

December 23, 2009

magical memories

I love to sit and stare at our Christmas tree in a dark room. This usually happens early on a Saturday morning when the house is still and quiet.

I may get this from my mom. I remember her up late sitting in a dark room, just watching the bright sea of wonder. I get lost there. It sparkles. It twinkles. It glows. It’s just magical.

One of the best parts about this time of year is relishing in the moment without reserve to be nostalgic as well. For this tenderheart, it makes the things of this time of year even more special. I love reliving the memories of old and making new!

056 NYC ornament bought at the Empire State Building just after getting engaged
059 My mother always called me CandyCane

Proposing frogs my sister gave me when we got to Denver after getting engaged

051 We had these beautiful ornaments as kids – there are 3 of them left.

From my band days

055 my baby’s first Christmas ornament

What memories (old and new) are you savoring this Christmas?

December 22, 2009

who says….

you can’t wear pearls and converse?


curing boredom. and desperately trying to get good pictures with a not-so-good camera. that’s what that crazy look is for. disdain at grainy pictures.

I have some news to share, but I think I will have some fun with it.

No, I am not pregnant.

December 21, 2009

White Chocolate Crunch

We bought this at the church bake sale a few weeks ago and were so glad the recipe was attached. It makes a good bit and you should definitely share it!

24 oz. white chocolate pieces or almonds bark
1 cup peanut butter

Melt chocolate in microwave as directed and stir in peanut butter until smooth.

4 cups rice krispies
3 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup dry roasted peanuts

Pour melted mixture over dry ingredients and mix well. Spread onto a sheet of wax paper and let cool. When firm, cut into pieces.

Next time, I think I will add less marshmallows and substitute with more peanuts.


December 17, 2009

Today is

Today is Thursday, December 17, 2009.*

Today is the last day of the semester.
Today is cold.
Today is going to be a good day.
Today is going to be a long day.
Today is the day I give my kids their presents and stockings.
Today is the day my kids will get hyped up on cupcakes and candy.
Today is the day I will read “The Night Before Christmas.”

Today is one week from Christmas Eve.

What is today for you?

*We say this sentence about ten times a day at school between calendar math and the morning message alone.

December 15, 2009

present (in a) moment

My list of things to do this week are ever growing as the week gets shorter. How does that happen? AND only like three things have anything to do with Christmas. Bummer.

Even in the midst of this week’s chaos, I am simply missing this crew.


This is my family two years ago at my sister’s house in Denver. That’s me in the obnoxiously pink jacket. We have never been one of those families that gets all coordinated and such for photos. Nope, we just snap it. Wal-mart bags and all. (See bottom right corner on my brother’s feet.) That’s character folks. And I sure do miss these characters.

This was the last Christmas we were all together.

Jacob and I had flown in from our little rendezvous in NYC where we had just gotten engaged. I went upstairs and crawled in the bed with my dad. I told him I had a secret and then whispered to him that we were engaged. He smiled. He wasn’t feeling well. I couldn’t tell you for the life of me what gift dad got me that year. But I don’t need to, I have that moment.

After this picture, we got in a huge snowball fight. Dad was out there letting us have it. I hadn’t seen him that lively and having that much fun in such a long time.

I wish I could find the pictures from those few moments.

I think about my dad everyday anyway, but I am really thinking about him this week. And the rest of my family.

I’m not sad, just full of thoughts of them. I promise I will write about something more upbeat in the next few days. Cause it’s Christmas and I cannot help but to feel all excited like a little kid.

Hope you are enjoying every moment with your loved ones!

December 9, 2009



I thought I was going to pee in my pants when I read this at Whole Foods tonight. Just say the word out loud…..I bet you will laugh till you either cry or pee your pants.

*Updated: I read this as toe. fur. key. Say it that way and you are sure to laugh.

December 7, 2009

finals week again

Our dining room table looked like this last Spring.We helped to make Finals Week Power Packs (care packages). Lots and lots of goodies!

Thanks to the Cornerstone Class, our table looks a little less overwhelmed this semester. Ladies are a bakin’ and we are set to pack this Wednesday. And I cannot wait for the number of bags to grow as the Student Center grows.

It seems worlds away now, but do you remember what finals were like?

December 2, 2009

think about it

Her post sums up what has been rolling around in my head the past few weeks.

The new Advent Christmas video has my gears going too.

December 1, 2009


the presents are wrapped and the house is decorated.
let the baking begin.

come Thursday, i will be making a batch of these delicious red velvet swirled cupcakes with peppermint cream cheese icing. yum!

my sister-in-law introduced me to this recipe two years ago at thanksgiving. it is a perfect holiday treat.