Thursday, July 31, 2014

Chicken Wrapped Asparagus

So our family eats quite rustic on a regular basis. A spin off of a fancy meal is not seen on our dinner table much! With that being said the other day I randomly had chicken breasts defrosted AND asparagus.. Instead of just grilling em up I said why not try and combine them into one? Wrap it up! I must say I cook a lot and love all that I produce but I rarely feel as proud as I did with this dish. I was intimidated with just the thought of making it so making it and having it be a success and taste delicious left me feeling quite proud! I get a lot of my inspiration from watching food network and cook channel. It may be the worst thing for me but I usually watch a cooking show while I do my workout. Talk about cussing all food while doing burpees. Nevertheless I enjoy challenging my creativity with inspiration from those shows and this recipe is a perfect example!

Cook up this recipe and have a glass of wine. Get a little classy. Or just cook it up, have a beer and watch Duck Dynasty thats totally cool, too! I'd lean more towards the second of the two!

The cream sauce compliments this dish perfectly.
Chicken Wrapped Asparagus 

6 Chicken Breasts
1 Pound of asparagus with ends trimmed off
2 Tablespoons butter
Poultry seasoning

*Some saran wrap and butchers string and a meat mallet, if you don't have a meat mallet use the bottom side of a fry pan*

For the sauce

8 Oz. Cream cheese
1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 Cup milk
3 Tablespoons butter
1/4 Teaspoon garlic powder
Salt n Pepper

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Lay your chicken breasts on a cutting board. Lay a single layer of saran wrap over them all and using a meat mallet beat your chicken into large round thin pieces for ease of wrapping. Once beaten sprinkle poultry seasoning over both sides. Take your asparagus and saute to par cook them making the main cooking process quicker. Once cooked spread out the pound evenly laying pieces of the asparagus over one end of the chicken. 

Pre cut your butcher string into as many pieces as you need for ease. You can do a butchers knot or 2 strings a piece. Tie a knot on each end to hold the chicken together. Very easy! Roll your chicken around asparagus and continue to roll until completely rolled up. Tie your two strings and your done! Continue until pieces are gone.

Saute chicken in butter to brown your outside a little before baking process. Once browned lay in an olive oil drizzled baking pan and bake for about 8-10 minutes. Watch closely so your chicken doesn't dry out.

For the sauce

Melt butter and cream cheese in a saucepan. Whisk in Parm until combined. Slowly pour in milk, sprinkle spices and whisk everything together until bubbly.

CUT OFF YOUR STRINGS and Serve chicken with a drizzle of sauce on top and enjoy!

Click Here To Print!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Around the house in North Dakota...a wordless post

DIY shed to chicken coop

So you got your cute little chicks they are so fun and cuddly and they can live right in the house with you. Your children love playing with them and life is good.

But before you know it they will be getting feathers and looking a little funny. They will get a little stinky and you will start to feel frantic about the chicken coop.  

And then your husband starts working Saturdays and your dream pallet chicken coop goes away and you need something so much faster.

A chicken coop is basically a shed with chicken stuff inside. So if you buy a shed all you have to do is add the chicken stuffy stuff and your ready to go.

Essential chicken stuffy stuff

Chicken door and ramp
Nesting boxes
Ventilation but no draft

Optional but awesome chicken stuffy stuff

Windows that open

For us insulation was a must.  North Dakota winters can get cold!  Plus, I'm a wimp in the cold, so I think my animals are wimps too.  And after I spend all this money and time on these chickens I would hate for them to die because it got too cold on a blizzardy winter night.

Insulated is an easy step, just shove it between the framing.  Anyway you can.  It's a chicken coop, it doesn't have to be perfect.

Our shed came with a vent in it, lucky us! One less thing for us to do!

Next cover the insulation with wood of some kind.  Fancy mahogany, red cedar, hand carved works of art.  Doesn't matter just make sure it's all covered, you don't your chickens eating the insulation. We used plywood, cause it's slightly more cost effective than mahogany.

My next job was to paint paint paint.  I used deck paint because that stuff is strong! And it's meant to take a lot of weathering.  So it stands up well to chickens.  The plywood sure sucked up a lot of paint.  This 8x8 shed took nearly 3 gallons of paint! 

My handy hubby added the roosts...and I painted that too.

 Next he added the nesting boxes...and I painted them too.

I painted the inside a dark brown so it would make a darker spot for the hens to lay their eggs. Look the lid even lifts up for easy cleaning!

After my husband built the framing for the partition I painted that too.  Starting to get the theme? I painted every bit of wood on the inside to protect it from rotting away due to moisture.

We had some leftover laminate flooring from our downstairs bathroom so we added that to the chicken side.

Now we are getting close to done! We added chicken wire to the partition framing and a door.

We have a shelf above the chicken side for storing stuff.

Then quick! Lock your kids in!

The girls loved it and wanted to have a sleepover out there, they settled for spreading some straw around for the chickens.

Tada! Add food, water, and chickens!

Now go air out your garage where the chickens used to stinks, or at least mine did!

 And now you can see we have awesome storage on the 'human' side of the coop. On the other side there is room for a few straw bales. And sometimes chickens use the human door too.

Our beautiful coop!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Moonstruck Breakfast

I grew up a swiss italian. In a family that was proud of it! Needless to say from music to movies there were some italian themes that were favorites. One of my Mom's favorite movies is Moonstruck. Click HERE to watch a trailer if your not familiar. We find ourselves quoting this movie quite often. Our favorite being, "SNAP OUT OF IT!" This movie revolves around family and the crazy things that sometimes happen. The plot builds up to a hilarious way it ends that leaves you wanting more! The dialog, food, and music just brings this movie together into a favorite. This movie is a romantic whirlwind full of laughs. 

Anyways there is a scene in the beginning of the movie where the mother, Rose is cooking breakfast and its this recipe right here. WATCH THE SCENE HERE. Red peppers over a egg in the hole! Simple but so delicious! Letting the bread toast to a golden crunch in melted butter. This is a heavenly breakfast I cook quite often and every time I do I can't help but think of this movie!

Weather you know the movie or not this recipe is a slam dunk for a delicious breakfast!

When the moon hits your eye like a BIG pizza pie thats ammmmmmore!

Moonstruck Breakfast

1 slice bread. (I recommend sour dough or english muffin BREAD)
1 egg
1/4 of a red bell pepper sliced into strips
2 tablespoons butter
dash of salt & pepper

Saute your red peppers in butter until caramelized and tender. Using a knife or small  round cookie cutter cut a hole in the middle of your slice of bread. Using leftover melted butter in pan or adding some more take your piece of bread and coat both sides in a little butter. Lay one side down and crack your egg right into the hole. Cook on one side until egg cooks up from the bottom a little. Flip and cook until finished on the other side. 

Serve with peppers over the top and enjoy!

Bon Appetit! 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts

Yes brussels sprouts! Don't judge this recipe by its name... Consider the fact there is bacon in it. Bacon saves anything, EVEN little lettuce balls. This past week in my Bountiful Basket I received a handful of brussels sprouts. So of course recipes start swirling, roast, saute, grill.. what to do! Well of course my favorite cooking term FRIED comes to mind! Then bacon.. the absolute super food comes to mind. Put these two together and they will have a wonderful marriage! Taste delicious, too! 

Give it a try! May even work on your finicky veggie eaters!

Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts
Balsamic vinegar
1 TB Montreal steak seasoning 
4 TB water
Canola oil for frying
Tooth picks
Dash of sea salt

Heat oil in a pot over medium heat until 350 degrees. Slice ends off your brussels sprouts and half them. Take bacon slices and cut in 3 equal length pieces for wrapping. Take your sliced Brussels sprouts and put in a single layer on a large plate. Pour 4 TB's of water over them, cover and microwave for three-four minutes or until tender. Marinate for  few minutes in balsamic vinegar and seasoning for a boost of flavor. This quick cooks the brussels sprouts since the frying process is quick with the bacon. Take one piece of brussels sprout and one piece of bacon and wrap up your little veggie. Stick toothpick in ends of bacon to hold together.  Continue until done and fry for 2-4 minutes or until bacon is crisp and cooked. Drain on paper towels after fried and sprinkle salt over.

Serve with dip of your choice. Ranch is always a delicious option!

If frying isn't your thing. Steam your brussels sprouts then when the frying process would begin throw em on the grill until bacon is cooked! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Grilled Black Bean Quesadillas

 Way back when I lived in Colorado my AC went out and I learned how to cook everything on the grill.  If we couldn't grill it then we didn't eat it. Now the way the grill perfects toasts the tortillas makes this my favorite way to cook these. This is one of those meals you can throw together in minutes and something my kids eat up like they haven't eaten in days. That makes this a double win.

Black bean quesadillas - Fresh style
3 medium tomatoes chopped
1 can home canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 small onion chopped
2-3 ears of corn, corn cut off the cob
shredded pepper-jack cheese
diced green chilies
cooked chicken or steak in thin slices (optional)
1/2 cup salsa
crushed red peppers (optional)

Black bean quesadillas -  lazy super fast style
1 can rotel
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn
shredded pepper-jack cheese
cooked chicken or steak in thin slices (optional)
1/2 cup salsa
crushed red peppers (optional)

I'll let you go ahead a guess which version I made.

1. Mix together everything but the cheese and tortillas in a bowl.
2. Lay tortillas out flat on a cold grill.
3. Top entire tortilla with shredded pepper-jack cheese. I actually used shredded cheddar cheese on the ones for the kiddos so it would take the spiciness down a notch.
4. Put tomato, bean and corn mixture in a thick layer on half the tortilla. Sprinkle with red crushed peppers if desired.
5. Light grill and set on low and cook til cheese is melted.
6. Fold in half and serve with homemade sour cream, salsa and avocado.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Cover Reveal - NINE BY NIGHT

Cover Reveal - NINE BY NIGHT

Another fabulous cover by Damonza! What do you think?



"From vampires to empaths, to the grim reaper himself, this bundle will keep you on the edge of your seat. I dare you to try and put it down!" SHANNON MAYER - author of THE RYLEE ADAMSON NOVELS and THE NEVERMORE TRILOGY

Nine books. Nine bestselling authors. Nine heroines that take names—and chances—while confronting dark foes, whether by force of arms or magic, that threaten their entire world.
Over two-thousand pages of epic reading await! Let the adventures begin.

From NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author, SM REINE, WITCH HUNT –– Shaman on the run. Isobel Stonecrow speaks with the dead...for the right price. She brings closure to the bereaved and heals broken hearts. But when she resurrects someone for the wrong client, she ends up on the OPA's most wanted list.

From NYT and USA Today Bestselling author, CJ ELLISSON, DEATH’S SERVANT –– Jonathan Winchester has clashed with his werewolf alpha one too many times. He returns to Virginia to find work and meets a young waitress, Raine. As their relationship progresses, Jon's embroiled in more intrigue than he bargained for and a danger bigger than he can handle.

From bestselling author, LINDSAY BUROKER, TORRENT –– When Delia chose to major in archaeology, she imagined herself as the female Indiana Jones of the Southwest. She didn't imagine herself stumbling across decapitated bodies in old mine shafts or learning that monsters are real… 

From bestselling author, ANTHEA SHARP, SPARK –– What if a high-tech game was a gateway to the treacherous Realm of Faerie? Superstar gamer Spark Jaxley's life might look easy, but she's part of an elite few who guard a shocking secret; the Realm of Faerie exists, and its dark magic is desperate for a foothold in the mortal world.

From bestselling authors BOONE BRUX and CJ ELLISSON, DEATH TIMES TWO –– The V V Inn has a ghost problem. New grim reaper, Lisa Carron, accepts the job. She quickly learns the hotel is full of the dearly departed—and she’s working for vampires. Throw in Asa, a young vamp hot enough to melt the Arctic ice, and Lisa realizes she’s way out of her element.

From bestselling author, JC ANDRIJESKI, ROOK: ALLIE’S WAR EPISODES 1-4 –– Like most humans, Allie distanced herself from Seers, a race of human-like beings discovered on Earth. Yanked out of her life by the mysterious Revik, Allie finds out her blood may not be as “human” as she thought, the world is nothing like it appears to be...and she has more in common with Seers than she ever wanted to believe.

From bestselling author, ANNIE BELLET, JUSTICE CALLING –– Gamer. Nerd. Sorceress. Jade Crow lives a quiet life running her comic book and game store in Wylde, Idaho. After twenty-five years fleeing from a powerful sorcerer who wants to eat her heart and take her powers, quiet suits her just fine. Surrounded by friends who are even less human than she is, Jade figures she's finally safe. As long as she doesn't use her magic…

From bestselling author, JESI LEA RYAN, ARCADIA’S GIFT –– Teenager Arcadia (Cady) Day’s family tragedy unleashes a hidden power. After experiencing what can only be called a psychic episode, her home life crumbles. As her emotional control slips away, Cady begins to suspect that her first psychic episode was just the beginning…

From Urban Fantasy author, KARA LEGEND, WILD NIGHT ROAD –– One innocent hex sets off a chain reaction of trouble among the shifters of the Kinraven that threatens war between werewolves, seraphim and witches. Lilith Darke will do anything to be free of her seraphim master. All hell breaks loose when rival packs face off only to discover a new, deadly threat that will take all their magick to survive.

NINE BY NIGHT releases 8/03/2014 on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and other e-book retailers. 

Nine By Night
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