Monthly Archives: September 2015

Chicken and Cheese Lasagna Roll-ups

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Delicious. Take a look at that. Yes, I like a lot of cheese. You don’t have to add so much. But I love it. If you want some tasty Chicken and Cheese Lasagna Roll-ups, here’s how you do it!

You will need:

  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken (go here to see how I do mine quickly and easily)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper (yes, you can use black pepper)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese (plus more for topping)
  • 8 whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked and drained (no, you don’t have to use whole wheat – but why not?)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for topping)
  • 2 cups pasta sauce of your choice (I always use SimplyNature Marinara from Aldi)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Put noodles on to cook, according to package directions
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  3. In a medium bowl, combine shredded chicken, cheeses, milk, and pepper
  4. In a 13×9-inch baking dish, spread 1 cup of the pasta sauce
  5. Spread a little less than 1/2 cup of the chicken and cheese mixture on each lasagna noodle
  6. Roll in a jelly-roll like fashion….
  7. Arrange lasagna noodles seam-side down in baking dish on top of the pasta sauce
  8. Top with remaining pasta sauce
  9. Sprinkle feta cheese on each lasagna roll
  10. Cover with foil
  11. Bake for 30 minutes
  12. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese. 

I sprinkle the extra Parmesan on right before serving. The ones I saved as leftovers don’t have the Parmesan on them yet – I sprinkle it on after I reheat it. It’s best that way. 

Also, a side note on the lasagna noodles. When they were done cooking I took them off the burner but left them in the water. I took them out one at a time to put the mixture on them and roll them. That way they didn’t get all sticky together while they waited their turn. 

Here are some pictures of the process!

This is the 1 cup of pasta sauce spread on the bottom of the pan. 

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This is how I spread the mixture. I took 2 noodles out and worked on the one closest to me while the one farther away cooled. After I rolled the filled one, I turned over the one farther from me and put it closest to me to work on next, and took the next noodle out of the pan (that still has the noodles and water in it) and let it start to cool while I worked on the one closest to me.

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Here it is right before I covered it with foil to put it in the oven.

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The deliciousness covered in the Parmesan cheese, about to be consumed!

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Enjoy!

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The Easiest Way to Shred Chicken

Seriously. The easiest way to shred chicken. I used to use 2 forks to shred my chicken and it took so long. Not any more!

First, cook chicken breasts on high in Crock Pot for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours with whatever seasonings you want.

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2. Place in Kitchen Aid mixer and mix for about 1 minute, until all is shredded!

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There you go! Easy, right? I told you. 

Make sure the chicken is warm when you are shredding it!

Here’s a video if you so desire…

Now go shred all the chicken!

If you’re looking for a good recipe to use your shredded chicken in, here you go!

Click here to see how to make Chicken and Cheese Lasagna Roll-ups

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Peanut Butter Blondies

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Yum, yum, yum! I’m at home and I have a lot of work to do. I’m a teacher. As my friend Cara put it: “yea, your job never ends.”

But I don’t want to do it…so I go to Pinterest to see what I want to cook this coming week so I can make a grocery list. You see, I used to be on Pinterest WAY TOO OFTEN. So now I have tons of stuff pinned! But in the past 6 months or so, I haven’t really pinned much, I mostly just go there to make, do, and use all of the pins I have already! It’s so great. 

So, I ended up on my dessert board somehow, and wanted to bake something all of a sudden. I needed to find something I already had all the ingredients for – and there it was! Peanut Butter Blondies!

They turned out SO GOOD and they were delightfully easy to make, so I wanted to share with y’all! Even the edges are delicious, which is totally key. They are soft in the middle – so perfect!

So, here you go!

To make the peanut butter blondies, you will need:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Spray 8×8 baking dish cooking spray. Just let that wait, now…
  3. In a large bowl (I used my Kitchen Aid with my scraper bowl attachment), combine the melted butter and light brown sugar. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Add in the egg and vanilla extract.
  5. Mix in the peanut butter and make sure all of the wet ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
  6. Add in the salt and flour.
  7. Spread the batter in the baking dish and spread out evenly with a plastic spatula.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean. I set my timer for 20 minutes, but it wasn’t quite done. So I set the timer for 5 more minutes…but I was busy when the timer went off, so it was more like 27 minutes. 
  9. Let it cool A LOT before you cut it. It can be a little bit warm, but don’t do it when it’s still so hot or else they will fall apart. 
  10. Enjoy with a glass of milk!

This can maybe show you how thick the batter is….when you put it in, it’s in a big pile and you just have to spread it around.

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I had to spread it smoothly before it went into the oven…

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Because as soon as it comes out, it has the same pattern as when you put it in! Well, I can see it. Pretty cool.

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My first taste was delicious….I love my little pig spatula!

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Delicious! 

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So Stereotypical…

This is my friend Kristen and me.

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I’ve known her since…..since a time…that I don’t remember…but since I lived at this one apartment, where we met! It was in college. We both went to Brigham Young University (BYU) in Utah. I loved it there, because the weather is great and the scenery is amazing. It is beautiful there.

We went to the Holi Festival of Colors together…

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Yep, it’s true. Basically all the BYU students go.

We also did many other fun things together, just not all documented in pictures. 

Anyway….we have both since graduated, and that has not kept us apart. Yes, we are far way. I live in Texas, and she lives in…Utah? I don’t even know! No, we don’t talk often. Yes, we email. It takes us a LONG time to respond to one another, though. Like after a few weeks or months. But most recently, I just responded to her email from a year ago. It’s just that I wait until I have time to write a thorough response!

I love our emails, because sitting down and typing things gives me time to reflect and think through things that normally I would just speed through if I was talking instead of taking the time to type it all.

Last year we were talking about stereotypes, and I found it very interesting and she said I could share with my small world of readers…

Kristen:
Also, I have never been to Texas but my daddy grew up there (in El Paso–the armpit of the state, I hear). So, here is my question for you: what is the culture of Texas? Are the stereotypes true? You don’t fit them (no cowboy hat or football/barbecue/oil obsession) so I assume they’re not wholly true 🙂 

Also, do I fit Utah stereotypes?
 
Me:
Culture of Texas….well it is pretty diverse. I am from the suburban area of Houston, which is why I am not the cowboy type. But don’t get me wrong – I love me a cowboy! And for the record, I DO have a BBQ obsession 🙂 And steak – I LOVE steak!
 
I moved from Utah to Texas in 3rd grade. Before I moved, a boy named Logan went on vacation to Texas and came back in full cowboy gear – boots, chaps, cowboy hat, etc. So, that’s what I thought Texas was! So my family moves here and I’m like “WHAT?!” Obviously Logan was LYING. But then as I got older I realized that Logan had simply not been to Houston. He had been to a DIFFERENT part of The Great State. 
 
Yes, there are parts of Texas where people live that TOTALLY match the Texas stereotype. I even have friends like that – one friend from HS was raised on a ranch and he rides in rodeos and has a heavy Texas drawl and such. And I have another friend who married a cowboy and they live on a farm and have horses and such. But, for the most part, my friends and associates are all from the suburban areas as well. Now, if you go out to West Texas, it’s another story. A whole lotta nothin, just fields and fields…crops, oil, etc. I love it all. Well, driving through West Texas is hard because there’s not much to see, but I also love the beauty in the simplicity. 
 
I love Texas due to the diversity. Especially here in Houston. For example, as a white girl, I was the racial minority in my high school, with the majorities being Hispanic and African American. I loved it. I have so many friends from various cultures that have taught me that there is more than one way to live your life. I love it. I love learning about their culture and lives and history. I mean, yes, America is very diverse in general. But Houston has it all!
 
Ok, ok. Confession: I also love Texas because of the Blue Bell Ice Cream, the Texas-shaped foods, and the Texas flags flyin’ high with pride. 
 
Let’s see…when I think of a “Utah girl”, I think of a skinny Mormon girl with blonde straight hair who puts it in a big Utah poof…ya know, the bump on top of the head? Yeah…that. I also imagine that she doesn’t understand how I can have more non-Mormon friends than I do Mormon friends, doesn’t think I should have friends who are attracted to people of the same sex, and has had a generally easy life (meaning lacking in hardships of the truly taxing variety). 
 
Now, my dear Kristen, you definitely do not fit my idea of a “Utah girl” stereotype. In fact, I have not met anyone who does. I have met many people who are almost a 100% match, but most people are nothing like my initial stereotypical thoughts, or they only fit a few of the “conditions”, or they are only missing 1 or 2. There may or may not be someone out there who is a 100% match for that, but if there is, I have yet to meet her. 
 
Okay well, I have met people who I THOUGHT lived up to my “Utah girl” stereotype perfectly…but then as I got to know them, I realized that even though they may fit some of my “conditions,” there are so many hidden things in each person’s life, so many quirks you will never know until you get to know the person, and I would have missed out on some beautiful friendships if I had let my idea of a “Utah girl” stop me from getting to know people. 
 
It just goes to show that stereotypes are not usually correct. And I think it is a beautiful, wonderful thing. There are so many things that you can learn from each and every person. You just have to get to know them. 
 
And wow….I had never spelled that out before. I thoroughly enjoy our discussions.
  
As I said before, I love my talks with Kristen. Well, emails 🙂
She said after that that she used to fit that stereotype when she was in high school, and was an “ultra self-righteous jerk”…but she said she is “all better now.” 
And I love her. 
Basically, don’t judge someone based on a stereotype. You’ll most likely be wrong. There is so much to learn about each person in this world. Go learn. 

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