Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Glimpse at Toddlerhood

My husband is awesome. Seriously! He's been planning on taking the day off today (Tuesday) since Friday, but never said a word about it to me until Monday evening! I was SO EXCITED to hear we'd have one more day together before he headed back to work after the holiday weekend. The best part? Now we were going to be able to take LO to the zoo for the first time! We had originally planned to go to the zoo on Labor Day, but it just didn't work out. It was so perfect to go this afternoon because the zoo was basically empty and we got to roam the place almost by ourselves!

The trip was fun, and we got lots of pictures of the animals and our girl! I'll spare you all by not posting an entire photo album here on the blog, but I did want to share one little glimpse into the "toddler-ness" (i.e. bipolar!) of our little girl!

Exhibit A: So we were at the lion exhibit. It was still early in our trip and the little one was relatively pumped to be there and wasn't in serious need of a nap (yet). She was all smiles and having a fantastic time!

Exhibit A

Exhibit B: I have no idea. Seriously. Is this the same girl? What just happened? Maybe the wind blew wrong or something? Weird.

Exhibit B

Exhibit C: I can just hear what she's thinking: "Mommy, didn't you see me crying? Didn't you? You certainly didn't do anything about it. Should I have been louder? Maybe kick my feet around a bit?"

Exhibit C

Exhibit D: Just listen to her beautiful little brain work: "Sheesh! I guess it's not gonna work with Mommy this time. Guess I'll try again later!"

Exhibit D

Exhibit E: "Weeeee!!! I'm at the zoo!!! I'm watching a big ol' lion! Weeeeeeee!!!!!! I'm lovin' it!!"

Exhibit E

I love this girl like all get out.

Recipe Time!

Lately I've been scouring the Internet for new recipes. I'm tired of the same old chicken! I especially love recipes for my slow cooker. Just dump a bunch of stuff in and forget about it, then have a delicious dinner ready and waiting 5 hours later! I love easy!

One of my favorite recipes growing up was Cranberry Chicken. My mom would make this for us--usually for Sunday lunch after church--and I really loved it! She baked it in the oven over rice, so when it was done, you'd have chicken and rice with a super-tasty cranberry dressing. Yum!

I asked my mom for the recipe. She remembered most of it. Basically everything but the rice part. Sweet! So my next step was to modify it for the crock-pot. Should be super-simple, right? Well, I will admit that the chicken came out delish, but the rice just never managed to cook so the whole thing turned out soupy with crunchy rice. But have no fear! We ended up ditching the rice for my fabulous mashed potatoes (i.e. backup plan).

Since this recipe really is quite good, I thought I might share it with you guys in case any of you are looking for a new and different way to cook the same ol' chicken. Believe it or not, you really don't have to like cranberry sauce to enjoy this recipe. Trust me. Hubs is not a cranberry sauce man but he really likes this dish!

So without further adieu, here is the recipe... with pictures even!


Slow Cooker Cranberry Chicken

Ingredients
:
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 can whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 cup French dressing

Directions:

1. Rinse chicken with cold water; pat dry.

2. Place cranberry sauce, dressing and onion soup mix in a lightly greased slow cooker.

3. Mix ingredients well, adding a dash or two of salt and pepper. Add chicken to slow cooker, covering it with the soup mixture.

4. Cook for approximately 4 hours on High or 6 hours on Low.

5. Serve over rice and enjoy! Unless you attempted to include rice and some water in the slow cooker like I originally did, in which case the rice would've come out crunchy and inedible. In this case, whip up some mashed potatoes, top 'em with the cranberry sauce mixture and serve with a veggie of your choice!

NOTE: This recipe makes enough to feed our family of 3 (keeping in mind LO only ate a bunch of corn). When I cook dinner, hubs and I always split a single chicken breast and it's plenty for us. You can use this same recipe but with 2 chicken breasts and it'll come out just fine!
Bon appétit!