Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cookie in a Cup

I have recently become smitten with the idea of making individual desserts in the microwave of all places. First I discovered the 321Cake and my mom loved the idea too! I'll share the recipe soon I promise. Justin absolutly loves warm chocolate chip cookies with ice cream, or milk so this was the perfect recipe for us. All the warm gooey cookie goodness without heating up the oven or lots of work. The recipe is from no.2 pencil 

1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Granulated White Sugar
1 Tablespoon of firmly packed Brown Sugar
3 Drops of Vanilla Extract
Small Pinch of Kosher Salt
1 Egg Yolk (discard the egg white)
slightly less than 1/4c of All Purpose Flour
2 Tablespoons of Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

 Melt butter in a microwave safe mug. Add white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla kosher salt.

Stir together, Then add one egg yolk. Stir again.

add a little less than 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour, stir to combine.

Add chocolate chips, and stir.

Now put your cup in the microwave for 40-60 seconds. Start checking for doneness at the 40 second mark. You'll know it's ready when it looks like a cookie! now top with some ice cream or eat with a glass of milk. I love the results, and so did Justin! we actually doubled the recipe and it worked just as well, although it made A LOT of cookie so you might want to stick with the recipe unless you're sweet tooth is really hungry!

I can't wait to try the other microwave cookie recipes from no.2 pencil, and maybe even take a shot at one of my own!

Broiled Parmesan Chicken

Here is yet another Pinterest find, and it was a success! recipe found on Mel's Kitchen Cafe 

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons butter, softened (I used 3Tbs)
3 tablespoons light mayonnaise (I used 2Tbs)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder (I used dried chives)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts ( I used 4)

Preheat your broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with cooking spray. Mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Stir in the dried basil, pepper, salt, onion powder and garlic powder, and set aside.  Lightly season each side of the chicken with salt and pepper. Broil a few inches from the broiler element for 4-5 minutes. Flip the chicken over and broil for a 3-4 more minutes. Spread an equal amount of the Parmesan mixture on each chicken breast. Broil for another 2-3 minutes until the top is golden and bubbly and the chicken is completely cooked through.

It was delicious! I was surprised at the use of the broiler to cook the chicken, I guess I had never thought of using it for anything other than burning garlic bread and melting cheese. Very easy to make, so go ahead make some for yourself! I served it with asparagus and homemade rice pilaf. I think this topping would be great on fish too!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Chicken Pamesan Casserole

Thanks to Pinterest I am full of new recipes and ideas! Here is one of my finds that seemed brillant, chicken parmesan without all the work of breading and pre-frying the chicken. I have to admit I was skeptical that it would taste like the chicken parm I know and love but it looked so easy to make I had to give it a try. I found the recipe here on Food Wishes Blog 

2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
hot red pepper flakes, to taste
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used 4)
2 cups marinara sauce (I used at least 3 cups)
1/4 cup chopped basil (I used 2Tbs pesto)
8 oz mozzarella, shredded
4 oz Parmesan, grated
1 (5-oz) package garlic croutons

First place oil and garlic in a 9x13 (I used a 10x10) then add red pepper flakes, followed by the chicken breasts (I used 4) Then pour on the sauce, add pesto or basil and top with half of the cheese. I added a little more sauce then the croutons and top with the rest of the cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 mins

Next boil some pasta and serve your chicken parmesan on top and Enjoy! I thought it tasted a lot like what I thought it should, was super fast to make and definitly something I plan on adding to our recipes.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Visit From Memere and the Crofts

This past week Justin's mom Laurie-ann (also known as Memere) came to visit. For those of you who aren't familiar with the term Memere (pronounced Meme) it is used as grandma on Justin's mom's side of the family. JJ really enjoyed all of the extra attention, and Memere loved all the smiles from the little guy. It was great to have her here to visit and to help us in transition. Last Monday I went back to work at Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse BBQ. It's weird going back and re-learning everything, and leaving JJ, but he's in good hands with daddy.


While Laurie-ann was here we went to a Salt Lake Bees game (free tickets thanks to our pass of all passes) We love going to the games, the stadium is nice, tickets are affordable, and we might get to see some of the Angels play.

Last week my Grandma and Grandpa Croft came to meet the little guy. They were in town visiting some other friends and family and stopped by for a little while. JJ definitely got lots of attention this past week.

JJ has found his hands! He loves to suck on his hands and has even begun to bring toys to his face. He has also started teething,which means LOTS of drool (we're talking soaked shirts) and fussiness.

Look at this little guy lounging in his Bumbo chair. JJ loves to watch sports on TV with daddy, especially basketball and baseball. Which is good since we have those on most nights.

Just one more picture. Since JJ loves to sit up and we like to eat dinner while it's still hot we've made him part of dinner time. We put him in his Bumbo chair with some toys on top of the table so he can see us and we can enjoy dinner as a family. It will be nice when he's big enough for the high chair too!


Thursday, June 14, 2012


Remember how I made a new years goal to do something crafty once a month?... yeah having a baby really throws a wrench in the mix, with trying to sleep and be slightly productive at home it doesn't leave much if any "crafty" time.

 In March I got an offer for a free photo book from which gave me the kick in the butt I needed to get pictures together right after JJ was born (top left) It turned out exactly like it looked online, I will definitely be making more of those!

In April (and the beginning of May) I put together calendars for mothers day with the help of The calendars turned out awesome! I totally want one for myself now, and plan on going back to their website for more photo gifts. (bottom left)

Now its June and I haven't had to push myself to craft as much as the previous months. Thanks to Pinterest and a visit to my high school art teacher I've made two projects already! First I made a knotted headband I saw on Pinterest (bottom right) The project inspired by my art teacher Mrs. Porter is the pop can bow (top right) She makes pop can flowers, I wanted to start making them but my edges weren't as nice since I don't have a die cut machine. In the mean time I'll stick with hair bows which I am excited to sport at work, and everywhere else lets be honest. 
p.s. I plan on selling the pop can hair bows so let me know if you'd like to buy some and if so which soda type.

Here is a tutorial for the Knotted Headband that I originally saw on Pinterest:

Cut two strips of fabric, mine were 2.5" wide and about 24" long ( I didn't measure I'm just guessing) The thicker the strips the chunkier your knot will be.

Take your first piece and cross the right end over the left. then place your second strip on top.

Next take the 1st strips right tail over your second strip.

take the left side of strip 2 and place it under the loop of strip number 1.

Now take the right side of strip 2, place it over the loop in strip 1 under strip 2 and back over strip one. (I hope that made sense)

your knot will look like this, all you have left is pulling it tight.

Here's your finished knot

Now measure your head and cut the strips with enough left to overlap, then use your trusty hot glue gun to stick the ends together. Last cut a piece of fabric and glue over the exposed ends.

Now enjoy your new headband! and happy crafting!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Minnesota Madness

Over Memorial Day week Justin and I (and JJ) visited Minnesota! My grandparents (on my mom's side) flew out too. JJ did really well on the planes, and even slept most of the time. We flew out to celebrate my big little brother Brian's high school Graduation. It's hard to believe that 4 years ago I graduated from the very same high school. I even went back to visit my former art teacher Mrs. Porter, found a new craft project (coming to the bog soon :) and ran into my old photo teacher Doc.  

Brian after graduation, he looks so happy to be done with school! p.s. the darling girl he has his arms around is Joycelyn, his girlfriend.

Justin really enjoyed having time off and getting to spend more time with JJ. He loved how smiley JJ is in the morning

We also took time to enjoy some baseball, Spencer had his first two games while we were there. He pitched in the first game, and played right field in the second game.

Braeden played in the outfield both games as well. He did really well even though he was nervous since he was hit by a pitch a few games ago. It was really fun to cheer on my little bros, I wish I could do it more often.

Everyone also enjoyed playing with JJ. He was definitely the center of attention! He is smiling more and more everyday, holds his head up on his tummy, and even rolled over 3 times!

Our Culinary tour of Minnesota included Culvers, Panera, Raising Canes, and Osaka (pictured) We also ate at Old Chicago, Ramy's, Noodles & Company, and Famous Daves!

For my dad's birthday I got him a homemade mozzarella kit. I wasn't sure how it would turn out but it worked! and I was pretty much giddy the whole time. You start with a gallon of milk and a half hour later you end up with about a pound of fresh mozzarella cheese. We even shared our creation with the family atop homemade grilled pizzas.

In my parents backyard they have tons of strawberries. One morning we picked them and ate them with pancakes, no sugar needed since they were super sweet!

I was fortunate enough to spend some time with my girls Kat and Amanda. Kat lives in South Dakota and was visiting MN for a couple weeks. Luckily her last day and my first overlapped so we could see each other. Amanda brought over some butter toffee peanuts (ridiculously delicious) for us to eat while we caught up, and told stories. The next day I also got to spend some time with some of the other techies at a little reunion BBQ.

We also watched movies, went to the Mall of America, played video games, stayed up late, made biscuits and gravy and cinnamon rolls, saw Avengers, slept in (well some of us) had a girls night, went to church, skipped school, and most of all had a ton of fun just spending time together! I am so grateful we were able to make the trip out there and can't wait for our next family adventure!