Friday, September 5, 2008

How is it Friday already? Not that I'm complaining!!

As I wait for my sister to get to Wichita (third weekend in a row of Meg time!) and we leave for Topeka and tomorrow to Manhattan, I will put up some pics from this week. It literally has flown by; the days crept by at work as we haven't been too busy, but I don't know where the week has went!

What I do know is that I had a couple evenings of fun! Wednesday night, I hosted the second round of our little cooking club. Kara, Becca and Becca's friend from work Ginny came over and the cooking began! I picked out our recipes this time and found them in two Pampered Chef cookbooks that I had purchased last fall (and of course have never used!). Our entree was "Tex Mex Chicken & Rice Skillet"- which is essentially homemade Chipotle! All of my dreams come true!! As a Chipotle lover, I thoroughly enjoyed the meal! Our dessert was from another Pampered Chef cookbook called "Banana Cream Brownie Squares." While this was fairly simple, it was pretty good!

Below are pics and the recipes if you want to try for yourself!! We served the chicken dish with tortilla chips, sour cream and salsa. I am really getting to know some new people in Wichita that share a love for cooking...especially since Kara is not going to be working with me anymore after next week. It's nice to know I will still see her regularly even though not in our lovely green scrubs! I will miss her at work, but hope she loves the new adventure she is going to begin!

Becca stirring the rice as it cooks in chicken broth and salsa verde...

Ginny and Kara checking out recipes...

The finished tasty! The picture does not do this justice!!

Dessert is served....yum!

Tex-Mex Chicken & Rice Skillet:

1 tsp plus 1 tbsp vegetable oil, divided 1 can Mexican-style corn

1 lb skinless chicken thighs 1 tbsp Southwestern Seasoning mix (taco seasoning)

2 cups uncooked instant white rice 2 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 cups salsa verde 2 tbsp snipped fresh cilantro

1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend

1. Add 1 tsp of the oil to skillet; heat over medium-high heat 1-3 minutes or until shimmering. Meanwhile, drain corn; pat dry with paper towels. Add corn to skillet in a single layer. Cook without stirring 5 minutes or until caramelized on one side. Remove corn from skillet and set aside.

2. As corn cooks, cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. Combine chicken and seasoning mix in bowl. Add chicken to skillet. Cook over medium-high heat 5-7 minutes or until center of chicken is no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.

3. Add remaining 1 tbsp oil to skillet. Add rice; stir until well coated with oil. Add broth and salsa; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover skillet; reduce heat to low. Simmer 5 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Meanwhile, snip cilantro.

4. To serve, spoon chicken over rice mixture in skillet. Sprinkle with cheese and corn. Cover, let stand 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Banana Cream Brownie Squares:

3/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped, divided 1 package (15-18 ounces) brownie mix

3 medium bananas, divided 1 package vanilla instant pudding mix

1 1/4 cups cold mix 1 container frozen whipped topping, thawed

12 strawberries Chocolate curls (optional)

1. Preheat over to 350'. Chop peants. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions; stir in 1/2 cup of the peanuts. Pour into a square pan. Bake according to package directions. Cool completely.

2. Slice two of the bananas, and place in a single layer over brownie. In a bowl, whisk pudding mix into mild; beat until mixture just begins to thicken. Gently fold in 2 1/2 cups of the whipped topping. Quickly spread pudding mixture over bananas. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

3. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup peanuts over pudding mixture. Cut dessert into squares and garnish with whipped topping.

4. Slice remaining banana. Garnish each square with banana slice, chocolate curls, if desired and a strawberry fan.

12 servings

*Both recipes are from Pampered Chef cookbooks. :)

The other great evening of my week was courtesy of Miss Lilah Mae. Lilah is the daughter of two good friends of mine- Kylie and Brady. I hung out with Lilah last night so her parents could go out for dinner/movie to celebrate their 4-year wedding anniversary. It does not seem possible that four years have passed since I stood up with them on their special day. Lots in life has changed, but they are two of the constants that I appreciate and it was a joy to spend some time with one of the cutest and most well-behaved kids so their parents could hit the town! Here are a couple photos of Lilah during her time with "Auntie Shell." Hope everyone has a great weekend and cheers to the good friends in our lives!

So, in my attempt to get Lilah to eat, I sang a song during dinner that I made up and it was too cute; she would dance went a little something like this: "We put our food in a pile, we put our food in a pile, we put our food in a pile and eat it up...yum, yum, yum." Whatever works!

Lilah mastering the use of a spoon....such a big girl!

Lilah clapping with the successful dropping of a ball into the toy. Yea!!


oregon_holts said...

You are a true singer/songwriter Michelle!

Kylie said...

Love that tune! Sometimes she doesn't even dance to the songs I make up! Thanks again, Shell!

Princess A said...

You lucky lady - Miss Lilah is such a sweetie! (friend of kylie's) - adriene