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Heirloom or Clutter…+ A New Twist on an Old Favorite…Chicken Parmesan as a muffin!

Happy New Year, everyone!! I have a new dilemma to share!

I know it’s really great that there are things so special to you that you want to pass them along to your children and grandchildren….but seriously…..you have to think, “Will they want this shit?”

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Take, for example, the Lenox bird collection, that I know was an expensive bite out of the budget that my husband provided for his mom….I just spent an entire afternoon, matching each bird to the corresponding certificate of authenticity, photographing, and listing them on Ebay. I sold one, but by the time I packed it and shipped it, I lost money.

Kathy, a very close friend of mine offered me $25.00 for all of them so that her husband can use them as target practice for a gun he purchased recently. Tempting. I can’t help but thinking that someone out there appreciates these dust collecting birdies.

Moving Steve’s mom into an assisted living facility was quite the undertaking, especially as her daughter-in-law….I was given the dubious job of sorting through countless pairs of stockings, some still in the original package, hair ties and bows, denture boxes, and an assortment of long forgotten treasures packed away for safe keeping. Year after year, I would go to the dollar store for holiday bags and have Salina pack up these treasures as gifts, but she didn’t want to part with anything. You really have no idea….So for now, I’m stuck with these birds…lots of them.

My parents, at 89 and 91, have kept those special to them in a super organized way. When I visit, I love how my mom is always trying to give me her things. Although they take great pleasure in sharing, I want my mom and dad to keep and enjoy the memories they bring, rather than taking them away. I also know that the beautiful and valuable belongings of my parents are far from junk and someday will value and cherish the sentiment and memories.

On a return flight from Cancun, I vividly recall the pilot saying, “I hope you enjoyed your vacation and have carefully packed all of your souvenirs that will be at your garage sale someday.” So….note to self….Only buy and keep what gives you pleasure and let it go when it no longer has meaning.

Speaking of giving pleasure, I found this twist on an old favorite. Get ready for this delicious and EASY twist on your favorite Chicken Parmesan recipe!

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Muffins

Makes 12 Muffins

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ½ lbs raw ground chicken breast or turkey.processor and run until ground)
  • 2 large egg
  • 6 tablespoons panko or breadcrumbs
  • Âľ teaspoon dried basil
  • Âľ teaspoon dried thyme
  • Âľ teaspoon oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ a small finely chopped onion
  • Âľ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon black pepper
  • Âľ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Âľ cup pasta sauce
  • Âľ cup reduced fat shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Optional: dried parsley, oregano or basil for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350. Lightly mist a muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, egg, egg whites, breadcrumbs, basil, thyme, oregano, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese and lightly mix together. Do not over handle.
  3. Form the meat mixture evenly into the 12 cups of your prepared muffin tin. Spread the pasta sauce evenly over the tops of each muffin. Bake for 20 minutes and remove from the oven. Top each muffin with about a tablespoon of shredded cheese and then return to the oven for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted. Garnish if desired.

Dear Friends,

Thanks for swinging by! Whether you are stuck indoors watching the snow, or reading this poolside, I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe and these great finds!

Until next time…

Cheers to cherished memories, both old and new!

🥂Laura

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7 Quick Back to School Breakfast Bites

With school starting, the search for quick, delicious and healthy morning treats goes on! I honestly don’t know how we survived without Pinterest and Google Search to serve all of our daily info needs! Starting the day off right sets the stage for kids of all ages to have a successful day!

They say, whoever they is, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. My Steve used to say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day because you have a big problem if you aren’t home by then. Not funny but he’s definitely right.

Check out these delicious breakfast bites. With a little planning, your family will look forward to stopping at the breakfast table in the morning!

PIZZA FOR BREAKFAST!

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INGREDIENTS
1 EGG
1 tbsp. milk
2 tbsp. fully-cooked breakfast sausage crumbles OR 1 fully-cooked breakfast sausage link or patty, chopped
1 round flatbread (6-inch)
2 tbsp. finely shredded Cheddar cheese
Yields: 1 serving

DIRECTIONS

COAT in 2-cup microwave-safe cereal bowl with cooking spray. ADD egg and milk; BEAT until blended. ADD sausage.

MICROWAVE on HIGH 30 seconds; push cooked edges toward center. MICROWAVE until egg is almost set, about 15 to 45 seconds longer.

CUT egg into 4 or 5 pieces; arrange on flatbread. TOP with cheese. MICROWAVE an additional 10 to 15 seconds to melt cheese. SERVE immediately.

EGG AND SAUSAGE TACO

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INGREDIENTS
1 EGG
1 tbsp. milk
2 tbsp. fully-cooked breakfast sausage crumbles OR 1 fully-cooked breakfast sausage link or patty, chopped
1 thin flatbread OR tortilla, warmed
2 tbsp. finely shredded Cheddar cheese OR Mexican cheese blend
Salsa, OPTIONAL
Yields: 1 serving
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
DIRECTIONS

COAT 2-cup microwave-safe cereal bowl with cooking spray. ADD egg and milk; BEAT until blended. ADD sausage.

MICROWAVE on HIGH 30 seconds; push cooked edges toward center. MICROWAVE until egg is almost set, about 15 to 45 seconds longer.

PLACE on flatbread. TOP with cheese. FOLD and serve with salsa, if desired.

MUFFIN FRITATAS

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INGREDIENTS
6 EGGS
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz.)
3/4 cup chopped zucchini or spinach
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 tbsp. chopped red onion
Yields: 6 servings/12 muffin frittatas

 

 

 

DIRECTIONS

HEAT oven to 350°F. BEAT eggs, milk, salt and pepper in medium bowl until well-blended. ADD cheese, zucchini, bell pepper and onion; mix well. SPOON evenly into 12 greased muffin cups, about 1/4 cup each.

BAKE in 350°F oven until just set, 20 to 22 minutes. COOL on wire rack 5 minutes. REMOVE from cups; serve warm.

BACON AND EGG BREAKFAST GRILLED CHEESE

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2 EGGS
2 tbsp. milk OR water
salt and pepper, as desired
3 tsp. butter, room temperature, divided
4 slices whole wheat OR white bread
2 slices Colby-Jack cheese
4 slices fully-cooked bacon
Yields: 2 sandwiches

DIRECTIONS

BEAT eggs, milk, salt and pepper in small bowl until blended.

HEAT 1 tsp. butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. POUR IN egg mixture. As eggs begin to set, GENTLY PULL the eggs across the pan with an inverted turner, forming large soft curds. CONTINUE cooking – pulling, lifting and folding eggs – until thickened and no visible liquid egg remains. Do not stir constantly. REMOVE from pan. CLEAN skillet.

SPREAD remaining 2 tsp. butter evenly on one side of each bread slice. PLACE 2 slices in skillet, buttered side down. TOP evenly with scrambled eggs, cheese and bacon. COVER with remaining bread, buttered side up.

COOK sandwiches over medium heat, turning once, until bread is toasted and cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes.

BAKED FRENCH TOAST

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INGREDIENTS

1½ c Chobani Vanilla Greek Yogurt
10, Âľ-inch-thick slices challah or brioche
Âľ c milk
4 large eggs
2 T light brown sugar
1 t ground cinnamon
1 t vanilla extract
Pinch kosher salt
Fresh berries
Maple syrup and powdered sugar (optional)

PREPARATION

STEP 1
Arrange bread slices in a 9×13-inch greased baking dish.

STEP 2
Whisk together Chobani, milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Pour over bread, cover pan with plastic wrap and chill overnight.

STEP 3
Bake at 375°F until golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Slice and serve warm with fresh berries and syrup.

CHOBANI YOGERT PARFAIT

INGREDIENTS

Chobani_parfait

1/2 c Chobani Strawberry Greek Yogurt
½ c granola
½ c mixed berries

PREPARATION

STEP 1
In a parfait glass, layer ½ the Chobani, ½ the granola and ½ the berries. Repeat.

BACON EGG and CHEESE MONKEY BREAD

BACON EGG & CHEESSE MONEKY BREAD

Ingredients

4 tablespoons butter
6 eggs, beaten
1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury™ Grands!™ Flaky Layers refrigerated original biscuits (8 biscuits)
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (6 oz)
1 package (2.52 oz) precooked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup finely sliced green onions (4 medium)

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 12-cup fluted tube cake pan generously with cooking spray; set aside. In 8-inch nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat; tilt pan to coat. Add eggs. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until firm but still moist, stirring frequently.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave remaining 3 tablespoons butter uncovered on Medium-High (70%) 30 to 45 seconds or until melted. Add 1 tablespoon of the melted butter to bottom of pan, brushing with pastry brush or tilting pan to coat halfway up sides. Separate dough into 8 biscuits; cut each into sixths. Coat biscuit pieces with remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter; place half of them in bottom of pan. Layer with 1/2 cup of the cheese, half of the bacon, the scrambled eggs, 1/2 cup of the cheese and the green onions; add remaining bacon, remaining 1/2 cup cheese and remaining biscuit pieces.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool 5 minutes; run metal spatula around outer and inside edges of pan to loosen. Turn over onto serving platter to serve.

Thanks for stopping in today! Find something to celebrate and enjoy each and every day! Each day is a gift.

Cheers to you! Laura

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CELEBRATING DAD

I feel so blessed to have both of my parent’s still living. My mom is 85 and my dad will be 89 this August. Married for 64 years and still living in the same home I grew up in, I find that their needs are so simple and their wants are few. The greatest gift is time spent together. I have tried, with not great success, to purchase gifts for my dad, Paul. His comfort zone is pretty small, and still drives, so he pretty much gets what he wants for himself.IMG_0389

I can’t believe some of the things I’ve tried to buy for both my parents and my visiting Grandparents from New York over the years. One year, I went to F.W. Woolworths, the five & dime store, and purchased cool bottles of cheap cologne for everyone. That didn’t go well, and it was hard not to show my hurt feelings when it was ‘suggested’ that I return them. One year, I creatively purchased everyone Hawaiian button down collared shirts, carefully choosing ones that were a little different from each other! Yikes! I really never realized that as we get older, we need so much less and frivolous spending is just that. 

The picture above shows Paul regifting to my Steve a treasured gift from past Dad’s Days! Regifting is a great way to share past memories with family members!
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My Jodi celebrating every day she can with Lynn & Paul. She loves to brighten their day.

 

And now for the fun part….DAD’S DAY DINNER!

Paul has a simple palate….depending on the restaurant. Shrimp & lobster sauce for Chinese, lasagna roll ups for Italian, hot pastrami on rye piled high for Deli, and then there’s the grill! Aside from ribs, hot sausage sandwiches oozing with grilled onions and peppers are the hit of the day. Throw in some grilled redskin potatoes and corn on the cob…..you have our Paulie’s heart!

GRILLED HOT & SWEET ITALIAN SAUSAGE SANDWICHES with ROASTED ONIONS & PEPPERS

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SUPER SIMPLE AND A GREAT DO AHEAD! SERVES 6

1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 pound hot Italian sausage
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
4 large onion, sliced in 1/2 inch slices
1 cubanelle pepper, sliced and seeded
1 each red, yellow & orange bell pepper, seeded and sliced in 1/2 inch slices
1/8 t. salt and pepper 

6 crusty submarine sandwich rolls

Pre-heat oven to 400*F. Combine cut up peppers & onions in a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, & toss to combine.

Roast, turning occasionally for 30-40 min. until soft but not mushy.

While the onions & peppers are roasting, light the grill to med-high heat. Grill the sausages until lightly browned on all sides and cooked through, approximately 10 min. total. Split the sub rolls and place open side on the grill for about 1 min.& set aside.

Combine sausage with onions & peppers and serve!

 

IMG_4496Make it a one pot, super easy meal! Throw in 1 1/2 lb. quartered small redskin potatoes with the onions & peppers and roast as directed above.

GRILLED CORN ON THE COB

This is a perfect way to grill corn on the cob adapted from Bobby Flay!

Grilled corn on the cob

Heat the grill to medium.
Pull the outer husks down the ear to the base. Strip away the silk from each ear of corn. Fold husks back into place, and place the ears of corn in a large bowl of cold water with 1 tablespoon of salt for 10 minutes.
Remove corn from water and shake off excess. Place the corn on the grill, close the cover and grill for 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, or until kernels are tender when pierced with a paring knife. Remove the husks and eat on the cob or remove the kernels. Serve with butter on the side.

(Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/perfectly-grilled-corn-on-the-cob-recipe.html?oc=linkback)

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Cheers to celebrating the dad in your life! At our house, we love to show appreciation for all of the wonderful and individual ways dads positively influence our children at all ages.

Children live what they learn’….no truer words have ever been spoken.