Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs




Now that summer is just around the corner, so is grilling season. I gave my grill a good cleaning after the long, wet winter and am so excited for all the barbecues we are going to have with our family and friends. 
This chicken is amazing! We all love it- even the kidos.  I make a few skewers for them without "vegetables", but the rest are loaded up with chicken, bell peppers, red onions and pineapple. Grilled pineapple is so good, especially when it is coated in this marinade. It caramels beautifully, I seriously would just eat skewers of grilled vegetables. 

You can print the recipe HERE
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1  tsp sesame oil
  • Salt and  pepper
  • 1  lb boneless, skinless chicken breast ( I use 2 chicken breast for our family of 5)
    • *chopped into cubes
  • 3 cups  fresh cubed pineapple 
  • 1 large green or red peppers, diced into cubes
  • 1 large red onion, diced into  pieces

Directions:

  • In a mixing bowl whisk together ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce, pineapple juice, 2 Tbsp olive oil, rice vinegar, garlic and sesame oil. Stir in 3/4 tsp pepper and season with salt if desired. Place chicken in a gallon size resealable bag. Reserve 1/2 cup of the marinade in refrigerator then pour remaining marinade over chicken. Seal bag and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Soak wooden skewer sticks in water for 1 hour

  • Preheat a grill over medium heat to 400 degrees. 
  • Thread red onion, bell pepper, pineapple and chicken onto skewers until all of the chicken has been used. Brush grill grates with olive oil then place skewers on grill. Grill about 7 minutes then brush along tops with 1/4 cup of remaining marinade. Rotate to opposite side and brush remaining 1/4 cup of marinade on opposite side and allow to grill about 7 minutes longer. The chicken should be beautifully brown and caramelized. 

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Poppy Seed Muffins


There are two things I bake every week. Muffins and cookies. Muffins are quick and easy to make and they are something we can grab for a quick breakfast or as a snack.
 I have been alternating between my blueberry and strawberry muffins every week, which we all love, but I wanted to find a recipe for the perfect poppy seed muffin.   I have a tried a few and was always disappointed until I found this one. These muffins are delicious, moist and full of flavor. 

Recipe make 24 muffins

Click to print recipe HERE


Ingredients


3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups milk
2 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 TB poppy seeds
1 tsp almond extract
3 cups flour
sliced almonds



Directions

  1. Beat together the wet ingredients: eggs, vegetable oil, milk and almond extract.

  1. Add the dry ingredients: sugar, salt, baking powder, flour and mix together. 

  2. Line muffin tins with muffins liners. Fill 3/4 full and sprinkle with sliced almonds. 
      Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. The tops should be golden brown a toothpick inserted in 
      the enter should come out clean. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. 


  1. Thanks for visiting, 



Pasta with Chicken & Sundried Tomatoes




I like making pasta dishes for dinner, because they are fast, easy and filling, plus my picky kids love eating almost any kind of pasta.  This pasta with sun-dried tomatoes and asiago cheese is so so so good ( I am not exaggerating) I will be putting  this recipe into my monthly menu rotation.  

The chicken breast is sauteed with garlic and sun dried tomatoes, and a creamy sauce is made in the same pot with half & half and asiago cheese. You can use a ziti or a penne pasta, both are perfect for the creamy sauce. You can also use a gluten free pasta if you prefer.

Ingredients
  • 1 8oz jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil (sliced)
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken breast, chopped into small pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt/pepper 
  • paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half 
  • 1 cup Asiago cheese, grated
  • 8 oz penne pasta
  • 2 cups fresh spinach

Instructions
  1. In a large non stick skillet, heat 2 TB of olive oil, and add the jar of sliced sun dried tomatoes and minced garlic.  
  2. Sauté for about 3 minutes, add chopped chicken breast to the sun-dried tomatoes and oil - season the chicken in the skillet with approximately 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp paprika. Sauté chicken until golden brown.
  3. To the same skillet, with chicken and sun-dried tomatoes, add 1 1/2 cup of half and half and bring to boil. Add grated Asiago cheese and stir to melt the cheese. Reduce the heat from boil to simmer and continue stirring to make sure all cheese melts.  Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning to your liking.
  4. Cook pasta according to package instructions and drain.
  5. Add cooked pasta to the sauce. Add spinach, toss everything together. 

Enjoy!


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Strawberry picking



Today was busy. Today was exhausting. Today was perfect. 

I had no intention of going anywhere but grocery shopping today, so when my cousin's wife texted me saying that there are U pick strawberries not far from my house, I had to go.  I always end up missing strawberry season, most farms say that they are available to pick in June, well by the time June comes around, all the berries are gone. So I told myself we would just see, maybe buy a box or two. I grabbed the kids buckets "just in case" and piled everyone into the car. 
The kids were more then happy about going to a farm, especially to pick some berries. 

Well, when I got the the field, turns out that they only opened yesterday, score! They had freshly picked strawberries at the stand,  Sure, I could have just bought a box at the stand, but did I? (well I bought a box to give to my neighbor) but no, I had to drag everyone one across the field on a hot, sunny day to get our own strawberries. 

Em and Nico had a contest going, which one would fill up their bucket faster. What is it about that age? Everything has to be a contest? Then someone always gets upset because they don't want to be the looser, and then fights start..... sigh..... yeah......this can go on all day long, but they can't stay mad at each other for more then a few minutes, they absolutely adore each other. Nico misses Em while she is at school, and asks me a few times during the day, when is Em going to be home. He adores her, and she loves that. 

My two year old was a sweetheart, he is a total mommy's boy, always by my side. Today was no exception. He had to be in the same row as I was at all times, if I hopped over a row, he would follow me. He would point at ripe berries and tell me where to pick. Once he picked one, he would carefully inspect it and if it suited his standards, it went into his bucket. If not, he flung it with all his might across the fields saying "ay yai yai" It his new thing. He got it from me, when I change his diaper I would say "ay yai yai" which basically means oh boy.  So if something is dirty, broken, or if he has a dirty diaper, he comes up to me and says "ay yai yai". I think it is the cutest thing ever. 

Well, we went, we saw, we picked, we ate.  The kids were so excited to surprise daddy with their strawberries, and take a box to our neighbor. We will most likely go again soon, I want to get more berries for freezing and for making freezer jam. I love this season. I love spring. I love summer. I love warm and sunny days. Today was perfect. 












How beautiful are those berries? 

Thanks for visiting, 



Half Bath - updated


So I recently painted the bathroom. With stripes. Again. 
It was already striped, I just repainted them to get a fresh look. I alternated the stripes. It used to start and end with white, so the trims did not pop, now they pop against the gray. 

This half bath is so small, it doesn't even have room for a regular door. No kidding, there is a pocket door, which I do not love, but oh well. 


I know that striped walls are not as popular as they were once. I originally painted the half bath in 2012! (what?! its been 4 years?!) But I still love them in this bathroom. If the whole bathroom was gray, it would feel like a cave. Trust me, I tried that. Didn't like it one bit. When it was all white, It was boring. So stripes it is. 




I also had hubby put up these ikea shelves for me. Perfect place to store extra toilet paper and clean towels. I love them! 



This bathroom came a long way from where it was before - Can you believe that is the same bathroom?!


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Mother's Day 2016




I hope you all had a great Mother's Day!

I was congested all night, so I decided to get up early and take a hot shower to help me breath. Well, as soon as I got out of the shower, I could hear the pounding of little feet running up and down the stairs, doors shutting and lots of whispering. I knew they were up to something. 

Earlier last week, the kids worked on their cards and pictures for me. The best part was that they at decided to hide their gifts for me in their underwear/sock drawers. Because you know, mom never looks in there. Its not like she does laundry everyday and puts things away. But I didn't peek, even one bit :) 

Once I walked out of the bathroom, my 5 year old ran up to me and gave me the biggest hug, I almost toppled over him. He yelled "happy mothers day!" and told me that there is a surprise for me downstairs, but he couldn't tell me what it was. His eyes were sparkling and he had the biggest grin on his face. 
The kids were both so excited, they couldn't wait for me to get down there. William didn't really understand what was going on, after a diaper change, we slowly made my way downstairs to the kitchen to find out that daddy had gotten up even earlier then I did, went to the grocery store for flowers, card and all the groceries for breakfast. And he was already making breakfast for all of us! 

While daddy cooked breakfast, I took the time to open and read everyones cards, letters and pictures. Both of the older kidos eagerly sat besides to me, gazing at the reaction on my face to their presents. This is it guys. This is the best part, the part where all that hard work pays off.  That look, is everything. That moment is everything. 
I took each one in my lap and gave them the biggest hug I could. I thanked them both for my presents and told them how blessed I am to have them as my children. Their little cards and pictures mean the world to me, They took the time to work on them "secretly". Mother's day is not about presents, and stuff. Its about moments and gifts from the heart. Gifts that I will cherish. I have a box where I keep all the cards I get, it is already running out of room, which means I have to get a bigger box, But I don't get rid of these special gifts,  I know that I will look back at all the cards and pictures they made for me and remember these beautiful moments.




 After breakfast, we got dressed and met up with our friends at the rose garden, played at the play park and then headed out to lunch. 
All day long, my 5 year old was asking me, "how is your mothers day going, mom?" or "how do you like your mothers day so far?" so, so sweet. I can not get enough of them. Even as I type this up, I get all teared up. How did I get such sweet kids? How did I get such a loving husband? My kids are my everything. They have made me a much better person, They are teaching me how to be more patient, selfless, loving and accepting towards others.

I am so thankful to be their momma. 







Thanks for visiting,