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Project Housewife Returns – Angel Chicken

6 Mar

Way back when I first started blogging, I began a project that I titled “Project Housewife”. It was a labor of love that involved me getting out of my rut and trying new things to make being a housewife more exciting. Among my goals was learning to cook meals for my family that was both nutritious and delicious. So I amassed a grand collection of cookbooks and set about learning what things my family loved – and what things they didn’t.

These are my absolute favorites

I found myself enamored with the “Company’s Coming” series by Jean Paré and Johnny began buying them for me when he felt like bringing me home a little something while out on a shopping trip. The recipes are delicious and not overly complicated.

The first meal that I shared with you was my Roast Chicken Dinner back in November 2009. The beginnings of that recipe was inspired by a recipe I found in my very first Company’s Coming cookbook, “The Rookie Cook” (top row, second from the left) and as I got more confident in my abilities as a cook, I expanded and experimented until the recipe was my own.

This Thursday past my parents decided to come and have dinner with us. Since my dad is a pretty picky eater, my mom rarely ever gets the opportunity to try out new recipes. It’s a waste of food to try out new things just for herself, in her opinion, so I always try to have something new for her to try when she has dinner with us. I make something plain and ordinary for my dad and everyone else has something exciting. This time I decided to introduce my mom to a recipe out of one of my favorites of my collection of books, “Low-Fat Cooking”.

As I have done with most of the best loved recipes in these books, I have cooked them time and time again until I have switched the recipe enough to make it have my own particular flair. Angel Chicken is no exception. Here is how I cook it.

Angel Chicken

1 14oz. can stewed Italian-style tomatoes, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 average zucchini, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. granulated sugar
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 package grated skim mozzarella cheese
1 package angel hair pasta
8 cups boiling water
1 tsp. salt
Grated fresh Parmesan cheese

In a small bowl, mix together your can of tomatoes and the garlic. Pour it into an ungreased casserole dish, then layer the zucchini and yellow pepper on top. Sprinkle it with the basil and sugar. Place the chicken on top of the whole concoction. Spoon a little bit of the tomato and garlic mixture onto the chicken. Bake it uncovered in a 350 degree oven for about an hour. After an hour, sprinkle the cheese on top and put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside.

You don’t have to use the whole package, but I do because we love cheese.

Cook the pasta in the boiling water and salt for 7-10 minutes until it’s as tender as you like it. Drain, rinse, and drain it again.

Serve vegetable mixture over the pasta and top with a chicken breast. Sprinkle with the parm.

Voila, Angel Chicken

It is absolutely as delicious as it sounds, and I would highly recommend it. Everyone here loves it – even though Hayden picks out the zucchini because he’s a picky eater.

Try it! I bet you’ll love it. If you do try it, come back and let me know what you thought.

What are your favorite “go-to” recipes for company coming on short notice?


The New Me

9 Oct

Once upon a time when I was a party girl, I looked incredible. I was petite, standing at only 5′ 2″ and weighing 105lbs soaking wet. I had nice perky boobs and a Jennifer Lopez backside and rocked a pair of hip hugging jeans and a midriff baring top like nothing else.

Then I had children.

With the first two boys I managed to lose the pregnancy weight fairly easily. Breastfeeding really helped melt those pounds away and so in no time I was back in my old clothes. When Silas was born, I chose not to breastfeed. It was a heart-wrenching decision for me because I’m what you might call a “lactivist”. I’m a very passionate breastfeeding advocate and it hurt me deeply to have to decide against doing something that I felt would benefit my baby and my bond with him. However, I firmly believe that sometimes we have to do what’s best for the entire family and  not just the newest member of it, and I knew that breastfeeding and dealing with a very high-needs 2 year old would prove to cause more heartache in the long run, so I chose to formula feed Silas.

And the weight didn’t come off.

When I got pregnant with Lola, I weighed in at 160lbs. I cried when I made that discovery. It was the heaviest I’d ever been in my life and here I was facing a possible weight gain of another 25lbs or more. It was depressing. I’d never been more out of shape in my life.

Yes, THIS depressing.

By some fluke, I only put on 8lbs while pregnant with Lola, and over 6lbs of that was Lola. I left the hospital already below my pre-pregnancy weight.

Today’s assignment was to share something I’ve been proud of in the past few days. Well, when I weighed in at the doctor’s office on Wednesday I was only 146lbs. I’ve lost 22 since Lola was born and I’m down 14 from my pre-pregnancy weight. Proud? Oh yes I am!

I plan to keep losing the weight and get back into shape. My goal is to hit 115lbs again, but I’d be almost as happy with 125lbs. Starting in November, Johnny and I are using the P90X program to lose the weight and get back in shape. That’s another journey I’ll be sharing with you.

So here’s to my weight loss so far, and to the weight loss to come! I’m pretty proud right now!