Recipe: Baked Chicken and Zucchini

Disclaimer: I’m bad about timing each step. I cook by how things look and smell at different steps more than anything else. And I rarely measure out seasonings and such. I’ll try to get close though!

My mother-in-law gave us some zucchini and tomatoes from her garden recently. Her garden has been going crazy producing veggies and we’ve benefited from it as well.

I only had one chicken breast to work with, so yours will probably look fuller in the pan.

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts, cut into large pieces

1 tbsp olive oil

4-5 tomatoes (I used Roma)

2 medium sized zucchini

Bag of steamable broccoli

1-2 Garlic clove

Seasonings (to your taste buds preference):

Black pepper

Poultry seasoning

Onion powder

Turmeric

Slice your zucchini into rounds and dice your tomatoes.

Season your chicken with black pepper, poultry seasoning, onion powder, turmeric. Heat up the olive oil (I used medium heat), add in the garlic and chicken, then brown the chicken on both sides. I think I did 5 minutes per side.

Take the chicken out of the pan and set the chicken into a glass baking dish (I used 9×13 pan). Start the oven preheating to 325.

In the pan on the stove that you used to brown the chicken, add your zucchini. You should still have hot olive oil in the pan so be careful. Couple minutes per side, or until zucchini slices start to soften. (At this point I had steamed the bag of broccoli, but I would recommend only doing half the time the bag calls for. I did end up with soggy broccoli at the end).

Add your tomatoes to the pan. Let them cook a couple minutes together.

While the tomatoes and zucchini were cooking I dumped the steamed broccoli into the glass baking dish with the chicken.

Then I added the zucchini and tomato mix on top. Then put it in the oven. The dish baked at 325 for approx 25 minutes.

Then we ate!

Changes I would do next time: add more chicken. Season a little heavier. Remember the garlic. Less steaming on the broccoli before baking. Cook the zucchini a little longer on stovetop before adding to the dish. Maybe add some cauliflower rice.

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Cat Magnets

Not actual stick on the fridge kind, but the kind where you yourself are a cat magnet. I’m thinking my husband and I are. 4 years ago we had Ginger fall into our laps as a semi-friendly feral that needed a home.

2 years ago Molly showed up, a tiny 3 week old kitten that needed to be bottle fed. She has now grown up to be super friendly and earns her nickname of Monster Molly. She has no fear and is very stubborn.

Our other two cats are also rescues of sorts. Penny is eight and a half and my cousin found her when she was only a couple months old. Then we adopted her from my cousin.

Pixie actually came from a rescue shelter. We got her at about 8 weeks old and have had her seven years now.

And that brings us to this week. Monday I got a text from the neighbor asking where I was. She found a very emaciated kitten and wanted to know what to do with it. She didn’t want to just leave it out to the elements. We brought her to our house and set up our breezeway as the foster cat area… Again.

She is about 6 months old, maybe a little older, according to the vet. Extremely friendly. Now that she has had several days of food and water and shelter she is moving around really well and being affectionate. She is still very skinny but walking tall now instead of barely moving.

It’s actually very hard to get a picture of her now because she’s constantly exploring and moving around. We have two potential homes lined up for her. All contingent on if we find her owners or not.

We definitely are cat magnets. Are you?

Where Have I Been?

Or rather, what have I been doing?

I’ve been up to my elbows in acrylic paints! Only unlike the painting in my last post where I was attempting a design, I have been learning the art of acrylic pouring.

It’s more than just dump paint on a canvas and tilt it, which a lot of people think that’s all there is to it. I’m still learning, so I’m not an expert by any means, but I can share what I’ve learned so far.

This was my very first one. I had old tube acrylic paints and a vague idea of what pouring medium was for. I did puddle pours as that’s all I knew about at the time.

Lessons from this one:

1) wear gloves.

2) mix enough paint that it will also cover the sides.

3) don’t use old paints.

After that I picked up some new paints, but cheap ones as I’m in the practice and learn stages. Although pouring medium is not cheap. Get it on sale! (I’m using CraftSmart paints and Liquitex pouring medium).

This was my second one. I did puddle pours again.

Lesson: after pouring the puddles, don’t forget to do a little swish through the puddles with a stir stick. Otherwise you get blob areas like I did here. But don’t stir too much either or you get mud.

After that I started experimenting with dirty cup pours, multiple puddles on one canvas, flip cups, and dragging a toothpick through the paint. And got better at making sure I got the sides covered.

Lessons:

1) different paint colors need different amounts of pouring medium. Experiment with it.

2) some colors work excellent together and some turn to mud colors.

3) as you tilt the canvas you can use one hand to catch paint and kind of slide it down the edge of the canvas to help draw paint to the edges and over.

4) glitter paints are a hit and miss paint. Sometimes the glitter will pop like crazy, other times you’re scratching your head (hopefully without paint drenched gloves on still) wondering if you really did add glitter paint or not.

5) Enjoy. Have fun. Experiment.

6) you might not like the end result, but someone else might fall in love with it. Don’t immediately decide it’s a failure. (Unless it’s a canvas of mud. Then it might be!)

Lots of pictures incoming!

I’m loving this art!

Playing Around

I decided to take a sewing break after the big push to get all those bags done. So I’ve been dabbling with a few other hobbies the past couple weeks.

One hobby, which I’d actually love to take classes on to learn the correct techniques, is painting. But for now I just have fun with it. I created a little 12×12 canvas painting for our living room:

I took random items from around my Wife Cave to get the various circle sizes.

I’m also working on transforming an old wooden tray that I bought years ago into a craft tray. So far I have a few base coats of paint on it but haven’t decided on design yet.

In the center section I’m going to glue some fabric pin cushion balls that I made.

I’ve also worked a little on my latest embroidery rose (which I don’t appear to have a picture of), some artist trading cards, a few fun drawings, and a Zentangle drawing:

What have you been up to lately? Try anything new?

Note: if want to comment here but are unable to, you can find me on Facebook, Little Orphan Stitch, and comment or message me there to let me know.

Bags, Bags, and More Bags

Well, I have been working hard at making bags, pouches, and more for the past couple months getting ready for a craft show at Michigan BuskerFest. It is this Saturday, and I think I’m at the point where I feel ready.

A pile of bags:

K.I.S. bags:

Medium vinyl pouches:

Wallet style vinyl pouches:

Business/ credit card size pouches:

Coin/earbud pouches:

And the newest in the line up, dispenser bags for carrying waste bags for dog walking. They are also great for parents. Why? Well, ever been in a restaurant with your little one and they have that dreaded diaper explosion…all over? Have a dispenser bag with you and you can bag up the clothes to contain the mess.

Wish us luck!

Free Motion aka “drop the dogs and go”

About a month ago my mom taught me how to free motion quilt. She always says, “just drop the dogs and go”. Unfortunately, at the time it was shortly after the thumb versus rotary cutter incident, so I wasn’t able to do much.

I’m mostly healed now, it all reattached, although I do have decreased sensation and pain around the scarring. It’s only been 4 1/2 weeks though, so I’m pretty happy.

Anyway, back to free motion. You know what? Its fun! Drop the feed dogs, put on the correct foot, and get a good grip on the piece you’re working on.

Those above are a few of the ones I’ve done in the past couple nights. And a few more from tonight:

Tips from me:

  • Have a good grip with both hands on your fabric
  • Steady, fast speed with the foot pedal and consistent speed with your hands
  • Remember stitch length is determined by how fast you move the fabric with your hands. No feed dogs!
  • Have fun and don’t worry about it.

I hope you get a chance to try it out if you haven’t tried it before. And if you tried it and didn’t like it, just try it out again and remember… have fun and don’t worry! It’s not supposed to look perfect

Happy Memorial Day

Just a quick post to say Happy Memorial Day.

I hope amid the barbeques and festivities that we all have time to think about the sacrifices that were made and the lives that were lost, and the Brave men and women who fought for us.