Sunday, August 23, 2015

Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken

2 tbsp olive oil
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halves
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease 9 X 13 baking dish.

In a shallow dish, blend olive oil and garlic.  In a separate dish, mix bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, basil, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.  Season each chicken breast with salt and black pepper, dip it in the oil mixture, and then in the bread crumb mixture.  Arrange coated chicken breasts in the prepared baking dish and top with any remaining bread crumb mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

195 calories per serving.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Moonlight 4 Miler

Matthew did the kids' half mile in 5 minutes 23 seconds, and Mommy ran 4 miles in 36 minutes, 30 seconds .

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Sweet Summa-Time

It is hard to believe that in a little over two weeks I will be back at the helm planning for the school year, decorating my room with various posters, and learning how to be a better, more awesome teacher.  It has been one of the most amazing summers ever with my family…, with a few glitches.

As school was winding down for summer break, I received a phone call at 6 a.m. on April 28th from my mom that Dad was being rushed to Henrico Doctors Emergency Room.  I rolled out of bed, grabbed a granola bar, called in for a substitute, dragged Matthew to the Toyota, and headed down I-64 to the hospital. 

We arrived to find my Dad ill, vomiting, and in a ton of stomach pain.  After all tests were completed, Dad had a pepcid ulcer that had burst in his abdomen.  Piece of cake surgery…right?  Dr. Zimmerman, who is the best surgeon EVER, operated on dad and “fixed him.”  Wednesday, I stayed with Dad most of the day at the hospital and he was in good spirits, and recovering well.  When I called on Wednesday evening to his ward, the nurse said he was violent and had to be put in restraints.  I was so upset by this news….my sweet, loving father, violent?  Evidently, withdrawal from the anesthesia was causing the temperamental reaction.  He then went into sepsis on Thursday, and ran a very high fever of 104 degrees.  I taught that day, and pretty much sobbed most of it.  My students surprised me with a card for Dad, they had all signed, even ones that I did not teach.  He cried when I shared it with him, as well as did I.  (I love you GMS students!).

As for Dad, he is still tottering away at almost the age of 80, and will be tested this week for prostate cancer, so prayers and love would be appreciated.  It was a crazy month as I grocery shopped for two families, drove back and forth to the hospital daily to visit Dad, and somehow, found time to workout and NOT lose my mind, surprisingly.

View off our deck.
One week after summer dismissal, we hit the road for Nags Head, North Carolina. 

So proud of my running!

At Jeannette's Pier
We took our sweet time getting to this charming beach area that we had not seen since Matthew was two years of age.  We stopped at the Virginia Diner, where I had the BEST BLT sandwich ever, and visited the home of the infamous Grave Digger along the way.  We also stopped at a farmer’s market, and I stocked up on strawberries (5 pounds to be exact….and ate ALL of them), other fruits, veggies, and some homemade bread.  We arrived at Resort Realty for check-in and headed onto our cottage on the Sound where you see the most beautiful sunsets EVER (see picture).  Our cottage was the same one we stayed in five years before, however, things had changed…there had been water damage to the master bedroom and it had seen its share of wear and tear.  We also had an ant issue, and were asked to be at the cottage when an exterminator came by. Really Resort Realty? Thanks for the inconvenience.

We had an awesome week, and even caught up with some Goochland friends one night. We visited with relatives there (adore them!), and I enjoyed beautiful runs every morning on the Sound.  Thank you God for that amazing blessing after the rough month before!

We scooted on home one day early so John could get ready for work, and Matthew could get rested up for STEM Camp through Goochland County Public Schools.  WOW, while Matthew was at camp, I redid one bathroom, painted and eliminated the cat decorations (which John was very thankful for).  It now has a “seaside” experience.  I also painted the entire upstairs hallway.  It’s currently a soothing mild yellow color.  I love camp!  He had a blast and on his last day, students went to the Science Museum of Virginia, which I helped to chaperone. Fun stuff!
Science Museum of Virginia

Hunting dinosaurs.
After a week of humidity, and horribly severe storms with tornado warnings, we finally caught a break with some beautiful weather.  Matthew and I met up with my cousin Steve and his wonderful family at Kings Dominion.  His son and our little booger are the same age. They are like two peas in a pod.  We had so much fun; then the cellphone rang.  John was violently ill, but swore it was food poisoning from Popeye’s (insert extreme eye rolling here).  No worries….we hoped.  I checked on my sweetie via phone the rest of the day, he was doing better. 
My strong boy rode his first roller coaster (the old Scooby Doo coaster), did the bumper cars, and hunted ghosts and dinosaurs.  We arrived home to find John in good spirits and feeling much improved from earlier in the day.

Two days later, project #3 home improvement began. I had dropped Matthew off at his summer reading program, and was plowing away with painting the downstairs bathroom.  The phone rang, and John was driving himself to the emergency room at Henrico Doctors (really? I might as well rent a room at the joint!).  He was violently ill again.
Shower, dress, get Matthew from program, dumped him off at my parents’ house, and off to HDH again.    John’s gall bladder had gone caput. 
Gallbladder what?
Again, Dr. Zimmerman saw me, performed surgery on my dude, and we were back home by 9:30 that night.  I tucked John to bed with Mr. Percocet and finally got some rest.  Enough with the hospital already!!!  And yes, two days later, I finished the bathroom, but that’s for another post.
Not that my little boy is 7 years old, and I am probably the worst mom ever, but I had never taken him to a Richmond Squirrels game.  On July 19th we made our first trek as a family to The Diamond.  We got caught in major traffic at the Boulevard exit (accident), finally got parked and walked into the stadium.  We literally sat at the first base line….worth every penny ($12 per ticket).  We ran into some Goochland and church friends while there.

I do not know if it’s because my kid is so darn cute, but we walked away with more free swag that night.  Matthew got a signed baseball card, another kid gave him a foul ball, a megaphone, a pig nose (don't ask), and lots of high fives.  He was adorable and I have to say it was probably one of those nights that I looked at how blessed we truly are.  We had SO MUCH FUN!

Matthew has also been attending LEGO Camp at the Goochland YMCA.  What fun for a week!  I take a bow and raise my hat to his teacher. Thank you for making his week wonderful.  He truly has John’s brain with building and creating.

I also want to take the time to thank the Goochland Pamunkey Regional Library.  My son has enjoyed so many adventures there this summer, from magic shows, to music making, to movie days on Fridays, to zoo adventures, and to juggling have motivated his reading and as parents, and from this teacher, THANK YOU!

Comic Con 2015
On August 1st, we went to the Richmond Convention Center for Comic Con 2015. What a hoot!  Matthew got his picture taken with Bumblebee, the Scooby Doo van, and a bunch of Minions.  We got a glimpse of William Shatner while we were there as well. Daddy was a party pooper this year and did not dress up, but Matthew and I were up to the challenge.

We have yet a few more adventures to go on before the beginning of school. What a true blessing to be a teacher, and a mom, and married to my best friend.  God bless all those in our lives and those who are just passing through reading.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Chocolate Ice Cream

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups of whole milk
3 1/4 cups of heavy cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Place the cocoa and sugars in a medium bowl. Stir to combine.  Add the whole milk and vanilla. Use a hand mixer for 2 minutes until the cocoa and sugars are dissolved.  Stir in the heavy cream.  If not freezing immediately, cover and refrigerate until use.

Turn machine on; pour mixture into freezing bowl.  Let mix until thickened, about 25 to 35 minutes.  The ice cream will have soft, creamy texture.  If firmer texture is desired, place in container in the freezer.

*Calories=286 per half cup

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Garlic and Lemon Chicken with Potatoes and Green Beans

6 tablespoons olive oil
2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced, 1 juiced
4 cloves of garlic minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 lb trimmed green beans
8 small red potatoes
4 chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Coat a large baking dish or skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Arrange lemon slices in the bottom of the dish in a single layer.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.  Add the chicken, green beans, and potatoes to coat.  Pour mixture in pan and spread around evenly.

Cook for 50 minutes or until done. Serve warm.