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23 July 2014

Avocado Chicken Salad



When I first started really getting into blogging and wanted to be a "real blogger" (because that is a thing), I set a goal of posting 6 times a month. Fancy, I know! As my blog grew, I started to become cray about posting. Fun most of the time, a little stressful...yes! Balancing school, home and constantly posting was apparently not in my juggling act because I failed miserably and disappeared for months. So in going back to my roots...I decided to set a similar goal and I will be posting twice a week (Mondays and Wednesdays). A schedule for more organization?!?...I love it! It's an self-proclaimed OCD's dream come true!


I thought I would fill you all in on some more fun stuff that went down while I was MIA. Well on June 30th, the hubby and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary! Although marriage is work, I am happy to say that it went by really quickly and I am excited that we are on our third year:) And since we really loved going to Southeast Asia on our first anniversary, we decided this year we would go to Spain. And actually just came back about 2 weeks ago! I thought in the next few posts I could recap some of my travels (I also went to San Juan, Puerto Rico for a conference).



When we came home we celebrated with dinner at a College Station favorite -- the Republic -- and enjoyed some cake.  I had a local bakery remake our second to top tier of our wedding cake! Basically I wanted to celebrate with Ninja back at home :) We actually tried to take a "family picture" and below is what we "got."


[btw: if you didn't notice, I decided to cut my hair]

So -- avocado chicken salad (aka: guacamole chicken salad). It's awesome. I can easily see this as an appetizer  (on these easy homemade tortilla chips -- link to come) or as a sandwich (just like other chicken salad sandwiches). The hubby ate it on both chips (as a snack when he was hungry) and as a meal (like on French bread) for lunch. He really enjoyed it but so did I. I am not really a big chicken salad fan, but this one, I got into. Because it was not sweet or mixed with crazy things like raisins. hahahah. It's super simple to make too! I used some left over rotisserie chicken I had, but you can also use chicken breasts that you cook yourself.







AVOCADO CHICKEN SALAD 
 Recipe adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen

INGREDIENTS

2 medium avocados, diced
3 tbsp. mayo
2 tbsp. lime juice
1 small can of Rotel (diced tomatoes with green chilies), drained
2 green onions, diced
2 c. cooked, shredded chicken*
Salt and cilantro to taste

Note: I used left over rotisserie chicken but you can also use cooked chicken breast. Just place it in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment and mix on medium-low speed. It will shred the chicken for you. If you do not have a stand mixer, you can shred by hand.

DIRECTIONS

In a medium bowl, mash avocados together until no large chunks remain. Mix in mayo and lime juice, stirring until well incorporated. Then add salt and cilantro to taste preference. Finally, using a spatula, fold in the can of Rotel (diced tomato with green chilies), green onions, and chicken until evenly distributed. That's it! You are done!

Serve with a side of tortialla chips or on bread as a sandwich OR grab a spoon and eat this sucker as is ;) No judgement....

Enjoy,



21 July 2014

Cheesy Chicken & Dumplings




Major blogger fail. Can I even call myself a blogger when I stop posting for 5 months! CRAY! Okay, I shall-define myself as a spontaneous poster. hahahaha :) Well, what has been up with me in these past few months. A LOT. First of all ::drum roll::.....

I DEFENDED MY DISSERTATION!

Completely worth the drum roll and obnoxious bold-capital letters, right? Super awesome BUT the most tragic part? Because I am studying to be a clinical psychologist, I cannot call myself a doctor until after internship (hence the "pending completion of internship" on the cookie.). The coolest part of defending is being welcomed back (if you don't fail...and let me tell you, while you wait for your committee to deliberate -- time is crawling and every moment seems more painful than the last second), is to be welcomed back as "Dr. ---." Making all those agonizing moments of running participants, data collection, data analysis and writing (100s of pages of writing), so worth it. Well, for me it was just welcome back, hahahaha.


I am really excited about completing another chapter in my life and am looking forward to a whole new one (and terrified). Not only have the last few months been filled with dissertating (totally a word), but really (okay, I am going to sound like a hippie but a little part of me is) -- re-finding who I am, centering myself and relaxing. I really needed these past few months to withdraw and do some "me time." And it has been great for me and my happy. But I promise I did not stop baking and cooking. After all the hubby needed to be fed ;)

Here is a simple and amazingly delicious recipe for cheesy (and I mean cheesy) chicken and dumplings. Its a great way to sneak in the veggies without tasting them. Because I HATE peas. I mean like can't stand them, how did they even genetically evolve -- kinda hate. But you can't taste them and you feel good that you got your serving of veggies on. If you don't like this recipe, I am not sure we can be friends ;) 





CHEESY CHICKEN & DUMPLINGS
Adapted from Pillsbury

INGREDIENTS

Preheat Oven to 325F Degrees

1 box of Hamburger Helper -- Cheddar cheese melt
1 2/3 c. hot water 
1 2/3 c. milk 
2 tbsp. butter
2 c. green giant frozen mixed vegetable bag 
1-1.5 c. of mini elbow pasta*
2 c. of cubed chicken (cooked)*
1 (~7.5 oz.) can of Pillsbury refrigerated buttermilk biscuits 
Paprika (optional)

Notes: You can use the pasta that came in the Hamburger Helper box. However, I feel that is not enough, and would definitely not be enough to feed the hubby. For chicken, I love using Tysons grilled chicken strips.

DIRECTIONS

In a large skillet or wok over medium heat, combine contents of sauce packet (from Hamburger Helper Box), hot water, milk, butter and vegetables. Heat mixture until boiling. Stir in pasta and chicken. Return to boiling. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and stir occasionally. Cook until pasta is tender. If the pasta is not tender , but the liquid is low, add 1/3 c. of water and 1/3 c. of milk until tender. 

While the pasta is cooking, cut biscuits into fourths. Once pasta is cooked, place biscuits over hot pasta and place entire skillet in oven. Bake 10-12 minutes until biscuits are cooked through and golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Garnish with paprika (or maybe some extra shredded cheese, if you're a cheese freak like me).

Enjoy,