Temperance, Me, & Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Today is day 7 of the Sugar-Free-Mama Movement in our house. Yes, I have made it 6 days and counting. Really it’s not so much a diet, as a change. I’m working – not on losing weight, per say – but on temperance. What is temperance you ask? Well, it’s also called self-control, self-discipline, etc., etc. I’ve always struggled with a lack of temperance when it comes to eating. Constantly tired and tired of being overweight, constantly focused on myself and how I need to change, yet not enough “umph” to do something about it. I’d try and fail then try knowing I would ultimately fail. That’s a rough way to live.

After reading a book about ways to keep from falling away from Christ, Chapter 48 hit me squarely between the eyes. I lacked temperance. That’s such a prettier word than self-discipline, don’t you agree? 

It especially hit home when I read the definition – Temperance: to master something, or mastery towards complete control over yourself (temptations, desires, and behavior). 

Like good ol’ Matthew said, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Matthew 26:41

The author of the book I was reading wrote individual chapters on the characteristics found in 2 Peter 1:5-8 in which Peter says,

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control (temperance – KJV), and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It was clear, that was a HUGE part of my problem. I had no control over myself and that’s a miserable way to live. But thankfully I am working daily on that and constantly praying about it.

So with that I’ll share a copycat recipe I’m going to try, it’s not totally carb-free BUT it’s pretty close. I may just leave off the panko bread crumbs and anything else I see that’s not kosher with the sugar-free life I’m now living. I LOVE this dish at Longhorn Steakhouse. I mean L.O.V.E. So much that as a steak LOVER – if we’re going out for something special – which is really the only reason we usually go out anyway – I always choose a ribeye. That was until I had the Parmesan Crusted Chicken at Longhorn.

Oh. My. Stars!

I almost died of happiness. Not only does it taste better than most steaks, the portions were so large that I took some home. And that NEVER happens! So I found this recipe over at Plain Chicken (which is one my favorite go-to food bloggers). Let’s give it a whirl!

Garlic Parmesan Crusted Chicken
(Printable Recipe)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 3/4 inch thickness
Marinade:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup ranch dressing
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp pepper

Ranch Spread
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup ranch dressing

Parmesan Crumb Topping
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoons garlic salt,
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan
2 tablespoons melted butter

1 cup shredded provolone

Combine ingredients for marinade and pour over chicken.  Let marinate in refrigerator for 2-3 hours or overnight.  Grill 12-15 minutes, until chicken is done.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the ranch spread and parmesan crumb topping.

For the ranch spread, mix 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan and 1/4 cup ranch dressing. Set aside.

For Parmesan crumb topping, mix bread crumbs, garlic salt, shredded Parmesan and butter.  The crumbs should be evenly moistened.

Position rack in center of oven. Preheat broiler.

Transfer cooked chicken to oven-safe casserole dish. Spread 2 tablespoons ranch spread on each breast, then top with provolone and Parmesan crumb topping. Place chicken under broiler and cook until cheese melts and crumb topping begins to turn light brown.  Serve immediately.

Thanks for reading!

ABOUT CORNBREAD MAMA

Living on a small family farm in the Southeast Cornbread Mama enjoys sharing about her life. Between being the wife of a cowboy, homeschooling mom to boy/girl twins, artist, and Christ-follower praying for a simple life in this crazy world Cornbread Mama finds comfort in writing about her family adventures here on the farm surrounded by 18 cows and calves, 2 donkeys, 3 dogs, and 9 chickens. So pull up a rocker and sit a spell.

Ditched it!

About a month and a half ago we ditched our Direct TV after 8-9 years. I was so tired of paying $90 a month for just a few channels we regularly watched. Before ditching DTV I called to see if there was any way to cut our bill down. Basically he told me you can cut out several of the channels we watch regularly for $10 savings a month. 

Ten. Dollars.

I politely said, “No thank you, sir.” And proceeded to research ways to watch t.v. without paying a fortune. Cable is not an option where we live, nor was U-verse. Then I found this very helpful website. Also a friend had swapped to Netflix and I knew that sounded like a great idea as well. 

So we’ve had Netflix going for a month or more and LOVE it. I mean you can’t beat paying $9 a month vs. $90! And today we added a digital antenna so that my hubby would be happier since he could watch the news and weather again.

I was SHOCKED at how easy it was to hook up the antenna. I bought the Mohu Leaf 60 antenna (c. $60) after reading the article I posted above. Our area needed the 60 mile antenna and I sit here now watching one of 11 channels in HD FOR. FREE. It’s like when we were little and had only a big metal antenna. But with no static. And no big metal antenna. I have the flat antenna on my window right by the t.v. And it’s working great!

   
  

The only negative I found is the suggestion to buy the RG6 cable. I did buy it but there is no difference when I compared them by plugging them in and checking the channels available. It was exactly the same. Although I’m only out an extra $9 so I’m not going to complain I’m just so tickled to have our news stations for free. 

Hope this helps anyone who has been thinking of ditching the dish or cutting the cable.

And NO I don’t get paid anything for saying this. ☺️ 

chicken cubes 2

BEHOLD! I no longer hate cutting up chicken breasts.

chicken-cubes-2It may just be me, it may not, but can I just tell you how much I’ve always despised cutting up boneless skinless chicken breasts? It was a daunting task that was required for many of my standard recipes. I’d start cutting and the thing would flop and move and just be basically uncooperative. How did people end up with these perfectly cubed chicken breast pieces? I mean, look at Chik-fil-a nuggets, they are basically uniform size and shape. You can actually tell it was a cube! Mine? NOT ONCE. Of course this may be due to operator error more than anything. But if you struggle with this like I did, give this new tip a try.

This tip may be old-hat to some of you, I may be getting in on this way late in the ball game, but I wanted to share with you just in case you don’t know about it. {I’m also going to wait until after I post this to Google this tip, so I can feel better about myself for just a little while anyway!}

On to the fabulous tip – Cube the chicken while semi-frozen! This pack of chicken was frozen solid. I pulled it out of the drawer in the fridge, ran our (very) hot water over the top for about 3 minutes and then turned it over and ran it over the bottom for about 3 minutes. Opened the package, and pulled the chicken breasts apart, they were still frozen pretty solidly in the middle. I mean, ice crystals were in the center. Then I used my big knife and started cutting. I was FLOORED! It worked so well and the chicken looked so professionally cubed I proceeded to act as if I were Ina Garten in a chef’s kitchen. If only I had a collared shirt so I could flip it up, I’d be set!

Next time your recipe calls for cubed chicken I hope this tip helps ease some of your anxiety.

ABOUT CORNBREAD MAMA

Living on a small family farm in the Southeast Cornbread Mama enjoys sharing about her life. Between being the wife of a cowboy, homeschooling mom to boy/girl twins, artist, and Christ-follower praying for a simple life in this crazy world Cornbread Mama finds comfort in writing about her family adventures here on the farm surrounded by 18 cows and calves, 2 donkeys, 3 dogs, and 9 chickens. So pull up a rocker and sit a spell.

IMG_0064

Summer Time Please!

In our little corner of the world things have been spinning and whirling and humming along. I’m sorry I haven’t taken the time to stop and fill y’all in, but things are, as I’m sure they are in your world, busy-busy. Softball is in full swing and my baby girl is loving that. Baby boy decided not to play baseball this season. I miss watching him play but don’t miss running back and forth trying to watch them both and bussing them from one park to another. Alas, I’d really love to watch him play. 

He decided he wanted to be a “cowboy” full time this season. Early this morning I watched for several minutes as he tried to move the animals around and as he figured out how to get the donkeys’ water buckets over to their new pasture. I must says watching his mind work is fascinating! The four-wheeler is temporarily out of commission and thus he had to find a different way to transport said buckets about 300 yards across a pasture. Finally he managed to get the ropes tied just right to his bicycle and now he sits here with me sipping some sweet tea and breathing heavily after the long haul. Nothing makes him happier than fixing something or figuring out how to fix something. God made him a marvelous creature. 

And no, I don’t normally let him have sweet tea, but he worked hard and hey, this is Alabama.

Other than farming things have been fairly normal. Homeschooling, graphic designing, cooking… The kids finally talked me into letting them take their first swim of the season. 

 

I have to say they really got some air on that one. I thought it would be too cold but they assured me it would not be.

We’ve also started our garden as part of science this week. We have peas, cucumbers, watermelon, and maybe some bell peppers, if they come up. We’re especially excited about one type of watermelon we have coming up. We’re calling them Nana’s watermelons. 

 

Prettiest little green leaves

 
For years I’ve had the seeds and tried growing them in the outside garden with no luck. So this year I decided to try to start them inside and make a science lesson out of it as well. You know, the whole two birds one stone deal. I really didn’t have much faith that they’d come up but lookie there! Hopefully soon we’ll be smacking on some of the sweetest orange watermelon ever!

Summer is coming and I’m so ready! How about you?

Big Mama’s Apple Dumplings

This tastes like you spent a lot of time preparing it but it’s pretty easy and you get a whole lot of BANG for your buck! One of my favorites ever!

Big Mama’s Apple Dumplings

1 can crescent rolls

1 lg. Granny Smith apple, sliced into 8 slices

1 cup orange juice

1 cup sugar

1/2 stick butter

Roll each slice of apple in one roll & place in baking dish. Boil sugar, orange juice, and butter about 5 minutes. Pour over rolls. Bake at 350º for 20 minutes.

Every Sunday is Easter

Little boy was sick on Easter and missed the celebration. Poor fella. But thankfully we finally got to at least get our annual family picture this past Sunday. Shockingly enough no one was freaking out about the bees constantly buzzing behind us.

easter 2015

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Morning Bible Study & Reading

A snippet from my Bible study and reading this morning. I like to share those “aha” moments that happen while I read or study. Hopefully it can help you today as it has helped me.

This is from my Christian Woman magazine March/April 2015, The Christian Growth Chart by Casandra Martin.

Every day we have the opportunity to humble our hearts and surrender to the work of the Spirit in our lives. We often don’t see the importance of the small choices as we make our way through our days. They seem inconsequential in the moment. One small choice doesn’t seem to hold eternal weight, yet this is where most of our growth takes place – in the every day…
…Christians are not supposed to be just a little bit more loving than the rest of the world or a tad more kind than their neighbors. This is counter-nature, counter-cultural, counter-comfortable evidence of God’s grace. I am not supposed to have just a little bit of joy, but so much joy that others can see it and notice His presence and transformation within me. That is what we see in the New Testament. Generosity that defies explanation, peace that passes understanding, and faithfulness that withstands persecution. The Spirit’s presence in my life is supposed to be so evident and His effect so tangible that the world sits up and takes notice.
The fruit of the Spirit is not a checklist of good behavior. It is a growth chart for how the Holy Spirit is working in transforming our lives into the image of Jesus. The good news is that no matter where you measure up today, God is willing and able to help you grow. Celebrate the growth you see. Surrender where you see the need. Walk in the Spirit. Abide in Him. Let the world see His presence in you.

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Crock Pot Lasagna, Mama Approved

A month or so ago we had an Italian themed meal after church and I wanted to try crock pot lasagna. It’s everything I love, it’s easy, cooks without me standing over it, and boom it’s done without much fuss.

I tried to find the recipe of a friend that I KNEW was good, but couldn’t find it. So I was forced to pull one from the internet & just pray it would work. And thankfully IT DID. I was mostly concerned whether the noodles would be cooked right and if I should buy the no-bake kind.

This recipe called for regular noodles and despite my reservations they turned out just right. I also struggled to find a recipe that didn’t require me to make my own pasta sauce. While I think it would be awesome to do, I personally felt the “ain’t nobody got time for that!” phrase circling in my head. One day I will make my own, but that day wasn’t it. I am open to suggestions for a good homemade pasta sauce though – leave it in the comments if you have a good one. 😊

I hope this recipe works well for your family also.

P.S. I doubled this recipe but not all noodles would fit, it was still great!

CROCKPOT LASAGNA – Mama Approved

 
 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • Lasagna noodles
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions
Brown ground beef and drain. Spoon 1 C. spaghetti sauce in bottom of 4 quart crock pot. Mix remaining sauce with beef. Place 2 uncooked lasagna noodles on sauce in crock pot. Spread 1/3 meat mixture on top of noodles. Spread 3/4 C. cottage cheese over meat. Sprinkle 1/2 C. mozzarella cheese over cottage cheese. Add another layer of uncooked noodles, 1/3 meat mixture, the remaining cottage cheese and 1/2 C. mozzarella cheese. Place another layer of uncooked noodles, meat mixture, and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top. Cook on low for 4 hours. 

If cooked much longer, it gets a bit well done.

Original Recipe Here

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Magnificent Casserole

This is a recipe I first came across years ago after I began blogging. My family LOVES this and it’s a great one to take to church. It tends to impress even those who don’t like cottage cheese. Hope you enjoy!

Magnificent Casserole

2 pounds Lean Ground Beef

8 ounces Cream Cheese

1 tablespoon Green Pepper — minced

1/2 cup Sour Cream

1/2 cup Swiss Cheese — grated

8 ounces Egg Noodles — (package)

1 pound Cottage Cheese

1/3 cup Green Onion — chopped

2 cups Tomato Sauce

In a large pan, cook noodles in boiling, salted water until tender. Drain & set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, cottage cheese and sour cream. Add onion and peppers. Set aside. Brown ground beef & drain any fat. Add tomato sauce to ground beef. Grease 9 x 13 inch cake pan or casserole dish, and arrange the following layers: Noodles, cheese mixture, meat mixture – then repeat. Top with grated Swiss cheese. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.

*I recommend beginning to brown ground beef first, then begin to boil water, and start chopping. This saves a good bit of time as long as you feel confident multi-tasking.

Note: If you will be freezing this casserole for later use, you may want to reduce or omit the amount of green pepper and onion which are used, as they have a tendency to get stronger over a long period of time.