I spot my new favorite billboard just as the the blinding blur of oncoming headlights dissolves into wall of muted red.
"NU SPICEE CHIKIN...FEEL THA BURN."
I laugh at the spotted cows in firefighter uniform.
"Chick-fil-A?" Parker asks.
"Eat more chikin!" we scream in unison, then break into a fit of giggles.
As the laughter subsides my mind starts to wander.,,
I remember the first time I recited this line to Parker. Boy thought I was crazy! But now he laughs right along with me. I can't figure out whether I've made him a slap-happy highway driver or if he's just easily entertained...whatever it is, he loves it. When we pass the Chick-fil-A signs on the highway he beats me to the punchline 90% of the time. He's even started reporting sightings of the "nu" ads he spots on his drive too. I wish I could remember the others...
A yawn on the other end of the line interrupts my train of thought...
"Oh sweetie...please stay awake. I promise I'm almost home."
"I know...I'm trying. I'm just. so. tired."
I look at the clock and watch it tick another minute closer to midnight. I know I'm selfish for keeping him up past his bedtime.
Only ten more minutes, I think, and inch the gas pedal a titch closer to the floor.
There's no way I'm going to let my Provo commute steal away another sweet goodnight prayer, kiss, and cuddle. Not a chance.
"What'd you do for dinner tonight?"
I ask, trying to play wolf and scatter his mind's growing crowd of counting sheep with questions.
"Nothing really...I had a protein shake and ate some of that white chocolate popcorn. Maybe a cheese stick too."
"Oh honey...yuck. Why didn't you make something?"
"I don't know. I should have. There's just so much going on these days. I haven't eaten anything good all week."
And the alarm sounds. bad wife alert!
Poor boy! I'd been so overwhelmed and busy with life that I'd started to majorly slack in my domestic duties. Our house lay in shambles...clothes strewn all about, dishes stacked a mile high, paper piles accumulating on every table...and I couldn't remember having thrown together a real homemade dinner in more than a week.
He never says anything. He feels like it's all his responsibility just as much as it is mine. And I love him for that. But because I love him I also love being able to take care of him. And part of that, to me, is helping him stay healthy with good meals and giving him a clutter-free space where he can study and think and breathe.
So I vowed to spend my Thursday being a better wife...
I cleaned as much as I possibly could before heading off to work, hit the store as soon as we'd locked up for the night, and came home armed with the ingredients to one of our favorite dinners (then made 2 return trips to the store to buy the ingredients for our latest fall favorite dessert...that's what I get for failing to take a full inventory of our sugar stock before I leave home).
So tonight, I'd like to share the recipes to my success...quite literally...and give a BIG thank you to my Mom for my 1-2-3 Campbell's Cookbook and super-blogger Rachel Haack for sharing her to-die-for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies with her "best-ever-twist."
Hope these recipes bring you as much yummy-in-my-tummy happiness as they brought our home tonight. Enjoy!
P.S. These recipes are EASY and DELICIOUS, but I can't lie. Literal blood, sweat, and tears went into each dish (blood=Chelsey grating her finger while zesting the orange, sweat=attempting to grab cookie sheet out of oven with a hand towel, and tears=onion chopping...gets me every time.). Outside of those three incidents...smooth sailing! One more step down the path of domesticity for little Miss Chelsey.
Pan Roasted Vegetable & Chicken Pizza
So this picture isn't an entirely accurate representation of said pizza, but we failed to take a picture of our own before we demolished it...so go with it. I may even use this as inspiration for my next "good wife" domestic adventure.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Vegetable cooking spray (I prefer to use olive oil)
- 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- 3 cups cut-up vegetables (use a combination of sliced zucchini, red and green pepper cut into 2-inch long strips, and minced or thinly sliced onion. I sometimes add fresh tomato too.)
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (I'm a little more generous with the garlic...thank you Daddy)
- 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) CAMPBELL'S Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup or 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup ( I buy the fat free one along with a whole wheat pizza crust as a weak attempt at whole-hearted health-consciousness)
- 1 Italian bread shell (we like Boboli's thin-crusts)
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)
1. Spray medium skillet with vegetable cooking spray (or coat in olive oil) and heat over medium-high heat 1 minute. Add chicken and cook 10 minutes or until browned, stirring often. Set chicken aside.
2. Remove pan from heat. Spray with cooking spray (or re-coat in olive oil). Reduce heat to medium. Add vegetables and garlic powder. Cook until tender-crisp. Add soup. Return chicken to pan. Heat through.
3. Spread chicken mixture over shell to 1/4 inch of the edge. Top with cheese. Bake at 450°F for 12 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Makes 4 servings (we typically slice it into 8 sections and end with about 3 for lunch the next day...tonight we got competitive with veggie-stealing and ended with only 2).
*I have to laugh at the idea behind the 1-2-3 cookbook. Cramming 7 steps into 1 doesn't make it a 1-2-3 easy bake treat...even if it is easy (a.k.a. Chelsey-proof).
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
with Rae's amazing Twist
(i.e. orange icing)
*Thank you to my wonderful husband for the fun pictures. These are the REAL DEAL! Also...
Here's a link to Rachel's blog if you'd like to see the recipe there or learn a little more about the mastermind behind my latest fall favorite...
she's a spectacular writer and so, so sweet.
Thanks again for sharing Rae!
And to quote Parker: "Whoa...eet looks jus' like a chikin nugget!"
Our Chick-fil-A obsession lives on...
To make these little beauties, you'll need:
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup oil
Mix together above ingredients. Sift the following and add to above:
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
Dissolve and add to rest of ingredients:
1 tsp soda
(Chelsey note: I didn't know whether this meant soda soda or baking soda...not sure if I'm just a novice at the kitchen thing or if this is an easy mistake to make. Either way, I guessed the latter and our little cookies were DELICIOUS! So I'd recommend going with that.)
1 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
Drop by spoonfuls on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.
1/2 cup butter
A cup or so of powdered sugar
(Chelsey note: I added quite a bit more powdered sugar to get the right consistency [maybe I added too much juice??? no idea...] and even sprinkled some on the top because I love it that much [and it made for prettier pictures])
Melt the butter and mix with the powdered sugar.
Slice orange in half and squeeze all the juice,
until you have a nice icing-like consistency.
Zest the peel into the icing.
Lightly drizzle over the cookies.
*Rachel makes half of the batch without chocolate chips. She appreciates diversity in baking.
*You can skip the fresh orange and just add orange extract to the above orange icing ingredients.
*When you are done, you will need to promptly hide the entire batch.
You will already have eaten 9 cookies and won't be able to stop until you feel like vomiting.
They are that good.
And for your further enjoyment, a few Chick-fil-A billboards...