Thursday, March 24, 2011

Penne with Chicken, Artichokes and Spinach

On the menu for dinner tonight was this recipe that I adapted and, okay, sort of made up loosely based on one I found on the Weight Watchers website.  It took almost exactly 30 minutes from start to finish. When I put it in the recipe builder it came out to 8 points plus a serving. And it made 8 large servings.

Ingredients:
1 lb penne pasta
16 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 tsp olive oil divided
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
15 oz can artichoke hearts packed in water, drained and chopped
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbs dry Basil
1 Tsp dry Oregano
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
Prepare pasta according to package instructions.
Heat 1 tsp olive oil in large skillet. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper.
When chicken is cooked remove to a plate
Heat remaining tsp olive oil in same skillet.
Saute onions and garlic until onions become translucent.
Add Spinach, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and spices to taste.
Heat through.
Pour in chicken broth and simmer until reduced by half.
Add chicken and pasta to skillet and combine.
Add Parmesan cheese and toss to combine.

Monday, March 21, 2011

22 Months- and Almost on time too!


Evie turned 22 months on Friday. Almost 2!!  Time just goes by so quickly.  We've been fortunate enough to have some semi decent weather lately so she's been enjoying playing outside as much as possible. She's always very happy when she gets to be outside...coming in can be a problem! 

Evie celebrated her 22nd month birthday with our annual trip out to my former employer to volunteer answering phones for their radiothon for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Evie was extremely well behaved and played with her toys and the other volunteers the entire time. I was very proud of her. And I'm happy to say we helped them raise nearly $26,000 for St. Jude. It truly is an amazing place not only for the patients but the parents too. And the research they do there is incredible. It's the front lines. They are finding cures and saving lives. I'd really encourage you to become a partner in hope.

Wouldn't you know, a big rain storm came in on Saturday and we had to spend most of the day inside. But when it quit raining for a bit we got out and tried on Evie's new rain boots and "brellalya".

She really enjoyed splashing in the puddles.

I get the feeling she's as excited about spring as we are!
And with that, it was time to go get some dry pants. Plus it started raining again. Alas.

But Sunday was glorious and we worked/played in the yard all day long. And today has been brilliant too. We met some friends for a picnic at the park. Evie got to ride on the merry go round.
 Then she showed off her new found "hanging" ability.

But feeding the ducks was most certainly the highlight of the day.

As for the stats... Well, she's growing. I don't know how much. I haven't measured her and she's so healthy, she hasn't been back to the doc. She's still wearing size 18 month clothes and size 6 shoes though.  Potty training is going okay.  She gets caught up in playing and doesn't want to come inside to go so we're having to deal with that. She's also very manipulative and figured out that her babysitter would let her wash her hands every time they went in the bathroom whether she used the potty or not. Mommy doesn't play that. She only gets to play in the sink if she actually goes. Little smarty pants used that to her advantage and anytime the babysitter was around, even if she wasn't watching Evie, she demanded that the sitter take her potty.  We finally figured out what was going on Friday and put a stop to it. 

I am so happy to say that Evie's verbal language is growing by leaps and bounds! I knew it would just start pouring out eventually. And while you still can't really understand what she's saying most of the time, they are definitely words and once decoded very effective. She has versions of: No, Water, More, Tigger, Pooh Bear, Elmo, Emmy, Ernie, Bert, Mommy and Daddy (of course), Nana, Grammy, Papa, Pink, Brown, Blue, Yellow, Green, Slide, Umbrella, Down and others I'm sure I'm forgetting. She also does animal noises all the time and can do: Cat, Dog, Bird, Duck, Owl, Cow, Sheep/Lamb, Lion, Tiger and others. She also does the signs for all the animals as she makes the sounds. Her signing is still helpful and I'm very glad we taught her. For someone with limited speech, she is really a very effective communicator. There is very little doubt what the child wants.  

video
Evie got the giggles while brushing her teeth the other night. You can also clearly hear her tell us, "No, no no."

And one more thing before I go... Evie has an announcement to make.
In case you're interested- I designed Evie's special t-shirt and they are available for sale here: http://www.cafepress.com/cozybabydesigns