Monday, January 23, 2012

Crunchy Lemon Dill Salmon

Towards the end of last year I started developing a love for cooking.  I wanted to make something with French's fried onions and after searching found this recipe ... let me just say I absolutely L O V E love this recipe ... it's SUPER easy to make, for the most part healthy and full of yummy flavors.   You should add this to your recipe book:

  • 1 1/3 cups (2.8 oz.) FRENCH'S® Original French Fried Onions
  • 1/2 tsp. dill weed
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
  • 3-6 portions of salmon filets
  • 2 tbsp. FRENCH'S® Spicy Brown Mustard  (I didn't measure it!)

  • MIX French Fried Onions, dill and lemon pepper in plastic bag. Crush with hands or rolling pin.
  • BRUSH salmon with mustard. Coat top of salmon pieces with seasoned onion crumbs; press firmly to adhere.
  • BAKE salmon on a foil-lined baking sheet at 350°F for 20 min. or until opaque in center.

My 2011

This evening as I was reading my google reader I noticed that Maleesha (a co-worker) had posted a blog about her 2011 in review so I thought I would take her lead and post my own 2011 in review.  It's a great way to reminisce and thanks to Facebook Timeline, my recap will (hopefully!) not be too difficult!!!

Let's start in January.  David and I brought in the New Year 2011 with friends.  As you can see from the picture below I was not feeling much pain!!!

After bringing in the New Year with my David and friends it was time to head back to San Antonio where I was working on the Air Force project that made San Antonio my second home.  The weekend after New Years I was a little sad because there was cold weather coming our way with ice/snow and I wasn't going to be able to make it home for the weekend.  Luckily I am married to the most wonderful man ever and he drove down to San Antonio to spend the weekend with me :)  I can't remember exactly everything we did over that weekend in San Antonio, but I do remember we went to dinner at the Old San Francisco Steakhouse and we also went to a movie (NO CLUE what movie we saw!!!).  It did snow in Dallas that Sunday and unfortunately (or fortunately - however you want to look at it!) I missed it.  From the pictures I saw it looks as if it was very pretty (and a MESS for us Dallas drivers!).

February proved to be an extremely busy month for me with work!  I spent most of my time in San Antonio (again!), but I was able to spend Valentine's Day with my honey!!!  We went to eat our Valentine's Day dinner at Al Biernat's.  It was a great experience!  I love visiting 5 star restaurants and I would definitely visit this restaurant again!  Al, himself, sat us at our table!  We moved from an apartment in Plano to a house in McKinney towards the end of February - since I was out of town so much for work David had to handle the move (along with my job!).

March was a great month!  My work in San Antonio was FINALLY finished :)  I even wrote a blog about it!  I also saw Ronnie Milsap and Mark Chesnutt in concert at the Choctaw Casino .... oh yeah, I also celebrated my 39th birthday :(  My last birthday in the 30's :(

April is always a tough month for me... April 13th was the 8th anniversary of Devon passing away ... thanks, once again, to my wonderful husband I did find some happy days in April ... we went to see the Rangers play in their Opening Series and David got us seats right behind home plate!!!  He really is too good for me!

In May we went to Las Vegas!  I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Las Vegas.  We stayed at the Cosmopolitan which was FABULOUS - BEST hotel room I have EVER stayed in!  In-n-Out burger came to Texas for the first time ever ... I made David sit in a super long line for me to get a double double animal style ... have I mentioned how great my husband is?  especially since he HATES HATES HATES waiting in lines .... it only took 45 minutes LOL

June was my absolute FAVORITE month of the year!  David and I went to Boston for Vacation to see Demi and her Rick.  I am so lucky to have such great friends that I have met through my job!  There were so many highlights of this trip:
1.  Demi's friend Rick took us in his boat to Plymouth where we had the BEST clam chowda ever at the Cabby Shack!!
2.  We visited Rexhame Beach
3.  We visited many bars in the Marshfield area (we had our own little pub crawl!)
4.  We ate breakfast at Arthur & Pat's ... by far the absolute best breakfast I have ever had ... if you are ever in the area you should definitely try it!!! 
5.  We visited the downtown area, went to the Aquarium, attempted to go on a Whale Watching tour
6.  We visited Fenway Park and saw the New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys in concert
7.  I saved the best for last:  we had the absolute BEST HOSTESS in the whole wide world  (Thank you, Demi!!!!!!)

All in all it was a great vacation!

July - celebrated my BFF Melanie's 40th birthday and ended the month with a bang by having gastric sleeve surgery ... read about it here.

August - bought my new car :)  Yay me!!!!

September - I can't remember anything extraordinary happening in September...

October - In October I learned a very important life lesson and that is to cherish your friends, but also to know who your true friends are ... October was a tough month for me personally, but I did have a highlight during October ... I had to travel for work to New Jersey so I was able to make a weekend of it and visit Demi again ... we visited Salem, Massachusetts and we went to the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut and it was a blast!!!  Have I mentioned what a great friend Demi is?

November - enjoyed a girl's night out at Painting with a Twist in Garland and had a great time drinking wine and pretending to be Picasso.  

David went Black Friday shopping with me (for the first time ever!) ... we went shopping and fought the crowds and were able to pick up at 7 1/2 foot christmas tree at home depot ... this year's tree may be my most favorite tree ever ...

December ... ahhh, Christmas time ... my most favorite time of the year ... so many great memories were made ... let's start:

1. Went to the Gaylord ICE! exhibit for the first time ever.  I am so lucky I was able to go with my BFF Melanie and her family.  It's so great seeing things through a child's eyes ... her son was so excited about seeing Shrek!  It reminded me of my sweet Devon and how much he absolutely loved Shrek ... 

2.  Went to see Aaron Neville in concert at Choctaw Casino ... It was really a great concert... 
3.  Enjoyed wrapping presents and trying to figure out what my David had bought for me!
4.  Reached the 60 pounds lost milestone!!!!   YAY ME!!!!!

5.  Spent time with the family ...
my sister Karen, me, my mom and my sis-in-law Kathy

I learned a lot in 2011 and made a lot of life changes .. I am looking forward to an even better 2012!!!! If you made it all the way through this long a** post, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!  It only took me FOREVER to write it :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Creamy Italian Chicken

Lately I have become a little obsessed with cooking in my crock pot.  Last week I cooked one of David's favorites!  As you know David doesn't eat beef or pork or much seafood; therefore, I am pretty much limited to cooking chicken!!  This recipe was very flavorful and I would definitely make again.  Here's the ingredients you need:

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 package dry zesty italian dressing
  • Seasoning for chicken (I use Melting Pot Garlic & Wine seasoning)
  • 1 small can (4 oz?) mushrooms
  • 1 8 oz. package low fat cream cheese
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (low cal/reduced sodium)

Take the 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts and season them (again, I seasoned them with the Garlic & Wine seasoning, salt and pepper).  Place the chicken breasts in the crock pot.

Mix the 1 package dry zesty Italian dressing with 1/3 cup of water - mix the dressing and water until it has a smooth consistency and no lumps.  Then pour in the crock pot with the chicken.

Cook the chicken in the crock pot on low for 3-4 hours.

Mix the cream cheese and chicken soup until it has a smooth even consistency and then add the drained mushrooms.  Pour this mixture over the chicken in the crock pot.  Cook for another 2-3 hours on low (until the chicken is done).

Once the creamy Italian chicken is done cooking I poured it over pasta.  Since I had my surgery I don't eat a lot of pasta, but when I do eat pasta I always eat high fiber, high protein pasta.  In this case I used the Barilla Farfalle Pasta.  I also added some brussel sprouts to the plate because they are David's favorite!

Dinner turned out super duper yummy!!!!