Wednesday, June 26, 2013

asian chicken lettuce wraps

When I am craving a little crunch with my lunch, this is a go to meal for me. 

I love the filling of roasted chicken and crisp veggies paired with an asian flare dressing and served it up in crispy lettuce leaves.  It makes for a delicious dish and a pretty presentation. 

While it is easy to whip up anytime, it is definitely fancy enough to serve to your guests. And kiddos love picking up the lettuce leaves and eating these cute little wraps. 

{Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps}

2 cups roasted and shredded chicken breast 
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup finely chopped English cucumber
2 green onions, sliced on an angle {white and green parts}
2 Tbs chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup Asian vinaigrette {homemade or store bought}
lettuce leaves

Simply toss together the shredded chicken and the veggies.

Gently mix in the dressing. {I recently found Bragg Ginger & Sesame salad dressing and totally recommend it. It contains no chemicals or preservatives and is gluten free. Score!} 

Finally, toss in the fresh mint. The mint is not at all over powering but simply brightens up the mixture. Don't skip adding it!

Spoon the mixture into the lettuce leaves and serve with extra dressing. This makes enough for 8 well filled and delicious lettuce wraps. 


Monday, June 24, 2013

cucumber & tomato salad

Summer time in my mother's kitchen always included a few things. Iced tea and garden veggies to name a few. Among the veggies that came out of our garden in abundance were cucumbers. So much so that this little cucumber, tomato and red onion salad became a staple side dish during the summer months. The addition of the basil is my own but the rest is just how I always remember having this simple salad on our dinner table.  

I love how simple it is as well as the use of apple cider vinegar in the recipe.

We continue to hear about the benefits of apple cider vinegar {or ACV}.  What's the hype with apple cider vinegar? Well, benefits include a strengthened immune system, increased stamina, improved digestion, increased metabolism and even aiding in diabetes and lowering high cholesterol. Those things alone make it something I want more of in my diet. 

When choosing ACV you want one that is preferably organic and hasn't been distilled or treated as that process removes the beneficial nutrients. Look for a cloudy appearance (sediment called the "mother"). I recommend Bragg's. 

This simple summer salad is a perfect way to add a little ACV to your diet.

{Cucumber & Tomato Salad}

  • 2 large cucumbers, sliced on an angle
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 tomatos, cut into wedges
  • 1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar 
  • pinch of salt
  • a few grinds of fresh black pepper
  • 4 basil leaves, rolled up and finely sliced
Combine the cucumbers, onion, and tomato in a medium sized bowl. Add salt and pepper and then toss with the apple cider vinegar. Allow this to sit for 30 minutes {or while you make the rest of your dinner!} to let the flavors develop. 
Add the basil and give the salad another gentle toss before serving. 

This is a great side dish to have along side any summer meal. Let me know if you give it a try! I hope you enjoy!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

library "book" tote

So, when we had a rainy day this week and our outside plans were canceled, we decided to dig around in our craft box for inspiration.
I found a pack of canvas totes that I had picked up on sale and thought...."We should make library totes!" 
Look how cute they turned out!

 Purposing to read through the summer will entail a great deal of books and a great number of trips to our local library. 
What could be more useful than a cute tote for our library finds?

Just a few simple materials came together to make these really cute and useful totes.

First, create a few "book-spine" stamps by cutting regular cleaning sponges into various widths. 
I had some fabric paint in the craft stash from a previous project so I set out plates of paint and foam brushes for each stamp. 
Place newspaper under each child's work area and a piece of cardboard inside each canvas tote to prevent bleed-through. {Don't skip this step!}
Use the foam brushes to apply paint to the stamps and let your kiddos create their own shelf of books! 
Stamp vertically to look like books on a library shelf or horizontally like stacks. A leaning book looks super cute as well. Older children should have no problem tackling this project on their own but little ones need a little help and supervision with loading the stamps with paint and then applying them to the tote with gentle pressure to give a good print.
Let the totes dry for 30 minutes before heading out for a trip to the library to load them up with great books for summer reading!

tips for using your book totes:

  • always have them ready for a trip to the library
  • use them as a "home" for library books so you won't lose or misplace them
  • keep in a designated location for safe keeping
  • keep your date due slip inside to avoid late fees