Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Crispy Italian Chicken With Authentic Italian Sauce




We all know that dessert is a highlight for many people. Whether you are “bananas” for ice cream and bananas or you like a big, thick, gooey chocolate cake, you’ve still got to enjoy the main meal. But when you are fed up with your boring chicken dish what can you do to shake it up? Let's show you this crispy Italian chicken recipe that is so indulgent you won't even want dessert!

Ingredients

For the sauce:

3 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, crushed

3 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes

¼ - ½ teaspoon of dried chili flakes

2 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoon sugar

1 large handful of basil leaves, torn up into small pieces

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

Grated parmesan, to serve (optional)

For the chicken:

2 cups of seasoned croutons (or if you'd rather, zesty Italian croutons)

1 egg

1 and a quarter pounds of boneless and skinless chicken breast.

¼ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.

Directions

For the sauce:

Heat the oil in a saucepan. 

Gently cook the onion and the garlic until they have softened. 

Stir in the tomatoes, the chili flakes, the balsamic vinegar, and the sugar. Bring up to a simmer and cook slowly for 45 minutes to 1 hour for a rich flavor. 

Stir in the basil and season the sauce with salt and pepper. 

If you want, this can be left chunky or for a smooth sauce, blend it in a food processor.

For the chicken:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray to stop it sticking. 

Put the croutons into a large resealable plastic bag and, using a rolling pin, crush the croutons up finely.

Crack open the egg and whisk it up in a shallow dish before dipping the chicken into the egg. Once the chicken is coated in the egg, place this into the plastic bag and shake. Make sure that the chicken is covered in the croutons. 

Take the chicken out and place it onto the baking sheet. Bake the chicken for 20 minutes or until the chicken has been cooked through.

Get the sauce and spoon it over the chicken. Sprinkle with the cheese and you are good to go! Pair this with oven roasted Italian vegetables and you've got an indulgent yet healthy main course.


If you are fed up with chicken as the staple dish in your household try this as a supremely indulgent alternative. Chicken doesn't have to be a boring, plain thing. Take inspiration from this dish and make it what you want! Chicken is one of those staple food choices that can get old quickly. When you are trying to shake up your evening meal give this a go! And if you are looking to make more Italian food you can get inspiration from so many Italian cooks out there. This is the tip of the iceberg as far as tasty Italian treats are concerned. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

How To Create The Perfect Night In Front Of The TV



If you’re anything like us, you’ll know that there’s nothing quite like sitting down in front of the TV for a night of entertainment for all the family. Not only is it a chance to watch something together, but you also get to hear the thoughts and opinions of others. It’s a great conversation-starter and an opportunity to bring everyone closer together.

With that said, though, how do you go about creating the perfect night in front of the TV? Take a look at the following tips.

Prepare Your Snacks

No evening in front of the TV is complete without a selection of great snacks and dishes. While you could grab something out of a packet, there’s nothing like making your nibbles fresh. Take a look at the following ideas:


  • Freshly-popped popcorn made in the pan or a machine
  • Homemade nachos with salsa, guacamole, cheese, and jalapenos
  • Hot dogs with all the trimmings
  • Homemade pretzels with a range of dipping sauces
  • Black bean brownies
  • Maple and pecan pie slices


Of course, the best option is to choose the type of food that your family likes the most. You want the kids and the parents to be happy.



If You Use A Streaming Service, Make Sure That It Is Smooth

The next task is to ensure that you have set up your TV in such a way that there won’t be any interruptions of the night’s viewing. For most people, this won’t be a problem at all - just use your regular terrestrial aerial or cable.

For those with newfangled streaming services, however, there may be problems. The good news, though, is that sites like TroyPoint provide information on how to eliminate buffering and enjoy smooth playback. All you need to do is follow a series of simple instructions, and once you’re done, you’ll have done everything you can to prevent the digital gods from wrecking your TV time.

Upgrade To 4K Content

If you’ve never watched 4K content before on a big screen, you’re in for a treat. The number of pixels on the screen makes the image so real that you could almost touch it. It is a massive step up from regular HD, which is 720p.

If you don’t have a 4K-capable TV, the good news is that they have come down in price considerably in recent years. While they are slightly more expensive than regular TVs, the price differential is minimal. The benefits, however, are substantial. Most new movies now come with a 4K format option.

Create Mood Lighting

Cinemas are the masters at creating mood lighting, getting you ready to watch a film, but it can be a challenge getting the same effect at home. Modern LED lights tend to produce a harsh white light, which isn’t always what you want when you settle down to watch a movie.

The good news, though, is that you can swap out regular LEDs, for ones that produce a redder and dimmer color tone. Then just use your dimmer switch to turn down the lights, and you’re ready for the perfect family evening.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Why Is It So Hard To Manage Family Health?!

Depending on the type of family that you are, anything to do with family life is going to be hard. Some families find themselves in utter chaos all of the time, simply because the kids are full of energy, the weekends are so rushed, and the weeks are spent desperately trying to balance work and family life, whilst making sure the house is clean. Not every family is going to be this picture-perfect family, with well-behaved children who are doing the chores for you. For most of you reading this, that would have sounded like an absolute dream. So if the general gist of your family life is a little bit crazy, then you might also be struggling to keep your family healthy. There has never been a greater push at the minute to change the health of this world around. There are so many diseases and illnesses that are far more common now than they used to be, and that's mainly because of the way that we're living our lives. So, we're going to talk you through why it might be hard to manage your family's health and little things you can do to change your family's health and outlook on life.




One Of The Biggest Struggles

As a nation, we love going to the doctors about the smallest of issues. We actually waste a lot of time there on issues that clear up naturally within a day or two. But one specialist that we typically avoid as much as we can, is the dentist. Some see it as an inconvenience having to go. Some have a big fear that means they haven't been for years. But we're also a nation that is renowned for having poor diets and lifestyles which then directly affect our teeth. It's so common for people to lose a tooth or two due to a high sugar diet. Replacing your missing teeth has never been easier because of the incredible treatments that we can now have done. But not going to the dentist and causing this problem, in the beginning, is setting such a bad example for your children. They feed off of your fears, and it can be a sign of neglect if you aren't getting them into the dentist every time their check-up is due. Allowing your kids to grow up with pearly whites will also help to prevent a lot of insecurities!

They Don't Play Outdoors Anymore

A truly sad state of affairs, but children are not playing outdoors as much as they used to. Once upon a time, a parent's biggest struggle would be trying to get their kids on the house before it went dark, and then shovel a plate of anything but chocolate and sweets down. But now kids are spending all of their time indoors, playing with toys, watching films, and using tablets as a form of distraction. It's leading to the health of children being worse than it has ever been before. This combined with the fact that children are always going to be fussy eaters, which means there are now more obese children in the world than there have ever been before. There's an obvious remedy, and that's to get them playing outdoors. In the street, or taking them to the park, or going to a soft play center for the day. There's so many things that they'll have far more fun doing, you just have to facilitate it!

Lead By Example

Your kids will follow every single example you set. Until they get a little bit older when they'll do anything to be the exact opposite of you, they'll be copying everything you're doing. So if you're eating a poor diet and living a lazy lifestyle that's exactly what they're going to do. So to get them to do what you want them to do, you have to do it first. Get up and eat a healthy breakfast, be positive and chirpy and singing, and generally have a good mindset. The more energy you have for life, the more energy they will have for life. Have good morals and values and make sure you apply it to their lives. You're literally creating the future generation, it has to be a positive one!

Calm Your Lifestyle Down

Finally, if you do always feel like your life is a big rush, and you're not having the chance to eat right, or even just live right, slow your lifestyle down. Stop working so much to earn money, change to a job that will pay you more!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Staying Mindful About Grandparents Around Christmas

We’re going through very sobering changes in society. The more you look out into the world, the more you see the generational gap widening. In fact, it's accelerating at an alarming rate. More and more young people are showing signs of agism in their views. It's not just politically because that divide has always been there. But culturally speaking, it seems like the older generation is being seen as ‘the other’ by the young. So during this time of Christmas, how could you support your grandparents better? Maybe it's something like helping them out financially, inviting them over for dinner or perhaps talking to them about the concerns they have regarding culture and younger people. 



Inviting them over

Many families will have Christmas dinner with their immediate family. It's not always like you see in movies and entertainment shows. Not every family gathers together and has a multi-generational Christmas feast. Many of us, just wish each other a happy holiday and spend time with those we share our lives with day in and day out. However, if you would like to be more mindful about your grandparents over this year’s Christmas season, you could invite them over. Regardless of whether or not they live far, you should make some extra room and provide a guest room for them to sleep in. Utilize this opportunity to speak with them and ask the questions you’ve always wanted answers to about their life. You never know, they could give you advice on a thing or two in your
own life.

 

 About this gap

The generational gap in music, movies, politics, fashion, etc, has always been wide. It's only natural. In fact, they had their own generational gap from their elders back in their day. So speaking to your grandparents about what’s going on in society, could help shine a light on how they feel. One of the things that are so prevalent in modern society is a question of, what happened to respect? While other cultures support their aging generation in show business realm, many shows featuring older people or for older people will be canceled. Music has drastically changed and you’d be hard-pressed to find popular music from the 60s, 70s, and 80s being played on the radio anymore.

Presents that would help 

Getting people presents for Christmas has always been difficult even at the best of times. However, for your grandparents, it's perhaps easier because they like practical things they can actually use. Items and appliances that would make their daily lives more enjoyable, will go down with the most success. A pure cotton bathrobe would be great. Perhaps an electric deep fryer for the kitchen? These appliances can cook many meals just with the touch of a button. On the other hand, fixing something like giving your grandfather’s car an oil change or cleaning the gutters would suffice.

During Christmas time, it's difficult for older people to get out of the house. But inviting them over, giving them a spare room to sleep in and talking to them about the changing world, would really make them feel appreciated.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Holly Lane Christian Jewelry Review and Giveaway #hollylane #hollylanegiveaway

Disclosure:  I received this necklace at no charge to facilitate my honest and unbiased review.  All thoughts and opinions stated are my own!


Unlike a lot of my friends, I am not a huge jewelry person.  I prefer pieces of jewelry that have meaning or a background story.  Most of my pieces were gifted to me for different occasions and it is rare that I purchase anything for myself, but when I was offered the opportunity to review Christian jewelry from Holly Lane, I was thrilled.  I spent about an hour on their website trying to decide which piece I wanted and fell in love with lots of them.  Narrowing it down to one was the hard part.

Never heard of Holly Lane?  This wonderful company has been in business for over 16 years and was not named for the founder, but for the street, the founder lived on when she started the business.  Here's more about Holly Lane: 

Our line of sterling silver Christian jewelry is intentionally designed to create opportunities to share Christ with others and to be worn as a personal reflection of faith. Each piece is designed in central Virginia by jewelry artist Tiffany Scott who has based her designs on verses from the Bible in order to bring comfort to the wearer and be a representation of God's promises. These unique designs are meant to catch the attention of others and spark conversation about the verses they are based on.

Each piece of verse-based Holly Lane jewelry comes with a Story Card that features the verse reference on the front, and an explanation of the design's significance on the back. Tiffany's love for semiprecious gemstones shows through in her use of many different gems throughout the line. The Holly Lane line is designed so that the customer can put together their own personal combination of pendants, chains and bead drops based on the promises they are holding on to and how God is currently speaking to them in their lives.

As I said before, it took me quite a while to choose my piece of jewelry.  I chose the Wonderfully Made necklace because sometimes, I need a reminder!

When my package arrived, I loved how it was boxed, so I wanted to share some photos with you so you can really get a feel for how this company cares!






Everything was put together with so much love and care.  I was so very impressed with the packaging because I have ordered things from other places and they have been just tossed in a box for shipping.  Holly Lane goes the extra mile to show they care! 

Christmas is just around the corner and I hope you will check out Holly Lane.  The craftsmanship involved in the making of this jewelry is wonderful.  I recommend them whole-heartedly!  They have been kind enough to offer my readers a code to use to receive 20% off their purchase at hollylane.com.  Simply use 20FORYOU 

There is also a giveaway!  You have the chance to win a $100 e-gift card to Holly Lane.  Winner will be chosen 11/20/19.






Friday, November 15, 2019

DIY Milk Carton Lamp - Guest Post

Disclosure:  This is a guest post by Brock Ingham.**


We all know how important lighting can be in a home, heck! It’s the only reason you see things past 8:00pm…

All kidding aside, lighting can truly transform the design of any room (for good or for bad). Ever walk into a room and get creeped out just from the sight of a flickering blue fluorescent bulb? It can be a deal-breaker for any design and takes all the focus away from the relaxing rocking chair or beautiful throw rug.

In this post, I am to break the common misconception of needing to invest a lot of money to get a beautiful chandelier for your home. No need to break the bank here, we’re going to make a lamp completely from milk cartons (almond milk to be specific)

Now, I’m not prejudiced as to what milk you drink or use I just found that the tetra cartons used for almond, cashew, and other nut milk come in the perfect size and structure. You could certainly opt-out for a juice carton or something similar if you prefer.  In my experience, the nut milk cartons work best. 🙂

Here is what you will need to get started on your DIY Milk Carton Lamp :
⦁ 15 – 25 milk, nut or juice tetra cartons ( The number is based around the size of the lamp you want)
⦁ Spray paint of your choice  ( I went with silver)
⦁ Fishing wire or sting
⦁ A few battery operated LED’s
⦁ M3 or double-sided tape
⦁ Let’s begin!

Make sure all your cartons are well washed, open them up to be flat pieces of material and allow to dry.


This is the tricky part so look at the images closely. There’s nothing special about the design so feel free to go rogue with your own origami type design (triangle patterns work best).  So long as you build in the flap that ties the pattern together.

Cut the carton up into 2-inch strips the longest way down. Fold them into the triangle pattern shown below with a strip on one side of each sticking out.


Get to folding!

It felt like I must have folded a hundred of these things to get it to the proper size I wanted. Again, this will depend on how big you want your lamp to be. I’m sure it would look great with 30-40 of these little triangles, so long as you can close the loop that creates the ball.

Once 5 or 6 have been built you can connect the triangles to create a hexagon pattern like the ones below.

Continue to put the hexagons together that will form the ball. To start forming the ball you can leave one of the flaps open to attach them to one another or you can simply glue each section together.  Using glue may be more effective in the long run.


Although the tetra packs tend to have a shiny surface there will still be some color from the outside of the pack showing. This is why I decided to spray paint the entire globe silver. I didn’t know how the paint will react with the waxy coating on the tetra so I wanted to make sure the color blended well. (it did)

You could opt-out for another color choice here, I think black or gold would look really nice as well.

Once dry, maneuver the LED’s inside the lamp and secure with the M3 or double-sided tape. Run the fishing line from the bottom of the lamp, secure again to the top of the lamp and leave enough line to attach to any point of the ceiling in your desired room.


You’re all set! Sit back in glory as you send good riddance to that flickering bulb you left behind. If you are looking for more unique lamp options that take way less time (only a click of a button) check out the Original moon lamp made using 3D printing here.

**Author Bio:
Brock is the founder of Levitatingmoon.com. His store is dedicated to offering out of this world gifts for those of all ages.  When he’s not looking for the next big gift you can find him tending to his vegetable garden under the sun. **

Monday, November 4, 2019

CINDERELLA AND THE SECRET PRINCE DVD Giveaway Ends 11/11

Disclosure:  We received a copy of this DVD to facilitate this post.  All opinions are honest and unbiased!


On November 5, a secret, never-before-told tale of Cinderella comes to DVD from Shout! Kids and Gold Valley Films. The charming Cinderella and the Secret Prince is sure to have children spellbound this winter! Available for preorder now from shoutfactory.com and amazon.com.

With the help of good fairy Crystal, Cinderella and her three mouse friends are able to escape the attic they live in and make it to the Royal Ball at the palace … but they soon discover a terrible secret. The real Prince has been turned into a mouse by an evil witch … and the “Prince” standing in front of everyone at the Ball is an impostor! Cinderella and her faithful furry friends must embark on an all-new adventure to restore the real Prince to his true form and help him defeat the forces of darkness.



Cinderella and the Secret Prince is voiced by Cassandra Lee Morris (Your Name), Chris Niosi (TOME), R. Martin Klein (Perfect Blue), Tony Azzolino (The Grover Complex), Kirsten Day (Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures), Wendee Lee (Cowboy Beebop: The Movie), Stephen Mendel (Barbie: Dreamtopia), Terrence Stone (Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft), and Stephanie Sanditz (The High Life), directed by Lynne Southerland, and produced by Allen Tsang at Gold Valley Films.



My family really liked the movie and the girls have already watched it several times!  Would you like to win a copy of your own?  Simply enter on the rafflecopter form below!
There will be 2 winners!