Monday, April 21, 2014

Crockpot Chicken Piccata

Crockpot Chicken Piccata - The Cozy Nook

My mother-in-law introduced me to chicken piccata years ago. Her chicken piccata is divine – tender, juicy, tasty, with that delicious lemon and caper sauce. It definitely takes some love and effort to produce such a wonderful dish.

I decided to make chicken piccata for Easter, but I wanted it to be fresh. Since we are at church for several hours on Sunday, I knew it wouldn’t work well for me to come home and make it. I searched for a good-looking crockpot recipe and found this one.

My chicken piccata turned out absolutely lovely, just like my mother-in-law’s. It was tender, moist, and held the most delicious of flavors.

The only “hard” part about this recipe is browning the meat ahead of time, which I actually did the night before. Other than that, you just throw everything into the crockpot and let it do its work!

Crockpot Chicken Piccata
Printable Version

Original recipe found here.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (the original recipe used thighs)
(See Note)
1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup lemon juice, preferably freshly squeezed
1 3.5 oz jar of capers, drained
2 T dried parsley (or 1/3 cup fresh, chopped)

NOTE: I used five chicken breast halves. First, I fillet them in half down through the midsection to create ten chicken breast halves.

Put the olive oil in a skillet and heat to medium-high.
Mix the flour with the salt and pepper. Coat the chicken breasts with flour.
Brown the chicken breasts in the oil, approximately a couple minutes per side.
Place chicken breasts in crockpot.
Combine remaining ingredients in mixing or glass measuring bowl and pour over chicken breasts.
Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.
When you serve the chicken piccata, be sure to scoop out some extra sauce on top. YUM!

Chicken Piccata - The Cozy Nook

Monday, April 14, 2014

Raising Children: Balancing Correction with Praise

Balancing Correction with Praise - The Cozy Nook

One day I was wholeheartedly into the day, fulfilling my motherly role.

“Stop chewing with your mouth, full.”

“Be nice to your sister.”

“Don’t do that.”

“Please be quiet.”

The critiques were flying quickly out of my mouth, and my heart was starting to feel a bit weighed down. I could feel the heaviness of all of the correction. UGH.

Even my husband noticed and said something to me, “You need to relax a little bit.”

My heart testified. I knew I needed to relax, but I also knew that our children needed a lot of direction, and we are the ones who provide it.

It’s true. Parenthood involves giving a lot of correction. Children need us to train their immature, sinful hearts.

Their habits rub us the wrong way.
Attitudes disappoint and hurt us.
Actions dishearten us, causing us to wonder where we are going wrong.

When it comes to raising children, correction is necessary, but praise is what enables our children to change.

When our children feel loved, approved, and needed, they will be more motivated to follow our lead and respond to the things we are teaching them.

When our children feel secure and noticed, they will more easily gravitate towards positive change.

With every dose of correction we give, we should be seeking to give twice the amount of praise.

Are you praising your child enough?

Create a positive relationship with your child.

Don’t forget the praise! Lather it on, and ask God for grace to hold your tongue when your child is doing something that irks you. Maybe it doesn’t need to be addressed for the 10th time that day.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Crockpot Chicken and Gravy

Chicken with Gravy - The Cozy Nook

This is an easy and great way to cook a chicken! One chicken feeds our family of six well, with some sides.

Crockpot Chicken and Gravy
Printable Version
Rinse and dry whole chicken. Take out giblets if necessary. Place chicken in crockpot.

If you want to flavor the chicken and gravy more, you could place onion, carrot, celery or other vegetables in the crockpot also.

Put 1 cup of water or chicken broth in the bottom of the crockpot.

Pulled Chicken - The Cozy Nook

Cook chicken on high for about six hours.

Pull or carve the chicken, as desired.

 

 

To make gravy, strain the liquid from the crockpot into a saucepan and heat on medium heat.

Thickening Agent - The Cozy Nook

 

Combine a couple tablespoons of flour with approximately the same amount of cold water. Mix until thoroughly combined.

 

Gravy - The Cozy Nook

Add the flour and water mixture to the hot gravy liquid in the saucepan. Cook and stir for a couple minutes until the gravy is boiling and thickened.

Season gravy with salt and pepper.

 

Serve and enjoy!

Chicken with Gravy - The Cozy Nook

Friday, April 4, 2014

Homemade Hand and Foot Soak

Homemade Hand & Foot Soak

This hand and foot soak is simple to make, contains pure ingredients, and would be great for gifting.

Combine:

1 cup Epsom Salt
1 cup baking soda
1/4 cup pink salt, optional (great for a hint of color)
Essential oil of your choice. I added a handful of drops of lavender oil and a few drops of lemon oil as well.

Mix well.

When using to soak hands or feet, scoop 2 to 3 Tablespoons of the soak into warm water and combine well.

Soak, relax, and enjoy!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Taking Care of Yourself is Not Optional

Take Care of Yourself

Taking care of yourself is important, really important. You can only give from what you have. If you are trying to serve others and fulfill your God-given purpose on little sleep, little energy, and a whole lot of stress, you probably aren’t doing a great job. Things could be better.

You have to commit to take care of yourself.

Sometimes we think of taking care of ourselves as selfish, and even something for which we don’t really have time. However, a certain amount of self-awareness and care is proper and good.

When we don’t take care of ourselves we are stressed, heavy-laden, confused, frustrated, easily angered, and more!

You have to realize that it really is not an option for you to NOT take care of yourself. People are depending upon you, and I am sure you want to give life all that you can.

Are you ready to make a commitment to yourself?

Are you ready to make changes in life that help you take care of yourself?

You may have to:

  • Make a fresh commitment to read your Bible and meet with God daily
  • Spend less time on social media and recreational items
  • Spend more time alone, in quiet
  • Create an exercise plan
  • Change your food habits
  • Go to bed and/or wake up earlier
  • Spend money on vitamins
  • Refine your thought patterns
  • Change your friend circles
  • Alter your schedule

There are many things you may need to consider when thinking about taking care of yourself. Think about your most-pressing needs and prioritize.

Take care of yourself isn’t always easy. It may require sacrifice and diligence, but it is worth it!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Crunchy Bacon and Romaine Salad with Vinaigrette

Crunchy Bacon and Romaine Salad with Vinaigrette

I made this for my lunch yesterday. “Yum!”

This salad was inspired by a recipe I found at “The Peaceful Mom” recently.

Crunchy Bacon and Romaine Salad with Vinaigrette
Printable Version

Romaine lettuce (can mix with other salad greens as well)
Dried cranberries
Chopped almonds
Turkey bacon, cooked, about 2 slices per person

Dressing: (for one person)
Mix:

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons
balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Good Marriage Starts in Your Mind

A good marriage

Everyone wants a good marriage.

There are lists of suggestions and books galore to encourage us in things we can *do* to gain better marriages.

However, I want to point out…

A good marriage really starts in your mind.

How do you think of your husband?
How are you thinking about him right now?

  • Is he your friend or foe?
  • Is he your teammate?
  • Do you see all of the *good* he does for you or are you focusing on the *bad* things?
  • Do you hold him in high esteem?
  • Would you do anything for him today?

Do you remember when you were dating your husband?

Those were the days when you wanted to spend as much time as you could with him.

Those were the days when you wrote him love letters, bought him gifts, and called him frequently.

Those were the days when you pursued him with your whole heart.

Those were the days when you forgave him easily and moved forward with a dream-filled heart.

How are you thinking about your husband today?

Your thoughts have the power
to make or break your marriage.

Refresh your vision for your marriage and renew your mind with regard to your husband.

Think of him as your lover, the one you desire.
Think of him as your best friend.
Think of him as the one with whom you want to be the most.
Think of him as your other half, the one who completes you.
Think of him as the most important person in the world.

Think great things, and then act upon those great thoughts.