February 28, 2013

Easy Chicken with Sun-dried Tomatoes & Artichokes

This is a quick, satisfying meal perfect for a busy night during the week.  I found this on Pinterest, but tweaked it, so here's my version....

Chicken breasts + the above is all you need.  Disclaimer:  I did not use white wine, it was bad and I wasn't going to open a new one up on a Tuesday night. (No really a bottle of wine went wasted in our home...shame). I used a cup of chicken broth instead.

This was assembled, not cooked yet.  Messy, but pretty.

This was after.  We scarfed it down, so no pretty plated picture.

Chicken with Sun-dried Tomatoes & Artichokes

4 Chicken Breasts
2 Cloves of Garlic
1/2 Cup of  sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped
1 Cup marinated artichoke hearts, undrained
1 Cup Chicken Broth
1/2 package (or to taste) of Onion Soup Recipe Mix (You know the one)

Preheat Oven to 350*

In a large bowl mix all ingredients (except chicken broth), including chicken, until the chicken is well-coated.  Pour chicken broth in roasting or baking dish.  Place chicken breasts with all of the good stuff on top in a roasting dish and cover with foil.  Bake for 20 minutes with foil.  Remove foil and continue baking for 10-15 minutes.  Serve with rice, pasta or additional vegetables.


Original recipe called for 2 tbsp. of add'l olive oil.  Doesn't need it...oil from the artichokes & tomatoes is enough.

Chicken broth or wine isn't necessary or called for, I just find it nicely steams the chicken breasts and keeps them moist.

A full packet of the onion soup is cloying.  Unless you are an onion soup fanatic, a 1/2 package will suffice.

Thanks for visiting!!

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage



Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

February 27, 2013

What I'm Loving from J.Crew for Spring

Source: jcrew.com via Traci on Pinterest

Source: jcrew.com via Traci on Pinterest

Source: jcrew.com via Traci on Pinterest

Source: jcrew.com via Traci on Pinterest

Source: jcrew.com via Traci on Pinterest

My Favorite!!!
Source: jcrew.com via Traci on Pinterest

Okay these next two are staples for me.  Already purchased and sitting in a closet for hubby to wrap as part of my birthday gift.  I'm practical like that.

Source: jcrew.com via Traci on Pinterest

Source: jcrew.com via Traci on Pinterest

It's coming. The worst months (in the mid-atlantic anyway...), are over. I'm so ready for warmth & a pedicure that is actually seen! What are you loving for Spring?

February 26, 2013

Home Office Update {does the rug match the drapes?}

Crude...I know, I had to!  I'm still not done with the home office, but here is another shot with the 3 main inspirations with the room.

Walls ~ Sherwin Williams Gray Shingle 

Rug ~ Eastern Colors by Alliyah
Available at Overstock or Horchow

Pine Cone Hill Chambray Linen Panels in Flax

This is what the room looked like last month: Hutton Home Office

I love how the warmth in the rug and curtains play against the richness of the walls and the faux-leather futon.  The room just pops when you walk in there.  I have so much more to do, and in time it will be complete.

Here are some inspiration pins that I am working on....

Both wall pockets are from Ballard Designs, because doesn't most of your inspiration come from Ballard?!

I picked up a bronze-y multiple wall pocket at Burlington Coat Factory (go figure) for a 1/4 of the price of Ballard.  Once we have a temperate day, I plan to spray paint it black.

I am scouting out vintage maps on eBay to frame myself.  Looking for NYC; will take anything that's pretty and that I've been to...San Fran, Chicago, Philly.  You get it.  Urban. Sexy.  You know because homework and paying bills is sexy, but mama wanted a grown-up room.  Like the chosen few featured on Selling NY. {Do you not want to buy/rent & live in nyc for just a year of your life, we should all be so lucky}. Okay, I got off track.

After that....

Figure out lighting 
{I want a chandelier}

Get a laptop i.e. get rids of miles of cords & wires
{Our current PC is old & sounds like a freight train}

Perfect a homework station

...and after that, it will be Spring.  Time to start on the outside!

Thanks for visiting!!

February 25, 2013

Thoughts on Monday {Damn Sandy & Polar Plunge}

2+ years ago I did one of my "Homes I Love" posts on this gorgeous beach front home.  You can see the original post here:  Homes I Love ~ Normandy Beach

It was a charming, sweet shore home.  If I remember correctly, it was on the market for $1.4, $1.5 million, and sold furnished.

Now this home is for sale, structure only - to be picked up and moved to the lot of your choice for $175,000.  

Another hurricane Sandy casualty...

On a brighter note...

My husband completed his Polar Bear Plunge '13, raising over $1,000 for the Special Olympics.  It was rainy, damp and about 44 degrees which wasn't too bad compared to 2012's 23* and snow.

Historically held in Seaside Heights, NJ, the plunge was relocated to a town about 40 minutes north.  There was a lower turnout than normal {nothing is normal now}, but they still raised over a million dollars!

Kind of how you feel the next day when your breakfast consists of Bloody Mary's and Jameson-spiked coffee.  Not really, just thought this was hysterical...(but that was our breakfast on Saturday)

Plunge supporters.  I'll pledge, I don't plunge.

Braveheart theme.  Congrats to my husband, friends and coworkers who completed yet another year!

Thanks for visiting ~ have a great week!

February 11, 2013

Sneak Peek

I got her done! Multiple coats covering up that darn border.  Not an easy task with a 3 and 8-year old underfoot.  But candy bribes on the hour really work...

Full-on pics when she's accessorized!

Thanks for visiting!

February 8, 2013

If you must....

Be snowed in, be productive!  Major room redo happening this weekend, although I think we will be spared Nemo's wrath on the Jersey Shore.  I have all the stuff to do it, just need the drive... We shall see! 

Here's what I'll be working on:

I will be a better bill-payer, record-keeper, digital mama with this room redone.  I hate the current wall color and border more than brussel sprouts and Mariah Carey.  

Stay tuned and have a fabulous weekend!

Thanks for visiting!

February 7, 2013

Mexican Chicken Parm

Or salsa chicken. Or weeknite goodness. Whatever you want to call it, it's freakin' awesome plus easy to make.

Mexican Chicken Parm

4 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breasts
2 Cups of Medium Salsa + Some for Later
1 Cup Reduced Fat or FF Finely shredded Mexican Cheese Blend
Salt & Pepper
Garlic Powder & Paprika
FF Sour Cream & Guacamole

Marinate the chicken in 1 cup of salsa for 6+ hours, "mushing" it around from time to time.  Preheat oven to 375.  Place chicken in baking dish and sprinkle with freshly ground S & P and garlic.  Spoon on additional salsa.  Bake for 35 minutes and remove from oven.  At this point add cheese to your taste, I used a 1/4 cup per breast.  Sprinkle with paprika and broil for 5 minutes.  Let rest for a few minutes and serve. I served this with Arroz con Pollo, FF sour cream and guacamole.

This was super delicious and yet again my best recipes come from cleaning out the fridge and pantry.

Sorry for the hot mess photos...

Thanks for visiting!!

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage


February 4, 2013

This picture...

Just makes me happy.  Icicle Lights & Rosemary.

Hope everyone is feeling well this post-Superbowl Monday. Have a fabulous week ~ Thanks for visiting!