Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chicken Broccoli Ring and a story

I'm working up to the pre-school post.  In the mean time here's something easy.

Dinner last night was a win, so I decided to share.  

Before I get to the recipe, let me just tell you why I was so thrilled with dinner (other than the fact that it came out so pretty).
My kids are not terrible eaters.  We do not cater to them in such a way that they only have to eat what they like.  This is not a fast food restaurant and unless I ask you what you'd like to have to eat, I'm not really interested in you telling me that you'd really rather have  a bowl of cereal or a cheese sandwich instead of what we just prepared.  
We're also not in the habit (not anymore anyway) of making them eat what we give them.  When Christian was two, that is most certainly what we did and it really is just exhausting.  We may do a eat-three-more-bites-and-you-may-have-a-snack thing, but otherwise if you don't eat a respectable amount of your dinner, you are not getting anything else.  I guess if you're hungry enough you'll eat what I put in front of you.  
If you think this makes me the Mean Mama, that's alright with me.  I'm the one who has to live with my choices.

Two weeks ago I tried a new recipe: cubed steak and gravy in the crock pot served over bow tie pasta.  It was not a culinary masterpiece.  In fact, I doubt I'll make it again, but it wasn't terrible.  
Audrey ate her fruit first (as she almost always does).  She started in on the pasta.  I put some meat on her fork.  After protesting that she doesn't like meat, she did try a bite.  This was followed by such intense gagging that not only did she gag-out what was currently in her mouth, but she also threw up everything else she had already eaten.  I don't mean spit up or spit out chewed up food.  I mean the child actually vomited.  We were so shocked that we're both trying to help her, clean her up, etc.  She says politely, "I think I just don't like that meat."  We laugh.  We give her buttered pasta and more fruit.  Oh, no problem.  I get it.  There are just some foods you can't eat- believe me when I say I get that.  
I have no intention of putting green beans in my mouth.  Ever.  

Sunday, I go to Krystal and pick up some Krystal chicks with cheese.  I think this will be a treat- that it will go over well.  Christian did just fine and got some fries to boot.  
Audrey.  That girl.  She threw up again.  
I can tell you that this time there was no laughing.  There was no giving her something else.  

So, last night I make dinner.  I get plates on the table.  I'm putting Audrey's hair back so she can eat.  I get down on her level and say, "if you make yourself throw up again...," and I'll let you figure out the rest.

Bottom line:  they both ate it up!  They both got snack before bed.  Happy people all around.

Now, this is the recipe straight out of my Pampered Chef All The Best recipe book, but I didn't follow it to the letter.
I used a food processor to finely chop the chicken, broccoli, and bell pepper and found that to be more my speed than the "coarse chop" they suggest.  I used green bell pepper because that's what's still growing in our garden.  I didn't use any almonds this time, but I have before and I like it either way.  I usually add a little more mayo than it calls for so that it holds together a little better.  Best of all, I threw in some bacon...maybe three pieces, cooked and chopped.  

Chicken & Broccoli Ring/Wreath/Braid

2 8-ounce packages refrigerated crescent rolls
2 cups coarsely chopped cooked chicken
1.5 cups coarsely chopped broccoli (I use less.  Just depends on your taste.)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons dill weed (I only use 1 tsp.)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/4 slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 375.
Combine chicken, broccoli, cheese, bell pepper, mayonnaise, dill, salt, and garlic.  Mix well.

Scoop filling over desired shape.  Finish shape as directed.  Brush with egg white.  Sprinkle with almonds.  Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown.

*The one I made is more of a wreath but mostly however you lay those crescent rolls out, they are still going to taste delicious.  So, just go with it.  Experiment.  Search YouTube.  There are some tutorials out there.

Finally, if you have any other delicious fillings you use for wreaths, rings, or braids please let me know!  I love these!

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