Thai Grilled Chicken

I haven't deserted you all.  I promise.  It has just been a crazy two weeks in the Jones household and something had to take a back seat, so I'm afraid it was you.  I hope you will forgive me.

Between the continuing battle with lice and the beginning of cake season (aka graduations and weddings), I have had zero time to myself. 

And just to prove how completely insane I am, I decided to build myself a picnic table from some plans I found on the internet.  Great idea, lousy timing.  

I was tired of trying to cram my large family of 8 around our tiny little patio set for 4.  I am so happy with the end result and it was actually a lot of fun to build.  I just should have waited a few weeks when I wasn't covered in buttercream frosting to do it.
 Now that my first official piece of woodworking is done, I am ready to grill to my heart's content and gather my family around to enjoy the results.  This recipe is one of my favorite flavor profiles, thai.  I came up with it myself and it was really good.  I might throw in a bit of coconut milk to the marinade next time and see if I like it even better.  I'll let you know!

Thai Grilled Chicken
6 chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic
1/2 C cilantro
2 Tb fish sauce
1 Tb sesame oil
2 Tb sugar or sugar substitute *I prefer Truvia
1 tsp red pepper flakes

1.  Combine all the ingredients in a large ziplock bag.  Allow to marinade for 4-8 hours.
2.  Preheat grill to high.  Remove excess marinade and place chicken on the grill.  Lower the heat to medium-low.  Grill for 5 minutes on the first side, then turn and grill 3-5 minutes on the second side, depending on the thickness of your chicken.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Chicken, Bacon & Green Chili Dip

So how was your Mother's Day?  

Mine was set up to be just like I wanted.  Simple.  Just some time with my family and friends.  No gifts.  Just some homemade cards from my kids.

My 8 year old decided to get me a gift, however.  The gift of lice.  

I discovered it sitting next to her in church as we snuggled on the pew.  Yuck!  So, my quiet Mother's Day was spent picking nits for 4 1/2 hours, washing every piece of bedding in the house and all the unwashed laundry.  I bagged up everything I couldn't wash then vacuumed everything possible.  So much for quiet and simple :)
This dip is a mainstay in my fridge for days like Sunday, when I have zero time to make myself something healthy to eat.  There is always a container of this prepared and ready to go for a quick lunch or dinner.  I know it is a dip, but I use it as a meal because it is packed with so much protein.

My kids love it as well, but it is a bit spicy.  If you aren't a fan of spicy, just let it sit overnight in the fridge and the heat mellows considerably but I wish I could tell you why?  It just does.

I serve it with veggies at my house, but it would be a home run on crackers, pita chips or toasted bread.  Just not low-carb like with the veggies :)

Chicken, Bacon & Green Chili Dip
16 ounce container Nordica Green Chili Sour Cream dip
2-10 ounce cans canned chicken breast
1/2 C cooked and crumbled bacon - This is the precooked version I use

1.  Drain the two cans of chicken breast in a strainer.
2.  Combine all three ingredients in a medium bowl and mix together well.  You will need to use your spoon to break up some of the larger pieces of chicken breast.
3.  Serve immediately for the hottest flavor, or let it sit overnight for the heat to mellow.

Chocolate Covered Bacon - Low Carb & Sugar Free

Without the knowledge or permission of my dear husband, I bought my kids a puppy while he was on the other side of the country on business.  Better to ask for forgiveness than permission, right? :)

Now that we are done having babies, I broke down and bought a furry version of one.  Our little Sheldon (aka Dr. Sheldon Cooper) is the cutest ball of fluff.  

He has been part of our family for one week.  While a newborn human is more work, a puppy is still more than I ever expected.  It is actually quite funny to watch my 2 year old go through all the phases of jealousy that are usually reserved for when you bring home a new sibling.  

We have many, many new rules in our house when it comes to this puppy.  The top of the list is NO feeding the puppy people food.  I do not want a dog that begs for food every time someone eats.  Turns out, if you bake a pound of bacon in the oven, puppies beg whether or not they have ever tasted it before.  Who'da thunk??
This was the first time I ever prepared bacon in the oven and it will not be the last!!  Just throw the whole pound in the oven and forget about it.  Plus, no huge greasy mess to clean up afterward.  Bonus:  you end up with perfectly flat pieces of bacon to boot!
To say this recipe rocks would not do it justice.  It is magnificent!  If you aren't into the whole low carb/sugar free thing, then go ahead and slater your bacon with regular chocolate.  I won't tell a soul.  Promise.

I only covered one side of the bacon with the chocolate and I'm glad I did.  If I would have done both, the flavor of the bacon would have been lost.  Be sure to get the bacon crisp, because limp bacon under chocolate would be disgusting!

Chocolate Covered Bacon - Low Carb & Sugar Free
1 pound thick sliced bacon **regular bacon will break
12 ounces sugar free chocolate - semi sweet or milk  **you can also use regular chocolate instead of sugar-free
4 ounces sugar free white chocolate

1.  Line a large jelly roll pan with aluminum foil.  Lay out the pieces of bacon evenly across.  Place in a COLD oven and turn the oven on to 400 degrees.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  You want nice and crisp bacon for this or you will end up with something mushy under the chocolate.
2.  Once bacon is baked, remove from the pan and cool on paper towels.  While it is still warm, cut each piece in half.
3.  Melt both chocolates in microwave proof bowls, 30 seconds at a time and mixing after each heating.  Continue to heat until the chocolates are completely melted.
4.  Use a spoon to paint one side of your bacon with the chocolate.  Drizzle on some of the white chocolate and swirl it in slightly.  Place bacon on wax paper.  Once all the pieces are covered, refrigerate until chocolate is firm.