Monday, February 1, 2016

Parmesan Chicken Cutlets

Every 4 months, 80 lbs of chicken breast waits on my kitchen island. I spend a whole day, sometimes with
my mother in law, sometimes by myself, processing all that meat into packages of unseasoned, marinated, shredded or ground meat. I have over 50 meals started, and it costs me $135

I order a lot of my family's meat through Zaycon Fresh. The chicken breast comes fresh and straight from the farmer, so it ends up being a lot fresher than what you buy at the grocery store. For example, my last case of Zaycon Fresh chicken breast had a bar code with a time stamp for the butcher date that was 3 days prior to my receiving it. I recently went to my local grocery store to see what their time frame is - and their chicken was 15 days old and also had 3% water injected. It's really not much of a discussion on which chicken I prefer to buy!

So today I want to share with you one of the ways that I meal prep when I am processing all of this meat. When I prep the breasts to freeze I cut them into 3 separate ways (after trimming the fat off) - a tenderloin, a breast and a cutlet. A cutlet is made by laying the breast down on a cutting board and cutting through the middle of the breast, horizontally.


I like to make my cutlets really small; they are really more like a chicken coin than a true cutlet. 
 It's about the size of your palm. Cutting that small bit off a breast makes the breast thickness more uniform so that it cooks easily and the "coins" are really tender. They are perfect for Chicken Parmesan Cutlets!

For the breading:
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika 
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1/2 c of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
This will bread about 16 small chicken "coin" cutlets. 2-3 cutlets per adult is a standard serving. The remainder can be frozen between sheets of parchment paper and bagged in freezer bags once fully frozen.

Instructions:
1. Prepare three small mixing bowls. Fill one bowl with 3/4 cup flour, fill the second bowl with 1 1/2 cups of Panko, 1 T paprika, 1 T mustard powder, salt & pepper, and the third bowl with the beaten eggs. Set the 1/2 c of freshly grated Parmesan aside. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Dip each chicken cutlet first into the flour, then into the beaten eggs and then into the Panko mixture.
*If you are prepping for a future meal, skip the baking portion and read the instructions at the end.*
3. Place onto a greased broiling pan or cookie sheet.
4. Bake at 425 degrees F and bake for 15-25 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked. Flip half way through.
5. Remove from the oven and give each cutlet a good sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
6. Voila! I love to serve mine with my lazy girl gnocchi (using left over mashed potatoes!!) and spaghetti sauce. 

**If you are going to freeze these, after step 2 place them in between two squares of parchment paper and freeze them on a cookie sheet. After they are frozen, store them in a freezer safe ziplock bag.**

Get started on saving your family money but not compromise the quality of your meat! Zaycon Fresh is where it's at. Sign up here! Also - check out my favorite Zaycon Fresh product - Wild Alaskan Salmon - and how I love to prepare it!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links help keep this blog going and using them is at no cost to you! All images, opinions and the recipe are my own. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Visiting Eindhoven, The Netherlands


Thanks for checking in on the blog! Stop by to say hello to this month's sponsor
and learn about how Gerber has made steps towards non-gmo!

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During our trip to Germany, my husband took a side business trip to Eindhoven, The Netherlands. We decided to turn this into a date trip, leaving our daughters to stay with my parents in Germany for 4 days.


While hubby met and worked with his Dutch counterpart, I explored the city.


I've always had a fascination with cathedrals. My family of origin are first generation Polish immigrants and I traveled back to Poland several times as a minor. My interest in history piqued in high school and since then I've always specifically visited old churches whenever I am travelling.


When we arrived in Eindhoven I found two old churches that I would like to visit; St George's and St Catherine's. Both are beautiful but actually relatively young when it comes to old churches, as they were both completed in the mid to late 1800's. St. Catherine's, however, has an incredibly unique history that I couldn't help but do a ton of internet research  after leaving there!


I set out for a walk in the afternoon, without any real plans on where I would go. I ended up in this plaza in the medieval town center of Eindhoven and found St. Catherine's Church (Sint Catharinakerk). The beautiful church had a large plaza with several benches, so I took the opportunity to sit, be still and look. Not an opportunity I get too often with two little girls! The construction of the version that we see today began in 1861 and was completed in 1867. It is in the same location as the original St Catherine Church, which was mentioned as early as 1232. Throughout history the original church was the target of several acts of war and the new one replaced it.




As I walked around the plaza I noticed that the pavement stones were modern. I found an outdoor exhibition that talked about the archaeological significance of this plaza. In 2002 the city began replacing the plaza stones to lay the new ones we see today. They found that the entire plaza around the church was a forgotten graveyard, where Eindhoven residents had been buried over the course of 600 years. At some point in history the graveyard was abandoned and paved over and forgotten. This grave site includes higher nobility Eindhoven Black Plague victims. The archaeologists are currently working on an amazing study to link the DNA from these skeletons to aid in HIV research. Individuals with Northern Europe descent posses a DNA variant that has been found to be HIV resistant. Those who possess this variant have been found to have a 70% lower risk of of HIV infection vs those who do not have it. Using the preserved DNA (which by all accounts should not even be present due to the acidity of the soil) researchers are trying to find a connection.

Amazing, unexpected story, right? Even though it was the first large church that I visited during our travels it still remains my favorite. I spent hours inside the church just looking at all the statues, gorgeous stained glass and reading on the archaeological exhibition.

I also unexpectedly found St. George's Church while walking around. St. George was built between 1884-1885 but unfortunately I wasn't able to find any other history in English.





The following day I visited the Phillips Museum. Phillips; as in Phillips light bulbs, radios, anything you can plug in. Including my electric toothbrush. This humongous company started in little Eindhoven and they have a great museum that includes housing part of the original factory. 


As I checked in that morning I asked if there were headphones or an iPad available in English, as there wasn't any information about a tour. The front desk attendant smiled and said "wait here a minute," and a few moments later a older gentleman came over to give me a private tour! Part of me thinks he just wanted to practice his (excellent) English. He walked me through the whole museum, chatting about all the innovations and history of Phillips. Let me tell ya - I think that the museum is definitely a must visit and was very interactive and had a lot of cool technology to show off - but having a real person tell me the story of the Phillips family and their incredible impact on the world was truly an experience to remember. Visiting the museum and seeing first hand how far technology has come in a relatively short amount of time really humbled me and made me extra thankful for the ease of what it's brought to my life!


On our final day we visited the DAF Museum. DAF Trucks are a part of PACCAR Inc, the company that my husband works for, and the reason why we visited The Netherlands. DAF too had been founded in Eindhoven and the museum is attached to the original machine shop where the company began. My husband loves all things automotive; it's his job, so visiting this museum took on a whole different flavor than Phillips. This time my own husband toured me around and gave me tidbits of information on different trucks. Watching him analyze ancient engines and essentially geek out over all these trucks as amusing to say the least. 


This trip will always be special to me because it was the first time since Penny was born in 2012 that I had been away from either child for more than 36 hours. We were gone for 4 days and I had prepared myself for the great likelihood of Ruby weaning during my absence. Her sister had weaned when we went for our babymoon at Sleeping Lady Resort right around that same age. But -- spoiler alert -- Ruby didn't and even through all of the other 2 to 4 day trips that we took for the remainder of our time in Europe, she still didn't! Woop woop, way to go girl! 




And there's plenty more where that came from! We are just scratching the surface of our 5 week trip to Germany. Stay tuned for more posts on our trip.


Sources:
Information from the posted archaelogical exhibition in the plaza

History of the church filled in with information from the archaeological exhibition, Wikipedia and the official church website

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Penny for your thoughts (Vol 4)


It's been a really long time since I've shared some of the gems that come out of Penny's mind...
they are truly my #formulaforhappiness!
Be a dear and visit my sponsor for January
and shout out below
what your "formula for happiness" is!
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Penny pronounces "mistletoe" as "weasel town." #frozenforever


I AM NOT A PERSON! I am a big girl!


My eyes are sprinkling! (when she had tears after coughing)


Penny is currently reprimanding her sauropod family:

"You say 'YES PENNY.' Thank you."
"Those are very good choices. You have to stay close to your mama saur, the door is too far away."

"Can you please say "Drive Safely" to me?"


We're talking about healthy foods vs treats. As she's snacking on an animal cracker.
B: Fruits and veggies are healthy, meat is too. But remember, cookies are a treat. They aren't always very healthy but we can have them every once in a while.

P: No mom, cookies are a treat AND a snack.
B: Yes, but they aren't very healthy. Did you know that veggies and fruits will help you grow big and strong?
P: Yes! And cookies will make my ... arms ... LONG!

"Look mama, this part of my face is chubby." (poking at her cheek)


"This marker smells like someone coughed on it and spilled coffee on it"

"Mama when you cough, are you sending germs to jail?"

B - Penny, you need to nap today. Your body needs rest to fight the germs.
P- but mom, you said that eating good food helps fight the germs.
B - yes, that too, but your body needs to rest so that it has the strength to fight the germs.

P- but mom, you said that God is the strength I need in my heart to fight germs.

Don't forget - check out the all new line of
GMO free formulas from Gerber!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Win $75 from Diaper Junction!

Say "Hi" to The Pierogie Mama's January sponsor and learn what this big brand thinks about being GMO free.
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Who doesn't love to win diapers? Or how about Natural Products for the whole family? Here's your chance! Sprinkles Magazine wants you to get some much needed Diaper Junction Spending money! One lucky winner will get the chance to win a $75 Diaper Junction gift card!! This Giveaway is open to US & CA!!

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Good luck!!  And after entering -
Still feeling lucky? Enter to win $10 from me!


Disclosure:  Giveaway is open to US & CA and ends on 2/23 at 11:59PM EST. Must be 18 Y.O to enter. All opinions are 100% mine. This giveaway is in no way associated with, sponsored, administered, or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or any other social media network.All opinions and experiences are Conservamom‘s. Open to US & CA residents only , must be 18+. Confirmed Winner(s) will be contacted through email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be drawn. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor will be responsible for product fulfillment to winner(s) of the giveaway. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. For questions or to see your product featured in an Event you can contact Elia At Conservamom

Monday, January 18, 2016

What to pack in your bag for sight seeing

A big thank you to Sam's Club for sponsoring today's post! Don't miss out on great deals and deep discounts!


While we were in Germany we took a few days trips that were just my husband and I. It was a great re-connection as a couple and we got to experience museums and other places that would have been difficult with the children. One of our favorite things to do as soon as we got into a new city was to link up with a local tour group that offers city tours.

Sight seeing for a day and not having easy access to all of your travel belongings means packing your day bag efficiently and keeping it light. Here's a list of things that I made sure to keep handy throughout our travels:

Shoes are quite obviously going to be your best or worst friend. I made the mistake of wearing my very adorable, normally comfortable, flats on a whole day of walking. It only took a few hours for blisters and sores to start up and it really slowed us down. My best shoes were my sneakers that coincidentally had coordinating laces to my jacket!

For those of us who made the mistake of wearing the wrong shoes - keep a few squares of moleskin in your bag. Moleskin attaches itself to your skin easily and creates a great barrier to prevent any further irritation.

Another mistake that I realized too late - even though I got a lovely pedicure the week before, my toenails were a little too long for the hours and miles of walking that we did. My toes were so sore! Keep a toenail clipper in your bag in case you find yourself needing to trim up.

This addition to my bag would have caused me to blush uncontrollably had someone mentioned this to me as being a reality of mommyhood a few years ago. Did you know that 1 out of 3 women experience LBL, or "light bladder leakage," usually associated with childbirth? I can tell ya - this became a serious reality after my second child. I quickly realized that even though I was doing my pelvic floor exercises things are different now and that's ok. But that doesn't mean that I have to limit myself in fear of embarrassment! So I keep a couple panty liners in my bag for those long travel days - because walking up stairs or laughing at a hilarious joke from the tour guide shouldn't cause hesitation on whether I should do it or not. Poise panty liners are thinner and stay 3X drier than other liners and don't feel uncomfortable or show. Whether you are worried about light leaks or heavier accidents, Poise has a product for you. The Maximum Pads are 40% more absorbent than Poise Moderate Pads, for more protection when you need it.


We learned that German businesses prefer to accept payment in cash, which is the opposite of the norm in the US. We had to get over the hump of being uncomfortable with keeping more than 20 cash on us, but in all honesty we never had any reason to regret it. In fact, at the end of our stay at a hotel we were told that their credit card machine was out of order and that we would need to pay with cash for our 2 night stay. Most Americans do not keep several hundred dollars in cash on them, so this was a very interesting situation to traverse!

A scarf is great to keep around all through out the year. During the winter it can help keep your face and neck warm and in the summer it can help shade your face as well. If you're like me - I dress with purpose when I travel. My good jeans, good shoes, layered shirts and my handy Columbia jacket. It's not terribly stylish but it protects me from the elements. When we go inside for lunch in a cafe or later for dinner it's nice to have a bit of pop in a scarf that can help dress you up a little bit from the outdoors.

I always keep a pair of gloves in the pockets of my jacket, I *hate* cold, chapped hands. Smart phone friendly gloves are pretty affordable these days too! Keep a packet of tissues in there too.

Chapstick is my best friend. Nothing ruins my day worse than chapped lips because it very quickly leads to cold sores. As I prepare myself for the day I slide my favorite chapstick into my pocket, so that it's always on me. These days I've been discovering the world of lip color so I've started keeping a tube of lipstick on hand as well! It's another way to class yourself up from the outdoors when you go indoors.

I personally think city maps are a little ostentatious and a big beacon for I'M A TOURIST, but they truly do come in handy. Just keep it tucked away when you're not using it ;) At the end of our city tours I would pull it out and ask our tour guide to circle a few areas of interest or to direct us to the closest bier hall.


On the topic of ostentatious big red flags for being a tourist and sometimes just plain embarrassing, you gotta do it - get a selfie stick. My friend bought one for me before we left and my husband VOWED that he would not appear in a photo taken by a cell phone on a stick. Well folks - here's a couple examples where not only did he break this vow but he also found it to be of good use to get some cool angles on cars at the BMW Museum in Munich. But do please practice proper selfie stick ettiquette. Consider those around you, don't walk down the stairs using it and don't take selfies in places where selfies just aren't appropriate - as my tour guide for Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial said - "If I see you taking selfies here, I take that stick from you and send you on the bus home." I'm only exaggerating a little bit. Or am I?

Finally, where will all of this stuff go? An aunt once told me that on the topic of cars and purses - no matter what size you have you will always fill it. I find this to be enormously true. But consider downsizing your day bag and opting for a messenger style strap. It's harder to tear off of you, which can be a problem in touristy areas.

There you have it! Packing for a day of sight seeing can be as complicated or as easy as you want it to be. What would you add?

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After the giveaway, check out what 
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Disclosure: All opinions are my own. This giveaway is funded by The Pierogie Mama and is not associated with any other entity, including but not limited to Sam's Club, Poise, Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest. Please see giveaway for full rules and eligibility. 

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