MothersDay

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for $20 and Under

Mother’s Day isn’t just for your  mother.  It can be for any woman in your life who fulfilled that role for you … or maybe just for another special lady you know who does a bang-up job at the whole nurturing, caring thing.  While flowers are beautiful and certainly welcome, why not invest in a thoughtful, lasting gift that shows your mom, grandma, best friend, NICU nurse – whoever you like – that you appreciate her? I’m hosting a $20 & under sale for my Initials, Inc products so you can present a wonderful gift without breaking the bank!

APRIL SHOPPROTUNITY: Receive one Beach Towel for just $19 (a savings of 50%) for every $35 you spend.

As always, all orders over $100 receive FREE shipping!

MothersDayCollageDetail

1. Pretty Pleats in Piano Dot
2. YBL in Social Climber
3. Tech Wallet 5 in Navy Key
4. Pack It Pocket in Key Lime Dot (FREE Personalization available!)
5. Mini Magnetic Pocket in Piano Dot (FREE Personalization available!)
6. Binette in Graphite Tweed (FREE Personalization available!)
7. Pack It Pocket in Piano Dot
8. Pretty Pleats in Flamingo Dot
9. Tech Wallet 5 in Graphite Reef
10. Tech Wallet 5 in Aqua Lotus
11. Pack It Pocket in Black (FREE Personalization available!)
12. YBL in Flora
13. Binette in Navy (FREE Personalization available!)
14. Pack It Pocket in Aqua Chain (FREE Personalization available!)
15. Mini Magnetic Pocket in Pin Dot (FREE Personalization available!)
16. YBL in Aqua Chain
17. Pack It Pocket in Graphite Reef (FREE Personalization available!)
18. Pack It Pocket in Flamingo Dot (FREE Personalization available!)
19. Pretty Pleats in Pin Dot
20. Tech Wallet 5 in Aqua Chain
21. YBL in Vail
22. Pretty Pleats in Piano Dot
23. Binette in Berry (FREE Personalization available!)
24. Pack It Pocket in Bali (FREE Personalization available!)
25. YBL in Locket
26. Mini Magnetic Pocket in Black (FREE Personalization available!)
27. Tech Wallet 5 in Piano Dot
28. YBL in Pin Dot
29. Pack It Pocket in Navy Key (FREE Personalization available!)

Pretty Pleats

Com-”pleat” your look with this darling all-purpose bag! Larger than your typical cosmetic bag, which makes it great for makeup brushes, travel-size toiletries, combs, hairbrushes & hair accessories, medications, small First Aid Kit items, glasses, crafting supplies, electronic adaptors and cords. Small interior open pocket is great for thumb drives, business cards, a cordless mouse, earbuds, etc. Top zipper closure.
Price: $18.00

YBL (Your Best Life) Case

7″W x 2.25″H x 3″D
Our new iCare case is the perfect answer to your beauty emergency. This case features a built-in mirror on the hinged lid and a kiss-lock closure. Great for storing your on the go needs. This little case pulls double duty. It’s also perfect for pens, hair ties, reading glasses, or sunglasses! Personalization not available. $5 of each purchase supports the Initials, Inc. iCare Foundation.
Price: $20.00

Tech Wallet 5

3.75″W x 6″H x 2″D
Everything you need to get up and go. Zippered coin pocket, 4 card slots, ID window and a large interior area for bill storage. Front pocket with snap closure. Wrist loop. Fits the iphone 4s with otterbox case and Motorola Droid X or smaller. Slightly larger than the Tech Wallet. Personalization not available.
Price: $20.00

Pack It Pocket

11″W x 5.5″H
Simple + Smart Design! Large open pouch with loop handle and lobster claw clasp. Includes white insulated lining.
Price: $20.00

Mini Magnetic Pocket

10″W x 6.5″H
Small in size, tremendous in uses. Open pocket for storage, elastic pen loop, hidden magnets for hanging. Perfect for the refrigerator or your metal back door. Great for school lockers, too! Microfiber.
Price: $20.00

Binette

Sturdy woven bin has a covered metal stabilizer bar at the top to keep the bin upright. Two faux leather handles for carrying designed with contrasting top stitching and metal grommets for extra style. Fully lined interior and sized to beautifully fit two Binettes inside the Bin.
Price: $22.00

Contact me to place your order by April 30 to ensure delivery by Mothers Day at dee@cupcakesandcrowbars.com

Visit my online store at http://www.myinitials-inc.com/deelebrilla

Grilled Artichokes

I know spring is here when my weekly vegetable co-op starts including tons of artichokes! They’re so delicious, and with this simple recipe you’ll never let mayonnaise intrude on their wonderful flavor again!

IMG_2761
I often wonder who’s idea it was to do anything with a variety of different foods. This artichoke, for example. Everything about it says “DO NOT TOUCH!” Yet, some enterprising soul not only ignored the death-spines on the outside, s/he went on to figure out that it should be cooked, and that you can NOT eat the hairy mess inside. I’d definitely not have wanted to be part of that test kitchen. Yeesh. Anyway – I soak my vegetables in a sink full of water with 1/2c of apple cider vinegar for about 5 minutes to get them really good and clean. Rinse them off well and drain.

IMG_3569
Remove both the stem and the crown – when the leaves get so small at the top, it’s more trouble than it’s worth to try & individually snip them. So as my good friend the Queen of Hearts says, OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!

IMG_3571-2
Next use clean kitchen scissors to snip the sharp tips – I once heard a crazy person call them “death-spines” (what a weirdo) but that’s another story.

IMG_3573
Next slice them clean down the middle.

IMG_3576
Rest the cut artichokes in a bowl of lemon water to prevent browning while you finish prepping the rest of them. When finished, boil the artichoke halves at a full boil for 15-20 minutes.

IMG_3579
You probably have a blender. I burned mine up a few weeks ago and haven’t replaced it. In the meantime, I’m using this snazzy magic bullet to “blend.” (I hate this thing. Oh, how I hate it. I haven’t replaced my blender because I saw the Vitamix. I simply cannot continue with anything lesser … and since they’re not … INexpensive – bullet it is!) Dump your olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice right in and whiz for a few seconds until the garlic is but an aroma. In plain English, get as many chunks blended as you can. Which is all of them, if you own a Vitamix. And also I’m jealous of you.

IMG_3582
Mmmmm … doesn’t that smell and look lovely? Now set this aside, and drain your boiled artichokes. Brush a nice thick coating of lemon/garlic unicorn juice on all sides.

IMG_3585
You also should have been heating up your grill. I don’t think I told you that. However, you really SHOULD read all the way through a recipe before you get started, so you’ll see this in plenty of time. Now that your grill is nice and hot (med-high), place the artichokes face down and shut the lid.

IMG_3588
Continue opening and closing the lid a billion times to turn and re-baste those beauties. Grill marks are very impressive to non-grillers, so make sure you have some good ones. Continue turning and basting for 15-20 minutes, until you’re reasonably certain your artichokes are tender. I personally haven’t yet developed my artichoke-fu to a level that I can KNOW, but 15-20 minutes usually gets them where I want them.

IMG_3590
I even sat them right up on their butts to get that smoky grilliness everywhere.

IMG_3593
Serve hot, with the remainder of the lemon/olive oil baste as a dipping sauce.

Until next time, Cupcakes ~

 

Grilled Artichokes
 
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

 
Ingredients
  • 4 artichokes
  • 4 garlic cloves, mashed
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ c extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste
This Is How You Do It
  1. Wash artichokes and cut off stem and spines
  2. Cut artichokes in half
  3. Boil over med-high heat for 15-20 minutes, then drain
  4. Blend olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic until smooth
  5. Baste artichokes generously with olive oil mixture
  6. Cook on med-high grill for 15-20 minutes, until tender
  7. Serve warm with remaining olive oil/lemon juice mixture for dipping sauce

 

YBL (Your Best Life) Case FUNDRAISER until March 30, 2014 **Origami Owl added**

This isn’t a happy sappy post. I’m asking each and every reader to do something for a complete stranger.

A family in my neighborhood just lost their nine year old daughter to a brain tumor one short month after a surprise diagnosis. They’re reeling and unprepared for the memorial service expenses. I don’t know them personally, but with four kids of my own – this struck way too close to home.

I am asking you to find $20, anywhere, and purchase a YBL Case from me by March 30, 2014. I am donating 100% of my commissions to the family, and will gladly provide an accounting of what funds I raised.

I chose the YBL from all of my product line simply because it’s very affordable, and because the Initials Inc iCare Foundation already donates $5 from every YBL to Bethany.org to place US foster children into adoptive homes. So your purchase will not only help a grieving family, it will also help a child find a home. One purchase does double philanthropic duty. Few things drive me more than philanthropy. I believe that if we all took even a small step toward reaching out to our neighbors & fellow humans, this world would be transformed.

This is a call to action. The YBL makes a wonderful gift – buy a few and stash them for upcoming holidays and birthdays!

Here’s the YBL:
YBL Collage

Please feel free to visit my online store for validity.

In order to keep clear accounting, I’m asking that color choices and quantity be emailed to me at dee@cupcakesandcrowbars.com. I’ll email you back with total due (there’s sales tax), and you’ll submit payment via PayPal to dee@cupcakesandcrowbars.com.

In order to waive the standard $10 per order shipping charge, I will be placing a bulk order on March 30, 2014 and having everything shipped to me. I’ll then send your YBL’s directly to you, but I’ll take care of the shipping on that.

Again, please email color choices and quantity directly to me, and I’ll send your total to be paid via PayPal by March 30.

Please share this post – with your help and the reach of all of you, I’m hoping to do something REALLY spectacular for this family.

Origami Owl Party Added

The lovely Brooke at The Sensory Emporium has added her Origami Owl party to the fundraiser! She will donate 100% of her commissions on your purchase of any Awareness Ribbon. Visit her store and find something you LOVE! Who doesn’t love Origami Owl? No one, that’s whoooo.

YBLSocialClimber

YBL (Your Best Life)

YBL Collage

This piece is one of my favorites, for no other reason than a combination of usefulness and philanthropy. I’m a huge believer in the idea that if each and every one of us did just a little to uplift others, the world would change dramatically for the better. I’ve used my YBL’s for: sunglass holder; chapsticks/lipsticks; loose change; hair ties; medication – the uses are endless.

The YBL (I have three of them, don’t judge me!) is VERY affordable at $20 – and $5 of each purchase goes to the Initials, Inc iCare Foundation.
The foundation is currently supporting Bethany.org’s NOW Campaign, who’s sole focus is placing children currently in US Foster care into loving, adoptive homes. I can’t imagine how hard life is for a child in a foster environment, and how much it helps to be finally adopted. You can read more about what the Foundation accomplished in 2013 here.

To purchase, please visit my Initials, Inc store. You may also email me directly at dee@cupcakesandcrowbars.com with any questions!

As always:
Any order over $100 qualifies for free shipping and a surprise accessory that coordinates with your purchase.
Any order over $40 qualifies for a surprise accessory that coordinates with your purchase.
For MARCH 2014: Any order over $35 also qualifies you for this Customer Shopportunity!

backpackbabyICP1

Four On-Trend Items For New Moms – SPRING 2014

It’s undeniable that one of the most exciting parts of expecting a baby, whether or not it’s your first, is loading up on new gear. Today’s mom is busy, on the go, and doesn’t want to lug around a huge or unattractive bag with her. Added to that, after delivery, a lot of us don’t exactly feel our best and most stylish. A quick cure for both is this gorgeous, on-trend backpack from Initials, Inc. Easy to carry, a breeze to organize, and with pockets for everything she needs to care for baby and while simultaneously looking effortlessly stylish. Here’s a breakdown (and a limited time deal!) of this can’t-do-without baby bundle for Spring 2014!

backpackbabyICP1

The Backpack

Gorgeous! Double, adjustable shoulder straps, top loop handle/hook. Two exterior magnetic snap pockets. Cinch top closure and magnetic snap on flap. Side seam zipper pocket and small metal D-ring for attaching keys, tassel, etc.
Price: $50.00

The Handbag Organizer


Tired of losing everything in the bottom of your bag? This helpful organizer will make you happy and keep you hip with pockets galore to keep all your items in the right place. Personalization not available. Microfiber.
Price: $14.00

The Pack-It Pocket


Simple + Smart Design! Large open pouch with loop handle and lobster claw clasp. Includes white insulated lining.
Price: $20.00

Portable Changing Station


Portable Changing Station and Tote Organizer are easy adds to the Big Town for a Diaper Bag that exudes function and style. Personalization not available.
Price: $6.00

Backpack not your style? Substitute this gorgeous

Day Tripper

instead, and save $10.

Full zipper closure opens to a roomy open interior. Open pocket on the front. Double handles with D-ring for accessories.
Price: $40.00

February Special

Place an order by February 22nd and take advantage of the following specials:

Baby Bundle Four Pack:

Purchase 3 items at regular price, and receive the 4th item 25% off (yes, even the big one!)
*Order the bundle shown above: Backpack + The Handbag Organizer + The Pack-It Pocket + Portable Changing Station = Just $77.50 (regular price $90)! You’ll pay more than that for a diaper bag alone elsewhere. The Backpack and Pack-It Pocket include FREE personalization in your choice of colors & fonts – Let me help you choose the perfect monogram for your items!
Day Tripper + The Handbag Organizer + The Pack-It Pocket + Portable Changing Station = Just $70! FREE personalization available on Day Tripper and The Pack-It Pocket.

Baby Bundle Three Pack:

Purchase 3 items at regular price, and receive a color coordinating Sneak-A-Peek FREE! (A $6 value!)

And no matter WHAT the month, all orders over $100 receive FREE shipping – ALWAYS! You may combine orders with a local friend to save on shipping – ASK ME HOW!

*Orders must be placed through my website, found HERE. Orders placed through my site are not finalized until I process them. Payment can be made through my Initials, Inc website directly, or through PayPal – your choice!

Disclosure Statement:

I am a Creative Partner with Initials, Inc. Orders placed through me do earn me a small commission. I take great pride in my credibility, and will not recommend any products I do not believe in fully. I discovered Initials, Inc quite by accident, and quickly became addicted – so much so that I opted to step way out of my comfort zone and become part of the company. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I haven’t looked back. Initials, Inc is one of the fastest growing handbag and accessory companies in the US, and with good reason. I speak from personal experience with a wide variety of II products; each item is high quality, durable, stylish, and most importantly – expertly designed for it’s intended purpose.
Please email me with any questions or comments! Purchases are always welcome, AND I’d love to help you grow your own business right from home like I have – ask me how and I’ll be glad to help. I’m so excited about Initials, Inc and I just want to share with everyone!

Complete

Upcycled Birchbox Silhouette Cameo Accessory Organizer

Do you get Birchbox? If you don’t, you should. It’s ten measly little dollars a month, and when it comes unexpectedly* it’s like a little teeny bit of Christmas on your doorstep.
(*Unexpectedly, as in, it comes on the same day every month. Being as I have the memory retention of a goldfish, I always forget. And am always pleasantly surprised.)

I’ll make a post about Birchbox for those not in the know. In the meantime, I’ve gotten off track. The reason I bring up Birchbox is that, goodies notwithstanding, they come in a great little kraft-colored box with a cute white & grey chevron pattern inside. The box itself is rather sturdy and conveniently sized, and I’ve hung onto them just KNOWING I’d have a craft inspiration one day.

Enter my recent acquisition of a Silhouette Cameo. I’ll not sing the praises in this post, suffice it to say it’s a marvel. It can do just about anything, and I’ve only begun to discover the reach of the phenomenal cosmic power. What I *have* discovered, and quickly, is the nearly infinite number of very small accessories one can acquire to perform aforementioned miracles. My collection is abysmally small, compared to others. I’m not sad about it. On the contrary, I am ecstatic to grow my collection and therefore my ability to do THINGS!

And I have ALSO found a use for my empty Birchboxes. A quick makeover gives a handy, easily accessible place to store the little items that can quickly run away. (Ask me how long my Cameo box was opened before that little grey twisty-dooly blade-depth adjustor went missing. Go ahead. TEN MINUTES. I just found it last Saturday.)

Birchbox

I started with this little box. I have TONS of them.

I used one of a free label cut file set I found on misskatecuttables.com

I used one of a free label cut file set I found on misskatecuttables.com

Label Size

Because my box measured 5 1/4 x 7 1/4, I sized the label to 2.83 x 6.0.

Next, I centered my text inside the label shape.

Next, I centered my text inside the label shape.

I then deleted the label shape, because the next thing I did was print the text, and didn’t want to “draw” the label as well. There may be an easier way to do this, but I am currently not Silhouette savvy enough to share that with you.

Text Drawing

My first time using the sketch option vs a blade!

I picked these markers up at Dollar Tree, and simply wrapped a thin rubber hair tie around the base to secure it into the machine. Unfortunately, all I had were thick tipped markers – in the future, I’d have done this with a thin tipped one for more detail. The font I used is KG Janda Swirly Twirly by Kimberly Geswein.

LabelRecut I CTRL+Z’d the label back into place and deleted the text this time. I didn’t like how large the label cut the first time, so I adjusted down to the measurements given above and simply recut. You could say I’m *kind* of a rebel.

OffsetUse the “Offset” option to create a slightly larger version of the label shape, to use to cut the background piece.

Viola!

Viola!

Set those aside and get ready to cut fabric!

Flowers2I used regular cotton in white, orange, and blue, with Wonder Under for backing (it was what I had on hand, don’t judge me). The flowers are a free cut file I found on Pazzle, which you can download here. Aleen’s Original Tacky Glue stuck them all together just fine!

Flowers

Large flower: 2.1 x 2.1;
Medium flower: 1.58 x 1.58;
Small flower: 1.36 x 1.36

I cut three sizes from each of the white, blue, and orange fabric, using Speed 5, Thickness 33, Blade 3.

StickHolder For the inside of the box, I first glued two popsicle craft sticks together (for height), then glued them inside the box just by placing a thick line of Aleen’s down the center and using two paper clamps to hold them in place while the glue dried.

TieHoles I used a hole punch to make holes for the fabric handle. Punch holes in the box lid first, close the box, and use a Sharpie or other pen to mark where the holes should go on the box bottom. They have to align or the ties won’t work right! I used a length of the same blue fabric from the flowers, inserted it through both sets of holes, and tied a small knot on the end that goes inside the box.

FilledBox On the top, my extra blades and grey twirly-dooly that changes the blade depth, on the bottom, my dollar store markers. Of course you can put whatever your heart desires inside.

CompleteThe finished box!

hanging1 The best part? It STAYS CLOSED so you can easily hang it on the pegboard in your craft room without the contents falling out!

What would you store inside your box? Share in the comments!

The Silhouette Challenge

This craft was completed as part of the Silhouette Challenge, which I’m very excited to be taking part in this year! A different themed craft challenge to complete every month. A great way to get outside my comfort zone & master new skills!

silhouettethemes2014

Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

Silhouettechallengecollage

Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

{Insert Photo Collage here.}

  1. No-Sew Valentine’s Day Pillows by A Tossed Salad Life
  2. No-Sew Interchangeable Fabric Bunting by unOriginal Mom
  3. Monogrammed Burlap Garden Flag by The Turquoise Home
  4. Crawl, Walk, Bike by It’s Always Craft Time
  5. Freezer Paper Stenciled Tote Bags by Weekend Craft
  6. DIY Bleach Spray Shirt by Practically Functional
  7. Stenciling Sherlock by Please Excuse My Craftermath…
  8. Felt Star Wands by Cutesy Crafts
  9. Yoda Kid’s T-Shirt by Architecture of a Mom
  10. Mark Your Territory- Dog Flags by Black and White Obsession
  11. Nautical Pillows by Lil’ Mrs. Tori
  12. Big Sister Gift & Silhouette Cut File by Creative Ramblings
  13. Nerdy Baby Onesies + Free Cut File by Essentially Eclectic
  14. Easy Easter Bunny Onesie – Silhouette Cameo Craft by Adventures in All Things Food & Family
  15. Fabric Envelopes for LEARNING LETTERS! (& cut file) by From Wine to Whine
  16. “Good Morning, Sunshine!” Memo Board by Tried & True
  17. Hearts-A-Lot Burlap Pillow Cover by My Paper Craze
  18. Baby Quilt by Dragonfly & Lily Pads
  19. Surprise Holiday Banner by Whats Next Ma
  20. “Team Betty” Tote Bag by The Thinking Closet
  21. DIY Sock Minion by Create it. Go!
  22. Pretty Up Some Organza Bags by Getsilvered
  23. Easy Heart Appliqued Onsies by Create & Babble
  24. Bleach Pen Gel & Freezer Paper Stencils Made with the Silhouette Machine by Bringing Creativity 2 Life
  25. Valentines Baby Onesie & Boy’s Shirt + Free Cut Files by The Frill of Life
  26. Valentine’s OWL Always Love You T-shirt by My Favorite Finds
  27. DIY Screen Printed Curtains by Chicken Scratch NY
  28. Fabric Painted Quilted Wall Hanging by Terri Johnson Creates
  29. Glitter Iron-On Top by Simply Kelly Designs
  30. DIY Monogrammed T-shirts with Silhouette Heat Transfer Material by Pitter and Glink
  31. Birthday Challenge by Fadville
  32. Machine Applique with SIlhouette Cameo by The Sensory Emporium
  33. Fabric Applique Valentine’s Day T-Shirt by DailyDwelling
  34. “Cute as Cupid” shirt by crafts, cakes, and cats
  35. Sew Cute Applique by Life After Laundry
  36. Rhino Onesie by It Happens in a Blink
  37. Upcycled Birchbox Cameo Accesory Organizer by Cupcakes&Crowbars
  38. Customizing textiles with Heat Transfer Vinyl (working title) by feto soap
  39. Easy Fabric Art by McCall Manor
  40. Lady Bug Tote Bag with Silhouette Rhinestones by Ginger Snap Crafts
  41. Mommy and Em’s Coordinated Aprons by TitiCrafty
  42. Canvas sketch project and a share by Clever Someday
  43. Foxy Lady Pajamas by Mabey She Made It
  44. Teddy Bear by Work in Progress
wreath_title

Silhouette Cameo Valentine Projects & CAMEO GIVEAWAY!

Some of these are a bit older, aka not from 2014 – but are so cute I couldn’t pass up sharing. I’ve just gotten my Cameo this year & am very excited to go through my first year of holidays with this amazing tool at my disposal.

Bloggers, if you’d like your link removed from this post for any reason at all, of if I have information incorrect, please let me know and I’ll take it off right away.

Valentine Treat Box

This adorable treat box from Katie at katieskilton.com

Via katiestilton.com

XOXO Banner

How much would your little one love waking up to this banner on Valentine’s morning? From Rebecca at Simple As That.

Via Simple As That

Arrow Heart Shirt

I’m thinking of making this shirt for myself! This came from straight from the Silhouette Blog.

Via Silhouette America Blog

Valentine Treat Boxes

I LOVE these little Valentine treat boxes! Joy over at Joyslife.com was even lovely enough to include links to all the tools she used to put these together.

Via Joys Life

Valentine Mailbox

Sweet and simple way to do something exciting for your little one. Lindsey over at momandwife.com got creative with few materials for a big bang!

Via Mom and Wife

Valentine Collage

There aren’t words for how much I love this! Kelly over at Finding Time To Create made a detailed post for the Silhouette Blog. It’s just beautiful, and so creative!

Via Silhouette Blog
Kelly included great photos on her Silhouette blog post, but has even more great photos & ideas on her blog Finding Time To Create.

Paper Wreath

Gorgeous paper wreath from Meredith at Unoriginal Mom, with free cut file!

Via Unoriginal Mom

And before you go – the ladies over at My Paper Craze have a giveaway that ends TODAY! Hurry over and get your entry in!

What does your family do to celebrate? Do you have a favorite project for Valentine’s Day? Feel free to link in the comments!

completed dish

Lemon Artichoke Chicken (from Clean Eating Cookbook)

I’m a little late with my post this week … because life, that’s why. I made this last week for the family, in our continuing quest to be a little healthier this year. The recipe is very lemony & delicious! We ate it just as a chicken & vegetable dish (from a bowl), but next time I’d serve it over whole wheat pasta for a fuller meal. The kids gave it a 4/5, but I chalk that up to their wee underdeveloped palates – because it was YUM! Enjoy!

completed dish

Get ready!

ingredients

Gather your ingredients!


I cannot say this ENOUGH! Always get your ingredients prepped and together before you even start cooking. This will save you trouble in lots of areas. You’ll find out you’re out of something you need before you’re in the middle; you’ll never under/overestimate the prep time required to chop/dice/etc and end up burning something on the stove; you’ll find out that one ingredient you’re sure you had enough of, is less than you thought … or has gone bad. There are simply no negatives to being prepared. Of course, when I was told all of this, I immediately adopted the practice.

I CERTAINLY have never found myself in any of those scenarios listed above. How absurd of you to think so.

"Dredging" the chicken just means to lightly drag it back & forth through whatever you're coating it with - then gently shake to remove excess coating.

“Dredging” the chicken just means to lightly drag it back & forth through whatever you’re coating it with – then gently shake to remove excess coating.

brownedchicken

Lightly spray your pan with olive oil, then brown chicken over med-high heat, until cooked through.


You have a couple of options here. Being as I burned the fingerprints off my fingers long ago, I cut the chicken into slightly more bite-sized pieces as they came out of the pan. You can certainly leave them whole, but I find I spend more time cutting it for the kids when it’s time to sit down – and I’d rather eat! You can also wait, like normal people, until the pieces are cooled some and then cut them.

Next add the onions.

Next add the onions.


The recipe clearly called for thinly sliced onions, and as you can see, I did not adhere. Ree Drummond over at The Pioneer Woman has every method of cutting onions to a science. I admire and worship her … but do not possess her particular onion expertise.

garlic

When the onions are soft, add the garlic.


Remember to keep garlic mobile when it’s in a pan without liquids … I heard from a friend it burns really easily. Not that I’ve ever burned it.

onions

One of my favorite scents in the world is garlic and onions getting nice and aromatic in olive oil.


Unless it’s garlic and onion getting aromatic in some bacon fat. SWOON.

broth

Next add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.


I usually make my own chicken stock. I was raised by my grandmother, who never let a thing go to waste if there was a use for it. So, I roast whole chickens and make stock with the bones. I don’t always have it, and you may not either. To keep this meal “clean eating,” make sure you read the ingredients! Organic is best, and as a general rule all ingredients should be easily pronounceable and identifiable. It’s not always possible to have every ingredient clean – do you best! Even the small changes per meal add up in a big way over time.

simmer

Add the artichokes, lemon juice, and lemon zest. It smells so good.


And grab a towel to catch the drool that will surely pour from your face the moment this scent invades your kitchen. Oh. My. Goodness.

chickeninpan

Add the chicken back to the pan to heat everything thoroughly.


Because foil or no foil over the bowl of cooked chicken, mine got a little closer to cooled off than I wanted. I tossed it in for about one minute, just to heat through.

completed dish

Serve warm, with a sprinkle of fresh parsley on top. Add a little parmesan too, if you like. Yum.


Again – next time, I’ll definitely make this with a whole wheat or rice or buckwheat (or choose your favorite clean pasta) noodles as a carrier for that delicious chicken and artichoke flavor. Yum. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

5.0 from 1 reviews

Lemon Artichoke Chicken (from Clean Eating Cookbook)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 8
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

 
An easy, yummy, lemony chicken dish that’s healthy too!
Ingredients
  • ½ C whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp sea salt (plus additional to taste)
  • 2 lb Chicken breasts, cut into ½ inch thick pieces
  • Olive oil mist or spray
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut in half and sliced thin
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • ½ c low sodium chicken broth or stock
  • 2 (14 oz) jars of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • ½ c fresh lemon juice (2 to 3 large lemons)
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 4 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (optional)
This Is How You Do It
  1. Combine flour, oregano, pepper, and ½ tsp sea salt in a shallow dish.
  2. Dredge the chicken in the flour, tap off the excess, and put aside in a dish.
  3. Over medium high heat, spray frying pan with olive oil and when pan is hot, add chicken in a single layer and cook 4-5 minutes per side. Chicken should be lightly browned and cooked all the way through. Move to a large bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat until all chicken pieces are cooked.
  4. Using the same pan, turn heat to medium low and cook onion for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until cooked through.
  5. Add garlic and keep stirring for about one minute, until garlic releases fragrance.
  6. Add chicken broth/stock and bring to a simmer. Add artichokes, then lemon juice and zest. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until all ingredients are heated through and sauce is slightly thickened.
  7. Add chicken pieces and simmer for another minute or so, to ensure chicken is heated through.
  8. Serve alone or over whole wheat pasta for a delicious main dish, sprinkling parsley over the top just before serving.