Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mini-Birthday Pictures and Grilled Chicken Salad

Yea, I know those two things go together like milk & orange juice, but those were the pictures from my most recent iPhone photo dump. So, I figured I'd save precious blog space and combine them into one post. Very economical of me, eh?

So, Chase's birthday was yesterday, but the big party isn't until July 24th. Did I tell you I'm combining the kids' celebrations this year? See, I'm all about conserving resources these days. Going Green and stuff.

Anyway, I couldn't let the child's actual birthday go by without at least a little acknowledgment. So, we sent donuts to school. And he got to pick what we had for dinner. He chose spaghetti and Dinoco meatballs which are just regular meatballs that I tell him Mr.The King made in the hope that he might actually eat them. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  I also picked up cupcakes and a candle. We sang happy birthday, and Chase blew out his candle. I forgot to tell him to make a wish though--do I need to turn in my Mama wings?

 The boy's favorite color is blue, so of course I had to get cupcakes with blue icing. And that right there is a testament to how much suffering I willingly endure for the happiness of my children because that icing was M-E-S-S-Y!

Everything within a 3 ft radius was stained blue. Their teeth, clothes, mouth, table, Iverson. We were a family of Smurfs. Smurfs with full bellies. Bellies that somehow escaped being dyed blue. This time.  

Chase rushed through his cupcake because he'd spied the little present I'd thrown together for him. He had seen the tell-tale packaging of a new Car from the Piston Cup Series peeking out of the bucket, so he could barely contain his excitement long enough for me to snap a picture.

It is worth noting that he did not have nearly as much enthusiasm for the book that will help him practice writing his alphabet. Does he not know that he's a teacher's son?

Tonight for dinner I made my imitation Boston Beanery Chicken Salad. The Beanery is a restaurant in Morgantown where we ate many a meal, and the chicken salad was what I ordered most often. The best thing about the dish is the addition of french fries on top. I think this is a Northern WV/Pittsburgh thing because no one around here puts french fries on top of anything which is a real shame for my taste buds, but not so bad for my waist line.

Anyway, the salad is really simple to make. It's just your typical salad fixings: lettuce, cucumber, onion, boiled egg, bacon, carrot, etc. Then you add the chicken on top. Depending on how energetic I am, I either bake chicken breasts, use a rotisserie chicken, or the Perdue short cut chicken strip dohickeys. Then you throw hot fries on the chicken, top with cheese and add a garnish of bacon. Hello deliciousness, goodbye healthy arteries! My only real tip here is this:
Assembly line construction. While the potatoes are frying and the chicken is grilling, I lay out the plates and add the salad components to each one based on preference. For instance, I like cucumbers, Drew doesn't; I like A LOT of salad, Drew tends to go heavier on the cheese, bacon and chicken etc etc.  This way, none of those tasty veggies get wasted by Drew pushing them over to the side of his plate. Everyone's happy.

Almost as good as the restaurant one I'd say. Which reminds me--Where's my tip?

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