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2.20.2014

Italian Chicken Quesadillas

Sometimes I like to do a little mid-week status check.


What does that look like?  It looks like a list.

1) This morning Derek dressed Avery.  Technically, every morning Derek dresses Avery (and he does an impressive job.  He’ll totally be a dad that braids hair), but this morning ho ho, yeah.  Girlfriend was bedazzled.  We had a little bit of light blue, white, metallic silver, navy, baby pink, and magenta going on.  Fortunately, we located a polka dotted bib that tied the whole thing together quite nicely.

2) For those of you who quit watching HBO’s Girls for whatever reason (read: second-hand embarrassment), this season is killing it so you might want to re-up.  This week’s episode?  “I thought this would be a good opportunity to have fun together and prove to everyone via Instagram that we can still have fun as a group!” Loved it.  In other news, which Girls character are you?  I answered the questions, got an answer, and then changed around some of my answers to my second choices but, man alive, still Marnie.  High-strung, rigid, beautiful-mess Marnie.  Yeah.  I see it too.

3) This weekend is my long-awaited friends weekend, and I am having a hard time reigning in my giggles already.  Every year the seven of us struggle to get a date on the calendar that works for all, which I think makes the whole thing even more special when it actually happens.  Naturally, I drafted and sent out a “loose” itinerary for the day/evening and sent it around for pre-weekend viewing.  Most likely, we will stick to none of the plans and instead spend 24 hours laughing in our pajamas and eating Doritos and Swedish Fish.  I, unlike Marnie, am totally ok with this.  We can “put on face masks and watch Queens of Comedy and then write our wishes down on paper and throw them into a bonfire so they come true” another time.

4) I ordered a new daily planner because my current one just isn’t cutting it.  I know we’re well-into 2014 already, but it’s big, it’s beautiful, it has a FULL PAGE devoted to every day of the year, and it even has a daily dinner menu section!  This is key, because Derek is not-so-secretly sick of me waking him up at 5am with “should we have pork tacos tonight or chicken stew or what about a burrito bowl or maybe pizza and salad or maybe just salad alone or oh wait PIZZA ALONE.”

5) I have a new favorite work-from-home lunch.  Lately I’ve been sautéing a crap-load of Trader Joe’s shaved Brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar, hot sauce, and edamame, and then topping the whole thing with a crumbled veggie burger.  I swear to Pete, you cringe but I die.  And my husband is vomiting in his mouth at the moment.
6) On Monday, my parents stayed with us so that we could go to work while Avery’s day care had the day off.   During the 28 hours that they were with us, we made some pretty delicious meals like pork tenderloin tacos, sweet potatoand black bean salad, and roasted carrot soup with grilled cheese dunkers.  In case you are wondering, the good thing about a dunker is that you can eat the equivalent of 12 grilled cheese sandwiches and not notice.  My parents also cleaned up my house, sent me hourly pictures and videos, and exhausted my child enough that she slept through the night without a sound.  Move in, please.
7) Guess what was on the other day at the SAME TIME as Olympic ice dancing!?  You bet I watched The Cutting Edge instead of watching the actual Olympics, and heck yeah I recited the entire “toe pick” scene while pretending to play with my child.  I felt so patriotic!  And it’s been a nice break from practicing lines at 5pm every day with my Friends.
8) I’m making Italian Chicken Quesadillas for dinner.  What does this include, you wonder?  Oh, a little bit of chicken, some cream cheese and pesto, flour tortillas, cannellini be-WAIT.  Cream cheese and pesto?   Happy day!  This healthy and fun recipe is the perfect way to glam up a mid-week dinner slump.  Bellies are full, wine is flowing, and there are enough leftover cannellini beans for Derek to chuck at me one-by-one when I micromanage daily outfitting from now on.
Now you’re caught up.  What the heck?  Stop being so nosy, and go make dinner!
Love yas.


Italian Chicken Quesadillas
Adapted from Parents Magazine
Serves 4
Ingredients:
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 c cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3 tbs prepared pesto
1 tbs reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
4 8-in whole-wheat flour tortillas
1 c baby spinach
½ c part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
Marinara sauce for serving (optional)
Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Set aside.
Cook and shred your chicken using your favorite method.  I like to poach mine by placing the chicken at the bottom of a large saucepan and filling with salted water up to an inch above the chicken.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, but let the chicken continue to cook in the hot water for another 10 minutes.  Drain and shred using 2 forks or your hand mixer!  Set aside.
Meanwhile, mash together the beans, pesto, and cream cheese using a fork or in your food processor.  Spread the mixture evenly onto each of the 4 tortillas.  Top each with the spinach, mozzarella cheese, and cooked chicken.  Fold the tortillas in half, and place them on the baking sheet.  Bake until browned, about 15 minutes.
To serve, cut them into wedges and dip in warmed marinara sauce.

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