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Archive for March, 2014

For those of you who follow Life Exquisite on Facebook you’ll know that my oldest daughter turned 12  last week!  I am so excited to share pictures of her birthday and even though she has already had her friend birthday party I am waiting until after the family birthday party this coming Saturday.  So you’ll have to wait until next week to see what we whipped up for her Monsters University Movie Theatre Birthday Party.  However, thinking of her birthday reminded me that I missed posting a couple of birthday parties during my time off from blogging.  Today I am posting my 9-year-olds Costume Birthday Party!

Being that her birthday is so close to Halloween this was a really easy theme because everyone was able to come in their Halloween costumes!

The decorations were basically the same for her friend and family party, but first lets start with…

The Invite…

After the invites were sent out and the day of her friend party arrived I got busy decorating!  A costume party is the perfect party for a…

Photo Booth

The photo both was more of a backdrop for opening gifts at the family party but my daughter and her friends really enjoyed it.  I have many, many pictures of them as a group, and individuals.

I then set to work decorating the table for when the costume clad troop would arrive home from school.

The cake for her friend party was my first, and only, attempt at a cupcake cake and was very simple.

The cake table was set a bit differently for her family party and she wanted her cake to be decorated to look like her birthday invitation.

The cakes were the only thing different for her parties but the games stayed the same.  First we played…

Pin The Nose On The Clown.

My daughter and her friend modeled their clown noses post game!

The next game we played was a “Minute To Win It” game where you hold a straw in your mouth and need to use the straw to pick up rings from a table and transfer them to a bowl…without using your hands.  This one was very fun and even the adults got in on the action!

My littlest didn’t quite understand that she wasn’t supposed to use her hands!

It was a simple but very fun party!

Apologies for the blurry photos not sure what my photographer…uh hmm hmm (throat clearing)…was doing:-)

 

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So sorry that I didn’t post a recipe on Monday.  I’m slow at getting back into blogging here.  I’m making up for it with sharing not one but two of my new favorite recipes!  They are so new that they just became a favorites last night!

I love Italian food!  LOVE IT!  I wish that carbs weren’t so bad for you because I think I could be completely happy with carb loaded pastas and breads making up 90% of my diet.  My favorite Italian cuisine includes white sauces and cheesy goodness!  Which brought me to last nights meal…

I found both these recipes on, where else but Pinterest!  The Confetti Chicken Pasta is courtesy of  Bake Cakery and the Breaded Cheese Sticks are courtesy of the Food Network.  You can link to theses recipes by clicking on the sites names aforementioned.  However I did make modifications to each recipe, what can I see it’s just who I am and I wanted to make these not so healthy recipes a bit healthier.

Confetti Chicken Pasta

Ingredients:

16 oz. of Whole Wheat Penne Pasta (always cook al dente in salt water according to pkg directions)
tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut in 1″ cubes
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
½ c. Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, long thin slices (mom uses red, yellow and orange…)
c. Broccoli florets
c. Grape tomatoes

Directions:

Cook your pasta and let it drain.  While pasta is cooking heat 1 TBSP of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add chicken.  Sprinkle chicken with sea salt and freshly grated pepper.  When halfway through the cooking stage add the diced onion.  (Be sure to keep an eye on your pasta during this.)  When chicken is almost done cooking add broccoli florets and bell pepper, continue cooking until chicken is done and golden on all sides. Vegetables should be warmed and soft but not soggy or mushy.  Remove and let rest in a large bowl.

Now its time for the sauce!

Ingredients:

tbsp. butter
tbsp. flour
c. skim milk (may need to add more depending on the consistency you desire)
1/4 tsp. of red pepper flakes
c. Feta or parmesan cheese

Directions:

In the same pan you cooked the chicken and veggies in, melt the butter over medium heat. Toss in the flour and stir, cooking 1-2 minutes. Slowly add in the milk, while stirring to prevent any clumps from forming.  Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes and allow to simmer until you see boiling action.  Stir periodically.  When your sauce begins to thicken and bubble, turn off the heat and add in your cheese. Stir until melted.

To assemble everything add the pasta to your sauce first so it gets nice and coated with sauce and then pour the chicken and vegetable mixture in. Enjoy!  It’s soooooo delicious!

Mozzarella Sticks

Ingredients:

1 1/2 C breadcrumbs

1 1/3 C freshly grated parmesan

1 TBSP italian season

1 tsp garlic salt

4 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 C vegetable oil

6 string cheese sticks cut in halves

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Mix together the bread crumbs, parmesan, italian seasoning and garlic salt in a medium bowl to blend. Dip the cheese in the eggs to coat completely and allow the excess egg to drip back into the bowl. Coat the cheese in the bread crumb mixture, patting to adhere and coat completely.  Repeat dipping in eggs and breadcrumbs one more time.
Place the cheese sticks in the now hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Transfer the fried cheese to plates covered in paper towels to help absorb grease.  Serve and enjoy!

My family told me these were the best cheese curds I have ever made and they truly were pretty yummy-licious!

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I can never decide if I like traditional red chili or white chili best. They are both delicious and are the perfect comfort food for cold winter days!

Below is the white chili recipe I received from a friend about ten years ago and it remains my favorite in spite of the countless others I’ve tried. I’m pretty sure you’ll love it too!

Ingredients:
2-3 chicken breasts
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
10 C chicken broth
2-15 oz cans white beans
2 TBSP parsley
2 tsp chili powder

Combine all ingredients in a crock-pot and allow to cook for 4-5 hours. When chicken breasts are cooked use two forks to pull apart into bite size pieces. Enjoy!

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