Meal Mondays: Oven-Baked Orange Chicken

The Recipe:
I originally made this for Scout Kid’s first birthday because at the time chicken drumettes, with their little handles so perfect for small clumsy fists, were a big favourite. A year and a few months later, I have a toddler who reallllly doesn’t like chicken. Like no other toddler ever. He loves beef, he loves tomatoes and peppers, he’ll happily stir together rice and green beans and eat them up, he’s never had that toddler thing of hating saucy, mixed up food, but when chicken touches his tongue you’d think it was poison. Um, okay, son. More for the rest of us…

Original recipe from Just A Taste.

The Ingredients:
2½ pounds chicken wings, tips removed, drumettes and flats separated
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more if you’re not sharing with a two-year-old)
3/4 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup rice

The Method:
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Thoroughly dry off wings with a paper towel and spread out on a foil-lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake until fully cooked, 45 to 50 minutes.
2. With about 15 minutes remaining for the wings, begin cooking rice (according to package directions) and sauce. Place the oil, garlic, and ginger in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and cook for about 3 minutes, until golden-brown. Add the red pepper flakes, marmalade, and soy sauce. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
3. Remove wings from oven and toss with sauce in a large bowl. Serve over rice with extra sauce poured over.

The Verdict:
Really good. Even Scout Kid condescended to take a few bites.


I shared this testimony at my church this past Good Friday, but I wanted to share it here too. God shows His goodness and help in my life by not leaving me in my sinful ways. Here is what I shared with my church family:

The first months after Feral Kid’s birth were some of the most draining and stressful of my life as various illnesses, lack of sleep for me, the adjustment to a brother for Scout Kid, and the Partner In Crime’s near-constant work schedule compounded to make times very difficult for us. But even at the best of times, it’s easy to get sympathy as a mother of little children. Everybody knows you’re probably not sleeping and get very little time to yourself. In the world’s eyes, I’m justified in demanding more recognition, resenting additional drains on my time, and feeling sorry for myself.

Not so in God’s eyes. In these past weeks, He has been gently convicting me of a complaining spirit that does not reflect the servantlike spirit of Christ, who, though God, chose to humbly bear the burdens of the undeserving.

He has shown me to my shame how quick I am to see problems in my life and ignore the blessings that overshadow them. So I might complain in my heart of all the unexpected costs of our new home, without pausing to remember that I am blessed to have the resources to own a home in a world where so many suffer want. I might wonder why on top of all the craziness life has thrown at us, God has let us get a violent stomach flu, not caring that I have done nothing to deserve the good health I generally enjoy when so many live with the daily sufferings of disease.

On an even deeper level, though, all of the small trials of weariness, sickness, financial stress, or the like pale in comparison to the deep spiritual rest, healing, and riches that I have because of Christ in me.
As my forgiving Saviour works repentance in my heart and as with His daily help I strive to turn away from ungratefulness to joyful, thankful service, I am reminded that this all ties directly back to the Gospel: God was pleased from the beginning of time to choose to send His perfect, beautiful, glorious Son to die a shameful, brutal death and be blasted by the His wrath in my place– and he planned this knowing full well that I would ignore how I was spared from God’s terrible justice and resent him for allowing small trials in my life. Thankfully, the same grace by which he chose to save me despite my deep depravity is at play in my life now as he patiently prunes away the sin that so easily flourishes in my heart. This is all of God, and none of me, and what better reason for daily, unceasing gratitude could I have?

Toddler Tuesdays: The First Years

“Having taken time off from my own career in order to care for my young children, I am definitely not one to minimize the difficulty of this choice. There are serious consequences, financial and psychological, that follow from making the quality of your child’s early years a priority. But, for me, the decision to bring a child into the world makes that child’s welfare the primary responsibility of the parents– far more important than their devotion to their careers, and vastly more important than the type of vacations they take, or the luxury of the cars they drive. While it may be frustrating and humbling perhaps, a career certainly can be resumed after a hiatus, or an entirely new career can be started. In contrast, the first years of your child’s life are uniquely important and completely unrecoverable, both for your child and for you.”
Timothy D. Kailing, Native Reading

(Native Reading is a wonderful book and I’ll write a review later but since I just stayed up past my bedtime to finish reading it, I thought I’d better leave the reviewing for another day.)

Disclosure: link is through my Amazon Associates account.

Toddler Tuesdays: Alphabet Memory

Another craft! I discovered that Scout Kid was getting pretty dece at his iPhone memory game, so I figured I should harness that power for good. This is a simple memory game that helps him learn to match uppercase and lowercase letters. I could theoretically expand it to include the whole alphabet, but for now it’s just vowels.

You Will Need:
An empty cereal box
Printer and paper

1. Using a drinking glass, make 10 circles on the cereal box and cut them out.
2. Create a Microsoft Word document using half a page for each letter. Make each uppercase-lowercase pair the same colour (I is green, A is red, etc.). Print.
3. Using the same drinking glass, cut out each letter. Glue onto the coloured side of the cereal box.
4. Play memory. With a dinosaur, if desired. Ta-da! (Or, as I selfishly taught Scout Kid to say because it’s cuter, ‘Ha-da’!)

Meal Mondays: Chicken Enchiladas

The Recipe:
I tried quite a few enchilada recipes in my research for the 365 Recipe Project, including one that was touted as the “best ever” on Pinterest (which is actually usually totally inaccurate, so, rookie error on my part.) But all of them left me cold. So soggy. But then my mother-in-law mentioned that my sister-in-law had made some really good ones, so I snagged her recipe.

The Ingredients:
1 small onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon each chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin
1 package cream cheese, room temperature
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
3/4 cup salsa, plus a little additional
2 cups shredded cheddar
About 5 flour tortillas

The Method: 
1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook pepper and onion in butter. Stir in spices, then reduce heat to low, add cream cheese, and cook until melted. Add chicken and salsa.
2. Remove from heat. Spread a thin layer of salsa in a 9×13″ baking dish. Spoon mixture into tortillas, wrap, and line up in baking dish. Cover with salsa and shredded cheese.
3. Bake for 15-20, broiling for a minute or two to brown the cheese if desired. Serve with sour cream and salsa to dip.

The Verdict:
Yum. I loved these. The cream cheese flavour was really nice. I should note though that I used very little salsa on top so they were more crispy; just a thin layer like on the bottom of the dish instead of pouring it over. So maybe not the most authentic enchiladas, but definitely ones that are going into the rotation.

Song for the End (Resurrection Sunday)

From the bed of murder and treason
I wake to the smell of jasmine.
Standing in the doorway staggered,
I wonder like a child at this new world.
What blinding gold light in the orchard!
Saturn swung close and heavy on the horizon,
daring and sweet, the milk of galaxies,
the pulp of Jupiter tumble at my feet,
the honey of mercy: for the debt of my
crimes is swallowed in his riches!
He has taken my Master away and I
am left speechless, a freedwoman.
He has taken the sting from the
spider Death, this King of the Jews, this
Lamb of God. It is finished,
and I’ll forevermore read this page:
The End. The End. The End–

Lady Macbeth in a clean white shirt
laughing and crying where the almond trees bloom.