Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Updated: Going Green (For St. Patrick's Day!)

Good morning Crushers!

Other than Christmastime, I don't decorate our house much for the holidays. The only things I do are set out seasonal kitchen towels, a new front door decoration and update the decorations on top of our TV stand or the coffee table. When the snow is gone, we put out some decorations in the yard and I definitely have planters full of flowers on the front steps to welcome you.

Aren't they cute?
Last night I was feeling kind of "over" my winter decorations, so I thought I'd hit the Dollar Store to see what I could find to "Spring" up the living room. I knew we had a blank vine wreath in our basement, so my goal was to find items that would be removable so I could use this one wreath all year round!

But first, we needed to make dinner!

Chicken legs, rice and asparagus was on the menu. Steve took the chicken that I had prepped at my Wildtree Freezer Meal class and baked that on a greased cookie sheet. Basically, it's chicken pieces (you could use any part of the chicken you like) that marinated in a freezer bag with garlic and herb seasoning and grapeseed oil. While that was baking (45 minutes total at 350 degrees - or until the inside temperature reaches 165 degrees), I made some rice (according to the bag).

Actually, what I did was put the chicken in the oven and set it for 30 minutes. Then we went to go work out in the basement doing some "boot camp" exercises like jumping jacks, push ups, ab work, running in place, and some moves with hand weights. I should have added burpees, but I hate those, so I didn't. Don't judge. Focusing back to the meal, when the timer went off, I stopped the workout and went upstairs to start the rice. When that was going, I reset the timer for both the chicken and the rice to keep cooking for another 15 minutes.

It was time to prep the asparagus! Normally, I just wash the stalks, trim off any woody ends and put them in a pan with a little water, lemon juice (and/or a splash of white wine).
Tip: You can tell how much of the end to cut off by bending the non-pointy end. If it won't snap off, you need to try and snap more of it off. Usually, it's about an inch that breaks off.
However, I have been reading a number of recipes for oven roasted asparagus, so I decided to try that.

Oven-Roasted Asparagus
As many stalks of asparagus that will fit on a baking sheet without over lapping (about 20)
1 tbsp olive oil or grapeseed oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan, Romano or a blend of Italian cheeses
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350. After washing and trimming the stalks, place them on the cookie sheet in a single layer. Drizzle the oil and lemon juice over the stalks. Roll the stalks around like logs rolling down a hill to coat them. Pop then in the oven for about 8 minutes. Sprinkle the cheese over the asparagus and bake for another 2-5 minutes or until the cheese has melted and browned slightly. Serve with your favorite chicken and rice dish! (just kidding on that last part.

Delicious! I just need to work on my food photography...
OK, back to the decorations! Like I said, I went to the Dollar Store to see what I could find and there were these cute foam shamrock cut outs and some shiny shamrock garland. Whoo hoo! I also found a whole bunch of Easter eggs for decorating as soon as we're done with St. Patrick's Day (you know, in just a few days...).

Here is the final product:

Don't you feel all welcome now?


  1. i LOVE asparagus in the of my fav veggies...and i LOVE LOVE LOVE your wreath!!! so cute :)

    1. Thanks! I love that the decorations only cost me a few dollars thanks to The Dollar Store! I've already got my Easter wreath planned - stay tuned :)