Chicken Cordon Bleu - Best Pinterest Find EVER!

One of the dangers of Pinterest is that you never know how something is going to turn out. Especially recipes. It may be amazing, and something you incorporate into your list of favorites... or it could be a total fail. I've experienced both.

This recipe, however, has made it onto my "Best Pinterest Find Ever" list. Currently, nothing else is on that list. But this recipe? It's so good, it makes me drool just thinking about it. It's so good, I've been trying to think of a random party to have so I can share it. I'm even secretly wishing the Relief Society would call with a dinner assignment for a family with a new baby.

And I've never been a fan of Chicken Cordon Bleu. Too complicated and too time consuming. But this recipe is quick and easy. And it really is amazing!

Chicken Cordon Bleu
Recipe From: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Photo Courtesy of Mel's Kitchen Cafe
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half
12 slices deli honey ham
1 cup bread crumbs (I used Panko)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 pounds thinly sliced Swiss cheese

Parmesan-Dijon Cream Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 chicken bouillon cube, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Coat a 9" x 13" baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons melted butter; set aside.
  3. Lay the chicken breast halves in a single layer in the baking dish.  Top each breast with two slices of ham and 2 slices of Swiss cheese.  It's okay for the ham and cheese to overlap, as long as the entire breast is covered.  Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top of the chicken.
  4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (clear juices), the cheese is bubbly and the bread crumbs are golden brown.
  5. While the chicken bakes, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour to form a roux, cook for 1 to 2 minutes.  Slowly pour in the milk while whisking constantly, make sure there are no clumps.  Stir in the bouillon and salt.  Whisk constantly until the mixture begins to thicken, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and Parmesan cheese.  Stir until the cheese is melted.  Keep the sauce warm.
  6. Remove chicken from oven, plate, and top with sauce.

Stupid Horse

That's what I called Dandy when I saw the trouble he was getting into. I called him stupid, but what I found him doing, however, made me believe that he's actually smarter than I thought.

We have an electric fence keeping the horses in the pasture, and out of the back yard. Lately, it's been turned off, but there's never been an issue. We use an electric fence to separate the grass pasture from the area near the barn. During the fall and winter, we've kept the horses out of the pasture in order to let the ground "recover" so that new grass will grow in the spring.

This yellow handle helps us easily access both sides.

Today, while doing dishes at the sink in my kitchen, I looked out the window to find Dandy in the corner, near this access to the pasture. I watched as he, using his mouth, got a hold of the yellow handle and lifted it off the yellow bracket.

I am not joking. Just as easily as he lifted it off, he tossed it to the side and took off running into the pasture, with Cocoa following close behind. They proceeded to run around, roll in the snow and try to deconstruct my yard fence. Clearly, they were trying to be destructive, and destructive is exactly what they were.

I cannot wait to see him try it again, now that the fence it hot (turned back on). Go ahead Dandy... I dare you.

Spinach for Breakfast

One of my "getting healthy" goals is to make sure fruits and vegetables are present at every meal. Including breakfast. I eat fruit on occasion, but I never seek out vegetables. If I ate vegetables with dinner 3 times a week, it was a success. But not anymore...

Fruits have been easy. I add unsweetened frozen berries to my morning protein shake and eat apples or oranges with lunch and dinner. A banana is usually thrown somewhere in the mix. Vegetables though... vegetables are hard! They rarely taste that good raw and usually have to be prepared. Carrots have to be peeled and cut up, cucumbers have to be chopped because their too big to eat like a banana. And its not like you can pick off florets of broccoli and eat like grapes. Vegetables are work. And I don't like extra work.

But it is what it is. I've lead an unhealthy lifestyle and now I have to put the work into fixing it. I posted a while back about my favorite green smoothie which uses spinach. Problem was, the bags of spinach I buy at the grocery store seem to go bad faster than I can use it.

My next successful Pinterest find... Frozen Cubes of Spinach

The site on Pinterest used ice cube trays, but since I have an ice maker in my fridge, I don't have them. I do have 6 - 4 oz Rubbermaid storage containers. 10 cups of Spinach pureed with a little water filled all 6, which means that each container holds roughly 1 1/2 cups of spinach. Genius!

So, 6 days a week, I can pop the frozen spinach cubes into the blender along with other frozen fruit and start my day with at least one serving of vegetables. And I hear that spinach does wonderful things to your skin, hair and nails. I'll let you know!


Class Valentine's

Brielle is super particular about her class Valentine's. They can't be too "suggestive" -- they can't be too girly -- or childish. And they certainly can't make boys think she likes them.

I originally came up with an idea (que Pinterest) of buying 25 containers of TicTac's and making lables that said...

"You make my TIC!" 

Super cute, I know. When I told Brielle, her response was "we can't do that for the boys." Whatev...

Que Pinterest (again). This go round, I found these...


Again, super cute, but "chews"ing is still just too suggestive for my ultra sensitive 10 year old girl, who would rather die a slow death than have a boy think that maybe, just possibly, Brielle might like him.  So we came up with this...

(I was worried about the lips, but Brielle didn't mind those so much, go figure.) And we ended up with this...

Ordering the clear plastic tubes wasn't an option, with her class party being next week. Not to mention, they are pricey! $45 bucks if I wanted enough for her class. Instead, I found these cute little tin boxes on the Wedding isle at Michael's. $14.99 for a box 30 - plenty! And they hold 4 giant gumballs perfectly.

Now we're off to make a Valentine's box that also meets Brielle's criteria...


My New Go-To Frosting

Every since I made that amazing EggNog frosting, I thought to myself... If it worked with EggNog, why couldn't it work with Heavy Cream???  The texture of this frosting was heavenly and light, the flavor was perfect (not your overly sweet standard buttercream) and it piped beautifully.

The son of a friend was leaving for 2 year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He was called to serve in Canada and she wanted themed cupcakes for his farewell luncheon.  This gave me the perfect opportunity to test out my frosting theory.

The result was just as I had expected.  Creamy, fluffy, perfectly sweetened and it tasted... I kid you not... just like Vanilla Custard Ice Cream would (only not cold).  My friends, it was magical.  Now, this frosting is a bit of a labor of love, but I swear to you, it is worth it.

Go-To Vanilla Frosting
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • 3 Tbsp (rounded) Cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 cups Heavy Cream (you could use milk or half & half if you'd like)
  • 2 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract (Omit if you are making the Maple Version)
  • 24 Tbsp Butter (3 sticks) at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
Sift together the dry ingredients (minus the powdered sugar), then combine with milk. Over medium heat, whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has thickened (10-20 minutes, depending on heat).  Transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature.  It is very important that this mixture some completely to room temp before whipping with the butter.  If it is too cold, the butter won't incorporate, but if it's still to warm, it will melt the butter.

It's hard, but be patient. I'll take a spatula and mix it occasionally to speed up the process.

When cooled, transfer to the bowl of your mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment.  Add vanilla and mix.  Now, with the mixer on high speed, add the butter, one tablespoon at a time.  Scrape the sides as needed to make sure that the butter fully incorporates.

This mixture may start to look curdled, but don't be alarmed.  Just let it mix for 5 minutes and it will turn into something quite magical.  Once combined add the final cup of powdered sugar.  This frosting will be soft. I immediately frost the cupcakes (or cake) and then place the cupcakes in a cool place (or fridge) to let the frosting set.  Then, enjoy!

Canada Themed Cupcakes... I used red fondant I purchased at WalMart to cut out the maple leaves, and then let them dry overnight until firm (important - you don't want the fondant to be too soft).  The Vanilla frosting was paired with my Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes.

Maple Bacon Variation... Instead of adding vanilla, I added 1/2 tsp of Mapleine Maple flavoring until I reached the level of Maple flavor that I wanted.  I paired with my Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes and then topped with pieces of crispy chopped bacon.  These were made special for our Super Bowl party.

EggNog Variation...  We can't forget about the inspiration for this amazing frosting which has now become my "go to" for all frostings.  This frosting was paired with a gingerbread cupcake and the information for the frosting variation and cupcake recipe can be found HERE.

I hope you'll give this frosting a go and let me know what you think!


Sick Pony

Warning... Disturbing (but also sweet) pictures to follow.

We've been fairly lucky that our livestock have remained relatively healthy over the years. Chris used to say that horses get expensive when they're accompanied with vet bills. So imagine my thoughts when we received a call from the neighbor saying "you've got to come home, Cocoa is sick, he needs a vet."

Dollar signs started adding up in my head.

But what other choice do you have?  Continued suffering for animals you love is not an option, so a call was placed to the local vet who makes house calls.  Upon arriving, and doing a quick exam on Cocoa, it was determined that Cocoa had a mild "impaction" which is common this time of year.  I learned that when temps are low, horses drink a lot less water than normal, which will lead to blockages in their intestines.  Normally, getting them moving and drinking water will usually help, but worst case scenario, they have to be put down.

Lucky for us, it was caught early enough we could treat it. But before we could treat it, Cocoa needed to be sedated.


I was worried that Cocoa would go down. He wobbled on his feet, kept his head low and couldn't seem to keep his balance.  The vet told us that the sedative was not enough to take him down, but enough to make him not feel right in his head.  The poor horse looked drunk.

The sedative was necessary because a tube needed to be stuffed up his nose and into his stomach, where mineral oil would be pumped.  From what I learned on HolisticHorse.com...

Mineral oil is precisely what you think it is: liquid petrolatum. It's not a laxative as such, but it's sometimes used by veterinarians when a horse presents with a case of impaction colic. The veterinarian will typically add a liter of mineral oil to a bucket of water and use a nasogastric tube and a pump to send the contents of the bucket directly into the horse's stomach.

Since mineral oil cannot be digested, it will travel through the stomach and intestines and eventually find its way out the other end of the horse - it's the veterinarian's (and owner's) hope that administering this mixture will do away with the impaction and bring the colic episode to an end. 

This method doesn't come without its side effects, however.


Once the tube is pulled out, bloody noses occur.  And when a horses nose bleeds??? Let's just say it looked as though a small animal was massacred out there.

The vet left, and told us to watch for signs of improvement.  We couldn't feed him or Dandy until the impaction had passed.  This had us particularly worried because of the extremely cold temps.  Horses need food to burn energy and stay warm.


For some time after we released the horses, Cocoa stayed close by. The poor thing still was sedated and leaned on me for support, resting his giant cute face in my arms. It wasn't long before Dandy was nearby, pushing him around as usual.  At first, this ticked me off, but in reality, it was probably good that Dandy kept him moving.

A week later and Cocoa-Ca-Cho is back to normal. Eating, pooping and being extremely lazy.