Sweet Chili Lime Chicken

This recipe just showed me that I need to use my pinterest recipe pins more often. I am not a regular pinterest user, I go on there in spurts (usually on sleepless nights) and just pin pin pin on my boards. Today I was looking up another recipe that I want to use over the weekend and I came across this Sweet Chili Lime Chicken recipe. It looked easy and I had all the ingredients, so I made it for dinner tonight.  Well, it was a hit with my entire family. My boys can be hard to please sometimes, but they LOVED this and told me it tasted like a particular take out food they like. I was very pleased and I will definitely add this to my list of weekly meals.

Click here to see this fabulous recipe. I didn’t use cous cous as the recipe called I decided to use white rice and instead of soy sauce I used Lime Ponzu Sauce.


I also only added 3 tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of red pepper flakes (if I wasn’t making it for the boys, I would have added more heat). Finally, I opted not to add the lime zest. I sprinkled some chopped cilantro over the chicken and rice and squeezed some lime on it.  It was absolutely delicious!! It was a perfect Boxing Day meal!



My Favorite Things: Pope Francis Edition

I cannot let this year pass without posting something about the new pope. If you are my facebook friend then you know that I am a HUGE fan of Pope Francis. Yes, I am Catholic and yes I believe this new pope Jorge Mario Bergolio is the exactly the right leader my church needs to move forward.

1) He is teaching acceptance. He had only been pope for 2 weeks and he went and washed the feet of 12 prisoners on Holy Thursday, which also included 2 women during this religious rite. When asked a question on the Catholic Church’s attitude towards gays and lesbians throughout history, he responded by saying, ” “Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?” On the topic of atheists he also gave a very similar jaw dropping (and by that I mean it is not the answer you’d expect from his position), God forgives those who do not believe and do not seek faith,” the pope responded, “Given that — and this is the key point — God’s mercy has no limits, if you go to him with a sincere and repentant heart, the issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.”(huffington post)

Italy Vatican Pope

2) He has scaled back on the pomp and grandeur: Our new pope is one humble man. Right after being named pope, he tried to pay his bill at the hotel he was staying at. He has rejected the red shoes and has opted for more humble vestments. The cross he wears around his neck is iron and not the traditional gold. He isn’t living in the lavish papal apartments, but had chosen to stay in the more modest Vatican hotel. He has also has chosen to be driven in a simpler car a Ford Focus rather than the Mercedes we saw his predecessor drive around in. This to me is a huge statement. It shows that he practices what he preaches. I have always been bothered by all the excessive ostentation the Vatican has shown in the past, especially when there is so much poverty in the world.

Italy Vatican Pope

3) He is approachable and kind: He has been known to make cold calls to people who have written him letters, because he is genuinely touched by people’s troubles (huffington post). He enjoys to visit with the crowds of faithful that visit him at St. Peter Square during the Sunday audiences, and we especially saw this during his trip to Rio de Janiero. He doesn’t pass up to kiss a baby, pray over the sick, or just give a smile. Who can ever forget how kind he was to that little boy who made his way up to the altar.


4) His commitment to the poor and sick: From the moment his papal name was announced as Francis, a saint that is well-known for his humble life and commitment to the poor, it was certain this pope was going to give importance to those less fortunate. Click here to read about St. Francis of Assisi.  One of the pope’s early tweets was  “The pope must serve all people, especially the poor, the weak, the vulnerable.” (huffington post). It has been rumored that he has disguised himself and goes out in the night giving food to the homeless. He has also invited homeless to come and dine at the Vatican. When a German Bishop was accused of using church funds on lavish spending for himself, he was suspended, and it is rumored his lavish residence will be turned into a soup kitchen. He has moved the world with his compassion for the sick. The images shown of him embracing the sick are just beautiful.


5) He is taking the Church back to the basics: He has instructed that pastors get out of their comfort zone and take their ministry away from the pulpit, but to the streets, “This is what I am asking you,” he said with emphasis, looking up from his prepared text, “be shepherds with the smell of sheep,” so that people can sense the priest is not just concerned with his own congregation, but is also a fisher of men.” (Catholic Telegraph) When asked what the Church needs today he responds by saying,  “I see clearly that the thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. […] The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules. The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you.” (aletiea).


It is quite evident that this pope is very special. Not only is he kind and humble, but he isn’t afraid to shake things up. His presence will not only bring positive change to the Catholic Church, but to the entire world.


My Holiday To Do List

It really has been one busy fall for our family and for the first time in a while it  looks like it will calm down this holiday season. For one thing we are not traveling, we are having family and then friends coming over for Christmas and then for New Years. This is a first for us, because normally we do make a trip somewhere during this season. I am so looking forward to my kids Christmas break. I am craving some quality time with my family. In the craziness of this past fall I have really felt that I have been distracted and disconnected from them. I was just going through the motions and really not enjoying the moment, because I was anticipating the next thing in our busy agenda. Fun mommy is coming back  for the holidays and I really hope she over stays  her welcome. With all that being said here is a list of what I want to accomplish with my family and friends this holiday season.


1) Play with my boys. I really want to keep the electronics at bay this break. I am not crazy we will all be connected, but I want to keep it to a minimum and this includes me as well. I am looking forward to extensive games of Monopoly, Clue, Nerf gun wars and even the possible jog around the neighborhood since both boys have had an increased interest in running. I feel like, it is these activities that make the memories that they will remember when they are older. We are due for some memories like these.

2) Try out some new recipes. Just from a quick search on Pinterest I have found a few new recipes that I do want to try out. Here are some of them:

Lemon Chicken Romano click here for recipe


Snowman Pizza click here for recipe


Rudolf Pancakes which are perfect for Christmas Morning!! Click here for recipe.


Beef Tenderloin, believe it or not I have never roasted a whole beef tenderloin before. I am not sure if I will make it with this port sauce or just make chimichurri sauce. I will be making this along with some shrimp, asparagus and my mom’s special Christmas rice for our Christmas Eve dinner.  Click here for tenderloin recipe.


3) I want to FLY!!! Our dear friends the Barsotti’s are coming to visit us to ring in the new year. They also have 2 kids around the same age as my boys. On one of the days they are here we are going to go to Defy Gravity. Defy Gravity is a trampoline sports arena, it is advertised as fun for the entire family.  I am pretty sure we are all going to have fun!!

4) Craft and Bake: I really want to make this wreath


It looks so easy and it’s something my younger son can help me with. Click here for directions. I also want to bake cookies I am by no means a baker, but my youngest enjoys it. So I think this year we will make Santa some sugar cookies. Nothing crazy, but just something that we can do together.

5) Go to see some movies. We haven’t gone to the movies that much this fall, but I for sure would love to go see The Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle, Anchorman 2 and so many others, but those 3 are ones I am willing to pay theatre prices for. My oldest wants to see The Hobbit and I am sure I will take them to see Frozen sooner than later.


6) I want to be happy and merry! Most importantly I  just want be and enjoy the moment. School is out next Friday, presents are bought, the bulk of food will be bought next week, so there is no reason to just BE PRESENT and ENJOY!!