Thursday, February 24, 2011

Go-To Dinner: Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sliders

Hey, folks! Just a quick post sharing my new favorite go-to, super quick, relatively healthy dinner I just found in Cooking Light. We tried these tonight with great success. Enjoy!

Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sliders:
For a less sweet option, use sliced dill pickles.

Total: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 sandwiches)


  • 1/2 cup no-salt-added ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar (I used light brown; tasted fine)
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (I bet regular would work, too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
  • 8 (1.3-ounce) sliders mini buns (such as Pepperidge Farm)
  • 8 bread-and-butter pickle chips


1. Combine first 10 ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer; cook 3 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally. Add chicken to ketchup mixture; stir to combine. Cook 2 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly heated.

2. Spoon 3 tablespoons chicken mixture on bottom half of each bun; top each with 1 pickle chip and top half of bun.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 400
Fat: 7.5g (sat 2.3g,mono 0.9g,poly 0.5g)
Protein: 30g
Carbohydrate: 52.7g
Fiber: 1.9g
Cholesterol: 60mg
Iron: 2.7mg
Sodium: 481mg
Calcium: 83mg
I did this in under 15 minutes. As a new mom-to-be, I have begun looking at recipes that take 20 minutes or so. Trust me, as I find more of them, I'll post them.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It gets more real every day....

And today Mom and sister M are taking me to Babies 'R Us to choose the essentials.
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Thursday, February 3, 2011


Several have asked for pictures of preggo me, so here you go, me at almost 20 full weeks (21 starts Saturday). That's 4 1/2 months, people. Halfway done cooking the bun!

Oh, and look at this gorgeous baby blanket one of my seniors made me. Covered with Eric Carle illustrations, it made me smile and brought me pretty damn close to tears in the middle of a classroom. She totally blew me away.

Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? I see something incredibly thoughtful.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy happenings

Consider this a counter-post to the previous one:

1) Yesterday Penny turned three. She celebrated by throwing up in the middle of the night and getting chicken for dinner as a result.

2) I think I finally felt the baby move the other day. And I'm halfway done cooking him.

3) My youngest sister just got engaged! January has given a lot of genuine happiness to my family.

Budget woes

Today the proposed state budget came out. Looks like a lot of cuts, including, of course, education. This means schools, which means teachers, which may well mean me. I'm writing this in immediate response to this and the warning from my principal that cuts would be, in his words, "unprecedented". So while I've had to deal with this for the past four years, this year feels different for a number of reasons.

We all knew this was coming. Last year the school district barely squeaked by because we managed to raise taxes just enough to cover the deficit in spending. But now the governor has proposed a cap on how much to raise taxes...and I can't blame him. The state can't keep taxing everyone to death because it's so screwed up financially that the only way out is to gouge its citizens. I live in the county with the highest taxes in the COUNTRY. Don't think I don't know. Frustration just boils through, that it always seems as though education gets cut first instead of reorganizing and trimming fat from places we damn well know could lose some. Or a lot.

I'm scared. Being 34, a mom, and jobless doesn't fit well with my mental picture of my life. I know I'll land on my feet, but my position is at best precarious. I've played this game of Survivor and stayed on the island, to stretch the metaphor, so far. However, I've never had so much at stake before. We have a child coming, and I can't afford not to work. Yes, I'll find something--I'm qualified and have good references. T will get another job if he has to. But I don't mind expressing that the meantime doesn't feel good at all.

I will try very hard to work on what I can control. I've updated my resume. I'll stay calm. No more extraneous purchases. Keep baby healthy in utero. Particularly, I can focus on the rest of this school year and making damned sure I give those students everything I've got. Best of all, I'm not in any way in this alone. I have a wonderful support system in my husband, family, and friends, and we will come out of this.

I just have to remember that.