Secret Ingredient: Chicken Patties (Quick Japanese Katsu, Curry, Parmesan and Cordon Bleu Recipes!)

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  We cook all the time at our house.  Sometimes, though, we need something fast and filling. Chicken patties are one of my secret weapons in the kitchen. Here are some ways to prepare them beyond the basic chicken sandwich!

Chicken Parmesan 

  • Frozen chicken patties
  • Tomato sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Italian seasoning
  • Pasta (to serve on the side)

Place frozen chicken patties in a baking dish.  Cover with tomato sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle Italian seasoning on top. Serve over pasta.

Chicken Piccatta 

  • 6 Frozen chicken patties
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or dry white wine (such as a Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup brined capers
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • Pasta (to serve on the side)

Bake the chicken patties to package directions, in a baking dish (you want them to be crispy in the end product).  In the mean time,  in a sauce pan, melt butter. Add stock / wine and lemon juice.  Reduce to half the liquid.  Stir in capers. Take the chicken out of the over just before it’s supposed to be done. Top with sauce and caper mixture.  Place them back in the warmed oven for another 5 minutes while the sauce absorbs slightly into the chicken. Before serving, garnish with parsley.  Serve with pasta.

Japanese Chicken Katsu

  • Frozen chicken patties
  • Kikkoman Tonkatsu Sauce
  • Finely shredded green cabbage
  • Sesame vinaigrette dressing
  • Pink pickled Ginger
  • Rice (short-grained is ideal)

Start the rice. Bake the patties (or fry them if you have time) to package directions.  Shred the cabbage and mix with a tough of sesame vinaigrette dressing.

Plate the cooked rice for each serving, and place the shredded cabbage salad on the side.

When the chicken patties are done, cut each patty into strips that are about 1.5 cm wide.  Place the strips of chicken side by side on the rice so that they resemble the original patty, only cut into strips. Drizzle with tonkatsu sauce. Garnish with pickled ginger.

Japanese Chicken Katsu Curry

  • Frozen chicken patties
  • S&B Hot Curry Golden Sauce Mix (comes in cubes)
  • Vegetables for the curry (see curry package directions – usually variations of onions, bell peppers, carrots, potatoes)
  • Curry pickles aka Fukujinzuke (optional – find them at the Asian grocery store)
  • Mozzarella cheese (optional)
  • Rice

Start the rice. Bake or fry the patties to package directions.  In a sauce pan, make the curry sauce to package directions.  (This usually involves sauteing vegetables, adding water and the curry roux, and then cooking until the sauce thickens.)  Plate the cooked rice into servings. When the chicken patties are done, cut each patty into strips that are about 1.5 cm wide.  Place the strips of chicken side by side on the rice so that they resemble the original patty, only cut into strips. Top with curry and vegetable sauce.  Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Garnish with fukujinzuke.

Chicken Cordon Bleu (Sandwiches…if you want!)

  • Frozen chicken patties
  • Thinly sliced cooked ham
  • Swiss cheese
  • Dijon mustard
  • Sandwich Rolls (OR, omit the rolls and serve with buttered noodles and salad)
  • Dill pickle
  • Potato chips

Place the chicken in a baking dish.  Spread Dijon mustard on the patties. Place slices of ham on top of the patties. Top with swiss cheese. Bake according to the chicken patty package directions, so that the patties are cooked through and the cheese is melted and golden brown.  Place the Cordon Patties on rolls and serve sandwiches with a pickle and chips.

 

 

2018 Roles and Goals Worksheet (Free)

Hello everyone!

Here is a worksheet I made to be used by members of my family for this year.  It is loosely based on the Art of Manliness article, “How to Create a Life Plan” .

I tried to make it friendly to my teens, but, as an adult I plan to use it as well. As I said to my family, it isn’t meant to stress people out! In fact, it is fun and personally rewarding to see your circles of influence and the things that matter to you most. This worksheet is simply a tool to help think about who you are, the roles you play, and ways that you can grow and be purposeful in each role.

Please feel free to share this document and to customize it to meet your needs…. and leave a comment to let me know the tweaks you made!

Much love to you and yours! May the Lord bless you in 2018!

2018 Roles and Goals Worksheet (PDF)

 

Face to Face: Meditations on Friendship and Hospitality (Book Review)

I’m re-reading one of my favorite books.

Here’s my review, also found on Amazon.

At just 142 pages, this book may not take long to get through – but it can hardly be dubbed a “light read”. Face to Face: Meditations on Friendship and Hospitality by Steve Wilkins is a convicting, no-nonsense look at the significance of human interaction to Christian living.

Part one, “Friendship”, examines the fallacy of the Lone Ranger Christian and necessity of biblical friendships for growth in wisdom and in holiness. Wilkins does not expect the reader to be best friends with every Christian they encounter, but does show the need to practice friendliness to all. He describes various types of friendships that should be sought out and differentiates the characteristics of a true friendship versus that of the dangerous fair-weather sycophantic variety. He realistically acknowledges the difficulty in having intimate friendships, such as the time they demand to maintain and the pains of resolving conflicts along the way – but also shows how sanctifying such a relationship can be.

“Hospitality”, the second part of the book, details the practice of biblical friendliness not only to believers but to strangers as well. Wilkins examines the concepts of hospitality in the lives of individuals and in the congregation.

“In everything a faithful church does,” writes Wilkins. “It must set its face against all forms of self-worship, warning of its destructiveness and eventual condemnation. The faithful church may proclaim this through the direct preaching of the gospel or by simply living the gracious and holy life which God has called us to live – a life of peace, true and principled love, real loyalty and communion together. When God’s people care for one another, it is a powerful testimony against the manifest selfishness and idolatry of the world and it is necessary in order to give credibility to the preached word.”

Face-to-Face is sobering because it cuts to the heart of the reader and charges them to examine their own behavior in how they relate to others. Sometimes, this can be uncomfortable because of how accurately the author describes even the most subtle of sinful behavior detrimental to friendships and the ability to practice hospitality.

Yet, Wilkins balances this conviction with biblical encouragement and guidance for building and repairing relationships, and gives direction for making changes in ones’ lifestyle to become more sensitive and accommodating to the needs of others.

Life Happened

 

 

Hello.

Life happened.

Some things changed.

My husband stopped traveling so much for work. It took a lot of adjustment and grace to get use to this, but our family relationships are healthier with him consistently home.

Our children grew. They are 16, 15, 14, 12, and 10.5  The needs of teenagers and tweens are much different than babies and toddlers.  While we still homeschool, three of my children will be attending a community college part-time this fall.

In the past, I had major issues with adenomyosis, endometriosis, ovarian cysts and fibroid tumors. Last winter, I chose to have a hysterectomy and removal of the endometriosis and cysts. During that surgery, I also had an appendectomy because my appendix was covered in endometriosis. The following month, I had a tumor removed from my arm. It has taken a while to feel more normal after all of that, but my quality of life and overall health improved significantly. I am more than the summation of my health problems, and I get tired of talking about them, but I also know that there are so many women who are plagued by these things and I just want to say that there is hope.  Dr. Harkins in Hershey, PA, is probably the best women’s health specialist I have ever met. If you’re suffering in these ways and are at the point where you are considering surgery, go see him.

A friend took her own life. It’s still pretty fresh and I am processing it. Our family is helping to watch her children and be a safe place for them this summer while their dad works. I don’t want to say much about this situation directly for privacy reasons, but I certainly can say that I will forever be affected by this loss. Anyone who thinks that suicide ends hurt is delusional and is ignoring the amount of hurt it causes. That hurt is immeasurable, and it ruins the lives of everyone in their wake.  Suicide is never the answer.

Some things stayed the same.

While I took time off of from birth work,  I have a few doula clients and plan to be teaching The Bradley Method again soon.

I still love to read, shoot (just became a certified NRA RSO), garden, and cook.

I absolutely still love the Lord and I am in awe of the way He works things out for our good and His glory.  We have been members at All Saints Church for ten years now, and we love the people there like family.

This isn’t the most exciting first post in a while, but it’s a start!

In a nutshell, I’m doing well and looking forward to writing here again.

Please bear with me while I find my voice.

Much love,

Sarah

 

 

 

 

That Time I Wasn’t Robbed at the Bank

Moments after I entered the bank, a guy who had been standing by the coin counting machine walked right over to me and intentionally blocked me from getting into the teller line.

“GIVE ME ALL YOUR MONEY, LADY!” he said quietly, but firmly. He was about 5′ 11″ and had his head down slightly. I noticed he was wearing a navy blue jacket and a clean black Philadelphia Eagles cap. There was a Nittany Lions paw-print pinned next to the Eagle.

I stepped back so I wasn’t cornered against the marble-topped desk containing bank forms and tethered pens. Instinctively, I moved my right hand closer to my hip.

I looked to see if he had a weapon.

Both of his hands were empty.

My pistol stayed hidden.

He had leaned in close,  his face was about a foot from mine. After the initial shock of hearing something that’s probably not a good idea to joke about in a bank, I focused on his face. Behind thick gold-framed glasses, his eyes were blueish gray. His skin was comprised exclusively of wrinkles and scars – perhaps from cancer surgeries. Part of his right ear was missing.

He was ancient looking, but he was spry.

Showing him my handful of checks, I said, “Ha! Nice one, sir. I could give you these, but you’re going to have a tough time convincing the teller your name is SARAH.”

He laughed.

“Checks,” he growled. “I like cash better. Who pays with checks, anyway?!”

He stepped into the teller line ahead of me, in a way that let me know that he was going first and there was nothing I could do about it.

“Oh, these are from my students,” I said, ruffling him by not reacting. “I teach a childbirth education class.”

“Well, I can help with that!” he said. “I’ll send all the broads I knock up your way!!”

“I see,” I said, smiling. “So, having you around is good for my business?”

Very good for your business.” He paused and looked at me again. “I’m just kidding,” he went on. “I’m 89. No one’s interested in f—— me anymore. I can still get it up, though!”

By this point, I couldn’t keep myself from chuckling. “You were pretty scary back there. I would have never guessed your age!!”

A male teller said, “Sir, I can help you.”

Then, the female teller at the next window called me over.

There we were,  standing next to each other again, separated by a jar of complimentary lollipops.

“I need to move some money from my PRIVATE account to my JOINT checking account to KEEP MY OLD BALL AND CHAIN HAPPY!!” He was loudly talking to the teller, but looking at me.

He handed the teller a CoinStar receipt for deposit.

My teller was mortified, and she looked at me apologetically.

I looked at his teller. “Don’t believe him for a second! He LOVES his ‘old ball and chain’!!”

The old man feigned a scowl, but I could see that he did love his wife very much.

My teller was fast.

“Oh look! I finished first!” I said to him,  flipping him off with my voice as I walked away. “You know, fathers are required to attend to my birth classes!”

“Sticking around is my not my style — and you’d better not tell that to my wife!” he replied, still stuck at the window.

I looked back as I passed the signature desk. “Well, then maybe you should stay out of trouble!

“Never!”

His teller, whom I then realized had been purposefully slow, was professionally stifling a hysterical laugh. I nodded at him, and he gave me a discreet nod back.

I didn’t turn around and hug the old man, but I wanted to.

He doesn’t know how much he made my day.

 

 

 

 

Stir-Crazy February

Last night, my doula partner Amy and I grabbed a bite to eat after meeting with our clients. While our personalities are different, we have enough similarities (Christians, five children, second generation homeschoolers, etc.) that we never have to explain ourselves much in conversation… not to mention, we’ve known each other for about 20 years.

We both agreed that our respective walls have most definitely been inching inward this February, and she posted about this feeling this morning (with pictures!) in a very thoughtful way.

Take a moment to read The Fever That is February and note how her husband built her up and encouraged her to be a loving leader in her home, after she sent him a photo of a recently cleaned bedroom that was absolutely destroyed.

In a few short words, he helped her to see the big picture, offered some practical leadership advice for life in the trenches, and assured her of his love for her:

“In order to manage well you can’t get sucked in too much emotionally.  Love them, lead them.  Don’t get bogged down.  That’s a small problem.  I love you SO much!” – Matt Weldon

When a husband nourishes the heart of his wife (Ephesians 5:29), it fills up her empty tank (because even moms who love and trust in the Lord can feel pretty low sometimes…especially during wintry days like these, when there is no relief from repetitive noises, children with more energy that can be spent indoors, and a to-do list that resembles a trick candle), and it’s like finding an extra life in a video game, just when you think you’re going to die. Suddenly fighting “the boss”is feasible again. You can be more offensive (problem solving) than defensive (trying to address the problem despite being emotionally bogged down). You’re able to tackle the problem at hand, and to earn your achievement points.

The Bible says that, “For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Luke 6:43-45)  When mother’s heart is boosted up and overflowing and nourished with love, it makes it a lot easier to show love towards others, including her children.

Yes, it’s true that God is our portion and all we need (Ps. 73:25-26)  husbands and girlfriends can’t even touch the fullness of the Lord. (I wrote more about that here.) Therefore, we can’t expect for husbands and girlfriends to fulfill a need that only God can. However, if God is a feast, words of love and encouragement from those who love us are like the sweet dessert that stuff us so full that we can’t eat anther bite… which is why I usually ask for two forks with my cake: so I may share. 

Good on ya, Matt.