Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chicken Kiev

This recipe has literally been requested by general authorities of the church - it's that good. And, it's pretty simple too!

Simple because it's mostly quick, you can make it ahead and keep it in the fridge over night, or make it ahead and freeze it for later, or whip it together and enjoy it for the same day - and its all soooo oozey, cheesy, buttery, good!

First things first, (and this is the only thing that takes a few minutes) beat the heck out of the chicken breasts, but not too hard that you split through to the other side. Flatten it to about 1/4 inch thick while still keeping it together. I'll use a piece of wax paper to try to keep from getting showered with chicken juice.
8 Chicken Breasts

For the inside, you're going to mix up an herbed butter.
4 T. Butter, softened
1 T. Parsley
1/2 t. Oregano
You can leave the herbs at that or you can throw in a dash of Basil, Garlic, or Dill, depending on your mood.

You'll need to cut pieces about 1/2 inch thick by 1 1/2 inches long of
4 oz. Monterey Jack Cheese.

After applying about a 1/2 Tablespoon of the herbed butter a half inch from the bottom of the pounded chicken breast (no need to be too technical about it - just get it on there), top it with the cheese chunk and then carefully roll the chicken up over the cheese and then fold in the sides and keep rolling it up. (Toothpick it if you must - but don't forget that you did and be sure to remove it before serving it to your guests.)

Next you'll dip the rolled chicken into
4 T. Butter, melted.

And then carefully coat it in the bread crumb mixture before laying it into a greased pan.
1/2 c. Bread Crumbs (if using real plain bread crumbs, I'll double the oregano and add the same of parsley)
1/2 c. Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 t. Pepper
1/2 t. Garlic Salt
1 1/2 t. Oregano

You can bake it quick in your conventional oven at 425 degrees F. for 20 -25 min. Or, my favorite, in the sun oven for about 50-60 minutes above 300 degrees or all afternoon around 200 degrees for 3 plus hours. You can always check the done-ness with a meat thermometer or you can check to see if it's past pinkness by slicing into the center of the chicken breast. Just know, when you slice that thing open, delicious melted butter and cheese will ooze out of it and you'll want to eat it right out of the pan! If it does make it out of the pan to be officially served, don't be afraid to top it off with some of that butter swimming in the pan. One of these days I'll hold off the troops long enough to get a picture of this impressive but simple favorite.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Baked French Toast

This is a sweet breakfast that we enjoye all by itself, or on special occasions with our favorite celestial syrup, or as a dessert with some strawberries and ice-cream or whipped cream on top. (sigh) If you need a little love in the kitchen like this, "Mom, this is the GOODEST meal ever!" I suggest you make it as soon as possible.

1 Loaf of French Bread.
Cut into thick two inch slices.

6 eggs
1 c. Milk
1/2 c. Heavy whipping Cream
1 T. Vanilla
1 t. Cinnamon
Mix and pour over bread slices. You can soak this overnight in the fridge (or not!).

1 1/3 c. Brown Sugar
3/4 c. Butter
3 T. Corn Syrup
Bring these three to a boil before pouring it over the soaking bread.

Bake --

Sun Oven
8:30 AM - Set out oven to pre-heat.
9:00 AM - Put in pan.
9:15 AM - Temp check: 350 F. Refocus. (Rotated two inches and dropped the leg two holes.)
9:35 AM - Temp check: 340 F. Refocus. (Dropped leg one hole.)
9:45 AM - Temp check: 349 F. Refocus. Took out, took picture side-by-side conv. oven pan, put back in for 15 more minutes.
10:05 - Take it out and enJoye!

It might have been done 7-10 minutes earlier had I flipped the slices over half-way during cooking like I did with the other pan, this taking into consideration that I had already taken it out, taken pictures and then put it back in to get it a little more crispy, thus losing some of my temp. in that process. I should have at least flipped it when I took the picture, which I didn't. Anyway, it takes about 50-60 minutes. Totally delicious!!! Today my five-year-old prefaced the above praise with, "I'm so glad we have a sun cooker 'cuz.....(see above)!"

Conventional Oven
Preheat to 350. Bake 40-45 minutes. [Bake 25 minutes. Take out and flip slices. Optional: add rest of syrup on top of each slice. Bake 15 more minutes.] So yummy!

All my boys (husband included) would like to have this every day. enJoye!

Friday, June 10, 2011

I enJoye Bread - My Recipe

Because I am in involved in so many pursuits, and my life is crazy at times, I try to keep the things I can - simple. This is my simple recipe for delicious, healthy, wheat bread.

6 c. Hot Water
More warm than hot, if I'm using warm fresh ground wheat. Too hot might hurt your yeast. So I've been told - but I never test the temperature. So far, mostly so good.
2/3 c. Oil
2/3 c. Honey
I have a "2/3" measuring cup. I use the same one for both ingredients. The honey will slide right out - simple!
2 T. Salt
3 T. Dough Enhancer
4 T. Saf Yeast
5 T. Vital Wheat Gluten
Again, I try to keep things simple. I just use the same Tablespoon for all four ingredients (I have enough dishes to wash, thank you). Keep the measuring spoon level for all of them.
13-15 c. Whole Wheat Flour*
Depending on the day, my flour may vary just a bit.
*Optional: I will often add our leftover oatmeal, quinoa, or rice into my bread. This just adds to the goodness but may also change the amount of flour necessary to mostly clean the bowl, either way.

I walk away (change the laundry or break up a fight or change a diaper) for ten minutes while my Bosh does it's thing. I come back. I divide my dough into 5 balls. Pinch them into a loaf, slam it against the counter a few times (this gets the air out, my frustrations out, and I know if I've added enough flour because it will still mostly hold its shape and not totally stick to the greased counter and/or doesn't resemble a brick and break my countertop because I've added too much flour). Lovingly lay them into five greased loaf pans (four if my boys got dough balls to play with/eat). Cover them loosely to rise. Walk away for 30-whenever minutes (after being pulled in five hundred directions) and then bake 45-65 minutes- to three hours, depending on your method. My personal favorite method, for best flavor and color, is in my sun oven. I usually like to rub real butter over the top when it comes out. Mmmm. Let me know how you do your bread and enJoye!!!

Sun Oven Class Follow-up

Besides sweating it out, the class was a good turnout with some great food! I will publish my notes and tips (kind of topic-specific), plus my recipes in individual posts for easy future reference. I want us to all learn from each other - mistakes and successes!!! I feel like I am always in test mode and pushing what I can do with the oven. I love it. I know you can do it too! You all inspire me so thank you for joining me in the pursuit! Please, please, please tell me - What did you go home and make, the temperatures, and how long did you cook it?!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

You're invited...

to attend an instructional demo class on Friday, June 10th. I will have a morning class at 10:00 a.m. and an evening class at 6:00 p.m. Mark it on your calendars and plan to bring your own chair! If you would also RSVP, I would appreciate it just to be sure I have enough tasty samples for you to try!

In conjunction with this class, I will be taking orders and collecting money to submit a group purchase. For those of you still thinking about the Sun Oven, now is the time to act! I'll be submitting this order on Monday, June 13th. and it will take about 15-20 days to be delivered to you, wherever you are. The total for the Sun Oven with the bonus package of pots and pans and the shipping to your personal address of choice is $268. For more details, check out my post on how you can enJoye the Sun Oven Too...

Hope to see you all there!

18526 E. Swan Dr.
Queen Creek, AZ 85142

Sun Oven Q and A's

A couple more things with respect to others' questions...

I got mine for Christmas and started cooking our own family recipes with it in January... when it was cold outside... and I had no sun in my backyard and was cooking with it on my front porch. :) We haven't had max summer sun even. I can pre-heat mine in 30 minutes or less. Correct angling for sun exposure will maximize the temp but so far I haven't gotten mine over 400 degrees. Every time you open it, you lose about 20 degrees. It is very forgiving, convection baking style and kind of like a crockpot. I've baked bread at 350 for 55 minutes; I've purposefully baked bread at 200 degrees for almost 3 hours - both to perfection.

Water temperature does not have to come to a full boil to have killed the bad stuff and be safe for use. The WAPI gives you a visual tool for knowing when it is, without a doubt, safe for consumption.

I have not used any of the cookbooks for sale as of yet. I started with my own family's recipes. There are free recipes on their website at if you don't want to spend the money on the recipe books. A fellow friend said they have them at Honeyville but were more expensive than buying them through this group order. I plan on getting all three this round because I don't have as much expensive meats and dairy items as I have vegetables in my food storage, and we love Mexican food. So... I wouldn't be afraid to start with what you already know works for your family.

As far as having two, I would say yes! I definitely want two (and maybe even a third for emergencies, call me crazy!), especially, if you have a big family. It won't fit a standard 9x13 in it on the leveling tray because of the handles. You can criss-cross your pans (that it comes with) within the oven, essentially doubling your oven in and of itself. The two stackable round pots it comes with really are stackable. I'll do soup in the bottom and rolls on top. One oven could be fine. I, however, like to make dessert and usually a vegetable so I put those in the second oven that I can start later or use just so I have enough food. (A turkey takes up a whole oven; I need a second oven to really do the whole meal.) And, in an emergency situation, you could be pasteurizing water at the same time just so you have safe water to drink and wash with. If you're considering one, I would say definitely consider two.

The oven weighs about 21# and is not exactly but around 15x19x19. It folds up compact and is very sturdy. (When the reflectors are open it is bigger.)

Have a question? Just ask in the comments and I'll try to answer it for everyone.

To enJoye the Sun Oven too...

Hey All,

I am an avid user and am working on getting others addicted too! If you don't know...

The Global Sun Oven is THE way to cook/bake/steam your meals everyday here in the valley of the sun. It functions virtually the same as your household kitchen oven, reaching temperatures upwards of 400 degrees. These ovens are great for emergencies as well as everyday use and will change the way you think about going green, being able to use that food you have stored, and saving money.

The Sun Oven is a fantastic way to go green as it harnesses the power of the sun without using any electricity. To use this beauty, you'll never need to buy propane tanks or messy charcoal again. Good for the environment, even better for your wallet.

Cook with the Sun Oven outside this summer and save money on your utilities as well as your AC bill! This compact and portable investment will never require maintenance, besides a Windex wiping, and will last forever.

I love baking bread, dinners, stews, pies and cobblers. I've even cooked an 18# turkey in it and did my Honey Glazed Easter Ham!! I use mine at least once every week. I love, love, love it!!! And I think everyone who needs to eat, needs to have one too!! With all that being said (and I could say a lot more about it!), through SUN OVENS Int. Inc. the Global Sun Oven retails for $299.00, plus shipping. I have contacted them and organized for a group purchase to get the Global Sun Oven to you at the discounted rate of $235, plus shipping!

And, if we get our order in before it's officially summer, we can receive their FREE Spring Into Preparedness Package* as a FREE bonus. You need to get this now!

The free Spring Into Preparedness Package* has a retail value of $53.20 and Includes:
2 Stackable Black Covered Round 3-qt Pots (Retail Price $10.50 each)
1 Set of Two Loaf Pans (Retail Price $11.35)
1 Set of Two Cookie Sheet/Brownie Pans (Retail Price $12.85)
Water Pasteurization Indicator - WAPI (Retail Price $8.00)
A computer CD with over 80 SUN OVEN recipes, cooking tips, FAQs, written & video operating instructions, a video on how the SUN OVEN works and emergency preparedness tips.

The following additional items are available for purchase as well:

$ 17.50 4-qt. Enamelware Pot w/Steamer Insert**
$ 6.00 Water Pasteurizing Indicator (WAPI) (It will come with one, but just if you wanted more.)
**These will not fit in the oven with the Spring Package, so to save on shipping, they will be available to pick up from my home.

Cookbooks*** (when shipped inside an oven):
$ 13 Morning Hill Solar Cookery Book (vegetarian cookbook)
$ 13 The Solar Chef (southwestern recipe cookbook)
$ 13 A Month of SUNdays (cookbook)
***$3.50 Shipping per cookbook when not ordered with oven

*Plus shipping (to your own home) is $33 within Continental U.S. [Total Value $385.20]

So to ORDER ..... Email me your Name, phone #, Sun Oven Quantities, and personal shipping address today, drop off a check (for $268. - that's the oven, with the bonus package, and the shipping) at my house this week, and I'll plan to place our group purchase order on Monday June 13th. RSVP to my demo class on June 10th. Look for info on my demo cclass here, Please share this with your friends and family everywhere; I'm shipping one directly to family in Alaska! Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Rachelle Scott
18526 E. Swan Dr.
Queen Creek, AZ 85142

P.S. I'm not out to make a bunch of money off my friends for something I passionately think they should own; the price does, however, include about a 1% increase to you for my having to front the initial purchase requirement payment (a BIG chunk of change). If that will break you, please let me know. If I could afford it, I would buy one for each of you because I love you! But I can't.

Friday, June 3, 2011

I enJoye Bread

Have you ever made your own delicious healthy whole wheat bread? I haven't always baked bread and I'm not bragging, but in our house, that is the way to go.

A few years ago I started my bread-making relationship at the suggestion of my mother-in-law (I try not to get offended). With a dvd and a simple and versatile recipe that you can find here (, I was amazed. Who knew I could really do it? Who knew my husband would actually request it? This coming from a man who's mother has baked more loaves of bread than I dare even try to count.

Over the last few years my bread baking relationship has evolved (through many ups and downs) mostly from commitment. I still flirt with that recipe for quick meal additions and dessert breads, but I really got engaged when I made a new year's resolution in 2009 to not buy bread for the whole year. What was I thinking?! That January, I took a free bread class from a local store called Shar's and married one of my favorite appliances, a Bosh. I am happy to report that I think that might have been one of the few resolutions I ever kept. (Or came darn near close to with the exception of my husband coming home in December with a loaf while I was pregnant and barfing - sorry family, something had to give.)

Anyway, the recipe I use to this day is tweaked from that first lesson. My family loves bread. I love my family. And to continue this love triangle, I've added a Global Sun Oven to the affair. I got mine in January and use it faithfully every week to bake fresh ground whole wheat bread and other yummies for my family. Ahh, we definitely enjoy our carbs. Feel free to stop by for toast any time!

Circus Summer Camp

It all started with a desert rock backyard, three rambunctious boys to keep busy, and a summer to enjoy - when my mind got to thinking. I hate rocks and am not a huge fan of the desert look. Yes, I know live in Arizona. No, I don't have to like it. Wait-this blog is about finding the joy in life so let me re-phrase that. I remember driving a friend from Utah for her first visit to AZ. The wonder and awe in seeing cacti for the first time was a beautiful moment of appreciation, even for me. Now what I do love about the AZ desert is getting to feel the sunshine on my face about 360 days out of the year. I love being able to swim from Spring Break in March almost all the way to Fall Break in October. (The rest of the year, I wear a wet-suit.) And I love being able to see beatiful green grass all year long. Anyway, I digress.

In my pursuit of mental health, I needed a new backyard, preferably a beautiful and safer place to play with my kids (and for my kids to go away to to give me some peace). Having to totally justify re-landscaping a rental (that we may only live in for another year), I still knew, nevertheless, it would totally pay for itself. Light bulb. I decided I would earn the money to pay for it by hosting a summer camp in which we would completely use and enjoy it and it would really totally pay for itself! Long story short, after a quick rough draft of some planning details, a computer flier and a few e-mails, I was on a roll. I had people signing up (and paying) in April, got my backyard sprinkler lined, bricked, treed and sodded by the last Saturday of that month. I then added a few more details like a new enclosed trampoline and an in-ground sand pit in May. Then I bought the themed activity supplies, plus some summer water toys and a lawnmower and we kicked off the camp May 31st.

First of five weeks - The Circus! We did crafts, biology experiments, played with water, and dressed-up to match the theme. It was an awesome (and somewhat exhausting) week. I love spending time with kids. This is going to be the longest birthday party I've never thrown for them. So fun!

Next week, Summer Nature Camp...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ten Minutes to get Ready

This morning, as I turned off the shower and opened the door to reach for my towel, I heard what I thought was a phone message playing from my dad. Upon getting the water out of my ears, I realized I was listening to my husband listening to a computer news clip about a tornado in Massachusetts. It was reporting on numbers (which I missed) of injured, dead, and missing. It went on to say some people had zero warning it was coming; others had up to ten minutes prior knowledge. As I stood there, naked and dripping wet, I couldn't help but think what I would do, if that same news clip happened to be a real-time warning for our own area instead. Ten minutes to know your life was about to be forever altered by disaster. Would that seem like ten life-times or more like ten seconds? If you knew you had ten minutes to potentially live or die, what would you do? What if you knew you had ten hours to prepare for a disaster? Ten days? What would be your top ten to-do lists? My heart goes out to all those affected first-hand by such an event. May the will to survive carry then in their pursuit of recovery. I'm going to dry off and get ready.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pursuing the Pursuit

Let's get one thing clear - I love my life. Overall, I think my life is pretty much perfect. Wait, perfect? Really?! NO! You thought about leaving me and never coming back, didn't you? No, my life's not really perfect. Not even close really. "Pretty much perfect?" Yeah, pretty much close to perfect for what it is and where I am and where I want to be...eventually. Really my life is crazy, busy, fun and totally imperfect.

Because I'm constantly trying to perfect (or sometimes even just get a handle on) the various aspects that are my life, and also trying to get the most out of my life, I've decided I need a sounding board. I am surrounded by amazing people who are seriously inspiring. We all need a place to inspire and be inspired; a place to share our pursuits and learn from each other. Maybe you understand the spinning, out of control, is this what I signed up for? thoughts that, for me, always seem to seep in around that evening 5:30 hour that makes me question my sanity and everything I'm trying to accomplish. Deep breath. But maybe... you can also recognize that personal pause of passion that gets me out of bed, makes me try (again) and makes me feel strong and empowered, capable and able to pursue what I want to (and have to) accomplish!

Naturally, whatever/wherever our role/relationship/responsibility we have right now in our lives, we've got something we "should" be doing. Some to-do's are inherent, other's inherited by self-infliction. I don't know about you, but I have a LOT to do. Well, a lot that I have to do, and some that I want to do, and some that I think I should do, and more that I think might just be fun to do. If I posted my calendar and my to-do list, you'd think I was, well, crazy. (I did warn you my life was crazy. Didn't I?) I guess, ideally, I'd like to just enjoy most everything I do do in my life, despite the doodoo of life. Never mind the pun, but I have had three (at once!) in diapers. (Uh, huh - sanity check.)

When we take that pause (not necessarily in a moment of silence at my house), all of the tragedies and triumphs, dirty faces, clean/dirty floors, projects, tears and smiles sum up to some worthy and worthwhile beautiful accomplishments. For pleasure or for pain, I want this to be a place for my beautiful chaotic pursuits so that I can keep learning to enjoy life and be inspired to continue my many pursuits therein. Since you're still reading, I'm assuming your life is imperfectly perfect too. We are so blessed. I challenge you to join me. We can do it. Here's to loving our lives and enjoying the pursuit!