Topic-Changing Thursdays: Crafts and Adventures with Fudgelet and Chiplet

Once we came back from Maryland, I realized two things both related to the Fudgelet starting school in less than a month. One, he would not be around as much soon, so it was a good time to throw in some more random activities with them. And two, soon it would just be me staring at the Chiplet all day, so I needed to get the rust off of my toddler crafts/activities. By practicing with the Fudgelet around to help demonstrate proper behavior (most of the time), the Chiplet could be eased into the activities. Below are some activities for both kids or just for the Fudgelet. Some were supposed to be for just the Chiplet, but I’ve learned that the Fudgelet always joins in. Always.

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Topic-Changing Thursdays: Maryland Summer 2019 (part 2)

If you were here last week, I posted about the first part of our Maryland trip. This post is going to be mostly about our beach trip.

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Topic-Changing Thursdays: Maryland Summer 2019 (part 1)

This year we spent an extra amount of time in Maryland for the summer. There was a happy coincidence of my brother visiting with his family for a short bit followed by K’s cousin getting married, so we were able to stay for almost 3 weeks to bring the dates together. Basically, we had one week with seeing my brother’s family and other friends, then K went for almost a week to Portugal for the destination wedding while I took the kids with my dad and M to the beach, and then there was about a week after he got back when we let him get over jetlag while we said our final goodbyes to people for the summer.

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Topic-Changing Thursdays: The Fudgelet’s 5th Birthday Party

After much ado, the Fudgelet’s 5th Birthday Party was here and it ended up better than I expected. I was worried with so many people coming, and so many activities, that maybe a lot could go wrong. Everyone made it who said they were coming, and the activities went well, too. Here is a little peek into what we did…

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Topic-Changing Thursdays: The Fudgelet is 5 Years Old!

If you want to, feel free to go back in time a bit…whether it is 1 year ago, 2 years ago, 3 years ago, or 4 years ago. Because now, we are at 5 years old! I do believe it a bit more, especially comparing the Fudgelet to the Chiplet. Sometimes I look at him and it’s a feeling of “whoa you really look so much older” and it is exciting that he is a kid and not a toddler or baby anymore.

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Friday Favorites 32

Today’s links are all recipes I have made versions of and I am still interested in these because of the reasons I list below.

The Fudgelet has grown in so many ways over this school year! Stay tuned for more about him next month when I write about his next birthday.

The Chiplet is really into snuggling his monkey stuffed animal. He gets to have him in his bed, and requests him other times, too.

  1. After seeing cashew butter/cream as a dairy replacement for lots of recipes, I need to get my hands on some cashews and make some recipes like this popsicle one.
  2. This recipe is not exactly new to me. My mother-in-law makes a version of this tomato and egg dish and we never quite match her quality. We don’t usually see it on Chinese restaurant menus but it is good and perfect at any meal of the day.
  3. Chocolate muffins are on my blog and I like the ones on here, but I am always interested in chocolate recipes, so I am interested in this other recipe for them.
  4. Again, this is another recipe that I have made a version of but I would like to try this seasoning combination for rotisserie-style chicken.
  5. Obviously I have made many chocolate cakes before, and this isn’t one specific recipe but a collection of ones I would like to try.

Chicken Spanakopita Skillet Recipe

When I first planned to make this, I got to make the discovery that my main grocery store no longer carries phyllo dough. Just phyllo tart shells. Not super helpful for most times I want phyllo dough. What to do? Well…let’s start with how it is supposed to look.

This was made with some help from my sous chef.

He insisted on helping to make it, and since most of it is a stove recipe I recruited him for the phyllo dough. He did pretty well, especially since he hasn’t been helping as much recently (he helps by entertaining the Chiplet and keeping him out of trouble when I cook).

Now back to the first time I made this. I used the tarts because it’s all I had. I crumbled them into pieces, then drizzled some melted butter on top before baking.

Not quite as good since there wasn’t as much phyllo from the shells, but it was delicious enough that we remade it multiple times after finding phyllo dough from a different store. Yay!

Oh, and please don’t forget the dill. It really adds something special to the dish.

Directions for Chicken Spanakopita Skillet Recipe

Adapted from Serious Eats

  • 16 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • 8 Tablespoons butter, divided (I used a butter alternative), with possibly more
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped into 1/2-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half (I used almond milk)
  • 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 6 to 8 sheets phyllo dough, thawed and covered with a towel

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large cast iron skillet or in a Dutch oven (what I used), heat a tablespoon of the butter and cook the spinach in batches, allowing each batch to wilt, then removing to a colander. Drain and press out the excess water in the cooked spinach.

Melt 2 more tablespoons butter in the skillet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then cook in the butter to lightly brown each side. Set the chicken aside.

Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add the garlic, cooking for about 1-2 minutes until lightly golden. Then, add in the flour, whisking to make a paste. Whisk in the chicken broth.

Cook, whisking until the mixture thickens and can coat the back of a spoon. Whisk in the half-and-half.  Add the feta, green onions, and dill. Stir until the feta melts. Remove from the heat, stir in the chicken and spinach.

Melt the remaining butter. Take a sheet of phyllo dough and lay it on a work surface. Brush some of the butter on top, then scrunch it and place it on top of the skillet.

Continue with more sheets of phyllo until you cover the whole top. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until the top is golden and crispy.

Directions for Chicken Spanakopita Skillet Recipe (without pictures)

Adapted from Serious Eats

  • 16 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • 8 Tablespoons butter, divided (I used a butter alternative), with possibly more
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped into 1/2-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half (I used almond milk)
  • 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 6 to 8 sheets phyllo dough, thawed and covered with a towel

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large cast iron skillet or in a Dutch oven (what I used), heat a tablespoon of the butter and cook the spinach in batches, allowing each batch to wilt, then removing to a colander. Drain and press out the excess water in the cooked spinach.

Melt 2 more tablespoons butter in the skillet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then cook in the butter to lightly brown each side. Set the chicken aside.

Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add the garlic, cooking for about 1-2 minutes until lightly golden. Then, add in the flour, whisking to make a paste. Whisk in the chicken broth. Cook, whisking until the mixture thickens and can coat the back of a spoon. Whisk in the half-and-half.  Add the feta, green onions, and dill. Stir until the feta melts. Remove from the heat, stir in the chicken and spinach.

Melt the remaining butter. Take a sheet of phyllo dough and lay it on a work surface. Brush some of the butter on top, then scrunch it and place it on top of the skillet. Continue with more sheets of phyllo until you cover the whole top. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until the top is golden and crispy.

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