Cilantro Lime Chicken Bake

Friends, today I have something simply divine to share with you!!! I stumbled across this Cilantro Lime Chicken Bake on Pinterest about a week ago. I told myself I was going to start picking one or two recipes from Pinterest to try each week. This was one of the first ones I tried. IT. IS. SO. GOOD.
Really.
Really.
Good.
🙂
You can find the original recipe over at Sugar Baby Boutique blog. I made a couple slight changes to the original recipe but followed it for the most part.
This has to be my new favorite casserole and comfort food!
Cilantro Lime Chicken Marinade:
4 Chicken Breasts
-3/4 c canola oil (I think Olive oil would work great too)
-Juice and zest of 2 limes
-2 cloves garlic
-2 tsp sugar
-1/2 tsp salt
 -1/4 tsp black pepper
-1 C Cilantro leaves with no/very little stems
 
Remove the stems from the cilantro and place the cilantro, oil, juice, zest, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper in blender. Blend on “chop” setting until there are no large pieces of cilantro left. Slice chicken breasts and soak in marinade overnight in the refrigerator. 
 Cilantro Lime Rice:

-1 cup uncooked rice
-2 cup homemade chicken stock (or broth)
-2 cloves pressed garlic
-1 Tbls freshly squeezed lime juice
-2 tsp sugar
-3 Tbls finely chopped cilantro
 
Combine 2 cups of stock and rice together and cook. In a small bowl combine garlic, lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Once rice is cooked, stir in cilantro mixture and add rice to the bottom of a baking dish.
 
Creamy Ranch Dressing

-1 – 16oz bottle of store bought or homemade Ranch dressing
-1 Tbsp tomato paste
-1 handful of cilantro
-1 jalapeno (optional)
-juice of 1 lime
-salt & pepper to taste
 
In blender mix ranch, tomato paste, cilantro, jalapeno, juice, salt, and pepper. Chill in refrigerator before serving. 
 
Additional Ingredients:
1 -16oz container of sour cream
1 – 16oz container of Pineapple Peach Salsa (any sweet salsa will do)
1-8oz bag of shredded mozzarella
 
Layer the Rice, Chicken, Sour Cream, Salsa, Mozzerella. Use the Ranch Dressing to drizzle over each serving.
First you need to start off by making your marinade for the chicken. Cut as much of the stems off of the cilantro as you can. Place 1 cup of cilantro in the blender. Press two cloves of garlic into the mixture.
Next add the zest of two limes….
And the juice from two limes…..
Finally add in your sugar, salt, black pepper, and oil. Blend on the chop setting  until everything is combined and there are no large pieces of cilantro left.
Slice the four chicken breasts into strips. Pour the marinade over the chicken and allow the meat to soak in the marinade overnight or longer.
Next mix up ranch, cilantro, jalapeno, salt, pepper, tomato paste, and juice in the blender and place in the fridge to chill. (Picture at the far right).
Next mix up the rice mixture. Place two cups of homemade stock (or store bought….homemade has a lot of health benefits if you have some) and one cup of rice in a rice cooker (or cook on the stovetop). Then in a small bowl combine pressed garlic, lime juice, sugar and chopped cilantro.
Pull the marinaded chicken out of the refrigerator. Pour the chicken and marinade into a skillet and cook on medium high until chicken is fully cooked.
Once the rice is done cooking, stir in cilantro mixture and place in the bottom of a baking dish.
Once the chicken is done place the chicken on top of the rice mixture.
Cover with an entire container of sour cream.
Then cover with the salsa….
Next add the mozzerella.
Bake this dish at 350 degrees until heated through (about 20 mins) then place the dish in the broiler for about 5-8 mins to crisp the cheese.
Drizzle with the ranch. It is the best dish ever! 🙂
So worth making! 🙂 Enjoy!

Teaching Children To Seek God

The best thing we, as parents, can do for our children is to teach them to seek God in everything. It’s even a lesson adults have to be reminded of.

We’re in a hurry and we can’t find our keys. Instead of pausing to pray for God to intervene and help us, we start running around in a panic looking for our keys. Normally, I would go through asking each child what they did with my keys, certain one of them had hid them in a toy box upstairs. Only then would I turn around and almost trip over them on the floor where they had simply fallen off the key rack. Have you been there before?

A friend of mine shared that her daughter lost her glasses. They IMMEDIATELY prayed for God to reveal them. I wasn’t shocked that they prayed about it. But my first instinct would have been to tear my entire house apart THEN in desperation call out to God for help.

I decided to start seeking God first. I started pausing in those stressful moments to pray. I asked God to let it be revealed to me in His timing because He knew exactly when I needed to find whatever it was I was looking for. Ya know what? It works. Those items don’t always magically appear when I say “amen” but they are always brought back into my care when I need them most.

The more I pray over the little things the easier it is to run to God first with the big stuff. I’ve been praying to God most of my life but would always try to fix problems on my own and leave prayer as a last resort option. It should have been my first and best option. It took me 26 years to learn this and I still need to be reminded of that occasionally.

So I decided to start teaching my children to run to God in prayer at a young age. When I get a prayer request, if my children are around, I asked them to come stand by me and pray with me. My children are 7, 5, 4, and almost 2. Yet, they are still able to comprehend and communicate in their prayers.

Children are never too young to start praying. 

Just the other day Joey (23 months) folded his hands while we were praying and the said “Amen” when we were finished. No he can’t speak in full sentences yet, but Jesus said to let the little children come to him. That means in whatever capacity they are able to serve and honor Him; let them.

When my children see an ambulance, firetruck, or police car whiz by with flashing lights, someone could be hurting and they know it’s time to pray. When someone gets a boo boo at home, it’s time to pray.

My daughter (4) now asks me to pray to Jesus for her boo boo rather than getting a band aid. That speaks volumes to me about what God is doing in their hearts. 🙂

Yesterday I had been praying over my children. I specifically asked God to watch over them at school and allow them to be a shining light of Jesus love and kindness to everyone they encounter. I also asked that God would shield their hearts from evil.

Today when Brenden (7) was getting off the bus he was grinning ear to ear and couldn’t wait to say, “Guess what I did Mommy?!”

Me: “What did you do?”

Brenden: “It was a miracle. There were three kids on the bus starting to be bullies and use bad words. I asked God what to do and He told me. I told them about Jesus and Jesus was controlling them because they stopped being bullies.”

Me: “Brenden that’s amazing!!!” *I gave him a great big hug*

I was so touched by this testimony, I shared on my personal Facebook page about what Brenden did. Friends and family shared encouragement for Brenden which I read to him.

I told Brenden to continued asking God for help and recited my memory verse this week to him,

“I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, I will help you.”” 
Isaiah 41:13
 
I told Brenden that’s what it says in God’s word… that He will always help us. Brenden said, “Wow, I did not know that.”
Not even an hour later I heard Brenden and Joey sitting on the steps. Joey was crying and getting very upset about something. Brenden was trying to help him. Before I walked over to intervene,  I heard Brenden pause to pray, “Jesus please help me. Show me what to do with this little baby.” And do you know what, Joey calmed down. I don’t even know what he was upset about but I know Brenden took it before God and God handled it from there.
I love my kids and am amazed and how God reveals Himself as well as the truth of His word through them each day.
Your children are never too young to be taught to seek God in everything. 

Daniel and the Lion’s Den

Daniel 6:1-28

Have you ever had something bad happen with no way out? Have you ever been some place that’s really scary?

A man by the name of Daniel was once in a very bad and scary place…..a lion’s den!

Let me tell you about Daniel:

Daniel was a very good man who loved God very much. King Darius placed Daniel and some other men in charge of his kingdom to help him rule over the people. The King liked Daniel very much and placed him in charge of the whole kingdom. The only person Daniel had to answer to was the king himself.

This made the other rulers in the kingdom jealous of Daniel. They tried to find something about Daniel that was bad so they could show the king. However, Daniel was so good they couldn’t find anything.

So the jealous men decided to trick the king into hurting Daniel. They convinced King Darius to make a law that said for 30 days no one was allowed to pray to anyone but the king himself. If anyone broke the law they would be thrown in the Lion’s Den.

Daniel knew that it was wrong to pray to anyone but God. So Daniel went home and prayed to God just like he always did. The bad men saw Daniel praying to God and told King Darius what he had done.

The king was very upset. He didn’t want to hurt Daniel but he had to obey the law he made. So he threw Daniel in the lion’s den.

The king couldn’t sleep or eat the whole night because he was so worried about Daniel.

As soon as it was morning the king raced to the lion’s den and called out, “Daniel, Daniel Did your God save you?”

Daniel answered, “Yes, God sent his angel to close the mouths of the lions and saved me because I had done nothing wrong.”

King Darius was amazed and praised God. He said everyone must worship Daniel’s God.

Daniel continued to rule the kingdom with King Darius for many years.

Memory Verse:

Daniel 6:23 “…And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.”

Discussion Questions:

Have you ever been really afraid of something?

Did you trust God to help you through that?

Now let’s have some fun making a craft to remind us of how God took care of Daniel.

Daniel and the Lion’s Den Craft

Supplies Needed:

Markers (Brown or Black)

School Glue

Scissors

Construction Paper (Black, Yellow, Orange and Red)

White or Brown Paper Bags

Gather your supplies

Cut the corners off of the black construction paper to make easy triangle shaped noses for the lions.

Next fold the yellow and orange papers in half once and then again. Cut strips about 1/2-3/4″ wide.

Next cut the strips at the fold lines

.

Now I separated mine in bowls by colors. If you have the time and the kids are older, you may even want to let the kids cut the strips themselves.

My kids were eagerly awaiting to start the craft.

Open up the folded end of the paper bag and put a thin layer of school glue on it. Cut a red piece of construction paper to match (depending on the kids ages they can glue and cut out this shape if an adult draws the outline)

Next let the kids press the red piece of paper in place and then draw a mouth.

Fold the mouth back closed and let the kids pick a nose. Put a spot of glue on the paper bag and let them press on the nose.

Let them draw the lion’s face.

Next put a thin line of glue around the outer edge of the lion’s face. Let the kids use the colored strips to design and glue down the lion’s mane.

So it will look like this….

 

My kids had a blast! After we made the craft we use the puppets to illustrate what the angel of God did to the lion’s mouths…..He closed them to keep Daniel safe!

 

 

Baby Groundhogs!!!

My husband was heading out and call me just a couple minutes after he left the house. He told me he spotted a couple baby groundhogs down at the bottom of our street and thought I might want to take some pictures of them. 
 
So I rallied the kids together (I strapped my baby carrier on for Joey) and grabbed my camera. We walked down to the bottom of the street to see the little groundhogs. Sure enough there were two little balls of fur sitting right by the road eating grass. The one ran into the brush as we approached, while this little guy sat there and totally didn’t seem to mind that we were there. He let me get a couple really cute shots of him eating a leaf. 
 
These were my instructions to my kids as we walked down the street “Now remember, we can’t touch the baby groundhogs. The little babies’ mommy might be around here and she might not like it if we touch them. She might think we’re trying to hurt her babies and come bite us. So we can’t touch them; just look at them.”
 
Trinity looked up at me and said, “Yeah, no touch Groundhog Mommy!”
 
As I stepped forward to snap these photos the kids all held out their hands and said, “Stop Mommy; Don’t touch it!” lol Too cute. 🙂 At least I know they were listening!
 
Trinity was fascinated by the little groundhog. She loved it but was very good and didn’t get any closer than what you see in the picture. She called it a baby squirrel at first.
 
Our mailman who had just delivered our mail turned around laughing and said, “Hey tell your mom you want to take one home for a pet!” haha