Easy Meals: One Pan Crispy Parmesan Garlic Chicken

I love it when a meal comes together. When you have two working parents in one household it can make for a crazy schedule, which will lead to even crazier nights. I try to make sure that my family eats well. But that can be a struggle. I try to stick to simple ideas during the week. This week it is all about one pan or one dish recipes. The less clean up the better, the less work the better, and the less time to worry about it all the better!

Chicken is a simple fix. It can be made in so many unique and special ways, you can literally eat chicken every day of the week and never eat it the same way twice. I recently wanted to branch out with my chicken meals so I did a deep Pinterest dive, and I have found gold!

Thank you to The Recipe Critic for such a delicious and easy idea: one pan crispy parmesan garlic chicken and veggies. This dish has been a hit and I am loving it. The recipe is so fantastic it is hard to make it better. I simply switched out the parmesan bread crumbs for a gluten free version, because hello allergies, and the dish was still a huge hit. It also is a great meal for lunch at work the next day!

So be sure to head on over to The Recipe Critic for the full tutorial. You will be glad you did!

Best Books: Roller Girl

Books are wonderful, but many of today’s youth find it boring. Publishers and writers are fighting back, using different ways to get kids more interested in reading. One fantastic way is by creating more graphic novels. Graphic novels are not a new innovation, on the contrary they have been around for nearly 100 years. Many associate graphic novels with comic books. But graphic novels can be so much more. They can contain entire stories of nearly 500 pages, fantastic plot lines, and incredible images that make the story even more fantastic.

Young adult novelists have picked up on this hit and have revamped entire series as graphic novels. While others have created entirely new series utilizing this incredible tool. Graphic novels allow for a very visual immersive experience. Teens and pre-teens love this. Now you can find novels that schools will teach and carry that are aimed at bringing that non-reader in to the library.

This month we want to highlight an incredible coming-of age novel that boys and girls have turned to as their own. Roller Girl is a great story about Astrid. It highlights the trials and tribulations fo middle-school, and it shows the joyful and not so joyful moments of friendship during this time. Best of all, it gives an incredible outlet for Astrid to explore her feelings and fears: roller derby. Boys and girls will love the fantastic action and both will understand and appreciate middle-school scenarios played out in the novel.

Dealing with Kids with Big Hearts

We have a birthday party coming up in our house, our youngest will have his first birthday party where he invites his classmates. Our school has a rule that if you are inviting students from the classroom you have to invite everyone. My other children have never had an issue with this, but my youngest had the most interesting reaction so far. He was upset, not because he did not like a student and wanted to exclude the student, but because the child in question is a bully and he did not want the bully to bother his friends at his party.

I felt badly for my son. I knew this child was a bully, we have had several interactions with the student, and since I teach at their school I know the student’s history. My poor son was not trying to exclude or hurt anyone. He merely wanted to protect his friends. I tried to find a way to help him to understand that this child might just be young and has not learned how to act around other kids yet. That maybe the student wants to be liked so badly they behave in a way that does not get them what they want. I tried to help him to see that the students might have other bad things happening that make them act out.

Eventually my son agreed it was still wrong to exclude the child and that maybe if he tried harder to include the child and showed the child how to be a good friend that maybe the child would change their behavior. Now my son is looking forward to his party, but he says he will still be watching to see if his friends are being hurt or made to feel badly then he will not hesitate to protect his friends. I am proud and impressed that he wants to protect his friends, it shows that he cares and is not willing to allow bad things to happen to anyone. However, part of me feels the same way he does, why should I reward the bully by allowing them to participate in the festivities? How would you handle an issue fo a bully during birthday parties?