Chicken Asparagus Wraps : A Fifteen Minute Meal

Monday, April 30, 2012

I love Spring!  After months of dark Winter days and root vegetable meals, the bright greens of Spring are so refreshing.  One of my favorite Spring produce items is Asparagus.  It is easy to cook and even easier to eat - with just a little butter you have a delicious Spring side dish. 

We've been enjoying simple buttered Asparagus at dinner for over week now, so when I found another big bunch of it at the market on Saturday I decided to dress it up a little.  These Chicken Asparagus Wraps, with a creamy basil sauce, make a perfect quick lunch or dinner.  To make it even easier, use rotisserie or canned chicken and you can have a hearty, fresh Spring meal in about 15 minutes. Oh, how I love Spring produce!

Chicken Asparagus Wraps with Basil Cream Sauce

(Printable Recipe)


For the Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup diced green onion
1/2 teaspoon dry basil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Wraps:
4 whole grain tortillas
12 ounces asparagus, washed and trimmed
2 cups cooked, chopped chicken (rotisserie or canned works well)
1/2 cup diced cherry tomatoes
1 cup baby spinach (optional)


In a small bowl, combine all of the sauce ingredients and mix well.  Chill until ready for use.

In a medium skillet, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and add the asparagus.  Cook covered for approximately 4 minutes or until asparagus is tender.  Drain asparagus.

To assemble wraps, spoon 1/4 cup sauce into center of each tortilla.  Divide asparagus evenly between the four tortillas and layer over sauce followed by 1/2 cup chicken, 1 1/2 tablespoons tomatoes, and 1/4 cup baby spinach (if using) on each tortilla.  Roll up the tortillas into wraps and enjoy immediately! Makes 4 wraps.

For more Spring produce tips and recipes, check out this excellent Spring Produce Guide

A Good Dose of Reality

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sometimes I get these pictures in my head that look a little too much like something I saw on the internet.  And then I get crazy ideas that I can make our real life look like something I saw on the internet.  We can have a Pinterest worthy afternoon, I think, if I only try hard enough.

I picture homemade milkshakes and imagine us sipping them through cute straws and enjoying the sunshine while wearing matching outfits.  I imagine us taking a post-snack walk through the trees and the flowers and I will bring my camera and capture happy nature moments.  It will be like something I saw on the internet.

And then I have a few real life moments instead.

I do make milkshakes, but my kids take their straws out of the cups and blow my homemade concoction all over the kitchen and themselves.  The cute straws become significantly less cute.  Milkshakes are a bust.

I am determined to salvage the dream in my head though, so I rally the troops for a nature walk.  It is almost dinner time though and that means it probably isn't a good idea to drive anywhere.  I cut the pretty trees and flowers out of my daydream and we take our walk on the nearby mesa.  

It wasn't like anything I saw on the internet.  There was a lot of dirt.  I forgot that the kids don't have a jcrew wardrobe.  Nobody was much interested in my camera.  I pulled a lot of rocks out of shoes (who thought sandals on the mesa were a good idea?).  One kid peed her pants before we made it back.

Yeah, it was like that.  I was going to call it a failure, but I realized there was a more positive approach than under achievement.  Instead,  I am posting it on the internet anyway.  Look!  Now you can enjoy the glaring down-slope my family entertainment ideals have taken and know that it won't take much for you to follow suit.  The next time your kid pees their pants on a family outing it will be just like something you saw on the internet.  Put a pin in that.

No Better Than the Rest

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hello April - you're turning into that month I forgot to blog.  But two things of note have happened recently:

First, I died last week.  I was literally a corpse for seven whole days.  I got strep throat from the kids and it took me down. down. down.  I'd tell you about it except I'm still trying to forget it.  Plus, it involves words like "pus," which after last week I am ready to draw up a petition to remove from the English language (and/or from existence if that works out too).

So, on to news of note number Two:  I discovered Instagram (username: somethewiser if you'd like to join me!).  Way more fun than strep.

Are you on Instagram?  Leave me your username in the comments so I can follow.

My Birthday Almost Sucked, but now I'm 30

Friday, April 13, 2012

I don't spend a lot of time dwelling on all the hard parts of being a single parent.  I love my kids and that makes up for most of what is missing.  But there are times when I really feel the weight of being alone.  Like when I was sick a few weeks ago, miserably sick, and I still had to make three meals a day, carpool across town, change all the diapers, and everything else that a parent of three small children does.  It's all me, all the time.

Being a single parent is also hard when, say, it's your birthday.

I turned the big 30 yesterday.  I knew it was coming and I also knew that I hadn't made it through a birthday in the last three years without spending a good amount of time feeling sorry for myself and indulging in a few self pity tears.  I spent some time prepping myself the night before:  I will not be a sad sack on my birthday.  I will not be a big cry baby on my birthday.  I will not expect anything on my birthday.  Rinse and repeat 20 times.

This week I am watching a friend's kids for five days (and four nights) - I've got FIVE kids in my care.  So after a long night up with a crying kid missing home and missing her traveling parents, I woke up to a milestone birthday and a little self-pep-talk: Dude, it's no big deal - just another day.

It was a busy day.  I almost, really almost, made it through the day without digging myself a hole and crawling in.  Almost.  Then, in the late afternoon, I checked Facebook where I found a long list of birthday greetings from friends and acquaintances.  They were nice and it should have made me feel good, right?  Instead, I cried.

People wished me a Happy day, a Special day, a day in which I was Spoiled and could Treat Myself, a day of Cake and Celebration.  And they were all written in kindness of course, but the only thing I could think of as I read them through my tears was "Who's going to do all that?"

My kids are little, and they did give me birthday hugs and kisses, but it's a little beyond them to be making me cakes, planning celebrations, or even letting me treat myself to a midday nap.  No, it went more like this:

  • 6 AM Up with five hungry kids. Make breakfast - three different breakfasts so everyone would eat.
  • Get myself and five kids dressed, hair fixed, teeth brushed, shoes on. 
  • Make lunches, pack bags, mediate a few conflicts, mop up spilled milk, fit carseats into car. 
  • Pack everyone into the car, pick up one more kid, carpool across town (1 hour and 15 minutes!), drop four kids off, feed remaining two kids yet another breakfast. 
  • Run errands to the bank, the grocery store, and make a Big Brother Big Sister donation.  
  • Clean up messes, make lunches and snacks, pay bills, pack kids back into the car and drive back across town to pick up 4 kids then drop 1 off (1 hour + 45 minutes). 
  • Get Esme ready for and to and from ballet, dinner for five kids, edit a few pictures for a client, clean up, pajamas, teeth brushing, scripture reading, prayers, story time, singing time, more drinks, more songs, one more story, put kids back in bed, put kids back in bed, put kids back in bed.  8 PM And the day is done.  Happy Birthday.
So yes, I had a little afternoon breakdown.  And I spent a little time wallowing in self pity and wishing I had someone to give me a present, a celebration, a cake, a break.  I hate birthdays.  I hate being 30.  I hate feeling so alone sometimes, so overlooked.

Then it hit me: Who's job is it really to look out for me?  Why, that would be Me again.  I was entirely overlooking myself.   Then I thought about how the day had unfolded (take another look at that list of things I did - and that, people, is the very condensed version of what really happened!!) and my birthday improved tenfold in an instant.  Dude, I am SUPER MOM.  

I am 30 years old and I can take care of FIVE kids all by myself.  Not only that, but I did a good job too.  I was too busy thinking about how I didn't even get a birthday card when I should have been patting myself on the back for putting five happy, healthy, well fed kids to bed last night.  I made the world a better place for five kids yesterday and I can't think of anything more important I could have done on my 30th birthday.

And right about the time I wiped my own tears and kicked my own butt back out of the hole I'd been digging, my parents brought me a late dinner and a lamp shade I'd been coveting and I remembered how lucky I really am to have them around.  Yes, I can do year 30 and I can do it well.   

Roasted Red Grapes with Potatoes and Thyme {Giveaway}

Monday, April 2, 2012

I don't eat a lot of meat, but there are certain dishes that I really look forward to.  An Easter Ham is something I truly enjoy.  This year holidays have collided on our family calendar and we are going to be celebrating a certain curly haired child's birthday (four years old!) on Easter Sunday.  Ham, unfortunately, is not on the top of the birthday girl's meal wish list, but since I was not willing to skip it entirely, I cooked Ham for Sunday dinner last weekend - a little Pre-Easter meal if you will. 

Admittedly, cooking meat is still, at nearly 30 years old, a little scary to me.  I particularly love ham, however, because it is so easy to prepare.  Check out these great Ham Recipes:
To go with my Ham, I made a delicious side of Roasted Red Grapes with Potatoes and Thyme.  If you've never roasted potatoes with grapes, I highly recommend trying this.  While roasting, the grape juice mingles with the potatoes in the most delicious way!  This is a quick and easy way to create a very impressive Easter Side Dish.

Roasted Red Grapes with Potatoes and Thyme


1 pound red potatoes
1 pound extra large red grapes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease a large baking sheet.

Wash and dice red potatoes - keep the potato pieces small, about the same size as the grapes.   Wash grapes, leaving stems intact.  Arrange grapes and potatoes together on baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle evenly with thyme.  Salt and pepper as desired.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft and browned and the grapes begin to burst. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving. Makes approximately 6 servings.


You can win a ham for your Easter celebration this year!  The National Pork Board is offering a Ham to one lucky reader (in the United States) here at Some the Wiser.  The giveaway will close Thursday, April 5 at 12 PM MST. 

Giveaway Requirements

Leave a comment on this post and tell me:

What are your favorite Easter or Spring side dishes?
Optional Extra Entries (leave a comment for each extra entry) for a total of 3 possible entries per person:

1. Like Pork be Inspired on Facebook
2. Like Some the Wiser on Facebook

(I was provided with a review product and giveaway fulfillment from the National Pork Board, but all opinions, ideas, and experiences with the product are my own.)
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