Orange Chicken

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What happens in Vegas…

Gets posted on The Blog. Ben and I are headed to Sin City – WHEEEEE!! 8)

Since marrying three years ago, we’ve had a tradition of taking a rejuvenating vacation every year in the spring to celebrate our anniversary and take a break from life in general. This year we planned on taking the most epic road trip ever and loosely follow the Oregon Trail, hitting up Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone Park on the way to our final destination of Portland, OR.

We were supposed to leave this Friday, but didn’t even put pen to paper and map out the journey until we drove to Minneapolis this past weekend. When all was said, done and miles meticulously calculated – we figured it was going to cost us nearly $3000 to get there and back – $700 in gas alone!

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You can go to Europe for $3000! So, we looked into Plan B: a trip to Wine Country. All the good hotels were taken for next week. Plan C? fly to our beloved New Orleans. Still too expensive. When all else fails, Plan D! VEGAS!!!

I went to Vegas for the first time in July 2009, and I swear to you I only fully recovered and was able to even think about going back just a few months ago. It’s a crazy town, but I Ben and I know how to have a good time without getting too crazy. Ok, maybe a little crazy… ;) I know what I said about loving a low-key lifestyle, but a Vegas vacation always makes me rally. I’m so excited! :D

Oh, we’re heading west late this weekend, so I’ve got 6 days to get bikini ready.

OH boy.

Tonight, to help me on my way, I made a healthy, filling and only slightly sinful dish for dinner. Orange Chicken! This dinner is a Frankenstein combination of Jenna’s Lemon Brown Sugar Chicken and my Orange Tofu, and is seriously le.git.

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Orange Chicken

Print this recipe!

Serves 2

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 chicken breasts, pounded to the same thickness
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice of two oranges
4 teaspoons brown sugar, divided

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, paprika, salt and chicken breasts in a sealed plastic bag then shake to coat chicken evenly.

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2. Heat oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat then shake excess flour from chicken and saute until golden brown on both sides (does not have to be cooked all the way through.) Remove to a non-stick sprayed baking dish and set aside.

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3. Add orange juice to the hot skillet, reduce by half, then pour over chicken in the baking dish.

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4. Crumble 2 teaspoons brown sugar over each chicken breast then bake for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through, finishing with a few minutes under the broiler to caramelize brown sugar if needed.

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Oh my dear Heaven on high. This is the BEST!

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The reduced fresh orange juice made a sweet & sour sauce that I poured over the golden brown chicken and onto the steamed broccoli below to soak up. Look at that caramelized orange! MMMMM!

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Baked chicken is seriously the best, by the way. Always tender and juicy.

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Gobble, gobble, gobble. You’ve got to make this! It tasted just like Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken, except way, WAY healthier! :D

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Dessert is also healthier. The Brown Butter Banana Muffins I made last night are seriously to die.

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I followed this recipe, but added 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Seriously, seriously, SERIOUSLY yummy. I want to eat 100!

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2 will do. :)

With Vegas less than a week away, and Bridesmaid Bootcamp still in the works, I kicked it into high gear and went to Body Pump this morning (took it SUPER easy on my legs/quads so I’m not in as much pain as last time, and so it wouldn’t kill my knees (which are feeling MUCH better after a break over the weekend!) ) then went for a run this afternoon in the PICTURE PERFECT weather we’ve got going on right now!

Seriously. 72. Sunny. Slight breeze. I couldn’t ask for anything else. Oh yes I can. A tan.

I wore shorts on my run for the first time this spring and I swear to you, I was blinding oncoming traffic with my glowing legs. I am SOOOOO pale! And not porcelain pale, a la Kristen Stewart in Twilight, like someone take this girl’s temperature because she must have the flu, pale.

Yeeeeah. I do believe a mystic tan will be lightly coating my limbs before I board a plane heading poolside this weekend. I’m nervous – I never tan in beds after reading a SELF Magazine article a couple years ago with pictures of people suffering from skin cancer in it (which are forever etched into my brain) but I’ve never gotten a spray tan either. Any tips?

Off to enjoy the evening. Take care! :)

~~~~~

Have you ever been to Las Vegas? Any desire to go if you haven’t?

Like I said last time – yeah it can be a super seedy town, but it’s really as seedy as you make it!

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