something is better than nothing.

by Janetha on October 27, 2010

in meals,moves


i woke up today in a rush. always running late, story of my life. i snagged the last slice of my pumpkin banana bread (elise’s recipe). unfortunately, i this was all i had time to eat for breakfast. but hey, something is better than nothing.

i had a lunch date with emily today. can i just tell you how much i love that girl?!


gorgeous girl.


we went to gourmandise, which is a bakery in downtown salt lake city. it is one of my favorites! i ordered a panini which came with smoked turkey, artichoke hearts, spinach, provolone and the best ingredient: caramelized onions. it was SO. GOOD.


i also got a salad on the side, which I drizzled in balsamic vinegar.


it was so good to catch up with emily! i wish we had longer to chat, but we both had to get back to work. but hey, something is better than nothing.

when i got back to work, i looked into some options for our company holiday lunch. sigh. it is kind of disappointing. usually, we have a fun party at a hotel and there is entertainment and four courses for dinner. an event i plan and look forward to every year. but this year, we can’t justify spending the $$$ on a big holiday party, so we are having a lunch. (bo-ring.) but hey, something is better than nothing.


i was extremely tired after work and really procrastinated going to the gym. i hung out with the dogs and we cuddled on the couch for a solid hour before i decided to get my lazy butt to the gym. my workout was most definitely half assed, but.. yep, something is better than nothing.

the details:

one mile on the treadmill:

minute # speed
0-1 6.0
1-2 6.5
2-3 7.0
3-4 7.5
4-5 8.0
5-6 8.5
6-7 9.0
7-7:49 9.5

one mile, 7 minutes 49 seconds

two miles on the bike:

level 10 resistance the whole time, 2 miles total, 9 minutes 27 seconds.

one mile on the stairmill:

level 8 the whole time, 1 mile, 10 minutes 22 seconds.

the end. i did work up a sweat at least. see, something is better than nothing.


i had originally planned to make a labor intensive minestrone soup with fresh baked bread for dinner. well, i really dropped the ball on that one tonight. instead of making that meal, i made something quick and easy. something is better than nothing.

i made a recipe that dates back to the early nineties. it was a staple meal in the benson household (that’s my house, by the way) and while it is ridiculously quick and simple.. it also tastes incredible.

i grew up eating these almost once a week.  when i moved out, i always made them on my own and also when having dinner with friends. have passed the recipe along to several friends who make them for their families all the time. unfortunately, i realized i hadn’t made chicken puffs in years because i developed some ridiculous notion that i couldn’t eat white bread there for awhile. i actually sort of forgot about chicken puffs until marshall recently asked me to make them sometime soon. well, that “rule” about white bread is long gone, so bring on the puffs!

chicken puffs.

makes 8 puffs



  • 12 oz boneless skinless chicken breast, boiled & shredded
  • 1 container philadeliphia chive & onion cream cheese
  • 1 package crescent rolls (8 count)
  • 3 green onions
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 package gravy


after boiling your chicken, shred it with two forks.


next, soften your cream cheese in the microwave and then combine it with your chicken in a bowl.


dice your green onions and add them to the mix.


open your crescent rolls.


is it just me, or is opening those airtight packaged rolls really fun? it’s the little things, folks.

roll out your rolls and top each one with a glob of the chicken mixture.


next, you are going to tuck in the corners of the roll and then roll them up tight.


fairly certain this process is the closest i will get to fastening a diaper any time soon. that’s what it reminds me of.IMG_1909IMG_1910IMG_1911IMG_1913IMG_1914IMG_1918



give your little bundles of a joy a nice little romp in the bread crumbs.


put them on a baking sheet.


bake them at 375 degrees. mind you, they will take a little longer to bake than the package of rolls tells you. i just keep an eye on mine and take them out when they are golden brown. it was about 17 minutes tonight.IMG_1925IMG_1926

while your rolls are baking, whip up some gravy.


top your chicken puffs with some gravy and enjoy!


okay, time to transform from recipe-direction-mode back to janetha-rambling-mode. it’s always a strange transition.

i had my chicken puffs with some steamed broccoli & a bowl of tomato soup.


the soup was V8 and i added some diced heirloom tomatoes to the mix, then sprinkled it with parmesan cheese.


in junior high, kristen and i called the chicken puffs “brains”. i can’t even remember why, but i always think of that when i eat them.


they were even better than i remember.


sure, i didn’t take 2 hours to make my labor intensive meal i had planned.. but in tonight’s case, something was definitely better than nothing. in fact, marshall ate four chicken puffs! they are always a hit with the significant other. unless you are my sister. who made them for years and years.. then one day her husband informed her that he didn’t really like them. wah, wah, wah.

i wish i had more pumpkin banana bread to eat for dessert, but it’s gone. i think i will just make a 90 second protein pumpkin cake instead. because, after all, something is better than nothing.

by the way, if you need a pick-me-up, go check out the comments section of my real simple magazine subscription giveaway.  each and every comment than comes in has slathered a smile across my face. i love hearing why YOU love YOUR life.. and it just makes me love mine even more! by the way, you can still enter the giveaway up until thursday night. so have at it.


1. what meal(s) did you grow up eating very frequently? in addition to chicken puffs, my mom always made sweet & sour meatballs with rice, roast with mashed potatoes and chili with her famous homemade scones (fry bread, for those of you not from utah). i love eating meals from my childhood.

2. today (wednesday) is national potato day! what is your favorite kind of potato? that’s tough. it is a tossup between sweet and baby red.

xo. janetha g.

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Becki @ Hike, Bike, Eat October 27, 2010 at 10:00 pm

I always had mac and cheese and mashed potatoes with peas mixed in. The rushed-mother staple of my childhood :)

Mama Pea October 27, 2010 at 10:04 pm

Okay, I’m totally veganizing those. You’ll see.

Hmm…we ate macaroni and cheese with hamburger or sliced hot dogs AND PEAS mixed in. Funny that the only thing I’ll eat now is the peas :)

I’m all about the sweet potatoes. Or mashed. Mmmm…

Just about a week until we are together…GAHHHH!

J October 27, 2010 at 10:16 pm

My mom used to make chicken puffs too!! Wow. Never had them with gravy though, and we also used some chopped pimento for more color. Delish!

My favorite potatoes are fingerlings, prepared roasted.

Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) October 27, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Chicken puffs are BRILLIANT!!!! Where have I been, under a ROCK!>!>! I’m surprised that some granola crunching company hasn’t yet made whole wheat croissant dough- or is that an oxymoron?

Bahaha when you asked what fave potato I blurted out in my brain (doesn’t everyone do that before typing?) “Fries!” oops. I’ll now change my answer to sweet potato FRIES!!

Growing up as a kid I remember Mexican lasagna. And popcorn- that’s where my addiction started.


elise October 27, 2010 at 10:53 pm

omg, i used to LOOOOVE popping open those roll containers when i was a lil one. im not saying ive matured, im sure id still love it…but im pretty sure theres dairy in them.

your lil puffs look so cute and tasty!

Stefanie October 27, 2010 at 11:35 pm

Those look delish! And I could easily make half vegetarian (with tempeh/soy crumbles/veggies) and half chicken for the boy!! Thanks for the recipe. :)

Growing up we always had spaghetti with garlic bread, tacos, homemade pizza, mac n’ cheese, and something called “chicken dish,” which was my absolute favorite! Maybe I’ll post about it sometime? ;)

edenseats October 28, 2010 at 12:05 am

ok, so now I REALLY want momma b to adopt me! I want her (or you) as my personal chef!

My mom was israeli so I ate lots of tahini and hummus. But she was really cooky that she often didnt feel like cooking and we would go out for thai.My dad is Belgian so he always made me killer fries and steak. I was about ten when I started cooking by myself and I basically watch very old old school food network and tried to copy what they made.

potato? I’m I like those purple ones. I’d say Mr. Potato head, but only when he doesn’t have the mustache. the mustache creeps me out!

marisa October 28, 2010 at 12:17 am

Hahahahaha. I was getting my comment all ready to write by saying something along the lines of, “Lucky you that your hubby likes chicken puffs… mine took 7 years to tell me he didn’t” but you nailed it. I am still laughing. But I think that I’m going to start making them again since he is gone M-F. And then when we are back together, I’ll make them still, because something is better than nothing! ;)

Erica October 28, 2010 at 4:14 am

Week days can really take everything out of you! Getting in both a workout & a nice looking dinner definitely = awesome! Your lunch sounds fabulous. I love when restaurants use fun veggies like artichokes on sandwiches. Growing up we ate a lot of my mom’s homemade spaghetti sauce, chili, stuffed peppers, pork chops and on rare occasion we use to get breakfast for dinner (and I loved it, and so the obsession started ;)). Favorite kind of potato? Definitely sweet!

Jessica @ How Sweet October 28, 2010 at 4:31 am

Okay I think these are dinner tonight. They look too amazing not to be.

lindsay October 28, 2010 at 4:39 am

I think yesterday was national Procrastination Day because thats how I felt. Of course, your dinner is way more exciting that ours was, but like you said “something is better than nothing.” haha!
We grew up on spaghetti and meatballs, I adore them. I now make them gluten free and use chicken meatballs instead but you get the picture. Its comfort, its home.
Happy almost FRIDAY!

Lauren October 28, 2010 at 4:54 am

You’re “something” is a lot better than most people’s “anything” so I say you did an excellent job today! These chicken things remind me so much of a dish I use to make called Chicken Pockets. It’s basically the same thing but without the gravy. I like the idea of the gravy though. :)

Katie October 28, 2010 at 6:09 am

That dinner looks so good! I grew up eating a lot of chicken spaghetti and something we called “Kraut Burgers” – which were a lot like your puffs, but filled with cabbage and ground beef. I will have to make them soon, this post got me all nostalgic for them. :-)

MMmm potatoes. I love them so much. I think I have to say sweet, although you’re right – baby red are delicious, too.

Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine October 28, 2010 at 6:38 am

I must say, the only time I miss eating meat is when someone makes a particularly creative dish with it that I’ve never tried- and your recipes are always creative!! Growing up we ate a TON of turkey chili with shredded cheese, raviolis from the box and Ellios frozen pizza. Oh and my mom made asparagus with pretty much every meal- we’d dip the stalks into salad dressing!

Di October 28, 2010 at 6:41 am

Your something is more than I do some nights! But that sounds relatively quick and easy and I’m thinking I may have to give it a shot!

We had pasta with homemade gravy weekly. My mom would make huge batches on the weekend and freeze the gravy and meatballs in portions so she could defrost just what we needed for dinner every week for like, a month. And we always used grated romano cheese, not parmesan!

Loaded baked potato is my favorite! ;) Jk. I love sweet potatoes and regular ol’ potatoes…roasted. Yum!

MelissaNibbles October 28, 2010 at 6:56 am

Looks great!
I love me a sweet tater!

Kailey (SnackFace) October 28, 2010 at 6:59 am

May I say that four miles is much more effort than most put into it? You crazy! Also, those puffs look amaaaaazing!

I grew up eating chicken piccata a lot! It was my favorite. Obviously, things have changed.

My favorite potato is…shoot red skin? They make for amazing super roasted little nuggets. Sounds appealing, right? I think I’m over sweet potatoes, like I overdid it, ate too many of them, and now I can’t tolerate the way they taste. SHAME!

Love ya!

Jessie October 28, 2010 at 7:03 am

That looks delicious!

Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) October 28, 2010 at 7:26 am

Wow, that sandwich sounds to die for!

Those chicken puffs sound SO flippin good. I’m trying them asap, nick would LOVE them!!

My mom didn’t cool all that much, but when she did she would make keilbasa & egg noodles [my dad is part polish- love kielbasa!], american chop suey [hated it then, love it now] and tuna casserole… which I love, love, love!! Weird, maybe, but so creamy… so delish.

I love sweet potatoes. Not a big fan of white potatoes, they need to be roasted juuust right.


Clairerose C October 28, 2010 at 8:05 am

I like the way you think.”Something IS better than nothing”!It can be applied to so many things as you as you have showed:-)cc

Freckled Foodie October 28, 2010 at 8:07 am

Growing up, I can remember eating a lot of shephard’s pie! i’m not sure why that’s sticking in my head right now, but my family is also big on spaghetti! We used to eat the noodles with JUST butter and beg our Dad not to make us eat the sauce (not sure why, but we didnt like the meat!)

My favorite potato is a sweet potato, HANDS down. With some Justin’s nut butter, preferably ;)


Nicole C October 28, 2010 at 8:28 am

My Mom always made homemade spaghetti and meatballs so I now make them too! I have altered the recipe a bit but I love it. I always remember the crappy pork chops she made so now i have taught her how to make them :)

I like any potato except sweet. I seriously have some food issues but they make me want to throw up. I think it’s a texture and color issue. I saw a show about a girl having a color issue with food, quite emotional at that, and it made me think..hmm.

Nicole C October 28, 2010 at 8:33 am

Oh and another thing, I hate popping open those containers of rolls. I can’t handle fireworks and children with balloons will just about give me a heart attack. So, every time I have to open one I make Ben do it and i cover my ears. :( How lame huh!

Janetha G - meals & moves October 28, 2010 at 12:44 pm

this is hilarious, is it ok that i laughed?

Marg October 28, 2010 at 8:32 am

I love gravy and this looks so good! Growing up we ate a lot of round steak with rice and gravy and red beans and rice. (Rice was a staple)

I like sweet potatoes.

Holly October 28, 2010 at 8:35 am

DEFINITELY adding this recipe to my ‘must make soon’ list! It looks so delicious :)

Allie October 28, 2010 at 8:41 am

Those crescent rolls in the can always remind me of “pigs-in-a-blanket”, which is something we used to have as kids. Those puffs look really good — & I am not even eating meat right now or a big fan of chicken — & I am thinking I might just have to give in & make them with tuna. Yum.

Yesterday was national potato day? Perfect! I had my favorite last night: slices of slow roasted sweet potato. mmm

Jess October 28, 2010 at 8:45 am

I had a loooot of spaghetti growing up- I loved it!!!
Sweet potatoes are my fav :)

Holly October 28, 2010 at 9:27 am

mama e’s classic meal is rice hot dish, which i hate. it’s cream of mushroom soup, rice, ground beef, onions and some other shiz. to this day, me no like. in fact, many of the meals my mom made growing up i didn’t like, besides beef stroganoff. her beef stroganoff is the BEST.


lowandbhold October 28, 2010 at 9:44 am

Something IS better than nothing. I totally agree.

We had roast with carrots and potatoes all the time growing up, so often in fact that we called it “roast again” to tease my mom. Now I miss it, it was so good!

I love roasted fingerling potatoes!

Kelly October 28, 2010 at 9:48 am

I remember eating spaghetti and homemade meatballs…my dad’s speciality! And to this day I can’t ever see a bowl of spaghetti and not think of my dad!

Cathy K October 28, 2010 at 9:52 am

love this recipe idea! the husband will be a big fan, i think. and i love to prepare recipes that have fun steps like rolling up those dough triangles!
from childhood:…we often enjoyed homemade mac n cheese, mini pizzas – i liked those two. didn’t like pot roast or pork chop nights – never have been a fan of meat, potato and veg dinners!

melissadishes October 28, 2010 at 10:00 am

My mom liked to make cheesy chicken spaghetti, king ranch chicken, meatloaf, and parmeasan chicken (the kind with corn flakes).

I still make the chicken spaghetti and the king ranch chicken on occasion. I need to make the king ranch soon, maybe next week :-)

cbrady3 October 28, 2010 at 10:44 am

My mom used to make pigs in a blanket – hot dog with a slice of american cheese baked in a crescent roll!

and baked sweet potato with cinnamon. no questin!

Julia October 28, 2010 at 12:10 pm

My mom went through some different cooking stages – for a while Kraft Spirals were a real staple, then tuna casserole made a lot of appearances, later there was lots of homemade chili and salmon. The think that was consistent was chicken curry – a recipe I make occassionally, which is delish!

runningaroundnormal October 28, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Hey that’s not a bad cardio workout, girl! I’d def say it was more than something! :)
I think that Shane would thoroughly enjoy those puffs. I always love it when you post easy but delicious meals I know Shane will like!! And I bet I could stuff em with something I could eat:)
Erm…my mom didn’t cook much. I grew up eating a lot of minute steaks and instant mashed potatoes…yep – instant!

Lindsay October 28, 2010 at 2:39 pm

I just recently started following your blog and I love it! Imagine my surprise to see Emily on here today. She was a few years younger than me but we went to school together. It’s crazy how small of a world it is sometimes.

paijery October 28, 2010 at 2:42 pm

I’ve never heard of chicken puffs! But they look really good and I love your step by step photos!

Growing up my mom made chop suey and chicken and rice with mushroom gravy. YUM! I love eating meals from my childhood too :)

I am a yaaaaaam girl all the way! And baby garden potatoes!

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) October 28, 2010 at 3:34 pm

This recipe would make most people very happy! Cream cheese, (white) bread/cresent rolls, and chicken. I think that making these for a party would be a hit!

Meals growing up…anything on the grill. My parents i swear, grilled when it was 0 degrees out!

Emily and you…two gorgeous blonds, lunch, girl talk…how fun for you hotties!!!!!! :)

Liz @ Blog is the New Black October 28, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I don’t like cream cheese but i LOVE this idea of wrapping the mix in a crescent roll. Thanks for the inspiration! October 28, 2010 at 5:32 pm

My mom made chicken puffs all of the time growing up, must be a Utah thing. We used the same recipe but we never had gravy on ours… I need to try that! I love love love sweet potatoes but honestly I could live off potatoes and delicious toppings of course! Have a great day!

Anita October 28, 2010 at 5:56 pm

I eat a sweet potato as part of my dinner every single night, so I think it goes without saying that that’s my favorite tater!!!! :-)

As for what I ate growing up… neither one of my parents were huge cooks, but they had a signature dish or two. My mom made this spinach casserole that looked disgusting but was so freaking good… I know it had spinach and ricotta cheese in it, and other stuff too, I’m not sure… it was delish! Also, the standard chicken-rice-cream-of-mushroom soup casserole that every mom made courtesy of Campbell’s, LOL.

My dad made awesome burgers, not grilled, but on the stove… he just used the perfect combination of Worcestershire sauce, spices, etc. No burger will ever compare to his. Also, he made Egg McMuffins a lot- healthier than McD’s, but still not superhealthy. He passed away a year and a half ago. I don’t even try to replicate the burgers- they’d never be like his, and I don’t eat a lot of red meat anyway, if at all. But I do make healthified McMuffins, with egg whites, cheese, spinach, spices galore, and whole wheat bread…. and I think of him when I eat them. :-)

BroccoliHut October 28, 2010 at 6:15 pm

If I were at lunch with you all, I totally would have zoinked that pickle.
1. My mom made carbonara, mashed taters with ham and cheese (which I recently vegetarianized), and a rockin’ Dijon chicken.
2. I love sweet potatoes the best!

Haylee November 1, 2010 at 12:26 pm

we LOVE Chicken Puffs (we call them turkey rolls…haha) I dont really like cream cheese so I use some plain Greek Yogurt instead…my husband who hates yogurt Loves it (he never knows the difference). We also grew up eating Tuna (Chicken) Noodle Casserole.

kerry October 4, 2011 at 3:49 am

these look SO good! Do you think they would taste good without the breadcrumbs? i’m not really a lover!! x

Janetha October 4, 2011 at 11:31 am

Kerry! You can DEFINITELY leave them off! In fact I left them off last night because I had none.

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