Honey Grilled Chicken

Honey Grilled Chicken

Hard to believe summer will be coming to a close here in a few weeks. We have been super busy trying to fit everything in! Rather than explaining, I will let my pictures to the talking:

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As you can see, we have been very busy! We are enjoying the next few weeks here in Texas until school starts. It’s so fun to be with grandparents and get to spend time with them… And have a little break here and there! I feel refreshed and relaxed with just an hour or two by myself. (Thanks Grammy!)

Anyways, I made this chicken the other night at my in-laws house and everyone, kids and grown ups alike just gobbled it up. It’s super easy and makes quite a bit. Plus you will want the leftovers because they are delicious on their own again or chopped up on a salad or tacos or something else. (It’s actually what I shred and add on top of my Black Bean Soup!)

Also, chicken breasts can be substituted but the thighs really are where it’s at! The sweet honey with the smokey tender flavorful chicken make this a favorite in our house! At Grammy’s request, here is this recipe ūüėČ

Honey grilled chicken

Ingredients:

  • Spice rub:
  • 1 TBL Chili powder
  • 1 TBL Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Salt (no pepper, it burns!)
  • 1 tsp Onion powder
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Coriander (optional)
  • Chicken
  • 12 chicken thighs (3 lbs)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar

Directions:
Combine all spices for the rub in a small bowl.
Pat dry chicken pieces and lay out evenly on parchment paper. Sprinkle half of spices on thighs and flip over with tongs or a fork.
Sprinkle remaining rub on the other side of chicken thighs until fully coated.
From here, you can either put on the grill or add to a zip top bag to await the heat!
(I like to have them sit in the bag for 30 or so minutes and massage the spices into the meat.)
Prepare the honey and vinegar by stirring together in a small bowl.
(Or if you are close to the end of your honey, just add the vinegar right in the jar and shake!)
Place chicken on the grill and get the honey close and ready. After 3-4 minutes, flip the chicken and start brushing on the honey mixture on the already grilled sides. Grill for another 2-4 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken thighs. After the chicken is done (registering about 160-165 degrees), brush the remaining honey on the other side, coating every nook and cranny.

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We served our honey grilled chicken with skewered veggies and roasted sweet potatoes. I love to do sweet potatoes with these since the sweetness in both really go together.

Honey Grilled Chicken
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 servings
 
The spice rub and honey combined on this grilled chicken is so flavorful and yummy and it's a quick meal as well!
Ingredients
  • Spice rub:
  • 1 TBL Chili powder
  • 1 TBL Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Salt (no pepper, it burns!)
  • 1 tsp Onion powder
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Coriander (optional)
  • Chicken:
  • 12 chicken thighs (3 lbs)
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
Instructions
  1. Combine all spices for the rub in a small bowl.
  2. Pat dry chicken pieces and lay out evenly on parchment paper. Sprinkle half of spices on thighs and flip over with tongs or a fork.
  3. Sprinkle remaining rub on the other side of chicken thighs until fully coated.
  4. Can be refrigerated up to 24 hours or put directly on the grill.
  5. Prepare the honey and vinegar by stirring together in a small bowl.
  6. Place chicken on the grill and keep the honey close and ready. After 3-4 minutes, flip the chicken and start brushing on the honey mixture on the already grilled sides. Grill for another 2-4 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken thighs. After the chicken is done (registering about 160-165 degrees), brush the remaining honey on the other side, coating every nook and cranny.

 

I hope you enjoy the Honey Grilled Chicken! I would love to hear about it!

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup (vegetarian!)

Our family doesn’t usually eat meat-free meals just because we always a meat/protein. If your family aren’t big meat-eaters or they are willing to try a vegetarian meal, slow cooker black bean soup¬†is a good one! I will say we used chicken stock but it could be swapped for vegetable stock easily. Also, I used grilled chicken thighs as a topping so be forewarned when you see the pic!

Also, I am drawn to this recipe since it uses dried beans instead of canned. I love the idea of using dried beans but I can never seem to remember to soak them the night before. This is why I usually cook with canned beans. I guess you can call it laziness or just busy, you decide!

BBsoup

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBL olive oil
  • 2 large onions
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 3 carrots
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 TBL cumin
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (i didn’t use since my kids don’t like the heat)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 lb dried black beans, rinsed (about 2- 2.25 cups)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Chopped fresh onion
  • Chicken (optional of course! Could be rotisserie or grilled, which I have a great recipe for grilled thighs BTW!)

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Directions:

Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Chop onion, celery, and carrot.

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Add the chopped vegetables to the pan and then minced (or garlic-pressed) cloves of garlic with cumin, pepper flakes and salt.

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Cook until everything has softened and lightly browned, 10-12 minutes.

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Add the vegetables, water, broth, black beans, and bay leaves to the slow cooker.

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Stir to combine everything. Cover and cook on low for 9-10 hours or on high for 6-7 hours.slow-cooker-black-bean-soup

After the time is done, remove bay leaves.

black-bean-soup-remove-bay-leaves2-cups-black-bean-soupLadle out 2 cups of soup and puree in a blender or with immersion blender until smooth. Stir back into rest of soup.

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Season with cilantro, and also salt and pepper if needed. Serve and top with toppings as desired. Enjoy!

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Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup (vegetarian!)
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Dried black beans become a delicious hearty soup in this slow cooker recipe.
Ingredients
  • 2 TBL olive oil
  • 2 large onions
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 3 carrots
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1½ TBL cumin
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes (i didn't use since my kids don't like the heat)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 lb dried black beans, rinsed (about 2- 2.25 cups)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Chopped fresh onion
  • Chicken
Instructions
  1. Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Chop onion, celery and carrot.
  2. Add the chopped vegetables to the pan and minced cloves of garlic with cumin, pepper flakes and salt.
  3. Cook until everything has softened and lightly browned, 10-12 minutes.
  4. Add the vegetables, water, broth, black beans and bay leaves to the slow cooker.
  5. Stir to combine everything. Cover and cook on low for 9-10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours.
  6. After time is done, remove bay leaves. Ladle out 2 cups of soup and puree in a blender or with immersion blender until smooth. Stir back into rest of soup.
  7. Season with cilantro, salt and pepper. Serve and top with toppings as desired.

 

My kids love this kind of stuff! Each one asks for more cheese or more sour cream, whatever they like!

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It gets a little messy there for the little guy so he eats his dinner topless ūüėČ

For those of you that have been wondering, ‘why haven’t I been receiving the post emails?’ Well, I haven’t been posting much, that’s why! Lots of changes have been happening in our household and we’ve been traveling and visiting family quite a bit. Thankfully, I feel like I’m finally getting my groove back! Thanks for the continued support!

Please let me know what you think about the Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup! I’d love to hear what you think!

325 Zero Hunger

My husband, Jason and I have volunteered to take on a project within our church. It is led by our pastor and a few other church and community members to end hunger in our zip code, 32507. Hence the name, 325 Zero Hunger.

As a mom of young children, I cannot imagine not being able to feed my child until they were full. Or having to go hungry myself in order for my child to eat. However, that is the reality in many homes in our area, and across the country.

I looked up a few facts from an article called “Hungry Games” written by Jessica Forbes just for my own information and for this post. In our first meeting, we discussed ways of going about this rather daunting task. We have started with children and using schools as a way to find those in need. This article has chosen school age children as well to narrow focus.

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“Over 60 percent of Escambia County public school students, roughly 24,000 children, rely on the school system for at least two free or reduced price meals a day during the school year. (…) Approximately 1,500 to 2,000 of the 24,000 eligible students will receive meals during a part of the summer provided through the USDA programs. The remaining 22,000 are left to make other arrangements.”

I was in awe of that number, thinking how many families struggle to put meals on the table. In our meeting, we discussed defining “food insecurity” more specifically.

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Food insecurity: ‚ÄúThe limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways.”
Found on othersociologist.com

Even though, there are a few programs in place already to help feed the hungry in this area. However, other volunteers for 325 Zero Hunger would be the first to say they have seen many gaps that need to be filled. They know because of their long work experience in these other programs:

  • Backpack programs that give school kids food to take home over the weekends
  • School lunch programs that give reduced price or free meals to kids
  • Frozen food programs (like One Harvest) that can be purchased and passed out to those who need it
  • Food banks through churches or other organizations that distribute food throughout our city and counties
  • Homeless and other outreaching food distribution with a large scale focus

Also, there are several that the article touched on for school age kids to find food during the summer when school is out.

While we are not certain of all the specific ways that this organization will work to achieve its goal, I am looking forward to helping as much as we can.

Meanwhile, keep looking out for more posts as I also try to raise these crazy kiddos of ours. I couldn’t help but feel heartbroken in researching for this post. It made me glad I signed up to assist and also want to hug my children close and say a prayer of gratitude for everything God has given us.

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Easy Pasta with Sausage

Here in Pensacola, we have had a rough week the past 7 days. We had a lot of heavy rain and thunderstorms, the last of which on Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning. I heard between 20 and 25 inches of rain in a 24 hour period! There were many city streets that had total washouts and many people, including some friends had water come into their houses. We were fortunate enough only to have water in our backyard. Our house is on a sloped lot so the porch (shown) is 5-6 feet off the ground.

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The water had gone back down past the fence by the time the day had ended. It was crazy! I just feel terrible for all those that are still dealing with water damage, insurance companies and heartache over losing so much. I can’t even imagine what they are going through.

Anyways, I will get on with the recipe.

Easy pasta with sausage is something I make when I need a quick dinner and it’s just me and kids eating. Not that my husband wouldn’t like it, but I like to keep it simple and easy on the nights I’m cooking for just us. Everything is throw it in a pan and serve from there.

I feel like I make a lot of these type of ‘versatile’ dishes like this, but it’s so easy and yummy, why not? So, use what you have in this basic formula and feel better about using fresh food that doesn’t get dumped out later because it went bad sitting in the fridge! (I hate that!)

What’s really great too, is it’s so easy to sneak some extra vegetables in that don’t always get eaten. I like to throw finely chopped up fresh spinach or diced, de-seeded fresh tomato as well. A finish of herbs are also nice as well. Whatever you have in the fridge will work!

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Easy Pasta with Sausage

Ingredients:

  • I used 3/4 of one of these, all natural pork sausage (the whole thing pictured). I know its not organic but its better than others, right?
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5-6 button mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 carrot or handful of baby carrots, diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 lb. whole wheat pasta (rotini in this case)
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (I usually grate some off the block/wedge)

Directions:

Cook the pasta according to directions. Make sure to keep the starchy cooking water aside.

Brown the sausage with the vegetables in a large skillet over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper.

brown sausage and vegetables for easy pasta and sausage

Cook until everything is softened, about 8-10 minutes. Add broth and bring to simmer for 3-4 minutes until slightly reduced.

add browth and simmer - easy pasta with sausage

Add cooked pasta and taste for any additional seasoning.

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Add sprinkled cheese and stir to combine.

add sprinkled cheese to easy pasta and sausage

Doesn’t really get much easier than that!

Easy Pasta with Sausage
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 9-12 oz natural pork sausage
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5-6 button mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 carrot or handful of baby carrots, diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 lb. whole wheat pasta (rotini in this case)
  • salt and pepper
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to directions. Make sure to keep the starchy cooking water aside.
  2. Brown the sausage with the vegetables in a large skillet over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook until everything is softened, about 8-10 minutes. Add broth and bring to simmer for 3-4 minutes until slightly reduced.
  4. Add cooked pasta and taste for any additional seasoning.
  5. Add sprinkled cheese and stir to combine.
  6. Serve with more cheese on the table to top.

 

Please let me know if you are able to make Easy Pasta with Sausage and what you thought of it!

 

Pork Stir Fry

So happy Spring has arrived! We spent both days of this weekend outside in the sunshine! On Saturday, we had Harper’s soccer game and a birthday party at a playground. Then Sunday, we were cleaning up the porch and front yard after church.

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I even got a tiny sunburn on the back of my neck since my hair no longer covers it now that my hair is all gone! I must have cut off 8-9 inches in the back!

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Anyways, we also said a very sad goodbye to our dear, dear friends who moved to Jacksonville. Our children have grown up together and it’s just so sad now that they aren’t around the corner anymore. Life will be a lot less exciting without them but we both know we will get to visit each other since it just a quick 5 hour drive down I-10 from us! Haha!

momwithagoldenfork dear friend

This is blast from the past (Carmel 2009 BC: before children!)

So the matter at hand: Pork Stir Fry. As I am emptying out my back log of recipes, this one is a more recent one I have fixed. Its one I know many people have a similar type of dish already; but since I love to share my own recipes, maybe its a little different from others out there!

On another note, if you have everything prepped and ready for this meal, you can make Pork Stir Fry in a flash! I’d say less than 20 minutes! That’s better than take out for sure and it tastes just as good!

pork stir fry plate

Pork Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb pork chops, sliced in 1/4in strips (could be chicken or flank steak or peeled shrimp instead!)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TBL rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 TBL cornstarch
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced thinly
  • 1 onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 5-6 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup broccoli (fresh or defrosted from frozen), in florets
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of sugar
  • 3 TBL vegetable oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • Sliced green onion or Black sesame seeds or chopped cilantro for garnish
  • Sauce:
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 TBL cornstarch
  • 1 TBL soy sauce
  • 1 TBL hoisin sauce
  • 1 TBL rice wine vinegar

Instructions:

Whisk together egg, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and cornstarch. Add in the pork (or other protein) and set aside.

pork stir fry wet ingredients

Mix up the sauce and place in area next to stove along with the vegetable and pork.

pork stir fry vegetables

Heat 2 TBL of oil in large skillet or wok. Add pork and brown until no longer pink, 1 1/2- 2 minutes, (should still be underdone). Remove to a plate and set aside.

brown pork for stir fry

Make sure pan is HOT and add remaining 1 TBL of oil. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.

saute garlic pork stir fry

Add all the vegetables along with a pinch of salt and sugar. Stir fry until crisp-tender about 2 minutes.

pork stir fry vegetables in pan

Add the pork and pour in sauce and stir. Everything should start to thicken up by about 3 minutes.

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Move to plate and sprinkle any garnishes on top. Serve on top of white (or brown!) rice and Voila!

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Pork Stir Fry
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ lb pork chops, sliced in ¼in strips (could be chicken or flank steak or peeled shrimp insteadl!)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TBL rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 TBL cornstarch
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced thinly
  • 1 onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 5-6 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup broccoli, (fresh or defrosted from frozen) in florets
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of sugar
  • 3 TBL vegetable oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • Sliced green onion or Black sesame seeds or chopped cilantro for garnish
  • Sauce:
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1TBL cornstarch
  • 1 TBL soy sauce
  • 1 TBL hoisin sauce
  • 1 TBL rice wine vinegar
Instructions
  1. Whisk together egg, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and cornstarch. Add in the pork (or other protein) and set aside.
  2. Mix up the sauce and place in area next to stove along with the vegetable and pork.
  3. Heat 2 TBL of oil in large skillet or wok. Add pork and brown until no longer pink, 1½- 2 minutes. (should still be underdone) Remove to a plate and set aside.
  4. Make sure pan is HOT and add remaining 1 TBL of oil. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
  5. Add all the vegetables along with a pinch of salt and sugar. Stir fry until crisp-tender about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the pork and pour in sauce and stir. Everything should start to thicken up by about 3 minutes.
  7. Move to plate and sprinkle any garnishes on top. Serve on top of rice.

 

Please let me know what you think of the Pork Stir Fry! I would love to hear your comments!

 

Strawberry Smoothie

Strawberry Smoothie

Welcome Spring! And thank goodness for warm weather! We have been playing outside nonstop since it stopped raining and it got above 50 degrees. Since we had Spring Break this week and we are on somewhat of a “stay-cation” this smoothie was my attempt at a break from our normal routine. We whirred them together in our blender and poured some into a popsicle mold! The rest we snacked on in the afternoon breeze, it was wonderful!

I sort of made this up in a pinch. I added a little of this and that but I wrote what I approximately did. Hopefully I eye-balled it correctly!

Just found this awesome article about chia seeds! Read up!

Strawberry Smoothie

Strawberry smoothie

In case you can’t see that fancy new text (yep, I’m fancy now!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup frozen strawberries (I kept one aside to put on top)
  • 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup juice (I used a strawberry and watermelon but white grape would be good)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 TBL honey
  • 1 TBL chia seeds (optional)

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Directions:

Whir together in a blender for 1-2 min. Enjoy! And enjoy we did!

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Here are some pics of my crazies after smoothies were consumed:

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Strawberry Smoothie
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup frozen strawberries (I kept one aside to put on top)
  • 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup juice (I used a strawberry and watermelon but white grape would be good)
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 TBL honey
  • 1 TBL chia seeds (optional)
Instructions
  1. Whir together in a blender for 1-2 min.
  2. Can add whole strawberries to garnish.

 

Please let me know if you tried it and/or liked the Strawberry smoothie! Please like momwithagoldenfork on Facebook or follow my blog through email!

Black Bean Chicken and Rice

Black Bean Chicken and Rice- Revisited

This Saturday, we had a busy day planned and so in an effort to alleviate the dinnertime rush, I made dinner in the morning. Hubby requested this dish earlier in the week so I love when I don’t have to plan what to eat, just go on my way to cooking!

I made a different kind of topping this time and I really like how it came out! I buzzed the tortilla chips in a food processor for 2 seconds and added 2 TBL of melted butter and a small handful of cilantro. I nixed the cooking spray this time around and thought the topping was much better! And the cilantro added a greenish tint to the chips. Everything else was the same, chicken, rice, jalapenos, etc. I baked it at 400 degrees for an hour covered and then took off the foil for 15 minutes. Everyone gobbled it up!

Black Bean Chicken and Rice

Ingredients:

  • 3 TBL butter
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half cream
  • 4-5 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless (2 lbs)
  • 1 1/2 cups white rice
  • 8 oz jack cheese, shredded (I used my food processor)
  • 1 can black beans (15 oz), drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • Tortilla chips, crushed to crumbs
  • cooking spray

Black Bean Chicken and Rice Black Bean Chicken and Rice

Directions:

Melt butter in a large pot (with a lid) over medium high heat.

Black Bean Chicken and Rice

Add bell peppers, onion, jalapenos and salt. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes.

Black Bean Chicken and Rice

Stir in garlic and cumin and warm through, about 30 seconds. Add in flour and stir constantly for about 1 minute, until slightly browned.

Black Bean Chicken and Rice

Whisk in broth and cream, stirring slowly to incorporate. Black Bean Chicken and Rice

Add the chicken breasts, cover and bring to a simmer.

Black Bean Chicken and Rice

Reduce heat to low and cook until chicken is cooked completely or thermometer reads 160 degrees, about 15-18 minutes.

Black Bean Chicken and Rice

Remove chicken to cool and add rice to broth mixture. Stirring often, cover rice and cook until cooked, about 22 minutes.

Black Bean Chicken and Rice

Shred chicken when cooled enough to handle. Remove pan from heat and stir in following ingredients: shredded chicken, grated cheese, drained black beans, corn and lime juice.

Black Bean Chicken and RiceBlack Bean Chicken and Rice

Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a 13 x 9 dish. Spread out the crushed tortilla chips on top of mixture. Spray with cooking spray all over top. Cover with foil. Place in 400 degree oven for 45-60 minutes until bubbling. Remove foil and bake until crumbs are crisp, 15-20 minutes.

Black Bean Chicken and Rice

This makes a huge amount of food and its really great leftover! If you have a small crowd, I would recommend freezing half or double it and freeze. Just thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours and bake as above.

Black Bean Chicken and Rice

Black Bean Chicken and Rice- Revisited
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 servings
 
While this dish has a little prep time, the end result is totally worth it!
Ingredients
  • 3 TBL butter
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half cream
  • 4-5 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless (2 lbs)
  • 1½ cups white rice
  • 8 oz jack cheese, shredded (I used my food processor)
  • 1 can black beans (15 oz), drained and rinsed
  • 1½ cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • Tortilla chips, crushed to crumbs
  • cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a large pot (with a lid) over medium high heat.
  2. Add bell peppers, onion, jalapenos and salt. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in garlic and cumin and warm through, about 30 seconds. Add in flour and stir constantly for about 1 minute, until slightly browned.
  4. Whisk in broth and cream, stirring slowly to incorporate.
  5. Add the chicken breasts, cover and bring to a simmer.
  6. Reduce heat to low and cook until chicken is cooked completely or thermometer reads 160 degrees, about 15-18 minutes.
  7. Remove chicken to cool and add rice to broth mixture. Stirring often, cover rice and cook until cooked, about 22 minutes.
  8. Shred chicken when cooled enough to handle. Remove pan from heat and stir in following ingredients: shredded chicken, grated cheese, drained black beans, corn and lime juice.
  9. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a 13 x 9 dish. Spread out the crushed tortilla chips on top of mixture. Spray with cooking spray all over top. Cover with foil. Place in 400 degree oven for 45-60 minutes until bubbling. Remove foil and bake until crumbs are crisp, 15-20 minutes.
  10. This can be frozen and defrosted overnight in the fridge. Bake as above after defrosted.

 

Please let me know what you think about the Black Bean Chicken and Rice. I would love to hear any and all comments!

One-Pot Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach

One-Pot Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach

Lots going on around here! Let’s see… we had a great Valentine’s day! I made strawberry pancakes for my kiddos with my own baking mix.

20140221-181813.jpg 20140221-181836.jpgI’m still trying to perfect the ratios but I will posts as soon as I like the results. They love pancakes and request them most mornings (well the one that talks does!). Both gobble them up every time. I put bananas, berries (either blue or straw) and then after they are made, top them with cashew butter. They are delicious!

In other news, winter is slowly making its way out of Florida and spring should be here soon! Yay! I made this Chicken and Sweet Potato thing still in the heart of the cold but I think it could be good year round. Maybe I just love sweet potatoes a little too much!

One-Pot Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp garlic and onion powder, each
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBL olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken tenders (or cut up larger breast pieces)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1-1 1/2 lb sweet potato, diced 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach, chopped

One-Pot Chicken with Sweet potatoes and Spinach

Directions:

Start by stirring together the seasoning mix in a small bowl: garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt and pepper.

One-Pot Chicken with Sweet potatoes and Spinach

Lay out the chicken pieces and sprinkle with seasonings on both sides. Put oil in large, preheated pot and brown chicken on either side, about 3-4 min each. Remove and set aside.

One-Pot Chicken with Sweet potatoes and Spinach

Add onion, mushrooms and sweet potatoes to pan and cook for 8 min, stirring frequently.

One-Pot Chicken with Sweet potatoes and Spinach One-Pot Chicken with Sweet potatoes and Spinach

Add oil if it starts to stick too much. Add chicken broth and salt and pepper to taste.

One-Pot Chicken with Sweet potatoes and Spinach

Bring to boil and cover. Replace chicken in pot and reduce heat.

One-Pot Chicken with Sweet potatoes and Spinach

Cook covered for 4-6 minutes until sweet potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Turn off heat and stir in chopped spinach.

One-Pot Chicken with Sweet potatoes and Spinach

We put this on a bed of quinoa cooked in chicken stock. It was really just so yummy! You could also use brown rice or something similar but it was pretty good just on its own! Just for those of you that are interested, its also gluten free, dairy free and very simple to make. What more can you ask?!

One-Pot Chicken with Sweet potatoes and Spinach

One-Pot Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • ½ tsp garlic and onion powder, each
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 TBL olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken tenders (or cut up larger breast pieces)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1-1½ lb sweet potato, diced ½ inch cubes
  • 1⅓ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup baby spinach, chopped
Instructions
  1. Start by stirring together the seasoning mix in a small bowl: garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt and pepper.
  2. Lay out the chicken pieces and sprinkle with seasonings on both sides. Put oil in large, preheated pot and brown chicken on either side, about 3-4 min each. Remove and set aside.
  3. Add onion, mushrooms and sweet potatoes to pan and cook for 8 min, stirring frequently.
  4. Add oil if it starts to stick too much. Add chicken broth and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Bring to boil and cover. Replace chicken in pot and reduce heat.
  6. Cook covered for 4-6 minutes until sweet potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Turn off heat and stir in chopped spinach.
  7. Can be served over quinoa or brown rice if desired.

 

Please let me know what you thought of the One-Pot Chicken with Sweet potatoes and Spinach! I would love to hear from you!

Pasta Ricotta Bake

What’s your go-to meal when you aren’t sure what to have for dinner? This is mine!
We have this every other week or so and it always comes out awesome! It requires just a few pantry staples and can be tailored to any other items you might need to use or have in your refrigerator.

This is actually a back-logged recipe I’ve been meaning to post since December! I made it when my husband’s parents were coming into town for Christmas. Due to bad weather on the way, they made the drive here a day early. I chose to make this for dinner the night they arrived. I know its always nice to have a home cooked meal after a long 12 hour day in the car of fast food and on-the-go snacks! I appreciate when we make the drive there for sure! So I was just trying to repay the hospitality!

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Grammy and Grandpa are the best! And such silly munchkins!

Anyways, back to the nitty-gritty! Here is my recipe.

Pasta Ricotta Bake

Ingredients:

Pasta
Ricotta
Cheese
Sauce

Just Kidding- but that could be the list for this meal and it would be pretty good! You can make this more complex (making your own sauce) or easier (less veggies) or vegetarian (no meat!) Its also one of those things that is easy to make early then chill in the fridge until you’re ready heat in the oven! Here’s mine for real:

  • 1 lb pasta (any kind works but I used whole wheat penne)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 TBL olive oil
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped (can use any color really)
  • 4 oz mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or put through garlic press
  • 1/2 package (about 4 oz) baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • 16 oz container ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups parmesan cheese, divided (could substitute mozzarella too)
  • 2 eggs

There are 3 parts to this: Meat, Pasta & Ricotta Mixture. I think its easiest to start heating the salted water for pasta then make meat and sauce. While that’s cooking, stir together the ricotta.

Directions:

Cook pasta in salted water, cooking 1-2 minutes less than box recommends. Drain as usual.
Pasta Ricotta Bake

Warm up the oil in a large dutch oven and dump in the ground beef. After it has started to brown (3-4 minutes), add the onion, mushrooms bell pepper, garlic. Cook for 8-10 minutes on medium low until onion has turned translucent and bell pepper has softened. Season with salt and pepper. Add the pasta sauce and spinach and turn on low and continue cooking for a few more minutes and all is warmed through. Add pasta and stir into sauce.

Pasta Ricotta Bake

While meat in cooking, use a large bowl to stir ricotta together. Start with ricotta and add in the eggs and lightly beat together. Season with salt and pepper and add 1/2 cup of the parmesan.

Pasta Ricotta Bake

Prepare a casserole dish (at least 9×13) by spraying with non stick cooking spray. Spread 1/2 of the meat and 1/2 of the pasta¬†in the bottom and press firmly for an even layer. Mound in the ricotta mixture over the pasta and spread out evenly.

Pasta Ricotta BakePasta Ricotta Bake

Add on the remainder of the meat and pasta and press into the dish. Hopefully your dish is large enough to accommodate it all!

Pasta Ricotta BakePasta Ricotta Bake

Sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 cup of parmesan and cover with foil. I’ve found it helps to spray the underside of the foil and it keeps the cheese for sticking.

Pasta Ricotta Bake

Place immediately in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or if from refrigerator, for 1 hour 20 minutes.

Pasta Ricotta Bake
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 servings
 
The easiest dish to put together, ever! And everyone always gobbles it up!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb pasta (any kind works but I used whole wheat penne)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 TBL olive oil
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped (can use any color really)
  • 4 oz mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or put through garlic press
  • ½ package (about 4 oz) baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • 16 oz container ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups parmesan cheese, divided (could substitute mozzarella too)
  • 2 eggs
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta in salted water, cooking 1-2 minutes less than box recommends. Drain as usual.
  2. Warm up the oil in a large dutch oven and dump in the ground beef. After it has started to brown (3-4 minutes), add the onion, mushrooms bell pepper, garlic.
  3. Cook for 8-10 minutes on medium low until onion has turned translucent and bell pepper has softened. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the pasta sauce and spinach and turn on low and continue cooking for a few more minutes and all is warmed through. Add pasta and stir into sauce.
  5. While meat in cooking, use a large bowl to stir ricotta together. Start with ricotta and add in the eggs and lightly beat together. Season with salt and pepper and add ½ cup of the parmesan.
  6. Prepare a casserole dish (at least 9x13) by spraying with non stick cooking spray. Spread ½ of the meat and ½ of the pasta in the bottom and press firmly for an even layer. Mound in the ricotta mixture over the pasta and spread out evenly.
  7. Add on the remainder of the meat and pasta and press into the dish.
  8. Sprinkle with the remaining 1½ cup of parmesan and cover with foil that has been sprayed on the under side.
  9. Place immediately in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or if from refrigerator, for 1 hour 20 minutes.
  10. Let sit 5-10 minutes before devouring.

 

Hope you enjoy as much as we do! I’d love to hear what you think of the Pasta Ricotta Bake! Please feel free to leave a comment!

Healing Chicken Soup

Healing Chicken Soup

It was a rough few days several weeks ago when our kids got sick. There are so many people getting sick or the flu or whatever contagious junk is spreading around. It’s a rough year for the sickies! I’m very glad that we are feeling back to normal!

This isn’t my typical recipe with all the before and during pictures. I had a touch of something and couldn’t get it all together. Thankfully I was feeling better shortly afterwards and thought, this might be helpful to anyone is the same situation as me!

Crock pot Chicken Soup with Rice. Its a mouthful so I’m calling it Healing Chicken Soup. Since I made it to heal my poor sick family.

I made this soup to be mild but hearty. I know everyone has a favorite chicken soup recipe but I like to make mine this way.

Healing Chicken Soup

2-3 chicken breast, preferably bone-in
salt and pepper
2 TBL olive oil
3 stalk celery, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 whole onion, chopped
48 oz chicken stock
1 bunch fresh thyme
2 cups rice
4 cups water

Start by roasting the chicken breast in a 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes depending on the size of chicken breast. Let cool and cut meat off bones, leaving meat as whole as possible. Bones can make more stock later on!
Place chicken, all veggies, stock, thyme and salt and pepper in crock pot on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8.
When almost ready to eat, cook rice in water. Take chicken out of broth and shred and return to crock pot. To serve, put soup in bowl and add a scoop of rice on top. Store leftover separately and rice won’t get mushy.

Healing Chicken Soup

You end up with a simple, delicious broth soup that has lots of chicken flavor and not too salty or heavy like many canned varieties.

It was so enticing, Calvin couldn’t help himself from a carrot or two!

Healing Chicken Soup

And when I tried to run him off to finish photographing, he threw a huge tantrum!

Healing Chicken Soup

But we ate lunch and he was much better! Although I don’t have a picture to prove it! We went out side a few days later and here he is all smiles.

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Healing Chicken Soup
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2-3 chicken breast, preferably bone-in
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 TBL olive oil
  • 3 stalk celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 48 oz chicken stock
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 cups water
Instructions
  1. Start by roasting the chicken breast in a 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes depending on the size of chicken breast. Let cool and cut meat off bones, leaving meat as whole as possible. Bones can make more stock later on!
  2. Place chicken, all veggies, stock, thyme and salt and pepper in crock pot on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8.
  3. When almost ready to eat, cook rice in water. Take chicken out of broth and shred and return to crock pot. To serve, put soup in bowl and add a scoop of rice on top. Store leftover separately and rice won't get mushy.

 

Hope you can keep this around whenever you need it, and I pray that’s not anytime soon!

Please let me know what you think about the Healing Chicken Soup. I love to read any and all comments!