Monday, April 14, 2014

Pineapple Salsa Rice

Sorry I disappeared last week! I was somewhat busy, but mostly lazy ::wink wink:: I did have one exciting event to share with you from last week though. I attended a pizza making class at a beautiful cooking studio and I will be sharing it with you later this week!

Onto the rice. I'll admit I'm not above convenience. I greatly prefer food cooked completely from scratch and I can taste the difference, but I grew up eating a lot of Rice-A-Roni type things and sometimes I just want them! For a long time whenever I made Mexican food I made Knorr's Mexican Rice. However, when I saw this recipe for pineapple salsa rice I knew it was time to say goodbye to my beloved mix and make a similar version from scratch. Honestly, this tasted like a healthier, less salty, and more flavorful version of the rice mix I so enjoy. John was raving about it and had the leftovers the next day for lunch, reporting that they were just as good the next day. Can't beat that!

Source: Slightly adapted from Good Thymes and Good Food

1 tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
½ medium sweet bell pepper, any color, diced
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 ½ cups chicken stock
1 cup prepared salsa
1 cup long grain white rice
1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
½ cup cilantro, minced

1- In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, add oil. Once oil is hot, add onion, bell pepper, and salt and cook until softened, 5-7 minutes. 
2- Stir in garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Stir in the chicken stock and salsa, cover and bring to a boil. Add in uncooked rice and stir. 
3-Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until rice is tender, 20-25 minutes. (Check liquid level toward the end of cooking and add more chicken stock as needed.)
4- Stir in pineapple and cilantro, season to taste with additional salt.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Chicken Yakisoba

I actually should call this "chicken yakisoba- sorta." You see, I recently decided to run to the grocery store on a Friday evening with Landon and didn't have my list with me so I shopped from memory. Well, after teaching all day, wrangling a 2 year old into the shopping cart (which has become an Olympic sport of wills... he wants to sit in the back, I want him in the front... you see where this is going), my memory was shot. I got home with some of the stuff I needed for this but not all. What can you do...

None the less, I have to say this was amazingly delicious. John and I are both huge fans of worcestershire sauce so whenever I see a recipe including it I am interested. I ended up leaving out the cabbage (one of they key ingredients, but I forgot it) and it was still amazing. I still have 4 packages of Ramen noodles in the house so I'm guessing I'll be making this again soon!

Source: Adapted from Babycenter

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp ketchup
(up to) 1 Tbsp sriracha
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 medium yellow onion
3/4 cup shredded carrots
1 small crown broccoli
1 tsp ground ginger
1 large chicken breast
2 (3 oz.) packages ramen noodles (discard seasoning packets)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1-In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, sriracha, and sugar. Use only 1/2 tsp of sriracha if you don’t want it spicy, use up to 1 Tbsp if you like it hot. Stir until the ketchup and sugar are dissolved. Set aside.
2- Prepare the meat and vegetables for stir frying. Slice the onion into thin strips. Cut the broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Slice the chicken into thin strips.
3- Begin boiling a medium pot full of water for the noodles. (Don’t add them yet.)
4- Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken strips and cook until they are no longer pink (about five minutes). Once the chicken is cooked through, add all of the vegetables. Stir until cook (about 5-10 minutes).
5- Meanwhile, once the water boils, add the noodles and cook just until tender (2-3 minutes). Drain, return to the pot (with the heat turned off).
6- Pour the sauce into the skillet with the chicken and vegetables with the heat still on medium high. Add the noodles, stir to coat everything in the sauce, and heat through (just a few minutes).

Sunday, March 30, 2014

March Recipe Remake Recap

March has been a relatively standard month around here! The weather is still brutally cold (WHY??) but we got a few days that gave us a hint of Spring. Landon discovered T-ball on those warm days and now is yearning to get out and play. Sadly last week an elementary school in my district burned down, leaving 450+ kids displaced. It's been a sad and chaotic time at school. I started a fundraiser through Amazon for the teachers and kids who lost everything and collected over 3,000 books in a week so that has been the highlight of my month for sure. Bring on April... I'm ready for warmer weather and more hours of daylight in the evening!

 I was browsing Pinterest when I saw the picture above pop up. I knew it was my recipe and instantly wanted it. I ended up making it that night! I love this french onion pasta. Landon took one look at it and said, "EW! GROSS!" so needless to say it was just John and I enjoying this one!

Sticking with the pasta theme I took a tray of creamy veggie noodles out of the freezer for John and my mom to enjoy this month when I had conferences. I haven't been freezing meals as much as I used to and I really need to. It makes life so easy!

I feel like Landon is in such a food rut. He eats the same things over and over. Recently, after he refused dinner, I made him yogurt dip and he luckily ate it all. I like that it adds the sunbutter in so there's more protein and calories (which is very important for my little peanut!)

Last month when I remade the sweet onion pot roast I froze half. I pulled it out of the freezer recently and I have to say, I never get sick of this! I made it with mashed potatoes this time and it was delicious. I love the sauce so anything that sucks up the sauce is a favorite for me.

This recipe is almost a joke at how simple it is, but it's so good. I remade double cheese pasta primavera. I added some chicken to it and just used a bag of steamed veggies to mix instead of fresh ones and it made the recipe even easier! The thing is I love Velveeta, so any excuse to eat it is a good one.

Chicken parmesan pasta continues to be a favorite around here. I add it to the remake so often that I'm not even sure it's worth mentioning, but I can't emphasize how easy this is on nights you just don't feel like cooking.

Honey Thai chicken stir fry is a great option for stir fry meals. Can I be honest here for a moment though? The reason I make so many stir fries is because I love my little mini baked egg rolls that I buy and sometimes I just crave them. So the frozen egg rolls are my main motivation to make some type of stir fry... I guess it should be the other way around, with the meal being the main attraction, but I looooove me some egg rolls!

I love Costco... way more than I should. Last time I went I ended up buying a huge jar of bruschetta. Why? I have no idea. But I did. So I've been trying to use it up before it goes bad. One meal was this bruschetta pizza which I added chicken to. Even Landon loved it... I guess he didn't notice the tomatoes and green sauce under the cheese because if he did he'd never have touched it!

See you in April with the next recap!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Asian Lemon Glazed Chicken Tenders

I am on a mission to use up ingredients I have on hand, minimizing my grocery shopping, and increasing my storage space. So far I've been working on this for two weeks and it's going so well! I have so much space that I didn't have before and last week I only spent $50 at the food store. Win win. One item I have in my freezer taking up space is a huge bag of chicken tenders. I decided to make this recipe as soon as I saw it on Pinterest. I mean, look at it... why wouldn't that be amazing, no?

These chicken tenders were delicious. Actually, that's an understatement. These chicken tenders were mind-blowingly good. John and I both loved them and I wish I had made extra because I know Landon would have been a huge fan too! These ingredients are all staples in my house so I can easily make these time and time again and I look forward to it. Try these. Soon. You'll be glad you did!

Source: Adapted from Damn Delicious

1 pound frozen chicken tenders, baked until hot (or homemade)

1/4 cup honey
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp pineapple juice
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Diced green onions (optional)

1- Preheat the oven to 400. 
2- Combine the sauce ingredients in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes, until slightly thickened.
3- Lay cooked chicken tenders in an oven-safe baking dish. Pour the sauce over top, flipping so both sides are coated. 
4- Bake 5-10 minutes, until the sauce is coating the chicken. Remove from the pan. Top with green onions if desired.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Chicken in Tomato-Basil Broth with Cous Cous

Look, I'm not a "good" blogger. I don't post 12 days of cookie recipes before Christmas, I don't post Guinness cupcakes on St. Patrick's Day, I never post anything pink for Valentine's Day, and forget about baking a pie for Pi Day. I just... forget. Ok? I forget. It's not that I don't want to be a "good" blogger, it's that I just... forget. Simple enough, right? And if we're being honest, I've been known to crave a heavy chicken pot pie in August and a caprese salad in February... so I am a complete foodie mess. Forgive me foodies, for I have sinned.

With that said, I WILL mark today with a special recipe. What is today, you ask? Today is the first day of Spring! And I am celebrating that like crazy because it's been a long, cold, harsh winter. My son is dying to run outside. He begs me to let him set up his T-Ball set in the house (which I politely decline), he is just roaring to go play. And me? I am so ready for warmer temperatures and natural light. You see, natural light is a bloggers best friend for their photos. Since I eat dinner at 7:30 or later every night there is no natural light most of the year, so I rejoice when the time comes.

This chicken was the first picture I took using natural light this year. It was totally delicious. I had enjoyed a heavy dinner the night prior and wanted something a bit simpler and this totally fit the bill. We all enjoyed it greatly. Landon was a little perplexed by the cous cous- what was it? Rice? "New-News" (noodles)? But once he tried it he said it was good, then returned to the chicken, my little carnivore. I know I'll make this again, anything that we all love is a total winner in my book.

Source: Adapted from Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations


1 cup of pearled cous cous, prepared to package directions
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
Salt, pepper, Italian herbs
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 sm onion, chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, chopped
3/4 c  chicken broth
Handful of fresh basil, cut into a chiffonade
Optional: fresh mozzarella, about 1 tbsp per chicken breast, chopped

1- Season chicken with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning
2- Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat
3- Add chicken; saute 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a dish and keep warm.
4- Add a touch of olive oil to your pan if it is dry. Add garlic and onions; saute 2 minutes.
5- Add tomatoes, saute 2 minutes.
6- Add chicken broth and half of your basil. Bring to a steady simmer.
7- Return chicken to the pan and let simmer 5 minutes.
8- Serve over cous cous, top with the tomato broth, basil, and and the fresh mozzarella

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Fajitas

When I make fajitas I pretty much always do it the same way: throw my peppers, onions, and chicken in a pan, add some seasonings, and cook under a high heat until the veggies are tender and the meat is cooked. I don't use sauces, I prefer the natural flavors to shine through. However, when a friend of mine on a cooking forum I frequent mentioned a sweet and spicy version I decided to give it a try. I ended up heavily heavily modifying it, to the point where it's more of an original recipe, but I am so glad she posted about these because they were GOOD! Landon was even a huge fan of the chicken, eating the leftover pieces for dinner for the next couple of days. I will be making these often because the flavor was subtle enough to not mask the original flavors of the meat and veggies, but deep enough to make it interesting. John was a huge fan too- he ate more of these than of my go-to recipe.

1 pound chicken breasts, sliced thin
3 bell peppers, sliced thin, any colors
1/2 onion, red or sweet
3 tbsp honey
3 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tsp sriracha sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Southwestern seasonings
Flour tortillas for serving

1- Preheat the oven to 400.
2- In a large baking dish combine the peppers and onions. Bake for 15 minutes, until starting to go soft, and remove from the oven.
3- Add the chicken to the pan.
4- In a small bowl combine the remaining ingredients, stirring well. Pour over the chicken and peppers, mix well.
5- Bake for 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
6- Serve hot with flour tortillas.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Foil Baked Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches

Landon has entered a new stage of toddlerhood: The "I don't want to sleep and I'll come up with 2,500 ways to avoid it" phase. Ugh. It's like, the least fun thing... EVER. So with that said we have pushed bedtime back to 7:15. However, John gets home at 7:30 or so and that's when we eat dinner, so I have about 15 minutes to cook. I've had to get creative and find meals that I can basically make and throw in the oven while I'm up trying to get Landon to bed. These sandwiches were perfect for that! I assembled them, put them in the oven, and then dealt with the battle routine of bedtime.

Let me tell you, these were GOOD. I made them even easier and used Perdue Simply Smart chicken breasts as the chicken. If you haven't tried that chicken yet you must. It's all normal ingredients and it's yummy. It's way juicier and more flavorful then my regular breaded chicken so it's become a staple in my house for nights I don't want to take the extra step. These sandwiches were amazingly easy to make and delicious. John and I both really enjoyed how the bread got warm and slightly crisp. A perfect sandwich!

Source: Adapted from Cassie Craves

2 sub rolls
2 breaded chicken breasts, cooked and warm
Sliced mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1/4 cup sliced basil leaves
2 sheets of heavy aluminum foil

1- Preheat the oven to 350.
2- Slice the rolls in half. Spread a thin layer of sauce on both sides of the bread. Place a few slices of cheese on the bottom part of the roll. Top with chicken. Spread more sauce over the chicken, topping with more sliced cheese and sliced basil. Close the bread, gently pushing down.
3- Roll the subs inside the foil, ensuring there is no roll showing through. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
4- Serve hot.