Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Yes, it's been almost a year since I've posted here. See my instagram. I've definitely been cooking, but documenting is just not happening lately.

This year, I hope to reduce my sugar addiction. I'm noticing it in small ways like the mid afternoon crash and in bigger ones, like my waistline. I asked on facebook about free sugar detox, and was pointed in the direction of Whole30.

Heck, it's only a month, right?

So I need to plan. I jumped in (as is my way) and planned a whole bunch of Whole30 on Pinterest tagged recipes. This made me realize that jumping in isn't going to work, and I need to take some time to plan, while trying out these recipes (and being willing to say ok, this needs cheese to be ok)...

First up, I need to figure out breakfasts. I'm a carb junkie but I'm also in need of really easy, no brainpower, breakfasts on weekdays and surprisingly, even more so on weekends (I take it so leisurely, I often just forget to eat until I'm too hungry).

So this looks good:

It's lucky that the Kitchn is doing a series on Whole30 as I start this, so here's a great post about weekend prep:
My goals for 2017 are many, and while there's a lot of criticism of Whole30, and I honestly don't think I have the discipline for it, it's also in line with many of my goals.
So here are some of them:
  • Eat more vegetables
  • Eat out no more than 3x/month
  • Reduce sugar intake
  • Exercise 3x/week (once I get this shoe off)
  • My son will cook 1 dinner/week
  • Drink 64oz of water/day
  • 1 meatless meal/week
So far, we've cooked two of the recipes I planned. The first was... a fail. The second was pretty awesome; we added cheese to it (to make it more awesome but not Whole30 ok) but it was a hit for almost the whole family. SCORE!

This was the first one. It was way too spicy for any of us to eat. It did, though, inspire me to get back to the breakfasts I used to make of roasted sweet potatoes. I'll have to see if I can make a sweet potato hash of some kind. It was awesome to cook it in the crockpot though! Here's the recipe.

Yum. Here's the recipe.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Chicken Enchiladas

Here's how I modified these Chicken Enchiladas from Skinnytaste. Original recipe.


For the enchilada sauce:
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 cups tomato sauce (I used 1c water with a small can of tomato paste)
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste
For the chicken:
1 tsp vegetable oil
8.5 oz (2 breast halves) cooked shredded chicken breast
1 cup diced onion
2 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup cilantro
kosher salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup tomato sauce (1c water mixed with a small can tomato paste)
For the enchilada:
8 (7-inch) low-carb whole wheat flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
non-stick cooking spray


In a medium saucepan, spray oil and sauté garlic. Add chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onions and garlic on low until soft, about 2 minutes. Add chicken, salt, cilantro, cumin, oregano, chili powder, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Spray a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with non-stick spray. Put 1/3 cup chicken mixture into each tortilla and roll it.

Place on baking dish seam side down, top with sauce... 

Then top with cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes. Top with low fat sour cream or scallions if you wish. (Extra points) Makes 8 enchiladas.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Fried Chicken

So good. Very time consuming. 

Clam Boil

24 littleneck clams, rinsed
1/2 cup cornmeal
3 quarts water
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 lemon, quartered
1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning
1 pound petite red potatoes, (about 10)
1 onion, quartered
12 ounces kielbasa, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 ears of corn, cut into thirds
30 large shrimp, rinsed
1 loaf French bread
In a large bowl, add littleneck clams, cornmeal and enough water to cover them by 2 inches. Mix well and let them sit for 30 minutes. This process will help remove the sand and grit from the clams. Rinse clams and set aside in fresh water until ready to add to the pot.
In a Circulon® Innovatum™ 6-quart stockpot, add 3 quarts of water. Add the peeled garlic cloves and squeeze the juice of the lemon into the pot. Place the actual lemons in the pot as well. Stir in the Old Bay seasoning. Bring the pot of seasoning to a boil.
Add the petite red potatoes, onion, and kielbasa. Cook on medium-high with lid on for 15 minutes. Then add in the corn and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Rinse and drain the clams and add them into the pot; boil for 5 minutes. Then add in the shrimp and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Drain water from the pot, and pour the contents of the pot on a newspaper lined table. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Friday, March 6, 2015


On a snowy day, it makes sense to get some goodness in your tummy. My son and I decided to bake some brownies. 
I turned here and my brownie stash didn't find him anything he wanted to make, but he was on board with these brownies from Cravings of a Lunatic, which we found on Pinterest.

They came together really easily and are quite delicious. I don't know if they're "The Best Brownies in the World," but they are quite good. They even made me, someone who dislikes the taste of milk, craving a glass of milk to go alongside.

Give them a try; you'll be happy you did!

The Best Brownies in the World Via Cravings of a Lunatic
  • 8 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs. beaten
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper. 
  • Melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate together over low heat in a medium saucepan. Stir with a rubber/silicone spatula (I used my spoonula and it worked great!).
  • Remove from heat and add the sugar. Stir well.
  • Now add your eggs and vanilla, stirring until it’s smooth.
  • Add chocolate chips, flour and vanilla salt. Stir until well blended.
  • Pour into pan and place in oven. 
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes, toothpick inserted should come out clean when done.
  • Remove and cool on a rack, about 10 minutes.
  • Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Easy peel boiled egg

I've discovered the way to perfect hard boiled eggs, through much trial and error. Here's how:
Put eggs in a pot, cover with cold water, don't cover the pot. Put over high heat on the stove, and bring to a rolling boil. Let boil about 1 minute. Remove from heat, cover the pot, and let sit 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl filled with ice water and let sit at least 5 minutes.
But then peeling was always a bear. When this came across my radar, I had to try it... see, I've been making my eggs on the weekend but only recently started peeling in advance.
I tried and didn't have much success. It was easier than my previous methods, but no pinch the whole shell off as in the original.
I tried again on this snowy day and it worked! This time I used a straight glass, a little bit of water, and shook more than I thought I should.
Here's how it went for me, a regular person!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Chopped Thai Salad

I hate shredding vegetables. I do an excellent job of shredding my knuckles when I do. I have purchased one of those Kevlar gloves, but in reality, I just use my mini chopper when shredding is required.

I love Thai food, but we never as a family seem to get to Thai restaurants; I think the last time I had Thai food was when I was in labor with my now 7.5 year old. I really need to get on that!  When this popped into my Pinterest feed, it was really a no-brainer. Healthy, fast (weeknights have been insane with my having gone back to school in January), and all the trappings of delicious.

I rushed home after work and threw this together while my husband picked up the kids from school. All told, it probably took me 20 minutes, maybe 30, but only because my cabbage would not cooperate with being cut in half. I was really wishing I had bought coleslaw mix, with the cabbage and carrots already shredded, but it wasn't bad to take care of and certainly less expensive to do it myself.

My husband and I enjoyed this, and he even enthusiastically packed it up for our lunches today. I was concerned (I ate before the rest of the family) that it wasn't enough food, so I took an uber small portion and was quite hungry about 2 hours later, but the others had plenty.

The boys gave it mixed reviews, but my 4 year old has really only been eating tried and true favorites lately, so there's been a lot of skipping for him.

I omitted peanuts simply because I didn't have any. I think they would have jazzed things up a bit, but my husband said they wouldn't have been good in the salad.

Chopped Thai Salad via Pinch of Yum
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 small head green or white cabbage (2 cups chopped)
  • 1 large carrot (1½ cups shredded)
  • 1 small papaya, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped peanuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon fish sauce
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup water
  1. Cook and cube your chicken into bite sized pieces. I love this method.
  2.  Toss the chicken and vegetables in a large bowl and keep chilled.
  3. Mince the garlic in a small mixing bowl with the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, lime juice, oil, and fish sauce. Whisk until smooth. Add the peanut butter and water and whisk again until smooth and creamy.
  4. Toss the salad with the dressing. Add the crushed peanuts. Serve chilled. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to one day. For best results, keep the leftover salad and dressing separate until ready to serve.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Meal Prep Sunday

It has been a really long time. I want to get back into this, because I keep trying new recipes, but they get lost to the ether since I never record what is great and what is not. I'm not trying to make excuses, but it really became a hassle taking pictures of our food. You know, you just want to sit down and eat? So you don't bother taking the 20 seconds it takes to take a crappy camera phone picture just for posterity.

So it's meal prep Sunday. On the stove I have 6 eggs hard boiling, and I'm excited to try this method. (The verdict: First I tried 4 eggs in a Tupperware container; it worked ok--not as easy as in the video, but easier than my typical method. I found that it was even better with the egg submerged in cold water).

In the red crockpot, I have chicken cooking for shredding. This method is so easy and I do it several times a month, sometimes remembering to freeze some of the shredded chicken.

In the white (and apparently very dirty on the outside) crockpot is black beans. I love this no soak method!

Most of my meal plan requires cooked chicken, so I really hope I made enough.

My meal planning method is to work out the meals on Friday night, planning through the weekend, so that I can grocery shop super early on Saturday morning. My meal cooking plan, however, usually means that I forgot to check the reality of our week when doing my meal planning and that I left a 45 minute dinner for a night we need dinner on the table at 4:30. I also never plan a dinner out, though it happens typically once a week.

B: Breakfast Sandwiches (made by my husband)
L: Tacos (leftovers from last week's Not so Sloppy Joes)
D: Chopped Thai Chicken Salad

B: English Muffins
L: Mac and Cheese (not sure if it will be Annie's or homemade just yet...depends if I can get it made in my meal prep today)
D:  Burrito Bowl

B: Smoothie Pop
L: Chicken Nuggets
D: Chicken and Broccoli with Sun Dried Tomato Cream Sauce

B: Cereal
L: Mango and Black Bean
D: Pizza

B: Overnight Oats
D: Turkey Pesto Sliders

D: Honey Chicken Stir Fry (I actually made this last night; next time use half the garlic chili sauce)

D: BBQ Chicken Pockets

How do you get ready for a super busy week?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Meal Plan

I did not do a great job of planning breakfasts and lunches this week. It was a busy weekend, and I had to change my schedule and chaos ensued.

I actually planned ahead and cooked the chili on Sunday night, but well, I made modifications and the boys refused to have it in their lunches for today.

So here's what's up for dinners this week:

Pumpkin chili
weeknight turkey bolognese
cilantro lime shrimp
crockpot salsa verde chicken
chili mac
monte cristo
mexican pizza


Monday, October 6, 2014

Turkey Taco Chili

I used cannellini, dark kidney beans, pinto, and navy beans.

Here's another post I found in my drafts. Looks yummy!


Portobello Pizza

This was sitting in drafts; since it's been so long since a post.....

I liked, M said it needed something, boys refused to try it.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Meal Plan

I have been horrible about blogging. I've realized, though, the necessity of posting a meal plan here. Many times, my husband will have to take care of getting dinner started, and I have no idea what to tell him or which recipe to send him because the meal plan is at home. Putting it here will help in those situations, and give me a starting point should I need to pick up anything last minute. It's just a matter of actually posting it.

Lunches and breakfasts are the plan for the boys. Usually, the lunches happen while the breakfasts do not. I don't plan ahead for myself, which I know is incredibly foolish.

Breakfast: Crockpot Apple Oatmeal
Lunch: Meatballs (leftover from my mom's party; in a thermos)
Dinner: Weeknight Turkey Bolognese 

B: Green Monster Smoothie
L: Taco
D: Crockpot Potato Soup

B: Waffle Sandwich
L: Mac and Cheese
D: Cilantro Lime Shrimp with Cilantro Rice

B: Slow Cooker French Toast
L: Black Beans and Mango (I really have to blog this; it's their favorite! It's really just cooked rice, cooked black beans, and diced mango)
D: Peanut Butter Chicken

B: Banana Roll Up
D: Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken

Monday, September 15, 2014

Egg muffin cups

I think I'll be selling this one big time in the morning, but here's the source: http://www.stockpilingmoms.com/2012/10/3-for-3-lunch-challenge-lunchbox-ideas-107/

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Apple wiches

Super long time...

Trying out a new lunchbox treat. This came from http://www.stockpilingmoms.com/2012/10/3-for-3-lunch-challenge-lunchbox-ideas-107/

Sides were watermelon and sliced apple.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Firecracker Chicken

This is a recipe that seems to be floating around the blogosphere these days, and since I'm hardly on blogs these days, it looks like I missed it.  So I'm super glad that Stephanie shared this because we LOVED it.  Most telling, though, was that the boys said they liked it even though it was spicy.  Wow!

This came together really quickly, which was a saver on the crazy day we had when I made it.  I thought it was really great; the flavors were awesome and the broccoli had a nice crunch since I chose not to precook it.  I was really disappointed when these reheated very poorly for lunch the next day.

Firecracker Chicken and Broccoli, Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks via Stephanie Cooks

1 T. olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
1/2 c. cornstarch
2 eggs

For the Sauce: 
1/3 c. buffalo sauce
1/2 c. light brown sugar
2 t. rice wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced 
1/2 t. salt
2 c.  broccoli florets

1- Preheat the oven to 350.
2- Dice chicken into 1" pieces.
3- Pour the cornstarch in a shallow dish. Beat the eggs in a separate shallow dish.
4- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Dip the chicken into the cornstarch and then in the eggs. Cook the chicken for 5 minutes or until just browned. Place in a 9 x 13 greased baking dish along with the broccoli florets.
5- In a bowl combine the buffalo sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, garlic, salt. Pour evenly over top of the chicken and broccoli and bake for 30 minutes (until chicken is cooked through), stirring every 15 minutes, until the sauce is completely coating the chicken.
6. Remove from oven and serve over top of rice.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bbq turkey meatloaf

I made this one a long time ago and haven't made it since.  This was foolish, because this is an amazing meatloaf.  My husband made it this go around.  The BBQ sauce on top is sweet and yummy while there's a real savory flavor in the meat itself.  The onions and pepper add some nice crunch too.  

Make this one soon when you're craving some comfort food!

BBQ Turkey Meatloaf, courtesy of The Neely's 


  • 1 tablespoon Neelys' BBQ Seasoning, recipe follows (I used a pinch of paprika, a pinch of sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon crab boil seasoning, (recommended: Old Bay)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups BBQ Sauce, reserving 1/2 cup for the top (this was a bottle's worth)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 pounds lean ground turkey (I used ground chicken)
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, mix BBQ seasoning, crab boil seasoning, soy sauce, beaten egg, 1 cup of the BBQ sauce and Worcestershire sauce.
In a saute pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Add onion, bell pepper, salt and pepper and garlic. Saute until tender. Remove from heat and add to wet mix.
Pour mixture into bowl with the ground turkey. Add bread crumbs and mix all together with your hands.
Transfer the meat mixture to a cookie sheet or baking pan. Using your hands, shape the meat into an oblong or rectangular shape. *Cook's Note: Alternately, you can pat the meat into a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan and pour 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce on the top of the loaf.
Bake for 35 minutes. Remove and add the reserved 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce to the top and continue to bake for 20 more minutes.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Smothered Italian Chicken

When I see something on Stephanie's blog, I know I will enjoy it; when she raves about something, I know I will as well.  This is no exception.  I've made this before, but wanted to highlight it again since I found a way to not waste the rest of the Philly Cooking Creme, again thanks to Stephanie...  see my next post to see how I used it up with amazing results.

This dinner also inspired my husband to make this into a sandwich.  I made more than enough chicken cutlets, which he topped with the leftover sauce, tomato, lettuce, and bacon on a whole grain ciabatta roll to rave results.


Smothered Italian Chicken Source:  Stephanie Cooks
2 chicken breasts, butterflied
1 egg
3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Olive oil
2 roma tomatoes, sliced
1.5 cups baby spinach
1/3-1/2 tub Philadelphia Italian Cooking Creme
Salt and pepper

1- Preheat the oven to 350.
2- Slice the tomato and place in a small baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Bake covered for 15 minutes or until soft.
3- Meanwhile, dip the chicken in egg, then bread crumbs, until coated. Heat oil and fry chicken until crisp and cooked through. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
4- Add the spinach and cooking creme to the tomatoes. Cover with foil and bake for another 10 minutes or so, stirring well.
5- Spoon the sauce mixture over the hot chicken. Serve immediately.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Meatless Monday: Baked lemon orzo

It's no secret that my kids are gonzo for Mac and Cheese, so when I saw this recipe, I figured it would be a more sophisticated version of mac and cheese for us to try.  It also happened that I was reading a book, and "orzo" was the hip new thing, in the early 80s.  So, it was clearly Kismet for us to give this a go.

As for the result, I liked it, but wasn't super jazzed about it.  I took it for lunch leftovers (as written, it makes a LOT) but it was really missing some pizzazz.  Definitely a good side dish, though I'm certainly not likely to put this much time and effort into a side dish.

But, maybe it's for you or you can think of a way to get this suited to your family's tastes better!  (Side note:  I did skip the bread crumb topping, which could have been my problem here)

Baked Asiago and Lemon Orzo Source:  Sarcastic Cooking
  • For the Pasta:
  • 1 Pound Orzo Pasta
  • ¼ Cup Unsalted Butter, plus more for greasing
  • ½ Cup Diced Yellow Onion
  • 1 Clove Garlic, grated
  • ¼ Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1 ½ Cup Shredded Asiago Cheese, plus more for topping
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Chopped Dill
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Pepper
  • Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • For the Topping:
  • 1 Cup Cubed Stale Bread
  • 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add orzo, cook according to packaging.
  3. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, sauté for two minutes until translucent. Add garlic, stir to combine. Sauté an additional minute.
  4. Add the flour to the saucepan. Whisk to combine flour and butter. Cook for one to two minutes.
  5. Slowly pour in the milk, while stirring/whisking. Stir/whisk until the sauce and roux are totally combined.
  6. At this time the pasta should be ready to be drained. Drain pasta and set off to the side.
  7. Add the cheese to the sauce, stir, and cook until completely melted. Turn off the heat and stir in all the seasonings, zest, dill, and lemon juice.
  8. Grease a large 9×11 inch baking dish with butter. Add pasta to the baking dish, pour sauce over the pasta, and stir to evenly coat all the orzo with sauce.
  9. In a food processor, pulse the stale bread until a medium/fine crumb is formed. It doesn’t have to be uniform.
  10. In a small skillet, heat butter over medium/high heat until it melts. The butter will crackle and foam and then start to slowly turn brown. Once the butter starts to turn brown, add in the breadcrumbs and stir. Cook for another minute or two and then remove from heat.
  11. Pour the brown butter breadcrumbs over the cheesy orzo along with a little bit more shredded asiago and parmesan cheese.
  12. Bake in the oven uncovered for 20 minutes. Let sit for three to five minutes before serving.
  13. Store pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Reheat in microwave or oven.

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