Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bad Hair Day (Month?)

I have 3 recipes I plan on posting over the next few days, so never fear I have not forsaken the blog (like I tend to do - over.and over.and over.)

We kick off our 2011 season at work this weekend so yay! Hoping this year is going to be as awesome as it has been in my daydreams :)

In other news, my kid needs a haircut. NEEDS.

If I knew how to do the 'Bieber do" I guess he could just be in style, but alas I do not.

(with 'Aunt' Amanda - the kid LOVES her water bottles)

I don't really know what to do about it thou, Jon has expressly forbidden me to try and do it myself again b/c of the many.many.many times it went not so well (Jon says I was determined to give him a receding hairline - I say I just wanted to get a straight line and overcorrected) and I KNOW going and having him sit in a chair in a salon would end in tears and perhaps blood for both G and the stylist. So I guess we just go with it until he's a little older ... sigh.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy Birthday to Gram

Last Friday was my mom's birthday and yesterday we joined her friends for a (snow caused) belated birthday brunch. G helped blow out the candle (sorry for the grainy iphone pic!)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Balsamic Chicken, Asian Veggies, and Scratch Cheese Biscuits Oh My!

That's right - we're going to make cheese biscuits, try to control yourself!

I made this combo last night and it's a great way to do chicken and veggies, they both have tons of flavor and it's pretty nutritious! (And not in the way that the lady on the commercial tries to tell you Nutella is nutritious - I mean really???!)

Here we go : ingredients for all three parts (minus chicken breasts 2-4 - no one wants to photograph raw chicken)

I'm sure you'll be happy to know we are going to get the biscuits started first -

Mix together :

2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp of garlic salt (I didn't do this and it was needed)
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

then work in 5 Tbls softened butter and 2/3 cup milk (if the mix is too dry add more milk)

once it forms into a dough, form small balls and place on greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 min

Ok, while those babies are baking - start on your chicken. (This is a version of a RR chicken just FYI) It's so flavorful!

Liberally season both sides of 2-4 chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat oil and 1 pad of butter over med-high heat and brown the chicken on one side for 5 min.

While this is going on, get a second large pan going on another burner - put in a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and heat to high (if it starts smoking before you are ready, just pull it off for a second)

While the chicken is working, mix 1/2 cup of orange marmalade, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, and 1/2 cup chicken stock in a small bowl.

After 5 min of cooking, flip the chicken and sprinkle with rosemary

Let that cook for a min while you start the veggies.

In the super hot pan with the oil - add one chopped clove of garlic and a bag of mixed veggies.

Pour approx 2 tablespoons of soy sauce (low sodium would be ideal) over veggies and mix around. (keeping the heat on high) These will need to work about 3-5 min - after that, just turn off the heat.

Now you are going to pour your balsamic mix over the chicken

now your stovetop looks like this....

and in your oven, ready to come out are these babies ...

Once you get these out and they are cooling, check to make sure your chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened a bit. At this point you are ready to plate! (you'll want to spoon extra balsamic sauce onto all of the chicken breasts)

I made a quick garlic butter to brush on top of the biscuits since mine were a little lacking in flavor - take 2 pads of butter and prob a tsp of garlic salt, and melt - then drizzle on top.

Enjoy! And Happy Valentine's Day!

Snowmageddon has passed

and now it's 67 degrees outside ... ah Arkansas weather!

Grant finally got over his fear of the snow (I think for no other reason than he hadn't been out of the house in days and he just got desperate) and on the last day that we had a decent amount of snow, we had a playday outdoors.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Snow Day Soup

Snow Day Soup

Well here’s what my backyard looks like …

Boomer looks a little crazed in that pic but you can see how far the giant dog is sinking in the snow, that’s a LOT for Arkansas!

So warmth and comfort it is! Tonight I’m making chili per Jon’s request but last night I made minestrone. This is quickly becoming a favorite for me which is weird for several reasons

1. I don’t really like soup in general (if I like it, it’s usually got a lot of cream/milk)

2. I really don’t like vegetable soup (and this is basically glorified veg soup)

I do however LOVE this recipe – it makes your house smell like heaven!

Disclaimer ; this recipe is a version of Rachael Ray’s Midwinter Minestrone from her Look and Cook cookbook. I basically am posting the ‘I grocery shop at Wal-mart and they don’t have that ingredient’ version.

Here we go:

ingredients (ok so I forgot some things in the original set up)

Step 1:

In a large pot cook 2-3 strips of chopped bacon (this is optional and pretty much the only unhealthy part of this, so feel free to omit – also RR says pancetta)

Step 2 :

While that’s cooking chop 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, 1 large onion, and 3 cloves of garlic.

Also get 2 bay leaves

Dump all of this into the pot and cook over medium high heat

Step 3 :

While that’s cooking, chop 1 package baby bella mushrooms (RR says something about dried porcinis – yeah) and 5-6 sun dried tomatoes.

dump those in with the other veg after about 10 min of cooking

Step 4:

Now you get to learn about Kale (Well at least I didn’t know until I learned this recipe)

(RR says something about purple Kale – I assure you, Wal-mart has green only)

Take the bunch of Kale, wash it, and then separate the leaves from the stems.

Chop the Kale into small-ish pieces and dump in the pot.

Step 5 :

Add 1 box of chicken stock, 4-6 cups of water (RR says 2 but that’s not enough for as much pasta as I add), 1 can of chickpeas, and 1/2 a box of a small whole wheat pasta.

Bring to a boil and cook until pasta is tender.

Play hide and seek with the bay leaves, and if you win pull them out.

Pour yourself a bowl, sprinkle some shredded romano cheese and go for it! It will warm your soul! (And your house will smell AWESOME!)

Also, go to my other blog and register to win free cake pops! Over 300 people read the post and only like 10 commented (crazy people – it’s FREE CAKE) so the odds are in your favor – go forth and win sweets!

Cheap & Easy (Jambalaya)

Cheap & Easy (Jambalaya)

Look a cooking post! Bet you didn’t see that one coming, not a single picture of the kid – impressive huh?

Here’s what you need to know about my cooking -

I have a toddler, thus it can’t be too difficult or time consuming

I love going out to eat and ordering fancy-schmancy food; that’s not what I cook at home – I cook comfort food

I’m cheap, there will be suggestions of Wal-mart brand, if you can’t handle this leave now.

This jambalaya is part of my rotation pretty often for a lot of reasons. One, it’s cheap! Also it’s pretty idiot proof and packs a punch. It also seems to just keep multiplying and can feed us for like a week.

disclaimer : I made this up one day and I’m sure there’s a recipe crazy close to this out there and I am in no way trying to take credit for it.

Here’s what you need (Pioneer Woman style)

salt, peper, Lawry’s, garlic salt

1 large onion (whichever kind is cheapest that day)

2 jalapenos

1 box chicken broth (Optional)

small container of heavy cream (Optional)

large precooked Great Value brand Jalapeno pre cooked sausage (you can find it near the bacon in Wal Mart)

3 packages Great Value brand Spanish rice

package of precooked no tail frozen shrimp (optional)


Chop your onions and jalapenos

have good knives? you need them – love mine – get them here

when you chop your jalapenos I recommend leaving the seeds and ribs in the 1st and taking them out of the 2nd (for less spicy take them out of both – for more spicy leave them in both)

to take the seeds and ribs out just make this

look like this

so now your board looks like this

take a large, heavy bottom pot and coat the base with olive oil, turn the heat to medium high and dump in your onions and jalapenos

while these are working get some prep work done – peel & chop your sausage into chunks – to peel just make the whole sausage look like the sausage on the left

while the onions are working, add in a liberal amount of all of your seasonings

after about 15 minutes your base should look like this

add all 3 packages of rice – mix together with the onions and let the rice toast for a few minutes

add in the entire box of chicken stock plus 2 cups of water (if you don’t have chicken stock just add 7 cups of water)

how cute are my nesting measuring cups?!

bring the liquid up to a boil – reduce the heat – cover and let sit 20 min

now is an appropriate break time for you, have some of this

after 20 min stir your pot, turn the heat to low and add in your chopped sausage and shrimp (I don’t always use shrimp, I did last night b/c it was the superbowl – this dish is dirt cheap if you omit the shrimp)

now at this point you can be completely done (after letting the shrimp and sausage heat through) – I however, add some cream to make the heat a little less ‘knockyoudownbowlyouover’ and to change the texture a bit

there’s no real rule on how much to add – keep stirring and tasting until you are happy


stick the top back on the pot and let it sit as long as needed – it just gets better the longer it sits

stick some garlic bread in the oven and plop the jambalaya in a bowl and have at it!

So how did ya like my easy as pie cooking post? Should I do more?

Blog Design by A Mommy's Sweet Blog Design (© Copyright 2011)