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Monday, February 25, 2013

Blogger Chicken

Okay. So I had some boneless, skinless chicken thighs in the fridge that desperately needed to be cooked. Looked over a few recipes and came across one I thought sounded great on another blog page. I gave it a whirl (with my own twist).

Blogger Chicken:

boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 bag fresh spinach
~1/3 red onion, sliced
cream cheese (~3 tbls)
parmesan cheese
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. package baby bella mushrooms, sliced
swiss cheese slices
1/2 cup white wine
4 tbls. butter
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
seasoned salt
garlic powder

First prep the chicken: Spray dish and arrange the chicken. Sprinkle with garlic powder, seasoned salt and pepper (or whatever you like). Bake @ 350 for about 13 minutes, depending on your oven (I did about 15). Pull chicken out when time is up.
Meanwhile, saute mushrooms and 2 cloves of garlic in olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add wine. I also sprinkled on pepper. Cook this for a good bit to let the wine flavor simmer with the mushrooms (tastes excellent in the end).
While mushrooms are going, prep spinach mixture. Dress pan with olive oil and add red onion, garlic (2 cloves) and pepper. Saute ~2 minutes over medium heat. Add most of the bag of fresh spinach and allow to wilt while continuing to stir. When spinach is wilted, turn off heat and add cream cheese and parmesan cheese to mix. Combine.

Layer spinach mixture over chicken first and top with mushrooms. Finish with a slice of fresh swiss cheese.
Return pan to oven (@ 350) for 13-15 minutes (enough to melt cheese and cook chicken all the way through).


Cheesy deliciousness. So, this was very good, even making it for the first time! I would only tweak a few things. Again, from the original recipe I definitely eyeball spices and measurements. I would maybe add some red pepper flakes next time to give a bit of a kick, but it was great without that. Husband DID NOT even use Tabasco on this! That does NOT happen in this house. This was pretty simple and can be used with different cuts of chicken. Will make again!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Crockpot Pork Chops

So I had some pork chops on hand and it is way too cold outside to grill, so the crockpot was washed and prepped for another round. I never tried pork chops in the crockpot before and this recipe did not disappoint. I found a couple ideas online (nothing that blew up my skirt), but mostly just formulated my own game plan.

Crockpot Pork Chops:

1 bell pepper, rough chop
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jar sliced mushrooms (or fresh)
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 red potatoes, quartered
1/3 cup dijon mustard
1/3 cup water
worcestershire to taste (about 2 tbls.?)
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
~1lb. pork chops (I used bone-in, not sure of the weight, but I had 4 medium-sized in the pack)

Chop the veggies and add to the crock. Add the wet ingredients (except worcestershire sauce) and top with basil, salt, pepper. Mix all this inside the crockpot. Place the porkchops on top of vegetable mixture and top chops with salt/pepper whatever you like and add worcestershire on top.

It will look something like this

Cover and cook on high for about 3-4 hours depending on the thickness of your pork chops. Mine were thin-medium so I think it cooked for about 3.5 hours.

Finished Product

This turned out great! They were very tender. Pork chops in the crockpot=success!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Chicken, Bacon and Cheese

Well, it's quite chilly in Charleston this weekend, so I like to get down with my crockpot. I decided to try something new from my crockpot cookbook. I added some roasted fresh green beans for good measure. Read below to see the results.

Crockpot Chicken, Bacon and Cheese (from my slowcooker cookbook)

~1lb. chicken breast tenders
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup ranch dressing
12 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbls. olive oil

Add olive oil to the bottom of the crock and place chicken on top. Mix the teriyaki sauce with the ranch dressing and pour over chicken. Next add the cheddar cheese on top and in between chicken. Add the bacon crumbles on top. I set my crockpot on high for about 2 hours checked on it and then turned it down to low for about 1-2 more hours. Adjust this according to what kind of chicken you are using.

I served with roasted green beans.

No leftovers remained, but see my notes below on how I would change things for next time.

Notes: the olive oil was completely unnecessary for the chicken. It was very moist by itself with the sauce and the oil was just surrounding. I would certainly omit that next time. Our other major complaint about the recipe was the salt. It was way too much for our taste. The flavors were great, but the salt was overpowering (for us). My changes would include low-sodium bacon (and possibly a lot less bacon) and some kind of low sodium teriyaki has a high sodium content. You can serve this with rice or whatever you like. I would try it again.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Easy Sunday Favorite

I cannot remember where this recipe originated, but we eat it ALL the time. It is one of my husband's favorites. I usually make it with ground beef, but husband is on a red meat strike, so I used some lean ground turkey. Don't worry it still tastes good! I call this lovely creation taco soup.

Taco Soup:
1 can corn, drained (I always use low sodium or no salt added canned goods)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Rotel (we like the HOT)
1 can diced tomatoes
ground turkey breast or ground beef
one taco seasoning packet (also low sodium)

to make it extra delicious eat with tortilla chips and top with cheese and sour cream

Brown the meat and drain any excess fat. Add the taco seasoning as directed. I usually simmer the meat and seasoning for about 10 minutes. While that is simmering, combine all the canned goods in a large pot on medium heat. Add some Tabasco and cumin for flavoring. When the meat is done simmering add it to the vegetable pot and simmer everything together for about 15-20 more minutes.

That's're done! And the leftovers always go really fast at our house.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sometimes We DIY

So, I decided to dabble in a DIY furniture project. Yes, I am in fact crazy.

I saw a few ideas from the internet, pinterest and a few blogs. I came up with the color scheme and it was all executed by the husband, myself and a helpful neighbor. It took us about 2 weeks to complete, although we certainly did not work on it full-time (or even part-time).

The table was a leftover from a move ages ago ($0 invested) and I believe we spent around $65-$70 at Lowes after it was all said and done. I am proud and happy with the outcome! This was a long overdue makeover. Now let's hope the dog doesn't mess it up! Take a look for yourself. Believe me, if we can pull this off, you probably can too.



Final Product

This coffee table was a serious piece of junk and now I can doesn't look so bad.

Sittin' pretty in her new spot!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Cajun Chicken Pasta

Saturday night pasta meal at home

I have not made this dish in over a year (I think) and it is really delicious and pretty healthy. Also, I adapted this recipe from the SkinnyTaste website.

Cajun Chicken Pasta

~1 lb. chicken (I bought the chicken tender strips), cut into chunks
1 yellow pepper, cut into strips
1 red pepper, cut into strips
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
2 medium tomatoes (I had 2 small tomatoes and 1 medium)
1/2 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
cajun seasoning
garlic powder
black pepper
1 cup chicken broth
3 tbs. cream cheese
1/3 cup milk
1 tbs. flour
linguine (or any pasta you like)
green onions, for garnish

Prep and chop vegetables.

Spray the cooking pan and brown the chicken on both sides, adding creole seasoning and garlic powder to taste (about 5-6 minutes or so). Set the chicken aside. I use a healthy dose of the creole (again, we like the spice).

Next, saute vegetables, garlic, mushrooms in pan until softened. Season with pepper and garlic powder.  While vegetables simmer, combine flour, cream cheese, milk and whisk together. Add chicken broth and milk mixture to vegetable pan. Mix to combine with vegetables. Return chicken to pan and reduce to medium-low heat, making sure the chicken is cooked all the way through.

(It will look something like this.)

Prepare your pasta and drain. Spoon your chicken mixture over pasta, add garnish and...Perfect! 

Notes: Not the best photos (from my phone) and for next time I think I will use a little less chicken broth because I think I would like the sauce a little thicker. I also tend to eyeball things instead of using exact measurements.