Tuesday, November 5, 2013

WOW!  I'm kinda shocked that I haven't posted since April 10th!  It's been a busy busy year!  Lets see, since I last posted, the following events have occurred...

  • I turned 32
  • We attended weddings # 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9 of 2013.
  • Said weddings included trips to Cabo, Ojai, Saratoga, North Tahoe, and South Tahoe.
  • Mr. B & I got engaged!
  • Lots of fun wedding stuff for us, including me finding my dress, us setting a date, and finding our venue.
  • Said goodbye to my grandpa.  Very bittersweet... happy he is with grandma again, but it is heartbreaking that they are not here with us.
  • Lost a very close family friend less than a week later.  Shocking... only 50 years old, gone...
  • and last month we took a much needed overnight trip to focus on happy stuff.  Went to our wedding venue & had a menu tasting.  Lots of fantastic food!
  • My BFF had a precious baby girl last week!
  • My other BFF is also pregnant, due in March :)
  • Mr. B & I took engagement pics last week
  • and last but not least... Mr. B & I had a consultation meeting with a personal trainer to help us get in shape
So many exciting things have happened this year!  I can't believe it's already November!  We have 11 months to go before we say I do... so it's officially time to refocus, and get back into the kitchen with a new mindset.  Life is busy, but I'm going to work hard on staying on track and doing my part to help us to a healthier lifestyle!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Chicken Foil Packets

The weather is warming up and the light of day is lasting a little longer.  I love this time of year.  Its such a nice feeling to get off work at the end of the day and not have it be pitch black by the time I walk out the door.  Sometimes on these beautiful spring evenings I'd rather not spend a ton of time in the kitchen at the end of a long day.  So it's great when I can make a tasty weeknight dinner with minimal effort.  This quick and simple dinner certainly hit the spot for everyone at my table.  I love the ease of cooking an entire meal in an individual packet.  Not to mention how great it makes for clean up time!

I was inspired to try this combination somewhere on the vast land of Pinterest.  Not sure where the original pin came from but it was pretty great as written.  Next time I'll omit the ranch dressing, as I feel it would have been perfectly tasty without it.  Why add extra junk if you don't need to, right.  I look forward to trying different variations of flavors in the future.  Enjoy!

Chicken Foil Packets
1 package of stuffing mix (I used low sodium chicken flavor)
1 1/4 c warm water
4 thin sliced chicken breast halves, seasoned to taste
1-2 cups of fresh, uncooked broccoli
2-4 slices of bacon, cooked & crumbled
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
4 Tbls =/- of ranch dressing (optional)

4 large squares of foil (you may want to double line if your foil is on the thinner side)

Preheat oven to 400.

Lay 4 large qquares of foil on the counter and spray with non stick cooking spray.  In a bowl, mix together stuffing mix and water.  Spoon 1/4 of stuffing into the center of each foil square.  Top with chicken breast, then broccoli florets, bacon, and cheese.  Drizzle with ranch if desired.

Fold foil into individual packets, leaving enough room for steam.

Place in oven for approx 35 min.  Careful when opening packets, as steam will be hot.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Leftover Reincarnation

I rarely get away with serving leftovers for dinner since Mr. B is not a big fan of them.  However, I have found success with taking a component of yesterday's meal and creating something new.  Since I had a good amount of Crockpot BBQ Pulled Chicken left over from the weekend, I decided to put it to a rather tasty use.  Thus the birth of the BBQ Chicken Baked Potato!  And let me tell you, it was fantastic!  These were so quick and easy to make, they would be a great option to serve a crowd.  I would serve this to company any day.  After a few bites Mr. B said, "Where did you get this chicken, it's delicious!"

BBQ Chicken Baked Potatoes
As many baked potatoes as people you are serving
Crockpot BBQ Chicken
Cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
Sliced green onions
Sour cream
Hot Sauce (I like Franks Red Hot)
BBQ sauce

Prepare baked potatoes.  For my quick weeknight potato recipe click HERE.

While potatoes are cooking, heat your leftover chicken.  Once potatoes are cooled through, split them open and top with a generous helping of bbq chicken.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese and sliced onion.  I chose to add a small dollop of sour cream, several shakes of hot sauce, and a drizzle of BBQ sauce.  You can alter the toppings to suit your tastes, but I can't think of anything I'd do different.  Enjoy!

Quick Weeknight Baked Potatoes

How can baked potatoes = quick you might ask?  The baking process alone takes an hour.  And a microwaved potato?  Not delicious.  That's when it hit me!

Pre heat your oven to 425. Prep the potatoes like you usually would. i.e. Wash 'em, poke 'em full of holes, rub them with some EVOO and sea salt.  While your oven is heating, start them cooking in the microwave for about 5-7 min depending on the size of your potatoes. Flip them over once during cooking.  Then transfer to the oven to finish off the job while you prep the rest of your meal.  This way you'll get that nice crispy skin of oven baking.  Plus they can just hang out in the oven until you are ready for them.  Enjoy!

What's your favorite way to top a potato?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Blue Cheese Cole Slaw

I spent this past weekend in Tahoe celebrating a bachelorette party for a dear friend.  Since I had a pretty busy weekend scheduled and 7 girls to feed, I planned a no fuss dinner for Friday night.  Pulled Chicken Sliders with Blue Cheese Cole Slaw.  You can find the recipe HERE.  This is really beyond simple and such a crowd pleaser!  I tossed a few items in the crock pot in the morning and in a few hours dinner was practically done.

As for the cole slaw, this recipe has become a staple in my house!  I was never a fan of cole slaw until I met this one.  Thanks to my Bestie for introducing me to it.  About half of the girls claimed to not like cole slaw before dinner.  Like me, after tasting it, me everyone was won over.  We almost finished a large double batch & I had serveral requests for the recipe.

Blue Cheese Cole Slaw
Adapted from Casa de Soria

1 bag shredded cabbage
1 green apple, diced
1 green onion, finely chopped
1/3 - 1/2 a Jar of Bob's Blue Cheese Dressing (you can make your own if you prefer.  I typically don't care for store bought dressings but this one is delish!)
1/4 cup of vinegar (white wine, red wine, or apple cider all work nicely)
1 - 2 Tbls of sugar, depending on your desired level of sweetness
1 tsp of black pepper

Mix together all ingredients.  Adjust to taste preference.  Cover and refrigerate for 15 min.  Serve cold.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Chicken & Spinach Salad

Nothing says summer like a fresh salad for dinner.  Well it's not exactly summertime yet, but this beautiful weather makes me a little over excited.  I saw a version of this on Pinterest and knew it would be just right for our table.  With the help of a rotisserie chicken, dinner was on the table in no time at all!  My favorite part of this salad was the fresh corn.  YUM!  Cut right off the cob and added to all the other goodies, it's just too good!  This is one simple salad that will be a repeat in our house. Enjoy!

Chicken & Spinach Salad
Recipe from recipegirl.com

8 cups chopped spinach (1 bag)
1 cup halved cherry or pear tomatoes
1/2 cup corn (I LOVE corn cut right off the cob, but if it's out of season, you can use frozen or canned)
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 large avocado, sliced
1/3 cup crumbled goat or feta cheese
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place spinach in a large salad bowl. Add remaining salad ingredients.
In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the salad and toss (a little at a time... as much dressing as you desire).

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Café Escapes®

I recently received a couple of sample packs of Café Escapes® for my Keurig® brewer from www.bzzagent.com .  I was a little skeptical at first since I've never been a fan of powdered creamers for my coffee.  After brewing a cup of the Cafe' Vanilla this afternoon, I was definitely impressed!

During the week day, I typically get a sweet tooth around 3:00.  At 70 calories or less, these Café Escapes® might be just the thing to fill my sweet craving without hitting the candy jar!  I've only tried the Vanilla so far, but look forward to trying the rest of the flavors.  Stay tuned for updates.  Enjoy!