What do you call lunch at 3:30?

Today has been the strangest day!  First off, matt and I are both home.  Second, we woke up to the sound of a transformer being blown across the street.  Thus, we had no power and went to McDonald’s for breakfast 🙂  We left to do our errands at almost noon, and weren’t hungry at all, so it’s no surprise that lunch didn’t happen until 3:30.  But, can I tell you it was amazing.

I checked out my archives, and I am fairly certain that I haven’t shared this one with you guys yet 🙂  But, it’s oh so delicious!  We had coconut chicken with sweet chili sauce from Budget Bytes, which if you haven’t noticed, is one of my favs!

I followed Beth’s recipe with two alterations.  1.  I added a good pinch of ground ginger to the flour.  2.  I BAKED at 450 degrees for 14 minutes.  It’s not as brown and pretty, but it’s tasty!

The thing that really blew my mind today was my side dish.  With the coconut chicken you need to have something fairly mellow on the side so that the coconut flavor is able to shine.  Trust me.  I served with a garlic roast potato before and is was a serious fail.

So, here’s what I did….

Cheezy Ginger Orzo

  • 1 1/2 cup orzo pasta
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • ground ginger

I put the orzo and broth into my rice cooker, and set to go right before i start breading my chicken.  When complete, add butter, a couple tablespoons of cheese, 13 cracks of pepper, and a good pinch of ginger.  Mix taste, adjust, love!

PS… Penzey’s ground ginger could possibly be substituted for the real deal, it’s amazing!


Naan pizzas

Last weekend, we went out to Trader Joe’s, and scored some ingredients to make these yummy Naan pizzas… they were soft and chewy, yet the bottom got crispy… it was heavenly!

Here’s what I started with:

  • Naan… and Indian flatbread
  • Sweet Italian pork sausages
  • Nectarines
  • Havarti Cheese
  • Black Pepper Parmesan

I brushed the naan with olive oil, and seasoned with garlic powder, rosemary, and cracked black pepper.

Then layered on my ingredients.. starting with a bit of cheese on the bottom, and ending with the rest of top

And, baked for 10 minutes at 425.  Easy Peasy 🙂

I absolutely loved the combo with the sausage and nectarines, but I can’t say that matt was a huge fan of the warm nectariney goodness.  You can’t win them all.  In the future, I’m definitely going to make these again, but I may or may not make any one of a million regular pizza recipes!

Green Bean Smashed Potatoes?

I’m sitting here, the window open, a little bit chilled and sipping a nice warm cup of:

Yes, Nutella Hot Chocolate 🙂  Thank you pinterest!

. Nutella Hot Chocolate -1 cup of milk (any kind of milk will work) -2 spoonfuls of Nutella (this is my preference, but feel free to add as much or as little as you like) -whipped cream -mini marshmallows Directions: Pour about 1/4 of the milk into a saucepan on medium-low heat. Add the Nutella and whisk until blended. Slowly stir in the remaining milk. Add a pinch of cinnamon and whisk until hot and frothy.

yum.  yum.

This spring when our broccoli was in full swing, I HAD to figure out a way for my dear, sweet husband to eat more of it… which proved to be difficult because he is not a fan of cooked broccoli.  I ended up throwing together come broccoli cheese smashed potatoes, and they were a hit around here!

Flash forward to last week, and the broccoli is in a sad, sad state right now 😦  So, I improvised and decided to make my dish with some end of season green beans

Let me tell you, these were a WINNER!

You’ll have to forgive me here, this isn’t going to be one of those exact recipes… mashed potatoes never are.  It’s the kinda thing where you dump and mix and taste.  But, I’ll give you a few of my tips and tricks since you asked.

First off:  the potatoes.   I’ve come to use exclusively red or gold potatoes.  Why?  Because they aren’t as starchy as your run of the mil russet, and are better for you.  These are particularly awesome for fried or roasted potatoes!  They aren’t as fluffy for mashed, but I like to leave the skins on and leave ”em kinda chunky anyways 🙂

Now, I think the crucial part to mashed potatoes comes before you cook them.  First, your scrub those babies down.  Then, cut them, and put them into a pot of cold water.  When i have cut all my potatoes, I then drain out all the water, and put fresh, cold water in the pan.

At this point, I liberally salt the water and put on the stove to boil.  Why do I salt at this point?  Truthfully it’s the only time I add salt, and somehow int he cooking process it perfectly seasons my potatoes.  If I wait until afterward, I feel like I’m trying to cover up a bland potato.  The salt really draws out the flavor during cooking, trust me.

Once your potatoes are falling apart when you pick them up with a fork, you’re going to drain, and return to your pan.  Add a liberal amount of butter.  I man the real deal.  Then, you want to smash up those spuds.  Once they are all broken up pretty well, add seasonings:  pepper, garlic, rosemary, and add a few splashes milk.  Then mix it up with your masher until they start to come together.  Add a little milk at a time until you get the consistency you desire….  little by little is the way to go, and the way to avoid runny and thin potatoes!

At the very end, toss in steamed and seasoned green beans, and serve!

Simple Grilled Ham & Cheese…

I came home from work the other night, and wanted something so quick and delicious so I whipped up this….

Two slices of Oatnut bread, two slices of muenster cheese, three slices of honey ham, and one ripe tomato…. Yum!  Instead of margarine or butter, I’ve been suing I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray, and I love it!  It’s straight up soybean oil, not partially hydrodgenated, and works good 🙂

I hope you all have a great weekend, you can bet I’ll be taking it off from blogging…. I have a serious cold, work alone both Saturday and Sunday, and am planning to watch a movie tomorrow night with Mary (Something Borrowed, I’ve been dying)


Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

This is seriously one of my new favorite meals… I have had to make a point to self-edit, and refrain from buying the ingredients every time we grocery shop!  Matt told me this week that it reminds him of one of those dinners in a box that he used to buy all the time and loved… I think it was a compliment?

Regardless, this is the easiest thing ever.  I made a double batch this time, and will be showing you that, but will give you the original recipe with four servings.

We’re going to start with a couple chicken breasts.  Cut them in half (I have a really sharp knife and do this horizontally, you can do that or the other way and pound them out a little.)  You’ll want to put them into a casserole, and season with some salt and pepper

Sorry if you are offended by raw meat… I should have warned you.  Next, you will cover each chicken piece with 1-2 slices of ham…  we use small deli slices so I use two.  Then, top with half a slice of swiss cheese.

This next step is really complicated.  Are you ready?  You are going to open a can of cream of chicken soup.  You will then pour it into a bowl, and add one tablespoon of dijon mustard, and you will mix it up.  Please, for the love of you tasste buds, by the Campbell’s brand.  You will be glad you did.

Seriously, I have made the recipe with both generic and with name brand.  I can taste the name brand difference.  Anywho, next you will pour the soup mixture over the chicken, ham, and cheese.  Then, you will top it all of with a box of Stove Top Stuffing mix already prepared…

Finally, you bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  And, viola!

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

  • I box prepared stuffing mix
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 T dijon mustard
  • 4 chicken breast halves
  • 4-8 slices ham
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese

Prepare stuffing as directed.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Arrange chicken in a greased casserole.  Top with ham and cheese.  Mix soup and mustard.  Spoon onto top of chicken/ham/cheese.  Cover with stuffing.  Bake at 400 for 30 minutes until meat is cooked, reading 160 degrees on a meat thermometer.

Note:  if you are going to double this, add about ten minutes to baking time.

Now, I will be going… I made bacon in the oven, and will be needing to get it out now 🙂  I’m making chili!!!

Raspberry Chipotle Pork Chops with Sauted Peaches

The other night, I made dinner on the fly and was looking for something quick and tasty.  I’m sorry i didn’t measure this one out, so you’ll just have to trust me with it, and go for it yourself at home if you want to replicate it 🙂

i started by marinating some pork chops in a simple marinade made with olive oil, soy sauce, worchestshire sauce, chipotle sauce, raspberry preserves, a pinch of garlic powder, and a few cracks of black pepper.  Whisk it together, and pour over chops.

Pan fry in a preheated hot skillet with a tablespoon of melted butter, cook for 5-6 minutes, then flip and cook for 5-6 more minutes.more, checking to be sure that the meat is firm to the touch, and well done.

Mmmmm, don’t they look pretty?

At this point, you are starting to wonder where the peaches come in…  I sliced up a couple peaches, and one sweet onion.  I sauted them in more butter in a separate skillet with a sprinkling of brown sugar and cracked black pepper



Then if you are into that sort of thing, you will plate up your pork chop, with some peaches and onions next to it… and maybe a little Raspberry Chipotle BBQ sauce.  It was yummy… sorry I didn’t take a plated pic.  I’m not used to cooked dinner after work.  I’m serious, I don’t know how you Monday to friday nine to fivers do it!

Peaches and Cream Muffins

My man loves peaches, so when i saw this recipe I knew that one day i would have to make it for him!  Here’s the cast of characters….

Peaches ‘N Cream Muffins

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 c. chopped peaches

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray or line with foil.  In a large bowl, beat eggs.  Gradually add sugar while beating.  Continue beating while adding the oil.  Add vanilla.  in a separate bowl, mix flour, salt and baking soda.  Alternately stir flour mixture and sour cream into the egg mixture.  Fold in peaches.  Put in muffin tin.  Bake for 20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack, and enjoy!