Monday, June 13, 2011

"Mom's Chili"

Serves : 6+
This chili recipe is a throw it together in the morning and let it simmer kinda recipe. Not spicy (which means safe for new mammas) just simple and heart warming and perfect with a side salad and some cornbread.

( If you look closely I have chili beans that I decided to throw into this recipe because I didn't have enough kidney beans....yeah, didn't like it as much this way- stick with the recipe:))

2 lbs. ground beef, browned
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
Garlic, minced
28oz Whole Tomatoes (or 2 14oz cans)
1 small can tomato paste
1 lg can kidney beans (sometimes I just go for 2 reg cans)
2TB chili powder
2tsp sugar
2tsp salt

Corn, olives, whatever else you might want to add
Simmer all day

Can openers ready? Here we go….
First you need to brown 2 pounds of ground beef…ground turkey for the healthier version.
Second, while the meat is browning chop up a green bell pepper and 1 onion- you can throw those in with the meat if the meat isn’t done yet. If fat needs to be drained…drain it, otherwise transfer your meat, pepper, and onion to a crockpot or stockpot. (or if you are like me, I buy lean meat and then just brown it in the bottom of my stockpot and add everything else to it….less dishesJ)

Now begins the adding of flavors and you are almost done. Add minced garlic, whole tomatoes (diced are fine if that is what you have in the pantry), tomato paste, and kidney beans….then the chili powder, sugar, and salt….done!
Let it simmer for a couple hours to all day. Before serving you can add corn or olives if you want. I usually throw them in 20min or so before and the amount is up to you.
Serve with some cheese, salad, and cornbread. Also freezes really well!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chicken Tacos

Prep time: 15 minutes Serves: 4-6 or however much you decide to make

Another easy one for you that you can do any time of the year and it is healthy, easy to transport if needed, and yummy!

There is one catch though----the thing that makes this for me is the salsa. You can choose your own but I really like the Trader Joe’s Tomato-less Corn salsa. It has a little kick and is sweet at the same time and really makes these tacos more than just chicken in a tortilla.


Tortillas (corn, or white corn best--- or small flour if prefer)
2 Chicken breasts, cooked and cut into strips
Cilantro- chopped
Tomatoes – chopped (I threw some diced jalapeno in mine for some extra flavor)
1 can Black beans, rinsed
Optional: corn (if not already in your salsa)

Salt and Pepper and cook the chicken (Foreman grill makes it easy), let it sit for a few minutes and then cut into strips. Place in a bowl
Wash and chop the cilantro. Place in bowl.
Wash, and chop the tomatoes. Place in bowl. ( Are you catching a theme here?)
Open, rinse, drain the black beans. Place in bowl.
Open corn salsa. Add spoon.
Heat the tortillas.
Make a fruit salad or rice salad or some side.
Assemble and enjoy!

If you are transporting this just throw each ingredient into a baggie or Tupperware and have the recipient heat the tortillas right before eating.

The color alone in this meal will draw you in and make you wish for sun and fun!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chicken Picante

Serves :4
Oven Preheat: 375 degrees F
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Easy, easy recipe from the back of the Foster Farms frozen chicken happened one evening when I had zer0000000 inspiration and pulled the chicken out to try and come up with something and then I saw it. The recipe on the back of the bag with just a few ingredients and I had them all. Yipee! Dinner was started and it ended up being pretty good.
Easy to transport, simple ingredients to satisfy anyone and not too spicy for the kiddos or new mommies.

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup medium chunky salsa
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 TB fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 lime cut into segments
  • chopped cilantro for serving
I added a colorful salad and some steamed corn to complete the meal.

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking dish with foil.
  2. In a bowl mix salsa, mustard, and lime juice.
  3. Place frozen chicken breasts in pan. Top with salsa mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  4. Remove foil and continue cooking until the center of the largest piece of chicken reaches 165-170 degrees- about 10-15 minutes.

5. Remove chicken to serving platter
6.Place one spoonful of sour cream on each chicken breast and top with a lime segment. Garnish with chopped cilantro. (Or if you are like our family who doesn't care for sour cream than skip that part:)

- Heather

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Chicken And Spinach Tortellini Soup

Serves 8-10 Best if made and served on the same day.

This recipe comes from Cook's Country Magazine and it was one of the runner-up winners. I thought I would try it one day to see if it would be something I could make for new mommies in the future and it was a success with the whole family. The flavors are great and it really isn't difficult to make.

  • 6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 -10 oz package forzen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2- 9oz packages fresh spinach tortellini (I used 1 tri-color pkg from Costco sold in 2 pks)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • grated parmesan cheese for serving
  1. Cook bacon in large Dutch oven (or stock pot) over med heat until crisp, about 7 minutes. With slottted sppon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate.
2. Stir onion into bacon fat in now-empty pot and cook until browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3. Add broth and chicken, bring to boil, reduce hear and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Turn off heat. With slotted spoon, remove chicken; cool sighltly and shred into small pieces.

4. Return soup to simmer. Add drained spinach and tortellini and simmer until tortellini are tender, about 3 minutes. Add shredded chicken and salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with bacon and cheese, passing more cheese at table if needed.

Serve with bread and salad, even a side veggie if desired.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Parmesan Stuffed Chicken and Melted Strawberries

Prep Time: 30 minutes Bake: 15 minutes Oven: 400 F Serves: 6

So this delightful summer dish was brought on after I came home from running errands and discovered that my sweet friend had dropped off 1/2 flat of fresh strawberries from the valley (for us Bay Area people that means sweet, melt in your mouth, red all the way through, don't add a thing, God created yummola....yes, I love fresh strawberries!) Upon realizing that these beauties would not last forever I went scrounging through my recipe books to find the perfect recipe for dinner and this is what I found. Now this recipe is fairly straight forward but looks and tastes like a gourmet meal and is quite a treat for whomever you decide to make this for....

  • 3 cups fresh strawberries (halve or quarter large berries)
  • 2 tbsp while balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup strawberry perserves/jam
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 3 lbs)
  • 3 oz parmesan or white cheddar cheese (block)
  • 6 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1TB olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • snipped fresh basil
  1. Side note: I made cooked carrots as a side so I prepped these first. Baby carrots or cut up large carrots, place in 9 x 13 baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and add salt and pepper. Set aside. Cut up some fresh parsley (or used dry) for serving.

2./ Back to main recipe: Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a 3 quart baking dish combine strawberries, vinegar,a nd jam. Sprinkle salt and pepper; set aside.
3. Cut horizontal pocket in each chicken breast by cutting from one side almost but not through, to the other side. Cut Parmesan cheese in 6- 3 x 1/2 inch pieces. Wrap basil leaf around each piece of cheese, stuff unto chicken breast pocket. Secure pockets closed with wooden toothpicks or skewers. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4. In 12 inch oven safe skillet cook garlic in oil over med heat for 30 sec.
5. Add chicken and cook 5 minutes or until golden brown turning once. Transfer to oven. (side note: add carrots to oven at this time) Bake uncovered, 5 minutes. Add baking dish with strawberry-jam mixture to oven. Bake 10-13 mintues, or until chicken is no longer pink (170f) and the berries are softened and jam mixture has thickened.

Side note: Carrots will take about 20 minutes to cook. Check tenderness with fork- should be able to poke easily.
Sprinkle with parsley to serve.

6. Serve chicken with melted strawberries. Sprinkle with basil.
This meal is pretty simple in ingredients but HUGE on taste. It is not complicated to make, however if you decide to do the insane like me and think making it for 3 families in one night wouldn't be too crazy...well think again:). It isn't that it is overwhelming I just learned I don't have the space with one oven and one good 12 inch skillet to pull it off without a little insanity. If you want to try and make this for a larger crowd it is possible, here is what I tried and it helped:
  • preheat cookie sheets ahead of time (unless you have several oven safe skillets)
  • pound out the chicken breasts, cut in 1/2 length-wise and roll the chicken around the basil- wrapped parmesan cheese. Fasten closed with toothpick. This helps with portion especially if the family you are serving has children (or adults too) who will not eat an entire breast to themselves.
  • After cooking the chicken in the skillet for 5 minutes transfer it to the preheated cookie sheet for the rest of the oven baking.
  • Transfer cooked chicken to disposable foil container/dish and add the strawberries and basil and cover- or put those in separate dishes and allow recipients to top as they please.
However you make this or for how many you make it I am sure it will be quite delicious and oh so appreciated.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Grilled Luau Chicken Kebabs

This is one of our favorite and easy to make summertime meals. Serve with a rice salad, fruit and away you go. This is also an easy transport meal, it's healthy, juicy, flavorful, and you can adjust ingredients based on the size of the group you are feeding and/or preferences of tastes.

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 1/4" chunks
  • marinade (see below for recipe)
  • 1 large pineapple, cut into 1" chunks
  • 2 red or colored bell peppers, cut into 1" chunks
  • 1 lg red onion, cut into 1" chunks
  • We are often fond of using " Chaka's mmmm sauce" or even Yoshido's marinade but here is another good marinade from scratch
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2TB soy sauce

1. Soak skewers. Marinade the chicken chunks for at least 15 minutes

2. Using soaked skewers alternate veggies. We usually do the chicken, and pineapple on the one skewer and the veggies on another as they cook at a different duration of time. Hint: try and surround the chicken with the pineapple to keep it really juicy.

3. Combine 2 Tb Extra Virgin Olive Oil and 3/4 tsp salt with 1/4 tsp pepper and a little lime juice in a bowl. Use this mixture and brush over the veggies and meat. Can also used leftover marinade if desire.
4. Ready to grill for 8- 10 minutes over heat.

5. Enjoy on the skewer or take off and serve in a bowl.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cheaters Strawberry Shortcake

This is the strawberry shortcake I grew up with and it is the "cheaters" version as it is on the box of Bisquick mix but it turns out great everytime! Easy to transport as you would only need to have the strawberries, biscuits, and cool whip in separate containers and the recipients could assemble easily for a tasty after dinner treat. If you really want to make them from scratch or you don't have Bisquick on hand I included a recipe from

Serves 6

  • 4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/3 sups Bisquick mix
  • 2/3 c milk
  • 3 TB sugar
  • 3 TB butter. melted
  • 1 container whipped cream

1. MIX: strawberries and 1/2 cup sugar, set aside. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. STIR: Bisquick mix, milk, 3 TB sugar and then butter until soft dough forms. Drop by 6 spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
(I rolled and cut mine out this time but I think I like the drop method better- lighter biscuit)
3. BAKE: 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Split warm shortcakes; fill and top with strawberries and whipped cream. Serve.


Shortcake recipe from scratch:
  • 2 cups of flour, sifted
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of Crisco
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 quart of fresh strawberries, crushed & sweetened
  1. Sift dry ingredients and cut in Crisco.
  2. Add milk, mixing to soft dough. Knead.
  3. Roll 3/4 inch thick.
  4. Cut with 3 inch biscuit cutter and place on baking sheet greased with Crisco.
  5. Bake at 450ºF. for 12 minutes.
  6. Split biscuits and put berries between.
  7. Top with whipped cream and whole berry. Serves 6.