Tag Archives: dinner ideas

Crockpot ‘Best Chicken You’ll Ever Have’

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I love daylight savings time. I love when it stays light later into the evening and on the other side, I love when it gets light earlier in the morning. I wasn’t thinking this love would last once we had Gabs, since I heard that kids don’t adjust quite as smoothly as adults (who don’t always adjust so swimmingly either..) but she must have the same love as I do, because she’s still sleeping the same! I think it’s because she was sick during the time change, so she wasn’t sleeping normally anyway.

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All she wanted to do was lay on the couch and cuddle with Violet- it was sadly adorable.

Either way, we’re adjusted, back to healthy and luuurvin’ it.

So, even though there’s more daylight in the evenings now, that doesn’t always mean you want to spend more time on dinner. I found this recipe online, and though it may not be healthy- IT IS MY FAVORITE. I’m getting used to taking pictures of my recipes again, so if you want to be sold on the recipe, visit the original site and don’t be repulsed by my gross ones!

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These are the leftovers on a sandwich. We had it by itself for dinner the night before, but ate it too fast to take pictures.

You must make it and watch your family devour it before your very eyes (even the picky ones) and then proclaim their undying love for you afterwards.

Then the next day, put the leftovers in a sandwich and hear it all over again.

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Meanwhile, you’re just excited because you spent literally $1.54 per serving and 4 minutes in prep time (that’s being generous.)

Joey and I have a friend from college who told us about what his mom would do each evening at dinner. She’d serve a wonderful meal to her family of all boys- and tell them how much each serving cost to make while serving it. It became almost a fun game to see how delicious/cheap she could make her meals- and a great way to keep yourself in check when planning meals!

~Enjoy! M

P.S. yeah, it’s not healthy or technically low in fat. BUT. Whenever I make a meal that might not be waist-friendly, I just serve my portion over a big handful of chopped romaine. Honestly, I’ve found that pretty much any dinner tastes good over crunchy lettuce.

Crockpot ‘Best Chicken You’ll Ever Have’

serves 4

recipe from littleblackraincloud.com

ingredients:

4 chicken breasts, frozen or thawed. (adjust cooking time if frozen)

1 box chicken flavored stuffing mix

1/2 cup sour cream

1 can cream of chicken soup

1/4 cup water

Directions:

Place chicken in bottom of crockpot. Open up stuffing mix and dump it on, right on top of the chicken.

Next, mix your sour cream, cream soup, and water in a bowl, and dump it on top of the stuffing.

Lid on, and 4 hours at low (thawed chicken) or 4 hours on high (frozen chicken).

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Filed under Baby, Family, Food Stuffs.

Borgmeier Brussels Sprouts

Hallelujah! I’m typing now on a full night’s sleep and haven’t felt so good in a long time! Gabs has had (what we think is) allergies for the past month or so + teething + daylight savings time change… all which means a little less sleep for me. But I never thought having babies meant full nights of sleep anyways, so we’re all good. Just better, now. Just look at her adorable chiclets.

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Last night we had an unexpected winner of a dinner. I had pulled some forgotten flank steak out of the deep freezer and marinated it in our FAVE recipe that I probably got from somewhere originally, but have been winging it ever since (hoisin sauce + honey + ginger + garlic + salt/pepp + red wine vinegar) . We also had some week-old bread that turned into garlic bread, and then Joey’s famous brussels sprouts. I’m pretty sure Gabs loved the brussels sprouts so much that she dreamed about them all night, thus forgetting to wake up every few hours. All I need is one reason to make those veggies every. single. night! Causes baby to sleep through the night? I’ll take it.

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My hub spent a semester in Europe in college, and lived with a host family of four while he was there (now 5!). He absolutely loved his time there, and the Borgmeiers too. I got to meet them when I went to visit Joey for 10 days (eek, how rebellious… I didn’t realize ’til now how crazy that was- traveling Europe with my then boyfriend. We behaved Mom and Dad! Promise!) They were invited to our wedding- but couldn’t come because they had a little kiddo on the way. It’s on our bucket list to go visit them again someday. Anyways, Joey’s host dad was a chef (um, awesome) and made amazing meals for him while he was there. One of Joey’s favorites was his brussels sprouts. Hence the name, “Borgemeier Brussels Sprouts”.

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Sidenote: Gabby, don’t get any ideas. You are never traveling to Europe alone OR with a boyfriend. Even if he’s as nice as Joey. Never gonna happen. 

So enjoy these Brussels! I hear they improve your sleeping habits.

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~M

Borgmeier Brussels Sprouts

Recipe from Coen Borgmeier

Ingredients

18-20 brussels sprouts, washed with ends trimmed

1 TBSP butter/EVOO

3/4 to 1 cup stock

Directions

Wash the sprouts well, then cut the bottoms off of each one. In a large saute pan over high heat, melt the butter and place each sprout cut side DOWN in the pan. Let them get a nice sear on the bottom. After about a minute or so, pour in the stock, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, and cover the pan.

After about 15 minutes, lift the lid and if the sprouts are fork tender, they are ready to eat!

By covering the pan, the brussels sprouts get steamed in the stock and soak up all that delicious flavor. And then they melt in your mouth, and you wonder why you’ve never loved this little vegetable before now.

🙂

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Filed under Food Stuffs., Fridays, Vegetables

Alice Springs Chicken

So… yesterday was exciting for two reasons. First, Gabby is 6 WEEKS old! Where has time gone?? When did my newborn get wrist rolls?? (which, by the way, I love. We have been working on getting rolls for quite some time.)

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Second reason: I was cleared to exercise by my doctor!! Yes yes yes yes!!!

The first thing I did after my doctor’s appointment was pick up Gabby from my mom’s house and head out for a celebratory run. I had loaded up the stroller before leaving for my appointment because I had planned on running in Ripon the first time on the nice paved roads- we’ll save the rugged country terrain for when I’m a little better at navigating the stroller whilst running (It’s tougher to run with a stroller than I thought! Felt the burn in my arms for sure).

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My mom ran with her dog while I ran with the stroller- and those of you who live in the area know that the wind was CRAZY yesterday! That… was a killer. I ran 1.5 miles and thought my lungs were going to burst 5 minutes in. This might be somewhat of a tough journey to get back into shape! Oh well, felt AWESOME. I’ll be back for more today.

The other night, Joey and I were trying to think of what to make for dinner- he started talking in different accents while we pondered what sounded appetizing and at one point he started talking in an Australian accent. My train of thought went as such: Joey talking Australian… I’m hungry…. Australian… Outback?.. mm love that place…Hm I remember my sister in law always liking that place too… she always ordered the Alice Springs Chicken… I should really get that next time we go there…or make it TONIGHT!…. and dinner was born.

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We didn’t bother to look up a recipe, since what we had in the fridge was minimal. It might not be fair to call this Outback’s Alice Springs Chicken, but dang-o, it was delish and really easy, so by golly- I’m telling ya about it.

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I think the secret to the delicious-ness is using thighs instead of chicken breasts. I’ve always bought chicken breasts because they are lower in fat and versatile as far as cooking goes- but I finally decided to buy thighs after I had some amazing chicken at my Aunt Joni’s house for Easter. She told me that she used thighs and I became a believer. I’m a thigh-believer, ya’ll.

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Make this recipe tonight, folks! It’s totally yummy and I bet even the pickiest of eaters will devour it!

~M

Simplified Alice Springs Chicken

serves 2

Ingredients

2-3 chicken thighs

1 TBSP olive oil

Salt & Pepper

6-10 slices good quality sharp cheddar cheese

6 slices thick-cut bacon

Directions:

Season chicken thighs liberally with salt and pepper on both sides- do not underseason! Set aside.

Cook the bacon on the stove-top until crisp. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Pan-fry the thighs in the reserved bacon drippings and add a touch of olive oil. Cook until done, about 4 minutes on each side. Once the thighs are almost completely cooked through, set 2 slices of bacon on top of each thigh, followed by 2-3 slices of cheddar cheese on top of the bacon. Cover with lid for about 30-45 seconds until cheese is melted and chicken is cooked through.

Serve immediately.

** I think Outback’s version has mushrooms if I remember correctly… we didn’t have any mushrooms so feel free to add those to make it more like the original recip

 

 

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White Cheese Chicken Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms

I made this lasagna three times in the past two days.

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I have always been a red sauce girl myself- classic lasagna is one of the most soul-comforting foods out there, in my book! However, my husband is a white sauce only type guy. So that threw me through a loop the first few weeks of our marriage- because staples in my house growing up were spaghetti with marinara (red sauce) and lasagna (red sauce) and mom’s chili (red sauce). There I was, all excited that I had a handful of good dinners planned for my hubby, and all the sudden I have to throw 3 of 5 weekday ideas down the drain!! Now, Joey would have eaten anything I made him- but who wants to spend time making a dinner you know won’t be a hit? Not me.

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So I cautiously entered the world of white sauce.

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And was pleasantly surprised! I still prefer red sauce, but I have found a few recipes for white sauce dinners that are contenders for “The Weekday Dinner Rotation”  we are bound to rely on when our house is full of kids. Did any of you guys have that growing up? The rotation of 5 weekday meals that you knew you’d have because mom is busy and there are 5 kids in the house who are picky and there are only 5 known meals that will satisfy everyone in the house? Yup, totally preparing for that already. My mom had an awesome rotation, so I need to come up with some good stuff here.

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This white cheese lasagna is a cinch to make, and definitely a crowd pleaser. (Which is why I made it three times in two days.) I made two small lasagnas for Joey and I, one to freeze and one to eat, but then we had his brothers and a friend over for dinner so we ended up making both! And the next day I made another one to bring to my dear cousin who just had a beautiful baby girl! Who, by the way, I got to hold last night AND feed her a bottle! Totally precious. Again, February… HURRY UP!

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Anyways, if you’re looking for dinner ideas that are sure to please even the pickiest eaters in your house, here ya go!

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(Sorry the lighting is atrocious in our kitchen after 4:30 pm. That’s why it looks more like yellow lasagna than a white cheese lasagna- bear with me!)

~M

White Cheese Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms

adapted lightly from Lisa Humpf

serves 12

ingredients

9 lasagna noodles                                                   1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1/2 cup butter                                                          1 tsp dried basil

1 onion, chopped                                                    1 tsp dried oregano

1 tablespoon minced garlic                                 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 cup all purpose flour                                     1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese

1 tsp salt                                                                      2 cups cubed, cooked chicken meat

2 cups chicken broth                                              2 cups fresh spinach

1 1/2 cup milk                                                            1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (or dried)

4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided       1/4 cup parmesan ( I used romano) for topping

8 baby mushrooms, sliced

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8-10 minutes. Drain, and rinse with cold water, then set aside.

If you are using fresh chicken, cook breasts in olive oil or butter and season with salt and pepper until cooked through- do not overcook the chicken (it will cook more in the oven!) Slice, and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic in the butter until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in flour and salt, and simmer until bubbly. Mix in the broth and milk, and boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Season with basil, oregano, and black pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.

Spread 1/3 of the sauce mixture in the bottom of a 9x 13 inch baking dish. Later with 1/3 of the noodles, the ricotta, spinach, mushrooms, and the chicken. Arrange 1/3 of the noodles over the chicken, and layer with 1/3 of the sauce mixture, spinach, mushrooms, chicken, and the remaining 2 cups of mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Arrange remaining noodles over the cheese, and spread remaining sauce evenly over the noodles. SPrinkle with 1/4 cup Romano cheese or Parmesan and parsley.

Bake for 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven.

Melt the butter

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