meal

Chicken with mushrooms

A few weeks ago this meal was cooked while the hubs was away on an unexpected trip for work and all of a sudden I ended up with a bunch of food in the fridge that didn’t make sense for any of our typical meals… this meal was my solution. I thought this was delicious (so did the pups).  The kids still are not convinced that mushrooms are tasty.  We served it over a wild rice mixture and had zucchini sticks on the side.

  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 12 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste

In a large pan (that has a cover) melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium high heat.  Add minced garlic and diced onion.  Cook 1-2 minutes until the onion just turns clear and then add sliced mushrooms and dump the sherry on top.  Stir frequently, when thoroughly browned remove to a separate bowl with all of the juices.  Place 2 tbsp of olive oil into the (now empty) pan.  Heat olive oil thoroughly over medium high heat and then place all 3 chicken breasts into the pan and cover.  Cook chicken breasts for 10 minutes on each side, then add mushrooms and juices back into the pan, cover and cook for an additional 10-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken breast. Personally, I prefer to rub my spices into my meat prior to adding the meat to the pan… you can either do that or just add salt, pepper, and garlic to the pan prior to covering it for the final 10-20 minutes of cooking, which ever way makes you happier!

 

 

 

 

This meal received 3 parental thumbs up, 2 (of 4) toddler thumbs up and all 12 puppy paws up (because meat = yum!)

 

 

 

 

Chicken in Wine Sauce

This recipe is a family favorite obtaining a stunning 4 toddler thumbs up, 12 puppy paws up, and hubs approval!

It goes through our meal rotation pretty frequently (about twice a month) all year long. As an added bonus it is super easy! It can be made on the stove top in under an hour or tossed into a crock pot for all day cooking. I will post instructions for both 🙂

The ingredients are:

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 packet of Lipton Onion Soup mix

1 16 ounce package of baby carrots

2 8 oz packages of whole mushrooms

1/3 cup of red wine, I prefer Cabernet.

1 cup of frozen peas

For crockpot directions:
1. Add all ingredients to the crockpot in the order listed, except the peas.
2. Turn it on low for 8 hours.
3. Let the magic work.
4. After 8 hours (or so) has past dump in the peas. Cook for an additional 15 minutes (or so) until the frozen peas have thawed
5. stir and serve.

For stovetop directions:
1. Pour yourself a glass of wine, toss on your apron, try to relax while performing a song and dance routine to entertain your toddler (I prefer singing UB40’s Red Red Wine)
2. Rinse chicken thighs, toss into a 5 quart pot cook for ten minutes on each side while sipping your wine.
3. Place all the remaining ingredients into the pot except the peas, turn down to a simmer, cover and let it sit for 30 minutes.
4. Dump the frozen peas on top, cook for an additional 10 minutes while setting the table and pouring the rest of the bottle of wine into oversized glasses for you and the hubs.
5. Enjoy!

Usually I serve this over my Parmesan Mash Potatoes… Sometimes when I am lazy I just serve it with grocery store bread. It is awesome both ways.
 

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Lentils and Turkey

Today I got up, we had our usual oatmeal breakfast (Liam and I are stuck in a rut with breakfasts) and I stared discontentedly at the remaining leftovers from the birthday bash this last weekend. I just couldn’t bring myself to eat or serve another sandwich. So we got creative today at lunch and this is what the result was.

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A Lentil and (deli) Turkey sautee

The ingredients are:
1/2 cup of sorted and rinsed lentils
1 1/4 cups of low salt chicken broth
3 slices of deli turkey, shredded or cut up really small
1/2 cup of diced carrots (we use baby carrots leftover from the veggie platter)
1/4 cup of diced tomatoes (we used cherry tomatoes leftover from the veggie platter)
1/4 tsp of black pepper
1/2 tsp of garlic powder

Put all ingredients in a large pan with a lid, bring to a boil, cover and then simmer for 30-40 minutes until all liquid is reduced.
Drizzle a small amount of balsamic based salad dressing on top when done.

The result was delicious. Both Liam and I enjoyed it… Though I was far less messy with my eating 😉
This made approximately two mom sized servings and two toddler sized servings.

This meal received 3 of 4 toddler thumbs up (leftovers did not go over well, but they liked it when it was fresh), 2 of 4 parent thumbs up (the hubs refused to try it), and 12 of 12 puppy paws up.

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Thankfully the doggie cleanup crew was on duty.

Toddler Tacos

Since Liam and The Bean have entered the finger foods stage I have been working hard to find ways to make mealtime into more of a family experience. In other words; Momma isn’t making two separate meals. The toddlers eat what the parents eat, though sometimes with some slight variations.

This first meal we toddlerized (oh yeah, totally made that word up) is tacos. Taco night is probably my favorite night, and it absolutely cycles through our meal planning on a biweekly basis. I have an extreme obsession with fondness for moderately spicy Mexican food. Obviously with toddlers involved we had to tone down the spice action, so this is how I solved that problem and still created a tasty meal for everyone involved.

This meal received 4 of 4 toddler thumbs up, 6 of 12 puppy paws up, and 3 of 4 parent thumbs up (the hubs isn’t as big of a Mexican food fan as I am)

Chicken Taco Meat:
1 cup of shredded chicken
1/4 cup of McCormick Taco Seasoning
1/3 cup of water
1 – 15oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed

Dump it all in a pan and simmer for at least 15 minutes (until it is reduced to the amount of liquid you prefer).

I personally tend to keep things like shredded chicken on hand because it is so easy to make and so useful in many different recipes, especially toddler friendly ones. Liam will not eat cut up chicken (too much effort to chew, he prefers a more instant gratification) but he loves shredded as long as it is flavorful.

I quartered all my veggies (tomatoes and peppers) so they were toddler sized… I figured that also meant we could for more vegetables in each taco shell, which makes me feel like the meal is healthier 😉

I swapped our usual Mexican cheese blend out for a plain shredded cheddar (spiciness sacrifices). My husband (an acid reflux sufferer) and the toddlers both appreciated this. My token nod to adding some life to my meal was to purchase a spicy salsa for myself. This allowed me to not really feel like I was sacrificing my meal for theirs (with the added bonus of only cooking one meal). I also gave the kids a single tortilla chip rather than an overwhelming large (for them) and splintery taco shell. The last substitute I made for the kid’s meal was yogurt (one split between the two of then) instead of sour cream.

The results:

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They loved the meal and the yogurt “dessert”, and I had my first toddler/parent combo meal win. Now let’s hope for many more!

Need an easy recipe for shredded chicken? Love your crockpot as much as I adore mine? Try this!

Place 4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or 6-8 boneless skinless thighs) in a 5 quart crockpot. Dump a 32oz box of low sodium chicken broth into the pot. Add spices as you see fit, I typically toss in 1/2 tsp of sage and call it a day. Cook on high for 4-5 hours. Cool in fridge overnight, then remove chicken from the pot and shred with two forks.