“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” ~ Michelangelo

There is a touch of fall in the air!! And that is so hard to believe considering it’s the middle of August in Alabama. But I am not complaining at all! It has been a very mild summer and for that I am grateful – pregnant in the summer in the south is not a good thing. Oh the swelling and the sweating. Fun, huh?

I’m afraid the temperature will start rising again this week so I’m going to enjoy this very mild morning while I can and tell you about an easy crock pot dinner we had last week. It’s packed with flavor and simple, simple, simple.

Angel Chicken

(adapted from cleverlyinspired)

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 12 ounces of sliced mushrooms (your choice of kind – I used a combo of button and shitake)
  • 1 0.7-oz. pkg. Italian dry salad dressing mix
  • 1 10-3/4-oz. can condensed golden mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
  • 1/2 of an 8-oz. tub cream cheese spread with chives and onion
  • Hot cooked rice

Start by melting butter in a sauce pan and add in Italian dressing, stir until mixed thoroughly.

Stir in soup, cream cheese and wine unit completely melted and combined. Gently fold in mushrooms.

Place chicken in crockpot and pour sauce over the top.

Cook on low for 6 hours, serve over rice.

Angel ChickenThis will become one of your quick “go-to” meals!

-abp

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“Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it each day, and at last we cannot break it.” ~ Horace Mann

Well, today I’m sitting here killing time as the guys for AT&T are installing U-Verse throughout the house.  I’ve never had anything but cable so I’m a little wary but hopefully it will be a good change.

Really, why does anything to do with cable/internet have to be so complicated?

While I’ve been sitting here (before they cut off my internet – please oh please work when they re-hook-up everything) I have found several new recipes to try! 🙂

But today I’m going to tell you about last nights dinner.

Chicken Cutlets with Tomato Cream Sauce

(adapted from Southern Living Magazine)

  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 lb chicken cutlets
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • ¼ cup loosely packed sage leaves
  • ½ large shallot, sliced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth 2 medium  tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz hot cooked thin spaghetti
  1. Stir together flour and cornstarch in a shallow dish. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in flour/cornstarch mixture.
  2. Cook chicken in 2 Tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels.
  3. Heat remaining oil in skillet; add sage. Cook, stirring often for 2-3 minutes or until crisp and fragrant. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.
  4. Add shallots and saute until tender. Add wine and cook until mixture is reduced by half, stirring to loosen all brown bits.
  5. Add broth, next 2 ingredients and chicken.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium/low and simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened. Sprinkle with cheese.
  6. Serve over pasta and sprinkle with crumbled sage leaves.

*****being pregnant, I do not have wine on hand like I normally would so I used 1½ cups chicken broth and added it when it calls for wine and cooked it down.********

DSC03831DSC03834I very much enjoyed this meal! I will say I thought it to be a little mild but would be perfect to serve to people who might not like “bold” flavors.

-abp

“I got to thinking about relationships and partial lobotomies. Two seemingly different ideas that might just be perfect together – like chocolate and peanut butter.” ~ Carrie Bradshaw

I now officially know how to perform CPR on an infant – let’s hope and pray I never, ever need to use it but like a good girl scout (or was it boy scout?) – BE PREPARED.

All this learning to save a life worked up an appetite and it is still several hours until dinner.

Snack time!

And that brings me to my new obsession.

Jif® Whipped Peanut Butter and Chocolate flavored Spread.

Oh my.

No recipe needed here.

Just add fruit or bread and boom. You are very happily satisfied. Actually – you don’t have to add anything – a spoon would cover it 😉

Jif Whips

DSC03838

Yum.

Try it! You’ll be glad you did!

-abp

ahh.

“When not eating, I like shopping; although I’m afraid I’ve become a bit of a cliche.” ~ Arabella Weir

For a girl who really loves to shop – I thought I was going to love registering for baby items.  After all, I had a blast working on my wedding registry.

Wrong.

It was so stressful! Do you have any clue how many choices of baby stuff they have out nowadays???

3 hours and one stress headache later I left Babies “R” Us.

And I still have to do Target.

Now Lily Pads/Baby Bundles – a local baby boutique, will be a different story. That’s for the fun, cute, frilly items. I could do that all day long.

After all that stress I need comfort food. Which usually consists of some kind of pasta. This meal is no exception.

Beef Ragu (adapted from SlenderKitchen.com)

  • 2.5 pounds lean beef chuck, trimmed of fat
  • 1 ribs celery, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano or thyme, chopped
  • Wide noodle pasta
  1. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic to the bottom of the crock pot.
  2. Season your beef liberally with salt and pepper and add it to the crock pot.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 6-8 hours until beef is fork tender. Serve over your favorite pasta.

Beef Ragu

Hope all is well!

-abp

“When you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

I’ve been putting some thought into my blog – I’ve been away for such a long time.  The whole pregnancy thing has totally flipped my world around –  in a good way!

Lots of things changed for me – for a while I wasn’t able to cook (thanks to hyper-sensitive smell), I totally changed my work schedule up and I had/have a whole new list of “to dos”.  My totally patterned life was no more. I’m completely out of sync.

Also, I’m not quite as savvy as a lot of bloggers out there and it would take me quite some time to get a post complete because I wanted everything as perfect as I could make it – the prep, the pictures, the finished product and the written part.

With this being said – I felt I couldn’t get it all done, at least not the way I would want it done.  I thought about just stopping for a while and coming back to it later in life but that’s not really what I wanted to do……

So – I have decided to omit the instructional pictures and just give a finished photo – that way if I am making something for dinner that I would like to share, I can because I would not have to take all the extra time of taking several pictures of each step (nor edit them) – I could just make dinner like I normally do and take a picture before I dig in.

See that’s the thing you might not know about some blogs that I have discovered while trying to improve mine. One being – a lot of them cook solely for their blog – they prepare dinner at 10 am so that the lighting is the best for pictures, etc.  Some even have spread sheets for the week! Please take note!! – I think that is AWESOME and I enjoy them very, very much and I am very thankful that they do these things – it’s just I have realized that I do not and can not have a blog like that, they are professionals and I am an amateur – which I’m totally cool with! 🙂

I cook for me and my family like I always have and that’s what I’ll continue to do.  And I want to continue to share it with everyone but to do that, I will have to simplify a bit.

I’m just being honest with myself and you and I hope that you will continue to follow my blog minus a few pictures. (P.S. – when the baby comes I’m sure there will be another hiatus! Talk about my world being flipped upside down! :))

Thanks again! I look forward to posting more yummy food!

On that note – I present you with a very delicious and easy dessert that could finish off any meal perfectly.

Oven Baked Churros

(adapted from myrecipes.com)

  • 1 (17.3-oz.) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  1. Preheat oven to 450°. Unfold and cut puff pastry sheets in half lengthwise, and cut each half crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips. Place strips on a lightly greased parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  2. Meanwhile, combine sugar and cinnamon. Remove pastry strips from oven, and dip in butter; roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Let stand on a wire rack 5 minutes or until dry.

Oven Baked Churros

Oven Baked Churros

Enjoy!

-abp