“People find life entirely too time consuming.” ~ Stanislaw J. Lec

Oh! The lazy days of summer.  I love it!

Although, that saying doesn’t ring true much anymore.  Schedules are crazy and there is no structure or there is too much structure. Years ago you didn’t even need structure because life was just simple.

You got up, you went out to play, you came in for lunch and a little down time (mine was watching I Love Lucy and The Andy Griffith Show at 12:00 and 12:30 while I ate my lunch on the floor in front of the TV) and then you went back out until dinner time which was followed by a bath and a little more down time before you got in the bed.

You got up and did it again.

For 3 months. 3 whole months.

Life was perfect. And simple.

I really do feel sorry for today’s children, they will never know that sense of “easy”.

Makes me sad.

On another note something that is easy and makes me happy are simple things like one skillet meals. I have posted several on here and now I have another to add to the category.

These are perfect for those more hectic summer days.

BBQ Chicken Skillet Pasta

(adapted from Damn Delicious)

  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more, to taste
  • 3 cups rotini pasta
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, or more, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a large skillet or pot, brown bacon until crispy, then remove from pan reserving 1 Tablespoon of fat.

Add chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes or until browned on all sides.

Add garlic and onions and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes or until soft.

Mix in chicken broth, tomatoes, milk, red pepper flakes, pasta, salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce and simmer for around 15 minutes or until pasta is cooked.

Stir in BBQ sauce, bacon and cheese. Mix until heated through.

 

 

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-abp

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“I’m one stomach flu away from reaching my goal weight.” ~ Emily (The Devil Wears Prada)

I made a meal I couldn’t eat.

But it wasn’t because it didn’t taste good!

The DH loved it! I actually made it at his request.

The thing was I had not been feeling very well that day (stupid bug that’s been going around) and was really puny when I started frying the sausage and the grease smell made my stomach turn – automatic food aversion.

So the Olive Garden knock off – Spicy Tuscan Soup was a hit – just not with me. I only had the salad (with bought bottled Olive Garden dressing 🙂 )

As you can probably tell – it was an Olive Garden themed night.  All I needed was their yummo garlic bread sticks.

Maybe next time.

(also – because of not feeling so great – there are not many pictures)

Spicy Tuscan Soup   (adapted from Tasty Kitchen)

  • 1 pound Spicy Breakfast Sausage
  • 1 whole Medium Red Onion, Diced
  • 2 slices Bacon, Diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 3 whole Medium Potatoes, cubed
  • 1 quart Warm Water
  • 3 cubes Chicken Bouillon
  • baby spinach
  • ½ cups Heavy Cream
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste

In a large dutch oven, brown sausage, remove and drain on paper towel.

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In same dutch onion, cook onion and bacon until onions are translucent.  Add garlic and cook for one more minute.

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Add water and deglaze pan. Stir in Bouillon cubes and potatoes, cook at a simmer for 20 minutes.

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Stir in cream and spinach and cook for 5 more minutes.

Serve with shaved Parmesan cheese and crusty bread.

DSC03474 Spicy Tuscan Soup

This soup was really really good! I sure hate that I was not able to enjoy like I should have.

-abp

“You knew when you married me I’m more Coco Chanel than coq au vin” ~ Carrie Bradshaw

My stupid, stupid cold is back. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

I have no idea why this year has been so bad.  The DH is threatening to take me to the doctor to see if they will take my tonsils out…….I believe this is mainly because he’s a big ol’ chicken about catching it from me. Although – if it will help me feel better on a regular basis – I’m all for it! I’ll just think about all the gelato I would have to eat while I recuperated.

I’d like to make my own gelato – does anyone have one of those electric counter-top ice cream/yogurt/gelato makers? I think I want one…….

Oh well, hopefully I’ll feel better tomorrow. On to brighter topics…….

DINNER!

On the menu tonight is the less fussy Coq au vin. Everybody loves a good Coq au Vin but is not always up for the work it can sometimes require.  So I say this is Coq au Vin’s country cousin.

Country Style Coq Au Vin

  • 1/2 pound sliced bacon, diced
  • 1.5 – 2 lb. chicken breast, cut up
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 pound small white mushrooms
  • 1 cup frozen small white onions, thawed
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

First you brown your bacon and remove to slow cooker with slotted spoon.

Next reserve a tablespoon of bacon grease and brown your chicked (seasoned with salt and pepper) on all sides. Then remove to slow cooker.

Add mushrooms and onions on top of chicken.

De-glaze your pan with the white wine and add the garlic and rosemary for 1-2 minutes to release flavor.

Pour over vegetables, chicken and bacon.

Stir all together and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.

After the allotted cooking time, remove vegetables, chicken and bacon to bowl and keep warm.

Pour pan juice into small sauce pan and mix cornstarch and water in a bowl.

Slowly pour cornstarch mixture into sauce pan with juice and bring to a boil stirring constantly until thickened.

Pour thickened sauce into bowl and mix.

Serve over mashed potatoes.

This is a wonderful dinner for a cool fall night! There were no leftovers!

Granted, this is not the prettiest dish you have ever seen but do not let that discourage you! It’s very good!

You could also serve this in a bowl over rice a la gumbo style. I think that’s what I will do next time.

Happy Fall Y’all!!!

abp

“Down South, even our vegetables have some pig hidden somewhere in it. A vegetable isn’t a vegetable without a little ham hock.” ~ Paula Deen

Who likes a good old vegetable plate night? I do, I do!!!

And that’s exactly what we had tonight.

Any vegetable done any way as long as there is a slab of cornbread beside it!

I chose not to make it too complicated by adding McKenzies frozen Golden Creamed Corn. I’m telling you folks – unless you have someone who gives you homemade creamed corn – this is the way to go! It’s awesome.

Just plop in a pot on the stove and heat it up.

I also made roasted honey gold potatoes and onions. Also pretty easy, quartered honey gold potatoes, sliced onion, olive oil and seasoning.

Plop that in the oven.

The new recipe I wanted to try tonight is a copycat recipe of The Cracker Barrel’s lima beans.  And these are super duper easy too!!!!

You will need:

  • 14 oz. frozen Lima beans
  • 14 oz can chicken broth, plus ½ can water
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • ½ Tablespoon sugar
  • 4 pieces of bacon, cooked and chopped (plus 1 Tbsp bacon grease)
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Put everything except the bacon in a pot and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, add bacon and simmer for 20 minutes or until lima beans are cooked through. (I’ll admit, I cooked them a good bit more than that, because here in the south we have a tendency to cook the healthy out of them 🙂 )

I add to cheat a tiny bit – when I went to make dinner I realized that I only had 2 pieces of bacon left – oops. Luckily I had the baking sized bacon bits left over from the Teriyaki-Ranch Chicken to add with it – I don’t think that will make too much difference. Not with the 2 real pieces of bacon and a little bacon grease to boot!

Not a whole lot of pictures on this one because, well, it’s not that complicated. 🙂

But here’s one of the whole meal – nothing real pretty but who cares! It’s delicious down home goodness on a plate!

One more thing – I showed you my cornbread FAIL, so here’s a picture of what it’s supposed to look like!

Hope everyone has a great week!

abp