“Everyone should have kids. They are the greatest joy in the world. But they are also terrorists. You’ll realize this as soon as they are born and they start using sleep deprivation to break you.” ~ Ray Romano

I have found that when I’m eating healthier, I have more energy and I’m not as sluggish.

I know, I know – everybody has always told me I would feel better the better I ate (my husband included) but now I can actually say I believe them…………as much as it pains me to say he was right.

Anyway – it’s good timing because we are living with a teething baby and sleep has been very limited. I’m a walking zombie and need all the help I can get!

Moroccan Chicken Salad Wraps

(adapted from Cooking Light)

  • 1 cup packed fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1 small shallot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 ½ cups of cooked boneless, skinless chicken (chopped)
  • 4 whole wheat wraps
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons pine nuts, toasted

Place first 4 ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, and process until coarsely chopped. Place spinach mixture in a bowl; stir in yogurt, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and black pepper.

Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, juice, and next 5 ingredients (through red pepper) in a medium bowl. Add chicken and nuts; toss.

Divide spinach mixture and chicken mixture evenly (or to your liking) among the wraps.

Roll up and eat. 🙂

*this recipe is for 2 servings – it can be easily doubled*

 

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Very different and very refreshing!

-abp

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“In the course of my life, I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet.” ~ Winston Churchill

I guess I’m going to have to eat a little crow.

I was for sure there was no way that I could find (or if I did, enjoy) any lighter (i.e. diet) meals to cook at home.

I’m a southern cook – I like butter and lots of bread. Both preferably fried.

But no need to fret because this leopard has not changed its spots. I have just expanded my horizons a bit and I’m so glad I did because I really needed to start working on this baby weight but cooking is my joy and I was afraid I would be bound to lettuce and grilled chicken forever.

Here is one of my new finds.

Greek Stuffed Chicken with Mango Sauce

(adapted from The Chew)

Chicken

  • 10 oz feta cheese
  • 1 cup packed spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup packed parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (the kind in the jar)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Greek seasoning
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin

Mango Sauce

  • 1 large or 2 small mangoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 14 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion
  • 1 teaspoon Greek seasoning
  • 1/2 Jalapeno pepper with ribs and seeds removed, minced

Preheat oven to 375º.

In a medium bowl, mix feta, spinach, parsley, garlic, olive oil and pepper.

Divide mixture between the 4 chicken breasts. Fold over, season with greek seasoning.

Place in greased pan.

Bake for 45 minutes or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, bring all sauce ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Serve over chicken.

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-abp

“For me, the magic of Hawaii comes from the stillness, the sea, the stars.” ~ Joanne Harris

Ugh, another cold, cold dreary day.

It is time for you to leave, Old Man Winter. You have overstayed your welcome.

On days like these, I can’t help but think about nice, sunny, warm days at the beach and today my mind is on this particular beach.

Hanauma Bay in Honolulu.

What a fabulous day this was…….

DSC04007_2So in honor of this day in my memory we are having Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken.

If only it could take me back!

Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken

(adapted from Chef-in-Training)

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 small can pineapple chunks, drained

Mix all ingredients except pineapple chunks and cook in crock pot on low for 6 hours.  Add the pineapple chunks in for the last 20 minutes of cooking. Remove chicken, shred and return to pot.

Serve over rice.

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Aloha!

-abp

“Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.” ~ Ludwig van Beethoven

Ahh, chicken noodle soup.

A classic.

I must admit – I have never craved or really wanted chicken noodle soup.

I’m not sure I have even had it when I was sick.

I mean, I’ve had Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, but nothing beyond that.

So what drew me to this recipe? I’m not sure.

Maybe it was the ease of it.

But I’m sure glad something did because now I am a huge fan and now I have a soup to take someone when they are under the weather.

I hope you find it as easy and enjoyable as I did.

Chicken Noodle Soup

(adapted from Yummy Mummy Club)

  • 1.5 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups chopped or sliced carrots
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 sticks of fresh rosemary
  • 2 slices of fresh ginger (¼ inch thick)
  • 1 box chicken broth
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon Crazy Jane Seasoning Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Zoe’s seasoning (you could use an Italian or Greek blend seasoning)
  • 2-3 cups egg noodles

Place celery, carrots, onions, rosemary and ginger in bottom of crockpot. Top with seasoning. Pour in broth and wine and stir to mix.

Place chicken on top and cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Remove Chicken, shred and return to crock pot.

Add in noodles and cook for another 30 minutes.

Serve with hot cornbread. 🙂

1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium cooking onion, peeled and sliced (in large pieces so picky eaters can easily pick them out)
2 slices ginger (approx. 1/4 inch thick each), peeled
2-3 stocks fresh rosemary
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used a few more because the club-sized package was on sale)
1 container low sodium chicken broth (approx: 900mL—if not using wine add additional broth)
1 cup white wine (Optional but highly recommended)
Coarse salt and ground pepper to taste
2 cups egg noodles

– See more at: http://www.yummymummyclub.ca/blogs/maija-moments-canned-soup-mom/20121119/crockpot-chicken-noodle-soup#sthash.VYgYXNS9.dpuf

1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium cooking onion, peeled and sliced (in large pieces so picky eaters can easily pick them out)
2 slices ginger (approx. 1/4 inch thick each), peeled
2-3 stocks fresh rosemary
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used a few more because the club-sized package was on sale)
1 container low sodium chicken broth (approx: 900mL—if not using wine add additional broth)
1 cup white wine (Optional but highly recommended)
Coarse salt and ground pepper to taste
2 cups egg noodles

– See more at: http://www.yummymummyclub.ca/blogs/maija-moments-canned-soup-mom/20121119/crockpot-chicken-noodle-soup#sthash.VYgYXNS9.dpuf

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“A hug is like a boomerang – you get it back right away.” ~ Bil Keane

Here is day 2 of my Sweetheart’s Italian food inspired Valentine’s Day Week.
This one is so simple, I actually feel bad saying “it’s part of a special week menu” – but not too bad. 😉

Had it not been so simple he may have had only 2 special meals instead of 3 because Friday, I’m going all out!

Well, all out for my standards.
Anywho, here’s the scoop on the simplest meal ever.

Hug-Your-Hubby
Crockpot Italian Chicken

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 red potatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1/2 bag small carrots
  • 16 oz Zesty Italian dressing
  • 1 Tablespoon dry Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese

Add all ingredients to your crockpot, vegetables on the bottom. Cook on low for 8 hours.
Remove chicken to a bowl and shred. Remove vegetables to separate bowl. Take juice from crockpot and pour over the shredded chicken.

Add garlic bread and it’s perfect!

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-abp

“A kiss makes the heart young again and wipes out the years.” ~ Rupert Brooke

I love Valentine’s Day – the love, the candy, the colors.  It’s just a fun but low key holiday. A time that you can be cheesy in love with your significant other or other family members.

My husband’s favorite type of food is Italian, so in honor of my sweetheart this Valentine’s Day week, I am making three Italian dinners. The first one being a very simple dish that on a plate doesn’t look so simple.

Would be a great 1st dinner you cook for a new love! 🙂

Sweetheart Tomato and Basil Chicken

(adapted from Menu Musings of an American Modern Mom)

  • 1 lb fettuccine
  • 4 chicken cutlets
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Dry Italian seasoning
  • 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pints of cherry tomatoes (halved and quartered)
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic (I used the jarred kind to save time)
  • 4 Tablespoons cold butter
  • ¾ cup basil – divided (cut into ribbons)
  • Parmesan Cheese

Start water for fettuccine and heat up olive oil in large pan on medium/high heat.

Season both sides of chicken with salt, pepper and Italian seasonings.

Brown chicken for 4-5 minutes on both sides.

Add in tomatoes, garlic, ½ cup basil and butter. Cook down for about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cover and keep warm until fettuccine is ready.

Serve chicken over pasta with sauce and top with remaining basil and Parmesan cheese.

Love on a plate!

Sweetheart Tomato and Basil Chicken | Poore Amy-abp

“Even in winter an isolated patch of snow has a special quality.” ~ Andy Goldsworthy

Bracing for the cold again.  You know I really wouldn’t mind the cold if we could get a little snow with it every now and then.

The weird thing is – the beach might be getting snow!!!

How crazy is that?  I’m used to the northern part of the state getting snow when we do not but the southern side?

Oh well. 51 days until spring.

One of my favorite things about spring is being able to eat outside at my favorite restaurants. One of those being a local Mexican restaurant – chips, salsa, cheese dip, margaritas, and fajitas all out on a covered patio.

Unfortunately, I do not have the sunny and 75 but I do have the fajitas.

Simple ones at that.

Simple Chicken Fajitas

  • 1 lb chicken breast cutlets, cut into strips
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon seasoned salt (I used Lawry’s)
  • 1 can Rotel (mild)
  • 1 medium onion, cut into strips
  • ½ red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • ½ green red pepper, cut into strips

Mix together spices. In a medium bowl, toss chicken with spices, making sure to coat evenly.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown chicken on all sides.

Add in onion and peppers. Cook for 5-7 minutes.

Pour in rotel and cook on medium/high heat until liquid is cook down and onion and peppers are soft. (about 15-20 minutes)

Serve with warm tortillas and any of your favorite fajita toppings.

photo-24This fajitas were crazy good and crazy easy!

-abp

“A mother’s arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them.” ~ Victor Hugo

Wow, how my life has changed.

And I LOVE it.

I’m still a Type A worry wart but my worries are now different.  I have slowed down a bit.

Use to – had I still been unshowered and in my PJ’s at 10:00 a.m., I was ridiculously behind on my day. Now, I’m in my PJ’s covered in spit up, my hair a mess, with my first cup of coffee in hand sometimes as late as noon.

I’ll even open the door for the mailman looking like this.

But that’s ok. Because what’s important is sitting here, snuggled up, staring at the best thing I have ever done. And having her look right back at me and smile.

These moments are priceless.

And fleeting.

Everything else can wait.

I’ll cook while she sleeps and today I cooked the following.

Brown Sugar and Garlic Chicken

(adapted from Makin’ it Mo Betta)

  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar 
  • 1/4 cup sprite
  • 2-3 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • Red pepper flakes

Spray crock pot with non-stick cooking spray, place chicken inside.

Mix together sugar, vinegar, sprite, garlic, soy sauce and pepper. Pour over chicken.  Cook for 6-8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.

Remove chicken and shred. Pour remaining sauce into sauce pan. Mix water and cornstarch and add to sauce. Bring sauce to a boil and boil for 2-3 minutes until it thickens and becomes a glaze. Remove from heat and stir for a couple more minutes and add pepper flakes. Mix in shredded chicken. Serve over rice.

Very Flavorful!

phonto-abp

“Babies are bits of stardust, blown from the hand of God.” ~ Barretto

I am in LOVE with my baby girl!!!

Everyone said I would be but gosh she has to be the cutest thing i have ever seen!!! I could just sit and stare at her all day – and a lot of the time that’s what I do!!

Because of this, there has not been a whole lot of cooking going on in my house (much to my husbands dismay – although he’s too sweet to say anything!). But every now and then, I’ve surprised him and thrown something together like this crockpot meal.

Cashew Chicken

(adapted from Sally Cooks)

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into smaller pieces
  • 1-2 cups frozen broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup water or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup cashews

Place chicken and vegetables in crockpot. Mix together other ingredients except for water/chicken broth and cashews, pour over chicken and vegetables. Pour in water/chicken broth until covered.  Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

Before serving, toast your cashews and stir into crockpot. Serve over rice.

photoI hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

New recipes from the Holidays coming soon!

-abp

“What Romantic terminology called genius or talent or inspiration is nothing other than finding the right road empirically, following one’s nose, taking shortcuts.” ~ Italo Calvino

I love Chicken Piccata!

It is a very light meal that has a punch of big flavor. It’s not a hard meal to make but it’s not the quickest to throw together either. So when I was on my usual daily quest for new time saving recipes I came across this recipe – Chicken Piccata Skillet Pasta and I thought – how can that be bad?!? It combines one of my favorite meals with pasta and in one pan!

You should know I must be taking this “my life is about to really change” to heart because I used to would have never considered using pre-cooked chicken but I did this time and let me tell you – I will do it again!

Chicken Piccata Skillet Pasta

(adapted from Plain Chicken)

  • 12 oz cooked, chopped chicken ( I used the pre-cooked bags of Tyson grilled chicken you find in the refrigerated section)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp dried minced onion
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 8 oz pasta
  • 3-4 Tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

In 12-inch skillet, combine chicken, pasta, onion, garlic, heavy cream, lemon juice, chicken broth and pasta. Bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat.

Simmer for 15-18 minutes, until pasta is tender. Stir in capers and parmesan cheese. Cook over low heat about 5 minutes.

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So, so easy but oh so good!

-abp