Tag Archives: chicken

Garden Update… And Chicken and Pineapple Skewers with Cilantro

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Organic Choice for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Despite the fact that we saw a few snowflakes again this week, spring is finally here. We had a few gorgeous days in the 70s over the weekend, and I spent just about every moment I could working out in the garden.

With the recent study released on climate change, I’ve been thinking a lot about what we can do as a family to live a greener lifestyle. We already belong to an organic CSA and buy as much as we can at our local farmer’s market. But, I knew we could do more. This year, I am going to focus on expanding our organic garden (food in our backyard with no harmful chemicals!) and freezing and preserving as much as I can so we don’t have to buy as much from the grocery store throughout the winter. It’s a small change, but if everyone makes a few small changes, they really do add up!

Until last weekend, it has been pretty cold out, and haven’t been able to get out into the garden. Once the warmer weather presented itself, though, we got right to work. To expand our (small) garden, I had my hubby build a new raised garden bed. This year, my garden will be planted in three raised beds – two 4 by 4-foot beds and one new 2 by 8-foot bed. (Isn’t it lovely? He did a great job… Thanks, hon!)  Plus, I will be planting squash and pumpkins (and maybe another thing or two… like watermelon!) outside of the beds where they have room to spread out. I also have an herb garden with lots of giant pots (partially dug into the ground) that keep the herbs from growing and spreading into each other. Continue Reading

Barbeque Chicken Pizza with Corn and Cilantro

I haven’t been posting a lot of recipes lately. You may have noticed.

While I could easily blame our busy schedule (and, this summer has been a busy one!) or the fact that Madison is now mobile and I spend most of the day chasing her around the house (also true), I don’t think it would really be the whole truth.  The thing is, I have still be doing a lot of cooking. In fact, I think I am cooking more now than I used to. There are a lot of days where I cook all three meals a day.

I think the real reason that I haven’t been posting as many recipes lately is that the way I cook has changed drastically over the past few months.  I haven’t gotten lazy and we haven’t started eating junk… It’s quite the opposite.

You see, Madison has started eating “big people” food, as we call it around here (that’s “solids” for the rest of you). I must admit that we had a bit of a transition phase where I attempted to feed her cereal and pureed food… I know baby led weaning is all the rage right now, but it didn’t work for us.  Sadly, purees and cereal didn’t work all that well either… She needed to eat something to give her energy for all of her baby antics, though, so we resorted to giving her those squeezable packets.  She will happily suck down puree from a packet (and, her favorite, strangely enough, is broccoli, peas, and pear), but as soon as we tried to feed her with a spoon, she would grab it and throw it across the room. I wish I was exaggerating. I have scrubbed puree off of almost every surface in my dining room. This food-loving mama was losing her mind.

So, as soon as the kiddo started showing interest in eating real food, I embraced it 100%.  And, as you may have guessed, I am rather particular about what she eats… No sugar. Very little salt. Only whole grains. Fresh, local, and organic produce. Meat from local farmers who I know don’t use antibiotics, hormones, and other junk. Yes, I have becomes that parent. I thought I was going to be the one throwing a tantrum when I picked her up from the church nursery and one of the little girls was trying to feed her a Cheez-It. Continue Reading

Surprise Baby Shower for Megan (Creamy Chicken Enchiladas)

I have a tiny confession to make today… I used to be a baby shower hater. Sure, if one of my friends was having a baby, I would go to the shower, but it was not exciting to me. I would stress over what gift to buy because all things baby were a mystery to me. And, even when the baby arrived, I would still be a bit tentative.  What if they wanted me to actually hold the baby. I will probably drop the newborn and it will break and no one will like me ever again.

Then I had Madison.  I am convinced that having a baby makes you a baby person.  Now I hear that someone is expecting, and I get excited for them.  My mind starts spinning with all sorts of fun baby gift ideas. I reminisce about bringing tiny baby Maddie home from the hospital and remember the early days when she was all bundled up in a little swaddling blanket just calmly sleeping in my arms.

I even get excited to visit and meet the new baby. No longer do I worry about holding the baby. I am more than happy to snuggle a little one! And, of course, no visit is complete without food.  Sure, I loved all of the cute little outfits that we got when Maddie came home, but food was really the best gift of all.  We had great friends and family bring us meals, send snacks (which, is a fabulous idea if you can’t be there in person… much appreciated!), and even come and cook for us. It was a huge help. Taking care of a little one is hard. They are adorable, so it’s a fun kind of hard. But, it’s still hard. So, not having to worry about dinner is a relief, even for someone who loves to be in the kitchen!

Why am I sharing all of this with you? Well, my dear friend Megan from Stetted is expecting a sweet little boy in a few short weeks.  I met Megan a two years ago at the Big Summer Potluck after we had crossed paths online quite a bit over the years. Last summer she was even kind enough to hang out with me while I was pregnant and cranky. I’m thankful that our blogs brought us together, and I hope to hang out with her again soon (and, of course, snuggle with her new little baby!). Continue Reading

Southwest Chicken Noodle Casserole

Yesterday I was talking all about how to make casseroles without the can of condensed cream soup.  So, today I thought I’d share a quick recipe for an easy chicken noodle casserole that I made recently.

I’ve never been a huge fan of standard chicken noodle or tuna noodle casseroles.  I always want them to have more veggies and more seasonings.  So, when I had some leftover roast chicken a few weeks ago, I decided to make my own version of a chicken noodle casserole with a Southwest twist.  I added corn and black beans, as well as some veggies from the garden and CSA.  I also threw in some spices to make sure the casserole wasn’t lacking in Southwest flavor.

You can probably relate to the fact that when you’re making casseroles, some just turn out better than others. Or maybe that’s just me. I was pleasantly surprised with this casserole, though. It turned out really well, and my hubby was a big fan, too.  It had just the right amount of flavor and spice.  So, I’m saving the recipe and I’ll be making it again.  I also split the casserole into two smaller dishes and stashed one in the freezer for post-baby!

I used the veggies that I already had on hand for this casserole, but if you don’t have the same ones, don’t worry about it.  Just use whatever you do have on hand! If you want things to be a bit spicier, feel free to throw in a minced jalapeño (or another hot pepper). You can also garnish with cilantro or avocado, if you have those handy. Unfortunately, I didn’t! Continue Reading

A Look Inside the Savory Sweet Life Cookbook

Today I’m doing something a bit different… Instead of sharing a new recipe or kitchen tip with you, I thought it would be fun to give you a glimpse inside the new Savory Sweet Life cookbook by Alice Currah (author of one of my favorite blogs, Savory Sweet Life).

If you read my blog regularly, you know that I don’t write many cookbook reviews.  I mention some of my favorite cookbooks from time to time, but I rarely take the time to write a post specifically about a cookbook.  There are a few reasons for that.  One reason is that I only highlight things that I truly love (and, Alice’s cookbook certainly falls into that category!).  Another reason is that I like to make sure I give a cookbook a fair chance before I write about it.  For me, that means testing at least 3-4 recipes (if not more) from the book before offering up my opinion.  I don’t always have time for that, and some books don’t have 3-4 recipes that are really calling my name.  But, when I picked up Alice’s cookbook, I had a hard time deciding which recipes I wanted to try first… I wanted to make them all!

I’ve known Alice for a while… Like many bloggers, we were blog friends long before we finally had a chance to meet two summers ago at the Big Summer Potluck.  She’s just as sweet and kind in person as you would expect from reading her blog posts… I just wish I saw her more often! Continue Reading