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Category Archives: Kids

Maple Chicken and Veg

I’ve been working and tweaking this recipe for a while now. It’s a one-pot-dish (my favorite kind) and it involves chicken quarters (always very budget friendly) and some root veggies flavored up with some maple syrup (always yummy!)

This is a dish I tried on a whim not too long ago – and to my shock the 4yr old had seconds…AND thirds – the picky eater 6yr old ate her whole meal without endless talking and talking and talking – AND the Hubby who gets bored with chicken and hates potatoes asked if we could put this dish into regular rotation for dinner meals because he liked it so much!

You can change up the potatoes and vegetable to what ever you like, but I feel the carrots and sweet potatoes in particular really compliment the maple flavoring. Try to stay in the same tastes 😉  Hubby also really likes it when I add one large yellow onion cubed up.

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Ingredients
4 Chicken Leg Quarters
2 Red Potatoes
2 White Potatoes
1 Sweet Potato
3 Large (FAT) Carrots
20 cloves Garlic
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
1/4 cup melted Butter
salt/pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and gather all your ingredients along with a good cutting board and a trusty knife. You’re going to be doing some prep work on this dish – but I promise it’s easy and worth it.

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Prep your veggies. Peel your carrots, peel your potatoes, peel all those cloves of garlic. Peel EVERYTHING!! Some people like to eat the skins on their potatoes. If your family is of this crowd then CONGRATULATIONS! Your prep time has just been cut in half! My family on the other hand won’t go near anything that’s not fully peeled – – – I know, I know, pick your battles, right?

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Cube the potatoes and carrots into roughly one inch cubes. Try your best to keep everything about the same size. Place all those cubed vegetables into a large bowl.

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Combine the maple syrup and the melted butter together and give it a good stir. Slowly pour over all the cubed veggies in the bowl and then toss the veggies to get a good even coating of that mapley goodness. Set the bowl aside for a few minutes.
Pull out two large casserole dishes. Pam spray or grease the bottoms of them and place two chicken quarters into each dish. Salt and pepper the chicken.

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Scoop out your buttered and syrup’d veggies and sprinkle them around the chicken quarters in both dishes. Pour any remaining syrup from the bottom of the bowl over the chicken. Place in the oven for an hour and 15 minutes. Now you can sit back and relax while dinner cooks itself in the oven and the aromas of garlic and maple and chicken float through your home.

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And that’s it! That’s all there is to it! You get your delicious sweet veggies, some roasted garlic cloves, and some juicy chicken meat on a plate and chow down!  Enjoy!!!

 
1 Comment

Posted by on April 20, 2015 in Chicken, Dinner, Easy, Entree, Healthy, Kids, Potatoes

 

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Apple Butter

Is there anything better than a large schmear of apple butter on a slice of fresh bread in the morning!? Every fall my family drives to a (relatively) nearby farm and goes apple picking. We come home with great memories…and buckets and buckets of apples!! At least a dozen of these apples are always put aside to become apple butter. We are barely even home from the apple orchard and my kids are already asking me if I’ve made the apple butter yet 😉 There’s very little work involved other than prepping the apples, and if you’re the canning type, you can even water-bath can the fruits of your labor.  (See what I did there? Haha)

Apple ButterIngredients:
1 dozen medium sized Apples, peeled, cored, and cubed.
1/2 cup Water
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Allspice
1 Large Dollop of Honey – roughly 1-2 TBSP

Directions:
1. Prep your apples.
2. In a large bowl, toss together the apples, water, brown sugar, cinnamon, and allspice. Mix them together well to combine.
3. Dump it all in your crockpot and cook on low overnight.
4. In the morning, stir the mixture in the crock. Put the lid back on but prop it open a little with a spoon and turn it on high. Let it cook on high for a few more hours – I like to go for another three hours or so to get the thickness and color I prefer, but it’s really up to what you like.
5. When you’ve tasted the apples and you’re happy with the thickness and flavor, turn off the crock and let the mixture cool a bit. Pour it into the blender (or use an immersion blender if you have one) and add a dollop of honey. Puree until smooth.
6. Pour it all into a mason jar or other air tight container and store in the fridge.
7. Enjoy!!

 
6 Comments

Posted by on February 23, 2014 in Breakfast, Crock Pot, Easy, Homemade, Kids, Sweets

 

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Homemade Baked Beans

Baked Beans are a wonderful thing. They’re easy to make. They’re delicious. They travel well so you can bring them to parties, picnics, or events. Kids and adults alike will eat them as a side. And, my favorite part, the crock pot does almost all of the cooking work.

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Homemade Baked Beans
Ingredients:

2 cups Navy Beans
1/2 lb Bacon
3 TBSP Molasses
2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Dry Mustard
1/2 cup Ketchup
1 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup Brown Sugar

Directions:
1. Soak your beans overnight in water, covered.
2. Drain the beans and transfer into a pot and fill with enough fresh water to cover the beans. Simmer until tender – approximately an hour and a half to two hours. Drain the beans and **reserve the water**.
3. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees if you are planning to bake the beans in the oven. If you are using your crock pot instead, you can just pull out your crock.  😉
4. In a sauce pan, combine the molasses, salt, pepper, dry mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire, and brown sugar. Mix to combine and bring to a boil.
5. While that is heating, pour your beans into either a 1/2 sized casserole dish or into your crock pot – whichever you will be using. Chop up your raw bacon into small bites and mix into the beans.
6. Once your sauce pan mixture reaches its boil, pour over the beans and bacon mixture and add just enough of the reserved bean juices to cover the beans.
7. If you’re baking in the oven, cover the casserole dish with foil and bake 3-4 hours until tender and add a little more of the reserved bean liquid half way through cooking if needed. I
If you’re using your crock pot, put the lid on your crock and cook for 6-7 hours on high or 10-12 hours on low. You might need to add some of the reserved bean water mid-way through the cooking.

 

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Mediterranean Chicken

I love chicken legs. They’re always cheaply priced at the store, there’s a bazillion ways to flavor and cook them, and it seems almost everyone loves them!  Fried, baked, grilled, marinated. Yum.

We call this recipe our Mediterranean Chicken, but to tell the truth I have no idea exactly how ‘Mediterranean’ it really is. The difference in this dish is that we marinate the chicken legs in yogurt for a few hours before cooking – have you ever tried that before? There’s something about yogurt that completely changes the texture and feel of a meat when you use it as a marinade. If you’ve never tried it before, give it a go! It is a great way to get incredibly moist meat – just be careful not to over-marinate or the flavor gets a little off.

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Mediterranean Chicken
Ingredients:
1 package Chicken Legs
1 cup Greek Yogurt
1 TBSP Paprika
2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Kosher Salt

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, stir together yogurt, paprika, olive oil, and salt. Add the chicken legs to the bowl and turn to coat each leg evenly with the mixture.
2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 8 hours.
3. Bake at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until the skin is crispy and meat is cooked through.
4. Enjoy!

 
 

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Hearty Chicken and Vegetable Soup

This is my first ever ‘guest recipe’ post!  Today’s recipe comes from a good friend of mine that always makes sure to go above and beyond for her children and family. One of her little ones needed some extra special care earlier this week and she went so far above-and-beyond, that she surprised even herself and made her best ever soup! She has been kind enough to share the recipe with us too, so with no further ado…..Here’s Jessica K.’s Hearty Chicken and Vegetable Soup!

soup

Jessica K. writes:
I don’t know about you, but I have always had a hard time making an awesome broth-based chicken soup. I always find that it turns out bland– especially the chicken part. So, when my youngest had surgery this past Monday, I decided to play around with some ideas I had on how to make my chicken soup more like the ones you can get at a restaurant. What I ended up with was so flavorful, I had to stop eating and write down exactly what I did so I wouldn’t forget. 😉

Ingredients:
1 box (32 oz) Chicken Broth (I use reduced-sodium)
2-3 cups Water
2 Chicken Bouillon cubes
2 boneless, skinless Chicken Creasts
½ a medium Onion, chopped
Veggies you have on hand (I used a handful or so of baby carrots chopped, two stalks of celery chopped and roughly a cup of broccoli pulled apart)
1/8 tsp of oregano (increase or decrease depending on how you want it seasoned)
Garlic powder
Salt/Pepper to taste
2-3 tbsp oil (I use EVOO)
1/3 cup of pasta (I used gluten-free small shells)- optional

Directions:
1. Sprinkle two chicken breasts with garlic powder (both sides).  Put oil in a pan on medium heat and brown the chicken breasts on both sides. Once the chicken is on its second side and close to being done, add the chopped onion to the pan. When both side of the chicken are browned remove them from the pan. (This is how I made sure the chicken had favor. If you just put chopped up, raw chicken, in broth I find it comes out bland.)
2. Put the chicken on a plate and cut into pieces. Don’t worry about any pink areas in the middle of the chicken because it will continue cooking in the broth. Use a bit of chicken broth to deglaze the pan.
3. Add the chopped veggies, chopped chicken, and oregano to the deglazed pan. Add more broth to the pan until the ingredients are just covered. Place a lid on the pan and reduce the heat. Let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
4. Once everything has been able to mingle and soak up all that wonderful flavor, transfer it to a soup pot (a large pot). Add the remaining chicken stock, the water, and two bouillon cubes. You can also add a little salt and pepper for additional flavor. I find that you don’t need salt because of the bouillon cubes, but I did add a little pepper. Cover and keep it on a low to medium heat for at least an hour. You can leave it on a low heat, simmering away until you are close to when you want to eat.
*At this point, instead of simmering in a pot on the stove, you could also transfer it to a crock pot and leave it on low for about an hour or two and then switch it to warm.*
5. Got noddles? When you are about 20-30 minutes before you want to serve, add the pasta. If you are making this ahead and not eating it right away, I would NOT put the pasta in until the day you are eating it. Just heat the soup on the stove, bring to a boil, and add the pasta. That way your pasta is fresh and not super mushy.
*Though I have not tried this yet, I would imagine this would make a good freezer meal soup as well. Just don’t add the pasta if you intend on freezing and add it once you’ve defrosted and heated it up.*

FYI– My 3-year-old little patient LOVED it. =)

 

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Veggie Tree

Last year, my then-two-year-old desperately wanted a christmas tree made out of broccoli. I have no idea why or where she comes up with this stuff….did I mention she was two? I remembered having seen something close on Pinterest a while before so I gave it my best attempt and this is what came of it.

Veggie Tree

First I want to mention that I just might be the least crafty type person ever to have walked this earth. This project intimidated the heck out of me, but actually ended up being pretty easy. The real fun was serving it to our extended family at our Christmas party as an appetizer and seeing their faces :)

Supplies:
1 Foam Craft Cone
1 Serving Tray you are comfortable hot gluing something to
Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks to refill as needed
1 box of toothpicks
Vegetables of your choosing – keep in mind both what you want to eat, AND what would decorate a tree. Broccoli is the obvious choice for the green branches, I used cauliflower for snowy pieces and just a color variance. Red cherry tomatoes and orange baby carrots work as ornaments. If your family likes bell peppers, you could cut ribbons off the different colored peppers and use it like a garland. Again, I made mine for a 2yr old, so our veggies were pretty standard fare.

Directions:

1. In case you’re not sure what I mean by a foam cone, here’s a picture of a generic one:
01260P                                                               It’s just a small cone made of foam ;)
Anyways, using your hot glue gun, very generously glue the base of the cone down onto your serving tray. I used a dollar store throw-away tin one for mine so I didn’t have to worry about any damage.
2. While that’s cooling, chop up your veggies into pretty little pieces that you can attach to the cone.
3. Use the toothpicks to stab a piece of veggie – a broccoli floret, for example, in the base of the veggie and then stab it into the foam cone. Don’t go all crazy with your greens and expect to come back later and put in your colorful pieces – you’re going to have to plan ahead a bit and leave space for the other veggies. Perhaps if you’re really clever, you can decorate the naked tree with your “ornament” veggies and then go back and fill in the green veggies.
4. That’s it. Be creative with it. Use any veggies you like to eat. And when it’s time to serve up, remember to offer some sort of veggie dip to go with.
5. Enjoy!

 

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Taco Pie

This is a dish that I used to make all the time as a young, single, college student. It is very flexible and can be made a thousand different ways and for a thousand different tastes. The recipe I’m typing up today is just the basic bones of the dish – but please feel free to experiment away and add any sort of toppings you like! A layer of re-fried beans, some salsa, peppers, onions, whatever it is you like to put on your taco will go just fine into this dish.

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Ingredients:
1 lb Ground Beef
1 pkg Taco Seasoning (Or make your own….Homemade “Old El Paso” Copycat Taco Seasoning
1 pint Sour Cream
1 pkg Crescent Rolls
2 cups crushed Fritos (divided)
1 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Brown your ground beef, drain the fat, and add in the taco seasoning. Only use about half of the water you would normally use per the package directions. Mix together and let simmer for 5-10 minutes.
3. While the meat is simmering, grease an oven safe pan. I use a half-sized 8×8 casserole dish and it works out pretty well. You can also use a ceramic or glass pie plate if you like. Open your crescent rolls and pinch together the perforated seams so you have several rectangles of dough. Do your best to assemble the dough pieces in the bottom of your dish so that a bit curls up the walls as well. (See picture.)

DSCF0001It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just aim for even coverage and pinch together any open seams. You can stretch the dough a bit too once it starts to warm up to room temperature.
4. Put your dish aside and lightly crush one cup of the Fritos and spread them over the dough in the dish.
5. Spread your cooked ground beef over the layer Fritos and then spread the sour cream on top of the beef. Sprinkle on your layer of mozzarella cheese and then top it all off with the remaining cup of crushed Fritos.
6. Bake uncovered for 20  minutes until cheese is melted and crescent dough crust is nicely cooked.
7. Enjoy!

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 2, 2013 in Beef, Casseroles, Dinner, Easy, Entree, Kids, Quick & Easy

 

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