Friday, September 28, 2012

Cashew Chicken

You know when you see a recipe popping up everywhere you look, it's got to be a good one.  That's what was happening with this cashew chicken so I finally decided I needed to make it.  What's not to love about a crock-pot recipe that is not only easy but delicious?  We had it on Sunday and I am still enjoying the leftovers for lunch.  And don't tell the chicken breast marketers, but I have totally converted to chicken thighs.  So good.
Pick a link, any link:

recipe here
recipe here
recipe here

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Avocado, Bacon and Onion Chicken

My friend, Brittney, has completely changed her family's way of eating.  It's been almost 2 years since she started their journey and I am amazed at her dedication to this difficult process.  Her family is on the GAPS diet.  She has a blog you can check out to find out more information about the diet and her family's journey on this new road.  I got this chicken recipe from Brittney a few months ago.  It is such a simple dish but pleases the taste buds and makes for a great dinner dish. 

Avocado, Bacon and Onion Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 slices bacon, diced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 avocado, diced

Season chicken breasts with garlic salt.  Bake chicken at 400 for 30 to 40 minutes or until done.  Meanwhile, saute onions and bacon on stove until cooked through.  When chicken is done, top with mozzarella cheese, onions, bacon and avocado.  Serve.

*I added the cheese and garlic salt.  Not sure if they are part of the GAPS diet.  Just did it for my own liking.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Grocery Shopping

Do you love or hate grocery shopping?
I have to admit that I kind of love it.  I love making a list of what I need and then going (by myself) to fill my basket and cross off my list.  It relaxes me.
What I don't love is that I have to go to 7 different places to get all the different things that I like.  I know it's my fault for being snobby about food, but I still dream about one big mega store that has everything that I love.
So here are the stores I go to and what I get there.  Because I know you are dying to know this information.
Walmart: Catalina and ranch salad dressing, Ghirardelli chocolate chips, Breyers ice cream, toiletries, some paper goods, milk, cream, half and half, eggs, produce if it looks good, some canned goods, Macayo's taco sauce, sugar, powdered sugar, rice, spices that I don't need a lot of, kid syrup, condiments (except mayo), cake mixes.
Sam's Club: On the Border chips, pesto, parmesan, OJ, frozen pizza, chicken nuggets, frozen veggies, produce if it looks good, cibatta rolls, fresh mozzarella, kid cereal, butter, flour tortillas, most canned goods, cocoa, olive oil and canola oil, spices that I need in bulk, baking powder, garbage bags, cleaning supplies, honey.
Costco: Greek yogurt, our favorite granola cereal, paper towels, toilet paper, produce if it looks good, tomato and basil soup, frozen chicken tenders, snacks and drinks for lunches, organic salsa, vitamins and medicine, gum, dark chocolate acai/blueberry snack, fruit and nut mix, almond pops snack, slivered almonds, walnuts, fruit leather, nutella, peanut butter, Coaches oats, laundry detergent.
Fresh and Easy: Mountain trail mix, balsamic vinaigrette, french bread, sharp cheddar cheese, string cheese, chocolate pudding, produce if it looks good, pasta, unbleached flour.
Trader Joe's: Marinara sauce, corn tortillas, cashews, frozen fruits and veggies, raspberry and cream ice cream bars, dark chocolate pb cups, pizza dough, produce if it's on sale, coconut milk, pure maple syrup, mayo, white balsamic vinegar, frozen orange chicken, any other random treat that I need to try.
Sprouts: Beef, chicken, sliced peppered turkey, produce if it's on sale, dark chocolate covered almonds, chia seeds
Alpine Valley Bread Outlet: Bread. 
Backyard Farmer: I should mention this one because I order grains and fresh produce from them on occasion and sometimes meat but it comes right to my doorstep so it's not really "shopping."  It's the best thing ever if you live in Mesa or Gilbert.

*What are your favorite places to shop and what do you love to get there?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Spinach peach salad

*I am re-posting this salad from last year because I am losing sleep over the fact that someone might go through peach season without making it.  It is my absolute favorite.  I made it four times in one week.  Please make it so I can stop worrying.  Thank you.

I linked this salad a few weeks ago and said it was my favorite salad of 2011.  I am now thinking that it could be my favorite salad of the decade.  I want to make it for every meal.  So in case you are not a link-clicker, I decided I had better put the recipe on here so you will make it and love it.  It's from Trainer Momma.
This salad is perfect for all those amazing Utah peaches we are enjoying right now.  I look forward to peach season all year and it's finally here!  If you live in Arizona, please go to Nielsen's frozen custard and get the fresh peach concrete or the homemade peach cobbler.  But don't blame me if you get addicted and spend way too much time and money there.
baby spinach (enough to fill your serving bowl)
fresh peaches, cut up (2 or 3)
fresh blueberries
cucumber, peeled and diced
green onion, sliced
asagio or parmesan cheese, shredded
dried cranberries
candied pecans or sliced almonds

*Toss these together in the amounts that you like.  If you don't have one or more of these ingredients, it's will still be good.  Toss with white balsamic vinegar dressing right before serving.

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbs. pure maple syrup
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper

*Shake up really well until it's all combined.  I don't use all the dressing because the spinach gets too soggy and wilted.  The flavor is great and you don't need a lot.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mini Cheesecakes

I used to be one of those people that did not like cheesecake, but when I was pregnant with my twins that all changed and I almost ate an entire cheesecake from Costco by myself.  And lets be honest, those cheesecakes are not small!  Anyway, my friend made these mini cheesecakes for a party and I have been hooked ever since.  They are so easy to make and so delicious!


2 8oz packages cream cheese (room temp)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 box vanilla wafers (or Nilla wafers..which ever you prefer)
1 can of pie filling of your choice
cupcake liners

Heat oven to 350.  Mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix well

Add a wafer to each cupcake liner and fill about half way with the mixture.

Bake at 350 for 20 min.

Let cool all the way then top with your choice of pie filling.

Makes about 2 dozen

Enjoy! :)


No, this is not the movie! However, it is the dish that was cooked in the movie. I have the cutest friend named Gini who is from France. She has been teaching some French cooking classes and last week I finally got to attend. She cooks with lots of healthy vegetables and uses butter and cream and all the other things that make food delicious. Those French really have cornered the cooking art.  It's all about portion control and using good healthy ingredients. I was surprised when she told us this is what she was making. I'm from Mexico and a while back I posted a really similar recipe from there called "Calabacitas".  The French use almost the same ingredients, with a few small changes and call it Ratatouille.  Kind of like the Chinese have egg rolls and the Mexicans have burritos. Ratatouille was originally thought to be "poor man's food" but is really so flavorful and a good way to use the summer's bounty of zucchini squash. Of course the picky eater in my house won't eat it-- but I love it and it goes great if you are on a low carb diet. Try it and let me know.

1 onion (chopped)
4-6 zucchini (or combination of zucchini and yellow summer squash)
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1-2 clove of chopped garlic
Olive oil
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
2 bay leaves
2-3 fresh tomatoes or 1 can (14 iz.) diced tomatoes (or crushed)
2 8oz tomato sauce
1 Tbsp sugar or honey
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop all the vegetable to bite size.  Keep them in separate bowl.  Saute each kind of vegetable individually in olive oil just a few minutes.  Make sure you season the veggies with salt and pepper each time.  Do the tomatoes last, then put all the vegetables back in the pan.  Add the tomato sauce and the spices.  I added an 8 oz. can of water for more liquid. Simmer for at least 30 minutes (but the longer the better).  Serve over rice or pasta. My son ate it on pasta and LOVED it!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

I made these muffins last week.  I love a hearty, whole wheat muffin.  And these were just that.  Easy to make and delicious to eat!  These were a perfect snack for our road trip the next day.

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins
recipe from:  Baking Bites

2 cups whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat)
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 brown sugar
1 large egg
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups mashed banana (2-3 large bananas)
1/4 cup milk (any kind)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans and/or walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and egg until well combined. Whisk in vegetable oil, mashed banana, milk and vanilla extract. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and stir until batter just comes together and no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Gently fold in chopped nuts. Do not overmix.
Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly pressed.
Turn muffins out onto wire rack to cool completely.  Store in airtight container.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cream-filled Chocolate Cupcakes

We celebrated my nephew's first birthday over at my brother's house on Sunday.  One year olds are my favorite.
So are these cupcakes.
Jen whipped these up for the celebration and they were so delicious on so many levels.  Moist chocolate cake, creamy cream-filling, and a semi-sweet chocolate ganache covering the top.  Need I say more??

You can find the recipe here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


We (well--most of my family, who are now all gone) are not really a casserole family, especially my husband. He doesn't like "all that stuff mixed together"! However, this is really a side dish and he even likes it! Next time you want to make twice-baked potatoes, do this instead. It's like one GIANT twice-baked. Lots less work! My 3 crazy friends and I that cooked for camp back in July made this for on of our camp meals. It was a hit with the girls--so it must be OK. And it has bacon--I think bacon could make dirt taste good! The recipe came from Taste of Home (so did the photo). I love their down home recipes!!

1-2 lbs red potatoes (about 6 medium) baked
1/4 t. salt (
1/4 t. pepper
1 lb sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 c. sour cream
2 c. (8 oz.) shredded mozarella cheese
2 c. (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
2 diced green onions

Cut baked potatoes into 1 inch cubes. No need to peel--the skins are tasty and look pretty and are nutritious. Place half the potatoes in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with half the salt, pepper and crumbled bacon. I used a little more salt. Top with half the sour cream and then the cheeses. Repeat layer. Bake uncovered at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until cheeses are melted. Remove from oven and sprinkle with onion. Serve.

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