Food

Chicken Spinach Tomato Bake

This Chicken Spinach Tomato Bake has become a favorite in this house and it’s healthy. Everyone’s looking for that quick and healthy chicken dish. This is it! I’ve done a few different variations with the tomatoes. Originally I was using Rotel tomatoes, but recently I tried sundried tomatoes. Both give it a little different flavor. One reason I love this Chicken Spinach Tomato Bake is because you can change it up each time to meet the needs of what you have at home. You don’t have to use mozzarella cheese each time. I’ve used shredded Mexican style cheese because I always have that in bulk in my fridge. This is a great recipe with a lot of flexibility and it tastes so good.

Chicken Spinach Tomato Bake

  • Servings: 5-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 5-6 Large Chicken Breasts
  • 16-24 ounces of Fresh Spinach
  • 1 and 1/4th cup of Chicken Broth
  • 1 can of Rotel or a jar of Sundried Tomatoes
  • Creole or Spicy seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Shredded Mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese to your liking
  • 4-5 Green Onions chopped (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray 9 by 13 dish and any other dishes being used. For 5-6 large chicken breasts I use two a 9 by 13 and 11 by 14 dish.
  2. Next, place the chicken breasts on a cutting board between sheets of plastic wrap and pound the chicken with a flat mullet until all meat is even. This is a key step.
  3. Sprinkle the chicken with Creole seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  4. Put the fresh spinach is prepared dishes. Salt and pepper the spinach.
  5. Add the chicken broth evenly to each dish.
  6. Arrange the chicken over the spinach and add tomatoes on top along with green onions.
  7. Cover the baking dishes with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  8. Uncover and continue baking for 10-15 minutes or until chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165.
  9. Top the chicken with cheese and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with your favorite sides.
Food

Rack of Pork

Happy New Year! We’re back at it with a holiday favorite, the rack of pork which is a pork loin with the bone in. I never had a rack of pork until later in life. This cut of meat is so succulent and flavorful. We love it when Fall hits and Costco starts selling this meat which is typically around Thanksgiving. Preparing the rack of pork is super easy. The challenging part is making sure it’s cooked to perfection while in the oven. All it takes is a close eye and a little TLC.

We celebrated the New Year with the rack of pork. The second time this holiday season. Cheers to the New Year!

Rack of Pork

  • Difficulty: Medium
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Ingredients:

  • 5-6 lbs. Rack of Pork – Pork Loin Bone In
  • 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil or enough to rub the whole rack
  • Rub pork with minced garlic – don’t hold back
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon of Rosemary
  • Season with Salt and Pepper to your liking

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and prepare a broiler pan lined with foil.
  2. Place the rack of pork on the pan and rub with olive oil.
  3. Season with rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  4. Place the pork in the oven and cook in 450 degree oven for 15 minutes and then reduce to 350 degrees for 70-90 minutes or until an internal temperature of 145/150 in the thickest cut of meat. Halfway through cooking the pork, flip the rack to ensure proper cooking and browning on all sides. At some point, you may have to foil the bone part of the rack so not to brown too much.
  5. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before cutting. Eat and enjoy with your favorite sides.

Family, Food

Green Beans with Bacon

Green Beans with Bacon

After years of not eating green beans, I decided to try something new to get my family to enjoy them.  We love bacon in the house so I thought, why not try some green beans with bacon.  It was a huge success so much so that we eat green beans with bacon at least once a week as a side dish.  Not only was the bacon the secret to success, but the Alpine Fresh french green beans from Costco also make this dish.  The french green beans are thinner, cook faster, and are more flavorful then regular green beans.  Of course, this is all my opinion, but I believe if you try these green beans with bacon you will agree.

You can make this dish with real bacon or even use bacon crumbles, but there is only one brand of bacon crumbles that is good.  Yes, it is the Costco brand of Kirkland bacon crumbles.  They are high quality, big chunks of bacon crumbles.  The best we have found.  These green beans with bacon not only taste great, but they are super easy to make especially if you choose to use bacon crumbles.

Green Beans with Bacon

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 2 Pound Bag of Alpine Fresh Tender Green Beans (we use 1 pound and save the other pound for another meal)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 2-3 Cloves of minced Garlic
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Bacon Crumbles by Kirkland
  • Jalapeno Salt & Pepper to taste (not much salt needed due to bacon)

Directions:

  1. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a wok over medium high heat.  Add green beans and garlic, toss in the olive oil, and cover for 8-10 minutes to cook/steam.  Continue to stir green beans.
  2. Once the green beans are getting softer and brighter in color, you can add the bacon crumbles and seasonings.  Continue stirring the green beans and bacon.  At this point, you will have to judge when your green beans are ready.  It all depends on how you like them.  Taste them to see if they are ready.  Some like them a little crispier while others like them more done.  We’ve cooked them both ways, and the family consensus is they do not like them crispier.  I like them both ways.

*Note – If you decide to use real bacon, consider not cooking the green beans in the bacon grease so to help keep calories in check.  If you don’t care, then go for it!  However, I think the bacon adds a ton of flavor even without the grease.

Enjoy!

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Family, Food, Kids, Snacks

Festive Oreos

Festive Oreos 2

Independence Day always gets me in the mood for patriotic foods. Some festive Oreos were on my mind since I saw this idea on Pinterest. We make a lot of red, white, and blue snacks at this house. This weekend was no different.  I had plenty of white chocolate on hand so I decided to try these festive Oreos out. Well, there is nothing easier to make except for a few broken ones from time to time.

These festive Oreos are a great snack to make with the kids too. Get in the kitchen, get a little messy, and have some fun!  Festive Oreos are sure to be a hit with the family or at any holiday get together.

Festive Oreos

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 Package of Nestles Toll house white chocolate morsels (12 oz.)
  • 1 Package of Oreos
  • Sprinkles (red, white, and blue)

Directions:

  1. Pour the whole package of Nestles Tollhouse white chocolate morsels in a microwave safe bowl. I use the microwave to melt my chocolate.  The key is to do it in 30 second intervals and stir after each 30 seconds in the microwave.  For a 12 oz package of chocolate, it usually takes 60-90 seconds.
  2. After the chocolate has melted, you are ready to start dipping Oreos.  Dip each Oreo half way on each side and place on a baking sheet covered with wax paper.
  3. Next cover the white chocolate Oreos with sprinkles.  It’s best to do this step right away before the white chocolate begins to set.
  4. Place Oreos in the refrigerator so the white chocolate will cool and set.  

Enjoy!

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Food

Kale Sausage Soup

Kale Sausage Soup

I know Spring is not soup season, but I love soup year round.  After spending some time on Pinterest I was in the mood for a Kale Sausage Soup, preferably with beans. I found a few recipes,  but most of them lacked the spice so I came up with my own version of Kale Sausage Soup. It’s similar to many that I found, however I added the carrots and the extra seasoning for a little spicy Kale Sausage Soup.

At least once a week, we have soup for dinner.  I’m a huge fan of broth soups.  While I still love cream soups, the broth soups are much healthier. Plus, if they have any kick to them I will love it!  Anything with a little spice is right up my alley.

The Kale Sausage Soup was a hit at this house.  It combines some of our favorite foods of sausage, beans, and spices.  It’s the perfect combination while also being light.  Please check it out.

Kale Sausage Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. of Andouille Sausage (chopped and quartered)
  • 3-4 Medium Carrots (chopped thin)
  • 3 Cups of low sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 Can of Diced Tomatoes (undrained)
  • 6 cups of coarsely chopped Kale (about 8 ounces)
  • Jalapeno Salt (as needed but not necessary)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper or more as needed
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions:

  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the sausage and carrots. Cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chicken broth, tomatoes undrained, seasonings, and bring to boil over high heat.
  2. Stir in kale. Reduce heat and simmer until kale is tender.
  3. Stir in beans and cook for 8-10 minutes or until soup is cooked through.

I doubled this recipe so we could have left overs. My kids enjoyed this soup with some of their favorite toppings such as shredded cheese, and tortilla chips.  There is a ton of options with this one. Enjoy!