Friday, January 27, 2012

Pesto Chicken and Rice Soup

How are your resolutions going?

My husband and I decided to start the year off strong with a weight loss competition.

Because everything in marriage is a competition.

And there's always a winner.

And we both need to squeeze our tush's into last year's snowboarding gear by next week.

So, although my husband currently claims he is "winning" [just can't hear that without thinking of Charlie Sheen], I reminded him who cooks in the house.

And who could just as easily dip his hamburger in butter and secretly mash it up before he grills it without him ever knowing.

I will admit that, yes, I have made brownies, AND cupcakes over the past few weeks, because I have no qualms about eating one and a) throwing the rest away or b) taking the rest to bible study so hungry girls can consume. He, on the otherhand, can NOT resist eating 2 or 3 or 4 or 5.

So there may or may not have been a little friendly sabotage along the way.

In the meantime, I've been trying to eat my way healthy to fit in those pants.

Thus the inspiration for this soup. You might see some leftover rotisserie chicken from the other night.

It's healthy, its filling, and its pesto-licious!

Pesto Chicken and Rice Soup
2 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded
2 cups cooked rice
1-1/2 cup chicken broth
3/4  cup water
1 carrot, diced
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup frozen thawed peas
1 Tbsp pesto+ more to taste
Dash Salt Pepper, and Nutmeg
1 tbsp butter

In butter, sauté carrot and onion until tender 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Add chicken broth, water and chicken and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer, adding chicken, rice, salt, pepper, pesto, and nutmeg, and simmer for 5-7 minutes until the flavors run throughout the soup.

Add more broth or water as needed for the desired brothiness of your soup. In the last minute, add your peas. stirring to heat up. Serve!

Makes 3 servings.

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." 1 Chronicles 16:34

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pinecone Wreath

Do you hate un-decorating after the holidays as much as I do?

My house looks so....just like a house.

And less like a Christmasy wonderland.

So I went to work making something wintry that still cheers me up when I pull into my driveway in cold, drab and dreary January.

The awesome part of this project? All those pinecones on there...were free. Yep from the yard.

{And a dear friend gave me her leftover spraypaint. Thankyou.}

Cleanup your yard-check.
Wintery and cheerful-check.

How To:
1. Collect about 40 medium and small pinecones from your yard.
2. Spray paint all sides of the pinecones with white spray paint. While wet, add white glitter (hard to see in pic).
3. Hot glue onto a styrofoam wreath, covering all sides. This was the tricky part, fitting everything together like a puzzle. Be patient, it will work! Keep flipping them around until you get neat little puzzle piece pinecones.
4. Add ribbon. I sewed a 6'' x 2 yard long strip of fabric to create a giant ribbon, sewing the sides to be hidden and cutting a "V" in the bottom to resemble a ribbon. Tie into a big bow! (You can also just use large ribbon.)

May your January be a little more frosty and festive!

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 NIV

Monday, January 23, 2012

Stuffed Pepper Boats

About 3 years ago, when we first moved into this house, I started spicing up my cooking with rotisserie chicken.

And I noticed that the Fat Dog would sniffle the air uncontrollably the moment I brought it home from the grocery store.

I would then leave the chicken on the counter while I went on doing other things, and she would be there, standing guard beside the counter.

Just in case the chicken decided to make a run for it.

Fat Dog would whimper, she would grunt, she would snort like a pig, and she would whine at the smell of roasty chicken just inches away from her smooshed snout...on the counter...just....barely...out of....reach.

My solution to this very adorable problem?

After removing the chicken skin from the rotisserie chicken as I was cooking, I would feed it to her.

{In her dog bowl, of course, so as not to encourage begging.}

Needless to say, itsherfavoritething.

And we don't call her fat dog for nothin'.

Rotisserie Chicken Stuffed Pepper Boats
*can be made into stuffed peppers*

2 cups Rotisserie Chicken meat
2 Bell peppers, sliced into thick 3'' boats-seeds and membranes removed
2 cups rice
1 clove garlic, minced
1-1/2 cup salsa
1 Tbsp cumin
1-2 Tbsp chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/4 onion, diced
1/4 cup wine
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, divided
1 tbsp EVOO
2 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 425. Place one-two boats aside, and dice.

Brush remaining boats with EVOO and place in the oven at 425 for 15-20 minutes roasted with a little firmness.

While boats are roasting, in 1 tbsp butter, sauté garlic until browned. Add diced peppers, onion, cumin, and salt and pepper, and cook for 2-3 minutes until translucent and tender. Mix in rice, salsa, chipotle chile, wine, and remaning tbsp butter. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the wine has reduced. Add chicken and 1/4 cup cheese and stir to melt.

Once peppers are nice and roasted in the oven, remove and place a heaping spoonful of rice mixture atop each of the boats. Add remaining 1/2 cup cheese to the boats and return to oven on BROIL for 2-3 minutes until cheese has melted.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”James 1:5 NIV

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pimento Cheese STUFFED chicken

I'm about to reveal one of my favorite go-to recipes.

I cooked it this New Year's Eve for a bunch of dear friends of mine.

Friends whom I told dinner would be ready at 6:30.

Meanwhile, ask the clock moved on past 6:30, my husband commenced in entertained everyone. And probably gave away my secret.

I have terrible time management skills in the kitchen.

As in, dinner was served at 7:30.

The good news is, there were appetizers. And wine.  Plenty to keep 8 hungry people satisfied while they waited.

And I do believe it was worth the wait.

Gooey, cheesy chicken that is crispy on the outside and filled with warm, savory and spicy pimento cheese on the inside. And bacon.

Which will elicit drools of delight!

Do not be afraid, this chicken takes approximately 20 minutes from prep to finish.

It was multiplying that task by 8 that got my time in the kitchen all woozy.

You can use store bought pimento cheese or make this from yesterday.

Pimento Cheese Stuffed Chicken

2 chicken breasts, trimmed of fat with a 2'' pocket sliced through the thickest part
2 heaping tablespoons pimento cheese
2 tablespoons hot sauce
4 cooked slices of bacon, diced [optional]
Dash Salt and Pepper
1 Tbsp EVOO

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix pimento cheese, hot sauce, and bacon in a small bowl. Stuff into pocket of chicken, inserting toothpicks to keep the seam closed as much as possible.

Season chicken breast with salt & pepper. In EVOO, sauté chicken breasts over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side until lightly brown and slightly crispy.

On a baking sheet (with sides), place chicken, and any excess cheese mixture that may have seeped out, and cook at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

"I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  Your works are wonderful, 
 I know that full well." Psalm 139:14 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Light Pimento Cheese

So, yesterday I raved about Bobby' Deen's Not-So-Fried chicken.

Today,  I rave about about his Lighter and Leaner Pimento Cheese.

Yes. Pimento cheese.

As in thick, hunks of cheese.

With pimentos in it of course.

I am in love lurve with cheese.

In fact, I wrote a cheese haiku  poem:

Yellow cheese, white cheese, orange cheese, ooh
goat cheese, cream cheese, fruit cheese too.
No matter where I may go or what I may do,
I will always love every cheese --as long as its not blue! Ew.

Problem is, cheese doesn't like me back.

Or maybe it loves me back.

Loves me so much so, that it wants to stick around on my tush. For.Ev.Er.

Imagine my delight when I discovered Bobby Deen had made a lighter, leaner version!!

I was giddy. With pimento cheese delight.

Tomorrow, I will show you my favorite thing to make with pimento cheese.

Don't fall off the edge of your seat while you wait for it.

Make this whilst you wait.

It's thick and creamy, full of rich cheese with tang and a kick that only the best of the best pimento cheeses could give.

Light Pimento Cheese
adapted from Bobby Deen's Lighter and Leaner Pimento Cheese
1 7oz container greek yogurt
1 1/4 cup grated cheddar
3/4 cup grated mozzarella (part skim)
2 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons diced pimentos
2 tablespoons jarred jalepenos, diced
Dash salt
Dash Pepper
Dash garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together until it reaches your desired consistency.

"You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. " Psalm 139:1

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Not-so-Fried Chicken

Well, hello there.

Yes I know, I have missed you terribly as well!

Where have I been?

On a diet.


And I've been a little bored with my choices.

Alas, no blogging. And no pictures.

Then why am I throwing big hunking pictures of fried chicken in your face?

Because I made a discovery.

Bobby Deen's new show : "Not my Mamma's meals."

You know Bobby Deen. Son of Paula Deen.

He has taken his mamma's meals and made them just as savory but for less calories and fat.

His mamma. The queen of butter. And frying things.


I know you're intrigued.

Bobby calls it his Unfried Chicken.

{And yes Bobby and I are now on a first name basis.}

We are going to call it "Not-so-fried Chicken".

Healthy Fried chicken.

My husband asked me "isn't that an oxymoron?"


But it was delicious so I don't care.

I'll eat an oxymoron every day if I have to.

It's crispy on the outside, and juicy and flavorful on the inside.

If you don't believe me-make it yo'self.

Not-so-fried Chicken
adapted from Bobby Deen's Not my Mamma's Meals
2 Chicken breasts, cut thinly in half lengthwise
3 cups unsweetened cornflakes
2 tablespoons House Seasoning: [Equal parts Garlic powder, pepper & Salt]
1/3 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons hot sauce
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 egg whites

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray.

Season Chicken breasts liberally with House Seasoning on both sides. In a casserole dish, combine buttermilk, hot sauce, lemon juice, and egg whites and mix with a fork until combined.

Using a food processer, puree cornflakes until they form chunky breadcrumb-sized pieces. Douse chicken breasts in buttermilk mixture, and then dip in cornflakes.

Place on baking sheet and sprinkle remaining House Seasoning on chicken. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes until cooked throughout.

Makes 3 servings.

Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31