"So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy"
~Colossians 1:10-11

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chicken Fajitas

Chicken Fajitas

1 pound chicken, cut into strips
Place in bowl or container w/ lid and add:
2 TB olive oil over top chicken, close lid and shake to coat chicken
2 TB chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp pepper
Cover and shake again until chicken is throughly coated.
Set in refrigerator a couple hours, or till ready to cook

Saute marinated chicken in HOT pan, with oil till cooked thru
Set aside

Saute 1 onion, sliced in rings and 1-2 green or red peppers sliced in strips
Combine with meat when cooked to desired tenderness

In tortilla shell, layer with:
chicken and pepper mix
cheese, grated
sour cream or spicy dip
tomatoes, diced
lettuce, shredded
avocado, cilantro and salsa can also be served if desired!


Friday, February 26, 2010

Pasta Florentine

This recipe is another one I make often, in some variation or another. It is very adaptable with what you have on hand. My husband loves chicken and pasta in any form, so he could eat this often without complaint. I like some variation in adding pesto or not and using different veggies or using lots of veggies or just one to kinda mix it up some.

This is the recipe I have kind of based off of if you want some more exact directions to start with!

Pasta Florentine

1 pound chicken or ham, cooked and diced or small strips
1 box pasta of your choice, cooked and drained
1 jar white pasta sauce or about 2 cups of white pasta sauce, homemade
2-3 TB pesto, if desired

Saute meat, until warm add 3-4 cloves of garlic at end of sauteing.
Saute any additional veggies to desired tenderness,
spinach only takes a couple minutes, add at very end of saute if you are mixing with other veggies!
We enjoy red onions, red peppers, zucchini and spinach - but go with veggies you love or that are on sale that week!

Add sauce to veggies until everything is warm through.
Combine pasta and sauce and serve topped with parmesan or Romano cheese

I usually serve the pasta on the plate and then top with sauce, keeping the 2 separate. We usually don't eat the entire batch in one evening, and the pasta keeps nicer on it's own rather then with the sauce.

In fact, a good way to store leftover cooked pasta is in a large container with the pasta covered in water - keeps wonderfully and doesn't get mushy or sticky!

This would serve 6-8, I would guess. We can easily eat 2 nights off it. Or dinner and several lunches.

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

(I cannot believe I haven't posted this recipe yet, so sorry!
This is one of our favorite meals and I make it often!)

Thanks goes to my friend Emily, whose recipe this is - I just slightly adapted it!

1 pound chicken breast, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 TB oil
3-4 cups great northern beans, cooked and drained
10 ounces chicken broth
7 ounces green chilies, chopped
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cumin (half this to make less spicy!)
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream (I sometimes use whole milk or half and half if I don't have cream on hand)

Saute chicken, onion and garlic in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add beans, broth, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove form heat and stir in sour cream and cream. Serve topped with avocado and fresh cilantro if you have it around!

This refrigerates well for lunches but I haven't tried freezing it.


Here's the last couple weeks of menus - what we actually ate. I am trying to write down what we actually end up having for awhile, hopefully to better plan out menus to be realistic and able to stick to a menu better. I still work best off a list of meals available and then plan a couple days out at a time. I am usually making a list of meals over the weekend to start the week out and then I re-vamp or add to it mid-week when the sales come out and I make my grocery list. I tend to grocery shop Friday or Saturday (with kids, so it's usually just quick trips in and out) or on Tuesdays (without the boys) - this also enables me to catch some of the good sales twice if I want since the sales run Wednesday to Tuesday, usually.

Sunday - Steak, baked potatoes and corn on the cob
Tuesday - Chimichangas - made by combining refried beans & a pound of hamburger, filled tortilla shell with mixture and cheese and fry in oil!
Wednesday - Baked beans and cornbread (at my mom's!)
Thursday - Chicken Fajitas
Friday - Hamburgers
Saturday - leftovers

Monday - Potato Broccoli Soup w/ leftover chicken and pasta
Tuesday - Pizza
Thursday - Roasted Whole Chicken in the crockpot - this is the recipe I use!
Save your bones for broth, I usually just toss it all in a ziploc bag and throw in the freezer till I have 3 of them in there and then I make broth!
Friday - Hamburgers
Saturday - Egg Rolls with Sweet and Sour Beef and Vegetables

Thursday, February 25, 2010

White Chicken Enchiladas

White Chicken Enchiladas

1 1/2 cups cream of "something" soup
(original recipe calls for chicken, but I usually use mushroom from THIS recipe here)
1/2 cup sour cream
2 TB butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp chili powder
2 cups diced, cooked chicken
4 oz chopped green chilies
8 tortilla shells
2 cups (or more) cheese (Mexican blend or cheddar)

Stir soup and sour cream together in a bowl and set aside
Heat butter in saucepan, add onion and chili powder and cook until onion is tender
Stir in chicken, green chilies and 3 TB of soup mixture

Spread along center of each tortilla, roll and place in greased 12x8 baking dish
(I usually use my 9x9 square for just us or the 9x13 if I am doubling)
Spread remaining soup mixture over enchiladas
Bake, covered at 375 for 15 minute,
Uncover and sprinkle with cheese and bake until hot through and cheese is melted

I often put the cheese on when I make this, keep covered for about 1/2 the baking time, and then leave uncovered the remainder.
I usually cook around 30 minutes
I almost always make this in the morning or day before and place in refrigerator till I am ready to bake.
Haven't tried freezing it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hope for Haiti

Don't forget to go check out the new Wild Olive tee shirt and support relief efforts in Haiti too!

Wild Olive has a new shirt! 100% of the proceeds from this shirt will go to Haiti relief efforts, plus you can buy a shirt specifically to send to Haiti as well as for yourself!
Go to their website for details!

Visit their blog for information on spreading the word and a giveaway too!

Envibum diaper giveaway

Go over to Passionate Homemaking for details on winning a Envibum cloth diaper product!

Lindsay at Passionate Homemaking did a review on these diapers not long ago and they sound like a wonderful option for cloth diapering and Envibum is owned by a Christian family that supports some good causes world-wide from each diaper sale!

Skirt giveaway

Go over to Passionate Homemaking for details on winning a skirt from The Modest Mom.

You can also visit The Modest Mom and browse their skirts and tops. They have a nice selection of maternity clothing which is always fun to find!

Book giveaway

Would you like a chance to win one of these books?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

your choice

Have you ever told your kids, "you can have this or that, it's your choice"? Kids like to have a choice, it makes them feel in control. Instead of being told, "eat the carrots", they can choose between carrots and green beans. They will happily eat one of them because they WANT to!

Have you ever realized we are more like kids then we think :-) We want choices too. We want to do what we want to. More and more I am realizing whether "whatever" it is I am doing and whether it is a mundane something that just has to be done, like changing dirty diapers or washing the dishes one more time. Or doing something I really look forward to and enjoy like visiting with friends or going to Bible study, I still have a choice. So many times in motherhood it seems like our choices are made for us, somebody "has" to feed the kids and clean up the house. And let's face it, when your husband works 50-60 hour work weeks and your kids are 4, almost 3 and 15 months...... if you don't do, there isn't really anyone else who is going to!

But what is your choice going to be? It's not a choice whether you are going to make breakfast that morning or not. You have to make breakfast. But are you going to make breakfast with joy and thankfulness in your heart or are you going to make it wishing you could still in bed or sitting quietly reading your Bible sipping coffee? Sleeping and spending time in the Bible are good things :-) But right now, your kids need you. They need a mama who is happy to make them pancakes for breakfast and sit and eat them with them.
When you find yourself going thru the motions, getting frustrated with the kids, wishing your car started this morning so you could have gone to Bible study................ what are you going to do?
Sit down with your Bible, be thankful that it's 8 am and the kids are still ALL asleep (which is amazing!), enjoy a quiet cup of coffee and remember........

"YET, (in spite of everything else) I will (it is my choice) rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy (it changes your perspective) in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength; (only by God's grace and his help can I do this!)
he make's my feet like the deer's and makes me tread on high places."
Habakkuk 3:18-19 italics mine

I will choose to find joy in today.
I will choose to be thankful for my children and the time I get -not have to- spend with them.
I will make the most of today and be productive.
Because sitting around being sad, disappointed, frustrated and grumpy isn't going to hurt anyone but myself and I will bet my kids will be happier and have a better day too!

"This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it"

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Salmon Salad Sandwiches

Salmon Salad Sandwiches

(I like this best hot, but it could easily be eaten as a cold sandwich as well!)

9 ounces Salmon, ready to eat
(canned & drained, cooked & flaked apart, or however you like)
2 hard boiled eggs, smashed
1/4 cup yogurt
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayo
4 green onions, chopped finely
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 TB slivered almonds
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dill seed
(I think this sounded good to me cause I am pregnant. You could easily leave out or replace with some finely diced pickles which is what I really wanted to put in, but didn't have in the house!)

Throughly combine all ingredients. Chill until ready to make and serve. (If you are keeping more then 12 hours or so, you might want to add your almonds just before serving. I made it a couple hours before dinner and it kept fine, but the almonds could start to loose their crunch!)

To serve hot: put salmon salad on one piece of bread and layer some red onion, tomatoes and cheese on another piece of bread. Place under broiler or toaster oven till salad is warm, bread is toasted and cheese melted. Put both pieces of bread together and serve!
To serve cold - skip the warming part :-)

My husband wasn't too sure about this when he asked what was for dinner. I got a rather skeptical look. But after eating it, he said it "was pretty good". I loved it. And the boys both ate a small sandwich and were happy.

This post is part of Pennywise Platter at Nourishing Gourmet!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hope for Haiti

Wild Olive has a new shirt! 100% of the proceeds from this shirt will go to Haiti relief efforts, plus you can buy a shirt specifically to send to Haiti as well as for yourself!
Go to their website for details!

Visit their blog for information on spreading the word and a giveaway too!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Real Food Face Off

It's my turn on Kitchen Stewardship's Real Food Face Off . You can check it out HERE. And below are all the questions I answered and my answers to them! If you would like to go back and read some other face-off posts you can find them HERE!

How do you describe the way you eat when someone asks you to define your food? (In a paragraph or less. This would be a great place to link to your story if you’ve blogged it.)
In one word I would typically say "healthy", I am really beginning to like the term "real food". I try to think in natural, organic when possible, fewest additives possible, make it myself if I can type of foods.

What was/is your major incentive for living a real food lifestyle? (How did you come to eat the way you do?)
I guess I have always tried to eat healthy and the best way possible. I believe we have a responsibility to eat well, and treat our bodies well and take the best care we can of the body and life we have been given. This has fleshed it's way out in a variety of forms over the years. I was a vegetarian, often vegan for a good 10 years. This has changed over the last year or so as I was introduced to and read Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Real Food by Nina Plack. It has changed my perspective on foods and I have been making changes slowly but surely.
Also, with 3 young children and one on the way, I feel a lot more “responsible” about what we are eating and teaching them to enjoy. And feeding them foods that are good for them, keep them healthy and growing well.

If you only had energy for ONE make-from-scratch food, what would it be?
Cooked beans. Though I do have canned in my pantry to fall back on, it is SO much cheaper and SO much healthier to cook your own and it really doesn't take that much more time, just planning ahead! :-)
Is your preference for taste or health?
I think most make-from-scratch foods I would say heath.

What was the hardest transition to make to real food?
Coming from a long vegetarian past, adding meat and cooking and dealing with meat has been the hardest for me :-)

What’s something you remain afraid to try?
I have yet to make beef broth......... though I make chicken on a regular basis and did turkey this past holiday season! (And I am not really "afraid" of it........ as much as figuring out where to go find and buy good beef bones to use and then actually doing it.

What’s next on your list of changes to make?
I really want to make the jump to only buying "good" meats, all the time not just sometimes. Organic if I can, local farmer with "good raising meat standards" for the rest.
And I really want to get a lot more organized in my meal and grocery planning. I think this is key in eating well because if you know where you are heading it makes getting there a lot easier and the more organized you can be and less time you spend digging through your freezer you could be spending actually making the food.

List your top 3 baby steps to move from a Standard American Diet to Real Food.
Switch to full-fat dairy products & butter.
Cut out or severely reduce white sugar usage.
Start reading labels and understanding them. See what is in your cupboards and you are buying regularly. Start being AWARE of what you are eating.

What is the worst food (or “food”) a person could possibly put into their systems?
Sugar substitutes! (in my humble opinion!) (obviously NOT speaking of honey, agave and other natural substitutes!)

What does “eating healthy” mean to you?
Using the knowledge and understanding you have to eat well and take care of the body and life you have been given.

Name the top food scoring highest on both the nutritional and budget scale? (i.e., best health benefits for the lowest cost)
I think I would say beans. That’s somewhat off the top of my head, but I would be surprised if after research and looking at different options if it wasn’t close to the top of the list.

Biggest drawback of real food lifestyle?
Having to use coupons and watch sales totally differently. Not necessarily a bad thing, but just different. That sale on boxed cereal just doesn’t interest me as much as the avocados on sale elsewhere. And many times I choose what is not on sale (ever) over some great sale because if I am going to spend the money, I want it on good food not cheap food.

How important is organic food?
I think it is important, do what you can in organic but don’t stress about what you cannot do. A salad made from un-organic ingredients is still healthier then a bag of potato chips. And store brand yogurt is still better then a pop-tart!

What do you refuse to buy at a grocery store that you do eat from its source?
Not really a grocery store, but I still won’t eat much meat out that I would eat at home when I know what “brand”, etc it is.

When eating out, how do make your menu decision (fav “out” food, anything you avoid)?
I avoid a lot. Usually though if I am eating out, I pick what sounds good and just enjoy it without worrying too much - I don’t get to really eat out much!

Best book recommendations?
I would have to say at this point Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Real Food/Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Plack have made the biggest impact on my thoughts and habits. I would totally recommend either and both to anyone interested in understanding foods better.

Number one tip you tell your blog readers about eating healthy foods:
Do what you can. Don’t do nothing cause you cannot do it all. Make changes as you can and don’t get too stagnant. If you are ready for more, add one more thing. Don’t overwhelm yourself. But keep growing and learning.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

a salad dressing

My current favorite salad dressing is rather simple :-)

I use equal amounts of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar and mix throughly.
I usually put in a re-used jar or small olive oil jar with the pouring spout to making storing and pouring easier. After pouring a small amount on my salad I usually top with some celtic sea salt!

You can find some more links to other salad dressing recipes over at Kitchen Stewardship today!
I noticed she has a link to a homemade Ranch dressing I need to go check out cause my boys love Ranch!