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I have been wanting to do something different from our daily routine for dinner, and I’ve been craving spicy and shrimp. So what better than jambalaya!

I couldn’t find one perfect easy recipe, so I just took bits and pieces from several with a few additions of my own – the results are fantastic!

Behold:

Easy Jambalaya!

Or as my family calls it; Jambi.

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Ingredients:

Olive oil
1-2 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped into bite sized pieces
8 oz kielbasa, cut into 1/4 inch slices, then halved
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
Cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper
2 cups uncooked white rice
2 14 oz cans chicken broth
1 can original Rotel
1/2 lb cooked shrimp, tails off
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce

In this recipe you could absolutely use 1-2 uncooked, cut chicken breasts and just cook them first. I, however, had left overs from this week making Engagement Chicken from one of my favorite cookbooks!

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Truly, give this one a go – both the book and the recipe. Easy, DELICIOUS chicken proven time and time again to impress your guests – or your significant other, or yourself… Whoever.

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If you choose to use raw chicken, cook it before the kielbasa. If cooked, follow the directions as follows:

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté kielbasa until it begins to brown.

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Add chicken and sauté a few minutes more until meat is browned.

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Add peppers and onions, sauté 2 minutes until they begin to soften.

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Add celery and garlic, sauté a few minutes more until onions begin to become translucent.

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Add and stir in seasonings to taste. I recommend at least 1-2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning, but err on the side of caution since you can always add later.

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Add rice.

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Add chicken broth.

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Add my own little secret ingredient, the entire Rotel can, juices and all.

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Stir together and bring to a boil.

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Add shrimp to the top of the mixture.

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Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook 20-30 minutes, or until rice is tender.

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Remove from heat and stir in Worcestershire and hot sauce. Leave the lid on to keep the moisture in, but now is the perfect time to taste and add more seasonings as needed.

Enjoy!

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So my daughter and I had a lazy day today. So lazy that I looked at the clock in enough time to realize that I only had two hours before I had to leave for work to cook, clean, and shower.

I still decided to put some effort into dinner with what little we had in our cupboards and got creative. The results were fantastic.

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Chicken & Broccoli with a Garlic Basil Cream Sauce

You will need:

Oil, for cooking
Chicken breasts, thawed (one per person)
Seasonings to taste (I used salt, pepper, and garlic salt)
1 cup broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces (mine were frozen)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
Box rice of your choice, I used Chicken and Garlic Rice-a-Roni

Garlic Basil Cream Sauce:
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
5-6 leaves of fresh basil (chopped), or 1-2 tsp dried basil

Oil frying pan, season chicken breasts, and pan fry on medium heat. Brown both sides of chicken, reducing heat if needed to time dinner preperations.

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In a separate pan, melt butter for sauce in low heat. Once melted add garlic. Stir occasionally, smearing garlic with the bottom of your spoon to reduce the garlic into the butter, about 3-5 minutes.

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Add flour and salt. Stir/spread mixture frequently for approximately 3 minutes to minimize flour taste and texture.

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Slowly and simultaneously add milk and chopped basil until completely combined.

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Raise heat to medium low and stir occasionally. Turn off heat when sauce has reached desired thickness.

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In the meantime, after both sides of chicken are browned, add broccoli and onion to fry pan. Add extra seasonings if needed. Sauté with chicken until tender.

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Plate with rice of choice, covering both rice and chicken/vegetable fry with cream sauce. So delicious!

Enjoy!

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Hello again!

Another Pinterest pin put to the test. Really, why not have me try them for you and weed out the ones that have broken links, are links to links three pages away, or are filled with recipes or instructions that don’t work?

Here is my second pin to put to the test. I needed an easy, delicious weekday dinner that I could make on a day filled with swim lessons, toddler naps, errands and house cleaning. I still wanted to be a little ambitious, so I chose these:

Chicken and Cream Cheese Taquitos

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This is a photo taken directly from the website. The recipe on the web page is actually called “Chubby Chicken and Cream Cheese Taquitos”, but the original pinner probably thought the same thing as me when I read it: chubby = calories.

Here is a link to the pin
Here is the link directly website

My first reaction to the pin: “these look easy enough – and tasty! I can also pass off some nutritional value with the spinach in there…”
My reaction when I read the recipe? Intimidation. I have never fried anything but chicken, onion rings and french fries… I powered through though!

In case you didn’t read the recipe, here’s the breakdown: shredded chicken, cream cheese, sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa, spinach salt and pepper, wrapped in tortillas and fried golden crispy.

The best part? It’s as easy and delicious as that sounds.

Again, I was intimidated, but then I started the process and it was surprisingly easy.

Firstly the recipe mentioned you can use rotisserie chicken. I say go for it! It makes it even easier. Instead, I seasoned 3 small chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning and shredded those up. Then I mixed them all together in a bowl:

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Testers note: make sure your cream cheese is fully softened. I thought mine was, thought it blended well, but I still got pockets of cream cheese in my finished product. Not really a bad thing, just not the best – totally my fault though.

Then I put enough into a tortilla that it would stuff it, but still be able to close.

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Sorry for the crummy photography. One hand on a cell phone.

Anyway, as you can see, I stuffed mine to the point that they were more chimichangas than taquitos, but it’s still pretty much the same thing in the end. Just super sized.

Make sure that when you fold the tortilla, you fold it so it closes on all sides.

I heated a pan of oil on medium heat and placed 1-2 taquitos at a time seam side down.

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When the bottom of the tortilla began to brown I used two forks to flip them over. Look at this beauty…

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After they were golden on both sides I let them drain on a paper towel.

I don’t think I can express to you the magnitude of delicious, crispy, wonderful-ness that was made in my kitchen last night.

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The hype from these pictures among my friends on Facebook and Instagram alone was enough to preach something, without them even tasting it!

The only down side is the recipe may as well have made a million since I was only cooking for my husband and myself. Even though I think he ate 3 (good lord) and I ate 2 (I was so full after!) we still had leftovers.

I even brought an extra to work with me for anyone to try. Get this, my lactose intolerant friend liked it so much that she risked it and ate a whole one, she liked it that much. Back up and look at the ingredients. I’m sure she had a bad night. Worth it.

My rating? *drum roll…..*

10 of 10.

The only things I can find wrong were my own fault! Not blending the the cream cheese and not halving the recipe so it didn’t make as much were things that are clearly avoidable.

They were easy, delicious, and caused a stir. Great for big family dinners, made smaller as an appetizer, or cut the recipe down to just liven up your Tuesday!

I can guarantee this is now a staple in our house! Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice, thank you for your contribution to all of our kitchens!

Follow me on Pinterest to see when I test more pins and for other awesome stuff!


This is a recipe I’ve perfected myself. After trial and error-ing several fried chicken recipes, I combined the best parts of them all and turned them into poppers!

I usually pair these with my homemade french fries, which can be found in this previous entry. These are one of my favorite things to make – hopefully you’ll enjoy them too!

So good!

Ingredients:

2-3 chicken breasts ~ 2 eggs ~ milk ~ your favorite hot sauce ~ 1-2 cups flour ~ salt and pepper ~ garlic salt ~ vegetable oil for frying

Cut the chicken breast into small, bite sized pieces.

Now, get two bowls. In one bowl, whisk the eggs with a splash of milk. Then, take your favorite type of hot sauce and whisk it in with the eggs to taste. I do about 3-4 dollops since mine is thicker, which comes out to maybe half of a teaspoon.

In the second bowl, mix the salt, pepper and garlic salt to the flour. You’ll do this to taste as well, but my suggestion is to make the ratios generous in the seasoning. After frying, it tends to lose some of its potency. I do about 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt.

Toss chicken in the egg until it’s well coated.

Dredge the egged chicken through the flour mixture to coat.

Fill a frying pan with vegetable oil until it covers the bottom of the pan. Heat over medium heat.

Drop coated chicken in frying pan.

Fry until the bottom of the chicken crisps to a light brown. Flip.

Continue to flip until evenly golden on each side.

Use a fork to take each done piece out. Place the popper on a plate with two paper towels to drain.

And you’re all set for deliciousness! They’re so good, and they go so fast!

Enjoy =)


Hello again!

As a mom on the go, I enjoy a good crock pot meal. The less I have to do for dinner on a busy day, the better – especially if I can get it all done in the morning!

This crock pot meal is a tasty treat best served on rice and, oddly enough, though it’s “bourbon chicken”, the original recipe I found here did not call for bourbon! I thought that was the strangest thing. So the bourbon in this recipe is optional, however I recommend it.

Cooking for two: Ingredients

2 chicken breasts ~ salt and pepper ~ 1/2 cup honey ~ 1/4 cup soy sauce ~3 tablespoons ketchup ~ 1 tablespoon vegetable oil ~ 2 smaller cloves of garlic (minced) ~ 1/2 cup onion (diced) ~ red pepper flakes ~ 1 tablespoons bourbon or whiskey ~ 2 teaspoons flour ~ 6 teaspoons water ~ sesame seeds for garnish

Start by placing chicken breasts in your crockpot. Salt and pepper both sides of each breast.

Dice your onion and mince your garlic.

In a medium bowl combine honey, soy sauce, ketchup, oil, garlic and onion. Sprinkle the red pepper flakes on top of the mixture.

Here’s the optional. Though I would’ve loved to give it a really nice bourbon, all I had was Gentleman’s Jack. Lovely wedding present, but it made me nervous to cook with. Turned out GREAT though! I used the cap to measure, it came out around 1 tablespoons worth. combine to mixture.

Initial smell of this recipe is NOTHING like it is after it’s done cooking.

 

Pour mixture evenly over chicken breasts in crockpot. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. My crockpot tends to cook much faster than needed, so halfway through I turned it down and, eventually, just put it on warm. 

 Approximately 10 minutes before serving, shred the chicken. To thicken and blend the sauce in the crock pot, add the flour and water. Serve over rice and garnish with sesame seeds. A wonderful weeknight dinner! 


Here it is! Post #1. One of my favorite things to make is home-made french fries. They are so much healthier than any deep-fried option from a drive-thru, and taste infinitely better (and, again, better for you) than any frozen packaged option. Just a little more time and work, but trust me, it’s worth it!

This is a lunch that I made for my grandmother, my daughter and myself. The skewers are a recipe from one of the many cookbooks on my shelf, and the french fries are a recipe I’ve come up with through trial and error. Enjoy!

Ingredients

Skewers:   1-2 chicken breasts ~ 1 tablespoon peanut butter ~ 1 cup ginger garlic marinade ~ 1 tablespoon lemon juice ~ skewers for cooking

French Fries:   Your favorite type of potato (I used a mixture of Yukon Gold and sweet potatoes) ~ 1-2 tablespoons olive oil ~ salt and pepper to taste ~ parchment paper for cooking

Ok! Time to marinade that chicken. It’s a little easier to cut the chicken into the strips you need if they are slightly frozen. If you’re working with frozen chicken breasts, do not defrost them all the way. If you’re working with other chicken breasts, put them in the freezer for 30 minutes or so to harden them up some.

In a bowl or baking dish, mix the peanut butter, marinade and lemon juice. I chose a honey peanut butter and a ginger pineapple marinade that included garlic. The amount of marinade you use is entirely up to you, but I found one cup to work the best for me. Mix well.

 Slice the chicken into strips length wise. The longer the strip, the easier it will be to thread on the skewer. Toss in the marinade and place in the refrigerator to marinade at least one hour, but up to 24.

This part weirds me out for some reason. Raw chicken bits in goo turn into tender deliciousness.

About 30 minutes before you are ready to cook the chicken, preheat your oven to 400 and soak your skewers in water to avoid them burning during cooking as much as possible.

Why is there never a container big enough and available when I need it? This works too, just make sure you flip them halfway through to soak both sides.

Now we start the fries! Wash your potatoes and get your cutting board ready!

Check out my ghetto-fabulous salt and pepper shakers. I know. Be jealous.

Depending on your preference, you can leave the skins on the potatoes or peel them off. I personally peel off the ugly spots and leave the rest. If using sweet potatoes its easier to start by cutting off the ends. Then I slice them straight down the middle for easier cutting.

Now is the time to learn from my mistakes. I tell you this – parchment paper is a must. Unless you want to spend your time peeling the burning fries off your wax paper or the pan itself, only to have to put the pan back in to finish cooking the rest? By all means! But if you want a seamless, delicious experience – parchment paper is worth it.

Lay it all out.

Spread the cut potatoes over the parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste, then toss for an even coat. Spread them back out, evenly, over the parchment paper. The less they touch, the less they stick together.

I can taste them now.

Put them in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Free time!

Are you excited yet?

You can start to smell them. Sooo good…

Halfway there!

Ding! Take the fries out of the oven, but you’re not done. Flip them for even cooking and put them back in for a torturous 10-12 minutes. If you want to salt and pepper them anymore, now is the time to do it. For the crispiest of fries you may even want to keep them in 15, but 12 should get them a great, golden texture.

While you wait, again, take the marinated chicken out of the fridge. Thread 2-3 chicken strips onto each soaked skewer, then place it onto a baking sheet. After all chicken is threaded, pour remaining marinade over skewers.

            

Oh hey, your fries should be done! What perfect timing!

Take the fries out of the oven and turn the oven to broil. Make sure the top rack is close enough for broiling, then place skewers in the oven with the oven door cracked. The chicken will only take about 6 minutes, and need to be turned once while cooking.

Oooo they’re getting so gooood!

And there you have it! A delicious and, relatively, nutritious meal. Minimal preservatives, hearty in even small portions, and a great meal for just about everyone in the family!

woohoo!