Monday, October 20, 2014

Easy Chicken Fajitas

Today I've teamed up with 49 other bloggers to bring you 50 easy weeknight meals! I tell my husband all the time that the hardest part of making dinner is figuring out what to make. If I can get organized enough to make a meal plan, I'm golden. If life happens and a meal plan doesn't, I spend more time staring into the fridge and scratching my head than I do actually making dinner. We are helping take the guesswork out of those busy weeknights! Scroll down after this recipe for quick & easy (and delish!) chicken fajitas to see some other fantastic ideas for easy meals!


Chicken Fajitas

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil or avocado oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • chili powder
  • chipotle chile pepper (powder)
  • cumin
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 Tbsp honey 
  • tortillas (freshly cooked, if possible.  We buy the uncooked Tortilla Land tortillas from Costco)
  • tomato wedges
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 small onion, sliced into strips
  • shredded cheese
  • sour cream
  • salsa
  • avocado

Directions:

  1.  Heat coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Place chicken in hot skillet and sprinkle liberally with sea salt, pepper, and chili powder.  Sprinkle conservatively with the chipotle pepper powder and cumin.  (If you like more chipotle spice in your chicken, add more!)  My chicken ends up looking like this when I've sprinkled everything on.
{Note: I was cooking for two when I took this picture, so I don't have 4 chicken thighs because I didn't need that many.  This is two and a small piece.  It works the same for any amount of chicken...just adjust the lime and honey accordingly.}
  1. Once your chicken is starting to brown on the bottom, reduce heat to medium.  When the chicken has a nice brown color, turn to finish cooking.  Drizzle the honey and juice over the chicken.  (If you drizzle these over the spices, the spices will run off the chicken and into the pan.  I like to keep it on the chicken, so I wait until I've turned the chicken.)  
  2. While your chicken is cooking, slice the onion and peppers and saute in a small amount of coconut oil.  
  3. While the chicken and peppers & onions finish cooking, prepare your other toppings...shred the cheese, cut tomatoes, slice avocados, etc.
  4. When the chicken is cooked through (no longer pink in the middle, or an instant thermometer reads 165 degrees), remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes.  Slice into strips.
  5. To serve, place chicken and toppings in a tortilla.  Fold the sides up over toppings and enjoy!
*These fajitas are simple to make Whole 30 or Paleo compliant...just omit the cheese, sour cream and tortillas.  Make a fajita bowl instead of wrapping it in a tortilla!

*Someone made us that fabulous salsa in the picture.  She doesn't have a recipe, but I'm trying to talk her into writing it down for me.  It's divine!  Your favorite salsa will be perfect in these fajitas.

*I don't measure out the honey, I just drizzle some on each piece of chicken until it seems right...which ends up being in the neighborhood of 1 tsp (maybe a little less) per thigh.

*You can easily substitute chicken breasts for thighs.  The breasts I buy are generally about twice the size of the thighs I buy, so I use half the number of breasts.  I like to cut my chicken breasts in half before I cook them by laying the chicken flat and keeping my knife blade parallel to the cutting surface.  Slice through the breast and you will end up with two pieces that are the same shape as the breast you started with...just half the thickness.








Monday, October 13, 2014

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Bread

If you love the smells and flavors of Fall baking, but don't have the time or {gasp!} desire to do in-depth baking, then this is the most perfect recipe you will every lay eyes on.  With only 5 ingredients and 5 minutes, you can have these mini loaves in the oven and filling your house with your favorite Fall smells.  Break out the sweaters and cider and all things Autumn, it's Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Bread time!


Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 brownie mix
  • 1 spice cake mix
  • 29 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup butterscotch chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add the brownie mix, cake mix, and pumpkin to mixer bowl and thoroughly combine.  
  3. Add the chocolate and butterscotch chips and mix.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared mini loaf pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool 5 minutes in the pans and then remove to wire racks to finish cooling. 


*If this is too light on the butterscotch for you, add more to your heart's content!  The chocolate and butterscotch chips can be changed up however you like it.  But in the words of my ten year old, "They're a nice touch!" so don't leave them out. 

*The loaf pans I used to make these are smaller than the regular mini loaf pans.  My extra mini pans measure 2.5x4, while my regular mini pans measure 3x5.5.




I've teamed up with a group of 75 bloggers to share tons of Fall Harvest Ideas with you! From crafts, to recipes, to home decor and more...we have you covered for Fall inspiration!
75 Fall Harvest Ideas

Check the gallery below and visit some of my blogging friends to see their awesome ideas!!



Monday, September 29, 2014

I am Brave and Beautiful

I am Brave and Beautiful - a beauty movement that is sweeping the globe. Colbie Caillat started it with her recent song and video called TRY. My blogging friend Megan of Brassy Apple wanted to push this movement along and invited women from all over to share what they looked like without make up and I joined in!! Colbie's song says, "Take your make up off. Let your hair down... Look into the mirror at yourself, Do you like you? Cause I like you... "
Megan and her friend Cobi of Peacefrom6pieces have been the team behind this whole project. Their worldwide vision included creating their own video inspired by the song TRY. The talent of Robbins Creative made it possible for them to pull it off. You have to click play and see the beauty and bravery displayed and you might even recognize a few faces in there.
I, along with 120 other blogging women from different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, ages, shapes and sizes, have decided to be Brave and Beautiful! You can join in this movement too, by sharing what you look like without makeup on. You don't need a blog either! Just tag your photo with #IamBraveAndBeautiful on Instgram and search the hashtag to see who else has joined in. ALSO, if you tag it with a second hashtag - #ColbieTRY we just might be able to get Colbie Caillat's attention since she was the inspiration behind it all!
Are you brave and beautiful? I am, here I go!


















I don't have to try so hard because I am already enough to the people that matter most to me.  I often feel like I am pulled in a thousand different directions every day.  Some days I can handle it like a pro.  Some days it reduces me to tears and sweats and a solo Pride & Prejudice sesh (the 6 hour one, obviously).  But even on those hardest days...the ones where I act (and almost always) look my worst, my sweet babies always have extra hugs and kisses for me.  Because to them I am enough.  Even without the makeup.  Or clean hair.  Or nice clothes.  And even when I don't think I am.  I am.
I can be brave and beautiful every day by being the best wife and mother possible.  Because when all is said and done, the people who see me at my worst are the ones who always deserve my best.  And I can give it to them.
Because I am enough.
And so are you.

share your natrual beauty - brassyapple.com
Don't stop here. Get clicking around - it's a blog hop! Below are more brave and beautiful women bearing more than their natural beauty. They each have a little bit of their heart to share with you. Some get very personal. Some share stories. For some this was very hard to do yet they gathered their courage and did it anyway. We hope as you click around (and YES pin these different posts!) you will feel the importance of it, the empowering effect it has and that it encourages you in some way.

women sharing their natural beauty - no makeup
women with our makeup on and what makes them beautiful
women from around the world share their face with no makeup on - BrassyApple.com
Mommy bloggers share their face without makeup and what makes then beautiful
Natural beauty untouched photos
raw natural beauty - join the movement
beauty and bravery - women wearing no makeup - Brassyapple.com
#colbietry #iambraveandbeautiful
Ready in join in?  Snap, hashtag and share! Tag @BrassyApple and @Peacefrom6Pieces if you can too!
Also follow our Bravery and Beauty PINTEREST board for more inspiration!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Watermelon Granita

If you are looking for an easy, refreshing, delicious and healthy treat this summer, try this watermelon granita.  It's really just a fancy fruit slushie, which means kids like it as much as adults!  We had our 94 year old great grandma over for Sunday dinner, and she told me me three times how good this was.  And I sent some home with my sister because she loved how light and refreshing and delicious it was.  This watermelon granita is perfect for a BBQ because you can make it ahead of time, and just forget about it until it's time to eat!


My kids were SO excited to help scrape it into slushie bits of ice.  They went to town on it with a couple of forks and didn't stop until it was perfectly obliterated scraped.  {I promise they are not playing with a pan of raw ground beef}

Watermelon Granita

Ingredients:
  • 8 cups cubed seedless watermelon
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cup truvia
 Directions: 
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender, in two batches if necessary.  Blend until liquid is smooth.
  2. Using two 9x13 pans, pour half of the mixture into each pan.
  3. Place in freezer for 3 hours.  Remove and scrape frozen fruit mixture with a spoon or fork.  Place back in freezer until ready to eat.
  4. Enjoy on a hot day!
*After 3 hours, mine was ready to eat.  It wasn't time for dinner though, so I put it back in the freezer and it stayed the perfect consistency...it didn't freeze into one giant clump.

*If you use a seeded watermelon, lightly blend watermelon first and then strain to remove seeds.  Return to blender and continue with recipe.

*If you use one pan instead of two, it will take longer to freeze.  Scrape with a fork or spoon after three hours, then return it to the freezer for 2 more hours and scrape again.  Repeat until frozen through and all of it has been scraped into fruity shaved ice.

{Since today is the 4th of July, I topped it with some vanilla yogurt and frozen blueberries to make it look a little more patriotic!}



Thursday, June 19, 2014

Honey & Lime Chicken Enchiladas

This is one of those amazing recipes that's inexpensive, easy to make, and it's delicious enough to make for company.  In other words, this is magic.  I posted this recipe on Somewhat Simple last month, so it's time to put it up here!  This is one of those recipes that people make and then I hear about how good it was months and years later.  Because that's how much they love it. 
chicken enchiladas
We like the uncooked tortillas (which I buy in bulk at Costco).  In fact, my kids don't like precooked tortillas.  And I don't blame them, these are the best!  The sauce goes together in a snap and makes tender, moist chicken.  It only takes a couple of minutes to get the chicken going...I love fast and easy!!
Chicken Enchilada Collage 1
Once the chicken is cooked, these go together in just a few minutes.  If you are short on time, you can even do this ahead and save it in the fridge.  (I LOVE meals that can be made ahead of time, since I am no longer master of my schedule.  Just one of those things about having kids!)
Chicken Enchilada Collage 2
I like my cheese melted with just a hint of brownness.  Hubby loves it when the cheese is crunchy and brown.  Make it your favorite way, both are great!
Chicken Enchiladas Collage 3

Honey & Lime Chicken Enchiladas
Ingredients:
  • 5 Tbsp honey OR 4 Tbsp agave
  • 5 Tbsp lime juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (or 3-4 cloves garlic, minced)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 8 flour tortillas (about 8" each)
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 12 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 15 oz green enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream (or plain greek yogurt)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
Directions:
  1. Place chicken breasts in a slow cooker.  Combine honey, lime, garlic & chili powder and pour over chicken.  Cook on low 6 hours or on high for 3 hours.  Shred chicken when done cooking.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Place 1/2 cup enchilada sauce in a 9x13 pan.
  4. Add about 1/4 cup chicken to each tortilla.  To make sure I don't short the last enchilada, I put all 8 tortillas down on a clean counter and divide the meat all at once, adjusting if necessary, so all are even.
  5. Sprinkle chicken with cheese (save some for the top), roll each tortilla tightly, and place in prepared pan.
  6. Add remaining enchilada sauce, milk, sour cream and cumin to remaining marinade.  Combine and pour over enchiladas.
  7. If you want your cheese browned and crispy, sprinkle remaining cheese before placing in oven.  If you want your cheese melted {but not browned} sprinkle with remaining cheese during the last 5 minutes of bake time.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
*If you have a pressure cooker, you can cook your chicken in less than 30 minutes.  Add chicken and marinade ingredients to pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 10 minutes, then natural pressure release for 10 minutes.  Shred and start at step 2 above.
Chicken Enchiladas main

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Red, White & Blue {Whole Food} Popsicles!

I have teamed up with 109 other fabulous bloggers to bring you the Ultimate Red White & Blue Roundup!  Tons of great recipes, crafts, printables and more!  Be sure to check it out below.  If it's red, white & blue, it's probably on this list!

And if you want to see an amazing Pinterest board with even MORE red, white & blue ideas, check it! Follow The Cards We Drew's board Three Cheers for the Red White and Blue ULTIMATE Round Up of Patriotic Ideas from Top Bloggers! on Pinterest.




Now that summer is officially here (hooray!!) my kids spend a lot of time outside, which means they need a good way to cool off.  This is not only cool and delish, but it's all whole foods, so I get really excited watching them eat these!  When you want to make these popsicles, plan ahead and make them the day before so they have time to freeze.  They don't take long to put together, but you will need time to let each layer set in the freezer.   I cleaned my kitchen while the layers were setting (which is a lot like shoveling snow in a blizzard!), but if you need to leave them in the freezer longer between layers, you can!

Red, White & Blue {Whole Food!} Popsicles

Ingredients

For the Red:
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 c pomegranate juice
juice of 1/2 lime
1 Tbsp stevia
up to 1/2 tsp lime zest, if you want it tart!

For the White:
1 cup coconut milk (I used full fat, canned)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp stevia

For the Blue:
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries, slightly thawed
juice of 1/2 lemon
zest of 1/4 lemon (or more to taste if your lemon is small)
1 1/2 tsp stevia
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 Tbsp chia seeds

Directions

Combine all ingredients for the Red layer in a blender.  Blend until smooth and divide evenly into small paper or plastic cups (I used 10 Dixie cups).  Place in freezer for 30-60 minutes.

Combine all ingredients for the White layer.  Remove cups from freezer.  If the top has frozen over, pour in the white layer and then insert a popsicle stick.  Return to freezer for 30-60 minutes longer.

Combine all ingredients for the Blue layer in a blender.  Process until smooth.  Remove cups from freezer.  If the top has frozen over, pour in the blue layer.  Return to freezer until frozen through.  Overnight is best.

When ready to eat, remove from freezer and discard cup (run under hot water for a second or two if you can't remove it from the cup).  Enjoy your whole food, cool, healthy treat!

*I put a layer of plastic wrap over my cups to help the popsicle sticks stand up straight while the first layer froze.  

*There are TONS of options for add-ins.  Banana "ice cream" (or yogurt, depending on your food goals) would be great in the white layer.  Add some spinach to the blue layer.  Use raspberries in the red.  The possibilities are endless!  




Friday, June 6, 2014

Cinnamon Sugar

When we make cinnamon sugar we usually just eyeball it...throw some of each in, shake it up, and see how it tastes.  But since it usually takes a few tries to get it just right, it was time to simplify life and figure out the ratio!  We sprinkle it on regular toast and french toast (put it on while it's cooking, before the flip! Best french toast.)



{Disclaimer:  We try to eat mostly real food, as unprocessed and whole as we can.  But since I'm also a big believer in moderation, I think it's okay to have treats sometimes.  Cinnamon toast is a treat, so we don't eat it all the time.  And making it at home is always better than buying it!  Less expensive and no extra chemicals.}

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
Directions
  1. Add sugar and cinnamon to a small bowl and combine well.  Pour into a small jar with a sprinkling lid.  Enjoy!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Best Bean Dip



I got this text:



Because we LOVE these beans.  I make them, and they're not only gone before dinner, but then we aren't hungry anymore, so they actually become dinner.  I watched my mother-in-law (who is an amazing cook) make them years ago, but this is my version of what I remember seeing in her kitchen!


Best Bean Dip

Ingredients

  • 2 (15 oz) can refried beans
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup Mexican blend cheese (or a blend of half cheddar & half mozzarella. or whatever you have in your fridge)
  • 15-20 shots of Tobasco Sauce
  • 1 tsp lemon or lime juice (fresh)
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a medium sauce pan and warm over med-low heat.  Thoroughly combine and serve warm as bean dip for chips, or for refried beans in any Mexican dish.
*I have become a lemon/lime juice snob.  In small amounts (like this recipe) it is a little less critical, however, when I make recipes with fresh juice, they turn out perfectly every time.  When I make the same recipes with bottled, the flavor isn't quite right and it's disappointing.  Especially with guacamole! (which also turns brown within hours with bottled juice, but stays green and fresh for days with fresh juice)


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Spring Nutter Butter Truffles {my first Somewhat Simple post!}

flower truffles Header 2 

This is the first post I created for Somewhat Simple!  It actually made me nervous (which is really weird, I know)...but they turned out great!  I am excited to repost it here to share with you (and to save, because this is where I keep all my recipes...and use them all the time!  My own personal online cookbook.)  These are super easy, and they look so darling.  They can even be made ahead of time, which is almost the only way I can get anything done anymore.  Four kids=nothing can be done right before because someone will _____(fill in the blank).  {Last week it was smash a fingertip open with a heavy rock, which landed us in the ER with a nasty laceration,  and I never did get my guacamole made.  But since I spent my evening in the hospital with a 6 year old instead of at bunco, I guess it all worked out. :) }  Hope you enjoy this fun treat!!

flower truffles 1

Start with a stand mixer, a package of Nutter Butters, and cream cheese. Add the cookies to your mixer bowl (I usually eat a couple first!) and crush them using the paddle attachment on speed 2 for a couple of minutes. {You can grind them in your blender, but that's an extra step and more dishes. The cream cheese softens the cookies, so the resulting texture is the same} Add the cream cheese and mix until thoroughly combined.

To make round truffles, use a medium cookie scoop and scoop balls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roll the truffle balls between your hands to make them smooth and round. If you want to make fun Spring shapes, roll some dough between your hands to smooth it. Take a fondant cut-out and press it down over the top of the truffle ball. Press the cut-out between both hands so the truffle dough is flush with the top and bottom. Remove excess to use in another truffle. Gently press truffle out of the cut-out. Once all truffles are shaped, put them in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes to harden.
Flower Truffles Collage a

To dip the truffles, melt the white chocolate chips and vanilla almond bark according to package directions. For flat truffles like the flower shapes, use a fork to dip them. The excess chocolate drips through the tines when gently tapped against the side of the bowl. Use a toothpick to gently push the truffle onto the parchment paper. For the rounded balls I like to use a spoon (they always roll off my fork!) and then use a long toothpick to wipe away the excess chocolate. If the chocolate cools too much during dipping, warm it again in the microwave for 15 seconds.
Flower Truffles Collage 2
Drizzle with colored bark or decorate with sprinkles, place in a mini cupcake liner, and you have a beautiful spring treat!
Flower Truffle Collage 3
SPRING NUTTER BUTTER TRUFFLES
Ingredients:
  • 1 package Nutter Butter cookies, crushed
  • 1 (8oz) package cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • 3 squares vanilla almond bark
  • sprinkles or colored almond bark for decoration
Directions:
  1. Mix crushed Nutter Butters and cream cheese until well combined. Form into 1 inch balls and/or flower shapes and place on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate until firm.
  2. Melt almond bark and white chocolate chips according to package directions. Dip truffles and place onto parchment harden. If decorating with sprinkles, add them before the almond bark has hardened.
  3. Melt vanilla almond bark and mix in desired color, and spoon into the corner of a sandwich bag. Make a small snip in corner, gently squeeze almond bark out, and drizzle back and forth over truffles in one swift, smooth motion, one row at a time. Let dry. Remove the excess drizzle and coating from the base of the truffles and place in mini baking cups.
flower truffles 29 Header

Saturday, May 3, 2014

One Pot Pasta

For week 4 of the Healthy Eating Challenge, I put together this flavorful, insanely easy pasta dish.  This is one of those magical meals that you can throw into a pot, and less than 20 minutes later you're eating a delicious, healthy, simple and inexpensive pasta dish.  It sounds a little too good to be true, but rest assured, it really is as good as it sounds!  And be sure to check out the GIVEAWAY at the end of the post.  I promise, you will love it!


One Pot Pasta

Ingredients:
  • 12 oz organic whole wheat spaghetti (I find mine at Costco)
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (or 2 cups diced tomatoes)
  • 2 sprigs fresh basil, cut into ribbons
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Directions:
  1. Add all ingredients to a large (12") skillet with tall sides.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Boil for 10-12 minutes, or until spaghetti is al dente and most of the liquid is absorbed.
  2. Serve warm.
*If you have family members who are sensitive to spicy food, try cutting the red pepper flakes down to 1/4 tsp.

*For the BEST TOMATO CUTTING TIP IN THE UNIVERSE see what I posted for Western Gardens.  Saves so much time!!

*Sometimes I make this with Linguine.  Sometimes I use a 16 oz package and increase the water to 5 cups.  This recipe is super versatile and easy to adjust!


Be sure to check out all the other great recipes from this week PLUS a GIVEAWAY!!

Watermelon Juice - Rick•a•bam•boo

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burger - Clarks Condensed

Raw Almond & Arugula Pesto - Project Domestication

Roasted Broccoli and Red Peppers - Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Healthy Peanut Butter-Stuffed Chocolate Date Balls (Vegan; GF and Raw Option) - Wallflour Girl

Baked Sweet Potato Chips - Keep It Simple Sweetie

Lemon Cookies - Cooking with Curls

Rosemary Citrus Water - Delightful E Made

Kalua Pork Tacos with Pineapple Salsa - Everyday Southwest

Miso Soup - Je suis alimentageuse


Click below for a chance to win a wide mouth drinking lid, a regular mouth drinking lid, and a wide mouth lunchbox adaptor for your mason jars from http://www.cuppow.com. 
Rafflecopter giveaway

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