Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

Today, I am going to share a quick and easy chicken dish that I am sure you and your family will love.   With only five ingredients this dish was quick and easy and turned out perfectly.  Pair this with your favorite spring vegetables and a fresh salad and you have a great go to meal.   During the spring and summer, I am always looking for easy ways to feed my family at dinner time so we can go outside and play or go for a walk after dinner.  Since we moved into our new house last fall there weren’t too many days to play outside. Now we are enjoying the nice weather and take adventure walks after dinner.

What do you like to do with your family on a summer evening?

Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Place a layer of tin foil in a baking dish and spray with cooking spray to help with clean up.
  3. Place chicken in pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. In a small sauté pan, sauté garlic with oil until tender. Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar. This will create a paste to put on the chicken.
  5. Spread the brown sugar mixture on chicken.
  6. Bake uncovered for 15-30 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees.
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Recipe from College Girl, College Food.

Roasted Baby Carrots

Roasted Baby Carrots

Yay! I love the time of year when grilling season starts.  Although it seems as if Spring has decided to stay away for a little longer we were blessed with a few really nice days in the past couple of weeks and we took full advantage of it and started up the grill.  Since my husband is the grill master, I am usually in charge of the side dishes.  This has become a favorite side dish of ours throughout the winter and I know I will love it this Spring and Summer too.  The carrots are roasted to perfection with the perfect amount of spice and sweetness.  Enjoy!

Roasted Baby Carrots

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds carrots (either baby carrots or cut up into 2 inch pieces)
  • Olive oil and salt & pepper for seasoning carrots
  • For Glaze:
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss carrots with olive oil and salt & pepper.
  3. Roast in oven for 20 minutes.
  4. Mix together olive oil, honey and balsamic vinegar.
  5. Drizzle over carrots and place back in oven for 5 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!
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Recipe by So Wonderful, So Marvelous.

 

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Overnight Oats

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Overnight Oats

I am sure you have noticed from past posts that I love peanut butter and I love oatmeal.  It is a great, filling dish for breakfast and always  hits the spot.  Awhile back I saw a recipe for Overnight Oats that you made the night before (obviously!) and then you ate them cold in the morning.  I put off trying this recipe for quite some time because I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy cold oatmeal.  Well, guess what, I love it.  I can see it being such a great addition to our summer breakfast menu especially for those really HOT days.  Or divide it up and it would be a good morning snack as well.  I did find that I need to add something crunchy to the top.  I think this is probably a preference thing.  To this recipe you could add chopped peanuts or mini chocolate chips.   A key ingredient to this recipe is the chia seeds, they help the oats to thicken.  I buy mine at Trader Joe’s but you can find them in most grocery stores or health food stores.   You can also use them in smoothies, regular oatmeal or even cookies.  They are a great source of fiber.  This recipe makes 1 large serving.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Overnight Oats

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup milk plus a splash in the morning
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds (do not omit or the oats won't thicken)
  • Optional toppings: Honey roasted peanuts, fresh fruit, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, etc.

Instructions

  1. Stir all ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Allow the bowl to sit overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. In the morning, add a splash of milk and stir everything together again.
  4. Top with your choice of toppings.
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Recipe from PB Fingers.

 

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Baked Chicken Kabobs

Chicken Kabobs

I am itching for nicer weather and I am so excited that everyday it stays lighter just a little bit longer.  Every time the seasons change, I look forward to making my favorite dishes of the season.  A healthy meal that we eat almost weekly (especially in the summer) is chicken kabobs.  I love that I can use whatever I have on hand for meat or veggies and they are always delicious and filling.   These sounded so good this week but it is still pretty chilly to stand out and man the grill (although it has been done in even colder temperatures) so I remembered that I had baked them once and I was quite pleased.  You won’t achieve so much of the charred flavor but they were still delicious.   We served them with a huge salad and half a sweet potato for the perfect meal.  Then it was outside to play for a few minutes.  My kids are just so happy to get a little fresh air.  Enjoy!

Baked Chicken Kabobs

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 bell peppers
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 package of mushrooms
  • 16 oz. Dressing or marinade (I used Kraft Sweet Balsamic dressing)
  • 8 Bamboo sticks

Instructions

  1. Cut up meat and veggies into even pieces. Place in large bowl and cover with marinade or dressing.
  2. Cover and place in the fridge for 3-24 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line jelly roll pan and place cooling rack on top.
  4. Place meat and veggies on bamboo stick alternating between meat and veggies.
  5. Baste with extra marinade. Discard the remaining marinade.
  6. Line up on cooling rack with about an inch between each one.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes. Rotate sticks.
  8. Return to oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until chicken reaches 165 degrees or is no longer pink in the middle.
  9. Remove from stick and serve!
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Corn Flake Peanut Butter Balls

Corn Flake Balls

Let’s set the stage…the snow storm is on its way.  I have friends coming for dinner.  The friend who is bringing dessert can’t make it.  I can’t leave my other friends without a sweet treat after dinner so I am heading to the kitchen to find something to make.  There is only one problem I am out of eggs and butter.  So the things I would typically make are out of the question.  So I scrounge through the cabinets to see what I can come up with.  I head to the computer to see what I can make with what I have.  I come across a recipe for “HolyCrapTheseAreAmazing” Cookies.  They sound delicious and I have all of the ingredients.  They ended up to be so good and I will definitely make them again and my friends LOVED them.

Corn Flake Peanut Butter Balls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1 (18oz) jar peanut butter, creamy
  • 6 cups corn flakes
  • 3 oz good quality chocolate

Instructions

  1. Combine sugar and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and stir until the mixture comes to a full boil. Remove from heat and stir in whole jar of peanut butter. Mix well.
  2. Add corn flakes to a large bowl. Pour peanut butter mixture over corn flakes and mix well. Make sure to coat all of the corn flakes.
  3. Scoop out and form 1-2 inch balls and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. (makes about 3 dozen)
  4. Place the chocolate in a small bowl and melt in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Stir until smooth.
  5. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookies.
  6. Enjoy!
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Peanut Butter and Honey Granola Bars

Peanut Butter and Honey granola bars

These are two of our favorite flavors at our house.  Peanut Butter and honey sandwiches are at least a weekly occurrence for lunches.  So when I found this recipe for granola bars, I figured it would be a big hit and it was.  I love snacks like this that have good wholesome ingredients, no sugar and I can divide them up and have snacks for the next couple of days.  You definitely will want to make sure you let them cool or they will crumble when you try to break them apart.

Peanut Butter and Honey Granola Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup pure honey
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used creamy)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins (optional)

Instructions

  1. Line 9x13 pan with parchment paper so that it extends over the side of the pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place oatmeal and cinnamon in bowl and combine.
  3. Beat egg white until frothy. Beat in honey. Beat in peanut butter.
  4. Add oat mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Pour in butter and stir.
  6. Add raisins and stir. (optional)
  7. Spread mixture over the bottom of baking dish in even layer.
  8. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes.
  9. Cut into 12 to 16 bars.
  10. Return to oven and lower heat to 300 and bake for 15 more minutes.
  11. Remove from oven to cool.
  12. Let cool completely before eating.
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Recipe from Simply Recipes.

 

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Buttermilk Baked Chicken

Buttermilk Baked Chicken

We seem to eat a lot of chicken in our house (especially when I find a good deal at the store), so I am always looking for ways to put a new spin on it.  Well this is it and it was delicious.  Simple ingredients and easy preparation make for the perfect week night dish.  My husband came across a new app called “Food Network In the Kitchen”.  It allows you to browse through recipes from your favorite Food Network chefs, save recipes, make a grocery list and even compare similar recipes.  Once I started looking through it I got so many great ideas for upcoming meals.  You will have to check it out.  I can’t wait to hear what you think about this yummy chicken recipe.  Enjoy!

Buttermilk Baked Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 4 Chicken breasts, boneless skinless
  • 2 cups crushed corn flakes
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped

Instructions

  1. Mix together buttermilk, lemon juice, hot sauce, onion, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken and coat with mixture.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or up to 12 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Mix corn flakes, Parmesan cheese, and thyme together. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Remove chicken from marinade, letting excess drip off and dredge through corn flake mixture.
  6. Place wire rack on cookie sheet covered with foil. Place chicken on wire rack.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes until golden crisp.
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Recipe adapted from Food Network.

Enchilada Casserole

Enchilada Casserole

My family recently started buying whole grain corn tortillas at home and we may never go back to soft flour tortillas.  I love the taste and the texture it adds.  I found this recipe on one of my favorite clean eating blogs (100 days of real food).  The original recipe calls for chicken but the first time I made it I used leftover pulled pork and the second time I made it I used leftover taco meat.  Both were so delicious.  The recipe as stated makes 2- Square pans of casserole but you could put it in a larger pan and make one.  The second pan you freeze for later use.  I love having something like this in the freezer so I can just thaw it out on a day I don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

Enchilada Casserole

Ingredients

  • 12 whole grain corn tortillas
  • 1 rotisserie chicken (shredded) or 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef (cooked)
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 3 Tablespoons organic tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 cups organic tomato sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (depending on spice level)
  • 1/2 ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups monterey jack cheese
  • Toppings: Sour cream, cilantro, avocado or guacamole

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  2. Wrap tortillas in foil and warm in the oven until you are ready for them.
  3. Place meat in large bowl with 3 tablespoons tomato paste, 1/2 cup grated cheese, rice, frozen corn kernels, 1 teaspoon chili powder, and 1 teaspoon ground cumin.
  4. For the sauce: combine 3 cups tomato sauce, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and heat through keep warm until needed.
  5. Remove tortillas from oven and switch broiler to high.
  6. Using two separate square or round baking dishes layer ingredients in the following order: 1. Sauce (a little on the bottom of each pan), 2 tortilla layer (2 for each pan), 3: About a quarter of the meat for each dish, 4: sauce, 5: another tortilla layer, 6: divide remaining meat for each dish, 7: another tortilla layer, 8: the last of the sauce, 9: grated cheese on top.
  7. For the extra casserole, you can cover it, label and freeze until ready to eat. Defrost it when you are ready and start with the last step of broiling it.
  8. Put the casserole under the broiler and broil for about 5 minutes or until heated through.
  9. Serve with toppings.
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Gooey Chocolate Skillet Cake

Gooey Chocolate Skillet Cake

Here we are in the middle of Chocolate Week and I am feeling the need to post this yummy chocolate cake.  Just the thought of it makes me want to make it again and devour a piece topped with vanilla ice cream but I suppose that is the reason I only make desserts for company.  This cake was easy to whip up in my cast iron skillet and it had just the right amount of chocolate for me.  The original recipe calls for a 10-inch skillet but I only have a 12-inch so mine was a little bit thinner but still so delicious.  One of my favorite parts about this cake is you don’t wait for it to cool before you frost it so it pretty much just melts in your mouth.  This would be perfect to make next week for the special love in your life.

Gooey Chocolate Skillet Cake

Ingredients

  • Cake:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Frosting:
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 3-4 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, sugar and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a 10-inch cast iron skillet (or 12 inch) bring the butter, vegetable oil, cocoa powder, and water to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in dry ingredients well.
  3. Mix in buttermilk, egg and vanilla.
  4. Bake the skillet cake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  5. While the cake starts to cool, make the frosting.
  6. In a medium saucepan, bring the butter, cocoa, and milk to a boil. Remove them from the heat and add the powdered sugar, nuts and vanilla. Stir to combine.
  7. Pour over warm cake spread with a spatula and serve with ice cream.
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Recipe from Willow Bird Baking.

Homemade Fruit Snacks

homemade fruit snacks

What kid doesn’t love fruit snacks?  I know I have a three year old who definitely loves the little packet of fruit snacks.  A year or so ago as we started to eliminate processed foods we knew that this was one thing that had to go.  Now, of course, he still has them for a treat every now and then but we don’t buy them at home.  The store bought ones are often full of sugar, high fructose corn syrup and artificial dyes.  I recently came across this recipe for homemade fruit snacks and I knew I needed to give it a try.  They were so easy to make I will definitely make them again in the future.  You can use any kind of berries so there are so many ways to change them up.  Jackson loved them and couldn’t get enough.  I portioned them out in little bags so that he could have them as a treat.  I can’t wait to hear what you think of when you try them.  I was unable to find the grass-fed gelatin like requested in the original recipe.  So they could be even better for you if you can find it.

What are some processed snacks your kids love but aren’t the best for them?  I would love to try to find healthy ways to make these snacks at home.

Homemade Fruit Snacks

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon or orange juice
  • 2/3 cup fresh or frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries)
  • 1-2 Tablespoon Honey
  • 5 Tablespoons gelatin

Instructions

  1. Pour juice and fruit into a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat , stirring occasionally until berries become tender and begin to soften.
  2. Add honey and stir until completely incorporated.
  3. Puree mixture using an immersion blender or small blender.
  4. Let it sit off the heat for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Slowly whisk in gelatin 1 tablespoon at a time then whisk generously until completely incorporated.
  6. Pour into a 8x8 or 9x9 glass dish. Refrigerate until set about 30-60 minutes.
  7. Cut into small squares.
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Recipe adapted from Thank Your Body.

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