Friday, February 5, 2016

Foodie Friday: One Pan Cilantro-Lime Chicken & Black Beans w/Rice

Found here, this is an easy-peasy one dish dinner. I'm not crazy about the fact that it uses minute rice, so I'm playing around with ways to use better rice, but it is quick and still pretty tasty.

One Pan Cilantro ­Lime Chicken and Rice with Black Beans

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: About 4 servings


1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1­inch cubes Coupons
1 Tbsp canola oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 green onions, chopped (keep lighter and darker portions separate)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups low­sodium chicken broth
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
2 tsp lime zest
3 Tbsp lime juice
1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, rinsed and well drained
2 cups minute white rice (don't use regular rice!)
1/3 cup chopped cilantro


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium ­high heat. Once hot add chicken, season with salt and
pepper, and saute until cooked through, about 6 minutes, adding in lighter portions of the green
onions and garlic at last 1 minute of cooking. Stir in broth, green onion greens, green chilies,
lime zest, lime juice, black beans and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture to a
boil, add rice, fully immerse rice in broth, and allow to boil 20 seconds, then remove from heat
and immediately cover with a lid. Let rest 5-6 minutes.

If needed, return pan to medium heat and cook and toss 1 minute to allow rice to absorb excess
moisture. Remove from heat, toss in cilantro and let rest uncovered 3 minutes.

Recipe source: Cooking Classy

Monday, February 1, 2016

February, already?!?

Time flies. I wish I could say it was because I was having fun. We had snow finally. Two weeks ago we got about 2 inches. Then a few days later we got 4-6 inches. You'd have thought the apocalypse was coming. Then, the Monday after it snowed, the weather hit 50° and most of the snow was gone. Today, a week later it was 66. Why yes, we've all got sinus infections now.

I indulged myself with some post holiday shopping. Got rid of my Walmart cheapo coffee maker and toaster! Bought these shiny new babies to replace them! (Forgive the blurry photography)

The tubby tabby boys are settling in. They've been much more visible, exploring the house and trying to decide what to make of my Shady girl. There is still some hissing & growling, but there have also been moments of touching noses, eating side by side, and batting a rattle ball back & forth. They've also taken to occasionally hopping into my lap and sleeping for a bit.

Poor Nightshade isn't sure what to make of them, either. I've made a point of cuddling, petting, and talking to her so that she knows I still love her best.

Remy: (I think)


Well, that's about it for now. more later. Blogging will be a bit iffier than before as the new security measures on the work computer mean I have to do it all from my tablet. It's not the easiest way to go.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Foodie Friday: Cabbage Roll Soup

It's still on the chilly side, so soup is still on my menu. This one is pretty good, and a quick nod to my family's Stuffed Cabbage.

Cabbage Roll Soup
Yield: About 8 servings


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large yellow onion, chopped (1 3/4 cups)
2 large carrots, chopped (1 1/4 cups)
5 cups packed chopped cabbage (16 - 19 oz)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium beef broth
3 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
2 (14.5 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp dried paprika
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 Tbsp chopped fresh
3/4 tsp dried thyme or 2 1/2 tsp chopped fresh
2 bay leaves
3/4 cup dry long-grain white rice
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley


Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large cast iron pot over medium-high heat. Add beef, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring and breaking up beef occasionally, until browned. Transfer beef to a plate lined with paper towels while reserving 2 Tbsp of the rendered fat in pan (or drain off all fat and use 2 more tbsp olive oil), set beef aside. Add onion and carrots to pan and saute 1 minute, then add cabbage and saute 2 minutes, then add garlic and saute 1 minute longer. Pour in beef broth, tomato sauce, tomatoes, brown sugar, Worcestershire, paprika, oregano, thyme and bay leaves. Return beef to soup mixture. Season soup with salt and pepper to taste and bring to a light boil, then add rice, cover pot and reduce heat and simmer until rice is cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Stir in up to 1 cup water or more beef broth to thin as desired (it will thicken as it rests and become almost like a stew), then stir in lemon juice and parsley. Serve warm.

Recipe source: inspired by Spending with Pennies and Simply Stacie

Friday, January 22, 2016

Foodie Friday- Pioneer Woman's Red & Green Stuffed Shells

Ree Drummond strikesagain. I never thought about adding a bechamel-type sauce to my basic stuffed shells, so I'm glad she did!

Red and Green Stuffed Shells

Prep: 15 Minutes Level: Easy
Cook: 1 Hours Serves: 12

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 whole Onion, Diced
1 clove Garlic, Minced
10 ounces, weight Fresh Baby Spinach (or a pkg of frozen chopped spinach, thawed & squeezed dry)
4 Tablespoons Butter
1/4 cup All-purpose Flour
2-1/2 cups Whole Milk, More If Needed
2 Tablespoons Chopped Basil
2 Tablespoons Chopped Parsley
Salt And Pepper, to taste
30 ounces, weight Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese, Plus More For Sprinkling
1 whole Large Egg
12 ounces, weight Jumbo Pasta Shells (25 To 30 Shells) Cooked Until Slightly Firmer Than Al Dente
jar of your favorite marinara sauce


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and saute until the onion starts to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the spinach and cook, stirring continuously, until it's slightly wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove the spinach from the pan and let it cool slightly, then place it inside a few paper towels and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Give it a rough chop and set it aside.

Turn the heat to medium-low, then, in the same skillet, melt the butter and sprinkle the flour over the top. Whisk it together to make a roux, then cook it for a minute or two. Slowly add the milk, whisking out lumps as you go, and cook it until the white sauce is thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in half the basil, half the parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Add another 1/4 cup milk if the white sauce is too thick. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta, Parmesan, egg, the rest of the basil, the rest of the parsley, and salt and pepper to taste until combined. Stir in the chopped spinach mixture.

To assemble the shells, use a spoon to fill the pasta shells with the cheese mixture. Pour a thin layer of marinara in the bottom of your baking dish. Place the shells seam side down in a 9 x 13 casserole dish or disposable foil baking pan. Pour the marinara evenly over the shells, then ladle the white sauce over the marinara in a zig-zag/line design. Finally, sprinkle with more Parmesan.

Bake it in a preheated 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly.

***To freeze, cover the unbaked shells tightly with heavy foil and freeze for up to 6 months. To bake the frozen casserole, place it in a 375 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours, then uncover and continue baking for 10 to 30 minutes, depending on how frozen it was.
***Thaw the pan in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours, then bake as directed.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Chat Noir & other odds and ends

What a bummer 2016 has been already. We've lost David Bowie, Alan Rickman, the man who did the voice of Disney's Robin Hood,Lemmy from Motorhead, anbd now Glenn Frey of the Eagles. I'm sure I've missed someone else, but honestly that list is too long as it is!

Amazon finally managed to get the rest of my Christmas presents delivered! I'm listening to Paper Gods now & I like it much better than Duran Duran's last album. I was going to watch Luther 4, but I'm not sure I can stay awake.

Oh yeah, I'm sick again/still. The below freezing temperatures here haven't helped, & the double I foolishly worked Saturday made things worse. I'm voluntarily going to the doctor tomorrow.

Nightshade & Boo are taking turns being cuddly when I'm on the couch. Remy is still a bit reserved. Shady & the boys haven't quite figured each other out yet- lots of hissing going on, and Shady smacked one of them on the nose for getting too close. Not bad for only living together 3 weeks. It took that long just to get Shady out from under the couch when she came to live with me!

Signed up for the Goodreads challenge again this year. The last few years have been squeaked by at the end, so I lowered the bar a bit for this year. I'm making a concerted effort to get back to doing things I love despite the CFS, and reading is the biggie. I'm off to a good start so far!

I'm not letting myself start a new cross stitch project until I finish at least ONE of the ones I already have going. Since I really want to start the Beauty & the Beast project that I got for Christmas, I've been working on Chat Noir. Here's the latest view:

I've finished the cat's body & have started the base. Not much more to go. I'm dreading the back stitching, but I think it'll look good once I'm done.

Until the next time...

Friday, January 15, 2016

Foodie Friday- Oatmeal Ginger-cream Pies

These are delicious with a steaming mug of your favorite winter drink.


1½ c. Rolled Oats
1 c. all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. salt
1 stick butter
½ c. granulated sugar
½ c. packed light-brown sugar
1 large Egg
Ginger Cream (recipe follows)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, with racks set in the top and bottom positions. On a baking sheet, bake oats on the top rack, shaking the pan intermittently to prevent burning, until lightly browned, 10 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool, leaving oven on.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Add the flour mixture, beating until just combined. Stir in the toasted oats.
Fit 2 baking sheets with parchment. Roll dough, 2 tablespoons at a time, into balls, or use a #30 (1-ounce) ice-cream scoop; for each sheet, drop 12 balls 2 inches apart. With dampened hands, flatten each ball to a 1/2-inch thickness. Using the bottom and top racks, bake until cookies are lightly browned around the edges and set, 12 minutes, switching the baking sheets from top to bottom and rotating them from front to back halfway through baking. Remove from oven and let cookies cool for 5 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Frost the bottoms of 12 cookies with Ginger Cream, then top with the remaining 12 cookies.

Ginger Cream


8 oz. cream cheese
⅓ c. confectioners' sugar
¼ c. finely chopped crystallized ginger


In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the ginger.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Ashes to Ashes

This is one of the handful of celebrity deaths that got to me. Rest In Peace, my Goblin King.