Archive | EAT

currently making chicken tortilla soup

this is one of those meals i would be happy to make (and eat) every week. it’s easy to throw together, the toppings make it extra fun and leftovers taste even better the next day. one of my favorite things to do is make a batch on a lazy weekend day (when everyone is hanging out and friends come and go), set out bowls and all the fixings and let people help themselves as they get hungry. no snack time messes or negotiations necessary and the kids devour it.

the recipe is below.  hope you enjoy!

tortilla-soup-recipe-1 INGREDIENTS

1 pound shredded chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup diced onion
2 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1½ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 – 7 ounce can green chilies
32 ounces chicken stock
4 cups hot water
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 -15 ounce cans black beans, drained
3 tablespoons cornmeal (optional)
5 corn tortillas, cut into strips

DIRECTIONS

1. MAKE THE SHREDDED CHICKEN, place chicken breasts into a saucepan and add enough water to cover. cook over medium heat, bring to a boil, and simmer until chicken meat is cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes. transfer chicken to a plate, allow to cool, and shred using 2 forks. (while chicken cooks, prep veggies!)

2. SAUTE VEGGIES, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a soup pot over medium high heat. add onions, red peppers, and minced garlic. stir and begin cooking, then add the the spice mix and stir to combine. add shredded chicken and stir.

3. MAKE SOUP, pour in chilies, chicken stock, tomato paste, water, and black beans. bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered. (if the soup is already thick, i skip this part) mix cornmeal with a small amount of water and pour into the soup. simmer for an additional 30 minutes.

time for a taste test! add more seasoning if needed.  turn off heat and let cool for 15 minutes. a few minutes before serving, stir in tortilla strips.

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ladle into bowls, then add the best part… toppings!!

lime wedges  (i’m always tempted to skip this topping, but it’s a fave with this soup)
sour cream
diced avocado
diced red onion
salsa or pico de gallo
grated cheddar cheese (or mexi blend)
cilantro

mmmm… now i’m hungry.

do you have an easy go-to meal that everyone loves!?

xo . rae

 

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Mm, mm, good!

we all have those days, you know, the ones that start with a jump (after hitting snooze a few too many times) and frantically fly by with a million errands, car pool duties, kid wrangling, forgotten homework, never ending emails, meetings, and soccer practice. All of a sudden it’s dinnertime. These sweet (hungry) faces are looking at you with expectation knowing you’ll make something delicious.  You’ve just discovered your coffee in the microwave that you were warming up 8 hours ago, and the grocery store wasn’t one of the places you made it to that afternoon. Ugh.

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enter campbells’ skillet sauces (hooray!). campbells has always been a household brand with a reliable (and nostalgic) product and the skillet sauces are no different. a couple weeks ago while getting organized for a busy few days (3 bdays and halloween all in 5 days!) i loaded up on some flavors, including one from their new slow-cooker selection.   they made dinnertime effortless and delish – just boil noodles, start the rice maker and cook the meat. clean up is a cinch too and my cutie pie kids (and husband!) give dinner two thumbs up.

campbells-2these sauces take the stress out of making a hearty meal on the fly; i’ve already grabbed a couple extra to have on hand for those busy days. there is a great lineup of skillet and slow cooker flavors to choose from and for an added bonus there’s a $1 off coupon on their site (click on link below and then click the menu items along the top). Phew, with dinner done it’s time to heat that coffee back up and relax.


This post brought to you by Campbell’s Dinner Sauces. Weekend-worthy dinners with only weekday-level effort needed! Learn more at
http://www.campbellsauces.com/

side note, i was surpised at how many of my friends already had these sauces in their pantry… have you tried them!?

xo . rae

Disclosure: I received samples and compensation  for the purpose of this post however all thoughts are 100% my own.

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zucchini bread pancakes

the kids might make all kinds of faces (and noises) when they see you add shredded zucchini to perfectly good pancake batter, but they will be kissing the cook after the first bite!

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the recipe above (from the monthly spread) calls for gluten free pancake mix, but you can use whatever brand you like or make it from scratch using this recipe.

// CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A PDF VERSION OF THE RECIPE //

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i don’t love cooking breakfast in the morning (it just seems wrong to start the day with hand dishes!) but the hubs and kids are constantly making requests so it’s nice to have fun recipes to choose from.

do you have any favorite brekkie dishes?

xo . rae
{images by stacy jacobsen}

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delicious {corn} fritters

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now that school has started, i get to spend a few days a week (when i’m not working) with the ham above (no sibs) which i think qualifies me as the luckiest person alive. however, i would like to go on the record and say, i’m not sure that one takes any less energy than two seeing as how he becomes this hilarious, go-go baby when his siblings are away and a chill wallflower when they are around . it’s been interesting to watch and has made for some amusing errands and outings, just the two of us.

earlier this week griffey and i headed over to my friend kim’s house to catch up, play, and make corn fritters in her (nearly complete) remodeled kitchen. so jelly. her and her husband have done an amazing job which made cooking fritters that much more fun.

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corn fritters are a great veggie side for dinner, after school snack, or happy hour app. (recipes below)

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1-1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon oil, for sautéing
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • a couple pinches of salt (optional)
  • 3 eggs
  • oil to cook fritters

TO MAKE: heat oil and sauté corn and peppers for a few minutes. remove from heat and transfer to a medium mixing bowl.

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prep cilantro, whisk eggs and add to a mixing bowl with a little salt.

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stir to combine.

add enough oil to a non-stick skillet to cover the base and heat over medium. drop large spoonfuls (i use my 1/4 measuring cup) of the corn mixture into the pan, 1 to 3 at a time (depending on size). cook until browned (about 2 minutes) and flip to cook the other side.

lay on a paper towel or wax paper (paper side up) to drain and cool before serving!

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with the exception of griffey, the fam devours these fritters.

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grif just laughs at me for eating my veggies i guess… good thing he doesn’t know what’s in the green juice he chugs at brekkie. guess who will be laughing in the morning!? mwahahaha.

now that we are well into the fall & back to school season, is there something in particular that you are really enjoying?

other than time with my littlest, i must admit i’ve gone over my budget at starbucks – those pumpkin spice lattes get me every time!

xo . rae

(images by kim charie)

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PERSONAL BAKED PASTA RECIPE

if you appreciate a good dinner idea that everyone will love, then you’re in for a treat today! my kids call this their favorite and i call it genius. mostly because it’s as easy (if not more so) than throwing together spaghetti and red sauce, but the presentation is so fun and lovely that you’ll rake in the mom-points.

make it extra personalized by getting out all the fixings and letting the fam build their own baked pasta dish – just like a pizza night.

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here’s how-to:

preheat oven to 375 degrees. add cooked and drained pasta or gnocchi (pictured) to oven safe ramekins.

side note, my kids go crazy for pinocchio – as they call it. if you haven’t tried it before they cook just like ravioli and can be found in the pasta section at the store. Or if you are looking for a fun & simple (although time consuming and messy) cooking activity with the kids there are lots of homemade gnocchi recipes out there to try.

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add a generous amount of your favorite pasta sauce (red, white, vodka sauce, pesto, etc.).

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add any other topping you have handy such as basil (pictured), ricotta, roasted veggies, grilled chicken, black olives… then top with a handful of mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of parmesan or romano (if you have it).

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bake for about 20 minutes, until heated through and cheese is bubbling. let cool slightly and serve!

gnocchi-recipe-5meals that include baking time are a fave because it not only gives the house a warm and cozy feeling, but it also gives me a chance to tidy up my (most likely) messy kitchen, help the kids with homework & setting the table, or just catch my breath (and a glass of wine).

what do you think? do you have any tricks or recipes that make for a laid-back dinnertime!?

xo . rae

{images by stacy jacobsen}

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everyone <3's mexican lasagna

i wish i could say that having my brood makes me an expert at picky eaters… but not so much.  every time i think i have it figured out, the next one is picky in a totally different way.  for instance, my oldest, ozzie required dippy to eat during his toddler years.  while my youngest, griffey is choosy about ev.er.y.thing….  child doesn’t even eat fruit right now unless it’s in smoothie form.  same song for the middles, too.  just a different tune.

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the good news is that my older three have (mostly) come out of the picky eater stage to the other side, healthy and still opinionated, but willing to try just about anything.  (persistence pays off!)

while I don’t have a foolproof plan to share there are a few tricks and yummy recipes i’ve learned and this mexican lasagna recipe is the perfect example of both.

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here’s why:

* if your little ones enjoy helping out in the kitchen, this recipe is the perfect fit for them (and you).  lots of prepping and assembling to keep their hands busy and kids love to eat what they helped make.  usually.

* it’s colorful, which is a good distraction.

* i’m not one to hide veggies in my kids food, but this recipe is full of yummy carrots that are grated so they won’t even notice.  (mom – 1, fussy eater – 0)

* the greatest advice i’ve received is to have my kids try something multiple times before deciding to scratch it off my recipe list.  this recipe makes a big enough batch that you’ll have plenty of leftovers to offer to little ones if they don’t like it right away.

* lastly, it’s a total crowd pleaser…. hasn’t failed me yet and even gets rave reviews at yoder’s (my hubs) fire station!

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doesn’t it look good?  in a messy sorta way?

here’s what YOU’LL NEED:

(serves 8 / to make in oven, preheat to 375, follow directions below and bake for 35 minutes until heated through)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and grated (about 2 carrots)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups mexican cheese blend, shredded
  • 2, 16-oz jar mild chunky salsa
  1. 1. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large sauté pan and cook the onions for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté an additional minute.
  2. Add the ground turkey meat, cumin, salt and chili powder and cook for 6-7 minutes until cooked through. Place turkey mixture aside and cool.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg and sour cream together. Add the cooled turkey mixture, carrots, corn and cilantro and mix to combine.
  4. Spread a 1 cup of salsa on the bottom of the crock pot.
  5. Layer 5 tortillas on top of the salsa, cutting them if necessary to fit the crock pot and covering the salsa completely.
  6. Place half the turkey mixture on top of the tortillas and top with 1 cups of salsa and 1/2 cup of cheese.
  7. Add another layer of 3 tortillas on top of the cheese. Pour the remaining turkey mixture on top of the tortillas and top with another 1/2 cup of cheese.
  8. Top the lasagna with another layer of tortillas, pour the remaining salsa on top and cover with 1 cup of cheese.
  9. Cook on low for 2 1/2 hours & then serve!

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we’d love to hear about your little eater(s) in the comments below…. or perhaps a tip you might have to share!

<3 . rae

(images by stacy jacobsen)

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muffin tin meatloaves

One of my favorite parts of fall and winter months is making  c o m f o r t   f o o d .  Every part of the process brings a little bit of warmth into the home, from the ingredients to the baking and then finally the eating.  So good.

Since it’s been cooling off quickly in the evenings around here, I decided to fire up the oven and reunite the fam bam with a delicious and updated version of individual turkey meatloaves.

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They devoured them, asked for seconds, and were so full by the end of the meal that they didn’t even ask for dessert.

It’s also an easy recipe for the kids to help with.

And because the mini loaves need 45 minutes in the oven, there is plenty of time for them to help you clean up and set the table!

Click the image above to download the recipe.

It’s also part of the spread’s monthly meal plan for October.  You should join us if you haven’t already!?  The menu get’s posted today and for the first time features a filled out shopping list.

Before you go, let us know what your favorite comfort food is, in the comments below!  Mine would be pumpkin spice latte’s, but I’m not so sure that counts (te, he.).

xo . rae

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homemade pancake mix recipe

Every time I make something that comes in a can, jar, box or bag at the grocery store, from scratch, I’m amazed at how easy it is and delicious it turns out.  It also makes me feel like I live on a farm… and farms are cool.

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Making pancakes from scratch is extra easy because you make a large batch of mix all at once and then use part of it to make the pancake batter.  Just like you would a bag of krusteaz or bisquick, but without the extra ingredients that are impossible to pronounce.

If you would like to join us on our make-believe farm (please say yes!), here’s a recipe my mom and I whipped up:

HOMEMADE PANCAKE MIX (makes about 5 batches)
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour (NOTE: you can substitute for all-purpose flour)
2 cups powdered milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking powder
1 tablespoon salt

1. Mix all ingredients together well and store in an airtight container.  Then use the following recipe to make the batter.

PANCAKE BATTER
2.5 cups homemade pancake mix
2 large eggs
water (about 2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional, but delicious)
2 tablespoons melted butter or oil

1. Whisk together all ingredients, adding water until combined but slightly lumpy!

2. Heat greased skillet or fry pan over medium heat.  Pour about 1/4 cup batter per pancake and cook until golden brown, flipping once.

Sounds good, yes?!  Well, I have a fun post planned for Friday and this recipe will come in handy so be sure to save or pin it!

What is your take on cooking/baking from scratch as opposed to store-bought???  Have you tried it?  Does it seem like too much work?  We would love to hear!

xo . rae (+ gamma jane)
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greek inspired chicken piccata recipe

ever feel like you could really use a happy surprise?  a change of pace? maybe with regards to dinner — and a no-fail chicken and noodles recipe you follow because everyone likes pasta and no one complains about chicken?

i have just the thing.  that will taste like heaven in your mouth.  especially if your down with all the greek flavors.

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say hello to:

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Greek inspired Chicken Piccata over Herbed Noodles

Serves 6 (with chicken leftovers for lunch)
Gluten Free, Dairy Free (if served without Feta)
Prep time: 15 minutes  Cook time: 15 minutes

8- 6 ounce chicken breasts, slightly pounded
1 cup rice flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup chopped, pitted kalamata olives
1 small can artichoke hearts in water, drained and coarsely chopped
2 cups spinach
2/3 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from approx 3 lemons)
2 tablespoons chopped and rinsed capers
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/4 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese

For coating: In medium size bowl, add rice flour, salt, pepper and oregano. Dredge  the chicken breasts in mixture. Set aside.

In skillet, add oil over medium-high heat. Pan fry chicken breast until golden brown on each side. Remove cooked chicken breasts from skillet and drain excess oil.  Remove two of the chicken breasts for a later lunch recipe (see BBQ Chicken Sandwich Recipe). Add chicken breasts back to skillet over medium-high heat and add olives, artichoke hearts, stock, lemon juice and capers. Cook over medium heat until sauce boils and thickens, then reduce heat to medium, add spinach and cook until chicken is cooked thouroughly. Remove from heat and serve family style with parsley and feta.

For noodles (gf if desired), boil according to directions sprinkled with olive oil, lemon juice and chopped parsley, salt and pepper.

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once the noodles are cooked and drained, it’s super easy for the kids to add the herbs and lemon juice and toss together.

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making a fork “cheers” a must before taking a bite.

for more fun and yummy recipes, check out the “EAT” tab along the top of the page….

what has your family been loving to eat lately!?  ice cream and quesadillas totally count.

happy (memorial day) weekend!

xo . rae

// images by stacy jacobsen // recipe by armommy //

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date night in

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date nights (around our house) are not usually a weekly occurrence. however they do happen more than they used to. mostly because over the years we’ve expanded the definition to include afternoon coffee dates, home depot trips (sans kids), crash your friends quiet evening down the street date, and more recently, put the kids down early for a night-in date.

on the menu this past month was a wine and cheese pairing. johan and i had such a fun time (especially considering how easy it was to throw together) that i had to share with you.

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                         C L I C K   H E R E   T O   D O W N L O A D   T H E   M E N U   O P T I O N S

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we opted for a fancy-ish (for us) bottle of chardonnay and paired it with brie and berries.

so simple and delicious and perfect – you should definitely give it a whirl.

have any date night secrets? we’d love for you to share in the comments…

hope you enjoy!! happy monday!

xo . rae

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salted caramel coffee DIY

Um, I will fo-sho be making one of these today….  anyone want to join me?  Happy to make extra.

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 Also, a little hint…

you can pour the caramel over the coffee and ice, but it will clump up a bit.  If that bugs you, pour your coffee, add the caramel, (stir) and then add ice.

To view or download the tags and recipe, click the image below.

Let me know if you have any questions about the tutorial…

So, now that we have our coffee, let’s chat 4th of July!  How was it?

Our day was so full of fun activities  (like a water balloon fight, blind-folded boat race, 3 legged relay…) & delicious food, it was hard to stay awake for fireworks!  Oiy.

Talk soon,

xo . rae

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