Chinese Chicken Salad

One of my all time favorite light meals is Chinese Chicken Salad. I always thought it was hard to make, until my friend Emily shared her recipe with me. Wow. So easy and scrumptious. I love it! Crunchy almonds mixed with a slightly sweet, slightly tangy sauce take a plain old bag of coleslaw mix to a whole new level. Rip apart a rotisserie chicken and toss it all together for an incredibly quick and easy delicious meal! I love to make this salad to take camping as well. We take a big batch of this, throw it in the cooler and munch on it for lunch and dinner. Fantastic. [Read more…]

Mediterranean Chicken Bake

This quick casserole includes great flavors like artichokes, tomatoes and olives. Tossed together in with chicken, pasta and cheese it takes boring chicken casserole to a new (delicious) place. It’s an amazing meal for a busy weeknight. You could use any leftover chicken you’ve already cooked, shred up a rotisserie chicken or quickly cook up some fresh chicken to use in this dish. I paired this with my Pear and Feta Salad and some hearty rolls for a perfect easy Friday night meal. Yum yum! [Read more…]

Herbed Pork Tenderloin with Oven Roasted Potatoes

I’ve made pork tenderloin several different ways in the past. I’ve marinated it, put it in the slow cooker, charred it good in a pan with some hot oil – the usual suspects. Yesterday I was feeling a little lazy. If you’ve never cooked one, you might think a roast is a super fancy meal that requires lots of effort. Nope! There’s no better dinner (in my opinion) than a roast when you’re not really feeling like cooking. You throw everything in a pan and stick it in the oven. That’s it. I was drawn to this recipe mostly because it didn’t include searing the meat before placing it in the oven. Honestly, I just wasn’t in the mood to have even one more dish to clean. Yup. Lazy dinner time. [Read more…]

Chicken Noodle Soup Casserole

Chicken noodle soup has to be one of the great comfort foods on the planet. When I’m sick, it makes me feel way better. Even if it’s all in my head, somehow the steamy broth and flavors of chicken, noodles and veggies help me turn the corner towards wellness. The problem is, when I’m not sick, soup is never enough for me at a meal. I know there are people who are totally satisfied with the soup n’ salad thing. I am not one of those folks. I need something with a bit more substance. Which is why I love this recipe. It combines all my favorite comforting soup flavors in a casserole that fills you right up. [Read more…]

Quick Cobbler

First of all. I’m back! I was pounded with the cold/flu season and was basically non-functioning for about 6 weeks. Last week I emerged from my bed to find that the world had changed in my absence. None of my kid’s clothes fit, I couldn’t get shoes on their feet because they too had grown – and I don’t even want to talk about the mountains of laundry. After digging out all last week, I finally feel myself again and am ready to bake! Woo-hoo! Sorry for the total void these past few weeks. It was no fun to be sick that long…and I’m pretty much the worst most pathetic sick person on the planet. It’s true, you can ask my husband.

I had my parents over for dinner last night and threw together this quick and easy cobbler for dessert. If you like biscuit toppings for your cobblers, this isn’t the one for you. It’s more of a cakey cobbler. The prep time is literally about 5 minutes. The batter bakes up around the fruit and the sweet smell will fill your house. You can use any combination of fruit. I used raspberries and peaches. Yuuuumy! [Read more…]

Marinated Baked Pork Chops

Why buy expensive marinades when making your own is so easy? And, you can control the ingredients – add a little heat, spices or whatever you fancy! Take this simple, basic marinade and let your imagination run wild! The key to tender flavorful pork chops is not to over cook them. If they are gray all the way thru, they will be tough and flavorless.  The trick is to cook the chops only until they read 140° on an instant read thermometer. Take them off the heat and allow them to rest about 5 minutes. The internal temperature will rise to 145 – 150° and they will be perfectly juicy with a pale rosy center. Delicious! Paired with some potatoes of your choosing and a veggie, this makes a complete meal in no time that your family will devour.

[Read more…]

Easy Chicken Marinade

This is a quick and easy way to make delicious, flavorful chicken. I use fresh lemon and herbs, but if all you have is the green lemon juice bottle and some dried spices – they’ll work in a pinch. Serve up with some rice and veggies. Perfect, simple, fast meal. Photo of the completed meal is below the recipe – here it is in the Ziploc doing it’s marinade thing while it defrosts.

Easy Chicken Marinade

Rice Crispy Treats

I know what you’re thinking. I don’t need a recipe for rice crispy treats. I’ve made them since I was 12 years old. The recipe is on the back of the cereal box for Pete’s sake! Just hear me out. Have you ever had a rice crispy treat that was too dry? Too skinny? Skimpy on the mallow? Yeah – I think we all have. Cause if you use the recipe on the box, that’s just what you get. So, here it is…my perfected gooey delicious rice crispy treat recipe. It yields big thick buttery marshmallow treats that are as delicious for grown-ups as they are for the munchkins. (click on the pic and look at it reeeeeaaaaaaally big if you don’t believe me) You need a BIG BIG bowl for this recipe though. I’m talking like the one you use for chex mix, or to put tortilla chips in at parties for chip n’ dip. Big.

Gooey Rice Crispy Treats

Rice Crispy Treats

11 1/2 C rice crispies
16 oz marshmallows (mini or big…just a 16 oz bag…not the little 10 oz one)
8 T butter (1 stick)

1. Place stick of butter in a big bowl. Take butter wrapper and use it to lightly grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish. Keep butter wrapper handy.
2. Melt the butter in the microwave in a big bowl. Watch it closely. Take it out when there’s just a little left unmelted, then stir hot butter until all of it melts.
3. Put marshmallows into the same bowl and stir to coat. Melt marshmallows in the microwave, stirring frequently. When mallows are just melted, remove from microwave and add rice crispies to the bowl.
4. Using a rubber spatula, stir until well coated.
5. Using the butter wrapper, press cereal mixture into the prepared 9×13 dish. Allow to cool then cut into squares.

Cheater Cilantro Lime Shrimp

Sometimes, I just don’t feel like an elaborate meal. Thankfully, I have a secret weapon. Costco. A few days ago I picked up a container of cilantro lime shrimp from there, not really sure what I was going to do with it, but certain it would become the base of a simple yet delicious meal. I love shrimp, but do NOT love deveining it, taking off the hard tail part etc. Pre-done? Fabulous! Tonight, I threw it in a pan, added some pineapple and a chopped red bell pepper. Spooned it over rice and voila! Easy, fridge to table in 20 minutes – and only that long because I cook rice like they did in the stone ages…in a pot.

Three Ingredients!

Cilantro Lime Shrimp w/Pineapple and Peppers

1 container cilantro lime shrimp (Costco)
1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1 inch cubes
1 can pineapple chunks, drained – juice reserved
Rice, cooked

Dump shrimp, bell pepper and pineapple chunks into a hot non-stick skillet. Stir fry, adding a little reserved pineapple juice to create an island cilantro lime sauce. Heat thru and serve over rice.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

Broccoli Slaw

I’ve never really been a fan of coleslaw. I dunno, it just doesn’t do it for me. However, the other day I was grocery shopping and saw a bag of broccoli slaw that looked pretty yummy. I was about to put it in my cart when I noticed that it was just broccoli and carrots sliced thinly – and that it was $4.99. Um. Seriously? I decided that surely I could chop veggies that way myself. I mean really, five bucks for a bag of veggies that will cost me about two dollars ?

So, I bought some broccoli (I was getting it anyway for dinner veggies) and a couple of carrots. This week as I’ve made broccoli as a side, I’ve just used the florets (bushy part on top) and saved the stems for slicing. Tonight was leftover night and I whipped up a delicious slaw to go with the variety of foods.

Broccoli Slaw

Tonya’s Broccoli Slaw

2 C Broccoli stems sliced thinly
2 Carrots grated thickly
1/2 C light mayonnaise
2 T plus 2 tsp granulated sugar
2 T cider vinegar
Dash of salt and pepper

Place broccoli and carrots in large bowl. In small bowl, mix mayo, sugar and cider vinegar and whisk with a fork until smooth. Spoon desired amount of dressing over slaw until coated. Enjoy!

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