What I've Been Cooking: Part 1 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 24 March 2014 14:21

It almost pains me to say this, but I have slowly been moving away from The Pioneer Woman's recipes. I know, I know. I have made my husband so incredibly happy by using her recipes. But guess what? They are not super healthy. And I am trying desperately to help my family eat better, so that means cutting WAY back on the processed foods in our diet. My husband has been doing a great job of eating healthy, but I am a bit more hesitant to give up my breads, cheeses and pastas. I can give up the sweets no problem. But I need those comfort foods! So, I have decided to branch out and find some healthy yet tasty recipes. And boy howdy, I have hit the jackpot with the blog 100 Days of Real Food.

The author has been on a "real" food diet (aka: not processed) for several years now and shares some wonderful real food recipes over on her blog. What I love is that she doesn't give up entire food groups. The most important thing to her is using real ingredients. Whole wheat flour instead of white flour, honey instead of sugar, fresh organic fruits and veggies instead of canned, whole wheat pastas ... You get the picture. And not only are her recipes healthy, so far they have been absolutely delicious. I am mainly using her recipes, but also finding some good ones on Pinterest too, so I thought I would periodically come over here and do a blog post about the recipes that have been a big fat win for our family. :)

Let's get started, shall we?

Hello and welcome to the first episode of What I've Been Cooking. I am your irregular blog host, Amy Lynn.


First up on our list is a wonderfully simple Whole Wheat Cheddar Garlic Drop Biscuit. These mix up very quickly with one bowl and a fork, and after about 20 minutes in the oven they are read to gobble up! These are the first whole wheat biscuits I have tried and actually LIKED. They got RAVE reviews from my family, so I will definitely be making these on a semi regular basis!


Next we have a moist muffin that tastes a little bit like autumn. Which is rather nice in the spring time! This Whole Wheat Carrot Applesauce Muffin is now our new go-to muffin recipe. Gone are the days of boxed blueberry muffins ... this has won me over! The only time consuming thing about this recipe is shredding the carrots, but that honestly doesn't even take up too much time. Unless all you have in the fridge happens to be a bag of baby carrots. (Don't be like me.)


A new dinner favorite in our house is this yummy Mushroom and Kale Pasta. Daniel and I scarfed this down in an embarrassingly short amount of time. (Which is the reason for me not having a picture.) It was just SO good. So good, in fact, that my husband declared it to be his second favorite meal that I make and he is counting down the days until I make it again. And for him to say this means it really is delicious. He has pretty high standards as far as his food is concerned. I have spoiled him, and I sometimes regret it. ;)  My six year old didn't like it, but he hates all white sauce pasta dishes, so this was no surprise to me. My three year old ate it up though! This was a huge winner in our books. It's definitely going on our regular meal rotation!



I came across this recipe on Pinterest and oh my GOSH am I glad that I did! These little no bake energy bites are the perfect snack. They are made with simple ingredients, all of which I had on hand, and the honey gives them just the right amount of sweetness. I have curbed quite a few chocolate cravings by eating a couple of these things. The boys love them too, so that is another plus!


And last for today is a recipe for Dark Chocolate Whole Wheat Brownie. (Sorry, no picture with this one either.) These are not the tastiest things I ever made, but the kids liked them, so they will do! They are pretty dense and not as sweet or rich as good ole Betty Crocker brownies, but they have REAL ingredients and are not nearly as bad for you either, so I am satisfied! One thing I really like about this recipe is that it doesn't make a whole heck of a lot. When I make a dessert I don't need it sitting around the house all week. This recipe makes a small batch of brownies that won't linger and tempt you for too terribly long. :)


Anyway, there are some of the healthy recipes I have been trying lately. I will try and share more of our favorite recipes in a week or so!

Garlic Chicken Recipe PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 14:02

Due to the fact that it is a ridiculously easy meal, we have grilled chicken about once a week. But lately I have been bored with our usual marinade. I desperately needed to branch out and find something new, but I wanted to keep it an easy meal. So one day, about an hour before dinner, I did a quick google search for chicken recipes and found one for garlic chicken over at food.com. And you guys, it was AWESOME. I was amazed at how juicy and delish that chicken was. Especially for only using four ingredients!

So here is what you need:

First up you need four chicken breasts. I like boneless and skinless.

And yes, I realize this is only three, but they were big and it was all I had in the freezer this week. Just know the recipe is supposed to be for four!


Next you need three teaspoons of olive oil


Four cloves of garlic


And three tablespoons of brown sugar.


Mince the garlic and throw it in a pan with the olive oil. Saute until tender.


Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the brown sugar.


Now, line a baking pan with foil. I didn't do this the first time and I really regretted it. Burned chicken juice all over my pan takes forever to clean. Just in case you are wondering.


Place your chicken in the pan and cover with the brown sugar and garlic mixture.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 500 for 15-30 minutes. (It's closer to 25-30 minutes for me.)


And wala! Golden garlic-y goodness.


Serve it with mashed potatoes, white rice or, my personal favorite,The Pioneer Woman's baked macaroni and cheese.

Mmmm. I'm getting hungry.

Make this soon. It's yum. :)


Garlic Chicken

Preheat oven to 500 and line a baking dish with foil.

Saute garlic with oil until tender. Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar.

Place chicken breast in prepared baking dish and cover with garlic and brown sugar mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Bake uncovered for 15-30 minutes, or until cooked all the way through.

Serve immediately and enjoy!


Teriyaki Chicken PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 03:00

Back when Micaiah first came into the world, my sweet friend Corrie prepared us a wonderful meal consisting of teriyaki chicken and rice. We loved it, and I was needing some chicken inspiration (the same grilled chicken recipe every week can only last so long without driving a person crazy). So, I begged and pleaded for the recipe. She happily gave it to me, and this recipe quickly found it's way into our regular meal rotation. It's simple and delicious, and it requires ingredients that I usually always have on hand. Win-win-win!


Here are the ingredients you will be needing.


Start with a pound of chicken. (This is a little bit over a pound, but it's close enough.) Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and place them in a gallon zip lock bag. Set the chicken aside while you mix the other ingredients together.


Next you will need 1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 1/4 cup of water and 1/3 cup of vegetable oil.

Pretend I have vegetable oil in the picture. I got done taking pictures and looked over at the counter and saw the poor little vegetable oil sitting all by it's lonesome. I was NOT about to set everything up again. So, you'll just have to use your imagination.

Side Note #1: In regards to soy and teriyaki sauce, I have found that most of the store brands don't contain as much junk as the more expensive kinds. This is not always the case. So, make sure to check the ingredient list and do a quick comparison. The fewer chemicals in our bodies the better!


Next up is 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 4 minced garlic cloves and 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (The amount of cayenne pepper determines how much of a "kick" the chicken has. We like to use closer to 1/4 teaspoon!)


Take all of those ingredients and dump them in a bowl together.


Whisk them together until they are thoroughly blended.


Now, take the bag-o-chicken pieces you cut up earlier and pour the mixture into the bag.


Seal the bag up nice and tight.  Then put it in the fridge for a few hours. You want to give it at LEAST an hour to marinate, but honestly it's best if you can give it around four to six hours. (I usually stick with marinating it for three to four hours seeing as how I can never seem to decide what we are eating for dinner that far in advance.)


When the chicken is nice and marinated take out a good sized frying pan (I got this big one from Target a while back. It's perfect for this!), add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and turn the heat on medium/low. You don't want it too hot or it will start splattering once the chicken is added. So, be mindful of that. Once the oil has had a couple minutes to heat up add the chicken pieces.

Side Note #2: Don't just dump the whole bag of chicken into the pan. You want to add the chicken, not the sauce. I like to grab a large slotted spoon and scoop the chicken out of the bag, that way the marinade can say in the bag where it belongs.

Side Note #3: Please excuse the quality of these frying pan pictures. Our new range hood basically has yellowish spotlights over each eye on my stove, so it makes picture taking a little challenging.


Give the chicken 2 - 3 minutes to cook on that side and the flip each piece over to start cooking on the other side!


After that side has cooked for 2-3 minutes take the bag of marinade and pour it all over the chicken pieces.

Excuse my poor pouring picture. It was a bit tricky pouring and snapping a picture at the same time. This is the best I could come up with without growing an extra appendage!


Now turn the heat to low and let it simmer for 10 - 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.


And this is the finished product! You can serve this over noodles or rice, but this particular time I served it with a Quinoa and Broccoli casserole I found on Pinterest. It was good, but I definitely prefer white rice cooked in salt, butter, parsley and basil with some black eyed peas on the side. Scrumptious!

Here is the recipe without all of my ramblings. :) Enjoy!

Teriyaki Chicken

  • 1 lb of chicken
  • 1/4 c soy sauce and 1/4 c teriyaki (but you could always use 1/2 c of either)
  • 1/3 c veg oil
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne or however much you want really
  • 4 minced garlic cloves

Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and place in a gallon zip lock bag. Set aside. Mix all ingredients together and pour into the bag of chicken. Marinate in the fridge for 4-6 hours. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on med/low heat. Add chicken pieces and cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add marinade and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Potato Soup PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 16 January 2012 08:07

I don't know about you, but one of my most favorite cold weather meals is potato soup. My husband and I are not huge soup fans in general (too many veggies, not enough substance), but chunky, tasty potato soup really hits the spot. A while back I got a recipe from a friend on facebook and Daniel and I both loooooooved it. I have been using it for over a year now, so I thought it was about time I shared it with you people! And the timing is pretty great, because we are having some pretty chilly weather for being down south.

30 degree temperatures? Bring on the soup!


The ingredients: 3 large potatoes (about four cups chopped), milk, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, real bacon bits and cheddar cheese.

My (Current) Favorite Recipes PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 07 November 2011 08:06

I am currently obsessed with shopping for wooden toys. I have spent a quite a few hours this weekend searching Etsy for Christmas gifts for Micaiah, so excuse the brief post. I have got to get back to my wooden toy search. It is way too much fun!

I have recently had a few people ask me for recipes and it made me realize that my recipe section of my blog has been severely neglected. So, I apologize for that. But goodness, it is so difficult for me to remember to take pictures while I am cooking. Usually I have a baby on my hip or crawling around at my feet and a preschooler running laps around the kitchen to see how quickly he can get on my last nerve, so adding the camera to my chaos doesn't even cross my mind. But lucky for you all I am an avid Instagram user and have taken pictures of some of the recipes that have made it into our regular meal schedule!

So here is the first (and possibly only) installment of My Current Favorite Recipes.


1) First up we have a breakfast item. I don't have a whole heck of a lot of time to make breakfast for myself, but a couple times a week I will scramble some eggs after the boys are done with their breakfast. I loooove cheesy scrambled eggs. My tummy is rumbling just thinking about them!

Here is the link to the cheesy eggs recipe.

And in case you wanted to know, I don't add chives and I use Monterrey, Jack and Colby cheese instead of Parmesan.


2) Next up is soup. My husband is not a fan of soup (mainly because its not a hearty meal), but he really doesnt like the taste of most of them. You see, soup usually contains lots of veggies and he doesn't like most of the veggies that would be in a typical soup. He is a pretty picky eater. But broccoli is one of the veggies that he really enjoys, so I decided to try my hand at making broccoli soup! He really enjoyed it, but was hungry an hour later. So he still declared that soup should not be counted as a "meal" but gave the soup two thumbs up for taste! :P

Here is the link to the Broccoli and Cheese Soup.

And for obvious reasons I left out the carrot and onion. Still turned out great!



3) One of our new favorite vegetable dishes is Cauliflower Gratin. It is SO good. The combined flavors of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, heavy cream, nutmeg and homemade breadcrumbs all on top of cooked cauliflower? YUM. Though now that I think about it the heavy cream probably cancels out anything nutritious that you may be eating in this dish. Ah well... It's delish!!

Here is the link to Cauliflower Gratin.



4) And don't even get me started on this next dish. This Chicken Parmesan is RIDICULOUS. Easy to prepare and oh-my-gosh-so-good. Daniel seriously thanks me all through dinner every time I make this. Our tummies just get so happy. It is just perfect served on top of some angel hair pasta! Please give this recipe a chance. I had never made Chicken Parmesan before and this was just SO easy. And have I mentioned how wonderful it tastes? Yeah. It is heavenly.

Here is the recipe for Chicken Parmesan.



5) Now is time for a dessert favorite. And just for the record, this is by NO means my favorite. I can't eat them because of all the dairy that is in them, but everyone else seems to drool over them so I think it is safe to blog about. :) These are fairly easy to make, but a little time consuming. You gotta let it chill in the fridge for a couple hours then cut into bars, then decorate with chocolate, THEN let it chill again. But it's worth it. I usually chill the first time overnight that way my whole afternoon is not consumed with these things. It makes a lot, so do NOT make these if you are going to be at home alone for a weekend. You will have zero self control and your tummy will hate you the next day. These are rich!!

Here is the recipe for Oreo Cheesecake Bites!


That's it for now, folks. Let me know if you try any of these! I will give you more of my favs sometime in the near future!

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