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Baked Balsamic Glazed Chicken Caprese

Thursday, August 31, 2017



This recipe is super easy  to put together on busy weeknights.  I usually have all of the ingredients on hand. The balsamic glaze is very simple to make, but you can buy balsamic glaze if you prefer. I use light brown sugar for the balsamic glaze, but you can use 1 T of honey as well. Just let it reduce to a thickened glaze to  drizzle over the chicken.

Baked Balsamic Glazed Chicken Caprese

Ingredients
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T olive oil or melted butter
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
4-6 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
12 fresh basil leaves, julienned
balsamic glaze (recipe follows)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. I a small bowl, mix together the olive oil ( or melted butter), basil, oregano , pepper,  and salt .
3. Place the chicken in a shallow baking dish and brush the olive oil mixture over the chicken .
4. Bake the chicken for 35-40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Top each chicken breast evenly with shredded cheese, halved tomatoes and julienned basil. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze.
5. Serve hot.

Balsamic Glaze
1/2 c balsamic vinegar
2 T packed light brown sugar or 2 T honey

In a small saucepan , bring the balsamic vinegar and the brown sugar (or honey)  to a low boil until it has been reduced by half . About 8-10 minutes . Cool completely.

Slow Cooker Potato Soup

Tuesday, August 29, 2017



School started a few weeks ago here in WV. The boys have already started their fall sports practices and we are carpooling and running all over to practices, scrimmages and games. 
We still like to sit down and eat as a family, albeit later in the evening. Slow cooker meals are a life saver for hurried weekdays. This potato soup is a staple slow cooker meal on our rotation. So easy to throw together in the morning.  I have used both frozen diced potatoes or the frozen hashbrowns. Both work well, but I prefer the hashbrowns. They cook down amd make the soup a bit creamier. If you like chunks of potatoes in your soup, go with the diced ones. 

SLOW COOKER POTATO SOUP

Ingredients 
 1 30oz bag frozen hashbrown potatoes
1/2 c chopped onion
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 cans low sodium chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 package cream cheese
Shredded cheddar cheese

Directions
1. Combine all ingredients except the cream cheese and shredded cheese in a slow cooker. 
2. Mix well and cook on low  6 to 8 hours .
3. The last 30 minutes of cooking, add the cream cheese. 
4. Stir well until the soup is smooth and all of the cream cheese has melted into the soup.
5. Spoon into bowls and add shredded cheese.

Old Fashioned Sloppy Joes

Wednesday, August 16, 2017







In my opinion,you can't get more kid friendly than sloppy joes. My husband and sons love these things.I have a few recipes that I use,but this one gets the most compliments from them.The perfect tangy ,tomato-y sandwich. This recipe used sweet relish,which I love in my sloppy joes. I double the recipe and there is enough for lunches the next day. ** The longer it simmers to meld the flavors,the better.

Old Fashioned Sloppy Joes

  • 2 lbs ground chuck
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 6 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 2 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 hamburger buns, toasted
  1. Brown ground chuck and onion in a large nonstick skillet, stirring until meat crumbles; drain.
  2. Stir in ketchup and next 5 ingredients.
  3. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Spoon meat mixture over bottom halves of buns; top with remaining halves.

Beef & Broccoli

Wednesday, August 9, 2017




Summer is winding down , the kids have started football practice in the afternoons and school starts in a few short weeks. Which for me means slow cooker meals.  Fortunately  both kids are in the same school this year, so they will both be home at the same time, which will make dinner a whole lot easier than when they were home in shifts. I tend to rely on slow cooker meals to feed them a few nights a week. This beef and broccoli has been a staple dinner for us for years. Chinese food always gets smiles from them and this recipe is no exception. If my older boys are home I will double this recipe and use my large oval slow cooker, but now that there are just 4 of us at home, one recipe seems to work for us if I also make a salad and bread.
For the broccoli, I buy a bag of steamable broccoli and microwave it  for half the time it states  (you don't want the broccoli too mushy) and put the broccoli into the slow cooker the last 30 to 45 minutes of cooking.  If you do not have fresh ginger , just use ginger powder. A few shakes to your taste. Or you can leave out the ginger altogether,  but I always use it. It makes the sauce super flavorful. Serve the beef over steamed rice and you have a great weeknight meal.

Beef & Broccoli

Ingredients
1 1/2 lbs flank steak, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic,minced
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 brown sugar, packed
1 T sesame oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 T cornstarch
4 cups broccoli, steamed
White rice, prepared

Directions

1.In a slow cooker, add strips of flank steak, onions, garlic and ginger.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together beef broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil and red pepper flakes until the sugar has dissolved. Pour sauce over the steak in the slow cooker.

3. Cook on low 3 to 4 hours. After 4 hours, remove about 1/4 cup of the liquid from the slow cooker and whisk in 2 T of cornstarch until smooth. Add back to the crockpot and stir.

4. Add the steamed broccoli and stir well. Cook for another 30 minutes and serve the beef and broccoli over rice.

Fire and Ice Pickles

Tuesday, August 1, 2017



You guys!  have no idea why I haven't shared this recipe with you before. I have made these yummy pickles for years and every time I do, I fall in love with them all over again. These pickles are so easy to make . Just mix, let sit and refrigerate. No canning involved. I promise these things are addictive. They are sweet and crunchy when you first taste them. But then the hot kicks in from the Tabasco and red chili pepper flakes. And oh man! You just can't  eat just one.  These make great hostess gifts and Christmas gifts for teachers and neighbors.

* note * use hamburger chips , not kosher dill slices. The kosher dills leave a weird aftertaste. I find the 32oz jars of hamburger pickles at Aldi . They are perfect for this recipe.

Fire & Ice Pickles
Ingredients
32 oz jar sliced dill pickles ( I use hamburger chips)
2 c sugar
1 T Tabasco Sauce ( or other hot sauce)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes ( I use a bit more. I like the heat)
1 clove garlic, whole

Directions
1. In a medium bowl, add all ingredients and mix well.
2. Cover the pickles and let them stand for two hours.
3. Stir the pickles well and transfer all ( pickles and juice) to a jar.
4.Store in the refrigerator. Will keep for a few weeks .

Liz