another recipe

So, I want to win this contest and I had to make up a recipe using their chicken. I had to take pictures before and after.  I am just going to tell you..it was delicious. Even if I don’t win, we had a good meal!  I wanted to share it with you because a) it’s yummy,  b) it’s easy  and  c) it can easily be enlarged to feed more people.  I like all of those reasons, how about you?

Here it is…Southwestern Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I have also used boneless pork chops…yum)

several tablespoons of butter

salt and pepper

4 teaspoons of fajita or taco seasoning

1 cup prepared salsa

1 cup heavy cream (or half and half if you’d like)

Pound the chicken breasts to 1/2 inch thick. Season both sides of each with salt, pepper and fajita/taco seasoning. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Cook chicken for 4 minutes on each first side and 2-4 minutes on second side or until browned and juices run clear. Remove them from the pan and place on a plate. Tent them with foil. Add salsa to pan and use a whisk to remove the fond (those yummy pieces of “stuff” on the bottom of the pan). Add the cream and whisk continuously. Bring to boil, then turn down to low. Add chicken back to pan but don’t let it stay there any longer than one minute. Place chicken on your plate and spoon some of that delicious sauce on top.

I think you’ll like it. It’s yummy.  The green beans we had with it were also yummy when swimming in that spicy cream sauce. 🙂

Let me know if you try it!

 

~Janna

Advertisements

Impressing myself

The past few nights, I have had a great time cooking. It made me so happy. We had baked potato soup two nights ago. It was super yummy. It’s an adaptation of a recipe I found a long time ago on allrecipes. When I make a ham, I always save a big baggie of  bite-sized cut chunks for this soup in the freezer. If you don’t have it, you can use bacon bits. (but it’s not as good…I’m just going to tell you that now) I didn’t have sour cream this time and it was every bit as good as other times, so I don’t know if I am going to include it from now on. Might as well save some calories, right?

  • 9 baking potatoes
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ham chunks or bacon bits
  • 10 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream

Directions

  1. Prick potatoes with a fork and cook in the microwave, 3 or 4 at a time, and scoop out the flesh (while the others are cooking).
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour and cook about a minute. Whisk in milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in potatoes, salt, pepper, 1/3 cup ham chunks/bacon bits, and most of the cheese. Cook until thoroughly heated. Stir in sour cream and heat through. Serve topped with remaining cheese.
Now, tonight, I made swiss steak which I served over basmati rice. I also made buttermilk biscuits. My youngest picked the veg to go with it so we had corn. 🙂  Here’s the swiss steak recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds round steak, cut into small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • 1 small can tomato sauce and 1 small can tomato juice. And I really mean small.
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, or to taste

Directions

  1. In a shallow bowl, mix the flour, salt, and pepper. Lightly coat the round steak pieces in the flour mixture.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the onion, and carrots about 5 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat, and set aside. Mix in the round steak pieces, and cook until lightly browned.
  3. Place the vegetables and steak in a slow cooker. Mix in the tomatoes with juice, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar.
  4. Cover, and cook 8 to 10 hours on Low, until the round steak is very tender.

This was so good. It’s the first time I have ever made this. There’s not a lot you can do with bottom round steak. It’s cheap and tough. This was so tender, it was unreal. The boys didn’t even seem to notice the grated carrots, so…bonus!

The biscuits are a recipe that came off of an old Tupperware pastry sheet. Oldie but fantastic goodie.  We always double it because we a) love biscuits and b) like tall biscuits. I make them with white flour because every whole wheat flour recipe I have ever tried tasted gross so I just gave up.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup crisco
3/4 cups buttermilk (actual recipe calls for reg milk, but we had buttermilk and they were the best I have ever made)
*Mix dry ingredients. Cut the crisco into the flour mixture, then add milk. Don’t stir it much – I use my hands and shape it about 1.5 inches thick.
Oven to 450. cut with a tall biscuit cutter and bake for about 10-15 minutes – depending on your oven.  Our South Texas oven was pesky.
I loved working in the kitchen, even if it wasn’t my kitchen!
I am thinking about fall all the time and enjoying morning coffee time outside. The hummingbirds seem to have left our neck of the woods, but we have so many other beautiful birds to watch to keep us occupied.  I spend too much time on Pinterest, pinning things I like and imagining what our next home will look like. Imagining that I can change out all my furniture and suddenly my dwelling would look like my favorite dog-eared page of the Pottery Barn catalog.
~Janna

Where have I gone?

This morning, I received a note from a wonderful friend. “Your last blog was in May, are you ever going to write again?”  I really have been thinking about it. It’s time, I think, to let you know where I am in life and in actual location.

 

In August, we packed up everything we owned and moved up to North Texas.  It was hard in so many ways. Most of the ways I can’t even share with you here. We miss our good friends from “down south” and I’ve heard from each of the boys that they miss the beach. It was a hard move. Really, really hard.  We are living with my sweet parents right now until things get back on track for us. Pray for them! I haven’t been doing a lot of baking or cooking or anything but trying to survive.

After we moved, we had about two weeks before we had a trauma of sorts. Mr Darcy wound up in the hospital with ITP. I don’t feel like typing all those words so let me just tell you it’s a blood disorder where the platelets start attacking each other for no real reason. Most of us are walking around with somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000 of those sneaky little platelets on any given day.  The day he ended up in the hospital, he had 5,000. Ugh. He had a special treatment that should have sent his numbers soaring, but instead they went even lower. 2,000.  At that point, I lost it.

I had not cried since the day before we drove out of South Texas. Not one tear. I couldn’t. I couldn’t even access my emotions. I had nothing. I really, really wanted and needed to have a sniffle or two but just couldn’t.  Well, on that second day, honey…Floodgates opened.

I think I cried for hours.

Onward to more recent times. I have stopped crying and Mr Darcy has lots and lots of platelets. He just had an appointment with the oncologist and he gets to start tapering off of the massive amounts of steroids he’s been on there. THAT’S an answer to prayer!  If you have ever been on steroids or know someone who has – they probably weren’t on the ginormous amount he’s been on and they were still wackadoodle.  Enough said 🙂

So, since I’ve been here, I have gained weight, horribly colored my hair (that’s a crazy story in itself) and started school for the boys without most of our stuff.  Here’s what I’ve learned.

1.  I really, really like my stuff

2. I really, really miss my stuff

3. I am really, really thankful for my laptop

4. Life is fragile

5. I love cooking and baking and homemaking and entertaining and I miss it terribly

6. I really, really miss my stuff

7. I discovered that I like watching birds in the backyard  (this is random, but true)

 

Because I am trying to have hope for our future, I read a blog that I haven’t read in a while. Relectant Entertainer. Love her. Love that book.  Anyhow, today she is having a giveaway for a KitchenAid mixer. You should try and win one. Maybe one of us will win it and go on to make all sorts of amazing foods and we can discuss it and it will be so lovely. If you want to check it out, go to:

http://reluctantentertainer.com/2011/09/kitchen-aid-stand-mixer-giveaway-via-usa-today-your-life/

Gorgeous!

I will say that I have been watching the Pioneer Woman on Food Network and have been trying many of  the things she makes on there. Her cookbook is one of the three cookbooks I didn’t pack in storage. Comfort Food. If you win the KitchenAid mixer, maybe you could make those mashed potatoes. They will rock your world. No jokes. And those French Breakfast Puffs are out of this world. Maybe you can see now why I have gained weight, huh?

I think that’s all I have time for on this day.  I have missed you.

~Janna