Simple Kitchen Peppery Potato and Chicken Bowls

I am going to shoot straight with you. I am sitting on my sofa….feet up, on our “spring break”. You see, my wings have been clipped. I am officially a giant pregnant creature that must rest. REST! What is that? AUGH!!!!

But, what I can do is cook, and get caught up with you, my blog readers! So, here is tonights easy recipe that will fit right into your menu planning! Give it a try! It was simple, delicious, comforting, and used up the last of my crockpot baked potatoes (you can find the recipe on this blog) making it cost effective as well!

Simple Kitchen Peppery Potatoes with Chicken and Peas

Ingredients

3 baked potatoes (I used crockpot baked potatoes that I make every week)

1 chicken breast – poached

1 cup cooked peas

1/4 cup chopped onions

1 cup peas

1 tsp pepper

kosher salt

2 tbs olive oil

Directions:

Cut potatoes into 2 inch chunks. Place into LARGE frying pan with 2 tbs olive oil – lightly pepper the potatoes and allow to cook over medium high heat

Cut up the chicken into inch chunks. When potatoes start to crisp, add the chicken and onions and pepper again – this time add a pinch of salt. Turn the potatoes and chicken and onions until the onions start to become clear. (If they start to stick to pan, add a small amount of chicken stock or white wine)

Dish into bowls and top with a sprinkling of cooked peas and another dash of kosher salt. I served mine with a dot ov butter. Enjoy!

Serves 4 medium servings. Cooking time is 30 minutes.

 

Menu Planning 101 in the Simple Kitchen

We all have been there – long day, get home from work, everyone is hungry and the question “What's for dinner” comes up. Often you have no idea. I won't wax dramatic about how much of a pain in the backside this is…trying to decide what to cook. But I DO have a question: When you go to the grocery store – what is it that enters your head as you throw items into the cart if you do not have a plan? I asked myself this as well and my response was a blank stare. I just grabbed the basics then whatever looks good but I did not consider EVERY aspect of a dish! I had a lot of ingredients for half-finished dishes forcing more trips to the store and more money spent! AUGH!

I happen to have, in my aquaintance, a whiz at menu planning! I spoke to her and started small: 7days and one trip to the store, and bought NOTHING more than was on my list. Just starting there my bill went from $130 to $68. THEN, I did 2 weeks…same success same savings. The BIG benefit was that every night I knew what we were eating, I had all the ingredients on hand and the evenings got MUCH more relaxing. So….let me offer you the magical “Steps of Menu Planning”

Of course, you must get all of your resources together. Cookbooks and recipe cards. If you have some items commited to mind – jot them down on cards so that your shopping list is easier to put together. Take your time, do this in the evening while watching TV. It will make menu planning go SO smoothly!

STEPS:

1. Purchase a dry erase calendar. Mine is above and I have it in the kitchen on a book-holding stand that I purchased at Ross. It looks elegant and fits the decor! Menu should be on display for everyone – it is FUN to get excited about dinner!

2. Sit down with cookbooks, recipes, and your personal calendar and those of the family – place your events into your calendar. Also – make note of days that you will all get in late, or you may be tired – those are GREAT days to select a crockpot recipe so that you can get home, and EAT! Plus there is little clean up!

4. Enter nights you will eat out or have dinner plans elsewhere. This is fun because you can plan dates this way!!

5. Enter Crockpot or slow cooking meals.

6. Look at previous months items – select some that you know you would like to see again! Place those items in the calendar.

NOTE: Place recipes with less hearty veggies on the first week, and recipes with less delicate veggies in the second week to prevent spoilage!

7. Add new recipes – these are great for Sundays, or days that you rarely work late. You need a little more focus those days!

8. Write the grocery list – based on next 7 days or 14 days. I suggest trying to do 14 days – a whole weekend without grocery shopping is an indulgence!

9. SHOP! Stick to the list – remember that you may need 2 gallons of milk, etc if shopping for 2 weeks – remember your snack items as well as breakfast items.

If I can offer ANY advice it would be to please try new items, and to keep shuffling them around. Focus on seasonal vegetables and fruits and really look at how balanced your meals are. Try to enjoy a few meatless meals here and there and try new forms of proteins. Sandwich 2 tried and true meals with a new flavor/recipe for the kids! Open everyones minds to what it out there…and abundance of delicious meals!

~I would like to thank Melissa Baran for her assistance in creating the steps to meal planning with me and joining me on Simple Kitchen with Missy Maki on AM 860 for a 2 hour show about Menu Planning~

 

Meyer Lemon Scones

I have this fantasy of what life should be like, and I also know what life is really like.  Here is my fantasy:

Now, this in fact, was a scone breakfast I enjoyed on a weekday morning. What you DON’T see is my husband scurrying around looking for his keys – the news blaring on the TV and me texting with my mother.

We can all strive to have lives like the ones styled in most blogs, but I want you to know that behind my photos is a large, raucous, REAL life. One filled with dishwashers that need to be unloaded, clothes that need to be folded, and 2 people who are incredibly in love and embrace every moment of their insane lifestyle.

So – be hectic!  Be crazy!  Embrace the fact that life is NOT a blog post!

Meanwhile..why not have a delicious scone?

Meyer Lemon Scones

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cuup Meyer Lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated Meyer Lemon peel
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbs milk
  • 1/4 tsp lemon extract

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add buttermilk, lemon peel, and lemon juice stirring just until mixed.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead gently six times. Shape into a ball. On a greased baking sheet, pat dough into a circle about 1/2 in thick and 8-1/2 in. in diameter. Using a sharp knife, cut wedges in the dough, being careful not to cut all the way through. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
  3. For glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar whisked with 1 tbs of milk and 1/4 tsp lemon extract - drizzle over cooled scones!
http://www.mrsmakicooks.com/2013/03/05/meyer-lemon-scones/

A Season of Change….

Winter turns into spring, and everything changes.

I have changed.

Not just my body, my brain and way of thinking is changing. Gone is the carefree girl who longs for late nights and drinking Pinots until I am seeing double. Parties that last until 3am with karaoke blasting out the back of our home. These things are memories of a different time and a different Missy. A life I am happy to shed, but promise to retain the memories so that I can regale my kids with them when they are older.

I long for warm, balmy nights in the back yard by the fire-pit with my closest friends, their spouses and children. I long for potluck gourmet dinners in our home that is bustling with laughter and chaotic joy.

Food and wine still take a center stage, but the picture has changed. The surroundings of the enjoyments of my palate look differently. Evenings end sipping green tea, and singing lullaby’s to my beautiful children who are exhausted from running around with their friends as we watch and talk about our careers and balancing life.

I look at my husband differently. The things that I fell in love with – his heart, beautiful smile and passion have changed. I see him as an example that I am happy my children will look up to, I see his heart as something that will live in my children, and his squinty eyes that make me giggle, will melt my heart in a whole new capacity from the two babies that will join us in 4 months. He is the father of my children. My rock. Our rock.

The changes are surprising to me. But they are welcome. This Season of Change is LONG overdue.