Chicken Vegetable Stir Fry

Chicken Vegetable Stir Fry

One of my favorite things about summer is all of the fresh fruits and vegetables, and I’m lucky enough to have a farmer’s market right down the street! Although the veggies I used in this recipe aren’t specific to summer, you could easily substitute whatever you have on hand. I haven’t included any instructions for rice because everyone prefers different kinds and you can serve it over whatever you like. I will say, however, that I always make extra rice when making stir fry so that any leftovers can be turned into fried rice the following day….yummy!

Chicken Vegetable Stir Fry

2 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieced

1/2 head of broccoli, chopped

3-4 large carrots, sliced

1/4 of large red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup teriyaki sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon honey Dijon dressing (I used hidden valley brand)

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp French tarragon

1/4 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

pepper to taste


In a large skillet, over medium heat, sauté chicken in olive oil until cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside. Add broccoli, carrots, onion, and garlic to pan. Sauté for about 5 minutes then return chicken to pan. In a small bowl, mix remaining ingredients and pour over chicken and veggies. Let simmer in sauce for 10-15 minutes more, depending on how soft you like your veggies. Serve over rice.

*Note: this sauce is kind of sweet but if you prefer less sweet, cut out the honey. We thought it was the perfect mix of sweet and salty.

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Rich Banana Bread

Banana b

I am a huge fan of quick breads, and although pumpkin is my favorite, this banana bread is definitely a close second.  It is moist and so flavorful.  My 18 month old daughter was saying “mmmmm” the whole time she was eating it!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Rich Banana Bread

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice, mix well.  Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Stir into butter mixture until smooth.  Fold in the sour cream, walnuts (if using), and bananas.  Spread evenly into prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 60* minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.  Cool loaf in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
*I might cut the baking time down to 50-55 minutes. The banana bread was very moist and definitely not burnt but the edges were a little darker than I usually like.
This recipe was adapted from allrecipes.
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Chicken and Mushroom Pockets

Chicken and Mushroom Pockets

I’ve been dealing with morning sickness for the last 3 months and I’m finally feeling like cooking again.  To get myself back in the kitchen, I decided to do something quick and easy.  These Chicken and Mushroom Pockets were the perfect, and even my picky 1 year old liked them.

Chicken and Mushroom Pockets

1 (8 oz.) block cream cheese, softened

1 Tbsp. butter, softened

1 (12.5 oz.) can chunked chicken

1 ½ cups mushrooms, sliced

¼ cup onion, diced

¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese

½ tsp. Greek seasoning

¼ tsp. pepper

Salt to taste

1 can crescent rolls

1 Tbsp. melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix cream cheese and butter until thoroughly blended.  Stir in chicken, mushrooms, onion, cheese, and seasonings.  Set aside.

On a large cookie sheet, roll out crescent dough and divide into 4 rectangles.  Pinch perforated edges to down the center of each rectangle to seal and widen the rectangles with your hands (I did this by smashing).  Spoon about 1/3 to ½ cup of cream cheese mixture into the center of each rectangle.  Pull up 4 corners of the rectangles to the center of the mixture and pinch the edges to seal.  Brush tops of pockets with melted butter and bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. 

Note:  this recipe makes twice as much filling as you need for one can of crescent rolls so you can either use 2 cans or save the other half for later.  I plan on using the rest of mine in a pasta dish



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Gingerbread Truffles

Gingerbread Truffles

So it’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted and I wanted to get back into the swing of things with a tasty holiday treat.  These came together after making a batch of Oreo cookie truffles (which I will also be posting soon) and thinking about how I could use similar ingredients to create a gingerbread version.  I hope you love these as much as my family did!

Gingerbread Truffles
16 oz box ginger snaps (or approx 72 ginger snaps)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup white frosting
8 oz white chocolate

Crush the ginger snaps either in a food processor or by hand until they are fine crumbs.  Mix ginger snap crumbs with softened cream cheese, molasses, and white frosting (the easiest way to do this is with your hands…it’s pretty messy but so worth it!).  Roll the mixture into small balls, approx 1 inch wide, and place on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper.  Freeze the balls for about 30 minutes (this step is really important or your truffles will not survive the next step).  Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler and dip the frozen balls in the melted chocolate.  The easiest way to do this is to drop them in, roll them around with a spoon and then scoop them out.  Place back on the wax paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until chocolate has hardened.  Store in refrigerator.  For the decorative topping, I melted colored candy melts in the microwave and drizzled them on.

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Photo Coasters DIY

Photo Coasters

So the holiday season is still a few months away, but this year, I have decided to try making most of our Christmas gifts.  Living on a budget makes Christmas an extra stressful time of year, so I thought I could cut some of that stress, and save some money by making my own gifts.  I started searching online for ideas, trying to avoid the standard embroidered pillow case or basket of homemade quick breads, and I found some very unique and creative projects that are simple enough anyone can do them.  This is the first one I have attempted and I am happy to say they look fabulous!!  Before we get to the instructions, let me just say that I consider my skills in crafting to be beginner at best…so if I can make these, I know you can too.  Oh, I almost forgot the best part…I made three sets of these for less than $8 total!!

What you’ll need:

4×4 tiles (we used ceramic but tumbled stone would work also)
Mod Podge
Printer paper (not photo paper, just plain white paper)
Foam Brush
Water Based Polycrylic (we used clear satin)
Felt bumpers (3/8 inch)

Step 1:  Choose the photos you would like to use and print them off.  There are 2 different ways to make your photos fit the tile.  If you have photo editing software, you can scale the pictures to fit the tile.  We just printed the photos in 4×6, measured, then cut out the part we wanted.  You can size your photos to 4×4 and they will cover the entire front of your tile or you can leave a border like we did.  Our pictures are 1/4 inch smaller all the way around.

Step 2:  Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the tile with the foam brush.

Step 3:  Center the photo over the tile (this is especially important if you are using photos the exact same size as the tile).  Press the photo onto the tile.  While the Mod Podge is still wet, you will be able to move the photo a little bit to get it centered.  Using your fingers, work any air bubbles out of the photo (if you have Mod Podge on your fingers, it might smear the ink on the photo so use a cloth instead).  Let them dry for 5 or 10 minutes.

Step 4:  Apply a coat of Mod Podge over the surface of the tile.  Allow to dry for 30 minutes to an hour.  Then apply a coat of Polycrylic and let dry overnight.

Step 5:  Apply felt bumpers to the bottom of the tile.

And Voila!!  You have a set of coasters that no one else in the world will have!  We are also going to be making a rack to store and display the coasters.  I will post a tutorial for that as soon as it is finished.  Happy Crafting!!

Adapted from Crunchy Betty, who is awesome and has some really neat stuff…go check her out!


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Summer Salad

Summer Salad

After a very enjoyable trip to our local farmer’s market this past Saturday, I had this bag full of gorgeous, ripe tomatoes.  I was thinking of how to best use them when it hit me…nothing goes better with tomatoes than more tomatoes! So why not make a salad that features them as the main ingredient?  It was knock-your-socks-off good!  You cannot beat the flavor of garden-fresh tomatoes, and if you have a farmer’s market in your area, I encourage you to shop there.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the prices are similar to, if not better than the grocery store.  So it’s CENTSIBLE and you’re supporting your local farmers!

Summer Salad

4 large tomatoes, chopped
5 green onions, diced
1 (15 oz) can corn, drained
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 Tbsp Raita Yogurt mix*
1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
Salt to taste (about 1/4 tsp)

In a large bowl combine all ingredients.  Toss and serve.

*Raita Yogurt mix is a spice blend created by Kurry King.  It features ground cumin, ground fennel, and onion powder along with other herbs and spices.  You can substitute these spices, but the blend was so good I would recommend buying it.

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Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp

Fall is my absolute favorite season…it has the best weather, the best holidays, and of course the best food!  I know it’s still a few months away, but I was needing a Fall fix to tide me over so I’m sharing my mom’s recipe for Apple Crisp.  When I was visiting my parents on Sunday, my mom got out her Better Homes and Gardens Jr Cookbook that she has had since she was a child.  She still uses the same recipe to make this delicious treat, and I’ve never had better!

Apple Crisp
3 medium-size apples
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease an 8-inch round pan with a bit of butter.  Peel and core apples.  Slice thin and place in round pan.  Mix oats, sugar, and flour.  Mix butter in with your fingers.  Mixture will be crumbly.  Cover apples with mixture and bake for about 35 minutes.

*If you like, you can add cinnamon and nutmeg to the mixture.  Probably about 1/2 tsp of each would be perfect.
**Also, if you’re pressed for time, you can use a can of apple pie filling instead of of fresh apples and cut the baking time down to 20-25 minutes.

Check it out; the original recipe.

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Black Bean Corn Salsa

Black Bean Corn Salsa

During the peak of summer, when temperatures are soaring and makeup melts off your face every time you even look outside, you may not feel like standing over a hot stove.  This simple salsa keeps your house cool and your belly full…you can use it as a dip, roll it up in some tortillas with a little sour cream and cheese, jazz up a salad, or grab a spoon and just dig in!

Black Bean Corn Salsa

1 (15 oz) can corn, drained
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/3 cup red pepper, diced (I usually use a whole jalapeno, seeded and diced, but I didn’t have one this time and the red pepper was very delicious in it’s place)
1 lime
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chipotle powder (this adds heat so you can add less if you’re not a fan of spicy foods)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl combine corn, black beans, red onion, and red pepper.  Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice over the vegetables.  Add vegetable oil, cumin, chipotle powder, fresh cilantro, salt, and pepper.  Toss to combine.  Refrigerate until needed (it is better if you make it a few hours before you eat it so all of the flavors have a chance to combine).

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Slow Cooker Parmesan Honey Pork Roast

Slow Cooker Parmesan Honey Pork Roast

So I have a confession….this is the first time in my life that I have cooked pork.  I mean, sure I’ve cooked bacon and heated up hot dogs, but actual pork roasts, chops, or ribs I have never ventured to try. We never really cooked with pork in my house growing up so I’ve always been a bit uncertain about it.  Well after seeing how inexpensive it was, and finding this delicious recipe on Six Sister’s Stuff, I had to give it a try.  It was amazing!!  The pork was fall apart tender and the sauce was so flavorful!  It was excellent with a side of mashed potatoes.

Slow Cooker Parmesan Honey Pork Roast


1 (2-3 pound) boneless pork roast
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup honey
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp dried basil
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Place roast in slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the cheese, honey, soy sauce, basil, oregano, thyme, garlic, Dijon mustard, oil and salt; pour over pork. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160°.
Remove meat to a serving platter; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking juices; transfer to a small saucepan. Bring liquid to a boil. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Gradually stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Slice roast; serve with gravy.

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Avocado Treatment for Frizzy Hair

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I’m one of those people with the good fortune to have curly hair, and most of the time I love it.  But these summer months are hard for us curly haired folks.  The humidity plus the scorching heat creates a frizzy, dry mess that is usually pulled back in a ponytail or tucked up under a hat.  I went in search of a CENTSIBLE solution that would tame that frizz and leave my hair soft and fabulous!  I was a little skeptical about this treatment, but after trying it, I was so impressed with the results that I threw all of my hats…well…back in the closet.  I mean, let’s not get carried away…we all still have bad hair days, right ladies?

Avocado Hair Treatment

Wash your hair as you normally would, but skip the conditioner.  Towel dry your hair, and apply this mixture:

1/2 of an avocado, finely mashed

2 Tbsp mayonnaise

I started at the tips of my hair and worked my way to the scalp (if your scalp is oily be careful not to apply the mixture directly on your scalp).  Turn your head upside down and wrap a plastic bag around your hair, then wrap it in a towel (you could skip the bag if you don’t mind having avocado and mayo on your towel).  Let it soak in for 15 minutes, then rinse out with cool water.  Style as usual and enjoy your lustrous, shiny, frizz-free locks!  Use every 2 weeks.

*Just a side note: if you hate the smell of mayo, leave it out and just use avocado…the smell was pretty strong and the mayo only serves to moisturize so you can leave it out if it bothers you

Adapted from Woman’s Day

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