Easy to go, freezable, chicken burritos.

easy to go chicken burritos

Every week, coming up with an idea for my dearest husband to take to work and eat for lunch is a chore. He doesn’t ever have any ideas on what he wants, poor thing. He will spend hours thinking of something yummy, yet not your typical can of Chef Boyardee. Not that anything is wrong with some good ol’ Beefaroni, but it’s not the healthiest and not something you always want to eat everyday. Since I have stopped cooking while pregnant during the week- I can just now watch the Food Network again without wanting to run for the trash can, I’m glad he can take something home cooked to work with him at least. An hour during the weekend is much easier on my gagginess than standing in the kitchen everyday for a few hours. I have came around to cooking on the weekends now so often times we will try and cook his lunch while cooking dinner, two birds, one stone.

While it is always a chore coming up with lunch ideas for him, he always has 2 go to’s that he loves- burgers and burritos. If we can’t think of something, we go that route and sometimes he simply just wants the burgers. The thing about burgers and burritos though is that they aren’t always the healthiest. Yummy, dripping with grease, ground beef is always good, is it not? But terrible for your body. Dearest Husband has been trying to eat better after we lived off of take out and easy cook foods my first trimester and most of my second trimester. So I went to my usual drawing board, now that I can think of food again and found a way that he could still enjoy his burritos without the grease, chicken burritos! At first he wondered how good chicken burritos could really be…and my friends, even my picky little baby currently residing in me, loved them. So take my word for it when I say, they are yummy! They remind me a lot of the grilled stuffed burrtios from Taco Bell without all the guac and tomatoes.

They also double win for me too because they are SUPER EASY. The more time I can spend resting my tired eyes and extra plump body, the better it is for me these days!

Look at this list of ingredients guys, it makes 8-10 giant burrtios. I say 8-10 because I could have made 10 but I ran out of tortillas after 8 and had lots of leftover shredded chicken, so if be prepared with however many tortillas you want.

What you need:

  • 8-10 burrito sized flour tortillas
  • 1 12oz can of Refried Beans, I just used Kroger Brand.
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup of shredded Cheddar or your favorite shredded cheese. 
  • 1 pack of taco seasoning.
  • 2 Tablespoons of Taco Bell’s Fire Sauce (you can buy this in the bottle at most grocery stores. I have seen it at Kroger and Walmart).
  • 1 bag of ready to cook rice, your favorite flavor. I used Knorr’s Mexican Rice. 
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil (for rice, optional).

 

Super Easy Prep! :

  1. Boil your chicken breasts for about 15-20 minutes or until middle is no longer pink.
  2. Cook your rice according to directions on the package.
  3. Drain your chicken, pop them into a bowl, and take a hand mixer to them for about 20 seconds, just to get a good shred going.
  4. Sprinkle on your packet of taco seasoning and your fire Sauce.
  5. Continue to shred with your hand mixer until everything looks shredded evenly, about 30 seconds or so.
  6. Set up an assembly line, place your tortillas out on the table, your cooked rice in a bowl, your refried beans in a bowl (I recommend microwaving them a bit in order to smear easier), your cheese, and your chicken in it’s bowl.

Assembly:

  1. Take your burrito and place it out on the surface in front of you.
  2. Smear on some refried beans, I would guess about 1/4 cup- give or take depending on how much you like. We just need to be able to wrap the burrito up in the end 🙂
  3. Sprinkle on a big spoon full of rice, probably about 3-4 tablespoons.
  4. Sprinkle some cheese on top of your rice, don’t go crazy but just eye ball this amount to your satisfaction. I did about a tablespoon or so.
  5. Then a big spoon full of chicken! About 1/4 cup here, again, eye ball it to your liking, just be mindful of your room to fold.
  6. Fold your burrito. I tend to tuck in the sides, flip one side over, and then roll tightly. I understand my instructions are awful on how to fold a burrito but google can assist you in a good way 🙂 chicken burritos
  7. Roll in aluminum foil and put it into a freezer bag.
  8. Repeat until you are finished! freezer ready

 

When you are ready to eat one, pop it into the microwave for about 1 minute on each side (depending on your microwave). They are so easy to heat up and just as yummy. These burrito’s are really customizable to your liking, just be sure to use freezer friendly ingredients.

 

 

 

 

Mushroom Thyme Chicken

MTC bannerGrowing up, I grew up on a variety of foods. I don’t mean a little Italian here, a little Mexican there. I mean my dad hunted and often times, we enjoyed what he brought home. My favorite dish he ever made from venison (deer) was a variation of hand breaded, fried venison smothered in delicious cream of mushroom soup. It seems so basic, so simple, but my goodness it was full of flavor and just….amazingness. Now, my husband doesn’t hunt and I obviously don’t- the thought of killing something (even bugs sometimes) makes me sad. So I rarely enjoy venison, but one day last week I found myself craving my dad’s special dish so I went to the drawing board and came up with something similar that did more than just the trick, it set my taste buds over the moon. And it was a lot healthier than fried venison since it uses chicken and it is smothered in a delicious, creamy, peppery, mushroom gravy of sorts and it’s to die for so I knew I had to share it with you guys. The pictures are making me want it again so I think I may need to put it on next week’s meal plan. Take a look for yourself so you can get the stuff to make it for yourself. It’s so simple but so amazing. Don’t deprive your taste buds from this one.

What you need:

  • Fresh Chicken Tenders 1 pound
  • 1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup + Equivalent Milk
  • 2 tablespoons of Ground Thyme
  • 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Black Pepper and Kosher Salt (to taste)
  • Baby Bella Mushrooms (or your favorite), cut up into pieces. 

Throwing it all together:

  1. Mix together your oil and thyme and then brush the chicken with it.
  2. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over your chicken tenders.
  3. Heat a small amount of oil in a pan. Just enough to lightly coat the pan. Your chicken already has oil so really we just want to prevent a little extra stickage. I used a cast iron so if you have a non-stick skillet, it may not be needed. Use your best judgment depending on how your skillet does.
  4. On medium high heat, cook your chicken tenders. When they are about 3/4 of the way finished throw in your mushrooms and let them cook until the chicken is fully done. About 3-4 minutes total on each side.
  5. In a bowl, whisk together your milk and soup mixture and then throw it in the pan when the chicken is done.
  6. Add in some more fresh pepper and then let it bubble up for about 10 minutes.
  7. ENJOY!

See how easy it is? And I swear it tastes so mind blowingly amazing for what little it has in it. With the added mushrooms and fresh pepper it really takes it beyond just a simple cream of mushroom soup and thyme really livens up the chicken. Mmm, I need some STAT!

MTC in a pan

MTC Close Up

Look closer! :9

French’s “Fried” Onion Chicken

French's Fried Onion Chicken

Lately, I have been on a salad kick. I had went forever without eating a salad and then I found a yummy mixture for one containing French’s Fried Onions and knew I just had to give it a go, especially because we have been wanting to incorporate more veggies into our diet. The salad was quite the hit. It was so good I found myself eating a mini version everyday for dinner (we eat big dinners for lunch, and then lunch sized things for dinner since my husband is on 2nd shift). I mean everyday. But last week I had one and found that it had lost its oomph. Which is eventual with any food you eat over and over again but I still had a giant thing of French Fried Onions that I find can go stale quicker than most pantry items. So in an effort not to waste, I went to the drawing board and ended up creating the most wonderful piece of chicken I have cooked to date. Not even kidding. I didn’t even need sauce. You heard me, no need for sauce. It was THAT flavorful. My picture for this post totally suffered because I dug in immediately and then thought of the blog and how I just HAD to share it. So I took it after I had a bite but, ohhhhh well.

So I am here today to share this totally awesome recipe with you. It’s simple and it is bursting with flavor! It has a similar texture of fried chicken BUT it’s baked so it isn’t going to attack you with guilt. Not that you should ever feel guilty, because food is awesome, but, you know what I mean.

What you need:

  • 1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 3-4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (or whatever you prefer), pounded just enough to get it tender and not so chicken breasty.
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1 cup of French’s French Fried Onions
  • 1 whisked egg
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil for brushing.

Whipping it together:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Set out 3 shallow baking dishes and get ready to make an assembly line of goodness. Then place a greased baking sheet at the end ready to catch your chicken.
  3. In your first dish, mix up your flour and 1/4 of the packet of ranch.
  4. In your second, your egg.
  5. In your third, mix up your breadcrumbs, french fried onions, and the rest of the ranch packet. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Start assembling by dipping your chicken into your flour, then into your egg, and then into your breadcrumb mixture. Being sure to press down to make the breadcrumbs stick. Make sure everything is evenly coated.
  7. When you have all of your chicken breasts on the pan, brush or drizzle some extra virgin olive oil all over the tops to insure a little extra crisp.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until done in the middle.

Enjoy! Guys, I promise you. You will want to indulge in this and make some for your hubby….or just yourself 😉 I won’t tell.

Easy to do Chocolate Truffles.

Chocolate Truffles

Ever since I could remember, I have always been fascinated with fancy food. I grew up and still live in the South so I wouldn’t say I grew up fine dining every night, not that I ate bad- I was just digging in to the Little Debbie box instead of chowing down on Creme Brulee. Again, not a bad thing. Ask anyone, Southern Food is the best food. Little Debbie is the bomb.com, and I have yet to find any dish I didn’t care for with the exception of Butternut Squash Soup.

But I remember my Mom’s boss would host a fancy dinner party for her office every year at Christmas and I was in love with the food. Creme Brulee included. I remember my father and I would pretty much set up camp around the shrimp cocktail before dinner was served in the beautiful dining room. I looked forward to it every year.

So now that I’m older and cooking on my own, I of course find pleasure in making my own little fancy foods. I’m not sure if everyone would call truffles fancy, in some areas they may be as common as oreos but where I’m from you don’t see everyone just serving out truffles at birthday parties and from my experience I have found that people flee from making truffles because they do come off as fancy and there for the first thing that pops into their minds is that they must take some kind of elaborate process to whip up. Oh, how wrong they are! Just because something is fancy doesn’t mean it’s difficult at all. My favorite fancy food is the kind that doesn’t take 500 ingredients and 10 hours to make and there is actually quite a bit of fancy food out there that doesn’t, like truffles. Take a look below and just see how easy it is!

What you need:

  • 16oz of Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 2 cups of Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder OR melted chocolate (I used the powder)

Just 3 ingredients, WOW.

Putting it all together:

  1. In a medium pot, bring your whipping cream to a boil.
  2. Place your chocolate chips in a heat safe bowl, I find that metal seems to work the best.
  3. Pour your boiling whipping cream over your chocolate chips and let set for 2 minutes. Don’t stir them, don’t wiggle them, don’t do anything for 2 minutes.
  4. After the two minutes is up, go ahead and stir your mixture until the chocolate chips seem nice and incorporated, but don’t over stir.
  5. Place your bowl into an ice bath (just a bigger bowl full of cold water and ice), for 20 minutes, again, not touching.
  6. Once the 20 minutes is over, break our your hand mixer and beat the mixture for about 2 minutes or until it becomes thick and fluffy.
  7. Place your mixture into the fridge and let it sit over night. This will firm it up and make it easier to handle.
  8. The next day, take a spoon or melon baller and scoop out a small amount of the mixture into your hand. Quickly roll the mixture into a ball. Try and do this quickly so the chocolate doesn’t melt so much. Keep in mind, they don’t have to be perfect balls. Just try your best. Set them on a tray with parchment paper.
  9. Set them in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm back up.
  10. Taking each ball, roll them around in your cocoa powder or dip into your melted chocolate,top with nuts, whatever you want to do. Then place them back onto your tray. If you roll on cocoa powder, place them in a strainer and gently tap the sides, just to get the excess powder off. You don’t want too too much powder.

Freeze them for up to a month or refrigerate for about 2 weeks. They are best eaten room temperature but honestly, they taste good no matter how you choose to devour them. And yes, you will devour them.

See, wasn’t that easy? And so yummy. You get quite a bit out of it too so feel free to take them to your next party, fancy or non-fancy.

Montreal Chicken Noodle Soup

Montreal Chicken Noodle Soup

My husband is like any other man, he’s all about meat for dinner. But I like to have 1 or 2 meals a week if I can swing it, be meatless. When I make something meatless, it has to be full of flavor and have a nice meaty punch to it regardless of the lack of meat. This actually isn’t a hard thing to accomplish at all. I don’t miss meat and I have yet to hear my husband complain about missing it every single night, in fact- he said last night after taking a bite out of some burritos I made him for him to take to work that he would actually enjoy them meatless with 2 different kinds of beans  instead of beef. I had a little celebration in my head that he has embraced this whole meatless every one in awhile thing. I thought it would be super difficult almost impossible for him, I really did.

Before he snacked on a burrito, as I was prepping them he looked in the pantry for some chicken noodle soup. He said he had been having a craving for it. I can’t remember the last time I bought canned chicken noodle soup. Homemade is a gazillion (that’s right, gazillion) times better and is MUCH more cost effective- if you were looking for a cherry on top for making it at home. So tonight right before he came home I whipped up some yummy homemade “chicken” noodle soup but with my own twists and tricks to make it extra flavorful. There is no chicken in this soup but you don’t miss it for even a second. My house smells a little like heaven right now as I type this because not only does it taste amazing, but it smells innnnncredible. Did I mention I literally had everything in the pot within 2 minutes? Mhm, mhm. 2 minutes. I’m pretty proud of that time frame, I’m all about quick meals now that I have about 3-4 hours between waking up and my husband going to work to cook. So let’s dig in!

What you need:

  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 tubs of Knorr Chicken Homestyle Stock 
  • 1.5 Teaspoons of Garlic Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons of Parsley
  • 4 Teaspoons of Onion Powder
  • 4 Tablespoons of McCormick Montreal Chicken Seasoning
  • 2 Cups of Egg Noodles
  • 1 thinly cut carrot
  • Salt to taste

Throw it all together:

  • Bring your water to a boil and when boiling is reached, add in your chicken stock and stir until fully dissolved.
  • Once everything is dissolved, add in the rest of your ingredients, and give it a good stir.
  • Cover and simmer on medium-low for 30-45 minutes.

Now all that’s left is to enjoy! 🙂 How easy was that? What goodies have you transformed into a meatless meal? Share in the comments below!

Easy & Homemade: Best Ever BBQ Sauce.

Best Ever BBQ Sauce

My husband has a particular palette- to say the least. So he really picks up on the smallest of flavors in things and that isn’t a bad thing per-say. I have found that his taste buds have refined my cooking and has got me experimenting more and more in the kitchen to create versions of things that he likes. One of the things he has a tough time with is store bought BBQ sauce. Some are too sweet, some are too tangy- you get the picture, sort of a 3 bears situation.

So when I wanted some yummy country style boneless ribs a few weeks ago I decided to create my own BBQ sauce that way my husband could be equally as happy as I would be when they hit our mouths. I’m not too particular when it comes to Barbecue sauce, I haven’t found many- if any, I haven’t liked, ever. My favorite chips are Barbecue flavored, my favorite sauce is Barbecue Sauce, and I will happily put it on everything (you should really try it on a burger. It is AMAZING).

I have to be honest, the whole rib cooking process didn’t go well for me. They took FOREVER. I wasn’t expecting them to take too long so I waited way too late to cook them. Needless to say, we had dinner at 11pm that night. I mean, we eat late anyways (hello, second shift schedule) but I was super frustrated when I realized just how long they were going to take. But i’m dedicated and I wanted my ribs- dang it, so I went for it anyways. THANKFULLY, the barbecue process was extremely simple. All I did was gather the ingredients I wanted to infuse into it and added a little at a time until I was over the moon satisfied.  Even though the ribs took forever, I can happily say that they were worth it. Ohhhh, how worth it they were. The ribs melted in my mouth and the barbecue sauce was perfectly sweet and perfectly spiced that without the barbecue sauce I can’t say the ribs would have been worth it. So I am super happy to be able to share it with you!

You need:

  • 2 cups of ketchup
  • 1.5 cups of Apple Juice
  • 1/2 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Teriyaki Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon on Onion Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
  • 8 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons of Honey
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Red Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon of Fresh Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon of Kosher Salt
  • 1 Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3 Tablespoons of Sugar

Throwing it all together:

All you need to do is throw it all together in a pot, bring it to a boil, and then simmer on medium-low heat for 2 hours. 

Not. Even. Kidding. IT IS THAT EASY. And the only thing I had to buy for it was extra ketchup. We like sauce in our house so I didn’t just have 2 cups of ketchup sitting around, haha. Please, try it out! You won’t be sorry. My husband and his palette did something super rare it was so good- they sung it’s praises on Facebook, a land he never visits.

Have you ever have any kitchen time surprises? Did you give in or keep cooking? Let me know in the comments 🙂

Easy Homemade Pizza Pockets

IMG_0529

I am thankful for my husband for many reasons- not only does he love me, but he goes above and beyond for our family, he makes me laugh every. single. day, and he prays for our marriage just as much as I do, are among many of them. One more reason I am thankful for him is that he works really hard to make a life for us. Almost 1 year ago we decided that I would be a homemaker and he would go out and earn money after I got laid off right before our wedding and he started a new job. 

One thing we have struggled with is finding something really filling that reheated well for his dinner at work. He works 2nd shift, so he needs something that will fill his stomach that is used to having dinner around 7:30pm but something that works with a lunch box. It’s not hard finding a few things but who wants to eat the same thing, every day, every week?

We have had a few successes with things but this week we have created one that makes the favorites list! Easy Homemade Pizza Pockets. My husband has always loved pizza hot pockets but they are expensive when you have to buy more than 1 box and has added preservatives, so this homemade version is better for you and much cheaper. And on the plus side, if you have kiddos- they will go crazy for this too.

IMG_0525Pile it all on. A little pile of goodness!

IMG_0526Pinch it all together. What a cute little pocket!

IMG_0527Get it ready to bake! I love me some oregano.

What you need:

  • 1 Store Bought Pizza Crust (or your own recipe)
  • 1 jar of Pizza Sauce
  • 2 cups of Shredded Cheddar Cheese (or whatever your favorite cheese is)
  • Mini Pepperonis.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Oregano (optional)

Throwing it all together:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. While your oven is preheating, roll out your Pizza Dough to a medium thickness. About how much you would stretch it out if you were making a regular pizza.
  3. Take a pizza cutter and cut your crust into little rectangles, cutting horizontal and vertical. It will make about 8 rectangles.
  4. Take each rectangle and spread on a little sauce to one side of the rectangle, then pile on a small amount of cheese, then layer on some pepperoni, and then top it off with more cheese to seal it all in.
  5. Next, fold the untouched side of your pizza dough over the side with the toppings and then pinch it closed with a fork or your fingers. I used a fork tonight but I honestly think your fingers work a little better, and it’s easier! 🙂
  6. Plop them on a greased cookie sheet and then brush on some extra virgin olive oil all over the pizza pocket. If you like oregano, mix a small amount into your oil before brushing on for a little Italian taste!
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the crust becomes golden brown. My husband likes his a little extra crispy so I broiled the tops for 2-3 minutes at the end.

That’s it! And they are soooo yummy. Who doesn’t love little portable pizza’s? My husband likes to dip is into more pizza sauce on the side, so that’s also worth a try if you like things a little extra saucey :p Next week, we plan to try cheeseburger homemade hot pockets. Stay tuned to see how those turn out.