Pear Oatmeal Pancakes

As the main cook in the house, sometimes I get bored with making the same things over and over – and with kids, they have their favourites, and I happen to like it when they eat their meals.

Usually we have a smoothie first thing, but we are out of bananas (crucial to a smoothie in my opinion), so I decided to make pancakes.  To mix it up a little, I decided to experiment and try to come up with a healthier option, and this is what I came up with.

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Roasted Potatoes and Veggies

I love sweet potatoes, and I love all their health benefits.  Yum.  We make this so often I keep them on hand.  If you love sweet potatoes as much as I do, you have to try sweet potato pear soup… not my recipe, but so worth sharing.

As promised, here is my roasted potatoes and veggie recipe.  Another one that I picked up from my mom that I changed and made my own – in fact I make lots of variations of this recipe, depending on how I feel like making it and what I have on hand at the time.  When I made it this way a few weeks ago and took these photos (yeah, that’s how long it took me to finally get it up… #lifewithlittles) it turned out amazing!

A printable recipe is at the bottom for your convenience… I won’t be offended if you skip there right now… 🙂

Enjoy!

Prep time: 10 Minutes ish
Cook time : 45-50 mins ish
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:
4-5 Medium Size Potatoes
1-2 Medium Sized Sweet Potatoes (or one very large)
2 Large Carrots
1 Small Onion (chopped into large slices)
2 Tsp Italian Spice Mix
1 Tbs Olive Oil
1/2 Tsp Lemon Juice
Salt and pepper to your taste.  I don’t do a whole lot, a bit more than a pinch really.

 

Directions

1.   Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit

2.   Wash your veggies/potatoes, as my mom says “clean up” your potatoes.  Peel carrots.  You can leave the skin on the potatoes and sweet potatoes.

3. Chop carrots, potatoes, onion (make sure onions are in pretty big chunks or they will burn) and put in a large bowl.  Potatoes should be about an 1/8 – 1/4 inch.  Not too thin or you’ll have chips, but not too thick either.

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4.  In a small bowl mix Italian spice mix, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Mix around and add to veggies.

5.  On a cookie sheet lay out tin foil or parchment paper (sticks less = easy clean up).  I like to use parchment paper.

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6.  Cook in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until you can put a fork through the veggies.

Simple.  Healthy.  Nothing beats home cooking’, especially when it’s this easy!

A few notes: If you are making my
Easy HomIMG_9362emade Chicken Strips with the recipe, the potatoes do fine at the same temperatures as the chicken.  It’s just not as necessary to start out hotter (that’s to lock in the juices in the chicken).
Keep chicken on bottom wrack.  Goes great with my
homemade Honey Dill Sauce.

Click below for a printable version of this recipe:

Roasted Potatoes and Veggies Printable Recipe.png

Easy Homemade Chicken Strips

These chicken fingers are so easy, and so tasty.  This is a variation of chicken that my mom has been making for years.  So good.  And only 5 ingredients.  This recipe is very simple, I have sometimes done the more complicated breading with 4 step process (coat with marinade, coat with flour, coat with egg, coat with bread crumbs) but it takes quite a while and your clean up is doubled.  This recipe I find makes a nice breading and crispiness without all the hassle.  And we all love it, my kids included!

I serve them with potatoes (and sweet potatoes if I have them on hand) and my homemade honey dill sauce.  I find by cutting them into strips your chicken goes so much further, and they’re somehow juicier and crispier than when I do this recipe with whole chicken breasts.  Or maybe I’m just a big kid and I like chicken strips…

Anyway.

The photos here are using 4 chicken breasts, it fed my husband and I, our little ones (who are 3 and 1, so not huge servings, together they had about 3 strips), and we all had it again for Sunday lunch after church the next day!  And we still had 2 strips left over.

Note:  This chicken can be stored in an air tight container for three days in the fridge, or up to three months in the freezer, in a freezer ziplock bag.  If frozen, I suggest reheating 375 degrees fahrenheit, for 20-25 minutes.

There’s a printable version at the end of the recipe.  Enjoy!

Serves 6-8 People.

What you’ll need:
4-6 Chicken Breasts
1/2 Cup Italian, Ranch or Caesar Dressing, approximately
1 1/2 Cup Italian Style Bread Crumbs with Romano Cheese, approximately
Salt & Pepper
Large cookie sheet
Parchment paper (Or tin foil, but I find parchment paper doesn’t stick to the chicken as much)

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Directions
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit.  Place parchment paper over cookie sheet (not really necessary, but the chicken fingers don’t stick this way, and HELLO, just a quick wash for that cookie sheet instead of a work out with you and your scrubber in the sink… your welcome).

2.  In a medium sized bowl 1/2 cup of salad dressing.  I usually use ranch, this time I used Italian salad dressing by the Olive Garden that I purchased at Costco.  You might need to add a bit depending… I used 4 large chicken breasts.

3.  On a cutting board, cut the chicken breasts in to strips, length wise.  Toss them in the bowl with the dressing.  Before you mix it around, lightly salt and pepper the chicken.  Now mix it around to coat the chicken with salad dressing.

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4. Next, pour 1 and 1/2 cups of bread crumbs over chicken.  Mix around to coat chicken.

5. With a fork place chicken fingers on the cookie sheet.  Scrape all of leftover crumbs in the bowl onto chicken strips.

6. Cook at 425 degrees fahrenheit for the first 15 minutes, reduce heat to 400 fahrenheit for about 30 more minutes or until chicken is no longer pink on the inside.

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Serve with honey dill sauce, or whatever suits your fancy!

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Note: You can also just keep them as full chicken breast if you prefer, just increase the cooking time for an extra 15-20 minutes approximately or until no longer pink in the middle.

Click Recipe Below to Download Printable:

Easy Homemade Chicken Strips Printable

 

Honey Dill Sauce

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At our house, sauce is almost it’s own food group.   My kids love sauce.  I love sauce.  Ben loves sauce.

Josiah loves plumb sauce, it’s a staple, Ethan loves ketchup.  But they BOTH love honey dill sauce.  Josiah has actually put his whole face in it on his plate.  Come to think of it he that the other day while we were making iced tea.  We need to work on this…

This goes GREAT with breaded chicken, or chicken of any kind, and potatoes.  Especially sweet potatoes.  My husband pretty much just drizzles it all over the chicken, white potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes.  Josiah likes it on everything.  And on its own, actually.

So….

After years of making this yummy dip I finally did the measurements.  Many have asked me how I make it, and usually my response is “Mayo, honey, dill until it looks like this…”

Jennifer, I’d like to dedicate this post to you!

1 and 1/4 cup mayo (the real stuff)
1/4 honey
1 and 3/4 tsp dill weed

Mix together, and keep refrigerated in an air tight jar… that is, if you have any left over after supper – it’s that good.  And so easy!

Goes great with Easy Homemade Chicken Strips

 

Chocolate Strawberry Trifle

For Canada day this year we were asked to bring a dessert, and we needed a big one.  What’s a pretty easy but can be as-big-as-you-waIMG_1791nt dessert?

Trifle!  Yes!

Ben and I had a lot of fun with this (we often cook/bake together).  We looked over some trifle recipes, and but then decided to go original.  Turned out great!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Box your favourite cake mix (make in a 9×13 pan)
  • Homemade Fudge Sauce (we like this one, however I only use 1/2 cup of sugar)
  • 12 or more individual vanilla flavoured pudding cups (guess you can make your own, but this step I cheat on)
  • 1 L Whipping Cream less 1 cup (use the 1 cup left over for the homemade fudge sauce)
  • 4 Cups strawberries cut up
  • 8 Oh Henry bars, or chocolate bars of your choice “diced” (this time we used 4 Oh Henry’s and half a package of chocolate covered graham cookies)
    Large bowl.  (We actually did about 1 + another half of this dessert, so we used a punch bowl, but for these quantities that will be too big.)

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(Whoops, we forgot to have the whipped cream in the photo, but this shows most of the ingredients…)

It’s best to make the chocolate cake the night before you assemble the trifle to allow time to cool.

  1. Make Whip Cream (in a mixer beat 35% whipping cream – remember to reserve 1 cup of the whipping cream for the next step if you’re going to make your own fudge sauce), 1 tsp vanilla, 1/4 cup icing sugar, whip it until firm spikes are created when whisk is removed – don’t over whip) and then put in the fridge to chill until needed.
  2. Make fudge sauce (again we only did 1/2 cup sugar instead of 3/4 cup).  Then set aside to cool
  3. Cut up strawberries, cut up chocolate bars/cookies and set aside
  4. After the chocolate cake has cooled, cut into slightly bigger than bite sized pieces.  Cover the bottom of the bowl with the cut up cake to begin your layers.  Drizzle with cooled fudge sauce.
  5.  Pour 3-4 pudding cups over cake, try to get an even layer.  Pour 1/3 of whip cream over pudding.
  6. Then comes 1/3 of your chocolate bars/cookies and 1/3 of your strawberries.
  7. Repeat steps 4-6 for 3 layers.

Should look like this from the side:

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Chill for 3 hours or over night to set.

This was a pretty big hit the other night, we took the left overs home with us when we left, which I guess was too soon because people were asking for it.  Yay!  Such a great compliment.  I kinda wish we hadn’t already finished it off… we just finished the last of it… oh man, so good.

The fun thing about trifles is you can feel free to mix it up… use different fruit, chocolate, cake, to make it your own!