PAN SEARED CHICKEN with CREAMY TOMATO BASIL SPINACH CREAM SAUCE

PAN SEARED CHICKEN with CREAMY TOMATO BASIL SPINACH CREAM SAUCE

Boneless skinless chicken thighs smothered in an easy-to-make creamy tomato basil and spinach sauce.

1 tablespoon avocado oil
4-6 LARGE boneless, skinless chicken thin breasts
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons tomato pesto (Barilla or Classico)
1 cup tomato sauce
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach leaves
4-6 leaves fresh basil, chiffonaded
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsely
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • In a large skillet heat avocado oil over medium heat.
  • Generously season chicken thighs with FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Dredge in 1/4 cup WONDRA flour.
  • Add to hot oil and cook for 2 minutes until the top side is nicely seared.
  • Flip over to the other side and sear for 2 more minutes on medium heat.
  • Remove the chicken from the skillet to a plate and keep warm.
  • Add garlic to pan and cook 30 seconds or so until fragrant.
  • Add chicken broth, tomato pesto, tomato paste and heavy cream to skillet.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil, stirring regularly.
  • Reduce heat to low simmer.
  • Taste the sauce and add more salt and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and whisk together with 2 tablespoons of reserved flour dredge until smooth.
  • Whisk into sauce until smooth.
  • Add fresh spinach, parsley and fresh basil, stirring until spinach wilts and reduces in volume.
  • Add chicken to sauce, turning to coat, increasing heat to medium for a minute or 2 to reheat chicken.
  • Serve over pasta and spoon the sauce over the pasta and chicken.
  • Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

BACON BROWN SUGAR GARLIC CHICKEN

BACON BROWN SUGAR GARLIC CHICKEN

This is the PERFECT weeknight recipe! There are few ingredients that produce a sticky and crisp yet sweet garlicky taste for a quick meal.

2/3 cup PACKED brown sugar
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
12 slices bacon
Chopped parsley, for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Lightly spray a deep dish baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • In a large bowl add the brown sugar, garlic, salt and pepper and mix until combined.
  • Coat the chicken in the brown sugar mixture, pressing to adhere.
  • Wrap each piece of chicken with two slices of bacon in such a way that the ends are under the chicken to prevent it from unwrapping while cooking. I put them on a bed of green beans, onions and sliced carrots to make a one pot dish.
  • Top with the remaining brown sugar mixture.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through and browned with the bacon crisp.

NOTE: Be careful to not let the brown sugar burn or blacken.

CHICKEN THIGHS with CREAMY BACON MUSHROOM THYME SAUCE

CHICKEN THIGHS with CREAMY BACON MUSHROOM THYME SAUCE
These chicken thighs smothered in a creamy bacon mushroom thyme sauce are so easy and yummy, but look like a company calling recipe.

CHICKEN
6 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
4 chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in
1+1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Season both sides of chicken thighs generously with FRESH ground sea salt, black pepper and
  • Italian herb seasoning .
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of avocado oil and 1 tablespoon butter on medium-high heat in a large skillet.
  • Add chicken thighs skin-side down, cooking for 5-7 minutes, on the skin side until golden.
  • Transfer chicken thighs, skin side up, to a foil-lined baking sheet and bake 20 minutes or until chicken thighs are completely cooked through and no longer pink in the center.

SAUCE
4 LARGE green onions, sliced
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
6 LARGE white mushrooms
5 slices bacon, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
5 sprigs fresh thyme, 3 trimmed, 2 whole

  • Add bacon to pan and brown until crisp.
  • Remove bacon pieces with slotted spoon and add 1 tablespoon of butter to pan.
  • When melted add sliced mushrooms cooking on medium heat for about 3 minutes, stirring periodically.
  • Add onions and garlic, stirring and cooking 2 minutes more.
  • Add heavy cream and trimmed fresh thyme, and thyme sprigs.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil, stirring continuously.
  • Reduce to simmer for about 2-3 minutes over low heat to allow flavors to blend and sauce to reduce a bit.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Add chicken and bacon pieces to sauce, turning to coat.
  • Serve over pasta, rice or mashed potatoes.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 24 of 2020

GOOD MORNING My head and heart just hurt from EVERYTHING so far in 2020 so let me just say

and get on with having a better week full of positivity, hope and amazing calmness!

Be sure to join us for Happy Homemaker Monday and link up
with our host, Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING We had another cold and stormy weekend (yesterday hardly reached 50°), but it is supposed to get back to “normal” this week with day time highs mostly in the 70’s and night time lows in the 50’s.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Hot water and banana

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE, WEEKLY TO DO LIST, HOUSE & CRAFT PROJECTS, APPOINTMENTS

MONDAY
  • blog organization
  • cleaning & laundry
TUESDAY
  • recipe updates
  • new roof begins
WEDNESDAY
  • storing winter clothes
  • storage organization
THURSDAY
  • errands and shopping
  • blood draw appointment
FRIDAY
  • storage organization
SATURDAY
  • Farmer’s market maybe
SUNDAY
  • races, cooking shows

WHAT’S ON THE DVR/TV We reactivated HULU so we could watch Homeland with Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin with my SIL. She’s just started season 8 and we’re binge watching to catch up, but just started season 4.  Also saw a “new to us” movie that was really interesting, but 10 years old called THE WAY BACK with Ed Harris and Colin Farrell.  We’ve also been watching Svengoolie on Saturday nights (our normal SYFY night) and saw Bride of Frankenstein (1935) with Boris Karloff and Elsa Lanchester.

I’M READING 2 books right now and can’t seem to put either down.  I love both authors and their story telling abilities to weave history into current day life.  The first is Gill Paul’s Lost Daughter and the 2nd is Lisa Wingate’s The Book of Lost Friends.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA This guy on the back fence this past week just seemed fitting to me for ALL that I’m searching for 😀

INSPIRATIONAL

LIFE TIP

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
DINNER
C.O.R.N.
NATCHITOCHES MEAT PIES & SALAD
CHICKEN POMODORO & SALAD with MIKE’S BREAD
BACON BROWN SUGAR GARLIC CHICKEN & VEGGIES
PARMESAN MEATBALL BAKE & SALAD
PEACH & GOAT CHEESE SALAD
CHICKEN with LEMON CHIVE PAN SAUCE & SCALLION PANCAKES
DESSERT
OATMEAL TREASURE COOKIES
CHOCOLATE ALMOND ICE CREAM BARS

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

RECIPES TO LOOK FOR THIS NEXT WEEK OR SO

  • CREAMY BACON MUSHROOM THYME CHICKEN THIGHS
  • BACON BROWN SUGAR GARLIC CHICKEN
  • SLOPPY JOE CORNBREAD CASSEROLE
  • CHEESY TACO PASTA
  • PAN SEARED CHICKEN with CREAMY TOMATO BASIL SPINACH SAUCE

SPINACH ARTICHOKE RAVIOLI LASAGNA

SPINACH ARTICHOKE RAVIOLI LASAGNA  Yields 8 servings

This is a GREAT and super EASY shortcut lasagna that packs an extra punch of flavor!

3 tablespoons butter
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons WONDRA flour
2 1/4 cups WHOLE milk
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1-14 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained (see notes) and chopped
2 cups frozen spinach, defrosted, drained WELL and chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds frozen cheese ravioli (see notes)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Whisk the flour into the butter and garlic and cook until the mixture is bubbling and golden, 1 minute more. Gradually pour in the milk, whisking constantly.
  • Bring mixture to a simmer then stir in cream cheese, 2/3 cup mozzarella, and Parmesan.
  • Let simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Fold in artichoke hearts and spinach, then add lemon juice and red pepper flakes, if using, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Remove from heat. 
  • Spread a thin layer of your prepared sauce onto the bottom of a 9″-x-13″ baking dish or lasagna pan.
  • Lay ravioli in a single layer in the bottom of the baking dish, then top with half the prepared sauce and a thin layer of cheese.
  • Repeat with remaining ravioli, most of the remaining sauce and another thin layer of cheese.
  • Top with remaining sauce and cheese.
  • Bake 30 minutes, until sauce is bubbling and ravioli are tender.
  • If you’d like the top to be more golden, broil on high for 1-2 minutes.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve.

NOTES:

  • I drain and save the oil marinade to use for future meals.
  • I usually prepare half again as much sauce because we like it saucy 😀
  • By having a choice on the ravioli, it can easily be vegetarian or protein packed with a meat 😀

BAKED GARLIC BUTTER PARSLEY CHICKEN

GARLIC BUTTER PARSLEY CHICKEN          Serves 4 to 6

3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 6)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
8 ounces butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
3/4 cup Parmesan grated cheese
1/4 cup FRESH chopped Parsley
1 Vidalia onions, cut into wedges
Avocado oil
2 FRESH broccoli crowns, cleaned and trimmed

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Pat the chicken dry with and generously season on all sides with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Melt butter and whisk in garlic and 1/2 the chopped Parsley in a small bowl.
  • In another bowl stir together the bread crumbs, cheese and remaining Parsley.
  • Dip each piece in the butter mixture and then the bread mixture.
  • Place skin side up on baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Scatter onion pieces among the chicken.
  • Place tray in oven and bake 1 hour. DO NOT TURN chicken pieces.
  • Toss broccoli with avocado oil to coat.
  • Add broccoli to pan and roast until the chicken is deeply golden brown, crispy, and registers 160º in the thickest part, 20-25 minutes.

FRESH updated COLE SLAW

FRESH updated COLE SLAW
1/2 small head red cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
1/2 small head green cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup chopped snap peas
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 shallot halved and sliced thin**
1 LARGE watermelon radish, sliced thin
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1 cup golden raisins (optional)
1 cup mayonnaise
3-4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3-4 tablespoons sugar
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste

  • Whisk together the mayonnaise, salt, pepper, vinegar and sugar until well blended.
  • In a large bowl toss together the cabbages,  carrots, parsley, shallot (onion), radish pieces and snap peas.
  • Pour mayonnaise mixture over cabbage mixture, sprinkle with caraway seeds and toss until well coated.
  • Fold in raisins if using.
  • Adjust salt, pepper, sugar and vinegar to your personal tastes.
  • Cover and chill several hours before serving.

NOTE: Green onions or thin slices of red onion make GREAT substitutes for the shallot.

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE
Your favorite pie crust recipe for a double crust
2 1/2 cups chopped FRESH red rhubarb
2 1/2 cups de-stemmed, washed and chopped strawberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
Juice of 1 small lemon
1/2 teaspoon ground QUALITY cinnamon
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
3 tablespoons butter, cubed small
1 egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon water

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon, and vanilla.
  • Pour out into chilled crust.
  • Dot the top of the filling with the butter.
  • Brush edges of pie crust with egg white wash.
  • Roll out the other piece of dough and place over filling.
  • Crimp to seal edges.
  • Slice several vents into top to allow steam to escape.
  • Brush with egg white wash and garnish with large granule sugar.
    bake for 15 minutes.
  • Decrease temperature to 375° and bake for an additional 45 to 50 minutes, until the filling starts to bubble.

NOTES:

  • I often like to cook the filling first if the rhubarb is especially tough, but be sure to allow filling to cool COMPLETELY before filling crust.
  • Collar with foil for the first 30 minutes to prevent burning.

BEEF STROGANOFF SANDWICHES

BEEF STROGANOFF SANDWICHES serves 6-8
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 large onion, chopped small
2 mini red peppers, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced thin
2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
1 cup beef broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup dry white wine
LARGE pinch sea salt
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 vine ripened tomatoes, chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese
FRESH potato rolls

  • Melt butter into oil and sauté onions on low heat for about 10 minutes until golden.
  • Add garlic, red peppers and mushrooms and cook another 10 minutes (add a little wine for moisture if needed).
  • Add beef to the cooked mushroom mixture and sauté another 10 minutes until beef is cooked through.
  • Sprinkle flour in and stir until everything is coated and flour is golden.
  • Add the broth plus the Worcestershire, wine, paprika, and white pepper to the meat mixture.
  • Simmer for 10-15 minutes, tasting it periodically, until reduced and beginning to thicken.
  • Remove from the heat and add the sour cream, careful not to curdle, and stir well.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Cover baking sheet with foil.
  • Slice open rolls, butter and place halves on baking sheet.
  • Toast rolls 5 minutes in oven until edges begin to crisp.
  • Spoon meat mixture evenly over rolls.
  • Top with chopped tomatoes and shredded cheese.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes until rolls are crisp and cheese is melted and bubbly.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 23 of 2020

GOOD MORNING dear friends.  I CANNOT believe that we’re into June!  This year is almost half over and half of that was spent quarantined.  What a strange world and time we are living in. Has anyone else noticed how what we intend to do or get done doesn’t seem to fall into place lately? Or, is it just me?

We enjoyed our trip to SIL’s house and the lake over Memorial Day, and are glad to be home, but also “anxious” for any semblance of normality.  Hubby did confront some uncomfortable family issues over the passing of his father and the execution of the family trust with a different SIL, so I pray that they all work this out without any more issues (though we are not holding our breath as it seems she cannot seem to tell the truth)!  Please keep them and us in your prayers.

We did a little exploring of some potential areas to migrate to and find a house project.  We are trying to move ahead and seem to be getting closer!

Be sure to join us for Happy Homemaker Monday and link up
with our host, Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING We had a wet and cold storm on Saturday with lingering clouds into Sunday, but it’s going to be a gorgeous week in the low to mid 70’s and sunny.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Hot water and apple peach baby food

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE, WEEKLY TO DO LIST, HOUSE & CRAFT PROJECTS, APPOINTMENTS

MONDAY
  • I have a pedicure appointment and am wondering how that will go – such a new “changed” “normal” we are enduring.
TUESDAY
  • Some phone calls I need to make.
WEDNESDAY
  • Laundry/ Cleaning
THURSDAY
  • Storage clean-up and organizing
FRIDAY
  • ??
SATURDAY
  • Farmer’s Market maybe?
SUNDAY
  • ??

WHAT’S ON THE DVR/TV We rented the Invisible Man which was actually quite good.  We’re also halfway thru season 3 of Homeland and have started Snow Piercer which is really a bit odd.  Also we have some Good Witch, Worst Cooks, Guy’s Grocery Games and Beat Bobby Flay episodes to watch.

I’M READING A Forever of Orange Blossoms, The Merriams by Ava Miles

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA We went to the local farm market that just reopened.  They were quite limited, but I did find a few things I needed.  I also took this cute shot on our way out.  Gotta love country life.

We took the back way to see the wildlife, but I LOVE all the old barns along the way!

INSPIRATIONAL

LIFE TIP

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
DINNER
SPINACH ARTICHOKE RAVIOLI LASAGNA, SALAD & GARLIC BREAD
CREAMY BACON MUSHROOM THYME CHICKEN & ASPARAGUS
CREAMY TOMATO BASIL SPINACH CHICKEN & SALAD
SLOPPY JOE CORN BREAD BAKE & SALAD
CHEESY TACO PASTA & SALAD
MEATBALL PARMESAN BAKE & SALAD
POTATO HAM CORN CHOWDER & HONEY MILK ROLLS

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

RECIPES TO LOOK FOR THIS NEXT WEEK OR SO

  • FRESH updated COLE SLAW
  • STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE
  • BEEF STROGANOFF SANDWICHES

CANDY BAR RICE KRISPIE TREATS

CANDY BAR RICE KRISPIE TREATS adapted from RecipeGirl.com
1 tablespoon salted butter
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
4 cups Rice Krispies
5-6 ounces chopped Butterfinger candy bars (or candy bar of your choice)*
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening

  • Spray an 8×8-inch pan with nonstick spray.
  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter and peanut butter together over medium heat.
  • Add the marshmallows, stirring until melted.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the rice krispies.
  • Stir in the Butterfingers, reserving 1/4 cup as topping.
  • Scrape the mixture into the prepare pan and press it evenly into the pan with clean hands.
  • Let it cool.
  • Cut the Krispie Treats into nine equal pieces and move them to a platter.**
  • Melt the chocolate chips and the shortening together in a small saucepan or in a small glass bowl in the microwave or until they are melted and smooth.
  • Spoon the chocolate into a zip baggie, snip the corner and squeeze the chocolate into the corner.
  • Drizzle chocolate onto each Krispie Treat and then sprinkle with some Butterfinger crumbs and then drizzle more chocolate on top.
  • Place the Krispie Treats in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to set the chocolate. Do NOT leave them in the refrigerator – they will get too hard!
  • Store them in a covered container.

NOTES:

  • *Use a candy bar with a cookie or nut base along with the chocolate. We prefer Heath bars, KIT KATs or Butterfingers.
  • **You can eat them as they are or store them in a covered container. Otherwise continue with the topping directions.