Zucchini Spaghetti with Tender, Grilled Chicken and a Farberware Give Away!

On April 15, 2014, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

What are the recipes that NEVER come out of your meal rotation?  We all have our tried and true favorites — ones we know everyone in the family will eat, can be prepared economically with ingredients we almost always have on hand and are quick and easy to get on the table.  Spaghetti is one [...]

Zucchini Spaghetti with Tender Grilled Chicken Recipe

Moist, tender grilled chicken on a bed of flavor-infused Zucchini “Spaghetti”. Yum!

What are the recipes that NEVER come out of your meal rotation?  We all have our tried and true favorites — ones we know everyone in the family will eat, can be prepared economically with ingredients we almost always have on hand and are quick and easy to get on the table.  Spaghetti is one of mine.  If you’re like me, though, sometimes you just have to shake things up!  :)  I not only get tired of cooking the same things over and over again, I get tired of eating them, too.

Springtime always seems to inspire me to get creative, expand the palates of my husband and kids, and lighten up some of our traditional recipes.  Does that happen to you?  I can’t be the only rebel who wants to put a new twist on a family favorite meal, once in a while.  Last night, I not only “twisted” a traditional meal, I pretty much turned it upside down; and yet there were still a lot of familiar flavors, reminiscent of a typical spaghetti dinner.  With the exception of a veggie-phobic twelve-year-old, my crew actually consumed my new creation with great enthusiasm and smacking of lips.  No worries. I’m confident that lip smacking must surely be a socially acceptable compliment, somewhere in the world, right?  So, I can now say that this dinner was elevated to new heights as a  multi-cultural learning experience, besides being scrumptious.  :) Who knew spaghetti could be so inspiring?

Farberware New Traditions Pan Set in Aqua and Zucchini Spaghetti with Tender Grilled Chicken Recipe

My Farberware New Traditions pan set inspired a brand new recipe! Aren’t they gorgeous?

I did have just a little more inspiration for my “spring-y” new dish, as well.  You know that feeling you get when you get a new dress or a haircut that turns out to be p.e.r.f.e.c.t. for you?  –  that lift in your spirit that makes you feel great, because you KNOW you look great?  Well…I get that feeling from gorgeous new kitchen tools.  :)  Weird.  I know.  I’m not gonna lie, though.  I’m not a jewelry, or candy and flowers kinda girl.  I don’t swoon over expensive perfume.  But…you walk through my front door with enameled stoneware casserole dishes, a high-powered stainless steel food processor, or new kitchen faucets….it’s all over.  I’m putty in your hands.  Just sayin’!  I LOVE kitchen “stuff”.  lol  Plus, I challenge any of you not to be just a little giddy over this beautiful set of pots and pans from Farberware.  Meet my Farberware New Traditions Cookware in Aqua.  Yup!  My dream kitchen color.  These were maaaade for me.  Love! Love! Love!

non-stick surface of Farberware New Traditions Cookware and Zucchini Spaghetti with Tender, Grilled Chicken Recipe

The inside of each pan surface has a white, non-stick coating.

The trendy 12-Piece New Traditions Cookware set, from Farberware, is a Walmart exclusive and available in your choice of red or aqua.  You can pick out your set online or at your local store.  I think I mentioned in a post, earlier this year, that we are getting our house ready to sell, and hopefully making a move by the end of summer or early fall. This beautiful set of pots and pans will be the centerpiece of decorating inspiration for my new kitchen.  They’re exactly the colors I’ve been waiting to put together in the room where I spend so much of my time!

Farberware New Traditions Skillet Bottom and Zucchini Spaghetti with Tender Grilled Chicken recipe.

Even the bottoms of this pretty cookware are decorated! I love the bell-shaped pots; and look close…do you see the scalloped surface in the aqua enamel? So beautiful!

The New Traditions Aluminum Nonstick 12-Piece Cookware Set is high-performance cookware, featuring unique, bell-shaped pots with a beautiful, subtly shaped scallop design on their porcelain enameled exteriors.  These are so pretty, you could easily carry them to the table and serve directly from them.  The insides are covered in a scratch-resistant white nonstick surface for excellent food release and easy cleanup.  The contrast of the bright white inside against the aqua blue outsides is so striking, and coupled with the unique shape, gives this set the “retro” feel I’m excited to incorporate into my next kitchen.  I also love the shatter-resistant glass lids, that make what I’m cooking easily visible without removing the lid. I never have to worry about releasing important heat and steam. And the branding on the lid handles is a nice decorative touch. Farberware double-riveted the comfy, rubberized handles, on the lids and pots, so they are tough enough for my heavy workload, comfortable to grip and I can grab them without worrying about burnt fingers.  One other neat feature, if you’re fortunate enough to have a pot-rack in your kitchen, is that the pans are designed so they can be hung.  What a beautiful accent they would be hanging near your range!

Farberware New Traditions Cookware set and Zucchini Spaghetti with Tender Grilled Chicken recipe

The rubberized handles on the lids are branded with the Farberware name.

Of course, I had to cook something in them imMEEEdiately.  :)  Putting my own modern twist on a family favorite recipe was my assignment from Farberware.  I knew I wanted a dish that mimicked some of the traditional flavors of spaghetti, but I wanted it to be a little lighter; and I wanted it to be gluten-free.  The familiar ingredients I chose were tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, olive oil and Italian seasoning.  The spin on the pasta was to make zucchini spaghetti and instead of making a heavy sauce with beef, I decided to top the yummy “spaghetti” with a freshly grilled chicken breast.  It was HEAVEN!  And bonus….it’s easy!  Enjoy!

Zucchini Spaghetti with Tender, Grilled Chicken

Zucchini Spaghetti with Tender, Grilled Chicken

Ingredients

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 2 cups grape tomato halves
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 4 green onions
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

    to Grill the Chicken
  1. Season both sides of each chicken breast with salt and pepper.
  2. One at a time, place the chicken breasts into a gallon-sized zip-top bag and use the smooth side of a meat mallet, or even a rolling pin, to pound them to an even thickness.
  3. This will help the chicken breasts cook more evenly, plus it embeds the seasoning into your meat.
  4. Place the chicken on the grates of a pre-heated grill, set between 450 - 500 degrees. You will want to quickly sear the meat on both sides (2 or 3 minutes, per side). Use tongs, not a fork, to turn the meat, so you don't prick the seared surface and allow the juices to escape.
  5. Reduce the heat on the grill to about 350 degrees and allow the meat to cook until it reaches an internal temperature around 155 degrees.
  6. Move the chicken to a platter and cover it with foil. It will continue to cook on the platter and should reach 165 degrees by the time you are ready to serve it.
  7. for the Zucchini Spaghetti
  8. Cut the four, washed but unpeeled zucchini into "spaghetti". (I picked up this fantastic spiral cutter on Amazon and I love it for making vegetable "spaghetti" or ribbons. You can definitely use a handheld spiral cutter, or if you're great with a knife, julienne your own veggies, but this is my solution for making my vegetable spaghetti, quickly and easily. If your family loves pasta, but must eat gluten-free, I would consider this tool to be a kitchen essential.)
  9. Heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of two different skillets.
  10. In one skillet, cook the finely diced bell pepper, sliced green onions, garlic and Italian seasoning over medium high heat until the vegetables are hot and tender crisp. not mushy.
  11. In the other skillet, add the zucchini noodles to the oil, over medium high heat.
  12. Zucchini has lots of water content and as it cooks, you will see your huge pile of zucchini quickly begin to shrink down into the pan and lots of moisture will be cooking off. Continue to cook over medium high heat until the "spaghetti" is hot and slightly tender.
  13. Drain the liquid that has cooked off the zucchini and then return the drained "noodles" to the skillet with your other vegetables.
  14. Turn the heat to medium high and add the butter and halved grape tomatoes. Stir until butter has melted and tomatoes are hot.
  15. Salt and pepper to taste.
  16. Pile a serving of your Zucchini Spaghetti in the center of a plate and top with a grilled chicken breast, sliced diagonally.
  17. Enjoy!
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Zucchini Spaghetti with Tender, Grilled Chicken Recipe

We love this lightened up “spaghetti”! You really get the flavor of spaghetti sauce from the lightly cooked vegetables and tomatoes and the zucchini pasta truly mimics that texture of traditional noodles! I hope you enjoy my new spin on a traditional family recipe!

 

GIVEAWAY

One lucky Busy-at-Home winner will win their own Farberware New Traditions Aluminum Non-Stick 12-Piece Cookware Set in their choice of either red or aqua. Entering is as easy as choosing your color.  Fill in your color choice in the empty space in the Rafflecopter form.  Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

What are the reasons you might change one of your family’s favorite dishes and create something completely new?  What are some of the easiest dishes for you to put your own “twist” on?  What would you make?  Do you have a dish you would like to see us “make over” on Busy-at-Home?  I would LOVE for you to share some of your fantastic ideas in a comment. below!

Grilled Chicken with Pineapple Salsa and Blueberry Lemon Iced Tea, Two Recipes to Get You Fired Up for Summer

On March 5, 2014, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop and creation of a grilled chicken recipe has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. Are you dreaming of tall glasses of iced tea, kids zipping around the neighborhood on bikes and scooters, cotton curtains [...]

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop and creation of a grilled chicken recipe has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser.

Are you dreaming of tall glasses of iced tea, kids zipping around the neighborhood on bikes and scooters, cotton curtains blowing in the warm breeze through an open window? I sure am. I don’t know about the rest of you, but that ground hog in Pennsylvania — he’s a troublemaker — and no kind of friend of mine.  lol It was actually much warmer here, today, and sunny.  THAT was awesome.  We had almost reached a balmy 32 degrees by noon.  Freezing is relative, ya know?  After a few days with wind chills of 20 to 30 below, freezing feels good.  I like freezing.  I can live with freezing.  As long as I still get to dream about open windows, vegetable gardens, enjoying summer evenings sipping iced tea on the deck, and a fabulous chicken recipe that gets my husband busy grilling. :)

Blueberry Lemon Iced Tea and chciken recipe #beverage #shop #cbias #recipe

Can’t you just feel that sweet, summer breeze? This is THE best sweet tea I have ever tasted !

We don’t get to enjoy nearly enough grilled food, in the winter.  Now, a few snow drifts and dipping temperatures don’t necessarily mean that you won’t ever find a certain member of our family, standing on the deck in a parka and snow boots, cooking supper while clouds of warm, wonderful hickory smoke billow around him.  ”Are you having fun?” Insert big, cheesy, self-satisfied grin.  It’s a manly, braving-the -elements-kind-of-thing to do — grilling in the snow.  He likes it.  It’s good for him.

Grilled Chicken recipe with Pineapple Salsa  #recipe #shop #cbias #maindish

This moist, juicy chicken is resting on a bed of spicy Pineapple Salsa with a little extra on top, for good measure. DELISH!

Me — not so much.  I. want. spring.  The end. I would like to officially say, “I’m over it.  I’m SO done with winter.”  And to prove to you that I’m serious, I’m going to pretend it’s no longer winter, at all.  If I ignore it, do you think it will go away?  :)  I’m going to share some super fun and delicious summer grilling recipes. And, I’m thinking BIG, like neighbors coming over for a barbecue BIG, 8 or 10 or 20 people, barbecue in the backyard, BIG. BIG I tell you. I’m grilling for a BIG crowd.  Please pray I don’t have to wear his snow boots and parka….You’re a good friend!

Tyson 10 lb. bag of flash frozen chicken breasts for my chicken recipe  #shop #CollectiveBias

Frozen Foods has an entire aisle dedicated to JUST chicken. Tyson’s 10 lb. bags are near the end, at the back of the store.

Seriously though, summer and grilling weather will be here in a blink and you are going to love these DELISH recipes.  I like to make chicken, when I’m the one standing at the barbecue.  It’s so versatile and I love the variety of ways I can prepare it, so that it never seems like, “Oh.  Chicken, again.”  Plus, if you’re hosting a big backyard party, chicken is a very frugal option to feed a hungry crowd, especially if you take advantage of the great prices at Sam’s Club.  I love buying the 10 lb. bags of Tyson flash frozen chicken breasts, there.  It will get our family through a couple weeks worth of chicken meals or provide all I need for entertaining a large group of family and friends, so I almost always grab a bag from the Frozen Foods section, when I have the chance to shop at Sam’s.  Let’s make my Grilled Chicken Recipe with Pineapple Salsa.  Don’t you think the name of it just screams summer, and light, and refreshing?  It’s going to be SOOOO good!  I had Pineapple Salsa at my sister’s house recently and it started me thinking that pineapple juice would be good in a marinade.  So, I tinkered around and I really think you’re going to love it and the way it complements the flavors in the salsa I’m serving, on the side..

Lipton Iced Tea Bags for chicken recipe post #shop #Collective Bias

Look at all that wonderful Lipton Tea. I got the gallon-size tea bags, but that tall stack, just to the left of them is an entire pallet of standard-sized.

This week I not only picked up chicken, at Sam’s Club, but I bought a jumbo box of Lipton Iced Tea Bags, too.  Yes, ma’am.  I am fully prepared to enjoy 48 GALLONS of freshly brewed iced tea perfection.  If that’s not positive, warm-weather thinkin’, I don’t know what is!  Iced tea is exactly where you would expect it, at Sam’s — in the aisle with the coffee and creamers.  Finding it inspired me to share a second recipe that I’ve been dying to try since I found it in Southern Living magazine, years ago.  It’s a fabulously refreshing, fruity twist on my most favorite summer beverage  – iced tea.  I can’t wait to taste  Blueberry Lemon Iced Tea and you won’t believe how gorgeous it is in the glass!

Pineapple Marinade for Grilled Chicken

Pineapple Marinade for Grilled Chicken

Ingredients

  • 6 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 1/3 cups soy sauce
  • 1 1/3 cups honey
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 Poblano peppers, roughly chopped
  • 4 teaspoons black pepper

Instructions

  1. This will be enough marinade for 16 - 20 chicken breasts. Select a large container with a cover, or two smaller containers with covers, that will hold all the chicken plus your marinade.
  2. Remove the seeds and veins from the Poblano peppers. Give them a rough dice. These don't have to be pretty or precise. They are exclusively for flavor and won't be part of your finished dish. (I know this looks like a lot of peppers, but they are actually much milder than a jalapeno. By removing the seeds and veins, you essentially remove the heat and leave just the flavor. Still, be cautious. Don't rub your eyes. Wear gloves when handling hot peppers and wash up thoroughly with soap and water, to prevent any mishaps.)
  3. Pour the marinade ingredients into the container you selected. (Split them in half, if you are using two containers.) Whisk the marinade until you are sure the honey and other ingredients have been completely incorporated.
  4. Place the chicken breasts into the container of marinade.
  5. Cover the container and set it in the refrigerator. Allow to marinate 2-4 hours before grilling.
  6. Preheat the grill.
  7. Remove chicken from marinade and discard remaining marinade.
  8. Be sure your grill is clean and the grates are lightly oiled. Without skin, chicken breasts can easily stick, if you don't take this simple precaution.
  9. Preheat the grill, place the chicken over a medium-high heat and grill to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. (Test this in the thickest part of the breast.) Take care not to overcook. Depending on your grill, it should really only take 5 to 7 minutes per side to cook a thawed chicken breast all the way through.
  10. Remove chicken from the grill and loosely tent the platter with foil.
  11. Allow the meat to rest, under the foil, for 10 - 15 minutes for the juiciest chicken.
  12. Serve with Spicy Pineapple Salsa (recipe below), home fries and roasted asparagus.
  13. That's a delicious, healthy and definitely "summer-feelin'" meal. Enjoy!
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Spicy Pineapple Salsa

Spicy Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients

  • 4 cups diced fresh pineapple
  • 1 cucumber, small diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons cup jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 large (or 3 medium) limes, juice
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine the pineapple, cucumber, bell pepper, cilantro, onion, jalapeno and garlic in a mixing bowl.
  2. Squeeze the lime juice over the veggies and mix thoroughly.
  3. Taste and add salt, if needed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
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Blueberry Lemon Iced Tea

Blueberry Lemon Iced Tea

Ingredients

  • 1 (48 oz.) package frozen blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice
  • 8 cups water, divided in half
  • 1 gallon-size Lipton Iced Tea bag
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • for garnish, fresh lemon, blueberries and mint

Instructions

  1. Bring the frozen blueberries and lemon juice to a boil, in a large saucepan, over medium heat.
  2. Stir occasionally, as it cooks for the next 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the berries from the heat.
  4. Stir in the sugar and stir until it has completely dissolved.
  5. Pour the blueberry mixture through a fine, wire-mesh strainer over a large bowl. You can use the back of a spoon to squeeze any remaining juice from the blueberry skins. (You might want to go with a metal serving spoon for this. I stained my wooden spoon pretty substantially. Blueberry is a lovely color, just not the one you expect your wooden spoons to be. :) Compost or throw away the remaining blueberry solids. Rinse out the pan.
  6. Add 4 cups of cold water to the blueberry mixture to cool it down before pouring it into your pitcher.
  7. Pour into pitcher.
  8. Bring the last 4 cups of water to a boil in the same pan you used for the blueberries.
  9. Add the gallon-sized Lipton tea bag to make your tea concentrate.
  10. Let the tea steep 3 - 4 minutes, longer if you lie strong tea.
  11. Remove the tea bags and stir in the tea into blueberry mixture.
  12. Cover and chill 1 hour.
  13. Serve over ice.
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Okay, I changed my mind.  This is TOTALLY worth putting on a parka and snow boots!  What are your favorite grill party recipes?  Do you have a signature iced tea brew that everyone loves?  Help me rev up my summer grilling mojo .  :)   I’d love for you to share your recipes and ideas and if you need some inspiration, you’ll love all the ideas over at Lipton!  Check them out on Facebook, too, and keep up with the latest recipes and new products.

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#ad Honey Glazed Chicken with Pineapple and Peppers, a Simple and Delicious, Gluten-Free Chicken Recipe

On March 4, 2014, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of the #CookItGF social shopper amplification  for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser.  I’m pretty good about planning our meals ahead of time, and as day-to-day living costs continue their upward march, not eating out is as important for our finances [...]

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of the #CookItGF social shopper amplification  for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. 

Honey Glazed Chicken with Pineapple and Peppers -  #CookItGF #shop #cbias

Moist, delicious Honey Glazed Chicken with Pineapple and Peppers, cooked “kebab-style” and served on a bed of savory red and white quinoa. Completely gluten-free and over-the-moon DELISH!

I’m pretty good about planning our meals ahead of time, and as day-to-day living costs continue their upward march, not eating out is as important for our finances as it is for our nutrition.  That temptation to indulge is never at a more critical juncture, though, than when it’s been one of those nothing-goes-as-planned kind of days and I realize that even if I had a plan for dinner, I forgot to thaw it or didn’t get to do the necessary prep.  You’ve been there, right?  It can’t just be me.  :)  Even if it was affordable to just hop in the car and choose a favorite local eatery, not every restaurant has gluten-free recipes on the menu, and I know that for many of you, that can become a serious nutritional dilemma. Depending on who we are blessed to share our meal with, that’s an issue for us, as well, so I understand your struggle.

Saturday was my “snag” in the schedule day and I was out of town most of the afternoon, for work and grocery shopping.  By the time I made my final stop, at Sam’s Club, I was worn out, facing a long drive back home and realizing I didn’t even have a plan for supper.  Cue the spotlight and music from heaven.  lol  As I headed down the aisle, towards Frozen Foods, a bright green package with the words Gluten-Free caught my eye.  I love shopping the freezer-section specials in the end caps at Sam’s. They’re almost always showcasing new products and I often discover something that becomes a family favorite.  Tyson Grilled and Ready GLUTEN-FREE Chicken Breasts……hmmmmm.  Pre-cooked, gluten-free and nutritious.  See ya around, fast-food drive-thru!  I can make this work.  My mind was spinning through the ingredients in my fridge and the groceries waiting in my car, as I devised a plan for a quick and simple, gluten-free chicken dish to satisfy my hungry family.  I pulled a bag of these flash-frozen time- and budget-savers from the freezer case and headed to the front of the store to check out.  My gluten-free recipe would have plenty of time to evolve on the drive home.

Frozen Foods at Sam's Club #CookItGF #shop #cbias

The Frozen Foods end caps at Sam’s always have great deals and showcase new products. That’s where I ran across the Tyson Grilled and Ready Gluten-Free Chicken Breasts.

And evolve it did.  As a matter of fact, so did I.  In a burst of enthusiasm and new-found energy, I arrived at home feeling a little less constrained for time and a lot more inspired to make something fun and special. After all, my gluten-free chicken was already cooked.  I was already saving time–time to be creative.  :)  One word — kebabs.  (Of course, kebabs are traditionally cooked on the grill, but TECHNICALLY, my meat was already grilled, so I avoided trying to look brave standing in the snowdrift in front of our grill and went full-steam ahead to make “indoor” kebabs.)  There’s just something a little more exciting about food on a skewer.  What is it, I wonder, that elevates a kebab above ordinary fare?  Whatever it is, I determined I was serving it up, Saturday night.  It did take a little extra time, but the beauty of this recipe, is that you can skip the skewers, altogether and have this fabulously tasty and colorful meal on the table in under 30 minutes. Either way, your family and friends will rave about this dish.  It’s light, flavorful and scrumptious!  Enjoy!

Honey Glazed Chicken with Pineapple and Peppers (Gluten-Free)

Rating: 51

12 kebabs

Honey Glazed Chicken with Pineapple and Peppers (Gluten-Free)

Ingredients

  • 1 (2.5 lb) bag of Tyson Grilled and Ready Gluten-Free Chicken Breasts
  • 1 large fresh pineapple
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (could substitute olive oil)
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • http://www.busy-at-home.com/images/kebabs/ingredients.jpg

Instructions

    For Kebabs (when you're feeling fancy - lol )
  1. Cut the chicken breasts into 2 inch chunks.
  2. Mince the garlic.
  3. Cut peppers, pineapple and onion into chunks, roughly the same size as the chicken pieces.
  4. Thread the kebabs, alternating chicken, pineapple peppers and onions on the skewers.
  5. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the honey, coconut oil, soy sauce, garlic and pepper. (If the weather is cool and your coconut oil is solid, you can microwave it for 10 or 15 seconds to return it to a liquid state or substitute olive oil.)
  6. Brush each prepared kebab on all sides, with the honey glaze and then place on a baking sheet. You'll have some glaze left over, so save that for after the kebabs are done cooking. %http://www.busy-at-home.com/images/kebabs/brush.jpg (The recipe usually makes a dozen kebabs, but my pineapple and veggies were large enough that I got 13, this time, so I laid the extra one, horizontally, across the top of the baking sheet, above the row of other kebabs.)
  7. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes or just until they are hot. (The meat is already cooked and you want it nice and moist, so don't overcook. Vegetables should be tender-crisp, NOT mushy.)
  8. Remove kebabs from the oven and brush with remaining glaze.
  9. Serve over a bed of savory red and white quinoa. We had fresh asparagus on the side.
  10. For Quick and Easy Supper in a Hurry
  11. Prepare ingredients as for kebabs, Steps 1-4.
  12. Heat and mix the glaze ingredients in a large saucepan or deep skillet on your stove top.
  13. Add the chicken, pineapple, peppers and onions to the sauce in the pan and cook over medium heat, until all ingredients are heated through (10 - 15 minutes). Remember, the meat is already grilled. You just want things to be hot, with the vegetables tender-crisp and still brightly colored.
  14. Serve over quinoa or rice.
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Honey Glazed Chicken with Pineapple and Peppers (Gluten-Free)   -   #CookItGF #shop #cbias

This meal was gluten-free and simple. I used both red and white quinoa, boiling it in homemade chicken stock and a little butter. The delectable Honey Glazed Chicken with Pineapple and Peppers was a perfect complement to the savory quinoa and with roasted asparagus on the side, this was so much better than anything we would have had in a local restaurant, plus it was a fraction of the cost of eating out!

 

Tyson Grilled and Ready Gluten-Free Chicken Breasts took what could have been a budget-busting, go-out-to-eat-in-a-pinch evening, and turned it into a fabulous family meal at home.  I plan to keep at least one bag, on hand, in our freezer, so I know I can always put a quick and easy gluten-free recipe together for family or guests.  You can sample this tasty new product, for yourself, at the in-store demos at participating Sam’s Clubs, Mar 6th and 8th.

So, what are your quick fix solutions for gluten-free meals?  I’d love to hear about your pantry staples and what you keep on hand to be prepared for guests or family on gluten-free diets.  Thanks so much for stopping by and for being so generous to share your wisdom and ideas.  You rock!

Have a blessing-filled Tuesday!

…..

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese Casserole Recipe with Ranch and Blue Cheese Crumble Topping

On February 19, 2014, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.  What is the dish that most screams “comfort food” to you?  Is there a special recipe your mom made when you were little or that you [...]

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. 

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese Casserole | Busy-at-Home #CookinComfort #shop #cbias #recipe

This creamy, spicy, flavor-packed casserole takes a classic comfort food — macaroni and cheese — and elevates it WAY outside the box. It’s spectacularly delicious!

What is the dish that most screams “comfort food” to you?  Is there a special recipe your mom made when you were little or that you want when you’ve had a rough day? When you’re tired and cold and it’s gloomy outside what are the foods that “call” to you, make you feel warm, at home, comfortable and content?  Being part of this fun #CookinComfort campaign with #CollectiveBias got me thinking about what comfort food really is.  When someone calls a dish “comfort food”, we inherently know what they mean, but the specific foods that say “comfort” to one person may not be the same ones that appeal to someone else.  Is it cultural?  Is it about memories?  Is it about feeling loved and pampered?  Is it about amazing flavors?  Is it about simplicity?  Or is it about the time spent with friends and family enjoying that food?  YES!  I think it’s all of them.  ”Comfort food” evokes an emotional response that is triggered by any one, or a combination of, all of those things.  It soothes, warms and satisfies.  It transports you “home” and wraps you up in the feelings that mean “home” to you.  Plus, it TASTES amazing!  :)

You all know I’m usually a make-it-from-scratch kind of girl, but macaroni and cheese is one dish I have never perfected to my, or my family’s satisfaction.  In the end we always still prefer “the box”, no matter how many different recipes I try.  I guess that’s part of the “comfort” of it — that familiar, happy-memory-invoking creaminess and taste.  Plus, it makes for a great time-saver in this dish, which you’ll love on busy nights where you need something hearty and wonderful, but don’t have a lot of time to invest.  Kraft Shells and Cheese it is!

Living in a small town can make budget-friendly grocery shopping a little bit of a challenge, but I am incredibly fortunate to live in one of those small communities that is home to a Walmart Super Center.  Original Kraft Velveeta Shells and Cheese was affordable and easy to find, there.  As a shopper on a mission, being able to get in, get the ingredients I need and get out quickly is a perk.  I like knowing my way around our hometown Walmart.  The Kraft Shells and Cheese is in the pasta aisle and even with many brands and varieties to choose from, the familiar golden box, pops out at me from the shelves.

Kraft Shells and Cheese in the pasta aisle at Walmart | Busy-at-Home #CookinComfort #shop #cbias #recipe

I love how easy it is to find my way around and locate just the products I need at Walmart. Kraft Shells and Cheese was exactly where I expected it would be.

 

“Buffalo”-anything is an instant hit with my kids.  I’m not exactly sure when the “buffalo phenomenon” swept across America, but I know I initially missed the memo.  My older children first discovered it, in its many forms, and when I received the opportunity to create a comfort food recipe with Kraft, I decided to take my family’s new-found “buffalo” love and incorporate it in my dish.  So, Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese Casserole was born.  The crunchy, flavor-packed Ranch and Blue Cheese Topping takes this yummy dish to the extreme of perfection.  Sadly, no matter how intense the effort, our crew of five has not been able to convert their mild-loving Dad to the “buffalo” craze, so for him, this dish was still “a little spicy”, but everyone else adored it!  If you have “buffalo” fans in your home, this delicious dish will be an instant favorite!  The recipe filled my large 4 1/2 quart Bubble and Brown Casserole Dish, so it’s plenty for a big family dinner, potluck at church or for a hungry, fired-up crew watching football.  It would easily feed 12 – 16 people.  Enjoy!

 

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese Casserole | Busy-at-Home #CookinComfort #shop #cbias #recipe

Warm, creamy, melted cheese cradling chunks of buffalo chicken and pasta shells, topped with a ranch and blue cheese streusel.  What’s not to love? You know you want a bite!

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese Casserole with Ranch and Blue Cheese Crouton Topping

Rating: 51

30 minutes

40 minutes

1 hour, 10 minutes

12 - 16 servings

Ingredients

    for macaroni and cheese
  • 3 boxes (12 oz) Kraft Velveeta Original Shells and Cheese
  • for buffalo chicken
  • 2 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup buffalo sauce
  • other casserole ingredients
  • 1 cup green onion
  • 1 cup red bell pepper
  • 1 cup celery
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups cheddar
  • 2 cups monterey jack
  • for ranch and blue cheese streusel
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup ranch
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese
  • 2 cups Italian Panko

Instructions

  1. Prepare Kraft Shells and Cheese according to package directions.
  2. In a large, deep skillet melt 1/4 cup butter.
  3. Add chicken chunks, salting and peppering to taste. (I used no salt, since many of the other ingredients contain salt.)
  4. Stir the chicken, quickly, and then cover with a lid to allow to cook.10 -15 minutes should be sufficient for cooking the chicken through. You can easily boil the macaroni and cook the chicken, at the same time.
  5. When chicken has fully cooked, add bell peppers, onions and celery to the skillet.
  6. Then add cream cheese, sour cream and buffalo sauce.
  7. Stir all ingredients together over low heat, until cream cheese has melted and ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
  8. To Assemble Casserole
  9. For the first layer, spread 1/2 of the prepared macaroni and cheese in the botom of your casserole dish. I used a 4 1/2 qt Bubble and Brown casserole dish, but if you don't have a dish that big, you can also try to layer it into a couple of 9x13 baking pans.
  10. For the second layer, pour 1/2 the buffalo chicken mixture over the macaroni and cheese.
  11. Spread 1 cup each of grated cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese over the buffalo chicken layer.
  12. Repeat the layers with remaining mac and cheese, chicken and cheese.
  13. Mix the crumb topping by combining the 1/4 cup melted butter, ranch and blue cheese dressings and Italian Panko in a medium bowl. Topping will be very moist.
  14. Plop chunks of topping over the entire surface of the casserole.
  15. The topping will bake up quite crisp and packed with powerful flavor, like croutons on the casserole.
  16. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Increase the temperature to 425 degrees and allow the topping to brown up for 5-10 minutes.
  17. Remove from the oven and serve with your favorite veggies or a delicious green salad. This casserole has so much wonderful flavor and the textures are fantastic. Enjoy!
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Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese Casserole | Busy-at-Home #CookinComfort #shop #cbias #recipe

A comfort food champion!  Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese  Casserole with Ranch and Blue Cheese Crouton Topping.

Mexican Chicken Stuffed Shells, My Most-Viewed Recipe of 2013

On January 9, 2014, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

Looking back over 2013, it was easy to determine which recipe was the reader favorite in 2013.  This Mexican Chicken Stuffed Shells recipe posted clear back in 2011, was viewed more than 1,077,000 times in 2013!  It was my most “pirated” recipe, as well, with four different blogs or Facebook pages literally copying and pasting [...]

Mexican Chicken Stuffed Shells

Looking back over 2013, it was easy to determine which recipe was the reader favorite in 2013.  This Mexican Chicken Stuffed Shells recipe posted clear back in 2011, was viewed more than 1,077,000 times in 2013!  It was my most “pirated” recipe, as well, with four different blogs or Facebook pages literally copying and pasting my personal photos, text and code — posting it as their own work with no link back to Busy-at-Home.  Who knows how many more hits it would have received if those links had directed them back here, to the original?  It sort of boggles the mind that a recipe could become so popular in such a short amount of time and then hold on as the most-visited post for two years running.  But, since it’s one of our family’s favorites, too, it definitely makes sense to us and I am sharing the post with you, again, to kick off 2014.  I hope it tantalizes your taste buds and fills up your family with warm, homey comfort as you navigate the peak of these cold winter days.  I am so blessed to have had an extended visit with our family to celebrate the holidays and just catch up, these first weeks of January.  I intend to pick up my blogging schedule, again, later in the month, and hope in the meantime you are blessed beyond measure and that you will enjoy this yummy recipe, once again.  Happy 2014!

This portion reposted from June 13, 2011:

I recently discovered the Secret Recipe Club, brain-child of Amanda Formaro, of Amanda’s Cookin’, and decided to join the fun in June.  Every month, participating blogs are assigned another foodie blogger’s website.  They browse the recipes on their assigned site and select one to use as inspiration in creating a dish for that month’s secret recipe club, putting their own creativity, flair and nuances into the mix.  At the exact same time, on the exact same day, all the recipes are posted and the secret recipe blogs are revealed.  It’s a fun way to find new recipes and meet other foodie bloggers.  For June, I was assigned Debbi Does Dinner…Healthy and Low Calorie.

So, what was the recipe post that made my tastebuds dance, just looking at the picture?  I visited Debbi’s site and the recipe on her homepage, that day, was calling my name.  I definitely created a dish that fit my own family’s personal tastes, but Debbi’s delicious photos were my inspiration for this new, sensational and easy recipe.  The post that inspired my June Secret Recipe Club submission is  Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells. I incorporated my family’s love of Mexican and southwest flavors and created my new dish — these heavenly Mexican Chicken Stuffed Shells.  You’re gonna want them for dinner, tonight!

exact same time, on the exact same day, all the recipes are posted and the secret recipe blogs are revealed.  It’s a fun way to find new recipes and meet other foodie bloggers.  For June, I was assigned Debbi Does Dinner…Healthy and Low Calorie.

So, what was the recipe post that made my tastebuds dance, just looking at the picture?  I visited Debbi’s site and the recipe on her homepage, that day, was calling my name.  I definitely put our own family’s spin on it, but Debbi was my inspiration for this absolutely delicious and easy recipe.  The recipe that inspired my June Secret Recipe Club submission is her Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells. I incorporated my family’s love of Mexican and southwest flavors and created these heavenly Mexican Chicken Stuffed Shells.  You’re gonna want them for dinner, tonight!

You could definitely cut this recipe in half, if you’re cooking for a smaller crew.  We had company for dinner and I made 38 stuffed shells.  The recipe left me with about 1 1/2 cups of extra filling, which was promptly devoured for lunch the next day in tortillas!

Mexican Chicken Stuffed Shells

Rating: 51

30 minutes

30 minutes

12-15 servings

Mexican Chicken Stuffed Shells

Hearty, delicious chicken and pasta dish with a little southwest or Mexican kick. These are filling and comfort food at it’s best! Make them for company and you’ll be the hit of the party!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chicken breast, cooked and chopped
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 green onions, diced
  • 1/2 each of red, green, yellow, & orange bell peppers (or 2 whole bell peppers of your choice), diced
  • 3 (8 oz.) blocks cream cheese, softened (not melted)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with chiles (don’t drain) (Rotel or store brand, either works)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup of picante sauce
  • 38 large pasta shells, cooked al dente

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta shells in well salted, boiling water until al dente (still have a little bite to them) If you cook them too long, they will be difficult to stuff, plus they will have additional cooking time, once they are stuffed. Drain the pasta and set aside while you make the filling.
  2. Cook, drain and dice enough chicken breast to make 4 cups. I always have homemade chicken stock and pre-cooked diced chicken bagged in my freezer. You could use canned chicken broth if you prefer.
  3. To make the filling, mix diced chicken, drained black beans, green onions, diced peppers, and cumin in a large mixing bowl. Thoroughly incorporate all the ingredients.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese, chicken stock and undrained tomatoes with chiles. When thoroughly combined, pour it over the chicken mixture and mix well. (If you have trouble incorporating the cream cheese and tomatoes, you can heat it slightly in the microwave.)
  5. Spread 3/4 c. picante sauce in the bottom of a large baking pan. (I used 13x18x2, but I’m guessing that two 9×13′s would also work.) Reserve the final 1/4 cup, for later.
  6. Using a spoon, or your fingers, fill each of your cooked and cooled pasta shells, setting them into the picante covered pan. Continue until all shells are filled and arranged in the pan.
  7. When the pan is full, drizzle the shells with the remaining 1/4 cup of picante and then sprinkle with the shredded cheddar cheese.
  8. Cover the baking pan tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
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Here’s how to make them.

  1. Boil pasta shells to al dente, then drain and cool them while you mix up the filling.
    pasta shells
    Drained and cooled shells, ready to be stuffed.
  2. Dice the chicken, peppers and green onion.  (My chicken was pulled from the freezer, pre-cooked and diced.  Freezer cooking is a great time-saving idea for recipes like this.)
    diced veggies
    Diced onions and peppers
  3. To make the filling, mix diced chicken, drained black beans, green onions, diced peppers, and cumin in a large mixing bowl.  Thoroughly incorporate all the ingredients.
    chicken, beans and veggies
    Chicken, beans and veggies mixed.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese, chicken stock and undrained diced tomatoes w/chiles (Rotel).  When thoroughly combined, pour it over the chicken mixture and mix well.
    cream cheese and rotel
    Mix the softened cream cheese with the undrained diced tomatoes and chiles to create a delectable sauce for your chicken and veggie mixture.  Blend the sauce with the chicken and veggies.
    sauce
    Creamy, spicy, delicious sauce for your filling.  If you have trouble incorporating the tomatoes and cream cheese, you could heat it slightly in the microwave.
  5. Spread 3/4 cup of picante sauce in the bottom of a large baking pan.
    picante in a pan
    Spread a thin layer of the picante sauce over the bottom of your baking pan and reserve the last 1/4 cup of sauce for later.
  6. Stuff each of your cooled shells with the delicious chicken, cheese and veggie filling you just created and arrange the shells over the picante sauce in your baking pan.
  7. Drizzle remaining 1/4 cup of picante sauce over filled shells.
    pasta shells
    Filled shells, drizzled with remaining 1/4 cup picante.
  8. Sprinkle shredded cheddar over the entire pan of stuffed shells.  Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
    bakedpastashells
    Close up of baked shells.
    pan half eaten
    These were a huge hit and went quickly. We did end up with a few leftovers at the end of the meal, which heated beautifully in the microwave the next day. There was also a little of the chicken/veggie/bean filling left over, which we used in tortillas shells. Yum!
    girls
    Every new recipe needs its official taste testers. These girls are tough critics and gave a combined 4 thumbs (and two forks) up to this yummy dish!

Check out all the other delicious Secret Recipe Club entries for June.

They’re going to make you SOOOOO hungry!

,,,

Chicken Pot Pie Muffins

On August 6, 2013, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

.Whether you create them as a breakfast-on-the-go or serve them with a perfect salad for dinner, these simple, delicious and easy little muffins are loaded with nutrition and flavor.  They pack a great protein punch and they are incredibly versatile, adapting easily to what you have in the freezer or pantry. The baking mix is [...]

.Whether you create them as a breakfast-on-the-go or serve them with a perfect salad for dinner, these simple, delicious and easy little muffins are loaded with nutrition and flavor.  They pack a great protein punch and they are incredibly versatile, adapting easily to what you have in the freezer or pantry. The baking mix is made with whole grain flour and laced with organic coconut oil.  The filling is roasted white meat chicken and all the veggies you can gather in the kitchen. Not only are they easy and loved by the entire family, these will freeze like a dream!  So, I can make them ahead and just pull out what we need.  I’m going to have to make several different varieties, I think.  DELISH!

Chicken Pot Pie Muffins

Chicken Pot Pie in a muffin! Well, almost. :) There’s no gravy, but lots of tender delicious chicken and veggies with cheese. I served them with a fresh zucchini “pasta” salad!  Yum!

 

Chicken Pot Pie Muffins

Chicken Pot Pie Muffins

Ingredients

    For Batter:
  • 1 cup Healthy Homemade Baking Mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • For Filling:
  • 1 cup cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced small
  • 1 cup raw russet potatoes, peeled and diced small
  • 1 cup veggies of choice (I used celery, red bell pepper, and red onion.)
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar or Colby cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Mix together baking mix, milk and eggs for batter and set aside.
  2. Cut chicken and vegetables and mix together in mixing bowl with grated cheese. Add a little salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
  4. Spoon 1 1/2 Tablespoons of batter into the bottom of each muffin cup.
  5. Add about 1/4 cup filling on top of the batter in each cup.
  6. Then add an additional 1 1/2 Tablespoons of batter on top of each muffin cup of filling.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and cool in the tins for about five minutes.
  9. Serve with a fresh salad, fruit or veggies. I served ours with a zucchini "pasta" salad, which I'm hoping to share the recipe for, in a day or two.
  10. To freeze, cool completely on a wire rack.
  11. Then set each muffin on a cookie sheet, (don't let the sides touch.) and flash-freeze for a couple of hours. Toss the frozen muffins in a ziptop bag and keep in the freezer. Because you flash-froze them, they won't stick together in the bag. Pull out just the number you need and heat them quickly in the microwave, for a tasty meal-on-the-go!
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Healthy Homemade Baking Mix (Bisquick Alternative)

On August 6, 2013, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

Sometimes, the quick convenience of baking mix is SOOOO hard to pass up, even though I know that what is commercially available is loaded with hydrogenated fat, artificial colors and preservatives and, most likely, some GMO ingredients.  In the past, I have made a scratch version, to save money, but it called for unbleached white [...]

Sometimes, the quick convenience of baking mix is SOOOO hard to pass up, even though I know that what is commercially available is loaded with hydrogenated fat, artificial colors and preservatives and, most likely, some GMO ingredients.  In the past, I have made a scratch version, to save money, but it called for unbleached white flour and shortening.  I would always want to substitute butter, but then it would have to be refrigerated….and yada, yada, yada.  I eventually quit using baking mix.  Now, that we have easier access to much more healthful ingredients, I threw together this easy baking mix and it has worked out fantastically!  It’s a quick fix for whole grain pancakes or biscuits, in the morning, and wait until you see the yummy Pot Pie Muffins I made with it!

First here’s the simple recipe for the baking mix.  No refrigeration needed and NO hydrogenated fat!  Just keep it in the pantry in a tightly sealed container and you’ll be just minutes away from your favorite baked goods!

Healthy Homemade Baking Mix (Bisquick Alternative)

Ingredients

  • 15 cups whole wheat flour (I prefer hard white wheat.)
  • 1 1/4 cups baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk powder
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons salt
  • 2 cups coconut oil

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.
  2. Cut the coconut oil into the dry ingredients, with a fork or pastry blender, until it resembles coarse meal.
  3. Seal in an airtight container and store in the pantry.
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Tonight, the first thing I made with this simple baking mix was delicious Chicken Pot Pie Muffins for our dinner.  Be sure to check out the recipe.

Chicken Pot Pie Muffins from Busy-at-Home

Chicken Pot Pie Muffins. DELISH!

 

In the morning, I’ll test it out on some fresh, homemade biscuits.  I’ll let you know how they come out!  In the meantime, here are a couple of the staple recipes that you can use the baking mix in, and I promise, there will be more coming in the days, ahead.  Enjoy!

Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups Healthy Homemade Baking Mix
  • 2/3 cup milk or water
  • melted butter, optional

Instructions

  1. Stir together the mix and liquid to form a soft dough. If you need more moisture, add it just a teaspoon at a time, to get the dough consistency you want.
  2. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to about 1/2 inch thickness.
  3. Cut biscuits and place on an ungreased baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 425 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown.
  5. Remove from the oven and brush the tops with melted butter, if desired.
  6. Serve with butter, honey, jelly or sausage gravy.
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..

Quick and Tasty Whole Grain Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Healthy Homemade Baking Mix
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cup milk or water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together to form a smooth batter. (If you like thicker pancakes, use the lesser amount of liquid. For thinner pancakes add the greater amount.)
  2. Ladle batter, 1/4 cup at a time, onto a hot, greased griddle or skillet.
  3. Cook until edges begin to dry and bubbles, in the center of the pancake, pop. Pancake will be golden brown on cooked side.
  4. Flip pancakes and cook on the other side until pancake is cooked through and golden brown on the bottom.
  5. Serve immediately with fresh fruit and berries, honey, maple syrup and butter or any of your favorite toppings.
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Savory, Delicious Monterey Chicken with Home Fries

On August 4, 2013, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

Thursday was one of those days where I had actually thawed chicken for dinner, but been so busy with other things, that I hadn’t given much thought to what I would do with it.  When I did get around to making supper, my crew was already near to expiring from hunger.  :)  ”When is supper?” [...]

Thursday was one of those days where I had actually thawed chicken for dinner, but been so busy with other things, that I hadn’t given much thought to what I would do with it.  When I did get around to making supper, my crew was already near to expiring from hunger.  :)  ”When is supper?”  ”What is supper?”  ”How long before supper?” “Is it supper, yet?”  Not wanting to risk an uprising, I calmly stated, “About half an hour.”   What?  Am I nuts!??!!  Clearly, I should have thought that statement through!  Oh well, now I was committed. Here we go!  (It’s actually took me about 45 minutes, but that’s because I took pictures.  You can just cook.  It’s gonna be fine.)

Monterey Chicken from Busy-at-Home

Moist, savory and delicious and topped with fresh garden produce. Yum!!

You’re only going to need a few items from the pantry and garden and you’ll be able to set this delicious, and really quite beautiful meal on the table.  It’s simple and everyone will be looking for the restaurant chef you have hidden in the broom closet!  :)  Enjoy!

Monterey Chicken and Home Fries

Monterey Chicken and Home Fries

Ingredients

    For Chicken:
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce, use your family's favorite
  • 1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup bacon, fried and coarsely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, minced (Remove seeds and veins.)
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • For Home Fries:
  • 6-8 russet potatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in heavy skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Carefully add the chicken pieces to the hot butter and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Allow chicken to brown on that side and then turn to brown the other side.
  4. Put a lid on the skillet, reduce heat to medium and let chicken finish cooking while you prep the rest of the meal. (20 - 25 minutes)
  5. Peel potatoes. Slice into eighths, lengthwise.
  6. Toss the potato wedges in olive oil, coating each slice. Salt, to taste and then bake in a 425 degree oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown.
  7. While chicken and potatoes finish cooking, gather the chicken topping ingredients. Dice tomatoes and bacon. Mince jalapeno and slice green onions. Shred the cheese.
  8. When chicken is done cooking, shut the heat off on the burner and brush on a thin layer of barbecue sauce.
  9. Cover each chicken breast with a layer of shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Then sprinkle with bacon and minced jalapeno. Replace the lid and allow the heat from the food to melt the cheese. (1 or 2 minutes)
  10. Pull the golden home fries from the oven and get ready to serve your delicious meal.
  11. To serve the chicken, top each piece with fresh, diced tomatoes and sliced green onion. Add a side of the freshly baked and golden brown home fries. We also ate raw cauliflower with ranch dip. DELISH!
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And there you go!  A fabulously, flavorful and gorgeous dinner in just about 30 minutes!  Hope you love it as much as we did!

Deliciously Simple Chicken Teriyaki Recipe

On July 30, 2013, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

Chicken Teriyaki is a dish I have never made, before.  Silly me!  At one point, way back a zillion or so years ago, David and I went out to eat and he ordered chicken teriyaki.  He HATED it!  I mean like really truly disliked it.  And this is the guy I can cook just about [...]

Chicken Teriyaki is a dish I have never made, before.  Silly me!  At one point, way back a zillion or so years ago, David and I went out to eat and he ordered chicken teriyaki.  He HATED it!  I mean like really truly disliked it.  And this is the guy I can cook just about anything for and he’ll eat it.  Nothin’ doin’.  He was pretty decisive on the issue.  Needless to say, I’ve never bothered to try and make him any at home.

We typically have 10-12 people at our home for Sunday dinner.  I love the noise, the chaos, the three conversations going at once and all the laughing around the table.  I love hearing, “Grandma, sit by me.”  ”Uncle Michael, come down here.”  ”Here’s your chair, Grandpa.”  (Picture chubby fingers patting the seat beside them.  :) )  When feeding a crowd, that will be starving before church service has even dismissed, I usually have something in the crock pot or set the delayed start on my oven and have a wonderful big casserole piping hot and bubbly, when we walk in the door, after church.  Last week, I still needed to feed the whole tribe, but I was in the mood for something different.  I wonder what would happen if I made Chicken Teriyaki?  :)

Chicken Teriyki

One thing I WILL say about getting older, that seems to be working in my favor, is that David doesn’t always remember that he was emotionally scarred by a particular dish.  :)  Maybe it’s just a maturing palate?  Anyway, I went out on a limb, Sunday and made my version of a Chicken Teriyaki dish.  I knew I would only get one shot at changing his mind.  But, before you get your mouths all set, and hankering for teriyaki, let me say, again, I have never made this before and it is, likely, NOTHING like a traditional teriyaki.  It IS however one of my husband’s favorite new dishes.  lol  Go figure.

After reading through several different teriyaki recipes, I started pulling ingredients from the pantry and fridge.  This is what I started with.  It was not the final roster of ingredients, however.  As you know, when you embark on a grand experiment like this, in the kitchen, it requires starting with what you think you will use, tasting and adding a little somethin’ somethin’ that the dish still needs, simmering a bit and then tasting, again, – adding, adjusting and finally — nirvana!  Yup, I have to say, it’s pretty darn good!  And the beautiful thing is…I remembered to write everything down.  Now, you can make it, too!  It’s actually incredibly easy!

Teriyaki Ingredients

Dark brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (You could substitute soy sauce), black pepper, ginger, fresh garlic, arrowroot powder and chicken I had roasted the day before.

 

What is written, below, is the true recipe for the finished product, with no trial and error and tasting and adjusting necessary on your part.  It also includes all the ingredients I added AFTER the above picture was taken.  :)  Enjoy!

Deliciously Simple Chicken Teriyaki

Rating: 51

15 - 18 servings

Deliciously Simple Chicken Teriyaki

This made a huge batch! There were ten of us for lunch and we still had leftovers for supper.

Ingredients

  • 6 - 8 chicken breasts, roasted and torn into large chunks
  • 3 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced fine
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup red onion, minced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 - 3 green onions, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Whisk together brown sugar, liquid aminos, vinegar, ginger, garlic, pepper and chicken stock in a large stock pot or dutch oven.
  2. Bring them to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, to make sure sugar is dissolving.
  3. Whisk together arrowroot powder and water until the arrowroot is completely dissolved. The liquid will look like milk and shouldn't have any lumps floating in it.
  4. Whisk the arrowroot liquid into the boiling sauce.
  5. Stir continuously, as sauce thickens.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and add red onion, bell pepper and sesame oil.
  7. Stir in the chunks of chicken and turn gently to be sure each piece is coated with the thickened sauce. Leave over low heat to allow everything to heat through and the flavors to meld (20 - 30 minutes).
  8. Stir occasionally, to make sure it isn't sticking to the bottom of your pot. Stir gently so you don't break up those gorgeous big chunks of chicken too much. Some of your chicken will, naturally, shred as you're stirring, but you want a few of the larger chunks left, too, as it makes your finished dishes so much more beautiful.
  9. Arrange chicken over brown rice and drizzle extra sauce over the chicken and rice. Garnish with thinly sliced green onion. We paired it with roasted asparagus and added wedges of heirloom tomatoes from the garden. It's fantastic!
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Pesto Chicken and Asparagus Braid with Sharp Cheddar Velveeta- DELISH!!!

On June 2, 2013, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and Velveeta.  As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own, and based on my personal experience with the product.  The recipe is [...]

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and Velveeta.  As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own, and based on my personal experience with the product.  The recipe is my own original creation. #cbias #SocialFabric #VelveetaRecipes

It’s been one of those crazy weeks, at out house, that no one can ever really be prepared for.  Last Friday night my mother was taken to the hospital in her hometown and then transferred to the hospital in the city, about 35 miles from us, on Saturday morning.  Over the course of the week, she has had several surgeries and given us a scare or two, but God in His sovereign power protected her and guided and comforted us, as events played out.  Through several miraculous interventions He provided the correct doctors, the correct diagnosis of conditions that had previously gone unnoticed and the skilled care to correct all the issues.  Her husband, my brothers and sisters, and I have been overwhelmed with the blessings packed down and overflowing into our lives, and yet, for most of us, it has meant spending many tense and exhausting days and nights, away from our families.  On Thursday evening, things were calm enough that I decided I could spend a night at home and just drive back in the morning.  I was looking forward to a quiet evening of “normal” and wanted to cook something delicious, that my family would enjoy.  As it turned out, I was so exhausted when I got home that night, that I fell fast asleep on the couch and no one had the heart to wake me.  :)  They tossed a blanket over the top of me and just let me rest.

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Pesto Chicken and Asparagus Braid

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I woke, the next morning, rested and energized and prepared a tasty lunch for my crew, before I headed back to the hospital.  Since I had already been challenged to create a new recipe using Velveeta, I decided now was the time to get creative and make something special.  I found several different varieties of the 2 lb loaves, when I shopped, but when I saw the Sharp Cheddar, I knew it was definitely the one for my hungry bunch.  Check out my Google album to see the other varieties, and the rest of my shop.  My new recipe was a fabulous success and was requested to be kept in our family’s regular meal rotation.  I hope you enjoy this simple dish as much as we did!

Pesto Chicken and Asparagus Braid

Rating: 51

Pesto Chicken and Asparagus Braid

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (8 count) crescent roll dough
  • 2 - 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 20 - 25 stalks fresh asparagus, diced
  • 1/3 cup onion, minced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (4 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2" to 3" chunk of Sharp Cheddar Velveeta (about 1/2 cup) from a 2 lb. loaf

Instructions

  1. Cover a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Unroll both rolls of crescent dough, seal perforations and shape into a 10 x 14 rectangle. (I just rolled it all in a ball and rolled it out with a rolling pin. : ) ( Also, I know my picture, shows 3 cans, but as with all recipe creation, it is somewhat trial and error, in the beginning, and I wasn't sure how much dough I would want. Two cans was, actually, perfect!)
  3. Place the dough rectangle onto the foil covered sheet.
  4. Mix the cream cheese, pesto and butter in a small bowl, until thoroughly blended.
  5. Spread the cream cheese mixture in a thin layer over your rolled out crescent dough rectangle. (I cut the braid strips before spreading mine, but it will be much easier next time to spread it first.)
  6. Once the dough is evenly covered with the pesto cream cheese mixture, cut 3/4" slices down the length of each side of the rectangle, about 1/3 of the way in, toward the center. The unsliced, center 1/3 will be where you place the filling for your braid.
  7. Dice the chicken, pepper, onions and asparagus and add to a large bowl.
  8. Mix the diced chicken, asparagus, onions and pepper to get an even distribution of the ingredients.
  9. Scoop the chicken and asparagus mixture into a long hill down the unsliced center of the dough.
  10. Cut your 2-3 inch piece of Velveeta into thin slices. Because the cheese is so soft and perfect for melting, it will not make beautiful thin slices, but you can press out any parts that seem too thick. Drape them over the top of the chicken filling, until the entire length of the filling is covered in a thin layer of cheese. It won't be beautiful at this point, but just wait! As it bakes, the cheese will create a melty, gooey, liquid gold sauce for your chicken and veggie filling as it mingles with the cream cheese and pesto!
  11. Begin your braid by folding the end slices up and across, overlapping them, and sealing them tightly, to hold the filling in. Once you've dont this at both ends, you can start your "braid".
  12. Bring a cut strip, from one side of your braid, up and across the filling, stretching it to reach the center. Grab the corresponding strip on the opposite side and stretch it to just overlap the first. Then go back to the first side and repeat the process until the entire "loaf" has been braided.
  13. You will have some open spaces between the strips your braid, and that's good! Those vents will allow steam from your fresh veggies to escape and prevent the bread from being soggy, as it bakes.
  14. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes before slicing.
  15. I served our Pesto Chicken and Asparagus Braid with thick, sliced tomatoes and Asian Coleslaw. It was an excellent combination and a truly delicious meal!
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What’s your favorite recipe to use Velveeta?  Do you stick with the original or have you tried the other delicious varieties like Queso Blanco, 2% Milk, Sharp Cheddar, and Mexican Mild?  Find out more about them on Velveeta’s Facebook page!

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