The Advent Dinner Calendar

What better way to savor family time, holiday rushing, and last minute shopping than to save precious moments making dinner?  Inspired by several of my friends’ requests for a complete dinner plan and Raising Arrows series of posts on Preparing for a Peaceful Holiday, I have outlined quick and easy meals for every night of the holiday season.  Sit back, relax, and be merry!

Click HERE for the printable PDF that has breakfast and dinner outlined for every night.  This outline doesn’t repeat meals and works off of soups, casseroles, and traditional “supper” items. I didn’t make a shopping list because I don’t know what all you have on hand and I didn’t want you cussing me if you made it all the way home to find I forgot an ingredient.

Option Two – at the beginning of the week, stock up on a fish, pork, chicken, and some ground meat.  Grab the produce on sale for that week, and you’re set for broiled or grilled meat with a simple vegetable side dish for the week! Usually the sale or special items for the week are the items that are at the peak of season.

November 30
Pioneer Woman’s Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork – In the oven or slow cooker, this make it and leave it dish is great on slider rolls with sliced gouda or piled in tortillas with cilantro, queso fresco, sliced avocado, and a lime wedge for quick pork tacos – Plus there are usually plenty of leftovers to freeze and use again*

December 1
Dirty Rice

December 2
Super Simple Chicken Pot Pie

December 3
Tomato Parmesan Soup with Crunchy Croutons

December 4
Market Fish and Nancy Fuller’s Garlicky Green Salad

December 5
Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chili Sour Cream Sauce and Mexican Style Street Corn

December 6
French Bread Pizzas with Greek Salad – there are a gazillion versions of these, but basically, grab a loaf of French crusty bread, add a good jarred pizza sauce and whatever toppings you like! I recommend saluting any veggies first. We bake ours for 10-15 minutes at 375, then raise the temp to 450 for another 5-10 minutes to make the cheese golden and bubbly.

December 7
Roast Chicken with Winter Root Vegetables

December 8
Beef & Vegetable Soup the Way Dad Made It

December 9
Broiled Salmon with Sautéed Greens and Roasted Acorn Squash

December 10
Pork Chops with Caramelized Onions, Apples and Thyme, Quick Roasted Asparagus

December 11
Tex-Mex Sweet Potato Skins

December 12
Chicken Broccoli Supreme Casserole

December 13
Toss Together Southwest Chicken Soup

December 14
Chicken Marsala with Garlic Whipped Potatoes & Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots

December 15
Roast Pork Loin (LOVE this one by Paula Deen too) with Gingered Carrots

December 16
Shrimp & Andouille Gumbo

December 17
Roasted Broccoli Soup

December 18
Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas with Simple Avocado & Greens Salad

December 19
Spicy Teriyaki Chicken with Steamed Rice and Steamed Veggies

December 20
Sloppy Joes with Oven Crisped Fries

December 21
Rachael Ray’s Braciola and Sausage Sunday Gravy

December 22
A’s Potato Soup

December 23
Chicken Spaghetti

December 24 & 25
Christmas Eve & Christmas Day are not included since everyone has their own traditions

December 26
Breakfast for Dinner

December 27
Chicken Chile Relleno Casserole

December 28
Lasagna (seriously — you do not need a side)

December 29
Herbed Pork with roasted broccoli

December 30
Beef & Chicken Fajitas, Black Beans & Cilantro Lime Rice

December 31
Kid’s Nite In or Parent’s @ Home Date Night – don’t forget the bubbly! I prefer Prosecco
Beer Cheese Fondue

Make things even easier by using a rotating cycle menu for breakfast during the month of December! I will also make sure I have a big batch of granola or a couple of boxes of cereal on hand for when the inevitable happens: “We OVERSLEPT!”

Week 1:

Monday – eggs to order & toast

Tuesday – oatmeal – dress it up differently with a variety of dried fruit and spices or make it a make your own bar by setting the condiments out and letting the kids build their own bowl. There are tons of recipes online for overnight oats and crock pot oats for even more hands-off time.

Wednesdaymini frittata cups

Thursday – yogurt parfaits – just make sure you have a protein component so you don’t run out of fuel before lunch!

Friday – breakfast burritos – scrambled eggs, salsa, beans/leftover meat, avocado, veggies – options are endless

Saturdaypancakes or waffles – take a basic recipe – I like this one, and add seasonal flavorings all month long – you can even mix dry ingredients the night before. In a rush?  Make a big batch on a slow day and freeze them to warm up later.  Feeling really indulgent?  Try the Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon roll recipe.  You’ll have enough for you and your neighbors!

Sundaybreakfast casserole or omelets to order. Older kids?  Try Omelets for a Crowd – originally a Paula Deen recipe, this method lets everyone customize and cook their own omelet, no cooking knowledge required!  From experience of making hundreds of these – use name brand quart freezer bags, tongs, and have a pot watcher (to make sure the bag isn’t touching the sides).  Save yourself the pain.

Week 2:

Monday – I these little muffins from love Serious Eats! So easy, and the kids always gobble them up! Or for a holiday treat, try Balancing Health and Happiness’ Almond Butter Gingerbread Muffins (hello gluten & sugar free!)

Tuesday – English Muffin or Biscuit ( great biscuits here) breakfast sandwiches

Wednesday – oatmeal or yogurt parfait

Thursday – Eggs! Sometimes I get lazy and make a regular frittata, call it breakfast pizza, and I’m done!

Friday – leftover muffins from earlier in the week or a repeat of breakfast sandwiches

Saturday – Scones – my family loves scones J We make chocolate chip, cinnamon sugar, dried cherry…my favorite are Christmas Sconces, but Two Peas & Their Pod have a lovely Fresh Cranberry Scone recipe as well!

Sunday – same plan as last week…little kids, church service to make it to….if it ain’t broke…

Then you repeat. Not sure about some of my choices?  Check out my Breakfast Board for more ideas!

LOVE this Advent Joke calendar!

Cute Ideas to Get Your Brood in the Holiday Mood
2013 Gift Guide
The Merry Christmas Post

***if a recipe is not linked, it will appear in this month’s posts, so bookmark this page!



Bering Bombs and Kids’ Colds

  • Hi autumn, bye autumn. Lovely Texas Weather. Last week we were soaked to the bone. It was almost 80 degrees yesterday…this morning we are waking up to forty-four, and tonight it will be in the twenties.

    Mamas, like it or not, cooler weather brings colds, the flu, allergies, and sick households. If you live in the south, it also brings ice days.

    After days of being coughed on, puked at, and booger smeared, sometimes Mom succumbs to all of the germs, the cupboards quickly go bare, and we need help! 

    Do yourself a favor and prepare ahead.  Stock the pantry with a few ingredients to make food on the fly.  Buy a box of cereal, quick cook oats, a box of crackers, ginger ale, a box of Popsicles, and a few cans of soup. Dried pasta and jarred or frozen marinara sauce are always crowd pleasers.  I try hard to keep some browned ground meat and cooked chicken in the freezer for a quick thaw and serve meal.  Frozen or canned fruits and vegetables can be a lifesaver. 

    If you really want to be an overachiever, grab a plastic bin to stash in your closet or under your bed and fill it with supplies for a winter craft, ingredients for hot chocolate, new play-doh, a few games they haven’t seen in awhile, bathtub paints…basically stuff to keep their attention when you’re stuck inside for mist of the day. There are some cute ideas on my Snow Day! Pinterest Board.

    Pantry Meals

    Southwest Skillet or try this one from Damn Delicious
    Shopping List:
    1 ½ cups brown or white rice
    3 cups chicken stock
    1-2 cups cubed cooked chicken or ground beef
    1 can Rotel or other canned tomatoes with chilis
    1 can black beans, rinsed
    1 cup frozen sweet corn
    1-2 cups sharp cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
    Sour cream or cream cheese, optional – stir in ½ cup after removing from the heat for creaminess
    *make it meatless by deleting the meat

    To make:
    Sauté rice in some oil or butter. Add chicken stock, Rotel, and corn. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, or until rice is tender.  Stir, add in meat and beans.  Top with cheese, turn off, cover and allow to stand 5-10 minutes.

    Thank you Gimmie Some Oven for the Easiest Crock Pot Tacos Ever
    Shopping List
    4 chicken breasts
    1 jar of your favorite salsa

    Off the Cuff Swedish Meatballs or Stroganoff
    1 batch prepared & cooked/frozen meatballs (this one is my go-to) or 1 pound browned seasoned ground beef or turkey
    2 Tablespoons butter
    2 Tablespoons flour
    1-2 cups warmed beef broth – add intermittently to achieve desired thickness
    2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    1 teaspoon prepared mustard
    1 small package frozen peas
    1 cup sour cream
    Egg noodles
    Dried or fresh parsley

    To Make:
    Bring a pot of water to boil. Salt water and cook egg noodles.  Add parsley, set aside.  In another pan, make a roux with flour and butter, add broth to create gravy.  Season with salt, pepper, mustard and Worcestershire sauce.  Add in peas, bring to gentle boil, and simmer 10-15 minutes.  Turn off heat and stir in sour cream.

    Toss It Together Southwest Chicken Soup
    This soup can be easily assembled with pantry and freezer ingredients
    32 oz (4c) carton low-sodium chicken broth
    3 cups cooked chicken (rotisserie or leftover work great)
    1/2 bag frozen sweet corn or confetti corn
    1 can Rotel
    juice of 1 lime
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano, dried
    1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
    Optional: pump up the protein and add one can of drained and rinsed black beans.

    To Make:
    Bring all ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes.
    Garnish with: crispy tortilla strips, sour cream, pico de gallo, avocado, cilantro, grated cheddar
    Easy to Keep on hand in the Freezer – Classic Chicken Pot Pie
    I add fresh thyme to the sauce, use herb roasted chicken, and sometimes have homemade pie crust but this general guide is too easy!

    Want some more pre-gathered meal ideas? Check out this post from Southern Plate!

    Down for the count? Keep the kids busy with these ideas:


What’s for dinner?  Cool Weather Inspired Dishes

As the weather starts to slowly cool off a bit, I’ve been on a Tex-Mex kick.
Eats for this Week:
Roasted Chicken with Root Veggies
Chicken Enchilada Soup
Seriously awesome BBQ Sauce on Pork Loin with Red Skinned Potatoes Gratin
Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas with Chili Sauce

Roasted Chicken with Root Veggies – so simple! Put it together, throw it in a 425 degree oven & leave it. An hour and a half later, the house will be full of gourmet smells and dinner will be on the table. (Bonus: make more than one, shred the second and freeze it or use it later in the week)
Roasting chicken
Extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoon herb de Provence
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1 Tablespoon fresh cracked pepper
Root veggies of choice, cubed

To Make:
Preheat oven to 425. Mix together dried herbs, salt and pepper in a small dish. Set aside. Cover a baking sheet in foil (way less work cleaning up). Place bird breast side down on baking sheet, drizzle outside of bird with olive oil, and sprinkle liberally with herb seasoning (don’t forget inside of cavity). Quaternary lemon and place inside cavity of the bird. Tie up the legs. Roast at 425 for an hour and a half. When I roast more than one bird, I lower the oven to 400 and cook a little longer. When here is 45 minutes left, toss cubed veggies in olive oil and the herb seasoning and add to the baking sheet with the chicken to roast.

Chicken Enchilada Soup – a few steps, but totally worth it. Plus, leftovers!
Serves 6-8

3 Tablespoons butter
1 sweet bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 rib celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper
4 cups chicken stock or low sodium chicken broth
28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
1 lime, juiced
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons salt
¼ – ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 corn tortillas, cut into think (1/4”) strips, divided
2 cups diced cooked chicken
½ teaspoon baking powder
4 oz cream cheese
4 oz American cheese or quesoblanco (good melting cheese)
1 to 1 ½ cups half and half (can substitute cream, Mexican crema, or sour cream)
4 oz can green chilies
*can substitute 2-3 Tablespoons of non-msg taco seasoning for chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne, cumin and salt.

To Make:
Melt butter over medium heat and sweat pepper, onion, celery, and carrots until softened. Stir in seasonings, stock, tomatoes and 4 tortillas.
Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer 15 minutes. Puree and return to pot.
While soup simmers, bake remaining tortilla strips at 375 degrees until crispy.
Add baking soda, and when bubbling calms, add cheeses, chilies, half and half, and chicken. Simmer over low heat 30 minutes longer, stirring occasionally to prevent scalding.
Garnish with: crispy tortilla strips, sour cream, pico de gallo, avocado, cilantro, grated cheddar

Seriously awesome BBQ Sauce on Pork Loin with Red Skinned Potatoes Gratin
Feeds: 4-6 people
Approximately 1 1/2 -3 pound pork loin roast
2 Tablespoons salt
1 Tablespoon fresh cracked pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Rub pork with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Allow to rest at room temperature approximately 20 minutes before cooking. Sear in pan over medium high heat and roast in oven at 375 for 90-120 minutes or until pork reaches 145 on meat thermometer. Baste with BBQ sauce last half hour of cooking. Allow meat to stand about ten minutes before slicing to serve.

Red skinned potatoes gratin
3-4 red skinned potatoes, thinly sliced and cut into half moons
1/2 onion
1/2 green bell pepper
1 jalapeño pepper
1 clove garlic
3 T flour
2 T butter
1 cup cream
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk
8oz bar sharp cheddar cheese, grated

From the Freezer: Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas with Chili Sauce

Favorite from the pantry:
Williams-Sonoma herbs de Provence – of the little crock isn’t cute enough, the herb blend will win you over

Related Posts:
Borrow my Meals
Breakfasts for the Week
Eats for the Week: Spicy Teriyaki Chicken
Eats for the Week: Tex Spiced Chicken
Eats for the Week: Mediterranean Inspired Chicken
10# of Ground Beef, 8 Meals

Cook Once, Eat for the Week: Spicy Teriyaki Chicken

Spicy Teriyaki Chicken
2 large chicken breasts, each quartered & pounded to ½ thickness
1/3 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
¼ cup tamari
2 Tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Optional:  toasted sesame seeds & drizzle of sesame oil for garnish
Marinate chicken overnight (or I prep chicken, add to marinate & freeze it until I need it) in tamari, pineapple juice, honey, ginger, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes.  The easiest way to do this is in a large freezer safe zip-top bag.

This week I am slightly obsessed with Mason Jar Salads and container meals.  They are just so easy to grab for lunch or on our way out to practice or other after school activities.  This teriyaki chicken is just versatile enough to toss in with a variety of produce all week long. 

Mason Jar Salads are nothing new, they are all over Pinterest.  The key is how you layer the ingredients in the jars.
1. Dressings, oils & vinegars go in the bottom
2. Most recipes say veggies go in next
3. Then proteins
4. Last greens
The only hard and fast rule I adhere to is keeping greens and dressings on opposite ends.

Juice this week:
Super fuel that Jenny Levison shares on the Today Show

1 cup fresh watermelon juice
1/2 cup fresh pineapple juice
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup coconut water
3 tbsp. fresh ginger juice
Sprig of mint

Mini roast beef & pepper jack hoagies
Ham rolls with string cheese
PB&J and ham & cheddar sandwich triangles
Lunchbox veggie pack from Bountiful Baskets: sugar snap peas, grape tomatoes & baby carrots
Nectarine, pear, bag of mixed grapes or small apple
Annie’s variety snack pack
Clif Kid’s ZBar
Horizon strawberry milk
Honest Kid’s apple juice

I overstuff my kiddo’s lunchbox.
1. He eats breakfast at 630-645, lunch at 1030 and school doesn’t release until after 230. That’s a long time without food, especially for a kid.
2. When I taught I always needed a couple of snacks to get me to dinner.
3. He usually has some sort of after school activity/practice
4. The bigger variety of drinks I send, the more likely he is to meet his daily liquid intake needs. I don’t always send juice, but it’s the first week:)
5. I need some packaged and shelf stable products that can be reused if he doesn’t eat them or wants them for his class snack

Cook Once, Eat for the Week: Mediterranean Inspired Chicken

There are weeks that are just too busy to keep up with. Especially lunchtime when Kiddo is back at school. Meals need to be quick to the table, tasty, and easily morphed into another meal. I LOVE grilling a bunch of meat or cooking something in the slow cooker and then eating on it for multiple meals. Hello! lunches all week. This week’s eats starts with some yummy chicken and leads to endless possibilities.

Shopping List for This Week’s Eats:
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• 2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts or mix of breasts and thighs
• plain yogurt
• tomatoes, to dice
• cucumber, to chop
• red bell pepper, to chop
• Greek olives
• feta crumbles
• pita bread &/or flatbread
• salad greens

Mediterranean Inspired Chicken
Oh, so yummy! I LOVE this sautéed cubed chicken! I usually double the recipe and play with the leftovers the rest of the week. This recipe is adapted from an old Betty Crocker one.

• 1 medium onion, sliced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 # skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cubed into 1-2 inch chunks
• 1 ½ t lemon pepper
• ½ t dried oregano
• ½ t dried mint
• ¼ t ground allspice (scant)

1. Combine lemon pepper, oregano, mint, and allspice; mix to coat chicken with seasoning. I drop the seasonings in a big sealable bag, add chicken cubes and give it a good shake; smoosh around to coat.
2. In sauté pan over medium high, heat olive oil, and sear the meat cubes. Be sure not to crowd the pan, so you have a nice golden crust on the chicken. This may mean searing the chicken in batches.
Return any removed chicken to the pan. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft and chicken is cooked through.


Pair with pita bread for a gyro style taco, layer over pita chips for Greek nachos, add into pasta, or pile on top of fresh greens for a quick Greek Salad.

On gyro day, try this…reheat chicken in sauté pan with a splash of chicken stock and a sprinkle of fresh lemon juice. With the heat off, stir in 1/2 cup plain yogurt to create a saucy chicken for your flatbread or pita!
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20140427-225242.jpgTry keeping these sides on hand this week:

Fresh Veggie Crudités

Mixed fresh berries or a fruit salad

Pita Chips with… Giada’s Avocado Hummus Dip or …

Cucumber Yogurt Dip

Mix 1 handful of minced mint, 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic, and 1/2 finely diced seedless cucumber into 1 container of Greek yogurt.

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A bonus recipe with the ingredients on hand from the shopping list.

Flatbread Pizzas
prepared pizza or pesto sauce
mozzarella, feta, or goat cheese
your choice of herbs, veggies &/or meats

Bake at 450 until hot & bubbly



What’s for Dinner? Borrow My Meals

Feel bored, overwhelmed, or just too busy to worry about what to eat this week?  No worries.  I hope you find some inspiration here.  When all else fails, borrow my meals.  Each week I will be posting What’s for Dinner? 

Everyday Granola 
As in, “I could eat this granola Every. Single. Day”.  The base recipe comes from My Gluten Free Kitchen.  I took Michelle’s advice and customize each batch depending on my mood.  I added toasted unsweetened flaked coconut to this month’s and served it with vanilla yogurt and fruit from our co-op basket.

Banana Bread Mini-Loaves adapted from 8 Weeks to a Better You Recipes

Stewed Cabbage & Tomatoes with Smoked Sausage
I had some stewed cabbage leftover from making cabbage rolls.  I added a little salt and pepper and reheated it over medium-high to high heat until the liquid evaporated.  Then I cubed smoked sausage (which I browned in another pan) and added it to the cabbage.  Serve it spooned over leftover rice, and that’s lunch in a hurry. Both boys commented they liked these little German bowls even better than the cabbage rolls.

Grilled Pork Chops with Grilled Spicy Garlic Bok Choy & Ginger Rainbow Carrots
For the bok choy and chicken teriyaki, I use tamari because it is gluten free and the brand I found is non-gmo.

Grilled Spicy Garlic Bok Choy
5 heads baby bok choy
2 Tablespoons chili oil
2 Tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2 Tablespoons honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
To Prepare:
Heat grill to medium to low heat (400-350).  Combine tamari, chili oil, honey, and garlic in bowl.  Slice bok choy in half length-wise, place on a rimmed platter, and brush with chili-tamari mixture.  Wrap tops of bok choy with foil.
Grill bok choy until slightly softened and charred (5 minutes or so on each side).  Remove foil and arrange on serving tray.  Brush with remaining chili-tamari mixture while hot.

Grilled Ginger Rainbow Carrots
1 bunch rainbow carrots
½ X ½ inch cube of crystallized ginger
Salt, pepper, drizzle of olive oil
To prepare:
Clean carrots and cut lengthwise and crosswise once.  On a square of heavy duty foil, toss olive oil, salt, pepper, and ginger with carrots.  Fold to seal foil tightly.  Grill over medium to high (375-400) heat for approximately fifteen minutes or until desired tenderness.

Tex-Mex Sweet Potato Skins
These may be my new favorite dish. Could you pack more good for you into four bites? Thank you! Thank you Tieghan at Half Baked Harvest for the inspiration! They are works of art.
4 small organic yams or sweet potatoes, baked at 375 for one hour, halved lengthwise and cooled about ten minutes then hollowed out to make a potato skin
1 cup black beans
1 chicken breast, small dice or shredded
1 cup cooked or frozen spinach
1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese, divided
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons chili powder

To make:
Combine oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and oregano to make a seasoned oil. In a separate bowl, combine chicken, beans, spinach, and half a cup of cheese to make the stuffing. Brush skins with seasoned oil, place on asking stone or lined baker, and bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or until they begin to crisp. I added the remaining seasoned oil to the stuffing. Stuff the potatoes, top with remaining cheese, and bake for an additional ten minutes. Serve & listen to everyone rejoice at how yummy they are (including resident sweet potato hater). Decide Tieghan might be your new favorite food blogger.

Giada’s Rise & Shine Juice
If I make it again, I will add an apple because on the show the apples she demonstrated with were large and the ones in my co-op basket were very small and I will not add the carrot.

Cucumber Melon Juice
1 handful spinach leaves
4 cups watermelon
1 large cucumber, peeled

Smoothie Add-in:
Frozen honeydew melon

Snacky, Snacky:
Roasted salted almonds & pretzels
Plums, peaches, melon

Cook Once, Eats for the Week: Tex Spiced Chicken


This is a lovely spice rub I have used for all kinds of chicken….whole to cubed. I have put it in quesadillas, stuffed tacos with it, grilled it on a salad, made killer nachos, and used it to prep chicken for countless casseroles and rice dishes. My favorite is in this version of Chicken Georgia.

20140430-224545.jpg    chicken tacos 20140427-230321.jpg

Tex Spice Rub
1 roasting chicken, 4-5 thighs or 4 breasts
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Chicken Georgia via Texas
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
1 tablespoon butter
1 green bell pepper
1/2 container of cremini mushrooms
1 clove of garlic
4-6 slices of Monterrey jack or mozzarella cheese

To make:
Rub chicken with Tex Spice Rub and heat grill.
In sauté pan melt butter with onions over medium heat, adding bell peppers, mushrooms, garlic, agave, and spices once onions begin to soften. Continue cooking until onions and peppers caramelize, stirring now and then while you grill the chicken.
To serve, top hot chicken with sauté mixture and slice of jack or mozzarella cheese.
Serve With: Tex-Mex potatoes, Cilantro Lime Rice, Sour Cream Corn or Grilled Zucchini

Chicken Enchiladas with Sour Cream Sauce
This is my version of a PIn I found from Joyful Momma’s Kitchen. It has quickly become a favorite
10 corn tortillas
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (rotisserie or tex roasted)
3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (you could even do pepper jack)
3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
2 (4 oz) can diced green chillies
Splash of pickled jalapeño juice
Optional: pickled jalapeños to layer on top of cheese upon removing from oven
To Make:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8×8 pan.
In a bowl, mix chicken, 1 can green chilies, and 1 cup of Jack cheese. Spoon tablespoonfuls of chicken mixture into tortillas, roll up, and place in pan. In a sauté pan over medium heat, make a roux with melted butter and flour. Cook at least one-two minutes. Add broth, jalapeño juice (for a kick), 1 cup of Jack cheese, and second can of green chilies. Whisk until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Reduce heat to low, and stir in sour cream. Do not boil. Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese. Bake covered 30 minutes until bubbly. Remove foil and broil 2-3 minutes to brown the cheese. Do not walk away.

Be super lazy (or genius) and layer sauce, tortillas, and chicken mixture to create a sour cream enchilada lasagna!

I do use Lexi’s tips- her blog is awesome.

You can make this ahead and keep it in the fridge up to 24 hours. Just put it in the oven and increase the time a bit. You will want to make sure they are heated through.
**This sauce does not freeze well. The enchiladas themselves freeze really well. I freeze a few pans of them double wrapped in foil and then I just make the sauce the day of. Thaw them first, add the sauce, cook according to original instructions.”

Tex-Mex Potatoes
4-6 small red skinned or Yukon gold potatoes
1/3 onion, diced
1/3 each, red & green bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
salt, pepper and chili powder to taste
To make:
Cube and boil potatoes until just fork tender. Drain. Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a pan over medium high heat. Sauté onion, peppers, and garlic until softened. Add potatoes. Season liberally with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Cook several minutes to combine flavors.

Cilantro Lime Rice

makes approximately 4-6 servings
1 cup of white or brown rice, rinsed
juice of 1 medium lime
1 1/2-2 cups of low sodium chicken stock or water
1 teaspoon of salt
3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon of unflavored oil

To make:
In a small saucepan, add rice, water/stock, oil and salt with half of the lime juice. Boil on high until most of the water evaporates. When water skims the top of the rice, reduce to low, cover and simmer about 15 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to rest an additional 5 minutes. Fluff with a for, mix in cilantro and remaining lime juice and serve.

Watermelon Lush
watermelon lush

1 cup ginger ale
2 cups watermelon, cubed
2 cups ice
1/2 lime, juiced
1 handful mint
pick your poison, mine would be a shot of tequila
simple syrup, to taste

Tostitos Corn Chips
Something to try next time you’re shopping…pick up some of these… organic, no artificial preservatives, and gluten free.