Texas Roadhouse Green Beans

I’m like a little kid when it comes to eating my vegetables. Once I see them, I start the “But Mom, I don’t LIKE [insert evil vegetable name here]!” whining. I guess that’s the fun part about adulthood…you don’t have anyone forcing you to eat the dreaded veggies. Or at least until you have kids. Because now I have to convince two very smart boys that vegetables are delicious! Thankfully, the tiny man is a big fan of the veggies…I’ve actually seen him choose cherry tomatoes or sliced red peppers over cookies. No joke. How is this kid mine?

Because I need to continue the “veggies are great!” routine around here, I really need to embrace eating them, and find some delicious ways to prepare them. Let me tell you, this recipe for green beans is an excellent start! First of all, everything is better with bacon, and that’s where these bad boys start. Add some onions (which I didn’t do this time because I was somehow out of onions), saute for a bit, then add the green beans, water, salt, pepper and sugar, and voila, a tasty green bean side dish in a short amount of time! These do taste better the longer they cook…the first time I made them they only simmered for about 10 minutes, but the second time I let them go for a little over 30 minutes, and they tasted much better the second time around. If you are veggie-phobic as I am, or have veggie-phobic kids/spouses/etc., I recommend giving these a try!

Texas Roadhouse Green Beans

2 (16 ounce) cans of green beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 strips of bacon, diced
1/2 a medium onion, diced

Drain green beans and set aside. Mix water, sugar, pepper and salt until well incorporated. Set aside.

Preheat a deep pan over medium high heat. Add the diced bacon. Cook until just starting to get crispy. Add the onions and cook until they are tender, then add the green beans and liquid mixture. Stir to incorporate. Bring mixture to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer. Simmer until ready to serve.

Source:  As seen on Taste of Home Cooking, originally slightly modified from The Rookie Chef

Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Quesadillas

Yikes, I just realized it’s been almost 3 weeks since I’ve posted anything! About 12 hours after I wrote my last post, baby boy got very sick, got better for a few days, then got so sick again that he had to spend a night in Children’s Hospital. He is perfectly fine now, but we’ve had a scary and hectic few weeks. Now that he’s feeling better, I finally have my new laptop (thank you credit card reward points!), and I’m back to cooking again, I can start updating my poor, neglected blog!

This is actually a recipe I made well over a month ago, and I’m so happy to finally share it here! I am really starting to enjoy the fruit/meat combo, so when I saw this recipe online, I knew I had to give it a try.  I really love chicken and pineapple together, and stuff it between some tortillas with cheese, you’ve got yourself a winner!  I’ve now developed a new love affair for grilled pineapple, and cannot wait to make it again as well!  We absolutely devoured these quesadillas, and it’s been a long time since my dinner table was so quiet.  I highly recommend making these!!

Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Quesadillas

8 whole Flour Tortillas
Butter Or Margarine
2 cups Grilled Pineapple, Sliced
3 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
Salt And Pepper, to taste
3 cups Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated
1 whole Jalapeno, Sliced
Cilantro
3 Tablespoons Barbecue Sauce

(To grill pineapple: cut wedges, stick on skewers, and grill over low heat. Cut into slices.)

(To pound chicken, place inside a Ziploc bag and pound with a mallet or large can to flatten to uniform thickness.)

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and Cajun spice (or cumin/cayenne, etc.) Drizzle olive oil on a grill pan and grill on both sides until done, brushing with barbecue sauce. Set aside and slice into very thin slices.

Warm griddle over medium heat and put sizzling butter or margarine in the pan. Slightly warm and toast tortillas on both sides, then remove from griddle and set aside.

To assemble, sprinkle four browned tortillas with grated Monterey Jack. Arrange chicken slices evenly over the surface. Add pineapple slices and jalapeno slices. Sprinkle on cilantro. If desired, drizzle extra barbecue sauce over the top. Add second browned tortilla on top of each one. (You’ll have four complete quesadillas at this point.)

Add to oven to warm, or back to skillet to warm, until cheese is melted. Cut each quesadilla into six wedges. Serve with sour cream, pico de gallo, and lime wedges.

Source:  The Pioneer Woman

Lemon Blueberry Muffins – Crazy Cooking Challenege #8

Wow, how is it April already? I swear this year is flying by! One of the things I wanted to start with my family is a Saturday breakfast tradition. Saturdays are usually the only day during the week that we don’t have to run around crazy in the morning, so I though having a nice, homemade breakfast to enjoy as a family on a leasurly Saturday morning would be a great tradition to start. It also helps that we are huge fans of breakfast food around here. Up until now, I’ve mostly scrambled some eggs, and maybe cooked up some sausage and/or bacon and called it good, but I wanted to start branching out and trying some different kinds of breakfasts. So I was very excited about this month’s Crazy Cooking Challenge theme – Blueberry Muffins!

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I found this recipe for Lemon Blueberry Muffins over on Savory Sweet Life.  I am so glad I discovered her blog, and have already bookmarked several recipes that I cannot WAIT to try!  It’s no secret that I am a big fan of lemon, and one of my favorite flavor combinations is lemon and blueberry, so these muffins were right up my alley.  I was not disappointed!  The lemon flavor wasn’t overpowering, which works well for us since the husband is a purist when it comes to his blueberry muffins, and he enjoyed quite a few without complaint!  It only took me about 10 minutes to mix everything up, and after 25 minutes of baking time, we were ready to rock.  The only change I made was I omitted the turbinado sugar from the top as I didn’t have any.  Definitely give this a try for a quick and satisfying breakfast treat!

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

1 cup of sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  In a medium mixing bowl, cream sugar, butter, oil, and lemon zest for 3 minutes until light in color and creamy on medium speed using a mixer. Add sour cream, eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla extract beating for 2 minutes. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt gently mixing everything for an additional minute until everything is fully incorporated, approximately 2 minutes. Batter will be nice and thick. Gently fold in the blueberries. Line a muffin tin with paper cups and pour batter 3/4 full into each muffin cup. Bake for 12 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.  Bake for an additional 12-15 minutes or until the center of the muffins springs back when touched.

Source:  Sweet Savory Life

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Lemon Chicken

I know, it’s been awhile since I’ve updated here…my laptop met an unfortunate end a few weeks ago. I normally do my blog updates from the comfort of my favorite chair with my trusty laptop, and I’m usually feeling too lazy to sit in my office to use the desktop computer once I FINALLY have the kids in bed, so my posts have certainly been lacking. However, my cooking has not been lacking, and I’m very excited to share this recipe with you!

As soon as I saw this on Tracey’s blog, I IMMEDIATELY added it to my meal plan. I love lemon in just about any dish where lemon could be appropriate, and for all of the recipes I’ve tried with lemon, this one is at the very, very top of my favorites list. The chicken was tender and delcious, and the lemon sauce was bright and flavorful. Served with a a side of some fantastic green beans (recipe coming soon!), this made a quick and healthy weeknight dinner that will certainly frequent our dinner table.

Lemon Chicken

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 8 oz each)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup lemon juice
8 lemon slices
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Place the chicken on a cutting board. Working with one breast at a time, place your hand on top and use a sharp knife to cut the breast in half horizontally, to make two thinner chicken cutlets. (Don’t worry if they’re not perfectly even, mine never are!) Place each cutlet between two sheets of plastic wrap and use a meat mallet or skillet to pound to 1/4-inch thickness.

Season the chicken on both sides with the salt and pepper. Lightly dredge each cutlet in flour, shaking off the excess.

Set a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and the olive oil to the pan. Once the butter is melted and the pan is hot, add the chicken. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

Reduce the heat to medium, and add the chicken broth and lemon juice to the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly, scraping the bottom of the skillet to loosen any brown bits. Add the lemon slices to the sauce and let sit undisturbed for about 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and add the parsley and remaining tablespoon of butter. Stir until the butter is melted and the sauce is smooth. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve (you can garnish with the lemon slices if desired).

Source:  Tracey’s Culinary Adventures, originally adapted from Southern Living (via MyRecipes)