Changes changes...

So other than being crazy busy with work...there are a couple other reasons cooking & blogging have fallen by the wayside for the moment... those are...

We're having a baby!!!!!look at the cute little feet!

And we bought a house!

So needless to say lots of changes and lots of stress - on top of my crazy busy summer season at work!

It's been interesting for me how being pregnant has changed my eating....
1) I have been so exhausted I have had absolutely no desire to cook!
2) Half the time I don't even feel like eating anything
3) When I do want food I of course want carbs & sweets...
4) My midwives have told me no no on the lots of carbs and that I need to be eating protein at every meal & lots & lots of veggies

So my eating has changed a the past few weeks I have finally been able to enjoy food again and last night did take the time to be creative & make a super tasty new meal that also met the new way I need to eat... there aren't any pictures of them meal (I didn't think of it!) but here is the tasty recipe!

Cranberry Maple Chicken w/mashed Butternut Squash

Ingredients - Serves 3-4
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup water
8oz fresh cranberries (I made my husband go to 3 different stores in search of fresh cranberries, lol)
1 Tb of Thyme (I used dried)
Approximately 1lb Chicken (I used leg quarters but breasts would be good too)
1 large or 2 small butternut squash
butter to taste
salt & pepper to taste
Thyme to taste
1 TB cream cheese (optional)

  • Put maple syrup, water, cranberries, and Thyme in a large non stick skillet. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover. Simmer for ~10 minutes.
  • Using a rubber spatula, mash cranberries to a nice pulpy sauce.
  • Add Chicken skillet, spooning some of the sauce over top of it. Cover and cook for ~5 minutes.
  • Flip chicken & spoon sauce over it, cover and cook for another ~5 minutes.
  • Check you chicken, chicken needs to reach an internal temperature of 165F (or when you cut it open there is no pink flesh - this is a little hard on this dish because the cranberries can taint the meat, I recommend a good meat thermometer).
  • If your chicken is not done yet continue to cook evenly on each side until the temperature is reached, the amount of time this takes will depend on the cut & thickness of the meat you use.
  • While you are cooking your chicken take the butternut squash and stab a few holes in it with a knife.
  • Place the whole squash in a microwaveable safe dish and microwave for approximately 10 minutes.
  • Check to see if it is soft/has give to the touch, if not microwave for another few minutes (3-5 minutes)
  • Cut squash in half lengthwise, carefully scoop out the seeds and discard.
  • Scoop out the flesh/meat carefully and place it in a bowl.
  • Add butter, salt, pepper, and thyme to taste. (I also put in a little cream cheese for creaminess, Greek yogurt works great as well in place of both butter & cream cheese)
  • Mash well, heating more in the microwave as needed.

  • Serve chicken and mashed butternut squash topped with the maple cranberry sauce!

So there's an update & a quick and easy meal!

Hopefully now that things have settled down a little and I'm back to not being quite so tired more recipes will make their way on here!

Fall - Easy Pumpkin Bread

So I've been MIA for a got busy...then crazy...then even more busy... it is starting to slow down just a bit, like the wonderful season we are getting ready to enter...Fall! Fall is my favorite season and fall/winter cooking is probably some of my favorite to do. There is something about the warm comfort of squash, potatoes, chili, stew and more. The wonderful smells that linger on the air as something bakes in the oven or cooks all day in the crockpot...heavenly. So in honor of the beginning of this time of the year I give you a recipe...I made this the other day on a baking spree (along with 12 pumpkin waffles for the freezer, 18 pumpkin cupcakes with pumpkin cream cheese frosting, and 2 loaves of Honey Wheat Bread!). Sadly I forgot to take a picture when it came out of the oven...and I think there is maybe only 1 or 2 pieces left! So go make it for yourself and see how it looks!

Easy Pumpkin Bread

  •  1 1/2 cups flour

    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 cup pumpkin puree
    • 1/2 cup olive oil (can sub with canola or vegetable)
    • 2 eggs, Beaten
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
    • 1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
    • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. Sift together flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.
    3. In a separate bowl combined pumpkin, oil, eggs, water, and spices.
    4. Then, combined with dry ingredients but, do not mix too thoroughly. Stir in walnuts.
    5. Pour into a well-buttered 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes until a thin skewer poked in the very center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn out of the pan and let cool on a rack.
    6. Makes one loaf. Can easily double the recipe.
    7. If desired, you can use them in a muffin tin as well. They come out just as moist. If you use muffin tin bake for 20-25 minute.

    Recent food....

    Life and Work have been keeping me busy busy busy! So blogging has taken a bit of a backseat....sadly so has cooking! We have been very busy so food has been a lot of salads and quick to cook fish with rice or couscous....It has all been tasty and healthy. Hopefully we'll have some time to make pizza this is a favorite of ours (homemade crust & sauce yummy!) and we haven't made it in months! We need to fix that asap!

    The Guinness Corned tasty

    Overnight Oats!

    Hummus & Veggie Wrap

    Roast Chicken, Green Salad, & Pasta Salad

    Spinach/Spring Mix Salad with Brown Rice, steamed Asparagus, Artichoke Hearts and Ginger Citrus Glazed Tilapia

    Spinach/Spring Mix Salad with  onions, snap peas, sunflower seeds & asperagus topped with baked salmon and a Hummus Citrus Dressing

    It's been a about some recent eats?

    So it has been a while since I I haven't stopped cooking! I have just been really really busy with work & life! So here are some photos & descriptions of some recent eats...if you want me to post one of the recipes let me know! Tonight's dinner is Guinness Corned Beef with red potatoes and cabbage! So without anything ya go!

    Spinach Salad with steamed asparagus, snap peas, and kohlrabi topped with a Sweet & Spicy cooked Swai fish fillet

    Spinach with snap peas, sunflower seeds, and onion topped with a ginger mandarin cooked Salmon fillet and dressed in a homemade hummus ginger dressing

    Chicken and Noodles w/ veggies (not over mashed potatoes which is the Hoosier way)

    Spinach with tomatoes, sunflower seeds, and onions topped with a lemon dill Salmon fillet (and a light olive oil & red wine vinegar dressing)

    Vegan Chocolate Cake topped with strawberries & powdered sugar

    Pesto topped breaded pork chops with rosemary fingerling potatoes and salad

    And for fun....Martigan & Francis - my adorable inseparable boy cats

    Seafood Gumbo

    I went to visit my sis-in-law, bro-in-law, and 2 nephews in Florida for the long New Year's was a wonderful time filled with lots of craziness with the boys (including a for real indoor food fight with marshmallows, lemons, grapefruits, hot dogs, etc) and lots of food & fun for all. Our New Year's Eve dinner was a wonderful seafood fest that I posted pics of last time. This time I'm going to give you the recipe for the awesome Seafood Gumbo that I created! I have never made gumbo before but eaten plenty, so I was a little worried that I got put in charge of creating the gumbo (silly Executive Chef bro-in-law was at work!) but it actually turned out to be awesome! So here goes...

    Ingredients: (this filled a large stockpot - adjust ingredients accordingly)
    1 lb black eyed peas (I used dried and soaked them, you could use canned as well)
    1lb swordfish pieces
    1lb Seafood Mix (you can buy it frozen at most stores, it has squid, octopus, scallops etc in it)
    4 Medium Stalks celery chopped
    1 large onion chopped
    1 large green pepper chopped
    oil (3ish tablespoons)
    1 large can crushed tomatoes
    Cayenne pepper to taste
    white pepper to taste
    sea salt to taste
    Then either Veggie bullion or seafood stock

    First make a rue by coating the pot in a layer of oil, heat and add 2 tablespoons of flour. Whisk the flour into the hot oil, add some water (maybe 1/2 cup) and stir well. Add the celery, onion, and green pepper cook for about 5 minutes. Then add the black eyed peas. If using seafood stock add 2 cups now and then cover the contents of the pot with water, if using Veggie bullion (like I did) add 1.5 tablespoons bullion and then add water to cover the contents of the pot (around 6-8 cups). Bring to a boil. After water has been brought to a boil add swordfish and Seafood Mix. Season with some Cayenne Pepper and White Pepper (not to much yet unless you know you like it spicy). Add the can of crushed tomatoes. Stir well and bring the pot to a boil again. Once it has reached a rolling boil reduce heat to a good simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes. After it has simmered for 30 minutes taste liquid and add any salt, and additional seasoning you need. Simmer for another 20 minutes. At this time check the consistency of your gumbo. If it is still very watery you will need to thicken it. To do so put some of the liquid (at least 1/2 cup) from the gumbo into a small bowl, whisk in cornstarch until it begins to thicken. Stir this mix back into your pot of gumbo and continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes. Repeat this process until gumbo reaches desired consistency. Serve over rice.

    New Year's Eve

    New Year's Eve Seafood Gumbo....along with Grilled Ginger Teriyaki Salmon, Grilled Crabmeat Stuffed Tilapia, Grilled Lobster Tail, and Steamed Crab Legs! (Can you tell I'm in Florida with my sister-in-law, bro-in-law, and my adorable nephews!!! Poor hubby still in Indiana)! Recipes coming when I get home....

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    So we remembered our camera when we went traveling to Indy & Chicago for Thanksgivings with the family....but we forgot the memory card :(   So sadly no pictures of the amazing tasty food that I made. We had 2 Thanksgivings this year, one with my family in Indy and one with my husband's in Chicago - so double the cooking! WooHoo!!!! Let me lay out the menu's from each and I'll * the ones that I made.

    Indy Thanksgiving:
    White Castle Stuffing (in the turkey)
    Bacon Apple Stuffing*
    Parmesan Green Beans & Kale*
    Mashed Potatoes
    Apple Rings
    Sweet Potatoes w/Marshmallows*
    Canned Cranberry Sauce*
    Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

    Chicago Thanksgiving:
    Herb Roasted Turkey*
    Herb Stuffing*
    Green Bean Casserole*
    Fresh Cranberry Sauce*
    Sweet Potato Casserole
    Cabbage & Ribs
    Spicy Cabbage
    Pumpkin Pie

    I won't be putting up all the recipes (unless you ask for one that I don't put up). But I will share a few with you.

     Herb Roasted Turkey
    This is one of those you can play with it and do whatever you want in the way of spices etc. kind of recipes!

    I took half a bunch of fresh parsley and roughly chopped it. I put that in a bowl and added dried sage, dried thyme, dried dill, some sea salt and a generous amount of fresh black pepper. Then I poured olive oil in it, enough to mix it well and have a decent sort of paste (you could put it all in a food processor or small blender and pulse it until you have a smooth paste...but my MIL did not have a food processor!). Then I loosened the skin of the turkey away from the meat carefully at the opening of the body cavities, loosening the skin all through as much as I could access with my hands, or a chopstick, including the drum stick. Then I took the paste and spread it liberally all over the meat under the skin. I then rubbed the outside of the turkey with any remaining paste and some more olive oil. I then put the stuffing in the body cavities and trussed the turkey, placed it on the v-rack in the roaster breast side down and slide it into the oven (which was set at 325). I roasted it breast side down for about an hour and a half. Then I took out the Turkey, flipped it and placed it back in the v-roaster, poured some chicken broth (you can use turkey stock if you have any!) over it and put it back in the oven for another 2.5 hours. I ended up putting a tinfoil tent over around hour 1.5 so that it did not become too crispy/brown. The turkey needs to reach an internal temperature of 160 F when tested at the thickest portion of the thigh. The Turkey turned out super tasty and very moist and full of the wonderful herb flavor!

    Parmesan Green Beans and Kale (adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)


    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 onion, sliced
    • 1/4 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered (about 14 mushrooms)
    • 1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and slice into 1-inch pieces
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 cup white wine 
    • 1 bunch Kale (1/2 pound), rinsed, stemmed, and roughly chopped
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
    • 1/4 pound finely grated Parmesan 


    Warm the olive oil in a large, heavy saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the mushrooms, green beans, salt, and pepper and cook for 2-4 minutes. Add the wine and continue cooking until the green beans are almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add the kale and continue cooking until the kale has wilted, about 5 - 8 minutes. Put everything in a large serving bowl, straining any of the water/wine left in the pan. Add the lemon juice and the Parmesan cheese. Toss to coat and serve immediately.

    Fresh Cranberry Sauce

    1 bag fresh Cranberries
    1 Orange (you will need the skin & juice)
    1/2 cup sugar
    Water - enough to not quite cover the cranberries.

    Put Cranberries in a pot. Cover with water until they are almost but not quite covered. Add sugar. Zest the entire orange (grate all of the skin off the orange) into the cranberries. Cut the orange in half and then squeeze the juice from both halves into the pot with the cranberries. Stir well. Place on a stove over medium-low heat and cook for approximately 45 minutes. Stir continually. The cranberries will pop (so watch out!), keep stirring until the mixture has reached the sauce consistency you would like. Pour into a bowl and place in the fridge to chill some.

    The Bacon and Apple Stuffing will be posted shortly (the recipe is not with me right now!)

    Happy Eating!

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