I have pretty much hit the point of this pregnancy where cooking is super limited. I have made a few simple things this week like BLT’s and grilled cheese, but I just can't do anything more than that right now.
I don’t know if this is good or bad, but I have plenty of recipes and photos that I haven’t published yet. Good because I have some things to work on while I rest and wait for baby’s arrival. Bad because why on earth does it take me so long to write about and publish recipes? One of my recipes I still haven’t blogged is a year and a half old. I guess I need to focus a lot more.
Although, as I mentioned in this post, blogging is not the most important thing in my life. I try to put God and family first which means I might have an amazing dinner on the table, but I might not get the recipe written and edited for several months. So even though I would love to get more traffic from posting recipes more frequently, I run a one-woman blog (no paid team here) and a household with 3, almost 4 beautiful children. My husband is amazing and somehow finds time to read to the kids almost everyday, play with them everyday, help with homework, etc., but it’s still a lot for this busy, pregnant, tired, Mama.
I am hoping to bring you several of the recipes I have been working on for the past year in the near future, but if it takes longer, then it takes longer.
As Doris Day so beautifully sang,
Que sera, sera
On with the recipe…
We love love love this Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo. It’s a real treat in our house. I make it with just ¼ tsp. hot paprika so that it isn’t too spicy for the boys. They love it! My husband on the other hand, adds hot sauce and really enjoys it with a little more kick. It is mildly spicy as is, which is plenty spicy for the boys and I, but if you want more kick to it simply add more hot paprika, cayenne, maybe a ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes, or like my hubby add some hot sauce. Either way, it’s delicious and if you like gumbo, you will love this recipe.
I use raw shrimp when making this gumbo so I don’t risk over-cooking the shrimp and giving them an undesirable texture. You will see raw and cooked shrimp in the grocery store. Choose the raw shrimp and it will cook up perfectly.
I know beer might seem a little unusual in a gumbo recipe, but it accentuates the delicious flavor of the broth and gives more depth to the gumbo. You can’t taste the beer, but it combines with the other ingredients to create an amazing meld of flavors. If you are adverse to cooking with alcohol, simply substitute broth for the beer. You could use beef or chicken broth, whatever you have on hand.
Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo
1 lb. medium or large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
Fresh ground salt and pepper
½ tsp. dried thyme
6 garlic cloves, minced or 3 tsp. jarred minced garlic
4 T. olive oil
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 to 2 bell peppers, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
4 T. flour
1 T. ketchup
¼ to ½ tsp. hot paprika (depending on how spicy you want it)
¼ tsp. cayenne
1 C. fresh tomato, diced
6 oz. smoked andouille sausage or bacon chicken sausage, sliced into ½ inch rounds
4 ½ C. chicken broth
1 ½ C. beer
1 C. fresh or frozen okra, sliced into rounds
Cooked rice for serving
1. Season shrimp with salt, pepper, dried thyme, and 1 clove garlic minced or ½ tsp. jarred minced garlic. Set aside and refrigerate until needed.
2. Heat a heavy large pot to medium-high on the stove. Add the olive oil. Then add onion, bell peppers, and celery and stir-fry until golden brown. Sprinkle in flour and stir. Continue to cook for about 5 more minutes until this mixture is lightly browned. Add ketchup, hot paprika, cayenne, and the rest of the garlic. Cook and stir for another minute, then add tomatoes and sausage cooking for a couple of more minutes. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
3. Stir in broth and beer. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 25 minutes.
4. Add okra and cook for about 5 more minutes. Then add shrimp and heat until shrimp curls and turns white.
5. Scoop rice into bowls then add gumbo. Enjoy!
Heavily adapted from Shrimp Gumbo with Andouille Sausage.
This post was sponsored by Premama as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. #DrinkPremama #IC #ad
As most of you know, I am currently pregnant and anticipating the birth of our fourth child very soon. In the beginning of this pregnancy I experienced a lot of morning sickness. In fact for the first three to four months, I could get sick anytime of day. I unfortunately lost a lot of prenatal vitamins due to being sick all of the time. I even tried taking them at night, but could still get sick after taking them. I wish I would have had Premama Prenatal Vitamin Drink Mix since it is easier to take for women who experience morning sickness. It is also easier for those who have trouble swallowing pills.
I have been craving juice and fruit pretty much this entire pregnancy so it easy to remember to take Premama Essentials + DHA with my juice every morning. I keep my Premama Prenatal Vitamin Drink Mix on the window sill above the kitchen sink and mix it with a big glass of orange juice every morning.
It is both delicious and an easy way to take prenatal vitamins.
On a recent trip to Meijer, I found the whole collection of Premama Vitamin Drink Mixes in the vitamin section under the home health sign located near the pharmacy.
You can find all five varieties of Premama Vitamin Drink Mixes at Meijer.
I trust Premama products to provide the necessary vitamins and DHA for my growing baby. They contain folic acid levels similar to many prescription prenatal vitamins, and equal to, or greater than most leading nonprescription brands. They contain Omega-3 fatty acids and non-constipating iron often found only in prescription prenatal vitamins.
Strawberry Orange Smoothies
1. C. frozen strawberries (I freeze fresh strawberries for a few hours prior to blending.)
1/2 C. orange juice
1 packet Premama Vitamin Drink Mix
To make these delicious strawberry orange prenatal vitamin smoothies simply blend all ingredients in the blender.
Enter to win a Premama sample and $5 coupon by completing two social media actions before September 29th! Choose between Premama Lactation or Premama Fertility.
Use the Premama store locator to find a retailer near you.
Last week my doctor told me I had to slow down and reduce my activities in order to keep baby in a few more weeks. I am not on bed rest, but I have to slow things down a bit which means no more walking the boys to school and no more lifting. I am listening to my body and resting throughout the day as needed and have now made it to 34 weeks. We are feeling good about this progress and will continue to rest and pray and thank God for his blessings for our growing family.
After an entire 3-day weekend of restaurants and take-out, we really needed a light home-cooked meal. And I needed an easy meal that I could throw together quickly without much effort. I planned on making a modified version of my balsamic grilled chicken, strawberry and feta salad. Modified because we still have to buy a new grill after our recent move so I was going to cook the chicken in the skillet. Then I decided to go a more savory route and make crispy Italian chicken instead.
I used the same idea to bread and fry the chicken cutlets as when I have made Italian Chicken strips. This is so simple you really don't even need a recipe.
Crispy Italian Chicken Salad: Serves 4
4 Chicken breast cutlets (these are thinner than regular boneless chicken breasts)
rich milk or cream
Italian flavored panko crumbs
salt and/or pepper
olive or coconut oil or a mix of both
1. Make three bowls for dipping the chicken before cooking. In the first bowl mix some flour with a little salt and/or pepper. In the second bowl pour in some milk or cream (about a cup). Put some Italian flavored panko crumbs in the third bowl.
2. Heat about 1/4 inch of olive oil or coconut oil (I mix both) in a skillet (I use my trusty old iron skillet.) at medium heat. Dip each chicken strip first into the flour mixture, then into the milk, then into the panko crumbs. Place in the hot oil and fry until golden brown on each side. The chicken will take a few minutes to cook on each side, but cutlets cook faster than thicker breasts. You can test the chicken with a meat thermometer if you have trouble knowing when it is done. When you cut through the meat it should be white when cooked through.
1 large head red leaf lettuce, torn into pieces
1 (8 oz.) ball fresh mozzarella, cut up
2 tomatoes, chunked
Balsamic vinegar glaze or your favorite salad dressing
Layer salad ingredients topping each salad with sliced crispy Italian chicken. Enjoy this simple and delicious meal.
My boys don't usually leave any bananas lying around to ripen for banana bread, but what a treat it is when they do. Waking up to a fresh loaf of banana bread makes my day. Plus, it is so easy to slice and serve with deli meats and cheeses for a fast school morning breakfast.
Truly moist and delicious...each bite has just the right amount of sweetness.
Like any busy Mom, I like feeding my family homemade food, but I also like simplicity in the kitchen. I make this banana bread batter in one bowl to save myself time both cooking and doing dishes. For more time saving and delicious recipes see my slow cooker recipes.
1 1/2 C. (about 3) bananas, mashed
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. honey
1 3/4 C. flour (I use 1/4 C. rice flour and 1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 C. chopped walnuts (optional)
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a loaf pan.
2. With a wooden spoon mix bananas, eggs, butter, and vanilla in a mixing bowl.
3. Next stir in the sugars and honey.
4. Lastly, stir in the rest of the ingredients, stirring until combined. Batter will be thick.
5. Pour batter into pan and bake for 50-55 minutes until golden brown.
6. Cool on a wire rack, then remove from pan. Let bread cool completely before slicing.
Want to learn more about the health benefits of bananas? Read 24 Science backed health benefits of bananas.
Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Healthy4School #CollectiveBias
We have been so busy lately. I just finished up my last summer graduate class and we have spent the past week packing, moving, and cleaning. In fact we are still moving the last of our things and cleaning our old home. To add to our craziness of going through a move, we will be adjusting to a completely new school and all the changes that it brings. New routines, clubs, sports, and activities while fun and enriching add more to our already full plates. It is a busy season with so much going on in our lives and with school starting this week that we have to be careful not to get too run down. Plus as a mother of three with a new baby on the way, I have to make sure and stay healthy so that I can take care of my family.
I developed the sniffles this week and was glad to stock up on some things to help ward off any colds. I purchased Emergen-C and ChapStick at my local Walmart. Emergen-C is packed with B-vitamins, antioxidants, electrolytes plus more vitamin C than 10 oranges. Plus with over 20 flavors, there are plenty of varieties to choose from*. ChapStick softens and protects lips every day with 11 moisturizing ingredients. SPF 12 provides UVB protection and the hydrating formula contains aloe and vitamin E. I love the tropical ChapStick flavors which come in a convenient 3-pack. My oldest actually picked out the tropical ChapStick and is so excited about them.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
You can find Emergen-C and ChapStick at Walmart in the health and beauty section located near the pharmacy, specifically under the heading Cold & Flu.
I decided to make some delicious Vitamin C packed popsicles for an extra boost with fresh pineapple, Emergen-C, cream of coconut and pineapple juice (not pictured).
First core and chop a fresh pineapple.
Then put all ingredients in the blender.
Blend to make a beautiful creamy puree. This would be so good as a smoothie blended with some crushed ice too.
Pour into popsicle molds or paper cups to freeze.
Pineapple Coconut Orange Popsicles
1 fresh pineapple, chunked
1 cup cream of coconut
2 to 3 packets of Emergen-C (orange flavored)
½ cup pineapple juice
1. Cut pineapple into chunks then place in blender.
2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until pureed.
3. Pour into popsicle molds or paper cups with popsicle sticks and freeze.
4. Place molds under warm running water a few seconds to loosen popsicles or peel off paper cups.
Makes 8 to 10 popsicles depending on size of molds. These popsicles are delicious and remind me of a creamsicle with their creamy icy texture. If you want them less creamy and more icy, use less or omit the coconut cream.
Enjoy extra savings when you stock up at Walmart on both Emergen-C and ChapStick with these coupons just in time for the busy back-to-school season. We love shopping at Walmart since it has everything we need and find ourselves there on a weekly basis. We always pick up some groceries while there and even finished up our school shopping on this trip.
Whew! It has been a busy month. Between my intense one month graduate class (which is thankfully over till the next one starts in a few days), t-ball, our enormous garden and our summer travels I haven't had much time to think, much less blog. Ok, so it's only been a couple of weeks, but I have missed you and writing about my favorite topic...food of course.
In all of our busyness, dinner has been a lot of things this month...pizza, takeout, cereal (gasp), and on occasion a good home-cooked meal. One of our new favorites that made the rounds twice this month because 1) it's super easy and 2) we love it, is this amazing balsamic grilled chicken, strawberry, and feta salad.
Balsamic glaze is a lot like balsamic vinegar only a little sweeter, richer and thicker. We fell in love with it a few years ago when we went to Italy and it is a favorite on salads and sandwiches.
I make a simple balsamic glaze and baste the chicken while grilling. When I say simple, I mean simple like two ingredients, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. I bring about 1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar and 1/3 cup packed brown sugar to a low boil then reduce the heat stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes or longer until the balsamic glaze coats the back of a spoon. Don't worry too much about thickness, the glaze will be delicious and will thicken up some as it sits. Thin or thick, it's delicious either way. If you want to skip this whole process, you can buy a store bought balsamic glaze (no judging here...I have some too and love it).
Simple, hearty, cool, perfect for summer. Enjoy this delicious balsamic grilled chicken, strawberry, and feta salad anytime...even on busy nights.
1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
Bring balsamic vinegar and packed brown sugar to a low boil then reduce the heat stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes or longer until the balsamic glaze coats the back of a spoon. Don't worry too much about thickness, the glaze will be delicious and will thicken up some as it sits. Thin or thick, it's delicious either way. Store extra glaze in the fridge for drizzling over salads or grilling.
Balsamic Grilled Chicken, Strawberry, and Feta Salad:
Serves 3-4 (depending on how large you make your salads, this is plenty for our family of 2 adults and 3 children).
1 head red leaf lettuce, cleaned and torn into bite size pieces
3 chicken breasts
1 lb. strawberries, cleaned and sliced
1 pkg. crumbled feta cheese
Balsamic glaze (recipe above or store bought)
1. Grill chicken, basting with balsamic glaze until done.
2. While chicken is grilling, prepare salads layering lettuce and strawberries on each plate.
3. When chicken is done, slice and portion on salads.
4. Top with crumbled feta and drizzle with balsamic glaze.
Linking up at Create with Joy
Dory's Sparkle Seaweed Toast and Dory's Sea Cucumber Toast; Plus Enter to Win the Make a Splash with Whole Grains Sweepstakes & My Giveaway
Disclosure: “The Nature’s Harvest® bread information, coupons, gift card, gift pack, and additional giveaway have been provided by Nature’s Harvest® bread so that I could try the product and share my thoughts and information about Nature’s Harvest® bread. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not reflect the opinions of Nature’s Harvest® bread.”
Have you seen the new movie "Finding Dory"? Just in time for it's release (which was today) I made these adorable "Finding Dory" inspired Sparkle Seaweed Toasts and Sea Cucumber Toasts.
Now through July, fans can purchase any four Nature’s Harvest® breads and receive a free, limited edition Dory TY® Sparkle Eye Beanie Boo™ plush toy. Swim by www.wholegrainsplash.com for more info!
The boys love our new Dory TY® Sparkle Eye Beanie Boo™ and they really love our new sea inspired cookie cutters. They were so eager to help make our Dory inspired toasts and couldn't wait to use the new cookie cutters.
To make your own "Finding Dory" inspired toast, you will need Nature’s Harvest® bread, cream cheese, cucumber, seaweed snacks, and sea themed cookie cutters.
Aren't these Dory's Sparkle Seaweed and Dory's Sea Cucumber Toasts adorable? Plus you can feel good about serving your family Nature’s Harvest® bread because it’s not baked with artificial flavors, colors or high fructose corn syrup.
I love how cute these cucumber whales turned out.
Perfect for a "Finding Dory" themed party or a fun summer lunch with the kids. Plus your kids will beg to help you make lunch.
Enter to win the Make a Splash with Whole Grains Sweepstakes: Nature’s Harvest® bread will be accepting entries for the Make A Splash with Whole Grains Facebook Sweepstakes from April 28 to July 7. See official rules here . All entrants will have the chance to win weekly prizes, including movie tickets, autographed posters and more. No purchase necessary
Dory's Sparkle Seaweed Toast and Sea Cucumber Toast
Nature’s Harvest® bread
Cucumber, thinly sliced
Seaweed snacks, torn into small pieces
Sea themed cookie cutters
These are so easy to make. Simply toast the bread, then cut with cookie cutters. Next spread with cream cheese, followed by seaweed pieces or cucumber slices.
Enter to win my giveaway for two (2) fish-shaped cookie cutters and one (1) coupon valid for up to $5 off any Nature’s Harvest® bread. I am responsible for the giveaway and Nature’s Harvest® bread is only providing the prize.
There are lots of recipes out there for bourbon chicken, but surprisingly most of them don't even have bourbon in them. Since we are now Kentuckians, I thought it only fitting to make bourbon chicken with real Kentucky bourbon. If you are a food nerd like me you'll find this interesting. Wikipedia defines bourbon chicken as a dish named after Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana and for the bourbon whiskey ingredient.
I use chicken thighs when making bourbon chicken to add more juicy flavor (thighs have more fat than breasts and are in my opinion more flavorful), but you can certainly use chicken breasts if you prefer.
Enjoy this fairly simple and incredibly delicious bourbon chicken. Our whole family loves it. In fact, I think it is my boys' favorite meal.
2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut up
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 C. bourbon
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 C. warm water with 1 T. honey dissolved in it.
1/3 C. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/3 C. water
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1. Heat burner to medium-high heat to heat up the skillet.
2. Drizzle oil in the hot skillet.
3. Add chicken, salt and pepper it then cook until golden brown.
4. Reduce heat. Add bourbon and deglaze pan, scraping up any browned bits (for flavor).
5. Add remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat until thoroughly mixed.
6. Add chicken and bring to a low boil.
7. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through.
8. Serve over rice or your favorite asian noodles.
Additional note: Garnish with chopped green onions if you like.
Enjoy these easy, healthy, and delicious Watermelon and Mango Slushies when you are craving a fruity cold drink on a hot summer day.
Speaking of cravings...I have been craving fruit and fruit juice like crazy this pregnancy which might explain why I decided to make watermelon and mango slushies. Plus the boys are out of school for summer and I knew they would love these. Yeah! I am ready for summer too. No more early morning drop offs and after school pick ups. Time to relax, enjoy the warm weather, and sip some icy cold watermelon and mango slushies.
I only used two ingredients (besides ice) to make these delicious and refreshing slushies. I used one half of a chilled sugar baby watermelon and one mango. That's it. No added sugar or flavors. Of course the sweetness of your slushies will depend on the sweetness of your fruit. If you want to add sugar, stevia, or another sweetener go ahead. I served our smoothies without sugar since the fruit was already sweet enough and I don't generally add much sugar to our drinks.
So start summer off right (it is June after all), find a cool spot under a shade tree and sip some icy watermelon and mango slushies.
1/2 of a chilled seedless sugar baby watermelon
1 mango, peeled and chunked or 1/2 to 1 cup frozen mango
1. Cut the half watermelon in half again and scoop the watermelon pulp from each quarter into a blender pitcher.
2. Add the mango and a couple of big handfuls of ice and blend. You can add more ice to get the desired consistency.
Additional notes: Serve soon after blending so it stays icy and slushy. For a special touch, you can garnish with fresh mint.
Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HogWildThrowdown #CollectiveBias
I used to be intimidated at the thought of making ribs, then one day I decided to try it and discovered how easy it really is. My family loves ribs and since there is so little prep work, they are really easy to make.
You won't believe how easy it really is to grill ribs. I generously sprinkle a purchased rib rub on the ribs then simply grill. I don't put any BBQ sauce on the ribs while grilling, but have it available for serving.
You need to grill ribs over indirect heat so they don't cook too fast and burn. After the charcoal is hot, simply move the hot coals over to the sides (with grilling utensils) and grill the ribs in the center of the grill. The package (your ribs came in) will say to grill for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, but pay attention to your ribs, checking the temperature. These only took about an hour and 15 minutes.
For an easy side dish perfect for summer, grill some sweet corn when the ribs are almost done. My husband partially shucked some corn then moistened them with water (to keep the husks from burning) and let them sit for awhile before grilling. Sweet corn is one of our favorite summer sides.
You can grill great ribs too with these tender and juicy Smithfield Extra Tender Back Ribs available in the fresh pork case at Walmart. My favorite thing about Smithfield Ribs besides how easy they are to make is that they have no added hormones or steroids.
Check out this delicious Smithfield Smoked Back Ribs recipe from pro-griller Tuffy Stone.
In addition, you can enter to win the Hog Wild Throwdown contest for both amateur and pro grillers. Prizes include (2) Ford F-150's. Celebrity grill talent Moe Cason and Tuffy Stone are brand ambassadors for this event. Smithfield® has partnered with them for the last 2 years to share their excitement of grilling Smithfield® Ribs.
Easy Grilled Ribs
Rack of ribs
Your favorite rib rub ( I use store bought)
KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce (optional for serving)
1. Rub or sprinkle the rib rub generously all over the ribs, flipping to get it on both sides.
2. Place ribs on the grill over indirect heat.
3. Grill for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until done.
Additional notes: If you like, you can baste with BBQ sauce part way through cooking. If the the grill gets too hot and you think the ribs could burn before they are tender and cooked through, simply slide a piece of foil under the ribs. Ribs are safe to eat when they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, but they will be more tender if you cook them to 180-190 degrees F.
I love easy summer meals like these simple grilled ribs. I would much rather enjoy my time outdoors making memories with my family than spending lots of time in the kitchen.
Do you have a favorite grilling recipe, favorite ribs recipe or simple summer recipe?
Linking up at Friendship Friday
Welcome to Home Ec @ Home
Hi, I'm Faith, a former Family and Consumer Science (Home Economics) Teacher turned work at home Mom, bringing you family friendly, homemade recipes and homemaking tips to simplify your life. Join me on my homemaking and mothering journey.
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