Posted in Eat the Good Stuff, What's for Dinner, WW Freestyle

Taco Tuesday

Grilled Chicken

This week when Tuesday arrived, tacos were on my mind.

I don’t know if Taco Tuesday is a thing other places across the country, but here in SoCal it’s pretty popular. So, instead of heading out to the local taco place, I thought I would just create some at home.

So glad I did.

I tried a new recipe for a Mexican chicken marinade and was it good. Even though the recipe called for fresh lemon juice, I used the “from concentrate” I had in the fridge. It turned out fine, plus made it effortlessness to prepare. The grilled chicken that is the result is pretty delicious. You don’t wait until Tuesday to try it. Any day could use a little extra yumminess. And don’t forget to invite your friends. They’ll thank you.


Mexican Chicken Marinade

Ingredients

¾ cup lemon juice, I used a combination of lemon and lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoons dried oregano
2 pounds chicken, I used boneless, skinless chicken breast

Instructions

  1. Mix juice, oil, salt, pepper, and oregano into a large zipper bag.
  2. Add chicken and marinate for thirty minutes or longer.
  3. Grill chicken until done, 165 degrees on instant-read thermometer.
  4. Enjoy!

 

I’m trying to eliminate negativity from my life. Therefore, Mondays are now “Taco Tuesday Eve” until further notice.

Posted in Matters of the Heart

Friends Around the Table

 

new dishes

Exciting things are happening in the Schell household.

Some of you may have heard we have purchased a house near our children in Oklahoma. (See my post Adventuring On) We are pretty excited to be the owners of red dirt and look forward to experiencing all that comes with it.

We just made our very first purchase for our new place—we bought dishes. How can you provide hospitality without the right tools? I can’t wait to serve a meal around our table there. That is what will make the new house a home. (Don’t worry SoCal friends. We are not moving. We are just expanding our borders to include the Midwest.)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch in California . . . 

we are hosting a small group of friends who gather once a month to fellowship, share a meal, and discuss a portion of the Bible. Our discussion will be on the stories found in Luke 8. I always look forward to our time together. It not only strengthens my knowledge of God and His Word, but also my connection with the other people around the table. This may be why the Bible tells us to “always be eager to practice hospitality”. (Romans 12:13) Good food and good conversation go hand-in-hand in developing good friendships.


Here is the recipe for what I am fixing for dinner tonight. It is easy and delicious. Perfect for your next dinner party. Don’t hesitate to invite others to your table. Relationships have a way of growing strong there.

Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms

Ingredients

2 tablespoon olive oil, divided, I used 2 teaspoons
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound chicken pieces, I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup chicken broth
¼ teaspoon dried thyme

Instructions

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and minced garlic bowl. Add chicken and marinade for a few minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and marinade to pan. Cook until chicken is browned. Remove from pan and finish cooking in a 400 degrees oven.
  3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan. Add mushrooms. Cook until browned and released liquid has evaporated.
  4. Add chicken broth and thyme. Heat and reduce slightly. Place chicken on serving dish and top with mushroom mixture. Enjoy.

Note: I chose garlic mashed potatoes to serve this with, but rice or noodles would work, too.


Olive oil and balsamic vinegar shops have been popping up everywhere offering a variety of flavors. This would be a good dish to try some out.


Good food and good company are two of life’s simplest yet greatest pleasures.

Posted in Warm the Soul

Comfort Food: Chicken Meatball Soup

 

pattyschell.com

Everywhere I go, someone is talking about colds and flu that are going around. It seems every household has been invaded. Chicken soup may be just what’s called to add some good lean protein and vitamin packed vegetables into everyone’s diet. Here’s a recipe that sort of morphed when I started cooking. I had the veggies and the chicken all ready to throw in the pot when I decided to transform the chicken breast into meatballs. The result—Chicken Meatball Soup. It is very good and can be changed up to fit your taste by using seasonings you prefer. Enjoy experimenting and let me know what you came up with.


Chicken Meatball Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced, I used jarred roasted red bell peppers
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 15.5 ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 cups shredded kale
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Chicken Meatballs

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken breast, I used my food processor to finely chop chicken breasts
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients together gently. Form into 1-inch balls when ready to drop into broth.

Soup Directions

  1. Sauté onion, celery, red pepper, garlic until starting to soften.
  2. Add thyme, salt and pepper. Cook just a minute or two more.
  3. Add chicken broth, tomatoes and carrots. Bring to simmer.
  4. Simmer about 20 minutes for flavors to mingle a bit.
  5. Drop meatballs carefully into pot. Return to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until meat balls are cooked through.
  6. Add cabbage and kale to pot. Cook until tender, 10 minutes.
  7. Enjoy with some crusty bread spread with butter. 

    Pure comfort.


Food, like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power, has the ability to comfort.

Norman Kolpas


 

Weight Watchers on Freestyle can enjoy each cup of this soup for only 1 point.

Posted in soup, Warm the Soul, Yumminess

Soup’s On! Creamy White Chicken Chili

Creamy White Chicken Chili

The weather has turned on us here in my part of Southern California. The nighttime temperatures have dipped below freezing and in response I have been making soup. Tonight, it was a White Chicken Chili. Oh man, was it delish. Hope you enjoy it, too. And by the way, this will work very well in your crock pot, too.


Creamy White Chicken Chili

Ingredients

• 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• 1 yellow onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 15.5-ounce cans white beans
• 1 15.5-ounce corn
• 24 ounces chicken broth
• 2 4-ounce cans green chilies (mild, medium, or hot)
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 1 teaspoon oregano
• ½ teaspoon black pepper
• 4 ounces cream cheese (I used reduced fat)
• ¼ cup half-and-half (I used fat-free)

Directions
1. Place all ingredients except cream cheese and half-and-half in soup pot.
2. Bring to boil, then reduce heat. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until flavors mingle and chicken in done.
3. Remove chicken from pot and shred. Return to pot.
4. Add the cream cheese and half-and-half.
5. Heat on low until cream cheese melt and incorporates into soup, about 15 minutes.
6. Serve with your favorite chili toppings.

Note: If using the crock pot just dump in all the ingredients except cream cheese and half-and-half. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Shred chicken, return to pot. Turn on high. Add cream cheese and half-and-half. Cook until cheese melts and is incorporated into soup, about 15 minutes. Enjoy!

If you’re doing Weight Watchers like I am, the new Freestyle program makes this recipe 3 SmartPoints for 1 1/2 cups of soup. It’s so delicious and satisfying. I have now lost 17.2 pounds eating well.


Good soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living.
Louis P. De Gouy

 

Posted in Dumping Dinner, Main Dish, Slow Cooking

Dumping Dinner: Butter Chicken


Here’s your Dumping Dinner for this week. Butter chicken or murgh makhani is an Indian dish of chicken in a mildly spiced curry sauce. It actually came to be in the 1950s because of leftovers. See story here. A few more than normal ingredients but only minimal chopping. It is delicious. Enjoy!

Butter Chicken or Murgh Makhani

[No butter. Just yumminess.]

  • 4-6 chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can coconut milk
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons Garam Marsala*
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Dump in one-gallon freezer. Seal and freeze.

To cook: 6-8 hours on low or 4-6 hours on high. When finished, remove meat slice or shread. Serve with sauce.

Meal Maker—Serve with brown rice and your choice of veggies. Garlic naan, Indian flatbread is a must. Yum!

*Garam Marsala is a blend of ground spices common in India, Pakistan, and other South Asia Cuisines. You can find it in the spice section of most grocery store or online. The following is a quick recipe that will do the trick.

Garam Marsala

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

Mix all ingredients and store in airtight container.

Enjoy!

Please leave a comment and let me know what you’ve been cooking up in your kitchen. I would love to hear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Easy Recipes for Busy Days, Matters of the Heart, Warm the Soul

Dumping Dinner: Chicken and Rice Soup

thepartysinthekitchen.me

I received this text this morning from my daughter, Charity—

Hey, Mom, we all got sick last night and were wondering if you could go to the store for us.

When my daughter says all, she is talking about a lot of people. You see, she has six children, age 10 and under. The flu at her house is serious business especially when she has it, too. So, I did what any mama/grandma would do. I brought her requested items of chicken soup, saltine crackers, and ginger ale to her front door, peeked in, hugged the one non-sick child, and said a quick prayer for their recovery on my way back to my car. Oh, man, it’s gonna be a long day over there.

I wish I had been more prepared. It would have been much more comforting to have some homemade chicken soup to take, but I didn’t have what I needed so I bought the canned instead. Now that I’m back home, I have come up with a Chicken and Rice Soup that can quickly be cooked up on the stove-top or in the crockpot. I have included directions for freezing as well. That way, when you or someone you love comes down sick, in a very short time you can have some comfort simmering away.


Chicken and Rice Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breasts
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried sage
  • ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 8.5 ounce pouch shelf-stable rice or rice-mixture of your choice or 1 ½ cooked rice.

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients except rice into a 6-quart crock pot then cook on low for 4 hours or until chicken breasts are cooked through. If using stove-top, simmer everything except rice until chicken is tender.
  2. Remove chicken and shred. Stir back into soup along with rice.
  3. Serve.
  4. Enjoy!

For freezing:

Dump all ingredients except chicken broth and rice into 1 gallon freezer bag, close, label and freeze. To cook follow directions above adding 2 hours to your cooking time.

Extra:

This soup can be easily transformed into what you crave or adjusted to what you have in your pantry. Experiment and let me know how it turns out.

 

 

 

Posted in BBQ, Easy Cooking, Yumminess

Summer Ease

Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.

Sam Keen


 

Now that summer is in full swing, most of us have an opportunity to enjoy picnics, BBQs, and al fresco dinners.  These days it can be as simple or as fancy as you like, but the real focus of any event are the people we will share with. For that reason, ease is important to me. Less time in the kitchen means more time with friends and family. One of our family favorites for the grill is Hawaiian BBQ Chicken. This dish has an easy prep with a very delicious outcome. Pair it with grilled veggies, Hawaiian Macaroni Salad, and fresh fruit, and you will have a beautiful table.

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

  • 2 pounds chicken boneless skinless thighs or breasts, cut into serving size
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  1. Mix pineapple juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic and ginger in a resealable plastic bag or glass dish with lid.
  2. Add chicken pieces and marinade for up to 24 hours.
  3. Drain and discard marinade from chicken. Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil; using long-handled tongs, lightly coat the grill rack.
  4. Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until no longer pink.
  • Alternative method of cooking: bake in a 375-degree oven until done. Time will depend on the thickness of your chicken pieces.

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Grilled Veggies

  • One or a combination of vegetables, washed and sliced into uniform pieces. I especially carrots as do most of the grandkids. I also use zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus. You can use most any summertime produce. Peppers, onions mushrooms and tomatoes are also good choices.
  • Herbs, fresh or dry. Use something to compliment your main dish. Don’t forget garlic.
  • Olive oil. Any cooking oil you have will work.
  • Salt and pepper.
  1. Notice I don’t really give amounts. I just fill up my grill pan or basket with veggies (Vegetables shrink as they are cooked. You’ll want to make more than you think you need.), drizzle with enough oil to lightly coat, sprinkle on the seasonings and give it a stir. (I apologize in advance to those who want amounts and times.)
  2. Place pan/basket on grill and cook until desired doneness. This can also be done in an oven set to 375 degrees. I actually like the oven method best and it can be done ahead of time if you like.
  • Tip: Some veggies cook faster than others. Asparagus is very quick. Maybe just five to ten minutes. Squash, perhaps twenty minutes and carrots-thirty.  Try to choose ones that have a compatible cooking time.
  • And just one more thing—Leftover roasted vegetables are great additions to pasta salads, sandwiches, pizzas, or even omelets.

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Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Before I give you the recipe, I must give you a disclaimer. I have never been to Hawaii. Nope. But I have eaten at a few Hawaiian BBQ places. Most serve a scoop of steamed white rice and a scoop of macaroni salad. I have made up my own version which I have tweaked even further to lighten it up a bit. Even with the tweaking, it is going to be heavy on the calories. There are just some things that you have to splurge on a bit. The rest of the meal is light so we can afford to.

  • ½ pound elbow macaroni, cooked to al dente
  • 1 small carrot, shredded
  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • ½ cup light mayonnaise
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup pineapple juice (Substitute 2% milk, if preferred plus a tablespoon of honey, brown sugar or other sweetener.)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Optional mix-ins—imitation crab, frozen peas, pineapple tidbits, or ham. Some people add cilantro. It really depends on your preference. We have always used the imitation crab and peas, but I’m up for trying something new in the future. Maybe, even a little Spam. It is Hawaiian after all.
  1. In large bowl, mix together cooked macaroni, shredded carrot and chopper scallion plus any mix-ins you desire.
  2. In separate bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients to create the dressing.
  3. Pour dressing over macaroni mixture and chill.DSC_0227.JPG

 


These recipes are featured in July 2016 issue of  Broken But Priceless: The Magazine, where I am currently writing for the food section called The Corner Bistro.