15 Minute Skillet Chicken Curry with Peach Chutney

Skillet Chicken Curry with Peach Chutney

 

When I got the idea to make Peach Chutney in the slow cooker, it was on a morning I was in the mood to create something.  I started the chutney, spray painted a giant fork and spoon to hang in the kitchen, and started painting an end table.

While all of that was happening, I pondered lunch.  I knew it needed to be quick.  And I wanted to use the chutney as part of the recipe.

This Skillet Chicken Curry is the result.  I had leftover rotisserie chicken in the fridge, so that made the recipe really easy.  If you don’t have chicken already cooked, you can use this Basic Chicken Skillet method to get this dish started.

I altered this recipe from Slow Cooker Chicken Curry.  Instead of coconut milk, I used the chutney to balance the spices in the dish. It turned out wonderful.  Everyone loved it!

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more...]

Chipotle Chile Chicken Nachos with Chipotle Sour Cream – a 15 Minute Meal

Chipotle Chili Chicken Nachos

 

These nachos!  They didn’t last long.

A giant platter of nachos full of chicken, bell pepper, tomatoes, black beans and seasoned with McCormick Chipotle Pepper Chile is an automatic hit in my house.  Bonus points for topping it with Chipotle Sour Cream.  Oh. My. Goodness!

This is comfort food at it’s finest.  At least, in the opinion of my family.  We polished off this huge tray of nachos in no time.

Did I mention that this meal takes about 15 minutes to get on the table?

The key to that is having the chicken already cooked.  I love keeping cooked chicken in the freezer for fast recipes.

McCormick Chipotle Chile Pepper brings a hint of smokiness to the dish.  I like substituting Chipotle Chile Pepper for regular in some dishes.  It has a bit more heat, but the smokey flavor is extra special.

Have you ever tried it on watermelon?  It’s fantastic!

In fact, watermelon and this Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chipotle Honey Butter along with the nachos would make a fantastic summer meal.

Is your mouth watering yet?

Here’s what you’ll need to make the Chipotle Chile Chicken Nachos:   [Read more...]

Ice Cream, Pedometers, Becoming, Pigs

farmergeorgeandthepigs

No.  Not becoming pigs.  And not in that order either.

Let’s Start with Pigs

That photo is of my brother-in-law, George.  He and his wife have started a small farm with pigs, chickens, ducks, and turkeys.  These pigs went to market earlier in the week.  Half of one of them will be filling my freshly, cleaned out freezer.  Here’s to farm raised meat!

Becoming Conference – Want to Come?

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I’m really excited about going to this conference with a local friend in a few weeks.  It’s not a blogging conference, but there will be some bloggers there who I’m excited to meet.  My friend, Jen of Beauty and Bedlam is one of the organizers.  I’m looking forward to seeing her again.  And I can’t wait to meet Christy of Southern Plate.

Mostly, I’m looking forward to doing something that feeds my creativity and provides rest for my soul.  The conference takes place in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, NC.  There’s still time to register and the prices are very affordable.  I’d love to meet you there!

My New Pedometer

I decided to buy a pedometer in an effort to encourage myself to walk more.  Before I bought it I even googled, “Does using a pedometer make you walk more?”.  Turns out it does, as long as you write down the number of steps you take each day.

I liked the price of this Omron pedometer and it has great reviews on Amazon.  It’s easy to use too.

I’ve been walking in the mornings and being able to see how many steps I’ve taken (or how few) encourages me to keep going.  I’m surprised at how few steps add up in my day-do-day living.  If you want to hit 5000 or 10,000 steps goal that gets promoted so often by health experts, you really have to be intentional.  It’s a lot harder to do than I expected.  Even with taking a long walk in the morning and sometimes a second walk in the evening, I’ve yet to hit 10,000.

Ice Cream, You Scream

Have you ever wondered about the difference between ice cream and gelato?  The Kitchn has the answer for you.

I love any kind of ice cream or gelato or anything closely related.  Love, love, love!  This Sunday, our local Graeter’s ice cream store is having a sale on their cones.  $1.40something each to celebrate 140ish years of Graeter’s.  I know what I’ll be doing Sunday afternoon.

What will you be doing this weekend?

Slow Cooker Corn Casserole

slow cooker corn casserole

 

Corn casserole is one of those dishes that shows up at potluck suppers in the South and Mid-West.  You can find the recipe in many church cookbooks.

It’s a combination of corn and very moist cornbread that tastes slightly sweet.  Not dessert sweet, but “ooh, let me eat more of this” sweet.  It goes great with any kind of meat on the grill.  I think sliced tomatoes pair up with it nicely too.  They’re almost entirely opposite of corn casserole in flavor and color.

We had friends over for the 4th of July and I decided to try making this in the slow cooker.  It worked great and kept the kitchen cool too.

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more...]

Slow Cooker Peach Chutney You Can Store in the Freezer

Slow Cooker Peach Chutney

 

 

Chutney is not a food that we eat often in my family.  In fact, this may be the first time most of the kids had tried it.  I was inspired by a sandwich we ate in Epcot Norway to try making my own chutney.

Since we’re in the middle of a Summer Slow Cooker Series, it seemed appropriate to use a slow cooker to make this.  I also wanted to be able to freeze it for future use.  For most recipes, you don’t need very much chutney and it’s nice to have it stashed away for when you need it.

Instead of the normal mango, I used canned peaches.  The fruit pairs up with red bell pepper, onion, jalepeno, golden raisins and spices for a sweet condiment with a hint of heat.

And in case you’re wondering what on earth you would actually do with chutney, I’ve got three recipes coming up for you!  I’ll be sharing those on the blog soon.

I know I took a photo of the ingredients, but somehow those photos have gone missing.  Thankfully, even though chutney itself may be a bit unusual, the ingredients are not.  Chances are you have most of these in your kitchen right now.  And the few you don’t have can be picked up on your next trip to the grocery.  Don’t forget plastic freezer bags to store the extra!   [Read more...]

Saturday Chatter – Washington D.C. touring advice needed, books I’m reading and more

I finally feel like we’ve had a few weeks of summer.  To me, that means having a mostly free schedule.  Free play.  Time for home projects.  Afternoons reading on the back porch.

I’ve been making an effort to declutter the whole house.  I wish I could say I’ve been methodically moving from room to room.  Instead, we’ve jumped from bedrooms to bookshelves to junk drawers to garage.

The only thing I have trouble clearing out is books.  I decided I could finally part with some of our homeschool books.  We’ve got five tall bookshelves full and I’d like to pair it down to just three.  Let’s just say, I’ve still got some work to do.

It’s hard to say good bye to all those good read-alouds from Sonlight.  My kids got sentimental about some of the books too, even the kids who aren’t really into books.  Reading together builds memories.  It’s hard to beat the good feeling that comes from a mom and kids snuggling up together to read.

silverforkandspoonhungup

 

I’m not very crafty, but I’m super happy with the giant spoon and fork we hung over the sink.  I found them at a local place called Street Scene.  They were brown wood.  I’m guessing they hail from the 70s.

forkspoonbeforeafter

The silver spray paint made all the difference.  Can you see the little tikis carved on the handles?  I think those are so fun!   It reminds me of ‘Ohana in Disney World.

Washington D.C.

We’re going to tag along with Jim in a few weeks to Washington D.C.  The kids have never been.  We’ve only got two days, so we’ll have to be selective about what we do.  I’d love to know if you’ve got ideas.  And if you’ve know of any must-eat restaurants, let me know!

Books

I’m in process of reading two different books right now.  I started The House at Riverton by Kate Morton.  I found this one on Scribd, after hearing about it from several people.  So far, I’m really liking it.  I’ve heard it said that if you like Downton Abbey, you will like this book.  I think that’s a fair assessment.

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I got part way into the book and my Scribd account expired.  It was a Valentine’s gift from Jim and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to renew it or not.  In the end, I decided to renew.  They gave me a free month and I can cancel at any time.  It was the same price to get a month of Scribd as to buy the kindle version of the book.

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The other book I’m reading is  Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindburgh.  This is such a restful book.  She wrote it during the 1950s, but it is amazing how she deals with so many of the things that modern women wrestle with.  She talks about the feeling of being pulled in many directions, busyness, distractions, finding simplicity and more.  The book is timeless.  It’s as if you’re on the beach with her as she shares her thoughts on life.

What are you reading now?

Independence Day, Books, Homeschool, Weekend Links and more

Happy 4th of July!

Thanks to all of the veterans and those currently serving in the military!

When we were in Disney World a few weeks ago, my dad was chosen as Veteran of the Day at Magic Kingdom.  We had gotten to the park very early.  While we waited at the rope for the park to open, one of the cast members struck up a conversation with Dad.  In the course of their talk, he asked if dad was a veteran and invited him to be part of the Flag Retreat that afternoon.

dad in front of train station resized

I’d heard of the Flag Retreat ceremony before, but I didn’t realize what a special event it is.  A brass band played.  The Dapper Dans sang the National Anthem and God Bless America.  The flag was lowered, folded and handed to my dad to carry up main street.

The rest of the family was also invited to follow the band up Main Street.  We were part of a small parade.  People were watching from the side walks and waving.  My sister and I said if we’d known that would happen we would have cleaned up a little more!  We were looking pretty “theme park awesome” by that time of day in sunny, humid Florida.


walkingupmainstreetwithflag resized

 

Dad was given a certificate and a special pin that is only given to those who participate as Veteran of the Day.  There was also a photographer there to capture the whole thing.  She took quite a few photos for us.

familyflaglowering resized

 

This was the highlight of the trip for all of us.  It was such a surprise and an honor for my dad.

Crashed site, books, homeschool and weekend links

Last weekend, I moved my site to new hosting.  The process didn’t go as smoothly as hoped.  The site completely crashed twice.  And even my emails started bouncing back to the sender.  If you sent me an email last weekend through Monday morning and ended up with the email bouncing back, please resend.

As for books, I’ve been on a non-fiction kick lately.

I’m most of the way through The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education.  I don’t agree with everything in this book, and that’s part of the fun.  But it’s chock full of ideas for non-traditional education.  I’m declaring next year a jubilee year in our homeschool.  I want to focus on reading good books and traveling.  Of course, we’ll throw in some math too.  (Anyone here used Life of Fred?  I’d love to hear what you think of it.)

This is my 18th year to homeschool.  We’ve had good years, hard years and everything in between.  Last year was hard.  One of the hardest so far.  We considered other school choices for this next year, but once again decided that homeschooling is in the best interest of our two school-aged kids.

But we all need a breath of fresh air.  We need to relax.  The kids need a chance to go deeply into the areas of their interests.  And they need to be encouraged to broaden their interests too.  I’m hoping that getting back to my unschooling roots will help.  When my oldest kids were very young, we took a much more unschooling approach to things.  Over the years, we got away from that, adding in more text books and classes, and such.  There’s a time and place for all of that, and this year is our time to relax a bit.

Now for a few weekend links:

tuscany food

I follow Tsh Oxenreider on Instagram and she has been killing all of of with photos of Tuscany.  What a trip!  I loved reading her first post about her experiences.  I’ve got a travel goal of going to Scotland in the next few years.  After that, I think we may need to add Italy!

Seaking of Tsh, her latest Art of Simple podcast is an interview with Anne Bogel on all things books.  Anne blogs at Modern Mrs. Darcy.  I love her blog.  And I can blame her for filling up my Kindle with lots of good reads.  I haven’t listened to this podcast yet, but it’s on my list for this weekend.

I want to do this for a Sunday afternoon lunch:  Bruschetta Bar from What’s Gabby Cooking.

Have a fabulous weekend!

 

How I Make Our Disney World Planning Booklets

wdw planning booklets

 

I promised a while back that I would share how I put together our Disney World planning booklets.  We’ve used planning booklets on quite a few trips now.  This much planning and detail isn’t necessary for every trip, but here are a few instances they are helpful.

Use Disney World Planning Booklets if:

  • You are traveling with a large group
  • You are traveling during a busy, crowded season
  • You are trying to maximize what you can get done at park opening/rope drop

For this trip, we are hitting all three of the above.  We’ll be traveling with 13 people total and we tend to tour as a herd.  The biggest reason we stick together, especially in the mornings, is to optimize what we can get done at rope drop.  If you hit the rides and attractions in a particular order and get there first thing, you can really avoid a lot of lines.

I use small photo albums from Dollar Tree to make the booklets.  I thought about just using our phones for this, but not everyone in our party has a smart phone.  And I think it’s simpler to pull out the booklet.  Each family unit gets one, which keeps me from having to repeat the same info over and over.

What goes inside our booklets:

[Read more...]

Cajun Chicken Skillet with Pasta – a take on Basic Chicken Skillet meal builder

Cajun Chicken Skillet with Pasta

 

My family loved this meal.  Give them pasta, chicken and lots of flavor and they are happy people!

This Cajun Chicken Skillet with Pasta is a take on the Basic Chicken Skillet I showed you a few weeks ago.

You start with the basics:

Basic Chicken Skillet

 

And then you accessorize to make it something special.

In this case, I added tomatoes, creamy half & half, linguine, a little Parmesan and plenty of Cajun Seasoning from McCormick.

Cajun seasoning McCormick

 

These simple ingredients come together to create a meal that’s worth gathering around the table to eat together.  Not only that, but it’s easy to fix.  And any leftovers can be reheated for the stragglers.  In our house, we never know if we’ll have 7 or 8 people at dinner or just 3!

American Homemade meals automatically call for family and friends to gather around the table.  This summer McCormick is celebrating American Homemade and giving you a chance to share your recipe stories.  There are many recipes from all around the country shared on the American Homemade site.  And you can upload your stories here.  Also, visit American Homemade on Facebook.

Back to the story of this pasta.  This is easy, family pleasing pasta dish.  The Cajun Seasoning adds bold flavor to the meal.  Pair this with a crisp, green salad for a complete dinner.  Here’s what you’ll need to make Cajun Chicken Skillet with Pasta:   [Read more...]

Weekend Links, couple of Wedding Pics, what C.S. Lewis ate, and more

Before I get the weekend links, I wanted to share a couple of wedding pictures.  Our daughter, Meredith got married last weekend.  It was such a special time to celebrate with friends and family.

We don’t have photos back from the photographer yet, but I managed to snap a few with my phone.

meredithstephenwedding

 

Instead of wedding cake, we served donuts from North Lime Coffee & Donuts.  When Meredith and Stephen first told me that’s what they wanted to do, I really wondered about it.  But it turned out to be a big hit with the guests!   [Read more...]

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