Tag Archives: dinner ideas

Chef PoppaNut

23 May

So, I’m the queen of taking on way too many things and then freaking out because I have taken on way too many things. People are always joking that PoppaNut and I literally take on everything all the time. We are running here and there all the time that we never have time to slow down and relax. I pack my lunch hour with errands and chores, just so we can fit everything into our week that we need to.

Having said that, PoppaNut (Bless his heart!) knows that I’m like that, and he is always there to help me out when I’m ready to wave the white flag. Case in point: Sunday morning. PoppaNut was ready to help with whatever I needed. Instead, I told him I didn’t need any help and I proceeded to do the dishes, load the dishwater, finish the laundry, put the laundry away, go to the grocery store, clean the fridge, cook breakfast and lunch, bathe the dogs and paint my nails. Then, I had the nerve to complain that I had a busy day.

Meanwhile, PoppaNut could tell I was headed for a Sunday breakdown, even though I had done this all to myself. Why do I do that? Why can’t I just accept help the first time? Why do I say that I don’t need help and then get mad that I’m not getting help even though I know he is more than happy to help me?

Well, I have figured out the reason. I think I’m Superwoman. Instead of MommaNut, I’m SuperMommaNut in my home, and I think I can do everything. And the second reason is that I’m insane.

So, when PoppaNut saw me close to the edge, he sprang right into action. He ORDERED me to sit on the couch and watch countless hours of trashy girly reality-TV shows while he cooked a homemade dinner. How lucky am I? Nothing like Oprah, a bottle of wine and the view of my hubby cooking in the kitchen that makes a Sunday turn amazing!

So, I sat back, watched Oprah, Mob Wives, The Real Housewives of Every County and whatever else I had recorded from the week, and relaxed. It was wonderful. And it reminds me how well PoppaNut really knows me. He knows when I say one thing and mean another. He can tell when I’m saying I don’t need any help, but I really do want some help. He knows when I need some pampering and he jumps into action.

I’m sharing the amazing meal he made me: Bourbon Chicken with White Rice. It was so delicious! And it was so thoughtful and wonderful! I hope you make this at home for your loved one.






    • 2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
    • 1 -2 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
    • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/4 cup apple juice
    • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons ketchup
    • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/3 cup soy sauce


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet.
  2. Add chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned.
  3. Remove chicken.
  4. Add remaining ingredients, heating over medium Heat until well mixed and dissolved.
  5. Add chicken and bring to a hard boil.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Serve over hot rice and ENJOY.

And that’s life in a nutshell … learning when the other person is waving the white flag, and being that knight in shining amour to the rescue (with a bottle of wine in hand).


Dreaming of a New Dinner

9 May

Monday is always a tough day. Work and errands fill the day, leaving little time to think about what to make for dinner. PoppaNut and I often have the same thing: plain chicken breast and steamed veggies with rice.

I can’t say I don’t like it; I do like it. It’s light and tasty, especially with a little cheese on the veggies. But I’m ready to challenge my cooking skills a bit more. I have decided to make a homemade meal on Saturday night, something that will warm PoppaNut’s tummy and leave his lips smacking for more.

Plus, it makes it easier to eat chicken and veggies during the week when I know something good is coming. I’m scouring websites looking for just the right dish.

I found a few really good options on BettyCrocker.com. Who knew Betty did more than baked goods? Seems like Betty is a busy woman, because her site has it all: party menus, videos, cooking tips and TONS of recipes.

This recipe for Garlic Shrimp Pasta looks delicious.

Here is the recipe:

8 oz uncooked multigrain angel hair (capellini) pasta or spaghetti
4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
3 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1 1/2 lb fresh medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and tail shells removed
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine or Progresso® reduced-sodium chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)
1/4 cup Progresso® reduced-sodium chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons butter
In 5-quart saucepan or Dutch oven, cook pasta as directed on package. Drain; return to saucepan. Stir in spinach, tomatoes and 2 teaspoons of the oil. Cover to keep warm.

While pasta is cooking, in 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir 1 minute. Add shrimp, garlic and pepper flakes; cook and stir 2 minutes.

Stir in wine, broth, salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes or until shrimp are pink and firm. Remove from heat; stir in parsley and butter until butter is melted. Add shrimp mixture to pasta mixture in saucepan; toss to mix.

Makes 6 servings
We also got a slow cooker for our wedding, and it has been sitting in the cupboard for awhile. I pull it out every now and then when I’m making homemade sloppy joes (I’ll share the recipe another time). But, I think it might be time to dust it off for this delicious recipe. What do you think?
Slow Cooker Layered Enchilada Dinner
1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef (I think I would use shredded chicken instead)
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can (4.5 oz) Old El Paso® chopped green chiles
1 can (10 oz) Old El Paso® enchilada sauce
10 corn tortillas (6 inch)
3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (12 oz)
Chopped fresh cilantro
In 10-inch skillet, cook ground beef, onion and garlic over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in soup and chiles.

Spray 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Spread about 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce in bottom of slow cooker. Place 4 corn tortillas over sauce, overlapping and breaking in half as necessary to make an even layer. Top with 1/3 of beef mixture, spreading evenly. Drizzle with about 1/4 cup enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese.

Repeat layering twice, using 3 corn tortillas and half of remaining beef mixture, enchilada sauce and cheese in each layer. Sprinkle paprika over top.

Cover; cook on Low heat setting 4 hours 30 minutes to 5 hours 30 minutes.

Let stand about 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle individual servings with cilantro.

Makes 6 servings
And that’s life in a nutshell … finding the perfect dinner to make the one you love. I’ll let you know when I end up making!
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