Chicken Thighs in Creamy Brown Mushroom Gravy

So this week I didn’t make a meal plan. After Lizzie passed, it was hard for a month or so to get back in a normal routine. Once I did, it seemed too easy. Weekly meal plan, go to the grocery store, make dinners, get distracted with life, go out, make more dinners, etc. So this week I thought about making a meal plan and decided to go against my instinct. I want to feel that rush of “What the heck are we having for dinner?” and “What can I make with the stuff I already have in my kitchen?” Then I looked in my fridge and pantry and realized I needed some stuff to randomly make dinner. So Friday after work I went to the store and got a few things. Awesome. You already saw the last 2 meals that I made.

Today I was home with this sick girl and had to take her to the doctor. Turns out she has the beginnings of a sinus infection and bronchitis. Don’t let the mask and pathetic face fool you. She was still full of sass and energy most of the day. The doctor  told her to stay away from running and activity.  I almost laughed in her face. Anyways, short of all her ailments, she is feeling fine and ready to go back to school tomorrow. I had a nice day off with her and took her to the store to get her meds and some groceries for the rest of the week. She had lots of opinions, so tonight she chose 3 things her and her sisters like. She loves chicken; Becca loves mushrooms; Lizzie really loved gravy. So I made Chicken in gravy with mushrooms.

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Chicken Thighs in Creamy Brown Mushroom Gravy

Ingredients

1/3 cup all purpose flour
4 large Chicken Thighs
1/2 stick butter
1 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup half and half
1 cup canned/boxed low-salt chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup parsley,chopped

Directions

Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper, then dredge in the flour.

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet. Sauté until brown, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plate. Add onions and mushrooms and cook about 5 minutes. Mix in about 1 tablespoon of the flour; cook 1 minute. Add broth and then vinegar. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Add half and half. Mix well. Return chicken to skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered until chicken is cooked through and gravy thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Top with parsley.

Serve with a side of veggie and grain (couscous, pasta, rice, etc) and some crusty bread, per usual.

I know Lizzie would have loved this =)

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Spaghetti with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Bacon, Pine Nuts, and Parmesan

Good evening, kids! I hope everyone had a marvelous Monday! I got home late tonight, so I needed to find something that I could throw together. I had some random things in my fridge and pantry, so I threw caution to the wind and created this masterpiece =) Pretty much anytime you can add pasta, bacon, and cheese, you should do it.

I had about half a pound of thin spaghetti, the last spoonful of a container of sun-dried tomatoes, 3 cloves minced garlic, 1/3 of a container of pine nuts, 1/2 a container of Parmesan, and 8 pieces of bacon. I also added 3 fillets of anchovies and 2 tablespoons of tomato paste.

If you don’t have a jar of anchovies in your fridge, I highly suggest you get one. If you think you don’t like anchovies, you are wrong. If you like Caesar Salad, you like anchovies. I am not suggesting you eat the anchovies whole. That would be an amateur move. I am letting you know that if you add 3 anchovies to a bit of bacon fat, olive oil, or butter, they will melt and make the base to the most delicious sauce you have ever had. So amazing. Trust me, please. Just don’t put your nose directly in the jar, ok? But if you don’t have any in your pantry, are going vegetarian on this dish, or you are allergic for some reason, you can totally leave them out. It is you meal and your life, so you can do whatever you want.

So while I was boiling the water for my pasta (add lots of salt), I made the bacon. I started cooking the pasta. I took out the bacon (cool and chop) and added the anchovies. They melted like butter and I added the garlic and 2 tablespoons of red pepper flakes (optional). I added 2 tablespoons tomato paste and stirred well. Then I added the sun-dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil, but add another drizzle if needed) and pine nuts. I cooked those for 3 minutes, then added the pasta (read time on box and follow minus 2 minutes). I added the pasta in to the mix plus a coffee cup full of starchy cooking water. I let this cook for a couple more minutes before I added the Parmesan. I mixed well then added my chopped bacon on top. 004

Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Evening! I have made this probably more than 100 times. I know that sounds like a bit of an exaggeration, but I promise you I am telling you the truth. As a vegan/vegetarian, this was an easy and filling meal. The girls tried it for the first time tonight. I had to stop Becca from licking her plate. Katie wasn’t a fan…

The flesh of this squash resembles spaghetti when cooked. It is just like magic. You can add sauce to it, add it with cheese, or simply eat it with salt and pepper. Heaven!

Heat the oven to 400°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Brush with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves cut-side up on a baking sheet and roast until fork tender, about 50 minutes.

Remove the squash from the oven and let sit at room temperature until cool enough to handle. Scrape the flesh with a fork to make long strands, or just eat it strait from the skin.

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I ate half with butter and parm cheese.

I spied a leftover garlic butter sauce from pizza last night. I added that and some parm cheese to the other half. I am saving that for another meal this week =)
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Weekly Meal Plan 3/22/15

Greetings on this yucky lazy Sunday. This weekend has been filled with fun! It was Becca’s 8th Birthday Slumber Party. The girls had a fun time playing, screaming, and acting like crazy kids, which was so awesome to watch. We also ate lots of pizza, popcorn, chips, and of course CAKE!
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This morning everyone slept in until 8:30, probably because they didn’t go to sleep until who knows when???? I checked on them and they all pretended to be asleep. Ha! So they all woke up late, played more, and I made them breakfast. 7 girls (Six 8 year olds and One almost 6 year old) can put away massive amounts of food…1 pound of bacon, 18 eggs, and 1 1/2 packages of french toast sticks. I honestly think I could have also made a second package of bacon or a package of sausages.

So on to this week’s meal plan…

Sun- Roasted Spaghetti Squash- last week I was going to make a spaghetti squash pesto with shrimp, but that never happened. Since the girls had a big breakfast and a late lunch, I am not sure they are going to want much for dinner.

Mon- Shrimp Alfredo Pasta

Tuesday- Montery Chicken https://funfoodiefamily.com/2014/06/09/copy-cat-montery-chicken/
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Wed- Grandparents are having dinner with the girls. I will either get Jimmy John’s, Indian Takeout, or make something random from my pantry.

Thursday- Ms. Mandy is coming over and we are going out for Mexican =)

Friday- Not gonna lie…I have no idea…

Mason Jar Salad

I know you have seen this somewhere. Maybe in a magazine or on Pinterest? I have tried it and succeeded.
Just saw that the average American spends $2,000 on eating out at lunch every year. Say what????? Here is a way that I am helping your health and wallet…
Random fridge ingredients that can be used in a salad…dressing on the bottom, heartier ingredients on the bottom and delicate ingredients on the top. Still trying to figure this out. I am doing a different combo each time depending on the ingredients. No mixing until lunchtime! Shake right in the container!
2 containers- Balsamic and Greek Dressing combined…feta, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries, apple slices, pine nuts, mushrooms.
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Mexican Pizza; Steak Tostadas

Evening guys! So I have this lovely recipe that will take you 15 minutes to prepare, less if you have premade ingredients…

Tonight was a late dinner night, so I had to think of something that was super fast. Steak Tostadas; BOOM! Called them Mexican pizzas, because the girls love pizza and Mexican food, so how could this go wrong?

Mexican Pizza; Steak Tostadas

1/2 Flank/Skirt steak, sliced (or chicken, pork, ground beef/chicken/turkey/sausage, tofu,shrimp, fish, or beans)
8 corn tortillas, fried in 1 cup vegetable or peanut oil until turning golden brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side- or store bought Tostadas
All the fixings you love- shredded cheese, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sliced avocado or guacamole, sour cream, hot sauce…

Season your protein with salt and pepper. Cut in to bite sized strips and cook until preferred doneness…med.rare for us, so about 4 minutes (for steak and seafood only; chicken and pork the longest,about 10 minutes; tofu and beans until brown or cooked through)…

Assemble your tostadas…002

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