Seared Chicken Quarters with Random Fridge Veggies

Hey everyone! I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy out there. Crazy times. We are trying to be creative over here with the food we already have in the fridge, pantry, and freezer. The hubby is the grocery guy as of late. I do miss going, but he already has to go out for work, so it is just safest if he runs by after work every few days to get what we need.

Mise en Place- All veggies chopped- half an onion, 2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery, 1/2 a green and yellow pepper, and 1 yellow squash.
Brown 3 chicken quarters (legs and thighs) in a bit of EVOO. About 6 minutes on each side. Take them out and cook all your veggies until soft. About 5 minutes if you chopped them in small dices.
Add 1/3 stock, wine, or water to make sure you get all those brown yummy chicken bits off the bottom of the pan. Add your chicken back in, crispy side up. Put on medium low meat and leave uncovered. Cook for 40 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through.
Yummy Perfection!
Serve with a side of couscous (or the starch of your choice). No leftovers 😉

One Pot Meal- Mushroom Tomato-Cream Sauce Pasta

I have a yummy vegetarian pasta dish for you! I found some ground beef in the freezer yesterday, and the kids and husband love my Chili Mac, so I decided to make that for them. Since, I no longer eat meat, I decided to use up the sad mushrooms in the vegetable crisper and make myself a vegetarian pasta. It was so easy and fast, so I don’t even think it requires a official recipe.

I browned the mushrooms in olive oil for about 10 minutes on medium heat. Then I added 1/2 pound of pasta, a jar of marinara sauce, and water (the amount it takes to fill up that jar of sauce). I stirred it all together and turned it to low. I cooked it for about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Lastly, I stirred in a half cup of heavy cream. If you want to make this vegan, you can leave that part out. Now I have a few extra meals for the week!

Without Cream…
With Cream…

Shhhh! Oven Baked Pork Chops and Rosemary Potatoes

We don’t eat pork chops very often in the Winkeljohn household. It’s just one of those foods that my husband is not a big fan of. He’s not a fan of pork chops, pot roast, or any kind of roast for that matter. It’s very strange to me, because I grew up in the south and pretty much pork chops and pot roast are like a go to meal. But the girls and I really love our pork chops, so occasionally I buy them anyway and I make him eat them 😂

The girls and I love to use Shake and Bake. No shame in the pork chop game 😉 I usually add some Parmesan and/or pecorino cheese to the packet to give it a little something extra. Tonight I did just that and threw in some chopped fresh rosemary I got from the Farmer’s Market.

I also cut up about 5 large red potatoes and slathered then in olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Then I placed them all of a sheet pan together. I place the tray in a 425 oven for about half and hour or until the Pork comes to about 145 degrees and the potatoes and fork tender.

I also oven roasted some corn on the cob about 15 min
Delicious plate of food!

Beef Short Ribs with Pappardelle

So today was the 4th anniversary of my oldest daughter’s, Elizabeth aka Lizzie aka Lulu, death. She was 9 and full of happiness, thoughtfulness, kindness, and love. She was diagnosed with cancer at age 4 around Thanksgiving and died on this date 4 years ago. I obviously have a difficult time around this point in the year, but I have learned that even though it never gets easy to lose a loved one, life still goes on and you have to live your best life for those you have lost and those who are living who still depend on you or love you on a daily basis.

That being said, I always take the day of her death and her birthday off from work if it falls on those days, which they have so far and they will the next few years. Everyone has been super amazing and sweet; they always are, but especially during this time. Even though this happened in Dec. I think of her every second of everyday and not a moment in this entire crazy life goes by without me seeing her, hearing her voice, and dreaming about her. It is so weird how much she is in her sisters and even Brutus, our dog. He was her pal and confident every step of the way, and if you have ever seen him in person, he has a kind of sadness in his eyes.

It’s coming on Christmas
They’re cutting down trees
They’re putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
– Joni Mitchell

On to the recipe…

So I have made this recipe a few times. This time I made it on the stove top with my new braising dutch oven.

Beef Short Ribs with Pappardelle

4 Beef Short Ribs
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed and finely chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine
1 small can tomato sauce
1 large can crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter

Salt and pepper both sides of your ribs.
Sprinkle about one tablespoon garlic salt over all sides. My new secret ingredient. LOVE!
Brown ribs in a bit or oil in large dutch oven on med. high heat, about 6 minutes per side.
Take out ribs. Add onions. Cook for about 6 minutes. Stir.
Add garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes. Stir.
Add tomato paste. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.
Add wine. Stir and reduce for about 5 minutes.
Add your cans of tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, and sugar. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add in your meat. Cover. Stir every 45 min or so. Cook for 4-6 hours.

Seitan Stir Fry with Cauliflower Rice

I don’t know if a lot of you know this, but I used to be a vegetarian; a vegan even! 13 years of vegetarianism with 3 years of those being vegan, I learned to love all veggies, fruits, and different types of fake meats (but vegan cheese was not very good at all). It has been a long time since I have been a vegetarian, but I still eat vegan and vegetarian food a lot, and it has gotten increasing better over the years. I have recently discovered a new food box company called Purple Carrot, which is 100%vegan. I decided to give it a try to cook dinners and lunches for myself when the hubby is out of town and the girls are at practice, which is a lot.

The portion is for 2 people, so I get 6 meals instead of just 3. So far, I am really loving it. It can be expensive to buy a lot of vegetarian and vegan food, especially just for myself, and then some of the vegetables and fruit end up going bad. This is so much less wasteful, because they give you just enough for the recipe. I love that it comes with a little recipe book of all the recipes (6 recipes to choose from and you select 3). That way I can always go back and try the other recipes that I did not choose.

Ingredients-  seitan cut in to strips, cauliflower rice, snap, bok choy sugar snap peas, garlic, scallion, cornstarch, , sesame oil , tamari (soy sauce), rice vinegar , turbinado sugar , and sesame seeds. It was really easy to make and so good!


  1. Crisp up the seitan in a a bit of olive oil. Take it out of the pan.
  2. Cook the cauliflower rice for about 4-5 minutes, stirring around a bit. Put in a bowl.
  3. Add in all the sauces and veggies (cut beans in half, chop bok choy and scallions) put in seitan and mix with the cornstarch. Cook until combines and starts to thicken up.
  4. Top the cauliflower rice with the veggies and seitan. Top with sesame seeds. YUM! Vegan take-out made at home!