Creamy Mushroom Chicken with Skillet Green Beans and Rice with Pine Nuts

Hello! Tonight I made a family favorite that I have done in many variations on the blog before. I had some beautiful green beans freshly picked from my garden and some pine nuts leftover that needed to be used up. I made enough to have for leftovers for another night!

Creamy Mushroom Chicken

4 chicken fillets
1 onion, diced
1 carton mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves of crushed and diced garlic
1 tablespoon cream cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 container of reduced sodium chicken stock
add salt and pepper to taste


Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken pieces to hot oil in a single layer without crowding. Cook 4-5 minutes per side or until chicken is browned; remove from pans.

Add in your veggies. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Add the stock. Cook down about 5 minutes.
Add your chicken back in the pan. Cook for 30 more minutes with the chicken in the sauce. Take out the chicken and add in the cream cheese and heavy cream. Stir and let them all melt together. If you want a thicker sauce (to dunk bread), add in more cream cheese. If you want a thinner sauce (to add to pasta) add in more cream. Add your chicken back in. Cook for just a few more minutes… Again…Perfection.


Rice with Pine Nuts-

1/2 stick of butter
1 small bag of rice
1 cup toasted pine nuts
1 container of low sodium chicken or veggie stock

Toast some pine nuts in a pan for a few minutes on low heat. Watch these; they burn quickly.
In a large round pot or pan, heat butter on med heat until it melts. Add in your rice and cook for a few minutes. This toasts the rice and helps give it a nice nutty flavor. Then I added all of the stock in the pan, mixed well, and put on the lid. Every 5 minutes or so, I stirred it to make sure the bottom didn’t burn or stick. Near the 20 minute mark, I felt mine needed a little more liquid, so I added a few more tablespoons of water. I mixed well and added in my pine nuts. Delicious!


Skillet Green Beans

I had these beauties from my garden.

So I threw them in a skillet with 2 tablespoons of bacon fat (butter or olive oil would be fine). I cooked them about 15 minutes. stirring them occasionally. In the end, I threw in a handful of the toasted pine nuts.


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.


Chicken Thighs in Creamy Brown Mushroom Gravy


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


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 =)




Chicken Friand

I made this recipe a few weeks ago after my husband and I had recently both eaten at the French place, Le Madeline. I thought, well, I could try to make that. It doesn’t seem too hard. It is basically chicken and mushrooms in a puff pastry with cream sauce.

I looked up a recipe for a possible copycat, but it called for cream of mushroom condensed soup. I am a little snobby when it comes to canned soups. I just really don’t like them. They make the food taste a bit like the metal can they come in and are full of who-knows-what and TONS of sodium. Plus, it just looks gross…it kinda comes out in a glob. Well, who needs the soup when you can use real mushrooms and real cream?

Take out your puff pastry and let it thaw out while you are preparing the chicken and sauce.

Chicken: Boil 2 chicken breasts for about 20 minutes or so. Take them out of the pan and let them cool completely, then shred.

Sauce: Slice 1 onion and a couple of cloves of garlic. Put in a hot pan with a few tablespoons of butter and olive oil. I like the combo of these 2 together. Let them cook for about 10 minutes or so. Then add a pint of mushrooms. Only a pint, otherwise you will crowd the pan. Cook another 10. Add some salt and pepper to the mix. Then I add over half of a container of mascarpone or cream cheese and a couple of swishes of heavy cream. I don’t really have exact measurements; eyeball it until your liking. I also add some chicken stock and a little dry white wine to the pan. Let this reduce for a few minutes. The sauce should coat the back of your spoon. If you run your finger down the back of the spoon and you leave a mark, your sauce is ready!

Take your thawed puff pastry pieces and cut them in half. I used both sheets, so I ended up with 4 rectangles. Take your shredded chicken and mix it with about half of your sauce. Distribute the chicken mixture on one half of the pastry. Then fold them over, crimp the edges with a fork, and brush your pastry with egg wash. Cut a couple of slits in the top so it won’t explode in the over! Bake at 400 until pastry is puffy and brown…about 25 min or so. Add the rest of the sauce on top of your pastry.


Since I made 4 of them, I froze 2. They freeze beautifully and you just have to pop them back in the oven until warmed through and crusty on top again! You can also freeze the sauce in a baggie or small container. Mushroom Gravy is not the most photogenic food =)973981_10151644260378334_713274013_n

Baked eggs and tomatoes

So many tomatoes! My garden is exploding with tomatoes. We planted other veggies, but this summer has been so rainy, most the other things have not been so successful. So besides the normal summer staple, the tomato sandwich, I have been thinking of other ways to use them. So this morning, I decided to cut some up and bake them with some eggs.

First, I chopped and deseeded 3 small tomatoes, coated them with olive oil, salt, and pepper and placed them at the bottom of a pan. I took out the seeds and juice of the tomato. That way the tomatoes won’t get soggy and mushy when you bake them in the oven. Then, I added them to a small cast iron skillet. You could use a baking dish, ramekins, or even teacups if you wish.


Then I added about half a container of mascarpone cheese with a couple of tablespoons of heavy cream. You could use cream cheese if you have that instead. You could add milk or half and half instead of the heavy cream. 005

Then add your eggs on top. I added 2 for my size of pan. 006

Then bake in a 350 oven for about 20-25 minutes. I placed my eggs on a piece of toast. I have made this for my kids before in little teacups (minus the tomatoes) and they dunked in some pieces of bread. You could add in chunks of ham, bacon, other cheese, or other chopped veggies you may have on hand. The possibilities are endless!