Author Archives: Anne

About Anne

Family: my wonderful husband, Adam, and our amazing little girl, Isla Dwelling: a small Cape Cod in the suburbs Real job: Human Resources Coordinator and Office Manager for DeskArmor, LLC. Homemaker tip: Even the simplest food can look elegant if you serve it properly. Presenting food on adorable platters is an easy way to impress guests. I am ashamed to admit that: I have never used a lawn mower. (I am blessed with a husband who takes pride in his yard) Three foods I can’t live without: cheese, olive oil, and chicken fingers Most important lesson learned: being a mom is the hardest job you’ll ever love One thing I am afraid of running out of: Clorox anywhere spray…and diapers

Meatballs and Marinara Sauce

My sister-in-law gave me the most amazing recipe for meatballs and marinara sauce. One bite and I was in love.  I just adore simple and basic recipes like this one. The best part was the simplicity of cooking the meatballs – no browning or baking! They just simmer away in the marinara sauce and become deliciously tender and flavorful. This recipe is a keeper.

 

Sauce:
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3-4 cloves minced garlic
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 Tbsp dried oregano
3Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Meatballs:
1lb ground beef
1 egg
1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Add oil to a large pot over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, sugar, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Lower heat to the lowest setting and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the mixture cooks, make the meatballs. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix with your hands until just combined. Shape into 1 inch balls. (The recipe makes about 15 meatballs) Drop the raw meatballs gently into the sauce and cook, covered, for about 1 hour on low heat. Stir the pot occasionally to prevent burning on the bottom.

Serve over pasta or spoon meatballs onto sub rolls and top with cheese.

Adapted from Can you stay for dinner

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Green Smoothie

I often find myself eating breakfast on the run which usually results in me downing a granola bar, a handful of cereal or some kind of cookie.  Great way to start the day, huh?  I needed a better option so I started to experiment with smoothies after my inlaws so generously gave us a vitamix.  This thing is amazing and makes some of the best smoothies because it literally pulverizes anything you put inside.  We have tried a ton of different combinations, but this green smoothie is, by far, my favorite.  The best part is that the spinach and carrots are almost undetectable and you would never know by the taste that they are even in there.  My husband and my daughter drink this without hesitation.  I love it because I can start my day off with a good dose of fruits and veggies and it is incredibly filling.


Green Smoothie

Serves 2 adults 

2 bananas, peeled
1/4 pineapple, chopped
1 fresh peach or 8 slices of bagged frozen peaches
1-2 cups of spinach
2 whole carrots, peeled and chopped
3 TBSP Chia Seeds
1/4 – 1/4 cup coconut water or regular water

Place the ingredients in your blender and blend until combined.  Add ice if you like your smoothies chilled.  We pour ours into to-go cups with straws so they are the perfect breakfast on the go!

I had mentioned before that we used a vitamix for this smoothie.  It is an incredibly powerful blender that pulverizes anything you put inside.  That is why the carrots are undetectable.  If you are using a blender that is not as powerful, you might want to leave the carrots out.

I also feel the need to mention that this post was not paid for by vitamix.  I just really love my blender!

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Honey Sesame Chicken

Lately it has been a battle to get my 4 year old to eat dinner.  She used to eat anything but suddenly she has become stubborn and turns up her nose at everything except boxed Macaroni and Cheese.  It is almost impossible to get her to eat any form of meat, unless I make it sweet.  All I need to do is tell her this is “Honey Chicken” with lots of honey in it and she eats it no problem.

If the dinner table struggles about food are any indication of what the teenage years will be like, then I’m in trouble!



Honey Sesame Chicken

5 chicken breasts
¾ C. honey
¼ C. light soy sauce
¼ C. ketchup
2 t  olive oil

4 teaspoons cornstarch
6 Tablespoons  water
3 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Grease the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.  Add the chicken and cover with a mixture of the honey, soy sauce, ketchup and olive oil.

Cover and cook on low for about 5 hours or until the chicken is cooked and falls apart easily.  Be careful not to over cook.

Remove the chicken and shred, leaving the juices in the pan.  Mix the cornstarch and water and add the mixture to the juices left in the slow cooker.  Place shredded chicken back into the slow cooker, cover and cook for an additional 15-30 minutes.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice.

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Chicken Fingers

As one of the writers of HAP, I love to cook and cook often. However, as the mother of a preschooler and a newborn, my life can become somewhat hectic and I find myself turning to to convenicne foods. That’s right, chicken fingers, tatertots and sweet potato fries right out of the freezer. I know these foods aren’t bad occasionally, but lately I have been reaching into my freezer more often that I would like in order to get dinner on the table fast.

In an effort to break this habit, I wanted to make my own chicken fingers that would be quick to make and taste great, but would also be something I felt good about serving to my family. I coated chicken fingers with panco breadcrumbs and seasoning, then individually froze them before putting them in ziploc bags. With minimal effort, I have created chicken fingers that I can grab in a hurry that are homemade and still taste great.

Chicken Fingers for your freezer

3lbs chicken tenders
3 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups panco bread crumbs
1 Tablespoons ground cumin
2 Tablespoons garlic powder
1 Tablespoon Salt

Ziplock Bags

In a large bowl, mix together the panco bread crumbs with the cumin, garlic and salt. Dip each chicken tender into the beaten eggs, then into the bread crumb mixture. Place on a large cookie sheet. Continue until you have used up all of your chicken tenders.

Place the cookie sheet into your freezer for about 45 minutes or until the tenders are mostly frozen. Then place into freezer safe ziplock bags. This will ensure that the chicken fingers will not stick together when you go to grab a certain number.

I like to try and slightly thaw the chicken before I bake it by putting it in the fridge in the morning if I am going to have it for dinner that night. If you are cooking from thawed, bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until cooked through. If you are cooking from frozen, you will want to add 10-20 minutes to your cooking time.

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Pecan Crusted Chicken

One of my favorite simple chicken recipes is Pecan Crusted Chicken.  The chicken is dipped in a honey mustard mixture and breaded with panco bread crumbs and chopped pecans.  It has the most amazing crunch and a sweet and tangy flavor.  I have made it with chicken breasts and chicken fingers, but especially love it as chicken fingers.

Pecan Crusted Chicken

3 chicken breasts, trimmed and pounded to 1/2 inch thick
1 cup honey
1/2 cup dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
3 cups panco bread crumbs
1 cup finely ground pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a shallow bowl, mix together the honey, mustard and olive oil.  In another shallow bowl, mix the panco breadcrumbs and pecans.

Dip the chicken into the honey mustard mixture and then into the panco breadcrumb mixture.  Be sure to coat all sides of the chicken.

Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.  For chicken strips, bake about 25-30 minutes.

Simple, easy and delicious!

Adapted from Fix, Freeze, Feast.

 

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Corn and Tomato Side Dish

I love the early weeks of August when you can get fresh tomatoes and corn on the cob everywhere you look.  These are two of my favorite summer treats and I decided to combine them to make this quick and easy summer side dish.  The best part is this can be served hot or cold which makes it great to bring to a BBQ because it can be left outside for a little while without worrying that it will spoil due to mayo or other ingredients.

Corn and Tomato Side Dish

5 ears of corn, cooked and corn removed from the cob
1-2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 lime
salt and pepper to taste

Mix the cooked corn and tomatoes in a serving dish.  Add the juice of 1 lime and mix to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Could that be any easier?  I just love how it tastes like summer!

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Filed under Cook, Healthy, Quick & Easy, Sides

Campfire Cones

We were invited to Stef’s house for a BBQ last weekend and she asked that I bring a dessert.  It was roughly 105 degrees out, so turning on my oven was not an option.  I had come across the idea for campfire cones on pinterest, and decided to give it a try.  They were quick and easy to make and were a huge hit!  Adults and kids were drooling over these rich and gooey treats.


Campfire Cones
Ice Cream Cones
Mini Marshmallows
Mini Chocolate Chips
Nutella
Chopped Nuts
Peanut Butter Chips

tin foil

Start with a cone and fill with marshmallows and other treats.  Cover with foil and place on inderect heat on a grill or campfire for about 5-10 minutes or until all of the contents are melted.

Unwrap and enjoy!

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Filed under Cook, Grill, Treats

Chicken Enchiladas with Corn and Spinach

My husband and I love Mexican, but my daughter refuses to eat anything that has even the slightest spice to it.  I made up these enchiladas one night and added ingredients that I knew she would like.  The flavor combination was so wonderful, we didn’t even miss the heat!  If you can’t live without it, add some diced green chilies to the mix.

Chicken Enchiladas with Corn and Spinach

10, 6 inch flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
½ cup corn, cooked and cooled
½ frozen spinach, cooked and drained
2 cups shredded cheese, any kind you would like
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and Grease a 9 x 13 pan. Mix together the chicken, corn and spinach. Add 1 cup of cheese and mix to combine.

Fill each tortilla with the chicken mixture, roll up and place in the pan, seam side down.


Meanwhile, melt butter in a sauce pan. Add flour and stir to combine, cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly add the chicken broth little by little until smooth. Heat over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add the sour cream.  Pour over the rolled up tortillas and top with the extra 1 cup of cheese.

Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

I always make these expecting to have left overs, but the entire pan gets eaten every single time!

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Taco Salad

My family loves taco night and we are usually left with a lot of leftover taco meat and crunchy taco shells to be used later in the week.  One of my favorite ways to use this up is to make a delicious taco salad.  It is quick and easy to make and just as satisfying as a taco itself!

Taco Salad

Left over taco meat, warmed
shredded lettuce
diced tomatoes
diced avocado
shredded cheese
corn, cooked and slightly cooled
chopped taco shells or tortilla chips
ranch dressing or sour cream

Place your lettuce on a plate and top with heated taco meat, tomatos, avacado, cheese, corn and chopped taco shells or tortilla chips.  Drizzle with rance dressing or sour cream.

It is so simple, but so delicious!

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Strawberry Shortcake with Toasted Coconut

With strawberry season in full swing, I have been finding ways to sneak strawberries into everything lately.  I recently made this delicious bunt cake and dressed it up with sliced strawberries, whipped cream and toasted coconut.  The coconut adds an nice crunch to this traditional dessert and another delicious layer of flavor.

Strawberry Shortcake with Toasted Coconut

Cake:
8 oz brick of room temperature Cream Cheese
1/2 cup warm water
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup oil
1 box white cake mix, butter recipe
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs

Toppings:
Sliced Strawberries
Whipped Cream
Toasted Coconut

Cream the cream cheese, butter and water until soft and fluffy.  Add the cake mix and beat well.  Then add the oil and sugar and stir until combined.  Add one egg at a time and beat until fully mixed.  Spray a bunt pan and pour batter into pan.  Bake at 325 for 45 -50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool slightly ans turn onto a plate.

Slice and top with strawberries, whipped cream and toasted coconut.

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