Category Archives: Cooking

A First for Me

My cooking and baking adventures started a little over a year and a half ago when I came home full time with my son. I’m typically a recipe conformist and follow it to a tee. I’ve tried on several occasions to branch out and tweek recipes I find, but they typically end up inedible.

So tonight I took a chance and tried it again…and voila SUCCESS!!!  Here’s what was left of it after my family got a hold of it 🙂

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I happened across a recipe on Facebook today (Original recipe:  https://www.facebook.com/TheNewHot899/photos/a.96216403705.86216.12759833705/10151510794968706/?type=1&fref=nf&pnref=story).  Here is my version I created tonight.

Ingredients:
1 pounds boneless, skinless chicken (I had a package in the freezer that contained a breast and 2 tenders)
1 large russet potato (I cut mine very small using this chopper)
Chopped broccoli (I chopped a partial head of broccoli, you could use froze, but thaw and warm before adding)
Olive oil
salt
black pepper
paprika
garlic powder
hot sauce (I used Frank’s and only in the chicken marinade)

Topping:
Colby jack cheese
Crumbled bacon
Diced green onion

I didn’t include any measurements because I just mixed in ingredients to what my families taste are.  Use your judgement and the likes of those who you are cooking for.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Spray a 9X13″ baking dish with cooking spray. In a bowl mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. Add the potatoes and stir together. Scoop out the potatoes and leave the marinade in the bowl.  Bake the potatoes for 30 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. While the potatoes are cooking, add the cubed chicken to the bowl with the left over olive oil mixture, adding hot sauce to taste, and stir to coat. If your chicken is not coated well, add additional olive oil and spices.  Once the potatoes are fully cooked, remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 400 degrees. Layer the chopped broccoli and then the raw marinated chicken on top of the potatoes. In another bowl mix together the cheese and bacon and cover the chicken.  Top with green onions and return the casserole to the oven.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the topping is bubbly delicious.

I haven’t tried it, but I’m sure this recipe could be further tweeked with different vegetables or maybe even a homemade cream of “something” soup.  Once I started taking the time to read food labels, I haven’t used a can of this stuff in more than a year.  This recipe is fairly simple and can be made with organic ingredients.  Highly recommended, especially for the upcoming holiday season where several family favorite recipes call for this soup.

I’m including a completely random picture of my son.  This made me happy tonight.  There’s nothing cuter than a boy and his dog.  Especially when said boy wants to cuddle with the dog on the dog bed and the dog just wants to go to bed!

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Adoption News:
We got an update today that our fingerprint clearances came back last Friday.  One more step closer to being able to start the matching process to bring home a daughter to add to our little family.  As I’ve mentioned, if you would like to hear about our adoption story or support us during our journey, please click the link.  www.adopttogether.org/babygeiger

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Little Mans Favorite Snack

I never really had a taste for applesauce, but my son loves it.  I didn’t realize how much of a difference in taste in the store bought brand vs. homemade applesauce.  The difference now has me enjoying applesauce when my son does.  Here’s how I make ours.

Ingredients:
3 lb Apples (I use a variety of red, green, gala and fuji; all organic)
1/2 cup Apple juice
1 T lemon juice (I used fresh squeezed, but you could substitute from the bottle)
1-3 tsp cinnamon
1-2 T honey (optional)
1/4 t nutmeg (optional)

Directions:

First core each of the apples, then I take the extra step to peel the apples.  Taking the peel off makes it easier to puree and then put in my sons pouch, which I will show you later.  I usually cut each apple into 6-8 pieces and put in a pot on the stove.  Add the apple and lemon juices.  Add in the amount of cinnamon you like.  Normally I use 1 teaspoon for 3 pounds of apples, but this time I was just shaking some out of my glass container and it was more like 1 tablespoon, but the taste was wonderful.  Stir the ingredients, cover and cook on medium to medium-high heat for 20-25 minutes. (Cooking times may vary depending on your stove)

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Once the apples are soft and moist, you can add in the honey and nutmeg if you choose.  I find the variety of apples gives more than enough sweetness and don’t add the honey.  For this batch, since I accidentally put in too much cinnamon, I did not add the nutmeg.

After the mixture has cooled slightly pour into a container and use an immersion blender to puree the mix.  This recipe usually gives me enough for the three containers pictured.  I put the large one in the fridge and freeze the little ones for future use.

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About the little animal pouches.  We love our squooshi reusable food pouch containers.  We use them for applesauce, smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, anything with a squishy consistency.  We’ve used these more so since our son is bigger, but could also be used with little ones eating pureed food on the go.  These are safe to wash by hand or pop in the top rack of the dishwasher.

Adoption News:

We were so excited to see that after several donations we’ve received, we are just $102 away from our first goal of $1500 to help cover the cost of our homestudy we recently completed.  Would you consider helping us reach this first goal?  If you have the financial means to support our adoption, no amount is too small or too big; $5 to $5,000 – any and all funds will help and are so greatly appreciated.   http://www.adopttogether.org/babygeiger