Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pea Salad

I'd never had pea salad until I met Matt's family.  His Grandma serves it at some of the family Holidays.  There isn't much of a recipe for it and it's really not much of a dish but it is pretty tasty. Plus, you're getting a serving of veggies, right? :-)

I wasn't there for the year that Matt's Grandma served them frozen pea salad, but they definitely reminisce about it each time we have pea salad. Oops!! 

Pea Salad
Recipe from: Family Recipe

Bag of frozen peas, thawed
Roasted peanuts for topping, optional
Salt & pepper, to taste

There isn't much of a recipe as I said.  You use as much or as little mayonnaise as you'd like.  Mix together the mayonnaise and peas. Top with the peanuts.  Serve.

You could prepare this a day ahead of time, keeping the peas frozen and allowing them to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.  Maybe that's how she accidentally served them frozen pea salad?!  If you use this method, make sure your peas are thawed by taking a little taste test before serving!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Kitchen Tip: Cooking plain Chicken Breasts

In my opinion, there is nothing worse than a dry chicken breast. This is my favorite way to cook a plain chicken breast.  It's easy, hands-off and always produces great results! I really think the key here is that the chicken needs to be completely thawed.  It might work just as well with frozen chicken breasts, I'm just not sure, I haven't tried it yet.

The other night I threw the chicken breasts into the oven to cook up quick so that I could add them to the pasta.  In 30 minutes, I had juicy, thoroughly cooked chicken breasts.

You could even cook up your chicken ahead of time if you're needing chicken for a cold pasta or cold salad.  Cook the chicken, let it cool and cut/dice as needed.  You'll still have flavorful, moist chicken! This would work great on a busy weeknight, too.  While your chicken is cooking, prepare some veggies or a salad for a quick and delicious dinner.

Preheat your oven to 400*.  Cover a rimmed baking sheet with two sheets of foil.  Place your chicken breasts on the foil lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with whatever seasonings you desire on your chicken.  Place a piece of foil over the top of the breasts, crimping around the edges of the pan so that you have created a completely covered baking sheet.  Put the baking sheet in the oven for 30 minutes.

After the 30 minutes, check to make sure your chicken is done.  If needed, cover with the foil again and cook an additional 15-20 minutes or however long you need until it's done.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Crockpot Freezer Meals!

With Baby coming in less than two weeks, my mind has been on freezer meals!  I want to be sure that we have quick, easy meals & foods on hand because I have NO idea what our life will be like with a newborn. The only thing that I DO know is that we still need to eat! :-)

So far in the freezer we have:
Banana Crumb Muffins
Chicken Taquitos
Chicken Burritos
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Frozen pizzas

I wanted to add a couple crock pot freezer meals and when I found this post on Six Sister's Stuff I thought it would be perfect.  We purchased the ingredients from Aldi since they're pretty cheap and we were running errands near one.

I've now added Hearty Beef Stew, Taco Soup & Chicken Cacciatore to our freezer stash and to be honest, we're really excited to cook them up! I'll be sure to update this blog post or create a new post with our feedback on each dish.

The beef stew was good, but I think I would have much preferred fresh beef stew.  I'm not complaining though, it was a warm meal. :)