One Wife's Pinterest Meal Challenge

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Corned Beef and Cabbage in the Slow Cooker

It’s St. Patty’s Day!  I invited two couples at our church to join us for a little dinner party.  And being daring (or maybe a little crazy), I decided to try out a new recipe for Slow-Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage.  It is a Martha Stewart Recipe, so how could I go wrong?  Right?

I have one crock pot and borrowed a second from a friend.  The prep was a little long.  The corned beef was pretty messy and gross.  But I was committed.  Once everything was chopped and ready to go, I felt great inside. I just knew it was going to turn out great.

Well, I’m happy to report that this meal turned out great! Though I realized several hours in that I was supposed to toss the cabbage for only the last hour.  Oh well! There was no turning back.  Luckily it didn’t seem to make a difference.  Everyone loved it!

Pin this for your 2014 St. Patty’s Dinner!

– Jennifer



  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 3 carrots, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into 1-inch wedges (root end left intact)
  • 1/2 pound small potatoes, halved if large
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 1 corned beef brisket (about 3 pounds), plus pickling spice packet or 1 tablespoon pickling spice
  • 1/2 head Savoy cabbage, cut into 1 1/2-inch wedges
  • Grainy mustard, for serving


  1. In a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker, place celery, carrots, onion, potatoes, and thyme. Place corned beef, fat side up, on top of vegetables and sprinkle with pickling spice; add enough water to almost cover meat (4 to 6 cups). Cover and cook on high until corned beef is tender, 4 1/4 hours (or 8 1/2 hours on low). Arrange cabbage over corned beef, cover, and continue cooking until cabbage is tender, 45 minutes (or 1 1/2 hours on low). Thinly slice corned beef against the grain and serve with vegetables and mustard.

Fiesta Chicken

I was looking for a nice dish to make while my Mom was in town visiting.  I came across a pin for an Italian Chicken, but I didn’t have all the ingredients needed. On the same page was a link for Fiesta Chicken.  I took one look at the recipe and pinned it myself:

Fiesta Chicken was really easy to make.  There were not specific mesasurments listed, but I apporximated what I used in the Ingredient list below.  The end result: everyone gobbled it up, including my toddler, before I had a chance to take a picture!

Fiesta Chicken

4 Chicken Breasts
1 Can Black Beans
1 Cup Corn
1/2 Cherry Tomatoes, sliced
Fresh Cilantro
Cheddar Cheese
salt/pepper/cumin to taste
Generously season boneless skinless chicken breasts with Salt and Pepper.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes or until mostly done.
 Assemble the salsa mixture.  Drain and rinse a can of black beans and chop up a small bunch of fresh cilantro. Mix in corn and cherry tomatoes. Throw in a very generous amount of salt and pepper… and add a good dash of cumin.

When the chicken is cooked, drain the extra chicken juice from the pan and sprinkle some cheddar jack cheese on top of each breast. Place in the oven and broil until the cheese is bubbly.

John Legend’s Mac & Cheese


I’ve been looking for a good Mac & Cheese Recipe, so when I came across John Legend’s Mac & Cheese I thought I’d give it a try.  I actually committed to this recipe the night before I looked closely at the ingredient list.   Two cans of evaporated milk, 4 Tablespoons butter, tons of cheese…my arteries were clogging just reading the list!  So I decided to cut down the serving and make it as a side dish.  I also only used a half of can of evaporated milk instead of the 2 cans asked for.  The dish still turned out great, even with less evaporated milk.  I served it with chicken and lots of greens!!


  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups elbow macaroni
  • 2 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 (8-ounce) package Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • Paprika, for sprinkling


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter a 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish; set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt and macaroni. Cook until al dente according to package directions. Drain, and return to pot. Add butter, and toss until pasta is coated and butter has melted; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together evaporated milk, skim milk, and eggs. Add seasoned salt, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; set aside. In another medium bowl, combine cheeses; set aside.
  3. Place 1/3 macaroni in an even layer in the bottom of prepared baking dish; cover evenly with 1/3 cheese. Repeat with remaining macaroni and cheese mixture. Pour milk mixture evenly over contents of baking dish. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake until top layer is lightly browned, 35 to 45 minutes. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving.


Baked Coconut Chicken

I’m a pretty much a fan of  Crispy Coconut anything, so when I came across a pin for Baked Crispy Coconut Chicken with Sweet & Spicy Apricot Sauce, I was sold:

The result was pretty good.  My initial thought was there is way to much garlic powder in the breading. I’ll use less next time.  And there is something else missing.  I can’t put my finger on it.  I will definitely make this dish again, but will continue my quest to find the missing ingredient.

On a side note, yes those are peas in the macaroni.  I serve up peas and macaroni for my toddler.  I have a habit of making them together even when I am cooking for hubby!

Original recipe found at:

BBQ Chicken Cornbread Pie

I was looking for a good hubby approved meal when I spotted this pin for BBQ Chicken Cornbread Pie:   So I decided to give it a try.  This was an easy dish, cornbread, chicken, BBQ.  But to be honest I wasn’t impressed with the final product. I’m a Midwest gal, I grew up on Casserole and sweet corn and this dish has that Midwest feel, but my tastes have changed in the past 7 years since I moved out to LA.  And it just was not savory enough to make again.

Summer squash quiche

My friend, Jennifer, and I continue our Tuesday Moms Cooking Dates.  Today she chose a recipe for Summer Squash Quiche that she pinned on Pinterest:

We started the afternoon with a play date for our 18 month old kids. The kiddos played outside and in the kiddie pool for about an hour before we packed them up to head to the grocery store.  We decided to forgo the bacon, and opt for turkey sausage.  Personally, I’m not a big fan of bacon. I made lose a few readers from this bit of info, but it is true.  After picking up our ingredients, we went back to my little apartment kitchen. We split up the duties, cleaning, chopping, mixing etc and before I knew it we had 2 pie pans full of delicious quiche. We stuck them in the oven just as our hubbies arrived.  We were a little behind on our timing, so we snacked a bit while the quiches were in the oven. But let me tell you, ladies, it was worth the wait! This quiche is DELICIOUS! Stop what you are doing and write down this recipe RIGHT NOW! Your husband will thank you.

And don’t forget to substitute turkey sausage for the bacon.  ; )

Happy Cooking!


Summer Squash Quiche

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, July 2011

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes.
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes.
  • Ready in 1 Hour, 25 Minutes.
  • Makes: 8 Servings
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust, or make your own!
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cups yellow squash, sliced thin
  • 2 cups zucchini, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup shallots or onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place pie dough in a pie pan and press into pan gently; flute edges. Generously poke bottom and sides of dough with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  • To prepare the filling, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl to coat. Add squash, zucchini, onion and thyme; saute for 5 minutes or until veggies are tender, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • Whisk together milk, salt, pepper, bacon and eggs in a medium bowl.
  • Arrange squash mixture evenly over crust and sprinkle with cheese. Pour the egg mixture over cheese. Bake for 45 minutes or until filling is set. Cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Chocolate Covered Frozen Banana & Peanut Butter Bites

I love to pin the desserts.  Yum!  So I decided to finally try one.  My first dessert? Chocolate Covered Frozen Banana & Peanut Butter Bites:

When I started to melt the chocolate, my husband was suddenly interested. He came into the kitchen to investigate.  I cut up the bananas and added the peanut butter. Messy, but fun.  I stuck them in the freezer as the recipe called for and before long I was dipping them in chocolate. This was super messy. Not only that, my chocolate didn’t cover nicely like in the photos on the website.  It looked like a big fat mess. But I finished up and stuck the baking sheet back in the freezer.

The next day we tried them. It was a bit of a mouthful.  I had obviously sliced my bananas way to thick.  It was just too much.  If there is a next time, I’ll probably nix the peanut butter and just make chocolate covered banana bites. It was just a little too much for us.  You might disagree, though.  So check the recipe below to try it yourself.

Chocolate Covered Frozen Banana & Peanut Butter Bites


  • 3 medium ripe bananas, sliced
  • 1/4 cup smooth salted peanut butter
  • 10 oz baking dark chocolate squares


1. Arrange half of the banana slices on a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread peanut butter on them.
2. Top with the other half of banana slices and put in the freezer for about one hour.
3. Melt 2/3 of chocolate (about 6.5 oz). When still hot, add in remaining chocolate and stir until smooth and shiny (it’s called tempering chocolate).
4. Remove bananas from the freezer and dip them into chocolate. You have to work quickly before the sandwiches start to defrost and get mushy. Remove excess chocolate and put back on the baking sheet.
5. Freeze at least 3 hours or until ready to serve.

Makes about 29 bites.

Glazed Pork Chops

I’ve been on a kick to cook meals without chicken.  So I was very excited to try out this recipe for Glazed Pork Chops:

The last time I made pork chop it was a join effort with my hubby, but this time I decided to fly solo.  I’m still a new cook, so I followed the directions closely.  I heated up the oil in the pan but honestly I wasn’t sure when it was ready for the pork chops.  Apparently I waited too long because the minute I set the first pork chop in the oil it started to smoke and I set off the fire alarm in my apartment!  Oh my! Luckily I didn’t burn the pork chop too badly and a couple open window aired out the place pretty quickly.
After everyhing calmed down, I started working on the side dish, brown rice with cheese and zucchini:  I’ve been cooking with zucchini a lot lately.  In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever cooked with zucchini before.  I have to say, I have found some great dishes on Pinterest.

The final result: a delicious dinner.  The pork chops were really tasty and the rice dish was delicious.  I will definitely be making both again.

Original recipes:

Glazed Pork Chops

Total Recipe cost: $6.55
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Cost per serving: $1.63
Prep time: 10 min. Cook time: 15 min. Total: 25 min.

4 thick cut pork chops (bone-in or boneless) $5.97
1/4 cup brown sugar $0.12
1/2 tsp cayenne powder $0.05
1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
1/2 tsp paprika $0.05
1/2 tsp salt $0.05
1/2 tsp black pepper $0.05
TOTAL $6.55

STEP 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl combine the brown sugar and spices (salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika and garlic powder or whatever spice blend you like).

STEP 2: Remove the pork chops from their package and rub the brown sugar/spice mix all over both sides. Use all of the spice mix.

STEP 3: Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium/high heat. When the oil is nice and hot (it will look wavy in the pan), add the pork chops. Cook the chops for about 5 minutes on each side or until they are nicely browned.

STEP 4: If you are using an oven safe skillet, place the skillet in the oven for an additional 5 minutes to make sure they are cooked through. If your skillet is not oven safe (most plastic handled skillets and teflon are not safe in the oven), transfer the chops to a baking sheet lined with foil then place in the oven.

STEP 5: Remove the chops from the oven and drag each side around in the thick glaze that has formed around the chops in the pan prior to serving.

Simple rice loaded with gooey cheese and zucchini