Chicken and Potatoes with Garlic Cream Sauce

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If you are a blogger, daylight savings time is a rather sobering time of year. Yes, we get an extra hour of sleep, but we lose precious sunlight in the afternoon hours. We LIVE on natural light. And it’s even more of a bummer if you are a full-time working mom! In order to blog, I would have to have everything ready by lunch time so I could rush home and take a picture in perfect light…and we all know that is just NOT going to happen. I can barely get myself ready and out the door in a timely manner most mornings. The time change limits blogging to the weekends, and with the holidays just passing, every. single .weekend. is packed with events until mid-February!

What I’m getting at in the midst of all my complaining is this: winter will be a slow season for my blog.

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I DID, however, come across this gem of a recipe when I was browsing for easy weeknight dinners…I couldn’t resist! I’m 110% in favor of anything that involves minimal dishes. I changed up the recipe a bit by doubling the garlic cream sauce and adding artichokes. Everyone who’s a someone knows that there’s no such thing as too much garlic cream sauce! I was able to cook the spinach and chicken in one pan, which was a major plus, and then transferred everything over to a baking dish.

Aside from the extra hour of sleep, the time change has inspired me to cook delicious meals and snuggle up on the couch with my mini-me as soon as I get home. This dish definitely didn’t disappoint – it was perfect for a savory yet simple meal to enjoy on a relaxed evening.

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Chicken and Potatoes with Garlic Cream Sauce

10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 16 ounces baby Dutch potatoes, cut in thirds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 can of quartered artichokes (cut in half for smaller pieces)
  • For the Garlic Cream Sauce
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth, or more, as needed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 cup half and half (or milk)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9×13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Season chicken with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear both sides until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side; set aside.
  4. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet. Stir in spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to wilt, about 2-3 minutes; set aside.
  5. To make the garlic parmesan cream sauce, melt butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
  6. Gradually whisk in chicken broth, thyme and basil. Cook, whisking constantly, until incorporated, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in half and half (or milk) and Parmesan until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add more half and half or milk as needed; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Place chicken in a single layer into the prepared baking dish. Top with potatoes, spinach and cream sauce.
  8. Place into oven and roast until potatoes are cooked, about 35-40 minutes.

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Baby Trend: Rompers

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Don’t mind us, we’re just dreaming about a California summer over here. It’s 62 degrees, so I can’t complain, but when you have cute clothes and the weather is not cooperating, what do you do? You have a photo shoot, of course! We couldn’t leave this romper stranded, unused, and miserable in the closet! Aaaand since it definitely required the perfect accessories, I pulled out her itty bitty tan sandals, pink sunglasses, and this adorable tote bag that screams “take me to the beach!!”

I’ve been busy planning our first family vacation and this outfit MUST come with us (if she still fits in it, of course). We are using our Ellen’s Mother’s Day Giveaway gift and heading to the beautiful Coronado Island in San Diego, California. Thank you, Ellen! I think it will be a good first trial vacay with a little one since it’s not too far from home, but far enough to make us feel like we are on vacation, not “staycation.” Plus, we can figure out all the “what not to do’s” before the big trip in the summer.

We’re new at this parenting thing, so traveling will be an adventure! What do I pack? How many blankets do I need? How many bags should I bring? What safety items do I need? Should we rent a U-haul for all of her toys? The questions are endless. In the meantime, we will be putting Avery in seasonally inappropriate (but INCREDIBLY adorable) clothing and dreaming of waves crashing on the shore.

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I’ll meet you at the beach, Mom!

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Quick outfit check.

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DETAILS:

Blue Floral Romper
Sandals – Old Navy
Sunglasses and Tote – Target
Pink Bow

 


Crock Pot Southwestern Soup

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The forecast calls for rain this week. Again. Though I get a little mopey about it, this is the most rain we have had in months, and thanks to the precipitation numbers, California can officially say adios to the drought! I’ve mentioned in previous posts that Californians don’t handle the rain very well. My closet consists of approximately 95% summer clothes and 5% winter/rain clothes. Hey, it’s Cali! But lately, I have been running out of winter clothes because of this weather.

My New Year’s resolution (along with everyone else in America) is to lose weight and start eating healthier. So far, I’m killing it during the week. If I could just have a liiiiittle more control over my calorie intake during the weekends, I would be seeing better results – but I just can’t seem to avoid all the temptations. I’M WEAK!!!

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When the weather calls for rain, all I can think of is soup, soup soup! The problem is that most of the best soups have potatoes and heavy cream in the recipe…that’s what makes them so delicious! Thankfully, my auntie shared her delicious Crock pot Southwestern Soup with me, and let me tell you – it is the absolute perfect soup for rainy weather, and it’s healthy to boot! Even if you decide to sneak a piece of corn bread on the side, it won’t derail your healthy eating habits. Enjoy!

Crock Pot Southwestern Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 package of ground turkey
  • Medium onion, chopped
  • 2 packages of taco seasoning
  • 1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 2 cups of water
  • Large zucchini sliced and halved
  • 1 - 13 ounce can of (Do not drain the juices):
  • Kidney Beans
  • Black Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 cans of corn
  • 1 - 10 ounce can of rotel tomatoes with diced chilis, mild

Instructions

  1. Brown turkey and onion. Drain fat, if needed.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Add taco seasonings and ranch mix. Stir well.
  4. Pour into crock pot with 2 cups of water and all canned goods (including liquids).
  5. Add zucchini.
  6. Cook on low for at least 5 hours.
  7. Optional condiments to add on top of chili:
  8. Sour cream, hot sauce, cheese, olives, jalapeños or tortilla chips

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Life with Avery: Six months

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My lofty, pre-baby goal was to write an update every month, but then she was born and I realized that definitely wouldn’t happen without hiring 3 sitters. In fact, I can barely find the time to give you an update every 6 months! I am struggling to find the delicate work-mom balance these days. Miss Avery Elizabeth King keeps us crazy busy! She is mellow like her dad with a little bit of Latin spice from her mama.

Life with a 6 month old truly is an absolute joy. Avery recognizes our faces, laughs at everything, and wants to be included in everything we do. It can be challenging, but I’ve learned to cook, clean, and get ready all with one hand – major mom skills!

When I am not kissing her delicious cheeks, you can find us reading books; something about hearing the sound of a voice going into “reading mode” stops her in her tracks and she examines each page. She’ll definitely be a reader!

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We are constantly keeping an eye on her to see what she’s grabbing. She flips from belly to back and back to belly. I try to capture every moment because I know the next day she could be doing something completely different.

I started putting away her 3 month clothes and could not believe how many outfits still had the tags on them! Every time I go shopping, I feel like I have approximately 2 days to put her in the clothes I bought, otherwise they will be too small. If baby number two is a girl, she will have a brand new wardrobe with zero effort on our part!

I could not stand when my mom would say stuff like “time flies,” “it goes quick,” or my favorite, “they grow so fast”. Like, I know. I’ve only heard that from 10,000 other people. I hate to say my mom was right, but time is flying by! It was a little over 6 months ago that I was in the hospital marveling at her little face. TEAR.

My latest obsession is oversized head bows! I never thought I would be a girl mom. I grew up a tom boy and wanted to get dirty every day. I was the kid who was always in a gym, playing in a field, or running around the track. I am very competitive and when it comes to girly things, it’s just wasn’t my thing. Thankfully there are many fashionable mommies out there that I look to for inspiration. Head over to Obnoxiously Adorable Designs and swoon over the oversized head bows like the one Avery is flaunting in these pics – you will fall in love.

I am already planning Avery’s first birthday (yes, 6 months early) and can’t wait to share some of my ideas. It’s going to be BIG. My baby only turns 1 once, right?

 

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DETAILS:
Bow: Obnoxiously Adorable Designs
Hair and Makeup Team: Molly and Mia King (ruff!)


Life with Avery: Bohemian Nursery

 

I’m absolutely thrilled that Inspired By This featured Avery’s nursery on their site! I’ve been a hardcore fan for so many years. And by fan, I mean a stalker who checks their website 3-4 times a day. In fact, a lot of Avery’s nursery inspiration came from their site.

Here is what I wrote to Inspired by This when asked about the inspiration for the nursery…

Photo by: Kaysen Photography (www.kaysenphoto.com)

 

“I wanted my daughter’s nursery to have a “Midsummer’s Night” inspired, dreamy and bohemian feel.

I had been researching and visualizing bohemian nurseries since I can remember, so I had plenty of idealistic pictures in my head. My husband and I had a long road to pregnancy, which made this process that much more special for us. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out!”

 


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Photo by: Kaysen Photography (www.kaysenphoto.com)

Photo by: Kaysen Photography (www.kaysenphoto.com)

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Photo by: Kaysen Photography (www.kaysenphoto.com)

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Photo by: Kaysen Photography (www.kaysenphoto.com)
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Photo by: Kaysen Photography (www.kaysenphoto.com)

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Avery’s room was absolutely spotless the day of the shoot. I wish I could say it stayed this clean, but that lasted for about 1 day. Now the usual is toys on the floor, laundry on her chair (because I’m too lazy to hang anything), and random socks lying everywhere. I’m glad I was able to capture at least one day of perfection! Creating a beautiful space for Avery to grow up in has been incredibly rewarding, and the recognition was a fantastic bonus!

Vendors:
Photography: Kaysen Photography
Crib: Evolur Sawyer 5-in-1 Convertible Crib
Rocking chair: Pottery Barn
Dresser: Refurbished Vintage find
Floral A: Crowned Creations
Piggy Bank: Tiffany & Co.
Dream sign (custom order): House of Belonging
White wall decor: Pier 1 imports
Bookshelf: Target