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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Baja Shrimp Tacos

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My dad is an amazing cook. The world needs to know this fact. I had to wake up at 7:00 to go to a volleyball tournament almost every weekend when I was a kid, and The only thing to look forward to that early in the morning was my dad’s breakfast. He used to put the most random stuff together and it would always turn out amazing…it baffled me, but I sure didn’t complain!

One of my favorite foods he made was pancakes. He would put oatmeal and one bag of sweet’n’low in the batter. Sounds Weird, I know, but it was Amazingly Delicious! I was visiting him for lunch in between classes a few years ago and he shared his favorite shrimp taco recipe with me. If literally took us 20 minutes to make. anddddd IT’S. SO. GOOD.

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How cute are these Taco Holders?

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Baja Shrimp Tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. shrimp (cleaned and deveined)
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tsp. red pepper flakes (you can add more if you want more spice)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup chopped cabbage
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. mayo (just enough to coat cabbage)
  • 3 tbsp. cannola oil
  • 5 tortillas
  • *extra garnish- queso fresco and avocado

Instructions

  1. Add shrimp to a bowl of cold water and let them defrost for 5 minutes.
  2. Melt butter in medium saucepan on low heat and add garlic and red pepper.
  3. Chop cabbage, tomatoes, and cilantro and put in a medium size bowl.
  4. Add shrimp to the pan and cook for about 10 minutes.
  5. Heat oil in medium sauce pan and lightly fry tortillas.
  6. Add mayo to vegetables in medium bowl.
  7. Place cooked shrimp in tortilla and add cabbage topping.
  8. Top with queso fresco and slices of avocado

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Sausage and Cheese Tortellini

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Well, it’s finally happened. We turned on the heater for the first time since we moved into this house almost three years ago. It’s southern California, folks, so it’s a rare occasion to need the heater! We exchanged our cute couch throws for heavyduty blankets and snuggled up all weekend. So basically, it was my ideal weekend. It was also my husband’s ideal weekend because the cold weather and rain gave him an excuse to avoid outdoor work, meaning he could stay in and watch tv all day. It was just a win-win.

For once in my life, I didn’t feel like soup, and I had a huge bag of cheese tortellini in the fridge, so I figured it was time to put it to good use! This recipe is creamy, cheesy, and has a nice little kick to it. Oh, and the best part is that you can throw everything in a crockpot! Let those intoxicating smells fill the house!

Sausage and Cheese Tortellini

Ingredients

  • 1 32 oz box of chicken broth
  • 1 20 oz package of your favorite tortellini (I used three cheese)
  • 1 lb. spicy italian sausage
  • 2 Cans Diced Tomatoes (seasoned with basil, garlic & oregano)
  • 8 oz. Low Fat Cream Cheese

Instructions

  1. Take your cream cheese out of the fridge, and let it sit while you quickly brown your meat.
  2. Add the sausage and tortellini to your Crock Pot. Pour the tomatoes, liquid and all, and broth over the top. Add your cream cheese to the Pot in chunks.
  3. Give your Crock Pot a good stir to get everything evenly distributed, making sure the liquids are adequately covering the tortellini.
  4. Cook on LOW for a total of 4 1/2 hours. Stir at 2 hours, and again at 4 hours, removing the lid for the last 30 minutes of cooking. This will give the sauce some time to thicken up.
  5. If you're cooking on stove top, cook on LOW for 30 minutes.

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Spicy Shredded Pork Tacos w/ Cilantro Avocado Cream (and my recent trip to Mexico!)

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I had the excellent opportunity to travel to Sina Loa, Mexico last May. I was very excited to see where my dad was born and  where I get my roots. This is also my grandma’s hometown, so it´s very special to me. As soon as we got off the plane, we drove an hour into the small town and I met family members at the house my grandma grew up in.

We dropped our bags and headed straight to the nearest taco stand. I was absolutely starving and was excited to experience the best food they had to offer. My dad ordered for me. Two plates came out, one containing 2 tacos and the other with a tostada that was pilled high with yummy goodness. I wish I could explain the meat, but it was so tender and had a wonderfully smoky, spicy flavor to it. The meat just melted in my mouth. It inspired me to find a comparable sweet, spicy, and tender meat recipe.

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For all you Crockpot lovers – here´s another recipe to try! Just leave this meat cooking overnight and wake up to your house smelling like meaty heaven. I hope it will help you imagine how amazing Mexico is! There is so much history to be learned simply by walking through the streets and talking to people – and of course, eating! I´m so glad I went and I hope to go back one day soon…for family, culture, and food!

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Spicy Shredded Pork Tacos w/ Cilantro Avocado Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 whole Large Onion
  • 1 whole Pork Shoulder ("pork Butt") - 5 To 7 Pounds
  • Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 can (11 Ounce) Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce
  • 2 cans Dr. Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 cups sliced green cabbage
  • a bunch of (4-inch) tortillas, for serving
  • Queso fresco, for crumbling
  • cilantro avocado cream
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced + zested
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Peel the onion and cut it into wedges. Lay them in the bottom of a large dutch oven.
  3. Generously salt and pepper the pork roast, then set it on top of the onions in the pan.
  4. Pour the can of chipotle peppers over the pork (include the sauce.) Pour in both cans of Dr Pepper. Add brown sugar to the juice and stir in.
  5. Place lid tightly on pot, then set pot in the oven. Cook for at least six hours, turning roast two or three times during the cooking process. Check meat after six hours; it should be absolutely falling apart (use two forks to test.) If it's not falling apart, return to the oven for another hour.
  6. Remove meat from pot and place on a cutting board or other work surface. Use two forks to shred meat, discarding large pieces of fat. Strain as much of the fat off the top of the cooking liquid as you can and discard it. Return the shredded meat to the cooking liquid, and keep warm until ready to serve. (You can also refrigerate the meat and liquid separately, then remove hardened fat once it's cold. Then heat up the liquid on the stovetop and return the meat to the liquid to warm up.
  7. For the Cilantro Avocado Cream
  8. Add the avocado, lime juice and zest, sour cream or yogurt and the cilantro to a food processor. Blend until pureed and creamy.
  9. Toss the Cabbage and avocado cream together.
  10. Assemble the tacos by adding some pork to each tortilla and covering it with cabbage on top and crumble on a bit of cheese.

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P.S – This recipe is freezer friendly. Taco night will be complete in 20 minutes!! You’re welcome.

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Creamed Corn

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I mentioned in my previous post that I was in search of a good Chicken Fried Steak recipe. I haven’t found one yet, but I did discover the perfect side dish for the chicken fried steak that continues to elude me! Delicious creamy corn. Making this recipe was a reminder that Thanksgiving is just around the corner – and what a happy reminder that was!

I absolutely love Thanksgiving. I love spending time with my crazy family and overindulging in juicy ham and perfectly mashed potatoes. The best part of Thanksgiving is closing out the night at my in-laws’ and enjoying round 3 (or 4…or 5…) of excessive food consumption and happy hour.

This recipe is a perfect Thanksgiving side dish, and from my husband’s reaction…everyone who is a someone will adore it!

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Do you need a closer look??? Wait for it…. 

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Creamed Corn

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs. frozen sweet corn
  • 2 8 oz blocks cream cheese diced into 1 inch squares
  • 1 stick (4 oz) of salted butter
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Throw all the ingredients into a crockpot on low for at least 4 hours. If you need it done faster, cook it on the stove or on high in the crockpot. The longer, the better. All of the cream cheese pieces should be completely melted into the cream and butter.

Recipe Adapted from I cook He eats

www.MyCrownedCreations.com


Baked Ranch Chicken

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Guess what? It rained here in Southern California! I think it’s finally fall. Time to break out your cute boots and cozy scarves. My favorite time of year! Every October through December I gain about 5 lbs. I have no self-control during these months and I loooove comfort food. I found this chicken recipe on Pinterest, and you’re not going to believe the secret ingredient: CORN FLAKES!

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Baked Ranch Chicken

Ingredients

  • 8 chicken halves
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 3/4 cup of corn flakes
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in small bowl.
  2. Take cornflakes and place into plastic bag.
  3. Smash the cornflakes with rolling pin and place in a shallow bowl.
  4. Add Hidden Valley Ranch packet and Parmesan cheese in shallow bowl.
  5. Dip Chicken halves in melted butter and then roll in corn flake mix.
  6. Place in greased 9×13 pan.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

www.MyCrownedCreations.com

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Like I said earlier…it’s my favorite time of year and the Halloween decorations are finally coming out to play. My friend below plays “La Bamba” when you walk by. He is the newest addition to my little Halloween family. My neighbors are probably sick of hearing the song over and over again, but they can deal with it! Grinches.

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I went to the local feed store and purchased this bail of hay. See how fabulous it looks? And it only cost $9.00! My little black kitty guards the front of our house. My husband is allergic, so this is as close as I can get to having my own cat.

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I grabbed this vine wreath at Michael’s and added white and orange flowers. I spray painted the numbers orange and added dollar store spiders to make it SPOOKY! This wreath was less than $20.00 to make, and it’s so festive (and cute, if you ask me!).

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Anyways, back to the food. I hope you love this chicken recipe as much as I do. Currently, I am searching for a chicken fried steak recipe, so if you have a good one please send it my way! Happy Fall, friends!
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