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jalapeño cheddar chicken burgers with guacamole

Chicken burgers

Date: August 5th, 2014

Recipe: http://www.annies-eats.com/2013/07/10/jalapeno-cheddar-chicken-burgers-with-guacamole/

Time to table: 60 minutes

Servings: Four burgers

Modifications: Nothing, actually, I followed the recipe rather closely for once.

Ben: Like

Erin: Like

Annie: Like, eventually

Luke: Dislike

Notes: Once Annie actually tried these, she liked them, but both kids were turned off by the fact that they didn’t look like beef burgers. My attempt at tricking Luke by saying the refried beans were chocolate yogurt failed.

Chicken burgers

Barbecued Chicken

Barbequed chicken

Date: June 8th, 2014

Recipe: http://www.annies-eats.com/2013/08/07/barbecued-chicken/

Time to table: 90 minutes

Servings: two adults, two toddlers + left over chicken

Modifications: I used a package of thighs and a package of  drum sticks, since they didn’t have a whole cut up chicken. Both skin-on and with bones. I didn’t use the water in the grill, cause that seemed unnecessary to me and the chicken cooked faster than the recipe indicated, but I might have had a hotter grill.

Ben: Love

Erin: Love

Annie: Love

Luke: Love

Notes: Both kids crushed the chicken, which is always satisfying to see. They must have been hungry because the got after the green beans and potatoes too. The chicken was really, really, good. We usually either roast a whole chicken, or I cook chicken wings, we don’t usually grill thighs and drum sticks, but these have made me a convert.

Barbequed Chicken

Barbequed Chicken

Barbequed Chicken

Key West Grilled Chicken with Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice

Key West Grilled Chicken with Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice

Date: May 27th, 2014

Recipe: http://iowagirleats.com/2012/06/25/key-west-grilled-chicken-with-cilantro-lime-cauliflower-rice/

Time to table: 60 minutes

Servings: two adults, two toddlers

Modifications: None, actually

Ben: Love

Erin: Like

Annie: Like

Luke: Like

Notes: A little time consuming for a weeknight meal, but I made the mango salsa a little earlier, so that saved some time. Would definitely make it again as it ended up being a rather healthy meal and the kids liked it.

Luke at dinner

Chicken Taco Salad

Chicken Salad

Date: May 5th, 2014

Recipe: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2013/07/chicken-taco-salad/

Time to table: 30 minutes

Servings: 4 salads

Modifications: Lots – I knew the kids wouldn’t eat plain avocado and tomatoes, so I made guacamole instead (just avocado, red onion, tomatoes, cilantro). We used chicken thighs. Just sauteed some frozen corn instead of ears. Didn’t use cheese (very odd for us!). Kids salads were very deconstructed.

Ben: Love

Erin: Love

Annie: Love

Luke: Love (kept asking for MORE CHIPS though, obviously)

Notes: Oh hey! The elusive QUADRUPLE LOVE!! That really will happen anytime guacamole is involved, especially with Luke. He did really eat most everything else though, except that pesky corn. Even the lettuce though. Annie cleaned her plate! First family meal on the deck, a beautiful spring night!

Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad

Dinner on the deck

Brie and Blackberry Grilled Chicken Sandwiches

Chicken Sandwiches with Blackerries and Brie

Recipe: http://www.annies-eats.com/2014/03/17/brie-blackberry-grilled-chicken-sandwiches/

Time to table: 30 mintues

Servings: However many you want to make :)

Modifications: Yeah didn’t really follow the directions here :) Used pretzel buns from whole foods (were too tough, but delicious), didn’t butterfly the chicken. The brie we got was delicious, but was more of a spread so didn’t really melt.

Ben: Dislike (was surprised he agreed to this, not a fan of fruit really…. any time)

Erin: Like

Luke & Annie: We didn’t serve this to them as sandwiches, but they seemed fine with the combination although neither seems to like blackberries that much, maybe it’s the seeds.

Notes: This was good and I’d like to try again with a softer bun and different brie that melts (as in, as the recipe is written :)

Chicken Sandwiches with Blackerries and Brie

Baked Chicken and One-Pot Pasta

One Pot Pasta

Date: March 18th


Pasta: http://www.apronstringsblog.com/one-pot-wonder-tomato-basil-pasta-recipe/

Chicken: I can’t find the recipe anymore, but I coated it in melted butter, and then put in a mixture of panko and parmesan and baked until done. Pretty easy!

Modifications: None really, but I did break up the spaghetti so it was all pretty much submerged in the liquid.

Time to table: 45 minutes

Servings: A TON of the pasta! We could have easily had it for 2 meals.

Ben: Like

Erin: Like

Annie: Loved the chicken (as usual) and tolerated the pasta

Luke: Loved the chicken and broccoli, had to be forced to try the pasta

Notes: I really enjoyed the one pot pasta! I didn’t think it would really be filling enough so we had chicken with it (plus I KNEW the kids would not eat it, despite it being basically PLAIN NOODLES). They love noodles but definitely want sauce on it. Both the chicken and pasta turned out great and I’d definitely make it again!

One Pot Pasta

Crispy Baked Chicken

One Pot Pasta

One Pot Pasta

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli-Rice Casserole

Broccoli Chicken Brown Rice Casserole

Date: December 30th, 2013 (last meal cooked in 2013!)

Recipe: http://iowagirleats.com/2013/10/02/skinny-cheesy-chicken-and-broccoli-rice-casserole/

Modifications:  I didn’t modify TOO much, but used regular sour cream and 2% milk, thus negating the “skinny” in the original recipe title. I also made it way earlier in the day so instead of just a quick broil, we baked it for about 30 minutes.

Time to table: 60 minutes prep (but some of that time was just the wild rice being made), 30 minutes baking

Servings: 13×9 pan, so quite a bit

Erin: Like

Ben: Like

Annie: Like+

Luke: Like+

Notes: Next time I’ll definitely steam the broccoli separately, steaming it in with the rice definitely didn’t get done, so then I added more water and then the rice got slightly overdone. I’d also chop the broccoli up a lot more, which is just a personal preference. That would be the only thing I’d do differently – this was a great comfort food meal, the kids ate it really well. It wasn’t something they devoured or asked for seconds of, but it was a solid family meal. (Also, can you tell we found a new favorite food blog?? Good to have some more variety!!)

faces at dinner

faces at dinner

Broccoli Chicken Brown Rice Casserole

Chicken, Bacon, and Artichoke Pasta with Creamy Garlic Sauce

Pasta with garlic cream sauce, chicken, artichokes, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, bacon

Date: November 7th, 2013

Recipe: http://iowagirleats.com/2013/10/28/chicken-bacon-and-artichoke-pasta-with-creamy-garlic-sauce/

Modifications:  We used ziti instead of penne, so effectively no changes.

Time to table: 60 minutes

Servings: About six adult dinners, we had Liz and Jono over for this meal and there was a solid tupperware of leftovers.

Erin: Love

Ben: Love

Steve: HATE

Notes: This was an adults-only meal when Liz and Jono came over. My brother Steve was over the next night babysitting and he was not a fan. Didn’t know what the sun dried tomatoes were. We thought this was delicious, the garlic sauce was excellent. It’s a little more involved to make than our typical meals, but we didn’t really start making it until the kids went to bed, so it was fun to cook a bit a fancier meal.

Chicken and Rice

Chicken and Rice

Date: June 17, 2013

Recipe: http://www.dinneralovestory.com/chicken-and-rice-for-beginners/

Modifications:  Added a red pepper since we had some, and used one large onion. We did also have asparagus (as you can plainly see) but broiled it instead of mixing in as suggested in her commentary. Used chicken thighs.

Time to table: 45 minutes total, 20 minutes prep

Servings: Probably 5 adults

Erin: Like

Ben: Like

Annie: Like

Luke: Like

Notes: This is a good base recipe, easy for weeknights. It wasn’t anything too exciting, but we all liked it and there were no complaints from the kiddos. I always find it difficult to think of things besides burgers, hot dogs, brats, etc for summer meals. Hate to turn on the oven and on some nights even the stove is too much. Pasta salads are always good, but beyond that I draw a bit of a blank. Any suggestions for summer meals (VERY easy) are welcome!


Meal plan this week:

Monday: Chicken & Rice with Asparagus
Tuesday: Tortellini Garden Bake
Wednesday: Disappearing Zucchini Orzo
Thursday: Curry
Friday: Sloppy Joes

Crock-Pot Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli

Crockpot Chicken and Broccoli

Date: February 20th, 2013

Recipe: http://clippingmoney.blogspot.com/2012/07/crock-pot-cheesy-chicken-brocolli-over.html

Time to table: 30 minutes prep, 6 hours cook time.

Servings: Two dinners

Ben: Dislike

Erin: Dislike

Annie & Luke: Like

Notes: This meal was a case of the kids liking it, but us not so much. This just tasted a little bland to us, and I didn’t really care for the cheesy flavor. I can’t put my finger on it, but it didn’t sit right with me. This was a very easy meal to make and a good week night option if you can spare the time in the morning to get it in the crock pot.

Sad sick Luke