Chop, Dump and Sautee…

I like the kind of dishes that you can make over and over again without a lot of effort or thought. The kinds that you can make with different ingredients, but it’s the same idea. This meal is like that. I’ve made it lots of different ways, but it’s the same main idea… like hash.Days like yesterday where it RAINS ALL DAY, the kids are restless and trying to break everything in your house, just to keep their hands preoccupied (seriously, me finding my little boy every few minutes, with his hands busy doing something he SHOULD NOT) and it takes everything in me to just MAKE DINNER. That was last night. But… I made dinner! I grabbed a bunch of ingredients out of my fridge, chopped them up, dumped them all in the skillet, added some seasonings, and SERVED. That’s it. Done. And Delicious. There’s a few ways to do it too, depending on what meats and ingredients you have! I’ll give you the alternatives in the ingredients list. Get creative with it!



  • 4-6 chicken tenderloins chopped (You can also use kielbasa, or leftover rotisserie chicken)
  • 2 large carrots diced (you can also use frozen, even mixed veggies if you want!)
  • 1-2 small to medium zucchini cut however you’d like
  • 4 small red potatoes diced (I partially peel them)OR you can use sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 TB butter
  • 1/4 cup white wine for deglazing pan and helping to soften carrots and potatoes (can use chicken broth instead!)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon herbs de provence (or Italian seasoning… herbs de provence recipe)
  • 1/2 small yellow onion diced
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic (or use garlic powder)
  • You can garnish with Parmesan cheese, parsley, dried pepper flakes, basil, whatever!!





    1. Preheat skillet with the olive oil
    2. Add onions, carrots and potatoes
    3. Then add chicken, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste and herbs de provence (or seasonings of your choice!).
    4. After everything has browned (turn chicken over when browned on 1 side) add the white wine (or chicken broth) and butter.
    5. Cook for 8-10 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally.
    6. Add the chopped zucchini towards the end so it’s not too mushy.
    7. Transfer to a plate and garnish and EAT!




And now, for the song of the day:



Spicy Beans and Rice with Kielbasa

My husband, who has a love of all things Mexican/spicy/taco related… LOVES beans and rice. Especially red beans and rice. I, personally, am kind of picky when it comes to beans. I’m all about a certain texture. Some  beans have a “weirder” texture than others. Black beans are ones that I actually like/tolerate better than others. SO… when I decided to make this dish, I had to swap out a few ingredients… and then I spiced it up a bit! Usually rice and beans is quite mild, but I thought… let’s make it a bit spicy for my hubby! It turned out delicious too! I will give options for those who do NOT want the extra heat in the dish and prefer their beans and rice on the milder side.

This dish… literally… took me 15 minutes to cook. That’s it. Start to finish. 15 minutes, DONE.  My husband took the kids and the dog on a walk, when they got back, dinner was done! That’s not hard, right?! Who needs a processed and prepackaged voila meal when you can make something like this so quickly?! AND you know all of the ingredients and sodium etc. content, because you put it in there! (Except for the kielbasa… but I get the cleanest, most natural kind I can possibly find… and the Turkey version!). So… give this one a try, you busy busy families! You won’t regret it!


Servings: 4

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 package (14 ounce) All Natural Turkey (or regular) kielbasa, sliced
  • 1/2 small sweet yellow onion diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups water
  • 1 can (14 ounce) black beans, rinsed well
  • 2 mini sweet yellow peppers diced (OR half of a bell pepper)
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne powder (SKIP if you want MILD rice and beans)
  • 1/2 tsp cajun seasoning like: Emeril’s Bayou Blast (IF you want MILD, try using 1/4 tsp of turmeric!! Beautiful color and MILD taste!)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chilis (Rotel or similar) — for mild, use the diced tomatoes w/out the chilis
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Start the rice in a pan or the rice cooker. RINSE your rise until the water runs clear. I use a mesh colander. Place the rice into a pan, or rice cooker, and fill until the water covers the rice and rises to the first crease on your finger if you are BARELY touching the top of the rice…. Make sense?? If not, follow the directions on the bag. 🙂 Press COOK on the rice cooker if you have one… and move on. Otherwise, follow rice instructions on the bag.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium-high. Add the kielbasa and onion; sauté until onions become soft and translucent (about 3 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add in the garlic, beans and peppers and stir for about 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in the cooked rice and a dash of salt and pepper. Stir until well incorporated.
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy!


This was full of heat, and flavor, and makes my mouth water thinking about it!!

YUM! The leftovers definitely were enjoyed!!

And now, for the quote of the day:

The Dalai Lama has a Message for You. {13 Quotes to Steer your Life by} | elephant journal

Long Day… no cooking, just tips!!

So, today was quite a long day, and cooking was just not going to happen. So, leftovers it was! So, instead of a recipe tonight, I will give cast iron grill pan tips instead, especially as requested by my friend Katie! 🙂

I really liked the advice given here:

What it basically says is, unless it’s quite dirty, it’s best not to use soap to clean cast iron, because it can strip the seasoning. So, the best way to clean it is to fill it with water after it’s been cooled down, and boil. That should remove all that’s been left on the pan. Once you’ve scraped it off, you can add more water, and boil to sterilize.

IF it’s quite dirty, and just not cooking well, you can use some light soap to get everything out, especially with a well seasoned pan, it should be ok. If it strips the seasoning, just go through another seasoning “cycle”.


You can also CLEAN your cast iron grill pan with some coarse sea salt and a coarse sponge.

Here are a few other tips:


The thing that I really love about cooking with a grill pan is that you don’t put oil on it to cook on it.

Here’s how I usually cook with it.

Step 1:  Season with coarse sea salt (just a little sprinkle)

Step 2: Pre-heat the pan- usually med. high to high. Until if you drop a bit of water, it sizzles.

Step 3: Place frozen or thawed meat (veggies, shrimp, fruit, lamb, pork, etc) directly onto pan! (I also have a press that I place on top of thicker cuts of meat)

Step 4: Certain meats, after seared, can then be placed into the oven, while still on the grill pan, to finish cooking.


After cooking, you then clean! That’s it!!! Not too hard huh???


Last link:


Have fun cooking!