Recipes from my Kitchen

Seasoning and Freezing Yer Beans 

Hello All! 

I’m so glad to finally be back blogging! I’m so sorry it takes me forever to post! Between completing hours for my degree and home making, things get busy! 

So I bought a whole bag of fresh, dried black beans at a local grown and organic grocery store in Orlando called Freshfields! I love that place! ❤️ The bag was a little over 3 pounds of dried beans! I bought this naively thinking it wouldn’t take long to cook dried beans it’s gotta be similar to rice right? False! Big false! 

After researching several other blogs on the subject I found out it’s a near all day process! But it’s very important to my husband I that we try our best to eat as organic as possible! By that I mean making our own food. So by making these beans and seasoning them myself I avoid preservation chemicals and copious amounts of sodium! Not really complaining on that though! 

So when you begin you want to soak the beans overnight in cold water. Or soak them for at least 10-12 hours. They soak up a lot of water and it starts to clean the outside of the beans as well. 

You’ll want to add enough water to cover at least 1-2 inches above the bean line because they do soak up a lot of water. However, I think I might have added a little more water than I was supposed to, but it didn’t damage the beans. 

After the long soak…you wanna add them to a big flat bottomed pot, this could be a Dutch-Oven or a pot like this. Turn the burner on high and add the beans, cover with water enough to be above the bean line, add in a quartered medium size yellow onion, 2 cloves of garlic (I used garlic paste–I don’t know how well this will be after the fact), and two bay leaves. 

Let it boil for a sweet minute because it’s a big pot completely full of beans. This will take about 15-20 minutes. 

As you can see during the boiling process there’s foam that starts to come to the top. Just scrape it off as it comes up. You can leave the beans uncovered and after boiling for about 20 minutes turn the burner to a low setting and let them simmer for about an hour. Then check periodically until they are done and a little soft, but not mushy like retried beans. I cooked them for two hours on a low setting and the last hour I put a lid on the pot partially open so the steam would continue to cook them a little more. This definitely helped soften the beans up! 

After that’s done, I turned the stove top off, let the beans rest and cool to room temperature so you can bag them. Just remove the onion chunks, if you use full garlic cloves without shredding them down, remove them too and remove the two bay leaves. But don’t drain the beans, I read in another blog that it causes the beans to shrivel up and taste no bueno. I used quart sized ziplock freezer bags, because well, this is all about freezing yer beans! 😉


I managed to get 4 almost full bags of beans. I still have about a pound of dried black beans left to season, cook and freeze. But this is my final product! They can freeze for up to 4 months so they can last a whole season. It’s fabulous! When you do use the beans, let them completely unthaw and drain the water and rinse them before you put them with your next meal! 
That’s it for now! I hope y’all enjoy this “how to” post! Let me know in the comments below if you try it, if you use other seasonings and how it works for you! 
Happy Cooking!

Katie H 

Recipes from my Kitchen

Chicken & Waffles 

Hello Fam and Friends! 

It has been such a sweet minute since I’ve been on here! We all know I’m all about creating easy meals that are delish and delightful! I also absolutely love finding things and using things already here in the house. So today after church I stopped by good ol’ Publix! And I picked up some chicken tenders that are already pre-made, hot and ready to devour and some strawberry syrup! I already did some grocery shopping earlier last week so I had frozen waffles…I don’t own a waffle maker…but one day I will. So I put the waffles in the toaster oven and cut up some tenders. I spread a little butter on each waffle and put the chicken on top of one waffle and poured some syrup on top and put the other waffle on top. Made a sandwich out of it. 


Let’s be honest! Doesn’t it look so adorable placed on this Mickey Mouse plate?? 😍

Oh and that syrup…it’s local from Georgia and only has 3 whole ingredients! That’s right! 3 ingredients from the creators at Blackberry Patch! Look em’ up! You won’t be disappointed! 


And this is what it looks like with syrup on it. Y’all! Praise God for the South! 

Feel free to adapt this to the way you want! Use all from scratch ingredients if you want and please let me know all about your experiences! 
Have a good rest of the weekend y’all!

-Katie 

Recipes from my Kitchen

Packaged Dinners???

Yep! You read correctly! I used packaged dinners two nights in a row! Why?? Because Sunday, the hubs and and I napped almost all day long! We got up just in time to eat dinner, watch a movie and go back to sleep. Because let’s face it, Monday comes every week without hesitation! On Monday, we finally got our car back from the shop, that process was lengthy, I was able to complete all my Monday errands and that includes the grocery. Well wouldn’t ya know I did all this grocery shopping and planned on making steaks and salad with some veggies, but I totally forgot the marinade for the steak. So we settled on pasta! 

I’m sure there’s a part of you still saying yuck to packaged dinners. Especially when I almost always post the opposite. However, a lot of companies are making the shift to using organically based and natural food products even in their dozen packaged meals. 

This brand happens to be one and can be found in most grocery stores. They do not state that they are organic or USDA inspected for organic based food product, but they do use all natural. And to clarify: Gared and I have made the switch to organic food products and even regular products for cleaning and such. However, sometimes we falter because we’ve created such poor habits in the past. So although Bertolli is not USDA Organic, they use natural products and are one of the best we’ve seen so far as far as frozen food meals are. If there are others please by all means comment below and let us know! We’d love to try! 

Got a little distracted, back to reality! This was a super easy meal to make, the first night on Sunday I made a spinach and alfredo bow tie pasta which had a few chicken pieces in it. The only picture I have is: 


It was actually pretty delicious! Cannot lie! But, beware! It had so much spinach in it, so if you are not a spinach person, you should forego this meal. This is also Bertolli brand.

On Monday night, I had Gared all to myself! Y’all. This was a big dang deal! He’s usually in class on Monday night’s where he is in the process of completing his associates degree and will be graduating in May!!! I’m so proud of him! Needless to say, we usually don’t get Monday nights together. Like I said, my intention was to make steak, but we settled for a quick made meal and quality time at the dinner table! 

This was my tablescape! Super simple and yes those are pretend flowers! But so gorgeous! Guys, I cannot stress the importance of having a meal at the table! Like it’s incredible how much we miss out on if we don’t! Especially if you are a married couple! 

This is a closer look to what’s inside. The piece on my spoon is actually a chuck on cheese. The cheese melts and the steam from the veggies helps melt the noodles and softens them up so there’s no need for water. 

Just another look.

And another…hahaha!

Key note: the package says “pour ingredients into a non-stick skillet and cook until hot and tender.” Well I don’t own a non-stick skillet. So I use a few tablespoons of butter and that’s that! 

All in all, it was quick, tasted delish, the veggies were soft enough to bite through but solid enough to get that good snap. I would absolutely recommend this if you are needing a quick meal, it says it’s a meal for 2, but it could easily be a meal for 4. And it’s so affordable! It was only 8$. I know it sounds like a lot, but if you plan, if you live on a budget, you could make this stretch into leftovers. 


I leave you with this! The view I had from my side of the table! I was so glad to share dinner with him! He will always be my favorite person to share a meal with! ❣️❣️❣️

If you try other flavors or find any brands that are USDA organic, by all means please comment below and let me know, we would love to know what’s going on and let you know what we think! 
Happy Cooking Y’all!

Recipes from my Kitchen

Strawberry Honey Butter

Hey Y’all! I found another recipe I wanted to share with y’all! Now, its quite obvious because I did not edit the pictures I have, so you can see it’s from Facebook! But that does not negate that this is still a fabulous recipe! And SO STINKIN DELICIOUS!!! When I first found this recipe it was probably within our first year of marriage before our first anniversary. I was searching for amazing recipes to make my new hubs! Because that’s what all good new wives do right?? YEP! Off I went searching for something breakfast-y. That’s when I came across this, and wouldn’t you know, I had all the ingredients right there in the fridge. What I did not have was a blender or a Ninja to give the strawberries that puree style. When it’s all said and done, this picture below is what the final result should look like! But if you don’t have those awesome fancy jelly style mason jars, you can honestly use whatever you like.

For the sake of not having to re-type the recipe, I wanted to just share the photo of the how-to. Now what is not shared is that this will only last about 3 weeks in the fridge. I’ve never tried to freeze it and see how that works, I know regular jelly can be frozen and unthawed and re-frozen as many times as you want, and I only know that because my Mama and Grama canned jelly my whole life. But, with butter already incorporated into the recipe and having pretty average size chunks of butter, it may not unthaw the way one would want it to. Regardless, whatever you do, if you decide to freeze it and it unthaws awesomely, then tell me all about it in the comments section so I can update this! Oh, and please feel free to use any fruit or fruit combination you like. They are amazing as gifts and taste just fabulous! Like a summer time party for your taste buds! Enjoy and happy cooking as always!

K

Recipes from my Kitchen

Spinach and Cheese Tortellini 

Hey Y’all! It’s me again! I have not posted this much in one weekend much less, ever! I am so happy to have such amazing time off! Well when I say time off, I mean nothing to really do because I’m happily in a season of being a housewife/homemaker and counsel my clients part time! So it has been an amazing blessing being able to take care of our small home and finish my master’s degree! 

But let’s be honest, finding recipes can be tough! There’s so much effort that goes into finding the right recipes that your family will eat. Then if you are like Gared and I, over the past 8 months or so, we’ve made a huge transition into eating organic foods and non gmo foods. So buying storebought things can just be flat out tough simply because not all brands have made the verified organic non gmo transition. So your eating habits have to sort of make a drastic change. But we’ve found so many things we enjoy now. 
I know I post a lot of recipes that a person with a busy schedule may look at and be like what the crazy?! But it’s not impossible. Dinner time doesn’t have to be crazy tough to make or stress you out! In fact, dinner time shouldn’t stress you out at all. That’s why I found this! And no it was not from Pinterest! Bahahaha! 


And guess what?? It’s a non gmo product! Yay for store bought! Mostly because I do not know how to make pasta, and this would be way too time consuming and I have so many more things to do than roll pasta and fill it. 

So basically I just followed the package directions! It takes 8 minutes to boil until the pasta is soft and ready for consumption! This brand is Butoni and they have a lot of choices, we chose the spinach and three cheese obviously. 


After it cooks, you drain the pasta water 💦! I used s glass bowl because glass tends to keep things hotter longer than other types of bowls like plastic. Really, you could eat the pasta with pasta sauce and forget additional toppings because it’s just absolutely delish! However, I added cheese 🧀 to the top of each bowl! I had a little bit of mozzarella left from a previous recipe and bought som parmesan also. But if you have Public where you are, they sell a three cheese combo of parmesan, asiago and romano. I think that would’ve been good as well. Lastly, my favorite sauce is Vodka Sauce! To me it has a creamier, tame taste. 


After I drained the pasta, I poured a small amount of sauce in the bottom of the bowl so it would be easier to toss and coat the pasta. Oh, not pictured is when I sprinkled a little bit of mozzarella and parmesan on the top while in the big bowl. And tossed it to coat the pasta.


So here’s the final result! This is with the flash on, and below is without the flash. 


We had enough left over for each of us to have another full bowl! It was so filling and so amazing! From start to finish, including boiling the water was about 20 minutes! The pasta package was 7$ and the pasta sauce was $1.89! A less than ten dollar meal and 20 minutes to make! Don’t make dinner stressful! Enjoy your family dinners y’all! 
Happy Cooking! 

Personal Thoughts on Life, Recipes from my Kitchen

Valentine’s Day Weekend 💘

Such a late post, but I wanted to share some Valentine’s Day awesomeness with y’all! My sweet hubs and I don’t usually celebrate big on Valentine’s, not because we don’t love each other by any stretch, but we just don’t make a big stink about it. However this year I decided to make a wonderful dinner and continue with our 14 days of Valentine’s cards tradition! (Can see that in a former post) 

We are obviously plant people because I got him this 👆🏻 and he brought me home these 👇🏻😍

Mostly I wanted to share my dessert recipe with you! I was so proud of myself for this creativity! 


I used store bought, pre-packaged dessert shells which is just a sponge cake. I used a pound of strawberries, but that can really be to your discretion. Lastly I used limes. I cut the strawberries into slices and put them into a saucepan added a couple tablespoons of water and sugar to sweeten them. And that was my mistake, I should have just left the strawberries solid instead of becoming mushy in the saucepan. Oh well, but then I added the berries into each shell, drizzled the syrup onto the top and squeezed a little lime juice onto each dessert shell. It was tart, but very delish! 

Happy Cooking Y’all! 

Oh and the day after my sweet hubs bought me a brand new vacuum cleaner and I was so overjoyed! I can certainly say I am getting old because I got excited about a new appliance! 🙈😂

Recipes from my Kitchen

Oven Baked Shrimp 🍤 Fajitas 

Howdy Y’all! 

I’m so very excited to share a new recipe I’ve been wanting to make for quite a while! I’m not very big on fish naturally, however I do enjoy shrimp! I’ve seen so many Instagram posts and Pinterest ideas of shrimp tacos! I thought I’d create a little something different. I found a recipe on Pinterest for Shrimp Fajitas! I love chicken and steak fajitas, so why not try Shrimp! 

I started by slicing my veggies! I used a red onion and two bell peppers. I sliced each veggie thinly and kept them long! Then I added the Shrimp to my mixing bowl after I washed them off. Next I added my spices. I used paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder and cumin. And of course salt and pepper. Then so that the spices would stick to the veggies and shrimp I added olive oil. 


Next I placed them on a sheet pan that’s been sprayed with Pam butter spray. Bake them for 8 minutes then broil them for 2 minutes. Then you will need to bake the fajita tortillas so they are warm. After the shrimp are finished squeeze fresh lime juice over them. 


Recipe: 

– 1 1/2 pounds of Shrimp 

– 1 package of fajita seasoning or you can use 1/2 a teaspoon of the spices in the pic.

– 1 red medium red onion

– 2 bell peppers of any color

– 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Then follow the directions listed above! I hope y’all enjoy! 

Recipes from my Kitchen

Honey Mustard Chicken Salad 

Happy New Year Y’all! Yay for being 2017! 

Most of you know I’m a substitute teacher during the school year and full time grad student during the rest. Well, being a wife also has its “duties.” But it’s best not to look at them as duties or it’ll be hard to do things with a joyful heart. I’ve been on break from both grad school and subbing for like 2 weeks now, so I’ve had nothing but time to clean, sleep,  research new recipes and enjoy life and the holidays! 

Tonight for dinner I made honey mustard chicken salad. This is probably one of the quickest and easiest things I’ve ever made! From start to finish it was about 30 minutes! I felt like I made a Rachel Ray 30-minute meal! Haha! But this isn’t from Rachel Ray. I found this via Pinterest, like all good things to try! The link is here which leads to Pinterest Honey Mustard Chicken Salad. I clicked on the link from Pinterest but it just leads to a failed website. I’m assuming the blogger moved to another site or something. So all the ingredients are listed on the link. 

But here’s what I did:


[obviously I first posted this on my Instagram story 😂]

But, you can see in the blue bowl, I chopped a regular head of lettuce and placed it in the base of the bowl. Then I cut 3 Roma tomatoes 🍅 and layered them on top of the lettuce. I sliced a red onion into this sliced circles and cut the sliced circles into quarters. I chopped the onions that way because I wanted to see the onions and also so my husband could take them off his salad if he wanted to. Lastly I added croutons. Just a simple seasoned crouton. I replaced the crunchy wontons with croutons. Same effect. Lastly I took 5 chicken tenders, because they were so skinny and little, I seasoned them with salt and pepper on both sides and drizzled extra virgin olive oil (evoo) on them. I put a skillet on the stove poured evoo into it, maybe 2 tablespoons worth, enough to create the smallest layer on the bottom of the pan. Turned the heat to medium. My stove goes by numbers, so if it helps, mine was at 6. Once it was hot enough I laid the chicken in the pan. It cooked maybe 10-12 minutes. ••Side Note•• Your chicken should not have any pink in it when you slice it! If it does put it back in the pan and cook for an additional 2 minutes until pink color is gone.•• I let it get a nice sear and golden layer on each side. Honestly it doesn’t matter how you do your chicken. I wanted to try something different so that’s why I chose pan seared chicken style.

••Side Note••  Usually however, I would’ve probably grilled it on the George Foreman using the same seasoning. You can also do a bread crumb instead. I use a mixture of plain or panko bread crumbs and add a handful of hemp seeds, first dip it in all purpose flour, then egg wash, then bread crumb mix. Then you can bake that for about 20-30 minutes depending on the size of your chickens–whether it’s chicken boobs or tenders. It doesn’t matter how you cook the chicken, it’s whatever you and whomever your cooking for likes! 

Alright so ingredients, cause that’s definitely helpful! 

1 head of iceberg lettuce or romaine 

3 Roma tomatoes

Handful of croutons or more depending on your liking 

1 red onion using only a quarter of it to make slices. 

Feta cheese for sprinkling on top

2 chicken breasts or 4 chicken tenders 

Salt, pepper, evoo 

Honey Mustard dressing
Final Result: 

I mixed the ingredients in the salad bowl, sprinkled some feta cheese on top, added my sliced up chicken that ended up cut into cubes, and drizzled the honey mustard dressing on top! I cannot tell you enough how amazing it was! Definitely will be added on the continued go to list for quick and easy dinners! Also, feel free to make your own homemade honey mustard dressing if you desire…I didn’t because I don’t trust myself on many homemade dressings. Another adventure for a different time! Hah! 

Happy cooking from my kitchen to yours! 

Katie 💜

Recipes from my Kitchen

Corn & Tomato Salad

Hey Y’all! So as I said a week ago I was trying a lot of new things this week! Well of course life gets busy and so all the things I wanted to try didn’t exactly happen. But I did manage to make TWO new recipes for my hubs to chow down on with me this week! So this recipe actually happens to be the second recipe I made which was last night. It was beyond delish! 

I made a new take on a salad by adding sweet Mexican corn to it! Now granted, if I had a bell pepper and some green onions even a cucumber it would have added much more of a veggie variety, but I used what I had! [Which like I’ve said time and again, is what helps you save money on the grocery bills! And no one complains to saving money! :-)] So in this salad I used romain lettuce (1.5 hearts of lettuce), Roma tomatoes (2 whole ones sliced down the middle and then thinly sliced across those halves), and lastly sweet Mexican corn (2 ears of it). I also use 2 chicken breasts that were grilled. 

Alright so here’s my ingredients list: 

2 ears of sweet Mexican style corn

1.5 hearts of romaine lettuce 

2 Roma tomatoes 

2 chicken breasts 

Add on’s: I added a sprinkle of cheese and then my salad dressing of choice. 

Now for the how to: 

First thing I got all my veggies done. While I chopped up the romaine lettuce and tomatoes I put my corn in a pot of water and brought it to a boil for about 15 minutes total time. The reason is because I still wanted some crunch for the corn. Once that cooked to where I wanted it, I set it off the eye and let it begin cooling down. So then my lettuce and tomatoes are in the bowl and chopped up, my corn is cooling off. So now I began cleaning the chicken breasts and rinsing them off and seasoning them up. I sprinkled them with salt and pepper on both sides and only on one side I spread a little tiny bit of chipotle mayo to add a kick. Then I grilled my chicken on my fabulous George Foreman! While my chicken was grilling up I shredded the corn off the cob into a depressed bowl. It turned out to be so much more corn than I anticipated! So I was glad I only used 2 ears! And by that time it had cooled down but was still warm. So I added that to my salad mixture! At that point my chicken was throroughly cooked and golden brown and all the excess fat had been grilled off. Which I love! So I sliced my chicken and added that after I had mixed and played my salad mixture! It was honestly & absolutely the most delicious salad I’ve made in a while! I didn’t get the recipe from Pinterest or another blog this was simply my own! So I hope you enjoy it if you make it! Next time I make it I will try to have step by step photos! But here’s my final result! 


So from my kitchen to yours happy cooking y’all! 

Katie 

Recipes from my Kitchen

Turkey Rueben Sandwiches 🍞🍽

Welcome back friends! A few days ago my sweet hubs came home and mentioned in conversation that he wanted to me learn how to make a turkey rueben sandwich. He said when he’s at school in between classes he stops at The Nature’s Table and gets the turkey rueben sandwiches and he loves them! Since I’m always wanting to try new things, he lovingly made this suggestion. So of course, I agreed! I love new recipes and I love cooking! So bring it on! Off I went to my ever faithful and trusty Pinterest!

I got this recipe, so all credit goes to them:

 Above are the lists of ingredients and exactly what you’ll need! I used my cheese and meat from Publix Deli as always, I also used Jewish Rye light colored bread, but it doesn’t matter if you use light or dark. I also used Thousand Island dressing  because my hubs and I enjoy that flavor more. So basically, I drained the sauerkraut because otherwise when you add the dressing the sandwich just becomes soggy and then the bread won’t crisp up on the grille the way you want. I buttered each piece of bread, added a layer of sliced cheese, a slice of turkey, sauerkraut, a squirt of dressing, another layer of turkey and finishing with a layer of cheese again. Then I grilled them on my George Foreman for about 7 minutes on each sandwich until they were nice and golden brown. Now if you don’t own a George Foreman grille…don’t go out and waste money on one, especially if you don’t use it or plan on using it all the time. You can do the same thing with a skillet on the stove! Your sandwich may even come out fluffier because it isn’t being pressed between the grille slabs of the Foreman. However, I like the panini style that takes place when I use my Foreman. I love my Foreman and I love cooking on it so it works for me. My finished product is below! I hope if you make it you enjoy it and let me know all about it either by commenting below or tagging me on Instagram!

  
That’s it for now! From my kitchen to yours, Happy Cooking!

Kate H. 🌀🤓🌀