Southwestern Chicken - Three Ways

Weeknight dinners are a challenge, it is difficult to find meals that are quick, budget friendly, but still delicious. Today's chicken recipe meets all the criteria - it only requires a few ingredients, couldn't be simpler, and it is full of flavor. I use a spicy salsa and taco seasoning to give it a nice kick, but you could use milder versions if spicy flavor is not your thing.

The recipe made enough chicken for us to enjoy it for a few meals. As a new mom who is now staying home full time, I'm budget conscious and have found our food and grocery costs are one area where we can pull back some. We are focused on smarter shopping, not wasting ingredients, and being more intentional about using our leftovers. Leftovers are a bit boring after a while, but we like to switch it up during the week and use the chicken in different dishes.

We've used this chicken to make my favorite quesadillas,....

...chicken tacos (just add tortilla shells and your favorite add-ins like cheese, avocado, onions, etc.)...

...and even burrito bowls! For my burrito bowl, I just added some rice and southwestern corn (though my favorite corn salsa would have been great). For the rice, I used leftover white rice from the previous night and added a little lime juice, lime zest, and chopped cilantro to transform it and give it a fresher taste.

This flavorful chicken would also work well in my favorite chicken taco soup! There are so many ways to enjoy this tasty and simple recipe.

Crockpot Chicken Taco ingredients:
  • 1 package chicken tenders (~1.3 lbs)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 8 oz salsa
  • Chicken broth
  • Extra add-ins (avocado, diced onion, diced tomato, cheese, diced peppers, jalapenos, cilantro lime rice, etc.)
Crockpot Chicken Taco instructions:
  • Place chicken tenders in the crockpot
  • Sprinkle taco seasoning over chicken
  • Cover chicken with salsa
  • Top with enough chicken broth to cover the chicken and salsa 
  • Cook on high for 4-6 hours
  • Shred chicken and use in your favorite meal, or enjoy as tenders

Peanut Butter Iced Brownies

While I enjoy baking from scratch, sometimes you just need to prepare a dessert quickly. Brownies are one sweet treat that I tend to use a mix with, it's a quick and easy way to share a dessert with a crowd. Just because I start with a mix, though, doesn't stop me from adding my own twist to make it special and a tad bit more homemade.

To enhance the flavor of the brownies, but not add a ton of time, I usually add a tsp of vanilla extract to the recipe and then add a tasty topping. In the past I have melted Andes mints on the top. For today's recipe, though, I decided to add a peanut butter touch to it. I started thinking about the delicious (and super simple) peanut butter frosting that I've previously put on banana muffins and my favorite banana bread recipe. I thought I'd give it a try and it really transforms the plain brownies. We shared the brownies with a few friends and the consensus was these chocolatey, peanut buttery brownies are delicious!

 Peanut Butter Iced Brownie ingredients:
  • Brownie mix
  • Ingredients for brownie mix (water, oil, eggs, etc.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs peanut butter 
  • 2 tbs milk
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Peanut Butter Iced Brownie instructions:
  • Mix brownies per direction on box, also adding in 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Bake brownies per box instructions
  • Cool brownies
  • Whisk together peanut butter, milk, powdered sugar
  • Drizzle over brownies and spread to completely cover
  • Enjoy!

Sports Themed Nursery

I'm back! I have been on a bit of a hiatus for the past year. 2016 was one of the most wonderful, stressful, and emotional years of my life! Almost a year ago, my husband and I found out we were having our first baby and we had a little bit of a scary pregnancy. To make a long story short, I had IUGR (interuterine growth restriction) and for whatever reason, our sweet baby struggled to grow. Thankfully, despite all the speculation and risks, our son was born healthy albeit small. We only ended up spending 8 days in NICU and after some lingering weight issues, he is back on the growth chart and almost up to the 5th percentile for weight. Overall, he is doing so much better!

Our little guy is now three months old and I have decided to take time off from working to stay home for a couple years. While I'll still be busy, just in a different way, I hope to devote more time to my blog again. I have missed it!

To help me stay sane during the pregnancy, and stop obsessing over reading too many IUGR stories online, I worked on a lot of DIY projects. First, I created decor for our bee-themed gender reveal party. After finding out we were having a boy, I then began diving into all things nursery related. We quickly decided on a sports theme; my husband played baseball growing up and is an avid UK basketball fan. I wanted to incorporate family momentos, DIY projects, and personalized touches to make the room unique and not overly matchy-matchy.