My mom and dad had set the table, laid out appetizers, and hung festive ribbon throughout the house. It looked amazing. Music was playing and a fire was burning in the fireplace keeping the house toasty and warm. Scott took off his coat and made himself comfortable by the appetizers. They were conveniently located in the “heart of the house” which most people call the kitchen. We all pitched in to make guacamole, salsa, and once the birthday boy arrived, we shared in our birthday tradition; Champagne!
So this holiday season, and everyday thereafter, my mom and I encourage you to stay and celebrate!
5 cloves of garlic finely chopped
2 jalapeno peppers with seeds removed and diced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
juice from 1 lime
1 tablespoon pepper
2 tablespoons salt
For this recipe we used oversized chicken breasts on the bone as they were on sale at the store. We cut off the extra skin and fat and cut each chicken breast in half. Then we mixed all of the ingredients for the rub together and rubbed each chicken breast with the rub. Heat a skillet with the olive oil and sauté each chicken breast for 2 minutes on each side or just until they turn a brownish golden color.
Next place each chicken breast in the crock pot and pour the barbeque sauce, garlic, and lemon juice over the chicken. Set the crock pot to low and set for 6 hours.
*This recipe is also great to grill the chicken in the summer, but due to the extremely cold weather we opted to cook the chicken in the crock pot and it was delicious!
4 strips of bacon cooked and diced
1/4 cup of plain fat free yogurt
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pierce each sweet potato with a knife or fork to allow heat to escape while baking. Place each potato in the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes or until you can easily squeeze them and they are soft and can easily be peirced with a fork. Allow them to cool for 10 to 20 minutes to avoid burning your hands.
While the potatoes are baking, cook up the bacon in a skillet and drain on paper towels and allow bacon to cool before dicing into small bite size peices. If you are pressed for time, you can also heat the bacon in the microwave. To do this, place the strips of bacon on a fresh paper towel and heat in the microwave for 3 minutes on power 8.
To assemble, open up the sweet potato skins and scrape out the meaty insides using a spoon. Place the potatoes in a medium sized baking dish. Then mixing in the yogurt, garlic, butter, and diced bacon bits. Stir all ingredients together and place in an oven set at 250 degrees for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Black Bean and Corn Delight
1 package frozen sweet corn
1/2 red onion diced
3 teaspoons crusted garlic
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
salt and pepper to taste
This is fairly simple and completely delicious. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all ingredients listed above in a medium sized baking dish. Mix well. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes stiring halfway through the cooking process. This can also be topped with Mexican cheese or mozzarella cheese if desired.
Mental Health Tip: This is the type of meal and occasion that brings out the best in everyone. Even when it is 6 degrees outside, it is impossible to be anything but happy. When this food is brought to the table it brings out the best in everyone. Try it and you too will want to stay and celebrate!
Brought to you by... "Too Lovely" Hot Messes in the kitchen