Mother’s Day Weekend.

What a nice, good weekend.

I spent Friday after doing what I now can’t quite remember (darn you early onset forgetfulness!), then I met my mama at the gym after she got off of work for our workouts. After that, I headed home to make some dinner – GF pizza for her, leftover grilled chicken with asparagus and a sweet potato for me. As soon as I had gotten out of the shower, a friend text me and invited me to join her and some friends to see Ironman 3. However, I’m not a huge movie fan (not to mention I haven’t seen Ironman and Ironman 2), so I planted myself on the couch and watched/helped the girls play games (my mom and sister were playing Apple-to-Apples and Headbanz with my nieces and two of their friends). I was quite content.

On Saturday, I woke up early for breakfast and devotions before I was off to the gym for some cardio and core. Kali, the new trainer, kicked my butt in her core class. But I completely enjoyed it! After a quick lunch and shower, I set off with mom and sis to get some grocery and dress shopping knocked out. Chesterfield Bottoms, Whole Foods and West County Mall on a Saturday afternoon – not our best plan! But we accomplished everything we set out to do, and when I got home, I threw together dinner (while helping put away all the groceries, I might add) before heading over to Kory’s for a relaxing night in with friends. I absolutely love nights like that. Nights where you play cards, take goofy pictures and stay up just talking, laughing and joking – it’s such a good time. By the time I got home and took a shower (I knew if I waited, I wouldn’t get one before church — oh the perks of living with a ton of people!), I didn’t get to bed until nearly 2:30am!

Sister

Sister

Luckily, I was wide awake at 6:30am on Sunday morning to start my busy day in the kitchen. First up, GF banana nut pancakes, eggs and bacon for a small Mother’s Day brunch! Then a cake in the oven for sister’s 21st birthday (a very drunk Barbie cake) and a GF apple cinnamon streusel coffee cake for mom (and me!). I got the girls and myself ready for church, decorated the cake and managed to prep a bunch for dinner before we headed to church. It was such a great sermon. Pastor spoke on how we don’t see ourselves as clearly (or near as beautiful) as everyone else sees us. What a much needed message! While out shopping Saturday, this young girl who was passing me stopped to say, “you’re really pretty, just so you know” – it completely made my day! It’s amazing what a simple compliment can do! I suggest you look for an opportunity to compliment someone today, as I promise you, it will make their day a bit brighter.

Mama Bear

Mama Bear

Mother’s Day with the family went off without a hitch! Well, unless you count the strawberry sauce that fell and broke, leaving glass all over the floor. Or the grill that kept going out because of the wind (I love/hate propane). Or the million other little things… but I didn’t let them get to me. I grilled, set up dinner, washed all the dishes, cleaned up after – all so my mama could enjoy her day (which she did, btw). By the time everyone left and I sat in the recliner, I was exhausted. I passed out in the chair at 8pm!

Next up…

Now, it’s a glorious Monday morning and I’m feeling so very blessed. I’m off to work on internship things before heading to an interview, a chiropractor appointment and the gym.

I may not be where I was expecting to be by this point in my postgrad life, but I know that I’m right where I need to be, right where God wants me. I’m working on being content where I’m at and living in the moment, rather than being so wrapped up worrying about the future. Let me tell ya, it isn’t easy, but it’s so worth it.

Gluten-Free Chicken Pot Pie

As most of you have noticed, all of my recipes are gluten free. However, the problem with gluten free recipes a lot of times is that the recipe calls for milk, or the premade “gluten-free” products you buy in the store contain milk. That’s a problem for my lactose-intolerant self. So, I did a bit of googling and creating to come up with this completely gluten-free chicken pot pie 🙂 It was absolutely delicious — ENJOY!!

 

GF Chicken Pot Pie

GF Chicken Pot Pie

 

Gluten-Free Chicken Pot Pie

Crust:

I took a recipe from Simply Gluten-Free which was for a dessert crust. Since I was making it for a pot pie, I opted to leave the sugar out.

1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter
2-4 tbsp ice cold water
1 1/4 cup All Purpose GF Flour blend (I used Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix from Whole Foods)
1 tsp fine sea salt
**NOTE: This only makes enough for the bottom of a 9″ pie pan, if you choose to have a top crust, you will need to double the recipe.

Step 1: PREP – Cut your stick of butter into small chunks and place in the freezer for 15-30 min. Put your water in a small bowl and add ice to it while your butter gets cold(er). Mix the salt into a bowl with your flour.

Step 2: Add butter to the flour/salt mixture and start kneading. Simply Gluten-Free’s recipe calls for using a food processor, however, I used my left hand and it worked just fine. Begin adding ice water in 1 tbsp at a time.

Step 3: Keep kneading – it takes a few minutes but will start forming a sticky mixture.

Step 4: Make dough into a thick disk and wrap in plastic, place in the refrigerator for 45-60 min.

Step 5: Place cold dough between two pieces of wax paper and roll out (I just used my hands and a bit of coaxing to spread it into a flat crust.

Step 6: Place in the bottom of your pie pan!

 

Cream of Chicken:

This recipe came from Food.com.

1 cup milk (whichever kind you prefer – I used Unsweetened Original Almond Milk)
3 tablespoons gluten-free flour (the same kind you used for the crust will work)
1 tablespoon butter, margarine or 1 tablespoon olive oil (I used butter)
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules (gluten free) or 1 bouillon cube (gluten free) -**NOTE: I didn’t have either of these, so I improvised and used a tbsp of a pre-made cream of chicken soup mix that was in the cabinet just for the chicken flavor…however, it did have milk in it and I will not do that again (sorry tummy!).
1/2 teaspoon salt

Step 1: Add milk and flour to a small saucepan.

Step 2: Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. I left mine on high and just continuously stirred until I got the thickness I desired, but the original recipe recommends letting it simmer on low for a few minutes.

Step 3: Remove from heat and continue stirring for a few seconds so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

 

Filling:

3-4 chicken breasts
1 – 16oz bag of mixed frozen veggies

Step 1: Cut chicken into small pieces and cook in a pan over medium-low heat until cooked thoroughly (around 165 degrees F). I didn’t use any oil and it turned out just fine.

Step 2: Add vegetables to a medium-sized saucepan with enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, heat on high until veggies are dethawed/slightly warm (no need to heat all the way, the oven will do this). DRAIN.

Step 3: Add chicken and drained vegetables to cream of chicken soup mixture, then pour into crust.

 

Cooking:

Step 1: Place pot pie into the oven at 350 degrees F for around 30 minutes (my mom was in charge for this part and she let it get a little brown on the edges, but it still tasted good). You really only need to get the crust baked a bit and the filling warm.

Step 2: Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve!

 

Easy Crockpot Recipe: Chicken, Bacon and Greens.

I hope that my new recipe posts are okay. I considered starting a blog just for recipes, but considering it isn’t something I do consistently (or even very well), that I wouldn’t get enough usage out of a blog devoted solely to my experiments (especially considering there are already so many really good food blogs already out there). But this is a good way for me to share the few I’ve tried (or came up with myself) and to keep track of them for later use.

So, for last night’s easy-as-pie recipe, just pull out your crockpot!!

Easy Crockpot Recipe: Chicken, Bacon and Greens.

Ingredients:
1-16 oz. package of bacon (or more, if you prefer – I think next time I will cook mine about half way before sticking it in so it gets crispier)
1 bag of chicken breasts or tenderloins (I used a 3lb bag, but it really depends on your crockpot size)
LEAFY GREENS!! – spinach, kale…whatever you prefer! (I used kale AND spinach, but my family wasn’t very big on the kale taste, so next time I’d use less of that and more spinach)
1/2 c. parmesan cheese (I actually didn’t measure this, so feel free to use as much as you want)

instagram.com/annaschiele

instagram.com/annaschiele

Step 1: Plug in the crockpot (this should go without saying, but I’m one of those people who often forgets to plug things in or turn them on, then come back an hour later wondering why they haven’t heated up…)

Step 2: Cover the bottom of the crockpot with bacon. I only used one-16oz package, putting half of the package on the bottom (but don’t put the other half away just yet!).

Step 3: LAYER!! Place your chicken on top of the bacon, then add your leafy greens and parmesan cheese. Finally – top with the leftover bacon.

Step 4: Turn crockpot on low and let cook for 8-10 hours (you could probably cook on high for less time, but I haven’t tried that yet). After cooking for a few hours, you can stir the ingredients – the chicken and bacon should be tender enough that they tear apart easily.
You can eat this plain, but we ate it two different ways at my house. Some of us put it on top of brown rice and others ate it with egg noodles (I made two different crockpot meals so we had two different starches).

NOTE: My bacon was thawed and my chicken tenderloins were frozen, but it shouldn’t make a huge difference if your chicken in thawed (except maybe less cooking time).

ENJOY!! 🙂

Stuffed Apple and Brown Rice Pork Chops

Tonight’s dinner was an experiment. Maybe there’s already recipes online for something close to what I made, but I didn’t use one. And it was DELICIOUS!

instagram.com/annaschiele

instagram.com/annaschiele

Stuffed Apple and Brown Rice Pork Chops

Ingredients:
Thick cut pork chops (there were 9 in my package)
1 c. long grain brown rice (cooked according to package directions)
2 lg. Gala apples (chopped)
Butter (I didn’t measure, but it was about a tablespoon)
Onion (chopped)
1-2 tsp. Paprika
McCormick Grill Mates Applewood Rub
Mushrooms (optional, chopped)
Celery (optional, chopped)
How to do it…

Step 1:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2:
Trim fat from pork chops. Make a deep incision into each pork chop, creating a “pocket”. Coat pork chops in Applewood Rub and place into deep glass baking dish.

Step 3:
Make brown rice according to package direction in a large pot. When finished, mix in chopped apples and paprika.

Step 4:
In small pot, add butter and chopped onions (along with mushrooms and celery, or other veggies of choice). Simmer on low until tender. When finished, mix into brown rice mixture.

Step 5:
Stuff brown rice mixture into pork “pockets”. If you have extra rice, add it around the sides of the baking dish. Cover with foil.

Step 5:
Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 25-30 minutes (I left mine in for 40, but it turned out a bit dry).

Step 6:
Enjoy!!