The Sweetest Thing.

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Stove Top Chicken Parmesan. March 5, 2015

Filed under: Chicken,Dinner — Jessica @ 9:15 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Our oven was broken for a month or so a couple of winters ago. No oven in the winter is rough. I would have probably never even noticed it was broken in the summer but once winter hits, I like all things roasted and baked. We were craving the cheesy, saucy breaded goodness of Chicken Parmesan but the traditional method of baking was off the table, so I improvised. Despite being a stove top meal, there isn’t really any more work involved than if you were putting it in the oven. So if you are ovenless for some reason or maybe it is just too hot to use the oven and you still want something melty, saucy and delicious- give this recipe a try!


Stove Top Chicken Parmesan

serves 4


2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (Butterflied & Cut Through- creating 4 pieces of chicken total)

3/4 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs

1/3 Cup Shredded Parmesan (the fresh kind works best)

1/2 tsp each of Dried Basil, Oregano and Parsley

salt & pepper to taste

2 eggs- beaten

2 Tbls Olive Oil

1 jar of your favorite marinara

1/4 cup of water (depending on your sauce)

Sliced Provolone or Fresh Mozarella (2-4 slices)

Pasta for serving


1. Heat Olive Oil in large skillet over medium heat.

2. Place eggs in shallow dish and beat slightly.

3.Place panko, Parmesan, basil, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper in shallow dish and mix to combine.


4. Dip 1 piece of chicken in eggs and then in Panko Parmsan mixture. Be sure to coat both sides well. Place in skillet with hot oil. Repeat with 3 remaining pieces. Cook about 4 minutes per side until coating mixture is golden brown and crispy.


5. Once both sides are crispy, pour your favorite sauce over chicken in skillet. If sauce is really thick pour a little into skillet and then add 1/4 water to jar and shake before pouring the rest in. Reduce heat. Cover and let simmer 20 minutes.


6. Top each piece of chicken with a slice of cheese and return lid until cheese is melted (about 2-3 minutes).

7. Serve over pasta.

8. Enjoy!



Weekly Meal Plan 3/2/15 (& Some Rambling). March 2, 2015

Hello lovelies! February was a really rough month around here. I don’t even really know why, but I just could not get it together as far as healthy eating goes. I worked a lot, cleaned a lot and watched a lot of Netflix. We ate out/ordered in about 50% of the time. I wasted so much food. I just feel terrible. My body is begging for fresh food and real nutrients.That’s why I’ve been MIA around here. It is hard to blog about food when you aren’t actually making any.

I have decided to challenge myself not to eat out/order in at all in March. I did actually eat out yesterday while marathon shopping out of town, but plan to eat home cooked food for the rest of the month. Unfortunately we are not going to get to the grocery store until this weekend and things are pretty desperate around here. We are in no danger of starving, but it is not an ideal time to jump back into healthy home cooking. I am relying on a lot of pantry/freezer items to get us through the week. I will be happy to have a fully stocked kitchen again this weekend.

I am really hoping that Spring weather makes an appearance in the next couple of weeks. I have been summer clothes/shoes shopping to beat the winter blues and I have reached the end of my budget for such things. I have made a few changes to refresh me until Mother Nature decides to do her part. We bought an elliptical machine and multi function weight bench and set up a little home gym. I have no excuse for not getting in a good workout now and I am hoping that helps me feel a little more energized and motivated. I also did a “$100 home refresh”. Sometimes you just need a few new things to make your home feel new again. I  periodically give myself a $50-$100 budget to buy a few things for the house so I can fall in love with it again. After spending so much time inside this winter, I definitely needed this. I redecorated my desk and glammed it up a bit with metallic and mirrored decor, bought new throw pillows, printed and framed some new photographs, changed to some lighter candles scents and bought new towels for the bathroom. It does feel much better in here now. Anyways, hoping these things help keep me on track with my goals until the nice weather comes and I can get outside again. I always feel so much more alive when Spring comes.


Monday~ Turkey Italian Sausage with onions & green peppers (previously diced and frozen). I would normally add mushrooms too, but we don’t have any, Pineapple

Tuesday~  BBQ Crockpot Ribs, Potatoe Salad

Wednesday~ Garlic Parmesan Tilapia, Risotto with Truffle Oil, Broccoli

Thursday~ Honey Mustard Baked Chicken, Baked Red Potatoes with greek yogurt, Roasted Green Beans

Friday~ Grilled Cheese (on sourdough), Tomatoe Soup

Saturday~ Honey Soy Salmon, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Sunday~ Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas

For Breakfasts this week we are having oatmeal made with frozen berries. Lunches are previously made and frozen soup or leftovers.

Looking forward to more fresh food next week!


February Grocery Haul. February 21, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica @ 10:32 am
Tags: , ,

As you may have noticed I have been slacking the past couple of weeks, so I am doing some catch up. We only made it to Aldi for groceries this month. I planned to go to Wegmans later but honestly, we have been eating out/ordering in so much that we aren’t even using up the things I already bought fast enough. Next month will be more of a “stock up” month since I did not do much of that this time. Our freezer stock of meat is lower than I like.












~Red and Yellow Onions

~Red Potatoes


~Sweet Mini Peppers


~Green Peppers



~Baby Carrots


~Greek Yogurt Cups

~Whole Milk

~Half &  Half

~Cottage Cheese

~Plain Greek Yogurt


~Parmesan Cheese

~Blue Cheese Crumbles

~Fresh Mozzarella


~Italian Sausage

~Center Cut Pork Chops


~Eggs (2 dozen)

~Breakfast Sausage (2 boxes)

~Bacon (2 packages)

~Ground Turkey

~Whole Chicken

DSC02092Freezer Goods~

~Broccoli (2)

~OJ (4)

~Green Beans


~Canned Salmon

~Corned Beef Hash

~Butternut Squash Soup (2)

~Tomato Soup (2)

~Chicken Broth (2)

~Vegetable Broth (2)

~Peaches (2)


~Mandarin Oranges

~Olive Oil

~Truffle Oil


~Brown Sugar

~Onion Soup Mix


~BBQ Sauce

~Dijon Mustard


~Blackberry Jam


~Steel Cut Oats

~Maple SyrupDSC02106Bread/Carbs~

~Blue Corn Tortillas Chips

~Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread

~Italian Bread (2)

Our total was around $189.00 for the month. Significantly under out $400 a month budget but we have used most of that surplus up ordering food. I am really hoping Spring comes soon and brings its’ usual motivation and energy. I am struggling with both with the sub zero temperatures and days trapped in the house.


Creamy Dijon Salmon with Fresh Dill. February 19, 2015

Filed under: Dinner,Seafood — Jessica @ 9:45 am
Tags: , , ,

I don’t have a lot of tricks up my sleeve when it comes to salmon. I used to work for a caterer and they would always serve poached salmon with a cold mayo/garlic/dill sauce and I always loved that. Besides that, I usually just use a honey/soy sauce based marinade and call it good. Those two things worked for quite awhile but I was ready for something a little different last time salmon was on the menu. I did some recipe research and saw mustard paired with salmon over and over again. Taking that into consideration, I combined an old favorite and added a new twist. Creamy mayonaise, good dijon mustard, minced garlic and fresh dill make the perfect easy topping for baked salmon. Try this soon!


Creamy Dijon Salmon with Fresh Dill

Serves 2

2 salmon filets

2 Tbls of mayonaise

1 Tbls good dijon mustard

1 Tbls chopped fresh dill

1-2 cloves minced fresh garlic

salt & pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 375º.

2. Lay salmon in baking dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper

3. Mix mayonaise, dijon, dill and garlic in small bowl.

4. Divide evenly between filets and spread over top of each.

5. Bake at 375º for about 20 minutes.

6. Enjoy!


Weekly Meal Plan 2/16/15 February 17, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica @ 11:57 am

Despite getting a really good start last week, stress got the best of us and we ate a lot of takeout and leftover pizza. I suppose it happens sometimes but it’s still pretty frustrating for me. You may see some repeats of the meals we had planned last week throughout the rest of the month because we seriously only had one thing off of last week’s plan. Luckily some of things causing stress in our life have been resolved and I am hoping for a better week.

It has been super cold here, around -20º the last couple of days and even colder with the windchill. We are at 0º today. I haven’t actually even left the house the last 4 days because it was too cold to leave if you didn’t need to! I have spent a lot of time curled up on the couch watching Netflix. How has the weather been where you are?


Monday~ Homemade Black Bean Burgers, Sauteed Green Beans and Mushrooms

Tuesday~ BBQ Chicken Pizza with Mushrooms, Sweet Peppers and Red Onion on Gluten Free Crust, Fruit

Wednesday~ Ground Turkey Sloppy Joes, Salt & Pepper Brussels Sprouts

Thursday~ Leftovers

Friday~ Panko Parmesan Tilapia, Broccoli & Cheddar Rice

Saturday~ BBQ Pulled Pork, Homemade Cole Slaw

Sunday~ Chicken Parmesan, Salad, Garlic Toast

Hope you all have a great (& healthy) week!


Weekly Meal Plan 2/9/15 February 9, 2015

Filed under: Meal Plan — Jessica @ 10:24 am
Tags: , , , ,

Last week was a very “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of week. I do not like those kind of weeks. Luckily, I am on track for a good week ahead after a very productive weekend. I made it to the grocery store, got the house sparkling clean, did 3 kick ass workouts in 2 days, filled in all of my planning sheets, laid out my outfits for the week, did some prep cooking and even found some time to relax. I love starting a new week off feeling rested and ready.

I am working a lot and have several other fun plans this week, so there is nothing too complicated on the menu plan. I wanted to keep it healthy while still being sure they were all things we are actually likely to make after a long day away from home.


Monday~ Loaded Nachos (organic blue corn tortilla chips, black beans, cheddar,  lettuce, tomatoe, avacado, onion, salsa and plain greek yogurt)

Tuesday~ Garlic Lime Tilapia, Garlic Butter Brown Rice, Roasted Broccoli

Wednesday~ Black Bean Tortilla Soup

Thursday~ Italian Sausage with Onions, Peppers and Mushrooms, Apple Sauce

Friday~ Leftovers

Saturday~ Eggplant Parmesan, Salad, Bread (not healthy, but a special treat for Valentine’s Day)

Sunday~ BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Homemade Cole Slaw

Hope you are all of to a good start this week!


January CookBooks. January 28, 2015

Filed under: Cookbooks,random,Review — Jessica @ 6:00 am
Tags: ,

I have a bit of a cookbook problem. “A bit” is an understatement. I have well over 100 cookbooks and the collection keeps growing. I do weed them out from time to time, but it is still out of control. I read cookbooks like novels… I bring a pile into bed to look at while I drink my coffee on a lazy Sunday morning. I find so much inspiration in cookbooks~ in both the recipe sense and in the best of cookbooks, the life sense. I love the stories people tell about the recipes, the beautiful photographs, the kitchens etc.

Needless to say, going through all of them for my monthly menu planning session would be too much. In order to make sure I use as many of them as possible, I choose 3 or 4 each month and pick out some recipes for our meal plan. I never use the same book two months in a row. I leave a lot of room in the meal plan for improvisation, my own recipes and recipes from online sources and magazines, but I like to choose a few from each cookbook I pick out that month. Sometimes I will make the same favorites over and over again, but I try to choose at least one new recipe from each one. I thought I would start sharing the cookbooks I use each month. I love hearing about others favorite cookbooks and the reasons why they like them. I just decided to start sharing, so this post is coming a little late in the month but I will be putting these up the first week of each month in the future.

I was lucky enough to get two cookbooks from my two of my favorite bloggers this Christmas so I just had to use them immediately.

1.Seriously Delish: 150 Recipes for People Who Totally Love Food


I have loved her blog for years and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her cookbook! There is a nice variety of snacks, meals and beverages. Her recipes range from easy and healthy to a little more involved and indulgent. Everything I have tried has been phenomenal. Our favorites so far have been the Lemon Almond Tilapia with Coconut Rice, the Turkey and White Bean Enchiladas and the Crispy Salt & Pepper Brussels Sprouts. There are so many more things I want to try in here.

2. Homemade Decadence

DSC02074Joy is just the best blogger. I love everything about her. I bought her first cookbook and could not wait for this one to come out. (She is working on a Brunch cookbook now and I could not be more excited). There are a lot of baked good recipes in here since she is Joy The Baker, but I still managed to fit a few things into the meal plan (and a treat or two). My favorite recipe so far has been the Dirty Chai Lattes and I am pretty much just obsessed with drinking them everyday. The Roasted Potato Breakfast Nachos are pretty much heaven and the Dark Chocolate, Pistachio and Smoked Sea Salt Cookies I made for Christmas were a HUGE hit!

3. Now Eat This!DSC02073This is a cookbook I randomly came across in the Library Book Sale (I work at the library, so you will see this statement often). I had never heard of these cookbooks, but apparently there is a series. I thought a healthier twist on classic American comfort food was worth checking out and I have not been disappointed yet. I have made Mac and Cheese, Chicken Piccata, Portabella and Ground Beef Meatloaf, and Chicken with Mango Salsa. All have been delicious and fit my partners need for some classic comfort food while staying pretty healthy.

So, those were my choices for January. Please let me know what your favorite cookbook is in the comments!




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