Category Archives: Dinners

Easy Baked Chicken Thighs

This recipe for baked chicken thighs is beyond easy, frugal, and good for you. I would cook this a lot when I was working because it didn’t require a lot of effort and I enjoy cooking it now for my big family of 5 to help keep our grocery budget down.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken thighs/any amount (I use chicken thighs with the bones and save the bones to make chicken broth)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika

***I really enjoy the taste of paprika but you can definitely change this to your personal preference for spices.

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

2. Set you chicken in a baking dish or cookie sheet and drizzle about 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil over each chicken thigh.  Rub the oil all over the chicken.

3. Sprinkle chicken with spices and rub the spices all over chicken.

4. Bake in oven for 1 hour and enjoy!

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I told you it was easy.  Next check out my recipe for baked carrots and baked potatoes and you will be thrilled with the simplicity of this frugal and healthy meal (busy moms: I’m talking to you!)

Happy homemaking,

Amber

Linking up with Crystal at Serving Joyfully

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Whole Chicken Part 3: Homemade chicken soup

This is part 3 of my 4 part series on how to use a whole chicken.

Part 1 will discuss how to cook the whole chicken in the crock pot.

Part 2 will discuss how to make homemade chicken broth from the leftover bones and skin.

Part 3 will discuss how to make homemade chicken soup from the chicken broth.

Part 4 will discuss the health benefits of homemade chicken broth.

Homemade Chicken Soup:

Step 1: Chop 1 onion and 2 cloves of garlic.

Step 2: In a large pot, saute the onion and garlic in melted butter and olive oil (the smell is wonderful!)

Step 3: Add the homemade chicken broth and anything else you would like: brown rice, lentils, vegetables, pasta, etc.  I like to use chopped up carrots and brown rice.  (I used about 2 carrots and 1 cup of brown rice)

Step 4: Season with your favorite seasonings: salt, pepper, thyme, paprika, cayenne pepper, etc and simmer for an hour.  Add in chicken and season to taste.

Step 5: Serve and enjoy or freeze for later.  This chicken soup is really good for you and also a great meal to have on a fall or winter day.  Freezing some for a sick day would be a great idea as well.

I hope you enjoy, and join me for part 4 where I will discuss the health benefits of homemade chicken broth.

Blessings,

Amber

Linking with Courtney from womenlivingwell.org

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Easy Homemade Meatballs

This meatball recipe is great paired with my homemadge spaghetti sauce – you should check it out here.

Ingredients you will need:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs (you could use regular and seaoson with italian seasoning – I’ve also just left the breadcrumbs plain and it tasted great)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt
  • pepper

I didn’t take very many pictures during this process but the directions are easy enough to follow.  If you have any questions just comment below and I will help you.

  1. Mix all ingredients together.  Don’t add all water at one time – add and mix together as needed until the mixture is holding together
  2. Shape meatballs into desired size (about the size you would make a small cookie)
  3. Place on broiler pan or cookie sheet
  4. Broil until outside is slightly brown on one side and then turn to broil the other side (this happens farely quickly so keep watch of your oven)
  5. Cool on cooling racks and VOILA!
  6. Enjoy

Blessings,

Amber

Linking up with Courtney at womenlivingwell.org

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Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

I love this homemade spaghetti sauce recipe – it is a little time consuming, but most of the time is spent with the sauce simmering away on the stove top while you relax or do other things in the kitchen.  The worst part of this recipe is really just chopping your garlic.  A tip for you: Washing your hands with baking soda helps take away the lovely garlic smell.

I’ve adjusted the original recipe just a bit for our personal taste preferences – the only difference is that I added half a chopped onion, omitted the grated parmasan cheese, and used less dried basil.

Step 1: Chop your garlic and onion (if you are using your onion)

Step 2: Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the chopped garlic (and onion if using) and basil (I used 2 tablespoons instead of 3-5) and heat for 1 to 2 minutes

Step 3: Add crushed tomatoes, pepper, and sugar (you can add more or less sugar depending on your personal preference.  I think the 1 tablespoon tastes just fine). Stirring often, bring to a low boil.

Step 4: Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring often.  For the first half of the simmer time, do so with the pot uncovered, and then cover.

Step 5: If you are adding the cheese, do so after the sauce has cooked for 3 hours and simmer for an additonal 5 minutes. A tip for the grated parmasan: get a block of parmasan cheese and grate it yourself so that it is fresh and delicious.  You can use the rest of the cheese to make meatballs and to top on the spaghetti.

This makes a huge batch of spaghetti sauce which is great for freezer cooking.  I used to eat yogurt and I saved my yogurt containers for freezer storage – it works perfectly for my spaghetti sauce.

Another tip for freezer cooking: use tape to label

I forgot to take a picture of the spaghetti that we had for dinner this week, but thankfully I have a picture from before where I made spaghetti and meatballs.  I didn’t make meatballs this week, but I’ll share that recipe soon as well.

I hope you enjoy,

Amber

Spaghetti Sauce Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 large cans of Hunt’s crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic (pressed or finely chopped)
  • 1/2 a white onion (you can omit this if you like)
  • A bunch of dried basil (2 to 5 tablespoons – I think 2 is more than enough)
  • Black pepper (about 1 to 2 tsp)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (more if you want it sweeter)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated parmasan (you can leave this out to save even more money)

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the chopped garlic, onion, and dried basil and heat for 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes, pepper, and sugar.  Stir often and bring to a low boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring often.  For the first half of the simmer time, do so with the pot uncovered and then cover the second half.
  4. Add the cheese and stir in and simmer for an additonal 5 minutes.
  5. Serve and enjoy!
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Paleo: Chicken & Veggie Packets

It has been a crazy busy week – wow! On Tuesday, I had a job interview, and on Wednesday I started my first day of work.  I’m no longer a full-time homemaker. Now I’m a homemaker and a working gal. I also decided to start the Paleo diet on Wednesday – I’m not sure how smart it is to start a new lifestyle change on the same week you start working, but so far it has been totally worth the extra effort.  I’ll talk more about why I’m doing this later, but for now, I’d like to share with you a simple and delicious Paleo dinner.

For this recipe you will need the following:

  • 1 lb of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • baby carrots
  • sliced mushrooms
  • 1 sweet yellow onion
  • salt
  • pepper
  • thyme
  • aluminum foil (4 squares)
  • a mallet (to pound the chicken)

Step 1: Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Flatten 4 chicken breasts using a mallet to 1/2 inch thickness

Step 2: Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper and just a little bit of thyme.

Step 3: Chop onion and pepper (fajita-style) and place on top of chicken

Step 4: Throw on sliced mushrooms and baby carrots and add more salt, pepper, and thyme over everything.

Step 5: Wrap the foil and place on baking sheet to cook for 20 minutes or until juices run clear and the chicken is cooked through

Step 6: You can also throw this all together and save in the refrigerator for a few hours if need be.  I did this for my husband so that he could have a freshly cooked meal instead of leftovers. (He doesn’t get off of work until late and now that I have to be up early for work, I have to go to bed way before he gets home.)

Step 7: ENJOY!

I hope that you enjoy and if you are also doing a Paleo diet, leave me a comment and let me know why you are doing it.

Blessings,

Amber

Original recipe source here.

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