Are you tired of hearing about how overwhelmed I am?

I don’t know, y’all. I think the deployment may just be getting to me. And I was too lazy to go down to CYS to sign the kids up for free deployment daycare so I just… I’m just overwhelmed by the day to day. The two schools plus the baby (he’s not a baby), the soccer, the football, everything else! This is such a crazy time of year.

The first thing to go is always dinner. Sometimes it’s just seems like it’ll take way too much energy to stand over the stove. The kids are perfectly fine with PB&J but we can only do so many of those before all that dreaded mom guilt hits.

So I’ve been trying out the Reynolds Oven Bags for dinners. I’ve had some in my cabinet for years (literally since we moved to Colorado) but I assumed they were just for ginormous turkeys at Thanksgiving.

I used one of those Reynolds Oven Bags for this Balsamic Pot Roast. All you have to do it put all the ingredients in the bag, tie it up, and bake it for a few hours. You know how pot roasts made in the slow cooker have that awesome texture where they pretty much just fall apart? That’s what happened inside the bag! I’ve never had an oven roast turn out so well.

I wish I’d added potatoes to the bag so I definitely recommend you do that. The carrots and onions were so tender and delicious and the sauce created by everything was perfect on rice!

The best part, of course, is that there no cleanup. You throw the bag away. And you’re done.

Reynolds has a bunch of easy, weeknight Oven Bag meals on their website, like mushroom risotto! Or you can go super simple and make Sausage and Peppers just by putting sliced sausage and roughly chopped peppers and onions in the bag. You cook until the sausage is tender and serve it with fresh bread!

Fun fact: I had a guinea pig named Pot Roast once. I got her after Hurricane Katrina when we were still without power but I still had to go into work everyday. I shop my feelings. Or in this case, I adopt rodents my feelings. Or something. But anyway, I was on the phone with my BFF afterwards and she suggested I name her Pot Roast because she was eating a pork chop that she thought was pot roast. Yep.

Years later, my sister-in-law adopted Pot Roast and another guinea pig who she named Spud. They were very happy together.

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Delicious Bacon and Pineapple Fried Rice featuring Success® Boil-in-Bag Basmati Rice. 

Second post the week, second recipe that starts with “Bacon and…”

I like bacon.

I’m also weirdly into pineapple lately. Remember how early in the summer I was spending $7 bucks 3 times a week on a pound of pre-cut mango? That’s what’s happening with pineapple right now. Except, thankfully, pineapple is a lot cheaper than the mango.

One day I’ll learn to cut fruit. Maybe.

So I wanted to combine my two current favorite foods into another of my favorite foods: fried rice. I know, fried rice with bacon and pineapple? It sounds weird but I dig it.

Before you click away and unsubscribe and all that, it’s not really like the Chinese takeout rice you’re used to. Yes, it is still fried rice but it’s fried in bacon fat and it has no egg in it. Plus, I used Basmati rice which is my favorite kind of rice. It’ slightly nutty and the grains don’t get clumpy on you when they cook. They stay separate and fluffy, which is how I like my rice.

You guys know that rice has been the bane of my existence since we moved to Colorado. I don’t know if it’s the altitude or my stove or what but I have not successfully made a batch of rice since moving here over 3 years ago. Like, it’s so bad that I’ve had to throw out pans. Because ugggghhhh, burnt rice on the bottom of the pan is the worst.

I’ve started using the Success®  Boil-in-Bag Basmati Rice. I love it because it is fool-proof. I’m not even kidding. The bags come pre-portioned in a BPA-free bag so it’s no mess, no measuring and it’s ready in 10 minutes. You literally stick the entire bag in water, bring it to a boil, and remove the entire bag 10 minutes later.

So for this recipe, I made the rice one night, took the entire bag and put it in the fridge overnight. (Fried rice just works better with cold rice.) The next day, the rice was ready to be fried and covered in bacon, still in it’s little bag. No dirty bowls, nothing.

I’m obsessed.

Have you tried the Success® Boil-in-Bag Basmati Rice? 

Click for the full recipe

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I think I’ve told you guys this story before but the first time my parents ever trusted me to start dinner before they got home from work, I was making chicken and rice and it was one of those recipes that all cooks in the same dish in the oven. Fail proof, right?

No, I didn’t put water in the rice!

I’m really sensitive when it comes to anything I perceive as a failure so I was absolutely mortified when my dad got home and we realized that I’d messed up.

But you know what, it’s so important for kids to have that experience in the kitchen and to learn from any mistakes made. Research shows that kids who are taught how to cook early on have better eating habits as adults!

Uncle Ben’s has a fun contest happening right now called The Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest and if you have a child from kindergarten to 8th grade, make sure you check it out! It’s all about encouraging kids to cook and teaching them healthy eating habits through cooking!

I made this kid-friendly dish in remembrance of that rice that I didn’t put water in 16 or 17 years ago. It’s just like that dish I was trying to make but with broccoli cheese soup mix and bacon wrapped around the chicken! Not only is this the kind of meal my kids love (they’re weirdly obsessed with broccoli), but my 7 year old is the perfect age to help with it! He was able to mix up the rice AND wrap the bacon around the chicken. I just had to help him put it in and get it out of the oven.

He was so proud of himself for basically making an entire meal for the family!

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken and Broccoli Rice

Ingredients

1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed broccoli cheese soup
1 cup water
black pepper
3/4 cup Uncle Ben's white rice
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 - 4 slices of bacon (depending on how many chicken breasts you use)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Whisk together the broccoli cheese soup, water, and black pepper until almost smooth. Stir in rice. Pour into a 9x13-inch pan that has been sprayed with oil.
  3. Wrap each chicken breast in a piece of bacon and nestle into the rice, making sure the bacon ends are tucked under the chicken.
  4. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender. Serve hot.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/08/11/bacon-wrapped-chicken-broccoli-rice/

Cooking with your children makes for a great beginning! Visit

www.unclebens.com and click on The Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest page to learn more!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Uncle Ben’s. The opinions and text are all mine.

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This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

If you follow me anywhere in the social media world, you know that I’m currently obsessed with all things spicy. I got this epic pizza on my birthday – it had bacon, ham, bbq sauce, pineapple, and loads and loads of jalapeños. Since then, I’ve been all about the jalapeños, the habanero sauce, the chile pepper chocolate bars – if it’s spicy, I want it.

I picked up my fave habanero sauce recently at Target. You have to go to the Mexican food section to find it so you know it’s good.

It’s the El Yucateco Hot Sauce. I love the red, I love the green, I have been putting both on everything from eggs to salads. And then I used it in these awesome Shrimp Po’Boys.

Po’Boys were in my top 5 list of things to do on our roadtrip back to Alabama but it was such a rushed trip and on the way home, stopping with all 3 kids by myself just seemed like too much work. So I never got one and I’ve been really craving a big shrimp po’boy ever since.

My fave place back home puts a sliced sandwich roll in the bottom of one of those styrofoam takeout containers and then fills the rest with fried shrimp or oysters. Like, you have 2 meals before you ever find the bread. My husband used to joke that he could buy me one Po’Boy on Friday night and he wouldn’t have to feed me again until Monday. So good, so ginormous, so Gulf Coast.

I used that as my inspiration for these guys but I wanted to add a spicy slaw to it, too. I’m telling you, I can’t get enough spice!

If you need more spicy inspiration, check out all the recipes El Yucateco has! #SauceOn!

Click for the full recipe

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This recipe was inspired by my partnership with the new DreamWorks film “The Hundred Foot Journey”. 

I think if you forced me to name my favorite cuisine, it would probably be Indian.  

Growing up, my best friend was from Pakistan and her house always smelled so spicy and delicious. I can remember walking in and telling her mom how good it smelled and she said, “Oh, I’m just making lasagna!” But it was like no other lasagna I’ve ever had in my life because she’d taken all these spices I wasn’t familiar with and turned into her own creation. Anytime I walk into a Middle Eastern market nowadays, I feel like I’m 10 years old again, hanging out at my BFF’s house after school.

But anyway, Indian food is very similar to the Pakistani food my best friend’s mom cooked for us and it’s a lot easier to find an Indian restaurant than it is to find a Pakistani one so Indian food has become my favorite. 

Chicken Tikka Masala is one of my favorites Indian dishes – even my kids love it! It is basically chunks of chicken that’s marinated in spicy yogurt and then grilled. Then you mix up a spicy, creamy, delicious sauce and serve it all over rice or with fresh naan bread. It’s so good! 

As I mentioned, this recipe was inspired by the new DreamWorks film “The Hundred Foot Journey” which comes out August 8! If you haven’t seen the previews, it’s about a French restaurant and an Indian restaurant and the people that work in the two restaurants. Some of my favorite movies are food-centric so you know I am pretty excited to see The Hundred Foot Journey. I’m pretty excited about it. 

Click for the full recipe

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