Cast Iron Skillet Meals – Harvest Chicken

Summer vacation is finely upon us! No more alarms, no more bagged lunches to make, the kids sports slow way down…we have total freedom until September! To say I’m happy would be a total understatement! Without all the rushing around everywhere, I seem to do my best cooking during the summertime. I actually make real meals and not quick things that can be heated up on the go or eaten quickly before bed! One thing I like to make are cast iron skillet meals. They are easy and really really good! Not to mention…clean up is really easy when you’re only using one pan!

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cast iron skillet meals

Harvest Chicken – Cast Iron Skillet Meals

Ingredients

  • 4 Chicken Thighs
  • 1 1/2 cups Tomatoes
  • 1 large Zucchini
  • 1 large Yellow Squash
  • 2 TBSP. Lemon Pepper Seasoning (I like this onecast iron skillet meals)
  • 1 TBSP. Garlic Salt
  • 1 TBSP. Ranch Dressing Seasoning
  • 3 TBSP. Olive Oil
  • Curled Parsley

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, add your chicken thighs and evenly coat with lemon pepper, garlic salt and place in your refrigerator for one hour to marinate.
  2. In your cast iron skilled, add 3 TBSP. of olive oil and place on your stove top at medium to high heat.
  3. Once the pan is hot, add your chicken thighs. Cook on high for 6 minutes on each side.
  4. Reduce your heat to medium and cook on both sides for an additional 5 minutes to insure it is completely cooked.
  5. Pull the chicken thighs out of the pan and place on a plate. Set aside.
  6. Slice your yellow squash and zucchini into round circles about 1/4 inch in thickness.
  7. Add your zucchini and yellow squash to the pan, sprinkle with ranch dressing seasoning and saute for 8 minutes on medium, tossing often.
  8. Now add your tomatoes to the vegetables and continue to saute for another 5 minutes.
  9. Turn your stove top heat off and place the chicken back in the skillet.
  10. Garnish with the curled parsley.

cast iron skillet meals

Doesn’t this look delicious?!? Not only is it super easy to make, but it’s a dish your entire family will like! If you don’t have any cast iron skillets, I like this onecast iron skillet meals. For other really good cast iron skillet recipes, try this Lemon Chicken Skillet Dinner!

 

What are your favorite cast iron skillet meals?


Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine all. #LetsCheese #CollectiveBias

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Normally I do not. I feel like it gets all this hype and then by the second week of January, they are quickly forgotten. However, this year I did make a goal for my life and for my family. I wanted us to make some changes in our life. Change some of the foods we are eating, exercise more, etc. It’s mid-June and I can honestly say, we’ve stuck to that goal! One of the food choices we made was to take out a lot of the processed junk we used to eat and replace it with REAL food! For instance, this recipe below for bacon wrapped  jalapeno poppers using Weight Watchers Whipped Cream Cheese is amazing! But then again…anything wrapped in bacon is great!

bacon wrapped

These delicious, bacon wrapped, stuffed with real and all natural Weight Watchers Whipped Cream Cheese are so full of flavor and so easy to make! But then again, anything stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon is going to be good! I had the idea to make these because, to be honest, I love jalapeno poppers, but I can’t have the breading on them and I was trying to stay away from fried foods. I had made a bacon wrapped meatloaf a few years ago, so I thought I could come up with my own jalapeno popper and wrap it in bacon!

bacon wrapped

For the bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers, you need cream cheese, shredded cheese, spices, jalapenos and bacon. That’s it! I picked up the Weight Watchers Whipped Cream Cheese and the rest of the ingredients while I was grocery shopping at Kroger (gotta love the fuel points…2x the points if you shop on Friday, Saturday or Sunday…FYI)!

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers Recipe

Ingredients

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place a piece of foil on your baking sheet with sides. Cut each of your jalapenos in half, lengthwise and remove the seeds. Note…if you want a little more kick to your jalapeno poppers, leave some of the seeds.
  • Mix your cream cheese, shredded cheese and spices in a mixing bowl

bacon wrapped

  • Place your jalapenos on to the baking sheet and fill one side with a bit of the cream cheese mixture. You want to mound it over a bit so it will fill in the other jalapeno when you fit the two halves together. Do this with all eight jalapenos.

bacon wrapped

  • Next you need to wrap each jalapeno using one strip of bacon per jalapeno. You could secure the bacon on with a toothpick, if you wanted, but I didn’t find it necessary. The tighter you wrap the bacon, the better.
  • Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. After they are done baking, turn your broiler on high and broil for 3-4 minutes to crisp up the bacon!

Tips

bacon wrapped

Do not over stuff the jalapenos with the cream cheese mixture. As you can see above, the jalapenos my husband “helped” with, exploded. Also, if you make too many (like we did), simply store them in the fridge and reheat later! My husband went out of town for work and took a few with him. He said they tasted great!

bacon wrapped

What is your favorite recipe using cream cheese or American Cheese?

Definitely give the Weight Watchers cheeses a try in your next recipe! They are real and all natural, and like I said, full of flavor!

Pineapple Donuts Recipe

It’s the end of the school year and as a little tradition, I like to buy the kids donuts for breakfast their last week of school. I figure I spend the entire school year making them eat healthier things before I send them off to school, so what’s it going to hurt if I let them splurge for a few days?!? This week, I took the easy way out and picked up a box of glazed donuts at the grocery store. However, making your own is super easy and who wouldn’t want to try this delicious pineapple donuts recipe? Your kids will thank you!

pineapple donuts recipe

Pineapple Donuts Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup Flour
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 TBSP Baking Powder
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/2 can Crushed Pineapple, drained and dried
  • Mini Donut Maker (I like this onepineapple donuts recipe)
  • Pam Spray
  • 1 container Vanilla Icing
  • Coconut, optional

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients.
  2. In another bowl, mix the egg, milk and pineapple.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet and mix until no more flour is seen.
  4. Once the mini donut makerpineapple donuts recipe is heated, drop in some batter.
  5. Cook for 5-7 minutes (times may vary due to the type of donut maker you own).
  6. While the donuts are cooking, melt the icing in a microwave for 30 seconds. Remember to remove the film and lid from the icing container.
  7. Mix icing with a fork.
  8. Once donuts are done, pull them out onto a plate and drizzle with icing, coconut or sprinkles.

pineapple donuts recipe

Doesn’t this pineapple donuts recipe look and sound delicious?!? This donut recipe is so easy to make! Anytime I have the opportunity to have a special plate or platter, I get it! We have the celebration plate so when anyone in the family has something to celebrate, they get to eat dinner on that plate. Why not a donut platter?

pineapple donuts recipe

Other Pineapple Recipes You May Like…

Summer Outdoor Games for the Family

Summer is finally starting in our house! The kids will be out of school this Thursday and one thing I want to do this summer is have a lot more family time! Family time is one of the most important things to me. Both my husband and I love to play games. Before we had kids, we used to have game nights with our friends. It was always a blast. I think it would totally be a fun idea to have BBQ’s with our friends and their kids and play a bunch of summer outdoor games together!

summer outdoor games

The Best Summer Outdoor Games!

Do you remember Yahtzee? I remember playing it all the time as a kid. I also enjoy playing the Yahtzee app while I sit and wait for my son after school! So obviously, I would totally enjoy Yard Yahtzee and I think my kids would too!! The dry erase feature with this set is genius and insures that you can play all summer long and for many summers to come!

summer outdoor games

Another game I used to play all the time, and one my kids really like, as well, is Jenga! Remember that game? How fun would it be to play with a giant Jenga set at your next BBQ? The nice thing about the backyard Jenga game I found is that each and every piece stores inside the crate that you set the game on!

summer outdoor games

I don’t know if it is just a Midwest thing or not, but corn hole is a fun BBQ game! For those of you that do not know what corn hole is, it is a ridiculously fun and competitive (could just be the people I’m with!) bean bag toss game. As the name may suggest, you want to get your bean bag in the hole. You can buy plain boards, but it definitely is more fun to have custom corn hole boards! My favorite are the old school Nintendo controllers!

summer outdoor games

Similar to corn hole, washer toss is another fun game to play with friends. It’s also a lot more challenging, but a lot easier to transport than the corn hole game! Basically…the first person to 21 points wins!

summer outdoor games

Which fun summer outdoor games do you like best? If it’s not listed here, please share with me! We would love to try it out!

2016 Mazda6 Grand Touring in Soul Red

About a week ago, I was given the opportunity to test drive a car for a week. My kids get very excited when they get home from school and see a new car in the driveway. They take these test drives very seriously and are sure to tell me ALL of their opinions about the car from the backseat driver perspective. This last car I was loaned for a week was the 2016 Mazda6 Grand Touring in Soul Red. I’ve driven quite a few Mazda’s over the years. My favorite was the cute little, but so not practical for my family, Mazda Miata! A little part of me gets really giddy when the car is dropped off in red! One of these days I will own a red car! The soul red that this Mazda6 was in is a beautiful, bright red.

mazda6

About the Mazda6

One of the things I like most about the Mazda’s is all the features that come standard on the car. Some of the features that came standard on the Mazda6 that I drove last week are:

  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Heated side mirrors
  • Smart city brake support
  • LED Daytime running lights
  • LED Fog lights
  • LED Combination taillights
  • LED Lighting signature grille
  • Active driving display

There are way more standard features than I listed above. I just wanted to highlight my favorites. If you haven’t driven a car with LED lights, you really don’t know what you’re missing. They are great! When you open your car door, your entire car just lights up super bright on the inside. You can see every inch of the inside of the car. The active driving display is another feature that I really liked. At first, I will admit, I thought maybe it would be distracting, but it wasn’t. I took a picture of it (when I wasn’t driving) for you to see:

mazda6

As soon as you turn the car on, that little screen pops up. As you are driving it tells you your speed. At first, I didn’t like it. I found it to be distracting, but that quickly changed. When I had to drive my own vehicle again, I kind of wished I had it!

Warranty

Everything has some sort of warranty nowadays and it’s important to know what your warranty is so you don’t spend unnecessary money. With the Mazda6, it had the following warranty:

  • 36 months/36,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty
  • 60 month/60,000 mile powertrain warranty
  • 24 hour roadside assistance

Overall, I enjoyed driving this car. It had plenty of room in the backseat for the kids; the trunk was large enough to fit my sons lacrosse bag (that item that I measure all trunks with); and it got great gas mileage with an average combined city/hwy of 32 MPG.

What kind of car do you drive?