Wednesday, February 24, 2016

What's for Dinner Wednesday~One Pan Ranch Pork Chops and Veggies

I love a meal that only requires one pan, and very little prep. Perfect for a night where you don't have a lot of time. This did not disappoint and would be good with chicken breasts as well.

One Pan Ranch Pork Chops and Veggies

4 (8 oz) pork chops, bone-in, 3/4 inch to 1 inch thick
16 ounces baby red potatoes, halved
16 ounces green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (1 oz) package Ranch Seasoning and Salad Dressing Mix (Hidden Valley is GF)
3 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray. (we lined with parchment paper for easier clean up)

Place pork chops, potatoes, and green beans in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet.

Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Ranch Seasoning and garlic; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Place into oven and roast until the pork is completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 140 degrees F, about 20-22 minutes. (cooking time varies depending on the size and thickness of the pork chops and potatoes-we cooked for 30 minutes).  Then broil for 2-3 minutes, or until caramelized and slightly charred.

Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

Linking up with the ladies for Thoughts of Home on Thursday.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Cravings & Gluten Free Fried Fish and Chips

While meal planning this weekend, I got a craving for fish and chips.  Say what???  Well, I have not had them in over 3 years since going gluten free and when I stumbled upon the recipe on Pinterest it was a done deal. And as luck would have it, Whole Foods had Cod fillets on sale. Score!

So so yummy!!!

Gluten Free Fried Fish and Chips


2 lbs fish fillet (any white fish, but cod is more authentic)
1 C rice flour (we used our standard Bob's Red Mill GF All Purpose)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dill weed
3/4 C gluten-free beer (we used Red Bridge, but Omission is a good one too)
2 eggs


1. Gently rinse the fish in cold water. Pat fillets dry with paper towel (note:  if you have large fillets, cut the fish into smaller pieces).
2. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix beer and eggs separately and stir in dry ingredients.  Blend ingredients until mixture is smooth.
3. Place fish fillets in batter mixture, making sure to coat the fillets evenly on both sides.
4. Heat oil 350*F. Gently place small batches of fish in oil so that the oil's temperature does not drop.  Fry fillets for 5-8 minutes, or until they are golden brown on both sides.  Be sure to turn the fillets frequently to prevent scorching the batter. (We used our Staub dutch oven and were able to fry all at the same time, it and regulating the gas on the stove keeps an even temp).
5. Remove fish to paper towels to drain excess oil.
6. Serve with hot fries.

We love the Ore Ida Fast Food fries...a little salt, pepper and celery salt and follow the instructions on the bag.

Serve with Tartar Sauce and Ketchup.

Only thing I miss is the Malt Vinegar. Boo :-(

Original recipe can be found here.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Love a Simple, Tasty, Healthy Appetizer & Side Dish~

I am all for easy and delicious when it comes to appetizers and side dishes, and this dish is perfect for either.

The original recipe comes from Chef Savvy.

I've been fighting yet another cold, and was looking for something quick to whip up for a late lunch/snack when I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest, of course.

It is so colorful and packed with flavor, and healthy too!  What's not to like?

Mediterranean Salsa


1 (10.5 ounce can) chickpeas, drained
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup cucumber, diced
1 cup tomato, diced
1/2 cup olives, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped (I used dried because it was all I had on hand)
1/4 teaspoon, dried oregano
1 tablespoon basil, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


1. Add all of the ingredients to a medium bowl.  Toss to combine.
2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3 Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

As I mentioned, it is perfect alone as a side or serve with tortilla scoops as an appetizer.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

What's for Dinner Wednesday~Gluten Free Mustard Herb Crusted Chicken Breasts

This is another recipe we adapted to make gluten free that I found on Pinterest.  We also made some changes to how it was prepared, and would make a couple more when making next time.  Live and learn as they say.

Mustard Herb Crusted Chicken Breasts with Grilled Zucchini and Squash

Ingredients for the Chicken:

2 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (we used one double)

1/2 tsp kosher salt

black pepper, to taste

3 TBS finely chopped fresh herbs (thyme, oregano, and basil) (we used dried as it was what we had on hand)

2 cloves garlic, crushed

6 TBS good quality Dijon Mustard (we use OrganicVille as it is gluten free)

1 C gluten free Panko

1/4 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 TBS oil oil

minced parsley for serving (optional) (again we used dried as it was on hand)


Preheat oven to 400*F.

Trim chicken breasts, place on a cutting board and cover with plastic wrap.  Lightly pound the chicken to an even thickness.  This helps ensure even cooking.  Season both sides of each breast with salt and pepper.

Mix herbs, garlic and mustard in a bowl.

Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese on a plate.  Lightly brush each breast with the mustard-herb mixture, coating both sides, then dredge each breast in the bread crumb-cheese mixture.

Heat a large saute pan over med-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add 1/2 TBS olive oil.  Place the chicken breasts in the pan and brown on each side, carefully flipping with a spatula, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Place breasts on a parchment lined sheet pan, then bake in the oven for 5 to 8 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

***NOTE-next time we would NOT pound the chicken, but rather skip the step of frying and just bake longer in the oven.  Also, if you do choose to pound the chicken and fry prior to baking in the oven for a faster cook time, more oil is needed in the saute pan, 1/2 TBS is no where near enough.  The chicken will stick, losing the coating. You could also use a non-stick cooking spray.

Grilled Zucchini and Squash

Slice the zucchini and squash into approx. 1/2 inch slices, toss with olive oil, salt, freshly ground pepper and a bit of celery salt.  Place on a roasting pan in a 350* oven (we use our small toaster oven for veggies like this) and bake about 30 minutes or until they are soft when piercing with a fork.

The original recipe for the Mustard Herb Crusted Chicken Breasts can be found here.

Linking up with the lovely ladies for Thoughts of Home on Thursday.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day~

Remember you are loved always...

Monday, February 8, 2016

Organizing a Small His and Hers Closet~

After the holidays, I decided it was time to once again go through our shared closet in order to make room for the new things we had acquired.

As with any project of this nature, it always gets worse before it gets better.

Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, was taken out of the closet.  Once I had everything out, it was time to sort through it all.  This is when I ask myself some very tough questions: 
 1) Does it fit? Not do I wish it did, maybe someday it will again, etc.  Right now, does it fit?
 2) Is it in good shape? No stains, rips, tears, has it lost its shape?
 3) Have I worn it in the last 6-12 months? 
 4) Do I love it? Does it make me feel good when I wear it?
 5) Is it still in style?

Those items not fitting the bill, go straight to either the donate pile or trash.


Two large trash bags full of donations...

A clean slate...

Now to move things back in...

We have three different size dressers in our closet, as you can see in the above pictures.  The long dresser on the right wall is where I keep all of my active wear, jeans, colored denim, shorts, and some heavier weight sweaters.  The dresser on the opposite wall is shared by hubby and I, and it holds undergarments (his), sweaters (mine) and his activewear.  The third dresser is tall and narrow and fits perfectly in  the niche where we used to have very deep shelves.  The shelves were never neat, and things were constantly getting lost in the back.  This piece works out much better.  This dresser holds my jewelry, atop and in the top drawer, my undergarments and pjs and his dress socks.  Along with the dressers in our closet we have to others in our master bedroom for things like casual socks, t-shirts, his jeans and the like.

I love these elfa hooks from the Container Store for hanging my statement necklaces.  So easy as they just hook onto the wire shelving (not my favorite, but I can't bring myself to spend $1000+ on a closet to replace with a custom system).  The box holds some of my larger jewelry pieces, while the bowls hold my pearls and fit bit bands.

Next to the dresser is my long hanging space.  I don't have a lot of dresses, as I don't wear them often, so this space is shared with my longer sweaters and dress slacks.

All of my scarves (which my husband was so proud I paired down, ahem) are stored in these Martha Stewart fabric bins from Home Depot and have been labeled using my beloved P-Touch label maker.

My shoes are all stored in clear plastic labeled shoe boxes from the Container Store.  I have been storing my shoes this way for years.  Makes finding the pair I am looking for a breeze.  I also group them by category: ballet flats, sandals, pumps, tennis shoes, booties, etc.  They are all placed on the top shelf that wraps around my side of the closet.  I am 5'7" and can easily reach them.

Here you can see some more of my hanging garments.  Shirts, Blouses, Cardis, Vests, Light Weight Jackets.

This is them all together.

A look at my side.  As you can see not a huge space but it functions well.

 I store my favorite Sam Edelman Penny boots with shape inserts in them under my shorter hanging garments.  Just a note, my hubby would tell you I would sleep in these boots they are that comfortable! Hence, one in every color.

Atop the narrow dresser I store my dainty necklaces, bracelets and watches so they are within easy reach.  These are my go to pieces I wear on a daily basis.  I ordered the 3-tiered stand off of Amazon after seeing Megan's.

This is hubby's side.  His tie rack on the far left wall.  We use a hanging shoe caddy for his dress shoes as it is easy for him to grab the pair he needs in the morning while getting ready for work.  His casual shoes are stored elsewhere.

A full view of his side.  Top rod holds his Tommy Bahama shirt collection, khakis, dress slacks, suits and dress shirts.  The bottom his golf shirts, polos, pullovers, frequently worn sweatshirts and pants.
As you can see I used the same hooks from the Container Store for his belts on the end.

This is a shot of the taller narrow cabinet.  As you can see it fits perfectly where the deep shelves used to be.  We have yet to remove the shelf brackets as that would require some drywall repair.  We did leave the top shelf in place to give us a space to store our laundry baskets.

As I mentioned, this is not a very large space so it is a bit difficult to photograph.  And, I personally am still learning to use all the settings on my camera.  So thanks for bearing with me.

I hope this helps inspire you to get organized and make use of the space that you do have.

Linking up with Stacie and the girls for THOUGHTS OF HOME THURSDAY!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Friday, February 5, 2016

Curio Style Coffee Table and Adding Green~

I just love our Curio style coffee table we purchased from Pottery Barn many years ago.  I love changing out the interior contents with the seasons.

During the summer months it is filled with coastal items...lots of seashells and such.  Fall-acorns, pinecones, rich earthy tones.  Christmastime-ornaments, snow covered pinecones and my Great Grandfather's vintage sleigh bells.

I recently changed the contents of the table out to incorporate more green.  I have added several new touches of green to our family room, which I will share at the end of this post, and wanted the coffee table to reflect the freshness as well.

This room in general is a bit difficult to photograph as it has floor to ceiling windows along the east wall, so it is bathed in sunlight for most of the day.  I took these with the top of the table open to cut down on the glare.

The table is filled with greenery, oyster shells, river rocks, pinecones, wine corks, moss covered balls, and more.  I will let the pictures tell the story.

With the top down.  We keep things on top to a minimum.  Our TV remotes, a candle, coasters and recently a fun game a friend gifted us at Christmastime.

I carried the green touches throughout the room.

Succulents in our giant clamshell.

Our fiddle leaf fig tree is thriving in this spot.

New throw pillows from Pottery Barn.  I mixed them with our lambswool blanket and pillow and another sweater pillow (all from Pottery Barn purchased several years ago).  I love the warmth that they add while still keeping things light.

Another embroidered pillow I purchased at Pottery Barn.  And yes, we LOVE that store!!

And, our dough bowl a top our mantle got filled with granny smith apples (faux).

I hope to get the room photographed soon so you can see how it all comes together.

Hope you all have a wonderful and BLESSED weekend.  I will be watching the Super Bowl for the commercials and the yummy food!!

Linking up with Stacie and the girls for THOUGHTS OF HOME THURSDAY.