Tag Archives: chicken

Mud Run Eve Eats ~ Tequila Lime Chicken Pasta

Jay signed up for the Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run again this year ~ his third year in a row.

It’s a lot of fun to be a spectator as well as participate…I partook last year and it was quite the comedy. You can check that out here.

Jay requested a nice pasta meal the night before the 10K and, of course, I was quick to say, “Sure!”. He decided on Tequila Lime Chicken Fettuccini ~ a fabulous choice, I thought.

Cilantro? Jalapeños? Tequila? Lime?



I followed the recipe precisely, however, subbed half & half for the heavy cream to feel a little bit less guilty. Also, wasn’t too sure about the soy sauce ingredient since this isn’t an Asian dish, but decided to roll with it. I didn’t think it took away from the tequila lime flavor at all, though.

We both thoroughly enjoyed it. Personally, I thought it needed more heat. Next time I think I will use 2 fresh jalapenos and leave the seeds and the ribs in since that is where all the heat is {this time I only used one and took out most of the seeds and innards}.

We were up bright and early to report for duty at Lake Castaic!

Jay did awesome and watching from the sidelines this year made me want to set a goal to do it again next year….


With his dog tag medal….



So, I guess I am half way committing to doing the 5K again next year.

I’d like to get a team together and make a party out of it. Anyone interested?

Definitely going to need to {train} better and tackle some bigger hills leading up to the race, but mostly it’s a novelty event and just getting out there and getting dirty is what it’s all about!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.


Monday Night Football Burger

Hi friends. Happy Monday!

Fortunately Elliott’s soccer practice was cancelled for tonight so that means we can get in our jammies early, light some candles and be in for the night to watch some Monday Night Football.

Go Niners!

Buffalo chicken wings are synonymous with football, no?

Last night I made another Pinterest find ~ Buffalo Chicken Burgers

They were awwwwesome.

For all my buffalo chicken recipes, I like to use this…

Now, there is the Original Frank’s RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce , and then there is the WINGS sauce {pictured above}….I have found that the wings sauce gives whatever buffalo chicken dish you’re making a more authentic buffalo flavor ~ and we don’t want to mess with that, right? Right.

I totally messed up the recipe, but they worked out just fine. I will tell you what I did and you can determine if you’d like to do what I did or follow the original recipe provided in the link above.

1/4 cup light sour cream {I used plain greek yogurt}
1/4 cup reduced fat blue cheese crumbles

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup diced celery

1 package ground chicken {approx 1.25 lbs.}
1/4 cup hot pepper/wing sauce

2 tablespoons bread crumbs {more if your meat mixture is too sticky}

 1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

4 buns or rolls, split & lightly toasted
For garnish: lettuce, tomato and/or red onion

{I spread a little bit of bottled Ranch dressing on the bun and used up some leftover chopped tomato on top}

Preheat your pan or grill on medium-high heat, and lightly oil the grate.
Mix the ground chicken, sour cream/yogurt, blue cheese crumbles, chopped celery, worcestershire sauce,  1/4 cup hot sauce, bread crumbs, celery salt, and cayenne pepper together in a mixing bowl until evenly blended. Form into four 3/4-inch-thick patties.
Cook the chicken burgers on the preheated grill 6 to 7 minutes until well marked, flip and cook for another 5-6 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

Note: ground chicken has a very different texture than ground beef or ground turkey. Once you mix all the ingredients into the meat, it may seem very wet. If this is the case, you can add a little more bread crumbs to bring it together more or you can go ahead and separate into four patties and once they cook up, they will firm up obviously. The original recipe didn’t call for adding the blue cheese into the meat. I like to add things to the burger before cooking it and that is why I chose to add the chopped celery into the meat. You could certainly leave out the celery if you are not a fan. A little grated carrot would also be fun to throw into the meat for added color and crunch. Again, you can refer to the link above to see an alternate way to prepare these.

To roast the spaghetti squash, just cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, sprinkle with a little olive oil, salt & pepper and place flesh side {cut side} down onto a foil lined baking sheet and roast at 400* for 50 minutes.

I loved this meal. We’ll be having the leftovers tomorrow night before everyone comes into town for Thanksgiving and the real meals begin!


Crock Pot Rx

Last week I was fighting some sneezing, sore throat and stuffy nose business. It lingered for over a week so when I heard about this soup, I nearly ran to the store for the ingredients!

Creamy Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

{recipe adapted slightly from Jen over at Craft-O-Maniac}

1/2 bag {or so} baby carrots cut in thirds
4 celery stalks rinsed and cut into smallish chunks
1/2 onion, chopped
1 32 oz. carton chicken stock
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup milk {I used 1/2 cup 1% and 1/2 cup whole}
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. dry thyme
6 boneless skinless chicken tenderloins or 4-5  boneless skinless chicken breasts {can be frozen}
Place the chicken stock, 2 cans of soup, water, milk and seasonings in the crock pot and whisk together. Place the frozen chicken breasts/tenders and chopped veggies in the crock pot. Cook low 4-6 hrs. Pull out the chicken breasts within the last hour and shred with two forks and put back in crock pot.
Boil and cook one bag of egg noodles {per package directions}, rinse, drain, and add to the soup during the last 20 minutes or so.
Ladle up, add some Sriracha if you wish and slurp away!
It totally helped my cold.
Happy Monday.

Off The Cuff

I feel terrible that I have been neglecting this here blog…

I now have 6 free hours, five days a week and I can’t sit down to write a post or do any post-worthy projects!

So, I am just going to throw some thoughts and stuff out there with what we’ve been up to over the past week ~ just off the cuff.


I can’t stop volunteering…first soccer coach, then yearbook layout, then assistant for PTA gala dinner, co-class momming it for Elliott’s room and picture taker/historian for Holden’s class! No wonder I don’t have time to blog.


Loving these…

{ginger is almost up there with my love for coconut and reminds me so much of Fall}


Fall NEEDS to hurry up and get here so I can make these…

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookie Bars



I think I’m turning Japanese. I am in LOVE with the bento box!

After posting this, I was inspired to make lunches more fun {for both me and the kids!} so I set out to find some inexpensive bento boxes. First stop was TJ Maxx and I found these…

$5.99 and BPA Free! Win. Win.

Here are a few of the lunches I’ve packed…

{homemade Uncrustable, trail mix, fishes in a cute cupcake liner and fruit snack for dessert}

{Uncrustable, string cheese, leftover mac n cheese and fruit snack for dessert}

{bean & cheese burrito with salsa dipper, raisins, dried snap peas and granola bar for morning snack}

It has been so fun to pick little bits of this and that to fill their boxes with. If I send them to school with little finger foods, I am OK with that since a lot of times Holden will have a sandwich or some mac n cheese and fruit when he gets home. From what I understand, they don’t have a lot of time to eat, so quick little snacks and mini bites are perfect.

From time to time I will post some new bento ideas on my Instagram feed ~ please follow me {@aaspiras} if you, too, are at a loss for how to mix up your kiddos’ lunches! I can say that, for right now, I am excited to fill these two boxes every evening/morning and I hope it keeps up…we still have a long year ahead of us.

This afternoon I baked some mini banana muffins that I will throw in the freezer and stick in their lunches from time to time. Elliott has requested pumpkin muffins so I will certainly throw those into the rotation, too!


Today is my mama’s birthday! We took her to Legoland over Labor Day weekend…

The happiest of birthdays to you, Mom!


And while we were having lunch at Legoland, Jay was checking FB and noticed that his cousin from Nor Cal was there too, so he sent her a note and we met up with them ~ hadn’t seen them in 4 years!

{Holden & Elliott with Cara & Zach}

So so great to see you, Gia, Danny and kids! XO


Tonight we’re trying out a new healthy take on Italian sausage with peppers and onions…can’t wait. Under 300 calories! They look de-lish and I will be sure and share the recipe.


Hope you had a nice & relaxing or fun & hectic Labor Day Weekend!

Back to the grind…..

Papa John’s Copycat ~ Buffalo Chicken Pizza

I love buffalo chicken anything.

Yes, I do love going to Hooter’s for some HOT boneless buffalo wings, fried pickles and a cold beer or two.

Julie instagrammed a Papa John’s buffalo chicken pizza one evening and I immediately knew a large flat box housing one of these would make it’s way through our front door not too soon after that.

Enter the day before our mud run and an excuse to carb load…

It was yum.

I can or cannot say if the carbs in it helped or hindered my performance in the mud run, but that’s not important.

Weeks later, my friend Richelle, made one on a Boboli crust and also tormented her followers by posting it on IG.

Last night I grabbed the essentials and whipped one up for us…

Here’s what you’ll need on your shopping list:

Refrigerated pizza dough in a tube, Trader Joe’s awesome dough, or a Boboli or the like {I used the [compare to Boboli] thin crust two to a package brand from Albertson’s}

Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing

Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce

Mozzarella or cheese of choice {I used half mozz and half colby jack}

Cooked chicken, chopped {I used 4 grilled tenderloins}

Red onion slices

Tomato, chopped

Blue Cheese crumbles

Cilantro, chopped

Spread about a tablespoon each of dressing and Frank’s sauce onto your pizza dough. {If you use a dough that is not already cooked, please follow directions on package before adding your toppings and follow cooking instructions} I was trying to keep it semi-low cal, but you can add as much or as little {sauce} as the base to your pizza. Then add your cheese. I used about 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella and 1/4 cup colby jack…again as much or as little cheese as you wish. Scatter the red onion, tomato and whatever other veggies you’d like to include. Toss the chicken in a little more Frank’s sauce and then spread it around. Add just a bit of blue cheese crumbles before popping in the oven. I baked ours for about 8 minutes based on package directions. Remove from oven and drizzle with more Frank’s and/or Ranch and sprinkle with cilantro confetti before slicing and enjoying!

Wish I could say I only ate these two pieces…….

There’s An App For That

Did you know there’s an app for making really good friends?

Yes, it’s called Instagram!

Just by posting pictures and sharing fun little tidbits of your daily life on IG, you can {meet} some wonderful friends. And if you’re really lucky and live close enough, you can even eventually meet them in person. It’s crazy how you can feel like you’ve known someone for years just by making little comments on their photos or texting from time to time.

Several months ago I started following a friend of a friend because she has an eye for vintage, five beautiful daughters, and a weenie dog named Rodeo! Us wiener dog lovers need to stick together, right? She followed me back and we would comment on pictures of our hounds and make weenie jokes. After getting to know her, we discovered that we’re both Libras and I am 11 days older than she is ~ we won’t go into what year! {wink, wink}

Anywhoo, I went and stayed with Richelle in May while down in Mission Viejo for a fabulous Pioneer Woman Potluck hosted by my blogosphere friend turned real life friend, Julie. I met Julie last September at Blog Sugar. Joy’s Hope was one of the very first blogs I read and religiously followed. Julie makes it so easy to want to open up and share the happy things in life which is precisely why I wanted to start blogging myself. I am honored and thrilled to be able to have met her in real life. And because of Julie I was able to know Richelle, too! Social media really is so great.

This weekend Richelle and her two youngest {Kallihan & Kapri} came up to visit us for some pool time and concert in the park action. My kids were so excited to meet some new friends…we had some matching pajamas for the girls all ready and waiting on our guest bed with gift tags created by Elliott…

Friday afternoon’s weather was weird, so we went to see Brave.

We went for a night swim on Friday evening…

{captured by Richelle}

Saturday morning veg-fest…

New Cool Lime Refresher run before hitting the pool again Saturday morning….

{add 2 pumps coconut syrup to make it a tropical treat}

We packed up a picnic and headed to the concert in the park…Led Zepagain!

We sat around the table, sipped coffee and chatted on Sunday morning then had lunch at Souplantation before saying our sad good-byes…


And of course, I love to entertain and cook for a crowd!

We had Taco Salad Friday night.

Monte Cristos Saturday for lunch…

{photo stolen from Richelle}

Asian Ginger Slaw with Hoisin grilled chicken at the concert…

{new fave marinade/glaze for chicken ~ 2 tbsp. hoisin, 1/2 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder, 1 tsp. soy sauce and 1 tsp. vegetable oil. just coat chicken with it and grill or bake. from the July ’12 issue of Sunset, page 100}

I mixed up a little adult beverage to sip at the concert ~ vodka, Malibu, pineapple juice, blue curaçao and a splash of Sprite. {as seen in this post}

And the piece de resistance of the weekend…

Trashy Brownies

I’d not yet spotted these on Pinterest, but Richelle had, and quickly gathered the ingredients and got them in a 9X13 ASAP.

Apparently the brownie stuffed Oreos that were flying around the inter webs last year were not enough……

Just line a 9X13 pan with parchment paper. Spread packaged chocolate chip cookie dough on the bottom, followed by a layer of Oreos {preferably double stuffed} and then top off with boxed brownie mix prepared as directed. Bake at 350* for about 35 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Cool completely {even refrigerate a little} before cutting.

Needless to say they were delish, but something to make very infrequently. They would be fun using the red Oreos during the holidays, too!


All in all it was a fabulous weekend despite an ant problem in our kitchen, Rascal nabbing Kapri’s Ring Pop within the first 3 minutes and me completely losing my cool at the pool with Holden.

Social media friendships are the best!

Pollo Two Ways {a la Pinterest}

Lately I’ve been at a loss of what meals to prepare…trying to eat healthier, but keep the menu exciting.

I also haven’t been spending a lot of time on Pinterest, but remembered that I have oodles of recipes just waiting to be tested. I clicked around and was reminded of two which I made this weekend ~ both yummy and on the healthier side. Win. Win. At least in my book!

Crispy Grilled Southwest Burritos

 Suuuper yum….just used some PAM on my grill pan and they turned out crispy and perfect!

Tonight we tried Chicken Tamale Casserole from Cooking Light.

This, too, was delicious and different.

I served it on a little chopped romaine and garden tomato salad with this spiiiicy sauce as a dressing. If you can handle heat and you want a lo-cal dip, dressing or condiment, you need to make this. I’ve had the Pioneer Woman version {made with full mayo}, the reduced guilt version that I attempted {half mayo, half light sour cream and the juice of 2-3 limes} and Julie’s brilliant concoction {fat free greek yogurt and lime juice…and the chipotles in adobo, too, of course!}. I can tell you that I cannot tell the difference AT ALL in all three versions. Julie is a genius and did the math on the calorie count for us and all you need to know is go with GREEK!

This sauce can go on anything that you want to spice up ~ baked potatoes, sandwiches, eggs, tacos, burritos, salads, fresh veggies, nachos, fish, burgers, etc.

 Make some….it really is awesome at 7 calories a tablespoon.

{cutest [and spiciest] recipe card ever! again, via}


Attempting some homemade peanut butter frozen yogurt this evening. I hope to be able to come back and share that recipe with you, too!

Hope you had a super summery weekend!


A Different Kind Of Cupcake ~ Savory Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes

Earlier this week I spied some Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes on Instagram and knew they’d be on our table by week’s end. Thanks, Cherish!

Here is what you’ll need:

{2 cups cooked and shredded or chopped chicken, tube of THIN pizza crust, 8 ounce whipped cream cheese [I used the one with chives], 6 ounce plain fat free Greek yogurt, 2 tbsp Ranch dressing seasoning powder [not pictured], 3/4 cup Frank’s buffalo sauce, 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles [I added this ingredient ~ a must with buffalo chicken!] and 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese}

Unroll your pizza dough onto a little bit of flour and cut into 12 {even} squares. Apparently this was a challenge for me…

Next time I will be a little more diligent with my measuring! Spray your muffin pan with Pam and then tuck your little squares of dough in each one to form a little cup for the filling to sit in. As you can see, mine were somewhat haphazard, but it didn’t affect the taste!

Mix the chicken, Ranch dressing mix, cream cheese, yogurt, Frank’s sauce and blue cheese, if using, into a bowl and then spoon equal amounts into the cups. Sprinkle one cup mozzarella cheese evenly over the cupcakes and bake at 375* for about 15-20 minutes.

They were reeeeaaally good. My only tweak would be to use about half the cream cheese next time and maybe add a little more chicken. For me, there were a bit too saucy, but delish nevertheless!

I served them with a simple side of marinated cucumbers…

Will most definitely be making this fun meal again and again.



Linking up with Mel over at The Larson Lingo!

Need some {sweet} new cupcake ideas? Come on over and see what’s been linked up!

Rummage Sale

A random pile of facts from our weekend…

1. Made {Baked Oatmeal} for our Saturday breakfast.

{followed the link above, but subbed almond/coconut milk and coconut extract}

Such a fun twist on regular ‘ol boring oatmeal…next time I’m adding some fresh berries to the mix.

2. We had an impromptu garage sale on Saturday morning. It was more like a rummage sale. I just threw a bunch of stuff out there and came up with a price when they asked!

Made about $20 an hour for stuff that I would have driven to Goodwill…I’ll take it!

3. Holden cried when a woman walked off with his Baby Bjorn potty chair. He said, “You’re selling all my stuff!” About broke my heart, but he wasn’t about to coax me into keeping stuff that I’m trying to get rid of, so he went inside and watched a movie while mama purged!

4. Fun bowling birthday party with this delicious pizza for lunch.

5. Little Church and my scripture study were cancelled for Sunday morning, so we went to Saturday evening mass instead.

6. Made Rachael Ray’s Buffalo Chicken Chili Mac for dinner.

Super yum and lowfat. I used reduced fat cheeses for the top ~ blue cheese and mexican blend.

7. Sunday morning was lazy with clouds, rain and Pioneer Woman’s Super Sonic breakfast burritos!

I think I got a little too aggressive with the fillings, but they were to-die-for.

8. Kids talked me into taking them to Elliott’s new dance studio’s grand opening in the POURING rain just to jump in the germ infested bouncy….


Waste. Of. Precious. Gas.

9. Jay didn’t like the quote the dealer gave him for new brakes on his Jeep, so he did it himself.

{We did have to make one minor trip to a “professional” for a quick fix-it, but other than that we saved a ton of cash. Thanks Pep Boys for the parts and YouTube for the brake changing tutorial!}

10. Had the Sushi Bake again for dinner last night. We’re hooked.


And that was our weekend, folks.

Hope yours was just as random and nice!


Put This In Your Recipe Box And Make It ~ Buffalo Chicken Pot Pie

I haven’t watched Rachel Ray’s shows or made any of her recipes in awhile.

But after my friend Heather posted this on Facebook last week, I knew it was a contender for one of our dinners this weekend.

Buffalo Chicken Pot Pie

Sooo good.

Like I-wish-I-could-send-a-warrant-out-for-your-arrest-if-you-don’t-make-it good.

Notes: I used 1/2 cup {instead of 1/4 cup} Frank’s Buffalo Wing sauce and a 4 ounce container of reduced fat blue cheese in the cornbread. I also added 3 chopped green onions to the cornbread mix for a little extra color and pizzaz.

Another Pinterest WIN!

Super yum.

Happy Saturday…don’t forget to set those clocks an hour ahead tonight!


Linking up over at Bits Of Splendor…

bits of splendor monday