Sunday Food Prep – what went down in my kitchen (12)


Happy (dreary) Monday!

Are you in an area that got slammed with ice and sleet last night and this morning? Ugh. All we have here is rain. Rain, rain, and more rain. It’s a little disgusting.

But, it’s not freezing so … it could be so much worse. I’m not complaining.

Since I’ve been feeling better, I’ve gotten my motivation back.

Boy, did it really tank last week!

That’s why there was no Weekly Workout post on Saturday. I only went to CrossFit twice and I wasn’t really thrilled about either time. That’s so not me. You know I love CrossFit. It was just way more fun to come home and drink bourbon. 🙂

Okay, seriously, I only drank a little bourbon last week.  I had too much school work to do. Lots and lots of reading!! And, unfortunately, passing out into a book or my computer certainly wouldn’t help me get As in all my classes (see 2015 goals).

But, this week, I’m raring and ready to go and I totally got my food prep on yesterday.

In case you’re new and/or wonder where I found my inspiration to start food prepping on the weekend, you should totally check out Lindsay’s blog over at the Lean Green Bean. She food preps like a mad woman – it’s really pretty impressive all that she gets accomplished!  She’s even shared tips here on how to get started, foods that freeze well, and how to eat healthy during the week. Just imagine how much money you could save without all those trips out to lunch or to the snack machine during the week! Plus, if you’re eating food you’ve made, chances are it’s going to be much better for you than anything you could get at a fast food joint so you’ll definitely be doing your body a favor, too. 🙂

All it takes is just getting started. Make a plan and start small. See what works for you and your family. You can do it!

Okay, so here’s what happened in my house yesterday.

I made some of Lindsay’s Quinoa Breakfast Bars.  Seriously, I cannot get enough of them. I didn’t make them last week because I didn’t food prep and boy, was I bummed during the week! So delicious!

I also made 2 Overnight Quinoa and Blueberry Oatmeals (ugh, that’s a strange word) for grab-n-go breakfasts/mid-morning snacks.

I haven’t done overnight oats in a while (and I LOVE them) and when I saw that recipe (on Pinterest, of course!) that included quinoa, I figured since I was cooking quinoa for the breakfast bars, I would give them a shot. So, that’s what in those 2 mason jars.


I had one today as my post-spin class meal and, well, the jury is still out.  It’s pretty good but I think I need to tweak it some. Like, maybe add some almond butter or something. I’m not sure. It needs something. I added roasted almonds and blueberries to the jar when I was ready to eat. Still needs something.

I picked up an organic whole cut-up chicken at Harris Teeter and cooked it in my crockpot. I sliced up some red onion and put that in the crockpot first. Then, I seasoned the chicken with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder and into the crockpot it went. Cook on high for 5 hours and, ta-da! Beautifully cooked chicken to be used in sandwiches, in salads, eaten whole, etc!


Finally, I made a huge batch of chili!  It served as dinner last night and will provide some nice leftovers during the week. For an extra protein punch (because 2 pounds of meat and 2 cans of beans doesn’t give enough – #sarcasm), I tossed in the remaining cup of cooked quinoa I had. Shh….don’t tell. 🙂


Not pictured are the veggies I chopped/sliced/etc – red bell peppers, cucumbers, and carrots.

That should get us through the week. Now, if I could just get my sailor to remember to actually TAKE the lunch that’s been made for him. *sigh*

Talk to me: Do you have a family member that forgets to take his lunch? What’s your favorite way to use a mason jar?

– jennifer

Sunday Food Prep – what went down in my kitchen (11)


Can you believe it’s December 15th already?!

Only 10 more days until Christmas and 2 weeks until it’s 2015.

I can hardly believe it.

Man, this year has FLOWN by!

Of course, just because time flies and I’d like to grab onto it and slow it down doesn’t mean that I can shirk my chores and responsibilities.

Seriously, why isn’t there a loophole?

So, we got out in the yard and raked. So. Many. Leaves.


But, we built a big pile for mulching for my garden in the spring (yay!) and we hauled in another few pounds of pecans.


Did you know that the average pecan tree can yield 40 to 50 POUNDS of pecans?!

I should seriously set up a pecan stand. 🙂

In addition to all the raking, I also got some good food prep going.

I roasted a chicken in my crockpot and then made some homemade chicken stock.


I should have ended up with 8 1-cup portions but I made a mess (oops!) and ended up with 7 1/2 cups. So, I distributed the remaining half among the 7 jars.

I also have some homemade beef stock going. We went to an evening farmer’s and craft market on Friday and I nabbed some marrow bones. On Saturday night, those bones, a T-Bone steak bone, and the leftover bones from a chuck roast all went into a crockpot and have been cooking ever since.

Thank goodness for 2 6-quart crockpots!

I made some quinoa, Lindsay’s Quinoa Breakfast Bars (YUM!!!), and roasted some sweet potatoes.


Seriously, if you have not yet made those breakfast bars, you are totally missing out. I’m kinda addicted to them.

They’re so easy and so delicious! I like to put a little almond butter on mine and have it with a piece of fruit.  🙂

Finally, I chopped up some carrots and red bell peppers for the week next two days. 😉


I was wiped from doing the leaves but by the time 7pm came around, I was pretty pooped.

Ginny helped me feel better by being all warm and snuggly and cute on my lap.


Talk to me: Have you had to rake a lot of leaves this Fall? Do you bag them, burn them, or reuse them as mulch? Any recipe ideas (not Pecan Pie) for all my pecans? 🙂

– jennifer

Sunday Food Prep – what went down in my kitchen (7)

Hello, hello!

Happy Monday!

Do you have the day off today? Do you have any fun plans?

We might go see a movie.

2 movies in 2 weeks! Watch out! 🙂

So, let’s talk food prep.

I approached the food prep a little differently this week.

You see, tomorrow, Thing 2 gets her wisdom teeth extracted.

So, she’s not going to be eating too much food that requires chewing for a few days.

My sailor and I are going to tag-team the “staying home with her” responsibilities to make sure she’s okay – she’s never been on pain medication before so we don’t know how she’s going to do with it – and that she gets some fluids/nutrition in her.

Plus, we’ll need easy things to eat while we’re home. 🙂

My sailor is more of a “grab and go” kind of person while I don’t mind a little more assembly time with my meals. Plus, he can be a little more snack-y than me.

So, I made some homemade granola bars!


I found the recipe over at Amanda’s blog, Running with Spoons, and went with it because of the addition of protein powder.

My sailor and Thing 2 are funny about their granola bars – not me, I’ll eat a raw bar any day of the week! – and this seemed the closest to a Quaker chewy bar without all the extra added crap. Seriously, have you ever read the ingredients list?! It’s a mile long!!

I have organic whey protein powder that’s pretty delicious so I have no problems tossing it into a recipe.


I usually get this at Harris Teeter but I have found it at TJ Maxx before.

And guess what? The granola bars are almost the exact as a Quaker chewy. Only better.

So. Much. Better.

Then, per my norm, I roasted a chicken in the crockpot.


Thing 2 really, really wants Chicken Curry as her “last meal” so I needed some chicken for that.

*side note – there were 2 recipes my mom made when I was growing up that have become staples in my own house. One was chicken adobo and the other was chicken curry. And I just realized I’ve never shared that recipe with you!

The rest of the chicken will be perfect for lunches throughout the week – for those of us who will be able to chew. 😉

I had something else in mind when I roasted that chicken.

Homemade chicken broth.

I’ve never made it before and 1. it was high time I did! and 2. Thing 2 likes chicken broth and it doesn’t require chewing! This way, she’ll be able to get some protein and great nutrients into her while she’s limited with what she can eat.

So, after the chicken finished roasting and I got it all shredded, I threw the carcass and skin back into the crockpot, tossed in a coarsely chopped onion, roughly chopped celery stalk, some chunked up baby carrots, some garlic cloves, a couple of bay leaves, some dried (because I didn’t have fresh) rosemary, basil, and thyme, salt, and filled the crockpot almost to the brim with water.

Cooked it overnight on low – about 10 hours – and when I woke up, I had lovely, and DELICIOUS (what? you know I had to taste it.) chicken broth!


I loosely followed this recipe as a guide because I needed an idea of how to cook it in the crockpot. All my cookbook recipes were in pots on the stove and I didn’t feel like babysitting stock all night long.

This made 8 cups which I separated into 1 cup portions in mason jars.  4 are in the fridge and 4 are in the freezer for later. #winning

For dinner (and leftovers!) I made a big ole pot of Boston Baked Beans



and some cornbread.


Now, let’s talk about those beans.

Holy. Yum.

I’ve made baked beans before and these have got to be, hands down, the very best I have ever made.

The beans were perfectly cooked and the flavor was amazing.

Even Thing 2’s bf, who “doesn’t like baked beans,” liked them.

Of course, he’s only ever eaten them out of a can. There’s a big difference between homemade and from a can!

He’s eaten, and liked!, a lot of things I’ve made that he “doesn’t like” or “doesn’t eat.”

I think that’s probably the biggest compliment I could ever receive. 🙂

Talk to me: Did you food prep yesterday? Have you ever made homemade chicken broth/stock? Do you think food prep means I’m on my feet in the kitchen all day? 😉


– jennifer