Sunday, Nov 18, 2018

Category: Family Dinner

Hawaiian Fried Rice for Breakfast

We rotate through the same breakfast recipes weekly in my battle to feed my family a hardy breakfast.  They would love to eat sugar cereal every day, all day.  I serve french toast, waffles, pancakes, hole in the basket toast, etc..  This  Hawaiian Breakfast rice looks like a welcome addition to our routine.  Thank you Our Best Bites for the idea!  I pulled some cooked rice out of my  freezer to defrost so I can make this in the morning.


(This recipe is from

When I was in 7th grade and in home-ec for the first time, one of the first things we learned to make was fried rice. I couldn’t believe how easy it was and how much it tasted like the fried rice from our favorite Chinese restaurant.

Since then, I love playing around with fried rice recipes (including this recipe, which is one of my all-time favorites.) It’s a great way to use up leftover rice, half-used red onions, and those colored bell peppers that you bought with great intentions a week ago and now you need to use up before you’re filled with $5 of regret.

When we were in Hawaii a few years ago, we had Hawaiian fried rice for breakfast a few times–it was loaded up with things like fresh pineapple and bacon or ham (or Spam…don’t hate on it until you’ve tried it!). Throw in some scrambled eggs or top it off with a fried egg and you have an amazing breakfast (or dinner…or lunch…or late-night snack. This is anytime food.)

You’ll need some chopped red onions, green onions (chop the whole bunch, but keep the firm ends separate from the green ends), some garlic, a red or orange bell pepper, some fresh pineapple, and about a cup of cooked, crumbled bacon or chopped ham. Or Spam.Hawaiian-Fried-Rice-sqaure

You could also throw some mushrooms in there. I kind of wish I had. Hashtag regrets.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 4 teaspoons (1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) olive oil. I used 2 teaspoons of our chili oil and 2 teaspoons of our garlic oil and it added just the right amount of heat and flavor. When hot, add the red onion, firm ends of the green onions, garlic, and bell pepper and sauté until the onions are fragrant and the peppers are tender crisp.

While the veggies are cooking, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, and ginger. Set aside.

Add the rice to the pan and stir to combine, cooking until the rice is heated through. Add the bacon or ham and cook until heated through. Add the soy sauce mixture and stir to combine. Add the green tops of the green onions and the pineapple and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and turn heat to low to keep warm.

In a separate pan, cook eggs as desired (we’ve done scrambled and fried and I think we prefer them scrambled; if you fry the eggs, plan on frying at least 1 egg per person.) If you scramble the eggs, mix them in with the rice before serving. If frying, divide the rice into individual portions before serving, then top with an egg and serve immediately.Hawaiian-Fried-Rice-1


sweet_and_smoky_pork_tacos-1 squareIt is no secret that Sara and I are big taco people. I don’t mean actual large human tacos, but that we’re really, really into tacos. And lately, I’ve been really, really into my Crock Pot. So often when it comes to dinner…I just can’t, you guys. Are you disappointed in me? Because I get into cooking ruts. And by “ruts,” I mean I wish someone would plan, make, and deliver nutritious and delicious meals to my house. And then stay to clean things up. And put my kids to bed. And then rub my feet and fold my laundry. Is that too much to ask?

Anyway. I got way off track there. Where were we? Love tacos. Love my crockpot.

I’ve been wanting a smoky crock-pot taco recipe for a long time. Something easy, something relatively healthy, but something we could easily dress up at dinnertime with all sorts of taco fixin’ deliciousness. Finally, with Cinco de Mayo upon us, I decided it was time to buckle down and get it done. And we loved these tacos–a little sweet, a little spicy, plenty smoky, a perfect member of my taco family (still tacos, not people.)

You’re going to start by seasoning a pork roast (about 2.5-3.5 pounds; sirloin will be your leanest choice, shoulder/butt is the fattiest but also super delicious, the loin is kind of middle of the road) with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and heating a couple tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the pork roast and sear on all sides.


Transfer the pork to a crock pot.

In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, onion, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, and smoked paprika.


Rub it over the top of the pork roast. Whisk together the Coke, adobo sauce, apple cider vinegar, and liquid smoke


and pour it around the pork roast. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours or until it shreds easily with a fork. Juice the lime over the pork and stir to combine, then season to taste with salt. Serve with lime wedges, crumbled queso fresco, fresh pico de gallo, sliced white onions, chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, and any other favorite taco toppings.

Sweet and Smoky Crock Pot Pork Tacos


Recipe and pictures from  Thank you Sara!!


Creamy Chicken Taquitos

I have been away from home for almost a month this summer attending reunions, a 4-H camp, and a Suzuki String Instrument camp with my oldest girls.  It is time to get back to meal planning and fill up my freezer now that I home.  I came across this recipe and had to share.  I’m excited to make these tomorrow and put some in my freezer for another night.   Thank you Sara with Our Best for the great recipe and pictures!!


Our Best Bites Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos intro

These come together fairly quickly, and an awesome bonus is that these freeze (unbaked) beautifully so you can make extra and have a meal for later.

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos
Original Recipe by Our Best Bites

1/3 cup (3 oz) cream cheese (low fat is fine, avoid fat free)
1/4 cup green salsa
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic, or garlic powder
3 Tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 Tablespoon sliced green onions
2 C shredded cooked chicken (for extra yumminess, use grilled taco chicken!)
1 C grated pepperjack or plain jack cheese
small flour or corn tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray or olive oil


You’ll need some cooked, shredded or diced chicken for this recipe.  You can use a mix of dark and/or white meat, or whatever is easiest.  For me, easiest is often a rotisserie chicken from Costco.

our best bites shredded chicken

The “creamy” component in this recipe comes from a couple of things.  For starters, I use a little bit of cream cheese.  It melts together with the shredded jack cheese to make an awesome creamy texture that coats the chicken.

our best bites cream cheeseYou can use either plain Jack cheese, or pepper jack if you’d like a little more heat.

our best bites pepperjack cheese

Some other things go in there for tons of flavor, like some green salsa,

our best bites green salsa

green onions, fresh lime juice, and plenty of seasonings.

our best bites green onion

Just mix it all up and your filling is done.

our best bites mixed taquito mix

You’ll place a few tablespoons on small flour, or corn tortillas and roll them up tight.  You’ll want to keep your filling about an inch away from both ends because it will leak out the ends.  Another trick is to roll them tight.  Don’t be loosey-goosey or they’ll fall apart.

our best bites chicken taquitos pre-roll
Once you get them all rolled up, you can either bake them immediately, OR

our best bites rolled up chicken taquitos

save them for later.  I’ve taken these to friends in a bag like this one below.  They’re great in the fridge for a few days and you can bake them up as needed.  Or you can freeze them and bake them straight from the freezer.  It’s totally worth it to make a double batch so you can pop one in the freezer!

Refrigerator Taquitos

To bake them immediately, lightly spray a foil-lined baking sheet with non-stick spray, or brush lightly with oil.  Place the taquitos in a single layer, not touching each other, and then lightly brush the tops with olive oil, or give them a quick spray of non-stick spray and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt.

our best bites rolled taquitos

Bake them in the oven until they turn golden brown, especially on the edges.

our best bites baked taquitos

You can see how the bottoms totally crisp up

our best bites baked taquito bottoms

and while that outside tortilla is perfectly crisp, the inside layers are soft and awesome.

our best bites taquito centers

These are seriously amazing.

Our Best Bites Chicken Taquitos

It is absolutely mandatory to serve them with our Creamy Lime-Cilantro dressing for dipping, but they’re also good with good ol’ salsa, sour cream, and guacamole.

Our Best Bites Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

If you’ve seriously never tried these, today is your day.  Put them on your menu plan!

Wanna make it a meal?
Serve with a side of Black Beans and a simple green salad with Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing. Wash it down with some Brazilian Lemonade!

Looking for the beef version? It’s right here!

Lastly, recently this recipe was noted in an article in the Chicago Sun-Times where the author noted that they were “some of the best taquitos I’ve ever had”

I’ll take it!

Egg in the Basket

We are always looking for inexpensive, tasty, easy to make freezer meals.  This one I learned from a friend last week.  Thank you Sunshine!  It is called Egg in the Basket.  Freezer meals don’t always have to be a casserole you pull out of the freezer and bake.  Most often, we pull ingredients out of the freezer to make a fresh meal.  Then add fresh ingredients to it.  This meal is called egg in the hole.  Ingredients needed:  Loaf of bread from your freezer (I usually store 4 in my freezer at all times), eggs and fresh toppings.  I love avocado and salsa.  My kids love maple syrup.

Step 1:  Use a cookie cutter to cut out the center of your piece of bread

Step 2:  Heat a frying pan, rub butter on the skillet or use cooking spray

Step 3:  Place cut out bread on the skillet

Step 4:  Crack an egg and pour into the hole in the bread.  I usually use 1/2 egg per piece of bread

Step 5:  Cook for 2 min then flip and cook the egg the rest of the way

Step 6:  Serve warm with maple syrup or salsa and freshly sliced avocado.  Enjoy!





Parmesan Chicken and Rice Bake featured on

Freezer Meals with Jenny Stanger Recipe Video

Jenny Stanger’s solution for the 5 p.m. ‘What’s for dinner?’ panic is to spend two hours, every two weeks, preparing two recipes, with each recipe large enough to make three family-size dinners. Planning ahead and freezing meals can simplify family life. Listen up busy moms!

Watch the how to video at

Most people don’t really hate cooking — they just hate the pressure and all the work of coming up with something for dinner every night of the week. You can build up a good supply of dinners in your freezer this way. Jenny says: “On the nights you feel like cooking, you can. But when you don’t feel like it, use those ‘frozen assets’ in the freezer. Along with more family time, freezer meals also help you save $200-$300 a month. Freezer meals save you time, money and sanity.”