Tiramisu Rice Pudding

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All the same indulgent flavors you love in a classic Tiramisu have been stirred into a creamy, healthy protein-packed rice pudding. It makes a great start to any day when it tastes like you’re eating dessert for breakfast, and with Tiramisu Rice Pudding that’s exactly what you get.

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Chicken Teriyaki Pineapple Rice Bowls

Some of the most gorgeous food presentations are often the ones that feature food served in other, edible food ‘dishes’. And that’s certainly true in this case with these Chicken Teriyaki Pineapple Rice Bowls.

Chicken Teriyaki Pineapple Boats 3

Juicy chunks of chicken are slow simmered in a homemade teriyaki sauce. Serve them with a generous scoop of pineapple infused rice in a hollowed out pineapple bowl for a meal that’s as easy on the eyes as it is on the palette.

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One Pot Sausage Jambalaya

Everybody runs their kitchens a little bit differently. It’s just one of those places that is immune to the laws and natural orders of the world and is totally unique to it’s user. And every cook is unique from their specific processes right on down to their individual food philosophies. We each have our favorite tricks of the trade and are partial to certain tools and certain methods. Be that as it may, there are certain things you’ll find in any well-stocked, well-used kitchen. They’re kitchen must-haves, and often their little multi-purpose, miracle working, border-line magical devices. Take the trusty dutch oven for example.

<Pardon the pause. I’ll be able to move on and find my train of thought again when the sons stop sniggering over my shoulder. Yes! I said Dutch oven. Now, moving right along …>

 Sausage Jambalaya

Its my my favorite one stop, one pot ‘thing’ in my entire kitchen.

Along with one pot recipes. Little one pot wonders. All cooked up in this bad boy right here. It even cooks up a perfect loaf of artisan style bread. See? Magic! If you don’t own a dutch oven, I’d highly, HIGHLY recommend investing in one. And if you’re thinking (like the hubs) that being limited on space as it is with X amount of people + Y amount of square cabinet space and = no more possible storage space for yet another kitchen gadget his crazy cook of a wife brings home, then you stop that right now. This instant. A dutch oven can do so many things you can potentially consolidate space. If not, then it’s definitely going to be a dirty dishes saver. And worst case scenario, you store that sucker in your oven. Out of sight, out of mind right? And for those days when you forget to check inside it before you turn it on, it’s oven safe 😉

And let me just mention again that this bad boy bakes. bread. Flawless, fool proof bread.

So, if you don’t have one … get one. Oh, and let’s add a nice little kick to our week night meal with the Cajun flavors of this jambalaya in a quick one pot meal that is also fool proof. And simple. Brown your meat, boil your rice, and mix everything together to finish cooking in the oven, all in one fantastic pot.

One Pot Sausage Jambalaya

Sausage Jambalaya 2

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp butter
2 packages kielbasa, or andoullie, sausage, thinly sliced
1 onion, roughly diced
1/2- 1 whole bell pepper, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp Cajun seasoning
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups long grain rice
2 (8 oz) cans of tomato sauce
2 cups chicken broth, or stock

Directions

1. Heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat, and once it’s good and hot, add in the oil and butter. Add in the sausage and allow it to brown a bit on both sides and caramelize. Remove the sausage to a bowl or a plate and set aside.
2. Next reduce the heat to medium/medium-low and add the onion, pepper, celery, and garlic to the sausage drippings in the dutch oven. Sprinkle the dry seasonings (paprika, garlic & onion powder, cumin, Cajun & Italian seasoning) over the veggies. Add the bay leaves and salt & pepper, as desired. Add in the tomato paste and let everything saute for a few minutes.
3. Add in the rice, stirring to make sure it’s evenly incorporated and well coated. Continue sauteing everything until the vegetables are just tender.
4. Add in the chicken broth and the tomato sauce, and return the sausage to the pot. Stir everything together, and salt and pepper again (if needed) to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil.
5. Turn off the heat, immediately cover the dutch oven with it’s lid, and transfer the dutch oven to an oven preheated to 375 degrees.
6. Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid.

If you don’t have a Dutch oven, fear not, you can still enjoy this meal at home. Follow steps 1-4 in a large pot or even a skillet. For step 5, transfer everything to a 9×13 casserole dish. Cover tightly with aluminum oil and bake as directed. You may need to add 45-10 minutes to the cook time to allow the rice to absorb all the liquid. Just keep an eye on it after the 30 minute mark.

Spicy Rice & Bean Burritos

We all really like Chipotle. In fact, if we’re going to grab a bite somewhere, that’s probably where we will end up. Son # 1 even more than the rest of us. We find him wandering around the house daily, greeting us with ‘Yaaasss, Chipotle is my liiiiiiiiiiiiiffffffffffffe.’ The jury’s still out on if it’s because he’s morphing into a perpetually misunderstood 16 year old in a week, or if it’s just because he’s him. Either way, we can always agree on the fact that a Chipotle burrito is friggin’ delicious. Sometimes there are little hiccups in our plans to go ‘grab a bite’ though. The number one being the major bump in the road of having 4 hungry boys and only one income. So last week when son # 2 went a whole day without complaining about any chores, even helping out with extras, and then asked could we grab a burrito while we were out running errands did I let the piddly little issue of my budget get in my way? Of course not! Budget smudget. Okay, not really. It didn’t get in the way because we just took a different route. We came home, stuck our heads together and created our own version, full of copy-cat-ish Chipotle burrito love.

These are fantastic. Don’t let their humble appearance fool you, these could easily give Chipotle a run for their money! They are pretty spicy, but coming from someone who doesn’t like spicy food and loves these, I would say not too spicy. Feel free to dial down the heat though by using less of the spices.  Or, if you’re feeling brave really into spicy food and want to crank up the heat, splash some hot sauce onto the rice mixture, or you could sprinkle a few diced jalapeno peppers on top of the filling before rolling up the tortilla. Not feeling a burrito today? This rice/bean filling is just as good served as a hearty rice dish served alongside spicy, or fiesta-style, grilled chicken.

Spicy Rice & Bean Burritos

 Spicy Rice & Bean Burritos

recipe adapted from A Bitchin Kitchen

1 tbsp olive oil
3 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp chili powder
1 pepper from a can of chipotles in adobo, minced
2 tsp sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo
1 tsp ground cumin
one large pinch of cayenne pepper
1/3 cup water
1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked rice
1/4 cup salsa
6 burrito-sized tortillas
8 oz shredded cheese, mexican blend, cheddar, or monterey jack
shredded lettuce
4 green onions, thinly sliced
fat-free Greek yogurt, or sour cream

Directions

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, chili powder, pepper, adobo sauce, cumin, and cayenne. Allow them to cook just until fragrant, only about 30-60 seconds. Add in the drained/rinsed beans and the water. Bring the filling to a simmer, and then lower the heat to medium-low and allow it to cook for 8 minutes, mashing the bean mixture slightly. Remove from heat, and stir in rice and salsa until everything is evenly combined.
2. Divide the mixture evenly among the center of each tortilla. Top the filling with cheese, lettuce, green onions, and greek yogurt as desired. Roll them up by folding over both side about 1 1/2 inches and then rolling up lengthwise to close/make the burrito, and serve!

Crockpot Chicken, Sausage, & Rice

An easy Cajun-style dinner, this Crockpot Chicken, Sausage, & Rice is quickly assembled in the bowl of your slow cooker, and comes out a perfect savory dinner that can easily feed a hungry crowd without any extra calories.
Crockpot Chicken, Sausage, & Rice

This easy Cajun and rice dinner is chock full of meat, making it the perfect low calorie meal on a family budget, especially since it’s bursting at the seams with flavor.

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{One Pot Wonder} Mexican Chicken & Rice

The great thing about this dish? (I mean besides the incredibly tasty flavors) It can all be made in one pot. All of it. Rice and all. It’s like magic. Dinner magic. One pot to dirty, one pot to clean, one delicious meal to consume. And if I haven’t convinced you yet… it’s quick. Super quick. Less than 30 minutes quick. Don’t believe me? Here, let me walk you through it.

Cook chicken –> stir everything else in –> let cook 20 minutes –>DONE. Piece. of. chicken & rice. cake.

{One Pot Wonder} Mexican Chicken & Rice

4 Sons 'R' Us: Mexican Chicken & Rice

recipe adapted from Yellow Bliss Road

Directions

1. Cut chicken into one inch pieces and season with salt & pepper. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add chicken. Cook until just barely browned, but not cooked through.
2. Add one cup of long grain white rice and saute for one minute. Add remaining ingredients, stir, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender and fluffy. If there is still liquid in the pan, uncover and simmer until the liquid is reduced.

4 Sons 'R' Us: Mexican Chicken & Rice 2

Buen provecho!

The Sock Snowman Tutorial

Christmas & Crafts. Two of my most favorite things EVER. Combined. This is what I’m talking about people. This is what I live for! These little guys, just the idea of them, stole my heart.

My best friend called me right after we’d put our kids on the bus to tell me about them, and I spent the rest of they day working on my own set in my spare time. Our four year old even got in on the action, helping me fill the socks, dress them, and glue on accessories. Of course, then I spent the rest of the day removing contraband (stolen rubber bands) from his possession as he tried to shoot things with them. Thanks, older sons for teaching him that little gem.

Either way, these adorable little creatures found their way into our home and are here to stay, at least until spring. Who knows, maybe they’ll even bring us a little luck and a little snow. (I walked in on son # 4 rubbing it’s belly and wishing for some of the white stuff to come our way. I’ll keep my fingers crossed along with him) This is the perfect craft idea for kids (and adults) this Thanksgiving day/weekend as we usher in the Holiday season. Plus, it helps to have something constructive for them to do and be entertained while the adults wait out their tryptophan carbohydrate-induced coma. 😉

The Sock Snowman Tutorial

4 Sons 'R' Us: Sock Snowman Photo Tutorial 2

one white tube sock, or more depending on how many snowmen you’re making
decorative socks (optional)
rice, for filler
rubber bands
buttons
something for the nose, I used different buttons but feel free to be creative (the tip of a wooden skewer painted orange would work VERY well

Directions

4 Sons 'R' Us: sock snowman photo tutorial

1. Cut the foot part off of your sock and set aside.
2. Turn the tube part of your sock inside out and wrap a rubber band around the bottom.  Make sure it is wrapped tightly.  Then turn it inside out again so the rubber band is on the inside.
3. Fill the sock with rice.  Be sure to push the rice down as you go.  This will help stretch the sock a bit and ensure that you get a nice plump snowman in the end.  Then, close the top by wrapping another rubber band around the top as shown in the photo above.
4. Squeeze the middle of your snowman until you’ve created an indention to separate it’s ‘head’ and ‘body’. Wrap another rubber band around the indention to create a ‘neck’.
5. Using the foot part of the sock, put on your snowman’s hat/nightcap.
6. If desired, remove the hat and cut a thin strip to use as his scarf. Otherwise, use a scrap of fabric.
7. Tie the scarf and make sure it’s covering up the rubber band neck.
8. Add button eyes and buttons down the body. If you want to get creative, use an old sock that’s lost it’s mate to make a sweater and matching cap. Again, cut the foot away from the tube of the sock. Use the foot as the cap and cut the tube part to fit the belly of your snowman.

Quick Tips:

-Using old socks with missing mates will prevent you from having to buy new socks for the project
-Rice isn’t the only option as a filler. Beans would work well too.
-Consider adding some potpourri to the inside with the rice or beans to help scent the room you’ve chosen to display your snowman in.
-All of my socks came from  The Dollar Tree. They have a large variety of color and designs to choose from, and can help keep this craft on a budget. Also, consider checking the dollar bins at Target.

Seriously, how cute are these little guys?!

4 Sons 'R' Us: sock snowmen

While I love all of my snowchildrenmen, I do have a favorite. (I can’t tell them that though!) The sock ‘sweater’ just tickles my fancy. Isn’t he just too cute? All bundled up and just absolutely adorable! What a dapper little dude. Here he is all ‘up close, and personal’. You just can’t help but love himthem.

4 Sons 'R' Us: sock snowman