Monday, November 21, 2011

Chicken Soup for your soul.....

On this edition of "Jason and Staci Cook Dinner" we have Chicken Soup made in the good ole crock pot. The best thing about this meal is it is SUPER easy and its made with your judgement, meaning you decide what spices to use, of course i can guide you if you'd like....but every one likes to put there own flare on this type of classic meal. :)

First Gather your ingredients like so...

that would be:

15- 20 baby carrots cut up

1 large onion cut up

3 long pieces of celery cut up (im real professional as you can clearly tell by my big vocabulary)

2 jalapeno peppers (we ended up using only one and it still came out ridiculous spicy but use your judgement, the greener the spicier)

1 can of cream of chicken and mushroom (its a combo not two different cans)

Some chicken broth (see im super professional right here :) ) we used reduced sodium and a lil more than half the box.

Some water

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Salts and spices of your choosing (we used real parsley, dried celery leaves, some minced garlic, garlic salt and some pepper)


So first you cut up your celery, onion, jalapenos and carrots (didn't take pic of onions or jalapenos because it was 530 in the am and i could barely hold my arms up :) )


Put the veggies, the three breasts, the water and the reduced sodium (equal parts) and your spices into the crock pot.....
Then....and this is the best part.....set your crock pot on low and walk away :) Come back eight hours later, chop up some avocado to top it off, and you have your self a MEAL like so....


Enjoy!!




Monday, November 14, 2011

Black Bean Turkey Chili, YUM!

On tonights edition of Jason and Staci cook dinner, only Staci cooked ;) and i decided to make Black Bean Turkey Chili for din!! It is made with 99% lean turkey meat which makes it much healthier and it is just as delicious as if it were cow meat yo....

So first gather all your ingredients like so....

Here is a list just incase you cant see all the goodness in the pic....


Ingredients

1 package Extra Lean Ground Turkey Breast

1 cup onion, coarsely chopped (i used a red onion for more flavor)

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch cubes (i didnt have this so i did without it, didnt miss it either)

2 cloves garlic, minced (used a tablespoon of ALREADY minced garlic because really who has that kinda time)

2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced, if desired ( i used a cup and a half of sliced pickled jalapenos)

1 tablespoon chili powder (this is a lil much considering you have jalapenos AND crushed red pepper so use discretion...i have a family FULL of people who love spicy so it worked for us but it was SPICY)

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, if desired

2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans of low sodium whole tomatoes, coursely chopped

1 (8 ounce) tomato sauce

1 (14 1/2 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (did without this didnt miss it)

1/4 cup low fat cheddar cheese, shredded


So make sure if you just scrolled through the ingredients that you read through them cause i made a few adjustments that might help you in the way of ingredients....

So i didnt have ground coriander so i had to actually grind it up myself...i have this handy little food processor that attaches to my mixer (amazing i know) and so i threw a bunch of coriander seeds in there and whala....ground coriander...i had to let it grind for about 4 mins before it actually became powder like...


My hubs says I'm a messy cook, and ill admit, i am....he tried to help me by telling me to measure out all my ingredients before hand but that just made it MUCH worse for me.....but heres a pic to show i at least tried :) So now that you have all your ingredients measured out and ready to go combine your extra lean ground turkey breast, onion, red bell pepper, garlic, jalapeño peppers, chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, marjoram, and red pepper flakes in a large stock pot and cook until the meat is cooked through... Then add to the mix your tomatoes and your tomato paste....make sure you don't drain your tomatoes leave the juice in the mix, let it begin to boil and then turn down the heat and let simmer for 10 mins.... Then drain and wash off your black beans like so... Add black beans to the pot and stir in, cook for 10 more mins......... After ten mins your chili should be all ready to go add your cheese and extra chopped red onion and you have your self a MEAL!! I was gonna add some avocado to the top as a garnish but our three avocado were all nasty :( if you like cilantro you can add that as well, if you wanna make it fattening you can add some awesome corn chips too!! ENJOY!!





Monday, November 7, 2011

Marmalade Chicken



So tonight we decided to cook Marmalade Chicken, I found the recipe on a Eating well website and its very low in calories but sounded really tasty, and for a side, since we still have some brussel sprouts left in the four pounds we bought we decided to have sauteed brussels, onions and zucchini for a side.

First gather all the ingredients:

  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade (i used just a tad more like 2 and a half tablespoons cause i like sweet :) )
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 pound chicken tenders, (we used two large chicken breasts and cut them into three's)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest (did without this)

    Once you have all your ingredients measured out then you combine the broth, vinegar, marmalade, mustard, and cornstarch in a medium bowl like so......and whisk it

    Then prepare your chicken, cut it into strips if you have breasts and then salt and pepper each side like so....

    Heat 4 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

    Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and shallots to the pan and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, about 30 seconds.
    Whisk the broth mixture and add it to the pan. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer; cook until the sauce is slightly reduced and thickened, 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

    Add the chicken; return to a simmer. Cook, turning once, until the chicken is heated through, about 1 minute.
    This is where you would remove from the heat and stir in orange zest, but i didnt add the orange zest and it turned out just as yummy :) we left this on the stove at low heat simmering while we chopped up our brussels onions and zucchini like so .....
    we then brought a sauce pan filled with water to a boil and softened the zuchinni and brussels, then we added a lil olive oil to another pan and sauteed the vegtables until they browned and softened a bit more.
    AND WHA LA....Marmalade chicken with sauteed vegetables....

    ENJOY!!!

    Thursday, November 3, 2011

    First Edition of Jason and Staci Make Dinner

    With Jason's recent diagnoses we have really tried to focus on our health, we've been doing crossfit with some of our close friends and trying to eat healthy as well. Jason is an amazing cook and so i figured I could start sharing some of the things we make.

    First up Cilantro Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa. And on the side "Orange Saucy Brussel sprouts! YUM!!

    Here are the ingredients:


    • Chicken:
    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • Cooking spray
    • Salsa:
    • 1 cup chopped plum tomato (about 2) (we used cherry tomatoes and cut them in half)
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
    • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 avocado, peeled and finely chopped


      First you start with making the salsa, chop up all your ingredients and put them all together in a bowl like so...

      Then squeeze in the lime and mix gently so as not to mash up the avocado.

      place the salsa in the fridge while you prepare the chicken.

      To prepare the chicken preheat the oven to 375, mix all the ingredients and marinate for up to 10 minutes like so...

      Then spray your baking pans and place the chicken like so...

      Put in the oven till cooked through.

      Moving onto the Brussel sprouts. We bought this 2 lb bag at Costco

      You will need freshly squeezed juice from one large orange, about a table spoon of butter, a teaspoon of ground ginger, salt and pepper, teaspoon of cornstarch and 12-15 sprouts cut in half, like so.....

      Bring some water to a boil and place the sprouts in for about 5 mins or until soft.

      once they are soft add butter to pan and then sprouts, let that start simmering then add your juice, your spice, your salt and pepper and your corn starch to thicken the sauce.

      cook for about 5 mins and WHA LA you have Orange Saucy brussel sprouts.

      Place the chicken on the place and cover with the salsa, add your side of sprouts and you have a FABULOUS meal!! Enjoy!!






      Wednesday, October 5, 2011

      Indianapolis Indiana



      Last weekend or rather the weekend before on my sweet 10 year olds bday we got a call from a Doctor that Jason had been talking to, this Doctor is Jason's Uncle mikes oncologist and he has been amazing, calling to put Jason's mind at ease on his own time...were talking hour long convo's, anyway, we got a call from him after Jason sent all his records up for him to take a look, the Doc was concerned about the reports that stated there was a nodule on Jason's left lung and he didn't understand why there hadn't been more tests run. This type of cancer spreads in a particular pattern and the lungs is where it typically metastasizes to, Jason and I were a little put off by that as well and just felt like visiting this Doctor in the great state of Indiana would help Jason make the best decisions, so off we went for a Chest CT and another Abdominal CT. Basically this was jason's first round of surveillance since its been about 2 months.

      We had some time to kill before the doc could see us, and i had just finished my 2 quarter of nursing school FROM HELL, so we decided to make it a vacation....besides I had never met uncle mike (jason's dads brother) and Jason hadn't seen him since he was a young boy so off we went last friday. We got an amazing deal at one of the best hotels in IND according to Jay's uncle because we were visiting the Cancer center, I mean to tell u it was a fancy pants kinda place, and since it is so central we were able to walk everywhere which was great excersise...the weather was TO DIE FOR in the 60's and 70's the whole time with clear blue skies....

      we even made a trip to the local zoo and it was one of the most amazing places i had ever been...the trees had just started turning and the animals seemed so happy and content.

      we even walked along a canal there by the university and the area was just beautiful...

      Some more pics of the beautiful animals

      and the changing trees....
      This was the most wonderful part of the zoo, this tiger came right up to the window and just rubbed its body back and forth like one of my cats...just so amazing...

      We had SUCH a blast and it was SO relaxing...we needed that time so badly..and meeting Uncle Mike, Uncle Kevin and adopted uncle Terri was the best part....what a lovely bunch of Uncles ;) (pictures to come of them)

      One day we even laid in the grass by the canal and just rested....such a beautiful time.


      When it was time for the scan we felt rested and ready for anything....but thankfully Jason's CT was clean! The doc stayed with us for some time answering our questions and putting us at ease with the decision to continue monitoring...because of his teratoma Jason will have to be monitored for AT LEAST 10 years....but we are confidant with the team of Doctors we have and the support of our family and friends if anything should come of it Jason will be taken care of .

      I am just so blown away by how strong Jason has remained, and how wonderful of an example he has been. Please continue to pray for him as u think of it. Again, ur support has been amazing...i cant thank u all enough!

      Friday, September 16, 2011

      My Ranch Chic Cowboy


      So this year on our anniversary we are facing some pretty devastating things, however, God is still good and wonderful things have come from the devastation. One of those things is Jason being given the opportunity to participate in a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society that benefits Cancer survivors as a, get this, male model for The Ranch Chic Fashion Show. :)

      Not only was he honored that he was asked to do this but super stoked to show everyone his "blue steel" and "magnum" poses. .....well not really but we will pretend he was....in reality, Jason was really struggling with getting up in front of people and strutin his stuff, but with my encouragement, and a lil liquid courage, i said a little ;) he did a FANTASTIC job!!

      Here is a pic of the catwalk pre-show

      The very cool thing about this show is that not only was there real models, and local celebrities, but there were several models that were cancer survivors, which is why Jason was asked to participate.

      The clothes were amazing, i had such a blast watching all the models.

      The guy in the picture below is a cancer survivor and is responsible for starting a bone marrow registry called Marrow Match you can visit his website at www.themarrowmatch.com, please visit his site if you can, VERY inspiring story which is one of the reasons i am SO thankful for last night. We got to meet and visit with several cancer survivors, what a blessing for my husband to be able to connect with people who truly understand what he is going through.






      Below is Kens 5 weatherman Bill Taylor, he had me in stitches every time he walked down the runway...hilarious.
      And without further ado, here is MY man, my lil cowboy cassanova...


      DANNNG!
      Yes, he did....

      But the most amazing part of the night was when the cancer survivors got to tell their stories....this is a pic of our friend from church Wendy, who has survived stage four breast cancer, and continues to fight.....if she can get through it.... then we can get through it for sure!

      My man did such an amazing job, and such an inspiration, he had SO many people coming up to him after to thank him and or say they were praying for him....he even had several ladies and lil ladies wanting to take pics with him ;)
      Over all it was one of the best anniversaries of our 11 year marriage. I am SO grateful for my husbands present health and for his unconditional love. I don't know what i would do with out him and with out all the amazing support HE provides me. Next year, if you can, i encourage you to attend. It was a wonderful/inspirational time and for such an amazing cause.

      till next time!!