Category Archives: Healthy And Delicious

Oven-baked Honey Mustard Chicken

This is comfort food – a warm slice of chicken coated in a sweet and tangy honey mustard sauce on a bed of rice with a side of broccoli. From the very hodge-podge cook comes your new favorite recipe.

Did I also mention it’s easy to make and fast too?

Oven-baked Honey Mustard Chicken

Start with 4 ingredients: your favorite cut of chicken, yellow mustard, honey, and cumin (or kickin’ spice of choice).

Start with 4 ingredients: your favorite cut of chicken, yellow mustard, honey, and cumin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8×8 or 9×11 pan with foil, for a crowd of 2 or 6, respectively.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8x8 or 9x11 pan with foil, for a crowd of 2 or 6, respectively.

Mix the honey and mustard in a measuring cup (preferably glass) in a 1:1 ratio, about 1/4 cup of each for 2 servings, about 3/4 cup each for 6 servings. Sprinkle the cumin or spice on top – just a dash for a small batch, something more for a large batch. Stir thoroughly.

Mix the honey and mustard in a measuring cup.

Place a bit of your homemade honey mustard sauce in the bottom of your foil pan, just enough to kind of coat the bottom. Layer chicken pieces on top. Pour the remaining sauce on top of that. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the inside of the chicken pieces is at least 165 degrees.

Coat, place, slather, bake.

Let cool for a few minutes, then slice. Serve with rice and broccoli with extra sauce from the pan over it all.

Serve with rice and broccoli with extra sauce from the pan over it all.

  • Enough chicken to feed you and your guests, any cut (boneless, skinless chicken breasts pictured)
  • Yellow mustard (also called salad mustard)
  • Honey
  • Cumin (or kickin’ spice of choice)

Two Servings (4 chicken tenderloins or 1 chicken breast):

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8×8 glass pan with foil. Mix 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup mustard in a measuring cup. Add a dash of spice-of-choice on top. Stir thoroughly.

Place a bit of your homemade honey mustard sauce in the bottom of your foil pan, just enough to kind of coat the bottom. Layer chicken pieces on top. Pour the remaining sauce on top of that. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the inside of the chicken pieces is at least 165 degrees.

Let cool for a few minutes, then slice. Serve with rice and broccoli with extra sauce from the pan over it all.

Six Servings (12+ chicken tenderloins or 3 chicken breasts/thighs):

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×11 glass pan with foil. Mix 3/4 to 1 cup honey and equal parts mustard in a measuring cup. Add a sprinkle of spice-of-choice on top. Stir thoroughly.

Place a bit of your homemade honey mustard sauce in the bottom of your foil pan, just enough to kind of coat the bottom. Layer chicken pieces on top. Pour the remaining sauce on top of that. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the inside of the chicken pieces is at least 165 degrees.

Let cool for a few minutes, then slice. Serve with rice and broccoli with extra sauce from the pan over it all.


Pizza Quesadillas

Pizza Quesadillas

Whilst trolling the interwebs for something yummy, I came across this great recipe for pizza quesadillas. Think Totino’s pizza rolls, but bigger and healthier with real pepperoni and cheese. I’ve made these several times since then since it’s such a quick dinner. So quick, I often forget that I need to flip and end up with slightly-burned quesadillas. It adds to the flavor, I tell myself.

Source: Snixy Kitchen

Substitute your favorite pizza toppings - sausage, olives, mushrooms, onions, green pepper, bacon...the possibilities are endless.

Start with your basic pizza ingredients – sauce, seasoning, toppings, and cheese – and add tortillas in whatever size. I used really big tortillas because I spend less time cooking by making three large quesadillas instead of six small ones.

Don't over-do the sauce. Just enough to give some flavor and some "stick" for the rest of the toppings.

Spread 1-2 tablespoons of tomato or pizza sauce, layer on pepperoni, and top with some Italian seasonings. If you don’t have a good Italian blend, substitute a sprinkle of oregano, basil, and a smidge of fennel.

This time I used some whole-fat Kasar cheese, thinly sliced, for some extra flavor. Try to use shredded or paper-thin slices of cheese since it needs to melt rather quickly.

Top with cheese of your choice. Any cheese will work, but mozzarella will give that authentic pizza taste.

You're probably thinking "That escalated quickly." Truth is, tortillas in a pan are boring and difficult to compose in a photograph well.
Cover with a second tortilla and cook over medium heat in a large pan about 1-2 minutes each side – no need to use oil in the pan either. Be very careful if you’re using an electric stove – about 30 seconds for the second side is long enough. Use a large knife to cut into desired size.

Notice how slices 2 and 4 are slightly cripsy. They are the reverse side of that tortilla, and while shooting this, I was meanwhile burning another quesadilla even worse. Such is life.

Serve with additional sauce on the side for dipping.

My recipe:

  • 6 large (8-10″) tortillas
  • 1 can of traditional tomato sauce
  • 1/2 package of pepperoni
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • Italian seasoning

Spread 1-2 tablespoons of tomato sauce on a tortilla. Layer pepperoni, seasoning, and cheese. Cover with a second tortilla and cook over medium heat in large pan for 1-2 minutes each side or until cheese is melted. Cut into slices and serve with sauce on the side.

Makes 3 pizza quesadillas (enough for 2 adults).

Garlic Lime Chicken Bites

Garlic Lime Chicken Bites

Who doesn’t love Superbowl food? Even if you can’t stand football, there’s no excuse for passing up another “this is a holiday, calories don’t count” day. These are a hodge-podged attempt at making a non-spicy version of buffalo turkey meatballs and they’re gluten-free to boot.

Source: inspired by I Breathe I’m Hungry‘s Buffalo Balls.

Ingredients for chicken bites only: ground chicken, cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, butter, onion, egg, pepper. Sauce ingredients listed below.

Gather up your stuff: ground chicken, cream cheese (only 2 oz.), mozzarella cheese, an onion, an egg, and black pepper. You’ll also need ingredients later for the sauce – that’s where the butter goes, but I didn’t read the whole recipe before photographing. Silly me.

It will taste better than it looks at this stage.

Dump all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well, preferably using hands, until cream cheese is well incorporated. (Be sure to remove any rings or bracelets before this part; ground meat is impossible to get out of fine jewelry.)

Halfway through baking, before dipping. Don't worry if they ooze a little. This will go away in the next step.

Form into balls using a tablespoon measurement or small cookie scoop and place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

The start of the sauce: butter, juice of a lime, and some garlic seasoning.

Meanwhile, start your sauce. Begin with some butter, juice a lime, and dash in some garlic and seasonings. Minced garlic or fresh-pressed garlic would be even better, but any mix of Italian spices and ground garlic works just fine.

Notice how much more butter is required. We like butter.

Add more butter. Seriously, do it. I ended up adding at least 6 tablespoons since I ran out of sauce after the first batch and had to make more. Having leftovers for dipping sauce is nice too.

These golden babies are good enough to eat.

Remove chicken bites from oven and dip/dunk/slather in garlic lime sauce. Return to pan and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes or until beginning to crisp and brown on the top. Serve with leftover sauce for dipping.

My recipe:

Chicken bites:

  • 1lb ground chicken (or turkey)
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 4-6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned garlic powder OR 1 teaspoon minced garlic/2 garlic cloves and 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all chicken bites ingredients in a bowl and mix well with hands or spoon. Form into balls with tablespoon measurement and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile, combine lime juice, butter, and seasonings in small saucepan and melt. Remove bites from oven, dunk in sauce, and return to pan. Bake for additional 10-12 minutes or until bites begin to brown. Serve with leftover sauce for dipping.

Makes approximately 24 chicken bites.

Healthier Mac and Cheese (from the Blue Box)

Healthier Mac & Cheese (from the Blue Box)

Ever wonder how basic macaroni and cheese could be healthier? Or tastier? Or just plain different? Get all three with this twist on the childhood classic.

Source: low-fat, low-cholesterol cookbook and brainstorming with Dad.

Box of mac and cheese, tuna, sour cream, milk, and peas or veggie of your choice.

Grab your box of mac and cheese of choice plus a can of tuna, some milk and sour cream, and a vegetable of your choice. Notice that there’s no butter in this one.

Almost done! Macaroni is really easy to tell when it's al dente - it turns a lighter color on the ends.

Cook the noodles according to directions and drain.

Sauce ingredients. Leave the peas until after you've combined the rest or else you can get smashed pea sauce too. I know from experience on this one.

Add sauce ingredients to the warm pan (keep pan on low for best results): 2 tablespoons of milk, 1/3 cup of sour cream, cheese packet, can of tuna (drained), and about half a cup of vegetable. I can see this working well with peas, carrots, mushrooms, or broccoli.

Looks like baby food, but I promise it taste delicious.

Stir well until mixed and warm. Add noddles back to pan and continue stirring until fully incorporated. Don’t be afraid of keeping the burner on low.



  • Store-bought macaroni and cheese box
  • 2 tablespoons milk (I used skim)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas or vegetable of choice
  • 1 can tuna in water, drained

Boil water and cook noodles according to box. Drain. Mix milk, sour cream, tuna, peas, and cheese sauce packet in pan on low heat until mixed. Add noodles to pan and mix thoroughly. Serve hot. Makes enough to serve 4 kids or 3 adults.

Note: I substituted the sour cream for butter without my husband’s permission and he noticed a difference in the taste immediately. I didn’t taste any difference, but I sure felt better about subbing 4 tablespoons butter for the reduced-fat sour cream. If you’re not ready to try such a drastic substitution, replace 2 tablespoons butter with 1/4 cup sour cream and adjust until the sauce is a desired creaminess.

Chocolate Applesauce Muffins

Chocolate Applesauce Muffins

This is what happens when you have a hankering for chocolate muffins but don’t want the calories. I went out searching for a chocolate applesauce muffin recipe after making applesauce pancakes this morning. Not too sweet, sayeth the husband, and also not too dense. Good for breakfast, snack, or dessert.

Source: ButterYum (muffin recipe) and Six Sisters’ Stuff (baking tips)

Ingredients: butter, sugar, eggs, cocoa powder, applesauce, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt

Preheat the oven to 350. Gather your ingredients, as always. (That’s flour and sugar in the background containers.) Use room temperature butter or cut it into small chunks so it will cream well.

Use a hand or electric mixer. Unless you're a masochist and like cramping hands plus chunks of butter in your muffins.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl.

Add the applesauce after you mix in the eggs and cocoa powder. Or don' me.

Add eggs and powdered cocoa. Fold in applesauce.

Stir in rest of remaining dry ingredients. Hopefully yours looks more in focus than this one.

Add remaining ingredients and stir until mixed. If you continue mixing it will introduce air bubbles and really fluff up.

Fill 3/4 full or 4/5 full or anything over half full, really.

Fill the muffin tin at least half full, closer to 3/4 full if you can manage.

Lowering the temperture of the oven does something. I just know it makes them rise up and make a nice cupcake dome.

As you put the muffins in the oven, lower the temperature to 325 degrees.

Remove from tin and let cool. Or don't.

Bake for 25-28 minutes. Remove from tin and let cool for 5 minutes.


  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup powdered Dutch cocoa
  • 1.5 cup applesauce (cinnamon flavored is fine)
  • 1.75 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs and cocoa. Fold in applesauce. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fill muffin tins about three-quarters full. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake for 25-28 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Frost if desired.

Makes 12 muffins.

Caramelized Squash with Nutmeg and Cinnamon

Caramelized Squash with Nutmeg and Cinnamon
I don’t really do squash. It’s orange, which is my favorite color, but I never could get around the strange texture and almost bitter taste. Then I discovered this recipe and it was all over for me – I’m hooked. It makes enough for four people who like it and one person who was forced to try some (I won’t say whom).

Source: Ina Garten’s Caramelized Butternut Squash

Ingredients: squash of choice, brown sugar, butter, salt, pepper, nutmeg (not pictured), cinnamon (not pictured).

As per most things that are hodge-podge cooked, not all the ingredients are pictured. There’s your squash, brown sugar, butter, and salt and pepper, but I also added a dash of ground nutmeg and cinnamon as well. It could have used more spices, but I didn’t want to overpower it, this being my first squash recipe and all.

Halve, hollow, peel.

Take the squash and cut it in half, hollow out the seeds, and peel off the skin with a vegetable peeler. This is the easy part.

Dice. Lay out on greased foil. Photograph. (Last step optional.)

Dice up the squash and lay out on a greased pan (if lining with foil, still grease with cooking spray for easy scooping later). The smaller you dice it, the faster it will cook. This may take up to thirty minutes altogether, especially if this is your first time trying to peel and dice a massive squash. The good news is, one squash should feed about four and a half people.

Everything good has butter in it. Julie and Julia say so. They're right.

Melt the butter and stir in the brown sugar and spices. I only used a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon, but I’d be willing to try up to 1/8 teaspoon of each. Stir the glaze well and pour over the squash. Roll around the squash with your hands until it’s mostly coated with the glaze. Bake at 400 for 45-50 minutes, turning squash about every 15 minutes so it cooks and browns evenly.

Just like that, it's done. Sort of.

My recipe:

  • 1 squash, approximately 2-3 lbs. (I used butternut, but I can imagine this would taste good with any winter squash)
  • 4-5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (or to taste)
  • dash of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half, hollow out seeds, remove skin with a vegetable peeler, and dice into 1″ or 1/2″ cubes. Line 9×13 or 11×17 pan with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. Lay out squash on pan. Melt butter and mix brown sugar and spices to make glaze, stirring well. Pour glaze over squash and turn to cover. Bake for 45-50 minutes, turning squash every 15 minutes to prevent burning. Serve warm. Makes approximately 4 servings.

General Tso’s Chicken

General Tso's Chicken

Source: Generation Y Foodie

New year, new resolutions – right? That’s the way life goes sometimes. My New Year’s Resolution was to post something again. Four months of guilt is simply too much for me to handle. So without further adieu, I present the latest recipe: baked General Tso’s Chicken.

Ingredients: Oy vey. Just take it one bottle at a time and we'll make it through all right.

Gather your ingredients. All of them should be available in your local grocery store, though you might need to look in the ethnic/Chinese aisle for hoisin sauce and sesame oil.

I used a gallon-sized bag for this since individually dunking and tapping excess gets a little tedious. Beware that it's possible to have incomplete coverage since the chicken can tend to clump.

Dice the chicken into about 1″ cubes and coat with 2 tablespoons cornstarch.

If you don't spray the foil, your chicken can stick to the foil. It works, but it's a lot of hassle. A lot.

Line a 9×13 pan with foil, lightly spray with cooking spray, and spread out the chicken. I baked my chicken at 375 for 12 minutes and then shut the oven off to keep the chicken warm since my sauce wasn’t ready yet.

This is where you add the other liquids. Or you could be like me and forget the vinegar until after the sauce is on the meat. It still tasted fine.

Speaking of sauce, combine garlic, ginger, and sesame oil in a pan and saute until garlic is slightly browned. I used ground ginger instead of fresh so mine didn’t take long to start sticking to the pan. Add other liquids – soy sauce, broth, vinegar, honey, tomato paste and hoisin sauce. Simmer for a few minutes, stirring until the paste and hoisin sauce are fully incorporated.

About that clumping cornstarch, it really does happen if you don't dissolve it first. I tried it with a soup once. Never again.

Dissolve 1 teaspoon cornstarch in about 1/4 cup of cold water and stir until well-mixed. If you try to add cornstarch or other thickener to a hot liquid, it will clump and not dissolve. Trust me on this one. Add cornstarch and water to sauce and simmer until thickened slightly.

Why wasn't my sauce ready when the meat was done? It's those veggies at the top there. I hodge-podge'd a stir fry from scratch without a sauce. Nearly crisped some broccoli trying to get it all timed right.

Once sauce is thickened to drops off the spoon and not a stream of liquid, remove from heat. Place chicken in a bowl and coat with sauce. Toss chopped scallions (about three) and toasted sesame seeds on top.

To eliminate using another dish, put the chicken from the oven directly into your serving bowl and pour the sauce on top, then stir to coat.

My recipe:


  • 1 pound chicken tenderloin, diced to 1″ cubes
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch


  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (I omitted by accident and it turned out just as tasty)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water


  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 375. Toss died chicken with 2 tbsp corn starch in gallon-sized bag. Cover 9×13 pan with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. Spread chicken chunks into a single layer and bake for 12-15 minutes.
For sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine garlic, ground ginger and sesame oil and saute for 2 minutes or until garlic begins to brown. Add soy sauce, broth, vinegar, honey, tomato paste and hoisin sauce. Simmer on medium heat for 4-5 minutes, making sure to completely incorporate tomato paste and hoisin sauce. Dissolve 1 tsp of cornstarch in 1/4 cup of cold water. Add cornstarch to sauce mixture, stirring frequently for 3-4 minutes until it begins to thicken.
Remove chicken from oven and toss with sauce. Sprinkle sesame seeds and scallions for garnish. Serve with rice and steamed vegetables for a full meal.
If desired, double the amount of sauce and use half for coating steamed or stir fry vegetables.

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