The phrase "stubborn as a mule" took on a whole new meeting these determined and headstrong animals at the Grand Canyon.🤣 These beautiful animals were tenacious and unshakable and all kinds of stubborn. 🐴 But, it turns out - stubborn mules are the perfect mode of transportation for anyone who wants a great view of the Grand canyon.🌄
Safe to say we were all beginners to the world of mule riding. It's a good thing that the animals knew what they were doing and where they were going. 😂 It didn't take us long to realize that we'd all get along much better if we just trusted the mules to take the lead and do what they are trained to do.
We all have our strengths. My power move is cooking chicken. 🐓😅 I never set out to be a master of chicken --- I think it just happened out of necessity. I like to eat chicken and don't want to prepare it in the same way all the time, so I taught myself how to cook it in as many different ways that I could.
If you're a fan of pan seared chicken with a super tasty pan sauce - you need to try this Chicken with Pearl Couscous recipe. The list of ingredients is long but this chicken is big on flavor. It just doesn't get any better than chicken with lemon, spinach, carrots, mint and pistachios.
Chicken with Pearl Couscous
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 bone in chicken thighs
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
1 1/2 cups pearl couscous
1 3/4 cups water
2 cups baby spinach, chopped coarse
1 cup torn mint leaves
1/2 cup pistachios, shelled
Fold in spinach, mint and pistachios.
Transfer to serving platter with chicken.
This is warm, winter comfort food at its finest. Flavorful chicken on a bed of creamy couscous and vegetables - I'm all in.😅 And I think you're going to love it too.
I't's been 21 years since I've lived in a cold weather climate but I still crave a little dose of cold weather and snow at Christmas.❄️ There's just something about bundling up and breathing in cool, crisp December air that puts me in the spirit of the holidays.🧣 And last month, the South rim of the Grand Canyon delivered my annual dose of snow!
Snow, cold weather and all the incredible views of the canyon!
I don't know if I love the cold for the cold or if I love it because it's a great excuse to eat and drink all the warm comfort foods. I think maybe the latter is true and I tolerate the cold so that I can justify drinking a giant cup of whipped cream topped hot chocolate. I've managed to convince myself that I can actually shiver so much that I burn off all the calories in my drink. 🍫
Hot chocolate is my guilty pleasure in cold climates but I also really love to warm up with bowls of warm and hearty soup. Soup is one of my comfort foods, maybe because I can remember my mom making homemade soup when I was a kid. If you've ever spent time in Ohio, you know that soup is crucial to surviving the long Northeast Ohio winters.
This Creamy Tortilla Soup is inspired by the Chick Fil A tortilla soup recipe. It's creamy and rich but it contains no dairy. The secret is to puree the beans and use them as a thickener for this yummy, protein rich soup. If you're a fan of the famous fast food chain's tortilla soup - you need to try this copy cat recipe. And you don't have to be in a cold climate to enjoy it.
Creamy Tortilla Soup
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
3 cans Cannellini Beans, 15 oz each
2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, 10 oz each
1 can cream style corn 15 oz
1 can whole kernel corn 15 oz
1 can black beans 15 oz
1 lb cooked chicken, shredded
1 lime, juiced
Simmer 15-20 minutes. Squeeze in lime juice.
Today's a chilly day in Georgia so a bowl of warm, creamy tortilla soup sounds just about perfect right now. 😋
I made my first trip to Arizona last month and I was obsessed with the landscape. More specifically - the cactus. 🌵
There are just some things I just can't resist. A sign that says "Caution, do not touch", for example, I take as a personal challenge. 🤣🌵 I have no explanation. It's the same phenomena that compels me to eat copious amounts of pasta even though I know it might not be in my best interest and have adverse effects on my waistline.
Quick and easy pasta dishes are my kryptonite. And this yummy dish has vegetables, protein and just enough cheese and butter to make it irresistible.
Linguini with Broccolini and Pancetta
1 cup panko
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound broccolini, stalks cut into 1" pieces, florets left whole
1 Tablespoon + teaspoon salt
1 pound linguini
1/4 cup olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4" pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
4 Tablespoons butter
Remove from heat. Stir in parmesan and butter. Adjust consistency with reserved pasta water.
Transfer to serving dishes. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
I would like to introduce you to Penny, the peregrine falcon.
The incredible Penny, is a resident at the Kay el Bar ranch and we were lucky enough to be able to watch her work during our stay at the ranch. My daughter in law even took part in feeding her one of her morning snacks. (You can see by the expression on her face that she was a little surprised when the falconer plopped a chicken head in her hand. 🤣)
Watching Penny fly, while the sun rose on the horizon was a great way to start the day. And the sunrise over the dessert wasn't a bad view either. Mornings were magical on the ranch.
Another part of what made our mornings on the ranch so special were the hearty breakfast buffets. The chef prepared the most delicious morning meals for us every single day. Eggs, pancakes, potatoes, waffles, fruit, oatmeal, yogurt, sausage, bacon - you name it - we ate it. 😂 I mean, we needed the energy to be able to participate in all of the ranch activities, after all. 🤣🐎
The truth is, I crave a big breakfast even when I'm not heading out for a 2 hour trail ride through the Arizona dessert. 🤣🐎 I go to bed at night, thinking about what I'm going to eat for breakfast - so yes, my morning meal is important to me. These breakfast enchiladas have the lean protein and vegetables to keep me feeling full all afternoon and they're packed with all the Southwest flavors that I love. 🍅 🥑 🧀 🥔 🌶 🫑 #winwin
1 pound breakfast turkey sausage
2 cups diced frozen hash browns, thawed
⅓ cup diced red bell pepper
⅓ cup poblano pepper
6 green onion thinly sliced and divided
2 teaspoons garlic salt
10 large eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups shredded pepper jack cheese divided
8-10 8-inch tortillas (white corn or flour)
1 cup salsa verde
½ cup cream or half & half
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp oregano
Bake 30 minutes at 375.
Serve with salsa, sour cream, queso fresco, green onion and cherry tomatoes.
If you want a few extra minutes of sleep in the morning - and lets face it - who doesn't? You can make these enchiladas ahead of time. Just assemble and cover enchiladas with plastic wrap topped with aluminum foil. To bake: Remove plastic wrap, cover with foil and bake covered in a preheated 375°F oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil then continue to bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until completely cooked through and the top is slightly golden.
Last month I met a donkey named Walter, a couple of dairy cows named Kitty and Eula, Jimmy - the longhorn steer, a falcon named Penny, Oreo - the miniature horse and a couple of dogs named Tasty and Cricket.
All of these amazing animals were residents of the Kay el Bar Ranch. Along with a little more than 50 incredible horses.
I learned a few things about horses, and specifically Snip, while I was at the ranch. He didn't like being followed too closely by other horses, he liked to be scratched behind his ears, rubbed on his nose and he responded to words of encouragement while he was navigating mountainous terrain. And what I found most curious of all was the fact that this horse ate baby carrots in the most dainty and gentle way. 🥕 He actually nibbled on one tiny carrot out of my hand for a solid 3 minutes. 🤣
I like carrots too but I don't think I savor them nearly as much as Snip did. Carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, zucchini, squash, onions are all great winter vegetables. Toss them in a bowl with a little olive oil, garlic, vinegar and herbs and roast them for a delicious side dish.
2 cup broccoli florets
2 cups baby bella mushrooms
2 cups chopped sweet potato
1 zucchini, sliced and quartered
1 yellow squash, sliced and quartered
1 red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, or more, to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
Place vegetables in a bowl.
Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
Place on a greased, foil lined baking sheet. (I used 2 baking sheets.)
Cook 12-14 minutes at 425.
In the Fall and the winter, I like to make giant batches of roasted vegetables. They're great side dishes for almost any protein and after I sprinkle a little parmesan cheese over the top, I eat them for lunch.
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