My mom’s birthday is next weekend and gift giving is stressing me out. If she lived closer, I’d love to just have a meal together and make a really decadent dessert. We could sing Happy Birthday, do the whole candle thing – the works. But it’s also Easter and we’ll be traveling, soooo…I’m stumped as to how to make her birthday special.
Speaking of birthdays, Shea’s classroom of 3 to 5-year-olds must be talking about birthday parties. She’s never had an official party – just family at the house. Like, 8 people in total. Nothing crazy. But she’s non-stop talking about going to others’ birthday parties and inviting them to her own.
Ironic that with my mom, I can’t find a way to properly celebrate and with my kid, I’m desperately trying to keep things simple for as many years as possible. Life, I tell you! The irony!
It’s kind of like cooking lately. I so desperately want to have delicious, homemade, well-loved, blog-able meals, but that has been a challenge. That little 1-year-old of mine is making a lot of things difficult right now, meal prep and meal time only being part of the chaos.
Piper and I were at Aldi yesterday…where she was actually on her best behavior. She was content the entire trip, hanging out in the cart, throwing the items I was handing her in the back portion, and flirting with all the men we crossed paths with. As we got to the freezer section, I slowed to check out some quinoa meals that looked pretty wholesome. I bought a few and low and behold, the girls loved them. It was quinoa, black beans, corn, and salsa more-or-less. Nothing fancy and yet, the convenience factor is huge. And for $1.99…yeah, I should’ve gotten a few more!
But, this is all just a season. I won’t forever had a cutie on my hip and so I am going to continue to reframe the inconvenience into what a blessing it truly is. And it’s true that my kids are overall pretty darn good eaters. Take this Chicken Biryani, for example. The girls LOVED it. Mark and I, too. It’s one pot, ready in about 30 minutes, and reheats like a dream. Enjoy!
- 1 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
- 1 Tbsp ground turmeric
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp cayenne (less to reduce heat)
- 1½ lbs boneless, skiness chicken thighs, cut into cubes
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1½ cups uncooked basmati rice
- 2 cups unsalted chicken stock
- 1 cup grated carrot
- ⅓ cup golden raisins
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 Tbsp half and half
- ¼ cup dry-roasted cashews, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- In a large bowl, mix together the yogurt, turmeric, cumin, and cayenne. Add chicken pieces; toss to coat. Cover and chill 2-4 hours.
- Combine oil, ginger, garlic, and cardamom in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high, stirring often, until ginger begins to sizzle and toast, about 1 minute. Add rice; cook, stirring constantly, until rice is toasted, about 1 minute. Add stock, carrot, raisins, salt, and cinnamon.
- Remove chicken from marinade; discarding any remaining marinade. Place chicken in an even layer on rice mixture. Cover and increase heat to high; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until chicken is done and rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove and discard cinnamon stick. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in cream.
- Serve hot, topped with chopped cilantro.
Weekly Menu: March 25th – 30th
- Sunday: Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Sausage, Spinach, and Cheese with roasted asparagus and corn on-the-cob
- Monday: Chicken and Chorizo Sausage Skillet with salad
- Tuesday: leftovers for the kids, I go out for book club
- Wednesday: Tacos and refried beans, guacamole, corn
- Thursday: French Onion Risotto with steamed broccoli
- Friday: leftovers and must-go’s