Monday, March 31, 2014

Broccoli & Swiss Stuffed Baked Chicken

 Broccoli & Swiss Stuffed Chicken, Wild Rice & Sauteed Squash

       Good morning friends!  Welcome to another addition of Menu Plan Monday!  Last night was our 7th and final night doing our eMeals trial week and we definitely saved the best for last!  Stuffed Baked Chicken Breast has long been one of our favorite meals and this did not disappoint! Stay tuned at the end for my overall review of eMeals!

Broccoli & Swiss Stuffed Chicken Breast

Broccoli & Swiss Stuff Chicken Breast
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 slices Swiss cheese
1 cup fresh broccoli, chopped
½ teaspoon garlic salt (I used about 1 tsp)
½ teaspoon pepper
½ cup flour
1 egg
¾ cup Italian seasoned Panko breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken breasts between two pieces of wax paper; pound with meat mallet until breasts are ⅛-inch thick; cut each breast in half lengthwise. Place 1 slice Swiss cheese and a small mound of broccoli in the middle of each pounded chicken breast. Fold the short sides of the chicken over the mound, and roll the chicken until you have a tightly sealed mound. Sprinkle each piece with garlic salt and pepper, and roll in flour. Beat together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Dip each chicken piece into egg mixture, and roll in breadcrumbs. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Lightly spray each chicken breast with cooking spray. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until done.
(I cooked mine around 35 minutes then broiled the top for 2 minutes because we like our chicken very well done, just a personal preference)

Uncle Ben's Chicken Flavored Wild Rice

For the wild rice, it called for a package of Uncle Ben's Chicken Flavored Wild Rice.  The directions were to cook it according to package directions.  We do not usually buy these types of rice dinner kits, as I like to make my own Rice Pilaf, but I was surprised, we all enjoyed it and thought it went very well with the Chicken and Squash.

Sauteed Squash & Onion

This Squash was good!  I usually roast ours in the oven, but was surprised at how much flavor this dish had! It was a really good side for the Chicken and Rice.  I did add a couple of cloves of garlic, even though the recipe didn't call for any, because we like garlic with our veggies.  We will definitely make this side a lot!

Sauteed Squash & Onion (recipe courtesy eMeals)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 lb yellow squash, cut in ½-inch thick slices
1 onion, chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
(I added 3 cloves of chopped garlic)
Heat butter and oil in large skillet. Add squash and onion; season with salt and pepper. Sauté
over medium heat until squash is tender, about 12 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and saute for 3 minutes more.  Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.

Menu Plan Monday

7) BFD (Breakfast for Dinner)

eMeals final review
As I told y'all at the beginning of last week, eMeals has graciously provided us with a 1 year membership in exchange of me writing a review of their program.  I figured the only way for me to really be able to write a complete review would be if my family tried it out for a whole week.  I talk more about the reasons WHY I decided to give eMeals a review here.  Now that our week is complete, I feel like I can give a thorough review!

1)  What did you think about the food?
We absolutely LOVED the food.  I would say that we would make 6 out of 7 of the meals again as written with no changes.  The ONLY thing I can say negative about the food is their wasn't enough salt in the recipes.  We don't eat fast food or restaurant food much as we think it tastes too salty, so I have never thought we ate a lot of salt.  But there wasn't a single meal on the program that I didn't have to add a little bit extra salt to.  (The recipe above called for 1/2 tsp Garlic salt for 2 lbs of meat.  That is just not enough.)  It was an easy fix.... but worth noting.  I think the recipes should say 'salt to taste' instead of low balling it.

2) Did eMeals save you money on your grocery bill?
Our grocery bill was about the same.  But, you have to remember, I already cook homemade stuff 7 days a week and I already have been menu planning and utilizing leftovers to reduce waste.  So there wasn't much room there for us to save money.  Do I believe the average family that is too busy to cook most nights of the week and are finding themselves going through the drive thru lane or ordering take out could save money?  YES!!!!  

3) Who would you recommend eMeals to?
Newly Weds, Busy households with 2 parents working outside the home, Newly Empty Nesters that may be used to cooking for a larger group of people (eMeals has 2 people plans a well as family plans), People that are new to trying to cook and eat healthier, New moms (I think this would make a fabulous baby shower gift)

4) Who would you NOT recommend eMeals to?
I would NOT recommend eMeals for someone who REALLY lives for cooking and menu planning.  Since eMeals does all the work for you, it would definitely not be an ideal gift for someone with the time and resources that love to menu plan and grocery shop.  

5) What was your favorite part of eMeals?
I loved trying some new things, the food was great, I loved that there was so many awesome plans to choose from, the customer service was great..... but I have to say my favorite thing about this plan is the fact that you get to pick your grocery store and your menu and list is tailored to YOUR store and matches the sales ads!  What a time and money saver!

6) Did you feel like your family ate healthier with eMeals than normally?
This is hard to say.  We already eat a ton of fresh fruit and Veggies.  I think maybe we ate a slightly lower fat diet than normal the past week.  I do think eMeals would be much healthier than the alternative for busy people (fast food or take out) Also, we did the classic family plan and there are other even healthier plans on their site to choose from.  

7) How are you involved with eMeals moving forward?
Now that I have learned so much about eMeals and really feel like I can get behind the company and what they stand for, I have agreed to become an eMeals affiliate.  (The link at the bottom of this post is an affiliate link.  I appreciate your support for my little bloggy)   I will pick and choose a few meals to try throughout the next couple of months and share them with you guys.  Now that I have tried the classic family plan this past week, I am definitely curious to try a few of the other weekly plans later on.  Specifically the Simple Gourmet  and dessert menu (Still waiting on eMeals to hook me up with the dessert know... to review for the blog)  :-)

That wraps up my week of eMeals.  Did I answer your questions?  Do you have any more questions about the program?  

I have been a 'Busy Bee'!  Are you following me on social media?  I would love to connect with you!  

I love to hear from you!  Email me at

<3 Aunt Bee

*emeals has graciously offered me a 1 year membership in exchange of a 1 week review here for y'all on the blog.  All opinions are my own.  

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup
       This is our newest favorite soup!  It doesn't get any easier than this either!  Less than 10 minutes prep!  You're gonna love it!  This also makes a wonderful freezer meal! 

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup
2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced (Ok, I add more, but I am garlic crazy)
3 cups chicken broth
8-oz can tomato sauce
15-oz can refried black beans
14½-oz can petite diced tomatoes
2 cups frozen or fresh corn
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano
salt & pepper to taste
cheddar cheese, shredded
sour cream
Spray a large slow cooker with cooking spray.  Add chicken thighs, onion, garlic, chicken broth, tomato sauce, refried black beans, tomatoes, corn, cumin, oregano.  Cover, and cook on Low for 6 - 8 hours.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Top with sour cream and cheddar cheese.  
combine chicken, onion, garlic, broth, tomato sauce, refried black beans, tomatoes, corn, cumin, & oregano in a gallon freezer bag.  Label, date, add cooking instructions, and freeze laying flat.  Allow to thaw for 24 hours in the refrigerator before cooking.   Pour contents of bag in slow cooker on low for 6 - 8 hours.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Top with sour cream and cheese.  
Check out my top 20+ favorite slow cooker recipes here!

For more of my favorite FREEZER MEAL ideas check out my post over at Rocket City Mom!

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Peppercorn Pork Loin

Peppercorn Roasted Pork Loin

       Good morning y'all!  We already knew how great our day 5 meal from our eMeals week was going to be, because it is a meal we had dozens of time right after Uncle Bee and I first got married:  Hormel Peppercorn Marinated Pork Loin, Salt Encrusted Loaded Baked Potatoes and Salad with our favorite Homemade Roasted Garlic Dressing.   We ended up choosing this meal from our eMeals menu for our Friday night 'date night in'.  Not only is this meal absolutely delicious and worthy of a 'date night in', it requires about 5 minutes of prep work that my 9 year old was able to do.  Date Night AND Mama's night off?  Done and DONE!  

Peppercorn Pork Loin
2 (1 LB) Peppercorn Marinated Pork Loin
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place pork on a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 155.  Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.  Serve with Baked Potatoes and a Salad.

Salt Encrusted Loaded Baked Potatoes

       So for the baked potato, the eMeals recipe just called for wrapping potatoes in foil and stabbing with a fork and baking, but since we have all had potatoes done that way, and we LOVE the Salt Encrusted Baked Potatoes, we decided to follow our normal Baked Potato recipe and it was amazing as always

Salt Encrusted Loaded Baked Potato Recipe (Red Lobster Copycat)
4 Large Baking Potatoes
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 TBSP Kosher Salt
Toppings: Butter, Sour Cream, Bacon Pieces, Cheddar Cheese, Chives
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Scrub Potatoes, rinse and dry.  Pour olive oil in 1 plate and Salt in another.  Roll Potato in oil then the salt.  Lay potatoes down on an ungreased cookie sheet. Stab each potato with a fork a few times.  Drizzle any leftover oil in the plate over the potatoes.  Bake for 1 hour.  Check and see if potatoes are done by poking with a fork.  Once done, remove from oven, split in half and top with all the fixin's!  

Our dinner date salad 

Creamy Roasted Garlic Dressing

This is my absolute favorite Creamy style dressing.  It tastes somewhere between Ranch and Caesar with some Roasted Garlic thrown in there.  (And you already know about my garlic obsession... see herehere and here)

Creamy Roasted Garlic Dressing
1/4 cup Roasted Garlic, mashed into a paste (I roast it using this method.  It takes me about 2 whole bulbs to get 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
3 TBSP grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Lemon, the zest and the juice
3 TBSP Heavy Cream
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.  If you want the dressing to be thinner, you can add another tablespoon or 2 of heavy cream.  Store, covered in the fridge.  I hope my fellow garlic lovers try it and let me know what y'all think!  

I have been a 'Busy Bee'!  Are you following me on social media?  I would love to connect with you!  

I love to hear from you!  Email me at

<3 Aunt Bee

*emeals has graciously offered me a 1 year membership in exchange of a review here for y'all on the blog.  All opinions are my own.  

Friday, March 28, 2014

Balsamic Roast Beef and Cilantro Almond Rice

Balsamic Roast Beef

       Hello everyone!  I am checking in with day 4 of our eMeals week!  Our dinner was Balsamic Roast Beef and Cilantro Almond Rice.  Normally when recipes call for wine, I cut it with a little bit of broth because we don't like a strong wine taste.  What I mean by that is: if a recipe calls for 1 cup of red wine, I use 1/2 cup Red Wine and 1/2 Cup Beef Broth, or if a recipe calls for 1 cup of white wine, I use 1/2 cup white wine and 1/2 cup Chicken Broth.  This gives it a good flavor without the wine being too overpowering.  I decided to go ahead and make this recipe as written in order to be able to give it a complete review.  As soon as I took the lid off the crock pot, it gave off an overwhelming wine smell.  At this point, I started searching the freezer for pizza rolls.  Then I tried the broth.  Other than tasting a little too wine-y, it was GOOD!!!!  Like, REALLY good!  So I did what any southern lady would do.  I grabbed a carton of sour cream and stirred it into the broth and the Angels in heaven started singing.  (Cream of mushroom would also be great stirred in, instead of sour cream) MAN it was SO GOOD!  I did add 1 tsp of salt to the roast after it was cooked, but y'all already knew that   ;-)  

Balsamic Roast Beef (Recipe Courtesy eMeals)
1 tbsp olive oil
2½ lb chuck roast
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt,½ teaspoon pepper
14-oz can beef broth
1 cup red wine (I would substitute 1/2 cup red wine and 1/2 Beef Broth instead)
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup chopped onion
*At the end, I added 1 tsp Salt to the roast and stirred in 1 cup sour cream or cream of mushroom soup into the juices
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat; rub beef with garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook beef 2 minutes per side or until browned. Transfer to a 5- to 7-quart slow cooker. Stir in broth, wine, vinegar, and onion. Cover, and cook on Low 6 to 8 hours or until meat is tender. Remove Roast from slow cooker and set aside.  Sprinkle Roast with additional salt.  Stir 1 up Sour Cream or Cream of mushroom into the juices to thicken the gravy and make it creamy.  Serve over Cilantro Almond Rice.

Cilantro Almond Rice

 Yummy!!!!  This was SO good and so versatile.  I can think of SO many meals that this rice would be great in!  The only problem I had, was in the ingredients list, it had 1/4 cup Chicken Broth listed, but didn't tell me when to add that in the recipe instructions?  I could have emailed and asked eMeals, who has amazing customer service, but  I was in a bit of a rush so I just winged it and I guess I did it right because it turned out SOOOO yummy!  

Cilantro Almond Rice (Recipe Courtesy eMeals)
1½ cups enriched rice
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
¼ cup sliced almonds
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon lemon pepper
¼ cup chicken broth
4 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
*I added 1/4 tsp salt 
Cook rice as directed on package. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add onion, almonds, garlic salt, and lemon pepper.  Cook 5 minutes or until onions are tender. Stir in the cooked rice. Remove from heat; add cilantro before serving. 
(It didn't tell me when to add the 1/4 cup chicken broth, so I added it when I added the cooked rice.  It turned out great)

Check out my top 20 favorite slow cooker recipes here!

I have been a 'Busy Bee'!  Are you following me on social media?  I would love to connect with you!  

I love to hear from you!  Email me at

<3 Aunt Bee

*emeals has graciously offered me a 1 year membership in exchange of a review here for y'all on the blog.  All opinions are my own.  

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Garlic Crouton Baked Chicken Breast

Baked Chicken Breast, Buttery Angel Hair Pasta, & Parmesan Green Beans

       We took one bite of this meal and unanimously decided that it was our favorite eMeals recipe yet!  It was delicious enough to serve to company and the prep time was only around 5 minutes.  I will be making every part of this meal again and again!  

Baked Chicken Breast (recipe courtesy eMeals)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
1½ teaspoons cooking sherry (I substituted 1 1/2 tsp of white wine)
1 cup sour cream
2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup crushed garlic croutons
*I added 1/2 tsp salt to the cream mixture and it was perfect for us
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix lemon juice, Worcestershire, pepper, paprika, and cooking sherry with sour cream. Roll each breast in sour cream mixture, and place in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle crushed croutons over chicken. Bake 45 minutes.

Parmesan Green Beans

Parmesan Green Beans (Recipe courtesy eMeals)
2 (12-oz) bags frozen green beans
4 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (from a can)
1/4 cup Butter
Cook green beans according to package directions.  Mine called for being boiled for 10 minutes.  Drain Green beans WELL and set aside.  Melt butter in a skillet and add chopped garlic.  Saute for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add green beans to skillet and continue cooking for 5 minutes.  Add Parmesan Cheese and cook on low heat until cheese is melted.  Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.
*I used 1/2 tsp Salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper

Parmesan Green Beans

Buttery Angel Hair Pasta (Recipe Courtesy eMeals)
8 oz Angel Hair Pasta
1/4 cup Butter
Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain well and toss pasta with ¼ cup butter to serve.  

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Zucchini, Tomato, and Ground Beef Soup

Zucchini, Tomato & Ground Beef Soup

       Good morning!  I had a ton of zucchini to use up so I made one of our favorite soups!!!!  It was time to update the photo anyway.  You could definitely sub fresh tomatoes for the canned ones, but I didn't have any on hand.  This soup is SO GOOD!!!  I serve it over a couple of slices of American cheese with some corn muffins on the side! Comfort in a BOWL!!!  

Zucchini, Tomato & Ground Beef Soup 
2 lbs ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
6 cloves of garlic 
2 (14.5 oz) cans pettite diced tomatoes with juice
2 cups beef broth
2 cups tomato juice 
3 zucchini, diced
2 tsp italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
American cheese for serving
In a soup pot or dutch oven, brown the ground beef, onion, and bell pepper.  Drain off excess grease.  Add in the chopped garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute more.  Stir in tomatoes with juice, beef broth, tomato juice, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, creole seasoning and zucchini.  Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer covered, stirring occasionally, for 40 - 60 minutes, or until zucchini is soft enough for your liking. Taste to check seasonings and add more salt if desired.  Serve in a bowl over the top of a couple of slices of american cheese with Corn Muffins on the side.   

Get 30+ Family Friendly Ground Beef Recipes here

I have been a 'Busy Bee'!  Are you following me on social media?  I would love to connect with you!  

I love to hear from you!  Email me at

<3 Aunt Bee

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Chicken Orzo Skillet

Chicken Orzo Skillet 

       Good morning!   Our first night of emeals was a success!  I even fought the urge to add copious amount of extra garlic while cooking, like I normally would, so that I could give y'all a more thorough review!  HA!  One reason that I chose this week to do the emeals trial, is my daughter (age 9) is out of school for spring break, which gives us lots of time to cook together. (Our favorite thing ever!) Since we are trying a few new things this week, I knew we would have a blast!  This Chicken Orzo Skillet had a few 'new to us' things to try!  I had never cooked orzo or boneless, skinless chicken thighs!  This meal came together SO quickly.  Even with us taking our time and lots of goofing off, it was on the table in about 20 minutes.  All four of us just gobbled this right up!  We each did add a little garlic salt to our portions and it was PERFECT! Next time, I would double the garlic in the recipe, but, y'all know, I am a garlic FANATIC!   This made me very excited to experiment more with orzo and chicken thighs!  

Chicken Orzo Skillet with Corn & Avocado Salsa (recipe courtesy of emeals)
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon salt
2 (14-oz) cans stewed tomatoes, cut up
15-oz can white beans, rinsed and drained
12-oz bag frozen broccoli florets, thawed
Cook orzo as directed; drain and set aside.  Coat a large skillet with cooking spray, add 2 teaspoons oil.  Brown chicken; remove, and keep warm.  Add remaining 1 teaspoon to the same skillet, and saute garlic.  Stir in Italian seasonings, salt, tomatoes, and beans.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in broccoli and chicken.  Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  Add cooked orzo to the mixture; stir to combine.  

Chicken Orzo Skillet

Corn & Avocado Salad

       I simply can NOT say enough good stuff about this salad!  In fact, what little was left over after dinner, I just finished off, scooping it up as a dip with tortilla chips!  It was my daughter's first time trying avocado and she loved it as much as me!  My husband is not an avocado fan, so he ate around the avocado, but hey, more for ME!!!!  I will be making this again and again, because it is a delicious, EASY, and HEALTHY side!

Corn & Avocado Salad (Recipe Courtesy of emeals)
14-oz can corn, drained
1 pint cherub tomatoes, cut in half
1 large avocado, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Mix together corn, tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro. Whisk together lime juice, olive oil, and garlic; season with salt and pepper to taste.  Pour dressing over corn mixture, and toss to combine. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes. Serve alongside Chicken Orzo Skillet.

I am SO very excited to cook with Orzo and Chicken Thighs again!  What are some of your favorite recipes using these ingredients?  I am ready to experiment!!! Lots and lots of love!  
Thank you for reading!
<3 Aunt Bee

*emeals has graciously offered me a 1 year membership in exchange of a review here for y'all on the blog.  All opinions are my own.