Simple Oven Fried Chicken

Oh look. It’s another post about chicken. It’s like we just can’t get enough.

fried-chicken2

My men-filled family loves fried chicken. Who doesn’t?

I used to stand at my electric skillet every couple of weeks frying a bunch of chicken legs, and I’d make a pot of mashed potatoes, use the chicken drippings to make gravy…oh I’d go all out. I did it because my family loved it and I love them.

It’s not that my family doesn’t still love fried chicken and it most certainly isn’t that I don’t still love my family. But at this point in my life, spending over an hour cooking one messy meal just isn’t something I can do. We’ve missed the fried chicken, for sure. But we all like it when Mama can use her nice words, so in a joint effort to keep me sane, no one has complained too much.

I finally decided to experiment with Oven Fried Chicken, though I didn’t see how it could possibly be as good as “actual” fried chicken. My family all agrees that it’s not...quite as good as actual fried chicken. But when the alternative is NO fried chicken, all six of us rally behind this and appreciate its simplicity and goodness.

Simple Oven Fried Chicken

Simple Oven Fried Chicken
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 8-10 bone-in chicken
  • 1 cup flour (any grain you like)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon parsley flakes
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick)
Instructions
  1. Place butter in a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Put dish in oven as it preheats to 400 degrees. The butter will melt as the oven preheats.
  3. In the meantime, mix flour, garlic powder, salt, parsley, and paprika in a gallon-sized ziplock bag. Shake to mix.
  4. Put chicken pieces into the bag, seal, and shake until the chicken is well coated.
  5. Place prepared chicken in the dish of melted butter, giving each piece plenty of space for more even cooking.
  6. Bake, uncovered, for 50 minutes, turning chicken after the first 25 minutes of bake time.

simple-oven-fried-chicken

You might be wondering, as you look at the pictures above, “WHERE are the mashed potatoes??!” Where, indeed. But we went through all this a few days ago when I admitted that I’d broken up with mashed potatoes after years of happiness. We’ve agreed to remain friends, but for now, when I make this Simple Oven Fried Chicken, I stick with simple sides that take no effort. (I mean, if I don’t have time to make fried chicken, I surely don’t have time to make mashed potatoes.)

I guess it could be said that now that I’ve discovered this Oven Fried Chicken recipe, I’ve also broken up with “real” Fried Chicken. (Don’t worry Fat Bombs. I’ll love you forever. XOXO.) But at least this Oven Fried Chicken is the next best thing so we can keep our kitchen life simple and eat our chicken too.

Here are more Simple Recipes you’ll love!

Truly, all of these recipes are ridiculously easy, good, and nourishing.

If you haven’t joined Simple Meals yet, you are missing out on SIMPLE becoming even MORE SIMPLE! (It’s actually possible. I do the work for you!) Check it out here. Get an full Simple Meals Planning Packet in your inbox every single week!

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Simple 3-Cheese Crock Pot Pasta

I’m a big believer in this: If my kids are capable of doing it, I ask them do it.

How else will they learn to clean, cook, think, be responsible, work hard, and take care of me in my old age?

That’s why I asked Malachi, our 12-year old, to put this meal together one morning. Knowing it was as easy as “dump these ingredients into the crock pot, stir it up, turn it on, then run do your math lesson” it seemed like the right thing to do. He’s learning that cooking is simple, I’m getting help around the house, and it’s amazing how cooking a meal by himself makes him stand a few inches taller while everyone eats it up with many, “Wow, this is so good” compliments.

Or maybe the kid is literally growing taller. Well yeah. But we already knew that.

crock pot pasta2

Here’s my little issue with crock pot meals that include pasta: If I have to cook the pasta ahead of time before adding it to the crock pot, what even is the point in using the crock pot? How does that save any time? It certainly dirties up more dishes. I am not okay with this.

Therefore I never make pasta dishes in the crock pot. (Nor do I have my children make them.)

But recently I did a little looking online to see how it might work to dump uncooked pasta into a crock pot. Might it cook along with the other ingredients? A little experimenting turned out this Simple 3-Cheese Crock Pot Pasta recipe, which is as easy as can be.

Now, this is a meatless meal. You’re more than welcome to stir cooked hamburger or cooked chicken into your crock pot. But then, of course, you’d have to cook the meat first, which means dirtying up another dish, and I refuse to take responsibility for making you do that. Also, you should know that my family full of carnivores ate this and never once asked, “Hey. Where’s the meat?” I think the three cheeses in this recipe make this hearty enough to keep everyone happy.

Simple 3-Cheese Crock Pot Pasta

Simple 3-Cheese Crock Pot Pasta
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 jars of your favorite spaghetti sauce (25-32 ounces each)
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella, cheddar, or Colby jack cheese
  • 1 pound UNCOOKED whole grain pasta, any shape
  • Sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Dump all ingredients into a crock pot and stir well.
  2. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours or until pasta is tender.

Simple 3-Cheese Crock Pot Pasta

Serve this easy crock pot dish with a quick salad and steamed veggie. It’s as simple as can be. I don’t think I need to tell you that it’s delicious. This is a given. And now we know that we can dump uncooked pasta into the crock pot and turn out a great meal in just a few of effortless hours.

Here are more Simple Recipes you’ll love!

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Simple Overnight Melt-in-your-Mouth Beef Roast

Remember the Simple Overnight Saucy Crock Pot Chicken recipe I shared? That’s becoming one of my new go-to recipes to help me feed my family on busy days. This, of course, led me to experiment more with the idea. What else, I wondered, could be cooked in the crock pot overnight to make my day simpler tomorrow? Well. One result this Simple Overnight Melt-in-Your-Mouth Beef Roast.

Simple Overnight Beef Roast

Just like the chicken, you can put your roast into your crock pot directly from the freezer. It thaws and cooks overnight. The next day, the meat will fall apart and melt in your mouth!

Why would we want to cook meat in our crock pots overnight? Let me count the ways:

  • When we wake up to cooked meat, we have something good to pack for lunches if that is a need.
  • We can turn the crock pot to the “keep warm” setting and have meat waiting for us later at lunch time at home.
  • We can turn off the crock pot and cool the meat to eat in big chef salads at lunch time.
  • We can put the meat in the fridge to pull out any time we need it during the next few days.

The concept is so simple, and it presents so many easy meal options!

Simple Overnight Melt-in-Your-Mouth Beef Roast

Simple Overnight Melt-in-your-Mouth Beef Roast
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 3-4 pound beef roast
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Onion Soup Mix (recipe below)
  • ½ cup water
Instructions
  1. Put roast in the bottom of a crock pot. (Roast can be frozen or thawed.)
  2. Pour Worcestershire sauce, Onion Soup Mix, and water over the roast.
  3. Cook on low for 10-12 hours.

Here’s my Onion Soup Mix recipe.

Simple Overnight Melt in your Mouth Beef Roast

This roast is delicious no matter if you serve it with mashed potatoes and veggies or if you serve it in a chef salad. The flavor is incredible!!

Have you tried cooking meat in a crock pot overnight? What has your experience been like?

Here are more Simple Recipes you’ll love!

It’s recipes like this that makes Simple Meals such a life saver for families. We’ll provide the plans. We’ll provide the recipes. We’ll provide the grocery list. All you have to do is take a deep breath and enjoy how simple your life in the kitchen has become! Join Simple Meals!

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A Complete Meal in 15 Minutes – From Start to Finish

It’s a complete meal, and I made it in 15 minutes from start to finish. Look how beautiful:

sliced-ham3

First let’s talk about pork for a little bit.

I like feeding my family hormone-free meat, antibiotic-free meat, grass fed meat, free range meat, all the happy, healthy kinds of meat.

But sometimes I compromise.

I have great local sources for chicken, lamb, and beef. But I almost always buy my piggies at the store. We don’t have pork very often, but shucks, pork is so delicious. We love bacon, ham, and sausage. My boys are athletes and often ask for meat in the morning (and all day long). I’ve decided that in order to keep life simpler (and to avoid completely killing my already very high grocery budget) – I’ll go ahead and buy pork products when I find them on sale at a regular grocery store.

I don’t feel great about this, but I guess I feel good enough about it that I haven’t stopped doing it. So that’s that.

sliced-ham2

So now let’s get on with the fun part where I tell you how you can put a complete meal on the table in 15-minutes from start to finish!

A Complete Meal in 15 Minutes

Sometimes I buy a pre-cooked ham as pictured above. I slice it all and put it in a Pyrex dish in the fridge to pull out as needed for quick lunches or to go with eggs at breakfast.

Having this on hand is fantastic! This sliced ham fries up within a few minutes in a skillet. We’ll steam some peas and pull out the mixed greens and salad dressing. We’ll prep some fruit. Just like that, we’ve got a complete meal ready to eat.

complete-meal-in-15-minutes

If you don’t feel good about eating pork, there are Turkey Ham options available – or maybe you’d enjoy another variety of meat that fries up quickly to complete your meal.

Either way: Never forget the ease of steaming a veggie, prepping some fruit, and pulling out fresh greens to complete a meal. This is THE way I make our meals simple and nourishing. The variety of fruits and vegetables is so good for our bodies and feeding us like this takes only a tiny bit of effort!

Are you pork eaters at your house? What meals have you found to be easy enough to throw together in just a few minutes?

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Simple Overnight Saucy Crock Pot Chicken (Lunch is ready when you get up for the day!)

This Simple Overnight Saucy Crock Pot Chicken idea might be one of my favorite Simple Tips/Recipes of the new year!

It takes five minutes of “work” to make this before you go to bed at night. It’s brainless. It involves no measuring or dirtying of dishes. You can practically sleep walk your way around this (which is precisely how I do everything after 10:00 pm). Best of all: No chickens have to be thawed in the making of this recipe.

bbq-chicken2

How this recipe/idea came about…

It was a cold, windy, dark Friday night (adjectives added for dramatic effect). It had been a long, exhausting, busy week (and this is different from other weeks, how?). Saturday, we had a full day of basketball games scheduled in a town two hours away. We needed to pack breakfast to eat on the way and lunch to eat between games. Friday night we were finally getting around to figuring out food for the road the next day.

I eagerly decided to get creative! (In other words, I didn’t have bread or lunch meat in the house and I didn’t want to go to the store.)

We have learned that big, meaty chef salads between basketball games are great for our boys who need to eat something substantial and full of protein, but not terribly heavy.

I decided we could certainly do Chicken Chef Salads to eat between games – if only I had thought ahead enough to cook some chicken for these salads. Frozen, raw chicken just isn’t the same. But then I thought, “what if?” The best ideas are born when you think to yourself, “what if?”

So I dumped some frozen, raw, boneless chicken thighs into the crock pot, dumped on some BBQ sauce, plugged in the crock pot (always, always plug it in), turned it on (also important), and went to bed.

The next morning the house smelled marvelous. After all, I had been slow-cooking BBQ Chicken all night – like a boss – while I slept.

The end of this story was supposed to include the fact that we quickly shredded the chicken in the morning and made ourselves some wonderful chef salads before heading out the door for the day. But as it turned out, the weather was terrible, the games were canceled, and the boys got so excited about the chicken when they got out of bed that they ate it for breakfast.

Who am I to say no? I wanted some too.

simple-saucy-overnight-crock-pot-chicken

Simple Overnight Saucy Crock Pot Chicken

Simple Overnight Saucy Crock Pot Chicken
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1-3 pounds frozen, boneless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 1-2 cups of your favorite sauce (bbq, teriyaki, sweet and sour, etc)
Instructions
  1. Place frozen chicken in a crock pot.
  2. Pour sauce over the chicken.
  3. Cook on low for 7-10 hours overnight.

This is hardly a recipe. This is a “use your favorite sauce” and “pour it on whatever chicken you have in your freezer” idea. It’s the simplest thing to do and you can use your deliciously cooked meat in whatever way you need it the following day. Pack it in a lunch to take to work. Make it into a salad. Save it for lunch to eat at home after a busy morning of living life. Pack it to take to away games to eat while sitting in the bleachers. Or most definitely:

Go ahead and eat it for breakfast. Sometimes this can’t be helped.

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Other Simple Recipes I’ve Shared Recently:

It’s recipes like this that makes Simple Meals such a life saver for families. We’ll provide the plans. We’ll provide the recipes. We’ll provide the grocery list. All you have to do is take a deep breath and enjoy how simple your life in the kitchen has become! Join Simple Meals!

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Simple Parmesan Broiled Fish (10-minutes from start to finish!)

I was going to call this Simple Cheesy Fish Dish – you know – because it rhymed and was cute. But then I was like, “What a weird and not-very-appetizing name. Let’s change it to Simple Parmesan Broiled Fish. People will want to make it if it has a better name.”

broiled-parmesan-fish

I sure hope you all appreciate all the thought and trouble I go to in preparing these recipes and laboring to come up with their names. There is no end to all the decisions I have to make around here.

But in actual news, and what you really need to know about this recipe is how easy it is. You broil the fish. While it is broiling, you mix up a few ingredients to spread over the top. You spread it on. You broil it all a little longer. In ten minutes the fish is completely done and ready to serve.

Ten minutes. Maybe I should have called this Ten-Minute Fish Dish. But seriously, though.

Simple Parmesan Broiled FishYum

5.0 from 1 reviews
Simple Parmesan Broiled Fish
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds fish, any kind (cod, tilapia, halibut, flounder, salmon)
  • ¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise (I use Hain Safflower mayo)
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons dried minced onion
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Splash of hot sauce (we like Cholula)
Instructions
  1. Lay fish pieces in a buttered 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Broil for 8-10 minutes in the oven.
  3. In the meantime, mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Removed broiled fish from the oven and spread on the cheese mixture.
  5. Broil for an additional 2 minutes.

simple-parmesan-broiled-fish

This fish has incredible flavor! We have also found that the sauce tastes great with the steamed veggies we eat with this meal. There’s just something about cheese and butter and mayo all together that makes a great sauce. So if the sauce from your fish runs over your plate into your veggies – be grateful. The entire meal will taste better this way!

Other Simple Recipes I’ve Shared Recently:

It’s recipes like this that makes Simple Meals such a life saver for families. We’ll provide the plans. We’ll provide the recipes. We’ll provide the grocery list. All you have to do is take a deep breath and enjoy how simple your life in the kitchen has become! Join Simple Meals!

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Simple Hamburger Soup

My mom used to make something like this Simple Hamburger Soup every Wednesday night before church. She called it “Beef Garden Casserole” and usually baked biscuits on top and on the side. I remember coming home from sports practices, starving, and so excited to eat this meal along with several biscuits dripping with butter.

beef-garden-soup

Ah, the memories.

I’ve been making this for my own family during the last 22 years, and even though it started out as a simple recipe, I’ve simplified it even more. I now skip the biscuits altogether. I often make it ahead of time so all I have to do is rewarm it and serve.

But then there’s the fact that some people in my family don’t like corn. Of all things not to like, right? So I usually make corn on the side for people to stir in if they like.

Also? I don’t make this as a casserole. It goes into bowls like soup, then we top it with shredded cheese. It’s still one of my favorite meals, and it always reminds me of my mom. You’ll love how easy this is!

Simple Hamburger SoupYum

Simple Hamburger Soup
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 3 Tablespoons minced onion
  • 2-3 cups frozen green beans
  • 2-3 cups frozen corn (optional)
  • 32-ounces tomato soup
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 cup shredded Colby jack or cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Brown hamburger and minced onion until meat is no longer pink.
  2. Meanwhile, steam green beans in a separate pot until they are tender.
  3. Stir together cooked meat mixture, green beans, corn, and tomato soup.
  4. Simmer until bubbly, salting liberally.
  5. Serve in bowls with shredded cheese if desired.

simple-hamburger-soup

Other Simple Recipes I’ve Shared Recently:

It’s recipes like this that makes Simple Meals such a life saver for families. We’ll provide the plans. We’ll provide the recipes. We’ll provide the grocery list. All you have to do is take a deep breath and enjoy how simple your life in the kitchen has become! Join Simple Meals!

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Last Minute Creamy Bacon Spaghetti

Well, hi! Did you have a nice Christmas?

I’m assuming you’d like to stay in “vacation mode” for just a few more days. Perhaps you’re planning to hit the stores and grab some 75% off sales. (Get me some wrapping paper and multi-colored tree lights while you’re there, will you?)

Today I’ve got a fun new Simple Meal to share with you. This one is a bit different from those I’ve shared recently. You’ll be happy to learn that it includes bacon. And cream cheese. It’s like I’m giving you a late Christmas present. Best of all, this meal can be thrown together at the last minute with no prior planning!

Here’s how this Creamy Bacon Spaghetti can be considered a “last minute meal” even if you didn’t thaw bacon in preparation: Bacon will thaw quickly when placed in a pan of hot water. In just a few minutes, you can cook it and stir it into your pasta.

Easy, peasy, bacon, cheesy.

bacon-spaghetti

Here’s another great bacon tip for you: Cut it into pieces with kitchen shears, like this…

bacon bits 1

While your bacon pieces are cooking, you can boil your spaghetti. When both are finished, you stir them together with cream cheese, Italian dressing, and parmesan. A couple minutes later, your meal is served.

Last Minute Creamy Bacon SpaghettiYum

5.0 from 3 reviews
Last Minute Creamy Bacon Spaghetti
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces whole grain spaghetti
  • 1 pound uncooked bacon, but into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • ½ cup Italian dressing*
  • 4 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
  2. In the meantime, cook bacon in a skillet.
  3. Drain grease from bacon.
  4. Drain water from spaghetti.
  5. Immediately pour hot spaghetti into the skillet with cooked bacon.
  6. Add remaining ingredients, stirring until cream cheese is melted and dish is well combined.
  7. Serve right away.

*Here’s my Italian Dressing recipe if you like!

simple-last-minute-creamy-bacon-spaghetti

Other Simple Recipes I’ve Shared Recently:

It’s recipes like this that makes Simple Meals such a life saver for families. We’ll provide the plans. We’ll provide the recipes. We’ll provide the grocery list. All you have to do is take a deep breath and enjoy how simple your life in the kitchen has become! Join Simple Meals!

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Simple 5-Minute Italian Chicken Bake

I am so thankful for how this Simple Italian Chicken Bake practically makes itself and feeds my family so easily!

italian-chicken-and-green-beans

Here’s what was going down in my house: Matt was working across town. Justus had just left for his college class. Elias was upstairs reading his English assignment. Malachi was practicing his piano. I was finally sitting down at my computer to write posts, answer emails, and edit pictures.

This is when my stomach growled. You’d think lunch wouldn’t have slipped my mind, seeing as I’ve been eating this meal every day for the past 43 years. But there it was, 11:30. There was no lunch and there were no leftovers to fall back on.

I got up and put chicken and green beans in a dish, doused it with Italian dressing, and put it in the oven. Five minutes later, I was back at my computer writing. While our meal baked, we all got work done (work that did not involve being in the kitchen). An hour later, we were eating lunch. If this meal doesn’t define “simple” I don’t know what does.

Simple 5-Minute Italian Chicken BakeYum

Simple 5-Minute Italian Chicken Bake
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1-2 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 2-3 cups frozen green beans
  • 1 cup Italian dressing*
Instructions
  1. Lay chicken in a 9x13 baking dish.
  2. Pour green beans over the chicken.
  3. Pour Italian dressing over the beans and chicken.
  4. Cover and bake in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until chicken is no longer pink.

*Here’s my Italian Dressing recipe. I try to always have some on hand for quick meals and salads.

The baking time on this recipe varies depending on your oven and the thickness of your chicken pieces. If you want this meal to be ready to serve in a shorter amount of time, cut your chicken into small, thin pieces.

You will love how easy and flavorful this meal is!

simple-italian-chicken-and-green-bean-bake

Other Simple Recipes I’ve Shared Recently:

It’s recipes like this that makes Simple Meals such a life saver for families. We’ll provide the plans. We’ll provide the recipes. We’ll provide the grocery list. All you have to do is take a deep breath and enjoy how simple your life in the kitchen has become! Join Simple Meals!

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Simple Pizza Chicken Bake

Once again, a Simple Recipe saves the day. Three cheers for Simple Pizza Chicken Bake! (Hip, hip…okay, let’s just get to the recipe.)

pizza-chicken-bake

Truth: I have been too busy to cook lately. Why? Well, for one thing, I’ve been quite occupied by writing about how to put simple meals on the table.

Do not miss the irony of this.

Oh my dears. We hosted people for Thanksgiving, then turned right around and traveled to Kansas. We arrived home a few days later happy and tired, and very behind on all of our work. We began to play catch up while getting ready for Christmas and finishing up our kids’ semester of school work. Our youngest has been in our big downtown Christmas play, so we’ve been running to practices and performances and hosting family who came into town to watch. We hosted Christmas parties for two groups of college students, and enjoyed a big basketball triangular in town with the team our two middle boys are involved with.

Did I mention we’re getting ready to drive to California to see family at Christmastime?

All this fun in the midst of trying to keep up with everyday life has threatened to push me into the next level of crazy-head. (No one wants to see what that looks like.) So when Matt got home from his current job site one day last week and asked how he could help with dinner, I looked up from my computer (where I was editing a post about keeping dinner simple) and said, “I’ve been too busy writing about how to put food on the table easily to actually get food on the table. I love you. I’m hungry. Malachi needs to leave for practice in 15 minutes.”

Fun times. I have no recollection of what we actually ate that night. But no one starved, and I think I’m back on track this week to at least have the brain power to throw something in the crock pot or oven at a reasonable time.

Keep this new Simple Recipe in your back pocket. It truly is a no-brainer, and maybe it’s just me, but I think we can all use no-brainer recipes this time of year and always.

Simple Pizza Chicken BakeYum

5.0 from 1 reviews
Simple Pizza Chicken Bake
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 14 ounces pizza sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 6 ounces sliced pepperoni
Instructions
  1. Cut chicken into thin strips and spread them into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Spread pizza sauce over the chicken.
  3. Sprinkle with cheese.
  4. Top with pepperoni.
  5. Bake, uncovered in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.

simple-pizza-chicken-bake

I’m happy to report that the work I was behind on is almost caught up, and the work I’m trying to get ahead on is coming along at a nice pace. I got to a good enough point a few days ago that I told Matt, “Hey, I think I’ll be able to go to California with you for Christmas after all.” Now here’s hoping he gets all his work done so he can go too.

Other Simple Recipes I’ve Shared Recently:

If you haven’t joined Simple Meals, we invite you to come aboard! We’ll provide the plans. We’ll provide the recipes. We’ll provide the grocery list. All you have to do is take a deep breath and enjoy how simple your life in the kitchen has become! Join Simple Meals!

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