Delicious Distractions to get us through the days.

Simple recipes for those with simple chef skills.

Seasoning Packet Dinners March 29, 2011

I never really thought of myself as an ingredient snob until my neighbor told me about her BBQ pulled pork dish. I was reluctant to believe that a pre-made seasoning packet could yield something as yummy as she claimed.  Then she had me try it. And oh my, oh my, oh my! It was one of those dishes that was so delicious I just couldn’t believe it. And it was good the next day!  So over the months I began my mission to find other easy and quick seasoning packets. These are the ones I came up with and all I completely recommend. I think I need to contact McCormick and ask to be a taste tester.

McCormick Grill Mates Garlic, Herb, & Wine

McCormick Slow Cookers BBQ Pulled Pork*

McCormick Enchilada **

McCormick Produce Partners Great Guacamole

* This is the packet my neighbor gave me.

** This was good for a sauce but I would substitute my own meat and topping recipes.

McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Marinade

McCormick Grill Mates Brown Sugar Bourbon Marinade

Jack Daniel’s Mesquite EZ Marinader***

McCormick Grill Mates Baja Citrus Marinade

McCormick Grill Mates Southwest Marinade

***I would like to just say “PHENOMENAL”!!!!!! I could eat this one everyday, all day long. But I do not recommend trying in the slow cooker on pulled pork. I should have just stuck to the above pulled pork recipe.

I also tried a McCormick Garlic Lime but didn’t keep the packaging.

Each one of these packets has it’s own distinct flavors and you won’t be bored with eating each one all in a row like we do sometimes.


Crazy Loaded Pizza September 2, 2010

Filed under: Chicken,Dinner,Kids,Pizza,Themed Post — christinedel @ 4:31 am

I was flipping though some recipes when I came across a bare bones Chicken Ranch Pizza recipe and I thought it was just boring. So boring actually, I didn’t even consider making it. But after no luck on deciding what to make for dinner, I realized I had all the ingredients for it and so much more waiting in the fridge…

And this is what I came up with.

Crazy Loaded Pizza


  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 package of ready-mix pizza dough*
  • 2-3 tablespoons of garlic
  • 1 Ranch salad dressing bottle (amount to be determined)
  • 1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 7 small mushrooms
  • ½ white onion sliced thinly and cut in half and separated
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (I used the flavored canned tomatoes)
  • 4 strips of bacon, crumbled
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • ¼ cup of cilantro


  1. Preheat oven to temperature indicated for pizza dough.
  2. Place chicken in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until no longer pink and juices run clear. Cool, then cut into thin strips.
  3. If using the ready-mix dough, add the minced garlic now. Bake crust for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until it begins to turn golden brown. Remove from oven.
  4. Spread a layer of ranch dressing over the partially baked crust.  Layer on the remaining ingredients starting with the chicken.

Hint: Sprinkle mozzarella cheese in between every few layers to help bind the ingredients together. Add extra layers of ranch to taste. We like our pizza with lots of sauce. Don’t forget some for dipping!

*Any type of pizza dough will suffice, we choose to use this type so we can infuse our pizza dough with minced garlic.

Crazy Loaded Pizza



30 Minute Meal: Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast August 26, 2010

Filed under: 5 Ingredient/30 Minute Meals,Chicken,Dinner — christinedel @ 6:24 pm

This is a flavorful dish that will have your taste buds thanking you.

Spinach Stuffed Chicken


  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • ½ cup mayonnaise (use part sour cream if desired)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, and drained
  • 5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • bread crumbs if desired for texture and substance


  1. Pre heat over to 350′.
  2. Very carefully butterfly the chicken.
  3. Mix the remaining ingredients.
  4. Stuff chicken breasts with spinach mixture. Place in shallow baking dish and bake for 20 minutes at 350′ or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.



5 Ingredients/30 minutes Vol 1: Pasta Cream Sauce April 27, 2010

Filed under: 5 Ingredient/30 Minute Meals,Chicken,Dinner,Uncategorized — christinedel @ 12:54 am

After cooking so many dishes I finally realized how similar some where. I narrowed down the ingredients and realized with just a few different rotating ingredients it doesn’t feel like we were eating the same thing over and over. This is what I came up with:

5 ingredients/30 minutes Vol 1: Pasta Cream Sauce

Staple Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken breast per person
  • ½ cup of heavy whipping cream per person
  • Pasta: Serving size per person of either bowtie, Orzo, Penne, or spaghetti

Rotating Ingredients:

  • Half a box of frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 bunch of Japanese mushrooms
  • ½ teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed and chopped
  • 4 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon pesto sauce
  • serving size of shrimp per person, cooked

Directions: Cook pasta according to package directions. Place large skillet over medium heat and a medium skillet over medium heat.

Meanwhile, prep your chicken. Where I live there is no such thing as fresh chicken, it is all frozen so I defrost and salt and pepper mine while the skillets are heating up.

Once the chicken breasts are mostly cooked through, I add the heavy whipping cream to the large skillet and simmer. Cut the chicken breasts into strips with a kitchen scissors. Cook thoroughly.

While the chicken is cooking thoroughly, add the your choice of rotating ingredients to the cream, stir, and let simmer to thicken cream. When the cream is thick to your liking, add the chicken and cooked pasta. Stir and serve.



Chicken Milano May 5, 2009

Filed under: Chicken,Dinner — christinedel @ 1:17 pm
Tags: ,

Oh my goodness this is one of our most most favorite dishes.  Whenever we go to restaurants I know I can always count on this dish to be good.  So when I found this recipe I thought I’d give it a try and I hoped for the best.  And heck ya it is one of the best ever.  Although, I swear it changes flavors every time I make it, it still is yummy. So why not give it a try and tell me what you think.


Rating out of three stars: Hubby- 3 ½ stars Me- 3 ½ stars

Serves 2  Ready in 40 minutes

  • 1 pot and 2 pans (yup it’s dishes time! Who ever eats it will gladly do the dishes for you).
  • 1 cup of bowtie pasta per person
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • ½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh basil (or to taste, but please don’t use sweet basil and don’t use the finely chopped stuff either)


  1. Get the pot of water for the pasta started now.
  2. Heat the butter in a large sauce pan.  Once melted, add the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and chicken broth.  Simmer this concoction for about 10 minutes.
  3. Your pasta pot should be boiling by now, so put those bowties in to cook.
  4. Go back to the other pan and add the heavy cream to the concoction and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  I like ours thick so it might take 10-15 minutes.
  5. Now on to the chicken.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.  In the third pan, warm the oil over medium heat and saute  the chicken.  Cook until the inside is no longer pink.  Sometimes, this is when I cut the chicken into bite size pieces and throw them into the cream sauce.  But only if your sauce is getting thick but now.
  6. By now your pasta should be done cooking.  Drain and mix with the cream sauce.  Add the basil and stir everything together.
  7. Enjoy!


Chicken in a Lemon-Wine Sauce March 9, 2009

Filed under: Chicken,Dinner — christinedel @ 9:09 pm
Tags: ,

For some strange reason several of the recipes I pulled out over the past two weeks have included lemon.  We are not much of a lemon flavored fanatics nor are we all that much into anything citrusy.  I don’t even like lemonade (well only if I am eating spicy Mexican and my mouth is on fire). But for some reason this flavor has caught my attention so I decided to try out the following recipe.

It’s a light and fluffy battered chicken coupled with a low-key lemon flavor and white wine mixture.    Once again the hubby said it tasted like a crepe.  Maybe it’s the lemon thing again or maybe his taste buds are crazy off kilter.  Who knows about that but what we do know is that this particular recipe was a nice change to the heavy cream sauce chicken dishes we normally would eat.


Rating out of three stars: Hubby- 2 stars Me- 2 stars

Serves 2 Ready in 35 minutes

  • ¼ cup of flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • ½ cup of white wine
  • 10 ounce can of chicken broth (this yields plenty of sauce, so if you are serving more than 2 people don’t double this amount)
  • 1 teaspoon of parsley
  • ¼ cup of butter
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Dredge the chicken in flour then dip in the egg.  To me this is totally backwards but it works.
  3. In a large skillet, cook the chicken until almost cooked through and place the chicken in a 13 x 9 inch pan.
  4. Combine wine, broth, parsley, salt, pepper, butter, and lemon juice and heat over medium low heat.  Stir slowly until butter has melted completely.  Add the cornstarch slowly, constantly stirring until sauce thickens slightly.
  5. Pour the sauce over chicken and cook for 15 minutes, or until chicken juices run clear.
  6. Enjoy!

Sides: We served it with corned cooked on the BBQ.  OK side but we could have combined something better with it.

Our comments:

Hubby- tastes like a crepe.

Me- Less lemon = better.  Sauce might be better a little thicker.


Bacon Ranch Chicken March 4, 2009

Filed under: Chicken,Dinner — christinedel @ 8:10 pm
Tags: ,

This was surprisingly better than I thought it was going to be.  All the ingredients sound good but the soy sauce just threw me.  We served it with Texas toast and edamame.


Rating out of three stars: Hubby- 3 stars Me- 2 ¾ stars

Serves 2 Ready in 35 minutes

  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • ¼ cup of ranch dressing
  • ½ cup of shredded Mexican cheese
  • 2 chopped green onions
  • 6 strips of bacon
  • ½ tablespoon of parsley


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Sear the chicken breasts on each side, 2 minutes on each side.
  2. Place chicken in an 8×8 inch pan.  Brush a layer of soy sauce on the chicken followed by the ranch dressing.
  3. Top chicken with a layer of cheese, onions, and bacon strips.
  4. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 20 minutes or until no longer pink inside.  Garnish with parsley.
  5. Enjoy!

Our comments:

Hubby- The bacon is a good touch.

Me- More ranch, yummy bacon.  I think it would be good on some sort of specialty toasted bun/bread thing.


German Crepe Flavored Chicken March 2, 2009

Filed under: Chicken,Dinner — christinedel @ 5:18 am
Tags: ,

Maybe it is the fact we have been living on tiny Pacific islands for the past two years combined with not being able to get to normal American restaurants that makes my husband believe this chicken recipe tastes like the German Crepes he eats for breakfast.   Because he loves his German crepes so much, I aptly named this recipe after his taste buds.  Maybe everything does taste like chicken.  Or maybe, after eating only frozen chicken for so long, chicken starts tasting like anything and everything.   As for me…it just tastes good.  Boy, I sure do miss fresh chicken right about now.  Great, now I am a little homesick for California.  Enough of this, let’s get to the food.


Rating out of 3 stars: Hubby 3 stars  Me  2 ½ stars (has potential)

Serves 2 Ready in 30 mins


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup of garlic and herb flavored bread crumbs
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of lime juice or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 3 tablespoons off butter
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • dill weed to taste


  1. Dredge the chicken in the egg and then cover with the bread crumbs.
  2. In a large deep skillet heat oil over medium head.  When heated cook chicken for about 10 minutes or until juices run clear.  Flip chicken half way through.  Remove chicken and set aside.
  3. In same skillet on low heat, combine lime, butter, onions, and dill.  Once it starts to boil remove from heat and spoon over chicken.
  4. Enjoy!

Our comments:

Hubby- more chickie please!  Oddly good.

Me- less dill = better… yet oddly good.