Monday, November 23, 2015

Your Bijoux Box November 2015

Hello readers! The latest box from Your Bijoux Box arrived over the weekend.  Are you ready to see what came inside it?

Here's the description card, three things listed here, but there was a fourth surprise piece included!

The first thing was the Chocolate Statement Chain. It's big, long, heavy, chunky, and perfect for fall.  There are some golden topaz colored crystals hiding in the golden fringe.

Second is the sparkly silver Renegade Y-Chain necklace.  I love it! The hook can be placed anywhere to adjust it to be worn with a longer or shorter drop.

Third are these lovely, simple drop earrings called Raise the Bar. They are not too small, not too heavy and add just a hint of bling to ears.

Fourth, this is the surprise piece. It's a golden chain with a shaped and polished tiger's eye stone. It didn't come with an official name, so I'm calling this the Tiger Eye Y-Necklace.

And finally, I ordered a necklace from the subscriber add-on sale.  I picked out the gray Suede Tassel necklace with faceted gray agate stones. It's also very long and great for wearing over a big sweater.

Another box has been unpacked and added to the big old jewelry box at home.  Thanks for stopping by today!

P.S. For the sake of transparency, I paid for this subscription myself. It was in no way "free" or provided to me for some exchange of services. I just really liked the products and wanted to share my opinion.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Turkey Kale Pasta Bake

Hello again, I'm back with a new recipe.

I've been ready for casseroles for a long time and now I'm on a roll.  I recently got a free jar of Ragu Sauce to test from Influenster. They asked me to use it and make up a recipe to go with it.

I used some things I already had around the house. We grew dinosaur kale in the garden this year so I was already thinking about using kale in a dinner dish.  I almost always have cheese and pasta on hand, so I didn't have to buy more. I did pick up some ground turkey at the store.

Then less than one easy-peasy hour later, I had a really tasty dinner ready to go. It also made a huge amount so we have plenty of leftovers. Give it a try, I think you'll like it.

1 lb organic ground turkey
1 bunch dinosaur kale, ribs removed and chopped
2 Tablespoons garlic flavored olive oil (or regular olive oil)
1-2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes
1 16-oz box of Barilla Pasta,  campanelle, elbows, rotini, penne, or something similar
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 24-oz jar Ragu Chunky Pasta Sauce, Tomato, Garlic, and Onion
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Drain and place in a deep 9x13 Rectangular Dish.

2. Meanwhile, brown the turkey in a skillet. Season with salt and pepper. When cooked through, add to the baking dish.

3. Saute the kale with olive oil, salt, pepper, and the red pepper flakes until wilted. The kale should still be bright green.  Add the kale to the turkey and pasta in the baking dish.

4. Pour the jar of Ragu sauce over the ingredients in the baking dish.  Rinse the jar with 1/4 cup water and add to the dish as well. Add 1 cup of the shredded cheese to the dish.  Stir well without breaking up the pasta.

5.  Top it with the remaining shredded cheese. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until everything is warm and the top is a little bit browned.

6. Enjoy!

Please note this post contains affiliate links. Ragu sauce provided complimentary for testing thanks to Influenster.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Chicken Chorizo and Rice Bake

Hello dear readers.  It's officially Fall!  It's casserole and soup season!  You have no idea how happy I am for the cooler weather. Being pregnant during the summer was not so fun. I had no appetite and I was not interested in cooking anything in the oven that would make the house hotter than it already was.  I think we'll get the AC serviced in the springtime because it's just not cooling anymore.

Anyhow, FOOD! I've been hungry for something different than our standard, go-to meals.  I had to think back to the old days growing up and what kinds of interesting things we found at church pot-lucks. That brings me to home-cooked Basque food.

I perused my old community cookbooks and got some ideas. I perused the Internet for more ideas.  Food started flying into the pot on the stove. And then bingo! Basque chicken and rice was served.

Basically it all started because we took a short road trip back the old hometown to visit Grandma Rose so she could meet the baby.  We stopped at the little grocery market a block from her house. The Husband picked up a package of their house-made chorizo.

The chorizo from Uptown Market is a fresh sausage in real pork casing and it's not smoked or cured. One package came with four sausages that are about 7" long.  I only used one for this recipe and froze the rest.

You will need a covered casserole dish or Dutch oven that can go from stove-top to oven to make this a one-pot meal. I used my 4-quart Le Creuset soup pot for this.

chicken thighs, 4-6 pieces
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, sliced in thin strips
1 medium yellow onion, sliced in thin strips
1 raw chorizo sausage, casing removed (approx 1/3 lb)
1/4 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes that were packed in olive oil (don't include the oil, just the tomato)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1 cup long grain white rice or jasmine rice, I had Jasmine rice on hand
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 small can sliced black olives (about 2.25 oz)
1 orange, quartered, with the peel
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Brown in the olive oil. You do not need to cook it all the way through, simply get the outside browned. Remove chicken to a plate for now. Keep all the hot fat in the pot.

2. In the same pot, cook the chorizo until it is browned. Add the bell pepper and onion and saute until softened.

3. Add the garlic and rice.  Stir until the garlic is fragrant and the rice is coated in oil. Now add the tomato paste, paprika, and thyme. Stir. Add the wine and chicken stock.

4. Add the sliced olives and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir well and bring up to a boil. As soon as it boils, turn off the heat.

5. Place the reserved chicken pieces on top.  Squeeze the oranges slightly over the chicken and arrange the orange quarters so they are partially submerged in the liquid.

6. Cover and bake 45-60 minutes in a preheated 350F oven.

This recipe was adapted from Delia Online's Chicken Basque.