One Pot Chicken & Rice

Who doesn't love a one pot/pan dish? I know my hubby does (he does the dishes in the house, I know. I'm lucky! - I cook, he cleans.)  Pretty awesome trade-off, I know!
 
This dish is so amazing. Tasty, easy, and relatively healthy. (I use relatively, because I think we all know deep down that white rice isn’t healthy, but we just can’t give it up!) If you don’t like the veggies or spices I use, mix it up. I know I do. This is one of those easily adaptable recipes that you can plan for, or just throw whatever you have in the fridge in it. It’s gonna be good no matter what.
 
Serves 4


 
Ingredients
 

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
  • As much Italian seasoning as you want - you do you, I’m not here to judge
  • 1 cup of uncooked rice
  • 2 ¼ cup of chicken (or veggie) broth - note, if you use low sodium, there is a good chance it’ll taste bland, so be prepared to add more Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups of broccoli
  • 1 cup of of frozen peas
  • Olive oil

 
Directions
 

  • Season your chicken breasts and cook in oiled pan at medium heat. You want the chicken to be browned, but they don’t need to be fully cooked at this point. Pull chicken out and set aside. 
  • In the same pan, add rice, broth, and additional seasoning (if wanted). Mix so that all of the rice is covered. 
  • Add chicken breasts and sprinkle veggies around the pan.
  • Cover with a lid and let simmer over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes (until the liquid is gone).
  • Enjoy

 
Have you tried this recipe? Did you make modifications? I’d love to hear about it in the comments! 

One Pot Chicken and Rice Recipe by Jennifer Stamps
 

Fun Things to Do in Austin with a Kid: Austin Beerworks

It's starting to get hot. hot. hot. And I'm always looking for fun things to do outside the house, but indoors - or at least shaded.

We headed to the Round Rock Express game on Saturday and the hubby wanted to hit up a northside brewery (we've done about all the south/central/east ones, it seems). So we hit the road and headed to Austin Beerworks. Let me just say...their taproom is ON POINT! While I was in there I couldn't help but envy their brand manager - the colors, lights, design, everything. It screams hip in a non-pretentious and inviting way. That's hard to do. 

And don't worry. It's totally normal to being a kid to a brewery. We weren't the only family there. Actually - homegirl has been going to breweries since she was two weeks old. Literally. In fact, both her first and second birthday parties were at breweries. So yeah. It's fine.  

The Texas Chili Queens truck was stationed on the outside serving so damn good chili. Yes. It was 100 degrees. And yes. We ordered chili cheese fries. And yes. They were AMAZING. We got the Houston - as recommended by the guys on the truck. It wasn't too spicy for homegirl (although she can take the heat, my little Texan!). We ate it all up. Then homegirl ran amok. Oh how I love places where it's appropriate for your toddler to be a toddler. 

I definitely recommend you head over to Austin Beerworks sometime this summer. It's not air conditioned, but the huge indoor space has massive fans that kept it MUCH cooler than it was outside. The only bummer about it, is there are no gluten free alcoholic beverages. Which, to be honest, is to be expected at a brewery. But it had to be said. Hubby got to drink. And I had a Mexican coke and water. But still enjoyed myself quite a bit. 

Gluten Free Baked Chicken Parm Casserole Recipe

There is something about baked pasta. It reminds me of my favorite childhood dish my mom would make: baked mac and cheese. This is a slightly more mature version of that, taking all the yummy flavors of the classic Chicken Parmesan.  And I've found the best gluten free brands to complete this recipe! Of course, if you don't have a gluten intolerance, feel free to use the gluten-full items. 

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 10 oz of gluten free pasta (I use Jovial)
  • Jar of your favorite pasta sauce - or make from scratch (about 25 oz)
  • Two chicken breasts
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups of mozzarella cheese
  • olive oil
  • 1 slice of gluten free bread - toasted and crumbled (I use Udi's)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350.

Chicken: season both sides of the chicken liberally with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Cook in oiled pan until cooked through. Remove from pan and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Pasta: Cook the pasta according to the box in salted water. Drain. Put back in pot.

Once the pasta and chicken are both cooked, mix the chicken, sauce, pasta, and 1 cup of the cheese. Pour into a 9x12 glass baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese. Top with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Then broil on high for 3-5 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbly. 

Enjoy! 

gluten free chicken parm recipe
 

Find Your Tribe | Clickin Walk 2017


A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of meeting up with about 30 photographers in central Texas. We joined together for the annual Clickin Moms Clickin Walk - basically thousands of women worldwide join together on one weekend and photograph their town (or nearby town) together. I've been a member of Clickin Moms for many years (I highly recommend it for anyone at any level in their photography "career" - no, you don't have to do it professionally), but this is the first walk I've ever done. 

Anyways...we gathered in downtown Georgetown - the cutest! - and walked and talked and made friends. It was lovely, and exactly what I needed. I feel like I've made some friends for life in this group and happy we found each other - for support, encouragement, and of course - friendship

Canon AT-1 | Kodak Gold 200 | Richard Photo Lab | Clickin Moms

Tips: Flying With a Baby

“You’re going where? What about the baby? Is she going too?"

I remember those comments clear as day. It was as if we told people we were taking her to a foreign land and they’d never see any of us again. I think people get it in their mind, "Whelp, we have a baby now. Our life has to change!" And it definitely does change in literally every way, but you don't have to give up the things you once loved. 

Relax. Breathe. It will be ok.

Traveling is very important to my husband and I. We’ve been overseas every year since being married except for two. Not only that, but we take several trips stateside every year. So when we had our daughter, it was inevitable. Of course we’ll still travel. “That’s cute” where the looks on faces of parents with kids older than ours.

When I was pregnant, I had the mindset that we were still going to travel. If you have the means, there really is no reason not to. Kids are resilient and they adapt to the life you provide. So if hopping on a plane every other month is a part of that life, by all means, live it!

Here are my tips for traveling (flying specifically) with a baby. She was two months old and we went to San Diego.

Flight Times

If you can, try to fly at night. Babies are so much easier to deal with traveling when they are asleep!

 

Extra Seat

If you’re able to afford it, buy that extra seat and bring the carseat! She slept like an angel snuggled up in her carseat. And we were at ease knowing she was buckled in.

 

For the Plane

Diapers and wipes, obviously. But bring extra. Make sure you and your partner have some in your carryon. Bring doggie poo bags, extra outfit for baby, and extra shirt for mom and dad. Trust me on this one. I was christened into the travel-moms club with a massive blowout right after we took off - first time ever changing a diaper on an airplane and it was an up-the-back blow out. Stay calm. Breathe. You got this. Just be prepared.

 

Take-Off and Landing

Nurse, bottle, or paci during take-off and landing - it helps with their ears!

 

Attitude

Flying can be stressful even without a kid. I hate it. But I love traveling, so I’m stuck with it. I noticed that by me being as calm as possible, my daughter is calm. I remember that first flight, I had her in my carrier (wear baby as much as possible while traveling - keep those hands free!), waiting to board. I was swaying gently and singing quietly to her. She was as calm as can be. And so was I. An older lady came up to me and said, “You look so peaceful. Good job, momma.” My response, “Thank you. If I’m calm, she’s likely to be calm.” They can feel your anxiety and your peacefulness. Try to be calm.

 

Destination

Remember, babies all over the developed world eat, drink, and are diapered. If you’re trying to pack light, pack enough diapers/wipes for the flight and the first day. Buy the rest when you get there.

 

Plan for Plan B

This probably goes without saying. Most parents are already planning for plan B, C, D, or even L? But seriously though. Have a plan, but be ok with completely tossing it.

 

Recapping My Top Three Tips

  1. Extra clothes for baby AND mommy for the plane

  2. Good, calm attitude

  3. Nurse, bottle, or paci for take-off and landing

Remember, kids are resilient. There is A LOT they can do. My daughter has been on more than 25 flights. Traveled to six states and three countries. And she’s two.

What are some of your tips for traveling with a baby?  And where are you headed? Always looking to add places to my bucket list!

365 Photos of 2017 | Days 114-128

Definitely learning to really, actually, for real, pick my battles with my 2 year old... A few weeks ago we went to lunch. And she suddenly became obsessed - OBSESSED - with sugar packets. No one in our family uses them, so I was confused why she suddenly became obsessed with them. I really didn't want her playing with them for the obvious: she'll eat all the sugar or they'll spill everywhere. But then I realized she was mostly just using them as shakers. So I let her keep them. And you know what? The world did not end and lunch was peaceful. 

I'm noticing more and more than I'm need to pick my battles. Things that aren't necessarily wrong and definitely aren't dangerous, I am working really hard on letting go - like sugar packets at the dinner table...

Also. I just noticed that she's wearing the same shirt in two days - with only one day in between. Guess you I know what day I did laundry! hahaha

Days 114-128 | April 24 - May 8

Easy, Yummy Fish Tacos with a Kick

Cooking during the summer isn't super awesome. I usually try to avoid it, but we can't eat out every night either. So, when I do cook, I try to cook light. Which means lots of fish!  I've been making this dish for years and it's always scarfed right up!

I most recently made it with Black Drum fish, but I've made it with Talapia or Rainbow Trout. But the guy at the fish counter recommended I try Black Drum - it did not disappoint. A very mild tasting fish that responded well to the spices and pan searing.  

This recipe makes 4 tacos. 

Ingredients

  • eight corn tortillas
  • sriracha sauce
  • mayonnaise
  • one pound of scaled, de-boned fish filets 
  • salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder to taste
  • sugar
  • olive oil
  • one cup of green cabbage, chopped

Directions

  • season both sides of the fish liberally with the salt, pepper, chili powder, and garlic powder
  • pan sear the fish using about 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat - about 4 minutes each side
  • while the fish is cooking, toast the tortillas in a separate pan 
  • in a cup, mix 2 parts mayonnaise and 1 part sriracha (2 tablespoons to 1 tablespoon should be enough unless you like it super saucy!) - secret ingredient, add a pinch of sugar in the sauce, mix well
  • add fish, cabbage, and sauce to the tortillas
  • enjoy! 
Yummy Fish Tacos with a Kick by Jennifer Stamps