These little bowls of yummy are so simple to make, I really shouldn’t even call this a recipe. But I’m going to anyways, so booyah. I love a weeknight dinner that’s healthy + easy, but that can also be customized by each person chowing down (chili, tacos, pulled pork sandwiches, etc.). This little gem is one of those dishes.

salsa crazy chicken bowls

Before I tell ya about that yumminess, I have to capture this little bit of toddler heaven the other day before school. I love the bond these two share. That Daddy + Son gig is real treasure… makes me want a mini-me-little-ball-of-sass girl soooo badly!

daddy and corey

We tried a new white wine this week, {Mantellasi Sasso Bianco} and it was fantastic! The best part about this little number is that it’s only $9. It’s light, crisp, and a bit citrusy.

mantellasi wine

Anyone else experience the “NOOO SHOOOOOEEE” in the middle of the store? Tell me I’m not alone.

corey douglas

It was just the one shoe + sock. The other set was apparently okay to stay on. Smug little toddler, ain’t he?

corey douglas

I’ve got a couple of recipes I’m excited to share with y’all soon! One of those dishes are these Tuscan Chicken Cakes are nothing short of miraculous. They’re only 130 calories each and taste sooooo yummy! Jon Boy went back for seconds because he loved them so much, and BONUS: he didn’t have to feel guilty about it!

Once I get my act together, I’ll post this little fella for ya.

Tuscan Chicken Cakes

Now, for the Salsa-Crazy Chicken Bowls. The chicken can’t get any easier to make, and you can customize the bowls just like they do at good ole Chipotle.

salsa crazy chicken bowls

Here’s what’s up. First, marinate the chicken breast in Salsa Verde (we use Herdez medium) for at least 8 hours or overnight. I threw ours in the marinade in a Ziploc the morning I cooked this dish.

salsa crazy chicken bowls

You wanna know why this lovely is called Salsa-CRAZY Chicken Bowls? Because I’m gettin’ cray cray with my salsas, y’all! Salsa verde is the marinade, and you cook the chicken in a fresh RED salsa. Whhhaaatt! Mind blown, I know. Don’t buy the jarred stuff when you’re getting the red salsa. Buy the refrigerated stuff in the produce section. Trust me, you’ll thank me later. Oh, and make sure you’ve got some cumin.

salsa crazy chicken bowls

To cook the chicken, spray some Pam in an oven-proof skillet/dish (I use a Dutch oven). Brown the chicken over medium-high heat (about 3 minutes per side). Dump in the red salsa after flipping the chicken once. Sprinkle on some cumin – I think I used about 2 tsp. but use as much or little as you’d liked.

After the chicken is browned, chunk it in a 350 degree oven, covered, for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. You can just keep it warm in the oven until you’re ready to serve. Just turn off the oven and keep the dish covered.

salsa crazy chicken bowls

Meanwhile, make ya some beans. What’s a Mexican chicken bowl without beans, ‘m I right?

I used 1 can of black beans with the mysterious juices from the can. Dump it all into a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add some bean seasoning (I use this one). Cook, covered, for about 20 minutes. Mash a few beans at the end with a fork or potato masher. Stir, cover, and keep warm until serving time.

salsa crazy chicken bowls

A great thing to add to your bowls is a bunch of roasted veggies. You can do broccoli, sweet potato, green beans, brussels sprouts, corn, squash, or any other crazy veggie you’ve got lying around. Just toss ’em with EVOO + S&P, roast at 400 until they’re as tender as you’d like. We actually had leftover roasted broccolini, so I just heated it up, chopped it up, and threw it in our bowls. It’s a great way to clean out the fridge, too!

salsa crazy chicken bowls

When you’re ready to grub, take the chicken to a cutting board and chop it into bite-sized bits.

salsa crazy chicken bowls

Then, build yer bowl. Some ideas for toppings are:

Sour cream


Diced tomatoes

Diced bell pepper

More salsa (because hey, it’s a salsa-crazy kinda day)


Lime wedges

Tortilla chips

salsa crazy chicken bowls

Chow down without reservation, my friend. This bowl you’re gawking at here comes in at only 215 calories. We actually had ours over zucchini noodles (zoodles), but next time, I’m just going to leave those out. I don’t think they added a ton of “ooomph” and I could always use one less dish to clean. Sorry zoodles, ya didn’t make the cut.

salsa crazy chicken bowls

Salsa-Crazy Chicken Bowls

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 jar salsa verde
1 container fresh red salsa
2 tsp. cumin
1 can black beans
2 tsp. pinto bean seasoning
Roasted veggies (broccoli, green beans, sweet potato, squash, corn)
Toppings of choice (avocado, sour cream, cilantro, diced bell pepper, diced tomato, lime wedges, tortilla chips)

Marinate the chicken in the salsa verde in a large Ziploc for at least 8 hours or overnight in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 350 and remove the chicken from the fridge so it gets closer to room temperature (about 10 minutes).

Spray a large Dutch oven or oven-proof skillet with Pam, and brown the chicken over medium-high heat (about 3 minutes per side). After flipping the chicken, pour the fresh red salsa over the top and sprinkle on the cumin. Cover and bake at 350 until chicken is cooked through (about 30 minutes). Keep warm until serving.

Meanwhile, make the beans. Heat the beans with their juices in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add some bean seasoning, stir, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Mash the beans with a fork or potato masher, cover, and keep warm.

Chop the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces. Assemble the bowls with your choice of roasted veggies and toppings.

On Wednesday, this ole gal turned 21!

Okay, o]]>

Jon Boy and I went to a ridiculously wonderful dinner at The Refuge Steakhouse + Bourbon Bar. We were way too into date night and the yummy food, so I didn’t get many pictures at all. BUT! I can say that the drinks were phenomenal and the food was absolutely scrumptious. We each had cocktails + the crab cake at the bar. Then we moved to the dining room for dinner.

refuge steakhouse and bourbon bar

I had a perfect glass of white wine with the Fried Green Tomato appetizer and a great cab with my steak. I forgot the names, and the wines by the glass aren’t listed online! I’m so bummed. I’ll have to go back to see which ones they were. They both were smooth but full-bodied in flavor.

fundamentally music class

I also found this great Russian River Chardonnay called River Road at Total Wine & More the other day. It’s got a great crisp flavor and pairs very well with Goldfish. I mean… caviar. It pairs really good with caviar. What 31 year old eats Goldfish with their wine. That would be weird…

river road chardonnay

Speaking of wine. I needed it after little home boy decided to chomp the top off of his BRAND NEW marker the other evening. I spent $8 on this awesome marker set at Target (Crayola must make a killing off of moms like me at Target…) and this fool BITES THEM! Good thing is (I guess) that he didn’t eat the tip. He spit it across the room. Holy biscuits. Pour me another.


My sweet sister-in-law gave me these friggin’ adorable wine glasses from Magpie’s Gifts in Cypress. Gotta love a good stemless glass!

texas wine glass

On my birthday, I also got to take Big Man to his music class! He loved shaking the jingle bells…

fundamentally music class

And shaking the scarves… (I think I had just taken one in the eye before I attempted this selfie)…

fundamentally music class

And drumming with the sticks…

fundamentally music class

And of COURSE! The stamp on the belly…

Music class is an awesome activity if you’re looking for something to do with your little one. Ours is only about $200 for the semester, and we even did it last year before Corey was one.

fundamentally music class

I got my nails all did up purty for my birthday! We’re also going to the A&M game this weekend in Dallas, so I had to tie in the Aggie Maroon + fall. I’m still loving getting a dip manicure (versus gel or powder). I feel like it keeps my real nails healthier than any other option plus the paint doesn’t chip or peel off like the others.

dip nail manicure

If you haven’t listened to Leon Bridges yet, please do. His song, “River,” is my absolute fave right now.

leon bridges river

Jon Boy went all out and bought me an amazing birthday (and Christmas and Valentine’s and Easter) present: a new Nikon camera. It’s got an amazing Bluetooth feature so it automatically pairs with my iPhone. I can upload a picture to Instagram or Facebook within seconds of snapping it on my Nikon! Pretty amazing. Now if only I knew how to work this thing… (any tips are greatly welcomed).

nikon camera

This is the first pic I took with the new camera. Good thing my model looks good naturally… my skills need work.

This isn’t the most “fun” note for Friday, but I just have to say that if you’ve stopped praying (or meditating or thinking or sending good vibes) for/to Harvey victims, please pick it up again. Just the other day, I was driving back from dropped Corey off at school. It’s a less than 20 minute drive, and on the way back I decided to go a different way home (may or not have been going to Chick-fil-A, but I digress…). I saw house after house after house whose entire belongings and memories were just sitting on the curb.

Ruined. Rotting. It was horrific.

Weeks after that damn Harvey hit, and these folks are still having to stare at a reminder of the whole awful event. And now you add in Irma, Maria, and the earthquake in Mexico. Lotsa prayers all around. I guarantee you it’s made me think twice about recycling more, driving less, and using less electricity to reduce my carbon footprint. You may or may not believe in climate change, but doing something positive has to make you feel good, right?

Anywho… I’m just grateful when this sweet pup can sunbathe and play bubbles. Rain, rain, go away… at least for now.

Happy Friday, y’all!

We decided to spend our Labor Day doing… LABOR. And lots of it! We really needed to redo our front beds (soil, mulch, flowers, everything…), so we decided to take advantage of Jon’s day off and knock it all out.

Lucky for us, Houston Garden Centers was doing their 70% off sale. We had one huge haul…

labor day yardwork

Okay, two huge hauls…

The toddler came at a great price, too.

labor day yardwork

This kid. He turned his hat backward…

labor day yardwork

and climbed into he bottom of the cart to come along for the ride. He’s no fool. He got in the shade and was carted around the whole place while we hmmmed and hawwweed over what bushes + flowers to buy.

labor day yardwork

He did put in some hard labor of his own, too. He was our resident dirt pusher and water drinker.

labor day yardwork

OMG that backwards hat and those chubby stinkin’ cheeks.

labor day yardwork

Too cool for school.

labor day yardwork

Here’s the BEFORE:

(side note: we had to have our front walk re-poured because the rebar was poking through the fresh concrete and rusting every time it rained…)

labor day yard work

labor day yard work

labor day yard work

labor day yard work

And the AFTER!

labor day yardwork

labor day yardwork

labor day yardwork

I love fall, and I really, really love this cute yard sign we got from Joss + Main. It adds a little Southern flair to the yard which is always a good thing!

labor day yardwork

I tried this Sous La Roche to celebrate our Day of Labor, and it did not disappoint! It’s super light, crisp, and perfect for a day spent sweating and working. It’s like the wine version of beer… if that makes sense. Definitely recommend this one!

santenay sous la roche

Hurricane Harvey is here! Well, technically not here where we are, but in Texas anyway. We’ve been spared the bad stuff for now, but we’re getting ready for flooding and some heavy winds. Until then… we’re just hanging out and playing with the big boy and cookin’ some yummy stuff.

mozzarella stuffed chicken meatballs

Jon Boy actually helped me make these meatballs since we weren’t feeling super rushed like a normal weeknight dinner. He did a great job, I must say! I might have to make him my sous chef soon. He also made some AMAZING Italian Margaritas to go with our dinner, and holy smokes. Imma have to post that one ASAP.

mozzarella stuffed chicken meatballs
This recipe is super simple and fairly healthy when you compare it to others in the meatball world. I’d say this makes 4 good-sized portions that each come in at around 560 calories per serving. We had ours with Creamy Parmesan Orzo (orzo is basically the result of pasta + rice having a baby). It was delicious, but honestly, we would’ve been just fine with zucchini noodles or roasted veggies on the side. These meatballs can stand on their own!

mozzarella stuffed chicken meatballs

Here’s the step-by-step for how to make these little nuggets of Italian deliciousness:

[Photo Cred: Jon Boy]

Mix all the goodness together.

Using a tablespoon or a tablespoon scoop, portion out some meat.

mozzarella stuffed chicken meatballs

Flatten the meat into a disc.

mozzarella stuffed chicken meatballs

Place some mozzarella in the middle (I didn’t have the right sized mozzarella balls – thank you, Hurricane Harvey). The ciliegene sized (about the size of a cherry) ones are perfectly round and adorable.

mozzarella stuffed chicken meatballs

These are the ones you want:

mozzarella stuffed chicken meatballs

Gently fold the meat around the mozzarella until all sides of the cheese are covered.

mozzarella stuffed chicken meatballs

Roll into a ball (it’s okay if just a little cheese shows).

mozzarella stuffed chicken meatballs

The key to easily browning meatballs: chill them in the freezer for about 10 minutes. This will keep them formed so they don’t fall apart while you’re browning them in the skillet. If you’re making them ahead, throw them in the freezer for 10, then move them to an airtight container in the fridge. They should keep for a few hours until you’re ready to brown + bake.

mozzarella stuffed chicken meatballs

Roll them in some flour to coat all sides. Place them in the hot oil and brown on all sides (about 2 minutes per side).

mozzarella stuffed chicken meatballs

I flip mine 3 times – think: top, bottom, side. Make sure you work in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan – this will make the heat of the oil go down too much which would result in mushy meatballs. Yuck. Set the cooked meatballs aside.

mozzarella stuffed chicken meatballs

In your oven proof skillet or Dutch oven, heat the sauce until warm. Nestle in your lovely meatballs. Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes or until cooked through. Cover and keep warm until serving. Garnish with Parm and basil. Voila.

mozzarella stuffed chicken meatballs

MMMMM Vinho Verde! If you’ve never tried it, you’ve got to. It’s less alcohol-per-volume (and calories) than other white wines. It’s light, a little fizzy and perfect to have while you’re cooking or hanging out on the patio.

vinho verde sonalto

nom nom nom nom nom

Everyone stay safe out there during this crazy weather! Also… get groceries delivered so you can make these…

mozzarella stuffed chicken meatballs

Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Meatballs

1 lb. ground chicken
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 eggs, whisked
3/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped (or 1/2 tsp. dry)
1 tsp. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (or 1/2 tsp. dry)
1/2 – 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (depending on how much heat you want)
Ciliegine (cherry size) mozzarella balls
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup EVOO
1 1/2 jars marinara sauce
Fresh basil leaves, julienned, for garnish
Freshly grated Parmesan, for garnish

In a large bowl, combine chicken, Parmesan, Panko, eggs, S&P, oregano, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Using a tablespoon (or tablespoon scoop), scoop out portions of meat and flatten with your hand. Place 1 mozzarella ball in the middle of the flattened patty. Fold the sides of the meat around the mozzarella so that you completely cover the cheese. Add more meat if you need to. Repeat the process with the remaining meat, and save any extra mozzarella balls for later. Place the formed meatballs on a plate and chill in the freezer for about 10 minutes, until meatballs are firm. (You can move them from the freezer to an airtight container in the fridge and cook them later.)

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Heat the EVOO over medium-high heat in a large skillet until shimmering. Roll the chilled meatballs in the flour until fully coated. Brown meatballs on all sides (about 2 minutes per side). Work in batches so that you don’t overcrowd the pan. Set cooked meatballs aside.

In a large Dutch oven or oven-proof skillet, heat the marinara sauce until warm. Place the cooked meatballs throughout the sauce, coating the meatballs with the sauce. Sprinkle in any extra mozzarella balls throughout the pan. Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes until meatballs are cooked through. Cover and keep warm until serving. Garnish with basil and grated Parmesan.

Adapted via Whats Gaby Cooking?

I love me some Pioneer Woman. Her cookbook, Dinnertime, is one of my all-time faves! Everything I’ve made from her easy-to-read book has been delicious + simple + a hit with the fam. I made her Chicken in Mustard Cream Sauce on Thursday as we were panicking + getting ready for Hurricane Harvey. It takes less than 20 minutes to make, plus it can keep warm until you’re ready to eat. Gotta love an easy recipe that will keep through bath and bed time!

chicken in mustard cream sauce pioneer woman

I’d definitely recommend this one if you’re looking for a new cookbook (or a good gift). The Red Wine Pot Roast I posted about a couple of days ago is also from this book.

pioneer woman dinnertime cookbook

[amazon_link asins=’0062225243′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’atalioraeweya-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’2f1042d8-89b5-11e7-ad51-67e7c99bc414′]

Here’s the easy steps to your next 20 minute weeknight meal:

~ Cut chicken breasts in half so they’re only about 1/2″ thick or just use tenderloins (I did both so we’d have extra).

~ Season both sides with S&P

~ Melt butter + EVOO in a large skillet over medium-high heat

~ Brown on both sides (about 4 minutes per side)

chicken in mustard cream sauce pioneer woman

~ Set those browned beauties to the side while you make the sauce (takes about 4 minutes to make)

chicken in mustard cream sauce pioneer woman

~ Nestle those little chickens back into the sauce (pour in the juice from the plate, too)

~ Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through

chicken in mustard cream sauce pioneer woman

~ Throw on some parsley, cover, and keep warm until you’re ready to chow down

chicken in mustard cream sauce pioneer woman
chicken in mustard cream sauce pioneer woman

Side Note: Can someone please explain how my baby grew up so fast?! Pretty soon he’ll be talking about stock options and wearing slacks… or maybe he’ll be more of the grungy, grow-out-a-foot-long-beard type. Either way… too fast!

corey douglas

I’m not even gonna lie… this storm has me freaked out. I’m a Dallas girl, so I’m used to preparing for tornadoes, but this is a whole new ball game. The shelves are empty at stores, gas is already gone, and people are CRAY-CRAY! So, I was a lazy + scared little hermit and decided to get our groceries delivered. We’ve done this only a handful of times, but it’s worth every extra penny in order to avoid the chaos at the store!

instacart heb

The poor guy who was doing our shopping for us had to swap a lot of our items for others because H-E-B was totally out of them! It was a madhouse when I drove by, so I tipped this sweet kid very well for doing my dirty work for me. Now, we’re all stocked up, and I’m ready to cook my way through Harvey.

instacart heb

I found this Chardonnay at Costco for a great price [they have the best prices on booze from what I’ve seen]! It’s delicious, full-bodied, and paired perfectly with this chicken dish. Definitely a great find + a repeat for us!

saint-véran chardonnay

Now… back to this scrumptious little chicken…

We served ours with P-Dub’s Buttery Lemon Parsley Noodles (we used egg noodles). You could also serve this with rice, cauliflower rice, or plain egg noodles. I break this size recipe up into 6 servings coming in at 328 calories per. Not too bad!

chicken in mustard cream sauce pioneer woman

Chicken in Mustard Cream Sauce

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (chicken tenderloins) (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs. EVOO
2 tbs. unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 cup dry white wine (we use Chardonnay)
1 heaping tbs. Dijon mustard
1 heaping tbs. grainy Dijon mustard (whole-grain mustard)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 – 1/2cup chicken stock
Flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise so that they’re only about 1/2” thick. Seasons both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.

Over medium-high heat, melt the butter and EVOO until shimmering. Brown both sides of the chicken (about 4 minutes per side). Remove chicken to a plate.

In the same pan, sauté the garlic for just about a minute, until fragrant. Carefully pour in the wine, scraping the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Allow to simmer for about 2 minutes, until the mixture reduces slightly, stirring occasionally. Add the mustards, heavy cream, and 1/4 cup chicken stock. Stir to combine and allow to cook for a few minutes. Add more chicken stock if the mixture looks too thick.

Reduce heat to low. Nestle the chicken back into the sauce, cover, and cook for about 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Garnish with parsley.

Makes about 6 servings.

Adapted via Pioneer Woman