One Pot Chicken with Veggies + Artichoke Hearts

One evening when Everett was about 1 or 2 weeks old, my mother in law was over, helping with things around the house, and cooking dinner. She brought over a bunch of random ingredients from her refrigerator at home and just threw it all together. We had no idea what to call this dish, but it was delicious, and we've made it together several times since.

Simple Dinner: One Pot Chicken with Veggies + Artichoke Hearts

This meal is super simple, with ingredients you already have in your house, I'd be willing to bet. With the exception of artichokes, because I know I don't cook with them all the time, even though they are my favorite vegetable. I feel like artichokes are vastly under used. They are just so good. When I remember that I love something so much I tend to go a little crazy over them. Artichokes on all the things! Pizza, pasta, salads, so many possibilities. Anyway, the artichokes are what make this dish, in our opinion (my mother in laws and mine). Be sure to pick up the already marinated kind, for tons of flavor.

Simple Dinner: One Pot Chicken with Veggies + Artichoke Hearts

 

Ingredients

  • cooking oil (I prefer coconut oil)
  • 1 onion
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 1 russet potato
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 (8 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts

Instructions

Heat up a large pot with coconut oil over medium heat and start chopping your veggies. Dice your onion, peel and chop carrots, and chop celery. Peel and chop potato into roughly 2-inch pieces. You don't have to be exact. Put all your veggies in the pot, season with salt and pepper and sautè for 10-15 minutes. Cut chicken breasts into 2-inch cubes and add those to the pot, seasoning again with salt and pepper. Give the artichoke hearts a rough chop if they aren't already chopped in the jar, and add the artichokes with the liquids into the pot. Cover the pot with a lid and let everything simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

Serve over quinoa, rice, or alone with your favorite sides!

Simple Dinner: One Pot Chicken with Veggies + Artichoke Hearts

Peach Soft Serve Ice Cream

This is the perfect spring/summer treat. It's basically a smoothie just made into ice cream! It's naturally sweetened with honey, and creamy from the Greek yogurt.

The Greek yogurt gives the perfect tartness paired with the sweetness of the peaches and honey. It's the perfect sit outside on the back porch and spray your kids down with the hose treat for those hot Texas summers ;)

This recipe is super versatile, so try using different frozen berries and see how you like it! I think raspberry would be awesome :)

If you don't have an ice cream maker, this mixture can easily be made into popsicles. I hope you and your family enjoy this treat as much as we have!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups frozen peaches
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup almond milk (or any kind)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Variations: You could use vanilla Greek yogurt or another flavor, just use less honey to account for the higher sugar content in the yogurt.

Instructions

In a blender, combine all the ingredients. Blend until smooth.

Turn your ice cream maker on and start pouring the mixture into a fully frozen ice cream maker bowl. Follow your makers instructions for timing or just watch and stop churning when the ice cream has reached the consistency that you want. Mine was perfect after about 12 minutes.

Eat immediately or store - we have these cute little ice cream containers from Tovolo and love them. Your ice cream can be stored in any freezer safe container though with an air-tight seal. When pulling out of the freezer, allow ice cream to soften a bit before enjoying.

What's your favorite summer treat?

Motherhood from a Place of Lack

With Mother's Day being yesterday, I wanted to share some thoughts swirling around my head concerning motherhood in this season of my life. I watched a Periscope from Gretchen of Life Lived Beautifully last week that spoke straight to my heart and was exactly what I needed to hear in that moment. She spoke on Mark 6:30-44, where Jesus fed 5,000 people from only a few loaves of bread and fish. Her message was of God's abundance in the midst of our lack, and man this pierced my heart, and renewed my soul when I heard it.

Because earlier that morning, I was sitting on the coach, trying desperately to spend some much needed time with Jesus, and a little girl was sitting at the kitchen table, joyfully enjoying breakfast and telling me all about it. I was like "mmhmm" "stop talking to me" and so short with her. I kept reading the same sentence over and over again. I became frustrated and probably said some harsh words. Y'all, while trying to study my Bible. So stupid. So revealing. I had to look in the mirror of my imperfection and just admit my lack, my emptiness.

There are so many voices telling us what to do as mom's....from breastfeeding to circumcision, to organic food, to homeschool, on and on and on. It's draining and isolating. There are just so many voices telling us that we aren't good enough. Now this is a message I don't need reinforced. I've heard it time and time again from relationships (toxic and otherwise), media, culture and my own insecurities accusing me. In the midst of all this noise, there is another voice - the voice of Jesus telling us that we can come to Him, weary and burdened, and find rest, true rest, and abundant connection with Him. 

The Gospel says bring your lack, bring your nothing, and come sit at the feet of Jesus, allowing Him to make MUCH of the little you bring. These people didn't have much at all, just a few loaves of bread and fish, and yet God multiplied their lack and fed 5,000 people, with more to spare. This is an aspect of God's character I'm claiming over and over again in these days at home with littles - His abundance. Not only does He desire to make the little I have fill up my cup, but He wants my cup to overflow.

Right now I'm staring out our back window at Reaghan playing. I gave her a tub of water, some toys and a cup and what do I see? She's watering our herbs. My initial reaction is to tell her to stop, yet when I think about it for a minute, I realize she's copying her mama. God has given me a gift in her, He has brought me close to Him in mothering her, and I am reminded He makes much of nothing. These are the moments of cup-overflowing-ness that sweep over me on days (like today) when I'm feeling incredibly desperate and needy.

The beauty in this is that it's exactly where God wants us to be. When we feel a little bit great, a little bit like a rock star mom, all our ducklings in a row...it's not that He's not pleased by that...rather, I think He gets the most joy and honor when we find our ultimate comfort in Him alone. No perfection of our own, no check marks to fall back on. Because when I'm face down on the carpet crying out to God for help, He meets me, tangibly, in the most real way. My emotions don't always follow with bright cheeriness, but my soul is anchored, it's secure. Those are the days I think God, our Heavenly dad, smiles at us and says "I love you so much, my baby."

Photography by Casandra Hawkins

Simple Toddler Play at Home

I wanted to share a resource I’ve recently discovered that has brought a lot of joy to our days. I started realizing pretty quickly after Everett was born that I needed some help planning Reaghan’s day. Prior to his birth I didn’t have too many planned activities at home for her because I honestly felt so overwhelmed by all the ideas out there, and we also spent a good portion of our day running errands together, going to parks or to friends houses. Now that Everett is here, we are spending more time at home, and having something tangible ready for Reaghan to learn and have fun with has made all the difference.

My favorite resource for making a long day with a toddler fun!

Giving Rae the structure of a fun activity helps her learn and not run around wild in our house, and usually gives me a little bit of quiet too. Here’s the resource I wanted to share with you and have been loving: Simply Learning. Kaitlyn has an incredibly organized website and instagram feed with beautiful pictures and clear plans for educational play that she calls “tot school.” Her daughter is 2.5 like Reaghan so I like following along – however she does say that all activities can be modified for anywhere between 1-5 years old. She has weekly themes and a simple but comprehensive supply list – nothing too out there or overwhelming. Most of the items I already have in my home! I’m gradually adding supplies to my collection a little bit each month.

fine motor water transfer and learning about absorption

fine motor water transfer and learning about absorption

playing with homemade cornstarch play-dough (an ocean) and fish

playing with homemade cornstarch play-dough (an ocean) and fish

You should know I completely copy Simply Learning. I’m not creative in this department, and when I try to make things up myself, I get super stressed, so having someone do all the leg work for me upfront helps me to actually enjoy the process rather than it being an additional chore that I inevitably give up on. This is something I’m learning more and more – we thrive best and have more peace (my word for the year) when we operate out of our strengths.

Tot school has given us a new found appreciation for books

Tot school has given us a new found appreciation for books

I also want to say - this is not meant to promote guilt in your heart! I struggle with feeling like I “should” do a lot of things as a mama, and have to remember what my strengths are as a mom, and not what I would like my strengths to be, and work out of those, letting others, like Kaitlyn, work out of their strengths!

We are not doing activities all day long, but I’ve found that if I have 1-2 activities ready for the day, the day goes a lot smoother for us. The activities usually take us about 30-60 minutes, and what I love about them is that there is very little prep. On Sunday evenings I go through Simply Learning's Pinterest board for that weeks theme, browse the unique hashtag for the week, and jot down in my planner what we will be doing throughout the week.

Of course, some days are busy and we are out of the house, but especially during these new baby months, it has proven fruitful to give a little more structure to our time at home, for all of us!

painting shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day

painting shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day

Here’s our little set up and how I stay organized with toys/tot school:

My favorite resource for making a long day with a toddler fun!

We are using our old entertainment center for toy and tot school storage. I love it! We don’t have a play room that we can use for these things so it’s nice to have everything in the living room where we all hang out as a family and where Rae can grab toys when she wants them, but they aren’t all over the place. Tidyness is a big thing for me ;) On the top I keep paint, glue, beads, rhinestones, paintbrushes and markers in the plastic drawers. The white tub is used for sensory activities and I also have a large plastic storage bin from Ikea for sensory play too that I keep in Rae's closet. To the right I keep paper, laminated printables, and gift supplies. Underneath that I have a wicker basket with consturction paper, a storage box with more markers, plastic cups, other odds and ends, and our play trays from Ikea.

On the bottom is where all her toys are. Yes, all her toys. As I typed that it just hit me, this is basically what she has. She does have a stroller, grocery cart, vacuum that stay in our linen closet when not being used, and a play kitchen in her bedroom. I have one wicker box for books that we interchange with the ones in her room periodically. On the right are two sensory bins with beans and measuring cups, and one with pom poms and pipe cleaners. On the very bottom I keep puzzles!

I keep a list of activities on the inside doors in case I get in a rut and need to think of something quick. You can print one out like this here.

I keep a list of activities on the inside doors in case I get in a rut and need to think of something quick. You can print one out like this here.

extra storage in the drawers!

extra storage in the drawers!

Having activities in different baskets has helped me to reinforce the idea that if she wants to play with a new thing, she needs to put away what she had out last. This doesn’t always happen, but we’re working on it, so that our house isn’t a complete disaster at the end of the day!

For more ideas on organization and way more ideas on supplies for tot school, check out this post from Simply Learning – I just love her tot school room! So cute and functional and not cluttered at all.

What fun activities do you do with your child? I'd love to hear!

Happy Birthday to the NR Shop!

I can't believe my little shop is ONE today! Last year I wanted to open up a shop that would allow me to be creative, learn + grow, and design products that would help women find more joy and less fuss in the kitchen. Any time one of y'all tells me that our Seasonal Meal Planning journals have saved your sanity, or that Nourished Cookbook has helped encourage you to cook for others, I know it has been worth all the risk, money, time, tears, prayers and hard work. Our message is simple: cook simply so you can enjoy the process more.... and use food to gather people together for community!


So let's celebrate! Join me on Instagram all week, where I'll be giving away some of my favorite products from my favorite small businesses. All giveaways are open until Friday at 12pm CST!