My Mama’s Not So Secret Recipe

Here’s the latest on my cooking expedition. Sometimes it’s hard to come up with ideas and make things that are inexpensive, healthy, and that allow you to use what’s already in your fridge or pantry. Thankfully, we buy a lot of chicken when it’s on sale (must be less than $1.99/lb), then we bring it home and freeze it. Chicken is easy and versatile and can be healthy as long as you’re not frying it.

Last night, I decided to do a homemade recipe that comes from my mother’s archives. She’s been making this chicken for as long as I can remember and it is literally the best barbeque chicken I’ve ever had. The sauce is the key and it’s made from scratch and super delicious! My husband loves this and gets super excited when he walks in the door and the aroma smacks him in the face.

The first thing you always want to do when cooking chicken is to cut off any sort of fat. We usually buy boneless chicken breasts as they’re much easier to work with, at least for a novice like me. Occasionally you might find a random bone, just look at the breast before cooking them.

Once that is done, I just quickly seasoned the chicken breasts with a little salt and pepper before dipping them into my homemade sauce. The recipe for the sauce is attached. As a side note, my husband is a bit disappointed that I’m posting this as he believes my mother’s sauce is some age old secret recipe. I’ve conferred with her on this matter and she’s unaware of it being a secret since every woman in her family over the years has used this exact same sauce.

BBQ Chicken

The chicken has to bake for an hour and a half total, so that gives me a little bit of downtime and the opportunity to determine what sort of side dishes to make. Last night, I decided I would roast a butternut squash and then just cook some green beans. I actually went easy on the beans and just opened a can of Green Giant (I had coupons and the cans were on sale, so I got a steal at 30 cents a can and stocked up on them like I did with the chicken).
There’s really not a recipe for the butternut squash, it’s all just seasoning to taste. I like to cut the squash down the middle long ways and then spoon out all the seeds. Next I peel the squash and then start slicing and dicing. Now that I’ve learned the technique to NOT drawing blood while using a knife, I LOVE to dice.

Butternut Squash
Butternut Squash

Once you have little cubes, I put them all in a bowl, salt and pepper them, pour some olive oil over the top and then add in some crushed rosemary. I give them a quick toss before putting them on a greased cookie sheet and then put them in the oven at 300 degrees for 45 minutes. I flip them over midways through cooking and then just let them cook along with the chicken. For the next 45 minutes, I’m playing with my son.

Here’s the turnout for last night’s dinner:


It’s all a huge hit in my house, except for the beans. I can’t seem to get Davey to eat them unless I sneak them in with a macaroni noodle at some point!

My husband is travelling this week, so Davey and I will be on our own with dinners. Guess it’ll be frozen pizzas and hamburger helper!


Never Forget the Power of YOUR Touch

You’ll recall a little over a week ago, I spoke of a book I’m reading and I encouraged all of you out there to pick it up as well.   It’s titled “52 Things Kids Need From a Mom” by Angela Thomas.   As I stated, it’s an easy read and separated out to be able to read a chapter a week, with each chapter really only being about five pages long.   Now, if I had been on schedule (which I’ve learned can be quite difficult once you become a mom) then I would have posted a blog about the second chapter on Friday.   Of course, last week wasn’t the best week.   I was sick, my child was sick, we had some snow, and my husband and I were eager for a date night.   Needless to say, posting a blog on my weekly reading took a back seat, but now I’m back at least on this topic.

Chapter 2 is entitled:  “Kids Need Their Mom…To Never Stop Touching Them.”   Being a part of our sometimes warped society, I immediately went into a not so happy place in my mind when I read the chapter title.   I had to remind myself that this is a Christian book written by a Christian woman who would never encourage any perverse ways of “touching” your children.   With that frame of mind now accomplished, I set about to read the chapter and I have to say, I find myself touching Davey more and more everyday.

Much like Ms. Thomas, we have affection in our home.   My husband and I love to hug each other, we hold hands (a lot of times just walking through a parking lot) and we both dote and love on our son.   He is our treasure, our gift from God and I can’t stop touching him and telling him how much I love him.   Over time, said touching can diminish.   It does a lot in marriages and it’s something that my husband and I must be conscience about.   We have to remind ourselves to not be complacent and to touch each other.  The power of the human touch is a magical thing.   Fortunately, at this point, we don’t have to remind ourselves to touch Davey.   It just seems to come with the territory when having a baby.

“To touch someone can communicate a million things,” Ms. Thomas says and she’s right.   I think we lose all sense of what our touch can really mean to a child.   It can bring forth feelings of love, home, safety, comfort, and acceptance just to name a few.  Isn’t your child worth receiving those feelings?   How often do you touch your children?   How often do you hug them, tousle their hair, kiss their foreheads, wiggle their toes?   It seems like such a small and almost effortless thing to do, but it’s worth more than can be quantified.

Ms. Thomas puts in best when closing this chapter she states, “Never stop touching them.  The gift of your enduring affection will become one of the greatest gifts you ever give to their souls.”

So, I ask all of you who are parents out there and even those of you who aren’t, will you please touch your loved one tonight?   Never forget the power of YOUR touch and what it can mean to someone, especially the smallest ones in our lives.

As a bit of inspiration, here’s a picture of one of my first touches which just happens to be a hug from my beautiful bundle of joy:

Our first hug.
Our first hug.