Groovin' in the kitchen, dancin' in Missoula.

Author: jshontz

My new obsession

My new obsession

I was one of those kids who would decide something didn’t look good, and then convince myself it tasted terrible. At least I know I’m not the only one, but now I kick myself for cheating myself out of years of delicious foods. Like Tapioca […]

Summer Recap

Summer Recap

Holy smokes! Hello! I still exist, and I’m happy that you do too. We had an action-packed, relaxing, invigorating, magical summer. Hence the silence on my part. Umm, apparently June 4th was the last time I visited here, but I swear it was only two […]

Pineapple Chicken with Coconut Rice

Pineapple Chicken with Coconut Rice

Otherwise known as the most tropical dinner I’ve ever made. Aloha!

I feel like this also got me out of my chicken rut. Lately, my chicken dinners have been so blah. Completely edible, but not exciting and only just…decent. I’ve just gotten out of my groove, and chicken has been pretty dry and flavorless. Of course this was something I had to fix.

Pineapple Chicken
Voila!

This was easy to throw together. An excellent weeknight dinner when you’re starving after work. The chicken and the rice can cook simultaneously, so it won’t take more than 30 minutes for this meal. And although I cooked everything on the stove top, it went quickly enough that I didn’t heat up the house too much.

I marinated the chicken ahead of time, but I’m not sure if that’s truly necessary. I think it would have been great either way. I’ll make it again and find out.

I also had a bit of trouble with the rice. I felt like it absorbed all the liquid so fast, but then it was still a bit crunchy. That’s never happened before, so I wonder if I have old rice? Or if we had extremely dry air that day? (This is Montana, after all.) I’m going to call it a fluke and hope it doesn’t happen to you. Let me know how it goes, ok?

Pineapple Chicken with Coconut Rice
Serves 4

For the Chicken

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (for the marinade)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (for the marinade)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (for the marinade)
  • 1 1/2 cup pineapple chunks (I used a fresh pineapple, but canned will work too! Just drain the juice first)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3 tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

If you’re going to marinate the chicken, add the olive oil, lemon juice and salt together in a large ziplock bag. Give it a little shake to combine. Then add the chicken and refrigerate for an hour or several hours.
In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium heat until melted. Add the sliced chicken and onions and cook, flipping the chicken slices as needed. When the chicken is close to cooked all the way through, add the pineapple slices and sweet chili sauce. Turn the heat down a bit, and continue to cook until the chicken is cooked through and your rice is done.

For the Rice

  • 1 1/2 cups Jasmine rice
  • 2 cups canned coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced

Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for another 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can add more water if necessary a 1/2 cup at a time. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Place the rice in a bowl and top with the pineapple chicken. I used more sweet chili sauce to garnish, and we ate with chopsticks for fun.

Banana with Honeyed Mascarpone & Caramel

Banana with Honeyed Mascarpone & Caramel

Bananas are not my go-to dessert. I do not like banana splits. Just give me the ice cream! I’ve had Bananas Foster once, but I prefer apple crisp. But my friends served this dessert a couple of weeks ago, and I haven’t been able to […]

Game of Thrones Pie

Game of Thrones Pie

I’ve read the Game of Thrones series. Twice. I really enjoy them, and I was trying to bide my time until the next book in the series came out. Oh poor, naive Jo. Can we please please please have the next one? Pretty please? I’ve […]

How I Survived the Blizzard

How I Survived the Blizzard

Frozen Whipped Cream Sandwiches

You all know that I hate the cold.

I would take 97F over -25F EVERY. TIME.

And spending two hours shoveling my driveway, while a great workout, is not my idea of time well-spent.

But I have to say, getting a four-day weekend is pretty spectacular.

Guys. We got snow days!! Not one, but two!!

If you’re from Montana, this is basically unheard of. It could snow an entire foot over night and we’d still have to go to school.

Last week though, we got Friday off because it snowed a foot over night and then we had 50mph wind. I had to pretend I was hearing ocean sounds in order to sleep. It actually worked really well. There still weren’t enough streets cleared by Monday to safely open the schools, which meant that we got to stay home again.

So my mind naturally came up with this frozen treat. If you’re all bundled up and you don’t have to brave the cold, why not?

All you have to do is make some whipped cream
Frozen Whipped Cream Sandwiches
We make whipped cream by adding heavy whipping cream and maple syrup into a mixing bowl. Beat until fluffy and add maple syrup in small amounts until it tastes right.

Get some graham crackers
Frozen Whipped Cream Sandwiches

Spread on some peanut butter
Frozen Whipped Cream Sandwiches

Then the whipped cream
Frozen Whipped Cream Sandwiches

Sprinkle on some chocolate chips. Drizzle on as much caramel as you can.
Frozen Whipped Cream Sandwiches
More caramel! Caramel recipe can be found here.

Top them off and freeze them for a couple of hours.
Frozen Whipped Cream Sandwiches

Frozen Whipped Cream Sandwiches

These sandwiches don’t get rock hard like you’d expect. Even after they’ve been in the freezer overnight! They were shockingly easy to break in half and bite through. The whipped cream retains its fluffy texture, and frozen caramel might be the best thing in the world. As my husband says, “These things will change your life.”

If I would have known I could celebrate the cold with treats, I would’ve had a completely different outlook on winter.

Keep It Simple

Keep It Simple

I love making pizza. I have this magical bread machine that makes the pizza crust for me. It’s so fluffy! I highly recommend getting a bread machine. Even if all you ever use it for is pizza dough, it’s totally worth it. I do stray […]

How I roll

How I roll

My son was laughing the other day, and I didn’t know why. Until I looked up from my camera and he was looking at me. You gotta do what you gotta do!

Apple Oatmeal Cookies

Apple Oatmeal Cookies

Apple Cookies
I’m not sure what happened to all of my cookies. These lasted all of two hours before they vanished.

Apple Cookies
I restrained myself from eating the dough, which was no easy feat.

Apple Cookies
And they definitely came out of the oven…

Apple Cookies
They made it to the cooling rack. But then?

Apple Cookies
One by one, they disappeared!

Huh, I guess I’ll just have to make more.

Apple Oatmeal Cookies
Makes approximately 36 cookies

3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup applesauce
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups oatmeal (this is the amount before blending), blended
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 to 2 large apples, chopped

Preheat oven to 375F

Start by making oat flour. Place 2 1/2 cups of oatmeal into a blender or food processor. Pulse on low until the oats resemble gravely sand.
Cream butter, applesauce and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla.
Add flour, oats, baking powder and baking soda and mix. Add the apples and gently combine.
Drop onto a cookie sheet or stoneware pan, and bake 15 to 20 minutes, just until golden brown.

These cookies are perfect on their own, but you can add vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for an extra decadent dessert.

Steamy Rice and Beans

Steamy Rice and Beans

I love elaborate recipes. I really do. But 90% of the time, I’ll look at an elaborate recipe with 20 ingredients and think, “Yeah right! Not tonight, my friend.” Which is a pity, because ingredient lists can be deceiving as far as effort involved. On […]