Greek Chicken and Veggies Sheet Pan Dinner

My goal for the summer is to spend the least amount of time possible in the kitchen and the perfect way to accomplish that is to cook meals that require me not standing around the stove! Sheet pan dinners are perfect for this!

Now this meal did require some prep but you can cut down by not marinating the chicken ahead of time or preparing during a weekly meal prep. Let’s cook!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of chicken (I used boneless, skinless chicken tenders and thighs to cut down on cooking time. If you use larger pieces or skin cook for an extra 20-25 minutes or until chicken reaches internal temperature of 165 degrees)
  • 1 cup Greek Vinaigrette (I used Ken’s)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of oregano
  • 2-3 tablespoons of garlic salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons of all purpose seasoning (I used Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute but Italian seasoning can work here as well)
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 8-10 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • 1-2 cups zucchini sliced into coins
  • 1-2 cups yellow squash sliced into coins
  • 1-2 cups of yellow potatoes quartered

Directions:

Place chicken in bowl and add 1/3 of olive oil, 1/3 cup of Greek vinaigrette, 1/3 of minced garlic, 1/3 garlic salt, 1/3 oregano, 1/3 all purpose seasoning & 1/3 red onion. Add juice of 1/2 lemon. Add all of red wine vinegar. Mix until chicken is coated and set aside to marinate for at least one hour. When ready to cook, pre heat oven to 400. As a shortcut I pre-cooked my potatoes only in the microwave for 3 minutes so they would be fork tender. In another bowl add potatoes and 1/3 of Greek vinaigrette, oil, seasonings, garlic and red onion. Mix to coat and add to sheet pan sprayed with oil. Repeat with zucchini and squash in same bowl and then add to sheet pan. Add juice of the other half of the lemon over veggies. Cook in oven for 45-50 minutes or chicken reaches internal temp of 165 then (you may want to check and turn the chicken and veggies about 20 minutes into baking). Set oven on broil and broil for 5-8 minutes. I garnished with crumbled feta cheese, kalamata olives, and banana pepper rings. Then dinner is done!!!

The flavors of this meal were amazing and we all enjoyed it. It was even better the next day as leftovers. We will definitely add this to the rotation. Make sure you check out my reels on Instagram to see how I made this!

Love Ricki

Cajun Sausage Ravioli

Recently I was gifted some delicious sausage from a friend and I challenged myself to come up with a quick 30 minute meal using it. The sausage is Lord & Barrett Sausage Co. Creole Style Green Onion Smoked Sausage & I highly recommend because it was delicious and I’m personally not a big fan of smoked sausage. Let’s make the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • Smoked Sausage (sliced)
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup of peppers chopped (I used a combo of red, yellow and orange mini sweet bell peppers but you can certainly just use a green bell pepper)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 2 packages of fresh ravioli – I only used one but you definitely need mor because not a lot come in the package
  • Seasonings- I used Cajun seasoning, garlic & onion powder
  • 1-2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp of butter
  • Chopped fresh or dried Basil (optional)

Directions: Prepare water to boil for pasta according to package. Heat skillet on medium heat and add a tablespoon of oil and sauté sausages until crispy or cooked though which took me about 5-8 minutes. Remove sausage and drain oil excellent for about a teaspoon. Add butter and cook onions, garlic & peppers until soft. Make sure once water boils to add ravioli and cook til al dente. Reserve a cup of pasta water in case you need to thin your sauce out later. Season lightly & then add heavy whipping cream to onions and peppers mixture. Let cook until simmering and then add sausage, cooked ravioli and Parmesan cheese. Taste for more seasoning and add if needed. Top with more cheese and Basil.

This recipe is delicious, quick, doesn’t require a lot of ingredients and easy to make. Perfect to get you in and out of the kitchen during the summertime! I also made a video to show how I made this on Instagram. Follow me @severalpeoplesmama Let me know if this is something you or your family would enjoy!

Love Ricki

Shrimp and Grits

Easter Brunch has been a tradition I started for my family a few years ago. Because Easter is my favorite holiday I have a special dish I prepare usually only at this time of year: Shrimp and Grits. This dish is so good and so easy to make! If you’re invited to my house for brunch you better get there early or you WILL miss out! Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 small to medium onion finely diced
  • 1-2 peppers diced, you can use all one color or a combination I used green and red
  • 1-2 tbsp of minced garlic (I used a paste found at Aldi)
  • 4 slices of bacon diced
  • 2 pounds fresh raw shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • 1-2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp of butter
  • 2-3 tbsp of flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2-3 tbsp tomato paste
  • Seasonings: Tony’s creole seasoning, pepper, cayenne (optional), garlic and onion powder, Italian seasoning & old bay

Directions: Season shrimp. Add bacon to sauté pan on medium heat. Cook bacon til crispy, remove from pan to paper towel. Reserve about 1-2 tbsp of bacon grease. Turn heat of to medium high and add seasoned shrimp. Cook about 1-2 minutes on each side until pink. Remove to paper towel with bacon. Add tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter then onions and peppers. Sauté til soft. Add garlic and cook for and additional minute. Add another 2 tbsp of olive oil and then flour. Cook for 3-5 minutes, you do not want raw flour! After flour has been absorbed in the veggies, slowly whisk in chicken broth. A gravy should start forming. You can add more chicken broth or water depending on how thick you want your gravy. Stir tomato paste and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes and then add back in shrimp and bacon. Turn heat to medium low. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes and I taste for seasoning. I add another tbsp of butter to make my gravy creamy and smooth. Serve over grits (see my reels on Instagram for how I make my grits). Enjoy!

This recipe goes fast and is best served immediately so make sure you have your grits ready. If you do create this recipe please be sure to tag me @severalpeoplesmama. I’d love to see it and share!

Love Ricki

Spring Brunch Cocktails

Hi y’all! Yesterday I hosted a live on my Instagram where I shared my favorite drink Prosecco and 3 cocktails I enjoy making with it. I promised I would post the recipes on my blog today so you can have a reference point. I want to say I had so much fun on the live and maybe got a little tipsy too and I look forward to more lives and sharing more recipes and some girl chat with y’all in the future!

Here are the recipes!

Sunrise and Moonlight Mimosa

Ingredients:

  • Prosecco (my favorite is LaMarca)
  • Strawberry and blueberry syrup (see this post for the recipe)
  • Orange juice
  • Pineapple juice
  • Fresh or frozen fruit

Directions:

In a champagne flute add fruit and then pour orange juice & pineapple juice. Top with Prosecco or champagne. Add strawberry syrup for a sunrise mimosa and blueberry syrup for a moonlight mimosa. Enjoy!

Peach Bellini

Ingredients:

  • Prosecco
  • 1-2 cups frozen peaches
  • 1 cup of ice
  • Peach nectar or simple syrup
  • 1-2 tbsp Strawberry syrup (optional)

Directions:

In a blender add peaches, ice, peach nectar, simple syrup (or sugar, if you want this sweet) & strawberry syrup. Blend until a slushy consistency. Add to a champagne flute and top with Prosecco. Enjoy!

French 75

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces of your favorite Gin
  • 1 oz of fish lemon juice or more if you’d like
  • 1 oz of simple syrup (add more if you’d like it sweeter)
  • 1 cup of ice
  • Prosecco
  • Lemon peel or twist for garnish

Directions:

In a shaker add lemon juice, gin, ice and simple syrup. Shake until blended and add to champagne flute. Top with Prosecco and lemon peel or twist. Enjoy! Note: this is my new favorite drink but be careful, that gin will make you sin! Lol

I hope you enjoy these drinks in the future either at a brunch or happy hour or to unwind after a long day. If you do recreate them please tag me on Instagram @severalpeoplesmama

Love Ricki

Chaffles: My New Obsession

Blueberry Bacon Chaffles

Hi y’all I know it’s been a minute (or 5) since I’ve posted a recipe on the blog but to be honest between working from home, my grazing box business, mommin’ and my social life I’ve been busy!!! Plus if you following me on Instagram (make sure you are @severalpeoplesmama) you know I’ve been posting recipe reels a lot lately because their quick and easy and everyone’s loves a video. But my goal is to post more on the blog so you will have a reference point so I thought I would share the basic foundation recipe for my new obsession- the chaffle! The chaffle is a low carb/keto friendly version of a waffle which can be made to be sweet or savory & while searching Pinterest I have found several recipes that I will try and share but first we need to get to the basic recipe.

All you need for a basic chaffle is a mini waffle maker (you probably could use a regular size one too but these are too fun!) and the ingredients below:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tbs of almond flour (you can also use coconut flour but those are preferred in sweeter versions)
  • 2 eggs

Add what you like, mix the ingredients together, spray your waffle maker and pour in & cook for about 3-5 minutes.

And that’s it! That makes about 4 mini waffles. The fun part is adding different ingredients and making all the versions!

Today on Instagram I’ll be making a Blueberry Bacon chaffle which would be a perfect low car/keto option to add to your Easter Brunch! Make sure you go there to check out my reels and subscribe to the blog for upcoming versions and so many other recipes coming up!!

Love Ricki

Stuffed Salmon with Cajun Shrimp Sauce

If you know anything about me and my family we are not big salmon eaters (we prefer trout) but since I have been intentionally shopping on a budget and salmon was on sale I decided to purchase it instead of our regular which is trout. I wanted to try a new recipe with it and went searching the internet and settled on making a stuffed salmon. A lot of the recipes I found included crab or shrimp in the stuffing and that’s something I didn’t want to make due to a shellfish allergy. Sometimes recipes have to be adapted to fit your family’s dietary needs. I decided to instead make a simple stuffing and make a sauce to include shrimp (you can add crab to it as well) to pour over top if you want to. And believe me you’ll want to. Let’s get cooking!

Ingredients for the Stuffed Salmon:

  • Salmon
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 stick of butter cut in tsp slices
  • 1 block of cream cheese
  • 4–5 fresh garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 handful of fresh spinach
  • 1/2 juice of lemon and 1 whole lemon sliced
  • 1-2 sun dried tomatoes chopped
  • Seasonings: I used Tony’s, ranch dry mix, garlic salt, onion powder, Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Start by adding olive oil and a tsp of butter to a sauté pan on medium high heat. Add spinach, then a tsp of minced garlic and the sun dried tomatoes. Mushrooms would be great but I didn’t have any. Once spinach is wilted turn off heat and add mixture to a bowl with softened cream cheese. Mix and then add seasonings and lemon juice. Once mixed throughly set aside and prepare salmon. I like color on my food so I decided to cut a slit for the stuffing and then season my salmon and sear the top in a pan on medium heat with 1 tsp of olive oil first. Then I set on a sheet pan and added the stuffing to the salmon (if you have any stuffing left over just set aside for now). I added lemon juice, lemon slices and butter to the top and placed in the oven to bake for 20 minutes. While baking I made the sauce.

Ingredients for sauce:

  • 1-2 tbsp of butter
  • 1/3 cup of Mirepoix mix (onions, celery and green pepper)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tsp of Tony Cachere’s dry roux mix
  • Shrimp
  • 1-2 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • Seasoning (I used what I used on the salmon)

Directions for Sauce:

Melt butter on medium heat in sauce pan and add mirepoix mix. Cook until softened and add garlic then dry roux mix. Mix thoroughly, add more butter if needed. Then mix in leftover stuffing. Season shrimp and add to pan. Once shrimp is cooked whisk in heavy whipping cream. Simmer for about 1-2 minutes and then reduce heat. Taste for seasoning and add if needed. Remove salmon and spoon sauce over top.

I served this over zucchini noodles for a low carb option but it would be great with a salad, pasta or whatever side you enjoy. Since this meal had a lot of steps I recorded a reels video to walk you thru. Just check my Instagram @severalpeoplesmama. Save and share the video and please tag me if you make it!

Love Ricki

Cheater Gumbo

It’s the holiday season and in the south that means we make gumbo! Now I am not here to debate what is right or wrong when making gumbo. I know there are some gumbo snobs but I truly believe that how you make your gumbo is a personal preference. It’s however you & the people you love like it! My mother made gumbo routinely growing up but it was not considered authentic because it was not made of a roux even though we still loved it. Roux’s can be intimidating AF!!! Ask me how I know! A roux is when you mix an oil or butter with flour over heat until a certain color and consistency is achieved. A roux can be as light as peanut butter or as dark as chocolate! The tricky part is getting it to the color you desire and NOT burning it! This takes time and patience which I don’t always have. After burning my roux several times I almost gave up making a more authentic gumbo until I discovered you can purchase a already pre made roux or mix in your local grocery store!!! And even though now I can successfully make a roux it is not something I need to know how or want to take the time to do. There are many rouxs in the store to choose from. The ones I have tried it the Tony Cachere’s mix (this is the first one I tried and use often) and a pre made one in a jar made by Kary’s. I prefer the Tony’s because I like that I am actually cooking it but sometimes it’s not the easiest to find so I will use the Kary’s in a pinch. So now that we have discussed how I cheat when making gumbo, let’s make some!

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 pounds of chicken (I prefer a mix of boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs with drumsticks. This allows me to have the flavor that dark meat brings without too much fat, but you can use whatever you prefer. Even a whole chicken will work)
  • 2-3 cups of onions, green bell peppers and celery chopped (this is referred to as the holy trinity of Cajun/creole cooking. I use more onions and bell peppers than celery because that’s what my family prefers. You also can use a shortcut and purchase Mirepoix mix which can be found in your frozen vegetables section of the freezer)
  • 1-2 containers of Tony’s Roux mix (depending on how much gumbo you’re making)
  • 1-2 sticks of butter
  • 1-2 pks of frozen okra
  • 1-2 lbs of sausage sliced (the traditional sausage is Andouille, I used Zummos)
  • 10-12 cups of water (you can use a combo of chicken broth but watch for the salt!)
  • 3-4 pounds of peeled, deveined shrimp
  • 3-4 pounds of crab (we used snow crab because that’s our preference but the traditional crab to use is blue crab. You can also just add crab meat)
  • Various seasoning- I used Tony’s seasoning salt, 2 chicken bouillon cubes, onion and garlic powder, old bay, & gumbo file’)
  • 1 tbsp of oil (your choice)

Directions:

I start my gumbo by heating my pot on medium high heat, adding the tablespoon of oil and the sausage. Again I’m trying to avoid having to skim fat off the top of my gumbo so that is why I use this method plus in my opinion it adds flavor. Once my sausage is cooked I remove to a paper towel and then drain all but about a teaspoon of fat. Turn stove to medium heat and then add your stick of butter and then your veggies. Cook veggies til softened. While veggies are cooking prepare Roux mix according to directions. I prepare mine in a separate bowl and then add to my veggies. This allows it to cook with my veggies for more flavor. You will need to make sure you cook your roux for about 5 minutes or so until no longer lumpy. I also taste mine to make sure there is no flour taste. It won’t taste like much but it should NOT taste like raw flour! Also make sure you DO NOT leave the pot while doing this! At this point you can add more roux depending on how thick you like your gumbo to end up. Once your roux and veggies have cooked enough add your water, chicken, sausage and seasonings (except gumbo file’) and bring to a boil on medium high heat. You will need to check back to stir occasionally so nothing is burnt at the bottom of your pot. Once boiling turn stove to medium heat and cook for about an hour or until chicken is tender. You can remove the chicken and bones and skin and shred and add back in. I usually shred it in the pot and remove any bones but most of the time the chicken will start falling apart on it’s own. Add your frozen okra and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes. At this point you can taste for any more seasoning and add if needed. You now have prepared chicken and sausage gumbo! But we love to add seafood! I add my crab and cook for 10-15 more minutes and then my shrimp for another 10 minutes. Once the shrimp are pink you are through and you have made an easy and delicious gumbo!

I serve my gumbo over rice with semi-homemade garlic bread. I shared a quick video on how I make Cheater gumbo and the garlic bread on Instagram so make sure you are following me @severalpeoplesmama and make sure you tag me if you try this. I also want to thank everyone that has followed me, reposted or shared my content & recipes and tried them! It is my hope that I have made feeding you and/or your family easier! I also pray that everyone is healthy and safe leading into this new year and you are blessed with your heart’s desires! Please look out for so much MORE coming from me in 2021! Happy New Year!!!

Love Ricki

Come cook with me on IG Live – Steak Bites and Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

Hi y’all! Tomorrow December 13th, 2020 I will be hosting another free cooking class on Instagram Live and we will be making another easy delicious meal! I will go live at 2:30 pm CST and below if the recipes for what we’ll be making! Hope to see y’all there for some fun!!!

Ingredients for Steak Bites:

2-3 boneless steaks (I prefer Ribeye) – cut into 1 to 1 ½ inch cubes
2-3 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion sliced into half moons
1 ½ cups of sliced mushrooms
Steak Marinade – Use any from your local grocery store, however if you use A-1 steak sauce use sparingly as it can be
salty
Seasonings – You can use any steak seasonings you prefer, I used Tony’s Creole Seasoning, garlic and onion powder, garlic and herb seasoning and Montreal Steak seasoning


Ingredients for mashed potatoes


4-5 Russet Potatoes
1 block of cream cheese at room temperature
Garlic powder, Salt, Dry ranch dressing mix, Pepper
½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1 stick of butter
½ cup of heavy whipping cream (can also use half & half or milk)

Directions:

For Steak Bites: Take cubed steak and season
with preferred seasonings and add steak marinade to a gallon zip loc bag. Refrigerate at least one hour. Set out on counter at least one hour prior to cooking. Heat olive oil
and butter in skillet or pan with non-stick coating on medium heat. Once pan is hot add onions and mushrooms and sauté until semi soft and remove from pan. Turn heat to medium high and add steak. Sear steak bites on both sides
and then turn heat back to medium low and add back onions and mushrooms. Let simmer in pan for about 5 more minutes and then turn off pan but do not remove from burner.

For Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Instant Pot):
Add potatoes to the instant pot and fill with enough water to cover. Set on manual for 12 minutes and don’t forget to set vent to sealing. Once done perform quick release (set vent to venting to release steam). Open instant pot and drain water from potatoes. Can place back in Instant Pot (make sure it is
turned off or it will keep cooking! Ask me how I know!) and then add cream cheese, butter, seasonings and mash. Add grated parmesan cheese and mix well. Add heavy whipping
cream gradually depending on how thick and creamy you desire.

Love Ricki

Instant Pot Oatmeal

We woke up to frost and weather in the 40s and 30s here in Texas and I knew it was the perfect time for oatmeal! But I didn’t want the instant kind & I also didn’t want to stand over the stove so I whipped some up using my Instant pot! Dang I love that thing! Let’s make oatmeal!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of old fashioned rolled oats
  • 3 1/2 cups of water
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • Add ins (after cooking) butter, milk or half and half, heavy whipping cream, coffee creamer (trust me it’s good!), fruit, nuts, Er cups

Directions:

Add oats, water, salt and brown sugar to your pressure cooker and stir. Place lid on and make sure it is on sealing and set on porridge function for 6 minutes. Let it naturally release for about 15-20 minutes and then release rest of pressure and your oatmeal is ready! Add to bowl with your add ins.

This oatmeal was delicious and perfectly cooked. We loved it with the apples and pecans. Next time I’ll add bananas but the possibilities are endless! This is the perfect way to cook a larger portion of you’re cooking for a family and start their morning off with something warm and delicious! As always if you make this be sure to tag me on Instagram @severalpeoplesmama

Love Ricki

Birria Queso Tacos Y Consommé in the Instant Pot!

Birria Tacos on Taco Tuesday! I think I timed this post perfectly. Except it’s the week of Thanksgiving. And while I do want you to make these tacos (like for real, they slap as those several people say) they are work and I wouldn’t suggest you make them this week. But definitely next week! So let’s make Birria Tacos!!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium size beef Chuck roast and 2 beef shanks. Make sure you at least get the beef shanks with the bone. That helps with flavor. This was about 3 lbs of meat total.
  • 6-8 dried chilies (I used Ancho and Guajillo, I couldn’t find Pasillo but I would use that as well.
  • 1-2 Chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
  • 1 clove crushed
  • 3 tbsp of Mexican Oregano
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 1 pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1-2 tsp of onion and garlic powder
  • 2 tsp of seasoning salt (I used Tony’s)
  • 2 tsp of all purpose seasoning
  • 1-2 tsp of black pepper
  • 3-4 tbsp of beef bouillon (powder form)
  • 2-3 cups of beef broth
  • 1-2 cups of water
  • 1 large carrot, cleaned and chopped in quarters
  • 1 block of mozzarella cheese, shredded (don’t use the pre shredded stuff)
  • 2 medium size white onions chopped
  • 6-7 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch of cilantro chopped
  • 1-2 limes cut in wedges (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp of vegetable or olive oil
  • Corn tortillas

Directions:

Start by seasoning your roast and beef shanks with seasoning salt, garlic and onion powder, beef bouillon & all purpose seasoning. Set aside. Next cut open your chilies and remove seeds and stems. Place in a pot with enough water to cover and boil. After boiling for about 5 mins, turn off heat and let chilies steep in water for about 20 mins. While chilies are steeping set your pressure cooker on the sauté function. Add oil and sear your beef. Make sure to wear one at a time, you want brown not for the meat to steam. After searing turn off and return all the meat to the pressure cooker.

Remove chilies from water and add to a blender. Add 1-2 Chipotle chilies and 1 cup of water. Blend until it forms a paste/liquid. Strain over meat in pressure cooker with a mesh strainer so none of the skins that may have not blended well get added. To pressure cooker also add minced garlic, 1 onion chopped, more beef bouillon (I used about a tablespoon), carrots, oregano, pepper, bay leaves, clove, cinnamon, beef broth and enough water to cover the meat. Set pressure cooker on high pressure for 35 minutes. Once done let it naturally release which will take about another hour. Once all pressure has released, open the lid and you should have tender meat. Remove meat and shred in a boil. Taste your beef and broth and add additional seasoning if necessary. Skim fat from broth and add to a separate bowl.

To make the tacos dip the corn tortilla in the skimmed fat and add to a skillet on medium heat. Fry the tortilla for about 1-2 mins in the pan. Then add meat, cheese, onions and cilantro to one side of the tortilla and fold over. Once cheese is melted, flip taco and add more skimmed fat, these should be wet tacos. Add to a plate and then repeat with other tortillas. You can add more onions and cilantro if you like. Pour broth in a bowl and add onions and cilantro. Dip taco in broth and enjoy!

Because there were so many steps I made a video to accompany this post on Instagram. Make sure you are following me @severalpeoplesmama to watch the video on IGTV! If you make this please tag me, I love to see how you make it!

Love Ricki