GF Italian Chicken or Fish Dish and letting Things help

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

We have had a long week over here. It has been filled with SAT preps, Memory Master prep for Classical Conversations, some colds, and an ear infection. I will be glad to finally get to our weekend! Some weeks are just like that, right? Thank goodness I know Who to go to, or cry out to when I am weary.

I have a few goodies coming up soon. I have had a few requests lately for posts. The following are coming your way: The Change of Plan in Homeschool This Year; How We Transitioned to a GF Diet; A Guest Post TBD.

Today we are going to chat food. This recipe was inspired from a recipe my sister gave me for Salmon. You can use this recipe on fish or chicken. I know you are thinking, “FISH?!” Would I steer you wrong? We are not fish eaters, especially Salmon, and this was just wonderful on it! No fishy taste or smell in the house!

So, don’t hate me, but I don’t have exacts for this one. It’s an add until it looks good type of recipe. This recipe is great for the little sues chefs in your home. I have a few of those, so when appropriate, I allow them to help me. Allowing your Things to help you in the kitchen builds memories, teaches them patience (especially needed at 2-3 years old), a beginning and ending, and process forming thoughts. Not a psychologist, but I do know these things to be true because I watch the wheels turning in Thing 3’s mind when he is helping me. Also, when they help, they are proud of what they have helped create and are more likely to eat what you serve.


GF Italian Chicken Dish
Author: Tara Norman

4 chicken breasts
2 large tomatoes
Olive Oil
Onion Salt
Minced Garlic
Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350
In a small bowl mix olive oil, basil, and minced garlic. I had my assistant Thing 3 do the mixing. Feel free to sing a song while mixing. His original song was, “I mix, and a mix, and a mix, and a mix, and miiiiiiix!” Lay your chicken breasts in an oven safe dish. Have your sues chef help spoon the mixture onto the chicken breasts. Mamma or daddy, go ahead and cut your tomatoes. Let your sues chef place the tomatoes whereever they can find space in the dish. Let them hold the olive oil bottle with you while you drizzle some over your tomatoes. Hold onto the shakers, but let them sprinkle just a little Oregano, onion salt, and salt over the whole dish (I say hold on to… maybe I should say be ready to tilt up the shakers, ha!). Bake for 1 hour. Baking time may change based on how thick your chicken breasts are.

If you are Thing 3, you will wait by the oven the entire 60 minutes so you can watch your creation cook. It’s amusing to me how Things never have patience until they are waiting for their creations to finish cooking! This is not something I asked him to do. He just grabbed his little stool, pulled over all his toys, and sat. At one point, he pulled every pot and baking pan he could get his hands on and had all of his Toy’s Story guys taking a swim in the pots. I think there was a car chase involved, but I digress. This is real patience for this Thing. Waiting for me to open a breakfast bar proves to be too long for him at times.  I enjoy the moments I see him truly exercising patience on his own.


Oh yeah, the food. Once your chicken is cooked through, remove from oven and serve. You could eat this by itself (with another side) or serve over a GF pasta with extra sauce and mozzarella. This is how we ate our last night.

For Fish

Roast tomatoes first in oven preheated to 400 for 15 minutes. Lay the fish over the tomatoes and season your fish the same way you seasoned the chicken above. Cook for 15 minutes or until the fish is flaky and cooked through. Enjoy!

Find order in cooking, make memories at the table, and feel good about what you are feeding your family as it was made by your loving hands.

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Gluten- Free Chicken Nuggets

Before going Gluten- Free, my Things fell in love with this chicken nugget recipe. Over the weekend, I made them for the first time using all GF products. They were so good! Better than the old version. Still took less than 15 minutes to prep before going in the oven. I think if I actually timed how long it takes to prep, it would take around 7 minutes. That would include the time it takes to grab the ingredients.


Gluten- Free Chicken Nuggets

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup Gluten- Free Quick Cooking Oats
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 tsp Emeril’s Essence Seasoning
  • 1/3 cup Gluten- Free bread Crumbs


  1. Mix chicken, oatmeal, parmesan, and seasoning. Knead dry ingredients into ground chicken.
  2. Using your hands, form a small ball with the chicken and press into shape desired. Get creative and use cookie cutters.
  3. Place bread crumbs in a seperate plate or bowl.
  4. Coat your nuggets front and back with the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle a little salt on top.
  5. –At this point you can freeze– or
  6. To bake: Pre-heat oven to 375° F. Arrange nuggets on greased cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes.
  7. I made 1 pound of these and was able to make about 27 nuggetsIMG_4112

Enjoy! Thank you Laura, at Momables, for sharing the original inspiration to this awesome recipe!

Gluten- Free Chicken Marsala

Today was one of those days where I found order and peace through cooking. It’s what I do when I am stressed or something is bothering me. I don’t have a lot of time to spend in there anymore, but when I do, I try to make it quick and meaningful. I told you a few posts ago that The Man gave me a cookbook for Christmas. It has a flour blend recipe that they use in all of their recipes. That flour blend has been the very best part of the cookbook. I have made pizza, corn dogs, muffins, pancakes, and breaded chicken with that flour blend. All of which have turned out fabulous. No one at our table even realizes they are eating GF and not once have the Things asked for the old snacks or wondered about the taste. As they say, “The proof is in the pudding,” or in this case the flour blend. Using Kelli and Peter Bronski’s base recipe and flour blend I made an amazing GF version of Chicken Marsala. I can’t give you the flour blend recipe. You will have to buy the cookbook for that part, but until you do, just use a potato flour to bread your chicken with. If you aren’t on a GF diet just use regular All Purpose Flour. Here we go… *said in the voice of Peter Pan*

Adapted from Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking by Kelli and Peter Bronski


1 pack of chicken tenderloin

1 cup GF flour

Salt and Pepper to taste

Olive oil

1 small onion cut into rings

1 red bell pepper

1 orange bell pepper

Mushrooms of choice cleaned and sliced

3 tbsp of GF cornstarch

1 1/2 cups GF chicken broth

About 3/4 cup to 1 1/2 cup of cooking Marsala wine

Place your flour and chicken in a freezer bag and seal. Shake to coat the chicken with the flour. Place the chicken in a heated skillet with olive oil. Salt and pepper as desired. Side note: I have the Presto skillet so I can make all the chicken at once. Cook through. My chicken was not a golden brown on each side because of the flour blend I used. So if you are unsure if it’s cooked, slice it open with a knife. It should be white in the middle with clear juices. Transfer cooked chicken to a plate and add your onion and peppers. Cook until soft then add your mushrooms. These will stay in the skillet until they are also soft. At this point you want to have your chicken broth and cornstarch mixed up in a mixing cup. Pour over the onions, peppers, and mushrooms. Add your chicken and cooking wine and keep it at a gentle simmer while stirring. As soon as the sauce is as thick as you want it, serve.

Find order in cooking, make memories at the table, and feel good about what you are feeding your family as it was made by your loving hands.


Homemade Chicken Nuggets for the Things

I am approaching what may be my final days and find myself slowing down, a lot. Is it just me, or do any of you other mammas out there get frustrated at this point in the pregnancy? I feel like I can’t breath, wash my hands in a sink because of my belly, bend over,…. It’s probably my Type A personality, but I can’t stand not being able to get stuff done and having to rely on help. Regardless, I am so excited to meet the little man who has completely taken over the lower half of my body. I get to find out how big he is today so we know what to expect. I have pushed off washing all of his new clothes because I wanted to make sure he would be able to actually wear them. We have big babies around here so today will be helpful for me to finish preparing for his arrival.

Homeschooling is on hold until he arrives and I recover. I started super early this year for this very reason. We are already in week 10 of homeschooling so I feel like I can let school go for a few weeks without feeling guilty. We will continue with Classical Conversations, but all of our other curriculum is on hold.

In preparation for the upcoming weeks, I am getting ready to make another batch of these chicken nuggets. If I can whip these up in 15 minutes, so can you. I LOVE this recipe from Momables. Why didn’t I think of this?

Chicken Nuggets

Adapted from Momables

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 tsp Emeril’s Essence Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs


  1. Mix chicken, oatmeal, half the grated parmesan (1/8 cup), half the seasoning  (1/2 tsp), garlic powder and pepper. Knead dry ingredients into ground chicken.
  2. Using an ice cream scoop or your hands, form a small ball with the chicken and press into shape desired. Get creative and use cookie cutters.
  3. In a separate  bowl, combine breadcrumbs with remaining seasoning and  parmesan.
  4. Coat your nuggets front and back with the breadcrumb mixture. Sprinkle a little salt on top. This was the only addition my Things asked me to make to the recipe.
  5. –At this point you can freeze– or
  6. To bake: Pre-heat oven to 375° F. Arrange nuggets on greased cookie sheet. I sprayed the tops of my nuggets with Pam to make it crisper like Laura suggested. Bake 15-20 minutes and turn once in the process. Even though I read Laura’s recipe and realized they weren’t supposed to brown, I kept wanting them to brown. Be careful not to over cook.
  7. I made 1 pound of these and they lasted a few lunches. I went ahead and baked mine, let them cool and then froze them. You can do it either way works for you.

Enjoy! Thank you Laura, at Momables, for sharing this awesome recipe!


Chicken In A Biscuit

Ever make something and say to yourself, “You did good, mamma!” No? Me either. Tonight (which by the time you read this post will be a week or two from now) I threw these together, hopeful of a good end result. I have been making these using different fillings for a year or two. Everyone has a recipe for them and calls them different names: Chicken empanadas, Chicken bites, or Chicken bundles. I am calling mine Chicken In A Biscuit. Why, I don’t know. Seemed like that is what it should be called. So, what is in this chicken in biscuit? Glad you asked. This is part of a three part post from an original recipe called Soggy Chicken. I used half of the chicken from that meal to make two meals. This is one of the meals and Chicken and Dumplings is the other. So in this post, we will assume that your chicken is cooked.

Chicken In A Biscuit

What you need:

  • Cooked chicken breast
  • 1 can of Crescent rolls or 1 can of biscuits or in the case, both
  • 1 pack of dry Ranch dressing
  • Sesame Seeds
  • 1 block of cream cheese at room temperature
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Spam

The amount of chicken I used in this recipe is probably the equivalent to one very large boneless skinless chicken breast. The first thing that I did was use a food processor to finely cup up my cooked chicken. I knew if I shredded my chicken for this recipe, the filling would be too bulky and would not have a nice consistency to it. Add your cream cheese and Ranch. I mixed this with my hands just to ensure that the Ranch didn’t get clumped up somewhere and that it was evenly dispersed. Once everything is mixed it’s time to fill your rolls.

Lay one roll flat on a cutting board, and with an ice cream scoop, scoop out some of your chicken mixture and place it on the wide side of your roll.

Fold the two corners to the middle of chicken.

Now roll it up.

On a lightly greased broiler pan start lining up your filled rolls, leaving space for the bread to expand as it cooks. Since I had only the one can of Crescent Rolls, I pulled out a can of biscuits. To fill the biscuit, first flatten it out a little with your hand.

Add your scoop to the middle and bring the sides of the biscuits up and pinch together.

When you lay this on your pan, be sure to place it seam side down.

Lightly spray the tops of your biscuits with pam and add sesame seeds, salt and pepper. For the rolls, I baked those at 350 for 11 minutes. The biscuits I baked at 350 for about 13 minutes.


I made the biscuit version for the man and I. I forgot to finish adding salt and pepper to this batch. Thing 3 distracted me right before I put these in. We froze 4 large ones for the man’s lunch and I put three of the small ones in the refrigerator for the Thing’s lunch the next day. The Things loved it!

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Soggy Chicken Recipe

Soggy chicken? I know, it sounds really grose! It’s the name my sister and I gave this dish when we were young. Years and years ago when these oven bags first hit the market, moms were coming up with all sorts of creative dishes to cook in them. My grandmother thought it would be great to throw a whole chicken in . So she did, along with some vegetables. She would cook it long enough that the chicken was literally falling off of the bone. We loved what we called the soggy pieces. The pieces that were so tender and juicy that they would melt in your mouth. I make this every so often when I want to stretch the chicken out into a few meals. You can season the chicken any way you want and throw whatever you want into the bag. The key is get the chicken cooked to a point where it is falling off of the bone good!

Soggy Chicken
What you need:
Oven bags
1 tbsp flour
1 whole cut up fryer chicken
seasonings of choice
I used Paprika, Onion Powder, Salt and Pepper, and Fajita Seasoning

Open your oven bag and follow the directions on the back of the box. Add 1 tbsp of flour to your bag. Shake your bag really good and place your bag on top of a broiler pan. After seasoning your whole chicken, start adding the pieces to your bag. You could use a whole chicken that’s not cut up, but I like the convenience of it already being cut up for me. Add whatever vegetables you want now. I just threw in some carrots and sliced potatoes. Had I not been in such a rush, I would have added in some celery, onion, and bell pepper as well. The day I made this we came home from running an errand really late and it was already 4:45. Once you are done filling your bag, use your bag tie and close it. Make sure that the bag is not hanging out over the pan. I tuck all of the sides in under the chicken. Cut six slits at the top of the bag to keep the bag from exploding. The directions for this should be on the back of your box. Place in the oven at 350 degrees and cook until the chicken is cooked through.

I cooked mine for 1 hour at 350 degrees. My chicken was thawed, not frozen. If I had had time, I would have left it in there for a half hour more just to get that chicken really peeling itself away from the bone. The potatoes and carrots come out so buttery and full of flavor when cooked like this! You won’t be disappointed!

Enjoy! Stay tuned to part 2 and part 3 of this post to see what I meals I made with the two large chicken breast

Vicki’s Homemade Minestrone Soup

This is a super easy, filling soup that my friend Vicki Pauli, from Texas, gave me the recipe to. This is her creation and it’s a recipe you will want to try out. She is the same person who gave me the Best.Ever.Lasagna. Anytime she posts something and says it’s hers I usually try it out because she has never let me down. As we draw closer to fall, I know you will want to have this soup recipe in your recipe box! This recipe makes a very large batch. Large enough to feed our family of 5 twice. We froze our left overs and I am so happy we did so I could use them on a night when I didn’t want to be in a hot kitchen.
Minestrone Soup
What you need:
1 whole chicken or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 bullion cube
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of tomato paste
1 bag of mixed veggies (I use Bird’s Eye mixed vegetables for soup found in the frozen vegetable section)
1 box of shell pasta
2 tbsp Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
First season your chicken with salt and pepper and carefully place it in a large stock pot of boiling water. Boil your chicken until it is cooked all the way through. I usually let mine boil for about 30 minutes to 45 minutes depending on how thawed it was and how many breasts I am cooking. Once it is cooked, remove it from the water to cool and add your bullion cube to the same pot you cooked your chicken in. While your chicken is cooling, add your crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and mixed veggies into the stock pot. Let that simmer for a bit while you shred your chicken. Then add your box of pasta and your shredded chicken to the stock pot. Season with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Let it slow simmer until the pasta is tender and cooked. Give it one last taste test to make sure your salt and pepper ratio is ok and serve with a side of corn bread.
If you make this soup, please let me know. I know you will love it and would love to give her the feedback. Thank you Vicki for sharing once again!