Honey Balsamic Chicken


Ok y’all, I found a new favorite chicken and I can’t wait to share it with you.

You have to forgive me, as I am still nervous to use my camera in the kitchen and get laughed at. so i sneak phone pics 🙂

So today on TheStepMomma Meals we are going to bake honey balsamic chicken. It’s so good. So easy. The kids liked it and so did my Prince, so I’m considering it a crowd favorite and never letting it go.

Here’s your ingredients! (Serves 4):


1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 pound brussels sprouts, cut in half, lengthwise
3 tablespoons olive oil (we use extra virgin)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
S&P to taste
1 cup balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt


I’m serious, you’re going to love this. It’s sweet and tangy and even better- HEALTHY.

Before we get too far, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 20170308_17401920170308_174135

Arrange your chicken and brussels sprouts on 1 sheet pan. Sometimes the seasonings stick better if you toss your food items in oil first (be careful not to mix raw chicken with other foods though! I do chicken last- always.) Season chicken & brussels with italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Transfer to oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and sprouts are tender.

While this is happening, you can prepare your glaze!

Add balsamic vinegar to a medium sized sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 6-8 minutes, you should notice the sauce will reduce to about half the original volume.

Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl to allow to cool and stir in honey, garlic powder and salt.


After the sprouts and chicken have baked for about 15-20 minutes, switch to broil for about 5 minutes, but pay attention to the sprouts so they don’t burn! (easier said than done). Remove pan from oven and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Or if you’re like me CAKE THAT GLAZE ON. I drench my chicken in whatever glazes or dressings I find.

Use your meat thermometer to ensure your chicken is at 160 degrees F and ready to eat, garnish your chicken with cracked pepper and thyme.



I must say, no one liked the “Baked” brussels at our dinner. If I made this again, my family has requested that the sprouts be steamed and then drizzled. I LOVED them, but 3 out of 4 voted otherwise. My perfect husband took one bite of this chicken and his eyes got huge. He lit up. He loved it. He saved the leftover glaze for us to use later.



Honey Garlic Baked Chicken


Ok guys. It happened again. and this time, it was really tasty. Like, I openly, blatantly took photos of this entire meal because it looked THAT good. I sent pictures to my dad and posted them on my Instagram before I told anyone our food was ready and I am darn proud of this meal. One- because I changed the recipe up and it didn’t ruin the meal. Two- because it was delicious on all accounts. Also it was super simple.

Going into this, you should know that I hate skin on chicken. I only eat boneless, skinless chicken. So this recipe was perfect.

What you will need:

For the chicken/glaze:
2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken
1-2 tablespoons Garlic (I used minced, you could do 2-3 cloves).
2 tablespoons olive oil- we use extra virgin but you don’t have to.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
S&P as you wish
2 tablespoons parsley (for garnishing, optional.)

For the green beans/veggies/sides:
12 oz of your fav. green vegetable (I used green beans because I am quite possibly obsessed with them.)
1 tablespoon olive oil

You can serve this meal on one pan!

So here it is. It’s so simple mamas:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

To give your chicken a nice color, do this little trick. Get oil hot in a pan, add chicken, let it sear one side for about 3 minutes. It should be an even golden color when it is ready.20170224_17174420170224_17203620170224_172042

Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. You could cover your sheet with foil and grease that for easy clean up, too!

In a small bowl, put all of your chicken/glaze ingredients together (excluding chicken). Add S&P to taste and put this aside.

Put your chicken on the baking sheet and use a spoon to cover it with the glaze you have just made. Do not contaminate the remaining glaze with raw chicken- use a separate utensil to remove from bowl than you will to spread it on your chicken. Raw chicken is dangerous!
How much you cover it is really up to you. I practically caked mine on there, making sure it was in every nook and cranny. Results were delicious.

Put chicken in oven and roast for 20 minutes.


I’m a neat freak, so I use bake time as a way to clean up the mess I’ve begun to make. Spices go back in the cabinet, counter gets wiped down for step 2, Dirty dishes get rinsed and put in the sink. Clear surface- clear mind in my world.

When your workspace is tidy and you are ready to proceed, grab your veggies! Chop off the tails/vines. Cover them with the chicken glaze (and a clean spoon). Be generous. I used every drop of glaze I could. It spread well, it was thick, it is so delicious, i can’t wait to eat it again.


When your timer goes off for the chicken, add your green beans to the same baking tray. Bake for about 15 minutes.

You will have a sloppy mess of a glaze dripping all over your pan. Use this. Dip your chicken in it, pour it on your veggies. Do not let this go to waste. It is so good.



We had ONE piece of chicken left over after everyone had seconds. I never have received as many compliments on a dish as i did this one. You will LOVE it.

Bon Apetit!

Recipe Adopted From

Forgive me for crappy photos, all i had was my terrible phone.


Italian Chicken, bread dip, hand pies, mmm.



So last night was clearly a sappy holiday, so i felt like trying to be a #goodwife and attempting to cook a meal for my dear husband. I also knew i was alone in the house for 2 hours, so i could photograph every step of the way.

I am 100% not a cook. I need step-by-step-by-step instructions. Your “Dash of Basil” does me no good. I need precise measurements. I like baking for that reason. So here we go: This is the part where I teach you how to cook Italian Chicken with bread sauce and hand pies.

First, thaw chicken. We used about 1 pound of meat and probably could have used half of it and had plenty. Prince Charming left this out for me in the morning so I could come home and be ready to go.


Italian Seasoning consists of:

Parsley- 3 tablespoons
Basil- 3 tablespoons
Garlic powder- 1 tsp
Rosemary-1 tsp
Onion Powder- 1 tsp
Oregano- 2.5 tsp
Thyme-1 tsp
Red pepper- .5 tsp
Black pepper- .25tsp

Or if you did like me and sifted through the entire cabinet only to find there is no thyme or rosemary, you can use pre-made italian seasoning, which i also didn’t know we had.img_0100 img_0102

For best results, lay chicken flat on surface and cover evenly with italian seasoning, salt & pepper, and garlic powder. Flip over and do the same to the other side. For even better results, do this in a bowl with the other items you will be eating, so they all get the same, even flavor.


This is where I went wrong.
Learning Point #1. Do not put veggies in at the same time as the raw meat. Raw meat will take much longer to cook than veggies, but hyperactive brain does not compute that.
I sprinkled some onion & garlic powder on the asparagus we ate, after cutting off the woody side.. which is the stalk side, so I learned. You can take about 3 inches off. I picked up each piece and just bent it til it snapped- it naturally breaks where it needs to usually. img_0107img_0109img_0110img_0112img_0111

A regular cooking time for this would be 4 hours on low in your crockpot, but we didn’t have all night- so I cranked it up to high and cooked it for about 2.5 hours. Only after realizing that it was on warm for 45 minutes, i think it would naturally only take 2 hours on high to cook properly.

Hand pies:

Cheat. Use the pre-made, store-bought pie crusts. It’s so simple. I bought them on my lunch for $2.99 and let them sit in my car to thaw out until I got home. It’s okay if they don’t fall out of the pan perfectly, you’re going to use a rolling pin on them to flatten them anyway 🙂

Don’t forget to preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

img_0114img_0113 img_0118img_0117img_0116

because it was Valentines Day, of course my hand pies were heart shaped. I used a heart cookie cutter that was about 3.5 inches wide. My two pie crusts made 4 hand pies and 4 leftover crust pieces that i brought to my coworker who loves pie crust, but not pie. I hate it all, so this works for me.img_0119

Just like cookies, rip the excess crust away from the cutter and roll back into a ball, then re-roll it and flatten to use again.img_0115

You’re supposed to use JAM for this but we only had jelly. i dont see the difference and PC didn’t mind. Take 1 generous scoop of jelly and put in the center of your heart. spread evenly, but dont get toooo close to the edge or you’ll have a sloppy jelly mess. But i guess that isn’t really a bad thing.


The fun part: take a second heart and place on top of the jelly covered heart. line them up and press to seal it shut around edges with fingers. (I usually skipped that step). Then grab a fork and add some detail to the edge. This really seals the jelly into place and also adds a fun and cute detail to the edges that makes it look like you spent a LOT of time on…… when really it takes about 1 minute per heart (if that).img_0121img_0123img_0125img_0126img_0127img_0128

To make your hand pies golden brown, do this simple trick.

Use 1 egg Learning point 2: 2 eggs is too many for this small amount of pies, even if they’re the tiny farm eggs. just. use. one.

Use 1 egg and add a tiny bit of water to it. Whisk until it is an even yellow and even consistency. Take this egg mix and cover your pies with it. I used a wadded up paper towel, you can use your hands, you can use a brush, whatever you need- just be sure to cover the entire surface so it is evenly brown.img_0129img_0131

The final touch: Icing.

This is so simple guys. Use about 3 tablespoons of milk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1/2 to 1 cup of powdered sugar (depending on how much icing you like). Stir them together. They start to thicken and form an easy icing. It tastes SO GOOD. I had to try it, but can’t have any milk-based items, so i only got a little bit.img_0132img_0133img_0134img_0135img_0136img_0137

Pop these bad boys into the oven for 20-30 minutes and voila.



I attempted to make a bread oil, but we aren’t sure about it yet.
Take about 6 tablespoons of minced garlic
1 cup of extra virgin oil
3 tablespoons of basil
2-3 tablespoons of oregano
Parmesan cheese to top it.
Stir- yummy bread oil at your fingertips


Add some candy hearts as a pretty centerpiece. Complete with your husband’s favorite chocolate. img_0139img_0140

Decorate with the giant bouquet of flowers he got you.img_0141img_0142



(PC was home, I had to sneak final pics with my phone so he didnt think I was weird)


and, ok y’all. these are original images and i had a lot of fun taking them. you can use them, but please just give credit where it is due. these are images of my real life home and my real life messy kitchen and the flowers are the ones my husband chose just for me. these things mean something to me, so just take a second and don’t just steal my things 😀

Recipe Roundup: January



Alright Step Monsters, I need your help:

For this edition of “Recipe Roundup” I am requesting your favorite slow-cooker meals!

Prince Charming has just requested that I become the family chef during this upcoming semester, as he has too many credits and not enough time.
I laughed, because cooking is a disaster when I’m in charge. He told me he’d even bake the chicken we’ll eat tonight if I’ll steam the veggies. if I what? huh? i don’t know how to do anything cooking related. So we’ll see how this goes.

My hope of crockpot meals is that I’ll be able to have everything ready when we come home and take less time away from the other household chores and of course, time away from the kiddos.

Please remember that I am lactose intolerant, so no milk products in the meals (unless it can be substituted by dairy free milk..).

You guys, I already have crippling anxiety over what to make all weekend and hump day isn’t even over yet. I might die of fear of the kitchen, so if you don’t hear from me- send my dear husband a sympathy card.


Thank you all for your help!


Cranberry Relish in it’s worst form.


Okay everyone, this is my letter of confession and submission.

I am a bad cook. I’ve said it before, but I just need you to hear it from me: officially.

I. am. a. bad. cook.

I always carry this hope, deep down inside, that I will wake up one morning and suddenly know how many teaspoons of whatever goes into broth mixtures and how to even cook chicken properly without giving my family salmonella. But it hasn’t happened.

Last week, Prince Charming was gone deer hunting. And I can’t cook. I haven’t cooked in so long that I had literal anxiety attacks trying to figure out what to do. I also have an intolerance to dairy products and we only keep one kind of cereal in the house, since only one kid eats it. So I couldn’t even fall back on cereal!

Two nights, I didn’t even eat! I just stayed hungry to prevent me from trying to either purchase/have food delivered or cook. 8 and 12 came over, briefly,  on Wednesday and as 8 realizes that Dad isn’t home, he stops walking. Looks at me, concern is overwhelming his face and says “WHO IS GOING TO COOK?!” 12 laughs, then tries to defend me. and then says “no really, who will?”

Chef Ramsay would hate me. Or love me, because he could critique the way I even turn the oven on, I bet.


So by Saturday, I think I’ve made it through the week. Then I realize that Sunday is coming. We have a potluck at church… and I HAVE to cook something. All of the pre-made items are already claimed on the sign up sheet. WHAT. DO. I. DO?

and then it hit me.
Two Sundays ago, Prince Charming’s family celebrated Thanksgiving a little bit early. He entrusted me to cook. Not only did he believe that I could open a can of corn and butter it before we served it, but he thought I could prepare Candied Yams and Cranberry Relish. Two items I’ve never even seen before, nor have I tasted, nor did I want to.

He gave me step-by-step instructions, put the ingredients inside of the bowls that he wanted them served in, and left. He walked out. WITH THE OVEN ON. He left me there to die. He left me to zest oranges and chop cranberries and put MARSHMALLOWS ON YAMS? WHAT? These things are so foreign to me, I almost cried. I am the equivalent of our 8 year old when I am incapable of fulfilling tasks.

Eventually, I made these items. I did them well. I served the heck out of them. Everyone ate them and there were hardly any leftovers.

So when I was faced with this week’s potluck, the only thing I could think to make was this cranberry relish.


It’s beautiful, right? Simple to make, very few ingredients. This is the recipe:

1 can of cranberry sauce
1 can of mandarin oranges
1 orange
*a few* teaspoons of sugar

Dump cranberry sauce into serving bowl
Drain mandarin orange juice and put in mixer/blender/whatever you use that has a sharp blade on it
*ZEST* orange. For you non-fancy folk like me, this means peel the orange. Almost the entire orange peel is necessary. I don’t have fingernails because I’m an anxious mess and I bite them constantly, so I had to use a potato peeler. Put the zest in the mixer with the mandarin oranges.
Mix/blend until there are small, even chunks.
Add *a few* teaspoons of sugar
Add orange mix to cranberry sauce and mix together until beautiful.
simple, right?


well. this is what I got.
I went to the extent of texting this precious picture of cranberry relish to my husband at deer camp and his reply was “meh, it’s an acquired taste.” meh. you tried. glad I don’t have to eat it.

So, it’s 10pm and I have no time to prepare something new for the meal. So the church folk need to have mercy on me at the meal when I serve them this dish.

I drop it off at the table, trying to hide it and making a sneaky joke like “oh yeah, it’s ugly but wait til you taste it!” no seriously. wait to taste it.

but then. something miraculous happens.


The “Church Mom” messages me and says “Step Momma. This cranberry dish is SO GOOD! WE BROUGHT IT HOME. AND I’LL CLEAN THE DISH AND RETURN IT TO YOU!”

The heavens opened!
The ground began to shake!
Peace on earth!
Good tidings to men!

I made something edible!

I actually wrote this before Mind the Gap was written, but it fits so perfectly…


i’m just really bad