10 Ways to Jazz Up Your Water

jazz up your waterMy husband hates to drink water. He knows he needs to drink it, but he has a hard time with anything that has no flavor. (He doesn’t like rice either, but that’s a topic for another post.)

The general consensus is that we should drink eight 8 ounce glasses of water per day, or a half gallon. It might seem like a lot to try to swallow every day, but there are so many health benefits to making sure you drink enough water. Water flushes toxins from your body, improves your complexion, increases energy, promotes weight loss, and more!

So if you have trouble drinking enough water because it tastes like nothing, here are some husband-approved ideas:jazz up your water

  1. Drop in a cinnamon stick
  2. Add fresh fruit to your glass (you can buy an infuser for this purpose, but it’s not necessary)
  3. Cucumber slices and a splash of lemon juicejazz up your water
  4. Frozen orange slices
  5. Essential oils (there is some controversy over ingesting essential oils, so use this one with caution and always be sure your oils are labelled as safe for internal use)jazz up your water
  6. Drop in a peppermint stick or peppermint candy and swirl your glass every so often
  7. Include a splash of lemon or lime juice, or both
  8. Mash up some berries, place in the bottom of your glass, and add your water
  9. Add unsweetened cranberry juice (Alternatively, you can make ice cubes with fruit juice)
  10. Steep fresh mint or basil leaves in water overnight

 

My husband says these all taste better cold, but you can drink it however you like. So stay hydrated and enjoy the taste!

How do you make sure you’re drinking enough water? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

Seafood Grill Packets

seafood grill packets

Seafood grill packets are a great way to enjoy grilling. Not only are they simple, they make cleanup a breeze. We recently picked up several types of seafood and came up with this recipe. We used shrimp, catfish, and crawdads with mushrooms and bell peppers. This recipe is super easy, and can be used with just about any mix of veggies and seafood.

seafood grill packetsWe started by heating the grill. We built our grill out of a 55 gallon drum and cook over an open flame. While the grill was heating, we prepped the veggies. We sliced one red, one orange, and one yellow bell pepper and mixed them with whole mushrooms.seafood grill packets

 

 

 

seafood grill packets

Next, we tore off two large squares of aluminum foil. We put half the veggies in the center of each foil. Then we layered the catfish fillets, shrimp, and ready-to-eat crawdads on top. We sprinkled on some lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Then we closed up the packets, making sure to leave room for steam to build up.

Once the grill was hot enough, we put the packets over the flame and cooked them for about 20 minutes. Once the shrimp were pink and the catfish were cooked through, they were ready to eat. Neither of us had ever eaten crawfish, and we loved this simple grill recipe!

Seafood Grill Packets

Ingredients

  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 1 pound ready to eat crawdads
  • 6 fillets catfish
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 12 oz mushrooms, whole or sliced
  • lemon juice to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat your grill.

  2. Tear off two large squares of aluminum foil.

  3. Mix veggies and place half in the center of each piece of foil.

  4. Layer seafood on top of veggies.

  5. Sprinkle with lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

  6. Close packet, making sure to allow room for steam to build up.

  7. Place on the grill for 20 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and catfish is tender and flaky.

Recipe Notes

You can use almost any combination of seafood with this recipe, so use what you love.

You can also vary the vegetables you use. Try any mix of bell peppers or add cubed potatoes that have been boiled ahead of time. (If you don't boil the first, they won't cook.) You could also add green onions or baby carrots.

Let me know in the comments what you think and any variations you tried!

Sour Cream Enchiladas

We all had favorite meals growing up. You can remember the excitement when mom said that’s what was for dinner. And your mouth would water when you smelled it cooking; you couldn’t wait for dinnertime! One of my husband’s favorite dishes as a kid were his mom’s sour cream enchiladas. Every time I make this dish, it takes him back. Made with chicken breast and a creamy sauce with just a hint of spicy, these enchiladas are great anytime. Along with this recipe, I’ll include variations as well as how to make the ingredients yourself instead of using premade.

Cooking the Chicken

I find this recipe is easier if you prepare the ingredients ahead of time. Start with 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast. Cube them or cut them into strips. They’re easier to cut if they’re partially thawed. Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a pan and heat over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add chicken. Once browned, season with taco seasoning. You can use packaged or make your own here. Finish cooking chicken.

For the Sauce

sour cream enchiladasMix 16 ounces of sour cream with 2 cans cream of chicken soup. (Or make your own cream of chicken soup here, including gluten free and dairy free options.)

 

 

 

sour cream enchiladas

 

Chop 5 green onions and add to sauce along with diced chilies. (You can prepare your own chilies, too. Find the recipe I like here.)

 

 

Final Prep

sour cream enchiladas

 

 

You will also need to grate about a cup of cheese and cut 12 strips in addition to what is grated. Extra sharp cheddar is our favorite for this recipe.

 

 

 

sour cream enchiladas

 

 

And of course, you will need 12 tortillas. The original recipe used flour tortillas, but I use corn since I need to eat gluten free. You will need more than 12 if you use corn. I don’t usually count; I just keep going until the pan is full.

 

Assembling the Enchiladas

Once the chicken is cooked, the sauce is ready, and the rest of the ingredients are gathered, you are ready to put these enchiladas together! Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Put chicken, one strip of cheese, and one tablespoon of sauce in each tortilla and roll up. Place in casserole dish. Once all tortillas are placed, cover with the rest of the sauce and and the grated cheese, and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

Sour Cream Enchiladas

Servings 4 people
Author jcantral

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 1 can diced chilies
  • 1 dozen flour tortillas (you can also use corn)
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 12 strips cheese
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • nonstick spray

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Cube chicken or cut into strips. Once oil is hot, add chicken to pan.

  2. Once chicken is browned, season to taste with taco seasoning and finish cooking chicken. Turn off heat and set aside.

  3. In large bowl, mix sour cream, cream of chicken soup, diced chilies, and green onions to make sauce.

  4. Spray 9x13 casserole pan with nonstick spray. Place chicken, a strip of cheese, and approximately 1 tablespoon of sauce mixture in each tortilla and roll up. Place in pan.

  5. Once all tortillas are filled, top with remaining sauce and cheese.

  6. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes, or until enchiladas are hot through and cheese is melted.

A couple of variations:

You can use 1 pound of ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning instead of chicken for beef enchiladas.

I am somewhat of a lazy cook, so I will often assemble these enchiladas like a casserole. Rather than rolling each tortilla, I will simply stack everything in layers and then bake.

 

Here is a quick list of the links to homemade versions of the ingredients used:

https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pickled-peppers-366722

http://jlyns.com/cream-chicken-soup/

jlyns.com/easy-taco-seaso/

Let me know what you think of this recipe and any variations you tried!

Easy Taco Seasoning

easy taco seasoningI  prefer to make my own taco seasoning to buying premade. It’s quick and easy, and you control the ingredients. No chemicals or words you can’t pronounce, and it’s a great idea for those who need to be careful of their sodium intake. It can be made ahead of time, too, so it’s ready to go when you need it.

Easy Taco Seasoning

Author jcantral

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregan
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container.