Category Archives: Lunch/Dinner Recipes

Rosemary Chicken Barley Soup

Rosemary Chicken Barley Soup

Oh, hello there!  It’s been quite a while since I have posted.  I took down a while back, but recently have been contemplating bringing it back.  I figured I would post here for now.  I’ve been working at eating healthier, so I thought I would share one of my favorite healthy recipes.

This soup has become my go-to meal for weeknights when I don’t feel like cooking.  I’ll make a pot of it once a month or so, have it for dinner that night, then freeze the rest in individual portions.  I just run a little hot water over the outside of the container to get the frozen soup to release, then put the soup in a pot and reheat it on the stove (medium heat, stirring often).

I like to use homemade chicken stock.  This way I control exactly what’s going in to my soup, plus I think it tastes so much better this way.  Don’t have any homemade stock?  No worries, store-bought chicken broth or stock works great too!

Now, on to the recipe…  First, prep your ingredients.  Chop the onion, celery, and carrots.  Mince the garlic.  Measure out your spices.  (Don’t put your cutting board and knife away yet; you’ll need these to cut up the chicken later!)

Veggies & Seasonings!

Next, melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Cook the onions, carrots, and celery until they soften up a bit (about 8-10 minutes).  I used a 6qt  dutch oven, and everything barely fit!  It’d be easier to use at least a 7qt pot, or cut the recipe in half for smaller pots.


Add the garlic and cook another minute or two, then add the barley and cook an additional minute.

Garlic and Barley added!

Now you get to add everything else in.  Start with the rosemary and thyme, add a little salt and pepper, then mix it all together.  Place the chicken in the pot, then cover with the chicken stock.

Everything else is added!

Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and allow to simmer for about 50 minutes.  Next, take the chicken out and cut it in to small pieces.

Almost done!

Add the chicken back to the pot and allow to simmer for another 5-10 min.


Serves 8, with approximately 370 calories per serving.



Rosemary Chicken Barley Soup


  • 2 Tbs Unsalted Butter (Or Cooking Oil)
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion, Chopped
  • 6 Large Carrots, Diced
  • 6 Celery Stalks, Diced
  • 4-6 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1 Cup Uncooked Pearl Barley
  • 16 Cups Homemade Chicken Stock (Store-Bought works great too!)
  • 3 Pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 2 tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 4 Bay Leaves
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

Heat the butter (or oil) in a 7-8qt pot over medium-high heat.  Cook the onion, carrots, and celery until softened (8-10 minutes).  Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two, then add the barley and cook for 1 additional minute.

Add the rosemary and thyme, along with a little salt and pepper and mix it all together.  Next, add the chicken, then cover everything with the chicken stock.

Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and allow to simmer for 50 minutes.  Remove the chicken and cut it in to small pieces (still allowing the soup to simmer the entire time).  Add the chicken back to the pot and allow the soup to simmer an additional 5-10 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 8, Approximately 370 calories per serving.



Recipe adapted from


Lemon Chicken (Copycat Buca di Beppo Chicken Limone)

I have been trying to eat a little healthier lately, however yesterday I found myself craving Buca’s Chicken Limone really badly.  I used to live in Wisconsin and we had a Buca di Beppo there in Milwaukee.  A year ago I moved to Portland, Oregon and the closest Buca is in Seattle, so I couldn’t exactly just run and pick up some to satisfy my craving…  so why not make my own?  This is WAY cheaper than paying over $20 for 3-4 pieces of chicken there.

A few years ago a friend and I had a way of making lemon chicken at home, and while it was tasty it used a lot of oil in the sauce and didn’t look or taste quite like Buca’s.  A couple of months ago I decided to experiment with making the sauce again, and this is what I came up with.  Just a note; Buca’s Chicken Limone has capers and this recipe does not.  If you like capers, I don’t think it’d be that difficult to just add them to the dish.


Lemon Chicken


  • Olive Oil (approx. ¼ Cup)
  • 3-4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (trimmed of any visible fat)
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • 3 Tbs Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tbs White Cooking Wine
  • 2½ Tbs Lemon Juice
  • ½ Cup (1 Stick) Butter

For the Chicken:

Take a large skillet and add enough olive oil to cover the bottom completely, roughly ¼ cup.  Preheat the skillet over medium heat.  Place some flour on a plate.  Rinse each piece of chicken and season each side with a little salt.  Place the chicken on the plate and pat to coat with flour.  Turn the chicken over and pat to coat the other side.  The chicken needs to be just covered, you don’t need a thick crust.  Place the chicken in your preheated pan and cook each side until is golden, about 3-5 minutes each side depending on how thick it is.  Check to make sure it’s done by cutting a slit in the thickest piece and look to make sure there is no pink.

For the Sauce:

Pour the wine and lemon juice in a small saucepan and heat on medium.  Once it comes to a light boil, let it simmer until the liquid has reduced by a third.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and then mix in the cream.  Next add the butter, one tablespoon at a time untill it’s fully incorporated.  At this point you can reduce the heat to low or warm if your chicken is not done yet.

Place the chicken in a serving dish and pour the lemon sauce over the top.  Serve immediately.

Copycat In-N-Out Burger

Copycat In-N-Out Burgers

Well, this is primarily going to be a blog about baking, but I made these burgers tonight and just had to share them.  This recipe explains how to make these using your toaster oven, however feel free to cook the hamburger patties any way you wish.  If you plan to make more than 2 hamburgers you will probably want to make these using the broiler of your standard oven.  If I had the option, I probably would have grilled them instead!

I had my first In-N-Out burger a couple of years ago while on vacation in Los Angeles, CA.  These things sure are addicting.  Unfortunately, if you want one you are pretty much out of luck if you don’t live in the Southwest…  Until now.  This recipe is pretty darn close to the real thing in my opinion.

First, get all of your ingredients together.  Slice your tomatoes, onions, rinse/dry your lettuce, etc…


Next, make the sauce by putting all of the ingredients in a bowl and wisk them together…

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Prepare your bun by spreading butter on both sides and then toasting it until the edges are lightly brown and crispy.  If you just want the inside toasted instead of the entire bun, you could just heat a frying pan and grill it.  I am going to try it this way next time because it turned out a little dry and fell apart while eating it.

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After the bun is done toasting, set your toaster oven to the broil setting and preheat.  Prepare your hamburger patties and place them on your toaster oven’s broiler pan.  Each patty was about 3.5 ounces prior to cooking (next time I will probably make them slightly smaller or just use 1 patty because they ended up sort of thick).  I just seasoned them with a little salt and pepper.


Broil them for 8-10 minutes, flipping them over halfway through.


When they are done, turn off your toaster oven, remove the pan, and place a slice of american cheese on each patty.  Place the pan back in the toaster so the cheese melts.


While your hamburger patties are cooking, you can finish preparing the bun.  Spread sauce on both sides…


Add the tomato, onion (if desired) and lettuce to the bottom half of the bun…

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When the patties are done, place them on top of the lettuce, then add the top half of the bun and you’re finished!  Enjoy!


Copycat In-N-Out Burger

You will need:

  • Ground beef
  • Hamburger buns
  • American Cheese
  • Sliced tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Onions and additional toppings, if desired
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  • ½ Cup Mayonaise
  • 2 Tbs Ketchup
  • 1 Tbs Distilled White Vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp Sweet Pickle Relish
  • 2 tsp Finely Chopped Onion

Prepare your toppings:  Slice the tomato, onion, lettuce, etc.

Make the sauce:  Put all the ingredients in a bowl and wisk them together.
(Note:  I don’t like onions on my burger, so instead of buying a whole onion just to get 2 tsp worth for the sauce, I just minced 2 tsp of frozen pre-chopped onions that I thawed ahead of time)

Prepare the bun:  Butter each side and toast it until the edges are slightly brown and crispy.

Make the hamburger patties:  Preheat the toaster oven on the broil setting.  Form each patty and season with a little salt and pepper.  Place patties on your toaster oven’s broiler pan (I lined mine with non stick foil to make cleanup easier).  Broil for about 8-10 minutes, flipping over halfway.  Turn off the toaster oven and take out the pan.  Place a slice of american cheese on each patty and then return the pan to the toaster oven so the cheese melts.  (If you don’t have a toaster oven, or just don’t want to cook the hamburgers this way, you most certainly can broil them in the regular oven, grill them, or cook them however you wish!)

Finish preparing the bun:  Spread some of the sauce on each bun then add the lettuce, tomato, onion, and any other topping you want.  Next add the hamburger patties and top of the bun.  Enjoy!