Author Archives: rachelsvittles2050

About rachelsvittles2050

I am the Mother of four amazingly wonderful children, three daughters and one son; the wife to my very best friend and most patient man on Earth, Rick; daughter to my hard-working; inspiring parents; oldest sister to two sisters; I homeschool my two oldest daughter part-time; my exercise program consists of either carrying around my two babies or chasing them :) I am passionate about food! How it's grown, where it's from, how it is prepared to how it is served; I love life and I embrace each new day, I hope to never lose sight of just how fortunate and blessed I am; I will raise my children to know and love the Lord, treat others how they wish to be treated, be respectful, and when they move out and are on their own, call their Momma everyday! I live in Southwest Florida where we only have two seasons, "Tourist Season & Hurricane Season". Traveling is one of my favorite things to do, I always try to visit new places. Sampling the local fare and asking for a to-go menu is a must. It is an odd thing I suppose, to collect menus, but it's what I do! Football holds a special place in my heart! I anxiously await the start of football season, and I think I might become a little depressed when the Superbowl approaches. I wish I had the time to watch every single game, because I would :) I love the beach in the spring & summer and the mountains in the fall & winter. I crochet when I can; am easily trapped by a good book; I read every food/cooking magazine I get my hands on, from back to front, weird I know, I do not like eating at chain/corporate restaurants, when I find good, unique, one-of-a-kind places I feel like I have hit the jackpot :) I hope to share my love for good food, recipes I cherish, tips tricks, and from time to time maybe some advice...

Fudgie Brownies {Gluten-Free}


Hello my friends! I have dearly missed being here on Rachel’s Vittles. Big things are happening in my life and you all will be the first to hear the news…… (Drumroll) I am starting my own little business!! I am excited to announce that Three Sisters in the Kitchen will be launching very soon. Some of you may know that three of my four kiddos are completely gluten-free and to put it frankly, they are frustrated at the fact that we don’t have a local bakery that serves GF goods. A light bulb went off in my head and wha-la I am starting a gluten-free business ☺ In the beginning I will be “setting up shop” at the Farmers Market in downtown Fort Myers on Thursday mornings. I will also be baking up custom order birthday cakes/cup cakes and such. I have jumped into this little project at full speed and I hope to be operating as soon as this week. I am currently waiting on one more piece of paper (I want to be completely law abiding) and as soon as I get that it’s on 🙂 I have included the link to my new website Three Sisters in the Kitchen I have quite a bit everything is yet to be done on there but it is active and It’s Mine!!

I am not including the brownie recipe in this post….. I am just going to tease you with the pictures! I will be sharing it & so much more very soon.

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to read this blog. I hope that you will follow me along the way to new adventures!



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Posted by on November 11, 2013 in Gluten-Free, Sweets


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Greek Marinated Chicken Kabobs & Grilled Apples

A couple of weeks ago my husband made the trek, or should I say flight, from South Florida to California so that he could be a there for his brother Matt and his new bride Cassie’s big day. Regretfully, the children and I couldn’t make it to California. The sheer thought of traveling across the country with the two toddlers makes my brain hurt, for such a short trip anyways. Hopefully we will make it out there in a few years. So, we made the best of the “wishing we were there situation, “and the absence of Rick, as he is rarely away. We shopped a little but mostly we spent our time hanging out at home. The NFL pre-season kicked off the night he departed, so we watched plenty of football, ate ample amounts of hummus and veggies, and watched more football while we swam in the pool. [TV by the pool is stellar, at least during football season :)] Anyhow. The bottom line is we had a weekend of Mother-Kiddo bonding time. However, I must admit that I was guilty of a little jealousy each time I spoke with Rick. There wasn’t a single conversation that we had that he didn’t tell me about something  ~ Wonderful ~ he had eaten that day, even a chicken dish, and he isn’t a fan of chicken. Now, this is the same man who usually cannot tell you what he had for dinner the night before, he eats for survival purposes alone. So, to hear him go on about the scrumptious food, made my foodie brain kick into overdrive. I was going to come up with something great tasting, healthy and different from my usual rotation of chicken dinners. I am not being boastful, but I did it! This Greek inspired marinade is delicious and would work well on anything chicken, beef, pork, lamb, fish, shellfish, vegetables, you could even use it as a spread or dipping sauce for bread (or pitas).

I decided to use the marinade on chicken, make it into kabobs, and put them outside on the grill where we spent the evening dining “Al Fresco”. Everything we ate that night was cooked on the grill, even the desert of grilled cinnamon apples. I apologize for the lack of a single picture of the finished “Grilled Apple” dish. My four little one’s had them devoured within 2 minutes, literally, even eating my portion! In other words they were spectacular, they didn’t even wait for the vanilla ice cream that I had intended to serve with them.

Congratulations on the ‘I Do” Cassie and Matt! The kids and I wish we could have been there.

Now on with the recipe:

Greek Marinated Chicken Kabobs:

 This recipe is enough for two-three pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast.

– 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

– 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

– zest from one lemon (two if you like more zing)

– 1/4 cup Dijon mustard

– 4-5 cloves of garlic minced

– 2 Tablespoons dried oregano

– 2 Tablespoons dried parsley

– 1 Tablespoons dried rosemary

– 1 Tablespoon dried thyme

–  Coarse Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

– 2-3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1″ cubes

– 2 zucchini squash sliced into 1″ thick slices

– 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1″ squares

– 1 large sweet onion, halved and each half cut into thirds, try to keep sections intact this makes the assembly of the kabobs easier.


– Place all ingredients, except the chicken and vegetables, into a gallon size ziptop bag. Seal the bag and then shake it around to mix it all together.

– Add the chicken to the marinade. Allow to soak up the flavors for 6-24 hours (in the refrigerator)

– Assemble the kabobs, alternating chicken and vegetables. If using bamboo skewers remember to soak in water for 30 minutes.

– Place skewers on hot (375 degrees or so) grill for about 7-8 minutes per side. Turning twice, for a total of 14-16 minutes or until done. If you have excess marinade brush onto kabobs while on the grill.

Grilled Apples

– Cut desired numbered of apples in half and remove core and seeds.

– Brush cut side of apple with melted butter.

– Sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar on top of melted butter.

– Place on hot grill, skin side down, close lid and allow to cook for about 15-20 minutes.


Crunchy Baked GF Chicken & Isaac

The path of Tropical Storm Isaac isn’t expected to impact SW Florida as was anticipated by the meteorologist’s, or the many people who were out buying up as much water, batteries and canned goods as they could. This is a good thing 🙂 well maybe not for those who will be eating soup and tuna for the next few weeks :/ but that we are no longer in the cone (or path) of Isaac. I must also add, in preparation for this storm my husband has moved all of the patio furniture to the garage, took the kids’ John boat out of the pond and secured it to a tree and trimmed all of the trees in our yard, and we have many, many trees. As you can see in the pictures below the trees, especially the palms, really were pruned! I moved all of my orchids and part of my herb garden into the outdoor bathroom [lots and lots of fun]. If nothing else this gives us (mostly Rick) a great opportunity to thoroughly clean up outside and groom all the landscaping! Yay!  We will still see plenty of wind and rain, enough to keep the children in doors all day today and tomorrow. I am trying to keep them occupied so they are not tempted to munch on junk food out of boredom. All in all I really do love this weather, it is such a nice break from the scalding heat.





When the, “Mom, when will lunch be ready?” echos started rolling in I decided to try something new (to us). I recalled reading a recipe, some time ago, that was for fresh chicken tenders breaded with crushed potato chips instead of bread crumbs.  I have one child who has to avoid gluten and this recipe seemed as if it would appeal to all four of my hungry kiddos. I didn’t try to find the recipe that sparked the idea, time didn’t allow for that. They were hungry! So, this is a recipe I threw together on a whim, and it turned out great! Often gluten-free foods aren’t quite as tasty as the gluten laden version. Especially things like chicken tenders, however, these oversized crispy chicken nuggets are an exception and they are were GOOD and they are gone

Crunchy Baked Chicken Chunks (Gluten-Free)


  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into large chunks (about 2 or 3-bites per piece)
  • 1/2 cup Gluten-Free Bisquick
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 Tablespoon water
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 or 2 1/2 cups of crushed Kettle Cooked Potato Chips (I used the Reduced Fat Cape Cod brand)
  • 2 Tablespoons dried parsley (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste (be careful with the salt, the chips provide saltiness)
  • non-stick cooking spray


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Spray a wire rack with non-stick spray coating well, or rub with oil
  • Place the Bisquick in a shallow bowl
  • In a second bowl beat eggs, water, Dijon mustard, and 1T of parsley until well combined
  • In a third bowl combine crushed chips, 1T parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper
  • Coat all of the chicken with a three-step dip/dredge: First dredge each piece in the Bisquick, next dunk in egg/mustard mixture allowing excess to drip back into bowl, third roll the chicken in the crushed potato chip mix. Be sure to coat the chicken well and press the crumbs gently into the chicken.
  • Place chicken on the wire rack placed on a cookie sheet. This allows the chicken to remain crispy on both sides.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until a thermometer reads 165 degrees at the thickest part of the meat.
  • This chicken is tasty enough to eat without and dip. However, it would be great with your favorite sauce or rolled in hot sauce and served with Bleu Cheese 🙂 my combination of choice!

And on a final note. I sincerely hope and pray that everyone, who is at risk of being of being affected by Tropical Storm or Hurricane Isaac, is safe. Take care.


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It’s been a while… & Green Bean Salad

I was totally shocked when I realized that it has been 6 months since I have last posted anything on my blog 😦

I have been completely wrapped up in my crazy, busy life of raising four children (1 teen, 1 tween & 2 babies), being an efficient secretary to my husband and his business ventures and his wife. Even though being busy should not be an excuse for making time to do what I love, which is cooking and blogging, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. I am currently attempting to make some minor adjustments in my life so that I can have a bit of me time, which is time I like to spend on here. This makes me smile!

Just to catch everyone up to speed

~ Bailey will be making some major adjustments this upcoming school year. She is moving from a private Christian school to a public school and entering into the IB program. I am praying that the culture shock isn’t too rough on her. Bailey has been working for her Aunt and Uncle at their business throughout this summer, and is planning on staying there through high school.  She is active in 2 rodeo circuits as well as the NBHA, and loves every minute of it. Bailey has been blessed with a horse who is as perfectly matched to her as she is to him. His name is Blaze.

~Emily will be homeschooled full-time this year. I am both excited and nervous about this. I know that everything happens for a reason and this is what we are supposed to be doing at this time. She is also active in 2 rodeo circuits and well as the NBHA (National Barrel Horse Assoc.) Emily is a cowgirl at heart and I just adore her spirit. She loves to work cattle and in her spare time she loves to design hair and nails.

~ Gracie will be three years old the end of this month. It is so hard to believe that three years have gone by so quickly. She has definitely made the transition from baby to toddler to little girl. She is most excited about her 3rd birthday party. For the past two months she has talked to me everyday about her, “Horse party, with purple balloons and cupcakes!” I hope we are able to live up to her dream party (pictures and details to come). We are hopeful that Gracie will ride in her first rodeo before the end of this year. I am anxious to let you know how that goes.

~ Richard a.k.a. Bubba is not only our baby but also our only boy. Therefore he is spoiled rotten, down to the core. He has each and every one of us wrapped around his little finger(s) like all of them. He will be turning two in November and I cannot fathom where the time has gone. It is like the days are long and the years are short. Any how he is healthy and happy and surrounded by girls…

So, now that we are all caught up on life I would like to share with you one of Bailey’s favorite salad’s. Let me know what you think about it, or what changes you make to it. I love hearing from you.


Green Bean Salad

1 lb. fresh green beans (washed & trimmed)

1 small red onion slice thin

8 oz. cooked and crumbled bacon (or use bacon pieces already cooked)

8 oz. crumbled Feta Cheese

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2-3 Tablesoons white wine vinegar (or white balsamic vinegar)

1 Tablespoon dried parsley

1 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon dried dill (optional, depending on taste)

1-2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper


Blanche green beans (place in pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes, drain and transfer to a bowl of iced water) you want the beans to be crisp and keep their vibrant color.

Wisk together the oil, vinegar, herbs and seasonings

In a large bowl toss the beans, dressing, Feta, and bacon.

This salad is served as made or chilled.


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Chipotle Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich

I have a confession to make… I am a Pinterest addict! I have never  found a website that I couldn’t easily click away from, until now. I am constantly inspired by many wonderful ideas that I find on there. This sandwich is a product of my Pinterest addiction. Within about an hour of pinning the “Spicy Hawaiian Burger” I had over 20 repins. So, I figured should get in the kitchen and make my version of it. I did alter the recipe somewhat, to the ingredients I had on hand, and it turned out fabulous!  Have a marvelous Monday my friends!

My quote for the day: “For every 60 seconds you spend angry, results in 1 minute of happiness you will never get back” unknown


    • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • 1/4 cup lower sodium soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon of Seasoned Salt (I used Tony Chachere’s)
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 clove of minced garlic
    • 3 scallions sliced (green and white parts)
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
    • 4 slices of pepper jack cheese
    • 8 pineapple slices
    • 1 whole Cuban loaf
    • Romaine lettuce for garnish
    • 1/4 cup olive oil mayo (optional)
  • In a large zip-tip bag combine soy sauce and the following 8 ingredients, thru the chipotle powder.
  • Place the chicken in between layers of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until about 1/2″ thickness.Add the chicken to the marinade and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so.
  • Heat a skillet to medium-high heat, remove chicken from marinade and coat with non-stick spray. Cook for 4-6 minutes on each side (or until done) add a slice of cheese to each piece of chicken.
  • After removing the chicken from the pan add the pineapple and cook for about 3 minutes per side.
  • Slice bread in half, smear bottom of bread with mayo, add lettuce, chicken & cheese, pineapple slices.
  • Wha La!Sit back and enjoy this most delicious sandwich!

This recipe was adapted from Homemade by Holman


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White Lasagna with Chicken & Spinach

Hello, hello! I am thrilled to be back on the blog-scene once again. It has been such a long time since I have had a single spare moment to devote to Rachel’s Vittles. Change is in the air (or kitchen) though. As difficult as it is for me, I will be delegating some of my responsibilities to others 🙂 so that I can spend a bit more time doing what I love, which is cooking and sharing about it here.

I truly hope that each and every one of you had a remarkable and memorable Christmas and start to this New Year! I am very much looking forward to the many new adventures and memories 2012 will bring my way. I thought it might be fun to reflect back and share with you what has been going on in my crazy-busy life.

My youngest child and only son, Richard (aka Bubba) is quite the busy body these days. He has not only mastered walking, but running as well and is quickly moving on to climbing. His appetite is tremendous, I still haven’t figured out how the little guy eats so much but, I am fairly certain he has inherited my love of food. He is the happiest little baby I know, and he seems to have his Daddy’s patience. The good Lord must have known he would need it in this home full of girls!

Gracie… where do I even begin. I have come to the conclusion that this little girl must be solar-powered. She doesn’t eat very much at all and sleep is something she rarely does for any decent amount of time. So, being that we live here in the Sunshine State she must run on the sun! lol. Our little girl has become quite a character at the ripe young age of 2. She is loving, hilarious, theatrical, silly, sarcastic, very particular, determined and so abundantly full of energy. We never have a shortage of entertainment around here. She is so much fun to be around and brings a constant smile to my face. She loves, Loves, LOVES her brother & sisters, and during this past year she has added horses to the list of who she loves. It is amazing to me that my tiny 24 pound girl doesn’t hesitate for a second before climbing on the back of a horse and riding off. In December she rode all by herself, not even with a lead rope, for the first time! She is the cutest little cowgirl.

Emily is doing phenomenal in school this year. I am so impressed with her accomplishments during her sixth grade year. She is playing the violin, and doing an amazing job at it. I love to hear her play! I look forward to listening to her make music with those strings for many, many years to come! Her 4-H project this year is a hog, which she named Pigsie (like Pixie) and she also has two miniature goats. Emily has taken her love for horses to a new level this past year. She is now a member of the NBHA (National Barrel Horse Assoc.) and is barrel racing every chance she gets. It is hard to believe that she will be 12 years old this month…time flies! I am so blessed to have her as a daughter!

Bailey, my oldest baby 🙂 will be 15 years old this upcoming Tuesday! I just cannot believe that so many years have passed since I became a Mommy for the first time! She has become a remarkable young lady who has so much going for her. She jumped on the 4-H wagon this year, and cannot wait to jump back off! Nepolian is the name of her swine, and fair time can’t get here quickly enough. Bailey is also a new member of the NBHA this year and is spending as much time on the horses as she can. She loves the horses and with her hardcore competitive spirit I know she will go far. New and exciting times are in store for her this year as she will be driving and getting her first job!

As you might can see my children keep me a bit busy, but I love every single moment of it and I wouldn’t change it for anything! I have days that I feel like I am going crazy (my husband thinks I am crazy), which I think is normal with two babies and two teenage girls!

Again, I am happy to be returning to my blog and I am looking forward to a year full of delicious vittles!

White Lasagna with Chicken & Spinach


  • 4 cups of cooked chicken, chopped
  • 1 – 14 oz. can baby artichokes hearts quartered drained
  • 1 – box frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained
  • 1 – box frozen chopped broccoli thawed and drained
  • 1 box of lasagna noodles, boiled according to directions on box
  • 3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg well beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup parmesan or romano cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic
  • 1 teaspoon each sea salt and black pepper (I usually add more, to tatse)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 to 3 cups of water
  • 3-4 medium-sized tomatoes chopped


  • Beat egg well, add in the ricotta and parsley until combined and set aside
  • In a skillet over medium heat melt butter, whisk in the flour to make a roux, do not allow the butter to burn. Continue cooking and whisking about 2 minutes, add the water, cream and milk, whisk until all of the flour/butter mixture has dissolved into the cream cook over low heat (don’t boil) until it has thickened.  Add the parmesan or romano cheese, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Place the artichokes, broccoli and spinach in a bowl and toss to combine.
  • To begin building lasagna. Spray your pan with non-stick cooking spray. Start with a layer of noodles first, top with 1/3 of the cooked chicken, 1/3 of the vegetable mixture, 1/4 of the mozzarella, and then ladle on 1/4 of the sauce. Repeat this process two more times ending with noodles. Top with remaining sauce and mozzarella. Cover with tin foil and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove foil and return to oven for an additional 10 minutes or so.
  • Allow the lasagna to sit on the counter, uncovered for 5-10 minutes. This lets the dish set so that you can cut and serve it, with minimal sliding 🙂
  • Garnish with chopped tomatoes just before serving.

Zuppa Toscana

I have missed you all! I hope that your Thanksgiving Day was spectacular, filled with delicious food, cherished moments with loved ones and football of course!

Sadly, it seems like it has been a lifetime since I have posted anything. I truly enjoy this website, it means a lot to me. However, this past month has been incredibly busy for several different reasons and despite my efforts to find the time to blog, it hasn’t happened. I had so many wonderful recipes I was excited to share for Thanksgiving 😦 which I will saved for next year…

Zuppa Toscana, is an Italian soup (which happens to be a favorite of my girls & myself) that is full of sausage, sweet onions, potatoes, and the star of the bowl, kale. This soup does have cream added to it, but it is not a heavy soup, the base is made with chicken stock with a small amount of cream added at the end. I usually would have used milk, as I commonly don’t keep heavy cream on hand, but I had some leftover from turkey day therefore I added on the richness and the calories!

I would also like to add that I have a long way to go with my photography skills, and I try my best, but I find it almost impossible to take a good (or even decent) picture of soup. Over the past six months I have probably snapped 200 shots of different soups, and not one has been even okay. But, I really wanted to jump back into my blog and this soup was what was on the menu. If any of you have any tricks or suggestions, I would love to hear it! Thanks.

Zuppa Toscana


  • 1 pound sweet Italian chicken sausage (hot sausage would be great as well)
  • 2 large Idaho potatoes
  • 2 large sweet onions
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 12-16 ounces of chopped kale
  • 3 cans of all natural chicken broth 14.5 oz each
  • 1/2 pound bacon cook and chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of heavy cream or milk
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish


  • Add vegetable oil to a hot Dutch oven or heavy pot (med-high heat) brown and crumble sausage  remove from pot
  • Dice onions and potatoes add to sausage drippings cook 10-12 minutes
  • Add garlic to potatoes and onions
  • Pour chicken stock and water into pot bring to a boil and then reduce heat
  • Add salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, parsley, bacon & sausage
  • Check the tenderness of your potatoes, when tender add cream and kale cook until thoroughly heated and slightly wilted
  • Once the cream is added do not boil, the cream will separate
  • Serve with parmesan cheese as a garnish
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Posted by on November 30, 2011 in Appetizers, Cheese, Chicken, Pork, Soups, Veggies


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