Posted by: Karen (Betty Bear) | November 20, 2011

My dogs are barking

This is one of my favorite Southern expressions. It means, my feet are really tired, but doesn’t “my dogs are barking” just sound so much better? Although I have to admit, if my feet could talk they’d probably be whining, not barking. I just did a whole lot of standing and walking around today, unfortunately none of it was the good outdoor exercise-y kind of walking. It was more the walking up and down aisles handing out ballots and collecting them and making a short speech and selling tickets and monitoring a craft table and cleaning up after a pot luck and cleaning up after the crafts. And I had to talk to people ALL DAY today. I’m really kind of hermit-like in nature and spending hours talking to people leaves me just exhausted.

But before I go tuck myself in bed, I’m sharing a really good recipe I found that was great for the pot-luck. You know how at pot-luck dinners almost everything is all cheesy and creamy and rich and sometimes you find yourself actually wishing there was something resembling healthy there? Here it is:

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Cassarole
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice*
3/4 tsp. ground allspice
3/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 clove garlic, minced
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut in half or 2-3 chicken breasts cut in half to thirds
1 T. vegetable oil
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained, rinsed
1 large sweet potato (1 lb), peeled, cubed (3 cups)
1/4 C. honey
1/4 C. lime juice
1/4 C. chicken broth
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 T. sliced green onions (2 medium)
Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 8-inch square (2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray. In small bowl, mix salt, pumpkin pie spice, allspice, thyme, garlic and red pepper. Place chicken pieces in a large bowl and toss with spice mixture until covered on all sides. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in oil 2 to 3 minutes per side, until brown.
In baking dish, layer beans and sweet potato. Top with browned chicken. In small bowl, mix honey, lime juice, broth and cornstarch; add to skillet. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Pour over chicken in baking dish.
Bake 45 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (180°F) and sweet potatoes are fork tender. Sprinkle with green onions.

If a dry jerk seasoning or rub is available, use it to save a few minutes. This is a mild jerk seasoning rub; an authentic jerk rub will be spicier.
*You can substitute 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg for the pumpkin pie spice.
serves 6, can be doubled using a 13×9 pan.

This is the kind of recipe that if you leave it in the oven for a while longer it will be fine.

Today’s gratitude: I’m grateful for the peace that happens after a day filled with activity when it all went reasonable well.

Today’s challenge: Put the healthy foods in your fridge in an easy-to-reach spot. You know, if you don’t buy the unhealthy stuff, it won’t be there to be eaten!



  1. Yummy recipe!
    My dogs are whining. My back is screaming. Had a rough time of it in Los Angeles this weekend. Daughter is moving…much packing, and walking, and standing, and lifting. Had to keep reminding myself to be happy. She’s buying her first house. I’m so proud of her. : )

    • Ow! Ibuprofen and a heating pad? A glass of wine? I can’t imagine my daughter buying her first house yet!

  2. My dad says that! It might be a middle-of-the-country saying too, because he got it from HIS father, who was born in Missouri (I think, or some square shaped state near there).
    Not sure what to think of the recipe, I am not fond of sweet potatoes, but I do love the “jerked” flavoring I’ve had only a few times. Hmmm, I’ll send Dan over, and see whether he thinks I’ll like it. (You know, as in “you don’t like kale” that type of situation.)

    Great gratitude! (Can’t comment on the healthy food thing, I had cookies for dinner. 😉 )

    • Missouri is kind of South-ish. Sort of, maybe. I’m not real fond of sweet potatoes either, but all the seasoning makes it real tasty! Not commenting on the cookies for dinner . . . nope! 😉

  3. Standing and slow walking IS a form of mild exercise. It takes more energy/muscles than people realize just to stand. It’s why I’ve gone all “standing desk” up in here. No wonder your dogs are barking!

  4. I know. When I was teaching it always took about a week or so to get back into “teaching” shape as far as my feet and legs were concerned. It’s just not aerobic, which I really need more of.

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